COMMITMENT AS THE YEARS GO BY

21 Dec

COMMITMENT AS THE YEARS GO BY

I have never hesitated to tell Barbara I love her.  But I remember one time when I felt especially surprised by her reply.

We had been married a number of years, and perhaps on that day she wanted actions to back up my words.  “Well, I know you love me.”  she said.  “But you’re supposed to.  You’re my husband.”

When she saw how her words puzzled me, she then explained that many things test commitment in marriage—and perhaps nothing tests it more than the passage of years.  “When you first marry,” Barbara concluded, “you declare your commitment and trust to a person you hardly know.”

Isn’t that amazing?  You think you know all about your life partner—but in reality, you probably see just the tip of the iceberg.

No matter what struggles you work through, no matter how many heated discussions you have until 2 A.M., each of you should know, without a shadow of doubt, no escape clause exists in your marriage vows.  In the end, your commitment needs to rest on just one thing: Your faith in the God who brought you together.  That bedrock should be like a granite foundation, rock solid and immovable.

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.

WHERE DO YOU TURN IN TIMES OF TROUBLE?

20 Dec

WHERE DO YOU TURN IN TIMES OF TROUBLE?

AS SECULARISM AND HUMANISM continue to gain traction in our culture, we are increasingly bombarded with messages of positive thinking, of our ability to “do” and “accomplish,” and with our ability to solve all our problems.  Just think positively, the message goes,  and have faith in yourself!

While we have written about the importance of building good self-esteem, we understand that good self-esteem, doesn’t mean putting  our faith in our own abilities rather than God.  Jeremiah warned Israel against just that kind of self-sufficiency, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trust in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord'”  (Jer.17:5).  Contrast that warning with the promise two verses later which reads, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.”

This is an amazing warning/promise combination.  It tells us that during the troubled times in our marriages and in our homes–and they will come!–we had better make sure we’re not relying on our own talents and abilities.  Instead, we need to consciously put our trust and our confidence completely in the God who created marriages and families in the first place.

NOTE:  This article was taken 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.

GETTING GOD TO ANSWER MARITAL PRAYERS (Part 2)

19 Dec

devil-falling

GETTING GOD TO ANSWER MARITAL PRAYERS (Part 2)

The first reason for God not answering our marital prayers is that we ask for SELFISH MOTIVES.

James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

Spiritual Pride

The second reason for God not answering our marital prayers is because of SPIRITUAL PRIDE.

Ego exaltation is one of the most dangerous and deadliest sins.

2Cor.12:7 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

Ouch!  Ouch!  A thorn in my flesh?!?

Can you imagine your dad coming at you with a thorn bush when you MISBEHAVED?

The blessing of the thorn in the flesh is God promises you divine grace and divine strength.

When I discipline my kids I tell them that the punishment will be enough for them to feel the PINCH.

That is what our heavenly father does to us by letting us feel the pinch.

PRIDE was Lucifer’s downfall and he wants it to be your downfall also.

Before the fall, according to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 he was:

  • Guardian of the throne “…The anointed cherub that covereth…”
  • Full of wisdom.
  • Perfect in beauty.
  • Being next to God himself.
  • His voice was an orchestra.

Satan was full of covetousness and greed by the supreme gifts God gave him.

Do you ever DISPLAY conceit and self-worship in your marriage?

You may think no, but selfishness is the first actions we have a tendency to display when we are angry with our spouse.

We BELITTLE their opinions and exalt our own ambitions.

There is a price to pay when we don’t put a cap on our emotional reactions.

Eze. 28:18 “You defiled your holiness with gainful lust; so I brought forth fire from your own actions and let it burn you to ashes.”

Wow!!  Do you still think it is clever to demonstrate spiritual pride towards your spouse?

Paul cautioned Timothy that a bishop should not be a novice or a new convert.  1Tim.3:6 “…in case he becomes conceited and incurs the doom passed on the devil.”

If you are saved and your spouse isn’t, be careful not to act more spiritual.

Paul was so concerned about this that he said we will receive the same PUNISHMENT as the devil.

Paul warns of the danger of being conceited in 2Cor.12:7 because of the “…abundance of the revelations…” given to him.

Spiritual pride is a subtle temptation that comes with even the smallest amount of success.

When God WITHHELD Paul’s answer to prayer so his pride won’t get exalted, it shows why God does not always answer more prayers for us.

Let’s keep spiritual pride out of our marriage.

HUMBLE yourself and partner with the Holy Spirit and partner with your spouse.

NOTE:  Tomorrow there will be Part 3 to this series.

GETTING GOD TO ANSWER MARITAL PRAYERS (Part 1)

18 Dec

bling bling 

GETTING GOD TO ANSWER MARITAL PRAYERS (Part 1)

If God hears all of our prayers concerning our marriage, then why are they not all answered?

1John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hearth us; and if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

We need to blame ourselves if our prayers seem unanswered.

We must BLAME ourselves because of our motives, our pride, and our prayerlessness.

Matt.7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for every one that asketh receiveth; and  he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

John 14:13-14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do…if ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

Selfish Motives

The first reason for God not answering prayers is that we ask for selfish reasons.

Our human acts are many times based on selfish MOTIVES.

James acknowledges that the problem of unanswered prayer is us.

James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

CASE AND POINT:  Many years ago we heard an evangelist preach on faith.  He said, “Don’t bother the father for a 44 Ford.”  In other words, have faith for something great!  If you are going to pray for a car, pray for a brand new good running car.  I remember thinking it was the funniest sermon I had ever heard.  But I still remember his words.

We are to pray and ask God for a good Godly marriage and believe it will happen.

Many times you may look at your spouse and think that change will NEVER happen.

When I first got saved, there were things that I wanted changed in my husband.

God told me I won’t see any change in my husband till I changed my ATTITUDES.

My prayers were asking “a miss”.

I was praying selfish prayers with selfish motives.

I wanted everything MY WAY to make my life easier.

That was not Gods will for my life.

God wanted me to be CHRISTLIKE, not Nancylike.

That meant that in order for me to become Christlike, I had to go to God everyday to help me through my issues.

I needed to partner with the Holy Spirit in order for me to DIE to self.

Life became very hard and Christianity was an uphill battle for me.

It was uphill because I didn’t want to die, my flesh wanted to RULE.

I continued with my selfish prayers till I made the decision to do it Gods way.

If you line your marital prayers up to Gods word, you will get a “yes” from God every time.

“The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield.  Jas.3:17 NKJV

Get on the same page with God.

He desires to ANSWER all the prayers he is listening to from you.

He is waiting for your prayers to line up with His word.

NOTE:  Tomorrow the post will continue on with GETTING GOD TO  ANSWER MARITAL PRAYERS.

KEEPING MISERY OUT OF MARRIAGE (Part 6)

17 Dec

gifts2

KEEPING MISERY OUT OF MARRIAGE (Part 6) 

Every human being has a need to be loved.

Your spouse has a NEED in his life to be loved!

Prov.19:22 “What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

How do we learn to love?

1Pet.2:18-21 “Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward.  For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently?  But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were ye called:  because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.”

In these verses, we are being told to be good and show love to everyone, even the undeserving.

Do you FEEL that your spouse is undeserving of your love?

God does not feel the way you do; in fact, God commands us as a child of God to love in spite of circumstances.

In your marriage you have to look at every day as a PACKAGE.

You should open up your heart every morning as soon as you wake up, like a package and let love in.

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, let the name of the Lord be praised.”  Psa.113:3

Do you try to fill the day with experiences based on love?

Love doesn’t waste a day!!!

At night you should close up all the loving experiences of the day and put them away in the PACKAGE.

This will help you to forgive any offenses that have been done to you by your spouse during the day.

When a marriage or home is threatened, the basic cause is SPIRITUAL.

The remedy is spiritual, not psychological.

CASE AND POINT:  Today my husband and I were at the Los Angeles train station.  I worked in downtown Los Angeles for the City of Los Angeles for 13 years.  All those streets have precious memories for me with friends and family since I also always went downtown with my grandmother as a little girl.  As we looked at the tall Occidental Building where my husband worked for a very short time when he was 18, we started to reminisce.  Then I turned to him and asked, “Where did 43 years go to?”  Well that was the wrong thing to say because it spoiled our fun!!  Reality set in and we both had to accept the fact that 43 years did pass in a flash.

YOUR time on earth will pass in a flash also as opportunities to show love to your spouse will pass you by.

I thank God that He intervened in my life with salvation and gave me an opportunity to love people (including my spouse) with His love.

I have had 36 years of boxing up beautiful EXPERIENCES because of Christ being Lord of my life.

As a Christian I have had all those years to show and share Gods love with my spouse.

What about YOU?

Is it hard for you to treat your spouse with the love of God?

Maybe you don’t THINK he deserves it!!

Well, neither do you or I deserve Gods love!

But that is what makes it SWEETER!!

It can be even sweeter to God to see us loving an undeserving spouse.

Don’t wander in CIRCLES like the Israelites in the desert.

You can fill the “need to be loved” for your spouse!

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

KEEPING MISERY OUT OF MARRIAGE (Part 5)

16 Dec

                 girl getting trophy    

KEEPING MISERY OUT OF MARRIAGE (Part 5) 

One of the main needs in every human beings life is to feel important.

The definition of “importance” means, of great significance or VALUE.

Your spouse needs to feel important!

Earl Wilson said, “If you think nobody cares if you are alive, try missing a couple of car payments.”

The choices you have are that you can either make your spouse feel important or someone else will.

Every human being is important, and God wants them to FEEL important.

Eph.2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…”

In His word He says that we are made in the image of God.

It doesn’t get anymore important than that.

Satan lied to Eve and the result was that satan hit her with the second spirit which was inferiority.

INFERIORITY means the feeling of being lowered in position or stature, or value.

In chapter one and two of Genesis God said man was made in his image.

Satan was saying to Eve, “Not only is God lying to you, you are not who you think you are.  You are less value than you think you are.”

The spirit of inferiority told Eve she was inferior.

Don’t you LISTEN when the enemy tells you that you are inferior.

Worse yet, don’t let the enemy tell you that your spouse is inferior.

The moment Eve felt insecure and inferior, she grabbed for something to give her a sense of security and VALUE.

When Eve ate the forbidden fruit, she lost the security (had to leave the garden), and lost value (no longer the image of God).

When your spouse feels insecure and inferior, there will be the same temptation to GRAB for something that will give them the sense of security and value.

Adam and Eve’s child was after their image.

The glory of God was their covering but they lost that when they grabbed a substitute.

The devil will always make your spouse feel insecure and inferior so they will grab for a SUBSTITUTE.

Here are some things you can do to show importance.

First:  Be polite.

Second: Don’t use criticism or condemn.

Third: Show appreciation.

Fourth: Listen to them.

Fifth: Don’t argue

Sixth: Accept them for who they are.

There is nothing that makes you feel more important than to let others know how important THEY are.

Tell your spouse today how important they are and reap the rewards!!

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

KEEPING MISERY OUT OF MARRIAGE (Part 4)

15 Dec

                             suit cases KEEPING MISERY OUT OF MARRIAGE (Part 4) 

One of the important needs in a human beings life is the need for SECURITY.

Security in a marriage is to have freedom from anxiety and fear.

We feel secure in our spouse when we are GUARANTEED that an obligation will be met.

Insecurity is the opposite because it is being subject to danger or injury.

The devils workplace is to make us feel INSECURE in our spouse.

Let’s see what he did in Genesis 3:1-4.  “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the fields…Then the serpent said to the woman. “You will not surely die.” 

Eve’s whole security was based on God’s word.

In Gen.3:4 when the devil said that God was lying to her, a demon of insecurity made her feel insecure.

That is the enemy’s specialty to take God’s word and make it out to be a lie.

God’s love in our life provides SAFETY.

In marriage we unload each other’s baggage into each other’s life.

CASE AND POINT:  When you travel, everyone has to go through security.  Obviously, it is because of terrorism.  The tighter the airlines are on security, the better I like it.  Years ago I use to see travel bags completely wrapped up in some sort of cling wrap.  This was to keep airline employees from stealing things out of their bags.  It looked so funny to see suitcases with five layers of cling wrap.  By wrapping their own suitcases, it gave these passengers the security they needed.

Do you consider making your spouse feel secure?

Prov.31:11 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no NEED of spoil.”

The word “spoil” means in Hebrew PREY.

Prey is a person who is the aim of an attack (especially a victim of ridicule or exploitation) by some hostile person or influence.

The bible says “the devil comes to kill steal and destroy.”

In other words, the devil is willing and waiting for your spouse to listen to his lies that you will never bring security to their life.

Does your spouse feel SAFE with you?

What can you do to help your spouse feel the security that he needs?

Is there something you can do to build his CONFIDENCE in you?

This is your opportunity to wrap all your spouse’s private information in the protective embrace of your love.

PROMISE to help your spouse with sensitivity and gentleness.

Offer support and listen with love.

Some of your spouse’s SECRETS are part of his history and makeup of who he is.

Your spouse will know that he is in a place of safety.

Do you want your spouse to draw back into himself and be LOST to you?

Make it your life’s work to making him feel secure and loved.

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

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