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

Reclame

Can Men and Women Be Just friends?

Spoiler alert: The answer is NO. Read on from Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell to find out why he believes there cannot be platonic relationships between men and women. This article is featured on Churchleaders.com (You can also read an article in the Scientific American that agrees with Dr. Hanchell’s assertion here- http://www.scientificamerican.com/article).

Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell (TWH_PhD) who currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Mount Calvary Holy Church of Winston-Salem, NC (“The Church Committed to do MORE”) – the “Mother Church” of the Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Inc., where Dr. Hanchell also serves as General Secretary and International Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry under the leadership of Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.

photo via www.brucesallan.com

Dr. Hanchell: Let me state at the outset: I do not believe in the male-female platonic relationship.

Much like Santa Claus, the Abominable Snowman and the Tooth Fairy, there is very little evidence to prove its existence. In fact, there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

I have seen countless “friendships” ruined once one “buddy” decided to get into a serious relationship.

This is not to say that EVERY male-female relationship turns out this way. However, I believe that there are very few — if any — truly platonic male-female relationships.

Before you jump down my throat and tell me how much of an idiot I am (which I encourage you to do in the comments section), let’s get an understanding of what the word platonic really means. Platonic traces its etymology to the doctrines of Greek philosopher, Plato. In regards to relationships, it means a relationship that is “purely spiritual” and/or “free from sensual desire.”

Now, this is where the proponents of the existence of the platonic relationship say, “Well, I’m not attracted to him/her IN THAT WAY.” The need to qualify the statement, disqualifies the argument.

Also, notice that the presence of physical attraction is not the only thing that nullifies the platonic relationship. In order for a relationship to be considered truly platonic, it must be “purely spiritual.” I don’t know about you, but there are very few, if any, relationships in my entire life that have been purely spiritual.

I know some who have used the guise of spirituality to get close to someone of the opposite sex. That’s how so many late night “prayer meetings” have turned into all night “touching and agreeing”!

Or, how many times have you talked to a married couple who says, “We were friends for years before we started dating”? Did the desire to be “more than friends” develop on their first date? Or, more likely, did they begin to have feelings beyond friendship while one or both of them were still putting up the charade that we’re “just friends”?

As someone who, as a single man, always felt more comfortable having a lot of female “friends,” let me speak from my own personal experience.

I hung out with females all the time. We went to the movies, dinner, etc., and it never went beyond that with many of them. However, we often tend to define platonic relationships based upon actions, when they are really defined by feelings.

I may not have DONE anything with them, but that did not mean I did not FEEL anything for them.

On the other hand, I have no way of knowing how these women felt about me.

This, I believe, is the defining element in my argument against the existence of the male-female platonic relationship — you NEVER know how someone else truly feels. What you may consider a “friendship” may be the first step to courtship for the other person — you NEVER know.

Even if you ask, studies have shown that people will lie about their true feelings so as not to jeopardize the friendship (and any hope of it becoming more).

I’m not saying all of this to encourage you to cut all ties with all of your friends of the opposite sex. What I am saying is that we all need to carefully analyze the nature of our relationships, and be honest — especially with ourselves.

Most people who say they are PLATONIC … are really just PLAYING. Now, the male-female platonic relationship may actually exist, but just like with UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster … very few have seen it and lived to tell the tale.

Read this article in its entirety at Churchleaders.com

Read an article that also agrees aith Dr. Hanchell’s assertion here – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article

Traylor & Melody – Betrayal, Divorce and then Reconciliation

I read the story of Melody & Traylor some years back, and when I started up this blog I tried to find it again in order to post it, but could not remember their names. Tonight, I came across the website again and I am providing the link to it. Traylor was a preacher who became addicted to pornography, and slowly it escalated to secret rendezvous  with women he met on the internet, which sometimes took him across state lines. But, it is no ordinary story, because after divorcing when Melody found out, he started feeling God’s conviction, which eventually led Traylor & Melody back together again, remarried and helping other couples deal with addictions through their ministry.

Please share this story with someone in your life who is struggling with pornogroaphy, and sex addiction, and especially share it with the spouse of the person with the problem, and let them know there is hope for their marriage. Here’s the snippet from the blog, and I recommend watching the 3 videos posted to the page in the link- http://www.ragamuffinreflections.com/story/ 

Melody and I were married for 11 years before my struggle with pornography and sexual addiction ripped our family apart. This tragic upheaval left both of us reeling and disrupted our status quo, to say the least. The appearance of the “perfect” life that we both worked so hard to maintain came crashing down all around us.
After 6 years of divorce, we were remarried.

Watch (or listen to) their testimony here- http://www.ragamuffinreflections.com/story/ 

Tim Tebow: If you’re married and you really love your wife…….


posted on Facebook… November 2011 – Tebow we pray for you to stay strog in the faith and be a light through your testimony in the sports domain, which has given us (and especially our youth) many bad examples.

The Gift of Friendship and the Godliness of Good Friends By Kevin DeYoung

We talk a lot about relationships in the church. There are scores of marriage seminars, retreats, and conferences. There are video series and books for newlyweds and engaged couples. Most every church offers marital counseling and most every pastor preaches somewhat regularly on marriage. And the same is true for parenting.
There are dozens of books on raising children. There are Sunday school classes, blog sites, and ministries that focus on the parenting relationship. All this is good. But have you ever noticed we seldom study friendship? It is the most important-least talked about relationship in the church.
Think about your greatest joys in life. They probably center around your friends–the fun times hanging out, the great conversations, the laughter, the sharing, the pleasure of “clicking” (not cliquing!) with someone else or a group of people. And now think of the most painful times in life. No doubt, sickness and tragedy are on the list. And yet, oftentimes these difficulties are made sweeter by the support of friends and family.
But when friendship goes bad–when things get awkward or you feel like you are on the outside looking in–no amount of health and prosperity can fill the gap. Almost anything bad can be wonderful with friends, and almost anything good can be terrible without them.

The worst summer of my life was the summer I spent holed up in a cabin in the mountains of Colorado working on a national government textbook. For three months I worked 10 hours a day studying political science with a classmate and our college professor. We had no electricity (we charged our laptop batteries in town every day) and no indoor plumbing (we used an outhouse). But that wasn’t the main problem. I got used to the rustic lifestyle. The problem was the absence of friends. I was surrounded by amazing natural beauty, engaged in work that I liked fairly well, and allowed time every night and every weekend to read, run, or explore. But I was miserable because I felt all alone.


It’s surprising we don’t talk more about friendship in the church. Depending on how you define friendship, the Bible may have more to say about the friend relationship than it does about marriage and parenting. Further, I bet church “satisfaction” is largely based on two things. If you find happy churchgoers I wager you’ll find these two items present, and where church members are unhappy, I can almost guarantee these two things are missing: quality teaching and quality relationships. No doubt, there are many other important aspects of church life. But for most folks these are the two that matter most. People want a church that teaches them well (which includes sermons, songs, classes, and Bible studies) and a church where they can make friends. Read the rest of Kevin DeYoung’s  post below:

View this document on Scribd

(via) The Gospel Coalition

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