A Good Marriage – Getting Along

Have you ever had someone that you love very much, actually hurt your feelings or endlessly irritate you? We question our love for them when they grate on our last nerve, fail to live up to our expectations, break a promise, let us down, or discount and minimize our feelings and opinions.

 

Men have a hard time with their wife when she vehemently disagrees with him about an issue he is contemplating, or if she starts directing something about their shared life rather than submitting to his latest whim or decision.

 

A man’s heart hardens a little, each time he is not totally adored, submitted to and respected. A woman’s heart hardens too when she feels unaffirmed, ignored, unimportant, devalued, or less than cherished and unconditionally loved.

 

When we are offended by our mate, we may react by fighting back, screaming, accusing and cursing at each other with abandon. We may even use abusive words and behavior, and attempt to control our spouse by force.

 

Conversely, we may withdraw and distance our self physically and emotionally from our mate. We make less eye connections, neglect focused attention and physical touch, and we speak with detached feelings.

 

A sick soul cannot think clearly, because we are too absorbed in nursing our wounds. People with buried trauma from our past attempt to inflict pain on others to diminish our own pain.

 

Codependent people often neglect our own needs in an attempt to meet our mate’s expectations. If we do give up and capitulate to one another and neglect our own soul, we may suffer with sickness in our body and spirit, as well as in our soul. We sell our self short, and we give-in until we no longer recognize our true self.

 

The truth is that we cannot successfully control another person. They own their feelings, perspective, opinions, needs, decisions and values. We share many of these, but differ in others. We can, however, control our own actions and reactions toward other people.

 

I found peace in my soul about all of this by first gaining a thorough understanding of my spouse’s decisions, which I cannot control; and then making my own decision, which I can control.

We set our mate free to make his/her choices, and then we make our own choices.

 

If our spouse disagrees with our choice, we are open to discussion; but we do not need to force our self to capitulate and to reap the consequences of his/her decisions that we disagree with and that we cannot support.

 

I am learning not to over-react, but to submit to God’s Spirit. We can gain our wisdom and strength from the Trinity’s presence in our life. We ask for God’s guidance, and we make our decisions according the Spirit’s direction in our life. If we do this as a couple, our relationship greatly improves.

 

Prayer:

Father God, please remind us that disagreements are common in life; but when we constantly capitulate to our partner’s plans, this causes resentment, which often sets into our soul and builds thick walls of bitterness between us. Then, we use our body language and tone of voice to convey our feelings, which often only exacerbates the problems between us.

 

Help us to see that the only way out of this dilemma is honest, but loving communication about the sin in our own life that causes our behavior, as well as clear explanations about how we really feel about the situation that is occurring. Give us the strength to forgive one another for slights and abusive words and actions that produce sickness in one another’s soul, and to be open to new ideas and challenges that we can face together.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can heal our soul by journaling our thoughts and emotions clearly and honestly, and by taking a searching inventory of our negative emotions as we ask God to show us the root cause for them; once we understand what is causing our thoughts, feelings and behavior, we can clearly communicate it to our spouse.

 

 

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An Eternal Mindset

 

Although we are made from dust, and to dust we shall return, God uses us to show His power in and through us. He does not promise us a stress-free life; in fact, he warns us that we will have tribulation (John 16:33).

 

We may have trials overwhelming us, puzzles too hard to solve, desperate situations that have no end in sight, and we may experience rejection and abuse, but God makes sure that we are never crushed, in despair, totally abandoned or destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).

 

With a carnal mindset, we find our comfort and joy in things of this world. This causes us to be broken-hearted and to feel grief when we lose a loved one, have to move away from family, lose our job, experience devastation through a natural disaster, etc.

 

However, if we have an eternal mindset, it does not matter where we live, what city we move to, who we live with, where we work, what the temperature is, or in which neighborhood we live, because we know that we are in the center of God’s will – the happiest place on earth.

 

God often calls us to do a task that requires great sacrifice from us. We have to live or work around people that we do not like, we exert effort that is too hard for us either mentally or physically, and then negative emotions bombard our soul.

 

We experience grief and relief intermittently. We feel shattered and bewildered, and at times deserted and rejected. However, God’s mercy and grace make every issue turn out for our eventual good (Romans 8:28).

 

We may not receive what we desired, but God’s provision is often much better than what we wanted. God cares about every negative emotion that we experience, and He will help us to change our focus from fear to faith.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You always walk with us and in us through the pain-filled, tearful, grueling days of our life. Age and sickness take a toll on our health and the functions of our human body, but You often heal us by Your grace. We look forward to receiving our immortal body to replace this old tent in which we now dwell.

 

You are our sovereign Father and we cannot ever thank You enough for Your perfect provision for us on this sin-cursed earth. Like all of creation, we yearn for Jesus’ return to the earth, to take the government on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). We look forward to serving King Jesus for all of eternity (James 1:12).

 

Thought for the Day:

We decrease so that God can increase in our life; and we find His strength in our weakness, His comfort in our times of grief, and His salvation from the deep waters that threaten to annihilate us. – Psalm 18:16

 

An Eternal Mindset

Although we are made from dust, and to dust we shall return, God uses us to show His power in and through us. He does not promise us a stress-free life; in fact, he warns us that we will have tribulation (John 16:33).

 

Although we may have trials overwhelming us, puzzles too hard to solve, desperate situations that have no end in sight, and we may experience rejection and abuse, God makes sure that we are never crushed, in despair, totally abandoned or destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).

 

With a carnal mindset, we find our comfort and joy in things of this world. This causes us to be broken-hearted and to feel grief when we lose a loved one, have to move away from family, lose our job, experience devastation through a natural disaster, etc.

 

However, if we have an eternal mindset, it does not matter where we live, what city we move to, who we live with, where we work, what the temperature is, or in which neighborhood we live, because we know that we are in the center of God’s will – the happiest place on earth.

 

God often calls us to do a task that requires great sacrifice from us. We have to live or work around people that we do not like, we exert effort that is too hard for us either mentally or physically, and then negative emotions bombard our soul.

 

We experience grief and relief intermittently. We feel shattered and bewildered, and at times deserted and rejected. However, God’s mercy and grace make every issue turn out for our eventual good (Romans 8:28).

 

We may not receive what we desired, but God’s provision is often much better than what we wanted. God cares about every negative emotion that we experience, and He will help us to change our focus from fear to faith.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You always walk with us and in us through the pain-filled, tearful, grueling days of our life. Age and sickness take a toll on our health and the functions of our human body, but You often heal us by Your grace. We look forward to receiving our immortal body to replace this old tent in which we now dwell.

 

You are our sovereign Father and we cannot ever thank You enough for Your perfect provision for us on this sin-cursed earth. Like all of creation, we yearn for Jesus’ return to the earth, to take the government on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). We look forward to serving King Jesus for all of eternity (James 1:12).

 

Thought for the Day:

We decrease so that God can increase in our life; and we find His strength in our weakness, His comfort in our times of grief, and His salvation from the deep waters that threaten to annihilate us. – Psalm 18:16

 

Striving for Impossible Results

Some people look down on other people who are fearful and insecure. Possibly, they are threatened or apprehensive when they view our anxieties face-to-face, because they do not want to face their own issues.

 

They want us to live a level life without mountaintops and valleys. They want us to use rational reasoning to solve our fears; but this is not always possible, because fears are more emotional than mental.

 

Sometimes, we end up with panic attacks, because we accept so many responsibilities, make unreachable goals for our self, and pile one ideal or expectation on top of the other until they topple over and self-destruct.

 

We do this in an attempt to reach a desired destination by a certain date and time; however, we actually find our self out of breath and aching in body and soul.

 

We are so busy, that we have little or no time for our soul, which is our true self that needs rest, relaxation and enjoyment. We tend to wear out our soul – out thoughts, emotions and choices, by overly committing our self.

 

Also, we may neglect our spirit by avoiding fellowship, rushing in and out of worship times, or just not attending services at all. We may be led by compulsion and expectations, rather than by obeying the direction of God’s Spirit for each moment of our day.

 

The only way to rest in the Lord (Hebrews 10:14) is to realize that He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). He helps us to walk in His peace, joy and perfect rest. Through Christ in us, we find our peace in the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, sometimes, even when we are walking in Your perfect will for our life, we may feel overwhelmed and unsuccessful. Help us to minimize the stress that we feel by compartmentalizing the goals that You give us, so that we can do one achievable part at a time until we accomplish Your complete goal for us.

 

Help us not to feel responsible for making everyone around us happy and successful. Remind us that we are not responsible for caring for everyone in our life (John 5:3, 8). Encourage us to leave them in Your capable hands until they walk in Your ways for their life. Enable us not to allow negative emotions to consume us, but to come to You for resolution for each issue that is plaguing our soul.

 

Thought for the Day:

Thinking idealistically and creating unachievablely high goals for our self, keeps us striving for more, better, and in reality, impossible results.

 

A Safe and Level Path

It makes me sad when I witness Satan convincing people, just like he did with Adam and Eve, that it is possible to have a spiritual perspective in life without God.
These deceived people really have to work hard to convince themselves that being spiritual without God is actually possible. They twist words and beat around the bush in order to explain how they accomplish this perspective.

 

Their conviction makes absolutely no sense at all. They bend over backward to sound confident in what they purport. Yet, it simply puts bandages on the wounds that our beliefs and behavior allow the devil to inflict on us.

 

We are never completely healthy and whole, until our spirit is Born Again by the power of God’s Spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

When life is puzzling and we are groping in the dark, we question God and sometimes even curse Him. When life is hard, we often accuse God for our circumstances. We may have caused these issues by our own choices, but we blame God anyway.

 

God knows the end of our life from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Often, what He does with us, for us, and to us in our life seems misguided and irrelevant. Yet, if we take the time to really notice, His direction sees us through all of the twists and turns of life.

 

God is not our Aladdin’s Lamp to grant us three wishes whenever we decide that we need them. He is our King, and we serve at His pleasure, not our own. He is rarely direct in His guidance of us, but He is always timely and amazing.

 

Christ in us provides us with faith instead of fear, and trust instead of insecurities and negative emotions. As we draw near to Him, He helps us to flee temptations and to weather life’s storms (James 4:7).

 

We are not the center of our life, Jesus is (Colossians 3:33-4). He is the alpha and omega of all things, and He leads us in a safe and level path as we consult Him each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are so sorry for attempting to control You, for blaming You for negative circumstances, and for grumbling when You choose a different path for us than the one we want to walk. Remind us not to live out our ways with our plans, goals and desires; but to obey Your guidance through each moment of the day.

 

You are our Father, and You always know what is best for us. Help us not to resist Your plans, but to follow them always – knowing that they will all work out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11). Thank You for transforming our mind and helping us to see life as Jesus does, as Your Holy Spirit also give us Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light to our path; as we traverse this world throughout our lifetime, we want to walk in the middle of His perfect plans for us.

– Psalms 119:105, 108-109; Ephesians 2:10.

 

A Deeper Dependence on Our Father God

Trials often assail us on every side. Beaten down and discouraged, we feel hopeless, helpless, disenfranchised and alone. A rift in relationships, a loss of our vocation, etc. feels like the end of our life as we know it.

 

However, it is simply the end of one chapter, and the beginning of a whole new chapter of our life, especially if we are walking in the center of God’s will for us.

 

Trials open the door to more intimacy and dependence on our Father God. We turn our face to the Son and soak up His encouragement, exhortation, peace, joy and blessings (Isaiah 26:3).

 

We see an example of how to handle our trials by examining the life of the Apostle Paul. Even after false accusations, caning, public embarrassment and being thrown in jail, he and his companion, Silas, sang praises to God to their hearts’ content (Acts 16:16-28).

 

God shook the earth as they praised Him, the prison chains fell off, and the doors popped wide open. Rather than to harbor hatred or anger toward the jailer, Paul and Silas had compassion on him; and a revival broke out around that jail when people witnessed God’s miraculous event.

 

Then the jailer had compassion on God’s men. He took them home, cleaned their wounds and fed them a meal (Acts 16:29-34). During trials that would normally depress and devastate unsaved people, God always provides for His Saints.

 

We can glorify our Lord through our testimony and actions, just like Paul and Silas did. As God proves to us His faithfulness, our faith in Him grows and we find our security under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us Your joy when we face trials of any kind, for building up our faith and our patience, and for giving us Your hope through it all (James 1:2-3; Romans 5:3-5). We praise You for Your comforting presence within us, no matter what life throws at us. Teach us to praise You for the bad times, as well as the good times (Philippians 4:4-8).

 

We believe in You, but we also need You to help our unbelief at times (Mark 9:24). Deep burdens assail us, big challenges detain us, and hardships attempt to overcome us. However, with Your Trinity abiding within us, we can face any trial with the assurance that You are working out every part of it for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not always feel joyful in our tribulation, but we can always find our joy in the Lord, who walks with us through the midst of every trial and fills us with His joy and peace. – Philippians 4:4-7

 

Healing from Dysfunctional Living

We grow up in an imperfect world with imperfect people. Every one of us leaves our family of origin with some type of disharmony within our soul.

 

Absent parents produce abandonment issues; abusive parents generate fears and insecurities; overly protective parents encourage us to feel timid and fearful; parents with high expectations make us feel like we are not good enough; a stoic parent causes us to feel unlovable; etc.

 

God’s Spirit helps us to uncover our past memories, which we buried in our subconscious mind. He gives us the courage to face them one at a time. He teaches us the significance of these incidents as they play a part in our current personality and lifestyle. ( http://www.transformationprayer.org/supplemental-training-menu/ )

 

Yet, God puts a new song in our heart (Psalm 40:3). He heals us throughout the rest of our life, sanctifying our soul, implanting in us the mind of Christ, and imparting to us Jesus’ divine character (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Peter 1:4).God teaches us to understand why we act, feel or say certain things that used to puzzle us.

 

This helps us to let go of bitterness, as we realize the importance of forgiveness; we step out of the past and shake off the shackles that kept us in bondage to it; and we stop living a carnal, finite life as we walk in the realm of God’s infinite Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

There is no mountain so high that God cannot help us to hike to the summit, and no valley so dark and deep that He will not carry us through it. He simply teaches us to trust in His goodness and to have faith in His faithfulness.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that You care about every current circumstance, every issue that transpired in the past, and all of the pitfalls that will occur in our future. You have a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10), and You encourage us to walk in it moment-by-moment through the direction of Your Holy Spirit (Philippians 4:7; Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We can never, ever thank You enough for Your goodness, wisdom, enlightenment and care for us. We humbly bow to Your will and totally surrender our past, present and future to You. You are our Father who knows best what we need and when we need it, and You promise to supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

 

Thought for the Day:

There is no reason for us to pursue carnal pursuits like other people do, who do not have the saving faith in Christ that helps us to glide smoothly through this perverse world; this is because we believe that our Heavenly Father knows what we need, even before we realize it. – Matthew 6:32-33; 2 Corinthians 9:8