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ISOLATION A MARRIAGE KILLER

28 Sep
lonely woman

ISOLATION A MARRIAGE KILLER

Isolation is the great killer of marriages.

Many marriages continue for years in a state of armed truce.

Competition replaces cooperation and ugly reality dashes dreams as conflict unravels the fabric of love and concern.

The choice to heal those rifts is yours.

Every day, each partner makes choices that result in oneness or in isolation.

Here are three important choices you need to make:

Choice #1:  Resolve to pursue oneness with each other and repent of any isolation that already exists.

Remember, you don’t have to be married a long time to feel isolated.

Choice #2: Resolve to never go to bed angry with one another.

Finda a way to resolve your differences and move towards oneness.

Resentment and oneness cannot coexist.

Choice #3:  Resolve to take time to share intimately with each other.

Allow your spouse into your life.

Ask questions of your spouse and listen patiently.

Learn the art of healthy, transparent communication.

MAKE  THE RIGHT CHOICES and you’ll know love, warmth, acceptance and the freedom of true intimacy and genuine oneness.

Make the wrong choices and you’ll know the quiet desperation of living together but never really touching each other deeply.  As a couple, resolve that you will not allow isolation to set up residence in your marriage.

NOTE:  This articles is from the book “Family Life Marriage Bible” by Dennis & Barbara Rainey

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

RESPECTFULLY LEAVE YOUR PARENTS

27 Sep
bride and groom

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

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

DEMONSTRATE ANGER APPROPRIATELY

26 Sep

DEMONSTRATE ANGER APPROPRIATELY

ANGER IS A GOD-GIVEN, God-created emotion that the Lord himself demonstrated on many occasions throughout human history, as He did with Moses, “So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses” (4:14).

Unfortunately, there is a big difference between God and us.

While God is perfect in every way—including in how He experiences and demonstrates His anger—we are prone to experiencing and expressing our anger in inappropriate, sinful says.

Too often, our anger is not a righteous anger like God’s is.

God becomes angry at unrighteousness; we usually become angry when we don’t get our own way or we feel slighted in some way.

If we want to have successful, satisfying marriages, if we want to be the kind of parents who teach their children to express themselves correctly, then we need to learn to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate expressions of our anger, and we need to learn to express our anger appropriately.

Because many adults don’t know how to properly handle their own anger, they respond in hurtful ways when their spouse or their children express anger inappropriately.

So what may have begun as a child sinning devolves into two children sinning, one an adult child and the other an adolescent.

NOTE:  This article was taken from a book called, “Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis & Barbara Rainey

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

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER

25 Sep

SATURDAY – QUESTION & ANSWER

Question #1.  What should you do when a friend of your spouse who is of the opposite sex has made very inappropriate comments to your spouse.  They don’t know that I know about those comments.  My spouse would fear to loose that person as a friend and would fear they may not think they are “cool.”  This is causing me to question everything concerning my spouse and especially what is associated with this particular friend.  This now comes across to my spouse as being “jealous” or “overprotective.”  My spouse now says that they are unhappy with our marriage.  I am trying to act godly and not get physical with this friend…but what else can I do?  I have prayed to God to remove evil and destructive people from around my wife for the glorification and protection of our marriage and also asked that He bless those people as well.  I have prayed that God show my spouse that the devil is working through that person to destroy our marriage.  I feel that I have been a great spouse (no lies, no cheating, no abuse, supportive, caring, loving).  What is one to do?

Answer #1.  You should be direct with your spouse and tell them the information that you have concerning the inappropriate comments.  You must let your spouse know that you do not agree with them being spoken to like that.  There is something wrong with this friend who is talking like that behind your back to your spouse.  Tell your spouse to sever contacting that person.  If the friend inquires why there hasn’t been any contact, your spouse needs to tell them you do not agree with their comments.  Your spouse must tell them your wishes must be respected and your marriage honored.  If your spouse refuses, give the Holy Spirit time to convict them.  Don’t argue with them, but let your spouse know that your marriage is being violated by this intruder.  Make sure that it is a good time to have this discussion.  Remember that God is with you because he esteems your marriage.

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.