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…
Be sure to enter the Goodreads Book Giveaway for Holy Matrimony:Now That We’re Married 4/11 – 5/11/16
Preventive maintenance is a great principle to embrace within marriage! Maintain a point of excellence by making your marriage a priority! Plan and do exciting things together you both enjoy! Continue to nurture an environment where love and respect flourish! Appreciate the time you have together!
Check your attitude often! Instead of letting your marriage become a constant battle ground, really embrace the principles of God’s love! Instead of embracing the old cliché “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me…” Know that they do! Please, don’t just haphazardly say any and everything… Be considerate. Be open, transparent and honest! Having a good argument from time to time is good for both of you! But remain sensitive to one another! Disagreeing does not mean that you disapprove of the person! You just don’t see eye to eye on a particular point!
Life is not always positive in the sense that everything goes just how you or I may want it to go! There are and will be some times when saying what may be considered as negative can be very beneficial! It is how, when and why you say it that matters most! All too often denial is welcomed and no one wants to address the obvious! Many allow years to pass and not address important issues… Sweeping issues under the rug results in ineffective communication! The issues instead become part of the current relational dynamics when they linger in the background unaddressed! An honest constructive disagreement gives you time to vent your opinions…
We need to become open to having healthy dialogue! Saying what each other might not want to hear is not often received as edifying! Guess what if there were no negative there would be no positive! Your spouse may not feel good about hearing the Truth! However it is important to share how you are feeling! When your intent is to build them up so you both can grow and mature it reinforces a healthy bond! You entrust who you are to one another! Dealing with the Truth is imperative! Each spouse should want the other to continuously move towards maturity! So learn to “Speak the Truth in Love!”
What happens when you do not agree? Be willing to take responsibility for your actions! Surrender your ego… Never let pride stop you from saying you are sorry when wrong! Balance is always key to building a healthy marriage!
The Word teaches us “that death and life are in the power of the tongue and he that eats of it will eat its fruit!” Proverbs 18. Keep in mind that you can emotionally damage a person with your tongue! So begin to be a better steward of your mouth! There are millions of words to choose from to express yourself so please begin to think before you speak! Learn to discipline yourself and choose your words wisely! Some say it doesn’t matter because he or she is my spouse and… I think because it is your spouse it should matter even moreso. Learn to welcome and embrace true LOVE!
Love is the key ingredient in building a great marriage. True love is unselfish. If you ever so briefly take a stroll down memory lane to the not so distance past you will find that “commitment” to the traditional marriage has dwindled tremendously! Many now opt to just do their own thing! This is also why divorce statistics continue to rise… So many alternate life styles have grayed the waters and provided options that are not necessarily good…
Fewer and fewer marriages are composed of very unhealthy boundaries and this is resulting in more affairs… The residual aftermath is insecurity! Trust has now been broken and there are numerous casualties! Significant declines in the overall breakdown in the quantity of lasting, loving, principled “Quality Marriages” are on the rise. It is distressing to know that there are even many more long term marriages that are resulting in divorce as well!
Remember the spiritual warfare I talked about earlier? This does not have to be!
Please, don’t wait until things get so bad and you feel that your marriage is hopeless! Don’t just wait to the beginning of the year and make another “New Year Resolution!” Do something NOW! Don’t let love, caring, romance and tenderness only be a part of the movies on the screen. Please as well don’t pattern your marriage after Hollywood! Actually it teaches us what not to do! Marriage is so much more than a contract! It is a covenant where you both have made vows! Embrace your vows! Renew them if necessary! Set some time aside and plan some quality time together enjoying your spouse to “welcome love!”
We are living in some serious times! Too many marriages and families suffering! The repercussions are endless. The lines of communication are gradually breaking down in a plethora of relationships! But this does not have to be. Somewhere along the line there is a glitch and the communication is faulty. You have allowed something or someone to come between you! Fewer good role models for the next and future generations! Too many have been looking at the grass on the other side of the fence instead of building healthier boundaries to protect their own marriage. It is too easy to take one another for granted! So get busy creating better moments and precious memories!
Make a point to set some time aside and tell your spouse “You need to talk!” Don’t put them on the spot allow them some time to think before you talk things over. Let them know that you want to make some changes for the better and you need their help! This is why you married them? Right!
If necessary plan a marriage date, weekend retreat or short vacation and get back on the right track! Ignite the flame of love or rekindle it! Make it a point to spend regular quality time together! Your marriage is important! Marriage is what you both together make it!
Did you know that marriages and families are important to God? With Him in the center you really can build a great marriage! A great marriage makes both of you stronger and helps build character! There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in The Word of God! Marriage is the oldest institution designed by God! Many talk a good game; but when it comes down to practical application of His principles within marriage that’s another whole story! Remember earlier when I told you that pride can get in the way! The Word teaches us “that pride comes before the fall… “ Proverbs 16.
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?
Make building a compassionate strong loving marriage a priority
You are considering getting married. Wow how exciting! Many marriages in this 21st century don’t last. A few things to think about.
Please don’t go into the marriage thinking that you will be able to change each other. There are many resources available when planning your big day. For those of you who have never been married before, you must allow for a period of adjustment once married. Living with someone is not the same as dating or being married. You have not really made a total commitment and you realize that you can opt out at any time…
After the honeymoon period is remain patient. When you hit a kink see this as an opportunity to take your marriage to a deeper level. It is during this time you need to work together rather than pull farther apart. MAKE it a point to keep you marriage exciting.
A great marriage takes two committed spouses
If you have not married; please do not manipulate your potential spouse into a relationship. If you do it will be an ongoing dynamic in your relationship. You should genuinely care for this person and desire to grow together. You want to encourage transparency in order to build a strong secure marriage. Before marrying really have some candid and open discussion as to how you would like things to be in order to see if you are on the same page! Don’t just assume?
It is a good to find out more about what each other likes and dislikes. Are you a morning person? Do you sleep with socks on? Do you snore? Are you patient? Do you yell scream and cuss to get your way? Do you rant and rave or manipulate? Or do you sulk and stay quiet, remote cold and inexpressive? Do you think that you should have everything that you want when you want it? Do you want your spouse to do everything for you and be waited on hand and foot and you do very little in return yourself? Or do you like to talk things through… Do you quit when the going gets tough?
It is the seemingly little things that add up and lead to arguments. It is easier for some to say how they feel when they are angry. Learn to be open and honestly discuss how you are feeling. Don’t make sorry a sorry word. Chill out and warm up to one another. It really is better to say “I am hurting.” Don’t let pride and insecurity dominate your marriage. How else will you settle your disputes if you do not take the time to responsibly communicate with each other? Wait until you have cooled off or can talk without being hostile. Please do not think that by not talking about issues they will go away; they won’t!
A great marriage will last for a lifetime
Now that we have discussed some of the not so good things we can move towards what it takes to build a better marriage. You sit down at work and discuss whatever the problem is, right! Why? Because work is a priority and you do not just opt out of your job when things are not going your way! It is important that you like and respect one another in marriage even more so! Why? Because you say you love this person!
You love them enough to get to know them better. You like them enough to care about their well-being. You care enough to develop loyalty in your marriage. Make sure to have a weekly marriage date. This does not mean you have to always go somewhere. It could just be a quiet relaxed evening committed to spending quality time together It is important not to lose sight of this or you will just take one another for granted and improving the marriage will no longer be a one of your top priorities.
Make your marriage a priority
Life is about priorities. Take time out to tend to the people and things that are important to you! Marriage is the ultimate relationship between a man and a woman. If your marriage is going to last you have to make a conscious effort to work at it. Keep the embers of love burning to keep it exciting. Do interesting and adventurous things together!
You want to build a mutually satisfying sexual relationship between you as well. Coming together physically as one should be a special . This is a time of sharing and caring. A time to experience a time of euphoria together. You can experience unity when you freely give of yourselves to one another. Create a loving environment. You keep the embers burning by being affectionate and caring towards one another.
Each couple is different so together build what works for you. It is okay to have your physical needs met so there’s no reason to be ashamed. Take time to focus on one another s physical needs. How often or few or when is between the two of you. The marriage bed is honorable in the eyes of the Lord.
Take care of your marriage
Tend your marriage as you would a lovely well kept garden. Make your marriage a top priority. Take care and tend it as you do everything else that is important in your life. Take a look around your home it is a reflection of how you feel. For example; If you leave your clothes lying all over the place and hang them up whenever you want to guess what? If you are selfish and insensitive and don’t really care what happens, guess what? Be attentive, respectful and thoughtful towards one another.
Preventive maintenance is the key. Each marriage is different and each marriage is what you both make it. If you want to make it better and if you want to improve start improving you! Stop neglecting yourself and only fixing yourself up for everyone else or when you go to work, go out or attend worship. Men are visual and so are women. Change for the better not the worst! Do you take care of yourself like you did when you were dating? We are older; no! Still no excuse. Age like a fine antique. Or do you just throw yourself together now because after all you are married to him or her so what! You should take care of your self to the degree you did when you came together or better. Strive to become the “BEST YOU” at any age.
Marriage can be a wonderful experience of growing with the one you love it can lasts for a lifetime. When you truly invest yourself in your marriage it becomes a priority. Keep GOD as the CENTER of your marriage. After all you did make a vow to HIM as well. Make it a point to get better not bitter. You truly can continually refine your relationship.
True Love lasts throughforever
Make it a point to keep your marriage and your spouse happiness a priority. You can still enjoy the company of friends and loved ones. But don’t let everyone else but your spouse know what is going on with you and how you are feeling about you or them! Again, I cannot say this enough; Keep one another and your marriage a priority.
True Love lasts through forever. You both desire what is best for one another and you want one another to be the “Best You” you can be with one another by your side. This is true when God is in the center of your marriage. You want and desire your marriage to last. Happiness is a choice. You can’t make them happy but you can contribute to creating an intimate, loving, caring, warm, transparent, stable, mutually inviting environment where both of you can continue to grow and flourish together and make a beautiful fragrant bouquet that says “I LOVE YOU!” Now and through FOREVER!
Why Most Marriages Don’t Last!
In the Sacramento Area you can find many interesting stories about couples that are indicative of what is happening everywhere all over the globe! Many couples are going through! But don’t be discouraged. Help is on the way!
A great marriage really is definitely possible. Marriage requires love, commitment, patience and lots of work! Counseling is an alternative that helps and it can enhance your marriage. But your goal must be to work through the kinks in the marriage rather than let them persist. If you wait until your problems are seemingly insurmountable it will take some time to plow through your relationship dynamics!
There are times when counseling is sought just as a last resort! You simply attempt to appease one another and are trying to buy some time… When this is the case; by the time the couple goes to counseling the problem is so bad that they just want to find out which spouse is responsible for their marriage problems? They are often just seeking support and approval to justify why they act or behave in the manner in which they do? The fact of the matter is your communication skills are lacking to the point you have lost some of your objectivity.
You now need or desire a neutral third-party to help you see if you can revive the marriage and get it back on track?
You can and should also incorporate the Bible as wise counsel in your marriage. Not in a rigid legalistic manner but in a way to enhance your marriage! It is important that you marry someone who values the same life principles! However if this is not the case you can still consult the Lord’s Word! There is some superb, really great “stuff” in the Bible that many are not aware of! I mean this in a complimentary way! There are some great love stories as well as excellent examples of tests and trials. The Lord never intended for any of us to be unhappy and disappointed all the time… I suggest that you to go to Galatians 5 and learn the differences between the works of the flesh and the Fruit of His Spirit!
Please, don’t just read the Bible you must actually implement the principles into your own personal life and marriage. It is not wise to use the Word to manipulate or hurl insults upon your spouse! After all the Lord KNOWS what He is talking about!
If you have a friend that is having marital conflict encourage them to seek helpful ways to resolve it! It is important to respect your marriage as well as the marriage of others! When asked for advice make it a point to be objective! Don’t experiment on their marriage and suggest things that are harmful rather than constructive! Help them look at the situation from all angles! Sometimes a listening ear is all that is necessary to sort through the problem. Never support abuse on any level in anyone… Learn to be a better friend by encouraging them to do what is right!
What is so interesting is that as adults you can do as you please! That is, unless you simply have no self-control yourself and are rather compulsive. In that case you just cannot restrain or discipline yourself and you freak out at the slightest little thing! If this is the case you need to put yourself in check and seek out getting some professional help! By the way prayer really does work!
Please if you know that your spouse has a short fuse don’t try to purposefully set them off! This does not mean that you are to be a doormat! Choose your battles wisely don’t encourage abuse or dysfunction in yourself or anyone else. Don’t be an enabler!
So why can’t you make a decision to work out your problems? It’s because you have opted to go the way of the majority or just “do your own thing!” You can simply do what makes you feel good instead at the expense of your spouse? Live together and really be miles apart! But is it really good for you or your marriage! No! That’s called being selfish! At this point, the marriage has become more about “you” rather than about “us!” It’s my house, my car, my money, my furniture my name my, my, my… Somebody has a bad case of “Me”ness! No wonder you are in such a quandary! You have now or will be joining the not happily ever after club soon! That is unless you decide to make your marriage a priority! So get busy!
The first step for getting your marriage back on track is taking responsibility for your own actions! Stop behaving as though you are in the relationship by yourself! It is called being considerate! Your spouse is neither your servant nor parent! They are supposed to be your partner… Start treating your spouse the way you would like to be treated for starters! Celebrate your marriage! Encourage one another and if necessary encourage yourself like King David! Don’t let anyone steal your JOY! If you have get busy getting it back!
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!
How Compatible are We? Ready for Intimacy? Commitment? The Marriage Bed? In-laws or Out-laws?
Food for thought Before You Say; I DO
Let’s ponder and delve into ways to improve your upcoming or current marriage!
Many couples spend a great deal of time planning their wedding, but little time planning their marriage. They have not taken the time to have candid open discussion as to what happens after the wedding. Planning your wedding is important, but so is planning your marriage.
How Do I Love Thee:Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO” is a mini-premarital guide to be used by couples, counselors, and clergy. It addresses many of the major subjects couples should discuss prior to marriage.
Included are interactive lessons and assignments for the couple which are designed to motivate serious thought about love, compatibility, commitment, finances, accountability, responsibility, dealing with the in-laws, the marriage bed, and more.
Enter the Goodreads Book Giveaway below for a chance to win a FREE autographed copy.
Marriage and addiction
Addiction is something few want to readily discuss. Having an addiction will inhibit intimacy within the marriage. Transparency is necessary in order to build intimacy. Love, transparency, trust and intimacy are essential components in building a healthy strong satisfying marriage. Addiction prohibits you from being transparent.
Addiction is a clear indicator that you are hurting. You have simply found an unhealthy way to cope with your deep pain. Your addiction can be alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, uppers, downers, prescription drugs, caffeine, illicit sex, people, pornography, food and even shopping! Yes and there are more… Even approval from others. Guess what? You have only found a way to momentarily relieve or somewhat ease your infuriating inner pain; it is still there. The addiction is a flag that something is wrong. You need to seek a healthy resolve.
I say momentarily because while under the influence or indulging in the activity of choice you are able to somewhat escape. However the systemic cause remains because the pain returns. Often more vehement than ever before. This causes you to each time pursue passionately that which you are addicted to. Addiction of any kind can be life threatening because you are out of control. Your desires consume you and disables your ability to be responsible or demonstrate genuine love. Instead the activity controls you and you will do whatever it takes to get a “quick fix!
How does this impact my marriage? Good question. Marriage is a partnership and when one has an addiction they are not able to fully commit because the addiction is often their main priority. The spouse that is unaware is kept in the dark. Secrets, lies and deception accompany addiction. The addiction is used to fill the insatiable void in the addicted partner’s heart. It instead becomes their companion. This leaves their spouse out in the cold.
A disordered family, peer pressure, cultural influences, abuse, incest, rape, molestation, lack of self-esteem and a weakness to experiment can all contribute to one developing an addiction.
We live in a drug friendly worldly environment. Daily we are bombarded with the invitation to take this pill or that pill. Notice how many television commercials attempt to sell you something to feel better! Notice how the dinner hour has become the prime time for commercial pushers. There are a multiplicity of pushers of all sort. Doctors also oblige patients with tranquilizers, stimulants, pain pills, sleeping pills even pills to wake you up!
Keeping your commitments are important. One thing that needs to be promoted more is a personal relationship with the Lord! Marriage is ordained by God. It was designed to be the ultimate sacred relationship between a man and a woman. It can also help you prioritize life and put all your other relationships into their proper perspective, it can help you develop a healthier living environment.
Building trust is an important part of marriage! As we commit to building healthier home environments we contribute to lessening the number of addictions continuing to escalate. A safe home environment does not exclude addiction; but it does serve to nurture those who are… The possibility to break the generational cycle of dysfunction becomes attainable.
It is important to seek ways to validate one another. To develop and ongoing healthy support system that says I love and sincerely care. This does not mean you support the addiction. No! You separate the behavior from the person. You encourage them to be the best they can be and find ways to help them become who they were created to be!
God created each of us uniquely and we have varying temperaments. Our needs are different when these needs are not met a void is created and therefore one seeks to often erroneously fill that void. Marriage is about working together to find healthier ways to fill those voids with a committed partner…
Your partner is not responsible for your addiction you are. Both must hold one another accountable for their actions! You both are accountable to God for the vows you made… Remember, “for better or for worse…”
In this 21st century emotional gasoline has flamed the fires of addiction. Pain, grief and stress not dealt with properly are great contributors that drive unhealthy desires. Addiction is big business therefore it is often rationalized and one can easily find access and support. Addiction does not usually happen overnight it is a gradual process that begins with a series of steps…
Next we will discuss some of those steps;
How Compatible are We? Ready for Intimacy? Commitment? The Marriage Bed? In-laws or Out-laws?
Many couples spend a great deal of time planning their wedding, but little time planning their marriage. They have not taken the time to have candid open discussion as to what happens after the wedding. Planning your wedding is important, but so is planning your marriage.
Now available is the Kindle Edition of my premarital book “How Do I Love Thee: Food For Thought Before You Say I DO”.
>How Do I Love Thee:Food For Thought Before You Say “I DO” is a mini-premarital guide to be used by couples, counselors, and clergy. It addresses many of the major subjects couples should discuss prior to marriage. Included are interactive lessons and assignments for the couple, which are designed to motivate serious thought about love, compatibility, commitment, finances, accountability, responsibility, dealing with the in-laws, the marriage bed, and more.
For a limited time (September 1, 2015 – September 5, 2015) you can download a copy of this book for FREE!
Click on the book cover below to visit Amazon and pick up your copy, and/or a copy for family members and friends.
**********************************Customer Reviews From Amazon***********************************
Excellent and Resourceful
By Lady Monica Kaye on February 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My sister has broken down each step of preparation needed before saying ” I Do”. I appreciate your straightforwardness to doing what is right in the sight of God.
This is a MUST read for anyone longing to be married or currently engaged.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
I LOVE THIS BOOK
By Dr. Kitty Bickford on May 16, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVE THIS BOOK! Wish I could get all my 20-something nieces and nephews and grandchildren to read it BEFORE they made bad choices. Thanks for writing it.