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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Commitment- Marriage Edition

To see the first part of this segment see: “Commitment pt.1 ”

3. Commitment to marriage

When I first got engaged to my wife, little did I realize I was opening up the flood gates. Oh yes, I would say “I’m getting married!” to be slammed with comments such as “You won’t be that excited in a few years” or maybe “Here it comes!” I would ask “here what comes?” they would respond “The ball and chain! Kiss your freedom goodbye!” This saddest part, was the comments all came from… Married men!

Ecclesiastes 9:9- “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love…”

Disclaimer: I do not pretend to have the answers to all marriage problems. I do however, wish to share a few insights from God’s Word, that when applied will strengthen any marriage. Because I said so? No! Because, the Bible said so!

 

Making a commitment to something, means that you are all in. It does not mean, that you are all in for the smooth ride, but you jump ship when the waves start rocking the boat.

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Commit to: Placing your spouse ahead of yourself.

Philippians 2:3- “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

When Paul wrote these words, they were directed to the Church in Philippi. He told of how we are to view one another. (more important than me) I can think of no one better to hold this view towards than our spouses.

Are we truly committed to our marriage? Let us ask, do I view my spouse in a better light than I do myself? More importantly, does my spouse think that I view them as more important than I do myself? So many times, we intellectually think and say the right things, but it fails to translate into the way we live.

When you disagree on where to stop for lunch, does it have to always be your way? Or are you quick to allow their choice rise to the top? Do you invest more financially in your spouse than you do yourself(Matthew 6:21)?

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Commit to: Study together

In our short marriage, there is one thing that Meagan and I have discovered, we have a much stronger bond when we read from the Word together, and discuss spiritual things. When we first got married we decided that every single night of our married life we would spend time reading the Bible together before going to sleep… that worked great! (for about 2 weeks)

It isn’t about “daily reading” with your spouse, rather daily spiritual discussions, and encouraging one another to do better for Christ.

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Commit to: Pray Together

I have often heard it said (and often said myself) “You cannot claim to have a relationship with God without an active prayer life” I believe more and more, you cannot have the relationship that God desires you to have with your spouse if you do not pray together.

I am not speaking of the “supper table prayers” I am talking about random prayers. Prayers that are not planned or set in stone. Example? You have an argument with your spouse, whether you are right or wrong (after all, you are always right.. right?) You realize that your tempers are not what they should be. Pause, hold hands, pray. Pray for forgiveness, pray for calmness, pray for strength for your relationship.

You are driving down the road, you receive a phone call. The phone call brings some troubling news (a death, a injury, a sick report, I financial blow.) Pull the car over, pray about the situation.

The day has finally arrived! Your new baby (boy, or girl) has arrived! Before you let any of your family come in to the room, you and your spouse, hold your precious baby, and pray that God help you be the parents He wants you to be.

The more that you lean on God together in the good, and bad times, the easier it is to keep the big picture of God’s plan for your life at the forefront of your mind, rather than an afterthought on Sunday’s.

1 Thessalonians 5:17- “pray without ceasing,”

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Commit to: Never growing complacent

The church, is described as being the “bride of Christ.” Jesus took an intimate role in dealing with His persecuted bride in the book of Revelation. As Jesus was speaking words to His bride. He had a strong message for her.

Revelation 2:4-   But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Jesus chastised His bride for losing her love for Him. Jesus had a faithful bride. She loved Him, she worked for Him, She lived for Him. Until, she didn’t. She lost her love for Him. She went back to living for herself. While the implications here about the church keeping their eyes focused and fixed on God are endless, I want to submit another perspective. If Jesus is not happy when His spouse is growing stagnant, or even sliding backwards in love for Him, Why should we be ok with that in our own marriage?

Too many times the story is, you love your spouse at the beginning, then on down the line, your love fades. What happened? The answer?- You stopped working!

Let’s take a look at what Jesus proposes the solution to be.

Revelation 2:5- “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first..”

What is Jesus’ solution? Remember what you used to do!

If you find your marriage growing stagnant, or sliding backwards, remember what you used to do together… And do it again!

Try to win their favor again. Be receptive to their acts of kindness. Forgive each other easily. Date again, laugh again, dream together again, set goals together again, watch movies together again. All of the things you used to do to work on your marriage… Do them AGAIN!

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Commit to: Acting Like Jesus!

 

In every aspect of our lives this should be our aim. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11;1- “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ” We should strive to be just like Jesus in everything that we say, and all that we do.

If Jesus died on the cross for only those men and women who were following Him at the time, where would that leave us? If Jesus only offered His forgiveness to those who “deserved it” you, and I would have no hope. What is the point? The point is this:

Too many husbands “love their wives as Christ loved the Church” (Ephesians 5:25) ONLY when their wives “deserve it.”

Too many wives “submit to their husbands” (Colossians 3:18) ONLY when their husbands “deserve it.”

Too many times we honor, respect, show kindness, make an effort, pour out love, and make sacrifices for others… When they deserve it.

I am so thankful that God did not give me what I deserve, rather he gave me grace. It is my submission that many marriages would be strengthened by remembering that we don’t love, honor, and cherish our spouses just when they “deserve it” but all day, everyday, regardless! We love, like Jesus!   

O God, we thank you for marriage. We thank you for our spouses. We thank you for your Son. Father, help us today. Help us to be thankful for those that are dear in our lives. Help us to forever hold them close. Help us to forgive. Help us Lord, to be who you want us to be. In Jesus name..  

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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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“Commitment pt.1”

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Ok, so maybe it isnt really a “dirty word” but the word Im thinking of, is a word that is treated like a dirty word anymore. What is this word? Here it is; commitment.

My generation has very little understanding of what it means to commit to something.(Commitment- Promise, or personal commitment, Contract, a legally binding exchange of promises) The generation before me has a little better understanding, and the one after me, sadly, appears to even have a weaker view of commitment.

I had a friend who went through school kindergarten through Sr. Year, only to drop out ONE WEEK before graduation!

We have all heard the stats. The numbers are mind boggeling. The Church, is losing anywhere from 70-90% (depending on which research your examining) of our young people, who turn their back on God.

The divorce rate in the world is higher than 50%. Sadly, so is the divorce rate within the Lord’s church. That means more than half of Christian men and women who marry will one day walk away from their marriage.

To me the most heartbreaking aspect of all of this, is that the church has many times allowed the non-committal mindset of the world to shape our minds, and futures as well. We are a temporary people, who live in a temporary world, all too often searching for temporary things. There is very little permanance within our lives today. Some people change cars, cell phones, houses, and jobs as often as Meagan and I change diapers!

I want to simply encourage you to think on a few things:

1. Commitment to the Lord.

Colossians 1:18- And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent.

The reason this is first on the list is because, if you do not have a commitment to the Lord, nothing else matters!

I believe many times we do an injustice to people that we study the Bible with. Sometime we try to rush their decision along. We try to make the decision for them, rather than truly allowing them to consider what it really means to be a Christian. Jesus spoke of the importance of “counting the cost” in Luke 14.

I recently led a Bible study with a young man. After the Gospel was shared, I asked him what he wanted to do about what we had studied. He responded by telling me he wanted to think on those things and make up his mind what he wanted to commit to.

About a week later, he called me around 11:00 P.M. He was ready, and he was ready right then! So I met him at the church building and watched as his father immersed him into Christ!

We need those who will truly count the cost of what it means to be a Christian. We need those who will commit themselves to Jesus! Jesus Himself in Revelation referred to those non-committed Christians as Lukewarm. Then He made a statement that surprises many. Jesus said That He wished those Christians would be on fire for Him, or never claim to be a Christian (my paraphrase)

2. Commitment to the Church

Matthew 6:33- “seek first the kingdom of God”

“I am a Christian, but I don’t go to church” How heartbreaking it truly is to hear those words. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the scriptures. Those who know the Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 chapters understand that you cannot separate Jesus from His church! Do you want Jesus? You must take the Church!

How many times have you heard the reasons brother or sister so and so no longer attends? (granted there are cases where it is impossible due to limitations, health reasons) They are offended by the preacher, elders, or a member there. They “Don’t have time” or they are simply too tired.

Jesus was so committed to His church that bought the church with His very blood! (Ephesians 5:25) By not being committed to the church, we are not committed to Jesus!

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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