Help! I'm Married Pt. 3

Monday, October 20, 2014

Love calls for Sacrifice!

When we get all dressed up to attend a wedding, we put on our very best clothes and behavior because we are going to take part in a sacred act. A man and a woman are going to give their lives to each other for as long as they live, and we have the honor to stand with them and witness their solemn, sacred pledge to each other. They are going to make a covenant, a holy and irrevocable vow, to be one, to own all things in common, and to love and care for one another for the rest of their lives. It takes a sacrifice in all relationships . . . especially marriage.

Sacrifice… “A surrendering of some possession (action, feeling, or emotion) as an offering to God.” Sacrifice is the freely giving up of oneself for the benefit of the other.

Throughout the Scripture, the shedding of blood was required for a covenant to be in effect. The covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties.  Covenant is how God has chosen to communicate to us, to redeem us, and to guarantee us eternal life in Jesus. It involved the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross. In a marriage, the covenant was fulfilled when the husband and wife consummated their marriage and shed their uniqueness for the purpose of becoming one. The act of binding each other was and is a shedding of ones person so as to grow in the relationship as a unifying of the heart, body, soul, and mind. To a lessor degree…this is true of all good and lasting relationships. 

Before Karen and I head off to bed at night, we sneak into the children’s room to check on them and see them sleeping - little soft cheeks lying there on the pillow as peaceful as can be, I get a tremendous sense of love and thankfulness that God has given me these creatures. Sometimes I catch myself gently patting their heads or rubbing their cheeks and appreciating the soft touch of fresh skin. Do I love them? Yes. But five hours earlier, when those seemingly angelic creatures are running around, fighting, yelling, demanding - “I want milk, I need go potty,” and complaining, “why do we have to . . .” my love for them wanes. When this love calls on me to wipe bottoms and wash hair and put on clothes, my love is put to the test. Talk is cheap. Actions are difficult.

The fact of the matter is that love is not always fun or easy. It especially depends on what the object of your love is. It’s easy to love your recliner. All it does is sit there and give you a place to rest. You don’t have to talk to it. You rarely have to clean it. All you do is sit on it. It’s easy to love your television. It talks to you. It keeps you entertained. It becomes more difficult when you have to clean it, move it, and pay for it. Children are more difficult, because they are sinfully selfish. Pets are more difficult, because they don’t always listen. Bosses are not easy to love, because they can be rude and very demanding. Neighbors can be difficult to love - because they can be loud and obnoxious. 

Jesus said in John 15:13-14, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Do you stall coming home from work because you have a hard time loving your wife? Do you look for excuses as to why you can’t spend time with your kids, because it takes work to love them? Do you do your best to avoid phone calls from certain people because you have a hard time loving them?

Think About it...You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Honor in Marriage and IN ALL OUR RELATIONSHIPS!

When we honor our relationships, God restores our souls and rejuvenates who we are in Jesus. The hurting are healed, the lost are witnesses of God’s grace, and the believers are encouraged and rejuvenated.

One of the most beautiful illustration of God’s love for us found in the Old Testament book of Hosea. God said to the Prophet Hosea, “Go take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord” (Hosea 1:2).  Hosea went to the market place of prostitute slaves and bought Gomer. He brought her home, made her his wife, and had children with her. He bought her when she was a disgrace and an embarrassment, and he only asked that she be a good wife to him. Hosea offered Gomer a new life of honor before God and man.

God used Hosea to demonstrate how deep and unconditional His love was for Israel. He desired them even when they have forsaken him, turned to false gods, and had become prostitutes in their worship. Through Hosea, God was saying to them, “Even though you have disgraced me and embarrassed me, I love you and I want you to marry me. I want to give you a new life of honor.”

God has always desired a people who would live in a loving relationship with Him and with each other. That desire found full expression in Christ Jesus. With the sinless blood of Jesus, God “bought” us out of the marketplace of sin and “spiritual prostitution,” our worship of false gods and our pursuit of evil practices. Paul wrote about our salvation in Ephesians 1:7 where he says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Jesus redeemed us, purchased us, paid the full price for us, and took us out of the sin market and bondage of the Devil, the world, and our flesh. He purchased us with his life so that we might be free to love him and become His bride…as His bride, He gives us a place of honor, and we are to bring glory and honor to Him. The responsibility affects EVERY relationship we have! 

Live it....You know I love ya, Don

Monday, October 13, 2014

We are not created equally...we are different for a reason!

This makes me laugh....
“It was Saturday morning and John, an avid hunter, woke up ready to go bag the first deer of the season. He walks down to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, and to his surprise he finds his wife, Mary, sitting there, fully dressed in camouflage. John asks her, "What are you up to?" Mary smiles, "I'm going hunting with you!" John, though he has many reservations, reluctantly decides to take her along.

They arrive at the hunting site. John sets his wife safely up in the tree stand and tells her: "If you see a deer, take careful aim on it and I'll come running back as soon as I hear the shot." John walks away with a smile on his face knowing that Mary couldn't bag an elephant -- much less a deer.

But not 10 minutes pass when he is startled as he hears an array of gunshots. Quickly, John starts running back. As John gets closer to her stand, he hears Mary screaming, "Get away from my deer!" Confused, John races faster towards his screaming wife. And again he hears her yell, "Get away from my deer!" followed by another volley of gunfire. Now within sight of where he had left his wife, John is surprised to see a guy, with his hands high in the air. The man, obviously distraught, says, "Okay, lady, okay! You can have your deer! Just let me get my saddle off it!"

Keep know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Created to compliment ... "You complete me" is a lie!

God designed Eve to complete, that which was lacking in Adam’s life. “And Adam said, She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). Marriage is God’s gift to humans. It was given to resolve the problem of human loneliness by providing complimentary companionship between a man and a woman. Marriage is an illustration much like a completed rubics cube. A wife needs someone who understands and honors her. So Bible instruct to husband, "Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." (1 Peter 3:7). A husband needs someone who is meek with noble character. ” So Bible instructs to the wife, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, (1 Peter 3:1) This is why Bible says “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." (Proverbs 31:10, 11) A husband is to protect his wife by laying down his life for her. (Ephesians 5:25.) A wife is to protect the interests of her home. (Titus 2:4–5.) And Parents are to protect their children and to raise them up as a Godly seed.

How is this accomplished?

At the end of the Movie Jerry McGuire … Tom Cruise is an arrogant Jerry McGuire who is a Sports agent for big name sports players. In the end he realizes it is not about the fame, money, or the prestige, but about love. He is begging for his girl friend / wife to come back and he cries out, “She completes me.” I am here to tell you that is a lie of the flesh. Your spouse does not complete you. In fact, if you lay that responsibility on your wife or your husband, you will be very disappointed. You are only complete with God…what your spouse can do is offer to you’re the ability to draw close in a relationship that draws you even close to God.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) Equality is reflected in the first marriage as the man and woman were created in the image of God and given co-regency over the created order (Gen 1:26-28). For believers in Christ, marriage is a covenant of companionship between two spiritually equal human beings (Gal 3:26-28). Yet equality does not eliminate roles in a marriage relationship. Nor do roles in marriage diminish the call to mutual love and respect. The main purpose of marriage is to display the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. In other words, God designed marriage most deeply, most importantly, to be a parable or a parallel of the way Christ loves his church and the way the church loves and follows Christ. Jesus affirmed it in Matthew 19:4-6.  Marriage and relationships are eternally bound when there are three present… you, your spouse and God.

According to Scripture, the husband bears primary responsibility to lead the home in a God-glorifying way. His leadership clearly involves authority and should be honored by his wife and family (Eph 5;22-33,6:1-3). His authority, however, must be based on divine love (see: Eph 5:25, 33, John 10:11-13, 1cor 13:4-8) and thoughtful consideration (see: Phil 2:3-5). Scripture warns against husbands who treat their wives with insensitivity (1 peter 3:7). Husbands must never forget that they are commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Cultural limitations or biases should not be placed on this command any more than on the command for wives to respect their husbands. You are only complete in Jesus by total submission to each other in His word and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

The question becomes, “Is your relationships complete because they serve the other person or are they complete because serve your selfish desires?” “Is your marriage complete because of Jesus in the relationship or is there something missing?”

You know I love ya ... Don

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Crowning Achievement!

According to Dr. David Mace, "Poor communication is the main problem in 86% of all troubled marriages." A happy and healthy home is one of the best places on earth, while an unhappy and unhealthy home is one of the most miserable places. Someone rightly said “Where purpose is not known abuse is inevitable…” When a person does not understand the purpose of a thing, they almost always abuse that thing and marriage is no different. An all-wise God who created order out of chaos, handcrafted man and woman in His own image, and then instituted and ordained marriage must have had a purpose in doing so. What then, one must ask, was God’s purpose in creating marriage? Indisputably … the most fitting answer will be found in harmony with the will of God as it is revealed for us in His Word. In the next few weeks we are going to turn to His Word in order to find the divine purpose of God’s institution of Marriage… in fact this series is an examination of all our relationships.

There are those who call the church the body of Christ, and there are those who call the church the bride of Christ. Some modern teachers have argued over which is correct. They say, “If the church is His body, which is male, it cannot be His bride, which is female.” 

The fact is, in the first marriage between Adam and Eve, Eve was both Adam’s body and his bride. She was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, yet she was separate from him in form and inseparably bound to him in spirit. As believers in Jesus, we are inseparably bound and eternally married to the Lord Jesus Christ in Spirit. Yet, on this earth, we live out His life in our flesh. We are body and bride simultaneously… That is why our relationships are so important… important in marriage, in families, with co-workers, with neighbors, and yes, even in our relationships with our enemies.

Marriage is “made In Heaven” because it is God’s idea. He created the idea of relationships. He designed it. He established it and defined its parameters. Secondly, marriage is “made In Heaven” because God made Eve and brought her to Adam. Eve was God’s original idea. Our first parents did not woo, solicit, or choose each other. This was an arranged marriage, a match literally made in heaven: Eve is the absolute pinnacle of creation, the crown of Adam, “the glory of the man” (1 Cor. 11:7). How many of us look at our spouse as God’s crowning achievement in our lives?

You know I love ya.... Don

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Your Purpose?

Purpose is the reason for which something exists. Purpose is an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal. Purpose is the determination and resolute attitude the Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. .

Living a life of passion and significance requires knowing what your definite purpose in life is. Defining and living your life purpose gives you an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and meaning to your existence because it provides a way for you to use your values and passions and directs them towards a meaningful objective. Your life purpose is the essence of who you are as a person. Once you know what your purpose in life is, you will be able to wake up each morning knowing that every action that you take that day will move you one step closer towards your ultimate purpose in life.

Paul told the Christian in Colossi in Colossians 3:12-14, Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Our purpose is to put on Christ and whatever we are faced with will be accomplished through His purpose. Which is to shine the light of hope in every aspect of life.

You might be thinking, “Don, I can not do all things…” the reality is that God has created you to all the things he has gifted you to do. Which is much, much more than you allow yourself to do.

Look at the above graphic... If I were to draw two circles… in the first circle I would write, “Find your gift” and in the second circle write “share your gift” – where these to circles over-lap is your purpose. What do you feel gifted in doing and how are you sharing it? This is the purpose God has intended for you!

You know I love ya, Don 

Monday, September 15, 2014

I Can!

So much of the world is convinced that I … you … we can’t.  Paul says is Phil 4:13 “I Can.”

Runner’s World (8/91), told the story of Beth Anne DeCiantis’s attempt to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials Marathon. A female runner must complete the 27-mile, 385-yard race in less than two hours, forty-five minutes to compete at the Olympic Trials. Beth started strong but began having trouble around mile 23. She reached the final straightaway at 243, with just two minutes left to qualify. Two hundred yards from the finish, she stumbled and fell. Dazed, she stayed down for twenty seconds. The clock was ticking-2: 44, less than a minute to go. Beth Anne staggered to her feet and began walking. Five yards short of the finish, with ten seconds to go, she fell again. She began to crawl, the crowd cheering her on, and crossed the finish line on her hands and knees. Her time? Two hours, 44 minutes, 57 seconds.

Many of us are down and scraping our knees to just qualify for the race…Paul reminds us to not give up… don’t quit! Have the attitude that I can, I can!

1 Cor 15:58 states;  “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

“I Can” is a declaration of persistence… I can do. You know I love ya, Don