Tag Archives: Marriage

Titanic and the Security of a Woman

Early in my marriage, maybe even before I was married, I heard a speaker say that one of the main things a woman seeks in marriage is security. I think the teaching came from James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. If it was someone else, I am sorry; I try to give credit to the right person whenever I can.

It was a good lesson to learn early on. It has served us well over time. I continue to learn the significant nuances of what this means.

As I was thinking of how to communicate this, the movie TITANIC came to mind. On the surface TITAINIC looks like a movie about a tragic accident at sea. That is not the case. The story is about Rose DeWitt Bukater who is speeding on a crash course to disaster. She is engaged Cal Hockley, a rich, handsome young man, that can provide financial security for Rose and her mother. The problem is that Rose doesn’t love him and he views Rose as another one of his possessions. Although she will have financial security she is at her wits’ end. There is something missing, something much more important. She becomes suicidal and is ready to jump off the back of the ship. Jack Dawson sees her and comes to the rescue.

Rose is intrigued by the daring young man who would apparently risk his own life to save hers. Jack is the antithesis of Cal. Jack has no money, no home and no solid plan for the future. Jack is an artistic free-spirit, spontaneously moving from one adventure to another.

Why would Rose be interested in Jack rather than Cal? What does he have to offer?

As a father, when I see a movie like this I cringe. I am afraid that my daughters will see a movie like this and decide that they want to run off with some flighty, irresponsible, free-spirit, adventure seeking artist and ruin their lives. A young man will lead her on an adventure and then tire of her and move on to someone else. Jack has a lot of those qualities and it is a little scary to watch. Part of the story is Rose rejecting being forced into a mold and choosing her own way. There is this element of youthful, rebellious adventure.

So Jack could offer rebellious adventure, but was that the whole story? Is that really what Rose was looking for? I don’t think so. Cal could give Rose financial security but he destroyed her emotional security. Jack on the other hand valued her. He came to her rescue more than once. He stood up for her. He valued her opinions and encouraged her to express herself. He wanted to share experiences with her. As the Titanic began to sink Jack was strong. He never gave up in trying to save Rose and himself. He was innovative and courageous. Even in the most hopeless of situation Rose felt secure as long as she was with Jack. To the very last moment Jack worked to make Rose secure; to make her believe that she could survive, and she did.

It is important for a man to provide security for his woman. Often we see this in terms of financial security, and that is very important, but it doesn’t end there. I learned some of these lessons early in marriage. A couple of times Beckie had come to me with some things that she was sure would shake up our relationship. I suppose they could have, but they didn’t. I assured her that they didn’t matter and that nothing was going to challenge my love for her. Someone has said that love is a choice and at those points I made a choice to love Beckie.

Early in our marriage we had some points of adjustment. Okay they were arguments, as much as Beckie argues (we really don’t argue and I can thank Beckie for that). The first few times it happened I saw fear in Beckie’s eyes. It suddenly dawned on me that the way I was reacting to her was shaking her security. I backed off and have tried to be sensitive ever since.

Much later in our marriage I went through a long period of unemployment. We were secure in our relationship so we weathered it rather well to begin with. I learned some important things during that time. One was that I could not find my security in a job or my ability to earn money. I needed to shift my confidence from myself to God. God is my provider and protector. He is the one in whom I should place my faith. It was an important lesson to learn. Since that time I have worried much less about money. Whether I have it or not really doesn’t matter much because my security is in the Lord.

Emotional security became much more important than financial security. If we were secure in our relationship with each other then we would we able to handle the financial stress. Our faith contributed to our emotional security. I heard a quote once that I really like, “An atheist is a person with no invisible means of support.”

I relate that like it was an easy lesson, it was not. I was without work, picking up odd jobs here and there, for almost a full year. As time went on Beckie felt more and more of the responsibility for the family. She was under a lot of stress but she tried not to show it. It was not right for me to let that burden fall on her. As we neared the one year mark, my confidence began to fail. When you have been without work for a few months, you can prop yourself up with, ‘It is just temporary. Something will come along soon.’ But when it has gone on for almost a year you question yourself. You begin to wonder if there is something wrong with you. You wonder if you will ever work again. Maybe you will become one of those families that live forever on public assistance. By then we were reaching a point that Beckie would have the additional stress of trying to support me emotionally as I was giving up. God in His mercy provided me with a job and we did not fall into total despair.

That year was 1990. It is now 2015 and I experienced another layoff. We have learned the lessons of the past and our confidence is in God as our provider and protector. But there were still lessons to learn. I knew that if I would place my full confidence in God that my faith would be contagious and that Beckie could feel confident in God also. We would be secure even though we were on a sinking ship. She would look to me to lead in faith. What I didn’t realize was how that works. We decided to spend some time seeking the Lord’s direction. I told Beckie that even though I often pray for God’s direction, I often don’t feel like I receive a clear indication from God as to what I should do. This seemed pretty normal for me so it didn’t really bother me. I have often seen people overstate their “Leading from the Lord”, and I don’t want to be one of those people.

When I shared this with Beckie, I saw that look in her eyes again. It was fear. I realized what was happening. We were seeking God for direction. She was looking to me to receive that direction from God and I was telling her not to trust my ability to discern God’s leading. Once again I could see that her security was shaken. I could see that I was placing responsibilities on her that clearly should belong to me.

The burden was on me to do a better job of seeking the Lord, discerning His leading and providing leadership in taking action. As it worked out I still did not hear a voice from heaven but I do think that God clearly led. I don’t think this is the last time we will be in a learning situation like this. Each time l learned a little bit more about myself a little bit more about faith and my amazing God, and a little bit more about Beckie and the emotional security of a women.

I hope you have learned some things through my sharing.

Why I didn’t want to Vote for Jerry Brown

I hold Jerry Brown personally responsible for undermining marriage in California, and as California goes so goes the nation. Marriage is the foundational institution on which every successful society is built. When societies undermine marriage they travel down a path that will surely lead to destruction. In 1975 California changed its adultery and divorce laws. Adultery became legal. Sexual acts between consenting adults, married or not became legal. God’s Law was replaced by man’s law. Divorce law was also changed. Jesus said that the only acceptable reason for divorce is adultery, but California decided that adultery could no longer be given as a basis for divorce. Now the only legal basis for divorce in California is “Irreconcilable differences”. Once again God’s Law is set aside and replaced by man’s law. Who was Governor of California in 1975? You guessed it—Jerry Brown.
A number of years ago homosexual activists decided that they would make same-sex marriage an issue in California. The general public responded by passing Proposition 22 which defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. This was not a change it was simply stating in law what had always been understood as marriage. The public had to take this action using our most democratic process the Proposition, because the Legislator had refused to move. Proposition 22 was challenged in the courts as it always is by liberals. They claim they are for democracy but when they don’t get their way by majority vote then they seek out a liberal judge to overrule the will of the people. It is the responsibility of the State Attorney General to defend the laws before the State Supreme Court. At the time Jerry Brown was the California State Attorney General. He refused to perform his duty and defend the law and the law was overturned based on being a violation of the State Constitution. In 2008 Californians developed a new, stronger proposition that would amend the California State Constitution to define marriage, Proposition 8. Again there was a court challenge and again Jerry Brown refused to fulfil his role as Attorney General and defend the State Constitution. A gay judge overturned the will of the people. That was not the end. The case was appealed to the Federal Supreme Court. This time Jerry Brown was the Governor of California and sworn to uphold the State Constitution. As Governor he ordered the State Attorney General to not defend Proposition 8 (now part of the California State Constitution) in federal court. It gets worse! He then had the Attorney General argue that no other private organization has the authority to fill the gap and argue in favor of the proposition. It worked and the Supreme Court let the lower court’s ruling stand unchallenged. Amazing that Jerry Brown was so successful in bringing same-sex marriage to California by refusing to perform his sworn duty as an elected official.
A state official who refuses to uphold his oath of office should be impeached. Instead there is practically no outcry and some people even hail him as a hero.
A hero for shirking his responsibility as State Attorney General and as Governor?
A hero for standing against democracy?
A hero for distorting and abusing our system of government?
A hero for standing for perversion and against morality?
A hero? I don’t think so.
Even if you are in favor of destroying the sanctity of marriage you should be frightened by politicians who, like Jerry Brown, abuse their positions in government. To win an issue but lose the structure of government is not a victory. It is a loss for all of us.

Marriage as a Sacred Union

We have all been to weddings enough to know the standard introduction. It generally goes like this.
Dearly beloved we are gathered together before God and these witnesses to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony.
You have heard it many times but its my guess that you have never given much thought to what it means. What does it mean to be joined together in Holy Matrimony? Well let’s take a look at it. We will look at the word matrimony first. It is easy matrimony means marriage, a joining together. But marriage isn’t just any union. It is a “holy” union. So what does holy mean. It mean sacred, or separated for a special purpose. Generally it means separated to God for a special purpose.
So what makes marriage special or holy?
The following list is qualities of a marriage the way that God intended it. As you read through the list you will likely think of marriages that don’t meet these standards. Most likely you will realize that those marriages are typically in serious trouble or the husband and wife have developed a way of tolerating one another but not truly uniting.
MARRIAGE IS AN EXCEPTIONAL RELATIONSHIP
Marriage is not like other relationships, it is special. We hold our marriages above other relationships. We hold marriage in higher esteem. If it is a choice between either our marriage relationship, or other earthly relationships there is no contest the marriage relationship always wins out.
MARRIAGE IS AN EXCLUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
This understanding is usually viewed in terms of sex. We expect or at least hope that people will be sexually intimate with their spouse and their spouse alone. We even talk of this in terms of faithfulness. That is being faithful to your marriage vows. Exclusivity in marriage includes things beyond sex. We expect marriage to include other intimate aspects beyond sex. This includes other physical behavior, sharing secrets and personal revelations, and shared experiences. There is a level of friendship in marriage that is unique and should not be shared outside of marriage. A husband or wife will become jealous if their spouse becomes too intimate in a friendship with someone else; and rightfully so.
MARRIAGE IS ORDAINED BY GOD
Most of us are familiar with the Biblical account of Adam and Eve found in Genesis chapter 2. God creates Adam and later says that “It is not good that man should be alone…” so He creates Eve. Scripture says that the two became one flesh. Often we see this as referring to the sexual union, and it does, but there is something deeper. The woman was taken out of man. A man and woman were created as one. Unity is their natural state. They were always designed to function as one.
Jesus alludes to Adam and Eve when He talks about God’s intent in marriage. He says, that the man and woman became one flesh. Then He adds “What God has joint together let no man put asunder.” This phrase is often included in the marriage ceremony. The point is that a marriage is not simply a union of a man and woman. Marriage is a holy union, ordained by God.
There are two sides to this. One is that marriage is not to be entered into lightly. It should reflect a relationship that is honoring to God. In the Old Testament people were required to bring a sacrifice to the Temple, but they could not bring just any lamb as a sacrifice. They were required to bring a lamb that was healthy, and without defects. The sacrifice was holy to the Lord. In the same way a marriage union has some requirements that make it holy. The basic requirement is to not ‘be unequally yoked together with an unbeliever’. This is both an Old Testament and a New Testament concept. The Jews were not allowed to marry persons from the surrounding unbelieving nations. A marriage is a union that is dedicated to the Lord and as such it is to be structured in a way that is honoring to Him.
The second aspect of a marriage ordained by God is that once the marriage union is created it is considered a relationship created by God. In the same way that a person could not dedicate a sacrifice to the Lord and then take it back; a marriage union is one direction. It is a union holy to God and must not be taken back. This is one of the reasons that often in the marriage ceremony you hear, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6). Because God is the one that ordained marriage, the marriage union is an act of God. For man to break that union is to act against God; or worst yet it is to usurp God’s authority.
We understand that God is holy. Part of the holiness of God is that certain things are under His authority alone. One of those is life. God gives life and God takes life. For us to take life is to step beyond our realm of authority (except for some specific cases where God delegates that authority). Another area is vengeance; God says, “Vengeance is Mine says the Lord”. For us to take vengeance is to step beyond our realm of authority. The same is true of marriage. Marriage is the realm of God. Marriage is holy and there should be the understanding that to enter into marriage is to enter into the realm of God. Marriage is not ours it is God’s and He allows us to participate in His holy union.
MARRIAGE IS AN EARTHLY LIVING OUT OF A HEAVENLY REALITY
The temple of the Old Testament was the most Holy place on earth and yet scripture says that it was just a reflection of the true Temple which is in heaven. See Hebrews 8:1-6. The same is true of marriage. Marriage is holy because it is a reflection of a heavenly relationship. Often in scripture God talks about His relationship with Israel in terms of marriage. He speaks of Israel’s unfaithfulness and His unfailing love. In the New Testament Marriage is an illustration of the relationship between Christ and the Church. This is not just a convenient illustration, like Paul saying to himself, “what could I use here as a good analogy”. No. It is so much more than that. Marriage was designed by God from the beginning to be a living illustration of His relationship to us. He has His hands all over it.
Ephesians 5, and other scriptures, gives a pattern for marriage based on Christ’s relationship to the Church. Christ loved the Church and sacrificed himself for her. The husband is to love his wife with the same type of self-sacrificial love. The Church is the body of Christ. The husband is to care for his wife in the same way he would care for his own body; nourishing it and cherishing it. The Church is the body of Christ In the world; doing His will and accomplishing His purposes. In the same way the wife is the help meet to her husband seeking to accomplish his will.
There are so many things that are just beautiful about this. We are given the privilege of living out a spiritual reality in our daily lives. We are given a pattern ordained by God for a successful marriage. We live at a crossing point between the physical and the spiritual. We get to experience a physical, earthly relationship that gives us deep insights into a parallel relationship that we have with Christ. It doesn’t stop there. The family that comes out of marriage is also a, holy, living illustration of heavenly relationships.
To live out marriage in a way that properly reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church is a holy experience. To live out marriage in a way that is contrary to God’s holy design is to distort the image of God. It is a form of blasphemy.
The goal of Satan is to discredit God in any way he can. Satan wants to tear down and distort the image of God. He wants to attack anything that is holy. I believe that Satan is working overtime to completely destroy marriage at every level.
Marriage is a Holy union before God. It is time for us to recognize that marriage is holy and to treat it as holy. We must stand against those who would seek to defile and degrade marriage and make it anything less than a Sacred Union.