Tag Archive | Marriage Made In Heaven

The Process Is The Point – Hebrews 12:1

Hebrews 12:1–3 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

6. Lay aside every weight

Hebrews 12:1 (ESV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Notice that weights are different from sins? What might be some weights that hinder us yet it isn’t sin?  They may even be good things that keep us from doing the best things.

What could you streamline?  Hobbies, extra activities, etc.

How can you evaluate things as to being a weight?

1. Glorify God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

2. Profitable? or

3. Enslaving?

1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV) “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

4. Cause Others to stumble?

1 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

5. Edify Yourself or others?

1 Corinthians 10:23 (ESV) “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.


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The Process Is The Point – 1 Corinthians 9:27

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV)

    24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

    25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

    26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

    27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

4. Discipline my body

1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

If we do not discipline ourselves, God will discipline us.

Hebrews 12:5-11 (ESV)

5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Discipline leads to the fruit of righteousness.

Hebrews 12:11 (ESV) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Discipline ourselves for godliness.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)

7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

 

5. Keep my body under Control

1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Keeping your body under control requires training it.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (ESV)

7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;
8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Did you notice that this verse also points out that there are promises for the present life and for the life to come?

 


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The Process Is The Point – 1 Corinthians 9:25-26

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV)

    24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

    25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

    26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

    27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

2. Exercise Self-Control

1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

What is self-control?

2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Self-control is taking every thought, word or deed captive under Christ to obey Christ.

We can’t exercise self-control on our own though, it is a fruit of the Spirit.  Only through the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives can we have self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

We also must compete according to the rules, no making up the rules as you go along.

2 Timothy 2:5 (ESV) An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

Otherwise you may be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.   

 

3. Do not run Aimlessly

1 Corinthians 9:26 (ESV) So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

Run as for the Lord

Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.


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The Process Is the Point – Run to Obtain the Prize

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

1. Run to obtain the prize

1 Corinthians 9:24 (ESV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

What is the prize?

  • An Imperishable and unfading wreath

1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

1 Peter 5:4 (ESV) And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

  • The wreath is the crown of life, righteousness, glory (James 1:12; Rev 2:10; 2 Tim 4:8;)

James 1:12 (ESV) Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

  • Upward or Heavenly Call of God

Philippians 3:14 (ESV) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Those are all future prizes for those who run the race.  But there are also present day prizes.

Luke 18:29-30 (ESV)

29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

Notice how that passage says “in this time and in the age to come”?

There are present time rewards for those who are running the race not “just” a future hope.

Not that the future hope is not enough but because the Lord knows we would struggle with a seemingly distant hope and no rewards along the way.  He is a gracious and generous God to those He loves.

 


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The Process is the Point; How You Run the Race Matters

Previously we looked at The Process is the Point.  (Shockingly this was started in June and now we are mid November!  Too many processes going on here! ) How just as important as achieving our goals is the process in which we strive for them. Based off of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and Hebrews 12:1-3, I listed 10 key points to running our race.  But didn’t really spend much time with them.

1. Run to obtain the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24)

2. Exercise Self-Control (1 Corinthians 9:25)

3. Do not run Aimlessly (1 Corinthians 9:26)

4. Discipline my body (1 Corinthians 9:27)

5. Keep my body under Control (1 Corinthians 9:27)

6. Lay aside every weight (Hebrews 12:1)

7. Lay aside sin which clings (Hebrews 12:1)

8. Run with endurance (Hebrews 12:1)

9. Look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2)

10. Do not grow weary or fainthearted (Hebrews 12:3)

All of these come from just those two passages!!!  That is alot of guidance for running the race.

1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (ESV)

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.

25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

 

Hebrews 12:1–3 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Let’s look closer at each of these and pull in other verses from the Bible that apply.


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What Is Real Love?

A few months ago I was asked “What is love?”  The point being what is real love beyond the emotional response.

We have a very good picture of love in the Bible in the person of Christ.

John 3:16 (ESV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:7-8 (ESV)

7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10 (ESV) In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Then in 1 Corinthians 13 we have a very good description of love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends.

But this video is a very good example of love.

 

Imagine if all love was displayed so selflessly!

This is love.  The desire to love and serve another for 50 years or more no matter what may happen or whether they are able to return the love or benefit you in anyway.  Just because Christ loved you in such a manner.


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Mr. Right or Miss Right?

This is another pet peeve of mine. 😉   Sorta along the lines of did David Dance Naked?   Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes, not that one again!  {I’m constantly reminded of it, because that post has been read sometimes three times an hour since 2009!}

Since 2008 when I started my blog I have gotten lots and lots of emails from a variety of people.  Many of them have been from women who are asking questions concerning their marriages.  There is often a regular theme that occurs.  Essentially a woman has determined that she did not marry “Mr. Right” because she did not do things God’s way or follow “Biblical” Courtship.  So now she desires to straighten out the mess she made in order to seek God’s will and find the real “Mr. Right”.

Now I don’t know about you but I really just cringe when someone uses the expression “Mr. Right” or “Miss Right” because I think that gives our children a wrong perception of marriage.  The idea that there is only one person out there that God has for us to marry is not a Biblical idea.  Because using that reasoning then if somehow you miss that person, sinned, or misunderstood and chose the “wrong” person then you have failed and are not in God’s will for you.  Or what if they choose wrong or sinned?  What happens then years later?  Do you seek to get back in God’s will for your life, even if that means divorcing your present spouse?  Heaven forbid!

There is technically a “Mr. Right” or “Mrs. Right” and they are your present spouse.  Once you are married you are married to “Mr. Right” or “Mrs. Right”.  No if, ands, or buts!  But until you are actually married that person may or may not be God’s will for you.  Once you are married that person is God’s will for you.  Whether or not that person is a wise choice is a whole ‘nother can of worms.  But once the choice has been made you are married to “Mr. Right.”

This also means that you are not to divorce because suddenly years down the road you’ve decided you did not seek God’s will and marry the “right” person.  The Bible is much more clear on marriage and divorce than it is on choosing a marriage partner.

Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage covers my best understanding of what the Bible says on marriage and divorce.  Granted that is much more strict than most interpret the passages, but nevertheless, never does the Lord say that a NT believer should divorce and seek another spouse.  Even in the case of a believer married to an unbeliever, the believer is commanded to remain with their spouse if the unbeliever will stay.

1 Corinthians 7:10-13 (ESV)

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband  

11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.  

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.  

13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.

Beyond the general guidelines of a man and woman who are not too closely related there is very, very little instruction given about choosing a spouse.  Oh, there are principles provided about character and qualities such as in Proverbs 31:10-31 and Ephesians 5:25-31.  Those and many more character qualities make useful studies to help in making wise decisions; however, they are just guidelines not commands.

The only specific instruction in the NT to believers is that they are to marry a believer.

1 Corinthians 7:39 (ESV)  A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6:14 (ESV)  Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

While a believer can do all they can to strive to marry a believer, even then they may find that years later they were actually married to an unbeliever.  Our hearts can deceive ourselves (Jeremiah 17:9) and they can very easily deceive another.  You cannot always know a person’s heart well enough.  You can really only look closely and judge the fruit of their life.  Bad fruit before marriage will become rotten fruit after marriage.  But even then, thankfully, the Lord may bring real life out of the rotten fruit.  So don’t despair if you find you are married to a unsaved spouse.  He may become a good fruit bearer later.

Do you understand how freeing this is?  If you use the false premise that there is one person out there for you to marry then you can get caught up in a lot of false ideas.  The thought that if you failed to go to that event because you were sick and now you missed that one chance to meet “Mr. Right” and he is with your friend instead.  The idea that if you just continue to wait longer the real “Mr. Right” will eventually show up.   Or the idea that some other person who turns up years later was the real “Mr. Right” and you married too early and messed up your chance.  The real “Mr. Right” is who you are married to.

Until then make wise decisions.  Follow Biblical principles.  Seek wise counsel.  Listen to wise counsel. 😉  Observe, listen, talk, spend time with others, spend time with the extended family, and pray, pray, pray.  But once you marry that certain person then know he is “Mr. Right” and God’s will for you.  Don’t look back and don’t second guess.   “Mr. Darcy” is just fiction, real young men and older men are sinners like us, hopefully though saved by grace.

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Marriage Made In Heaven


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Marriages Today

I started a Bible study on marriage over four years ago.  I even have my notes left over which show how I would take sermon notes and then a stray thought would occur concerning the marriage Bible study and I would write it down.  Don’t remember why I was working on it exactly at the time though.  Now I’ve decided to combine it with some Bible study on courtship, sorta the lead up into marriage (“Biblical” Courtship) and then a look at Biblical marriages.  Aha! That is interesting. 😉

I know that some of what started my initial Bible study was the number of emails I get regularly from ladies all over the world.  My last set of emails concerning marriage were from Romania.  There is often a regular theme that occurs.  Essentially a woman has determined that she did not marry “Mr. Right” (warning: future long rant on that one coming up) because she did not do things God’s way, “Biblical” Courtship.  So now she desires to straighten out the mess she made in order to seek God’s will and find the real “Mr. Right”.  See a problem there?

The post on The Perfect Marriage Made in Heaven is just a humorous look at some expectations that have been placed on young adults so that they do everything just right.  This is particularly stressed for those in the homeschooling community, even if only indirectly.  After reading the post, my oldest son joked and said obviously the young man in the story never slept.  My daughter pointed out that she could buy soap and honey cheaper on sale and save money and time.  Her book keeping would be simpler, it would be balanced and she would then have more time for Bible study.

Don’t believe a seemingly impossible burden has been laid on young people?  A pastor friend of ours, who pastors a local Reformed Baptist Church, actually said that if it was possible we seemed to have succeeded in making our young people take marriage too seriously.  If everything is not perfect then don’t proceed.  This is from the pastor of a church full of young people.   He said he runs across men in their late twenties and thirties who say they aren’t prepared for marriage yet.  In another church I know, the average age for marriage is around thirty or later.

How have we extended adolescence through the twenties now?  See when my grandparents married it was not unusual for young ladies to marry at fourteen and a young man to be married by sixteen.  More importantly these marriages still lasted a lifetime and they did not have an easy life.  But now we have gotten to a point that marriages are begun typically in the late twenties and early thirties.  Yet they don’t necessarily last any longer.  But why?  Are young people today really that immature?  Even those which have been homeschooled and we expected more from?  Are we not preparing them adequately?  Have we scared them from marriage?  Is selfishness the issue?  Now, of course, there are some who aren’t delaying marriage but by far the majority are.  {Albert Mohler has a whole series of posts and audios concerning this subject.  I’ll post some links later.}

Another complaint is that there are large portions of young ladies who feel deserted by the young men they know.  It appears that often the goal has been set so high for a young man that he gives up and moves to a different pond to fish from.  It is easier to do so when the young men go away to college and yet the young women they grew up with are still at home in the shrinking pond.

But marriage is a serious matter and it takes maturity and forethought.  How do you navigate between the two ditches of protracted delay and lack of maturity and preparation?

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Marriage Made In Heaven


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The Perfect Marriage Made in Heaven

Here’s the story of a lovely lady …   Whoops, wrong generation, wrong story. 😉

Here’s the story of a “marriage made in Heaven“….

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Standing before the preacher / elder in the beautifully decorated church are a young groom and his beautiful young bride.  The congregation is full of families who have come to witness the marriage of this couple.  They all think the couple is perfectly suited for each other.

The groom is a twenty year old young man who is the eldest son of a large family.  He was homeschooled from the beginning.  He has always been his dad’s right hand man.  For highschool he was dual enrolled so he completed his college eduction right along with his highschool by using online courses.  He never stepped foot on campus until his college graduation.  Since graduation he has developed his own company working from home.  He has been so successful that his younger siblings are employed by him now also.

After he had set aside enough money he began to build himself a house on the 20 acres he purchased and cleared in his early teens.  Working every free moment and on weekends he was able to mostly build the whole house on his own.  He only took breaks from building to put in his garden, the fruit orchard and mow the hay.  Now at twenty he has a fully self sustaining farm with a nice three bedroom home.  He works from his shop behind the house.

After he was established, then and only then, did he approach the father of a young lady to seek the father’s approval to court his daughter with the plan to marry as soon as the father gave his approval.  After having read all the important courtship books, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Boy Meets Girl, What He Must Be: … , and Her Hand In Marriage, he felt prepared to pursue this next step.  The young man had prepared a book with the answers to as many questions as he could possibly imagine the father asking.  This was presented in a bound volume to the father at the meeting.  The father was so impressed with the book, the very sound Biblical answers and what he already knew about the young man over the years,  that he instantly said yes.  The book also contained the young man’s personal guidelines on how he envisioned the courtship and its boundaries to proceed.  No physical contact at all, no time spent alone, no social media, never anything done without the parents approval and the father would be given weekly accountability updates from the young man.  Included were bank statements that showed the money set aside as the “bride price”, three years wages.  The young man also volunteered to work with the father once a week so that he could be mentored by his future wife’s father.  For added accountability the young man offered a job to the young lady’s older brother.

The father approached his daughter to let her know about the young man.  Even though she really didn’t know the young man she was willing to court and marry him because her father thought it was a wise choice.  She trusted her father completely.  Thankfully she had been preparing her trousseau (hope chest) since she was a child, all she lacked was a wedding dress.  She had “guarded her heart” so well that she knew very few young men beyond her own brothers.

As a nineteen year old young lady she was very busy serving in her home and helping to serve other families.  She could run a whole household without any trouble.  She had in the past year taken over for a bedridden mom with several children.  By the time she left that family’s home she had made new church dresses for all the little girls in addition to her other responsibilities of homeschooling, cleaning, caring for the baby, cooking and helping to manage the family’s home business.

The bride also was homeschooled.  She has an herb and soap business she started at twelve.  She had also become such a good seamstress that she had made dresses for the last few weddings at her church.  But her true love was baking.  She found the greatest pleasure in serving her family the softest, whole grain bread.   Her father had allowed her to buy a neighboring field with her own income.  So now she was able to pay her brothers to grow wheat for her baking.  Nothing tasted better than home grown wheat, ground and baked by hand.  Her honey from her bee hives provided just the right amount of natural sweetness for her bread.

Everyone who knew her would attest to her gentle and quiet spirit.  No one ever remembered her saying a harsh word  or even joking around with others.  She was very, soft spoken and was known for her smile that could bring joy to anyone.

Today is the culmination of the past four months courtship.  The bride is dressed in a beautiful wedding dress she had made during her courtship.  The bridesmaids all have dresses the bride made for them.  The wedding cake and much of the food was lovingly prepared for the guests by the bride.

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Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual marriages is purely coincidental. 😉

So what did I leave out of the “perfect” marriage made in Heaven?

Just in case you didn’t catch on this is all said in jest. 😉 Life doesn’t work like that.

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Marriage Made In Heaven


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