Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Faithfulness in Marriage: What "Never Threatening to Leave" Means

Last Sunday (May 25), we were talking about healthy marriages. In the message, I made a link between God's command to Adam and Eve to 'be fruitful' and the 'fruit of the spirit' from Galatians 5:22. The fruit of the spirit, the author of Galatians tells us, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. When God told the first husband and wife to be fruitful, I suggested that He wasn't just talking about having kids. Rather, God was talking about how a husband and wife should relate to each other: namely, that they should bear the spiritual fruit that we see spelled out in Galatians.

I went through each one of the components of fruit and briefly talked about what it meant. When I got to faithfulness, I said that husbands and wives should "never threaten to leave". As I was driving later that day, I had a sense of conviction that I had not been very clear.
I know that there are many people in our church who are divorced, separated, or in a marriage that is not their first. The point of my statement was really intended for couples who use the threat of leaving as a weapon to win conflicts, manipulate their spouse and get their way. While this may seem effective, it actually is counter-productive. "Threatening to leave" only breeds a lack of faithfulness. It only creates insecurity. It only promotes division.

In some situations, a person does need to leave. Continued abuse or unfaithfulness are two of the most obvious situations, but there are others.

Further, whatever is in your past, you can only change your future - you cannot go back. So, God offers an infinite amount of grace and forgiveness to anyone who would turn their life over to Him.

Thanks for letting me clarify. I hope this helps.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dads Deserve Equal Time

We know that many of you enjoyed Anita Renfro's Momsense. In response to several requests, we tracked down an appropriate tribute to fathers that the very creative Ms. Renfro put together. Interested? Take a look...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Happening!

Look what greeted us at the church office this morning! What a glorious sight!

Praise God for moving dirt and heavy machinery!

Pray for us today, that we would lead out of courage and conviction, strong in the hope that God has called us to serve Him, that we would be fueled as Paul wrote about in 1st Thessalonians:

"...your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 1.3)

Psalm 115 says, "Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake, but for your name's sake, show your glory. Do it on account of your merciful love, do it on account of your faithful ways."(The Message)

Indeed. And amen!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Help for Growing Great Families

For two Sundays, we've been working around the edges of how to better relate to others in your family. It's really a huge subject, and I spent the better part of a year reading and studying this. It has helped me to relate to others in my family in a more healthy way and to be more healthy myself. Many people have asked me to give them more information, so I want to refer you to two books.

The first is called Extraordinary Relationships by Roberta Gilbert. Dr. Gilbert goes much deeper into concepts that we only briefly discussed last Sunday and today...things like self differentiation, overfunctioning, triangling, fusion, cutoff, balance, etc. At times, it's slightly heavy, but mostly it's easy reading with great examples that will really connect with where you are.

The second is called Family Ties that Bind, by Ronald Richardson. This is a workbook of sorts that will help you think through how these new family concepts apply specifically to you.

I recommend both books to anyone who really wants to make progress in having a more healthy family. Let me warn you, though: this is hard work. The result will be worth it, but it takes time.

Both of these books can be found on Amazon and neither is very expensive. Please note that neither of these books is a Bible study. The Bible has a great wealth of teachings on family and I'm hopeful that someone will write a great book marrying the examples in the Bible with the principles that are outlined and taught in these books. In the meantime, I suggest that you read these books and see the Biblical principles at work through their pages.