Integrity has two sides: that which you will not do and that which you will do. The latter is often forgotten when it comes to integrity. Integrity is adhering to principles that you or your ethical and moral side hold as truth and of value to follow. Integrity by definition is being “honest” and walking in, “soundness of moral character.”
We have come face-to-face with so many different life problems while involved in pre- and postmarital counseling with engaged couples. For example, a young woman’s sexual abuse as a child; a young man’s addiction to pornography; pregnancy; extreme debt; the recent loss of a parent and more. These couples found themselves facing huge life challenges before saying “I do.”
Every couple we have ever faced presented new issues, new challenges. Walking them through these life challenges was our privilege as premarital counselors. We were not serving them as professionals, but rather as a mentor couple, and spiritual parents. What an honor to walk with them, to pray with them and then to see answers to our prayers together. It was a learning experience for them and for my wife and me.
Life has its twists and turns, but when you are able to walk alongside someone else serving and supporting them through those times, you are actually helping them to make it, to be successful and to grow toward maturity. Our book, Called Together, is a resource to enable other couples to do exactly this.
If you and your spouse have a heart to enter this type of ministry, we have a suggestion for you. You can take our free four-part training found on YouTube or you can attend our live training scheduled for February 22 at Westgate Church in Ephrata, PA. I will leave the live links on the bottom of this blog.
We have been involved in this ministry for many years and find great satisfaction and challenge in it. Walking couples through their histories, their likes and dislikes, their hurts and their joys, all the while, moving toward marriage is simply a satisfying venture. Helping to build a firm foundation for their future in the areas of communication, finances, sex and so much more brings with it a certain satisfaction. As well, we schedule several postmarital check-ups with them after they say “I do.” Follow-up is, as they say, where the rubber meets the road.
Do you know who Mary Kay Ash was? She worked at Stanley Home Products at one time and even though she spent many years there and trained many others, she was continually overlooked for promotion. She ended her job and wrote a book. That book was written to help women in business.
Born May 12, 1918 in Texas, she began her own cosmetic business at age 45. Her initial investment was $5,000 in 1963. The company turned a profit the first year. Today there are 1.6 million salespeople working for Mary Kay Inc. The rule she ran her company by? The Golden Rule: “Treat others as you want to be treated.” Annual sales now exceed $2.2 billion. Mary Kay once said, “One person can make a difference.”
Mary Kay believed that it was her job to make others feel important. Her life slogan was, “God first, family second, career third.” She knew that encouragement was crucial in relationship.
Who do you need to encourage today? Send them a text of encouragement. Tell them they are worth far more than they know. Tell them God had a specific design in mind when He created them. You can make a difference in the life of another today, because, “One person can make a difference.”
Dear Pastor MacArthur,
Your comments concerning Beth Moore and women like her seem shame-filled, judgmental and clearly challenged by the word of God and the life of His Son while on the earth. Please consider these scriptures found in the book of Luke concerning those who supported Jesus’ ministry.
After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from who seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of thier own means. (Luke 8:1-3)
These women were brave, courageous, supportive and bold. They were unashamed to walk with Jesus and serve Him in His earthly ministry. God’s word does not leave out their love and dedication to Him within public ministry and what an amazing example and inspiration to all women they become.
So, here’s my question for you Pastor MacArthur: Should Jesus have told these women to “Go home?”
As we approach election day here in the USA on November 5, I thought I would pass along to you some really healthy and sound advice/political values from Kris Vallotton. Kris is a well-known author and pastoral staff member at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. I think what he writes is worth considering and sharing. But first, let me share some of the best advice from God’s word found in I Timothy 2:1-10 from The Passion version.
1-3 The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.
4-7 He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.
8-10 Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.
- I can deeply love people in whom I strongly disagree with. I refuse to demonize any politician who is made in the image of God.
- I have enemies and Jesus gave me power over them on the cross, but my battle is NOT against flesh and blood.
- When you call someone by an evil name…you have decided that you know their heart. But, the Apostle Paul said, “Who are you to judge the servant of another?”
- Associating with, or serving political people, should not be confused with embracing their ideologies. All political offices deserve to be honored according to Romans 13.
- I am commanded and called to pray for my leaders. If you don’t pray for them, then you don’t have a right to critique their success or failure.
- My first allegiance is not to a political party but to the kingdom of God.
- I cannot separate my spiritual views from my political views because the government of this world is being affected and infected by the invisible realm.
- Great government doesn’t take away the right of people to sin. That’s sharia law. It does however, protect people from sinning against others and teaching people to do so.
- It’s not the responsibility of government to Christianize the world. That’s the church’s job. Jesus rules the nations with a rod of iron, but He leads the church with a shepherd’s staff.
Let’s prayerfully walk this election out like our first allegiance is to the kingdom of God and not to a political party.
The Old Testament man of God called Nehemiah was a king’s cupbearer turned leader of Israel.
He is well-known and honored for his obedience to leave a very comfortable position serving king Artaxerxes to return to his people, the Israelites, to rebuild the walls and gates around Jerusalem. It was a daunting task, but Nehemiah continually spoke faith-filled words like, “The God of heaven will give us success.” The assignments were handed out and the walls were being rebuilt even through opposition.
But were the walls his most meaningful feat? I actually think there were others that were just as important – perhaps more important.
First, Nehemiah saw something amazing happen in Israel as they went to work on the walls together. In chapter nine we are told the Israelites, under Nehemiah’s lead, gathered together to fast and pray. The result? Repentance. They confessed their sin and the wickedness of their forefathers. Then in chapter ten, we are told what followed confession was a new-found desire to once again obey God’s commands. They took an oath to follow the Law of God, given to them by Moses.
Following this, the Israelites started tithing again, including a tithe of their crops and a tithe of the tithe to the treasury. They would stop neglecting the house of their God!
Finally, Nehemiah reestablished the Sabbath. With repentance, with obeying God’s commands through His Law and with tithing, Israel would also find rest in God’s Sabbath principles.
Nehemiah’s Initial response challenges me, “When I heard these things, I sat down and I wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 1:4). Am I hearing God’s commands for me in the midst of my day? Am I willing to step out and obey? Am I willing to do something that others see as radical?
But perhaps most important for each of us, this story causes me to think that Nehemiah’s obedience and passion require a profound question: what breaks my heart; what am I weeping over?
In a vision the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, has (Isaiah 6:8), God asks who He should send as a prophet to His people. Isaiah immediately responds in two sentences and five total words, “Here am I. Send me!” Have you ever said, “Here am I, send me” to God or have you hesitated, knowing He just might take you up on it? When I was a parent of younger children and asked who was available for a job, my kids would tend to make themselves scarce quickly. That reaction to a voice of authority is not uncommon.
However, leaders, like Isaiah, do not wait to see if anyone else is going to step up when something needs to be done. Leaders initiate, take initiative. They are raising their hands and are not hesitant to stand and speak up. Leaders make decisions to lead and are willing to take the jump at short notice. Leaders obey God and know when to step aside and leaders obey God and know when to step in.
True Holy Spirit led leaders also know they are not capable within themselves to lead, they walk in a Holy sense of inadequacy. At the same time, leaders who know the voice of the Spirit, walk in a confidence that their adequacy is from the Lord only.
I have been a leader for a long time. I’ve wanted to be a leader and have been committed to growing my leadership skills. I have never been a perfect leader, but often felt like a mistake- ridden one. It goes with the territory. But when you as a leader respond to God with, “Here am I. Send me,” God knows He’s not getting a perfect leader, but rather a leader He is perfecting.
Leaders need grace like everyone does, especially when making a mistake. There is no perfect leader, only leaders our Father is perfecting.