31. Does a Man Need a Wife?


Proverbs 12:4 says, “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.” A crown is a symbol of authority. In the God’s kingdom, a man’s authority to lead others comes, in large part, from how he fulfills his charge as a husband. A thriving wife is the seal of his ability to rule.  She is the evidence that he can lead in a humble, loving way – the way Christ leads us.


After relating to the Lord 1-on-1, a man’s most important ministry is to his wife. She is his first disciple. He is not really qualified for this since he is not above her, spiritually. Therefore, the largest part of his headship is to initiate humility and dependence on the Lord. When we lead from a place of dependence on the Lord, He gives us grace for it.


God’s blanket statement concerning marriage since the beginning of creation is Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Husbands and wives need each other. God alone does fully satisfy us because He did not create us to be satisfied only by Him. Even though Adam lived in God’s manifest presence and talked with Him face to face, God still said he was “alone”. Without a woman, he was incomplete. He could never become who he was called to become or do what he was called to do.


A man desperately needs the influence of a woman in his life. It is easy to feel godly and surrendered to the Lord when we are all alone. However, when every decision must take into consideration someone with completely different needs and desires, we begin to see how selfish and immature we are. Then, when we must work together to serve totally dependent children, we see our condition even more clearly.


Without a wife’s input, a man is far more vulnerable to the enemy and the flesh. How many men have become imbalanced or deceived either because they did not marry or because they did not let their wives speak into their lives? They only had one part of God’s perspective of themselves, their marriage, their children, their careers, or their ministries because they were unwilling to receive the rest of it from their wives.


When the disciples said it is better for a man not to marry, Jesus replied in Matthew 19:11, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given.” In other words, the calling to remain single is given to certain individuals.


Similarly, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:7, “Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am [referring to his singleness]. However, each man has his own gift from God…” Notice how Paul reaffirms what Jesus said in Matthew 19:11 – marriage or singleness is based a man’s “own gift from God”, or his calling.


A handful of passages in scripture indicate that there is something special about the power of two people being in agreement. Here are some examples:


“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion… if two lie down together they keep warm… And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.” (Eccl 4:9-12)


“…if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 18:19-20)


“How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight…” (Deuteronomy 32:20)


Similarly, Mark 6:7 links Jesus sending his disciples “out in pairs” and giving them “authority over unclean spirits.”


These passages highlight some of the advantages of two equally yoked people partnering together. They comfort, protect, and rescue each other. They multiply each other’s labor, prayers, and warfare. They keep each other accountable, encouraged, and focused on the mission Jesus gave us.


There is no context to which this principle is more applicable than marriage. This is why it is so deep in God’s heart for husbands and wives to learn how to labor together in unity. His kingdom depends on it. The power and light of His church rises and falls dramatically according the oneness of its marriages.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.











32. How Does a Husband Represent Christ to His Wife?



Ephesians 5:25 says: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…” What does this look like? How does Christ love the church? In this video we’ll consider a few facets of Christ’s love:


He Initiates

His Motives Are Trustworthy

He Listens

He Speaks

He Entrusts

He Intercedes


He Initiates

1 John 4:10 says that God first loved us and sacrificed Himself for us. God is the Initiator; our love is in response to His love. This is a picture of how husbands and wives often relate. A man initiates relationship. A woman’s love is often awakened in response to being loved and pursued.


His Motives Are Trustworthy

We don’t need to resent being subject to Christ’s headship because we can trust that His motives are selfless. Everything He does is for our sake, not His. Likewise, when a wife knows her husband is more concerned with her dreams, goals, and well-being than his own, it is much easier to follow his lead.


He Listens

Prayer is our vital connection with the Lord. It is where we experience His attentive presence and compassion. It is where we discover that He hears us and cares about what we are going through. He listens to our requests and He is truly affected by them. Likewise, when a husband listens attentively to His wife and really cares about what she feels, this is the life of their marriage. It is what enables her to flourish.


He Speaks

When the Lord speaks (through His Word or by His Spirit), His words are affirming, encouraging, and wise. He doesn’t shame us for our struggles or anxieties; He helps us see our situation from a perspective of hope. Likewise, when a husband speaks this way to his struggling wife, it washes her from the negative messages of the world. It breaks down her fear and returns her focus to the goodness and faithfulness of God.


He Entrusts

Imagine leading a family, or a business, or a ministry. How does Christ relate to us in that position of leadership? He doesn’t expect perfection. He doesn’t shame us for making mistakes or cancel our calling if we stumble. Nor does He try to control everything. He lets us truly take ownership. He gives us space and freedom to try different approaches. He is as involved as we want Him to be. He waits to be asked for help. When we seek His help, He is patient, gentle, and encouraging. He lets us know that He believes in us.


A wife needs the same kind of treatment from her husband as she manages the responsibilities in her life. She needs to believe she can be successful and not live in fear of making a mistake or being a disappointment. She needs to know her husband believes in her and supports her.


He Intercedes

Romans 8:34 says that Jesus intercedes for us. Many other passages, particularly in Psalms and Proverbs, say that He stands watch over our souls us and protects us from spiritual attack. He is constantly intervening on our behalf when we are completely unaware.


Husbands have a similar role. No one’s prayers on earth carry more authority in a life of a woman than her husband’s. He is her covering. His prayers really do make a difference. Real, actual grace from heaven is released and real, actual powers of hell are rebuked when a husband decides to pray for his wife. Husbands have no idea how much their wives need this.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.









33. Am I A Creator?


Parents are literally the creators of their children. We tend to think of God as our Creator, which He is. But He didn’t create us out of nothing. He partnered with our parents as co-creators. This is a position of great honor. We represent God to our children and we are accountable for how we steward this responsibility.


God created men and women in His image so they could in turn create sons and daughters in their image. When Adam and Eve gave birth to Seth, who was the beginning of a godly family legacy on the earth, Genesis 5:3 says Adam “became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image…” Being able to reproduce ourselves is core to our identity as image-bearers. We can more fully relate to God as a Father and as a motherly nurturer (ex. Deuteronomy 32:18, Isaiah 49:15, 66:12-13, Matthew 23:37) because we ourselves can become fathers and mothers. We better understand what it means to be part of God’s family because we can create our own families.


Being a parent teaches us about God’s experience. We create free-will beings that bear our image. We feel unconditional love for them. We carefully control their environment to nurture them like God did in the Garden of Eden. We give them commands for their protection like God did with Adam and Eve. We allow them to exercise their free-wills and experience the consequences of their choices like God did when mankind fell. We want to bless our children and help them mature, but we cannot control them like robots. We guide them the best we can, but they ultimately decide for themselves whether to return our love, what choices to make, and what kind of character to develop.


In early childhood, parents are literally like God to their children. Children look to their parents for everything. They learn how to walk, talk, and think by watching their parents. They learn how to treat others, what a man is like, what a woman is like, right from wrong, and truth from error. They believe whatever their parents teach and imitate whatever they model. They are like soft clay in a potter’s hands. After co-creating their physical bodies at conception and birth, parents go on to shape their children’s souls.


Parenthood is a call to ministry. Jesus said in Matthew 18:5, “Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.” The ultimate fulfillment of this statement is parenthood. Parenthood is also a call to greatness. Jesus said in Luke 9:48, saying, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”


A primary purpose for becoming a parent can be found in Romans 8:29, which says, “For those who He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” We become parents to be conformed to Christ’s image.


Successful parenting causes us to become someone worthy of our children’s emulation so that when they see us, they see something of God’s nature. People only retain a small percentage of the information they are taught, but retain as much as 90% of the information they teach to someone else. This is good news for parents since parenting gives us occasion to teach wisdom and righteousness to our children. When we teach our children, the Lord continually checks our hearts against our words. If we teach them about forgiveness, respect for authority, humility, stewardship of time/money/talents, etc.…, the Lord is right there to ask us whether we are doing those things ourselves.


Human beings are relational. We crave love and acceptance. One reason there is nothing more wonderful than being in God’s presence in heaven is because He is the Ultimate Source of security, identity, and purpose. With Him, we are fully known and fully loved. With Him, we know we have infinite value.


By contrast, there is nothing more terrible than being separated from God in hell. In hell, there is no sense of being loved or secure. There is no purpose to fulfill or hope for the future. There is only grief and fear.


As representatives of God, parents have the power to give their children tastes of heaven or tastes of hell. There is nothing more wonderful for a child than being unconditionally loved by its creators. The security and identity that come from such a home environment are irreplaceable. However, there is nothing more awful for a child than being neglected or abused. The insecurity and trauma this produces can be unbearable. 


Many years ago, I was planning to spend a day with my seven-year-old cousin, but I felt a little anxious because I wasn’t sure what we could do that would be fun for her. When I shared this with my wife Jenny she said, “What matters most is that you genuinely enjoy being with her. If she senses that, it will impart so much value to her and it won’t matter as much what activity you end up doing.”


This resonated. About 15 minutes later I sat down for a devotional time and happened to read John 15:11, which says, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” It struck me that the greatest joy we were created for is to experience God delighting in us. Just the like passage says, first He takes joy in us, then our joy is made full as a result.


When children experience their parents delighting in them, they begin to believe they are valuable, loved, and secure. A parent’s capacity to give this to his children is related to how much he is experiencing this himself from God. Therefore, a parent’s first task is to grow closer to God so we can better mirror Him to our children.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.










34. Is God a Good Parent?


If a parent’s primary task is to mirror God to his children, what kind of Parent is God? What responsibilities does He take on as our Father?


God promises these three things to His children in scripture:


1) His Presence (ex. Hebrews 13:5)

2) Commitment to our Spiritual Growth (ex. Romans 8:28-29)

3) Physical Provision (ex. Matthew 7:33)



1. His Presence

With God as our Father, we know that no matter what we face, we are never alone. We are His highest priority. He is always available to listen; He is never too busy to spend time with us.


The final words of Jesus’ great commission (Matthew 28) were, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Psalms 139:7 rhetorically asks, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” Psalms 23:4 states, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.”


A parent can give his children every external thing world in the world, but without his presence, it is a meaningless substitute for what they need the most. This is why, when we get distracted by lesser things in life, God reminds us that His presence is the most valuable thing we will ever have. This is why Hebrews 13:5 exhorts us to be “…content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”


2. Commitment to our Spiritual Growth

Perhaps God’s commitment to our spiritual growth could be broken down like this:


1) Modeling – Being a living illustration of righteous character and actions

2) Teaching – Explaining what is being modeled and why it is important

3) Discipline – Providing negative consequences for intentionally rebelling against what is modeled and taught


God is not a hypocritical parent. He never asks His children to do something that He Himself is not doing. Nor does He expect us to live beyond our ability. Instead, He offers Himself as an example and then patiently teaches and trains us to imitate Him. He does this through His Word, by His Holy Spirit, and by His anointing on other people.


Acts 1:1 says that Jesus would always “do and teach”. First He showed His disciples what righteousness looked like. Then He explained it to them and trained them to imitate Him. We see this throughout the gospels. Everything Jesus did, He then commanded the disciples to do. This is why He could say to them before He departed (John 20:21), “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”


As parents, we have no spiritual or moral authority to teach our children things we aren’t doing ourselves. Nor do we have authority to discipline them for the same negative things we are doing. This does not mean we have to live out our words perfectly. But it does mean we need to at least be sincerely pursuing righteousness in those areas. It also means being appropriately honest with them about our faults and struggles, which is to model humility. It means apologizing and owning it when we fall short.


The Bible says repeatedly, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” There is a sense in which it is right for us to fear God’s authority over us. He holds our entire world in the palm of His hand. He is all-powerful and all-knowing. The boundaries He gives us are not arbitrary, even if we do not understand them or agree with them. Therefore, He is willing to provide negative consequences, sometimes severe ones, to teach us that sin is serious and dangerous.


Good, loving parents do likewise. How will children learn to fear and respect God’s authority if they do not feel any fear of us when they are caught intentionally disobeying? They need to know that, because we love them so much, we are willing to make it painful for them to choose rebellion. One parent who lived next to a busy intersection said this: If my children’s love for me doesn’t keep them out of traffic, then their fear of me will.


However, we must be careful. Sometimes we can punish our children simply because they are making our life more difficult and we have the power to make it stop. We punish them for our sake, not theirs. This is a distortion of God’s nature. God only disciplines us for our own sake (Hebrews 12:10); it is never repayment for causing Him embarrassment, irritation, or pain.


Physical Provision

God promises in Matthew 7:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [physical provision] will be added to you.” Humanists like to ask, “Would you steal bread to feed your starving family?” to prove that morality is relative. However, this scenario of either having to sin or starve doesn’t really exist in God’s economy.  Whenever believers genuinely seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness in their lives, He always provides for their physical needs.


It is right and good for parents to want to give their children the very best – the best food, the best clothes, the best education, the best opportunities. God is the same way. God fully intends to give His children the very best of every created thing to enjoy beyond limit or measure. He is excited to do this and we have all of eternity to enjoy these things (Romans 8:32, 1 Corinthians 2:9). Sometimes He gives us tastes of these things in this life as well.


Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?


Likewise, 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”


However, God’s primary objective for His children in this age is Christlike character formation (Romans 8:29, Galatians 4:19, Ephesians 5:1). Wealth – the power to have the things we want when we want them – is one of the primary idols that destroy Christians’ faith (1 Timothy 6:10) and renders their lives unfruitful (Matthew 13:22). Wealth without character is a curse. Likewise, when human parents give their children whatever they want whenever they want it, it plunges them into ruin. However, parents who prioritize character formation withhold some good things so their children learn that true contentment is not based on power or possessions, but on relationships and righteous maturity.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.












35. Sexuality Part 1: Who Has the Best Sex?


Let’s talk about purity. Not a popular topic in our culture. But it should be.

Because purity enhances physical intimacy in marriage. Purity saves all the sexual desire God hard-wired into men and women for the perfect context, where it can be expressed freely and safely without shame or regret. Put bluntly, purity equals the best sex possible over the course of a lifetime. However, when sexual desire begins to be aroused or expressed in impure ways, either through thoughts or actions, it diminishes the power of God’s gift and introduces underlying guilt.


It is interesting that primary voice speaking in the early chapters of Proverbs regarding sexual purity is that of a father speaking to his son (ex. Proverbs 2:1, 5:1, 6:20, 7:1). It is human nature to be conformed into the image of whatever we spend the most time beholding. This is why Hebrews 2:12 commands us to fix “our eyes on Jesus” and why 2 Corinthians 3:18 commands us to “behold” Jesus. One of the ways men can behold Christ is by observing His attributes in a father figure who is older and more mature. When a father models sexual purity, it creates an association between purity and masculinity. It connects overcoming lust with courage and discipline. It demonstrates that purity in a depraved world is heroic rather than something to be mocked.


It is also interesting that another character in Proverbs that helps men overcome lust is a woman. The early chapters of Proverbs call men to depend on Wisdom, personified as a woman, in this battle (ex. Proverbs 7:4-5). A women of purity can actually undermine the power of lust in a man’s life like nothing else can. Why? Because she exposes worldly counterfeits for what the are – cheap and inferior.


There is an attraction a man feels for a woman of purity that goes way beyond sexual gratification. Godly sexual attraction is part of it, but it goes deeper, down to the person she is in her heart. Feminine purity calls to the masculine soul in a way that makes him want to be something more, something better, something greater than he is right now. He wants to be worthy of loving and serving her, of being her covering and protector. He realizes it would be an honor to be chosen by her.


A stark contrast exists between godly beauty and worldly beauty. There is nothing more beautiful in the world than a woman who knows with confidence that she is loved adoringly both by God and by her human male covering, such as a husband or a father. She radiates. It is so different than the world’s version of beauty, which is based on seduction and vanity, is devoid of character, and fades quickly away.


Proverbs 5:15-19 says:


“Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well… Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”


God delights in passionate intimacy between two of his children who are married. The passage above attests to this, as does the entire book of Song of Solomon. Sex as God created it is pure and shameless.


The world suggests sex is not exciting unless there is at least some degree of dirtiness in it. For some married Christians it takes years to detoxify our minds from thinking about sex the way media portrays it, but the perseverance is well worth it. Christians should be known for our esteem of sexual intimacy more than any other group since we are the ones most capable of seeing it for what it truly is – a wonderful gift from our Creator.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.








36. Sexuality Part 2: Is Christianity Restrictive?


In thinking about this question, perhaps it should first be pointed out that there are now and always have been many cultures that assert sex should be connected to marriage between a man and woman. I was reminded of this years ago when I traveled for many months through predominantly Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu parts of the world. Many of the places I visited were very serious about traditional views of sex and marriage. Western humanism is a bit of an outlier, so it doesn’t really make sense to single out Christianity on this point.


Nevertheless, many westerners would of course ask: Why shouldn’t someone have sex outside of marriage? Or why should marriage be only between a man and a woman?


Just to clarify, in this video, I’m talking about personal moral beliefs, not legislation.


And these are great questions. I think they’re also complex questions that are deeply linked to one’s worldview. And they bring up countless related questions like…


What is sex? What is its significance? Is it just a physical act, a biological function? Or is it something more?


What is the body? Just a biological organism or the dwelling place of a soul or spirit?


What are the costs and benefits associated with abstinence and monogamy versus promiscuity? What are the costs and benefits for the individual? What about society as a whole?


How does each approach affect family cohesiveness, child-rearing, divorce rates, poverty rates, medical health, mental health, aggregate trust between men and women, etc.? How does it affect a person’s soul or character? How does it affect his or her relationship with God?


Is there a universal moral standard that applies to sexuality? If so, what is it? What defines right and wrong and good and evil?


For much of the world’s population, universal moral standards are based on an ancient sacred text that is believed to be inspired by God or supernatural influences. For example, there are the Vedas of Hinduism, the Dharma of Buddhism, the Koran of Islam, and the Bible of Christianity. Secular humanists, by contrast, tend to define moral values based on what they believe to result in maximum human happiness and well-being.


For Christians, the Bible speaks to the topics and marriage and sexuality with considerable clarity. For example, here are several verses that speak to marriage. I won’t read them verbatim, but to summarize, the Bible teaches that God created mankind in His image as male and female. Man and woman are unique, distinct, and they complement and complete each other. When a man and woman marry, God mysteriously and supernaturally joins them together to become one flesh. This oneness is picture of the relationship between mankind’s Savior, Jesus Christ, and His people, the church.


And here are several verses that speak to the topic of sexual immorality. Once again, I won’t read them verbatim, but to summarize, the Bible teaches that God created the human body both to be a dwelling place for His Spirit and to become one flesh with his or her spouse of the opposite sex. However, when a person has sex with someone to whom he or she is not married, they violate, defile, and dishonor their own body, as well as God’s Spirit within them if they are a Christian. This includes adultery and both heterosexual and homosexual fornication.


Another way to think about sex is that God created our hearts and bodies to congruent. The word congruent means “in agreement or harmony”. Our hearts and bodies are meant to be in agreement and in harmony with one another.


When two people have sex, it’s like their saying with their bodies, “I want to be as close and intimate with you as is humanly possible. I want to fully give myself to you and I want you to fully give yourself to me.”


When people’s hearts and bodies are saying the same, sex is wonderful. There’s the potential for pure, shameless, fulfilling sex that lasts a lifetime.


However, when their hearts and bodies are not saying the same thing, it’s not sustainable. It often leads to pain, shame, or regret because you’re telling a lie with your body. In fact, one of the verses we saw, 1 Thessalonians 4:6, says that when you have sex with someone outside of marriage, you “defraud” them.


I remember listening to a conversation between two guys in their early twenties at the fitness center where I worked out. They were talking about the different girls they had slept with. At first, their tone was boastful and happy-go-lucky, but then one of them, in a moment of vulnerability, said he felt guilty after having a one-night stand. He said he once had the thought, “Am I a bad person?” His friend immediately understood what he was talking about and agreed.


So much of the sex that happens in the world is just one or both partners using the other for their own selfish motives, either to feel pleasure or to feel desirable. Of course, this can happen in marriage too. But in the context of committed, lifelong fidelity there is at least the potential for sex to become increasingly rooted in love and relationship, as God intended, rather than selfish gratification.


Of course, a one-night stand is not the same thing as a more long-term, unmarried sexual relationship, which is common. But from a Christian’s perspective, that relationship is still incongruent, even if less so. They’re still fully giving and receiving each other’s bodies while holding back part of their hearts. If they had fully given each other their hearts, then they would be fully committed. By remaining unmarried, their hearts are leaving room to break the promise their bodies are making.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.













37. Sexuality Part 3: Do Christians Hate Homosexuals?


I have often heard influential voices in our culture claim that it is discriminating and hateful for Christians to believe that homosexuals are sinners and they’re going to hell unless they stop being homosexual.


That is a completely misleading claim. Why? Because Christians also think heterosexual lust and promiscuity are wrong. And pride. And greed. And self-righteousness. And gossip. And jealousy. And selfishness. And on and on. All of these things make all people sinners and separate us from God, which is the essence of hell. These voices are simply taking one area of sexual sin and hyper-focusing on it to make it sound like Christianity is unfairly opposed to one segment of the population.


Take me for example. I’ve struggled with and continue to struggle with many of the sins I just mentioned my whole life. So logically, according to this claim, I’m being quote “discriminating and hateful” toward myself and everyone else in the world simply because I believe in a universal moral standard that nobody perfectly keeps. It doesn’t make any sense. This is just an empty political slogan used to divide and manipulate people.


Having said that, I do think its understandable why this claim is so prominent given how the last few decades have unfolded.


In my lifetime I feel like I have observed two major transitions take place in America in the collective relationship between Christians and advocates of homosexuality.


The first transition took place in the 90s and 2000s, when advocates of homosexuality fought for tolerance.


Their argument was, “Look, we can agree to disagree. We can have contradicting beliefs and still treat one another with kindness and respect.”


This was a reasonable and respectable position. And it was very successful. The culture shifted significantly.


A large percentage of people that still believed in traditional views of sex and marriage decided that homosexuals and really all people have a right to choose what lifestyle they want without harassment or mistreatment. I would include myself in this.


The second transition took place in the 2010’s, when advocates of homosexuality fought for affirmation.


Their argument, at least on the extreme end, was, “If you believe homosexuality is immoral, then this is a hateful view. It’s hateful, bigoted, discriminating and you need to change your beliefs.”


This is an intolerant message. The former message about tolerance mostly disappeared and was replaced by a hyperpolarizing, false dilemma where people were basically told, “Either you agree with us, or you hate us. There is no middle ground.”


So perhaps we could summarize the progression like this.


First, Christians treated homosexual advocates with intolerance, back when theirs was the arguably the majority view in the culture.


After the first transition, Christians and homosexual advocates appeared to briefly treat one another with tolerance.


Of course there were and still are countless counterexamples to this; its just a general trend I felt like I observed.


After the second transition, homosexual advocates began treating Christians with intolerance, now that theirs was the arguably the majority view in the culture.


As stated, my point here is just to share an observation, not to blame either group. In fact, it seems to be just symptomatic of human nature that any group in a society that holds a majority view often treats those with a minority view with some degree of intolerance, especially when there are cherished worldview implications involved.


This may be partly due to the fact that intolerance is effective. When people fear they may be shamed or personally attacked for holding an unpopular view, many of them will abandon that view. Go along to get along.


This is currently happening with a lot of professing Christians, including Christian leaders, who are abandoning overtly biblical standards of sexual morality as they buckle under the pressure of false accusations that biblical beliefs are hateful and bigoted.


Ok, let’s address another common question. Some people feel attracted to the same sex from as early as they can remember. This leads some people to ask Christians, How can you say homosexuality is immoral if it began early and involuntarily? Perhaps it’s the result of personality or genetic factors. 


This is a good point to raise. However, just because a trait begins early or comes naturally does not mean it cannot be immoral. For example, the first time I told a lie or stole something, I was about four or five years old. Many people I’ve talked to say the same thing. So lying and theft began early and naturally for me, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be immoral.


Furthermore, personality or genetic factors can also make some people more prone to heterosexual lust, pride, anger, violence, or any number of other traits that Christianity and other belief systems would identify as immoral.


Here’s another common objection: Christianity basically tells a homosexual person they have to stop being homosexual before they can be accepted by God or go to heaven, which is impossible.


First, again this objection hyperfocuses on one area sexual sin, while completely ignoring the fact that the exact same thing could be said of any number of things the Bible calls sin. For example, look at this passage from Galatians 5, which lists 15 behaviors or attitudes that can eternally separate a person from God if not repented of, despite some overlap.


Second, I think it’s important to point out that it is pointless and offensive to tell someone they are not living according to a standard they don’t believe in and have no interest in following.


In fact, not only is it pointless and offensive, it is unbiblical. For example, Paul told the Corinthians, “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) The Christians in the Corinthian community had voluntarily chosen to submit themselves to Paul’s leadership and were willing to be held accountable to biblical standards.


However, I think a lot of the animosity toward Christians in our culture may be attributable to Christians wrongfully accusing people who never asked to be held accountable to biblical standards and often have no interest whatsoever in those standards. In that scenario, they have every right to be offended.   


Now if a homosexual person is sincerely considering adopting biblical Christianity, that’s completely different. That person deserves a clear, straight-forward answer on what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and any other topic he or she is interested in. And here’s one thing I would say: The essence of becoming a Christian is surrender – surrendering your life to the Lord and being willing to be helped to obey Him as you walk with Him. Everyone has different areas of their life that are especially difficult to surrender. For some people, it’s their sexuality. 


This leads to another common objection I’ve heard: If someone is homosexual and wants to be a Christian, it basically means he or she can never have a loving, committed, romantic relationship. That’s tragic.


This is another great point to raise. It’s true that some Christians with same-sex attraction choose to live lives of celibacy. However, there are also some Christians who were formally homosexual and went on to be happily married in a heterosexual relationship. If God exists, it’s not unreasonable to think He can guide and shape our desires as we walk with him, including our sexuality. In fact, it says in Psalm 37 that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart; Not the things we desire, but the desires themselves. 


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.






38. Do I Worship My Spouse? Part 1


One of the deepest needs of a man’s heart is to feel successful. This is as true of his marriage as other areas of his life. Men want to feel successful as husbands. But how does a man know whether he is successful?  What criteria should he use to judge himself? 


For many men, the natural inclination is to ask, “Is my wife pleased with how I’m treating her?” The more pleased she is, the more successful he feels. The more displeased she is, the more he feels like a failure.


This can be a very good question to ask since men and women are so different, and really all people are different. So paying attention to what pleases his wife helps a man learn about her unique needs. However, taking this question to an extreme causes a man to conduct himself in marriage more for the approval of his wife than for God, which is idolatry.


In 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul cautioned husbands and wives about the pull they felt at times to put their spouses’ interests ahead of God’s. He stated:


“…[a man] who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided… [Likewise, a woman] who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:33-35


There could be times in a marriage when a man is loving his wife very well, but she is unable to receive it, and may even resent it, because of issues she’s facing in her own heart. That is when a man needs to look toward heaven and sense the Lord’s affirmation of him. Then he will be able to give his wife space and freedom to work through the issues coming up in her heart without becoming resentful or angry that she is not meeting his need to feel successful as a husband. He gets this need fulfilled by Christ.


One of a woman’s deepest needs is for safe, secure, emotionally connected relationships, especially in her marriage. This can lead a woman to prioritize relational harmony over helping her husband become the man he is called to be. This too is idolatry because she is more concerned with pleasing her husband than God.


When a wife is overly concerned with whether her husband is pleased with her, she does him a disservice. She will likely shy away from saying something he needs to hear if it is going to create conflict. However, if her main goal is to please God, she will take the risk of being gently, respectfully honest with him even if it makes him angry.


Pleasing God may mean holding him accountable if he is sinning. It may mean reminding him of his responsibility to lead, protect, or provide for their family. This reminder will ring hollow if she does it out of self-interest or manipulation. However, if she does it out of a sincere desire to help him become the man God created him to be, the Lord can use her obedience to work on his heart.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.




39. Do I Worship My Spouse? Part 2


In the last video, we discussed what can happen when we are overly concerned with having our spouse’s approval. In this video, we’ll discuss what can happen when we are overly concerned with getting our spouse’s opinions, beliefs, or behavior to conform to our wishes.


This too is idolatry. Our need to control our spouse reveals that they really control us. It shows that our ability to experience peace depends on them doing or thinking what we want. It shows that we’re looking to them for fulfillment more than we’re looking to God.


Therefore, we may try to control them using pressure, guilt, nagging, manipulation, anger, or intimidation. In Christian marriages, this is often spiritualized, which put a righteous-appearing mask on abusive treatment.


For years, I pressured my wife Jenny to do what I wanted her to do or think what I wanted her to think. If she had a different doctrine, I felt threatened. If she had a different opinion, I got defensive. If she challenged my perspective, I got angry. I eventually learned the hard way that buried deep underneath my need to control Jenny was unrelenting fear. 


Fear is almost always at the root of control, pressure, guilt, nagging, manipulation, anger, or intimidation. We fear of losing control of our future. We fear missing out. We fear being taken advantage of or taken for granted. We fear being hurt or rejected. We fear looking weak or foolish. We fear our ugliest character flaws being exposed.


If we can learn to identify the specific fear we feel, take ownership of it, and then share it with our spouse in a vulnerable, non-critical way, this one habit can be the difference between divorce and decades of intimacy. Look at how the Bible connects:


• Honestly sharing your hurt or anger

• Vulnerability (tenderheartedness) and forgiveness


For example, Ephesians 4 says:


“…laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor… Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger… Let all bitterness and wrath… be put away from you… Be… tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”


Likewise, Colossians 3 says:


“…put them all aside: anger, wrath… abusive speech… Yet do not lie to one another…” Colossians 3:8-9


However, this kind of vulnerability can feel very uncomfortable and risky. So instead, we often resort to anger because anger feels powerful and safe. In the short term, pressure, guilt, nagging, manipulation, anger, or intimidation may be effective in getting our spouse to do or think what we want. But it will inevitably cause resentment to build up and destroy intimacy. Therefore, one of the greatest challenges of marriage is choosing to be vulnerable instead of angry or critical.


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.





40. Is My Marriage a Battleground?


The Bible uses the title “Lord of hosts,” which means “Lord of armies,” to describe God hundreds of times in scripture, more than any other title. Similarly, Psalms and Proverbs (Psalm 18:2,30,35, 31:3, 33:20, 28:7, Proverbs 2:7, 18:10, 30:5) frequently describe Him using military language. For example, He is called a shield, a fortress, a bulwark, a strong tower, our defense, the One who encamps around us, and the One who defeats our enemies. Obviously, warfare is an important aspect of God’s nature.


Since we bear God’s image, warfare is also an important aspect of our identities. A warrior-like approach to the enemy is integral to life as a Christian. It is impossible to significantly advance God’s kingdom without simultaneously displacing Satan’s kingdom, which he always resists. This is why Jesus gave the disciples authority over the enemy in Luke 10 and why Paul taught the Ephesians to use the armor of God in Ephesians 6. Pursuing a life of active prayer, faith, and obedience is nothing if not warrior-like. 


After our relationship with the Lord, a believer’s marriage is the enemy’s primary target. This is because our marriage is meant to be our greatest source of grace and blessing. Satan knows that destroying our marriage will minimize the fruitfulness of our lives.


Evil spirits are careful, deliberate planners, which is why Paul exhorted the Corinthians not be ignorant of their schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). David portrayed them as strategically laying down traps and snares (Psalms 124:7, 142:3). Jesus told the disciples to be “shrewd as serpents” (Matthew 10:16), which means to understand how the enemy thinks and strategizes.


I believe evil spirits can sometimes learn our weaknesses, wounds, and vulnerabilities. They may know what thoughts to suggest to our hearts at the right time to incite fear or pain or lust or anger or bitterness or depression or shame or self-pity or pride or envy or criticism of others or questioning the goodness of God’s character or the reliability of His word.


I also believe there are different types of spiritual attacks. They can feel heavy and oppressive, or they can feel exhilarating and enlightening, or they can feel like nothing at all, but only affect our intellectual thought patterns. They can be overt and obvious or they can be subtle and difficult to discern.


There are many examples of spiritual attacks in scripture. Mark 1:13 says Jesus was led into the wilderness to be “tempted by Satan” for 40 days. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 says “messenger of Satan” tormented Paul for a time and God did not take it away when Paul asked for relief. Ephesians 6:16 says believers can expect to be attacked with “flaming arrows of the evil one”. 2 Corinthians 11:3 warns that Satan will try to lead believers’ minds away from devotion to Christ. 1 Corinthians 7:5 warns believers that Satan will try to lead them into marital infidelity. In 1 Chronicles 21:1-8 Satan moved King David’s heart to sin greatly. Acts 5:3 says Satan filled Ananias’ heart to lie about his generosity. God allowed Satan to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3). God permitted Satan to afflict Job (Job 1-2).


Spiritual attacks can be dealt with in different ways. In some cases, a direct rebuke using the name and authority of Jesus in prayer will cause the enemy to flee. Paul did this in Acts 16 as did Jesus on several occasions (Mark 1:25, 9:25, Luke 4:35, 9:42). In those instances, evil spirits were manifesting overtly, but the same principle can apply when their presence is more subtle.  


In other cases, an attack is being allowed by God to refine us. It doesn’t help to rebuke the enemy in those cases because God is allowing him to remain. We can ask God to remove him, which He may or may not do, but one thing we should definitely ask for is grace to persevere for as long as the attack persists.


When God allows the enemy to test us as part of our maturing process, it is similar to how a good parent shelters a child from evil influences while she is young, but gradually allows a measure of exposure as she matures. Then, when she becomes an adult, she will not be godly only because she was never exposed to any other alternative, but because she is aware of the nature of sin and has grown to hate sin and love righteousness.


In other cases, the enemy has a right to continue attacking us because we are living in agreement with him. Somewhere in our lives there is an open door that we may or may not be consciously aware of. If we are unsure where the door is, we can ask the Lord and He will reveal it to us. Then we can close it through repentance. Sometimes we are completely blind to an area where the enemy is manipulating us, but God has given our spouse discernment. If we are willing, our spouse may be the instrument God uses to deliver us.


When Peter declared that he would never fall away even if all the other disciples did (Matthew 26:33), there was pride and self-reliance in his heart, which Satan had a right exploit. This is why Satan “demanded permission” to sift him like wheat (Luke 22:31), which resulted in Peter soon denying that he even knew Jesus. However, Jesus knew that Peter would eventually repent and close the door through which the enemy entered his life, which is why Jesus preemptively said to him, “…I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)


Likewise, the apostle James confronted a group of believers concerning their lust, envy, selfish motives, and adultery with the world. However, he also assured them that if they turned back to God and repented, Satan would lose his grip on their lives and be forced to “flee” from them (James 4:1-10).


In other cases, we may be threatening the enemy’s territory so he defends and counterattacks. For example, if we minister to someone or help lead them out of bondage, will may experience opposition. When Paul repeatedly tried to minister in person to the church in Thessalonica, he was unable because “Satan hindered” him (1 Thessalonians 2:18).  


One way of combatting lies from the enemy is to proclaim and act in the knowledge that the opposite of what he says is true. For example, when Satan tried to incite Job to curse God, instead Job fell to the ground and worshiped God (Job 1). If the enemy suggests God has abandoned us, we should immediately begin thanking Him for His faithfulness. If the enemy suggests thoughts of criticism or envy toward someone we know, we should immediately thank God for them and pray for God to bless them.


Sometimes the situations in our lives can be complicated and it is unclear how or whether the enemy is involved and how to respond. However, God can reveal these things to us if we seek Him. The Bible promises in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Likewise, 2 Corinthians 2:14 promises that if we allow God to lead us, He “…always leads us in triumph in Christ.”


If you’d like to learn more, you can check out my free book available at the link provided. Thanks for watching.