Statul nu are și nu poate avea niciun fel de interes în reglementarea „sentimentelor”.

family couple

Statul nu are și nu poate avea niciun fel de interes în reglementarea „sentimentelor”. Legea nu operează cu variabile atât de volatile și imprecise precum sentimente, ci intervine pentru reglementarea raporturilor dintre persoane doar atunci când este în interesul și binele general al societății sau pentru protecția celor vulnerabili.

Faptul că odată cu mariajul bărbatul și femeia acceptă de bună voie unele obligații renunțând la unele drepturi (ex. obligația fidelității maritale și a îngrijirii copiilor rezultați din căsătorie reflectă renunțarea la anumite libertăți personale) este dovada cea mai bună că legea interpretează familia întemeiată pe căsătorie ca fiind DEASUPRA individului. Și ce alt motiv ar avea să o facă dacă nu spre binele superior al copilului, a cărui creștere/educare se pot face optim doar în familie?

Uniunile între persoane de același sex sunt, PRIN NATURA LOR, sterile. Nu se poate admite nicio analogie cu uniunile heterosexuale infertile – disfuncționalitatea acestora din urmă este urmare a unei patologii care poate fi, uneori, remediată, dar uniunea heterosexuală, ca principiu, rămâne prin definiție una fecundă – altfel perpetuarea vieții nu ar fi posibilă.

În situația dată, a imposibilității a doi bărbați sau a două femei de a avea copii, legea (ca instrument al autorității Statului) trebuie să facă diferență, distincție, între cele două tipuri de uniuni. Din acest motiv legea este firesc să protejeze, prin diferențiere, căsătoria la un rang superior relației homosexuale.

Nefiind vorba despre situații similare tratate diferit, această distincție nu poate constitui o discriminare. În mod similar, nu se poate pretinde egalitate de tratament între cele două tipuri de uniuni – PENTRU SIMPLUL MOTIV CĂ ELE NU SUNT, PRIN NATURA LOR, EGALE.

Coaliţia pentru Familie

 

 

 

Do you love your spouse?

With June being the month of weddings, this post gives a list of the practical aspects of what love should look like between a husband and a wife.

by Andy Naselli – Here are some excerpts from chapter 12 of Paul David Tripp’s What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010). (Andy Naselli: I added the three headings and the numbering. Everything else quotes Tripp.)

1. What is love?
Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.

2. What does love look like in marriage?
1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.
2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.
9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.
10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.
11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.
12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.
13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse’s character or assault his or her intelligence.
14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.
15. Love is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.
16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.
17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.
18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn’t seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.
19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.
20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.
21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.
22. Love is daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.
23. Love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view.

3. What should this description of love do to us?
This realization should give you pause and then spur you to action: it is impossible for any of us to love as has been described. The bar is simply too high. The requirements are simply too great. None of us has what it takes to reach this standard. This description of love in action has left me humbled and grieved. It has faced me once again with my tendency to name as love things that are not love. It has forced me to admit how self-focused and self-absorbed I actually am. It has reminded me that when it comes to love, I am not an expert. No, I am poor, weak, and needy.
Jesus died not only so that we would have forgiveness for not loving as we should, but also so that we would have the desire, wisdom, and power to love as we should.
Jesus suffered in love so that in your struggle to love you would never, ever be alone. As you give yourself to love, he showers you with his love, so that you would never be without what you need to love.

Source – The Gospel Coalition

Marriage: A union of the Spirit – Matt Chandler

Dan Darling sits down with Matt Chandler to discuss the biggest difference between the marriages between lost couples and redeemed Christians.

40 lessons from 40 years of marriage

Dennis Rainey at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dennis Rainey is president of FamilyLife, host of the FamilyLife Today daily radio program, and author of numerous books on marriage and family.

1) Marriage and family are about the glory of God (Genesis 1:26-28) The book (Bible) begins with a marriage and ends with a marriage. Marriage is central to God’s glory on planet earth. And, what God designed and lifted up and gave a transcendent purpose, man has dumbed down to make it this statement of „happiness and finding another person who meets my needs”. Marriage has a transcendent cause of reflecting God to a fallen world. Your marriage, your covenant keeping love will be your greatest witness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the coming decades. It’s about the glory of God, not about the happiness of man.

2) Your marriage is now taking place on a spiritual battlefield, not on a romantic balcony. Satan’s first attack on the image of God was to destroy the image bearers relationship with God and then their relationship with one another. If he (Satan) targeted marriage to begin with, why would we think our marriage would be any different? A.W. Tozer believed that far too few Christians ever get into ‘lion country’. For those of us who do get into ‘lion country’ into ministry, I think, all too often we forget that our marriage, our family can be targeted by the enemy to destroy the image bearers and to destroy the legacy that is passed on to future generations. Marriage is under attack today and its definition because of who created marriage: God. We are in a fierce spiritual battle. You are walking on to a battlefield that is littered with casualties.

3) Therefore, your spouse is not your enemy. Ephesians 6:10-12 tell us that our fight is not against flesh and blood. That is true in the word of God, but, I’m gonna tell you, if you’re married today, you’ve looked across the sheets in the morning at your enemy and you’ve said, „What did you do God, in bringing us together?” I promise you, I’ve had those thoughts? But the scriptures tell us, „Your mate is not your enemy, your mate is a gift from God to you”. In all her/his imperfections, God has given you a gift. You can either receive it by faith or you can reject it and be deceived by the enemy to think, indeed, my mate is my enemy.

4) The couple that prays together, stays together. 

5) Isolation is a subtle killer of relationships. Genesis 2:18-25 gives us the prescription of scripture. Leave, cleave, become one. But, the enemy of our souls wants to divide us, because in isolation you can convince of anything. How important is oneness? John 17 points out that Jesus prayed for the church to be one. Why? Because we are naturally divided.

6) It’s a whole lot easier for two broken people to build a marriage from the same set of biblical blueprints, than from two different sets of blueprints. What would your physical house look like if you had 2 different architects, 2 different builders and 2 different sets of blue prints? You’d get some pretty funny houses, wouldn’t you?

7) It is healthy to confess my sins to my spouse. James 5 reminds us „Confess yourselves to one another, that you may be healed”. If you want to be healthy develop a marriage relationship where the other has access to the interior of your soul. I stump some people by saying I ask Barbara (my wife) to pray for me when I am struggling with lust. She thanks me for coming to her so she can pray for me.

8) It is categorically impossible to experience marriage as God designed it without being liberal and lavish in your forgiveness for one another.  Ephesians 4:32 Failing to forgive, failing to ask for forgiveness kills oneness, unity and life in  a marriage. Forgiveness means we give up the right to punish the other person.

9) The greatest threat in any marriage is losing a teachable heart. Proverbs 4;23 Guard your heart, for from it flows the springs of life. Spiritually protect a heart that can become hardened and isn’t teachable. Are you approachable? When’s the last time you asked your spouse to forgive you? When’s the last time you had listened to a child that maybe was hurt by you?

10) Every couple needs a mentor couple who is one lap ahead of them in the season of life.

11) What you remember is just as important as what you forget. Collect spiritual stones as you go on because we suffer from spiritual amnesia. When we forget what God has done, we forget who God is, and we forget to trust Him today.

12) Marriage was designed by God to be missional. A.W. Tozer said, „God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible. What a pity we plan to do the things we can only do by ourselves. Life can wear you down, disappointment chips away faith, and as a couple you have to work on this go to the finish line.

13) It’s ok to have one rookie season, but its not ok to repeat it repeatedly. I was an idiot the first 12 months of my marriage, repeatedly ignoring the dignity of the woman that God gave me. Those lessons have to be learned and applied.

14) Never use the ‘d’ word (divorce) in your marriage, instead use the ‘c’ word- commitment, covenant, covenant keeping love that says, I’d marry you all over again. I can still remember an argument that my parents had when I was  years old, when divorce was not in vogue. Your kids are highly sensitized to what your marriage is like  and how you do your arguments and your disagreements. Let them hear of your commitment to one another.

15) Honoring our parents brought life to our marriage. Exodus 20:12 The first commandment with a promise. We are a generation that has bashed and blamed our parents, ignoring this commandment. It is time for us to return back home to our parents with honor.

16) Different isn’t wrong, it’s just different. Your spouses differences are not wrong, just different. We marry one another for this. Your spouses’ differences are new capacities that he has brought to your life to complete you. Your spouse is God’s added dimension to your life.

17)  My marriage and family are redemptive. They have saved me from toxic self absorption. The way to have a Godly marriage is the same path as coming to faith in Christ. It’s surrender, giving up your rights, to Him first and then to your spouse, serving them.

18) Your wife is your #1 disciple. 

19) Go near the orphan. The Father’s heart is with the orphan and when you go near the orphan as a couple, you go near the father’s heart.

20) Make your home a storm shelter. a safe place to go to in a storm. Suffering is in the fine print of the marriage covenant. Matthew 7:24-27 The summary of the sermon on the mount. Jesus compares 2 builders of 2 homes and shelters. We’re going to build our marriages in the middle of storms.

21) Suffering will either drive you apart or it will be used by God to merge you together. 

22) Men and women process suffering very differently. Sorrow shared is grief divided. It is a wise husband who gives his wife space and grace to process loss and suffering as a woman, different from how he processes.

23) Loss is a part of life and it increases as we age. How you and your wife process grief and loss will determine whether you will grow old blessing others, giving life to others or whether you curse them and become a bitter, crotchety old person.

24) Communication is to marriage what blood is to the body. It’s the life giver of a relationship. SImply put- find  a way to get 5,10,15 minutes together to talk every day.

25) Husbands, dads: No shepherd can lead any faster than sheep can follow. You are the guardian of your marriage and families’ direction and vision. C H Spurgeon put it well. He had to be speaking to men who were attempting to shepherd their family. He said, „It was by perseverance the snail reached the ark”. That is the great hope for me as the spiritual leader of my family. Just not quitting, after you fail you get back up.

26)  Maximize your wife’s talents, gifts, experience, and passion, as you would an olympic athlete. Paul talks about it in 1 Corinthians 9. We need to tie that to Ephesians 5, men, which talks about loving our wives like we love our own bodies, so that we are helping our wives get to the finish line, accomplishing everything that God has in mind for her. Do an inventory of her gifts, her talents, her passion, what motivates her, what demotivates her, pray for her and her vision. What are her core competencies? Dream some dreams together.

27) Wives, your respect will fuel your husband and your contempt will empty his tank. Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to respect their husbands. Ladies, keep in mind that 93% of all communication is non verbal. How are you expressing belief in your man, nonverbally?

28) Women spell romance differently than men. Women spell it relationship. Men spell it sex. Here’s the thing: God, in His cosmic genius has brought these 2 people together who spell it differently.

29) Our romance gave us children and our children tried to steal our romance. Your marriage must be built to outlast the kids.

30) Build too many guardrails rather than too few. Men, don’t trust yourselves alone with the opposite sex. I have a friend who won’t get on an elevator alone with a woman. Some may say that’s extreme. Given the fallout today, I’m not sure it’s extreme.

31) Wives generously use your sexual power in your husband’s life. One of the mistakes, I think we make, when we read Proverbs chapters 5-7, which is a father’s advice to his son about the ‘harlot’ is that we think the only person that should use that kind of sexual power over a man is a woman in the streets.

These next 4 represent four key elements that comprise the essence of rearing children:

32) Identity. This has to do with discipling your child to know his or her spiritual destiny.

33) Relationship. Disciple your child to know what real love is, how to love another imperfect person and how to experience love. Matthew 22:34-40

34) Character. It’s discipling your child to be wise and not be a fool, increasingly important, as the days are evil

35) Mission. Disciple your child to be about the Savior’s the mission: the great commission. It is no mistake that the scriptures speak of children as quivers in the hands of a warrior. They are pulled back by an archer, aimed at a target and let go. What are you aiming them towards? What are you challenging them to give their lives to? The kingdom’s work is paramount. We’re gonna need another generation to carry on should Christ tarry. Philippians 2 is a great reminder „As you have obeyed, not only in my presence but much more in my absence. Work out your salvation in fear and trembling”. Be on a mission, be lights in the world. That’s what a family is all about, a generational relay race.

36) Determining your core values as a couple will enable you to sing off the same song sheet as you raise your children.

37) Interview your daughter’s date and train your sons not to be clueless. 

38) Your adult children need you to become smaller, not bigger in their lives.

39) As I get older I want to laugh more with my wife, gripe less and be found guilty of giving her too much love, grace and mercy, rather than too little.

40) The most important thing about you, as an individual and as a couple is what you think about God. Our view of God, and who He is, and the blueprints of His word are going to guide you all of your days, through many valleys and mountaintops. 

Your family is the generational connector between the Gospel and the glory of God for the next generation. Don’t quit.

Marriage and Missions: How Singleness and Marriage Connect to the Great Commission – David Platt

You may also be interested in  –

From the 2014 ERLC National Conference on “The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage.”

David Platt (born 1979) is an American pastor. He is currently the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, and he is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream. Platt released a follow-up book, Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God in April, 2011.[2] And in February, 2013, he released Follow Me: A Call to Die. a Call to Live, which included an introduction by Francis Chan. Platt recently founded a resource ministry, Radical.net, dedicated to serving the church and making disciples of all nations

VIDEO by ERLC

Paul Washer – Conformity to Christ is key in marriage

VIDEO by SermonIndex.net

Loving Your Husband Before You Get Married (via) CBMW

by Carolyn McCulley (via) The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Reprinted from the magazine Joyful Woman. All emphasis below (bold type) is mine.

In my first year as a Christian, I attended or was part of 13 weddings-including the weddings of my two younger sisters and one ex-boyfriend. The Lord was working overtime on the sin of self-pity that year, but out of His sanctifying work came my informal „ministry” of a wedding coordinator. I started by helping one of my sisters, and as the word got around, I ended up serving countless friends.

At a recent rehearsal dinner, someone asked me if it was difficult as an unmarried woman to be so involved in these weddings. I was glad to genuinely say no. That wasn’t always my answer, however. I can clearly recall sitting at many wedding receptions with the wind knocked out of me due to the bitterness in my heart. I would evaluate each aspect of the weddings I attended, and plan for how „my” special day would surpass the event unfolding before me. Like any Cinderella devotee, the highlight of my life would be that special moment when the doors were opened and all eyes-most especially those of My Prince-would be on me. What happened in the „happily ever after” part was the fine print. It was going to be All About Me on that day.

And probably for every day after that, too.

Maybe this is why the apostle Paul thought it was of paramount importance that the older women teach the younger women how to love their husbands. As always, the Bible is radically counter-cultural to the self-centered worldview spoon-fed to young girls through fairy tales and force-fed to young women through movies, magazines, and music. We have to learn how to step out of the princess spotlight and learn how to love well in the way God defines love. A wedding isn’t the kick-off to Happily Ever After. It’s only a segue into a new season, with new and different opportunities to demonstrate Christ-like love that weren’t present when single.

Do him good all the days of your life

King Lemuel was taught well by his mother, and his wisdom was memorialized in the 31st Proverb. Writing of the virtuous woman, he said that her husband has full confidence in her, and she will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

That’s all the days of her life – days before and days after marriage. If you’re single, there are things you can do now to sow good seeds for a godly marriage. What if you’re not sure if you’ll be married? Though marriage is the norm for most, not all of us will receive that gift-that’s true. But, we’re still called to prepare.

Problems in marriage are always the result of self-centeredness,” writes Douglas Wilson in Her Hand in Marriage. „So the time a person spends when he is single should be time spent in preparation for marriage. This is important even if he never gets married. This is because biblical preparation for marriage is nothing more than learning to follow Jesus Christ and love one’s neighbor. In other words, preparation for Christian marriage is basically the same as preparation for Christian living. Christians are to prepare for marriage by learning self-denial, subduing their pride, and putting their neighbor first. Once they learn to love God and love their neighbor, they are prepared to enter into the covenant of marriage with one of their neighbors.”

Growing in philandros love

In her outstanding teaching series on the Titus 2 virtues, Carolyn Mahaney notes that the phrase „love their husbands” is only one word in the Greek. It is the compound word philandros, derived from phileo (a warm affection) and andros (man). Loving your husband with a tender, warm, deeply affectionate love might seem like a no-brainer until you think about the caricatures of long-married women in our culture: dismissive, disrespectful, bored, shrewish. Cultivating and maintaining that tender affection can, at times, take some work.

Single women can prepare to grow in philandros love now by understanding the doctrines of sin and God’s sovereignty. If God has marriage for us (His sovereign plan), one thing we need to settle now in our hearts is that we won’t be marrying Prince Charming; we will be marrying a sinner (the doctrine of indwelling sin). As will our husbands! So now we can do the „heartwork” to cultivate philandros love by working on what undermines it: the bitterness, selfishness, fear, and sinful judgment resident in us. When and if God brings us into a new season of marriage, this preparation will help us cultivate tender thoughts and behavior toward our husbands. Though there’s not space for a comprehensive treatment of these topics, below are some questions to we can consider before the Lord while still single:

  • Bitterness: Is there any unforgiveness in your heart against the men you’ve dated, or the men who have never asked you out? Do you regard the single men in your life as brothers in the Lord, or potential husbands? Do you grumble and complain on a regular basis about being single? (Ephesians 4:31-32)
  • Selfishness: Are you willing to serve the „unlovely” or the „least” in your church or circle of friends-even when no one is watching? Do you defer to others, esteeming them as better than yourself, or do you insist on your way? Do you view your time and schedule now as a single as a season to indulge yourself, or to be more available to serve others? (Philippians 2:3-4)
  • Fear: Do you trust God for your future, or do you think He has forgotten you? Do you think others will betray you, and thus „mess up” God’s plan for your life? (Romans 8:28-39)
  • Sinful judgment: Do you speculate about the single men around you, for good or bad? Are you assigning motives for their actions without asking humbly for information? Are you constantly comparing yourself with other women? (James 3:13-4:3)

Whether or not the Lord attaches an andros to our phileo love, this kind of „heartwork” is crucial to growing in the likeness of Christ. By working to become more like our Lord and Savior, we will be worthy of the full trust of both our earthly husbands (should we get married) and, ultimately, our heavenly Bridegroom.

Carolyn McCulley’s blog

Gustul iubirii – Dragostea modifică percepţia senzorială a individului

Photo credit beliefpics.christianpost.com

1 Ioan 4:8

Cine nu iubeşte, n’a cunoscut pe Dumnezeu;
pentrucă Dumnezeu este dragoste.

Sunt multe indemnuri sa iubim in Biblie, sa-L iubim pe Dumnezeu, sa ne iubim sotuk/sotia, copii, aproapele, dar iata ca stiinta dovedeste ca exista chiar unele beneficii firesti, pe langa beneficiul primit cand iubim (chiar si in situatii grele) pentru a fi implinitori ai Cuvantului:

Chiar şi apa pare mai dulce când suntem îndrăgostiţi, sugerează o nouă cercetare.

Însă nu orice emoţie naşte astfel de senzaţii. De exemplu, gelozia nu ne lasă un gust amar sau sărat, la propriu, în ciuda metaforelor care sugerează asta.

Faptul că dragostea modifică percepţia senzorială a individului, dar gelozia nu reuşeşte să aibă acelaşi efect, este destul de important pentru oamenii de ştiinţă care studiază „metaforele încorporate”, adică modul în care limbajul ne influenţează ceea ce simţim. De exemplu, studiile anterioare au indicat că oamenii care se simţeau singuri percepeau o temperatură mai scăzută în cameră, comparativ cu cei care aveau partenerii alături.

„Însă, doar pentru că există o metaforă, nu înseamnă neapărat că vom avea parte de aceste senzaţii şi efecte asupra percepţiei”, a explicat cercetătorul Kai Qin Chan.

Gustul iubirii

După ce au studiat cercetări realizate anterior asupra metaforelor emoţionale, Chan şi colegii săi au vrut să analizeze şi mai profund fenomenul.

„Întotdeauna spunem că «dragostea este dulce» şi apelăm la dulcegării. Aşa că am decis să analizăm problema”, a explicat Chan.

Deoarece Chan vorbeşte mandarina, mereu s-a întrebat dacă gelozia influenţează modul în care percepem gusturile, având în vedere că în această limbă există o zicală („chi ku”) care descrie gelozia şi care se traduce prin „a mânca amărăciune”.

După ce au realizat un sondaj la Universitatea Naţională din Singapore, prin care s-au asigurat că voluntarii cunoşteau expresiile precum „dragostea e dulce” şi „gelozia este amară”, oamenii de ştiinţă s-au decis să realizeze o serie de experimente.

În primele două studii, oamenii de ştiinţă i-au rugat pe voluntari să scrie despre o experienţă legată fie de iubirea romantică, fie de gelozie, fie despre un subiect banal. Ulterior, oamenii de ştiinţă i-au rugat pe subiecţi să guste, fie o bomboană gumată dulce şi acră, fie una din ciocolată dulce-amăruie.

După ce au testat bomboanele, studenţii (197 la număr) au notat cât de dulce, de amară sau de acră era fiecare bomboană. Cei care au scris despre dragoste au notat ambele bomboane ca fiind mai dulci, comparativ cu cei care scriseseră despre gelozie sau despre un alt subiect. De asemenea, specialiştii au observat că gelozia pare să nu fi influenţat modul în care percep oamenii gustul, deoarece, indivizii care au scris despre acest subiect nu au notat bomboanele ca fiind mai acre sau mai amare.  

Apoi, într-o altă etapă a studiului, oamenii de ştiinţă au realizat un experiment nou, la care au luat parte alţi 93 de voluntari. De data aceasta, subiecţii au gustat apă în loc de bomboane. Specialiştii le-au spus subiecţilor că testează un nou produs şi i-au rugat să declare cât de dulce, de amară sau de acră este apa. 

Astfel, s-a constatat iar că dragostea îi face pe oameni să perceapă alimentele ca fiind mai dulci.

Constatarea este importantă din două motive, spun specialiştii. În primul rând, simplul fapt că până şi apa are un gust mai dulce atunci când ne gândim la iubire, arată că emoţia nu acţionează asupra receptorilor de la nivelul limbii. În schimb, efectul pare să fie rezultatul modului în care procesează creierul informaţia referitoare la gust.

În al doilea rând, faptul că gelozia nu are efect asupra gustului indică faptul că limbajul nu acţionează singur pentru a influenţa simţurile şi că metaforele trebuie să fie mai profunde de atât. De aceea, experţii presupun că metaforele care determină schimbarea percepţiei se dezvoltă doar după multe experienţe.

Sursa Descopera.ro

 

Topics for Conversation When a Man and a Woman Are Considering Marriage by John Piper

Photo credit www.areadewasa.com

Use Translator – Limba Romana

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from DesiringGod.org

In each of these sections one item could be added that I have not listed, namely, How do you handle and live with differences? How do you decide what can remain differences without jeopardizing the relationship? So as you deal with each subheading, include that in the discussion.

Theology

  • What do you believe about . . . everything?
  • Perhaps read through the Desiring God Affirmation of Faith to see where each other is on various biblical doctrines.
  • Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process? How do you handle the Bible?

Worship and Devotion

  • How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life?
  • How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group?
  • What is the importance of music in life and worship?
  • What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization.
  • What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this?
  • Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?

Husband and Wife

  • What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage?
  • What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex?
  • How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff?
  • What are the expectations for togetherness?
  • What is an ideal non-special evening?
  • How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated?
  • Who does the checkbook—or are there two?

Children

  • If and when, should we have children? Why?
  • How many?
  • How far apart?
  • Would we consider adoption?
  • What are the standards of behavior?
  • What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re . . . whatever?
  • What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed?
  • What signs of affection will you show them?
  • What about school? Home school? Christian school? Public school?

Lifestyle

  • Own a home or not? Why?
  • What kind of neighborhood? Why?
  • How many cars? New? Used?
  • View of money in general. How much to the church?
  • How do you make money decisions?
  • Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Savers? In between? Why?

Entertainment

  • How much money should we spend on entertainment?
  • How often should we eat out? Where?
  • What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us?
  • How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin?
  • Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much?
  • What are the criteria for Movies and theater and video/DVD? What will our guidelines be for the kids?

Conflict

  • What makes you angry?
  • How do you handle your frustration or anger?
  • Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome?
  • What if we disagree both about what should be done, AND whether it is serious?
  • Will we go to bed angry at each other?
  • What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?

Work

  • Who is the main breadwinner?
  • Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids?
  • What are your views of daycare for children?
  • What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?

Friends

  • Is it good to do things with friends but without fiancé, or without spouse?
  • What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?

Health and Sickness

  • Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.)
  • Do you believe in divine healing and how would prayer relate to medical attention?
  • How do you think about exercise and healthy eating?
  • Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Do looks matter ? A Christian perspective

Page by Duncan Macleod – Girl in Dove Real Beauty Ad thinks she’s fat. Photo via theinspirationroom.com

We may say that beauty or looks don’t matter, but here is a startling look at how media shapes the way we think and act from a very early age. These are the attitudes (listed on the Washington University website) that we have to battle in our own kids’ lives:

Media’s Effect on Body Image

The popular media (television, movies, magazines, etc.) have, since World War II, increasingly held up a thinner and thinner body image as the ideal for women.

  • In a survey of girls 9 and 10 years old, 40% have tried to lose weight, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
  • In a study on fifth graders, 10 year old girls and boys told researchers they were dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from the TV show „Friends”.
  • A 1996 study found that the amount of time an adolescent watches soaps, movies and music videos is associated with their degree of body dissatisfaction and desire to be thin.
  • One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are „unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.

A Kaiser Foundation study by Nancy Signorielli found that:

  • In movies, particularly, but also in television shows and the accompanying commercials, women’s and girls’ appearance is frequently commented on: 58 percent of female characters in movies had comments made about their looks, as did 28 percent in television shows and 26 percent of the female models in the accompanying commercials. Mens’ and boys’ appearance is talked about significantly less often in all three media: a quarter (24%) of male characters in the movies, and 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively, in television shows and commercials.
  • One in every three (37%) articles in leading teen girl magazines also included a focus on appearance, and most of the advertisements (50%) used an appeal to beauty to sell their products.
  • The commercials aimed at female viewers that ran during the television shows most often watched by teen girls also frequently used beauty as a product appeal (56% of commercials). By comparison, this is true of just 3 percent of television commercials aimed at men.

Source: National Institute on Media and the Family   HT source

Read the article below from the Gospel Coalition for a Christian perspective:

„I don’t care what she’ll look like,” the young man declared about his yet-unknown future bride. „I’ll love her for who she is inside.” Everyone in the small gathering of young people looked at him with distinctly unconvinced expressions. But this was a church gathering, and we all knew he was saying the spiritual thing. Such piety simply couldn’t be challenged. That is, until one guy ventured what was to him a sincere question: „Yeah, but don’t you want her to be hot?”

As if something appalling had been said, we collectively turned to the youth minister, who had been quietly backing away from the conversation. With an uneasy smile, he said, „Well, you can make a pretty girl spiritual, but you can’t make a spiritual girl pretty.”

Everyone sensed the sarcasm in his maxim, but it didn’t bring much resolution to the dilemma. Do looks matter? This question comes up a lot in my current ministry, too, usually in the form of a single friend feeling guilty for not being attracted to an otherwise worthy romantic candidate. I usually tell friends they shouldn’t feel guilty for not being attracted to someone–but they shouldn’t think the matter is necessarily settled, either.

Importance of the Body

The importance of physical attraction is related to the importance of the body itself. The Bible presents us as a psychosomatic unity. That’s a fancy way of saying that we are embodied souls. This is, in fact, God’s ideal for us even in eternity. We’re not souls longing to be freed from bodies but rather to have resurrected ones (1 Cor 15:35-57). The body is a necessary and good part of God’s design of every person you meet. So loving the inside of a person while disregarding the outside is not the biblical ideal of love. Just read Song of Solomon if you don’t believe me. Looks do matter. No woman wants a Valentine’s Day card that says, „You’re so sweet on the inside, it doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside.” No man does either, though admittedly we are the visually inferior half of our race.

But before we settle into holding out for that girl with the right curves or the guy with the square jaw, let me point out that the importance of the body does not necessarily validate our personal preferences regarding what it should look like.

Basis of Attraction

Marital love involves valuing your spouse’s body. But this isn’t exactly the same thing as finding it attractive, at least not in the way we typically think of finding something attractive. We may inadvertently assume that being attracted to something is primarily about its level of attractiveness. Attraction seems like it just happens without our conscious participation, and we therefore conclude it is beyond our control. You’re attracted to someone, or you’re not, and that’s that. But attraction seems so automatic because we are culturally influenced even at the level of desire. Our preferences unwittingly imitate the narrow criteria for beauty reflected in fitness magazines or clothing advertisements, in the fashion of the day or the remarks of family members.

Without dismissing entirely the mysterious nature of attraction, I wish to point out that we are more capable than we often recognize of directing our preferences. We should not presume that our initial aesthetic sensibilities are an unchallengeable law within us. We have some level of direction over them.

The basis for attraction is valuing an actual person, body and soul. Husbands and wives should be attracted to one another because they value the whole person, not because they happen to like olive skin or a firm body. Those things change, but physical attraction need not. Attraction is more a matter of my commitment to value the full breadth of who my spouse is.

Isn’t this more like Jesus’ love for his people than simply following initial attractions? I’m not casting doubt on couples who fell in love at first sight–but even love at first sight will eventually require the self-emptying love that only Jesus makes us capable of giving (Phil 2:1-11). In marriage we hold hold our preferences loosely, valuing the person concretely rather than seeking a certain body shape or hair color. This is a far more stable basis for physical attraction in marriage. And it makes for better Valentine’s Day cards.

Preparation for Marriage

This principle can inform the way we seek a spouse. Perhaps this means that singles should be willing to direct their affections toward potential spouses they may not initially find attractive. My reasoning is not that looks are unimportant–remember, our bodies are a vital aspect of who we are. Rather, my reasoning is that our opinion of what constitutes good looks must not be an idol carved in stone. We need to be willing to challenge our own preferences regarding physical attraction in light of the greater principle that attraction stems from valuing a person.

How do you do this? Honestly, I don’t know. There is a level of mystery to the whole thing that we can’t escape. But maybe it could start with simply acknowledging that weak physical attraction is not necessarily a permanent situation. If you know a potential mate who is godly, relates well to you, and would otherwise be a worthy spouse, you should not feel guilty for feeling unattracted. Instead, holding your preferences with an open hand before the Lord, ask him what he would have you do. You may decide to pursue this person–then, you determine to appreciate God’s design, body and soul. You may be surprised at just how strong such properly grounded attraction can become.

HT www.thegospelcoalition.org

John Piper – Advice to the newly married (audio) and Sexual Relations in Marriage (video)

bride and groomIn a recent “Ask Pastor John” episode, John Piper gave Christ-centered advice to newly-wed husbands. The renowned Christian author and former pastor relayed key guidance that he would have given a younger version of himself when entering into the life-long covenant with his wife, Noel. “Behold the mystery of this amazing, God-wrought union,” he would have said.

Piper reminded listeners that Mark 10:9 calls marriage an act of God which joins man and wife together – it is not a man-made union. Marriage was instituted long before Christ had come into the world, and was created by God to point to His Son’s future redemptive work on the cross. While many may look at Jesus’ covenant with His bride, the church, and describe marriage as it relates to Christ, Piper says that it should be the other way around; God used the picture of marriage to hint at a future relationship for Christ and His church. Marriage came first so that the body of believers could better understand their intimate, covenanted relationship with Christ – one that is given to them by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:1-9).

A “bottomless ocean of wisdom” is found when a husband loves his wife like Christ loves the church – “You love her to make her lovely,” Piper said. Though we are sinners saved by His grace, Jesus loves His redeemed people and helps us to become more holy as we fix our eyes on Him. We are sanctified more and more as we journey with our God, eternally clothed in Christ’s righteousness. “You don’t love her merely because she is lovely – she’s not going to be as 20-something lovely at 70-something, so you had better love her into loveliness,” said Piper. He also advised husbands to draw their strength to love their wives well from Christ’s love for them.

The former pastor also encouraged husbands to bring hope and strength to their families, welling up in them from the power of Christ. He warned against idolatry – viewing their wives or their children as their means to find happiness. He also steered husbands away from returning hurt for hurt in an argument – “a soft answer may restore her soul,” he said, paraphrasing Proverbs 15:1.

In closing, Piper encouraged married couples to savor the intimacy and friendship that is unique to marriage; ultimately, though, he wants to remind newly-weds marriage is a “parable” which points to Christ. Source: http://www.gospelherald.com PHOTOGRAPH by http://rebekahwestover.blogspot.com

Click here for the link to the AUDIO

And here is another great resource from John Piper, theJohnPiperchannel:

Marital sex is a great joy that also proves to be a fearsome weapon against our ancient foe.
-uploaded in HD at http://www.TunesToTube.com

Sexual Relations in Marriage

February 15, 1981 by John Piper

In marriage, no two people are compatible

Here’s a truth that many of us ignore, even though experience has shown us this statement is absolutely true. I am reading through Tim Keller’s new book „The Meaning of Marriage” and I am finding so much wisdom and insight that I have not found in other books with the same subject matter.  Tim J. Keller, (born 1950) is an American author, speaker and the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City,  starts out by repeating what thousands of couples have said to him that he spoke to or counseled, and whether they were working on sustaining or saving their marriage, most couples complained that „love should not be this hard.” Those couples seemed to believe that „love should just come naturally if two people are compatible, if they are truly soul mates”. Here, Keller dives in and shares with us about compatibility and what the Bible has to say about it:

„The Bible explains why the quest for compatibility seems to be so impossible. The Christian answer to this is that no two people are compatible.”

Then Keller quotes Duke University professor Stanley Hauerwas who made this famous point:

„Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become „whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person. We never know whom we marry; we just think we do… For marriage, being [the enormous this that it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary problem is… learning how to love and care for the stranger whom you find yourself married”. (Photo below via Amazon.com)

Keller points out that you can’t know ahead of time how your spouse will change, until you get there and that over the years, „you will have to learn to love a person you didn’t marry” and „make changes you don’t want to make”, but in the end you may have a joyous marriage and it will definitely not be „because you married the perfectly compatible person”. Keller states, „That person does not exist!”

Keller points out that „Hauerwas gave us the first reason that no two people are compatible for marriage”. Then Keller gives us the biblical reason:

„Any two people who enter into marriage are spiritually broken by sin, which among other things mean to be self-centered… Why would it be easy to live lovingly and well with another human being in light of what is profoundly wrong within our human nature? … the Biblical doctrine of sin explains why marriage– more than anything else that is good and important in this fallen world– is so painful and hard.”

(source Relevant Magazine)

God’s Glory In Marriage – John Piper, Paul Washer &Voddie Baucham

Photo credit swrailway.gov.ua

John Piper:
Mark 10. These are the words of Jesus, verses 8 & 9. Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24. For Jesus, this verse was the most fundamental verse about marriage in all of the Bible. This was Jesus’s foundation stone for the beginning of all of His teachings about marriage.

Verse 8-

„The two shall become one flesh”; so… Jesus says, „They are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate.”

That’s huge. Do you feel the weight of that? Engaged couples, married couples… When a couple speaks their vows and consummates their vows with sexual union, it is not man, woman, pastor, parent, who’s the main actor. God is. God joins a husband and a wife in one flesh. God does that. God does that! From which, Jesus draws the awesome conclusion:

„What God has joined,

no man may separate.”

Paul Washer:
God will bring you into a relationship with someone, most of the time, who is not only not compatible with you… but is weak… tremendously weak in the areas where you would most want them to be strong. Now, why does He do that. I’ll tell you why. Remember our texts, Romans 8:28-29. What is the goal of everything God does in His providence for His children? To conform them to the image of Christ. Now, when you think of the image of Christ, what are some characteristics that just automatically spring to the forefront? Well for me; 3:

  1. Unconditional love
  2. Mercy
  3. Grace

If I could pick out three things in which they told me you can imitate Christ in these, that’s what  I think about: Unconditional love, mercy and grace. Now, I have some things that I just want to go ahead and read, that I have written out, so I can get them out, so I can get them right. Let me ask you a few questions:

  • How would you ever learn unconditional love if you were married to someone who met all the conditions?
  • How would you ever learn mercy, patience, longsuffering, heartfelt compassion, if you were married to someone who never failed you? Who is never difficult with you? Who never sinned against you? Who is never slow to acknowledge their sin or ask for forgiveness?
  • How would you ever learn grace , to pour out your favor on someone who did not deserve it, if you were married to someone who was always deserving of all good things?

Do you see that? Listen to me: The main purpose of marriage is that through your marriage, you become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Marriage, I believe, is the greatest instrument of sanctification. You are married to a person who does not meet all the conditions, so that you might learn unconditional love. You are married to a person who needs mercy so that you learn to give it. You are married to a person who does not deserve, so that you learn to pour lavishly, yourself, out on a person who does not respond appropriately, and thus, you become like the God you worship!

You see, you worship God for these things, but you don’t want to give them to others! You worship God for grace, but you demand that your wife live in such a way that she not be in need of it. You worship God for unconditional love, but you get mad at your own wife when she doesn’t meet the conditions. Do you see?

Voddie Baucham:
God joins individuals together in marriage Man cannot unjoin what God has joined. The one-flesh union created in marriage is permanent, until death.

Now, instead of one, broken, sinful individual, who is walking out this Christian life with the power that raised Christ from the dead in me, there is another broken, sinful individual with the power that raised Christ from the dead, in them as well. And God has made the 2 into 1. And He’s given us the unbelievable privilege of representing before a lost, and hurting, and dying world, this relationship between Jesus Christ and His church, and it is awesome, in the true sense of the word.

We are absolutely not up to the job, but praise God, He is able. Now, here’s what I want you to see: Am I most like Christ when my bride is meeting all of my needs and satisfying all of my desires, and I am really not having to do much sacrificing or enduring at all? Or am I more like Christ on the hard days, when I’m having to dig deep? Those are the days when I realize how utterly dependent I am on the power of Christ to do and be what He has called me to do and be, especially when I realize that the overwhelming majority of the times, what I am having difficulty with? My own failures bearing fruit

Hang in there! By the power of Christ: Hang in there!

VIDEO by identity313

Why you should not marry an unbeliever

Dan Delzell is an exclusive Christian Post columnist.

hold hands bride groomIf you are a believer and you are already married to someone who is an unbeliever, God’s Word tells you to stay married to your spouse (see 1 Cor. 7:12,13). If on the other hand, you are a single Christian who is considering getting married to an unbeliever, don’t do it. God’s Word says, „Do not be unequally yoked.” (2 Cor. 6:14)

The most important relationship to a Christian of course is my relationship with Jesus Christ. Every other relationship is secondary. If a believer marries an unbeliever, he or she is choosing to ignore what God says about being unequally yoked. It is never smart to ignore God’s Word, and that is certainly the case in a matter as foundational as marriage.

There is no spiritual unity between a believer and an unbeliever. Not an ounce of it. Why? Because a Christian has the Holy Spirit dwelling within him or her, whereas an unbeliever doesn’t have the Spirit’s indwelling presence. The new birth results in a new life and a new spirituality. There is no unity on that level unless both people are converted through faith in Christ.

Without spiritual unity, there can be no ultimate sexual unity. By „ultimate,” I mean the type of sexual unity God designed a husband and wife to enjoy with one another. That only happens when both of them are in a relationship with God. Then and only then do they experience sex as God intended.

Sex between two unbelievers, or between a believer and an unbeliever, is not the way God designed it. A proper relationship with God is always more important than sexual intimacy. Without the first thing being in place, the sexual intimacy will not be the ultimate expression of God’s design. And that approach will never bring the deepest level of satisfaction and contentment.

With a married couple that is unequally yoked, the unbeliever remains outside of God’s grace and forgiveness. This does not prevent the believer from growing in the Lord as much as possible in that challenging situation. While their souls and their sexual relationship will not share any spiritual depth, the couple will nevertheless be loved by God. And hopefully the unbeliever will be won over by the witness of the Christian spouse and the working of the Holy Spirit.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-a-believer-shouldnt-marry-an-unbeliever-100030/#vw2jKG4b1gRVM7jo.99

Is a boyfriend’s porn use a reason to call off a marriage? (How porn destroys)

Some advice and an explanation as to how porn impacts a young man and his future wife when they get married. You can listen to the entire podcast here- https://soundcloud.com/askpastorjohn

Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Episode 122):

computer manPorn is destructive to a man’s capacities to love a woman purely for herself. He is training his body to need increasingly different, strange, erotic situations and bodies, and he is making it harder to be content with the real body of the woman that is going to be offered to him as his wife. And her body, as it is, at its best, is not going to be the airbrushed body of pornographic sites. And when she is 50 it isn’t going to be that either. And if he hasn’t cultivated a kind of pure love for his wife, for herself, as she is, then his eyes are going to be cruising continually beyond what she has to offer him at age 40 and 50 and 60. A woman needs to be able to trust a man. A woman feels profoundly compromised when a man says to her, “No, I really need more than you can offer me.” That is tragic for a man to say that to a woman. So porn is destructive to his capacity to love her for who she is.

And here is the fourth and the last thing I will say about why it is so wrong for a man to do this. Porn is destructive to a man’s soul. His capacity to see God in the purity and the greatness of his glory is shriveled. It is compromised. The soul shrinks to the size and the quality of its pleasures.

Full Transcript

QUESTION: Lindsay writes in to ask: As I considered men who had a desire to marry me, pornography and lust continue to lay strongholds in the lives of my suitors. I am seeking to view men with eyes of grace , but to use wisdom at the same time. I understand that every sin, including lust is the turning away from delight in Jesus to a broken cistern. In light of this, do you believe it is possible for a man to be strong in faith, finding genuine joy in Jesus, and enjoying an overall satisfying relationship with Him, while simultaneously indulging frequently in lust? I believe that every sin could be defeated through the power of the Holy Spirit, but I do not wanna be naive either, since I know this issue is wide and pervasive. I suppose another way to pose my question would be this: Pastor John, should the present presence of pornography  in a man’s life be a marriage deal breaker for a single woman like me?

John Piper:

Wow, I hear at least 2 questions there, and I can’t answer the last one ‘Is it a deal breaker’ until I answer a couple of others. When I hear about this, here are the 4 questions I’m going to have to tackle.

  1. The very question she asked: Can a man get victory over this? Shouldn’t a man be able to live a life of more or less regular triumph, instead of recovering over and over again from pornography?
  2. If he can’t, is it  a deal breaker for her marrying him?
  3. What is pornography? That she didn’t ask. I’ve got to ask it.
  4. And, even more important: Why is it wrong?

So, let me tackle those real quick. Here’s my definition. I’m going to omit homosexual issues. I’m going to omit sex in movies, those are huge issues, but more or less, what men are usually dealing with today is: Involvement with pornography is looking at sexually, or fantasizing about nude women, other than your wife. That’s what I’m talking about. Looking at or fantasizing about nude women. They might be doing all kinds of stuff, or just standing there- (but they are) other than your wife. That’s my definition.

Now, here’s why I think it’s wrong. And, I have to say this: Until the guy feels these things that I’m gonna say right now, about why it’s wrong, it won’t make any sense to him why she would say, „I can’t marry you.” These are so big, I’m gonna wind up saying, „Woman, you are so right! Don’t lower your standards!”
So, here’s why I think it’s wrong:

1. Porn is unloving

It’s unloving to the women involved because it endorses their behaviors and their desires, which are going to destroy them if they don’t repent. It’s unloving to their future husbands. And, when they are confirming in these women a lifestyle of nudity, that is gonna be destructive to those future relationships those women are going to try and have some day. It’s unloving to the parents of those women. I would just ask men: Put yourself in the position of the dad, or the mom. That’s your daughter, how do you feel about that? And here’s this Christian guy, who is endorsing, approving, helping that happen, and confirming that as if he doesn’t give a rip about those parents and their broken heart. Their hearts are broken because of this girl’s behavior, and this guy doesn’t give a rip about whether their hearts are broken. He’s enjoying her breaking their hearts.

2. Porn is adulterous

In other words, it cultivates and pursues mental and physical pleasures that are made by God to flourish in marriage. But they are pursued through women other than our wives. So Jesus has had very strong words to say about that.

3. Porn is destructive to man’s capacity to love a woman purely for herself

He’s training himself. When he does pornography, he’s training his body to need increasingly different, strange erotic situations and bodies. And he’s making it, therefore, harder to be content with the real body  of this woman who is going to be offered to him as his wife. And her body, at its best is not going to be the airbrushed body of these pornographic sites. And when she’s 50, it isn’t going to be that either. And if he hasn’t cultivated a kind of pure love for his wife, for herself as she is, then his eyes are going to be cruising continuously beyond what she has to offer him at 40 and 50 and 60. And a woman needs to be able to trust a man that ‘I am what you have, I have what you need. Don’t have eyes for another woman.’ A woman feels profoundly compromised when a man says to her, „No, I really need more than you can offer me.That’s tragic, for a man to say that to a woman. Porn is destructive to his capacities to love her for who she is. 

4. Porn is destructive to a man’s soul

His capacity to see God in the purity and the greatness of His glory is shriveled, is compromised. The soul tends to shrink to the size and the quality of its pleasures.   If a man constantly says to his soul, „Adapt yourself now to this low, brief, unclean, selfish pleasure. Adapt yourself to this, soul. Get yourself around this, soul. Form yourself around this, soul. It will become that small, and a soul that shrinks like that won’t be able to make much of God, won’t be able to see God, won’t be able to delight in God anywhere near how God should be delighted in, in the glorious pleasures that He offers us in His world and in His word.

So, those are my reasons, I would say, to this woman, and to all the men who may be listening, why it is so wrong for him to pursue pornography. Now, back to her question. She wanted to know: Isn’t it possible for a man to be strong enough in faith, and to have enough joy in Jesus, and have an overall satisfying relationship  to Him, that he could conquer this? Isn’t his indulging frequently in lust an undermining?

My answer is: She’s right. An overall satisfying relationship with Jesus means that Jesus is precious enough, so that we value Him above those 4 reasons. Those 4 reasons that I gave, that porn is wrong become compelling because Jesus is our treasure, not just a doctrine, but is Lord and friend, and Savior and Supreme treasure of our lives, the way He should be

Then, we won’t be continually hating women with our choices to demean them and confirm their destruction. We won’t be continually committing adultery in our heart with those women. We won’t be continually defiling our capacity to love our present and future wives. We won’t be continually shrinking our souls, our ability to save for the glories of God. We won’t, because Jesus is utterly different than that.

A man who continually says, „I embrace all that destruction, I embrace all that evil, I embrace all that uncleanness, I embrace all that idolatry, and that hatred for women is saying something that a woman who is about to marry him better hear loud and clear. So, my answer to her last question ‘Should it be a deal breaker?’ If this man can’t get victory over this, if he is regularly tuning in , I would say, „Yeah, that’s a deal breaker.” Now, I am not a woman, I can’t make this call for myself. I would just say, if I were her I would say, „You strike me as a woman of remarkable grace , not legalism, you strike me as a woman who is striving for a biblical standard, that is not artificial, nor realistic or perfectionistic  standards. I hear grace in your question, I don’t hear brittleness and I would say, „Don’t lower the bar.” I think we’ve lowered the bar too much. We’ve treated men like dogs in heat , rather than men who are created in the image of God, who have the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, and self control. And that last one, self control, is usually used in relationship to sexuality. Men are not victims. And these women have a right to expect more from us. And, I would say to her and to the other women: Don’t lower your standards. God is in the process, I believe right now,  in purifying a man’s soul and a man’s body for you.

Also read/view

Kirk Cameron Interview at First Baptist Church Roanoke

Ray Comfort Kirk Cameron Todd Friel caricture

Dr. Bryan Smith had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Christian actor, Kirk Cameron. Kirk was at First Roanoke with the „Love Worth FIghting For” marriage event. This event was designed to strengthen and encourage the marriages in our church family (at First Roanoke).

Kirk first heard the Gospel at the age of 17, when he responded to a friends’ invitation and he attended a church pastored by Chuck Swindoll. He says that the biggest change in perspective for him was that it’s not about him, but that because this is God’s world, does God even care that he (Kirk) exists in light of his sins? Now, at about the same time, someone had given him a new age book to read which said exactly the opposite:  (that) „You are god, and you just need to feel that,” and although that fit very well with an egocentric celebrity, through God’s grace Kirk became a Christ follower.

Web Exclusive: Kirk Cameron – Full Interview from First Baptist Church Roanoke on Vimeo.

How do I know she’s the one? by Michael Lawrence

In honor of International Woman’s day today, I thought I’d repost this article:

A Biblical perspective from boundless.org (2010)

„How do I know if she’s the one?”

I can’t think of a question I encounter more often among single Christian men. The point of the question is clear enough. But a rich irony dwells beneath the question. In a culture that allows us to choose the person we’re going to marry, no one wants to make the wrong choice. Especially if, as Christians, we understand that the choice we make is a choice for life.

The question is not merely ironic. If what you’re after is a marriage that will glorify God and produce real joy for you and your bride, it’s also the wrong question. That’s because the unstated goal of the question is „How do I know if she’s the one … for me.”

The question frames the entire decision-making process in fundamentally self-oriented — if not downright selfish — terms. And it puts the woman on an extended trial to determine whether or not she meets your needs, fits with your personality, and satisfies your desires. It places you at the center of the process, in the role of a window-shopper, or consumer at a buffet. In this scenario you remain unexamined, unquestioned, and unassailable — sovereign in your tastes and preferences and judgments.

The problem of course is that as a single Christian man, not only are you going to marry a sinner, but you are a sinner as well.

From a consumeristic perspective, no woman on this planet is ever going to perfectly meet your specifications. What’s more, your unexamined requirements for a spouse are inevitably twisted by your own sinful nature. The Bible reminds us that though our marriages are to be pictures of the gospel relationship between Christ and the church, none of us get to marry Jesus. Instead, like Hosea, we all marry Gomer; that is to say, we all marry another sinner, whom God intends to use to refine and grow our faith in Jesus.

So what’s a guy to do?

Ask the right questions

To begin with, start with a different question. Instead of asking if she’s the one, you should ask yourself, „Am I the sort of man a godly woman would want to marry?” If you’re not, then you’d be better off spending less time evaluating the women around you, and more time developing the character of a disciple. Start by considering the characteristics of an elder that Paul lays out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and work toward those.

Then you should ask another question: „What sort of qualities should I be looking for in a wife so that my marriage will be a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church?” If you’re not sure what those characteristics are, then spend some time reading Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3:1-7 and Ephesians 5:22-33.

Once you’ve asked the right questions, and once you’ve found someone you suspect fits the biblical description of a godly wife, you now need to decide whether to get married. And men, though this is a big decision, it’s not a decision that should take too long. How long is too long for a dating relationship? The Bible doesn’t provide a timetable (after all, most marriages were arranged during Biblical times). But it does provide principles that point us in the direction of making a decision to marry or break up in the shortest appropriate time.

Think like a servant, not a consumer

In 1 Thessalonians 4:6, Paul warns the Thessalonian Christians against „taking advantage” of their brothers or sisters. The larger context in the first eight verses makes clear that what Paul primarily has in view is sexual immorality, in which you take from one another a physical intimacy not rightfully yours.

But the text also suggests that there are other ways you can take advantage of one another in a dating relationship. And one of the primary ways men do this is to elicit and enjoy all the benefits of unending companionship and emotional intimacy with their girlfriends without ever committing to the covenant relationship of marriage.

Too often in dating relationships we think and act like consumers rather than servants. And not very good consumers at that. After all, no one would ever go down to his local car dealership, take a car out for an extended test drive, park it in his garage, drive it back and forth to work for several weeks, maybe take it on vacation, having put lots of miles on it, and then take it back to the dealer and say, „I’m just not ready to buy a new car.”

But so often, that’s exactly the way men treat the women they’re dating. Endlessly „test driving” the relationship, without any real regard for the spiritual and emotional wear and tear they’re putting her through, all the while keeping their eyes out for a better model.

The Scriptures are clear. We are not to take advantage of one another in this way. Instead, as Paul says in Romans 13:10, „Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Remember that love is never easy

One of the myths out there is that if you just spend enough time searching, if you can just gather enough information, you’ll find a woman with whom marriage will be „easy.” The fact is, such a woman doesn’t exist, and if she did, she likely wouldn’t marry you. And that means that you don’t need as much information as you think you do.

No matter how long you’ve dated, everyone marries a stranger. That’s because fundamentally dating is an artificial arrangement in which you’re trying to be on your best behavior. Marriage on the other hand is real life. And it’s only in the context of day-in, day-out reality, with the vulnerability and permanence that marriage provides, that we learn what another person is really like. Some of the things we learn about each other aren’t easy. But who ever said that love and marriage were supposed to be easy?

Men, the point of marriage is that we learn to love our wives as Christ loved the church. Yes, as Revelation 21 and Ephesians 5 tell us, one day, Christ’s bride will be perfectly beautiful, without spot or blemish, altogether lovely and loveable.

But the church is not there yet. First, Christ had to commit himself to us, even to death on a cross. This is the model we’re called to follow. It’s not an easy model, but it is worth it.

So your goal should not be to date her long enough until you’re confident marriage won’t be hard, but to date her just long enough to discern if you’re willing to love her sacrificially, and if she’s willing to respond to that kind of love.

Remember that to commit does not mean to settle

Does this mean you should just „settle” for the first Christian woman who comes along? No, not at all. You should be making this decision in light of the qualities held out in Scripture for a godly wife, and you should marry the godliest, most fruitful, most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you.

But you also need to be aware that you live in a culture that says the ultimate good in life is to always keep your options open, and that any commitment is inevitably „settling” for less than you could have tomorrow. You must reject that kind of thinking for the worldly garbage that it is. Did Jesus Christ settle for the church? No, he loved the church, and gave his life as a ransom for her (Mark 10:45).

Marriage is fundamentally a means to glorify and serve God, not by finding someone who will meet our needs and desires, but by giving ourselves to another for their good. So if you find yourself hesitating about committing to a godly, biblically-qualified woman, then ask yourself, „Are my reasons biblical, or am I just afraid that if I commit, someone better will walk around the corner after it’s too late?” Consumers are always on the lookout for something better. Christ calls us to trust Him that in finding a wife, we have found „what is good and receive favor from the Lord” (Prov. 18:22).

Marry true beauty when you find it

Finally, the Scriptures call us to develop an attraction to true beauty. 1 Peter 3:3-6 describes the beautiful wife as a woman who has a gentle and quiet spirit, born out of her faith and hope in God, and displayed in her trusting submission to her husband. Men, is the presence of this kind of beauty the driving force for your sense of attraction to your girlfriend? Or have you made romantic attraction and „chemistry” the deciding issue?

Now don’t get me wrong. You should be physically attracted to the woman you marry. This is one of the ways marriage serves as a protection against sexual immorality (1 Cor. 7:3-5). But we get in trouble, both in dating and in marriage, when we make physical beauty and „chemistry” the threshold issue in the decision to commit (or remain committed) to marriage.

Physical beauty in a fallen world is fading and transient. What’s more, the world narrowly defines beauty as the body of a teenager, and scorns the beauty of motherhood and maturity. But in which „body” is your wife going to spend most of her years with you? Personalities also change and mature, and what seems like „chemistry” when you’re 22 might feel like superficial immaturity 10 years later. Even over the course of a long courtship and engagement in the prime of your youth, physical attraction and chemistry are sure to go through ups and downs. We must resist the temptation to value the wrong kind of beauty.

No one lives in a perpetual state of „being in love.” But in marriage, our love is called to „always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere” (1 Cor. 13:7). If mere worldly, physical beauty is the main thing attracting our love, then our love will prove as ephemeral as that beauty. But if we have developed an attraction to true beauty, then we have nothing to fear. Marry a vibrant growing Christian woman, and you have Christ’s promise that he is committed to making her more and more beautiful, spiritually beautiful, with every passing day (Rom. 8:28; Phil. 1:6).

More questions to ask

How then do you decide, in a reasonable amount of time, whether or not to marry the woman you’re dating? Let me conclude with some more questions you should be asking.

  • Generally speaking, will you be able to serve God better together than apart?
  • Do you desire to fulfill the biblical role of a husband outlined in Ephesians 5:22-33 with this specific woman? Do you want to love her sacrificially?
  • Does this relationship spur you on in your Christian discipleship, or does it dull and distract your interest in the Lord and his people? Are you more or less eager to study God’s word, and pray, and give yourself in service as a result of time spent together?
  • Do you think she will make a good discipler of your children?
  • What do other mature Christian friends and family members say about your relationship? Do they see a relationship that is spiritually solid and God-glorifying?

If you can’t answer the questions at all, then you may need to spend some more time getting to know each other. But if you can answer them (and others like them) either positively or negatively, then it’s time to stop test-driving the relationship and either commit to marriage or let someone else have the opportunity.

Stop Test-Driving Your Girlfriend
by Michael Lawrence
„How do I know if she’s the one?”I can’t think of a question I encounter more often among single Christian men. The point of the question is clear enough. But a rich irony dwells beneath the question. In a culture that allows us to choose the person we’re going to marry, no one wants to make the wrong choice. Especially if, as Christians, we understand that the choice we make is a choice for life.The question is not merely ironic. If what you’re after is a marriage that will glorify God and produce real joy for you and your bride, it’s also the wrong question. That’s because the unstated goal of the question is „How do I know if she’s the one … for me.”

The question frames the entire decision-making process in fundamentally self-oriented — if not downright selfish — terms. And it puts the woman on an extended trial to determine whether or not she meets your needs, fits with your personality, and satisfies your desires. It places you at the center of the process, in the role of a window-shopper, or consumer at a buffet. In this scenario you remain unexamined, unquestioned, and unassailable — sovereign in your tastes and preferences and judgments.

The problem of course is that as a single Christian man, not only are you going to marry a sinner, but you are a sinner as well.

From a consumeristic perspective, no woman on this planet is ever going to perfectly meet your specifications. What’s more, your unexamined requirements for a spouse are inevitably twisted by your own sinful nature. The Bible reminds us that though our marriages are to be pictures of the gospel relationship between Christ and the church, none of us get to marry Jesus. Instead, like Hosea, we all marry Gomer; that is to say, we all marry another sinner, whom God intends to use to refine and grow our faith in Jesus.

So what’s a guy to do?

Ask the right questions

To begin with, start with a different question. Instead of asking if she’s the one, you should ask yourself, „Am I the sort of man a godly woman would want to marry?” If you’re not, then you’d be better off spending less time evaluating the women around you, and more time developing the character of a disciple. Start by considering the characteristics of an elder that Paul lays out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and work toward those.

Then you should ask another question: „What sort of qualities should I be looking for in a wife so that my marriage will be a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church?” If you’re not sure what those characteristics are, then spend some time reading Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3-5, 1 Peter 3:1-7 and Ephesians 5:22-33.

Once you’ve asked the right questions, and once you’ve found someone you suspect fits the biblical description of a godly wife, you now need to decide whether to get married. And men, though this is a big decision, it’s not a decision that should take too long. How long is too long for a dating relationship? The Bible doesn’t provide a timetable (after all, most marriages were arranged during Biblical times). But it does provide principles that point us in the direction of making a decision to marry or break up in the shortest appropriate time.

Think like a servant, not a consumer

In 1 Thessalonians 4:6, Paul warns the Thessalonian Christians against „taking advantage” of their brothers or sisters. The larger context in the first eight verses makes clear that what Paul primarily has in view is sexual immorality, in which you take from one another a physical intimacy not rightfully yours.

But the text also suggests that there are other ways you can take advantage of one another in a dating relationship. And one of the primary ways men do this is to elicit and enjoy all the benefits of unending companionship and emotional intimacy with their girlfriends without ever committing to the covenant relationship of marriage.

Too often in dating relationships we think and act like consumers rather than servants. And not very good consumers at that. After all, no one would ever go down to his local car dealership, take a car out for an extended test drive, park it in his garage, drive it back and forth to work for several weeks, maybe take it on vacation, having put lots of miles on it, and then take it back to the dealer and say, „I’m just not ready to buy a new car.”

But so often, that’s exactly the way men treat the women they’re dating. Endlessly „test driving” the relationship, without any real regard for the spiritual and emotional wear and tear they’re putting her through, all the while keeping their eyes out for a better model.

The Scriptures are clear. We are not to take advantage of one another in this way. Instead, as Paul says in Romans 13:10, „Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Remember that love is never easy

One of the myths out there is that if you just spend enough time searching, if you can just gather enough information, you’ll find a woman with whom marriage will be „easy.” The fact is, such a woman doesn’t exist, and if she did, she likely wouldn’t marry you. And that means that you don’t need as much information as you think you do.

No matter how long you’ve dated, everyone marries a stranger. That’s because fundamentally dating is an artificial arrangement in which you’re trying to be on your best behavior. Marriage on the other hand is real life. And it’s only in the context of day-in, day-out reality, with the vulnerability and permanence that marriage provides, that we learn what another person is really like. Some of the things we learn about each other aren’t easy. But who ever said that love and marriage were supposed to be easy?

Men, the point of marriage is that we learn to love our wives as Christ loved the church. Yes, as Revelation 21 and Ephesians 5 tell us, one day, Christ’s bride will be perfectly beautiful, without spot or blemish, altogether lovely and loveable.

But the church is not there yet. First, Christ had to commit himself to us, even to death on a cross. This is the model we’re called to follow. It’s not an easy model, but it is worth it.

So your goal should not be to date her long enough until you’re confident marriage won’t be hard, but to date her just long enough to discern if you’re willing to love her sacrificially, and if she’s willing to respond to that kind of love.

Remember that to commit does not mean to settle

Does this mean you should just „settle” for the first Christian woman who comes along? No, not at all. You should be making this decision in light of the qualities held out in Scripture for a godly wife, and you should marry the godliest, most fruitful, most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you.

But you also need to be aware that you live in a culture that says the ultimate good in life is to always keep your options open, and that any commitment is inevitably „settling” for less than you could have tomorrow. You must reject that kind of thinking for the worldly garbage that it is. Did Jesus Christ settle for the church? No, he loved the church, and gave his life as a ransom for her (Mark 10:45).

Marriage is fundamentally a means to glorify and serve God, not by finding someone who will meet our needs and desires, but by giving ourselves to another for their good. So if you find yourself hesitating about committing to a godly, biblically-qualified woman, then ask yourself, „Are my reasons biblical, or am I just afraid that if I commit, someone better will walk around the corner after it’s too late?” Consumers are always on the lookout for something better. Christ calls us to trust Him that in finding a wife, we have found „what is good and receive favor from the Lord” (Prov. 18:22).

Marry true beauty when you find it

Finally, the Scriptures call us to develop an attraction to true beauty. 1 Peter 3:3-6 describes the beautiful wife as a woman who has a gentle and quiet spirit, born out of her faith and hope in God, and displayed in her trusting submission to her husband. Men, is the presence of this kind of beauty the driving force for your sense of attraction to your girlfriend? Or have you made romantic attraction and „chemistry” the deciding issue?

Now don’t get me wrong. You should be physically attracted to the woman you marry. This is one of the ways marriage serves as a protection against sexual immorality (1 Cor. 7:3-5). But we get in trouble, both in dating and in marriage, when we make physical beauty and „chemistry” the threshold issue in the decision to commit (or remain committed) to marriage.

Physical beauty in a fallen world is fading and transient. What’s more, the world narrowly defines beauty as the body of a teenager, and scorns the beauty of motherhood and maturity. But in which „body” is your wife going to spend most of her years with you? Personalities also change and mature, and what seems like „chemistry” when you’re 22 might feel like superficial immaturity 10 years later. Even over the course of a long courtship and engagement in the prime of your youth, physical attraction and chemistry are sure to go through ups and downs. We must resist the temptation to value the wrong kind of beauty.

No one lives in a perpetual state of „being in love.” But in marriage, our love is called to „always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere” (1 Cor. 13:7). If mere worldly, physical beauty is the main thing attracting our love, then our love will prove as ephemeral as that beauty. But if we have developed an attraction to true beauty, then we have nothing to fear. Marry a vibrant growing Christian woman, and you have Christ’s promise that he is committed to making her more and more beautiful, spiritually beautiful, with every passing day (Rom. 8:28; Phil. 1:6).

More questions to ask

How then do you decide, in a reasonable amount of time, whether or not to marry the woman you’re dating? Let me conclude with some more questions you should be asking.

  • Generally speaking, will you be able to serve God better together than apart?
  • Do you desire to fulfill the biblical role of a husband outlined in Ephesians 5:22-33 with this specific woman? Do you want to love her sacrificially?
  • Does this relationship spur you on in your Christian discipleship, or does it dull and distract your interest in the Lord and his people? Are you more or less eager to study God’s word, and pray, and give yourself in service as a result of time spent together?
  • Do you think she will make a good discipler of your children?
  • What do other mature Christian friends and family members say about your relationship? Do they see a relationship that is spiritually solid and God-glorifying?

If you can’t answer the questions at all, then you may need to spend some more time getting to know each other. But if you can answer them (and others like them) either positively or negatively, then it’s time to stop test-driving the relationship and either commit to marriage or let someone else have the opportunity.

Copyright © 2006 Michael Lawrence. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. This article was published on Boundless.org on April 8, 2010.

David Platt on Biblical Mahood and Womanhood

Click for David Platt RESOURCE PAGE

What better day to listen to David Platt giving the biblical perspective on manhood and womanhood, than on March 8 – the official international woman’s day.

adam eve gardenIn Part 1 – Platt gives a Summary of Manhood  & Womanhood in Genesis

Some of the Bible’s statements may sound chauvinistic or domineering in our contexts today, if they’re not understood in the context of the Scriptures’s teaching in Genesis 1&2. In part 1 we see 3 truths:

  1. Equal dignity. God created man and woman with equal dignity, both man and woman created in the image of God, and likeness of God, as representatives of  God. Man, not superior to woman, woman not superior to man. Any man who belittles a woman is violating the design of God. Any woman who disparages a man  is undercutting the beautiful design of God.
  2. Different roles. At the same time, men and women are created with different roles. Roles that don’t call into question one’s dignity and worth in any way. This is clear, we look to Genesis and walk through 8 reasons we know this is true. Man created to be the head, in a position of authority, Created first by the design of God with responsibility, representation, authority, entrusted by God. And woman, created to be the helper. Genesis 2:18 and 20 woman created as suitable helper for man, equal in dignity, different in roles in a complementary way, in a good way, not unfair, not demeaning. Cause God did this as a reflection of Himself and of the Trinity- God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit- Equal in essence, worth, different in role. It’s not chauvinistic, domineering for God the Father to have authority over, and for God the Son to submit to God the Father. This is where we see, the understanding of the personhood of God is huge for understanding our own manhood and womanhood.
  3. For our good and His glory. So, He created all of us, men and women with equal dignity, different roles, for our good and His glory.

David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Part 1

Platt recounts the points from the first part (video) and begins the second part message at the 9:30 minute mark.

Sin has woefully distorted those 2 roles. , and we bear, feel the effects of sin. Broken relations with men and women abound. Distorted ideas of manhood and womanhood abound all across our culture. What I want to show you is that it all goes back to Genesis 3.  Every detail is important. The anatomy and the consequence of sin are intertwined directly with manhood and womanhood. I want to show you how sin affects men differently than it affects women, how it expresses itself differently in man and in woman, how the results of sin are different in man and in woman. As sin expresses itself in man and in woman, we see how there’s an active picture and a passive picture.

Manhood-

  • Spineless abdication of his responsibility. This is the essence of what Adam did in verses 1-5. He stands by and does nothing. The serpent, in the very way he is tempting this couple, he is subverting the design of God. He does not come to the head (the man), he comes to woman. The serpent’s saying to woman, „Why don’t you lead the way? Why don’t you make this decision?” The serpent is undercutting the design of God, in the very way he is tempting. Then, when you get to verse 17, when God speaks directly to Adam, „Adam, because you have listened to the voice of your wife…” before He even addresses the fact that Adam ate the piece of fruit- direct disobedience to the command of God that Adam had been given. He says, „Fundamentally, you listened, instead of leading. You stood silently by, doing nothing.” Like a wimp, and then has the audacity, when God confronts his sin, to blame the woman.  Spineless abdication of responsibility in men, and dads, that is alive today because men refuse to lead. They sit and watch TV, play video games, surf the internet, who never come home from work, who don’t step up and take responsibility for wives and children. Males who think they are men, but in reality are little boys, shirking the responsibility that God Himself has entrusted to them. (13:00)
  • Aggressive: Selfish abuse of his authority. Then you go to the other extreme. And what you have is a more aggressive picture, selfish abuse of his authority. A man will rise up and say, „I’m not gonna be a wimp in this relationship, I’m gonna dominate this relationship. Some believe the end of v. 16 „he shall rule over you”, that word there is depicted of harsh, forceful, oppressive rulership, domineering, which is a distortion of God’s design. Headship does not equal domination, man’s controlling woman, man abusing his authority in his position of authority in the relationship. 
  • He will experience pain in his role of breadwinning. Notice of how punishment for sin in man’s life is then specifically linked to his responsibility. As a result of sin, man shall experience pain in his role of breadwinning. This is something that man was commanded to do in a way that woman was not commanded- working the ground and providing for the family. This is gender specific punishment for sin.

Womanhood-

  • Passive: Spineless dismissal of any responsibility. We can’t misunderstand the picture here. It’s not that woman was not responsible for her sin, here in Genesis 3. Man certainly had a level of responsibility, we see that when God confronts man for the accountability for sin, but, woman was obviously and clearly directly responsible for her disobedience to God. And, there’s a distorted picture, as a result of sin that leads, particularly when it comes to submission. Sin distorts this role and causes women to think, „Ok, well, if I’m the helper, he’s the head, then I’m not accountable for what I do. Maybe a woman sees her husband or her children doing something they should not be doing, she doesn’t do anything about it because she says, „That’s my role.” Or maybe she has a husband who is abusing her and she sits idly by, thinking that’s what submission is all about. That is a tragic distortion of biblical womanhood. God has created no woman to be a door mat. He’s created women with a responsibility towards God for how they think, for how they live, for the choices they make, the way they use and present their bodies. SIDE NOTE here- as we come up on summer here. I want to say to the women in our midst that you have a responsibility before God for the way that you dress for the summer, not to lead men into sin. Some would say, „Well, it’s their problem .” It is their problem and it is most definitely your problem. Do not do what Eve did in Genesis 3, leading your brother into sin. Run from every appearance of that. Guard your brother from sin in every way you can. 
  • Agressive: Selfish defiance against authority. In v. 16, as a result of sin, God says to the woman, „Your desire shall be for your husband.” Now, why is that bad, that the woman will desire the husband, as a result of sin? What does that mean- desire? You go to ch. 4:7, and you see the same word, the same language used when God is speaking to Cain about sin in his life. Listen to what God says to Cain, „If you do well Cain, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. It’s desire is for you. But, you must rule over it.” Same language there. Sin’s desire is for you. Is it good for sin to desire you? No. Sin’s desire is to overpower you, to oppose you, to work against you. That’s what sin does. And so, it’s the same picture that’s being used here in 3:16, when God says, „Your desire will be for your husband.” You will desire to overpower him, to oppose his leadership, to work against his leadership. This is defiance of his authority. Your desire will be to usurp his leadership with your own leadership. Not in a complementary way, but in a competitive way. The result of sin in you is you will say, „I wanna do this my way, my rule, regardless of what my husband says or does. I’m in charge here. That is a very sinful sense, desiring the authority that God has given to man.
  • She will experience pain in her role of childbearing. Here, the same way that we saw God’s punishment, uniquely fitted to man, we see God’s punishment and  sin uniquely fitted to women. As a result of sin, women will experience pain in her role of childbearing.Just as God had given man a specific role in providing, working the ground, God has uniquely given woman the role of bearing children. So, God says to woman, I will surely multiply your pain as a woman. You bring forth children. In other words, that which I have created you uniquely to do as a woman, will bring about pain in your life as a woman. You put this together and you realize just how much sin is intertwined with manhood and womanhood. This is not just a generic picture of sin in Genesis 3. This is a picture of sin that is a direct assault, from the adversary on manhood and womanhood , as God has designed it to be. (20:00)

Adam and Eve Casted Out from the Garden Genesis 3:24You can almost picture Satan, at the end of Genesis 3, just laughing, saying, „I’ve got things so distorted now, they’ll never figure this thing out.” You have aggressive man, and you say, „You need to be more passive.” You’ll have passive women, and you’ll say, „You need to stand up and be aggressive. Now, go back and forth between distortions, i.e. contemporary culture, and you’ll never get to the root of the issue. So, take us to the root of the issue: When you put all this together, and the results of Genesis 3 are all across this room.

So, what shall we do? This is the beauty, that in a sense, this is the worst chapter in the Bible. Genesis 3:15 is the promise of grace- the proto evangelion- the first Gospel. And it’s God saying, at the midst of the entrance of sin into the world, to the serpent, „I’m gonna raise up an offspring from woman, and He shall bruise your head, you will bruise His heel.” It’s a promise. God says, at the first entrance of sin in the world, „I’m going to send one, from woman, who is going to conquer sin and Satan and who will bring my redemption. And so, what shall we do, in light of the effects of sin on our marriages, in our homes, and our cultures, on manhood, and womanhood? What we must do is look to Christ. Because He is the one who conquers sin and its effects.

And this is the beauty, you realize. You come to Christ, you’re saved from sin. You trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior and follow the process of sanctification, where you and I, as followers of Christ are being made  in the image of Christ. Sanctification, all growing into the image of Christ. This is where we realize, that as you and I are conformed into the image of Christ, we’re not just conformed into the image of Christ generically. Certainly, some generalities across the board. But, we’re being formed into the image of men and women, and sanctification. If sin affected and is expressed in certain ways, among men and women, then  salvation and sanctification will then be expressed in certain ways among men and women. And our salvation in Christ is not just about becoming the people that God desired us to be, but, our salvation in Christ is about becoming the men and the women God desires us to be. Turning from sinful expressions of manhood, and womanhood, sinful inclinations of manhood and womanhood, to where in Christ be redeemed as the men and women He desires. SO, that’s where we come to God’s design.

This is God’s ideal- God’s design. None of us are there. How can we, from our unique situations, by the grace of Christ, pursue God’s design?

Manhood-

  • praying husband and wifeMan’s primary responsibility is to lead. 1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5, God has entrusted, in His design, from the beginning, man for the primary (not sole, but we’ll get to that) responsibility to lead, for the good of the woman. It was good in Genesis 1, and turned bad since Genesis 3. It was good in the design- good for man and for woman. This was not leadership for self appeasement, for self gratification, self exaltation.
  1. This is leadership for the good of others. Christ is our leader and He is good. He is a good leader, and so we gladly submit to Christ, our leader. God’s design , and that’s the whole picture, His design is for men to lead in a way that reflects Christ. Some say, „What about men who area abusive do women, domineering over women?” That’s not good, and that’s not God’s design. There’s a manual on church discipline from the 2nd century. And this manual gives the following instruction. „If there is a man that is abusing his wife in the church, the pastor should take 2 stout elders and go visit that home…”
  2. So it is for the good of woman, and ultimately for the glory of Christ. Man realizes that he is a leader under authority. Man is not the ultimate leader. He is the head. Christ is the head of man, and Christ is the ultimate leader, and man, in the design of God, never resumes the authority of Christ over woman. Man leads in a way that points woman to the authority of Christ. That’s God design from the beginning. That’s why God setup the whole picture, to show who Christ is. This is what drives men to lead: The good of woman and the glory of Christ.
  • In that, man is accountable to God for two things, based on what we see in the first 3 chapters.
  1. Man is accountable to God for protection of his wife and of women. It is clear here in chapter 3 that he does not protect his wife from the adversary. And this is what we see all throughout Scripture in spiritual warfare, in physical warfare, family warfare, man is protector for all of God’s people. In the Old Testament, it’s the men who go off to war, not women. In the New Testament, Joseph is told by God to protect Mary and the child, and go into Egypt. Men are commanded in the church, in the New Testament to protect the body.  In a general sense, we all know this. If you have 2 single guys, and 2 single ladies walking down the street together, and an attacker comes up, we all know it is not a sign of manhood for the men to step back and push the ladies forward. Spineless abdication. It is outside the design of God. Man is accountable to God for the protection of his wife.
  2. Man is accountable to God for provision in the home. When God doled out his punishment for sin, he’s directly addressing the responsibility He had given man to work and to provide for a family. A man feels accountability for provision. Now, it doesn’t mean sole accountability. The Bible’s not saying that it’s wrong for women to work outside the home, or to help provide for the family. But, the primary accountability here is upon man, the leader in the home. (29:00)

WOMANHOOD – 

  • woman prayingWoman’s primary responsibility is to support. She is a helper by God’s designGenesis 2. She is not devalued by that, but she is honored by that, in the same way the Son is honored by before the Father.
  1. She supports through a humble disposition that yields to man’s leadership. The reason I put disposition there is because I know there are all kinds of circumstances in this room. That’s what makes this issue really difficult to apply. I have yet to meet a woman who has a husband, that desires to show loving, Godly leadership, protection, provision, humble sacrificial care for her, I have yet to meet a woman that is complaining about that- that says God’s design is not good. Now, I’ve met a lot of women who have not seen that. But, when this is there, we see this is good. It’s very good. knowing that there’s all these circumstances in this room, knowing that there’s manhood nonexistent in many cases, the reason I use the word disposition, is because there is in the pattern of God, the design of God and inclination, a disposition that He has designed for women to desire that, in a good way, that kind of leadership. You might say, „What about a situation where you’ve got a wife that is really, really gifted? And the husband, not so gifted?” Should she still follow his leadership? Absolutely. This is the design of God, based on position, not on ability. Any husband is going to maximize his wife’s gifts
  2. With ultimate devotion to following Christ’s leadership. The husband is the head of the wife, but not ultimate head. Christ is the ultimate head. And, biblical womanhood does not say, „Whatever my husband tells me to do, I’ll do it, no matter what. No, biblical womanhood has a discerning spirit that is inclined to submit to a husband, but is further inclined to submit to Christ. And if her husband wants her to do something that goes directly against the word of Christ, she yields to Christ over him.
  3. Affirming her husband’s role. (35:00)
  4. Nurture in the home. She is equipped by God to nurture in the home, in a way that compliments a man’s leadership with the children. He protects, provides; she affirms and nurtures.

That is the ideal, and none of us are living in it. And, the temptation is to think, „I would, if my husband would get right.” Or, „I would, if my wife would start living out womanhood.” You could spend all day figuring out how to fix the other people in your life on this issue. But, let’s step back and see the application to our own lives. Let’s resist the temptation to shift blame and responsibility for lack of manhood and womanhood in our culture, in the church, in our families, and our lives. And, to say, „In my own life, how God, by your grace, can I be the man and woman you designed for me to be?

Overall exhortations to guide the application in our own lives:

MEN

Initiate humble, hardworking leadership. God made you to work hard, for the good of women, and the glory of His name. Work at leadership.

  1. in spiritual devotion. Is your wife and are your children flourishing in their relationships with Christ? 
  2. in marital duties. Don’t wait for your wife to come to you and say, „There’s some problems in our marriage and we need to talk about.” You initiate that conversation every single time. Turn off the TV, stop hiding on the ball field, behind the computer or at work. Go to her, as your wife, say, „How can I love you better?’ That’s your responsibility. Consistently and periodically sit down with her, and she will love you for it.
  3. in parental discipline. Men who don’t stand idly by, while their kids talk back to their wives. But use humble, loving discipline of children.
  4. in essential decision. It is not that men are supposed to make every single decision for his wife and family. But, that man will feel the overarching responsibility for decision making. That his wife and his children will look to him for leadership in decision making. That he’ll be known for making decisions for their good, and for the glory of Christ.
  5. amidst inevitable disagreements, in those tough decisions,  to lovingly, caringly, graciously, make the tough decisions, with a commitment to love, lead, guide, protect, shepherd his family in the implementation of that decision. This is not easy, brothers. None of us can do this on our own. That’s why Scriptures call us to look to Christ
  6. lay down your life to honor women. Honor your wife. Do not belittle our wife for her failures.
  7. train boys to be men. We need to show boys the humble responsibility, what it looks like in action.

WOMEN –

  1. incline yourselves toward wise, willing, submission. First and foremost to God, in constant prayer. Obviously, you need not submit yourself to abuse. You take that to a church.
  2. and then to men. If you are a wife, obviously, incline yourself to wise, willing submission to a husband, as best as you can, in a way that honors Christ.
  3. for the glory of Christ, live in a way that demonstrates Godly respect for men
  4. live in a way that shows girls how to be women.

David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Part 2

Sin’s distortion of Manhood and Womanhood

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