Tag Archive | Marriage

The Love Dare

The Love Dare by Alex & Stephen Kendrick

Free kindle book for a limited time.

Unconditional love is eagerly promised at weddings, but rarely practiced in real life. As a result, romantic hopes are often replaced with disappointment in the home. But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

The Love Dare, the New York Times No. 1 best seller that has sold five million copies and was major plot device in the popular movie Fireproof, is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. Whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong, The Love Dare is a journey you need to take. It’s time to learn the keys to finding true intimacy and developing a dynamic marriage.

This second edition also features a special link to a free online marriage evaluation, a new preface by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, minor text updates, and select testimonials from The Love Dare readers. Take the dare!


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The Process is the Point

Ha!  This post has been rumbling around in my head for over a week.  I just really have not had time to sit and type it out.  Why not?  Because the processes going on have kept me from getting to the point. 🙂

Anyway,  I have been reminded over and over again in the past few weeks of this concept “The Process Is the Point.”  What do I mean by that?  That we all set goals and have desires we are striving to accomplish.  However, just as important as achieving our goals is the process in which we strive for them.  The journey, and how we travel it, is as important as the destination.

Life is a race, not a sprint, but an endurance race. Lots of people start out at a sprint but quickly fall to the wayside.  It is amazing how many verses in the Bible refer to life as a race and how we run that 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.

Just look at how many things are given to us in how we are to run the race in these verses.

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)

Those principles are important no matter what goals we are striving for.  I could spend quite some time looking at each concept and how we are to achieve them.  But right now just take whatever goal or accomplishment you have before you and see how these apply in that situation.

Now you might ask “Aren’t you taking that out of context?  See those verses are talking about how we run our life of faith and how we strive for Christ and the goal of eternal life.”  Yes, that is right, they are.  But then every other goal we ever have should be such to aid us along to achieving our ultimate goal.  If our personal desires and goals are not such that they will aid us in achieving our ultimate goal then maybe we should reevaluate them.

The Lord is just as concerned with how we go about accomplishing our goals as He is with whether or not we accomplish our goals.  The process does matter.  I can spend all day cleaning the house and getting it ready for showing hospitality.  Yet if in the process I allow sin to have dominion and affect the process have I actually accomplished my goal?  If I am short tempered with the kids or allow them to misbehave because I’m too busy to discipline, then sin has hindered my goal.  For some reason it seems the Lord often allows things to occur which potentially hinder us accomplishing our goals or at least give us ample opportunity to sin and get sidetracked.

We don’t just grow as we check off our checklist of goals in life.  The Lord helps us to grow by stretching us along the way.  He gives us plenty of opportunities to choose to do right even when things do not go our way.  The whole process or journey is a source for growth not just the end point.

 


See the The Process Is The Point Series


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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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Courtship is Like Potty Training …

First the disclaimers …

No, I don’t have anyone courting anyone.

No, I don’t have anyone interested in courting anyone.

No, I’m not trying to push my kids into courting.

No, I don’t have any experience with courting.

So yes this is all in theory.

Now hopefully that will limit the rumors. 😉

Had to get that out of the way for my kids sake.

 

Anyway back to the topic.  Spring has sprung around here and with it came some weddings and wedding showers plus a multitude of other things.  And kittens …  (Anyone want kittens?)  Thus we have had lots of opportunity to discuss the matter and watch how others have proceeded.  Some have been the typical public school and dating process while others have been the homeschooling and courting method.  Guess what? They are equally just as married when everything is said and done.  It is the process that is the interesting part and this has been part of our discussions.

 

Courting Is Like Potty Training

1)      Everyone has an opinion on how it should be done and many are eager to share their opinion.

2)      Sometimes everyone is ready except those who should be.

3)      May involve tears.

4)      May take lots of time or be rather quick.

5)      Many things sound great in theory but do not actually work in practice.

6)      There is no magic age.

7)      Patience is a virtue.

8)      Watch for cues of interest.

9)      Requires physical (fiscal) and emotional readiness.

10)   Although the parent maybe ready, the child may not be ready or maybe the child is ready and not the parent.  Sometimes everyone else but the parent and child are ready.

11)   May be messy.

12)   Pressure from others “Isn’t it about time … ?

13)   You can have read all the books but that doesn’t necessarily help in your particular case.

14)   Sometimes observing others makes things easier.

15)   In the end you often look back and think “Why was that a big deal, it wasn’t that bad?

 

But like I said everything is in theory until you’ve put it into practice. 😉


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Money and Marriage – Free Kindle Book

Money and Marriage [Kindle Edition] – Free Kindle Book

Matt Bell (Author)
Product Description

Newlyweds quickly discover that money is a big deal in their new marriage. Getting on the same financial page is essential because research shows that the more frequently a couple fights about finances, the more likely they are to divorce. Financial expert Matt Bell shows you how to make the most of each other’s financial strengths, teaching you how to work together to build a solid financial future. Through a 10-step action plan, you’ll learn how to prioritize goals, get out of debt, build savings, and much more—all in a way that minimizes stress on your relationship and maximizes unity and balance.

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the book; however, I enjoyed the negative review it was given.

I don’t understand why the author an/or publishers left out of the description the very pertinent fact that this is a religious book. Did they think they were going to trick us into downloading and reading it, and then we would magically convert when we read all the bible quotes?

Sounds like something I can recommend. 😉


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Facebook and Divorce

Why does this not surprise me in the least?

Pastor Warns Staff to Give up Facebook (Note link removed)

Thou shalt not commit adultery. And thou also shalt not use Facebook.

That’s the edict from a New Jersey pastor who feels the two often go together.

The Rev. Cedric Miller said 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church have run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.

Because of the problems, he is ordering about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions. He had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether.

“I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half,” he said. “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.” …

This isn’t necessarily something I agree with.  However, I think it is worth discussing.  It might just turn out that many, many other pastors and counselors are seeing similar results from social media.  Anyway, funny how the harm Facebook is causing keeps popping up. Remember the previous post with John MacArthur’s warnings ?

Social Media and Digital Discernment – MacArthur

Might Facebook be hindering your marriage?

Are you more social with others than your spouse?

Are you in regular contact with old flames?



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Would Your Children Take Your Advice About A Spouse?

In Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice? I shared that I wouldn’t have taken my parent’s advice about a potential spouse.  However, I could honestly at this point say that at least my oldest two children would listen and consider advice from my husband and I.  They are the only ones who are teens and mature at this point.  The others will remain to be seen.

Why do I think my children would listen when I wouldn’t have?

I don’t really know except that their life has been so different from mine growing up that honestly it is like comparing apples to oranges.

  • Intact family
  • Homeschooling
  • Christian faith
  • Living out our Christian faith daily (although flawed at best)
  • Different type of church life
  • Less peer pressure
  • Parental guidance for choosing friends
  • Living life as a family instead of individuals together in a house
  • Friends with similar values
  • Seeing others who have valued their parents input
  • Preaching to support the concept of parental guidance

Although the proof is in the pudding, or in other words until the event happens we won’t really know what will happen.

Do you have any clue why your children might listen better than you would have?

Or do we as parents always self-deceive ourselves?



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Would You Have Taken Your Parents Advice?

In light of the post yesterday about the difference between Lot and Abraham in helping their children choose a spouse, what did or didn’t your parents do?

Would you have taken their advice?

My parents had very little input into my marriage, not that I asked for it either.  However, even if they had desired to give advice or share their wisdom I probably wouldn’t have listened.  I came from a broken family and between my parents there were a total of at least four divorces.  So needless to say I wouldn’t have considered their opinion important or useful.  Also neither were actively striving to live as a Christian nor attending church so that would have also played into my decision to not take their advice.  (Not that I had a good understanding of being a Christian myself.)

My experience shows that we as parents must earn the privilege to assist our children in choosing a spouse.

Would your children listen to you now?

What would you have to do to get your children’s heart so that they trust you and your wisdom?



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