Clint Eastwood once said, “They say marriages are made in Heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.” I have to admit he makes a good point. Marriage is not perfect and it is not for the faint of heart. When you pair a man and a woman together, with different likes, desires, and opinions, you are always going to have the recipe for tension. Yet when marriage is done right and it perseveres through the “thunder and lightning,” it truly can be a wonderful gift from God. In my own marriage I have experienced some of the most wonderful times in all my life. There have been happy and joyful times that I would have missed if I were not married to the love of my life. It had not been easy and honestly there have been many hard and hurtful times, but I can still see the wonderful gift that marriage really is. This is why God inspired King Solomon to say, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” – Prov. 18:22 NIV. So yes I agree with Clint that marriage is not always very heavenly, but it truly can be a wonderful adventure that carries with it God’s blessing.
Jokingly someone once said, “Some horror movies are so scary even married couples hold hands.” If you are married you will get why that is funny and sad. If you have been married, especially for a number of years, the natural closeness that you once easily enjoyed becomes not so easy to experience. Responsibilities, work, children, and life in general cause couples to lose a little bit of the spark they have at the beginning. However, we must fight this natural tendency. It is the responsibility of both the husband and the wife to fight for closeness. Whether you have been married for 5 years or 50 years you should still be sweethearts. Take time for the small things and go on dates. Take time to talk to each other and don’t let the conversation always be about the kids or work. Remember marriage is not easy, but it shouldn’t be. Men never stop pursuing the hearts of your wives. She is a complex creature that you haven’t honestly figured out yet. And women never stop flirting with your husbands. He will never stop craving it. So my advice to married couples is this: Go see a scary movie!
Someone once complained, “Home is a man’s refuge, a place of quiet and rest, says a certain writer. That’s true except for the telephone, the children, the floor sweeper, and the salesman at the door.” While yes I will agree that there are a lot of distractions in the home, including technology and social media, I do believe home is where I find my best place of rest and refuge. Yes, being a husband and a father does entail many responsibilities, yet I find that an evening with my wife and kiddos is much more enjoyable than having a “fun” fill evening away from them all by myself. Home is important and it is special. Each one of us has special thoughts come to our minds when we think about our homes. I believe that is true because home is not a house or an apartment or any building. Home is found with people, with family. So don’t take the blessing of a home for granted, it truly is a gift from God.
Just a reminder that life isn’t so bleak…
It’s been said, “There would be less juvenile delinquency if parents led the way instead of pointing to it.” I truly believe that parenting is one of the most important roles given to man. It is both honoring and humbling at the same time. It truly is a precious gift, yet too many parents, even Christian parents, treat this gift only casually. Some are too busy or some are just lackadaisical when it comes to being a parent. Our children should be more important to us than our careers or our personal desires. When we became parents we knowingly or unknowingly laid our rights and privileges aside in order to love and nurture a new generation. Yet we cannot properly rear our children to be the men and women God wants them to be by only telling them what to do. We must rise to the occasion and lead our children to godliness. Do we want our descendants to love God, respect authority, and make a contribution to their society? Then we must show them how to do it. We must lead by example. Too much time and too many generations have suffered for arm chair quarterback parenting. Let us get up and get busy showing our children the ways of the Lord. I truly believe that we parents are the biggest influencers on our children’s lives. So let us not frivolously waste time being our children’s best friends, but let us grab hold of the wonderful adventure of being parents.
It’s been said, “Modern television proves that people would rather look at anything than at each other.” Unfortunately this is true for so many homes. Families are so rushed with activities that they have very little time together and when they are together is spend it on lazy entertainment rather than quality time. How sad it is when couples who have devoted their lives to one another in marriage spend so little time communicating. It is extremely difficult for couples to share love and oneness when they waist precious time on frivolous things. However, this doesn’t have to be. Today is the day you can make a difference in your home, your family, your marriage. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day and show love. Spend time talking and hugging and kissing. Your children need it, your spouse needs it, and you need it. So turn the TV off and embrace the importance of family time. Believe me, it’s worth it!
It’s been said, “After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even his relatives.” One of the traditions and joys of Christmas is the gathering of families. However, for many folks this holiday season, they will remain separated. For some this happens by no choice of their own; work, military service, or just the long distance hinders the travel. But for many others they have chosen not to be with family because of some hurt that separates them. Many have lived for years estranged from their so called “loved ones”. However, as Christian we should not live such a way. Especially at Christmas time. This is a holiday that celebrates the coming of the Savior, the forgiver of our sins. Honestly, Christmas should be understood as a celebration of God’s forgiveness to man. That being said, how could we celebrate the Lord’s forgiveness of us while at the same time refuse to show forgiveness to our own family members? Circumstances might make it that you shouldn’t go to your relatives homes for a gathering, but in your heart of hearts as a Christians you must know that you can’t live in unforgiveness. So if this is your situation this Christmas, give yourself a Christmas present, the gift of a forgiving heart. If you will open yourself to forgive those who hurt you, you will find a peace this Christmas, that has been hauntingly absent all year long. Think about it. Have a very Merry Christmas.
Someone once said, “Marriage is the only lottery licensed by the State and supported by the clergy.” If you stop to consider the frailty of commitment in and to marriages these days you can see why it is referred to as a “lottery”. For many couples it is an honest gamble (for lack of better words) if whether or not they will last for a life time. The odds are just as much against the longevity of marriage as it is for it. However, Jesus sees marriage as no gambling matter. As a matter of fact Christ once proclaimed; “Have you not read that He who madethem at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6 (NKJV). As Christians we must take the Lord’s teachings here as the building block of truly successful marriages. We learn from Jesus’ words that marriage is to be between one man and one woman. It is a union that should be done by leaving the home of one’s youth and forming a new family. And ultimately it’s a union that God observes as “one flesh”, thus a new joining together that is never meant to be separated by man. Therefore, as we face changing times and changing cultural acceptances, always remember that God is the true institutor of marriage and He takes it very seriously.
A wise man once said, “What every married couple should save for their old age is each other.” It is very interesting what people think about when they think about the senior years of life. We plan for retirement. We dream of the day when we have the freedom to do what we really want to do. We contribute to retirement plans and save for end of life expenses. But how many married couples plan to enter their latter stages of life with their spouse? Sure many couples assume their partner will be with them then, but do we really plan on it? Are we strategically involving our spouse in our future plans? Are we doing things today that will preserve our relationship for the future? What all these questions boil down to is this; are we willing to be committed? Are we willing to keep our vows and fulfill our promise to husband and wife until death do us part? Commitment is something easier proclaimed than it is kept. Commitment is more than emotions, more than feelings, and more than self happiness. Commitment is the wedded joy and bless of knowing that when the entire world will turn its back on you, your partner will be there to hold you. Commitment is standing with your mate even when you don’t feel like it, because you know in the long run God will bless you for it. Commitment is what our society is desperately looking for and is truly attainable if we follow the principles of the Bible. “Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” – Hebrews 13:4 NLT.
I know that this is quite a bit late getting out there, but I wanted to share with the world what my sweet wife shared with our church family this last Mother’s Day.