GREAT HUMILITY, GREAT MARRIAGE

27 Jun

GREAT HUMILITY, GREAT MARRIAGE

The word “humility” means a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance or rank.

Humility is the most essential quality of the Christian as it allows you to respond as you are being led by Christ.

Rom.12:3 “…do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

This is telling us to live our lives, in our marriage, pleasing to God and not to desire the high praises of men.

Compromise is what marriage is all about so be careful with issues related to being opinionated.

Do you find yourself having to do things your way and not listening to your spouse?

If you want to be esteemed in God’s eyes, in Isaiah there are three things God revealed that are first necessary.

 “This is the one I esteem:

He who is humble and

Contrite in spirit, and

Trembles at my word.” Isa.66:2

When we humbly accept the love of God, our pride is challenged.

Humility will give you a deeper realization of your unworthiness.

Do you accept your God-given role of being subordinate to your husband?  Keep in mind that God blesses us for submitting to this God-given role.

How do you respond when your spouse rebukes you?  With anger?

You need to carefully consider the areas that have your spouse upset.

How do you act when your spouse disagrees with your opinion?  Do you slander your spouse?

Do you try to understand the view point of others while realizing that God made everyone to think differently.

Phil.2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

 You need to have a humbling view about yourself, because you know your own secret faults and you know the true you.

Don’t selfishly give yourself glory thinking that you are wiser, more talented or more gifted than your spouse.

You need to rejoice in the blessings of your spouse.

God often allows us to go through humiliating circumstances in our life.

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2Cor.12:7

Paul could not avoid or remove his fleshly thorns because they were necessary for his spiritual well-being to develop and maintain humility.

Let’s take time to look at what our source of humiliation is?

It is healthy for us to have sources of humiliation.

Humiliating the proud is part of Jesus’ ministry.

They tried to kill Jesus because he humiliated them.

They needed to be humiliated if they were ever to be saved.

What is your source of humiliation?  Spouse?  Children?  Siblings?  In-laws?  Work?  Co-workers?  Friends?  Finances?  Marital Status?

The “Great Physician” may be trying to save your marriage by giving you medicine of humiliation.

Take your medicine!

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post.  Daily there is a new post.

CONFRONTATION IN MARRIAGE

26 Jun

CONFRONTATION IN MARRIAGE

 The meaning of “confrontation” is the hostile disagreement face-to-face resulting from a clash of ideas or opinions.

2Cor.7:5-6 NKJV “Our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side.  Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.  Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”

Sometimes  we feel so battered by outside circumstances that we have no control over.

Many of us feel so beaten down by life itself at different intervals.

This happens in marriage many times when we feel like we can’t seem to communicate with understanding to our spouse.

It is so easy to fall into depression when we feel that there is no way out.

If we fall into the self-preservation mode, we have now cut ourselves off from the people who can help us.

Let’s look at some of the pitfall of confrontation so that we do not make the mistakes other marriages have made.

Statistics show that 96% of the time, you can predict the outcome of a conversation based on the first 3 minutes of the 15 minute interaction.

If you begin a conversation with harsh speech, you are doomed for failure.

The following negative interaction principles are taken from John M. Gottman and Nan Silvers article on “How I predict divorce.”

Negative interactions are lethal to a marriage relationship.

Here is a list of four negative interactions:

  1. Criticism

A complaint only addresses the specific action at which your spouse failed.

A criticism is more global—it adds on some negative words about your mate’s character or personality.

  1. 2.     Contempt

Sarcasm and cynicism are types of contempt.

This is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust.

  1. 3.     Defensiveness

When conversations become so negative, critical and attacking, you will end up defending yourself.

  1. 4.     Stonewalling

In marriages where criticism and contempt lead to defensiveness, which leads to more contempt and defensiveness, eventually one partner tunes out.  This behavior is far more common among men.

Any of the above actions, will cause confrontation.

Job 30:27 “My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.”

 In this verse we see how Job is so upset that he is boiling on the inside and can find no rest.

This is exactly what happens to you and I when we enter a conversation harshly.

Here are three goals that we must use before we start a conversation that is very controversial.

First, use HUMILITY.  1Pet.5:5 “…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”   This is a must in a controversial conversation.

 Second, COMPROMISE.

Don’t go into the conversation with the attitude that you will get everything your way.  Make it a WIN-WIN situation.  That is where you will be able to have some things your way but be flexible enough to allow his concerns to be taken care of also.

Third, use DIALOGUE.  Jas.1:19 “Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

Your spouse talks, while you listen.

The secret to good communication is listening.

It is a tool.

Listening and talking at the same time guarantees that you are going to miss important facts and details.

Win the “first place” position for listening.

** To make sure you have listened to his point, ask, “Is this what you are trying to tell me?”

To be a good “helpmate” you need to know his opinion and position.

Communication is a prerequisite to success.

God has good plans for your marriage.

He knows what you need and he lovingly provides it for you.

Do not withdraw from God in the middle of distress and confrontation.

His helping hands want to help you in the time of need.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post.  Daily there is a new post.

7 WAYS TO HELP YOUR HUSBAND WITH HIS ANGER

25 Jun

7 WAYS TO HELP YOUR HUSBAND WITH HIS ANGER

This is from the book Boiling Point by Stephen Arterburn and Dave Stoop.

More than anything, your husband needs to know that you’re on his side, that you’re not against him.  You need to communicate, more than you probably think necessary, that you accept him and love him, even though you may not be satisfied with some of his behaviors or responses.  Separate the actions from the man; affirm the man.  His search for peace may begin sooner if he knows that you’re satisfied with him and willing to walk through the steps of healing.

1.  Be His Friend, Not His Mother

Trudy and Phil have been married nine years, and they both work full-time.  Phil’s high stress job in the intensely competitive computer industry requires a lot of  overtime.  Trudy spends every evening just trying to help Phil feel better about himself and his job.  She fixes him a nice dinner, draws him a hot bath, cleans up the kitchen while he relaxes, then listens to him complain about work until bedtime.  She irons his shirt, picks out a matching tie and socks, and makes his breakfast.  If he doesn’t leave for work on time, she calls his secretary to tell her he’ll be late.

Trudy is trailing after him like a mother.  He doesn’t need a mother; he needs a friend who’ll treat him, and insist on being treated by him, as an equal.  He needs a friend who’ll gladly share life’s responsibilities with him but not live his life for him, someone who’ll encourage him in his problem solving but not solve all of his problems for him.  If you find yourself playing a mothering role to the man in your life, he will never fully deal with the causes and crisis of his anger.  The scared little boy will whine and fuss until you make it all better.  You can transition from mother to friend in his life by lovingly placing in his hands those responsibilities and problems that he should deal with.

2.  Appreciate Him, Don’t Nag Him.

It’s estimated that upwards of 90 percent of men today are unhappy and angry in their jobs to some degree.  Most of them feel fortunate to be working, but they often languish in their dead-end jobs, feeling less that fully masculine because they’re not in control of their own lives.

It’s likely that a significant portion of your man’s anger springs from a sense of lack of control in his work.  Nagging him to buck for promotions or beg for raises may only intensify his anger.  Bugging him for a bigger house or newer car will only deepen his frustration that he has no more control at home than he has on the job.  But if you become a wellspring of appreciation for the work that he does and the living he provides, you will lift some of the pressure from his life.  Find many way to say, “I appreciate that you work hard at your job and that you hang in there even when it’s frustrating and tough.  I couldn’t love you more if you owned the whole company.”

3.  Affirm Him, Don’t Criticize Him.

Some men aren’t only upset because they must work for someone else but because of the kind of work they must do.  James is a college-trained engineer who can’t find a job in his chosen field.  So he resorted to the management-training program for a fast-food chain.  The job helps pay the bills, but James is embarrassed about being the crew chief in an assembly-line taco stand.  He hasn’t stopped looking for an engineering position, but he’s afraid that he’s trapped in what he considers a menial, degrading job.

LaVonne, James’s wife, is a breath of fresh air.  She continues to affirm him as a talented and useful employee.  “You’re an excellent engineer, Honey,” she tells him.  “The world just hasn’t discovered you yet.  You’re too good and well trained to be overlooked for long.  In the meantime, the taco place is lucky to have you.  You’re such a competent, conscientious manager.”

If your man is struggling with being locked into a job that’s distasteful to him, you can ease his struggle by affirming him for who he is and what he does.  Compliment him for the character qualities he exercises (or needs to exercise) in his job: patience, perseverance, determination, creativity, etc.  In everything you say and do, let him know that he’s the best taco maker (or pump jockey, accountant, construction worker, sanitation engineer, etc.) in the world.  Appreciate him for the effort.

4.  Give Him Space, Don’t Crowd Him.

Most of us don’t like to be pushed, especially men.  It’s an affront to their struggling masculinity and only serves to exacerbate their anger.  They feel intimidated because their wives can’t accept them the way they are.  They feel inferior in comparison to the ideal man their wives are badgering them to become.  Once again they are not in control of their lives.

Give your husband plenty of room.  Show him that you’re concerned about him and that you love him.  Let him know that you’re available to listen to him and talk to him.  Then back off to pray and wait.  Trust God to work for your man’s good in the situation.  Allow him to use “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1Peter 3:4) in you to encourage and help him.

As you pray, it’s important to pray for your husband’s heart, that it will open to all that he needs to understand in order to bring his anger back within healthy boundaries.  Pushing your man to solve his anger may cause him to make some cursory changes to get you off his back.  But pressure from you isn’t likely to produce a lasting solution.  When you step back and give God room to work, the changes may be significant and enduring.

5.  Give Him Time, Don’t Rush Him.

We live in an age of instant gratification.  We can travel thousands of miles in hours; we can transact business in seconds with our high-speed computers, cell phones, and cable shopping channels.  We hate to wait.  This subconscious urgency we all share for fast results may get in the way, however, when it comes to the process of helping a man defuse his anger.  Change doesn’t take place overnight.  It may take your husband weeks, months, or years to fully heal from the causes and results of anger in his life.

6.  Hold Him Responsible, Don’t be Co-dependent.

Eddie’s anger got him into trouble at work on a number of occasions.  He verbally popped off to his boss by contradicting his orders and undermined his leadership by bad-mouthing him to other employees.  When he was put on probation, his wife secretly went to see his boss, “I’m sorry for Eddie’s displays of anger,” she said.  “It’s really my fault.  I haven’t been the best wife I can be, and the kids have been on his nerves lately.  If you’ll just forgive him, I’ll try to turn things around at home so this won’t happen again.”  Eddie’s boss was sympathetic and rescinded the probation.

Again Eddie’s expression of anger pushed the wrong buttons at work, and he was placed on probation for a second time. His wife pleaded with his boss to give him a second chance, which he refused to do.  Within days Eddie’s angry words cost him his job.

If your husband’s anger gets him into trouble in any way, you are not responsible to cover for him or take the rap for him.  Doing so only allows the problem to continue; it never stops the problem.  Only when we allow someone to face the consequences of his behavior will he begin to see that he’s responsible for making changes in the way he behaves.

7.  Give to Him, Don’t Withhold From Him.

If your husband is in the process of dealing with expressions of anger that have been hurtful to you in some way, you may be tempted to say something like, “Once you get your act together, then I’ll start being the wife I should be.”  You may feel like withholding affection or sex from him until he deserves it.  You may feel like asking him to move out until he has better control of his temper or habits.  Or he may have troubled you so much that you’re ready to give up.

While there are a few occasions when a temporary separation may be necessary (such as when his uncontrolled rage is endangering you or the children), you can probably be more helpful to your man’s healing by staying with him.  Love, forgiveness, and acceptance are qualities to be given freely, not to be held hostage for ransom.  He needs your friendship, not your judgment.  God will use your openness, kindness, and willingness to go the second mile to aid in his healing.

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER 

24 Jun

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER 

Question #1.  The only emotion my husband shows is anger, when we talk or I try to communicate.  Therefore, my first reaction is to also get mad.  What can I do to diffuse the matter and communicate effectively?

Answer #1.  You are not to blame yourself for your husband’s anger.  There could be an array of reasons for it.  When someone commits their life to Jesus, He gently walks you through recovery.  Someone without Jesus in their life, turns to anything that will temporarily relieve the pain.  Evidently, God has given him a great wife, who is willing to let God take care of the process or you would not have asked the question.  The following is an article by Steve Arterbum called “10 Ways You Can Overcome Anger.”  Hopefully you will be able to glean some nuggets from this to help you with your situation.  Remember that God gives you “Double for your Trouble.”   He will strengthen you and bless you for partnering with the Holy Spirit to be the “helpmeet” God desires you to be.

10 WAYS YOU CAN OVERCOME ANGER

1.  One of the key steps to overcoming anger is to identify the object of your anger.  Many people who struggle with chronic anger aren’t even sure what they’re angry about.  When you identify what you’re angry about you can begin the process of dealing with it.

2.  One of the goals of an angry person can be to draw attention to themselves.  They often feel that negative attention is better than no attention at all.  If you don’t feel loved or needed, this may be a root cause of your anger.

3.  Accept the fact that most things in the world are out of your control.  If you try to continually control your family, friends or circumstances you will ultimately destroy you.

4.  The root of your anger may lie in a lack of forgiveness.  If you’ve never forgiven someone who’s hurt you, you’re caught in a vicious trap that will ultimately destroy you.

5.  Many who struggle with anger hate themselves.  Self-hatred can be used as a tool to control your emotions.  You may need to learn new skills to control your emotions in a positive way.

6.  You may be angry about things your family or friends have done to you in the past, even decades ago.  This is called residual anger.  It is possible to resolve this anger and move on with your life, but you must be willing to spend time identifying the root of your problem and choosing to forgive those who have hurt you.

7.  There are some legitimate physical causes for anger.  If you suspect your problem may be related to a chemical imbalance in your body,  be evaluated by a qualified psychiatrist.

8.  In truth, no one can “make you angry,” even though they can provoke you.  You can control your response to people and circumstances.

9.  There is a place for “righteous anger,” when one of God’s principles is violated.  Scripture does admonish us to “not let the sun go down on our anger” though.  In other words, when you feel angry, it is important to deal with it and move past it as soon as possible.

10.  If you or a family member is struggling with anger issues, they’re not likely to go away by themselves.  It is necessary to identify the cause of the anger and take proactive steps to resolve it.

WIVES, WALK THE TALK

23 Jun

WIVES, WALK THE TALK

A wife’s actions speak way louder than her words.

1Pet.3:1-2 “”…Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husband; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

In Rick Renners book “Sparkling Gems from the Greek”, he encourages wives to “not be preachy”.

We will be using some of his findings in this post today.

He gave an example of a new bride that was trying to encourage her husband to be the spiritual leader in the home but her approach was having just the opposite effect that she desired.

Instead of causing her husband to feel closer to her, she was pushing him far away by constantly preaching at him and putting high spiritual expectations on him.

This NEW bride started her marriage with a husband that looked down cast and was very depressed.

CASE AND POINT:  Several years ago I had a friend that I had met professionally who did not come to my church. On occasion she would call me to talk.  She only knew her husband a few months and got married unexpectedly.  After a couples of months, I heard they were already talking divorce.  She asked me to meet with her and I already knew that she needed some biblical encouragement.    When I asked her how the marriage was going, her response was that she is finally training him to submit.  She said how every morning, she arranges candles and they both have to pray and read the word together.  At first, he literally fought her “tooth and nails” on that issue and many others as well.  After he couldn’t take the scratches anymore, he decided to let her have her way.  Needless to say, he is one miserable husband.   I told her to let me know when she decides to have a biblical marriage where she is submitting to him.  My comment did not go well but neither has their marriage.

If you want to preach at your husband, remember that it is going to be a big turn-off.

Men resent having a corrector and a boss for a wife when they expected her to be his GREATEST supporter.

Remember, he married you to be his cheerleader, his companion, his friendly friend.

What happened????

Do you demonstrate unconditional love or do you just TELL him you love him?

Are you a NAG?

To an unsaved husband, your preaching at him sounds like nagging and complaining.

That is why Apostle Paul told the wives with unsaved husbands and saved husbands to “knock it off.”  So, “knock it off.”   CHILL!!!

Paul then told them that their method of evangelism had to be one of living a Godly life.

Many Christian wives PRESSURE their husbands to change by pestering, nagging, pleading and begging.

You can try every method, but if God doesn’t touch his heart, all the complaining is a lost cause.

The Holy Spirit draws and calls hearts to Himself so you can either help or hinder that PROCESS.

As you grow in your relationship with God, you will understand how to love your husband the way God loves you.

In the phrase “…coupled with fear…” the word “fear” refers to respect.  Peter is commanding wives to do everything they can do to show respect.

As you learn to keep silent , your husband will learn to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Walk the talk.

Peter is telling you how to WIN the game of positively influencing your husband without even opening your mouth.

You can do it!!   You go girl!!!

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post.  Daily there is a new post.

TURN THE LIGHTBULB ON

22 Jun

TURN THE LIGHTBULB ON

Most of the comments made in this post were taken from the book “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn.  The author has taken many surveys in order to come up with the statistics that are included in her books.  This survey was done by four hundred anonymous men across the country, ranging in age from twenty-one to seventy-five.  They answered two dozen questions about their lives and about how they think, what they feel, and what they need.  Feldhahn then conducted a more informal follow-up survey of another four hundred churchgoers.  Across all these there were very few differences in the answers by secular men and Christian men.

The author has listed seven revelations that are the results of her surveys which she felt were important but there are other areas.

As we go through these areas, keep in mind that every area of a man’s life, AFFECTS the other areas.

The inner life of a man is a package, with these elements melded and wrapped up inside.

These revelations are also backed up by EVIDENCE—a groundbreaking professional survey .

  1. Men need respect

Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected.

2.  Men are insecure

Despite their “in control” exterior, men often feel like impostors and are insecure that their inadequacies will be discovered.

3.  Men are providers

Even if you personally made enough income to support the family’s lifestyle, it would make no difference to the mental burden he feels to provide.

4.  Men want more sex

Your sexual desire for your husband profoundly affects his sense

of well-being and confidence in all areas of his life.

5.  Men are visual

Even happily married men struggle with being pulled toward live and recollected images of other women.

6.  Men are unromantic clods

Actually, most men enjoy romance (sometimes in different ways) and want to be romantic—but hesitate because they doubt they can succeed.

7.  Men care about appearance

You don’t need to be a size 3, but your man does need to see you making the effort to take care of yourself—and he will take on significant cost or inconvenience in order to support you.

Feldhahn’s ground rules

First, Don’t male-bash, because these men shared their heart with her.

Second, this is focusing entirely in how we relate to men, not the other way around.

Third,  keep in mind that there are always exceptions to the rule.

Fourth, this is addressing what is normal inside men.

Fifth, some of the enclosed insight may be distressing because it affects our view of the men in our lives and our view of ourselves.  These are things that men often weren’t willing or able to say directly to their spouses or girlfriends.

Because your husband is wired as a man, this is why you love him.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post.  Daily there is a new post.

YIELD Right of Way

21 Jun

YIELD Right of Way

When my husband and I were missionaries in England in the 80’s, we saw that the road rules were different than in the USA.  Over there they have round-abouts, which you don’t see here much.  Instead of a stop sign at most intersections,there is a round road in the middle.  As you approach, you look to see if any cars are on the round-about that are close to your car.  If not, you have the right of way to get on to the round about and get off on the street of your choice.

What is cool, is that you don’t have to stop.  You just time the cars on the round about, and get on where there is an opening of no cars.  Here in the U.S. almost all the cars stop at a round about when they don’t have to.  I never stop; instead I step on the gas and go.  That is the beauty of a round-about.

Traffic rules are set up for our benefit and protection.

We will continue with what the bible says wives do to blaspheme God’s word.

Titus 2:4-5 “That they may teach the young women to be… obedient to their own husbands…”

In the New Testament, at least SIX times there is a mention of the responsibility of the wife to her husband.

God is trying to keep order in the “marriage unit.”

I did a blog on submission which taught the wife that submission is a MISSION.

Submission is being on a mission for God to honor your marriage with the utmost reverence.

“You wives willingly obey your husbands in everything, just as the church obeys Christ.”

Can I be obedient to my spouse only when I feel like it?  No, in everything!

Can I be obedient to my spouse only when I agree with him?  No, in everything!

Can I be obedient to my spouse only when he treats me with Christ-like love?  No, in everything!

There is no excuse for disobeying God’s word and you must answer to God for your own actions.

Why does he want you to be obedient in this area?  IT GLORIFIES GOD!!

It gives God a chance to show you off and He gets the glory.

Parents LOVE to show their kids off and God also loves it when His children do well.

Because we know that parents love to show off their children to family and friends, we try to do all sorts of children events at church so parents can.

At WORK your husband must have to face an array of frustrations and setbacks.

He probably gets criticized, lied to and many other problems that he doesn’t share with you as not to upset you.

God made the man to LEAD and he resents any tactics of trying to dominate or to manipulate to him.

If your husband is treated at home the same way he is treated at work, he may try to find another form of enjoyment outside of the home.

Girls, listen to me!!  YOU DON’T WANT THAT!!

Just like the YIELD right of way sign is to protect you, so is your obedience to husband and God is a great protection.

Even women with unsaved husbands are told to be obedient to them so they will come to Christ by the behavior of the wife.

How much more are us women who have saved husbands, are to RESPOND to this command.

You go girl!!  The Holy Spirit wants to guide you through this.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post.  Daily there is a new post.