Digging in Deeper: Malachi 2:13-14

“This is another thing you do. You are covering the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning, because he no longer respects your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands. And you ask, ‘Why?’ Because even though the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, you have acted treacherously against her. She was your marriage partner and your wife by covenant.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There is great comfort in the fact that Jesus followers are no longer liable to the Law of Moses. If you don’t believe me, take some time over the next few days and read through Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, and reflect on everything you don’t have to do in order to be right with God because Jesus came and did all that He did. That being said, Jesus didn’t simply do away with the Law. He fulfilled it. And in so doing, some parts of it were picked up for application in the lives of His followers. Where the various authors of the New Testament repeat commands from the Old Testament, we know there really isn’t any wiggle room on them for us. This is one of those commands, and it isn’t comfortable.

Read the rest…

Getting Things Right

In this third part of our series, I Do, we finally start getting practical. In the first part we defined marriage, and last week we talked about its purpose. That’s all good and important to know, but how do we actually get it right? Let’s talk about it starting with a special focus on what husbands need to do if our marriages are going to be what they can be.

Getting Things Right

We’ve talked about this a few times before and will talk about it again in the future, but one of the challenges of being a follower of Jesus committed to the idea that the Scriptures are right and true in everything they affirm is that there are some places that are downright hard to handle. The reasons for the difficulty are sometimes theological, but they are also scientific and cultural and social and relational and even just applicational. For example, the Law of Moses calls for the stoning of incorrigibly rebellious children and at the same time Jesus said that He came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. Unless we can successfully understand Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law to mean that we can disregard commands such as that one, other than a strong temptation on rough days—like, say, day four or five of being stranded inside with three increasingly wild boys…not that Lisa and I know anything about that—we need to get used to the idea of living in constant and open rebellion to the Law given by God to His people.

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Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 5:25

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

If Paul’s words to wives were tough here, his words to husbands are even more challenging.  Wives are called to submit to their husbands as a function of their prior and larger submission to Christ.  Husbands are called to love their wives after the pattern of Christ’s love for the church.  That, of course, prompts a question: How did Christ loved the church?  Answer: He died for her.  He committed Himself to the last breath to seeing her become fully who God created her to be.  Everything he did was for her benefit.  Every single decision He made was filtered through the lens of whether or not it was going to be to her advantage.  For husbands, this is our standard. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Ephesians 5:22-24

“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.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Here it is at last.  The gleaming evidence, lit up by a flashing neon sign, pointing to the fact that Paul is now finally letting out his true colors.  He hates women.  He uses the dreaded “S-word” here.  He thinks women should be submitted, subjected, subordinated to men.  He is convinced, just like everybody else in his day, that they are of less value to society than men.  He was laying a foundation of oppression and injustice here that has persisted in the church until today.  Women should be silent and seated at the feet of their men, catering to their every whim, and treating them as if they were the god of the home.  Disgusting!  Why else would he write something like this? Read the rest…