Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Great Discipleship Commission

28/11/11 Matthew 28; 1 Thessalonians 1-3

S: Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

O: This is passage is usually called "The Great Commission" -- Jesus commissions His disciples to go and make disciples of all the nations.

Among Evangelical Christians, we usually use this verse to emphasise evangelism.

Evangelism is definitely part of the Great Commission, but if we look at the the verses again, we can see that Jesus is actually emphasising discipleship. It is not enough for people to "pray to receive Christ" -- we need to teach people to become disciples of Christ -- to obey and follow Christ.

Many people come forward during Gospel rallies and pray to receive Christ, but not all of them will actually become disciples of Christ and live for Him after that.

So we must follow through with what Jesus said, to teach the new disciples to obey all His commands.

A: Each of us must daily read the Word of God and apply it to our lives, and we are to teach those who come after us the same.

P: Father, help me to be faithful to Your Great Commission! In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Having Peace"

27/11/11 Psalm 125; Matthew 26-27

S: Matthew 26:36-39 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

O: People often say that if you're in the will of God, you will "have peace". Jesus was definitely very much well in the Will of God when this incident happened. This was the Purpose for which He was sent. Yet, Jesus definitely did not "have peace".

"Having peace" is not a guarantee that you're in the will of God. "Not having peace" doesn't mean you're out of the will of God. The Word of God is the only sure guide to whether you're in the will of God or not.

A: We have to apply the brain that God has given us to learning the Word of God and applying it. Feelings of "peace" are no substitute.

P: Father, we trust Your Word. Help us to learn Your Word well so that we will know how to distinguish between feelings and Your Will. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Illustration About The Workers Paid The Same

25/11/11 Matthew 20-22

S: Matthew 20:1-16

O: This illustration, I think, shows the balance between grace and works. Each worker did have to respond to the vineyard owner's call to work. Each worker did have to work. However, the owner's own generosity meant that even those who worked less got the full wage.

In a similar way, those of us who faithfully follow Christ from childhood as well as those of us who come to Christ late in life, we all get rewarded with the full wage -- eternal life.

Now, it is also true that if we come to Christ early, we do reap the benefits in this life of having lived according to God's ways longer. But that's not the point Jesus was making in this illustration -- he was talking, I think, about salvation.

A: Whatever point we are at in our life, at whatever age, "now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation!" (2 Corinthians 6:2)

P: Father, thank You for such a great salvation! In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain

21/11/11 Matthew 8-10

S: Matthew 10:28-31 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

O: Because we live in this world, we tend to think like the people in this world. We get worried about many things, and we get afraid of death.

However, Jesus points out to us that they can kill our body, but only God has power over our eternal soul. So, even at a purely rational level, it makes sense to follow God in the face of physical danger.

A: I have said for a long time now, dying for Christ is no problem... it's living for Christ that is harder. Of course, now that I'm a married man with dependants, there is that consideration. But ultimately, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

P: Father, remind me of this truth, especially when I struggle with temptation. In Jesus' name, amen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Momentary light affliction

16/11/11 2 Corinthians 3-6

S: 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 6:3-10 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defence. We serve God whether people honour us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.

O: Jesus told us “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) When we seek to follow Christ in a world which is opposed to Him, it is not surprising that we will encounter opposition and problems.

A: We can be steadfast in Christ in spite of tribulation, because "This world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' thru... my treasures are laid up away beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore!"

P: Father, give me courage to live according to Your Truth. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Gifts v.s. Fruit

13/11/11 Job 39-40; 1 Corinthians 13-14

S: 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:1,4-7,13 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. ... Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. ... Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

O: It's good and useful to have the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but possessing great gifts from God is quite different from having the fruit of the Holy Spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Sometimes we find people who have been blessed with flashy supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit like prophecy, healing, etc. becoming Christian superstars. Some of these people also manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit to some lesser or greater extent, but we must not confuse the two. Back in the first few centuries of church history, there were already splits among the believers because of this.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit can come instantaneously, but fruit takes time to grow. This passage shows how the fruit is much more important than the gifts. The gifts are only for the purpose of helping the church here on earth, but the fruit will last for eternity.

A: We need to daily take up our cross and follow Jesus, to daily abide in Him. The fruit will grow as we cultivate it.

P: Father, I commit to abiding in You. I acknowledge that I do it imperfectly, and thank You for Your forgiveness when I fail. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tongue-tied Cookie-cutter Charismata

12/11/11 Job 37-38; 1 Corinthians 12

S: 1 Corinthians 12:29-30 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not!

O: God gives different people different gifts. The whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 points out that we are all different members of the Body of Christ, and we don't all have the same gifts, and that's all part of God's design.

I was led to Christ by non-Charismatic Evangelical Christians, and later, I fell under the influence of anti-Charismatic dispensationalist Christians who believed that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit were no longer possible today. They mistakenly applied 1 Corinthians 13:9 "But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless" to mean that the "perfection" that comes is the Bible and so once the Bible is complete, the supernatural gifts would cease. (They never explained why the other gifts don't cease, in spite of all those gifts being all listed together.) (Note, however, that these dispensationalist Christians were very committed to following Jesus as best they understood, and while I now disagree with their theological stand with regards to miracles, I affirm that they are dear and sincere brothers and sisters in Christ.)

But over the years of serving Christ in mixed denominational environments, I came to realise that one could not dismiss all the supernatural as "delusions of the Charismatics". Miracles can, and do, still occur (though perhaps more rarely than some Charismatics would like you to think) and God still does give supernatural gifts.

However, there is a very strong meme among Charismatics that "everyone who is really a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit must speak in tongues." This meme is strongly contradicted by 1 Corinthians 12, and in particular, this verse.

Some people try to explain this away by referencing Romans 8:26, "And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words." However, this is referring to groanings which cannot be expressed, not tongues. Some claim that there's private tongues and public tongues, but I don't see any evidence that these are different gifts -- only the same gift used in different contexts.

I observe that of all the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, tongues are the easiest to fake. All you have to do is to babble some nonsense. With the immense pressure on people to speak in tongues that I have found in some Charismatic circles, I would not be surprised if the majority of people speaking in tongues could actually be just babbling nonsense. I have personally been asked by one church elder in a church I used to attend, "Repeat after me: amanadmaborblaballdla..."! 1

On the other hand, one should not go to the other extreme and claim that all speaking in tongues is mere babbling. The Bible is clear that there are genuine tongues, and there have been (rare) instances in modern times where, like in Acts 2, people have heard the Gospel preached in a language they understand which the speaker did not know.

Human beings are not like cookies all cut out with the same cookie-cutter. God gifts each person individually according to His wisdom.

A: Let us encourage each other to exercise the gifts God has given each of us for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God, and not try to force everyone to have the same gift.

P: Father, even as I vent my peeve about extremist Charismatics who try to force these things on other people, help me to see my own areas of error and become more conformed to Your Son. In Jesus' name, amen.
1. This incident (and other subsequent ones) scarred me so much that, even though, as it turned out, God did choose to give me the gift of tongues, I did not speak in tongues until many years later. When I finally did speak in tongues, it was in the middle of a wonderful time of worship and communion with God, where there was absolutely no pressure from anyone for me to pretend to speak in tongues.

Another related type of thing is "anointed" people who push you down to be "slain in the Spirit". If the Holy Spirit truly "slays" you, then there is no need for the preacher to push you!
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)


11/11/11 Psalm 122; 1 Corinthians 9-11

S: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ. When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

O: There is an appropriate time and place to stand up for one's rights. However, we should not be motivated primarily by protecting our rights, but rather, by what is best for the furtherance of the Gospel.

As believers, we certainly have the right to eat pork or whatever, but Paul was willing to give up that right when he was with Jews so as to not put unnecessary stumbling blocks before them to the Gospel.

A: As we meet people who are different from us, we need to present the Gospel in a culturally-sensitive manner.

P: Father, help us to discern what is really the Gospel and what is just our own cultural baggage, and when we need to give up our rights in order to help others see Jesus. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Balance between knowledge and love

10/11/11 Job 35-36; 1 Corinthians 7-8

S: 1 Corinthians 8
Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognises. So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God. There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life. However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer for whom Christ died will be destroyed. And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.

O: There is nothing intrinsically wrong with eating food offered to idols. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with many things, but depending on the context, some things we can do in our freedom in Christ can stumble others.

You often find churches making rules like "You must not eat food offered to idols" or "You must not go dancing" or "You must not drink alcohol" or "Women must not wear spaghetti straps." These rules have in their origin good intentions -- not to cause someone to stumble.

But contexts change, and if you rigidly follow those rules instead of understanding the spirit behind it, you end up with legalism.

On the other hand, if we abuse our freedom in Christ to do all sorts of things, and cause someone else to stumble as a result, that is also contrary to the way of Christ.

So, a balance must be held. The principle of being sensitive to avoid causing people to stumble v.s. legalism means that we have to do a lot more thinking in context and learn to apply God's principles to each situation, rather than having just memorising and regurgitating rules.

It means that we need to go higher in our spiritual education -- not just to remember what God said, but to also learn to understand, apply, analyse, and evaluate, to create Biblical solutions that fit the context that you find yourself in.

I have personally seen much harm come from people just following the rules laid down by their church legalistically instead of doing that. One example is a family which rejected Christ because one daughter took a rule, "You must not hold joss sticks" and blindly applied it to her father's Taoist funeral. Everyone thought she was being horribly unfilial, and came to the conclusion, "Christianity teaches children not to honour their parents," in direct contradiction to the Biblical commandment! So, by legalistically applying the rule her church came up with, it caused the opposite effect of the spirit behind that rule -- "Do not cause someone to stumble." It stumbled the entire family and to this day, the majority of that family continues to reject Christ.

A: The Bible calls us to balance between knowledge and love. Our knowledge of our freedom in Christ must be balanced by our position as ambassadors for Christ. When an ambassador goes to represent his country in another country, he must be cognisant of the cultural context of that country, while holding on to the principles of his country that he represents.

In a similar way, we are to be sensitive not to put additional stumbling blocks in front of people beyond the offense of the Gospel. We have to do the hard work of thinking about how God's principles apply to our current context, and not just be blindly legalistic.

P: Father, give us wisdom how to do that. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grace & Works redux

9/11/11 Job 34; 1 Corinthians 4-6
Note: I still have the Coxsackievirus infection, but am well enough to resume these Life Journal posts. For updates on my situation, see this Facebook wall picture's comments.
1 Corinthians 6:12,18-20 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. ... Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.

O: About 2 weeks ago, I tackled this problem from the other side -- see the 29th October entry, Grace & Works.

Today's passage seems to make it clear that "let go and let God" aside, we are still supposed to run from sin.

Back during that earlier discussion on Facebook, someone said,
There's a way not to sin. I almost take it that Paul spent so much time telling us that the way not to sin is NOT through law but by learning your identity and letting Him work in you to will and do, that by the time he's writing to the new churches he assumes we'll remember that the WAY not to sin as he encourages us, is through grace.

I like to put these verses together to answer this question.
[insert any verse encouraging not to sin]
"But now that you know God - or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?" Galatians 4:9

And then I hear Paul saying, "yes I encouraged you not to sin, but what is this? Why are you going about that by law? Don't you remember all I said about the law being the power of sin, and grace teaching us not to? I did - and do - encourage you not to sin, but please remember *the way* not to sin, which I have told you."
However, in context, Galatians 4:9 seems to be talking about trying to earn your salvation by following the Mosaic Law: But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. (Galatians 4:8-10)

So, what do I do about sins I continue to struggle with? "Let go and let God" doesn't seem to be a workable option at all. We are continually exhorted not to sin, and this passage seems to make it clear that we are indeed active participants in not sinning -- to "run" from it.

At the same time, what someone pointed out in the Facebook discussion still seems true:
But if all your "trying" to do these things over the years hasn't brought about the changes that you desire, then perhaps there is a different way to see things, and I think the beginning part of this conversation presented some thoughts on how this looks.
This Facebook discussion is on the "fan" website of Andrew Farley, the Christian author (who happens also to be an old friend of mine from when I was working on my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign) and he said,
I would consider doing the exact opposite of what you've been doing-- totally relax, focus on the love of God for you even in the midst of doing it, reflect on your total forgiveness and the total acceptance you have. And just relax about it completely, and even thank Jesus for the struggle.

Just an idea- do the polar opposite of trying everything to stop. We can just let it totally be God's problem to solve, not ours. And in the meantime, just keep soaking in His love. Maybe sometimes what we believe and how we think in the midst of a struggle can have a greater impact than anything we try to "do" about it.
I think this is related to what Jesus said in John 15:4-8
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
However, Jesus goes on to say in verses 9-17:
As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.
So, abiding is not separable from obedience. But perhaps the key is that there is a relationship in the obedience. But I have always known that, but am still faced with the struggle.

A: It is of utmost importance to maintain and grow my relationship with Christ, to abide in Him. There are many facets of this -- meditating on the Word, worship, service. But it is not a pure "obligation" and "fear of punishment" thing -- it is a living relationship. Meanwhile, when I sin, I still repent and get back up.

P: Father, please lead and guide me as I grow in my relationship with You. In Jesus name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


No posts these few days as my daughter and I have a Coxsackievirus infection. For updates on my situation, see this Facebook wall picture's comments.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Like the angels in heaven

2/11/11 Job 23-24; Mark 11-12

S: Mark 12:25 For when the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage. In this respect they will be like the angels in heaven.

O: There is a resurrection, but marriage as an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman ends at death.

A friend of mine was upset about this fact, because of the thought that she would be separated from her husband in eternity. But I think the opposite is true -- in heaven, we will have full communion with God and with the saints. The intimacy that we can only have with one person here on earth will be extended to all in heaven. So instead of having less relationship in heaven than we have here on earth, I suspect the truth is that we'll actually have more.

Another thought this brings up is the American/European myth that people become angels when they die. This is not what the Bible teaches -- the Bible clearly shows angels as separate creations of God. I suspect this myth may have gotten its origin in this verse -- but it says we will be like the angels in heaven, not that we will be angels in heaven.

A: Heaven will be better than earth! So we can trust God and follow Him while we are here, with our eternal reward to come. In this world we will have tribulation, but take courage! Jesus has overcome the world! (John 16:33)

P: Thank You, Father, for the relationship we have with You -- that you have adopted us as Your children. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


1/11/11 Psalm 121; Mark 9-10

S: Mark 10:6-9 “But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

O: In the Old Testament, God permitted the Jews to divorce, but Jesus explains that this was only as a concession to their hard hearts. Divorce is never ideal.

The traditional Christian wedding vows say, "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." This is a commitment. This kind of commitment is what is often lacking in marriages today, let alone "live together" situations.

Marriage is hard, but so is everything that is worthwhile. No pain, no gain. You have to work on it.

I am a firm believer in continuing to date your spouse after marriage. Too many couples settle in to the daily routine of life and lose that connection.

Another relevant passage is Ephesians 5:33: the husband must love his wife and the wife must respect her husband. While men and women both need love and respect, men need respect more and women need love more. Separate research by Emerson Eggerichs and Shaunti Feldhan affirm this.

A: Husbands and wives must be committed to each other. Never consider divorce an option. As long as you hold it out to be an option, you will be tempted to take the "easy way out". Research shows that couples in trouble who "tough it out" are on average better off later than those who "throw in the towel" and get divorced. In a "study by the Institute for American Values chaired by sociologist Linda Waite of the University of Chicago, researchers asked, “Does divorce make people happy?” They found that those who ended their troubled marriage in divorce weren’t any happier than those who remained married. In fact, two-thirds of those who stayed married reported happy marriages five years later." [reference]

My wife and I have a good marriage, but that is partly due to the fact that we work on it. We have regular date nights. I listen to programmes like Focus on the Family, Family Talk, and Marriage & Family Life and Juliane reads books that help build up our marriage. (As you might guess, I'm more of an auditory learner while she's more of a visual learner.☺) We endeavour not to let the sun go down on our wrath. (Ephesians 4:26)

Yes, we still have our arguments and "not so good days". But we don't let them last. We seek and give forgiveness. We assume the best of each other.

P: Thank You, Father, for my wonderful wife. At the same time, "If you think you are strong, be careful lest you fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12) So I continue to ask for Your guidance and leading in our marriage. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)