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Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

dr-cover_front

The great ministry and even greater brothers at Christ Communicators Worldwide has announced the future release of what I believe to be a very proactive and critical issue. Marriage and Divorce. There are many reasons why, this is important, the primary one is what does Jesus say of remarriage and divorce! One of the biggest issues facing the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is divorce. So bad is that a movie “Fireproof” had to be made. Well if you want to Fireproof your marriage I think this book may just help you do that! Here is what CCW is saying:

Divorce and Remarriage: A Permanence ViewWe expect to have this book back from the printer/binder by the first week or so in December. Releasing a book on divorce and remarriage in the holiday season is not going to work, so we will not mail the book until around January 1. This means that we can offer a pre-publication price up until January 15, 2009. This $16 book will sell for just $11 until that time. Free shipping in the US/Can. For overseas orders, write for S/H costs.

 

Click to read the back cover, preface, and table of contents.

Thanks Elders of Christ Fellowship and thanks to the members for allowing them to teach this and submitting! I will order mines here shortly rather you agree or not, I think it is worth studying! For my Piperites this is Piper’s view! Hopefully I can interview one of the elders of Christ Fellowship after reading and reviewing it (hint, hint)
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If you really want to lead die! If you really want to die serve! If you don’t want to serve you don’t want to die, if you don’t want to die you don’t want to lead, at least not biblically. Dying to ourselves is the epitome of the Christian journey! Jesus gives many references to death, the most outstanding is the paradox of “picking up your cross and die daily”. It is quoted often in scripture but I think the communal aspect is missing in it. Jesus died for a community not individuals. Jesus purchased the Church with His blood, not individuals. A collective unit of predestined, foreknew, elect individuals that would make up the whole. Jesus purchased in bulk. So when we see the picking up our cross, we may need to look at it in a more communal aspect. But this is for a later post.

I want to focus on dying or as Paul says “the giving up of one’s self”. Here in Ephesians is where it is at:

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

We all know this verse and we quote the three before it with great ease. For the most part we can all quote this one. But what is the practical outworking of this? Here comes another confession. When I started to deal heavily in theology man I wanted my wife to join with me. As a matter of fact I couldn’t understand why she was not excited about my new found truth. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to read Desiring God, The Holiness of God, and The Five Points of Calvinism, Future Grace, and The Gospel According to Jesus, The Mortification of Sin, The Christian’s Great Interest, and definitely Dr. Grudem’s ST! I was starting the handle the word with a great precision. Got me a couple of good Concordances, Lexicons, Dictionaries, started to read a little work on Greek. And for the most part Charity wasn’t interested.

I started challenging her with the scripture, quizzing her with my knowledge, trying to engage her. Yeah I loved her! I was washing her with the word wasn’t I? I was faithful, I didn’t yell as much (unless we disagreed about a theological position). Sure I loved her. So then I jumped up a few verses and started reading those to her. “Wives submit”. Now I never realized until quite recently that as this letter was being read for the first time, whoever had the responsibility to read it would have looked over to the WIVES not the husbands. This verse doesn’t say “Husbands command your wives to submit to you as on to the Lord”. Never, ever, ever does Paul tell husbands to tell their wives to submit? This is key

You see Paul is speaking to the women about submitting, not husbands about wives submitting. It wasn’t my job to bring this to my wives attention; it is the Holy Spirits’. If I coerce, this isn’t voluntary it is under compulsion. So what I am to do? Paul says it quite clearly “model Christ”! Whatever Christ does for His bride I am to do for mine.

Practically this looks like a servant ministry. My job is to lead my wife by example. Not just any example the example of the Lord Jesus who said “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many”. Jesus the Christ takes the INITIATIVE in serving. Jesus always gets the party started. Jesus pursues service! This is key so don’t miss me. He pursues the role of servant recklessly. He clothes himself in human flesh, lives a life of submission to His creation (His mother and father), lives to heal and minister to others, washes stinky feet, and then pursues the cross as the writer of Hebrews says “for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross”.

Husbands do you have the mind of Christ? Let me ask, when was the last time you decided to recklessly pursue a role of a servant to your wife? When was the last time you told her to go get her a pedicure while you took care of the kids? When was the last time you argued with her to put the broom and mop down and watch some Lifetime while you scrubbed the stool, swept and mopped the floors, vacuumed the carpet, dust and polish the furniture? When was the last time you told her to go hang with her girls while you grocery shop? Sent her on a trip and you take days off work to keep the kids? Offered her to sit down first while you feed the kids and bring her, her plate and cleaned the kids up and put them in the bath, after washing the dishes?

You see this is the leadership Jesus talks about. Leadership that is an emptying of one’s self for the benefit of the other, with no, and I do mean no, expectation of reciprocity. Jesus pursues us and serves us for our benefit, never for His. Jesus is no less glorious, Jesus is no less God, if He decided to stay in perfect union with the Father and let this world go to hell in a hand basket. He loses not one iota of glory. But He says this “no greater love has then this that a man lay down his life for his friends”. Jesus didn’t have to tell the disciple to submit, they saw Him model perfect submission to the Father and unconditional servant-like love towards them.

If you want to love your wife, pick up the mop and the broom. Take some time to relieve her of some of her duties. Put her feet in your hand as Jesus did His disciples! “Don’t look out for your own interests”. Pursue servant-hood recklessly! This is the leadership that Jesus the only begotten of the Father showed during His earthly ministry. Not a domineering, know it all! Not one who boasted about His leadership but one who boasted about serving. So to are we His friends if “we do what He says”. Lets love our wives by giving up ourselves. To be at their service, lets even “outdo each other in doing good”.

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My opening statement is here: I will take Gay Marriage serious when we decide to take Straight Marriage seriously. If I am going to vote for a bill to be passed that defines marriage as “between one man and woman” then that bill most also contain “and divorce and remarriage is only allowed for martial (proven) unfaithfulness”. How about that for a Federal Marriage Amendment?

It is funny that we Christians always want to control what is right and wrong in our culture while simultaneously disobeying direct commands from Jesus himself. So we want to tell our Gay and Lesbian communities that it is wrong for them to marry one another when they are in love (I am not advocating this) but in turn we divorce whenever we feel we are “out of love”. So we are telling our Gay and Lesbian communities “do as I say and not as I do” and I think the last time I checked that is defined as hypocrisy! Who are we to pass judgment when we being the people of God don’t obey! Man, that makes me sick.

Let me give an example. For all of the preachers who have fought and encouraged their congregation in this fight against gay marriage. I want to know how many of their congregants were divorced and remarried against the direct commands of God? I will tell you a lot. The last study showed that the divorce rate for Christians (evangelicals) was right around 50% and the majority of them were remarried. Now here is a verse that I haven’t seen preached enough and if it is preached no church discipline has been instituted to prevent it from happening as frequently as it does in the “church”.

They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Do we take the words of Jesus seriously as believers? Let me ask a serious question. When have we seen church discipline practiced for violating this scripture? I tell you I haven ‘t seen it once. Now we will split with Christians over having women in the pulpits, for thinking differently on the gifts, we want to punt the emerging church because of their subjectivity of the scriptures, we call them “postmodern” but in the same vein, the same people who are fighting against gay marriage and “postmodernism” bury their heads in the sand on this one. So yes I am bit frustrated.

So if we are to fight for the sanctity of marriage lets not stop at preventing our Gay and Lesbian citizens from being married! Lets take it all the way to preventing the selfish liberty of divorce that permeates the church in every denomination. If we want to help our children and save them from the “shamefulness of gay marriage” then lets save them from the “shamefulness” of heterosexual divorce on demand! Our kids aren’t being destroyed by gay marriage. Gay marriage isn’t the decline of the moral fabric in America. Heterosexual divorce is though. Especially “heterosexual Christan” divorces. Just look this Christmas when kids will have to spend the holidays apart from their “christian” parents because they had selfish ambition oh.. I mean irreconcilable differences. Because Mommy and Daddy wanted things their way and because they couldn’t be adults and not to mention submit to the Lordship of Christ they had a bitter split. Because Mommy and Daddy profess Christ with their mouth, the profess their allegiance and submission to Him in word only, because when it all boils down, I don’t want Jesus telling me who I should stay married to and isn’t my happiness more important, than the Christ, the Church and my kids. They all understand right? Wrong!

So the next time I hear so phony, over emotional, sensational, right wing Christian appeal to get a federal law passed to ban homosexual marriage, I am going to scream. Because those same people refuse to obey Jesus Christ themselves and that is hypocrisy. Oh, not to mention we now have “divorce care” ministries popping up across the globe. Not saying they are bad, but unless it was for marital unfaithfulness then, umhhh, well… maybe they shouldn’t be allowed to be cared for. My two cents anyway.

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There are many great books on marriage and how to be a godly husband and godly wife and these books have been instrumental in the lives of me and my wife. One I recommend is “The Exemplary Husband” by Dr. Stuart Scott. It really changed me in 12 weeks. I went through a study with a close friend of mine and we had to ask the tough questions and really work through what God expects from us as husbands.

Where I think many of the great books on marriage (When Sinners Say I do, A Love that Lasts and Sacred Marriage) fall short I hope to convey here. This was a message I was going to give in a few weeks but I have been tagged to present something different. So I was thinking about making it an e-book or pamphlet or study guide or something. It is a Christ-Centered Character study that I hope all who are married or plan on being married one day enjoy.

The Couple in View (Prisca (or Priscilla and Aquila)

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Number 10! Yep, Yep!

 

I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary so I will be out the pocket until around Monday or Tuesday (depending on how much work compiles for me while I am gone). We will hang out in the French Quarter, eat a bunch and just relax. I am excited because well most didn’t think we would sustain. Heck earlier on I didn’t think we would either. We married after 6 months and I was only 20, a 5 percenter, who had never witnessed a Godly Marriage. But thanks first to Christ for the Gospel, then to Calvin and Keynon. These brothers taught me what marriage was to look like. Also a shout out to Stuart Scott his book “The Exemplary Husband”changed the way I viewed marriage (if you don’t own it buy it), my wife, and my responsibilities from a theological perspective and He pretty much reformed my biblical view on marriage. Thanks a bunch Prof. Scott.

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