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REAL ROMANCE

20 Sep

REAL ROMANCE

THIS BOOK WASTES NO TIME in establishing its theme-in verse two the Shulamite woman says, ” Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-for your love is better than wine.” The word love here means sexual love; it is mentioned four times in the book and two times in the first four verses. The idea here is that sexual love is better than any earthly celebration, any earthly party, any earthly drink, anything you can partake of. Sensual, erotic, sexual love is divinely designed to be celebrated between the husband and his wife and in a way where they are not ashamed that they can delight in that pleasure.

Two other significant themes appear in these first few verses. First, the woman says, “Your name is ointment poured forth, therefore the virgins love you”. What she’s saying is that he had a name that was above reproach in the marketplace. All the women knew Solomon. They respected and admired him. I think a man needs to know that his character is crucial if he is interested in seeing his wife respond to him sexually. As you become a man who is devoted to pursuing God, you become a man who is attractive to your wife.

For example, at the heart of godly character is humility. This means being teachable, responsive to God, and quick to admit to mistake and error and ask for forgiveness. A husband who is the opposite-arrogant, stubborn, rebellious-will not be attractive to his wife.

A second lesson appears in verse nine, when Solomon recognizes his bride’s need for affirmation and doesn’t hesitate to go beyond mere acceptance. He lavishes stunning praise on her, “I have compared you, my love, to my filly among Pharaoh’s chariots.”

Now, before you try that line on your wife, keep in mind the context! Solomon carefully painted a picture of his finest mare, most likely an Arabian beauty, a dark creature of unquestioned magnificence, the finest horse that money could buy. This exotic creature would have turned heads, maybe even caused a stampede, because of her exquisite beauty.

In other words, Solomon skillfully uses evocative poetic language to tell his wife how magnificent she is. But that’s not all! He quickly adds, “Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with chains of gold”. He not only accepts her and sees her as a woman of great loveliness, but he lavishes jewelry on her to accentuate her beauty.

Husband, when did you last spring for a new bracelet? A necklace? A ring? Like Solomon, you married someone extraordinary. Let her know how greatly you esteem her!

NOTE:  This article is from the book Family, Life, and Marriage Bible

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

A BIBLICAL LOOK AT SEX

19 Sep

A BIBLICAL LOOK AT SEX

We live in a culture today in which sexual sin is both rampant and accepted.  The best way to respond to the cultural attitudes about sex is to remember what the Bible has to say about sex and to make that instruction a part of your marital life and family teaching.

Here is the truth about sex:

God created sex.  Not Hugh Hefner, not Dr. Phil or Dr. Ruth.  Genesis 1:27 tells us, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  “The creator of the universe stamped and embedded His image within us in a way that is somehow mysteriously tied to our sexuality.

Christians often get portrayed as backward, narrow-minded prudes.  But sexual intercourse in marriage glorifies God.  God felt no embarrassment when Adam and Eve had intercourse in the garden.  He didn’t put His hand over his eyes and shame them with a curt, “Now, cut it out!  I didn’t create you to do that!”  No, God designed the equipment and He blessed the union.  When God made them male and female, He called it “very good” (Gen.1:31).

Sex is for procreation in marriage. God created sex so that we can reproduce after our own kind. Genesis 1:28 tells us that God blessed the man and the woman and commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

Sex is for intimacy in marriage. Genesis 4:1 says, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived a son and bore Cain. “When it says that Adam “knew” Eve, it doesn’t mean he shook her hand. He had sexual relations with his wife, and she conceived. God intended us to become one flesh to draw us together. It’s a wonderful aspect of sex.

Sex is for pleasure in marriage. God approves of appropriate gestures of love, romance, and pleasure within marriage. Consider Proverbs 5:19: “As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated with her love.” God said it. He also wrote an entire book of the Bible about sexual love in marriage, the Song of Solomon.

Obviously, God is not down on sexual pleasure in marriage. On the contrary, that is the only kind of sexual pleasure He sees as good and blesses!

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

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

 MARRIAGE CANNOT SURVIVE BEING STUBBORN

18 Sep

 MARRIAGE CANNOT SURVIVE BEING STUBBORN

Your marriage cannot survive without flexibility because it does not allow your spouse to have freedom of expression.

Flexibility is a MUST for every marriage.

In the world, the United States has the highest divorce rate and the women file for divorce twice as much as the men.

One of the reasons is that many women are STUBBORN and demand their own way.

The word “stubborn” appears 28 times in the bible and the word “stiff-necked” about 19 times.   Stiff-necked also means stubborn.

Until stubbornness is overcome, your marital relationship will suffer.

“…stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD… “  1SAM.15:23

In God’s eyes, a stubborn wife is as guilty as anyone who worships Satan.

If you are being narrow minded, you are having YOUR own way without regard to your spouse’s ideas or feelings.

Wives, be careful to make sure you are obeying your husband, whether he is right and spiritual or not.

Divorce is an epidemic and STUBBORNNESS is an issue of the heart.

Jer.17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”

The bible warns that being inflexible to your spouse is folly.

Do you see your IDEAS from their perspective?

Can you listen to your spouses remedies to solve problems in a new and  different way?

Do you ever let your spouse know that you appreciate and understand their VIEWPOINT?

How can you arrive at an agreement or judgment if you have an inflexible perspective.

Is your thinking, attitude and perspective RIGID?

You are leaving your spouse with a feeling of rejection when you say, “I am right and you are wrong.”

The stress you experience in your life is due to inflexibility and your inability to accept change.

When you are flexible you will experience many twists and turns, ups and downs, and uncertainties.

CASE AND POINT:  When my husband and I were asked to be missionaries in England during the early 80’s it was spiritually dead.  We gave up our house, business, furniture along with friends and family to be in the will of God.  Anything and everything we owned had to fit into four suitcases.  As we sat on the plane headed for Manchester, I turned to my husband and asked him what his plan was for building a church in England.  I had given up all my Tupperware and expensive pots and pans we had received as marriage gifts so I was expecting a divine plan to come out of his mouth.  Lol!!  This was his response, “I don’t have a plan.  We will get there and see what happens.”  At that moment I spiritually matured about 40 years.  My spiritual hair turned gray.  I realized I had to be flexible and trust in God.  It worked.  It was definitely one of the highlights of my spiritual life.  I thank God everyday that my husband was sensitive to the Holy Spirit and flexible enough to give up his life to go.

To be flexible, there must be a willingness to take RISKS.

Life is not about survival but about enjoyment in the Holy Ghost.

Your spouse’s different opinion does not make them the ENEMY.

A different opinion is a source of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Flexibility is the GIFT that keeps on giving.

Your marriage is worth it.

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

NEEDS YOUR SPOUSE NEEDS 

17 Sep

NEEDS YOUR SPOUSE NEEDS 

There are human NEEDS that your spouse cannot live without.

One of the needs that we cannot live without is security.

The definition for security is FREEDOM from fear, anxiety, danger and doubt.

Security ASSURES safety, protection against attacks, and certainty with trust.

Prov. 31:11 “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

This man in proverbs doesn’t fear of his wife betraying his secrets.

Does your husband ASK for your advise and confidence on important matters?

Does he have complete trust in you?

There is no other JOY a wife can experience that counts more than to be trusted.

When you are trusted, it brings inspiration to work hard for your husband and family.

Marriage THRIVES where there is honor and respect.

Are you held in high honor as this Hebrew wife?

In Gen.24:14,  Eliezer PRAYED to God as he was looking for a wife for Abraham’s son.  Eliezer told God to let it be the woman who offers to water his camels.

That meant that to water his camels would take over 200 gallons of water.

Can you imagine offering to carry 200 gallons of water to water camels of a total stranger?

That was no small TASK.

It took a servants heart like Rebekah’s to complete a task this hard.

Rebekah was beautiful but there was a lot more to her than just a beautiful FACE.

If she could make such sacrifices of herself to a total stranger than what service will she bring to a man she is committed to through marriage.

When we are feeling INSECURE we look for someone to make us feel secure.

The natural place for us to look for that security is in our spouse.

Have you ever looked to your spouse for security and been very DISAPPOINTED?

Disappointment leads to anger.

Only God can give us that COMPLETE feeling of security when we are grounded in a secure relationship with Him.

Deut.33:12 “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

CASE AND POINT:  Years ago I heard on the news about someone who went bungee jumping.  They were having a great time till one of them jumped and realized that they forgot to tie the other end of the cord onto something secure.  They were concentrating on making the one end of the cord very secure on the person jumping.

In order for something to be secure, it needs to be tied to something that is immovable.

Psa.16:8 “I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”

God is the only one who can take you from insecurity to security and blessings.

As a spouse, we need the Holy Spirit in our marriage to bring that security that our spouse desperately needs in their life.

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

  TEN FACTORS TO IGNITE YOUR MARRIAGE

16 Sep

  TEN FACTORS TO IGNITE YOUR MARRIAGE

1.  Try to understand your mate:  

“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established” (Prov.24:3).

2.  Be reasonable in your expectations of each other:  

“Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, in honor preferring one another” (Rom.12:10).

3.  Do not criticize each other publicly:  

“Let us not therefore judge one another any more, but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way” (Rom.14:13).

4.  Be comrades in a common cause:  

“They twain shall be one” (Matt.19:5).

5.  Talk it over:  

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord,.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them” (Col.3:18,19).

6.  Keep up the love pattern:  

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the  floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” (S.of S.8:7).

“Husbands love your wives” (Eph.5:25).

“Teach the young women…to love their husbands” (Titus 2:4).

7.  Treat your partner with courtesy:

“Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph.4:32).

8.  Be loyal to each other:

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom.13:10).

9.  Practice the golden rule of wedded love!

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt.7:12).

10.  Take Christ into your home:  

“If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with Me” (Rev.3:20).

NOTE:  This article was taken from plymouthbrethren.org.  The article was titled “Emotional Factors In Christian Marriage” submitted by H. E. Kay, M.D. on 4/2/28.

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

 NO ESCAPE CLAUSES IN MARRIAGE

15 Sep

 NO ESCAPE CLAUSES IN MARRIAGE

“Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  John 13:1

If your spouse is not in a place of receiving your love right now, the act of covenant keeping can be more daunting with each passing day.

But marriage is not a contract with convenient escape clauses and selfish exception wordings.

Marriage is a covenant intended to cut off all avenues of retreat or withdrawal.

There’s no going back.

There’s no opting out.

There’s nothing in the world that should sever what God has joined together.

Your love is based on a covenant.

And your covenant is based on the unchanging character of a covenant-keeping God.

The prophet Malachi wrote that one reason God withholds His blessing is that He hates divorce and is angered when husbands deal treacherously with their wives, breaking the covenant they made (Malachi 2:16).

Seeing marriage as a contract is like saying to your spouse, “I take you for me, and we’ll see if it works out.”

But realizing it as a covenant changes it around to say, “I give myself to you and commit to this marriage for life.”

Questions

Have you committed to your marriage for life?

Could you remind your spouse of your lifelong covenant with them?

Why not renew your love in a creative way?

NOTE:  This article is from the book, “The Love Dare – Day by Day authored by Kendrick

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

LIFE’S TOUGH SPOTS IN MARRIAGE

14 Sep

LIFE’S TOUGH SPOTS IN MARRIAGE

When you were a kid do you remember how tempting it was to touch anything that had a sign on it that read: Don’t touch!  Wet paint!

I was raised with five brothers and I always remember that my mom would go to do the wash and start asking them where they had been to get paint all over their clothes.

Just like paint is very tempting for kids, as adults, we each have areas in our life that is tempting.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  Matt.6:13

We all need God in our life to lead us out of life’s tough spots in our marriage.

Praying this prayer is confessing that God is your leader including in your marriage.

This is where you and I tell God that we have felt the hurt of destruction from sin in our lives.

We are telling God that we don’t want to go there again in our marriage so we need him to lead us in the right direction.

Life is a test of choices.

When God designed us in his image, he made us higher than the angels.

We have the freedom as moral creatures to make our own choices and decisions but the angels do not.

Are you asking God not to let you get off track in your marriage from where God is leading you?

It is like a wife who navigates her husband while he is driving so he doesn’t make a wrong turn.

CASE AND POINT:  One of the funniest things that happened to my husband and me when we were missionaries in England, happened in the city of Birmingham.  We were there to scout the land to plant a new church there.  I had the map and was telling my husband which way to turn.  In England they have round-abouts instead of stop signs.  You get on and go in circles till you get to the street you want to turn in.  I kept asking him what street we were coming up to as my eyes were on the map.  He would tell me the name of the street as we passed it.  I would tell him to turn off on the next street as we passed it.  He would tell me we passed it.  As we kept going in circles, our voices started getting louder at each other.  Pretty soon we were shouting at each other going in circles.   By the time we got off the round-about, we were ready for a divorce.  After that every time we wanted to have a good laugh we would say, “Hey lets go to Birmingham, and have a nice time.”

This is exactly what the devil does in our marriage!

He has us blaming each other and chasing our tails.

Many times we blame God for not helping us with our marriage but we have choices to make and continue to make bad choices.

God will never tempt us.   NEVER!!

James 1:13-14  “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”

Awwww!  We are drawn away by our own lust!!

Satan tempts us and sets traps for us.

The evil one knows which buttons to push to get you to react.

He entices us with the world: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Let Jesus be your guide.

Get off the round about!

It’s your choice!

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

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR SPOUSE

13 Sep

BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOUR SPOUSE

The wise preacher declared, “Two are better than one because…For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But, woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up” (Eccle.4:9,10)

Consider a few areas where Barbara and I have learned to practice accountability in our own marriage:

1.  Spiritual health.  In order to remain on track, every marriage must involve daily communication with and dependence on God.  Most of us are prone to laziness or distraction in the daily maintenance of our spiritual needs.  A loving spouse who has permission to encourage us in our devotion to Christ can help by asking open-ended questions such as, “What has God been teaching you lately?”

2.  Emotional and sexual fidelity.  This is a potentially sensitive but critical area in any Christian marriage.  The way in which you handle the issues of temptation and moral struggles will largely chart the course for your relationship.  Neither you nor your spouse can risk opening the door to inappropriate intimacy with someone of the opposite sex.  Be open and honest about temptations that you are struggling with.

3.  Schedules.  We try to help each other make good decisions by monitoring each other’s workload and schedules.  Making good decisions means saying yes to some good things and no to others.  This is one of the biggest struggles that Barbara and I have faced in our marriage and family.  Schedules are ultimately a statement of our true priorities.

4.  Money and values.  Nothing in our marriage created the need for accountability more than the checkbook!  Early on it became a fork in the road as to what each of us felt was most important.  I recall some early accountability tests.  Would I listen to her?  Would I listen to her advice?  Would she trust me with a final decision?  These were all natural opportunities to practice godly, caring accountability in each others life.

5.  Parenting practice.  When Barbara and I had our first child, we began the lifelong process of being  accountable to each other for our performance as parents.  Early on we interacted and  sharpened each other on our parenting styles.  We all tend to draw on the parenting techniques modeled for us by our own parents.  When Barbara and I  noticed a good or bad tendency, we would either encourage or help the other improve.

6.  No secrets.  Secret’s are one of Satan’s primary tools to divide couples.  Accountability between husband and wife is a superb way to keep them from messing with your marriage.

One of the greatest challenges to any marriage is the access we give one another to our lives on a daily basis.  Accountability is an honest, practical submission of your life to your spouse that says, “I have no secrets that I will withhold from you.”

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.

CHOOSE A ONENESS MARRIAGE

12 Sep

CHOOSE A ONENESS MARRIAGE

What is a oneness marriage?  A Oneness Marriage is a husband and wife who are working to craft intimacy, trust, and understanding with one another.  It’s a couple that is chiseling out a common direction, common purpose, and common plan for their lives.

Oneness Marriage demands a lifetime process of relying on God and forging an enduring relationship according to His design.  It’s more than a mere mingling of two humans; it’s a tender merger of body, soul, and spirit.

Every  Oneness Marriage feature three foundational components.  King Solomon spoke of the mortar of the marriage merger in Proverbs 24:3,4, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

1.  A Oneness Marriage needs wisdom.  Wisdom is skill in everyday living.  It means that we respond to circumstances according to God’s design.  A wise home builder recognizes God as the architect and builder of marriages.  As we ask God for wisdom and search the Scriptures, He supplies the skills to build our homes.  King David warns, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).  For many the architect and builder of their marriage is self, so it’s no wonder so many marriages fail.

2.  A Oneness Marriage needs understanding.  Understanding means responding to life’s circumstances with insight, a perspective that looks at life through God’s eyes.  Understanding your mate through God’s perspective results in acceptance of your differences and  beginning to learn how God uses your mate to complement you.  Understanding produces compassion for your partner.  It will give you insight to lead wisely or to follow prudently.

3.  A Oneness Marriage needs knowledge.  We live in an information age.  Our culture practically worships information, but information without application is an empty and powerless deity.

A godly kind of knowledge fills homes with “all precious and pleasant riches.”  It’s more than mere information; it’s a knowledge that results in deep convictions and habitual application.  It’s a true teachable spirit that applies God’s blueprints amidst the raw realities of life.

What do many of us need in order to apply to our marriage what we’ve learned?  Accountability.  We need someone who will break through the fences we build and our crowded loneliness and ask us if we are applying in our marriages what we’re learning.

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.

YOUR HEART FOLLOWS YOUR INVESTMENT

11 Sep

YOUR HEART FOLLOWS YOUR INVESTMENT

NOTE:  The following article comes from the book “The Love Dare – Day by Day written by Kendrick

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt.6:21

Your heart follows your investment.

Whatever you pour your time, money, and energy into will draw your heart.

This was certainly true before you were married.

You wrote letters, bought gifts, and spent time together as a couple…and your heart followed.

But if you stopped investing as much in the relationship and started pouring yourself into other things, your heart followed those.

If you are not in love with your spouse today it may be because you stopped investing in your spouse yesterday.

Ask yourself what has your heart right now.

What’s become important to you?

You can tell by looking at where your time, money, thoughts and energy have been spent recently.

Are you still putting these things into your mate?

How about the things of God?

As you draw closer to God, the Holy Spirit will act as your spiritual GPS.

When you veer off course, His still, small voice will redirect you—if you’ll listen—back toward your real treasure.

Prayer

“Lord, remind us to invest in our marriage whether our emotions are there or not.   Help us to love each other regardless of our feelings, but we ask you to renew our love for one another as we obey you.”

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