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. Scripture tells us God does not change. But man does and needs to grow continually in God’s grace. Man has changed so much that he no longer exclusively gives God the infallible credit for his origin. Christians should know better! Either we believe the scriptures or we don’t. As long as you omit the Word of God in your life and marriage you cannot, or will not experience the fullness and abundance of life that God wants for you. It is also the primary reason why many are unhappy and fulfilled. God wants to be involved in your personal life. Stop running from Him and run to Him. Please begin to give God his rightful place in your life!
I truly, wholeheartedly believe that God made man and woman to fulfill a purpose. I also believe the reason we
have such an influx of problems in marriage is because we ignore what the bible has to say in regards to life and living.We have allowed others to ridicule us and insinuate we are Pharisees when we talk about the scriptures. We then timidly seek spiritual direction for our life and marriages. If you know Jesus you should know better. No, not in a rigid legalistic fashion like they did. The “Pharisees” knew the scriptures well. It was a good thing they knew the scriptures. That in itself was not enough. The problem was that they did not know Jesus! They did not even recognize Him visibly right before them in the flesh. There is a big difference between “knowing of” and “knowing intimately” who Jesus really is!
We who are truly Christians are without excuse. We should truly know who Jesus is! We should make it a priority to continuously strive to develop a growing spiritual intimate relationship with Him. We should encourage others to do so as well. Why? The Holy Spirit is the ultimate teacher to equip us for whatever is necessary in this life. God allows us to experience the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit, when we are obedient to Him. I am not ashamed of the Gospel! Gospel means Good News! Call me a Pharisee because I’m calling on Jesus I know who He is. Do you know Jesus? If you don’t know Him now is a perfect time. Just ask Him into your life. Believe that Jesus was born of a woman; the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life. He was crucified, dead, hung on the cross and was buried. It doesn’t stop there. He arose from the grave with all power and ascended into heaven. He sacrificed His precious life to redeem us from the curse of sin. It is by the shedding of His blood and accepting Him and His Word as TRUTH; that we can truly be cleansed from ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. Invite His Holy Spirit to fill you with His presence and commence getting to know Him intimately. How? Pray and begin to study His WORD! The Bible is the history of His life.
In this day and time as we look around it should be clear to see anything goes? Pandora’s old box has lost its lid. But God’s principles are forever. The majority of our television talk shows are infested with story upon story of lives out of control. People who choose to live any kind of way. Encouraging others to do what feels good to them! Just outwrongly boldly proclaiming their right to live in sin. Don’t get distracted by what you see. God still ordains marriage. When Jesus died on the cross He atoned for our sins. He eliminated the enmity that stood between God and man. The veil of the temple was rent in two. From top to bottom. (The veil was where the priest went behind to intercede for the sins of the people.) We who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior are now a part of the royal priesthood. Nothing stands between Him and you but unconfessed sins. Remember He is aware of EVERYTHING! Don’t allow sin to hinder your walk with God. Daily confess your sins and repent! Please begin to allow His Light to lead and guide you. If you don’t know the scriptures don’t just take my word for it. Please use this as an opportunity to study them for yourself!
In each of us is a deep void. God can only fill that void. Begin to live now to please God! His love is the key
ingredient. Marriage is symbolic of Christ’s relationship with the Church. The Church is His bride. Remember
your vows. Did they include God? All right then; don’t just know how to repeat your vows. Or were you really just going through the motions? Commence to know and trust God! He is able to keep your marriage from failing.
When two come together in marriage they come from two different living environments. The two of you have the opportunity to create your own living environment. What power! You promised to do what? Or were you just repeating what you heard. Stop where you are right now. Revisit that moment. The moment you decided that the person you married was the love of your life. The one who God has designed to be your soul mate. Not cell mate. There is a difference you know? You should not feel as though you are trapped. Don’t allow your marriage to sentence you to an imprisoned life of misery. (Exercise = Take some time and review your vows!)
Marriage gives us the opportunity to establish a healthy loving, spiritual, emotional and physical relationship with the opposite sex that is ordained by God. Each spouse comes to the relationship with baggage of some sort. The relationship can allow each other to unpack their baggage. Where it can selectively be discarded or deposited in its proper place. We must consciously learn not to, or we must depart from, using marriage as a baggage dump. Proceed to take the garbage out of your marriage. Don’t recycle junk. Discard it in the trash!
Why is it we can respect everyone else except the very one we have vowed to love, cherish, honor and…… You know the rest. But my relationship is terrible. My husband…… I’m not sure if I still love……… You cannot change anything that has transpired but you can from this day move forward. No not pretending as though you have superficial amnesia. Remembering from whence we have come will allow us to enjoy where we are going? I am thankful that my husband and I share a life history together. We even occupied the same humble residence as children but at different times. His family moved out. It was then converted into a larger living space. My family moved in. This just personally confirmed that we were destined for one another. Together we appreciate from where God has brought us from. There was and is no need to paint a certain picture for one another. Our beginnings has helped us to relish and appreciate all that God has allowed in our lives. I know that He definitely works everything together for good.
Think with me a moment. When you find yourself in route to a particular destination and you suddenly discover you are lost what do you do? Perhaps you take out a map. Or ask someone who knows the way? Or just ask anybody you see? Or use your navigation system? Or use “On Star”? Or do you just wander around aimlessly and hope you will stumble your way through. Hopefully you pause; get your bearings and proceed in the proper direction. Well let’s pause and get our bearings. Where are you going in this relationship? Do you have a destination? Start developing a marriage with purpose and direction. Make it your goal to design a healthy home environment. A place where you can find rest and find solace from the world. Take control declare your home a home of peace. A place where God’s way is the ruling force. A place where God’s presence is
welcomed. Would Jesus be welcomed in your home if He were to return today?
Begin to work with the implements that are in your possession. Remember that unlimited source we discussed.
No everything won’t just fall out of the sky. If dysfunction and bad habits have made their nest in your relationship it will take time to remodel. While you are going through an environment remodel consciously be aware of hazardous behavior. Initially when you begin to reconstruct your environment the process will be quite painful. The realization of dysfunction can be paralyzing. When left unnoticed dysfunction seems normal. If you continue to walk in denial you will continue in a downward spiral! If you choose to work through the pain I guarantee you will see wonderful amazing results!
Gold has to be refined in the fire. Learn to lean and trust in God. Begin to give God your emotional baggage load. (Had you noticed when you take the “l” for load out of gold you have GOD!) If you make up your mind to have a marriage with direction; your path guide must be God’s Word and the Holy Spirit as your navigator. After all His Word is “a lamp unto our feet and a light unto your path” Psalms 119:105 KJV. When two people dedicate themselves to God and each other their life has unlimited potential. Remember “when two or three are gathered in His name He is in the midst.” God is always right there, He’s everywhere. Just humbly invite His presence in! God our Creator has a plan for each of His children. But we must be in tune. No hook-up, no access. You can reach Him 24/7. The wonderful thing about God is His accessibility. Always remember He’s everywhere!
Do you respect your spouse? Of course you do in public. Or maybe not? What about at home? When you are alone? You see it’s not about what everyone thinks. It’s not about how things look to others. It’s about really being who God wants you to be. Let’s begin by respecting and honoring our spouses. God is everywhere and He sees and knows everything. But he/she makes me so angry! But he/she doesn’t respect me! When we begin to respect our spouses we are obeying God. But you don’t know he/she has so many bad habits like… We’ll get to some of those bad habits later. The point is to obey God. This does not mean to cater or to encourage any wrong behavior in your self or anyone else. After all our entire goal is to create a restful healthy
haven? No it won’t be hassle free or forever blissful. But it can be a place of peace and rest the majority of the time. A place where love freely abounds. A place where we can be encouraged to spiritually mature. Not a legalistic fortress. But, a warm cocoon. A safe haven. A sanctuary. We must learn and begin to practice spousal mutual respect and accountability.
We have somehow misconstrued our perspective and often default to the old cliché no one’s perfect. (See article on the “Nobody’s Perfect Club) This is a truism no one is perfect. The perfection the Bible often refers to means to be complete or mature. It doesn’t imply idealistic flawlessness. The Bible says, “He who says he is without sin is a liar.” Neither is any one better than anyone else. Did you know people don’t come in grades like butter? Nor does it matter how prosperous or scandalously deprived we might be. There is nothing that was created that was not created through “Jesus Christ”. Whatever you do or do not need He knows. When we “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness everything will be added until you” Matthew 6:33 KJV. God will and can provide!
Yes differences you will have. You know the things we don’t agree upon. What does really matter is how we try
and reconcile our differences. Yes, we can be angry. But God tells us “be angry and sin not”. I personally don’t like war. But I don’t opt to compromise for peace at all cost. I really prefer to come to a reconciled point. Maybe you like arguing. Disagreeing can be good, but with boundaries. Do you like to argue or do you like to hurl insults? It’s better not to say anything at all if you are going to say something you may regret. If you always say things you don’t mean stop! Take off pride and put on self-control and meekness. Don’t confuse meekness with weakness. Meekness is power under control. The point is we must learn to mutually respect one another’s point of view, even if we greatly differ in our opinions. Just agreeing to disagree can sometimes be a cop out! But agreeing that what is best for the relationship is best for both. Learn to let God’s WORD settle your disagreements. Proverbs tells us “a soft answer turns away wrath.”
Don’t allow everyone else to do as they please in your living environment. Let them know that you have house
rules. The rules don’t necessarily have to be rigid. Leave some room for flexibility. Don’t allow anger, bad habits or any other destructive behavior to become the theme of your home habitat. If they have taken up residence move them out! Put them in the remodeling garbage bin not in the recycler. Unhealthy environments are breeding grounds for illnesses. Make it a priority to resolve problems. Stop letting them fester like a needle in a haystack. This will only allow you to blow up like a keg of dynamite and not know why? To the other extreme don’t bury your head in the sand like an ostrich as though everything is all right and it’s not. Find a middle ground somewhere between the dynamite and the sand. This will keep your relationship grounded on a level that you can deal with any situations. Don’t wait until some terrible physical or psychological illness presents itself at your door. Some people just choose to live on the wild side of life. Life gets easier when we
accept how difficult it really is. Learn to take time to enjoy the short time we have here scripture tells us “our life is but a vapor”. What if your spouse died today? I thought that might get your attention! Spend more time with God and less time in garbage. Home should be a haven of rest away from the turbulence of life. God’s design for marriage includes submission.
SEVEN POINTS TO PONDER
1. God has ordained marriage.
2. Your spouse should be your friend as well as companion.
3. You should know what God has to say about marriage.
4. Marriage is symbolic of Christ’s relationship with His CHURCH.
5. It’s important to keep and honor your marriage vows!
6. There is always room for improvement!
7. Mutual respect is a key ingredient to a healthy marriage.
NEXT:Chapter 2 – Why Should I Submit To You ?
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 to the degree you better understand your self it will help you develop a healthy environment. Living in a healthy environment will help lessen the level of stress you experience. Begin to respect the differences in others. God has uniquely made each one of us.
To the degree you can better understand yourself, you will experience less anxiety in life. It will allow you more
freedom. Understanding helps you to expect less from others and depend more on God. It will help you isengage gradually from life recycled dysfunctions. You will also begin to experience the higher heights and deeper depths of life. It will help you to realize that it’s more important to seek God’s way. Although it can be painful at times God’s way is always the best way. The thorns and thistles in life will prick you. Knowing that God is behind every dark cloud will provide peace. He really will provide a silver lining behind the clouds of life when the going gets rough. There truly is a healing Balm in Gilead that only God can provide.
Parents, siblings, relatives, spouses, friends, teachers, and co-workers have in some way or another attributed to helping you develop some degree of insecurity. Unknowingly they said something or did something that perhaps offended you. This registered in you negatively. Perhaps they didn’t spend as much time with you as you liked? Perhaps your parents both worked and you spent too much time alone? When often left unattended one can be consumed with idle thoughts. Perhaps you don’t even know who your parent or parents were? Perhaps you were ridiculed or called names? This possibly caused you to have low self-esteem.
Now you are a parent and your children seem as though they don’t care? You are not sure you really know how to teach them how to care? Nobody every encouraged you. Any or all of this possibly left you feeling neglected or needy? All the above can attribute to cause you to have low self worth. Which means you basically don’t feel good about yourself? This feeling of worthlessness is a result of unmet emotional needs. There is a plethora of reasons some of your needs were not met. The above are only a few of the possibilities. Whatever the case may be learn to nurture those parts of you. Start by being patient with yourself. Begin right now today developing or enhancing your intimate relationship with God. God has a plan for each one of His children. Get to know Him through His Word. God can truly make you whole! He really is the only true source of security and significance. His plethora of resources are unlimited.
Understanding your own insecurities will help you to resolve some of the conflict that has internally fermented.
Hidden and buried deep within are potential cancerous pains. Moving towards the light of God’s understanding
can be painful. Facing the truth will be painful. But so is labor before child birth. Or that excruciating pain before going to the dentist to find out what’s really going on? Allow that baby in you to come forth. Work through those pains. A new way of being is waiting to be born. In the mean time please don’t wallow in a pity party! Everything negative is not bad. Keep a healthy perspective. There would be no positive without the negative. Just don’t allow the negative to out weigh the positive. This is the area where conflict problems arise. We allow the negative thoughts or comments of others to overtake us! Maybe the comments are not really negative just painful because there is a degree of truth in their observations. We naturally go into a defense
mode when we are hurt. Begin to move forward knowing God is there for you. You may not even know Him. But, God is still with you. You cannot exist without His breath of life. Spend time in prayer and meditation. God and God alone knows all about you. That’s how important you are to Him. Commence exercising your faith! Begin to entrust your hope, fears and insecurity to Him.
God in time will heal your hurts as you allow Him room in your life. He will lead you. Just as He lead the children out of Egypt. Did you know that the soles of their shoes did not even wear out in 40 years? God provided for them. Just as He will provide for you! Begin to trust Him. Learn to release your burdens to Him. A heavy burden is a good sign you have not released it to the Lord. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light”. Press forward. Press through the pain and reach for the stars. I mean really let them go! Don’t turn back. God tells us “except we become like children we can’t enter into His kingdom”. It is the humbleness of children we need to emulate in our attitude towards God. We must be willing to lean and trust on him. He made them and He made you. In God’s eyes we are all children! You don’t have to live life in the wilderness anymore. The relationship with your spouse will benefit greatly as you walk closer with the Lord. Let God take care of your inner despairs. This will give you more time to spend building a much healthier relationship with your
Whatever gets your marriage in the down phase do something about it. If you don’t feel good about yourself
chances are you won’t feel that great about your marriage. If you don’t like your weight for example, start walking, exercise or join a gym. If you are too heavy begin with simple leg lifts and arm rotations. Start somewhere! Every pound you shed helps you to breathe a little easier. You don’t have to work those arteries as hard. If you’re underweight learn to view yourself realistically. If you’re afraid to eat and you know you weigh ten pounds below what you should watch out! You must eat. A car won’t run without gas. Your body cannot function without food! There are many resources to help you. Don’t wait until you drop or add those unwanted pounds to care for yourself. Or don’t wait until your appetite is completely gone and their going to force feed you. Anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders at an all time high. There is a lot of spiritual warfare that takes place amidst eating disorders. Stop struggling for control especially when you are actually out of control yourself. Please reach out and get all the help you need!
Women and men come in all shapes and sizes. I truly believe you can be beautiful at any size. But be mindful
if you’re underweight or overweight its affecting your health. You must begin to learn to eat healthy. Become
conscious of what and how much you put into your body. After all, like your car, regular maintenance will keep it operating efficiently. You are what you eat! Your unique beauty will shine through as you commence to live life purposely. Taking care of your self is important. What is inside is what really makes you beautiful. As you learn to trust God He will allow that inner glow to shine forth. You are a work of art in progress. You are somebody! You are beautiful! You are a child of the King! Never forget, being God’s child is what really makes you somebody!
Well, you see I married someone who doesn’t want to be bothered with me. We’ve grown so far apart. We don’t love one another anymore. My spouse has been unfaithful. Any or none of the above could apply. But if any are true, chances are your spouse has woven a protective web about him/herself. They need to insulate themselves from you and whatever else. Since your spouse is your spouse you have rights. But you also have a tremendous responsibility. Spiritual perspective makes a world of difference. Watch patiently as you exercise the fruits of the spirit. With the Lord’s help you are able to bring in a harvest. Remember; after fall, and winter comes spring and summer. There will be a visible difference when you begin to change. Exercising spiritual fruits will yield a pleasant fruitful harvest. You just continue to plant and water. God will give the increase.
When two come together in marriage it should not be to complete one another. It is very dangerous to burden your spouse with the task of making you happy. Only God can fill that deep inner void. He will help you to never feel alone again. When you really make Him your focus He will help you with your spouse, your children, parents, coworkers and friends. God has really provided all we might need in this life. We just have to know how to access His provisions. Ephesians 6:10-18 is an excellent source to read and reread until it becomes written on the table of your heart. It gives you the prescription to weather spiritual warfare. Whatever storms come in your life He can keep you anchored. Just know He won’t force His way. You must reach out to Him!
Your home should be a shelter from the world. A place where the two of you can retreat and find mutual comfort. A place where you your children, friends and love ones can enjoy one another. Your home should reflect and allow each habitant a space in which they can let go and relax. It does not matter how large or small each family member should have a space they can call their own. Each individual has varying needs of solace. A few find it terribly threatening to be totally alone. Whatever the case make sure that toil and turmoil has not become your dominate household theme. There are many families who live together for years and never really get to know one another. Fear and ignorance keeps them divided. A divided household will not weather the storms of life. No sensible human being can survive in such congestion on a continuum. Heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressures are warning signals. Change your atmosphere and attitude I guarantee you’ll feel a whole lot better. We have many options that we never exercise. If you have recycled an environment full of despair, break the cycle. You have access to God’s source of limitless power.
Know yourself. Make a sincere attempt to patiently understand your spouse. Keep in mind that you are uniquely different. You have different temperaments. Learn to respect those differences. Focus on the good things that brought you together. Together you can overcome whatever obstacles that have been erected in your path. Knowing that you are different yet equally important puts you on the same level. All of us have shortcomings. Learn how to respect one another and appreciate your differences. Begin to look at yourselves and your children through the eyes of God. Remember, You are a work of art in progress. Each of you are comprised of a different temperature. Yet each should be willing together to seek to create a comfortable
living environment for both of you to mutually enjoy.
Life is complicated! It involves many emotional transactions with a multiplicity of personalities. We interact and engage with one another on many levels. Since we are relational beings God has provided marriage for those who choose to journey through life with a partner. A tangible soul mate to partake in the joys as well as woes of life. Respect for one another is a key ingredient if you truly desire to create a healthy marriage. Understanding and appreciating your differences will enhance your relationship immensely.
Dr. Phyllis and Richard Arno have provided an excellent resource called * “Creation Therapy”. They describe in
detail the idea of temperament from a Christian perspective. Tim LaHaye has also written an excellent reference on “Transforming Your Temperament” He too provides information on how the Holy Spirit helps overcome your weaknesses. Make it a point to explore the dynamics of human behavior from a Christian perspective. Again the idea of temperament is not new. Knowledge is freedom. It is really interesting to see the wonderful multiplicity of behaviors we can have at any given time. Knowledge applied wisely is key to enhancing your life journey. You don’t have to engage in learning all of the technical aspects of behavior, unless this is a field of study you enjoy. It is my suggestion you take some time to enlighten yourself
on this subject matter. There is much valid research in this area. It will also help you to establish healthy boundaries. Also to know when two is company and three is a crowd.
SEVEN THINGS TO PONDER
1. To the degree you can better understand yourself you will have less anxiety.
2. God is the only true source for your security and significance.
3. It is the humbleness of children we need to emulate in our attitude towards GOD.
4. You are somebody when you are God’s child.
5. Together you can overcome whatever obstacles that have erected in your path.
6. Living in a healthy environment will lessen your level of stress in life.
7. Respect for one another is a key ingredient to a successful marriage.
NEXT: Chapter 9 – Two Is A Couple Three Is A Crowd