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If he is withdrawn, irritable, angry, or exhibiting any negative emotions, we can give him some space and some time to work out his issues.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.

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Open Doors

Human beings often fear the unknown, resist change and grieve our losses longer than is healthy for our soul. This causes unnecessary stress to ravage our body and soul.

As authentic Born Again Believers, we can prevent this by trusting completely in God’s goodness and grace. When He closes one door in our life, it is to open another door.

He may allow us to lose a job, mate, child, friend, church family, home, part of our body, etc in order to open new doors for us.

God also closes doors to protect us. The timing, people involved, location and details are not conducive to this new venue He planned for us, so God will close those doors.

When we end one chapter of our life, we start a new one, full of possibilities and every bit as fulfilling as the former chapter. If we maintain an open mind, God will bless us.

No matter where we are, who we are with, or what circumstances He brings to us, we can still walk in God’s Spirit and allow Christ in us to live through us (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25; Colossians 3:3-4).

Supernatural direction, peace and joy sustain, strengthen and equip us for the Kingdom work ahead of us. God’s Spirit and Son within us are our everlasting companions.

Prayer:
Father God, make us conscious of Your hand in our life. Help us not to mourn the closed doors for very long before we change our focus to the new and living way You have prepared for us.

We trust in You to care for all of our needs and to direct our every step through this new life where You called us to live. Open our eyes and ears to see and hear what Your Spirit is directing us to do, and use us for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
The new door, which God opens, may be different than we are used to, strange and unfamiliar, but with Christ in us, we will continue to walk in God’s perfect peace and joy.

Healing Relationships – Part 4

When our soul begins to heal, our personality, behavior and beliefs change. This may put our partner on the defensive and cause them to feel insecure.

Our relationship changes from independent, dependent or codependent to interdependent, and our family and friends are not used to it.

The healthy changes, which we make, will bring healing in our body, soul and spirit. It will help us to establish an interdependence with our mate, as they get used to the changes.

It will limit our negative reactions to one another, improve feelings of self-worth, change the way we meet our own needs and give us more energy to serve others as God’s Spirit leads us according to His will, rather than by codependent urges.

Intimacy increases, expectations decrease, and in conflict we blend differing ideas into a whole new concept on which we both agree. We are mutually interdependent with one another.

Unresolved disagreements cause a couple, which normally live in an atmosphere of cooperation, to form independent lives that disrupt their interdependence.

Interdependence means that it is healthy to have differing ideas, hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes, because these differences bring variety to the relationship.

Interdependence is living in a mutually reciprocal relationships. It is about forming intimate connections with another human being. We share the decision-making process in our relationship and mutually care about one another’s welfare and feelings.

We are conscious in our choices, own responsibility for the consequences of our actions, and readily admit when we are wrong.

We enjoy deeper, more meaningful associations, and greater productivity, service, contribution and growth in our relationship.

We cherish, appreciate, admire, respect, enjoy, love and care about one another, and we never miss an opportunity to affirm and to validate one another.

Prayer:
Father God, help those of us with wounds from the past to heal and to have the wisdom and courage to develop an interdependent relationship with our partner, children, co-workers, associates and church family.

Give us patience with them as they too heal from the wounds of their past. Then allow us to serve You together in our individual gifts and calling, according to Your will for each of our lives.

Thought for the Day:
Interdependent relationships bring harmony and enjoyment to any marriage, partnership or community.

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

God Takes Care of Us

Although times of quiet fellowship with our Father are necessary in order to increase our intimacy with Him, we do not need a quiet place in order to have companionship with Him or to hear His voice. He lives within us and He will never remove His presence from us (Hebrews 13:5; Colossians 1:27).

We have access to God’s ear anytime day or night (Ephesians 3:2; Hebrews 4:16). Our human reasoning and fears are the only issues, which can prevent us from walking in God’s Spirit. As we learn to respond to His still, small voice within, we will walk in His wisdom and anointing throughout our day. God transforms us into His Saints by the sanctifying work of His Spirit in our soul (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God’s Word is alive (Hebrews 4:12; John 1:1). Every concept in the Bible is an illustration of the nature and character of God. The more time we spend reading the scripture, the more wisdom we acquire for living, and the more we understand God’s ways. We also realize that God does not pick superstars for His Saints, but faulty, weak and humble people who are prepared to do His will (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

If we have an earthly necessity, God will supply it as we seek His Kingdom and wait on His perfect timing (Matthew 6:25-33). As we take our needs to Him in prayer, He brings people into our life who can supply what we require. He will also lead us to the mate of His choosing and direct us to the employment, which He pre-arranged for us (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for residing within each of Your Saints. Teach us to follow Your Spirit every day (Galatians 5:16-25). Give us a hunger for Your Word, so that we can learn to trust You with our life as the Saints of old did. Their lives are an example to us of Your love, provision and discipline. Remind us to budget our income, starting with giving a tithe to You of the first fruits of our labor (Malachi 3:10). Through Christ, we continually offer the sacrifice of praise to You with heart-felt words filled with thanksgiving for all that You did and continue to do for us (Hebrews 13:15).

Thought for the Day:
Each new morning is a chance to glorify God with our life; every evening is an opportunity to thank Him for His daily provision and to cast our worries and concerns on Him, because He truly cares for us. – 1 Peter 5:7

Rejoicing in Negative Circumstances

I used to think that if I rejoiced in my negative circumstances that I would not be honest with my true feelings. I did not want to pretend to feel the opposite of how I really felt. Yet, Paul admonishes us to rejoice in our tribulation (Romans 5:3). I could not figure out how to express joy without pretending an emotion, which I did not truly feel.

It took a major trial in my life to teach me the key to rejoicing always (Philippians 4:4). After 22 years, the love of my life decided that he could no longer live with my Italian emotionalism. A wall of constant misunderstandings stood between us, so he determined that there was no option for us but divorce. To say that I was shocked is an understatement; yet, I did not want to live where I was not loved.

In the ensuing years, God taught me to be thankful even for these overwhelming negative circumstances, to rejoice in His hope, to have faith in His faithfulness, to be patient through every ordeal and to pray without ceasing (Romans 12:12). He instructed me to focus on the moment, rather than feeling depressed over the past and fearing the future.

I discovered that God is the only true anchor of my soul, and I would always dwell in the inner sanctuary of His Temple, regardless of my marital status and the earthly success of my life (Hebrews 6:19). I experienced the truth that nothing could ever snatch me out of God’s hand, and that I would always enjoy total security in His love (John 10:29). Now, those are real reasons to rejoice forevermore (1 Thessalonians 5:16-28).

Since then, I started looking at every trial as a seed for a miracle, which is just waiting to sprout. I know that there are situations more devastating than the loss of a mate; but I am convinced that Jesus, the Lover of my soul who saw me through that time in my life, will enable me to honestly rejoice through any future negative circumstance, large or small (Matthew 11:28; Psalm 23).

Prayer:
Father God, You have a divine purpose for everything that happens to Your children. Thank You for teaching me to trust You regardless of how negatively my circumstances develop. You filled me with Your presence through every moment of that nightmare, and You guided me by Your Spirit in all of my ways (Romans 8:14). Although I still grieve over the dissolution of my family unit, You restored my ministry as a pastor’s wife and You gave me a new husband who gives me more love than I ever imagined was possible on this side of heaven.

Thought for the Day:
There is no negative circumstance in our life that God is not orchestrating for our good. – Romans 8:28

Healing for Our Wounded Soul

Divorce is so easy and common in this day and time. There is no need to prove grounds for divorce; we just dump our mate as if they are a sack of garbage. We do not see life through their eyes, but only our own. There are personality issues and woundedness in every person’s soul, which may hinder us, or our partner, from changing.

Rather than divorce, we can change our focus about our mate’s issues and accept them with love for who they are at this very moment. Satan plants lies in our soul throughout the experiences of our life. These misconceptions cause us to over-react irrationally and with intense emotion in our current life situations.

Once the lie is discovered, we can hear God’s truth about the issue. These problems are resolved through seeking their root and origin, uncovering Satan’s lie and then hearing God speak His truth to our soul ( http://www.theophostic.com ). God’s healing changes our behavior for the better and we find freedom in Christ and His Word.

However, before a person finds this freedom, they are often divorced by their mate, which adds to their trauma. Interestingly, the mate who does the divorcing tends to connect with another injured soul with many of the same issues as their former mate. They also take their own unresolved issues from their former marriage into their next relationship.

This is often tragic and ruins their bond with the next person too. Give yourself time to recover from the trauma of your break-up. The more you date, the more sure you will be of finding God’s choice for you. Then, when you find someone with whom you can connect mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically, make sure it is God’s will by allowing Him to continue to heal your wounded soul.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our soul longs more for a relationship with You than with a person. We often go from one person to another in this life, trying to find our soul mate, or someone to complete us. Yet, the only way we can feel fulfilled is through deepening our commitment and our relationship with You. This is true even for married people. The more we find acceptance and develop satisfaction in our relationship with You, the more we can serve our mate out of our love for You (Ephesians 5:22, 6:7; Colossians 3:18, 23-24).

Thought for the Day:
Our support and understanding of our partner’s shortcomings will do much to improve our attitude, as well as our mate’s feelings of love and acceptance.