Satan and Your Marriage

Deepak Reju at Grace & Truth shares a helpful list of ways that Satan delights in seeing a couple’s marriage fall apart. It’s a helpful list because, as the old saying goes, to be forwarned is to be forearmed. He writes…

According the Bible, Satan prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8), but many times, he probably doesn’t have to do that much. I wonder if sometimes Satan sits back and laughs at us.

Marriage can be extremely messy. As sinners we can do dumb things in marriage—we hurt one another; we make false assumptions and then miscommunicate; we manipulate or say mean things to our spouse; we think less about serving and more about being served. We don’t always follow God’s Word or advice from godly leaders. We put our hopes in the world or each other more than we put hope in God.

We don’t need Satan to ruin our marriage. We do plenty of unhelpful things on our own to ruin our marriages. I’m sure Satan enjoys having a front row seat, watching our folly and foolishness.

What does he see?

Click here to read his list.

What A Marriage! What A Gracious God!

When someone tells me that I “need” to experience something… or I “must” do such and such… or I just “have to” go somewhere… I often turn them off right away. I’m sure it’s a pride issue that I have. But my usual and immediate thought is… “I “need” Jesus… I don’t “need” this (whatever “this” is). Again, this is not something I’m proud of… it’s more of a confession than anything else.

So with that very clear caveat let me declare as best I can, you really ought to take 8 or 9 minutes to watch the following video. I received the following email this morning from DesiringGod which sets up the video…

The Story of Ian and Larissa

Dear Friends,

Desiring God exists to help people everywhere understand and embrace the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. And I would add, especially in suffering.

Being satisfied in God (or anything) always seems easier when all is going well. But when things you love are being stripped out of your hands, then the test is real. If God remains precious in those moments, then his supreme worth shines more brightly. He is most glorified.

The most meaningful testimonies I receive are when people tell me that it was a vision of the sovereignty and goodness of God that got them through the most difficult times of their life.

Here is one of those testimonies. I tremble with the glad responsibility of introducing you to Ian & Larissa Murphy in this video. Tremble, because it is their story and so personal. So delicate. So easily abused. So unfinished. Glad, because Christ is exalted over all things.

We have a big vision at Desiring God: we want to reach as many people as possible with our message of Christian Hedonism—the gladness of God in being God and in making people glad in him. We have at our disposal the amazing power of the Web. That is our main way of spreading.

But internet statistics can conceal as well as reveal. These are people. Each Website visit represents a real person with an eternal soul. What a responsibility! Pray for us that we would steward our influence well. And thank you for your partnership to make this ministry possible.

Love Ian and Larissa as you watch this amazing story. Pray for them. And us.

Your partner in the greatest cause,

John Piper
With Josh Etter

Here’s the video…

Heidelberg Catechism: Lord’s Day 41 (7th Commandment)

The Seventh Commandment

108. Question: What does the seventh commandment teach us?

Answer: That all unchastity is cursed by God.[1] We must therefore detest it from the heart[2] and live chaste and disciplined lives, both within and outside of holy marriage.[3]

[1] Lev. 18:30; Eph. 5:3-5. [2] Jude 22, 23. [3] I Cor. 7:1-9; I Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4.

109. Question: Does God in this commandment forbid nothing more than adultery and similar shameful sins?

Answer: Since we, body and soul, are temples of the Holy Spirit, it is God’s will that we keep ourselves pure and holy. Therefore He forbids all unchaste acts, gestures, words, thoughts, desires,[1] and whatever may entice us to unchastity.[2]

[1] Matt. 5:27-29; I Cor. 6:18-20; Eph. 5:3, 4. [2] I Cor. 15:33; Eph. 5:18.

This Week in Godly Manhood

I’ve started a new blog that I’m calling, Pursuing Godly Manhood. Below are a few highlights from this week’s postings. I would love for you to take a look around it and let me know what you think… what’s missing… etc.

Enjoy,
Dale

About

Godly Manhood

Marriage

Fatherhood

Fathers & Daughters

Shepherding Sons

Work & Vocation

Worldview

Men’s Ministry

New Marriage Study

Good Morning Brothers,

This week we begin our new Fall study on MARRIAGE. Not that any of us need to work on marriage. I know we’re all batting a thousand. But I bet you know someone who knows that they need work. Or, if they’re not married right now, they are planning on it one day and deeply desire to have a God-honoring marriage.

So, for the next few weeks we will be be watching videos, praying prayers, discussing Scripture, and talking with one another about marriage… and how we can become the godly husbands that God has created, redeemed, and called us to be.

There is no study guide for this. The only homework we’ll have is to put the  stuff we talk about into practice. So plan on coming this week… and invite a friend… or two…  or three… to join us.

I’m looking forward to learning from you. This is certainly a study where we very much need each other. The accumulated wisdom that we’ll have each week (that we’ve gained from our own successes and failures) is just bound to be a blessing to us all.

See you this week.

Your Brother,
Dale

United Methodist Pastors Call on Council of Bishops

The following is from Good News Magazine. Used with permission. I encourage you to check this out and sign the statement.

UM Pastors Call Upon Council of Bishops to Issue Statement on Same-Sex Unions

United Methodist pastors of large and strategic congregations from across the nation are calling upon the Council of Bishops to issue a clear statement of support for the denomination’s standards regarding marriage and homosexuality. Good News applauds the leadership of the Revs. Tom Harrison, Charles Kyker, Edmund Robb III, Ken Werlein, and Steve Wood in spearheading the communication to the United Methodist bishops. An additional 54 pastors joined the effort.

“The United Methodist Church needs clear and prophetic leadership right now,” says the Rev. Ed Robb III, senior pastor of the 9,200-member Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas. “As clergy, we are asking the Council of Bishops to make a clear and concise statement supporting our denomination’s stance on marriage and human sexuality.”

The signers are responding to the news that more than 900 United Methodist clergy have pledged to break the denomination’s prohibition against conducting same-sex unions. In response, these pastors of some of United Methodism’s largest churches have asked that the Council of Bishops “issue a public statement that you … stand together in your commitment to defend and enforce The Book of Discipline.”

“We love God and we love all people. We honor and respect scriptural authority,” says the Rev. Steve Wood, senior pastor of Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. “Our issue as UM clergy is the covenant that binds us together and keeps us united as stated in The Book of Discipline. The willful violation of that covenant by hundreds of UM clergy will fracture our unity.”

Good News encourages your support of this important stand by visiting WWW.FaithfulUMC.org and reading the letter and adding your name to the list of concerned clergy and laity.

“The response from our episcopal leaders will either hold together our United Methodist Faith and Practice or it will be the death blow which begins the demise of our church,” says the Rev. Charles C. Kyker, lead pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Hickory, North Carolina.

“As we approach the 2012 General Conference, United Methodists in the pulpits and the pews need to hear that their leaders are in touch with the mainstream and grassroots of the church,” says the Rev. Ken Werlein, senior pastor of Faithbridge United Methodist Church in Spring, Texas.

These pastors are reminding the members of the Council of Bishops that United Methodists in the pews do not comprehend how actions so clearly prohibited by The Book of Discipline can be acceptable within the denomination. “Even if such acts of disobedience are dealt with appropriately, if they occur in large numbers, the members of our church will simply not understand how such actions are possible,” the pastors write.

As the Call to Action Committee pointed out in its report, there is a chasm of trust between the people in the pews and the leadership of the denomination. The pastors’ statement suggests that if the bishops fail to act it will become more difficult, perhaps impossible, to convince their churches to pay their apportionments in full.

Very Important: Good News encourages you to forward this issue of Perspective to members of your Sunday school class, as well as your congregation, so that they too can have their voices heard. A signature form can also be printed from the FaithfulUMC.com website and passed around at your church to gain more signatures.