How To Choose A Godly Wife (Part 3)

How To Find A Proverbs 31 Woman

godly husband and wife just married

Welcome back for the final  post in our mini-series about choosing a wife who will help you fulfill God’s calling as a pastor, planter or ministry leader.  In Part 1, we covered four traps to look out for, and in Part 2 we discussed four essential qualities to pursue.

We all know, though, that in practice it’s not a formula, right?  We, and any woman we might pursue in marriage, are complex beings living in a seriously fallen world.  And we’ve all seen ministry marriages crumble.  So in this final post let’s talk about steps you can take to actually find a Proverbs 31 wife who will bless you and the people God calls you to serve.

Read the rest of this post at Am I Called?…

[While this post is written for ministry leaders, it’s relevant for any man seeking a godly wife.]

Stay Engaged With Your Special Needs Child (Part 1)

Three Reasons Staying Engaged Is So Hard

Our special needs kids have a special place in our hearts.  Each one is precious and unique, placed in our families as a vessel of God’s grace.

At the same time, our special kids bring special challenges that push us beyond what we thought (or think) we can handle.  And the life we would design for ourselves. 

Sometimes it’s easier to disengage and take an unplanned siesta.  I bet you can identify with me. 

My Son, Your Story

After more or less coasting with our autistic son, Matthew, for the last several years, things are changing.  We need to step up our involvement and help him get ready for life after school.

There are days, honestly, where I simply don’t feel like it. 

Just recently, I told my wife about an email exchange with the attorney helping us secure guardianship for Matthew. When it became clear that I was frustrated with all the time it was taking, and had missed an important detail, she expressed concern.

‘I’m worried you’re going to just do what’s expedient, instead of what’s best for Matthew.’

You could have heard a pin drop in my heart.  She was right.  God is calling me to slow down, engage and make some sacrifices for our son.  But it’s hard, and selfishly I don’t always want to.

I’m not sure what challenges you’re facing with your special needs child.  Each of our kids is so different.

And each of us is so different.  Some of you, like me, may sense that God is calling you to get back in the game.  Some of you are giving all you can, but feel exhausted and tempted to give up or step back. 

Staying engaged and trusting God with our special needs kids for the long haul can feel like running a race we haven’t really trained for.  It’s a challenge for at least three reasons.

Read the rest of this post at stephenjbedard.com…

How To Choose A Godly Wife (Part 2)

Four Essential Qualities To Pursue

In the first post in this series, we began with how to find a godly wife who will help you fulfill your calling as a pastor, planter or ministry leader.  We focused upon four traps that men can fall into.

Ultimately, though, we’re not just trying to avoid losing the game, as if we were a backup quarterback. No, we’re trying to win the game by finding a godly, Proverbs 31 woman who will make a maximum impact for Christ and his kingdom. Even more importantly, we must focus upon becoming the kind of man who can love and lead such a woman.

Here are four qualities to look for as you search for a godly wife. We’ll continue by focusing (mainly) on Proverbs 31.

Read the rest of this post over at Am I Called?

How To Choose A Godly Wife (Part 1)

Four Common Traps To Avoid

man and wife embrace on their wedding day

After the service, the pastor’s wife was pleasant but distant.  Whenever the conversation turned toward her, she perked up.  But as the focus shifted toward others, she became less present and struggled to hide her disinterest.

Her husband, the pastor, seemed much more engaged.

As we turned to leave, my heart sank.  It was only a sample size of one, but I sensed that the church was only loved by one in the marriage. They were not true partners in ministry.

Sadly, this ministry couple is not alone.  Many pastors have wives who are relatively lukewarm to the ministry – and them. Even worse, I know others whose wives have either functionally, or literally, left both altogether.

This is not to place the blame on the ladies.  Indeed behind a wife who lacks passion for God’s people there is sometimes a leader who is not leading well. In the dance of pastoral ministry, it takes two to tango. But how do we know if we are choosing a partner who dances well in ministry?

Read the rest of this guest post at Am I Called?… 

Although it is written especially for guys in, or heading toward, ministry, I think any guy considering marriage will find it highly relevant.  You can also see the introduction to the series, Godliness Attracts Godliness, over at AIC, too.

And men, if you are in ministry, AIC is definitely a site you’ll want to visit.)

 

Thanksgiving: Renewing The Lost Art Of Giving Thanks

thanksgiving cornucopia

As I sat down to have my morning devotions, ‘Feliz Navidad’ played faintly on the radio upstairs.  Jose Feliciano wanted ‘to wish me a Merry Christmas’.

I was happy to accept, but we hadn’t even reached Thanksgiving yet.

I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but early Christmas music and store displays illustrate our culture’s tendency to look right past Thanksgiving as we anticipate Christmas.  And our own tendency to neglect not just the holiday, but the life-giving practice of being thankful.

Let’s take a quick look at the importance God places on being thankful, then talk about a few practical ways we can grow in gratitude.

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3 Ways Jesus Transforms Our Holiday Stress

 

The holidays are great, but (at least for me) always seem to bring extra stress.  Although we can’t control everything, we don’t have to let the holidays just happen to us, either.

Jesus and the gospel really begin to transform us – and the way we respond to stress – so that we can enjoy the holidays with more peace.

You can read more in my guest post for Gospel Relevance.  Many blessings to you during this holiday season!

Godliness Attracts Godliness

If You Want To Find A Godly Wife, First Become Godly Yourself

godly man and wife get married on boardwalk

Here’s an important, overlooked truth about marriage:

You will wind up marrying someone similar to you in spiritual maturity. 

Sure, you can probably think of exceptions.  But you can probably count them on one hand.

If you want to find a godly wife, first become godly yourself.  There are no shortcuts.

You can read the first article in my series on Finding A Godly Wife for Am I Called? over at their site.

By the way, this is an excellent site for men who are either in ministry, or heading in that direction.  And although my series is slanted toward guys with that background, nearly any Christian guy can apply the principles with just a little thought.

Finally, I’ve just created a short, free guide on 6 ways the gospel will transform your marriage.  It includes key principles, scripture, and a challenging question that will help you take the next step in the most important areas of your marriage.  Even if you’re not married yet, I think you’ll find it helpful.

Read the article at Am I Called?…

 

 

Jesus Shows Us How To Stay Engaged

man praying in pew

Not sure about you, but daylight savings time just ended where I live.  Winter is on the way, bringing chilly weather and shorter days.

As I write, a lot of people are feeling a little down or depleted.  Students are getting worn down from a long semester and dreaming of holiday breaks.  Parents are weary under the weight of helping with homework assignments and serving as personal chauffeur for the kids.  (Not to mention those of you who homeschool: serious gold star.)  And holiday shopping is about to become a full-time job.

Personally, I’ve been feeling a little sloggy.  Not awful, just kind of weary, and having to fight a little harder to stay engaged with God and others.

Wherever you are, it’s easy to go on autopilot and check out as the year starts to wind down.  To just get through these last few weeks before Thanksgiving.  (Not that the holidays are free of their own challenges!)

In this post, I want to encourage you – and myself – to stay engaged: with God, with others and the calling he’s given you.  However slow or tiring it may be at the moment.

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Pursue God With Passion, Find A Godly Wife

In this short series, we’re talking about the top two reasons women wouldn’t date an otherwise godly man.  Or, to put it more positively, we’re looking at areas guys should cultivate (and might overlook) as they get ready for a marriage that blesses their wives and tells the truth about Christ and his church.

Based on a survey I conducted, 55% of godly women wouldn’t consider dating a guy who doesn’t take care of himself physically.  Nearly 80% of women, though, wouldn’t date a man who lacks ambition and passion.  (I’m using those two terms similarly.)

But men, this isn’t just about getting a date and getting married so you can live a nice Christian life.  If you want to live into the great things God has planned for you (see Ephesians 2:10), you’re going to need some serious, godly ambition.

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6 Reasons Godly Men Lack Ambition (And Won’t Get A Date)

Last time, we took a look at the second most common reason Christian women won’t date a godly man. Over half of the women I surveyed said that a guy who doesn’t take care of himself physically is unattractive.  You can learn more about why that matters to them (and God) in the first article.

This time, we’re going to take a look at something nearly 80% of women find distasteful in a potential date.  In fact, nothing else even came close.

Any guesses?

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