Marriage the Prophetic Covenant

Monday, November 20, 2006

Finances, Who Do You TRUST?

Money is painful stuff. Money is the ransom we are paid in exchange for our life (time). So when we are short, when we are in trouble, when we don’t have what we need we see it as a life issue.

And it is. So the question is, who is your source? I’m not talking about some pie in the sky philosophy. I’m talking about what you already know.

1. You are a child of a KING
2. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills
3. All the silver and gold in the whole world is his.
4. Everything is held together by his will and the power of his word and without it all things would disintegrate
5. He redirects circumstances in your life to make them work together for good
6. He has only good in mind for you, to do you good and not evil. To bless you to be a blessing
7. He will never leave or forsake you, If you are his child you won’t beg bread or be forsaken

And a hundred more truths you know absolutely. So what’s the rub. The rub is the world around you, TV, Radio, your friends, Newspapers, Magazines, neighbors and those pesky Jones’s who keep harassing you to keep up with them. If only you would be able to ignore them you would be happier.

As a child of the King you don’t have to live like this but you do have to understand your provision isn’t in your job, your pension, your 401k, your congregation, your salary or any worldly thing. In fact the circumstances to make any or all of those things work together for your provision is totally in the hands of the maker of all things.

The very work of your hands, the breath you take to allow your hands to do what you need them to do, the beat of your heart to keep those hands and lungs working and the commands of your God given brain all work together to cause you to have the ability to generate what you need. It’s all about him. It’s not about you.

Where couples get in to trouble is expecting their mate to be something they can’t be. I can’t expect Peggy to be God. I can’t expect her to do for me only what God can do. I know she expects me to do my part. I know she would be disappointed if I didn’t. Any friction would come if we weren’t being obedient in working to our God given ability to do what he’s called us to do.
This is a difficult area. It’s the source of most conflicts in marriage. It’s divisive because we don’t know who our real source is.

A taunt during the world series was “who’s your daddy?” It’s meant to act as an incentive for submission. I ask you, who’s your daddy, (Abba)? If you have the right answer much of the conflict regarding this difficulty can be answered.

About spending and debt.
In addition to allowing the world to press you into It’s mold, the potential for overspending and ending up in debt causes great difficulty in many marriages. Debt and bankruptcy in the church is a rising phenomena.

I won’t lecture you about debt or overspending. I don’t think I have to. You already have heard more about this topic than any one has a need to know. Good books by Larry Burkett and Dave Ramsey are on the market and will help you. I have read them and they tell the truth.

The problem is, you can be out of debt, you can have your bills paid, you can be earning all you need to, you can be financially secure in every way and still be in financial bondage. If you don’t know who your source is you will be bound by the spirit of poverty. Howard Hughes had a spirit of poverty. Most worldly wealthy people live in fear of losing money because they don’t understand their true provider.

A spirit of poverty is trusting in uncertain riches as your source. Very poor people and very rich people can and many do have a spirit of poverty. Money can be a curse and poverty can be a curse if it’s connected with a spirit of poverty.

Jesus is your source, not you. Get this understood between you and your spouse and you will find your wrestling with money to be cut in half.

Fifteen Undeniable Truths About Men and Women

1. Women want to develop a relationship with a man who’s decent. That’s before and after marriage.

2. Women are responders to a man’s attentions. If a man initiates a woman will respond, they are hard wired that way and can’t do anything else.

3. To a man what a woman looks like matters, to a woman what a man looks like is far less important. What a man looks like matters far less important to her than he is able to believe. The media and movies have distorted this truth. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

4. Treating a woman with respect, importance and value reinforces her self-image, which is fragile, and dependant upon approval, particularly from men that matter to her.

5. Listening is a wonderful gift all women love. They crave the listening ear without judgment or advice.

6. The LOOK of love is rapt attention; joy in the eyes, and a smile. A smile good or bad is very attractive. A smile breaks down walls. What your smile looks like is less important than that you smile.

7. Women need lifting up, they respond to humor and a genuine positive attitude toward life. Irony and cynicism are funny but not uplifting. They like to cry at movies but want laugh in real life.

8. The TOUCH – after enough time of communication has passed a touch on the shoulders or hand has great power. Done too soon it is cheap and manipulative. Done right it is explosive. Use carefully. Don’t be grabby.

9. Women try to be standoffish and aloof because they have been hurt and manipulated. They desperately want to trust and even love someone. They just don’t want to be hurt again. The more attractive a woman is the more this is true.

10. Women who are at the bottom in their life (and some at the top) are looking for a man to rescue them. Men won’t find many women willing to rescue them. Some women who want to be rescued respond to any kind of a rescuer. This works sometimes and the relationship is great. Some rescued women are difficult to have a good relationship with. They needed rescue because of THEMSELVES. Marc Anthony said of Julius Cesar, “scorning the base degrees by which he did ascend”. Some rescued women can be Julius Caesars in that way.

11. Men are capable of living fulfilled without a woman but they are worse off. It is hard for a woman to feel fulfilled particularly in later years without a man. This seems to never stop. Women seem to need a man to feel complete. Men don’t feel it but are made complete with a good woman.

12. SEXY?? To a woman, sexy is positive, intelligent, self sufficient, strong, secure, able to converse, interested in them, self confident, in good health, fun and just a little unorthodox. Money and things are far less important to a woman than men believe. If that is an issue there is an out of balance situation.

13. For a woman, getting to know a man is the beginning of love. “To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him”, the song says. It’s true. They want to be understood and not be misunderstood. Communication is safety for her. “If you know all about me and still care about me makes me feel safe”

14. The more attractive a woman is (beauty) the more unapproachable they appear. This is not true (unless they are shallow, stupid and empty). In fact, as pretty women they have been used, manipulated, and abused by men. This causes them to maintain a distance they don’t really want. Some of the lonliest women are very beautiful. Women who became beautiful later in years (many bloom later) are less complex. Never let external beauty be your guide. It is deceiving and fleeting. The deception is on both men and women.

15. A rich spiritual life is very sexy.

An Admonition of Love

....based upon your vows spoken before one another and the covenant made before God and man, as a minister of the Gospel and authorized by this state, I now Pronounce you Man and Wife. What God has put together let no man tear asunder.”

*Zorba the Greek describing his marriage and family

“ if there are no other final issues to be resolved, by order of the court and your consents, I hereby decree this marriage dissolved and this divorce proceeding final.”

If this were Las Vegas or Reno it would be better understood. But it’s not. This is happening in the First Evangelical Baptist Pentecostal Lutheran Church of God in Christ Temple of the Word and Saint Mary. In other words, it’s in every church of every confession and every communion.

This catastrophe is now more common among first marriages in the church than in the world. The Church of Jesus Christ has become the divorce capital of the nation. How can the church reach a dead and dying world when we can’t keep our families alive? The devil must really enjoy this. The church is losing it’s spiritual authority thru the destruction of marriage and family.

It’s time to stop. NOW! We can pray, beg, hope, counsel, believe and intercede. All are good. But, the marriage covenant in the church must be set free from a curse. That curse is of the World, the Flesh and the Devil: a threefold curse. What our marriages need now is the truth. The truth that will set them free. Once the truth is known and acted on the result is a marriage resting in the confidence of God’s completed work.

Some years ago it was widely publicized that some witches and Satanists had put a curse on Christians, particularly leaders and Ministers to destroy their marriages. I can’t tell you if this is in fact what is happening, but I am here to say we have bought a lie and the father of lies is smiling.

We have more confidence in the world, flesh and devil to destroy our marriages than we do in the redemption of the cross to save them. If the covenant was enough to save your soul from an eternal hell, if it was enough to heal your broken spirit, if it was enough to heal your body, if it’s enough to be your provision, if it was enough to protect you till now, It’s enough to restore, reconfigure and make your marriage better than you ever knew.

Playing the Lie: Divorce will be Better for the Kids
The other day I was waiting in line, the Tammy Wynette song of many years ago, D-I-V-O-R-C-E was playing. I had not heard it for some time. The game she was playing described Tammy spelling various situations to avoid hurting her little Tommy. Somehow the whole mentality of this will be “better for the children” is beyond my ability to understand. IF that were the case, why spell it? We know intuitively that divorce is painful. Sure, kids are strong; they’ll survive. Of course if you cut off an ear, or an arm, or a leg on one of your children they would survive. You could remove one of their kidneys or gouge out an eye and they could function normally. But, they are wounded. When a couple makes the decision to divorce they are inflicting a wound deeper than even the loss of a limb might be.

Am I trying to inflict guilt? Not if you are past the point and have already suffered divorce. But if you are living under the illusion that you are doing right by pursuing a divorce that has not yet happened, I want to give you notice right now, you are inflicting pain on innocents. The pain in your marriage (short of physical abuse) is your pain. You have no right to transfer that pain or to avoid pain at their expense. Help is available. It takes burying your pride. But you can be helped.

You may be the child of divorce. You might even believe that you survived just fine. Is that so? Would life been better if Mom and Dad had changed their life, their marriage, and their home and created a secure environment for you? You can break this generational curse right now if you and your spouse will take this warning seriously and implement what I say here.

If you are reading this and you are already enriching the lawyers in a divorce proceeding, stop, stop now! The money you are spending is waste, and the counsel you are getting is driven by finances, not yours, the attorney’s. It’s his job. Like an auto mechanic who inspects your car and says, “I can’t find a thing wrong, you don’t need any repairs”. Like that’ll happen.

If you are already divorced, whether you initiated or not, you are in a tough place. I don’t envy you. I wish it weren’t so for your sake. Your scriptural imperative is restoration. That was the nature of your blood covenant in marriage in the first place. The divorce decree doesn’t change things. Stand for restoration and renewal. Be very very careful about remarriage. The disaster you have already experienced is exponentially aggravated by any further alliances. I know how tough it is, how lonely it is. But, ask yourself, what attracted me to my spouse in the first place. Is that quality still there even if it’s repressed? Fight for restoration. It’s worth it.

I address the remarriage issue elsewhere in this book. Know this, divorce is a sin resulting from hardness of the heart. It is as forgivable as any other sin. But, the admonition of scripture about knowing right and sinning intentionally is out there. God loves you, he really does, but he hates divorce. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CHRISTIAN DIVORCE. Churches, particularly in America, are wrestling with integration of homosexuality into the ministry, even into Church Leadership. That doesn’t make it right. If you are getting counsel that elevates cultural mores above the plain word of God run for your life. I really mean, run for your life. We aren’t talking about light loving with no consequence.

I challenge you to stop or reverse the course that you might be taking. If this chapter speaks to your situation consider this: I wouldn’t have to try to convince you to stop murdering, robbing banks, or embezzling money. See this in a similar light so you might be able to understand why Jesus was so passionate and God spoke so clearly of this issue. It is almost never ever God’s will for married couples to get a divorce. Hear his voice. His voice is healing.


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