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Showing posts from February, 2010

More on I Peter 3:8

I Peter 3:8 exhorts couples to be compassionate and sympathetic.  Compassion and sympathy go hand in hand.  How difficult it is for most of us to express sincere compassion or sympathy, even with our spouses.  We usually focus so intently on our own needs, desires and schedules for the day that we often remain unaware of any problems our spouse may face.

At one point, when my children and I were living with my mother for a few months while Rick was off at F-15 training, I had a routine visit with our family doctor I had known all my life.  I had voiced some concerns with him about my stepfather.  He told me that we should not judge someone until we have walked in their shoes.  At the time, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.  Over the years, though, that statement has stayed with me and helped me to understand the behavior of others. 

It is important that we apply that attitude towards our spouse.  Yes, we all need to “get over” the terrible cards our past may have dealt us, but they ha…

Becoming One Flesh

“Becoming one flesh” goes deeper than most of us can comprehend.  Unfortunately, many do not ever recognize its true strength until they experience divorce.  Even then, most are quick to blame everything on their soon-to-be ex-spouse, not realizing the bond their union created and the near impossibility of breaking it.

Becoming one flesh (marrying) unites a couple spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally.  In a society that fights for individual independence, we ignore the ramifications of this union.  When nurtured and fed, this union will carry a marriage relationship to its highest heights.  At the other extreme is a couple divorcing; they will experience their lowest lows.

Couples that willingly meld together to become one find a peace and harmony that is difficult to achieve outside of marriage or as a single person.  This peace and harmony is the staple that provides the wonderful benefits of marriage.

In I Peter the third chapter, Peter is talking to husbands and wives…

Some More on Why We Marry

When God made Eve out of Adam, He intended for them to be united as one, forever.  In His eyes, they were married.  They may not have had a formal ceremony (who would have come?), but nevertheless, they were one flesh.

In Matthew 19 verse 6, Jesus repeats the verses I previously quoted from Genesis to the Pharisees.  He then adds, “So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

In early Christian times, marriage was a private matter where two people agreed to join together.  There are differing ideas out there as to the first public marriage ceremony.  Some believe it started as a pagan ritual.  It wasn’t until the 1500’s, though, that John Calvin introduced a church authorization to include civil law.

Regardless of the legalities and history of marriage, it is clear in Genesis that God intended for a couple to be joined as one and never separate.  I believe we hold such a deep desire for this God-given right that we instinctively…

Why We Marry

Why do people still get married when we live in a world that seems to want to destroy this “institution”?

The acceptance of single parenting, the popularity of divorce, cohabitation, and the push for gay marriage are all factors that are slowly destroying the sanctity meant for a man and a woman to join together in holy matrimony.  This disintegration of marriage and family only magnifies the problems in our society.  Most criminals come from broken homes with many never knowing or having contact with their fathers.

There seems to be a growing attitude that marriage is an ancient ritual that we no longer need.  Many couples now choose to live together outside of marriage, ignoring the fact that their chances of staying together decrease greatly without that wedding license. 

People want to exclude God from their lives so they don’t have to be accountable for their actions.  Marriage is a reminder, to many, that God does exist.

With all of these factors against marriage, surprisingly,…

Why Did I Marry You?

Have you ever looked at your spouse in wonderment as to why you ever married them?  Okay, admit it.  I believe we all have occasional moments of doubt.  It is our nature. The good news is that the more you work at improving your relationship, the less those moments arise. 

Let’s face it, it is difficult living with other people, especially those of the opposite sex. There will be issues no matter whom you live with.  Magnify that by love and marriage, and struggles are inevitable.

Marriage takes continuous work.  I Corinthian 7:1 tells us, “It is good for a man not to marry.”   Hmmm.  Marriage does comes with its own mountain of problems.  Paul was much more successful at fulfilling God’s plan for him because he could focus every aspect of his life on it.  He had no wife to distract him, and that is why he hands out this advice.

That does not mean we shouldn’t get married.  I Corinthians goes on to say, “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and …

More from Pastor Ronnie - continued

I want to thank all of you who have been praying for our friend, Kenny, and his family. We found out yesterday that his body was recovered in Haiti. I ask that you continue to keep the Bourland family in your prayers.

On with Pastor Ronnie’s message: The last posting was about emotions and sex - below is the conclusion.

“Why did God make us so different? One reason is so that each of us will have to look outside ourselves for fulfillment. It gives us an opportunity to get outside our comfort zones and to serve each other.

 Our differences also enable us to fulfill different roles in life. Hundreds of years ago, men had to be emotionally detached enough to leave the family, go out and hunt for food. Their sexual desire was something that brought them back home.

 The wife, meanwhile, was wired to hold the family together emotionally until her husband returned. She nurtured the family and helped reconnect the father to the emotional needs of the family when he got back home.

God made me…

More from Pastor Ronnie

Another great message from Pastor Ronnie:

When it comes to sexual fulfillment in a marriage, one of the first things husbands and wives need to understand is that they are different. If you don’t expect these differences and learn to deal with them, they can drive you crazy.

Our differences are related to the ways men and women connect emotions and sex. For men, sex stimulates our emotions. In other words, we are put in touch with our emotions through sex.

If a wife wants her husband to get more in touch with her emotions (and his, too), then meeting his need for sex is a good way to spur him in that direction. Men and women become more emotionally connected through sex.

Why did God make us so different? One reason is so that each of us will have to look outside ourselves for fulfillment.

Women, of course, take an opposite approach. For them, emotions stimulate sex. When a woman is not feeling sexual, her husband can make her feel more sexual by stimulating her emotions instead of st…

How do we prepare people to marry?

Aah, the innocence of young love. Rick and I currently teach a pre-marriage class to couples in our church, and it takes me back to those days we thought we were invincible.

We are watching a six-week DVD series for couples preparing to marry, and it’s been very informative about what lies ahead and how to deal with issues. I look at some couples during the evening and notice a half-effort in processing this information.

We’ve talked individually to a few of them, and they all believe they have it figured out. They will be able to avoid the normal pitfalls of marriage. Their faces usually belie a hint of sarcasm or humor - they don’t need a class such as this.

How well I remember that exact attitude before Rick and I married. When I met him, he was dressed as Superman, and my nickname was Wonder Woman. We honestly believed we were superheroes who soared above all the normal humdrum problems of married life. Hah! We quickly crashed to Earth when reality set in.

How do we better prepare…