Tag Archive | Marriage

What He (or She) Must Be … Abraham vs Lot

In Genesis 19 we are first introduced to Lot’s daughters.  We see that Lot has misplaced priorities and lacks faith in the Lord to protect him and his family in Genesis 19:8 when he offers his daughters to the men of the city.  There is no need to try and validate Lot’s actions and make them seem less heinous than they are.  Lot’s family is obviously lacking in many points that make for a healthy family.

Next we are introduced to his sons-in-laws.

Genesis 19:14 (ESV) So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

That is the sum of what we know about them beyond the fact that they are destroyed with the city.  Question is why were Lot’s daughters even betrothed to these men?  They obviously lacked faith in the Lord.  They weren’t respectful and honoring to their father-in-law.

If you’ve read Voddie Baucham’s book “What He Must Be…”  you would realize the importance Father’s should place on whom their daughters marry.  Baucham’s book covers areas of faith, character, and responsibility, I wrote about it previously.  This quote is from the book.

“… I cannot give my consent to a man who is not a follower of Christ.”

But that is exactly what Lot did not do.  His sons-in-law made fun of Lot and his God who was going to bring destruction.  But Lot had no choice right?  What else could he do?

Look at what Abraham did.

Genesis 24:1-4 (ESV)

1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,
3 that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell,
4 but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

Abraham was not going to allow a pagan Canaanite to be the wife of his promised son.  So Abraham sent his servant back to his relatives to seek a wife for Isaac.  There is no doubt that Abraham’s heart was seeking to serve the Lord and do the best he could for Isaac.  The Lord had previously expressed that Abraham would “command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord”. (Genesis 18:19)

There can be no doubt that the Lord did answer the prayers of Abraham and his servant in providing Rebekah for Isaac.

What might have been the difference in Lot’s life and his family if he had done the same as Abraham and sought non-Canaanite husbands for his daughters?

As you see later in the life of Lot, he lost the heart of his daughters.  They did not trust their father to do the best he could for them.  They could not even count on Lot to find them another husband, believer or not, when they were living in the cave.

Like so many righteous men in the Scripture, Lot failed at his parenting and protecting of his children.  That failure has eternal consequences.



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Marriage: Value The Details

This story I came across several times recently, originally in a church newsletter.  It has been variously attributed to different authors and was at one time a circulated email according to Snopes.  But I still think it is worth sharing.

Marriage Value the Details

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, “I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.”

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.– At least, in the eyes of our son— I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

A CHRIST-CENTERED MARRIAGE IS A MARRIAGE THAT IS SURE TO LAST A LIFETIME.

So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6

Ephesians 5:28-30 (ESV)
28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,
30 because we are members of his body.

1 Peter 3:7 (ESV) Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.


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Returning to the Law – Spiritual Adultery

Are you committing Spiritual Adultery?

Do you know if you are?

How many times do you read a passage of Scripture without really thinking about it?

I’m sure most of you, like me, have read this passage over and over and yet given it little thought.

Romans 7:1-6 (KJV)
1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 7:1-6 (ESV)
1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?
2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.
3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.
5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
6 But now we are released from the law
, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Notice what this passage is saying.

The woman (Israel) was married to The Law and bound to her husband The Law.

However, we were freed by death from The Law.

Now we (The Church, The Bride) are married to Christ.

If we return to The Law, we are committing Spiritual Adultery.

You cannot serve two husbands!

Not only that you are trying to maintain a marriage to a dead man (The Law)!

Have you ever met a person that talked so much of her husband, said her husband wouldn’t like this and that, and might would say I’ll have to see what my husband says?  Then you find out that her husband has been dead for 15 years!  That is what it is like trying to maintain a marriage to a dead man (The Law).  We pity those who are bound by the dead husband, such that they can never live free, in Christ.

 

We cannot be married to The Law and to Christ!


Matthew Henry Commentary on Romans 7:1-6

We are married to Christ. The day of our believing is the day of our espousals to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him and duty to him: Married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, a periphrasis of Christ and very pertinent here; for as our dying to sin and the law is in conformity to the death of Christ, and the crucifying of his body, so our devotedness to Christ in newness of life is in conformity to the resurrection of Christ. We are married to the raised exalted Jesus, a very honourable marriage. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:29. Now we are thus married to Christ, (1.) That we should bring forth fruit unto God, v. 4. One end of marriage is fruitfulness: God instituted the ordinance that he might seek a godly seed, Malachi 2:15. The wife is compared to the fruitful vine, and children are called the fruit of the womb. Now the great end of our marriage to Christ is our fruitfulness in love, and grace, and every good work. This is fruit unto God, pleasing to God, according to his will, aiming at his glory. As our old marriage to sin produced fruit unto death, so our second marriage to Christ produces fruit unto God, fruits of righteousness. Good works are the children of the new nature, the products of our union with Christ, as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its union with the root. Whatever our professions and pretensions may be, there is no fruit brought forth to God till we are married to Christ; it is in Christ Jesus that we are created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10. The only fruit which turns to a good account is that which is brought forth in Christ. This distinguishes the good works of believers from the good works of hypocrites and self-justifiers that they are brought forth in marriage, done in union with Christ, in the name of the Lord Jesus, Colossians 3:17. This is, without controversy, one of the great mysteries of godliness. (2.) That we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter, v. 6. Being married to a new husband, we must change our way. Still we must serve, but it is a service that is perfect freedom, whereas the service of sin was a perfect drudgery: we must now serve in newness of spirit, by new spiritual rules, from new spiritual principles, in spirit and in truth, John 4:24. There must be a renovation of our spirits wrought by the spirit of God, and in that we must serve. Not in the oldness of the letter; that is, we must not rest in mere external services, as the carnal Jews did, who gloried in their adherence to the letter of the law, and minded not the spiritual part of worship. The letter is said to kill with its bondage and terror, but we are delivered from that yoke that we may serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness, Luke 1:74,75. We are under the dispensation of the Spirit, and therefore must be spiritual, and serve in the spirit. Compare with this 2 Corinthians 3:3,6, &c. It becomes us to worship within the veil, and no longer in the outward court.
(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

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A Restored Daughter

The first we hear much about divorce in the Old Testament is in the Law.  Divorced individuals are clearly considered defiled and often rejected.

The Priests are instructed to not marry a divorced woman.

Leviticus 21:7 They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled, neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, for the priest is holy to his God. ESV

Leviticus 21:13-15

13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 

14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or a woman who has been defiled, or a prostitute, these he shall not marry. But he shall take as his wife a virgin of his own people,

15 that he may not profane his offspring among his people, for I am the Lord who sanctifies him.”  ESV

Notice also that a Priest was not able to marry a widow either.  This was so that a Priest’s children may not be profaned but would be sanctified by the Lord.

Many treat the Bible as two completely different books that really have no connection with one another.  Often you will hear someone refer to the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament as if they are totally different individuals.  Or worse you will hear someone say they do not like the God of the Bible but they love Jesus.  You cannot do that!  You cannot separate the God of the Old Testament from the New Testament God; they are one and the same.  Nor can you separate God and Jesus because they are one and the same.

People love to hear about the Love, Grace and Mercy portrayed in the New Testament, yet to them the God in the Old Testament is harsh, cruel and unloving.  But they are wrong; there is judgment portrayed in the NT just as there is Love, Grace and Mercy portrayed in the OT.

The God we see portrayed in the Old Testament exhibits the Grace and Mercy of the Father to His people and even to Gentiles at times.  Grace and Mercy was extended even to those who were divorced. 

Leviticus 22:12-13

12 If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the contribution of the holy things.

13 But if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and has no child and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food; yet no lay person shall eat of it. ESV

This series of verses in Leviticus (Leviticus 22:1 -16) is explaining who may eat of the Holy food that was given to the Priests. 

  • No layman may eat of it. 

  • No foreigner.

  • No hired hand.

  • No unclean person. 

However, a daughter of the Priest that returns to her Father’s house may eat of the Holy food even when she was considered defiled or profane due to the divorce.

Do you see the beautiful picture of Grace extended to a daughter of the Priest? 

There is no doubt that God hates divorce, that God considers divorce sin and that sin has consequences. 

Yet even in our sin God offers us His Grace and Mercy.  Just as the Priestly Father would take back the impure daughter so also our Heavenly Father will take back His daughter.  Not as a hired servant, but as a restored member of the family who may partake of the Holy Things.  Oh, that we would all return to our Father’s House.



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Such Were Some of You

As discussed in yesterday’s post most of us would have the title of liar, adulterer, and murder plus many, many more titles. 

That isn’t a good thing considering God’s Word says that such that are immoral, adulterers, thieves and greedy will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ESV 

So those who have divorced and remarried can’t inherit the Kingdom of God, right?  Only if you take those two verses and ignore the following verse.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 

10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ESV

Those who have been called by the Lord were such sinners.  We now though are washed (cleansed, purified), sanctified (set apart, holy), and justified (made right with God). 

By our establishing our own holiness and right actions?  NOPE!

By the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Commentary

“Such were some of you, but you are not what you were. You are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. Note, The wickedness of men before conversion is no bar to their regeneration and reconciliation to God. The blood of Christ, and the washing of regeneration, can purge away all guilt and defilement. Here is a rhetorical change of the natural order: You are sanctified, you are justified. Sanctification is mentioned before justification: and yet the name of Christ, by which we are justified, is placed before the Spirit of God, by whom we are sanctified. Our justification is owing to the merit of Christ; our sanctification to the operation of the Spirit: but both go together. Note, None are cleansed from the guilt of sin, and reconciled to God through Christ, but those who are also sanctified by his Spirit.”

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.)

So we see clearly that an adulterer can be saved. 

Just as an idolater or a thief can be saved.



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Young Marriage

If you’ve been around any length of time you’ve heard parents and others encourage young people to delay marriage until ….

You can fill in the blank with any number of words.

  • College
  • Career
  • Established Career
  • Until Older
  • Enjoy your freedom first


Did He Get Married Too Young? – Al Mohler

He writes, “As college-educated, professionally aspiring young adults in New York, my wife and I were bucking the prevailing social script by marrying in our early 20s.” Indeed, the average age for first marriage for young men is now 28, and for women it is now 26. That reflects a significant change in the way Americans live, love, and marry. We now have the twin phenomena of delayed adulthood and extended adolescence. Young Americans, by and large, are not waiting for sex . . . but they are putting marriage off into a distant future.

As David Lapp reports, some social scientists argue that “early marriage” is a leading cause of marital breakup and divorce. Lapp puts that argument to flight with his point that the early marriages that fail are often teenage marriages.


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Through Marriage, Being Conformed to the Image of Christ

Over the last couple of days I mentioned in some comments about how the Lord has allowed us to have the struggles we have in order to conform us to the image of Christ.

Romans 8:29-30 (ESV)
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Then Friday and Saturday I happened to listened to this series of sermons from Paul Washer.  They express the idea much better than I ever could.

 

Through Marriage, Being Conformed to the Image of Christ (Part 1)


 

Through Marriage, Being Conformed to the Image of Christ (Part 2)


 

Through Marriage, Being Conformed to the Image of Christ (Part 3)



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The Marriage Covenant Is Unbreakable Unless God Breaks It

Read this profound statement about marriage from John Piper.

What God Has Joined Together, Let Not Man Separate, Part 1

One of the reasons that I have emphasized the ultimate meaning of marriage so much in this series is that the meaning of marriage is such that human beings cannot legitimately break it. The ultimate meaning of marriage is the representation of the covenant keeping love between Christ and his church. To live this truth and to show this truth is what it means, most deeply, to be married. This is the ultimate reason why marriage exists. There are other reasons, but this is the main one. Therefore, if Christ ever abandons and discards his church, then a man may divorce his wife. And if the blood-bought church, under the new covenant, ever ceases to be the bride of Christ, then a wife may legitimately divorce her husband. But as long as Christ keeps his covenant with his bride, the church, and as long as the church, by the sustaining grace of God, remains the chosen people of Jesus Christ, then the very meaning of marriage will include: What God has joined, only God can separate, not man.

Do you see how this applies to our salvation?

If a person is truly a believer, then we cannot lose our salvation.

Christ does not divorce His Church and His Church may not divorce Christ.

Our marriages are pictures of Christ’s relationship to the church and thus divorce is not allowed unless we want our salvation to be dependent upon our own actions and not be dependent on the Lord’s Grace and Mercy to keep us.


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Working Wives Assuaging Their Guilt

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ESV

Some food for thought about working wives and their complaining about their husbands. Is a working wife really trying to validate her position and appease her guilt by claiming to be in charge of the house while still working by being critical of her husband’s household work?

‘Useless stay-at-home men’ a female myth

“Housework represents an interesting juxtaposition of control,” said Meisenbach. “On one level, women described retaining control over housework – they talked about their partners contributing to domestic chores but almost always in response to being asked or told to do the task by the wife.

“They all gendered their partners’ behaviour with comments like ‘He’s a man, they don’t see that there is a mess’. And ‘My husband’s a guy. He picks and chooses what chores he does’. But by gendering his behaviour, they were also gendering their own as women and mothers, instead of breadwinners.”

Despite the anxiety that female breadwinners described, Meisenbach also found that most actively relished the control and power that their position gave them at home. “I didn’t find female breadwinners deferred their power to their husbands at all,” she said. “Over 60% said they enjoyed the control they experienced, explicitly noting how they were happily different from the ‘1950s housewife’ or even from female friends within the traditional gender norms. Read the full article.

A typical childish method of dealing with others is bringing others down so that we look better.

Have you met families that the wife complains about how little the husband does around the house yet you seem to think the husband does quite a bit?

Could this really be a way for the wife to assuage the guilt about not being home to run her household?


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Stray Thoughts about Cats

Just a stray thought.

I usually keep a Word document open on my computer for stray thoughts.

I’ve had the below comment written for almost a week but the thoughts that were to go along with it have fled my mind. One of the advantages of being interrupted frequently. This was in relation to wives being submissive verses egalitarian (equal in all things in the household) to their husbands.

This is what I had written:

“I would hesitate to take advice from someone who feels submission to a husband is wrong but that being an “obedient slave of two demanding cats” is a good thing.”


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