What Direction Now, Lord?

Radio broadcast © freedigitalphotos.netOn Saturday, Lori and I did a short interview on the Drew Marshall Show – “Canada’s Most Listened to Spiritual Talk Show”. Our thanks to Drew and guest host Sheila Wray Gregoire for making it a fun time.

This opportunity got me to wondering (again) where we are going from here with marriage ministry. We have kindly refused most of the offers and requests we have received in the past, as we felt we needed to get our kids grown. However, our youngest is now 21, and the kid phase of our life really has ended. What now? We could easily do dozens of small conferences around the country each year, if we wanted. We could do more interviews and other speaking if we pursued it. We have some books, both short e-books and longer hard copy books in mind. We could do more “will speak for free cruise” events.

Something I learned a while back (and said almost daily for a couple of years) is “just because you can do something, does not mean you should”. I have applied this to my life, my marriage, and my ministry. This means knowing we could do any number of things does not mean those are what we should be doing.

Our heart is for married couples, and particularly for Christian couples. We have a focus on sexuality, but we care about the whole marriage. We desire to see people set free of what limits their marriages, and we long to see couples fall totally and hopelessly in love with each other. We want to do what will most effectively bring that about.

All of this is a lead up to asking four things of you:

  1. Please pray for us. Ask the Lord to give us wisdom and direction. Pray we will never do something just because we can, but will move as He would have us move.
  2. If something we have said or done has significantly affected you and/or your marriage, please drop me a note letting me know what it was. I am not fishing for compliments here; I want to know what is working, what is blessing people and making a difference.
  3. If we have said or done something that struck you wrong, something you think missed the mark, please drop me a note about that. I know we are not perfect, and if you can be a blind spot mirror for me that would be awesome. I promise to prayerful consider any concerns raised.
  4. Think and pray about supporting us financially. Honestly, I hate asking – I would much rather go out and work another job. However, other work would limit my time for ministry. A number of you are already supporting us, and we are deeply grateful for and humbled by that.

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6 Comments on “What Direction Now, Lord?

  1. Well, my wife and I often find something to discuss about our marriage coming from either your wife’s or your “daily” writeups. We rather enjoy and find growth in the small, regular doses. I hope that no matter what you do, this will continue. Thanks!

  2. Here are my thoughts:
    1. I think you have a fantastic web site, and are doing a great work, and God bless you for that.
    2. Except in maybe one or two very small things, I agree with your theology regarding God’s view of sex, and in those few things you may be right, I am not sure.
    3. We are of a different faith than you. Interestingly, the actual theology of our faith agrees with what is on your web site (with the possible exception of these one or two small items). However, and I assume this is true many of the variations of the Christian faith, there is the actual theology on the one hand, and what is actually believed or what is in the culture, on the other hand. Our faith is no different. False, puritanical and hostile to sex attitudes are had by many, and sometimes that is what seems to come over the pulpit. We believe in chastity before marriage and fidelity afterwards. What is often preached is that pre marital sex is bad. But what the youth and unmarried single adults of the church actually hear is that sex is bad. Men usually can get over that pretty quickly in marriage, but for some women (my wife), this is a real struggle. I have noticed several comments by you calling the church to repent of this and I agree.
    4. Generally I send all of your emails home from my office to my wife. It is very useful to get a little thought each day, and also useful that this thought doesn’t come from me so it isn’t me lecturing. I hope that they will spark a discussion. Sometimes they have, but I am disappointed that it hasn’t done more. I think this relates a lot fo my next comment.
    5. I previously complained about my wife’s excessive busyness and how that damages our relationship. Right after I did that you spent several days addressing this issue. I don’t know if you were already going to do that, or if I prompted it, but I thought generally what you wrote was excellent. It was interesting to watch my wife’s reaction. She intellectually is open to the possibility that this is true, but wasn’t really open to the possibility that she could do anything about it. She is such a pleaser. Would to God that she was half as interested in pleasing me as she is in everyone else.
    6. So that means the problem is two fold, or, I guess, three fold. One is to keep exposing her to the correct view of sex and intimacy in marriage. Your posts do that. Second it to realize the road blocks that prevent her from actually realizing the benefits of good sex and better intimacy. Excessive busyness is one. You have provided information about that. The last problem is getting her to accept these ideas and make changes in her priorities and choices. Actually, you have had posts recently about priorities, so that you for that.
    7. It is interesting to see how in our case (I assume this is true for most people) there isn’t just one problem, but rather multiple problems that sort of support each other in preventing a person from moving forward. If just one of those problems were eliminated the other two might fall as well, not being supported as they were. Any ideas from you would be appreciated. What exactly was it that made you be sufficiently introspective to make some changes in the first place?

    • Andrew Jardine – I think marriage problems are usually like a big pile of string full of knots. Pulling something may look good at first, but if you pull it too much it just makes things worse. The key is being willing to drop one loop of string and work on another when that is a better approach. Same for marriage, be willing to shift focus as needed.

      As for motivation, I entered marriage with a vision of what a marriage could be. I had never seen that vision played out, but I was convinced it was possible. I can only “blame” God for that.

  3. I can relate to the just because you can doesn’t mean you should approach. I am rather surprised where God has taken me thus far in my Christian sexuality ministry. I’m sure you’ve had serendipitous experiences as well. I’ll be praying for your path and wisdom to seek what’s best for marriages in general and for you and Lori. (And I want to go on that cruise too!)

    • J – “Christian sexuality minister” is that what you wanted to be when you grew up?! “The few, the crazy, the sex ministers!”

      It certainly is interesting what opens up when you are willing to discuss sex and God in the same sentence. Thanks for your prayers, you have ours as well.

      BTW, won’t the mask make the cruise a bit uncomfortable? Better make it Alaska, not the Caribbean!

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