Tag Archives: passion

Why affection is so important to marriage

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by Richard Mansel, manaaging editor

Thomas and Maggie sat in marriage counseling. Maggie dabbed at her swollen eyes as she cried about Thomas’ refusal to be affectionate to his wife of 32 years.

The counselor asked Thomas why he was cold towards her.

“That’s silly stuff. I won’t do it.”

“Maggie, did Thomas kiss you when you were dating?”

“All the time! I had to fight him off. Thomas even kissed me on our first date.”

“Did he hold your hand?”

Maggie smiled. “Absolutely! He was so romantic, bringing me flowers and candy.”

“Thomas, what changed?”

Thomas frowned. “Isn’t it obvious? I was a kid then. Look at me now!”

“Thomas, do you still love her?”

“Yeah.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“This is stupid. I’m leaving.”

Thomas slammed the door and Maggie was crushed.

A year later, the counselor saw Thomas in the park holding hands and kissing a new woman. Clearly, he had forgotten he was too old for affection.

A marriage without affection is like being frozen. We must be connected intimately with our spouse. Skin hunger is a very real thing.

Living without that connectivity leaves us empty. We cannot be one flesh with another person without affection. Being married roommates is desperately sad.

God commands us to be intimate. We are to be one in every way with our spouse (Genesis 2:18-25). Solomon begins his ode to passion in marriage, with the Shulamite woman saying, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (Song of Solomon 1:2).

We must never let the passion die in our marriage. Marital love cannot breathe without affection. Our bodies are not ours and we must be fully engaged with our partner (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).

Start today with a touch, a hug and a kiss and rediscover what you have lost!

Why I love the Bible

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

To me, the Bible is more than just a book. It is a living thing, breathing wisdom and power. It is a message from God and a window to the future. It is one of my life-long loves.

I share my passion for the Word of God in hopes that readers will grow in their love for the Bible and will spend more time with Scripture.

Reading is one of the most important things in life and I cannot remember not being able to read. Books have been my constant companion. So, why would I neglect the greatest one ever written?

I remember Bible class as a child and winning a Bible for reading the New Testament. That was one of my proudest moments and I still have the Bible today. Later as an adult, one of my Bibles was stolen and I remember vividly the trauma I felt.

The Bible is God’s Word to humanity (2 Timothy 3:16-17). While I may be very insignificant in this world, God tells me in Scripture how important I am to him (John 3:16).

God’s Word was settled before time began, so it will never change (Psalm 119:89). Yet, I can return to its pages and continually find it fresh and new. A lifetime of study cannot exhaust its lessons.

We study, learn and live God’s Word and it is always prescient and pertinent. A student can never grow bored studying Scripture and will continually stand in awe at its brilliance.

I find myself in this book from God and that takes my breath away. I learn who I am, why I make so many mistakes and how I can grow and understand better how to deal with others. My marriage and my parenting find root in God’s Word.

I see the world in the Bible and I understand why evil exists, why people live as they do and how we can all grow closer together. Every problem of mankind finds a solution in Scripture because our Father loves us.

God’s Word is a highway to holiness (Isaiah 35:8) and I need to scour its pages to learn how I can live for God and spend an eternity in heaven with Jesus. Nothing on earth can change God’s plan and that brings comfort beyond belief!

Live in the Word, love its Message and share its glory with everyone who will listen!

Give her honor

History records that former President Harry Truman (1945-1953) was a dyed-in-the-wool romantic.

He pursued a lovely young lady by the name of Bess (Elizabeth Virginia Wallace) and vied for her affections back in 1910. The two dated by visiting in the sitting room, going on picnics and fishing with family and friends.

Harry and Bess were united in marriage some nine years later on June 28, 1919.

Once they were together, Harry continued to court and romance his wife throughout the entirety of their 53 year relationship.

Even though he was frequently away on governmental business and the affairs of his political office, he never failed to write Bess and tell her how much he loved her.

When Bess died of congestive heart failure in 1983, her family discovered more than 1,200 letters that Harry had written to his lifelong spouse.

Harry never stopped honoring Bess.

Remember Peter’s words? “Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7,-emphasis mine, mb).

“To honor something is to ascribe value to it.  Priority is given to things but people are honored. The president of the United States is honored by the playing of ‘Hail to the Chief,’ and by hundreds of other acts of protocol, large and small.  Men, would your wives know by your actions that you honor them?  Could they tell by the things you say and do that you value them above anyone else?  Gary Smalley describes honor as ‘a reflex of the heart toward one who is deeply treasured.’  I like that definition.  Honor is the overflow of a loving heart. Ask your wife what would honor her.  You might be surprised at how simple it would be to bestow this gift of sacrificial love.  Maybe it is a phone call to say you are running late.  Or an offer to drop dry cleaning off on your way to work.  Or a warm hug at the end of a day that’s been demanding for her as it has for you.  Or even the simple words ‘I love you,’ spoken at just the right time.” /1

Husbands, do you still express honor to your wives?

  • Do you still open the car door for them?
  • When was the last time you sent them flowers (and it wasn’t their birthday)?
  • When was the last time you took them out on a date night for a movie and dinner?
  • When was the last time you sent them an email or a letter and told them why you love them?

Harry honored Bess for over half a century. Let’s emulate his example.

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1/  Ed Young, “How To Have A Marriage That Sizzles,” Romancing The Home, 77

A Hot Faith

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
I noticed my phone bill was due today (18th actually, but still not past due), so I walked down the few blocks to the post where I normally pay it. Was just after 12 noon, and there was a line, so I walked back a block, ate lunch at a decent restaurant with lots of veggies and then returned to a shorter line. Still waited some 10-15 minutes to pay. Bearable.
Walking back, I passed by the local branch of the Igreja cristã evangélica (Evangelical Christian Church), a group of the Reformed branch of Protestantism. Reminded me of when they put up a sign a few years ago, with large letters of their abbreviated name: ICE.
The Pentecostals accuse the “traditionalists” of being cold. So I wasn’t surprised that the sign didn’t stay up long. English is not the language here, but enough people know enough English to make a joke of it. And I’m sure they did.
My lunch was cold. Has been nippy here, so even the stuff that was supposed to be hot — fried bananas, veggies in fried batter, gnocchi — was stone cold. Only the fried manioc was warm. I like my food hot.
I like my faith hot, too. Not the Pentecostal hot of whipped-up emotions. Nor the hot loyalty of the traditionalists, like the Presbyterian preacher in a Sunday non-Bible class, who declared that Presbyterianism was one of the essentials of the faith.
No, I like a hot faith that wants to learn more and more about every word and deed of the Lord Jesus Christ. “More about Jesus would I know.”
And I like the hot faith that refuses to compromise an inch with the truth of the gospel, even if it demands an in-your-face confrontation (Galatians 2:11).
I like the hot faith that can’t go without offering to tell someone how to draw near to God (James 4:8).
I also like the hot faith that devotes itself to the children of God, come high tide or landslide (1 Peter 1:22).
Some, mostly lukewarm folk, like to call such hot faith radical or extremist. Enthusiasm embarrasses them. Zeal puts them to shame.
So be it. Call me what you will. I serve the Lord, not back-peddling brethren afraid of making waves. What did Paul say? “If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ!” (Galatians 1:10).
So I’ll keep my hot faith, and keep stoking it, and keep feeding it the fuel of the word of God. And I’ll keep calling those who will hear to join me.
For, in the midst of paying phone bills and eating hot or cold lunches, we have a world to overturn.
“Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11 NET).

How to Love Your Wife

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

Men must learn how to be the type husbands God desires. Ephesians 5:22-29 offers powerful advice for husbands. God’s plan is to create people that are the best spouses they can be.

Husbands must love their wives unselfishly. In Ephesians 5:22-29, wives are told to submit to their husbands while husbands are commanded to love their wives. And since God’s definition of love always includes unselfishness, husbands are to treat their wives as Christ does the church, with great tenderness (Ephesians 5:25-27).

God’s love gives and gives, while man’s love constantly takes without regard for the other.

Walter Trobisch wrote,

“Let me try to tell you what it really should mean when a fellow says to a girl, ‘I love you.’ It means: you, you, you. You alone. You shall reign in my heart. You are the one whom I have longed for, without you I am incomplete. I will love you alone, and I will work for you alone. And I will wait for you … I will never force you, not even by words. I want to guard you, protect you and keep you from all evil. I want to share with you all my thoughts, my heart and my body — all that I possess. I want to listen to what you have to say. There is nothing I want to undertake without your blessing. I want to remain always at your side.” /1

Love is far more than sex and protection. It is cherishing and nourishing as Christ does the church (Ephesians 5:28-29). It is placing the needs of the wife above his own in importance. God gave her to him as a beautiful gift and he should treat her with requisite respect.

“Any woman would find it easier to defer to a husband she knew would die for her than to a husband she felt might sacrifice her to his fears, lust or ambition.”/2

Jesus lived a life of sacrificial love and knew what it meant to die for the objects of our love (John 15:13). For husbands, it does not necessarily mean that we give up our physical lives, but that we die to self so our marriages can be blessed.

In counseling a wife said, “Dear, I know that you are willing to die for me; you have told me that many times. But while you are waiting to die, could you just fill in some of the time helping dry the dishes?” /3

“A husband should never use his headship to crush or stifle his wife, or to frustrate her from being herself. His love for her will lead him to an exactly opposite path. He will give himself up for her, in order that she may develop her full potential under God and become more completely herself.” /4

Love must not be restrained but allowed to flow freely and unencumbered. Wives want their men to express their love in tenderness and with a listening ear.

Men and women generally differ greatly in communication skills. However, if he, will be open and transparent before her, it will allow them the level of intimacy they both desire. If she will handle his openness properly, he will be comfortable doing so again. Wives have a great responsibility in creating a safe environment for him to share his fears and feelings.

Finally, husbands, as David Sain wisely advises, “the best time to tell your wife you love her is before some other man does.”

_____________
1/ James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997), 200.
2/ John Phillips, Exploring Ephesians and Philippians (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993), 163.
3/ Boice, 201.
4/ Ibid.