Archive | March 2012

God’s Promises (Part 1)

God’s Promises

Do you ever feel that God’s promises don’t apply to you? Sometimes balancing a marriage and a family can be difficult especially when you are trying to do it God’s way.  There are so many promises of God that we can find in the Bible that can help us in building happy marriages and in raising up children that will glorify God.  Let’s take a look at some of God’s promises today.

  • God promises that he will give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • He assures us that if we wait on him that he will restore our strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
  • We know that the same God who takes care of us will supply all our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
  • God promises that if we listen to him that we will live in peace untroubled by fear of harm. (Proverbs 1:33)
  • The testing of our faith develops perseverance, and perseverance leads to maturity and completion. (James 1:3-4)
  • Our children will not depart from what is right if we train them up in the things of God. (Proverbs 22:6)
  • God promises us that if we ask any thing according to his will that he will hear us and we will have it. (1 John 5:14-15)

How do we activate God’s promises in our life?

We can activate God’s promises through prayer! There is so much that God can do for us when we seek him diligently through our prayer life. Have you ever tossed to and fro throughout the night about some unpleasant life experience?  It is during these times that God expects us to activate his promises through communication with him. The Parable of the Persistent Widow shows us that if we persevere in prayer that God will answer our petitions. (Luke 18:1-8) The widow continued to plead her case for the unjust judge to grant her justice against her adversary.  God promises us time and time again in his word that he will bring justice for those that cry out to him.

The Holy Spirit revealed to me on yesterday that much of what we don’t have is because we don’t ask. Yesterday as I struggled to balance my responsibilities as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend I realized one important thing after my husband prayed for me.

PRAYER CHANGES THINGS!

How can I expect to have all of God’s promises if I don’t ask for them?  How can I expect to be an overcomer if I don’t request God’s assistance?

Activate God’s promises today by making time to spend time dialoguing with God.  The prayers of the righteous availeth much. (James 5:16)

Beyond the Honeymoon Phase

Most of us got married because we found the one person that we were head over heels in love with. We enjoyed their company, we adored their smile, and we felt as if our life was somehow improved just because of their presence. Many couples will enjoy this “Honeymoon Phase” for years to come or for others it can be short lived.

What do we do when the “Honeymoon Phase is over?”

It is important for couples to realize that marriage is a covenant relationship that can stand the test of time. It is normal for couples to go through periods of time in which they may not “feel” that same closeness that they felt the day they walked down the aisle. Feelings are nothing more than passing emotions. Marriage requires that partners put their emotions aside in order to honor the commitment that they made before God.

Joseph and I realized early in our relationship that it took more than love to build a happy marriage. We came to understand that marriage requires both partners to be committed to the vow. Being committed to the vow means that both parties will refrain from allowing negative thoughts to enter into their minds.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor.10:5 NIV)

Negative thoughts can be anything as small as one believing that their spouse no longer appreciates them to something as big as feeling unloved and no longer desired.  It is necessary for couples to recommit themselves to their spouses periodically. A good time to do this is near or on your anniversary.  During this time we suggest that you both share your vulnerabilities about your relationship and then reaffirm your love and commitment to one another.

We encourage you to make time throughout the year to talk through any conflicting thoughts or perceived notions about the status of your relationship. Remember, emotions may change, but recommitting to your marriage vows will help you stay in right relationship with God and each other.

Do everything as unto the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-25 (KJV)

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; [24] Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. [25] But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

There are times in marriage when you have to do things that you don’t feel like doing, or you just don’t want to do. The hardest part of doing something that you don’t want to do is preparing your mind to defeat the negative emotions that come along with the task at hand.

There are several necessary steps that one can take in efforts to defeat the negative emotions that tend to hold you captive and stop your progress.

1. Take control of your emotions by telling yourself that the request or tasks that must be completed should be done to the glory of God. Do it as if it is for Christ himself. Do it with an excellent attitude. This will please God and your spouse.

2. Learn to accept and understand that not all rewards will be received while on earth. Some of the best things are being stored up for you in heaven. Do what is required today even if you don’t see immediate benefits.

3. Realize that everything that you do on earth will be judged by God alone. If your spouse desires for something that falls in line with God’s word and his character then you must do what is right or prepare to receive consequences for all of your wrong doings.

Let our challenge be to be a blessing to our spouse today and every day. Remember your marriage is your first ministry. Give your spouse the joy of having a mate that does everything “heartily as unto the Lord.”

Cassandra

Does pride keep you from doing what is right?

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

(James 4:1-3 NIV)

Does pride keep you from doing what you know is right? The bible encourages Christians to yield to our own desires and to submit to the will of God. Pride is one factor that keeps couples from willingly submitting to one another as God has commanded.

When we are prideful in marriage it results in us distancing ourselves from our spouse and causes us to be in contempt of their value. Their opinions or feelings no longer matter because we begin to feel superior in our own thinking and being.

Pride is often what leads many marriages into divorce court. In marriage both partners must submit to God. When we are submitted to God he will always work things out for our good. (Romans 8:28) Total submission to God means letting go of the need to be right or the desire to be in control.

Resist the desire to be among those that seek to please themselves more than anyone else. Unlock God’s power in your life by walking in true humility.

Cassandra

Jenny and Billy just proved marriage is not obsolete!

Marriage in America in 2010

According to recent surveys many report that marriage is becoming obsolete. Well I’m here to say that marriage life is still good! Jenny a fabulous  kindergarten teacher in Georgia just got married this past weekend on March 11th.  🙂 Marriage Life Is Good would like to give the official “congratulations to Jenny and her husband Billy.  We would like to take time out today to give them some special words of encouragement. It doesn’t matter whether you know them or not I’m sure you can think of something to bless their new union.

I will start a list of things that I feel is important to remember as they begin their new life together and you can add to my list through the comment section. Let’s hope Jenny is reading today!

Congrats on your new marriage. We wish you happiness beyond your greatest imagination. Now that your married first and foremost you must promise to read Marriage Life Is Good. 🙂  Here goes the list…..

1.  Keep God first.

2. Let him lead. / Love her good!

3. Pray together

4. Laugh together

5. Always show each other respect

6……

Ok readers….. I’m counting on you to bless the new couple with an overwhelming list of best wishes and ideas to keep the fire burning! Start commenting!!

(Keep it clean )

Don’t go to bed angry!

When you first got married someone of the Christian faith probably quoted the following scripture:

“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.  (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV)

This scripture happens to be one of the most famous quotes given to those saved and unsaved during marriage celebrations. For those that are not in the household of faith it probably sounds more like this:

“Never go to bed angry.”

This is no doubt one of the best pieces of advice that anyone seeking to stay married forever can receive. Anger is one of the most deadly emotions that anyone can have.  Anger can lead one to make horrible life choices that lead to long-term consequences.  The effects of anger have also been known to cause both physical and psychological illnesses in one’s body.

If you allow anger to fester in your marriage it will block your ability to love as God has commanded.  It is impossible to love your spouse unconditionally and be angry at them at the same time. Love and anger do not mix!!!  Anger seeks revenge and justice, whereas love seeks peace and joy.
Satan would love nothing more than to send you and your spouse to bed angry at one another. When he accomplishes this task he knows that he has gained a place in your marriage that he can use to begin his work.

When anger arises in your marriage make every attempt to make peace before going to bed. Do not allow Satan to begin steps at tearing your marriage apart by pitting you against each other.  We have a favorite line that we like to use when we see Satan trying to get a foothold in our marriage. We start by smiling at the other person and we say, “We’re on the same team.”

Do not let the sun go down when you’re angry! Instead take a time out and devise a plan that allows for a win-win situation. Don’t forget in the midst of your anger, “You both are on the same team too!”

Best wishes,

Cassandra

It’s Not About You!

For those of you who didn’t know me as a child let me tell you that I was the brattiest of the brats. I thought that the world revolved around me and only me. Mommy spoiled me rotten….   If I had a desire she filled the need. I truly lived the life of a child that wanted for nothing.

Well that’s all good and dandy, but when you grow up and get married you begin to realize it’s really not about you.  ( At least you should come to this realization! 🙂 )  When you marry you are promising to place that person’s needs above your own and to love, honor, and yes even obey!

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ( 1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV)

There is no room for selfishness in marriage. Marriage requires two mature adults that are both willing to die to their selfish desires in order to please the other. Pleasing the other person involves giving careful consideration to your spouse in everyday situations. Having a selfish attitude is childish and we must work on “putting away childish things!”

Here is a short list of  do’s and don’ts that can help you in your journey to marital bliss:

Don’t

Don’t make life altering decisions without the input of your spouse.

Don’t manipulate  your spouse to have your way.

Don’t make your spouse feel that your needs are greater than their needs.

Do’s

Do consider your spouses needs above your own.

Do consult your spouse on small and big decisions that impact you as a family and  a couple.

Do show that you respect and value your spouses opinion.

Many couples end in divorce due to selfishness and lack of consideration for their partners. Satan thrives on having this type of division in marriage! Do not let him win! Always hold your mate at higher esteem above yourself.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” ( Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

Jesus was the perfect example of a humble servant that placed the needs of others above his own. Will you die for your spouse today? Those that die to self can truly live a life full of God’s  magnificent blessings!

Are You The Weakest Link?

The Weakest Link (UK game show)

Who does the devil attack most in your marriage you or your spouse? It is often rare in marriages that both partners are at the same place at the same time in their spiritual walks.  Our experiences in marriage can sometimes determine the quality of our relationship with our Heavenly Father which should not be the case. We are to stand firmly on the word of God despite our worldly struggles.

The weakest link in your marriage is the one that the devil feels he can take down with little to no work on his part. He knows that he can easily sidetrack the weak link by messing with his or her health, finances or even their reputation. It takes very little effort to move the weakest link off their mark!

The strongest link is the person that seeks God readily for help in the time of trouble. This person realizes that they must spend time in prayer and must make a habit of seeking God for answers to life’s challenges. Satan realizes that he must step up his game in efforts to distract or move the strongest link of your union off their mark.

If you know that your mate is weak in certain areas you must stand firm and help them to remain grounded in the things of God. Do not allow Satan to attack your spouse! Together you can defeat the enemy’s attacks.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (KJV)
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. [10] For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. [11] Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? [12] And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Stand by your mate.

Cassandra

Is Your Spouse Your God?

Often times in our marriages we are so concerned with pleasing our mates that we end up neglecting our prayer life and our relationship with God. We must be careful not to love our spouses more than we love God! Showing more love and respect to our spouses than to God and His word leads God to become jealous.

God has commanded us to have no other god’s before Him. (Exodus 20:3) As Christians we must understand the order set forth by God from the very beginning. He requires that we make Him our first priority in our lives. Putting your spouse before God breaks the first commandment given to us by Christ.

It is essential to understand that in order to love your spouse the right way that you must love God the right way. We must be in true relationship with God in order for us to reap the best rewards in our marriages. Thus, loving God the right way means that we will give Him the honor and praise that is due Him every day. It also means that no one else should be able to replace Him in our hearts or lives. God desires for us to give Him our best. He does not want our leftovers!

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matt. 6:33 NIV)

When we give God our best he adds to our resources so that we can be abundantly blessed in our marriages, and in our families. I am very thankful that God has given me a godly man on this earth to provide for me and look after my concerns. However, I know and understand that God is truly the supplier of all of my needs and the force behind everything that I am and will ever become.

God alone is our provider and we must recognize that without Him we don’t have a chance at having heaven on earth. Put God first today and every day, and he will supply all of your needs in life and in marriage! (Phil. 4:19) God is so faithful!!!!

Cassandra

Does Nagging Help or Hurt?

Do you nag your spouse? According to the dictionary a nag is someone who “annoys or irritates (a person) with persistent faultfinding or continuous urging.”

Did you know that nagging communicates negative emotions to your spouse? Instead of them hearing your requests of what you want them to do or stop doing, they hear harsh criticisms about their character and personality. The nagging then produces feelings of insufficiency thus leading our spouses to feel rejected by us. Those that nag their spouses will notice that they will become more and more withdrawn overtime. They will also become defensive whenever you approach them no matter what the topic of discussion may be. This is because they now feel that they have to guard and protect themselves from further being torn down and disregarded.

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6)

If you have an issue with something that your spouse does or does not do nagging them will not get them to change their ways. Nagging your spouse is like fixing them the worse meal of their life over and over again! When Joseph and I first got married I recognized early on which meals he enjoyed and which ones he did not appear to like so much. Instead of trying to keep serving him the meals that he didn’t care much for I decided to change up my recipe to make it more appealing. We have to do this same type of thing when communicating areas of concern with our mates. Instead of nagging your spouse to take out the trash or to be better at keeping a budget try changing the ingredients to your conversation so that it is more appealing to his or her ears. When we add salt or pepper to our food it gives it an extra kick and adds flavor that satisfies our taste buds right? So why not add a little extra spice to your conversations to change up the presentation?

We all know that we are more likely to try something that looks appealing to our eyes or that sounds good to our ears! 🙂 For now on when communicating issues of concerns to your spouse try adding 1 tablespoon of compassion, 2 spoonfuls of love and just a pinch of patience. Adding this specific ingredient to our conversations will not only help in preserving our relationships, but it will help protect our partners self esteem and prevent feelings of rejection. Always serve your mate criticism cooked at the highest degree of compassion, love and patience. Criticism served this way will always make it easier to shallow!

I will be joining you in this endeavor! To God be the glory for all He is doing and will do in our lives!

Cassandra

Are You In Good Standing With Your Spouse?

Have you ever been late on a credit card bill? If you have then you know that once your 1 day past the due date that they will start ringing your phone off the hook.  When they finally catch up with you they will say something like, “Hi. We’re just calling to remind you that you forgot to pay your bill. Can I help you stay in good standing with us by taking a payment over the phone today?” Bill collectors are trained well to keep you in good standing with their companies.

We should make every effort to stay in good standing with our spouses just as we would do with a bill collector. If you promise your spouse that you’re going to do something then you should make every effort to fulfill your promise.

When we don’t meet our agreements or promises in marriage it can cause our mates to become uncertain about our priorities. It can also cause trust issues to surface when your word becomes null and void because you fail to honor your commitments.

We need to be more like God. When He tells you that he is going to do something we are always assured that His promises will come to pass. The Bible tells us that it is impossible for God to lie. (Heb. 6:18; Titus 1:2) If he says he will do it then he will do it! We never have to worry about Him canceling on us at the last moment, or about being disappointed in the way He handles something.

You can help your spouse to remain confident in your relationship by letting your yes be yes and your no be no! (James 5:12) Never make promises to your spouse to do something that you know you don’t want to do or can’t do. Your lack of effort will speak volumes to your spouse when they see that you just can’t seem to get things done on your “honey to do list.”

We all know that sometimes things happen that are totally out of our control, however do not let this be the norm in your marriage.  When issues arise that prevent you from honoring your word take the time to communicate with your mate. Let them know that you really want to keep your promises and discuss any obstacles that you are having towards fulfilling your promise. Communication is the key to bridging the gap between the truth and what your spouse may perceive based on your inactivity towards achieving that desired promise.

Take authority over your life and stay in good standing with your spouse. Being in good standing with your spouse will make Satan‘s attacks a lot easier to defeat quickly and efficiently!

We are joining you in these honorable efforts. To God be the glory for all He is doing in our marriages!
Cassandra