[From Gail and Bob together]

[Disclaimer: Parents, included in this post is potentially adult material. Use your own judgment when sharing this post with your children. Children, only read this post with your parents.]

We are here in Tororo, teaching a conference on Marriage for three days.

We are reporting on our three-day Marriage Conference in Tororo, Uganda, where we share Ten Principles for a Christian Marriage. Yesterday we shared Marriage Principles 1-5 and some of the analogies God has given us over the years of ministry about marriage, many which we used in pre-marital counseling, and many which we have developed or borrowed more recently [See “The Marriage Conference in Tororo (Part 1)”]. To continue that discussion…

Marriage Principle #6 – Understand the Purpose of Sex – This is a widely misunderstood subject in Uganda, so we had a long, insightful and very frank discussion of sexual intimacy in marriage. One of the metaphors Bob used was about Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled…” (NKJV), which teaches that sexual intimacy in marriage has the blessing of God and is pure in His sight (as long as the experience is mutual). A lot of religious ideas are passed around in the Ugandan churches, and one of them is that sexuality is somehow impure, even in marriage. Bob was trying to illustrate the principle that we are temples of the Holy Spirit, so God is present with us and glorified even in times of intimacy. This is an uncomfortable idea even to westerners, we think. The people were struggling with the ideas and began asking legalistic questions like, “What about this situation? Is it defiled then?” “What about that situation? Is it still pure before God even then?”

To make his point, God gave Bob a sudden unexpected illustration. Bob said, “So what do you think? Do you think God leaves the temple of your body while you are intimate with your spouse, waits outside your house until you are finished, then comes back into the temple of your body?” Then he stepped off to the side of the room, folded his arms, and began to tap his foot impatiently, like Jesus waiting outside in the yard for the moment when He can go back into the temple. Then he looked at his watch and huffed impatiently, snuck up to the side of his whiteboard, peeked around it as if peeking into the bedroom, made his eyes real big, then backed away embarrassedly. Then he began pacing up and down, repeatedly glancing at his watch. Finally, He peeked in the “door” and smiled, wiped his forehead, and said loudly, “Whew! I’m glad that’s over,” then went back into the imaginary bedroom. The people were rolling on the floor with laughter, and we believe the point was made. Once again proving that the Holy Spirit has a great sense of humor!

Marriage Principle #7 – Understand the Purpose of Family – We taught that the purpose of the family is for the parents to raise up the next Godly generation that will follow them, to raise children who are mighty in spirit, not just in the things of this world. We taught this by using the biblical story of Jeremiah and the Rechabites from Jeremiah 35. God told Jeremiah, the famous prophet of Israel, to gather the tribal leaders of the Rechabites and put wine in front of them and tell them to drink it. When he did this, the Rechabites refused on the basis that their father Jonadab had commanded them not to drink wine, and they had to obey their father even before the prophet. This story is amazing because Jonadab was not their actual father, but their great-great-great-great grandfather, and had given their ancestors the command 226 years earlier (2 Kings 10:15-16).

Here we have a generation that is 226 years after the command was given and they are still obeying it, even in the face of the request of Jeremiah, arguably the most famous and influential public prophet in Israel during those days. Jeremiah then preached a sermon to the residents, king and priests in Jerusalem based on the Rechabites’ mighty spirits of loyalty to their ancestor’s teaching. He said to the disobedient Israelis of Jerusalem, “These people have obeyed their imperfect grandfather for several generations, but you have never once obeyed the perfect God who is your Father.” This was a perfect illustration of Proverbs 22:6 – “Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Raising children who are mighty in spirit is the call of each Christian parent.

That’s enough for today – remember, it took us 3 days to teach all this. [Continued tomorrow with Principles 8, 9, and 10]. Blessings.