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BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

The best posts, going way back!
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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In this thread about a refusing wife - When is there just no sex but marriage is ok? - luvmygirls hits a home run:

luvmygirls wrote:Listen, brother. My greatest concern is not that you aren't having sex, but that your bride does not see the necessity in working on the relationship when her husband has told her that there are things to work on. That speaks of a failure in intimacy. The fact that she is willing to let her husband, the man she is in a COVENANT relationship with, suffer due to her choices, speaks volumes about her perspective and focus on the relationship. It sounds like it is time for a serious heart-to-heart with your bride about the reality of where your relationship is.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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I am finding, as I read around TMB and this thread, that Job29Man is inordinately represented here. And seeing his reponse to bigal today, "I Call.", I see why. Being a cowboy, he knows his poker:

Job29Man wrote:
bigal wrote:... she started threatening divorce when i pushed for sex too hard... the last 5 yrs she threatens divorce frequently and I give in, she says if we never had sex again she would not care.

This ^^^ right here ^^^. This is where she's "gotcha." It's her manipulation thing. You need to take this away from her forever. As long as you keep "giving in" when she threatens divorce, she will always be in charge of the marriage and will be the puppeteer pulling all your strings to make you dance to her tune.

Take it away from her. In a poker card game when one player thinks he has a strong hand, and he thinks his opponent has a weak hand but is bluffing; the first player says "I call. Show me your cards." Then the truth comes out, and all bluffs are seen for what they really are.

Next time she "threatens divorce" respond... "Well honey I love you, and I want to stay married to you. But you've mentioned divorce so many times that I can see it would make you happier than remaining with me as my sexual wife as God intended. Maybe it IS better for you to divorce me. I won't stop you. I'll stop trying to save our marriage. I'm the only one who's trying anyway. Going to a counselor just makes you bitter and angry. So ... why don't you look for an affordable apartment for yourself, and I'll rent a moving truck and get some boxes and tape so you can start packing? I think we could have you moved out within 6 weeks all told. Here's a calendar, let's mark it on there... 6 weeks, um... that'd be just before Christmas. No problem. Oh, and you'll need to find a job to support you since you don't want to be married to me and have me support you. I've taken the liberty of printing out the Help Wanted section of Craig's List. Here it is. I highlighted 7 openings that you seem to be qualified for. Let me know if you need help constructing a resume; I'm happy to help. Well, I gotta go hang out with the guys now. I'd rather stay here and have passionate sex with you, but you don't want me as a husband, not really in the full sense. Bye."

Then walk out the door and leave her holding the calendar and the Help Wanted list with her jaw hanging open. <crickets .... crickets ... crickets>

You've been at a logjam? I guarantee this will break the logjam.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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From Job's thread on Biblical Counseling we have this gem from notaugustine:

notaugustine wrote:
What are your thoughts on "Biblical Counseling?"

I’m a big fan, but as someone who is still, slowly working towards a Doctorate in Biblical Counseling I am probably more than a little biased.
:D

What is it?

It is a unique approach to the spiritual, emotional and relational problems that we all deal with because we are sinners who live in a broken and sinful world. The goal of Biblical Counseling is the glorification of God, the focus of BC is the Person of Christ, and the therapeutic means are the power of the Holy Spirit and the sufficiency of God’s Word. This is very much meant to stand in contrast with common non-biblical approaches to counseling where the goal is often the well-being of the counselee, self is often the focus, and the therapeutic means rely on the power of human wisdom and the sufficiency of a particular psychological theory or a combination of psychological theories.
When should one seek it first?

Early and often.
When not?

When a physical or a policeman is a better first call.
Are there situations when the Bible is inadequate, irrelevant, inappropriate, or simply not suited for counsel?

No.
There are some times when I would refer someone to a drug and Alcohol rehabilitation center before proceeding with Biblical Counseling, but there has never been a time where I thought to myself, “I sure wish I had something other than my bible to turn to in helping this person.”

How is Biblical Counseling different from Psychological Counseling/Therapy,Licensed Family Counseling, Secular Marriage Counseling, "Christian" Marriage Counseling, and other common types of counseling?

That depends on the counselor. I know some LMFT folks who have embraced a biblical counseling model. There are still LMFTs but they have decided to use that credential to promote a biblical approach to counseling. There are also some Biblical Counselors who aren’t very biblical, or very good.

What are the strengths of Biblical Counseling? Weaknesses or limitations?

I think that the strength of Biblical Counseling is summed up by 2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,2 (2Pe 1:3 ESV)

The limitations of Biblical counseling are that Biblical Counselors are sinners, and fallen human beings who don’t always give the most biblical of counsel.
Another very practical limitation is that most aren’t state licensed and therefore can’t take your insurance.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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[Edited to Add Bible Text of the topic]

[bible]Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.[/bible]

From Sacrificial Love?

notaugustine wrote:Ugh!

I have had it with Ephesians 5:25 being cherry picked from the surrounding context and misused like this!

Your pastor is dead wrong, and if he had taken the immediate context into consideration, or even the context of the whole bible, then he wouldn't be using Ephesians 5:25 as a "get out of jail free" card to bail either wives or husbands from their obligations to one another.

So lets start with the immediate context and then move to the larger context.

In the context of Ephesians 5, Jesus did not sacrifice for the church so that the church can "get her way" at the expense of Jesus' will. The cross does not give the church an "out" when the church doesn't feel like fulfilling her spiritual obligations to her Savior and future Husband, does it? Jesus' self sacrifice was to make the church holy, something that we cannot do for ourselves, and to prepare us for the wedding (which will occur in Rev 19).

That's why Ephesians 5:25 is followed by Ephesians 5:26-27 (funny how these things work, huh?) which tells us exactly why Jesus gave Himself up for His future bride. In short, Jesus laid down His life, placing Himself between the just condemnation of the law and His bride, in order that His bride could be rescued, made holy, cleansed, and prepared for her future with Her husband by being sanctified (unblemished and without spot or wrinkle). Jesus did not die so that after the wedding day, His bride could decline having a spiritual relationship with her Savior.

Jesus didn't die for the church in order to cater to the churches preferences.
Jesus didn't die for the church so that the church wouldn't need to be bothered or inconvenienced with the obligation to respond to the invitation to have fellowship with her Creator.
He died for the church so that the church could be rescued from sin, so that the church could have a relationship with her Savior and so that she could enjoy a union with her Savior.

So, how is it that Jesus sacrificial work to prepare His future bride for a union with Himself means you need to give up the expectation of having a union with your bride?

That doesn't make sense to me, does it to you?

How does a husband submitting to his wife's refusal "wash her with the word?"
How does tolerating refusal help her to become a more holy woman?
How does not having a full marital relationship reflect the fullness of the heavenly marriage between Christ and the church?

Your pastors interpretation of Eph 5:25 only works if you divorce verse 25 from verses 26, 27 and following.

What boggles the mind even further is that Paul will go on draw an analogy between Christ and the church that compares God's sexual design for marriage (verse 31, in which Paul draws upon the imagery of a "one flesh" relationship which is clearly a sexual relationship when you look at the other instances of this phrase in the bible) to the heavenly (non-sexual) relationship that Jesus will have with His bride, the church.

Perhaps you could ask your pastor how his view of sexual sacrifice for a husband in verse 25 accomplishes anything remotely similar to the results of verses 26 and 27 for his wife and why Jesus dying to make His bride holy so that He can experience the fullness of a heavenly "one flesh" relationship with a holy bride (verse 31) somehow implies that you must limit the fullness of your own earthly "one flesh" relationship with your bride...?

So lets review. Jesus sacrificed Himself so that the church could be cleansed of sin and made holy in anticipation of the wedding between Himself and His bride, the church, wherein Jesus will enjoy in the most holy way a oneness - in a heavenly sense - that our earthly marriages merely foreshadow. That foreshadowing is best understood in light of Eph 5:31, where sex between a husband and wife illustrates, in a lesser way here on earth, what heaven will be like between Christ and the church.

So how does a wife refusing her husband help your marriage reflect Jesus love for His bride and His bride's relationship with her Savior?

Now, lets look to the other passages that your pastor wants to limit based on his misapplication of Ephesians 5.

1 Cor 7:1-5

How does your pastor get from "each man should have his own wife and each women should have her own husband" to "each man can have his wife when she gets around to it and each woman gets it whenever she wants?"

There is a symmetry to Paul's words here regarding rights and responsibilities in the marriage bed that your pastor is destroying by his irresponsible handling of God's word.

Finally, your pastors interpretation is in diametric opposition to Prov 5:18-19.

Now, of course, the sexual relationship is not devoid of the commands to love one another and Paul's admonitions to us in Phil 2:4.

If your wife is sick, in pain, fatigued, mourning, overwhelmed with stress, etc., then there is reason to make an agreement to put off intimacy until those things are resolved (presuming that both parties are actively working to resolve them) but God's plan for marriage, per 1 Cor 7, Prov 5, Gen 1:28 and others is that sex be a frequent and normal aspect of one's marriage designed to satisfy both spouses, not just one.

BTW, if you feel that giving your pastor a copy of my response would be helpful, feel free to do so.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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I thought this description of how sex in marriage relationship "fits" in as part of the whole relationship was a great analogy.

padsnd wrote:Sex off the table:

This seems to be a popular thing presented in nearly every situation of issues that are related to sex. While I do believe there are some places where it might be beneficial, I think it often is more harmful than good. For it to be beneficial, I think it must be biblical. Biblically, I can only find one allowance for such things. That allowance comes with strict criteria including:

* It is for a predetermined time.

* Both agree to the time. (And, I believe this implies that there isn't coercion or negotiation of the time period to get one to make it longer than they really are willing to accept.)

* It is for a period of prayer and fasting.

** During that time, both should be focused on praying for the marriage--and specifically for the physical aspects and issues.

** This should be a fasting period. It is clear that the Bible speaks of different forms of fasts. Even the passage where He says, "Is this not the fast I ... to loose the bonds ..." indicates that those who think it is only about food are missing something. However, the fast isn't the sex. The context doesn't allow for that. The two are taking a break from sex for a period of prayer and fasting so the fasting is something else. So, what is each one going to give up that is very precious to them during this period for them to use the time they would for that to focus on the prayer?

* It has an end, and the two should both be looking forward to the end with the idea that the end restores and/or improves something they want. If the period starts with one saying, "at least this is a period he/she won't ask", that person is entering into a biblical version of what is portrayed here.

Emotional Intimacy:

I've tried to tackle this question in multiple ways over the years, but your question is the most direct one about this topic. The issue here is a misunderstanding of the marital relationship and the emotional connection associated with it.

God created physical intimacy. He gave us a drive for physical intimacy, and He declared it to be good within the confines of marriage.

I've spoke in the past of puzzle prices. We like to think that we can segment our lives into physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc. Ironically, when it comes to sex, it seems this is the one place where women think they can separate these just as much as men. In reality, these are all part of the puzzle piece that makes up our lives.

Connection is like a side of a piece. We can't connect a puzzle piece to another if we don't allow the full side to connect. The tab and slot for it have to go together, but the rest of that side also has to fit together too. All the parts have to fit together and the more we put one part of the side together, the more the others come for the ride. If they don't one or both of the puzzle pieces have to be torn to keep that part separate. One cannot say, "I want these two puzzle pieces together that fit together, but I only want the flat side together not the tab in the slot of the other." To do so would require ripping off the tab.

All of our relationships are built this way. They all have some element of each aspect to the degree permitted by the relationship. Though many are not sexual, there is a physical component to all of them. In marriage that physical component is, by God's design, a more profound connections than any other relationship. In all relationships, in order to establish a closer connection in one way, you must bring all the other aspects proportionately closer.

For example, two girls are pen pals. They have established a deep emotional connection over the years within the bounds of their capabilities. It even includes a physical relationship of sharing the choice of paper texture. They may have even sent something physical to each other. One day, they decide to go to the same summer camp for a week. They are now able to hug one another, ride a canoe, eat together. The emotional intimacy of this relationship skyrockets. If however, one immediately says to herself, "I'm keeping my distance from her." There is a blocking of greater emotional intimacy by that. In fact, because of the ability now existing, the limitation may actually damage the relationship to where the emotional intimacy that existed before is weakened.

The same happens in marital relationships. Before marriage, there are boundaries on the physical. But, one of the physical aspects is the "looking forward" to the less boundaries. That is and should be a part of the physical aspect of anyone seeking to be married. So, the emotional intimacy is partially built upon the looking forward in the physical. In the pen pals analogy, I suppose the two girls may have seen more of a connection after they decided on the summer camp trip because they could now connect on what they were looking forward to.

In far too many relationships, the two marry and one shows up like the girl who said, "Oh, we talked about spending time together, but I want to talk and meet some other pen pals and possibly do some of my quiet personal reflection with the outdoors." Such a response is a betrayal of the relationship that was established during the looking forward stage, and it damages the emotional intimacy.

When married, the biblical design calls for the physical union of sexuality. So, the puzzle pieces have that aspect as one or the flat pieces or tabs on that side between the two. If you try to establish the other aspects without the physical--or the physical without the other aspects--you damage the pieces. It is just that simple. You can't change the relationship without divorce--which creates similar damage. So, the pieces have to go together with the whole side that faces each other coming together as one.

After marriage, rejection of sex is betrayal of the hope instilled during that period of engagement when the emotional was built with the hope and looking forward to the fullness of the relationship. That is why one can't go back to the emotional intimacy of the dating period. You can only go forward to the emotional intimacy of marriage combined with the physical intimacy of marriage or go backward and destroy intimacy by rejecting the person physically. You no longer have the ability to say, "we're building a relationship to include sex when we get married." You already are married, and the sexual rejection has taught the spouse that the looking forward is a lie. You have to heal that wound, and the healing doesn't start with making it worse by cutting off sex more and trying to establish a connection emotionally that is birthed in rejection and giving up on the hope of a physical relationship.

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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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This comment from Seeking Perspective speaks volumes.

All husbands would do well to remember this pearl of wisdom.

I'm going to suggest that maybe your wife's words require less attention than her heart.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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This was from an OP with regard to an article where two "asexual" people were married. the discussion transitioned into whether or not sex was "required" part of marriage. This seemed to provide significant evidence that the bible indeed seems to suggest that sex IS a required element, except for a time. There are still examples of physical impossibility or limitations however. I felt this was worthy of a "best of" entry.

Kilarin wrote:To me, the core question here seems to be whether it requires sex to make a Christian Marriage.

I'm going to start with what I consider to be the weakest argument. By tradition, a marriage can be annulled if the participants have never had sex. With the very definition of "annhulled" meaning that they were never actually married if they never had sex.

Of course, an argument from tradition is NOT adequate for Christian protestants, we need a Biblical argument. But it does help to define for us how the rest of Christendom had generally interpreted the Bible. So It's a good starting place.

Lets move on to Genesis.

Ge 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

This is the original definition of marriage. Becoming "one flesh" is an integral part of that. I've been hearing the argument here that this "one flesh" relationship does not have to be a sexual one, but the words used are one FLESH. The Hebrew word basar is used, and it very specifically means physical flesh, "of the body", and can even be used as a euphemism for the penis on occasions. If God mean a "one spirit" relationship, why didn't he use words to that effect instead of specifically focusing in the physical aspect of the marriage?

To further back this up, lets look at Paul's statement about having sex with prostitutes:

1 Corinthians 6:16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh."

Paul is equating the "one flesh" relationship, very specifically the one flesh relationship mentioned in Gen 2:24, with sex. This text is very clear and I don't think we simply HAVE to define the "one flesh" relationship as involving a sexual union in light of this text. To all

When Jesus chose to define marriage in Mat 19:4-6 he chose to quote Gen 2:24, repeating twice the "one flesh" comment. This seems very significant to me. If we take Jesus statement here to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, then surely we have to also take it as defining marriage as involving a one flesh relationship. Which, as we saw above, involves a sexual union.

To back this up, when Jesus defined what was a valid reason to break up a marriage in Mat 5:32 and Mat 19:9, the only reason he mentions is sexual sin:

Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Which only makes sense to me if the one flesh sexual relationship is part of the very definition of marriage. A violation of the marriage bed then becomes a break in the very foundation of the marriage contract so serious that the building may have to be condemned.

And now we come to 1 cor 7:5

1 Cor 7:5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The word translated as defraud or deprive (depending on your version) is apostereo, and apparently is translated pretty directly:

650 apostere: keep away from someone, i.e. by defrauding (depriving); to cheat, taking away what rightfully belongs to someone else.

So, the question being raised here is, is anyone being deprived or defrauded if neither side wanted sex? And I can see the point. But when I look at the entire text, instead of just that one word, I find the argument much weaker. In answer to the question of it being good not to touch a woman (Not to be involved in a physical relationship) Paul said to not deprive each other, except perhaps for a TIME, by MUTUAL CONSENT.

It seems to me that Paul's text covers exactly the situation we are discussing. What if both parties of a marriage mutually agree that they don't want sex? Paul said, "well, ok, perhaps, but only if you both agree, and even then, only for a short time." So Paul seems to be encouraging, even a couple that has mutually consented to not have sex, to keep that time without sex SHORT. Which makes perfect sense if the one flesh sexual relationship is part of the very definition of marriage.

In light of the above, I don't think it is adding to the Bible at all to say that the definition of Christian Marriage is between a man and a woman, and includes a sexual relationship.

God has given us LOTS of other kinds of human relationships to enjoy. Families, friendships, roommates, best buddies, and more. But none of those are defined by sex. Only marriage is. If you remove the sex, marriage isn't marriage anymore, it's something else.

If A couple chooses to live together, and never have sex, I would say they had some OTHER kind of human relationship, but not a Christian Marriage. Because a Christian Marriage is partially defined by the sexual relationship.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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Job29Man wrote:All these are good thoughts. I like SC's heart and the high view of Scripture I'm reading from her and y'all here.

Here's part of my thinking. God hates hypocrisy. He hates lukewarmness. He hates for His people to "play church;" acting all respectable and obedient, when in fact we are doing the opposite. IMHO preaching the whole counsel of God means preaching what the Spirit leads one to preach, when, where, and to whom He says. (I know I'm not saying anything new to anyone here.) IMO it is important for the man of God to address the specific things about which the Church of God is being disobedient or hypocritical.

There are a few Bible passages that would directly address the involuntary servitude/kidnapping-type slavery that was practiced in the American colonies and United States. But thank God that in the antebellum age the Spirit of God stirred up faithful preachers to hammer on this great evil, from the pulpit, as long as hypocritical and self-righteous white "Christians" sat in the pews every Sunday morning being well-pleased with themselves speaking of "all men are created equal" and "Christian charity" etc. They needed their hypocrisy pointed out regularly, to a far greater frequency than might be done if one were simply "preaching through the Bible, and when we get to that passage then I'll preach on it."

I'm glad there were Pastors who wouldn't leave it alone.

In Jim Crow America I'm glad there were Pastors who emphasized the value of ALL humans, and the equality of all people before God. That's the message that many preacher heard the Spirit telling them "You Americans need to hear this, again, and again, emphatically." Other sore spots have been chauvinism, feminism, abortion, affirmation of homosexuality in the Church, etc.

When the Church becomes unbalanced and disobedient, or deliberately ignorant, then (IMHO) the thing about which they are lacking/negligent/abusive is the very thing that I'm not surprised to hear the Spirit say "preach THAT... again." This is the "correction" spoken about in 2 Timothy 3:16.

[bible]All Scripture is God breathed, and profitable for correction, rebuke, and training in righteousness.[/bible]

When people are stiff-necked and slow to hear, sometimes you gotta repeat yourself.


[OG Edit: Here's the link.]



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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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Really good advice from Poetess.

I've did the bitterness, justification, and hurt thing for most of my life, and thought I couldn't change. Well, actually I couldn't, but God can.

What I know now, is that forgiveness frees the offended, not the offender.


I get it that sometimes it's hard to forgive and move on. Been there, done that. I've had to make deliberate choices of the right thing to do, even when it was the hard thing to do. For example: I won't talk about this person's sins against me just to make another person "side" with me and feed off my delight in this other person's anger. In other words, if I'm talking with someone who is spiritually immature enough that she wants to hear more juicy details, that person isn't helping me. If I need to talk about how I've been hurt, then I will talk with someone who will be compassionate but just--someone who will say, "You're right, she hurt you. Have you forgiven her? How about if you - - -" and she gives gentle, wise advice geared toward as much reconciliation as possible, but staying out of harm's way, too. I have a few people in my life I trust to listen well and give wise, godly counsel. If a person won't gently push me toward godly choices in my own actions and reactions, then that person isn't on my list of those from whom I seek counsel.

I think, in short, that we pray about it, we seek counsel about it, and we give it to God and ask Him to help us forgive, and then we choose to act as though we have already forgiven. We refuse to rehearse the details in our minds endlessly, we refuse to bring it up to people who don't need to know (e.g., our husbands need to know) or who can't give wise counsel. (If a close friend can't be trusted to give wise counsel, then she may not be the right one to hear about a hurt inflicted by another until you can report back how God has healed that hurt in your life.)

None of it is easy. But you know what? Choosing not to do it because it's hard doesn't make life easier, it makes it harder. Because 30 years of bitterness is much harder (on ourselves and on others) than two years (or whatever length of time) of insisting on taking the righteous path even if it's difficult.
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Re: BEST OF TMB-- The best posts from around the forum!

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This one, from Job29Man, from the "for consideration thread". Nail on the head on so many levels.


bigloop wrote:Jobman-
I appreciate your take on those statements. I agree that would be the "perfect" way to handle such feelings. If not perfect, at least proactive.
Assume similar steps have been taken -then do you go to your last action you spoke of -"I will not live with...."?


Job29Man wrote:In our particular case, no. In your case, you decide.

If you read my backstory you will see that Sarah and I took almost two years (BEFORE engagement) to study Scripture together, and learn what the Bible teaches about Christian Discipleship, and about marriage and family. We committed ourselves to obeying God's precepts and following His principles. Only after we were both convinced of the genuineness of each others' conversion, heart regeneration, born-again life, deep love for and commitment to Christ... only then did we get engaged. We both KNEW that the Holy Spirit had access to changing every single dark corner of our hearts.

When we got engaged there was no longer any doubt about the genuineness of our hearts (not just our intentions, but our actual conversions that changed, and continues to change, us as people, to our very core).

IMHO the majority of "hard cases" that I read about on TMB; the selfishness, the hard-core gatekeeping or refusal, the petty Passive Aggressive behavior, etc is NOT indicative of a born-again heart. Period. Being "born again" is NOT optional. It is not a particular "flavor" or "type" of Christian. If one is not TRULY "Born Again" then one is not a Christ Follower in the first place, end of story. And yes, that means that one is not destined to eternal life in Heaven with Christ. [/quote/

[bible]Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”-John 3:3[/bible]

Many who claim Christ will admit that

"The church pews on Sunday contain many people who think they are saved, but they aren't really saved. You can reason this because of their behavior outside of church."

But then they won't say "and that includes my husband" or "and that includes my wife" even though they then go on to describe their spouse's horribly selfish behavior in the marriage bed or in their marriage generally. Why is it that "the pews are filled with unbelievers" but it's never "MY spouse" who is the deceived unbeliever? Why not?

Because I am completely convinced that both I and my wife belong to Christ, I am also completely convinced that we will always have a reliable and effective means of resolving any and all conflict in our lives. So I don't worry about the future. I have confidence in the Holy Spirit to change us as needed. I do NOT have confidence that the Holy Spirit will change the self-deceived hypocrite who calls him or herself a believer but is not a humble and teachable servant of God.

So, for me, I will not ever leave my marriage, no matter what, because I am totally convinced that we are both truly converted in every sense of the word without any holding back of any part of our hearts from the Holy Spirit.

[bible]But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 1 Corinthians 7:12-15[/bible]

For the "hard case" people I read on TMB I truly do not believe that they are married to born again spouses who have yielded every corner of their heart to the Holy Spirit. I don't believe their spouse is "saved." Therefore I believe they fall into the category of the one who is married to an unbeliever who has abandoned the marriage. Therefore they are "not under bondage in such cases." Just because one's spouse remains in the family home does not mean they have not "departed" the marriage. They have indeed departed the marriage, just not the house.

To those who'd object..."No Job29Man, you can't say that! That's 'judging' another's salvation!" I'd respond...

God will "judge" (adjudicate) and reward on the last day, but It is the legitimate role of the church to "judge" (discern; there is a difference) those inside the church until He returns. ...

[bible]For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside (the church)? Do you not judge those who are inside? --1 Corinthians 5:12[/bible]

So that's why I suggested the statement

I will go to any lengths to repair a marriage where my spouse does not want to have sex with me. I will not live with a spouse who refuses to fix this brokenness in marriage.


I don't mean "I will not live with... therefore I will leave" but

"I will not live with ... because by your hardcore refusal you have given sufficient evidence to convince me that you are not a Christian in the first place. In fact it's you who have already left. It is a farce for me to dwell in the house with an unbeliever who has already left me. In truth, you are not 'willing to live with' me at all. This makes a mockery of marriage."

IOW, do everything in your power to repair your marriage. But if your spouse is stiff-necked and incorrigibly selfish I honestly think you should consider that he/she is not a Christian (despite their "testimony" which IMHO is a farce) but an impostor, and consider that he/she has already "abandoned you" but just not the house or children. Consider "letting them leave."

As for me, this is not a consideration, because I know I am a believer, and I have a wife who shows evidence of being born again in every single aspect of her life, without holding back a single corner. That's not a boast. It's a humble and grateful judgment.
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