Wives vs Dogs

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The old saying goes “a dog is a man’s best friend” – but is a dog a better spouse?

The new country song hitting the airwaves, climbing the charts, might make men reconsider marrying, and encourage them to go down to their county’s SPCA branch instead.

Curly-haired, country hit singer, Billy Currington has another winner on his hands.  At least in the minds of country record execs.  Here are the lyrics:

He never tells me that he’s sick of this house
He never says why don’t you get off that couch?
He dont cost me nothin when he wants to go out
I want you to love me like my dog

He never says I need a new attitude
Him and my sister ain’t always in a feud
When I leave the seat up he don’t think that
it’s rude I want you to love me like my dog does Baby

When I come home, I want you to just go crazy
He never looks at me like he might hate me
I want you to love me like my dog

He never acts like he don’t care for my friends
He never asks me “Where ‘n the hell have you been?”
He don’t play dead when I want to pet him
I want you to love my like my dog does,

He never says, “I wish you made more money”
He always thinks that pull my finger’s funny
I want you to love me like my dog

He don’t get made at me and throw a major fit
When I say his sister is a b*

Here are my FIVE QUESTIONS for wives, just some things to consider:

1.  Do you constantly nag or complain to your husband?  It could be about his friends, job, schedule, schooling, ministry responsibilities, or his salary.  I am not saying you should never share your opinions or question a friendship he has (especially if you see it leading your husband away from God), but does your husband actually enjoy hearing you talk because complaints don’t always come out of your mouth?  Scripture: Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:9, Prov 27:15, Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 5:33

2.  Are you demanding of the finer things in life?  Are you satisfied with what you have and what your husband has provided for you and your family?  Right now my husband has asked me for my birthday and Christmas list.  As I say “I want…” I think about these questions.  These aren’t even expensive items, but still living in a state of “pinterest” desires.  Scripture: Ps 145:16, Isaiah 55:2, Matthew 6:24-34

3.  Do you get along with his family?  Does he often feel like he has to choose between you and his mother/father/siblings?  Do you strive to live in peace with everyone, even if you don’t get to have your way all the time?  Often times, parents are the most important relationship to a husband outside of his own wife/children.  Do you make that relationship easy or hard by your attitude?  Scripture: Colossians 3:20, Romans 12:18

4.  Do you make him glad to come home?  Or do you look horrible (no make up, bathrobe, dirty clothes), smell bad (have you brushed your teeth or put on deodarant today), or bombard him with how bad your day has been?  Let him come in the door, breathe for 15 minutes, give him a hug and kiss, try to be home when he arrives, be a good aroma for him.  Scripture: Titus 2:4-5

5.  Do you ignore/refuse his sexual advances?  Does he even bother trying to “come on” to you anymore because you have negated or swat his hand every time he has tried?  Are you willing to give him sometime in the morning or evening, if he so desires?  Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7

Best Posts from 2008

posted in: Books, Women | 0

Finally getting around to bringing over more of the old posts.  Many of you have not been reading this since 2008, so this gives you a glimpse into what was going on on the blog back then.  Enjoy.

Hungry Adulterers: Thoughts on a JD Greear sermon

My Favorite Chili

My Go-To hummus recipe

Ruth – A review on quite possibly my favorite commentary ever

Ode to the Oreo (go with it, really)

Sacred Influence – one of my top 5 books every wife (or woman preparing to be married, or any female for that matter), must read.

When Sinners Say I Do – my top recommendation for all engaged/married couples

Some books are worth just their forward – but this book has a great forward and is a good read:

Easy Cobbler recipe

Interesting that in May of 2008, I read his book – now I work for the man.  Great boss.  If you are a youth pastor or pastor, read this book.

Do you like strawberries – you’ll love this

My favorite Jerry Bridges book, and I loaned it out and never got it back…hmmm…

Man, has it really been this long ago that I read and loved this book?

My favorite Ed Welch book – to date.

I’m really glad my photography has improved, but this trifle is amazing

Gender-Roles, Pre-Marriage

Great winter, holiday, special salad

Living the Gospel: Marriage, Adoption, and the Rest of Life

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This is me thinking aloud…
There are some focuses right now in Christianity/churches that focus on being living, breathing examples of the gospel. These focuses are biblical and needed, and true. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these emphasises. One is marriage and the other is adoption. Marriage, for some (and I don’t believe this view is right) allows you to better display the gospel than being single. I think it may give a you different way of displaying the gospel, but not better. I am, in my singleness, just as much a portrait of the gospel of Christ as if I were me, only married. Adoption, many times I here (and rightly so), is “living the gospel”. You are, yes, praise the Lord. But, again, like marriage – adoption isn’t the only way to “live the gospel.”
With so much emphasis on both marriage and adoption – which single people can’t do either of (obviously we aren’t married and not many adoption agencies will let a single person adopt a baby) – are we not living out the gospel. This post isn’t just for singles, it is for everyone.

Marriage is a great way to live out the gospel. I love the Ephesians 5 passage where clearly it says that marriage proclaims the mystery of Christ and His church. We are the Bride of Christ. I love the picture of Abraham and God in Genesis 15 about God walking through the sacrificial blood. His promise kept. I pray that your marriage is an amazing mirror of God, Christ, the Spirit – and the Church. I pray that husbands will sanctify their wives, and wives would respect, honor, and submit to their husbands. This is unique and special and privileged way to portray the gospel.

Adoption. This is probably the newest “fad” to hit the church. I don’t use fad in a bad way, but why has this emphasis not been in the church before the last 5 years? Have we been ignoring the commands of “true religion” in the Bible for over 2000 years. I hope it isn’t a fad. I hope the trend of seeing adoption come to life in American families, and families all over continues long after I’m gone. I wonder if you see Italian Christians adopting American children. I wonder if the trend of adoption is an American Western Christianity thing right now. To some people, if you haven’t adopted, then you just aren’t living in obedience. At least that is what it seems like. But, there are other ways to live out the command of true religion – to take care of the orphans – without actually adopting. You can give to mission trips that support orphanages, you can donate to families who are trying to raise support to adopt their own babies. It seems the trend now in my emails, blogs, facebook updates from across the world – hey, give to me, we’re adopting. Family of believers? Hopefully, mostly, being the body of Christ. There are girls out there who don’t want to have their own children because adoption is better. Motherhood is great, and if God allows you to have children, please do. If God calls you to adopt, please do. But, one is not better than the other. I hope this isn’t a passing trend in American Christianity, much like the WWJD bracelets and FAITH Evangelism strategy.

Now, what about for the rest of us. I hope I do get to live out the gospel in a marriage one day – but I’m not going to settle for an average marriage. I want the most God-glorifying marriage I can possibly have. one that will be hard, but joyful. I know marriage is hard – not perfect – just God-glorifying.
If God impresses on our hearts to adopt, then I will (hopefully, walking in obedience), but until then I can give to missions to orphanages and support those adopting. I can love on those adopted children.
But, I can live out the gospel every day too. I can give grace where grace is needed. I can live in the love that Christ offered me at the Cross. I can do my work diligently. I can submit to authority. I can…. the list goes on. I am Christ’s friend – obey my commands (John 15.14).
Marriage and adoption is not a better picture of the gospel. We can live out the gospel without doing these specific things (being married, adopting an international child). But, these two ways and living daily life in the grace of God are wonderful ways to live out the gospel.
“What about the practical stuff? Surely there comes a time when we move on from the gospel just a little, so we can focus on the everyday issues of our relationships with other people. This is tempting to believe, but it’s just not true. Regardless of your relationship to others, whether you’re single or married, a husband or a wife, a father, a mother, or a grandparent, your faithfulness and effectiveness in your relationship are directly tied to your understanding of the cross.” – CJ Mahaney

Redeeming Relationships: God, Marriage, and Family: Randy Stinson

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I had the privilege of hearing my boss speak at Gilead Baptist Church this past Sunday night. Gilead is starting a Gilead U on marriage (in the spring) and parenting (in the fall). It is to help their church see the importance of these two relationships, how they influence the church (and vice versa) and how the gospel has to be applied to both.
Dr. Stinson, who is the Dean of the School of Church Ministries for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and President of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, spoke on this topic to kickoff the semester. It is always a pleasure for me to hear him speak because I know what he is saying is practiced in his own home, and I laugh the whole time. Also, I am convicted by what he says and can apply it to my life now – even though I am neither married or a parent.
(Italics are his, regular type is mine).
He started at the beginning – Gen 3.14-15. A Declaration of War! Cursing and enmity. Right there – from the very beginning, Satan has plans to attack the marriage. This war centers on the home. Through the family (conception, children), Satan’s destroyer will come. (Jesus is born of a virgin Mary. You can trace his lineage by reading the first chapter of the gospel of Matthew)
You can see this all around. Divorce rate (even within the church, among Christians), in the tabloids at the check out counter, marriages failing, unfaithfulness on the rise, cohabitation so rampant among young adults, delay in marriage.
Satan wants us to get comfortable and not realize that we are at war in our homes. If we let things slide, tempers flare, complacency dominate, Scriptures and family worship fade away – then we are setting ourselves and our marriages up for defeat.
Malachi 4.6 talks about the work of Elijah the prophet in “turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” Stinson remarked that one of the ways Satan wages war on families and the home is that the father’s hearts on not turned toward home, their children. They are turned toward work, business, succeeding, and other personal interests.
Ephesians 5. This passage is central to the cosmic interaction. It is not primarily about submission and authority. It is about the gospel. Because of the fall, there will be no more harmonious marriages and argument free families. Dave Harvey wrote a book entitled When Sinners Say I Do if you need to read up on this topic – great book. Ephesians 5 paints a picture of Christ and the church. Marriage is just the picture. Since Satan hates the gospel more than anything, he wants desperately to destroy marriages. You and your marriage are targets.
If you care deeply about the picture Ephesians 5 paints, its not about who mows the lawn or pays the bills, it is about the gospel.
If you love the gospel more than everything else, all else will pale. How will you portray the gospel authentically in your marriage and in your home?
Several times a day we are reminded of our dependence upon God. When we eat, we are reminded that we have to eat – God doesn’t. When we get thirsty, we are reminded that God never gets thirsty, but send us the Living Water.
Paul says no one hates his own flesh (Eph 5.29). Yet, why don’t we treat out spouse that way? We are so often consumed with ourselves, when we should be consumed with others…namely, our spouse. You wake up every day loving yourself. Love the gospel so this (other’s focused, loving your spouse) becomes second nature. Many decisions we make are for ourselves. We are self-centered, not gospel-centered.
What if God’s greatest goal in your marriage was not to make you happy? What if the bigger picture is your sanctification and portraying the gospel? I think quite a lot about this, even though I’m not married. I think about my pickiness in a future mate, even those whom I will accept dates from? I want the gospel to be revealed daily in my marriage. If that can’t happen, I don’t want to be married. I do want someone I’m attracted to, because God did create sex and didn’t intend for it to be a chore, but more than anything else, I want a God-glorifying marriage. Embrace this function for your marriage, namely sanctification, instead of praying and longing for a way out.
You don’t need to question the will of God for your marriage. If you are in a marriage, that’s it. Don’t worry about if you are married to the wrong person, or made a mistake. God means for your marriage to stay pure and strong. And to the same extent that God loves the Gospel (He sent His Son) and loves your marriage (He created the institution of marriage), Satan hates it. How can you go home – right now – and bless your wife (or husband)? We care more about ourselves than we do about the gospel and our spouse? What needs to change in your life so you care more about your marriage and the gospel then yourself?
The Harris brothers wrote a book for (mostly) teenagers entitled Do Hard Things a few years ago. It was calling teenagers to not take the easy road, but to pursue hard things, excel at what they do, press on. Dr. Stinson said another great title for a book would be “Do Little Things”. So often we fail in doing the little things in life. This is a biblical concept – be faithful in the little things (Luke 16.10).
Sanctification: I don’t know what God’s will for your life is – but I know it is sanctification. Since He loves His Son preeminently, you can bet you becoming like His Son is a first priority.
Many will say “my wife (husband, job, traffic, kids) make me impatience (angry, selfish). No, these things don’t make you ________, it just reveals that you are _______. So, if you get impatient with your husband because he fails to take the garbage out when you ask him to, then its not him that makes you that way, the situation reveals that your heart is full of impatience and full of self. Matthew 15 says this very thing: “what comes out of the mouth defiles a person.” What comes out of the mouth reveals the state of the heart. You do the right thing – don’t be concerned with the response of your spouse. You do right. Start with correcting your heart and yourself. A saying my Mom always says is you can never control what others will do, just your response to the situation.
Forgiveness is key element of a healthy marriage:
1. Ask for it.
2. Create a climate for it.
3. Remember, you are clothed in Christ’s righteousness, not your own.
4. This is a lifestyle, not an emergency valve.
5. Reconciliation is key – not separation, subversion, or undermining.

The question I left asking myself is this: What would help me picture the gospel the best? Would it be to get married? Would it be to stay single? What it be
to be faithful in the things that God has called me to: to love people, disciple girls, write, be a homemaker, take care of myself, be a good steward? I think I’ll choose to be faithful where He has me, and have faith that He will take me where He wants me.