Category Archives: Defining Marriage

Responding to Temptation

Young Woman,

I don’t care how young you are, 20’s or whatever. I don’t care how pretty you are, at least what I can see. I don’t care how much fun and full of energy you are; I’m not. I don’t care how much you want to please me. I don’t even care how much you care about me, or how much you need me. 

You see, whatever you have to offer, no matter what it may be, is not worth my marriage. No amount of “love making” could compare to the love that’s been built over the last 23 years with my wife. 

I love my wife and I love my God who gave her to me. I love my daughters and the trust they place in me. Nothing you can offer is worth what I’d have to give up. 

Lastly, marriage is designed to be symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Because of this, and because of the gospel, I will remain faithful to my wife because Jesus is faithful to me. 

In other words, I’m not interested in what you have to offer. 

Respectfully,

Happily Forever-Married Man

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Filed under Christian Maturity, Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Marriage, Relationships and Family

22 Years With the “Good Thing”

It has been twenty-two years since Valerie and I said, “I do.” I’m glad I did.

Since then we have had our share of good days and bad days, great days and hellacious ones. Yet, through it all, we’ve stayed together in a holy union, a relationship bound together by the Holy Spirit. Even through the worst of times our love for each other has grown, making every day a “good” day.

When God said, “It is not good that man should be alone,” I think He was thinking of me more than Adam. He knew that I would have been a pitiful mess apart from the “good thing” He allowed me to find (Prov. 18:22).

We are not as young as we used to be, which should be obvious. We don’t move as quickly, and when we do move it’s often with pain. Yet, our hearts are still young. That is why people who are truly in love can always find Proverbs 5:18 applicable: “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”

This morning, before we got out of bed, Valerie asked me, “Would you do it again, especially knowing what you know now?” I immediately replied with a “Yes!” Oh, I could hear the regrets in her question, and I knew exactly what she was talking about. But when I started to address the question the bigger picture of God’s providence and grace came into view.

I said, “Yes, I would do it again, but I would do some things differently after the fact.” Yet, when she asked what I would do differently, hardly anything would come to mind.

“Well, first of all, I would…wait…” You see, even when I look back on the things we did wrong I see the mighty, sovereign hand of God at work. Where would I be had I not made those mistakes? Where would I be had I not been young and foolish? If we had done everything perfectly, where would we be today? Oh, I’m not advocating screwing up, but it has been through our brokenness, our failures, and our mistakes that God has been able to work in the lives of others.

Had we done everything perfectly, the only people we would be able to minister to would be perfect people; we wouldn’t have been able to understand anyone else. Our heavenly Father knew this; that’s why He let us fall…into His arms of grace.

So, yes, even 22 years in, I’d do it all over again. The only things I do wish I could have done differently is pray more often for wisdom, spend more time in God’s Word, and save when the times were good.

Happy anniversary, Valerie. You’re the best “good thing” ever!

wedding picture two

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Filed under Defining Marriage, Life Lessons, Relationships and Family

Prayer for My Wife

This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24

It is a good day, and it doesn’t matter what is going on – God made this day! And, for that matter, He makes every day, and what He makes is good.

How, then, can one reconcile the truth of Psalm 118:24 with the fact that my wife is in the hospital and doctors can’t figure out what is wrong with her? God is Sovereign, Holy, and by nature He is Good; therefore, I will trust Him.

photo (28)Nevertheless, I would ask that you intercede for my wife, Valerie, with prayer. Lift her up before the throne of God. Petition our Father for her healing, if it be within His will. Pray that God enlighten the doctors’ understanding so that that they may be able to diagnose her pain. But whatever the case, make sure you pray that through all our struggles and unanswered questions Jesus Christ receives the glory!

Remember, because many within the hospital community never go to church, sometimes God has to put the church in the hospital.

Thank you!

Update: Dear friends and subscribers, your prayers and encouragement have meant a lot. Thank you so much for your caring kindness. 

Valerie was discharged from the hospital this evening (2/22) with instructions to follow up with her regular doctor and a cardiologist. Unfortunately, while at the hospital, they were unable to find the reason for her pain. What also became obvious was her inability to stay awake for any length of time, actually falling asleep after only 30 seconds on the telephone (she does take meds to stay awake, but without them she is useless – she wasn’t able to take them while in the hospital – and they can’t determine the cause).

Valerie is no longer in pain (it was severe) except when she tries to lie down – when she does she suffers from crushing pain and the inability to breath. With some fluid around her heart, one would think there are heart problems. However, multiple tests were done and the doctors concluded her heart was in good condition and there had been no heart attack, no blockages, or anything. So, what the heck could it be???

Un-diagnosed illnesses can cause a strain on family and relationships, not to mention work and family routines. The stress has a tendency to stretch our abilities to cope. What we need more than anything right now is prayer for our spiritual hearts – especially mine – that we will remain compassionate, caring, and hopeful, not cynical or accusatory. Frankly, when we’re tired and worn is when the Devil tries to flank us, to cut us off from our Supply. That’s why we need you interceding for us.

So, right now Valerie is in good spirits and not in much pain, unless she tries to lie down. Please pray that future visits to specialists will provide answers. In the meantime we will do our best, in God’s strength, to give thanks in all things, for He is worth of our praise.

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Filed under Apologetics, Defining Marriage, Marriage, Relationships and Family, Struggles and Trials, worship

The Supreme Court Decided, Now So Must We

Folks, let’s be honest and get right to the point: all Hell is about to break loose upon the Christian church, its leadership, and anyone who dares hold on to the biblical definition of marriage. Make no mistake, demonic forces are gleefully frothing at the mouth, along with those they are influencing, at the buffet of litigious opportunity that has now been afforded them.

At this point you’ve no doubt hear the news: the Supreme Court has redefined marriage to be whatever makes a person happy, therefore making it a constitutionally protected right.

Because of today’s ruling, we will be seeing attacks on the Church and Christians from every conceivable angle. They will use today’s decision as the basis for ending tax-exemption, closing churches, and imprisoning ministers. The rainbowed sky is the limit.

Supporters of the new law will threaten and intimidate Christians in the workplace; deny benefits and contracts; force Christian colleges to close; refuse degrees from Christian universities; encourage investigations by DHS and Child Protective Services; silence free speech; and a long list of other things. Without doubt, the LGBTQ agenda is the tool of the new cultural cleansing that the enemies of American conservatism and freedom have long dreamed of.

But what now? What must we do? Well, I was sent the following link to an article by Jay Richards. I would encourage all of you to read it.

The Supreme Court Redefines Marriage: What We Must Do | The Stream.

Also, I want to forward a link to an article in the Baptist Press which includes statements from Southern Baptist leaders. I stand in agreement with them.

http://www.bpnews.net/45036/54-marriage-decision-christians-will-stand-fast

But as easy as it would be to throw up one’s hands and quit, now is not the time. Frankly, now is the time for the wheat to be separated from the tares. Now is the time for those who have long said there is a line they will not cross to not cross that line.

I have made my decision: I will not cross that line.

 

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Filed under America, Culture Wars, current events, Defining Marriage, Struggles and Trials

Jesus Hung Out With Sinners

The Argument

If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it six hundred and sixty-six times: “Don’t you know Jesus hung out with sinners?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I actually did know that.

However, those of us who oppose such things as same-sex marriage (along with any number of formerly immoral, but now celebrated, cultural trends) are regularly chastised for our supposed ignorance of the Savior’s party guests. When we refuse to affirm a particular lifestyle choice, almost without fail we are treated like biblical illiterates – because, of course, those who treat the Bible like toilet paper have a greater grasp of the text.

Me:  I love you, but I don’t think Jesus would approve of what you are doing.

Somebody:  You don’t love me, you bigot! You’re nothing but a ____phobic piece of $#!*! If you loved me, you’d accept me for who I am, not judge me.

Me:  I’m not judging you, all I’m saying is…

Somebody:  All you are saying is that you are a hater…a bigot…a racist…and all of your kind should be rounded up and shot! If you loved me like you say you do, you’d be more like Jesus and quit hating me.

Me:  I don’t hate you! I just can’t affirm your lifestyle choices.

Somebody:  See, you’re nothing but a m____-f____, self-righteous, hypocrite! If you read your Bible like you say you do, then you would have read where Jesus loved sinners and hung out with them. He didn’t go around hating people and trying to get them to change. You need to quit judging and go read your bronze-age book of myths again, then maybe you’ll actually learn something!

OK. You got me. I guess I should go dust off the cover of that old Book and re-read those long-forgotten and overlooked passages that prove Jesus would have affirmed and promoted every alternative lifestyle…because, you know, He was only about loving people, not wanting them to change. Right?

The “Hanging Out” Passages

Believe it or not, Jesus did eat with sinners! It’s a fact! But what is also a fact is that Jesus didn’t simply go eat with the prostitutes, the homosexuals, the drug addicts, the tax cheats, and the drunkards in order to tick off the religious elite. His intention for dining with these people was to reveal a better Way (Luke 19:10; John 14:6).

All three of the synoptic gospels tell of a particular event, one where Jesus went to eat at the house of Matthew (see Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:15-17; and Luke 5:29-32). When the scribes and the Pharisees saw Jesus with the “unclean” crowd, they were indignant! One can almost hear the seething, sneering comments hiss from their lips as they murmured, “How is it that he eats with these publicans and sinners?”

When Jesus heard what they said, he did not respond in the way the modern activists portray Him. Jesus, the embodiment of love and compassion, did not in any way accept and affirm the sinners’ lifestyles, but referred to them as “sick” and in need of a spiritual “physician.” Imagine referring to sinners as “sick” these days! However, that is the precise reason Jesus came to “hang out” with sinners: to heal them from their spiritual diseases.

Jesus said unto the scribes and Pharisees, “They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:31-32).

He didn’t want to leave them where they were; He actually wanted them to repent! He didn’t hang out as a sign of affirmation, but so that they could be forgiven and “sin no more” (John 8:11).

The Point

So, you see, Jesus did care about and hang out with sinners, as do most of us. But just like Jesus, because we love them, we can’t automatically affirm and support every cause that parades naked down Main Street. Like Jesus, we don’t want them to stay “sick,” we want them to be “healed.”

“This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – 1 Timothy 1:15

Because I have had the life-changing “balm of Gilead” applied to my own sin-sick soul, why wouldn’t I want to point others to the Great Physician? Leaving people to die in their sins, never telling them there is a cure for the sickness they may not even realize they have, may be a form of affirmation, but it sure as heck ain’t love.

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Filed under Christian Living, Culture Wars, Defining Marriage, Do not judge

How Does It Hurt You?

The Argument

You have heard this argument before, but I want to phrase it several other ways, just to help clarify it.

  • Little Julio likes pulling little Emily’s ponytail at recess. How does that hurt you?
  • Greg and Henry each enjoy the sight of blood, along with the thrill of dismemberment. They aren’t planning on cutting off your index finger, so how does that hurt you?
  • Habib thinks it’s perfectly fine to beat his wife to a pulp when she disappoints him, and she believes he has every right to do so, because he’s her husband. Their marriage may not be healthy in your eyes, but they think it’s OK. The are happy and in love, so how does that hurt you?
  • Mary, Bob, Sue, Helen, and Marty all live in a communal relationship and want to marry each other, spend the rest of their lives with each other, and ultimately die together so at a predetermined time, so as not to leave one behind to grieve without the others. They love each other, have no children, and are all orphans with no debt to any creditors. What they want to do is mutually agreed upon out of love for each other, but you aren’t invited to the going away party. How does that hurt you?

The Answer

Honestly, in the most immediate of terms, I am not hurt by any of the above hypotheticals. Similarly, I am not hurt by the murder of a homeless man in Thailand, either. But just because it doesn’t hurt me doesn’t make it right. Of course, when it comes to whether or not same-sex marriage itself will hurt me is one thing; making it a Constitutional right and forcing me to go along with it is something totally different.

The justification for same-sex or multiple-partner marriage cannot be based on what is felt by others. A victim-less crime is still a crime, even if no one ever feels the effects.

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Filed under America, Culture Wars, current events, Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Marriage

Intercede for Marriage Today!

Today Is a Big Day. I thought you should know about it.

Folks, there are so many things going on in our country today, so many things that I cannot even begin to address them all. You know about what’s happening in Baltimore, don’t you? I hope so.

But do you know what is going on today in the Supreme Court? Oral arguments are being presented in a key case that will affect the whole nation and the definition of marriage.

I would seriously encourage you to look at the times below and pray accordingly.

(The following was copied from Pray4Marriage.org)

Courtroom Schedule – 4/28/15

On April 28th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments about the constitutionality of marriage for the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

KEY QUESTIONS

There are two questions that will be considered by the Court. Ninety minutes is allotted to oral argument on question 1; 1 hour is allotted for oral argument on question 2.

  1. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
  2. Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

KEY CASES

Obergefell v. Hodges (Ohio), 14-556
Tanco v. Haslam (TN), 14-562
DeBoer v. Snyder (MI), 14-571
Bourke v. Beshear (KY), 14-574

Read the Family Research Council’s Amicus Brief on all these cases

COURTROOM SCHEDULE

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Mary Bonauto, well-known same-sex “marriage” lawyer who serves on the staff with GLAD.

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
Donald Verrilli, Jr., Solicitor General of the United States, will argue against God’s definition of marriage.

10:45 – 11:30 a.m.
John Bursch, former Michigan Solicitor General, will argue that states are not required to recognize same-sex “marriages.”

11:30 a.m. – Noon
Douglas Hallward-Driemeier, the attorney on record for one of the central cases and the only lead lawyer with an established Supreme Court practice, will argue that same-sex “marriages” must be recognized.

Noon – 12:30 p.m.
Joseph Whalen, Tennessee Associate Solicitor General, will argue for a state’s right to limit marriage to one woman and one man based upon a 2006 Tennessee referendum that passed by 81% of the vote.

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Filed under Culture Wars, current events, Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Relationships and Family