Happy 21 Years!

photoMarriage is not about feelings (though feelings are a wonderful byproduct).
Marriage is not about “compatibility” (it’s about commitment & covenant).
Marriage is not about sexual intimacy (though marriage is where it is sweet and secure).

Marriage is about delighting in God’s Word.
Marriage is about exalting salvation through Christ alone.
Marriage is about honoring God (who designed the institution & defines the parameters).

Marriage is sacred.

Genesis 2:18, 21-24 “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Matthew 19:6 “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Ephesians 5:31-33 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

HAPPY 21 YEARS to my sweet wife … my delight … my joy … my best friend …

Jenny,
I honor you.
I adore you.
I praise God for you.
I LOVE YOU!

With all my heart,

Clegguart

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Go hug your wife.

How-To-Love-Your-WifeGentlemen: Your responsibility in your marriage is not contingent upon how well your wife fulfills hers.

Joy is loving and serving and delighting in your best friend – for the glory of God alone.

Go hug your wife.

“Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking in your head. Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 9:8-9

Blessed & Challenged

931210_617913124887606_615344544_nWhen Jenny and I were first married we had all kinds of ideas, goals, and plans. After twenty years I am so glad that God is in control and not us! Among our various conversations during the first few years was something like this: “So. When we are ready to have children, how many do you think we should have?” And the response, “Oh, I don’t know…definitely three, maybe four.” (As though it were entirely up to us rather than God; see Psalm 127:3 & 139:13-14.)

Thinking back I can’t help but cringe at our brazen audacity (that’s a nice way of saying self-centered, self-serving, thinking). At the same time, it is equally wonderful to think back and recognize God’s patience with us and amazing grace extended to us!

Today? Well, today we have the joy of seeing God’s manifest blessings in our home. Each one is totally unique and individually an absolute treasure. Nathan is a poet. Jordan is an athlete. Hannah is a voracious reader. Josiah is a hard-working cowboy. Lydia is gentle and sweet and tender and sometimes not gentle. Grace is an aspiring princess. And Caleb is beginning to reveal a very complex (and fun) personality.

To top it all off, God has blessed me with a beautiful, wonderful, long-suffering, spirit-filled, Christ-exalting, God-honoring wife whom I adore, favor, and love passionately! Oh wait…I was talking about the kids.

Anyway. I wanted to share a couple quotes that really blessed and really challenged me today:

“In the family, life is brought not only to our doorstep, but into our kitchens, bedrooms, and dens. In the family, life is happening all around us, and it begs to be questioned, evaluated, interpreted, and discussed. There is no more consistent, pregnant, dynamic forum for instruction about life than the family, because that is exactly what God designed the family to be, a learning community.” ~ Paul David Tripp

“An ideal Christian home ought to be a place where love rules. It ought to be beautiful, bright, joyous, full of tenderness and affection, a place in which all are growing happier and holier each day. There should never be any discord, any wrangling, any angry words or bitter feelings. The home-life should be a harmonious song without one marring note, day after day. The home, no matter how humble it is, how plain, how small – should be the dearest spot on the earth to each member of the family. It should be made so happy a place, and so full of life, that no matter where one may wander in after years, in any of the ends of the earth – his home should still hold its invisible cords of influence about him, and should ever draw resistless upon his heart. It ought to be the one spot in all the earth, to which he would turn first, when in trouble or in danger. It should be his refuge, in every trial and grief.” ~ J.R. Miller (1882)

Not Always Easy

I love my wife and I am not ashamed to say it!  She is my best friend and I am her best friend.  We will be happily married for nineteen years this August and I can honestly say that we have grown closer to one another with each passing year.  She is my sunshine, my delight, and my treasure.  My name is Clegguart Mitchell and I approve this message.

God has been so kind to bless us with six children; and a new baby due in December!  The children range from almost three up to fourteen years.  We love to go golfing, fishing, hunting, and playing all sorts of games together.  Yes, each child is different and has his or her own personality, preferences, and problems.  But I can honestly say, I love every one of them in their own personal uniqueness and I would not trade any one of them for anything in the world!

As a husband I have no problem loving and honoring my wife.  As a dad my chest puffs up with the best of them when thinking and speaking of my children.  As a man accountable to God for leading in my home and shepherding my family, well, life is not always easy.  I am so thankful that God’s Word spells out so simply and so clearly what God’s design and desire are for me!  Now, you may be single, a single parent, childless, or even a grandparent. God has written down His design and desire for you no matter where you are in life!

Parenting is not always easy.  A young pastor fresh out of Seminary and newly married preached a sermon that he called “The Ten Commandments of Child Rearing.”  A couple years and one child later he changed the title to “Five Biblical Principles for Parenting”.  A few years and another child later he re-titled again to “Three Suggestions for Parents”.  As you may have guessed after ten years and three children he was no longer in the ministry, he was selling used cars.

Sometimes raising children is just hard.  In one bookstore I counted over sixty titles on “Family” and most of them did not agree!  Mark Twain had an interesting idea about parenting.  When you are faced with one of those hard moments consider what Mr. Twain said.  His philosophy was: “When a kid turns thirteen, stick him in a barrel, nail the lid on top and feed him through the knothole.  When he turns 16, plug up the hole!”

It is almost Father’s Day.  Did you know that God actually spells out the stages of personal growth for us Dad’s?  In Psalm 127:1-2 we need a godly foundation; v3-5 we need to trust God for blessed fruitfulness; Ps 128:1-4 we can enjoy a happy family life; and v5-6 we get to reap the joys of a satisfying family when we get older.  God really does have a plan, and friend, He wants to help you!  Read His Word, the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed by all that you discover!

 

Clegguart Mitchell