What is it about people?

Our ability to appreciate the majestic is only rivaled by one thing: our ability to get bored with it.

Think about our space program. Our country was fascinated with beating the Soviets and putting a man on the moon. Every detail of the program was covered over a nine year period. The landing was viewed by half a billion people. Less than a year later….public interests had disappeared. Move on to the space shuttle program. Shuttle launches were broadcast on all the TV networks. Everyone stopped to watch; and then like everything else…we stopped watching. Even the very last shuttle flight wasn’t really broadcast.

It really shouldn’t surprise us. It’s human nature to lose interest in things that ought to inspire us. How about our marriages? A man and a woman stand at the altar, and it seems impossible that their passion could ever fade. Yet, fast forward to the near future, and in too many cases their life together had begun to drift toward the mundane.

It’s natural. But it is all the more reason why we must fight this tendency. Make time in your day to connect with one another. Do something. Be proactive. Be intentional about reviving the fire that God used to draw you together in the first place.

Be Strong. Act Like Men.

Because or Anyway……

Do you love your wife because or anyway? Most of us base love on because, not on anyway. I love you because you’re good to me. I love you because you’re kind, because you’re considerate, because you keep the romance alive.

Check out Luke 6:32-36 (see yesterday’s post), Jesus says we shouldn’t love because. We should love anyway. If we love someone because that person is good to us, or gives back to us, or is kind to us, we’re acting no better than anyone else. In essence, Jesus is saying you don’t need the Holy Spirit to love a wife who lavishes you with sports gifts, who goes out of her way to make you comfortable when you get home from work and who wants sex anytime you do – well, you’re doing what any man would do. There’s no special credit in that!

But if you love a spouse who disappoints you, who can be a little self-absorbed – now you’re loving anyway. In doing that, you’re following the model of the heavenly Father, who loves the ungrateful and the wicked.

Will you love only because? Or are you willing to love anyway? Will you love her if she doesn’t appreciate your sacrifice? Will you love her if she takes you for granted? Will you love your wife if she isn’t nearly as kind as you are to her? Christian marriages are called to anyway love. That’s what makes it different. That’s what gives glory to God. That’s what helps us appreciate God’s love for us, because God loves us anyway. He gives and gives and gives – and we take Him for granted. He is eager to meet with us, and we get too busy to notice Him. He is good to us, and we accuse Him mercilessly when something doesn’t go just the way we planned it.

But God loves us anyway. To love anyway is to love like God – and to learn about God’s love for us. That’s love, the way God intended it.


10 Things A Man Needs To Know About Marriage

We’ve pulled this one from Family Life.  It is written by Jeff Kemp.

Guys have been blindsided in our culture. We don’t see the path to manhood, and we often don’t know how to view women, sex, relationships, marriage, and our role as husbands.

A key to the problem guys face is that we don’t understand the North Star of relationships. It’s the gold standard of selfless love, the blueprint for building a family and blessing your children. What’s that North Star? Knowing Jesus Christ and His purposes for marriage, and trusting in His strength to make a lasting relationship possible.

Marriage needs to be re-explained. It needs to be re-branded as an awesome, noble, and challenging adventure. Our manhood, our happiness, and our children’s future depend on marriage—yours, mine, and everybody else’s.

In a culture of counterfeits and mistruths, it’s important to understand what marriage is about. As you read through the following list, ask God to remake you and help you understand what it means to be a man and a husband. Let’s value marriage and relate well to our wives, whether we’re married yet, or preparing for that woman.

  1. A man needs to know that a marriage and family depend upon God as their Maker. God is the authority. He provides the blueprints for marriage and the power source of love, wisdom, and health. God can heal any marriage if the husband and wife will submit themselves to God and let Him change them.
  2. A man needs to know the meaning of love. God defines love not by how much you want to receive, but by how much you are willing to give of yourself—your will, your freedom, your time, your emotions, your forgiveness, your resources. The model is Jesus, who demonstrated love for us by dying for us while we were yet sinners.

A husband does this by choosing his wife as a priority in his life over all other pursuits, possessions and distractions—regardless of whether she is kind, lovable, or respectful. Love brings out the best in her. A man initiates love, rather than waiting for or demanding respect or kind treatment. Love is not dependent upon feelings. Decisions and choices to love can regenerate the feelings of love.

  1. A man needs to know that the key to great sex is exclusivity. Our modern world tricks a man into thinking that more sources of sexual stimulation will satisfy him. But like a drug, they thrill but do not satisfy. Sexual entertainment, images, and illicit sex erode rather than enhance sexual joy in a marriage.

They way to become a great lover is to practice with only one woman for life. It is to be generous, exclusive, and serving—not greedy, distracted, and taking. A great relationship and great sex are connected in marriage, and that only happens when a man’s sole target of sexual affections, imaginations, and enjoyment is his wife.

  1. A man needs to know that commitment is a key to success in all of life, and especially in a relationship with a woman. One way of defining commitment in marriage is never considering divorce. If you know that you won’t be leaving or divorcing, it forces you to face differences and problems and work through them.

In marriage it is the security of commitment that allows a woman to feel peace in the relationship. The assurance of a husband’s commitment helps a woman entrust herself to him emotionally and sexually.

  1. A man needs to know that marriage is not easy. Marriage is not automatic, and it’s often difficult. The euphoria of romantic infatuation in the first years of marriage fades, requiring the mature resolve to behave lovingly and invest relationally to build a deeper bond than infatuation. Marriage will take intentional and continual effort.
  2. A man needs to know that the purpose of marriage is less to make you happy, than to make you holy. Now it’s true that a good marriage to a good woman can make you happier than most anything else on earth. But if your goal is to be happy, then you will be focused on yourself, and you will damage your character and your relationships.

If you aim to be holy—like Jesus, not like a monk—you will invite God to change you. You will allow your marriage relationship to change you and crush your selfish will and defensive pride. You will experience true oneness in your marriage—you’ll be deepest friends, intimate allies, generous lovers, caring providers, complementary partners, spiritual enhancers. (Thanks to Gary Thomas for the idea)

  1. A man needs to know that God gives authority and responsibility to a husband to make the marriage thrive and last. He is to steward and shepherd himself and his wife’s union. He is to be proactive at assisting God in healing her past wounds, creating oneness in their bond, and assuring her (and their children) of his love for her.

Women are natural responders when men initiate in love, prayer,and humility. Men must not be passive, arrogant, distracted, or controlling. A man will not point the finger at his wife’s behavior or shortcomings, but will examine his history as a husband and ask God to change him. His heart, his care, and his initiative is the key to his wife’s response and the health of the marriage.

  1. A man needs to know that he can change his marriage by changing himself. He can make himself a better husband by making himself a more consistent and devoted follower of Jesus. If he wants to improve any aspect of his marriage—family or parenting—the solution lies in deepening his daily commitment to God. The path to build a great marriage or to heal a marriage is for him to humble his will, to let the Holy Spirit take control of him, and to obey Christ.
  2. A man needs to know that romance is created and sustained intentionally. Thinking about what she likes, remembering what is important to her, setting things up the way she prefers … these are all critical. In dating and various stages of life, romance can spontaneously happen; but for the long term, it must be deliberately planned and created. If a man wants to be a leader, this is an area in which to lead. And it leads to good things.
  3. A man needs to know that humbling himself to his wife is the gutsiest and most successful way to heal her heart. A man with courage and wisdom will never overlook his wife’s hurt feelings. And he’ll seek to overlook the disrespectful words she blurts out in reaction to how he hurt her feelings.

When you are in conflict, don’t wait for things to blow over. Don’t try to point out her fault. Don’t try to minimize the situation. And don’t defend yourself. Instead, be a leader. Start the apology. A great starting point is, “I was wrong. I hurt you. Please forgive me?”

Seek God. Read His word in the Bible. Pray for Him to shape and lead you. Humble yourself before Him. Seek a mentor or group to help you grow and become a good husband.

Leadership of a wife is humility before God, initiating teamwork with your wife, praying with her every day, and praying for your family. Most guys I know well are like me in this: If you’re frustrated with your wife and your marriage, the solution lies in getting back into Jesus and His Word!


Coaches work hard with players to develop in them the skills needed to protect the ball at all costs. Most NFL teams conduct a regular drill in which the runner scampers past a group of heavy-handed linemen who attempt to knock the ball away.

Fumbles, failures, goofs — whatever you call them — do strange things to a team’s confidence. They can be momentum breakers and can produce lost games — both in sports and in life. On the flip side, however, when too much attention is placed upon these occasional failures, it can cost a good player his confidence and his composure.

What do Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez, and Phillip Rivers have in common? Yes, they are all NFL quarterbacks, and after only 5 games into the 2012 season they all have had 5 or more fumbles. Michael Vick had 8 fumbles in this period of time. It is curious that quarterbacks, whom we think of as having gifted hands, have lost the ball more than running backs.

How often have you dropped the ball? Maybe you missed a critical appointment at work. Or perhaps you forgot your child’s or even your spouse’s birthday. If we place too much attention on our missed opportunities, we can become ineffective and depressed.

Despite our shortcomings, God can use each of us to build His kingdom.

I think too many people feel unworthy because they place too much focus upon their failures instead of on the graciousness of a loving God. Too often we glorify Bible characters and believe that our ability to serve God is less than those “saintly” prophets and apostles of yesterday. It is encouraging to remember that our heavenly Father has equipped each one of us with special talents. He wants us to utilize these gifts rather than be overly critical of our failures. Think about how God used biblical characters despite their imperfections:

Moses stuttered.

David’s armor didn’t fit.

John Mark was rejected by Paul.

Amos’s only training was in the school of fig tree pruning.

Solomon was too rich.

Abraham was too old.

Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse? So did Peter, Paul —well, lots of folks did.

Aren’t we glad God doesn’t keep an account of our fumbles? He is quick to forgive and forget; despite a bad year He still has us in His lineup next season.


Love is a Covenant

Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God — Ruth 1:16

Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps, if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

Love Endures

Love never fails — 1 Corinthians 13:8

Spend time in personal prayer, then write a letter of commitment and resolve to your spouse. Include why you are committing to this marriage until death, and that you have purposed to love them no matter what. Leave it in a place that your mate will find it.