Friday, March 30, 2012


Husband, do you spend time with God in his word?

Next question, when's the last time someone asked you that face to face? Or turn it around, when's the last time you asked that of another brother in Christ? Gents, those questions can expose what's going on inside our hearts better than any MRI. I dare you to lay that question on a brother. Lay it on me.

Consider the follow-up questions that the previous Q's will naturally elicit:
  • If you are not in the Bible daily, why not?
  • How important is God's word to you? Why or why not?
  • What keeps you from spending time with God in his word?
  • Do you thirst for God and his word like a football player thirsts for water during August's two-a-days (Psalm 63:1)? If not, why not?
  • When you open God's word, do the pages spring to vivid life more than a 50-inch HDTV, or do the words lie there with the appeal of shredded wheat?
  • If you are reading, what are you reading? Do you remember what you read this morning? Yesterday?
  • What has God taught you in his word?
  • How has God manifested his love for you through his word?
  • How has God revealed his glory and majesty to you through his word?
All of this because of my relationship to God through his word.

This is no mere book we hold in our hands. It is the breath of God. It is his on-going conversation with us.  It is not static nor stagnant. It is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). It is Christ (John 1:1)! God forbid that we should get into the word as merely filling the square or as mowing the lawn just because it needs it. I should relish being with God in his word as much as I delight in being with my bride in our bed (Jeremiah 2:2).

If God has no place in my life, if I have no appetite for him, I am sick and I need a physician. Little will function as it should if I am malnourished of that which I need above all things. If I do not have a passionate love for God and his word, I will be ill-equipped to love my wife as I should.

So husband, I ask again, do you spend time with God in his word?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A quickie

Back in January, I poured over the first letter of one of Jesus' dearest friends, John. It's hard not to miss his emphasis that if we are truly children of God, we will love his children (the church). Take for example 1 John 3:10, 14, 4:7-8, 20. Over and over he pounds the drum that if we love God, we will love those called by God, and conversely, if we don't love those called by God, then we do not love God ourselves.

Let me provide 4:21 for your viewing pleasure.
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
As hard as it is to sometimes love a brother in the church, it is not an option.  God's not asking you to manifest "feelings" that are not present. He is asking you to have affection for this person and to seek their best and their good as far as it depends upon you.  As Don Francisco sang, "Love is not a feeling; it's an act of the will."

Husbands, you probably know where I am going with this. If this is true of my brothers (and sisters) in the church, is it not especially more true of the sister in the church with whom I live and share my life, the woman to whom I am knit by God in the bonds of marriage? 

  • Am I eager to see my brother in Christ?  Be eager to see your woman.
  • Am I burdened to pray for the needs of my brother in Christ? Know and pray for the burdens of your woman.
  • Am I patient with my brother in Christ even when his Doc Martens crush my toes? Be patient with your woman and give her the benefit of the doubt that affronts are not intended (even if perhaps they were).
  • Do I seek to help my brother with the challenges he is facing by investing time and energy with him? Invest time to help your bride.
  • Do you sit with your brother when he is in misery, just to be there for him? Hold your bride close to your bosom when the storms of life (bills, in-laws, children) assail.
  • Do you jot a friend an e-mail, send him a text, perhaps drop him a card to encourage him in his walk with Christ? (Are you getting the hang of this?)
  • Do you rearrange your schedule to meet with a brother who needs an ear or a word? When's the last time you rearranged your schedule for your woman?
The list could go on. Think on your relationships and your investments with brothers in Christ.  Should your relationship and investment with your wife be any less?

This really hit me as I read through 1 John. As you read through God's word and see him spell out your conduct with others, consider that first of all such conduct should begin in your home and should begin with your bride.

Simply, love your wife.

Monday, March 19, 2012

I think I'll cheat

Brothers, I have another post in the works, but sometimes a bear sticks its nose in your tent and you have to deal with the beast. 

When you went to work today, did you think to yourself, "I think I'll start an affair today?" The subtitle to that thought could be, "I believe I will put a truckload of TNT up against my marriage and my family and blow them to smithereens." For the man of God, for the man who loves his Christ and seeks to honor him with all he says and does, such thoughts surpass the ludicrous, don't they? How is it then that affairs happen, that such a weed takes root in our heart?

My wife linked an article today from World Magazine's online blog.  You can find it here if you wish, but I have included it in its entirety below.  Please, take the two minutes to read and to consider your own marriage.  Brothers, if we are not purposeful with our lives, if we do not consider all that we say and do, we have begun to load up the truck.

by AndreƩ Seu
A friend of mine told me that now she understands how adultery begins.
She went to a woman’s house to drop off a package as a favor to someone, but the woman was not home. The husband was, and they exchanged pleasantries for a few moments. My friend noticed the carpentry project the man was working on and commented on his artistry. She asked him a few questions about it, and it didn’t take much to encourage him to spill forth for an hour and a half about every aspect of the work. It was fun.
At some point in the conversation, the man made the comment that his wife doesn’t let him go on and on like that about his hobbies. That’s when my friend felt a curious check in her spirit. As she drove home, she thought with a shudder how she had enjoyed the flattery of being told she is a superior listener.
That was a narrow escape. We are warned of these sand traps:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith …” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
This is the substance of life, which you may choose to take seriously or not. The devil is real and is busy. Like one pastor said, “You should see the top of Satan’s desk: It’s covered with overflowing ashtrays, crumpled papers, and half-drunk cups of coffee.” Satan comes in like an angel of light and departs with a fiendish cackle over carcasses strewn in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:5).
I personally know of an affair that started when a married woman I know told a married man I know that she had had a dream about him. That was one foot on the banana peel. It could have been nipped in the bud at that point but was not. Each small subsequent decision sealed their fate, and great was the destruction in the final scene.
Wives, love your husbands well, being their best friends. Husbands, love your wives well. A good marriage is a bulwark against the footholds of the Adversary.
She said it, men.  Love your wives.  Don't go near the truck. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Your honor

The word of God struck me again this morning.

Backfill. A missionary friend of mine encouraged his readers and supporters to try a Bible reading plan where you read the same book of the Bible every day for twenty days. Not just part of the book but all of the book.  Tough to do with Jeremiah unless you have scads of time or are a fast reader; I whiff on both. These past twenty days I have anchored in 1 Peter. One of the fundamental verses for understanding God's heart for husbands is in that letter. In case you're a first time visitor to this blog:

"Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."
~ 1 Peter 3:7

As I rode to work on the most pristine morning north Texas has seen this year, I wished that I had reworded the question. Try this on. "Honey, do you feel that I have dishonored you in any way, word or deed, in recent memory." The wording of the question does a couple of things.

If she says yes with follow on instances as support (hoping for few), she is not stating that you implicitly dishonored her but that what you said or did made her feel this way. It doesn't accuse your intentions or indict your character even though both may be worth such. Also, in focusing on the dishonoring, it's not tooting your horn or giving you reason to puff your chest for the things you are already doing, but it's giving you as a husband specific areas to work upon where you may be falling short.

So, husband, give it a whirl. Man up and thicken that skin. If it surfaces some deep hurts, you might be in for a torrent of emotion. Bear it. Keep your cool in love and listen through and past the emotion to the truth therein contained. You are a man. Lead her well.

You may think she does not deserve honor. You are wrong. If she is a believer, she is a coheir of the grace of life, and that makes her a princess, the daughter of the King of Kings. If she is an unbeliever, she is still his creature and created in his image. As the wife may win the unbelieving spouse through her godly conduct (3:1), so, too, might you. Let her see Christ in you as you love and honor her as the weaker vessel.

A good verse for a Monday morning to prod husbands (read: me) to love their wives! 
God pounds upon me through this verse everytime I stop to listen. This morning, honor kept pounding in my head. I looked up from my Bible and turned to my woman. "Tracy, I don't want you to answer right away but to think on this. Do you feel that I honor you in word and deed?" By the way, she's still mulling it and her answer will remain between her and me. Nice try.