christian marriage matters

Because your Christian marriage matters

I Should’ve Bought you Flowers

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We live in a reactive society. All of our rules and regulations come about because someone does something stupid. If we’re not careful, we can find ourselves falling into the same pattern in marriage.

I was listening to Bruno Mars sing his pain on the song ‘When I Was Your Man’, as he reminisced on the little things his girl wanted from him. As I listened to him talking about buying flowers, holding her hand and taking her dancing, I couldn’t help but recognize that the things she wanted weren’t unreasonable. Since the song sold over eight million copies as a single, I also recognized he’s not alone in feeling this way (after the fact).

How does this happen? We know what our spouses want, but our pride, our egos and selfish ways won’t allow us to give that little bit of effort to grant them some joy. The sad reality is:

‘ The issues of life can kill a marriage quicker than any torrid love affair. ‘

People enter marriage with one or two non negotiables. The only time we have this ‘proactive’ stance or plan is situations like this where we say, ‘if this happens I’m out':
-An affair
-Addiction

What about neglect, or rejection? What about constantly being made to feel bad about yourself? What about never seeing each other because you’re so busy doing life? What about growing apart?
We never think a marriage will become a monotonous routine but it can quickly go that way if we’re not both careful and truly Proactive.

I know you’re asking how can we be careful and Proactive, so of course I have a list ( you knew it was coming):

1. Recognize and apologize for your errors. Realize there is some level of fault on both of your parts and don’t focus on who should take more. Instead focus on you and what you’ve done because you’re the only one you can really change when it comes down to it.

2. Make your spouse feel special everyday. Pour it on thick. Life beats em up so your job is to be there to pick up the pieces.

3. Show and Tell. Let’s go back to elementary school, with this one. You can say you love me all day, but if you don’t show me, save your hot air. Tell your spouse he/she is loved, then show that love in your most appropriate way. If you’re not sure about this one, ask your spouse how they’d like you to show love. It may turn into a good night of conversation and you might actually get to turn off the TV and spend time with one another.

4. Make time to be alone. No cell phone, no tv, no interruptions. Look into each other’s eyes and get to know one another all over again. You have to define what this looks like for you but I can guarantee what you’re not willing to do, someone else is. Sorry, I hate to add that statement but it just rings true so often.

5. Do something different. Get out of your comfort zone and do something your spouse enjoys. I say this all the time but it’s so important. When my husband sits through a chick flick without an attitude it makes me feel so loved. And I’m sure when I go to his shoot-em-ups he feels the same.

This post could go on forever, but I’ll close by imploring you to switch from reactive to proactive in your marriage. Make your marriage a happy place so you’re not looking to a second marriage whilst crooning about what you should’ve done.

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18, New International Version).

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ACCOUNTABILITY

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When should someone find an accountability partner?

Should this take place when you find yourself in the midst of a difficult situation that you can’t seem to get yourself out of, or should this occur way before you even think you have a problem.

Many of the issues in marriage could be alleviated with a good accountability partner. The enemy will always tempt you in the areas that work best: sex, money and power. How you combat this is to first of all turn to God, but also to accept wise counsel from someone you are accountable to. My focus today is in sex as that seems to be a major down fall for so many.

-a coworker of the opposite sex is having major problems in their relationship. They turn to you for a shoulder to cry on and a trusted ear. You find yourself in constant conversations about this individual’s personal life and although some of the conversations get uncomfortable you continue the relationship in order to help. hmmmmm

-a single friend needs help with something that requires you to go to their house and handle the situation. You tell your spouse what you have to do and how long it will take but find your time frame wasn’t quite accurate. Rather than calling home you just try to hurry and get done so you can get there sooner. (Or worse yet you don’t tell your spouse because you believe you know their reaction) hmmmmmm

-a coworker or friend of the opposite sex tells you how much of a good catch you are. How happy your spouse should be to have you and how if you had met a little earlier you would be together. hmmmmmm

-a coworker or friend of the opposite sex tries to cheer you up by telling you how great you look and sharing other accolades. hmmmmmm

-you are tasked to take several road trips with a coworker of the opposite sex. Although everything stays platonic you get to know one another very well and people begin to call you work spouses. hmmmm

-you are the man/woman at work! (Pronounced in the hood ‘da man’)Everyone laughs at your jokes, comes to you for advice and just seems to love you. In the midst of a heated exchange with your spouse you find yourself saying: ‘well everyone else seems to like the way I am’. Hmmmmmm

These situations in and of themselves could be seen as innocent, however the enemy knows how to twist and turn the issues so that things that aren’t a big deal become a big deal. He also knows how to get you to the place where you let your guard down. A glass of wine with dinner turns into a bottle and the lack of a spouse leaves you susceptible to an inappropriate situation. How do you avoid this, Run!!! The word says resist the devil and he will flee from you.

The first thing we have to do is realize the sneaky and conniving tricks of the enemy Since these situations seem innocent (and many times are) we try to ignore the sense that we get that says this is wrong. You know you’re in a bad place when you have to question it, but you’re in an even worse place when the questions stop and the defense begins.

So the opening question is when should someone find an accountability partner? My answer is way before you know you need one. Accountability is someone to keep you grounded, someone to help you through rough situations and someone who will tell you when your stuff (there’s another word that fits here but I won’t be using that one) stinks.

Why do we need accountability? Rather than beating a dead horse explaining it, I’ll just say think of some of the powerful people who have fallen into either sin or ‘crazy’ behavior because no one around them is telling them the truth. Think of those individuals surrounded by yes men, who eventually end up on the news for walking around naked or hiring prostitutes. It seems far fetched but the reality is accountability is a must. I’ll close with this: in my personal opinion everyone needs an accountability partner and since this blog focuses on marriage I’ll add, especially if you’re married.

By the way being a good accountability partner means you will often have to say no!

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much
(James 5:16, King James Version)

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
(Galatians 6:1-3, King James Version)

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I WANT A DIVORCE

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Are you tired of the toilet seat being left up, the toothpaste being squeezed from the middle, the hair left in the sink or worse the shower? What about the window being opened a crack when it’s freezing outside or the ‘oh honey I forgot to take the garbage out’ (let the house just stink for the next week)!

If any of this sounds familiar then maybe it’s time to consider getting some paperwork to say good riddance to that loser.

How many times have you said or simply thought divorce was the best option for this rocky road called marriage?

But wait, did you forget about the fact that he fills your tank with gas or she cooks your favorite meal every Thursday? Maybe your selective memory pushed out the fact that he mows the lawn with no coaxing, or she gets you up before she leaves for work allowing you to sleep in as she gets herself and the entire family ready for the day. Did you also neglect to recall the massages or foot rubs he gives when he know you’re stressed, or the attentive ear she gives when she listens to you vent about the same issue over and over again? These scenarios may not be exactly what you go through but you get the point.

In marriage we take the good with the bad (I just had a Facts of Life flashback there). Anyhoo we get the for better and the for worse because marriage is not always easy, but it’s always worth it.

The next time you’re tempted to scream ‘I WANT A DIVORCE!’ have a talk with a single  co-worker who is dying to have your life. Or talk to someone who is either going through or fresh out of a divorce, it may put some things back into perspective. The fact of the matter is: The grass isn’t really greener, we just can’t see the poop from here (Jimmy Evans). Also take some time to think about the good things rather than dwelling on the bad. You’d be surprised how gratefulness and loving affect can cover negativity and contempt when you allow it.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8, NIV

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christian marriage matters

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