FORSAKE DEPENDENCE ON YOUR PARENTS

28 Sep

FORSAKE DEPENDENCE ON YOUR PARENTS

You may have moved out of their house a long time ago, but have you really left your parents behind?

God did not mince words when He instructed a married couple to leave their parents.

The Hebrew word that normally gets translated leave from Gen.2:24 more fully means “to forsake dependence upon,” “lose,” “leave behind,” “release,” and  “let go.”

Centuries later, Jesus addressed this issue when He said that God never intended for anybody—not in-laws, not mother, not father, not children, not friends, not pastors, not employers—to come between a husband and a wife (Matt.19:6).  No one!

After our wedding ceremony, Barbara and I walked down the aisle together, symbolically proclaiming to all witnesses that we had left our parents.

We had forsaken our dependence upon them for our livelihood and emotional support, and were turning now to each other—for the rest of our lives—as the most important persons in our universe.

This public affirmation of our covenant to each other meant, “No relationship on earth, other than my relationship with Jesus Christ and God, is more important to me than the one with my spouse.”

If you or your spouse has not fully left mother and father, begin to discuss how you have failed to leave and what you can do today to truly forsake dependence upon your parents and cleave to one another.

NOTE:  This article is by Dennis & Barbara Rainey in their book “Family Life and Marriage Bible.”

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WHO IS THE BUILDER OF YOUR HOME?

27 Sep

WHO IS THE BUILDER OF YOUR HOME?

THE DICTIONARY traditionally defines understanding as “the faculty of the human mind by which it…comprehends the ideas which others express and intend to communicate.”

Yet in the Bible, understanding is not just a transfer of information, but empathy for the other person.

Consider Exodus 36:1, which tells how two craftsmen named Bezalel and Aholiab were given divine wisdom and understanding, “to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary,” so that they could “do according to all that the Lord has commanded.”

This is a scriptural example of what the Bible refers to as “understanding.”

These men, and the other artisans working under their supervision, were given the divine ability not only to know how to work their magic with gold and silver and leather and beautiful fabrics and thread, but also how to communicate with one another in a way that would move their assignment forward.

Barbara and I have found that this kind of understanding—the kind that goes beyond mere facts to empathize with the other—is essential in building our relationship and family.

When I know that she tries to understand some situation from my perspective (and vice versa), it’s amazing how problems dissipate.

As we make Jesus Christ the Builder of our homes (Psa.127:1), we can begin to see our relationship reflect God’s character.

NOTE:  This article was taken from the book Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

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ADULTERY STARTS WITH EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENTS

26 Sep

ADULTERY STARTS WITH EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENTS

For too many people. Christians included, adultery is the first step out of a marriage.  An emotional or sexual attachment to someone other than your spouse creates intense passions that sabotage trust and steal marital intimacy.  For that reason, God stated emphatically in the Seventh Commandment, “You shall not commit adultery” (Ex.20:14).

Adultery destroys homes and lives.  Proverbs 6:27-29 details the consequences of playing with this kind of fire, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?  Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?  So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent.”

Adultery, as alluring as it may seem, always fails to live up to its promises.  It pledges excitement and fulfillment, and instead delivers pain and alienation.  Peter Blichington, in his outstanding book Sex Roles and the Christian Family, cites a study by the Research Guild that measured sexual satisfaction.  The guild found that “Compared with the 67% of men and 55% of woman who find marital sex very pleasurable, only 47% of the men and 37 % of the women with extramarital experience rate its sexual aspect very pleasurable.”

The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence!

The glistening highway of adultery is actually a rutted back road littered with loneliness, guilt, and broken hearts.  Adultery supplants loyalty and trust with fear and suspicion.  The consequences are enormous and last for a lifetime.  As my colleague and friend Bob Lepine warns, “No sex outside of marriage is that good!”

Will you commit to emotional and moral fidelity to your spouse, no matter how much you struggle in your marriage?  If so, three steps are critical.

First, maintain a healthy sexual relationship.  Lovingly study your mate to learn what will keep him or her interested and satisfied in your sexual relationship.  Cultivate the fine–and often forgotten—art of romance.  Pursue your spouse with the same creativity and energy that characterized your dating relationship.

Second, guard your heart in relation to the opposite sex.  According to Jesus, the eyes are the doorway to the heart (Matt.6:22, 23)  For this reason, restrict your gaze and refuse the temptation to look longingly at other men or women.  Don’t fantasize about someone else.

Proverbs 4:23 counsels, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  Build boundaries around your heart by making yourself accountable to a friend for your secret thoughts.

Third, be honest with your spouse about temptations.  One of the most important practices Barbara and I employed early in our marriage was that of sharing with each other when we experienced temptations.  On more than one occasion I’ve asked her to pray for me because I was struggling with lust.  Once, in our first year of marriage, Barbara shared with me that a certain man was being inappropriately friendly with her.  These confessions can seem risky, but when a husband and wife are committed to each other, they actually help to nurture trust.

As partners in life, we need to protect our fidelity and trust…all the days of our lives.

NOTE:  This articles was taken from the book “Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

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THE POWER OF ANTICIPATION

25 Sep

THE POWER OF ANTICIPATION

LOOK AT HOW THE WOMAN describes her husband,  “Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.  My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag”  (Song of Solomon 2:9).  Can you sense the power of this love, the anticipation she feels as she scans the horizon?  Her soul is longing to catch a glimpse of him.

And in verses 10-14 you begin to see how Solomon has cultivated this power of anticipation.  He woos her with descriptions of flowers and springtime and secret places where they will go.

The wise husband will take a page out of Solomon’s songbook and court his wife.  He will realize she wants special time away with him—away from newspapers, televisions, radio, telephone, kids.  She wants him to sweep her off her feet.

As I look back on the times of passion and romance and love that Barbara and I have most enjoyed, they have happened when we plan something special and build in the element of surprise.  It might be a special date, a surprise picnic, a weekend away at a cabin in the wood…anything that sparks the imagination and builds a sense of anticipation.  It’s one of the greatest secrets to keeping the romantic fires burning in your marriage.

NOTE:  This article is from the book Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

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SATURDAY QUESTION & ANSWER 

24 Sep

SATURDAY QUESTION & ANSWER 

Question #1.   How can I protect my marriage from the things that would rob it of romance?

Answer #1.  The bible suggests an appropriate name for romance robbers.  After the bride of King Solomon described him in endearing poetic terms, her brothers said, “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes”  (Song of Solomon 2:15) .

In those days, a wise gardener would protect his vineyard from foxes.  The nocturnal bandits would sneak in during the dead of the night and eat the most tender parts of the vine, rendering them fruitless and useless.

The vineyard is like your marriage.  The foxes are the things that sneak up on you and snatch the fruit of passion before it can bloom.  And they can be anything: television, cell phone, household chores, hobbies—you name it.  Even children can be foxes!  The terrible thing is that these sly creatures are relentless.  Drop your guard, and they’ll reduce the vineyard of your marriage to a barren, lifeless place where romance shrivels on the vine.

Don’t let it happen to you!  Catch those little foxes and keep them out of your garden.  If you don’t know what they are, then observe carefully.  You’ll spot them if you look for them!

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.

DEFUSE DESTRUCTION IN YOUR MARRIAGE

23 Sep

DEFUSE DESTRUCTION IN YOUR MARRIAGE

Do you know how to defuse the destructive power of resentment in your marriage?

We will look at four important steps that can be taken.

First, Toss out your need for revenge.

When we are hurt, our natural instinct is to strike back at our spouse.

This is our primitive need for self-preservation.

Revenge begets revenge and there is no end to the cycle.

To forgive your spouse means that you give up your right to retaliate.

Giving up your right to retaliate against your spouse is for your benefit because there will be no end to the escalating conflict.

Second, Acquire a holy view-point.

Matt.18:21-35 is the parable about the unforgiving servant.  “…and his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.”

Then Jesus said, “So likewise shall my heavenly father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.”

We should have shivers down our back.

Your hurts are insignificant when compared to the hurt you have caused God.

UNLESS YOU FORGIVE THE HURT OTHERS HAVE DONE TO YOU, GOD CANNOT FORGIVE YOUR DEBT TO HIM.

Third, Hold onto a spirit of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is designed to protect us from our own anger.

It is not necessary for your spouse to admit their guilt or ask for forgiveness.

Lovingly ask your spouse to stop hurting you.

Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head!!

Four, Turn your resentment into kindness

In Romans 12:17-21 tells us never to be revengeful because we will be overcome with evil.

Matt.5:44 “But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…”

There are times that we want our spouse to suffer for what they have  done to us but the gospel has taken away your right to punish.

Do you want to free yourself from resentment and anger and get full advantage from forgiveness?

Turn your resentment into kindness.

When you do this:

  • It gives you the feeling that you are now in control.
  • It protects you from further anger.
  • Possibly your spouse will not continue to hurt you.
  • It keeps you from further sins.

Keep your reactions from becoming a greater sin than the original action.

YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM, HE IS YOUR PRIORITY.

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

RESENTMENT IS LIKE TAKING POISON

22 Sep

RESENTMENT IS LIKE TAKING POISON

Resentment breeds resentment just like weeds breed weeds.

Resentment is like taking POISON and waiting for the other person to die.

Resentments destructive power comes from several sources:

First, Resentment prevents contentment.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1Tim.6:6

Your resentment will destroy your marital happiness.

If we were left to our own devices, we would self-destruct.

Second, Resentment exaggerates emotional hurts.

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (Prov.10:19)

Exaggerating is lying.

Lying and slandering your spouse, the bible states that it is one of the things that God hates.

Don’t think that because it is your spouse that it gives you the freedom to exaggerate.

NO! NO! NO!

Third, Resentment never forgets.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past..”  Isa.43:18

Therapists try but fail to get people to let go of resentments.

Resentment best fits our “lower nature”.

In other words, we become animalistic when we harbor resentment.

85% of illnesses are due to stressful situations.

Has holding resentment against your spouse ever made you healthier or happier?

We enjoy resentment because it makes us feel self-righteous and adds to our self-pity.

We feel uncomfortable like we are betraying our deepest need if we let our spouse off the hook.

Fourth, Resentment is revengeful.

“…Avenge not yourself…it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Rom. 12:19

The natural thing for us to do is to plan revenge against our spouse.

Get the weeds out of your marriage!

Only you can do it.

No one else can put those weeds out.

They are growing and multiplying as you read this blog.

The longer they stay there, the thicker and stronger they get.

You will JUSTIFY  your position, but the reality is you have lost your position.

Clear the path to your heart so the Holy Spirit can bring great things into your life and marriage.

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

MAJOR SOURCE OF MARITAL STRESS.

21 Sep

MAJOR SOURCE OF MARITAL STRESS.

Resentment is a powerful emotion that is one of the major sources of marital stress.

One of the most destructive of all human emotions is resentment.

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking; be put away from you…”

Resentment means a feeling of displeasure and righteous anger, from a sense of being injured or offended.

Why was Paul so adamant about resentment?

Resentment is a DESTRUCTIVE POWER.

Bitterness in the Greek is “Pikria” which literally means a plant that produces a poisonous fruit.

Resentment is a powerful emotion that is one of the major sources of marital stress.

Research has found that there is an increase in depression in a disruptive marriage.

In a 2009 study, it was revealed that spousal anger contributes to depressive illness.

On going conflict puts a damaging strain on you, your children, your family, and your friends.

Is that the kinds of family life you want to come home to?

There are no winners in a home filled with “bitter fungus”.

Your body is paying a price for all that resentment bottled up inside of you.

Marital conflict increases blood pressure, coronary heart disease and congestive heart failure.

When you are angry and resentful, don’t COMMUNICATE!

Give God your super-sensitivity, selfishness and need for control, in order to decrease resentment.

You will have unresolved resentment from past hurts if your harbor bitterness.

Have you been violated by your parents, family, close friends, former spouses or former dating partners?

Don’t unconsciously, deeply wound your best friend (spouse).

Psychologist Dr. Archibald D. Hart states in his book “Helping Children Survive Divorce” that only the gospel of Christ is capable of healing the deepest human hurt at its very root.

The ability to forgive others is a gift from God that releases us from damaged emotions.

Don’t let your marriage be a playground for Satan.

You give him that permission when you harbor resentment.

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

DON’T BLOCK YOUR SPOUSE’S JUBILATION

20 Sep

DON’T BLOCK YOUR SPOUSE’S JUBILATION

There is an important human need inside each one of us to CONTRIBUTE something into this world.

The definition of contribute is to give with others and beyond ourselves; to furnish knowledge or ideas; to share in bringing about results; to be partly responsible.

We need to know that what we do ADDS value for ourselves and for others.

Have you ever found yourself searching for meaning or purpose?  Well your spouse does also.

God put that in us because we are to be the SHOWCASE for God’s glorious character.

Psa.89:1 “…I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth I will make known thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.”

Your spouse needs to feel proud of his results.

Listen to Apostle Paul brag.  2Thess.1:4 “…we ourselves glory…”

Your spouses time, talents and energy have been a GREAT contribution to others.

Paul used the Greek word “egkauchaomai.”  

It means “to brag” or “to boast”.

He was proud of them because they were viciously and relentlessly pursued.

If your spouse is led by their values, they will value THEMSELVES.

A great source of inner fulfillment is when your spouse learns to commit to the values he wants to contribute.

When your spouses need to contribute is not met there are EMOTIONS that are associated with it.

Spouses need to be on a performance treadmill in order to fulfill the need to contribute.

Shame, fear, worthlessness, depression and dejection are some of the emotions suffered when the need to contribute is not RECOGNIZED.

When your spouse is contributing and being recognized for their part, they feel satisfaction, happiness, pride and fulfillment.

Let’s not stand in the way of their JUBILATION.

Let’s partake in the initiating of the jubilation.

That is your privilege as their spouse.

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

STEPS TO BECOME A BLISSFUL COUPLE

19 Sep

STEPS TO BECOME A BLISSFUL COUPLE

For any marriage to be blissful, couples should understand the 5 phases of marital love.

All the phases must manifest in every home, if the home is to be a place of love and togetherness.

Phase 1 – Attraction:

This is what we call face love.

It involves accepting the outlook of your spouse and be intoxicated by it.

As soon as a man loses interest in the outlook and dressing of his wife, it will affect other phases of love.

Both husband and wife should train themselves to be interested in the outlook of their spouse.

Phase 2 – Emotion:

This is what we do refer to as “mind love”.

It involves giving room for deep affection toward one’s spouse.

It is heartfelt love; it’s frequency is always very high before wedding, during honey moon and shortly after the wedding.

But most of the time, it doesn’t last as couples begin to take each other for granted.

It affects their feelings, and kills the “mind love”.

Phase 3 – Compulsion Love:

It is known as responsibility love.

This is the kind that exists between a man and his wife that makes them stay together and perform their duties to each other even when they are no more attractive to each other and affection is gone.

This is what remains in many marriages; when it departs from the home, there is likely to be separation and divorce.

Phase 4 – Passion:

This is known as sexual love.

It is the aspect that makes the man to desire to sleep with his wife.

If it exists between unmarried people, it is called lust.

Most of the time wives are the first to lose this face of love.

In fact, it is one of the things a woman loses when she is unhappy with her husband, thereby leading to sexual denial of her husband.

Phase 5 – Compassion:

It is known as a God kind of love or agape love.

This love is unusual; it is not based on the outlook, body chemistry, feelings or happenings around us.

It is a love that is deep rooted in kindness and acceptance.

It is a sacrificial love.

Unfortunately very few couples got married based on this kind of love; most women based their marriages on emotional love, while men based theirs on attraction and passion.

NOTE:  This article was written by Bisi Adewale.  bisiadewale.com

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