Marriage Truth #5 (Part 1): You Complete Me—Gender Roles

Thanks for taking the journey with us at Grace Community Church for the teaching series, “7 Truths That Will Change Your Marriage.”

Truth #5: You Complete Me. For picture, audio teaching, & content go HERE.

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Marriage Truth #4: You Had Me at Hello

Thanks for taking the journey with us at Grace Community Church for the teaching series, “7 Truths That Will Change Your Marriage.” On this blog post, I give bonus content about good communication between husband and wife too. Enjoy.

Truth #4: You Had Me At Hello. For audio teaching (10/23/11) and content (as well as review of the other Marriage Truths), go HERE

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Marriage Truth #3: The In-Between

We’re currently in a teaching series on marriage entitled “7 Truths that will Change Your Marriage.” See below for audio teaching links and key content.

Truth #3: The In-Between. For audio teaching (10/16/11) and… (For more information, go HERE.)

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Marriage Truth #2: The Dotted Line

Thanks for taking the journey with us at Grace Community Church for the teaching series, “7 Truths That Will Change Your Marriage.” I’ll be posting blog posts each week with the previous teachings in the series, the past weekend’s teaching, along with the theme, the marriage work, and the vow. Hope this helps you whether single, divorced, or married.

I highly recommend… (Go HERE to read more…).

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Marriage Truth #1: I am the problem…

My first marriage

Just launched a teaching series at Grace Community Church entitled, “7 Truths That Will Change Your Marriage.”  I hope you’ll take the journey with us whether by attending one of our worship services (you can choose from five!) or via podcast.

Each week I’ll try to post the link to… (To view more, go HERE.)

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Grieving over gay marriage

While hundreds of thousands celebrated the legalization of gay marriage by the New York State senate, I grieved. I thought of my children, and I grieved even more. I try not to single out sins and harp on them. But this has gone too far and has forced me to do so. It has landed in my lap as a…

Read more HERE.

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Can I borrow your laptop?

Suppose, on the spot, I asked to borrow your laptop for the evening. Would you let me? Or upon my request, would you begin to mentally scroll through the web history?  Would you kind of hem-haw around to buy time to go erase your web history before you loaned it (by the way, that actually hides nothing)?

Or how about this one…. What if you die tonight?  And your wife, or kids, or friends, or parents, later surf your computer to reminisce about you and probe to discover what interested you and brought you joy? What would they discover?

I think about that a lot with my own laptop. But I was especially confronted with the thought when I ran across a New York Times article about Osama bin Laden’s porn stash on his computers. Dr. Albert Mohler has a great blog about the hypocrisy of Osama bin Laden in relation to the porn stash discovery. Read here.

The thought of what a friend, staff, my sons, my wife, or volunteer(s) at my church could find on my laptop holds me greatly accountable when temptation comes over me. Christie has free access to my computer, as does my administrative staff, and volunteer tech guys at my church. Of course, accountability is only a band-aid because I could secretly access another computer. More than accountability, I long to worship the Lord Jesus with my eyes, love Him with all my heart, and do the same with my wife, kids, and church family.

Do you?

How’s your heart? Do you give family and friends free access to your computer? If not, what are you hiding? I encourage you to go ahead and confess and repent to the Lord what’s on your computer. And then, confess and repent to your wife and/or friends.

It’s better to expose the stash now, rather than the stash expose you later.

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Born this way

I read a quote today from a Newsweek article regarding matters of sex in the Bible (blog cometh!). The quote was from the book, Unprotected Texts: The Bibles Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust.

She states, “The Bible doesn’t have to be an invader, conquering bodies and wills with its pronouncements and demands.  It can also be a partner in the complicated dance of figuring out what it means to live in bodies that are filled with longing.”

The quote carried my thoughts to the Lady Gaga song, Born this Way. Here are a few lines to give you some context:

No matter gay, straight or bi
lesbian, transgendered life
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born to survive….

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way

Don’t hide yourself in regret,
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way, yeah!

Believe it or not, to a degree, I agree with the author and Lady Gaga. I have a body full of inner longing and desire. Indeed, I was born with longings to sleep with women, lots of women, who are not my wife. I’ll be the first to admit it. I was truly born that way.

God utterly outdid Himself when He gave us the gift of sexual desire and experience. He could have made the act of procreation (sex) as bland as a handshake. But instead He gifted us with intimate sexual encounter and experience with the passions and longings to boot. And once upon a time those sexual longings were perfect. Perfect, until the enemy whispered, “Did God really say…?” to Adam & Eve (the same thing it seems that Knust is doing with her book). And when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, sin fractured the world, right along with our longings and desires. Holy sexual longing and experience between one man and one woman fractured and spider-webbed into adultery, homosexuality, pornography, pre-marital sex, child molestation, bestiality, and whatever else the fallen human race can dream up.

So now, what are we to do with our “bodies full of longing”?  To Knust’s chagrin, the Bible does have “pronouncements and demands” to “flee” and “put to death” sexual immorality (1 Cor 6:18; Col 3:5). Praise God for those commands. Why? Aside from the separation it brings us from God, the untold pain it brings to us emotionally (and in many cases physically), it’s because pursuing and acting on fractured sexual longing never brings freedom and satisfaction, only slavery and emptiness. Lust never satisfies. It only enslaves. And the experience of emptiness and slavery is sought to be self-medicated through more pursuing and acting on fractured sexual longings, which brings heavier chains of slavery and deeper emptiness.

Round and round we go with sex and anything else that becomes “god” in our lives.

So what about those “pronouncements and demands” of God? They are pronouncements and demands to freedom and joy. God radically and ruthlessly loved me in Christ to the degree that He was butchered on the Cross to have me. How could I not but trust Him when He says that I should “flee” and “put to death” longings that may feel “natural” but could ruin and destroy me and everything I love. No, I believe with my whole heart that He is for my joy, freedom, and pleasure, even sexually. Do you?

Yes, I was born this way–with fractured desires. But I was born-again–with new desires. Desires to chiefly love Christ with my all of my heart, mind, body, soul, and strength because He first loved me
(1 John 4:10, 19). And born-again with the covenant resolve to have eyes only for my wife, to have sexual intimacy only with my wife, and to fight against sexual desires that would come between me and my wife.

Being “born this way” may give you license, but being “Born-again” brings you life. Being “Born this way” may give you “freedom” but it leads to slavery and emptiness and fleeting pleasure. Being “Born-again” destroys your slavery and emptiness to bring you freedom and joy and pleasure forever (Psalm 16).

So who are you? “Born this way”? Or “Born-again”?

I pray you won’t settle for just being “born this way.” Be “born-again” in the gospel of the God who first loved you so that you can declare: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. And this life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

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A personal note

Hey 13 Ways friends and readers…

Thanks for reading this blog. Good things are still happening with the book. I got word that an ibook and kindle version for the book is in the works.  But even more so, I’m grateful that we can provide a free download of the book online right here on this site.

A quick question for any who might take a sec and answer in the comments section. I will only post on this site about once a month due to my schedule. Does that discourage you from checking back and reading? Or encourage you in the sense that you won’t feel overwhelmed with tons of content coming at you from this site?

I look forward to your thoughts!  Thanks again for your help!

Jarrod

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Porn’s bait: Just one more look.

“The crystal-meth of sexual obsession is internet sex” (13 Ways, p. 45).  Would you believe that porn addiction is more powerful than drug and/or alcohol addiction?

“When pornography is combined with sexual release, as in masturbation, and the naturally occurring [endorphins] are set free all over the brain, this is a high reward for the brain. Because it is not a chemical imitation, it’s even more addictive.” (1)

If that addictive, is one more look truly worth it? In addition, what measures can you take to avoid this addiction? Porn is not the ultimate issue. Masturbation neither. Lust is the issue.  So what do you do with the lust?  The Bible says, “Kill it” (Colossians 3:5). Put a shotgun to lust’s head and pull the trigger.  In other words, deprive the lust of its power. And this could lead back to porn among many other things (movies, magazines, conversations, etc). What is empowering your lust? Whatever that is, get rid of it, avoid it, even run for your life from it (1 Corinthians 6:18)!

And ultimately, keep this in mind:

“When the ‘one more look’ drags you toward the sexual sin, take ten long looks at the cross of Jesus. Think about Jesus’ stunning sacrifice, His great love, His awesome freedom, and His gripping grace gifted to you when He saved you by His death on the cross. You are free from addiction and free from struggle and free from sin because He beat it all on the cross. You are no longer a slave to your lusts. You are a son of His love and glory. So embrace the truth and live it by constant repentance and faith” (13 Ways, p.54)

For more on this subject, check out chapter 5 in the free download of the 13 Ways to Ruin Your Life book.

What practical ways can you share with our readers of how to kill lust in the heart (deprive it of its power)? Please share in the comments section. Thanks!

(1) “Brain Pathways” by Douglas Weiss, PhD.

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