When we are struggling, when things are hard, when we have a crisis? What is the first thing we do? How do we try to fix it? So often we try to take care of it on our own. In my experience, this can often lead to disaster. Sometimes they work out for a while, but most of the time we find out that we need help. Why don’t we start there? We trust God. Do we show it? Is God our priority? Do we turn to Him fist for everything? As I was reading Daniel this week, I realized there is a lot we can learn from him: Continue reading “When You Have a Crisis”
One of the greatest promises God has given us is adoption to be children of God. For those of us who believe, He has accepted us to be part of His family and heirs of eternal life (more on this next time). He didn’t decide to adopt us because of our love for Him or all the great things that we have done, but because He loved us, because Christ died for us that we may be sons of God. I talked last time about being a sponsor for children and how missionaries go to a strange land and accept children as their own, sharing God’s love. How much more does God love us and accept us as His children. What an awesome thing! Continue reading “God’s Promise: Adoption”
What does the Bible say about marriage and relationships? I am no expert (if you want good, expert advice, try Focus on the Family or Family Life Today) and I have many flaws as a husband, but I try to follow what God says how to treat my wife and others. I often fail, but I try. I hope this post will encourage you, whether married or single. God’s Word has much to say about relationships and I would like to share with you a few scriptures to help you be a better husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend or what to look for in one. Marriage is a wonderful thing, created by God, so use wisdom, show love, be kind and honest, take your time, enjoy it, and always put God first and in the center of your life and your relationship.
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
This scripture describes how to treat others and how to live. I think these are good rules to live by not only in life but also in marriage (or other relationships). If you are seeking a companion, does he or she have these characteristics? My wife and I always try to live by these words, in particular to never let ourselves go to bed angry. Whatever the argument or fight is, we talk it out and resolve it that day (even if we may still not agree), but “never let the sun go down in our anger.” Never let anything fester. Also, we must always show grace. Remember how much our Lord forgives us. We should apply that to others, especially those we love.
Let’s see what Paul and Peter have to say about our roles as husbands and wives and what responsibilities God has given us in our marriages.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Men and women have specific roles. We are equal in a relationship, but we have different roles. The man is the spiritual leader of the home. Christ needs to always be the center of the home. We must love our wife unconditionally and care for her, putting her needs above our own. We need to protect and be an example for her. We must be willing to make sacrifices, to give our life for her. The woman is to honor and respect her husband. Follow his example and be sure that he follows in the ways of the Lord. Submission does NOT mean a dictatorship. Jesus is a servant leader. That is how a husband ought to be. The best way to be respected is to be respectful. Remember, we need each other, we compliment each other. We support each other. We love each other.
1 Peter 3:1-9
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
Husbands and wives both need to remember that love goes deeper than just what is on the outside. We love the person, not just the beauty on the outside, but more importantly what is on the inside, WHO they are. Again, the example of your character will help your spouse to be a better person and a better husband/wife. If one goes astray, the other can help to bring them back. If one is not a believer, your testimony may draw your spouse to Jesus Christ. If you are single, you want the person you will spend the rest of your life with to believe as you believe. If your spouse is not a follower of Jesus Christ, there will be tension in your relationship. Find someone who trusts in the Lord and who seeks to have the character of Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.
One last thing. My advice for any marriage is that you never use the “D” word, not even as a threat, no matter how angry you get no matter if you mean it or not. God hates it. My wife and I vowed to never even speak the word in our house. Ever. A marriage is not only a vow between two people who love each other, but also a vow with God. It is binding, “till death do us part.” A marriage is something both need to work at. Both need to keep the vow. Let no one or no thing ever come between you.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
One role the church often seems to neglect is discipling its members. When a person makes a decision to believe in Jesus Christ, we need to be there for them and guide them to grow and learn about their faith. A new believer should also seek godly counsel with those who are more mature believers. We all need to learn and to teach. As a church family, we need to grow together with our brothers and sisters. Continue reading “Students and Teachers of the Word”
Why do we go to church? I saw a post on Facebook about how people don’t need to go to church every Sunday to worship God as long as they believe in God, or something like that. The statement is partially true. It is not a sin to miss church, I don’t think, but if you are able, you should be there. You need the church body and the church body needs you. It is not a ticket to heaven, either. We are saved by grace through faith, not going to church. But, being part of a church is an act of worship and it brings you into a family that will encourage you, teach you, strengthen you, pray for you. These are things to look for when finding a home along with sound biblical teaching. Also, though, we should not go there expecting to be fed all the time. As we go, we need to look for ways that we can serve the church and do all those things for others. The church is not a place. It is a people. It is you and me. It is believers. It is the body of Christ. Continue reading “Why Go to Church?”