Dear Catherine,
Although we are far off from what many would deem "retirement", this is a sober reminder of how we should live now.
For a bit of practical wisdom on the matter, see here.

Love, Matt

Manhood & Marriage

Hi Friends,

I read an interesting article today about the state of manhood in America. The author discussed the cultural messages that were woven into the Super Bowl's commercials and half time show. It's an insightful read and I encourage you to click over and read it yourself. If you don't have time, the author summarizes most of the article with these words:

"The message I took away from the Super Bowl commercials is that guys are tired of being told who they are. They don't know who they are, but they're starting to realize that the feminized, emo, metro-male, skinny vanilla latte image doesn't fit. What is manhood really all about? It's a Super Question ... one that the Super Bowl asked, but apart from Christ will be left unanswered."Our culture's longtime rejection of biblical views on masculinity and femininity has created far-reaching consequences in the areas of gender roles, marriage, motherhood, and child rearing to name a few. It has infiltrated our attitudes, thought lives, expectations, definition of success, and the way husbands and wives treat one another and expect to be treated. It has taken respect and leadership away from men and has puffed up women with arrogance and pride. It diminishes things of true value (like raising a family) and worships empty promises (like the lie that we can have it all and do all things well).

It's sad. Really, really sad.

It's one of the many things that truly breaks my heart, but I'm quick to remember that I once embraced these ideologies too. I'm quick to acknowledge that our thriving marriage based on biblical values is a gift of God's grace. And I'm excited to tell you that when a husband and wife submit to God's ways on marriage, roles, and parenting, these areas thrive and grow in almost magical ways. I'm glad that it seems unexpected and magical because it points to the fact that God is doing the work and the blessing. It's not us. Trust me!

The more I see our friends and loved ones at church submitting to God, the more I see the same results in their lives. A few weeks ago, I sat chatting with a group of women from my Life Group (our bible study/small group). Someone suggested that we go around the room and talk about something that we really love about our husbands. I went first (because I was bursting with plenty of things to say about Matt)! It was such a sweet, refreshing time as each woman took her turn boasting about her husband. Sadly, I think this is a rare occurrence. When women get together, they usually complain about their husband's shortcomings.

This is just another example of God's grace and blessing. The marriages at our church are strong and growing stronger because of solid biblical teaching. It's about trusting God's plan even when it doesn't make sense. Really Lord? Submission? Ok, Lord.

And grace upon grace flows down. Our marriage has never been stronger.

Incidentally, I'm sure you want to know what the husbands were chatting about in the other room! I did! So as soon as we got back to the car I asked Matt, "Sooooooooo... how did things go in there? What did you all talk about?"

They were talking about how they could be more of an encouragement and support to their wives... how they could love and serve us more.

Need I say more?