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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Marriage is a Spiritual Matter, not a Political Issue for the Christian.
Stop Judging Another's Marriage, Pay Attention to Yours
First Things First
STOP protesting another's lifestyle and "let your light so shine before men, that they see YOUR good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven". I personally cannot stand the bumper stickers and marquis that display WWJD; I would however find acceptable WDJD. We have more than an ample record in our Bible of what Jesus did do: and what He will do when He returns will NOT be pretty. Read the Word and live out what He DID do.
- He NEVER protested the government's laws or actions but simply stated; "..render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.." He was born under the reign of Augustus; ministered and was crucified during the reign of Tiberius in a world so perverse that it would make our situation look seemingly righteous. Remember, at the end He only had kind words for Pilate. His impact upon His disciples was very much the same, for you will not find one who ever suggests anything other than PRAYER for those in power.
- He NEVER protested the life style of a lost soul but preached and lived righteously before all men and with compassion upon the lost addressed each individual's need. From the demon possessed, the adulteress, the publican and all whom the Father would draw to Him, His message never varied and this is the same message we are to bring to a dying world. Live righteously before all men, for we have been chosen to live out the Gospel, not to protest the wickedness of our day.
- He DID vehemently oppose the hypocrisy of the so-called religious leaders of His time and this should speak volumes to the true Church to clean its own house first. I will address this subject in a future blog.
Some personal thoughts on the current events to prove that I am just as human as the next person.
- I am troubled by the open wickedness being displayed which is nothing other rebellion against God. Sinners always do what sinners do best and that is to sin! We know that there is nothing new under the sun and what we are seeing has played out many times before. Whether it was in the days of Noah, in Sodom or during the last days of fallen empires such as the Greek; it is a sign that the end is near. Our language has been purloined, arrogance of wealth and power have consumed many a soul and the majority of the people have been left in the wake of their avarice.
- As a citizen, I vote in every election and try to do it all on a righteous basis, not political. I have been greatly disappointed in the past and I imagine the future does not hold much hope; earthly-wise. I must always remember that it is God who places men in power, not the people and it is always according to His sovereign design. This current world is being herded towards judgment and the full wrath of God upon the wicked.
- I despise the abortion mentality and its deeds. I remind myself that life starts at conception and according to Romans 5:13 "...that sin is NOT imputed when there is no law" I have HOPE. We are convicted of sin in three ways; by the law of creation (Romans 1), by the law of our conscience (Romans 2) and the law of God's written Word. The voices of the unborn have only been silenced for a short season; they will be heard one day.
We live in the most perilous times to be a Christian in America and it is only going to grow worse: Jesus said so. Knowing then that these events have been put into unstoppable motion, how shall be then live? We cannot do anything about another's lifestyle but we can give them a vision of what a real marriage should look, act and feel like: it is a great place to start, considering the current climate.
Let me introduce you to the four "P"s for a healthy "Christian" marriage.
Love is a Wonderful Thing
#1 - Pleasure
caveat: I am only speaking to those who are married, about to be married or are considering marriage. To those who have the gift to be single in Christ: you know where your greatest pleasures are derived.
The first words that came out of Adam in Genesis chapter 2 in today's language would have been something like, "Wow, she is totally awesome; thank you Lord". Just as Jesus finds pleasure in our company we are to find the greatest of pleasures this life has to offer in one another. We live in a pleasure seeking society which has wormed its way into our assemblies and affected many marriages. From the media to which we are exposed, the state of the employment environments, the chase of the almighty dollar and the materiality of our culture, it is no wonder that Christians in other "less" developed countries pray for us. A friend served in Uganda for a season and told us how they felt it must be so difficult to be a Christian in America because of our sensual society. If your greatest pleasure this side of heaven is not found in your marriage you will be very susceptible to outside influences. Work hard to guard that which God has gifted you in your spouse.
The Amazing Miracle of Life
#2 - Procreation
Nothing brings a family closer together than the birth of a child, grandchild, nephew, niece, etc. God's amazing plan to populate and fill the earth, for He loves a crowd. One of the sad things this society has done is to discourage having children. Careers and material possessions have usurped the hard but incredibly rewarding work of raising children and many women have felt the sadness of being childless when later in life. I have nine children, ages 15 to 40, all of them successful in their in their own right but only 4 grandchildren; even my own children have taken the "less" children is the better route. Economy, world politics, education and whatever has discouraged them. There is no better place to preach the everlasting Gospel than in the home and to one's children for they are the future generation, if there is a future. Also, godly children are a great testimony to extended family, neighbors and friends. Many a time my wife and I have been asked in restaurants over the years, why are our children were so well behaved. Your children affect more people than you think.
An effect the current trends have in common is that having children is no longer a consideration; they must adopt to perpetuate their "species". It would be better if a mill stone were tied around their neck and .........
Watch Over One Another, Please
#3 - Protection
A man may feel at times that he is the protector of his family but not realize that he is the one that needs more protection than anyone else. A man can deal with a physical threat but it is the emotional threats of which he is the least aware. In today's work places the pressure to think outside of marriage is a real threat to his and his family's health. He needs a wife to protect him from the wiles of the devil and she must live knowing that the threat is real. Likewise, the wife needs more than a physical protector but one who handles her emotional side as "bravely" as he would her physical well being. Our adversary, the devil, knows our weaknesses when we are alone or feel alone. I remember listening to Jay Vernon McGee once upon a time talking about pastor's that have fallen into sin causing the break-up of congregations as well as their marriages, as a modern day phenomenon. That was 20 years ago and it has gotten much worse of which I am a personal witness to the far reaching effects of stepping outside of the protection of marriage.
We Are Sooooo Loved!
#4 - Picture of Christ & the Church
The end result of everything we do, including marriage, is to the glory of God. Those who are married in Christ have a two-edged weapon in their arsenal. One that gives them a testimony of love, family and security and the other to convict the world of their need of the Savior. So many "Christians" play at church and marriage which taints their witness and strengthens the opinion of the non-believer of the hypocrisy of "church-goers". We may not preach from a pulpit, teach or write but a poor marriage within the Church will do more damage than we could ever conceive. Remember, judgment starts with the Church and our works shall be tried by fire; therefore let us not taint the "picture" of our Lord Jesus by our lack of attention to our marriages.
They Know What They Are Doing
A Final Sad Note
The lost know exactly what they are doing? How can I make such a statement? Romans 1:32, "Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Everyone is without excuse for according to Ecclesiastes 3:11, God has set eternity in their hearts. It is not our position to judge but to be a witness for the Truth and to be hated for doing it.
The Word is foolishness to the lost and our actions will speak much louder than any words we could ever contrive. Now marriage has become a "frontline" issue; it is about time the American Church steps up to the task and puts a Christ-like marriage into the battle for the souls of many. My own personal fear is that we may be too late; sorry, that is how I feel. I hope I am wrong.