Marriage is a Responsibility

Marriage is a Responsibility

One of the most important and satisfying things in life is to marry and raise a family. I think women understand this a little better than men or, at least, sooner. Men, many of them, have a hard time figuring this out (that’s why guys float around and play video games until they’re late in life). Now, there are some women, more and more every day, who skirt family duties as well. More and more, it’s not just men who abandon their families but women too. Yet, we are created for marriage and family.

Of course, there are exceptions- some are called to celibacy and will never marry and some cannot have children. We know these things. Yet, satisfaction in life comes from fulfilling these fantastic responsibilities. For those who do not marry or have children, they often take on other great responsibilities such as public service, missions and evangelism, pouring into the lives of children at church or in their extended family, or something very similar. It is the responsibility and effort that gives purpose, and in the service of others there is wonderful meaning.

Thus, we need to take on responsibility, and we need to do it early in life. We do not need to wait around forever for the perfect situation. What is it that the wise say about having children? If you are waiting for the perfect time, you will never have them. So, just go ahead and have kids. We could say the same about other great responsibilities. Stop wasting your life! Go get married. Go have kids. Go make an impact. What are you waiting on?

We need to rise up, take on duty, and strive to bring about great service. We need to get married and have kids. We need to invest in the lives of others. And, as Christians, we are assured that this positive impact is not only for this life but also for eternity.

More on the Spiritual Life

More on the Spiritual Life
We talk a lot about growing and maturing in Christ. What do we mean by that sentiment, and how do we take the next step in our spiritual lives? First of all, we may consider a couple verses from the Scriptures concerning Christian growth. For example, Peter instructed, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins” (2 Pet 1:5-9). Now, notice that the apostle affirms a few things in this passage (and its context). He teaches that if we are genuine believers, then we do not forget that we were cleansed from our old sins. One sign to know that we have been forgiven is that we continue to make progress. He also promises that Christian growth toward maturity protects believers from falling away. Jesus is the one who emphasize so clearly, “Those who endure until the end will be saved” (Matt 24:13). And, we endure by maturing. We persevere by making progress. Later, Peter will conclude his admonitions with the exhortation, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18).

We cannot remain stagnant. If you realize that your prayer life is lacking, then do something about it. If you notice that your church attendance is poor, then set an alarm on Sunday, get out of bed, get ready, and make yourself come to worship the Lord in the assembly of the saints. How astonishing it is that we so often get into spiritual ruts (and in many other aspects of life) that we remain in for weeks, months, and sometimes even years! Do not let this be you! Do not remain stagnant. Stir up the waters of your spiritual life.

Here are just a few very practical examples of how you could take the next step in your spiritual life:

(1) Pray at noon every day

(2) Get on your knees for prayer at least once a day

(3) Invite a friend to lunch once a week for a spiritual conversation

(4) Become a “+1 Member” (adding one class to your Sunday attendance)

(5) Ask (the minister?) for a book/podcast recommendation

(6) Go on a retreat or attend a conference

(7) Challenge yourself spiritually, set some goals

The Clean Life is the Good Life

The Clean Life is the Good Life

Despite all of the jokes and snide remarks made by some about living a moral life, Christians should be confident that the clean life is the good life. A pursuit of purity and godliness certainly does not promise that there will be no problems or exempt anyone from illnesses, but we can be assured that we are within the will of God when we follow His ways. Also, living the clean, godly life helps to shelter us from some of the mess in this world. We may not be able to dodge it all, but we can dodge a lot of it when we remain faithful to the Lord.

Think of those you know who have operated outside of the Lord’s will for their lives. You know those folks who have slept around, shacked up, become addicted to alcohol, are hooked on drugs, party all the time, and those who lie, and cheat, and steal, etc. Many of us know these folks up-close-and-personal. We may be related to them or work with them. These types of sinful behaviors are not just “religious stories” intended to make people feel guilty. As a matter of fact, the consequences of these actions are all too real. When sensual and selfish desires control us, there is nothing but heartache and misery for ourselves and others around us. The proof is in the puddin’, as they say.

Recently, many of our scriptural lessons have conveyed the theme of confronting sin, in our own lives and in our church. Now, to the unbeliever that may sound negative or even absurd, but for Christians that have any spiritual understanding and maturity in the faith at all, we grasp the practical wisdom of stopping sin before it mushrooms into something much worse. Sin breeds sin. So, it is very much a positive thing to learn from the Lord how to confront and defeat sin in our lives and in the lives of those we love and appreciate. Fighting sin (living the clean life) is the responsible and loving thing to do.

Keep fighting sin! Don't let others get you down. Live the clean life, and be happy in the Lord. That is the only true happiness that exists.