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Marriage Clif Notes Pt. 2

Thursday, March 17, 2011
I just read the Marriage Clif Notes.  Is it okay for the wife to be the boss (because in my house, my wife is the boss)?  I guess it is the new thing today.

Sincerely,
Second-In-Command

Dear Second-In-Command,

Husbands are to be the spiritual leaders of their homes (Eph 5:23); the fact that it is popular and normal for men to shirk that responsibility and allow their wives to fill the leadership void doesn’t make it right.  A man that will not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim 5:8), and many a woman has torn her house down with her own hands because she doesn’t let her husband lead (Pr 14:1).  A nagging, bossy wife (Pr 11:22) and a lazy, apathetic husband (Pr 12:24) are a recipe for a disastrous marriage.  God designed husbands to lovingly lead their families and wives to respectfully support their husbands.

 

Calendar Correction

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When is the Sabbath?  The Bible says its the seventh day.  Why do so many keep Sunday as the Sabbath?

Sincerely,
A Day To Remember

Dear A Day To Remember,

Saturday is the Sabbath day… but christians don’t have to worry about keeping the Sabbath.  The word ‘sabbath’ means ‘rest’.  The Sabbath day was a day that the nation of Israel was told to rest, stop working, and make holy to the Lord (Ex 31:15).  This rule was so strict that a man was once stoned for collecting firewood on Saturday (Num 15:32-36).  However, this was a Jewish command, not a Christian one.  The Sabbath was part of the Old Testament law – a law that christians are no longer under (Gal 3:23-25).  We are specifically told not to let anyone bind the Sabbath on us (Col 2:16).  Christians worship Christ on the first day of the week – Sunday (Acts 20:7, 1 Cor 16:1-2).  We are not bound by the strict rules of avoiding all work like the Jews were, but we are told to treat Sunday as “the Lord’s day” (Rev 1:10).

 

Hunger Pangs

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
When Jesus talked to His disciples, He said, "When you fast..."  Later, in Pauline epistles, we read about the early church, and fasting is still referred to sometimes.  As christians, my understanding is that today we are to follow the Word by its commands, inferences, or practices.  So when it comes to fasting, are we as christians to be fasting?  It's interesting to me that we are told what to do when we sing and why, what day of the week to gather together by example, but nothing that I have found has made it clear to me details about fasting.  So should we be regular "fasters" today?

Sincerely,
Snack Time

Dear Snack Time,

Fasting is a Biblical practice, but there are no specific guidelines for when to do it.  Fasting is the practice of not eating for a designated period of time.  Jesus once fasted for forty days (Matt 4:2).  Fasting is often associated with times of grief and difficult decisions (Joel 2:12).  The New Testament doesn’t require fasting, but it also shows the benefits of fasting during times of difficulty or when important decisions needed to be made (Acts 14:23).  Jesus’ disciples were noted for not fasting as often as the rest of the Jewish community (Matt 9:14), an indication that fasting doesn’t have the same level of emphasis in the New Testament.  There is a time for fasting, but it is purely up to personal discretion.

 

A Tsunami's Message

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Did God create earthquakes and other disasters on this earth?

Sincerely,
Magnitude 8.9

Dear Magnitude 8.9,

God didn’t create earthquakes and other disasters; natural disasters are a byproduct of sin.  When God created the universe, He made everything good (Gen 1:31).  The world didn’t have disease, thorns, suffering, and all the other problems we see today.  Originally, Adam and Eve lived in the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:8).  It is only after Adam and Eve were cast from the Garden because of their sin that all the problems we see today began.  The first recorded earthquake didn’t happen until the days of Noah when all the world had turned to violence and evil (Gen 6:5-7).  When the world was flooded because of sin, God broke open the fountains of the deep, which would surely have quaked the planet (Gen 7:11).  The first recorded natural disaster (Noah’s flood) was caused because of sin.  It was mankind’s sin that forced God to flood the Earth to save Noah’s righteous family (1 Pet 3:20). God wanted paradise and peace for mankind, but we have warped His creation because of our sin.

Our hearts go out to those in Japan in this terrible time of suffering.  The devastation in Japan is a reminder that this world is a place of great turmoil and how important it is to place our faith in God while we wait for our eternal home (Heb 11:16).

 

Missing A Step

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
What does the Bible (and where) say about two people living together prior to marriage?

Sincerely,
Spare Key

Dear Spare Key,

Moving in together would be a sin as well as a temptation toward further sin. No matter how pure our intentions might be, two people of the opposite sex living together looks bad. Even if you weren’t actually sleeping together, nobody would believe you. God tells us to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thess 5:22). The word ‘form’ in that verse literally means “shape or appearance”. Christians need to not only avoid sin – but avoid looking like they are sinning. A boyfriend and girlfriend living together (no matter how chaste) looks like a sinful relationship. The Bible also tells us to do the things which are ‘honorable in the sight of all men’ (Rom 12:17, 2 Cor 8:21). Consider what living together before marriage does to the honor of your girlfriend/boyfriend. God wants you to do what is in their best interest and uphold their reputation and honor.

Secondarily, the temptation to sleep together will certainly grow with living together. There is nothing abnormal about a man and a woman being strongly attracted to each other. God recognizes that young people naturally are inclined to burn with passion for the opposite sex (1 Cor 7:9). The key is to make sure you don’t put yourselves in a position that could compromise your integrity. We are to ‘flee fornication’ (1 Cor 6:18) and be wise as serpents in regard to righteousness (Matt 10:16). Don’t set yourselves up to sin.

The idea of living together before marriage is a modern one – not a Biblical one. Biblically speaking, if you aren’t ready to get married, you aren’t ready to live together. The deepest act of love you could show to your girlfriend/boyfriend would be to wait until you are ready for marriage.

 

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