A Good Marriage – Communication and Acceptance

We form our individuality from birth. Our reactions to life’s developments cause us to make choices, and we collect “baggage” from unresolved conflicts in our soul. We develop a wall of protection, which becomes a hindrance to true intimacy in our marriage.

 

We usually marry a person that we really love, admire and feel a passion towards. However, sometimes they are lacking in certain areas, and we optimistically hope that they will change to be more of the person we need in our life. This is a time-bomb.

 

If we do not accept our future mate just the way he/she is, then we are asking for a troubled marriage. Marriage never changes anyone’s core values, basic habits, personality and character.

 

We both put on a “good face” while dating, but after the wedding we relax. Also, over the years, we both adjust our perspective on life, our dreams and goals, our interests and our outlook, etc. and this often affects the way we relate to and feel about each other.

 

We have to realize that we both deserve to have our own values, individual life plans, and the right to make our own choices. This calls for us to choose to continue to love and serve the person we married, even when we do not agree with their choices.

 

Communication is difficult in any setting: in marriage, at work, with parent-child relationships, in our community, etc. Have you ever had a conversation with yourself? If we are honest, we will admit that, at times, we even argue with our self.

 

The key to success in this area is for both mates to walk in the Spirit. We consult God and communicate with one another before we make any plans or decisions about our day. God will lead us both on the path in which we should go.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to love one another as we love our self (Mark 12:30-31). Teach us to develop vulnerability in place of defensiveness, humility to replace pride, openness in place of resistance, apology instead of accusing, forgiveness rather than holding grudges, and living in Your will more preferably than relying on our human resources.

 

Help us to do all that we can to live in peace with everyone, especially our mate. Remind us that if we consult You before making any plans, we will live in more harmony with one another (Proverbs 3:5-6). Help us when we feel misunderstood, lonely even though we are married, falsely accused, disappointed, etc. Teach us to compromise, rather than to insist on our goals and desires, until we find common ground on which we can both stand.

 

Thought for the Day:

In marriage, remember not to neglect the important aspects of love that keep our souls connected: worshipping God and praying together, holding hands, giving focused attention, doing random acts of kindness, serving our community together, hugging when we pass in the house rather than walking by each other, having a date night, playing together, laughing together, etc.

 

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A Living Sacrifice

God admonishes us in His Word to live as instruments for righteousness, a living sacrifice as one brought from spiritual death to life (Romans 6:13). He calls us to live as a witness to others as an unreproachable Believer (Titus 1:5-16; 1 Timothy 3:1-13).

 

As new Believers, we think that taking care of others is more important than caring for our self. God’s Word teaches us that we are to love others in the same manner that we love our self. If we do not care for our self, we will have no energy to care for others.

 

The more we neglect our self in order to care for others, the more drained we get in body, soul and spirit. We fight constant exhaustion and fatigue. We give our entire resources to others and leave none left over to care for our self.

 

This may even lead to depression caused by the anger that we feel toward our self for our neglect of our personal needs. It helps to get alone with God each day, to recharge our battery and to hear from His Spirit, so we can stop walking outside of His will for our life.

 

As we assess our motives for what we do, we can change our choices, habits and thought life to fit in with God’s plans for as His living sacrifice (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:8). Some areas of our lifestyle are actually vitally important to prevent self-destruction.

 

We need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to allow our body to heal and to gain energy for the next day. If we have a sedentary job, we need to remember to keep moving. We also need to feel the sun on our skin and the grass under our feed.

 

Reading daily devotions from Biblical sources is paramount. If we are drowning in busyness, we can slow down, destress, and take frequent breaks to relax. Eating nutritious meals, drinks and snacks is also indispensably important in order to keep us healthy with strength to work as the Lord directs us.

 

When we care for our self, we get to know who we are, what we need, and what we want. This enables us to develop good habits that meet our daily needs. Self-care also allows us to daily deny our carnal nature and to submit to God’s Spirit as He sanctifies us (Romans 8:5-14).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we are made in Your image, and we can follow the example to rest that You gave to us (Genesis 2:2-3). Jesus showed us that we need times without the interruption of crowds of people (Mark 6:31), as well as social media or ringing telephones. We can even prop up our feet and rest a while between chores and duties. Remind us to have compassion for our own foibles and failings, as well as for other people, forgiving our self and others quickly.

 

Help us to feel our feelings, and to talk or journal about them, rather than to bury them in our subconscious mind or to ignore them. Teach us to make frequent lists of the good qualities in our self, mate, children, family members, church family, co-workers, etc. and to learn to appreciate our self and others. We really appreciate You, and we want to serve You with our life, both now and throughout eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we celebrate our gratitude for all of God’s blessings, we can spend time playing with our pet, working on a craft, chatting with a friend, snuggling with our mate and children, fellowshipping with our church family, playing an instrument, attending Bible studies and doing our daily devotion times, tinkering with the car, reading, counting our blessings, watching a game or movie or listening to our music, etc.; this all will bring a smile to our face and put joy in our heart.

 

Having Faith in God’s Faithfulness

When we verbally declare that “Jesus is Lord,” and we believe in our heart that Our Father God raised Him from the dead, we are saved from the devastation of sin and the eternal flames of hell (Romans 1:16; 10:9-11; Matthew 13:50; Revelation 20:15).

 

Thankfully, God gives us salvation by grace, through our faith in Him. We do not need to earn redemption by our works, otherwise we could boast of our accomplishments and goodness (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 12:3; 1 Timothy 6:6).

 

When we are hindered by mountains of difficulties, we can use the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer, and trust God to help us to deal with them, enable us to climb over them, or to supernaturally remove them for us (Mark 11:23; 1 John 5:5; Matthew 21:21).

 

As authentic Believers, we live in this world by the faith of the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20). No matter what we suffer in life, we can rest assured that God loves us and has a higher purpose for us in all things (Philippians 1:29; Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11).

 

We hold fast to our faith in God’s faithfulness, and we look forward to eternal life, to which we are guaranteed by our confession of faith in Christ’s eternal work for us (1 Timothy 6:12; John 20:29). We walk in His Spirit in the center of His will.

 

The more we hear and read the Word of God, the stronger our faith in Christ becomes (Romans 10:17). We know for a fact that God plans for everyone who is in Christ to live with Him now and for all eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:14; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us the ability to add Godly character to our life through our faith in You (2 Peters 1:5-7). Your presence in us separates us from the control of sin and gives us hope in Your promises of eternal life with You (Galatians 3:22). Thank You also for giving us the righteousness of Christ through our faith and belief in Him (Romans 3:21-22).

 

We could never earn Your love, but through our faith in Jesus, You justify our spirit, You are sanctifying our soul, and You will glorify our body once we see Jesus (Romans 5:1). Thank You for giving us the privilege of living as Your children (John 1:12). Enable us to express our faith in You through our love for You and for everything You created (Galatians 5:6). We look forward to each new day to serve You in Your Kingdom now and for eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

Everyone who believes in, trusts in, and totally relies on the Son of God has eternal life through His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross; yet, everyone who reject the Son will reap God’s wrath and never enjoy eternal life in Him. – John 3:36

 

God’s Unfailing Love for Us

Consulting the Lord every moment of the day allows us to walk beside Him, to connect with Him in our spirit, and to rely on His strength, so that we are never shaken regardless of our circumstances (Psalm 16:8; Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

God’s Word admonishes us to deny our self, to daily take up our cross, and to follow God’s direction for our life (Matthew 16:24-26). God reminds us to deny our sinful thoughts and behavior, but to care for our legitimate needs (Mark 6:31-32; Matthew 15:32).

 

When we center our spirit and soul on God alone, everything falls into place for us (Jeremiah 17:7-8). He directs us in the path that we should follow (Proverbs 16:9), which includes caring for our own mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.

 

God actually advises us to take care of our self (1 Kings 19:1-8). If we care for our self, we often feel selfish. Yet, if we do not care for our own needs, the chances are that no one else will either. We eventually get run down and resentful, our energy is depleted, and we are drowning in negative emotions.

 

Believers often agree to help in every ministry in the church, and to give to everyone in need; however, this is not always God’s will for our life. Instead, He calls us to specific events and opportunities, as we continually walk by His Spirit’s direction in the middle of His will.

 

Our intimate relationship with God’s Trinity is our most fulfilling bond. This association alone makes all of our other needs less demanding and important to us. We find refreshment for our body, soul and spirit as we walk according to God’s plan for us (Mark 1:35).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your unfailing love for us. Help us to allow Your Spirit to incorporate all of Your fruit into our life (Galatians 5:22-23). We want to live as Your ambassadors with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, because this is of great worth to You. A Godly attitude promotes our witness to all of those around us (1 Peter 3:4). Remind us that if we do not care for our personal needs, then resentment, bitterness and anger will move in and destroy our testimony for You.

 

We do not want to follow the dictates of this sin-filled world, but to allow You to transform our mind until we live in the center of Your will for us (Romans 12:2). Keep our soul balanced by reminding us to focus our thoughts and behavior on whatever is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Keep us in good health in our body, soul and spirit as we conform to the image of Your Son (Romans 8:29; 3 John 1:2).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our body was created as the Temple of God’s Holy Spirit, and He dwells in our spirit continually; we are not our own, because Jesus bought us through His shed blood; therefore, we are called to honor God with and through our body, soul and spirit.

– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

 

Freedom from Melancholy Moods

One source of sadness in this life is a melancholy personality. A melancholy person feels things very deeply. Without Jesus to transform us, we often have sadness for no reason at all. All the soul searching we do does not come up with a source for our sadness.

 

Serving others is one way that we can use to shed that deep internal sorrow that has no source other than a personality trait. It is said, that serving the Lord and others brings J-O-Y (Jesus-Others-Yourself = don’t forget to bless yourself too (Mark 12:31).

 

Posting Bible verses about joy around the house – especially on the bathroom mirror, on our desk, and over the kitchen sink where we spend concentrated time – really helps to turn mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11).

 

Sometimes, we need medication, especially if we suffer grief from a loss, a betrayal or a disaster. There is no shame in using medication, or essential oils along with a clean food lifestyle. We use these aids to help with other medical deficiencies in our body, why not for the mind – another viable organ in our body.

 

A trained, licensed therapist, a group of trusted friends, or a nice thick notebook in which to journal, will also help us to express our true, deep negative emotions. All of this often enables us to find the source of our depression or melancholy mood and heal.

 

A key tool for shedding this ethereal sorrow is praising God from A to Z. I go through the alphabet and think of one thing that makes me happy that starts with each letter. I always begin with “I praise You, Lord, for creating Aardvarks”, because just saying that word makes me giggle!!!

 

Prayer:

Father God, when we realize that walking in Your Spirit each moment of our day brings us a joyful heart (Ecclesiastes 9:7; Proverbs 10:28), we want to remain in Your presence forevermore (Psalm 16:11). Just knowing that Your presence abides within us fills us with indescribable and magnificent joy and pleasures (1 Peter 1:8-9). As we trust only in You, our God of hope, You fill us with Your joy and peace, and we overflow with the power of Your Spirit (Romans 15:13; Nehemiah 8:10).

 

As we submit to the test of our faith that produces perseverance in us, we find pure joy in our trials every time that we keep our focus on You (James 1:2-3). Sometimes, when our melancholy personality attempts to drown us in depression, just clapping our hands in praise to You, and shouting our thoughts and feelings to You, will remedy the situation and dispel our sad mood (Psalm 27:6, 47:1; Isaiah 12:6). Your love gives us great comfort and joy throughout our lifetime, and no one can take away our joy when we are focused only on You (John 16:22).

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we face our deep-seeded concerns, adjust to events, learn to use our voice to stop abuse or unpleasant situations, find our self-esteem along with our strength and fortress through the Trinity within us, as well as use the Serenity Prayer to cope with challenges, we can find freedom and true inner joy regardless of our circumstances. – Psalm 30:5; Romans 14:17

 

 

 

 

God is a Micromanager

I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father is a micromanager. He warns us not to rely on our human thoughts and understanding, but to trust Him with our whole heart. As we consult Him during each moment of our life, He will show us exactly what to do (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

Most people abhor being micromanaged. It makes us feel inferior, demotivated, dispirited and unappreciated, as well as causing us to feel irritated and downright angry at times.

 

However, when God micromanages us, we feel safe, loved, secure, joyful, confident, courageous and blessed. He is not satisfied with our flesh and carnality, but He gave us His Spirit who trades these characteristics with the mind and divine nature of Christ, as well as His spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

 

God has a specific way for us to accomplish His will for our day, and we set our self up for distress, if we walk outside of His plans for us. If we take a wrong turn, God faithfully corrects us, and lovingly redirects our steps.

 

Our Father keeps careful watch over all of His Saints. He knows where each of us is located, and what we are doing at all times. He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah46:10) and wants to bless us every step of the way (Jeremiah 29:11).

 

He requests that we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), so that we hear His Spirit’s guidance throughout our day. He is a perfectionist, and wants us to be perfect also (Matthew 5:48). Not in an obsessive-compulsive way, but in a relaxed, obedient manner.

 

We let go, and let God’s Spirit work in and through us, as we serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus. This way we do not burn out in our attempt to work “for” God; because instead, we allow the Trinity to work “through” us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we never want to be the bottleneck that slows down or hinders Your efforts to reach people for Your Kingdom. We want to develop, not thwart the spiritual growth of others. Adding to another’s productivity is our desire, so help us to encourage rather than to discourage them. We want to promote creativity and initiative in our brothers and sisters, so that You can use all of us for Your purposes.

 

You never want us to doubt Your care for us, even during negative circumstances, because You are with us and in us through it all. You empower us to do all things, because Christ is in us (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 4:13). You give our marching orders to all of us, each moment of our day; in order to keep us in step with Your plans. We have no fear of our future, because we give You complete control of every aspect of it.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we focus on listening to God’s voice each moment of our day, we walk in the center of His will, while He directs us to be in the right place, at the right time to follow His plans according to His purpose and not our own.

 

 

 

We Already Have the Mind of Christ

I was so confused when I read that we are to put on the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2) in one verse, and then that we already have the mind of Christ in a second verse (1 Corinthians 2:16). They seemed to contradict one another.

 

The truth about the mind of Christ is that Christ lives within us. Therefore, His mind is already in us. Yet, if we ignore His presence in our life, and use our carnal, human reasoning instead, we are not putting on the mind of Christ.

 

No one can understand the mind of the Lord (Isaiah 40:13; 1 Corinthians 2:16). To our human thinking, God’s guidance in our life often seems to be useless, redundant or not helpful at all (1 Corinthians 2:14). However, we soon see why He gave us this advice in the first place.

 

If we ignore the important information He gives to us, we eventually realize how much we needed His words. If we obey the thoughts He puts into our mind, we succeed because we are filled with His values and directed by His desires rather than our own (1 Corinthians 2:5-6).

 

With His Spirit abiding within us (1 Corinthians 2:14), His character gradually replaces our carnal nature (Galatians 5:22-23). His meekness, empathy (Matthew 9:36), wisdom, and His strict reliance on our Father God, is our model for our life (1 Corinthians 2:7; Philippians 2:5-8).

 

Making sure that we discern life through our spirit rather than through our flesh, we access the mind of Christ within us all day long – living in His will and ignoring our human understanding (1 Corinthians 2:15). We work toward God’s plan for us in the world.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You that Jesus lived as an example for us in surviving in this world. His whole life was centered on a desire to bring You glory, and to seek and to save the lost (John 17:5; Luke 19:10). His constant communion with You, and His strict obedience to Your precepts is a blessing for us to follow. Remind us to come away with You to a quiet and lonely place to seek Your face and plans for our day, just like Jesus did (Luke 5:16).

 

As we commune each moment with You, You reveal to us the deep concepts of Your Word and Your desires for our day. Thank You for giving us Your Spirit to replace the spirit of the world that we used to follow (Romans 8:9), and for enlightening us to the blessings You reserve just for Your children (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). We love You and give You all of our praise and glory.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we stop allowing our self to be conformed by the spirit of this world, we can change or focus to the fact that we already have the mind of Christ, and we can allow the Spirit within us to teach us “what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God”.

– Romans 12:2