Monday, April 26, 2010


The why question can be that childhood innocence of wanting to understand. "Daddy, why do stars shine at night?" And not being satisfied with the first answer they follow up with the why question after every response we give until we feel like we have run out of answers!

It can also be a personal and probing question as to our motives and actions. "Why did you just say that?" or "Why did you just do that?" If you are like me I can handle the first round of why questions pretty well, it's the follow up "whys" that can unnerve me. When I am forced to look more closely at my actions and motives I seem to feel more threatened and get defensive.

Who has the right to question my motives and actions? In a marriage that is endeavoring to center on the glory of Christ it should naturally be the right of our husband or wife to ask the why questions. Yet too often we get annoyed and even caustic in our responses. The "nagging wife" or the "controlling husband" becomes a label we put on our spouses to make them stop the questioning. That partner in life is also your brother or sister in Christ and therefore a necessary instrument in your own personal sanctification.

This questioning on a human level should be a picture of what should be taking place on a spiritual level with the Lord himself. Who has the right to ask you ANY question and expect a true answer? The Lord himself who knows our hearts better than anyone. One of the many roles of the Holy Spirit is to ask us the why questions. He has the right to "get on our nerves" and to protect us from ourselves.

The Spirit's primary role in the believer's life is to make us look and act more like Jesus. Which is perhaps the greatest need in our marriages today, to see Jesus.

A true follower of Christ has that mindset of wanting God to ask the why questions, "Search me, O God, and know my heart..." Psalm 139:23.

The probing question is "Why?" Why aren't our Christian marriages more Christ-like? Why don't we believe the gospel? Why are we not more free to love and live in the power of Christ? Why don't we care enough to fight sin more personally? Why do we respond more out of guilt than of grace? Why don't we like people asking so many questions? Why? Why? Why?!!!!

I better stop here because I think I'm getting on my own nerves! It's time to go and practice what I preach!!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

And Then the Children Came

Children bring a whole new dimension and challenge to our marriages. They truly are a blessing from God but they are also his ordained instruments of sanctification as well!

"We were just getting used to each other and growing together...then the children came!"

It really does test the fiber of our marriage and brings about a further refinement of our commitment to the Lord and each other. The basis of our marriage can not be our mutual love and harmony but the sovereign love and mercy of God in Christ. That is not a mere platitude but an exciting foundation on which to build in every season of life. Our love and nurture of them is a direct reflection of our relationship with Jesus in how we teach them to be disciples of Christ.

I recently observed a couple dealing with a boy about 7 years old. He seemed to have a form of autism and was having difficulty controlling himself. His groans were loud and his mind restless. I was struck with how patient and sensitive the parents were with their child. The strain must be heavy on their marriage but there was also a clear mutual commitment that went beyond their personal happiness. They loved their son and were committed to him.

God loves his children.

He is not in the business of primarily making us good parents but rather true children of him and co-heirs with his son. "See what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." I John 3:1 If we understand our primary identity in Jesus it becomes the filter through which we deal with all of life - including parenthood.

Our marriages are one of the richest contexts to grow in our sanctification and when God blesses us with children it becomes that much richer. In the Lord's sovereign wisdom he brings those little ones into our lives to do big things.

If you are married with children or anticipate having that blessing may our Lord continue that work he has begun in your heart and marriage as you share this journey together for your growth and his glory!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Resurrection Truth

"For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." I Corinthians 2:2

We have a lot of differences as Christians, even in our marriages. We also have some powerful things in common. Jesus died. Jesus forgave. Jesus rose from the dead.

When the world and my life seem out of control and the voices are drowning out the peace what is my focus? When I feel like I'm misunderstood or frustrated in my marriage where do I go? It's during those times that our differences become even more apparent. We feel like we are fighting our own private war without our partner.

The Apostle Paul didn't often have the luxury of time to work through issues and relationships. There were a lot of things pressing in on him personally and circumstantially. What he needed most was not a quick resolution but a quick reminder. "Jesus Christ and him crucified." That's what he had in common with other believers and that's all he needed to know. Life was too short to get so distracted with other important things that he would loose sight of what he needed most. A savior.

What's needed most in our marriages today? I would suggest it's not primarily a resolution but a reminder. As professing Christians who are married we have the most powerful hope in all the world. Jesus died and rose again for me. Because of that Paul could be so bold as to say, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

What's that got to do with your marriage? Everything! What your spouse needs more than you is to be reminded of Jesus. Almost to the exclusion of everything else. If the passion of our hearts is to know nothing more important then the crucified Christ it will show in how we live, love and honor one another.

Go live in that resurrected power and may the world see a hope - a love that is unlike any other.