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Category — Marriage

When Being Honest May Not Be Loving

There is a notion afoot that goes something like this, “I have to speak what’s on my mind or I wouldn’t be honest.” Of course it’s good to be honest. But often, someone makes that statement as an excuse to say something hurtful to others. We’ve probably all heard someone make a cruel remark under the guise of “being honest.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be honest or true to ourselves. We could well argue that such a value is commendable. But when we use “honesty” as a pretense for saying whatever is on our mind without regard for others, we have a major problem. Suddenly, our so-called honesty is clashing with a lack of love or concern for others.

Being honest with ourselves does not necessarily require voicing that honesty. Suppose our little child or grandchild participates in a recital and really messes up. Inside, we might be thinking, “Wow, she forgot her lines, didn’t stand where she was supposed to, and was fidgeting with her dress.”

For the sake of “being honest with ourselves,” do we blurt out what’s on our mind and clobber this little girl with harsh criticism? Or should we hold our tongue and look for ways to encourage her and help her improve without destroying her self-image?

Or let’s say your spouse wanted to surprise you by making dinner. But things didn’t turn out so well: the vegetables were overcooked, the gravy was burnt, and the meat was tough. We might hurl all those criticisms at our spouse with the excuse, “Well I’m just being honest!”

Meanwhile, we’ve hurt our spouse. We completely overlooked the fact that they made an honest attempt to demonstrate their love for us. And we’ve trampled on their efforts grinding them into the mud, under the guise of “being honest.”

Consider the following:

  • “The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.” (Proverbs 12:23 NIV)
  • “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3 NIV)
  • “A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.” (Proverbs 14:3 NIV)
  • “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4 NIV)
  • “Just like a spark can destroy an entire forest, so your words can kindle an inferno in your life and the lives of others. Such caustic words are evil, corrupting your whole being.” (James 3:5-6 paraphrase)

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re not being honest when you withhold a cruel remark. Instead, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)

©2017 Rob Fischer

March 10, 2017   Comments Off on When Being Honest May Not Be Loving

26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 11-15)

11. Small groups exhibit Christ in the home to our children, neighbors and friends. Acts 2:47, they were “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Our singles small group used to meet on our back patio on warm summer evenings. We sang praises to God accompanied by a guitar. To be honest, I was a bit self-conscious, concerned that we might be disturbing the neighbors. On the contrary, our neighbors loved the fact that these young people were singing praises to God! Also, over many years of leading small groups, our children watched, participated and took it all in. Today they are leading, participating in and understand the importance of small groups because of what we modeled for them.

12. Small groups demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts! Two Small groups raised over $10,000 to dig a well in Uganda and in the process impacted hundreds of people. Their efforts even made the evening news on television! [Read more →]

February 22, 2012   Comments Off on 26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 11-15)

Forgive as Christ Forgave You!

There are times when someone hurts us so severely or so repeatedly that we feel we cannot forgive them. We feel justified in not extending them forgiveness, because what they did was so awful, so despicable. If the offending person is our spouse, his or her cruel or thoughtless act may have been repeated so many times that we no longer trust them. We withhold forgiveness because if we do forgive them—again—we cannot trust that they won’t do this awful thing again.

Our forgiveness, however, cannot be based on trust or on the likeliness that the offender will not hurt us again. Instead, our forgiveness must be based on the character and example of God Himself. In three primary passages of the Scripture on forgiveness, every one of them draws attention to God’s character and His example of forgiving us. [Read more →]

April 10, 2011   Comments Off on Forgive as Christ Forgave You!

Six Ways to Revitalize Your Marriage!

revitalize-your-marriage

1. Recognize that marriage is hard work, so stick with it and give it your best efforts! When our kids were little we were having a discussion about marriage around the dinner table. Our older two children indicated that, yes, they wanted to get married some day. When we asked our youngest son (who was about six at the time) whether he would some day marry, he pondered that question thoughtfully and stated, “I don’t know if I’ll get married. Marriage is hard work! I think I’ll get a job instead.” Linda and I pray that it wasn’t our marriage that gave him the idea that marriage is so hard! Anyways, after the laughter subsided, we had to agree with our six-year-old psychiatrist—marriage is hard work! So roll up your sleeves and put into your marriage the work required to make it great! [Read more →]

November 11, 2009   Comments Off on Six Ways to Revitalize Your Marriage!

Tough Choices

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

Eric dedicated his life to becoming one of the greatest soloists the world had ever known. Already at the age of four, his mother started him on voice lessons having recognized his musical talent. It was tough times back then during the great depression and when Eric was just six, his father died leaving a widow with five young children. At this tender age, Eric began to work to help support the family. [Read more →]

April 22, 2009   Comments Off on Tough Choices

The Legacy of One Man

I attended a funeral of a man today who passed away in his sleep on Wednesday. His five children officiated at the funeral service. Each one stood up and shared with the guests how their dad loved the Lord, their mother, them and others deeply and sacrificially. Many tears were shed and many joyful memories were shared.

This man had five children—four boys and a girl—all of whom are happily married and walking with Jesus because of their dad’s example. Additionally, this man left 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, all of whom either know Jesus or are seeing their parents demonstrate how a Christ-follower lives. His kids and their spouses all love each other and enjoy spending time with each other—certainly a rare phenomenon today.

The man passionately loved people. In his eleven-year tenure as credit manager of a large metropolitan hospital, he led countless patients, their loved ones and co-workers to living faith in Jesus Christ. As an accomplished musician and entertainer, he offered free concerts annually to benefit the hospital. [Read more →]

March 1, 2009   1 Comment

What Do We Do with what God Tells Us?

What do we do with what God tells us? A couple of years ago a young man came to me in complete frustration and confusion about God’s leading in his life. Steve was totally convinced that God had told him to pursue a relationship with a certain young lady. (She is also a follower of Christ.) Steve’s frustration came when this young woman refused to enter into a romantic relationship with him. She simply had no such affections for him, nor felt God leading her the way Steve insisted God was leading him. This internal conflict went on for some months, during which I had several meetings with Steve.

Then one day, this young lady announced her engagement to another man and soon married. Steve was heart-broken over his loss, but even more difficult was his confusion and disappointment over God’s leading in his life. Did he or did he not hear God say, “Pursue this woman”? The outcome does not necessarily answer that question. And I could not tell Steve with certainty whether he had or had not heard God correctly or at all. [Read more →]

December 28, 2008   Comments Off on What Do We Do with what God Tells Us?

How Do I Recognize God’s Voice?

How do I recognize God’s voice? In 1 Samuel 3:1-14 we read the account of young Samuel’s first exposure to the voice of God. The Lord called to him and twice Samuel mistook God’s voice for that of Eli the priest. The text comments, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.” (Vs. 7)
 
We hear many “voices” out there besides God’s. We often find ourselves lured by the voice of world—its philosophy, thought patterns and priorities. Others with whom we spend time influence us profoundly by their language, cajoling and opinions. The evil one rails on us by accusing, discouraging and casting doubt. Our own fleshly desires call to us to self-preoccupation, self-gratification and self-importance. Sometimes a foreign thought simply appears in our mind and we wonder, “Where did that come from?” [Read more →]

December 26, 2008   3 Comments

Uncommon Cents

Uncommon Cents is a personal study and small group curriculum that will introduce you to tools and concepts that will help you deal with issues and questions like:

  • “Am I on track with God in my finances?  What does he want or expect of me in this regard?”
  • “How do I determine my financial health?  And how do I improve it?”
  • “How do I get out of and stay out of debt?”
  • “How do I know how much to give to God?”
  • “Why is it we never seem to have enough money to make it until the next paycheck?”
  • “I make enough money and have money to spare, but I sense there is more God wants me to do and that it has to do with my finances.”

[Read more →]

December 3, 2008   Comments Off on Uncommon Cents