LIFE’S TOUGH SPOTS IN MARRIAGE

15 Sep

LIFE’S TOUGH SPOTS IN MARRIAGE

When you were a kid do you remember how tempting it was to touch anything that had a sign on it that read: Don’t touch!  Wet paint!

I was raised with five brothers and I always remember that my mom would go to do the wash and start asking them where they had been to get paint all over their clothes.

Just like paint is very tempting for kids, as adults, we each have areas in our life that is tempting.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  Matt.6:13

We all need God in our life to lead us out of life’s tough spots in our marriage.

Praying this prayer is confessing that God is your leader including in your marriage.

This is where you and I tell God that we have felt the hurt of destruction from sin in our lives.

We are telling God that we don’t want to go there again in our marriage so we need him to lead us in the right direction.

Life is a test of choices.

When God designed us in his image, he made us higher than the angels.

We have the freedom as moral creatures to make our own choices and decisions but the angels do not.

Are you asking God not to let you get off track in your marriage from where God is leading you?

It is like a wife who navigates her husband while he is driving so he doesn’t make a wrong turn.

CASE AND POINT:  One of the funniest things that happened to my husband and I when we were missionaries in England, happened in the city of Birmingham.  We were there to scout the land to plant a new church there.  I had the map and was telling my husband which way to turn.  In England they have round-abouts instead of stop signs.  You get on and go in circles till you get to the street you want to turn in.  I kept asking him what street we were coming up to as my eyes were on the map.  He would tell me the name of the street as we passed it.  I would tell him to turn off on the next street as we passed it.  He would tell me we passed it.  As we kept going in circles, our voices started getting louder at each other.  Pretty soon we were shouting at each other going in circles.   By the time we got off the round-about, we were ready for a divorce.  After that every time we wanted to have a good laugh we would say, “Hey lets go to Birmingham, and have a nice time.”

This is exactly what the devil does in our marriage!

He has us blaming each other and chasing our tails.

Many times we blame God for not helping us with our marriage but we have choices to make and continue to make bad choices.

God will never tempt us.   NEVER!!

James 1:13-14  “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”

Awwww!  We are drawn away by our own lust!!

Satan tempts us and sets traps for us.

The evil one knows which buttons to push to get you to react.

He entices us with the world: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Let Jesus be your guide.

Get off the round about!

It’s your choice!

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

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR SPOUSE

14 Sep

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR SPOUSE

The wise preacher declared, “Two are better than one because…For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But, woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Eccle.4:9,10)

Consider a few areas where Barbara and I have learned to practice accountability in our own marriage:

1.  Spiritual health.  In order to remain on track, every marriage must involve daily communication with and dependence on God.  Most of us are prone to laziness or distraction in the daily maintenance of our spiritual needs.  A loving spouse who has permission to encourage us in our devotion to Christ can help by asking open-ended questions such as, “What has God been teaching you lately?”

2.  Emotional and sexual fidelity.  This is a potentially sensitive but critical area in any Christian marriage.  The way in which you handle the issues of temptation and moral struggles will largely chart the course for your relationship.  Neither you nor your spouse can risk opening the door to inappropriate intimacy with someone of the opposite sex.  Be open and honest about temptations that you are struggling with.

3.  Schedules.  We try to help each other make good decisions by monitoring each other’s workload and schedules.  Making good decisions means saying yes to some good things and no to others.  This is one of the biggest struggles that Barbara and I have faced in our marriage and family.  Schedules are ultimately a statement of our true priorities.

4.  Money and values.  Nothing in our marriage created the need for accountability more than the checkbook!  Early on it became a fork in the road as to what each of us felt was most important.  I recall some early accountability tests.  Would I listen to her?  Would I listen to her advice?  Would she trust me with a final decision?  These were all natural opportunities to practice godly, caring accountability in each others life.

5.  Parenting practice.  When Barbara and I had our first child, we began the lifelong process of being  accountable to each other for our performance as parents.  Early on we interacted and  sharpened each other on our parenting styles.  We all tend to draw on the parenting techniques modeled for us by our own parents.  When Barbara and I  noticed a good or bad tendency, we would either encourage or help the other improve.

6.  No secrets.  Secret’s are one of Satan’s primary tools to divide couples.  Accountability between husband and wife is a superb way to keep them from messing with your marriage.

One of the greatest challenges to any marriage is the access we give one another to our lives on a daily basis.  Accountability is an honest, practical submission of your life to your spouse that says, “I have no secrets that I will withhold from you.”

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.

CHOOSE A ONENESS MARRIAGE

13 Sep

CHOOSE A ONENESS MARRIAGE

What is a oneness marriage?  A Oneness Marriage is a husband and wife who are working to craft intimacy, trust, and understanding with one another.  It’s a couple that is chiseling out a common direction, common purpose, and common plan for their lives.

Oneness Marriage demands a lifetime process of relying on God and forging an enduring relationship according to His design.  It’s more than a mere mingling of two humans; it’s a tender merger of body, soul, and spirit.

Every  Oneness Marriage feature three foundational components.  King Solomon spoke of the mortar of the marriage merger in Proverbs 24:3,4, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

1.  A Oneness Marriage needs wisdom.  Wisdom is skill in everyday living.  It means that we respond to circumstances according to God’s design.  A wise home builder recognizes God as the architect and builder of marriages.  As we ask God for wisdom and search the Scriptures, He supplies the skills to build our homes.  King David warns, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).  For many the architect and builder of their marriage is self, so it’s no wonder so many marriages fail.

2.  A Oneness Marriage needs understanding.  Understanding means responding to life’s circumstances with insight, a perspective that looks at life through God’s eyes.  Understanding your mate through God’s perspective results in acceptance of your differences and  beginning to learn how God uses your mate to complement you.  Understanding produces compassion for your partner.  It will give you insight to lead wisely or to follow prudently.

3.  A Oneness Marriage needs knowledge.  We live in an information age.  Our culture practically worships information, but information without application is an empty and powerless deity.

A godly kind of knowledge fills homes with “all precious and pleasant riches.”  It’s more than mere information; it’s a knowledge that results in deep convictions and habitual application.  It’s a true teachable spirit that applies God’s blueprints amidst the raw realities of life.

What do many of us need in order to apply to our marriage what we’ve learned?  Accountability.  We need someone who will break through the fences we build and our crowded loneliness and ask us if we are applying in our marriages what we’re learning.

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.

YOUR HEART FOLLOWS YOUR INVESTMENT

12 Sep

                                                  YOUR HEART FOLLOWS YOUR INVESTMENT

NOTE:  The following article comes from the book “The Love Dare – Day by Day written by Kendrick

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt.6:21

Your heart follows your investment.

Whatever you pour your time, money, and energy into will draw your heart.

This was certainly true before you were married.

You wrote letters, bought gifts, and spent time together as a couple…and your heart followed.

But if you stopped investing as much in the relationship and started pouring yourself into other things, your heart followed those.

If you are not in love with your spouse today it may be because you stopped investing in your spouse yesterday.

Ask yourself what has your heart right now.

What’s become important to you?

You can tell by looking at where your time, money, thoughts and energy have been spent recently.

Are you still putting these things into your mate?

How about the things of God?

As you draw closer to God, the Holy Spirit will act as your spiritual GPS.

When you veer off course, His still, small voice will redirect you—if you’ll listen—back toward your real treasure.

Prayer

“Lord, remind us to invest in our marriage whether our emotions are there or not.   Help us to love each other regardless of our feelings, but we ask you to renew our love for one another as we obey you.”

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

PEACE STARTS WITH ME!

11 Sep

PEACE STARTS WITH ME!

In the Lords Prayer one of the issues that was dealt with is the way we deal with other people and that includes our spouse.

Matt.6:14 “  If we forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

This verse is telling us that there is a condition that has been established

That condition is that your spouse must be forgiven for all offensives and it has to start with YOU!

You cannot make the excuse that you are waiting for your spouse to ask for forgiveness or an apology.

God is waiting for you to FORWARD MARCH!

You must FORGIVE first!

 I saw a cartoon of a man at a card shop.  He was buying a card for his wife.  He asked the salesperson,  “Do you have a card that stops short of saying, ‘I’m sorry’ yet vaguely hints of some wrongdoing?”

This is not showing forgiveness!

Forgiveness can’t change the past but it does broaden the future.

  Is forgiveness a choice or is it just a state of your emotions?

*  Forgiveness is a choice made by your will.

*  God commands that your obedience to him must produce forgiveness   to others.

If you are blaming your spouse because you cannot forgive them, remember that it is a choice of your will.

By dwelling on past hurts you take away quality to have  a satisfying marital life.

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you!”

CASE AND POINT:  Kris, one of our pastor’s wives on staff, joins me as we both go and speak into Los Angeles County Jail for the women together.  The presence of God is so powerful in the jail for these women.  Even though it is the most fulfilling areas of ministry that we have, it is still heartbreaking to walk out and see that these precious women we just ministered to are still prisoners.

I can’t imagine how God must feel when he has ministered to us about our marriages and given us clear direction of what he expects of us as spouses then we turn around, and won’t forgive them.

God forgives us and sets us free and because we won’t forgive, we put ourselves back to live in our own prison.

WHAT A TRAGEDY!!!

What a blow to your marital life.

Let peace reign in your life not bitterness.

FORWARD MARCH – spouses!!!!

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

TWO MELTED HEARTS CAN BECOME ONE

10 Sep

            

TWO MELTED HEARTS CAN BECOME ONE

NOTE:  The following article is from the book “The Love Dare –  Day by Day” by Kendrick

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines…yet I will triumph in the LORD.”  HAB.3:17-18

Does your love  have a place it will not go beyond?

Even though you willingly promised to love your spouse forever in the soft glow of your wedding ceremony, were you just repeating the script?

Were you like many who, though promising for better or for worse, really only meant “for better”?

You may look from the outside in at other people’s marriages and suppose that many, if not most, have a much easier time than you do.

You may determine that your spouse has brought challenges into your marriage you can no longer tolerate–things you didn’t know or foresee, or perhaps overlooked.

Do not  give up on having true love for your spouse.

Even if much of the feeling and desire has been replaced by resentment and distrust, God is able to grow in you a love that will last.

Unconditional love will give the ability to rise up from the ashes of life’s worst, and be thankful for how the heat of battle has melted your hearts into one.

This Weeks Dare

Do something out of the ordinary for your spouse—

something that proves (to you and to them) that your love

is based on your choice and nothing else.

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

YOUR SPOUSE IS AN EXPERT

9 Sep

                                    YOUR SPOUSE IS AN EXPERT

NOTE:  The following article is from the book The Love Dare Day by Day by Kendrick

“How can we thank God for you in return for all the joy we experience because of you before our God?”  1Thess.3:9

Whether from raw, natural ability or from hard work and training, your spouse is an expert at something, probably several things.

They may be good at building projects, or at handling people, or at calming a tense situation with their peaceful spirit.

They may have a knack for organizing work teams, handling finances,  or graciously hosting a dinner party.

And because you may have known this about them for a long time, it’s been easy letting them fill these roles in your marriage without truly noticing  how good they are at them.

People also tend to have one or more subjects they are very knowledgeable about.

But love never ceases to be amazed at what your spouse can do.

It doesn’t save its admiration only for those at work, at church, or outside the home who can accomplish noteworthy things.

This person you married is exceptional in ways you may have overlooked.

Don’t just utilize them for what they are able to do.

VALUE IT.

HONOR IT.

APPRECIATE IT.

Admire them for it.

This Weeks Dare

Prepare a special dinner at home, just for the two of you.

Focus this time on getting to know your spouse better, perhaps in areas you’ve rarely talked about.

Determine to make it an enjoyable evening for you and your mate.

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

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