WHEN THE SUNSHINE LEAVES YOUR MARRIAGE

29 Jul

WHEN THE SUNSHINE LEAVES YOUR MARRIAGE

Hope is a gift that we have for our lives today that is meant to carry you into the next.

When we become hopeless, our days are no longer SUNNY but we only see gray.

CASE AND POINT:  My husband and I were missionaries in England for about 5 years in the 80’s.  We arrived in December and I remember when the airplane doors opened, I was overwhelmed with the freezing temperatures.  Our daughter kept her coat on all summer and in October she asked me when summer was coming.  When I told her summer had just finished, she started crying.  England was freezing and her hope was a gorgeous sunny summer.

Although my daughter was only 8 years old, hopelessness comes to us no matter how old we are.

Isa. 40:31 “But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”

No matter what you are facing in your marriage, hope is a new kind of strength that helps you to endure what you need to face.

Hope enables us to be patient and to wait CONFIDENTLY for God to act.

Do you let doubt and anxiety paint ugly pictures in your mind about your marriage or your spouse?

God’s word says that he has great PLANS, not only for your marriage but also for you personally.

God has supernatural staying power for your marriage.

Jer.29:11  “’For I know plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

The Christian symbol for hope has been an ANCHOR for about two thousand years.

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Heb.6:19

When disappointments bring FEAR into your life, remember that the Holy Spirit resides in you.

Fear and grief will be destroyed if your hope is grounded in God.

Confess to God if you have been putting your hope in things that CANNOT save you.

CASE AND POINT: This morning on a news station they had someone who wrote a book on how many children to have.  The author mentioned how many couples keep having children thinking it will make their marriage better.  Instead, it eats into their quality time and the result is a marriage breakup.

Put your trust in God and let him teach you how to meet your spouse’s needs.

Clinical studies have shown that many premature deaths have been caused by habitual hopelessness.

The National Institute on Aging did a study on people who were hopeful for the future.  From three to seven years later, the ones who were classified as “hopeless”, 29% died.  The ones classified as “hopeful”, only 11% died.

Hope is a healing balm for both your body and soul.

Supernatural staying power is what hope gives us.

Hope is not based on emotions, it is deeply rooted in a relationship with God.

Are there failure and betrayals in your marriage?

Are there illnesses or hardships in your marriage?

Put your trust and hope in a living God.

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

DO YOU RUN FROM RESENTMENT?

28 Jul

DO YOU RUN FROM RESENTMENT?

A judge is someone who pronounces judgment on someone or something.

One thing that you may have a tendency to do is pass judgment on our SPOUSE.

In Hebrew, the word for “judge” is SHOPHET and God is the judge of the whole world.

Only God is competent to know the motivation of hearts and minds.

In the Old Testament, God often sent His prophets to rebuke Israel’s rulers for being UNJUST to the widows, the fatherless, the poor and the aliens.

Are you like Israel’s rulers and being unjust with your judgment concerning your spouse.

Matt.7:1  “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

You… have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things…do you think you will escape God’s judgment…” (Rom. 2:1-4)

Ask God to keep you from becoming critical and judgmental of your spouse and others.

CONFESS to God if you have the tendency to judge your spouses motivations.

Do you know how it feels to be unjustly accused of an offense?

Rom.2:4 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindnesstolerance and patience…”

This verse is excellent because it shows what God EXPECTS of us: kind, tolerant and patient.

These are actions that we need to use on our spouse the next time we don’t understand them: kindness, tolerance and patience.

Have you ever found yourself wishing that you could special order a PUNISHMENT just for your husband?

Do you wish for a punishment that would duplicate the hurt you have gone through?

Allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life or you will find signs of “bitterness” and a “desire for revenge” creep into your heart.

You need to trust God because judgment belongs to Him, not to you!

The real victory comes when you ESCAPE the implanting of bitterness and resentment in your heart.

You may evaluate the actions of your spouse, but only God should judge the motives in their heart.

It may seem awkward to understand how God can be your shepherd and healer but also your JUDGE.

God wants you free from eternal judgment and that is why he judges you here on earth.

Injustice is everywhere but don’t let it DESTROY your marriage.

Live happily with your spouse today as though there is no tomorrow.

Ask God to give you a MERCIFUL heart towards your spouse no matter what their attitude might be.

God is gracious and compassionate with you.

Isa.30:18 “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;

He rises to show you compassion.

For the Lord is a God of Justice.

Blessed are all who wait for him!”

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

ASSASSINATE FEAR THROUGH FAITH IN A GREAT GOD

27 Jul

ASSASSINATE FEAR THROUGH FAITH IN A GREAT GOD

AS MENTIONED EARLIER in the Book of Joshua, the phrase “fear not” appears 365 times in the Bible.  Like a daily vitamin, God has provided just what we need to conquer our daily dreads.

Faith in Jesus Christ and the promises of His Word will cause fear to flee.  Instead of feeling terrorized, paralyzed, and hypnotized by our fears, faith galvanizes our character with courage.  Why not commit one or more of the following verses to memory?

*  “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psa.34:4).

*  “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You”  (Psa.56:3).

*  “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more for us than with him.  With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (2Chron.32:7,8).

*  “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You” (Isa.26:3).

If you struggle with fear in your marriage and family, take those fears to a God who not only tells you not to fear, but who ask gives you reason not to fear.  He is the One Who can deliver you from your fears and replace them with peace, comfort, and courage.

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

26 Jul

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER 

Question #1.  How can a husband best voice his acceptance of his wife, including in her appearance?

Answer #1.  Every man should take a page from the Song of Solomon.  Solomon knew the importance of elevating his wife’s beauty, her appearance, her dignity, her worth and her value as a woman.  He carefully chose his words to communicate how beautiful she was to him.  Every woman needs to hear such praise and affirmation.  Acceptance begins with an understanding of what your wife is feeling about herself.

Does she feel good about the way she looks? Her hair?  Her clothes and shoes?  Her weight? Her skin tone?  Her body image?  Her teeth?  Her overall attractiveness?

Chances are good that she compares herself to the airbrushed models of perfection she sees every day.  From the covers of the magazines in the checkout line to the advertisements  she watches on television, your wife is constantly made to feel inferior, unworthy, and unacceptable.

Solomon recognized his wife’s need for affirmation and didn’t hesitate to go beyond mer acceptance.  He lavished praise on her.  He said, “I have compared you, my love, to my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots” (Song of Solomon1:9).  Solomon used poetic language to tell his wife that she was magnificent.

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.

HARD TIMES IN YOUR MARRIAGE

25 Jul

HARD TIMES IN YOUR MARRIAGE

What does a fortress have to do with marriage?  Everything!!!

A fortress is a fortified (secured) place, especially a large, permanent military stronghold that often includes a town.

In Psa.91:2 God is called our “fortress” or METSUDA

Psa. 91:2 “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

Where do you go when things go wrong and times get hard in your marriage?  Your mother?  Sister?  Best Friend?  Co-worker?

Are there times when you have taken refuge in anything and everything but God?

What keeps you from EXPERIENCING God as your fortress?

Could it be your pride?

Do you seek shelter somewhere else because you get ANGRY with God for letting you down?

When we wait on God, we are telling him that we will put our trust in Him to do what is right for our lives.

Maybe you FEEL unworthy or guilty of asking God for his help.

The devil is a liar and he will lie to you in order to keep you from going to God.

Do you think that your marital situation is IMPOSSIBLE?

He loves those impossible issues because then you will know it was him who created a miracle.

No one else can get HIS glory!!!

God doesn’t want to just dwell with His people, He wants to dwell within His people.

He is someone that you can RUN to for safety and security.

The City of Refuge in the Old Testament was somewhere that a person could run to if they had accidently killed someone.  This place was within a day’s journey since they were strategically placed at various places in Israel.

God is compared to an eagle or a great bird.  This is where the RIGHTEOUS can find shelter.

In the same way Jesus is our fortress and our strength.

Fortress walls were about 25 feet high and 25 feet thick in the Old Testament.  People would work outside the walls during the day and then at night they could come inside the walls protection.

In Matthew, Jesus expressed how a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings.

“…how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”  Matt.23:37

Your life will be different if you let God shelter you under His wings.

As a couple, learn to take SHELTER behind those fortress walls.

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

LIFE FOR YOUR MARRIAGE

24 Jul

LIFE FOR YOUR MARRIAGE 

  So many times right after couples get married, they call the church office to get marital advice.

The worse case scenario was one bride who called the church after being married just 2 days.

We were shocked to hear her say she was done with her marriage because he was not doing what she wanted.

I am sure that the husband wanted to call also for some divine marital handbook.

Although it is a rarity, we do get couples that call during their “honeymoon stage” and ask for advice to avoid their daily arguments.

What we have found is the devil comes in like a flood and overwhelms them with lies.

This can bring death to a marriage but we have a God who is alive!

2King, 19:16 “… listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living GOD”

 The word “Living God” in Hebrew is EL CHAY.

Thank God for breathing life into you and into your marriage.

He is a God who hears, who speaks and who acts.

CASE AND POINT:  When my daughter was about 2 years old, she had a Minnie mouse doll.  We took her to Disneyland and she went crazy when she saw Minnie mouse walking around.  She hugged her and we spent about an hour just hugging Minnie cause our daughter didn’t want to leave her.  When we got home, she grabbed her Minnie doll and started pulling her legs and arms.  She was very disappointed because her Minnie would not walk around or hug her.  We could not stop laughing cause we had never seen her so frustrated.

Many of us are like that.  We own a Minnie doll.

Is your god a dead god with no life just like Minnie.

Unlike idols made by human hands, the “living God” is our source to a better marriage.

Why do we need a “Living God” to help us?

We need a “Living God” because we need help with the attacks on the outside but also on the inside of us.

The devil lies to us and tells us that we cannot control our emotions, our bad habits, addictions, etc.

As things begin to look hopeless, we fall into depression.

What poison is being fed to you right now which you think is too big for God’s power to deliver you.

Reject all lies and lay out your requests to the “Living God.”

God’s specialty is to drive out the enemies that continue to harass you.

God loves a “good fight” because He always comes out winning!!

The angel of the LORD killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp in one night.

Tell God that you do not want to control your life anymore but you want to be controlled by His living Holy Spirit who is powerful.

There is a well of “living water” that is never in short supply which Jesus talked about.

In John 4:14, Jesus tells us about the all powerful “Living God” who makes His home in us.

Don’t fight your own fights; let God do the fighting.

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

REFUSE TO DIVORCE

23 Jul

REFUSE TO DIVORCE

Most spouses trust that on their wedding day the vows that are taken will be fulfilled until “death”.

If you have experienced infidelity in marriage, you know exactly the pain others have had to fight through.

God knows and experiences this pain on a DAILY bases.

He had a passionate love for Israel who ended up turning to idols of stone and wood.

God is the IDEAL perfect husband who provides and protects us, his people.

He refuses to divorce us no matter how unfaithful we may be.

“In that day,” declares the LORD,

“you will call me ‘my HUSBAND;

you will no longer call me ‘my master’…

I will betroth you to me forever;

I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,

in love and compassion.

I will betroth you in faithfulness,

And you will acknowledge the LORD.”   (Hosea 2:16, 19-20)

In Hebrew the word for husband is ish.

When God told Israel that he was ish, their husband, he was telling them that this was the ideal relationship from a perfect husband.

The big problem that wives make is that they want their husband to be perfect with them.

This is an impossible TASK because that is Gods job to be the perfect husband.

The New Testament states that Jesus is our bridegroom and the church is his bride.

Our purpose is not to try and CHANGE our spouse, our greatest purpose as Jesus’ people, is to become His bride.

You might look at your relationship with your husband to be the strangest match because of differences.

There is no STRANGER match in History than between God and the Israelites.

Israel was weak, sinful, foolish, powerless and unfaithful yet He said , “I will betroth you to me forever.”

Don’t settle for a relationship that will keep God at arms length.

God desires to be intimate with you but unfortunately you are an IDOL worshipper.

YES, YOU!!!

Let’s gauge how susceptible you really are!!

How do you spend your time on these precious resources?

Your time?  Your talents?  Your money?

What portion of your day is spent thinking about God or what portion is spent on your idolatrous attachments?

You can ask God for forgiveness and change today.

Let God be your husband.

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

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