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19 Aug


Question #1.  We are feeling a lot of marital stress in our marriage due to our financial situation.  What can we do to reduce this stress?

Answer # 1.  My husband just showed me an article from “The Daily” called “Sinking feeling.”  It is by Ashley Kindergan from 8/13/11.  They did a survey and the question that was asked was the following: In which area are you feeling the most stress as a result of your financial situation?  27 % of the people they asked answer that finances they felt brought the most stress in their marriage.  That is almost 3 out of 10 marriages.  These results are devastating to a family.

I will share some principles from God’s word concerning how to be stress-free and worry free.  I will use a list and comments from an excellent book called “Internal Affairs” by Dr. Larry Hutton.

You can have control of your emotions and have a life with no stress.  Fear will paralyze your faith and worry is derived from fear.  Faith is a reaction from the heart based on something God has said.  Fear or worry is a reaction from the mind or emotions based on something your circumstances (or the devil) has said.  Worrying never brings peace or joy.

Worry does not empty tomorrow’s problems, it just empties today’s strength.

To worry is sin.  Rom.14:23b says, “…whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  Worry is causing destruction in peoples lives and it is just as wrong to worry as it is to commit adultery or murder.

1Peter 5:6-7 tells us to cast our cares on the LORD because he care for us.  “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.”

Look at what the cares of the world do!  Mark 4:18-19 “…And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

If you allow yourself to continually worry, you are no better than a drunk.  Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with…drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unaware.”

In Luke 10:38-42 is the story of Mary and Martha, two sisters.  Martha was worried, Mary sat at Jesus feet and heard the word.  Worry cuts you into billions of pieces.  All the great men of God encouraged themselves in God and in His word.

1.  Humble yourself by casting your cares upon the Lord.

2.  Like Mary, continually stay in God’s word and obey it.

3.  Like David, encourage yourself in the Lord.

4.  As Isaiah said, join yourself to the Lord and exchange your weakness for God’s strength.

5.  Like Jehoshaphat did, seek the Lord and let Him fight your battles for you.

6.  Like Psalms says, give thanks to the Lord and magnify Him instead of your problems.

7.   Like Paul & Silas did, pray and sing praises when things are not going well.

8.  Finally, become spiritually minded and allow righteousness, peace and joy to fill your cup to overflowing.

Doing the above things will cause us to be total overcomers in the realm of our emotions.

NOTE:  Tomorrows post will contain more marital insight to make your marriage a success!


18 Aug


Selfishness means an excessive concern for oneself that exceeds self interests.

Does that sound like you as a spouse?

Do you seek your own pleasure over your spouses?

Do you seek to get the most profit out of situations?

Do you find yourself being envious when your spouse receives more honor than you do from friends and family?

A man is called selfish not for persuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbors – Richard Whately

The Apostle Paul was very upset with the Corinth church because they were selfish and genuine agape love is always unselfish.

1Cor.13:5 “…Charity…does not seek it’s own.”

The church in Corinth were fighting for their own rights, suing each other and not sharing their food.

AGAPE is never selfish!!!

The word “Seek” means an attempt to learn something by careful investigation or searching.

The phrase “Seek its own way” refers to a loveless person whose actions and desires are to have their own way.

In a marriage, this kind of relationship can be very painful.

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s my way or the highway?”

Usually a person with that kind of an attitude ends up on the highway alone.

CASE AND POINT:  As I was writing this post I couldn’t help but think of my older brother.  I remember after my father abandoned our family, as children we had to fend for ourselves.  We had to find work for anything we needed or wanted.  My older brother and I are 10 months apart in age.  When he would come home from working odd jobs in the neighborhood, he almost always would hand it over to my mom for our other four younger brothers so they could have food.  My heart always went out to him because our friends had their parents to provide for them and he loved to dress nice.  It may sound funny, but he was a “show off” with nothing to show off.  That made it even more painful for me because I loved him and knew how much he loved wearing nice clothes.  As an adult to sacrifice is one thing, but to find a teenager who continually sacrificed for his siblings is very hard to find.  We love and appreciate you Augie!

Seeking your own way is the number one element that causes discord in your home and marriage.

Selfish spouses use manipulation or scheming to get their own way.

If you manipulate, this is a sin because it is untruthful and dishonest.

Agape love never operates with a “secret agenda.”

God’s agape (love) searches our heart by his Holy Spirit to expose our destructive ego.

Do you harm your spouse in order to help yourself?

This is selfishness!!

Matt.20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Get out of your comfort zone.

Seek to find ways to be an asset to your spouse!

NOTE:  Tomorrows post daily has new insights to make your marriage a success.


17 Aug



A trademark is a distinctive characteristic or attribute.

What is your distinct characteristic or attribute?

What are your distinguishing qualities?

There are positive and negative CHARACTERISTICS in everyone.

The Corinthian church was so rude that is became their “trademark.”

The Apostle Paul was so annoyed with them that he addressed it personally to them.

1Cor.13:5 “…Charity (agape love)…doth not behave itself unseemly…”

The word “unseemly” means rude.

This TYPE of person is tackless or thoughtless.

Do you offend your spouse?

Are you courteous and show good manners toward your SPOUSE?

When it comes to your spouse’s feelings do you try to be sensitive?

Do you put yourself FIRST or do you put your spouses interests first?

Love doesn’t keep track of wrongs.

Don’t keep track of your spouse’s SINS.

Is your language to your spouse harsh and brutal?

Did you PASS God’s high-level love test?

If you asked your spouse if you acted like an irritable person would his/her response be, very rarely?

Is your trademark that you FORCE yourself on your spouse and other people?

Love doesn’t elbow it’s way into conversations.

Here is a tragic story by Steven Cole:

A rude man would never open the car door for his wife.  He said, “She doesn’t have two broken arms.”  She died and at the burial the husband was standing by the funeral car where his wife’s casket lay.  The funeral director asked the husband, “Open the door for her, will you?”  As he reached for the car door, he realized he had never opened the door for her in his life.  In her death, it will be the first, last and only time he would do that for her.  He ended up living a life of torment and regret.

I can’t begin to tell you the amount of times I have talked to wives who have so many regrets after their husbands have left home or died.

What is YOUR trademark?

Did you pass God’s love test in 1Corinthians 13.

You can CHANGE your trademark today!

Let the Holy Spirit give you a godly trademark.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post with new insights to make your marriage a success.


16 Aug


Have you ever been around someone who is prideful and arrogant?

I think all of us have at some time or another.

An arrogant person is someone who shows feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride.

The Apostle Paul was upset with the Corinth church who was displaying this type of ATTITUDE to one another.

1Cor.13:4 “…Charity…is not puffed up…”

To be “puffed up” is to have a big head.

When someone is acting conceited, they have an overestimation of their  own importance, ability and achievement.

A really GREAT person, never thinks of themselves as being important.

No one likes the “important person.”

1Cor.4:6 “…that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.”

1Cor.8:1 “…knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth.”

Do you ever disregard your spouse?  To disregard means that you willfully show a lack of care and attention to your spouse.

Are you aware that this is an act of ARROGANCE?

Do you ever disrespect your spouse?

If you are doing this, you need to stop!

Lucifer was too IMPRESSED with himself and lost everything before being  thrown out of heaven.

Remember that when you live with an attitude of selfish pride, it is the opposite of humility.

Love is not selfish, arrogant, prideful or conceited.

CASE AND POINT:  I remember my husband and I were invited to go to Washington D.C.  My husband had to go to a press conference in front of the Senate building.  There was a Rabbi that also was going to speak at the press conference.  When I was introduced to the Rabbi, I put out my hand to shake his hand.  He pulled his hand back and said some words to me.  I can’t remember what he said word for word, but he was telling me that he could not touch me.  In other words, to this Jewish Rabbi, I was an “unclean thing.”  My husband told me that, that is not what he said.  I told him I know, but it is what he meant.  I felt so honored!  I can’t explain it, but for me to be in the presence of a Jewish person has always been an honor for me.  But here is a Rabbi telling me that he can’t shake my hand.  He wasn’t being rude, he was being religious.

The Rabbi continued talking to me, he just wouldn’t shake my hand.

You were not “born to be wild” with a big swelled head.

You were born to show God’s love and focus on the needs of your spouse.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post for insight to succeed in your marriage.


15 Aug


Do you like to parade your accomplishments around?

In the city of Corinth, Paul was upset with them because they were bragging about their spiritual gifts yet they were not showing love to one another.

Chances are that their listeners were extremely annoyed with this ceaseless bragging.

Have you ever been around someone who loves to brag about themself

CASE AND POINT:  I am not just saying this but my husband is multi-talented.  He is one of those people who are good at just about everything. He is mechanical, technical, musical, and an array of other areas that send my head spinning.  I have been with him since 1965 and I have never heard him brag about himself.   Never!  Yet I can meet someone for the first time and they will not stop talking about how great they are.  He does what he needs to do and he doesn’t care who gets the credit or who knows he is the one who did it.

This is what Paul said in 1Cor.13:4“…charity (agape love) vaunteth not itself…”

The Greek word for vaunteth is PERPEREUOMAI which means “a lot of self-talk.”

This type of person is so outrageous in their bragging that they tend to lie about themselves.

Paul was exhorting themselves to stop displaying their spiritual gifts so everyone will know.

Be careful because bragging can come around subtly and suddenly.

Woman have a tendency to do this about their children.

I have learned that woman only like me to brag about their children, not mine.

You brag when you heap praises on yourself, even if it is the truth.

When we lived in England, they would say a person who brags about themselves is “full of themselves.”

Boy, do I agree with that!!!

You have to be full of yourself to entertain people with words on how great you are.

Prov.25:14 “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.”  NIV

When you are showing agape love to someone, you do not act superior to them because it results in separation.

Who in their right mind wants to be around someone who is obsessed with themselves.

Barclay writes:  True love will always be far more impressed with it’s own unworthiness than it’s own merit.

If you are bragging to your spouse, it is a sin because it is not a demonstration of the love of God.

Doesn’t bragging put you in first place and God with everyone else somewhere down at the end of the totem pole?

Bragging builds you up but puts your spouse down.

NOTE:   Don’t miss tomorrow’s post that will have more insight to a successful marriage.


14 Aug



Almost everyone has heard the expression, “Green with Envy.”

You might think of envy as a “small sin” or something that is not a very big deal.

The bible is full of examples of the disasters that envy had on personal relationships.

The first one was with Cain and Abel that resulted in the killing of his brother.  (Gen.4:3-8)

Envy is one of the most damaging of all sins and hurts many people and marriages.


The reason why envy is the “green monster” is that, where envy is, LOVE cannot be.

1Cor.13:4 “…love does not envy…”

Have you ever been envious?  Let me tell you now that it does not accomplish anything good.

If you are envious, there is an antidote for you:  LOVE!

For envy, LOVE is the best antidote.

Envy reveals itself in two ways:

  1. When your heart and mind is desiring something which is possessed by someone else;
  2. When you have spite and resentment at seeing the success of someone else.

Are you satisfied with your own portion or do you want someone else’s.  Love is happiest when someone else has more.

Are you envious of someone else’s marriage?

Do you compare your finances to another couple’s finances?

Do you compare yourself to another person’s status or success and find yourself envying them?

If you are walking in agape love, your concern will be the success of others.

Envy caused Joseph’s brothers to have him enslaved.  Acts 7:9 “…became jealous of Joseph…”

Envy caused the Jews to have Jesus crucified.  Matt.27:18 “…For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy…”

If you are envious, you will find fault in everyone.

That “Green Monster” will seek out reasons for you to be envious.

The most miserable person you will find, is some one who is filled with envy.

Don’t let envy destroy your life and your marriage.

The antidote is LOVE!



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


13 Aug


Although in many ways Jacob sired a messed-up family, in other ways his whole clan knew what he considered most important.  They knew his values.  They knew, for example, that he didn’t want his sons marrying pagan women from among the Canaanites.

What’s really valuable to you?  What are your family values?  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt.6:21).

Working as a couple to establish a clear and concrete set of your own family values will strengthen your marriage and reduce stress in your relationship.  And yielding to Jesus as Lord and master–His life, teaching, death, and resurrection–must be our top priority (see 1Cor.15:3,4).  Beyond loving and obeying Christ,what we value may cover a wide range of possibilities.

Early in our marriage, Barbara and I determined that we needed to take the time to agree on our family’s values; so we went away for a weekend together to discuss it.  First, we separately listed our individual values and ranked them by priority.  Then we prayerfully combined our lists and carefully crafted a list of family values on which we would agree.  Then, we ended up with our top five family values.

We discovered that while we shared some priorities, others were very different.  On a typical summer Saturday, for example, Barbara could not wait to put on some gloves and head for the flower garden, while my idea of a good time was for the whole family to head off for a day of fishing or an adventure.

Over the years we have learned that if our values aren’t clear, we will live with more conflict than necessary, feel scattered or out of control, place unwise expectations on each other and miss out of the peace that comes from prayerfully seeking to abide in God’s will in every aspect of our lives.  Prayerfully coming into agreement on your values is an essential component of your journey together.

If you have never hammered out your values together, we encourage you to begin praying and talking about it immediately.  You may want to get away for a weekend like we did, or you can take a week and discuss a different topic each night.  To more clearly define core values, brainstorm and write down your ideas.  If needed, agree on a time when you will meet again to refine your list.  Settling on your family’s values will bring untold benefits to your marriage and family now and in the years to come.

NOTE:  This article came from Family Life Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Don’t miss tomorrows post which has more insight to make your marriage successful.