NEVER REJOICE AT SPOUSES FAILURES

20 Aug

NEVER REJOICE AT SPOUSES FAILURES

Have you ever received news about a person who had hurt and disappointed you, was now going through difficult times?

Was your attitude, “Well, that is just what they deserve.”

God’s agape (love) does not react like that!

The Apostle Paul exhorted the Corinth church for reacting in a sinful manner.

“…love…does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth in the truth.”

Unrighteousness is the condition of not being right according to God’s standard.   It also means to not being right with man, according to what man knows to be right which is determined by his conscience.

Never rejoice at your spouse’s failures, even if it is a result of their own foolishness.

Remember, we need to be a soft pillow for them to fall on.

Prov.24:17 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles”

Do you disregard what is right in God’s eyes concerning your spouse?

Do you change the boundaries because this is your spouse and you can do what you want?

In Mal.2:14-15, husbands are being exhorted for dealing treacherously with their wives.

Wives, you are not “off the hook.”

I know some wives who are extremely cruel to their spouses.

Many wives feel their husbands deserve punishment because of disrespect that is dished out to them by him.

In God’s kingdom, that is SIN!!

 Agape does not rejoice at another’s downfall.

That is PRIDE and God hates PRIDE!!

CASE AND POINT:  One of my children was always picking on their younger sibling.  Every time that would happen, I was getting madder and madder.  The punishment of my choice became more severe each time.  One evening I had a dream.  In this dream a duck turned and bit the face of this tiny cute “chickie.”  I was very hurt for the tiny chick.  As we walked out the door, I slammed the door on the duck.  I could here the duck quacking loudly.  I opened the door and let the duck loose.  When I woke up I was very upset at what I had done in the dream.   I realized what God was showing me.  The punishment has to fit the crime.  I was hurting someone smaller than me just like my older child was hurting the smaller child.  I felt TERRIBLE!!

We need to rejoice in what is truth and right in God’s sight; not draw our own conclusions as to what our spouse deserves.

Isa.5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Thess.2:11-12 “…they should believe a lie…be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

NEVER say, “Well, they finally got what they deserve!!”

Because you might get what you deserve!!!

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

IS YOUR SPOUSE YOUR HOSTAGE?

19 Aug

IS YOUR SPOUSE YOUR HOSTAGE?

In a marital relationship, keeping score doesn’t reflect agape (love).

In 1Cor.13:5, the Apostle Paul told the Corinth church, “…love…thinketh no evil…”

The Greek for “thinketh” is logidzomai which is a bookkeeping term which implies making an entry in an accounting book.

Bookkeepers keep records in a detailed and logical manner.

A bookkeeper is able to give an exact account and itemized list which becomes a legal document.

CASE AND POINT:  In the 30’s, Al Capone was a Chicago gangster who was involved in many criminal acts.  He was a murderer, and an array of other crimes.  For years the FBI did everything to put him in prison but they could find no proof on him.  He bribed juries and bribed or killed anyone who got in his way.  Al Capones bookkeeper did what the entire FBI could not do.  In the 1931 trial, Al’s bookkeeper was their number one witness.  He was able to present and interpret the accounting books of the mob.  Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years for “tax evasion.”

Do you keep account of what your spouse inflicts just to pay them back?

Love doesn’t keep into account a wrong that is suffered

The Apostle Paul is exhorting the church not to keep records of those who injure you.

Do you keep flipping back to your old record book of wrongs?

Stop keeping score of your spouse’s offenses against you; it is sin!

Maybe you don’t write down on a notepad the wrongs your spouse has done to you but you do keep a mental checklist.

That list of your spouse’s wrongs can be very destructive to your marriage.

If you are keeping those mental records, remember that you are not granting your spouse the same mercy that God has granted to you.

Agape (love) doesn’t deliberately keep records of past mistakes.

Are you holding your spouse hostage because of actions you feel are violations against you?

If you have a hard time releasing your spouse from past offenses, this is a sign that you need agape (love) in your life.

THROW THAT DIARY AWAY!!!

If you want to bring unhappiness into your marriage, keep score of what your spouse does that offends you.

Love “remembers and then forgives.”

Get that “white out” out and cover over those offenses with LOVE!

Don’t let the past shape your future!

Don’t let the past shape your future!

DON’T LET THE PAST SHAPE YOUR FUTURE.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

IS YOUR MARRIAGE CHALLENGING?

18 Aug

IS YOUR MARRIAGE CHALLENGING? 

Marriage can be very challenging during difficult times.

Do you ever show sudden violent emotions at your spouse?

1Cor.13:5 “…Love…is not easily provoked…”

The word “provoke”, means to poke, to prick or stick with a sharp instrument.

Do you cause your spouse to be upset?

A person who provokes, continues to do it till the recipient responses aggressively.

Do you easily fly off the handle?

In 1Cor.13:5, Paul is referring to a sinful anger that is never provoked in someone who has supernatural love.

Are you willing to endure insults from your spouse without reacting?

Prov.14:17 “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.”

CASE AND POINT: I have never deliberately tried to make anyone mad in my life, however, I have made people mad at me at different intervals.  This happened once when we were on an outreach.  There was a table full of literature on “save the whales.”  There was a man and woman taking care of the display.  As I approached the woman, I told her that was a good cause, but that I hope she puts just as much effort into saving the “unborn child.”  She reacted in a way that totally startled me, and the gentleman whom she was working with.  She gave out a scream like a “wild banshee”, she gave a demonic look into my eyes, then leaped I don’t know how many feet into the air, over the table and aimed at my head.  I backed up just in time for her to miss me.  She hit the ground and looked disoriented.  The guy yelled at her and asked her what she was doing.  She was speechless and looked like she couldn’t believe how she behaved.  I knew that my questioning about abortion had provoked the enemy.   The people standing by her ran to get away from her.

Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit by being provoked or by provoking others.

You and I can’t do anything on our own strength.

Jesus’ life in us enables us to manifest his agape (love).

It is easy to be irritated with a spouse that is just plain annoying.

Remember that it is a sin to be provoked and it is not showing love.

Moses did not enter the promise land because he became provoked with the people of Israel (Num.20:2-11).

Don’t miss out on your promise land.

Don’t end up with a marriage full of regrets because you chose to be “easily provoked.”

Let it go and bathe yourself in Gods word and Gods love.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

GET UNDERSTANDING

17 Aug

GET UNDERSTANDING

The book of Proverbs is one of my favorites in the entire Bible because it contains such practical wisdom about everyday life.  One theme that constantly pops up is the tremendous value of becoming a person of understanding.  Take some time to read and consider the teaching of each of the following verses:

Apply your heart to understanding.  Prov.2:2

Understanding will watch over you.  Prov.2:11

Call understanding your nearest kin.  Prov.7:4

A man (or woman) of understanding walks upright.  Prov.15:21

Understanding is a wellspring of life to him (or her) who has it.  Prov.16:22

Understanding is never an end in itself; it is merely a vehicle to wisdom, direction, and to life.  A person of understanding views life and people from God’s own perspective.  Understanding enables you to feel for another person, to identify with his or her struggles and difficulties, and to know what to say and what not to say.

Oh, how we need understanding in our marriages!

In the husband-wife relationship, your level of understanding often determines your level of acceptance.  Having God’s perspective of your spouse and how He designed him to complement you is essential if you are truly going to love him.

At a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage conference a few years ago, I talked to several women who described various problems in their marriages.  One women resented her husband’s schedule.  Another disagreed with her husband regarding how to discipline their children.  A third spoke about how jealous her husband was of the time she spent with her sister.

I gave essentially the same advice to all of these women: Seek to understand why your husband is feeling or acting this way.  Focus on better understand him, not on the negative circumstances and how you are affected.  By his unwanted actions,  is he communicating some unmet need for affirmation, commitment or loyalty?

Even if you don’t totally understand your mate, give him or her your complete acceptance.  It may be necessary to ask God to help you accept your mate.  Many are living in circumstances that are very difficult and they need God’s guidance and power to be able to love their spouses well.

Why is understand so important?  Because without it, your spouse will feel that you are pressuring him or her to become something he or she is not.  With it, your spouse will sense that you love him or her for who he or she is today, and not for what you hope he or she will become tomorrow.

NOTE:  This article is from the book Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER

16 Aug

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER 

Question #1.  How important is verbally complimenting my wife?

Answer #1  One important way to connect emotionally is to verbally complement your wife.  Proverbs offers this pointer:  “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones”  (Psa.16:24).  How often do you praise your wife for what she does?  Consider a few of these compliments to brighten her day:

*  “Dinner was great!  Thank you for always making creative meals, even when you’re tired of cooking.”

*  “I love the way you read books to our kids.  That’s so much better for them than watching TV.”

*   “I’m grateful that you carefully budget our paycheck each month.”

* “I admire the way you handled yourself with that rude salesman–you have such a winsome approach.”

As you study your wife and learn how and when to build security, acceptance, and emotional connection into your relationship through well-chosen, affirming words, you will become an irresistible man.  And let me make one last practical suggestion:  When you come home from work, here are four of the most romantic words ever to say to your wife: “How can I help?”

Why not try it—and mean it–tonight?

NOTE:  This article was from the book Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

FIGHTING FOR YOUR OWN RIGHTS?

15 Aug

FIGHTING FOR YOUR OWN RIGHTS?

Selfishness means an excessive concern for oneself that exceeds self interests.

Does that sound like you as a spouse?

Do you seek your own pleasure over your spouses?

Do you seek to get the most profit out of situations?

Do you find yourself being envious when your spouse receives more honor than you do from friends and family?

A man is called selfish, not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbors – Richard Whately

The Apostle Paul was very upset with the Corinth church because they were selfish and genuine agape love is always unselfish.

1Cor.13:5 “…Charity…does not seek it’s own.”

The church in Corinth were fighting for their own rights, suing each other and not sharing their food.

AGAPE is never selfish!!!

The word “Seek” means an attempt to learn something by careful investigation or searching.

The phrase “Seek its own way” refers to a loveless person whose actions and desires are to have their own way.

In a marriage, this kind of relationship can be very painful.

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s my way or the highway?”

Usually a person with that kind of attitude ends up on the highway alone.

CASE AND POINT:  As I was writing this post I couldn’t help but think of my older brother.  I remember after my father abandoned our family, as children we had to fend for ourselves.  We had to find work for anything we needed or wanted.  My older brother and I are 10 months apart in age.  When he would come home from working odd jobs in the neighborhood, he almost always would hand it over to my mom for our other four younger brothers so they could have food.  My heart always went out to him because our friends had their parents to provide for them and he loved to dress nice.  It may sound funny, but he was a “show off” with nothing to show off.  That made it even more painful for me because I loved him and knew how much he loved wearing nice clothes.  As an adult to sacrifice is one thing, but to find a teenager who continually sacrificed for his siblings is very hard to find.  We love and appreciate you Augie!

Seeking your own way is the number one element that causes discord in your home and marriage.

Selfish spouses use manipulation or scheming to get their own way.

If you manipulate, this is a sin because it is untruthful and dishonest.

Agape love never operates with a “secret agenda.”

God’s agape (love) searches our heart by his Holy Spirit to expose our destructive ego.

Do you harm your spouse in order to help yourself?

This is selfishness!!

Matt.20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Get out of your comfort zone.

Seek to find ways to be an asset to your spouse!

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

DO YOU OFFEND YOUR SPOUSE?

14 Aug

DO YOU OFFEND YOUR SPOUSE?

A trademark is a distinctive characteristic or attribute.

What is your distinct characteristic or attribute?

What are your distinguishing qualities?

There are positive and negative CHARACTERISTICS in everyone.

The Corinthian church was so rude that is became their “trademark.”

The Apostle Paul was so annoyed with them that he addressed it personally to them.

1Cor.13:5 “…Charity (agape love)…doth not behave itself unseemly…”

The word “unseemly” means rude.

This TYPE of person is tackless or thoughtless.

Do you offend your spouse?

Are you courteous and show good manners toward your SPOUSE?

When it comes to your spouse’s feelings do you try to be sensitive?

Do you put yourself FIRST or do you put your spouses interests first?

Love doesn’t keep track of wrongs.

Don’t keep track of your spouse’s SINS.

Is your language to your spouse harsh and brutal?

Did you PASS God’s high-level love test?

If you asked your spouse if you acted like an irritable person would his/her response be, very rarely?

Is your trademark that you FORCE yourself on your spouse and other people?

Love doesn’t elbow it’s way into conversations.

Here is a tragic story by Steven Cole:

A rude man would never open the car door for his wife.  He said, “She doesn’t have two broken arms.”  She died and at the burial the husband was standing by the funeral car where his wife’s casket lay.  The funeral director asked the husband, “Open the door for her, will you?”  As he reached for the car door, he realized he had never opened the door for her in his life.  In her death, it will be the first, last and only time he would do that for her.  He ended up living a life of torment and regret.

I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times I have talked to wives who have so many regrets after their husbands have left home or died.

What is YOUR trademark?

Did you pass God’s love test in 1Corinthians 13.

You can CHANGE your trademark today!

Let the Holy Spirit give you a godly trademark.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

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