|Divinely placed in Partnership||Gary Kosak|
|Life application study of Ephesians 5||Peter Kentley|
|Grow your Faith||"Being Disciples"|
|Pure Intimacy||Addressing on-line sexual temptation|
|Parenting Snapshots||Dorothy Nolte|
|Safety from Sexually Transmitted Diseases||Robert Layton|
|The Bondage of Sexual Freedom!||Forum 4|
|The Marriage Covenant||Dr Samuele Bacchiocchi|
|Discovering Love||What is love?|
By Gary and Helen Kosak
Christian Airline Personnel
Statistics - what is happening today?
Statistics - what has happened recently?
Almost every trip that I fly, I watch the passengers board and deplane. On almost every flight, we have the familiar "UM" or group of "UMs" airline talk for "kids" usually broken-hearted kids the Unaccompanied Minor - and the vast majority of them are not flying off to see Aunt Mary or Grandma!
These UM's are making their court-ordered appearance before a distant father or mother with whom they have had little contact. They are frightened to the core, often holding back buckets of tears as they say goodbye to their mom or dad, a step-mom or step-dad and contemplate what awaits them at the end of the flight. They are torn asunder from the core. Mom at one end of the nation, dad at the other. As the parents are split so too are the children torn right in half along with the divorce.
MARRIAGE is the
Trying to build a family or community without healthy marriages is like trying to build a building with broken parts and bent girders or assemble a car with broken parts. It just wont work!
Just a few days ago we opened a wedding invitation from some friends of ours. We had known them in their service to the U.S. Army while we were living in Germany. At that time the girl was high school young, in love with the Lord and growing in Him. On the mission field the girl fell in love with a young man, also on the mission field, and from a very godly family - some of whom had spent years on the mission field in the Middle East. It is coincidental that although we do not know that young man, we do know some of his family. Both are young people both serving the Lord.
When I called the young girls father, I did it with some trepidation. The invitation had just arrived in my mailbox and the wedding was only a couple of weeks away. The father answered the phone. I spoke with him. His question "Are you sitting down?" Then he dropped the bomb that I was already expecting. For whatever reason, this young couple had fallen into sin and are starting their marriage at a great disadvantage - she walking the aisle of her wedding with a baby growing in her womb.
I know that tragedy personally.
Ill give some possible answers later in this article...
Some thoughts about Marriage
Gods idea is that marriage is a reflection of Christ and His bride. Marriage is a microcosm of that relationship.
Marriage is a serious covenant. It is a covenant of blood. When Jesus died on the cross to redeem His bride, He gave His holy and precious blood as the payment for us. It was this that established the New Covenant that allowed us as Gentiles to be grafted into the natural stock of the olive tree .Israel who are our root... see Ephesians 5:25.
Though I speak of the physical now, marriage also reflects the blood covenant... man through circumcision; and woman during her first intercourse with her husband. What are the implications intended by God?
God is a God of one-ness. "Hear O Israel, the Lord God is one." He designed us to be one with Him to have one wife one husband one marriage one family all functioning under one God.
Temptation... our sin and sin nature rails against this godly design with the spiritual prodding of Gods adversary, the devil. Satan has many paths and he lies to us to take us where we may forsake Gods truth and plan for our lives.
Redemption... just as God has faithfully and continuously worked with Israel to redeem them, He uses the marriage covenant to do the same with each of us. He took Israel out of Egypt and He is continually working to get Egypt out of them (in other words our human or worldly appetites). God has an everlasting covenant with Israel:
Refining... our marriages are designed to refine each of us! God uses us in marriage as the "spiritual sandpaper" to smooth off the rough edges from each other. If sandpaper doesnt work, hell make us into chipping hammers and sandblasters to do the cutting and the fitting so that as living stones being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5) - we will fit just right into His place for us for eternity.
Why are marriages falling apart?
Lets go back and try to answer the question of why things are like this in marriage. Why did our young missionary friends fall into sin?
Although the whys can be answered from a number of viewpoints, today we will see it as simple unadulterated NEGLECT.
Lets go to the Garden of Eden
We are familiar with the story.
Notice that Adam was with her... it was Adams neglect that allowed Eve to eat of the fruit! Adam knew Gods command... he knew God's word. Adam neglected his duty as a husband to tell the devil to "rack off" and to stop his wife from committing this sin. He then openly disobeyed joining her in the sin.
After this God then spoke to Eve, telling her that her desire will be for her husband and that he will rule over her. God then catches up with Adam:
Adam neglected the word of God... he entered into idolatry when he listened to his wife instead of listening to God. He put her before God and thus committed idolatry and spiritual neglect.
I do not speak these words as one who does not need their correction. I am all too aware of how short I fall in many areas of life, where I can neglect something... from people to property. I also owe much of the revelation and understanding to a pastor that preached and taught the many points that follow (I regret that I cannot remember his name).
The number One form of abuse is neglect.
For example when we neglect our prayer time, wife, husband, children, church, or the Word of God. Whenever we resort to living where we are experience-oriented rather than character-oriented ~ we are on the road of NEGLECT which leads toward abuse and destruction.
Isn't this the meaning of the metaphorical tree in this story: "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil' that will "kill us" - ed).
Some typical forms of neglect
Neglect is often disguised as devotion to a higher calling
But this may be a subtle form of ego gratification. It can be rebellion in a socially acceptable style. If this is going on in your life - you need more of the character of God inside of you. For example...
Neglect is usually not recognized by the offender
The self-deception and rationalisation is so great that the person is convinced that he or she is serving God or community - and that this calling is a "higher one" than the simple devotion to God and family. When we are in this sin we are often indignant if we are challenged by someone in the family, i.e.: a husband or wife. We can easily rationalise that it is much more important to go help someone else or plan the next event on the church calendar than to stay home and cook a good dinner for your family. It is more important to carry a placard against abortion than to spend time teaching a son to throw a baseball.
Neglect will always lead to conflict
It will ultimately be the cause of family breakdown. If a man is not spending time nurturing his family the complaints will mount. Children will begin to find other things to do. Theyll stay out of the way or become interested in other things almost always of "the world". Tensions will mount and there will be ensuing conflicts between everyone. In the confusion it will be difficult to see the real answer - because in actual fact we are all neglecters in some way!
This breakdown can occur in our home, in our church, and in the community. Then instead of praying for one another and trusting God for His solutions - we fight, spit, scratch, and claw over whos right and whos wrong.
Most men and women defend negligence
They do this by pointing out faults in their accuser. The character of Christ is not to hide sin but to repent of it. Neglect is a major sin in all of this.
All negligence is rebellion in disguise
It often takes its form in lack of appropriately applied energy... opportunity knocks but it takes effort to change and rediscover truth. consider -
You never have to teach kids to sin!
You just have to NEGLECT teaching them righteousness.
Repentance is the pivotal point between Ruin and Restoration
When there is no repentance and the condition of neglect continues - ruin is sure to come... because where there is no repentance - sin smoulders!
Satan has no leverage where there is no sin.
The opposite is also true. Where there IS sin, satan does have leverage.
When there is neglect, there is sin. It is obviously the sin of omission of not doing something that should be done - and doing something else that is of less importance. We may accomplish something but we may still have sinned by omission by not doing that which is of higher priority.
We cannot compensate in sacrifice what we lose in disobedience
For example, being too lazy to get involved with the family or kids - so we give the kids money to assuage our guilt!
Remorse and regret are NOT repentance
Without sorrow for sin - there is no real repentance!
Conviction of sin is not evidence of Gods displeasure but of His love
God is the one who chastens - and He does chasten His children (Hebrews 12:10).
Peace and Passivity are not synonymous
Sometimes you have to fight for peace... wars are fought to achieve peace! However any "war" that we fight in the family should be done with the dignity and love of Christ. But, the war for good and Godly order must be fought.
The opposite of the spirit of NEGLECT
Husband as Redeemer
Submitting to one another
Submitting to husbands
Eph 5:22 (following) is a difficult passage in the church today. In the west it seems as though we have become so super-sensitive that we have gone to the extreme of not wanting to take leadership of our homes. Some do not want to teach this controversial passage, perhaps out of fear of the feminist movement that has struck our society. IN MANY CASES WE HAVE ABDICATED OR DEFAULTED IN OUR GOD ORDAINED ROLE AS MEN!
What this does NOT
How it can work
Rather let's put this into its proper biblical context...
Give your men a chance where they have fallen short and are trying to make good. Allow them to lead. Don't make it tough for your husband to lead you. Follow him... as long as he is not unbiblical. Rather pick up on the Scriptures... "let's see what God's word says for us to do".
Please hear this...
Men... we have to give our
wives something to submit to!
In essence God is saying...
to your husbands
When relationships are in sin (because of either husband or wife) - and when the wife begins to take charge it becomes a form of judgment. "Youths oppress my people women rule over them." (Is 3:12).
In all of this description it takes us back to the Lord in His words in the Isaiah passage where He says that the Lord as husband is your maker. In an emulative way, we are to be that to our wives... "makers"... acting in such a way as to redeem the times.
We men are to lead our wives and pray the Word over her. We want to present our wives to ourselves, radiant without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. That's what the Lord is saying when He says "In this same way husbands ought to..." (Eph 5: 28).
Husbands... LOVE your wives!
Love is patient, kind, envies no one, is never boastful, is not conceited, is not rude or selfish. love does not take offence. It keeps no score of wrong, does not gloat over other men's wrongs. Love perseveres (1 Cor 13).
One more thing - love does not take - love gives
When something is not going well in the relationship or one partner wants something that the other is not willing to give (for whatever reason), it is not for us to take.
For example in the sexual area if a woman does not give her body to her husband (does not want to cant doesnt feel well whatever) ~ it is not for the man to take.
Likewise if a wife thinks that something should be done around the house (buy a new couch designate a room for a certain kind of use give a large sum of money to a charity etc) - and her husband baulks for some reason, then it is not for the wife to take by demanding and implementing her own way!
Your idea which you might be "sure" is Gods idea needs to be tested - is it loving and giving in nature? Love GIVES and LOVE RECEIVES but love doesnt demand it's own way.
I am a long way from what I have described above. In some ways it is hypocritical to teach how to live, when I myself am struggling in these areas. Nevertheless may these biblical exhortations lead us to the higher calling of Christ - as we work them out in our divinely placed partnership.
Gary and Helen Kosak
If the parents don't give their children the values, then someone else will!
The power of your influence depends on the power of your relationship.
Phillip Wong, Wesley Methodist Counselling Centre, Singapore.
"If a child lives with criticism,
He/she learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility,
He/she learns violence.
If a child lives with ridicule,
He/she learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame,
He/she learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with encouragement,
He/she learns confidence.
If a child lives with praise,
He/she learns to appreciate.
If a child lives with fairness,
He/she learns justice.
If a child lives with security,
He/she learns faith.
If a child lives with approval,
He/she learns to like him/herself.
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship
He/she learns to love the world."
Dorothy Law Nolte
The Time is Now - my Mum
I had a marvellous mother who loved me, sacrificed for me and helped me in every way possible.
In all of my growing up, through college and eventually marriage, my mother was always at my side. And when I needed help with my little ones, she was there for me.
Today, we buried that wonderful woman. Can you imagine how I felt when I returned from the services and found this poem in her desk drawer...
If you are ever going to love me
Love me now while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow
Love me now while I am living
Do not wait until I am gone
And then have it chiselled in marble
Sweet words on ice cold stone
If you have tender thoughts of me
Please tell me now
If you wait until I am sleeping
Never will be death between us
And I won't hear you then
So if you love me, even a little bit
Let me know while I am living
So that I can treasure it
Now she is gone and I never told her what she meant to me I did not treat her as she deserved to be treated.
I found time for everyone and everything but I never made time for her. It would have been easy to drop in for a cup of tea and a hug but my friends came first. Would any of them have done for me what my mother did? I know the answer.
When I called mom on the phone, I was always in a hurry. I feel ashamed when I think of the times I cut her off. I remember too, the times I could have included her and didn't.
Our children loved Grandma from the times they were babies. They often turn to her for comfort and advice. She understood them.
I realise now that I was too critical, too short-tempered, too stingy with praise. Grandma gave them unconditional love.
The world is filled with sons and daughters like me. I hope they see themselves in this letter and profit from it. It's now too late for me