Marriage has its ups and its downs. However, one thing is for sure…. no matter whether you’re up or down you should always love the one you’re with.
Often times in marriage we lose focus of the “blessings of marriage.” Marriage should produce the close bonds that we as humans desire to have with one another. It is in our DNA to want to be loved and cared for by an earthly being. God the father loves us so well that it is only natural that we would want to feel that same love from our mates. The question then becomes ” What do you do when your spouse’s actions do not line up with your expectations?” First of all I can tell you one thing that you don’t do…. and that is you do not give up.
Many of us look at our marriages as “contracts” instead of “covenants.” It is too easy to walk away and give in to difficult times especially when you look at your marriage as a contract that can be terminated at anytime. However, when you look at your marriage as a covenant between you, God, and your spouse then and only then can you filter out the bad and press forward in love.
If your spouse’s actions are not lining up to your expectations begin by asking yourself theses questions.
1. Am I being the best spouse I can be?
2. Am I fulfilling the needs of my spouse?
3. Am I loving my spouse unselfishly or am I holding out on my love until I get what I want or need?
4. Am I communicating my needs effectively to my spouse?
5. Am I still the person that they married? If not, how have I changed?
After you have asked yourself the above questions I urge you to evaluate your expectations for your spouse and make sure that they line up with God’s word and design for marriage. Change your marriage forever by making a list of ways you can start selflessly showing your spouse how much you love and appreciate them. May God bless your union and fill you both with an abundance of love for one another.
Lately I’ve heard more and more people admitting to the fact that they lie to their spouse about certain topics…mostly money related like miscellaneous expenses. I can only assume that many of these people have never felt the pain or feelings of betrayal that come along with being lied to or misled by someone you love.
Deception should not be a natural part of marriage. Lying to someone you love for any reason is just wrong. The marital relationship much like the parent child relationship must be built on trust.
“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. ” (Matthew 19:5-6 )
How can two become one if they are divided by deception? Lying to someone you love will always lead to division. Division for some might mean a relationship that is plagued with resentment and animosity, while others may face the unfortunate consequences of divorce.
It is essential in marriage to have a mutual understanding that is built on respect, trust and committment. Without these three things how can any of us every reach true intimacy in our relationships? Intimacy is not just about sex. Real intimacy is only reached by two people who can have a close relationship without fear of being wronged by the other.
If your marriage is suffering from trust issues work hard to regain the trust that was once there. Those that deal in truth are a delight to the Lord! (Proverbs 12:22)
As many of you know I am homeschooling my kids and my niece. The last couple of weeks we have been talking about plants. We discussed what plants need in order to grow healthy and the process of how plants grow. We planted some sunflower seeds in small containers and sat them in our kitchen windowsill. The kids have all been amazed at how fast they seem to be growing right before our eyes. My oldest daughter said, ” We are taking good care of our plants mommy.” 🙂
Our little science project really got me to thinking of ways in which I can facilitate opportunities to grow in my marriage and family life. The Holy Spirit reminded me that we must nurture our marriages just like flowers. Much like plants our spouses and kids need to receive some very specific things from us in order to grow and to be healthy. If we fail to feed them with the proper nutrients they are very likely to wither and not to grow into the beautiful beings that God has created them to be.
Many marriages and families are growing apart instead of growing together these days. It is our Christian duty to be the light of the world and help bring life to those things that appear dead. Here are some signs that your family may be growing apart:
- You don’t take time to eat meals together
- Everyone has their own agendas
- You make your own plans without consulting your spouse
- You have plenty of individual goals in life, but none that involve the family collectively
God desires that our marriages and families are fruitful! Here are some ways that you can continue to help your family in growing together:
- Hold family meetings to discuss plans, goals, and issues
- Make time to eat and pray together
- Consult your spouse in making decisions that impact the marriage or family as a whole
- Engage in activities that bring the family together to laugh, learn, and love
Decide today if your marriage and family is growing together or growing apart. God desires growth for you and your family. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; (Psalm 92:13-14)
The covenant between men and women requires that you be willing to break open your Alabaster box. An Alabaster box was used in biblical times to carry something of importance to an individual. In Matthew 26:7-9, Mary broke open her Alabaster box to get to her most valued and treasured item– her expensive perfume. She took her perfume and poured it over Jesus’ head not at all concerned that there was nothing left for herself. This was a selfless act on her part. She gave her all out of love and respect for her Lord and Savior.
In reading this passage we find out that the others that were present were in disbelief because they felt it was a waste and surely imagined that it would be worth more for her to sale her perfume in hopes to make a profit. This story touches me every time I read it. I realize how much it costs to give unselfishly to someone you love. In marriage everything may not always be the way you want it or the way you imagined it. However, if you break open your Alabaster box and give freely of all your resources, hurts, and ambitions then and only then can you love your spouse in new ways.
What is in your Alabaster box? Are you carrying pain from the past? Do you keep something on the side just in case your marriage doesn’t work out? Are you depriving your spouse of true intimacy with you because of fear of being hurt?
Whatever it is that you have saved in your Alabaster box break it open today. The breaking of your box will free you. God works best with broken vessels. Allow God to renew your marriage by releasing your most precious possessions. You will be glad you did.
Why does Satan hate marriage so much?
Those that are married were surprised to find out that they had moved up on Satan’s list of people to destroy by any means necessary. Before you were married you were probably further down on the list if you were doing God’s work and trying to live for Christ. However, the day you said “I do” you moved to one of Satan’s Very Important People.
As one of Satan’s Very Important People he studies you daily. He understands you better than anyone else on earth. He knows exactly what it will take to move you off your mark. He has idle time to invent new ways to divide you and your spouse. Together you and your spouse represent God’s love, beauty, and power. No one but God could create such a perfect union that is a constant reminder to His great kingdom.
He created marriage to carry on his legacy through generations of families. Satan’s main desire is to prevent you from achieving oneness in your marriage. What is “Oneness?”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Gen.2:24)
If you are not cleaving to your spouse for every concern, issue, or circumstance that you encounter than you are not successfully achieving oneness in your marriage. Failure to achieve oneness will constantly keep you in a” roller-coaster state “in your marriage. You will constantly be faced with the same issues time and time again because you have not overcome them as of yet.
God is calling all of us to overcome those issues that prevent us from being one with our spouse. In order to defeat Satan we must plan to defeat him daily by “growing in oneness.” We are more than conquerors through him that loves us. (Romans 8:37) There is no reason why Satan should be able to overtake our marriages with resentment, infidelity, rejection, or any other sinful condition.
Rise up today and decide to keep Satan at a defeated state in your marriage. No weapon formed against you shall prosper! (Isaiah 54:17)
What are you angry about?
Many married couples are holding anger inside that is specifically reserved for their mate. Some are angry because their spouse didn’t make the right business decision way back in 2001. Others are angry because their mate refuses to respect their position. A select few are angry because they don’t feel that their mate puts them first while forsaking all others. Let me first say this… Anger is a sin. It causes a great percentage of the incarcerations among adults and youth today. Anger destroys healthy marriages every year and the result is inevitable.
God desires that we carry ourselves in such a manner that would be pleasing to Him.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (James 1:19-26 NIV)
Anger is a dangerous emotion. It causes people to act in ungodly ways. It can cause a division that is hard to repair in marriages and families. God desires that you perfect your walk by being doers of his word. Guard your tongue, body, and thoughts from giving life to tragic circumstances.
It is unlikely that your mate will never again make you angry. However, it is your responsibly to remember God’s word that says, “Be angry but sin not.” (Eph.4:26) When we allow anger to lead us into sin we separate ourselves from God’s protection, thus allowing room for Satan to enter into our presence.
I challenge you to join me in praying for those marriages that you know are drowning in anger. If your marriage is one of them please don’t forget to pray for yourself! Together we can reverse the curse of anger from gaining a foothold in generations to come.
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.