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DISCIPLINE IS LOVE SERIES: STARTING THE CONVERSATION

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                 DISCIPLINE IS LOVE SERIES: STARTING THE CONVERSAION

                     Antonio & Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

How can you love your kids through discipline?

Through the various seasons.

Ages.

Personalities.

Genders.

How do you effectively guide their hearts and lives?

There are countless ideas, methods and opinions.

We only get one shot at parenting and most parents want to do this right.

We don’t get a manual for how to father and mother and once you think you have figured out one season, you are being challenged to grow in the next.

For us to speak on disciplining and raising your children is risky and the controversies and differing opinions can be volatile. We know that we could even get hate mail because we even bring up the subject. We simply want to help.

We are not professionals.

We are not counselors.

We do not have a degree in child phycology.


We have 5 children from ages 7-17, and we have also lost 2 children who are in Heaven. We have been married 19 years, and we have more to grow in ourselves. We are not perfect and we have much to learn.


You may not know our children or us. We have done some things wrong, made many mistakes and by the grace of God we have done some things correctly. The reality of the need for God’s guidance and grace provokes our most frequent prayer “God, cover the holes in our covering”.

We have great parents who loved and cared for us to the best of their ability, imperfectly but always reaching to guide us Biblically. We have also learned from many other parents who have done it correctly.

We want to start the dialogue of disciplining children through a series of blogs to help those that want to learn and bring strength to their homes and the wisdom of God into their parenting.

Over 100 years ago when a young mother had her first baby the older women in the family came over and brought guidance and counsel to help the young mom. Similarly the older men of the families taught the young fathers and husbands how to be men. Somewhere over the years we have gone from the Biblical passing down our inheritance through family to leaning on the so called “experts”. We must get back to the tried and proved ways of God and can no longer ignore the time honoring ideas from the Bible.

The experts of the 1920’s spoke of a harsh no affection approach to parenting. As time went on we reached the 1960’s and 70’s that introduced a permissive, no discipline approach to parenting, where defiant behavior was viewed as something that could be “reasoned with” or grown out of.  

The pendulum swung from harsh oppressive discipline with no love or affection to a permissive approach that equates discipline as unloving.

Both have detrimental effects.

Oppressive harsh discipline belittles a child and creates rejection, hostility and a ruined self-worth.

Permissiveness breeds disrespect and it creates children that are tyrants and dictators. In adolescent years permissive parenting will reap hatred toward their parents. Permissiveness has not only failed as an approach to child rearing, it has been a disaster to those who have tried it.

We must understand that love and discipline interact to influence the attitude and formation of respect and stability in a child. Disciplinary action is not an assault on parental love; it is a function of it.

Some view love and discipline as contradicting one another; love and affection versus setting limits when defiant behavior occurs. Love and discipline seem to be opposing each other, yet they are two dimensions of the same quality. One demands the other.

We must understand that appropriate discipline is not something parents “do” to a child, but it is something they do “for” the child.

The goal of this discussion is to raise children that love God and Honor His Word, have a correct view of the Father, have respect for authority, a deep sense of self-worth and value and blossom into healthy mature adults that fear the Lord.

We as parents are entrusted to teach and give our children identity, self-discipline, self-control, and a holistic view of love.

Recently we were hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The trail we were on was steep and narrow and had no fence or barrier. We all walked as close to wall of the mountain as possible to avoid the steep drop off. There was a feeling of not being safe and a sense that if we made a wrong move we would tumble to the unknown below. It is safe to say it wasn’t a relaxing hike and we felt unsure and tentative.

A few days later we went on another hike in the mountains on a different trail. This trail was just as steep, but it had a small rock barrier built as a ridge between the hiker and the edge. The rock barrier gave a sense of safety and security and allowed for us to walk on the trail freely and with ease.

Limits create a sense of safety.

In the same way, we as parents are creating limits and boundaries that will help our children thrive in years to come.

We are simply starting the conversation. You don’t have to believe us or take everything that we are saying but at least consider what we are saying and we ask you to look through the lens of the Bible and not just believe what your parents did or what you hear society is saying or some magazine telling you.

If you are interested in more, we will continue this conversation and we look forward to hearing from you. You can email us at info@antoniobaldovinos.com. Share it with your friends and keep connected by signing in to our email list to ensure you get the others.

#1 Goal in Marriage

                                  # 1 GOAL EVERY MARRIAGE SHOULD HAVE

                                              Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The most important day of your marriage is not your wedding day.

People put all this energy into the first day of marriage by getting ready with invitations, dresses, venues, dinners, videos, etc. Though this is fine, it does not have any lasting impact on a marriage. We need to put far more effort on that last day than on the first day—the last day is the most important.

A marriage has to be built for a 50, 60, 70 year run, not a 50-yard sprint.

It’s safe for me to say, and you would probably agree with me, that marriage is under attack from every side.

Our culture bombards our minds with the idea that our aim in life is to make us happy. Marriage is looked upon as no more than simply dating; it is not viewed as a covenant relationship. Even the concept of one man and one woman in marriage is under attack. This isn’t news to you.

Why do I say this?

We would not dream of going through a battlefield in World War II with bullets whirling past our head and bombs and mines exploding around us, and simply stroll through hoping we not only survive, but win.

No! We would train, exercise and study the battle plan, study the enemy’s tactics, and most importantly we would be alert and ready!

When we build a good foundation in marriage we build a great foundation for our children and the generations that follow.

Marriages don’t necessarily choose to grow apart, but husbands and wives stop fighting and choosing to stay together.

It’s the second law of thermodynamics: things are naturally pulling apart; things are naturally going into ruin.

It is so easy for this to happen in a marriage through parenting, vocation, and your own avocations and hobby’s. This is not even taking into consideration our worldviews and what culture preaches.

THE LONGEVITY OF MARRIAGE IS FOUNDED UPON ONE THING

Friedrich Nietzsche once said “It’s not a lack of love but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Without friendship in marriage, you live a lonely life.

Marriage is two imperfect people walking face to face by the grace of God. It is the greatest and only strength a marriage can have to thrive, and it takes God to have this!

You’ll find countless volumes of books on romance, intimacy, and passion in marriage, but not much on the simple act of being good friends as husband and wife. It seems friendship is secondary to romance in the minds of many. 

FRIENDSHIP IS THE ANSWER FOR LONGEVITY

I can’t emphasize enough the only thing that will be the glue in your marriage is a lasting friendship.

Many in years past used to stay married for the sake of children when they went through struggle. But what happens when the children are gone?

It’s increasingly become more common to “gray divorce.” Meaning, the 50 and older population has increased in divorce by 52 percent in the last several years.

As soon as kids leave the nest it wrecks havoc on the loneliness the couple feels because there was no friendship established within marriage. The glue that kept them together was the children, and when the children leave it seems there is no reason to stay together.

I’m not endorsing divorce for the reasons people are getting divorced today—the reasons are ridiculous and unbiblical.

Today’s mindset (and main goal of marriage) is to enhance personal happiness rather than seeing marriage through the eyes of Biblical love.

However, to strengthen long-term marriage the couple has to be committed to building a lasting, deep friendship; a marriage that is planted by streams of water, that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither; you will prosper in all seasons of marriage (Psalm 1 paraphrased).

 

HOW TO CULTIVATE FRIENDSHIP

Cultivating a friendship will take time, labor and attention.

Most relationships go through highs and lows.

At the beginning of all relationships, especially a marriage, it begins with some kind of infatuation. But Infatuation doesn’t last longer than 2 years. When the honeymoon settles, then what?

Friendship.

If there is no friendship, there is no root system.

Friendship takes focus and attention.

It begs to ask, what makes a good friendship?

A couple should be best friends.

Best friends talk.

Best friends share thing with each other, both good and bad; there are no secrets.

Best friends look for the interest of the other.

Best friends sacrifice for the other, with no strings attached. And, sometimes they do things they don’t necessarily like.

They work out their differences.

We are talking more than just any type of relationship. We are talking about the lifelong, till death do us part; the kind of relationship made in blood, covenant blood, under heaven and before witnesses!

The number 1 aim and goal for every marriage to have lasting fruit is to build it on friendship, not on children, a mission or any other thing.

After all, the reason why God created marriage in the first place was because it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). Tons of other benefits overflow from this friendship, but the base of a lasting and strong marriage is friendship!

SEX IN MARRIAGE

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                                            SEX IN MARRIAGE

                                          By Antonio Baldovinos

 

I have heard the saddest news and reports about sex in marriage.

So I think as we are writing about Marriage and Family it is important to talk about sex in marriage.

So much of our worldviews about sex comes from secular media; our pornified world and unbiblical sources like friends and family members.

CONFUSED AND SHOCKED

While in a Barnes and Noble bookstore on a Daddy and daughter date last year with my daughter I was shocked to see some of the books on the stands.

While grabbing a hot chocolate and a coffee and leaving, I noticed four full aisles of sensual soft cover books of endless types of Romance novels.

This is what I noticed and which I further researched:

  • Many romance novels have the word “Love” in the title.
  • There are requirements from publishers that there must be a minimum number of sex scenes allowed and a minimum of crisis points allowed.
  •  Romance fiction is the largest share of the consumer book market.
  • They are full of fantasy where the imagination is invigorated.
  • They are unrealistic.
  • Sex with full details and beyond.
  • They are porn for women. Romance novels can be as addictive as pornography. I would include girl and guy magazines to this.
  • In 2012 estimates found that romance novels was the single biggest money making genre, with sales of $1.44 billion a year.

  

NEED A DRASTIC CHANGE!

We can’t talk about sex without talking about pornography. It is one of the greatest crises of our time.

Pornography is one of the most destructive obsessions of our society, as it dishonors God, degrades and harms women and children, and destroys lives and families. Christians need to acknowledge the lust of the heart beneath the physical act and follow biblical counsel in order to kill sin and live in purity.

  • A total of 69% of all boys experienced first exposure between the ages of 10 and 14 while, 68% of all girls faced first exposure from ages 13 and up, and over one-third of those girls, or 39%, never saw porn until after their 16th birthday.
  • Pornography is a 13.3 billion enterprise in North America- Lets put it in context- pornography makes more money a year than the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB combined.
  • 91% of teens, Ages 8-16 years old are viewing pornography- most of the time while doing homework.
  • 72% of men view pornography and 28% of women.

You didn’t need me to share all those statistics of romantic novels and viewing pornography to know there is a problem.

I simply wanted to point out to you the extent of the war we are in for true purity and intimacy and how important and needed sexual intimacy and purity in marriage is. Our enemy, the devil wants to break a part marriage with this powerful weapon.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Deuteronomy 32:30 says, “One can put 1,000 to flight but two can put 10,000 to flight.”

It’s a multiplying affect. God created desires for intimacy, oneness in marriage, for a multiplying affect. God does not work with addition but multiplication. We multiply not add, that’s why division is so tragic.

LETS LOOK AT HOW TO STRENGTHEN SEXUAL INTIMACY!

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

Love is built by giving and receiving in unselfish pleasure. The more we can find how our spouse in pleased, the more satisfied we become.

(Genesis 2:25) “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Both Adam and Eve were naked and were not ashamed. Both Man and Woman have an inherit desire to be known for who they really are. All people want to share his or her life with someone else, knowing fully and being fully known.

Marriage of transparency where husband and wife know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, victories, and defeats is one of greatest pleasures. A side-by-side marriage is unsatisfying & self-preserving.

A covenantal, friendship-based, face-to-face marriage is what God intended marriage to be, a covenant between a man and woman, and before God. It’s a fierce struggle but the ultimate reward.

One of God’s purposes for marriage is that a man and a woman come to know each other, which is not temporary but ever growing. It is not merely intellectual, as we normally understand knowledge. Nor is it merely sexual—you can lay sexually with a man or a woman but not truly know them. You can have intimacy without sex and you can have sex without intimacy but as soon as you have sex and intimacy you have lovemaking. You have an explosion!

In a good marriage you sometimes will have sex without intimacy. And other times you will have intimacy and sex together, neither is wrong or right, but ultimately you want to build a legacy of growing together in building a legacy of intimacy.

Knowing your spouse means completely, unreservedly opening up each other’s personalities. It embraces every area—physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. There is so much to know of the other person that it is also endless searching of each other.

God designed marriage for oneness, sharing, interchanging, bonding, growing, enjoying, all of this equals: relationship. The bible calls this “one flesh”.

The way God created our brains is that we are to grow with our spouse over time. By the time you reach old age, the most comfortable person is your spouse. We have experienced this in only 18 years of marriage.

Christelle and I are beginning to sit the same way, finish each other’s sentences, think the same thoughts and enjoy the same things. Yet we have extremely different personalities. Why, does this happen? Studies show that your brain grows together. “One of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life.”

BOTTOM LINE:

Here are some helpful things to implement into your marriage for strengthening your sex life:

1.    Sex and intimacy is more than the “act” of sex. Its what happens throughout the day. This includes words toward each other, thoughts towards each other, touches that lead to intimacy and lovemaking. I’ve heard it said that sex begins at the breakfast table.

2.    Have lots of sex. Regular occasions are so very important. God gave women the gift of sex but God gave men the need for sex. The couple has to figure out what best fits them. I would recommend defaulting on more and not less.

3.    Ask each other questions of what pleases the other and do that. Love is built by giving and receiving in unselfish pleasure. The more we can find how our spouse is pleased, the more satisfied we become.

4.    Create your bedroom as a place for each other, like a hotel room or a retreat. Not a work place, but an atmosphere that will serve intimacy, friendship and relaxing. This could be candles, music, etc.

5.    Date each other regularly. Making this a priority in your schedule and finances. If finances are an issue than be creative.

6.    Dress for each other. We are so trained to dress for others outside of the home but when dating each other finishes, we dress less and less for our spouse. Dress for each other in and outside of the bedroom!

7.    Please each other. A side-by-side marriage is unsatisfying & self-preserving so find ways to please your spouse. This is much more than what takes place in the bedroom but overall in your lives together.  

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                        # 1 GOAL EVERY MARRIAGE SHOULD HAVE

                             Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The most important day of your marriage is not your wedding day.

People put all this energy into the first day of marriage by getting ready with invitations, dresses, venues, dinners, videos, etc. Though this is fine, it does not have any lasting impact on a marriage. We need to put far more effort on that last day than on the first day—the last day is the most important.

A marriage has to be built for a 50, 60, 70 year run, not a 50-yard sprint.

It’s safe for me to say, and you would probably agree with me, that marriage is under attack from every side.

Our culture bombards our minds with the idea that our aim in life is to make us happy. Marriage is looked upon as no more than simply dating; it is not viewed as a covenant relationship. Even the concept of one man and one woman in marriage is under attack. This isn’t news to you.

Why do I say this?

We would not dream of going through a battlefield in World War II with bullets whirling past our head and bombs and mines exploding around us, and simply stroll through hoping we not only survive, but win.

No! We would train, exercise and study the battle plan, study the enemy’s tactics, and most importantly we would be alert and ready!

When we build a good foundation in marriage we build a great foundation for our children and the generations that follow.

Marriages don’t necessarily choose to grow apart, but husbands and wives stop fighting and choosing to stay together.

It’s the second law of thermodynamics: things are naturally pulling apart; things are naturally going into ruin.

It is so easy for this to happen in a marriage through parenting, vocation, and your own avocations and hobby’s. This is not even taking into consideration our worldviews and what culture preaches.

 

THE LONGEVITY OF MARRIAGE IS FOUNDED UPON ONE THING


Friedrich Nietzsche once said “It’s not a lack of love but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Without friendship in marriage, you live a lonely life.

Marriage is two imperfect people walking face to face by the grace of God. It is the greatest and only strength a marriage can have to thrive, and it takes God to have this!

You’ll find countless volumes of books on romance, intimacy, and passion in marriage, but not much on the simple act of being good friends as husband and wife. It seems friendship is secondary to romance in the minds of many. 

FRIENDSHIP IS THE ANSWER FOR LONGEVITY

I can’t emphasize enough the only thing that will be the glue in your marriage is a lasting friendship.

Many in years past used to stay married for the sake of children when they went through struggle. But what happens when the children are gone?

It’s increasingly become more common to “gray divorce.” Meaning, the 50 and older population has increased in divorce by 52 percent in the last several years.

As soon as kids leave the nest it wrecks havoc on the loneliness the couple feels because there was no friendship established within marriage. The glue that kept them together was the children, and when the children leave it seems there is no reason to stay together.

I’m not endorsing divorce for the reasons people are getting divorced today—the reasons are ridiculous and unbiblical.

Today’s mindset (and main goal of marriage) is to enhance personal happiness rather than seeing marriage through the eyes of Biblical love.

However, to strengthen long-term marriage the couple has to be committed to building a lasting, deep friendship; a marriage that is planted by streams of water, that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither; you will prosper in all seasons of marriage (Psalm 1 paraphrased). 

HOW TO CULTIVATE FRIENDSHIP


Cultivating a friendship will take time, labor and attention.

Most relationships go through highs and lows.

At the beginning of all relationships, especially a marriage, it begins with some kind of infatuation. But Infatuation doesn’t last longer than 2 years. When the honeymoon settles, then what?

Friendship.

If there is no friendship, there is no root system.

Friendship takes focus and attention.

It begs to ask, what makes a good friendship?

A couple should be best friends.

Best friends talk.

Best friends share thing with each other, both good and bad; there are no secrets.

Best friends look for the interest of the other.

Best friends sacrifice for the other, with no strings attached. And, sometimes they do things they don’t necessarily like.

They work out their differences.

We are talking more than just any type of relationship. We are talking about the lifelong, till death do us part; the kind of relationship made in blood, covenant blood, under heaven and before witnesses!

The number 1 aim and goal for every marriage to have lasting fruit is to build it on friendship, not on children, a mission or any other thing.

After all, the reason why God created marriage in the first place was because it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). Tons of other benefits overflow from this friendship, but the base of a lasting and strong marriage is friendship!

WHAT SINGLE MEN SHOULD KNOW TO PURSUE A GIRL

                            WHAT SINGLE MEN SHOULD KNOW TO PURSUE A GIRL

                                        Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The current Christian culture says basically “don’t have sex" and “date only Christians”.

People view singleness as merely a time to “try out” different girls/guys romantically.

People believe they need a girlfriend/boyfriend to find who is your possible soul mate.

The decline of a culture is marked by a decline in its respect for marriage and the opposite sex. One of the most important social developments of our time is the recent rise in age at first marriage, which now stands at 27 for women and 29 for men, a historic high.

Finding a Great life mate is not like winning the lottery. It’s not a mystical exercise. It’s a pursuit: one is intentional in pursuing and one is to be pursued and responds accordingly.

There is a big difference between a man and a woman. The make up of a man, with testosterone and woman with estrogen. After puberty, testosterone in males is fifteen times that in females and estrogen in females is eight times to ten times in males. This is why men have facial hair, squeaky voices, larger muscles, etc. Men are combative, aggressive in nature. They are to pursue!

Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find.”

Passivity in a man is not God’s fault.

Every man needs to become proactive, intentional, and find her. Hang around places you want your future wife to be and be intentional about pursuing her.

The bible tells young men to search for a woman of character; it reminds these men that while looks won’t last, godly character improves with age. It says nothing – absolutely nothing about “feelings”. This verse Proverbs 31:10 makes a woman’s faith the defining characteristic of her suitability to be an excellent wife.

This is not to say that you are not to find someone who is sexually compatible.

Simply the first priority, according to Scripture, is to find a spiritually compatible person, and then, under that umbrella, find a sexually compatible person.

TEXTING AND RELATIONSHIP

Texting and Facebook is not a relationship. Texting is not a real connection. Text-based relationships can bring false sense of intimacy – the same way following your favorite blogger.

Texting handicaps the communication that is necessary to build a healthy relationship. After all, you don’t want to text your spouse do you?

Men: texting is a sign of laziness and passivity. It’s either a tool for players or a crutch for the timid. If a guy doesn’t really have to work for something, he won’t hesitate to discard it for something even easier. We don’t value for what we haven’t earned.

Let me suggest some things you should consider when discerning and choosing a future wife:

1.         You have to start by knowing yourself. Who are you? What is your ministry call and life’s work? What is your personality like? Without really knowing this, you will be lost in trying to find who you would be compatible with you.

2.         What is your prophetic history? What are some of the things that God has spoken over your life? Being a Christian is a must, but more than that does their life have long-term fruit? Do they spur you on in the things of God or cause you to compromise? What are your theological stances that are unshakeable?

3.         What are some things that you know you can’t live without? For example, if you want to have many children and she doesn’t. How will this work? Or if you want to be a missionary in India and she is only into western lifestyle and not adventurous is someone willing to bend? How will that work? Or if she doesn’t cook or will ever cook, you will starve. 

4.         Know who she is: If she is used to and expects to have a high standard of living financially and you want to be a missionary in Zambia choosing to live simply how will this work?

Questions Every Man need to ask when consider a wife:

1. Does she have noble character? (Prov. 31)

2. Is she modest? (1 Tim. 2:9)

3. Will she follow your leadership?

4. Can you provide the lifestyle she expects?

5. Is she like the worst women in Proverbs? (nag, quarreling, foolish, unfaithful?)

6. Is she a one-man woman?

7.  Do you want your daughters to be like her & your sons to marry someone like her?

Now Lets Get Real Practical:

After a season of hanging out in groups in the right environment, having established a friendship, communicate your interest in person, face to face speak your intentions.

If she responds vocalizing her interest back, the next step is to go and speak to her parents or her mentors. If she doesn’t have them help her find someone who loves her, such a grandparent or friend, that she looks up to and speak to them about your intentions. This will show honor, create accountability and enhance her covering. This is the next level of commitment and step to taking the relationship more serious and intentional.

This is not marriage, so there is a way out, but this is not an excuse to date around and hop around. If it doesn’t work out, it was done with safety and nothing was lost or regrets created. You set your sights on the one girl you want to pursue and go after her.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave me any comments or questions at info@antoniobaldovinos.org

COVENANT VS CONTRACT: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

COVENANT VS CONTRACT: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE

Antonio and Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

When we first got married we pretty much had a fairy tale idea of what marriage was. I bet many couples do too.

After a year of marriage, at 20 years old, we found out we were expecting our first baby. We were pumped!

Even though we had been around babies growing up and were part of large families we wanted to get some training on how to raise a family.

We signed up for a 12-week course called Supernatural Child Birth. We expected these classes to be about childbirth but instead it was about marriage: The foundations of marriage.

We learned about covenant. We learned about many great things that we still have in our home. Learning about covenant was the cornerstone.

Anytime we have told young people about covenant. They respond by saying, “a What”…with a confused face. But this is one of the most important issues hinging on the success of marriage.

What is the difference between covenant and contract?

Marriages are covenant relationships because they are designed to operate based on an exchange.

In a man-centered view. We are trained from the time we are young to seek happiness with all of our effort. We will maintain our marriage as a long as our earthly comforts, desires, and expectations are met. Any discomfort caused to our happiness is to be rejected and we should run away from that relationship.

Blaise Pascal:

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”

Seeking happiness is not wrong, but in marriage, we change the focus from our happiness and direct it to our spouse. Marriage will make you happy, as you give of yourself to your spouse.  True happiness occurs as we give and expend ourselves on someone else.

In a God-centered view of our marriage, we preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and because our marriage relationships are worth it. No person is perfect. It takes work, humility and understanding the eternal, biblical view to fight through. We like to share this because we feel it is so significant!

There is a big difference between a contract and a covenant.

Contract:

A contract lists five general characteristics:

  1. They are typically made for a limited period of time.
  2. They most often deal with specific actions.
  3. They are conditional upon the continued performance of contractual obligations by the other partner.
  4. They are entered into for one’s own benefit.
  5. They sometimes unspoken and implicit.

Covenant:

  1. Marriage covenant is defined as a sacred bond instituted by and publically entered into before God and others.
  2. Marriage is permanent, sacred, intimate, and mutual; it is also exclusive (Gen. 2:22-25; 1 Cor. 7:2-5).
  3. Covenant is entered into through the breaking of blood and God has put this in place for the night between a husband and a wife, as they become one in flesh.
  4. Marriage is for the benefit of the other. It is serving and not self-seeking.
  5. Sexual intercourse is a reflection of that marriage covenant, representing oneness and intimacy and is a gift for those who are married with no guilt but only pleasure. Also brings intimacy – oneness.

Marriage has become a distorted, superficial, humanistic contract, nothing more than a partnership or at best a roommate you live with. This is not God’s way and not His intention.

The nature of covenant is one of the most beautiful jealously guarded secrets of the Kingdom of God. We believe it’s a pearl of His heart.

No lasting relationship can be built without a covenant.

Happiness and covenant are so tightly connected. You receive the greatest joy as you give of yourself. It is better to give than to receive, even if it may cost you. This is the way the Kingdom of God works.

CAN YOU FALL OUT OF LOVE?

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                                        CAN YOU FALL OUT OF LOVE?

                                   Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

“I love you” are words we hear often. I have sat in many rooms watching as couples on their wedding day stare into each other’s eyes vowing un-ending love “as long as we both shall live”.

I have also sat in rooms listening as one spouse sits with a coldness in their eyes as they say, “I’m just not in love anymore”.

What happened between “as long as we both shall live” and “I want out”?

One of the main causes of the “falling out of love” epidemic is ignorance. We have been sold the lie that love is some uncontrollable, physical, all-consuming force, which comes and goes at will. The bottom line is we have believed a myth based on Greco/Roman thinking.

Everything we have been taught from TV shows, movies, greeting cards and the culture around us, is rooted in this thinking. We think we are just going to be “zapped” by some overwhelming emotion and it must be love. Phrases like “you can’t choose who you fall in love with” and “he/she must be the one” are commonplace amongst these ideas. But thinking this way has enormous consequences.

One problem with this type of “love” is it doesn’t make sense for all other relationships. Do we just “fall out of love” with our children, our parents or God? The truth is we have viewed love as some sort of wind that blows every which way and only hope that it will strike us and remain. This type of love can’t pass the test of time, hardship and aging. And when it doesn’t devastation ensues.

Thankfully there is a better way. A way that provides security, transcends myth, is not unpredictable, nor delicate, it overcomes, endures, is not self-seeking, and yet brings satisfaction beyond compare. 

Biblical Love

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5). The three Hebrew words used here (translated heart, soul, and might) provide a clear biblical definition of love:

Love is an act of the will accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object.  

With further examination into scripture of what love is we come to the famous love chapter, 1 Cor. 13. 4-8.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Love never fails.”

Love Is a CHOICE.

Many do not like to hear that love is a choice because it sounds void of romance. But the goal is not a fleeting romantic notion, but long seated love. When we seek romance without love as described in 1 Cor. 13, it is not love at all and will fail.

This does not mean that biblical love does not have emotion; in fact it is quite the contrary. You see our emotions stem from our thoughts. So when we choose to love our spouse, or anyone for that matter our thoughts are “turned toward” them and it produces great emotion.

When someone says they “fell out of love” all they are expressing was their failure to love. When we love in a biblical way, it is in its simplest form an action that will produce feelings, but in itself is not a feeling.

Although Biblical love has great emotion, it is not led by emotion.

When we give of ourselves and love Biblically the mysticism surrounding “falling in or out of love” is removed and true love remains. When we love Biblically then the heap of divorces that stem from emotion-led marriages will diminish.

There are some days when Antonio and I want to wring each other’s necks; there are days we want to quit, in case you haven’t noticed marriage is hard. I am grateful that Antonio doesn’t wake up each morning and put his finger in the air to see which way the romantic wind is blowing. Ultimately I am grateful that he loves God and a way he expresses that is by choosing to love me.

We have found the key to a marriage that not only lasts, but also satisfies.

For love never fails.

RAISING BOYS: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

RAISING BOYS: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

Pop cans shaken and sprayed on our walls, Happy Birthday being “burped” and not sung. Then a sword fight and a pillow fight quickly followed by nine - 8 year old boys screaming as one had blood dripping down his face from a cut on his head. This was the scene at our son Elijah’s 8th birthday party.

Our daughter Isabella’s 6th birthday was one week later. I still remember the drastic contrast. Ten little girls in dresses, quietly playing dolls, painting their nails and brushing each others hair.

In case you haven’t noticed boys are very different than girls. In raising our 4 boys we have come to realize that keeping them alive during their adolescent years may be our greatest accomplishment.

Although the disposition of boys varies they tend to be more aggressive and risky than girls. This is exactly the way God made boys. They are designed to lead, protect and risk life and limb(s) for others.

Here are FIVE things TO KNOW in raising boys:

#1: Be VERY specific in your instructions.

When they say they didn’t hear you, they probably didn’t. We have learned that when instructing our sons in any task we must clearly lay out all the expectations and have them repeat it back to us. It also helps to even put one hand on their shoulder as you speak to them; it keeps them focused on your instructions.

#2: They Love their moms.

Boys are full of cuddles, and affection for their moms. Moms have a great opportunity to help shape their boys. Men need respect more than love. Give your boys respect and as they grow teach them what it means to love and protect a woman. Give them affirmation about their character qualities. Show them how to treat a woman. Let them protect you, open the door for you and order their own food. 

#3: They are boys, they act like boys and it is GOOD.

Our culture is trying to “feminize” our boys and moms especially must recognize this. Boys will inevitably make guns out of bananas, where capes, jump off of things and flex their muscles. We can’t overlook naughty behavior, but we can acknowledge their assertiveness as a God-given part of their nature. Our society is desperate for “real men” who love Jesus and will lead many to follow Him. And our little boys are these real men in training. Shape them do not change them.

#4: Boys learn by example.

To become a man, boys need to watch a man. Sociologist Peter Karl believes “that because boys spend up to 80 percent of their time with women, they don’t know how to act as men when they grow up. When that happens, the relationship between the sexes is directly affected. Men become helpless and more and more like big kids”. If there is not a dad available, find a coach, uncle or friend to mentor your son. The behavior your son sees in another man will be directly emulated so help channel that influence.

#5: Have regular age-appropriate talks about sexuality.

Talking to your children about sexuality should not be a “one-time” conversation, but a regular dialogue. Kids are exposed to sexual things at far earlier ages and their first knowledge of sexuality needs to be pure and bible-based. We highly recommend the book series called “Learning about sex for the Christian family” here’s the link:

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