Marriage is like Christ and the Church

this is the important responsibility that married people have. To demonstrate the relationship of Christ and the church.

Here is John Piper on why this reminder is important.

  1. It lifts marriage out of sordid sitcom images and gives it the magnificent meaning God meant it to have.
  2. It gives marriage a solid basis in grace, since Christ obtained and sustains his bride by grace alone.
  3. It shows that the husband’s headship and the wife’s submission are crucial andcrucified. That is, they are woven into the very meaning of marriage as a display of Christ and the church, but they are both defined by Christ’s self-denying work on the cross so that pride and slavishness are cancelled.

Adapted from the 2007 sermon “Marriage: God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace.”

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any marriage is fixable

any marriage is fixable/salvageable with the right spirit and in the right power (II Peter 1:3).

check out this story:

Al added, “We kept drifting apart. I knew what I was doing was wrong; I was too proud to ask for help.”

After a brief pause, I quietly asked, “So are you guys going to call it quits after 35 years? Is this the best answer?” Al stared out the window, and Olivia looked at the floor. “You are both believers. Is this what God wants?”

I continued to ask pointed, painful questions over the next three hours. I knew this couple was on the brink of divorce, and I probably had only one shot at helping them.

At one point, tears rolled down Al’s rough face as he said, “I think I have gone too far. I don’t think I can pull it back together. I don’t think Olivia can forgive me. I don’t think I can forgive myself. It’s too late.”

I looked at Al and said, “Al, it’s never too late to do the right thing. You and Olivia have too much to give up. God loves you but dislikes the way you are trying to solve your marriage problems—especially when they can be corrected and prevented.”

Go read the rest. good stuff.

Driscoll coming to Austin

The Resurgence Blog is and has been in the blogroll. I encourage you to check it regularly. Lots of good articles and series by Acts 29 church planters all over the country.

Recently, Mark Driscoll announced that he and his lovely wife were coming to Hill Country Bible Church here in Austin to talk at a two day conference about dating marriage and sex.

here is the announcement:

On October 2–3, my high school sweetheart and I will be teaching in Austin, Texas, for the Song of Solomon Bible Conference at Hill Country Bible Church. Our topics will be dating, marriage, and sex, in that order.

I have had the pleasure of speaking at a few of the Song of Solomon Conferences around the country, but this will be the first one where Grace joins me. I will be preaching Friday night and Saturday morning. Everyone in attendance will be welcome to send in anonymous questions via text message, and Grace will join me on stage to help answer them. The price is super cheap, ranging from $25 for students and soldiers, to $35 for those who register by 9/21, and $45 for those who decide to join us at the last minute. Additional discounts for groups of 10 or more can be arranged by calling 800-729-0815. Complete information can be found here.

We truly are looking forward to coming out, meeting lots of folks, and seeing the Holy Spirit do a gracious work in the lives of many people. So, I’ve polished my boots and will see you in one of the world’s greatest nations, Texas.

and here is the conference page with more information and registration information.

and here is a video from Mark making the announcement

wedding yesterday

the daughter of a good friend of ours was married yesterday.
Katherine's wedding

it was an outdoor wedding at Kindred Oaks in Leander/Georgetown/way north area. It was lovely and fun. the weather cooperated in a big way and it wasn’t too hot.

Katherine's wedding

a wife’s submission

here is the personal story of a former feminist atheist who eventually converted to catholicism learning to embrace the leadership of her husband in the home.


There has also been a part of my conversion on this issue that cannot be explained in terms of logic and reason. It’s nothing I could prove to a skeptic, but I have seen God work in my life in a big way on the occasions when I’ve sacrifice my own preferences in order to let my husband have the tiebreaking vote. Even when I am just sure that I am right, when I am positive that the fabric of the universe will tear apart if things don’t go my way, when I step aside and turn the decision over to my husband, things have this uncanny way of working out for the best.
….

I’ve found that submitting to my husband’s authority is not about power and control, but about freeing up everyone’s mental energy to live and love and focus on what really matters. As with so many other things, these ideas about household structure that I once saw as oppressive and cold rules I now see as just part of a prescription for living a life of love.

the whole thing is very interesting and worth a thorough read.

hat tip to @kathrynlopez on twitter.

reality of marriage

Challies put up an article on Monday just after his eleventh wedding anniversary that was a very real look at marriage through the device of wanting to give his younger newly married self some counseling.

the whole thing is good, but I thought this part was especially helpful because so many people have unrealistic ideas of the marriage relationship:

Prepare to Hurt and Be Hurt!. One of the greatest ironies and the greatest tragedies of marriage is that a husband and wife have more opportunities to sin against one another than against anyone else in all the world. Over the course of eleven years of marriage, I have hurt Aileen more than anyone else and have sinned against her more than I’ve sinned again anyone else. I suppose this means that marriage also offers unparalleled opportunities to extend forgiveness and to choose to overlook sin. While Aileen and I have had our share of struggles over the years, I truly believe that we carry no bitterness toward one another. Through God’s grace we have offered and received forgiveness time and time again. And through his grace we have overlooked many an offense. Yet there have been many occasions when we have hurt one another and when we have let this wounds fester for just a little too long.

If I could go back, I would prepare myself to be hurt and, even more, would seek to emphasize kindness and forbearance and grace so that I could hurt my wife far less often.

that is why I Peter 4:8 says “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”

I can tell you after 20 years of married life that in a marriage there are many many sins that will need to be covered by fervent love. It is when you let your love grow cold that bitterness grows. Once bitterness takes hold of your heart, it is very difficult to uproot, so that love can flourish again.

The writer of Hebrews warned against ever letting the root of bitterness grow and prescribed the grace of God as the preventative. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

Marriage

what is the point of marriage? If the only point of marriage is to be the highest expression of romantic love, then evangelical opposition to homosexual marriage is just mean. It would be mean to say to some people that their love is unworthy of expression in marriage while other people get the sanction of the state on their love for one another.

This is the argument that homosexual marriage activists make. Any caring person would certainly agree with that argument if the point of marriage is to express romantic love.

but that isn’t the primary point of marriage. and it never has been the primary point of marriage in any society in any time. as I pointed out a while back, a liberal democratic anthropologist made the secular case against homosexual marriage as well as anybody can. Marriage is for having and raising children.

However, once this principle is washed away, then there is no principled basis for denying marriage to anyone who wants to use it as the highest expression of their romantic love for another or others.

check out this article to see the next shoe to fall in the marriage wars.

As Newsweek magazine makes clear, some new flashpoints are getting restless.

Polyamory, reports Newsweek, is having a “coming-out-party.”  Polyamory is the current “term of art” applied to “families” or “clusters” comprised of multiple sexual partners. As Newsweek explains, this is not exactly polygamy, because marriage is not the issue. Advocates of polyamory argue that their lifestyle is not “open marriage.” Indeed, they define their movement in terms of the moral principle of “ethical nonmonogamy,” defined as “engaging in loving, intimate relationships with more than one person — based upon the knowledge and consent of everyone involved.”

in addition to polyamory/polygamy, if marriage is primarily only the highest expression of romantic love, then there is no principled barrier to a marriage between a parent and a grown child. There is no principled barrier to the marriage of grown siblings. and so on.

once anything goes, then anything will go.

You can say that this is just a slippery slope argument and you would be correct. On the other hand, this slope is slippery and there are no visible ledges or moguls where things might get hung up and/or slowed down.

do any of you see any?