Tag Archives: family

9/11/18 | Leaving and Cleaving

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.
Genesis 2:24 NLT

Disclaimer: I know this won’t resonate with all my readers, but I hope it might be an encouragement for those of you who are engaged, married, or hope to be someday. I also realize that not all couples are equally yoked, meaning that you may be a Christian but your spouse is not. Some of you have Christian parents and some of you don’t. I pray that you’ll seek God in your marriage and that He’ll provide in all the ways you need. This is by no means all the information out there on this topic, but I hope it can point you in the right direction.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume you didn’t marry your spouse based on physical attraction alone, but also based on what they bring to the table. You enjoy their humor and the way they talk. You have a lot in common and get along great. But you also found their morals, opinions, thought processes, life experience, way of doing things, and reasons for doing things appealing as well. You enjoyed how they differed from you and how that made you a stronger person.

But for whatever reason, once you actually married that person, all of a sudden their strengths and the things you loved most about them when you were dating became direct opposition to your own way of doing things. Meaning, they come into conflict with the way you were raised and with the way your parents did things. All of a sudden the very things that so attracted you to them become points of disconnect between you and can even cause arguments.

Instead of leaving the family we grew up in and forming a brand new family with our spouse, we run into trouble when we begin treating marriage like an extended sleepover. We like that person, it’s fun to be around them, but when push comes to shove it’s going to be our way (or rather our parents way) or the highway.

We need to see marriage as what it’s supposed to be: the joining of two into one. Men were not meant to do life alone, so God created women to come alongside them. And the two became one, both lending their strengths to the marriage. In a very real sense, your husband or your wife is your other half. God created man and woman so that they would leave their parents home and create a brand new one.

My husband doesn’t think the way my dad does. I don’t do things the way Luke’s mom does. And that’s to be celebrated. My husband is at his best when he has my trust and support. I’m at my best when I have his.

You weren’t meant to remain in your parent’s family, just as they weren’t meant to keep you in theirs. This means that your parents no longer have the final say over what decisions you make for your family – it’s up to you two to make the call and then live with those decisions. This means that the two of you decide which house you’re going to buy. The two of you decide when you’re ready to have kids of your own – no one can make that call but you. And so on and so on – down to things like buying a lawn mower or changing your diet.

Your relationship with your parents changes dramatically when you marry. This can be a very painful and confusing time for all parties involved. But your goal is this: to put your spouse first and foremost, and then to honor your parents in the process. One of the ways we honor our parents is by continuing to hold them in high esteem, respecting them, and understanding that they have a lot of life wisdom to offer. What a blessing we have in our parents, especially if they’ve been a Godly example for us!

These are difficult waters to navigate. I am only beginning to understand what it looks like to have an adult relationship with my parents and my in-laws. I would strongly urge you to seek out biblical counseling to help walk you through it so that you honor the Lord, your spouse, and your parents and in-laws – this has been one of the best thingsĀ  my husband and I have done together. No matter if you’ve been married 1 year or 60 (we’ve been married for 9 years), you both need to learn to walk through these waters as a team, and seek God for the answers. Begin praying with your spouse and ask the Lord to show you how to build and establish this new normal. He’ll help you.

8/28/18 | A Broken Spirit

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Psalm 51:16 – 17 NLT

Sometimes, I think we believe that the easiest way to gain favor with God, or to relieve our guilty conscience, is to offer some sort of sacrifice or offering, either of our time, energy, or finances. By spending time at church, or donating goods to the poor, we hope to gain God’s pleasure over us and expel any hard feelings regarding our failures.

But although we are asked to do those things as we become more like Christ, that is not in itself what God desires. What good would such gifts or offerings do him? He is God of all. He does not need stuff from us.

Look at it this way,

I believe we can still break God’s heart to this day. When we put our work, our family, our friends, our worry, our comfort, our entertainment, even our ministry, before God. When we put our one on one relationship with God on the back burner, I believe it hurts God’s heart. (Crystal Dill, The Mark of Moses)

The only thing God doesn’t have is our heart. What he wants more than anything is for us to give it to him. What he desires from us is a broken spirit. This means that we realize how we’ve grieved God with our sin, and in turn it grieves us deeply because what we truly desire is a relationship with him. And so we come to him broken and filled with regret. But what is so beautiful is that he will not reject a broken spirit.

He draws near to those who mourn over their sin. Those who know that they need God. Those who know that it’s not by works alone but by faith in Christ that they can be made right.

Those who are broken in spirit, he will not reject. Put the pretenses aside. If you are mournful over your sin and you simply want to be close to God again, then go to him directly to be reconciled. For that is what he desires.