MEN’S MINISTRY VISION
Our vision for men is to lead men to Christ, and disciple them toward maturity in Christ, so that they develop spiritually and become leaders in their sphere of influence.
We reach unchurched men through Christian men using what is relevant to the men around them to expand the Kingdom of God.
We encourage all the men of the Sharon Assembly of God Worship Centre to join the Men’s Ministry to use the God given potential. Click here to contact:
Articles for Men
Open Letter to Men:
The increasing tears of wives as the result of husbands who have decided that the value of marriage fidelity is no longer relevant is commonplace. In a culture that has abandoned most of its stigmas about sex outside of marriage, many men and women are now just winking at behavior they once knew without a doubt to be wrong!
My wife and I celebrated 24th wedding anniversary recently and by the grace of God we have remained faithful throughout our marriage and both of us, as well as both sets of our parents (married for 60+ years) will tell you the result of this faithfulness is total trust, freedom, stability, and security in the marriage. We are best friends and lovers! It’s GRRREAT and it is our prayer that more married couples will begin to understand the incredible benefits of total faithfulness in marriage.
The sobering reality is that we both know many couples who have experienced infidelity in their marriages and how negatively it has impacted not only them as a couple, but also their children. Sure some have been able to keep the truth of what they have done from their children …but as we know with all sin, there are consequences. Another sobering fact is that marriage infidelity like all sin has no redeeming qualities what so ever.
So why is it so common in our culture today?
Here’s a quick synopsis: We live in a powerful, invasive culture that influences our consciousness every moment of every day. Sexual images and talk is everywhere... movies, TV, magazines, music, the Internet, advertising and smart phones deliver the message loud and clear. Our culture erases the sexual boundaries in part through devaluing virginity while elevating sexual equality; it devalues fidelity while elevating personal fulfillment and it devalues moral absolutes while elevating situational ethics.
The roles of men and women are more confusing than ever as a result of the increasingly rapid shift in male-female roles. Resulting in sad, clueless, weak men who are lacking self control and totally confused as to what a man is.
Regardless of whether you are single or married, as long as we allow the world we live in to dictate our behavior we don’t have a rat’s chance in a cage with cats to live unscathed, much less the life God has promised us when we follow Him and keep his commandments:
“Fear God and keep His commandments, for God will bring every deed into judgment including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes12:13-14).
IT IS SOMETIMES HARD FOR ME TO BELIEVE THAT MANDY AND I HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR OVER 14 YEARS.
That seems like a long time but it has gone by so fast. And even faster still is the fact that we have had children in this marriage for the past 10 years. Not a day goes by that I am not blessed to grow with my wife as we work together as both a spouse and a parent. But in the ministry I see couples hurting. When I counsel them I see the pain brought forth by words, action, and a lack of God at the center of their marriage. In today's "flesh-testing" society the harsh reality is that marriage is a struggle and we feel pulled in so many different directions. And finding time to be there for your spouse and with your children, between work and priorities, is difficult. This alone can cause guilt, which I promise you is being felt by your spouse and can lead to conflict.
Knowing that this email goes out to both men and women I wanted to focus on our marriage and what we can be doing to make it stronger.
THE NEGATIVE SIDE
The Negative Side
Divorce happens (statistically) at two major points
in a marriage:
1. Between 4 and 5 years into the marriage:
I feel this happens because the honeymoon is over and the reality that marriage is work has finally kicked in.
2. After 25 years of marriage:
Relate this to the reality that "we" actually have to start talking with each other and not the kids, who have moved out. This becomes a "thanks for the ride" sort of mentality.
But to turn a marriage around to the Positive Side I have always been a firm believer that marriage needs two things: Communication and Laughter
. Here are some important things to take into consideration when trying to grow your marriage into what God had planned.
THE POSITIVE SIDE
The Positive Side
There are several things both men and women can do to strengthen their marriage and avoid being a statistic. The trick in my counseling is that any information needs to be put into action. This email may look fancy, but if you delete it and never use it, where is the benefit to your marriage. Try taking one idea and practicing it.
1. Be faithful:
Put your spouse at the top of every relational list you have. Love him or her unconditionally and love with every ounce of creativity you can muster. This may sound like a no-brainer, but the practice of faithfulness requires vigilance every day. Faithfulness is far more than a physical condition. If you're still unclear, ask yourself the following questions as to who is #1 in my life?
Who do I spend the most time with?
Who is my primary emotional confidant?
Who do I text most often?
Who do I call?
Who gets my emails?
Who lights up my fantasy life?
2. Surround yourselves with strong relationships:
When the couples around you separate or get divorced, then ending your marriage begins to look par for the course. Peer pressure doesn't let up just because we left high school. So make peer pressure your ally - and be deliberate about forging friendships with strong couples and people who live their commitment out loud. Put yourself in an encouraging place. Look around, ask yourself where marriage is valued and positive relationships are encouraged. If it's your local church, then get involved as a family and do what it takes to get the encouragement that we all need.
3. Seek help:
If you can take your car in for a 30,000 mile check up, then why not your marriage? Counseling can be preventative; it's not just for emergencies. Alternatively, join some kind of a support group where there is instruction, encouragement and accountability. We weren't created to live alone, and we don't have to solve our problems in a vacuum. God calls us to be relational.
4. Take care of your finances:
Money problems are the #1 cause for marital discord. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page financially, and then work hard to keep your heads above water.
5. Tell your spouse everything - be an open book:
This is a daily practice my wife and I have established and it works. What's most important here is to be on the same page. Simply put, don't engage in activity that sets the relationship up for additional stress. Be sensitive to your spouse and be respectful of the boundaries you agree on. If you meet attractive people at work, make sure your spouse is the first to know. If an old fling initiates a contact via email, share the conversation with your spouse. If you can't talk about it in the open, then you don't need to be doing it in the first place. Secrets are dangerous, period! Best friends talk about everything, and stuff that's out in the fresh air of communication won't have a dark place where it can grow mold (Great analogy!)
6. Spend time together - relax and play:
You got married because you wanted to be together - so be together already! Absence does NOT make the heart grow fonder; absence hurts. Hang out, play board games, go to dinner (Date Nights!!!), garden, travel - you may fall in love all over again.
7. Date on a regular basis:
(Date Nights!!! - Do you see a big hint here?) Don't be boring; get creative. Remind one another how cool it is to be together. Taking one another for granted is like death by slow poisoning. Really, you can do better.
8. Dream together:
Try sharing your hopes and dreams with your spouse. Then listen. Dreaming together puts a positive future right in the middle of your struggling present. Suggestion: On a date night each year set aside time for the two of you to set goals for the year. Include both individual goals and family goals. That will also help you two to be on the same page with your dreams.
9. Make out:
Did I really just say that? Well, yes! If your spouse doesn't know that you still find him or her attractive, then do something about it ASAP. One of the primary reasons that men (and women) stray from their wedding vows is boredom. Remember that sex was gift from God, to be shared in marriage. This is not old-school church taboo. Enjoy it with one another. If it's difficult then seek counseling to help rekindle the fire.
10. Be intentional about your relationship:
It's just an omission here, a slight there, a moment of indiscretion one day, a secret another. Nobody sets out to destroy a marriage - it just happens. Well who said it had to? Who decided that the primary relationship that anchors the family, the foundational building block of society, was less important than anything else in your life? Make a decision! Step up! Be intentional about making your marriage amazing.
I hope you find this article helpful and beneficial to your marriage.
FORGIVENESS IN MARRIAGE
- FOR IS A GIFT, NOT A GIVEN.
- When we choose to forgive our spouse, we are giving up our “right” to hold something against them. Here are some great ways to help us in the process of asking for forgiveness from our spouse as well as helping us develop the ability to grant forgiveness to her when she needs it.
Asking for Forgiveness
1. Make an unconditional apology [Eph. 4:26, 27]
- An unconditional apology focuses on our responsibility in this matter – not our spouse’s. It should sound something like this, “I was wrong for what I did and I am so sorry.” Period! We don’t make excuses for our behavior or point the finger at our mate. An unconditional apology should not sound like this, “I am sorry, BUT IF YOU wouldn’t have…” That is NOT an unconditional apology.
2. Humbly ask for the gift of forgiveness [Psalm 34:18-19; James 4:6-10]
- Again, since forgiveness is not a given, we must ask for it. After our apology we need to sincerely ask our mate to forgive us.
3. Follow up with action [James 1:22]
- This is what gives substance to apologizing and asking for forgiveness. We need to sincerely repent – or turn away – from our wrongs. Whether it’s by attitudes or actions, we need to show our spouse that we are changing. And, we need to be open to their input as to what constitutes satisfactory change. Remember, they are the one who has been hurt so they might require more from us than we think necessary. But, we should be aware of their needs and be open to their suggestions.
4. Give your spouse time [Galatians 5:22, 23]
- Even if our spouse does accept our apology and grant forgiveness, we can’t expect things to be better right away. Now sure, you might get over the small things more quickly – but for bigger things, it can take our spouse time to warm up to us again. Be patient with them. Time will show that you are changing and are sincere about not hurting them again.
1. Forgiveness is a choice not a feeling [1 Peter 3:11]
- We may not feel like forgiving our mate. We may want to harbor the anger and hurt and make them pay for what they have done. But, once you decide you want to grant forgiveness, you can begin to work through those feelings.
2. Share your hurt [Ephesians 4:25]
- After your spouse has apologized and asked for forgiveness you need to talk about the matter before you move on. It might be uncomfortable, but you need to share how you feel about what has happened. Don’t point a finger at them; just share how you feel, so they understand the depth of your hurt. Make sure you feel heard, before you move on.
3. Plan for change [Jeremiah 29:11]
- Decide together what your spouse’s change of heart should look like. Be clear about what you expect and what you need. The goal here is not to punish with requirements, but to set up guidelines that you both agree to. That way, there will be fewer gray areas that can lead to disappointment.
4. Stop the video [Hebrews 8:12]
- Do not replay your spouse’s infraction over and over again in your mind. When your mind starts to wander and you begin to dwell on the incident and the hurt they caused you, tell yourself to stop. It’s one thing to need to talk to someone like a pastor or a counselor about your pain so you can move past it, but it’s another when you keep inflicting the pain on yourself by dwelling on the hurt. Deciding to truly forgive your spouse is re-committing to your relationship. Don’t sabotage that recommitment by focusing on the negative.
5. Give yourself time [Galatians 4:4]
- Just deciding to forgive will not strip away all of the pain of the incident. You need to give yourself time.
No one can make you forgive. It is your choice. But, if you decide not to forgive you will suffer the consequences of bitterness and frustration that harboring resentment brings (Matthew 18:21-35). On the other hand, when you grant forgiveness you are taking the first step in ridding your heart of the pain you now feel. You are saying, “Yes, you hurt me and what you did was wrong. But, I am giving up my right to punish you. In so doing, I am rising above the pain you have caused me.” (Luke 6:38)