Category Archives: Marriage

A Momentary Marriage

Here’s a powerful video testimony of the power of covenantal love–love that is sustained by a deeper commitment than emotion, one that reflects Christ and His Church. 

This Momentary Marriage (Free PDF Version and Amazon)

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Praying Biblical Prayers for Your Spouse & Children

Praying Biblical Prayers for Those You Love

There is no discipline more important than prayer. Here’s a great guide for praying biblical prayers for your spouse (or future spouse), and/or brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s also a great guide for praying for your children. Andrew Case has done an incredible job of modeling how to use Scripture to inform the way that we pray for those most important to us. I recommend that you either pick up the books, or download the free pdf, kindle, or nook versions here: His Magnificence Prayer Guides.

Prayer Guide for Husbands:

Water of the Word: Intercession for Her

 

“Andrew Case has provided an ingenious and glorious tool for Christian husbands, one that has the potential of binding husbands and wives ever closer together while these prayers seek more intimate relationship between their wives and their God. By employing themes, principles, promises, and pleas from Scripture itself, Case has crafted hundreds of rich and meaningful prayers that any and every Christian husband can pray for his own wife.” -BRUCE A. WARE Professor of Christian Theology (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

 

Prayer Guide for Wives:

Prayers of An Excellent Wife: Intercession for Him 

“God sees when women kneel in prayer for their husbands, and Prayers of an Excellent Wife provides the reader with all the scriptural principles and language needed to cover a man with powerful intercession—prayers so effective, they’ll resonate throughout his life.”  -JONI EARECKSON TADA (Joni and Friends International Disability Center)

Prayer Guide for Parents:

Setting Their Hope in God: Intercession for Your Children

This book, drawn mostly right from Holy Scripture, can be a spur to your family to get off the couch and away from the television and on your knees praying for the salvation and welfare of your children.” -RUSSEL D. MOORE (Author of Adopted for Life; Senior Vice President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)

“Andrew Case has provided parents with a powerful tool: the Word of God turned to prayer–specifically for their children…. this book will encourage, inspire, and strengthen anyone who wants to learn to grow in dependence on God, or–in other words–prayer.” SALLY LLOYD-JONES (Bestselling author of The Jesus Storybook Bible)

Being the servant that he is, Andrew Case has made the books available at a significant discount–as well as free pdf, kindle, or nook downloads. You can access them here: www.HisMagnificence.com.

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Biblical Manhood, Womanhood, & Parenting

Gospel-Centered Families: Biblical Manhood & Womanhood and Parenting Conference

Here are the audio files from a conference that Christ’s Covenant Church hosted with Dr. Bruce Ware (SBTS) and his wife Jodi.

1. “Biblical Roles of Men and Women in the Home and in Ministry”  (Audio)

2. “What Can We Learn About Marriage From the Trinity?” (Audio)

3. “God as Father: Model for Human Parenting” (Audio)

4. “Participatory Parenting: God Through Us Raising His/Our Children” (Audio)

5. “Men: Principles for Fathers Raising Their Children” (Audio)

6. “Women: Principles for Mothers in Raising Children” (Audio)

7. “Teaching Kids to Know and Love God by Knowing and Loving Theology” (Audio)

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“Wedding Dress” by Derek Webb

This has been one of the most convicting songs that I have ever heard… It deepens my love for Christ whenever I consider how sacrificially and faithfully He has loved His unfaithful, syphilitic bride!! May it help us to treasure our Beloved…

Wedding Dress by Derek Webb

If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I’ll ever need
Or is there more I’m looking for

And should I read between the lines
To look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich and wise
Is that really what you want

‘Cuz I am a whore, I do confess
Put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side

‘Cuz I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

‘Cuz I am a whore, I do confess
Put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle to you

Because money cannot buy
A husband’s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

So I am that whore, I do confess
Put you on just like that wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like that ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle to you, to you

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The Life of God in the Soul of Man

Here are a few choice excerpts from Henry Scougal regarding “the life of God in the soul of man.” Enjoy…

Running to Christ in Response to Seeing Our Sin

“That which makes any body esteem us, is their knowledge or apprehension of some little good, and their ignorance of a great deal of evil that may be in us; were they thoroughly acquainted with us, they would quickly change their opinion.  The thoughts that pass in our heart in the best and most serious day of our life, being exposed unto public view, would render us either hateful or ridiculous; and now, however we conceal our failings from one another; yet sure we are conscious of them ourselves, and some serious reflections upon them would much qualify and allay the vanity of our spirits.  Thus holy men have come really to think worse of themselves than any other person in the world: not but that they knew that gross and  scandalous vices are in their nature more heinous than the surprises of temptations and infirmity, but because they are much more intent on their own miscarriages, than on those of their neighbors, and did consider all the aggravations of the one, and everything that might be supposed to diminish and alleviate the other.” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 131-132.)

The Self-Denial of Christlike Love

“Perfect love is a kind of self-dereliction, a wandering out of ourselves; it is a kind of voluntary death, wherein the lover dies to himself, and all his own interests, not thinking of them, nor caring for them any more, and minding nothing but how he may please and gratify the party whom he loves: thus, he is quite undone, unless he meets with reciprocal affection; he neglects himself, and the other hath no regard to him; but if he be beloved, he is revived, as it were, and liveth in the soul and care of the person whom he loves; and now he begins to mind his own concerns, not so much because they are his, as because the beloved is pleased to own an interest in them: he becomes dear unto himself, because he is so unto the other.” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 76).

The Grace of Humility: Seeing Our Sin in Light of God’s Greatness

“But it is well observed by a pious writer, that the deepest and most pure humility doth not so much arise from the consideration of our own faults and defects, as from a calm and quiet contemplation of the divine purity and goodness.  Our spots never appear so clearly as when we place them before this infinite Light …” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 132).

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Covenantal Love: Sustaining Love in Marriage

Thoughts from John Piper, D.A. Carson, and Tim Keller on the covenant of marriage and how to sustain such love:

“What sustains the marital bond and affections over the long haul? Three men with a combined 116 years of marriage reflect on what they’ve learned from God’s Word and others along with their experience.

“Don Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper offer insight on falling in love again and again and the ground of covenant in which the flower of love grows. In marriage, man and woman change but their promise does not, sustained by the God who enacted his covenant between Christ and the church.”

HT: Justin Taylor

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Driscoll: Ministry, Marriage, & Mistakes

Ministry, Marriage, & Mistakes

A powerful message by Mark Driscoll to pastors and ministry leaders in how to better serve their wives and guard themselves. It has some incredibly convicting insights and encouragements toward gospel-reflecting marriage, ministry, and repentance. It was worth watching–even for an unmarried man and ministry novice learning to embrace a lifestyle of repentance and faith.

 

Leaders & Managers


 

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Piper: Love Her More and Love Her Less

Love Her More and Love Her Less

The God whom we have loved, and in
Whom we have lived, and who has been
Our Rock these twenty-two good years
With you, now bids us, with sweet tears,
To let you go: “A man shall leave
His father and his mother, cleave
Henceforth unto his wife, and be
One unashaméd flesh and free.”
This is the word of God today,
And we are happy to obey.
For God has given you a bride
Who answers every prayer we’ve cried
For over twenty years, our claim
For you, before we knew her name.

And now you ask that I should write
A poem – a risky thing, in light
Of what you know: that I am more
The preacher than the poet or
The artist. I am honored by
Your bravery, and I comply.
I do not grudge these sweet confines
Of rhyming pairs and metered lines.
They are old friends. They like it when
I bid them help me once again
To gather feelings into form
And keep them durable and warm.

And so we met in recent days,
And made the flood of love and praise
And counsel from a father’s heart
To flow within the banks of art.
Here is a portion of the stream,
My son: a sermon poem. It’s theme:
A double rule of love that shocks;
A doctrine in a paradox:

If you now aim your wife to bless,
Then love her more and love her less.

If in the coming years, by some
Strange providence of God, you come
To have the riches of this age,
And, painless, stride across the stage
Beside your wife, be sure in health
To love her, love her more than wealth.

And if your life is woven in
A hundred friendships, and you spin
A festal fabric out of all
Your sweet affections, great and small,
Be sure, no matter how it rends,
To love her, love her more than friends.

And if there comes a point when you
Are tired, and pity whispers, “Do
Yourself a favor. Come, be free;
Embrace the comforts here with me.”
Know this! Your wife surpasses these:
So love her, love her, more than ease.

And when your marriage bed is pure,
And there is not the slightest lure
Of lust for any but your wife,
And all is ecstasy in life,
A secret all of this protects:
Go love her, love her, more than sex.

And if your taste becomes refined,
And you are moved by what the mind
Of man can make, and dazzled by
His craft, remember that the “why”
Of all this work is in the heart;
So love her, love her more than art.

And if your own should someday be
The craft that critics all agree
Is worthy of a great esteem,
And sales exceed your wildest dream,
Beware the dangers of a name.
And love her, love her more than fame.

And if, to your surprise, not mine,
God calls you by some strange design
To risk your life for some great cause,
Let neither fear nor love give pause,
And when you face the gate of death,
Then love her, love her more than breath.

Yes, love her, love her, more than life;
O, love the woman called your wife.
Go love her as your earthly best.

Beyond this venture not. But, lest
Your love become a fool’s facade,
Be sure to love her less than God.

It is not wise or kind to call
An idol by sweet names, and fall,
As in humility, before
A likeness of your God. Adore
Above your best beloved on earth
The God alone who gives her worth.
And she will know in second place
That your great love is also grace,
And that your high affections now
Are flowing freely from a vow
Beneath these promises, first made
To you by God. Nor will they fade
For being rooted by the stream
Of Heaven’s Joy, which you esteem
And cherish more than breath and life,
That you may give it to your wife.

The greatest gift you give your wife
Is loving God above her life.
And thus I bid you now to bless:
Go love her more by loving less.

For Karsten Luke Piper At His Wedding to
Rochelle Ann Orvis May 29, 1995

HT: Desiring God

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.

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

 

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Expressing Gospel Love in Marriage

God’s love toward us is expressed in His grace that saves, sanctifies, and provides security to us. In part, marriage is an extension of God’s grace toward another sinner, an imperfect human being created in His image and hopefully, saved by His grace. Mark Driscoll, in his own rugged-style, preached a sermon on biblical manhood in reference to marriage and dating. Here’s a brief overview that’s worth reading: How to Honor Your Wife. This particular quote from Driscoll’s article stood out to me: “Gentlemen, it is a terrifying thing for a woman to trust a sinful man.”  What a reminder for the need of God’s grace in our relationships since everyone involved is a sinner. Paul David Tripp in his book What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage provides a similar, though not as raw, encouragement to live out the gospel in human relationships.  Here’s a helpful list that captures the essence of biblical love as expressed in the context of marriage: What is Biblical Love? These two “articles” are worth reading for any who are married, hope to be married, or simply desire to reflect God’s grace in their various relationships.

 

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What is Love?

A few days ago, Justin Taylor posted this section from Paul Tripp’s book on marriage.  Whether you’re married or not, it seems worth meditating upon.

From chapter 12 of Paul David Tripp’s What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010).

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.

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In Matters of the Heart

About two months ago I read a great book on relationships entitled, Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart.  It is written by John Ensor who has worked for decades to battle abortion, as well as to minister to single mothers and rape victims in a gospel-centered way.

Here’s my brief analysis of the book:

Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor

Doing Things Right provides a compelling case for male-female relationships that glorify God and serve the good of those involved.  Ensor paints an attractive picture of how the complementary roles of men and women are rooted in the gospel and bear the fruit of mutually-satisfying relationships.  This picture is contrasted with the self-centered, often heart-breaking, image that the world seductively sells.  His writing is sometimes “raw, frank, and frustrated,” but it is seasoned with sanctified salt.  His insight provides clarity and direction for those who are dating, pursuing marriage, or those who seek to prepare for that blessing.  The book gives guidance regarding male-female responsibilities from the beginning of a relationship–as it unfolds when a young man and woman find themselves attracted to one another—to the full blossom of that attraction as found in the covenant of marriage.  The gospel is clear and is presented as the necessary foundation for all relationships, especially those of a romantic nature.

The first part of the book describes biblical manhood and womanhood.  The second half of the book describes how men and women are to relate to one another in complementary ways.  Here are chapter titles from the second half of the book:

He Initiaties…She Responds

He Leads…She Guides

He Works…She Waits

He Protects…She Welcomes Protection

He Abstains to Protect…She, to Test

His Unmet Desire Drives Him toward Marriage…Hers Is Rewarded with Marriage

He Displays Integrity…She, Inner Beauty

He Loves by Sacrificing…She, by Submitting

He Seeks His Happiness in Hers…She Seeks Hers in His

He Is the Primary Provider for the Family…She, the Primary Nurturer

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Filed under Book Review, Love, Marriage, Purity & Integrity, Relationships, Tribbett

Purity, Marriage, and Relationships

The following articles have been well-worth the time spent reading them.  I hope that you’ll find them helpful.  Happy reading...

Maintaining Moral Purity in Ministry

This article provides some helpful guidelines in how men, especially those in roles of spiritual leadership, should conduct themselves in order to be blameless and above reproach in their interactions with women.  It’s not exhaustive of every situation and danger, but seems to focus on the need for discernment and caution when serving  others.

Girl’s Guide to Marrying Well

This feature article from Boundless webzine is both insightful and honest.  Whether or not you agree with it, it gives some helpful things for consideration.  It will serve you ladies well as you think about relationships and disciple other women to be wise and godly in their own.

Guy’s Guide to Marrying Well

This feature article from Boundless webzine is blunt and informative.  It will serve us men well in thinking through how we ought to approach relationships, and prepare ourselves for spiritual leadership in dating, marriage, and family life.

Women: Other Boundless articles…

Men: Other Boundless articles…

Blessings in Christ, Gabe

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