Archives For Marriage

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Getting away has always been hard for me. I feel like the weight of many peoples lives lean upon my faithfulness. They count on me to give them comfort, hope, purpose, and a weekly word from God. I try to get away a few times a year, but I can’t ever seem to get away.

My wife knows how hard it is for me. She tells me all the time when we are on vacation or an anniversary getaway, to let go of ministry for a few days. I do understand what she is saying, but in my heart I hear, “If you let go of your ministry thoughts you are letting go of God’s call on you life. You are letting go of your responsibility and call to help people.”

While on our latest getaway, (our 24th anniversary) I tried my best to disconnect. Amy asked me more than a few times to stop thinking of ministry and doing ministry. I smiled each time and said, “No problem, I will.” Thirty-seconds later while she was talking, I’m thinking of some family that needs my attention. I’m trying to listen to her and hear my own thoughts and plans that will help them through a difficult time.

I’m not particularly good at faking my wife out. She knows me too well, and yet she somehow still loves me. I don’t get it! I’m one lucky man for sure. Anyway, it doesn’t take long for my wife to see I’m lost in thought and not actually in the moment with her. It’s kind of like when the T.V. is on, and she is trying to communicate with me and I have part of my attention on the T.V. and part of my attention on her. It just doesn’t work for either one of us. At least in a T.V. situation she can and does just turn it off or hit the mute button to capture my attention.

I’m convinced my wife knows me better than I know myself. I’m certain God knows me better than myself, and I’m pretty sure He speaks through her often if I would just listen. Our latest getaway has certainly helped me. She told me many times to unplug and sadly it took me to the last day, but I think I’m beginning to understand a absolute truth. It’s a truth I know, but often I don’t apply properly. That true is, God doesn’t need me to do His work; He has called and chosen me to do His work.

The “need” part is where I get messed up. I often live my life like God needs me, and I put undue pressure on my life and family. Instead, I need to wake up the “CHOSEN ME” part. According to research 40% of pastors and 47% of spouses are suffering from burnout, frantic schedules, and/or unrealistic expectations. I’m convinced much of the cause is because pastors, and yes, even spouses can’t let go when God has called them to rest.

I once read, “Pastor burnout is a weapon the enemy uses with great efficiency. It is surprising in its simplicity but brutal in its impact. Burnout begins by encouraging us to do what we do best – minister to people.” I’ve learned this last time away, sometimes I’m the people, and God wants to minster to my family and me.

Sex Was God’s Idea

October 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

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One of my favorite places in the Bible is Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” When God creates anything, it’s good, it has design, and it has a purpose. There is just no way around that beautiful truth.

The trouble then, is not with God, but with humanity. Mankind has a history of taken what God has created and set purpose to and messing it all up. We have a way of taking good things and making bad things out of them for our own pleasure and purpose. When we do that, we are making an idol of self to worship, instead of worshiping only God.

Okay then! Let’s see a show of hands. Who out there likes sex? Wow! I knew it, that’s a lot of hands up. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. Sex is awesome. God created it, and therefore, it is very good. However, the key to keeping it good is to keep it pure in the context of God’s given standards. When sex is taken outside of God’s blessings, it becomes damaging.

Sex was meant for marriage

Sex in marriage was God’s idea. To debate with that truth is to only be arguing with God. If you want, go for it, but know this…you’re not going to win. Scripture declares to each of us in Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” That’s pretty straightforward. I’ve often said, “What you believe matters, because what you believe determines how you will live.” You are either living in God’s will or outside of God’s will. There is no middle ground.

When God created sex it was to populate the world. In other words, it was for procreation. Adam and Eve were told by God to “be fruitful and multiply.” The way you multiply is to have…wait for it…wait for it….SEX. Another benefit of sex was that Adam and Eve could experience intimacy the way God intended for intimacy to truly be. Please make a note in you heart at this point that sex was placed in the context of one man and one woman. Sex was placed in the context of marriage.

Allow me to throw in a few side comments the bible speaks of. (You can read them on your own)

1. God’s word says to flee sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18)

2. God’s word says not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14)

Sex was meant for marriage because it’s the way God has set it up. It has been said by many that God’s purpose and design for sex are impossible to be achieved outside of marriage. I would fully agree with that summation.

The damage of having sex outside of marriage can be both physical and relational.

1. Sexually Transmitted Diseases

2. Unwanted Child

3. You place a wedge between you and God.

4. You damage your testimony

5. You will carry memories of sex outside of marriage into marriage. (Can be a colossal problem)

So what if you have messed up already?

1. Take it to God and ask Him to forgive you.

Repent of your sin and turn your back on it. He is full of mercy and grace. He took all your condemnation on the cross.

2. Move forward without guilty in your walk with Christ

In my book, The Descent to Compassion, I deal with the Woman caught in adultery. Jesus forgives her and then tells her to, “Go and sin no more.” I love that! He calls it sin, and then gives her grace and mercy.

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Is Sex Greener On The Other Side Of The Fence?

The fastest way to destroy your marriage is to allow yourself to fall into an emotional attachment to someone other than your spouse. Nothing can steal intimacy faster than this first step away from the covenant God has placed you in when you took your vows before God and the world. Now, let me say at this point; if you want to comment adultery, it’s your choice…but know this-it’s going to cost you. It will destroy your home and the lives of many around you. There is simply no way around the fact that it will cause pain forever.

Adultery promises fulfillment and excitement that you feel you are not getting at home. The problem is, it always fails to live up to that promise sooner or later. You must remember, love is not a feeling; love is an action that you continually do and feelings are secondary. The green grass on the other side of the fence has the same sun shining on it as the grass you are thinking about leaving.

Please remember, that the decision to cross the fence comes with consequences that are enormous and last for a lifetime. It has been said before, and I agree, “No sex outside of marriage is that good.” That new adventure also has it’s own disappoints of life waiting to show itself soon enough. Those feelings of loneliness, emptiness and boredom that is diving you to pursue someone else…they will soon surface in the next relationship also. The reason why is that those feelings are inside you. In other words, everywhere you go, there you are.

It’s a fact that most people don’t set out to commit adultery. They let down their guard, and they generally drift out to sea until land seems to far to return to. It’s like the frog place in warm water: you turn up the temperature little by little until the frog is cooked. The frog just thinks it’s having a warm bath but the truth is he is being killed.

Allow me to give you three things that will help you to remain faithful and keep you from wreaking you life and others.

1. Keep the marriage bed on fire and purse each other

Take the time to talk with your spouse about your needs, wants and desires. Share with each other what you are looking for in the bedroom. Come to an agreement for the sake of the marriage, your kids and God. Submit to each other the bible teaches us. Cultivate romance in your relationship again. I would encourage you to pursue your spouse the way you did when you first started dating. If you are not still dating your spouse, you need to restart that as fast as you can. Get a baby sitter and leave the kids at home. Go to a movie and a meal. Hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. Talk about the beauty of the past and dream with each other about the beauty of the future.

2. Close the door on your heart to any other except your spouse

Make yourself accountable to a friend that will ask you about your flirting with others. Be open and honest with them and ask them to pray and ask you regularly about it. The bible teaches us that faithful are the wounds of a friend. Trust me, you need someone in your life that will speak truth without watering it down. You eyes are the gateway to the heart. Give your eyes back to your spouse and that feeling of him or her no longer having your heart will return like a flood.

3. Don’t deny you are being tempted

You and your spouse need to make a decision that you can freely and opening talk about your temptations. Temptation is not wrong. Temptation is not a sin. However, once you act on temptation sin is birthed. If you were at the office and someone was flirting with you or you were flirting with them…when you get home sit down and talk about it. You and your spouse need to decide in advance that these kinds of talk can and should take place without judgment. Confession can be risky, but the truth is, they can also save your marriage before it is too late.

Finally, if you are on the other side of adultery and have divorced and maybe even married again, and then grace and mercy from God is there when you repent of your sin. My advice would be this…go to the top of the post and read it again. Don’t commit the same SIN again.