What is Marriage?

After many years of teaching, preaching, and counseling on God’s purpose and plan for marriage, I have a lot to say on the subject. Often I summarize it all into this sentence…

 

Marriage is

… a holy covenant

…initiated by God

…conditioned on an irrevocable promise

…to pursue oneness

…with an imperfect person

…of the opposite sex

…for a lifetime

…for the glory of God.

 

Whatever else our decaying culture may say, God’s definition has never changed.  Are you allowing God to define your ideas about what marriage is?

About Trent Griffith

Trent Griffith serves as the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana and is an experienced conference speaker.

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This Little Boy’s Dad

I may never be as clever as my neighbor down the street,

I may never be as wealthy as some other men that I’ll meet,

I may never have the fame that other men have had,

But I’ve got to be successful as this little boy’s Dad!

 

There are certain dreams I cherish, I’d like to see come true,

There are things I’d like to accomplish before my working days are through,

But the task my heart is set on, is no mere passing fad,

You see, I’ve got to be successful as this little boy’s Dad!

 

It’s the one job that I dream of. It’s the task I think of most.

For if I fail this little one, I have nothing else to boast.

For all the wealth I’d gather, my fortune would be sad

If I fail to be successful as this little boy’s Dad!

 

I may never come to glory, I may never gather gold,

Men may count me as a failure when my business life is told.

But if he that follows me shall be godly, then I’ll be glad.

For I’ll know I’ve been successful as this little boy’s Dad!

 

I don’t know who the author of this poem is. I’ve been sharing it for over 15 years.

About Trent Griffith

Trent Griffith serves as the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana and is an experienced conference speaker.

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Grab and Release

Col 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Everything I ever needed to know about parenting I learned when I took the training wheels off Leah’s bike. At four years old she begged me to release her from the enslavement of those extra wheels that were slowing her down. I tried to convince her they needed to stay on for her protection but she persisted in demanding her freedom.

So one day I removed them and began the process of helping her gain her balance on two wheels. With one hand I grabbed the handlebar. With the other hand, I grabbed under her seat while I ran beside her as she tried her best to multitask peddling, steering, and balancing. Occasionally, I would let go until she started to wobble. That’s when I knew it was time to grab. Finally, after multiple grabs and releases, I let go and she took off.

The secret to being a great dad is knowing when to grab and when to release. Dads who won’t grab discourage their children because they just are too busy grabbing other things. Their kids need the protection of a dad who is engaged in their lives. These dads have made the mistake of letting go way too soon. As a result, some kids end up in a ditch with some pretty nasty scars. Dad, if you won’t grab you can be sure there will be plenty of others standing in line waiting for the opportunity to grab hold of our kid’s hearts and steer them in a wrong direction.

Other dads won’t release. Overprotective dads provoke their children by controlling the choices of their kids. The older a child gets the less a dad can expect to control their behavior from the outside in. Many teenagers push back even harder against rigid rules. Dad, are you forcing compliance when you should be cheering from a healthy distance as a coach would from the sidelines watching his team execute the game plan they have practiced all week?

Wise fathers know it is the heart that controls behavior. You regulate behavior in your children by making continual investments in your child’s heart. You should ask your children to give you their heart as God’s Word shows us in Proverbs 23:26. “Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”

By the way, I forgot to teach Leah how to brake so if you happen to see a fatigued little girl circling your neighborhood, send her home, would you?

About Trent Griffith

Trent Griffith serves as the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana and is an experienced conference speaker.

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Choosing Hell

2Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. God is not willing than any should perish.

How could a loving God send a person to hell? The answer lies in how seriously God takes sin.  You cannot comprehend in your finite mind how infinitely offensive your sin is to an infinitely holy God.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to lead an all-day parenting seminar at a local church. I spent hours pouring out everything I had learned from God’s Word about how to motivate children to obey with a right attitude every time. The attendees listened eagerly as I shared proven techniques of imparting wisdom through patient instruction and extracting foolishness through loving correction. I shared personal examples of how my 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son had become so compliant and obedient in response to my tireless investment in their lives.

When the seminar was over, I walk out of the church to find my 2 precious angels having the most wonderful time in the parking lot throwing large rocks onto the hood of a beautiful new Buick owned by one of the attendees.

The innocent smiles on their faces revealed they had no comprehension of how much damage they were doing. Apart from the cost to repair the paint they had scratched, they had just undone everything I was attempting to communicate about parenting. What they thought was a fun way to spend the afternoon was actually invalidating my message and compromising my character as a father.

Like my children, we are clueless as to how offensive our sin is to God. By our hypocrisy, we can invalidate the message those far from God need to hear and believe. What we consider playing around, God views as a compromise of his infinite holiness. And infinite holiness has an infinite price tag when violated.

So how do you suppose I should deal with my little Buick terrorists? I could demand justice from my children. “New paint job…$1000! Pay up! Now!” But they have no ability to pay. I could extend mercy, “At least you weren’t throwing hand grenades. I’ll delay payment. But you are going to work it off.” That would take too long. Or I could give grace. “You are broke, but loved. The damage you’ve caused will cost me but I will pay your debt out of my own resources.” They would be wise to receive the grace freely offered by a loving father.

Hell is reserved for those who reject God’s infinite grace to pay the infinite price for infinitely offensive sin.

A better question than the one we started with is, “Why would a person choose to pay the price for sin in Hell when grace is freely offered by a loving God?”

About Trent Griffith

Trent Griffith serves as the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana and is an experienced conference speaker.

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Out of this World Love

1John 4:9-11  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I’ll never forget my son’s two-year-old birthday party. My wife, Andrea was frantically preparing to host a basketball-themed extravaganza where the crowning jewel would be cupcakes decorated to resemble basketballs. As the clock was counting down to the arrival of our two-year-old guests, Andrea came into my study where I was frantically preparing to meet a project deadline.

Culinary art has never been high on my list of skills or desires. I’m ashamed to say that my response was less than godly. In fact, it was selfish. I had crushed my wife but I felt justified as I hid behind a false view of masculinity.

A few minutes later God’s Spirit spoke to my heart about my unwillingness to serve my wife. It was as if God said, “If you really loved your wife, you would get in that kitchen and decorate those cupcakes!”  So, I dropped my left my project and entered the kitchen.

After skillfully decorating a few cupcakes complete with the “Spalding” logo, Andrea asked me “Why are you decorating the cupcakes?” I answered, “Because I love you!” She later told me that my cake decorating was one of the most meaningful acts of love I had ever demonstrated.

Why did it mean so much to her? Not because of my Paula Dean imitation! But because of my imitation of Jesus! When I left my world of project deadlines and entered her world of birthday deadlines she felt incredibly loved. That is how God loves you! Jesus loved you so much that he was willing to leave his world and enter yours…to take you to His!

It’s not until you understand how much perfection Jesus left and how much pain Jesus entered by coming into this world that you will realize how much he loves you.  No matter what you’ve done, you have access to the perfection of Heaven and can leave your sin-polluted world if you will only respond to the love of Jesus with faith and repentance.

Jesus came a long way to love you. The godliest example of love is when you leave your world to enter into someone else’s world so you can take them to your world.

Today someone you know really needs you to leave your world and enter his or hers. So, how far will you go to love them?

About Trent Griffith

Trent Griffith serves as the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana and is an experienced conference speaker.

Connect with Trent