Daily Articles

Obligations of making Each Other Happy. What about Sex?

Ask Angie: Hi Angie. Does a wife or husband have the obligation of making each other happy? My husband has had 3 failed marriages.

Ask Angie: How sure can you be to enjoy a second marriage when the first one didn't work out? I would also like to know how to enjoy sex anytime he needs it.

Please print out this marriage column and discuss it with your spouse.

Marriage Guidance: What does obligation mean exactly? It means a responsibility or duty to something or someone. In marriage that would mean encouraging, supporting, and caring for one another through those responsibilities. No one can actually make another person happy, no matter what they do, since happiness comes from within the spirit of self. Read the articles at the end of this marriage column with your spouses.

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and likewise the wife to her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:3

What does the above verse mean? God designed a man and a woman to compliment one another through the roles and positions they have been given in marriage. The husband has a responsibility to his wife to care for and love her in much the same way that Christ cares for and loves His church—the people. The wife has a responsibility to be supportive, submissive and a helpmate to her husband.

Married Life Responsibilities/Obligations

A woman/wife has needs and wants. A husband should take care of his wife’s needs and wants the best he can. Emotionally she needs and wants to feel respected and appreciated by her man. Physically most women need to be protected by their husband’s. Financially she should have all of her basic needs met—shelter, clothes, food. Even if a wife contributes to the finances she is still obligated to be dependent on her husband. She is not independent of her husband just because she has a job or makes more money. This mixed up attitude is what causes problems in marriage. In my opinion marriage works better when a woman is home tending to the things of home and family.

Each of Us is that 100th Sheep

"My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace." Jeremiah 50:6

Most of us are familiar with the parable of the lost sheep and the passage about the good shepherd.

Flock of sheep. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
Luke 15:3-7

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." John 10:11

And most of us have seen the matching artwork, the depiction of a loving, attentive Jesus holding a lamb in His arms.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart... Isaiah 40:11

Yet, there seems to be a disconnection. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jesus loves us; He's our good shepherd. But do we REALLY personalize it? And what exactly would that mean to us?

Life Doesn't Have a "Re-do" Button

All our steps are ordered by the Lord;
how then can we understand our own ways?
Proverbs 20:24 NRSV

Over Christmas break, the son of one of my fellow teachers was killed in an auto accident. Both of his parents work for our school district and are loving, wonderful people. Their younger daughter was in one of the plays I helped with. It was a devastating loss for our small community.

When it happened, I tried to get my head around it. Oh, not the fact that such a young person had died and the reason for it, but rather simply that it had happened at all. I began to think about games, in particular computer games, and the ability to "redo" a game when the outcome wasn't what I wanted (in effect, when I lost). I began to wonder if his parents wished that they could "redo" those few hours before he died, keeping him at their home rather than allowing him to drive several hours to his house and subsequently dying.

I think that all of us, at one time or another and for one reason or another, wished that life had a "redo" button, wished that we could relive a certain situation in order to change the outcome. When Proverbs speaks of the Lord ordering our ways, some in the Christian community would see this as confirmation that God has predetermined everything that happens to us and that we don't have free will. I personally don't agree with that view. But what I see this as is the Old Testament version of Romans 8:28:

And we know that God causes everything to work together" for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (NLT)

Matthew Henry writes:

Obsessed with Unattainable Thinness?

The legendary sex symbol and movie star, Sophia Loren is now 80 years old. Wow- think about that. I know it made me think about the parameters of beauty.

And it made me think of a more current pop culture Sophia, Sophia Vergara (from the sitcom Modern Family). The actress once did a wonderful television commercial for her Kmart clothing line.

The thing which caught my attention was her emphasis on "real woman" figures when it comes to clothing. In the commercial, she breaks into her design studio, breezes by designers hovering over their thin body sketches. She then takes a red pen and draws two sets of curvy bubbles over the bust and derrière areas of the drawings, stating, "you can't draw a woman with straight lines."

Bravo and Amen, Ms. Vergara!

Since then, I've been having a little "Sophia on the brain." Both Loren and Vergara have been known as smoldering, exotic beauties with va-va-voom bodies to match. And it's great to see someone be celebrated who is closer to a "real woman size/shape."

Finding Forgiveness in Confession

Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
beatings make clean the innermost parts.
Proverbs 20:30 NRSV

We see sin in ourselves most often when we are in pain. In fact, it often takes the hard circumstances in life for us to even stop and listen to God. And He uses those hard circumstances to keep us from running off the precipice of the cliff of sin.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." 2 Samuel 11:2-3 NRSV

Most of us are familiar with the adulterous affair of David and Bathsheba, the wife of one of his commanders. The Israelites built homes with flat roofs and used their roofs for rest and relaxation when it was warm. Whether or not Bathsheba chose to bath on the roof hoping to catch the eye of the king, at that moment David was presented with a choice. He didn't have to ask who she was; he could have averted his eyes. He didn't.

The result of their extended affair was that Bathsheba got pregnant. In a fit of panic, David ordered her husband, Uriah, to the front where he was logically killed. David then took Bathsheba into his home (and his bed) and his wife, thinking that his sin had been unseen. I'm sure that he believed that he was doing the "right" thing by marrying Bathsheba, that this marriage was a sign of penance toward God. But God wasn't fooled. Manipulation is never part of repentance. Yes, we are to make restitution, but first comes confession. And David hadn't confessed.

Surviving an Abusive Childhood

Whether it's been through abuse or disorder, I learned to fear.

Child development experts state that newborns have only two fears: loud noises and falling. Babies' brains and nerves grow rapidly in the first two years of life, but they are born with very immature nervous systems. This means that they cannot interpret or handle certain sensory input -- like loud noises or the feeling of falling.

So, that means, all other fears are learned.

That's certainly been my experience. Growing up with an abusive dad, there was always this "or else" undercurrent of dread. My life experiences with conditional love further sealed the deal to the performance-based nature to both love and life:

"I desperately wanted my dad to notice me. I learned very quickly that one surefire way to do that was by winning awards. When I won something, I wasn't completely worthless or useless. I was productive; I was 'earning my keep.' I set impossible standards for myself. Try as I might with award after award, I'd eventually disappoint everyone, including myself, proving that I wasn't worth anything after all.

My perfect attendance record in school is an excellent example. For three years in a row, I did not missed one day of school, knowing that I would win a perfect attendance certificate, tangible proof on paper that I was worthwhile. It became a standard I had to maintain because my dad seemed pleased in my performance. Of course, he never said that he was proud of me, but he did lay off the criticisms briefly. So for the next few years, I went to school with colds, sore throats and influenza. I remember going to school once with a temperature of over 101, sitting at my desk, on the verge of throwing up, yet only thinking of that certificate.

Haughtiness is a Superlative Pride

Haughty eyes and a proud heart—the lamp of the wicked—are sin. Proverbs 21:4

I'm dealing with haughtiness right now . . . my own. Haughtiness is a superlative pride, a feeling of being or doing better than others. It's antonym is humility. And I personally think that seeking the praises of those around you is a part of that.

Scripture is very clear. This is sin. And what's interesting is that this verse doesn't talk about sin that we do, but rather sin that we are . . . how we feel and think and make choices. It can be easy, within our church culture, to act like a Christian. In fact, I've had some Christians tell me that they never sin. And if we were speaking only of the sins that we can do, they may be right. Likely they don't kill or steal or commit adultery. But the Lord looks past our actions into our hearts:

The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart 1 Samuel 16:7b NRSV

Two people, standing side by side, could look very much the same from the outside and yet one could be truly humble and one could be truly prideful.

Tozer, in his book, That Incredible Christian, lists the attributes of a spiritual person:

My Husband is Too Controlling. What Can I Do?

Ask Angie: My husband is too controlling, every time I think things are going to work out, they go back to the way it was before, he bit my face a couple weeks ago, I didn't do anything, he starts feeling a certain way and thinks I'm lying to him. I've been with him for 16 years, and it hasn't gotten better, he's made some changes, not as violent, but the constant grief I get, I can't take it anymore... my heart is breaking.

One of our kids is acting out, the 2 older ones don't want to be at our house, he's great with our baby. I don't know what to do. My family is about to wipe their hands of me because I keep going back... I don't know what to do, I want to be a good wife and mother, he says I'm letting my kids tell me what to do, but I do see their pain, my older two, especially my middle one who is a great boy. Thank you for listening.

Marriage Guidance: Please print out this marriage column and preview and discuss it with your husband.

Why do people try and control others? What does controlling someone mean? People who control others with words, threats, fist, lies, and manipulative behavior usually have underlying insecurities within themselves. Perhaps they are afraid of losing something or someone. They have to get to the bottom of these insecurities to understand how to accept the things they cannot change and the courage to only change the things they can – themselves.

Your husband’s behavior is definitely not right. Using any kind of verbal or physical force to get your way is controlling behavior. Your husband may need to get some spiritual counseling if he behaves violent towards you. Please have him contact us for some biblical guidance in this area.

Don’t misunderstand the usage of the word "control." Only when a husband or wife controls in a negative way is it actually controlling or trying to change that person. If couples have to scream at one another, demand things from one another, hit one another and manipulate one another then it is using controlling behavior. But if a husband or a wife is acting out as part of their God-given position then it is not control. Christ is a husband’s director and a Godly husband directs his wife and family under the direction of Christ.

My Husband Cheated On Me. I am Having Major Trust Issues.

Ask Angie: My husband cheated on me and says he's sorry. It went on for 4 1/2 months in front of me, whether it was text messaging while I was cooking dinner or helping with homework, or just while I was in the shower and all during work. Then he made a trip to Dallas and had her meet him there. I found out about them when I saw a text message on his phone that she sent him a song and loved him and he said he loved her… when confronted, he denied it and then when I had facts I could place together, said he didn’t know why he did it and it was nothing. I asked if it was nothing, then why was he in love with her? It goes on… he says it’s over and hasn’t had any contact with her, but I know he has another email address and refuses to give me any passwords to check out his story. I am obviously having major issues forgiving him and trusting him again. I don't know what to do. We've talked, we've expressed, we've been intimate; however, he never lost his intimacy during the 4 ½ months, so I feel as if he is just doing this and will make it seem as if we are doing fine, then go back to the way it was. Help.

Marriage Guidance: I can certainly understand the suspicions you have towards your husband. But suspicions will not repair and restore your marriage. Please print out this marriage column and read it together with your husband. Then you can both come together in Christ and begin working on the broken links of your marriage. It takes both wife and husband to put in effort towards restoration. I would like to encourage you to take care of YOU! Your husband NEEDS to take responsibility for his actions and change if he wants to really SAVE this marriage.

For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes NOT from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16

Since we know that lustful thinking and behavior is a worldly thing, it means then, to be able to save your marriage, you both need to come to Christ in repentance and ask for forgiveness of your sins…and live your marriage under the influence of Jesus Christ. If you want to be forgiven for your trespasses (adultery) you must be willing to forgive others their trespasses and repent of any wrong doing you have done against the marriage. If you are not willing to do that then I can’t support or encourage you any longer. You have come to the wrong ministry for help.

Glamourizing Triggers

"Pain is beauty."

As a female, I certainly heard that phrase and took it to heart. I believed the lie that it was a female's obligation to endure pain and suffering for beauty. Hence, my dark battle with eating disorders developed.

Recently, I caught a fashion ad which disturbed me.

Fashion photographer Danil Golovkin did a layout in which she featured model, Anastasiya Kolbasko. This, in my opinion, was a glamourized depiction of eating disorder behavior.

Rather than wearing the jewelry designs, the blonde model "eats" the adornments of gold styled by Liliya Simonyan.

But, the photos go further. There is posing of the model and the jewelry to suggest actual purging; in some photos, Anastasiya appears to be vomiting the jewelry. And, in every photo of the series, of course, the model has dead eyes and looks, quite frankly, cadaverous.

Triggering. That's an oft-used word for those of us recovering from disordered eating and harmful, negative body image issues.

Looking at this "artistic" layout, I couldn't help but think "ding, ding, ding!" Triggered ALL OVER the place!!!

And it angers me, because it represents rampant thoughtlessness and reiterates how harmful images are embraced and promoted.

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