It’s hard to put into words the powerful service we had yesterday at Kfirst. There have been so many comments give about the service from people who were there as well as the many who were away on vacation.
“It was one of the best services ever!”
“Blows my mind how God’s healing power has healed so many marriages including my own. He does for us what we could never do.”
“Only God can change our test to Testimony. The best Service ever! thank you all!”
“It was so amazing. I am truly blessed by all of the testimonies. God knows what we need to hear. So encouraging.”
“If your going to do this again please supply Kleenex boxes in each row… Every other seat!”
“I’m bummed that I had to miss the service this morning. From what I’ve read it was GREAT. Do you happen to know if it was recorded or a video made? Sure hope so.”
“Amazing service this morning. Thank you to the couples for humbly sharing their imperfections!”
“We were away on vacation but have seen this all over facebook. I can’t wait to listen online.”
“Yesterday’s service was incredible! I am sure it gave many people the faith and encouragement they need to not give up on their marriages. I needed a Kleenex and our marriage is in good shape.”
To the type of responses we got, for what happened yesterday, we “do all to the glory of God.”
I’ve sent off the questions that were submitted to ALL 4 couples. I’m awaiting their response back to me. So what I’m going to do this week is to take a few of the questions and give a reply as we wait for these wonderful people to reply to today’s questions as well as the rest of the ones submitted.
Here are a few questions from yesterday…
Do you feel important to have the same beliefs and views before you enter into marriage? Why or why not?
Absolutely! These are conversations that couples fail to have before marriage that lead to misery after marriage. Why? When it comes to worship styles, denominations, theology, etc, we bring who we were and what spiritual atmosphere we were raised in into our marriage. When it comes to choosing where you will worship with your spouse as a church home, major contention can arise because of expectations that were not communicated and/or understood. Then you add children into the mix. It’s amazing how many couples want to fall back on where they were raised in their childhood and how they want their kids raised in a similar fashion regardless of how their mate grew up.
The top question I have: Does the “potential spouse” follow Christ? Philippians 2:2 “complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind (one in spirit and purpose).” Even thought the context is the body of Christ (the church), the principle of our marriage is there. Your joy in your marriage will never be complete if you both are not in one accord in your thoughts, love, and spirit. You can’t have the “same minded” if you love Jesus and he/she doesn’t. If you don’t have the “same love” of you love Jesus but she/he doesn’t. Being one in spirit and purpose is extremely difficult if you know Jesus and he/she has no connection at all.
Please don’t say, “but he/she believes in God”. Awesome. The bible says in James that the demons believe and God and tremble. Please don’t let the “he/she believes in God” as your standard. All it does is it puts them on the bottom rung of standards. Raise them up and find a Christ-follower.
Please don’t say, “He/she loves God! They’re just not into the church thing.” I’ll reply with this: if he/she isn’t dedicated to a church, I’m going to question the strength of their walk with God. I’d want to see the commitment they have to the body of Christ. I’d want to see how they serve. If he/she isn’t committed to a church community, there’s serious “red flags” that would be there for me.
What is the best advice to keep the “flame burning” for young couples with children?
Anne and I are on the other side of this with Cammi being a teenager and able to watch Ethan. We understand the frustration.
I want to get some great advice from the book of Revelation:
Revelation 2:2-5 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.”
The word to the church in Ephesus is simple: You are doing all of the stuff that you are supposed to be doing. All of the actions meet the requirements. But something is missing. You love/passion has gone out.
Sounds like marriage doesn’t it?
The beauty is how God doesn’t abandon them in their spinning carousel of doing the proper actions hoping that feelings/emotions/mentality catches up. He gives them careful instruction. “…Repent, and do the works you did at first.”
The word “repent” means a changing of the mind. With Kids in the picture, there has to be patience and creativity mixed in to “fan the flame” for each other. As Anne stated two Sundays ago, “When our kids were younger, and I was feeling “touched to death”, all day long, my body was not my own…and the last thing I wanted was one more person to touch me. Some of you are in that stage. I just want to say there will always be “roadblocks” that are established by our own flesh.” You have to purpose to recognize the “roadblock” as well as how to work around it.
Secondly, Revelation says “do the works you did at first“. You have to ask the questions, “how did I catch my spouses’ eye during courtship?”, “what get’s their attention?”, or “what is their love language?” Again, it’s getting your eyes off of your needs and getting pleasure from seeing your spouse fulfilled. This can be a struggle for most men who want to meet their wife’s needs but discover that her needs have nothing to do with sex. It’s also a struggle when it’s only one spouse working on the marriage while trying to be selfless.
Some simple practical tips:
– Put the kids to bed and plan time together to watch a movie/show (get the popcorn out).
– Plan, at a minimum, one date night a month where you have a baby sitter. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Anne and I discover that walks do more for us than an expensive dinner or a movie.
– Find something you both enjoy and do it.
– If you are a list maker and/or heavy scheduler, plan/schedule time with your spouse and protect that. When people have contacted me for an appointment, I’ve guarded that time. I simple say, “I have something scheduled”.
Is interracial marriage accepted or allowed by God?
The Law (Deuteronomy 7:3-4), in the Old Testament, charged Israel not to engage in interracial marriage. However, a closer look at this shows the reasoning for this was not completely racial in nature. Rather, it was religious. The reasoning behind God commanding against interracial marriage was that people of other races were worshippers of false gods. To intermarry would open the Israelites to be led astray from God. A very similar principle is laid out in 2 Corinthians 6:14, but at a much different level: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” Just as Israel (believers in the one true God) were commanded not to marry idolaters, so Christians (believers in the one true God) are commanded not to marry unbelievers.
To answer this question specifically: No, the Bible does not say that interracial marriage is wrong.
As Martin Luther King said, he dreamed of a nation where people will “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” There is absolutely no place in the life of the Christ-follower for favoritism based on race (James 2:1-10). When selecting a mate, a Christ-follower should always first find out if the potential spouse is following Christ as well. Faith in Christ, not skin color, is the biblical standard for choosing a spouse. Interracial marriage is not a matter of right or wrong, but of wisdom, discernment, and prayer as in how EVERY marriage should be approached.
What are ways you diffuse anger/frustration to keep joy in your marriage? Referring to those moments that get blown out of proportion and can ruin a day.
I understand where you are coming from. I had anger issues late in my teens and in early adulthood.
Ecclesiastes 7:9 says “Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.”
Here’s some practical things to do:
1 – Time outs (couples from premarital counseling will recognize this)
– Recognize your need for a break in your disagreement.
– Request a time out for yourself
– Relax and calm down
– Remember what’s important
– Resume the conversation
2 – Look through their eyes.
– Slip inside of their skin and see the issue from their perspective. It will give you some understanding from where they are coming from.
3 – Look at their heart.
– Even as pastors, we have to constantly look at the heart of the individual instead of their actions. I’ve seen people lash out that I have no offense of. Why? I could see what was lashing out was the hurt and fracture they’ve experienced. I knew their heart and, therefore, could interpret their outburst better.
4 – Don’t go for the win for you. Go for the win for the marriage.
– It’s not about seeing the individual get the “win”. It’s about seeing the marriage win.
There’s the start of our questions. There’s more to come as our couples send in their replies.
Thanks for letting me ramble…