Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

MARRIAGE

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This Is Reality?!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I may be given an opportunity to be on the reality show ‘The Bachelor’.  Would this be bad?  Also, when you are dating, what point should the line be drawn at for intimacy?  Thank you.

Sincerely,
Moment Of Fame

Dear Moment Of Fame,

The line should be drawn significantly before one begins cavorting semi-nude in a pool with a harem of women.  We admit that we have never seen the television show ‘The Bachelor’, but the commercials alone are enough to paint a pretty appalling picture.  Women are degraded and dress immodestly (1 Tim 2:9), love is replaced with lust (Rom 6:12), and men give a horrible example of what being a worthwhile mate should be (Eph 5:25, 1 Tim 5:2).

Christians are supposed to live godly and holy lives, leaving the intimacy of the sexual realm to marriage (1 Thess 4:3-5).  Reality television shows with this type of content shouldn’t even be watched by Christians.  We live in a world that panders to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16).  Christians are to seek God with self-control (2 Pet 1:6).  The marriage bed is to be held in honor (Heb 13:4).  Shows like this neither teach self-control or hold marriage in a place of honor.  Yes, it would be bad for you to participate in ‘The Bachelor’.

Staying Sweet

Friday, August 24, 2012

If a husband cheats on his wife, is there an easy way for her to forgive them both?

Sincerely, Cut Deeply

Dear Cut Deeply,

No, there is no easy way to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t easy. If God commands us to do something, it probably isn’t easy. That is why it is a narrow and hard-to-travel road to be a Christian (Matt 7:13-14). Forgiveness requires us to take a loss and to accept a wrong done to us without vengeance (Matt 6:12). Forgiving others is a task that becomes more difficult the deeper the wound is. It might be easy to forgive a small unkindness, but something as wounding as adultery is a great injury. It is so severe of a sin that God permits divorce in such cases (Matt 5:31-32).

Whatever happens, don’t let their sins cut you so deeply that you become a bitter, angry person. Bitterness is a disease that can destroy us from the inside out (Heb 12:15). Bitterness is like poisoning yourself and expecting others to die. Forgiveness, in the long run, helps you to move forward with your own life and enjoy its sweetness.

Anything is possible through God (Php 4:13, Lk 18:27). There are many Christians who have forgiven their spouses and gone on to have happy and wonderful marriages together. It will take time, but you can forgive. God will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able (1 Cor 10:13).

The Women At The Tomb

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Luke 24:1-12 is the story about the women finding the empty tomb of Jesus. The Scripture identifies the women as Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James.

Women were the first ones to discover that Jesus had risen.  I was wondering how this speaks to the value of women in God's eyes and within Christianity. Also, even though the women did discover this first, it didn't seem important until Peter came and discovered that Jesus was gone.

Sincerely, Femininely Focused

Dear Femininely Focused,

Women are given great value within the Scriptures – exactly the same value as men. Indeed, it was women that first found the empty tomb (Lk 24:1-2). Entire books are written about faithful women (Book of Ruth & Book of Esther). Several women are listed in Hebrews chapter 11, the ‘hall of faith’ chapter (Heb 11:11, Heb 11:23, Heb 11:31). The fact that the news of Christ’s empty tomb didn’t begin to spread until His apostles began spreading the word of it, doesn’t make the tender act of the women bringing spices to His grave any less meaningful. His apostles’ report of an empty tomb would have carried more weight than anyone else’s.

The Bible is clear that men and women have different roles within the church. Men are to lead the congregation as elders and deacons (1 Tim 3:2, 1 Tim 3:12). Women are to teach in more private settings and by their godly demeanors (Tit 2:3, 1 Tim 2:9-10). Husbands are to lead their families in sacrificial Christ-like love (Eph 5:25), and wives are to bind together their families by their respect for their husbands and love for their children (Tit 2:4, Eph 5:24). Yet, in all these differences, God makes it clear that neither male nor female is greater than the other (1 Cor 11:11-12). They are equals and joint-heirs of salvation in Christ (1 Pet 3:7).

A Leader Worth Following

Monday, July 23, 2012
     My wife and I are growing spiritually at different speeds, and some of the things she chooses to do don't match up to the Bible, and I don't agree with these choices.  How should I address these things without upsetting her and stay true to the Word of God and be the spiritual leader of my wife and kids?

Sincerely,
Hesitant Husband

Dear Hesitant Husband,

No two people ever grow at the same rate… nor do they grow in the same areas.  We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and those differences are especially pronounced between men and women.  You have two principles to balance:

  1. God says to deal with your wife in an understanding way because she is different than you, and yet, also an equal heir of eternity (1 Pet 3:7).  You aren’t perfect, and neither is she.  Women tend to be weak in areas that men are strong and vise-versa.  Your job as her husband and brother in Christ is to strengthen her, not crush her.
  2. You are the spiritual head of your household and must set the tone and direction for your family (1 Tim 3:12).  It is up to you to define your family’s character and lead the way.  Many families fail and crumble because men are apathetic and lazy in this area.  If your wife is making definite choices that are unwise or harmful to the family’s spiritual health, you have a responsibility to address it.

When we compare these two principles, it becomes clear that a husband should address spiritual concerns within his family, but how he does it makes all the difference.  Col 3:19 says that husbands shouldn’t be harsh with their wives.  That is what you must balance.  Don’t nitpick every choice she makes or speak unkindly/condescendingly – that is what harshness looks like.  Give her the benefit of the doubt and discuss these issues (whatever they might be) with your wife.  After all, you both want the same thing.

Their Latter End

Saturday, July 14, 2012
     My husband was a preacher, but he left me for another woman and went to live with her.  He left me living in his parents’ home (which I could be asked to move from), got a good job in Tennessee (not preaching), and the woman has moved in with him. Why is everything working out for him?  He is doing well; I am still going to church.  I work, have to pay all my bills, and my car is acting up.  She got him a nice Jeep.  My legs are hurting; I have a rash but don’t have the money to go to a doctor, but he goes when needed!  My question is: why is everything going so well for him?  I am 64 years old and was left with nothing; I try to do what is right by people, but yet, everything is roses for him.  I just don’t understand.

Sincerely,
Left Behind

Dear Left Behind,

Your frustration is valid, and the psalmist, Asaph, had the same frustration.  In Psalm 73, Asaph talked about his animosity toward the success of the ungodly… he said it made him so mad that he almost fell away from God (Ps 73:2).  However, Asaph finally concluded that the ungodly were not blessed because their entire existence was slippery and dependent upon their physical prosperity (Ps 73:18).  Only God’s people have an eternal hope that gives us comfort regardless of how life goes here (Ps 73:27-28).

A life of wickedness is a slippery slope – one lie leads to another until all you have is a tangle of lies and deception (Ps 73:18).  The wicked man has no peace because he is totally dependent upon his own strength and wiles for success… every moment of life is lived upon a precipice (Ps 73:19).

Contrast that life to one of a righteous man.  God holds the hand of the righteous, so they will not despair (Ps 73:23), and God is a righteous man’s counselor and friend (Ps 73:24).  Ultimately, the righteous go to heaven, and the wicked spend eternity in hell (Ps 73:25).  Sometimes, it is maddeningly difficult to see wicked people “getting away” with sin, but God reminds us to consider their latter end.

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