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

Let Me Tell You, Ladies

A man loves to be useful and to feel needed, admired, accepted as he is and appreciated. As his wife, we are his biggest fan and most vocal cheering section.

We encourage our husband, show him appreciation, leave love notes in his briefcase or lunchbox, get excited at his accomplishments and care about his day. We can ask him what he needs, and do all in our power to help.

Our husband is not our mule and a paycheck. His role in life is not to function as our servant. Even if we both work all day, and we share the chores and child care, he should choose the chores he feels comfortable doing.

When our husband has a day off, he needs some of that time for himself. Family time is important, but he needs some of that time to chill, to hang with his buds, to create in his shop, to surf the waves or the internet, or to play his gaming device.

He decompresses his stress this way and can pay more attention to the family during our time together. A date night is also important for us as a couple…a time to play, laugh, make memories, form a closer bond and do something fun.

If we make his favorite meals and have everything he needs for the next day in plain view and ready for him before we go to bed, his love for us will grow; and he will make more of an effort to care for our needs as well.

If he is withdrawn, irritable, angry, or exhibiting any negative emotions, we can give him some space and some time to work out his issues. We can ask if there is anything we can do to help, and then follow through with his requests.

When a disagreement occurs, we brainstorm and pray together rather than just caving in to our partner or fighting to get our own way. Once God shows us a scenario, which we both feel good about, we proceed with unity and joy in our heart.

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word warns us that all of the forces of hell, along with the temptations and disagreements of the world, unite to destroy our marriage. We often join them and make life more difficult for our partner.

Remind us that love never fails; so we can decide together that divorce is never an option, since divorce shreds our family and removes the support that our children need regardless of how old they are. Divorce makes Your Church vulnerable, unstable and defeated.

Revive us, O Lord, so that we can rejoice in You (Psalm 85:6). Satisfy us anew each new morning with your unfailing love, so we can sing for joy and rejoice all the days of our life (Psalm 90:14).

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer the other person, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.

Overcoming Life’s Hurdles

Mental, emotional and physical pain and stress, loss and grief, and wounded individuals put us at risk for reaping negative results in life. In addition, unresolved childhood trauma increases the effects of our current distress. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

With repeated trauma, we can even develop various degrees of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and we view the world as a painful, alarming, treacherous place.

Separation through death, divorce, rejection, abandonment, etc. will affect our future relationships. We lose our sense of safety and security and may even live in continual fear and insecurity.

Our breathing is shallow, which affects our lungs, diaphragm and heart. Stomach, heart, lung and nerve issues cause us problems. Our mind can even affect us with physical symptoms, which have no physical source.

On guard in every situation, we are in a constant state of “fight or flight”. This makes us combative and easily angered when we feel vulnerable and helpless.

A lack of trust causes us to build thick walls around our soul. Then we feel lonely, disheartened, hopeless and overwhelmed. We may even blame our self for what happens to us.

Attempting to prepare our self for the unexpected, we delve into worse case scenarios to prepare our self for any contingency; yet, we only provide our self with a false sense of power and protection from future trauma.

When events in our life are going well, we tend to rely less on God and more on our self. We have the idea that we deserve God’s love and blessings, because we are so good.

However, with this attitude, we will never feel totally secure in life. We will live in constant anxiety, because we fear that if we fail in some area, we will lose His love and be lost for eternity.

The opposite is actually true. God loved us while we were still sinners, is our everlasting Savior and continues to love us unconditionally (Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:9). He is the same yesterday, today and for eternity (Hebrews 13:8).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for allowing us to fail and to learn from our mistakes, to suffer trails for Your glory so that people can see our love for and trust in You regardless of our earthly status. Teach us to rely totally on You and not to pursue the world or the flesh.

Remind us to stop depending on our self and to begin to depend solely on You for every step we take (Proverbs 3:5-6). Help us to do only the works, which You ordained for us to achieve, rather than asking You to bless our works (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
When we rely on God’s Holy Spirit for direction and strength, we listen to God’s Spirit, step out in faith, and find all the resources we need to achieve all that God ordained us to do.
– Philippians 2:12-13, 4:13; Matthew 7:7-8

A Seed for a Miracle

The trials of life are inevitable. Tribulation even comes to those who walk uprightly before the Lord (Matthew 5:45). Paul learned two secrets through the things, which he suffered.

First, he learned to be content whether he had plenty or when he had nothing, when he lived in comfort or when he suffered deprivation, and when he saw the fruit of his ministry or when he simply planted or watered (Philippians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

Secondly, he learned to count every trial and tribulation as a joyous event (James 1:2-18). I never understood this insane view of suffering; until the day that I suffered the dissolution of my family.

This was by far the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I can bear physical pain and death, but I was inconsolable from the magnitude of my emotional loss when I was literally cut out of my family circle.

God previously tried through numerous trials to teach me to surrender all to Him, to enter His place of rest and to have faith in His faithfulness (Proverbs 3:5-6; Hebrews 4:10-11).

Yet, through every trail I struggled, often in vain, to use my own human resources to remedy the situation. However, this time there was no repairing the rupture of my family unit through divorce.

This is when I learned the Serenity Prayer. I had no recourse but to hand this devastating trial completely to God to do with as He saw fit. What I learned from this situation changed my life.

Now when I experience a trial, I view it as a sidewalk. If I focus on the details of the journey, I experience fear and insecurity. If I remember that there is a seed for a miracle in every trial, I feel only hope and anticipation.

I look toward the end the trial with the eyes of faith (Hebrews 11:1), expecting to see a miracle just up ahead. I keep my mind focused on God’s Kingdom and His will for me in this trial.

I serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus. If He allows a loss or trial or tribulation in my life, it is for His glory and my good (John 9:3; Romans 8:28). I can count on Him, because He is always faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9).

God uses us in times of trial to share the Gospel with someone; to live through this storm as an example of Christ’s peace in us; and for God to form His character, the fruit of His Spirit, and Christ’s divine nature in us through the things, which we suffer (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 2:10)?

I count trials as a joyful experience now, as I focus on the eternal consequences and not the temporal aspects of each one. I look forward to the ultimate miracle, which this trial shall birth in my life.

Prayer:
Father God, trials also taught me that if I continually live in Your presence and walk by Your Spirit, I will experience far fewer trials than if You have to resort to trials to gain my attention.

Satan also uses circumstances to batter us with temptations and trials all throughout our life; but we thank You that Christ in us is greater than the god of this world (Job 2:3; 1 John 4:4). Remind us that Jesus already won the victory for us over every negative aspect of life (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Thought for the Day:
Trust your life to God’s capable hands.

Healing Relationships – Part 2

Due to the insecurity and fear in life, many of us attempt to control people and events in order to maintain a safe and secure existence. Unfortunately, life never cooperates.

People who are wounded in their soul form relationships with other wounded people. In fact, we are all wounded to some extent or another due to our life experiences.

When we are wounded, we often choose untrustworthy people to trust, unreliable people to rely upon, and emotionally unavailable people from which we attempt to receive love. We end up more wounded than ever before.

If we are already in such a marriage relationship, God does not want us to divorce (Malachi 2:16). He will change us, which will also help to change our mate. The transition is gradual and it will take patience and time.

If you are not already married, then practice spiritual discernment and seek only God’s will for your future mate (Psalm 37:34).

Trust God to lead you to His selection for your mate. Walk in serenity and realize that when God wants you to be married, He will supply a mate.

As we learned from the Serenity prayer in Part 1 of Healing Relationships, we can only find fulfillment as we focus on eternal aspects of life and walk in God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

This changes our belief system, our choices and our pattern of behavior.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for healing the wounds of our past as You sanctify our soul and make us whole. Help us to focus on eternal matters in life and to put the matters of our soul in Your capable hands.

You will bring us everything that we need in life when we need it. If we do not have what we want, we can be assured that it is not Your time for us to have it.

If it is not Your will for us to have the desires of our heart, then you will change our desires to line up according to Your Will. Help us to wait patiently on You (Psalm 37:7, 40:11).

Thought for the Day:
Securing counseling as a couple will teach each partner how to live in a healthy, interdependent relationship; this way, you will grow together instead of apart.
*For healing the wounds of our past, start by reading my post: http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/part-1-healing-emotional-wounds.html

The Law of Generations

When people read the fact that the sins of the fathers are passed down to the third and fourth generation, they rail against God for what they view as His unfair practice to force someone to pay for their ancestor’s mistakes (Exodus 20:5).

In reality, this verse is telling us that our sins naturally affect people for generations to come. For instance, war is a decision made by a president, or dictator; yet, this sin affects countless generations, which reap the devastation of this heinous crime.

When a man abandons his wife, it also negatively affects his children, grandchildren and many future generations (Malachi 2:13-14). Divorce even affects parents, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends.

Murder, theft, sexual abuse, and all the sins we humans commit have far reaching affects for future generations. Sin rips the heart right out of all of these victims through no fault of their own.

The consequences of the sin we commit affect generations to come (Jeremiah 32:18). However, God also put into play similar generational affects to bless those who love and obey Him.

God blesses thousands of generations of descendants, for no other reason than as a result of our relationship with Him (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10, 7:9). I don’t know about you, but I want my successors to enjoy God’s blessings, not the consequences of my sins.

Prayer:
Father God, we so enjoy the blessings You bestow on us each day. Even when life throws trials and tribulation at us, as a good Father, You walk through them with us, helping us and encouraging us through the difficult times. You make Your presence even more real to us when we take the time to sit at Your feet (Luke 10:42). Remind us that You have a perfect plan for our life, and help us to obey Your Spirit’s direction through every moment of it (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:16-25).

Thought for the Day:
Through all generations, the Lord shares His love and righteousness with those who fear Him. – Psalm 103:17

Facing the Challenges of Life

Since life happens without any warning, I got into the habit, at a very young age, of breathing in shallow breaths. This is detrimental, because my body does not receive all of the oxygen it needs. My blood pressure went up, since I was hyperventilating all of the time. My mind kept my body in high alert. My soul does not react well to the uncertainty of life.

Inwardly, I felt fearful and insecure all the time. The environment in which I lived was unreliable and unpredictable. In my childhood, I grew up with emotional distance, unpredictable anger and physical aggression, which caused dread and instability. Throughout my life, I lived with repeated unsettling circumstances and unexpected changes.

For instance, I moved way too often in my early married life, and had to start over too many times. Eventually, my former husband decided he needed to move on without me, so I lived through divorce. I also experienced two car crashes in which I totaled both cars. The first accident left me with emotional turmoil and the second inflicted extensive physical trauma.

All of my life, I tried to control life to keep it manageable and safe. Of course, I failed miserably at this endeavor. We cannot harness life no matter how many safety valves we provide. I still do not like surprises and I have to remind myself to be more flexible, but I have learned some valuable life lessons.

Over my years as a Believer, I learned to keep my focus on God, to surrender everything to Him in prayer, to have faith in God’s faithfulness and to be more in tune to His Spirit (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Romans 8:14). God taught me to cast my cares on Him, because He really does care about me.

Walking in the Spirit moment by moment keeps me prepared for the unexpected (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 77:14; Romans 8:28; Galatians 5:15-21). God also taught me that He places a seed for a miracle within every trial. With each lesson I learned, I started breathing more deeply because the feeling of impending doom disappeared.

Prayer:
Father God, You have a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). Remind us to seek Your direction for each task You planned for our day, and then to seek Your face for guidance on how to do what You instruct us to do. Consumed by Your Spirit, there is no room for negative emotions. As we face new situations in life, which cause us injury, unrest and indecision, we can wait on You and face the circumstance with Your courage from within us. You strengthen us from the inside out to meet every new challenge (Psalm 27:14).

Thought for the Day:
Trusting totally in God and surrendering to His will for my life gives me His joy and serenity, which trying to control life never did.