During the message this past week at Cornerstone, we were able to take questions from the congregation via text messaging. We ended up with more questions than we had time to answer during the service, so I wanted to share my answers here on the blog. I also asked for Jennifer’s input on these. I love having interaction during our worship services. Hopefully we will be able to do more things like this in the future.
Question 1: if u know that u and your spouse are Christians and u have made known/begged ur husband who used to be a spiritual leader in our house and has slipped to please become that leader again and am trying to get him to pray with u as his wife and he ignores u or whatever, what do u do? Our kids need this too!
Jennifer shared a quote from Tony Evans during the service “Submission is knowing when to duck so God can hit your husband” As a wife, you cannot nag or guilt your husband into stepping into the role of Spiritual leader for your family. I will share several suggestions for you. First, continue to pray. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. Second, sometimes you have to provide opportunities for him to lead. Many men quit leading when their wives constantly correct them. If they feel like they can’t measure up to your standards, they will abdicate their role. Third, don’t neglect your role in teaching and training your children. If your husband doesn’t take the lead, don’t give up. And finally live by 1 Peter 3:1-2. If you live the life God has called you to live, your husband will take notice.
Question 2: Since love is an action rather than an emotion,can u really chose to love and marry anyone as long as they’re a strong christian?Is there a compatibility factor?
You are on the right track about choosing a spouse that shares your belief in Jesus, but there has to be more. I think desire is an important part of marriage. Read Proverbs 5:18-20 and see the importance of desire for your spouse.
Question 3: What if you marry someone and they physically abuse you? Do you then have the right to divorce even though the bible only says you can in the case of adultery?
Physical abuse in marriage should never be tolerated. In week 3 of our marriage series I mentioned that in the Old Testament there were two Biblical reasons for divorce, neglect (from Exodus 21:10) and unfaithfulness (from Deuteronomy 24:1-2). Although Jesus didn’t directly address abuse, I would argue that abuse falls under neglect. If physical abuse is happening in your marriage, your first responsibility is to get to safety. I do think that God can change the heart of the abuser, but there will need to be accountability and repentance before there is any chance the marriage will survive. For more information, see this link.
Question 4: Do i have to support every decision my husband makes, even if he’s (bluntly put) a financial idiot?
Ephesians 5:33 is the verse we shared throughout the series. I would challenge the wife to respect her husband, even if he is struggling in the area of finances. A man finds much of his self worth in providing for his family, so disagreements are common in how to spend money. The best way to avoid conflict over finances is to keep lines of communication open between husband and wife. All major purchases should be discussed, and it is even better to decide how to spend, save, and give all your money before you even receive it. Living on a budget helps you succeed financially, but it also allows you to avoid conflict. For more information about honoring God through your finances, go to Dave Ramsey’s website or check out resources from our friend Joe Sangl.
Question 5: My wife rocks and through her relationship with Christ she helps me be “the man” Jesus wants. How can we get others to see this truth?
This one is simple. Just keep living the life God has called you to. When a husband and wife live to complement each other instead of compete with each other, the world will take notice. Unfortunately, we are not used to seeing this type of marriage in our society today. God has designed marriage to bring out the best in each spouse. That’s why Ephesians 5:33 is so important in marriage.
Question 6: How soon is too soon to start thinking about marriage?
In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, Paul gives advice about marriage. First there is nothing wrong with remaining single. Single people are able to completely serve God and there is no shame in remaining single. Society guilts us into thinking that everyone must be married. Society also encourages young people to remain single, avoid settling down and “play the field”. Both are dangerous pressures that don’t take God into the equation. But for those who are in a relationship, you have to start thinking through tough questions. First of all, I would encourage you to not get in a hurry during your dating relationship. Remaining pure should be a priority, and when your relationship progresses too fast, problems ensue. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and you have to realize that it takes more than desire to make marriage work. Check out this link for information about how to deciding when to marry.
Question 7: I had a preacher tell me that anything is acceptable in the marriage bed as long as they both consent. He even said bringing in other people was ok. Can you talk a little about that?
This one surprised me. Hebrews 13:4 tells us that the marriage bed should remain pure. When God designed marriage, He didn’t design it for three or four people. God designed marriage for a man and his wife. Married couples have the freedom within marriage to enjoy the marriage bed with each other. See the next question.
Question 8: Is sex really important in marriage? Why?
From the begininning of the story of marriage in Genesis 2:24, we see that God designed man and wife to be one flesh. Sex brings you together physically and emotionally, and the intimacy you share is important. 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 talks about how our bodies belong to each other in marriage. Sex in marriage can be enjoyed with no guilt, no shame, and no regrets, that’s the way God intended it.
Question 9: How do you handle “intense fellowship” in your marriage?
It takes prayer and patience. As we have gotten older, I feel that we have done a much better job at this. Early in our marriage, we both struggled with selfishness and pride and that caused many arguments just because we couldn’t admit when we were wrong. When you’re more concerned with being right and pointing out the deficiencies in your spouse, I can promise you that you will have a conflict-filled marriage. Read through 1 Corinthians 13 together. Talk often and spend time together. But the most important thing each of you can do is cultivate your relationship with Christ. Grow closer to God and the things that used to cause conflict won’t seem so important anymore.
Question 10: How do you handle the struggles and pressures that being a pastor put on your marriage?
During the sermon, Jennifer talked about the Spiritual Warfare that we encounter, especially while I am preparing to preach and before big events. We have to realize we have a common enemy in Satan and recognize that he would like nothing more than to destroy our marriage. I can honestly say that we have grown closer over the past few years in ministry. We do have to be patient with each other because the demands of full-time ministry are great, but Jennifer and I make a great team, and as long as we keep Christ in the center of our marriage, our marriage will thrive. Our struggles are small in comparison to the cross.
For more questions and answers about dating, check out the relationships page on the Got Questions website.
For more questions and answers about marriage, check out the marriage page on the Got Questions website.