Numbers 6 – Do You Vow?

Numbers chapter 6 talks about a Nazarite vow. This is a vow in which a person separates themselves to God by separating themselves from certain things like: drinking wine or strong drink, having their hair cut, and being near a dead body…even if it’s a family member.

A Nazarite vow?! Who would do that, and what’s that got to do with me?

Not only is the ritual of a Nazarite vow foreign to us, the concept of a Nazarite vow is antithetical to the culture in which we live.

The idea of devotion through denial is not appealing to us. We are much more familiar with devotion through indulgence. Even in the Christian life, it’s so easy to assume that being devoted to Christ is about getting all of His goodness and resources we can get.

We have lost the idea that being devoted to Christ also involves denying ourselves…whether that denial is related to the pleasures of life we think we need, or the rights of life we think we deserve.

Even as I type this, my flesh cries out in opposition to denying myself pleasures or rights. But maybe that resistance itself highlights the importance of self-denial.

You can only be devoted to one thing at a time. (Matthew 6:24) At times, devotion to Christ requires denial of self, just as Jesus’ devotion to His Father required His own denial of self. (Matt. 4:1-11) (Phil. 2:6-8)

Perhaps we all need our own little Nazarite vow once in a while. Where is it you need to practice self-denial to better follow Christ?

Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 2

Gravity is an essential part of life. Without it, things would drift away into space. Likewise, gravity is an essential part of marriage. Without marital gravity, spouses begin to drift apart. And if they drift too far apart, it can bring an end to the marriage.

In my last post, I talked about four things you needed to increase your marital gravity. They were four things that would help draw you closer to one another and keep you from drifting apart. (Check out my last post, “Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity – Part 1.”)

Read moreIs Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 2

Is Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 1

When I hear the word “gravity,” I think of different things. I think of an apple falling on Newton’s head. I think of the John Mayer song, “Gravity.” I think of giant pieces of space junk falling from the sky and wiping out my house…and my homeowners insurance refusing to cover it.

But I don’t usually think of marriage when I hear the word, “gravity.” What does gravity have to do with marriage any way…aside from the fact it bears down on all of us, causing us to shrink and sag?

Read moreIs Your Marriage Approaching Zero Gravity? – Part 1

Did I Marry the Right One?

Did I marry “the right one?” There can be times in marriage when that question races across your mind like a streaker running across a football field. It can happen when you’re having that same old fight for the umpteenth time. It can happen when the two of you disagree on what’s fun and what’s boring. It can happen when your goals for the future don’t line up. It can happen when the differences between you and your spouse has you grinding your teeth.

It’s during these out-of-sync-times that spouses begin to wonder, “Did I marry the right one?” For some couples, the longer they’re married the more the question pops up. They try to beat the question back, as if they were playing a game of marital whack-a-mole, but no matter what they do, the question keeps coming up. 

Read moreDid I Marry the Right One?

Find a Reason to Stay Together

Depositphotos_3918231_xsIf you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of marriage. I’m like the person who finds a reason to root for their favorite team, even if their team isn’t doing so well.

But many of the people who come to my office thinking about divorce can’t find a reason to root for the team. They can’t find a reason to stay together.

It’s difficult to find a reason to stay married when your feeling the accumulation of hurt, neglect, anger, betrayal, and general ill will. But I encourage couples to look hard to find a reason to stay together.

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When Marriages Go To War

Toy Soldiers 250x250I heard an interview the other day with a doctor who had gone to Syria to take care of children caught in the war there.  The doctor spoke of children and families being torn apart, physically, emotionally and relationally by the on-going war.  There may be times when war is unavoidable, but it’s never good.

The same is true when marriages “got to war.”

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Wanna Trade?

13 SU1HXzYzNTIuanBnDid you ever do any school lunch trading when you were a kid?  You know…you look in the lunch bag your mom packed and you find something you really don’t want.  Something you would like to trade for something else.

Marriage can be that way.  A few years into your marriage, you can find things in the marriage bag you didn’t really want.  Things you wish you could trade for something else.

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“Should I Fix the One I’ve Got Or Get A New One?”

“Cars.  Dishwashers.  Houses.  Televisions.  Phones.  These eventually beg the question, “Should I fix the one I’ve got or get a new one?”  It’s not always clear, and often we make more of an emotional decision than a rational decision.  If we really want something new, we can always find the rationale for it.  “There’s too many miles on this one.”  “It doesn’t clean like it used to.”  “It doesn’t have all the features I want.”  “It’s not as sharp as it used to be.”  “It doesn’t respond like it used to.”

Read more“Should I Fix the One I’ve Got Or Get A New One?”