How Biblical Geography and Botany Can Help Your Marriage

God reveals affirmation as key to a healthy relationship.

The Bible speaks often of marriage. After all, God began the human race with it. His first command to the man and woman, “Be fruitful and multiply,” required the physical union the Song of Songs extols.

The Rose of Sharon along Israel's coast

(Photo: The Rose of Sharon along Israel’s coast, by Gideon Pisanty [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In the Song of Songs, inspired discretion veils the couple’s erotic conversations behind beautiful metaphors. But the veiled metaphors do more than merely make the book readable for all ages. They offer a model of what all marriages need to do in order to remain strong.

God inspired metaphors of biblical geography and botany to highlight one of the most important aspects in any healthy marriage.

It’s something your marriage needs.

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Why Your Dreams Come True is Actually a Temporary Fix

Life is still just life, no matter where you are.

Okay, so it finally happened. What you’ve waited on for years. Maybe you got the dream job. Better salary. More responsibility. Better fit. Flexible hours. Your dreams come true! But wait.

Why Your Dreams Come True is Actually a Temporary Fix

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Only after taking the job do you discover that more responsibility means you’re managing people, and people bring challenges. Flexible hours mean you never feel like you’re working enough. And along with that salary come more expenses.

Why is it when our dreams come true, it’s a lot like before?

There’s a good reason.

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Giving Your Child Back to God

Hannah's decision at Shiloh shows us how to prepare.

Giving your child back to God can be a tough decision for parents. Eighteen or more years of sacrifice, commitment, and training suddenly bring you to a point of no return.

Giving Your Child Back to God

(Photo by Monkey Business Images via Vivozoom)

Whether it is for college, for the military, or in the natural course of growing up, giving your child back to God is a point every parent has to face.

Hannah’s story shows us how to prepare for it, and then, how to do it.

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How to Stop Looking for God in the Wrong Places

The world makes promises it can’t keep. It says the reason we’re unhappy is that we just haven’t found the right whatever yet. But if we keep looking, we’ll find it.

Looking for God in the Wrong Places

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The right spouse, the right hairdo, the right salary, the right entertainment system, the right church, the right pastor, the right Bible, the right seminar, ad infinitum . . . ad nauseam.

You don’t have to be without Jesus to fall into the trap. Even those of us who do believe in Jesus can chase those shadows.

We may not know we’re looking for God. But we are.

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How to Cope When the Will of God is Hard

Sometimes it seems the Lord leads us into a life that can’t possibly be His will. What started with such promise has become such a challenge. It’s tough to know what to do next.

How to Cope When the Will of God is Hard

(Photo by Photodune)

What do you do when the life God has promised you looks nothing like the life God has given you?

God had promised a son to Sarai and her husband, Abram. And yet at the same time, God prevented conception. This is the will of God? Go figure.

What God said is a lesson we need to hear.

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How Your Marriage is Like the Death Star

Your marriage is like the Death Star. Oh, I don’t mean it’s a large instrument of destruction and devastation. It’s something else. See if you can spot it in this clip.

Did you see it? Perhaps this quote by Plato will help:

The life of the nation is the life of the family written large. —Plato

Still stumped? The foundation of a nation is the family, and the foundation of the family is the marriage. If you can destroy marriage, you have begun a chain reaction that will dissolve the family, and eventually, the nation.

The key word is vulnerability.

Here’s how your marriage is like the Death Star—and more importantly, how you can protect it from what makes it vulnerable.

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Before You Get Married, Consider These 3 Truths

I’ll never forget the day a Christian woman in our church asked me to perform her wedding ceremony. After some conversation, I discovered her fiance wasn’t a Christian.

3 Truths to Consider Before You Get Married

(Photo by gcardinal from Norway, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

“Why would you marry an unbeliever,” I asked her, “when God’s Word says you can’t?”

“Well, I prayed about it,” she answered, “and I feel like it’s okay.”

“You didn’t need to pray. You can be certain it isn’t God’s will.”

It was a short conversation.

God’s will for you will never contradict God’s Word. You don’t even need to pray about it. (Tweet that.)

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How to Fix Foundation Problems in Your Spiritual Life

Years ago, my grandmother’s 1909 house got a fresh layer of wallpaper. But only weeks later, I noticed in a high corner the wallpaper had buckled, and in some places, it had even split.

Fix Foundation Problems in Your Spiritual Life

(My grandmother’s house, built in 1909)

When I asked her about it she said: “Oh, the house needs foundation work. Every time the seasons change and the wind blows a different direction, the whole house shifts.”

That made sense. For years I shaved inches off most of the doors trying to get them to close. But the repair only lasted until the wind shifted again.

Look closely at the lives of your friends and family. Maybe even your own life.

You’ll see this old house’s problem in vivid display.

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Compliments and Criticism—The Difference May Surprise You

The trouble with most of us,” someone once said, “is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” That’s really true. Go ahead, ruin me.

Complements and Criticism - The Difference May Surprise You

(Photo by diego_cervo, via Vivozoom )

The truth is, we can work ruin by either extreme:

  1. Give nothing but compliments.
  2. Offer only criticism.

Words that compliment and words of criticism both strike like arrows, and they seldom miss their mark.

But the huge difference between them can be surprising.

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Tomorrow, Today, and the Priorities of Someday

Years ago I heard about an odd work of modern art. The artist attached a chair to a loaded shotgun—with the barrel pointing at the chair. The gun had a timer set to discharge at some undetermined point within the next 100 years.

Tomorrow, Today, and the Priorities of Someday

(Photo: iofoto, via Vivozoom)

Believe it or not, droves of thrill-seekers viewed the exhibit by sitting in the chair and staring point-blank range into the gun barrel for sixty seconds. They knew the gun could fire at any moment, but they wanted a thrilling minute in the chair.

(What I would have given to sneak up and poke them in the ribs and yell, “BOOM!”)

Most of us would never dream of taking such a foolish gamble. And yet, how often will we toy with the future by counting on a future that may never happen?

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