Handling Criticism in Marriage Part 1: Don’t defend yourself too quickly

August 2, 2019 by SLIMJIM

Handling Criticism in Marriage Part 1: Don’t defend yourself too quickly

Selected Scripture

 

Establish the Need: When your spouse criticize you, how do you respond?  Have you seen anyone who can’t handle criticism well and are too quick to defend themselves?  If so, what does it look like and do you think this trait of an individual help them handle criticism?  How do you think it affects the quality of their marriage and family?  Do you realize you need God’s help so that you don’t defend yourself too quickly when you face criticism?  If so this message is for you!

 

Purpose: In this session we want to consider some commands and perspectives from the Bible so that you won’t defend yourself too quickly in order to help us handle criticism biblically in our marriage.

  • You need to know God’s Commands that require you not to defend yourself too quickly
  • You need to have biblical perspectives to motivate yourself not to defend yourself too quickly

 

1. You need to know God’s Commands that require you not to defend yourself too quickly

  1. Command #1: God command we are to be quick to hear: “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear…” (James 1:19)
    1. Sometimes when we are quick to defend ourselves it is because we don’t like to listen to others.
    2. But here God makes it clear we are to listen.
    3. We not only are to listen but are to be quick about it: not reluctantly but eagerly!
  2. Command #2: God command we are to be slow to speak: “slow to speak…” (James 1:19)
    1. Sometimes when we are quick to defend ourselves it is because we are fast to talk. We might have a tendency to interrupt others or hijack conversations to go our way.
    2. But here God makes it clear we are to be slow to speak.
  3. Command #3: God command we are to be slow to anger: “slow to anger” (James 1:19)
    1. Sometimes when we are quick to defend ourselves it is because we are quickly angered.
    2. But here God makes it clear we are to be slow to anger.
  4. Practice:
    1. How do you know if you are too quick to defend yourself when faced with criticism? Be honest with yourself:
      1. Are you quick to hear?
      2. Are you slow to speak?
      3. Are you slow to anger?
    2. Which one of these commands are you inclined to disobey that might contribute to you defending yourself too quickly when facing criticism?
    3. Here is now an opportunity to practice handling criticisms biblically in marriage: Ask your spouse the same questions above. Listen to what they say is your problem.
    4. Confess your sins to God and ask Him for grace to put these commands into practice, especially in the area of handling criticisms.
    5. Also consider obeying these commands out of the motivation of loving obedience to Jesus who have shown you so much grace and mercy by dying for your sins!

 

2. You need to have biblical perspectives to motivate yourself not to defend yourself too quickly

  1. Perspective #1: Remember you are a sinner
    1. Scripture teaches that we have a sin nature even as believers
      1. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 19 For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Romans 7:18-19)= Here Paul makes it clear that we have a sinful nature even after we become a Christian.
      2. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, 23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner [q]of the law of sin which is in my members.” (Romans 7:22-23)= Again Paul makes it clear that we have a sinful nature even after we become a Christian.
    2. Preacher Joel Beeke makes the point that we make so many decisions we WOULD sin and make mistakes. And of course some of those sins would be noticed by others and brought to our attention, whether by our spouse or others.
    3. So then let us be not defend ourselves too quickly when we face criticism.
  2. Perspective #2: Our sinful heart is deceptive
    1. The Bible is clear that our hearts are deceitful: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
    2. Since we have this deep-seated moral “blindspot,” we ought to be careful not to be too quick to defend ourselves.
  3. Perspective #3: It is wise to consider reproof: “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof Will dwell among the wise.” (Proverbs 15:31)
  4. Perspective #4: Consider the source of the criticism
    1. If you have a hard time not to quickly defend yourself then ask yourself this question: Who is giving you the criticism? Your spouse who very likely loves you!
    2. Remember your spouse is a gift from the Lord: “He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22)
    3. Have you dwelled on the truth that the one giving you criticism is someone God has given to you and who have the intention of meaning well for you? Take the criticism seriously!
  5. Perspective #5: There’s value of criticism from a friend: “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” (Proverbs 27:6)
    1. From reason 5 onwards we consider perspective of being slow to respond to criticism in light of it being painful.
    2. Your spouse would know more about you than any ordinary friend; consider even more the value of rightful criticism about your faults, even if it hurts!
  6. Perspective #6: Anger does not achieve the righteousness of God: “for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20)
    1. Sometimes when people react negatively to criticism they get angry.
    2. Yet consider this truth that the anger of man doesn’t achieve much righteousness typically.
  7. Perspective #7: Reacting angrily is foolish: “A fool always loses his temper, But a wise man holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11)
    1. It is foolishness to lose one’s temper.
    2. Notice one who is wise holds back anger.
  8. Perspective #8: Be careful of attacking back hypocritically
    1. Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5)
      1. This is Jesus’ words.
      2. Notice Jesus said we should not be like the person who complain about the speck of someone’s eye when we have a log in verses 3-4.
      3. Notice Jesus taught the importance of removing one’s own sins before pointing out the sins of others in verse 5.
    2. Paul also talked about this: “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” (Romans 2:1)
  9. Perspective #9: Having a bad reaction to criticisms only generate more criticisms
    1. Now the criticism is about the reactions.
    2. It thus perpetuate a cycle.
  10. Perspective #10: Why not be wrong? ” Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?” (1 Corinthians 6:7b)
      1. Sometimes when we are quick to respond to criticism it is because we felt the criticism is incorrect or unfair. We feel wronged by the other person.
      2. Yet why not be wronged?
      3. Only way we can endure being wronged and not have it result in a “blow up” is looking towards Christ: He who was silent to the Cross in the greatest injustice, being totally innocent yet being crucified.
      4. He was crucified to save sinners! Are you saved?  He saved and died for you!
      5. Let that move you to obedience!
  11. Practice:
    1. Review these perspectives. Review them regularly.
    2. Also have a spirit of being willing to accept responsibility. This outlook would change the way you handle criticism and also life!

https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/handling-criticism-in-marriage-part-1-dont-defend-yourself-too-quickly/

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VIDEO Christian sex ‘sins’ melt down on TV’s ‘Bachelorette’ – Fornication And Jesus’ Love

Christian sex ‘sins’ melt down on TV’s ‘Bachelorette’

‘Dude, choose a woman who loves Christ the way you do. Period’

 

Luke Parker and Hannah Brown enjoy a helicopter ride together (Instagram /Luke Parker)

Luke Parker and Hannah Brown enjoy a helicopter ride together (Instagram /Luke Parker)

Millions of Christians across America and the world are familiar with the Bible’s warning against having sex outside of marriage, and now that conflict has sparked a meltdown on “The Bachelorette” TV show and spilled into real life.

The stance by one Christian suitor, 24-year-old Luke Parker, to wait until marriage to have sex got him tossed out of contention by Hannah Brown, who rolled her eyes numerous times when Parker objected to the “Fantasy Suites” portion of the program.

It’s not that Brown wasn’t attracted to “LukeP” as he’s called on the air.

“The closest thing to love at first sight was probably with you,” the Alabama native admitted during Parker’s final episode.

But when it came to the possibility of Ms. Brown having sex with numerous partners, that’s where Parker drew the line.

“I don’t believe that’s something you should be doing,” he said, “and I just want to make sure you’re not going to be, you know, sexually intimate with, you know, the other relationships here.”

“Guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage, pride is a sin, too, and I feel like this is like a pride thing,” Brown responded. “I feel like I’ve finally gotten clarity on you and I do not want you to be my husband.”

After Parker asked if he could have a moment, Brown dropped a bombshell on him, saying she did, in fact, already have sex in a windmill twice with fellow contestant Peter Weber.

“I have had sex and, like, Jesus still loves me,” she declared.

The lovers’ spat continued off the air, on the internet, with the couple engaging in a fierce war of words over what constitutes sin, and how Christians should respond.

“The difference in how we view sin is seen in the response,” Parker indicated. “I’m weeping at mine and you’re laughing at yours. All sin stings. My heart hurts for both of us.”

Brown responded: “time and time again Jesus loved and ate with ‘sinners’ who laughed. And time and time again he rebuked ‘saints’ that judged. Where do you fall Luke? #TheBachelorette.”

Luke replied: “There is a difference between eating with sinners who laugh and sinners who laugh at their sin. Sin is the very thing that put Jesus on the cross and that’s not a laughing matter.”

Brown wasn’t through, though, as she alluded to a conversation Parker had with another kicked-off contestant, Garrett Powell: “I have never said that I find my sin funny. I’m not going to [be] lectured on appropriate emotional responses by a guy who threw deli meat in a guy’s lap.”

Parker then addressed the sexual encounter in the windmill.

“Your tweets about the windmill and the wood were enough, it’s not about the action it’s about the response. If you want to talk about it, you know how to get ahold of me.”

On Instagram, Parker admitted it hurt his heart that Hannah “felt I was shaming her.”

In our conversation my heart was never to judge or condemn Hannah. I was simply making a decision for myself on what I expected in our relationship, our conversations and our beliefs led me to believe we were on the same page about sex. For me it was never about getting a rose, it was always about finding a wife who would choose me everyday just as I would choose her everyday.

As for my time on the show I made mistakes and no I’m not perfect (crazy right) I didn’t totally behave as the man I want to be and I did not represent Christ the way I thought I was prepared to and that has broken me.

This journey has taught me so much and for that I am grateful but the greatest gift I have received is a compassion for those who love the world and it’s ways. My desire is to put the Father first above all things and share the truth that he has given to us all. Thank you everyone for the prayers always remember speak truth and rid yourself of all hate, let compassion drive your words. Stay tuned.

Some comments from viewers online include:

  • “Stick to your guns. [Wait for] sex until you’re married. She is crazy anyways.”
  • “Boy still can’t fully take responsibility for how crappy he is.”
  • “I just don’t think this environment/setting was for you. I mean, how could someone not have controlling behaviors when a girl their dating is dating 30 other guys. I think the the guys who DON’T CARE that Hannah is mindlessly sleeping around/jumping naked is more concerning to me, than a man who finds it concerning and worth talking about? Clearly the TV show made you look like some narcissist. But I don’t think you are. I think @alabamahannah is just an airhead who uses grace as an excuse to have 0 control and overreacted. Her Bible quotes were her interpretation of the Bible. Any who. *Not a Luke fan but even more so not a Hannah fan. She slept with a guy she had no feelings for … (she never told peter she loved him …) I mean it’s worth being a little concerned about if you’re wanting to propose to someone within a week.”
  • “Why is everyone confusing the words judgement and discernment. Obviously you have a standard you want to live by and it’s not unreasonable to desire a wife with those same standards and desires. Hannah doesn’t have a true relationship with Jesus. Because Christ says that ‘those who love me obey my commands.’ Dude … choose a woman who loves Christ the way you do. Period.”

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

https://www.wnd.com/2019/07/christian-sex-sins-melt-down-on-tvs-bachelorette/


 

Michael Brown takes on controversy surrounding reality show’s pair of contestants

The headline announced, “‘Bachelorette’ star sends contestant home after sex before marriage spat, feud spills into Twitter.” Yes, “Sparks flew Monday night on the Fantasy Suites week episode of ‘The Bachelorette’ between star Hannah Brown and Luke Parker.” The sparks were flying over the issue of pre-marital sex.

Both Brown and Parker claim to be committed Christians, but for Parker, sex was to be saved for marriage. Not so for Brown, who told Parker she had had sex with another show contestant, not once, but twice. “I have had sex” she said, “and, like, Jesus still loves me.”

To be candid, I’ve never watched “The Bachelorette” (or “The Bachelor”), and I know nothing of Brown and Parker, other than what I’ve written here.

But I do know Jesus. And I do know the Scriptures. And the Word of God makes perfectly clear that sexual intimacy is a special gift for a husband and wife alone. Period.

To have sex before wedlock is called fornication. To have sex outside of wedlock is called adultery. And both are expressly forbidden in Scripture. Sex is too sacred to be squandered and abused and misused. It is for the marital bed alone.

But what of Brown’s statement, “Jesus still loves me”?

She’s absolutely right. He still does. He loves us when we sin, even repeatedly.

He loves us when we’re immoral. And when we’re proud. And when we’re greedy. And when we’re hateful.

Yes, He still loves us, even when we sin.

But that doesn’t mean He is pleased with us when we sin. That doesn’t mean He looks the other way. That doesn’t mean we haven’t grieved Him. And that doesn’t mean He will not discipline us in His love.

In fact, Jesus spoke so strongly against sexual immorality that He said we should take radical steps to prevent it in our lives, emphasizing that those steps would be far less costly than going to hell (Matthew 5:27-30).

Paul also gave warnings in the strongest terms, writing, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. … For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:3–6).

The book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, has this to say about who will enter the eternal, heavenly Jerusalem and who will not: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:14–15).

Willfully practicing sin is terribly costly.

Again, it’s true that Jesus still loves us, even when we sin. And it’s true that, one way or another, we sin every day, either in thought or word or deed. Even if we don’t sin consciously, we still fall short of loving our neighbor perfectly, even on our very best day.

But Jesus loves us enough that He calls us out of our sin, rebukes us for our persistent and willful sin and warns us of the consequences of sin.

Hannah Brown said to Luke Parker, “Guess what? Sex might be a sin out of marriage; pride is a sin, too, and I feel like this is like a pride thing.”

And that, somehow, was justification in her eyes for having sex outside of wedlock. To paraphrase, “Well, I feel you’re bring proud, which is just as bad as having sex out of wedlock. So, if you can be proud, I can have sex.”

What she has sadly forgotten is that sex is sacred and that sin destroys. And that Jesus came to save us from our sins so that, from here on, we could live the rest of our lives in obedience to God.

The Lord does forgive us, freely and completely, laying down His life to save us from judgment and destruction. But salvation comes with requirements. God requires us to be holy.

As Paul wrote, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18–20).

I pray Hannah Brown would take this to heart. In fact, I pray that each and everyone of us would take it to heart. We can’t let anything rob us of walking in the beauty of holiness.

https://www.wnd.com/2019/07/the-bachelorette-fornication-and-jesus-love/

Is Your Worldview Weakening Your Marriage?

Dr. Nancy Pearcey

The Family Project team asked noted author and Christian worldview leader Dr. Nancy Pearcey why a theology of family is important. Here is what she had to say:

The reason Christians need to be more intentional about developing a theology of the family is that we are all children of our age — which means we are prone to pick up the views of those around us, often without even being aware of it.

In their view of the family, Americans have been deeply affected by what is called social contract theory, propounded by thinkers such as Locke and Rousseau.  American conservatives tend to be influenced by Locke, while liberals think more along the lines of Rousseau.  But in both cases, the heart of social contract theory is the idea that the ultimate starting point is the individual, the autonomous self.

Where then do social institutions, like the family, come from?  They are products of choice.

The implications are staggering.  Social contract theory implies that we agree to be in relationships when they meet our needs.  Relationships are essentially redefined as products of enlightened self interest.  Thus if a marriage relationship is not meeting my needs, then I can choose to leave.  If the origin of marriage is individual choice, then marriage is subject to the whim of the individual.  No wonder marriage has become so fragile in our day.

And if we choose to create marriage in the first place, then we can also choose to change it — we can redefine it any way we want.  No wonder so many people today are questioning the very definition of marriage.

By contrast, the biblical concept of marriage as a covenant is that it is a pre-existing social institution built into our very nature.  We don’t create it so much as we enter into it.  (Remember that wonderful older phrase: We “enter into the holy estate of matrimony.”)  The relationship of marriage is a moral entity that exists in itself, with its own normative definition.  That means it confers on us certain moral obligations such as fidelity, integrity, and so on.

The Rosetta Stone of Christian social thought is the Trinity: The human race was created in the image of God, who is three Persons so intimately related as to constitute one Godhead—in the classic theological formulation, one in being and three in person. Both oneness and threeness, both individuality and relationship, are equally real, equally ultimate, equally integral to God’s nature.

Because humans are created in the image of God, this perfect balance of unity and diversity in the Trinity gives a model for human social life.  On one hand, the Trinity implies the dignity and uniqueness of individual persons.  On the other hand, the Trinity implies that relationships are not created by sheer choice but are built into the very essence of human nature.  We are not atomistic individuals but are created for ­relationship.

The implication of the doctrine of the Trinity is that relationships are just as ultimate or real as individuals.  Relationships are not the creation of autonomous individuals, who can make or break them at will.   Relationships are part of the created order, and thus are ontologically real and good.

This may sound abstract, but think of it this way.  When we are in a relationship. we sense that there is “me” and there is “you” . . . and then there is “the  relationship.”   And there are times when we say, We need to work on “our relationship.”  In other words, we sense that a relationship is more than the sum of its parts—that it is a reality that goes beyond the two individuals involved.

This was traditionally spoken about in terms of the common good: There was a “good” for each of the individuals in the relationship (God’s moral purpose for each person), and then there was a “common good” for their lives together (God’s moral purpose for the marriage ­itself).  In a perfect marriage unaffected by sin, there would be no conflict between these two purposes: The common good would express and fulfill the individual natures of both wife and husband.

A woman recently wrote me an email saying that she had been raised in a home governed by the rule that Christians should not expose themselves to any non-biblical ways of thinking.  But when she read Total Truth, she says,  “I discovered that I had unconsciously absorbed ideas that came from secular thinkers like Rousseau.”  What about you?

Are your ideas about marriage biblical, or have you absorbed ideas from our secular culture that are eating away at the heart of your marriage?

(Adapted from Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, used with permission)

____________________________________

Nancy Pearcey is author of the award-winning, bestselling book Total Truth: Liberation Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity and coauthor (with Chuck Colson) of How Now Shall We Live?She is a professor and scholar in residence at Houston Baptist University, as well as editor at large of the Pearcey Report. Heralded in The Economist as “America’s pre-eminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual,” Pearcey has appeared on national radio and television, including C-SPAN. She and her husband homeschooled their two sons. Her most recent book is Saving Leonardo.

Original here

God Gave Us Sex For ‘Procreation of Children … This Truth Is Not Homophobia’

June 4, 2019  By Michael W. Chapman

Bishop Joseph Strickland, head
of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.
(Diocese of Tyler)

(CNSNews.com) — In response to vicious attacks by homosexual activists and their supporters against a fellow bishop, Joseph Strickland, head of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, said that preaching the truth of the Gospel is not homophobic, that sexual intimacy is for a married man and woman “for the procreation of children,” and that this is “simply reality.”

Bishop Strickland made his remarks on Twitter in defense of Providence, R.I. Bishop Thomas Tobin who had advised Catholics not to participate in the LGBT activities of “Pride Month” in June because celebrating or endorsing sodomy in any way is contrary to Catholic teaching.

(Twitter.)

Tobin had tweeted on June 1, “A reminder that Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Catholic faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”

For his statement on Catholic teaching, Bp. Tobin was harshly criticized onlineby LGBT activists and their supporters.

In response, Bp. Strickland tweeted on June 2, “Please stop labeling bishops who speak the truth of the Gospel as homophobic. God gave us sexual intimacy for the procreation of children and the deeper union of a man & woman in marriage. Stating this truth is not homophobia, it is simply reality.”

(Twitter.)

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” (Emphasis added.)

(Twitter.)

The Catechism further teaches, “By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory. Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly to the good of the parents themselves. God himself said: ‘It is not good that man should be alone,’ and ‘from the beginning [he] made them male and female’; wishing to associate them in a special way in his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: ‘Be fruitful and multiply.’

“Hence, true married love and the whole structure of family life which results from it, without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich his family from day to day.”

Gay marriage is a contradiction in terms and illogical, according to the Church, because homosexuals use their sexuality in unnatural ways and do not reproduce. Unlike the unitive and generative nature of heterosexual coitus between a married man and woman, homosexual intercourse is non-unitive and non-generative.

(Twitter.)

Bishop Strickland also tweeted on June 2, “Bishop Tobin is simply speaking for one truth of the deposit of faith. God made humans male & female. Certainly those who are confused about their identity need Christ’s love & compassion, let’s remember Christ’s love is expressed when [he] dies on the cross for the truth.”

The Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attraction is not sinful but to engage in homosexual practices is gravely sinful.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/us-bishop-god-gave-us-sex-procreation-children-truth-not-homophobia

A D-Day hero makes a life-changing return to Normandy at age 94

June 6, 2019 By Martha MacCallum

WWII veteran on traveling back to Normandy for the first time since D-Day

The words used to describe the heroes of D-Day are not the current lexicon we tend to use for success. Humble, selfless, brave. Those are not words we attach in 2019 to superstars. They are words attached to warriors who are willing to die for a day they will never see, for the price of freedom, for those they do not even know.

Jack Gutman, who suffered from severe PTSD and the alcoholism it saddled him with, rejoiced this week because France was so beautiful and the people were so kind.

He never made it past the beach in 1944. He stayed down there while others went up and over the cliffs.

BRET BAIER: D-DAY WAS A GRAND GAMBLE

He was just 18, but he bore the heavy burden as a medic on the sands, of saving those he could and lying to those he could not.

He held their IV bag or their heads while they passed on. He says he knew in the frantic chaos of the beach that the boys who cried out for their mothers, had only him. That he would have to do. His face might be the last thing they saw on this earth. So he did the best he could to reassure them that they would be OK. That he was with them. That help was coming. Anything that would ease their pain, until they breathed no more.

He was 18.

rt, Jack went face first into his plate. He says it was so embarrassing. He felt terrible for his family and himself. Still, it had to happen. It was a low that changed Jack’s life.

After that that he finally listened to his daughter the therapist. She helped Jack get the help he needed. He is so honest about what happened because he wants some of those 20 vets who take their lives every day to know that there is another way.

Sobriety and therapy changed Jack into a man who at 94 decided it was time. Perhaps now that Normandy was no longer slamming wave after wave on him at home, he could go to Normandy.

Heroes of D-Day: Veterans remember storming the beaches of Normandy

So this week Jack and his son Craig, took a journey together to the place that had seared itself on Jack’s heart.  He got on the plane and took the long trip to Paris and then the bus to Normandy and then Jack saw that beach again for the first time in 66 years.

He walked the rows of white crosses and that was where he wept. Their pristine white shapes stand snapped at attention, tall and fresh like the boys below once did.

Jack saluted them. Promised he would never, ever forget them.

He thought about all the life he got to live. Marriage. Children. A daughter who saved him and a son who helped him heal by being at his side as he walked the rows.

He said, some of these boys I tried to save.

It always haunted me, said Jack, could I have done more?

But mostly Normandy transformed into a place of gratitude for Jack this week. He met the people of the villages they fought to liberate. Everyone was so nice. France was so pretty.

He’d only seen the beach.

He said of his return, it changed my life! Again. This time by softening his worries, laying them down.

Jack and others told me this week that at times they felt like celebrities. And celebrate them we should. Not because they are glamorous or athletic, but maybe because they are not. They are what we should all want to be, though.

Selfless, humble and my goodness, so astonishingly dashing and brave. These men are true heroes. They battled the Germans, and so many like Jack, silently battled their demons, wrestling with them all these years.

But Jack won. And we salute you, Jack. We salute you.

 

Mother’s Day: Honoring Moms,Teaching the Next Generation ‘The Noblest and Most Precious Work’

May 10, 2019 By John Stonestreet

(Screenshot)

On Mother’s Day, most of us take intentional time and effort to show our moms how much we love and appreciate them, and how much we’re thankful for their love and sacrifice. I’m not always as intentional as I should be about honoring the moms in my life, especially the one who gave me life and the one who’s currently doing the really heavy lifting caring for our kids.

But especially in this cultural moment, Christians should be the first, not only to honor current mothers, but also to celebrate and encourage future mothers.

Andrea Burke, writing at For the Church, suggests that we’re not always very good at this. As a result, for too many young Christians, cultural attitudes toward motherhood are setting the tone. And it’s not a positive tone.

Burke calls motherhood “the one life dream that makes a girl blush.” In her work directing her church’s women’s ministry, Burke regularly sits down with single, young women to talk about the future. They often confess that although they could pursue further education or a successful career in any number of fields, what many of them want is to get married and raise a family.

By Burke’s account, these young women are smart and accomplished. They don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Still, they regularly talk as if choosing to be a wife and mom is a silly cop-out—somehow a waste of their lives. “When a 21-year-old sits across the table from me and tells me that she wants to be a mother,” Burke writes, “she blushes and gives a thousand caveats as to why she knows it’s not the optimal choice.”

Where do young women get this low view of motherhood? Well, look around. According to a New York Times article last year, the average age at which women become mothers is now at a record high—30 or older in some parts of the country. The Times reported this as if it were a good thing, talking up the wonders of a “fulfilling career” and all-but-openly suggesting that the only reason any woman would have children young is because she couldn’t achieve the ideal professional life, and needs a substitute rite of passage to adulthood.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the average birth rate failed to rebound after the Great Recession, and now sits at a rock-bottom 1.77 children per woman on average—that’s down over 16 percent from a decade ago.

So now there’s a gap in our culture between the number of children women want to have, and the number they end up having.

The Times explains, “it’s unlikely any future baby boom will be able to fully offset the baby bust of the last 10 years.” This means that “millennial women are likely to experience the largest shortfall in achieved fertility verses their stated family desires of any generation in a long time … .”

What does all this have to do with young women embarrassed about wanting to become mothers? Well, they need honesty from us—specifically from their parents, that whatever society says about the wonders of a successful career, they’re statistically likely to regret prioritizing promotions over parenthood.

At BreakPoint.org, my colleague Shane Morris recently wrote a beautiful letter to his six-year-old daughter, in which he encouraged her to think of marriage and motherhood as callings worth pursuing, not as afterthoughts. Shane described how his daughter already is in the habit of tucking her little brother’s trucks to bed. Shane is right in seeing in those nurturing instincts things worth celebrating and cultivating.

His letter reminded me of Martin Luther’s praise for nurturing tendencies in his commentary on Genesis: “How becomingly even little girls carry infants in their arms,” he wrote. “And how appropriate are the gestures with which mothers dandle the little ones when they hush a crying infant or lay it in the cradle … .” Elsewhere he says: “In all the world this is the noblest and most precious work.”

If you’ve got daughters (like I do) or granddaughters or even nieces, proudly tell these young women that if motherhood is their dream, they’ve got nothing to be ashamed of.

John Stonestreet is President of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and BreakPoint co-host.

https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/john-stonestreet/mothers-day-honoring-moms-teaching-next-generation-noblest-and-most

Don’t Let Bitterness Ruin your Marriage

Marriages break because of bitterness

Marriage is Work in Progress:

Marital problems are real and the bitterness usually justified. If you’ve been hurt by your partner,  it is advisable to confront the problem calmly. Do not harbor the pain inward or compare yourself with other married couples because each marriage is unique in its own way.

I once spoke to a lady who wished to be in her neighbor’s position; because they seemed to be in a happy marriage. The fact is, people don’t announce their issues to the outside world. They keep their domestic problems behind closed doors. Smile and public hands holding can hide much.

No relationship is a complete smooth sail because nobody is perfect. Surprisingly the reason most marriages don’t heal is not only the problem at hand but also the prideful bitterness the wronged partner guard in their heart. Almost all break ups and divorce happen because of the hurting partner.

Bitterness Cuts the Host:

Bitterness is a blade meant to hurt someone else but it eventually serves the hand that conceals it. When it finds a place in a relationship, it destroys the foundation one step at a time. It stores itself in the soul slowly poisoning the one who carries it.

When you harbor resentment, love becomes numb and hardens the heart. Unfortunately at this point most people walk out. I have learned from talking to married couples that it is common for a wife or husband to say or do something disapproved by the other.

These things are bound to happen. But in some cases, a spouse forms a repetitive pattern regardless of being confronted. To the wronged partner, each hurtful action takes residence in the heart. It reaches a point when there’s no more room left. Thus the beginning of bitterness manifestation and damage beyond repair.

Communicate your Feelings:

If you are in such a position, the truth is, bitterness doesn’t give your spouse a chance to seek forgiveness or even change. As a matter of fact, they may not even know to what level they’ve offended you. Your bitterness comes from the hurts you suppressed without communicating.

Women are especially guilty here, I used to do it and know many women who still do. We tend to hold things inside expecting our husbands to read between the lines. Imagine taking a bottle and filling it up with pressure. It will eventually explode right?

In the same way, the outburst in your heart can result in a broken marriage. Your husband on the other hand may have no idea what’s going on. He may not even see it coming. I think women need to open up a little bit more. Communicate your feelings, don’t show them, your husband can not read your mind.

We all know that men love to fix things, he will do what’s necessary to make things work. I will write a different article about us women and how we push our husbands away.

 

Bitterness spreads like wild-fire

Bitterness Spreads Fast:

Perhaps your spouse is aware of your unhappiness but continues in the same patterns. It happens especially if he/she is trying to stir something up. The situation here is totally different and it calls for stronger measures like counseling.

However, this does not negate your responsibility to remove bitterness from your heart. You still need to at least be kind enough to set yourself free from stress related health issues. Bitterness will give your future health a bitter struggle. Nothing is worth your own health, take care of yourself, things can get better if dealt with rightfully.

I like to compare bitterness with wild-fire. Deadly wild-fire like the one we had ranging in California can begin with something as simple as a flat tire or tossed cigarette butt. That spark, combined with tinder-dry forests and howling winds, can be all that’s needed for a catastrophic wildfire to start.

Bitterness grows in the same way. One little bit of bitterness can spread throughout your heart and finally take over your whole body. It  starts to manifest itself in your attitude, demeanor, and finally your health.

In addition, the spreading will affect your children and family. Your criticism will make everyone critical. When you reach this point, it is not possible to make any sound decisions. There’s too many voices. The only way to start working towards reconciliation is to let go all bitterness.

A Positive Attitude is Attractive:

Find some undistracted time to discuss the issue with your spouse. If you find it hard to talk to him/her alone, find a close friend mentor. We all have one. Remember to speak in love, rationally and gently. Talk about all your hurts without being critical.

Finally when all is said and done. Work on yourself, not your spouse. He/she is the only one who can change themselves. You do not have the power to do so. The only part you can play, if you want to see some permanent changes is to pray. The greatest inspiration that can trigger change, with your spouse is your attitude. You might end up in the best marriage ever.

I’ve seen damaged relationships fully restored and the couple’s live happily there after. Most problems occur due to lack of knowledge. It is okay to seek help especially if you are stuck in hurtful cycle of marital problems.

https://sheqoz.com/dont-let-bitterness-ruin-your-marriage/

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