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Archive for September, 2010

A Word to Wives Who Desire Husbands to Lead Spiritually

spiritual-leadership5“It is a sad thing when a woman longs for her man to step up and take responsibility in leading the family spiritually and he won’t do it,” explains John Piper.

You cannot demand that your husband take leadership. For several reasons:

  1. Demanding is contradictory to the very thing for which you long. It is out of character. If you become the demander, he’s not the leader.
  2. Demanding will be counterproductive because if he had any impulse to try harder, your demanding will take the heart out of it, because it won’t feel like leading anymore; it will feel like acquiescence to your demand.
  3. It has to come from inside him brought about by the word of God and the Spirit of God.

So, instead of demanding:

  1. Pray earnestly for him that God would awaken his true manhood.
  2. When you are neither tired nor angry, ask him for a time when the two of you alone can talk about your heart’s desires. When you express your longings, do it without sounding any ultimatums and with a sense of hope grounded in God, not man. Express appreciation and honor for any ways that he is leading.

Excerpt modified from This Momentary Marriage. Learn more here.

September 30, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Marriage,Marriage & Family,Women | Author: Crossway Staff @ 6:48 am | 0 Comments »

Marriages are Built or Destroyed Moment by Moment

what-did-you-expect11In What Did You Expect? Paul Tripp reminds readers that the reconciliation of a marriage is a lifestyle, not just a response when things go bad:

If you are a sinner married to a sinner, then it is very dangerous to allow yourself to coast as a couple. You simply will not live a day together where no act of thoughtlessness, self-interest, anger, arrogance, self-righteousness, bitterness, or disloyalty will rear its ugly head. Often it will be benign and low-level, but it will still be there.

If you are going to have a marriage that lives in unity, understanding, and love, you must have a little-moment approach to your marriage. God has crafted a life for us that does not careen from huge, consequential moment to huge, consequential moment. You can probably name only two or three life-changing situations you have lived through. Every day we lay little bricks on the foundation of what our life will be. The bricks of words said, actions taken, little decisions, little thoughts, and small-moment desires all work together to form the functional edifice that is your marriage.

So, you have to view yourself as a marital mason. You are daily on the job adding another layer of bricks that will determine the shape of your marriage for days, weeks, and years to come. Things in a marriage go bad progressively. Things become sweet and beautiful progressively. The problem is that we simply don’t pay attention, and because of this we allow ourselves to think, desire, say, and do things that we shouldn’t.

Here are a handful of helpful questions to consider:

  • Do you fight for your own way in little things or see them as an opportunity to serve?
  • Do you allow yourself to go to bed irritated after a little disagreement?
  • Do you leave for work day after day without a moment of tenderness?
  • Do you allow yourself to do little rude things you would never have done in courtship?
  • Do you still ask for forgiveness in the little moments of wrong?
  • Do you complain about how the other does little things, when it really doesn’t make a difference?
  • Do you make decisions without consultation?
  • Do you invest in the friendship intimacy of your marriage?
  • Do you complain about the others weaknesses? Or do you see these as opportunities to encourage?
  • Do you search for little avenues to express love?
  • Do you keep records of wrongs?
  • Do you regularly express appreciation and respect?
  • Do you swallow little hurts that you once would’ve discussed?
  • Do you turn little requests into regular demands?

You can have a good marriage, but you must understand that a good marriage is not a mysterious gift. No, it is, rather, a set of commitments that forges itself into a moment-by-moment lifestyle.

Excerpt modified from What Did You Expect? Learn more here.

September 29, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Marriage,Marriage & Family,Men,Women | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:46 am | (2) Comments »

The Problem of “Kingdom” in Our Marriages

what-did-you-expect1
We’re kicking off a week of practical marriage advice from a handful of our Crossway authors. In What Did You Expect?,  Paul David Tripp asks readers to consider the problem of “kingdom” in our marriages:

We are drawn to order, predictability, comfort, ease, pleasure, appreciation, fun, and personal happiness. We don’t like difficulty of any kind. There are many of us who would rather have an easy life than a God-honoring one. So before we ever battle with one another, we are actually battling the Lord.

Think of the sturdiness of your allegiance to your own kingdom purposes. Think about how little of your anger over the last month had anything whatsoever to do with the kingdom of God. Your anger seldom comes out of a zeal for the plans, purposes, values, and calling of the kingdom of God.

When you are hurt, angry, or disappointed with your husband or wife, it is not because he or she has broken the laws of God’s kingdom, and it really concerns you. No, you are most often angry because your spouse has broken the laws of your kingdom. Your spouse is in the way of what you want, and it mobilizes you to do or say something that will rein your spouse back into service of your wants, needs, and feelings.

But God’s grace purposes to expose and free you from your bondage to you. So he places you in a comprehensive relationship with another flawed person, and he places that relationship right in the middle of a very broken world. To add to this, he designs circumstances for you that you would have never designed for yourself. All this is meant to bring you to the end of yourself, because that is where true righteousness begins.

So, as you read, I would ask you these questions:

  • Whose kingdom shapes your marriage?
  • Whose kingdom defines your dream?
  • What really makes you happy?
  • What is it that you want so badly for your marriage to be?
  • Could it perhaps be that what you thought was love was not really kingdom-of-God, other-centered, other-service love?
  • Could it be that what you actually wanted was for that other person to love you as much as you do?
  • Could it be that your anger reveals how zealously committed you are to the purposes of your own kingdom?
  • Could it be that the troubles you face in your marriage, both big and small, are not so much hassles as they are opportunities?
  • Could it be that just when you thought God had abandoned you and your marriage that he is really very near, giving you the best gift ever—transforming grace?

This grace rescues you from the one thing that you cannot rescue yourself from—you. Reconciling your marriage begins when you begin to reconcile with God. It begins when you begin to pray this radical prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, right here, right now in this marriage as it is in heaven.” Good things happen as the result of that prayer!

Excerpt modified from What Did You Expect? Learn more about What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp.

September 28, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Life / Doctrine,Marriage,Marriage & Family,Men,Women | Author: Crossway Staff @ 1:30 pm | 1 Comment »

Video: What Does the Bible Say The Church Should be Like?

How is our experience as Christians supposed to be lived out in a local congregation? Mark Dever suggests that there are nine marks that church leaders and members can cultivate to make their church more healthy. Learn more about Nine Marks of a Healthy Church or download a sample chapter.

Check out the video interview below from Mark Dever:

“9 Marks of a Healthy Church,” Mark Dever from 9Marks on Vimeo.

| Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News,Video | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:00 am | 1 Comment »

Videos: Secularism, Freedom, Democracy, & the Church

secularismCrossway author Hunter Baker recently gave a series of helpful lectures at SBTS. Check out the following links to tune in:

You can also learn more about Baker’s most recent Crossway title, The End of Secularism here or read the intro and a sample chapter.

September 27, 2010 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Church History,Culture,Current Issues,Evangelicalism,Life / Doctrine,The Christian Life,Video | Author: Crossway Staff @ 7:15 am | 0 Comments »