To honor God in my writings

Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

What is there with Computer Games and Men?

Men just love playing computer games. It doesn’t matter how old they are, young and old alike loves them. Why do men get hooked at playing computer games? I think it has to do with the hard-wiring of men psychologically. Games boosts our ego, raises our self-esteem, and gives us a sense of pride when we experience success and victory in the stages and levels we go through. It gives us the opportunity to use our brains to strategize, analyze, and execute the plans that we developed. The nice thing about it is, nobody judges us when we fail. We just try and try again. The challenges and competitions that are built-in it just appeals to our ego – to be number 1, to be the very best.

In reality, these qualities are the instincts of men. These are the very foundations which men use in daily life – looking for jobs, executing our careers, finding a girl, marrying a spouse. Everything revolves in these life skills – analyze, strategize, overcome challenges, competition, triumph, success, and achievement. Games has appealed to these skills that is why men are easily hooked, or should i say addicted to these games.

With these facts, i wish i could end on this high note but sadly to say I cannot. The downside of gaming is “IT JUST ISN’T REAL.” The digital world we live in, is not the reality that we perceive it to be. Being number 1 there doesn’t have a bearing in our “real” standing out here. It will be foolish for us when we trade the physical world for the digital world.

The disadvantages are as follows:
– For the youth, it will be in their skills/talent development.
– For the adults, it can be distraction from fulfilling their full potential.
– For married men, quality time with their wife and kids.

Because games take up our time, we can’t practice our sports or music skills. We are not able to use our creative skills in arts and literature. We cannot spend time with people and our families, with our wife and kids because we are busy in isolation, excelling in the digital realm. You can be the best at NBA but don’t even know how to catch a ball in real life. You’re a great sniper but don’t know how to fire a gun. Games has the deception of making us feel good but in really is nothing. Instead of spending time, reading story books, playing board games, playing imaginative role playing stories, leading devotions, modeling prayer, we become contented with everybody busy with their own technology – watching YouTube, doing Mine Craft. Recently, I am playing Clash of Clans and it allows me to converse with my son but what about? – the levels of the city, the warriors involved, and so on. We talk, yes, but is it deep conversation about spirituality, about deeper relationships, and important life issues? No! So i wouldn’t call that real conversation. It’s not even quality time. I may reason with myself that I’m still in control, I still get my responsibilities done, i still spend time with the kids, and even be in denial that I’m not addicted. I have it under control… Since my wife doesn’t want me to play, i play when she’s not around, and even play in the bathroom. It has become a secret, modeling lying to others. Despite of being allowed to play by your spouse, the concerns I mentioned earlier still is true.

I hope you can agree with my prayer and pray it from your heart.
Our Heavenly Father, I pray that you open my eyes to see that I am in bondage. Remove my desire and interest in these games. Let me be bored with it. Help me to know the truth about the use of my time, the talents you have given me, and the purpose of my life. Allow me to obey you radically. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we may be set free and empowered to live a life of freedom and productivity. Our lives are yours, may it bring glory and honor to you. In Jesus name, amen.

What will be the best thing to do? Delete it and never open it again. Replace the old habit with new habits – spend time with your family and friends, enhance your skills, read books, engage in sports, and so on. If you have other ideas do let me know… God bless.

TANGLE

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As i was untangling the rope that i had so i could use it to tie my box, it is easy to become impatient and just keep on pulling any part of the string that causes the rope’s tangle to get tighter and more difficult to remove. An easy way to solve it is to cut it but it wouldn’t be useful anymore. So it is with the relationships in our lives. The choices we make causes our lives to get entangled. The more wrong choices we make, the messier it becomes and our status becomes “complicated”.

Conflicts in relationships are inevitable. We will surely encounter them in our lives – with our families, officemates, friends, even strangers. Sometimes we want to follow our own ways, in our own time, we just say what we feel and do things that are hurtful to others. It is like cutting the rope.

Dealing with relationships and conflicts really needs a lot of patience, strategy, and time. It requires analysing the problem, thinking of ways to solve it.  We need to talk about it, gather insights and advice from godly people with wisdom, getting a fresh perspective of the situation, and even taking a break or a vacation. It is easy for us to talk to anyone and aggravate the situation all the more. When we want people to take our side and hear what we want to hear. This cause the rope to tangle all the more. So seeking advice from godly people with wisdom are very crucial in solving our problems. They can give new perspective and solutions that we cannot think of ourselves.

We cannot control other people but we can control our own actions and reactions. One of the essentials that we often neglect is prayer. We need to pray to God and lift things up to Him – ask Him for wisdom and guidance on what actions to take. He alone can change people’s heart. It doesn’t happen overnight, it really takes time – weeks and even years. That is why we need to be patient. Often times, we want to give up on ourselves and others saying “Walang pagasa yan.” or “It is hopeless.” But we must remember that with God nothing is impossible. We must keep on praying and hope for the best.

Another key element in resolving conflict is communication and open dialogue. I’m used to being an authoritarian dad and what i say stand. But it cannot work that way especially when kids grow older and enter teenage years. Even now, i can’t force my son to do things that he doesn’t want to do. I cannot use my anger and shouting to make him comply. It may work and get the job done but it wouldn’t have a good effect on him. This thing I’m still praying and working on improving. Open dialogue and communication allow us to have different opinions and views on things as long as it is not bad and wrong. All of us have different views and principles that we follow so we have to respect one another. Some principles are better than others but we cannot force it on other people. They have to accept and embrace it in their own time. We have to be gentle in bringing our point across. Hurtful words and actions will build up walls rather than sort things out. In God’s time, with a lot of work, communication, and prayer, things will get better.

Voila! My rope is untangled. 🙂 God bless.

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An Appeal to Wives

“Who are the best – boys or girls / men or women?” This was a question being debated during my elementary and high school days. Ever since i have been pro-women. I do believe they are better, smarter, hard-workers than men.  My expectations are indeed proven right by what we see in our societies today – women police, athletes, workers, pilots, counsellors, senators, even president of companies and countries.

With that, i like to express my heart felt “Congratulations!” to all you women who have done a great job, especially to homeschooling moms. You have exhibited excellence at the workplace, in the communities, and also at home. You are able to fulfill the Proverbs 31 characteristics. I know it has not been an easy journey. There are a lot of sacrifices along the way.

My appeal and gentle reminder is that let us not forget our role as a wife to our husband. This is one of the task that we can not delegate to others, so is our walk with God. In the busyness of all the responsibilities you handle, I humbly remind for you to remember to minister to your husband, his needs – emotionally, psychologically, and physically. In the US, there are many divorces and some of their reason is because of homeschooling, mom’s just too busy with the kids. I know you are emotional beings and sometimes it is just so difficult to do with all the problems in the relationship. In behalf of the husbands, I sincerely ask for your forgiveness – for the times of abuses, of harshness with words, of neglect and indifference, of being demanding, and even of unfaithfulness. I do pray that you would release forgiveness for our short comings. Together, we lift them up to God. May He be the one to transform both our hearts so that we can have a “whole” family, one that is founded in love and care to both spouses and children. May our lives bring glory and honor to God. God bless you all.

Leave and cleave part 3

Leave and Cleave part 3

Truth #4: IT INVOLVES EMOTIONAL CLEAVING

Aside from not leaving physically, a bigger problem will be not leaving emotionally. We love our parents so much (that is good) that we don’t have emotional independence from them. We look to them for everything. This is a hard fact to deal with – “Are you a mama’s boy?” My wife’s dad was like this so she left her family and went back to his mama. She never met him.

We need to cut the emotional dependence we have with our old family so that we can cleave to our wives emotionally. We are not able to become a new unit because we did not leave our old unit.

When conflict arises, we grind our wives instead of being one with her. A principle that i learned is that “We should have a united front.” This means that we discuss matters privately and present it as your decision specially to your parents. This will protect our wives from being the bad guy. Ex. She doesn’t want to go to the party. You’ll both agree and say we decided or i decided not to go specially when talking to your parents. You don’t go saying ” we won’t go because she doesn’t want to.” Then she becomes the bad guy. And when there is something good being done, it should be presented as her good. Ex. My wife wants to give this gift to you… Etc. We build them up and carry the flaws to ourselves. This is being a man for our wives, sacrificially loving her. This isn’t even to the point of death, these are just small issues.

Be one with your wife, physically and emotionally. Leave your old family, detach from them and cleave to your wife – be united in goals, in purposes, in decisions, and in handling the finances.

Leave and cleave part 2

Truth #3: It DESTROYS RELATIONSHIP.

One thing that men always say “My mom is kind. My wife won’t have a problem getting along with her.” How i wish this was true but this is not often the case.  We don’t understand the pressure that is put on our wives who has to conform and watch her every move. There is a hidden test being put on them to see if they are really good for my son.

I know some good moms who still don’t get along with their in-laws because of simple expectations that they have – like she should know how to cook and do household chores, and many other stereotypes that are so different from our culture today. The stereotype of a wife has had a big transformation. We now have working moms than just the typical house wife that cares for the home. We have women that are career oriented, managers of corporation, and so on.

These unmet expectations, no matter how small leads to misunderstanding and bitterness that builds up over the years. Ex. Wife can’t cook like mom-in-law so she doesn’t want a confrontation so she hides in the room which is then misinterpreted as disrespect… And the frustration just keeps on building up.

Problem with in-laws are specially encountered when it comes to raising children. There is a saying “grand children are reward for parents who didn’t kill their children.” So grandparents are enjoying their grandchildren and spoiling them, giving in to all their wants and demands. They don’t have the pressure of disciplining them which results to conflict with the parents. You would be blessed if you have grandparents that knows how to set limits and respect the jurisdiction of the parent’s role to discipline. If they have wise counsel and biblical strategies in sharing to you about parenting.

I have been traveling around the country and it a been the same stories whether in the province or
in Manila. These stories have the same outcome – strained or damaged relationships, emotional agony for the wife or a spouse that moves in.

Again, the argument of economical reason is too cheap to exchange for the value of relationships. God knows what the design for marriage is. This is an appeal for obedience to Leave and Cleave. Love your wives, save them from the pain that they should not have to bear. You don’t need to buy a house to obey. You can just rent if you like. The truth of the matter still remains the same Leave and Cleave. Then you will experience the joy of obedience. Financial management will be a different issue to tackle.

Pornography and masturbation.

God is the author of sex. He made it and it is good. He made it good in the context of marriage. But Satan has been distorting it even from the ancient times like Sodom and Gomorrah, in the book of Romans and the other epistles by Paul.

What is bad about pornography and masturbation:
1. IT IS A LIE. We are exchanging the truth and purity of sex with our wives to artificial ones. The pretention of the actors and actresses, the days that they put on in filming, the deception that everything is happening all in one session distorts our expectation of sex and makes us frustrated if we don’t experience the same thing and if our wives do not commit to do the acts that we have seen.

2. IT IS ADDICTING. We might think that nothing is bad about it but sooner or later you cannot seem to pull out of it anymore. What you think you are in control of is now in control of you. You can’t stop thinking of it, you desire to do it again. So you become in bondage to it without you knowing it.

3. IT DEGRADES YOUR VIEW OF WOMEN. it changes your respect for women. You look at the women around you with impure thoughts and disrespect treating them like sex objects specially those women that are wearing seductive clothings.

4. IT LEADS TO ADULTERY. As you look at women around you, you start to look for those women that flirts around. And as the Triangle of Temptation comes – the right time, the right place, and the right woman comes. BAM! You fall into sin. It doesn’t take place all at one time but it is a slow fade, a low slide just like in biology class when slowly boiling a frog to it’s death. It doesn’t know the water is heating up until it’s too late.

ACTION POINTS:
1. REPENT. Ask God for forgiveness and turn away from it.
2. ACCOUNTABILITY GROUP. Find brothers in the Lord that will help you fight against temptation. It is like texting and calling them when you are encountering temptation and asking them to pray for you.
3. RENEW YOUR MIND WITH GOD’S TRUTH. There are so many passages in scriptures to help you overcome – as we remember “wrong thinking leads to wrong action.” We are no longer slave to it. We are dead to it. God has given us victory over sin. God has empowered us through His Holy Spirit.

4. WALK IN THE SPIRIT. The Bible tells us that we should walk in the Spirit. The desires of the Spirit is contrary to that of the sinful nature. When we walk with the Spirit, we think of things that are pure and holy. We desire to read God’s word and spend time with Him rather than engage in the internet.

5. PROTECTING THE YOUNG. Pornography now is so rampant and easily accessible. It pops out of search engine image results even when you’re just researching with the kids and not looking for it. It is really not safe for kids to access the internet without our supervision. It might also help to get censoring or blocking softwares that are available.

6. PRAY AND SPEND TIME WITH GOD. Have your quiet time, spend time with Him who is our satisfaction. Let Him fill us and satisfy our desires. Allow Him to take control of us that we might take our minds off these things and focus on doing things for Him. Let’s continue to be in prayer as the it is a spiritual warfare. Let us pry for the purity of ourselves and our children.

In closing, let us remember that God forgives our sins through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and His Resurrection. He purifies us from all unrighteousness. He empowers us by His Holy Spirit to be holy as He is holy. God bless you all.

LEAVE and CLEAVE part 1

Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh.

 

This is the first biblical principle we can learn about marriage.  But let us explore some of the common arguments that we give in order to avoid following this principle.

 

Argument # 1: Economical – save expenses from ren to buy or build our own house.

Truth # 1:  God’s economy is different from our economy.

Truth # 2: God’s blessings follow obedience to His will.

 

God does not give us a command for us to follow and just leave us on our own strength to do it.  But in His every command, there are blessings connected with it.  God blesses us for every step of faith and obedience that we do / take.

 

Career and Marriage: I started working with a starting salary of 10k peso gross a month.  I left and opted to help in our family business and starting a new frontier in Davao and General Santos along with my dad.  It was a clean slate, we had 0 sales for several trips.  In 2002 as we plan for our marriage, we learned about the biblical portrait of marriage by Dr Bruce Wilkinson – Leave and Cleave.  After we heard that message, we were thinking of the pros and the cons like this common argument that we have.  But still we decided to obey God’s design and started looking for a house.  We were getting disappointed because we couldn’t find a good house with a good location.  Still we trusted God.  For Chinese culture, it is a fear of the children to ask permission from their parents to live on their own because their parents might be insulted.  When we told our parents about it, they gave us their blessing.

 

God’s commands are tied up with His promises.  In His time, my mom and dad were able to find a “not so old house” with a great location.  The size was twice and the price was half of a brand new one.  It was really a bargain though we still had to renovate the interior.  Truly God is amazing at providing when we follow His will.

 

Next paying for the house:  Again, God provided and increased my sales with the suppliers that He has given me.  My wife got promoted at work too.  Despite of the increases in income, we sacrificed from spending money for our pleasure and luxury and devoted all our earnings in paying off our mortgages because we believe in a debt-free lifestyle.

 

In all these years, we didn’t fail to “return” our tithes (10% of our income) to God.  We saw His faithfulness and provision year after year until we were debt free – The blessing of faith and obedience to our Almighty God.  He is our Great Provider and He is in control.  As we near the end of our mortgage, He gave us our first son.  What a great bonus and perfect timing.

 

I encourage you once more – Trust in God’s promises – He will never leave you nor forsake you.  If you follow His commands, He will provide for you, He will enable and empower you to abide in His principles.  Our wisdom and economics are foolishness compared to His wisdom and His economy.  Again, God’s blessings follows obedience to His will.

 

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