A Good Marriage – Loved and Cherished – Part 1

Marriage is a covenant between two different and unique people that should never be questioned or dissolved. It is a sacred vow before God to be united for life.

 

There is nothing in a marriage that cannot be resolved if both parties of the couple are humble enough to be flexible, to forgive slights – no matter how huge or earth shattering they are – and to lay down our life for one another.

 

If the circumstances are unbearable, a period of separation for the purpose of reconciliation is much better than getting a divorce. We cannot “move on with life”, but we can trust God to bring about a resolution in His perfect way and timing.

 

If our spouse is abusive, we can get a new phone number, and have a friend read his/her mail before we do, if we fear it is abusive. We can change jobs if necessary, and alert our friends to keep our business private. We do not need to live with abuse.

 

However, divorce is a blight on society and a lifelong wound on our life that never heals. It impacts the children of divorced parents and weakens their resolve to continue in their own marriage and to work out issues with compromise and preferring one another.

 

Cherishing one another is the greatest guarantee against divorce. To cherish means to look at one another with affection and loving consideration; we consistently show love beyond measure; adore one another; dote on each other and cherish one another from deep in our heart.

 

Rather than competing with one another, or expecting our mate to function outside of their calling and provision from God, we can discover our mate’s gifts and talents and depend on them for these traits.

 

We can hire a mechanic or handyman, if our mate is not gifted in that area, or engage a housekeeper or share the chores if our wife works too many hours to keep our home to the standard that we like it.

 

Communicating honestly and brainstorming together to find alternative methods, thinking and behavior is a healthy habit, which prevents bitterness from tearing apart our commitment to one another.

 

If both members of the couple are humble enough to make the effort to change our behavior, as well as to communicate more honestly with each other, then a Pastor, a successfully married older couple, or a counselor may help to improve our communication with one another.

 

We all bask in the Sonshine of a heart-felt compliment. Making each other feel loved and cherished is the best gift we could ever give to one another, to our family and to our children’s future mates.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we have a choice each day to build up or to tear down our relationship with one another. Help us to make it our goal to act loving, to quickly forgive slights, and to readily and patiently bear with one another’s fears and foibles. Remind us not to withhold love or approval, so that we do not compound one another’s self-doubt.

 

Give us Your wisdom to stop enabling one another’s insecurities. Help us to help each other to overcome the lies Satan planted in our heart during our childhood. Help us to help one another to feel unconditionally loved and cherished, not only by You, but by each other as well.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can prevent jealousy and insecurity in our relationship by speaking honestly about what we did with our day, who we were talking to on the phone and why we said or did something with another person in a particular manner that may have appeared as flirting or inappropriate for a married person.

 

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God Restores Our Wounded Heart

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in the circumstances of life? They overpower us and drag us down in the pit of despair. My best recourse during times like these is to praise God for who He is, regardless of what I do not see Him doing in my life at the moment.

He has His plans for us and His perfect timing. He often allows trials to drag on and on and cause us discomfort, financial loss, relational discouragement and mental and physical exhaustion.

We struggle with melancholy emotions and fight against bitterness and anger. God always rescues us out of the deep waters of trials, because He delights in us (Psalm 18:16-19).

He may take a while to deliver us, in order to build our faith so that we trust in Him alone, and that we do not rely on our human understanding or resources.

During this time, God also helps us to rise above the “grouchies” and the “mulligrubs”, and to be pleasant to our family and everyone He brings our way, even if we do not feel like it.

One aspect we encounter during tough times is Satan’s lies, which he plants in our soul all of our life. We believe these lies, and allow them to cripple us with depression and despair.

Satan’s lies may even cause us to doubt God’s love, His sincerity in keeping His Word to protect us as our Heavenly Daddy, and that He cares about us enough to allow negative circumstances to come against us.

We may revert to a life of sin and addiction in order to escape the pain we feel – temporary though this carnal reprieve may be. We prolong our agony and suffering by turning away from God to the world, the flesh and the devil.

Instead, we can read God’s Word, which He will use to encourage us through the hard times. He will use it to restore our wounded heart and fill us with His peace and joy.

Prayer:

Father God, we often struggle with the horrific pain of life on this sin-cursed earth. We forget that it takes faith to embrace Your authority over our life, and to reach out to You in our times of need. Help us to continually pursue Your Agape love, regardless of how we feel or what we are going through.

Remind us that others will treat us as we allow them to relate to us, and that we do not have to believe the lies which Satan prompts others to tell us. We often allow them to heap blame on us for what is not our fault, and they control us through their behavior and attitude toward us. Help us to believe the Truth of Your Word and to reject the lies that Satan uses others to hurl at us.

Thought for the Day:

No one can make us feel worthless, because Christ died to show us that we are valuable to Him, His Kingdom and eternity; He reached down from Heaven and chose us before the creation of the world so that He can love us with His everlasting love.

God is Our Vigilant Support

We all have people in our life that abuse us and make us feel small. They attempt to define our value, condemn our short-comings and even blame things on us that are their fault, not ours.

They manipulate us to make them feel bigger in their own eyes. This all stops when we realize that our worth comes from Christ in us, not from other people, and not from any good works of our own.

Jesus is our support and He rescues us from our abusers. He brings us out of places of abuse and delights over us, as He plants us in bright, spacious spots in the earth where He can best use us for His purposes.

Our Heavenly Father created us, because He has a specific plan for our life (Ephesians 2:8-10). He takes our broken lives and transforms them with His love. He heals our shattered heart and strengthens our weaknesses with His righteousness (Psalm 18:16-19).

God draws us out of our own mind, heart and purposes and teaches us to surrender to His will. He gives us reasons to rejoice and sends little hugs to us throughout the day.

He gives us ways to nurture His work in our soul and to make us aware of His presence and Spirit within us. We are never alone again and we have His constant vigil over our life.

Through the years, we develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him and we have less of a struggle as He purges our flesh through His sanctifying work (2 Timothy1:3-14).

Prayer:

Father God, help us to develop a clear understanding of Your Word, divine nature and perfect plans for our life. Lead us by Your Spirit each new day so that Your character takes precedence over our fleshly, carnal nature.

Thank You for loving us for who we are in you, and for over-looking all of our idiosyncrasies and short-comings. When we doubt our value in life, remind us to see our self through Your eyes and to reject Satan’s lies which are buried within our soul.

Thought for the Day:

We can lean on the Lord for strength and support through all of our struggles; as long as we do not allow the busyness of our normal schedule to overpower our connection to Him.

 

A Prophetic Nature

A person, like me, with a prophetic nature is usually honest and true. You can trust us to live in harmony with God’s Word and to always tell you the truth. I may not always do so in love, but I am learning how to do that.

 

I do not have a mean spirit or intend to hurt someone’s feelings; but my words may be sharp, blunt, untactful and not wisely chosen. Prophetic people tend to “tell it like it is” and I do not usually “pull my punches”.

 

What you see is what you get. I do not put on airs or hide behind a mask, try to impress you or flatter you, or attempt to be someone I am not.

 

I am honest, upfront and unguarded. A sensitive person will shy away from someone with a prophetic nature, because although I speak what someone needs to hear, my timing is not always sensitive.

 

I usually have discernment and I really care about people. I want to be helpful and to set the world in right order. People think that I always want to be right, but I just call it like I see it – right or wrong.

 

I rarely plan what I am going to say, I spontaneously speak “off the cuff”, and I may make more enemies than friends. Prophetic people are often loners, but we are happy to spend more time in prayer than with people.

 

As a prophetic person attempts to bring about a new way of thinking and doing things, we try to get to the root of the truth. We are often destructive before we can be constructive.

 

A person with a prophetic nature will deal with rejection, arguments and disagreements. Truth in its first form is often rejected, because people do not like change.

 

Yet, the seed for the truth is there in the words fitly spoken, and will fester in the heart of the hearer until the words bring about spiritual maturity in the listener.

 

A prophetic person, especially me, must learn and then attempt to convey the heart of God along with the facts that I see are true. I need to acquire the ability to build up in love as I tear down false concepts, and also to encourage at the same time that I exhort.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to walk in the Spirit before we pull down, uproot and destroy false beliefs, mindsets and attempt to soften hardened hearts. If we are in the flesh as we endeavor to speak Your heart, we stand the chance of leaving behind a string of wounded hearts (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

 

Teach us to practice speaking Your truth in love, seasoned with mercy and grace. Remind us that it is well worth the time and effort this will take. These changes will make our words more acceptable and more easily digested by those we want to help. It will convey Your true heart to the hearer and make more positive changes in more lives.

 

Thought for the Day:

The prophetic person swims upstream and goes against the flow of conventional or modern thinking; but we must learn to edify and to give constructive criticism rather than to boldly criticize the status quo.

 

But for the Grace of God

Helplessness is not a characteristic any modern person wants to admit. In our do it yourself mentality, we feel that others expect us to be like the unsinkable Molly Brown of Titanic fame; we never give up, we’ve got this, we just do it.

 

We shudder to think of anyone considering us “less than” or incompetent or that we may need help with something. Yet with God, humility and lowliness of mind is considered a blessing. He created Eve as a helpmate for Adam, and stated that it is not good for man to be alone.

 

He put all authentic Believers in a Body with Christ as our head, and adopted us a co-heirs with Jesus of His Kingdom. No one is an island; we are not good alone. When we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).

 

Coming to the end of our rope is good place to be, because we can let go of our struggles, and let God be God. We end our war with our flesh, the world and the devil and we submit to God instead.

 

There is no pat answer, secret formula or magic carpet that will whisk us out of our trying circumstances. God’s Spirit delivers us from our fight with the flesh described in Romans 7 and sets us free into the fullness of Romans 8:1-2; no condemnation and the liberty of a child of God.

 

We run out of self-effort and fall broken and spent at the feet of Jesus. The only way to look is up…up into His compassionate face of love. His forgiveness fills our heart and His confidence floods our soul.

 

Prayer:

Father God, regardless of how hard we try, we cannot achieve any lasting results in our life without You. Empty victories and short-lived success just does not bring the satisfaction that we gain from a life hidden with Christ in You. We realize that only when we are truly broken can we do all things through You.

 

Remind us that only as we serve You and accomplish Your perfect will for our life can we ever hope for any lasting fruit in this world (Romans 7:21). Help us to see that we may build a tower and put our name on it, but it can fall the next day by one aggressive act of nature or terrorism.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are no longer slaves of unrighteousness, because Jesus Christ Himself set us free from the Law of sin and death (Romans 5:15-25, 8:1-2); we no longer dwell in this carnal world with the concepts and principles at play that attempt to control our life; when Jesus sets us free we are free indeed (John 8:36).

 

Tuning in to God’s Spirit

During our walk with the Lord, He proves to us His love and faithfulness. He shows us that we can place our cares into His capable hand, because He truly does care about each and every one of us, regardless of the burden of our sins and the willfulness of our past.

 

Each new day, our soul is more fully persuaded that His ways are perfect and that our human plans and goals are a mere waste of our time. We dedicate our body, soul and spirit to His will.

 

It is God who actually gives to us the desire and the ability to please Him with our life (Philippians 2:12-13). We escape so many trials when we stop making our own decisions that lead to destruction and deprivation in our life.

 

We learn to rely on God alone and to stand in complete surrender before Him. We stop wasting time on pointless activities and start walking by His Spirit through each moment of our day.

 

We realize with abandon that God is in complete control of the chaos in the world around us. As we walk on His straight and narrow path, we miss the switchbacks, the steep precipices and the rocky road of the broad way.

 

Time is no longer an enemy, but it flows smoothly around us as we walk in God’s ways. We develop Godly habits, thought processes and priorities, which clear our path of any pitfalls.

 

We surrender all to God, and He gives us all things in return. We live in His abundance. We even count tribulation, which may manifest in physical deprivation and struggles, as joyous occasions to see God blossom a miracle from the seed within every trial.

 

We learn, as Jesus did, that without God, nothing is possible; but with God, all things are possible (John 5:19, 14:10). We, like Christ, are the physical manifestation of God to this lost and dying world around us (1 John 4:17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to walk in the Spirit and to no longer allow the flesh, the world or the devil to hinder our walk with You. Help us to rise above the carnal, earthly plane in which our body lives in order to abide in You in our soul and spirit.

 

You make all the difference in our life and You turn us into difference makers in the lives of those You bring into our life. Help us to maintain a heavenly focus instead of keeping our eyes on this earthly plane of existence. Use us to perform Your works in the world around us all of the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Walking in God’s Spirit prevents us from fulfilling the lusts of the flesh that attempt to pull us back into this earthly realm of existence.

 

Falling in Love More Each Day

When we walk in the light of God’s truth, everyone can see our good works; but rather than extolling us for our efforts, they will give the Glory to God (John 3:21; Matthew 5:16).

 

People know there is something different about a Believer – at least they should know we are different from the world, unless we are still walking in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-26).

 

However, there is a great deal more to our walk with Christ than surviving trials and doing good works. Our intimacy with God increases daily, through deprivation and abundance.

 

We learn wisdom from His guidance and we fall in love with Him more and more each day. Throughout times of both oppression and victory, our walk remains at a steady gait, because of our personal relationship with the God of the universe.

 

Even when we think we are experiencing a dry spell, this is only a time of companionable silence with the Lord. He is waiting for us to break out in songs of praise and words of love and adoration for all He means to us and all that He does for us – even all the little things, which we often do not notice or tend to take for granted.

 

Moses warned the Israelites of this very thing. They continually took God for granted, especially during peace-filled times of blessing and tranquility. Humans always tend to trust in their own resources, especially during good times; and then we fall into the rut of selfishness and pride (Deuteronomy 8:10-18).

 

We see from the Israelite’s wandering in the desert that we often bring trials and hardships on our self. We reap the negative attitudes and behavior, which we allow Satan to perpetuate in our thoughts, words and actions.

 

However, our goal is to walk through each day trusting in the guidance of God’s Spirit. This way we side-step the pitfalls and rejoice continually in His blessings in both the lean and the bountiful times.

 

Prayer:

Father God remind us to continually trust in You, and to follow Your direction for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). When you bless us, we tend to trust in our own ability, to take credit for the victories. We forget that we need You for every breath we take. You desire to be more than a “fireman” to douse the flames of the issues of life and to keep them from consuming us.

 

You offer us an intimate relationship with You every moment of the day. We feel Your love cascading over us like a waterfall, Your peace wrapping us in a safe cocoon in the midst of life swirling by all around us, and Your righteousness replacing the negative thoughts, choice and emotions which normally direct our life.

Thought for the Day:

Regardless of our earthly circumstances, God leads us in a level path because of the insecurity of life in this world. – Psalm 27:11