Piper’s advice for dealing with the inevitable cow pies in your marriage

This Momentary Marriage book coverI’ve been reading through John Piper’s book This Momentary Marriage on Sunday mornings, and yesterday I encountered this short section (on page 58 of the Kindle edition) on how to deal with “the sins and flaws and idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and annoying habits” that are part of every marriage, because every husband and every wife has and brings each of these “cow pies” into their marriage.

In the larger context of the chapter where this quote is from Piper has been unpacking Colossians 3:12-19, and here he’s really focusing on verse 12 and the truth that believers are “chosen ones, holy and beloved.”

The Compost Pile

So what about the compost pile I mentioned at the end of the last chapter? Picture your marriage as a grassy field. You enter it at the beginning full of hope and joy. You look out into the future, and you see beautiful flowers and trees and rolling hills. And that beauty is what you see in each other. Your relationship is the field and the flowers and the rolling hills. But before long, you begin to step in cow pies. Some seasons of your marriage they may seem to be everywhere. Late at night they are especially prevalent. These are the sins and flaws and idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and annoying habits in you and in your spouse. You try to forgive them and endure them with grace.

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Guest blog – Kimberly Smith on the current situation in Darfur, Sudan *WARNING* – graphic images

Kimberly contacted me this morning (via email) asking if I would re-post her latest article about what is happening right now in Darfur, Sudan from her blog as a guest post.  Our family has been sponsoring Mary, one of the orphans in the Make Way Partners Sudan orphanage since January 2009, so this hits pretty close to home for us.  Consider sponsoring an orphan – click here to find out more.


Today, We Face Our Worst Times with an Insane Hope. *Warning* Graphic Images!

Eight years ago, a friend of mine and Milton’s, who is a director for Voice of the Martyrs, said to me, “Kimberly, what you’re doing to protect children from human trafficking is wonderful, but if you really want to help the most vulnerable women and children, you’ll go to Sudan.”

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Unhappiness is no indication that you are not a Christian

[T]he very existence of the New Testament Epistles shows us that unhappiness is a condition which does afflict Christian people.  There is in this, therefore, a strange kind of comfort which is nevertheless very real.  If anyone reading my words is in trouble, let me say this: The fact that you are unhappy or troubled is no indication that you are not a Christian; indeed, I would go further and say that if you have never had any trouble in your Christian life I should very much doubt whether you are a Christian at all.  There is such a thing as false peace, there is such a thing as believing delusions.  The whole of the New Testament and the history of the Church throughout the centuries bear eloquent testimony to the fact that this is a ‘fight of faith’, and not to have any troubles in your soul is, therefore, far from being a good sign.  It is, indeed, a serious sign that there is something radically wrong, and there is a very good reason for saying that.  For from the moment we become Christians we become the special objects of the attention of the devil.  As he besieged and attacked our Lord, so does he besiege and attack all the Lord’s people, ‘Count it all joy’, says James, ‘when you meet trials of various kinds’.  That is the way your faith is proved, for not only is it a test of your faith, in a sense it is a proof that you have faith.

-Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, “That One Sin”

Regarding those for whom the gospel “was just an intellectual hobby.”

Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures by Martyn Lloyd-JonesSo I’m still reading Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by Martyn Lloyd-Jones.  I think that title probably throws some people, and maybe another title would have been better, but it is what it is, and it really is something everybody deals with eventually.  I’ve been reading two or three chapters (sermons) each week, with a day or two in between to chew on what I read, and today’s chapter is called “Mind, Heart, and Will,” and it’s an exposition of Romans 6:17.  The following paragraph is from that chapter and I thought it was worth reproducing here.  He’s speaking of a past time, but folks like he’s describing have been and always will be around.

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