Are We Ready For Marriage ?

“being unequally yoked”. One common denominator that is essential for a successful relationship; God must be Lord of both lives! Light and darkness can not have true fellowship. How can a Godly woman expect an unbelieving husband to be subject to God. How can a Godly man expect an unbelieving wife to be subject to God as well. Submission is a humble compliant act. It means submitting to the authority of another. God is a God of order. The husband submits to God. The husband and wife in turn submit to one another. The goal of marriage is to experience the spiritual and physical oneness God has deemed attainable.

In marriage both partners must be willing to give up selfishness for the sake of the relationship, as well as forsaking all others. God does not want us to have a joyless experience. Jesus died so we might relish “the abundant life”, abundant means plentiful, overflowing. He wants our lives to overflow with the fruits of His spirit. They are: Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control. Galations 5:22-24 (NKJV). The scriptures says “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore just as the church is subject to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV) To walk in the spirit is to be controlled by the spirit. It is the infilling of the Spirit we must pray for over and over and over again. When a wife submits to her own husband as to the Lord the Lord’s order is established in the marital relationship. But remember the husband must be subject to the Lord. When we are walking in the Spirit this type of relationship is possible. God has provided us with a formula for a fulfilling marriage. We must learn to trust that he really knows what is best for us. Now, step out on faith.

We must ask ourselves are we ready for marriage? Are we prepared to relinquish our selfishness? Are we ready to put the other partner’s well being first? Are we willing to share? Better yet are we willing to remain faithful and to partake in the joys as well as long-suffering that life often offers? Are we truly ready to spend the remainder of our life with this person? If you can answer yes to these questions, it is quite possible you are ready?

In this 21st century more than 55% of marriages end in divorce. Divorce is taking too many casualties! It is important to take some time and really ponder if you really want to make a lifetime commitment! Divorce and infidelity are raging a battle against marriage! Don’t let your vows just be mere words!

Marriage is the oldest institution there is. God created it to be Beautiful and last for a lifetime! Think long and hard before you presumptuously commit to Marriage. Planning for a wedding is so very exciting! It should be a wonderful magnificent, memorable and breathtaking grand occasion whether its large or small! All too often it is the idea of all the exciting Showers, Parties, Celebrations and activities that many have come to enjoy rather the marriage itself! A committed marriage takes a lot of work, it does not just happen! Make sure that you have thought about the future as well. I have found more often than not the last thing a couple wants to hear while planning to marry is are you sure?

Marriage between a man and a woman is the ultimate commitment of Love! Because of the alarming number of marriages ending in divorce and resulting in infidelity, I wrote this quick easy read premarital guide that takes less than a half an hour to read! Look and listen to the news! I have heard too many couples say “I never thought about that?” If I only would have known! You do not want a life of heartache! First know you cannot change this person you want to marry! Ask you self; Do you want to wake up to this person every morning for the rest of your life? Are you willing to work through life’s challenges and do what is best for the marriage? Are you ready to close the door on all other sexual partners? Each marriage is totally different. But the same basic principles are true! Together you have the opportunity to build a unique relationship that mutually suits your temperaments! Think long and hard? Take some SERIOUS time and really think about if you are ready to say yes to a lifetime commitment! If you are I wish you a Loving, eventful, committed, lifelong, happy, God-centered marriage, “What God has joined together let not man put asunder.”

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MARRIAGE:Alternative or Open-end Lease Relationships – MAN’S OR GOD’S DESIGN (Part I)

How is your marriage? Is it really a priority? Or is it just drifting along with the current trends? Or, are you just “hanging in there” as they say? If you think about “hanging” it’s really not a good position to be in. Is there room for improvement? Of course there is! Do you know who the original designer of marriage is? Did you know that your marriage is important to God? Knowing what God has to say about marriage will give you some keen insight. To help you better understand it from a deeper perspective. When you visit the corridors of scriptures you will find in fact that marriage existed from the very beginning. In the Book of Genesis it has been recorded that God had a design and plan for marriage from the inaugurational inception of time. “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman for she was taken out of man…” Just take a few moments to ponder and think about this passage of scripture.

Just like then, there continues to be a boisterous attempt to set aside and overthrow what God originally intended. Marriage is not some idealistic unattainable concept that has been created by mankind. Marriage is not some happy ever after fantasy. It is a Covenant commitment relationship that is made together between two imperfect people before the presence of the only Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient Perfect God. Whose divinely inspired basic concepts and origins lay in the foundational footsteps of Scripture. God is here to help us and abet in the creating of an environment in which this type of relationship can take place. God always leaves a remnant of his people who desire to live their lives to please Him. God really does want you to enjoy life on this side of heaven.

In the New Testament you will find an interesting example about a faithful couple named Aquila and Priscilla. They used there time, efforts, as well as resources to build the kingdom of God by bringing others to Christ. Aquila and Priscilla were united in both marriage and ministry. There is much power when two come together in agreement in the work of the Lord. It is most important to not just talk it but walk it as well. For them it was not just an outside show. It was a way of life. Aquila and Priscilla were devoted to the Lord and realized the significance of having a Christ-centered home. In the Bible you will find that they are never even mentioned separately. They met Paul on his second missionary journey and worked faithfully together along with him. When a couple is sincerely united in Christ they can accomplish much for the Lord. During their stay in Ephesus they encountered a young man named Apollos. The Bible records in Acts 18 that he was an eloquently learned man with the knowledge of scriptures. “He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and spoke with great fervor and taught of Jesus accurately though he knew only the baptism of John.” It was Aquila and Priscilla who took him aside and further fully explai ned more adequately the way of the Lord. After this Apollos was greatly helped and went on to further proclaim the Truth, “he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.” This is a great illustration of the powerful, significant effect they had by their working together. Their faithfulness resulted in them having a God centered home as well as marriage. With God “All things are Possible.”

As a believer you should be concerned with this God ordained ultimate relationshipbetween a man and a woman. It is becoming increasingly clear that there is a growing increase within the world as well as the Christian population of those who do not respect appreciate, honor nor embrace God’s design principles of marriage. Throughout theworld there are various and alternative ways in which one can enter into a marriage. I ask, “But should it still be called marriage?” Marriage in many instances is no longerconsidered to be a lasting “Covenant Agreement.” Man has really put a lot ofrelationships asunder. In the majority of cases marriage has defaulted to until we can nolonger agree? Or until I get tired of you or you get tired of me? So you go your way and Iwill go mine…. This is not what God intended. Here is a thought; why not in this case just simply call them what they are; alternative or open-end lease relationships?

It is by no way a coincidence that the Bible poetically uses an illustration of marriage as the reflection of Christ’s eternal relationship with His Church. In fact His Church is His Bride! He intended that marriage was to be an institution of “Holy Matrimony”, that is inclusive of His presence and guidelines. It is very important to consult the Lord when you are in or contemplating entering into marriage. Quite impulsively, and a lot of times on the rebound, many hastily jump heart first into marriage. Not really knowing the person who they have married. All too often they are “unequally yoked.” There is certainly much preparation that is needed before, after and during in order to embark in His relational committed concept of “Two becoming one flesh.” But much too often they are simply laid aside. It’s important that your marriage be a priority. It effects not only you, but your children, relatives, friends……… Most people think carnally rather than spiritually when it comes to marriage. In marriage God wants us to minister to one another as well. This will nurture and develop a healthy mutual symbiotic relationship.

One must learn and subscribe to becoming transparent within this type of committed relationship. Marriage is a continuous growth process for both partners involved. There is much spiritual warfare waged against, as well as to divide God’s design for marriage. Love, respect, trust, intimacy and praying for one another consistently are crucial. In order to know and experience this, one must eagerly, openly and honestly seek the scriptures to assure oneself that this is a doable concept. Intimacy in marriage is crucial! God has an endless reservoir of ways to keep your relationship interesting and satisfying. God did not leave us here on earth to flutter and flounder and allow whatever the current “Now” generational concepts to become popular for our directional path for marriage. For many “anything goes.” Although not at all an easy joint venture, I must warn you that it even becomes much more difficult without incorporating His Biblical principles. “I feel, I need, I want,” takes the helm. Instead, immediate self gratification becomes a chosen path for many. God has designated a route and navigational passageway for marriage that has now all too often been aborted. But with Him it really is possible! The intimacy, strength, acquired spiritual growth and character building benefits outweigh any seasonal difficulties that one may ever incur. It can also yield a pleasant, peaceful abode.

The scriptures tell us “God is Love.” Just notice how loosely the word “love” is used by so many. Since the cohesive component of marriage should be love, how can one truly love without God? Who in fact is Love! Love does not delight in evil. It rejoices in Truth! Above all “Love never fails” (Really read slowly and digest I Corinthians 13) For example; It is like making something sweet without using sugar. Instead just any preferred artificial sweetener can suffice. My point is that no matter how closely it mimics sugar an artificial sweetener is not sugar! So without God, I choose to employ the syntax that without God who is love, one simply has “intoxicating affections”. It is not the same! Instead they won’t last; your emotional roller coaster will take the helm. Disagreements you will have. A good strong marriage is made up of two independent individuals. Yet they earnestly strive to live and to do what is best for the marriage. There commitment to each other and God becomes a top priority. Herein humility, selflessness and patience are acquired as well. The marriage bed is honorable. This in turn gives glory to God’s design for marriage.

God created us to love, learn, live and glorify Him as extensions of His creation. Marriage provides a God sanctioned partner relationship that helps you weather the tempestuous storms that come along in life. One should be able to express their hopes, fears, disappointments and desires. One should be able to discover love, truth, peace, commitment, transparency, comfort and experience relief and joy within marriage as well. Sacrifice is also a part of marriage. But all too often the reasons for coming together are buried and tucked away under the torrents of life. There is much spiritual growth experienced in love. Again the Bible says “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love………….” (Read I John 4) I truly believe God wants marriage to last until………

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Infidelity…Is It A Problem?

Infidelity…Is It A Problem?

“Can a man or woman take fire into his/her bosom and not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27 KJV) “Playing with fire” is no laughing matter. Do we really take God’s Word seriously? Infidelity means unfaithfulness. God illustrates the seriousness of adultery by comparing it with fire.

There is definitely a price to be paid for sexual infidelity. God has given His children specific directions in regards to proper sexual relations. The undefiled marriage bed is the proper place for sexual intercourse. The marriage bed is biblically designed for one male and one female. When the two come together they become one. God’s design according to the bible does not authorize any sex outside of marriage nor sanction same sex relationships. “For this is the will of GOD, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and Honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 KJV) Concupiscence meaning; sexual desire.

Due to Adam’s fall we have inherited a sin based nature. Sin is anything that separates us from God. Sin causes one to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. But when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal SAVIOUR we are to imitate His principles in our lives. Yes there will always be a struggle between the spirit and the flesh. But as we learn to submit to the will of God the power of the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to overcome the desires of the flesh.

The scripture tells us that sexual infidelity is like playing with fire. When a Christian chooses to indulge in sexual sin you are definitely out of the will of God. Sexual sin is rampant within the Church. It doesn’t matter if you were once married, how old or young you are. Your position doesn’t matter; widow, minister, usher, mother, teacher, member, elder, bishop, evangelist, deacon, deaconess, pastor, missionary, this should not be. By ignoring God’s Word the body suffers. It tells the unsaved yes I am a hypocrite and no I don’t have self-control. Better yet, it waters down the effectiveness of your testimony.

Every time you choose to operate outside the spiritual moral boundaries God has designed you can expect some sort of consequence. God is totally aware of everything. Just listen to how patient he is with us; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness: but is long suffering toward us, not willing that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9 KJV) Repentance does not mean repeat or practice. We as Christians have commenced to embrace the world’s principles that encourages indulging in satisfying the flesh. “After all I’m human! We aren’t really hurting anyone! Nobody else knows but us.” Wrong! God knows! Remember that fire I warned you about.

Christ is the Head (by the way there is only one head) of the church. The church is symbolic of His body. Cancerous sin retards the church’s progression towards reaching maturity. When sin is prevalent it also hinders our worship services and reduces them to carnally dramatized emotional productions void of spiritual fruit. Don’t allow satan to deceive you. The only way to truly worship Him is in Spirit and in truth. If you are currently participating in sexual sin, if your spouse is indulging in sexual sin, repent then abstain!! Please let this be a wake up call. Stop now! Find someone who you can be accountable to. Better yet confess and ask God to send you someone. God knows your weaknesses. Paul tells us “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 KJV) If you play with fire it will burn you! Yes infidelity is a problem! If you truly believe in His Word, He does have the power to deliver you.

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MARRIAGE: Caring Enough To Listen=Communication (Part I)


When God created marriage he intended for it to be beautiful. It was designed for companionship. Marriage was not meant to seem like a sentence. It was not meant to be full of on going drudgery. Nor was it meant to neither suffocate, smother, nor repress each others unique individuality. It was made so the realization of “two becoming one flesh” could be realized. It was meant to help mature and grow a man/woman in a husband/wife relationship. To learn how to love, submit, commit, respect, and learn together what it means to work through and out of difficulties as well as enjoy great experiences within the confines of a committed relationship. Having healthy good communication is an important component within a good marriage. I want to encourage you to make it a priority to learn how to effectively communicate to one another. To know where one another are, to consider each others opinions, to be objective and express your self freely. It is important to make a conscious effort to treat your partner with respect. This does not mean that you have to agree on everything. This communicates I care enough to take the time to really get to know you. Having each others best interest at heart is also important. You should also be able to express your concerns if you feel they may be making a wrong decision. When expressing yourself say “I feel” or “I think” in expressing your point of view. You also want to learn to admit when you are in error. No one is right all the time. Part of being a good spouse is saying and doing at times what no one else will. You both have a responsibility to fulfill your commitment to one another as well as to the Lord.

Marriage was really designed as a partnership to help you become all that you were meant to be. Many couples often live as strangers. Within the boundaries of marriage you should grow to be able to spiritually, mentally, emotionally and yes physically openly learn to express your deepest inner thoughts in a healthy way. It is important to really get to know this person you have committed to. Ask yourself do you honor God in your relationship? Is submission a part of your marriage? It is important to include and seek the Lord’s direction and trust Him to teach you how to build a healthy relationship. It is never too late to start if you have not already. Does your marriage include intimacy? God our Creator is a God of order. You should never get to the place where you think you do not need to consult the Lord.

God made the heavens and the earth which were spoken into existence through His Word. The Word became flesh and “dwelt among us”. The Word as revealed in the scriptures tells us He is Jesus Christ. (See John 1) After creating the man from the dust of the earth God took the man He had created and placed him in the garden to take care of it. The one thing that Adam did not have was a companion “a suitable helper.” All the animals that God made already had partners. No doubt that Adam was brilliantly intelligent. Adam personally named all the animals. God caused Adam to go into a deep sleep and from within Adam He took one of His rib bones and made him a woman. She was taken from within Adam to be with Him as his God given partner. Someone to share his life with. Adam named her Eve. Initially they were open and not ashamed. They were even physically naked. It was not until after they had disobeyed God that they actually realized they were naked. (See the rest of the story in Genesis)

We are all naked before God. He knows us from the inside out. God is Omniscient meaning all knowing. There is absolutely nothing He does not know. Think about it for a moment, does not our Creator/ Manufacturer know our intended purpose? So why is it we do not consult Him whenever a problem, situation or issue arises? You listen to everyone else? God did not intend for us to look to the world for a marriage model. This is one of the major reasons why nearly 60% of marriages don’t succeed. I have been observing marriage relational dynamics for many years. No two marriages are alike. We are all very different. But God’s principles must be included if you really want your relationship to succeed.

One of the biggest problems in marriage or any other relationship really is poor communication. To communicate means to convey a thought, idea or relay information clearly. To transport information so that it is satisfactorily received or understood. Listening is crucial; it is a necessary component when one desires to effectively communicate. Communication is both verbal and nonverbal. Good healthy communication manifests when you are able to openly connect with who ever you are trying to communicate to.

Many problems and issues arise, when the time is not taken to communicate directly to each other this only further compacts the situation. If you have not taken the time to develop intimate communication with your spouse now is the time to get started. How do I do this? Stop hiding behind issues and past hurts. Get over them. Stop hanging on to the things that you cannot change. This does not mean that you forget. It means that you no longer hold whatever has happened against them. You instead choose to become wiser from whatever has transpired. When past issues become current issues what do you do? You must deal with them. Don’t allow too much time to go by. Confrontation in marriage is important. Otherwise the issue will become cancerous and nibble at the core of your relationship. The marital relationship was really designed to encourage transparency. This encourages and develops trust and intimacy. Intimacy will give you a responsible freedom because you are able to trust one another. It is really important to pray for as well as with one another. In many cases there have been such poor marriage role models that you simply do not know what to do. Many people who are married are lonely. This really does not have to be. Don’t settle for a superficial relationship that is on for public view. Think about it God is always present! Learn to live on a deeper level. Learn to become sensitive to one another’s needs. Your needs are important but not to the extent that you overlook the needs of your spouse. Some needs have exclusively been reserved to be met only within marriage. This does not mean that you can, nor are you responsible for the fulfillment of all of their needs.

Don’t just assume that your spouse knows something, or is happy or….. Many have just not learned the benefits of being open in marriage. (This is not at all the same as having an open marriage. In that case why marry at all?) It takes time to develop and build effective communication. How well do you really know this person you have committed to? Being open is the catalyst that ajars the door for developing effective communication. One must learn to listen as well, in order to effectively communicate. Don’t think short term, think long term. Get to know this person that you have committed to love, honor and …….. Or was that too just for the people? Don’t always mentally construct your response or rebuttal as you listen. Let it be your goal to attentively listen to whatever your spouse or anyone is trying to convey to you. If you are really interested in improving your relationship you must also learn how to listen. Taking the time to listen attentively to how your spouse feels validates that you care, value and are genuinely concerned about them. This helps them to open up. Remember, God intended for your spouse to be your “helpmeet”. Listening effectively is an art. The next time you talk to them really listen. Check yourself out and see how well you listen? If necessary repeat what they have said to confirm you heard correctly what they were trying to convey. Don’t always personalize everything they say. This will help you dispel erroneous and distorted conclusions or assumptions. Effective listening says you really want to hear what is being conveyed.

A good strong marriage or any other relationship for that matter consists of good communication. You do not have to agree with what is being conveyed. Sometimes just being a sounding board is necessary. You want to create an environment in which you do not have to feel like you are walking on egg shells. A major complaint in marriage is that my spouse does not understand me. Do you understand your spouse? Don’t make it a habit of always waiting until you are angry to fuel your ability to say how you feel. Plan ahead a time when you together can talk about whatever concerns you. Here is the opportunity to acquire some self-control skills. Think about it. Flying off the handle is really letting someone control you by remote. In this case your emotions only get the best of you and you impulsively say a lot of stuff that you can’t take back. You have actually stored it up, and bottled it up, to the point that it has fermented and become toxic. When this is the case it often results in flaring hot tempers which just usually yields more hurt feelings. If this is the case change is necessary in order to develop a healthier way to communicate.

The scriptures tell us “to be angry and sin not.” God does not tell us to do something that is not possible. Think about it now that you are calm and centered. Your feelings are important; they do need to be validated. Exercising self control strengthens your ability to not let your feelings control you. You should really want to create an environment where both of you can openly share how you feel. You also want to be able to freely express yourself even when you don’t agree about something. When you are always usually fueled by anger to express yourself it often leads to a breakdown or barrier in the relationship. Please don’t use that “nobody’s perfect” excuse to justify your ranting and ravings. Self control is a virtue. This does not mean that you stuff how you feel and just let any and everyone walk over you. It means that the majority of the time you choose to decide how you want to respond or not respond or simply just overlook. Rather than to just simply react. Don’t make everything an issue. Just observe what happens when and if you go off. Does it get the results you want? Do you really feel better? Or in fact have you just created another barrier? Sometimes no one wants to confront you and tell you if this is the way you are… Confrontation is a healthy part of communication. Constructive criticism really is a good thing. Getting the Lord involved always helps. He is always there. But you are given the free will to choose. You build self control as you exercise it in your life. This also helps to foster an environment in which you can build a healthier stronger marriage. Don’t ever take one another for granted. If you have; change it. You do not have to continue to live with dysfunction. The correct way to point the finger is in both directions. The good thing about God it’s never too late to change. Are you happy with the way that you communicate with your spouse? Is there room for improvement? Take some time and think about it? There is always room for improvement. Don’t let pride take the forefront in your relationship.

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Did You Know God Ordained Marriage From The Very Beginning?

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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.”

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