RSS

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Sis…You Make Me Smile!

About three months ago, my daughter Sydney got her drivers license. As I pulled in from work that afternoon, my wife came out to see me with a funny look on her face. One of those looks that says, “I hope you are prepared for what you are about to see!”. Without a word she reached up and kissed me as I heard my daughter start her car for the first time. A moment later, Sydney drove slowly around the driveway from the back of the house (with her sister next to her), rolled her window down and said simply “BYE DAD!”….and off she went. I could not even speak. “Yesterday” she was proud of herself for wearing “big girl pants” and now she is driving?!? Are you kidding me!

In the few weeks since that haunting afternoon, I have often looked back on those 16 years of life and have come to the conclusion that she is “growing up good”! Yea, I know, we all have kids and they are the smartest, prettiest, and most talented teenagers on the planet…I get it. None of that is true with Sydney. Sure she is smart, pretty and talented but she is a normal 16 year old girl with a pretty ordinary life. Public schooled, likes boys, loves movies and romance, she laughs a lot and cries when she needs to. “Bad hair days” can “rock her world”, friendships can be both painful and terrific (all at the same time) and school is well, school. To sum it up….. “it ain’t easy being a 16 year old girl!”…. but Sydney has some pretty extraordinary qualities that get her through all of that junk:

1. She Loves Jesus. Not in the “my dad is on staff and people are watching me” kind of way but in the “I want to walk with Him when no one is looking too” kind of way. I mean, she has wrestle with God through heartbreak, challenges, loss and blessings and still clings to him. If it is true that most adults still “are who we are” in High School, then Sydney is gonna make a great adult.

2. She Will Be Your Friend, Even If You are Popular! When Sydney turned 16 we thought it would be a good idea to have a “few” of her friends over for a party to celebrate. Well, a “few” turned into 72! The number of friends is not the cool part…it was the variety. Athletes, band members, home-schoolers, drama clubbers, cheerleaders, church kids, un-churched kids, “rival” High School kids, cowboys, druggies…er…kids who are struggling with substance abuse, etc… all came to the party, got along and “played by her rules”. In fact, we had one of the interns bring a sound system and play music. The whole place was dancing to Toby Mac, LeCrae and even “Uncle Charlie” songs… you won’t see that on MTV! For some of these kids it was the first time at a party like this. The home-schoolers had not been around “substance abusers” who had not been around jocks, who don’t hang with the drama folks etc… but they did at her party. Ya see….She will not hold it against you if you are popular, can throw a ball, blow a horn, like to act, don’t go to her school, have money, tons of acne, sport a tat, wear button downs or a drive a “beamer”! She does not care…and a lot of people love her for it.

3. She Can Sing! Really…I’m talking freakish talent. I mean the “get this kid a Scholarship (I hope) and a contract” kind of singing. Watching her lead worship and/or sing a solo is breathtaking. So good so young. No dreams of being the next “big thing” just being herself. She sings Sinatra, Swift, Buble’, Nicole, Jobe, Nordaman and even some Crowder, all with equal ease. If you have ever watched your child do something that honors the Lord and smiles while they are doing it…. well, lets just say it is pretty cool.

4. She Makes Good Decisions. Sydney, while far from being perfect, really makes good decisions. From what friends to “bring close” to “how to get herself out of tempting situations”, Sydney usually “nails it”.

5. She Still Hugs Me and My Wife! In front of “God and everyone” she still comes up and gives the best hugs ever! The kind of hug that lasts for about 10 seconds. The kind of hug that ends in a crescendo of “mm-mmmm!” She hugs me in front of potential boyfriends, her friends from school, other adults…and when no one else is looking. It is a reflection of her heart.

It makes me smile!

 
 

TRAPPED IN MINISTRY? Maybe This will help…

TRAPPED IN MINISTRY?

I have watched a number of guys in ministry “flame out”. They were discouraged because they could not support the direction of their church. It was NOT that they had a biblical disagreement (at least nothing significant) it was just that they did not like the methods, the lack of attention to whatever they cared about, the rebellious hearts, or the style of leadership that their pastor embraced… all culminated in discouragement and finally drove them to “greener pastures”. They just FELT TRAPPED! It was draining and the “only option” was to leave. That  is a difficult place to be.  But of all of these men (5),  NONE was glad he left his church.  So what do you do if you are feeling trapped but the answer is to stay put?

Maybe these few reminders will help.…they helped me.

1. You Can Embrace the “BIG PICTURE” without Liking All the Little Stuff – if your church is doctrinally sound then you will be fine. So it is a little too formal for your liking …the music is so 1990’s (or 1890’s) …your pastor wears a tie! (oh my!)   Can you still serve Jesus there?  Can you still impact lives for the kingdom there? Can you recruit, equip and launch other people into ministry there? Then maybe your focus is on the wrong thing (mine was) … yourself, your comfort, your “relevance”. You don’t have to agree with everything that your church does, everything your pastor says, or every decision made. You just have to agree to serve the Lord according to the CORE and CULTURE of the church you serve.  Freedom!

2. There are Dozens of Different Ways to “DO” church!  I know what I believe but could argue for and against a lot of things. Elders, staff, deacons, “simple church”, programming, Purpose Driven models, missional (at least what it has come to mean), mission strategies, alter calls, LIFE Groups, home groups, worship styles, creativity, drinking, tongues …etc, etc…and blah, blah, blah!  But here is the deal…I also know where my church stands on all of those issues…I stand with my church! Not in violation of my conscience and certainly not in violation of Scripture…. but in support of the leadership, plan and direction my pastor (leadership of the church) has determined we should go. It is freeing to have convictions that differ from my church (insignificant issues) and a conviction to uphold and support the local body that I serve. Freedom!

3. You Really Don’t Know “their” Motives. Is your pastor more concerned about attendance than impact? Are they more interested in money coming in than with lives transformed by the Gospel? Are they just trying to make a name for themselves?  If you can emphatically answer these questions “YES!” then you may have a problem judging the hearts of the folks you work with. Let that stuff go. It will kill you. Focus on your own motives…unless you see something immoral, unethical or illegal going on then assume the best about your pastor and rest of the staff. (yes I know what assuming does…and it is a lie) You will  sleep better and last longer. Freedom!

4. Find “Your Ministry” in Spite of Your position. What is it about ministry that got you “jazzed up” in the first place?  Do you remember? Do you ever get to do that? A good friend of mine in ministry reminds me often of this. He will say that the time he spends preparing a message, mentoring men and teaching, is all stuff he would do for free. It is what he loves doing and would do it without the paycheck from the church.  The weekly visits, the phone calls to folks who have been gone for a while, the leadership meetings, the hospital visits etc…. THAT is the stuff he is paid to do. He (and I) have found some comfort in that perspective.  Freedom!

5. Longevity Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Ministry.  I was the guy who was never at a church more than about 4 years (climbing the proverbial ministry ladder). So in spite of being “in ministry” for more than 22 years I really only have about 8 years experience. (That is how long I have served my current church). Many guys in ministry for 15 or 20 years really only have 3-4 years experience…they have just repeated their experience 5 times!  You see, there is a big difference in perspective that comes from being in the same place, serving alongside many of the same people for many years. They know me, my family, my strengths and weaknesses etc… I have influence that I could not possibly have were I the new guy. Anyone can be good at something for a season (coaches, pastors, execs, teachers etc…) but you will see the quality of their lives if you can watch them over the years. Hang around long enough to watch God change your situation…and change you. Freedom!

6.  “Greener Pastures” Often Just Means Different Weeds. The “young, hip, missional, reformed ” churches that are doing “innovative” things have their own share of headaches and problem. Just because it sounds good in a blog, tweet or brochure does not mean you are a fit there. I am a 43 year old Minister of Education in a multi-generational Mega-church. In spite of my longing to be at a “church plant” in major metropolitan area (by the way…the “coolness factor” of such a church is amazing!) my gifts are best suited for where I am… at least for now ;).  Freedom!

7. Your Churches CULTURE is Neither Right nor Wrong….it just IS What it IS.  Of course, if the culture is systematically contrary to scripture (the big stuff not the small stuff) that is a different story.  Enjoy the culture God has for you in the place he has for you to serve. I’m saying this as the guy who actually changes clothes a couple of times on Sunday’s to accommodate my Sr. Adults (whom I love) and our Young Adults (whom I also love). I go from coat and tie, to no coat with tie, to jeans and button down, to “untucked”  in the course of my morning. You say it is compromise, I say it is showing respect to the folks I serve. It is my culture.  Freedom!

You may find freedom in a situation where you previously felt trapped …I did!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 17, 2010 in Discipleship, Leadership

 

MINISTRY IS TOUGH ON EGOS…SO DON’T BRING ONE.

We have an AMAZING group of interns in our student ministry. They are excellent in every way!

These are some of the notes from a talk I gave to a group of them. It sums up a lot my beliefs about what they will face in ministry….It is a little stern sounding but hopefully more of a “velvet hammer” than a sledge.    

MINISTRY IS NOT JUST A JOB, IT IS AN ADVENTURE!

  • You Will Be the Most Influential Person in the Life of Some of These Kids. The outcast, the lonely, the immature etc… even the kid with “ministry” stars in their eyes will demand a lot of attention.   On a very small scale you will be a “rock star”…don’t let it go to your head! You are not that big a deal…NONE OF US ARE! But we have been given a great gift. The ability to influence kids for the Kingdom!
  • They Will Trust and Look Up to You – some of the kids don’t have any adults who are even remotely interested in their lives. They will trust you with their secrets, their pain, their silliness, their crushes and their dreams. Never betray that trust unless it is dangerous to the student! You can never get mixed up with the gossip or part of the drama. Your role is to be a calming influence. Defuse the controversy that “so easily entanges the lives of teenagers.  
  • They Will Listen to What You Say… and What You Don’t Say. All eyes will be on you when you respond to problems, face difficult decisions, get excited about something, joke, respond to injustice etc…. and they will feel the freedom to copy you… and they will. Big responsibility.  
  • There is a “Target on your Back”.  (John 10:10) While everyone who names Jesus as Lord and Savior has a “target on their backs”, there is a special brand of attack that is saved for anyone who is in a position of leadership. Why? If you take out the leader you usually do a lot to take out those who follow them.
  • They will push you emotionally and spiritually– I really hope that you signed up to be the last one home from a trip (after the last kids parents forgot they were coming back “tonight?”) Or the one who has to run an errand no one else wants to.
  • This Ministry is Hard on Ego’s…So Don’t Bring One.  Your job is to support what the Student Pastor (Junior High Pastor) has determined needs to be done. He is supporting the direction of the church (Pastor) and is held accountable for the overall ministry. Unless it is immoral unethical, illegal or dangerous…follow his lead!
  • This is Not a Place to Relive Your Student Ministry Days. This ministry is not about the staff…it is about God and Students! Far too many folks enter Student ministry to gain automatic leadership or worse, to gain a popularity that they did not achieve while actually IN High School/Jr. High.  This Student ministry is the place to come and serve with humility and determination…not an easy shot at leadership. Leadership will come to those who lead well. Not those who need leadership in order to feel good about themselves. (ouch!)
  • You Have Been Asked to Serve Here Because We Believe That You Meet the Standards Set Forth.  You would not be here unless we believed in what you can add to the lives of the students in this ministry. Glad you are here!

 THINGS THAT WILL ALLOW YOUR MINISTRY TO BLOOM HERE…

  • Competence.  You may not understand that there is a lot more to ministry than being a good man/woman. You must be competent. At what?… you may ask. Well here is a short little list…recruit, train and deploy volunteers. Return phone calls, show up on time, follow through, outreach, in-reach, “rightly dividing the Word of God” (2 Tim 2:15),Make decisions on the go, handle parents well, follow through with your commitments, etc….. It is whole lot more than just “Loving Jesus”!
  • Be “in the Word”.  We expect you to be able to grow on your own. We will certainly help you, support you, challenge you, give you the tools you need to grow and cultivate an environment where growth can take place…but we expect the intern staff to walk with the Lord.  (Phil 2:12)
  • Enthusiasm.  We are here to serve with passion and enthusiasm.
  • Good Attitude.  This is a key part of having “THICK SKIN AND A HEART LIKE JESUS”. Attitudes can do everything from drive kids away to “grieve the spirit”  (Ephesians 4:29-30)  
  • Strong Work Ethic.  Ministry is a huge blessing to those who are called to it.  It is also a very difficult consuming pursuit. We work hard as  “working for the Lord”  (Col. 3:23)
  • Thick skin. Not everyone will like you! As great as you are… there will be parents who are not impressed, kids who think you are a jerk and other staff people who don’t “get” you. It’s OK? Let it be there issue. Do what you can to mend relationships (Matt. 5:24) and then move on. Not everyone is supposed to like you!

THINGS THAT WILL “KILL YOUR MINISTRY” HERE….

  • Bad Doctrine. So much is floating around out there that is just plain “bad Doctrine”. We are not asking you to be Biblical Scholars…just stick to the basics until you get a firm grasp on what it is that you are talking about. (By the way, A “firm grasp” does not include the latest Rob Bell video, Brian McClaren book or trendy “new theology”)
  • Disloyalty. Follow in attitude and action.
  • Immorality. Bye-Bye
  • Lack of integrity. Yea this too….bye-bye.
  • Laziness.  This is hard work…no time to be lazy.
  • Selfish Ambition. (James 3:16)

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 15, 2010 in Discipleship, Leadership

 

EVIDENCE FOR THE RESURRECTION from Josh McDowell

Found this in my “Easter Resources” folder…. real good stuff from Josh McDowell…enjoy

Evidence for the Resurrection

by Josh McDowell

For centuries many of the world’s distinguished philosophers have assaulted Christianity as being irrational, superstitious and absurd. Many have chosen simply to ignore the central issue of the resurrection. Others have tried to explain it away through various theories. But the historical evidence just can’t be discounted.

A student at the University of Uruguay said to me. “Professor McDowell, why can’t you refute Christianity?”

“For a very simple reason,” I answered. “I am not able to explain away an event in history–the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

How can we explain the empty tomb? Can it possibly be accounted for by any natural cause?


A QUESTION OF HISTORY
After more than 700 hours of studying this subject, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted on the minds of human beings–or it is the most remarkable fact of history.

Here are some of the facts relevant to the resurrection: Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet who claimed to be the Christ prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures, was arrested, was judged a political criminal, and was crucified. Three days after His death and burial, some women who went to His tomb found the body gone. In subsequent weeks, His disciples claimed that God had raised Him from the dead and that He appeared to them various times before ascending into heaven.

From that foundation, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and has continued to exert great influence down through the centuries.


LIVING WITNESSES
The New Testament accounts of the resurrection were being circulated within the lifetimes of men and women alive at the time of the resurrection. Those people could certainly have confirmed or denied the accuracy of such accounts.

The writers of the four Gospels either had themselves been witnesses or else were relating the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events. In advocating their case for the gospel, a word that means “good news,” the apostles appealed (even when confronting their most severe opponents) to common knowledge concerning the facts of the resurrection.

F. F. Bruce, Rylands professor of biblical criticism and exegesis at the University of Manchester, says concerning the value of the New Testament records as primary sources: “Had there been any tendency to depart from the facts in any material respect, the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience would have served as a further corrective.”


IS THE NEW TESTAMENT RELIABLE?
Because the New Testament provides the primary historical source for information on the resurrection, many critics during the 19th century attacked the reliability of these biblical documents.

By the end of the 1 9th century, however, archaeological discoveries had confirmed the accuracy of the New Testament manuscripts. Discoveries of early papyri bridged the gap between the time of Christ and existing manuscripts from a later date.

Those findings increased scholarly confidence in the reliability of the Bible. William F. Albright, who in his day was the world’s foremost biblical archaeologist, said: “We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.”

Coinciding with the papyri discoveries, an abundance of other manuscripts came to light (over 24,000 copies of early New Testament manuscripts are known to be in existence today). The historian Luke wrote of “authentic evidence” concerning the resurrection. Sir William Ramsay, who spent 15 years attempting to undermine Luke credentials as a historian, and to refute the reliability of the New Testament, finally concluded: “Luke is a historian of the first rank . . . This author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians. ”

I claim to be an historian. My approach to Classics is historical. And I tell you that the evidence for the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ is better authenticated than most of the facts of ancient history . . .  E. M. Blaiklock Professor of Classics, Auckland University


BACKGROUND
The New Testament witnesses were fully aware of the background against which the resurrection took place. The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body. After the body was placed in a solid rock tomb, an extremely large stone was rolled against the entrance of the tomb. Large stones weighing approximately two tons were normally rolled (by means of levers) against a tomb entrance.

A Roman guard of strictly disciplined fighting men was stationed to guard the tomb. This guard affixed on the tomb the Roman seal, which was meant to “prevent any attempt at vandalizing the sepulcher. Anyone trying to move the stone from the tomb’s entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath of Roman law.

But three days later the tomb was empty. The followers of Jesus said He had risen from the dead. They reported that He appeared to them during a period of 40 days, showing Himself to them by many “infallible proofs.” Paul the apostle recounted that Jesus appeared to more than 500 of His followers at one time, the majority of whom were still alive and who could confirm what Paul wrote. So many security precautions were taken with the trial, crucifixion, burial, entombment, sealing, and guarding of Christ’s tomb that it becomes very difficult for critics to defend their position that Christ did not rise from the dead. Consider these facts:

• FACT #1: BROKEN ROMAN SEAL
As we have said, the first obvious fact was the breaking of the seal that stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The consequences of breaking the seal were extremely severe. The FBI and CIA of the Roman Empire were called into action to find the man or men who were responsible. If they were apprehended, it meant automatic execution by crucifixion upside down. People feared the breaking of the seal. Jesus’ disciples displayed signs of cowardice when they hid themselves. Peter, one of these disciples, went out and denied Christ three times.

FACT #2: EMPTY TOMB
As we have already discussed, another obvious fact after the resurrection was the empty tomb. The disciples of Christ did not go off to Athens or Rome to preach that Christ was raised from the dead. Rather, they went right back to the city of Jerusalem, where, if what they were teaching was false, the falsity would be evident. The empty tomb was “too notorious to be denied.” Paul Althaus states that the resurrection “could have not been maintained in Jerusalem for a single day, for a single hour, if the emptiness of the tomb had not been established as a fact for all concerned.”
Both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions admit an empty tomb. Those resources range from Josephus to a compilation of fifth-century Jewish writings called the “Toledoth Jeshu.” Dr. Paul Maier calls this “positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of historical evidence. In essence, this means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor, then that fact is genuine.”
Gamaliel, who was a member of the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin, put forth the suggestion that the rise of the Christian movement was God’s doing; he could not have done that if the tomb were still occupied, or if the Sanhedrin knew the whereabouts of Christ’s body.
Paul Maier observes that ” . . . if all the evidence is weighed carefully and fairly, it is indeed justifiable, according to the canons of historical research, to conclude that the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea, in which Jesus was buried, was actually empty on the morning of the first Easter. And no shred of evidence has yet been discovered in literary sources, epigraphy, or archaeology that would disprove this statement.”

FACT #3: LARGE STONE MOVED
On that Sunday morning the first thing that impressed the people who approached the tomb was the unusual position of the one and a half to two ton stone that had been lodged in front of the doorway. All the Gospel writers mention it.
There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies . . . Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based upon an irrational bias.  – Clark Pinnock , McMaster University
Those who observed the stone after the resurrection describe its position as having been rolled up a slope away not just from the entrance of the tomb, but from the entire massive sepulcher. It was in such a position that it looked as if it had been picked up and carried away. Now, I ask you, if the disciples had wanted to come in, tiptoe around the sleeping guards, and then roll the stone over and steal Jesus’ body, how could they have done that without the guards’ awareness?

FACT #4: ROMAN GUARD GOES AWOL
The Roman guards fled. They left their place of responsibility. How can their attrition he explained, when Roman military discipline was so exceptional? Justin, in Digest #49, mentions all the offenses that required the death penalty. The fear of their superiors’ wrath and the possibility of death meant that they paid close attention to the minutest details of their jobs. One way a guard was put to death was by being stripped of his clothes and then burned alive in a fire started with his garments. If it was not apparent which soldier had failed in his duty, then lots were drawn to see which one wand be punished with death for the guard unit’s failure. Certainly the entire unit would not have fallen asleep with that kind of threat over their heads. Dr. George Currie, a student of Roman military discipline, wrote that fear of punishment “produced flawless attention to duty, especially in the night watches.”

FACT #5: GRAVECLOTHES TELL A TALE
In a literal sense, against all statements to the contrary, the tomb was not totally empty–because of an amazing phenomenon. John, a disciple of Jesus, looked over to the place where the body of Jesus had lain, and there were the grave clothes, in the form of the body, slightly caved in and empty–like the empty chrysalis of a caterpillar’s cocoon. That’s enough to make a believer out of anybody. John never did get over it. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes–undisturbed in form and position.

FACT #6: JESUS’ APPEARANCES CONFIRMED
Christ appeared alive on several occasions after the cataclysmic events of that first Easter . When studying an event in history, it is important to know whether enough people who were participants or eyewitnesses to the event were alive when the facts about the event were published. To know this is obviously helpful in ascertaining the accuracy of the published report. If the number of eyewitnesses is substantial, the event can he regarded as fairly well established. For instance, if we all witness a murder, and a later police report turns out to he a fabrication of lies, we as eyewitnesses can refute it.


OVER 500 WITNESSES
Several very important factors arc often overlooked when considering Christ’s post-resurrection appearances to individuals. The first is the large number of witnesses of Christ after that resurrection morning. One of the earliest records of Christ’s appearing after the resurrection is by Paul. The apostle appealed to his audience’s knowledge of the fact that Christ had been seen by more than 500 people at one time. Paul reminded them that the majority of those people were still alive and could be questioned. Dr. Edwin M. Yamauchi, associate professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, emphasizes: “What gives a special authority to the list (of witnesses) as historical evidence is the reference to most of the five hundred brethren being still alive. St. Paul says in effect, ‘If you do not believe me, you can ask them.’ Such a statement in an admittedly genuine letter written within thirty years of the event is almost as strong evidence as one could hope to get for something that happened nearly two thousand years ago.” Let’s take the more than 500 witnesses who saw Jesus alive after His death and burial, and place them in a courtroom. Do you realize that if each of those 500 people were to testify for only six minutes, including cross-examination, you would have an amazing 50 hours of firsthand testimony? Add to this the testimony of many other eyewitnesses and you would well have the largest and most lopsided trial in history.


HOSTILE WITNESSES
Another factor crucial to interpreting Christ’s appearances is that He also appeared to those who were hostile or unconvinced.

Over and over again, I have read or heard people comment that Jesus was seen alive after His death and burial only by His friends and followers. Using that argument, they attempt to water down the overwhelming impact of the multiple eyewitness accounts. But that line of reasoning is so pathetic it hardly deserves comment. No author or informed individual would regard Saul of Tarsus as being a follower of Christ. The facts show the exact opposite. Saul despised Christ and persecuted Christ’s followers. It was a life-shattering experience when Christ appeared to him. Although he was at the time not a disciple, he later became the apostle Paul, one of the greatest witnesses for the truth of the resurrection.

If the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt.

 

“7 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Marry Him…”

I have noticed that the women in my life (wife and two daughters) are “hardwired” to be attracted to the “mushy romantic stuff”. (thank you Captain Obvious) It is just “IN THEM”. In fact, after fighting it for years they have “won me” over to their side.

SOOOOOO I am publicly (all 6 of you that will read this) admitting that I’m all for “mushy love”…romantic, candlelit, corny love. The kind of love that happens in the movies…in New York City…..in the snow…. at Christmas time. You know… the “can’t breathe without you, if we don’t get married I’ll die, talk on the phone till 2 in the morning, leg popping, “Pride and Prejudice” kind of love.

Yep ….Thats me.

While I’m at it I have a few more random confessions…

I actually liked “The Notebook” more than I probably should have. I think Jane Austen was a great writer! The movie “Titanic” would have “sunk” without Jack Dawson and Rose. Valentines Day IS a real holiday! I believe in love at first sight! Kisses mean something. “Wall-E” was great because a robot finds love. Gladiator was a romance… and the Princess Bride could be the BEST MOVIE EVER MADE!!!!

eh-hem.

BUT… Since that kind of “love” usually last till just after the “credits” there are some things that I want my daughters to look for besides “all of that”.

I want em to ask themselves a few simple questions about the man they will someday (presumably) marry:

1. DOES HE LOVE JESUS? Several years ago I stopped talking in terms of “being a Christian” and started asking, do they “love Jesus”?   After all, I live in Texas, EVERYONE IS A “CHRISTIAN”! But just cause he calls himself a Christian, knows some verses and wears the t-shirt does not mean much. Does he Love Jesus? Does he really walk with the Lord? Can you tell?

2. CAN HE SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY? If you have read this blog much you can see a theme here. But so much is written in scripture about a man both having authority and being under it. A man must understand both. If my daughters are gonna marry a young man one day then they gotta go for a guy who “gets” authority. The authority he will hold in the home, and the authority he will need to submit to as he lives his life. Eph 5 and 1 Peter 3 etc… Does he understand the servant leadership that he is charged with in the home that calls him to “love his wife as Christ loved the church”? Bosses, cops, pastors, banks, landlords, housing association, blah blah blah….they all represent authority he will more than like likely have to submit to. Can he submit without becoming the rebellious guy who speaks poorly of those in authority over him?

3. IS HE IN CONTROL OF HIMSELF? When a man is driven by his appetites and not his faith, he is in danger is almost every area. From food to porn he will be at risk for addiction, deception and collapse. A woman wants to marry a man who can control himself.

4. CAN HE SUFFER WELL? Crummy boss, mean co-workers, skipped for promotion, financial setbacks etc….. will he be able to live his life well when his world falls apart? Will he find a job and keep it? Will he bail at the first signs of trouble?

5. CAN HE STAND ALONE? From the moment he leaves the house in the mornings he will be wearing “a bullseye” on his back. This world, our Enemy and his sin nature will attack him and attempt to drive a wedge between him and his wife (and kids). Has he shown that he will be a man who sticks to his convictions when everyone else caves?

6. DOES HE TREAT HIS MOTHER WELL? You can tell a lot by how a man treats his mother. Typically he will treat his wife the same way.

7. IS IT EVER HIS FAULT? I understand that sometimes the things that happen in our lives are not our fault…we are the victims. BUT… is it ever his fault when things go wrong. Can he take responsibility for his own junk? If he cannot, then his wife is going to be the reason for his struggles…cause it will not be HIS fault.

So…. I say “go for the cute one, the romantic one, the rich one, the smart one etc… just so long as he answers these questions right”!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 9, 2010 in Biographical, Family