Archive for the ‘RELATIONSHIPS’ Category

Work It Out

Friday, February 27th, 2015

How can I jumpstart my relationship with Jesus when I’ve been lazy about it?

Sincerely,
Sluggish

Dear Sluggish,

The first thing we tell people to do when they say they are interested in being closer to God is to start consistently attending and being involved with a congregation.  Heb 10:24-25 says that the local church provokes us to love and good works and that when we forsake studying, worshipping, and being involved with the church, we become spiritually sluggish and lazy.  Those who go, grow – those who don’t, won’t.  We don’t know exactly where you are in life, but if you need help finding a faithful congregation near you to study with, work with, and help… please e-mail us, and we will happily get you in touch with a faithful, vibrant group of Christians near you.

A Working Marriage

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

     Can people fall out of love?  If the love you have for each other is true, why do so many marriages end in divorce?  I am not married yet, but my boyfriend and I know we will be someday.  I love him more than my own life and second only to the Lord, whom by His grace, sent me my best friend.  But I hear almost every day of someone who I believed to have a Christ-centered relationship breaking up, or worse, ending their marriage.  How can this be?  How can people stop loving the person they marry and have promised to love forever?  Are they really losing their love, or are they being lazy and not wanting to work at the relationship anymore?

Sincerely,
Happily Ever After

Dear Happily Ever After,

To answer your question, we need to talk about the difference between passionate love and the type of love the Bible says a marriage needs.  Passion is a fickle thing; passionate love is what we most often associate with love because that is what society teaches us romance is all about, but passion doesn’t always stick around.  When a marriage faces the strains of day-to-day life, sometimes you don’t “feel” close… but God teaches that a godly marriage is built off of a stronger type of love.

Biblical love (best described in 1 Cor 13:4-8) is a choice, not a feeling.  A loving husband chooses to do that which is in the best interest of his wife.  He is to seek to love his wife as Christ does the church (Eph 5:25).  A husband’s love is sacrificial; it is a gift he chooses to give unconditionally.
A wife is to respect her husband (Eph 5:24).  She shows him respect even if he doesn’t deserve that respect.  She chooses to let him lead the household regardless of whether he is good at it.  As long as his decisions do not force her to disobey God (Acts 5:29), she follows him.  She treats him as a man and honors him as head of the household even when he acts petty and small.  Her respect is unconditional.
It is the lack of biblical love in marriages that has created the high divorce rate in our country.  Godly marriages are successful because both people choose to love each other even through the hard times.  Godly marriages take work, but it is good work, and it is rewarding work.  Ask any older couple that still holds hands when they walk down the street – it isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.

A Good Confession

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

     Hi; I was reading about what some of the earliest Christians believed, and apparently, in one of their earliest rule books called the Didache, it says that they had to publicly confess all their sins in church to everyone else.  Is this something we still have to do today?  I always thought we could just confess to God if it was something private, and I don’t want to have to go in front of my church and tell them everything I’ve ever done.

Sincerely,
Privacy Please

Dear Privacy Please,

We must follow the Bible, and the Didache isn’t the Bible.  The Didache is part of what is often referred to as ‘second-generation Christian writings’.  Even though it is a historically significant document, it isn’t part of the Bible, it isn’t inspired by God, and we don’t use it to decide what is right and wrong.  The Bible never says that we have to confess our sins in front of the congregation.  It does tell us to confess our sins to God (1 Jn 1:9), but it doesn’t require that we do it publicly or that we do it in every circumstance.  Here are a few circumstances when the Bible says confessing your sins to others should be done:

  1. If you have sinned against them, you must admit it and ask for forgiveness (Lk 17:3-4).
  2. If you believe the knowledge of your previous sin will help them (1 Tim 1:15-16).
  3. If you are struggling with a sin and need help (Jas 5:16, Eccl 4:9).
  4. If it would be deceptive to not reveal the sin (1 Jhn 1:8).

But don’t fret about baring all before everyone else; the Didache isn’t the guidebook – the Bible is.

Sin Makes God Sad

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

If I sin does God still love me?

Sincerely,
I Made A Mistake

Dear I Made A Mistake,

The Lord loves people but hates sin.  God tells us it is appropriate to be happy when evil is destroyed because it means righteousness is prevailing (Pr 28:28), but God also says that it pains Him when the wicked perish (Ezek 18:23).  God loves us so much that He sent His own Son to die for our sins (Jhn 3:16), but He hates sin so much that if we don’t take advantage of the forgiveness that is in Christ, God will separate Himself from us (Lk 13:27).  When we sin, God wants us to repent of that sin and come to Christ that we might be saved.  Read “Five Steps To Salvation” for what it takes to become a Christian and have your sins removed.

A Taxing Issue

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Should churches remain tax-exempt?

Sincerely,
Politico

Dear Politico,

It certainly is a blessing from God that churches are tax-exempt in the United States, but the Lord’s people will accept whatever circumstances come our way if that ever changes.  Christians have existed in lands that were favorable and ones that weren’t.  In either case, Christ tells us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Lk 20:22-25).  Christians are commanded to pay their taxes, and therefore, a local church would accept the same responsibility if need be (Rom 13:7).  After all, faithful churches in the U.S. already pay sales tax on consumables that they purchase for their use (from paper towels to copy paper).  Whatever happens, the church will still be doing the Lord’s will and preaching His Bible.

Spouse First

Friday, February 13th, 2015

     I am engaged to be married, but I have a lot of friends of the opposite sex.  Should I stop my relationships with men I have known half my life, so he does not question my faithfulness to him?  What does the Bible say about opposite sex friendships… friendships that are purely platonic?

Sincerely,
Friendly

Dear Friendly,

The Bible never says that men and women can’t be friends, but it does give some warnings to remain above reproach.  Being above reproach is a qualification for an elder (Tit 1:6) and something we should all strive for.  To be ‘above reproach’ means to make sure that your behavior is clearly appropriate and honorable in the sight of all (2 Cor 8:21).

When Christians interact with others of the opposite gender, we are to behave in a way that shows all purity (1 Tim 5:1-2).  When you are engaged, your relationships with others of the opposite gender change because your stage of life has changed.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t still do things with men… but you need to be looking at how to have those relationships in a healthy way that incorporates your soon-to-be husband – that may or may not be possible.  If it does come down to choosing between your marriage and others… your marriage will always come first (Eph 5:31).