Category Archives: Marriage

Painful Reminders

Ever made bad choices and had someone remind you of them? It doesn’t feel great, but it helps not to make the same one mistake again. Those reminders can be like a giant billboard that flashes, “Don’t do it again. Don’t do it again.” 

God put just such a practice in place for our good according to Deuteronomy 28:46. “And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.” “They” refers to the curses mentioned in the previous verses (16-44) brought about by disobedience. 

The Israelites’ disobedience brought curses, which would be ongoing reminders that they should have obeyed the Lord. Read the list of consequences for disobedience. They are very sobering and may even be some that you are dealing with. Also notice verse 47, “Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.” They were not grateful for God’s blessings. Those words are highly convicting to me. I see how my pride has led me to take many of God’s blessings for granted. I have not been grateful to my Lord and am repenting. 

Brothers, are we grateful to our Lord? Gratefulness comes from the heart. Gratefulness to God fuels our obedience. Thankfulness, on the other hand, is an outward expression, which may or may not come from the heart. Being deeply grateful to the Lord carries eternal blessings, the least of which is no regrets. More to be discussed later. 

Steve

Both Are Gone Now

I recently discovered a printed email dated over ten years ago. It was from a dear Brother who was a dynamic follower of the Lord. He deeply loved his Lord and his family. 

I’m also reminded of another dad. He broke his wife’s heart when he told her that he had decided he didn’t want to be married to her any longer and would be leaving the family. There was someone else. 

Both of those dads are gone. The first is with the Lord waiting for his family. The second was killed in an auto accident on his way to work. 

A few thoughts: 

  • Always be discipling your children to know, love and serve the Lord so that their dependence is on Him when you are gone. 
  • Be zealous for time with your family. Life is fragile and uncertain. 
  • Walk uprightly. God does and will chasten. “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth…” Heb 12:6,7)
  • Nourish and cherish your wife. Invest in her. Satan’s lie is “the grass is greener on the other side.” God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16
  • Live so that you can step out of this life into eternity unexpectedly. Be debt-free so the ones you love aren’t left “holding the bag” of your financial mismanagement.  

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it … So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25 & 28).

Steve

Disgusting

Ever happen at your home? A slow bathroom drain needs “attention” if opening the faucet more, the sink begins to fill with the stopper fully open. Not good.

To fix the problem, I remove the stopper gaining access to the drain from above and disconnect the trap below the sink. I clean them both with whatever tools will do the job, pulling out hair coated in disgusting toothpaste and then reassemble. Finally I fill the sink with water, release the stopper, check the flow, and also look for leaks underneath.

How’s your prayer life, Brother? First, are you praying? Is God answering? Might you feel like your prayers are not flowing?

If so, ask the Lord to examine your heart. What sort of blockage could be hindering the flow? “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). What disgusting things have you allowed in your heart? What sort of “eye-candy” are you feasting on? What are you coveting? “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14). 

My Brother, is your heart clean?

Steve

Are You The Problem?

Homeschooling is alive, well, and quite popular. Homeschoolers I have spoken with over the years want a better outcome for their children than other educational options offer. Not only is a better education desired (and generally achieved), but children, who upon completing their education, still have a strong faith in the Lord Jesus. 

Moms are usually the ones doing the majority of the planning, teaching, and grading, day-in-and-day-out. However, are you aware that you can be the one who effectively shipwrecks her investment with little effort on your part?  

Dads with poor and unsupportive attitudes can torpedo their children’s future. “How?” you ask. It is because Dad’s heart is generally impressed on the children’s hearts. What Dad loves, the children love, and what he dislikes, the children dislike. If Dad doesn’t care how well the children do in school, they aren’t going to apply themselves and will make it difficult for Mom. If Dad doesn’t have a heart for the Lord Jesus and isn’t serious about obeying Him, the children will be drawn to the world just like their father (you). 

I plead with you. Your income job is wood, hay, and stubble. Leading and discipling your family in the Lord Jesus is “gold, silver, and precious stones.” So many dads have it backwards. Brother, be dedicated to the work God has called you to do. 

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood have, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire: and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Reserved

When you see a parking space right next to a business entrance labeled “Reserved for CEO” what do you think? 1) Nothing. 2) He’s top dog and deserves it. 3) Hopefully, that is yours one day. It is common practice when you reach the top of a company there are perks that go with the job.

Sadly, it is often mirrored in homes, and sadder yet, in professing Christian homes. Dad is the authority and he gets/requires the perks that go with it. He goes to bed when he wants to. He has his special treats. He watches/does what he wants to and others do the dishes. Ahhhhhh, what a life. 

“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). Are we living out Jesus to our family? Not putting on an act, but we have died to self, gotten out of the way so our family can see the Lord working through us? 

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Will You Be Happy?

What is it that you love? Morning time in the Word, worship time with believers, time with your wife, your children, your job, the news, sports, TV, movies, or other forms of entertainment? 

Have you ever thought about the fact that what most people love (even professing believers), won’t be in Heaven. There are no big screen TV’s, no social media, no news, no movies, and no sports.

Heaven will be heaven because Jesus is there and we will have eternity to worship and praise the Lamb that was slain, Who was and Who is. 

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. … To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever” (Revelation 5:12,13).

The Curse of Summer

A family I know has backyard neighbors who have a swimming pool. The view is close and unrestricted when washing dishes or in the backyard. The problem is that neighbor chooses to wear swimming attire that is hardly noticeable. 

What a heartbreak. For anyone who takes Scripture seriously, such a “sight” is a curse. “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids” (Proverbs 6:25). “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). 

Even if the dad is able to avoid looking and lusting, will his wife be concerned for her husband’s heart? What about sons in their home? It takes great maturity and self-control to avoid such visual temptation for men, but adolescent sons probably don’t have that. 

Clearly there is no deference shown by that woman. Likely, she considers what she is wearing to be appropriate and appears to have little concern for defrauding her male neighbors and perhaps welcomes the attention.

Sadly, today, many professing Christian women also show little, to no, deference for men and boys by what they wear to church or with family and friends, possibly seeking such attention. Most sin is private, but immodesty is “in-your-face” to those near. Sad times indeed. Summer is here dads.

Steve

Buddy, Got a Penny?

Most of us have observed someone fall, whether it is moral, financial, or spiritual. The result is that many suffer, and our Lord is dishonored. People (especially the guy) are often surprised by it. “How could this have happened?” 

Have you walked along a mountain trail next to a sharp drop-off or been on a tall, precarious ladder? If so, you exercised great caution because you valued your safety and recognized the risk. Notice that high value and significant danger produce caution. 

Satan’s tactics are quite predictable–he seeks very small compromises where value is insignificant: therefore no apparent risk, and no need for caution. He then comes back for more, and more, but who cares. What’s a penny? Before long the person is comfortable with compromise and set up for the fall. 

King David did not go out with his troops (a penny). When he couldn’t sleep he went out to the roof. Then he “looked” (another penny) and kept looking until desire conquered him (gotch-ya). 

King Solomon (the wisest man ever) in 1 Kings 3 made affinity with Pharaoh (frankly more than a penny) and took Pharaoh’s daughter to wife (seemingly a penny). Then, “… king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.” 

Ultimately, “when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God …. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord…. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods” (1 Kings 11:1-8) (beyond gotch-ya).

Dad, are you valuing your marriage, family, and relationship with the Lord? What “little” compromises are you making? Are you flirting with the world?

Steve

If Only

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if being godly parents guaranteed godly children? I believe that most Christian parents consider themselves to be godly. Therefore, Christians go about their normal “godly” lives and expect their children to be godly, just like they are. 

Here’s an intriguing example illustrating the fallacy of our thinking that way. The very good king Hezekiah and the (believed-to-be) godly wife Hephzibah were responsible for bearing the most wicked king. Their son, Manasseh reined 55 years, the longest of all the kings.

I plead with you to make your most pressing focus—the cry of your heart—to be raising your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Don’t assume it will just happen.  

Brother, if that isn’t your lived-out passion, you are headed for a train-wreck of a heartbreak. Then it is too late. 

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel” (2 Kings 21:1-2). 

Steve

Ya Like Salt?

Do you have fond memories of what you left behind in the “good ole days?” “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).

Love of the sought after, popular things of this world is offensive to the Lord Jesus (Matthew 16:23). The cure isn’t just saying “no” to the appealing things of the world, but following Jesus wholeheartedly. Pursue a relationship with Him that makes the world look like dung.  “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8). 

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14). 

The sting of the world is bitter, but there are no regrets when we (and our family) unashamedly follow Jesus with everything we have. 

Steve