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).

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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.