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ADD EMPATHY TO YOUR COMMUNICATION

24 Sep
silver and gold

ADD EMPATHY TO YOUR COMMUNICATION

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 is from the book, “Family Life Marriage Bible” by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

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

MAINTAINING EMOTIONAL and MORAL FIDELITY

23 Sep
man playing with fire

MAINTAINING EMOTIONAL and MORAL FIDELITY

For so 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 article was written by Dennis and Barbara Rainey from Family Life and Marriage Bible.

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

NO FREE RENT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE

22 Sep

NO FREE RENT FOR 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 be successful.

ARE WEEDS IN YOUR MARRIAGE

21 Sep

ARE WEEDS IN YOUR MARRIAGE

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.

DEVILS PLAYGROUND IS MARITAL RESENTMENT

20 Sep

DEVILS PLAYGROUND IS MARITAL RESENTMENT

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 be successful.

HELP YOUR MATE FULFILL HIS/HER PURPOSE

19 Sep

HELP YOUR MATE FULFILL HIS/HER PURPOSE

Before you try to discover how you can love and serve God fully in your life and in your marriage, you must understand a few key truths.

Without them, you would be like an old-time miner descending into a gold or silver mine to search for precious metals with no hard hat, pick, or flashlight.

First, God is intricately and ingeniously involved in creation.  

He knows the grains of sand in the ocean (Gen.22:17), the names of all the stars (Ps.147:4), the number of hairs on your head, and the very instant every little sparrow dies (Matt.10:29,30).

If he knows the tiny details from the bottom of the ocean to the ends of the universe, then we can correctly assume that He knows everything that is going on in our lives as well.

Second, God is sovereign.

He is fully in charge.

He has a divine design for each life.

God’s overall plan, clearly, is to redeem humanity to Himself.

Incredibly, He has chosen to use men and women like you and like us to execute His plan of influencing eternity.

Third, you are God’s workmanship, and He created you to be part of fulfilling His plans for humanity (Eph.2:10).  

God has woven a plan in every person’s heart that is revealed over time.

He wants us to help each other discover these passions and to have a vision for our lives.

Discuss with your spouse what he or she is  passionate about.

What’s his vision?

What would she do if she knew she couldn’t fail?

You can be a human crowbar that dislodges dreams, goals and unexpressed desires from inside your spouse’s heart.

As you discuss together the greatness of God and the unspeakable privilege of being chosen by Him, you’ll quickly discover what a privilege it is to have a part in serving Him and His kingdom.

He does have a plan for each person.

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

NOTE:  Every day there is a new post to inspire your marriage to be successful.

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER  

18 Sep

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER  

Question #1.  I don’t know what to do about something that is bothering me.  I don’t want to say anything to my husband.  My husband is a friendly, people person.  There is one sister in church that I feel he is to friendly with and she is very friendly back.  I’ve prayed and asked God to help me with this and also to open my husbands eyes to what I see.  Even though I love my husband and trust him, I don’t trust the devil.

Answer #2.  GOOD  FOR YOU!!  You need to protect God’s investment!  Find a special time when you both are very happy and content.  Usually after sex.  Let him know that you have some concerns.  Tell him what you have observed.  Let him know that you trust him, but it doesn’t “set right” with you.  If he gets mad and says that you are just being jealous, don’t say anything.  Wait till he is done talking and do not argue.  Tell him how you would appreciate him to handle it.  He should not converse with her unless you are standing right next to him.  Let him know that he can walk away as she will be left with only you to talk to.  He is not to initiate any conversation with her, but if she talks to him, he can politely answer and it should be limited to no more than two sentences. If it sounds ridiculous to him, tell him it is an investment in his marriage.  Then reciprocate by asking him what you can do for him in return.  It could be FUN!!  If he says, “no”, you might ask him which woman he is more concerned with.  Then leave it alone and pray for conviction.  He will not be able to enjoy any more conversations with her.

I know you feel like you do not want to say anything.  The problem with that is you do not want her to start having feelings for him.  People call it being friendly and that is what it may be but it can easily turn to “foreplay.”  The devil goes to church and turns what is good into what is evil.   My prayers are with you.

SPOUSES NEED A PERFORMANCE TREADMILL

17 Sep

SPOUSES NEED A PERFORMANCE TREADMILL

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 make your marriage a success.

FIVE PHASES OF MARITAL LOVE

16 Sep
man-with-big-red-heart

FIVE PHASES OF MARITAL LOVE

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.

YOUR SPOUSE IS IMPORTANT

15 Sep

YOUR SPOUSE IS IMPORTANT

One of the most important needs in your spouse’s life is to feel important and significant!

Lack of significance is a primary source of emotional pain.

The definition of importance is greatness of worth and influence; significant; needed; special.

Eph.2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…”

Do you have hindrances that keep you from being yourself?

We all have certain people that we feel comfortable being around.

Those people put us in our comfort zone and we can act whatever way we want and feel we will be accepted and appreciated.

CASE AND POINT:  My husband and I don’t go to all the church activities like picnics, parties, etc.  As soon as we walk in, things go a little quiet and we feel that everyone becomes uncomfortable.  I want to tell them not to be uncomfortable because we spill food, trip, call people by the wrong names and burp!

Your spouse will avoid people and situations when there is the risk of failure or rejection just like you would.

That means that your spouse needs your love and encouragement.

Misery will enter your spouse’s life if they feel they have no value, purpose or significance.

God is the one who placed in your spouse a hunger for significance and to be important.

The Holy Spirit is here to fulfill the hunger to be important but God also gave you to your spouse to do that also.

Gods word says that He created a wife for Adam to meet his need for companionship and understanding.

You are his “Helpmeet”!

You are his companion, his cheerleader, and his friendly friend!

And DON’T FORGET IT!!

I didn’t say it!

God said it in Genesis and Malachi 2.

Get out those “pom poms” the game is on!

When Adam fell, it robbed our spouse of their self-worth and he is now on a continual search for significance.

If your spouse’s parents were not lovable or protective of them, your spouses need for significance may be of the utmost importance.

Your spouse will need time to change along with your encouragement, God’s word, and the power of the Holy Ghost.

Christ died for us and exchanged His life for our life.

That is how important you and your spouse are to Him.

He wants you to represent Him to your spouse.

It is your divine appointment!

Don’t miss out on your purpose and significance in life.

It is of the utmost importance!

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