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Category: Family (page 1 of 122)

Adultery Ruins Lives

 

Adultery ruins lives, but no one would engage in something if they knew that was the result.  So how do people end up there?

One of Satan’s greatest tactics against marriages is his fantasy-type portrayal of adultery.  The adventure of seduction awakens many bored spouses.  The danger of it all provides an excitement that may have been lacking for sometime.

Satan is very good at allowing people to see the benefits of an affair without revealing the consequences.  He helps them imagine sex with the other person.  He provides opportunities to develop an emotional connection.  Conveniently, he neglects to reveal the lifetime of consequences for such passing moments of pleasure.

The fun of adultery will last for a moment, but the pain of adultery will last for a lifetime.

What Scripture Teaches About Adultery

You may think that the person flirting with you wants your body or your mind or your companionship, but Scripture says the person enticing you to adultery wants to take your very life (Prov. 6:26).  People don’t normally see the person with whom they are having a fling as desiring to ruin their lives.  Most likely, the person whom the affair is happening with seems to genuinely care for that person.  Make no mistake about it, the flirt might have flattering intentions, but he or she is enticing you to make decisions that will forever ruin your life.

If you play with fire you are going to get burned (Prov. 6:27).  God is clear that anyone who sleeps with another man’s wife will be punished (Prov. 6:29; Heb. 13:4), and his lack of discipline (Prov. 5:20-23) and sense in such a matter will destroy himself (Prov. 6:32).  Such actions as despicable as adultery don’t belong among those citizens of the Kingdom (Eph. 5:5).

What Common Sense Teaches About Adultery

God commanding something should be sufficient reasoning to abstain, but if you need additional logic, realize that adultery will impact every area of your life.

  • While a romantic encounter is pleasurable, is it worth making your children have two birthday parties each year because you and your former spouse can’t be in the same room?
  • Are you willing to lose all common friends and watch them turn against you in defense of your spouse?
  • Is adultery worth losing all that you have built with your spouse – spiritually, emotionally, and even financially?

When adultery has taken root, you no longer think of those consequences because you believe your love will be sufficient.  In adultery, you can never be in love but only in lust.  The old preacher-ism applies to adultery so well: Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

The irony of adultery is that as soon as you get the person your pursued, he or she ceases to be the person you admired.

Adultery changes a person.  You admire him as a dad?  If he has an affair with you, he is now a shameful father who has broken the heart of his children and painfully betrayed the mother of those precious children.  You admire her as a caring person?  She’s not caring if she is willing to have an affair with you and destroy those who love you the most.  As soon as you sink your claws into that person, he or she is no longer the type of person you want anymore.

How can you even start a relationship with someone you can’t trust?

Adultery doesn’t start in the bed, it starts in the heart.  Jesus said that adultery starts with lusting after someone in your heart (Matt. 5:28).  Is there someone you can picture yourself with?  Any fantasies?  Are you comparing your spouse with someone else?

Be very careful.  Adultery will ruin more than you can possibly imagine.

4 Things All Employees Need from Their Bosses

Every employee is different.  Every employer is different.  Every place of employment is different.

But with all the differences, I often hear common threads of frustration that originate from people’s jobs.

One of the greatest sources of frustration with people’s jobs is their supervisors or bosses.

For those in a supervisory role, that may be discouraging to hear, but it is truth.

The Scriptures teach that those in supervisory roles should lead justly and fairly since we have that type of boss in heaven (Col. 4:1).  The role of a leader should cause to further the employees rather than frustrate them.

Many people grow weary with a leader not due to a character flaw but a competency flaw.

As I talk with many employees, here are 4 things I think all employees need from their bosses:

  1. CLARITY – Provide clear, reviewable goals and objectives for your employees.  You are frustrated that they aren’t doing certain things, but are you clearly communicating them?  Many employees want to succeed and to please the supervisor, but if the boss doesn’t take the adequate time needed  to provide the clear, reviewable target for the employee to hit, they will rarely hit it.  They don’t know where to aim!  Your frustration is evident or your distance is obvious and it just further immobilizes those who work with you.
  2. INVENTORY – Some employees are frustrated because they simply don’t have the resources needed to do the job.  Outdated technology, scarce resources, and limited budgets cannot meet the demand of a high-expectation boss.  No one should expect a limitless budget for what they want, but we need to reevaluate from time to time to see if everyone has what they need.
  3. HONESTY – All employees need honest feedback.  Dishonest flattery will just continue to provide what you have been getting.  You don’t have to be brutal, but you do need to be honest.  If you aren’t providing honest evaluation along the way, your frustration will grow and you might snap, demote, discourage, embarrass, or fire without any warning because you failed to do the hard work along the way.
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY – All workers need accountability to be effective.  If you have given clear goals, provided needed inventory, spoken with sincere honesty, you have earned the right to keep that person accountable.  Have a system where you check in on progress.  Set up reminders for yourself. Give the employees ample warning time when you will check up on the progress.

If you are a Christian, your work should be done as ministry regardless of what type of service you provide.  For those in supervisory roles, are you able to provide these 4 things for those who work with you?

Unpacking the In-Law Baggage

Marriage comes with baggage.  In particular, in-law baggage.

When you marry a person, you inherit a family.  Whether or not you realized it, your marriage came as a packaged deal.  You just added a slew of people who are now considered as family.

The marriage union is distinct from any other relationship.  Once the vows have been spoken, your previous immediate family changes in an instant, but they do not go away.  Not only do you continue connections with them, but you just inherited an entirely separate group of people as a family who probably do things completely opposite of how your family does things.

When you marry someone, you inherit all the issues of that persons’ family.

The only couple who didn’t have to worry about bringing baggage into the marriage was Adam and Eve.  With no parents preceding them, their marriage union should have been simple.  Have you ever found it interesting that the description of their union includes this statement:

“This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one” (Gen. 2:24).  

Obviously, the first marriage didn’t need that piece of advice, so why was it included?  Because every marriage after that would rise and fall depending upon how well they could apply that truth.  God knew the danger associated when someone takes priority over a spouse.  People can become resentful towards their in-laws when a spouse essentially chooses familial closeness over spousal oneness.

  • A wife feels threatened when her husband listens to his mother more than he does to her.
  • A husband feels betrayed when his wife tells his wrongdoings to her family.
  • Conflict arises when family traditions and holiday plans take precedence over marital consideration.
  • Petty annoyance with one’s in-laws can turn into full-blown marital conflict if not dealt with in a healthy manner.

You must learn to prioritize your marriage without idolizing your side of the family or demonizing your spouse’s side of the family.

In fact, the health of your marriage can often be gauged by the way you speak of “your” family.  If “my” family wants to do this, but “your” family wants to do that, it appears that drama in inevitable because you don’t know who your family truly is right now.  If you don’t live as though your spouse is your closest family member, your marriage cannot thrive.  If you don’t see the members of your immediate family as “your” family, then is it really unsurprising you are experiencing such turmoil?  You have an us vs. them mentality and somehow you have placed your spouse on the opposing team.

While oneness in marriage is an undeniable theological concept and reality, the practical side of dealing with in-laws can be challenging.  How should this truth flesh out in your family?  You must seek to have the healthiest relationship possible with your in-laws while acknowledging the unique relationship your spouse still has with them.  There is simply more history there.

Most people have realized that you can say something about your side of the family, but if your spouse said the same thing about them, you become offended.  For whatever reason, it’s acceptable to talk about your mother but unacceptable for someone else to do it.  While you continue to nurture your marital oneness, you must learn how to embrace these other family members and not anger your spouse in the process.

The simplest way to do this is to apply Scripture into how you speak about your in-laws with your spouse.  “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

When it comes to your in-laws:

  1. be quick to hear from your spouse about his or her feelings,
  2. be slow to speak your first feelings on the situation, and
  3. be slow to anger as you work through the issue.

3 Important Recurring Events for Your Marriage

Marriage takes time.

Unfortunately, time is one of those things that we feel as if we simply don’t have anymore.  As we give our minutes, hours, days, months, years, and lives away to different pursuits, we can never take back the time invested.  The tragedy of how we spend our time is that often our marriages suffer.

The one who deserves your best often gets your worst.

Too Busy for Your Spouse

How do you know if busyness is affecting your marriage?

  1. If you interact with one another more as business partners managing financial responsibilities, household duties, and children’s schedules, you might be in danger.
  2. If you justify why you can’t spend so much time with your spouse due to other relational expectations, your priorities are out-of-order.
  3. If it is a rare occasion for the two of you to carve out time for a simple date, you need to make some changes.
  4. If you seem to get agitated with one another easily due to stress, you need to evaluate your responsibilities.
  5. If when you actually do have time together, you each live in your own world mentally, emotionally, or technologically, you should be on high alert.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph. 5:15-17).

If the days are evil, that means that we must be on guard against distractions and pursuits that could rob us of time.  To be wise, we must do regular, thorough investigation into how we spend our time.  If you have ever sought for the will of God, look no further – it is found in spending our time wisely.

If you allot your time wisely, you will make time for your marriage.  We make time for what we love.  Ignore the lie that once you get through a certain season of life, you will have time to spend together.

If you don’t take time to nurture your relationship now, you won’t have the relationship to nurture later.  Don’t let the most important relationship get the leftovers.

For the sake of your marriage, you must reign in your schedule.  Having a controlled calendar might mean lesser hours spent on a hobby, fewer activities for your children, or actually have to say “no” to good things for the sake of your marriage.  Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.  If you don’t schedule your priorities, someone or something will schedule them for you.  When that happens, you spouse invariably will receive the pitiful and insufficient remainder.

Make Time for Your Spouse

If you discover that busyness in endangering your marriage, what should you do?  Schedule a daily connection, a weekly date, and a yearly getaway as recurring calendar commitments.  Anticipate, plan, budget, prepare, and enjoy these three events for the sake of your marriage.

  1. A DAILY CONNECTION provides you with a short yet regularly intentional time to foster togetherness.  This time reserves the right to ban technology, exclude children, exhibit eye-contact, promote touch, and experience cohesiveness.  Find a time during the day to have undistracted connection with your spouse.
  2. A WEEKLY DATE is a commitment to block out larger blocks of time to nurture intimacy.  The daily connection is great but that can turn into simple plans and updates.  The date serves as a way to slow down and enjoy.  It doesn’t have to be expensive but it will prove to be rewarding.
  3. A YEARLY GETAWAY seeks to plan a vacation to enjoy one another for an extended period of time.  As you rid yourself of daily responsibilities, you will be able to reconnect but also deepen your connection.  Sacrifice might be needed but you don’t have to break the bank.  While the price of having a getaway might be expensive, it is more costly not to have one.

What plans can you make for a daily connection, a weekly date, and a yearly getaway?

3 Vital Components of a Staff Member

An effective job has so much to do with what we do, how we do it, and who we do it with.

While we are much more than what we do, a significant portion of our lives will be spent in the 9-5 realm.  That’s why how we approach work is so vital to our overall outlook in life.  Most people know what it is like to work in negative work environments, and some of us know what it is like to work in positive work environments.  Regardless of which situation you are in right now, I want to provide some things for you to think through regarding your employment.

While I hope these tips can help anyone, I really want to give motivation for those who belong to Jesus.  A Christian worker should be known as the most fervent and faithful employee on the job (Col. 3:22-4:1).  In the workplace, Christian bosses and workers must display a different level of intentionality and productivity for the sake of Kingdom perspective and outcome.  As believers, we should be intentionally productive in our jobs for the glory of God and for the good of others.

So, here are 3 vital components for every employee, employer, and staff member:

  1. PROFICIENCY – Work hard at what you do (Ecc. 9:10).  Engage, develop, and progress.  Even if you aren’t the most skilled person naturally, will you commit to work diligently (Prov. 13:4)?  Do your work heartily as an offering to the Lord himself rather than for some boss (Col. 3:23).  Is Jesus pleased with the proficiency you show in how diligent you are at your job?
  2. INTEGRITY – Work with a character that represents Jesus well.  Working with integrity is the most secure path of employment (Prov. 10:9; 11:3; 28:6).  Many people’s talent take them to a place where their character can’t keep them.  Make sure that even if you have people slander you on your job, your good behavior will put your accusers to shame (1 Pet. 3:16) and cause people to see you as different and turn to glorify your God (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12).
  3. CHEMISTRY – Work well with others on the job.  I have known many skillful people of integrity who just simply lack people skills and others can’t stand to work alongside them.  Some of the problems at your job are the ones you brought with you (James 4:1-2).  You do your part to live at peace (Rom. 12:18) with your co-workers as you display kindness (Eph. 4:32), show honor (Rom. 12:10), and bear with them (Col. 3:13).

 

Attempt to display this PIC (Proficiency, Integrity, and Chemistry) at work today.  It’s important what you do, how you do it, and who you do it with.  Work hard to glorify God in your job.