How Do You Know If You Are Ready For Marriage?

Anonymous asked:

How does one know if one is ready to consider marriage? Is there such thing as being ready?

I answered:

If you listen to the Say That podcast, you know that I am not married. I have, however, been skydiving. I’ll explain why I draw that parallel. You can’t be fully prepared for your first skydive. It’s so different from anything else you have ever done that you can’t know what its like until you experience it. There are, on the other hand, a million and one ways to be unprepared to jump out of a plane, with disastrous results. It is the same with marriage, you will never be 100 percent prepared, but it is possible to know that you are unprepared to take the leap.

Some of the things people use as indicators to be “ready” for marriage, such as having finished school, or achieved certain career goals, or having a certain amount of financial security, have nothing to do with being ready for marriage. There is nothing inherently wrong with waiting for those things, but none of them will make you more prepared to be a spouse. 

The actuality of being prepared for marriage is about work you have done on yourself. Addressing your own insecurities, to know how to communicate, to have worked out issues around trust and intimacy, those are the kind of things that prepare you to be married. Marriage is the act of joining your life with someone else’s, so you need to make sure that your life is something you would want someone you love involved with. If you are swirl of drama and insecurity, then would you be comfortable involving someone else with that?

Genesis says that, before the fall, Adam and Eve lived “naked and unashamed”. Marriage is as close as we in this fallen world get to that, to be able to be yourself without the fear of someone giving up on you. So you have to put in the work to be someone who is capable of being exposed and not being ashamed of who you are. It is kind of a crazy state of being.

Marriage is kind of a ridiculous concept. It is hard, and complicated, and takes a massive amount of sacrifice and energy. So those are the costs, but there is the reward as well. Marriage is an all encompassing decision. It is passionate, yet also practical. You definitely take your time and take it before the Lord. And when you can look at your relationship realistically, not in a romantic haze, and see that the reward of being with this person is worth all of that hard stuff, then you can take a deep breath and take the leap.


-Matt from The Bridge

Episode 31 of the Say That podcast is up.

We discuss: How do you react to people who call themselves Christians, but don’t act that way? How do you share a big secret with someone? How do you know when you are ready for marriage?

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The Sabbath

Anonymous asked:

What does it really mean to keep the Sabbath?

I answered:

Some folks talk about “keeping the Sabbath” which, as you correctly point out, is kind of vague and confusing. The verse they are referring to, Exodus 20:8, says “remember the sabbath day by keeping it holy”. That may seem just as complicated, but the word “holy” is a huge help. The word holy basically means to be set apart, to be different. So to keep this day holy is to set it apart from other days.

The concept of the Sabbath comes from Genesis when God is creating the universe, the seventh (sabbath) day was different. The reason it was different was because God rested on that day. So it makes sense that that is how God wants us to set the day apart, by resting. Some people take this to the point of doing all their cooking on saturday because cooking might be work and you don’t work on the Sabbath. 

I don’t think God will smite us for technicalities, but I think the concept of rest is very important. God commanded the Israelites to let their land rest by lying fallow every seventh year. They ignored that for 70 years, so God made the land not produce for 10 years to fulfill that law. We work in the same way, getting a little bit of rest every week is much better than going until you collapse and have to rest just to catch up.

The idea of taking a day of rest is in itself set apart from the thinking of the world. Worldly thinking says that rest is wasted time. Since you aren’t earning money, or studying, or gaining a skill, then it is worthless. But God says differently. God says that your rest is important and you should put in the effort to making sure you get it.

The Christian ideal is to have the Sabbath on Sunday. Which is perfectly fine, though not an iron clad rule. For people in ministry for example, that is impossible because they work on Sunday. In the Bible, Jesus healed people on the Sabbath even thought the religious leaders said He was sinning by doing so. Most pastors have a day off during the week instead of Sunday, which is perfectly fine.

You are much better off in your walk with God, and in life, to take a day of the week to rest. It will make the rest of your time more productive and more focused. God designed us that way.


-Matt from The Bridge

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The phrase I say to God most often is “I need you”. “I don’t have this, I’m not able, I’m not sanctified enough, I need You to do this through me.” Dependence that is learned in tough times will serve you well in your walk.

Glen Fitzjerrell (Unka Glen) on episode 30 of the Say That podcast

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Can I Go to God with My Doubts About God?

Anonymous asked:

Recently I’v been wondering about other opinions on religion & Christianity & I’m reading God is Not Great. I have began to doubt the way I was led to think about everything, being from a Christian background. I’m now really confused & I’m unsure what I believe in now. There are so many problems with religion in general because it’s a human attempt at living how God wants. Deep down I believe God is there but I feel I can’t pray about it because He’s so involved with the things I’m doubting.

I answered:

Not believing in God and thinking that a lot of religious people act like jerks are not really related. It is entirely possible, and right, to have faith in Jesus and think that organized religion has a tough job getting the Jesus thing right. So remove what Christians, particularly high profile politically motivated Christians, are saying from the equation the best you can. For everyone of them there are plenty of Christians and churches that are doing their best to love God and serve people in a humble and loving way.

There is this feeling that you can’t go to God with doubts about God. It is not true and it is also more about us than God. We tend to apply the same thing to all our relationships, having a problem with someone and going to everyone except them about it. Of course the reality is that going to the person is the only way to resolve your feelings.

You say that you believe God is, but you seem to be having some doubts about the details. That is a really good place from which to approach God. God is not afraid of, or angry at, your doubts.

One of the coolest phrases in the Bible is a a man saying to Jesus “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief”. Jesus doesn’t punish him for this, in fact, He heals the man’s son. No one in the Bible has perfect faith all the time. For Abraham, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul, and for all of us, faith is a battle. 

God is the only place to go with doubts about God, because only He can answer them. God appreciates honest prayer, and honesty means expressing doubt. God is not afraid of your doubts, and you shouldn’t be either. 

One of my favorite writer names Frederick Buechner said, “Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving”. Your doubts should drive you towards interacting with God, because that is where the answers are and He is willing to provide them.


-Matt from The Bridge

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Every relationship is unique, because the two people in it are unique. There has never been a person exactly like you, so there has never been a relationship with God exactly like yours. Don’t be afraid to find something that works for you and your relationship with God just because it doesn’t look the way someone says it should.

Jed Brewer on episode 30 of the Say That podcast

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On Innocence

Anonymous asked:

A lot of Christians talk about being “pro life” but only apply it to abortion. Should it not also apply to the death penalty? Jesus did say “he who has not sinned me cast the first stone,” so what right do we as sinners have to punish someone with death? Should it not also apply to war? Jesus did say “he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” I have yet to find a Jesus quote that directly relates to abortion, but both of those quotes directly relate to the issues I mentioned.

I answered:

You raise some very complicated points in your question. It is not my intention to tell anyone how they should vote or feel about certain issues. With that said,I do think there is a very good point that underlying the situation you bring up.

There does seem to be a disconnect between Christians who are willing to go to great lengths to outlaw abortion in the name of “the sanctity of life” while many, thought not all, also support military intervention and the death penalty. We are talking about political viewpoints, however there are churches that talk about these issues and politicians who claim to speak for all Christians on them, which is quite disconcerting to Christians who disagree with them. I will not attempt to address any political motivations, but I believe there is a theological idea that underlies this.

People who are virulently anti legal abortion often consider themselves champions of the innocent. So much of that movements literature and iconography is about babies in soft light, the paragon of innocence. Now, contrast that with ads that portray being “tough on crime”, that is about large scary men in dark clothes in the shadows, the very opposite of innocence. So the unborn are to be protected and championed because they are innocent, and criminals and other nation’s soldiers have done something to deserve their fate. I am not saying people consciously think this, but it seems that those ideas are in there.

This thinking is theologically inaccurate. Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. A child is no less sinful than a convicted murderer, sin is sin and all people are guilty of it. It may be odd to hear it put that starkly, but it is a bedrock of Christian belief.

In Romans 5:7-8 Paul says “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What makes Christianity different from the world is that love for the guilty. In the sermon on the mount Jesus says that even pagans love those who love them, but His followers should love their enemies. By the same ideal, anyone would stand up for the sanctity of the innocence, but Christians are different in that they are called to love the guilty. That is being Christ like. To love people because Jesus loves them, not because you have decided they deserve love.


-Matt from The Bridge

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