Monday, 1 October 2012

Good Advice as Far as It Goes - Part II

Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’  Matthew 7:23

In Part I of this three part series I quoted a blog posted by Mort Fertel which identified four areas of marriage that typically are the biggest stressors in marriage.  The four he identified are faith, money, parenting and in-laws.  In Part I, I began to delve into the importance of sharing your faith with one another.  Do you have a Biblical worldview?  What is it you value and what is it you believe?

growth
At the risk of offending some of you please understand that the following is my opinion. I am not all that certain that because someone has said some version of the “sinner’s prayer” that they are a Christian, though they might believe they are. The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:26) and Matthew 7:23 give me the impression that there were people who claimed to know Jesus but he did not know them.  I know that only God is the final determiner but I believe that there should be some evidence that that a person is a follower of Jesus Christ.  Hopefully there is a positive, upward trajectory in the way people conduct themselves.  Perhaps the Fruit of the Spirit is more manifest; presumably they are spending more time in prayer; they are connected to the body of Christ; and there is a hunger for His Word.  For example is the person more loving than they were ten years ago?; Are they more kind than they were five years ago?;  Are they aware that they are not patient and have asked the Spirit to help them become more patient?

 If there is no evidence of growth the person should seek out the pastor of an evangelical Bible believing church and engage him in a discussion about their faith.

I have spent the better part of two blogs talking about the importance of faith because if that is in place resolving the other challenges that confront a couple become much easier.  Ideally as a couple you seek to make decisions that will glorify God.  So how does that help a couple who is trying to make things work financially.

Money

The Bible has almost more to say about money / possessions than any other subject.  A Christian couple understands that everything they have belongs to God.  They agree as a couple how much they will give to their local church, right off the top.  They know that most debt is bad.  They live within their means, i.e. they don’t spend more than they have.  They look to Christian financial planners such as Dave Ramsey and Ron Blue who offer a plethora of materials to enable them to become good stewards.  If one is a spender and the other a saver they compromise in a way the brings honor to God.

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