Resources for Abuse in Marriage

In addressing marriage last week, in particular the equality in dignity, value, and worth of husbands and wives, we made available a couple resources related to abuse in marriage.

Those resources are:

  • a chart surveying kinds of abuse, taken from a sermon by Jason Meyer of Bethlehem Baptist Church
  • a helpful article by Darby Strickland on oppression in marriage

Please educate yourself on this important issue.  And if you are possibly in a situation involving abuse in marriage, please contact the church elders.  We want to serve you and care for you in any way we can.

In addition, I would recommend the materials on this topic by Chris Moles, including this helpful post.

If you have any questions about this important topic of abuse, please contact us.

Identifying Opression-Strickland

Forms of Abuse Chart

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Discussion Questions:  06.17.18

Last Sunday we took a different approach to address more of a topic from the early chapters of Genesis – the topic of gender, especially as it relates to marriage.   We considered two foundational realities:  our perfect equality as men and women, and our differing roles between husbands and wives in marriage.

Here are some discussion questions to help you consider what we gleaned from Genesis 1, 2 and 3:

  1. As it relates to our equality, Genesis 1.27 says that we are all made in God’s image.  What does that mean exactly?  How might this fundamental equality affect how you relate to friends or your spouse

  2. Related to our differences in role in marriage, why does it matter that we find this reality in Genesis (in God’s creation)?

  3. If you are married, in what ways are you already living out both your equality and differences as husband and wife?  What is at least one way you could live out your equality and difference better as a couple?

  4. Ephesians 5.18 gives us a call to rely on the Spirit’s power, and great hope for our marriages.  How might the Holy Spirit meet you and help you as a married couple?

New Hires!

We have some exciting updates in terms of new hires.  Here they are…

  • Ministry Intern:

As part of our ongoing effort to develop leaders, we approached Trent Houck a while back about considering a part-time “ministry internship” and he has accepted our offer for the coming ministry year.

As part of this internship, we will invest in Trent as he explores what God may have for him in the future and we’ll also benefit from some of the ministry experience and ability Trent has.  He comes to us with an M.A. in New Testament, and two stints as a youth pastor in other churches.  He and his wife Lauren are from Ventura, and have come to San Diego as he is teaching Bible to high schoolers at Christian High.

So, his internship will primarily involve:

  • Assisting Marshall with leading High School Youth meetings
  • Reading and interaction with Tab and Joshua for ministry equipping and growth
  • Assisting in other ministry projects as he is available – like possibly helping us with the steps forward we plan to take in theological equipping of the church.

We will pay him a small monthly stipend for his time and efforts.  He will begin mid-June so that we can get a jump start on his internship and our planning together.

  • Administrative Assistant:

While we were in the process of pursuing Trent for the above internship, our part-time Administrative Assistant position became open and Lauren Houck applied.  We had a few applicants, each of whom could do this job quite well.  But Lauren seemed to be a good fit for what we need right now, so please congratulate her as well.

We did not intend for these two roles to go to two spouses, but in God’s good providence that’s how he worked things out.  We thank God for both of them and look forward to how he will use them in our midst!

Lord’s Supper Changes: An Update

As you might recall, a few months ago we proposed some changes to our regular practice to the Lord’s Supper or communion.   You can read about those changes and where we left off in this process in my last update on this matter here.

Since then we have had some understandable requests for further updates, so here’s the situation. We asked those with significant concerns to put their concerns in writing and send them to us as elders, that we might better understand and discuss their concerns.  Upon receiving and processing their written concerns, we felt like their concerns were of such a nature that they merited us meeting individually with those members.

The bottom line is:  we want to make sure we are caring well for the members of this church.  Slowing down and taking time to meet with our concerned members is helping us more fully understand and appreciate their concerns.  It also affords us the opportunity to care more personally and effectively.

So, that’s where we are in this process at present.  We’ve got one more meeting (at least) with some concerned members, then we’ll process these concerns in their entirety as an eldership and seek God for how to best lead us forward.

Please know that we really appreciate your patience in this matter.  I know it has been a confusing process, and I apologize to you for that. We sincerely want to “care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood,” so we are focused on that priority right now (Acts 20.28).  As soon as we are able, we will bring you a further update as to what we will or will not plan to do in terms of our practice of this important sacrament.

Affiliation update

One of the themes from our two recent ‘coffee talks’ with the elders was communication.  In particular, there was a desire for more consistent updates on things like our affiliation explorations.  So, on that front, here goes…

Our affiliation committee, chaired by Joshua Morgan, will be convening again soon.  Their next task is to recommend how to trim our broad list of potential affiliation partners down to three or four.  The criteria upon which they’ll make their recommendations will primarily be:  (1) theological fit, and (2) polity, or church government, fit.  There are many other aspects to consider, but for more principled direction we need to start there:  theology and polity.

Prior to that, however, we do have some concrete steps of information-gathering taking place.  Dave Harvey will be with us in a couple weeks; Dave serves as the executive director of the Sojourn Network.  Some of you know him from his and our previous association with Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Dave is in town for the IBCD conference that we have been promoting on serving and caring for the “wayward”, be they a wayward child, spouse or friend.  Since Dave is going to be in town, and since we have some previous connection with him, we asked him for some time to meet with our elders, elders’ wives, and affiliation committee members. He’s going to do that on Saturday, June 23rd and then preach in our service the following Sunday.

Please pray for that time with our elders, elders’ wives and affiliation committee, that God would lead that time and it would be useful in our process of affiliation consideration.

Unrelated to our affiliation considerations, Joshua and I are going to take part in a cohort through the Sojourn Network on building a ministry of pastoral counseling and care. This is an outgrowth of one of our goals for this current ministry year – that of strengthening our practices of pastoral care.

So Joshua and I will not be in our Sunday service.  We’ll be flying to Louisville, Kentucky for the retreat that kicks off this cohort. Know we will miss worshipping our Lord with you and will be praying for you!  Wes Van Fleet from Kaleo Church of El Cajon will be preaching from the book of Philemon, and I know he will serve you well in the ministry of God’s Word! I will be preaching at Kaleo Saturday evening.  Please pray for me if you think of it too; I’d be grateful!

 

Discussion Questions 06.03.18

WORD > LIFE > PRAYER

1.  READ Gen 2.18-25.  In this passage we see the first wedding and the creation of marriage. To this point, what has been your own “working definition” of marriage – i.e, what has marriage meant to you practically-speaking?
2.  How might this passage change or affect your definition of what marriage is and should be?
3.  Of the effects that Tab mentioned of the Bible’s working definition (defining your goal, orienting your hearts, pointing to your hope), which do you most need right now – and why?

PRAY for those needing care.

Discussion Questions 05.27.18

WORD > LIFE > PRAYER

1.  READ Col 3.22-4.1.  What is the context of this passage? (i.e, what’s going on in this book, and in this portion of the book?)  How is that context important here?
2.  What is striking or surprising to you that you observe in this particular passage?
3.  Of the three “vertical” aspects of our work (motive of reverence for Christ, hope of the reward of Christ, comfort of the justice (& mercy) of Christ), which of those three is most helpful to you right now for your work?  Please explain.
4.  How can we help each other put these truths into practice in our work going forward?

PRAY for those needing care, etc.

 Recommended book “God at Work” from Gene Veith.