SATURDAY QUESTION AND ANSWER

24 Jul

SATURDAY QUESTION AND ANSWER

Question #1.  My husband and I are almost through raising our kids.  We both have worked hard in full time ministry which is continuing to grow.  My husband is an excellent and affectionate man.  However, a few years ago, I noticed that he began to change.  He seemed distant, disinterested, and seemed overwhelmed. Because we are together night and day working in ministry, I know that there was not a person who was being a distraction in his life.  I feel like he doesn’t love me like he did, although I know that he is faithful and committed to his family and to his God.  What can I do?

Answer #1.  Thank you for your question.  There isn’t a lot of information nor is there enough time to explore this in a way that would be fair to you and your husband.  What I will do is address it in general, and bring to light some issues that I hope will help you.

Jesus went through attacks during his ministry, so will every one and every minister that spreads the gospel.  They are not exempt from what every other man goes through in life.   The difference is that they turn to God and not women, money, sex, drugs, alcohol, power and etc.

Just like women go through menopause, PMS, and various women’s issues that change her body chemistry and anxiety, men go through their different stages in life.  Several years ago, I saw changes in my husband and I can share with you what God showed me in hopes that it will help other women.

1.  Your husband could be overwhelmed.  The size of our ministry is very sizeable.  Although we have other ministers on staff, as senior pastor, my husband carries the whole load on his shoulders.   Like Moses, it becomes heavy at some point.  Moses could have refused help and let his arms fail him which would have brought defeat to the nation of Israel.

2.  There could be failures he has no control over.  There are an array of mishaps in ministry that can make your husband feel like a failure.  Although your husband knows these issues are out of his control, he still has to answer to people and to God.  The bigger your church, the more of a build up this could be.

3.  As a wife, you could be aggravating by complaining.  As comical as this may sound it is true.  Every wife has good intentions to be a “helpmeet”.  The problem is that our husbands end up not having a resting place.  They have problems at work with people, with their children, then with their wife. We need to learn to “shut up.”  God told me not to tell my husband the church problems.  I was devastated!!!  Who was I going to tell then?  He said to me to let the other men on staff take the problems to him.  I had to be a “soft pillow” for him to rest his mind.  I was to also solve as many problems quietly without adding to his list.  It seemed so unfair at first.  God gave me the strength and encouragement that I needed to be the wife he wanted me to be.

4.  His family takes a tole on him.  He is expected to be provider and protector to his family.  This is an impossible task to do all of the time.  This is Gods job and we are to go to God for these things.  However, we have high expectations that we put on our husbands.  On top of that, we keep our husbands aware of everything that is going wrong with the children and expect him to solve it our way.  Instead of making everything an issue, we need to put out the fires and pray.

5.  His needs are not being met.  Instead of looking at your needs, you need to look at his needs.  Trust me, men have so many needs.  Starting with SEX, RESPECT, ADMIRATION, ROMANCE, a LISTENING EAR, a SMILE, APPRECIATION and I could go on.  I won’t because I want you to ask God what your husband needs.

6.  Do the things he likes to do.

This list is really endless.  I can testify that it works.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, God let me feel the heavy load that my husband carries.  If your husband is not expressing the love he used to and you are fearful, partner with the Holy Spirit and start working at your marriage.  It WORKS!!

MAIN INGREDIENT FOR PROSPEROUS MARRIAGE

23 Jul

MAIN INGREDIENT FOR PROSPEROUS MARRIAGE

Every one wants a prosperous marriage.

If this is true, then why are so many marriages TROUBLED?

We can find the answer in proverbs.

Prov.13:21 ”Prosperity is the reward of the righteous.”

This verse is saying that the REWARD of being a righteous spouse is having a prosperous marriage.

Righteousness is the character or quality of being right or just.

Righteousness is fulfilling our responsibility of being in a right relationship or right standing with God.

In Hebrew word TSEDEQ is translated “righteousness”.

We are not to just do what God says to do but we are to become like him.

Jesus stressed that righteousness is about our thoughts, motives, and desires which is a HEART MATTER.

Jesus stressed that righteousness is not about outward behavior.

CASE AND POINT:  As I was growing up, I prided myself on doing what was right.  I knew there were two different roads that I could go down, but I always tried to pick the right road.  I didn’t enjoy behaving all the time, but I made it a point not to lie and fulfill my responsibilities.  But the day I gave my life to God, he showed me how my desires were for the things of the world and even though I tried to do what was right, I missed the mark.  He continued to deal with my heart and if I wanted heaven I needed His righteousness.  My words to him were, “If there is a heaven, I want to be there.”  That day he gave me the assurance that I have a place in eternity with him.

Do you want to be rescued from a troubled marriage?

The righteous are delivered from trouble, and the wicked get into it instead.”  (Prov.11:8 NRSV)

Do you let God help you with what you say to your spouse when you are ANGRY?

“The lips of the righteous nourish many.”  (Prov.10:21)

Do you want to be a blessing to your spouse?

Blessings crown the head of the righteousness.  (Prov.10:6)

Have you asked God to make changes in your marital relationship and you are still waiting on God.

“What the wicked dread will come upon them, but the desire of the righteous will be granted. (Prov.10:24 NRSV)

How do you act when things don’t turn out your way and you feel violated?

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.”  (Prov.10:25)

Do you carry terrible thoughts about your spouse and seem to have negative attitudes?

“The memory of the righteous will be a blessing. (Prov.10:7)

Why so some marriages suffer?

We may not always UNDERSTAND all the reasons why our marriage is suffering.

Our job is to be consistent with His righteousness.

Matt.5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger ad thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

NOTE:  Tomorrow will have more insights into marriage.

SUPERNATURAL STAYING POWER FOR MARRIAGES

22 Jul

SUPERNATURAL STAYING POWER FOR MARRIAGES

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:  Tomorrows post contains new insights for your marriage.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE

21 Jul

HERE COMES THE JUDGE

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:  Tomorrows post will be filled with more encouraging marital nuggets.

MARRIAGE FORTRESS FOREVER

20 Jul

MARRIAGE FORTRESS FOREVER

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:  Everyday there is a new post with helpful information to encourage your marriage.

DIVINE SUPPLIES FOR COUPLES

19 Jul

DIVINE SUPPLIES FOR COUPLES

  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:  Tomorrow there will be encouraging information to make a great marriage.

A REAL STORYBOOK FINISH

18 Jul

A REAL STORYBOOK FINISH

Do you want a marriage that both of you find fulfilling, satisfying, and sometimes thrilling?  Then do in your marriage what the apostle Paul advises in Philippians 2:3,4, “Esteem one another better than yourself, looking out not only for your own interests, but for the interests of your spouse.”  Imagine if Abraham had done this with Sarah, rather than forcing her to do something deceitful in an effort to save his own hide!

While looking out for the interests of another doesn’t come naturally, couples who commit to self-sacrifice discover a whole new side to romance.  Is this hard work?  Absolutely!  Is it worth the effort?  You bet!  After years of hard work, I have no question about the payoff:  Our love for each other and the romance we share are richer today than at anytime in our marriage.

Remember, marriage is not just about a grand beginning.  It’s about committing to a strong finish.  It’s weathering the storms of disappointment and the turbulence of life, never losing the ability to sing with Solomon, “How fair is your love…How much better than wine is your love” (Song 4:10).  That kind of storybook finish can be yours.

ROMANCE  Q&A

17 Jul

ROMANCE  Q&A

Question #1.  Does God care how we relate to one another sexually?

Answer #1.  The Song of Songs, though full of spiritual meaning and application, provides an excellent description of God’s intention for a husband and wife’s sexual relationship.  According to Solomon, the man has the freedom to enjoy his wife’s body, and the woman has the freedom to enjoy his.  This sensual book offers several key ideas on how to be a great lover.

First, Solomon readily praised his beloved.  He told her how beautiful she was with vivid and picturesque language.  I often ask the husbands at our Weekend to Remember marriage conferences, “When was the last time you wrote your wife a love letter that praised her and told her how beautiful she is?”

Second, Solomon was romantic.  His poetic words describe his beloved’s entire body as a source of delight.  Few husbands have an easy time being romantically creative, but the rest of us need help in this area.

Third, Solomon’s focus was physical.  A wife may be tempted to resent her husband’s sex drive and physical focus, but she should understand that a man is stimulated by sight much more than is a woman.  God designed him this way deliberately!

NOTE:  This article is from “Family Life Marriage Bible”  by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

GOD’S ADULTEROUS SPOUSE

16 Jul

GOD’S ADULTEROUS SPOUSE

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, ISH.

NOTE:  Tomorrows post will have marital insights for your marriage.

ROYAL MANSION FOR EVERY SPOUSE

15 Jul

ROYAL MANSION FOR EVERY SPOUSE

We often forget that if you are a believer in Christ, you have been promised a mansion.

In the United States, a mansion is a dwelling that is over 8,ooo square feet.

Can you imagine cleaning that place everyday?

Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”

I can’t even imagine what these mansions will look like.

CASE AND POINT: I have never been in a mansion but when my husband and I were missionaries in England, we had to visit a Christian school right outside of London.  As we pulled into the gates, and viewed this beautiful edifice, I felt like I was in an exotic, romantic, fairy tale land.  It looked like a huge mansion on this enormous lot of lush green grass.  It seemed like we were driving up in a carriage.  It used to be a hospital/rest home for the elderly.

If you and I could just have a glimpse of that mansion, I don’t have any doubt that we would obey all His commandments.

God doesn’t want us to obey Him because we have a mansion, He desires that we do it because we love Him and want to be with Him in ETERNITY.

My kids are always nice when I am giving or lending them money.  But during times of discipline, sometimes an attitude “rears its ugly head.”

Sound familiar???   This is the same reaction that God has to deal with when he tries to instruct us.

The Israelites believed that YAHWEH was MELEK.

MELEK  means “King” and the Israelites knew that he was king, not just over them, but over every nation on the earth.

Jesus is the “King of kings”, who demonstrated perfect obedience here on earth for us.

When you pray to YAHWEH MELEK, you are praying to the God who watches over the whole earth.

Psa.47:7  “God is King of all the earth.”

What kind of a spouse would you be if you really believed that in a few short years you would inherit a mansion?

How would you act as a spouse if you really believed that you would in a short time inherit everything your heart desires?

Do you desire to be in this PLACE where there is no more crying, no more worrying, no more loneliness and no more being misunderstood?

How are you acting since you know that you will be going in just a few short years, to a place where you will always love and be loved?

This is a place where every need of yours will be fulfilled.

Why isn’t this KNOWLEDGE making you a better spouse and putting everything in the right perspective?

Are you still trying to stockpile what this world has to offer?

Ask God to give you a growing desire for your new world to come so you can have the right Christian VALUES here and now towards your marriage.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”  Matt. 25:34

Let ‘s act like royalty.

Let’s live like royals who are headed to the home of the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

NOTE:  Tomorrow is another new marriage post to give you marital insight.