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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Getting Off the Treadmill

The only striving the Bible suggests that we partake in is to “strive to enter through the narrow gate” (Luke 13:24), to “always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men” (Acts 24:16), and to “strive together in prayers to God” (Rom 15:30).

 

There is no other striving needed in our life once we come into the presence of the Lord. We cease from our labors and enter into the true Sabbath rest of God (Hebrews 13:5).

 

If we “grab” or strive for more out of life, because of discontentment with what we have, God will withhold it from us – protecting us from the human penchant to set our affections on things pertaining to this earth.

 

However, when we sit contentedly at His feet, ready to receive whatever He thinks is best for us, God gives us all good things to enjoy. Our wants diminish, and having less makes us happier than acquiring more.

 

On the other hand, God may give us what we want, until we realize that the more we possess, the more it owns us. These physical assets are more responsibility without that much advantage.

 

Soon the obligation outweighs the benefit we were looking for in the first place. We grow tired of all the stuff and the duties they require; but we are stuck in the whirlwind we created – going around in circles and growing more desperate each day.

 

Once we realize that Jesus is all we really need, we grow more intimate with Him daily. We shed the shroud of material possessions and get off the treadmill of life. We stop striving and straining, and start enjoying His presence, His people, His provision and His blessings.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that walking in the center of Your will is the happiest place on earth. Draw us ever closer to Your presence in our life until You fill us to overflowing (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). Our relationship to You as our Redeemer, Friend, Savior and Brother draws us to spend more time seeking Your Kingdom than building our own.

 

Remind us that our right standing with You was accomplished by Jesus on the cross, and there is no striving needed on our part to fulfill Your will for our life. We do not work for or strain for a position in Your family, because You adopted us with all of the rights and privileges You gave to Your firstborn Son.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we realize that God has a preordained design for our life, we walk in it (Ephesians 2:10); and His peace floods our thoughts, emotions and plans, allowing us to realize that He gives us all good things to enjoy.

 

 

 

Give Me Jesus

We are foreigners in this world (Ephesians 2:19). We are no longer attached to any person, place or thing, because they are all temporary and subject to loss or change without a moment’s notice.

 

Our humanity is dead to sin, because we no longer care about things of this world; but Jesus lives His life in and through us. The life we now live in this mortal body, we live by the faith of Christ in us, because He loves us and gave His life as a ransom for our life (Galatians 2:20).

 

If Jesus is our whole life, then we are never abandoned and never alone (Colossians 3:3-4). He is there when we awaken in the morning, when we are sick or healthy, when we are alone or in a crowd, when our body wears out and when we enter eternity.

 

I never meet a stranger, only potential friends. I love pretty flowers and sunsets, special furniture and nick-knacks; but they are here today and gone tomorrow.

 

Even people are unfaithful, or move, or leave this world bound for their eternal place of existence. They leave us behind and we are void of their presence in our daily life; however, in actuality, Jesus is all we need both in this world and the next (Hebrews 13:5).

 

He is a refreshing waterfall of living water (John 4:14). His river of living water flows from us and changes the lives of those around us (John 7:38). He drenches us with His love, peace and joy, regardless of the circumstances of our life. We cling to Him as our lifeboat through the troubled waters.

 

He is our brother, and we are co-heirs with Him of our Father’s Kingdom (Romans 8:17). He lives in us and also walks with us. We are doubly cared for by our living Savior. We can relax, breathe and trust in Him.

 

Deep breathing helps us to regulate our emotions and enables us to increase our focus and lucidity when we make an effort to trust in the Lord alone, live in this one moment of time, and to breathe deeply throughout the day.

 

Prayer:

Father God, make us ever mindful that You are not here to serve us; but we are here to serve You. You make an eternal transformation in our life so we can live as an example of Your Gospel message, and make a difference in the lives of everyone that You lead us to encounter throughout our day. Teach us to trust in, rely on and believe in You alone each moment of our day.

 

You gave us Jesus as our center, our portion, our inheritance, our divine nature and character, etc. He is all we really need in both this life and the next. Thank You for covering us with Your feathers, because we gain our peace under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 36:5-12).

 

Thought for the Day:

Taking deep breaths in through our nose will control our brain’s neurological signals, which leads to improved emotional feelings and the processing of our thoughts; slow, steady breathing activates the relaxing part of our nervous system, and slows our heart rate, reducing any feelings of worry and panic from stress.

 

 

Joyful Walk with the Lord

 

Due to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we have an enduring possession in Heaven (Hebrews 10:34). However, we do not need to wait until Heaven to enjoy them. God showers us with His blessings daily.

 

This helps us to endure the negative emotions and circumstances, which Satan uses to harass our peace and joy. No trial is overwhelming, because we face it with the power of Christ in us.

 

We enter His rest and give Him total reign in our life. We stop making our own plans and surrender instead to His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Once we change our attitude, and focus on Christ in us rather than on the details of our day, we live in God’s peace and joy no matter what happens to us.

 

Our true home is Heaven, not this transitory life. Things here are passing away and do not really matter. We no longer work to amass worldly goods and it does not matter if we “keep up with our neighbor” in status, style and affluence.

 

We find our true peace under the shelter of His wings. No evil presence can shake us from this place of abiding in the presence of Christ within us. He is our peace and He breaks down every wall (Ephesians 2:11-22).

 

The more we totally surrender to God’s will and the direction of His Holy Spirit, the more capable we are to meet the challenges of daily living. We walk in His will rather than struggle with an uphill climb of our own making.

 

Prayer:

Father God, because of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, our past is forgiven, our wounds are healed, we forgive the perpetrators of evil in our life, and we also forgive our self for our choices that opened us up to evil’s presence in our life.

 

You teach us to set boundaries to keep our self relatively free from future intrusions, and we do nothing without first consulting You for Your wisdom and will. This guarantees that You direct all of our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live for You and accept Your perfect will for us with Your joy and glory filling our hearts (1 Peter 1:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

We live according to the advice of God’s Holy Word, which releases the spiritual energy of Christ who is abiding inside of us; this healing, loving power effects our spirit, body and soul, and infects every area of our life.

God in the Details

God does not often show Himself strong for us during a trial. Initially, this hurts our feelings and causes us to doubt His love for us. However, God’s love is exactly what prevents Him from rescuing us from life’s hurts and challenges.

 

God is teaching us that this life is inconsequential in His larger scheme of the ages. His goal in our life is to transform our body, soul and spirit from this humble, earthly state into conformity with His glorious eternal plan for us.

 

He also shows us that all things, even our health, finances, comfort, suffering, family and life are subject to Him (Philippians 3:20-21). As His Spirit sanctifies us, we learn to submit to His will and to surrender our entire life to His wisdom and direction.

 

This give us hope in God, rather than despair from overwhelming circumstances, thoughts and feelings. He is constantly at work in our life, planting seeds for a miracle in all of our trials.

 

We just have to patiently wait for Him to reveal them to us. He longs for us to trust in Him alone, and to desire His will instead of our own goals and plans.

 

We eventually learn that our suffering in this world cannot be compared to the glory of living in God’s presence both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:18).

 

Hardships are merely temporary and fleeting, especially as we keep our eyes on Christ and the prize of our inheritance of the Kingdom of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 4:12-13; James 1:1-13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to meditate on the truth that You are in complete control of everything in this world. Allow this fact to penetrate deep within our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – so that we learn to trust You and not our human reasoning throughout every moment of our day. We do not need to understand Your thoughts, because they are so much more profound than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

 

You simply ask us to remain open and willing to submit to and accept Your will and ways – even in the trials. You renew our human spirit by making Your truths known to us. We are created in Your image (Colossians 3:10), we have Your mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), and by Your Spirit we learn to walk as You would walk in our shoes (1 John 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

As the reality of the fact that our life is hidden with Christ in God becomes more of a reality every day, we draw away from the world, the flesh and the devil and find our true joy only in service to our King Jesus. – Romans 12:2

 

 

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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Adopted by Our Holy God

In our humanistic society, it is impossible not to keep our focus on our self. We think about #1, sometimes to the exclusion of those whom we should cherish more than our own self.

 

We forget that Christ laid down His life for us and calls us to lay down our life for others. It is easier for most women to lay down our life, because our genes tend to be hardwired with the codependent nature.

 

However, there are also men in our society that have this emotional, compassionate nature that makes it easier for them to put others above their self.

 

The issue here is more about Christ increasing within our spirit and soul as our focus on our self decreases (John 3:30). We consider others as better than our self (Philippians 2:3-4).

 

This does not mean that we neglect our self – we are people too and we can minister to our needs in the same way that we care for everyone else. In fact, this habit keeps us healthy and more able to help others (Mark 12:31).

 

Yet, as we decrease, we are new creatures in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). We are offspring of our holy God and His divine nature infuses every part of our body, spirit and soul – thoughts, choices and feelings (Acts 17:28-29).

 

In eternity, Christ will even transform our body to mirror His glorious, immortal one (Philippians 3:21).  God’s Spirit completely sanctifies us, conforming us to the image and likeness of Christ, God’s first born Son (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You adopted us as individual members of Your Body and Jesus is our head (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:15). Our body is Your temple and as the corporate Body of Christ, we are one with Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:17). The world recognizes that You sent us on their behalf, because our life is a testimony of You to them (John 17:21-23).

 

Jesus gives us the glory, which You gave to Him, so that we can be one with Him, You and with one another (John 17:22). Help us to be patient and diligent as You slowly mature our spiritual growth until we share in the divine nature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are crucified with Christ, and therefore, we live in this world for the glory of Christ; yet, it is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us and through us. – Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20