How does your marriage compare to God’s call? PI

marriage God_s call eph 4 29

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.” Ephesians 4:25

If someone wrote a one-sentence summary of your marriage, what would it say? How does it compare to God’s call in Ephesians 4?

In our marriage, we must carefully and passionately listen to our Lord’s instructions and not our desires, so we live in and for Him and not in the ways of the world lest we think like people who love to sin.  If we are of the world–thinking as people who are “ok” with sin–dark thoughts will be ours.  Dark thoughts become our dark behaviors.  This way of life leads only to chaos, life’s upsets, and regrets with all the consequences and none of the perks.  This is life apart from God.  This is life away from God.  People who think and act in darkness have hardened their hearts; they are convicted.  They do not seek God as their eyes are turned only on “pleasures” and desires; they become filled with things like greed and immorality, and they lose real compassion and kindness.

This is not how and why our Lord came to set us free!  Christ, Our Savior, did not die and rise so that we would just sin more!

We have been given a gift that transforms our lives; let us act like it with His Truth and not the world’s wicked ways or our own self-centered motivations.  We can, by His empowerment, remove our old lives of sin and replace our mindset and actions with His principles that give us a better, more fulfilling life.  This is akin to removing filthy rotten rags and putting on the finest clothes.

Wearing our finest clothes, here means wearing the love and gratitude we have for Christ, creates better attitudes and character.  Crates a better marriage and a more content purposeful life. This demonstrates to others who we are in Christ–holy people created and called by a Holy God.  This holy life strives to be and is free from dysfunction, deceit, and depression.  In this, we can treat each other as well as others with respect and practice our faith with fruitfulness and character.  We can control our thoughts, words, and behaviors so we do not let our anger get out of control or fester.

We can keep ourselves from lying, stealing, fighting, irritation, being mean or bitter, all that we would be useful and productive not just for our marriage but also for the Kingdom, and not bow to the devil’s ways.

The Church must share these precepts and us build our relationships and family’s us, to help one another, work as a community in love, so we do not hurt the Holy Spirit.  We can forgive and move on and be the people we are called to be, as we are sealed by Christ’s redemption (Eph. 4:17-32)!

Our redemption also gives us an understanding, to think, and to have a desire for real Truth. Then a desire to have a healthier communication and mutual respect and love. Because this is Christ’s Truth in the action of our application. We are to think about Christ and consider what we have in Him to experience our new lives.  Then we will have transformed marriages, that are moving away from bitterness and dysfunction. Yes, we can sin and live as we please, we can ignore our spouse and be mean and live as we were never married, but what will that get us?  Paul emphatically fights this heinous notion.

We have no right to sin deliberately thinking, I am already forgiven so it is OK to sin (Col. 1:9; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 2:2)!

What can you learn from Ephesians 4 for your marriage?

In prayer, for the next forty days, read a few verses from Ephesians 4 each day, so you have read the chapter at least ten times. What is God telling you? Seek what you can do to put into practice the Christ-centered life?

 

Be Successful in your Marriage

The solution to a great marriage is the willingness to live life as one who has encountered Christ and play it forward as an encourager to our family!

successful marriage

If you want to be successful in your marriage, you need to “get it”–know and work on real love, cherishing and respecting.  By this, we create the happy home that glorifies and serves God.  Our desires and pleasures are not God’s priority for our lives; God is our priority, and we are to follow His lead into your marriages!

Yes, God wants us to be joyful, happy, and content; however, being happy means focusing on Him and not on our circumstances.

To have a successful marriage, you must be aware of what you are getting into and prepare for it. The most important guarantee for it to work is to follow His principles from His Word, not what you think, want, or have experienced.  Remember, God designed marriage and us. He knows best (Colossians 3:18-19; Ephesians 5:21-27; James 4:7-8; 1 Peter 5:5)!

How will this book help me if I am not a Christian?  The tips and principles in my book are called ‘precepts’–timeless Truth.  These precepts are in the Bible; the Bible is  God’s Truth.  The precepts are found in real research—scientific truth.  The precepts are shown to be effective far beyond counseling—societal and cultural truth.

If one of you does not embrace any of which we have talked about so far, you will have an extreme strain on your relationship, and you face the odds of a 50% divorce rate. Of the marriages that are left, from my experiences in counseling and research, most are miserable!  Please, please consider how important it is to get your act together; you have already said, “I do!”

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

Hebrews 3:12-13; 4:1-2; 5:11-6:3; James 1:22-25

The real authenticity of our Lord, will enable us to build a real authenticity of love and respect, that will in turn build a “Wondrous Marriage!”

 

 

God desires us to be transformed agents of His Work and Word!

 

Be Careful with Blame

the-blame-game

“The man said, the woman you put here with me, she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. Then the LORD God said to the woman, what is this you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me, and I ate…” Gen 3:12-13

As soon as humanity sinned, we quickly refused to take responsibility and then commenced to blame others. This is one of the effects of our sin nature, the rejection of accountability for our actions. This is the attitude, which is so popular today from young people to Presidents. This is also the favorite ammunition for fights in marriage and the way in which most people handle difficult situations and guilt, which is to deflect and blame others.

“My spouse always blames me for the problems in our marriage!” “My spouse just keeps pushing my buttons.” My spouse will not own up to what they did and blames me.”

We do this “deflection” for three primary reasons:

First, we do not want to live with guilt.

Second, we do not want to suffer the consequences of our actions.

Third, we do not want to conflict.

Blaming others is classically called “blame shifting,” which acts like a shield to deflect. It is also like an escape mechanism, similar to an ejection seat, which avoids the consequences by bailing out. However, this is not as effective as most people think, unless you are actually in a fighter jet going down. Freeing the burden of guilt by escaping only puts it off until later. While in the meantime, it grows and spreads out of control, and continues to gnaw away at our conscience and works to destabilize your marriage. So, we accumulate this as ammo in our disagreements that escalates in confrontation and turns into battle, husband against wife.

So, this defense mechanism is actually self-destructive and only makes matters worse. 

While seeking to avoid hurt or fighting, we bring it more. Look at it like an old fashioned scale. As one side of the scale becomes increasingly loaded with the weight of guilt from inaction or misaction. The guilt ridden person just shifts the responsibility to the other side of the scale. And we all do this by blaming, and in marriage, we use this to argue and fight.

There is just one problem with this (okay a lot more problems), the act of blaming instead of taking the responsibility for one’s own actions flies in the face of the Gospel.

It is unjust and serves only to increase the problems we incur in our relationships. And the irony is, this mostly occurs in families that dislike conflict. Then the blaming becomes a habit and then a pattern of dysfunctional behavior that is an endless loop of a hopeless cycle.

In spite of Adam and Eve’s blame shifting, God held them accountable and they suffered the consequences of their disobedience. “To Adam he said, because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, you must not eat of it, Cursed is the ground because of you.” Gen 3:17

God not only held Adam responsible for his action, He also held him responsible for listening to the voice of his wife (the influence of others!) instead of listening to the voice of God. His excuse only served to increase his personal responsibility and guilt. We must learn that God does not allow us to avoid the consequences of our actions by blaming others or not taking responsibility in our marriage. In fact, we are held responsible for blaming. We may think we can get away with it, but make no mistake, if we fail to hold each other accountable for our actions, you can be sure that God will hold us responsible.

        “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” Romans 14:12-13

       The precepts of God, will enable you to have a magnificent marriage. So, what can I do to stop the blame cycle?

Read these passages: http://www.openbible.info/topics/blaming_others

Calm down and drop it, pray, and walk away if you can’t be kind. Instead of blaming and pointing out faults, focus on what to fix in yourself. As a Christian, you do not need to be in control when God already is!

  1. Calm down and drop it, pray, and walk away if you can’t be kind. Instead of blaming and pointing out faults, focus on what to fix in yourself. As a Christian, you do not need to be in control when God already is!
  2. Try to be mindful of how and why you blame. Then realize when you do, all you are doing is escalating, when you could be resolving conflict.
  3. Do not keep score! In marriage you are not two lawyers battling it out in a courtroom, so you need to keep track of what is said, build your case and use what is said against the other. In marriage, we let it go.
  4. We stop blaming when we replace the bad habit with a good one. Learn to be a better communicator by listening. We best do this by closing our mouth and opening our ears.
  5. Seek to be apologetic to rebuild respect, practice real heartfelt love.
  6. Take the responsibility and make it better, even if your spouse will not.
  7. In a fight? Remember to walk it off. Let it go, pray and make a point to redress when emotions are not escalated.

If you are having trouble with this, see a qualified pastor or counselor to guide you through it.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger…” Ephesians 4:26

Our Faith Is the most important item we offer in Marriage

Wondrous Marriage aThis title statement is “a must” to know and yield to, before you can venture into the arena of “authentic relationships.” You have to know whom you are and what you are in order to do what you are called to do.

In other words, in a Christian marriage, you are saved by faith because of the Wonder about what Christ has done, then, you are able to communicate that to your spouse, and then to others around you. All that we are, and have to offer, is what Christ is doing in our lives and together in our marriage that is shown by our faith. It is faith that will build our relationship with Christ, our relationship with our spouse and our relationships in our church. And this will be the catalyst of ‘Wonder’ to attract others to our church too.  Faith is the prototypical aspect of growing a person, a marriage and a church God’s way.

Our Lord seeks us to be His “change agents,” the presenters of the wonder of His message, His Gospel.

The Christian family and each family collectively as the church are the front lines that wage not just the battle, but also the marketing of Wonder of the message. How we engage in our relationship to Christ and then impart that to each other will be the biggest testimony to the message of true faith. This is where the Message of the Gospel the road of life. The Christian marriage is the display case that presents the marvelous Wonder of Christ’s love through faith. If the display case is dirty, the Wonder is hard to see. If the case is broken, or if there are other things occupying the Wonder’s space, the Wonder becomes cloaked and the viewer’s perspective becomes skewed.

The real authenticity of our Lord, will enable us to build a real authenticity of love and respect, which will in turn build a “Wondrous Marriage!”

The message we display is the byproduct of our inner journey of faith converging with our spouse’s inner journey of faith. Then we show others the eternal truths of our Lord, the reality of life, and the purpose of existence. The Wonder is Christ Himself desires to live and work in our personal lives, our family lives and then in church and the world! The Wonder is the Christ who suffered mercilessly, who went through false accusations, sufferings and rejection, not because He was forced to, but because He chose to on our behalf.

How do your friends and family the people of the church, and the neighborhood, see your marriage display case? Not that we will be perfect, or even get it right, but we are on that journey together. How are you displaying the Wonder of His message? How does God see His Wonder in you? Is there stagnation in your display case, is it filthy, where junk, such as pride and disloyalty, sit in the place of the Wonder, and where the people cannot see the message, so the message does not go out? On the other hand, is the display case clean and neat, a display that love, lifts up, honors, respects and cherishes His most precious Wonder? The message must be lit with vibrant and growing awe because of who He is.

The Wonder of a Christian marriage is it’s a living message that must be displayed and used in living and be vibrant.

It sees Christ as who He is, and then responds with gratitude and passion.  When it breaks, we can fix it, but if it stays broke, the display case becomes something else to those around us, a testimony of faithlessness and pride, brokenness and dysfunction.

Let us not be broken, rather, be loving and respectful as we do our best to be His Wonder to one another and then to those around us.

Remember that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect!

marriageDo you have  a heart for love and respect to your spouse? If not why not? 

A married couple is on the same team; you are not each other’s enemy!  So, be willing to see your spouse as your teammate, and not your rival.  In that way, you can avoid seeing the other as the problem, and focus on the issue and the solution!

What do you need to do to cement and practice this paramount point to build a healthy marriage, that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect?

Remember that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect!  If you do not get this, you will not get marriage!

Your marriage is all about grace, that we receive that we must also distill and pass on. How will you do this?

Sometimes we force marriage to do something it was not designed to do, and we turn this most intimate and important relationship into a place of loneliness, worry, hurt and strife. We take what was to be good and turn it into a warzone void of the practice of love, mercy, and our growth in maturity, but rather hone our weapons of pride, arrogance, condescension, and contempt, or just withdraw, staying angry and bitter.  We model these practices for our children and expect them to have better lives and marriages when all we’ve really taught them is how not to do it.

Unanchored stress and disappointments, along with a detachment from looking to God, will prevent us from seeing His signposts of precepts.

We cannot just expect God to get us through without any effort on our part. To grow, we have to struggle and work it out.  It is the struggle that helps us; it is what builds us and forms us.  Without it, there is no growth or real impacting faith, honest character, genuine patience, or maturity—and thus, unhealthy relationships.

Don’t play these games.  Your marriage and relationships are too precious and valuable to destroy them with our whims or hurts.  Yet, Christians can be some of the most critical and arrogant people on earth!  As Christians, we need to be an example for Him wherever we are, set ourselves above pettiness, and let God remove our pride!

CMTA Notes and Syllabus

My notes and syllabus for this week’s conference, You can have a “Wondrous Marriage!” 

I will be showing you how to do a workshop, seminar or small group curriculum that you can lead yourself in your church or home.

 For weekend seminar:  Marriage Tune-up 

For day seminar:               LoveChallengeho

It is about: God’s precepts on building a great marriage and making marriage succeed even in times of stress and turmoil. You will discover the real authenticity of our Lord, will enable us to build a real authenticity of love and respect, that will in turn build a “Wondrous Marriage!”

Why this workshop?

Yes, there are many good ones to go to, Family Life, Gottman’s, even Marriage Encounter, and New Life charges $1,598 per couple, it is considered the best and it is, but this one is better. Why? It is based on 25 years of doing this, with ongoing research, and it is based on God’s timeless true Truth, not a psychological fad. Plus, we have practical, you can use now, information that will help you for many years to come. And you can do it in your church, do it cost effectively instead of outsourcing your ministry and people.

https://thisismarriage.org/marriage-tune-up-workshop/

Purpose of Marriage

The prime purpose of marriage is to grow us closer to the love and the Person of Christ and His Likeness for His Glory.

The call to Love one another is Agape, which means “self giving” and “sacrificial”. Agape love is more concerned with others than self. We are to be more concerned with our spouse than ourselves.

(Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27; John 13:34-35; 15:12, 17; Romans 12:10; 13:8; 14:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 3:22; 4:8; 23; 4:7, 11-12; 2 John 1: 5)

What would your marriage look like when you are pursuing love in the midst of your toil? How is this the irrefutable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ?

Upgrade your mindsets to goodness!

love and respect

Respect, love and respect, solutions, arrogant, express your love, spouse, Always, fruit of the Spirit, goodness, healthy marriage,

Do we allow Christ’s love to motivate and control us, or do we go it alone?  If we really, truly believe in Him with sincere trust and obedience, then, it will produce a result.  We must allow that result of fruit (Galatians 5:22-25) be in us.

The ups and downs of marriage may get us down, and the arguments, tension, disagreements, gossip, treachery, betrayal, financial disasters, stress, and false accusations may take its toll on us.  When life seems to rise up and wage war against us, our character can grow stronger and our relationships can improve.  We can become even stronger and more loving—even more content.  The choice is ours!

  • To effectively listen, we need to give our spouse our full attention. We must be willing to build the skills of empathetic and active listening. To do this, we first need to concentrate on quieting our own thoughts and concerns so we can hear theirs.  We all have a natural, internal commentary going; try to shut it off until afterwards.  This will help you engage the person and remember what he or she is saying.

Remember that LISTENING IS ESSENTIAL!  Good friend-makers are good listeners. Be the person who listens (John 8:47;James 1:19-25)! 

Unanchored stress and disappointments, along with a detachment from looking to God, will prevent us from seeing His signposts of precepts.  We cannot just expect God to get us through without any effort on our part. To grow, we have to struggle and work it out.  It is the struggle that helps us; it is what builds us and forms us.  Without it, there is no growth or real impacting faith, honest character, genuine patience, or maturity—and thus, unhealthy relationships.

Don’t play these games.  Your marriage and relationships are too precious and valuable to destroy them with our whims or hurts.  Yet, Christians can be some of the most critical and arrogant people on earth!  As Christians, we need to be an example for Him wherever we are, set ourselves above pettiness, and let God remove our pride!

A married couple is on the same team; you are not each other’s enemy!  So, be willing to see your spouse as your teammate, and not your rival.  In that way, you can avoid seeing the other as the problem, and focus on the issue and the solution!

What do you need to do to cement and practice this paramount point to build a healthy marriage, that the heart of any healthy relationship is love and respect?