January 23, 2014
What is the purpose of sex in marriage? What is God’s design? I want to suggest three reasons clearly revealed in Scripture. First, the most obvious: procreation. It is God’s design to provide a safe haven in which to rear children. A second purpose is companionship. Sex is a bonding experience. The biblical phraseology is, “The two become one flesh.” It is deep, deep companionship. I believe this is why sex is reserved for marriage. It is our unique expression that we are one. The third reason for sex in marriage is for pleasure. If you doubt this, read Song of Solomon. God’s design was mutual sexual pleasure.
January 20, 2014
Q: I was exposed to pornography at a young age, and though I’m married now I can’t seem to erase the images. What should I do?
Dr. Gary Chapman: The Scriptures say that the blood of Christ covers our sins. I would encourage you to pray that God would cover the images of the past in your mind with the blood of Christ. Visualize the blood of Christ flowing over the images and I think you will find that God will blur those images for you. This may take a while, but in time you will deeply recognize that God has forgiven you for those things; he no longer sees them, and neither will you.
January 15, 2014
Someone said years ago that the circle of confession should be as large as the circle of the sin. Private sin, bitterness towards someone that’s held in your heart and has never been expressed to anyone externally, is between you and God. If that bitterness, however, has led you do to things against that person that are wrong, I believe it is likely that he or she is going to find out about things and you need to reconcile the situation. But ultimately and first of all, all sin needs to be confessed to God.
January 14, 2014
Some Christians have a negative attitude towards sex. It may have come from a distorted education about sex, an unfortunate sexual experience as a child, or sexual involvement as a teenager that brought disappointment and guilt. What is important is to understand that we choose our attitudes. The first step in overcoming a negative attitude is exposure to the truth. The truth about sex is that within marriage it is God-ordained and designed to bring mutual pleasure. As in all of live we are called to live by the truth. We admit our negative attitudes and feelings but we don’t serve them. With the help of God we live according to his revealed truth.
January 9, 2014
Contrary to the opinion of some, sex is not a topic that God shies away from. He is the author of sex. He created humanity as male and female, and he instituted marriage with the intent that the two would become one flesh. Why then do so many couples fail to find satisfaction in this important area of marriage? I would like to suggest one major reason: unrealistic expectations. Films, magazines, and novels convey the idea that sexual thrill and mutual satisfaction are automatic. That is simply not true. God told Israel that a young couple should take a year to learn how to pleasure each other (Deuteronomy 24:5). What makes us think we can do so in less time?
January 2, 2014
This is a good day for reflection. We stand on a threshold of new opportunities. Are you pleased with the way you invested your time and energies last year? Are there changes you need to make in your life as you move into 2014? Do you need to add some activities and drop others? Family, church, vocation, and neighbors are all important. The greatest satisfaction in life comes from investing your life in the lives of others, but you also need to take care of yourself. Proper diet, sleep, and recreation keep the body strong. A daily quiet time with God and weekly involvement with other Christians energizes the spirit. Could a minor change in your life make a major change in your effectiveness?
December 31, 2013
As we come to the new year, many people are suffering from the pain of debt. Others are troubled with the upheavals of financial markets. Let me remind you of the words of Jesus: “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” If you understand that truth, it will change your life forever. Real satisfaction is not found in money, but rather in loving relationships with God, our spouses, our children, our friends. Most of us could live with less money, and many of us have to do so. If less money helps us focus on relationships, then we still come out winners. Why not have a family soup day; eat only soup and crackers, thanking God that you are alive and together.
December 26, 2013
In our culture, Christmas is a time when families come together. That’s really what Christmas was all about: God bringing us together. We had fellowship with God, but we left home; we walked away from God, and yet he came to find us as a babe. He lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, and paid our penalty so that we could return home without a penalty. Have you responded to the love of God and the death of Christ, accepted the gift of forgiveness? I hope that you have God as a Father, and know that he is not ashamed to call you his son or daughter. If not, his arms are always open.
December 24, 2013
For many, today is a day dedicated to last minute shopping. I’ve often wondered what God was doing the day before Christ was born; probably guiding Mary and Joseph each step on the way to Bethlehem. The most profound event in human history was about to happen. Theologians call it the incarnation, God becoming human in the form of a baby. God had communicated for hundreds of years through the prophets, but now he sends his own son. To use the words of John, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the midst of today’s busyness, let’s take time to reflect on God’s greatest gift.
December 12, 2013
Selfishness is the greatest barrier to marital unity, and we are all afflicted with the disease. “My way is the right way.” That’s the way all of us feel. I can expect myself to be selfish because that is my nature. But, as a Christian, I have a new nature – the very real presence of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I have a choice. I do not have to bow to the old selfish nature, I can choose to co-operate with the Holy Spirit. The opposite of selfishness is love, and that is the ‘fruit of the Spirit.’ Love is self-giving, not self- centered. Love is the greatest gift I can offer to my spouse. It’s available when I pray, “Lord, let your love flow through me today.” Selfishness falls away as we learn to love.