This time 2 years ago I was the Vintage Church summer mission intern and sweating to near death in the July NOLA heat. Just as memorable I was engaged to Sarah Monday that summer, now known as "the gorgeous Sarah Brichetto." During that summer I read several books and listened to several sermons in preparation to be a husband. Over the last 2 years there are many times that I have been reminded of and reflected on the truths I received from other men and women that summer.
Now as one of the pastors of Vintage, I frequently reference these principles with single men, engaged & married couples.
From my last 2 years I want to share with you 2 short books, a sermon and a music video that God continually uses to challenge me as a husband.
Sex, Romance and the Glory of God - CJ Mahaney
*Although this is one of the smallest marriage books, it is packed with wisdom from the Mahaney couple.
* Chapter 3 "Learning, Leading and Loving" discusses the idea that deepening romance physically in our marriage is intertwined with touching our wife's heart and mind (emotionally connecting).
*Chapter 4 "How to Make it All Happen" gives some practical suggestions of how CJ has loved and romanced his wife Carolyn.
The Momentary Marriage - John Piper
*You can get this book free in PDF by clicking here.
*Chapter 4 "Forgiveness and Forbearing," is one of the most challenging chapters that I have ever read regarding marriage.
* "The Compost Pile" concept discussed guides each of us into Gospel-centered, grace filled marriages.
*Listen to the "Forgiveness and Forbearing sermon by Dr. Piper - here
These books are super small and great short reads.
A Sermon - "Sanctification in Marriage" by Matt Chandler
*He unpacks 1 Peter 3:1-7 and discusses healthy expectations and relations for both men and women in marriage. There are some real practical application given for all of our marriages.
*Listening to this sermon would be one of the most humbling and fruitful ways for both husbands and wives to spend an hour today. Listen separately and then discuss during a date night.
A Video - "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real
*This has been an anthem for me over the past few months as I have relied upon the Spirit to lead and love Sarah. I pray we will surrender our life in this area for our spouses or future spouses.
*Read a blog from Jason Dukes on leading in marriage.
*Also check out the story behind the song.
I'm thankful that we live in a time with internet which provides a wealth of resources for men to be godly husbands and women to be godly wives. Allow God's Spirit to use this resource at your finger tips to develop your marriage. Honestly this is a far better way to use the internet than any sport videos or hollywood gossip that can consume our life at times.
In conclusion, always remember that no matter how bad or good your marriage is currently; our hope is to be found in the Gospel which breaks through to offer repentance, forgiveness and restoration. Mrs. Brick and I are learning that this is an area that will always require constant cultivation.
Enjoy reading, listening, watching and then loving.