Perspective Shift

This week we finally reach the end of our teaching series, Married for Good. This week, to wrap things up, we are talking about one of the simplest but most powerful ways we can improve not merely our marriages, but all of our relationships. Starting next week, we’ll begin an Advent series you won’t want to miss. Thanks for reading and sharing.

Perspective Shift

Everybody loves a good life hack. A life hack is a simple thing you can do to make some normal part of life easier and more efficient than it is right now. In honor of that this morning, I found a few life hacks to share with you. We’re getting into prime baking season. If you happen to be making cookies in the next few weeks, but you just don’t have time to do it from scratch (I see you) so you are using one of those premade logs of dough, use a bit of dental floss to slice them instead of a knife. You’ll get much cleaner and prettier slices. This also works really well if you are someone who makes cinnamon rolls from scratch (just saying). 

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Power Struggle

For the last couple of weeks, we have been working through Paul’s challenging words about marriage to the Ephesian church. What he describes there sounds awesome when it works, but the reality is that it doesn’t often work. Ideals are nice, but reality is rarely ideal. So, what do we do when things aren’t working like God intended, particularly when it comes to our marriages? That’s where something the apostle Peter said comes into play. This week, we are talking about what to do when reality falls short of ideal. This idea applies to our marriages, yes, but it applies more broadly than that as well. Read on to find out what to do and the impact it can have.

Power Struggle

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: Polycephaly is better than being monocephalic. Wait, you’ve never heard that one? Well, how about this version? Two heads are better than one. That probably sounds a bit more familiar. Be honest with me, though: How many of you have ever heard of the medical condition known as polycephaly? It is a rare genetic defect causing a creature (including human creatures) to be born with two heads. Perhaps you’ve seen a picture of a turtle like this one. This poor calf just tugs at your heartstrings a bit. This last one, however, is probably something you could only imagine seeing in a nightmare. As a general rule, God designed the various creatures He created to have one head. That’s all they need. When a creature enters the world with two heads, that is unfailingly a signal that something has gone wrong. If you want to be all theological about it, it is one of the many impacts of sin on the world. 

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Love Lived Out

Last week we began taking a look at what I promised would be some of the most important, but also the most challenging words on marriage we can find in the Scriptures. Paul’s counsel on how to get marriage right for the Ephesian believers starts with the command for wives to submit to their husbands and doesn’t get any easier from there. Without context, it just sounds like an ugly mess we rightly want to avoid. So, we started out this look last week with context. We explored the larger purpose and theme of the entire letter and came to the conclusion that something entirely different from what the world sees in these words is what Paul actually meant. This week, we are exploring Paul’s counsel itself and seeing what kind of sense we can make from it in light of the proper context. Keep reading to see how we did.

Love Lived Out

Have you ever done one of those hidden image pictures where you have to essentially color-by-number in order to discover what the image is? If you just look at it without doing any work on it at all, it looks basically like a bunch of random shapes all jammed together. At least, that’s the case if they’re done right. Until you begin filling in blanks, you aren’t able to really understand what you are seeing. If they’re created really well, you have to get several blanks filled in before you begin to get a clue. But at some point a picture starts to emerge. Once you’ve gotten a sense of where you’re going, then, the energy and intensity to work on it begin to increase. As you have a clearer and clearer sense of the end toward which you are working, you can move in that direction with greater diligence and speed. 

This is all a little like what we are going to be doing today. 

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 13:4

“Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Next up in our closing lightning round: Marriage. Honestly, this sort of seems like it comes out of left field. There hasn’t been a word about marriage in the rest of the letter. That’s also the case for several of the other commands in this list, but it’s a bit easier to see how they fit within the theme of the rest of the letter. This one stands out. Let’s spend a few minutes this morning reflecting on why this is here and what it looks like to honor marriage.

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One Anothering One Another

This week, as we continued our series, Married for Good, we started getting practical. What does it look like to get marriage right as followers of Jesus? In order to answer this question, we jumped headfirst into one of the most challenging – and misunderstood – passages about marriage in the entire New Testament. On this day for spooks and chills, this idea puts fear in the hearts of not a few couples. We’re talking about Paul’s words to the Ephesian believers which include the command for wives to submit to their husbands. Joy me this week and next as we work to make sense out of this, and to see how getting it right is a key to getting marriage right.

One Anothering One Another

Have you ever misunderstood something? There’s a difference between not understanding something and misunderstanding something. In the former instance, we have genuinely not grasped the details of some matter. Our acting in a manner inconsistent with it is out of pure ignorance. What’s more, this is often a known ignorance on our part. We understand that we don’t understand and can do something about that. Often, in this case, more time learning and gaining information about it will be the solution to the problem. But when we misunderstand something, the problem is deeper. In this case, we often think we do understand whatever it is. We think we understand, but in understanding it incorrectly, we react to it in ways that are inconsistent with reality. And, because we fail to grasp that we don’t understand it, attempts to correct us will often be rebuffed. They may even lead us to double down on our misunderstanding. It takes a lot of patience and often a lot of time to correct a misunderstanding. Well, this morning, we are going to start looking at something the apostle Paul said that is frequently misunderstood. We are going to see if we can set the misunderstandings to the side—both those of others and perhaps of ourselves as well—and get at what Paul is really trying to say. 

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