J.C. Ryle on Three Rules for Marriage

J.C. Ryle offers some excellent thoughts on good marriages in his commentary on Mark. He gives three rules that will help in marriage:

The first is to marry only in the LORD, and after prayer for God’s approval and blessing. The second is not to expect too much from their partners, and to remember that marriage is, after all, the union of two sinners, and not of two angels. The third rule is to strive first and foremost for one another’s sanctification. The more holy married people are, the happier they are. “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify it” (Eph. V. 25, 26).

In Honor of National Women’s Day

In honor of National Women’s Day, I would like to praise all the women who forego the world’s call to false importance and choose to live God-honoring lives by staying home, raising their children, and submitting to their husbands as to the LORD.

These are the true women of importance. Instead of seeking their own glory, they seek to serve their children and husbands in all humility. This is what is pleasing to the LORD. They don’t protest. They don’t grandstand for false causes. They know that their true happiness is doing what God has called them to do in being mothers and wives. They know that the most important calling on a woman’s life is the family. They know that they are raising and shaping the minds of the next generation. They are not led astray by the false promises of the world. They know their Savior and follow His direction for their lives.

To these women: I salute you!

For the Mutual Help

In an earlier post, I quoted the second paragraph of the Westminster Confession of Faith’s chapter on marriage and divorce. This was an attempt to shed some light on the complementarian/egalitarian debate. Here, I would like to expand the Confession’s take on marriage in paragraph 2, from the chapter on Of Marriage and Divorce:

Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife; for the increase of mankind with a legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed; and for preventing of uncleanness.

The first line simply states that God ordained marriage for the mutual help of the husband and wife, but there are two things that need to be understood about this. First, God ordained this for marriage. This is His will for marriage made known to mankind. God, in His full right as Creator, declared what He wanted marriage to be. It is a union between one man and one woman. Secondly, we see in Scripture that the LORD ordained respective roles for the husband and wife.

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Finding a Spouse on Christian Mingle

My wife and I have had several people ask us about using Christian dating sites to find a spouse, since she and I used a Christian dating site to find each other. I guess you could say we were one of the success stories for Christian Mingle, the site we used. But allow me to stipulate that God was the One who was successful, not the website.

So the question is: Can God use a dating web site to bring two of His children together?

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Unless the LORD Builds the House…

They labor in vain who build it.

Truly, we need these words in so many endeavors in our lives. How many relationships, job, projects, things we’ve set out to do, did we do without consulting the Omniscient God who is. Just in thinking about my first marriage has me asking the question: did I labor in vain in building that marriage?

The Psalmist could not be more clear. Everything we do, needs to be done with the LORD in view, seeking His guidance and direction. In fact, if the LORD is not in it, it is not worth doing, no matter what it is. We need to seek Him in all things. Jesus put it this way: seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you (memory version). He also said, He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.

Sure, we can do lots of things without the LORD. But doing so leads to nothing. How many marriages are on the brink because those involved sought each other first, and tacked on the LORD like an iPhone app?

The LORD needs to build our homes, marriages and careers. To not seek Him or wait on Him, is to labor in vain.

Happy Buy-Lots-of-Chocolate Day!

Not much into it… but will try to score some chocolate nonetheless. I’m really looking forward to the sale everything will be on next time I go to HEB. Enjoy the day and if someone loves you, thank the LORD for that love. For the rest of us, there is the hope we have of being loved by the Father because of the Son.

Here are my boys after a new haircut.

Haircuts

Thoughts on Divorce

I’ve read quite a few good articles on divorce and remarriage lately, one article being Matt Walsh’s piece entitled I’ve been divorced four times, but homosexuals are the ones destroying marriage.  His premise is simply that it isn’t homosexuals that are destroying the institution of marriage. Those of us who are straight have done a pretty good job of destroying the institution ourselves. Given the high level of divorce even among first-time marriages, the divorce rate is staggering.

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Equally Yoked = Marriage Bliss???

I let it slide for about two weeks but do so for two reasons. First, Toby B. Holt article Wedding Bells, Hell’s Bells: The Nightmare Of Being Unequally Yoked is one of those articles saying what really needs to be said about many of the marriages in the church: many are unequally yoked. Secondly, the article really helps explain the what and why of being equally yoked. Believers are ontologically different from non-believers. It is for these  reasons we need the article.

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You Never Marry the Right Person

I have to give my kudos to Timothy Keller. He is willing to say about marriage what few are willing to say: You Never Marry the Right Person.

Keller writes:

…some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.

What he is pointing out is that far too many people enter marriage so they can have their needs met, as opposed to entering marriage in order to give to the other person. The goals of marriage for many are off based and set up for failure. If we are looking to have our needs met, is there any one who can actually fulfill all those needs? It seems to me that if the needs are fulfilled on one level, then nothing will happen but the arrival of more needs needing to be fulfilled. This is because the needs of many are sinful in nature and sin is never satisfied.

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Putting Asunder What God Has Joined

Bill Smith, a fellow teaching elder in the PCA, has put together a great piece on divorce over at his blog The Christian Curmudgeon. The Westminster Confession of Faith has given two reasons for divorce. The first is that of adultery, in which the offending party has had actual physical relations with someone other than their spouse, thereby breaking the one-flesh union of the couple. The other is desertion, in which one spouse leaves the other.

He discusses both positions and shows that the two reasons are biblical. He also gives us a good section on the church’s responsibility in the matter:

What is the responsibility of the church? The church’s responsibility is (1) to train its youth according to the Biblical teaching regarding sexuality and marriage; (2) to do everything possible to strengthen the marriages of its members; (3) to uphold Biblical standards regarding the grounds for divorce; (4) to approach every troubled couple with love, understanding, and help with the goal of restoring the relationship; (5) to support the party who does not cause the divorce*; (6) to minister to the needs of children for whom divorce is almost always destructive; (7) to seek pastorally, with humility and showing grace, to help the erring party to repent and find forgiveness, according to his/her profession; and (8) as a last resort to use the Bible’s disciplinary process (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 6:1) to uphold the honor of Christ, to protect the purity of the church, and to reclaim the person who (it is be hoped) had temporarily gone astray.

Read the rest of the article here.

 

Roundup That Matters

Just a few things going on that I’m able to comment on, and not able to pass up…

What Makes You Think the “Democratic Party” Has Changed? — Great piece by a woman that identifies herself as FDF NY (Ayesha Kreutz?) on how what I’m calling the party of death, the Democratic Party, hasn’t changed much since its inception and identification with the KKK. She writes:

I look around see these inner cities that are devastated by broken families, abortion, poor education (which borders criminal), high incarceration rates, illiteracy, drug infestation and general black genocide; and I see the power structure is mostly all democrats, in city after city and for 15 and 40 years and I have to ask you people what in the world makes you think the “Democrat Party”, which …was the party of the KKK, Segregation and now socialism has changed. I mean I hear you all say it and I hear a lot of these folks say a bunch of sweet and “well intentioned” things but when I look around and see the pain, devastation and brokeness, it seems like they are feeding you a line of bull… just the same old planned genocide and eugenics, they wanted all along only more cloaked, today, in fancy elitism and patronizing niceties. So again I ask, what in the world makes you think these people have changed from their past?

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Roundup That Matters 5/28

Obama Stands For Islam — but then, are we surprised about this? He is anti-First Amendment in his stance. People slander Jesus Christ all the time and yet, you don’t see Christians rioting and killing people over it. Only the religion of peace does that.

Divorce Rate Among Devoted Christians Much Lower Than National Average — For years we have been hearing that the divorce rate among Christians was just as bad as that among non-Christians… at 50 percent. That stat is erroneous and misleading in nature as well. But there is a new study out showing that those who are devoted Christians actually have a lower divorce rate than those non-believers. Here the key poing:

People who seriously practice a traditional religious faith—whether Christian or other—have a divorce rate markedly lower than the general population.

What the study shows is that the more a couple is committed to their beliefs, the less likely they are to become divorced.

Gloria Jackson Show — I like the following video from the Gloria Jackson Show. She interviews Comedian Brad Stine about freedom of speech. The more I listened to it the more I like Brad Stine. Not only does he discuss the problem of Marxism and political correctness, but he goes on to talk about the true equality we have because of Christ and Christianity.

BTW, I actually started paying more attention to Gloria Jackson when I was listening to a debate between a Calvinist and Armenian recently and she was one of the people who asked a question during the Q&A.

Paganini Humor — Another video that I have found very humorous, and entertaining are those put out by PAgagNINI, a couple of violinist who put humor to playing music. The following is one of my favorites in which they cover U2’s With or Without You. It’s beautiful. (Hattip Andrew M.)

And there is this rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D


PCUSA Theological Liberalism Leads to Biblical Stupidity

The PCUSA, the liberal leaning and Bible ignoring Presbyterian denomination that most people know about, decided this past week at their General Assembly that when it comes to same-sex marriage, Scripture is just a bit too confusing for these mental giants to come to any serious conclusion on the topic.

Yes, you read that correctly. Instead of saying the Bible is against it, since it condemns homosexuality in every case that it is mentioned in Scripture, AND since marriage always means between one woman and one man, that there just wasn’t enough evidence for them to rule whether or not it was right or wrong.

Here is a bit from The Layman Online:

Scripture too confusing to use

The tarnished centerpiece of the committee’s recommendation, however, was an amended overture from Sacramento Presbytery, which read in part, “We decline to take an action that would have the effect of imposing on the whole Presbyterian Church (USA) one interpretation of Scripture in this matter” of “what the Scriptures teach concerning the morality of committed, same-gender relationships.” The best this committee and then the whole General Assembly could do was to declare formally that Scripture is too confusing, too subject to varied interpretations to unite around to decide matters of same-sex sexual morality.

Is same-sex practice right or wrong, according to the Bible? “Well, ya know, we just can’t decide,” has now become General Assembly’s official position. This position is intended to “be brought before each presbytery at a stated meeting in which the report from the 220th General Assembly (2012) is given.”

Yes, these erudite reprobates just couldn’t come to any conclusion about what Scripture actually says when it comes to same-sex marriage. It is just way too complicated.

Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this O so difficult topic. Every time marriage is mentioned in Scripture, ten times in the gospels alone, it is always between a man and a woman. Jesus spoke to the issue as well, and every time He discussed marriage, it was between a man and a woman.

Therefore, same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, since two people of the same sex cannot be married. It is outside the definition of marriage.

Also, since every place that homosexuality is mentioned in Scripture, it is in a condemning nature, meaning that it is never spoken of in a positive light. Also given the fact that homosexuality is a result of idolatry in Romans 1:18ff, meaning that it is part of God’s wrath, we can safely assume that homosexuality in any form, wanted or unwanted, is a sin.

For some odd reason, the erudite reprobates cannot see these truths. It’s just too complicated for these well-educated apostates to figure out. Given that, if you are a member of a PCUSA church, I recommend one thing: run!

Run to the nearest church where the gospel is actually preached. Run to the nearest church where the Bible is actually believed. Run to a church that sees the Scripture as authoritative, not as just a guide to happy living. Run from these apostates as quickly as you can. Not only have they gone from thinking themselves wise, they became fools, they have actually become stupid in the process. They are not even trying to disguise their stupidity and foolishness with some erudite thinking. They are just plain stupid is as stupid does. So sad.

FYI: Please note that the PCUSA and the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) are not affiliated in any way, shape, form or fashion. The PCA is my denomination and we actually believe in the authority of Scripture. You will notice that in our denomination, we have no women pastors. That is usually the first sign that a denomination is going apostate.After all, once the denomination punts the roles of men and women given in Scripture, everything is subject to change as well. This doesn’t mean that we do not see men and women equally valuable in the church, but we have different roles in the church, just as the Three Persons of the Godhead have differing roles in our salvation.

The 11 Rules of Marriage

I found these rules at Familylife.com, and thought I would pass them on to you. They are Dennis Rainey’s answer to the 11 rules of life that are so often attributed to Bill Gates. These are much better and he uses that term that is so popular today, to “man up.” Which is odd, because the only reason this term is needed is because of the wimpification and feminization of men by the women’s movement. What would be the alternative for women? “Women down!” Probably not.

Here is Dennis Rainey’s list:

Rule 1: Marriage isn’t about your happiness.  It’s not about you getting all your needs met through another person.  Practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice, patience, understanding, and forgiveness are the fundamentals of a great marriage.  If you want to be the center of the universe, then there’s a much better chance of that happening if you stay single.

Rule 2: Getting married gives a man a chance to step up and finish growing up.  The best preparation for marriage for a single man is to man up now and keep on becoming the man God created him to be.

Rule 3: It’s okay to have one rookie season, but it’s not okay to repeat your rookie season.  You will make rookie mistakes in your first year of marriage; the key is that you don’t continue making those same mistakes in year five, year 10, or year 20 of your marriage.

Rule 4: It takes a real man to be satisfied with and love one woman for a lifetime.  And it takes a real woman to be content with and respect one man for a lifetime.

Rule 5: Love isn’t a feeling.  Love is commitment.  It’s time to replace the “D word”—divorce—with the “C word”—commitment.  Divorce may feel like a happy solution, but it results in long-term toxic baggage.  You can’t begin a marriage without commitment.  You can’t sustain one without it either.  A marriage that goes the distance is really hard work.  If you want something that is easy and has immediate gratification, then go shopping or play a video game.

Rule 6: Online relationships with old high school or college flames, emotional affairs, sexual affairs, and cohabiting are shallow and illegitimate substitutes for the real thing.  Emotional and sexual fidelity in marriage is the real thing.

Rule 7: Women spell romance R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P.  Men spell romance S-E-X.  If you want to speak romance to your spouse, become a student of your spouse, enroll in a lifelong “Romantic Language School,” and become fluent in your spouse’s language.

Rule 8: During courtship, opposites attract.  After marriage, opposites can repel each another.  You married your spouse because he/she is different.  Differences are God’s gift to you to create new capacities in your life.  Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different.

Rule 9: Pornography robs men of a real relationship with a real person and poisons real masculinity, replacing it with the toxic killers of shame, deceit, and isolation.  Pornography siphons off a man’s drive for intimacy with his wife.  Marriage is not for wimps.  Accept no substitutes.

Rule 10: As a home is built, it will reflect the builder.  Most couples fail to consult the Master Architect and His blueprints for building a home.  Instead a man and woman marry with two sets of blueprints (his and hers).  As they begin building, they discover that a home can’t be built from two very different sets of blueprints.

Rule 11: How you will be remembered has less to do with how much money you make or how much you accomplish and more with how you have loved and lived.

Also, I read somewhere that polls have shown that families that eat a normal meal together every day are much happier. The implication was that we should eat at least one meal together every day. But I wonder if eating a meal together every day isn’t the end product of families that are committed to one another. In other words, sitting down for a meal together is just a by product of those who are committed together through Christ. Just a thought.

BLOG NOTE: Sometime during the night this site crossed over the 20,000 hit mark. This is since April when I transferred my blog here.