Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Keeping the Gospel Central When Talking about Same Sex Marriage

As Jesus’ followers, it is imperative that we keep the gospel central in all we say and do. Sadly the gospel could so easily get lost in the discussion surrounding same sex marriage. The most important question is: do you believe that Jesus is who said and showed he was? Do you believe that Jesus is Lord? Jesus’ lordship rules over all of our orientations and lifestyles and marriages and gender and sexuality. Therefore, what one believes about Jesus is far more important than one thinks about homosexuality. We must remember and communicate that Jesus saves and transforms all sorts of sinners. We must remember that Jesus zealously opposes our sins of lust and greed and porn and anger and self-righteousness and pride and impatience and (you get the point).

So, I encourage you to equip yourself with some thoughtful, biblical instruction.

Tim Keller on How to Treat Homosexuals

“How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go” by Trevin Wax

Host: So how do you reconcile the command to love all people with a position on homosexuality that some would say is radically intolerant?

Pastor: (smiling) If you think my position on homosexuality is radical, just wait until you hear what else I believe! I believe that a teenage guy and girl who have sex in the backseat of a pick-up are sinning. The unmarried heterosexual couple living down the street from me is sinning. In fact, any sexual activity that takes place outside of the marriage covenant between a husband and wife is sinful. What’s more, Jesus takes this sexual ethic a step further and goes to the heart of the matter. That means that any time I even lust after someone else, I am sinning. Jesus’ radical view of sexuality shows all of us up as sexual sinners, and that’s why He came to die. Jesus died to save lustful, homo- and heterosexual sinners and transform our hearts and minds and behavior. Because He died for me, I owe Him my all. And as a follower of Jesus, I’m bound to what He says about sex and morality.

“How to Win the Public on Homosexuality” by Collin Hansen

Look no further for our culture’s confessional statement in three points:

  1. God made me this way.
  2. He wouldn’t deny my natural desires.
  3. And I don’t have to explain myself to you or anyone else.

You won’t understand the challenge facing Christians regarding homosexuality until you see how these three points permeate our culture. On the surface, we appear to be locked in a battle of rights we can’t win. Christians declare our right to speak out and legislate according to religious conviction in defense of traditional institutions. Gays pursue their right to life, liberty, happiness with regard to their sexuality. But homosexuality fronts a much bigger challenge that threatens us all.

“Same-Sex Marriage Makes a Lot of Sense” by Michael Horton

Same-sex marriage makes sense if you assume that the individual is the center of the universe, that God—if he exists—is there to make us happy, and that our choices are not grounded in a nature created by God but in arbitrary self-construction. To the extent that this sort of “moralistic-therapeutic-deism” prevails in our churches, can we expect the world to think any differently? If we treat God as a product we sell to consumers for their self-improvement programs and make personal choice the trigger of salvation itself, then it may come as a big surprise (even contradiction) to the world when we tell them that truth (the way things are) trumps feelings and personal choice (what we want to make things to be).

What is the Purpose of Marriage?

If someone asked you, “What is the purpose of marriage?”, how would you respond? Is the purpose of marriage primarily so that I would feel loved and fulfilled? Is the purpose of marriage that I would make my spouse feel loved and fulfilled?

This video will provide a very biblical answer, and perhaps stretch your comfort zones. Trust me, it is worth the eight minutes.

You can download a free copy (.pdf) of the book, This Momentary Marriage, here.

You can also read more from Ian and Larissa here:

Weekend To Remember

Below is a powerful testimony that God does the impossible–God transforms marriages! Why? Because God transforms sinners like you and me! I hope you’ll watch it and be encouraged. I hope you’ll attend the Weekend to Remember.

The Family Life “Weekend to Remember” marriage conference in South Portland is 4/27-4/29. Group rate cost of the conference is $159/couple, but there are scholarships and volunteer opportunities to make it possible for anyone to go. Register online at www.familylife.com/weekend. When you see “Group Name”,  type in WINDHAMBAPTISTCHURCH. For more info contact Tim or Cindy I.

 

Preparing for Valentine’s Day – part 3

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I wanted to recommend some resources that you might find helpful for your marriage. So here’s a list of suggestions with some brief notes.

Some Print Resources:

  • When Sinners Say ‘I Do’ by Dave Harvey – this book is must read for our marriage prep, even if you don’t read much you will enjoy this one.
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller – another wise and helpful book by Keller.
  • Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll – a helpful, though somewhat controversial book. For some, their candor will be refreshing, for others it will be over the top.
  • What Did You Expect by Paul Tripp – a hopeful, yet real discussion of what a marriage needs and what we need to bring.

Audio Resources:

  • John Piper did an excellent series on marriage a few years back – you can download them here and listen together. What is marriage for? How do I forgive? The Husbands role as head? What does it mean to submit?

Seminar Formats:

  • Weekend to Remember by Family Life – many of our couples have enjoyed these weekends, and their marriages have benefitted greatly. Tim and Cindy Irish are excellent resources inside our own faith family – talk to them to find out more.

What If I Don’t Feel Love for My Spouse?

A friend recommended a post today, and after reading it I wanted to pass it on. Steve Cornell writes,

A wife once told me that she planned to leave her husband because (in her words) she “just didn’t love him anymore.” I asked her to change the way she worded what she planned to do. I suggested that it would be more accurate to say, “I am choosing to no longer value my husband and to break my commitment to remain faithful to him.

She insisted on using terms that made her a victim of feelings she could not change. Ironically, she also thought her decision was virtuous in its honesty and lack of hypocrisy. Over the years, I have had people tell me they want to be married because they love each other and I’ve had people (like this woman) tell me that they want out of their marriages because they no longer feel love for their mate.

This has led me to ask some serious questions about the nature of love. What is love? Is it something we can fall into and fall out of? Is it chemistry? Infatuation? Is it an emotional response or a choice? In my evaluation, I’ve concluded that we need to distinguish two dimensions of love.

You’re going to want to read more, so click here to read the rest of the post.

7 Ways to Enjoy Friendship with Your Husband

Here is a great post for the wives out there, written by a pastor’s wife. And even if you have young kids, you have time to read it…

Click on the picture and the post will open in a new tab or window. Enjoy.

Marriage Conference Just Down the Road

Sept 9th and 10, Lakeside Community Church in Waterboro will be hosting speakers Stu and Ruth Ann Batstone from World Harvest Mission. They will be covering topics in marriage, taking the opportunity to help couples view their marriage through the lens of the gospel. The format for this workshop is unique, in that the Batstones will each present their topics then discussion will be held between husband and wife.No uncomfortable group therapy discussions—just good one-on-one time with your spouse. The hosts are also recommending that people clear their schedules to allow for a lunch date on Saturday, immediately following the workshop, to continue their conversations.

Art of Marriage Conference

Dear WBC Family,

Cindy and I want to tell you about a wonderful opportunity for couples who want to invest in their marriage.  Family Life (the people who put together the Weekend to Remember conferences which we promote) have put together a powerful video presentation/conference which will be coming to our area on Friday evening, June 3rd and Saturday, June 4th.  Basically, the video conference is the same great information that you would get at the Weekend to Remember but in a condensed, fast paced, high quality, entertaining format, and the cost is only $40/couple.  We hope that you’ll consider taking advantage of this great opportunity and will tell others about it as well.

Your brother in Christ,

Tim Irish

Event Details

   Friday, June 3, 2011 from 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
             Saturday, June 4, 2011 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

  EastPoint Christian Church

Address:   58 City Line Drive, Portland, ME  04102

Cost:    $40/couple ($50 at the door)   (Register on-line at www.theartofmarriage.com.)

 (207) 541-9992, alana@eastpointchristianchurch.com

 Coffee and refreshments will be provided. A lunch break will be provided for couples to dine off site or to enjoy lunches they have brought from home.

 No child care will be provided.

Wanted: More Older Women Discipling Younger Women

Susan Hunt reminds us that “Older women discipling younger women is not just a nifty idea someone concocted, and it is not optional. It’s a gospel imperative.” Read the rest, here.

Tiger Woods, Sin and the Gospel

No doubt you’ve heard about Tiger’s “transgressions” this week. I encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect a bit deeper than the soundbites, gossip and ramblings on the news. When it comes to understanding sports, life and theology all together C.J. Mahaney connects the dots like few others and offers this gospel-centered reflection:

Tiger Woods wants his privacy back.

He wants the media entourage to disappear from his life.

He wants to be left alone so he can manage his personal problems in private.

Not a chance.

The story began unfolding in the early hours of last Friday when he crashed his Cadillac Escalade into a tree and a fire hydrant near his Florida home. He refused to speak with the police about the incident, raising curiosity about the circumstances. The story has now escalated into allegations of marital infidelity, and that generated a blog post from Tiger that stated, “I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.” This statement by Tiger has led most to believe that the allegations of infidelity are true.

Hunted by the Media

As expected, the allegations of adultery involving a public figure are attracting a media pile-on. This is a big story with a big audience and it’s a story that will not disappear soon. Tiger Woods is being hunted by the media.

But let us make sure we do not join the hunt. A Christian’s response to this story should be distinctly different. We should not be entertained by the news. We should not have a morbid interest in all the details. We should be saddened and sobered. We should pray for this man and even more for his wife.

And we can be sure that in the coming days we will be in conversations with friends and family where this topic will emerge. And when it does, we can avoid simply listening to the latest details and speculations, and avoid speaking self-righteously, but instead we can humbly draw attention to the grace of God in the gospel.

Hunted by Sin

But Tiger is being hunted by something more menacing than journalists. Tiger’s real enemy is his sin, and that’s an enemy much more difficult to discern and one that can’t be managed in our own strength. It’s an enemy that never sleeps.

Let me explain.

Read the whole thing, here.

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