License

I was thinking about licenses the other evening.  We have seen some serious Church bus crashes in the recent past and I usually wonder if the driver had the proper license to operate the bus and a multitude of other things that I think about.  Sometimes my background haunts me.

As I was talking with a friend on the phone last night we were talking about his wife.  He said the other day a fly got into the torch lamp and burned up.  It caused a horrible smell of burning.  His sweet wife was concerned for their welfare.  She insisted they sleep on the sofa because there is access out of the house by three different doors.  She placed her cell phone, keys and their marriage license on the table close to them in case of an emergency exit.

My friend was looking at their marriage license and noticed that the city and county were the same indicating there is an error in the city.  He told his wife that their license was void and he was a free man because their license was invalid due to this error.  We had a good laugh.  He also told me that he not only did he have a marriage license; but, he also possesses a “Pestering Permit”.  We had a good laugh over this.

Here is the thing.  God created man and woman to live together and perpetuate humanity.  Look at Genesis 2:18, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  Now, God did not intend for man and woman to just co-exist.  I believe that God intended the marriage relationship to mirror the relationship of Jesus and His Church.  So, I also believe that our relationship with our spouse should be one that is modeled after Christ and the Church.  There should be joy, gladness, happiness and many other emotions.  Yes, there will be trials, temptations and troubles.  These make us stronger and should drive us closer to one another.  If this does not describe your marriage relationship you are sadly missing out.

So, how are you doing?

I Am That Man

Yesterday evening I was channel surfing and ran across the movie “The Guardian”.  It stars Kevin Costner.  One scene in the movie sticks with me now.  Kevin Costner’s character is talking and telling about an incident he was involved in previously.  He shared how a man and wife were out in rough seas together.  They were struggling badly.  The problem was that the husband’s natural instincts had kicked in and he was drowning his own wife trying to stay afloat himself.

I was struck by this analogy.  I know it is only a movie; but, it happens in real life.  I know from my experience in the emergency medical services.  I am even guilty of it playing in the pool as a kid.

Here is a thought.  What do you do if you are the one that is being drowned?  You see, in this movie this character goes to his estranged wife and hands her divorce papers that he has finally signed and tells her that he is that husband.  Wow!

If you find yourself in the position where someone is trying to drown you then you need to get away from them.  If it is a friend you need to heed II Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”

Now, here is where it gets sticky so to speak.  What if that person trying to drown you is your spouse?  Well, the only way that you can get away from them is to do so with the goal of reconciliation in the end.  Yes, I am serious.  You see, God hates divorce.  He has the power to change the human heart.  We have to fulfill our part and let God work and do His part.  It is possible.  This is not easy to hear because too many people today see marriage as throw away.  It is not.

So, how are you doing?

A Gift From God 14

Happy Valentine’s Day 2015!  Today is the day that world celebrates love, lust and sex.  Yes, I said it.  Look around you and you can see it everywhere.  There is tremendous hubub about the new movie “50 Shades of Grey”.  If you want my opinion; Christians have no business watching the movie, reading the book or any other thing related to it.  Rant over.

As we think about Valentine’s Day we think about love.  For you and I love is vastly different from the world’s view of love.  They see it more as lust.  There are different words in the original languages of the Bible that are translated love.  No, I am not going to get into all of that.  A study like that would be another series.  Maybe another time.

Someone said that as Adam named the animals he noticed there was no mate for him.  God brought Eve to him and when he saw her he said, ‘Woe man!”  Supposedly, this is where she received the name of woman.  Not really.

God brought a perfect mate to Adam and gave her to him.  They enjoyed perfect love.  They enjoyed a perfect relationship to and with their God.  Then sin entered.  As a result of sin we have this curse that passes down to all generations from Adam to you and I.  Because of this curse we now have many consequences.  Just like sex outside of marriage often brings consequences that are not to be desired.

Yet, we are to love.  In Ephesians chapter 5 Paul gives us wise counsel for Valentine’s Day and even beyond.  This counsel will bring marital bliss for the ages if we will submit to it.

First of all he tells the ladies to be submissive.  Look at Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”  Because men and women are wired differently we have different needs.  We have the same basic needs; but, past that they become different.  Why did Paul instruct wives to “submit” to their own husbands?  Men have needs that are met by a wife in submission to him.  To men it is black and white.  We don’t talk about it, we fix it.  The deepest need of the man is admiration.

Now; men, Paul addresses us.  Notice what we are told in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”  He tells us to “love your wives,”.  Notice he did not say love somebody else’s wife.  A woman needs love and romance.  They are wired that way.  They are wired differently than a man.   The deepest need of a woman is romance.  We would do well to learn this valuable truth.  It might save a lot of time in the dog house.

So, once we learn our differences and begin to appreciate them we can begin to be fulfilled by the gift God has given to us in our spouse.

So, how are you doing?

A Gift From God 9

Last night my wife and I sat and watched “Love Worth Finding” on television.  This is the television ministry of Dr. Adrian Rogers.  He is a wonderful preacher and Bible teacher.  He said that in order for a marriage to work you need two things.  They are foundation and flexibility.

He was telling about the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco, CA.  He shared that what holds up the entire bridge are two pillars.  Those two pillars are built on bedrock.  In other words they dug down deep until they found solid ground to build these two pillars on.

Friend, what is your marriage built upon?  If it is going to be successful in this dark day we live in your marriage (and mine) must be build upon solid bedrock.  The only place you can find solid bedrock for marriage or anything else this day and age is in Jesus Christ.  In the Scriptures He is called “the Rock”.

As a Pastor I have performed weddings.  Before I will commit to do a wedding the parties wanting to get married must agree to and complete a few weeks of counseling.  Why am I so strict?  Because I understand that the world’s system is seeking to destroy the family and I want anyone I perform marriages for to at least have what they need to form a strong foundation upon which to build a marriage.  If you and i are like the wise man Jesus spoke about in the New Testament we will build upon a rock.  Not just any rock; but, upon The Rock, Jesus Christ.

This bridge works because it has flexibility.  The bridge is built to have twenty feet (20′) of sway in each direction side to side.  Concrete and steel will sway back and forth, up and down because it is build to be flexible.  It is the same in our marriages.  We must be flexible.  Men and women are different in many ways.  This is a gift from God.  Think how boring life would be if we were all the same.

Once we understand how each person is wired (men and women) we can begin to understand them completely and it will make our marriages and relationships much better.  Look at I Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

What we need to do is follow the plan God has for marriage and we can enjoy fulfilling marriages that will last a lifetime.  That is a gift from God.

So, how are you doing?

A Husband’s Love

The other day I caught something on the Daystar Network that was really good.  It was a conference of some sort.  Governor Mike Huckabee was speaking.  I sat glued to the television.  He told a story about friends of his.  It goes as such (this is not a literal retelling).

Delbert and Roberta were friends of the Huckabee family.  Roberta; who was affectionately known as Robbi, was suffering with mild Alzheimer’s.  As this horrible disease progressed it came to the place where Delbert had to place her in a facility that was specifically for people living that nightmare.  Delbert went faithfully three times each day to see his dear Robbi.  He fed her each time he went.  Family and friends offered to fill in for him to give him a break.  He  politely refused citing his commitment to his loving wife since the day they wed.  Her condition was so far advanced that as Delbert would feed Robbi he would lovingly tell her things like, “Now dear, chew up that bite of food.”

It is sad; but, true that we do not see this kind of commitment much anymore.  As you can imagine, Governor Huckabee told this much better than I.  He made application in a manner that I could never.  One thing he taught me was a love that is committed no matter what.  The Scriptures came to mind, from John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

We are commanded to love our wives.  If this does not work, we are commanded to love our neighbor and she is the closest neighbor.  If this does not work, we are commanded to love our enemies.

So, how are you doing?

Intimacy

Today’s post is very long.  I took it from a post on facebook because it is powerful.  I have no idea if it is true or not as it is from the internet.  Please read it to the end.

“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. If you are not in a relationship now, remember this for the second (or third) time around. It’s never too late.

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”

So, how are you doing?