Archive | February 2012

Build Your House on the Rock!

Matthew 7:24-29
“Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Is your house built on solid ground or will it pass away as soon as the wind blows? Our marriages should be built upon the rock of Jesus Christ. He gives us everything that we need to be a success in marriage. Keeping your covenant to your spouse may be challenging from time to time, however God’s word is your weapon in the midst of a storm. He is truly our refuge and strength! (Psalms 46:1)

The foolish man did not build his house on firm foundation. He didn’t seek assistance…. He likely wanted to do things his own way. We resemble the foolish man in marriage when we are resistant to allow the word of God to guide us in our daily living.  We can also look very much like this same foolish man when we refuse to seek counsel when things go wrong in our relationships. The man that does not adhere to the word of God will always stubble and fall because he is not grounded in the things that develop “sustaining power.” Sustaining power comes by way of our prayer and praise. Make every effort to pray daily with your spouse and praise God for sustaining your marriage another day, another month, and another year!

We cannot expect to be successful in our marriages without allowing God to build our house. We cannot be successful if we do not submit to His plans. Instead, we end up “falling a great fall” like the house of the foolish man.

Make the decision today to rebuild your house on the rock! Jesus is our rock!!!!!  His grace is sufficient for us; and his strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:8) Give up your building rights today and turn them over to him so that you can be like the wise man. When the storms come we need to be fully equipped to stand on God’s word.

We will be able to weather the storm if we are applying biblical truths in our marriages on a daily basis. May God bless and honor your efforts towards keeping your covenant.

Cassandra

Lights, Camera, Action!

If you ever want to know the truth about yourself asks your spouse.  They know the in’s and out’s about you better than anybody other than God himself. They know what bugs you, what makes you smile, and even what gets your creative mind going. They get to see the good and the bad more than anyone else in your circle of friends and family.

Outside the home people get to see the person that we want them to see. Sometime this is the person that we portray because it feels more comfortable than just being ourselves. They see the person who has everything well thought out and all together.  However, often times when we leave work, church, and fellowships we Christians can sometimes put on a different face with a whole new character.

Home is where our true ministry begins…. It starts with our spouses and flows to our children. Our first and foremost calling is to reflect the love of God in our own homes.  How can we be effective to anyone else if we are not taking care of our first priorities?

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim.5:8)

Why is it that we often have a harder time forgiving our spouses or our children then we have forgiving someone outside of our household? We feel a greater sense of obligation to the world than we do to our families when we treat strangers better than we do our own flesh and blood.

God will judge our love walk in its entirety!!!  Be doers of the word inside and outside of your home. The love walk that you preform outside of the home should be carried over from the love that is reflected at home.  We have to stop taking an “intermission” when we arrive home to the ones we have been given to love and honor.  Have you ever thought about how your spouse or children feel when they see the love of God in you when you speak to people at church or in the mall, but at home they see a different side?

Do not be like the double-minded man that is spoken of in James 1:8! Your leading role begins at home. Let your light shine from sun up to sun down.

I am joining you in this endeavor towards perfecting our marriages and families.

Cassandra McMichael

Husbands Love Your Wives

1 Peter 3:7 states: In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:25-26: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.

I’m not trying to be explicit but I need you to think for a minute about the human anatomy. Who was built to receive and who was built to give? God designed us this way for a reason because he makes no errors. God knows submitting ourselves to another fleshly person is difficult and that’s why he asks of us to submit ourselves to him first so we can in turn learn to be totally submissive to our spouses.

God is asking men to love your wife so much that you will give yourself up. We as men were design to give and called to be spiritual head of the house according to the Lord. We should not allow our wives to be praying more than us which we see often. She should not be giving of herself freely more than us which is often the case.

God’s word says a husband’s prayers can be hindered based upon how we’re treating our wife. We are now one flesh therefore we must treat our wives as such. The word says our bodies are temples for Christ so when we treat our wives inappropriately we’re hurting ourselves first and foremost. We can’t come to Christ expecting our prayers to be answered until we first ask for forgiveness with the issue we’re having with our wife.

We all fall victim to not doing the things we use to do for our spouses before marriage. Remember the flowers, cards and presents you would give? Why not do something nice for her today? My wife has given me 3 children that means she has been pregnant for 27 months of her life. Shouldn’t I honor her for what her body has put her through? Husbands the courtship must continue in the marriage for it to be successful.

The weaker vessel should not have the heaviest load in a marriage because they are not strong enough to handle it! The word calls for the husband to be the spiritual leader of the house and we can fight the attacks on our marriage by trusting God and applying his word. A good wife will be your partner and pray with you and for the family.

We must pray to God and ask him to assist us in becoming better husbands. We have to become more observant of our wives and notice their weakest areas and assist them at all costs.

In sports it’s the coach who is first to be judged based on the success of the team. If the team is winning he is rewarded and keeps his job. A husband will be judged on the order of his house by God because he’s called to lead his family. Although Eve ate of the fruit first sin did not enter the world until Adam ate of the fruit. Men become a rock for your family.

Be Blessed,

Joseph

Your thoughts will determine your future!

What are your thoughts about your marriage? Do you believe your relationship will last forever, or are you expecting a bitter end in the near future?

If you know someone that has been divorced ask them this question…. “When did you know that your marriage wasn’t going to last?” Many people that have been divorced before will tell you that they knew early on that they would not remain in that union for the rest of their lives. This might be stocking to some of you that are doing marriage God’s way. However, when we don’t do marriage His way we are always expecting the unexpected to happen because we don’t give God an opportunity to work in ourselves or our spouses.  Some of us have very little faith that He can truly transform our marriages from hell on earth to heaven on earth.

The word tells us in Proverbs 23:7 that “so as a man thinketh so will he be…”  This means that our thoughts can lead to words and our words can lead to our truth.  What is your “truth “about your marriage? Do you believe that the enemies’ attempts to destroy your marriage will prevail, or do you know without a doubt that you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you? (Philippians  4:13)

Joseph and I were returning from a marriage function this weekend called “Eat, laugh, and Love.”  I happened to look up just as we were passing this rather large billboard that read, “1-800- DIVORCE.”   My spirit screamed,” I rebuke Divorce in Jesus Name!”  The enemy is lurking everywhere seeking to destroy what is good!  It is essential in marriage to cast down all thoughts and imaginations that do not line up with the word of God.(  2 Cor. 10:5) Christians must be equipped for the fight by studying the word of God and having a sufficient amount of word that they can speak over themselves and their mates in the time of trouble. If you know and believe that there is an enemy waiting to attack you then you must arm yourself with the necessary weapons to avoid being overtaken by surprise!

Start speaking the word over your marriage today! Your positive words will transform your truth to line up with God’s truth. God’s truth says,” That if you abide in Him he will abide in you!  (1 John 4:13) God’s truth says, “All things work for the good of those that love him. (Romans 8:28)

Surrender your negative thoughts for positive thoughts. You will be glad that you did! God is our Jehovah  Jireh!!! He truly seeks pleasure in providing you with all good and perfect gifts. Receive the gift of a Godly marriage!

We can perfect our marriages together by changing how we think!

Stay encouraged,

Cassandra

Healing From Past Hurts

I gazed out the window…. It was dark and not a person in sight. Joseph and I had just had one of our first “heated conversations” while on our way home from Christmas dinner with family. By the end of the conversation, I was left feeling deeply confused….I recall asking myself,” What is really going on here?”

Joseph and I had only been married about 9 months at the time.  It didn’t take long for me to realize following that night’s events that Joseph was paying the price for someone else’s sins.
If you read,” Help me… I’m living in Hell”, then you are well aware that I was holding on to some anger from a previous relationship. While it was eye opening to see how the devil had used my past to haunt my future I was not strong enough to “fight the good fight of faith.” I wanted very deeply to put on my whole amour of God so that I could stand up to the tricks of the devil as it says in Ephesians 6:11. However, no matter how hard I tried in and of myself I needed help and we know that “help cometh from the Lord!”

Joseph was a praying man so I know that he could see with his spiritual eyes what the enemy was trying to do in our marriage. Instead of being angry at me, he took his petitions to the Lord.  When your spouse’s past haunts their future you must remember what it states in Ephesians 6:12.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Our question for today is,” How do you heal your spouse from past hurts?”

Let me first begin with what you don’t do…. You don’t make matters worse by surrendering to the enemies’ camp. You don’t fall in line with the enemies tricks and seek to destroy your spouse with harsh words and emotional and physical attacks!
Instead you walk in love and do what is encouraged in the Bible you STAND ready for spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:13-18 reads:

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints;
Joseph put on his amour daily… In fact I think he slept in it many of nights!  The Holy Spirit has given us authority in every area of our lives.  We can take authority over every spirit that tries to put up roadblocks in our marriages. We can stand against every thought that tries to hold our spouses hostage to the past!

I am so thankful that Joseph showed me his true colors early in our marriage. He didn’t give up on me. He didn’t stoop to my level. He didn’t attack me. He helped to heal me from my past by simply being the answer for my future.  He worked hard at loving me the right way so that my past could truly become my past.  Your spouse can be healed with your help! Stand up to the “spirit of the past” and do marriage God’s way. We promise that in the end you will reap the benefits of God’s best when he transforms your mate.

Cassandra

How Do You Teach a Dog New Tricks?

Have you ever heard the proverb, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” This basically leads one to believe that you can’t change who people are.   We know that this is partially true…. You can’t change someone, but with the help of God people can and do change.

It is common for us to develop bad habits in life especially within our marital relationships. Many of us bring baggage from pass relationships with our parents, friends, and even opposite sex relationships. Often times, we are unaware that we have so many hang ups and it takes getting married for everything to start falling out of our “emotional bags.”

When dealing with a spouse that is resistant to change one must first of all stay in prayer. Staying in prayer requires that you must make a commitment to communicate with God on a daily basis. It is nearly impossible to see change if you are not first seeking the kingdom of God. (Matt: 6:33)

When believers begin to seek God about others the Holy Spirit will more than likely direct you back to yourself. We must make sure that we are first and foremost doers of the word. (James 1:22) This means that we must be making every effort to treat our spouses with the love, kindness, and respect that we expect to get in return. If you read, “Help Me…. I’m Living in Hell” then you already know that I was very much resistant to change. I wanted to remain angry because of the people that hurt me in the past. There was no way I was going to allow myself to be hurt again so I did what most people do…. I built a wall around myself to protect myself from being hurt.

While I was building walls one brick at a time, Joseph was being obedient to God and continued to love me as Christ loved the church. I remember waking up to him laying hands on me and praying over me. I remember him praying in the spirit while ironing his clothes for work, and hearing him say, “Lord I love my wife today more than I did the day I married her.” Now that’s love!!!

How do you deal with a spouse that is resistant to change? You pray, and pray and pray some more! Joseph saw me for the beautiful woman I would become once I was healed from past hurts. He led by example. He didn’t wait until I changed to give me his best….  He gave me his best and then I changed!!

If your spouse is resistant to change their ways, or if they are determined to build a wall we urge you to pray for them daily.  We encourage you to see your mate through new eyes and love them today like they are the person you’ve always dreamed of.

People can and do change… You can help facilitate change in your spouse by putting on the love of God and allowing your life to be a reflection of Christ.

Be encouraged,

Cassandra

Help Me…..I’m Living in Hell!

Recently I had a friend say, “It is easy for you to give me advice your husband is not like my husband.”  I must admit I was taking aback by this comment. However, it’s not the first time I’ve heard that same sentiment just posed a different way.

Let me tell you that things were not always easy for Joseph. He had to deal with a whole heap of mess when we first got married. I was deeply hurt by a previous relationship that left me angry, defensive, and untrusting.

I came into the marriage with quite a bit of baggage. However, Joseph unpacked my bag piece by piece and day by day. Thinking back to the beginning I can now see how he was so intentional in his love and care for me.

Joseph understood that as my husband that he had to “nurse me back to health.”  He realized that if he was to ever have the marriage that he dreamed that it would take much prayer and planning on his part. I have to imagine that I was much like a project on his to do list.:-)

Dealing with a difficult spouse is never easy. However, if you are committed to living together until death do you part— Why not be happy? We are called to minister to our spouses through unconditional love.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

God loves us unconditionally!!!! He loves us just the way we are. We are to love our spouses in whatever state they are… Loving them just the way they are doesn’t mean that we don’t desire change, but we must honor God’s command to “Love.” We have to work dilgently on healing our spouses with the help of our Almighty God!!

Over the next couples of days, we will discuss:

  • How do you deal with a spouse that is resistant to change?
  • How do you heal your spouse from past hurts?

Until tomorrow…. Remember Jehovah Rapha still heals.

Cassandra

Take Off Your Pants!

There was a deep silence all over the house. The kids had gone to sleep a few hours earlier. I had just put my last load of clothes in the dryer. Suddenly, I heard a voice say, “Take off your pants. Come on, take them off.”

I looked around as I was certain that I recognized the voice. However, there was no one there…. I heard the voice again only this time softer and quicker,” Take them off….” The Holy Spirit was speaking to me about my role as a woman. It was clear that He was speaking metaphorically. He didn’t really want me to take off my pants, but He did want me to allow my husband to be the lead decision maker in our home. The Bible tells us that the man is called to be the head. I spent the first year of our marriage wanting to be heard, wanting to influence, and yes wanting to lead. God did not call the woman to lead the man, but the man to lead the woman.

The Bible states, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

(1 Corinthians 11:3)

God’s design for marriage makes it perfectly clear that the woman is the weaker vessel of the two. This proves true when we look back to the Garden of Eden. After all who was first deceived? It wasn’t until Eve was deceived by the serpent that Adam was lead into sin by his woman. (Gen: 3 ) Women were not made to be the “strong one” in marriage. We are too easily moved. 🙂

I hear women all the time talking about how overwhelmed they are. They are exhausted physically and emotionally. Women if you haven’t already taken off your pants, God is calling you to do so now. Allowing your man to walk in his calling will provide you the time and energy that you need to focus on other things like being the helpmate you were designed to be.

Men need to feel respected more than anything else in the world. They need the opportunity to be your “earthly savior.” They thrive on being able to make things happen for you. If your man is not fitting this description it is because you have been wearing the pants way to long. “So….. Take off your pants!”

For the men who are reading today, if you are not wearing the pants in your marriage it’s time for you to put on one leg at a time. Women feel safe in taking off their pants when they know that the man that they surrender them to will love them as Christ loved the church.

Let everyone take their rightful place…Marriage is so good when you do it God’s way!

Your friend,

Cassandra

Doing It God’s Way

The culture we live in promotes self-sufficiency even amongst those that are married. When women get married they are encouraged by their mothers and other women of wisdom to always keep a “stash” on the side “just in case.” Men are warned not to invest too much too soon just in case it doesn’t work out. What many of us don’t realize is that if you get married with the thought that you may one day get divorced then more than likely you will fulfill that prophecy.

Marriage requires being intentional about your commitment to your spouse and to your covenant. There is no way that you can prepare to fail and succeed at the same time. For instance, if you have a big interview with a company you know nothing about more than likely you will invest the time to learn about the company before going in for the interview. However, if you enter the interview without proper knowledge of the skills needed, or background information on how you can be successful then you are setting yourself up for failure.

The world doesn’t show you how to enter into a marriage prepared to give your all. However, God’s word reveals the secrets to having a successful marriage. If you are not “doing marriage God’s way” then you need to read Ephesians 5:21-33. These particular scriptures give us insight on how to pattern our relationships so that they may glorify God.

Successful marriages understand that they are to reflect the relationship between Jesus Christ and His Church. If you and your spouse are not living out this principle, then it is time to recommit to God’s great purpose and plan for your marriage.

Joseph and I enjoy sharing these tips with you. We pray that you are finding your way to a happy and healthy marriage. Thanks for joining us on this journey towards improving married life through our relationships with God.

Be blessed,

Cassandra

Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong?

You’ve heard the phrase “There are 2 sides to every story.” Well, I’m here to tell you there are 3 sides to every story. Her side, his side and the truth! We see situations through our own eyes which is bias, but God sees things truthfully! 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 says, “Love does not behave rudely, does not seek it’s own; is not provoked, thinks no evil. Does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth!  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6). The opposite of a truth is a lie. Therefore we’re lying to ourselves when we refuse to act Christ like and walk in love during a disagreement no matter who started it or whose feelings are hurt.

The Bible says when we are married we now become one flesh. Therefore when we fight as a couple we are hurting ourselves, because her flesh is your flesh and vice versa. Stop beating up yourself and heal yourself! If your leg is injured is it upset with your arm? No! Therefore stop being upset with your spouse and die to self and do what Jesus would want you to do. If you say you are a Christian you should be trying to be “Christ like” in all your ways. Cassandra and I have had our share of disagreements where I felt I was wronged but I was the first to initiate conversation for us to move forward and make peace. This is one of the first steps to dying to self and walking in love. So today I urge you to do what is right in God’s eye instead of what you feel during a disagreement.

Be Christ like today and everyday!

Joseph

Is Your Spouse a Dog????

Dogs are very protective of their masters. More than likely if you enter a home that has a dog he will begin to bark if he does not recognize you. Once he sees that you are not a viable threat to his home or family he will usually find himself a place on a rug in clear view of your presence all the while keeping his eyes on you.

Dogs understand that in order to keep their families safe that they must show that they are capable and willing to protect at all cost. This is very similar to a husband and a wife’s relationship. In a marriage there are times when the enemy tries to attack through friends or family. The attack can come by way of an act, gesture, or speech. Regardless of the path it takes couples must be savvy enough to see the attack for what it is and protect their spouse at all cost.

It is of great importance that in our marriages that we make it clear to those coming inside our circle of love that the circle will not and cannot be broken. Therefore couples must put up their united fronts at the door giving notice to outsiders to “beware because there’s a dog on the premises.”

Standing up for your spouse in the midst of an attack will show them that you are committed and that they are valued.  Wives feel secure when they are protected by their man.  Whereas men are likely to feel honored and respected.

Make sure you are doing the work that is required when Satan sends a trespasser to your residence. Never leave your spouse to fend for themself. Find the dog within and mark your territory! (Don’t take that literally 🙂 )

Your friend,

Cassandra

Love Beyond Today!

I am probably one of the few women that are not overly moved by the hoopla of Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day has been for centuries the one day  set aside to show love to those in your life by the way of flowers, candy, and cards.

We find people dining out, and enjoying one another’s company all while adding to the economy’s pocket by way of billions of dollars. But what happens tomorrow? Will we still show the overwhelming signs of love in our relationships that we show today?  Another great key to marriage is realizing that you can do and say all the right things today, but what you do tomorrow will be remembered the most.

Tomorrow comes every day!  This means we have another opportunity to walk out God’s commandment to love one another as He has loved us. (1 John 4:11)

Today I encourage you to make a commitment to making every day Valentine’s Day in your marriage. My greatest joy today is knowing that even when tomorrow comes I will still be finding my favorite treats hidden for me to discover by surprise.

Showing your spouse this daily type of affection sets a message for your children that your love is real and appreciated.  Last month my three year old daughter said, “Mommy, I’m going to get me a husband.” When I asked why she wanted to get married her response was, “So I can get some treats too!” Later on that day she told me that her husband’s name was going to be “Honey.” 🙂  This sent chills all over me knowing that at this young age that my 3 year old recognized the signs of being and feeling loved and that she wanted that too!  I was overjoyed! This was what I felt was an awesome testimony to my husband that  our daughter could see that he was indeed fulfilling his role in “loving me as Christ loved the church.”

Let us all show lasting love beyond today……

Remember what you do tomorrow will be what is remembered the most!

What are your actions communicating to your spouse?

Have you ever heard the expression,” Your actions are speaking louder than your words?” Sometimes in our relationships we begin to take one another for granted. We assume that the person we love knows how we feel about them and that we don’t need to go the extra mile. Sometimes going the extra mile is in fact just what it takes to keep our marriages on track. For instance when Joseph and I first got married I made an honest effort to not be on the phone when he arrived home from work so that I could make myself available to him. I can image that he felt honored, cared for, and loved by my desire to direct all of my attention towards him. Now looking forward, imagine the message we send to our spouses when we change the focus of our interest or attention to other sources. I’m sure that we can all think back to something that we did when you first got married that we either no longer do anymore or maybe we don’t do it with the same enthusiasm?

In our busy society it is no doubt that we can find millions of things outside and inside the home to occupy our time and energy. Making our spouse a priority can sometimes feel like just one more thing to do on our “to do list.”  The best marriages are those that realize that marriage is just like a job. They require you to put in your time and to do the job you committed to doing the day you said, “I do.” In the case of marriage we have promised to love and care for one another in sickness and in health. This means that you are spiritually bounded by God to fulfill these obligations. We must take the time to evaluate what are actions are communicating to our spouses in our daily life.

Do we stop and listen when are spouses are talking?

Are we making every effort to speak to them lovingly?

What would they say is our greatest concern in our lives?

While we all enjoy hearing the words, “I love you,” nothing says I love you more than your honest efforts in showing your mate that you are still very much emotionally connected to them. As we draw closer to Valentine’s Day let us remember that it is the small things that matters most. If you only show special love and attention to your spouse on February 14th then your actions are counteractive to your covenant vows. If we are in covenant relationship with our spouses then we must begin to show them the unconditional love that Christ has shown us. Work diligently toward showing your spouse that you care for them by making sure your actions line up with your words. Little acts of kindness go a long way towards a happy and healthy marriage.

Here is a list of a few ways you can communicate love daily without saying a word.

1. Bring your spouse home their favorite treat.

2. Write them a love letter and leave it in a special place.

3. Iron their clothes while they’re in the shower.

4. Give them time away from the kids.

5. Get a baby sitter and surprise them with a candlelight dinner at home.

6. Watch a love story together and talk about how to improve your marriage following the movie.

7. Bring them home a greeting card for no apparent reason.

8. Take time out every day to listen to them and find out about their day.

9. Motivate them to work on their dreams.

10. Support their dreams and goals.

11. Check their schedule before making plans for the two of you.

May God bless you and keep you grounded. Marriage is good!!!!!!!!!!

Cassandra

Back to the Basics: Communication

Communication in marriage is a key factor in your level of satisfaction with your marriage. Most people who are married will admit that if you don’t feel like your spouse understands you then you end up feeling alone, and or isolated. It makes things even worst if you have a spouse that refuses to talk through life’s challenges.  Most of us seem to marry our opposite. This means that one of you loves to talk and the other can probably do without hashing out all the details of every situation.

In a marriage there is absolutely no way around communicating with your spouse. In order to work it out… you have to talk it out.  It is imperative to practice communicating effectively with your spouse if you want your interactions to be positive.  The most important step in communicating effectively with your spouse is knowing the best time to talk about certain subjects. For instance, allow your spouse to cool down from a busy day at work or from time with the kids.  It is also fruitful to discuss matters when you have had time to think about the issues at hand before approaching your spouse. This will help you both in discussing the issues without having to worry about your emotions getting the best of you.

Communication is a two way process. Someone has to talk while the other one listens! It is usually easiest for all us to do the talking. 🙂  Practice listening to your spouse before commenting.  Proverbs 18:2,13 sheds some light on the error of our ways when we are more concerned with being heard then listening.
2  “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.”
13  “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.”

Keys to improving communication with your spouse:

  1. Have prayer before discussing difficult matters. Ask God to open your heart and mind.
  2. Allow the person with the issue to speak first.
  3. Practice listening before speaking. Don’t interrupt!
  4. Repeat what you think your spouse is saying and give them a chance to affirm that what you heard was what they were trying to communicate.
  5. Take turns speaking.
  6. Come to an agreement and seal the deal with a kiss!

Love your spouse enough to listen.  Stay tuned for part 2 “What are your actions communicating to your spouse?”

With Love,

Cassandra

Passing the Test

Has your marriage been tested lately? The devil is always seeking to destroy everything that is good like marriage. Rest assured that he will not be able to do anything to you without God’s approval.  In the spiritual realm a test is anything that tries your faith.  Thank God for sending the Bible to train us in the things of Him. We should be encouraged to know that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2Tim.3:16) The word of God tells us that in this life we will have some trials and tribulations. Expect to encounter various tests in your marriage.

One of the greatest tests of our faith was when our first daughter Imani was born. Shortly after birth she was diagnosed with a rare genetic skin disorder called Ichthyosis. While in the hospital the doctors came to us and informed us that my husband and I probably had the gene that caused this disorder to appear in our daughter. Although neither of us had ever heard of this disorder nor been diagnosed with it we quickly became alarmed as they informed us of the ramifications of what this would mean for our daughter and any future children that we might have.

My daughter’s skin was very dry and scaly. We were told that she would likely be in and out of the hospital throughout her life and that she would be susceptible to a variety of infections.  Imani was seen by a specialist that conducted a biopsy.  The biopsy later confirmed that she did indeed have Ichthyosis. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! My faith was being tested. I was discouraged and angered. I didn’t understand how something like that could happen to me. I wanted answers…….

I cried, and I cried, and I cried day after day as I watched my daughter’s skin peel and become drier than the day before. I became depressed as I imagined what her life might be like as she dealt with the disorder.  I questioned how God could let this happen and of course I asked, “Why me?”  I remember my husband saying, “She doesn’t have Ichthyosis. Just keep applying the ointment on her and stand in agreement with me.” This was a tough pill to swallow because I was the one to get the call that confirmed the diagnosis based upon the test results. However, I stood in faith with the head of my house and believed God for healing and restoration of her skin. I recall applying the ointment and saying out loud, “No weapon formed against my baby will prosper.  God is not a God that should lie. Imani is healed by His stripes! ”

To make a long story short Imani was indeed healed by God. Her skin was restored and made whole.  By the time we took her in for her 3 month evaluation at the specialist he responded, “I have never in my 22 years seen a case like this before. Her skin looks perfect. Unbelievable!” I smiled at my husband, and he smiled back at me. My heart screamed, “But God…………”  Imani (whose name means Faith in Swahili) has never again had any problems with her skin.

This remarkable test was only passed because we stood together as one believing that God could truly do anything.  He is not a man that should lie. God is able to heal any areas in your marriage that are broken just like He healed my sweet daughter.  I encourage you to stand in agreement with your spouse on any areas in your marriage in which you are being tested. It might be your finances, intimacy, your walk with God, or maybe even your livelihood.  No matter what it is God is able to do greater things than what we can ever imagine.  He is an awesome God! Trust Him with your dreams for your marriage.

To God be the Glory for all that He will do to restore that which is broken, and make better those things that are whole. I am believing God for you to have marital bliss this year!

Your friend,

Cassandra

Keeping Our Priorities in Order (Day 2)

Balancing life’s responsibilities continues to be one of the most challenging tasks for married couples. If we are to honor God’s plan and order for our marriages then we must seek first the kingdom of God. (Matt.6:33) If we are seeking first His kingdom then His kingdom will always lead us back to our “first ministry.” Your first ministry is your marriage!  My first ministry is my marriage!  This means that regardless of all the other things in our lives that demand our attention that those things should take a backseat.   This means that your children, your dreams, your family members, and so on must all take a backseat. Imagine seeing your neighbor and his family heading out for a drive on Sunday morning. What would you think if you saw the husband driving the car with the wife in the backseat and the son or daughter riding in the front? You would probably say to yourself, “I wonder what that is all about?” I am certain you would no doubt find this arrangement to be strange and out of order.
From the beginning of time marriage was one of the first things God created. He created Adam first and then Eve, not Eve and her children or vice versa.  God created Eve from Adam’s rib so that she could walk alongside side him so he would never again be alone. God’s vision was for them to always remember and honor their relationship with one another above all things (after Him.)  This is why the Bible instructs the man to leave and cleave to his wife and the wife to be a helpmate for her husband.
If we are to have heaven on earth in our marriages we must always keep our marriages first in our lives. Our first ministry requires daily love and attention.  Much like a flower our marriages must be watered frequently if we are to keep it alive and free from withering away. Thriving marriages are the end results when you make your marriage your first ministry.  Strife and divorce is what you reap if you neglect to keep your priorities in God’s perfect order.  Start today by intentionally scheduling time to show your spouse that your marriage is important to you. This might mean rescheduling your housecleaning or putting the kids to bed early so that you can take time out to listen and love on your spouse.
Don’t allow your marriage to fall by the waste side! Make your husband or wife your first priority today and reap the rewards of marital bliss.  I will be joining you in this important endeavor.  Marriage is so good!

With Love,

Cassandra

Keeping Our Priorities in Order (Day 1)

Have you ever wondered what your spouse has to say about you in your absence? We often encounter situations that we never dreamed could actually end up making us think about ourselves, and our own relationships with the ones we love. This past weekend I crossed paths with a stranger. We will call him Doug. Doug is what I would call a seasoned married man because he has been married for almost 20 years. Being that we serve an awesome God I had an opportunity to be in the right place at the right time to hear Doug vent about his wife.  It was life changing for me to hear a man’s point of view as to how they view their wives “busyness” as it relates to taking care of our homes, our children , and our “wifely responsibilities.”  I was privileged to hear firsthand how one might feel just a bit slighted when the person we have committed our life to doesn’t keep their priorities in God’s perfect order. This week I will be talking in great detail about the need for us to prioritize our lives in a way that is honorable to God.
First let me start by saying that God loves marriage as shown throughout the Bible.  Those that are married have been called to abide by God’s divine order.  Nothing in our lives should come before God! Those that are married are called to place their marriages first in their lives after Him.  Many of us find this order hard to follow when children are involved. However, let me assure you that placing your children, family, or anything else before your spouse will always lead to strife in your marriage.  Hearing this man’s story blessed me deeply because it confirms how important it is to communicate your true feelings with your spouse daily. Often times we neglect to share certain aspects of how we feel about something because we feel like the one we love should already know how we feel, or that maybe the way we feel will lead to confusion in our marriage. Let us take time this week to improve our communication with our spouses and to discover how keeping our priorities in order can be a blessing to our marriages.

Your friend,

Cassandra

A message for my readers

My heart is so happy today. I initially created this new blog because I wanted to have a platform to share my writing, but God always has a greater purpose than what we ever know. God has blessed me with the desire to write in efforts to encourage, to motivate and lift up those who may need encouragement and support in the things of God. It is no surprise that God gave me Marriage is Good because marriage has always been near and dear to my heart since the day I said, “I do.” Joseph and I feel very deeply and closely tied to those that join us in this journey of marriage! Marriage is so so good! Since the start of Marriage is Good two and a half weeks ago, we have been blessed by so many readers that have reached out via the comment section, text message, email, and even phone calls. You have encouraged and supported me with your positive thoughts and suggestions. So today I thank you for reading my thoughts as inspired by God. In just two weeks the website has received over 500 hits! To God be the glory.

Please be sure to visit the website directly at http://marriageisgood.net . You will find that we have updated the site to show valuable marriage resources such as links to various ministries as well as book titles that might be of great help to you in your marriage. We have also added a section to inform you of marriage workshops or seminars that you and your spouse can take part. As you continue to read I pray that your marriage will be blessed a 1000 times over what you can ever imagine! For those marriages that are struggling I pray that healing is in your near future and that God will restore anything and everything your marriage lacks! If you are in need of prayer for your marriage tap into the power of God and allow Marriage is Good followers to join you in prayer. We have included a new menu where you can post any special prayers for all to see. The bible tells us that when two or three gather together that our God will be in the midst! Take advantage of this power!!!!

Today I would like to thank my ever so patient husband for being the editor of my blog and the Godly head of our house. May he always know that he is truly the wind beneath my wings. Most importantly, I thank God for knowing my heart, for loving me, and for giving me an opportunity to share His word and His plan for marriage with all of you. I love you with the love of God! He that does not love does not know God for God is love!( 1 John 4:8)

Forever your friend,

Cassandra

Carnal Christians

Hello everyone! I’m Joseph (most people call me Joe) and I’m Cassandra’s husband. I will be a guest author on Marriage is Good from time to time. What Cassandra said is true, marriage is good and our marriage is forever! We agree that it’s still a work in progress but we’re committed to improving ourselves individually under God to make our marriage sweeter! I truly love my wife and she is driven, independent, committed and multi-talented! She knows her purpose and what God has called her to do. I support that, but for a marriage to be good both parties have to be happy. Well, I’m here to confirm we are both happy with each other! LOL!

Statistics show that 50% of first marriages end in divorce. Statistics also show that 50% of Christian marriages will end in divorce also! Why is this so? Well, I believe one of the major reasons is carnal Christians. Let’s look at a definition for carnal- not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly. I highlighted worldly because Christian couples tend to think and act worldly when troubles arise in their marriages. Saints use excuses such as we grew apart, we realized we had too many differences, we can’t live together anymore.  The world way says leave when issues arise, but God says “condemn them through me and I will equip you with the weaponry needed.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 states, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” This scripture is saying that our weapons are not “fleshly” but spiritual. We have a spiritual weapon that can be mightily used through God to defeat and destroy any attack on our marriage. When we use worldly weapons to fix a marital problem you are in danger of eventually being spiritually defeated.

Let me back up a moment. Someone is probably saying to me “Can a Christian be carnal?” and the answer is YES! 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, the apostle Paul is addressing the Christians and states in verse 3: “For where there are envy, strife and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” When Christians are on the brink of divorcing is there not division and strife in the household? Do we not think selfishly when there are children involved in a marriage, yet we feel we would be better off alone? We all are with sin and every time we sin we are acting carnally.  We are to instead perfect our walk with God and ask him to lead us through temptation and deliver us from our sins. We have to ask God to change our way of thinking and give us the spiritual weapons needed to destroy and defeat any attack on our marriage.

Saints what we’re doing wrong is we’re not applying God’s word to every area in our marriage. I know many Christian couples who are tithers, faithful Sunday worshippers and they even went through marriage counseling before they got married. Yet their marriages still ended in divorce! Why? They were not doers of the word in their marriages. They did not die to self so they reacted carnally (worldly)! Saints this is a covenant we form with God and we took an oath to be there in good or bad times, sickness or health until death do us apart! We choose to ignore this when we’re disagreeing with each other. We forget that our spouse is not the enemy but a vessel being used by the devil to separate us because he simply hates marriage because God created it. Christian couples often forget that God is the 3rd party in their marriages. We’re so quick to point out our spouses issues but won’t evaluate ourselves and what we need to fix to have a better marriage. Why do we forget God’s word when our marriage is under attack? God says all things are possible to whom that believe. This means our marriages can stay in heavenly bliss if we trust in God. You are a Christian now so your carnal way of thinking has been replaced with a spiritual way of thinking apply it!

If you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage and you want to get it back on track. Please take the first step and die to self. Don’t let pride and egos stand in the way of what God has planned for your marriage. Even if you’re not the one who initiated the wrong someone has to die to self first in order for God to step in and work it out. Jesus died for us! He gave of himself first so that we may live. You gave of yourself when you became a Christian to live for God. Remember, you now have a new way of thinking and belief system. This does not apply in certain areas of your life but in ALL areas so believe and trust in God’s word and continue to pray for your spouse and your marriage. Build your faith through prayer and studying the word. Apply his word to every area of your life. Stop being a carnal Christian and claim the victory in your marriage! I’ll be praying for you and remember God’s word when trouble attacks. Marriage is good even in bad times.

Victory!

Joseph

Remembering Your Love Story

Do you remember the cute little nursery rhyme that we use to say as kids when we thought someone had a crush on someone?

Cassandra and Joseph, sitting in a tree

K-I-S-S-I-N-G
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes a baby in a baby carriage!

We use to love chanting this rhyme while smiling and teasing one another. It was very innocent and meaningless at the time. I can’t imagine as kids that we ever really thought much about what we were saying, or better yet what would come next.

What comes next?

Well for most of us after having a baby life can get somewhat challenging. It becomes difficult to remember those special moments that you use to share prior to having children. Like the first time you met, or the first time you kissed, or maybe even the first time your spouse made you laugh. It is so important to keep your love burning for your spouse by taking time to laugh and remember those memories of the past.

This past weekend Joseph and I attended a meeting at our church and had the opportunity to reminisce about one of our favorite memories of our love story. We had planned to have a small wedding that would include about 100 of our closest friends and family members. Well as it got closer to the date of the wedding the thought of all the planning, time, and money finally got the best of us. Joseph called me around 1pm while I was at work and said, “I went to apply for our marriage license. They said that I could get it today if I paid $5 more dollars!” I responded, “Did you get it?” He said, “Yes!!!!!!!!” In a split second I blurted out, “Come get me at 2:30. Let’s go get married today!!!”  To make a long love story short…… We got married on that very day at a small chapel that no longer exists! (We didn’t even know the witnesses that signed our marriage license.) PRICELESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This story makes me smile every time we tell it. I was wearing a pants suit and he was wearing a pair of beat up jeans!  This unexpected ceremony will forever be a part of our “love story.” The key to staying in love might consist of a variety of things ranging from being committed to one another to learning to trust and depend on each other, however remembering your love story needs to find itself somewhere on the list.

Tell your love story to someone today. I promise it will make you smile and bring back memories of your early days together.   We challenge you to work hard at adding more to your love story each year! May your love never end!

Cassandra