Category Archives: Marriage & Family
Happy Birthday to my ninja warrior, Hudson. Made it through year seven without a single trip to the Emergency room, which is a huge feet for a kid that lives life at his speed & intensity. I like to say our Insurance Deductible is very afraid every time he goes outside. His enthusiasm & love for friends challenges me everyday. He’s got an incredible ability to negotiate & persuade. Always wins at monopoly. He’s one of a kind! I’m blessed that God has allowed me to be his dad. Can’t wait to see what God does with this Church Planter’s Kid! Happy Birthday Hudson!
A few years ago my oldest son defined what Fatherhood looked like to him after 7 years with me:
- Eats Alot
- Really Stinky
He knows me pretty good! And I’m trying to live up to most of this list. But being aware of what’s seen through their eyes is so important as a Dad. They learn so much from what they see, and smell I guess. My to do list for my boys: Be intentional, listen, point them to God’s Word, accumulate experience & memories. And remember, he/she may be Just Like You.
How would your son or daughter define Fatherhood by what she sees in you?
“God has given man the ability to be the best thing or the worst thing that ever happened to a marriage.” Justin Buzzard in Date Your Wife calls men to initiate, pursue, and desire our wives like we did at first. To plan and implement a strategy of devotion like we would a hunting or golf trip or a business deal. It’s what God created men to do. This book is a short treatise on what it means to be a husband. And for a generation that has no idea what that means, its a desperately needed message. Very practical. Men, a great Christmas gift idea for your wife: get this book, read it, do it. Here’s a few favorite quotes:
- “Matrimony came from Paradise, and leads to it. I never was half so happy, before I was a married man, as I am now. When you are married, your bliss begins. Let the husband love his wife as he loves himself, and a little better, for she is his better half. He should feel, ‘If there’s only one good wife in the whole world, I’ve got her.’” ~ Spurgeon
- our first date stories have one thing in common: we acted like men. We pursued our wives to be. We made the move. We initiated. We took a risk. We took the lead.
- “There is no bond on earth so sweet, nor any separation so bitter, as that which occurs in a good marriage.” ~ Martin Luther
- If you want to change a marriage, change the man.
- God has given the man the ability to be the best thing or the worst thing that ever happened to a marriage.
- A man needs a mission. Men were created to carry out a mission, and if a man does not have a mission, he feels lost and impotent.
- God have the first man, and God gives us men, a mission that can be completed only through dependence.
- Jesus doesn’t make men better. He makes men new.
- The most rebellious, countercultural thing you can do in our culture is to be happily married until death do you part.
- Vows aren’t automatic. Vows aren’t magic. Vows don’t keep themselves.
- The point of your marriage isn’t you. The point of your marriage isn’t your wife. The point of your marriage is to date your wife in such a way that showcases Jesus and His power to a world of husbands and wives, men and women, boys and girls, in desparate need of a God who can rescue, reconcile, restore, and redeem their broken lives. Marriage isn’t ultimate. God is ultimate.
Great list of 100 Ideas on how to be intentional about Dating Your Wife. Here’s a few:
- Cut something from your budget and use that money to date your wife.
- Cut something from your schedule and use that time to date your wife.
- Pray for your wife. Pray for her every day.
- Tell you wife that she looks beautiful, and teach your kids to do the same.
- Criticize your wife less. Compliment your wife more.
- Hold your wife’s hand often, in public and in private.
- Watch the kids and send your wife out to a local coffee shop to enjoy an hour or two alone.
- Brag about your wife in front of other people.
- Keep fresh dry erase markers in the bathroom. Periodically write your wife an encouraging note on the bathroom mirror that she’ll read when she wakes up.
- Write in a card the top five reasons you chose your wife as your bride.
Also, check out the author’s blog here.
“Help me understand the opposite sex.” The Bible gives us a way to understand the opposite sex through the lens of God’s commands to the sexes. God commands wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives (Ephesians 5:21-23, Colossians 3:18-19, and see yesterday’s post). What does that look like everyday? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has a great book on this subject called Love and Respect. Here are two acrostics from the book that literally SPELL out what Love and Respect look like in marriage.
How to Spell Love to Your Wife:
C – Closeness – She wants you to be close.
O – Openness – She wants you to open up to her
U – Understanding – Don’t try to “Fix” Her; just listen
P – Peacemaking – She wants you to say, “I’m sorry”
L – Loyalty – She needs to know you’re committed
E – Esteem – She wants you to Honor and Cherish Her
How to Spell Respect to Your Husband:
C – Conquest – Appreciate His Desire to Work and Achieve
H – Hierarchy – Appreciate His Desire to Protect and Provide
A – Authority – Appreciate His Desire to Serve and to Lead
I – Insight – Appreciate His Desire to Analyze and Counsel
R – Relationship – Appreciate His Desire for Shoulder to Shoulder Friendship
S – Sexuality – Appreciate His Desire for Sexual Intimacy
Also, check out the author’s website, www.loveandrespect.com.
“Homosexuals have just as much right to be miserable as heterosexuals!” This is a quip I’ve seen a few places by proponents of gay marriage. It’s usually preceded by statements about how Christians should focus on having better marriages themselves instead of trying to keep others from marrying. Not trying to get into that debate here, but suffice it to say that the high failure rates in modern marriage has opened the door for our society to feel the freedom to redefine and reshape it. Marriage doesn’t have to be redefined to find a happy ending for society and for couples. Just like wisdom about defining and purposing marriage is found in the Bible (see yesterday’s post here), wisdom on MAINTAINING marriage can be found in the Bible as well. And I believe it will work every time it’s tried.
What does the Bible say about MAINTAINING Marriage? It’s actually a fool proof way of maintaing any relationship, but the Bible gives some greater clarity in relation to marriage. Basic principle:
Put the needs of the other ahead of your own.
As a principle for all relationships: Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB), “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do notmerely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
As a principle for close relationships: Ephesians 5:20 (NLT), “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
And as a principle in marriage: Colossians 3:18-19 (ESV), “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”
What does this have to do with putting the needs of the other first? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in his great book Love & Respect frames this verse like this. God’s commands for wives to submit and husbands to love are a command to them, but it speaks to a God given, primary need for the husband and wife. God created men to need respect, to lead, and to thrive when respect is given. God created women to need love, affection, and to be pursued and to thrive when loved sacrificially. Putting his needs first and her needs first simply means to live out your God-given role and put the others needs as your primary mission in life.
Next we’ll look at what this looks like according to Dr. Eggerich.
It’s open season on many traditional views today. Our culture and church culture are questioning and reshaping ideas on almost everything. Some of this rethinking and reshaping is healthy and needed and some not so good. I like it when I see new generations looking at tradition and saying, “What does the Bible actually say about…?” But many are just adding our cultures fancies on issues, creating new tradition that overlooks centuries and ignores divine voice.
Case in point: Marriage. We’ve ceased to asked the right questions about marriage (history? divine voice? nature?) and determined to redefine and reshape it to be something completely different.
This weekend, our church asked the healthy question: What does the Bible Actually Say? Here’s a bit of our discussion:
How should we think about marriage?
Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
- Marriage should be honored
- Marriage acts considered sacred
- Judgement occurs when this doesn’t happen.
How should we define marriage?
“…a man will leave his father and mother & be united to his wife, & they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (cf. Matthew 19:4-6)
Marriage: A LIFE LONG RELATIONSHIP between ONE MAN & ONE WOMAN.
- Permanence, not disposability
- Male/Female, not gender neutral
- Jesus commended this definition in Matthew 19 in one of his few statements about marriage.
What was God’s Purposes for Marriage?
1) COMPANIONSHIP & SUPPORT – Genesis 2:18-25 - ”it is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.” Man was incomplete without a companion.
2) REPRODUCTION - Genesis 1:28 - God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Marriage is the vehicle for the continuation of the human race.
3) SEXUAL PURITY – 1 Corinthians 7:2 (NIV) – “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” Marriage is the safe place for sexual expression.
4) A PICTURE OF SALVATION – Ephesians 5:21-33 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Marriage illustrates the union that is our salvation.
Today, marriage is seen as optional and disposable and redefinable. And part of the problem is the high FAILURE rates. Some estimate it over 60%. Some say that’s given us permission to redefine. But again, I think we need to go back to the right question: What does the Bible say about MAINTAINING Marriage? If maintained according to the creator of marriage, it can work to achieve his purpose.
Born 8 days after the very first service of our first church plant in South Lousiana, which started in an un-air conditioned fire station.
- Because his dad’s a church planter, until he was four we would drive past a fire station and he would yell “church” and when we drove by a steepled church building he would yell “space ship.”
- Because his dad’s a church planter, the first time we attended a church besides ours on Sunday, he asked where their fire truck was and why their chairs were so long (pews).
- Because his dad’s a church planter, he likes to hang out in coffee shops and has great bedside manner in hospitals.
- Because his dad’s a church planter, he doesn’t have as much as many kids in our area, but never complains.
- Because his dad’s a church planter, he doesn’t know that you shouldn’t wear shorts to church or that you shouldn’t be close friends with people of another race or class.
- Because his dad’s a church planter, he knows who Rick Warren & John Piper are, & asked every Friday morning, “Do we have a Block Party this weekend?”
HE TURNED TEN YESTERDAY and I’m looking forward to seeing what God does in the future with this church planter’s kid. Happy Birthday Jack!!!!!
“Find a good spouse, you find a good life-and even more: the favor of God!” Prov 18:22 (MSG)
Reflecting this morning on 13 years of marriage to my gift from God, Heather Johnson Corley. Last year I wrote 12 things I’m thankful for after 12 years of marriage. I’ve updated my list & added one.
- “Find a good spouse, you find a good life-and even more: the favor of God!” Proverbs 18:22 (MSG). Thank God for showing His favor by giving me you!
- I started noticing in year one – People like me better when you’re around. Thanks for completing me.
- Finally realized around year three – I am better when you’re around. Thanks for making me better than I am.
- Two are better than one, because they never quit at the same time. Thanks for helping me persevere through tough times.
- It’s OK to not iron the tucked in portion of the shirt. Thanks for helping me to not sweat small stuff.
- A mother’s voice is a powerful weapon (Proverbs 31:26). Thanks for being a great voice of encouragement & empowerment to my boys.
- Unselfishness is a pre-requisite for success in almost everything, especially marriage. Thanks for demonstrating how to put others first so clearly.
- I’ve noticed, families that serve together make a greater impact & have more joy over the long haul. Thanks for serving along side me and opening my eyes to new opportunities everyday.
- Marriage is humiliating, because you can’t hide who you really are. Thanks for being patient and forgiving.
- Beauty is only skin deep, and I’m thankful for a wife who’s smokin hot, inside and out.
- Peach cobbler and red meat are still my favorites. Thanks for always going out of your way to know my favorites.
- “Lane, you know we only hired you, b/c we met your wife.” Thanks for inspiring confidence in me and others. I’m a better man because of you.
- And now we’ve got a little girl to grow up to be just like you!