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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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.

 

Not of This World

Our God is so awesome, mighty in power, gentle in mercy, constant in grace, consuming in His love for us and faithful beyond measure. We can trust in Him with our whole heart and depend on His intimate involvement in our life.

 

God never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). His three personalities are all-encompassing (Isaiah 7:14; John 10:29; Matthew 12:32). God is our Creator and Heavenly Daddy; Jesus is the Trinity in the flesh who died on the cross to exhibit the Father’s love; the Spirit promotes Jesus and His words (John 3::8, 14:6, 26; Luke 24:49; Acts 16:7).

 

Through believing on Jesus we are constructed into the temple of the entire godhead of the Trinity (Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 12:13). The Trinity is our Father, our Brother and our continual comfort and guide (Mark 1:10-11).

 

The Trinity’s presence in our life nourishes us to grow in godliness, to consecrate our life to Him and to do the work He created us to do (Ephesians 2:10). The Trinity draws us into unity with the Godhead (John 6:44, 10:30, 14:10-13).

 

We are raised from sin’s degradation to walk in a new life in order to share in the glory of the Trinity through a consecrated and holy life (John 17:22; Romans 8:11). We let His light in us shine, so that people look at us and are drawn to believe in and trust in the Trinity for their salvation as well.

 

Vacation homes, worldly hobbies, time shares, multiple cruises in a year, smart phones for every family member, TVs in every room, expensive clothing stores, excessive clothing accessories and jewels, a car for every driver in the family, etc. keep us in bondage to this world and limit our participation in activities that promote the Kingdom of God.

 

We are not of this world, we do not rely on our human nature or characteristics, and we do not develop plans and goals for this life. We only live here to build up the Kingdom of God while it is still day, because the night is coming when no one may get saved (John 9:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, break our heart with what breaks Yours, give us a Kingdom mind and focus in this life and make the fact that we are not of this world a reality in our life (Romans 12:2; John 17:16). Help us to stop focusing on building our nest in this world and to change our attention to furthering Your Kingdom.

 

Remind us that Christ is our whole life and that we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us (Colossians 3:3-4; Galatians 2:20). Draw us into a more intimate relationship with You, so that we are not sidetracked by the lies and schemes of the devil to get our focus on this world rather than on Your Kingdom.

 

Thought for the Day:

We develop a Kingdom mindset and allow God’s Spirit to draw our attention to the presence of God within us, which is our only true source of comfort and joy, rather than on the riches and trappings of this world.

 

 

A Good Marriage – The Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine

Over the years of marriage, we recognize who our partner is and what they are not. We also develop a better understanding of our self and why we respond to people and events the way we do.

 

We come to identify what triggers negative reactions in one another, so we can avoid these issues whenever possible. We make concentrated efforts on working together to find mutually acceptable plans when our original personal preferences conflict.

 

We also fearlessly attack our personal issues and give the Holy Spirit full reign in our life, so that He can transform us with the mind of Christ. One way to recognize our faults is to pay attention to what our spouse complains about – do we procrastinate, withhold affection, watch too much TV, neglect to help one another with projects or daily chores?

 

Small adjustments in our schedule or habits will make a big difference in marital bliss and harmony. We can learn one another’s love language and show each other love in ways that will fulfill our mate’s needs and allow them to feel nurtured and cherished.

 

This will erase the small irritations which eventually erupt into major disharmony – the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Do we expect too much from one another, forgetting that we are only human?

 

Do we greet one another as we would our best friend, or do we take one another for granted? We all appreciate being greeted with enthusiasm as someone who is highly cherished.

 

Do we agree to disagree or do we always feel like we are right and our partner is wrong? Do we need to have the last word, or do we stop talking when we have made our point?

 

No one like to live with condemnation, condescension, griping or constant belittlement. It is so good and pleasant when we dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). This unity draws us closer to one another and makes us want to spend more time together.

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to recap once we calm down after a disagreement. Help us to honestly relate how we felt during the “fight” and what thoughts were going through our mind that we did not take the time to articulate. These thoughts fueled our emotional response during our discussion, and our spouse deserves to understand why we reacted as we did to their comment, behavior or reply.

 

Remind us to seek You in all of our decisions and discussions; not to rely on our own understanding, but to allow You to direction our thoughts, words and actions. Help us to be led by Your Spirit rather than to react in our flesh; but if we do act carnally, encourage us to ask for forgiveness from one another and to calmly discuss the situation until we find an equitable solution.

 

Thought for the Day:

Looking into each other’s eyes during a discussion enables us to see within the windows of each other’s soul; speaking honestly about how our partner’s words and actions make us feel will help us to understand one another better too and to make our interactions more intimate and productive. – Matthew 6:22-23

 

Maturing in Christ

When we attempt to overcome the sin in our life that so easily ensnares us, we often fall back into temptation; then we feel shame both for the sin and for failing to overcome it.

 

We are admonished to be holy as God is holy, yet we can only do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to give us both the desire and the power to walk in increasing realms of God’s glory each day (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

The foolish Galatians had to learn to trust God to sanctify them with the same faith that allowed them to trust Him for their salvation (Galatians 3:1-3). We are to live in this same manner.

 

Paul struggled with walking in a manner worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:10). The duality of flesh and Spirit within him kept him on a roller coaster most of the time (Romans 7); however, he finally realized that the Spirit of life in Christ already set Him free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

 

He no longer needed to struggle with sin, but to walk in the Spirit who frees us from the law of sin and death. As we draw near to God in dependence, worship and praise, then we resist the devil, and he is bound to flee from us (James 4:7-11).

 

Through Calvary’s cross, Christ exchanged His righteousness for our sin; we simply need to access this free gift by confessing our sin and trusting in Jesus for salvation (John 17:11-23; 1 Corinthians 6:17). Then, the Holy Spirit brings us into ever increasing maturity in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We learn to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day, led by the still, small voice of God (1 Kings 19:12) within our spirit (Galatians 2:20). We know we are in God’s will when we follow that perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), regardless of what our mind is telling us to do, or what conventional wisdom or human reasoning wants us to do.

 

Jesus gave us His righteousness and we now live as Jesus did in the world. We are an expression of His divine nature, because He lives within us (1 John 4:17; 2 Peter 1:4). This allows His living water within us to fill us to overflowing and to spill out into the world around us (John 7:38).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we thank You for Your vigilant watch care over us (Psalm 121:4). You protect us from Satan’s wiles and temptations (Ephesians 2:2). Help us to realize that Christ in us enables us to live a life free from the demoralizing and destructive sin that tries to entrap us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11) and to actually, factually not just positionally, live a holy life, just as Christ in us is holy (Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Corinthians 6:17).

 

Thank You for keeping us, strengthening us, guarding us from our flesh, the world and the devil (Isaiah 42:11; Psalm 4:8). We give You all of the praise and glory for the maturity we attain over our lifetime. We strive only to stop following our human reasoning and to enter Your rest (Hebrews 4:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

We no longer struggle with life on our own, because the Trinity of God abides within us, and the Holy Spirit gradually but consistently replaces our negative attributes with Christ’s righteousness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord Preserves His Faithful

The Lord preserves His faithful, those who love Him and keep His commandments (Psalm 31:23). He does not want us to obey for His sake as much as He does for our own sake.

 

We avoid so many troubles and trials when we do things His way. After all, Father really does know best. He created us for His purpose and when we walk in His will, our life proceeds so much more smoothly and effortlessly.

 

Our soul finds rest in God alone. He is our only rock and salvation, our fortress that prevents life from shaking our faith. We have strong courage to face life’s issues, because God strengthens our heart as we hope in Him (Psalm 31:23, 62:1).

 

God is our hiding place and He preserves us in trouble by encompassing us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7). Whenever we are afraid, we can trust in Him (Psalm 53:3).

 

Yet, He allows the proud and arrogant who refuse to believe in Jesus for salvation to reap the results of their choices – even to the point of eternity in the fires of damnation (John 3:18; Psalm 31:23).

 

We are crucified with Christ and share in His death to sin, even though we still live on this earth. Christ lives in us and we live by His faith in us (Galatians 2:20). We are dead to this world and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

 

As we delight our self in the Lord, God puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). We make the effort it takes to clear our heart and mind of things of this world, and instead to love the Lord with all of our heart.

 

We walk in His ways, keep His commandments and cling only to Him. He orders our steps and He delights when we walk in His will (Psalm 37:23). Even if we fall in spirit, soul or body, we shall not be entirely cast down, or cast out of His Kingdom, because God holds us in His hand (Psalm 37:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to be risen with Christ and for helping us to seek and set our affections and desires only on heavenly, eternal aspects (Colossians 3:1-3). You make our steps firm, when You delight in our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

Always keep us in the center of Your will; not drawn away by our fleshly desires, but kept on the straight and narrow road, designed to protect us by its simple parameters. Allow us to hear Your still small voice whispering “this is the way, walk you in it.” We always want You to delight in us, and in our ways; so You will keep our steps firm and our footing sure (Psalm 37:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s river of salvation protects us in any fiery trial, and He alone is worthy of all of our trust.

 

 

A Good Marriage – Love Languages

Marriage is about the union of two people – two families of people. It brings them together in a legally binding relationship which God intends to last a lifetime.

 

Life happens, though; the death of a spouse, or of the marriage, sidetracks our best intentions. Our negative emotions influence whether or not we can forgive each other, or if we harbor anger and resentment.

 

It is best to investigate right away whenever we feel anger toward our spouse. We cannot allow hurt, anger or bitterness to accumulate in our heart and erect walls between us and those who love us.

 

These negative emotions prevent unconditional love, appreciation and respect from growing in our marriage. Emotional stress added to the stresses of daily living will encourage the desire in us to escape from our marriage.

 

Satan will certainly, gladly provide us with the opportunity to destroy what God has joined together. Do not be surprised when controversy, disagreements and arguments erupt in your marriage.

 

These do not indicate a problem in the relationship; but merely a normal adjustment between two very different people. God puts opposites together so that we can stretch, grow, and learn from one another.

 

God desires that we appreciate one another’s individual strengths, and that we allow them to overcome the weaknesses in each other. No one spouse has all the answers.

 

It is only as we really listen to one another, consider each other’s opinions, feelings and needs – and then compromise our desires that we can find equitable solutions to the issues that will most certainly arise.

 

Our goal in any argument is never to run each other down, wound with critical words, bring up the past in a hurtful manner or stoop to abusive verbal or physical behavior.

 

We simply hash out our disagreements in an honest and harmonious manner, striving to find common ground, giving in on matters that are not really important to us, and standing firm about the things which mean the most to us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave each of us a unique personality, made from genetics, upbringing, personality and learned qualities. Remind us that we all need to receive love in different ways: words of affirmation, physical or emotional attention, acts of service, romantic gifts and gestures, or a conglomeration of these. This special language is all our own and allows us to feel loved and nurtured by our spouse.

 

Help us to understand that if we withhold these gifts of affection from one another, we are undermining our relationship and sabotaging our marriage – setting our self up for a cold and distant existence. Yet if we shower each other with love, we are ensuring that our marriage will go the distance and last a lifetime.

 

Thought for the Day:

Everyone has their own unique love language that fulfills them and allows them to feel understood, appreciated and cherished; make it a point to ask your mate what his/her love language is and then give him/her expressions of that love some time during  every single day.

 

 

 

 

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