Monthly Archives: December 2013

IT’S TIME TO STEP UP.

  IT’S TIME TO STEP UP. 

A CALL TO COURAGOUS MANHOOD.

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Wamego will be hosting a Stepping Up Super Saturday Video Event on February 1st. This One-Day Video Event uses DVD-based messages combined with small group interaction and personal reflection to bring home the truths about biblical manhood.  Dive deep into the encouragement of Dennis Rainey, Robert Lewis, Mark Driscoll, and others as they lend expertise to strengthen the courage of men in all phases of life.  This is an incredible chance to inspire yourself and your brothers to step up to be a courageous man of God. Topics Include: Defining manhood, Living Courageously, Building a Life of Faith, and Stepping Up to be a great leader. It will be on Saturday, February 1, and start at 8:00 am and end about 3 pm. The cost is $20 per person this will include materials and lunch. You can find out more about the event and register at mensteppingup.com.  We ask for you to pre-register so we can prepare accordingly. For questions please email Brad Jones at at jonesconstructionllc@hotmail.com

It’s not too late to leave a great legacy…

 MenSteppingUp_speakers

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Pornography corrupts what God intended intimacy to be.

November-December 2013 048

I’ve seen it. I have experienced the corruption, too.  I allowed it to corrupt my marriage. Most of us men are so inept of physical intimacy, and the reason is we think we know all there is to know about it.  We think we have it all figured out.  A lot of what we know about sex we have derived from porn.  Most all of the sex talks from public school have been an utter failure in explaining the design of intimacy between a husband and wife.  We don’t know what to say or how to explain it to our children.  Honestly, how can words describe it when most of us don’t live it out in the way God intended it to be?

A few weeks before I was married, my best man handed me a book and said, “You have to read this before you get married.”  (The books were Intended for Pleasure by Ed and Gaye Wheat for me and Intimate Issues by Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus for my wife.)  I thought I knew all that there was to know about intimacy, sex, and all the “stuff.”  After reading the book I was, well, kind of enlightened.  I had come to realize that I really did not know very much or anything at all.  It is sad to think about now.  Where did I get my education anyway?  Where did the people in my life, the teachers, my friends, even my own dad learn what they know?  Pornography is a sorry example of sex or lovemaking or whatever you want to call it.  I remember some of the things that I had seen, and I thought, “She does not look like she is enjoying that!”  And all the language, the “dirty” talk, what is that all about? So much of it is faked.  So much of the feeling, the pleasure that is acted out, is just ridiculous. So why do we (both men and women) keep returning to it?

When my heart and the heart of my wife is not into the physical part of our lovemaking, then it becomes just sex.  It looses the emotional depth that makes intimacy so great.  🙂 When our hearts and emotions and our minds are focused on the feelings and enjoyment of our spouse. it becomes the intimate act that God intended it to be.  I become so enthralled with her that I am beyond amazement.  My wife knows that I am there, all of me.

From porn, from past relationships, to the gal I had seen earlier that day, those thoughts rob us of the full enjoyment of sexually  coming together. Thoughts come in and “interrupt.”  Women have the same problems of being “interrupted” but for most women the thoughts are of a different nature. They are of life. They are about responsibilities of what needs to be done or thoughts of what somebody had said to them.  Why can we not focus on where we are?  Why are we so “interrupted?”  What can we do to enjoy being naked with our spouse?

By living a HOLY life.

I am a sinner; I always will be.  Yes, I have been forgiven, saved by grace.  But the consequences of my sins are going to haunt me as long as I let them.  To the extent and frequency that I choose to sin, in any way, there are going to be the consequences, the “interruptions” that take away from the ultimate pleasure of His design.  It saddens me to think about.

And then there are the lies, the lies from the world, the lies from our friends, from even our own spouse. Satan has been known to even  throw some lies into the pool, too.  We, as a whole, have allowed everyone into the most intimate emotional depths of our being.  We have allowed words, deeds, and thoughts to destroy, a little bit at a time, what was designed to be amazing.  We let the world, pornography, and our sins tell us what is right and what is wrong.  We should listen to the One who created everything perfectly.  He made us.  We messed it up.  If we think about just how messed up we are, we begin to understand why our spouse may not like us all that much right now.  Why she does not want to be intimate with me.  We cannot fix it, but we can make it better.

Be humble, say, “I am sorry,” be sincere.  Try to be as good, great, and holy as you can.  Most of us have heard someone say, “I don’t deserve you.”  That statement has more truth in it then we realize.  (I sure know that my wife deserves better.)  God wanted us to have the best.  THE ABSOLUTE BEST!  When we sin, we instead give a marred and broken version of what God intended to be the perfect.

God has ordained intimacy in marriage for us to enjoy each other and give each other pleasure in so, so many ways. To enjoy each others bodies.  Don’t let that gift be corrupted, marred, and broken.  Understand the gift the God intended it to be.  Please, do not let the outside world ruin it as I did.

Guys, God intended your wife to have a perfect gift; you are a marred version of that gift. Are you man enough to say that you are sorry?  And better yet, every day try to be whom God intended you to be? Here is a great place to get the resources to learn and grow into the man God intended you to be.  It has helped me in a massive way.  http://www.familylife.com/

http://mensteppingup.com/ 

 http://mensteppingupblog.com/ 

Ladies, God also intended you to be a perfect gift.  Your body is, in my opinion, God’s most amazing creation–all of it, including your mind, as a whole.  You can serve both God and your husband and be that amazing creation as a whole that God intended you to be.  Yes, we as men are jerks (God calls us sinners.), and no, we don’t deserve what you have to give.  God calls us to be people who bring glory to Him, and He wants you to enjoy love and physical intimacy the way He designed it.  Will you look past your husband and see what God has intended for good?  Or are you going to let the enemy have the gift that God has given you? You have the power to decide.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Yes, He is that good!
I am interested to know your thoughts and story. If you would like to share, please comment below.

The Power of Prayer

Not too long ago, another blogger (Time Warp Wife) posted a picture on Facebook from Little House On The Prairie.

Little House

The moment I saw this picture, it struck a chord in me.  Seeing how happy Caroline Ingles (Karen Grassle) is as she kneels with her husband Charles Ingles (Michael Landon) moved me.

My thought was “I am going to start doing this with my wife, starting tonight,” and I did. Over the years, we prayed together in our bedroom, but it had been laying in bed, and it had been very inconsistent. When I asked her to pray with me on our knees by our bed, she was instantly excited.

Something changes when we are on our knees and not just laying in bed.  It is a position of respect before the Lord to kneel before Him as we make our petitions and offers of thanksgiving.  It is also a position of humility, putting our hearts in a right and sincere place. It also keeps the other from falling asleep mid-prayer.  It seems a lot more serious, more real, and more authentic.

We’re tired. My knees begin to quickly hurt.  Side by side and hip to hip, we come together before our God as husband and wife.  It strengthens a deep and intimate bond between us.  It places security deep in the heart of my wife knowing that her husband is man enough to get on his knees for his marriage and pray.  She sleeps more at peace, and, in turn, so do I.

We don’t do this every night.  We are not perfect.  We are just too tired at times or one of us beats the other to bed and simply passes out from fatigue.  Over Thanksgiving, we were not together.  I stayed home sick, and my wife and kids went to be with family in another town.  When we do pray together in this way, it is good.  It is very good.  I have even looked her way and seen her beam with joy and adoration as in the above picture.  A great joy fills her heart that her husband knows the importance of prayer.  Our home is filled with security for the night.

Men, I challenge you to pray with your wife and for your wife.  The more you do, the better it gets, and you’ll get more hugs too. 😉

I love my wife…. well, sort of. Part 2

Part 1

Part 2

Chad on mountain

There is something about being in the mountains that gives me a sense of peace and amazement. Sitting on a high place overlooking the vast expanses of canyons and ridges. Seeing the clouds roll from the higher peaks. Watching water as it finds its own way around rocks, over falls, and on to its destination. A large bird hovering in an invisible updraft of air, enjoying just being alive. I was able to live for years in a small cabin on the side of a canyon overlooking Santa Barbara, California. In many ways, it was the perfect bachelor life. A season that is past, and I am ok with that. One night before bed, I prayed a prayer asking God that I would have that special woman to share life with. Despite all the benefits of the bachelor lifestyle something was missing, I knew what it was, and I was willing to trade everything for it. I told that to God that night and was 100% sincere about it.

God answered that prayer.

LaCumbre Canyon 033

From Santa Barbara I moved back to the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix Az. This is where I was born. I moved there to get to know a girl I had met on an airplane in route to Tel Aviv Israel. That was January.  In August, we were married, and thus my education began on the building of a marriage. I had thought I knew all there was to keep a woman happy.  True words of a fool were these. I knew nothing! Not only did I know nothing, I was (and still am) an arrogant fool in training to become a tender warrior (Stu Weber).

Our wives will never find unending happiness in us. It is not our job to fill that void. I do not think that was to ever be really filled in anyone, but we will save that for another time.

Women (This is just my understanding here, ladies.) need to feel safe, that we will do our best to protect them as the need may be–what ever it be! This includes provision. They need to feel loved, this is a HUGE part of feeling safe. There is so much in the world that nips away at a womans sense of well-being that tears her down, wears her out, and makes her venerable to destruction. We are men, and we MUST protect them mentally, physically, and emotionally from the world and from our selfish desires. If we do not, we will suffer along with our women. Deep inside of our being, we will know we failed, period. Big, bold, the-size-and-weight-of-a-massive-boulder period! God commands it of us, and we know it. We snivel like little goloums from The Lord Of The Rings. That is what we look like when we don’t step up as men. We are responsible for doing our part without rest to love our wives.

You might say, “You haven’t met my wife.” and you would be right. God has, and He knows your exact situation. He knows you can handle it, and I know that you can too because you were designed by the Creator to do it like nobody else can. We have to get an education in husbandry. We have to get it from the RIGHT source. We owe it to God, our wives, and our children to get a 4.0 GPA. There are so many resources out there, but you have to pursue the material. The time I spend away from building up my marriage will have a significant effect on us all. If your wife is not a gamer, and I mean a serious gamer, then get it out of your life. Take stock of how you spend your time. You are the one who gets to decide what life, marriage, and legacy you will have for your entire family.

Husbands Love Your Wife!

A couple of weeks ago we had a guest speaker at our church who shared incredible insight which I have never heard before. I am saddened that most pastors zip through Ephesians 5 as fast as they can to keep some kind of peace. Maybe they just don’t like all the worms in the can getting loose. Women look at submission like a container of stinky maggots freed in their britches, and it is our fault. Step up and take the blame with me.  C’mon be a man. Let’s grab our tools and fix this thing together!

This guest speaker talked about how we focus on the last week of Jesus’ ministry and death on the cross. We need to focus on how Jesus loved the church as a whole, the entire time he was ministering to the people. He was compassionate with the harlot; He turned away every man who was about to throw stones at her. He protected her and forever changed her life for better. He was a healer, both physically and emotionally. He prepared food for His disciples. He calmed raging seas. He encouraged. He showed the way.

You and I as men cannot do it perfectly, but we can do it well.

“Any fool can have a trophy wife. It takes a real man to have a trophy marriage.”

 -Diane Sollee

I love my wife, and I will learn to love her more every day.

 

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I love my wife…. well, sort of. Part 1

Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Eph. 5:25

Part 1

Years ago, I went to meet a church pastor for some marriage counseling. Within seconds of sitting down the tears begin to flow because I hated the fact that I was about to complain about my marriage, really about my wife. I did not want to do this, and I was ashamed, heartbroken, and lost. I simply did not know what to do to move forward from where we were at. Here is the saddest part; the counsel I received was, basically, in a sentence, that a husband is not called to be a martyr for his wife. That man bolstered me up momentarily. I wiped the tears away and left his office prepared to stand my ground for what I believed. As I started my truck, God spoke and gave me His counsel: “Chad, being a martyr for your wife is exactly who I want you to be.”  This was the totally the opposite direction I was just headed in, and as I accepted His counsel, I was FILLED with His peace in all things.

Romans 3 talks about how none of us are perfect and we all fall short.  Yes, all of us.  It is so easy to focus in on how others make our lives uncomfortable, and when it happens close to (or at) home, it can be the most painful. My tongue and the way I talk to my wife is the way that I hurt her the most. It is truly sharper than any two-edged sword. My words that I speak to my wife can be a beautiful carving of delight or can cut her down to fear of her husband. When I feel disrespected, I feel uncared for and begin to stuff and stuff and stuff until defiled words surface like a big nasty pimple on the tip of my nose. I begin to cut, slash, and destroy my wife with my tone and my words. Then, like most men I withdraw, seek out that wonderful cave to hide in and be selfish, essentially feeding the flesh because after all I deserve it! What a loser. This is not how God intended us to live. We are all sinners, each and every one. You and I both will never be as good as Jesus Christ, but moment by moment and day by day, we can continually inch closer.  And the more we try, it becomes easier to do.

Here is what I do. When I feel myself approaching the point of harshness; I have a choice, to step back a take a breath and ask for God’s help to give me a soft heart and wise words before I engage with my spouse. Or I can let my sinful, selfish, know-it-all nature have its way with my wife and my marriage, in a way fulfilling the goal of the enemy to destroy what God has put together. I have done it both ways and harshness has never worked. Ever!

A soft answer turns away wrath,

But a harsh word stirs up anger.

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,

But the mouth of the fool pours forth foolishness.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place,

Keeping watch on the evil and the good.

A wholesome tongue is the tree of life,

But perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 15:1-4

My wife is really an outstanding, remarkable woman. Those who know her will readily agree. She is a daughter of the King of kings. It is my duty as her husband to live with her in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). She is a sinner, as am I, and we both hate that we fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that we do things in our lives that hurt and damage what God had intended to be great. Our marriage.

The fix?  Humility.  I am not perfect; my wife is not perfect. I have to choose to seek God in all things and ask Him to direct my words and my steps to love my wife and nurture my family, ultimately bringing glory to the King and His kingdom.

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A recent picture of my family

(Read Part 2 here.)

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