6 Kinds of Words to Say to Your Wife

6 KINDS

Words can be an exceptionally powerful tool and/or weapon. Our words can either bring life or death. I know people today that replay, over and over again, in their minds something that a person said to them decades ago, but it still festers in their heart and mind daily. It paralyzes them from living in the freedom that God has called them to. The words spoken to them have literally brought death to a certain aspect of their life. Sadly, spouses tend to get the brunt of harsh words, many times creating deep wounds that will never go away and many times even progressing to the death of a marriage. God intended that we would use our words to build people up and bless people. That we would say things to encourage and give life to those around us. When it comes to marriage, here are 6 kinds of words to say to your wife often…

Words of Affection

Tell your wife that you love her, multiple times a day. Tell her that she’s beautiful, daily. Comment on her style and her personality. Use words of affection to build her up often. Talk affectionate to you wife because she desires that.

 

Words of Consideration

Your wife wants to know often that you are thinking of her feelings, thoughts and opinions. Ask her what she’s thinking. Ask her what the best and worst part of her day was. Ask her where she would like to eat. Ask her what she would like to do on Saturday morning. Ask her if she feels like you are leading her well in the areas of marriage, family, finance, church life and ministry, friendships, spiritual disciplines, etc.

 

Words of Initiation

While your wife does enjoy knowing that you are being considerate of her, she also enjoys a healthy balance of you taking the initiative to make decisions. Tell your wife that you would like to cook dinner once a week. Tell her that you’ve planned a date for the two of you. Tell her that she’s going to love a new spot to take her. Tell her to plan a Saturday morning out while you care for the kids and clean the house.

 

Words of Spontaneity

Take your wife by surprise when you tell her that you would like to take her on a walk or bike ride instead of watching the weekly game. Every now and then get out of your normal habit to show her that she is more important than whatever you would normally be doing. Your wife is very familiar with at least one thing you plan to do each week – use that time every now and then to lay your plans aside and focus on her instead – or ask her to be a part of it with you.

 

Words of Repentance

Tell your wife you were wrong. Sometimes, even when you’re not. Tell her you’re sorry. Ask for her forgiveness. When you mess up or when she thinks you’ve messed up acknowledge it instead of getting defensive. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Don’t allow your flesh to control you – that will only end in pride and despair. Be led by the Spirit, which will always end in humility and reconciliation.

 

Words of the Gospel

Most importantly of all, speak words of the Gospel to your wife. Remind her of the depth of the grace of God. Remind her that Jesus was perfect for her. Remind her that God loves her and is willing to lead her each moment of the day if she’ll trust Him. Remind her that God is good and in control. Therefore, she can rest in knowing that Dad has it all together even though she may not.

Most importantly, live a life that expresses and emulates the words that you say to your wife. You can use kind words until you’re blue in the face, but if your life doesn’t match what you say than it’s all just talk.

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Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month: An Open Letter

An OPen Letter

March is Pastor’s Wife Appreciation Month. I have many women to call, express my gratitude and send gifts to this month. More than that, as a pastor, I want to express my gratitude for my wife – as she stumbles to the Lord’s feet daily in her role as a Christian, pastor’s wife, and mom.

Brooke,

Thank you for your willingness to “live in front.”

The one thing that many people perceive they “want” is the very thing that those who have it do not want. Living in front is not easy. In fact, it can be brutal. With all of the misconceptions of what a pastor’s wife should look like and how she should live her life – the pressure on her to live in front of others can be extremely weighty, discouraging and life-taking. Laura Chandler, wife of Matt Chandler, the Lead Pastor for the Village Church in Texas has published a wonderful article titled Pastor’s Wives: 5 Misconceptions that I would encourage every church member to read. In addition, another beneficial article relating to pastor’s wives, 9 Secrets Your Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew, is a great reminder for us all.

Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice most every holiday.

Most Christmas dinners for us are to-go orders at the random Chinese place that happens to be open on Christmas Eve at 11 PM. That is because while all of the church families are meeting with their families to enjoy a big Christmas dinner before or after the service, the pastor’s and their families are usually at the church all day setting up and breaking down. Most Mother’s Days, pastor’s wives are acknowledged last by their husbands because Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Therefore, Mother’s Day for us is generally us celebrating hundreds of other mothers. Usually surrounding Thanksgiving, the church is serving hundreds of homeless families rather than sitting in our home preparing a grandiose meal. I can go on and on, but don’t miss the point. This is not a guilt trip for those that enjoy their holidays differently than we do. This is a thank you to Brooke for her willingness to sacrifice the “Traditional American Holiday” and making our holidays enjoyable and honoring to the Lord in the midst of all of the chaos and serving others.

Thank you for your willingness towards counter cultural stability and security.

Young pastors have the tendency to move around a lot. I am no exception. Sometime the moves are healthy and sometimes not. In all of the transition we are confident that God has been at work in us and through us. Within the last 10 years I have moved our family to 5 different homes and 5 different churches. I think I finally found my niche: selling car insurance…just kidding. The reality is that while most find their stability and security in longevity or owning a home, we have been able to find those things in God and in His providence. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” + Jim Elliot. We believe that every move has been us chasing after the Lord and what He is calling us towards.

Thank you for making me look better than I really am.

If I show up to a leadership training event or meeting with cute snacks and great food it is only because Brooke made it happen. If I seem like I have it all together it is only because I have a wonderful wife that is constantly asking questions and holding me accountable. I have been asked dozens of times how I balance all that I do. My answer is simple: I have an amazing wife that makes it easy.

Thank you for loving our home and being hospitable.

Brooke writes, “If God has gifted you with a home, he wants you to love it. He wants you to enjoy it. Have a heart for your home. When you do that, your home will become a fun place for the whole family, as well as your guests. It’s contagious when you walk into a home that you can tell the mom has a heart for. Is your home like that? Have a heart for your home. Be hospitable. Use your home that God has gifted to you to be a gift and a blessing to others.” Read the rest of her article, 4 Tips for Young Moms, HERE.

Thank you for spending most of your days with our kids.

At the age that our kids are at, their minds and hearts are like sponges – soaking up every last drop of affection and knowledge that they can get. While not every parent has the opportunity to do what Brooke does, I am thankful that she has chosen to be the primary teacher in our kid’s lives for this season.

Thank you for supporting my teaching, preaching, and writing ministry.

After preaching as a guest earlier last year I walked back to my seat to sing with the congregation and Brooke put her arm around me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. After the service concluded an older man walked up to her and commended her for her support for me. I love to teach, preach, and write. Thankfully Brooke enjoys when I do those things.

Thank you for pursuing Jesus daily.

Brooke’s humility would never allow her to admit this, but she is constantly pursuing Jesus. She is the living example for me of Paul’s words in Philippians 2:12, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Brooke is repenting of her sin daily and giving it to Jesus as she pursues holiness.

Thank you for living a life of prayer.

Brooke is SUCH a pray-er. She loves to pray. Again, she is the living example for me on how to live a life of prayer. She realizes that we can do nothing apart from the Lord and so she is always talking with Him about whatever it is that is happening. She keeps posted notes of Scripture all around our home so that it keeps our hearts focused on God’s word, which is a conducive atmosphere for continual prayer.

Thank you for understanding the spiritual battle of pastoral leadership.

This comes over time and with maturity. Brooke is in a spot now that she sees and understands the weight of the spiritual battle of pastoral leadership. In that, she is able to compliment me in whatever area I am dry or need help. She is constantly standing in the gap for me when I am down (i.e. physically, spiritually, and emotionally).

Thank you for enduring wounds that will forever be scars.

With as much transition as we have had, Brooke has been “shot at” many times. Brooke bears scars from ministry that will always be there. I’m thankful for her willingness to walk this road of ministry with me and her ability to give those hurts to the Lord.

+ crux mihi ancora

The Bathroom Bill

the bathroom bill

There has been quite the buzz this morning concerning HB 583, also known as the Gender Bathroom Bill. This conversation concerning the bill, initially introduced by Rep. Frank Artiles, has invaded every platform of communication from social media to the morning news, and even morning radio. WTSP published an article titled Gender Bathroom Bill Clears Florida Committee concerning HB 583. It is a bill that would make it illegal for a person to use a bathroom, dressing room or locker room designated for the opposite sex cleared its first hurdle Wednesday.

Rep. Frank Artile
Rep. Frank Artile
Rep. Janet Cruz
Rep. Janet Cruz

Along with several others, House Representative, Rep. Janet Cruz, responds, “This ridiculous legislation seeks to criminalize the transgender community. Are we really going to be known as the state that allowed such a hateful bill become a law?”

This can be a confusing conversation for many. Unfortunately, Christians tend to not have much of a voice regarding political issues. My hope is to communicate a response from a logical perspective from a Christian worldview. Okay, my cards are on the table. I’m a reformed, evangelical, Southern Baptist Pastor. I believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible. With that said, my response is not directly addressing the conversation from the viewpoint of being a pastor as much as it will from a contributing citizen of our community, as a husband, as a dad, and as a son.

The underlying issue with this bill, for good or for bad, is the matter of access, or lack thereof. The transgender community is emphasizing their need for equal access to public restrooms, dressing rooms, and locker rooms based on their desired gender as opposed to their biological gender. This is the reason Janet Cruz could refer to the bill with such strong language as “hateful,” as well as claim that it “criminalizes the transgender community.” Others, such as Frank Artiles, are concerned for the privacy and safety of the public. I am tracking with both camps. I understand and sympathize with both agendas.

The question must be asked, “Why would allowing transgender individuals into their personal desired public area affect the privacy or safety of others?” My personal response is that the privacy and safety of the community wouldn’t necessarily be compromised by the transgender community as much as it would be by an imposter. That is, a heterosexual male or female posing as an imposter to be able to gain access into the opposite gender area. In that, I agree with Frank Artiles in the sense that I do not see it fit to allow a biological and heterosexual man into the ladies room – or vice versa –  in order to pursue my daughter, wife or mom. All his or her plea would have to be is, “Well, I am transgender.” I will not support an agenda that allows that to happen.

I frequently use restrooms all over town that allow me to take my 4 year old daughter to the restroom without it being weird, as opposed to dragging her into the Men’s Room. So, there are restrooms that give legal access to any gender at every local mall and large public area. Therefore, if access is the issue, there is no issue at all. Not to mention, the law doesn’t even require that a business have any restroom at all.

HB 583 does not “dehumanize” the transgender community. If anything, it raises awareness to the fact that the answer may be to pass a bill that requires new structures to have 4 types of restrooms – Male, Female, Family, and Transgender or a gender neutral restroom. I would not have any qualms with that besides the fact that it puts the financial burden on companies to provide those accommodations. With that said, there would be no safety and/or privacy issue there.

As a pastor, I would say to the transgender community that I love you and that there is a need for an honest, open, and safe dialogue between us to pursue equality in a pluralistic society. I would welcome that. The answer is not to open up gender specific areas to any Jane or Joe that pulls the transgender card.

7 Ways to Plan a Family Devotional

FAMILY DEVO

“I have had over a dozen conversations just this week alone about how to plan a family devotional, so I’m re-posting this short read that I wrote this time last year. Enjoy and pass along.”

It has been quite the journey with my wife and I trying to implement a family devotional. While we are still far from perfect at it, there are some things along the way that we’ve learned that I hope could be helpful for you and your family.

1. Make a plan. For the longest time we talked about doing a family devotional, but didn’t actually do it because we never had a plan. If you have to, schedule time aside to do it. For our family scheduling a certain time just doesn’t work. For us, it becomes a “law” that is so easy to break – often. Plus we have two awesome young kids that don’t always accommodate a schedule, so we have to be pretty flexible.

2. Don’t give up. If your plan doesn’t work the first few times, don’t give up. You will fail at first. It was only through a lot of failure that Brooke and I were able to find a format that worked best for our natural rhythms of life.

What does this look like for us? We choose a book of the Bible. We just finished Ephesians. We go through one chapter a day. We both read the chapter separately at some point in our day. In the evening time, after the kids are in bed, we pull our Bibles out and re-read the whole chapter out loud together. Then we take turns talking about highlights, hard texts, encouraging and convicting notes, etc. Two great resources are RightNow Media, as well as Desiring God’s, Look at the Book.

3. Include prayer. Always include prayer. This is the point where we are acknowledging that it is God that is speaking to us through His word and that the Bible is not just some great piece of literature. One of us leads in prayer while we hold hands.

4. Make it Gospel-Centered. It is real easy to turn a devotional into moral reminders. Always get to a point in your devotional where you bring it to Jesus and how the Gospel affects the text or idea that you are discussing. Don’t make your devotional time a daily reminder of how you either do great or constantly fall short of the law. Live in the light and freedom of the Gospel.

5. Involve your kids. Our kids are pretty young. With that said, our 3 year old is fully able to communicate who Jesus is, who created everything, and what sin and forgiveness is, so do not under estimate your young children. With our kids, we have intentional and unintentional devotional times.

Intentionally, around 7 o’clock every evening (after dinner and before bed), my wife hangs with our 3 year old, Amber, and I hang with our 1 and 1/2 year old, Parker, for about 30 minutes. Brooke uses The Gospel Project with Amber. It’s a great Gospel-centered curriculum that is fun and interactive. I hang with Parker  and just have guy fun with his spider man mask and Jake and the never-land pirates sword. Most likely around the age of two, we will begin some sort of toddler curriculum with him as well.

Unintentionally, we use all kinds of God-given moments throughout the day to talk about sin, Satan, Jesus, and a lot of prayer with the kids.

6. Actually be interested. Several times a day, Amber randomly will talk about Jesus or “the evil one.” I make it a priority to drop whatever it is I’m doing and acknowledge the fact that she is wanting to have a “God conversation.” She needs to know that we can have an open dialogue with anything, but especially the Gospel.

7. Have fun. The Gospel is serious, but it can also be a lot of fun.

What Should Christians Think About Sex?

sex

There is one topic of conversation, particularly, that gets Christians acting awkward: sex. Largely, there has been little to no conversations about sex within the church. Subsequently, Christians tend to not really know what to do with it.

There are 3 basic views of sex in our culture today.

 

SEX AS GOD

Sex, for some, has become a religion. By that, I mean sex gives them their identity, their purpose, and their motivation in life. All of who they are is influenced by their sexuality. Everything they do is centered on hunting for those they are attracted to, so that they might have the opportunity to have sex. This person’s life is dominated and ruled by their sexual passions and desire to have sex. When they are unable to physically get sex, they turn to media via their television, dvd’s, cell phones, and tablets.

It’s called, selfish sexuality. The goal for this person is to please themselves by means of sex. Sex rules their life, like a god. Romans 1 talks about how, at that time, even though the people knew that God existed, ruled and reigned over all, they chose to worship what He created instead of Him, the creator. This is still a war that we are battling to this day.

Here are some interesting statistics from Pornography Statistics: Annual Report 2014 by Covenant Eyes. In addition, I would encourage every adult, especially parents, to at least briefly look at these statistics to better prepare your kids.

 

SEX AS GROSS

For others, sex is gross, dirty and evil. This school of thought is rooted all the way back in ancient Greek Philosophy from guys like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. They would say that the physical is bad and that the spiritual is good. Therefore, the body is bad, but the soul is good. Consequently, for them life was just the process of shedding the outer shell (i.e. the body).

So, for them, sex or any type of bodily function was a gross, dirty and evil because it’s association with the physical body. And, believe it or not, this had an vast influence on the early church fathers.

  • Origen (3rd) allegorized the Song of Songs in order to take away the physical implications and castrated himself from a literal view of Matthew 19, “If anything causes you to stumble, cut it off.”
  • Tertulian and Ambrose (4th) preferred extinction to the human race over sexuality.
  • Gregory of Nissa (4th) said that Adam and Eve did not have sex until after the fall and adds that Eve became pregnant from a particular fruit that she ate in the garden.
  • Jerome (4th-5th) threw himself into thorn bushes whenever he would be tempted sexually.
  • At one point then (12th), the Catholic Church forbids priests from marrying and then begins regulating when and where married couples can enjoy sexual freedom.
  • In the Victorian Age (19th), there was an extreme modest view where they would begin to put linens over tables because if men saw the “table legs” they might lust.

While these may seem somewhat odd and extreme, it continues to our own day where for some Christians sex for good pleasure is gross. Various parents, in an effort to encourage their kids to abstain from sex, tell them that “sex is bad, dirty, and not good, so save it for the one person that you marry.” That’s just a weird statement in itself…save the bad and dirty for the one you actually love…

While sex rules over many, it is not God. In addition, sex is not gross. It can be gross, dirty and evil when used out of its intended purpose.

SEX AS A GIFT

For all, God says that sex is a good gift created and given for heterosexual marriage (Genesis 2:24).

Here are several thoughts on a biblical perspective and purpose of sex.

Pleasure – when we investigate the Song of Songs, children are never mentioned once. The whole book focuses on the marital intimacy between a man and a woman.

Children – Genesis 1:28, “be fruitful and multiply.” So, out of marital intimacy comes children. Many children are a blessing from the Lord (Psalm 127:4).

Oneness – Genesis 2:24 – husband and wife were “one flesh” or “wife will “cleave”. So, through marital intimacy two “become one.”

Comfort – 2 Samuel 12:24 – when a child died a husband and wife were together intimately to comfort one another.

Protection – 1 Cor. 7 – You’ll be highly tempted to sin sexually if you’re not regularly together in an intimate way. So marital intimacy is a safeguard from sinning sexually.

To glorify God – God created our bodies for all of these reasons and when you do those things in the correct context it brings glory to Him. Therefore, marital intimacy brings glory to God in that we are functioning in the purpose for which He intended.

Lastly, here are some other helpful resources for you to enjoy and grow:

A Few Thoughts on Women, Men, Porn, & Sexual Assault by Jefferson Bethke

 

Family, Marriage, Sex, & the Gospel by David Platt

4 Tips for When Your Wife is Away

4tips_husbands

One of my favorite television shows has always been King of Queens. In one of the episodes, Kevin James (Doug) has the house to himself while his wife is traveling. What does he do? The next scene is Doug jumping on the couch in his underwear, watching wrestling on TV and stuffing his face with pizza.

 

Now, that may or may not sound funny to you, but it is actually a pretty good picture of how when men get a little bit of free time to themselves they waste it. You may not do what Doug did, but how do you waste your time when your wife is away (e.g. pornography, television, sleeping more than normal, partying with buddies)?

 

Here are 4 tips for when your wife is away.

 

Pray for her.

One of the greatest things you can do for your wife while she is traveling is to pray for her. Plan to set aside at least 15-20 minutes a day to pray for her, just her for that time. Remember that part of praying is listening, so allow time for silence and solitude for something God may be wanting to say to you about your wife. Get out a sheet of paper and write down 30-50 things that you appreciate and enjoy about your wife and then pray through that list. Pray for her relationship with Jesus and her desire to be more like Him.

 

Be available when she calls.

After counseling men for almost 8 years now, one of the most common things that I have seen and heard from wives is that the husband is always hard to get ahold of. When your wife is traveling your cell phone shouldn’t be out of your sight. Don’t allow something so simple to plant a seed of distrust in your relationship. Satan will use anything. Make yourself available no matter the cost while your wife is traveling.

 

Read your Bible.

If you asked me what excuse I hear from men the most when it comes to not reading their Bible daily it would be lack of time in their day. Although when they get some extra time – they do not read their Bible more, the watch TV, indulge in pornography, and be lazy. Read your Bible while your wife is gone. At that moment when you would be having a conversation with your wife if she were there pull out your Bible and read it.

 

Pick up her slack.

If your wife is like mine, she does a ton around the house. Therefore, while she’s gone things begin to pile up. Make your wife’s return home a pleasant one. Clean up after yourself. Do the laundry. Keep the sink clean.

Transitions

transitions

Many people despise transition and most guard against it. You get moved. You get out of place. Our routine is thrown off. You’re forced to act and think.

 

 

Biblical characters were almost always in transition. If you look at just about any biblical character, they were almost always in transition, always moving. And if they were settled – that was about to be rocked.

 

 

I have learned that seasons of transition force you to rely on God in a different way than when you’re settled. All of your crafty ways to guard against your laziness aren’t there anymore. If you want to get something done in a season of transition you have to be intentional.

 

 

For clarification, I’m not setting “transition” against “settled.” They are both good seasons as long as God is in it. You do not want to be settled if God wants you to be moving. Likewise, you do not want to be in transition if God wants you to stand still and wait.

 

 

Being that I will have served in 4 different pastoral roles in less than 4 years doesn’t necessarily mean that something is up or wrong. It means that our family is sensitive to the Lord’s voice, calling, and leading and that we are unwilling to allow circumstances dictate where we are.

 

 

With that said, we are confident that the Lord is saying to us, “get settled.” Therefore, we are excited about this next season in our lives as a family – knowing that the Lord is in it and that where He brings us we will be for some time.

 

 

Ultimately, I want to and I want you to NOT waste our transitions.

 

 

Husbands and dads – in transition:

 

Intentionally love God by reading your Bible, talking to Him, spending time alone with Him, singing to Him.

 

Intentionally love your wife by talking to her, laughing with her, cuddling with her, etc.

 

Intentionally love your kids by coming into their world and singing Frozen ever 2 minutes or spraying spider man webs the entire house.

 

Intentionally keep yourself and your family connected to a local Bible believing church by driving there a couple times a week for community and kids activities.

 

Intentionally be a missionary by remembering that while you are in transition a lot of people are watching how you handle everything.

5 Ways to Love Your Wife

5ways

Chances are if you are not doing even one of these things, your wife is yearning for it.

 

1. Pray with and for her daily.

 

I will be the first to raise my hand and say that this is no easy task. There are plenty of excuses. – You’re too tired. It’s just not the right time. I will begin doing that another day. – DO IT NOW. Join with me in making a covenant to love our wives by praying with and for them daily. Pray for her daily and pray with her daily.

 

10 Things to Pray for Your Wife

 

2. Continually point her towards Jesus.

 

No one has a perfect marriage. There is no perfect wife. There is no perfect husband. Therefore, when God exposes sin in your life point her towards Jesus through repentance and worship as opposed to trying to push your sin back into the dark.

 

Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

3. Stop comparing her to other people.

 

It is so easy to fall into the trap of comparing your wife to her mom, your mom, or other women in and around your life. STOP. STOP. STOP. Those other women are not her standard. God is. Love her and lead her by only measuring her life against God’s perfect holiness rather than creating despair and discouragement from measuring her against other women.

Ephesians 5:1: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

 

 

4. Build her up with your words.

 

Compliment your wife often. Her character. Her selflessness. Her commitment. Her compassion. Her desire. Her looks. Her love for Jesus. How well she does something.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…”

 

 

5. Make love to her.

 

Yes. Sex is good. Sex was created by God to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. So, make love to your wife.

 

1 Corinthians 7:5: “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

7 Ways to Plan a Family Devotional

family_devo

It has been quite the journey with my wife and I trying to implement a family devotional. While we are still far from perfect at it, there are some things along the way that we’ve learned that I hope could be helpful for you and your family.

 

1. Make a plan. For the longest time we talked about doing a family devotional, but didn’t actually do it because we never had a plan. If you have to, schedule time aside to do it. For our family scheduling a certain time just doesn’t work. For us, it becomes a “law” that is so easy to break – often. Plus we have two awesome young kids that don’t always accommodate a schedule, so we have to be pretty flexible.

 

2. Don’t give up. If your plan doesn’t work the first few times, don’t give up. You will fail at first. It was only through a lot of failure that Brooke and I were able to find a format that worked best for our natural rhythms of life.

What does this look like for us? We choose a book of the Bible. We just finished Ephesians. We go through one chapter a day. We both read the chapter separately at some point in our day. In the evening time, after the kids are in bed, we pull our Bibles out and re-read the whole chapter out loud together. Then we take turns talking about highlights, hard texts, encouraging and convicting notes, etc.

 

3. Include prayer. Always include prayer. This is the point where we are acknowledging that it is God that is speaking to us through His word and that the Bible is not just some great piece of literature. One of us leads in prayer while we hold hands.

 

4. Make it Gospel-Centered. It is real easy to turn a devotional into moral reminders. Always get to a point in your devotional where you bring it to Jesus and how the Gospel affects the text or idea that you are discussing. Don’t make your devotional time a daily reminder of how you either do great or constantly fall short of the law. Live in the light and freedom of the Gospel.

 

5. Involve your kids. Our kids are pretty young. With that said, our 3 year old is fully able to communicate who Jesus is, who created everything, and what sin and forgiveness is, so do not under estimate your young children. With our kids, we have intentional and unintentional devotional times.

Intentionally, around 7 o’clock every evening (after dinner and before bed), my wife hangs with our 3 year old, Amber, and I hang with our 1 and 1/2 year old, Parker, for about 30 minutes. Brooke uses The Gospel Project with Amber. It’s a great Gospel-centered curriculum that is fun and interactive. I hang with Parker  and just have guy fun with his spider man mask and Jake and the never-land pirates sword. Most likely around the age of two, we will begin some sort of toddler curriculum with him as well.

Unintentionally, we use all kinds of God-given moments throughout the day to talk about sin, Satan, Jesus, and a lot of prayer with the kids.

 

6. Actually be interested. Several times a day, Amber randomly will talk about Jesus or “the evil one.” I make it a priority to drop whatever it is I’m doing and acknowledge the fact that she is wanting to have a “God conversation.” She needs to know that we can have an open dialogue with anything, but especially the Gospel.

 

7. Have fun. The Gospel is serious, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Helpful Resources on Finding Relational Compatibility

compatibility

I have been married for almost 8 years and, by God’s grace, we get better at marriage every year. Yes, there are ups and downs in every relationship and our marriage is no exception, but God is always faithful to bring about the change that He intended through the very best times and the most devastating times.

 

Here are a few helpful and thought provoking resources for you to consider.

 

1. An Excellent Wife is Forged, not Found, an article by Jen Smidt

 

2. How Do You Know Someone is “The One”?, a short video by Jeferson Bethke

 

3. Q&A on Relationships and Dating, a short video by Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke

 

4. The Truth About Marital Compatibility, an article by Phil Smidt