Does a Heterosexual Marriage Guarantee a Godly Marriage?

Over the past decade or two, there has been much debate about same sex marriages and heterosexual marriages. There have many well-intended arguments for, and against same sex marriages.

However, I believe there are some heterosexual marriages that are just as displeasing to God as homosexual marriages. In our society today, we have many couples who married because of what they could get out of the marriage. They wanted love on their terms; they wanted security on their terms; they wanted success on their terms; etc.

In Ephesians 5:21 Paul tells us: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It is possible to have a heterosexual marriage, but still refuse to submit to each other. Many well-intended marriages turn into ‘control’ duals. Each spouse wants to control the other spouse. They gather all types of ‘ammo’ to use against their spouse. They become so concerned about the faults of their spouse that they fail to see their positive traits. The things that bought them together soon become the things that drive them apart. Why do they drive them apart? It is because they do not want to surrender control to someone else. They would rather criticize each other than surrender control of the marriage.

Many of the statements that marriage counselors hear from a spouse when counseling them, are incomplete. They tend to leave off a very import phrase at the end of their complaint. They should add this phrase “…the way I think it should be.” I hear wives complaining about the husband not being the spiritual leader. But the wife fails to follow the spiritual leading of the husband because his leadership is not what the she thinks it should be. Husbands cannot lead unless they have someone follow them.

On the other hand, many husbands expect their wives to become slaves. Many husbands tend to abuse their wives. They tend to treat their wives as their personal servant, doing all the things the husband wants done. If the wife does something differently than the husband expects, the husband will complain about it, making the wife feel like she did something wrong.

These husband and wife issues are natural occurrences. When God disciplined Eve for eating the forbidden fruit, He said that the woman’s desire would be to control the husband but the husband would rule over her. (See Genesis 3:16)

The Bible says husbands are to love their wives “just as God loved the church and gave himself up for her.” The love that Paul is telling about in Ephesian 5 is a “giving” love and not a “getting” love. God wants marriages to be a loving relationship; a relationship that puts the other spouse first. God also wants both spouses to follow His guidance through the Holy Spirit.

When the husband and the wife follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, they become a cord of three strands. It becomes a marriage where husband, wife, and God have a mutual purpose. Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” This is the only type of marriage that will be pleasing to God. It is a Godly marriage. It will be a marriage filled the happiness and the satisfaction that couple desire.

NOTE: Scripture quoted in this blog were downloaded from www.biblegateway.com

What Size is Your Sin?

Many plants begin with just a small seed. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds. When the seed is planted and nurtured, it will become a large tree.

One time the disciples were trying to drive a demon out of a boy, but were unsuccessful. However, later, Jesus was able to cast out the demon that possessed the boy. When the disciples were alone with Jesus, they asked why they could not drive out the demon. Jesus replied that they had too little faith.

 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19-21(NIV)

In other words, it takes very little faith to move mountains. We make our faith grow by nurturing it. Every time God tests us, our faith will grow if we allow it to. When we read His word and see the examples of what people have done by faith, our faith grows.

Did you know that sin grows the same way faith grows? When we commit a very small sin, we say it will not hurt this one time. However, when we nurture it and rehearse in our mind, it gets easier and easier to commit the sin. That sin will gain control of our bodies and minds.

Just looking can be seed for sin. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 7:28(NIV)

Even in the Garden of Eden, Satan planted a seed that made Eve look at the tree:  

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:4(NIV)

If it takes faith the size of a mustard seed, to move mountains, how big does a sin need to be before it is controlling our behavior? How big does it need to be before it displeases God? How big does a sin need to be to keep someone from becoming a Christian?

On a recent Hour of Power program, Bobby Schuller talked about words, and how words can change a person’s life for either good or bad. In his message, he also referred to the fact that a person’s brain remembers every word that has ever been spoken to the person. We may not be able to recall them, but they are still in our brain.

The seed of sin may even be just a word spoken to another person. Genesis 11:1 tells about people being able to all speak the same language. Because they spoke the same language, it was causing them to sin by building a tower to heavens. God knew what was happening and caused them to speak different languages.

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:1-9(NIV)

The Bible also says this about the tongue and how we use it.

 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:9-11(NIV)

The Bible also tells about how small the tongue is and how great the destruction it can do if it is not controlled.

“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water” James 3:3-12(NIV)

You see, just as faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, a look or a word can result in great destruction.

“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. Matthew 15:16-18(NIV)

With your words, you can change a person’s life. Are you going to say positive things that can change a life for good, and bring that person closer to Christ? Or are you going to say negative things that move that person away from Christ? What you say does affect other people.

There is a song that we used to sing as children titled “O be careful little eyes what you see”. The words of that song are very critical to the life of a Christian. The first and third verses of the song are:

 

O be careful little eyes what you see,

O be careful little eyes what you see

For the Father up above

He’s looking down in love,

So, be careful little eyes what you see.

 

O be careful, little tongue what you say

O be careful, little tongue what you say

For the Father up above

He’s looking down in love

So, be careful little tongue what you say.

 The words of this song are not just for children. These words are appropriate for each and every Christian, regardless of their age or maturity.

Our pray should be like that of the Psalmist in Psalm 19:14: May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 NOTE: All scripture used in this blog was downloaded from http://biblegateway.com Jun 15, 2015

Same Sex Marriages: What Christians Need to Know

In the beginning of John chapter 8, Jesus is presented with a situation that was intended to get him into trouble. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. John 8:2-8(NIV)

At the time of this event, teachers of the law and the Pharisees were responsible for caring for the widows. This was a very important task. The women of this day were responsible for being their husband’s wife. They were not permitted to become secretaries, clerks, waiter, etc. There was no place for women to earn money. Consequently, if a woman lost her husband, she also lost all of her financial support. These widows had two choices: they could starve or they could become a prostitute. To prevent people from being put into this position, the leaders of the Law and Pharisees were responsible for caring for these women. When Jesus said that the person who had not sinned could throw the first stone, he knew that this group of people would feel the guilt for their actions. They fully understood what Jesus was telling them. They were negligent in caring for widows. Today, we have a very similar situation that is taking place in our society. There are Christians who are to failing to teach their children what the Bible says and what it does not say. Older women and older men are instructed to teach the young men and young women what is right and what is wrong. Our failure to teach the young men and women right from wrong has caused people to reject Jesus. Most of what is written in the Bible was written for Christians – people who have accepted Jesus Christ as the sacrificial lamb that died to our sins. When we read about how Christians should behave, we automatically apply it to people who are not Christians. We also make the mistake of telling non-Christians that they cannot go to heaven if they take part in certain behaviors. First, it is not up to Christians to determine who does, or does not go to heaven. It is God’s gift of grace, accepted by faith that will get us into heaven. We cannot earn our way to heaven by doing or not doing certain activities.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10(NIV)

There is nothing that we can do that will take that gift away from us or that will make it bigger or smaller. This gift is a gift that is given to those who believe in Jesus Christ. The gift is the same for all people regardless of their past. God will not force his gift on anyone, but he has made it available for everyone, regardless of his or her sexual orientation. Faith and grace are not the same! If we fail to do what God wants us to do, we do not lose our free gift of grace. We receive grace when God receives us just as we are. He knows that we cannot live sinless lives by ourselves. Our faith, on the other hand is something that grows as we learn to follow Jesus. Likewise, it diminishes (or dies) as we fail to follow Jesus. Included in our free gift of grace, is the Holy Spirit who dwells in our lives. The Holy Spirit guides the Christians actions. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to live. It even teaches us who we should choose for a marriage partner. God’s plan for marriage has not, nor will it ever change. Only the secular definition of marriage changes according to the wishes of the people. Faith does not force us to behave in a given manner. But rather, our actions are an indications of our faith. If a person does not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in his/her life they are incapable of living by the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, your only choice is to follow your fleshly nature

 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13(NIV)

Christians should not expect the non-Christians to behave like Christians. In fact, we are to love them ‘as Christ loved us’. Changing how people behave is the work of the Holy Spirit, not Christians, or anybody else. People are born in sin. Every one of us started with a fleshly nature. Included in that fleshly nature, is the potential of becoming a gay or lesbian person.

 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:21-32(NIV)

In this passage of scripture, the writer is telling about the behavior of people who have not accepted God’s gift of grace. The writer never says, however that these people can never accept God’s gift of grace. Our behavior is the result of who we are following. When we follow our fleshly desires, we do those things that help us feel better at the time. We do the things that our flesh desires to do. However, if we crucify our fleshly desires, and are led by the Holy Spirit as Christians are instructed to do, we do things like love our neighbor, live in peace, joy, and happiness.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:16-26(NIV)

A person’s behavior is determined by who they are following. As a Christian, it is our responsibility to demonstrate God’s love to those who are not following the Holy Spirit. It is our responsibility to love other people. Love never forces itself on anyone.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:6-16(NIV)

Are we like the Pharisees and teachers of the law mention at the beginning of this blog? Do we want to throw the first stone? Why would someone want to be a Christian if we fail to live like Christ? If you are a Christian, go love someone who is in need of God’s love. Do not condemn them because they are behaving the way God said they would behave. God gave them over to their fleshly desires. God, not man, let them have their own way. Note: All scripture used in this article were downloaded from: http:// biblegateway.com