Golf MIGHT Help Your Marriage

Pixaby

Pixaby

by David Lemmons

Once a month I get a free digital book on the basis of owning Logos Bible Software and being aware of the free offer. Sometimes they are of such little value to me that I don’t bother downloading them. This month, the free book is about communication in marriage. In this new book I read an interesting illustration which stresses the importance of good communication in marriage. The book is witten by Jay and Laura Laffoon, entitled: He Said. She Said: Eight Powerful Phrases that Will Strengthen Your Marriage. We will get to the illustration shortly. Unfortunately neither writer has yet discovered New Testament Christianity. For that reason, I could not give an unqualified endorsement of the book, but their golf illustration is worthy of remembering.

Before we consider the illustration, let’s be assured that the Bible has much to say about the great POWER of words!

If there is one chapter in Scripture that most could connect in their own minds to the proper use of words, that come from our “tongues,” it would likely be James 3. Consider James 3:5-6  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  (6)  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

In the Old Testament we have the especially practical and helpful section of Wisdom Literature. How much we can learn from these inspired proverbs and psalms that can bless our lives! Greatly stressed in this most helpful section of our Bibles is the value of proper communication.

Proverbs 18:21…  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Sutcliffe comments thus on this verse: “A good conversation is as ointment poured forth; while, on the contrary, sins in the heart lie concealed, but the tongue discloses them, and sets the world on fire; yea the fire of hell. The life of the body and the life of the soul lie therefore in the power of the tongue; and a man shall eat the fruit of it, whether it be bitter or sweet.” In the most undeniably critical use of words, the spread of the gospel, surely the wise man’s words in this verse ought to be cause for great rejoicing and intense effort. We have a saving message which must be communicated with words. Likewise, in the most critical human relationship (marriage), there are vitally serious consequences/blessings for the words used or not used.

Proverbs 13:3  He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction. One of the classic commentaries on Proverbs is written by Charles Bridges. On page 182 of his book, he writes of this proverb: “Keep thine heart (Proverbs 4.23). This guards the citadel. Keep thy mouth. This sets a watch at the gates. If they be well guarded, the city is safe. Leave them unprotected—Thus was Babylon taken.” Even such a mighty city as Babylon needed protecting walls with gates that were kept. The words that sometimes rush out UNKEPT lead to similar destruction in homes and marriages.

Psalms 139:4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. The omniscience of God needs to be understood and appreciated by every soul. What if more husbands and wives would memorize this text, let it impact their lives, and respect its true meaning? I am totally convinced there would be fewer problems that inevitably come from poor communication in the home.

Now for the illustration. How might golf help your marriage? It seems that Jay Laffoon was talking with the golf pro at the course he uses about a fellow golf enthusiast. Jay was complimenting his friend, Scott Davis, regarding the size of the divots he produces. Evidently this is evidence of properly coming down on the golf ball. When a large clump of sod goes flying, you have struck the ball well.

The golf pro, Billy Watchtorn, began to talk about the crucial importance of replacing the divot immediately. If it is properly replaced, and done quickly, the ground will “heal” in as little as 24 hours. However, if one waits an hour to replace it, it can take up to a week for the ground to get back like it was. If a day passes before attempt is made to put it back into the ground, it becomes impossible for the root system to reattach.

Can you make your own application to the use of words spoken to your husband/wife? How many WORD “divots” do you allow to pass the point of being able to be restored? Let’s appreciate the words of Ephesians 4.26!

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Adultery

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

by Wade Webster

Through the great lawgiver Moses, God instructed the children of Israel not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18).  Although the law of Moses is not in effect today (Colossians 2:14; Ephesians 2:15), adultery remains wrong.  Today, adultery is wrong because it is condemned under the law of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 13:4).  As we study our Bibles, we find three basic types of adultery which are forbidden by God.

Physical Adultery

Generally, when we think of adultery, we think of physical adultery.  Adultery is spoken of in this way in the Bible.  For example, the Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who had been taken “in the very act” of adultery (John 8:4).  In like manner, Moses wrote, “If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, [both] the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel” (Deuteronomy 22:22; cf., Leviticus 20:10).  Don’t you think that those who lived under that law seriously considered the consequences of adultery?  Yet, men and women today act as if there are no consequences to adultery.  They commit adultery every day without giving a second thought to its consequences.  Although it is true that adultery is no longer punished by stoning, it still carries serious consequences.  In addition to the harm that it brings to individuals, families, and congregations, it destroys the souls of men.  Solomon wrote, “[But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32).  Ultimately, adultery will rob a person of a home in heaven.  Paul wrote, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).  I sincerely believe that when men and women today consider the consequences of adultery, they will flee as Joseph did (Genesis 39:10-12).

Mental Adultery

Jesus pointed out that not only is the act of physical adultery wrong, mental adultery is also worng.  He said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).  In like manner, Peter spoke of those who had “eyes full of adultery” (2 Peter 2:14).  As Christians, we must carefully guard what we see.  The children’s song, “Be careful little eyes what you see,” is certainly fitting for those of all ages today.  We are living in a world which lends itself to mental adultery.  Adultery is the subject of songs, sitcoms, and movies.  Through these avenues, the devil is trying to plant the seeds of adultery in our minds.  If we are not careful, these seeds will find fertile soil.  The devil knows that if he can get us to think immorally, he can get us to live immorally (Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 15:18-19).  Sadly, you cannot go anywhere today without seeing those who are provoking lust by their manner of dress or undress.  One does not have to be on the rooftop today to see bathing beauties (2 Samuel 11:1-4).  They can be seen at the grocery store, restaurant, or mall.  For this reason, we must always be on guard against adultery.  We must keep impure and unholy thoughts out of our minds.  We must strive to think only on good things (Philippians 4:8).

Spiritual Adultery

Men cannot only commit physical adultery and mental adultery, they can also commit spiritual adultery.  In fact, those who commit physical adultery or mental adultery have already committed spiritual adultery.  Spiritual adultery occurs whenever men disobey God for the world.  The inspired writer James referred to those who were in love with the world as adulterers and adulteresses.  We read, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).  The same analogy is used by the writers of the Old Testament.  In the Old Testament, God is pictured as the husband of Israel and Judah (Jeremiah 3:14, 20).  Time and time again in the Old Testament, God referred to Israel and Judah as having committed adultery against Him (Jeremiah 3:1, 8-9).  How many today are living in spiritual adultery?  We must never forget that as Christians, we are married to Christ (Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:32).

In a world of adultery, we must strive to maintain purity of mind, body, and soul (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 4:12; 5:2; 2 Timothy 2:22; Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 3:9; 5:22; 2 Peter 3:1).  We must strive to keep ourselves unspotted from this world (James 1:27).  We must make sure that we do not allow this world to lead us to physical, mental, or spiritual adultery.

Marry a Christian


Number 0009

WILL YOU MARRY A CHRISTIAN?

by Roger D. Campbell


If you are not married, but you hope to be married someday in the
future, do you plan to marry a Christian? Christians have the right to
be married, for it is written, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not
sinned” (1 Cor7:28). But, it is not true that marriage is only for
Christians. Thousand of years before Jesus came to earth, Adam and Eve
were married, and thus became one flesh (Mat 19:4,5), but they
certainly were not Christians. Furthermore, it is possible for a
Christian to be married to one who is outside of Christ, and God
recognizes them as husband and wife (1 Peter 3:1). So, what advice
shall we give to our brothers and sisters (both young and not so young)
who hope to get married some day? Should they marry a Christian, that
is, one who is a member of the Lord’s church? Without any hesitation,
our answer is YES! By all means, marry a Christian!

After Jehovah brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, at
Mt. Sinai He declared unto them, “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of
priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). God wanted His people to be
holy as He was holy (Leviticus 11:44). One specific command that He
gave to His holy nation pertained to whether or not the Israelites
should marry the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, who were Gentiles.
God told the children of Israel, “Neither shalt thou make marriages
with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his
daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son
from following me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of
the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly”
(Deuteronomy 7:3,4). We see that God forbid His children from marrying
the Canaanites, and the reason was plainly stated: God did not want
the Gentiles to influence His children to forsake Him to follow false
gods.

Can you think of an Israelite king who disobeyed God’s command not
to marry a foreign wife? If you were thinking that the answer is
Solomon, then you are right. Of him it is written, “But king Solomon
loved many strange women . …women of the Moabites, Ammonites,
Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittities . . . Solomon clave unto these in
love. . . For it came to pass when Solomon was old, that his wives
turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect
with the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11: 1,2,4). Make no mistake, Solomon
was responsible for his own mistakes. But the text plainly shows that
his wives turned his heart away from Jehovah to false deities. About
five hundred years later when Nehemiah saw that the Jews of his days
were involved in mixed marriages with foreigners, he reminded them of
Solomon’s tragic mistake, severely rebuking them by saying, “Ye shall
not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto
your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by
these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who
was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel;
nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then
hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our
God in marrying strange wives” (Nehemiah 13:25-27)? Solomon sinned
when he married those foreign wives, and as a result of their
influence, he began to serve idols! We recognize that Christians are
not under the law of Moses, but we also understand this truth: “For
whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning”
(Rom 15:4), so there are some powerful lessons that we can learn from
the Old Testament. Solomon probably thought those wives would never
influence him to depart from the true and living God, but they did!
From Solomon’s mistakes, do we not see that it is a very dangerous
affair to marry someone who is not a child of God?

Every Christian must be very careful about his associations with
others, as God warns us, “Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt
good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Surely all of us need to be
extremely careful about the marriage relationships into which we enter,
for the decision that we make about whom we marry may effect the
eternal salvation of our souls and the souls of our children! Please
consider this: the Lord Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against
me” (Matthew 12:30), so one who is not a Christian is, in reality, a
child of the devil (Acts 13:10). Do you realize what that means for you
if you marry a child of Satan? It means that the spiritual father of
your spouse, your father-in-law, will be the devil himself! Like it or
not, that means you will always have the potential for serious
spiritual problems.

It is a risk, a very high risk, for a Christian to marry someone
who is not in Christ. Yes, it is possible that you might eventually
influence your mate to become a Christian, but the chances are much
greater that your mate will influence you to become lukewarm in your
service to Christ or to leave the Lord completely. Brothers and
sisters, please believe me. I do not say that because I doubt your
faith, but rather I say that because in history a very high percentage
of members of the church who married a non-Christian, in the end
ompromised their faith and became unfaithful. We do not desire to
conceal that fact from you, because we do not want to see you make the
same tragic mistake that many others have.

We know that before a Christian marries a non-Christian, when they
are still just dating the non-Christian often promises that it will not
be a problem in their marriage if the Christian wants to continue to
attend services and live a faithful Christian life. Probably the
Christian thinks that is true, and deceives himself into thinking that,
yes, all will be fine in his marriage to one who serves Satan. Stop!
Please take time to seriously think about the following problems that
you will face. If you marry one who is not a member of the church, you
will still want to keep coming to every Bible class and every worship
service of the church, just like before marriage. However, your spouse
will not like that. He or she will probably be jealous of the Lord and
the church, because he will consider both the Lord and His church as
competition. Suppose your mate’s mother’s birthday is on Sunday, and a
birthday meal is planned at your mate’s house at the same time the
church is assembling to worship God, and you tell your husband that you
will be going to services first, then later to the meal. He will not
like it one bit, and you will have a serious conflict. And what about
your kids? You will certainly want to bring them to every service and
Bible class of the church, so that you can raise them up in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Do you think your mate will
like that? Probably not, and more serious conflicts will be coming.
When you tell your non-Christian mate that you are going to give as
much of your money as you can to the Lord each first day of the week (1
Cor 16:2), how do you think your non-Christian mate will like that? Not
much! When you want to spend as much time with other Christians in
order to enjoy their wonderful fellowship, your mate will probably be
against it, as he or she would rather be with his or her own worldly
friends, doing the things that worldly people do. Sisters, how is your
non-Christian husband going to like it when he smokes and drinks, but
you tell your kids that you will beat them severely if you ever see
them smoking or drinking? Conflicts, and more conflicts! How will you
and your husband spend your time and money? Will you raise your kids to
know and serve Christ? With which friends will you spend time,
Christians or non-Christians? Don’t deceive yourself, you and your
non-Christian mate will never have the same answer for these questions.
You might think that you will be strong and will never compromise, but
the sad reality is that most Christians married to those out of Christ
do, in fact, compromise, and their souls are in great danger!

Before you make a decision to get married, please ask yourself
another question: If I marry this person, will he help me go to heaven,
or will he hinder me? Will he help me train my kids to know the Bible
and faithfully serve Jesus Christ, or will he hinder me in this effort?
Believe me, if you marry a child of the devil, their will be no
spiritual help from them, only hindrances to you and your children
going to heaven. We do not say these things because we hate those who
are out of Christ, for we love them. We say all these things because
they are true, a reality that many Christians have found out only when
it is too late. Marry a faithful child of God!

We are sure that some will say, “Brother Roger, you have still not
shown one Bible verse in which it plainly says that a Christian sins if
he marries one who is not in Christ.” I agree. But together we have
seen some important Bible principles. Do you truly seek first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness in your life (Matthew 6:33)? If
so, how could you even consider marrying one who is not in the kingdom
of Christ? If you marry a Christian, does that guarantee that you will
have a happy, successful marriage? Not at all. So, make sure that you
marry only one who is a FAITHFUL member of Christ’s church. That will
be your greatest chance for having a happy marriage in this life, and
having a marriage in which you and your mate can exhort one another to
be faithful to the Lord so that you can spend eternity together in
heaven in the next life. If you get married, will you marry a
Christian? We hope so.

26 JUNE 1998
CHURCH OF CHRIST, P.O. BOX 828, KIEV 252067, UKRAINE

Husband Not a Christian?



Number 529

______________________________________________
My Source: THE FAMILY FRIEND, Vol 3, #6, 6/01
Calvert City church of Christ
Author: Jim O’Connor
File Under: Marriage
=========================================

MY HUSBAND ISN’T A CHRISTIAN

by Jim O’Connor

Many wonderful ladies find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having a husband who isn’t a Christian. It’s a sad situation which causes, in many cases, great anguish of heart and presents a
tremendous challenge to the Christian’s faith. However, it is not an impossible situation for the one who has the desire to cope with it and the faith to do so. Perhaps the following suggestions will be
helpful.

  • 1… DON’T GIVE UP! It was just to such a situation as this that
    Paul wrote, “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy
    husband?” (1 Cor 7:16). Paul didn’t recommend giving up and
    neither do I. Surrender to his unfaithfulness is not the
    answer. It will do nothing but drag you into his lost state and
    erect barriers which might well be the doom of both of you.
  • 2… BE A CHRISTIAN WIFE. Learn what the Bible teaches in 1 Peter
    3:1-4 and Titus 2:4,5 and then make a conscious, determined effort to
    practice it. What he needs more than anything else at this time
    is the gospel according to you.
  • 3… BE AN ACTIVE PART OF THE CHURCH. Many husbands are
    unreachable because the wife demonstrates in her life that the church
    is unimportant.
  • 4… SPEAK WELL OF THE CHURCH. Criticism of the church will have
    a negative effect. Emphasis on the bad side will blind him to the
    good side and the divine side. Any congregation has a good
    side. Look for it and talk it up!
  • 5… KEEP APPROPRIATE LITERATURE IN CONVENIENT PLACES IN THE
    HOME
    . Many husbands have been brought to the Lord by this method.
  • 6… PRAY REGULARLY FOR HIM. The Lord’s counsel in Luke 18:1 is
    important. Let him know that he is on your prayer list.
    Just knowing that someone is praying for you has a tremendous effect.

These few suggestions will not guarantee the conversion of your husband, but the chances are good that they won’t do you any harm. Give them a try.

Dating

SOURCE:  Good News for YOUth, June-July 1999

Why Date a Christian?

by Paul Meacham, III

“And the Lord God said, it is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18).  Throughout the creation account God said, “It is good,” until He came to Adam’s being alone.  It was at this time that He made Eve to be “an help meet (suitable) unto him” (Gen 2:18).

When God chose a mate for man, He chose one who would be a helper.  When we begin the process of finding a mate, dating, we should be just as interested in finding one who will help us go to heaven.  Therefore, we should date Christians.

When dating, many young people do not think seriously about marriage.  Many view dating as a chance to have fun and nothing more.  After dating a non-Christian, they marry a non-Christian and find themselves in a difficult situation.  Some do not take dating seriously because they believe they have the power to get out of any situation no matter how difficult the situation becomes.  The truth is, the worse the situation becomes the harder it is to get out of.

We have a warning given in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived evil companionships corrupt good morals.”  You are probably thinking, “No way!  My companions are not evil!”  Ask yourself these questions:
        Are they helping you attain your goal, heaven?

        If not, are they actively hindering you?  They are doing
             one or the other.

        If the people you date use bad language, drink, smoke
             take drugs in any form, frequent places you know a
             Christian cannot go, or try to get you to do anything
             you should not do, then why do you date them?

        Is that person’s company worth risking your soul?

As young people, our companions often influence us.  Sometimes we are pressured into doing things we would not do otherwise.  This is especially true of those we date.  They tend to exert a great influence over us, both on and off a date.  If we date non-Christians, then the influence will not be an influence for good.  Additionally, if our date is not a Christian, then his or her associates will probably have a poor influence on us as well.

It is human nature to want to be accepted as part of a group.  We gain acceptance by doing what the group is doing.  However, Exodus 23:2 warns us, we are not to do something just because “the group” is doing it.  We must go to the Bible, the standard of right and wrong, to determine whether or not the activity of the group is acceptable to almighty God.  If the activity is not acceptable, then we should not associate with those  who do (Eph 5:11; 1 Thes 5:22).  The right choice is made harder when our date is part of the group encouraging us to do wrong.  If the person we choose to date is a faithful, active, member of the Lord’s body, the strain on us to do something wrong is greatly lessened.

In the fight to remain spiritually pure, we need our closest friends to be those who will help us remain faithful to the pattern set forth by God.

The church is losing her young at an alarming rate.  One of the reasons is because they are dating those who are not members of the church.  In 1 Kings 11:8, we find Solomon burning incense to the gods of his strange (those not Israelites) wives.  Verse 9 shows us that because Solomon’s heart was turned, God was angry.  The man who built the temple of God, was turned away from God by his wives.  You might say, “I am not married, and I have no plan to be any time soon.”  When is the last time you heard of two people getting married without first dating?  If you date those who are not Christians, then you are flirting with danger, the greatest danger of all (Mk 8:36; Lk 9:25).

In conclusion, we will deal with an objection given by those who would date non-Christians.  They always say, “I can change them.”  For those of you who have converted your date, my hat is off to you.  You gave the proper example on and off your dates and in so doing, showed your date the way to salvation.  However, the truth is, if one person is changed it is usually the member of the body of Christ.  As we noted in the previous paragraph, we cannot play with fire.  If nothing else, we should date Christians because we like to be in the company of those of like precious faith.

No person is worth losing your soul over.  Therefore, the relationships we have should not tax our spiritual welfare; rather they should be encouraging and edifying.  If you are currently dating those who are not members of the church, then please carefully consider the danger.  Another could be much better suited to help you in your spiritual growth.

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MDR in Ezra

Lessons on Divorce and Remarriage from the Book of Ezra

I have just read an interesting article written by Jon Macon. I received it by Email and have uploaded it to my website. I think you would benefit from a study of this 6-page discussion. It develops three lessons that have application to Christ’s teaching on the subject of Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the New Testament. You may read it or download the file by clicking H-E-R-E.

–David Lemmons

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the LemmonsAid feed by pasting the following into your feed reader: LemmonsAid You say you don’t have a feed reader? Step into the 21st Century by getting a good one for FREE at: http://newsgator.com You can learn all about RSS feeds by clicking H-E-R-E THANKS!

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Matthew 19:10-12


Planting a Red Flag

by Travis L. Quertermous

A red flag is a warning signal.  Thus, “to plant a red flag” has become a figure of speech meaning to give a warning.  In this article, I would like to “plant a red flag” in all our minds on the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

I realize that this is one of the most controversial topics in our brotherhood today.  More’s the pity since, in my judgment, the Bible is remarkably clear on its teachings on this point.  The key text in the New Testament on this subject, of course, is Matthew 19:3-12.  Space forbids us even to quote the passage in its entirety, but you are encouraged to re-read it along with this article.

There are at least six major (and many minor) false doctrines in the church today on the subject of divorce and remarriage.  One thing they all have in common is their desire to justify those in adulterous “marriages.”  It is not necessary to refute each one specifically nor is that our goal (For those who are interested, we would recommend the July 1997 issue of The Spiritual Sword on that subject).

In my judgment, one mistake too many brethren make when studying Matthew 19 is that they stop with verse nine. Here Jesus said, “But I say to you whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

Now how did Jesus intend for this teaching to be understood?  Was it a loose teaching that permitted divorce for just any cause or was it a strict teaching meant to restrict divorce and remarriage?  The reaction of the disciples in verses 10-12 shows that it was a strict teaching and Jesus agreed with them.

Now here is where I want to plant a red flag in all our minds.  While we may not be familiar with every false doctrine taught on this subject, we can know that anytime we hear anyone teaching a theory of divorce and remarriage which makes it easier for people to do so, they are teaching error!  Forewarned is forearmed, brethren–let us not be fooled by the devil and his agents!

SOURCE:  The Reminder, of the Dexter church of Christ, Dexter, MO.  Date: July 29, 2007

–Good suggestion, in my opinion, David Lemmons.
 

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