Archive for the ‘ Spiritual Side of Things ’ Category

Looking Forward to a Second Year

Do anyone know what today is?  No, it’s not George Washington’s Birthday.  Or MLK Jr Day.  Today marks the first day of the final month of the first year of Penny’s and my marriage.  We are standing on the brim of end of our first year together as husband and wife.  And as I look out this time in our lives, as we look forward to Year 2, I am very excited to what this new year will bring us!  And I’m struck with several thoughts:

1) I am more in love with my wife now than I was on the day I married her.  I suppose that’s kinda the way it should be.  But it’s true.

2) We are communicating better and being more real with each other than ever before.  It’s an odd concept that more I am open, the more I let her see my own brokenness, the more it propels our intimacy- the more we know each other.

3) Our best years are really still in front of us.  I feel really sorry for whoever said the first year of marriage was the best.  Seriously, if I got to the end of this year and thought it was the best it was ever going to be, I might be done with the whole thing.  Thankfully, I am superexcited for what’s still to come.

4) I’ve never had an anniversary before…looking forward to it.  I got to plan out where we are going last night- I can’t wait.

5) We are set up great for a second year.  We have a cloud of witnesses around us that are in this with us.  They are really rooting for us…not just to stay together, but to thrive!

As I write this, I realize something- all of these things are also true in my relationship with my first love- the Saviour of my Soul- Jesus.  I love him more than ever before, and I feel his love more.  We are communicating better…I am hearing his voice clearer and sharper than ever before.  The best years are still in front of us.  The anniversary is really a special time- June 24.  And there is cloud of witness around me of people who have gone before me that are spurring me on.


A Husband’s Power

Something that you guys may know about me is that I am one of the world’s worst readers.  I just don’t read very fast.  Little bit of Brent trivia- it took me 12 years to read the first Lord of the Rings book.  Sure, occasionally I’ll find the book that grabs my attention and I can’t put it down.  But usually, I’m good for about one chapter, then I start falling asleep while trying to read.

That said, something you may find surprising about me is that I love books.  I love bookstores.  I love collecting books.  I love buying books.  At any given time, I have 5 or 6 books on my “To-Read” list.  Now whether or not they stay on the “To-Read” list is a different matter altogether.  So in the midst of that, I usually will have 3 or 4 books I could be reading at the same time.  I’ll read several chapters out of this one book.  Then move to another book for a few chapters.  Then to another.  And back to the first book.  Then back to the third book.  Then the second book.  There is no real order to it.

Usually I try to keep at least one of those books a non-fiction, make yourself better kind of books.  And the current book I’m reading has had me on some rather unique pages (pardon the pun) that I never saw coming.  The book is “The Power of a Praying Husband” by Stormie Omartian.  It’s the

follow up to her very successful book “The Power of a Praying Wife.”  In “Husband,” she takes the read on a journey of specific prayers that a husband can and should be praying for his wife.  And the very first prayer is to pray for himself.  To pray for himself as her husband.  And she proceeds to talk about the fact that a husband has been given a very real authority in his wife’s life.   Specifically over her spiritual life.  A husband actually has authority in the spiritual realm over what’s going on with his wife.

It’s this specific thing that has had me thinking.  I don’t think I ever realized or comprehended before I got married that I would have authority in the spiritual realm over anything, especially that concerning other people.  But as I read the Bible, this seems exactly in accordance with its teachings.  That a husband really is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.  And that has a lot of implications.

So what does it mean to be the head of my family.  To be the one entrusted with Spiritual Authority in my household.  What does that really like?  Could my prayers over my wife (and in the future my children) hold more some sort of God-Given supernatural power?  Could I really hold the keys to the gates that the enemy and his minions enter through to mess around in my wife’s life?  Does the Holy Spirit empower my prayers such that they cause the Host of Heaven to move in accordance with my prayers?

So how much authority and power does a pastor’s prayers have over those in his flock?  Why is it that we often seek the prayers of those in spiritual authority positions over us.  Isn’t there a more finite feeling of power and authority that comes when an elder is laying his hands on someone and prays over them?

So what about it.  Do I have that kind of power and authority in my wife’s life?  Or rather does a husband have that kind of power and authority in his wife’s life?  What kind of responsibilities come with that?  You know its coming- with great power comes great responsibility.

Well, I’m not entirely sure yet.  I’m still feeling it out and seeing what it happens.  But I can say that I am realizing that I do hold some sort of influence over the spiritual realm in Penny’s life.  To what extent, I don’t know.

So what do you think?  Thoughts?  Comments?  Other husbands- what have you seen to be true?

Are You For Your Wife?

Here’s a cool thought that is more than just a thought, it’s a truth.  It’s a thought that I think I most tend to forget in the midst of the day-to-day.  My spouse is always for me.  She really is.  She is always on my side.  No matter what.  For me, its easy to lose sight of.  Especially when I’m in the midst of thinking about myself and Penny isn’t fulfilling my every wanton desire, especially the ones that I never even tell her about.  That’s when I tend to get down and feel like she just isn’t paying attention to me.  That’s when I’m not at my best.  But the truth is, She is always for me.  She isn’t out to get me or make me suffer, in fact, quite the opposite.  She wants to see me thrive and enjoy life and our marriage.  These things I know.

So why then did it kinda take me off guard this week when I realized something else…I am always for her.  I’m not out to control her or have her bend to my every wanton desire.  I really am her number one fan.  I am her biggest (literally and figuratively) cheerleader.  When I see her in her sweet spot doing the things that fuel her, it swells my heart like nothing else.  My number 2 priority in life is dedicated to pleasing her and making her happy.

I know that may sound sappy and idealistic, but it’s really true of us.  It’s why I put so much energy and effort into planning our date nights and keep them secret so she can be surprised (which does on occasion backfire 🙂 ).  It’s why I’ll come in a clean the house and try to get done before she gets home.  It’s why I run errands for her.

And for those of faith, this should have all kinds of parallels.  Have you ever stopped to think the Jesus is for you.  He is your number one cheerleader.  That he loves to dote upon you, his bride.  i heard a pastor once say that God doesn’t really give a flyin’ rip about your happiness, but he does want you to be joyful.  I know where he was coming from, and while I may have agreed at the time, I think I have to retract that.  I think he does care a great deal about the happiness of his kids, of the Bride of Christ.  He loves to give us good gifts…why, because it makes us happy and he loves to make us happy.  It brings so much joy to his heart.  He really is cheering you on in the ball game you just played or in that serving role you get to put your hand to that you absolutely love doing.

Back to relationships.  I have a question for you.  Are you for your partner?  Married or dating…that person you sit across the dinner table from- are you 100% for that person?  When does it get hard?  When is it easy?  When do you know that your partner is for you?  When do you forget?  Leave a comment, let us know.

7 Link Challenge

I do love challenges.  Today I came across a challenge to post 7 links to blogs.  So I, in true form, have risen to the challenge.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did putting it together.  It was actually harder than it looks.

1. Your first post :: Kate’s True Love I started this blog during the time I was re-watching the first 5 seasons of Lost in preparation for its finale.  It was written as a sample to get things going.

2. A post you enjoyed writing the most :: 5 Things I Learned From My Honeymoon Who doesn’t love a good honeymoon story?  No worries, this one is rated PG.

3. A post which had a great discussion ::
Lost Explained…for real This post blew up, received a few good nods from some other blogs, and even a repost.  Of course it generated a lot of comments too.

4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written ::
Wives: How to Never Say No to Sex Again I came across recently and have really enjoyed looking through its previous posts.  This one was one I personally loved, but not for the obvious reason.  Read it, it’s such sound advice.

5. Your most helpful post ::
…My Marriage is on the Brink. I’ve received more positive feedback from this post than any other.  It was one of my early posts.  I recommend going back and looking at it.  It’s got some great words of wisdom that I believe husbands and wives need to seriously heed.

6. A post with a title that you are proud of ::
Sex Means More Than Sex Which Leads to More Sex is NOT a blog about sex or marriage, but rather relationships.  However, this one was absolutely my favorite title.  It was so fun that I think I did a jig when I thought of it.

7. A post that you wish more people had read ::
10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating This subject is one of the main reasons I started this blog.  I had such an amazing experience dating Penny and learned so much that I couldn’t keep quiet about it.  I really hope people learn a thing or two from this post.  You never know, I might expand it into a book some day.

There you have it.  My 7 Links.
PS- If this is something you may do on your own blog and you tag your posts or are going to tweet a link to it – use #7links as a tag to help the meme continue.

The Marriage Triangle

Stop me if you’ve heard this one :: Wanna know how to get closer to your loved one?  A relationship is like a triangle:: You and your special someone are in two of the corners and God is in the other corner.  If you both focus on getting closer to God, then, by default, you will get closer to each other.  Sound familiar?  Anyone?  Bueller? Bueller?

I know I’ve heard it before, and honestly, I like..a lot.  It makes a lot of sense and is a pretty good analogy for relationships.  Unfortunately, as I learned recently, I don’t think it’s a great analogy for marriages.  But I’ll get back to this in a minute.  Let me take a slight detour into the spiritual side of things.

This past weekend at Quest Community Church was a special weekend, Vision Weekend!  Every year, in the month of July, we send our pastor off to visit other churches, meet with other pastors, find out what others are doing, and just listen to God on our behalf.  Vision weekend is the weekend he comes back and let’s us know what he’s been up to, what he’s heard, and casts vision for where we are going as a church.  Sort of a yearly course correction for the whole church.  (On a side note, I encourage you to watch it online here.  You won’t be bored, I promise.)

This year’s Vision Weekend was unlike any other we’ve ever had at Quest.  Usually Pastor Pete comes back with new directions, new initiatives, coming staff hires, etc…  But this year, what he heard was more broad for the whole church.  This year would be a year that we as a church, collectively and individually come to KNOW and TRUST our God in a new way, that our relationship with him will certainly progress.

Pete had talked about what happens when people have an experience with God or even give their lives to Him, but they never progess in getting to actually know God.  To know him personally, to know his character, to experience his love.  They just sort of stagnate.  Perhaps you know someone who fits that description, or maybe it describes you.  Either way, this was going to be a year where we get to take incredible steps forward.

Then there was me (there were a whole lot of “me”s around the room I thought) where actually, I know my God.  It hasn’t grown stagnant for me.  When I say know, I mean KNOW.  I know the rhythms of his heartbeat.  I know his voice when he speaks.  I know his discipline when it falls.  I know his character.  His generous love.  My roots are really grounded in him.  So much so, that when the storms of life come, they don’t really rock me.  I say that not out of pride, it’s just that’s really where I get to live.  Truly in a spot of…if it was just God and me, I’d be ok.  It’d kinda suck, cause we’re both people persons (is that right?), but it’d be ok.

So I began to ask God, how is it that we get to know each other better?  I don’t want to be a person that spends a couple of years getting to know him and then get satisfied with it and begin to cruise.  And no matter where you are on the spectrum, you could always get to know God better, right?  And there next to me was my wife.  In 3 days we will have been married an incredible 6 months!  Still very much newly weds, and still very much trying to figure this whole thing out.  It was then that God’s voice spoke to my heart.  “If it was just me and you, Brent, that’d be ok?  But it’s not just me and you anymore.  It me and you and her.”

In that moment I got it.  I have known God as a single guy.  And I have known him pretty well.  I could anticipate him about as well as anyone could anticipate God.  We were tight.  But then I understood- God wants grow with me.  Its not as if I reached some sort of benchmark for knowing God and then it was ok for me to get married because I’ll always have God as my basis.  He wants my change in status to become his change in status.  In truth, my basis has changed. Apparently, there is something different about knowing God as a married guy.  (side note: I’ll bet there’s something different about knowing him as a father too!)

But how is it different?  Well… I don’t know yet. But my thoughts do turn back to the Relationship Triangle.  And it strikes me, the Marriage Triangle is quite different.  In the Relationship Triangle model, it depends on my me getting closer to God and her getting closer to God.  That’s all well and good.  But how about the fact that God actually wants to get closer to us as well.  He’s also moving, not just us.

So what if the Marriage Triangle was quite different from the Relationship Triangle?  What if it was an equilateral triangle?  What if somehow, because of this special bond of marriage, the rule works in each way.  The more Penny and I get to know God individually, the closer we grow together.  And what if the same holds true- the closer we grow together the closer we grow to God?  As Penny and God grow closer to me, she and God grow closer to each other.  As God and I each grow closer to Penny, God and I grow closer to each other.

What if in this year, God actually wanted to move closer to me.  And move closer to Penny.  And of course Penny and I move closer to each other.  And we each get closer to God.  In the end- all three are getting closer and closer.  (how many more times can I say the word closer?)

What do you think?  Leave your comments.  I’d love to hear them.


Special thanks to  for today’s graphic.  It’s a great blog, be sure to check it out.