To venable (verb): To randomly muse upon this and that.

Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

India (1)

I am now in India. I arrived yesterday at about 14:30 at Chennai Airport.

The travel involved a transit stop in Muscat; beautiful airport. Journey was uneventful in many ways. Great views of Chennai coming in. I embarrassed myself a couple of times.

Firstly, by messing up my Bluetooth connection on my headphones. I had my headphones on and was happily listening to A Gospel Coalition podcast. Alas all those surrounding me were also listening given that what I was hearing was not through my headphones, but from my phone. Drrrrrrrrrrr. Happily a man on a nearby seat alerted me to my predicament.

My second happened with me wresting to open a packet of potato snacks. I only prevailed when I resorted to using the connection on my phone charger as a dagger.

Notwithstanding the superficially uneventful journey , something remarkable did happen.

I left Heathrow in a pit of despair. Through, my indiscretion and weakness, May Lin and myself had a very difficult forty minutes or so prior to her leaving me at the airport. My behaviour descended into a vortex of self-recrimination combined with harshness to May Lin. Happily we were, through repentance and forgiveness, able to bind together over the phone and “draw a line” before I left. However, to have failed so spectacularly, cast a long shadow over me.

When I got to Muscat I was particularly cast down in my mental and emotional state. Memories of my experience of depression of earlier in the year cast me in a state of uncertainty as I looked ahead to my time away.

However, the Lord gave me much restoring grace at the beginning of the flight to Chennai from Muscat. How beautiful was that time as in my brokenness I felt Him putting me back together. Chastened by the whole experience as I trust I am, I have also been made sensible of my own weakness which must be “kept on file” for permanent reference. Since then I picked up and felt a sobered optimism. Conscious of my weakness and similarly conscious of our great forgiving Lord and the blessing of a good wife to me and mother to our children.

The hotel in Chennai was decent with a great room. Had a swim this morning which was very pleasant.

I managed to keep going until 7,45 last night before collapsing into bed. I woke at about 6.15. What a kindness from the Lord to be given a great night of sleep.

The roads are something to behold. There is a continual cacophony of blowing horns. People can suddenly appear on the side of the road going the other way. Cows mingle in with the traffic. Motor-cycles are in abundance. Ladies riding side-saddle and the carriage of cargo are a couple of the interesting motor-cycling sights.

I am now in Machilipatnam having flown up today. Picked up by Pastor Sukumar Bandrapalli in Vijayawada  and very warmly welcomed into his home here with his dear family.

A 3×3 For You

Hoping for a brand new 4×4?!  Well here is something far better on offer. And if used regularly (and appropriately) this will enhance you life more than any elaborate 4×4 will.

So here is my 3×3 for you:


To have that 3×3 in our lives, marriages, families, churches, workplaces and communities will lead to all such realms being much enhanced. We are not talking about disingenuous manipulation here, whereby an apology is used for selfish purposes. Apologises are to be made out of love not self-protection or self aggrandisement.

Alas, the problem is often the other way. There are too many people who do not seem to have “sorry” in their vocabulary. Either these people are perfect, which is unlikely or self-deceived or proud. The latter two amount to the same thing. We are talking about people caught up in their own self-interests.

Rather, when love is found among us then there will be the beautiful functioning of this beautiful 3×3. What an impact that will have for you and me in all realms of our lives.

Please please accept the offer of this 3×3 today and I promise it will revolutionise your life.



Christian Young Men Considering “Dating”.

  • The biblical frame is that men and women come together for marriage. You should never “date” or “go out” with someone unless you feel there is some prospect that you might marry this person.
  • Casual dating should not be considered.
  • Clear communication must be had with the sister in Christ you are considering going out with so that there is no confusion as regards to each other’s intentions.
  • You are the man and in God’s order of things you have responsibility to lead things from the beginning. You should be the initiative taker.
  • You should only go out with another believer. It is wrong to be unequally yoked. The Lord says in 2 Corinthians 6:14  Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 
  • Start by praying and reading the Bible together. Make that a key ingredient of your relationship right from the beginning.
  • Don’t be insular. Yes “go out” together, but make sure you mix with others. You will find out a lot about the young lady’s character through this (and she about yours).
  • Encourage each other to be going to church.
  • Going back to the biblical frame, the fundamental character of a male/female relationship being established is that the woman leaves her parents home to join the man in the new marital home (see Gen. 2:24). Regard should be had so that the parents of the sister are respected and at some point the father approached as regards to taking his daughter into marriage, should the relationship develop that way.
  • Make sure that you are very careful about the physical aspects of your relationship. Sex outside of marriage is wrong. But stirring up feelings through amorous contact is wrong too. The Spirit says in Hebrews 13:4: Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • Before marriage you are exploring whether you are compatible in the Lord and in marriage. The physical aspects of the relationship are for marriage. It is good therefore outside of marriage to make sure that certain parts of your body do not come into contact.
  • Any woman should have nothing to do with a man who disrespects her so much that he would “try it on” before marriage.
  • If you are in a relationship and you realise that it is not working out, then you should be clear with the lady involved. You must not let things drift on and let feelings  become intensified.

Your Wife.

Here is a good article by Tim Challies about his own wife, but with direct implications for all of us men who are married. From this I am provoked to think about:

  • Giving thanks for May Lin. To have a sister in Christ, as my wife, who desires to be faithful to the Lord surely should lead me to thank the Lord.
  • Praying for May Lin. How I need to continually bringing her to the Lord for her growth in the Lord and usefulness in all His ways.
  • Appreciating May Lin. Now I do not want to digress into how different people respond to certain appreciation, but I do want to make sure that May Lin does feel appreciated.
  • I want to encourage May Lin. I want to encourage her to move forward for the Lord.
  • Releasing May Lin. I want her to fulfill her ministry and so I should be laboring to see her released into fruitful ministry.
  • Enjoying May Lin. I need to set time aside so that we can have opportunity to enjoy being together.

In all this we will be building up our wives and building our marriages and that must be for good.

Church Newsletter

Here is the Feltham Evangelical church newsletter for October 2018. It has an article on the relationship between children and parents.

Happy Families

  • The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother and sacrifice himself for her good..
  • The best thing a mother can do for her children is to respect their father and be subject to him.
  • Husbands should make it easy for their wives to respect them and be subject to them, by loving them with self-sacrificing devotion.
  • Wives should make it easy for their husbands to love them with self-sacrificing devotion, by respecting them and being subject to them.


Marriage is an institution ordained of God. Accordingly we, as Christians, should be careful to make sure that we provide our full support both for the institution of marriage itself and also individual marriages. We remember in this how the LORD Himself was happy to attend the wedding at Canaan (see John 2:1-11) during the course of His ministry thus sealing His approval to marriage.

What is Marriage?

The pattern is set right back at the beginning of mankind when Adam has a woman brought to him by God and they are joined together as one flesh in the marriage bond; husband and wife together (Gen. 1:18-25). How they come together is not important; it can be a love marriage or an arranged marriage. But it is one man and one woman. Homosexual marriages and polygamous marriages are thereby outlawed by God.

Both parties enter into a covenant together and they must do so willingly. This pattern is seen in how Rebekah was consulted by Laban and Bethuel before they committed her to a marriage with Isaac (Gen. 24:58). Forced marriages are thereby not true marriages.

The way a marriage is legally sealed obviously varies from culture to culture, but for a relationship to be conceived of as a marriage; it must satisfy the law of the land wherever it is undertaken.

How Long Should A Marriage Last.

Till death us do part” is a familiar line in the marriage service; it is also the declared purpose of God. Paul in Romans 7:2-3 affirms this. This is God’s ideal. Accordingly if a Christian marries they should always enter such with the determination that, with the Lord’s help, the marriage will be unto death or the coming of the LORD.

However, we all should know that we live in a sinful world where we fail. The scriptures have regard to this. In fact our LORD gives something of the balance in Matt. 19: 1-10. The thrust here is that we should not allow marriage breakdown to be accepted as the norm, but we have to accept there are times when marriages breakdown. Paul in 1 Cor. 7:10-16 similarly gives teaching in this direction.

When marriages are breaking down all attempts should be made toward restoration. However, we have to accept that there are times when a marriage is finished, according to a proper biblical evaluation. Nevertheless marriage breakdowns should always be a source of grief. And, amidst the inevitable heartache and concern over wrongs done and sins committed, we must always remember that for those who repent there is forgiveness with the LORD.

How Can Marriages Be Made To Work?

It is quaintly, but truly, said that the couple who pray together stay together. This reminds us that the biblical injunction is for a Christian to marry another Christian (see 2 Cor.6:14-18). If our spouse will not pray with us then that takes away from the strength of the marriage.

Men and women are different though, and they bring different things to the relationship. Put simply the man will determine whether or not the marital home is orderly and the woman will determine the atmosphere of the home. So you can have “warm chaos” or “well-ordered fridge”. However, what you should have is “warm orderliness”.

The man is called to loving leadership; not as a tyrant, but as a protector of his wife. The woman is called to submission; not through gritted teeth, but out of respect for her husband (see Eph.5). These concepts are at variance with the world in which we live. However they stand as the statutes of the LORD and we put ourselves in peril if we go against them.

Let us then support marriages. If we are married we should pray for the strengthening of our own marriage. And we should all be praying that married couples should be prospered in their relationship. Remember Satan walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to devour marriages; let us resist him!

(Taken from Feltham Evangelical Newsletter of November 2004)

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