Hope For Imperfect Marriages: Part 2

What Does Scripture Teach About How To Be A Better Husband?

Tim Lundy
Jun 2, 2019    38m
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In the second part of this message on marriage, we will explore what the Bible tells us about a husband's role in marriage. Interestingly, only one verse of 1 Paul 3 is addressed to husbands. However, this one verse provides crucial insight into a husband's role in marriage. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy (00:00):
Good to see you. It's good to start summer officially. With this weekend, we kick off with June and I know we have a household that is ready for all the summer activity that comes with it. But we're excited as a church to be able to celebrate together and to engage together as a church family. You know, we were just singing that song, beautiful things. And I liked that. I loved the message of it, that He takes things that aren't beautiful and He can make something beautiful out of it. In fact, this whole series we've been looking at that. We've been recognizing that there's no perfect family. None of us in and of ourselves are beautiful per se, that each of us need God in a different way. And we struggle in different ways than that. You know, the last couple of weeks, last week and this week, we're focusing specifically within marriage.

Tim Lundy (00:52):
And if we're honest, we're not always beautiful in marriage in the way that we act or even the way that we think. I was reading about one woman who in her marriage, she was getting a portrait painted. And when she sat down with the artist, she said, when you paint the portrait, I want you to do this. I want you to paint me with a huge diamond necklace and diamond rings, big ruby broach. I also would like some emerald bracelets and a Rolex watch. And the artist kind of looked at her and he said, but ma'am, you don't have any of those things on. She said, oh yeah, I don't have those things. It's in case I die before my husband. I know that he'll remarry very quickly and I want the new wife to go crazy looking for the jewelry.

Tim Lundy (01:42):
We're not perfect people, folks. We all struggle in our different motivations. In fact, last week, we looked specifically at Peter's words as he addressed wives. And I only did half the message last week. So I think the wives have been waiting for the second part of it. And it's interesting when you look at this passage because as I said, Peter was a married man. We see this in a couple of passages. People asked me about this this week. Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law. That's one of the miracles that He did. Paul also references the fact that Peter had his wife with him. So Peter writes these words. It's interesting in this passage on marriage, he writes about seven verses in 1 Peter 3. And if you've got your Bibles, you can turn there. Six of the verses are addressed to wives, only one to husbands. Now you might think as a woman, well, he did that because he's a man.

Tim Lundy (02:39):
And yet, as you read through the passage, this one verse really does drill down just like last week. The passage last week pulled no punches, really drilled down on core issues that you have to struggle with in a marriage, core issues you have to focus on. Look at the one verse he writes to husbands. 1 Peter 3:7, he says, likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel since they are heirs with you of the grace of life so that your prayers may not be hindered. Now, again, like I said last week, don't let some of the language throw you off too quickly. As you break it down, look at this very first phrase, live with your wives in an understanding way. Couple of things that jump out of that. The first one that's addressed directly to men, and again, we really want to focus on husbands this week, is the issue of intimacy.

Tim Lundy (03:44):
Intimacy. Are you willing to open your life to her completely? Now, when I use that term intimacy, that's not a code term for sex. I'm talking about actually emotional intimacy, living your life in a way. And what Peter is prescribing in this passage was very counter-cultural for that day, especially in a Roman household. Many in a Roman household, the husband and wife didn't really share life together. Oftentimes, the wives were about 15 to 20 years younger, chosen based on her ability to bear him children. And so the wife kind of controlled the household, lived in a household. The husband would engage with her in a household level, but they weren't necessarily partners in life. Many Roman men would have other sexual partners, would have companionship in different ways. And so when Peter writes this, he's writing very counter culturally to the day. He goes, no, that's never how God designed it. Your wife is not just this part of the household that you might engage with.

Tim Lundy (04:55):
She's your partner in life that you live with her. You do life together. And as we shared last week, there's a key role that as a husband is you're called to do that. It's a giving up of your life so that you can engage her. Now over the years of counseling, you talk to different couples and especially wives and their frustration. One of the greatest things you'll hear, both you read and just talking to couples, of wives just feeling like he's good and he's faithful and he does his job. But he doesn't do life with me. I don't really know what's going on. One woman described her husband in a way that she said, he's like an island, and I just keep circling the island because it's all rocky. There's just no beach. If there was just someplace that I could engage with him. See, what Peter calls us to that doesn't come naturally to us as men.

Tim Lundy (06:00):
And I know it's important to have this verse, especially in light of last week because we talked about the leadership role that you're called to do. But this leadership role is not one of control. It's not one that comes naturally to me. It's not that you can just dominate and set it up the way you want to. In fact, going back to that Genesis 3 passage, Genesis 3:16, when he said to Eve, your desire shall be contrary to your husband. You're going to want to control him. We talked about that last week. At his worst, he's going to want to rule over you. He's going to want to set up the house the way he likes it. And everybody does what he likes. Why? Because he's the man. Now again, God's not prescribing this as the way it should be. He's telling them based on sin now in the relationship, this is what it can drift into. If you don't consciously bring this relationship, and men, if we don't consciously bring our leadership and go, let me place that at the feet of Christ and let me live out what he's calling to do what doesn't come naturally.

Tim Lundy (07:06):
You know, there's two different ways that you can live out. You can rule your household. Some do so through aggression. Very forceful, very aggressive. Aggressive verbally. Can be aggressive physically. We see that one. You know there's another way that you can rule as men? It's called doing it passively. And it doesn't look like the aggression. This guy, you can kind of spot real quick. A passive ruling over the house is where a man really doesn't engage in home. And he never really gives a whole lot to parenting. And he never really gives a lot to the household. He kind of comes and takes what he needs out of it., Otherwise it's just kind of her domain. She wants to be in charge. I'll let her be in charge. Let her make all decisions. Let that just go. And the household and specifically, her relationship with him, she never gets his best. She never gets his best leadership. She never gets his best engagement. She never gets his best partnership of engaging and doing life.

Tim Lundy (08:14):
See, I call again, guys, part of what Scripture is calling us to, especially in this spiritual leadership role, is to lead like Jesus led. Paul says it explicitly. He says, you're supposed to love your wife like Christ loved His church .and oftentimes, if I just want to evaluate my relationship, especially my leadership at home, it's just really healthy to go, how did Jesus lead in the different context? How did Jesus lead in His relationships? How did Jesus lead with His disciples? You got to remember every context Jesus was in, any group He was ever with, He was always the most powerful person. Can you fathom that? That no matter what setting you go in, you're always the most powerful? He always could have had His way. And yet in every context, He always used His power for that was needed in that setting. And sometimes, strength was needed. Sometimes, direct words were needed. Sometimes, what was needed is somebody to get up from the table and get down on their hands and knees and wash everybody's feet.

Tim Lundy (09:29):
In all of this, as men, what Scripture's calling us to is what doesn't come naturally. Aggression may come naturally to you. Passivity may come naturally. Either way, God calls you out of what comes natural to what He's calling us to live out. And one of the core ways that we step out of either the aggressiveness of everybody's going to do what I want or the passivity of I just kind of disappear, one of the core ways that you do this, and Peter says it right out of the gate, is you live with her. You do life with her. You engage with one another in that. And how you do that and how you invite each other in your lives. You know, John Gottman is a marriage expert. He's probably one of the best out there. He's done more studies over the years, quoted by more sources and can almost within, he's got about an 89% success rate. If he studies couples long enough, he can declare whether they're masters or disasters. And masters are ones that he goes, yes, they're living out principles that that's going to be a healthy marriage. Disasters, almost invariably said, they'll be divorced within six years. If nothing changes from what they see now.

Tim Lundy (10:47):
One of the core differences they saw between the different couples is how does the spouse respond to the bids that are put out there? And that's his term, bids. Here's what he means in that. All throughout the day as a couple, you're kind of putting out these bids of engagement. Hey, are you going to engage in my life? So husband and wife are there and he describes it. The husband's an avid bird watcher, and he sees a gold finch in the backyard. He says, oh honey, look at that beautiful bird. And you go, okay, birdwatching. No big deal. And it's not a big deal in and of itself. But in that moment, that's his bid. Are you going to respond to my life? Are you going to respond and engage on something that matters to me?

Tim Lundy (11:41):
And if she looks and says, oh man, that is a beautiful bird or oh, I know that you've been looking for a bird like that. Any engagement there. See, that's a turning toward and responding in it. If she stays on her phone or she never looks or she says, I've had it with the stupid birds, I don't want to hear another one, that's a turning away. Here's the interesting thing. The disaster couples, both husband or wife, they respond about one out of three times. 33% of the time, they'll actually respond to the bid. The master couples respond 90% of the time. Nine out of 10 times when their spouse calls and says, hey man, I got to tell you about my day. Oh, not now, honey, I've got some work to do. That's not responding as opposed to okay, tell me about it.

Tim Lundy (12:37):
Oh, man, you're not going to believe what happened with the kids. Oh, you should have seen. All those things that you might look at and you go, oh, the issue itself was not that big a deal. The cumulative effect is I care enough about your life. I want to do life with you that I'm stopping and I'm responding. It's not rocket science, but it's critical in a busy life with a lot of technology, with a TV that's got umpteen channels and a phone that has our attention all the time. I think what is hurting more couples in this issue of intimacy is just the distraction that we don't actually engage. So who does Peter look at and say, all right, you're going to step up and do it. He looks at men and he calls us to that.

Tim Lundy (13:38):
They long for intimacy, men. A woman's heart longs for, she's better at it, at creating that emotional intimacy. Now in the same way, the emotional intimacy and physical intimacy actually go hand in hand. Just take note on this, especially younger guys. Just listen to this because our brains are so different. For a man, sex is the beginning of a new act. It really doesn't matter what happened before. You can be fighting right up to it, but it's like, okay, yeah, we can start. Let's go. For a woman, sex is the continuation of everything that happened before. That's why if you're not investing in emotional intimacy In life, man, it makes it that much harder to experience a fulfilling physical relationship . So first thing, husbands, how are you doing in this category? Are you engaging her? Are you sharing life together?

Tim Lundy (14:42):
Second thing with that, he says, check your attitude. Are you willing to continue to grow in understanding her? Are you growing in your understanding of her? And he said, don't just live with her. Notice the qualifier he put on there. Live with her in an understanding way. And I love the genius of how Peter wrote this. Inspiration of the Holy Spirit here. Because if you look at this, he does not say, you're ever going to reach this point, you understand her. Notice what he says in it. He says, you have to live with the kind of attitude that I'm constantly seeking to understand her. I'm living in an understanding way. I'm a learner of her a lifetime. And I tell you, you know, this December will be 29 years of marriage. I think I'm just now starting to understand this principle more. Honestly. You know, when you're young and probably the people that least understand this and least know that they don't understand it are young marrieds.

Tim Lundy (15:57):
And I talked about it last week a little bit when, you know, you're so in love at the very beginning, you think you understand each other in a way that no one in the planet has ever understood each other before. I mean we have this great marriage and then this aha moment comes. And the problem for us as guys is she usually has it before we do. When one day she looks up and she kind of has an aha moment, and she says, I don't think he understands as much as I thought he did. In fact, he just might be clueless. And then guys, she starts looking at you a little bit different, and she starts questioning things. And as a guy, you can get defensive pretty quick. At least I know I could. And you could have a choice to get defensive or defend yourself all the time or you can listen to Peter's words here and go, aha, I've got, maybe I don't get it as much as I thought I did. And about the time you start understanding more, you know what happens? Life changes and she changes and she grows.

Tim Lundy (17:05):
When you look at all the different seasons, especially of a woman's life through marriage and all the change and all that's asked of her, when you go from being a single woman to marriage and just engaging, living with a man and the changes that are there. And then if you get blessed with a pregnancy and going through just the physical change of pregnancy and then having a child and the change of being a mom with little bitty kids and physical toll that's placed on them. And then you come out of that season and a mom with elementary kids and all the activity and comparing with other families and all that you're doing. And then a mom with teenagers. And then a mom that's sending kids off. And then a mom that's in an empty nest and a mom's trying to figure out what she does now that she has that empty nest and goes through each of those seasons. There's a part of it, guys, she's trying to understand herself. She's trying to understand what God's got for her.

Tim Lundy (18:01):
And if we don't come in with a teachable attitude, that instead of saying, oh yeah, I understand what's going on. No, scratch that. Instead of saying, well, I don't really care what's going on. You deal with your things. No, that's not an option either. What Peter looks at us and he says, yeah, you've got to constantly approach it with a bit of humility. And in that humility, you're seeking to understand. You're seeking to hear her, to listen. It's interesting because I think this leadership that we talked about last week, so much of the struggle of leadership, people don't like following someone who doesn't understand them or doesn't listen to them, someone who never looks at it from their point of view. It's interesting though, and you'll find this in studies even in relationships, even in companies and that, I don't always even have to like the decision they're making, but if they sought to understand me, if I was heard, it's amazing how that diffuses the tension in it.

Tim Lundy (19:12):
Peter says husbands, understand her. Every day, you live with an attitude of her perspective and what that means. And there's parts of it that we can't understand. In the same way that we need respect, she needs love every day. In the same way that we as men may struggle with feeling adequate and that's why we need respect, at an emotional level, she struggles with feeling like does he really love me? That's why Paul calls us in Ephesians 5, again, each one of you love his wife as himself. Seek ways that she feels loved. Not just hears you love her, but she actually feels it. Seek ways that you're looking at it from her perspective. And again, a lot of this isn't rocket science, but it is sacrifice. I love the way one writer put it. Lisa Cogan. She said, what do women want from men? Every now and again, we want somebody else to pick the restaurant, arrange the play date, plan, the seating, buy the tickets, do the laundry, schedule the appointment, pack the bags, balance a book, send the gift, walk the dog, fill out the forms, break the silence, lift the ban, make the payment, count the calories, hold the phone, explain the joke, beat the odds, hit the ground running, win the race and save the day while we sleep past noon in high thread count sheets and a cashmere blanket.

Tim Lundy (20:44):
Now it's humorous how she puts it. But you know, if you kind of go through the list, none of it is huge. It's accumulation of the little things. The cumulation of responding when she wants your attention, of caring, of listening. And I would say as guys, we know these things. It's just so easy to get consumed with our world and what we're doing. And we just let it slip. That's why Peter says this is not an option. The third thing that he calls to is to value. To value. Are you willing to honor her for who she uniquely is? Do you value her? Does she know that she's valued? If you go back in the passage, it's interesting how he puts that. Look back in 1 Peter 3. Likewise husbands, live with your wife in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman. Not just feeling honored. You actually show her. You speak honor to her. You set her up to win. You're defending her. You defend her honor, especially in the house.

Tim Lundy (22:09):
Men, the wife, mom, you protect her. Sometimes you got to protect her from her own kids. Sometimes you have to step up and you go, no, no, we don't talk that way to her. That's your mom. And you honor her. It's an interesting phrase. So he says, showing honor to the woman. And if I was a woman, I might bristle at this as the weaker vessel. Some of you might look at it and go, weaker? He just talking about the physical strength. Weaker does not mean less valuable. In fact, I think I've used the illustration before. I saw it years ago with Bob Russell. I mean you want to see the difference between stronger and weaker and what's valuable. I got a couple of plates from the Lundy household. Now this is our daily plate. We use this every day because it's plastic. I mean it's great. You know, you got a bunch of kids in the house, it's wonderful. It's stronger. Now this had to go way up in the cabinet.

Tim Lundy (23:11):
This is the China from our wedding. And as you look at this, I mean, if I--no, I really wouldn't do that. I'm kind of scared. I'm scared with the illustration a little bit. Which is weaker? This one. Which is more valuable? Oh, it's not even close. This one. And because it's so valuable, it's like I said. Man, this is in the cabinet. The kids take this out of the dishwasher. We don't think twice. Man, when we use this, you take care of it. You put it away. It means something. Guys, Peter's looking at us and he goes, God graced you with something valuable. Your wife. Honor her. Cherish her. Let her know she's special. There's nobody else on the planet that compares. Because if you don't, and part of the reason he emphasizes the weaker, you're strong enough that you can do real damage. You're strong enough as a man physically to do damage. You're strong enough as a man emotionally that you can do real damage.

Tim Lundy (24:47):
He said, you're called to honor her. And notice what he put--I'm going to put this down by the way. I'm a little nervous there. Yeah, we'll do that right there. Notice what he said in it. Lest your prayers be hindered. You hear what he's saying to us, guys? He says, if you don't live out these principles, you don't live with her, you don't live in an understanding way, you don't honor her, don't think that you're going to go to God and you two are going to have this great relationship. He says it literally, the way you treat her hinders your prayer life. It hinders your relationship with God. You think God thinks she's important? And I'm just going to say this. I mean if you're married to a wife and she's a child of God, guess what? God's not just your Father. He's your Father-in-law too. Go ahead and embrace that. And hear it. I've got two daughters that are married. Man, if my sons-in-law, if they were not treating them well, you think we're going to have this great relationship? You think I'm going to want to hang out with those guys?

Tim Lundy (26:05):
I'm going to tell you, we'll have one conversation, and it's going to be how they're treating her. Guys, the same is true with us and God. Don't think you can just treat her in that way but still come to church and be Mr. Spiritual and Mr., oh, and God and I are so close. And part of the reason I say this is I've seen it play out. And then you find out what's really going on. No matter what you're putting on over here, God sees through it. And He says, I value her. And if don't value her, you and I, we're not going to have a close relationship because she's too important to me. See, husbands and wives and all of this. In fact, as we finish out, I've just got three points for all of us. Whether you're a husband or wife, over the last couple of weeks as you've been taking these things in, I just say three principles that I really would want you to take away.

Tim Lundy (27:09):
The first one is invest in your marriage. It does make a difference. It makes a difference. It literally does. Despite what you hear, and I say this to young people especially. There's so many young people, you've heard all the bad stats. You've seen all the wreckage of it. You're scared to get married. Many of you, they're putting off marriage later and later and later. And part of it, I think it is they've seen the bad parts with it. But you need to hear me. I'm telling you other than coming to Jesus, nothing has impacted or changed or blessed my life more than marriage. It's wonderful. It's hard. It's challenging. It's not always this blissful high. But it's a wonderful gift. And it's worth investing in. Invest in your marriage.

Tim Lundy (28:05):
You know, that stat that gets thrown out. And I heard somebody say this a couple of weeks ago. Somebody said, well, you know, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. And it's the exact same in the church as it is in the world. That is not true. Neither one of those statements are true. First of all, the divorce rate is not 50%. Shaunti Feldhahn went back, and she researched it based on the Census Bureau. That was thrown out in the 80s when it looked like it was projecting that way. It never climbed to that rate. When you take total marriage with that, it's not a 50% rate. That's people that have been remarried again. First marriages, the divorce rate's about 25%. Not great with that. But do you know that rate actually goes down dramatically if you attend church and you're engaged in your church? Goes down by about 25% to 40% in that for couples who actually pursue Christ, couples who actually are engaged in their church, actually engaged together. It makes a difference. Invest in it.

Tim Lundy (29:11):
Second thing I would say is focus on the part of your marriage you can actually change. You. If you've been here the last couple of weeks, if last week, husband, you were taking copious notes because there was a lot of things she needed to hear from it. If this week as a wife, you are like suddenly very alert and you're going, yeah, he's going to hear that one. He's going to do that. Here's all I would tell you. The only thing you can change in your marriage is you. The only part of it that you can actually see real commitment and growth to is you. Now you can pray for him, pray for her. You can encourage her. You can come together and go get counseling. I'm not saying there's not things you can't do together. But at a fundamental level, the longer all you focus on is the other person, it keeps you from discovering what you need to know.

Tim Lundy (30:18):
I had a lady once and she came in. she said, I need your help. I need your help to find a good husband. I said, I'm not a matchmaker. She said, well, just in counseling. And I met with her, and I was like, you seem very determined. And she said, yeah, I can't have another bad husband. And so I was like, okay, another bad husband? She said, yeah, I've just come out of my third divorce. And she described all of them, and they were all disasters. I mean just bad. And so she said, I mean you see now. So what is it I need to be looking for because I need to get married. And I was like, whoa, time out. If there's anybody I know that doesn't need to get married right now, it's you. She said, oh no, no. I want to be married. I'm much better married. I said how would you know? And then I stopped and I said, okay, let's look back on your three marriages. What's the only thing that we know consistently is true about all three marriages? What's the only one consistent in all three of them? She said, they're bad men? I said, maybe. I don't know that for a fact but your determination. I said, here's the only thing I know this true of all three marriages. You were in them.

Tim Lundy (31:35):
And so a couple of things are probably true here. One, you're really lousy at picking husbands. We know that to be true. You might also be really lousy to be married to. And she didn't like hearing that. I tell these stories because it cuts down on my marriage counseling dramatically. It really does. People are like I'm not going to see him. I just, I said, you may be lousy to be married to. I mean three divorces and what you're describing with that. So why would you not use this season right now and let's not even worry at all finding a good husband? But just focus on you. What is it that God wants to do in you? Now I've had this conversation. It's really hard to have this conversation, especially when you're counseling and a spouse has been done wrong, where their spouse did cheat on them and they did something in that. And at some point, you grieve with them and you walk with them. But here's where I always end up with them. Hey, as much as it would be so easy to focus the rest of your life on that bad spouse and what they did, you've got this unique window right now to really look and go, okay, God, where do I need to grow?

Tim Lundy (32:55):
Even as the wronged person, what are you trying to show me about me? Embrace where you are. Embrace what God's speaking to you. And focus on the one area that you know, whether they respond right or not, here's what I can promise you. You never go wrong focusing on what God's trying to teach you. Because worst case scenario, they may end up even becoming everything that you feared in it, but you become somebody you never dreamed you could be through what God is doing in you and through you. So the final point, and I'd say this to all of us, whether you're married, whether you're single, whether you've been divorced in that, final point is embrace that God is using this season to make you look more like Him. Embrace that God's using your marriage to make you look more like Him. Embrace that God's using whether it's a season do you want to be married, He's using this in your life to make you look more like Him.

Tim Lundy (34:04):
And the reality is even in the best of marriages, there's disappointing times. I'm not saying you're disappointed in the person. There's just this natural disappointment that comes when you realize, wait a second, marriage is harder than I thought it was going to be and it's not fulfilling me in the way that everybody said it would. It's hard and there's times and. In those seasons, they're wonderful times to step back and go, wait a second, am I asking marriage and I'm asking this spouse to be something they were never meant to be? There's a part of my heart and life that truly can only be filled by God. As I embrace even in this season, all right, God, you reveal yourself to me. As you grow me, as you force me to wrestle with this, I need you to do in me what only you can do. So that as a result, I can bring to this marriage what only you're going to be able to do through me.

Tim Lundy (35:19):
There are seasons that come in different times in our marriages. And really in a healthy marriage, those wrestling times will come several times over the course of the marriage. Here's what you will find. When both in the marriage still make the commitment of that and grow together, God uses it to grow not only individually, but together, something that really is beautiful. When one or the other will make that commitment, even if the marriage doesn't grow to where you want it to be, you know what you'll find? God grows to you in a way that you never fathomed. He does not waste any of it. We have a God who redeems every season of our life. I would encourage you in your marriage, look at what God's doing in you. What is He teaching you? As you pray, as you engage, as you talk together? Oh gosh, I almost stepped on this china plate. That would be a bad way to end that illustration in a sermon. Let me tell you. As you pray together, that's God's way of saying, all right, you've said enough, Tim, let's pray. So let's pray on that.

Tim Lundy (36:39):
Father, we do thank you. We thank you for how you redeem all of it. You take the good and you make it better. You take men and women who by our own design, we bring a level of selfishness into this. We bring a level of expectation. And Lord through it, you draw us together in a way that we could not have designed. How you take two people and you make them one. Lord, I thank you that even in the tough stuff, even in the disappointing parts, you use it to draw us to you and you don't waste any of it. Lord, I pray for people in the room who right now they're struggling in their marriage and Satan wants to just discourage and he wants to sow seeds of discouragement so that they can bloom into full blown just disgust.

Tim Lundy (37:38):
Lord, I pray, snatch those seeds. Pray that you turn their hearts again to each other. Lord, I pray for those who carry a lot of guilt from their marriage or from a divorce. Feel like it's defined who they are in their life. It's just not true. I pray now they would know you redeem. We are who we are in you because of you. Lord, we pray as a church. We would encourage. We pray this would be a place of grace. We prayed that we could show the world this is what God designed in marriage, not perfect people. But through Him and in Christ, there's a beauty that only He can bring. And we pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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