Archive for the ‘ Marriage ’ Category

VerseD: Proverbs 18:22

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 18:22, ESV

God is not saying to find the first person to marry.

Favor and blessings are only promised to those who seek His righteousness, and a good spouse is godly and willing to serve the other (both spouses!)

One of My Reformation Days

Many today are commenting on Martin Luther, the other Reformers, the Reformation in general, or something along those lines.

Those are very important, and I will undoubtedly share something in the future.

Today, however, instead of focusing on the 95 Theses of Luther, I will do my wife a favor.

You see, we met ten years ago on this day. And what she did not know that day ten years ago was that I had a list of things God and I worked out to find my future wife. (She learned of the list just a few weeks later, but she has not seen/heard the entire list … until today!)

The incredibly shortened, Readers-Digest-version of the story is this:

On the Ides of March of 2007, I ended a previous engagement. I had come to realize that we were not as compatible with each other as we could be, and there were many factors in play in that decision, including a deviation from biblical standards of relationships, if you dig.My Reformation Day/Halloween Costume 2017, Beatnik Daniel

A mere two weeks after that, I was ready to simply swear off marriage to “be as I am,” according to Paul (1 Corinthians 7:7). Instead, I was led to create a list of attributes to confirm a particular woman was my wife.

Then, ten years ago today, my life was reformed when I met my wife.

Interestingly, we half-met when I was having a civil debate with an unorthodox Jew about the anti-Semitic writings of Martin Luther … and then fully met on the way to a Campus Crusade for Christ costume party, at which we shared her costume. (Hence our dressing up in matching costumes each year.)

Anyway, without further ado, here are my 17 Theses of my Relational Reformation (first the more fleshly, then the more godly, but I will leave much of the fulfillment of these between the two of us for now!):

  1. I should find her attractive.
  2. We should have a similar sense of humor.
  3. We will be fascinated by the mundane and the spectacular.
  4. We will be able to have intelligent conversations.
  5. We will be able to be silly with each other.
  6. She will seek clarity in all things. (Friends call us both “clarifiers.”)
  7. She will be willing to think and change.
  8. She will have dramatic changes in her life so that we can be together. (When we met, she was attending the Mormon church and was dating someone else.)
  9. She will have a passion for God.
  10. She will love kids. (She is a wonderful Kindergarten teacher, now! She demonstrated that passion when we met.)
  11. She will be passionate about people.
  12. She will challenge me to go deeper with God.
  13. She will be willing to serve anyone, any time.
  14. She will desire that others know God’s love.
  15. She will be tender toward the needy.
  16. She will feel the need for forgiveness.
  17. She will forgive me.

It literally took 17 days for her to fulfill everything on this list. Not one every day, as we did not see each other every single day, but on November 16, she only had (from my perspective) two more to meet … the last two … and that morning she met them.

It has been a great 10 years! Not always easy. Not always the best. But God brought us together and has brought us through thus far.

Now, I only pray our relationship with each other continues to bless and inspire others to seek God and godly relationships.

May His purity, light, and mercy continue to shine through us!*

(*sidenote: this sentence is a pun on her full name!)

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 04/12/2015

Find that woman Wisdom (for example, Proverbs 8) through the thoughts at Proverbial Thought!

There are two ways of looking at things (for my purposes today, at least): literally and allegorically. This is done with the Bible regularly ( in both good and correct ways and bad and incorrect ways). The Bible itself does this, as many verses in the New Testament make the allegorical connection to Jesus with Old Testament verses.

Likewise, the poem today has a double viewing in mind.

The literal view is based on the relationship I have with my wife. The message I would point to for others to take is that your significant other, specifically your spouse, should constantly point you back to God in the name of Jesus and through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The allegorical view is based on how God relates to us through His Church.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:22-27, ESV

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Revelation 21:1-3

Love your husband or wife. Love the Bride of Christ. In so doing, you will see and share the love of Christ.

The woman in my life …

… makes me happy and brings me joy.

She leads me to the Father and pushes me to praise my Lord.

The woman in my life is my gift from Jesus Christ.

She mixes me up inside and also makes me smile.

The woman in my life …

… brings the love of God and shows me there is still good.

She brings me to a place of love and guides me to my God above.

This woman is a woman meant for a godly man.

 

If I am considered godly …

… then I must do more to honor our sovereign Lord.

I must seek His Heart and keep doing so in my heart.

If I am considered godly, it is because He made me.

I will keep my God first and give Him all He deserves.

If I am considered godly …

… then I must try the hardest to remember Jesus,

because I cannot forfeit what my Lord has sent.

 

The woman in my life …

¬†¬† … helps me be godly.

¬†¬†¬†¬† If I am considered godly …

¬†¬† … it is because of a godly woman in my life.

An #OldFashionedMovie Review

It may be old fashioned, but God’s wisdom is always the best. Get some at Proverbial Thought!

This past weekend was St. Valentines’ Day. A couple movies were released just in time: 50 Shades of Grey, and what I call the Anti-50-Shades-of-Grey, Old Fashioned. I saw one of these. I saw it twice, actually: once as a triple date and once with our youth group.

Obviously I am talking about 50 Shades … no … wait …

Old Fashioned poster

Just Old Fashioned, I guess …

In the movie, Clay Walsh (played by writer/director/producer¬†Rik Swartzwelder)¬†owns the antique shop “Old Fashioned Antiques” that has an apartment upstairs. Clay used to be the epitome of the college partying frat boy, including having a successful “Girls Gone Wild” type of business. Then his life changed, and he became known more¬†as a legalistic Christian who has rules and theories about life and love, including not being in a room alone with a woman who is not his wife (within reason, of course).

Enter Amber Hewson (played by Elizabeth Roberts), a bit of a free spirit who stays in a town until she fills her jar with enough money to fill her car with enough gas to get away. She then drives until she runs out of gas, and where that happens she stays. You probably guessed, she runs out in Clay’s town and rents his apartment. To pay for it, she gets a job at the local florist.

She makes friends with her coworkers, one a disillusioned three-times divorcee, the other a young fun-living woman. His best friends are two of his old frat brothers who stuck with him, one who lives with his longtime girlfriend and their daughter, and the other a womanizing, chauvinistic¬†DJ. In other words, their friends do not share Clay’s views on traditional marriage and love.

Needless to say, she helps him to loosen up a little (while respecting his beliefs and values) while he shows her that chivalry is not dead. And they fall in love.

The Anti-50-Shades-of-Grey

My wife and me doing what we do ...

My wife and me doing what we do …

One reason I love this film: It is as if the makers looked at how my wife and I started out and made a “based on a true story” adaptation. (Remember, you only need 7% of the story to be “based on” a story.)

Now for the actual review:

Many people tend to think, “Oh. A Christian film. That means cheesy acting and an in-your-face¬†“believe this right now!” gospel presentation.” In the first 15 minutes, there are a few (maybe three or four) “that could have been acted better” moments, but not cheesy. If I had to complain, it would be that the gospel could have been clearer.

I do not see that as a real problem, though. It simply leaves the door open for Christians to do their job as Christ followers. This movie can just make that job easier.

Some dangerous things:

I have no issue with dangerous. Christ warned us of dangers (John 16:33), and He, Peter, and Paul (as well as several others) demonstrated how conversations and standing up for what is right and godly can be dangerous. (I mean, come on, The Parable of the Good Samaritan? So many Jews would have killed Him for that alone!)

  • Amber is not necessarily a Christian
  • Clay has not attended church for a while (due to the “hypocrisy show”)
  • There are several scenes of alcoholic drinking
  • It deals with issues of “frat boy carousing,” one night stands, divorce, and non-believing friends

For the record: I would not change a thing! (It is PG-13, and I agree with that!)

Some of the goodness (even though I have seen it twice, I might miss a bit):

  • Out of dirty backstory comes something many can relate to: real life. As I said above, I like the movie because of how closely it hits home (both with my past and how my wife and I met and began our relationship).
  • It has many natural conversations (as in, they do not feel scripted). As the gospel is presented, it is done¬†in bits and pieces over the course of the film, much like happens so often in real life.
  • As the story progresses, we see how choices¬†affect others, both in good and bad ways. There are times that both of their pasts come back to haunt them.¬†There are times when . . . morals and chivalry¬† the minds of others.
  • The need for a savior is made evident.
  • The Christians are not perfect! In fact, the Christian lead overcomes some of his own shortcomings.
  • God’s “mysterious ways” are shown¬†through many characters (especially his great aunt Zella!)

Old Fashioned puts grace, mercy, and biblical love on full display. Two of my (many) favorite quotes are:

  1. “There is no goodness … without mercy.”
  2. “When did treating women with respect become the joke?” (or as my wife re-phrased it, “When did treating [anyone, men or women] with respect become the joke?”)
This is a great movie, and everyone should see this. My suggestion: only mature junior highers and older should watch this movie. It is rated PG-13, after all.

Marriage Submission: My First Wedding Ceremony Message

Do not forget to find wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

This past weekend I performed my first wedding, and it was for my wonderful sister-in-law and her new husband!

Because I know tiredness and exhaustion is big after a wedding, especially when the ceremony and reception last eight hours plus all of the prep-time before and clean-up after, to save myself some time this week I am posting the message from that wedding!

Now all of you beautiful readers get to feel like you were there! (It really did end up being a wonderful ceremony!)

I hope you enjoy:Marrying my in-laws

JP2 ‚Äď The Wedding

Ephesians 5:21-33 tells every married couple:

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25¬†Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26¬†to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27¬†and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28¬†In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29¬†After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church‚ÄĒ 30¬†for we are members of his body. 31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.‚ÄĚ 32¬†This is a profound mystery‚ÄĒbut I am talking about Christ and the church. 33¬†However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

To submit to each other means to live life together.

The greatest examples of living life together can be taken from Jesus and His disciples.

John 2

In John chapter two, we read of Jesus’ first miracle: turning water into wine. This is also the time Jesus first went with His disciples somewhere, and it was a wedding! Working together with each other and those around them made life more enjoyable.

As you start your marriage, learn from Jesus and His disciples: start by having some fun. This is why we are all here! Take this as a reminder to have fun with each other throughout your marriage. It is also a reminder to have fun with your loved ones, your family and friends.

Matthew 14

Speaking of reasons to celebrate, Matthew chapter fourteen shares the story of Jesus and His disciples feeding dinner to about 5,000 men plus women and children with five loaves of bread and two fish. That would be cause for celebration! (Perhaps another reason we are all here: to be fed!)

Instead, as soon as everyone was done eating, Jesus sent His disciples across a choppy lake in the only available boat while he went off to pray. Before the sun came up, Jesus walked out across the surface of the lake ‚Äď with waves and all ‚Äď to the boat.

The disciples were scared at first, but Peter yelled out to Jesus. Jesus called Peter out onto the water, and he went and walked on the water with Jesus!

Peter soon remembered the wind and waves, and he began to sink. And Jesus reached out to grab his hand, pulled Peter up, and the two of them walked back to the boat.

As you build your lives together, you will encounter those times when life is hard. Yet, when one of you gets distracted by the troubles you face, the other can be the support. You can take turns lifting each other up as you walk together.

You never face this life alone. The good and the bad will come in varying degrees, but when you face them together you may find the good in the bad. Submitting to each other is listening to and helping each other continually, that you may grow deeper in love and happiness.

Keller

Timothy Keller also compared marriage to a journey, saying that it is:

‚Äú. . . a journey that includes shared experience, setbacks, challenges, knowledge, and many many things that make you crazy as well as [the] things that make you happy. If marriage is to endure over time, it has to be because both people within it have tacitly acknowledged something that young lovers might find preposterous: it‚Äôs bigger, and more important, than both of us. It‚Äôs love, sure, and inside jokes and conversational shorthand. But it‚Äôs also families, friends, traditions, landmarks, knowledge, history.‚ÄĚ

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 07/01/2012

I wanted to post a poem this week about independence or dependence or something, but as I have stated before I am making my way chronologically through my second book of poetry.

I did have some choice in the selection, so I thought it fitting that since we just came out of “Marriage Month” to use this poem.

I wrote this several months before I even met my lovely bride, but when in the presence of the Lord it is possible to understand so many things.

Bridegroom Love

When I begin to come into the presence of the Lord
I am a wreck.
Just knowing I am inviting Him to come
I am coming alive.
My stomach wrenches.
My heart leaps.
My body quivers.

When I begin to come into the presence of the Lord
I feel like a bridegroom.
I am a wreck.
As the bridegroom sees his bride coming down the aisle
He comes alive.
His stomach wrenches.
His heart leaps.
His body quivers.

When I begin to come into the presence of the Lord
I understand.
Christ is a bridegroom waiting on His bride.
As believers come alive
(I am sure)
His stomach wrenches.
His heart leaps.
His body quivers.
He sees His bride.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 96.

The Marriage Month

June is historically the most popular month for weddings. I am not getting into the history or anything like that (here is some interesting history, though). Today is more of a celebration.

My wife and I just had the opportunity to take a month, a holiday, if you will, and visit family and friends. We had a lot of fun, got to meet and know better family members and friends on both sides, and go to places we could enjoy together.

This month was also a celebration of life and love.

Our trip began because friends of mine were getting married. We were able to celebrate the start of a marriage with loved ones.

My parents celebrated 29 years of marriage while my wife and I celebrated three years. We were able to celebrate marriages in the middle together, one couple with grown children and another without children.

We celebrated the loss of a wonderful woman who lived for over 90 years, making a great impact on many lives. The day her life was celebrated in a very beautiful and spirit-filled memorial service, a child was born to a young couple within the family.

On the final weekend of our trip, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of that newborn’s great grandparents surrounded by extended family and friends¬†(her side … but really for both of us), including that newborn baby girl Zoe (which means Life!). We were able to celebrate a marriage that is full and long.

Through all of this, we were able to remember all of the good times and bad times our families have struggled through; we were able to remember all those whom we have lost; and we were able to build and strengthen relationships, new and old.

Treasure the moments you have with family and friends. Enjoy them, as you should, and give praise to God, as you should.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable‚ÄĒif anything is excellent or praiseworthy‚ÄĒthink about such things.
Philippians 4:8