3 Things I Know About My Wife

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When you’ve known someone for most of your life, you get to know them quite well. My wife and I have known each other since we were about 14 years old. We dated off and on from middle school through college and got married the summer after college.

Spending that much time with another person is a mixed blessing for sure. You know them better than anyone. The good stuff and the not-so-good stuff. What I want you to know are three (3) things I have to sadly admit, took me far too long to recognize and appreciate about her.

1. She is God’s daughter – as a fellow Christian, my wife has also been adopted into God’s family and is a precious daughter of His. He personally hand-crafted her in her mother’s womb (Ps. 139), knows every hair on her head (Matt.10), and loves her enough to send His son to die on her behalf. He created her on purpose and has a wonderful plan for her life.

2. She was created specifically for me – since the very first marriage (Gen.2), God declared that it is “not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”. God handcrafted Eve for Adam. Out of all the women on the planet, He handcrafted a wife specifically for me also. He knew I would need help and so He created a “helper” with the exact specifications needed to partner with me in this lifetime. How awesome is that?

3. She is a sinner – like her husband. We are both addicts. We are addicted (by birth) to ourselves. Neither of us has it all together and neither of us will ever be able to be a selfless spouse who loves with unconditional love. Our sin nature automatically defaults to “me” each morning of our lives, and we must remain desperate for God’s direct intervention and help if we are ever to make our marriage work. Each of us, with God’s grace, must extend truckloads of grace and forgiveness to the other and constantly remember that our spouse was never intended to make us happy or meet all of our needs….. that is God’s job.

I wish I had realized and appreciated these things about my wife much earlier in our marriage, but I am thankful to be able to share them with other couples these days as we mentor and teach on marriage. I want to believe that our marriage would have been even richer/fuller than it has been and that I would have been a much better husband along the way.

Surely I would have treated her with much more honor and respect if I had truly comprehended that I was marrying one of God’s daughters and He was watching to see how I was treating her.

Surely I would have never been tempted by other women (real or imaginary) had I fully appreciated that God made her specifically for me, to help me, to partner with me and to impact the world around us – for His glory.

Surely I would have been much quicker to apologize, to forgive and to give grace to my fellow sinner instead of somehow thinking she was the problem. Surely we would have prayed together more, said I’m sorry quicker, and battled our real enemy together, instead of pointing fingers.

Wouldn’t I have?

Will you – now that you know?

Thankful,
Rob

A Life That Matters

 

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As I have gotten older, it has become increasingly obvious to me why I am here…on earth…for the years I am granted. Don’t we all wonder that from time to time? What is the meaning of life? Why I am here?

Here is the conclusion I have reached:

I am here to have an impact, to leave a footprint, to influence others for the glory of God. What I didn’t really realize, was the path to making this kind of imprint is a calling to die. Yes, you and I will all eventually cease breathing and physically die. What I mean is – I am here to learn to die…. to myself….to my inborn self-focus. And until I do, I will remain a selfish, unfulfilled, mostly unhappy man who will make no lasting, positive footprint or produce lasting fruit for God’s glory.

As I reflect back on my life I have seen nearly every endeavor, activity and relationship has been purposefully placed in my life path in order to teach me this lesson.

Parents were given to me to help teach, lead, mentor, discipline and love me so I would hopefully learn not be a selfish, the-world-revolves-around-me brat. Then came school (I’m talking about school in the good ole days of the 60s and 70s) with teachers. principals and coaches – all of whom had permission and authority to raise their eyebrows, raise their voices, paddle your backside, suspend you from classes, flunk an exam or even repeat a grade – if you didn’t behave or learn what you were “required” to learn back then.

Did I like all of that? No. Did I learn amazing life lessons about manners, respect, learning, hard work, getting along with others, respect for my elders/authorities, behaving, following rules, etc.? Absolutely!

I learned how to die. I learned how to obey when I didn’t feel like it or want to; to work hard when I would have preferred an easier path; to be a team player; to take responsibility (sometimes painfully) for my actions/conduct.

All of those people were strategically placed in my life to prepare me for “real” life, and more importantly – to teach me how to lay my life (desires, preferences, deserve-its) aside for someone else. I could not have imagined at the time how valuable those lessons would be in my life when they really mattered…….

Childhood, education and sports were all practice for what matters most in life. At age 22 I married the love of my life. Soon thereafter, three wonderful sons were entrusted to my care, protection and training. If I had thought life was hard beforehand, it was a cake walk compared to the next 20+ years. Anyone who is or has been married, or has raised children knows that this venue is the ultimate workshop for God to teach us what it means to die – to voluntarily give your life up for another person.

Now the kids are gone and having kids of their own. My wife and I are about to celebrate forty years together. And – the dying continues. Every day, in multiple ways, I continue to learn that my highest calling in this short life is to learn what Jesus taught and learned Himself….

“Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”Matthew 20:26-29

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:24

If you and I want our lives to really count. If we want to make an impact during the few years we have here – an impact that affects generations behind us – we have to learn to give our lives away; to become servants; to fall to the earth and die. It is only when we do this that our lives will “bear much fruit”, and have an eternal impact.

Let it be, Lord.

Rob

Marriage is for Losers

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Re-Post from Dr. Kelly Flanagan (2013)…

“You can be right, or you can be married; take your pick.” I can’t remember who told me that, but I do remember they were only half-joking. The other half, the serious half, is exceedingly important. Because if marriage is going to work, it needs to become a contest to see which spouse is going to lose the most, and it needs to be a race that goes down to the wire.

When it comes to winning and losing, I think there are three kinds of marriages. In the first kind of marriage, both spouses are competing to win, and it’s a duel to the death. Husbands and wives are armed with a vast arsenal, ranging from fists, to words, to silence. Spouses destroy each other, and, in the process, they destroy the peace of their children. These marriages account for most of the 50 percent of marriages that fail, and then some.

The second kind of marriage is rife with winning and losing, but the roles are set, and the loser is always the same spouse. These are the truly abusive marriages, the ones in which one spouse dominates, the other submits, and in the process, both husband and wife are stripped of their dignity. These are the marriages of addicts and enablers, tyrants and slaves, and they may be the saddest marriages of all.

But there is a third kind of marriage.

The third kind of marriage is not perfect, not even close. But a decision has been made, and two people have decided to love each other to the limit, and to sacrifice the most important thing of all — themselves. In these marriages, losing becomes a way of life, a competition to see who can listen to, care for, serve, forgive, and accept the other the most. The marriage becomes a competition to see who can change in ways that are most healing to the other, to see who can give of themselves in ways that most increase the dignity and strength of the other. These marriages form people who can be small and humble and merciful and loving and peaceful.

And they are revolutionary, in the purest sense of the word.

We live in a culture in which losing is the enemy. We wake up to news stories about domestic disputes gone wrong. Really wrong. We go to workplaces where everyone is battling for the boss’s favor and the next promotion, or we stay at home where the battle for the Legos is just as fierce. Nightly, we watch the talking heads on the cable news networks, trying to win the battle of ideas, although sometimes they seem quite willing to settle for winning the battle of decibels. We fight to have the best stuff, in the best name brands. We fight for attention and approval and a sense of worth, and when we finally look at each other at the end of the day, we fight, because we are trained to do nothing else. And, so, cultivating a marriage in which losing is the mutual norm becomes a radically counter-cultural act.

A rebellion.

What do the rebellious marriages look like? When my blood is bubbling, I try to remember a phone call we received from my son’s second grade teacher. She called to tell us there had been an incident in gym class. After a fierce athletic competition, in which the prize was the privilege to leave the gym first, my son’s team had lost. The losers were standing by, grumbling and complaining about second-grade-versions of injustice, as the victors filed past. And that’s when my son started to clap. He clapped for the winners as they passed, with a big dopey grin on his face and a smile stretched from one ear of his heart to the other. His startled gym teacher quickly exhorted the rest of his team to follow suit. So, a bunch of second grade losers staged a rebellion, giving a rousing ovation for their victorious peers, and in doing so, embraced the fullness of what it can mean to be a loser. When I’m seething, I try to remember the heart of a boy, a heart that can lose graciously and reach out in affection to the victors.

In marriage, losing is letting go of the need to fix everything for your partner, listening to their darkest parts with a heartache rather than a solution. It’s being even more present in the painful moments than in the good times. It’s finding ways to be humble and open, even when everything in you says you’re right and they are wrong. It’s doing what is good for your spouse, even when big things need to be sacrificed, like a job, or a relationship, or an ego. It is forgiveness, quickly and voluntarily. It is eliminating anything from your life, even the things you love, if they are keeping you from attending, caring, and serving. It is seeking peace by accepting the healthy but crazy-making things about your partner because, you remember, those were the things you fell in love with in the first place. It is knowing that your spouse will never fully understand you, will never truly love you unconditionally — because they are a broken creature, too — and loving them to the end anyway.

Maybe marriage, when it’s lived by two losers in a household culture of mutual surrender, is just the training we need to walk through this world — a world that wants to chew you up and spit you out — without the constant fear of getting the short end of the stick. Maybe we need to be formed in such a way that winning loses its glamour, that we can sacrifice the competition in favor of people. Maybe what we need, really, is to become a bunch of losers in a world that is being a torn apart by the competition to win. If we did that, maybe we’d be able to sleep a little easier at night, look our loved ones in the eyes, forgive and forget, and clap for the people around us.

I think in a marriage of losers, a synergy happens and all of life can explode into a kind of rebellion that is brighter than the sun. The really good rebellions, the ones that last and make the world a better place, they are like that, aren’t they? They heal, they restore. They are big, and they shine like the sun. And, like the sun, their gravitational pull is almost irresistible.

Follow Kelly M. Flanagan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DrKellyFlanagan

Is God a Homophobe?

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What was God thinking? After creating man (Adam) and placing Him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it, it became blatantly obvious that man was lonely and unfulfilled. He brought millions of newly-created animals to Adam to see what he would name them, and after a significant length of time God put into place His master plan, His crowning achievement. (I think God allowed so much time to go by before creating a “helper” for Adam so that Adam would truly appreciate what God provided, and treat this creation with the utmost love, honor and respect. So finally, God begins to unveil His plan).

He puts Adam to sleep and extracts a rib from his side. At this point He has a decision to make. He has just spoken into being a multitude of galaxies, billions of stars, planets, Earth, animals, light and darkness, oceans, mountains, etc. – and now comes the moment of truth.

The ultimate Creator had the opportunity to create anything or anyone He wished as the perfect compliment/helper for man. The Bible uses the word “suitable” to describe this perfect match, this “other half” that would be able to meet man’s needs and become the perfect companion, lover and friend.

So, from the mind of God, came the answer. A woman.

Why not another man? Why not a decked out Ford F-150 pickup, or a shiny new sportscar? What about a world-class golf course, or a hunting cub with all the latest equipment? Why not two women, or three?

The obvious answer is that the Creator God knew that only one thing, one creation would be capable of truly fulfilling man’s needs and becoming his fulfilling companion for a lifetime. He chose to create a woman.

All other created animals were created to have a male and female counterpart. Nothing that was created was designed to have a counterpart of the same gender. Did God make a mistake? Was He homophobic?

As the Creator, does God get to decide what is “normal”, or do we ? If we choose not to believe in God, or His creation and plan for humanity, then absolutely – we get to choose whatever lifestyle we want. We should be able to marry whomever we choose, or even multiple people, underage people, or non-people. Without a moral compass, we are in charge and whatever we want should rule the day – and become the newest “normal”. Devoid of any moral absolutes, our existing laws, constitution and society itself will be redefined – because they were indeed founded on the belief in God and in His desire/design for mankind.

The prevailing conflict in our culture today is not really about who gets to decide what is “normal” or how to define or redefine “marriage”  – but whether or not God exists and whether He created mankind in the first place. If God exists, then our decision is whether to obey Him or go our own independent way in life. If He exists and the Bible is His blueprint for living, then we already have our answers regarding “normal” and “marriage”.  If He does not exist, then we get to decide for ourselves.

Seems simple enough – God exists or He doesn’t. God created or He didn’t.

The answers to these questions will decide who has the right to define those terms. The outcome will be monumental in determining the future of our society and nation.

Gay, straight. Same sex, opposite sex. Polygamy, monogamy. The real question and conflict is not between differing opinions of “normal” – but truthfully, between those who believe in/follow God, and those who don’t.

In the meantime, we should be tolerant, right? And tolerance should work both ways I believe. If one has the right to believe one way and even voice his/her belief – should the other viewpoint also not be allowed the same freedom and respect? Neither should have the right to force, coerce, or demand  the viewpoint embrace or condone a lifestyle or a definition of “normal” or “marriage” they find diametrically opposed to the heart and teachings of their God – any more than those holding to a more traditional viewpoint of “normal” and “marriage” demand the other viewpoint believe in God and follow the Bible’s teachings.

Ultimately, God will decide. If He exists and is truly is the Creator, He will answer the questions for all of us. If He doesn’t exist and didn’t create anything or anyone, then all of this will be a mute point.

 

 

 

How is Your Serve?

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What a better marriage? Learn to serve.

The Kingdom of God is full of paradoxes. The first will be last.  The humble will be exalted. The wise will become fools. To save your life, you must lose it. To receive, you must give. Then it should come as no surprise that this holds true for your marriage as well. Do you want a better marriage? Do you want your needs met and your relationship to be fulfilling? Learn to serve your mate.

God Loves a Servant

During Jesus’ ministry he constantly modeled a servant’s heart. From the sermon on the mount, to the parables he told, to washing the disciples feet, to the ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45)

We are called to be imitators of Christ. So, how did he live? His entire life and ministry were a testament to service. Repeatedly Jesus tells us that the way to succeed in the Kingdom is to serve others (Matthew 20:26, Mark 9:35, Luke22:27). God loves a servant and His desire for your marriage is to be one of mutual service to one another (Ephesians5:21).

Mutual Service – God’s Recipe for Harmony

All too often, relationships end up being a bit one-sided in the area of service. One spouse might be especially natural at serving while the other may have some elements of their past that have led them to feel entitled to being on the receiving end of the relationship. No matter the reason, when one spouse is primarily leading in the area of service and the other has a tendency to only receive, it leaves the door wide open for resentment to creep in.
God’s vision for relationships is more balanced:”As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (I Peter 4:10)”Let love make you serve one another” (Galatians 5:13)
Your gifts and talents that have been graciously bestowed upon you are to be used in service to others, foremost to your spouse. The love you have for your mate should drive you to serve selflessly. If that’s true, then what prevents us from serving in marriage as we should? In James chapter 4:1-10, the Bible clarifies that the source of conflict in a relationship is selfishness. When we don’t get what we want, then we become desperate to meet our needs by any means necessary (guilt trips, manipulation, angry outbursts, withholding affection, etc.). The passage goes on to point out that if we would simply turn toward God for the fulfillment of our needs and humble ourselves (displaying a servant heart), then the Lord will lift us up.
God made us to serve Him and to serve one another (Matthew 22:36-40, Ephesians 2:10).  If we invest our energy in serving one another rather than being self-seeking, we’ll find harmony.

Serving Provides a Safety Net

God’s designs are always perfect, but we sometimes fail to recognize the beauty of what He has crafted. One of the beautiful things about you and your spouse serving one another, is that it provides a safety net. There will be days that you are down, feeling beaten up by life, and the selfless sacrifice of your mate can life you out of that funk. There will be times when your husband or wife is stressed and your servant heart will lead you to take something off their plate, allowing them to relax and catch their breath.

This marital safety net is described in Ecclesiastes 4:10-12:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Any guess what that “third strand” is in your marriage? It’s the presence of God guiding you both to sacrifice your selfish desires on the altar of love and mutual submission.  So put God in the center of your relationship, commit to demonstrate your love through serving each other, and watch how God shows up and knits the two of you together in a powerful way.

Kyle Gabhart

Equip Your Marriage

http://www.equipyourmarriage.com

The “Typical” American Family is Becoming Extinct

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Redefining Households in the United States

by David Bancroft Avrick  (Avrick Direct)

It wasn’t many years ago when the Dick and Jane household was typical: Mom and dad and two children with four grandparents living nearby. Just a quarter century ago 45% of all households consisted of a married couple with children. That percentage has fallen to 26%.

Many people still maintain this image when they think about households. In today’s America this image is a fantasy. The phrase head-of-household creates an image of ‘dad-the-provider’. The reality is that the number of households that fit this traditional image is the minority. It’s impossible today to point to a ‘typical’ American household.

Over half of families are remarried, or re-coupled. The average marriage lasts only seven years. One out of two marriages ends in divorce, if the couple is under 30 years of age that percentage jumps to 66%, and 75% of those people will remarry. Two-thirds of those living together or remarried break up when children are involved. In 80% of remarried, or re-coupled families with children, both partners have careers. 80% of married women have careers and women are less dependent on the support of the male partner.

Four of the five states that lead the nation in divorces are in the Bible Belt. People who selfidentify as evangelical Christians are now more likely to get divorced than non-Christians.

Half of the 60 million children in America under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent, and that parent’s current partner. There are more stepfamilies than original families. Each year more than one million children have parents who separate or divorce. The United States is now the world’s leader in fatherless families. Nearly 40% of children in our country will go to bed each night without their biological father in the home, and 35% of those children never see their fathers.

Single parents account for 27% of family households with children under 18. One in two children will live in a single-family household at some point in childhood. One in three children is born to an unmarried parent. The number of single mothers increased from 3 million to 10 million between 1970 and 2000. One child out of 25 lives with neither parent.

Cohabiting couples, people who live with unmarried partners, represent almost 4% of allhouseholds in 2000. However, amongst people ages 20-24 it’s 11.2% and for people ages 25-29 it’s 9.8%. Those not completing high school are nearly twice as likely to cohabit as those completing college. Some 30%-40% of college students are cohabiting at any given time.

Between 6 and 10 million children of lesbian, gay and bisexual partners currently live in the United States. One third of lesbian households and one fifth of gay male households have children. There are about 3 million gay and lesbian people living in committed relationships, although there are only 600,000 gay and lesbian families.

Households have decreased in size. The share of households with 5 or more people fell from 21% to 10%, while those with only one or two members grew from 46% to 59%. The average number of people per household is 2.62%, compared to 3.14% in 1970.  Families represented 81% of households in 1970, but only 69% of America’s 105 million households in 2000.

1974 vs, 2000 comparison

1970 2000
Families: Married couple with own children under the age of 18 40.3% 24.1%
Families: Married couple without own children under the age of 18 30.3% 28.7%
Other types of families 10.6% 16.0%
Non-Family: Men living alone 5.6% 10.7%
Non-Family: Women living alone 11.5% 14.8%
Other types of non-families 1.7% 5.7%

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Friends – the results of the demise of the family unit are catastrophic. We are in desperate need of married couples who will stand up and declare to the world around us – “We’re All In!”. We are one man and one woman, married for life, and seeking to glorify the Creator of marriage. Our children need to see what a Biblical marriage looks like, and be inspired to seek one for themselves and not settle for anything less.

Join us by spreading the Word, and God’s truth through blogs, Tweets, and FB posts that stand for Biblical marriage and family. Get involved.

Thanks,

Rob

 

Prayers Not Answered? Check your Marriage.

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Read: 1 Peter 3:1-7 & 1 John 3:18-22

We all want our prayers to be answered, to get results. But many times we feel like they are falling on deaf ears.

One of the keys to insuring that  our prayers are powerful and effective lies in examining our marriage relationship. – in particular, our response to what God says about how we are to treat each other.

God tells husbands in I Peter 3:7 to “be considerate/understanding as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect/tenderness…so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” He expects husbands to express love to their wives by considering their needs above our own, laying our lives down for them (Eph. 5) and showing them grace, respect and love. Otherwise, our prayers will be hindered.

Hindered means to “obstruct”, “get in the way of”, “thwart”, “delay the result of”.

I don’t think any husband reading this actually wants God to take this stance when he reaches out to Him in prayer.

Wives are also responsible. In 1 Peter 3, God tells wives to “be submissive, and if their husbands are not believers, (or not deliberately walking with Christ) “they may be won over” by their wives’ pure and reverent behavior” . Simply obeying this Scripture will prove much more powerful and effective in drawing your husband to the Lord than nagging, coercing or preaching. Don’t bother to ask God to do it for you if you aren’t willing to obey what He says.

How we treat our spouse holds the key to experiencing powerful results in our prayer life. When our heart is humble and forgiving toward our mate, God is pleased. And “if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we … do what pleases Him.” (I John 3:21-22). What pleases Him is for us to “do” what He commands us to do in our relationship with our spouse.

Since God created marriage, He knows that we have a 100% chance of enjoying a successful, fulfilling marriage if we just follow His playbook.

Are your prayers powerfully effective, or do you feel like they simply hit the ceiling? Maybe you need to look to your marriage for the answer.

Ask Him to help you obey what He says, and to do what He asks you to do as a spouse. (see Phil. 2:13)

God will always answer a prayer like that.

Rob

The Other Marriage Reality – Part 2

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Several years ago, a dear friend of ours and godly man also ended his life and left a loving wife and three adolescent children. We have walked with them over these years and have seen firsthand the devastation and heartache left in the wake of that decision.

In the midst of the sadness, an anger built up within me. The enemy had won again. It infuriated me. It continues to motive me to once keep pounding the drum, to shout from the rooftops, to shake people from their stupor – our enemy is alive, he is everything the Bible says he is, and his plans haven’t changed since the Garden. Destroy man. Destroy his relationship with God. Destroy his marriage.

Here are but a few verses you must know and heed:

Satan and his minions are real – Ephesians 6:12

They blind people’s minds (if allowed) – 2 Cor.4:4

They enslave people who allow them – Titus 3:3

They deceive – 2 Cor.11:3

They lie (and can only lie) – John 8:44

Their sole purpose/mission is to kill, steal & destroy, especially believers – John 10:9-10

This is a very small sampling of the Scriptures devoted to letting us know we are in a battle, every day. We have a formidable enemy who is hell-bent on destroying our lives, our homes, our families, our marriage, our witness, and our legacy.

We must believe this. We must equip ourselves for battle and know how to fight to win. People all around us are being tormented, harassed, deceived, blinded, lied to, and destroyed. We have been called and equipped to win these battles and to show others how also.

We are never to fear this foe, but to become aware of his presence, his influence and his schemes. We have all the weapons we need, we just need to use them.

Where does this battle take place, and how do we win?

I guess we need a Part 3.

Rob

 

 

Morning Talk with Father

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Every day I am amazed that the Creator of the universe, the Creator of everything, the everlasting Father, the Almighty I Am – not only allows me the privilege to engage Him in conversation, but actually desires to meet with me and commune with me. Me, yes me – not just Billy Graham, or some internationally-known TV evangelist – but me. Every day, all day long, He seeks my friendship, love and engagement. This still blows me away.

Then, as I am reading along in His love letter to me, He shakes me with a bit of truth (I can only handle a bit at a time), and speaks to my stilled soul. Like this morning:

1 John 3:21-24: Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him.

Because I am a husband of nearly 39 years and am passionate about marriage and marriage ministry – He seems to rifle my attention to how His words apply to His design/heart for marriage. Thoughts like:

  • Are there any thoughts regarding my relationship with my wife that condemn me today?
  • Am I keeping His commands regarding marriage, and thus doing what is pleasing in His sight in my relationship?
  • Am I truly loving (verb) my wife as He has commanded?

Here are but a few of His commands directed at me (and you) as a husband:

  • Do not deprive my wife of my body (sexually and also physically) 1 Cor.7:2-5
  • My #1 earthly priority every day should be to please my wife. 1 Cor. 7:33
  • I should love my wife “as” Christ loved His bride, and “gave Himself up for her” Eph.5:25
  • I should love (agape) my wife unconditionally, and never “be harsh” with her (words, tone, actions, etc.) Col. 3:19
  • I should be considerate towards her and treat her with the utmost respect/care if I want Him to answer my prayers. 1 Peter 3:7-12

Even though there are more – I think this will be enough to keep me busy for a while. How are you doing with these?

How would she say you are doing with these?

How would God (her Father) say you’re doing with these?

Loving deliberately,

Rob

The Other Marriage Reality

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One day Adam and Eve were “naked and unashamed”, enjoying each other as no other couple has ever since. They were completely happy and walked with God every single day. They heard His voice and enjoyed His presence. He taught them about life, work, love, sex and how to be fulfilled in their marriage relationship.

The next day Adam and Eve were embarrassed by their nakedness, clothed, hiding from their Father God and blaming each other and God for their circumstances. That same day they were banished from His presence, didn’t hear His vice, and had no clue how to be fulfilled in their marriage relationship.

What a difference a day makes. What happened?

They encountered a creature like non other they had ever encountered. An attractive, affable, engaging creature that spoke with them and planted thoughts in their heads they had never considered before. Eve no doubt pondered his words and took them to heart. She spoke with her husband about them and convinced him that the creature might be right. Maybe God was holding out on them; maybe He wasn’t looking out for their best interests and they should choose for themselves what was best.

After considering the creature’s arguments, they concluded he must be telling the truth – so they took him up on his offer, and did what God had told them not to do. That decision cost them everything, and has cost everyone born afterwards – dearly.

They discovered the hard way that married couples have to know more about life and marriage than essential principles: communication, intimacy, roles, etc. They discovered that creature was actually their mortal enemy, and the destroyer of marriages. Regrettably, they discovered he was actually a liar (“the father of lies”), a thief, a deceiver and a destroyer.

As married couples we face this same enemy today. Because of Jesus, he has been disarmed and defeated – but he still lurks and he still destroys marriages every single day. He continues to be the #1 reason for divorce and destruction in our relationships. If we don’t recognize him (like Adan & Eve did not), and don’t know how to deal with his schemes – we too will become prey to his substantial skills.

How?

Part 2 – coming soon….. Please read it, and please send it to all the married couples you know. It is crucial for all of us to know.

Above all else, guard your heart –

Rob