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There’s an old story about Dr. Benjamin Warfield. He was a theology professor at Princeton Seminary. While he was still at the height of his academic powers, his wife got sick. And she became an invalid. He took care of her for ten years. During that ten year period, he never spent more than 2 hours away from his wife. Even though she was handicapped, she still loved to read. And so Dr. Warfield would sit at her bedside day after day. And read to her. He was always gentle and caring with her.
One day, someone asked him, "Have you ever thought about taking your wife to an institution?" Then you could write bigger books and have a bigger ministry." But Dr. Warfield said, "No way. My wife is my ministry. I will never leave her side. I am going to love her and take care of her as long as God grants us life."
That’s how the Lord Jesus feels about us. He will not walk away from us. He will not abandon us. He will not throw us away like yesterday’s news.. He will minister his love and his compassion to us just as Dr. Warfield did for his wife.
(From a sermon by Marc Axelrod, Justice and Compassion For All, 8/16/2010)
A man and his wife were shopping at a mall and a shapely young woman in a short, form-fitting dress strolled by. The man’s eyes followed her. Without looking up from the item she was examining, his wife asked, "Was it worth the trouble you’re in?"
Annie Dillard, in her book The Writing Life, tells of an experiment that was done with butterflies. The experiment involved placing a male butterfly with a female butterfly of his own species. Then they placed a painted cardboard butterfly alongside them. The cardboard butterfly was bigger than the female — bigger than any female could ever be. The male ignored the living female butterfly next to him and went to the painted cardboard butterfly over and over again. Dillard adds, “Nearby, the real, living female opens and closes her wings in vain.” It is a picture of the world in which countless males are trapped today. Staring at painted cardboard butterflies they are squandering their own resources and defrauding the real, living, breathing females in their homes. But then you don’t have to establish a relationship with cardboard butterflies. You don’t have to put up with their failures — nor do they have to live with you and discover yours. There are no expectations from you. You don’t have to communicate with them. An inviting smile is painted on their faces and they don’t even know you. Perhaps it is better that way.
I read an account of a man named James Matlock. (He has nothing to do with the old Matlock TV series starring Andy Griffith!) James Matlock was a Puritan who lived in New England in the 17th century. Apparently he was placed under church discipline. And the reason was because he wasn’t having sex with his wife. His wife complained to the church elders that her husband wasn’t fulfilling his marital duty to her. They investigated the matter and then excommunicated Matlock. And they told him he would remain under church discipline until he began satisfying ...
1. The 1990 Kinsey Report states that around 50% of all married
people will commit adultery during their lifetime.
a. The number is usually about 5% higher among men.
b. Women are less likely to commit adultery but not by much.
2. Some other studies propose even higher numbers than the ones given
above claiming that the adultery rate is around 70%.
a. I find that number hard to believe.
b. I don’t think it is 70% and I find the 50% number a little hard
to swallow as well.
c. Whatever the number it is too high.
3. An article in a 1997 issue of Newsweek magazine noted that various
surveys suggest that as many as 30 percent of male Protestant
ministers have had sexual relationships with women other than
4. The Journal of Pastoral Care in 1993 reported a survey of Southern Baptist pastors in which 14 percent acknowledged they had engaged
in "sexual behavior inappropriate to a minister."
5. A 1988 survey of nearly 1000 Protestant clergy by Leadership magazine found that 12 percent admitted to sexual intercourse outside of marriage. The researchers also interviewed nearly 1000 subscribers
to Christianity Today who were not pastors. Of those 1000 people, 23 percent had engaged extramarital sex
6. The numbers are both good and bad.
i. The level of adultery within the church is half of what the
national level is.
ii. The level of adultery among ministers is 1\5th of the
national level is.
b. The Bad:
i. 1 in every 4 Christians has committed adultery.
ii. 1 in every 10 ministers has committed adultery, thus
ruining their ministries and tainting the church.
Dave Stone co-pastors a very large church in Louisville, KY. On his desk he keeps a picture of his family, a picture of the church facility and a newspaper article of a well known pastor who had an affair. He keeps all this on his desk to remind him of who he is and who would be hurt if he was to ever sin sexually.
A number of years ago, the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, MO made public 1,300 letters that the late President wrote to his wife, Bess, over the course of a half-century. Mr. Truman had a lifelong rule of writing to his wife every day they were apart. He followed this rule whenever he was away on official business or whenever Bess left Washington to visit her beloved home town. Scholars examined the letters for any new light they may throw on political and diplomatic history. In doing so they almost missed the most significant things about them. The couldn’t see the forest for the trees … THE MOST IMPRESSIVE THINGS IS THE SIMPLE FACT THAT EVERY DAY HE WAS AWAY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TOOK TIME OUT FROM HIS DEALING WITH THE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL LEADERS TO SIT DOWN AND WRITE A LETTER TO HIS WIFE.
(Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, pp. 15-16)
A preacher once wrote about an incident in his life: “I’d received a notice from my 13 year old son’s school announcing a meeting to preview the new course in sexuality. Parents could examine the curriculum and take part in an actual lesson presented exactly as it would be given to the students. When I arrived at school, I thumbed through page after page of instructions in the prevention of pregnancy or disease.
I found abstinence mentioned only in passing. When the teacher arrived with the school nurse, she asked if there were any questions. I asked why abstinence did not play a noticeable part in the material.
What happened next was shocking. There was a great deal of laughter, and someone suggested that if I thought abstinence had any merit, I should go back to burying my head in the sand.
The teacher explained to me the job of the school was to teach “facts,” and the home was responsible for moral teaching. I sat in embarrassed silence for the next 20 minutes as the course was explained. The other parents seemed to give their unqualified support for the materials.
“Donuts, at the back,” announced the teacher during the break. “I’d like you to put on the name tags we have prepared – they’re right by the donuts – and mingle with the other parents.”
Everyone moved to back of the room. As I watched them putting on their name tags and shaking hands, I sat deep in thought. I was ashamed that I had not been able to convince them
to include a serious discussion of abstinence in materials. I uttered a silent prayer for guidance
My thoughts were interrupted by the teacher’s hand on my shoulder. “Won’t you go and join the others, Mr. Layton?” The nurse smiled and sweetly said: “The donuts are good.”
“Thank you, no,” I replied.
“Well, then, how about a name tag? I’m sure the others would like to meet you.”
“Somehow I doubt that,” I replied.
“Won’t you please join them?” she coaxed.
Then I heard a still, small voice whisper, “Don’t go.” The instruction was unmistakable. “Don’t go!” “I’ll just wait here,” I said.
When the class was called back to order, the teacher looked around the long table and thanked everyone for putting on name tags. “Now we’re going to give you the same lesson we’ll be giving your children. Everyone please peel off your name tags.”
I watched in silence as the name tags came off. “Now, then, on the back of one of the tags, I drew a tiny flower. Who has it, please?"
The gentleman across from me held it up. “Here it is!”
“All right,” she said. “The flower represents disease. Do you recall who you shook hands with?”
He pointed to a couple of peopl...
Nobody is exempt. David, a man after God’s own heart, succumbed to temptation after reveling in his success.
Build the right hedges of protection around you. (Refer to excerpt from "Hedges" by Jerry Jenkins)
"One of the major causes of marital breakups in the Christian community is the lack of protective hedges that the spouse should plant around theri marriage. Because of the new openness in society to interaction between the sexes, I have placed the following hedges aound my marriage:
Number one, whenever I need to meet or dine or travel with an unrelated woman I make it a threesome. Should an unavoidable last minute complication make this impossible, my wife hears from me first.
Number two, I am carefrul about touching. While I might shake hands or squeeze an arm or shoulder in greeting, I embrace only dear friends or relatives, and only in front of others.
Number three, if I pay a compliment it is on clothing or hair style, not on the person herself. Commenting on a pretty outfit is much different in my opinion than telling her that she herself looks really pretty.
Number four, I avoid flirtation or suggestive conversation even in jest.
Number five, I remind my wife often in writing and orally that I remember my wedding vows."
Teens are facing an intimacy crisis that could haunt them in future relationships. Casual teen attitudes toward sex — particularly oral sex — reflect their confusion about what is normal behavior. “When teens fool around before they’re ready or have a very casual attitude toward sex, they proceed toward adulthood with a lack of understanding about intimacy. What it means to be intimate is not clearly spelled out for young people by their parents and people they trust,” writes Sabrina Weill in her book The Real Truth About Teens & Sex. (USA Today 10/18/05)