Working on My Behalf Behind the Scenes

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT

This is one of my favorite verses of all time.  The reason it is such a blessing to me is because it states the promise that God will work on my behalf behind the scenes when I ask.  In my life, it seems like everyone else in the world is working against me, it is nice to know God is working for me.

This promise does have several conditions though…

Four components of Romans 8:28:

  • A knowing…or in other words you have to have confidence in not only God’s ability, but His’ desire to work on your behalf
  • Understand that God is working on our behalf behind the scenes where you can not always see (that is why we have to have faith)
  • A real love of God…the Bible says if you love God you will keep His’ commands
  • Be called according to His’ purposes…God’s has a plan for this world, His’ church and people and you have to seek His purpose for your life not do your will and ask God to bless it

As you will find often in scripture, God has wonderful promises for Christian believers, but you do have to do it God’s way.

You Can Change Someone…But Very Little!

Here are some great questions to ask one another before you get married.  Some people feel like they can change their spouse after they get married, only to find out people do change…but very little.  So, to make sure there are no surprises I am giving you some questions to ask one another before you get married.

To make this really work answer these questions by yourself, then go back and compare them with your fiancée.  Be ready for a long night, because these may seem simple and easy, but they unpack quickly.  The very one that seems like a slam dunk may become an unnavigable mountain.  Answer them now, or fight about them later.

Questions Before Marriage

Would your family support your choice to marry?

Is there anyone in either of your families that disagree with your marriage?

How many children do you want?

When do you want to start having children?

Who will take care of the children during the day?

What hobbies do you plan on keeping up with?

What kinds of past friendships do you plan on maintaining?

What religion will you be?

How will you raise your children in respect to religion?

Who will handle the money?

How many checkbooks do you plan on having?

While both are workings whose money is whose?

Will you rent or buy?

Where do you want to live?

What will you name your children?

Will you have pets?

What kind of school will your children attend?

How will you work out disagreements?

Who will work?

Who will stay home?

Who will do what chores?

What is the role of the husband?

What is the role of the wife?

What is your political party?

Will you buy a car?

What are your major goals and dreams in life?

Where will you spend holidays?

What family traditions do each of you want to carry on with your children?

Are there any quirks your future spouse has that you want to change?

A Great Set of Wedding Vows

As a pastor, I am asked to perform a lot of weddings.  Everyone wants to see my vows, so I am publishing them here on my blog so there is an easy way to access them.  The vows are very important and are tied to all the principles that make marriage work.

It is even great for old married folks like me to review these and see what we vowed many years (25 and counting for me) ago ourselves.


Pastor: In a moment I am going to ask both of you to make vows to each other.

The wedding vows are very important.  I am going to ask you to take an oath before God and these witnesses today.  I am challenging you to promise to be:

· Faithful and true to each other

· Along with all your worldly goods,

· In sickness and in health,

· In poverty or in wealth,

· Until death do you part

I want you to make a decision today to nurture this relationship where you may have years of happiness together.

To Groom—-

Pastor: __________, do you take __________

(Groom)                                              (Bride)

To be your lawfully wedding wife?  Your response is?

Then turn to her and make this profession of your faith—

I, __________ take you __________

(Groom)                                   (Bride)

· To be my lawfully wedded wife and my closest friend,

· My faithful partner in life and my one true love.

· I give to you my sacred promise to stay by your side as your faithful husband,

· In sickness and in health,

· In joy and in sorrow,

· To always be open and honest with you.

· I promise to love you without reservation,

· And cherish you for as long as we both shall live.

Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

A big part in my blog is to point people to great resources.  Not good resources, great resources.  Focus on the Family always has great resources.  This one is perfect for Valentines Day.  Every couple must work on keeping romance alive in our marriage.  It is like most things, it doesn’t happen automatically. You can click here to go to a series of six articles from Focus on the Family by Mitch Temple on how to have a healthy marriage.

Ten Secrets to a Successful Marriage

  1. Change your mind, change your marriage.
  2. Happiness is not the most important thing.
  3. Couples discover the value in just showing up.
  4. If you do what you always do, you will get the same result.
  5. Your attitude does matter.
  6. The grass is greenest where you water it.
  7. You can change your marriage by changing yourself.
  8. Love is a verb, not just a feeling.
  9. Marriage is often about fighting the battle between your ears.
  10. A crisis doesn’t always mean the marriage is over.

Let’s all get to work on making our marriages like a slice of heaven on earth.

Rules for Fair Fighting in Families

Yes, it is OK to fight in a family as long as you establish some rules.  There is a fair and unfair way to fight in families and it is up to the parents to set these guidelines and enforce them.   As of this posting we have them hanging on our refrigerator.  We even devoted a (or several) family meetings to them.  Here they are.

  1. Listen and try to understand where others are coming from.
  2. Avoid yelling, verbal threats, or abuse (keep it ramped down).
  3. Maintain a honoring, respectful and loving atmosphere.
  4. No name-calling.
  5. Use an open communication style.
  6. Keep the focus off the person’s character.
  7. Don’t bring in past “garbage.”
  8. No violence.
  9. Avoid accusatory language (e.g., “You never…You always…”).
  10. Only one person talks at a time.

I’ve added some biblical principles here too:

  1. If you break one of the rules apologize with a sincere, “I’m sorry.”
  2. The party being apologized to should reply with a sincere, “I forgive you.”
  3. Deal with the issue before the end of the day, never sweep an issue under the rug.
  4. After trying to resolve an issue face to face unsuccessfully, bring in a third party to mediate.
  5. Always pray before you try to resolve something, it will often soften hearts along the way.

Happy fighting.