Black History Month- Wintley Phipps

I love this video by Wintley at a Gaither Homecoming event. What some of them endured now provides strength and encouragement for us today.
Watch this powerful message in song and be blessed.

Five ways husbands can love their wives.

Husbands are commanded in Eph. 5:25 to love their wives. Notice that this is an unconditional commandment. There are no exceptions, asterisks, or amendments in the verse. In fact it is compared to the love Christ has for the church. There is a concept to dwell on this week, do I love my wife like Christ loved the church?

I have been thinking lately, what are some ways we can show our love to our wives? Now I confess that this is not an exhaustive list but rather a springboard to get your creativity flowing in ways to keep the spark alive in your marriage, and the love bank account in the black.

                1. Act so you are easy to respect.
It is so easy for us men to try to demand respect, while it would be so much better for both if the husband lived in a way that was easy to respect. When conflict arises, (and it will give it time) do you speak in a way that is condescending or in a, “I told you so!” style? Do you raise your voice? Do you say hurtful hateful things? By avoiding these things you are actually helping your wife live up to her commandment Eph. 5:33 to submit and respect you as the head of the home.

              2. Do whatever necessary to maintain your faithfulness.
We live in a sex crazed culture. It is our responsibility as Godly husbands to be sure that there is no other person, absolutely no one else involved in our marriage. Now as I mentioned we live in a sex crazed society, and men are bombarded daily with pictures, provocative coworkers, and just people we pass in general who do not subscribe to the need for modesty. We need to build a fortress around our mind and heart, so these mental images do not interfere with our marriage. We show our love by keeping our mind, heart and body for no one else but our wife period!!! Heb. 13:4 Matt. 5:28

       3. Schedule! Schedule! Schedule!
 Keeping the romance alive will take time and effort. One way husbands can show their wives they love them is by giving them their time. Block off days or hours of the week that is only for them. Let them know that there will be no checking Facebook, emails, twitter, or even answering phone calls. Let her know it is just you and her. Take a night a week or at least once a month for a date night. Schedule it in and don’t let anything get in the way of that. I understand that young families with children may face difficulties with finding babysitter, however this can often be resolved by a neighbor, a niece, or even another young couple who will swap nights with you babysitting your kids on your night, and you babysitting theirs on their night.

      4. Learn your wife’s “Love Language”
If you have not read the book The 5 Love Languages you need to. I would also encourage you to take the Five Love Languages Test You may also take this test and have your wife take it as well. Share with each other what you have learned about yourself. Talk specifically about her love language and needs. Men and women think differently. We men assume our wives know we love them, but we need to let them know in a way that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we love them.

     5. Marriage is not for you!
Love is always about the other person. In our marriage relationship, love is about her. What can I do to make her happy? What can I do to make her smile? To make her day better? We must understand that marriage can be a wonderful institution, but it was intended for so much more. It was instituted by God when he created a wife for Adam out of his rib Gen. 2:21-22. I think this shows us more than God created men first. Ask yourself why God created the woman? It was not good for man to be alone Gen 2:18. So God created a help mate from his side. Adam was then to honor, cherish, and love her. Eph. 5:25 tells us husbands to love our wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. We need to give ourselves not so much to, (although that is a wonderful thing) but for our wives. Sacrificing us for them.

These five suggestions to love your wives will help keep the romance alive. But these five suggestions are not the end all or an exhaustive list. I trust you will also think of some more ways that you can show your love to your wife, and post suggestions or comments below.        

Just Grow Up!

Leonard Ravenhill

Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village who walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, “Were any great men born in this village?”

The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.”

A frothy question brought a profound answer. There are no instant heroes–whether in this world or in the kingdom of God. Growth takes time, and as I Timothy 3:6 and 5:22 point out, even spiritual leadership must be earned.

Amy Carmichael once said, “Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel almost despondent. I feel that I shall never be like that. But they won through step by step by little bits of wills little denials of self little inward victories by faithfulness in very little things. They became what thy are. No one sees these little hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken. There is no sudden triumph no spiritual maturity. That is the work of the moment.

 The word “walk” is used 7 times in the book of Ephesians.
This is a strong indication that spiritual maturity is a walk, a journey and a calling.

“Only the Holy Spirit, working through the Word, has the power to bring us to maturity in Christ. “Spiritual maturity is simply concentrating and focusing on the person of God until we are caught up in His majesty and His glory.…– John MacArthur

Eph. 4:1-16 tells us that growing up is a high calling. We call this growing up maturity.  What is maturity? J. A. Wood said in his book, Purity and Maturity “What is produced by growth is of necessity, gradual, what is by faith and the Holy Ghost is of necessity instantaneous. God never accomplished that by cleansing power which is to be secured by growth in grace. On the other hand, growth in grace cannot effect that which is the work of the creating, cleansing energy of the Almighty Spirit. The one is a supernatural, instantaneous work; the other a gradual, natural work….No one is BORN INTO MATURITY, and no one GROWS INTO PURITY.    

Spiritual maturity isn’t measured by how high you jump in church, but how straight you walk in obedience.

A mature Christian has developed spiritual perception. They are able to connect present choices with future consequences.

 Clint Archer pastor of Hilcrest Baptist Church and author of the blog “Criplegate” gives these five signs of Spiritual Maturity
    1. An appetite for meat Heb 5:11 (An infant’s meal needs to go through a blender for the first few months of his or her life. When a normal 21 year old still asks mommy to spoon feed him mashed potatoes, it’s creepy and dysfunctional.
    2. An Imperviousness to personal offence Phil 1:15
    3.  A Conscience informed by Scripture, not opinions
    4. A Sense of humble surprise when used by God in Ministry
    5. Tendency to give credit for Spiritual Growth to God, not people.
While it is a high calling it is also a lowly calling. We are called to be humble loving Christians. We are called to a unity of the Body of Christ. Part of growing up will include these four graces of unity found in Col 3:12;
  1. Lowliness – The opposite of pride, “A thankful sense of dependence upon and a humble recognition of the worth and value of other people.” Beacon Bible Expositions
  2. Meekness – More than modesty and knowing one’s limitations one theologian worded it, “that unresisting, uncomplaining disposition of mind, which enables one to bear without irritation or resentment the faults and injuries of others.
  3. Longsuffering – The enduring unweariable spirit.
  4. Forbearing in Love – a twin to longsuffering. Forbearing in love is a patience that loves and respects despite another’s faults and weaknesses.