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!
Whenever you or a love one experiences a significant loss, serious illness or death it is normal to experience grief. There are many other types of losses that occur in life that can result in grief as well. Recovery issues, divorce, financial, relocation, career change, natural disasters as well as a miscarriage or abortion can all trigger one to experience a degree of grief. The initial reaction to any of the above is usually shock accompanied by a feeling of numbness. Grief can often result in one feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and or abandonment. It is also possible to ask “why me?” Anger and resentment may result in feelings of ambivalence. Initially the above symptoms are natural. The passing of time is a partial salve that can and will eventually anesthetize your deep pain.
If you are a Christian, finding solace in God’s Word during grief is a great resource to help you maneuver through a plethora of emotions. It is during grief you can actually learn to embrace God’s spiritual comfort. The deep void that one experiences during grief is often unexplainable. So if you don’t feel like talking try spending some time with God. As you truly and earnestly seek God who is the ultimate “Comforter” you can experience His abiding presence. If you are a believer you should know that God’s Word is true . Not some of it but all of it. His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us” must be faithfully embraced in your hour of need.
Grieving is an emotionally painful process. Allowing the one that is grieving to talk freely about how they are feeling is healthy and consoling. Many become depressed and can have a deep sense of guilt. There are two types of guilt; normal and neurotic guilt. Neurotic guilt is based on unrealistic expectations or situations. Helping the one that is grieving to face the reality of loss is helpful. It is healthy to allow them the freedom to talk about their love one. Enabling is never healthy. Allowing them to work through their emotions by being active is a good thing. Taking a walk, run or jogging may even be relaxing and release some inner tension. During an opportune moment try telling them a humorous story or a funny joke can help lift their spirit momentarily. Encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Helping them to freely express their feelings and concerns are healthy. Remember everyone is different. Just because you do not see them crying does not mean they are not grieving. Some people elect to privately grieve. Some time just doing nothing is good. A good friend will be patient, sensitive, caring and compassionate and understanding at this time. Just knowing you are there for them can be a great sense of comfort.
During the holidays when there are many festive celebrations this can also be a reminder to many of their time of loss. After the holidays pass and all the seasonal excitement has dissipated there may be a resurgence of grief. This too is a natural response. Again try to allow yourself to think of some of the happier times you shared together. Depression and sickness can be spawned in the midst of grief. Emotional pain when not dealt with properly can trigger physical illness. Where, what and whom you focus on will make a world of difference. In spite of all the painful things that can happen or has happened in life, there is always something good to think about. God still has you here for a purpose. Some days you might have to take it a moment at a time. Again, please allow yourself to think about some of the cheerful experiences you shared with your love ones. God tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything.Suffering is a part of life. Just think if we did not know sorrow how would we know joy?
Your love one is really in a much better place if they knew the Lord. They have actually transcended suffering. If they did not know the LORD just maybe in their last few moments they repented and accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts? You are still here and in order to get through this season of grief you need to shift your focus. When you focus on God you can have joy in the midst of your grieving. This is why it is so important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. God does not take pleasure in seeing us suffer. Grief and sorrow are a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. When they disobeyed they chose sin and grief as a way of life for mankind. This is why it is important to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of His death and resurrection we now have direct access to the Father. God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or on our situation. Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will give you a peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.
The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes in our life. God’s presence and comfort is available. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial, quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path.
God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on in corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!
We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness. The Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, war, hurricanes, floods and the latest furious Tsunami. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive. God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. Every Word of God is true . One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. We have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome. Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.
Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control. Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.” Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. When your heart is heavy try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand. Your security and significance must rely in God. We never know what each day may bring. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a lifestyle. Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. It secures our heavenly residence and can give us hope in the midst of grief, persecution and longsuffering. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14. This is why His Word says in everything give thanks!
WHAT’S EATING YOU?
Is there something that is bothering you? Something that you can’t talk about? Has someone hurt you that you can’t forgive? Have someone said something to you that you can’t shake loose? Has someone taken something away from you; or wronged you in some way? Do you crave acceptance? Do you feel rejected? Are you, impatient, frustrated, fed up, and just plain angry? Does the slightest little thing set you off? What’s eating you? Whatever the case don’t let it continue to hold you a prisoner. If you don’t do something about it, you will only allow the seed of bitterness to become rooted and develop deep within. Slowly but surely it will cultivate and grow! Think for a moment the chances are great that whoever has wronged you has probably moved on and not even given the matter a second thought. However you are stuck.
Each time you dwell on whatever it is without letting go, it grows. The longer you hold on to it, it will slowly but surely begin to eat you from the inside out. Unattended it will cause you to become depressed, physically ill , have much anxiety, panic attacks or migraine headaches! The end of possibilities goes on… When you allow whatever it is that is bothering you to grow, fester and internally aggravate you, it will eventually make you bitter. It will continue to impact you, your marriage, your friendships as well as your working relationships. What’s eating you? Although you have tucked it away for no one to see. Pushed it to the back of your mind only to silently gnaw away at your joy. As each year passes it is still there. The bitterness surfacing from time to time like a virus. The slightest little thing will trigger it. Someone will be able to push your button like pushing a remote control and set you off! You in turn loose control and react.
Did you know how the worm gets into the apple? Did you think it gets in from the outside in? Well it doesn’t! It has scientifically been proven. What happens is an insect actually lays an egg on the apple’s blossom. At some point the egg then hatches within the apple. As it grows, it eat eats away the apple and burrows its way to the outside! When you allow bitterness to nest, it like the worm begins to grow and erode the fiber of your being; it will eat away your happiness and inside it will grow and tunnel its way out and manifest itself as sin!
How do you stop what’s eating you from eating away at the core of your being? Periodically take a personal inventory. First keep in mind you cannot undo what has been done! Allow whatever has been sitting in the warehouse of your mind, to come to the forefront. As anything resurfaces hold it up to the Light of God’s Word! Meditate on the Word of God it is a Library of Wisdom! By the way you can read all day long but if you don’t implement it, then its just mere words. Ask the Lord to help you and open up your understanding! Begin to acknowledge any ill will or bad feelings you are having. Move towards letting go of the pain by; forgiving the offense, the offender, and forgiving the deed. By the way forgiving does not mean forgetting unless you have amnesia. It does mean that you give up the resentment. Resentment means to feel the pain of the action over and over again. When you hold on to the resentment it too turns to bitterness, that only continues to further hurt you! You must surrender your right to get even. Allowing any anger to slowly come to the surface helps you gain self control, you can then rise above it.
By letting go of what’s eating you, you begin to strengthen and discipline yourself from continuing to let it hurt you, now you are beginning to move towards healing. Confess and Admit it! Your feelings need to be validated! Accept responsibility for whatever it is by acknowledging it for whatever it is. Check yourself! Police yourself! When you find yourself going in the wrong direction or acting out in a way that is not right, don’t allow pride keep you in bondage. God does have a purpose and a path for your life! Now allow yourself to be put on the potter’s wheel to mold you and shape you into a usable “vessel of honor” for His Glory! God really does have a better way! The Word of God is so powerful! You can be “transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Once you admit that life is difficult it becomes easier! Sin is pervasive and has taken root in this world we live. So many things have become greatly impacted. This only further nurtures any bitterness you are harboring! Don’t be deceived! Yes! Anything goes! Acceptance often becoming an Enabler; Tolerance often has been labeled Unconditional Love. TRUTH more and more has been pushed to the background! The LOVE of GOD misconstrued! Lord Help Us! Sin is anything that separates you from God! Like the worm in the apple sin begins to grow and works its way out! Jesus said that this would happen. But don’t be alarmed. Praise God, this only further proves His Word is TRUE! You can not really transform your mind apart from the Lord! Remember if you give credit where it is due. Then you know He made the mind! “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” God’s Word can renew and wash your mind when you sincerely embrace His principles and hold them dear to your heart!
What’s eating You? Do you want to experience the transforming power of His Word? Believing, knowing and implementing His Word is key. Bitterness, will not be able to stay rooted or if it has it will have to go! Ask the Lord to “Create in you a clean heart and renew the right Spirit within you.” As the Holy Spirit within you is activated it will cleanse you from the inside out! Each day as you invite His infilling PRESENCE within you to fill you, you can become transformed from the inside out! The Fruit of His Spirit then begins to take root instead. “But the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control!” Your actions, words, thoughts and emotions can be transformed! This transformation process is lifelong. But with Jesus Christ as your personal Savior & Lord you have all the time you need! God is everywhere that we are! You can call upon Him at any time in any and every situation!