I’ll Never Forgive You For That

Have you ever struggled with forgiving the person who has hurt you or your loved one?  Have you ever been bitter, resentful or wished ill on someone because of their actions towards you? 

Today as I was meditating on forgiveness, the Lord reminded me through His Word of what God did in order to forgive us of our sin against Him. 

He reminded me that in our unsaved state we were hostile towards God, angry with God, and staunch enemies of God (Rom. 8:7).  We loved darkness and our autonomy: we wanted nothing to do with God.  In spite of our wretchedness, God chose to love and have mercy on us.  However, before God could demonstrate His love towards us He had to have His own Son put to death as a sacrifice (Is. 53:10, Acts 2:23-24). God’s full and unmitigated wrath had to be expended (emptied) on the Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf and the blood that was shed, God accepted as payment for our sins (Mt. 26:28; Jn. 6:54-56).  We are the guilty ones, we did the sinning but God punished His own Son as if He was the guilty one and treated us as if we were innocent (II Cor. 5:21).  Christ died so God could forgive us of our sins (Jn. 3:16, Rom. 5:8). Forgiveness is no small matter to God and it should be no small matter to you and me.

Forgiveness is a spiritual act in which a pardoning of sin is willingly granted by the offended to the offender.  It is to release all animosity, bitterness, and desire for revenge. To continue to bring up the offense is evidence that forgiveness from the heart has not taken place (Mt. 18:34-35).

This is why one of the quintessential evidences of genuine love for a brother or sister in Christ is forgiveness.  Are you a forgiving person?  In our flesh we would rather see our offender suffer for what they did to us or a loved one.  However, in Christ we can and must forgive.

Forgiveness is not easy and depending on the offense, it can be extremely difficult. However, many times we struggle to forgive because we attempt to do in the flesh what can only be done through the work of the Holy Spirit.  We also struggle with forgiving from the heart because we are operating under misconceptions about forgiveness.  The following are some of the more dominant misconceptions.

Misconception #1

If I forgive, my offender will get away with what they did to me.

It is God’s place to deal out retribution, not yours.  God said, “never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19).  All sinful behavior comes with consequences.  Forgiveness and consequences are not the same. You forgiving someone does not remove the consequences they will face for their sinful actions.  If someone has violated you in some way or committed a crime against you, you can forgive them while at the same time exercising your legal right to have your offender face the consequences of their actions towards you.

Another concern that needs to be stated is that sometimes we think to forgive is to ignore or excuse the behavior that caused the hurt and pain. Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to ignore or excuse sinful behavior.  Although Prov. 19:11 states that “a man’s discretion makes him slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook a transgression,” you are aware and have identified the behavior as a “transgression.”  The Bible is not commanding you to ignore sinful behavior of others but you are free to make a conscience choice not to confront.   In other words, when someone sins against you, you can graciously decide to forebear and continue on in the relationship with the individual who offended you. 

Misconception #2

I cannot forgive until I feel I am ready to forgive.   

Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice.   To forgive only when you feel like forgiving is to be an unforgiving person. Depending on the offense, you may never feel like forgiving. Those of us that are parents forgive our children all the time.  We may not always feel like forgiving them, but we do it because they are our children and we love them.  I can say with a high level of confidence that throughout the course of a day you have acted in spite of your feelings. The same is true of me.  As Christians we are commanded to “walk by faith” not according to feelings (II Cor. 5:7).   

Forgiveness is also an act of faith.  In obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ we are to “bear with one another, and forgive each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col. 3:13).   It is faulty to believe you cannot forgive until you feel like forgiving.         

Misconception #3

Forgiveness means I must forget what was done to me.

God told the children of Israel, “I will not remember your sins” (Is. 43:25).  Does this mean that God is forgetful?  Does this mean that God expects you and me to forget the sins others commit against us?

God is omniscient which means He has total and complete knowledge of everything, all the time and for all time!  He knows all things perfectly and His knowledge is limitless.  He can never be unaware of something or come to learn something.  “Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him” (Is. 40:13)?   The answer: no one! 

How can an all-powerful, all-knowing God forget the sins you and I have committed, sins that required the death, burial, and resurrection of His beloved Son?

When God said He will not remember our sins, it means that because of Christ’s perfect sacrifice, which paid our sin debt, God declared us righteous and chooses not to hold our sins against us.   Therefore, He will not punish us as we deserve but has removed our sin “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12). 

Forgiveness does not mean you won’t remember the offense.   While in time you may forget, you are not sinning against God because you have memories about what caused the hurt and pain in your life.  You and I sin against God when we refuse to forgive the offender or when we forgive and continue to bring up the offense to that person. 

As you obey the Lord and walk faithfully with Him, in time your painful memories may not impact you to the same level they once did.

Misconception #4

Forgiveness and reconciliation are the same.

Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same.  “I forgive you” does not mean “I trust you,” just as “I’m sorry” does not mean “I repent.”    Also, “I forgive you” does not mean the relationship automatically picks up where it left off.  Trust has been broken and must be earned over time.  To regain trust requires a pattern of living in opposition to the behavior that resulted in the offense.

Reconciliation is a process that takes both individuals working through the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ to rebuild the relationship.  That process cannot begin until forgiveness has taken place. You can genuinely forgive a person although the relationship is not where it should be.

Some relationships may not be the same after an offense has occurred, yet you can be reconciled. Other relationships are rebuilt over a period of time and become stronger than before the sinful act occurred.

As far as we know from Scripture, Barnabas and Paul’s relationship was never the same after the incident involving John Mark in Acts 15.  However, near the end of Paul’s life, it becomes very obvious that the severed relationship between Paul and John Mark had been reconciled and rebuilt and perhaps had become stronger. Paul asked specifically for John Mark to serve along side him in II Tim. 4:11.  Unity is the outcome when forgiveness and reconciliation take place.

God has commanded, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Rom. 12:18).  In order to be at peace with all men, forgiveness must take place.

Misconception #5

Forgiveness cannot be granted unless the offender asks to be forgiven.

There are some who believe the Bible only teaches that forgiveness is conditional and therefore  cannot be granted unilaterally.  They believe that since God forgives only those who repent, we as believers are not to forgive one another until the offender repents and asks for forgiveness.  The offender confesses and repents, while the offended promises never to bring up the offense, and a “transaction” takes place.  Some believe this transaction must take place for forgiveness to be granted.   

One major concern with conditional forgiveness is the very real possibility that your offender may not ever ask for forgiveness.  Your offender may not view their behavior towards you as sinful or your offender may no longer be living.  Yet, forgiveness can and must be granted according to Mk. 11:25.  Forgiveness is first and foremost obedience to God and His Word.  Forgiveness promotes your well being while unforgiveness, like poison, will bring you to ruin and eventually destroy your life.

A second major concern with conditional forgiveness is that it is devoid of mercy.  This view does not allow you to be merciful to your offender (Jas. 2:13).    Rather than an attitude of mercy, an attitude of entitlement dominates (You owe me!).   Also, it does not take Jesus’ example of forgiveness into consideration. 

At times Jesus Himself forgave unilaterally.  One such occasion involved a woman who was crying on His feet.  At first, Jesus did not say a word to her but instead spoke to Simon the Pharisee who had vitriol in his heart towards the woman. Jesus rebuked Simon and by the end of the conversation, although the woman spoke no words, Jesus said to her, “your sins have been forgiven” (Lk. 7:36-48).  That was unilateral forgiveness!  That was the mercy of God demonstrated.  It is the same mercy He expects you and me to extend to one another.   Only God knows the hearts of man.  Only God can determine if repentance has taken place in a person’s heart.  We are commanded to forgive, not exact a confession. 

Another example of unilateral forgiveness occurred in Acts 7.  Stephen as he was being stoned to death  “cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60).  In the midst of dying, Stephen forgave his murderers. 

Yet there will be situations when confrontation and repentance must occur before forgiveness can be extended (Mt. 18:15).  Conditional forgiveness is biblical forgiveness, but it is not the only kind of biblical forgiveness.  Conditional forgiveness is understood to be what is inferred in Eph. 4:32 and Col. 3:13.

Forgiveness can and should be granted unilaterally at times.  When the Word of God commands believers to forgive as God has forgiven, withholding forgiveness was not the goal.  In fact, to withhold forgiveness and become an unforgiving person brings judgment according to Mt. 6:14-15, Mk. 11:25-26, and Mt. 18:35.

I want to close with a list of some of the consequences of unforgiveness.  This list is not exhaustive and I encourage you, in your study, to add to the list as the Lord teaches you.  

Consequences of unforgiveness

1.  Unforgiveness angers God (Mt. 18:34)

2.  Unforgiveness causes you to keep account of a wrong suffered (I Cor. 13:5)

3.  Unforgiveness prevents your prayers from being heard (Ps. 66:18)

4.  Unforgiveness gives Satan an opportunity to take advantage of you (Eph. 4:26-27)

5.  Unforgiveness hinders your spiritual growth and usefulness to God (Eph. 4:27)

6.  Unforgiveness demonstrates you have not been forgiven for your sins against God (Mt. 6:15)

7.   Unforgiveness provides good soil for bitterness, resentment and anger to thrive (Eph. 4:31-32)

8.  Unforgiveness causes you to live for yourself and not for the Lord (II Cor. 5:15)

Unforgiveness is choosing to stay locked in a jail cell serving time for someone else’s crime.

-Unknown Author

For further study of this topic and others, you can get a copy of my Bible study Mysteries Of The Kingdom Revealed by clicking on the links below.


When Tragedy Strikes

It has been a little over a month since the sudden and tragic death of Kobe Bryant. The sad and deeply troubling news still hangs over the world like a dense fog. Recently, some 20,000 people gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to pay tribute to the legendary NBA player and his daughter. Many hearts are broken and many people feel a profound void in their life.

I have read reports of those closest to Kobe talk about his last tweet or text message or phone call, giving the world an idea of what he may have been thinking about in the moments leading up to the crash.

I think it is safe to say that Kobe fully expected to arrive at the Mamba Sports Academy. He expected to coach his girls basketball team to a winning victory that day.

I think it is safe to say that Kobe fully expected to return home to his wife and daughters.

I think it is safe to say that most likely, Kobe never thought he would step into eternity that day.

Death does not discriminate. Death does not care what is going on in your life, how old you are or what goals and plans you have set for yourself. Death boldly interferes, interjects and intrudes into your life as if it owns you. Sadly, for the iconic Kobe Bryant, his precious daughter and seven other passengers, death came swiftly, unannounced and certainly unwelcome.

Yet as true to form, life moves on and people carry on. There is no doubt since January 26, 2020 numerous people have traveled by helicopter and arrived safe and sound at their destinations.

Danger and sudden death are lurking all around us, all the time. No one is immune to the tragedies and calamities of life. A car accident, a violent home invasion, a school shooting, a life threatening disease are just a few of the ways death can occur and sometimes in a instant. When tragic events happen, our natural tendency is to question and wonder why did this have to happen or where was God and why did He let this happen?

With the sudden death of Kobe Bryant we are reminded all the more that life is fragile and life is temporary. James said, “you are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

Interestingly, Jesus was confronted while traveling to Jerusalem with a tragedy involving worshipers from Galilee who were simply offering sacrifices at the Temple (Luke 13:1). Worshipers who no doubt fully expected to return home. However, while in the midst of performing their worship rituals, they were murdered by Pilate’s soldiers. This horrific event would be similar to a church shooting in our day, only worse in that it was carried out by the government. June 17, 2015, September 24, 2017, November 5, 2017, October 27, 2018 and December 29, 2019 all represent the day when a gunman opened fire on a group of worshipers inside their local church. Just as in Galilee, people had assembled together for worship and were in the midst of worship when their lives were cut short.

When the incident in Luke 13 was brought to the attention of Jesus, He made, what some might consider to be, an unusual and flippant statement. Jesus responded, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:1-5).

The key word in Jesus’s statement was repent. The message in Jesus’s statement was repent. Jesus wanted the people to realize that they too would one day have an appointment with death (Hebrews 9:27). He wanted the people to consider their own life in light of eternity. He wanted them to understand that repentance was the only recourse for death. The same is true for you and me today. Repentance and pursuing a life of obedience to Christ is the only recourse we have for death.

The word “repentance” carries the idea of changing one’s mind about sin and the consequences of that change of mind, which is turning completely from and forsaking sinful living. It is a change of one’s mind resulting in a change of one’s actions.

Repentance begins in the heart through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit causes you to sorrow over your sin. The Holy Spirit also causes you to recognize your utter wretchedness before a holy God. In humility of heart, you turn away from your sin and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ through exercising faith (trusting) in Him alone for forgiveness of your sin.

Obedience to the will and word of God is the result of repentance and faith. You know you have genuinely repented and possess genuine faith because you desire and strive to please the Lord in all that you do.

Jesus said, “enter through the narrow gate…” (Matthew 7:13).

Repentance and faith provide entrance through the narrow gate and repentance, faith and obedience carry you along the narrow road that leads to life.

However, there is another gate. Jesus also said, “…for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction and many are those who enter through it…” (Matthew 7:13).

Tragically, scores of people are flocking through the wide gate. No one is prevented from entering nor turned away due to overcrowding. It would seem the more travelers who enter, the more room is made available for them. Apparently the gate is easy to find and easy to access. However, the problem is that the people traveling the wide road think they are headed to life. They are religious but lost.

The wide road travelers have rejected Christ’s way of righteousness and devised their own way which makes them appear righteous. They enter and travel comfortably on the wide road. When you think about it, it doesn’t take much to be a religious person.

The wide road ultimately does not require you to change. You act the part and pretend because it works. For example, you can simply add Jesus to your life and carry on with your life the way that best pleases you. The wide road does not require you to love your enemies. After all, it makes no sense to love people who are your enemies. The wide road does not require you to pray for those who persecute you. Again, it makes no sense to pray for the very people who hurt and mistreat you. On the wide road, if you are offended by the church or experience a broken relationship in your church, you simply pack up and move on. You do not seek to be reconciled and you certainly do not forgive.

On the wide road, if you become tired and “fall out of love” with your spouse, you simply get out of the marriage. It’s too hard and besides, you and your husband have grown apart. You are like the woman in Proverbs who “leaves the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God” (Proverbs 2:17). The wide road allows you to do what makes sense and seems right in the moment (Proverbs 14:12). Rather than convict you, the wide road applauds you. It will always applaud you and your way of living.

Ultimately, the wide road is very accommodating and bends to your wishes and desires, allowing you to be you. However, the problem with you being you, is that you will not become like Christ and Christ will not be “formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Sadly, you will hear Jesus say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

What about you? Have you entered through the narrow gate? Are you on the narrow road that leads to life? It’s not too late to enter. All you have to do is repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).

Life is fragile and life is temporary. When tragedies and sudden death occur, it brings the Psalmist words to mind, front and center: “man is like a mere breath, his days are like a passing shadow” (Psalm 144:4).

For further reading: Romans 10:9-10, Romans 6:23, Acts 16:30b-31. Acts 4:12

Children: The Gift That Keeps On Being Rejected

Do Christian couples have to have children or is it okay to forego that part of the marriage relationship?

  • “Neither my husband nor I feel any desire to reproduce.”
  • “My husband and I got married in our late forties…”
  • “I have a disability that requires me to need more hours of sleep at night”
  • “The more we prayed and the more we listened, the more it became clear to both of us that God’s decision was not for us to have children.”

These are some of the numerous excuses I have heard regarding why some Christians choose not to have children.  


My beautiful mother had eight children of which I am the seventh.


I can remember numerous times thinking, “I’m not having eight kids, that’s too many!”    At the time I could not tell you why I thought eight was too many or what was the basis for that conclusion?  For some reason, I thought two or three kids was the perfect, nuclear family.  

Don’t get me wrong, I loved growing up in a large family.  I loved our Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations together, especially since my older siblings were married and had children of their own.  A house full of people, laughter, smiles, football watching, story-telling, babies crying and plenty of good food to go around.  Those are some of my fondest memories. Still, I had my mind made up, only two and maybe three kids for me tops. 

I carried that line of thought right into my marriage.  However, my husband wanted at least five (he is the youngest of three). What happened?  God gave us four, only three pregnancies, but four amazing kids.  Yes, the last pregnancy was twins. Sometimes I wondered if God knowing how emphatic I was not to have more than three, slipped another baby in my womb just to remind me that He is God and I am not!  He is sovereign over all and I am sovereign over nothing! 

Even though I know that God is sovereign, it has crossed my mind what might have been if I was less concerned about what I wanted and more concerned about honoring and glorifying God.

Before I continue, I want you to be aware of the fact that the truths I am about to share are coming from the Word of God and cannot be understood, accepted or heeded without a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Because of Christ, we not only desire to know Him more but to serve Him through faithful obedience to His Word. 

Secondly, I know that there are some medical conditions that prevent women from conceiving and giving birth who would otherwise welcome the gift of children.  I know that some marriages begin after child bearing years have ended.  

Thirdly, I know this topic is not just a female issue alone.  Some women are married to men who do not want to have children and while the wife’s heart is open to having children, her husband discourages it.   I also know that some women along with their husband have been negatively impacted by the cultural mindset that acquiring things, position and success are much more pressing than having children.  In this case the decision whether to have children or to limit the number of children is often influenced by a desire for attaining the things of this life.

With that said, grab your Bible and let’s see what God has to say.  You may want to read chapters one and two of Genesis to get the full scope of the creation story.

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After God completed the fifth day of creation, He said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26).  Next God blessed the man and the woman and said, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).  

Take notice that the very first command God gave to Adam and Eve was to have children, not to build a house or start a career.  He did not even tell them to settle in and spend a few years getting use to their existence, let alone married life.  He did not command them to acquire certain things before starting a family.  So that there would be no question or misunderstanding regarding His purpose for the man and his wife, God repeated Himself three times.  That’s right, God said the same thing three times?  You have to ask, “why would He do that”?  He could have said “multiply” and that would have been enough.  

So critical to the heart of God was the command to procreate that God put emphasis on it. By saying the same thing in three different ways, God drew our attention to what is of value to Him.  God is all about His image prolifically filling the earth.  God values people, especially people who champion His cause and who set aside their agenda for His. Clearly God was not offering a suggestion or an opinion that He wanted Adam and Eve to strongly consider.  God did not preface His command by saying, “this is the ideal situation for your life, please try your best to attain it.”  God gave a clear and direct command to the married couple to bear children.  

How should the command be understood?  What does it mean?  Several things.

1.  The time to decide whether you want to have children is not after you are                     married. 

Marriage belongs to God because He created it. (Genesis 2:22; Mark 10:9) He has set the parameters and stipulations for it, one being that you must “be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.”  Simply put, if you are an individual who does not want to have children, marriage should not be entered into.  However, once you are married, God’s expectation is that you will follow through in obedience to His command and bear children. 

If you are a single woman desiring marriage, it is highly unwise to marry a man who does not want children.  If he does not want children, that is not going to change after you get married.  Child bearing is a command of God.   This is one reason why premarital counseling is so critical.  Topics such as this should be addressed and settled long before you walk down an isle and enter marriage. 

Notice also that the command was given before the fall of mankind.  Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God had already commanded them to reproduce (Genesis 1:28).  One of the devastating results of sin’s impact in the Christian marriage is the hesitancy of some and the outright rejection of others to bear children.  

2. The command is applicable to New Testament Saints.

Some women think that because the command to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth was given in the Old Testament, it is not applicable to New Testament Saints.  This belief is erroneous.  

Yes, the command is in the Old Testament.  However, just because something is in the Old Testament does not mean that it is not applicable for us today.  The Old Testament is part of the whole counsel of God and is very much relevant today in our Christian walk.  Also, it is to be noted that every New Testament author quotes directly from or appeals to the Old Testament in explaining a particular doctrine or teaching.  Here are just a few direct quotes from the Apostle Paul appealing to the Old Testament in his teaching.

While we are no longer under the old covenant, the command to procreate predates the   establishment of that covenant and therefore we are accountable to it.  The command is also found in the New Testament. 

“Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.”  (I Timothy 5:14)

3.  God’s judgment in Genesis 3 sheds light on His clear intention for women to bear       children.

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Notice what God said to Eve in response to her sin in the garden.

“To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children. Yet your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

Why would God judge the woman in the area of childbearing if His expectation of her was something other than bearing children or if He was going to convince certain women not to have children at all.   Why greatly increase the pain in childbearing knowing that a married woman could simply choose not to have children.

God’s judgment was specific and particular.  He chose an area of a women’s life where she would severely feel the impact of her sin and consequence for her role in the fall of mankind.  God did the same in judging Adam for his role in the fall of mankind.  God chose an area of a man’s life where he would severely feel the impact of his sin.  A man is to work and provide for his family yet God said, “cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:17).

Here’s a caveat that I’ll have to unpack at another time.  A woman due to biological reasons will reach a point in her life where she will no longer be able to bear children.  Also, the children she has borne will one day no longer be under her direct care and influence.  Therefore, that part of the woman’s punishment will end eventually.  However, the man’s punishment will go with him his entire life.  He must work and eat by the “sweat of his brow” (Genesis 3:19).   He will feel the consequences of his role in the fall of mankind until he dies. 

4.  We have been given an enormous responsibility.

Leave it to God to extend grace even in the midst of judgment.  Although it was a woman who led the way in the fall of mankind, God has graciously provided a “counter” for the stigma that the woman bears for her role in the fall.  A married woman who follows through in obedience to God’s command to procreate, has been given the opportunity to bring up a godly heritage unto the Lord as she rears her offspring in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

A godly woman reigns in herself and resolutely determines to continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint (I Timothy 2:15).  A godly woman is going to see about the things of the Lord and making sure her life is a beautiful reflection of what God intended for her.  John MacArthur had the following to say,

“The pain associated with childbirth was the punishment for the woman’s sin, but the joy and privilege of child rearing delivers women from the stigma of that sin.  Women are kept from any accusation of inferiority through the godly influence they have in the lives of their precious children.  For the church to depart from this divine order is to perpetuate the disaster of the fall.”

5.  Children are a gift and a blessing from God.

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…” (Psalm 127:3-5).


You would agree that if you came into a windfall of money (legitimately) it would be a blessing, a wonderful gift from God?  Right?  Would you refuse the gift?  Would you do whatever you could to keep from being the recipient of financial increase?  Would you attempt to limit the amount of the financial increase headed your way?  Absolutely not!  When it comes to our finances, we want them to be fruitful.  We want our finances to be multiplied (exponentially) and we want them to fill up our bank accounts. Right?

You would also agree that physical health and vitality is a gift and blessing from God.  Right?  Would you attempt to destroy your good health on purpose?  Would you harm your physical body so as to ruin any chance of being healthy?  Absolutely not!

However, when it comes to the gift and blessing of children, some of us have an attitude and disposition to greatly limit the number or completely prevent the possibility of having children altogether.  Although most married women desire to have children, when and how many is quite often determined by their personal desires and circumstances.  One individual in a recent article I read had this to say:

“As my husband and I turn 50, we can truthfully say that we have not had any regrets regarding our decision not to have children.  We continue to believe that this was God’s will for our lives personally and that it is consistent with the general biblical guidelines governing Christian life and practice.  I believe a Christian couple has the freedom in Christ to decide not to have children.  I believe there are a whole range of legitimate, even selfless, reasons for choosing not to have children, often related to one’s life circumstances or calling.”

Reading those words coming from a Christian is sad.  It is tragic how some “Christian” couple’s believe whatever they want to believe without any Biblical factual basis whatsoever and regardless of what God’s Word says.  I cannot tell you how many times women have started or ended their argument explaining why they believe a certain way with the words… “I just don’t think God wants me…” or “I don’t believe God would have me…” or “I just don’t feel God would…” etc.    

Ladies, we cannot come to the text of Scripture with what we think or what we have heard or what our mother always told us or how we feel.  Rather, we must come to the Word of God humbly, eagerly, openly and ready to receive what thus says the Lord.  “What does the Bible say” should be our mantra!

Here’s where I start stepping on my own toes.  I was not focused on glorifying God in my attitude for two and no more than three children.  My focus was on me and what I wanted in life.  I viewed too many children as an unnecessary financial burden.  Having married at a young age, I wanted to be finished having babies by the time I turned 30.  In fact my twins were born when I was twenty-nine.  I wanted to pursue my own goals and desires and more children would certainly have hindered my efforts.  Clearly, I did not have a God-centered perspective and I limited the number of children I could have had.   

After my third pregnancy and giving birth to twins in May of 1994, I was all too ready to halt any future opportunities for childbearing.  My circumstances, personal desires and goals and pure selfishness are some of the reasons why.  It was a decision made that I have regretted.  However, I am grateful that God in His grace has not allowed me to continue in feelings of regret. He has given me opportunity not only to teach my children but also to teach women the truth about childbearing.  I am reminded often that God does not want me to live in a state of regret. Paul put it like this: 

“…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13-14)
























Silence To Keep The Marriage Intact?

I just read an article in Christianity Today about a prominent theologian who recently changed his position on divorce due to a new scriptural understanding he had acquired.  The new scriptural understanding he believes allows for a Christian woman to divorce her husband in cases of abuse.  The theologian I am referring to is Dr Wayne Grudem.  I cannot express to you the high level of respect and admiration I have for Dr. Grudem.  While I have not had the privilege of hearing him speak in person, the book “Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood” that he co-edited was eye-opening, encouraging, challenging and convicting to me.  It is a book I have turned to again and again for my own personal growth and understanding of what it means to be a godly wife and for counseling women in general.   

The article explained how Dr. Grudem changed his view on divorce after learning of heartbreaking situations of severe sexual and physical misconduct that had gone on for decades in a marriage relationship.  

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My heart aches for any woman saved or unsaved who has been subjected to abuse of any kind.  However, physical abuse in a marriage relationship is unconscionable.  For some unfortunate reason a woman will marry a man in spite of clear and obvious red flags including physical abuse that occurred before the marriage.  Other women have experienced physical abuse where once there was unconditional love and respect in their marriage relationship.   In either case it is wrong, sinful and always unacceptable.  

The article quoted Dr. Grudem as having stated that he now believes the Bible offers a third option for Christian women who find themselves in an abusive marriage relationship. After his study of I Cor. 7:15 he concluded that the phrase in such cases means “any cases that would similarly destroy a marriage.”  He now believes abuse is grounds for divorce.   In reading his statements about what some women have had to deal with, I became sadden for women who are currently in such deplorable relationships.  However, that a new scriptural basis for divorce has been researched, discovered and is now being implemented should be disturbing to the Christian community at large.  The Psalmist said, “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).  Why, in 2019, are new meanings to scriptural phrases being discovered in order for permission to be granted to get out of a marriage, albeit, an abusive marriage? 

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The Bible says, “For I hate divorce, says the Lord…” (Malachi 2:16). God’s view of divorce has not changed nor will it ever change because God Himself is unchanging (immutable).   He cannot change, nor His views, ordinances, declarations or commands.  God has nothing more to say on divorce or any other subject in His Word.  We as His children are to embrace His Word, obey His Word, exalt and proclaim His Word. 

Having said that, I am NOT advocating that a woman remain in a home and allow herself to be used as a punching bag.  Nor would I ever under any circumstance counsel a woman to do so.

However, telling a woman she is free under God to pursue a divorce because she has been physically abused is not supported in scripture. Discovering in 2019 a hidden meaning of a phrase that has gone unnoticed throughout church history is a very slippery slope.  The Christian community should be very concerned as to where this kind of handling of the scriptures will inevitably lead. 

Once the door is opened for physical abuse cases to allow for divorce, the argument can also be drawn on a number of other heart wrenching and painful marital situations.   Some husbands could give a very compelling argument that their marriage is destroyed (dead) due to the fact that their wife does not even regard him as her husband, does not respect him, does not submit to him and refuses to be intimate with him (Eph. 5:22, 24, 33; I Cor. 7:3-4). With this newfound meaning to scripture, he would be free to get out of his marriage. Any spouse would have the freedom to declare their marriage is dead due to whatever they believe has destroyed it. In other words, who decides what qualifies the marriage as “dead” and on what basis?

We would agree that nowhere in the Bible does God sanction the physical abuse of anyone, certainly not a spouse.  As much as we would like to think that domestic violence should easily qualify for the dissolution of a marriage, it is not found in the Word of God.   I have counseled women who have stated that their husband was abusive to them. For some it was physical abuse, others it was verbal or emotional abuse. I have even counseled women whose husband was addicted to pornography and felt that since he had violated the spirit of Matthew 5:27-28, she had a right under God to seek divorce.  There again, it is not found in the Word of God.

Our Sovereign God obviously knew that due to the utter sinfulness of man, marriage would devolve to such egregious levels, and even to the point of domestic violence and abuse, yet He did not revise His declaration.  God hates divorce.  However, He allows divorce to take place when adultery is involved (Matthew 19:9) or abandonment of an unbeliever (I Cor. 7:15).   Keep in mind that in both of the above cases, there is no command to pursue divorce.  God has never commanded anyone to divorce their spouse.  I know of couples who have experienced the severe pain and heartache of infidelity and yet after repentance, forgiveness and church discipline has taken place along with sound, biblical counsel and by God’s overwhelming grace have remained married.

Let me say again, I am NOT advocating that a woman remain in a home and allow herself to be used as a punching bag.

It should also be equally disturbing to the Christian community at large that some women would believe that they should keep silent when abuse is taking place in their marriage, whether due to horrific counsel or something else.  It’s heartbreaking that a woman would convince herself that her Christian duty was to “preserve the marriage” in spite of the fact that physical abuse was being perpetrated against her.  This is yet another reason we as women need to know the Word for ourselves.  We need to seek out sound doctrine and become a student of it.  It is a travesty that too many churches today are not teaching sound doctrine.  If you are in one of those kinds of churches, I strongly suggest you leave.  As women, we also need to be discerning. The only way to discern truth from error is to develop a fierce appetite for truth and nothing but the truth.  You need to become a part of a church where the Word is taught, where there are elders properly governing the church and where you can grow spiritually.  It is tragic the things that Christian women attempt to endure due to faulty counsel, and a lack of understanding of the scriptures.   

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Again, this is why it is so critically important that as women we must not only be sitting under the teaching of sound doctrine but we must study and know the Word for ourselves.  We should not be satisfied to live solely on what someone else says about the Word but rather desire to know the Word for ourselves?  The Bereans in the book of Acts were a more noble-minded people because they eagerly received the Word and examined the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).

God does not expect an abused wife to quietly endure domestic violence at any level. But rather, according to Matthew 18:15, the first line of defense is to confront her husband at the onset of the slightest physical mistreatment.  However, if the first occurrence of abuse is severe, she needs to remove herself from the home immediately and seek physical safety.  She also needs to notify the elders of her church and follow their counsel (biblically sound counsel). Contacting her local authorities and following their appropriate measures established in domestic violence cases should also be pursued.  

It goes without saying that marriage is hard work and is getting harder these days.

Marriage is under attack and has been since the first vicious assault on that perfect couple God created in the garden of Eden. Crafting the assault through deceptive means was a powerful tool of the enemy that unfortunately was successful.  

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No woman should ever be told to remain in a home where she is being physically abused nor should she accept counsel that advises such.  No woman should ever be convinced that her silence to preserve the marriage is her “Christian duty.”  

I pray that this article will garner a deep desire for women to first of all fight for their own spiritual growth and develop an unquenchable desire for the unadulterated Word of God.  I pray that no woman in her desire to honor and please the Lord would labor under faulty counsel and beliefs.  I pray that any woman currently in an abusive relationship would speak up about it and get the physical and spiritual help she needs to move forward in safety and in the grace of God.