Poem: Sex, Marriage, & Fairytales

Poem by: Jeffrey Bethke

I realized Disney movies and chick flicks, they’ve put us in a weird position,
They’ve distorted our reality, we forget they are fiction,
Because in marriage we either get better or bitter, either joy or remorses,
Whatever were doing ain’t working, just look at the rate of divorces
So, how’s your marriage? I mean c’mon let’s just be honest,
Marriage seems to some more like a prison, than the paradise they were promised
We thought marriage was supposed to fulfill us and make us happy, not lonely
But the truth is His first priority is making you holy.

You say “no one told me,” and it feels so odd
That dating felt like a vacation, while marriage feels like a job,
Yet the secret of joy, if we just pull back our facade,
Is realizing most problems arise when we elevate our spouse to God
Without knowing it we’ve fulfilled romans 1:25
By our actions exchanged the truth about God for a lie,
We’ve exchanged God for lesser, created things,
It’s like a husband trading his wife for a 2d image on a screen,
Hoping it’ll set us free, just to find on the fumes were choking,
Cuz if your marriage rests on anything but Jesus, it’s resting on something broken.
Yet guys continually sacrifice their marriage on the altar of sex and lust,
I mean if our dollars were honest they’d say in “pleasure we trust”
So men grow up, put down the controller,
How about you lead her with grace, instead of trying to control her

Now I’ve never been married but I’m a product of one that was non-existent,
So don’t tell me I don’t understand, don’t tell me I just don’t get it
So for the singles, become friends first, before you become lovers,
Pursue Christ as your foundation, before you get under the covers,
Because believe me a strong friendship before marriage, will make a good marriage after,
friendship isn’t just sex, its deep conversation and laughter.
I mean some spouses barely even like each other, and the marriage seems like a dead end.
You might share a checkbook and a bed, but are you actually friends?
I mean if marriage isn’t a commitment, then what’s the point of the vows we say?
Til death do us apart, really means until the feelings goes away.
Like, “ill stay with him but only until it gets tough and my love shifts”,
But I say imagine if a parent took that perspective with her kids,
Like can’t you see it, the minute the kid spills food on the floor,
The mom saying “son I’m leaving, I’m just not in love with you anymore.”
No its just like marriage, to last you need the strength from above,
Because it’s not the love that sustains the promise, it’s the promise that sustains the

I mean think about it, out of anyone who has had the right to leave?
God had every reason in the world, yet he still came for you and me,
And on the cross he paid it all he took our shame and set us free,
When he could’ve called down legions of angels, he chose to stay on that tree.
From the cross he looks you in the eye, and says I’m taking this for my bride,
When you trust in me, you no longer have to hide!
Because of me it is finished, you have been made new!
Spotless, blameless there’s no sin in you!

His death was a proposal, he wanted you no matter the cost,
Where some guys propose on a knee, Jesus proposed on a cross.
So whether husband or wife, read Ephesians 5,
Wife honor your husband, husbands give up your life,
Just like Jesus gave himself, for his bride the church,
So men lead by serving, by putting her first
Lastly both spouses die to self, put your flesh on a life sentence,
Because you don’t fall out of love as much as you fall out of repentance.

Related: Poem: Sexual Healing &

Jefferson Bethke’s Facebook

Poem: Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus

Poem by: Jeffrey Bethke

What if I told you, Jesus came to abolish religion?
What if I told you getting you to vote republican, really wasn’t his mission?
Because republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian,
And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.

If religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?
Why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?
Tells single moms God doesn’t love them if they’ve ever been divorced
Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores

Religion preaches grace, but another thing they practice,
Tend to ridicule Gods people, they did it to John the Baptist,
Cant fix their problems, so they try to mask it,
Not realizing that’s just like sprayin perfume on a casket
Because the problem with religion is that it never gets to the core,
It’s just behavior modification, like a long list of chores.
Let’s dress up the outside, make things look nice and neat,
Its funny that’s what they do to mummies, while the corpse rots underneath,

Now I ain’t judging I’m just saying be careful of putting on a fake look,
Because there’s a problem if people only know that you’re a Christian by that little section on your facebook
In every other aspect of life you know that logics unworthy
Its like saying you play for the lakers just because you bought a jersey
But see I played this game too; no one seemed to be on to me,
I was acting like church kid, while addicted to pornography.
I’d go to church on Sunday, but on saturday getting faded,
Acting as if I was simply created to have sex and get wasted.
Spend my whole life putting on this façade of neatness,
But now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness.

If grace is water, then the church should be an ocean,
Cuz its not a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken
I no longer have to hide my failures I don’t have to hide my sin,
Because my salvation doesn’t depend on me, it depends on him.
because when I was Gods enemy and certainly not a fan,
God looked down on me and said, “I want that man!”
Which is so different from religious people, and why Jesus called em fools
Don’t you see hes so much better than just following some rules?
Now let me clarify, I love the church, I love the bible, and I believe in sin
But my question, is if Jesus were here today, would your church let Him in?
Remember He was called a drunkard and a glutton by “religious men”
The Son of God not supported self-righteousness, not now, not then.

Now back to the topic, one thing I think is vital to mention,
How Jesus and religion are on opposite spectrums,
One is the work of God one is a man made invention,
One is the cure and one is the infection.
Because Religion says do, Jesus says done.
Religion says slave, Jesus says son,
Religion puts you in shackles but Jesus sets you free.
Religion makes you blind, but Jesus lets you see.
This is what makes religion and Jesus two different clans,

Religion is man searching for God, but Christianity is God searching for man.
Which is why salvation is freely mine, forgiveness is my own,
Not based on my efforts, but Christ’s obedience alone.
Because he took the crown of thorns, and blood that dripped down his face
He took what we all deserved, that’s why we call it grace.
While being murdered he yelled “father forgive them, they know not what they do”,
Because when he was dangling on that cross, he was thinking of you
He paid for all your sin, and then buried it in the tomb,
Which is why im kneeling at the cross now saying come on there’s room
So know I hate religion, in fact I literally resent it,
Because when Jesus cried It is finished, I believe He meant it.

Related: Poem: Sexual Healing &

Jefferson Bethke’s Facebook


Does Jesus Hate Religion? Kinda, Sorta, Not Really: Kevin DeYoung goes in to point theological greatness and weakness of this poem.

Jesus Was Religious: Jared Wilson sees lots of right things in the poem but also few wrong ones.

In Defense of the Video That No One Seems To Like: Stephen Altrogge defends the poem

Jesus of the Scars

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.
The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

Edward Shillito (1872-1948)

Silent Voices, Tearless Cries

They call me a baby when I am wanted and just baby in Latin when I am not wanted,
They say I am part of the one carrying me, she has a choice to do with me as she pleases,

If she pleases, she could stop my heart that began to beat 24th day I was formed,
If she pleases, she could stop my liver from making my own blood cells 8th week I came.

Do they not know, I can breathe already on my 12th week?
Do they not know, my own blood flows in my veins in a month?

Hear me praising God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Hear me leaping with joy, for He who formed me for His glory.

Why do I deserve to be punished for the wickedness of my father?
Why am I to be sacrificed for the greediness of your selfishness?

Hear my silent voice.
Hear my tearless cry.

See, my inward parts are formed; knitted together by Him who foreknew me.
See, my eternal life in His hands; safely kept by the One who forever loves me.

From my  reflection on the issue of abortion

Poem: Sexual Healing

Poem by: Jeffrey Bethke

So lets look as this subject, and ill tell you why im disgusted,
So tonight looks like sex will be the topic of discussion.
Now sex isn’t evil, for marriage is why God made it,
But I know you like come on Jeff, that’s too outdated.
This is 2011 bro, we do it for recreation,
Hey this is even college, so we do it while you’re wasted.
lets look into that logic lets pop off the seal,
And lets question something we thought is already a done deal,
For example take a rape victim and once its revealed
When her bruises go away is she totally healed?
I mean the damage is lasting, you can see it in her eyes,
If it was just abused recreation, why did it ruin her life?
I mean if sex is just for fun then why on us does it take such a toll,
Maybe its because You don’t have sex with a body, you have sex with a soul. Continue reading

Love her for the Love Sake

In one of her loveliest sonnets, never written to be published, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote to her husband Robert Browning:

If thou must love me, let it be for naught,

Elizabeth Barrett Browning(1806-1861)

Except for love’s sake only. Do not say,

“I love her for her smile—her looks—her way

Of speaking gently—for a trick of thought

That falls in well with me, and certes brought

A sense of pleasant ease on such a day.”

For these things, in themselves, Beloved, may

Be changed, or change for thee—and love, so wrought,

May be unwrought so. Neither love me for

Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry—

A creature might forget to weep, who bore

Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!

But love me for love’s sake, that evermore

Thou may’st love on, through love’s eternity.

From: The Difficult Doctrine of The Love of God, D. A. Carson p. 64 Crossway Books(2000)