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.

 

A Good Marriage – Common Ground

Winning is not the ultimate prize of life; it is the manner in which we finish the race that counts the most. It is often the last straggler across the finish line that receives the most attention, because they persevered to the very end.

 

Winning an argument is not necessary to feel validated either. We can concede that we are wrong, if indeed we are, without any shame or recrimination.

 

We have a viewpoint that differs from our employer’s, friend’s, neighbor’s, child’s, parent’s or spouse’s perspective; but no less right or wrong than theirs.

 

There is nothing heroic about destroying a marriage, because we soon realize that we were acting as pawns on Satan’s game board, playing right into his hands and wreaking havoc for generations to come.

 

If both parties in a disagreement are willing to bear with one another and to lay our life down for each other, there is always a way to peacefully resolve all issues and to avoid fighting and drama.

 

Neither of us is the enemy, we are simply fellow sojourners in this life with equal rights and privileges in the family of God. Quickly apologizing from the heart for any hurt we cause during a disagreement goes a long way in keeping unity in our relations.

 

Repairing our relationships is so much more mature than rending them in half and going our separate ways – leaving a trail of broken hearts and lives behind us. A trained counselor can help us to negotiate our differences.

 

Seeking wisdom from God’s Word and His Spirit during times of prayer can also help us to breach any gaps in our unity. We negotiate until we find common ground on which to stand.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You remind us not to separate what You bind together. You admonish us not to break any vow that we make, but to honor our commitment to one another with charity, patience and kindness. You want us to work together to find an equitable solution to any conflicts in our marriage, as well as in our affiliations at work and in Your Body.

 

Give us Your wisdom to maintain peace and to show Your agape love to those who wound us; to turn the other cheeks and to bear with one another’s idiosyncrasies and foibles. Give us patience to love one another as Christ loves the church; so we can represent living sacrifices as a testimony to an unbelieving world.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is nothing heroic in winning at the cost of someone else’s expense; but in laying down our life and serving one another with the love of our Father toward us.

 

A Good Marriage – Draw Together or Pull Apart

 

Marriage is designed by God, but is usually an uphill battle. When we put two or more people together, there is inevitably conflict of some sort. Let’s face it, we often cannot even get along with our self, much less with other people.

 

Life happens, challenges arise and situations change. These often attack our marriage as well. Not only do we have to adjust, but we have to bear the consequences of our spouse’s attempting to adjust as well.

 

If we face life’s challenges together as a unit, we can change and adapt together and at the same time. This makes for a much smoother transition. When we include God in the decisions and problem solving efforts, He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; Ecclesiastes 4:12).

 

God saw that man was alone and this was not good. So He created marriage to bless us and to lighten our load in life. He helps us to enjoy our marriage rather than to endure it. He provides faultless fruition for every need.

 

This requires that we spend time together as a couple, unified in the Spirit and with one another in prayer. God never promises us a window into our future, but He does promise to walk with us and in us through its challenges.

 

Taking advantage of our days off, vacation times, free week-ends, and an occasional afternoon or evening without prior commitments, we can make time to watch a movie together, listen to a political debate, follow our favorite team on the sport’s channel, read a book together, snuggle beneath the sheets, have dinner at a restaurant instead of at home, join friends for coffee and dessert, etc.

 

In Christ, we find joy in our marriage partner and solace in their care for us. We find fulfillment in helping them to fulfill their needs as God supplies us with everything we need. We enjoy life with the mate He gives to us (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is never, ever easy; but You make all things possible as we have faith in Your faithfulness. You have arms long enough to save us and ears that always hear our cries (Isaiah 59:1; 1 John 5:15). Help us to commit every moment to You, rather than to follow our own path in life.

 

Everything You do remains forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14). As we walk in obedience to Your Spirit, we reap the rewards of righteousness rather than the consequences of our sin and disobedience. Remind us to draw together as a couple and to lean on You for strength to face life’s challenges.

 

Thought for the Day:

Let us make a conscious effort to add more romance to our marriage; to put an end to pessimism, skepticism, criticism, etc; and to deal with negative emotions before they get deep seated in our soul – confessing our sins to God and to one another.

 

Marriage is designed by God, but is usually an uphill battle. When we put two or more people together, there is inevitably conflict of some sort. Let’s face it, we often cannot even get along with our self, much less with other people.

 

Life happens, challenges arise and situations change. These often attack our marriage as well. Not only do we have to adjust, but we have to bear the consequences of our spouse’s attempting to adjust as well.

 

If we face life’s challenges together as a unit, we can change and adapt together and at the same time. This makes for a much smoother transition. When we include God in the decisions and problem solving efforts, He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; Ecclesiastes 4:12).

 

God saw that man was alone and this was not good. So He created marriage to bless us and to lighten our load in life. He helps us to enjoy our marriage rather than to endure it. He provides faultless fruition for every need.

 

This requires that we spend time together as a couple, unified in the Spirit and with one another in prayer. God never promises us a window into our future, but He does promise to walk with us and in us through its challenges.

 

Taking advantage of our days off, vacation times, free week-ends, and an occasional afternoon or evening without prior commitments, we can make time to watch a movie together, listen to a political debate, follow our favorite team on the sport’s channel, read a book together, snuggle beneath the sheets, have dinner at a restaurant instead of at home, join friends for coffee and dessert, etc.

 

In Christ, we find joy in our marriage partner and solace in their care for us. We find fulfillment in helping them to fulfill their needs as God supplies us with everything we need. We enjoy life with the mate He gives to us (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is never, ever easy; but You make all things possible as we have faith in Your faithfulness. You have arms long enough to save us and ears that always hear our cries (Isaiah 59:1; 1 John 5:15). Help us to commit every moment to You, rather than to follow our own path in life.

 

Everything You do remains forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14). As we walk in obedience to Your Spirit, we reap the rewards of righteousness rather than the consequences of our sin and disobedience. Remind us to draw together as a couple and to lean on You for strength to face life’s challenges.

 

Thought for the Day:

Let us make a conscious effort to add more romance to our marriage; to put an end to pessimism, skepticism, criticism, etc; and to deal with negative emotions before they get deep seated in our soul – confessing our sins to God and to one another.

 

A Positive Lifestyle

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). With each sunrise, God’s mercies are fresh, new and rejuvenating (Lamentations 3:22-24). This is true whether we are in the midst of a hail storm of trials, or free of all worry and stress.

 

God sends us hugs throughout every single day: the alignment of numbers on the digital clock, a new flower in our garden, the sunrise and set, a formation in the clouds, a stranger’s smile, an unexpected check in the mail, our neighbor’s manicured lawn and flowerbeds, etc.

 

We can even create positive experiences for our self, our mate and our children to enjoy throughout the day – refreshing treats that minister to the body and soul.

 

Rather than listening to the negative self-talk in our mind, programmed there by Satan’s lies and people in our past, we can look in the mirror and tell our soul what we like about our self – our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual assets.

 

We can give joy away if we smile at a stranger, make a new friend, start a new ministry, and practice encouraging others. This brings joy to our soul as well as theirs. Here are other ideas.

 

Plan the menu for the week full of your favorite foods. Take a break from your perpetual diet and eat a pizza full of toppings you enjoy, and indulge in one soft drink that was your favorite as a child.

 

Adopting a pet gives us a focus outside of our self and saves the life of an abused or unwanted animal. Write cards or letters, emails and make phone calls to shut-ins, neglected family members and those in the hospital.

 

Starting a new hobby that we have always wanted to try or auditing an interesting class at the local college improves our soul. Listening to uplifting music in the comfort of our recliner or even dancing around the house as we dust will still our troubled soul.

 

We can take time to lay flat in silence on the couch or bed and take deep breaths – this releases much needed endorphins and oxygen into our bloodstream.

 

Watching a comedy on TV or in a movie will help us to laugh and lighten our mood. Spending time in nature, walking through the grass in bare feet or gardening will help us to connect with the beneficial chemical output of the earth.

 

Think of your own ways to enhance the joy in your life. We can even start a support group with “Secret Santa’s”, prayer partners to share our burdens, and Bible study groups in our neighborhood. The list is endless.

 

Prayer:

Father God, too often we allow Satan to drown us in the worries, stress and burdens in life. We forget that You are our burden bearer and our Provider. You sustain us through good times and bad. You encourage us with Your Word and by Your Spirit. You teach us to encourage one another.

 

Remind us that Your Spirit abides within us with constant words of love and affirmation, and Your Word is full of verses written by people who experienced similar circumstances to our own. Your Word is a light to our path and a lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105). We love you with all of our body, spirit and soul – our feelings, choices and emotions.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our positive, Christ-centered focus initiates the joy, strength, inspiration and creativity in our life, which all come from God’s Holy Spirit within us.

 

 

 

The Father’s Comfort

When we focus on God through life’s issues, He gives us refuge and never leaves our soul destitute (Psalm 141:8; Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10). There is no reason to fear what life may throw at us, because He will help us (Isaiah 41:13).

 

God’s love for us is unconditional and everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3). We did nothing to earn it, and we can do nothing to lose it. It is perpetually ours (Malachi 3:6; Matthew 28:20).

 

As authentic Believers, we enjoy continual fellowship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who abides within us by His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:9).

 

I am not a great fan of darkness. I like street lights outside my window at night, or a nightlight on in the bathroom. I am not afraid of the dark, but I am a fan of seeing what is around me at all times.

 

When the sky is cloudy and hides the stars; when the moon is in the dark new moon phase of its cycle; and when there is no electricity all at the same time, I feel like I am blind and I feel stuck in my body with no way to escape.

 

However, God gives us the treasure of His Holy Spirit within us, even in the darkness. His riches, which He hides in secret places, are always ours to enjoy – even when days are dark and hope is waning (Isaiah 45:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You that Jesus is the light of the world, and there is no darkness as we walk in Your ways (John 8:12). Joshua is a good example to us of listening to Your direction. The walls of Jericho posed an impossible obstacle. As Joshua obeyed Your instructions, the walls fell straight down. Even archeology proves the accuracy of this Biblical account.

 

Joshua did not use human reasoning to capture the city; but He followed Your will for seven days, and then the city fell before his eyes (Hebrews 11:30). The wisdom of man is foolish when compared to Your ways (1 Corinthians 3:19). Teach us to acknowledge You in all of our thoughts, words and deeds (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

With Christ in us, we are also the light of the world; as we rest our soul in Christ and bask in the mercies and comfort of God, He uses us to bring His truth and comfort to our world. – Matthew 5:14-16, 11:28; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

Fellowship with the Trinity

 

Prior to salvation, we lived as slaves to sin and pawns in Satan’s plan (Romans 7). Even after salvation, our sins of omission and commission built a wall between us and our fellowship with the Trinity.

 

No matter how slowly or how high the wall goes up – we feel a separation and distance from our Lord and Savior (Romans 1:18). Our prayers hit the ceiling, our joy ebbs and our peace is overwhelmed by stress and negative emotions.

 

Without righteousness, there can be no lasting peace and joy. We are separated from God due to our rebellion and unbelief (Romans 14:17). We grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30), and we are in danger of condemning our self to eternity in hell (John 3:18).

 

This severance of our union with Christ bitters our soul. Then, resentment becomes the adhesive, which we use to cement the stones of willful sin in place.

 

As the wall thickens and rises, fears riddle our soul. We gradually grow more anxious and hopeless. Eventually, some people even feel animosity toward God and rail against Him.

 

We hurl accusations at Him and slander His name to anyone who will listen. We end up punishing our self by removing our self from the protection and provision of our Heavenly Father.

 

This is so unnecessary.

 

If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of our eye, the lust of our flesh and our pride in our life (1 John 2:16). We will walk in perfect harmony with the Trinity and enjoy constant fellowship with the Trinity every moment of our day (Galatians 5:15-25; Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your eyes are always on Your children. You love us with an everlasting love, and You rejoice over us with singing. You are faithful, and we can put all of our hope and trust in You. You never change and You are with us now and even at the end of our life. You give us treasure in dark times and riches when we come to You in our time of need.

 

You are our Father, our God, and You give us Your mercy and grace in all of our trials and afflictions. We are comforted by Your presence in our life, even in times of trouble. You comfort the downcast when we keep our eyes focused on You. Thank you for being with us and revealing Your presence and peace to us as You give us Your joy.

 

Thought for the Day:

We make our refuge in God, because He will never leave us destitute; we have no need to fear, because He will help us and hold us in the palm of His hand. – Hebrews 13:5; Isaiah 49:16

 

The Most Holy Place

A curtain hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and temple and separated the presence of God from the Israelite priests who served there.

 

Only the high priest was allowed into the Most Holy Place, and only after a strict regimen of cleansing. Jesus cleanses us from our humanity, so that we may serve the Living God through His divinity within us (Hebrews 9:14).

 

As Jesus took His last breath on Calvary’s cross, the temple curtain split in half from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). Most scholars believe that God orchestrated this torn Temple curtain as an object lesson for us.

 

It illustrates and signifies the fact that we cannot earn our way to heaven, but we can now enter the presence of God by the blood of Jesus with confidence in our salvation (Hebrews 10:19).

 

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He sets His seal of ownership on us and gives us His Spirit as a down payment of our inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22).

 

Once we repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness and surrender our will to Him, He moves into our Born Again spirit and resides within us all through our lifetime. He places us in His Body and we work together for His glory.

 

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Christ lives in us (Colossians 1:27). Our Spirit is the Most Holy Place where God resides. God makes us a holy sanctuary in which He can dwell (Exodus 25:8).

 

Cleansed from sin by the blood of the perfect Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), we are His priests and we shall reign with Him during the Millennium for 1000 years and then serve Him throughout eternity (Revelation 20:6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our safe haven and our power to deal with temptation and persecution (Psalm 46:1). Even in the most unthinkable and earth shattering circumstances, with our faith in Your faithfulness, we have no reason to fear (Psalm 46:1-3). We consider trails as a time of great joy, because they are an adventure with You (James 1:2).

 

We stop our stressing and watch You work in our behalf (James 1:2; Psalm 46:10). We are Your children (Romans 8:15). You promise never to leave us or to forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You are our Mighty God who saves us and abides within us. You celebrate over us with delight. You calm us with Your love. You even rejoice over us with thunderous singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our hope in Christ is the sure and steadfast anchor for our soul. – Hebrews 6:19