Tuesday, September 16, 2014

She Was Into Real Estate Investing?

It is amazing to me what great lengths women will go to in order to justify women working outside of the home for hours every day. On one comment, a woman wrote that the Proverbs 31 woman was involved in "selling merchant clothing, real estate investing." She gets this from these verses ~

She considers a field, and buys it: 
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She makes fine linen, and sells it 
and delivers girdles unto the merchant.
Proverbs 31:16,24

I have read over and over again that this means that the Proverbs 31 woman was a career woman. It never states that she left her home every day for hours and her children in the care of others. She bought "a" field, one field to plant a garden for her family. She made clothes in her home to sell to bring in a little money for her family. She was resourceful and spent her time wisely. All of her activities revolved around the home ~

She looks well to the ways of her household, 
and eats not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27

She was home. Everything she did was for her home and family. 

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; 
her husband also, and he praises her.
Proverbs 31:28

God wants women at home, guarding and protecting it. The only time the Bible speaks about a women not being at home, it was referring to a prostitute, She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home {Proverbs 7:11}. And NO, I am NOT comparing working mothers to prostitutes! I realize some mothers have to work to put food on the table, clothes on their children's back and a roof over their children's head. {Biblically speaking, however, the family or/and church should be taking care of mothers so they can stay at home with their children, if they have no husband, according to the Word. When Paul addresses the care of widows, he makes it VERY clear that they should be able to stay home and have others provide for their needs.}

I believe God's ideal is for mothers raising their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord. He wants them finding ways to please their husbands and making their lives better. This all brings glory to His name and to the Gospel. Bringing glory to Him is our purpose for living. It is ALL about Him and how He wants us to live.  I can't find anywhere in the Bible that God says anything different.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Repenting Of Your Controlling Ways

He kept a spread sheet of all the times he asked his wife for sex but was turned down. In a span of six weeks, he asked his wife for sex 27 times and she said "yes" three of those times. She turned him down 24 times for reasons like, "I'm watching a show" and "I am too drunk and ate too much" to just plain out "No!" {source}.

What is so sad about this and so many similar stories is thinking about all the young couples out there who are not having much sex in the prime of their lives because the women don't "feel" like it. The best time to have sex is when you are young and your fertility and hormones are at their highest. 

Now, if you have figured out that you need to obey God and become a godly, submissive wife who stops trying to control your husband and obeys him instead, the first thing you need to do is repent and tell your husband how sorry you are for making his life miserable. Repentance actually means to do a one eighty and go in the complete opposite direction.

Therefore, you need to sincerely apologize to your husband and then work on completely changing your behavior. Confessing your sin to your spouse and asking for forgiveness is the first step towards healing. Just this one step can begin the transformation of your marriage into a heavenly one!

It isn't easy to apologize and admit we were wrong, but it is crucial for real healing to begin. If you want a close and intimate relationship with your husband, you are going to need to apologize for all the times you denied him sex, argued with him, tried to control him, etc. He needs to hear this from you and know that you are serious about changing.

Confession is cleansing. We are called to confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed {James 5:16}. Healing comes through confession and admitting our faults and the harm we have done to others through our sin. 

One woman I was counseling, after being convicted in her part in the failure of her marriage, took her husband down to the beach and told him all the ways she was at fault in her broken marriage. Afterwards, they both wept in each other's arms and it was the beginning of beautiful marriage.

This takes putting away your pride and humbling yourself in front of your husband. He, most likely, will love and respect you for doing this. NEVER be afraid of doing what God asks you to do. His ways are good and healing. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Setting Your Marriage Free

Some fifteen years ago, our Christian marriage was in chains. Don’t get me wrong. We pretty much had a normal Christian marriage and normal Christian lives. Unfortunately, most normal Christian marriages are in chains; the bonds of the past, the bonds of selfishness and the bonds of sin. We found ourselves living out almost every area of our Christian lives as godly believers, but when it came to our marriage we were at an impasse. The one area of life that both Lori and I wanted to shine Christ the most, in our marriage, was locked in chains and we found no solutions in any marriage wisdom or books.

If you are a regular reader of Lori’s blog you would think that what broke our chains was wifely submission and loving husband leadership. Certainly this was the result of our radically changed lives, after the chains were broken, but submission and love cannot break any chains until hearts are changed.

Have you ever wondered what Jesus means when he says, “The truth will set you free?”
We often easily relate this to salvation where God provides a way for mankind to be set free from the penalty of death if we will only believe in the saving work of Christ on the cross. First, we must understand the truth of salvation and then we must believe, as God’s means of salvation comes not from any works we can do, but simply by trusting God at His Word, that all our sins were placed on the cross and our debt is paid. We are now set free!

Jesus goes into the synagogue and is handed the book of Isaiah as he reads these prophetic words about Himself, the Messiah ~

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives {Luke 4:18}. And again Jesus says, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed {John 8:36}.

Why is it that we can much more easily believe God for our future salvation, than for some reason believing that we are truly free from the sin that so easily entangles us? God gives us the answer in Romans 6-8, some of the most important doctrine for Christians. Lori has asked me to write some posts to try and explain what unlocked our marriage and our spiritual lives in a way that no precept of scripture or marriage counselor could do.  The answer was found in some 20 various phrases and verses all reflecting the same spiritual reality in which believers are to walk: "Free from sin, dead to sin, alive in Christ Jesus!"

If you are coming along with us on this journey to the heart of a truly biblical marriage, I suggest you bring your spouse along with you by reading Romans Chapter 6 every morning for a week together. Then skip to Romans 8 and do the same. Try memorizing some of the key verses or the entire chapters. Trust me, it is not so hard to memorize a chapter, and placing these spiritual realities into your heart, mind and soul is the key to being set free in your lives and in your marriage.

The reality of Romans 6 says that we died with Christ when we were baptized into His death. Just like Christ was raised from the dead, so too we were raised to newness of life.
Our old man was crucified with Christ, so the body of sin might be destroyed. Now that we have died to sin we are freed from sin. These realities compel us to reckon ourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Furthermore, we were once the servants of sin, but because we obeyed from the heart this doctrine which was given to us, we were made free from sin and became servants of righteousness. Now having been made free from sin, and having become servants of God, the fruit we produce is holiness, and the results eternal life.

Romans 7 gives us the sad reality where far too many Christians lives and marriages are being lived… in the flesh. Paul explains his struggle to please God under his own fleshly power while trying to keep the law. This wallow in the mud of sin is a place where we as Christians can return, like a pig running back to its vomit, whenever we stop living in the reality of Romans 6 and 8.  

The reality of Romans 8 is perhaps the most important reality a believer must believe each and every moment of the day, especially in difficult circumstances faced in our marriages. It can be summed up quite simply ~

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, 
if the Spirit of Christ dwells in you {Rom. 8:9}.

This must be the believers reality. We are indeed New Creatures in Christ who walk after the Spirit as we share in the New Life in Christ. No matter what our story, or circumstances, or who we married, that same Spirit of Christ is actually living in us and desires nothing more than that we would surrender to His will so that we might reflect the life of Jesus with all that we do and say in our marriages.

When we come to grips and face to face with the real Jesus who lives inside of us, sin quickly disappears. Some call it practicing the presence of Jesus each and every moment of the day, others call it walking in newness of life, or being filled with the Spirit. Which is it for you? Remember believer, you do have the Spirit of the living God inside of you and you bring Jesus to your spouse each and every moment of the day. If the results of your marriage are not going where you want them to go, it may well be that you, like us, for far too many years, do not yet really believe you are dragging Jesus into every disagreement, every conflict, every moment of selfishness you have in your marriage. You do not believe all of the promises of Romans 6 and 8 and instead are walking in the flesh, and not the Spirit.

There are no conflict resolution tools, or any marriage advice, that can substitute for reflecting the reality of the God of the universe living in and through one, or both, Christian spouses. Everything else found in God’s Word must flow from this important truth that God is at work restoring His image in you, and He has already done so, in Christ Jesus. There is no need to wait until God does any second work of grace, or fills you up with His Spirit, for you are already full and overflowing with all of the fruit of the Spirit. This reality does not depend on anything you must do but to believe God's promises, and allow the life of Christ to flow in and through you to your spouse, family and the whole world. 

And yes, if we truly believe we are alive in Christ and freed from sin we will accept the Lordship of Christ in our lives. His Lordship demands that we surrender our selves to all He demands of us, including the loving of our wife fully and sacrificially, and the absolute submission to our godly husbands, so long as we walk in righteousness. God knows what makes a one flesh marriage that binds husband, wife and Spirit all like the oneness displayed in the Godhead. Image if we had in our marriages the unity, peace, and love of the One God in three persons, all bound up in perfect faith and trust. This must be the ideal of a truly biblical marriage. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ray Rice is a Symptom of the Problem

Men shouldn't hit women. Women shouldn't hit men. Men should love their wives as Christ loved the church. Wives should submit to and respect their husbands as the church submits to Christ. Neither party is more guilty of destroying marriages. Neither side is fulfilling their role more perfectly than the other.

We live in a fallen world. Men and women hit each other. Men and women get drunk and do many foolish things. Men and women use each other. All of God's beauty is corrupted by man. Should we be surprised? No.

My sons honor me. They treat me with love, care for me, would protect me in a moment's notice, defend me, and respect me. They would NEVER dream of hurting me in any way. They are treating their wives in the same way. They were taught from the time they were little to love and respect others. They were taught to treat others better than they treat themselves. They are men of God who walk in His ways and love their wives, their mother, and their daughter {Steven doesn't have one yet, but Ryan does and I am SURE Steven will love his daughter when and if God blesses him with one.}.

Too many little boys are growing up without fathers. Too many are not being taught the value of human life and how to love others. {After all, they are taught they come from monkeys.} They are not being taught to love and serve the Lord. They are being taught that it is okay to objectify women and look at them naked doing all sorts of abominable things {pornography} and use them to satisfy their own needs, not treasure as a human being. 

Too many little girls are growing up feeling unloved by their fathers. They deeply desire a man's affection so they try to win it in all the wrong ways. They become flirtatious and chase after men giving themselves sexually to men without any commitment or love. It all leads to heart break and destruction.

Ray Rice is a symptom of a much bigger problem. The problem is a society that has completely thrown out God and His ways; the fact that we are all created in His image and have value, that the true meaning of love is sacrifice and commitment, and that each sex fulfills different roles in society and each role has value in a healthy and vibrant society. We are a broken society with broken families and broken people desperately in need of a Savior and that Savior's name is Jesus. It won't be fixed with a Band aid {Congress making more laws, the NFL commissioner being fired, etc.}. This is not the answer. Jesus is the answer.

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 
He counts the number of the stars; 
He gives names to all of them. 
Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; 
His understanding is infinite.
Psalm 147:3-6