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72 Days

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

As the news spreads about Kim Kardashian and her 72 day marriage, I got to thinking about all the things that last for longer than 72 days. Before I get into that, lets look at how long 72 days actually is…

72 Days:

2.4 months

10.28 Weeks

1,728 hours

103,680 minutes

6,220,800 seconds

This is 72 Days.

So, what other things last at least 72 days? Well, I can think of a few.

My neice who broke her leg will have a cast for 72 days. Then she will have physical therapy for another 72 days.

Major League Baseball’s season last more than 72 days.

National Football League’s season also lasts more than 72 days.

NBA…we’ll see.

In most careers, you need to work for at least 90 days to become eligible for benefits.

Milk typically expires in 14 days.

One bag of dog food typically last lasts less than 72 days. He is a big, hungry dog.

Some of the classes here at Third City last about 72 days. We teach on marriage, call for the next class.

Most people take vacations during a 72 day period over the summer. I’d like to go to Hawaii someday.

One season of Seinfeld lasted longer then 72 days.

Most people could not wait 72 days for the next season of LOST.

Nowadays, it takes about 72 days to get a passport.

Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for about 47 days. I expect it will reach 72.

My grandpa lived more than 72 years. That’s impressive!

The Christmas season begins more then 72 days before Christmas! It gets worse every year.

An average person will probably spend minimum 72 days of their life on Facebook. …sad, but true.

I think I send about 72 texts a week….not impressive.

I have been married to my wife for more than 1,825 days. It gets better and better!

So that is 72 days in nutshell. Seems so short.

 

 

 

 

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Categories: marriage Tags: , ,

Treading Water

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Most of us jump head first into life without any understanding of how life works.

Do you feel like you live your life just reacting to your present circumstances? The major challenges of life is to get a head in the game. We all realize this, but its so hard to do. We are always saying, “I wish I could get a head in my work” or “I wish there were more hours in a day”. Why is this such a problem in our lives? It’s because we are reacting to life as opposed to living our life. Living your life implies that you are in control. It implies that you know where you are going because you have set the course. Work is something you engage in and not something that demands from you.

I think in all areas of life this concept applies. Because its my topic of choice recently, I am going to talk about how its seen in marriages. Most of us get married and we have no idea what we are doing. Let me ask you this. Who taught you how to be married? My guess is no one. Thus, you are reacting to your marriage instead of engaging in it.

Here is a simple truth that came up in a conversation with a friend today: God has a design for marriage. If we are not actively engaging in that design, then we may as well give up hope. The fact is we cannot do marriage on our own. We are far to reactive of a people to have any chance in a quality marriage without Christ beckoning us to come to Him.

I compare marriage to a rubix cube. The rubix cube has a distinct design. The creator of it, gave it purpose and gave it an answer. We purchase the rubix cube and are supposed to follow the design. The truth about the rubix cube is not often that clear cut. As children, we get frustrated with the design and then begin reacting to that design. Instead of carrying out its intended purpose, we do the unthinkable. We peel the stickers and put them in order. Wha-La! It’s finished! We have completed the puzzle.

So, I ask the question. Is your marriage one that the stickers have been peeled to make it look like your doing things right? Or are you following the created design of marriage and engaging in it rather than reacting to it?

Last week I wrote about a guy’s fear of rejection. Many guys, including myself, have no idea what they are doing in marriage. We are, as I have been saying, reactive. We put on a smiley face, we say, “I know what I am doing”, and we give it our best shot. The unfortunate thing about this is that we are falling right into Satan’s palm. This is exactly what he wants us to say and do. We don’t need God’s help. We know what we are doing. The unfortunate thing is that this is not only the man’s issue, it also belongs to the woman as well. She is being decieved that the marriage she has is the one she has to settle for. Now, don’t misread me. I am not saying go and find a new husband if you are not satisfies with your current situation. I am saying quit settling for peeled stickers.

Start talking about your marriage. When I tell couples to “work on their marriage” they tend to tilt their head and give me a blank stare like I just asked for the impossible. Working on your marriage means talking about your marriage. It means investing in your marriage. It means making frequent checks to ensure that it is aligning with God’s design and not our own.

My encouragement to any married couple or soon to be married couple is to quit treading water. Don’t react to your marriage or your spouse, engage your marriage instead. Once you have found the path of God’s design in marriage, you are giving your marriage the foundation that it needs to be on. Even as Christians, we like to make sure that on an individual basis we are on track, but we are hands off when it comes to our marriage.

One last word to the guys who read this…You’re wife wants nothing more than you to stand up, be a man, and lead. She won’t tell you this, because she doesn’t want to offend you, but she wants nothing more than her husband to take the lead and start investing in your marriage.

Rejection

October 19, 2011 1 comment

From the garden to the playground to the man’s home, fear of rejection has pinned him down and he has wrestled with it all the days of his life. A man’s deepest fears are rooted in the fear of rejection. While confident in the workplace, confident around women, confident around his friends, this one act can take out his legs from beneath him.

Adam and Eve had the life they could only dream about in the garden. Everything was provided, everything was theirs. Well, almost everything. In the shade of the evening the serpent was roaming the garden. Eve stumbled upon this serpent. Did God really say you couldn’t eat of this tree? Did he really say that you were to stay away? Everything is yours. Why isn’t this tree included? It seemed liked the serpent had a point. It seemed as though Adam and Eve had missed something.

Eve sunk her teeth into that apple. It was eye opening. She shared it with Adam. When she handed it over to him, did he say no? Did he say, “God told us not to eat of it.” No, he took the apple and partook of the forbidden fruit. Why? This is the question that has plagued men for all ages.

It was rooted within Adam, and every man to follow, the need to be wanted. This was a God given need. Before the apple, Adam found satisfaction in God. He found that he lacked nothing. The story began to change for them both. The apple provided something they did not have. It provided them with a desire that God could no longer fill for them. While they were satisfied for a moment, the need for more sank in. They hid.

What was it about this apple that made Adam realize that his greatest need was also his greatest fear? His need to be wanted turned into the fear of rejection. What if God rejected me? What if Eve rejected me if I hadn’t taken the apple. We ask the question now, what if I am not picked to be on a team? What if I get the rejection letter from the college? What if my wife rejects me?

This question has burned our perception of what it means to lead. This question has caused us to retreat into a hole where no one can find us. We became passive, we let others take the reigns. We became bullies when we were forced into something we did want to do. We took that feeling of rejection as the nail in the coffin. Why step up to the plate if I will only get knocked down. This is the question that plagues us today.

In a conversation earlier in the week, a friend told me about a radio interview he heard on the subject. In a group of men, they were asked how important is it to lead your wife and family in prayer and devotions. Mostly the whole room raised their hands. They thought this was very important. They were then asked who actually lead their wives and family in prayer and devotions, and many of those same hands stayed silent.

Men have created a real disconnect between what they believe and what they do. Many Christian men believe its important to be a spiritual leader, but when it comes to the game, they choose to stay in the stands as opposed to playing the game. The fear of rejection from even our spouse may be one of the greatest fears we have. What if she says no? What if I can’t lead her? Is it worth trying?

For you guys, I encourage you to reclaim the confidence we once had before the apple. For you wives, Paul writes in Ephesians to you. He encourages you to respect your husband. He needs to be encouraged, he need to know that you are not rejecting him. He needs to know that he can lead you and that it will be worth it for him. Let him know that you are his biggest fan.

Husbands, its time to come out of the hole. No more excuses. Retake the calling that God has given to you. It’s time to step up to the plate.

The puzzle of marriage

A thought occurred to me today about marriage. It’s not that it was anything special, but I think its a very good and very easy way to explain what marriage is like. Marriage is like a puzzle. Not just any kind of puzzle, but a very specific kind. This is a puzzle you may have grown up with and can be found in maybe millions of homes in the United States. It’s the Rubik’s Cube. This is a simple, yet highly complex toy.

According to Wikipedia, the Rubik’s Cube was developed by Erno Rubik in 1974. “Each of the six faces is covered by nine stickers, among six solid colors (traditionally white, red, blue, orange, green and yellow). A pivot mechanism enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colors. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be a solid color.”

Of course, I would bet that if I were to have handed you a Rubik’s cube, I wouldn’t need to clarify how to use it or how to solve it…if you can. It’s obvious to so many people to follow the original design of the cube and begin turning and rotating each level of cubes in hopes to begin to match colors on each side.

If I can hand you a toy such as the Rubik’s Cube and you know that in order to solve it you follow the original design of Mr. Erno Rubik, why is it so many people upon marriage don’t bother to listen to the original designer of it. Is it because we don’t have time to read the instructions? Or is it that we know what is best in our marriage and so we starting turning and rotating each side in hopes that we can solve it our way. Maybe we think we can cheat our way through it and just remove and reapply each colored sticker on a coordinating side.

If you were this latter person, what would Mr. Rubik say about you? Would he congratulate you for a job well done? I doubt it.

Every Rubik’s cube does have an answer to it. When following a certain pattern of design, it is solvable.

I will challenge you in this, just like every Rubik’s Cube, every marriage also has an answer to it. When following a certain pattern of design, it is solvable. Will you take the time to read the instruction manual of use for your marriage? Will you take the time to put the time each marriage takes to find the answer?

For more information on marriage according to God’s design, visit hFamily Life

LIFE in marriage

August 3, 2011 1 comment

Ever since TCCC introduced LIFE Groups, this has what I have shaped my ministry around. I have been as intentional as I can with making sure we have a proper path for every adult to: Live for Christ, Inspire others in their lifestyle, Fellowship with the body, and Encourage others in their faith. I believe, this is a great model for everyday life for any individual. It’s a challenge to acknowledge what we are doing with our life and making sure it is on course with what Christ wants from those who follow him.

At the same time, I am passionate about fruitful marriages. Not just those that produce children, while a blessing, I am talking about the type of marriage that leaves a legacy. So how does LIFE fit into this kind of marriage? Well, I was inspired this morning to write on this to clarify the issue.

What is LIFE in marriage? I read an article that talked about how mens and womens ministry, while productive and allow for in depth accountability, don’t help couples learn to live together. I think to a point this is true. The primary issue I see here locally though is the fact that for every 4 women involved in women’s ministry, there is 1 guy. This is a problem.

I enjoyed the fact that at the end of the VBS program at TCCC last week, Scott said to the crowd something like, “We love teaching your kids, but you need to be the spiritual leaders.” I knew that he was talking straight to the fathers in that room. It’s true in the USA that more women attend church and get involved in their church then men do. Why is this? Men are too busy doing the real important things like working and mowing and not taking advantage of their time to be the spiritual leader.

So LIFE in marriage becomes more of a need than ever. This model in our marriages becomes influential to those around us and causes us to turn to God’s word as opposed to ESPN. What does LIFE in marriage look like? It looks like this: Living for Christ, Inspiring others through our marriage, Fellowship with other couples in the body, and Encouraging young couples in their faith and in their marriage.

LIFE in marriage is not just what I say you should do, or even what some of the preacher says for you to do. In fact, a good pastor will never convince you to do anything that originates from them. They are only a tool and mouthpiece for the Word of God. They want to introduce you to living out what the Bible has called us to.

When both men and women take their marriage seriously, they will realize that their marriage is bigger then both of them combined. Marriage is bigger than two people who love each other, but it is about two people entering into a covenant with God. This covenant allows us to live a life that defies what the world says about marriage and shows that while marriage takes work, it is in fact the greatest way two people can experience God.

The Old Testament writers who spoke of marriage understood this. Did you know the Hebrew word for marriage is also the same for “Holiness”? Think about this. What does this mean for your marriage? Take time this fall to work together in your marriage. Break the trend of fewer and fewer men being involved in the church. Take charge of the spiritual leadership of your home. Jesus said it best when describing the greatest leaders, “The greatest is the least.” In otherwords, be a servant of your family and you will be a great leader.

30 Days of Prayer (pt. 3)- the final 10 days

I have found in this challenge the last 10 days are the most difficult. This is precisely the time when you want to quit and when you just want to give up. You ask the questions, “what is this all for anyways?”

Well, I want to encourage you to carry on. When you finish the last ten days, don’t stop there, keep going. Start over and do it all again. I hope you have enjoyed this challenge. I hope this has brought you some encouragement in your prayer life.

Here are the final 10 days of scriptures:

Romans 8:28
Isaiah 30:21
Matthew 7:24
Jeremiah 29:11
2 Corinthians 8:7
1 Corinthians 7:3-4
Galatians 5:22-23
1 Timothy 6:10
Psalm 127:1
Ephesians 4:26-27
Numbers 6:24-26

God Bless you in your efforts to keep God at the center of your life.

Categories: marriage Tags: ,

30 Days of Prayer (part 2)

March 30, 2011 1 comment

Well, I have to apologize, I am a couple days late on this. I wonder how many of you took the challenge of praying through the scriptures? My wife and I are over halfway through and it’s been great for us! It has been freeing to pray the things that God wants in our life as opposed to the things that we want. It’s not that our wants don’t matter, but as scripture says, “your kingdom come” meaning God’s purposes first.

Colossians 1:18 tells us that Christ is the head of all things. Everything begins with Christ, it’s His natural place. If only our lives began with Christ, our prayer lives too. What kind of changes would we find if we allowed Christ His rightful place in our lives?

Once we have arrived with Christ at the head, we enter into a spiritual intimacy like never before. We become naked before each other without shame. It was this way with Adam and Eve in the garden before sin entered the picture. Their relationship with God was perfect. Nothing was hidden, they were completely vulnerable and it was good.

This kind of intimacy only comes when a man and a woman have a right relationship with God. How is your relationship? Are you able to experience this level of intimacy?

I hope you continue this challenge of praying through the scriptures. When you seek God’s heart for your marriage, you will be able to experience spiritual intimacy like never before. You’ll begin to see your marriage through God’s eyes. If you are working through these 30 days, please let me know so I can be praying for you.

Day 11 – 2 Chronicles 6:40
Day 12 – Psalm 1:3
Day 13 – Ephesians 4:29
Day 14 – Hebrews 13:4
Day 15 – Matthew 5:16
Day 16 – John 13:35
Day 17 – Psalm 69:6
Day 18 – Philippians 4:8
Day 19 – Colossians 3:1-2
Day 20 – Deuteronomy 6:5

If you have not begun yet, check out my post on 30 Days of Prayer. If you follow this through to the end, I know it will change your marriage! Or you can read Pray Big for Your Marriage by Will Davis Jr.