PRAYER FOR MARRIAGE RESTORATION”
Give Up “Me-ness” for “We-ness”
Marriage is ordained by God! It was meant to be a Covenant relationship sanctioned by a Covenant God! A Covenant is a sacred vow witnessed by God! For Christians it is the most solemn agreement that one can make between a man and woman! A Covenant requires sacrifice it represents the merging of two lives. The “two becoming one.” This does not mean one gives up their own personal identity. Two strong hearts join together as One! They cleave together not out of neediness, but because of an undying Love & Commitment and the desire to have a loving complimenting companion!
Many marriages are dissolving for a plethora of reasons! Many are and have been “unequally yoked” from the very beginning. Many have embraced worldly concepts and the idea of “what is good for me” takes precedent. Many have allowed manipulation and deception to embed itself in the relationship that only smothers intimacy! Many have behaved so repulsively towards one another that respect and sensitivity have been cast into the sea of unforgiveness! Many have allowed domestic violence and abuse! Many are bound by compulsion and ambivalence that only serves to vamp the very life out of one another… Instead of building a healthy home environment. They build a marital nest of confusion, pain and unhappiness. Marriage was never meant to be a competition of wills nor a degrading of one another’s character. Divorce comes about because of the hardness of the heart. Divorce is leaving many casualties!
Life presents many challenges as well as Celebrations! Marriage is about learning how to commit to someone who you can learn to be transparent with. To build and share an ongoing growing, loving, lasting mutually satisfying physical, emotional and spiritual relationship. To nurture, one another and give each other healthy space as well. To have one another’s best interest at heart. To celebrate and encourage each other through the challenges that life presents from time to time. To together live your lives to please God an allow him to use you to spread that love to others! Just think how life would be if this was really the case! God really has a marvelous workable plan for marriage! Instead, God’s design for marriage is constantly being pushed to the background! Too many instead embrace infidelity and alternative sexual relationships…..
If you are at a place in life and you know that your marriage is not all that it is meant to be… Or if you are having an affair either emotional or physical … Or if you never really thought about the vows you made or the seriousness of marriage…. Or if you have let anything and everyone come between you… Know it will not just get better on its own. Marriage like anything else of value takes work! You must do something , don’t continue to live in a mystic haze of unhappiness! Repent! Which simply means to CHANGE it! Keep in mind you can only change yourself! Think about it! Had you ever really thought about God knows what’s up? You are not fooling Him! Start by giving the courtesy that you extend to your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, lover, strangers or whoever to the one who you supposedly committed to Love, Honor, Trust and……
Again and I think it is worth repeating that divorce comes about because the hardening of the heart. Here is what the WORD of God says: “And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said , “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” And JESUS answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept. But from the beginning of the Creation, GOD made them male and female . For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are not longer two, but one flesh. There fore what GOD has joined together, let Not man separate…” Mark 10
Take some time and really think about where you are going in your marriage? Have you taken a detour? Pray this prayer or pray your own prayer if you are seeking restoration for your marriage! It is your heart that the Lord is concerned with. Not how you make things appear to others. Embrace the powerfulness of TRUTH! It is here you will discover the TRUE LOVE that can only come from being connected to God! Life is precious! You can never ever really be happy when you jump from relationship to relationship without dissolving the former conflict. It just builds up and gains momentum and at some point those issues will appear again. Give yourself the gift of breaking the cycle of dysfunctional and sometimes generational unhappy relationships. It’s never too late! Commence to commit to discover and learn healthier relational dynamics then implement them in your marriage NOW! Pledge to committing to the building of a lasting, secure, committed, satisfying, realistic, rewarding, marriage where Love, Respect and mutual concern take the helm. And let “Jesus take the Wheel!” Begin to give up “Me-ness for We-ness!
We first want Thank to say You for being our God and our Father! We Thank You Lord, that we have You to come to at anytime, anywhere and in any and every situation. Lord we Thank You for Your precious Son Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life that we may live life to its fullest. Lord, we come in the name of Jesus asking that you would open the pathway for healing for ________ (name of spouse and his wife ( husband) and restore their marriage. As your servant Lord I come realizing that you know what the needs are here. Without saying Lord you alone know what is going on, and all that has ever happened!
Lord, I pray that you will allow healing and reconciliation to take place. That whatever hurts or disappointments they have experienced can be mended through the power of your undying eternal Love. We realize Father that they cannot change anything that has happened. But, they can go forth together keeping, renewing and once again honoring their vows. Father we realize that much spiritual warfare is about them. We realize that it wants to divide and separate them. We ask Lord that they invite you into the messiness to bring about order! Lord we realize that ALL of your promises are true. We ask that you endow them with the necessary strength and wisdom to endure.
Father we ask that you would knit their hearts closely together and allow nothing else to come between them. Lord we ask that they both take personal inventory, repent and seek forgiveness for any wrong doing. We pray that they extend love and patience to one another and that the lines of communication, sensitivity as well as understanding are once again opened. We ask that you will allow all the pain, hurt and disappointment to begin to subside. Lord we ask that forgiveness is welcomed by each of them. Lord we ask that you would allow your JOY to flow once again from heart to heart between them. Father we ask that you direct them as they seek you first in building trust, transparency and intimacy. Father we pray peace over their household. Lord we Thank You for being who You are and we realize that all the power, honor and glory belongs to You now and forever, and for this we give you the PRAISE. In the WONDERFUL name of JESUS ….…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a Marriage Educator, licensed Christian Counselor, life coach and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do,” and just released her second book “Holy Matrimony: Now That You’re Married”.
DeBorrah has written extensively and has a plethora of columns and commentaries on life subjects that are widely published. DeBorrah along with her husband is co-founder of Alpha 7 Ministries, a Counseling and Music Ministry that reaches “Beyond The Walls”. There are times when we all need some encouragement in our walk with the Lord. The Counseling Ministry was designed to encourage, motivate and uplift you in your journey. The Music Ministry produces and records music for every musical taste: Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Praise & Worship, Instrumental Gospel/Jazz, and Easy Listening.
God has instilled in all of us a desire for relationship. But we must realize that our true security and significance can only be unearthed and experienced in a relationship with Him. When we embark upon the quest for a partner, we must keep in mind God’s principles. One of the main problems occuring in marriage is “being unequally yoked”. One common denominator that is essential for a successful relationship; God must be Lord of both lives! Light and darkness can not have true fellowship. How can a Godly woman expect an unbelieving husband to be subject to God. How can a Godly man expect an unbelieving wife to be subject to God as well. Submission is a humble compliant act. It means submitting to the authority of another. God is a God of order. The husband submits to God. The husband and wife in turn submit to one another. The goal of marriage is to experience the spiritual and physical oneness God has deemed attainable.
In marriage both partners must be willing to give up selfishness for the sake of the relationship, as well as forsaking all others. God does not want us to have a joyless experience. Jesus died so we might relish “the abundant life”, abundant means plentiful, overflowing. He wants our lives to overflow with the fruits of His spirit. They are: Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. Galations 5:22-24 (NKJV). The scriptures says “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore just as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV) To walk in the spirit is to be controlled by the spirit. It is the infilling of the Spirit we must pray for over and over and over again. When a wife submits to her own husband as to the Lord the Lord’s order is established in the marital relationship. But remember the husband must be subject to the Lord. When we are walking in the Spirit this type of relationship is possible. God has provided us with a formula for a fulfilling marriage. We must learn to trust that he really knows what is best for us. Now, step out on faith.
We must ask ourselves are we ready for marriage? Are we prepared to relinquish our selfishness? Are we ready to put the other partner’s well being first? Are we willing to share? Better yet are we willing to remain faithful and to partake in the joys as well as long-suffering that life often offers? Are we truly ready to spend the remainder of our life with this person? If you can answer yes to these questions, it is quite possible you are ready?
In this 21st century more than 55% of marriages end in divorce. Divorce is taking too many casualties! It is important to take some time and really ponder if you really want to make a lifetime commitment! Divorce and infidelity are raging a battle against marriage! Don’t let your vows just be mere words!
Marriage is the oldest institution there is. God created it to be Beautiful and last for a lifetime! Think long and hard before you presumptuously commit to Marriage. Planning for a wedding is so very exciting! It should be a wonderful magnificent, memorable and breathtaking grand occasion whether its large or small! All too often it is the idea of all the exciting Showers, Parties, Celebrations and activities that many have come to enjoy rather the marriage itself! A committed marriage takes a lot of work, it does not just happen! Make sure that you have thought about the future as well. I have found more often than not the last thing a couple wants to hear while planning to marry is are you sure?
Marriage between a man and a woman is the ultimate commitment of Love! Because of the alarming number of marriages ending in divorce and resulting in infidelity, I wrote this quick easy read premarital guide that takes less than a half an hour to read! Look and listen to the news! I have heard too many couples say “I never thought about that?” If I only would have known! You do not want a life of heartache! First know you cannot change this person you want to marry! Ask you self; Do you want to wake up to this person every morning for the rest of your life? Are you willing to work through life’s challenges and do what is best for the marriage? Are you ready to close the door on all other sexual partners? Each marriage is totally different. But the same basic principles are true! Together you have the opportunity to build a unique relationship that mutually suits your temperaments! Think long and hard? Take some SERIOUS time and really think about if you are ready to say yes to a lifetime commitment! If you are I wish you a Loving, eventful, committed, lifelong, happy, God-centered marriage, “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.”
LESSON HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
Find three scriptures that refer to marriage other than those used in the lesson. Research the word submit. Be prepared to discuss the contents of this lesson at your next counseling session.
NEXT:LESSON 3 – How Compatible Are We ?
Marriage on the rocks or on “The ROCK”
Is your marriage on the rocks? Have you done, or did all that you think that you could do and you still are not happy? Do you live under the same roof and barely speak or to say the least, your communication is just not happening?
Is your physical relationship few, far and in between or basically just nonexistent? Or on the other hand is your physical relationship all you have going on? But you both are just going through the motions? Do you jump at the opportunity to spend time apart and or enjoy the company of everyone else accept one another?
When you get angry do you often resort to disrespectful name calling , foul language and go as far as far as physical blows? Are you so tired of fussing and fighting and now you just want to go your separate ways? Do either or both of you just drink yourself under the table because you just can not take life without being under the influence of something in order to function? If yes to two or more of these questions your marriage is on the rocks! You are not just having a bad day, you are relating in a very bad way.
Did you get up early on Sunday morning, get all decked up or dressed down depending where you are going or what Sunday it is and go to Church? Once you got there did you teach Sunday School, sing in the choir, participate on the praise or dance team, serve on the Deacon Board, Ushers Board, Mother’s Board, serve on the welcoming committee, lead the morning altar prayer, give an offering or pay your tithes or sit in the pulpit or the front row or any other row? (I know that was a run on sentence.) But just be patient. Did you listen to a great sermon, a good sermon, a so so sermon or was it just rhetoric or just disguised gossip or plain messy? Or did you just stay at home and turn on your television and flip through the wide assortment of religious selections and pick someone? Yet you cannot take the time to have a decent conversation with your own spouse?
I am sure that I left out some scenarios. My point is to get you thinking? You do not have to confirm any of the above to anyone else. I just want you to consider making some changes. If you don’t your relationship will just get worst. The number of marriages ending in divorce is constantly rising. Did you know that 55-60% of marriages end in divorce? Each time you remarry the percentage of it working out rises as well. It almost sounds like a disease now, when you say you are a monogamous “ heterosexual couple.” We are becoming a rare breed. This should not be!
Take some time and think about where you are. Call a truce momentarily and say “time out.” Don’t wait until someone gets sick, dies, or has an affair. Remember those vows you made to one another! At what point did they just become words? If you look around you will see that the overall quality factor in relationships is constantly dwindling. Don’t let your relationship just be one big roller coaster ride. This does not have to be. Nor is it healthy. Keeping the lines of communication open is very important in relationships Couples are changing partners as if they were a new pair of shoes. They try on this one and that one and…. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, what color you are, where you live or if you are a star or unknown….
This is ironically interesting because there are so many gadgets to communicate and stay in touch now than ever before . You can call or text anyone just about anywhere in the world 24/7. But still many live right under the same roof and cannot even talk to one another. Don’t let pride continue to widen the gap in your relationship. Don’t keep living in an unhealthy environment. Things won’t just get better. You must make your relationship a priority. Take some time when you are not angry and set aside a block of time to spend some quality time with your spouse and get your relationship off the rocks and move it to “The ROCK”.
What has happened ? When did things begin to shift? Where is all the love that brought you together? True Love lasts forever. People use the word love so loosely. Since the world offers so many alternatives and loop holes it is easy to just say. “I’m done.” Next person please. If that is the case perhaps it was just what I call “intoxicating affections!” A good marriage takes work. At the heart of a good marriage is compassion, care and communication! A good marriage in time continues to improve and becomes refined. You work at everything else so why not start with your marriage?
Start by asking your spouse to write down 5-7 things that they would like to see different in your relationship. You do the same. Set a time frame maybe 30 minutes or so, for a little discussion. Then exchange your list with one another. See if you can immediately cross off any of those things listed immediately. For the next 5-7 days see if you can implement one of those changes each day? Just think you can rise to the occasion at work and do whatever is necessary? Yet your marriage has become an option? After a week see if your communication is beginning to improve?
Do you want your home to be a boxing ring and each spouse just stays in the corner? Or do you want it to be a place of gratification and contentment? It is possible. But is won’t just happen. Life is too short to live the majority of it unhappy. This may seem like a simple exercise; but it really is the little things that go unattended that begins to build the walls that eventually come between you. My point is to become conscious of your spouse’s feelings. Becoming more sensitive and thoughtful will help to shift some of the tension and break down the walls that have begun to come between you. Think about it? Can you think of a simple way to show them you love them “just because?” You don’t have to wait until a birthday or a holiday or … Do something totally unexpected, today!
Pray for your spouse and also ask the Lord to show you where you need to change. When you got married you made a vow to the Lord as well. But all too often God is left out of the equation. This really is what gets your marriage on the rocks. You slowly begin to set aside His principles. The proper way to point the finger is when more fingers are pointing back at you… In order to move your relationship from on the rocks to The ROCK you must begin to embrace God’s principles. He is a solid foundation. There is a wonderful illustration that teaches us that when you build your house on The ROCK it can withstand the pressures of life. Mathew 7 tells us “There fore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built His house on The ROCK. The rain came down , the streams arose, and the winds blew and beat against that house , but it did not fall, because it has its foundation on The ROCK.”
Marriage was meant to bring one man and one woman together who are committed to one another. Begin now, to allow the Lord and His principles back in your relationship. This will also help restore or build trust and intimacy. Don’t continue to allow conflict, pride, guilt, unhappiness and shame to be the bridge between you and your spouse. Remember, at the heart of any good relationship is compassion, care and communication! To move towards building a lasting relationship it is important to connect emotionally, intimately and physically with one another. In a marriage that is built upon The ROCK you can become stronger, loving, responsible, mutually satisfied, secure individuals that encourage one another to be the best they can be!
Is it still possible?
Divorce is raging a serious battle within our homes and congregations. When a couple has been called to ministry I believe we have an obligation to uphold the marriage vows we speak, teach or preach about. I am thankful that we have been able to uphold our commitment to one another all these years. But I realize it is not because of us it is because of the Lord! Marriage God’s way does work. I give Him full credit for keeping it uppermost in our minds the necessity of living out those vows we made. A great marriage helps you to strengthen your love, trust, intimacy, transparency and so much more. The path you walk is only as strong to the degree, you live out the very principles you talk about .
We after thirty eight years continue to refine our relationship. We have five (5) grown children four (4) who are married. I say this because this is not just words for kudos. I realize that there is very serious spiritual warfare that continuously attempts to come against marriages. Therefore I want to encourage others to uphold God’s Design for marriage.
I am “Pro Marriage!”
This 21st century has ushered in some strange and disturbing things in regards to marriage. Marriage is the first institution that was designed by God. His way was designed to last a lifetime. A great Christian marriage consists of one man and one woman united in Holy Matrimony. There is a special, unique, unexplainable bond that takes place during this committed union. It is spiritual as well as an emotional bond and yes physical as well! It grows and flourishes as you continue to keep your commitment to one another and the Lord as well! According to the Word of God “The two become one flesh”.
A great marriage consists of a relationship where mutual respect and love coexist. Intimacy is a crucial part of this relationship as well. Here is where you learn to become transparent. It is also quite important that together you must build TRUST in your relationship. You must ask and allow Him within the center of your circle. The ring is symbolic of that circle.
When difficult or painful situations arise, and they will, together you must sincerely attempt to come to a resolution employing His principles. Don’t go into denial! Get creative! You must make a sincere attempt to take time to build a mutually, enjoyable, satisfying , environment together that will help you weather the storms of life. You must continually learn to nurture your relationship. This will also enhance your intimacy, spiritually, mentally and yes physically. If you have not begun to do so it is never too late to start.
You must learn to submit to one another. Submission is an act of love. Read I Peter. It is during submission you learn to take into consideration the needs of one another as a priority. You must learn to walk this path in a concerted cadence. Great marriages don’t just happen. It takes a willing, committed, man and woman to make a great marriage work. Today many change partners like trying on a new pair of shoes. They keep trying until …
Today it is somewhere between 55% – 60% of marriages that fail. This was not meant to be. The Word says “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.” I think there is just cause in saying that God’s principles have been left out of the equation. Somewhere along the line you have gotten off track. Many really do not honor their marriage vows. Were those vows just words? Or is now that the world has presented you with so many alternatives, you? This has a lot to do with why so many marriages are going awry. We who say we are believers must look to God not to the world. Each partner in the marriage has a moral responsibility to make the marriage flourish. What happened to all that commitment? A great marriage was not made to seem as though it was a sentence. It was designed to be a healthy, growing, mutually satisfying , rewarding partnership!
When building a great marriage it is very important to keep the fires of desire burning. Do not allow the passion to fizzle out. Continue to stir up the excitement you had spending time together. If it has fizzled rekindle the flame. Allow one another some space as well. It is natural to do things apart that you enjoy too. That just makes you value the time when you come together that much more! A great marriage should be tended like a precious antique. It gets better with age … Each marriage is uniquely different. Together discover what is enjoyable and continue to add flavor to your relationship no matter what age you are. And yes, a great marriage is still possible! But always keep the flames of love, trust, intimacy, transparency going and burning within… Continue to find ways to build a loving, healthy, relaxing home environment. This is what creates an endless circle of LOVE as well as A GREAT MARRIAGE!
God gave us healthy Christian marriage boundaries in which one man and one woman should live together. Marriage is still ordained by God. As the Originator and Creator of life God designed marriage to be a monogamous relationship between a man and a woman. For the last couple of years I have been journaling about the significance of a committed CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE!
Many Christian leaders and congregants have fallen prey to infidelity and adultery. Sex practiced outside the confines of marriage is rampart in the Churches as well as in the world. LORD Help us! I have observed how this has resulted in a real breakdown in the overall quality of relational dynamics in many marriages. Over the last couple of decades the significance of marriage has been slowly watered down. This has allowed strange and disturbing beliefs about marriage to come to the forefront. There has been a steady but sure deliberate attempt to redefine marriage. There has been a successful evolutionary transition to blur the once clearly defined lines of marriage and minimalize the need to reinforce its healthy boundaries. Allowing its boundaries to become grayed and frayed by encouraging open marriages, unisex dress, the acceptance of male to male and female to female relationships and gender choice lifestyles.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life committed to the ways of our Father, was crucified, died and was buried. But that was not the end. He arose with all power! When He ascended to heaven He left us His Holy Spirit, His Comforter to come and reside within us. To help us live victoriously over sin. Sin is what separates us from God. God knows us inside and out. He knew us before we were even formed in our Mother’s wound. He knows what is best for us. He could have made us robots and forced us to be a certain way. But because of His graciousness and His mercy He allowed us free choice. He gave us healthy boundaries because HE knew not everyone at all times would adhere to His will and His way. His Holy Spirit is readily available to help us make proper life choices that please Him. For a man and woman desiring to live together marriage is His way. Galatians 1 tells us that Jesus Christ gave Himself; “for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever…”
It is becoming increasingly clear that the world in which we live wants to ensnare and entrap the children of God. To offer any and every smorgasbord or appetizer that the flesh desires and present it as an alternative way to live. I encourage you to really take some time to “Be still and know” to take a personal self evaluation. To deeply gaze internally where no one but GOD sees and examine where you are spiritually. Not in respect to someone else but to see if you really are growing spiritually. Is the Fruit of His Spirit apparent in your life? Not just on a surface level for others to see. I mean are you really walking closely with the Lord? Be honest with yourself because God already knows! If you truly are you can expect some type of persecution. This is why it is so very important that you know the WORD of God for yourself. So you can distinguish, recognize and discern when something is not of God.
Many have abandoned the Faith and now embrace a liberality that is not God sanctioned. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been evaded by encouraging the acceptance of perverted lifestyles that are sanctioned and practiced by many Christians. Perverted meaning to change what was once considered unnatural or abnormal to normal. PLEASE slowly but surely read and ponder on this passage of GOD’S WORD expressed in Romans 1 “Therefore GOD gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the TRUTH OF God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised, Amen. Because of this GOD gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged NATURAL RELATIONS for unnatural ones. In the same way the men abandoned NATURAL RELATIONS with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion…” What or who do you believe?
Marriage how God designed it is becoming increasingly unpopular! This is why it is so important to STAND UP for Christian Marriage! Paul vehemently expounds on the necessity to not “trying to win the approval of men.” Paul constantly throughout the Scriptures rebukes the Church to stand on God’s principles.Paul knew that by taking this very unpopular stance some would attempt to negate his credibility. He knew that they lay in wait to discredit him. But he also knew that God knew the TRUTH!
There is no spiritual value whatsoever in using the Scriptures to justify something that God has not ordained nor sanctioned. Slowly but surely many continue to allow the healthy boundaries that God designed for marriage to be treaded upon by the unacceptable desires of the flesh. This does not have to be! Allowing the sanctity of MARRIAGE to be reduced to a relationship between same sexual partners who want to justify a relationship contingent on their personal sexual preferences. LORD HELP US! Why not simply call it something else? Why redefine the definition of marriage. Why take something that was meant to be HOLY MATRIMONY and make it totally UNHOLY.
Many marriages have gone shipwrecked. The fulfillment of the flesh has taken the forefront and many will do whatever is necessary to fulfill the desires of the flesh. Many Christians are evasive and negligent at discussing sex openly in a healthy manner, although we know that sex outside of marriage is widely practiced within the Church. Many relational issues are skirted and the financial concerns have in many cases become the dominant priority. Divorce, adultery, infidelity, promiscuity, pornography, living together, same sex relationships are on the rise. Pandora’s Box has lost its lid and just about every and anything goes. Family values for Christians are continually laid aside. Relinquishing and abandoning the principles that God originally intended. In many instances many of us who have been charged to proclaim and live out the Word of God have sat on the fence and allowed any and everything as acceptable and hidden it under the trendy term “unconditional love”. “GOD is LOVE”. Study I Corinthians 13 here you will find a description of what HIS LOVE really entails. Self Control is a part of His Fruit!
God’s Holy Spirit was intended to give us the ability to overcome sin in the flesh and live out our lives to please Him. Today you can find a support group for just about anything you want to help you find some comfort to indulging the weaknesses of the flesh. It’s sad to say but true; it’s as though for many going to worship has merely become a social club. Just join, pay your 10%, do as told and you can do as you please, acceptance, no problem. Many just go to Church then go right back home to live very worldly lifestyles. LORD HELP US! Jesus dying on the Cross paved us a WAY TO THE FATHER! Grace and peace is acquired through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We the Church, His Church is supposed to be His Bride.
We are also called as Believers! Do you believe the Word of God? Do you believe in Marriage? What do you really believe in, or do you even know? God wants us to surrender every aspect of our lives over to Him. When you do, just know that there is a vehement attack lodged to discredit the testimony of faithful believers who have sincerely committed to the “Narrow Road” lifestyle. HALLELUJAH anyhow! It goes much farther than singing, shouting, talking and preaching about it. We must make a sincere effort to live out our lives pleasing God daily. The CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST! Think about this for a moment or should I say for a while. This is really deep stuff!
The enemy has really pulled out all stops to deceive, distract, camouflage and get a stronghold on the people of God. God’s standards have been compromised and the ways of the world have been embraced. This is what I mean when I say that the “world is now within God’s CHURCH.” In man’s unquenchable thirst for power, bigger sanctuaries, larger congregations and wanting to control others, there has been a huge shift in spiritual priorities!
Many have subscribed to undercover manipulation, worldly ways means and methods and allowed them inside of God’s House of Worship. All too often just to gain a position. The most important position spiritually is your position in Christ! God knows the posture of our hearts. God has given us guidelines to live by as Christians. Marriage is one of those guidelines.
There is but one CHURCH and that is the one that Jesus is coming back for! Did not God say “BUT Seek ye first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well…” What does this mean that we are to seek HIM first for EVERYTHING? What is anything anyway without Him? According to His Word when we “seek Him first” something will happen. This means that we should seek to do things His way. Marriage is His way for the believer to live together as man and wife. We cannot change what has been done. But stop right where you are and see where you are? What and who do you support? Who do you really live for? God’s way or man’s way? Be honest with yourself because God already knows!
We must pray for our young people. The world has any and everything to offer them except Jesus! “Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the life!” Think about it; They are now encouraged to “dress down” for Jesus and “dress up” for prom? God has given us His Holy Spirit to lead guide and protect us. Have you really thought about what eternal life means? It all does not happen on this side of heaven. But while we are “still here” we need to get busy living to please Our Heavenly Father. Proverbs 22 tells us to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” He did not say may? He said won’t depart!If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything. ALL God’s Word is true! He does know what is best. His inheritance according to I Peter 1 “can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in HEAVEN for you, who through FAITH are shielded by God’s power…”
Where is your FAITH? WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM! For Christ sake we will suffer in this world. Trials are a part of His refining process. They yield and teach us patience. There is no greater gift that you can give your children as a model of a committed monogamous Christian marriage! God wants us to follow His moral standards. “As obedient children, do not conform to evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. BUT just as HE who has called you HOLY, so be HOLY in all you do; for it is written; “BE YE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.” Being HOLY means to be set aside for His purpose. Not to blend in for the sake of acceptance. Hallelujah! His unspeakable joy is available! God’s plan for mankind was set in motion way back in the beginning. We who claim to be Christians need to really begin to live as though we really believe that Jesus is coming back! We really do need to consult embrace and support His view for marriage. Don’t give way to anyone’s false teaching. It is never too late to start. Please begin to spend some quality time getting to know the Lord through His WORD. “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the GOSPEL OF GOD!”
MARRIAGE = ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN = GOD’S WAY = HOLY MATRIMONY!
PORNography is Growing Within The Christian Community
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyberspace clubs. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Pornography has various levels from soft to hard porn to… At what point is it harmful? Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those important to you? Do you lead a double life?
Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, or other media?
Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “sextexting.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships , sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction.
There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly and honestly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God …. They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord. Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Absolutely nothing gets by God! Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Let’s really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true!
Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b: maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness. God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction. God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage. He can fill that void.
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age.
Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit. Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really can experience a growing healthy self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what Gods knows rather than what people think.” Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!
Caring Enough To Listen=Communication
When God created marriage he intended for it to be beautiful. It was designed for companionship. Marriage was not meant to seem like a sentence. It was not meant to be full of an on going drudgery. Nor was it meant to neither suffocate, smother, nor repress each others unique individuality. It was made so the realization of “two becoming one flesh” could be realized. It was meant to help mature and grow a man/woman in a husband/wife relationship, to learn how to love, submit, commit, respect, and learn together what it means to work through
Having healthy good communication is an important component within a good marriage. I want to encourage you to make it a priority to learn how to effectively communicate to one another. To know where one another are, to consider each others opinions, to be objective and express your self freely. It is important to make a conscious effort to treat your partner with respect. This does not mean that you have to agree on everything. This communicates I care enough to take the time to really get to know you. Having each others best interest at heart is also important. You should also be able to express your concerns if you feel they may be making a wrong decision. When expressing yourself say “I feel” or “I think” in expressing your point of view. You also want to learn to admit when you are in error. No one is right all the time. Part of being a good spouse is saying and doing at times what no one else will. You both have a responsibility to fulfill your commitment to one another as well as to the Lord.
Marriage was really designed as a partnership to help you become all that you were meant to be. Many couples often live as strangers. Within the boundaries of marriage you should grow to be able to spiritually, mentally, emotionally and yes physically openly learn to express your deepest inner thoughts in a healthy way. It is important to really get to know this person you have committed to. Ask yourself do you honor God in your relationship? Is submission a part of your marriage? It is important to include and seek the Lord’s direction and trust Him to teach you how to build a healthy relationship. It is never too late to start if you have not already. Does your marriage include intimacy? God our Creator is a God of order. You should never get to the place where you think you do not need to consult the Lord.
Here is a little of background history on the first marriage: God made the heavens and the earth which were spoken into existence through His Word. The Word became flesh and “dwelt among us”. The Word as revealed in the scriptures tells us He is Jesus Christ. (See John 1) After creating the man from the dust of the earth God took the man He had created and placed him in the garden to take care of it. The one thing that Adam did not have was a companion “a suitable helper.” All the animals that God made already had partners. No doubt that Adam was brilliantly intelligent. Adam personally named all the animals. God caused Adam to go into a deep sleep and from within Adam He took one of His rib bones and made him a woman. She was taken from within Adam to be with Him as his God given partner. Not to be less than; her role was equal yet different. Someone to share his life with. Adam named her Eve. Initially they were open and not ashamed. They were even physically naked. It was not until after they had disobeyed God that they actually realized they were naked. (See the rest of the story in Genesis)
We are all naked before God. He knows us from the inside out. God is Omniscient meaning all knowing. There is absolutely nothing He does not know. Think about it for a moment, does not our Creator/ Manufacturer know our intended purpose? So why is it we do not consult Him whenever a problem, situation or issue arises? You listen to everyone else? God did not intend for us to look to the world for a marriage model. This is one of the major reasons why nearly 60% of marriages don’t succeed. I have been observing marriage relational dynamics for many years. No two marriages are alike. We are all very different. But God’s principles must be included if you really want your relationship to succeed.
One of the biggest problems in marriage or any other relationship really is poor communication. To communicate means to convey a thought, idea or relay information clearly. To transport information so that it is satisfactorily received or understood. Listening is crucial; it is a necessary component when one desires to effectively communicate. Communication is both verbal and nonverbal. Good healthy communication manifests when you are able to openly connect with who ever you are trying to communicate to.
Many problems and issues arise, when the time is not taken to communicate directly to each other! This is what really only further compacts the situation. If you have not taken the time to develop intimate communication with your spouse now is the time to get started. How do I do this? Stop hiding behind issues and past hurts. Get over them. Stop hanging on to the things that you cannot change. This does not mean that you forget. It means that you no longer hold whatever has happened against them. You instead choose to become wiser from whatever has transpired. When past issues become current issues what do you do? You must deal with them. Don’t allow too much time to go by.
Confrontation in marriage is important. There is a way to have healthy redemptive confrontation. Your intentions should never be to tear down your spouse. It should be to communicate how you feel retardless if you agree or disagree. Confront you must. Otherwise the issue will become cancerous and nibble at the core of your relationship. The marital relationship was really designed to encourage transparency. This encourages and develops trust and intimacy. Intimacy will give you a responsible freedom because you are able to trust one another. It is really important to pray for as well as with one another. In many cases there have been such poor marriage role models that you simply do not know what to do.
Many people who are married are lonely. This really does not have to be. Don’t settle for a superficial relationship that is on for public view. Think about it God is always present! Learn to live on a deeper level. Learn to become sensitive to one another’s needs. Your needs are important but not to the extent that you overlook the needs of your spouse. Some needs have exclusively been reserved to be met only within marriage. This does not mean that you can, nor are you responsible for the fulfillment of all of their needs.
Don’t just assume that your spouse knows something, or is happy or….. Many have just not learned the benefits of being open in marriage. (This is not at all the same as having an open marriage. In that case why marry at all?) It takes time to develop and build effective communication. How well do you really know this person you have committed to? Being open is the catalyst that ajars the door for developing effective communication. One must learn to listen as well, in order to effectively communicate. Don’t think short term, think long term. Get to know this person that you have committed to love, honor and …….. Or was that too just for the people?
Don’t always mentally construct your response or rebuttal as you listen. Let it be your goal to attentively listen to whatever your spouse or anyone is trying to convey to you. If you are really interested in improving your relationship you must also learn how to listen. Taking the time to listen attentively to how your spouse feels validates that you care, value and are genuinely concerned about them. This helps them to open up. Remember, God intended for your spouse to be your “helpmeet”. Listening effectively is an art. The next time you talk to them really listen. Check yourself out and see how well you listen? If necessary repeat what they have said to confirm you heard correctly what they were trying to convey. Don’t always personalize everything they say. This will help you dispel erroneous and distorted conclusions or assumptions. Effective listening says you really want to hear what is being conveyed.
A good strong marriage or any other relationship for that matter consists of good healthy communicatio. You do not have to agree with what is being conveyed. Sometimes just being a sounding board is necessary. You want to create an environment in which you do not have to feel like you are walking on egg shells. A major complaint in marriage is that my spouse does not understand me. Do you understand your spouse? Don’t make it a habit of always waiting until you are angry to fuel your ability to say how you feel. Plan ahead a time when you together can talk about whatever concerns you. Here is the opportunity to acquire some self-control skills. Think about it. Flying off the handle is really letting someone control you by remote. In this case your emotions only get the best of you and you impulsively say a lot of stuff that you can’t take back. You have actually stored it up, and bottled it up, to the point that it has fermented and become toxic. When this is the case it often results in flaring hot tempers which just usually yields more hurt feelings. If this is the case change is necessary in order to develop a healthier way to communicate.
The scriptures tell us “to be angry and sin not.” God does not tell us to do something that is not possible. Think about it now that you are calm and centered. Your feelings are important; they do need to be validated. Exercising self control strengthens your ability to not let your feelings control you. You should really want to create an environment where both of you can openly share how you feel. You also want to be able to freely express yourself even when you don’t agree about something.
When you are always usually fueled by anger to express yourself it often leads to a breakdown or barrier in the relationship. Please don’t use that “nobody’s perfect” excuse to justify your ranting and ravings. Self control is a virtue. This does not mean that you stuff how you feel and just let any and everyone walk over you. It means that the majority of the time you choose to decide how you want to respond or not respond or simply just overlook. Rather than to just simply react. Don’t make everything an issue. Just observe what happens when and if you go off. Does it get the results you want? Do you really feel better? Or in fact have you just created another barrier? Sometimes no one wants to confront you and tell you if this is the way you are…
Confrontation is a healthy part of communication. Constructive criticism really is a good thing. Getting the Lord involved always helps. He is always right there. But you are given the free will to choose to invite Him in? You build your self control as you exercise it in your life. This also helps to foster an environment in which you can build a healthier stronger marriage. Don’t ever take one another for granted. If you have; change it. You do not have to continue to live with dysfunction. The correct way to point the finger is in both directions. The good thing about God it’s never too late to change. Remember the only person you can change is yourself. Are you happy with the way that you communicate with your spouse? Is there room for improvement? Take some time and think about it? There is always room for improvement. Don’t let pride take the forefront in your relationship. Care Enough To Listen