Posts Tagged ‘marriage

10
Feb
12

Family Matters…really, we believe that!

At The Ridge, we really mean it when we say that family matters. It matters to God, the church, a nation, and generations to come. That’s why this Sunday, February 12th @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm @ Austin Middle School we will offer our Family Matters Workshop. This is a great opportunity for you to attend a breakout wworkshop that will deal with…well, Family Matters.  There will be a Pizza Dinner for ALL. Cost is $2 per person/$10 max per family. You can’t beat that deal! After dinner with your family, the children and youth will break off into their groups. Students 6th-12th grades will enjoy their Regular Sunday Night activities while Babies/Toddlers & Preschoolers will have Childcare provided and Kindergarten-5th grade kids will have some fun activities provided. Thanks to the good folks from Hope Church for being willing to come in and help with our children so that all of our adults can have a chance to particiapte in the workshops.

While the kids are having fun, adults will have a chance to choose form one of the following Workshops:

Top 10 Components of a Strong Marriage (Led by Bryan & Kari Robertson)

Is your marriage hitting on all 10 components? Come and hear author Bryan Robertson and his wife share about these components and how they can fortify your marriage. Does your marriage need a little motivation to get back on track? Join us as we share fun, practical steps along with God’s truth to a better marriage. We will discuss the most unused word in marriage, timing, money, the 3-letter word, and much more. These truths will energize your marriage and allow it to bring glory and honor to God.

Dating or Courtship?  (Led by Steve & KimWhipple)

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to be different.” Dr. Tommy Nelson, pastor and author, says that “we in the church want to attract and date the way the world does, but because we are ‘Christians’ we expect the results to be different.” What does the Bible say about dating? Is courtship “old fashioned” and “out of style”? Just how “different” and “set apart” are we supposed to be in this area anyway? What does a biblical model of dating/courtship really look like? Come explore this topic as we discuss some practical ways parents can help their teenagers make wise, biblical choices in regards to relationships.

Who’s on First? (Led by Mike & Mary Pinkerton)

What does baseball and discipleship have in common? Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to get up to bat? Who is on first? How can the game of baseball relate to discipleship within the family?” Join us as we take a look at the importance of discipleship within our families and gain some practical tools to making discipleship a reality in our own homes.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to invest in your family!!

Sign up for the Family Matters Workshop HERE!!

08
Feb
11

Sunday Recap 2-6-11

Sunday was a great day once again! Here are the highlights:

  • The day started off with us having all of our Ops Team (the guys who do the setup/breakdown) together for breakfast. While not everyone was there, those who did enjoyed some biscuits and a time to hang out and pray together. We always need men, teeangers, women to help out with this team. If you want to make a difference every week…then this is a great way to get plugged in on a ministry team.  Let me know by email at stevew@churchattheridge.com or simply join us Sunday morning at 7:45am at Austin MS and we’ll get you plugged into this awesome team.
  • I told these guys that they aren’t carrying stuff, hauling stuff, setting up stuff, but that they are sharing the Gospel, ministering to families, restoring marriages, setting people free, making a difference, helping people grow as disciples of Christ…all by doing what they do every week. Thanks! …You should really consider joining this team…just sayin!
  • There were lots of adjustments and challenges for our Creative Arts Team this Sunday, but they pulled it together and did a good job as usual. Thanks to these guys and gals for their faithfulness!
  • In our Take A Hike series on the Sermon on the Mount, began a mini series-within-the-series: Taking A Hike In Your Marriage
  • This past Sunday we talked about Matthew 5:27-30
  • In this part of the SOTM, not only is Jesus not replacing the Law with a stricter, tougher, more difficult set of rules, His teaching is also a series of warnings.
  • Jesus is warning us to guard our hearts because it’s gonna lead us down a road we don’t want to go. James 1:13-20
  • Barclay says of this verse: “Some translators have said ‘it is as if he is already guilty of committing adultery with her.’ This would be wrong because Jesus does not say it as if he were guilty, but affirms that he is guilty already. Thus the sin of adultery is not [just] in the act but in the lust or desire to do so.[1]
  • How seriously should we take this? Jesus is saying we need to take DRASTIC  MEASURES 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • This is a huge issue in the church. Lust is not only rampant in our culture, but in the church as well.
  • drastic measures need to be taken Jesus is saying. Should we all go pluck out our eyes and cut off our hands…literally? Is that what Jesus is saying? No. But Jesus is wanting us to understand how serious adultery is and how quickly we can wind up there…because it will take you to hell. So He is saying that you have to take whatever steps are necessary to bring this  lust under control. Get rid of anything in your life that might cause you to commit adultery. Take every thought captive.
  • Why is this such a problem? One word: PASSION. We, as disciples of Christ do not have a passion for God, His Word, righteousness that overrides other passions in our lives. Therefore, those passions of the flesh rise to the top so to speak and take precedent. The passions of our flesh tend to get out of control because there is not another passion that controls them We need to have a passion for holiness, God’s word, righteousness, a passion to please God and be like Christ, to be perfect as out heavenly father is perfect.
  • We closed with these two passages from Proverbs. They speak for themselves. Read and think about it. Proverbs 4:20-27 and Proverbs 5:15, 18-23

Some big stuff coming up @ The Ridge. I’ll be sharing some in the coming days. Check back here often!

Next Sunday we continue with our second part of Taking A Hike In Your Marriage. Don’t miss it! Sunday’s gonna be a special day.


[1]Newman, Barclay Moon ; Stine, Philip C.: A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. New York : United Bible Societies, 1992 (UBS Helps for Translators; UBS Handbook Series), S. 138

02
Nov
09

Sunday Recap 11-1-09

Great start to our series: “Love Handles: getting a GRIP on God’s design for marriage” yesterday! Attendance was good and we saw several new faces. Hoping and praying to see more in the coming weeks.

We talked about “Going for the Gusto?” as we began this series. Gusto is defined as personal taste or liking. That is the problem with most of us when it comes to missing God’s design for marriage. We enter into it “going for the gusto”, looking to fulfill our personal taste or liking. But God’s design for marriage is a Divine order that is to reflect the very image of God and as a human object lesson of the plan of salvation and our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Why do we think that Satan spends so much time on trying to destroy, pervert, and distort marriage, sexuality, fatherhood? Because he knows that if he can do that, he is distorting God’s image.

I opened up by painting a “modern abstract” masterpiece of a couple. It was beautiful! In an abstract dysfunctional kind of way. 🙂  Have you ever seen modern art? It doesn’t look anything like…well, anything…usually. I mean you can look at some paintings and you know exactly what it is. You look at it and you say, “A house” or “A tree.” ….I walk away thinking, “that was a really good picture of a tree”  You look at most “modern” art and what do you see? “I’m not sure”…Picasso…supposedly a master…can’t even get his two eyes on the same side of the head!  Most modern or abstract art has to be explained. It is open to interpretation. “Well what do you see?”  I’m sorry, but I should be able to look at it and know what it is…unless you are my 2 year old…and even then, I can sometimes tell exactly what it is!

Here’s what we have done in our society: We have totally allowed a masterpiece, a clear image, to be distorted into a “modern, abstract” image that is not totally recognizable. It is open to interpretation. It doesn’t even look anything like what it was designed to be or reflect.

Genesis 1:26-27 says Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Marriage is a God-sized mission not merely an institution. It is to reflect the image and likeness of a holy God. Marriage is designed by Him to make His glory known! It isn’t about my personal taste. When we understand the fact that God’s signature is on this masterpiece of marriage, we would not enter into it lightly and we’d take more seriously what it means…especially those of us who claim the name of Christ.

The world looks at us and doesn’t see anything different. Therefore, they don’t see the image of God reflected.

When we don’t understand God’s design for marriage, we allow a modern abstract interpretation that is based on gusto…personal taste or liking…to rule. This has become such a problem in the church, that even among Christ followers, there is no recognizable design difference.

Paul gives the second thing we are to reflect in Ephesians 5:25-32.  Marriage is to reflect God’s plan of salvation and our relationship with Jesus. We are His bride and He is our bridegroom. there’s a lot more to it, so you’ll have to check out the podcast this week.

Here’s the handle from yesterday:

Marriage wasn’t designed to fulfill my gusto, but to reflect His glory.

Our Quest Groups are sharing and discussing and studying God’s Word together on the same topic. We’d love to get you connected into one if you aren’t already. Its a good time to jump into a group. E-mail us for more info on a group.

Looking forward to a great series this month. Who are YOU inviting? Find someone who needs to hear this series and ask them to join you this week @ The Ridge. Click HERE to send an e-vite to someone.


23
Jun
09

Jon and Kate, Not So Great

Last night I watched the end of Jon & Kate’s marriage on national TV. What a mess! It was sad to watch two people who, by all appearances, totally can’t see the forest for the trees. I was amazed that they can’t seem to get a grasp on what some of the roots of their problems have been. I am no expert counselor, but as my wife and I talked about it, we were both saddened at the lack of perspective they had. Has anyone been counseling these people about anything other than money and ratings? I don’t know. I don’t condemn them and I would never put myself above them, but I think there are some lessons for all of us in this saga. I hurt for this family who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ.  Here are a couple of thoughts and observations we had:

  • Repeatedly they both said, “I don’t really know what happened.” Really? You’re kidding, right? Kate said that she didn’t think the TV show had anything to do with their break-up. Really?! The $$ and the fame and the invasion into their lives had nothing to do with it?
  • Jon said that he had become passive and let her rule the roost. Perfect observation, just a little too late. They let their personality strengths become their weaknesses. This can be true in any relationship. It can be true in family, ministry, leadership, work relationships. Those unique personality traits that God built into us by His design, when not understood by oneself and one’s spouse and other relationships, can become a great weakness. We can easily fall into our natural default and the negative aspects of that trait will rule. Key to that in a marriage is communication, understanding, and SELFLESSNESS. We can let pride rule our lives and consequently our relationships or we can let Christ rule. Pride is most easily identified in the strong personality as arrogance or doing things in our own strength, but it is really anything that focuses on me. Shyness and passivity can be manifestations of Pride, because they are self-focused. Anything that is self-focused is pride and is sin. It’s a constant battle for me. Both Jon and Kate appear to have been struggling with pride. It just looks different in each of them.
  • The seeming antithesis of this however, is in the statements that they both made repeatedly saying that “It’s all about the kids. I love my kids. Everything is for them. This show is for them. This new house and this land is for them. Everything we’ve done is for them. We love them more than anything.” That sounds like a pretty selfless attitude right? Well, that is a problem in most marriages and its a cultural phenomenon that has had a negative impact on more families and, I believe, on our culture…and even the church. It’s a philosophy that says, “Put the kids first. Its all about them. They are our future.”  Sounds logical. The problem is it isn’t biblical and it isn’t healthy for families and marriages. The first relationship God established was between Adam and Eve. At that point, they were a family. (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:22-25) The problem we have that I believe the Enemy has used for too long is that of what some call “child-centered parenting.” What this looks like is the children become the center of everything in the family.
  • Imagine this picture: a husband and wife holding hands forming a small circle, a family. Then the first child comes along. A child centered philosophy places the child in the center of this circle. Sounds fine and for the first couple of months with only on child, it might work out okay. But as the child begins to understand (or even demand) being in the center of the circle, he/she realizes that they are the driving force. Self-centeredness (which we all are naturally bent toward) begins to take hold. The expectations rise. Everything becomes about them and their happiness. This is what seems to have happened to Jon & Kate. We call it spoiled, but it isn’t really something that is intentional most of the time. What happens as the child grows and more children come into the marriage is the most potentially devastating part of the picture in a marriage.
  • Imagine the picture again of the mom and dad holding hands now with several kids in the middle of the circle who have all gotten bigger. It gets crowded. Mom and dad get pushed farther apart. Notice I referred to them as “mom & dad” not “husband & wife” any longer. You see child centered parenting pushes the original, most important relationship in the family farther and farther apart. The identity of those two individuals becomes all about the kids. Now the kids are important, but they are not the most important relationship in the family.
  • Now imagine this picture: the mom and dad holding hands in a small circle. Along comes a child and instead of being placed in the center of that circle, he/she is held with one hand in mom’s and the other in dads, allowing the husband and wife to still stay connected. This makes the circle extend and everyone stays connected…especially the husband and wife. That relationship never changes. Children thus become an extension of the family, not the center of it. The only thing that needs to be in the center of this ever expanding circle is Jesus Christ. The most important relationship in any family, after each individual’s relationship with Christ, is the relationship of the husband and wife. Someone once said, “The greatest security any child can have is knowing that mom and dad love each other“, without question. Child centered parenting…”its all about them”…points the focus in a different direction, and pushes the parents apart ultimately, because the focus on their own relationship with one another becomes secondary.
  • Those kids don’t need any of the things that they’ve been given. The more stuff we give our kids, the less content they will be. They need a mom and dad who love each other and will fight for their marriage.
  • Finally, child-centered parenting is ultimately a pride issue, because it usually becomes about US. It can become, if we’re honest, about how we think other people see US and what they think about US and how OUR kids turned out. My focus needs to be on how people see Christ in my marriage, because it is a picture of His relationship with his bride, the church. My focus needs to be on the mandate of Deuteronomy 6 and the challenge of Psalm 78:1-8. My passion should be about raising up a generation that will impact another generation, not about their temporary “happiness” as seen in the world, right now.

Just a couple of observations that we made as we looked at a very sad situation. I pray for Jon & Kate. I pray that God might miraculously intervene and heal and restore their marriage. I pray that they would recognize that He loves them unconditionally and that He loves their family more than they do. I pray that we as parents might have a Christ-centered perspective on our family. I pray that each of us will focus on keeping that first relationship in the family a priority, second only to our own individual relationships with Jesus. Date your spouse as regularly as possible. Let your kids see how important that relationship is. That will give them GREAT security…and much happiness and contentment.




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