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.

God Is On Our Side

God became to the earth as Immanuel and redeemed everyone humble enough to trust in His name. We live by faith in Jesus and according to His living Word. Tribulation, trials and persecution occur in everyone’s life. The difference between a Believer and unbeliever is that God is on our side! He wants to reconcile and bless everyone who calls on His name (Revelation 22:17).

If we are persecuted for Christ’s sake, He rewards us both now and in eternity (Hebrews 11:26). Those who persecute us are probably under conviction. They hate us because we remind them of their need to surrender to God. Our stance on Biblical Truth judges their actions and they blame us rather than repent. They turn against us, but they are actually rejecting Jesus, not us.

Satan uses our negative emotions, such as anxiety, grief and lust, to draw us away from God’s chosen path for our life (2 Timothy 3:12). We get so wrapped up in our circumstances that we neglect God. We lose our focus and our peace at the same time (Isaiah 26:3). In case you had not noticed, God did not die and leave you in charge.

You cannot possibly fulfill every perfectionist goal you create nor can you save the world single-handedly. Living as a martyr does not impress God or anyone else. You can never twist God’s arm in order to force Him to do your will. God holds all the cards, has all the world’s resources at His disposal. He does not need us at all.

Our only hope for a fulfilled life is to return to our first love (Revelation 2:4). Tribulation helps us to straighten out our priorities and to put Jesus first in our life. Rather than resist the trials God brings your way, look for God in the midst of them. He may have a message for you in them, a miracle for you at the end of them, or time to spend alone with Him through them. He loves us and has a perfect plan for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to resist Satan’s temptation to pull us away from full devotion to You. Reveal to us the lies Satan uses to keep us under his bondage. Obliterate his deception with Your truth. Forgive us for putting other people, places and things ahead of You in our life. We know that You do not need us, but we thank You for caring about us so much.

Thought for the Day:
The question is not if God is on our side, but if we are on His side. Repent and believe in the name of Jesus Christ and be saved. – Acts 16:31

The Lord Fights for Us

Serving God has its perks! When we yoke up with Him, He helps us to carry our load of burdens. His gentle love gives rest to our soul (Matthew 11:29). When we sincerely call on Him, He is near to us. He fulfills our righteous desires, because we respect Him. He hears us in our distress and saves us. He preserves everyone who will love Him and keep His commandments (Psalm 145:18-20; John 14:15). God is so good to us, that we live life with songs of praise bubbling up from our heart (Psalm 13:6).

God provides us with peaceful dwelling places, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest. Even if our physical home is destroyed, we abide in Christ, who is our Rock. If we live in Christ and He dwells in us with all of His fullness (Colossians 3:3), we are never shaken (Isaiah 32:18; Psalm 62:6). We avoid the way of the wicked, the sinner and the mocker, and we walk in God’s ways and find total rest for our soul (Psalm 1:1; Jeremiah 6:16). God listens to us, hears our concerns and defends us (Joshua 10:14).

Jesus made peace with God for us, by shedding His blood on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20). As we turn from evil and pursue good, the eyes of the Lord are on us and He pays attention to our prayers (1 Peter 2:10-12). The Lord is our Warrior and He fights for us in every battle we encounter throughout life (Exodus 15:3). He goes before us and makes the way safe for us (Deuteronomy 1:30). He works against those who wish to harm us and He fights for our safety (Joshua 23:3).

God’s fullness dwells in Jesus and He reconciled all things to Himself through Christ. Therefore, let us set aside times throughout the day where we focus totally on God. Tune out the noise of life and focus just on Him. When we do, we hear His voice and we learn of His character. We have no need to fear, because God Himself fights for us (Deuteronomy 3:22). Soon, we find our self communing with the Lord every moment of the day and enjoying His fullness in our life.

Prayer:
Father God, when we were lost in our sin and deprivation, you made us alive with you in Christ. We were dead in sin, but You forgave all of our transgressions and cancelled the debt we owed for them by nailing them to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). This gives us a great cause to rejoice; because our salvation, even though refined by the fire of trials, is more precious to us than worldly riches, which will perish. We give You glory, honor and praise now, as well as at the revelation of King Jesus in Your perfect timing (1 Peter 1:6-7). Help us to maintain a loving, reciprocal relationship with You all day long.

Thought for the Day:
The LORD always fights for us and He stills our weary, troubled soul. – Exodus 14:14

God Loves Us So Much

God always causes the Godly to flourish like a palm tree. We grow tall and He transplants us into His own Heavenly garden, so that we are under His personal care (Psalm 92:12-13). King David realized that throughout his lifetime, He never saw a righteous person forsaken or his descendants begging bread (Psalm 37:25). God provides for His children. He also blesses thousands of generations of descendants belonging to those who love and serve Him (Exodus 20:6).

Even in our old age, God uses us to produce fruit and to remain productive and vital. Our success honors the Lord because it shows the world that He cares for His own (Psalm 92:14-15). We get acquainted with God’s ways, and we put our trust in Him. He never forsakes anyone who seeks Him (Psalm 9:10). We hope in our Lord, because He keeps every promise He makes to us with as much certainty as He keeps the world He created in perfect balance (Psalm 146:5-6).

When someone threatens God’s beloved, He takes it very personally (Zechariah 2:8). We are precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:3). God gives justice to the poor and oppressed, and food to the hungry. He heals the sick, lifts the burdens of those crippled under life’s weight, protects immigrants and cares for both orphans and widows. The Lord loves His righteous people and is their defense (Psalm 146:7-9). Those who refuse to obey Him are oblivious of His wonders (Nehemiah 9:17,31).

We believe in God’s faithfulness, because He always cares for those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). Jehovah made the mountains and heavens; and yet, is mindful of all mankind (Psalm 8:4-6). He gives His angels charge over us, so that we never stumble or fall (Psalm 91:11-12). He never sleeps, but watches over us day and night. He cares for us and defends us, keeping us from evil and preserving our life. He keeps his eye on us as we come and go, and guards us in all of our ways (Psalm 121:2-8).

Prayer:
Father God, we will never forget Your promises, Your mercy, Your grace or the marvelous works You perform (Psalm 111:4-6). Your loving kindness is forever and ever to those who reverence You. If we live faithfully in Your covenant and obey Your precepts, Your salvation is for us, as well as our children if they will accept it (Psalm 103:17). Your love stand firm forever and you establish your faithfulness in Heaven and earth and it endures forever (Psalm 89:2, 119:90).

Thought for the Day:
God’s will is not achieved by momentary spurts of self-effort, but by a lifestyle of obedience.