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Tag Archives: marriage
You think I hate you. Maybe people have told you so or maybe someone who claims the same faith as I has hurt you. I don’t know the specifics, but I’ve heard you say it. You think I hate you because of who you are. You say you were born that way and cannot change. In a since you’re right. We are all born sinners, and without the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, we cannot change.
I hate what you do, but not for the reasons you might imagine. I hate it for the same reason that God does. I hate it because I love you. I hate it because it will ultimately destroy you. All of us have a tendency to pursue things that we think will make us happy but that God knows to be death to us. Sexual sin of any sort is particularly destructive. It corrupts the relationship that God intended to be the foundation of all that He would show us of love. All of the loving relationships that spring from it show us aspects of the loving relationship that He wants with us. From our parents and from our children we learn of the Father’s love. From our spouses we get the smallest taste of what He means by calling us His bride. He is jealous for us and has a right to be so. He gave it all for us. That is why he hates sexual sin and especially homosexuality. It corrupts the best gift he gave us for understanding and experiencing all of the love that He has for us.
Because we’re all born sinners, often these relationships don’t measure up to the standards He set. Lovers fight. Parents abuse their children. Sexual sin is not the only way we ruin the beautiful things that God gave to us. Perhaps your experience has been thus. For me to speak of love as I have rings hollow for you. It grieves me to know this, and I want you to know that it grieves God too. He did not intend it so, but we made our choices ad did those who came before us.
Right now the country is divided over the meaning of marriage. You may be one of those fighting to be allowed to marry someone of the same sex. We stand opposed, suddenly finding a zeal for “traditional marriage” that too many of us don’t exhibit in our own lives. If you are aware of the statistics, we must seem hypocritical to you. Traditional marriage is not just one man and one woman, but one man and one woman for life. We leave out that last part. The divorce rate among so-called Christians is no better than among those who are not. I think that statistic is skewed by those outside the faith who never marry in the first place, but it is perception we’re dealing with here. We don’t treat marriage as particularly special, so why are we upset because you want to do it too? It’s not an unreasonable question, and I’m ashamed to have to answer it. The best answer I can offer is simply that we are wrong not to place the same value on marriage as God does. I’ve already said that we all start out sinners, but once we make the decision to follow Jesus, things should change. If they don’t, we need to examine ourselves to see if we are really what we claim to be.
But we still must make a stand. My hope is that by this letter you understand why we feel so strongly about it. I do not hate you. I love you. So does Jesus. He wants to free you from the destructive lifestyle you have chosen. He wants to show you what real love is. No human substitute will ever be its equal.
Here’s my very rough first attempt at a video blog entry. I just wanted to see if I could do it. With practice it could be done better, but I’m not sure if there’s much reason to do so.
There are some interesting statistics here. The part I’ve reprinted says it all.
The failure to marry on the part of the lower and lower-middle classes, not the tax code, Wall Street or competition from China, is what is aggravating inequality in America.
The toll is incalculable. In every way that social science can measure — school performance, drug abuse, unemployment, suicide, poverty, depression, dependence on government handouts, mental illness, violence, and far more — children raised by single parents (especially when their parents never married) are at a severe disadvantage. The failure to form families is devastating our schools, exacerbating inequality and diminishing happiness on a grand scale.
I don’t’ know the origin of the “seven year itch.” I didn’t even know what the phrase meant until recently. I gather that along about the seventh year of marriage people start to feel like they need something else. I didn’t research where this came from for this post, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. In fact, I am more content now than ever before.
Rare is the giddy head-over-heels feeling that characterized the months leading up to our marriage. I suppose if one is chasing that he might run off in the wrong direction. It is rather like a drug, and I guess I can understand how one would be addicted to it. What has replaced it is something more meaningful. My love for Linda now is not based so much on how she makes me feel as it is in who she is. We think we know someone when we marry them. We often find out we didn’t’ know much about them at all. I am proud to say that those qualities I saw in Linda at the beginning were real and are even more pronounced today. That’s not to say there haven’t been challenges to our relationship or that there won’t be more in the future, but our determination to love each other and to love God gives us the strength to overcome them.
Time only causes my appreciation for Linda to grow. I believe in her. Knowing her character allows me to keep perspective when the hard times do come. Why would I want to go looking elsewhere? To betray my wife in search of a fleeting emotional high makes no sense. Besides, anyone who would indulge me has already demonstrated a lack of character that foreshadows the doom of anything that might result from following that path. I like what I have; a devoted, loving, faithful, godly wife.
I find the artical linked below disturbing. I hope the same is true for anyone who reads the Bible for what it says. Throughout our world’s history, even in pagan cultures, marriage has always been between men and women. Most Christians believe specifically that God’s intent was one man and one woman. Though homosexuality has always been practiced, nobody until recent history has tried to call it marriage as far as I know.
This among other things raises a difficult question for those who are committed to the truth. I think all real Christians would agree that god’s law supersedes any law of man, but what do we do when the same law that protects us offers the same protection to those who practice evil? I can understand how a leader of good conscience might struggle with the answer to this question. I dont’ imagine our founding fathers ever thought this particular issue would come up. Why would one codify a prohibition for something that it never occurred to him that someone would want to do? I am no fan of Rick Perry, but I think he’s given the best answer he can under the Constitution. It says that powers not specifically given to the federal government belong to the states. It is a distressing thing that our society has come to the place where states are deciding to legitimize same-sex marriage, but they have that right. If we wish to take it away, we must amend the Constitution.
The idea that we should need to speaks for itself. Though I disagree with the intent of those who say that we can’t legislate morality, they are correct. We can’t make enough laws to restrain the lawless. If we want to save the country we love we’d better get on our knees and then get on our feet and start spreading the Truth that can actually change hearts.
I sought for love. It poured upon me like rain, but I did not know it. I read The Book. I searched the words of love’s author, but I did not understand them. I toiled for love. I thought to make myself worthy, but it would not yield to my striving. I searched within. I would find something to sell for it, but it cannot be bought.
What cannot be given unless first received yet cannot be received unless first given? What can be shared only if already held by more than one? What is infinitely complex yet childishly simple? This is the mysterious gift that we call love.
Oh Love, why do You dwell silently beyond the reach of man? His heart yearns for You even though he may not know it. He was maid by You and for You. He cannot live without You. You are here, but how can we see You? You made for us a way, but how do we find You?
I sought for love. In a desert of my own making, I looked to the sky, and allowed a single drop to pass through my parched lips. I read The Book. In a valley of despair the truth began to refresh a dying spirit. Love moved me. I could not be worthy, and yet it came to me. I searched within. I found a gift I knew not of. I knew that I could give it away and yet keep it.
What is the form of a thing without shape? How can a thing be shown that cannot be seen? Can glorious purpose be fulfilled by a mere lump of clay? Such did He decree, and such did He become.
Oh Love, You came, and lived within the reach of Man. You yearned for us, and showed Yourself that we might know it. We were made by You and for each other. You are here in these tents of flesh. Your Spirit shows the way.
Every cord that binds us together is an expression of Your love. It is in the doting father, the trusting child, the bond of friends. Some of these things I know. Some I may not know on the earth, but I have no lack. For you have given me a lover, so that I may see how I love You and how You love me.
Exquisite hands move over my skin. I am caught and I never want to get away. I melt into the embrace. Long fingers are laced with mine on the table, and I begin to see. There is no greater love than this, except that love which made it. My beloved will always be beautiful to me, for the love we share is eternal.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. (Prov 18:22 NASB)
If it’s in the Bible, it hast to be true, right? I don’t think it’s a stretch to read many of the Proverbs as generalities or statements about the way things should be. I certainly have known my share of people including myself who have disagreed with the above statement and sometimes with good reason in the individual case. Yet if a marriage is lived by God’s principles the Proverb rings emphatically true. I’m writing today to rejoice in the “good thing” that has come into my life and to publically brag on her a little. I hope it serves to bless her and not to embarrass her.
I was reminded what a treasure I have found this week as we celebrated her birthday. Though she has revealed the number in other settings I won’t presume to do so here. Suffice to say it was one that people celebrate as a milestone. Several months ago she started talking about wanting it to be special. Oh the pressure. What was I supposed to do?
I experienced some relief when she came up with her own idea. With our gracious pastor’s permission, she presented her vision for Mission Accessible, her fledgling non-profit organization promoting a network of churches like the one we attend. She said this birthday was to be about the launch of something glorifying God instead of herself. I never expressed my skepticism of that claim. It seemed to me to be still about her. It was a good presentation. You can hear it here. I should also point out that I’m with her all the way.
What really changed my mind was actually the next day, her actual birthday. I was going to do my best to make it special. By her request I had already taken the day off. I got up before she did and was prepared to serve her all day, not requiring that she even leave the bed if that’s what she wanted. She was going to surprise me. When she woke up, she wasn’t interested in breakfast. She wanted to get ready and go out. We did have a nice lunch, but what she wanted was to go visit some of our church members who are in a nursing home. It was a delightful day, and I don’t know if I have ever been more proud of her.
We all struggle with selfishness. For my birthday, I drug family in from across town to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants near our house. She gave hers away. Now I have a real challenge before me. Can I match her for my upcoming milestone birthday? Linda has publically spoken of her struggle with a self centered lifestyle. This week, I saw more proof that she is determined to put that behind her and succeeding. She puts me to shame.
When I first got to know her, I appreciated her faith and trust in Yahweh. I saw a woman devoted to the truth and determined to live what she believed. I’ve never known anyone to so eagerly embrace each new thing the Lord teaches her. I’m still working on things I should have settled as a child, growing up as I did in a faithful household with exemplary parents. As time passes I learn to love and appreciate her more and more. Through all of our struggles and mistakes, God is building something wonderful. She inspires me to greater devotion in my own life. She is showing me how to live the things I say I believe. Truly I have found a good thing and obtained favor from Yahweh.
Recently my wife and I went to breakfast on a Sunday morning. As we sat waiting for our table listening for our name to be called I heard, “Lee, party of one.” Maybe it was Leigh. I didn’t see who responded. I just remember thinking, “I used to do that.” At first I even enjoyed it. It was part of the adventure of being on my own and doing what I wanted to do. The fun didn’t last. As the lonely years went by I stopped going out just to go out. You can’t have a party with only one. It set me wondering about the circumstances that brought this person to wait and eat alone in a crowded restaurant on a bright Sunday morning. In our disconnected society that devalues relationship, was she always alone? Is he sitting at the table sending text messages while facing the empty seat on the other side? Is this a temporary or permanent situation?
We were never meant to be alone. God made that plain from the beginning (Gen 2:18.) We were made to love and be loved. I believe that God gave us all forms of relationship to teach us how He loves us, though in our fallen world these relationships are often corrupted and do not serve their intended purpose. As children we know the need of our father’s love. As parents we get a glimpse of God’s love for His children. As spouses we see a shadow of the intimacy we are meant to have with God. Relationships are precious things to be nurtured and treasured. I know what it’s like to be alone, and though the difficulties of forging a successful marriage have at times made me think I was better off, I thank God that I may never have to hear, “Larry, party of one.” For fifteen years I lay in the painful shards of a broken relationship and crushed dreams, until God rescued me. My trust in Him continues to grow as the seemingly impossible becomes reality. This is my encouragement to those still waiting. Put your trust in Jesus and you will never be alone (Rom 8:38-39.) Wait on Him, and you will find love.