The Ten Commandments of Marriage

24 11 2014

Starting this week, I am going to create a series of blogs that I am calling The Ten Commandments of Marriage.  I hope you enjoy them and will share them with others.images-6

1. Thou Shalt Love God Above All Else

To love your spouse, your children or yourself above God is simply wrong. Jesus said we were to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and then love our neighbor as our self. Your closest neighbor is your spouse, but love them next to God. Did you catch that “as you love yourself” part? That means, in order to be able to love another so deeply we must be able to know the love of God for ourselves. Unless we know and fully understand that He is madly in love with us, are fulfilled in His acceptance and know His approval, we will lack in our love toward our spouse. Ephesians says it this way, “…no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.” You cannot hate yourself, while at the same time, claim to love your mate. You are one.

2. Thou Shalt Not be Self-consumed or Walk in Selfish Ambition

Selfish ambition is being filled with immaturity and will kill a marriage faster than anything. Selfish ambition is defined in the Bible as acting on your own for your greater good, not walking in humility, interested only in yourself and, lastly, being filled with vain conceit (Philippians 2:3,4) We are strictly commanded to be like Christ who became a servant and even though He was God, never considered equality with God by giving up His divine privileges (NLT). Are you serving and looking for ways to serve your spouse on a daily basis? There is no 50/50 deal in marriage; it is a one hundred percent devotion to serve and care for the other first. Marriage exposes how self-centered we actually are and can either destroy our relationship or expose our need to change. Marriage is not about me or having my needs met, but rather asking God to help me partner with Him in blessing my spouse.

Advertisements




A Struggle of Leadership

2 09 2014

Many persons are under the impression their leaders do not struggle with everyday life temptations as they themselves do. Somehow, they have projected in their minds, that leaders have risen above the ability to miss the mark. Sadly then, these same leaders can begin to think similar thoughts which can eventually lead to a “pedestal” mentality.   Here’s a key for each and every leader out there: to admit that you as a leader struggle is to admit that you are actually human…is to admit that you do not have it all together. I John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” As a leader, do you walk in any kind of self-deception? Believe me, it’s a fair questions to ask yourself and to expect Holy Spirit to reveal an answer.

images-10Leaders are forgiven persons, but not perfect. You do not need to pretend that your private world is perfect. Recognize your capacity for failure, but also recognize failure is not the problem; it’s what we do with failure. Failure can actually bring you to the end of the performance lie; give yourself permission to fail. Then, allow the failure to launch you into a path of personal healing. Embrace the place you are, while at the same time remembering God is taking you somewhere new in your leadership capacity.

 





How Competitive Are You?

25 08 2014

images-14

Mark Miller, VP of Chic-fil-A wrote in a recent blog, “Perhaps more than anything else, broadly and accurately defining your competition will impact your thinking. When Coke decided a few years ago, their competition was not limited to other soft drink manufactures, rather, their true competition was all the beverages consumed globally on a daily basis by every man, woman and child, it changed their view of their business. Today, it’s not just about Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite – Coke has over 500 brands and sells more than 1.9 BILLION servings a day. This would not be the case if Coke thought Pepsi was their only competitor.”

Who or what is your competitor? Are you competing with a sibling, a co-worker, a fellow student, a church staff member, the local mega church or a neighbor? This type of competing also involves comparing. Perhaps your eyes and your mind are on the wrong person(s). The Bible reveals there is a thief who has come to rob, steal and finally destroy you. As long as the evil one can misappropriate your focus and attention on another person, he can keep you from focusing on who your real competitor actually is. Satan is competing for your soul along with the souls and spirits of the ones you feel you are competing with. Competition through a friendly game of tennis is great, but competition that leads to comparison with others is a huge negative. In fact, Paul said that we are unwise to compare ourselves, either we will become prideful or suffer from feelings of insignificance (I Corinthians 10:12).

images-8





Encountering Risky Business Through the Four P’s

14 08 2014

images-6 (Note: I am sending this blog out early due to taking some vacation time next week.) Wanting to follow-up on last weeks post, I thought it appropriate to share four types of risk to steer clear of. I am unsure where some of these originated from, but I have used them for years in attempting to help others in their personal life. I have urged many to stay away from: people of risk; places of risk; possessions of risk; and processes of risk. What do I mean?

Often as a young believer, it is difficult to discern who to hang out with, old friends with bad habits or all new relationships. Initially, it might be advisable to stay away from those persons who are risky to your personal growth and change. Identifying persons of risk can eliminate being talked out of new life patterns. A place of risk is a pretty obvious one. In other words, for now stay clear of those establishments that allowed and promoted your former life-style of sin. Possessions of risk are a bit tougher to discern or even do away with. In Acts chapter 19, it was discovered that many new believers had been involved in sorcery. The new converts made a large bonfire and threw their sorcery scrolls into the fire. They eliminated many possessions of risk. Today this may include books/magazines, music CD’s or even computer games.

Lastly, it is important to consider processes of risk. Process is the connection to our thoughts. For example, prior to becoming a Christian our process of thought when being verbally attacked might have been inordinate anger or running away. Both became familiar and established life patterns, but both of these can be risky due to the fact that we might not be processing truthfully. As the word of God is received and acted upon, our responses will begin to change because our thought processes encounter truth and truth will set us free from former life patterns of risk. Which of the four P’s are you working on?





And Even More Ways to Love your Spouse

27 06 2014

I hope you are generating your own ideas by now. If not, here are 20 more ways to love your spouse. (Forwarding this today as next weeks post.)

images-6

  1. Be open and cooperative when your partner desires to have sexual relations
  2. Run errands gladly
  3. Make a fuss over one another and touch frequently
  4. Never withhold the truth from each other – no secrets
  5. Go for a walk and find more alone times
  6. Stay up past your bedtime to solve issues
  7. Get up in the middle of the night to care for the children
  8. Frequently help and serve one another
  9. Establish a family budget together with a spending allowance for yourselves
  10. Do a Bible study together or read a book together
  11. Help your spouse with hospitality
  12. Take care of the children for a few hours so your spouse can have some alone time
  13. Be polite to one another
  14. Do a retreat weekend together and evaluate, as well as, setting goals for the future
  15. Develop mutual friendships
  16. Care for one another when not feeling well
  17. Do not nit-pick and find fault or expect perfection
  18. Tease and flirt with each other
  19. Watch out for and be mindful of how much time you waste, e.g., TV, personal recreation
  20. Play together




Ways to Love our Spouse

23 06 2014

For the next several blog posts I would like to take some time and share with you various ways that you can incorporate aspects of loving your spouse in your marriage or your marriage to be. Too often we simply walk through life and allow it to just pass us by, one day waking up to the fact that our marriage has become boring and predictable. Rarely is engagement boring and predictable and I believe marriage can continue to be spontaneous and fun. So, here you go…images-8

 

  1. Frequently tell each other that you still love one another
  2. Pray together and lead family devotions together
  3. Do some things spontaneously and zany
  4. Share household chores and get them done sooner
  5. Set a regular date night
  6. Do the “fix-it” jobs around the house, not letting them pile up
  7. Greet each other with a smile and a kiss several times a day
  8. Provide a lingering hug often
  9. Hold hands often, e.g., in the car, under the table, at churchimages-5
  10. Listen to one another without counseling one another
  11. Sit close as often as you can
  12. Rub one another’s back
  13. Take time to look good for one another and wear each other’s favorite cologne or perfume
  14. Write love notes often – send text messages and email to one another
  15. Thank one another for the mundane household tasks accomplished daily
  16. Surprise one another by serving each other in some special way
  17. Always talk about one another favorably in public and to your children
  18. Brag about one another among friends and acquaintances, letting them know how proud you are of him/her
  19. Attend fellowship together and have a church family to challenge your marriage and family
  20. Maintain your own spiritual walk with God




It’s a Good Time for the Plane to Break

16 06 2014

It always intrigues me how people respond when they hear their flight is being delayed or canceled due to needed maintenance. First there is this huge sigh, then a buzz of talking (mostly to complete strangers about how badly run this particular airline is) and then they head for the gate agent to release their tension and anger. At that point, I really feel bad for the agent who has to take the customers’ entire wrath. My question of relief is, “Do you want the plane to break in the air or on the ground?” Yes, it’s inconvenient, time-consuming, and a huge bother but when that plane gets in the air I want it to stay there. There is actually very little you can do to change the situation, so…what are you telling yourself?images-4

Self-talk is constant, even while we sleep. But, what may not be constant is listening to our self-talk. Stop right now and ask yourself, “What am I thinking at this very moment even as I read this blog?” What we are telling ourselves (our self-talk) is what we will eventually react to. If we tell ourselves that a broken down plane, being late and missing our connection is anxiety producing it will be. But, if we tell ourselves it’s an opportunity to grab a bite to eat, it may even come as a relief. Listening is an acquired skill. People pay people $150.00 per hour to be listened to and quite often feel better. Why? Someone is listening in order to understand them. If you’ll take the time to listen to your self-talk, you’ll discover a lot about yourself. You’ll discover both lies and truths, the latter leading to right action and the other leading to wrong (re)actions. In the future, when a “plane” breaks in your life, stop and listen to your self-talk, you may discover something you didn’t know about yourself.








%d bloggers like this: