Category Archives: Marriage
Sunday’s message was the start of what’s sure to be one of my fav’s. Coming off a spellbinding and soul-finding series called The Gospel, where we saw over 900 people come to Christ and record attendance of over 4,500 people in the short life of our church, this week begins a series on what I believe to be one of the most important issues of the day concerning the proliferation of the life-changing gospel (talk about a run-on sentence). Visionary Love, Dream Sex, believe it or not, is about family. More specifically, it’s about the relationships that embody family like finding the right partner with which to start a family, dating, maintaining purity prior to marriage, nurturing your relationship, and how to be the best spouse you can be.
The deterioration of the family unit is a cause of many of today’s social issues. With divorce at an all time high, even in the church, you have fatherless homes like never before, increased pressure on single parent families, a rise in teenage pregnancy, more people finding fulfillment in illegal substances, sexual immorality that is off the chart, and a resulting stress on our social programs and subsequent effects on the economy. Personally, I’m a divorcee who’s been both a victim and offender of infidelity so I have seen some of this first hand. With courage and God’s grace, I am now a victor and that’s much better. Love, marriage, and where they intersect with sex are a big deal.
This series has a message for all stages of life and all but the youngest of ages. While other churches find speaking of sex to be taboo or tip-toe around it when they do, Elevation Church shoots straight; instead of running from the culture, they speak into it. And Pastor Steven Furtick has a brazen, take no prisoners style that allows him to deliver the message with a conviction that will grab hold of anyone who listens. I thank God for him and Elevation.
Listen to the message in its entirety right here:
Also, Elevation made the front page of the Charlotte Observer for the second time this year. Not for scandal or heresy, but for dominating the city of Charlotte with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise God!
Two nights ago, we went to the long-awaited, much anticipated wedding of the century (okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an over statement). Some church friends, Chris Hopkins and Allison Julian, um, I mean, Mr. And Mrs. Christopher Hopkins spent the last several months planning and stressing over the comparatively short proceedings that took place. Nothing blue about this event (except maybe a color in the wedding). It was every bride’s dream. Everything went off without a hitch. Though the pressure and excitement of the day may begin to fade, it is but only an introduction. They can now begin to write the many remaining chapters of their compelling fairy tale. And the first chapter looks to be hot n’ heavy––the honeymoon. They are going to Jamaica, where the temperature is very hot and the island is very heavy (have you ever tried to lift it?). What were you thinking, gutter brain?
Anyway, as I sit here to write this, it seems that marriage tends to mirror that of a real book. A mirror image at first glance is the same, but closer examination reveals a different story––the image is actually inverse. For example, when you raise your right hand while facing a mirror; the image appears reversed––as if it is raising its left hand. Marriage today unfortunately follows a similar pattern. There are basically four parts in a novel: conflict, plot (rising action), climax, and resolution (aka, the grand finale). Typical weddings start with a gala ceremony of grand finale proportions (resolution), followed by the honeymoon (climax––no pun intended), then life happens (plot and falling action, in most cases) and finally, and all too often today, ending in conflict (have you seen the divorce statistics these days; and that doesn’t even account for the couples who are still married “in name only.”) It’s almost as if we have started reading the book from the back.
Well, it’s high time we start doing our part to ward off the looming marriage crisis by rewriting some of the pages in the book on marriage. I’m not suggesting that we change the existing arrangement––it’s still okay for a marriage to begin with a grand wedding celebration. What I am suggesting is that the same meticulous, methodical approach used to plan the wedding go into the marriage. Months and months of planning with hours and hours of time spent, even on trivial details, most of which wouldn’t even be noticed if it wasn’t there or that won’t be remembered 20 years down the road anyway. Every penny strategically and painstakingly spent (and overspent) to achieve maximum benefit. Rigorous standards set and expected so that nothing is out of place. A ceremonial church wedding with God as the cornerstone. All this for a single day yet such little regard to the “rest of forever” that you’ve just committed to your spouse.
What would marriage look like if time was used wisely? A notable amount of time being spent on seemingly minor details important to your spouse. Quality time with your spouse on a regular basis. What would it look like if money was stewarded well and debt was averted? What if the standards for marriage were audaciously high? In fact, what if it is so detestable when something gets out of place that it inspires you to do better? What would it look like if God played as big of a part in the marriage as He did in the wedding? What if He was actually treated as the Lord of the marriage instead of as some sort of genie, at your beck and call when you have a material want or things get really tough? And guys, don’t think you’re off the hook just because you aren’t typically a large part of the planning stages of the wedding; this applies to you all the same. What if you gave as much attention to your wife as you give to SportsCenter . . . or golf . . . or whatever curtain you hide behind?
What would marriage be like if we applied the wedding-planning mentality above? Marriage would be like a rock instead of being “on the rocks.” Maybe this is just the twist that your story needs. Let’s turn the page and start writing a new chapter!
Old timeless tradition. New style ceremony. Borrowed linen (to be past on to the next generation). Blue and brown color scheme.
Vintage. Contemporary. Moving. Beautiful as the sky is blue
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hopkins!!!
Remember to tell your significant other how much you love him/her.
Recommit to doing this regularly.