Stephen Goode

aka Police 2 Pastor and Marriage Conflict Expert

Stephen Goode - aka Police 2 Pastor and Marriage Conflict Expert

Stephen Goode Interviews Left Behind Producer Paul Lalonde

Some unplugged audio with Stephen Goode (Stephengoode.com) and Paul Lalonde to discuss the many facets and challenges of the Christian Movie Producing industry! In this interview Paul also talks about how he came to faith and the influence of prophetic and apocalyptic movies.

Stephen Goode Interviews Left Behind 2014 Producer Paul Lalonde! from Stephen Goode on Vimeo.

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@leftbehindmovie

Special thanks to @NorthsideCLT
Music by Kevin Macleod (Incompetech.com) Martian Cowboy

Left Behind

Give Up on My Marriage?

Police 2 Pastor” Stephen gets unplugged and REAL as he shares some painful experiences from his own marriage. Stephen and April have been married for almost 20 years, and it wasn’t always a smooth ride.Much of this is found in his book, “Marriage Triage”

Filmed at Crossroads Church Charlotte at a Lift Event (Ladies in Fellowship Together)

My First International Christian Retailers Convention (A Reflection from 2012)

This was written as I was coming back from Orlando after the release of Marriage Triage. It has some of my insights from a different writer’s perspective.

At the time of this post I should be 30,000 feet due south toward Orlando Florida for the ICRS Convention!

Marriage Triage
With the release of Marriage Triage and book signings, it is time for me to rub elbows and ideas with seasoned and talented Christian authors across the country. It is both surreal and sobering as I meet and do interviews with some of the worlds top Christian authors, and do media interviews with the press.

What do I say?

One thing I have been brushing up on is my interview skills by listening to podcast, and advice from well seasoned publicist and my agent (yes I even have an agent) Isn’t that a surprise? I have learned that you can say the wrong thing if you are not careful, and rambling can make the press glaze over. It must have punch, relevance, and conciseness. It also must be catchy, and memorable! It means practicing in front of mirrors, and being conscious of your reactions and expressions. It also means learning to anticipate questions, and even helping your interviewer by providing good questions.

Overall I am both excited to see what God is doing and I pray that Marriage Triage will be a tool used to guide many spouses through the rockiest periods of their marriage.

Faith Does Not Grow in a House of Plenty

Written by Steve Goode

In the past 25 years of working in and around people in a variety of situations I have been pondering some of the significant trends that I have observed. As a police officer I spent many hours in the midst of conflict and crisis trying to bring issues to at least some temporary absolution. If you wonder what I mean by this, as an officer you are trying to resolve the issue for the evening or day, long enough to stop the parties from killing each other so that you could move onto the next call for police service.  I am not saying I liked doing it this way, but that’s just how it works in the real world. It never was my job to change someone’s heart, which is the only real way to a permanent solution, and I accepted long ago that only the work of Jesus Christ could accomplish such an ominous task. It was almost a comfort to grasp this principle because I knew I could only solve so much in one evening, and that it wasn’t my job to fix the people involved. My primary frustration stemmed from the fact that the people involved almost never grasped this principle!

As I reflect and consider all the homes I visited as a police officer, and even the people who have visited me as Christian counselor, there are trends, and commonalities that do not fall into the category of coincidence. I also believe that I witnessed enough to dispel some of the myths that the answer to happiness and peace may lie in the amount of money you have. This discussion is not exhaustive for the sake of length, but we will look at one particular area. Many times all that a lot of money and resources really does to a family is prolongs and desensitizes them to the urgent needs in their lives. It’s not that money, and resources are bad, but that it sometimes can subdue our sensitivity to the real meaning and purpose of our lives. It’s the same reason we have feeling in our hands, and fingers. If that feeling wasn’t there we could leave our hands on the stove until we smelled burning flesh. Money and resources can sometimes just prolong the issues in our lives that are slowly and deliberately sucking the very life out of us both emotionally and spiritually.

A good example of this is found in the story of the Rich man and the poor man Lazarus. (Luke 16:19-31) The Rich man never realized his need until it was too late. He had everything he needed at his fingertips! He had servants, gold, the best food, and much more. Why would he look to the God who created him for anything? Maybe he was just waiting to be tested by God at some point in his life, and the testing never came. Maybe the test was to see if he would realize who allowed him to possess all he owned and become grateful to God for his lot in life! In any case it appears he never thought it to be necessary to reflect and worship God, because he was happy to live with plenty for the realized short-term gain he received. You could say he was no different than the “instant-gratification” crowd which wants a quick fix, but no commitment or accountability that would take some intentional effort. If you have never met someone like this go to any church this Sunday and you will find hundreds of them. (James 1:9)

You may think I just wrote this scathing piece to belittle and scold the evil rich people, but I didn’t write this for them at all. In fact I have many Christ serving and Godly friends who most likely have more money in their wallets than I have in my 401-K and bank account combined. There are many good Christian people with a giving heart who desire to do for others before themselves and this article wasn’t written to address them. This article was targeted to those of you who spend more time using phrases such as “If only we had more” or “If God just takes care of our money situation we will be more faithful to Him.” I am writing to those who may currently be in a family conflict or poor spiritual condition, and I am going to ask you to consider the utterly ridiculous.

We need to thank God everyday that he allows us to go through tough times whether financial or emotional. As crazy as it may seem to those who are hurting, there is a plan and purpose for your circumstances. Many rich and well resourced people may not see there immediate need, but you have the opportunity to experience, and make the necessary surrender that Christ requires of you. You have a chance to grow and mature in your Christian walk and see your faith blossom in a way that can only come through reliance on Jesus Christ!

Maybe you are one of those who’s financial and emotional world is falling apart around them and you can barely see an exit, but rejoice that this is a time of great opportunity in your life! With breath in your lungs and a relationship with Jesus Christ you can make it through your dark feelings of depression and despair! Realize that you have clearly seen that you do not have the strength to make it through your circumstances, which means you are going to have to totally rely on Christ alone! (Philippians 4:11-13; James 1:1-9)

Where God Has Called Me (A 50 Year Reflection)

by Stephen Goode

Where do I belong?! Many people ask that question in the course of seeking God’s direction for their lives and I was no exception. Family psychology may be the closest secular term for my passion, but I cannot accept most of the secular spin that the field relates to. I worked in partnership with family services for a number of years, but outside of a Biblical framework the efforts only offer a temporary fix to a deeper problem. To understand why I chose this ministry it is important to understand that I never wanted to feel a calling into Biblical counseling.

Where

I spent eleven years as a police officer in Greensboro NC, and remarkably the majority of my time was spent in the homes of families with severe and dysfunctional issues. All of these scenarios had common threads and problems, but the most prominent issue appeared to be what was missing. Many of these families with issues were trying to make their families and marriages successful in a Godless environment. Selfishness reigned in these homes filled with turmoil and violence. After being caught up in the middle of this element for so many years, I made it my primary goal when I left police work to get as far away from this type of environment as possible, but God had other plans. The truth was I had battled with a call to ministry long before I had gone into police work. In 1997 I left law enforcement to enter a computer field with the intent of never going near a domestic disturbance ever again, and at the same time my church was looking for a married couples Sunday school teacher. I began teaching only to notice that God continued to send both singles and couples to me who needed help with issues in their home. Some were related to violence, alcohol, and even drug addiction. Other couples were just living in hollow marriages with the intent of making each other as miserable as possible. There are many other illustrations I could mention, but for the sake of time I will stop there because I think you get the picture. It just seemed that no matter how hard I tried to avoid areas in my life related to counseling, God’s reach could always find me. In summary the reason I have entered Biblical counseling was not out of calling, but because God has dragged me kicking and screaming into this field, and since my desire is to be obedient, I choose to go where God wants me. (I guess you could say I would rathering be pouting with God, than puckering with the devil)

Since I have begun working with families and individuals in the framework of Biblical Counseling, God has turned my heart toward this direction, and burdened me for hurting people. God has taught me that the entry into the inner sanctum of a person’s life is almost always through their hurts and pains. Some may ask what I personally intend to gain from entering this field and my only response is this: The personal gains that I will acquire in this field have become rather irrelevant since I truly want God’s will to be done. Even so, I have had the reward of seeing couples in listless and dead end marriages redirected into God’s plan for their lives. Men with hardened hearts toward their wives have re-engaged and become spiritual heads of their home as God intended them to be. The impact on me has been to see that God desires for all couples to have a Jesus centered family where He is on the throne. I have learned that when I say there is no way, God is saying there is one way through His plan to bring families back together. The only way I know to impact God’s Kingdom is to follow his call. I plan on making that contribution through becoming a Nouthetic Counselor in the local church and potentially starting a new ministry under the umbrella of the local church ministering through counseling and Biblical direction. Now that you know my abbreviated story, what’s yours? Are you a runner, avoider or have you surrendered to God’s call on our life? Don’t waste another day avoiding God’s call, but run to Him and seek his will and direction in your life.

http://www.trumpetforgod.org/node/131

A Thought on God’s General Revelation to us (Rom 1:18-19)

by Stephen Goode

Just because there was a time Helen Keller didn’t understand water, didn’t make it any less real. Just because people don’t see or acknowledge God at work doesn’t mean he isn’t working. To the insensitive, “a sky” and they say “so what.” To those sensitive to the hand of God even the smallest natural functions are gazed upon with wonder.

Recently a person spoke to me of how they saw the numerous little ways God was working in their life and how awesome it was! I pray that we would all train our spiritual ears and eyes to be sensitive to the hand of God in the valley moments as well as the mountain top moments.

Arrogance Breeds Blindness


by Stephen Goode

I recently conversed with a gentleman that by all measures was the most arrogant person I have ever encountered. Add in my years in police work, and ministry and this is a very significant trophy. As I conversed with this gentleman,there appeared to be a complete absence of the ability to see fault or to own any personal failures. At one point in the conversation I asked the person if they had EVER done anything wrong, and the question was avoided by asking me the same question.

My response to the question of whether I had ever done anything wrong or failed was “absolutely!” Many times!

The Blindness of Arrogance

What you need to realize is that when there is a strong presence of arrogance, and a total absence of humility, there will always be a blindness to a persons own faults and failures.

The Response to Arrogance

As I left the conversation with the arrogant person my first thought was to say “I am glad I am not like that,” but then a different response overwhelmed me.

My response was to ask the following questions.

1. In what ways am I arrogant?
2. In what area of my life do I show a total absence of humility?

These questions led me to realize that my response to unadulterated arrogance isn’t to be MORE arrogant, but to be more reflective. It also led me to a place where I didn’t feel offended and attacked, but I began to have a great deal of pity and brokeness for this “blindly arrogant” man.

What I can Change

Since this very arrogant confrontation,I have been more aware of my responses to those around me. I have basically began to audit my own responses to everyone around me, especially my family. I truly believe satan wanted me to act like the pharisee who prayed “thank you that I am not like them”, but God taught me that in many ways I am like them. All of us have a heart capable of many evil actions. (Jer 17:9)

Have Humility

Humility is one of the most refreshing qualities a person can practice. It means never wearing your feelings on your shoulders or being too sensitive to every little comment that is made. It means being able to listen without motive or angle. Humility will build incredibly strong compassion muscles in your spirit.

Take an inventory of your life and see where this leads you.

Convenience Driven Parenting


Convenience Driven Parenting Trumpet for God Ministries

Link to Audio. Are you a parent who is so stressed about daily affairs, deadlines and hobbies in your life that you are neglecting one of your most precious gifts God has ever given you? The blessings from the Lord in the form of our sons and daughters? Are you a dad who is successful in the eyes of the world and yet you feel like a failure as a parent? I don’t separate convenient parents from hard working business parents because the result is still the same. The children tend to feel like more of an inconvenient burden, than a blessing to you.

Never Too Old To Learn! Sea-Dooing at 94 Years Old?

Recently I took my senior adults from my church to the lake for an outing and a little boating. Our host was very gracious and took us out on a 29 foot boat, but a few of my seniors had been eyeing the Sea-Doos at the pier. One of my seniors mentioned that I might even enjoy taking a sea-doo out for a spin, and I gladly seized the opportunity! What I misunderstood was the reason that my seniors wanted me to take out a sea-doo. They wanted to ride! In this video, take a moment to experience the thrills of a few of my senior adult friends who took an extreme sea-doo ride!

Is Speeding a Sin?

By Stephen Goode

Capture

As much as some Christians can get obsessed with legalism and denigrating a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to nothing more than a set of rules, I believe it is fair to ask whether they would agree that speeding is a sin. Yes, I have just gone there! A taboo thing we don’t speak of because it is highly likely that you have looked down at your speedometer on many occasions realizing that you are pushing the sound barrier envelope while jamming to your favorite praise and worship song. Maybe you pushed 15 or 20 over the speed limit because you were late to a church service, and that makes it perfectly justified. Right? Aren’t some scripture passages rendered null and void due to our circumstances?

I spent more than 11 years writing all sorts of tickets to traffic violators, and my last 6 years of police work I was certified to operate radar, which means I wrote a number of speeding tickets. I recall stopping a pastor who was speeding more than 20 over the limit while on his way to preach at a church service, and I remember the lecture he attempted to give me about how he was doing the Lord’s work. When I began to quote Romans 13 to him on how he should obey the authorities that have been placed over him he went completely mute. Not as much out of anger toward me, but I had just called his hand and placed his driving in the proper perspective. It was the most direct and effective use of the Matthew 18 model I had ever witnessed, and I wasn’t even a member of his congregation. His harbored sin was of all things failing to submit to the government authorities out of impatience and pragmatism. This harbored sin had been rooted in his life to the point that he didn’t even consider what he was doing to be wrong or sinful. It can easily be explained where the apostle Paul writes to not allow sin to come into our lives because it will begin to direct and guide our actions (Rom 6:12).

Capture2

Are Some Sins Worse Than Others?

Many times we justify sins we commit by putting them on the scales and trying to convince everyone that some sins are worse than others. Although I admit that some sins hold the spotlight much longer than less noted ones, it doesn’t give us a pass to repeatedly commit them. We know adultery is scarlet letter material, but offenses such as speeding, white lies, and even gossip take a back seat in our world. My point of this is not to scold everyone and storm off from the paper! I just want to give everyone a reality check that we should strive to live in a way that is above reproach, even when behind the wheel of our cars! Quit allowing even the littlest sins to remain in your presence without challenging their right to be in your life. Sure, we all sin and fall short (Rom 3:23), but don’t let it become such a chronic habit that you begin to be apathetic about removing it from your life and turning away from the pattern of sin.

Steps to Take Immediately

Until you can drive like you really wish to honor Jesus in all areas of your life, including driving, take the bumper stickers off! Even the one that says, “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.” It may be true (Romans 3:23), but get a grip on your weaknesses, then use the bumper sticker as a real testimony of your love for Jesus when you have had a little more practice.

5 Ways Not to Kill Your In-Laws at Christmas

DSC_0061-3by Stephen Goode
Also known as the “Police 2 Pastor”

Episode 1

Perspective

Okay so maybe I am embellishing just a little, but families can sometimes struggle through the Christmas season as opposed to counting their blessings. In this episode, Stephen gives a little encouragement to couples and families in crisis by giving them a different perspective on their crisis. As a former police officer, and pastor, I have a unique perspective on the world of Christmas, in-laws and conflict.

Marriage is Easier the Second Time. Not!

Roughly 48% percent of all marriages will end in divorce in America. The family is under constant attack as the new norm has now become blended families. Over half of all families in our country are second marriages with step-parents, and blended siblings.

We even see in the Bible where this became the societal norm of doing whatever was right in our own eyes (Judges 17:6). It is sad and disheartening that so many families have reached this place of compromise, but we cannot simply ignore their plight, throw scripture grenades at them, and expect their circumstances to get any easier. These families need our help! Marriage is tough enough the first time, but blended and second marriages bring tons of complicated baggage, and husbands and wives need our support and guidance to navigate through these hills and valleys. Many churches have no equipping tools to assist these families so the husbands and wives end up feeling different, and left feeling like a third wheel.

What are some ideas of new church ministries, and even things you as an individual can do to help guide and encourage husbands and wives in this situation?

If you are on a second marriage and a blended family, what has been your experience, whether good or bad, in your church?

I Sinned and Everybody Knows It, Now What?

by Stephen Goode
5 Biblical Tips on How to Respond

Many Times we Think Our Sin Remains in Secret, but no sin is secret

Whether each of us wishes to be honest with ourselves or not, we all have a secret sin in our life that we hope no one ever exposes. For those in high school it may be something we took, lied about, or did with another classmate. For adults it may be ethics, lying, or even an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker. If you are a stay-at-home mom you may have secret sins that only you know about. We all have secrets that we would do anything to keep hidden from the world forever.

But What if My Sin has Been Made Public?

Whatever your circumstances may be, your world feels as though it is literally crumbling. You wish you could just wipe the slate clean, and start over. It would surely beat re-living your sin in your head every single time something reminds you of it. This begs the simple question of how you should handle the fact that your sin has been exposed.

5 Biblical Tips on How to Respond

Remember that God’s Grace Never Leaves You – When our sin is exposed, people tend to seem much more judgmental and condemning. They go from living in a world of gray to seeing everything in a sharp world of black and white. In these moments don’t lose sight of the fact that when people seem to have left you, God’s grace has remained. Don’t let the sinful responses of others toward your sin lead you to more sin. (Rom 5:8; Ps 51:3; Rom 3:23)

Own Your Sins and Failures – In the midst of embarrassment it is easy to become defensive and angry. You just want people to back off and give you space, and you are most certain that there is a story behind each judgmental look and glance you receive. It can become hard to admit your sins and failures when it appears everyone has already made their mind up.

One of the evidences of our sorrow for our actions is demonstrated through our humility. An obvious sign we are not sorrowful is when we stay in a pride-filled and defensive place. The consequences of our sin may be the sinful way people are responding around you, but this doesn’t give you a pass to act the same way. OWN YOUR SIN! (James 4:6)

Counsel with Godly People – Even though confession is good for the soul, it doesn’t mean to share your sorrow with everyone you meet. Keep your wise counsel to a very tightly knit person or two, but do not feel the need to share your sin with the world. If you are a public figure there may be a need to handle your disclosures a little differently, but for normal everyday people, keep your confidants tightly knit. (Proverbs 12:15)

Do Not Lie – It may be necessary at times to not say anything, before backing yourself into a corner and lying. When people are accusing and badgering you at school, or at work, it may feel like you need to fix the situation by redirecting the people away from your sin. You may try and do this by flinging verbal mud at them or skewing the truth. The easiest way to avoid these temptations is to say nothing. It can even sometimes lead us to an outright lie when we feel there is no other alternative. Jesus gave us the best example of how to respond when he chose not to respond to the Pharisees as they continued to falsely accuse Him. Even before Pilot, Jesus chose not to utter long and drawn out explanations, and we can learn from this. (Is 52:13)

Lying or feeling the need to explain ourselves is sometimes our way to take control of what God is already handling.

Endure through Your Sin Being Exposed and Don’t Repeat – Enduring through an embarrassing season in your life is hard and difficult. You feel people will never look at you the same again, but let me give you some hope. You think that your sin was the focus of this whole exercise, but in reality, it never was! It was always about your response to your sinful actions! People will sin everyday thinking they will never be under any more scrutiny for what they did. It just so happens in your case, that everyone found out. It may seem that all they are concerned with is your sin, but why not use this moment to show them how a Christian responds to sin in their life?

Many people have responded dreadfully to the exposures of their sins and failures. We have witnessed company CEO’s, and CFO’s commit suicide from their shame. We have witnessed college and professional athletes live a life of lies and deceit.

In fact I believe the noblest act Lance Armstrong ever performed occurred when he confessed his illegal steroid use to the world. As painful as it may have been to lose everything, he gained much more through his confession.

What is your secret sin? I have some bad news if you think it is really secret. It’s not secret to God. He knows everything about you inside out, and desires for you to respond in a way that brings healing and restoration to your life.

About the Writer
Stephen Goode a.k.a. the Cop-Counselor, is the author of Marriage Triage, A Guide to Healing for the Hurting Spouse, He is a marriage author/speaker. He spent 11 years as a police officer in North Carolina, and has been a contributor to Discovery ID and Fox News. He has a B.A. and M.A. in Biblical Counseling. Stephen enjoys mixing dry-humor with biblical teachings to make the learner walk away with practical tools to endure through their Christian life and Marriage!

Anything in Your Life?

Written by Steve Goode

Is there anything in your life that makes the hours pass like minutes and the weeks pass like days? Is there anything in your life wasting your time to the point it does not feed a starving soul or fill the hearts of our spouses or children? Yes, is there anything that is in your life that leaves you empty, selfish, irritable, and feeling like you truly don’t understand your purpose in this life? There are numerous examples of what it could be. For some it may be Facebook and the virtual world of additional apps and games. For others it may be a sports hobby or even an inside hobby that steals your every waking thought and moment. For the workaholic it could be the unquenchable desire for business success.

If any of these depictions ring true, I can guarantee you the one person who is not first in your life if you claim to be a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Many people have pushed away from their faith in Jesus at times in their lives for many reasons and when this occurs there will always be something that comes into our lives to fill the void. What started out as a harmless hobby can easily become an unquenchable life-sucking obsession that impacts everyone in our life. It is described in scripture by saying that what we invite into our life that takes a priority seat, will control our every desire. (Rom 6:12) Before you know it you are talking to your spouse through the filter of a lawyer and your kids become synonymous with the term “custody” or “weekend visits”. All because of that “Anything in your life” problem you refused to acknowledge.

Whether you are a son, daughter, wife or husband, what would your family say about you? What is the “anything in your life” obsession or addiction that has driven a wedge between you and your family, and most importantly what has walled the relationship you once had with Jesus Christ? I can tell you from experience that a hobby or computer game can leave you feeling pretty lifeless and empty because you will wake up one day to realize that the only person whoever cared about the progress you made in your endeavors was you! I challenge anyone to consider these words whether you are aware of your issue or in total denial. I further ask that the one relationship you restore before any others is the one with your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you will do this I can once again guarantee you that every single relationship in your life will be restored from your sincere and genuine efforts. It may not be overnight, but anyone who has been in your shoes understands it never happens overnight. Sanctification takes a slow, long, and deliberate lifetime.

I leave you with the following scripture to help you get started without delay today! Then Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24)

Are Our Children Just like Us?

I think we sometimes need to imagine from a spiritual aspect what our children would be like if they took on all of our traits and daily life habits. I hope it would make us begin to be more concerned and aware of our own daily choices, and decisions. Are we honoring Christ throughout the day or catering to our own selfish desires and habits? And just so you know, this is already happening whether you want to admit it or not.


The Truth of Jesus is Inconvenient

Written by Steve Goode


 My level of hurt and sympathy goes out to those who are not committed to Jesus Christ, even though they do not ask me for such sympathy. You cannot reason with a person who has been decieved to the point that the only reality they know is what they choose to create. It’s almost like living in a parallel universe where each situation they encounter can be addressed with a pragmatic and baseless approach without regard to right or wrong. When we take this approach we will always do what is best for ourselves without regard to those around us. We will almost always choose the path of least resistance, and challenge any belief that would be arrogant enough to claim exclusivity or a singular right answer.

The mindset I have just depicted is in the majority of those in our country today. Everyone is looking for what makes them feel good. Even their charitable giving is an act of self-gratification where they want to show and impress those around them on how generous they are. Their life isn’t driven from obedience and gratitude to a savior who desires their exclusive loyalty. You may wonder why I bothered to approach this subject when it seems I am just whipping up on non-believers, but that is not my aim. I really am burdened for such a short-sighted and instant-gratification mindset. Such a mindset is lost and living apart from Jesus Christ with no hope for the long-term future. I desire with my whole heart to change the mindset of the masses, but I came to realize long ago that I cannot. None of us can wave a magic wand or prayer that will instantly make the majoritive masses turn to Jesus Christ, but it does not excuse you from evangelizing and sharing Jesus Christ with those that live around you!

I battled with this for years until one day I realized that Christ didn’t want me preaching to the masses, but discipling, and encouraging the one.  My sanctuary was never intended to be an auditorium filled with masses of people, but a single small office occupied by the one or two people who needed encouragement and Biblical guidance.

You may ask yourself why I wrote this note, and finally I will answer! Each of us has been called out of the masses to minister to the individuals “one on one.” You may be one who thinks that they cannot have an impact because you are a single light in a room of darkness at work or even in your family, but the Bible says you matter to God. In the book of II Kings Elijah thought he was the only Christian left in Israel and he wasn’t far from correct. There were probably no more than 7000 believers in the midst of millions, but it didn’t mean they mattered any less! Today I encourage each of you to go out there as a follower of Jesus Christ and be a light even when it appears that you are the only one choosing the “one way” as opposed to the broad-way! (John 14:6)

http://stevegoode.blogspot.com/2011/02/truth-of-jesus-is-inconvenient.html

Do You Value Your Wife? A Message for Hobby-Prone Hubbies

Written by Steve Goode

I have a topic for Christian husbands to ponder regarding the way they demonstrate how much they value their wife. According to Encarta, value is the worth, importance, or usefulness of something to somebody. To a scuba diver an oxygen tank may hold irreplaceable value. If you are a programmer then a computer may hold great value to your efforts, but what about a husband? A Biblically obedient husband understands that apart from his relationship with Christ that his wife is the most valuable treasure in his life! (Eph 5:25)

Recently I had the privilege of eating with one of my vendors so we could discuss some important business and negotiate some matters pertaining to our companies. Somehow the conversation shifted from work, to spiritual matters and we began to discuss the vendor’s marriage.

The conversation went into deep waters rather quickly as we began to discuss things about the vendor’s wife, family, and his hobbies. It turns out that the vendor was an avid golfer who enjoyed spending many hours away from home with his golf buddies at an average of 80 dollars a round. I asked him how long he had been married and he told me only two years with no kids. Something seemed to change in his countenance when we went from golf to marriage. I pried a little deeper and asked him what his wife enjoyed doing. The vendor said his wife was a school teacher who was immersed in her job in Charlotte, but he could not name one single thing his wife enjoyed doing in the form of an activity or hobby. I also noticed the perplexed expression on his face that I would dig into an area of his life that appeared to be lacking. In the course of 20 minutes we were able to uncover the fact that after two years of marriage his wife was anything, but a priority and that the influence of his in-laws and his own hobbies were creating mounting friction in the relationship. Not being able to let it go I asked one more question to stir the pot. “Do you see any issues with your scenario?” The expression I received was priceless and sad all rolled into one. There are some additional complexities in this relationship that I will not go into, but there is a high probability that this relationship is headed the wrong way. I can picture the husband staring clueless at an empty bed one day asking himself, “What went wrong?”

What husbands can learn from this is that we will know, study, and spend time with what we value. The husband in this situation read, studied, and immersed himself in the game of golf. He took lessons on improving his swing, invested in expensive clubs, and spent thousands of dollars on green fees so he could improve his game. He understood that his hobby took precision, practice and finesse. My question to everyone is what returns will the husband receive from all this effort? Will it make his wife draw close to him? Will the wife be instilled with a sense of her purpose and value to the husband? I could pile on here, but ultimately the only thing the husband will gain is a selfish sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that will hold no value when he leaves the parking lot of the golf course. Don’t get me wrong because I am not asking anyone to boycott golf. This illustration could apply to any hobby, but ultimately anything that a husband values more than his wife will have no appreciable return, in fact it will ultimately create a potential bail-out. A husband cannot honor God if he values stuff more than his wife.

Husbands I encourage you this week to spend time listening to, studying and learning what your wife desires, wants and enjoys. Understand that it is a lifetime pursuit that requires continuous study, adjustment, and practice. Love isn’t something we fall into like an open manhole, it’s something we learn new and fresh everyday! It’s not something we simply try out and throw away, but an active action we demonstrate to our wife moment by moment. It can become exciting and adventurous in ways you could never begin to imagine! Furthermore I encourage
the husbands to give their wives more than one and two word answers to the things that are on their heart. Go deep with each other and show that you value and treasure your relationship with her. Do this by sincerely opening up your heart to her and valuing her opinions and desires. If you already have this kind of marriage I applaud your efforts and ask you to look for young couples you can encourage and mentor about their relationships. Most of all, I want to be sure that you place your wife second while placing God first. (Eph 5:25) Also remember that there will be moments in your relationship where all you may have is your obedience to God to get through a difficult trial or temptation.

In concluding let me direct you to a few useful scriptures to utilize in your marriages.

Submit to each other (Eph 5:22-24) Don’t live in constant Conflict (Matt 12:25) Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church because our relationships are to be a model of Christ’s relationship to us. (Ep 5:25) God’s design is for man not to be alone (Gen 2:18-25) Our marriages are to be intimate and fulfilling which Husband and Wife must promote and work toward (Gen 2:18, 24)


In Honor of Officer Fred Thornton

Written by Steve Goode

This article was written as a result of the tragic death of a Charlotte police officer who died as a result of an accident with a concussion grenade in February 2011. Read the Obituary As Christians we need to be able to view any tragedy through the eyes of our Christian worldview. I reflect upon Fred’s life and how we can use it to strengthen our own daily walk with Christ.

Finding Hope in Tragic Loss

It has been an emotionally draining day for all compassionate and caring people in Charlotte as CMPD Officer Fred Thornton was remembered in an emotional and well planned memorial service today. A dedicated officer less than two years away from retirement. Thousands in police departments across the state have been impacted by the accidental tragedy of an officer they never even carried on a casual conversation with, yet there seems to be some thin blue connection with them all. I have been pondering why this particular tragedy has impacted me personally when I am thirteen years removed from my police career in Greensboro. It’s not like I haven’t seen the death of close police officer friends before. I lost my best friend who was a police officer in Mooresville 20 years ago. In fact the only reason my friend went into police work is that he saw how much I enjoyed it. I remember attending Greensboro Officer Porter Robinson’s funeral while still serving there. So what is it about the death of Officer Thornton that has been so emotional for even me considering I never met him? Maybe it is because this story isn’t about the death of the young or even inexperienced officer, but a seasoned and decorated veteran who was only a short time away from receiving the benefits of his efforts.

Officer Thornton appears to have been the classic story of dedication, longevity, and training. A man who has stared death in the face, and repeatedly walked out of the debrief unscathed. Maybe the reason police officers across the state have been impacted by Officer Thornton’s death is that we all at some point and time have stared death in the face whether knowingly or unknowingly, and walked away unscathed. What has occurred this past few days is that many officers have been reflecting on moments when they weren’t the most careful in a situation. Times when they could have done a better search, or mindlessly walked into the “fatal funnel”, but for some reason, walked away unharmed. While we mourn the loss of a brother, we reflect and question why we have been given the gift of a second chance. You see, as many lives as Officer Thornton may have saved in his 28 years of dedicated and loyal service, there may be countless other lives he will save in the years to come as officer’s across the state tighten their belts, and re-focus on the importance of officer survival tactics in the daily performance of their duties. We are honoring a man who has saved lives both past, present, and future.

Another reason I believe this tragedy has left such a big imprint is that we all plan for the future as if we are guaranteed that it will be there waiting. It reminds me of a scripture in the book of James where it says,

 “Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14)

This tragedy has shaken me to hug and re-hug my 3 and 7 year old, and let them know how much I love them. It has reminded me of the importance of not just planning for the future, but living in the now when it comes to family games, and flashlight hide and seek. It has re-enforced the insignificance of waxing the car when it comes to throwing the ball with my son. It has reminded me that it’s not about living tightly for the future, but living focused in the now. Looking for ways in the present to show my wife how much she is loved, and not making hollow tomorrow promises that may or may not be fulfilled.

For some that I know it may be looking less to things that give temporary satisfaction and seeing the importance of striving for eternal satisfaction. What about you? What newly revealed epiphany are you now aware of after such a difficult and grueling day of remembrance and loss? Will it really be the flowered gift that best remembers your fallen brother? Or will it be taking this tragedy, and making the necessary changes in your career and life to be the best that you can be. My personal prayer for each officer, and citizen alike is that you will see that there is only one way to be the best that you can be in all areas of your life. That area can only be initiated by seeking a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said that he came to give us the only true way to live to the fullest in the here and now.

“A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest” (John 10:10)

My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Officer Thornton’s family as they now adjust to a life without their loving husband and father. May the God of all peace bring comfort to each of you.


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To Christian Dads

Written by Steve Goode

I have a test for those claiming to be a Christian dad.

If there is no daily prayer with your children
If there is no daily prayer with your wife
If you don’t try and have a family Bible study regularly
If Jesus isn’t spoken of naturally, regularly and intentionally
If church is just a weekly optional obligation
If there is no sense of oneness in your family
Then what makes you any different than a non-believers home? Truth is there isn’t.

Read Ephesians 4:17-24 If you are one of those dads who do all these things I praise your efforts. Problems may still exists, but they seem so much smaller under the lens of intentional Christian living and striving.

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The Cascading Affect of Sin in Your Marriage

By Steve Goode

I have what seems to be a simple question to put on the table to Christian husbands and wives, and I am very curious what some of the answers may be. You may be one of those that know the textbook answer to this question, but in your heart is it really what you believe and practice? Do you really believe that in the scope of your marriage that you can sin in a way that does not affect your family? If you don’t understand what I am asking then let me try another approach. Is there such a thing as a victimless sin? I mean after all the purpose of the vice-squad in police departments is to investigate crimes that have no victim, so there must be such a thing as a victimless sin. For those of you who may stop reading at this point I am being extremely sarcastic so stay with me a moment more if you think I have lost my moral compass.

It sounds like that before I proceed any further we need a clear definition of what sin really is. To do this I am even going to go against my policy of forbidding five dollar words in my articles and make an exception to make my point. Sin is a “vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God.” (Collegiate Dictionary) In other words sin by its own definition propels us away from God. Vitiated means that you have been rendered totally ineffective when it comes to God’s purpose for your life! With that in mind the Bible says, “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” (Ps 90:8) It appears that not only does our sin affect all we will ever have the privilege to experience; it is also never done in secret. This is why in a Christian’s life that sin ought to be so putrid to our spiritual noses that it makes us physically sick. Sin holds the power to completely separate us from God if we allow it to manipulate and influence our daily lives. (Rom 6:23)
Before anyone gets too anxious I want to be very clear that God has provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins throughout the New Testament, (Rom 5:8; Rom 10:9) but this does not change the fact that our sin has consequences that will be carried out. Just like when our children say they are sorry and we forgive them, but they still have to take the spanking. This now carries us back to our initial question of how the consequences of our sin will affect more than just the spouse who commits the sin. To help you understand how sin has consequences that go beyond us I would like to take you back to the 1990’s when I was a patrol officer in Greensboro North Carolina on the north side of town. It was around nine o’clock that night when a family was returning home from dinner. The daughter was driving the car and her mother was sitting in the front passenger seat. The daughter went to make a left turn across oncoming traffic and did not give enough room to an oncoming car that T-boned her mom’s door on the passenger side of the vehicle. It was my duty that night to investigate the death of her mother who had been killed almost instantly from the impact of the crash. The daughter was grief stricken and broken over the loss of her mother. She was so sorry for the mistake that she had made, but nothing she did would ever bring her mother back. The daughter will live the rest of her life knowing she caused

the premature death of her mother all because of one wrong turn. It was never the daughter’s intent to harm even one hair on her mother’s head, but it doesn’t make the outcome any less tragic. This illustration is a perfect example of how our sinful actions can cause consequences we never imagined or anticipated. We see illustrations of how whole families were lost based on the actions of the spouse. If you don’t believe me take time to read about David and Bathsheba where David physically and spiritually lost one child after the other all because of his sin. (2 Samuel 12) Take some time and read how because of Achan’s selfish sinfulness he brought death to his family and several more innocent men. (Josh 7:1-15)

I have a question for any Christian spouse caught up in their own sin right now. I have gone over some pretty extreme illustrations, but I want to ask a different question regarding your children or spouse. You may never cause physical death to a child or spouse because of your sin, but there is something that is even more final. Are you willing to stay in a state of disobedience to God at the risk of your son, daughter, or spouse suffering a spiritual death? Is the pleasure of your sin really worth risking it all? (Matt 18:6; James 4:1) I wish we could call Heaven and speak with David about his favorite son Absalom and how David lived with the regret of knowing he played a part in his son’s rebellion and spiritual death. I believe it hurt him more than the physical death of Absalom. To know that David’s sinful and disobedient actions drove him into lust, adultery, and ultimately the murder of Uriah. (2 Samuel 11) Although God forgave David for his sins the consequences were left to be paid.

There are many ways spouses will try to rationalize away the scope of their sin in marriage. I have heard wives say that their husband really doesn’t care anyway in the case of affairs, and I have heard husbands say that no one really got hurt because it was only internet pornography. Some spouses have become so hurt and disillusioned that they have lost their ability to care about their sin. All of these excuses are a dangerous and spiritually deadly place to be. Do you fit into any of these categories today? Are you neck deep in your sin to the point you don’t feel like you can break free from the addictive chains of your sin?

Wherever you may be let me encourage you to let it stop right here and now. (Ephesians 4:22) God’s Word can bring you out of the pit that you are in and into an obedient and content relationship with Christ. (2 Peter 1:4-8) Stop listening to the voices of friendly opinion and understand that God’s plan for your life has most likely been on your nightstand or book shelf all along. (2 Tim 3:16) Seek Godly counsel and know that God is waiting to forgive you and to give you a second chance right now. Obediently accept his offer of forgiveness and restoration while there is still time and before the consequences grow! (Rom 5:8; Rom 6:23; Rom 10:9)

Dealing with Worry in Our Christian Lives

by Steve Goode

I would like to take the liberty of crafting a Biblical definition of what worry really is. Worry is the chronic or even occasional act of dwelling on our negative actions and circumstances with no confidence that a solution will ever be revealed. In fact it is rather faithless to feel this way, but I believe we can all sympathize and relate to this type of worry and anxiousness. It’s the kind that makes your stomach feel slightly knotted with just a dash of increased heartbeat. Once you have reached this point it’s hard to stay focused on anything else! Maybe you are dwelling on how to pay the bills, your relationship to your spouse, or some other negative or uncontrollable circumstances. It could be you are caught up in dwelling on regrets or past mistakes and you just can’t shake the flashbacks! Let me be the first to confess that I have traveled down most of these dwelling roads and it is no picnic. In fact in some cases we can feel situational feelings of depression over what we let our minds dwell on. Sometimes the symptoms of worry can be so emotionally painful you may be tempted to get a prescription thinking it will fix your anxiousness, but trust me, unless you have a true chemical condition it won’t work. There are no magic pills.

Now that I have gotten you good and depressed I bet you are wondering where this is headed. We have learned that we arrived at a bad place because we dwelled on the wrong things. In fact the Bible tells us to fix our thoughts on honorable and true things. He desires for us to spend time on things that are worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)

Image from Lifehack.org


The problem was never simply fixing our mind, but fixing it on the wrong things! Quiz yourself and see where you have been letting your mind dwell. Can you honestly say it was fixated on pure and honorable things?

We need to understand that to worry is a sin! The Bible says that we are to worry or be anxious for nothing. (Phil 4:6) Paul goes onto tell us that we are to pray and give thanks to God because he is the ultimate peace giver! The result of bathing your issues in prayer is that God will guard your heart. Wow, we can be protected and guarded by God where we can be hurt the most, our heart. We are also specifically told to cast all of our cares on Him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7) As we go down the list of scriptures we appear to be losing more and more traction on our reasons to worry.

Dwelling appears to play a major role in our worry so let’s talk for a moment about where we should allow our minds to dwell. There must be a place somewhere for a child of God’s mind to dwell where it can feel completely and totally safe from the circumstances and hurt of this world! To answer this I would like to tell you about an elderly gentleman my wife April and I used to help care for in 2000. His name was Roy Harris and he was a 90 year old homebound Alzheimer’s patient. Each time we would go by to see him we would ask him to recite Psalm 91. You see, even though Roy was in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s he had memorized Psalm 91 when he was younger, and even through all he had forgotten, that Psalm still dwelled in his mind. The first verse said “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow Almighty.” (Ps 91:1) I learned a great deal from Roy about where my mind needs to dwell if I want a true sense of peace and contentment. I can dwell in the very presence of the Almighty God! I do this by spending extended time in reading the Bible and prayer. There is no better way to rid your body of the feelings of worry and anxiousness! In fact Jesus Christ has been subjected to the very same temptations, worry, and anxiety that we each face every day. The Bible says that Jesus experienced all of these emotions while on earth. Jesus understands and cares deeply for you and where you are in your life. (Heb 4:15-16)

If you have bothered to read to this paragraph you have a question to ask yourself. Where has your mind been dwelling? Have you been worried and anxious about many things in and around you? My prayers are with all those who have allowed worry and anxiousness to encompass their lives. I pray that you will dwell in the shelter of the Most High today.

Things You Never want to Hear from Your Marriage Counselor

Sometimes we need to be able to laugh and smile even in our trials and struggles. Stephen Goode is a marriage counselor and x-cop who understands how much these circumstances hurt and are painful, but sometimes we just have to laugh, Stephen says “Many years a go I realized the biggest mistake I could make is to take myself too seriously.” Take a moment and just relax and know that no matter how big the marriage struggle is, God hasn’t checked out. He is still there just as large as ever.

Do You Value Your Wife?

By Steve Goode

I have a topic for Christian husbands to ponder regarding the way they demonstrate how much they value their wife. According to Encarta, value is the worth, importance, or usefulness of something to somebody. To a scuba diver an oxygen tank may hold irreplaceable value. If you are a programmer then a computer may hold great value to your efforts, but what about a husband? A Biblically obedient husband understands that apart from his relationship with Christ that his wife is the most valuable treasure in his life! (Eph 5:25)

Recently I had the privilege of eating with one of my vendors so we could discuss some important business and negotiate some matters pertaining to our companies. Somehow the conversation shifted from work, to spiritual matters and we began to discuss the vendor’s marriage. The conversation went into deep waters rather quickly as we began to discuss things about the vendor’s wife, family, and his hobbies. It turns out that the vendor was an avid golfer who enjoyed spending many hours away from home with his golf buddies at an average of 80 dollars a round. I asked him how long he had been married and he told me only two years with no kids. Something seemed to change in his countenance when we went from golf to marriage. I pried a little deeper and asked him what his wife enjoyed doing. The vendor said his wife was a school teacher who was immersed in her job in Charlotte, but he could not name one single thing his wife enjoyed doing in the form of an activity or hobby. I also noticed the perplexed expression on his face that I would dig into an area of his life that appeared to be lacking. In the course of 20 minutes we were able to uncover the fact that after two years of marriage his wife was anything, but a priority and that the influence of his in-laws and his own hobbies were creating mounting friction in the relationship. Not being able to let it go I asked one more question to stir the pot. “Do you see any issues with your scenario?” The expression I received was priceless and sad all rolled into one. There are some additional complexities in this relationship that I will not go into, but there is a high probability that this relationship is headed the wrong way. I can picture the husband staring clueless at an empty bed one day asking himself, “What went wrong?”

What husbands can learn from this is that we will know, study, and spend time with what we value. The husband in this situation read, studied, and immersed himself in the game of golf. He took lessons on improving his swing, invested in expensive clubs, and spent thousands of dollars on green fees so he could improve his game. He understood that his hobby took precision, practice and finesse. My question to everyone is what returns will the husband receive from all this effort? Will it make his wife draw close to him? Will the wife be instilled with a sense of her purpose and value to the husband? I could pile on here, but ultimately the only thing the husband will gain is a selfish sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that will hold no value when he leaves the parking lot of the golf course. Don’t get me wrong because I am not asking anyone to boycott golf. This illustration could apply to any hobby, but ultimately anything that a husband values more than his wife will have no appreciable return, in fact it will ultimately create a potential bail-out. A husband cannot honor God if he values stuff more than his wife.

Husbands I encourage you this week to spend time listening to, studying and learning what your wife desires, wants and enjoys. Understand that it is a lifetime pursuit that requires continuous study, adjustment, and practice. Love isn’t something we fall into like an open manhole, it’s something we learn new and fresh everyday! It’s not something we simply try out and throw away, but an active action we demonstrate to our wife moment by moment. It can become exciting and adventurous in ways you could never begin to imagine! Furthermore I encourage
the husbands to give their wives more than one and two word answers to the things that are on their heart. Go deep with each other and show that you value and treasure your relationship with her. Do this by sincerely opening up your heart to her and valuing her opinions and desires. If you already have this kind of marriage I applaud your efforts and ask you to look for young couples you can encourage and mentor about their relationships.

Most of all, I want to be sure that you place your wife second while placing God first. (Eph 5:25) Also remember that there will be moments in your relationship where all you may have is your obedience to God to get through a difficult trial or temptation. In concluding let me direct you to a few useful scriptures to utilize in your marriages. Submit to each other (Eph 5:22-24) Don’t live in constant Conflict (Matt 12:25) Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church because our relationships are to be a model of Christ’s relationship to us. (Ep 5:25) God’s design is for man not to be alone (Gen 2:18-25) Our marriages are to be intimate and fulfilling which Husband and Wife must promote and work toward (Gen 2:18, 24)

Family Bible Study with Young Children “Without Going Crazy”

by Stephen Goode

What I am posting is the response to a great question I recently received from a parent who desires to teach her children books of the Bible, stories, and scriptures, but she doesn’t know where to begin. This is a common problem in many Christian homes and I thought I would post the response. If you are struggling with where to start in having a children’s family Bible study I hope this helps.

The parent wrote to me saying:

Hi Steve…I love reading your encouraging words here!
I wanted to ask you a question….where can I get some resources for some kids games to help me teaching Bible verses, stories etc…I am so clueless. They are getting tired of me singing verses because I can’t carry a tune and they lose interest very quickly!!!! If you have any ideas on resources, I appreciate it!!

Parent

You are asking great questions. In fact I am tasking my wife April with writing the book on this one. In the mean time I will commit to write a “how-to” article on the topic.

To get you started, plan the time you will do it each week and stick to it. We have ours on Sundays, but plan yours around what will be the best time.

1. Plan your time and talk it up with the kids! They will feed off of your excitement! They will also feed off your nervousness, so stop!
2. Plan the actual time you will be together step-by-step, anticipating that it will never go perfect. You have young kids, you know this.
3. A typical order of your time will start with the kids, and you singing songs they picked out. Do a couple they really like and more if they enjoy this. I like using this time to teach them actual hymns because they don’t get the same dose anymore at church.

A Suggested Order for your Bible Study Time

  • Books of the Bible. A craft time we have used is making a notebook for each child with the names of the books of the Bible. They get to cut them out and glue them into their notebook in the correct order. You only do a certain number each time and then once they are glued you say recite them. Start out small and then increase at the child’s learning rate. Do it for the ones who can’t read too, if they will participate. Most times they will because they do not want to be left out and their big brother or sister are doing it. This caught us by surprise when our three-year old started reciting the entire Old Testament books in the correct order.
  • Songs. start out with the kids, and you singing songs they picked out. Do a couple of songs they really like and more if they enjoy this. I like using this time to teach them actual hymns because they don’t get the same dose anymore at church. The kids also enjoy it and it is a way to preserve a part of our church history.
  • Have your Bible Story time. I have one I recommend called Egermeier’s Bible Story Book. The reviews are all 5 stars from parents. It was written in the 1920’s in common language and is formatted to be a story at each reading, and has many more stories than the typical Bible story book. They are also in the correct Biblical order. So you would read your story which will stimulate new and challenging questions! Don’t be surprised if you learn more than they do. It’s awesome!
  • Prayer Time. Go out and purchase a notebook you will call your “Prayer Book.” ; Each week you will take the prayer requests of your children and things you are praying for as a family. Put the date on each time. Don’t be surprised if your kids repeat a lot of the same ones. I used to get frustrated over this personally, but realized it is how they learn. Everyone gets a chance to pray in our family and we usually do youngest to oldest because of the attention span thing. We like getting on the floor and kneeling as a family even though at my age there are a few more creaks and groans in the knees.
Thoughts on our Family Bible Study

This is a very typical Sunday family Bible Study time. We have done this since Savannah has been born, and Savannah is 4 and Noah is 8. Some things we have learned is don’t get frustrated with the behavior of your younger child during the Bible Study time, and that even when it appears they are not listening, THEY ARE… ;

Don’t get caught up in thinking it must be flawless or perfect or you will go crazy or much worse, not try it. The whole time should take around 20 minutes at best, but don’t be surprised if it sometimes goes longer.
I hope this helps give some of you new ideas in how to have a Family Bible Study time.

What about some of you reading this? What are some ideas or things you have tried that did or did not work?

Are You in a Biblical Dating Relationship?

by Stephen Goode

There are some basic questions for a Christian man or woman to answer in a dating relationship. These questions may be overlooked on numerous occasions, which is ironic because these inquiries will impact the relationship in every conceivable way! The reasons that these questions are not addressed are largely due to the fact that the wrong answer may deem it more fitting to end the relationship before it is too late.

Image from Glamquotes.com


Reasons These Questions are Overlooked

If you are afraid that this is your last shot at even a status quo decent boyfriend or girlfriend you may be prone to compromise and drift toward the marriage path. Maybe you are so afraid of being alone that you will rationalize away much of the unbiblical behavior you have observed in your relationship. It could be that there is such a strong physical attraction that you have allowed yourself to become dangerously attached. Usually by this point you may have even allowed intimacy to enter in, which leads to a whole new level of attachment which is very hard to control. The Bible addresses this when it speaks of not letting sin reign or reside in your life because you will get to the point you will obey what t says to do. (Rom 6:12)

The Question You Need to Ask Yourself

Is this relationship that you are in honoring Christ and drawing you closer to Him?

Do you regularly have to correct your boyfriend or girlfriend about their behavior because it is not the kind of actions that are accepted by a believer in Jesus Christ?

Are you now living with your boyfriend or girlfriend because of compromise?

Do you consistently have to stop your boyfriend or girlfriend from getting you physically aroused and engaging in the kind of acts only appropriate for a married couple?

Are you the only one who initiates any kind of spiritual activity in the relationship such as praying together and attending church?

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend constantly use profane or vulgar language without any apology around you? A sure sign of having no genuine respect for you.

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend keep promising to change certain behaviors only to gravitate back to the same old habits in a matter of time?

Even if your boyfriend or girlfriend claims to be a Christian, are their actions measuring up?

One big question this all leads to is the fact that you need to be certain you are in a relationship with a believer in Jesus Christ!

Why Does it Matter

I have heard more excuses and rationalizations for staying in a relationship, but I have also dealt repeatedly with the aftermath of the wrong decision both as pastor and policeman. You see, once you have said “I Do”, the covenant has been made, and there are very few biblical reasons to leave your marriage.

It matters biblically because we are instructed to marry only believers (2 Cor 6:14). Believers handle crisis and circumstances completely different from one another. We have completely differing world views because a non-believers will have no loyalty or commitment to Christ. It impacts how you will raise children, and how you will face adversity!

It matters because a non-believing spouse will pull the believing spouse down in their walk with Christ. In some cases I have seen wive’s literally resign themselves to being one with God because it will never happen with their husbands.

Slow Down!

If anyone is now panicked, I have good news! God loves and cares for you and you will never truly be alone. The Bible repeatedly gives us assurances that He will not leave us to our own devices if we trust in Him. Read some of God’s promises and pray that God would redirect you back into His real plan for your life. Start trusting Him once again before a ring is on your finger and it is too late. At that point you will have to adapt to your circumstances and live out the consequences of your sinful choices. If you are already at this place, God hasn’t left you! Never give up because God will never give up on you even when you sin!

Scriptures to Study

Psalm 37; Matt 14:31; Psalm 121; Psalm 46:1-2; Prov 3:5-6; Col 3:23; Eph 2:3-5; Gal 5:16

Watch Me!

We can sometimes believe that our actions and choices aren’t truly significant because nobody is really watching. Even in families, I have regularly had to clear up the misunderstanding that husbands and wives can make choices in a literal vacuum and there will be no cascading effect related to their choices. Many times this is why a husband will convince himself that secretly looking at internet pornography or withholding information from his wife will have no unexpected consequences. We can even sometimes convince ourselves that as long as nobody sees us, we are safe to do as we please. I cannot begin to count the number of spouses who have used this logic and repeatedly been caught in their sinful choices.

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My son Noah recently taught me a valuable lesson through his actions with his sister. His sister Savannah can be a real challenge, and is very stubborn. There are times I have watched Noah show such restraint with Savannah that I have been utterly amazed. Although they obviously have their moments, overall, Noah has been a great brother to his little sister.

The other day I was attempting to film both of them doing their VBS songs together. Noah loves doing the motions while Savannah is much more obstinate about following the directions when needed. When the song “Worthy” came on, Noah began doing the motions, looked down at Savannah, and said, “watch me”. He went through the entire song undistracted by Savannah’s attempts to annoy, and on occasions I saw Savannah just gaze at Noah and begin to copy his motions.

Noah understood that even when it seemed Savannah wasn’t paying attention, it didn’t change Noah’s determination to follow through and be an example to Savannah. Wow! Noah performed a sermon in a 4 minute choreographed song. What we can learn from this illustration is that even when it seems our children aren’t paying attention to us, they are! Strive to live a Christ like example even when you feel deep down that your life doesn’t matter. The truth is you matter more than you realize in God’s eyes, and he has placed you in a position of influence as either father or mother.

Understanding Your Salvation

Do you really think you grasp what Salvation is? What is the Gospel and how does it impact every facet of your life. In the link below, Stephen Goode explains the purpose of the Gospel in our Christian life.

Stephen Teaches on Salvation

http://www.trumpetforgod.org/audio/20140901/understanding-your-salvation

 

I Sinned and Everybody Knows It, Now What?

by Stephen Goode
5 Biblical Tips on How to Respond

Many Times we Think Our Sin Remains in Secret, but no sin is secret

Whether each of us wishes to be honest with ourselves or not, we all have a secret sin or struggle  in our life that we hope no one ever exposes. For those in high school it may be something we took, lied about, or did with another classmate. For adults it may be ethics, lying, or even an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker.  We all have secrets that we would do anything to keep hidden from the world forever.

But What if My Sin has Been Made Public?

Whatever your circumstances may be, your world feels as though it is literally crumbling. You wish you could just wipe the slate clean, and start over. It would surely beat re-living your sin in your head every single time something reminds you of it. This begs the simple question of how you should handle the fact that your sin has been exposed.

5 Biblical Tips on How to Respond

Remember that God’s Grace Never Leaves You – When our sin is exposed, people tend to seem much more judgmental and condemning. They go from living in a world of gray to seeing everything in a sharp world of black and white. In these moments don’t lose sight of the fact that when people seem to have left you, God’s grace has remained. Don’t let the sinful responses of others toward your sin lead you to more sin. (Rom 5:8; Ps 51:3; Rom 3:23)

Own Your Sins and Failures – In the midst of embarrassment it is easy to become defensive and angry. You just want people to back off and give you space, and you are most certain that there is a story behind each judgmental look and glance you receive. It can become hard to admit your sins and failures when it appears everyone has already made their mind up.

One of the evidences of our sorrow for our actions is demonstrated through our humility. An obvious sign we are not sorrowful is when we stay in a pride-filled and defensive place. The consequences of our sin may be the sinful way people are responding around you, but this doesn’t give you a pass to act the same way. OWN YOUR SIN! (James 4:6)

Counsel with Godly People – Even though confession is good for the soul, it doesn’t mean to share your sorrow with everyone you meet. Keep your wise counsel to a very tightly knit person or two, but do not feel the need to share your sin with the world. If you are a public figure there may be a need to handle your disclosures a little differently, but for normal everyday people, keep your confidants tightly knit. Seek the counsel of Biblical and godly people who will lead you with biblical principles as opposed to pragmatism.

It is also important to counsel with someone you totally trust. This person will need full disclosure from you, and you cannot hide one detail from them. Healing will not begin until ALL secrets are extinguished.  (Proverbs 12:15)

Do Not Lie – It may be necessary at times to not say anything, before backing yourself into a corner and lying. When people are accusing and badgering you at school, or at work, it may feel like you need to fix the situation by redirecting the people away from your sin. You may try and do this by flinging verbal mud at them or skewing the truth. The easiest way to avoid these temptations is to say nothing. It can even sometimes lead us to an outright lie when we feel there is no other alternative. Jesus gave us the best example of how to respond when he chose not to respond to the Pharisees as they continued to falsely accuse Him. Even before Pilot, Jesus chose not to utter long and drawn out explanations, and we can learn from this. (Is 52:13)

Lying or feeling the need to explain ourselves is sometimes our way to take control of what God is already handling. This is why it is so important to have strong accountability in your life to avoid the temptation of lying and being deceptive.

Endure through Your Sin Being Exposed and Don’t Repeat – Enduring through an embarrassing season in your life is hard and difficult. You feel people will never look at you the same again, but let me give you some hope. You think that your sin was the focus of this whole exercise, but in reality, it never was! It was always about your response to your sinful actions! People will sin everyday thinking they will never be under any more scrutiny for what they did. It just so happens in your case, that everyone found out. It may seem that all they are concerned with is your sin, but why not use this moment to show them how a Christian responds to sin in their life?

Many people have responded dreadfully to the exposures of their sins and failures both inside and outside of the church. We have witnessed company CEO’s, and CFO’s commit suicide from their shame. We have witnessed college and professional athletes live a life of lies and deceit.

In fact I believe the noblest act Lance Armstrong ever performed occurred when he confessed his illegal steroid use to the world. As painful as it may have been to lose everything, he gained much more through his confession.

What is your secret sin? I have some bad news if you think it is really secret. It’s not secret to God. He knows everything about you inside out, and desires for you to respond in a way that brings healing and restoration to your life.

You will make it through your sinful season if you surrender all of your secrets to God, and re-commit your obedience to Him. You can’t avoid the consequences of all the people you hurt, but obedience can bring a new and lasting peace in your broken life.

About the Writer
Stephen Goode a.k.a. the Cop-Counselor, is the author of Marriage Triage, A Guide to Healing for the Hurting Spouse, He is a marriage author/speaker. He spent 11 years as a police officer in North Carolina, and has been a contributor to Discovery ID and Fox News. He has a B.A. and M.A. in Biblical Counseling. Stephen enjoys mixing dry-humor with biblical teachings to make the learner walk away with practical tools to endure through their Christian life and Marriage!

Always Be On Guard!

By Steve Goode

Steve served as a police officer on the Greensboro Police Department from 1986-1997. This article is from Steve’s personal reflections and opinions, and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the present day Department.

What does a police officer do to keep busy at two in the morning on a weekday? In an effort to keep the thin blue line secure I will refrain from telling you everything, but I can assure you there is always something to do, to avoid nodding off to sleep behind the wheel.

It was the winter of 1989 and I had been a Greensboro NC police officer for almost two years. I was assigned to the west side of town and had just left a coffee break near interstate 40 and West Wendover Avenue. It was a great place to work at night and there were a variety of things to do such as work traffic, and check buildings. Our primary duty was to answer our calls for police service, but this night had been rather quiet. Too quiet. (I always wanted to use that line in an article. Now my writing career is complete.)

I was caught up on all my accident, and investigative reports, and quite frankly, my eyelids were getting heavy at two in the morning and I needed something to stimulate my curiosity. I already had the window rolled down in the cold weather, and I was afraid to play the car radio too much louder out of fear of not hearing my police radio. As I rode east then west on Wendover Avenue near the postal bulk mail center, a west bound dark colored older model two door Chevy Monte Carlo with a burned out headlight caught my eye. There were two teen looking boys in the car, and their eyes got as big as saucers when they passed me. Something just didn’t seem right about them although the only offense I had was improper equipment for the burned out headlight. Having nothing else on my plate at that moment I chose to investigate a little further. I turned around, got behind the Monte Carlo, and picked up my radio microphone to call in a traffic stop. I had no way to know what I was on the brink of encountering all because of my curiosity.

I activated my bluelights as I called in the description, and tag number to communications. It appeared we were going to be pulling off into a small driveway directly in front of the postal bulk mail center. It was a rather odd place to stop because the driver of the Monte Carlo had no place to exit or pull away with my police car directly behind him. Maybe he was not up to anything so there was no need for him to make a way of escape. Whatever the driver’s mindset may have been, I could not simply assume the best because I had to keep my guard up, and I was still very ill-at-ease about this particular traffic stop.

I stepped out of my police car and carefully surveyed the movements and gestures of driver and passenger trying to see where their hands were resting. They didn’t appear to be scrambling or overly figiting, which was good. I approached the drivers window with the utmost caution trying not to focus on either the driver or passenger too long. I had to be alert. I can honestly say at this point that any concern I had over staying awake was long gone.

I stayed back from the driver’s window which forced him to look over his left shoulder just to see me. My flashlight was partially blinding him from getting a good look at me which gave me a small safe advantage if he was armed. He already had his driver’s license ready and I told him I was stopping him for the burned out headlight. The driver didn’t appear terribly nervous, but the passenger seemed very concerned.He seemed even more concerned when I recognized him. I had been his school bus driver years earlier! Still, I did not see the connections to anything criminal yet.

I was examining the driver’s license and noticed the driver had not given me the registration to the car he was driving. I sometimes let this one go because I can run the license tag, but this time I asked the driver to give it to me. He reached for the glove box and as a precaution I slowly moved my right hand to the handle of my Berretta 92 pistol which was currently in my safety-holster at my side. When the driver opened the glovebox several twelve-gauge shotgun shells fell out onto the passenger floorboard!

At this point I started feeling the adrenaline beginning to pump, and asked the driver to exit the vehicle and stand with me. I also asked him if he minded if I searched his car, and remarkably his only response was, “yes”. I called for an assist car and advised my communications person why. They rushed a car my way as I patted both driver and passenger down for weapons that may do me harm. Both were clean.

I directed the driver and passenger to stand in front of their car as I shined my light into it. The first thing that caught my eye was two ski-masks with eyeholes cut out, and two pairs of black gloves. I then noticed something that sent me over the edge of my red-alert mode.

I shined my light on the driver’s floorboard and noticed the wooden handle of something under the seat. I pulled the handle out and it was attached to a sawed-off loaded twelve gauge shotgun. I immediately placed the driver under arrest as my assist car arrived and motioned for my assist car to detain the passenger. By this time my adrenaline was in full pump and I had lost a partial bit of my hearing and had a low hum in both of my ears.

What I wasn’t aware of at the moment was that the tactical police squad had been staked out at the Wilco gas station on Wendover avenue less than a quarter of a mile from where I stopped these teenagers. The tact squad was staked out after getting a tip that the Wilco was going to be robbed. I had unknowingly stopped the very suspects who were moments away from committing armed robbery at a convenience mart!I would like to say that the tactical police squad was appreciative of my diligence, but that would not be true. I cut in on their effort that night and took quite a bit of excitement away from their quiet evening.

Keeping Alert as a Christian

You may ask what this has to do with our lives as Christians, and maybe some of you have already used the illustration in an applicable way. We each have a duty before God to stay alert, sober, and diligent to the schemes and plotting of Satan in our lives. Satan wants you to fall, and ultimately wants you to fail, but we must be ever-mindful of his cunning and coniving tactics. Just as I recognized the passenger in that car on that night, we fight and war with an enemy we know and are familiar with.

Peter warns us that Satan is just waiting for us to drop our guard and expose our weaknesses. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8)

The night I encountered this situation I was tired and fatigued from a very long night, but I didn’t have the luxury of dropping my guard. As a believer in Jesus Christ you will find that Satan has your whole lifetime to wait for you to relax or drop your guard. He looks for those moments in your life where you don’t study the Bible or pray. He watches to find your weakness or weaknesses because he will not relent or ease up. Satan and his helpers are the most interested in finding where you will succumb to his attacks, and he doesn’t have to look that hard with many of us. Many Christians are immoral and willing participants to his schemes.

Satan needs no enhanced interrogation techniques to break you, all he needs is to observe and wait for his moment because he knows it will come.

Know Your Weakness and Confront it!

The night I encountered this situation my biggest enemy was fatigue. I could have easily ignored the car I stopped and done nothing, but it may have placed some of my brothers in blue in harms way even more than I. As Christians you must stay active and alert to your weaknesses and never give into complacency.

The Bible teaches us how to be ready in Ephesians 6:10-18 where Paul teaches us step-by-step how to be prepared for Satan’s attacks. Always be ready and alert because even the most “spiritual” person you know can become weak if they become slack or tired. Always be prepared to take defensive measures in your everyday activities. If you are prone to inappropriate relationships then take measures to cease what makes you fall. If you are an addict then seek out the right Biblical help and get accountability in your life. This list could go on, but we must not give in or give up!

What Has God Revealed to You?

by Stephen Goode

Just because there was a time Helen Keller didn’t understand water, didn’t make it any less real. Just because people don’t see or acknowledge God at work doesn’t mean he isn’t working. To the insensitive, “a sky” and they say “so what.” To those sensitive to the hand of God even the smallest natural functions are gazed upon with wonder.

Recently a person spoke to me of how they saw the numerous little ways God was working in their life and how awesome it was! I pray that we would all train our spiritual ears and eyes to be sensitive to the hand of God in the valley moments as well as the mountain top moments. (Jer 33:3)

Lessons You Can Learn from the Petraus Scandal and Extra-Marital Attraction

By Stephen Goode

Many times, affairs aren’t premeditated. They begin when we begin to place our trust in a person of the opposite sex who is not our spouse. As we begin to drop our protective marital guard, bonds can form that become hard to walk away from. With all the focus on affairs, and in-appropriate marriage relationships, let’s look at what you can do in your own marriages to protect your covenant.

From Stephen’s book Marriage Triage.

What is extra-marital attraction from a Christian’s perspective, and what should be the Biblical response? In this article we will address these hard-hitting questions.

When you are intoxicated by devotion to Christ, it subdues the desire for additional inebriants.”

Jennifer had known Sam for only about six months, and they worked closely together on a few work projects in their business unit. Sam loved playing what he considered to be harmless practical jokes on Jennifer because it made her laugh and light up. She had a beautiful smile and a magnetic personality that just made people feel at ease and comfortable around her. Why shouldn’t Jennifer seem this way? After all, she was a woman who loved the Lord heart and soul, and she was very active in her local church ministries. She wanted to be a good example to others around her, and part of this was being warm and inviting. She never saw any harm in letting a man in her office play jokes on her and carry on playfully each day. She never once looked at this behavior as a potential “boundary tester” and enjoyed the personal attention Sam would sometimes give her. Jennifer began to be more open with Sam about many areas of her life, and even caught herself sometimes staying after work to chat with him about work related issues, and sometimes even more personal things. It became easy to communicate through all the modern day means at their disposal, from text-messages to short emails.

She became so comfortable with their conversations that she didn’t even begin to notice that she had been dropping her own protective boundaries that were in place to guard her heart from temptation. She rationalized away the thought that anything was inappropriate about her behavior with Sam, but she began to notice that she was looking more and more forward to going to work each day. Jennifer even began to dress a little differently and spend more time in the morning getting ready for work. She even caught herself wearing dresses to work which was totally out of character for her fun-loving personality. Still she did not see anything necessarily wrong with her behavior toward Sam because they had never actually touched or even hugged, but emotionally she was beginning to feel something more than a casual friend should experience.

All of this playfulness and time spent in comfortable conversation would be fine except for the fact that Jennifer is a married woman. Has she already carried this emotional infatuation too far? Should a married woman never expect to feel an attraction or connection with another man as long as she lives or is it a matter of our behavior we need to control?

In the scenario I have created, the husband has been very distant to Jennifer for years, and he has not been a consistent spiritual leader in his home. Jennifer has felt lonely and neglected and strongly desires to share an emotional connection with her husband, but the husband has been off his post as the guardian of Jennifer’s heart for quite some time. The result is that Jennifer is now left both vulnerable and empty in her marriage, which has opened the door to outside influences. Although Jennifer is still responsible for her decisions with Sam, the husband should have never placed Jennifer in this position of temptation. If the husband fails to seek a spiritual and emotional connection with Jennifer, she could be subjected to the temptation of a man eager to give her the attention she desires. If Jennifer chooses temporary happiness instead of obedience to Christ, she is about to make some regretful memories she will never be able to erase.

The scenario I described is not based on any one particular couple, but it represents a mosaic of many couples I have spoken with over the past 20 years. Even when I was in police work there were so many domestic incidents where husbands simply failed to fulfill their Biblical roles and in turn the wife made some wrong and sinful choices. In other words, sin brought forth more sin. I know that some of you may not even see an issue with the friendship in this scenario because after all, nothing necessarily happened between Sam and Jennifer, but sin doesn’t start with the act, but in the heart. (1 John 2:16) Can a married woman feel an attraction to someone other than their husband and is it a sin?

You may think I have lost my mind to address this taboo question, but the answer is quite simple. Throughout your entire marriage you will sometimes feel connections, attractions, and likes for people other than your spouse for various reasons. Maybe it’s someone you share work duties in common with or maybe it’s someone who likes a particular hobby that you also enjoy. It could be that the two of you worked on a particular project and have had to talk a lot about some work goals you have in common. It could also simply be the person has qualities that appeal to you.

Even if you have an awesome and sacred relationship with your spouse you can still sometimes see something you like in the opposite sex. This doesn’t mean you must run from the presence of every person you will ever see, but the Bible has some clear direction on the way you should behave yourself. Remember that sin doesn’t indulge itself at the mere temptation, but it does begin in the heart. Remarkably it’s the same path that God uses to become intimate with us. The Bible says that man looks on the outside, but God looks in our hearts. (1 Sam 16:7)

Even though you may sometimes have an attraction to another person, that attraction is never to be pursued out of obedience to God, and submission to your spouse, whether they are doing their part or not. (Eph 5:22-23) Even if you are married to a spouse who is not carrying their load, you are not given a pass to seek out someone you are more attracted to. You are to be patient and pray daily for them and ask God to change their heart. You must strengthen your own heart through prayer and Bible study. (James 5:8)

In the scenario with Jennifer we can follow the pattern of what led her down the road of compromise. It started out with a sense of attraction or comfort, and it should have stopped there, but the positive and euphoric experience was alluring. She began to feel so comfortable with Sam that she encouraged the practical joking and playfulness in their relationship. She then began to spend more time with Sam and shared with him about her personal life and maybe even her frustration with her husband. At this point she has shown total disrespect for her marriage and opened the door for Sam to get emotionally closer to her. If Jennifer does not end this behavior immediately, there is a high likelihood that Sam could replace the emotional connection reserved only for Jennifer’s husband. The pattern is quite simple to follow and is found in the book of James.

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (Desire) Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

The scenario was subtle in its approach much like the illustration of the slowly boiled frog. Any frog will jump right out of a boiling pot, but if you turn the heat up slow it will never know what happened until it’s too late. Since Jennifer dropped her guard early in the relationship when the joking and playing was occurring she was unaware of the danger of what appeared to be harmless activity. I referred to this type of activity as boundary testing earlier because there are times when men either knowingly or unknowingly use this type of behavior as a way to break the ice. In many cases it may be harmless, but a married woman needs to be cautious with other men in her life. She does this out of a desire to be obedient to God and it is a way to show her husband respect even when he is not around. It also prevents a boundary or foothold that may diminish her desire to work on her marriage.

I want to get personal with wives for a moment so stay with me just a paragraph or two more. Have you crossed any emotional lines with men other than your husband? Is there another man in your life right now who you constantly feel the need to defend in front of your husband or make casual contact with, either through phone, text or email? Have you reached a point in your marriage where you just don’t care anymore and just want someone who will fill the void in your life? Wherever you are today I have good news for you! I have just the man you need in your life that can fill the void and make you feel fulfilled! His name is Jesus Christ and He desires a close and intimate relationship with you every single moment of your life. If you take the time to fall in love with Jesus Christ then I can assure you he will give you the strength to resist those moments of temptation that may be attacking you even now. He will give you the strength to resist when the temptation is the greatest.(James 4:7-8) I will be praying for all wives who have a husband who is not encouraging them or providing emotional strength so they will not fall into temptation.

Practical Ways for Wives to Guard their Heart

1. Sever any ties if you are in an emotional relationship with a man outside of your marriage immediately!This includes but is not limited to emails, phone or text contact.(Eph 4:22)
2. Radically study the scriptures or you will compromise! (Theology of Biblical Counseling, Adams)
3. If you work around a man that you find appealing then never be alone with them, and never share personal life matters with them. If they are really a temptation then find a Christian accountability partner to help you remain pure in your marriage that will pray with and for you. If a transfer in your job is a possibility, pursue it! Your marriage and obedience is worth it!
4. Never tell a man you are attracted to him under any circumstances. Be guarded and respectful. If they know there is a chance they will be more persistent.
5. Never go to lunch alone with another man.
6. Always pray that God would increase your desire for your husband in your marriage.
7. If you have a husband that will pray with you then do so daily, even if it is at first awkward.
8. Never confide in another man with the exception of formal counseling, about personal issues.
9. Never have long cell phone conversations with a man who is not your husband.

10. Even casual and consistent texting with a man who is not your husband or wife can lead to a habit that is hard to break. Many of the excuses I have heard are that the messages were short and playful. What they failed to see was the friendship or connection that was forming from these text messages outside of their husband or wife’s knowledge.

A text conversation is a virtual conversation in a private room with no witnesses. Business related texting is appropriate, but husbands and wives need to have a clear understanding that inappropriate isn’t always the content of the messages, but the frequency they occur.
11. There are many more we could list, but you can begin to see a pattern of steps necessary to guard your heart.

 

Give Up on My Marriage?

Police 2 Pastor” Stephen gets unplugged and REAL as he shares some painful experiences from his own marriage. Stephen and April have been married for almost 20 years, and it wasn’t always a smooth ride.Much of this is found in his book, “Marriage Triage”

Filmed at Crossroads Church Charlotte at a Lift Event (Ladies in Fellowship Together)