Marriage is one of the greatest relationship commitments that a man and a woman can have. It is an agreement to Love, Honor, Trust and Respect your spouse for life! Marriage is also a covenant agreement not only between a man and a woman but it is an agreement with God. You both together pledge and make vows that should always be honored within your marriage…
If you are already married reflect back for a moment on your Wedding Vows. What did you pledge to one another? Those vows are so much more than words. So if you have not married and are planning on getting married really think about what you are agreeing or pledging to do! If you have been married before really think things through because you have been here before! You are entering into a contract not only of the letter but of the heart as well as legally.
If you are not married get wise counsel before you enter into marriage. In this 21st century more than 55% of marriages are ending in divorce. This should not be. Many enter into marriage not really intending to keep their vows. There are also many who are ignorant of what it really is all about … Too often there are many emotional issues that have not been properly addressed and they eventually begin to weigh the marriage down. Marriage has its mountaintops as well as valley experiences. It is important to know no matter how much you know about your fiancé there is so much more to learn. Marriage is a place where both spouses can grow as individuals as well as together! You want to make sure that you are willing to go through the valley with your spouse as well as share in the Joys & Celebrations before you are married!
Your marriage is or will be as strong as the foundation that you build it upon. God is the Creator of marriage. “But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD GOD cause the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he as sleeping, He took one of the man’s rib and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord mad a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.” Genesis 2. This is such a beautiful passage of Scripture. The man and woman was a precious gift from God to one another!
Adam no longer had to be alone without a companion. Listen closely to what he says: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman.’ For she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united with his wife, and they shall become one flesh. The man and the woman where naked, and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2. This is also why it is so important to keep God and His principles as the center of your marriage!
If you are already married make it a point to rekindle the passion and dedication that was apparent when you first came together. If you have allowed time, things and people to allow you to drift apart renew your commitment to one another. You can’t change what has happened but you can build a better future right now. What if we are not on the same page? Then it is time to have a serious discussion and make some plans for your path forward! Life is precious and you can’t get time back. So you really do not want to spend the majority of the time being uncertain and unhappy! You cannot change your spouse but you can have an intervention and confront what has or has not been happening! Remember speak the TRUTH in Love!
If you have kept your commitment and your marriage is flourishing then help, support and mentor other couples along the way. Those who are married or desire to marry encourage them to keep their marriage vows they have made or will make to one another! Life often takes on many twists and turns and will at times present some adversity! Let them know some of the joys and sometimes sorrows of marriage. How together they can celebrate the mountaintop experiences of life and build an ongoing loving, growing, principled, faithful, respectful and honorable marriage! Yes there still be some rain and there will be some tears. But there is nothing like a good rain to make you enjoy the sunshine! With the rain comes much growth! A good marriage brings much contentment and fulfillment! So get busy! Showers of Blessings from above awaits you! This is why it is so very important to know that marriage truly is a covenant agreement!
Food For Thought “Before” and “After” You Say I DO!
Food for thought “Before” and “After” you say I DO.
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Giving up “Me-ness for We-ness”
Marriage is ordained by God! It was meant to be a Covenant relationship sanctioned by a Covenant God! A Covenant is a sacred vow witnessed by God! For Christians it is the most solemn agreement that one can make between a man and woman! A Covenant requires sacrifice it represents the merging of two lives. The “two becoming one.” This does not mean one gives up their own personal identity. Two strong hearts join together as One! They cleave together not out of neediness, but because of an undying Love & Commitment and the desire to have a loving complimenting companion!
Many marriages are dissolving for a plethora of reasons! Many are and have been “unequally yoked” from the very beginning. Many have embraced worldly concepts and the idea of “what is good for me” takes precedent. It is important to continue to ignite the flames of love, honor, comittment, communication, respect, passion and understanding! Many couples allow marriage to become a secondary priority and treat it accordingly. Slowly, but surely they begin to allow their needs to be met outside the marriage as well! Many have allowed manipulation and deception to embed itself in the relationship that only smothers intimacy! Many have behaved so repulsively towards one another that respect and sensitivity have been cast into the sea of unforgiveness! Many have allowed domestic violence and abuse of all sorts! Many are bound by compulsion and ambivalence that only serves to vamp the very life out of one another… Instead of building a healthy home environment. They build a marital nest of confusion, turbulence, pain and unhappiness. Marriage was never meant to be a competition of wills nor a degrading of one another’s character. Divorce comes about because of the hardness of the heart. Divorce is leaving many casualties!
Life presents many challenges as well as Celebrations! Marriage is about learning how to commit to someone who you can learn to be transparent with. To build and share an ongoing growing, loving, lasting mutually satisfying physical, emotional and spiritual relationship. To nurture, one another and give each other healthy space as well. To have one another’s best interest at heart. To celebrate and encourage each other through the challenges that life presents from time to time. To together live your lives to please God an allow him to use you to spread that love to others! Just think how life would be if this was really the case! God really has a marvelous workable plan for marriage! Instead, God’s design for marriage is constantly being pushed to the background! Too many instead embrace infidelity and alternative sexual relationships and listen to bad ungodly, unscriptural advice…..
If you are at a place in life and you know that your marriage is not all that it is meant to be… Or if you are having an affair either emotional or physical … Or if you never really thought about the vows you made or the seriousness of marriage…. Or if you have let anything and everyone come between you and your spouse… Know it will not just get better on its own. Marriage like anything else of value takes work! You must do something, don’t continue to live in a mystic haze of unhappiness! Repent! Which simply means to CHANGE it! Keep in mind you can only change yourself! Think about it! Had you ever really thought about it; God totally knows what’s up? You are not fooling Him! Start by giving the courtesy that you extend to your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, lover, strangers or whoever else to the one who you supposedly committed to Love, Honor, Trust and……
Again, and I think it is worth repeating that divorce comes about because the hardening of the heart. Here is what the WORD of God says: “And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” And JESUS answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept. But from the beginning of the Creation, GOD made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are not longer two, but one flesh. There fore what GOD has joined together, let Not man separate…” Mark 10
Take some time and really think about where you are going in your marriage? Have you taken a detour? Pray this prayer or pray your own prayer if you are seeking restoration for your marriage! It is your heart that the Lord is concerned with! Not how you make things appear to others. Embrace the powerfulness of TRUTH! It is here you will discover the TRUE LOVE that can only come from being connected to God! Life is precious! You can never ever really be happy when you jump from relationship to relationship without dissolving the former conflict. It just builds up and gains momentum and at some point those issues will appear again. Learn to allow the LORD to purge you from all that Baggage! Give yourself the gift of breaking the cycle of dysfunctional and sometimes generational unhappy relationships. COME OUT OF DENIAL!!! It’s never too late! Commence to commit to discover and learn healthier relational dynamics then actually implement them in your own marriage NOW! Pledge to committing to the building of a lasting, secure, committed, satisfying, realistic, rewarding, marriage where Love, Respect and mutual concern take the helm. And let “Jesus take the Wheel!” Begin to give up “Me-ness for We-ness!
We first want to say Thank You for being our God and our Father! We Thank You Lord, that we have You to come to at anytime, anywhere and in any and every situation. Lord we Thank You for Your precious Son Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life that we may live life to its fullest. Lord, we come in the name of Jesus asking that you would open the pathway for healing for ________ (name of spouse and his wife ( husband) and restore their marriage. As your servant Lord I come realizing that you know what the needs are here. Without saying Lord you alone know what is going on, and all that has ever happened!
Lord GOD, I pray that you will allow healing and reconciliation to take place. That whatever hurts or disappointments they have experienced can be mended through the power of your undying eternal Love and your precious HOLY SPIRIT! We realize Father that they cannot change anything that has happened. But, they can go forth together keeping, renewing and once again honoring their vows. Father we realize that much spiritual warfare is about them. We realize that it wants to divide and separate them. We ask Lord that they invite you into the messiness to bring about order! Lord we realize that ALL of your promises are true. We ask that you endow them with the necessary strength and wisdom to endure.
Father, WE ASK that you would knit their hearts closely together and allow nothing else to come between them. Lord we ask that they both take personal inventory, repent and seek forgiveness for any wrong doing. We pray that they extend love and patience to one another and that the lines of communication, sensitivity as well as understanding are once again opened. We ask that you will allow all the pain, hurt suffering and disappointment to begin to subside. Lord we ask that forgiveness is welcomed by each of them. Lord we ask that you would allow your JOY to flow once again from heart to heart between them. Father, we ask that you direct them as they seek you first in building trust, transparency and both physical and emotional intimacy. Father we pray peace over their household. Lord we Thank You for being who You are and we realize that ALL the power, ALL the honor and ALL the glory belongs to You now and forever, and for this we give you the PRAISE. In the WONDERFUL name of JESUS ….…
Food for thought “Before” and “After” you say I DO.
Kindle Edition $2.99
When the Mayor of San Francisco California decided that he would okay same sex relationships, he did not consider that he was going against the Word of God? Or did he? I do not say marriage because marriage is a covenant agreement with God. If you have read the Bible it is quite clear that God does not accept or condone these types of relationships. God created us to live our lives daily centered on Him. God wants His children to have an intimate personal relationship with Him. When we obey His Word we grow spiritually. There are many types of religions. But there is only one true God. Just about anything goes when you are religious. Just having a religious experience is not the same thing. Let’s further look at God’s design for marriage. Let’s take a look as well at what is going on in San Francisco. Do you think this is acceptable?
Did you know that from the very beginning God ordained marriage? He intended for marriage to be a committed covenant relationship. Adam was first created from the elements of the earth. God actually made Eve from a part of Adam’s body, to be by his side as his helpmeet. In today’s lingual this simply means companion. He told them to be fruitful and multiply. It is within the marriage union that two become one spiritually. God’s only design for marriage consists of one man and one woman. What is happening in San Francisco further distorts God’s design for marriage. Marriage between man and woman is the only type of marriage that God ordains. When the world’s principles are adopted we begin to drift further away from God’s principles. We must not compromise God’s principles. God loved us so much that He created us in His image. Marriage ordained by God is sacred. As Christians we really need to think about how much we truly value what God has to say about marriage and family.
I realize that in 2004 that just about anything goes in the world. It is becoming increasingly evident that many are confused about what God has to say about marriage. Accepting same sex marriages is not exercising unconditional love. We as Christians say we have committed to Jesus being the way, truth and the life? Or have we? Or is it okay when a majority of people decide to go along with whatever? God has already spoken quite clearly. God will not lead anyone to do anything wrong or contrary to His Word. Many are being mislead. As a Christian you need to daily include the Word of God in your spiritual diet. This is why the Lord’s Prayer tells us “Give us today our daily bread.” This also why God told Peter three times to “feed His Sheep.” What you eat spiritually is vitally important. When one adopts a daily spiritual meal of the Word you will grow stronger spiritually. This will actually help you to navigate properly in the world. Your desire to embrace what God has to say about marriage, life and living. will increase. When situations such as in San Francisco arise you will be able to recognize that this is not in line with God’s Word.
The world says you can have as many marriages as you please? Just make sure you get divorced. But God says that divorce occurs once one’s heart has hardened. Actually they are no longer open to working things out with the spouse to whom they have made a commitment. Many never resolve the bitterness that they experienced in an unsuccessful marriage. Many times they divorce because they really do not understand what God has said in regards to marriage. God’s Word talks about a hardened heart. People who have divorced know first hand what a hardened heart feels like. This is why it is so important to make sure that when you decide to marry someone you are committed. Make sure that you are aware your covenant is not only with your spouse but with God. Many people treat others better than they do their very own spouse. Marriage is an excellent opportunity to experience and ever increasing God centered love. God is love. God is eternal. The traditional wedding vows says “I pledge thee my troth” Troth means fidelity, faithfulness, loyalty and honestly. God honors integrity in marriage. God will and can teach you how to guard your heart in lieu of having a hardened heart experience.
Christian marriage & family values are often set aside. Today, due to the many broken marriages it is not often you can find a family with both biological parents and children. When same sex relationships are embraced it mocks God’s design for marriage. What do you mean? Same sex relationships should not receive the same recognition or benefits of marriage. This is why marriage is called Holy Matrimony. Holy means to be set apart for God! The truth is many have compromised God’s principles and begun to conform to the world. God’s original plan for marriage and family has not changed. Parents should instill in their children God’s principles for marriage. This does not mean that He does not accept families that are blended. Just know that there are additional relational dynamics that are experienced in the blended family. Read the story of Abraham and Sarah. Look closely at what happened between Ishmael and Isaac this is an excellent example of what happens when we do things contrary to what God says. The story of Joseph and his brothers is another example. Always remember God has all power He is always able to bring about healing in all and any situation.
Many times as a child of God you must forego acceptance .You must be willing to confront, resolve, acknowledge, repent and move forward whenever conflict arises. Sweeping things under the rug causes one to walk in denial. If too much time goes by this actually allows the facts often to become distorted. God really does have an effective resolution process. When you stand on God’s principles you never stand alone. God will never forsake you. God allows many things to happen. God wants to build our character. God wants us to instill in our children His principles. Jesus Christ is a solid rock! When you are rooted and grounded in His Word you will be spiritually grounded. The storms of life will not uproot you when your foundation is on the Lord. Life is a continual quest of spiritual growth. Spiritual warfare is a part of spiritual growth. God has said that those who live by His Word will be persecuted. There will always be those who will attempt to discredit you when you take a stand for what is right. Just make sure that your stance is anchored upon truth. You do not have to force God on anyone. God allows the freedom of choice. Remember it is not how things appear. God knows how they are really. It is vitally important to consult God when you desire to marry. We must learn to discipline ourselves to respond in a way that pleases God. It is very important to be absolutely sure that you KNOW you are a child of God. When you know for sure you are a child of God no one, nobody or nothing can ever change that; no matter what! This is why we must encourage others to faithfully study God’s Word. We should willingly encourage others whenever possible to embrace God’s design for marriage. We must go a step further and obey what His Word has to say. We have a spiritual and ethical responsibility to resolve life’s challenges His way. Trials are a part of life. When you focus on God He will shower His grace upon you even in the midst of a storm, test or trial.
In 2004 God’s plan for marriage has not changed. God has said that “pure and undefiled religion is to visit the widows and the orphans and to keep yourself unspotted from the world.” God said to “go ye therefore into the world….” The world will continue to change. God has said that it will continue to ignore what He has to say. It will continue to say anything goes. You can’t if you are a Christian. Everyone will have to give an account to God. I want to encourage you today to make, repent or renew your commitment to the Lord. Move beyond saying you are a Christian. The Lord wants you to make a difference wherever you are. Jesus was criticized for being different. It is okay to be different. God says that His children are peculiar. He tells us to be “as wise as a serpent, but as harmless as a dove.” He will give you peace in the midst of a world that constantly turns their back on Him. God’s design for His children for marriage and living has not changed. God’s Word is true! He still wants to be the center of our life, family and worship!
In 2004 should there be a difference? Yes, especially in the lives of His children. God’s children should make a difference. God’s children should stand on His Word! If you do not stand for something you will fall for anything! The world at large does not want to hear what God has to say! That is why He has provided us with a Savior! Jesus was grossly misunderstood, constantly ridiculed, persecuted and brutally beaten. But this did not stop Jesus from being about His Father’s business. He did not lose focus. John the Baptist went about crying “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” He was beheaded at the request of Herodias’ daughter because her mother was angry that He simply told the truth. (Read the story for yourself) Stephen was stoned because He stood for what was right. The Apostle Paul stood for what was right. He too was mistreated and imprisoned and later crucified upside down. These are a few of many. Jesus was crucified! Why? He not only spoke truth, He was the Truth! I want to encourage you to really know Jesus and the power of His resurrection for yourself!
Desire to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Romans tell us we are not condemned when we walk in the Spirit. Let Jesus be your example. Just remember that Jesus was not violent. Many times Jesus did not respond at all. The Bible even says there were times when He said nothing at all. Jesus was aware that they were trying to discredit Him. Yet, He went about doing the will of His Father. He consistently stood His ground by being obedient. Would Jesus say because it is 2004 God’s design for marriage has changed? Would Jesus say it is okay to marry someone of the same sex? Would He agree with what many call unconditional love? Can you truly love someone else and not sincerely know God? I do not think so! Perhaps instead we should say you have what I call “intoxicating affections” instead? When you have truly experienced love you will know the difference! God’s true love is thoroughly described in I Corinthians 13. Take some time and really check it out. Please do not read it for the sake of reading. Just really take a personal examination. One on one with the Holy Spirit. God today and everyday wants to be the center of our life. He wants you to know His Word and the power of His resurrection so you will not be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine.
The world at large in 2004 is in chaos. Any and everything goes. Look around and see if the overall quality of life has improved? There is just about every kind of religion and/or organization that you can think of. But are you really growing spiritually? Not every congregation has God as their center of worship. A few are merely social groups filled with cliques. On the other hand there are many who sincerely love the Lord. There are many congregations that are truly Biblically sound and Spirit filled. They know what it means when we say “I’ve been washed by the blood of Jesus”. Sin does not have to reign in the life of the Christian. Spiritual growth yields discipline. When situations arise we should seek to resolve conflicts or differences in a Godly manner. Be encouraged! The Spirit of God’s power is evident in many multifaceted worship services. God loved us enough to allow us to choose? When Adam and Eve sinned He could have just said “too bad”. No redemption from sin. No way back to Him. But instead He allowed His Son to come and live a sinless life that we might have a way back to Him!
The newly elected San Francisco Mayor has decided to allow same sex marriages. How ironic, God allows the freedom to be wrong. The chaos in the world is the result of the many decisions that did not include God. This week the city of San Francisco allowed numerous couples of the same sex to participate in a ceremony. San Jose has embraced this idea as well. This goes in complete opposition to what God says in the Bible. Once we claim to have accepted Christ as our Savior it really does matter how we live? This is why it is so important not to conform. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Is it possible to live a God centered life in today’s time? I think so! Of course there will be consequences. You will still have trials, pain, sorrow and grief. But in the midst of it all you will have peace and joy that surpasses the understanding of man. You will be labeled and misunderstood. But you must remember that Jesus who never sinned was greatly misunderstood. His character too was maligned. Did you know Jesus’ accusers did not even honestly and openly face Him? Due to their own insecurity they plotted secretly. They allowed false witnesses to justify their unwarranted accusations. They desired to undermine His influence and credibility.
Character is who you are when nobody but God is watching! Jesus really did show us a better non violent way! I am so thankful that God is watching over all of us! I am really thankful to know that He has everything under His control. He has promised that He will not allow more in our lives than we can handle. God’s true CHURCH really needs to be in prayer! This is why He says to “pray unceasingly.” What we see in San Francisco & San Jose is just a sampling of what is yet to come. What we see happening all around us is God’s Word being fulfilled. You see the world does not embrace morality or God’s design for marriage, living and the family. Yet everyone wants to go to heaven where God’s will is done daily 24/7. Many are deceived. There is a way to be absolutely sure! God has given us a choice. You can choose His way or the world’s way! In 2004 it is all about your choice? Do your thing? Right? Wrong! The right choice is to choose Jesus Christ as your Savior. To adopt His principles for, life, marriage and family. Remember, what God has joined together let not man put asunder. Who is your family? Jesus says, “Those who do the will of the Father.”