Chapter 1 – Marriage Who’s Idea Is It anyway?
Marriage is for two mature responsible adults. One male and one female. Or one man and one woman created by God. It was God’s idea from the beginning of time that man and woman co-habit in a loving monogamous relationship. God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. He placed man in the Garden of Eden to work and care for it. He even gave man instructions. “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die”. Genesis 1: 16-17 NIV
It was God who decided that the man He created should not be alone. “The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2: 18 NIV. God decided that Adam needed a companion. He caused Adam to sleep deeply and extracted one of his rib bones. From this he made woman. She became bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. Woman came out of man. She came from his side. Someone for him to love and cherish to be close to his side.
Why all the historical religious stuff? Remember anything can be religious. This is a profound spiritual truth! God is the exclusive Creator of mankind. Man and Woman came from God. Not apes. No big bang! Not evolution! Who made the first car? Who made the first stoplight? Who made the first TV? Who invented computers? Give credit where it is due! GOD made man and woman. God’s design for marriage has not …..
Chapter 2 – Why Should I Submit To You?
When we submit we yield to the power or will of another. Submission is a humble compliant act. It is not an inferior position. It is a position in which we can learn integrity. What is integrity? Webster defines integrity as; an unimpaired condition; soundness. Adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. Completeness.
It is only with God can one ultimately find completeness. The marital relationship is when two become one. When they leave and cleave spiritually the two should become one flesh. Notice that our physical body has two arms, two hands, two eyes, two ears, two legs and two feet. These body parts are designed to work as a team.
For example; to advance forward one foot has to step out first (unless you want to hop). Does this mean one is more important than the other? No! A symphonic cadence develops when two walk together in love.
The Bible tells us that the wife should submit to the husband in all things. This establishes our walking order. But don’t just stop there. It also tells the husband to love the wife as ……
Chapter 3 – Why Don’t You Listen?
Did you know listening is an art? We must learn to value what each other has to say. When your partner is talking don’t mentally construct your response or rebuttal. Consciously attempt to clear your mind. Sincerely, actively and tentatively listen to what your partner is saying. Let it be your goal to attentively comprehend what they are trying to relate to you. Make it a goal to be intimately interested in what your spouse says to you.
Few people really listen to one another. Why? Because we are often so busy trying to relay our own inner self. Instead of actually listening we are often mentally constructing what we want to relay. Learn to really value what the other is trying to transmit. Even when we think we know what they are going to say. Even if it seems trivially unimportant. Allow them the freedom to express themselves. Think of it as a time to exercise patience.
To love means to hear. When we attentively listen we’re saying you matter. I value what you are saying. You are important to me! The next time you engage in a conversation with your spouse…
Chapter 4 – That’s Your Responsibility
Marriage is a partnership. It is meant to be a relationship where two imperfect individuals come together that share a common bond of love. This bond is ideally meant to last “to death us do part”, for a lifetime. Many people never anticipate what it’s really like to live with someone.
Marriage is more than spending a few days together or a week or two. It should last a lifetime. Often initially the infatuation is so strong the two of you almost feel invincible. Often the couple is oblivious to the reality of it all. Thinking that their feelings will make up for their differences. Yes, differences you will have, but that’s normal. It is how you decide to resolve those differences that are important. When reality sets in they realize “I didn’t think about this or that”. Who does what? When and how often?
You wake up one morning and wonder……..
Chapter 5 – What About Sex and Intimacy ?
Intimacy is an important ingredient in a strong fulfilling marriage. Intimacy involves transparency. There is no true intimacy without being truthful with one another. It involves growing to the point you can allow your intimate personal defenses to rest. You are able to allow your spouse to inhabit the depth of your being. Together you intimately caress the intangible you. You together grow to the point you are freely able to become vulnerable. The walls come down. A pathway to the heart is established.
Marriage should consist of an ever increasing, warm endearing closeness. After all your spouse should be closer to you than anyone else. Remember the two shall be one flesh.
Don’t confuse intimacy with sex. Many people have sexual relationships and never experience intimacy. Life’s lessons can be…..
Chapter 6 – When You Have Been Married Before
God really intended for marriage to last for a lifetime. The scriptures clearly tells us “what God has joined together let not man put asunder”! Asunder; means to not let anything pull you apart or separate you. Why do we so very often fail to seek God’s advice when seeking a mate? We instead allow our feelings and emotions to often guide us in a direction that leads to a futile destiny.
In our haste for companionship we can often make commitments that really should not be. Many often marry on the rebound. Loneliness and/or rejection can compel one to enter into a relationship too soon! Hurt and pain can hurl you into a relationship to escape rejection and loneliness. Swept away and blinded by an over whelming sometimes even sensual infatuation we fall heart first into marriage.
Many will fall prey to what I choose to call temporary or “intoxicating affections”. Its symptoms merely mimic true love! All too often once the blinders come off you find yourself …….
Chapter 7 – The Down Side Of Life And Marriage
God can direct you in your marital relationship. The adversity He allows is to help us build integrity. From this day forward make a sincere attempt to improve your relationship with your spouse. Take a moment and see where you are. Is your relationship headed in the right direction? Ask your self do you really want your relationship to ……
Chapter 8 – Do You Have A Temperature?
Each of us has a unique inborn Temperament. Our temperament determines how we react to people places and things. It is given to us by God. It is also the determining factor in how well we handle stresses and the pressures of life. I would like to share with you some information in regards to temperament. I have personally experienced the benefits of understanding temperament. Just know that each of us has a part in the puzzle of life. Spiritually speaking we are all members of the body of Christ and each of us has a place within the body. Yet we are all uniquely different. “God is not a respecter of persons.”
The idea of temperament is not new. GOD has placed in each one of us a unique temperament. Our environment is made up of the things we smell, see, hear and learn. Our mind is similar to a computer. It keeps a detailed record of all our life events. We are a by product of the things we take in. They help shape our personality. Our personality is a mask we develop to protect us in the world.
There are there basic components to our temperament. Inclusion; to the degree we like or do not like to relate to others. Control; how we establish a satisfactory relationship with others in respect to control and power. Affection; the need to maintain a level of love and affection with others.
There are many variations of temperaments. No two are alike. But ….
Chapter 9 – Two Is A Couple Three Is A Crowd
Each and every marriage is different. I have said before the formula that works for me may not work for you. Just like what looks good on you may not be well suited for me. We were not created as I always say to be “Cookie Cutter Christians”. Life would we be quite boring if we were all alike. We need to learn to respect our unique differences. Sharing our life experiences shines light on the darkness.
The foundational principles we should apply in marriage are ordained by God. Love, truth, mutual respect, fidelity, and commitment should be woven into the fabric of your marital relationship.
A God given soul mate is a precious jewel. Since 55-60% of marriages end in divorce it’s important that you don’t let anything or anyone come between you. After 33 years of marriage I still remember our late Pastor Rev. Ruth Johnson telling us that marriage was a circle. That we should not let any one come between us.
God must be in the center of your marriage! Your committed relationship with Him will fill the void in the center of the circle. The Holy Spirit will teach, lead and guide you how to love your partner. Begin to divorce proof your marriage. In order for your marriage to weather the storms of life God must be at the helm. Think of marriage as an unending circle with God invisibly and ever present in the center.
I vividly remember our pastor explaining the significance of the wedding ring. How it represented a circle. How we should not let anyone else in the circle. You see a circle is complete it has no …..
Chapter 10 – Till Death Do Us Part
Marriage is the first institution that God designed! Making a sincere commitment to your marriage is one of the most important decisions you can make in life. When God made Adam He made him both male and female. He took Eve out of Adam to be by his side. God is so wonderfully awesome! It was His intention to provide Adam with a compatible helpmeet to satisfy together their desires for companionship.
Marriage is the ultimate partnership where two together can spiritually, physically and emotionally have there needs mutually met.
God has ordained marriage. Each marriage is a unique covenant agreement. God intends for your marriage to…
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All too often the Scripture is quoted yet its imperial magnificent brilliance to enhance and enlighten our lives is overlooked. In the case of “judging” we need to ponder this subject and all its facets. It is often said we are not to judge. Whether you realize it or not we all make judgments daily often without thinking. You/we in fact judge when determining if something is so. As we continue on the path of godly spiritual learning we can acquire discernment. We become better equipped to navigate through this “Valley of the Shadow of Death.”
Time is of the essence for much of our world is out of control. We should seek to learn how to better judge with righteous judgment for the benefit of all concerned.
When you call me judgmental are you not being judgmental? After all, you have also just judged me as being judgmental. WOW! Think and ponder upon this for a moment. Just perhaps we can balance things out by first examining our own motives before we reach a conclusion.
Self-examination is an ongoing part of spiritual growth. It is our attitudes that often need adjusting. Keeping in mind to judge means to analyze or evaluate as well as condemn or avenge. However, whenever we do judge one another it should not be done in a retributive manner but done constructively.
This e-book will enable you to broaden your perspective on the subject of judging.
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