Marriage


Thoughts for Valentine’s Day

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

MAYJAY'S MEANDERINGS

MAYJAY’S MEANDERINGS

Many women have discovered to their dismay that there’s an awful lot of bad sex out there, says Margaret Wente, writing in The Globe and Mail.

They’ve been told to have a superpositive sex life — unconflicted, joyous, casual, and abundant. “They’ve been told they should be able to have as many partners and initiate sex just as often as men do.”

They’ve tried all that.

And, surprise, it hasn’t worked out very well! “Instead of feeling superpositive, they feel sexually dissatisfied, emotionally disconnected, and more than a little used.”

The trouble isn’t men or culture. The trouble is that these women bought into a lie. Rick Warren tells us, “Some things are hard wired in us by God; we know they are always right or always wrong, no matter what anybody else says. Our conscience tells us this.”

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21

“A women’s best strategy is to be selective.” Something in the soul longs for meaningful relationships. The key is to take time, lots of time (three dates are not enough), to know someone and be known by them. Treasure the relationships that allow you to truly “be yourself.”

A woman sharing intimacy with a man is the most special thing she can offer. Never give it casually. Always remember that you are special in the eyes of the Lord.

Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)


Warm Sweet Junes

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  (Proverbs 31:10)

Cougar Adult Groomin beautiful amazing

Cougar Adult Groomin beautiful amazing

I’m reading Secrets of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Rae Simons. One chapter tells a great story picture about marriage that I thought I’d share. It’s about gaining perspective over time. About how marriage is in part about the art of reconciliation. Being able to reconcile differences and trusting each other with our intentions and our shortcomings.

This woman is totally faithful to her husband. He can have confidence in her, because she will not let him down….

He does not maintain jealous guard over her or keep his valuables locked up so that she cannot access them. (Proverbs 31:11)

Your husband needs to be able to count on your ability to love him no matter what and even give him a pass if he’s a little more self-consumed or preoccupied one day.

And husbands, giving your wife the benefit of the doubt when she’s just not herself, and building up a trust where she knows it won’t be held against her is crucial. This trust in one another is the bridge between you.

It is the only way to keep walls from going up. Walls that could block the sun when seasons change…

The author says, “Like the seasons, married love has cycles. Sometimes our marriages may seem cold and dead as January, but if we wait, if we’re patient, spring always comes once more… It would be easier to run away the first time November’s chilly gray skies settle over our marriages. But just think of all the warm, sweet June’s we would miss if we did!”

The author talks about the greater perspective after going through these ups and downs… and back ups. The marriage ceremony doesn’t “cancel out our selfish nature”. Instead it’s a continued understanding that things will get hard now and then, but it’s the dedication to reconciling differences for a lifetime that gets you through.

Waaaarm sweeeet Juuuuunes. ☀️🍡

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog.

 

 


Faithfulness Matters Because it Matters to God

A faithful man will abound with blessings, (Proverbs 28:20)

It’s reported that quarterback and SEC commentator Tim Tebow broke off a relationship with Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe, whom he dated since October. So what, you say? Apparently, Ms. Culpo left Mr. Tebow because he refused to have premarital sex with her.

Unless you’ve lived under a log for the past 8 years you know that Mr. Tebow is an outspoken, committed Christian. Arguably better known for his steadfast faith than his accomplishments, including winning football’s Heisman Trophy as a college sophomore.

Here’s the thing. The news of the break-up comes from gossip columns. So, it’s hard to know what’s truth and what’s spin. But, if it’s true, then we are fortunate to have him as a role model for young Christian men in today’s hyper-secular society.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Mark Tapson, writing in Acculturated — Pop Culture Matters, concludes, “That’s no small thing in today’s world, particularly for a handsome young man in the sexually charged world of celebrity. Not only that, but it points to his strength of character and his trustworthiness to act according to principle in every other aspect of his life.”

The same day the breakup was reported, Tim posted this Tweet:

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever. (Psalm  118)


Defining Marriage from a Christian Perspective

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, (Romans 1:6)

Same-sex marriage has emerged, not because our definition of marriage has “evolved” or “expanded”. Rather, it’s because what it means to be “married” has degenerated.

“Most Americans feel our culture is coming apart at the seams,” says Rachel Lu, at the University of St. Thomas. “Marriage is part of this grim picture. Most everyone nowadays agrees it’s a good thing, but somehow it’s prohibitively difficult to do.”

Ryan Anderson, writing in the Federalist, laments, “Blindness to the truth about the human person has led to a crisis of family and sexuality.” For the Church, the latest intellectual and cultural challenge is not the nature of God or redemption. Rather, it’s about humanity and morality. Our challenge is to explain marriage, what humans are fundamentally, and how we are to relate to one another.

Pastor Tommy Bridges

Pastor Tommy Bridges

Listen here starting at 22:34 minutes as Pastor Tommy presents a clear definition of a biblical marriage and its importance in society today.

To understand God’s design for marriage, we have to realize that marriage is more than just an emotional or romantic attraction between two people. It’s a union between husband, wife, and Christ. When done correctly it’s a reflection of God’s love for the church.

Yes, there will be failures and defects on both sides. It is the nature of being human. But this does not alter the relationship.


Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Transformed by God’s Grace

This past year the members of Bent Creek Baptist Church came together to clearly define who we are and what we believe as group of Christians living in the world today.

If you’re searching for a church home in western North Carolina, we invite you to read our vision and values. If you find they mirror your beliefs about what you want in your spiritual life, please accept this invitation to join us on Sunday at 11 am when you will learn more, first hand.

Start your journey with Bent Creek Baptist Church here to learn about our vision and values, and here for a personal letter to you from our Senior Pastor, Tommy Bridges.

Thank you.


I Didn’t Want to Get Married

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

I did want to have kids; but I thought that not being married would prove that the man I had a child with was “choosing” to stay with me rather than being “forced” to stay because of a marriage certificate. Looking back, it seems strange.

Grant, Jason, Lisa, and Vince

When Jason and I were dating, now and then he talked about getting married. Why, I asked? Why not stay unmarried and have a life together?

Then he said something that hit me like a lightening bolt. “We should get married to have a family.”

In that moment, my faith in marriage — what it means, where it comes from, and what it represents — changed 180°. Today, a healthy, happy marriage and family are the most important things in my world.

One thing I remembered after our first child was born (because things were hard for a while), was that having a happy marriage is a choice, with deliberate actions and gestures.

The initial feelings you have right after falling in love don’t last. How could they? No one would get anything done!!!!! It’s all so distracting — hard to work, hard to study, hard to do anything other than think about that person. Then, reality sets in. You realize he’s not perfect… and neither are you. You have to choose to care for each other and live the life you’ve made. Actually, that’s awesome!

Maybe you’re thinking, “how sad if it’s not natural”. But that’s a fantasy. What’s natural is making the effort. Just like everything else in life, nothing comes easily, nor should it. Making an effort is what makes it special!

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Too many couples simply wait, hoping “the tingles” will return. When they don’t, their attitude and behavior turn negative, and they destroy what they most want — a happy marriage.

Fortunately, emotional love can be restored, but it doesn’t simply happen with the passage of time. It returns only when couples choose an attitude of love, and find meaningful ways to express it through their “love language”. “Loving actions stimulate loving feelings,” says Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, Happily Ever After: Six Secrets to a Successful Marriage.*

People feel love differently, but we usually show love the way we want others to show us love. My love language is “Time”. Jason’s is “Acts of Service”. I think “Presents/Gifts” is a close second. LOL. If I only find ways to spend time with Jason, he might not feel loved. The same is true for me — I don’t feel loved if he just buys gifts or fixes a leaky sink.

Luckily, Jason and I figured this out, and today things are better than ever. The tingles are there because of the deliberate choices we made in our marriage that turned into a natural way of living.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Hopefully we can all model this in our homes, so our children will learn that a fulfilling life and marriage take work, dedication, and a good attitude.

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28)

We should strive to be like Him. Humble in our marriage and choosing to show love, whether we are feeling loved or not. Eventually, with His help, things will change in our favor because we choose to love.http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World” blog.

 

*Bent Creek Baptist Church is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. By clicking the book cover shown above your purchase of this book on Amazon will earn BCBC a fee from Amazon.com. Thank you for your support.


Raising Our Boys to be Men

The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (Proverbs 15:4)

“Oak trees don’t happen over night. Growing in grace and wisdom and stature isn’t an immediate download — it happens the way a tree grows up: over decades,” writes Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.*

Keep that visual of oak trees. Our husbands can be oak trees… when we let them. Our sons will grow into strong, sturdy, yet graceful oak trees… hopefully. The two are connected, and we (as girlfriends first, then wives and mothers) hold the key.

Yet, we swim against the tide. Today’s culture chops men down — telling them they’re neither strong, nor mighty, not even needed. Piling on, we get frustrated because we don’t have patience for them to get messy or time to try again. Why can’t they be better, learn faster, or just know?

It’s sad to watch our men (read husbands and sons) caught in this tug of war — confused and not knowing what they have to offer. If we’re raising boys to be men shouldn’t we make them proud of their natural abilities, delight in them, encourage them, and give them time to discover?

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; (2 Corinthians 4:8)

The secret to raising boys is to show (not just teach) what it means to be a man. In their blog, Adena and Amy tell us, “In a world that constantly says men and women need to be equal, we often feel that means that as women, we need to act like men… Not so. Being a woman, which in and of itself is powerful and noble and awesome, inspires men — all the best parts of being a man: being protective; hard-working; a pillar of support; a provider who takes pride in his ability to care for his family; an example of strength, morality, right and wrong, ethics and proper behavior. These are the noble parts of being a man. If we supplant that role, deny it to our spouses, they are left as mere placeholders in the family structure.” It’s not the best example for our sons to emulate.

Let’s step back from our need to “do”. Many times each day we’re faced with the option to let him (sons and husbands) fill the shoes that are waiting for him. We are empowered to carefully select the time to accept and respect versus criticize. We have the power to choose to embrace his differences instead of rejecting and supplanting them. We have the responsibility to nourish, prune, and ultimately to love.

He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts. (Psalm 1:3)

As we model this in our homes our children will grow up less confused. They’ll actually grow into strong oak trees, or a beautiful and equally needed wild flower. BONUS! http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at Families! Change the World blog.

*Bent Creek Baptist Church is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. By clicking the book cover shown above your purchase of this book on Amazon will earn BCBC a fee from Amazon.com. Thank you for your support.


The Secret to Marriage That Every Couple Seeks

Like apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time. (Proverbs 25:11)

51eanPAh9kL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Psychological studies affirm what the Bible has told us for ages. Effective communication between a husband and wife involves understanding that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:33)

It’s the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, but few find.

Bent Creek Baptist Church supports healthy marriages, and the BCBC Marriage Tune-Up helps couples develop an action plan to strengthen their marriage.

As part of the Marriage Tune-Up session, you’ll receive a free copy of the book Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs. In it, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs addresses the number one problem in marriages — different communication styles between a husband and wife.

Contact Pastor Tommy today to schedule your one-hour appointment with one of our pastors. Call 828-667-9818 or email Tommy@bentcreekbaptist.org.

 

Tommy Bridges, Senior Pastor

Tommy Bridges, Senior Pastor