Marriage

Dangerous Distractions

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.”

Psalm 1:1–2 (ESV)

Were you shocked when your spouse left? Were you left bewildered and dumbfounded after hearing your spouse say they didn’t love you anymore and wanted out of the marriage? If you were like me, I had literally no idea of the precarious condition my marriage was in until the day it suddenly fell apart. To say I was blindsided, was an understatement. 

Had I been in God’s will and applying Biblical discernment to the spheres of my life that needed it most, I would likely have been more aware of the imminent danger. Unfortunately, due to my pride and arrogance, I had allowed blinders to blur my focus. This prevented me from seeing the warning signs all around. Unfortunately, my personal experience is not unique. So many we hear from have admitted to dropping the ball and not prioritizing the spiritual health of themselves or their family. Coming to this realization usually arrives only after the destruction of the marriage is well underway. But it doesn’t have to be like this.

When we allow ourselves to be consumed with “non-kingdom” influences and place the investment in our relationship with Christ on the back-burner, we play a risky game. In this day and age, the traps and snares of the devil are everywhere. Men, do you spend countless hours watching TV or checking your phones for the latest news on your favorite sports team? Are you wasting your time binge watching Netflix for hours on end? Or how about filling your head with garbage content from TikTok that you’d be ashamed to view in the presence of children? Ladies, are you constantly checking your Facebook and Instagram feeds? Is your emotional mood determined by the number of likes, comments, and reposts? If so, you are in way too deep.

Truth be told, these distractions and social obsessions have done more to erode the spiritual condition of our hearts than we ever thought possible. Our preoccupation with the digital world, social media, and 24/7 access to entertainment has left us spiritually empty and hollow. Our saturated minds have become void of the very knowledge that should prevent our hearts from growing cold, calloused and incapable of discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I’m not laying blame solely at the feet of the social media giants or the entertainment and sports industries. These distractions and obsessions only cause damage because we allow them to. We purposely consume and willingly participate in activities that have become addictions. It’s a safe bet that a majority of us would lose sleep over being denied access to social media accounts, but wouldn’t bat an eye if we lost or misplaced our Bibles. These days, Christians constantly sacrifice the things of God for temporal pleasure and worldly desires. Over the course of a lifetime, these departures from the faith will take their toll.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”

I John 2:15-17

When we know who is “trending” on Twitter, or are aware of the latest The Voice contestant to just be eliminated, but can’t remember anything about what we heard in church last Sunday, then our priorities are out of alignment. And therein lies the hidden danger. The enemy keeps us from protecting our homes and families by distracting us with a continuous onslaught of trivial pursuits. It’s a proven strategy.

Our investment in culture, instead of the Word of God, and a pursuit of righteousness, has left many of us ignorant and unprepared to face spiritual battles that come our way. As followers of Christ, it comes down to obedience, and we all need to submit. 

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”

Colossians 3:1-3

Before you find yourself in the midst of a marriage crisis, take time to evaluate your own life, and ask if the investments currently being made strengthen the marriage bond or cause it to become weaker. If it’s the latter, then change course while you still have the chance. To delay is foolishness, and a move that will only lead to regret.

In Christ,

Tommy Larson

Endurance, Faith, Marriage

I Can’t Go On

Have you come to the point in your stand where you have uttered the words “I can’t go on”? If so, you are not alone. Pressing on when the weight of the world and stressors of this life have taken their toll both physically and emotionally is so very difficult. For those who suffer through the added burden of separation and divorce, the suffering can be immeasurable. But lest you think giving up is the answer, consider the following message of hope.

Before David fulfilled his destiny and became the great king whose lineage brought mankind the Messiah, his existence was wrought with pain and sorrow. He was relentlessly pursued and tormented by powerful forces that sought his very existence be wiped off the face of the earth. We get a very real sense of the burden he carried and the despair that occupied his heart and mind in the following passage:

For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. For I hear the whispering of many – terror on every side! – Psalm 31:10-13

David was a hunted man. Danger was all around him. Death and destruction was just a stone’s throw away. But strong was his faith. Despite the powerful forces arrayed against him, he knew salvation and deliverance was in the Lord’s hands. Yes, his heart was often filled with sorrow, fear and anxiety. Despite this, David knew and believed the God of Abraham would not abandon him as long as he stayed faithful.

But I trust in you oh Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

Psalm 31:14-15

How powerful was David’s faith! And what an example of God’s goodness and grace! These passages from Scripture are there to equip and strengthen us in our greatest hour of need. Such a great comfort they were when I was in the depths of the valley, wondering if and when the sadness and pain would ever end. It was in my darkest hour I clung and held fast to verses such as these. Knowing God is the author of truth, and that He would never allow us to be forgotten or forsaken, strengthened my resolve to press on, even in the midst of the fiery trials.

Had David given in to his fears and anxieties, there is no telling how different his life and legacy would have turned out. But he didn’t! And dear stander, neither should you. Resisting the urge to give up on your marriage and your prodigal is part of what sets believers apart from a lost and dying world. We have a hope! With your whole heart, lay your burdens at the foot of the cross, and place your complete trust in Jesus. Walk humbly in His ways and forsake the urge to lean on your own understanding. One way or another, He will reward your faithfulness. That is His promise!

In Christ,

Tommy Larson
Purposed Marriage

Marriage

Divorce is War!

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

If you are in the midst of standing for your marriage and profess to be a Bible believing follower of Christ, you’ve likely encountered attacks not only from your prodigal, but also from the forces of darkness that seek to destroy the holy covenant made between the Lord and your spouse.

Today, as we witness the daily battles between the forces of light and darkness, I can’t help but recognize how the entities standing against the kingdom of God have literally all come together to undermine and attack the name of Christ and His followers. While posing as agents of righteousness and justice, their words and deeds communicate something entirely different. Recently, I read the mission statements of one of the organizations in the current national spotlight. It read, “…to disrupt the western-prescribed nuclear family structure”. Christians know full well who the author of creation is, and recognize His design for marriage and family. We should easily be able to discern what message is from God and what isn’t. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Far too many who have seen their husbands or wives leave the home and marriage to pursue a life of sin have given in to pressure from the world and well intentioned family members who believe divorce to be the right path. Hearing things like, “It’s for the best” or “You deserve to be happy” sound good, but when you break it all down, these words of advice all lead to the same place. And while some may be able to rationalize this in their minds, there is no escaping the fact that to pursue divorce is to pursue what God hates.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10 ESV

As we consider who and what we are aligning ourselves with, it is so vitally important that we ground ourselves in the Word of God. We must not yield to advice encouraging us to go along with the wisdom of the world or to walk away and move on from our marriages. The enemy has allies on every corner. Even professing Christians can be used to do Satan’s bidding. Be mindful of this while assessing your situation. When it comes to discerning the right path, do so with a heavenly and eternal perspective. Divorce is death and destruction. The path that honors Christ leads to life and fulfillment.

The forces of darkness have been at war with Christ since the beginning of creation. Satan and the demonic realm constantly seek to destroy and thwart God’s plan and will. Marriage and family are their primary targets. The reason is simple; divorce is a destroyer. The damage done to husbands, wives and innocent children caught in the middle have long lasting consequences. So much is the devastation, that the repercussions of divorce can be felt for generations. It is for this reason, standing for your marriage is so vitally important. For the sake of the cross, your testimony, and the message of the Gospel, earnestly seek the Lord during these trying times. Keep your eyes focussed squarely on Christ. Your persistence and steadfastness in the midst of the storm will largely determine the extent to which glory is given to the Father. Know that the purpose of your very existence is to give praise and honor to Him. It is our sole mission. Remember these words today, and as we do, may the banner we carry always point towards the promises of God and His eternal truths. Stand for your marriage and for Jesus!

In Christ,

Tommy Larson
Purposed Marriage