Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Alistair Begg on Comparing Your Spouse

Heard this today and decided to transcribe it and share it with you:

"Do we really think that we can sit on the plane and leaf through People magazine... and read about the exploits of the rich, the famous, the foolish, the cute... allow those images to penetrate the computer of our brain, and then realistically to apply the Bible to our marriage?

The fact is, it can't be done. And the degree to which we play with that stuff in our minds is the degree to which we make it increasingly difficult to live out this principle-- namely, DON'T COMPARE YOUR SPOUSE UNFAVORABLY WITH OTHERS in terms of looks, abilities, or anything." -- Alistair Begg, "How to Avoid Marital Failure"
And this was a bit later in the sermon:
"Don't take someone of the opposite sex into precincts that are the exclusive domain of your spouse. What does it mean? It means this: there's a lady in your office who thinks you've got broad shoulders and she'd like to cry on them? Tell her to keep moving. Go find someone else to cry on cause your shoulders are only for one girl to cry on, or more if you've got daughters.

(imitating someone else's voice) 'What, you call yourself a pastor and you say things like that?'

Yeah, cause I want to be a sensible pastor. Cause I want to be a married pastor. Cause I want to be a pure pastor for my kids growing up underneath me.
...Don't be so naive as to think that we can take into our lives that kind of stuff. You can't do it; you're not supposed to do it. You start to understand the principles of women ministering to women and men ministering to men... The only intimacy that should be enjoyed with someone of the opposite sex should be your wife or your husband, your sons or your daughters." --Alistair Begg, "How to Avoid Marital Failure"

After these (and a few other) things NOT to do, he added these prescriptions for marriage
(1) Be daily in prayer for the health of your marriage and the harmony of your home
(2) Be sacrificial in the expression of your love for each other. (Ask yourself, "what have I done in the last 7 days that was an act of sacrifice on my part for my spouse?")
(3) Be imaginative, daring, and occasionally extravagant in displaying your affection.
(4) Be sure that you don't use your children as the "glue" that holds you or the "wedge" that separates you.
("Remember this: the kids are the ones that are leaving-- we're the ones that are staying.")
(5) Be ruthless in resisting anyone or anything that will draw your affections from each other.
(6) Be ready to listen to, and willing to speak, about what's going on inside each other's heads.
(7) Be certain that a great marriage is possible with divine enabling and human effort.
(8) Be aware of how quickly time is passing, and seize the day.

And there's so much more worth hearing if you can track down this sermon. I highly recommend Alistair Begg's podcast, called Truth for Life.

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