Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Care and Feeding of Your Buffalo/Butterfly

This we know!! - 1)  men and women are different ---- as butterflies and buffaloes
                             2)  because we are so different - their needs are different.  ie:  hay vs nectar

Early in relationship, this is Not much of a problem ---  both are sacrificial, compromising, satisfied with the euphoria of young love.

BUT, slowly, gradually -- each begins to feel deprived
Deprived leads to hungry, then to starved, then to suspicious, then to hurt/anger (or at least disappointment)
Often leads to .... withdrawal (or lash out) (less sacrifice, less giving, less compromise) which leads to greater deprivation, greater hunger.

So......  the Care and Feeding of your Buffalo/Butterfly
Question:  What exactly is it he/she needs??

Answer:  on one hand, quite simple -  Love and Respect
              on other hand, complex .... define that, describe that...  "help me understand my mate!!!"

Eph. 5:33 - "agape" - the love your wife needs
She needs .... to be your companion, your friend as well as your lover.  Your MATE -- not just your housemate, help mate, your playmate, but your SOUL MATE!!  It's all about the Relationship!!  Patrice calls it "soul-intimacy" - which is a very Biblical term/concept   Gen. 2:18, 24

Soulmate - life partner.
She wants to commune with you (which is more than communicate)
She wants to meld souls - share your life (not just physically and superficially, but inwardly - she wants to partner with you and be included in all your life, including thoughts, emotions, feelings, HEART!!

She wants  to know that the "leaving" has occurred and the "cleaving and becoming" is in progress.  Not just coincidentally, but intentionally!!  On purpose!!

She wants to be your confidant and friend and she wants to understand you and she wants to be understood!!

"Soul Intimacy" = sharing, baring your soul on a deep, intimate level - on purpose, without reservation, without resentment, AS you probably did when dating/courting!!
AND - she needs to feel this and needs You to MAKE her feel it.

This is why she needs your time, attention, consideration, your Best and first, not your leftovers!  This is why she talks, prys, pushes - she's trying to get into your soul!!

NOTE:  1)  God made her this way
Therefore:  2) It's a legitimate need and
                  3)  it's your job to meet that need.

He Needs:  - Respect  KJV - reverence = stand in awe of, revere.  Respect is equally hard to describe but
every man:

      1)  knows what it is, and
      2) desires it from his wife

Respect = to honor, admire, esteem, hold in high regard, to consider worthy of high regard

To Respect = to say I'm proud of you,  I admire you, I trust you, I have confidence in you - in your judgment, abilities, goodwill and intentions.
I appreciate your sacrifices, efforts, hard work, etc.

To Respect him is to affirm his position (in the marriage and in the home)
                           to acknowledge his masculinity and his manliness (manhood)

Opposite = contempt!!  disdain, to look down on, to have a low opinion of, to consider low, inferior, inept, inadequate!!

Respect/contempt are evident in words, tone of voice, actions, reactions

And he needs not only to know you respect him.  Also, needs to feel that respect.  As he did when you were dating, courting.

Her need is to feel loved.

The needs are God-given!!!  a)  not result of the fall  and b) not necessary to survive but to Thrive!!

The Feeling is logic resistant - not fixed with intelligence, knowledge, reason, facts

The Solution/ remedy = You!!!
On one hand, many places your wife can receive love.  However, marital love/ marital security come only spouse in marriage

So........ what to do????  Get the book "For Men Only" and read it!!!!

Ladies .... His need for Respect  

The need = God-given!!!  a) not because he's a fallen buffalo, but just because he's a buffalo!!
                                        b) not necessary to survive, but to thrive!! 

The Feeling is logic resistant (buffaloes feel pain, too)
If he feels disrespected.. he feels unloved!!!

The solution/remedy = you!!  IF he doesn't get respect from you, will eventually look elsewhere!!
examples:  buddies, bar scene, work, affair, porn, etc.

So.......... what to do???? - get the book "For Women Only" -and read it.

1)  Providing love and respect is a marital Responsibility!!        Eph. 5:33 = a command

2)  They are to be given unconditionally!

3)  To refuse to do so is disobedience to God.  - 1 Tim. 5:8   James 4:17

4) To refuse to do is is foolish.  Eph. 5:28-29

Prov. 14:1 ---------> Prov. 24:3-4

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Inviting God Into Your Home

Prov. 14:1

In order to invite God into home, must have basic foundation first - Christ, faith, Christian principles

What 'Inviting God into your home" means - by inviting are welcoming His Presence and His Activity 
On one hand, He is omnipresent - therefore already in your home.  However, there is a different atmosphere, dynamic if He is INVITED in.

Why?  Because with His presence being invited comes - wisdom, truth, confirmation, encouragement - which lead to benefits and blessings.

This doesn't mean there will be no pain, no problems, no turmoil - Rom. 8:19-23
Therefore:  choices because we live in a fallen world, we can live it A) with Christ or B) without Christ

How?  HOW to invite Him in?  How to include Him?  Welcome Him??

By way of:
#1.  Exploration/Examination - (consider the claims - for those who have not yet made Christ Lord and Savior)
Consider:  A)  the promises of Scripture
                 B) the reliability of Scripture
                C) the promptings of the Holy Spirit - take these into consideration as well.  (Heart as well as hands)   Psalm 34:8

#2.  Decision - famous Yogi Berra-ism:  "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." 
BUT, can't take a fork.  You must decide.

If your decision is for Christ, then,

#3.  Invitation - John 1:11-13
Receive Him as Savior and Lord
Also, as teacher, director, instructor, corrector, etc.

Note:  1.  This is not an invitation to reside, rule in home, but in HEART.

           2.  IF - He's in your Heart, then He's In YOUR Home!!!
           3.  This is not the End - it is the Beginning!!  The starting point of Christian life.

NOW add...
#4.  Education - because living the Christina life requires more than Zeal!  Need knowledge.
Rom. 10:2

#5.  Submission - Luke 6:46 - are you building your house on the rock or on the sand?

#6.  Continuation - because growth/maturity is a process of continuity.  Can't be on and off and on and off.  Compare to dieting 1 weekend per month.

#7.  Re-dedication - periodically
Which means re-examine, re-decide, Re-submit, Re-enthrone - Because is inevitable due to being sinful and selfish, the we deviate from putting Christ on the throne of heart where He should be.

A)  This begins with You
You are the only one in the home you can change and/or control  (you can influence, but you cannot control)

B)  There is no guarantee others will respond/follow
The guarantee is that He'll be with you, work through you, blessings will follow
But you don't necessarily get to choose the blessings!!

The Promise is NOT peace as WE define it, success as WE define it.
The Promise is His Presence, Activity, Blessings

Objection:  That is NOT enough!!
Answer:  Where (in this fallen world) will you find more.

John 6:66-69

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Buffaloes and Butterflies

Family Series:  began in 1989 with the "Buffaloes and Butterflies" sermon - last preached in 2006.

Why your husband is such a clod.
#1.  He's human.  - Rom. 3:23 - seriously flawed

#2.  He's male - Gen. 1:27 - the same yet vastly different! - Incredibly different.
How different?  Every cell in the body has either an xx chromosome making it female, or xy chromosome making it male.

So, they think different, perceive, react different, have different needs, language, need different nourishment! - thus the difference between buffaloes and butterflies.  Many books address these differences.  One example:  Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

#3.  He's ignorant (uneducated, unlearned) - because:  a) this isn't natural
                                                                                  b) this isn't taught

#4.  He's forgetful - because NEVER natural to think like a Butterfly! - it's contrary to his makeup.

#5.  He's confused - because he can't  fully ever understand  * 
*Knows the relationship is not what it should be, AND doesn't know how to fix it.
H. D. Thoreau - "the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation".

NOW - Men:
Why your wife is such a nag.   Prov. 27:15-16 - the SAME points.

Add to both:
#6.  Hurt
Problem:  hurts happen, accumulate, hurt!!!  It is detrimental.  Wounds can heal, but hurts stay.

Add in:  different personalities, temperaments, backgrounds, preferences.
No surprise that there is strife.  The surprise is in marital success. Marital satisfaction!
Statistics:  89% show - "if could do it over...., would ... with same partner!"
                75% show - "very happy in my marriage."
Another 21% state are somewhat happy.
Relationships are highly valued, yet highly volatile.

So......... Remedy???  Answer:  yes and no
On one hand, these differences won't go away.
On the other hand, there are ways to address the problems.

#1.  Human?   Answer:  a New Human.   2 Cor. 5:17
Receive Christ --> learn Word --> respond to the Holy Spirit --> better person --> better partner

#2.  Male/Female?  That's NOT the problem!!  It is God's perfect design!!  he created them male and female.

The Problem is our response to the differences!!

                    A) - answer is Salvation    B)  Education

#3.  Ignorant?  Educate self - books, CDs, DVDs etc.

#4.  Forgetful?  - REVIEW!!

#5.  Confused?  (live with it!!)  Not going away.

#6.  Hurt?  - a)  learn what hurts and correct behavior
                    b)  offer apology, grant forgiveness
                    c)  give affirmation

The only one you can change is yourself.  However, you can do much to influence your partner.    Why not focus on both???  Prov. 14:1

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What the Church Did Right

Acts 2:46-47

Last week - noted growth and favor followed by Persecution!

BUT - persecution didn't stop the church!

"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." - Tertullian (160 - 225 AD)

So - the world saw:  1)  Church growth  -   Year      Ratio of non-Xns to Xns
                                                                    100                 360 to 1
                                                                  1000                 220 to 1
                                                                  1500                   69 to 1
                                                                  1900                   27 to 1
                                                                  1950                   21 to 1
                                                                  1980                   11 to 1
                                                                  1992                  6.8 to 1
                                                                  2012                     2 to 1

                                  2)  Church influence  (transformed society, changed world)

Question:  Why such growth and success?
#1.)  We believe God is in it!!!!  - Compare:  Acts 5:38-39

but also believe #2.)   God works among people through His people!!!
Examples:  the Exodus, the Conquest, building temple, writing Scripture.....

On one hand, Christians don't always get it right... (Crusades, Inquisition, forced conversions)
But, Christians have done  a lot right - and God has used it!!

So, look at "What the Church did Right"
But, first note the phrase:  "Faith and Practice"
Question:  Was Christianity growing because of what Christians believed?
                     or, because of what Christians practiced?
Answer:  They are inseparable!!  Faith and Practice, Attitude and Action, Belief and response, world view and lifestyle - (creed and conduct)
Point:  as we look at "what the church did right" - make no attempt to separate Belief and Practice.

What the church did right??  First and foremost:
Christians embraced the belief that in Christ we find TRUTH!!  ie:  truth about what matters most:  God/man, sin/salvation, origin/destiny, right/wrong, behavior/judgment, punishment/reward, heaven/hell, life/death..........

Christians believed this truth is:
1)  By Revelation
2)  Culminating in Jesus Christ - John 1:14, 17-18  Heb. 1:1

Summary:  Our Christian forefathers believed TRUTH is...
                       Divine - from God, completed in Christ
                  Unchanging - eternal
                  Practical -  useful, applicable
                  Universal - for all people, times, cultures, situations
                  Recorded - written down.... (scripture)

On this (belief) Christians established  thru Faith and Practice, built the church, influenced society, changed world

Now, some of the results of this belief and how they changed the world.

#1.  Confidence  (certainty, faith) - therefore willing to stand, suffer, sacrifice

#2.  Hope  (- Biblical term, modern = expectation)
ie:  Expectation of GOOD... justice, correction, Eternal Life, Heaven, Rewards (and punishment), Victory!!!
Coming of the Kingdom .... establishment of the Kingdom.

#3.  Instruction  - "How then shall we live?"
handle.... money, marriage, ministry?  Business, neighbor, leisure time
Answer found in the Revelation
Therefore, they had a common, accepted standard for practical living.
So, therefore had:

#4.  Unity - doesn't mean no divisions within Christianity.  But does mean we agree on fundamentals (orthodoxy)
The result - brothers/sisters --- where ever you go!!!  - worldwide fraternity!!!

#5.  Self-Sacrifice   Matt. 16:24-25
If have and army of soldiers, are all willing to sacrifice....?
Example:  estimated $100 billion given to churches in the US last year alone.

#6.  Evangelism - the international effort to proclaim the message.
Which says:  1.)  we have THE Good News
                    2.)   all men need it.
therefore:      3)  We're obligated to share it.

#7.  Humanitarian Efforts.
Based on "Sanctity of Life" - (ie:  sacred)
Good Samaritan.   Matt. 25:40
So... hospitals, health care, orphanages, public education, universities, democracies, human rights, prison reform...
All have roots in Christian Faith and Practice.        So......

#8.  Social Transformation - the deliberate, intentional effort to transform society into what it should be:  Matt. 6:9-10
This is "how you should pray"
This is how you should Act!!

These and others lead to church growth and Christian success.
ie:  The Work of God as He works through His people!!!

Note:  This is your heritage - what you've received.

Question:  What is your legacy? - what will you leave?