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Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

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.

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.

There is a Plan

How many of us face challenges and trials on a weekly basis, but often will come through it wondering why it’s necessary to endure such things?

This was my sentiment almost one year ago. My wife and I dealt with some pretty heavy stuff. It stirred our emotions, our hearts cried out, and it  seemed like there was no reason for it. In heat of the moment we can all be blinded by the chaos that is front of our eyes. However, if we are able to see past it, we can begin to see that plan. Even in the most challenging times, can you trust that God has a plan and a design?

My wife and I are knee deep into marriage ministry this month. There is nothing like marriage that can stir people’s emotions, stretch their patience, and sometimes rip into their hearts. Most married couples on the outside look pretty normal. They think what they don’t deal with won’t hurt them. They are afraid of the ramifications of dealing with an issue, yet they know if they don’t it could end in disaster.

I met a couple this weekend who was under this impression. They slowly drifted apart and eventually became two different people. The natural drift toward isolation that a couple experiences is as sure as a rivers current. Eventually, they started taking their marriage for granted and stopped investing in it. They turned on one another and it got ugly. Before they knew it they were seperated and filling out the divorce papers.

“How did we get here?” Too many ask this question. Did you know there is a plan for marriage? Did you know that the creator of the Earth, of humanity, of everything also took as much time when he planned marriage? To acknowledge there is no hope for your marriage is acknowledging God is not God. When you say there is no hope, and when you believe you can’t see through the chaos, you are believing the God of the universe is not big enough to fix what he designed perfectly.

Think about that for a moment. The same God who is creator, who parted the Red Sea, who sent His son to die for us on the cross designed marriage. He has a perfect plan for it. Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to take part in it? How many of you would take your broken SUV to Starbucks for repairs? None of you. So we do we insist on not taking what God originally created back to Him when its broken? Whenever something breaks, always take it back to the designer. They had a plan, so does God.

Categories: marriage Tags: , , , ,

the BIG ‘D’

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

These three words, “the big D”, bring up all sorts of connotations in our mind. Immediately most of think about divorce. That is what we’ve been trained to do. However, when you begin think about divorce, you may as well turn your thoughts on to death as well. I remember the country song from several years back, “I’m going to the Big D, and I don’t mean Dallas” were the words that almost began to glorify divorce. It’s like we have this thing that for so many years was looked upon as an outrage, or by many a sin, and we put it into  a catchy tune and look what’s happened.

Now, while divorce is such a hefty topic, I actually don’t want to talk about divorce. I want to talk about another ‘D’ word: Decision.

Let’s talk about the decisions or the choices that we make. As I look more into marriage ministry and marriage statistics, my counseling sessions and all the reading I do in publications on marriage I see one main point. The point I see is on the decisions we make.

I’ve seen couple make a decision on giving up on a marriage. I have seen individuals make decisions on having an affair. I have seen individuals put pride along with an assortment of other items in front of their marriage. I have seen couples also make decisions to sacrifice for their marriage. I have seen them make the decision to work hard on their marriage. I have seen couples who decide for their marriage, not against it.

It’s the decisions we make in our marriage that will say a lot about us in the end. What decisions are you making in yours? Maybe your single and reading this. What decisions now are you making to ensure that your marriage will be one you can be proud of. Everyday we have a decision to make. Everyday, God challenges you and I with a decision to either follow Him, or go along our own path. It’s our decision.

If you have been challenged by what I’ve been writing on marriage, I want to hear from you. What decisions are you making? How is making the right decision affecting you, how about the wrong decisions?

A Note for the Guys…part 2

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

OK guys, my intention is to not beat you up, but to give you a little of a reality check.  Beginning in January, you’ll begin to hear more and more about Family Life’s Weekend to Remember. This marriage weekend getaway is an amazing opportunity to have candid talks with your wife about your marriage. Let me add this, attending a marriage conference like this does not mean that you are doing something wrong. What it means is you have the fundamental understanding that marriage is too hard to do alone. It means that you are committed to having a thriving marriage amongst your peers, and that you only want the best for your spouse and for your marriage.

I’ve talked to many people about the Weekend to Remember getaways and in more then a dozen conversations I’ve had with women, they say, “I’d love to go, but it’s a matter of my husband wanting to go to.” You see guys, here is your wake up call. Your wife wants YOU to take the lead here. She wants YOU to be the man that you are and be the spiritual leader for your family.

She can only drop so many hints before she feels like she is disrespecting you. She only wants to spend the time with you and to come closer physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’ve had conversations with enough guys and I know this can be a serious issue. We like to drag our feet on some of this stuff. Some guys might go as far as saying, “I said I love you at our wedding, why do I need to anything else. That alone should be good enough.” Sorry, my friend, you are wrong.

When you are investing in your marriage, you are giving your wife maybe the greatest gift she could receive. She recognizes that you are placing her above your football games, your hunting trips, and your work.

What’s my point? My point is begin today asking your self what you can do to make your marriage amazing? It’s time you invest in what is important.

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Weekend to Remember is held annually in March. Getaway locations include:

Omaha – March 11-13, 2011
Lincoln – March 25-27, 2011

When you sign up using the group name “tccc” you will receive 50% off the total registration cost. Your cost for the registration will be $180! (Cost does NOT include hotel or food costs)

If you would like more information on how to get registered, please contact Nick at 384-5038.