Favorite Books on Marriage – Marriage, Family, and Beyond Vlog by Abidan and Nicole Shah

Favorite Books on Marriage – Marriage, Family, and Beyond Vlog

by Abidan and Nicole Shah

Marriage Vlog 3This is our third vlog (Video Blog) on daily life issues. We don’t claim to have all the answers or even the best answer but we hope to give a biblical perspective on life issues. This one covers the books that have made the biggest impact on our marriage. Let us know what you think.

Click on the image or on this link – https://youtu.be/KUv-2FFCTHA

 

“Passion and Purity” for a New Generation by Abigail Ruth Shah

“Passion and Purity” for a New Generation by Abigail Ruth Shah

(Book Review of Elisabeth Elliot’s classic book)

Passion and Purity

Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

Passion and Purity starts out with Elisabeth, a senior in college, questioning God, asking Him why she was still single. She touches on the topic of the difference between singleness and virginity, her view on how each was equally important to her. Elisabeth first learns of Jim through her brother Dave. Through the next few years after their meeting they struggle with being apart, being together, loneliness, and self-control. Elisabeth shares her personal struggles through journal entries and letters between her and Jim. While she fights against loneliness, doubts in Jim and in God, Jim struggles with the more physical restraint side. She also talks about what men and women want in a relationship. Men want to chase, while women constantly want to be in control. Men want femininity and vulnerability, but upon further conversation with college men, Elisabeth finds that they do not really know exactly what they want, and neither do women. From here, she concludes that only God can truly know what is good for each person. After years of meeting up for short periods of time, Jim and Elisabeth finally do get married while on the mission field in Quito. Elisabeth makes a good point towards the end of the book about how passion and purity does not end with marriage. You are pure by staying obedient to God and doing what he wants you and your spouse to do. The main point Elisabeth tries to drive home is that God will bring you the right person when He is ready. Not when you want it or feel like you can’t handle the loneliness anymore, but when God knows you and your future spouse are ready.

Abigail Ruth Shah

Abigail Ruth Shah

I personally enjoyed when Elisabeth would bring up stories of desperate, single girls writing to her for help. Many of them cried to her of how much they wanted God to bring them their “prince charming” or how much they loved this one guy but he acted like she didn’t even exist or how terrible a break up was. While these stories were amusing and kind of funny, I did genuinely feel bad for them. It was also interesting seeing how girls and guys and the struggles they face really never change through time. Maybe modern technology and generational views add a variety to the types of struggles, but for the most part, kids back then struggled with the same stuff. For example, one that really stuck out to me was the common, age-old question of: “How far is too far?” While I have not had a whole lot of experience with this myself, I have been contemplating over this question for quite some time. Elisabeth is very blunt with this question… there is no answer. There is no line that is THE line to stop at.

 

While I agreed with most of this book, a few things did not sit right with me. Elisabeth talks of how women should never ever make the first move. Sure, I get it, let the guys chase, but Elisabeth goes as far as to say you can’t even ask a guy friend for a chill Chinese takeout date. She basically says if one day you marry the guy you asked out, and he is unhappy in the marriage, he will ultimately be able to blame you for an unhappy life. I feel like with times changing, it is a little more acceptable for a girl to ask out a guy. I do agree with the man being the spiritual leader and stepping up as the initiator, but nowadays I believe it is more acceptable for girls to sometimes make a move. Another part of the book that I am a little iffy about is where she draws the line on the physical aspect. Elisabeth and Jim don’t flat out say there should be no physical touch, but they talked about physical restrictions like they believed there should be zero physical-ness until marriage. While it does sound good, I don’t know where I stand with the absolutely NO physical touch. Of course I believe there should be no sex before marriage, but stuff like kissing and holding hands that Elisabeth condemns aren’t necessarily sins. I do believe that things like holding hands and kissing can lead to further, more dangerous things and couples need to be careful and know what they can handle personally. I also had a problem with how she portrayed being single in such a bad light. She talked of how it would be such a curse to live a life without being married. I feel like she was being a little over dramatic. I wish she touched on the topic of being happy in Christ even without marriage and being happy in a state of singleness. Yes, being married is great and all and it is a wonderful thing to have somebody that loves you just as much as you love them, but it is not the end of the world if you don’t get married. You should find your happiness in Christ instead of your soul mate. But for her theology, I agreed with her 100%.

Keeping Intimacy in Marriage Part Three

KEEPING INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE – 3

intimacy3This morning we are in part 3 of our miniseries from the Sermon on the Mount titled “KEEPING INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE.” I told Nicole last week – “I’m amazed how well this series is being received.” To which she remarked – “People are hungering for the truth about marriage. The messages are meeting a deep need.” As we walk through this message, ask yourself 2 questions: How is your marriage? Are you saved?

Matthew 5 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Overall Background: “You have heard…‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Before we can talk about the dangers of adultery and the consequences of adultery, we need to talk about the delight in marriage and the contentment in marriage. In other words, before we can look at “what happens when marriage doesn’t work,” we need to look at “what it takes for marriage to work.” This morning we’re going to talk about something that is absolutely essential for a happy marriage. It is a 3-letter word that has been misused by the world, abused by the enemy, and refused to be discussed by the church – It is SEX. This is the point in the service when all the young people look up and all the older people get nervous. Take a deep breath and relax. You’ll be all right. We desperately need to hear about sex from the church for several reasons:

  1. Christian marriages are suffering because of it. I wish I could stand here and tell you, “If you get saved, then you will have an awesome, fulfilling, and problem free marriage.” Unfortunately, in many Christian marriages, the husband resents his wife and the wife barely tolerates her husband. In many Christian marriages, the husband and wives are nothing but roommates, actually roommates that don’t get along. In many Christian marriages, there is a sharp dichotomy between spiritual life and marital life. What happens to the children in these “Christian homes?” They receive mixed messages – “Christianity is great if you want to go to heaven and not go to hell but it does absolutely nothing for life here on earth. How come Susie’s mom and dad love each other and they don’t even go to church and my mom and dad love the church but they hate each other?” And the children know that dad is getting his satisfaction through late-night TV and mom is getting her satisfaction reading Fifty Shades of Grey because there is none in the bedroom. Even if it isn’t that bad, kids know that dad and mom are living two separate and miserable lives. They grow up despising the institution of marriage. When we say marriage is between a man and woman for life, they say marriage is for two people who love each other and it doesn’t matter if it’s man and a man or a woman and a woman. In many homes we are teaching our children to be successful in education and sports and career but we are setting them up for a catastrophic failure in marriage.
  2. Our culture is actively distorting it. Since the church and the Christians have made sex a taboo, the world says, “We’ll handle that subject for you. Come to us and we’ll teach you all you need to know about sex. After all, Grandma is in church and you can’t talk like that around her. Here’s a great book on sex without any boundaries. Here’s even a book written by a so-called Christian theologian on sex (except that the theologian is biblically way off). If that’s not enough, try porn, risqué music videos, raunchy movies and novels, soap operas, and smut magazines. We’ll even educate your children and your youth for you. You go on and talk about spiritual things – getting saved, bible study, going on missions, and defending your faith. Sex is our department.” Have you ever wondered why the new generation finds the church irrelevant? Because we are not answering the questions they are asking. Have you ever wondered why many children when they leave their homes and go off to college, they lose their way? Because they’re finding answers to questions, albeit false, we never answered for them.

What is the answer? Some people think that for marriage to work you have to communicate. Communication is important but that’s not all there is to marriage. Others think that you need to spend time together. Spending time together is vital but if we are truthful, in many marriages, couples fight the whole time they’re together. Still others think that you need to pray together as a couple. Prayer is very important but again that’s a means to an end, not the end. People have a lot of other opinions about what it takes for marriage to work – make more money, take a vacation, get a better job, etc. Unfortunately, as Arnold Glasow once said, “The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.” Here’s the answer – For a marriage to work and be happy, sex has to take a central priority in that marriage. This morning for the next few minutes we will look from the Word of God how sex is central to marriage.

1. SEX IS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT FROM GOD.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. This is the first wedding sermon given by God. Even though Adam did not have a father and a mother, God was looking towards all future marriages to come. He gave 3 commands to them – Leave, Cleave, and Interweave

  • Leave: It does not mean abandon your parents but start your own life together.
  • Cleave: Accept your spouse as God’s gift specifically designed for you. To reject your spouse in any way is to reject God.
  • Interweave: “and they shall become one flesh,” which means the merging of body and soul. In other words, “Have sex!”

Did Adam and Eve carry out God’s instructions? Listen to the next verse – 25 “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Meaning: Adam and Eve enjoyed awesome sex without any fear or shame. God had implanted the sex chip into their system and was it working! I know that at this point most men are saying – “Preach it! Because my wife’s chip seems to be missing!” That is the common complaint by many men that their wives never initiate sex and they feel like a pervert. Now what I am about to share with you men is generally true.

  1. Women, on an average, have less testosterone and other sex hormones than men and hence have a lower sex drive. This does not mean that she doesn’t want sex or won’t enjoy it once she’s having it. It simply means that she is not actively looking for it.
  2. Because of lower sex drive, women are easily pulled towards other distractions like children, work, bills, and house. According to a research, 8 out of 10 wives wish they could change that.
  3. For a woman, it takes sometime to build up the feeling but, for a man, it is instantaneous. If you remember last weekend, men are task oriented and women are more feelings oriented. Men can switch from one task to another but women are still caught up into the feelings from the previous tasks. Someone said, “Women are like crockpots and men are like microwaves.”
  4. Women, on an average, are not aroused by sight like men are. You might think you are a stud but that has very little to do with it. Thank goodness! What is she aroused by? How you treat her. What arouses her is when you take time to show her love throughout the day – hugs, text, calls, resolve issues, and help with her daily responsibilities (remember the energy factor). When you show love to your wife, it speaks volumes to your kids because it tells them that you two are in love.
  5. Every month she is reminded of her reproductive potential (if you know what I mean). This makes life uncomfortable and inconvenient for her. Because of this she has to deal with irritability, depression, anxiety, hostility, headaches, backaches, and other painful bodily functions. It’s hard to feel very sexy when you have to deal with all that. Thankfully most of the time it is only 3-4 of these symptoms.
  6. Men – If only you are being satisfied, then the motivation is very low for the wife. Imagine competing in a race in which you never get to cross the finish line. How motivated would you be to compete in that race? Not much. By the way, men – please clean up! Take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on some deodorant.
  7. Women go through various stages with regards to sex. Initially, the sex drive is high. Then, because of work and responsibilities, there is stress and lack of energy. This brings down the sex drive. That’s why men say things like – “She’s changed from what she used to be.” But when the responsibilities lessen and women understand and voice what they want, the drive increases. There are more stages where there are bodily changes but with proper knowledge, every stage can bring sexual satisfaction.

Listen to Proverbs 5 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?

Application: How do you see sex in your marriage? Ladies – Do you accept it as God’s gift? Men – do you “dwell with your wives with understanding?”

2. SEX IS THE DEEPEST KNOWLEDGE OF ONE ANOTHER.

Genesis 4 1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch…25 And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth… Also in the New Testament in Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son…”

Isn’t it amazing that the Bible repeatedly uses the word “know” for sex! What is Sex? It is the merging together of mind, body, and emotions of a man and a woman that leads to a passionate explosive climax leaving both of them in a wave of innocent relaxation. It is a time when the man and the woman are completely vulnerable and open to each other. It is a time when a man and a woman know each other at a level that is intimate, deep, and sacred. It is a time when all boundaries and inhibitions are crossed. In other words, the ultimate way for a man to know a woman and a woman to know a man is to have sex with that person. It is deep, life altering, and permanent. This is why premarital and extramarital sex is wrong. You are getting to know a person on a deep level who belongs to someone else. Ladies – Sex for your husband is much more than just a physical need. He is doing it for knowledge. Now what I am about to share with you is generally true.

  1. Men are lonely and often feel isolated. Most men feel inadequate and impostors. As Thoreau said in Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Ladies – Having sex gives him the knowledge that you are with him and that you accept him. It gives him the strength and the confidence to face the world.
  2. It’s not enough to have sex out of duty. Men also want to feel that you want them. If you don’t really get engaged, the man feels that he is not good enough to excite you, which translates that something is wrong with him.
  3. Men are creatures of sight. If you remember when Adam saw Eve for the first time, he broke out into a song! All day long men are being bombarded by a thousand sexually charged images. Everyone from the movies, fashion industry, and advertisers exploit men from this angle. What does a set of tires have to do with a woman! Then the way some women dress makes matters even worse. I was somewhere recently and a woman walked in dressed kind of seductive. Immediately, my eyes were drawn to her. So I turned the other way but the whole time she was in the room, I was aware of her presence. Men – you know what I am talking about. When the man comes home and desires his wife, he is saying, “I only want to know you.” But if the wife says “I am tired” or “I have a headache,” now what’s he supposed to do? No wonder many men suffer with stress, depression, and anger issues.
  4. Ladies – keep yourself pretty outside and inside. I hope I don’t have to remind you about deodorants and mouthwash. But let me briefly say something about the inside. I know that this is a difficult message for some of you:
  • Some of you have grown up with parents who made you feel that sex was dirty.
  • Some of you had a wrong message or experience in life and Satan has turned your mind against sex. He did the same thing with Adam and Eve.
  • Some of you have endured the pain of sexual abuse growing up and sex is the last thing that you care about.

While a wrong teaching or wrong message growing up can be overcome, sexual abuse is more difficult. I want to recommend some resources.

  1. “On the Threshold of Hope: Opening the Door to Hope and Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse.” – Diane Langberg
  2. “The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse.” – Dan Allender
  3. “A Healing Marriage: Biblical Help for Overcoming Childhood Sexual Abuse.” – Brad and Cheryl Tuggle

On the Threshold of HopeThe Wounded HeartA Healing MarriageYou are living in bondage and your spouse is also forced to live in bondage with you. Satan has a hold on you but God wants to set you free so you can enjoy your marriage.

Listen to 1 Corinthians 7   3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Ladies and Men – How is your sex life? Is it once in a while? Are you regularly and passionately loving each other? Are you getting to know each other on a deep level? Nothing will give security to your children more than that. Are you saved?

………………………………………

Here are some resources on Marriage and Sex from me and Nicole:

Listen to the podcast by Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo at oneextraordinaymarriage.com.

7 days of sex challenge

7 Days of Sex Challenge by Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo – Great jump start to your marital intimacy! Also check out their podcast at oneextraordinaymarriage.com

Stripped Down

Stripped Down: 13 Keys to Unlocking Intimacy in Marriage by Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo

Staying Close

“Staying Close” by Dennis & Barbara Rainey- a wonderful resource for couples who want to have a vibrant marriage.

The Act of Marriage

The Act of Marriage by Tim and Beverly Lahaye is a a classic!

For men only

“For Men Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn- Men, have you ever wondered if you would ever understand your wife? Here is a book that is a wonderful resource to begin the process.

The Joy of Sex

The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort – A very practical book for married couples.

Solomon on Sex

“Solomon on Sex” by Joseph C. Dillow- a wonderful book explaining the Song of Solomon.

How to speak your spouse's language

“How to Speak your Spouse’s Language” by H. Norman Wright- how to effectively communicate with your spouse.

Marriage- From Surviving to Thriving

“Marriage: From Surviving to Thriving” by Charles Swindoll- wisdom for couples that want to strengthen their marriage.

 

for-women-only

“For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn- Understand the inner workings of a man’s mind.

Every Woman's Marriage

“Every Woman’s Marriage” by Shannon & Greg Ethridge- Ignite the passion in your marriage once again.

Becoming the woman of his dreams

“Becoming the Woman of His Dreams” by Sharon Jaynes- Do you want to be the woman of your husband’s dreams? This is the book for you!

7 things he'll never tell you

“7 Things He’ll Never Tell You but You Need to Know” by Dr. Kevin Leman- Help for all women who have ever wondered what was going through her husband’s mind.

Red Hot Monogomy

“Red Hot Monogamy” by Bill & Pam Farrell- Want to put the sizzle back into your sex life? Here’s a wonderful start!

For more information, please feel free to contact us.

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