Love is an important element of a great marriage. Marriage is the ultimate covenant relationship for a couple to learn how to grow together! It is a sacred union between a husband and wife! You both come together to build a lasting committed bond! When you both are dedicated to the Lord know that there will be a continuing barrage of spiritual warfare launched against your marriage! It often comes from the least expected places… It wants to undermine your credibility, destroy trust, infringe on your union and is designed to get you to respond in a carnal mode that will only divide you.
Disagreeing is a part of any strong marriage! You both are different and do not always see eye to eye. Why is it when you disagree you somehow forget what your spouse means to you! Or somehow you manage to push it in the background! Instead you often pull out the emotional boxing gloves and erect a mental boxing ring and come out punching! Often piercing the heart with deadly emotional punches that crush the soul! Or either you flip the script and make it about you! Bear in mind that there is always exceptions! This is not to point the finger but to put a halt to the staggering overabundance of marriages ending in divorce! To instead encourage you to “welcome love!”
There are those who use the word “Love!” so very loosely! They see love as something that makes them feel good! They feel you love them because you tell them what they want to hear and give them what they want when they want it… This is really not love at all! What you are really dealing with is the neglected “child” in them that has not grown up and always wants its way! They often hold on to “Me ness” instead of embracing “We ness” It becomes clear when you do not agree or tell them “No!”
Please don’t feed this monstrous bad habit! I say habit because it is a pattern that can be changed…! “Practice makes permanent! If not it will eventually manipulate you and everyone around them to appease their seemingly endless need to be cared for! Unresolved emotional issues have all too often become the scapegoat to fuel and appease their desires! On the surface it merely and at times cleverly mimics love in order to have its way! What often happens with someone of this nature; instead of growing beyond their childhood trauma it becomes a blanket excuse for any inappropriate behavior that may be confronted! It will drain you, your emotions, your resources as well as your finances! It is important to have compassion… To avidly seek to understand the deeper need! However, good boundaries are necessary and you must learn how to “guard your heart!”
Love is talked about but impatience, anger, insecurity, irresponsibility and immediate self-gratification are usually the behavior most often displayed… This does not have to be.
They simply justify having whatever it is they want! When you do not comply they feel rejected! They themselves are emotionally starved because they have never really truly experienced true love! They really do not know what love is really all about! Many in our society today confuse love with “lust” or what I call “intoxicating affections” that last for only a season! This is also the reason for a lot of divorces! It is important to begin to address any unresolved issues… In a warm loving, caring environment trust and security can flourish! One can grow beyond their issues!
True love is not selfish! It fills the void properly when sincerely embraced! Love is a part of the Fruit of the Spirit! “God is love!” He is eternal and so is His love! Enlist the principles of true love described in I Corinthians 13! They work! Use this as an effective barometer to measure love over lust, and or intoxicating affections! “Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in Truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails…”
If many truly learn how to love each other there would be a lot less marriages dissolving. Less families being divided and fewer divorces! We would instead see a lot more long term marriages continue to flourish! God never intended for your marriage to grow stale!
Begin to embrace redemptive confrontation and meet head-on in love! Just because it is your spouse you do not have to become “raw…” After so many unkind insults are continually inflicted upon one another it leaves debilitating emotional scars. This means together making a conscientious effort learning to face and embrace constructively resolving any conflict! Learn not to or stop taking one another for granted! This can deplete your marriage of comfort and security! Respect should be intricately woven into your marriage! Your feelings matter…Together you learn to deal with difficult situations as they arise! It is not wise to avoid confrontation, because this can build resentment… Addressing the issues at hand is important as well as healthy! If left undone, quite often the next step is; I’m out of here! On to the next person!
Why most marriages don’t last Part 1
It is important to make your marriage a top priority!
Marriage statistics ending in divorce continue to rise! Why is that? Spouses listen to everyone else except one another. Their marriage is no longer the top priority it once was. They desire to please their friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers and sometimes congregations rather than one another or GOD!
You do not have to live on an island. You must continue to strive to improve and refine your marriage!
Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with having good friends. Just don’t try to be like your friends. Especially if they are not married. Be original! If you notice you look different because you are different. Your temperaments are different and you like different things. So why is it when it comes to your spouse you listen to them rather than to one another. When you decided to get married you became a team. Or rather you should learn to commit to be partners in life. Build a great marriage and encourage those who are married to do the same. Encourage those who are single to cleave to the Lord as they seek to be married….
Hopefully you did not get married to make each others’ life difficult. Or to get someone to take care of you. You can do badly all by yourself. Or because you felt you were getting older and the clock was winding down or simply because everyone else was married? Or just because! Hopefully you got married because you want to give and share of yourself within the sanctity of a committed monogamous growing relationship. To experience the greatest partnership between one man and one woman designed by God.
Think about it for a moment. Why did you get married? Was there a goal to accomplish something? You have two eyes, two ears, two lips, two hands, two arms, two legs and two feet. They actually work together in pairs better! If one can’t do something the other one will… Well when it comes to marriage you should work together with your spouse as well. Two working together can accomplish much and often much more than one! If you do not desire to work together then don’t get married. Or perhaps that is why you no longer want to be unmarried? You want to try something else or someone else? You want to give of yourself in a relationship were you both have the same basic principles and morals; here you are on one accord….
Many change partners like they are changing a pair of shoes! Fearful of being transparent and taking the time to really get to know your spouse you flee. Or you simply don’t open up to them and you two just coexist as strangers! Or listen to unwise, ungodly counsel or advice… Quite often everyone else knows what is going on before either of you. Your friends have become your confidants and you wouldn’t dare share TRUTH with your spouse. Well! That’s part of the problem!
Help for marriages
Marriage is not about keeping secrets from your spouse. It’s about sharing who you are and growing and improving yourself as well as encouraging your spouse… To remain committed when there is turbulence and then together learn to soar above it! In a good marriage when you truly like one another you become friends as well as partners! It is better to be open and honest up front rather than waste time year after year dodging the Truth.
If you have been married before please take some time in between marriages and get rid of the extra baggage. If you don’t it will soon become part of your current marriage and you will recycle the same ole junk! You can’t change what has happened but you can go forward and do some things differently…
What is so interesting marriage was really designed by God to be the ultimate relationship between one man and one woman. Two become one! Being together is a desired choice and you vow and commit to grow together and become partners for life. You made a commitment to honor God within your marriage? Or did you? Or until… Well nowadays people stay married as long or as short as they can tolerate one another and something better comes along? So they think? The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence! It must be tended, fertilized and cared for to stay green and healthy! The grass is greener where it is watered, fed and taken care of’
Few really understand what true love is! “GOD IS LOVE” God is eternal and so is His love!
Love becomes optional to some in marriage and it is no longer the key adhesive that keeps the marriage together. This really is not love at all. Respect and commitment are secondary as well! This is “Intoxicating affections” that simply mimic God’s love. They don’t last!
GOD wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to live well rounded lives. He wants us to have healthy marriages & families. He wants to be a part of every area of our lives.
Entertainment for recreation and amusement purposes are a wonderful part of life. It balances out the seriousness of life and living! Our minds are given the opportunity to rest and journey into the land of imagination and creativity. Entertainment is healthy when done in good taste… Marriage on the other hand is not meant merely for entertainment purposes. It is one of the most serious relationships one can have. It is meant to be a ever growing beautiful lifetime relationship between a man and a woman. A great marriage should be built upon Love, Intimacy, Mutual respect, Integrity, Trust, and yes Sex. These marvelous attributes for marriage make up the great helpful acronym which = “L I M I T S!” These are healthy virtuous ingredients that are an important part of building a good marriage.
Life is serious and time is so very precious! How you spend the majority of your time is important! In marriage one should not become carried away into an unconscious state of oblivion and become out of touch with what is happening around them. It is not something to escape into because you are bored, are need somewhere to escape until you find something better to do… Many turn to marriage in order to just be entertained. Marriage is about learning how to give yourself to one another. Each spouse should become increasingly aware and sensitive as to how their spouse is feeling.
“L I M I T S”is a good acronym to remember for a lasting marriage! The desire to grow together and develop character is very important.
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.
Marriage is a unique covenant agreement. Marriage is ordained by God. God intends for your marriage to last for a lifetime.
Purchase a copy of “Holy Matrimony: Now That We’re Married” to read more!!
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 improve?
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 saying “what have I done?”
Purchase your copy of “Holy Matrimony:Now That We’re Married” to read more….
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…..
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NEXT: Chapter 6 – When You Have Been Married Before
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……..
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NEXT: Chapter 5 – What About Sex And Intimacy
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…
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NEXT:Chapter 4 – That’s Your Responsibility
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 Christ loved the church.
< NEXT:Chapter 3 – Why Don’t You Listen ?