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On the Occassion of our 45th Wedding Anniversary

By John Worley

From the December 2012 Newsletter

By God’s grace, Judy and I have learned over these 45 years since our wedding that marriage involves accommodation, communication, trust, love, patience, kindness and sacrifice.  The intended outcome is growth—relational growth between husband and wife, and reliance growth jointly upon the Lord.   The relational dynamic between husband and wife, one of love and service and intimacy is, by God’s plan, a determining factor in the degree of functionality of our service and submission and worship, together for our Lord. 

Faith is practiced individually and yet, by God’s design, given practical application in life—as partners in covenant before God, by marriage.  Faith, to be functional, must make life application of what we know to be true from God’s Word—to how we relate to others, decide on issues, establish priorities and generally conduct ourselves.  This conduct and character of our lives must consistently reflect that what matters to us is what God has declared and what God has promised.  In this way we can learn to stop relating to life out of emotional reaction to our set of circumstances, but rather to make deliberate, predetermined faith-responses to the issues of life and the upsets in life.

As a marriage matures and correspondingly as a couple’s shared faith-reliance upon the Lord is strengthened, you become grateful for the frankness of God’s Word regarding what we face in life.  We are warned in advance that as we grow up and then grow old, “we will have trials” (tribulations), John 16:33.  In the same manner, we are warned in advance that our “outer man (physical body) is decaying” (with consequence of pain and suffering, diseases and discomfort, loss of strength and function and possibly even of mental awareness) 2 Corinthians 4:16.  This world would of course be tremendously threatening and worrisome to a married couple in the later years of life, were it not for the promises also given in advance by our Lord.  Assurance, to give confidence of convictions and perseverance in service and continuing faith-reliance in a God that is both in control and who care for us.  Thus He has assured us as believers, that though we will face trials, opposition and even abuse daily in life, “in Christ we have peace” (John 16:33).  God has given us confident assurance that we might act in confidence, because He has promised to be our “very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Furthermore, though the outer man will progressively show evidence and experience consequence of decay, leading eventually to death, the inner man (our spirit) is being renewed daily, having been already given eternal life (energized, enabled and assured inwardly by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:16).  We have help in the present, hope for the future, and married life sustained by God’s grace.

 

John Worley

John Worley was a member of FCC and a beloved elder of our church. He is currently residing in heaven.

Posted in: Christian Living

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Partners for Life

By John Worley

Partners in marriageMarriage Retreat Ministry Web Banner

partners in life.

Partners prepared to handle

responsibility or strife.

Partners who learn together

to lean on the Lord.

Partners whose course through life

is based on His Word.

Partners together

through all the tough times.

Partners who trust each other

at all times.

Partners in whose love

each finds fulfillment.

Partners for Christ

in whose Lordship

both have contentment.

 

John Worley was an elder at FCC from 1996-2016. John went home to be with the Lord in 2016.

Posted in: Poetry

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Book Review: When Sinners Say “I Do”—Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage

BY SUSAN VERSTRAETE

When Sinners Say “I Do”—Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage
Dave Harvey, Shepherd Press, 2007whensinners

He doesn’t pull any punches. In the preface to his book, When Sinners Say “I Do”, Dave Harvey says, “The more you get to know me, the more you’ll admire my wife.” Harvey has taken a good look at himself in the mirror and has seen a sinner staring back at him—the same experience we’ve all had if we are honest. Even though we believers are being sanctified, and even though God promises to complete the work He begins in us, all of us are still sinners. So now what? How can sinners have a marriage that glorifies God?

Harvey’s surprising answer is “by being good theologians.” Specifically, he encourages us to apply the Gospel to our marriages. “Never make the mistake of thinking that the Gospel is only good for evangelism and conversion,” he says. “Accurately understanding and continually applying the Gospel is the Christian life.”

The first half of Harvey’s book talks about sin. He helps us to redefine the problems we may be experiencing in marriage (or in other relationships) biblically. Not “My marriage is having problems” but “I’m having a problem with sin.” In the second half of the book, Harvey gives us multiple examples from his own life and from others to help us see how we can act toward our spouse with humility, mercy and kindness. We understand the Gospel first, and then we apply it —what Harvey calls “taking your theology out for a spin.” As he says, “Forgiven sinners forgive sin.” Unlike many marriage books, this book focuses on what I need to do, not how I can manipulate my spouse to change to please me.

I was struck by how widely applicable most of the book was—not just for marriage situations, but much of the material was helpful for relationships in general. The book was honest, understandable and often funny. I highly recommend it.

When Sinners Say “I Do” is available on the FCC bookshelf, or from Amazon.com for about $10. (The study guide for this book is about $7.00 from Amazon.com.)

Susan Verstraete is a member of FCC and serves as church secretary.

Posted in: Book Review

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