Avoiding Marriage Disappointment

What if tomorrow you find a note your wife had hidden for you to discover and read while at work. With a big smile, you begin reading it anticipating a surprise she has planned for you. To your disappointment, she shares something very serious. 

She explains how the marriage hasn’t met her expectations. She tells you that you are a nice guy and relatively good to her, but she has discovered she really doesn’t love you and is bored. She assures you that she won’t be seeking a divorce or another guy, as she believes that is sin. She would like to just be friends from here on out for the sake of the kids. She plans to take college classes, get a degree, and pursue the career she always wanted. 

Feeling as if you just had the wind knocked out, you think about how you have provided for her and shared your life with her. As you reflect back, you agree that you aren’t real gushy and romantic. You also know you work a lot, but that was to give her a good life. You remember your dad’s words before you got married, “Son, women marry for love and companionship. Don’t ever forget that.” You mumble to yourself, “Well dad, you were right.” 

Brothers, don’t let that or worse happen to you. Love your wife. Spend lots of time with her, and cherish her. Lead her spiritually into a deeper walk with Christ. Does she know that you would die for her? Will you live for her? 

What about your relationship with the Lord Jesus? Do you actually have one? He took all your wretched sin and in return gave you His righteousness so you could have eternal life. Are you living every moment of your day for Him? Are you deepening your walk with Him by being in His Word and having a quality prayer time every day? He died for you – live for Him. The more you abide in Christ, the better husband you will become. 

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28). 

More Fishing in The Boat

This week, like last, we are still fishing in the boat, but looking for those with different needs.

Brothers, many people are hurting who come to church (they came to the right place). Their pain may not be obvious, since they can put on a smile and make appear as if everything is fine. Your smile and caring conversation could be what communicates to them that they are loved, valued, and wanted. It is even possible that over time they will feel safe in your friendship and will let you see behind the smiles to the pain. Maybe it will be in the form of a prayer request, or it could be an invitation to meet for coffee. But it starts with looking around and reaching out to someone you don’t know rather than stoically sitting in your seat at church. 

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment” (Philippians 1:9). 

Fishing in the Boat

Assume you have a friend who liked to fish, and you knew of a place where the fish would actually jump in the boat. No doubt, he would want to go fishing there because the easiest place of all to fish is “in the boat.” Most of us have a similar opportunity every week. 

Next Sunday when you go to church go “fishing.” First, double check your “gear.” Your motive is love for your neighbor and obedience to the Lord. So often church members come to church, find where they are going to sit, and plop down until the end of the service. (Isn’t that why many churches have “meet and greet” because members sit down and don’t seek out visitors?) May I encourage you that after you find your seat, set your Bible there, and go fishing.

It is a great sadness for someone to visit a church but slide in and out unnoticed, without ever experiencing the “love of Christ.” Their visit to our church is such an opportunity for us to show them love and attention. Make it more than just “Hi, glad you are here” but instead something like, “I’m Steve. Welcome. Do you live in the area? Why did you choose to visit us today? Any questions I can answer for you before the service starts?” Then write their name down and be sure to go find them after the service. Get to know them.  

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

Posted in: Seriously

Children’s Summer Chores

When is the best time to work on chores? I believe summer is the time to put together a chore plan, assign children chores, teach them how to do their chores, and practice. Especially for homeschooling moms, the slower pace of summer affords valuable time for a chore emphasis that isn’t available during the school year. Plus with diligence and purpose for chores in the summer, your home maintenance should be as efficient as possible freeing time for other pursuits.

Put Together a Children’s Summer Chore Plan

I have heard about online plans and things you can sign up for to receive emails to tell you what to do and when to do it concerning chores. If you think about it, though, you are the only one who knows what needs to be done in your home, who makes up the chore team, who has time available, and who knows how to do particular jobs. I am convinced that you are the best one to design a summer chore plan for your children.

Commit the plan to paper. It has to be something you can look at and refer to, not something stored in your head! Think through the chores that need to be accomplished in your home and make a list of what comes to mind. You can add to it and refine it as you go. Start basic. Just get the critical chores written down. 

Be sure your children are accomplishing tasks that involve their self care such as making their beds, picking up their toys and clothes and putting them away, and helping in the kitchen. You will not only have chore help now, but you are preparing your children to handle responsibility throughout their lives.

Assign Children Chores

Next decide who can do the chore. If you have children helping with chores, plan for the youngest child who is capable to do the chore. Is it time for an older child to hand a chore over to a younger sibling? Perhaps the older child is ready to move into a higher skilled chore. When putting together your children’s summer chore plan, this information is necessary.

Teach Children Their Chores

Then work with your children to teach them to do their chores this summer. If you spend a few days teaching and then supervising bed making, your children will soon be proficient at it. The same goes for folding laundry or any other chore. First demonstrate, then work with the child, finally observe them doing it on their own. 

It is easier and quicker to do it ourselves when our children are just maturing to a capable age for a chore. In the long run, however, you are wise to invest in teaching your children to do chores. Remember you need help now, and they need to be able to function efficiently with chore work as adults. 

Schedule Chores

Finally remember that a great chore plan and children who know what to do doesn’t gain anticipated benefits unless you have a schedule in place. You want a summer schedule that allows time at the appropriate spot in the day for your children to do those chores. Usually chores fit naturally around meal times and before bed. On your written list be sure to put down the scheduled time for each chore. 

You will have to choose to be diligent to enforce that chore block on the schedule. Don’t expect your children to be enthusiastic about their work and rush to do it on their own. I think you can affect their attitudes by your own attitude toward your household chores. The more positive you are about your work, the more they will be about theirs. Dealing with their failures in a pleasant but firm manner, more quickly marches you forward with chore success. 

Redeeming Time this Summer

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). I can’t help but wonder if one way we can redeem time to invest in what is of eternal value to the kingdom of God is to have a home that functions efficiently and children who are being trained to be adults. The more chaos in a home, the more time it sucks from all the family members. We want to spend as little time as possible on household tasks so we have more time to serve the Lord in other ministry. Invest this summer in a children’s chore system and redeem the time.

If you need help with a chore plan, I recommend our book Managers of Their Chores. In that book, I take you step by step through putting together a chore system. 

Other Titus2 chore articles:

Children’s Chores

Summer Schedules and Chores

Benefiting from Summer Chores

Tornado Season

Most who live in the midwest know what a tornado siren sounds like, and anyone who loves his life will head for shelter when he hears the siren. If he doesn’t, his blood is upon his own hands. The person in each county whose job it is to turn the siren on is like the “watchman” of Ezekiel. His job was to warn the people by blowing the trumpet when an enemy was coming to attack. If the watchman didn’t sound the alarm when danger was coming, the responsibility for the shedding of others’ blood was upon him. 

When Jesus returned to the Father, He gave the command to go and make disciples. We are like the watchman of old. There is a coming wrath, and it is our responsibility to go and share that they must repent, believe on Jesus for the remission of sins, and follow Him. (Matthew 16:24, 28:19, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21) May we have clean hands and be found faithful. 

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Posted in: Seriously