Preaching the Gospel Through Biblical Marriage

Today we await the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on the issue of the legalization of gay marriage. Will the Justices rule this is a state by state decision to uphold traditional marriage or will they decide to make gay marriage legal across the nation?  You can read more from both sides here.

For most of you reading this particular blog, you understand that the institution of marriage was initiated by God at the first marriage in history between Adam and Eve. Further, you have been taught in church, and  most likely from someone at home, that acting out homosexual desires is sinful by God’s standards. Unfortunately, the narrative towards people practicing a homosexual lifestyle has not always been one of love, nor driven by a desire to share the gospel. However, I believe that narrative has changed in the last year to be more in line with God’s views of people and their sins–at least within the teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention. You can view the recent Southern Baptist Pastors Conference Speakers, particularly Russell Moore’s message on Sunday evening dealing with sexual sin in general and homosexual sin in particular. (click here)

The SCOTUS decision and its political and religious implications aside, Christian, biblical marriages should preach the gospel like never before as they stand in such contrast to the cultural shift of marriages in our day. However, our own marriages need much work to paint the picture of Christ loving the Church and giving Himself up for her. How do we preach the gospel with our marriage? How do we build solid, sanctified marriages amidst our culture?

My husband has a new book filled with practical, biblical advice that I believe will point Christian marriages toward Christ and help them build loving and respectful relationships. It is available on Amazon and soon to be available on your Kindle as well.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Ron’s book because I know that he practices what he preaches. Ron lives a life of authentic humility and faithfulness to God. His background in mental health counseling, experience as a pastor, and time spent counseling couples and families have prepared him to walk in obedience to writing this book.  I hope that you will purchase a copy of Ron’s book for yourself, a friend, an engaged or newly married couple, or a couple that you know needs godly direction in their marriage.

You can watch Ron teach from a few excerpts of his book, alongside our pastor, Willy Rice, here. This message is on your S.E.A.T. and how that affects your marriage.

SEAT- Ron Cooney

Christians must preach the gospel with our words and our actions. Biblical, loving and respectful marriages will stand out in a world of broken vows and empty promises by pointing to the grace and mercy found in Christ Jesus.




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Loving Well

Loving Well


So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

(Ephesians 5:33, NLT)

Two links to help you love well in the covenant marriage you are in, or the one you are preparing for:

  • One great post on faithfully consummating  marital love by Sheila Wray Gregoire. (Click here.) Shelia blogs at To Love Honor and Vacuum. I frequently read her blog posts as I find them on Pinterest. Her site is packed full of biblical counsel for women in particular and couples in general. 

Satan likes a marriage without sex as much as sex without a marriage. Why does the church only condemn one of the two? ~Shelia Wray Gregoire

  • One wonderful sermon on love and lust by Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Very much worth 30 minutes of your time whether you are single or married. (Click here.)

You’ll never be well married unless Christ is the Spouse of your soul. ~Timothy Keller

Ron and I recently celebrated 12 years of marriage and I am so grateful for a husband that strives to love me well in every way. May the content linked within this post today serve to enrich your marriage or your biblical view of marriage in general.




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Relationships in Heaven

Relationships in Heaven

One of the things I most look forward to in heaven is a restored relationship between man. Here on earth we have striving, jealousy, dissensions, miscommunications, misunderstandings, and a selfish pride that impedes our ability to live in unity with one another despite our best efforts and good intentions.

In heaven we will no longer hold the title or relationship of husband and wife (See Mark 12:18-27, 22:23-32), I am unsure of mother and father, but assuredly we will all be brothers and sisters united by the blood of Christ. To press further the matter of no spouses in heaven, Jesus says that we will be like the angels. As far as my study has taken me, there is no reference to angels procreating in the Bible. In fact, it is unknown if they possess the anatomy to have sexual relations. Earth and this temporary life are the only place where we can join together in marriage and the full consummation of physical oneness.

Marriage is a relationship only enjoyed on this earth and set up to paint a picture of Christ loving His church. The relationship I now enjoy with Ron will be even richer in the life to come as I see him the way that Christ sees him and as we live in perfect holiness together. I can only love him as a wife in this life, but I will love him as the brother he is in Christ in the next.

Heaven will bear the fruit of relationships that are always mutually edifying and pleasing unto God.

I eagerly anticipate the holy communion with God, and my fellowman. Relationships that bring me joy here on earth will only grow richer in the absence of evil and the presence of the deepest desire of my soul…God.

Paul writes of the believers he preached to and encouraged in Thessalonica:

What is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy. (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)

Paul eagerly anticipated heaven and living in the continual presence of the Lord Jesus. Here we see he also deeply desired and enjoyed the relationship he had established with the believers in His ministry.

We can desire Heaven for the ultimate relationship it will bring with God and the fulfillment of perfect relationships with fellow believers: familial, friend, and all of God’s children. People we have ministered with, too, as well as those we have been the recipient of in ministry and friendship will eternally dwell in unity in Heaven.

This brings me such joy to think of the eternity I will experience building upon the richer relationships that began on earth and the promise of rich relationships to come: relationships with saints I haven’t even met yet. Best friends, minus the jealousy of others, are awaiting discovery in heaven! That is a rich reward to anticipate.

Life beyond cannot mean impoverishment, but the enhancement and enrichment of life as we have known it here at its best.~W. Graham Scroggie

Dear friends, it is impossible for me to cover in 500 words what eagerly awaits us in heaven in the area of relationships. I encourage you to study the scriptures and some of the books that abound on the topic of heaven for more information. I hope that today’s post has spurred your thinking and anticipation of the joys that await us in the Celestial City.

Seeking Heaven with You,


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From Frog to Prince and Happily Ever After




Fairy tales… We have all read them: The Princess and the Pea, Beauty and the Beast, The Frog Prince, Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel. The beginning is charming, the middle is grim, and the end is happily ever after.

Every little girl wants to be swept off her feet by a prince upon his stead.  Likewise, most boys at some point decide that dashing in on a white horse to rescue a woman sounds adventurous and noble.

Looking at the divorce rates and failing marriages crumbling within and without the church, begs the question: What has gone so desperately wrong? Where are the princesses and the prince charmings of today?

To read the rest, join me over here. I am blogging at iBelieve today.




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A Merging of Lives



Yesterday we had the privilege of joining in the celebration of a merging of two lives in marriage.  The union of man and wife is a covenant that reflects that of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

As we watched Tyler and his beautiful bride, Laura, exchange vows, I reflected on our own wedding ceremony. Funny how even the details of our wedding were a foretelling of the personality traits of each of us and the ways in which we would work out this life together. Yet on our wedding day I would propose that in comparison to present-day, I hardly knew myself, let alone the wonderful godly man that I was marrying.

Yesterday, the pastor said that our covenant relationship of marriage is one that we continue to choose to make each day of our lives. It is true; as our love and the years grow, so will our understanding of one another and ourselves, as well as our graces with both.

Today, if everything goes as planned,  our family will travel to be united with our first foster child. As we venture this new path together, merging our lives with that of another child and family, I pray God’s name is glorified and His people edified. This child will have a wonderful temporary daddy in my Ron. Of that there is no doubt. God placed adoption on my heart from a young age and he placed a man in my life that equally embraced the idea from the start.

We will not be walking down an isle as we start this newest journey together, but with each step, and the facing of the unknown, we will do what we have done in marriage and parenthood to date: grow, laugh, cry, fail, fall, be renewed and seek His face and wisdom through the scriptures.

Thank you for joining in the celebration with your prayers! I will see you back next Monday as I am taking the week off to get acclimated.

This home is temporary but the rewards of heaven in His presence are eternal. Press on and in.

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To Be Known

You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. ~Psalm 139:3

We had talked about familiarity on the ride home. “Why is it that when you first start dating your mate those butterfly tingly feelings are there but as your progress in your marriage relationship they come and go?” This after he put his hand on my leg.

For me it seemed a dangerous question to ask Ron. Like saying hey, I don’t get all warm and fuzzy when we hold hands (although it is something I like very much). He responded that it is because we are familiar with each other.

I awoke the next morning thinking about our conversation and the above words of Psalm 139. God is familiar with all my ways and the level to which I can continue to know Him is never ending. As I come to know more of Christ and become familiar with His teachings and His ways there is always more to be learned. Similarly in my marriage relationship, although I am familiar with Ron and he with me, we are changing and growing so that there is always something more to know and discover.

Awaking with Psalm 139 on my mind and these thoughts racing through my head, I knew it was impossible to return to sleep so I gave in and awoke to some early morning reading. Here is what I read:

That ache in your heart to be known by and to truly know one man was placed in you to be a revelation of a much deeper love. When you are in intimate physical and emotional communion with your husband, it will be a mere picture of the passionate love of a God who has been seeking your heart since before you were born. ~ Dannah Gresh, What Are You Waiting For? The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex 

In Psalm 139 we read of how God knows us. The Hebrew word for know in this case is yada. Yes, like yada, yada, yada, blah, blah,blah! Yada is a verb which means to know, to be known, to be deeply respected. In Dannah’s book she reveals how this verb is used to describe how God knows us and also how a husband knows a wife in their physical, spiritual, and emotional union.

I knew the the Bible is full of references to Christ loving the church as his bride and how a husband should love his wife as Christ loves the church, but yada?, that was new to me.

In, What Are You Waiting For?, Dannah teaches about Christ’s intentions for marriage and the physical union in marriage. She addresses purity from all angles presenting the facts on such issues as premarital sex, pornography, self pleasing, and homosexuality. This is a must read for parents, students, and singles of all ages. These are topics that we must address with our young people or the world will address it for them contrary to the ways of Christ.

In aiming to restore godly marriages in our culture and for the continuity of the church this is an important read.

See Dannah talk about the book in her FOX News interview here.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to read what is written here!

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Looking Back Over A Decade

Today we remember our covenant we made 10 years ago. The merging of two lives spiritually and emotionally did not happen overnight, but rather transpired as we stayed the course and trusted God. This life provides the only opportunity to experience a relationship of husband and wife. I too often neglect this truth. In this temporary home, Ron Cooney is my best friend and lover. Over the last 10 years we have grown together and matured.

In celebration, I believe some reflection is in order. Here are 10 lessons that we have learned together the past decade:

1. Faithfulness is a choice we make that blesses our own lives and the lives of all we touch.

Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?~Proverbs 20:6

Ron quoted this verse to me just before he said “I love you” for the first time. He desired to be a faithful man. He was so well thought out. I, conversely, had not experienced the unfaithfulness of man to a large degree and quickly, though not entirely thoughtlessly, quipped back, “I love you too.”

Now 10 years later I have experienced the aftermath unfaithfulness leaves. I have seen the destruction that broken covenants inevitably produce and I am all the more aware of the gift that Ron continues to give me.

2. Patience is love waiting.

An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning will not be blessed in the end. ~Proverbs 20:21

Waiting to consummate the marriage on the marriage night and not rushing in the development of our relationship were both aspects that we desired in dating. Ron presented this verse to me, and in true Ron style practiced patience with us, with me, and in the progression of our lives from the start.

3. Purity in singleness prepares us for purity in marriage. Likewise, weaknesses in singleness carryover to our marriage.

To keep the marriage bed pure is not only a task of a single but an ongoing work of the married .With the rings is made a promise, with determination a commitment is kept. A good marriage takes work. Otherwise, we produce a relationship that is hardly working.

4. Perfection is a lie and a snare. “Be holy as I am holy.” Not, “Be perfect as I am perfect.”

You never arrive at the perfect marriage because it is a life-long marathon – not a sprint. We are imperfect people in need of purification by Christ which leads to holiness.

As with everything practice makes… almost perfect. Seek a holy relationship not a perfect one.

5. Differences can enliven or divide.

For example… ideals on money, child raising, and the use of our time and talents. It is hard but necessary to communicate our ideas to one another and arrive at a point of mutual agreement and practice.

6. Think before you speak, but speak before you fall apart.

If you think it and expect it, then project it. No man is a mind reader. We must convey our desires to avoid disappointment and conflict.

7. Marriage succeeds as a triune relationship.

It takes man and wife with God at the head to produce a healthy marriage.

Again, if two lie together, they keep warm,  but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:11-12

8. Keep it fun!

Continue to be playful and flirt with your mate! Try new things and continue to grow together.

9. Keep learning

… about your mate, marriage, and God via prayer, the Bible, and godly counsel.

10. Work as a team… know who to fight against.

For  we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against  the rulers, against the authorities, against  the cosmic powers over  this present darkness, against  the spiritual forces of evil  in the heavenly places. ~Ephesians 6:12


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What I Am Reading Wednesday

Liberty Park

Hello friends! We made it back from our New York and New Jersey excursion very late Monday evening. Catching up on grocery shopping was an easy task especially with the free bakery cookie the kids look forward to. The laundry and house cleaning are another slow turn of the page however.

Central Park

I enjoyed an unusual amount of mommy reading time as the kids flew with Ron on the trip north. What a good man to let his wife enjoy alone time two rows back while he entertains the littles. I touched the Kindle app on my iPad free of too many distractions and enjoyed the ride. (Potty breaks did involve some tag team effort a few times). Thank you honey!

So, what did this hands free mama read on the plane? So glad you asked. Chinese drum roll please…


God made the heart of every married person to be romantic, and to feel the passion that springs out of romance. He designed your hearts to need a regular cycle of romance and passion. Living without this cycle is death to your marriage and will put you both at a great risk for an affair. So, let’s get to work on your romance. ~Dr. David Clarke in Kiss Me Like You Mean It: Solomon’s Crazy In Love How-To Manual.

Ron and I were privileged to hear Dr. Clarke speak at our church four years ago. He is a local Christian counselor with a multitude of experience. Dr. Clarke’s writing style is equally witty, somewhat cheesy, and super helpful as his live seminars. I highly recommend this read for all post-newlywed couples. Especially if cheek kisses, air kisses, or quick pecks are a usual methods of kissing between you and your spouse! (See chapter’s 9 and 10)

I first heard about Dr. Clarke’s new book from my friends Karen and Danny who blog about marriage at Marriage Bytes. Dr. Clarke also blogs weekly. Check out his blog here.

Here is one more NYC shot for the road. I will start Tour de NYC next week. Until then, that is what I am reading this Wednesday; what about you?

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Favorite Posts of the Week

This week I discovered wonderful blog posts for Christian women on topics that we are usually hesitant to talk about. These edifying posts are shared in hopes that if you are struggling with these topics, have struggled, or know someone who is, you can find hope and direction. Additionally, since these are favorites, I am linking up with the wonderfully sweet Rachel over at Finding Joy.

friday favorite things | finding joy

1. I  am constantly second guessing what I am wearing. Do you ever wonder if what you are wearing is appropriate? Truth hits the spot, so this might be helpful: Dressing to Attract via

2. The author of the post above also wrote The Hot Mom Syndrome which was so insightful and honest. With billboards, movies, and society telling women a message quite contrary to Christ’s this is an encouraging counter-post from:





3. Mary DeMuth’s blog is one that I read regularly. She posted A Story for Those Thinking About Leaving Their Marriage. Ron returned from a youth pastor’s conference this week and was challenged by Josh McDowell’s presentation about reaching and losing this present generation for Christ. Josh emphasized that this generation looks at pastors and deacons who leave their marriages and then surmise that God’s Truth isn’t any truth at all because it doesn’t work. I was so thankful for Mary’s story that encourages married couples to show that the Truth works. Perhaps you need this story as a personal encouragement today?

4. On quiet days, I need this…Give Yourself Grace via

Finding Joy

5. Where Do Introverts Fit Into the Church? This one is for both men and women via

holy experience




I hope that you find these as interesting and insightful as I did. Blessings on this Friday!

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