Caregiver vs. Patient: And the Winner is…

I don’t usually post “tales out of school” regarding my relationship with my wife. The marriage bond is sacred and should not be treated casually. But I thought our recent experiences might be of help to others.

As many of you know, my wife fell in the tub and fractured one of her femur bones on Friday, November 16th. Following her operation that Saturday and after three days of supervised convalescence, she was released from the hospital on Wednesday. Oh, Gracie (our labradoodle) and I were so happy to have my wife home again! But a “problem” came up as soon as she shuffled through the front door with her walker.

My wife keeps a very clean and organized house. Slow down, it’s not what you think! I CERTAINLY DID keep the house picked up while she was in the hospital. However, my wife also loves to decorate the house interior with seasonal decorations. It’s a big, no, make that a HUGE priority for her, and almost immediately after settling in she asked me to attend to the various decorations; plugging in lights, etc.

For my part, I understood that I would be attending to my wife quite a bit for the next several weeks as she slowly recuperated. In addition, my domestic chores pretty-much doubled immediately. So, attending to various decorations WAS THE ABSOLUTE LOWEST priority on my expanded to-do list and I communicated that to my wife rather impatiently.

My wife could not believe that I wasn’t willing to accommodate her wishes regarding the decorations. If I would only take a “few minutes” to tend to the decorations, she would feel much more content. Why was I giving her such a hard time about something so simple after all she had been through and with all the pain and discomfort she was still experiencing?

From my perspective, I could not believe my wife was making a federal case out of some silly decorations when my to-do list had just grown exponentially.

That evening, we had our devotions time with Scripture and prayer and the Lord softened both of our hearts. I was led to take care of “some” of my wife’s non-necessities and my wife accepted to a degree that the household wasn’t going operate the same exact way as when she was mobile.

Praise the Lord for intervening in our stubborn hearts! Many marriage problems begin and grow because, during a disagreement, neither spouse is willing to take the first step toward compromise and reconciliation.

We’re still stumbling our way through this recovery period with bouts of impatience and frustration, but love will win through Christ!

Galatians 6:2 –  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Postscript: Patient & caregiver situations can be difficult at times. The sick person can become frustrated, uncooperative, demanding, and even belligerent (like my Mom who had Alzheimer’s). The caregiver can easily become frustrated, impatient, and resentful. When caregivers are feeling overstressed, they need to take a break and even avail themselves of resources that are available to help them carry the load if necessary. I’ve seen a few situations within our extended family where the caregiver’s behavior bordered on the abusive.

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Considering dating or marrying a Roman Catholic? Think twice.

I recently saw the article far below from a Catholic source warning Catholics not to marry non-Catholics, which caused me to once again ponder the hardship of mixed-faith marriages.

My wife and I celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary last week and I’m so grateful the Lord has saved both of us and that we share the same blessed hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s difficult for me to imagine being married to an unbeliever, but I know many Christians do struggle with that circumstance. Young believers need to be warned of yoking with unbelievers in marriage.

In our current era, plurality, tolerance, inclusiveness, and relativism are exalted social principles and the church is not impervious. On a large scale, we see vital Biblical doctrines being set aside in the search for ecumenical false unity. Some evangelical pastors and para-church leaders are embracing Roman Catholicism as a Christian entity even though it teaches a fundamentally different gospel of salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

On a smaller, personal scale, there are many young evangelical men and women who marry Roman Catholics thinking they are Christian because they also mention “faith,” “grace,” and “Jesus the Savior.” The current ecumenical climate encourages such reckless undiscernment, but after the wedding ceremony and honeymoon are over, the evangelical Christian soon realizes that they’re not on the “same page” spiritually as their spouse. They find that their Catholic husband or wife believes in the following anti-Biblical Catholic dogmas:

  • Praying to Mary and the saints.
  • Belief that bread wafers and wine are literally changed into Jesus during mass to be eaten by the congregants.
  • Confession of sins to a priest.
  • Belief in purgatory as a place to expiate all minor sins and any remaining temporal punishment for mortal sins.
  • While there are MANY other differences, the most important difference is the belief held by Catholics that salvation is merited by receiving the sacraments and obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!).

The evangelical newlywed is surprised to discover that the Catholic (c)hristian who they married has never repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus Christ through faith alone and been spiritually born-again.

Again, I cannot imagine being partnered under the same roof for fifty or sixty years, facing all of life’s many challenges, with someone who might practice their legalistic religion, but who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior by faith alone.

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.’” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

To my Christian brothers and sisters who are married to an unbeliever and are reading this post, I know you’re praying for your spouse every day. I add my prayers to yours today, that the Lord will work in your spouse’s heart and show them their need for salvation in Christ. I pray for you, that you will continue to be a patient witness and example to your spouse of the great love of Christ Jesus.

Is it right for a Christian to date or marry a non-Christian?
https://www.gotquestions.org/date-marry-unbeliever.html

What does it mean to be unequally yoked?
https://www.gotquestions.org/unequally-yoked.html

The long read: why Catholics shouldn’t marry non-Catholics
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/08/25/the-long-read-why-catholics-shouldnt-marry-non-catholics/

Living Biblically 10 – “The Bible is sexist”

CBS is currently airing the last several episodes of its cancelled “Living Biblically” sit-com. I was able to catch up with episode 10 via CBS’s free app that I downloaded to my Kindle.

Living Biblically
Episode 10, “Submit to Thy Husband”
CBS, originally aired 7/7/18

Plot

Chip’s wife, Leslie, is pregnant so he decides to start up a weekly poker game with “the boys” before his domestic responsibilities ramp up. When Leslie, a nurse practitioner, comes home from work exhausted, Chip suggests that she should quit her job and stay home to raise the baby, referencing the Bible as the inspiration for his idea. Leslie is angered by what she perceives as Chip’s Bible-fueled aim to dominate her.

The guy crew (priest Gene, rabbi Gil, friend Vince, and the workplace security guard) show up at Chip and Leslie’s apartment for the card game, but Leslie is too angry to play the polite hostess. When Chip’s boss, Ms. Meadows, also drops by, Leslie imposes on her to go down to the local saloon for a “girl’s night out.”

At the bar, Leslie shares her marital conflict with Ms. Meadows. The latter confides she was “raised in the church,” but has no use for the Bible any longer, calling it “sexist” (the character is an unabashed lesbian). She quotes Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your own husbands…,” as evidence that the Bible is no longer to be taken seriously.

Back at the apartment, a distracted Chip continues to send unacknowledged conciliatory texts to Leslie rather than focusing on the card game. Aware of the details of Chip’s marital troubles, priest Gene advises him that the Bible was written for a different time and needs a “modern interpretation.”

When Leslie returns home, Chip apologizes for his heavy handedness and promises to submit to her as they submit to each other.

Commentary

Ephesians 5:22 is egregiously offensive to many unbelieving…and believing…women. But taken together in context with the entire passage of Ephesians 5:22-33, we see both husband and wife instructed to love the other with a sacrificial, servant love. Yes, the husband is to be the head of the family. Not a dictator, but a servant leader. Many Christian husbands have abdicated their spiritual leadership role. Yes, there have been some men who have unfortunately used the Bible to justify mistreating their wives. Many Christian wives have followed the world’s example and sought to dominate their husband.

The Lord’s instructions for a husband and wife on how they are to function together does not need a “modern interpretation,” although you can be sure that the culture is not going to agree with that.

It stung me to watch this episode and listen to God’s Word being strongly attacked. The Gospel is not connected with this series in any way, folks. This is all someone’s interpretation of the Bible who doesn’t know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.


Husbands, Love Your Wives
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-383/husbands-love-your-wives

The Willful Submission of a Christian Wife
https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-382/the-willful-submission-of-a-christian-wife

Would Jesus have designed a wedding cake for a same-sex couple? AKA the “gospel” according to Joy Behar!

We’ve all heard the recent news regarding the Supreme Court upholding Christian baker, Jack Phillip’s right not to design and create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The other day, I was looking through some YouTube videos and saw the one below, which featured Phillips as a guest on ABC’s morning show, “The View.” This episode was broadcast in 2017 before the case went to the Supreme Court.

For eleven minutes, he and his lawyer were grilled by the mostly-unfriendly, five-member panel. At the 4:53 mark, Paula Faris asks Jack, “What do you think Jesus would have done in that situation (i.e., asked to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple)?” Jack’s answer, that he doesn’t believe Jesus would have made a cake, is met with incredulous disdain. The panel (and audience) largely agrees with Joy Behar (photo above) when she declares, “Jesus is gonna make the cake!”

Blood-bought, born-again followers of Jesus Christ know that the Lord Jesus Christ would never condone sinful behavior by creating a wedding cake for a male couple, decorated with two male figurines on the top, etc., etc. It would not happen. Believers who read their Bibles know this.

The panel presumes to speak for Jesus, although they are not born-again in Christ and do not read His Word. They have their opinion about what Jesus would do in Phillips’ circumstance, but it’s opinion without any Biblical basis. One of the panelists, Sara Haines, takes disparaging pot shots at the Bible for its teachings about homosexuality, and celebrates that “faith has evolved” since the “thousands of years ago” when God’s Word was written. We also hear from the same panelist, who professes to have been “raised in the church” (what church?), that the Bible isn’t to be trusted because it was “translated 60-some times,” whatever that means. The Bible is a closed book to unbelievers.

The Supreme Court ruling is not the end of this. We can anticipate the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality to became an increasingly rancorous point of contention between Bible Christians and unbelievers (religious and secular).

Please watch the video below if you can spare eleven minutes. It’s an education. Jack actually does fine given the unfriendly panel and his lack of experience on television.

 

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” – Romans 1:26-27

Marriage seminar? No thanks. We’re fine.

Experts differ on the rate of divorce in the United States. Fifty percent is the much-quoted statistic, although the actual rate may be a bit lower. But no matter how you slice it, divorce is a HUGE problem in our society, even among professing evangelical Christians.

My wife and I regularly hang out with a lovely Christian couple who I have mentioned a few times in the past. A couple of months ago, my wife informed me that there was going to be a marriage seminar at this couple’s evangelical church and they had invited us to attend. Argh, I thought to myself. Our marriage is doing just fine, so leave us alone. But what kind of husband would I be if I said no to a marriage seminar, so I reluctantly agreed to attend. Double argh!

My wife and I have been married for 44 years if you don’t count the one year we were divorced back in 2001. I had walked away from the Lord ten years previous to that and my wife wasn’t walking closely with the Lord at the time, either. As a result, our marriage became pretty messed up. The Lord brought us back together in 2002 (Praise God!) but it would be another 12 years before I came back to Him. What a dummy! Our marriage still has some challenges at times (what marriage doesn’t?) so I resolved a seminar would do us both some good.

A couple of months seemed like one hundred years away when I first heard about the seminar, but the event quickly crept up on us last weekend. Right on cue, my wife and I had a little squabble right before the 6:30-8:30 Friday evening opening session. My timing is sometimes superb! The information – mostly via video – was very helpful and inspiring. Most importantly, it was God-focused.

The second session was an all-day affair, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and again, right on cue, my wife and I had a nice tiff prior to leaving home. Argh! It was almost as if the Lord allowed those two timely squabbles so that we would have a humble attitude rather than showing up with an “I don’t need this” pridefulness. Again, the information that was presented was very helpful, inspiring, and centered on the Lord.

The videos used in the seminar were put together by FamilyLife, a ministry of CRU (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). I’m definitely not a big fan of CRU because of founder Bill Bright’s ecumenical tendencies, but the material was Biblically solid. I’m currently reading through 10 pages of the 140-page workbook (photo below) each night as a follow-up. The workbook wasn’t used much during the sessions.

Divorce statistics confirm that marriage relationships need constant, intentional work, but we can easily fall into a selfish rut and take our spouses for granted. This seminar was a real blessing to me and an inspiration to be the husband the Lord wants me to be. If your church sponsors a marriage seminar, I would encourage you to check it out.

“But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” – Mark 10:6-9

 

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