Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

May 19th, 2015

Unhindered Prayer

“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19 (ESV)

Sin is an offense to God. Sin is absent in heaven and yet fully present on earth. Sin saturates the landscape of life on this broken planet. The curse of sin can only be reversed through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, sin is removed and the righteousness of Christ is imputed. The new Christian is placed positionally right with God.

Without purity, there is no power in prayer. As a child of God, it is imperative to stay close and clean by confessing sin instantly and receiving God’s forgiveness intentionally. You have to combat the impact of memory. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3 ESV). David had to navigate the reality of his memory. Even after confessing his sin of adultery and murder, he had to acknowledge that his sin was ever before him via memory.

What hinders prayer? The most vicious impediment to prayer is sin. Sin violates the covenant relationship you have with God. Sin grieves the heart of God and quenches the Spirit of God living in you. Husband, when you do not live with your wife in an understanding way, your prayers are hindered.

  • “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

The purity of your relationship with God and the purity of your relationships with others has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your prayer life.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Marriage, Prayer, Psalms.
Interact No Comments
January 12th, 2014

Make Room for Marriage

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (ESV)

Being selfish requires no effort. Selfishness comes naturally to us. If we aren’t careful, we will operate our lives on the assumption that life revolves around us. Being self-centered and self-absorbed is the antithesis of marriage. In the marriage relationship, the husband and wife must release selfishness and embrace selflessness.

The husband is to love his wife as he loves himself. The wife is to respect her husband. In his book, Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs identifies what he calls the Crazy Cycle: “When a husband feels disrespected, he has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. When a wife feels unloved, she has a natural tendency to react in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband.”

Our culture is not marriage-friendly. The pace of life and the demands on our time can strain a marriage relationship. As a partner, you have to make room for marriage. You have to conscientiously and intentionally make room for the one you love. In order to have a healthy, vibrant, and growing marriage, you have to create space for the relationship. It takes time to nurture a meaningful relationship with your spouse.

Busyness is the prominent enemy to intimacy. We divert our energy to parenting, to our career, to recreation, and to other things to the neglect of our marriage relationship. It is so easy to neglect the sacred union God calls us to with our spouse. We can give our best to others and give our spouse the crumbs. That’s a recipe for an unhealthy marriage. Remember, you will make room for what you value!

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, January 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Marriage, Priorities.
Interact No Comments
September 17th, 2013

Honor God and Finish Together

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Be the most amazing and fulfilling source of romance for your spouse. Stay spiritually fit and physically fit. Learn your spouse’s primary love language by reading Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. Make intentional deposits into your spouse’s emotional love tank. Communicate understanding. Resolve conflict. Place his or her needs before your own. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4 NIV).

In his book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Dr. Willard Harley identifies the top five needs of men as: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. The top fives needs of women are: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Dr. Willard Harley has found that marriages that fail to meet a spouse’s needs are more vulnerable to an extramarital affair.

Next time you are tempted to look beyond your spouse for romance, ask yourself this question, “Will this decision honor God and benefit my family and our future?” Another good question to ask, “Will this decision allow us to finish together?”

  • “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Prov. 4:25 (NIV)
  • “Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Prov. 4:26-27 (NIV)

Extend the love you have received from God to your spouse. Choose to extend the grace you have received from God to your spouse. Celebrate your differences. Honor God and finish together.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Marriage, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
September 16th, 2013

Avoiding Adultery

“‘You shall not commit adultery.’” Exodus 20:14 (NIV)

Is it possible to fall in love, get married, stay married, and finish together? Is longevity a possible reality in marriage? I imagine you have wondered why the success rate is so low. The Bible teaches that God values marital fidelity. God is pro-marriage and pro-family. However, nothing destroys a family faster than adultery. Adultery happens in the mind before it happens in the bed. Adultery violates God’s plan for the marriage relationship.

God has given you a drive called sex. Properly controlled and expressed within the confines of marriage, it is beautiful and fantastic and brings honor to God. Outside of marriage, sex is destructive and detrimental. God designed sex for procreation and pleasure intended to nurture intimate love. The Bible says that sex is for marriage only – not before marriage, not outside of marriage. What is God’s guardrail for marital fidelity? Do not commit adultery! Avoid adultery. Don’t cheat. Be faithful. Honor your marriage vow.

  • “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” Prov. 5:15 (NIV)
  • “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Heb. 13:4 (NIV)

Your spouse is the only legitimate source of romance in your life. Dr. Adrian Rogers used to say, “In temptation, Satan seeks to get you to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.” Satan seeks to get the two who have become one, two again. Guard your heart. Confess sin instantly. Walk in the Spirit. Yield to the Lordship of Christ. Don’t look beyond your spouse. Submit to one another. Serve one another. Honor God with your life, your lips, and your loyaty.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 16th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Adultery, Marriage, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
March 3rd, 2013

Canopy of Commitment

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)

It is a miracle that marriage works. Think about it for a moment. Six people come to the marriage altar: who she thinks she is, who he thinks she is, and who she really is, then who he thinks he is, who she thinks he is, and who he really is. The complexity of each person comes together in holy matrimony to form a bond of one flesh.

We bring our baggage to the marriage altar. Our past, our hurts, and our hang-ups come with us. Our uniqueness, our personality, and our personal preferences come with us. By the grace of God, the two become one. In temptation, Satan seeks to get the two who have become one, two again.

How do you finish together? What does it take to overcome obstacles and to finish together? Commitment! For marriage to navigate the night and to dodge the devil, it requires commitment. In order to triumph through trials and to overcome obstacles, it requires commitment. As my pastor, Dr. David Fleming, says, “A marriage that works is work. It’s not right to ask God to bless a marriage that you are not committed to.” Commitment is the adhesive God blesses to enable you to finish together.

Don’t become weary. Keep making deposits in your spouse’s life. Keep honoring Jesus by extending the love and respect that your spouse so desperately needs. Sow seeds that God can water and at the proper time you will reap a harvest.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Harvest, Marriage.
Interact No Comments
March 2nd, 2013

Love and Respect

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

A few years ago Tonya and I participated in the Love and Respect Conference led by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. Dr. Emerson identified what he called the Crazy Cycle. During conflict in marriage, we tend to act in unloving and disrespectful ways. The wife has a love tank and the husband has a respect tank. When a wife doesn’t feel loved by her husband, she will by nature respond by being disrespectful towards him. When a husband doesn’t feel respected by his wife, he will by nature respond by being unloving towards her.

How do you get off of the Crazy Cycle? Somebody has to go first. Because of our fallen nature, we tend to be selfish and self-centered and actually prefer that our spouse go first. The one who sees himself or herself as the most mature moves first. Now that’s convicting!

Dr. Eggerichs shared with us that respect empowers a husband to energize his wife and that love empowers a wife to energize her husband. The wife is crying out for love and the husband is crying out for respect. Doing marriage God’s way involves making the move to get off of the Crazy Cycle. Go first! If you are a husband, then honor Christ by choosing to be loving towards your wife. If you are a wife, then honor Christ by choosing to be respectful towards your husband.

Showing love and respect flows out of our abiding relationship with Christ. We have the capacity to love and respect because Jesus is our Source. Jesus enables us to do what He did. Love unconditionally and respect intentionally.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Love, Marriage, Respect.
Interact No Comments
February 6th, 2013

From Me to We

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Gen 2:18 (NIV)

God created us for relationship.

The first “not good” in the Bible is connected to aloneness. God created us for companionship. We do better together. God designed us to be relational, not robotic. God’s desire is for us to be rightly related to Him and rlghtly related to each other.

God created Eve to complete Adam. Adam transitioned from “me” to “we” and from “mine” to “ours” in response to God’s gracious creation activity. God knew what Adam needed most! Adam needed companionship. As you read God’s Word, you will discover that the Bible is the story of God’s relationship with His creation and their relationship with each other.

  • “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)
  • “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

Satan is anti-relationship. Satan is anti-companionship. Satan is anti-family. The devil does not want you to be in a right relationship with God and he does not want you to be in a right relationship with others. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you from enjoying a loving relationship with God and with others. You are made for relationship. If you are battling aloneness, ask God to bring some life-giving relationships into your life.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Creation, Family, Marriage.
Interact No Comments
May 19th, 2012

Unhindered Prayer

“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” Psalm 66:18-19 (ESV)

Sin is an offense to God. Sin is absent in heaven and yet fully present on earth. Sin saturates the landscape of life on this broken planet. The curse of sin can only be reversed through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. When a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, sin is removed and the righteousness of Christ is imputed. The new Christian is placed positionally right with God.

Without purity, there is no power in prayer. As a child of God, it is imperative to stay close and clean by confessing sin instantly and receiving God’s forgiveness intentionally. You have to combat the impact of memory. “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3 ESV). David had to navigate the reality of his memory. Even after confessing his sin of adultery and murder, he had to acknowledge that his sin was ever before him via memory.

What hinders prayer? The most vicious impediment to prayer is sin. Sin violates the covenant relationship you have with God. Sin grieves the heart of God and quenches the Spirit of God living in you. Husband, when you do not live with your wife in an understanding way, your prayers are hindered.

  • “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7 (ESV)

The purity of your relationship with God and the purity of your relationships with others has a direct impact on the effectiveness of your prayer life.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 132:  Psalms 65-67, 69-70)

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, May 19th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Marriage, Prayer, Psalms.
Interact No Comments
September 17th, 2011

Honor God and Finish Together

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

Be the most amazing and fulfilling source of romance for your spouse. Stay spiritually fit and physically fit. Learn your spouse’s primary love language by reading Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. Make intentional deposits into your spouse’s emotional love tank. Communicate understanding. Resolve conflict. Place his or her needs before your own. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4 NIV).

In his book, His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, Dr. Willard Harley identifies the top five needs of men as: sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, an attractive spouse, domestic support, and admiration. The top fives needs of women are: affection, conversation, honesty and openness, financial support, and family commitment. Dr. Willard Harley has found that marriages that fail to meet a spouse’s needs are more vulnerable to an extramarital affair.

Next time you are tempted to look beyond your spouse for romance, ask yourself this question, “Will this decision honor God and benefit my family and our future?” Another good question to ask, “Will this decision allow us to finish together?”

  • “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25 (NIV)
  • “Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27 (NIV)

Extend the love you have received from God to your spouse. Choose to extend the grace you have received from God to your spouse. Celebrate your differences. Honor God and finish together.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 17th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Commitment, Marriage, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments
September 16th, 2011

Avoiding Adultery

“‘You shall not commit adultery.’” Exodus 20:14 (NIV)

Is it possible to fall in love, get married, stay married, and finish together? Is longevity a possible reality in marriage? I imagine you have wondered why the success rate is so low. The Bible teaches that God values marital fidelity. God is pro-marriage and pro-family. However, nothing destroys a family faster than adultery. Adultery happens in the mind before it happens in the bed. Adultery violates God’s plan for the marriage relationship.

God has given you a drive called sex. Properly controlled and expressed within the confines of marriage, it is beautiful and fantastic and brings honor to God. Outside of marriage, sex is destructive and detrimental. God designed sex for procreation and pleasure intended to nurture intimate love. The Bible says that sex is for marriage only – not before marriage, not outside of marriage. What is God’s guardrail for marital fidelity? Do not commit adultery! Avoid adultery. Don’t cheat. Be faithful. Honor your marriage vow.

  • “Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” Proverbs 5:15 (NIV)
  • “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)

Your spouse is the only legitimate source of romance in your life. Dr. Adrian Rogers used to say, “In temptation, Satan seeks to get you to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.” Satan seeks to get the two who have become one, two again. Guard your heart. Confess sin instantly. Walk in the Spirit. Yield to the Lordship of Christ. Don’t look beyond your spouse. Submit to one another. Serve one another. Honor God with your life, your lips, and your loyaty.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 1:00 am
Category Adultery, Marriage, Ten Commandments.
Interact No Comments