When Terrie and I got married thirty-three years ago, one of the commitments we made was to keep growing as husband and wife. Every year, I read at least one book on marriage (usually more), and Terrie does the same. Often we read the same book and then discuss it together.
The most recent book I read, however, was just for me—The Exemplary Husbandby Stuart Scott. Without a doubt, it is one of the best books I’ve ever read on marriage.
The topics covered in this book get right to the heart issues of marriage (although the first three chapters are pretty basic and a little slow). The author uses much Scripture throughout the book, and he provides lists with practical, bullet point applications—just what we men need.
For instance, here are his main thoughts with bulleted lists on “Ways a Husband Can Treat His Wife as His Companion”: (more…)
Her Love for the Lord—My wife did not come from a Christian home, but she established her own consistent walk with God after being saved through a bus ministry in Northern California.
Her love for me—We’ve been married for over thirty-two years, and I’ve not yet seen the end of the many ways she shows her sacrificial love for me.
Her love and care for our children—Terrie is the best at creating memories, teaching biblical principles, and helping me to be a balanced father and grandfather.
Her love for our grandchildren—She has a passion to see them know Christ.
Her love for our extended family—Terrie has always been a mercy shower and a peacemaker.
Her love for our local church—The epitome of a faithful church member, Terrie is always present, continually reaching out to encourage and comfort others, and labors in soulwinning and ministry.
Her love for hospitality – Terrie loves to cook and serve God’s people. She’s even forgiven me for the times I sprang unexpected company on her.
Her love for children—Terrie teaches the fourth grade girls’ Sunday school class, and she loves her students dearly. She prays for them, spends hours weekly preparing lessons and activities, and invests herself to encourage their faith and walk with God.
Her love for teaching—Terrie teaches a class each semester at West Coast Baptist College. This semester is the Methods and Materials class for teaching. She loves preparing the next generation of Christian servants.
Her love for making memories—From family Easter egg hunts to grand birthday parties to dinner on the “Special Plate,” Terrie has always made home life special.
Her love for Christ in difficult times—At the side of a child’s hospital bed or when ministry was hurting us in some way, Terrie has never been bitter or divisive.
Her love for the simple things—Terrie has never been materialistic. She is as content with a night at home as she is with any nice hotel or getaway.
Her love and appreciation for genuine Christian living—Terrie has never been a pompous, loud, or proud person. She does not glory in her standards or Christian growth; she glories in her Lord.
Her love for me—I know I said this once, but when I consider her love and patience with a type-A personality, pastor/husband, I am truly humbled, honored, and blessed.
I love you, Terrie! I know I don’t deserve you, and I’m so blessed to have you. Happy Valentine’s Day.
People use different words to describe it, but every Christian dad I know wants it for his children—a pure and emotionally healthy path to the marriage altar.
By God’s grace, Terrie and I have watched all four of our children fall in love and marry the spouse of their dreams—and of our dreams for them. What a joy it was to have part in each of these relationships and weddings in which our children stood at a marriage altar and pledged their purity to their spouse.
Obviously, Danielle, Larry, Kristine, and Matt had a lot to do with the “success” of this process. But I’m thankful they allowed me to lead and be involved in this crucial area of their lives.
Here is an overview of what our family practiced:
Preparing a Young Adult for a Dating Relationship
The phrase “young adult” is crucial here. Remember that as your child enters adolescence, he or she needs far more from you than rules. They need reasoning. They need relationships.
In short, they need to know the logic behind your expectations, and they need to have a strong relationship with you. (more…)
Busy ministry can easily overtake core convictions. When we find ourselves on a perpetual treadmill of activity, it’s wise to pause to remember the early convictions upon which we’ve been building.
In this week’s growth points video, revisit with me two convictions which must be central to the life and ministry of a spiritual leader.
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
1. The conviction to maintain personal integrity
We’ve all heard the stories of men whose integrity was sabotaged by their own neglect. Thinking they were doing great things by being busy for God, they became careless with their personal walk with God.
God did not create us as human doings, but as human beings. At it’s core, integrity is developed as we are real with God. This is a matter of personal commitment on our part to walk with the Lord, to walk in His Word, and to walk in honesty. (more…)
The picture above sits on my desk in a frame, representing a fond memory to me. It was one of those times Terrie agreed to spend time with me in the outdoors for a few days of hunting. Really, Terrie is a city girl, but she tells me that the Lord placed on her heart to be my “recreational partner” and that includes walking through the woods once or twice a year.
The picture says three things to me every day:
My wife is the most important person in my life. The church is Christ’s bride; Terrie is mine. I love my church family and count it one of the greatest privileges of my life to be their pastor. But before I was the pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church, I became the husband of Terrie Chappell. I love her, I thank God for her, and on our wedding day, I vowed to make her the most important person in my life.
Marriage is a gift to be stewarded. When I first saw Terrie, I knew I was in love. When I married her, I didn’t think life could get any better. But was I ever wrong! Our marriage is sweeter and richer every year. Of course, this didn’t “just happen.” As wonderful as Terrie is, I’ve had to read lots of books on marriage, schedule lots of time to spend with her, and, mostly, ask the Holy Spirit to change me to know how to fully appreciate her and express my love. (And I think she might tell you the same thing about me.) I’m thankful to the Lord that we celebrate our thirty-second wedding anniversary this month. I count every dollar, every date, every hour invested in our marriage as very well spent. I’m grateful that we’ve worked through the good and the difficult times and that, through both, our relationship has grown.
Marriage and ministry need not compete for success. I thank God for a wife who loves the Lord, loves me, and genuinely loves ministry. It has been our joy to serve the Lord together for thirty-two years. Sometimes I meet people who ask how to balance marriage and ministry—as if the two are competing forces for a man’s attention. I actually don’t recommend you balance them at all, but that you integrate them. There have been many times when Terrie and I had to work hard to carve out time to just spend together, but honestly, we love to spend time serving the Lord together. Marriage in the ministry is not a losing proposition—it is an exciting, joyful adventure!