Posts Tagged marriage

These Weren’t The Vows You Took

On Sunday, we looked at the idea that marriage is for oneness and we also explored some ways to divorce proof your marriage. I came across this video and thought it was an in-your-face look (also a little bit over-the-top and cynical) at how many people’s marriage vows are functionally irrelevant.

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How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage (Cultivating Oneness)

This morning we explored God’s heart for marriage as found in Malachi 2:10-16. I concluded the message with 12 ideas on how to divorce-proof your marriage. Now I’d challenge each of us to set aside some time with our spouse to talk through these issues and explore how you can better serve one another.

One thing I didn’t mention this morning is that to improve in any of these areas might take help, input, mentoring, coaching, or accountability from other people. Invite that kind of community into your life. Don’t go it alone.

  1. Proactively seek mentoring or counseling before you need it.
  2. Have a regular date night.
  3. Have fun together & laugh often.
  4. Make love as much as possible.
  5. Get on the same financial page.
  6. Get on the same parenting page.
  7. Men: do whatever it takes to win the battle for purity.
  8. Set strong boundaries in dealing with opposite sex (both in person and on Facebook)
  9. Always speak respectfully and honorably about each other (especially when not present).
  10. Find enjoyment in serving your spouse.
  11. Get overwhelmed by Jesus’ constant faithfulness to you.
  12. See that the purpose of marriage is to make you more like Jesus.

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One Small Thing That Will Make a Big Difference in Your Marriage

Always speak respectfully of your spouse.

Relationships (including marriages) are built on trust. One of the key indicators of whether you can trust a person is how they speak of you when you’re not around.

Don’t you remember middle school? Your recall what it was like when a friend was blabbing on and on about somebody else and the thought occurred to you, “I wonder what he/she says when I’m not around?”

Whether it is at the gym, at coffee shops, or all other kinds of places I constantly hear people bagging on their spouse to somebody else. “He’s so disorganized.” “She’s a slob.” “Blah, blah, blah.”

At the moment that you’re ripping on your spouse to a friend for a cheap laugh or so that you can “vent,” you are communicating that your friend is more important to you than your spouse. You’re communicating that you are willing to throw the most important person in your life under the bus for your own selfish relief.

It dishonors your spouse and it dishonors Jesus, who commands husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. Both commands are unconditional.

Love and respect demands that you speak well of your spouse, especially when he/she is not around.

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What I Learned at the Seattle A29 Boot Camp

Last week I spent a fun couple of days in Seattle for the Acts29 National Bootcamp. It was packed with lots of teaching (almost too much), many great conversations, and the opportunity to help assess a number of potential church planters. Here are a number of the key lessons from this experience that might be worth sharing:

  • “Your calling as a church planter / leader is mostly tested in your emotional life” (Darrin Patrick).
  • “Whatever meaningful help people receive they will use to help others” (Tim Lane). This is why helping people with the gospel in the context of the local church is so effective. If people are helped, they will help others.
  • “You don’t really know how somebody is growing as a disciple until you pray with them” (Jeff Vanderstelt).
  • “GL + RR + GC = MI” (Patrick). In other words, Gospeled Life (owning sin but basking in acceptance) + Relational Rent (paying relational price with people) + Gospel Clarity (articulating the gospel) = Missional Impact.
  • “If thou dost call me to resign / What most I prize never was mine / I only yield Thee what is Thine / Thy will be done” (from the song “My God, My Father”)
  • “Most marriages are not set up for a 50-year run. The most important day of your marriage isn’t your wedding day — it’s your last day” (Mark Driscoll)
  • “When you stop repenting, you stop calling others to repent” (Driscoll)
  • “Men shouldn’t make their wives carry their curse” (Driscoll). Here he was talking about the need for men to provide for their families rather than make their wives carry the toil and burden of provision.
  • “Jesus isn’t to blame for the church’s sin, but he takes responsibility for it. That’s what it means to be the head of the family” (Driscoll).
  • “Is your wife flourishing?” (Driscoll)

Another significant lesson for me was that men who want to plant healthy, gospel-centered churches would be wise to spend time IN a healthy, gospel-centered church first. I met a number of men who were in bad church situations and had a vision for something different — but they’ve never seen it first hand. As a result, they really don’t know what it looks like to participate in a healthy church, let alone lead one. This made me so thankful for the amazing years I was able to spend at East Valley Bible Church participating in ministry and serving alongside healthy, godly leaders. I can’t imagine what church planting and leadership would be like without those men and without that experience.

Which of those lessons stand out to you? Any of them need clarification?

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Great Lessons on Marriage

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church and his wife, Grace, recently posted 18 lessons each on marriage they’ve learned as they celebrate their 18th anniversary. These are insightful and helpful, so I thought I’d share them with you.

Grace’s 18 Lessons

1. Make time with Jesus your first priority, husband second priority.
2. Be intimate often.
3. Be willing to have hard and honest conversations, and pray for Jesus to make them fruitful.
4. Pray for wisdom often.
5. The enemy is always ready to divide you during trials. Don’t let him; cling to Jesus and each other.
6. Forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive …
7. Don’t enable his sin, but pray for wisdom in timing and words, and be respectful when addressing it.
8. Be a woman of inner and outer beauty.
9. Make your home a place of retreat and rest.
10. Study your husband, appreciate, value and respect him, especially when you don’t “feel” like it.
11. HAVE FUN.
12. Pray against lies. Memorize the truth of scripture.
13. Spend regular, meaningful time together. Invest in the relationship.
14. Don’t let bitterness set in if you are hurt or frustrated; dig up the root and pray it through.
15. Be an attentive and available listener.
16. Be teachable and willing to submit.
17. Set your heart and body toward your husband and don’t let either wander.
18. Repent often and allow trustworthy people to speak into your lives.

    Mark’s 18 Lessons

    Spiritual

    1. Stay in church community and under godly authority.
    2. Stay in your Bible and always have at least a few good Christian books you are reading.
    3. Be the spiritual leader by praying with your family, modeling followership of Jesus, repenting of sin, teaching your family, etc.
    4. Serve your family and serve others as a family.

    Family

    5. Pick a good potential mom and grandma for a wife.
    6. If she respects you, the kids will too. If she does not, your family will be a grief to you.
    7. Work with her to make the home, holidays, vacations, and other times filled with fun, laughter, and memories.
    8. Just get through the rough seasons (sickness, demanding newborns, tough work seasons, extended family troubles, e.g.) by God’s grace.

    Financial

    9. Find an honest way to make enough money to give to God, be generous with others, and take care of your family.
    10. Spend some money to make her life easier (dependable car, babysitting help, decent home, e.g.)

    Practical

    11. Try to make her laugh a lot and touch her heart and soul before you touch her body.
    12. She’s not a guy, does not want to be treated like a guy, spoken to like a guy, or do what guys do.
    13. She will sanctify you. It’s not her fault that your sin is obvious in relationship with her as she’s not changing you, but rather exposing you.
    14. Syncing schedules is key: meet every week to organize your life together and plan out your life as one so you don’t live parallel lives.
    15. Date night is important so make it happen, ideally every week.
    16. Her needs change, especially when she becomes a mother, so look for new ways to humbly serve her.
    17. Encouragement is to a wife as water is to a plant.
    18. Every year gets better by the grace of God. Keep pressing forward together using the gospel to repent, forgive, and become more like Jesus.

    Which of these did you most need to hear? What lessons have you learned that you can share with us?

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