I Didn’t Marry My Soulmate … On Purpose

I did not marry my soulmate. And my wife would agree. Before anyone picks up their pitchforks and torches, let me explain. The philosopher Plato is credited with coming up with this notion of “soulmates”. He  believed that prior to birth a perfect soul was split into “male and female,” and that to be complete they must find each other and “reunite their souls.”   Many people out there believe in this idea of soulmates.

We all have heard someone say:

“I’ve found my soulmate”  or

“We are meant to be together”  or

“He/She is the one”.

Some Christians believe in soulmates, saying that the love of their life is a “gift from God”.

The concept of finding one’s soulmate is something pop culture puts out there on what an ideal romantic relationship ‘should’ look like. We are told that when we find our ‘soulmates’ or ‘the one’, we will be happy and finally be complete. Sadly, this places unrealistic expectations on the relationship. If complications in the marriage begin to occur (and they inevitably will), some might take this as a sign this person must not be ‘the one’.

No wonder divorce in the United States is so high! Sadly,  4 in 10  marriages have ended in divorce.

Early on into our marriage, I viewed our relationship incorrectly. I thought getting married was going to usher in my own happiness. When things went wrong, doubt would set in. But later on I came to realize, I had the wrong perspective on what God’s purpose was for marriage. My purpose and completeness should come from God, not my wife.

Gary Thomas points out “the problem with looking to another human to complete us is that spiritually speaking, it’s idolatry. We are to find our fulfillment and purpose in God…and if we expect our spouse to be ‘God’ to us, he or she will fail every day. No person can live up to such expectations.”

As a society, we have an ungodly view on marriage that is more transactional. The pop culture perspective of marriage is focused more on what the other person brings to your life which is quite selfish. Having this perspective on your marriage will lead to disappointment and possibly divorce.

Marriage was not created by God to find our own personal happiness and purpose in another person. He designed marriage to reflect the love He has for us. Our marriages should model the kind of relationship that Christ has for His bride, we the church. We must model the love in our marriages as defined in Ephesians 5:25-30:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church– for we are members of his body.

This means pursuing a love in our marriages that is sacrificial, purifying, and unwavering. As Christians, our marriages should reflect the love Christ has for us. Marriage is about sharpening each other for our own salvation, not about finding our own personal happiness, purpose, and completeness in another person. Marriages are comprised of two broken people who came together to become one flesh. By having a godly perspective on the purpose of marriage provides the necessary building blocks for a successful and lifelong marriage. The pop culture perspective will only bring disappointment and unhappiness. When we fulfill God purpose for marriage, it will bring glory to Him and His kingdom.

My wife is not the one. She’s the one because I married her. When we came together, I was one, she was one, and when we got married, we became one. I didn’t marry her because we were destined to be together by fate. I married her because that was  my choice. And it was  her choice  to marry me. I love her because  I choose  to love her. And she loves me because  she chooses  to love me. No matter what  I will always choose  to love her every day for the rest of my life. This is my promise to her.

To the Girls Who Want a Godly Man. This Is for You.

To the Girls Who Want a Godly Man. This Is for You.

“And two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh”  (Mark 10:8).

This is what biblical math for marriage looks like  1 + 1 = 1.

No, this is not common core math; this is what God’s definition of what marriage should look like if it were visualized mathematically.

As Scripture says, husband and wife, will become one, and live one life together. When we say “I do” we no longer live separate lives, but rather one.

American culture is all about the “me”, and not about the ‘we’. It’s individually focused. And competition is how we move forward individually. In marriage, focusing on “me’ and not on “we”, creates conflict.

As men, we are raised to be competitive with playing sports or in my case, playing video games. So, when we get married, our individualist traits become difficult to break. When we were single, we only had ourselves to worry about. But that all changes when we get married. If we don’t break the habit of acting as “me”, it will become a source of conflict in our marriage.

Here are 2 important qualities that all godly husbands should have:

One: A Servant-Leader

As men, we are called to be leaders of our household. But a good leader puts himself last and others first. Robert K. Greenleaf calls this  Servant Leadership.  “The servant-leader is a servant first. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first.” In the Bible, Jesus depicts what a servant-leader should be and as husbands, we are to emulate this in our marriages.

Jesus put it this way:    “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many”(Matthew 20:25-28).

Jesus could have ruled the world and had others serve him. But rather, he became a King who served others, washed dirty feet, and sacrificed himself for those he loved and served. A Christian husband should serve his wife, not rule over her. A godly husband puts his needs second, and his wife’s first.

Husbands, if you want to be King, you must first be a servant to your Queen.

Two: Shows plenty of grace

Forgiving those who hurt you is always difficult. In marriage, it’s no different. We’ve all have had our feelings hurt by our spouses at some point. You forgot to take out the trash or fold the laundry correctly. Or in my case, hung my wife’s clothes in the wrong spot. She will get mad and I will take it personally. Sometimes, she will say something that will hurt my feelings, and I will grumble about it for days.

In 1 Corinthians 4: 5, it states  loves keeps no record of wrongs. What this means is  we must forgive our spouses when they hurt us, and not hold what they did wrong in the past against them.  We must fill our marriages with plenty of grace.  Showing forgiveness towards our spouses is what God-like love looks like.

God forgave us for our sins, why should we not forgive the sins of our spouses?  If we want God to forgive us for our sins, we must show our spouse’s the same grace God has shown us.  

The hardest part of marriage is putting our spouse’s needs above our own. I know for myself and many other men, this is not a natural trait. We must be intentional in our marriages to live up to being Christlike. This world will try to pull our marriages apart. When we focus on ourselves, we are not becoming ‘one’. Being a servant-leader to our spouse’s and showing plenty of grace to our other half, is what a godly marriage looks like.

 

To the Girl Who Wants a Husband More Than Jesus

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.”

But how strange the sight! While one of those so closely united is engaged in devotion, the other is indifferent and careless; while one is seeking the way to everlasting life, the other is in the broad road to death.

Hundreds have sacrificed Christ and heaven in consequence of marrying unconverted persons. Can it be that the love and fellowship of Christ are of so little value to them that they prefer the companionship of poor mortals?

Is heaven so little esteemed that they are willing to risk its enjoyments for one who has no love for the precious Saviour?

To connect with an unbeliever is to place yourself on Satan’s ground. You grieve the Spirit of God and forfeit His protection. Can you afford to have such terrible odds against you in fighting the battle for everlasting life?

Ask yourself:

“Will not an unbelieving husband lead my thoughts away from Jesus? He is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God; will he not lead me to enjoy the things that he enjoys?”

The path to eternal life is steep and rugged. Take no additional weights to retard your progress.

My Anger and Need for Control Was Killing My Marriage (And My Faith)

My Anger and Need for Control Was Killing My Marriage (And My Faith)

Are you an angry person? If you exhibit any of the listed traits below, then it’s most possible that you are.

  • Not wanting to put up with (or wait for) something or someone
  • Often holding the belief that you are totally correct or morally superior
  • Irritable and Harsh in word and/or deed
  • Refuses to accept or even listen to the views of other

A Christian can be angry; but there is right anger and there is wrong anger. The Bible reminds us not to let our anger turn into sin. Ephesians 4:26 says, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. Actually, Ecclesiastes 7:9 tells us not to quickly get angry in the first place.

If you are easily angered, let the following Scriptures teach you how to overcome:

Exercise patience.

Ask God and let Him increase your capacity to accept and stand problems and suffering without becoming anxious or annoyed. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 exhorts us to be patient with all people.   2Timothy 2:24 further tells us that we ought to show patience even towards people who wrong us. Exercise patience as you trust God to work things out for you.

Nurture a tender heart.

Ephesians 4:32 tells us to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Tenderheartedness is having care and compassion for others. Extend mercy towards those who fail you. Forgive and give allowances. Allow them some time to make amends and restore whatever needs to be so.

Practice humility.

1 Corinthians 10:12 says that “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” It is dangerous to be overly confident in the thought that you have arrived or that you are filled with wisdom and rightness. 1 Corinthians 8:2 says, “The one who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” We will keep making mistakes and it is in being lowly in mind that we make less mistakes in life. Understand though that having a lowly mind is different from having a low mind about yourself. Don’t think of yourself to be too small. That’s definitely wrong. But don’t think of yourself “more highly than you ought to think.  (Romans 12:3). Also understand that it is in being lowly in mind that we become more understanding towards those who make mistakes in life.

Delay your response.

James 1:19 advises us to be slow to speak and slow to anger. In delaying your response and reactions you prevent yourself from talking and reacting out of stress or an overflow of emotions. Yield your mind and heart over to God. Unload your hurts to Him and trust Him to sort things out for you. Don’ just take it upon yourself to make it right. Let God back you up. Moreover, let Him bring wisdom to you in the handling of unpleasant circumstances. Stand back. Be still. Let God minister to you and enlighten you. Then, with guidance from the Holy Spirit, begin to deal with the matter at hand.