When you hold your marriage up to a mirror what do you see? What should you see?
The image I pray to see is that of the image of Christ and his relationship to the church. He set the example for us to follow. Unselfish sacrificial love and devotion is the height of the bar.
The book of Ephesians in chapter 5 puts it in God's words. Some of the words your about to read have fueled our culture to become quite upset. Sometimes the truth is hard to take, but it's still the truth.
Here we go. Eph 5: 22-24 "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
What proceeds verse 22 in 21 is this; "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
Ok, husbands pay attention. God has a command for us. Eph 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
Even though you may see your husband moving forward on his journey towards deliverance, sometimes it is difficult to see him as God sees him. I can relate all too well. We tend to see through eyes of the past. We see through distorted lenses. We see through the pain, the tears, the memories.
We ask in Faith! A message from our board.
Hebrews 11:1 says this, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Last Thursday night, the Transparent Ministries board was arriving for our monthly meeting. As the last board member walked in, he said, “Brent there is a guy outside saying he is supposed to be at this meeting.” We looked at each other perplexed. We were all there. Who was this guy? Brent went out to talk to him as the rest of us started the meeting.
But this meeting quickly took a turn for the worst.
With Brent still out of the room, we looked at the financials from the past few months. Product sales are down. Support from donors and friends of the ministry are down.
What were we looking at? Well, let’s be TRANSPARENT. If we didn’t leave this room with a serious plan, the ministry would definitely have to start functioning differently within a month.
Just as we started talking about ways to cut expenses, Brent walked back into the room and sat down. We were focused on important business matters and didn’t stop to ask what the guy outside wanted. We were able to make a few plans and started cutting our already bare bone expenses. Then it hit us like a ton of bricks. This is not our ministry. It is His.
Now I could start quoting statistics to you about the destruction pornography has caused in this world, but you’ve heard that from us since the beginning. I could even share with you my own story of struggling with pornography as a kid, as a young man in college, and the continual temptation it is today but to what end? Reality is we have an issue among us not only in the world, but right in the middle of the Church. It is no secret that pornography is the most secretive and destructive sin we face today. It is not only tearing wounds in the heart of the individual it is tearing apart the very institution God created—the family and the larger body of Christ. The hardest thing about it is that very few people or churches want to address it and talk about it, or give credibility to the havoc it is causing in people and families today. I promise you it will not go away by ignoring it.
Transparent Ministries is addressing it and we want to help others address it in their own lives. We want to help churches address it in their congregations. But we are not satisfied with just addressing it. We want to see freedom take the place of chains. We want to see wounds healed. We want to see marriages and families restored, and the body of Christ take back what the world has made so ugly, distasteful, and shameful. But, this is just not our heart. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent out his Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” This message is the very heart of God, and he sent his son so that we all may leave in freedom.
What’s the bottom line? We need your help. In order for Transparent Ministries to continue helping people and the Church get free from the addiction of pornography, we need $3,500 a month in sales and support just to make ends meet. This is a bare bones budget meaning it covers few expenses and pays Brent a small salary to be the face of TM, meet with those struggling, speak at churches and schools, and attend conferences to teach and encourage, and mail products as they are ordered. Currently, we are bringing in roughly $1,000 to $1,300 a month. Meaning we need to bring in between $26,000 and $30,000 to see Transparent Ministries continue to operate in 2013.
So how can you help? We are not looking for donors, we are looking for partners. We know it takes more than money. We are looking for partners to not only give sacrificially to the area of freedom of the sin and chains of pornography, but we are asking for your prayers. Prayer is powerful and effective and must be the foundation of this ministry. It is the key to seeing addictions broken. So would you first take time to pray and seek the Lord on his heart for this area of addiction and pain, then ask Him what you are to do? If the Lord lays upon your heart to give, there are many ways to do that. You can send your check to:
PO Box 7093
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
Or you can give online at www.freedombeginshere.org/donate/
By the way, the guy that showed up at our meeting. He was a man ravished in the sin and addiction of pornography and was desperate to get out of it. He had heard from a friend that we were meeting and he came to get help. Brent ministered to him and set up a meeting to start him on his path to freedom. There are many others like this guy wanting and needing help. As Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” We now hope and have faith in the Lord that He will provide and help us help others.Thank you for considering praying for and giving to Transparent Ministries.
In His Service,