Commitments for Great Marriages

blog post

Recently my wife and I were having a conversation with some friends about marriages that have fallen apart. It saddens all of us to hear of family members, co-workers or friends who once enjoyed a happy marriage but now are experiencing the heartbreak of a broken marriage. Over this past year, I have had a front-row seat on both marriages that broke apart and that have been restored. For certain, there are few things more heartbreaking to me than to see a man and a woman, who had once stood at a wedding altar and vowed to be committed to each other until death would part them, parting in life. There is so much heartache, hurt and tears. Many observe these type of situations and a say, that will never happen to us! Believe me, I hope and pray it does not! However, maintaining a growing, close, open, committed marriage takes more than mere intentions and words. It takes work! What are some commitments you and I need to to make and keep in order to have great marriages?

Commitment to Jesus:

Genesis chapter two records for us the first marriage. It was designed by God. It was really great! God designed marriages as being between one man and one woman. Though society has redefined this, it does not change was is naturally and Biblically true. Many trying to make marriage work apart from God, but it was never intended to work without Him. One man said it this way, “If you want to be a good spouse, be a good Christian first.” Those who are in love with Jesus and His Word make the best spouses. Are you committed to Jesus about everything else in life—your dreams, your jobs, your family, your spouse? Who or what holds the highest place in your life? It needs to be Jesus! Does His Word have first place in your daily life? Do you prioritize serving Him by serving others in your church family? Do you demonstrate first love to by loving His followers and assembling with them? Are you committed to responding to His preached word with determined steps of growth. A lack of commitment to Jesus will always produce struggles in our marriages.

Commitment to Your Vows:

Do you remember standing at the wedding altar and saying something like this to your spouse? “I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto pledge myself to you.”  That is a serious vow! God says it this way in the Bible, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” (Ecclesiastes 5:5)  We should not enter vows with a mindset that we can break them if we change our mind or times get rough. If divorce is an option in your mind before you make the vow, then you should not make the vow. In fact, the word divorce ought be erased from your marriage vocabulary. Remain committed to your vows by the grace of God.

Commitment to Making it Better:

There are some marriages that remain “committed” to their vows in the strictest sense, but are cold. There is friction, years of unresolved differences, emotional baggage, little communication, fear of transparency and the list could go on. Publicly, the marriage is together, but privately it is not really twogether.  Great marriages do not just happen, they are diligently built and maintained. Marriages need regular investments. What will you do in the near future to make your marriage even better? One of the reasons my wife and I host a couples retreat is that we desire to help couples make their marriages better. There is room for improvement in every marriage, including mine. I encourage you to make it better!

Can you think of some other commitments that should be made in our marriages? I would love to hear what you think in the comments below! If you are struggling in your marriage, there is hope! God is able to do what we think is humanly impossible. Please seek counsel from your pastor. If you have been divorced, please know, that God love you no matter what and still has a beautiful plan for your life. While God hates divorce, He does not hate you! You can find all the healing you will ever need in seeking Jesus with all your heart. 

Also, I would like to invite you to join my wife and I at our church’s annual Couples Retreat on March 22-23, 2019, you can find out more about it here.  We pray that it would be a blessing to you!

 

Kindling Love and Commitment

Couple.jpgRelationships are an amazing gift from God! Beyond the relationship that God wants to have with us through Christ, the greatest relationship that can be had is found in marriage. Before we even get two chapters read in the Bible, we see marriage debuted. For a short while Adam and Eve knew perfect harmony with each other and their creator. In fact, their marriage was the only perfect marriage.

If we are honest, none of us have perfect marriages. There are times we argue, are unkind, exchange hurtful words, are unloving, show disrespect and the list could go on. Truly, every marriage that will be harmonious takes effort, commitment and an ever growing relationship with Jesus Christ by both husband and wife.  Marriage is a relationship to be kindled each day for sure. Consider kindling your marriage like this:

  1. Practice Love and Respect. God instructs husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives unconditionally. Regardless of the behavior the wife, the husband is to show love. The practical standard of this is the husband loving his wife as much as he loves himself. Guys, kindle your marriage by truly loving your wife even on her worst day. Wives, on the other hand, are told to respect their husbands. Often wives give respect based behavior. However, God tells wives to respect her husband no matter what. Respect is demonstrated when a wife encourages and does not belittle.  One man said, “A wife that is loved will grow in loveliness and a husband that is respected will become more respectable.”
  2. Practice Clearing the Air. When troubles and conflict do arise, be sure to settle them quickly. In all cases, never go to bed angry. The Bible warns us about letting the sun go down upon our wrath. Every night before you fall asleep, kindle your marriage by making certain nothing is unsettled.
  3. Practice Investing in your Marriage. There are many things that will drain a marriage of harmony and closeness. Even good things can be the culprit. Reading books on marriage, maintaining time alone, planning dates and including times to get away to focus on your marriage are all important ways to invest. One of the greatest reasons we Grace Baptist Church host a Couples Retreat is to provide a way for couples to invest in their marriages. Sitting under Biblical instruction for marriages will always be a worthwhile investment.

Will you plan to kindle your marriage today? Will you plan to do something in this week as an investment in your marriage?

 


Learn more about Couples Retreat

Lessons from Ten Years

TEN

Sheila and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary, and it is amazing to us how fast the time has flown. It literally seems like yesterday that we were getting to know each other, planning our wedding and honeymoon. Now we are looking back on a decade of marriage!

Today, as I reflect, I am reminded of the sweetness of a life following Jesus. I remember back to when marriage was a dream. God had to teach me a lot about waiting on Him. He taught me that if I would trust Him, He would intersect my life with the woman He created just for me. God did just that! I will never forget the day I first realized Sheila was the one for me. I saw a real, genuine, godly and fun loving young lady.  That was about twelve years ago now.  I have learned many lessons over these years. Here are a few of them.

  1. God is good all the time.
  2. God knows exactly what we need and can be trusted completely.
  3. Following God will always lead to the greatest blessing.
  4. Marriage is a journey—it keeps getting better as long as Jesus is the center.
  5. Any problem can be overcome with God’s help.
  6. Marriage is one of the greatest gifts God gives.
  7. God’s provisions are always on time and just enough.
  8. The Bible’s instructions can be trusted no matter what.
  9. Communication is one of the most essential keys to a harmonious marriage.
  10. Chocolate is always appropriate.

Called to Lead 3

We have been learning to invest various characteristics and virtues into our influence. We cannot expect to have leadership in the lives of those God has given us to lead if we are not investing in it daily.  In this post, I want us to focus on investing patience, modeling and consistency. Each of these will be important if we will lead at home, at work or at church.

  1. Patience—Most guys are not very patient and the fact is, our impatience can rob us of our influence. Each of these will be important if we will lead at home, at work or at church.
  2. Modeling—People will do what people see and we cannot expect them to do differently. Each of these will be important if we will lead at home, at work or at church.
  3. Consistency—It is difficult to follow a leader who is something different every day of the week. Worse yet is the leader who changes based who is around him. Those we lead deserve a leader who remains consistent by the grace of God.

Let’s take the time this week to invest in our leadership.

Called to Lead 2

How are you doing in your leadership? Have you been investing integrity into your influence at home and at work? Let’s add a couple more investments this week.

Invest Love—lets give of ourselves sacrificially for those that God has given us to lead. They need to know that we would do anything for them even it means giving up our own comforts.

Invest Service—we must serve those we lead. Not just out in public, but especially in our homes. This may mean we have to do things we would not normally like to do. Remember, Jesus came to serve. He expects us, as men, to serve others as well.

May God help us to invest love and service into our influence.

 

Called to Lead 1

Called to Lead 1

Recently, I held our first Men’s Leadership Night at Grace Baptist Church. It was a delight to share some simple truths to encourage guys in their calls to lead. I summarized the lesson in four short videos. I will be releasing them over the next several weeks.

Notice what God said about the prophet, Jeremiah.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” —Jeremiah 1:5

For the Jeremiah, God set him apart and commissioned him to lead. In the same way, God has set you apart and commissioned you to lead in the roles He has given you. I would suggest that you take a moment to write down the different roles that God has given you, so that you can visualize your call to lead.