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!

 

Men’s Leadership Night Recap

I really enjoyed Men’s Leadership Night! I am so thankful for the group of godly men at Grace Baptist Church. I rejoice in their responsive hearts to be Biblical leaders.  There is so much to discourage Christian men today from accepting and exercising their God-given role as a loving, servant leader in the home. God is able to more than compensate every discouragement and challenge men face with His abundant grace.

What happens when God points out an area of our leadership that we need to correct? How do we go forward? Remember the promise of 1 John 1:9 given for believers,  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  If we have not accepted and exercised and leadership role that God has given, we have disobeyed Him. We must confess it to Him and seek His forgiveness. Furthermore, we should get it right with the people our disobedience affected—wife, children, ect. Receiving forgiveness for not taking the lead both from God and others will give the fresh start that is needed to begin doing the will of God. While it may be hard to admit, it will be worth it! God will give you grace in your humility.

Listen to Men’s Leadership Night Lesson

Books for Cultivating your Leadership:
I have read these over the past year and have been helped.

 

Called to Lead 4

As men, we must seek to invest in our leadership on a daily basis. However, even with the investment, often we will struggle to find the confidence to lead. You are not alone! Moses, Joshua and many of the Old Testament prophets experience this. Ask any godly leader that you admire if they always have confidence. You might just be amazed at what they say. God was constantly encouraging those He called by saying, “Fear not, for I am with thee.” He often said, “Be of good courage.” God cares about you and He wants to enable you to fulfill the calling He has given you.

This video will give three sources of confidence. 

Called to Lead 1Called to Lead 2Called to Lead 3

 

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.