Tag Archives: marriage

5 Qualities in a Good Wife

 

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The Bible says in Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds a good thing,
And obtains favor from the Lord.

So let me tell yall, that I definitely hit the lottery with my wife. So in my Fire Marshall  Bill voice (Let me tell ya something), this is a free bee, the best place to find a good wife, is in the House of God.

Regardless of whether you find a wife in the House of God, here are 5 qualities in my wife that every man, particularly Christian men should look for.

1. A Love for God

Let me tell you when I was looking for a wife, I needed to find someone who loved God. That is the first commandment that God has for all people. I did not want to marry someone who was apathetic about God. I did not want someone to dampen my zeal for God,  I have enough flaws as it is. I did not want someone who was going to send me to Hell. My wife has a relationship with God. Its why I married her.  I’m telling you if your wife does not love God and you do, you will have some obstacles trying to serve God. For those of you who may not believers, a wife who loves God can eventually get your butt saved, and save your from the biggest mistake you will ever make in your life. My wife loves God. A bonus about a woman who loves God, is even when you screw up, which you will, a woman who loves God will be a little more merciful. Fellas, I have made some bad decisions, and my wife has seen me through because she loved God. You will make mistakes, and you want to know your wife’s got your back.  A wife who loves God  will also point you back to the mercies of God. The bigger thing for me, however is I know I had planned to have kids, and I wanted them to have certain values and I wanted them to avoid Hell. As Christian men we have to live for more than this life, we know there’s a next one and I wanted my wife to help me instruct my children that there is a deeper life that we need to aspire to.

2. My wife loved me for me

Boy this is so big. I don’t think I have seen another woman who can compare to my wife on this point. Fellas, when I met my wife I was a broke grad student, with a bad wardrobe, but a good heart, and some decent looks. Fellas I married up. My wife had a better job then me, she was and is better looking then me, and had all kinds of guys after her. I still don’t know how I got her to marry me. She still doesn’t know. Since I married my wife, I got better jobs, better wardrobe and better looking. That’s what you call favor from God. My wife brought me favor. Men,  you want to know your wife doesn’t love your for your job, for your money, for your position, for your influence, for what you can give her materially. My wife loved me for me, for my goofiness, she loved me for my vision, and the little charisma I had. I told her as God blesses us I would provide her with the material things. Men I live and lived in Southern California, even the Christian woman can be materialistic, You don’t find many woman like my wife.  To add some perspective, I planned to be a missionary and travel the world, so I figured I wouldn’t be balling and needed someone who was willing to ride when God sent me. Men I know you understand that you don’t have problems blessing your wife, having someone who knows her worth and knows its isn’t measured by what I can or can’t afford to buy is a lost value.  I recently took my wife to Tiffany & Co to do some browsing and after checking out the selection my wife decided she just wasn’t that interested. She has her same ring, but wasn’t that interested in upgrading her bling.

3. My wife is my friend and made me a better person.

Fellas your wife has to be your friend or your marriage won’t work. I have shared my biggest struggles with my wife. She knows my darkest secrets and my dreams. My wife wants to talk alot more than I do, but that’s cool. At least I know she is interested in me. She genuinely likes me. She wants me as her companion, and as her confidant. I like going places with my wife, walking with her, watching programs with her. Dancing with her. Going to church with her. I can be myself without putting on any pretense. Some relationships are more like a business relationship, and when you have multiple kids its hard because that time gets limited. However when its just me and my wife I can enjoy her and tap into her mind. My wife also makes me a better person. I am a little more sensitive, though I still need to work on that. My wife makes me think less about me, and more about my family. She also challenges me to be more like Christ, and lets me know when I fall short.

4. My wife is a good mom

I always wanted to have children. My wife wanted children. We love our children. My wife is a great mom. She loves them hard. She loves them a little too much, but that’s okay. My wife preferred to stay home and help raise our children instead of her career. She was willing to sacrifice,  because she loves our children. She cooks for them helps them with their homework, and she loves it. Some women see it as a chore, she can at times but she genuinely loves being with our kids. I like knowing my children are in good hands. Fellas especially young men, these qualities are getting harder to find. My wife also can cook. Fellas this is a big issue. I like knowing my kids and I don’t have to worry about throwing our plates full of nasty food in the trash. I like knowing my wife teaches my children about God. She teaches them morals. My wife is about her family. She’s one of a kind. Single men, if you want a family, make sure your wife is a family woman.

5.  My wife is fine and virtuous 

After a few kids, my wife still looks good. She hardly ages. People ten years younger than us still think we are their age. When you are looking for wife find someone you are attracted to. Someone you don’t mind taking out in public. I’m kidding, but I’m not. Men our sex drive is strong, so its important to find someone who can meet that need. I’m so blessed to have a wife who turns me on . As Christians we don’t have the luxury of testing out our woman before we marry, or having different woman, but you want to be aroused by your wife.  You also prefer your wife not to be flirty with other man, and not to have extensive history if you can avoid it. There’s a lot of temptation out there for woman as well. You want your wife to be strong and avoid those temptations.

To my wife: Babe you are one of a kind. I know I found a diamond with you. You are all I could dream of and I know many men would love to have a wife like you. I still don’t know why you married me, but I’m so glad you did. I pray that God will bless you and increase you and use you for his glory.

To my readers: Men please find someone who possesses these qualities. If you do, you’ll  be better off in the long run. Make sure the one you marry will be down with you through the thick and thin.

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7 Things I Love About Stay At Home Moms.

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The modern world with its tendency to classify sociological trends did something interesting. It birthed the title, “stay at home mom”. This describes a sociological shift that occurred in part to industrialization, the rising costs of living, and the potential for greater earnings, where more and more women began entering the workforce. The shift was so great that it needed to distinguish the difference between a “working mom and a stay at home mom”. The biggest myth however when using such descriptors is that a stay at home mom does not “work”.

I want to give a special shot out to the oldest vocation in the world. In fact it is only due to the lack of compensation that it is not the oldest profession in the world.

Let me go way back, back, back, back, in time. Back to the beginning of time. Back to the original command given to man. God himself in Genesis 1:28 states

And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

This great command given to mankind could only be possible given the execution of this role and position; Mom.

The role of all mothers is not merely to usher new life into the world, a great feat on its own, but it is to train, nurture, instruct life enabling human flourishing. It is not just the birthing of the seed, but the tending and gardening of it to see that it realizes all the potential inside.

So here are 7 things I love about my wife and all stay at home moms.

You do it for the love of kids.
When most of the world focuses on compensation, you focus on the love of the kids. This may not apply to all moms, because there are some husbands who due to their overprotectiveness, or insecurity force their wives to stay home.Regardless of the reason, a mom who stays at home is home benefits the kids. Kids need their mothers.Our world is so crazy in that kids spend more time at schools, sleeping, than with their parents. What is even more disappointing is that the stress to place our children in preschool or day care at 3 months old or even younger robs children of that precious time when they are oh so impressionable and need their moms.

Your job is hard
A stay at home mom particularly is a teacher, a chef, a taxidriver, an entertainer, an advocate, counselor, and maid. Your shift lasts much longer than 8-10 hours and you get no overtime. The only raises you see, are the amount of noise and the cost of expenses needed for the job.What can you say, you do it for the love of the kids.

You guys are sooooo important.
In an age where there is so much pressure to get ahead, or to reach the american dream, its nice to know that the time sacrificed to be with the kids is worth not getting there as fast. Even if its a year, or two that you have. That time is invaluable. Time goes so fast. Treasure the time with your kids. Even when you don’t feel like you are making as much a difference, trust me your kids appreciate the fact that they are with their mom.

I know its lonely out there
Its hard being the only adult in the room all day. Its hard not getting to have adult conversations, and knowing your husband is out working potentially with other woman who are made up, and dressed nice. Yet you are not alone. There are plenty of mothers in the same shoes.

Its not about the money, but use it wisely

Its still hard but its easier to be a mom when your husband is making really good money. Not all mom’s are on the same playing field, some have to make it work with less. Super Kudos to those mom’s who can feel the pinch but budget, and use coupons, who save and find resources to make it all work.  Remember you are investing in your kids, but also remember each husband has his own expectations about spending. Please do your best to stay within those lanes. For those moms who are the accountants and manage all the bills, here’s a special shout out. You guys rock! Special shout out to my wife who always finds ways to take care of us without breaking the bank.

Make sure you get your self time
I have a great wife who always is thinking of the kids or for my well being, at the expense of taking care of herself. I have to tell her its okay to go to the gym. The kids will survive. She needs to relieve the stress. I am happy when my wife goes out with her friends and has a ladies night out. I know my wife loves when we are out and the kids are home and we have the time with just us. My biggest concern however for moms who are always giving is that soon you can begin running on fumes. Don’t forget about developing yourself. Never stop growing. Find ways to utilize your strengths, plan for what you want to do when your kids age, and you can go back to work. Be a mentor and help new moms. Read books. Never stop learning. Don’t be afraid to get all dressed up , made up.

You are fulfilling the Great Commission

This is for all those believers who are mothers.Just as God wanted to populate the earth, he also wants to populate heaven. Do you know God counts the empty seats in heaven. Do you know once that last seat is filled, its time to wrap it up. Please disciple your kids. Please pray with them, read the bible with them, and imitate humility, mercy, forgiveness and love not just for them but for God and your husband. You are also their first pastor. Moms you are shepherds. Feed your sheep, not just material food but spiritual food as well. Moms you guys can impact and set a strong foundation for faith for your children while they are young. God honors that, in fact that was always his plan.Remember you are helping to unlock all the potential that is in your child.

 

 

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Valentine’s Day Tribute To My Wife

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You deserve a castle

fit with golden spears

You deserve a parade

The kids and I would stand and cheer

We’d wait and scream and wave

And then you would  appear

ridin on puffy clouds

pure beauty in the mirror

how can such beauty be

Did God outdo himself?

Did he stay up all night

and rack every book on his shelf?

Did he review the sun’s golden rays

did he copy niagara’s mist?

and translate that into bronzen clay

and grant earth this  precious gift

you are a wonder of the world

but I kept you for my own

a combination of power, love

intellect hewn from skin to bone

You deserve the world

and diamond crested rings

you desire words and precious time

over abundance of things

So what I have I give to you

I offer these words

to cherish and to lavish you

at dawn and dusk to serve

You deserve my love,

my eyes my mouth and my heart

my attention from the rising moon

and where the suns ascension starts

you deserve a song of praise

sung by heaven’s best

  Accept these true and humble words

from your husbands chest.

You’ve made me rich

the envy of men

is daily on display

You deserve this and  so much more

Happy Valentines Day

Written by your Husband Vday 2016

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Seven Things I Learned From My First Seven Years of Marriage With Poem

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By the grace of God, my wife and I just reached seven years of marriage together. It has been a mind blowing experience.  A roller coaster with plenty of twists, turns, and bumps. But through those years I have gained some knowledge, and inspired by my wife I decided I would like to share some things with you. So here are seven things I learned from my first seven years of marriage

1. I didn’t know what I was getting into

Its easy to think about marriage when you are dating, but the level of commitment, trust, and communication is a lot deeper when you get married. When you are dating you can always withdraw or go back to the safety of your own home if your not shacking up. Even still there’s the option of taking a break, or breaking up. With marriage you don’t really have that option. You have to learn how to problem solve. You have to learn how to work things out. At the same time there are so many awesome moments when you share the deep desires of your heart with the person you love, and because of your commitment together, sometimes its easier to say things because you are not as fearful and because you have built a strong level of trust.

2. Good Marriages take work

To survive a marriage you need to put in some work. to have a good marriage it takes even more work. There is a lot of sacrificing, a lot of communication required. There’s times where you need to get advice from older healthier couples. My wife and I have read a couple books, but bought even more and have been to seminars, or conferences to learn how to have a healthier marriage. There are times when we went to counseling to help us through difficult parts. I thank God for our counselor. He has been a blessing. Yet despite all of the learning, there is the implementing of what you are reading and that’s the hardest part. A big part of marriage is learning how to rid yourself of all the bad habits you had when you were single.

3. There are seasons in marriage

Anyone who’s been married long enough will tell you that marriages go through seasons. Some honey moon periods last from a couple of hours to a couple of years. But the honeymoon will end, as life hits you with its twists and turns. The high of dating and being infatuated ends and then you have to learn how to do life together. This is where the friendship aspect of marriage comes in. You have to be romantic, but you also have to know how to be friends, how to talk to one other, to be kind with one another. Communication is so key, we must continually probe and stay interested in our spouses. There’s times when we have to deal with turmoil and loss which often leads to wintery seasons. The wintery seasons can make or break your marriage. They actually teach you how to problem solve, and if you can do that and communicate in a healthy way it will definitely strengthen your marriage. Not all seasons are created equally. Some seasons last longer than others, but you can work your way out of  some of them if you abide by godly principles.

4. Keep boundaries with your family

One of the biggest things about marriage is that you are now starting your own family unit which now takes priority. As a married couple you have to decide how you are going to deal with uncomfortable family dynamics. Family is always family, but as a unit you must communicate that your spouse is important to you and is now your priority. Depending on your family this can become tricky, but one tip that my wife and I learned from a counselor was this. Do not share all of your marital drama with your parents b/c it will inadvertently affect how they treat your spouse. Parents are for the most part biased, and you don’t want to give any ammunition to look at your spouse in a negative light.  This is not to say you cannot share anything, but to realize sharing marital problems is adding another party to the mix that can often stir things up more. This is why its better to find outside counsel if possible.

5. Laughter makes the heart grow fonder

Try to have fun. Whether its date night, watching funny programs, tickling each other or cracking jokes, laughter makes things so much easier. I can tell you there are times when it felt like things were falling apart, how much easier it is when you just take a step back and laugh. I have heard plenty of stories where huge arguments started over the most simple things. You have to learn how to laugh at yourself. Flirt with each other. Be around funny people. Watch a funny movie. One thing I love about my wife is her bad sense of humor. She tells jokes that no one else will laugh at but herself; its cute. Though we have different tastes in comedy, just seeing her laugh makes the air lighter.

6. Sex/Intimacy covers a multitude of sins

I know that this may seem a little crude, but sex is a good thing. Men often but not always crave sex more than their female counterparts. For a man regular sex keeps his appetite from raging and can keep him from roaming for greener pastures. I couldn’t believe stories of men going for months up to a year without having sex. That is torture and a recipe for unfaithfulness. There are times when my wife and I have been at odds, but often times being intimate physically released some of the tensions so we could move forward. When I speak of intimacy, that is that time when you gaze in to your spouses eyes, when you brush her hair with your hand, a gentle caress and just talk. You talk about dreams, goals, sometimes worries and fears. What separates this from regular conversation is the closeness and attentiveness both physically, mentally and emotionally. Women desire intimacy like men desire sex. Its a constant drive that needs to be fulfilled.

7. Prayer and Scripture are vital and work

I prayed before I met my wife, I prayed before I married her, I still continue to pray with her and for her. It is the lifeblood of our relationship. I believe God was active in our relationship, and I believe that he has a bigger purpose than us just living together and having a family. We pray in times of good and bad. Prayer is the act of us directly inviting God into our relationship. We ask him to break off the stubbornness of our partner during times when it seems like they are deaf. I pray that God would soften my heart when at times I get callous. For a Christian prayer and study of God’s word are instrumental to the process of sanctification( growing to become more like Christ) How can we become more like Christ if we don’t pray or know his Word.  Prayer and study hasn’t always been easy. There have been times where I or my wife have been too mad to pray together, so one of us stayed silent or just refused. However I have noticed the more frequent we pray both individually and collectively the more attentive and focused we are.

There are so many things that I could add, but out of the respect for seven I will limit it to these. Maybe I will do a part two for Valentine’s day. But to close this blog out I want to close with some descriptions of marriage from some of our closest married friends, but I will lead with my wife who inspired this section.

Your spouse is not responsible for your happiness” ( That was real good babe, you put me to shame. )

“Marriage is a roller coaster. Strap in and enjoy the ride”!

“Marriage is like a delicate flower. It must be cared for, watered daily, never handled roughly and the Son must shine on it each day.” 

“In a world of celebrities constantly splitting up, having a good solid marriage is something that can make others believe that God makes a difference and that lifetime love is possible.”

“Marriage is a mosaic;  you build with your spouse millions of tiny moments that create your love story. “

“Marriage is God’s way of drawing us closer to him. Every day we have the opportunity to honor him by loving and respecting our spouse.”

This next poem is  one I wrote and dedicated to my wife.

Seventh Mile

We have reached a week, a cycle of seven

Many have slipped on their steps to heaven

But onwards we march, though the climbs steep

through the rocks and the crags, near the serpents that creep

We run through the dark with our torch in hand

Through the muddy waters, and through the quick sand

like a marathon runner except joined by the side

we race against foes that spurn and they pry

they bend and they blast, to undo and unfast

A couple shots we have taken,  a few arrows have pierced

the war on our bonds, has at times waged fierce

A cycle of seven, we have made it thus far

a journey to heaven, through the clouds to the stars

In your eyes I see sparks

In your arms I feel warm

That gives us strength as we rise

when we are blind in the storm

when we dance in the sun

let our love be the beat

let us spin and lets twirl

through the cold and the heat

A cycle of seven, with more yet to come

Our God calls us onward, so onward lets run

To my beautiful wife on our anniversary. I love you more with every inch and mile we step together. 

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Why every husband should be interested in gardening: Lessons from the Garden Pt 1.

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I’ve never considered myself a great gardener. I can’t imagine myself tending to tomato plants wearing the protective gloves, and snipping off thorns, pruning, and preening plants. I never thought I would have to water them daily, looking for weeds, and for pests that would like to spoil the fruit. I never thought I would have to hold an umbrella over my precious plants in case of hail. I never thought of myself as a gardener, yet the moment I became married I became one.

In fact I became the chief steward of the most precious vine I know; my wife.

My wife is such a beautiful vine. She’s so gentle, her skin sparkles like fine wine. Her glow is contagious, and she has endured many a storm, and come out victorious. She’s a strong vine, yet part of her strength, her durability comes from my success as a gardener. Over the next few posts I want to share some lessons husbands can glean by understanding our roles as gardeners. The first passage I want to look at is from Isaiah 5:1

Let me sing for my beloved

my love song concerning his vineyard:

My beloved had a vineyard

on a very fertile hill.

He dug it and cleared it of stones,

and planted it with choice vines;

he built a watchtower in the midst of it,

and hewed out a wine vat in it

This passage in Isaiah is a beautiful picture of Gods love for his people. It uses two metaphors; the first of lovers the second of a gardener tending his garden. This passage is rich in applications for marriage particularly for husbands.

This is not the only reference to husbands as gardeners, because the first gardener Adam was also the first husband.  I don’t think it is by happen stance that Adam had to learn how to tend to the garden before he would be responsible and competent enough to tend to Eve. Coincidentally , even the English word husband has a variant meaning from the Norse that defines husband as a man who was the tiller of soil. So we see that both historically and culturally that there is a connection between husbands and tending the land.

One of the first descriptives that we have of this gardener and his vineyard was that it was a relationship filled with love. Look at the first words “Let me sing.” Can’t you feel the romance? Here you have this man this husbandman bursting into song about his “beloved”. You see you can’t really sing with out emotion. This man had such strong feelings for his beloved that he could not keep them to himself, he had to share with someone the great feelings he had.  You know this is what happens when a relationship is serious. You go from maybe secretly dating, to then publicly expressing your love. Ironically what happens after marriage is the opposite rather than publicly expressing our love and affection for our wives we end up having powwows about the proverbial “old battle axe“. The sweet lines, the poems, the

“Oh baby you look so fine you blowing my mind” (Corny I know, and no I never used it) 

turns into

” Woman , slow down. Do you know your gut is getting as big as mine”.

But you see that is not the mark of the gardener. The gardener says,

“Baby I’m a shower you with words. I’m in love with you and I want everyone to know that you are my boo, my sweet thang, my better half.”

Even for small things like  being late to an event because of our wives beautifying times and excessive wardrobe changes, publicly criticizing or joking about ones wife is never beneficial.  It is best not to blame our tardiness on our wives. You see I know how I can personally limit my wife’s beautifying time. It’s actually pretty simple but something I don’t do as often.  When my wife asks “babe how does this look “, 63.5% of the time I can limit a wardrobe change by answering something like this,

Babe you look amazing in that dress , you must be losing weight what are you now like a size 4 (however big that is).”

But keeping with the theme of the gardener the better way is to sing your response. Next time she asks the eternal question, get down on one knee and begin singing

“You look so good
 You look so good to me can’t you see.”

Don’t worry if your voice cracks and if for whatever reason  your wife  after being serenaded does not sense the sincerity, the passion in your singing and attributes it to thinks you being sarcastic; just record it. It’s guaranteed to be a YouTube hit. Despite your greatest attempts there’s Still a 36.5% chance she will do at least one wardrobe change. Where do I get my stats from, you may ask? Well obviously from the most reliable source, the same well that Abraham Lincoln drew from; the internet.

All jesting aside, verbally affirming your wife is the first skill we can learn from the gardener. It is so simple, but so seldom done by us men except when we want sex. Taking it a step further, publicly affirming our wives is like breathing fresh air into our relationships. Less we run the risk of showmanship our public praises must not be outdone by private criticism. For our praise to be genuine and effective there must be a healthy dose of private and public praise.

So practically when’s the last time you told your wife she looks beautiful with out her asking how she looked?

Thanked her or praised her for

  • how well she’s cooked?
  • how well she’s handled the kids?
  • Being patient with your stubbornness.?
  • How smart she is?

To my wife who will be the first one to read this

I publicly declare my love for you. I love how you have given yourself to raising our son. You are a powerful woman of God, a kingdom shaker, and a force to be reckoned with. You are bold, smart, and I look forward to seeing God use you mightily. Thank you for pushing me, inspiring me, forgiving me and putting up with all my faults and failures. I am growing even if it’s  at a snails pace.

Men, pray for me as I pray for you. Part 2 is coming up soon.

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October 7, 2013 · 11:40 pm

What Happens at Work Stays at Work: Relationships and Workplace Romance

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Devil’s Advocate. Pacino does such an excellent job as Satan, it makes one wonder if he hadn’t made a pact with him himself. Think about it; all of his movies he’s literally in league with evil, The God Father, Scarface, and of course you can’t have the Devil without having Heat. Pacino aside, the movie has great writing. One of my favorite lines from the movie is this line here,

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

The funny thing is that there are many people who really don’t believe that he does exist.  Partly because they think he’s some creature with a mustache two horns with a pitch fork, a long red suit and a spiked tail.I don’t think that’s unintentional, its actually a great strategy. Think about it. If you don’t want anyone to really know how evil you are you get a bad body double that is silly, and unassuming; something that seems innocent, harmless, playful.

One of the greatest tricks that the devil uses is deceit. He rarely shows his horns, instead he often comes as an angel of light. He’s seductive, reading you, noting your sinful appetite, the things you like, the things you love, your weaknesses, your vulnerabilities. Often times you won’t recognize him at first, not until you’ve been hooked and that’s when he’s got you.

There’s plenty of things we are tempted with, but for today I want to write about temptation in marriage. It may come as a shocker to some, but in marriage you will be tempted. The temptation comes in many seasons in many forms. Sometimes the temptation leads to a sexual form, other times it takes the shape of an emotional snare, where you become enamored by someone other than your spouse. You may have sexual thoughts, or sometimes a simple longing to want to be with this person who has taken hold of your thoughts.

In the movie the Devil’s Advocate the protagonist Kevin Lomax  played by Keanu Reeves (in one of his best roles outside of Bill and Ted’s Excellent adventure) is an up and coming hot shot lawyer. Fresh off winning a big local case, he and his wife set off to relocate to New York, brimming with excitement at their new opportunities. They’ve made it to the big leagues; He will now become a trial lawyer for a large firm in the big city. While working at the firm a sparkling red head catches Lomax’s eye. Initially he is intrigued with this beautiful woman but as the movie progresses we see his interest turns into intrigue, which turns into attraction. As Lomax’s fascination with his temptress grows, his interest and concern with his wife dulls. Engulfed with work, he spends less and less time at home, and more and more time working and growing closer to his beautiful co-worker. The movie climaxes with his co-worker stripping before him, the Devil prompting him in the background to satisfy his lust which has been building over time.

Most people don’t go looking for affairs, they don’t go seeking to become attached to someone else, but affairs happen because of the sin in our hearts.

Scripture says this in regard to temptation and sin

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:14-15

“You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heartcan be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt. Matthew 5:28-29 MSG

Sin begins with a desire. You desire something  or someone that you shouldn’t. That desire may exist, but its not until it conceives, until it is acted on that it becomes sin. We all have evil desires, that is part of our nature. We have evil thoughts, but we cannot act on them we need to take them captive to the obedience of Christ.You will be physically attracted to someone other than your spouse, you may feel you have a connection with someone other than your spouse, but you must not act on that. That is sin.

Sometimes however you may develop a friendship with the opposite sex that has no evil intentions at all. Often affairs are not committed with some stripper or prostitute, but  a friend or a co-worker someone whom you spend time and have connected with .Sometimes there may not even initially be physical attraction, but due to the closeness brought on by so many hours of work or play an attraction builds. Many times when you spend lots of time with people and become aquatinted with their struggles, aspirations, or common experiences at work  you develop emotional bonds and lower your guard. You feel safe, and comfortable  with this person, you feel that they listen and easy to talk to whereas your spouse and you may  only seem to fight and argue. With this person you’re able to laugh and talk about anything and everything where as your spouse you may only talk about problems. Sometimes things don’t have to be bad in your marriage, but the worse state your marriage is in, the more appealing it is to have someone who is interested in you or flirts with you.

All relationships go through seasons. Sometimes your marriage will go through a dry season, but it is important that when you feel that you invest in your marriage all the more. I know there are people who may feel that their marriages are done, or that their bad spouse gives them an excuse to stray. That is wrong. It is sin. There are some who may think that as long as I don’t have sex with someone else its okay to think about this other person after all, “Who am I hurting?”. The answer is your spouse, your kids, God and yourself. Sometimes we may not realize that,sometimes as indifferent as our spouses may be,they can tell when we are not totally present.  When another partner has already checked out, they may not notice but for you to check out as well is not the answer.

So what do you do when you find that you are developing an attraction to someone who is not your spouse? Scripture answers us with one word. Run.

2 Timothy 2:22 says this

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

So there are at least 3 steps .

1. To cut off and or minimize the time you spend with the person you are interested in.

You should not spend any time one on one with that person. It is too tempting, even if you aren’t doing anything physical the emotional connection that is there will only heat up. If you work with that person and for whatever reason you cannot move work stations you need to pour water on the conversation. Stop sharing personal stories, keep conversation minimal. Bring up your spouse as much as you can in conversation. Tell them good things about your spouse, how you like how they smell, look, or the things you plan or hope to do with them. Even if it hasn’t been a while you need to get your spouse in your mind and in your conversation in order change the atmosphere.

2. Invest in God and your marriage.

Paul tells Timothy to pursue faith love and peace. The energy that you spend thinking on the other person needs to be invested in God and in your marriage. If you are not spending time in devotion with God you are setting yourself up for failure. If you are not spending quality time with your spouse, you are setting yourself up for failure. Invest in your marriage, talk to your spouse, if you’re always talking about problems, try talking about positive memories or fun times, or light conversation. If there are big topics that need to be handled schedule a time, but you need to get the pot warm before you jump into the ice.

3. Share with someone you trust and your partner and pray.

The passage in Timothy says to pursue love with others. We need likeminded people who are investing in God and family to help keep us accountable in our pursuit. We need to share with others who can pray for us, who can rebuke us, and who can ask us hard questions as to if we are avoiding contact with that person. We need to share with our spouse the basic problem. I realize it may not be wise to give all the details to your partner, but you at least need to share with them what is going on, you need to ask their forgiveness and ask them to pray for you. Its easier to progress when you have a team and the two most important members of your team are God and your spouse. Don’t keep them in the dark.

4. Develop healthy boundaries

Even when you escape this temptation, there are others that will come. Many are easy to avoid when you have strict boundaries. Here are a couple.

  • Avoid prolonged one on one conversations as much as possible with the opposite sex especially if they are attractive.
  • If possible Avoid riding in the car one on one with the opposite sex
  • Keep emails work related
  • Don’t Flirt
  • Talk positively about your spouse around your co-workers
  • Do not go on lunch  one on one with the opposite sex,  especially without your spouse’s approval
  • Communicate with your spouse if you are attracted to anyone at your office or immediate work site.
  • Pray with your spouse before and after work.
  • Run

Often times in our marriages we treat our work like Vegas. What happens at work stays at work. I know it seems wise on the surface, but in reality if we want our marriages to be an oasis and not a desert we need to communicate with our spouses. I realize that to some this may seem crazy or overboard while others may see it as wise counsel. Your marriage is valuable and you need to protect it. There are so many traps, so many pitfalls that we an avoid by healthy communication. We all have seen flirting at work, sometimes by people who are married, or in a relationship and sometimes by single men and women looking to have fun. Maybe you may be the big flirt at the office, or maybe you have the wandering eye, or maybe you eagerly look forward to spending time with the co-worker who is not your spouse. If your eye is roaming on someone other than your spouse think on this scripture

I have made a covenant with my eyes not to lust after a woman. Job 31:1

There is nothing  wrong with  enjoying the company of our co-workers, but we all know when that enjoyment is going a place it shouldn’t. My prayer is for those who are in difficult situations at work, and for those who are starting a job or who are developing innocent friendships but need some accountability. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to be honest with God, yourself and your spouse. Talk to your spouse about what’s going on. If you don’t feel comfortable tell someone. If you have no one you feel you can talk to you can even email me here heraldinthewild@gmail.com

The Herald

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July 2, 2013 · 2:37 pm

The priesthood in marriage

Its been almost forty days that I’ve been fasting in an attempt to break some of the lethargy and spiritual dryness in my life and to launch out into deep, because hopefully there is a boat load of fish that are waiting to be caught. For those of you not familiar with the reference, one day Jesus is talking to his disciples who happen to be fishermen as they are returning from a fruitless night of work. Just as they get back Jesus tells them to launch out into the deep. Peter one of Jesus’ closest disciples is ready to complain, and in fact does start to gripe, telling Jesus don’t you know that we have tried all night, we’ve exhausted all of our plans, methods, ideas, and strength and have ended up with nothing. He then catches himself and says never the less, Jesus I know you don’t make sense to me, I know that there is nothing in me that can accomplish what you are asking, I’m tired, ready to give up, ready to throw in the towel at least for now, but Jesus you must know something that I don’t know so even though I don’t want to I will obey you. So Peter brings back in his nets, puts back on his attire, readies his crew and his ship and they head out to the deep; that which is beyond their skill and ability and can only be attained by a word from God. It is in their obedience that they find the overflow of blessing, a outpouring or catch so big, it requires another boat to carry the haul. Peter is immediately reminded of his sinfulness, his humanity, his weakness, and he glories in the wisdom and power of Christ and his word.

I don’t know why I wrote that, but I’m sure someone reading is in need of recieving a fresh word from the Lord. In fact I hope to provide you another one that will be relevant to your relationships.

For those of you who are married, who are engaged or even planning to get married I have something to share with you.

Marriages are failing in record numbers, the very institution itself is being reconstructed and corrupted; the cause our failure to understand its purpose. It is not something to be entered into or taken lightly.

Marriage is not just an institution, but it is a sacrament. It is a holy covenant that transcends time, and is in itself a window into the very nature of God. When we in concept or practice remove God out of marriage we rob it of its life; meaning, movement; richness and substance and end up with a dead ceremony; a shriveled tradition, something that can be minimized and perverted to fulfill the whims of our own trivial purposes.

Marriage is one of the greatest witnesses and testimonies we have to the character and mission of God. It is a covenantal sign intrinsic with life and meaning and serves as one of the greatest testaments to the world of God.

I’m afraid that marriage has lost its meaning, its essence. Marriage is not the joining of two partners, who want to receive the full benefits conferred by the government, nor is marriage the attempt to have one’s relationship as socially approved, nor is it simply the concluding act of two persons who love and are committed to each other. Marriage is the divine union by God of a man and a woman who in their act of death to their selves will unite and become one.It is a foreshadowing of the greatest marriage of all Christ and his bride.

One of the casualties in the fall was not just a distorting and a fragmenting of our self concept of being made in the image of God, but a gradual distortion and loss of the holiness and sacredness of marriage. Like most things in creation, the institution of marriage itself communicated something of the nature and mind of God. For it was God’s idea to create not just Adam, but Adam and Eve, so when the scriptures speak of man being made in the image of God, we can conclude at its basic level of meaning that there are qualities in the essence of man that mirror something eternal in God. In the same way we can conclude that since God intended for man and woman to be come one flesh, there is something in the concept of marriage that points to some eternal quality in God; a unity that simultaneously has a distinctness in persons. In other words, the fact that two people are called to become one flesh. Paul even echoes this sentiment in Ephesians, when he talks of this union as being a mystery; but he talks specifically upon the eschatalogical meaning when he says he speaks of Christ and the church.

When our understanding of marriage is connected to its communication of something timeless and other worldy, we discover that  there is by necessity a function in marriage that must access or hint at that otherness.

One of the primarily elements that points to the other is the role of man as the priest of his home. Due to the already lengthy nature of this post I will not go into depth but will cover some central points.

What is meant by the phrase priest of the home? Man’s primary design, his chief cause for existence is to glorify God. The home or family is the primary and central unit for the dissemination and teaching of God. The creation itself dictates that every human be born to a family unit consisting of at least a mother and father.

Before there was the professional class of priest, the man was responsible for the teaching and instruction in the things of God. Even before Adam was married, he was involved in communion with the Father. Adam was aware of his purpose, his mission, and was in constant communication with God. In fact if we look at the Genesis account, we see that the central commandment was given to Adam, before Eve was even brought into Adam’s mind. During the fall we find out that Eve was aware of the prohibition to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; so how was it that she found out. We can be reasonably confident to conclude that Adam had some part in communicating it to her. If Adam’s responsibility was to tend to or govern the garden, the moment Eve was brought to him, she became part of his responsibility. He was to communicate to her the person, work, and word of God.

Let me give you a text from the new Testament, a very common but central text in our understanding not only of marriage, but of the priestly function of the man in marriage.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Whole books have been written on this passage, but I want to emphasize two points here and then a couple of points from the Genesis account. This account makes the assumption of a couple of things, that the man should know Christ, and that he should know his word. The husband is told to imitate Christ, not simply because he is a good example but because the very design of marriage was a prophetic or typological sign to Christ and his bride. 

So the godly marriage or godly man must know Christ, he must know God’s word, and he must demonstrate his knowledge by his sacrificial giving of himself even when it is undeserved and thus display the love of God. The genesis account confirms this point, that a godly husband must be in communion with God, he must understand his role in creation and in the marriage.

So practically speaking what are some implications. I’m hearing a couple of questions already. What if my husband barely knows God, or doesn’t know him at all? What if he refuses to go to church, or refuses to go to other godly men for counsel? Two brief answers, the first is scripture tells us before we are married, not to be unequally yoked, so before hand you should ensure that your future mate is willing to grow, and has exhibited some signs besides simply going to church that he is saved, and willing to grow more Christ like. I know its too late for some, you are already married and your only recourse as a wife not girlfriend, but wife is prayer, and godly submission. Read 1 Peter 3 for more details.

For the men I want to encourage you to go into the deep, not just with God but with your wife. Now in know way or form am I writing from a position where I have accomplished this in a satisfactory manner. I do however know the call of the Lord to me and to men in general, cast out into the deep. The Lord is calling us into a deeper walk with him, because it is only in our deeper relationship that we will have the reserves and strength necessary to love our wives like Christ loves his church.

Join me in this pursuit, I know it is tiring, it is draining, it requires patience, but that is exactly what marriage is a dying for living.

Father I pray for every single and married man that reads this, that you may equip us to minister to you, and to our wives. I pray that you might give us a sacrificial love that is ready to die, it is ready to be humiliated, scoffed at, because their is an undying commitment to your glory. Strengthen us in our weakness, and make straight paths for our feet so that what is lame may not be dislocated but rather healed. We thank you for the washing of us with your word, and that as we our washed,  may we wash our wives. For all the single men, I pray that you might prepare them in thought and action for those you have called to be married. Equip them with a singleness of mind as they seek you before they seek a wife. Be glorified in your church, which is your bride. In the name of Christ we pray.

Amen.

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How do you know you found the One?

I interrupt our regularly scheduled blog to give some love to my better half, and provide some guidance for my single brethren and sistren.

I am a very blessed man. I mean very blessed. I found something, the unique someone that people search for sometimes vainly, their entire lives. It is what I call the game changer. You see when it comes to finding a mate, everyone is a GM, and as a GM you do not simply want to add a role player to your franchise, nor a starter, not even an all star though that would be good; you want a superstar, a franchise player, someone who will be the face of the franchise. This is why I found the recent off season for the NBA season so interesting. In what was reported to be the “biggest free agent class ever”, three players and one in particular had every GM salivating, and bending over backwards to court them.They were whined and dined in every city.

Whole fan bases delirious with excitement, and intrigue, created billboards, slogans, songs, dvd’s, and entire websites in their attempts to court one of these superstars.Sports radio, internet hubs, and television outlets were inundated with headlines about the latest news surrounding these athletes.The circus surrounding this season, was so great it literally eclipsed the NBA finals, and created the greatest post season buzz in the entire league’s history. Why? because it was believed that these players did not simply possess the ability to multiply a team’s wins,but the ability to revolutionize a fan base, multiply ticket sales, and single handedly generate enough revenue to stimulate an entire city’s economy. That is a franchise player. I married one.

Proverbs 31:10 asks a very important question,

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

This statement is a very powerful statement and implies at least two things. One, that it is hard to find an excellent wife. Excellent wives, like franchise players are rare. They are not found on every block, or in every church. You just don’t bump into them at the local Ralph’s, and definitely not at the local club. The second is that you cannot put a price tag on an excellent wife. If we combine these two thoughts, we can then assume, that if you find a good wife, you better use every resource at your disposal to convince her that you are the right one for her, because no matter how much you give, the returns are well worth the cost. Her royalties alone, that will exceed whatever you spend on her. Now in no way am I implying that as men you should be sugar daddies, and woo a woman with your wallet. When I speak about spending, I’m talking about energy, thought, time, words, and investing your heart, mind, and soul.

So now the next question we should ask is what makes an excellent wife?

The number one quality in every excellent wife is a fear of God. Proverbs 10:30 (The Message) states

The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!

So many women, and men simply look at how ‘fine’ somebody is before they even get to know a person. Looks are important, and a healthy attraction is critical in all relationships, but that should not be your primary starting point in searching for a mate. As a mater of fact the verse above says that beauty is fleeting. Outer beauty fades with age, and sometimes after kids fades quickly. After one kid, my wife is still hot, thank God. Inner beauty however grows stronger with age. So lets examine briefly the fear of God. The Fear of God,  is not simply a belief in God, nor is it a woman that goes to church. I believe the biggest sign that a woman or man fears God is that they pray. No I’m not talking about Lord, I need a car, or help me on this test, or God bless this food, prayers. I am talking about Lord, I need you, I need to know your will in my life, I want to be conformed to your image, prayers.

My wife is and was a woman of faith.  While we were dating, we prayed together, we studied scripture together, labored together and worshiped together. She was not just going to church to find a man, she was going because she wanted to hear from God.

A woman or man who fears God  has a scriptural view of sexuality. They have boundaries when it comes to kissing, hugging, petting, and sex. They will not sleep around, but view sex as something only done in the context of marriage. Being engaged does not entitle one to sex, nor does it entitle a couple to live together before they are married.

My wife and I didn’t kiss during our first couple of months together. It definitely was not because I didn’t want to, because even though I was a christian, a virgin, and loved God, I still could get horny fast. That’s another topic for another day. So anyway one day we were driving up north to see a wedding, and I thought this was my time to kiss. So  I tried a couple of moves and failed. The first move I tried, was while she was driving. I tried to be smooth and put my hand on her thigh and give her a nice massage.I started at the knee and tried to move slowly up. As soon as I got passed the knee, she slapped my hand, and gave me the Gandolf speech; “You shall not pass.”

The second fail occurred at the wedding reception. It was a beautiful night outside, the stars were flickering in the sky, we were at a country club which had an awesome view of the hills. We were sitting inside, while some music was playing, and I was like let’s go outside. It was time for  me to make my next move, the time was right, the night was right. I was going to get my first kiss. So I took her outside, and we walked around and just gazed at the stars. I put my arm around her and told her isn’t this beautiful. Then we walked around to where no one else was and after gazing at the sky, I looked  her in the eyes, I was getting ready to move in. She noticed my moves, read my mind, and said, Why don’t we go inside. Dang, shot down again. But I liked it, I was dating a woman who feared God.

The next quality, and one of the more important qualities is that of faith. This particular faith is not in God, but in your ability as a man. When we were dating, my wife and I were on opposite ends of the financial spectrum. I was the broke student, who’s work afforded him the basics of survival. My wife was in her single lady working mode; she had her own money and didn’t mind spending it. I remember one day while we were dating my wife coming over to my place and opening the refrigerator. She was in shock at what was inside; spider webs, a can of string beans, peanut butter, jelly, and a liter of Sprite. I was like they used to say in the 80’s,” Livin Large”. Needless to say, we went out to eat, and to my surprise the next time I went to see her, she bought me a couple of bags of grocery.  My wife was generous, and was sympathetic to my plight. Even though I was working, I just never had the money to wine and dine her, but she was okay. What made me know she was special was when she told me these words,  “I would marry a janitor, if he were a man of God.” She obviously didn’t know that I made less than a janitor, because they make decent money, and I didn’t. So anyway her statements must have been true, because she married me. Though God did provide for us right before we got married, it was her confidence in the God in me, that inspired me to move forward in our relationship and in life.

These are just some characteristics of an excellent wife, but they are so vital. In your search for a wife, I repeat wife, not girl friend, please consider these qualities, because a woman who possesses these is well on her way to becoming your franchise player.

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