Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How Do Husband's Love Thier Wives? Insight from David Gray

Here's some insight on love, partially gleaned from David Gray, that I shared with my church recently.

The love your husbands are to give you is not lollipop love, all sweetness and no substance. Love isn’t romance—dates, dinner, dancing, and dressing up. Love isn’t gifts—roses, rings, sewing machines, and new shoes. It isn’t the scripted words of David Decoveny (?), Brad Pitt, or Mel Gibson. God and your husband offer much more than romance, gifts, and scripts.

David Gray, perhaps the 21st century James Taylor, is an incredible song-writer and musician. His latest album, Life in Slow Motion, contains a song that articulates exactly what love is without God.

“Ain’t No Love” goes:

Maybe that it would do me good
If I believed there were a god
Cut in the starry firmament
But as it is that’s just a lie
And I'm here eating up the boredom
On an island of cement
Give me your ecstasy I'll feel it
Open window and I'll steal it
Baby like it’s heaven sent

This ain’t no love that’s guiding me
This ain’t no love that’s guiding me

Some days i'm bursting at the seams
with all my half remembered dreams
and then it shoots me down again
i feel the dampness as it creeps
I hear you coughing in your sleep
beneath a broken window pane
tomorrow girl i'll buy you chips
a lollipop to stain your lips
and it’ll all be right as rain

This ain’t no love that’s guiding me

In case you dont know it, David Gray is an atheist, an honest atheist as far as I can tell. His brutal honesty exposes love for what it is apart from God. If our wives are not made in the image of God and loved with the love of Christ, they are reduced to relational, sexual, and emotional objects, wells for male "ecstasy." No sacrifice, just satisfaction. No substance, just sweetness—-lollipop love.

But, in Jesus, love is more than romance, gifts, and scripts, than buying chips and lollipops for the one you love. More than a relational, emotional, or sexual hight. In Christ, there’s more than lollipop love.

It has been said that love is as strong as death. So it was with Christ. His love led to his death. Your love for your wife should be that strong. Death to your perceived rights and desires in order to promote the holiness and happiness of your wife. Death to your right to not do the dishes because you worked all day. Death to your desire to not change another diaper. Death to your spiritual sloth which makes excuses to not pray with and for your wife. Death to your desire to be right, to win the argument, to hurt her with harsh and angry words. Self-dying love gives life.

We can give life--love--to our wives by loving them according to their love language. Stay with me. Do you know how to love your wife? What communicates love to her? Time, Gift, Service, Communication, Touch? All of these are important for everyone, whether they acknowledge it or not, but some tend to communicate love more strongly than others. My wife likes to receive gift love. Early in marriage I confused this with money love. Robie does not feel love from gifts based on how much they cost, but on the fact that I took the time, thought and energy to think of her and express it concretely. I give her love she can hold when I buy her something. It took me a while to catch onto this. And its not my natural inclination to buy Robie something. Gift love is not my love language, so I don’t naturally think this way. Plus, I tend to be pretty cheap, unless of course, it comes to buying a computer. Early on I thought it my duty to “protect” her from materialism. That’s not what was going on. The point is that love thinks the way others think. We get into our wives’ mindset, we know them, we affectionately study them. Peter says it like this: “husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way….” (1 Pet 3.7). Literally, live with them according to knowledge. Study, know and love your wife. Husbands, love your wives.

Mohler and Patterson Debate and Discuss Calvinism and Mission

This week, at the 2006 SBC Pastors Conference, Al Mohler (Southern Seminary) and Paige Patterson (Southwestern Seminary) debated and discussed the implications of Calvinism for mission. See Thabiti's blog for a rough transcript.

This is refreshingly informative and winsome, unlike many theological debates. Here are two interesting quotes:

"I cannot subscribe to Calvinism because I am a Baptist. As Richard Muller in his article, “How many points?” (1993 Calvin Journal), points out, Calvinism is a system and Baptists are inconsistent for not buying into the entire system of Calvinism including church-state relations and infant baptism."

"I’ve said it before, there are two impossible persons. The person who doesn’t wish to respond but is drawn to Christ against his will, and those who wish to respond but can’t."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bill Gates and IJM vs. Sex Trafficking

Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $5 million to International Justice Mission, a splendid Christian justice agency, earmarking it to combat sex trafficking in the launch of Project Lantern.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Tim Keller - Lord of the Wine

Thanks to my friend, Stew, I found a bunch of free Keller sermons. I haven't actually listened to many on his sermons, but of those I have listened to, his "Lord of the Wine" is one of the best.

This exposition of Jesus' first miracle at Cana demonstrates biblical theology in preaching at its finest. Without overwhelming his audience with numerous textual connections, Keller makes a compelling case for why Jesus' first miracle was so insignificant (water-to-wine, as opposed to resurrection-from-the-dead) and yet stirred Jesus, and should stir us, so powerfully.