Leaving is Part of Following

(c) Museums Sheffield; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

James and John were at work. It was just another day at the office, when all of a sudden this guy shows up. They had seen him around, and had heard a little about him. But what was he doing here, at the seashore? It looks like he is coming over to our boat? What could he possibly want with us?

Matthew and Mark both recount this amazing story of Jesus’ first encounter with the brothers.

Matthew 4:21-22 – Going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them.  Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

While I have always loved the story, and have heard it used in multiple sermons over the years – what has always amazed me is the fact the these rough cut fishermen would hear Jesus’ words and leave everything to follow Him. They left their jobs (training,income,future security) and their families to go travel with a man they knew little about, to places completely unknown. And, they did so – immediately.

What was it about Jesus that was so compelling, so attractive that they made such an immediately life-altering decision? Was it His conviction, His passion, His persuasiveness, His charisma? There must have been something in what He said or how He said it that so moved them that they were willing to risk everything they knew to pursue it.

I consider myself a Christ follower. There was a day in my life when I too “heard” His call to follow Him. I didn’t have the privilege of seeing Him in person, or hearing His voice or experiencing His charisma – but I felt a definite drawing to Him and His promise to save me and give me an abundant, eternal life. My response, however, was quite different than our fishermen. I didn’t walk away from life as I knew it. I didn’t leave home, school, girlfriend, friends or my plans for my future – to follow the Shepherd. The parts of my life that I gave up were the more seedy, sinful, unsavory parts that needed to be thrown away anyway.

You see, I, like many Christians today received a Savior (which is a wonderful thing obviously) but didn’t necessarily want a Lord. I wanted the eternal life He promised, but I really didn’t want to give up much to have it. My preference was to have eternal life when I died, but to enjoy (control) my own life before then.

I didn’t want to leave the comfort of my fishing boat. I must admit, I was fine with going to church, being a part of a small group, even leading one – but turning my life, relationships, plans, money, job, friends, thoughts, words, actions  over to Jesus to influence and control – was altogether different. It was actually quite foreign and pretty scary.

The older I get, the longer I have had to learn what it means to have a Lord in my life and to walk with Him and the more I have come to appreciate the amazing decisions made by the very first followers. These brothers heard a call that pierced their heart in a way I must say I did not. I was not ready to leave in order to follow. God is so amazingly gracious that He allows us the opportunity to walk along our self-focused path, and even comes along with us, softly speaking and gently leading until we make enough mistakes and discover enough truth to finally hear what James and John heard- and allow our hearts to be pierced by His lavish love. Then, we can finally find the courage (faith) to get out of our boat, leave the life we thought would fulfill us – and follow our Lord into the greatest, most fulfilling adventure of all.

Are you still “following” Jesus from your boat, or have you made the live-changing decision to stand up, step out of that life – and follow Him?

Think about it,

Rob

 

Alone in the Woods

Peaks of Light

Do you ever feel alone, or lost, or aimless, or just not knowing where to go and how to get there? I would have to answer “yes”.

Many times in my life I have felt like I was standing in a cold, snowy forest – all alone – and not seeing a trail out of there. Sometimes it was the result of work not going well, and wondering if I would keep my job or if I should polish my resume’. Sometimes it was dealing with the constant, hectic pace of raising three children and never having been there/done that before. How do I lead my wife through this when I don’t know the way myself?

Sometimes, we are living with a secret. A besetting sin that no one but God really knows about, and the weight of it seems to be crushing us spiritually and emotionally. We are alone. We feel God is mad, or at least very disappointed and upset with us. What to do, where to go – how do I deal with this?

Many times I have simply felt stuck. Stuck in a “pretty good” marriage (but wishing for much more). Stuck in an “okay” job but wishing I was more successful and making more money for my family. Stuck spiritually, not really feeling God’s presence or pleasure. Not seeing my prayers answered (at least the way I want them answered). I look around my life and simply want more. What if…… I ask myself. I just sort of exist, maintain the status quo, don’t rock the boat – and go on about my daily routine. The, I look up and it has been a moth, or even a year – and nothing has really changed. I’m still standing alone with my thoughts, in the woods – not really knowing where to go or how to get there.

Has that ever happened to you?

I can’t say that doesn’t happen to me anymore – but thankfully not very often anymore. God finally broke through to me and led me to some truths/promises that show me a way out of the woods. It helps to write these down and/or memorize them. You WILL need them for the journey ahead.

Psalm 139:13-18

Psalm 86:5

Jeremiah 29:11

Proverbs 3:5-6

Isaiah 30:21

Jesus told his disciples to “follow him” and he would do the rest (making them fishers of men). That is what he asks of me, and you. Trust him. Quit trying to drive and give him the car keys of your life. Trust him enough to let go and let him lead you. He will always lead you (and me) to better places than we will take ourselves. He is a good God, a loving, passionate Father who will take care of us.

My problem was that I didn’t really trust him. I had asked him into my heart as a teenager – but I didn’t really trust Him enough to let Him lead. I wanted to lead my own life and get Him to help me along the way. I finally had enough experiences in the cold, lonely woods that I gave up. I finally handed over the keys, and begged Him to drive. He love me. He likes me. He is always faithful and has my best interest at heart. I can finally rest and simply follow Him.

That’s all He asked me to do in the first place………….

 

God is asking us the same question He asked Elijah years ago – “What are you doing here?”

It’s time to move on,

Rob

2014 – An Intentional Year

intentional-living

2014 will be the year of living more deliberately. My walk with Jesus, every single day, requires me to make daily choices. I must choose to wake up earlier, get out of bed and find a quiet place to get in touch with Him. I must choose to read His Word, personalize it and listen to Him as I do. He has much to say to me and He offers His wisdom, direction and understanding to me if I will seek them through Him.

I also have the option of making a choice, and that choice being to continue to be a lukewarm believer whose definition of seeking God is attending church on Sunday, and praying to Him when I get into a big mess. Doing nothing at all is also a choice. No matter what – I will make a choice.

My choice is to deliberately seek Him. I want to know Him, not just know about Him. I want to know His heart, hear Him speak and feel His presence in my life on a daily basis. I can’t have a fulfilling relationship with someone I spend very little time with. I choose to make the time to know Jesus better this year. I choose to spend time with Him, not only in the morning, but throughout my days. “Praying without ceasing” means I have the opportunity to engage God throughout the events of my day – in personal conversation. I talk with Him and He will talk back. What a deal! What a privilege!

I have the pleasure of moderating a daily Bible study, sharing, encouraging, mentoring time on our Facebook Page. There are men from Africa, Australia, Europe and the US who join us every morning. You’re invited. Visit our site every morning , read God’s Word together, and share with us what God is speaking to you about your life and marriage. We all need each other. Iron sharpens iron, right?

http://www.facebook.com/square1ministries

Let’s make the choice to be more deliberate about our walk with Christ, and our relationship with our wife/family this year. One day at a time.

See you in the morning –

Rob

 

 

 

Fullness

Food_Meat_337841

When I hear the word “fullness” I immediately think back to my summer as a counselor at Kanakuk Kamp in Branson, MO. There was a burly man named Red (of course) who took care of all the maintenance around the sprawling grounds. He and his wife lived a short walk away from the kampers’ facilities, and they seemed to take a liking to a fellow counselor and myself. I’m not quite sure why, but we were not about to question it. You see, they would occasionally invite us up to their modest home in the woods for Sunday lunch. After eating Kamp food for a few weeks (actually it wasn’t all bad), having lunch at Red’s house was a real treat.

Actually it was more than a treat, it was a feast. A feast of epic proportions. What Michael Jordan was to basketball, Red’s wife was to cooking. She would prepare (from scratch) a table crammed with at least 2, sometimes 3 meats (beef, chicken, pork, turkey) along with bowl after bowl of fresh-picked vegetables from her garden, homemade rolls or cornbread (or both), and several desserts. Oh my, I can still smell the smells. It was a slice of heaven.

After the blessing, Red and his wife would start passing plates. We would load our own plate to the brink, and dive in. This was a dream come true for a couple of twenty year old athletes. As soon as there was an opening on our plates, here came the servings around the table again. We ate and ate until we couldn’t possibly eat anymore. Then, she would bring out the desserts. “Come on boys, you have to try my homemade desserts”, she would plead – and we would oblige.

After the carnage, she would get a big grin on her face and tell us to “go stretch out in the living room”. We took her literally and grabbed a pillow from the sofa as we crumbled onto the floor to stretch out our bloated bodies. Our fullness brought Red and his wife great joy.

Psalm 16:11 – You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

It should bring us great comfort and delight to know that God longs for our fullness as well. He desires to fill our lives with wonderful things that far outweigh even homegrown, homemade food. He wants to fill us with joy. Can you imagine being full of joy – really full – of joy? Have you ever felt that?

Well God says we can experience that in His presence. We have nothing to fear in the presence our loving, caring, extravagant Father. He longs for us to spend time with Him and takes great delight in seeing us indulge ourselves of His pleasures. The choice however is ours.

If my buddy and I had turned down the repeated offers to come to Red’s house for Sunday lunch because we were just too busy, or thought it would be uncomfortable in their presence – we would have never known the joys of their table. We would have eaten Kamp food again and settled for pretty good and missed the pleasures of their generosity. We would have missed a great blessing.

In Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays that the Ephesians will “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, and that they would be filled with all the fullness of God”. We have the amazing opportunity, even this side of heaven, to experience a fullness like no other – the fullness of joy, the fullness of love, the fullness of peace, the fullness of God. So, why do we hesitate to run into His presence? Why do we allow ourselves to get so busy with life that we don’t take the time to rest in His presence and enjoy His pleasures? Feast at His table – and have some dessert.

Slowing down,

Rob

 

 

Prostrate

worship-bg1

Be honest. When you sing “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name”, do you ever have to double-click in your mind when you come to the line – “Let angel prostrate fall” to make sure you’re going to sing out the proper word….prostrate versus prostate? Am I the only one?

I know the words. I know the difference. But, for some reason I find myself jumping ahead of the lyrics and doing a quick Google mind search to make sure I don’t deeply embarrass myself. I sang that recently at an Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference (men leading men in worship is such a great experience), and I did it again. Just weird I guess.

The experience did draw me to ponder the word prostrate again on a deeper level.

Pros*trate

1. Lying face down, as in submission or adoration.
2. Lying flat or at full length.
3. Reduced to extreme weakness or incapacitation; overcome.
There are roughly a dozen examples of the word itself being used in the Old Testament. Mostly it is used when someone is repentant before God, or as a sign up deep honor/respect before someone, or overcome in God’s presence. There are several references to people, angels and heavenly elders “falling down” and “worshipping”…..basically prostrating themselves.
So, my question – to myself and to you is this………  when is the last time I have lay prostrate before the King of Kings? Have I ever humbled myself to the point that I would literally lay down on the floor in reverence before my God? When have a lay prostrate before God even in a figurative, attitudinal way? Do I honestly revere God at all?
Of course, I would say I do. I don’t dare admit I don’t quite measure up. But am I humble enough to assume a physical posture that shows Him and the people around me that I am fully devoted to my King? Do I walk forward after the service just to kneel at the altar and pray? Do I raise my hands (or hand) in worship as a sign of surrendered praise and worship to Him? Do I even pray on my knees, or take a knee occasionally as a show of respect and adoration before the Almighty? Or –
Am I simply too prideful to allow anyone else to see me do such a thing? Is what they think of me more important than what my Father thinks of me. Are they worth more to me than He is?
Oh my……. I better stop here, cuz I am deeply convicted that I have some pride to deal with.
I wonder if I will bow down, get before Him and deal with it – or just say a quick passing prayer while sipping my coffee and heading off to work………………
Humbled,
Rob

The Red Dining Room

painting-wall-red

My wife and I were thrilled to learn that our youngest son had been accepted in the Radiology residency program at our local medical school. He has not lived in the same city with us since he left for college over 9 years ago. Four years of college, then five in medical school have really made us miss him. What is so awesome is that he now has a wonderful, beautiful, Christian wife and the most precious, beautiful baby girl (8 mos) on the planet. All the more reason for excitement about the move home – at least for five years.

The good news is – they found a lovely house to buy. The not-as-good news is – they wanted to paint all the rooms and redo all the ceilings. As you may already know, this entails manual labor….plenty of manual labor. Everyone pitched in, and it all got done, and no one was injured in the process.

As I was painting the walls in their dining room (one of three coats), I felt as if God was speaking to me about the remodeling job He did on me (and on us). You see, I was painting a great shade of crimson red on the walls, and I had to take great care not to spill it on the carpet (even though we had a tarp), or bleed it over unto the ceiling (even though we had painter’s tape), and make sure I got a good, thick coat on the walls and that it covered the old paint color very well. My assignment was basically to completely cover the old discolored walls and leave only the new, beautiful red all around.

God gently reminded me that He created such an assignment for Himself once. He saw the old, discolored “walls” of our heart that had been stained by sin – and decided that something must be done. Instead of paint in a five gallon bucket though, He chose to use the blood of His own son to cover our walls.

Our sin would not do. Our sin kept Him from intimate fellowship with His beloved children. We were separated from Him, and He didn’t like that. He also knew that no store-bought house paint would adequately cover the horrible shade of sin that covered our hearts. So He chose to do whatever it took to forever cover those stains and provide us a brand new room (heart).

With nearly every roll of my roller, and every sweep of my crimson covered brush, I was thankful for the crimson blood from His own Son that covers my dirty walls, and dries, once and for all, as a permanent reminder that I am a new creation, completely and totally forgiven and set free from the old stains that covered my life. From that day forward, whenever God looks upon my life, He sees a beautiful crimson red instead of the horrible colors left by sin and shame.

I was honestly glad when the painting was over, but I am thankful for the reminder of the “paint” that forever covers me and makes me a brand new creature in Christ.

“My chains are gone; I’ve been set free. My God, My Savior, has ransomed me.

And like a flood, His mercy reigns. Unending love. Amazing grace.” – Chris Tomlin (My Chains Are Gone)

So thankful,

Rob

Porn – A Wife’s Perspective

When Rob asked me to write something to you guys from a wifely vantage point, let me tell you I was fully intending to address something from the lighter fare of married life…. like, how one hand-picked flower on a Tuesday night dinner table means more than a dozen standard red roses on V-day.

But (sigh) this is not your pancakes-for-breakfast kind of post. And, I guess this is not a light and fluffy blog anyhow so I hope to be in well-accustomed company. If this is your first time, welcome, please
come back for more. I hope I don’t scare you away. Maybe I’ll scare you to stay…

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…Prov. 1:7

I come to you in a spirit of great humility as I share with you, from a wife’s perspective, what it does to “me” when you are looking at…her.

I pray this is not a struggle for you! If it is, or it is for someone you know, read on, but be aware…it is about to get real, reeeeal. Early in our marriage, my husband struggled with pornography, an addiction that plagued him from his early teens. Praise God he is walking in freedom now. Are you??

I want you to go for a walk with me. A walk into the soul of a woman, a wife as her husband struggles with this most pervasive habit. What follows are some of the myriad of thoughts that flood her mind and heart as she too wrestles with this painful reality.

“Oh my husband, can you hear me?

I have tried to tell you this before, maybe even screamed it, if not to you then on the inside. I live in
fear that saying it again will only push you further into the arms of your addiction, into the arms of her.

How can I ever measure up to her? I know you say you don’t compare us, that it’s not about me, but in
my eyes there is another woman in our bed. Another woman captivating you. I used to captivate you.

I want to give up on myself, in part I already have, it hurts too much to try. I feel rejected and
weathered when I see our internet browser history, how can I ever compete with her body and what
she can do with it? A one dimensional woman in our 3D world of bills, meals and baseball fields.

I am but a mere competitor for your attention in the midst of a covenant relationship that should be
safe. You promised.

We go to church, you and I. We look nice, you are good to me otherwise…”that’s hopeful, that should
be enough, I can’t have it all” I tell myself. That doesn’t last, though. It’s the middle of the night and
you are outta bed again. Once again I’m confused and angry that you are not the “Hi, how are you?!”
church-man at 3 am when no one is looking.

Oh how I hate seeing you as her slave, self-shackled, chained , linked to her lust, the Key within reach.
I’ll help you be free if you’ll let me. That shame you feel, I feel it too. I want freedom as much as you.
Your sin choices reach far beyond the midnight hour.

I shudder at the thought, but sometimes it hits me, “Will you look at our daughter this way?” (I told
you…real.) What would our precious girl think if she caught you in the act or found your stash? Would
she be able to recover? Would the father wounding be too much, her body image shattered in a matter
of moments when she finds out what’s lovely to you? I beg God to protect her from what you look at.
Don’t you want to protect her?

How will our sons ever walk in freedom if you are not fighting? They will be men soon, sooner than we
think. Who will tell them that Jesus is enough if He is not enough to satisfy you? You are a good man,
but will our sons see your goodness or just the addiction and the hurt I carry…Will you give them a fighting
chance to win against this fleshy epidemic. Their great chance begins with you.

Do you know I hope, pray and long for your freedom? Oh, how I deeply dream, hope, call it yearning (I’m
not sure there’s a word to capture the deep-down-ache) for you to be FREE.

I want to RUN with you into the arms of Jesus for freedom and call you my hero husband! I know deep
down it is who you are and who you long to be. I remember.

Change OUR legacy. I believe in you, bring that belief out in me.

I want to stand by your side with forgiveness in my eyes and hear you say:

“It is finished…I am done with her.”

 

Well guys…… are you??

Joni (not her real name)

Galatians 5:1 – “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be
burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

I Shouldn’t Have Said That

tears

 

The Bible is filled with verses from the heart of God concerning the words we speak. No one is more effected, for better or worse, by our words – than our wife. Having just celebrated the awesomeness of Easter – ask God to speak to you about the words you use with His uniquely-designed, custom-made life partner. Is there anything you need to crucify? Where are those words coming from? Why do I say things like that? Ask God to show you and He will. Deal with it. Don’t hope it just gets better. If you need to apologize to her – do it. We will be accountable for our words – especially the ones she hears from us….. Here are a few God would have us chew on ……..

Psalm 17:3 – I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

Psalm 19:14 – May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Proverbs 10:11 – The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life 

Proverbs 12:14 – From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

Proverbs 12:18 – Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 13:3 – He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 15:1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:4 – The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Proverbs 16:24 – Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Are we speaking life & healing – or wielding a sword?

Listen much – speak little,

Rob

Shake it Off

Philippians 3:12-14Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We all make mistakes. No one does it perfectly. How do we respond when we drop the ball?

Some days we wake up and feel like we’re covered in “stuff” – weird, creepy stuff that just sticks to us and doesn’t seem to want to go away. Guilt from past sins, regret from time and opportunity wasted, shame from disappointing those we love most, etc., etc. We’re stuck; frozen in place because we can’t seem to shake this stuff.

Paul had stuff. He was a hater and persecutor of Christians. He was responsible for the deaths of many believers and the heartache of countless families – yet, God had a plan for his life – a plan that included his salvation. This plan also included using him to preach the gospel to Gentile unbelievers, to pen multiple chapters of the Bible, and to become a pillar and hero of the Christian faith. How did Paul live with himself? How did he deal with the mental harassment, the guilt, the shame, the ball and chain from his past?

Here is how he did it, and here is how we do it.

Paul gives us two great pieces of advice: 1.) forget what lies behind. Ask God (and others if need be) to forgive you, repent (change your ways), and get on with the mission God is leading you to. 2.) Reach forward – press forward – to what lies ahead. The windshield of your life should be much larger than the rearview mirror. God forgives. God restores. God gives second, third and fourth, chances.

Why is it so hard for us to leave the past behind? Many husbands (and wives) don’t forget the past because they simply don’t want to. They sometimes use the past to get what they want today, or they may actually find comfort in being a victim of their past. I have met many people who can’t move forward in life, but their poor self-esteem compels them to seek “poor you” type empathy and attention from others. They secretly need that attention and affirmation because they don’t receive it elsewhere.

I have also found countless Christian people who simply don’t accept the fact that God has truly forgiven them and that He loves them personally, deeply and unconditionally. They listen to the enemy’s lie that tells them they aren’t good enough, or that their sin is too big or too dark for God to forgive. They can’t look ahead with hope because they can’t receive the complete love and forgiveness of the Father, and trust that He will only lead them to “good” places.

God still has a plan for you. He has called you to achieve much in His name. Don’t let the enemy convince you otherwise. What would Christianity be today if people like Moses, David, Peter and Paul would have withered away into obscurity after disobeying and disappointing God? God creates all of us with a mission. Your life matters to God. It matters to your wife and children. It matters to His kingdom. Don’t let failure or setbacks keep you down. Get up, dust yourself off, and get back in step with Jesus. Remember – God is a God of fresh starts. Get back in the game.

All this fly needs to do is a) shake off the stuff that is clinging to him, or b) start moving and allow the stuff to fall off, or 3) get into the sunlight and let the sun dry it up. He could do a combo of all three, but the absolute worst thing he can do is – Nothing.

Check out the verse above one more time and notice Paul’s exhortation to “do something”:

-press  on

-lay hold

-don’t regard

-forget what lies behind

-reach forward

-press on

Don’t just sit there. Take action. You can’t fly with all that stuff.

Rob

Consequences

A doctor scrubbing up in hospital

It has been a crazy night. The surgeon has been on call all night, and has performed three tedious operations before sunrise. Now, right when he was enjoying a quick cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich, his beeper goes off again. Another emergency. Another call for surgery. As is his custom, he hurries to the OR, but this time, “just this once”, he bypasses the all-important, cardinal rule of thoroughly scrubbing in before entering the room and starting to do his job. Surely his hands are clean enough from the other scrubbings they have endured during the night. Besides, my patient needs me now, this is life and death.

Yes, the patient needed him, and yes, his hands were pretty clean – compared to most of us. But this night, they were not clean enough. His patient survived the operation only to contract an infection that eventually took his life. In the weeks and months that followed, the doctor not only had to spend hours of his time meeting with hospital administration, lawyers and family members of the deceased patient – he had to face the mental anguish, guilt and pain of knowing that his patient didn’t survive because of the choices he made.

He had always taken the time to thoroughly scrub-in before surgery. Was he too tired? Was he overworked? Was it really the hospital’s fault for making him work such long hours? His mind reeled with thoughts, accusations and rationalizations. But in the end, it was determined that it was his negligence that caused the infection and subsequent death of his patient. Consequences – reputation and credibility tarnished, financial loss, lost esteem by administration and staff, not to mention the emotional scar of living with the knowledge that a family is devastated because of his actions.

None of us really enjoy rules. From childhood forward we seem to resent having to learn them and follow them. We would rather make our own rules, or try to live with no rules at all. But in reality, God is a God of rules. He is a God of order, and our lives, as well as the universe around us,are held together by rules. In God’s economy rules are put in place for our own good. Gravity is a rule created by Him that literally holds the world in place. The laws of physics, math and science, as well as our moral and social laws were all initially created by Him to operate our bodies, our families, our societies in accordance with His divine plan. They are put in place for our good, not harm. The limitations imposed by them are divinely inspired to lead us on good paths and keep us from harmful, damaging, and even disastrous consequences. They are set in place by a God Who loves us dearly and wants only our good.

We can ignore His rules, or we can choose to obey or disobey them – but we can’t ignore them. Cause and effect. If we ignore gravity and jump off the roof – we will fall (every time) and most likely hurt ourselves. If we don’t take care of our bodies, they will weaken and we will suffer the consequences. If we choose to live in sin and depravity, we will reap the consequences of our actions. If we treat our wife with harshness and insensitivity, we will live in a cold, contentious home. Just like the surgeon, we get to choose. We can opt out, or we can live deliberately, choosing to know and follow the rules set in place by a loving, caring, wise Father.

God’s instruction book is full of amazing rules for enjoying a glorious marriage relationship. As has been said, we can choose to live as if they don’t exist (ignore them), accept the fact that they do exist but decide we don’t like them (or some of them) and therefore choose not to obey them – or we can choose to embrace them, and walk in relationship with their Author, asking for His daily, continual wisdom, power and grace to walk in them. He has promised that those who make such decisions will be blessed beyond measure.

Do we really want to enjoy a wonderfully fulfilling marriage? Why not go back to the Rule Maker and the Rule Book, and begin to make choices that will insure such an outcome?

Surgeons – wash your hands.

Rob