Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Persecuted Church 2013

Hello Everyone.  I pray you are all well.

Christian churches around the world have set apart the month of November to remember and pray for the persecuted church through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).  Since November is upon us, I wanted to interrupt the series regarding marriage and draw attention to the persecuted church, aka. "The Beaten Bride of Christ" which is barely an afterthought for many Christians today.

I receive emails from a a number of different resources.  Among them are The Voice of the Martyers, Gospel for Asia, Open Doors Ministry, and Christian Aid.  Let me tell you, we need to pray for the persecuted church around the world.  There is coming a day when we will face persecution in this country the likes of which we have never known.

As an American Christian culture we get concerned when a song is repeated too many times or the service runs past noon or maybe if someone sits in our seat.  And don't dare challenge our religious rituals or even the scriptural relevancy of our beliefs.  Many Christians who don't get hung up on that stuff still live in blissful ignorance of the number of people around the world that are dying for the things that we take for granted.  Many of the great men and women of the bible died defending the Christian faith.  Many unknown men and women of faith are dying every day standing on the name of Jesus.

I believe that God is calling the church to get down to the business of the Gospel here in America and stop trying to please all the people that aren't really interested in true Christianity.  Jesus said that if we are truly following his commands, obeying him, spreading the Gospel that we WILL make enemies.  Even here in America.  We WILL be hated.  We WILL be persecuted.  So if we are not experiencing this then perhaps we should re-evaluate our obedience.

I don't mean to sound like I'm fussing but this is a serious issue that I believe needs a serious tone.  There are enough voices out there babying the mediocre, self-centered, lukewarm, half-asleep Christian culture.  These voices are spoon feeding a milk-laden, man-centered Gospel that does nothing to glorify God.  Instead of challenging the church with the serious meat of the word that will cause them to have growing pains but will cause them to mature, they are singing them lullaby's of Good News, grace without law, that makes them aware of having nothing more than fire insurance.  

I am aware of many professing "Christians" who are out there sitting under sound teaching and are still choosing to ignore the teachings and warnings of their Pastors.  They are biblically ignorant and happy to remain that way.  If they read the whole bible over and over they would come to a realization that much of what they believe doesn't hold water.  If they would come to church and their bible reading earnestly seeking to know what God says and not looking for whatever will reinforce their beliefs and forgetting the rest, they might actually grow.

I believe that God is giving America a call to arms spiritually.  In a country where Pastors are being thrown in jail on shaky grounds, based on shallow complaints surrounding assembly and discipline of children, we need to get ready.  In a country where people are told that they can't stand on a street corner and proclaim the Gospel or they might be arrested, to say nothing of the persecution that already exists in some countries surrounding the subject of homosexuality, we need to get ready.  No longer can we sit idly by and keep quiet.  We will be tested.

I encourage you to check out some of these sites listed at the beginning.  It will open your eyes to a whole big world that is not friendly to Christianity.  It will make you all the more grateful for the freedom you have here in America, for now.  And, perhaps it will cause you to ask God to help you get more serious about obedience to Christ in your own life and to begin to pray for those who are suffering or dying daily for their obedience.  If you think you are not guilty of this, don't kid yourself.  This may seem harsh but the truth is, the majority of American Christianity, does not spend a lot of time thinking about the persecuted church.  I am writing this and I believe I could do better.  So don't allow your callous ignorance to continue.  Make a change today and choose to live a life worthy of the Gospel.

In Jesus name.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Wanna Save Your Marriage(Part 6) The Wife's Role

Hello From An Ally!

I realize from the beginning that some may already have their guard up.  Today's strongly feminist culture does not exactly lend a hand to the idea of biblical womanhood.  It also does not help that many, many men have no idea what it means to be the spiritual head and have biblical authority, thus it has been abused tremendously.  In many households there is a real tug of war happening that makes both people miserable and robs God of the glory He deserves.

If you have not read my post regarding the husband's role, I invite you in fact, I beg you to do so as it will clarify for you any concerns you may have regarding my conception of what the man's God-given role is as husband.  You can find it here.

You Are Incredibly Valuable!

In hopes that you have let your guard down enough to hear what I have to say, let's get started.  First I would like to challenge you and encourage you by saying that as the woman in your marriage, you can be an honorable helpmate or a horrendous hindrance.  You have the capacity to make or break your husband in many ways.  

God can and does intervene.  He certainly will not allow any more hindrance than he has already planned for.  I say this because I want you to understand the power that God has given you as an ordained helpmate for your husband.  
Proverbs 31:10-11 says, "A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value."  

It goes on to describe the many endearing qualities of a wife who works hard both inside and outside of the home in many different ways to help take care of her family.  She is praised by her husband and her children call her blessed.  I don't know many woman who do not want that response from their family.

What If You Are Not Valued Appropriately?

Now those results, in my experience, presume that the husband is not only a believer, but is dedicated to being a loving, godly husband and is helping to raise children who will recognize and appreciate the value of their mother.  

What about the times when that is not the case?  What about those unfortunate times when the wife, maybe mother, has to look to God as her only source of love and adoration.  What are God's instructions to the wife of a disobedient husband; whether he is a believer or not?  What does God say about how to treat a husband who does not value his wife.  

This is a husband who is not loving his wife sacrificially as Christ loved the church and is not striving toward making her holy by the washing of water with the word.  He is selfish, thoughtless, if not down right insulting, and harsh on a regular basis.

What then?

Submission Is God's Idea, Not Your Husbands

Ephesians 5:22-24 says, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

Colossians 3:18 says, "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord."

Now, before you bug out and begin reacting strongly to the word "submit", let me clarify a couple of things.

1.) Submission is not the same thing as obedience.  Nor does it suggest inferiority.  Submission speaks simply to levels of authority.  Jesus is submitted to the will of the Father but He is in no way inferior to the Father.  The church is to be submitted to Jesus but at no time is the church spoken of as inferior.  The church is the bride of Christ and He died for her.  The church submits to Christ because she loves him and wants to honor his love for her.

2.) Your overarching responsibility is to Christ.  Notice both of these verses state submission to your husband being "as to the Lord" or "as is fitting in the Lord".

What Is The Purpose Of Submission When My Husband Is Not In Line With God?

1 Peter 3:1-2 says, "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of  them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives."  

Why should you?  What do you care if they are won over?  They are treating you poorly. What is your motivation?


1 Peter 2:21-25, has just gotten finished describing that all of us, men and women were like sheep gone astray.  When people were hurling insults at Jesus and He was enduring the suffering of persecution and the cross, He made no threats.  He did not retaliate.  Though we rejected Him, he bore our sins.  

Vs. 21 states, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."  

Though that passage is to both genders, after this passage, Peter then begins his instructions to wives to be submissive, in the same way.  Showing sacrificial love in hopes of winning your husbands over.

Once again, as husbands and wives, we submit and selflessly love out of our love for Christ and what He has done for us, regardless of the behavior of our spouse.

Humility Breeds Compassion

In Romans 12:3 Paul states, "For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."

I did not use this scripture in my post to husbands, and in it's context, it is not speaking directly to marriage.  However, I did make this point to husbands as well.  Humility of heart is key in your Christian walk regarding everyone you engage.  It should be of special importance in your marriage.  

Jesus was humble of heart(Matthew 11:28-30) and He is our example.  If we remain continually aware of where we would be without God's grace it will humble us and should create an attitude of gratitude.  Gratitude for the grace that saved you from being the wretched sinner that you were and carries through the process of sanctification in which you become more and more like Christ. 

This realization should help us to have compassion for anyone that is struggling with any areas of sin.  Even if that sin is against us.  

This should be the case all the more toward our spouses.

Stick With It...SAFELY!

Perseverance is key in any good marriage.  Just like it takes a lifetime for Jesus to get us (the Church) where He wants us to be before He takes us home, it takes a lifetime of God-submitted effort to have an enduring marriage to enjoy.  

Yes, there are rough spots.  There are sad times and mad times.  However, sometimes the mad times can create dangerous times.  Most often this is a case of danger for the wife because of a mad, drunk, or high husband with a hot temper whom is inclined toward abuse.

Now, I want to make this point very carefully.  Submission does not mean that your husband can demand anything of you that is contrary to God's word.  Nor does it mean he can walk all over you. 

You are not a doormat and you can say so!
Image result for pics of you are not a doormat
At the same time, scripture also does not suggest that an abusive situation is an acceptable reason for divorce.  Many do not agree, but I promise you, it is not in scripture.

There are only two biblically acceptable reasons for divorce.  One is adultery.  The other is if one spouse is an unbeliever and they choose to leave the marriage, the believer is not commanded to follow.  These are allowable, but not mandated.  God's ideal scenario would be that we stick it out and love them and pray our spouse through it.

With that said, I do not believe that just because divorce is not condoned in the case of abuse, this means that you have to stay in an unsafe situation.  

At this point, family and your church elders need to get involved.  They need to provide you safety, and they need to challenge this disobedient, abusive husband.    

As the wife, scripture says that even in this scenario, you are to show the love of Christ at every opportunity.  If he leaves and insists on remaining unrepentant, then you are off the hook, if you want to be.  I have known several women in this kind of scenario that have testimonies of sticking it out, loving their husbands, praying for their husbands, and seeing them get saved and their marriages restored.  It can be done.  However, it requires a strong relationship with Jesus that is fed by prayer and the study of His word.


When all else has failed and you don't know what to do, pray, pray, pray!  "The effective prayer of a righteous person has much power"(James 5:16).  

When you think you can't take it anymore and you just want to give up, pray, pray, pray! "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you"(James 1:5).  

"Pray without ceasing"(1 Thessalonians 5:17).  

"Pray with thanksgiving and praise"(Psalm 95:, Philippians 4:4-7).  "Thanksgiving for what?" you might ask.  Thanksgiving that even when you feel alone, you are not alone.  Jesus is right there loving you and giving you strength.  God said he will never leave you nor forsake you and because of that we should have courage.(Deuteronomy 31:6)

And of course the most important example is Jesus who gave us the Lords prayer when asked how we should pray(Matthew 6:9-13).


I hope this has been illuminating, if not helpful.  Just as with any relationship, our marriages require commitment, work, and an intimate relationship with a Holy God and a Suffering Savior.  One who can identify with our pain and suffering; and has the ability to be strong for us in our weakness.  

That is, of course, if we want our marriages to be all that God intended them to be.  You have to want it badly.  Also, remember that you are a precious, valuable commodity.  Part of what makes that so is your God-given gift to be what your husband needs, even when he does not know he needs it.  

You are his helpmate.  God put you with your husband because he made you to compliment him and strengthen him in his weaknesses.  That makes you unbelievably special.  As you grow in grace through that experience, you will learn things about yourself that you could not have learned any other way.

It's Not Always Pretty Or What Makes Us Happy

Our success in difficulty also depends on our ability by God's grace, to find satisfaction in God's glory in every situation, even if it means that situation has to be negative for a time.  As I mentioned toward the end of the post entitled "How To Suffer Well", when we understand that our greatest satisfaction will be found when God is most glorified in our lives, then we will want to be in God's will in the most biblical way possible.  

Keeping God's glory in view helps us to have our aim on something other than our own happiness.  This will help drive biblical obedience which will then result in the best possible scenario for our lives.  It is in our best interest to honor God's zeal for His own glory because 
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him"-John Piper.

I will end with Philippians 4:4-7 because it is one scripture that exemplifies the idea stated above, in some ways it defines the whole post.  It says, 
"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

May it be so in your personal walk and in your marriage.

In Jesus name,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wanna Save Your Marriage (Part 5 ) How to Suffer Well

Wait, What!?!

How to suffer well?!  What kind of an idea is that!  I shouldn't have to suffer in my marriage.  If their not gonna change and I can't be happy then I'm getting out!  Ever heard that before?  Ever heard someone else give that terrible advice to someone who is unhappy in their marriage?  I have.  More times than I would like to think about.  

I have also heard many sad stories of coworkers or family, very recently, who are in marriages that they want to fight for but their spouse's heart is not in it.  What do you do in that situation? How do you fight every natural sinful, selfish inclination to look out for #1?  Why should you?  

I just want to make it clear that at no time am I suggesting that a healthy understanding of suffering makes it a snap to deal with.  It is called suffering for a reason.  God does, however promise to walk with us through it.


Listen, I have been there and so has my beautiful wife.  We have both experienced moments in our twelve (now fifteen) year marriage and the six years of dating prior to,  when we were not very happy with each other.  If we were going to break up or get divorced for the reasons that people often do these days, it would have already happened.  

Thankfully, we are both pigheadedly committed to our marriage vows and deeply don't want to hurt our children however, there have been times that it was almost like emotional divorce, even though we would never actually legally divorce.  

That, my friends, can be just as painful as the real thing.  It has that tiny glimmer of hope that you are still together and it might improve.  

Gratefully for us it has.

So What Now?

The fact is that most marriages have rough spots.  Spouses do not typically remain exactly the same forever. They grow in their faith or lack there of.  Common interest's sometimes change and become less common between you.  Sometimes they experience health issues that affect how they act toward you or others. Depression is a big challenge in this day.  Sometimes busy lives, work distractions, and a lack of communication form a gap that creates an undercurrent of bitterness or resentment in one spouse or the other, or both, that is not always apparent until it has become a serious problem.  

I have already published my post to men regarding their responsibilities in marriage and ways that they can positively effect change.  Before I publish my post to women regarding their unbelievably important and invaluable role as wife and helpmate, I want to share with you some ways in which the bible addresses suffering.  Suffering in marriage can certainly be experienced by either spouse, but there are some particularly unique ways in which women tend to suffer in marriage at times.

What I will say here does no apply only to suffering in marital struggles. We need a working knowledge of what to expect and how to handle all suffering.  Please journey with me.

What Does Scripture Say?

As I have grown in my knowledge and understanding of scripture I have become keenly aware of the Spirit's use of that knowledge to change my heart and hold me accountable in my marriage and in life.  

Whether it is caused by persecution from perfect strangers or coworkers, it is the result of emotional struggles within a family, or it is your own illness or the illness of someone else, suffering is very real.  We need to know what the bible says and how it is applicable.  

Before we get to the less pleasant realities of suffering in this life lets look to the hope that the future holds for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Suffering Won't Last For Believers

2 Corinthians 4:7-18 gives us the hope that we need to hang on through any and all trials and tribulations. Verses 7-15 essentially state that no matter what suffering we must endure, whether emotional, physical, psychological, or spiritual we must remember that we are but jars of clay, carrying the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, and awaiting the eternal resurrection that will be obtained through the consummation of all things at Christ's triumphant return.  

Verses 16-18 tells us that, 
"we do not loose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."  

This is great news that must be revisited in order that it may carry us through past, present, and future sufferings.  Always keep your eyes on Jesus and run the race with confidence that victory is certain as long as you persevere.(Matthew 24:13, 2 Peter 1:8-10) 

Now on to the realities that we must in fact face until this eternal glory, free of suffering, comes to pass.

Expect To Suffer In This Life

Don't get me wrong, you don't have to walk around fearing it.  But you should expect it.  The triumphalist ideal that God doesn't want you to suffer; and that at the cross Jesus wiped out all suffering related to this short life here on earth that is not directly related to persecution, is inaccurate.  The Apostle Paul, as well as many other faithful men of God have suffered persecution, emotional trials and physical ailments, and it was not because they lacked faith or obedient devotion to their Lord and Savior.

As we will see, many a scripture speaks to the character building purposes of the allowance of suffering in this life.   Jesus in no way shied away from the idea that we would endure suffering for his names sake.  He called us to take up our cross, an instrument of torture, and follow him on a path of self-sacrifice for the glory of the Father.  Jesus explained in Matthew 10:34-36 that "a man's enemies will be the members of his own household."  In John 16:33 Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.  Paul spoke extensively about his own suffering, rejoiced in it, and instructed us to do the same.  He expected that if he was going to walk in the footsteps of a Suffering Savior, that he could expect to suffer as well(Colossians 1:24, Philippians 3:10).  He understood that there was glory to be gained for the Father through our suffering; and revelation to be had, of the Father's goodness and faithfulness through suffering.

Suffering Is Necessary For Growth

Romans 5:3-5, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
James 1:2-4, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
 Romans 8:18, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

-God ordains all blessing and suffering(Isaiah 45:7).  He has a purpose for it.  As explained, it produces perseverance, character and hope.  This hope grows, with the character, through the perseverance.  This hope is what carries us through the suffering.  We are to rejoice.  But how, you ask?  We must keep an eternal perspective.  We must always see every trial as preparation for the glory to come.  We must remember this life is but a vapor(James 4:14).

Not Alone In Our Suffering

1 Peter 4:12-13, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed"

Now I will grant you that, especially if you continue reading through vs. 19, this suffering is more in reference to suffering persecution for Christ's name.  However, there are absolutely times when suffering in marriage comes at least in part as persecution from your spouse and maybe other family members for converting to Christianity.  It could also come in the face of doing what is right in the eyes of God regarding your marriage even if your believing spouse is not.

1 Corinthians 10:13, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man."

-We must remember this.  Make no mistake, trials and suffering will lead to temptations.  Temptations to retaliate or leave when we should stay, for example.  They are all common to anyone who is suffering.  We must remember that Christ endured suffering, rejection, and temptation.  He knows your struggles and He promises to walk with you through them.

God Will See You Through

Isaiah 43:1-2"But now, this is what the Lord says.  He who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."

Psalm 34:17-19"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken."

Many scholars believe that the last line about the broken bones is a reference to Jesus who had not one bone broken on the cross.  The overall picture of these scriptures is that we will suffer.  However, we can cry out to God and we can expect that He will be there with us, sustaining us, and restoring us on the other side.  Ultimately, He will deliver us from all suffering for eternity through the consummation of all things at Christ's return.

Suffering Brings Us Closer To God

There are other scriptures that speak to this but one of my favorites is from the book of Job.  Job is a book entirely devoted to the doctrine of suffering.  Many things are discussed through this wonderful book but what is most precious to me at this point comes from Job 42:5.  

After a rather intense, mostly one-sided discussion between Job and God in Job Ch.38-41, Job realizes his fault in daring to question the sovereign God of the universe about his own suffering and loss. He is not however, embittered or ill that he did not get all the answers.  No, you see, God spends a lengthy period of time speaking of His clear control in creating and setting into motion EVERYTHING that comes to pass from massive storms to massive animals and from the highest heavens to the depths of the sea.

It is not that we do not exert our will and have responsibility for our actions.  It is that God was there at the beginning, He is here observing and interacting with His creation, and He will be there at the end.  He is ALWAYS in control.

What is Job's response in Job 42:5?  
"My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you." 
That's beautiful.  The revelation that Job gained of the awesome majesty of a Holy God was priceless.  It brought him closer in his relationship with his Heavenly Father.  As it happens God restored all that Job had lost and then some.  That is not promised in this life, but it is in the life to come.

Rejoice In Your Suffering.

If you read Job 42:1-6 you get a sense of joyful repentance.  He is sorrowful in repentance at his pride in questioning God, yet there is a joy to be had in the new revelation he has of God.  Did you notice in Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4, and 1 Peter 4:12-13 that we are instructed to rejoice, be joyful, or count it all joy that we suffer.  Do you find it odd that scripture teaches this.  

The reason for this is found in the surrounding subtitles of this paragraph.  Through suffering we come to know God the Father better, we become more aware of the Holy Spirit's empowering presence and we become more dependent on Jesus.  Rejoice in suffering because through suffering, we are conformed more and more into the image of God that we were originally intended to reflect.

Jesus Is There

These are but a few of a multitude of scriptures that speak to the reality of suffering, the purpose of suffering, and of hope in suffering.  I want to give one more reference straight from the mouth of Jesus.  Though it is applicable to times of suffering, it is really intended as a call to surrender your life to Him with the promise that He will help you bear the load.  It is found in Matthew 11:28.  
In it Jesus states, "Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls."

Let's think of this another way.  God's purpose for our existence is two fold: glory and enjoyment.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism is a set of questions and answers created long ago in order to help children and new Christians think through the most important doctrines taught in scripture.  My family and I are learning this now through our church.

It states in the answer to it's first question, "What is Man's Chief End (purpose)?"  The answer:  "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."  

When you learn to trust him, you learn to rest in him, then you can enjoy him.  In all of these aspects, He will be glorified through your life.  Pastor/Author John Piper has coined the phrase, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.".

Learn to be satisfied in God and all that He is through the scriptures, and He will be more than enough for you when times are tough and those whom you love most on earth are not satisfying your may just save your marriage.  Consequently, He will be glorified all the more in your life, thus creating an awesome Christian witness...and THAT we should want, because people will want to know how in the world you can seem so satisfied and joyful in the midst of trial and tribulation.  Then you get to explain the joy of knowing Jesus.  What an awesome privilege.

I pray this encourages you through the hard times, in marriage, or anything else in life.



Friday, October 18, 2013

Wanna Save Your Marriage?(Part 4) The Husbands Role.

Your back!  That's wonderful!  There are few sweeter joys than a renewed marriage.  Sometimes that happens all at once.  Sometimes, one spouse has to take the lead.  While sometimes the wife must be that spouse that temporarily leads, scripture puts complete responsibility for leadership and shepherding of the family on the husband.

That's right men.  Christ set the example for how we are to love and lead our wives.

Check out Ephesians 5:25-27.  "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
Do Not Abuse Them!

Notice it does not say, be an overbearing brute, commanding obedience, and verbally, if not physically or emotionally abusing her.  

NO!  That man needs a gang of godly men to come over to his house and kick his butt quite frankly.  No really, that kind of man does need to be held accountable via methods of church discipline if he will not receive the wise council of patient and loving, yet firm in the faith, men of God. 

Remember men, if you abuse your wife verbally, physically, or emotionally, especially if she is a believer, you are abusing a member of Christ's church and he will not take kindly to it.  

Harsh Honesty Will Crush Your Wife's Heart!

Colossians 3:19 states, "Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them."  Being harsh doesn't happen only in tone.  There are many thoughts that you have which may represent feelings that seem very real.  These should never be shared with your wife.  

If you are not sure of your feelings toward your wife or you are battling with attractions to other women, etc. these are things that should be hashed out with another trusted brother in the Lord through the word of God.  

If your feelings don't mesh with the word of God, then they are likely sinful, to be taken captive and handed to God to be disposed of.  That is true for all of Christian life.  Just because it feels right does not mean it is right.

Man Up!

Gentlemen.  We need to man up!  We need to stop whining and moaning about every little perceived problem we have, that simply must be all our wives fault.  Even if we are only complaining to ourselves.  

As I said in the first post, I am married and I love my wife very much.  She is my best friend however, my marriage is not perfect. 

For a long time my wife and I fought over lots of things.  Some were important.  Some were not.  The problem is that I was allowing myself to become bitter about the the important, topics that really did matter.  I was constantly angry with my wife, sometimes subconsciously, so that it fed the stupid fights, without me realizing it until it was too late.  Worse yet, I gave myself permission to tear her down verbally as if it was my job to change what I did not like.  Meanwhile, completely missing the acts of sin I was committing against her and God by not being loving, patient, kind and most importantly forgiving in the way I handled my issues with her.  

Remember, "love keeps no record of wrong"(1 Corinthians 13).  I was failing miserably at this.  I had placed zero trust for the unity of my wife and I in the sovereign hands of my Savior.  I acted as if I was totally in control.  

Gratefully, God broke me, shined a light on my own heart and showed me where I was wrong.  He taught me to recognize His grace in MY life and to pray for more of His grace in hers.  We need to recognize that the battle is bigger than us or our wives, take authority in Christ, and pray.  We are practically handing our marriages over without a fight because we do not recognize the spiritual battle and we do not know how to use the weapons that have been given to us.

Marriage is Spiritual Warfare!

Prayer is a powerful weapon that we as husbands do not wield enough.  We must realize that we need to be at war with Satan's attacks on our marriage every day. 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 states, "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  

This is huge!  If we would simply recognize that many of the ridiculous fights we have with our wives are actually fueled by sin and selfishness, not Christ and righteousness, we would save ourselves and our wives a lot of pain and sorrow.

The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-18 lists the Armor of God that is made available to us to stand against the devil's schemes. The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit.  All of this under-girded by prayer.  So here's the thing about prayer:  

In 1 Peter 7, Peter warns husbands, "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers."  

How about that?  If you mistreat your wives it will hinder your prayers, which will impact every other weapon available to you.  

Conversely , if you aren't applying the weapons of holy living, studying the word, knowing and sharing the gospel, building up your faith in these and praying, then you will most likely mistreat your wife because you will be focused on you rather than Jesus.

Humble Yourself!

Humility is key to being a successful leader.  Unfortunately, sometimes the last place we strive for humility is in our marriages and with our children.  

As mentioned above, you must remember the gospel.  In order to remain humble, you must remember what you were like before you were born again.  Before God's grace empowered gospel obedience. When you recognize this, it will create a gratitude in your heart for what Christ has done and a compassion for those who have not yet experienced that.  

Christ does not want us to revel in our grace given successes.  He wants us to be continually driven to the cross.  He wants us to see the flaws of others, most especially our wives, as those things in which they need God to help them overcome, just as we need him to continually help us overcome.  

He wants us to serve them by loving them through the challenges and praying compassionately for them to experience victory.  When you are praying continually for people's spiritual success, it is difficult to remain unloving. 

Wash Them

Christ loved the church by giving himself up for her.  He died to himself.  He humbled himself, becoming nothing, that his church would be made clean.  And how is the church made clean?  By the washing of the word.  Not, the force feeding of the word.  

If husbands would strive to spend real time cultivating an appreciation and application of God's word in the home daily rather than considering their duties done on Sunday morning this would fix many problems.  

Value Your Wife

Proverbs 31:10-12 says, "A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.  Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."  

Chapter 31 ends stating in verse 28, "her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."  

verse 31 says, "Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."  

Be sure of it gentlemen, Ephesians makes it clear that we as husbands are responsible for seeing to it that our wives are able to become everything that this passage in Proverbs 31:10-31 says she can and should be.  

If we show that we find her valuable and encourage our children to do the same by praising her, blessing her, loving her, praying for her, and washing her with the water of the word, 


Lead Lovingly, Gently, Carefully, Patiently, Faithfully and Prayerfully

Finally and repetitiously, die to yourself and live for Jesus.  Lead your family.  Wash your wife and your children with the water of the word.  

Do it lovingly and gently just as Christ has done for you or they will likely not respond positively to you.  

Do it carefully as you are capable of building up their hearts....or breaking them. 

Do it patiently, faithfully, and prayerfully. Remember, only God can change their hearts, by the power of the Holy Spirit, as I pray he has yours.  

You are the shepherd of their hearts and souls.  A good shepherd leads and protects his sheep.  Be diligent in your responsibilities, applying the fruit of the Spirit, and trust Jesus(Galatians 5:22-23).

Jesus, the chief shepherd has taken over 2,000 years to get His church ready and He is not done yet because we are still here.  If he is patiently shepherding us that way, then we must apply that same patience in shepherding our own families.  We will give an account for the way we lead them.  If we do our part and trust God to do His, then by His grace, the account will be a good one.

May it be so in Jesus name,