Disposable People – Part 2 – Advantages of Staying Married

There are many advantages to staying together with our first love. The first benefit is for our children. The continuity of the family is a basic human need.

Children are encouraged that their own marriage will make it through the tough times, just like their parents did. Otherwise, they will develop a disposable mentality as well.

Staying married contributes to overall emotional, mental, spiritual, financial and physical health. It reduces the stress of starting over and the effects of grief, which divorce adds to our life.

Dating new people, while fun in some cases, is risky because everyone has baggage of some sort, visible and invisible. In a second marriage, we often spend more time with our spouse’s children than our own.

Therefore, do not get careless in your marriage; relax, but look, speak and act attractively for one another. Continue dating each other, even when the children come along. Enjoy your mate’s company.

When we and our spouse disagree, we can find a third alternative, on which we can both agree. If there is a seemingly unsolvable issue, get counseling to find an agreeable path.

We may need to take a break, to put a brief time or distance between each other in order to gain a new perspective on our relationship.

A separation for the purpose of reconciliation gives us a chance to talk about our disagreements with the freedom of having a safe place to go if tempers flare or we feel frustrated or unsafe.

We may find that we miss our spouse, the security they give to our life and little joys they bring to our everyday experiences, their laughter and support.

We can both agree to change habits which cause friction in our relationship. We can gain a better understanding of our spouse by talking intimately about each other’s honest feelings, needs and desires.

Forgiveness helps us to rekindle the love we once felt for each other. We will grow to admire, encourage, appreciate, cherish and serve one another all the days of our life, and we will stay together until death parts us.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our marriage vows were made to You as well as to our spouse. Prompt us to pray with our spouse, because You help us to resolve our issues. If we take turns praying, each partner praying one sentence at a time, this prevents much of the frustration of praying together. Teach us to pause and listen to You speak to us as we pray too.

Help us to bear one another’s burdens, to be long suffering with each other’s shortcomings, to encourage and build each other up and to enjoy one another’s company. Remind us why we fell in love in the first place and help us to keep the eternal flame of agape love burning.

Thought for the Day:
Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8

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Communication in Marriage

Most couples dearly love one another, but have a hard time expressing their deepest feelings. They desperately want their mate to know they love them, but have no clue how to do this ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ ). When it comes to verbally expressing their feelings, they get tongue-tied. The old joke states, “I told you that I love you when I married you; and if I change my mind, I will let you know.”

Unrealistic expectations prior to marriage often ruin a couple’s chance at happiness in the marriage. No one can live up to the fairy tale romance they dream about or the practical expectations they anticipate. Many people also think they will change their mate once they get married. One man put it this way, “Honey, what you see is what you get. I’m not changing for anyone or for any reason.”

We also misunderstand what our mate desires from us. We get frustrated, angry, resentful and feel hopeless because we cannot measure up to the ideal, which we think our mate wants. If we realize that we are both human and have foibles and idiosyncrasies that make us the unique person we are, then we can be more accepting of our self and one another.

There are realistic goals for marriage, however. We want our mate to care about how they look; and we appreciate their efforts to dress neatly, to stay groomed, to maintain a reasonable weight and to be caring and loyal. Our mate will be less tempted to look outside of the marriage if we present an attractive package within the marriage. We also want our mate to cherish us and to desire our company.

One key to a happy marriage is honest communication. Not brutal honesty, but loving, confident, uncritical expressions of what we want and need. It puts undo stress on a couple to try to predict what gift our mate wants for special occasions or what behavior they are expecting from us. The second key is a servant’s heart. In all things, we can love, serve and accept each other’s differences (Ephesians 4:2).

Prayer:
Father God, You give us the desire to love and to be loved. It is our most basic human need. We know without a doubt that Your love for us is the most fulfilling and the most urgent of our human needs. You do not love us for how we perform, because You loved us while we were still depraved sinners (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:10). Help us to love one another unconditionally. Our mate may choose to leave us, but we do not have to take their choice personally, because we know You will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5)

Thought for the Day:
Men and women both thrive on praise, appreciation and affirmation, rather than on criticism, condescension and being taken for granted.

Spiritual Healing – Part 2

God’s Sweet, Living Water of Healing

Every individual has certain basic needs: Physical, Safety, Love, Belonging, Acceptance and Potential. If the fulfillment of any of these areas is thwarted, we will grow into adulthood with wounds from our childhood and early adult years. Satan plants a lie along with every disappointment we ever experience, and these lies influence our beliefs as adults. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

A lack of fulfillment in these areas of basic human needs can impact our ability to function normally as adults. In Part 1 of Spiritual Healing, I wrote about my anger and bitterness stemming from these needs not being met. In my case of experiencing abuse and deprivation, I grew up feeling fearful and insecure. This trauma caused a mental and emotional disorder due to the reoccurring stress (PTSD).

Since I met the Lord Jesus Christ, however, I realized that the more intimate our union with Christ is, the more willing we are to totally surrender our life to God’s will. This even allows us to look for the seeds of a miracle in every trial we experience. When we come to Christ, He gradually fulfills in us the unmet needs of our past and fills us with His sweet Living Water (John 4:14).

God also uses His process of sanctification to cleanse our thought life, because thoughts determine how we act. Our thoughts originate from three sources:
1. From our past, which is still alive in our subconscious mind
2. From our perception of life through our five senses
3. From satanic forces out to destroy us by distorting God’s Truth (1 Peter 5:8). (More in the next post.)

Prayer:
Father God, You warned us that Satan is our accuser (Revelations 12:10). Any negative thoughts sent to belittle and debilitate us come from him. If we surrender to Your will for each moment of our day, Your Spirit will lead us into all truth (John 16:13). Then, we will filter every situation in our life through Your lens of Truth (1 Corinthians 2:12-13). Remind us that if we are seated with You in heavenly places, we have no need to worry about our life on this earth.

Thought for the Day:
Nothing will occur in our life that is not already part of God’s plan for us. – Ephesians 2:6,10