Marriage, Bible Studies

Listening More and Talking Less

Proverbs 18:2
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing personal opinion.


Proverbs talks a lot about, well, talking! I think that we often confirm who we are (whether we want to be that person or not) when we talk. Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." And yet, we still talk. We talk in person. We talk (and text) on cell phones. We talk on the Internet. We talk, talk, talk. And a great deal of the time, we are "expressing personal opinion."

Do We Truly Love or are We Only Loving Ourselves?

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 RSV
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

If we, the Church, were more obedient to God's Word, churches would probably be much smaller. Paul's admonition here is for Christians not to associate with those bear "the name of brother" if:

  • They are immoral
  • They are greedy
  • They are an idolater
  • They are a reviler
  • They are a drunkard
  • They are a robber

What is Wisdom and How do We Acquire it?Premium Content

We know there are a lot of broken, miserable, angry, sad, frustrated, married couples who are not living their marriage in the "ways of the Lord". Every day they trudge in their daily routine barely able to take another day. When we are going through such issues in our marriage, such as being married to an abusive alcoholic, or married to a unfaithful man or woman we only see as clear as our feelings will let us see. This is not enough to repair damage done to the marriage.

We have to go beyond our feelings and emotions and try to understand what is happening in our marriage so we can do something about it in the spiritual way and not through how we are feeling about it. It's difficult to do but it is what NEEDS to be done. If we continue in our own perspective by "how we are feeling" we truly do not grow spiritually and we stay within our own private little world of emotions.

This is where wisdom comes into the picture. As scripture says, we have to throw off everything that hinders us or lay aside every weight that is keeping us from seeing clearly so we can win the race; this includes how we are feeling, which may be ill will and resentment towards our spiritually sick spouse and other loved ones. Feelings are ok to have, we need to experience our feelings, but we also need to recognize when our feelings become stumbling blocks in our growth with God.

    …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

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When You Want Revenge

1 Corinthians 13:6 RSV
[Love] does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Ever want revenge against someone else? I think that one of the innate human emotions is the desire for one's persecutor to suffer as much as they have caused suffering (or more). I think that many of us, at one time or another, fantasied about that horrible person being humiliated or hurt like they humiliated or hurt us.

It's simple human nature.

But Paul tells us that we, as Christians, deny ourselves, deny our nature and choose love. We refuse to rejoice at wrong, even the suffering of our enemy, are rejoice in right. That we have a higher calling: to trust God in everything.

Zealous or Jealous?

1 Corinthians 13:4b
"...love is not jealous or boastful... "

We've already studied two aspects of love. Love suffers through pain and trials without complaining (patience). And love makes itself useful to others (kindness). These are positive attributes.

What's interesting is that Paul places them in juxtaposition with two negative attributes, things that love isn't.

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn't jealous. Love isn't boastful.

  • Love isn't jealous.
    • The Greek word translated here "jealous" is "zeloo" and it has two connotations, one negative and the other positive. In other words, it's an attribute that, in one situation, is good and in another bad.

Setting Aside Our Will

1 Corinthians 13:5a RSV
[Love] is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way...

  • Love is not arrogant or rude.
    • The KJV translates this phrase: "Charity (love) doth not behave itself unseemly." This certainly isn't a phrase that we use much anymore. In fact, to be honest, we're not very concerned at all about behaving in a courteous or seemly manner in our society. To behave "seemly" is to conform one's behavior to standards of conduct and good taste. As our moms used to say, it means simply to behave properly and according to good manners.

      So the scripture here is actually more than just not being arrogant or rude, though I truly believe that rudeness is motivated by arrogance, the idea that it's "my way or the highway." When we are arrogant, we do what we want and say what we want without regard to the effects that it might have on other people. In other words, we simply don't care about anyone else (at that moment), only about ourselves, our rights, our opinions, our own actions.

Adultery Bible Study (Part 2)Premium Content

See: Part 1

Sexual immorality is a temptation we all must face on a daily basis. God doesn't forbid sexual sins just to be difficult. God knows its power to destroy people's lives physically and spiritually. God wants to protect us from damaging ourselves with immoral desires. Sex outside of the marriage relationship always hurts someone. It hurts God because it shows that we care more about our own lustful and selfish desires than Him.

The key to faithfulness is putting Christ's principles to work in our life and trusting in the Holy Spirit within us with our temptations. When we have temptations and ungodly thoughts we need to put our trust and faith in Jesus Christ. We have to communicate our burdens to God through prayer. Only when we put our trust in Him will He help us.

Basing Our Lives on Own Understanding and Wisdom

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God IS our Spiritual Counsel and Protector (Part 1)Premium Content

If our marriage is in trouble the first place we should go is to the Words of Our Loving Father. We should seek Him with our heart and with our minds and with our soul. We should do NOTHING else, nor say NOTHING else without first asking our Father what it is we should do.

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my father will love him, and will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me and not keepeth my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father which sent me. John 14: 23-24

Starting today, I will go to my Creator for the spiritual guidance and counsel that my marriage really needs! What did Jesus Christ say about marriage again? Let's take a look at some very important principles for loving one another "in the LORD".

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The Husband's DutyPremium Content

Husbands, love your wives — even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. Ephesians 5:25


This language is especially addressed to Christians; the Holy Spirit speaks on the wife's behalf. The husband and his wife are one. The union is most intimate and important, and it is for life. It should therefore be formed with much prayer, prudence, and reflection. And being formed, each party should strive to make it a means of blessing to the other, by closely attending to the precepts of Holy Scripture. No godly man should, under any pretense, marry an unsaved woman; for it is impossible to obey the precepts of the gospel, under such circumstances.

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Learning Not To Take OffensePremium Content

According to John Bevere in his book,The Bait of Satan, the bait of taking offense is the number one trap that the enemy – Satan – sets for Christians. And the closer the relationship between the people involved in the offense taken, the deeper the wound and the deeper the offense, as seen in the depth of David's suffering when he expresses his suffering after being betrayed by one near and dear to him in Psalm 55:

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