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?

Unmet Expectations

I shared with the Church how my wife and I do not fight anymore.  We do have some moments of “intense fellowship”.  The best part of this is making up.

So, why do we fight one another?  I know, “He leaves the top off the toothpaste tube.”  “She leaves her dirty laundry all over the house.”  The reasons are nearly endless.  The problem is when these issues go without being dealt with they become larger and still larger.  This happens because they pick up baggage along the way.  Today she fails to do the dishes.  Then tomorrow you add to that, that she went to bed too early.  Now things are mounting up (not as eagles either).

Over time if this goes on it will become a mountain that even Sir Edmund Hillary could breach.  The root cause of all this goes back to unmet expectations.  Here is the thing.  If husbands and wives do not communicate what their individual expectations are then the other mate cannot begin to meet them even if they are reachable.

This is why godly communication should be paramount in the lives of husband and wives.  If we do not communicate these problems will continue to grow.  Once we learn to communicate then we need to learn how to sit down like adults and work through our problems.

Maybe; just maybe, we need to learn communication and conflict resolution at the same time.  I don’t know about you; but, I think I might be on to something here.  Here is the thing.  God’s Word gives us the answers for both of these issues; but, it is up to you and I do dig the answers out.  Ah!  Now, we have hit pay dirt.  Look at Matthew 18:15, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”  Here is a good place to start.  Never broadcast it to masses to make yourself look like the wounded warrior.

So, how are you doing?

Love

The month of February has long past.  The flowers have died and been thrown out.  In other words Valentine’s Day is long gone for this year.

I was reading an article on social media that really reached out and grabbed me.  It was about a man who wanted to divorce his wife.  You can read the article here.  In the article the wife gives the husband a list of demands prior to the divorce.  I was really shocked that he gave in to the demands.  I will let you read the article for yourself.  If I write much more about it I will be in tears all over again.  Oh, get a facial tissue ready as you will need it.

As I was thinking about this article on love something came to my mind.  That truth is that love is a choice.  I tell men all of the time, “If you love your wife you will take the trash out.”  This is true.  Love is a choice.  Yes, I know I repeated myself.  It was on purpose.

Here is the command to obey.  Look at Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”  Now, if Jesus commands us to do this then it is possible for us to do.  I did not say that it is easy.  I said it is possible.

So, how did Christ love the Church?  I am thinking of one word.  That word is sacrificially.  Jesus “gave Himself for it”.  That is truly sacrificial love.  This is easy to say and write; but, doing it is another story.

Maybe you think you have “lost that lovin’ feelin'”.  Well, here you go.  It is a command.  Love your wife!  This is not my word.  It is God’s Word.

So, how are you doing?

A Command Rejected

Today is a day that will probably not stand out in history to many at all.  Twenty-on years ago today my wife Tara and I were married.  Happy anniversary Tara!

As we continue with out thought on the commands of God to Jeremiah let’s look at the last thought I had in the verse.  Jeremiah 6:16, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”  Notice the reaction of God’s people.  “… But they said, We will not walk therein.”

God’s commands are just that.  Commands.  They are not divine suggestions at all.  If you do not obey them you will suffer the consequences.  Here is the thing.  If we will follow God’s commands we will be happier because we obeyed them and because we will prosper spiritually.  It is just better all the way around to obey God’s commands.

As I was thinking about being married for twenty-one glorious years I thought about some of the times our marriage was not smooth sailing.  We have had many rough spots.  The toughest is raising one of God’s special people.  This has not been easy, I promise you.  Yet, we can both say that we would not change it.

When we were married all those years ago we took the commands of God seriously.  Marriage is one man and one woman until death do us part.  Now, this could be murder or suicide.  This is not what God intended!  God instituted marriage to fulfill us.  If we are going to have the marriage that God intends for us then we are going to have to take His commands seriously to heart and obey them.

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 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?

Welded

I was noticing the other day on social media that far too many of my friends were getting remarried or have split up and were in new relationships.  This is sad to me.  What happened to the day when marriage was for life?  I don’t mean that we decide that the life of the marriage is over.

People no longer see marriage as a sacred vow before God.  It has become nearly useless in the minds of the post Christian era that we live in today.  Look at the words of Scripture in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”  The word “cleave” means literally to weld together.  That is a bond that is not easily broken.

Again, Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:5, “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”  We are to leave our parents and begin to live on our own and take care of our mate.  We are to be welded together into one flesh.  We are to voluntarily give ourselves to the other and we thus become one.

Few things in this world last forever.  The soul of man is one that will live on forever and ever somewhere.  You and I need to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ and cleave to Him.  When we trust Him as Saviour we are “welded”; if you will, to Him and nobody can take us from Him.  Put your faith and trust in Him today.

So, how are you doing?

Love You Through It 3

It seems today that betrayal is rampant.  It seems that you cannot trust anyone.  Sometimes this trust is broken because of a failing mind (as in my case).  Sometimes it is simply deceit.

In my life I have experienced betrayal like many of you have also.  The part that I hate is that I have been the one who has betrayed the trust of another.  Worst of all I have betrayed my LORD.  I think if you were honest you might say the same thing of yourself.

When I thought of betrayal and our theme of loving through tough things I thought of the Prophet Hosea.  Look at his situation in Hosea 1:2, “The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea. And the LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.”

I cannot imagine what he was thinking and feeling when he received this from the LORD.  Yet, here is a man that could now help others love through relationship failures.  The sense of betrayal and the broken trust.  Only Jesus can help you and I “Love You Through It” in this situation.  I know from experience how Jesus brings you through it and even mends broken relationships.

So, how are you doing?

Honor

Today is a very special day to our family.  July 31st is my Grandparents anniversary.  They are both in Heaven and we miss them deeply.  Yet, as much as we miss them none of us would wish them back to this vale of tears for nothing.

In order to honor our Grandparents my cousin and his wife were also married on July 31st.  Today is their 20th wedding anniversary.  Happy 20th anniversary Buddy and Marlene!  We wish you many more blessed anniversaries together.

As I thought about all of this a verse of Scripture came to mind.  Let’s look at what Paul tells us in Romans 13:7, “Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”  There are many ways that I would like to honor both of these godly couples; but, time and money just will not permit.  So, all I can do is honor them with this little offering.  God bless the memory of our Grandparents and God bless Buddy and Marlene!  We love you all deeply!

So, how are you doing?

Marriage Is What?

I received the following from a friend about a spam e-mail.  It said, “the subject line is marriage is boring affairs are exciting”.  There is no sanctity in marriage anymore.  Even the marriage license is a joke.  The last one I saw did not even need witnesses  It is a cash cow for the institution issuing the so-called license.  I have news for you, I don’t need permission from anyone except God Almighty.

We have come so far from the Bible blueprint of marriage that is is nearly not recognizable anymore.  It will not be long and you will be able to marry your horse, dog or cat.  The flood gates have opened and now there is no way to shut “Pandora’s Box”.

I wonder what the Bible has to say about marriage.  Look at one principle about marriage in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”  It would appear that since God instituted marriage that He is still very serious about it.  I wish the people that populate our nation would get back to the same respect for marriage as He who instituted it has for it.

One man, one woman, for life is the original blueprint in case you were wondering.

So, how are you doing?