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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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The Buzz

Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
- Marc Heinrich

His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
- Rose Cole

[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
- C-Train

This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
- David Kjos

Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
- Jonathan Moorhead

There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
- Carla Rolfe
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Six Weeks Old Yesterday!
Our youngest turned six weeks old yesterday. She is, by all accounts, a wonderful little child; full of life, charm, and strength (look at her holding up her head like a pro!) My wife and I have been richly blessed; all colic aside.

Yes, it is true. Our little sweetheart has begun to suffer through colic (and we with her) each night for around three hours or so, usually beginning around ten thirty or eleven o'clock.

Our eldest, who is now about to turn thirteen, was the only other child with colic that we had, and I should say this - you seldom get the opportunity to do a rubber-meets-the-road sort of comparison between who you are today, and who you were thirteen years ago, than to compare the way you handle identical situations then and now.

Thirteen years ago I was not walking with the Lord, and though my wife and I had been married for five years our marriage was not a good one. We were selfish, and worldly, and those unwelcome traits only grew when our first child developed colic. In my selfishness I quickly began to resent the way my wife wanted to share the duty of comforting my screaming and inconsolable son at two a.m. in the morning. I had a job, so naturally I used that to justify my selfishness, and the resentment that permeated every moment I gave to trying to soothe my tiny, red-faced and teary eyed son.

I cringe in shame within my soul when I think back on that.

So also I marvel then at what a difference the Lord has made in my life thus far. Sure, I am an "experienced" father now, in that I understand colic much better than I had, and I realize that infants are not necessarily inconsolable, you just have to know how to console a colicky child† Yet such experience does not, nor can it, touch the work of love in my heart that the Lord has done.

Not that I love my newest daughter more than I loved my eldest son, but rather I love my God and His blessing to me. I love my wife, and strongly desire to provide whatever comfort and security I can to her. So it is that I have found great joy and comfort in soothing this little one in the wee hours of the night. I count it a privilege and an honor to give my wife rest, even at my own expense, while I eagerly take my turn at soothing our newest child.

I tell you, it is things like this that make the words of Christ so real - He gives to His children life, here and now, more abundantly (c.f. John 10:10). What has changed in me that what before was a source of contention, tension, and resentment, is now a well of joy and opportunity, so that I am thankful above all else? What has changed is that I trust the Lord, and live to serve Him in the strength that He provides.

Praise be to God who does more than save us from hell, but gives us joy in all things here and now.

To soothe colic, swaddle your infant firmly, so that his or her arms are pinned at the side (careful not to over do this, or restrict the neck - use your common sense), then holding the child on his or her side (facing you, and against you), gently rock and (very lightly) jiggle the child as you shush him or her. This shushing is supposed to imitate the sounds of the womb, not provide you with an avenue to vent any frustration you may be feeling (not "shush! shush! You noisy child!", but "ShhhhSHHHshhhSHHhh").

Note: The baby may, at first, fuss a bit, as if this is not only not working, but even aggravating the situation, but you should see a marked improvement, and calmness soon enough.

Note also: Marry yourself beforehand to the sure knowledge that this is going to take a while - an hour maybe - and that in that hour the babe may have, in spite of your efforts, a moment or two here and there, where they fuss again, but continue the course, and the babe will find rest far sooner, and far more quietly, and far less stressfully, than he or she would have otherwise.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:28 AM   3 comment(s)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
1023: Applying a simple proverb.
In the 18 years of my marriage my wife and I have had many disagreements I suppose. Certainly in the first five years of my marriage (years when I was far from the Lord in my heart) there were many arguments and we came very close to destroying our marriage forever. Of course that all turned around on the day I, by God's grace, was able to turn my heart to follow Him in earnest. So I can say before the Lord without shame, that in the past 13 years of marriage each year has been better than the last, more joy filled, and more peaceful, meaning we have learned to settle our differences in a timely and godly manner before such things grow into anything more.

My Dad was a committed atheist, and my mom a superstitious, biblically ignorant catholic. My wife's mother and father were likewise pseudo-religious, but lacking in genuine faith during her upbringing. It is enough to say that we did not want to our children to see us "resolve" our differences according to the patterns we had inherited as children ourselves.

So, for the benefit of those who are newly wed, or new to the Christian walk, or perhaps just interested in learning how Christian couples with children resolve conflicts in front of their children, I thought I would share a disagreement my wife and I had last night.

After we came home from prayer meeting, we set our two eldest to doing those supper dishes that we had left behind when we frantically dashed out the door to get to prayer meeting (late). For supper I had made a sweet and spicy fried chicken that my wife liked, and later blamed for the gas (and painful cramps) that the baby was tearfully experiencing (our fifth child is now five weeks old).

As I sat in the living room rocking the baby first this way, then that, to try and alleviate the cramps she was experiencing (and thereby stop her crying), I noticed on the family computer that my eldest daughter was going to be getting her bangs cut next week. She had spoken to her grandmother, and her grandmother had made a hair dressing appointment, and because it was left as open mail on the monitor and a small message, I picked up that much information in a single glance.

I should explain that I had had several conversations with my daughter in the past week about getting her bangs cut. Her best friend just had her bangs cut, and so my daughter wanted to cut her bangs too.

This was not something new, when her friend had her hair dyed pink, my daughter wanted to dye her hair too. At that time I exercised my parental veto and forbid it for two reasons - first I think that women in our culture are fed a vile lie from the cradle, that being that augmenting the way God made you is not vain, but is merely "feminine", and I don't want my daughter running around with pink hair. I want her to learn to be content in God's design, that is, in her looks (plus pink hair is trashy as far as I am concerned, but that's just a personal preference).

Well, long before the dye faded in her friends hair the desire in my daughter to dye her own hair likewise faded. It was just one of those passing fancies that young people are inclined to indulge because they are young. Depending on your life philosophy, you may be inclined to indulge such things or not. I am of the "or not" persuasion, and my wife is of the contrary persuasion.

So it was when my daughter began to speak of parroting her friends bang cutting, that I expressed my concern for where this was coming from. At the end of each of a few conversations we had had, I made it clear that this was not something I would ever endorse. Not that I am a hair-Nazi or anything, but my concern is primarily tied to weeding out motives and making sure that my little ones learn to discern peer pressure and worldly thinking, and to react to these things in a godly way.

Well, at least in theory. I also just happen to think that long hair is pretty, and cutting a straight line across your eyebrows is ugly. As a father, and as someone who has a carnal nature just like everyone else, I am inclined by that sinful nature to use my position of authority to furnish myself according to my desires, whether petty or profound.

So when I read about the hair appointment, I was indignant. It didn't help that the baby was also being rather vociferously indignant, but for other reasons. Now I wasn't angry in the sense that some might thing - you know, the creased brow, the loud voice, or what have you. Rather I called my daughter into the room and asked her what this was all about.

Now, my wife knew that I not only had a preference, but she knew what my preference was: that my daughter keep her bangs long. I described above two godly sounding reasons for my preference, but in truth, the petty reason I gave (I just don`t like them!) was far more significant a factor in my concern than even I was aware. So my wife was okay with my daughter getting the hair cut.

So in the moment I read the email, I found myself both at odds with my daughter, for not respecting my wishes, and again, at odds with my wife for knowingly allowing something she knew I wouldn't approve of. I felt in the moment I read the email, not that I was being petty and controlling, but rather that my role as father and husband was being ignored and disrespected.

So, being fluent in scripture, I recalled to my wife the passage in the OT concerning vows - that one role God intends the father to play, is that of a decision maker, so much so that upon hearing of a vow that his daughter makes, or even his own wife makes, the father/husband may exercise this divine prerogative given to fathers/husbands by God, and veto the vow. My intention was not to exercise the veto, but rather to brow beat my wife with the verse until she obliged of her own accord.

It is fair to say that at this point we were "arguing" and our two eldest were right there listening to it. Anytime parents argue, children worry, and so it was with our kids. They listened as they did the dishes, and (as I found out later) were praying for us. My wife didn't want to have an argument in front of the children because when she was growing up that's what her parents did. But because I wanted our children to see that even Christians can argue, and again, to see the process of reconciliation that follows, I insisted that the children continue doing their dishes.

Our "argument" wouldn't even pass for a heated discussion in many homes, but it did get to the point where you start venting about other things you don't like. By the time we got there, my wife had said a few things I knew she would regret, and like the proverbial son who suddenly realizes that he is wallowing in the mire, I found myself realizing that for all my spiritual pretense, quoting verses, and defending my opinions from scripture, I was not actually in the Spirit, but rather firmly in the grip of the flesh.

I hate it when that happens, because it is like the man who by his constant digging has set himself in a large hole, such that even after coming to his senses and suspending his digging, still has the problem before him of being in a large hole.

So it was that I found myself, in the wrong, in the flesh, under the perturbed stare of my wife, trying to soothe my littlest one, and wishing I hadn't dug so deep a hole for myself. In those moments my silent prayers seem to me to be jumbled and desperate - like I am clambering to surrender to God in my heart, but doing so not to draw near to God, but only to satisfy a religious check box, and I have to press on beyond the superficial, and humble myself in my heart - to pass "from this is what a Christian ought to do", and into, "I desperately need God for real".

We took a break to put the kids to bed, and as we did I was genuine in my desire to find a godly path out of the mess I was making. My son is only twelve, but he knows the word of God, and I believe knows the Lord and loves Him. I asked him to give me his honest opinion of my side of the discussion, and he looked me solemnly in the eye and said that perhaps instead of quoting the bible on what it says about father's I should try quoting what it says about arguing.

God bless that boy, for in the moment he said this the words of Proverbs 26:20 came to mind, "For lack of wood the fire goes out" - immediately I knew that the "wood" in the fire of this present contention was my own self interest. How blessed is the man whose children love the Lord!

I got on my knees right then and there and thanked my son for speaking the truth to me, and thanked God that the Holy Spirit was able to find that traction to instruct me through my son's wisdom.

When I returned to my wife, the argument was more than over because the point of contention had been dealt with by God, even as my children had been praying, and as I had called on the Lord to do.

After my wife and I asked one another for forgiveness, we went to our children and explained our faults to them, and how in spite of these, the moment we sought the Lord in earnest, we were blessed. This we did in order that they might have an example to follow in their own lives.

We are all going to fall on our faces from time to time, spiritually speaking - but if we are parents, let us be sure that our children who witness our fall, witness also the way in which the Lord raises us up afterwards.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering ...my daughter is going to have her bangs cut, and I am fine with that.

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posted by Daniel @ 7:09 AM   1 comment(s)
Monday, September 13, 2010
1021: When Is Divorce Sanctioned By God?
I say, "actual" adultery, because there are some situations where some would argue that adultery has taken place, when in fact it has not.

Consider the married woman who is raped. She has not committed "adultery" against her husband in becoming the victim of a violent sexual crime. She has been sexually violated, but she has not committed adultery.

Consider the husband who fantasizes about women other than his wife. Christ tells us in the sermon on the mount that this man has already committed adultery with the woman (or women) of his fantasies in his heart. In this part of the sermon, our Lord is exposing the erroneous Pharisaic concept of righteousness: "...unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven". The Pharisee believed that the believer attained righteousness by keeping the letter of the law; Christ was showing that righteousness required more than merely keeping the law externally. The man who hated his brother, and desired him to die, but refused to kill him - this man was not righteous, but as full of sin as the one who actually killed his brother. The man who lusted after a married woman was as sinful as the man who committed adultery. By expressing righteousness in these terms, Christ showed that those who believed you could by your way into heaven by good works were sadly mistaken - your righteousness had to be heart-deep, and not merely external.

Given that, I don't think that our Lord was saying that if a married man lusted after a woman other than his wife, that he had committed "actual" adultery - rather his point was that the man who lusted but kept himself from the external act, was just as much a sinner as the man who carried out his lust in actuality.

Thus the husband who lusts after another woman hasn't committed "actual" adultery, and therefore the wife has no grounds to divorce him on the grounds of adultery. If the man is in bondage to porn, his marriage is going to suffer, and it may eventually lead to actual adultery if he refuses to repent of it, but adultery in the heart is not the same thing as committing adultery.

Our modern age convolutes this whole idea.

Consider the married woman who is emotionally estranged from her husband, and who begins to flirt with men "online" eventually ending in a sort of virtual courtship, including but not limited to say photo passing, phone calls, or even "virtual sex". Has this woman committed adultery? She has definitely committed "adultery in her heart" - and it is probably worse than the male version, for where a man lusts after the flesh of a woman, a woman typically lusts after a relationship. But even she has not committed adultery yet.

These things are sinful, and even cripplingly so - but they are not grounds for divorce, at least not according to scripture.

Now one might argue, and I am sure that someone has or will, that we cannot have it both ways. That is, that we cannot say on the one hand Christ was teaching that it is not the letter of the law, but the state of the heart that makes a man guilty of sin, and on the other that it is not the state of the heart, but the letter of the law that makes a person guilty of adultery. But that argument defeats itself because it is comparing apples to oranges. The law describes the sin of adultery, the state of the heart determines whether there is sin. There is certainly sin in adultery, but there is also sin apart from adultery. Actual adultery requires a genuine, physical consummation.

In the case of adultery, that is, in the case where one partner physically and in person engages in sexual activity with someone other than his or her spouse - that person is committing actual adultery, and his or her spouse is allowed, according to scripture to divorce the offending spouse, providing the partner who is committing adultery wants out of the marriage (see comments below, as David Kjos was quite instrumental in pointing this out to me).

That doesn't mean that the offended spouse is -required- to divorce his or her spouse, it only means that he or she is allowed to divorce his or her spouse.

But what if the offending spouse repents? What if the adulterer/ess begs for forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. Is the offended partner required by scripture to accept reconciliation?

No, the offended partner is not required by scripture to take the adulterer/ess back.

Actually, upon prayerful reflection, I must retract my original answer. The offended party is indeed required by the whole counsel of scripture to take the repentant adulterer/ess back. Forgiveness -must- be given, and the person who refuses to restore a repentant has (in fact) refused to forgive them. Such a one is not walking in the commandments of Christ, and no church can in good conscience condone divorce when this is the case.

Thank you again David Kjos (see comments below) in challenging my thinking on this, and driving me to prayerfully reconsider it.

Here I say "actual" because there are some who would argue that a person can "abandon" another by being, say, emotionally distant. etc. That is, some would argue that one can "abandon" another by simply failing to live up to an arbitrary level of relational attentiveness. This is however, so patently bunk I am saddened that I even have to take the time to address it. It is a ridiculous notion that finds support amongst those who want the rubber stamp of God on their divorce, even if they have to fudge the facts to get it.

Here again I say "biblical" because the abandonment mentioned in scripture is not just any sort of abandonment for any reason - but a very narrow sort: You must be a Christian, and your spouse must abandon you on account of not want to be married to a Christian - that is, your spouse so rejects Christ, that they leave the marriage on account of you being associated with Him.

It is not reciprocal: A believer is not allowed to divorce an unbelieving spouse on the grounds of his or her unbelief. That's not how it works. Only when the unbelieving spouse walks away from the marriage on the grounds of "not wanting to be married to a Christian" is the divorce biblical.

Other situations:

The abused spouse: You know the scenario. Whether the couple are both believers, or one is a believer, typically the stronger of the two (sometimes it's the woman) physically abuses the weaker of the two. Does the abused spouse have the (biblical) right to divorce the abusing spouse?

No, the abused does not. Here again, one might try and make the argument of abandonment, but that is as lame as it is misplaced. Here is one situation where the wisdom of the world collides head-on with the wisdom of God. If the abuser is a Christian the abuser ought to be disciplined by his or her church. Notwithstanding, whether the abuser is Christian or not, and whether discipline is taking place, the abused should always seek protection from the abuser through the laws of the land. If the laws of the land do not protect the abused, the abused can separate herself or himself from the abuser, but cannot pursue divorce on biblical grounds just because he or she is being abused.

Don't get me wrong. Abuse can be deadly, and it is very, very serious. I am not making light of it. No abused person is obligated by scripture or God to remain in danger. The wise man, scripture teaches, sees trouble coming, and avoids it. So also the abused is not only within his or her rights to protect themselves against abuse, but is encouraged to do so.

The fact of the matter is that abusive behavior, deplorable as it is, is not grounds for divorce.

The substance abuser spouse: The same can be said for substance abusers, etc. Being married to an undesirable spouse, a bad spouse, or even a dangerous spouse/parent is not grounds for divorcing them.

The "jerk" spouse: Sorry, but marrying a jerk is perfectly acceptable to God.

I don't love my spouse any more!: Too bad. Seriously, many are surprised to learn that the bible doesn't mention love as a pre-requisite to marriage. Loving your spouse can make a marriage more enjoyable, but just as love is not a biblical requirement for marriage, so also the lack of it is not a valid reason for divorce.

Closing thoughts
II am sure entire books are written on this topic, and all kinds of people will find all kinds of ways to justify divorce, but scripture is not so loose. Marriage pictures the union of Christ and His church, and divorce mars that image. It is never God's intention for any to divorce, God hates divorce.

That being said, I don't believe that it is theologically sound to suggest that God -will- save a failing marriage as long as someone in that marriage has faith. I have heard preachers follow up the "God hates marriage" quote with the teaching that for this reason we can pray that God will save a marriage, and that He will, so long as we do not faint in our faith. I think that is a stretch, and a dangerous one at that. God hates sin also, but that doesn't mean that if we ask God to stop us from sinning we will never sin again (how many of us would be sinless already were this so?).

Sadly there are far fewer Christians who are so committed to God that they would continue to invest themselves in a marriage that has turned for the worse. Just as the culture vows, "for better or else" so many in the church do as well. They are willing to stay in a married relationship so long as it continues to serve their interests or satisfy their needs, but as soon as they find themselves less than satisfied, they follow the world in divorce, and all the truths in scripture will not persuade them otherwise.

I offer no advice with this teaching other than to say that if you walk in the Spirit, come what may, it will be better for you than if you do not.


posted by Daniel @ 10:25 AM   15 comment(s)
Friday, September 10, 2010
1019: Sex, Money, Division of Labour
Some things are so delicate and difficult to express, that I can write twenty posts that never see the light of day. If you are reading this it is not because I have found some way to express what I mean to say correctly, but more likely that I became so annoyed with writing the same thing ten different ways, that I gave up trying to satisfy my inner critic and just posted it, letting the cards fall where they may.

The three greatest points of contention in any marriage are, in no particular order, Division of Labor (who does what in the marriage), The frequency and/or quality of physical intimacy, and how resources are spent.

All three points have this in common: The depend on carnal living for their provocation.

If both husband and wife are walking in the Spirit, there will be no disagreement about how to spend the money, who does the work or what their intimacy ought to look like. There will be harmony across the board.

If only one spouse is walking in the Spirit, there may be disagreement in one or more area, but the marriage will continue in strength.

If neither spouse is walking in the Spirit, there will be agreement only insofar as one or both are willing to compromise their own selfish desires.

I wrote this post to give some practical encouragement to couples. First I wanted to show how carnality can, at the very least, rob a marriage of joy (and even destroy it if left unchecked). I also wanted to show that walking in the Spirit will, at the very least, improve a marriage, and at best, provide the strength, joy, fulfillment, and contentment that God intends every son and daughter of His to enjoy.

Money (and resources in general)
Call it the flesh, the old man, the old self, the fallen nature, or whatever - the part of us that will not be redeemed, and is responsible for churning out desires that run contrary to God's will (not our skin and bones, but the heart within us that desires its own comfort and satisfaction above all else) - this part wants to use everything at hand to supply desires peculiar to itself.

In marriage it is not uncommon for the husband and wife to share similar long term goals and ambitions, but more often than not, they will have short term goals and ambitions that have nothing to do with their spouse. The husband wants a new electronic gadget, the wife, a new bathroom. Arguments ensue.

Division of Labour
The flesh is willing to labour, so long as it perceives that its labour will produce some benefit for itself.

In marriage a partner may well "endure" X in order to procure "Y" from their spouse. They are willing to cook, clean, and provide child care, or even just to groom - so long as there is hope that doing so will purchase some desired outcome.

The carnal couple determines who does what by haggling back and forth until both parties feel they are getting a fair return on their investment. If either party feels they are not getting a fair return arguments ensue.

Shame on you if you skipped the preceding points just to see what I had to say about intimacy in marriage.

Like everything else, if one is led by the old self, then physical intimacy is going to be about getting the best return on as limited an investment as possible. If one or both partners feels the return is not worth the effort, then they will withhold the goods until they can reach a more personally profitable agreement, and there will be much contention until they do. Their attitude will be, "Why should I make my spouse happy if I must do so at the expense of my own happiness?"

Walking in the Spirit
When I say "walking in the Spirit" I am not talking about a mystical experience. I am not talking about listening to voices, or waiting for spiritual "feelings" or any other weird and subjective thing that passes for spirituality in some circles. I am talking about conducting yourself in the contentment that comes from trusting God in all situations.

What does it mean to trust God in a situation? Does that mean that I sort of think of God, and affirm to myself that I "trust" Him? Do I work myself up into a sort of trusting frenzy whereby I make sure I have the "trusting" feeling - and once I locate that feeling I know I have "trusted" God, and then wait for a mystical contentment to find me to prove I really did trust God? No. Nothing flaky like that.

It means that I recognize that God is with me in all things if I am His child. It means that I trust that God's provision is not merely sufficient for my needs, but so perfect a provision that it is better than my own ideas about what I need.

Unless I truly trust that what God supplies is in fact better than anything I might desire, or any outcome I might desire, I will never find be content; I will always seek to provide something better for myself and no matter how successful I am, I will never find lasting contentment in the return for my effort.

With Money
Unless I trust in God's provision, I shall attempt to provide for myself, and no matter how full I become, I shall always desire larger barns and more to put in them.

Division of Labour
Unless I trust in God's way is the best for me, i.e. that I am a slave put here to serve others, and not to concern myself whatsoever with who serve me and how they serve - then I shall seek to be served according to my own pleasures that ultimately can never be fully satisfied, and whatever happiness I manage to mine from others serving me, will never completely satisfy me, so that I will ever seek to be served in greater capacity.

Physical Intimacy
Unless I trust that selflessly serving my spouse (as the Lord commands) is the only path to genuine joy, I am going to pursue something less, and whatever "success" I have will be pale and shallow compared to what God intended.

In General
Listen: I know a lot of Christians are confused about what it means to walk in the Spirit, and worse are so messed up theologically that the only reason they want to walk in the Spirit is because they hope that in doing so they will experience something that can assure them that they are genuinely saved. That is, they see the command to walk in the Spirit as a burden, something they will get around to once they "learn to stop sinning" - and they miss out on the abundant life that God supplies, all because they were trying to grab that same life through their own effort, at their own pace.

In Practice
I will give one example only, and that quite narrow, since I will only address the men; but out of this example I hope that the serious reader will be able to extrapolate many other applications.

I would speak to you husbands for whom intimacy in marriage is waning. Whether you find yourself going days, weeks, or months without intimacy, the advice I offer, I hope will find you open to instruction.

First, the problem isn't that your wife isn't "performing her duty" in the marriage bed, that is just the symptom. The problem is that you are not loving your wife as Christ loved the church, giving yourself for her. To that end, do not focus on trying to jumpstart your lack of intimacy, rather drive yourself (with all fervency!) to perform your duty: the one that takes place outside the marriage bed.

Don't concern yourself with your wife's apparent "frigidity" as though she was primarily the problem. Maybe she is, even if she is, that has nothing to do with you providing that your wife knows the Lord; for to her own Master she stands. In other words, worry about your own walk and let God worry about hers.

Try to remember that your wife left the protection of her father's house to be joined to your house, and that she never would have done so unless she believed at some point that you would provide for her at the very least, as selflessly as her own family would. Not just financially, but in every aspect of life - whatever you deny her, ask yourself if her own family would have done so. This I say, only to help you judge fairly how poorly you are providing for her. As yourself, are you surpassing her father's love and provision, or are you demanding she put up with the pittance you dish out at your leisure? Are you lavishing her daily with proof of your commitment to her and her happiness so that she rests perfectly secure and happy to be part of your family, or are you angry at her for not being satisfied with whatever crumbs fall from the plate of your own self focus, and self serving life?

Trust me when I say that while your flesh may crave physical pleasure, and while the desire may at times threaten to consume you, the truth is what you truly want is to feel loved by your wife. Whatever physical desire manifests itself in your life, what drew you to your wife in marriage was the earnest desire that she accept and love you. You do remember that, I trust.

Ask yourself therefore, do you really think that complaining will bring about this same earnest desire you married her to receive?

Now consider not so much -what- God has called you to do, but try considering instaed for a while -why- He called you to do that. Why does God calls you to love your wife like Christ loved the church? Why ought you to give yourself for her? If you think long and hard on it, I trust that you will see that God is only commanding you to do the very thing that your wife needs you to do in order to draw near to you with her heart.

Because we are blinded by sin and not our intellect, we might accept these things in our heads, and deny them in our hearts. Guard your heart therefore Christian husband against applying this advice superficially, or as a means to an end. If you seek to please God in all things, whatever the outcome you come to, it will be the best outcome possible. If you seek yourself and your own goals, whatever outcome you receive, will be pointless and empty, fading, and pregnant with poverty.

If you are not a husband suffering from a lack of intimacy in your marriage, then apply this example thus: God's way is perfect, you cannot improve upon it by adding to it, or taking anything away from it. Trusting God means trusting that God's commands are for our benefit and not a kill joy. Be willing to do God's will, not begrudgingly as one who is whipped into service, but eagerly, as the servant whose master commands them to partake of the feast.

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posted by Daniel @ 11:12 AM   2 comment(s)
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