Is A Great Marriage Still Viable?
The answer is YES!!!
Today some have opted out of the marriage. Their spouse has not been faithful and or has not or will not repent. Divorce is also sought because both or one spouse was not honest when they married. It is not their intention to work together for a mutually satisfying marriage. Sad put true some marry to get what they can and leave. Quite often they want what they want when they want it. Their first priority is what they want rather than what is best for the marriage. This can leave the injured spouse in a state of flux. He or she will often overcompensate by continually giving into to their endless wants even to the point of financial despair.
Parental disharmony also causes additional conflict within the children. They pick up the vibe between their parents. The children wants become excessive to compensate for their void. Unconsciously they feel that their well being is a secondary priority. Children usually prefer that their parents stay together.They too begin to act out. The parent who is most concerned must or should then take responsibility and address the needs of the children. Since you are hurting, this is not easy but necessary. It important to instill within your children healthy boundaries.
As they get older the children will begin to better understand. Their parents were not able to resolve their conflict which resulted in divorce. Right now in this 21st century we have a generation of children that are confused about “Marriage God’s Way” more so than ever before! Although it did not work for you the first time; it is important to let them know that God has ordained marriage as the proper relationship for sex. let them know there is hope for them.
Our current and future generations of teenagers have fewer and fewer positive moral traditional role models. Too many fractured marriages and families. This also can cause some of them to question their own sexuality. They wonder if marriage is still even viable? They are all to often seduced to seek alternative ways to satisfy their sometimes overwhelming desire to appease raging hormones… They are often pulled into experimenting with same sex relationships with their peers. This can cause them to be confused sexually or possibly even become bi sexual or promiscuous?
Freely share with them what God says about sex in a non threatening way. Keeping in mind you are not trying to incite rebellion. You want them to learn self-control. You want them to realize that their are consequences for our actions.God allows us the freedom to choose. Love is patient so if you are over anxious take some time and chill out.
We can prevent this from happening or lessen the frequency of this occurring by teaching them the importance of respecting their own bodies. Letting them know that they are valuable and they have the right to say “NO!” to anyone. But most important that they can honor God in their body and its never too late to start!
Yes! A favorable future marriage is still viable…
There is much spiritual warfare that attempts to draw our teens away from God’s natural design for sex. This is a vulnerable stage of life for them! Peer pressure is already a constant factor in their lives… How their bodies are beginning to develop is a concern as well. Many of them will not say how they really feel. They will tell you what they think you want to hear! They often will seek unwise advice. Therefore they can be easily led down an ambivalent primrose path that further adds to this already complicated period of growth and development! Instead abstinence and discipline should be encouraged!
Think about this for a moment. Did you know that if no one practiced sex outside of marriage there would be no one to cheat with? Fewer broken homes! Fewer STD’S! Fewer Abortions! Fewer marriages ending in divorces where people are unable to reconcile their differences! It’s hard to imagine! God has given us His Word to protect us! He has even told us that there is “no temptation common to man that He has not prepared a way of escape.”
A committed married monogamous relationship is the only way that God honors a sexual relationship! He has provided and ordained marriage. You see God has designed marriage as the only proper way a man and woman can fulfill their natural sexual desires. He is not the designer of any other method. If you have been taught or thought otherwise you are fooled. I don’t care what Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Friend, Doctor, Minister, Pastor. Bishop, Apostle or Foe has said there are consequences! You see it is time out for living in the dark. Especially if you have confessed to be a Christian! It is time to stand up and speak out for what God has said is right.
We must speak the TRUTH in LOVE! Many are so confused about what LOVE really means. They often misunderstand you when you try to LOVE them for real! Loving someone is NOT making them feel comfortable in sin. Part of LOVE is correction with patience. Sometimes we have to simply “step back.” But always PRAY! This is why we ALL so need the LORD! “GOD IS LOVE!” God is always available to help us properly express HIS LOVE!
Let’s HELP this next generation; these teenagers of this 21st century “where anything goes.” Start by giving them better moral role models! Let’s open up the lines of communication so they can validate their feelings. Make yourself available to them. Give them a phone and tell them “to call you anytime they NEED you” Let’s HELP them so they do not feel that they have to give parts of themselves away in order to be accepted! Let them know that they have the right to say NO to anyone who tries to take advantage of them. Give them more “hugs” & quick kisses on their foreheads. (some of them feel too big for kisses)
Teach them how to be respectable and to demand respect as well. Remember they watch what we say and do. Better examples and less criticism and more compassion and understanding. Less bickering and fighting and more constructive ways to resolve conflict such as Powerful, loving biblical instructions! Just think if it is hard for adults it is even harder for teenagers…
55 – 60% Of Marriages are Ending in Divorce
I remember jokingly telling my husband years ago that we were going to be looked at, as “there goes that married heterosexual couple.” I am thankful to say God has blessed us over and over again during four plus decades of commitment. Truly our Lord is Faithful. This is why I know that it is only by His grace it has been possible. Marriage God’s Way Works!
The Supreme Court of the United States has voted against the Word of God! They support alternative “same sex unions.” Your choice is your choice. However, It is important to know that God does not sanction “same sex unions.” Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s Design for Marriage. Marriage God’s Way is Holy Matrimony ordained by God!
We live in a time when 55- 60% of marriages are ending in divorce! I understand that we live in difficult times. The spiritual warfare will do every thing it can to promote and construct distorted views of marriage as favorable. Many couples choose to live together rather than marry. Many marry and don’t really know what they are getting into! Many marry and continue to have mutual relationships outside of marriage.
Rekindle the Affections that Brought you Together
Couples are pulled in many directions because of the pulls of sexual freedom. Just know it is a seducing spirit that wants to deceive you. Birth of illicit pleasure can often lead to death of a marriage.
At some point it will result in regret!
If you are married and you know something is not right, please take inventory. Don’t bury your head in the sand like an ostrich! The problem won’t just go away. Don’t front it. Rekindle the affections that brought you together. Be more concerned about what God thinks! Find out what God has to say about marriage. Begin to take whatever steps are necessary to take back control of your life.
Proverbs tells us that you cannot “take fire into your bosom and not be burned.” WOW! Earnestly repent and stop indulging in sinful behavior. Run quickly from anyone who comforts you in sexual sin! They will love you to death (which is not love at all) if you have been playing with fire please stop! You will actually feel a lot better when you get things right with God. Remember His blood can cleanse you from all unrighteousness! Just know God is a forgiving God!
TRUE LOVE does not sanction wrong
Men and women vary in their priorities in the area of sexual needs. Men in general have intercourse higher on their lists of priorities. For instance it may be the number one preference for a man. It may be the second or fourth for the woman. Her first need may be affection. Of course meaning affection from her husband. His second may be financial security.
You see many often confuse their needs. and wants. Together you can fulfill your needs by working together as a team. You can also work together on you wants. There is power in unity! Always remember that God honors marriage.
When you properly practice sex within the confines of marriage you can experience true spiritual and sexual fulfillment in harmony. You reinforce a permanent bond.
No you do not have to become cold, reserved, indifferent and or rigid. But you do become disciplined! You respect natural boundaries. If you are cold or frigid don’t stay that way. You can learn how to properly guard your heart! Love is patient and kind. You can also learn how to open your heart, mind and soul to your committed spouse. You can also extend sincere love to others especially when you are fulfilled in your marriage!
When you truly Love, you do not just yoke yourself up with anything or anyone. A proper sexual relationship is like “epoxy!” When the two adhesive components come together they form a permanent bond that technically should be very difficult or impossible to break. I use this illustration because it visually represents “what God has joined together let not man put asunder.” It is a healthy bond that few really understand. Love always protects it does not suffocate! You can really trust one another!
If you are single and desire to be married guard your heart until someone who is willing to grow in Love & Life with you comes along. Start each day fresh and present your needs to the Lord. Cling to the Lord and trust Him to supply your needs until that right someone comes along. Really begin to value the person you are becoming. No one can be a better you than you. Don’t sell yourself short. Life is precious and each day is a Gift from the Lord. You are not alone and He is there for you willing to go every step of the way…
Love does not sanction wrong. It is within a healthy marriage one learns properly how to have their sexual desires fulfilled. As long as we are on this side of Heaven there is room for improvement in ALL of us. You cannot change anything that has already happened. But you can press forward knowing that GOD LOVES YOU! If you have not already, begin developing a relationship where you can mutually get your needs met. There is a oneness that one can experience in marriage that GOD sanctions. When you are truly fulfilled you will have no need or desire to indulge in extra marital affairs. You understand and practice the benefits of self control. You embrace the Truth of God’s Word and seek HIS Will for your life and your marriage. You will also have great security knowing that you are honoring God in your relationship!
Growing and maturing beyond resentment!
When do you know that you have has been delivered?
When you receive something that was mailed or sent to you; you “get it.”
Therefore when you understand the situation that has been bogging you down clearly, you also “get it!” You can then move forward and take control rather than let it take control of you. You must come out of denial and acknowledge that it occurred. Now you have decided to move forward but you will not allow it to consume your attention anymore. Whenever it surfaces you pray & “FOCUS” your attention elsewhere. You have actually taken control of it by releasing it to the Lord and now you are all the wiser because of the experience. You know where you do not want to go!
You can choose to become whole! Depression wants to consume your joy! It is important to remember that depression surfaces when you allow your unresolved anger to turn inward. Resentment means to feel again. Instead of letting go you hold on to the hurt and pain which fuels unhealthy emotions and holds you captive. Understanding what is gong on helps you to “Break Free!”
You no longer will allow the resentment to hinder you from moving forward to becoming a “better you!” You refuse to get stuck! Time is precious and you do not want to spend too much of it in regrets. You can now see the experience as having gained some deeper insight because of that particular “Life Lesson.” You do not always need to explain why, because your understanding has matured and your healthy self-esteem has begun to flourish since you take responsibility for your own emotional responses.
You are moving towards and choosing to live to please God and your confidence in Him is now growing as well. Always remember everywhere you are God is!
You can move forward. Some unconsciously choose to stay “stuck.” Some simply don’t care either way they have grown accustomed to anxiety. It has become and unhealthy “insecurity blanket!” Rather than let the resentment go they may elect to anesthetize themselves with drugs, alcohol, smoking, promiscuity, gossip, over or under eating or some other reckless behavior or distraction. This unhealthy behavior will only lead to further disappointment and possibly more addictions rather than freedom. Abusive outbursts and out of control undisciplined behavior is the unhealthy response rather than deal with the inner pain. You can break the cycle. But it takes work & dedication!
Know that GOD wants you to be Happy. He wants you to experience the Fruit of His Spirit. See Galatians 5. Jesus overcame sin in the flesh for us! We are not to make anyone else responsible for our happiness. Being happy is each individual’s personal responsibility. As a believer God’s Holy Spirit is always there to help us at all times. Sin is what separates us from God! We must humbly submit and be willing to repent of any sin. Then we can keep moving forward to wholeness!
Why Marriage God’s Way is Important
God’s abiding Holy Spirit is what helps us to better understand the purpose of life. God, the Most High God has a plan for each of us. God loves us because He is Love! He wants what is best for each of us. God wants what is best for our marriages. Whenever you decide that you want a spouse. You should seek Him first and allow Him to help you better discern a suitable viable spouse that is best suited for you. Someone who is willing to grow with you and is committed to God’s design for marriage. Preferably someone who believes in God like you do. If you have already married someone who is an unbeliever, you should seek the Lord for direction and be prayerful.
In the Word you can find instructions on how to help you win your spouse over to the Lord, if he or she is a nonbeliever. “God is Love!” You must continue to embrace the principals of God by being a reflection of His love. Allow your spouse to experience God through you. God’s Love lasts through Eternity. Jesus Christ is the Door to Heaven. The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ. Pray & intercede daily for your unbelieving spouse.
If you are already married to a believer you must both responsibly continue to seek the Lord for direction. Be mindful you both made a commitment to the Lord. If you are already married to a non believer you will need to continuously intercede for your unbelieving spouse who has not committed to the Lord. Either way we all need the Lord to be the center of our marriage! Inviting the presence of the LORD into your marriage is inclusive of success. “ALL things are POSSIBLE with GOD!” Good communication is necessary in building a strong healthy marriage.
Praying together keeps both of you as well as your marriage alive and refreshing. It also keeps the Lord in the center of it! Love flourishes when GOD is invited into the midst. If your spouse does not believe you must allow them to see the Love of God through you. It is important to know that the burden of being unequally yoked is mainly upon the spouse that does believe. Remember; God is a Way Maker! Life can get very complicated at times. You cannot undo anything that which has been done but you can begin right were you are today moving forward now trusting the Lord and allow Him to lead you! God’s Love lasts through ETERNITY!
We are living in some interesting times.
Today in this 21st century there is much controversy in regards to what should constitute marriage. It is important to know that God’s original design for marriage has not changed! The world continues to offer and support many various lifestyles and alternatives that are not sanctioned by the Lord. This is also why we have so much confusion as to what is right. There are so many heinous crimes, broken families, confused minds, mental illnesses, frequent divorces, spiritual & racial discrimination, extensive rising statistics in abuse situations of all sorts. Notice the vast number of climactic irregularities, modern day famines and blatant outright immoral behavior.
It is an abnormal norm in this day to see foreign and domestic terrorism that continues to persist and escalate throughout this world. GOOD is called evil & evil good… Lord Help us! Don’t fear; trust GOD & embrace HIS WORD! It is important to know that He has given us a wealth of wisdom within His Word to help us live healthy well rounded lives. There are consequences when we choose to go against what He has said not to do.
We as believers should desire to have an intimate personal ongoing growing relationship with the Lord. He is our Heavenly Father, Creator & Maker! Above GOD is NO other power or principality that can even begin to compare. GOD IS OMNIPOTENT! We should desire to stay connected to Him daily walking steadfastly in the principles of His Word. “PRAY without ceasing!” Readily repenting whenever necessary and allowing Him to continuously conform us to the image of His son. God can free us from many of the stresses and strains of life and help us live happier, richer, fulfilling lives. No everything will not always go our way. Yes, we will experience persecution and often be misunderstood but it is well worth it. The world at large is not interested in what God has to say. Remember sin is what separates us from the Lord! When we are separated from the Lord we walk in darkness. Stay connected to the Lord through prayer.
We can be encouraged knowing that ultimately God has everything and everyone under His control! He patiently gives us the choice to choose HIS WAY! Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. In Him there is no darkness. Everything was spoken into existence through Him. In Him you can discover why marriage God’s Way is important and learn how to build a committed, fulfilling, loving, lasting, monogamous marriage that is honorable in His sight! “What GOD has joined together let not man put asunder.” Truly the LORD WILL or CAN BLESS your marriage with HIS indescribable, Love, Joy, Peace and so much more! As long as we are on this side of Heaven there is always room for improvement. Step out on faith and trust God! Truly our Lord is Faithful! Lord Bless You!
Why Marriage God’s Way is Important
The Holy Spirit is the Comforter and Teacher that resides with us as believers to lead and guide us to all Truth! All the Laws given to us by Moses and the prophets pointed us back to the righteousness of God. It is through His Holy Spirit the Lord now writes His laws within our hearts as we walk in obedience to His Word!
Jesus tells us: “If you love Me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you!” John 14. This is a loaded powerful Scripture that will have a major impact upon your personal life once you sincerely embrace it and allow the Holy Spirit to embed it deeply within your heart!
God’s way for marriage is for a committed monogamous heterosexual couple consisting of One man + One Woman! As believers we must continue to present the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD for marriage. We are called believers because we believe and embrace GOD’S WORD! There is much spiritual warfare to undermine the validity of Marriage His Way!
Marriage God’s Way is the ultimate relationship between One man & One woman where we can learn to become One!
It is in His Word we are better able to understand why at times we as committed believers will not be understood. For many embracing God’s principles for life and living has become optional. The world is ever moving away from godly principles. Whatever is right in the eyes of man is accepted. As believers we should readily live out the Truth of God’s Word within the confines of our marriage. “Holy Matrimony” once considered as a sacred union designed by God is becoming a fleeting standard.
The vows we make should not be just mere words.
In the Word we can also better understand why the world at large does not readily accept His Word. This is nothing new. Marriage between one man and one woman remains ordained by God.
Marriage is the first institution that God designed. This is also another reason why there is so much spiritual warfare to try and change it. You can opt to do your own thing. But this does not nullify what He has said. You really can’t change His original design as far as GOD is concerned. There is a plethora of spiritual wisdom in His Word to enrich our lives in every way. When a husband and wife are on one accord there is spiritual power in the unity of their marriage.
The world does not believe that God’s design for marriage is the only way. Just look around you. This is why it is so very important that we study and know His Word for ourselves. When we grow in His Grace, Knowledge and Wisdom His Love continues to grow within us. More of the Fruit of His Spirit manifests and multiples within us as well. We can trust God in any and every situation.
Pray for spiritual discernment!
God’s Holy Spirit residing within is readily available to help us as we submit to His Will His Way! “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid…”John 14.
Now that I am over fifty I can really look at things through my Mother’s eyes. My compassion has grown. My Faith & Trust in The Lord is immense and surely He has certainly Blessed me in a plethora of ways. It is such a gorgeous day. I know Mom would have loved this brilliant sunshine and stunning blue skies. Today we took her some beautiful flowers to place on her grave site. My Mom always loved fresh flowers, especially roses. She will always be alive in my heart. There are times that I miss her dearly; but I have peace knowing that she is resting and happily present with the Lord. I can look back and be thankful of the times I spent with her.
In her later years my Mom gradually began to say what I now call a “slow goodbye”.
My Mother was a very strong willed woman. I was her only daughter among my many brothers. I will always remember how she reminded me that she prayed that the Lord would give her a daughter. I am beyond thankful to say that I have always felt loved! It was actually just abreast a few months of her forth decade in life that I was born.
I believe that by this time she had a pretty good handle on being a parent since I was her ninth child and as I said before her first and only daughter.
My Father worked diligently many hours away from home providing for our family. My Mother adorned me with all the girly trimmings for as long as I can remember. Frilly Priscilla curtains festooned my bedroom windows along with my white high standing white wrought iron bed. I think I wore pink nylon and organza dresses with embroidered flowers with matching bloomers and pink satin ribbons to adorn my hair seems like forever to Church. Let’s not forget to mention how I had to stay up while she pinned curled my hair with bobby pins on Saturdays for long dangling curls on Sunday. This was almost until I was thirteen years old. I eventually was able to turn in my white socks for cinnamon colored stockings.
My Mother was born in the early 1900’s and that was the thing to do way back then for a girl child. I was especially elated that she spent many hours laboring at her much loved Singer Sewing machine fabricating me a plethora of uniquely designed everyday dresses. When school started there was one for each day of the week. She even made me a fashionable red plaid Dr. Kildare dress. She even allowed and encouraged me to design many of my own clothes. Every winter she purchased me a lovely camel & or wool coat. Quality and originality was something she always stressed and impressed upon me. “Quality you know it when you see it!” It was not so much the clothes but the love and concern that she had for me. She made sure that I yearly attended the Church conferences held during summer as a delegate and there was also my piano lessons and… These are just a few of the many things she did out of love. I can remember her up and about sewing more nights than I ever remember her sleeping and resting. I now realize the many sacrifices she made for me. Coming from humble yet compassionate beginnings makes you really appreciate the preciousness of time.
I have learned that time in fact, is really a precious priceless gift.
Years later on another occasion I can remember the day my husband asked her if he could marry me. Since we were so young I was a bit queasy as to how she would respond. He has always been very strong and certain of himself and never intimidated by anyone. Coming up in the midst of brothers makes you quite strong so I always admired this quality about him. He was always matured and he had actually graduated early from high school at sixteen. So I had chosen not to be present when he presented the proposal. My Mother was in her late 20’s when she married. Here I was a mere 17. I could only wonder what she would say. I had participated in advanced GATE classes since 3rd grade. She had already planned that I go on a college tour and………. But whatever my then, husband to be said to her, he won her heart over, from that moment on. He assured her that we both would continue on with our higher learning… It was at that time that they bonded. He became another son to her. We were engaged for one year. We married the following year.
When our very own daughter was born she adorned her with the same delicately made pink embroidered dresses. It was a Blessing that the Lord Blessed us with a girl first since I came up with so many brothers. Each time one of my children were born (we had four more sons) she came to our home for an extended visit. We spent many nights just enjoying the company of one another. I always appreciated the way she respected and loved our children and my husband. She was always so proud how well behaved they were and to see how well they also all excelled in school and loved to attend worship services. My husband was Minister of Music and he had also became an upper management executive with Pacific Bell at 21. Our parents were very proud of us. I knew somewhat, but it was not really until her “Home going” celebration that I realized just how special her relationship was with my husband. My husband paid a tribute to her by playing an organ solo of one of her favorite hymns “His Eye Is On The Sparrow>”. It was at that moment he shared with the many guests that were present, that in over thirty years there had never been a cross word between the two of them. My husband is a very strong compassionate man of God. I don’t know many son-in–laws that can say that! These are just a few of the many memories that I cherish to this day. There are so many many more.
Little did I know until much later on in life how those memories would get me through the changes, challenges and transitions that her life encountered. Age has a way of creeping up on you. It gradually robbed her of all her much adored independence, gifts, talents and strength that she profusely exuded. My Mom was always a strong figure in my life. I always felt as a child that she was so stern and protective but not overbearing. She did not “beat me.” Nor did my father ever raise a hand to me. I was taught to be feminine & ladylike. But this also made me see the benefits of being disciplined. This of course is understandable since I was her one and only daughter. She was a very intelligent an educated woman. She was well respected by her academic colleagues. It was when I was in Jr. High that she entered into teaching. She wore many hats as a wife, Mother, teacher and actively took on many roles and a list of responsibilities at her place of worship. She was an advisor and confidant to many pastors & elders. Let’s not forget her excellence as a seamstress, gourmet cooking skills and passion for reading and gardening!
I said all of this to give you a poignant illustration of what was… I can remember her telling me how she was beginning to feel strange in this body of hers. That that person looking back at her in the mirror was beginning to be quite interesting. How her body just would not do the simple tasks as she wanted. After she retired and well into my adult years she continued to sew, cook and garden. But her last few years on this side of Heaven; slowly and surely her strong physical stature begins to slightly so ever bow. I would drive up and spend the day with her often. I can remember her equilibrium suddenly changing and her many falls. Osteoporosis gradually began to take its toll on her ever shrinking frame. Her once tall and grand stance resembling a much shorter humbled bowing position. Which was relevant in a sense since she was a woman of much prayer. The occasional bruises on her arms and head. But thank God no fractures or broken bones! She would jokingly say her hard head now came in handy. But she remained determined. I can remember the garage door falling on her. I asked her “What were you thinking of? You don’t even drive!” Here our roles begin to reverse.
My Mom loved to write and faithfully would journal her daily thoughts and dissipating activities. Her memory filled cherished journals and her original Elementary Primers are my most treasured remnants. It was in her journals I have her recorded memories of her much expressed LOVE for me, her long gone sister, brothers and parents. Who all went on before her, expressions in regards of her many friends and acquaintances, as well as my brothers and especially her loving relationship and many visits with me, my husband and our children.
My Mom as I said was articulate and had no problem expressing herself, in anyway. She was strong yet humble and could even discuss the sports statistics with my husband; as well as discuss God’s Word or any current or past News topic. Her home filled with memorabilia and a library of books along with an assortment of brilliant various of well taken care of nursery foliage inside and out. As time began to take its toll she asked me in a very cognizant moment to promise to allow her to stay in her own home until the Lord called her home. She did not want to loose that part of her independence. Her home was a place for any and all to come to and enjoy her wonderful cooking, delicious cakes, pies, desserts and company. I lived an hour away so she would come for weeks and stay and visit with my family. But no matter how much she enjoyed herself “there was no place like home“. My mother never learned to drive therefore she had to be chauffeured and transported. I spent many hours up and down the freeway taking her to the Dr., shopping and to run errands. This is also how I also learned to be very independent. She enjoyed spending time at the design & Fabric shops. I had a brother who lived right around the corner from her and one that actually lived with her. But since I was her only daughter that would not do. At times it was okay. I did not mind because that was time I looked forward to spending with her.
As time passed her health began to decline. Her physical condition began to deteriorate after major surgery, to the place that she sometimes lost control of her bodily liquids. Rendering the necessity of subscribing to adult disposable undergarments just in case. This is what happens often when one reaches their later silver years, especially so after having bore eleven children. My adult son who lived fifteen minutes away would frequently drop off a supply for me from Costco and visit with her. He would also give me an update on her condition. I share this not to undermine her as a women but to again give a real picture of what life often presents.
Gradually Mom had succumb to cocooning and not venturing outdoors much. Her many falls finally made her yield to a cane. I can remember taking her to the Dr. for therapy so they could assist and teach her how to use a much dreaded walker. They stressed how she should try to walk uprightly as much as possible. I can still remember the day when I was taking her to the car and she suddenly began to fall. I immediately lowered myself under her to brace her impact with the driveway. It was then I knew that there would have to be more changes. Her eyesight began to dim and arthritis began to painfully embrace her hands. Then there was her eye surgery, and……. Sewing and needle work gradually had to be set aside. I can see in her journals the gradual shift in her once brilliant almost flawless penmanship. I can see etched on the pages fragments of broken words painfully scribed and thoughts left arrested in mid air.
After her series of mini strokes her posture changed again along with her hymn singing and speaking. Her voice used for the many altar prayers now quieted, and her singing voice now only emitting a brittle scratchy throaty noise. The walker now obsolete and the need for a much needed yet regretted wheelchair. Along with a shower and bath chair and all the other paraphernalia that are needed when one cannot easily attend to all of the personal hygiene necessities. I purchased a padded desk lap pad to try encouraging arts and simple crafts, along with a mini water fall to solicit a tranquil environment, with soft soothing music in the background. Her living room now begins to shift from her antique furniture to a comfy padded sofa for her to look out the window at her once lovingly attended garden. Her bed room now housed a hospital bed that she just could not get used to, her physical position gradually shifting from flowered bed linen to white. Life and her many once enjoyed pastimes became a thing of the past. Her once strong frame. Only a mere silhouette and her limbs delicately extended on her now almost immobile body. Although often a somewhat slight questioning frown. Yet, she would always smile when she saw me.
She would light up whenever I saw her. No longer was she able to call or I call and talk to her on the telephone. This is when her slow good bye became a reality.
Must my Mother come live with me? The doctors are now giving up on her she is now in her upper eighties. I can remember how impressed they were with her intelligence she could sail through all of their mental tests. She would tell them her name the date and current news. How many children she had, their names and where she was; then name all the presidents of the United States. But now gradually the signs of Alzheimer’s had begun to replace her many cherished memories. The Doctors now recommended that she be placed in a home. My live in brother now getting more and more frustrated. Which was really his warranted fears seeing our Mom gradually disappearing. The visits now fewer by her many friends. She can no longer attend her much loved worship services. She no longer enjoyed the walks around the block as I accompanied her in her wheel chair. So she was kept inside gradually becoming somewhat of a hermit in her much loved abode. All besides her family who knew her were able to remember her as she was. Although there were a few who could see that this once articulate poised woman was beginning to wear like a fine fabric. Her appetite had begun to diminish significantly as well. I got her a nifty bed table to straddle her lap. We would prop her up with pillows on each side. There were times when she just wouldn’t eat without assistance. How ironic after all those years of serving others. It was interesting to see what would suit her palette. Yes again the Doctors have now given up hope.
But yet Mom is still holding on. I always felt that she has really begun to say a slow goodbye.
I, along with much anxiety and ambivalence begin to go and look for a care home for Mom at my many brothers insistence. One closer to me so I could see her daily. I now know that some care homes are just dreadful. Some are seemingly peaceful on the surface. But I knew within moving her would only hasten her good bye. Her once strong voice was echoing in the corridors of my mind “There is no place like home.” My Mother had always told me if I remained strong then my brothers would have to follow my lead. I reluctantly wrote the much dreaded family letter to inform all of my brothers that this is where we are. What do we do? They have wanted me to put her in a home for sometime. A few had ideas but none came to fruition of course. My live in brother now hesitantly took care of her household finances. Since he never married or had children he opted to vacate his varied career. Therefore Mom was his occupation. He could do as he pleased and Mom had a family member there in the evenings. Whatever else she needed I would try to accommodate her. He would always call me and let me know her status when I was away. Sometime it worked and sometime it didn’t. So what do you do? I just wanted her to be as comfortable as possible.
Now again it is time to make more changes? My brother does not want someone to help in the house full time. What do I do? I am not able to care for her in our home. The Dr. says her care could run into the thousands and and …… So what do I do? Mom must have known that that was one decision that I just could not make nor did not want to make for her. That was one decision that I know she made with the Lord. So it was in her sleep, in her home late that night in January when my brother called and said; “Mom is gone.” I’m like, “gone where?” I suddenly remembered one day when she wanted to go back home.
She pointed out her window and told me she wanted to go home. “Mom you are home.” She wanted to see her “Papa.”
I took out a huge atlas I had purchased for her and showed her she was in California at home and Arkansas was very far away. She just looked away. Then it dawned on me. “Mom’s gone” my brother said again. I knew that Mom had starting leaving a little bit at a time. She was holding on, she really was just trying to give everyone a chance to adjust. I knew now that she had made the transition. She had gone on to be with the Lord and all of her other relatives that she had been missing. She had slept away at home peacefully; just like she wanted. Now she was at rest with the Lord.
My Mom had finally said Good bye……..
There are many issues around taking care of an elderly parent or parents. Who does what and when? Just enjoy them as much as you can while they are here. Try and let them make their own decisions for as long as they can responsibly do so. Treat them with respect and dignity although they become childlike. In the last days of course you will have some regrets knowing that they are leaving, and of course you will miss them? If you patiently treat them the way you would want to be treated you will have peace knowing that you did all you could do to make them comfortable. Remember you never know how your latter days will be? But they will and can be overshadowed by the many many cherished memories! And yes of course you will always miss them. So shower them with LOVE while they are still on this side of HEAVEN!
Intimacy is an essential component in developing a strong, robust, rewarding and satisfying marriage. Marriage should consist of an intimate, healthy, warm endearing closeness. This attractive closeness results in building a comfortable, formidable, deeper understanding and appreciation for each other. Fostering a marital environment that welcomes intimacy will yield, trust, security and transparency within your relationship. Often two people marry and just parallelly coexist, not really getting to know one another. To further develop your relationship it is important to get to know your spouse on a much deeper level. A good healthy marriage does not just happen it takes teamwork. Do you really want intimacy in your relationship? It is a necessary ingredient when one desires a deep, long lasting gratifying marital relationship.
Marriage was originally designed by God to be the ultimate, life sustaining Christian marital relationship where two; one man and woman agree to come together and grow as husband and wife. Each should have one another’s best interest at heart. To desire to journey through life with, as well as share their personal growth experiences along with a committed partner. This then becomes the ultimate foundational environment in which to build the family. Did you know today as many as 60% of marriages end in divorce? It is important that your marriage is or becomes a priority to both of you. Intimacy will foster a stronger union that encompasses developing the ability to build a healthier marital bond. It is never too late to start building intimacy. It is fundamentally essential that each spouse should consciously embrace and continuously seek God’s direction and enlist His principles within your relationship. “God’s Love endures forever.”
What does intimacy really mean? Webster Dictionary defines intimate as follows: “1 a: intrinsic, essential b: belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature 2: marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity 3 a: marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
The Bible describes marriage as two becoming one flesh. This is really truly a fascinating concept that has become all too common. Take some time and ponder on this; we were made for God. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1. Today the world offers many variations as to what marriage can consists of? Remember God who is the Original Designer designed marriage to be a monogamous partnership between a man and a woman. Do you realize that you made a vow to love, walk together, grow together and go through both good and difficult life experiences with your spouse? Think about it your commitment was not only to your spouse but to God as well.
Man in general continues to quite often overlook the WORD of GOD in order to appease the desires of the flesh rather than seek the wisdom found in the Holy Scriptures. What was once sacred has become an optional alternative. The United States Supreme Court has even voted against the WORD of GOD in favor of same sex unions. This is a radical switch from the moral principles in which this country was founded upon. It is important to know God has not changed His principles for marriage.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2. Although Adam was very close to God he still needed human companionship. Intimacy in marriage is vitally important. Intimacy consists of being transparent; being able to freely express and communicate however it is you are feeling, to openly disagree without fear. To learn, express and experience the depth and benefit of God’s true Love within the confines of marriage. Intimacy when embraced helps you to also become closer to God. The Hebrew word for “intimate friend” is partner. Intimacy actually brings an element of responsible emotional freedom to your relationship. You do not elect to major in the minor things of life. Mutual trust, compassion, concern and respect then naturally become healthy components of your relationship.
Within marriage you are able to learn and understand the concept value of submission, which really is meekness. Meekness is so often misunderstood. It in no way implies weakness! It is a Fruit of God’s Spirit. It simply means “power under control.” Self control is an important element of the Fruit of God’s Spirit. The insecure desire to always want to dictate and control someone or something is easily relinquished when you know that it is God who really is in control of all things anyway. You also can easily recognize manipulation. “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Partaking in all the Fruit of His Spirit is quite beneficial. (See Galatians 5) Getting to know the Lord in an intimate personal way is so very important!
Why is it that all too often you are respectful to everyone else except your own spouse? Is your relationship often fueled by your residual unresolved emotions, impulsiveness, impatience and or hot tempers? When you usually relate in this mode to one another it will create a lot of tension between you. This also negatively impacts the overall quality of your relationship that can create a hostile unhealthy living environment. Relating in this manner, is it because you really do not believe that God is present when no one else is? Anger really grieves the Holy Spirit. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly beloved children and live a life of love.” Ephesians 4. The “TRUTH” really does set you free! How did you relate to each other before you married? It is important not to take one another for granted. “God’s Love endures forever.”
Since we live in the world that so strongly influences behavior, for many actually including God’s principles usually just becomes an afterthought. Common excuses “I’m human” well I hope so! Or “nobody’s perfect.” Did God not say “be ye perfect” because He is perfect, which really means mature not flawless. As God’s child we should be growing until He decides that it is time to meet Him face to face. Or repenting in stead of repeating. Pride usually takes the forefront. As a Christian your marriage should be different. God really is Omnipotent, He is right there! His Word is meant to be our life manual. When truly embraced fully and practiced, intimacy will alter how you interact and behave tremendously. You share mutual interests and your needs are met. You invite God in your circle. Of course you disagree at times but you learn to resolve most of your differences responsibly which further strengthens each of you as independent individuals, yet matures you as a couple.
Intimacy helps you to learn how to appreciate and to mutually respect one another, to entrust your inner self to your partner. This reinforces your union as a couple. You usually don’t impulsively just react when something or someone triggers you emotionally or “pushes your button”. You do not have to give them “a piece of your mind” all the time. I always say that I prefer to “keep my entire mind.” When put into practice you instead, learn to think first, and then responsively respond if and when necessary. The more you practice this principle you gain deeper insight and acquire calmness, inner peace and serenity. You do not just let others outwardly control you by remote. Be alert because you will be tested! “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires…” James 1 The peace of God brings much inner contentment. If you read on you will find that there really are spiritual benefits in learning how to bridle or control your tongue! God is AWESOME! Each of us has an innate God given unique temperament. “It is our temperament that determines how well we react to people, places and things. In short, it is how people react with their environment and the world around them.” (Creation Therapy by Dr. Richard & Phyllis Arno)
Our Creator knows what we need. The malleable brain, your mind God has given you has over 12 billion cells, and over 400 miles of capillaries within 100 sq ft. In other words it can store a lot of “stuff”. You know the saying “practice makes perfect” what we really should say is “practice makes permanent.” Be careful what you ……. Creativity and learning by building upon what you already know builds dendrites or increases learning which builds your mind. Spiritually digesting and applying God’s Word transfers into a stronger solid spiritual foundation. Intimacy with God works absolute wonders! God’s Word is spiritual food for your mind. He says we can be “transformed by the renewing of our minds…” Romans 12. Change is possible. Do you really believe His Word? God really does have a better way! This is why it is so important to consult the Lord and apply His Word. Since He created us He really does know what is best for us. “With God all things are possible!
Remember God has designed marriage for each of you to have a “helpmeet if desired.” Developing intimacy has to be a desired goal; it is not an automatic process. Rather than just “dump” on one another you create an environment where you can learn healthier relational dynamics. Intimacy also helps to release inner anxiety, allows free expression, frees your mind, and allows room instead for each of you to build an inner strength which stabilizes your relationship. The two becoming one is a spiritual principle of intrinsic value.
Marriage is supposed to be something that is cherished. It must be attended, nurtured and cared for in order to create an environment in which you both are able to mutually grow together both spiritually and emotionally. Each marriage is different and as two different individuals you both together are able to determine what your priorities are in your own marital relationship. It is important to respect, support, encourage, chastise and urge one another to be all they can be in life in order to grow and fulfill whatever their God given purpose may be. God wants to be a part of our lives each and everyday. Sometimes this requires a shifting or reprioritizing of what you think or perceive to be important. Ultimately instead of trying to fit God into our lives we should design our lives to center around Him.
Quite often when one thinks of intimacy they think only on terms of being physical. Many couples have and are experiencing physical relationships without any intimacy. They physically engage regularly with one another, without really getting to genuinely know one another. This may fill an immediate physical desire. However in the long run it hinders your ability to bond and develop a depth and significant security within your marriage that comes along with intimacy. There instead resides an insecure, unstable shallowness to the relationship just waiting to become unhinged. Intimacy is possible but it takes time and a mutual commitment to move towards a deeper transparent relational level in your marriage. “God’s Love endures forever.”