BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for October, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WHY OUR MARRIAGE WORKS

Good Morning!
This morning I crept back into the bedroom to kiss my wife good bye before catching an early flight out to Malaysia.
Groggily she muttered, “I forgot to pack your ties…Wes (our son) called last night…Do you have handkerchiefs?” A hug, a kiss – and out the door to the airport…savoring that warm sense of belonging.
This is my woman and I am her man.
HERE ARE FIVE GOOD REASONS WHY OUR MARRIAGE WORKS:
#1 We take time to cultivate a close walk with Christ, thereby helping to insure the fact that we share a common vision and mission.
“Let us draw near [to God] with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…May…God…give you a spirit of unity as you follow Christ Jesus…” (Heb. 10:22a; Rom. 15:5a)
# 2 We respect each other in our differences; we take each other seriously.
“There are different kinds of gifts…ministries…(and) effects, but the same God works all of them in all men.” (1 Cor. 12:4-6)
#3 We choose to identify and attack our problems rather than each other.
“…Let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead…” (I Pet. 3:8,9a)
#4 We laugh a lot, taking time to play and have fun together.
“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” (Prov. 15:13)
#5 I lead and she follows.
“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church….” (Eph. 5:22a)
Ruth has hung in there with me these 33 years, through the easy and tough times, clearly understanding the term “helpmate”. (Genesis 2:18) We most likely are in the 4th quarter of our lives now. I understand we are now viewed as “Senior Citizens”. When I return home in a few days, we’ll probably spend the evening playing Scrabble and tennis, and then relax around an old movie. We’ve not had better days…
My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WHY OUR MARRIAGE REALLY WORKS AFTER THESE 43 YEARS! (Part 4 of 4)

In the last three weeks we have discussed the fact that:

1) We learned how to mutually accept each other as uniquely designed by God

2) We have been committed to the same purpose and calling in life: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? (Amo. 3:3)

3) We determined that we would serve each other over and above ourselves:

4) We built our marriage on a solid biblical foundation : “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24, 25) (See Pro. 24:3,4)

From before our engagement we understood:

– The importance of the daily quiet time. By that I mean a specified time daily, preferably the first thing in the morning, for prayerful meditation on the word of God. We realized that without this vital connection with God we would not become the Christ like person our spouse would love through thick and thin.

– That we needed to know how God intended for us to live, especially as it pertained to a biblical marriage relationship. Thus, we internalized passages like Ephesians 5:21-33; I Peter 3:1-12 and I Corinthians 13:4-8.

QUESTION : What action steps do you need to take to begin building a solid foundation of God’s word into your life? One place to start is to carve out 10 minutes, the first thing in the morning. Prayerfully meditate on a small portion of Scripture.

5) We learned how to maintain communications with each other:

We understood that communication is :

– “The meeting of meanings” (Paul Tournier)

– Understanding the meaning behind the words spoken.

– Learning and responding to your spouses “love language”: Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, physical touch (“ The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

– Recognizing that talking and having sex is not necessarily communication.

– Learning the art of disciplined listening – with the head and the heart.

– Learning to respect the other person’s point of view.

– Attacking the problematic issue rather than the person.

– Courageously facing and resolving problems, rather than sweeping them under the rug.

– Not allowing bitterness or resentment to remain in the relationship.

(See Pro. 17:27; 18:21; Col. 3:19; Jms. 1:19, 20

We learned how to establish and maintain communication, by planning quality time together .

– We planed for a daily quality connection – even if it is only for a few minutes. Pray together

– We planned a weekly date night.

– We scheduled monthly or quarterly blocks of time together to evaluate, plan, re-connect, and have fun.

QUESTION : Do you think your spouse feels that the two of you are in fact in touch with each other at the deepest level? One suggestion: Schedule a day or two on your calendar where the two of you can get away to re-connect. One goal would be to find out if either of you harbor resentment or bitterness toward the other.

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WHY OUR MARRIAGE REALLY WORKS AFTER THESE 43 YEARS! (Part 3 of 4)

In the last two weeks we have discussed the fact that:

1) We learned how to mutually accept each other as uniquely designed by God

2) We have been committed to the same purpose and calling in life : “ Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amo. 3:3)

3) We determined that we would serve each other over and above ourselves :

As followers of Christ, we knew that we were called to emulate him in his humility, and that servant hood is the practical application of humility :

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mk. 10:43-45)

We built our concept of service to each other on the “one another” passages :

”Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Eph. 4:31, 32)

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Eph. 5:21 )

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thes. 5:11)

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Heb. 3:13)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Heb. 10:24)

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart .” (I Pet. 1:22)

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble .” (I Pet. 3:8)

Because it is a woman’s nature to adapt to her husband, we both knew that it would be all to easy for me, the husband to exploit my wife, Ruth. We also knew that the Scriptures do not allow husbands that option:

Husbands…be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (I Peter 3:7)

QUESTION : If I were to ask your spouse if he or she felt that you were a true servant to him or her, what would he or she say? A couple of suggestions for husbands: For the next week make a conscious effort to lift the load around the house, such as taking out the garbage before she asks you. Help with getting the kids to bed. Fill her car with gas. Pick up you own mess, etc.

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

WHY OUR MARRIAGE REALLY WORKS AFTER THESE 43 YEARS! (Part 2 of 4)

In last week’s “Facts”, We learned how to mutually accept each other as uniquely designed by God.

2) We have been committed to the same purpose and calling in life: “ Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

From before we met, we shared a common passion of advancing the Kingdom and Glory of God by winning the lost and discipling the saved: “ [Jesus] said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation… Go and make disciples of all nations…(Mk. 16:15b; Matt 28:18b)

We understood that :

Marriage was not primarily about us, but about giving our lives to God in sacrificial service : Jesus: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Lk. 9:23, 24)

Ruth was to help me fulfill God’s call on my life. Observe this principle from God’s dealing with Adam and Eve : “ Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground…Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground…The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it…The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable (adaptable, complimentary) for him…’” (Gen. 1:26, 28b; 2:15, 18)

To fulfill our calling we clearly understood our biblical roles as husband and wife :

As Ruth’ husband :

I am to provide for the family: If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (I Tim. 5:8)

I am to furnish Ruth leadership: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything…” (Eph. 5:22-24)

I am to selflessly love her: “…H usbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” (Eph. 5:28, 29 – NKJV)

As my wife, Ruth is to:

Submit to me: “ Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything…” (Eph. 5:22-24)

Honor me: “Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly].” (Eph. 5:33b- Amp.)

Make her primary focus at home: “The older women likewise [are to admonish] the young women [to be} homemakers…” (Tit. 2:3-5 – selected)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection

R. Dwight Hill