Eight Pieces of Advice From a Long-term Marriage

21 08 2016

images-4A number of years ago I regularly met with a spiritual father, who graciously volunteered to counsel me, read what I was writing and hold me accountable in my walk with Jesus. I loved those sessions from this seasoned man of God who was – over a long and amazing life – a farmer, then a missionary, then a pastor and then a college professor. In one of our meetings he gave me a copy of his musings about how his marriage lasted over six decades. I have listed his eight pieces of advice for you below.

1. We kept on, and on, leaving father and mother, cleaving to one another forming an ever-growing and changing union.

2. We worked hard at thinking about the positives of each other.

3. We sought absolute honesty before God and one another.

4. We embraced and enjoyed God together: serving, being pastors, parenting and worshipping.

5. We sought total spiritual oneness, far more than sexual oneness.

6. We laughed together about our failures and our life. We sought something fun for our relationship on a weekly basis.

7. We held one another accountable concerning risky tendencies.

8. Lastly, we admitted the possibility of “growing apart” in our marriage and committed ourselves to keep working at our abilities to seek periodic renewals, counseling, marriage enrichment, reading books, deepening of empathy and overcoming angers.

There you have it…profound wisdom from a matured marriage in which both partners now live with their Savior.





15 ways to Make My Husband Feel Secure

15 08 2016

images-3Last week we considered 13 ways a wife felt secure within her marriage and I thought it best to not leave the men out of this one. So, here are 15 ways a man can feel secure within his marriage as shared by a husband.

  1. She puts her relationship with God first in her life.
  2. She has a daily devotional time in order to listen to her heavenly Father.
  3. She cares about herself physically and emotionally and the image she reflects.
  4. She loves, cares for and sacrifices for her children unselfishly.
  5. She prioritizes caring for her husband in big and small ways.
  6. She cares for her home, keeping it neat and in order. There is no confusion around her.
  7. She holds her husband’s hand and is affectionate even in a long-term marriage relationship.
  8. She is not trying to change her husband, but accepts him as he is.
  9. She brings a cold drink to her husband when he is working outside in the heat.images-10
  10. She pray’s with and for her husband daily.
  11. She blesses and encourages her husband’s hobbies.
  12. She is her husband’s best friend.
  13. She quickly forgives.
  14. She has eyes and emotions for her husband only and enjoys a healthy sex life with him.
  15. She loves her husband unconditionally and tells him daily.

Go on a date and ask your husband what helps him to feel secure in your marriage relationship. You may be surprised by what you hear.





Making Her Feel Secure 13 Different Ways

8 08 2016

I recently asked a very godly woman what makes her feel secure in her marriage.  She shared these thirteen things about her husband:images-5

 

  1. My husband loves and prioritizes God as #1 in his life.
  2. My husband spends time daily with his Savior in the Bible and in prayer.
  3. My husband is committed to me, to our marriage; he speaks this regularly and often tells me that he loves me.
  4. I have a home that is safe for my children, others and me. My husband built this home with his own hands and labor of love and there is a spirit of peace that resides in our home.
  5. My husband has lived by Biblical financial values and made sure that we are not in debt; all the while, investing into our future. Our bills are paid and we have a savings account.
  6. My husband affirms me – my gifts, my passions and my contributions. He affirms my work, my person and my beauty.
  7. My husband has always believed in me, encouraged me and encouraged the gifts that God has placed in my life.
  8. I can truly trust my husband because he incorporates strict codes of behavior and boundimages-19aries concerning relationship with the opposite sex.
  9. My husband is faithful with his eyes – he does not view pornography, but uses self-control and is honorable.
  10. He is really good with people and I trust him to speak life, wisdom and grace-filled counsel.
  11. He prays with me and for me.
  12. He encourages me to hear God for myself.
  13. He encourages me to express my gift of giving.

What would your wife share if you asked her what helps her feel secure within your marriage? Better yet, go out on a date and ask that very question.





In Sickness and In Health…

1 08 2016

“In sicimages-2knees and in health…” Remember that statement? Does anyone foresee sickness? They’re just words of tradition, right? Actually they are words spoken as a promise, a vow. But quite honestly, we were young and the young do not get sick or have a frame of reference for a long-term illness. Some of those spoken vows said in our 20’s or 30’s are not tested for another thirty or forty years. When sickness comes, the depth of our love and commitment will be examined.

I have watched many couples struggle through these seasons, some successfully and some unsuccessfully. But the reality of this time depends mostly upon what your reality of marriage is today. Are you building faith, trust, commitment, openness, honesty and love now? Are you prepimages-16aring for the future by growing your marital oneness today, this month, this year?

images-3Determine today to grow old together, because there is only one thing that is greater than young love in a marital relationship and that’s old love.





Our Narrative – True or False

25 07 2016

images“In order for me to feel good about me, I need to know that you feel good about me.”

True or False?

“My self-worth is dependent upon the approval of certain important persons in my life.”

True or False?

“People seem to approve of me when I do well.”

True or False?

“I need to perform, reach certain standards, for the approval of certain others.”

True or False?

“When I fail, I deserve to be punished.”

True or False?

“I am who I am; I cannot change.”

True or False?

Did you experience any “true” answers to the above questions? I hope not, but I also know during periods of my life I would have answered some of them as true…totally. But, we can’t just answer “false” and not have a basis of truth in our lives. How would we answer these questions in light of God’s truth?

images-7For the first two questions the answer is: reconciliation. To reconcile means to go from an unacceptable state to an acceptable state. Christ has done that work by first accepting us. (Romans 15:7)

images-3The next two have an answer as well: justification. Before my performance, I am justified. To be justified means that I am forgiven of my sin; I am free from my shame and my guilt and I am in right standing with God. Again, not because of what I have done or can do, but because of what Christ has done. (Romans 3:21-28; 5:1; II Corinthians 5:21)

images-6We all deserve punishment, however Christ took that punishment for our past, present and future sin upon Himself and that’s called: propitiation. Propitiation is when God placed His Son upon the cross for us to make atonement forever. (I John 4:9, 10, 18)

images-2Lastly, I can change. I am not up for a vote. The answer to change is: regeneration. Robert McGee once said that who you think you should be is less than who you already are. To be regenerated is to become a new creation. To become born again is to get to start over and participate in His divine nature. (II Corinthians 5:17)





Jesus and Church: Radical and Uncontainable

18 07 2016

I have never used another’s blog before, but when I read this I felt like all those who read my blog would truly enjoy this one from the Simple Church Journal.  It is Jesus!  Enjoy and tell us what you think by commenting.

images-3This is a blog about “church,” so-to-speak, but maybe we miss the mark a bit if we don’t keep putting the focus back on the One who precedes the church and everything else. The church is, no doubt, meant to be a much more radical movement than we have understood it to be. How much more important is it for us to see that Jesus, the head of the church, is a far more radical man/God than we can even begin to understand. He is the One we, His church, are designed to imitate. Perhaps if we get Jesus right, and our imitation of Him in keeping with who He is, we will naturally get church right.

Jesus is so… much… more than we can begin to define in a few words, or thoughts, or even a lifetime of both.

He is uncontainable, unpredictable, unorthodox, and unconventional. As soon as someone would try to put Him in a box, He would break the mold. If you thought He was meek, He would pick up a whip. If you thought He was kosher, He would start talking about other people eating his flesh. If you thought He was a paragon of mercy, He would pronounce woes and judgements.

But wait! If you asked Him to condemn a sinful woman, He proclaimed forgiveness and grace. If you told Him a man was a tax-collecting thief, he loved him all the more. If you nailed Him to a cross, He prayed for you.

He was (and is) radically and completely God… living above the expectations of others, the mores of his culture, and the rules of society. Tell Him that the Sabbath was for resting, and He would work. Tell Him not to touch lepers, and He would hold and heal them. Tell him not to socialize with Samaritans, and He would deliberately converse with a Samaritan woman.

He marched to His own drumbeat. He lived with a vision set only on kingdom. He walked out of a perspective that never placed value on temporal things. He was not of this world and every moment that He lived and word that He spoke portrayed this.

Do we really even know who He is, really? How honestly are we willing to look at Him knowing that our calling is to imitate Him and be like Him?images-2

I’m just thinking that if we kept our focus really on Him, every church, house church, simple church, and mega-church would be absolutely, thoroughly, and completely transformed and turned upside down in more ways than we can imagine merely by the irresistible force of the life of Jesus pulsing through His imitators.

– Simple Church Journal





Healthy Sex Within Your Marriage Can Help Create a Healthy Prayer Life Together

11 07 2016

imagesIn I Corinthians 7:5 the Apostle Paul tells us that abstinence within marriage will distract us from a healthy prayer life as a couple. Many read this verse to mean that having sex as a married couple will actually distract us from prayer, but I believe just the opposite is true.   Author Gary Thomas says it this way, “Use marriage the way God intended it. Meet your sexual needs by making love to your spouse. Then your mind and soul will be more open to prayer.”images-2

 

Our sex drive is biological and our prayer drive is spiritual, but when a couple is unselfishly meeting one another’s sexual desires the intimacy of prayer becomes more inviting, easier to engage in and even more complementary. When the sexual union and the spiritual union are connected in a harmonizing manner, you will find fewer disagreements and fewer attempts at nit-picking with your spouse. Both prayer and sex are gifts from God and that’s why the enemy attempts to inhibit them in marriage. These two areas alone, connected and sanctioned by God, should make the Christ centered marriage even more inviting.images-3








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