No-one starts their marriage with the intention of having an affair; our wedding vows, after all, include the promise to “forsake all others and be faithful”. Yet some sort of infidelity occurs in approximately 20% of marriages.¹ Christians are not immune and most of us know, at least to some extent, the terrible impact adultery can have on families, church and ministries. One insight that can help prevent sexual unfaithfulness in marriage is that it rarely happens spontaneously; rather, it is often the result of many small steps. If we can recognise that we’re on the path to adultery, we can apply wisdom and get off before things go any further.
This week our church small group leaders met to think about improving prayer in the life of our groups. I thought I’d write down all the ideas we came up with while they’re fresh in my mind. These will be good for group leaders, but probably helpful for group members as well.
No Christian I know, myself included, finds prayer easy. We struggle with distraction, lack of motivation and lack of conviction about the value of prayer. We need constant encouragement to keep praying and grow as pray-ers. Which is why I was so pleased find this book by Tim Chester: You Can Pray.
Smartphones are great. I use mine for all sorts of things and can barely remember looking at a physical map or using a camera with film. However, we’re all aware of the intrusive nature of our phones. Here’s a function I’ve discovered recently and that I think we need to use more:
There’s nothing better than being forgiven – that sense of relief when someone overlooks your hurtful words, or covers the cost of a breakage themselves, or gives you a hug after you’ve been unkind. Forgiveness is like the sun coming out through the clouds after a dark storm. Forgiveness, though, is not just something to be enjoyed. For the Christian, forgiveness is something to be understood, appreciated and expressed. It is a significant biblical doctrine and an essential virtue with real warnings for us if it is absent from our lives. The chances are that this is an area you (and I) can grow in, so read on for more. Continue reading “Forgiveness”
Christmas is a relentless torrent of consumerism but it’s still possible to keep the birth of Jesus central in your family. One strategy is to add short Bible readings to your Advent Calendar. Here’s what we do (plus the list of 24 verses/passages):
Most Christian husbands I speak to like the idea of reading the Bible with their wife but feel guilty because it hasn’t happened much (or at all) in their marriage. I totally get it. For many years I failed completely in this area. Reading the Bible with my wife was like one of the jobs on my domestic job list that seemed completely beyond me (rehang a cupboard door, put up shelves, replace a tap etc). This wasn’t anything to do with her mind you – I just couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about it.
Eventually, thanks to some prompting from a friend, we managed to work out how to make it happen. And it’s been a really positive thing. Here’s some ideas that might help you get started. Continue reading “How to Read the Bible with your Wife”