A few years ago I learned the important lesson that marriage is a reflection of our relationship with Christ. Katie and I faced the biggest crisis of our marriage. I started pastoring Woodland Christian Church when it was fairly small. Within three years the congregation had tripled in size. I admit that before I became a pastor, I was completely unaware of how much work is actually involved in shepherding a church of even a few hundred people. I had been an Army officer, a supervisor at a distribution center for Target, and an elementary school teacher. But none of those occupations approached the amount of mental and emotional energy and sheer hard work pastoring entails!
We had no secretary or associate pastor at the time. Almost all of my waking hours were packed with studying, teaching, counseling, making phone calls, sending e-mails, meeting with people, addressing administrative responsibilities, and tending to benevolence issues. When I was home, I should have been an engaged father and husband. Unfortunately, I did not have much left for my family emotionally, mentally, or physically.
Although I was failing as a husband and father, I was able to convince myself I was still pleasing the Lord. I compartmentalized my life by saying, “I am a Christian first, a spouse second, a parent third, and an employee fourth.” Instead, I should have said, “I am a Christian spouse, a Christian parent, a Christian employee.” The danger of seeing ourselves as a Christian first and a spouse second is we can find ourselves believing the lie I bought into at the time: “If I can be a good pastor, I can please God even though I am not the best husband.” The truth is that I was a poor husband, and I should have recognized that meant I was not pleasing the Lord.Continue reading “Marriage Is a Reflection of Our Relationships with Christ”→
19:18–24:56—Discussion of Christian Heritage Marriage Retreat
Scott’s question: “How should I respond when husband mocks my Christian beliefs?”
How should I respond when my husband mocks my Christian beliefs? My husband claims to be a Christian, but he randomly says the church is really his wife’s church and it’s ridiculous to believe in creation over evolution. Occasionally he does this in front of the kids too.
There’s a chance your husband might be saved, but it’s hard to reconcile your description with the behavior of a Christian. People can be saved and believe in evolution, but they wouldn’t Christianity. That sort of hostility toward the Gospel seems incompatible with regeneration.
16:07-19:27 Update on Marriage God’s Way Workbook and closing
Question for Scott: “Should we leave this church?”
I wanted to ask about leaving our church because of their misunderstanding of some doctrines. I don’t think I’ve handled the situation well. We’ve been checking out other churches, so instead of being a voice of reason the awkwardness has us not going there at all. My desire has been to continue going there, but my wife does not enjoy it. Though the people are sincere, the church is dead and there is a heavy spiritual attack going on. Another reason my wife doesn’t want to attend is my former fiancé from three years ago is there. The girl and I have no interest in each other, but it’s still hard for my wife to see her.
Every church we visit there is a lack of sobriety, or the they seem to be off base somewhere important. Perhaps they allow female teachers or there’s a “pop Christianity.” I’ve suffered way too much to attend a ho-hum church. I want seriousness, Scripture, and the life of Christ.
I met with the pastor a few times to reconcile our differences. He’s a very intellectual person and familiar with Scripture. But he’s come to a different interpretation of almost everything I believe God has taught me. I don’t see the pastor changing his mind, and I don’t know if I should bring up to the rest of the church the things I think are wrong.
Friday night was my dad’s surprise 65th birthday party. Different people took turns standing sharing about him, and it was very touching. I’m thankful for all the wonderful friends God has put in my parents’ lives. Also, my dad is a really wonderful man, and it blessed me to see how many others recognize that. I concluded the time of sharing, discussing the top three things I learned from my dad.
First, Dad taught us to work hard
My dad is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. When people shared about my dad, this was the most common thing they said, pointing out how he’s such a servant.
When I was growing up, I don’t remember much sitting around. We grew up in the mountains, and it seemed like Dad always had work for us to do. While most of my friends looked forward to summers, I remember thinking it just meant more work around the house. I tried to get a job as soon as I could, because at least then I would make money while working :). Continue reading “Top Three Things I Learned From My Dad, John LaPierre”→
Developing a strong marriage takes daily investment– you can’t set it and forget it. Relationships are ever changing, because people and life are ever changing. With intentional changes, you can build a stronger marriage and go deeper with your spouse.
Here are 3 ways you can build a stronger marriage-
1. Give Them the Benefit of the Doubt
There are going to be times in which your spouse says or does something that hurts your feelings. It can be easy to jump to conclusions that they did the offensive thing on purpose. Just because they know you better than anyone else, doesn’t mean that they always know how their actions will affect you.
Instead of concluding that they did something intentionally, give them the benefit of the doubt. Believing that they meant to hurt you will cause your defenses to go up. Going to them about an issue when you are defensive will usually lead to unnecessary fighting.
Rather than believing that they were trying to hurt you, consider that they did it unknowingly. Your spouse is not your enemy, but you can make them out to be if you don’t give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Become a Lifelong Student of Your Spouse
My husband, Austin, says that I’m his favorite subject and that he is committed to studying me for the rest of his life. Boy do I give him a lot to learn.
Over the last few years, my husband and I have had some major breakthroughs communicating with each other. I feel that we have always had a great foundation communicating, but we were still missing the mark with each other. This is not to say that we have it all figured out, but there are a few things that we have discovered that keeps couples from communicating well.
Listening To Their Words Doesn’t Equal Understanding
We are told over and over again that all we have to do is really listen to our spouse. I can tell you that there have been plenty of times that I have intently listened to my husband and still didn’t understand what he was communicating. Why isn’t listening enough?
You Aren’t Speaking The Same Language
If I were listening to someone speak another language, I would have little idea of what they were trying to communicate. This happens in our native language as well. Words do not have the same meaning to everyone. One person in the relationship will say something as clearly as they know how and the other will not interpret it correctly.
My husband and I have very different ideas of the meaning of the word relax. For him, relax means to sit in front of the television and do nothing for the rest of the day. To me, relax means to leave the house and go do something so I can shut off the working part of my brain.
Also, before we go any further, let me encourage you encourage you to check out Scott’s book, Marriage God’s Way. You’ll be blessed and it will help strengthen the communication – among other things – in your relationship!
If you have any questions, contact Scott personally. He’d love to hear from you: email@example.com or (360) 977-2877.
Took place this past Sunday the 21st after service. I arrived a little late, because I was rushing over from teaching on marriage at another church’s Family Camp. When I arrived, I was touched by the number of people who attended. I know people are busy (and they seem to be busiest during summer), but they took time to come out and support me and Marriage God’s Way.
Someone wrote on Facebook…
“Look at all the support from your family/church family Scott LaPierre! That’s gotta feel so cool. Awesome!!!”
This summarizes exactly how I felt, but there was more than just friends from WCC. A number of families from other churches also came to celebrate with us. One particularly special guest was Mike Pritchard. I acquired his website services through an auction last year, and we’ve become friends as he helped me prepare for the publication of Marriage God’s Way. Living over three hours away, I never expected him to come. But he did and it meant a lot to me.
I’ve been working with Amazon on Marriage God’s Wayand they send a complimentary copy to authors when their book is finished. We opened the first copy as a family, which was a special moment for us. See video above! My wife, Katie, and our children have sacrificed a lot for me to be able to write this book. They have been without me many early mornings and late evenings while I was working.
My dad, John LaPierre, has Alzheimer’s disease and of my prayers was answered in being able to finish Marriage God’s Way is in a timely manner. On August 7, 2016 during the morning worship at Woodland Christian Church I was able to present Dad with the first copy that we opened together as a family. I read the Dedication, gave him the book, and felt thankful to share the moment with my church family. See video above! VBS took place the week before and you can see the set hadn’t yet been taken down :).
I’ve never felt so many emotions in such a short period of time. My heart is in this book, and at some point in the future I’ll write a post or share a video (see below) discussing everything that went into reaching this moment. For now, here’s the info…
Ways to purchase Marriage God’s Way
You can purchase Marriage God’s Way on Amazon at this link in paperback or Kindle editions.
If you’d like a signed copy, please follow these two steps:
Your name (or the name of the individual you’d like me to address)
The address where you would like the book sent
Any special instructions or requests regarding the message
If you do not hear back from me in 24-hours confirming your order, please feel free to send me a follow-up e-mail or text: (360) 977-2877.
Giving the first copy of Marriage God’s Way to my dad
Marriage God’s Way is dedicated to my father. I will be giving him the first copy this Sunday (August 7th) at Woodland Christian Church. If you live in the area (and don’t already attend another church), I hope you can join us. at 11AM.
Marriage God’s Way giveaways
Tomorrow (Friday, August 5th), we’ll have a drawing for two copies of Marriage God’s Way. People can have their names entered by:
Each year one of the outreaches Woodland Christian Church puts on is the Senior Dinner. The graduates join us in the fellowship hall for a nice meal. I present a message with graduation tips, and my brother brother-in-law, D.J. Malinowski, plays some music (see below).
I tell the seniors that I’m going to share with them the four graduation tips I wish someone would’ve shared with me when I was in their place. I use a PowerPoint presentation and the slides are below…