Marriage is one of the greatest relationship commitments that a man and a woman can have. It is an agreement to Love, Honor, Trust and Respect your spouse for life! Marriage is also a covenant agreement not only between a man and a woman but it is an agreement with God. You both together pledge and make vows that should always be honored within your marriage…
If you are already married reflect back for a moment on your Wedding Vows. What did you pledge to one another? Those vows are so much more than words. So if you have not married and are planning on getting married really think about what you are agreeing or pledging to do! If you have been married before really think things through because you have been here before! You are entering into a contract not only of the letter but of the heart as well as legally.
If you are not married get wise counsel before you enter into marriage. In this 21st century more than 55% of marriages are ending in divorce. This should not be. Many enter into marriage not really intending to keep their vows. There are also many who are ignorant of what it really is all about … Too often there are many emotional issues that have not been properly addressed and they eventually begin to weigh the marriage down. Marriage has its mountaintops as well as valley experiences. It is important to know no matter how much you know about your fiancé there is so much more to learn. Marriage is a place where both spouses can grow as individuals as well as together! You want to make sure that you are willing to go through the valley with your spouse as well as share in the Joys & Celebrations before you are married!
Your marriage is or will be as strong as the foundation that you build it upon. God is the Creator of marriage. “But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD GOD cause the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he as sleeping, He took one of the man’s rib and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord mad a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.” Genesis 2. This is such a beautiful passage of Scripture. The man and woman was a precious gift from God to one another!
Adam no longer had to be alone without a companion. Listen closely to what he says: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman.’ For she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united with his wife, and they shall become one flesh. The man and the woman where naked, and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2. This is also why it is so important to keep God and His principles as the center of your marriage!
If you are already married make it a point to rekindle the passion and dedication that was apparent when you first came together. If you have allowed time, things and people to allow you to drift apart renew your commitment to one another. You can’t change what has happened but you can build a better future right now. What if we are not on the same page? Then it is time to have a serious discussion and make some plans for your path forward! Life is precious and you can’t get time back. So you really do not want to spend the majority of the time being uncertain and unhappy! You cannot change your spouse but you can have an intervention and confront what has or has not been happening! Remember speak the TRUTH in Love!
If you have kept your commitment and your marriage is flourishing then help, support and mentor other couples along the way. Those who are married or desire to marry encourage them to keep their marriage vows they have made or will make to one another! Life often takes on many twists and turns and will at times present some adversity! Let them know some of the joys and sometimes sorrows of marriage. How together they can celebrate the mountaintop experiences of life and build an ongoing loving, growing, principled, faithful, respectful and honorable marriage! Yes there still be some rain and there will be some tears. But there is nothing like a good rain to make you enjoy the sunshine! With the rain comes much growth! A good marriage brings much contentment and fulfillment! So get busy! Showers of Blessings from above awaits you! This is why it is so very important to know that marriage truly is a covenant agreement!
Food For Thought “Before” and “After” You Say I DO!
Giving up “Me-ness for We-ness”
Marriage is ordained by God! It was meant to be a Covenant relationship sanctioned by a Covenant God! A Covenant is a sacred vow witnessed by God! For Christians it is the most solemn agreement that one can make between a man and woman! A Covenant requires sacrifice it represents the merging of two lives. The “two becoming one.” This does not mean one gives up their own personal identity. Two strong hearts join together as One! They cleave together not out of neediness, but because of an undying Love & Commitment and the desire to have a loving complimenting companion!
Many marriages are dissolving for a plethora of reasons! Many are and have been “unequally yoked” from the very beginning. Many have embraced worldly concepts and the idea of “what is good for me” takes precedent. It is important to continue to ignite the flames of love, honor, comittment, communication, respect, passion and understanding! Many couples allow marriage to become a secondary priority and treat it accordingly. Slowly, but surely they begin to allow their needs to be met outside the marriage as well! Many have allowed manipulation and deception to embed itself in the relationship that only smothers intimacy! Many have behaved so repulsively towards one another that respect and sensitivity have been cast into the sea of unforgiveness! Many have allowed domestic violence and abuse of all sorts! Many are bound by compulsion and ambivalence that only serves to vamp the very life out of one another… Instead of building a healthy home environment. They build a marital nest of confusion, turbulence, pain and unhappiness. Marriage was never meant to be a competition of wills nor a degrading of one another’s character. Divorce comes about because of the hardness of the heart. Divorce is leaving many casualties!
Life presents many challenges as well as Celebrations! Marriage is about learning how to commit to someone who you can learn to be transparent with. To build and share an ongoing growing, loving, lasting mutually satisfying physical, emotional and spiritual relationship. To nurture, one another and give each other healthy space as well. To have one another’s best interest at heart. To celebrate and encourage each other through the challenges that life presents from time to time. To together live your lives to please God an allow him to use you to spread that love to others! Just think how life would be if this was really the case! God really has a marvelous workable plan for marriage! Instead, God’s design for marriage is constantly being pushed to the background! Too many instead embrace infidelity and alternative sexual relationships and listen to bad ungodly, unscriptural advice…..
If you are at a place in life and you know that your marriage is not all that it is meant to be… Or if you are having an affair either emotional or physical … Or if you never really thought about the vows you made or the seriousness of marriage…. Or if you have let anything and everyone come between you and your spouse… Know it will not just get better on its own. Marriage like anything else of value takes work! You must do something, don’t continue to live in a mystic haze of unhappiness! Repent! Which simply means to CHANGE it! Keep in mind you can only change yourself! Think about it! Had you ever really thought about it; God totally knows what’s up? You are not fooling Him! Start by giving the courtesy that you extend to your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, lover, strangers or whoever else to the one who you supposedly committed to Love, Honor, Trust and……
Again, and I think it is worth repeating that divorce comes about because the hardening of the heart. Here is what the WORD of God says: “And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” And JESUS answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept. But from the beginning of the Creation, GOD made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are not longer two, but one flesh. There fore what GOD has joined together, let Not man separate…” Mark 10
Take some time and really think about where you are going in your marriage? Have you taken a detour? Pray this prayer or pray your own prayer if you are seeking restoration for your marriage! It is your heart that the Lord is concerned with! Not how you make things appear to others. Embrace the powerfulness of TRUTH! It is here you will discover the TRUE LOVE that can only come from being connected to God! Life is precious! You can never ever really be happy when you jump from relationship to relationship without dissolving the former conflict. It just builds up and gains momentum and at some point those issues will appear again. Learn to allow the LORD to purge you from all that Baggage! Give yourself the gift of breaking the cycle of dysfunctional and sometimes generational unhappy relationships. COME OUT OF DENIAL!!! It’s never too late! Commence to commit to discover and learn healthier relational dynamics then actually implement them in your own marriage NOW! Pledge to committing to the building of a lasting, secure, committed, satisfying, realistic, rewarding, marriage where Love, Respect and mutual concern take the helm. And let “Jesus take the Wheel!” Begin to give up “Me-ness for We-ness!
We first want to say Thank You for being our God and our Father! We Thank You Lord, that we have You to come to at anytime, anywhere and in any and every situation. Lord we Thank You for Your precious Son Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life that we may live life to its fullest. Lord, we come in the name of Jesus asking that you would open the pathway for healing for ________ (name of spouse and his wife ( husband) and restore their marriage. As your servant Lord I come realizing that you know what the needs are here. Without saying Lord you alone know what is going on, and all that has ever happened!
Lord GOD, I pray that you will allow healing and reconciliation to take place. That whatever hurts or disappointments they have experienced can be mended through the power of your undying eternal Love and your precious HOLY SPIRIT! We realize Father that they cannot change anything that has happened. But, they can go forth together keeping, renewing and once again honoring their vows. Father we realize that much spiritual warfare is about them. We realize that it wants to divide and separate them. We ask Lord that they invite you into the messiness to bring about order! Lord we realize that ALL of your promises are true. We ask that you endow them with the necessary strength and wisdom to endure.
Father, WE ASK that you would knit their hearts closely together and allow nothing else to come between them. Lord we ask that they both take personal inventory, repent and seek forgiveness for any wrong doing. We pray that they extend love and patience to one another and that the lines of communication, sensitivity as well as understanding are once again opened. We ask that you will allow all the pain, hurt suffering and disappointment to begin to subside. Lord we ask that forgiveness is welcomed by each of them. Lord we ask that you would allow your JOY to flow once again from heart to heart between them. Father, we ask that you direct them as they seek you first in building trust, transparency and both physical and emotional intimacy. Father we pray peace over their household. Lord we Thank You for being who You are and we realize that ALL the power, ALL the honor and ALL the glory belongs to You now and forever, and for this we give you the PRAISE. In the WONDERFUL name of JESUS ….…
Food for thought “Before” and “After” you say I DO.
Pornography is one of the most prevalent social problems we are facing today. There is a great concern in regards to the rate pornography is growing within the Christian Community. It is happening from the pulpit to the pew. The number of individuals and families that have been directly or indirectly impacted is rapidly growing. The issue continues to snowball because to some degree, on many levels it is initially accepted. In some instances it is considered to be a passing fad or on the other hand it is simply ignored. Pornography is dangerous and erodes the moral fiber of one’s character. If you know someone who is involved in pornography please don’t wait, encourage them to get help now! Since it is so readily accessible it can overtake and often consume the life of those who partake in it. Pornography is really quite selfish. It can impair and shatter the life and self esteem of the addict’s spouse and robs the relationship of trust, loyalty, significance and security. It also can cause a carnal spirit to hover over the household which invites much spiritual warfare.
The internet has a plethora of pornographic sites that are launched every day. The images seduce the captive audience of one or more into an underground world of self-indulgent decadence. Seeking fulfillment in strip clubs, compulsive eating and or cyber club. There is much research available to substantiate that it is a growing addiction phenomenon for many. Here are some questions to ask or think about. If you can answer yes to any of these you need to really get help.
1.Do you keep secrets about your sexual or romantic activities from those who are important to you? Do you lead a double life?
2.Have your needs driven you to have sex in places or situations or with people you would not normally choose?
3.Do you find yourself looking for sexually arousing articles or scenes in newspapers, magazines, internet or other media?
4.Do you find that romantic or sexual fantasies interfere with your relationships or are preventing you from facing problems?
5.Do you frequently want to get away from a sex partner after having sex? Do you frequently feel remorse, shame, or guilt after a sexual encounter?
6.Do you feel shame about your body or your sexuality?
7.Does each new relationship continue to have the same destructive patterns which prompted you to leave the last relationship?
8.Is it taking more variety and frequency of sexual and romantic activities than previously to bring the same levels of excitement and relief?
9.Does your pursuit of sex or romantic relationships interfere with your spiritual beliefs or development?
10.Do your sexual activities include the risk, threat, or reality of disease, pregnancy, coercion, or violence?
11.Has your sexual or romantic behavior ever left you feeling hopeless?
12.Are you unable to properly relate to your spouse and there is a physical void in the relationship?
Recently in the news it was announced that we have many teens who are now starting to do what is called “SEXTEXTING.” For too long the subjects of adultery, fornication, immorality, infidelity, incest, same sex relationships, sex outside of marriage….. have merely slid under the Christian radar. This is getting to be a little frightening. This should send us all a clear warning! The porn addict spends endless hours absorbing images of an unrealistic unattainable idealistic fantasy via the internet or videos. It is a billion dollar industry. Unknowingly these images have become their little god. Which really is a form of idolatry. It impacts not only the addict but the family as well just like any other addiction. There are many deeper unresolved issues here. Quite often something that happened in childhood has resurfaced in the addicts mind. The emotional pain has fermented and pornography becomes a destructive outlet. Dealing with someone who has an addictive personality can be overwhelming and or quite devastating. You are really often dealing with an out of control child encased in an adult body. They want what they want, when they want it. It is difficult for them to delay self gratification. They will do whatever it takes to satisfy their insatiable desire. It is often difficult for them to see that they are so unreasonably demanding and controlling. An intervention is constructive, warranted and often necessary in order to begin the path to recovery.
Talking about sexual issues openly will help dispel a lot of the rumors, myths and inappropriate behavior that has gone on and on… Education is key. No one really often wants to really come out and discuss or say; what God has to say, for fear of being perceived as too religious or judgmental. If you are a believer, one surely knows that absolutely nothing happens anywhere or at anytime that God is not aware of. For example let’s look at I Samuel 1. Eli who was a priest had two sons Hophni & Phinehas whose behaviors were simply outright outrageous. They were disobedient, humiliated and slept with the women who came to the Tabernacle for help. The Bible says they were wicked, “corrupt sons who did not know the Lord.” They were warned as to what would happen. They twisted their privileges in order to satisfy their flesh. Eli did not discipline his sons properly. When he tried to correct them they totally disrespected him. They displayed that same disrespect towards God… They had established a pattern of sexual abuse that needed to be broken. But look, on the other hand Hannah had dedicated her first born son Samuel to the Lord! Samuel came up in the very same household along with Eli’s sons. Hannah had brought him to Eli to be his spiritual mentor. Samuel at a very young age ministered before the Lord and grew spiritually. Despite what was going on about Samuel, the Lord intervened and he grew in “stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” (For more details of this narrative read I Samuel 1-3) What a contrast.
If you want to break a cycle of abuse, dysfunction or addiction, you have to do something differently rather than what you are already doing. If your “helping is not helping then you are not helping.” Addiction needs to be replaced with a healthy productive activity. It is important that we help subsequent generations not to fall prey to these destructive behaviors. DON’T continue to sweep things under the rug. If you have a problem deal with it! The enemy always tries to subvert and corrupt what God intends. Know that the enemy wants to destroy your testimony and weaken your effectiveness for the LORD!
Absolutely nothing gets by God!
Sexual sin is not a new problem. There is power in the blood of Jesus! Please really begin to ask and seek the Lord’s direction “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” All of God’s Word is true! Less seminars, workshops, programs and more practical application of God’s Word implemented within our daily lives. All too often when issues arise God’s way for resolve is totally disregarded. Less excuses such as “Nobody’s perfect.” Yes, this is a truism; but God tells us to continue to strive for His perfection! Perfection according to Webster means: 1: the quality or state of being perfect: as a: freedom from fault or defect : flawlessness b:maturity c: the quality or state of being saintly 2 a: an exemplification of supreme excellence b: an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence 3: the act or process of perfecting. God’s perfection brings wholeness! In Him we can become complete! God would not tell us to do something if it were not possible. To be a Christian means to commit to live in the WAY that pleases God!
God really is able! Marriage and the family were created by God from the very beginning. It was originally designed so that He would be the central theme of our existence. Since He created us He really does know what is best. He gave us healthy boundaries so we could learn discipline. So remember what He says in Jude: “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who will divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit…
God intended that your physical sexual needs were to be met within the confines of the “undefiled marriage bed.” Otherwise it is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” God loves you so much that He allows you the freedom to choose. It is evident that many choose to do “their own thing.” But, are the consequences really worth it? Think about it! Everywhere you are He is, everything you do or have done, He knows! There is a very significant security available to you when you choose to make His will and WAY your primary concern! Repentance is possible but first one must recognize that there is sin. Sin is missing the mark. Acknowledge any sin in your life! Take some time to get refocused. A conscious that is sensitive to God is precious. You can be set free from any addiction! God has called us to live differently. He has given us healthy boundaries in order to properly satisfy any personal needs which can be experienced within the sanctity of marriage regardless of how young or old you are! He can and WILL fill that void!
God always has a better way but too often the ways of the world have taken His place. Healing and restoration are possible. Set some time aside and be honest with yourself! Stop giving away parts of yourself! Take some time for a spiritual cleansing. Seeking Him through His Word one really can find rest and peace for the wearied soul. God has left us a marvelous wealth of knowledge and examples within His Word to help us to avoid the pitfalls and consequences of partaking in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Read the writings of the Song of Solomon its beauty and honesty shows a balanced contrast to the sexual perversions of this age. Begin being consistently accountable to someone for your actions and developing self control which is part of the Fruit of His Spirit. Someone who has healthy boundaries and knows the importance of not walking in the flesh but walking in the Spirit! Prayer and fasting are valuable tools. You can rededicate your life to sexual purity. You really and truly can experience a growing healthy attainable self esteem as a result of walking closer to the Lord.
I realize that this subject will not win a popularity contest. It may even cause a few jaws to drop. But at this point I have come to the conclusion that it is much more important “what GOD knows rather than what people think.” This is NOT about arrogance but about being confident in the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD! Especially when you know that He knows there is “no secret agenda.” My intentions are to shed Light where the darkness continues to keep the people of God and those in the world trapped in its snare. Sex outside of marriage has gotten out of control! Christ lived a sinless life to overcome sin in the flesh for ALL of us! He died a painful death on the cross for us so we could live differently. Too many are more concerned about protocol rather than who to call. GOD TRULY IS ABLE! Help Me Lift His Holy Name! To God Be The Glory!
In a recent Christian Counseling quarterly publication I receive every single article discussed sexual problems. This really confirmed that the problems of this nature are definitely prevalent within the Christian Community. Many shy away from discussing issues that are of a sexual nature. It is quite evident that a plethora of the problems we are experiencing are rooted in improper sexual misconduct.
The Bible has a lot to say about sexual relationships. One of the main problems is that sex is more often than not practiced outside of the sanctity of marriage. God has said it is only within the marriage bed that sex is “undefiled.” Many have indulged in adultery and homosexuality and defiled the marriage bed.
It is of no secret that time after time we see many men and women who fall prey to the pitfalls of sexual misconduct. Not fully realizing that sex outside of marriage is like “fire outside of the fireplace.” It’s dangerous! It will burn your house down! You are setting your self up for disappointment. You see sex outside the confines of marriage simply means; I am not fully committed to you. I need to be with you to see if we are physically compatible. I’ve been hurt before so I don’t really want to get too serious. Or my spouse and I don’t have a satisfying relationship so I’m really glad you are there for me. Or “I need you baby” if you love me you will do this for me? There are so many more scenarios as well… Of course you have not uttered this in words. In the above cases your actions speak louder than words. Many simply do not really know what marriage is all about!
I receive many questions in regards to sexual problems. Many are trapped because they have no where to turn. Many women just don’t want to be alone so they offer themselves sexually, yet are physically unsatisfied. Many have been conditioned ignorantly to use sex as a tool to manipulate. Women who are used for sexual purposes are often thought of as mere objects. Many have been sexually abused causing them to feel low self worth. Many have been taught that sex is no big deal. Everybody has sex and it does not matter if you are married or not. Especially if you are past a certain age or you have already been married. Or if you are not having sex something is wrong with you. You are not normal. But that is not the Christian perspective! You see God gives specific directions. The Bible says “for this cause shall a man leave His Father and Mother and cleave to His wife and they shall become one flesh.”
Sex outside the confines of marriage is dangerous emotionally. Why? It sets you up for possible problems that may not be apparent until much later? This is regardless of how young or old you may be…There is a deeper meaning to sex than the physical exchange. A bonding takes place. There is a magnetic chemical exchange. Within the confines of marriage a miraculous spiritual transaction is taking place! Did you know that scripture tells us “whatever you join yourself to becomes a part of you?” Deep down you must know and feel that something is wrong, but you just can’t put your finger on it. It also shows a lack of discipline. Some people just don’t practice good moral boundaries. They will sleep with anybody! Married or not married! Others have been erroneously taught that it really does not matter. If it feels right we are not hurting anybody! From a Biblical standpoint just know you are outside the will of God! Anytime you choose to operate outside of God’s boundaries you can expect some trouble.
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 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.
Let’s HELP this next generation; these teenagers of this 21st century “where anything goes” and begin giving them better morale role models! Let’s open up the lines of communication so they can validate their feelings! 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! Give them more “hugs” less criticism and more compassion and understanding. Less bickering and fighting and more constructive ways to resolve conflict! Just think if it is hard for adults it is even harder for teenagers…
When I went to seminary I was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised that the same problems existed. I learned that sexual misconduct is practiced on many levels. It did not matter that my views were misconstrued as prudish because I know better! Good boundaries should be exercised when you know someone is weak in certain areas. Many Christians have been side tracked by indulging in sexual sin. The Spirit of God is quenched when you operate in a carnal mode. Many operate by using a spirit of seducement which is not of GOD! Remember this is a Spiritual battle. Many honestly don’t realize how they water down the effectiveness of their testimony.
I have seen that people are a lot more interested in talking about people who have a problem with material possessions. Usually the one who really has the problem is fixated on what someone else has. How big their house is or what kind of vehicle they drive? Or how often they travel here or there? It was not Solomon’s material possessions that got him in trouble. It was His sex life! How he ever managed 300 wives and 700 concubines is news to me. Well you see in actuality he didn’t; it is what really destroyed him. In Ecclesiastes 12:13 &14 Solomon says “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Sex is not something to play with, don’t be deceived by thinking other wise. The employment of improper sex in your life will ultimately lead to some type of dysfunction or some other problem.
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 with three decades of commitment. This is why I know that by His grace it is possible. We live in a time when 55- 60% of marriages are ending in divorce! This is why 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. Many marry and don’t really know what they are getting into! Many marry and have mutual relationships outside of marriage.
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. 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. 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.” 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!
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. His second may be financial security. You see many often confuse their needs. Affection does not have to always end up in a sexual encounter.
When you properly practice sex within the confines of marriage you can experience true spiritual and sexual fulfillment in harmony. 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 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! Begin developing a relationship where you can mutually get your needs met. When you are truly fulfilled you will have no need or desire to indulge in extra marital affairs. You will also have great security knowing that you are honoring God in your relationship!
Sex is a taboo discussion for many. Old wife fables have hindered more than a few marriages. Abuse and cruel punishment rather than discipline have left many scarred. Addicted and coeds with shame! It is often erroneously thought that people who talk about sex have some underlying problem. It is not the talking about sex that is the problem. It is when people misuse or abuse it outside the confines of marriage. It was serious enough that Jesus told the Pharisees that they committed adultery by their thoughts! God is not a God of darkness. Read this passage and allow His Light to illuminate your mind;
“My son. Keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way of life. Keeping you from the immoral woman. From the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life. Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another’s man wife’ no one who touches her will go unpunished. Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold. Though it costs him all the wealth of his house. But a man who commits adultery lacks judgement; whoever does so destroys himself. Blows and disgrace are his lit, and his shame will never be wiped away…” Proverbs 6 NIV.
Sex is a dangerous thing to play with. Did you know you actually give up your power? “SEX outside of marriage is what kryptonite is to Superman; it weaknes you!!! You are also operating outside the will of God! It is harder to say “no” than to give in. If you ever give in you must take responsibility for your actions. Abstinence is the proper birth control method that God honors! Repentance actually means to be remorseful for your actions to the extent you don’t repeat them! Proverbs tells us to “TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thy own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL direct thy path ” Proverbs 3 When He says all thy ways He means just that!
God’s Word is our guide for proper successful living. He knows what is best for us! Just know that you are not alone! You can choose to do things God’s way or you can do things the world’s way. Just be ready for the consequences. God’s way gives you PEACE in the midst of a troubled world. Just know living God’s way comes with much persecution an mistreatment. But it’s worth every bit of it! ”THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!” Every time you choose God’s way you exercise and strengthen His Miraculous Spiritual Power in your life! We as Christians have an ethical and moral responsibility as His children. God says if you truly LOVE Him; YOU WILL KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!
I must preface this by saying that the “Down-Low” is a rather controversial “taboo” subject! You may be offended by the contents before you; in general it is preferably for adults only? It may ruffle your feathers a bit? However, I do think that having an open conversation with your mature teens should be considered at your discretion… You might be quite surprised by their reactions? This helps to protect them from acquiring felonious information in regards to the “Down-Low” from an outside source as well as keeps the lines of communication open. They may know more than you think? If you are sensitive to the topic of sex; read no further!
What is the “Down-Low”? The “Down-Low” is a discreet sexual encounter between a straight married man as well as unmarried men who have sexual relationships with other men. They often have sex with their friends and other men without telling their spouse or partner! This happens within many races and cultures on every social economic level! Often random one night stands… Many who are professed Christians! The fact that it is kept secret should tell you something! It is actually another form of homosexuality.
In this 21st century it becomes increasingly clear to me why God designed marriage in the way in which He did. One Man and one Woman! He has not changed His design! His design for sex within marriage was to give us healthy sexual boundaries! This keeps us free from STD’s, Herpes, HIV and AIDS!
The “Down-Low” is a homosexual act… According to the Word of God homosexuality goes against nature. It is considered an indecent act! This is still in your Bible if you have not torn it out!
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchange the TRUTH of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator- who is forever praised. AMEN! Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged the natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Romans 1.
I believe all of God’s Word! Do as you please but nowhere in the Word does God condone any form of homosexuality, adultery, fornication or any sex outside of marriage! Deliverance yes! God is able! He told the woman “To go and sin no more!” I realize that these may be chosen lifestyles for many? You can choose as you please… But it does not make it right in the eyes of God regardless of who says so! It does not have God’s blessing! We; meaning believers are supposed to be “in the world but not of the world.” John 17. World; meaning cosmos the devil is the ruler of the cosmos. We are physically present in this world, but we are children of the kingdom of God! We are sanctified by believing and implementing the Truth of God’s Word in our lives! “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
The enemy seeks to have us step outside of the Word of God! The Word of God points us in God’s direction. It is a Light unto our path. It shines the Light on darkness and can point us back to the right path as well! This is why we need Jesus as Savior and Lord to save us from the power and clutches of sin!
I have counseled with some who have been ensnared into lifestyles of alternative sexual relationships. I have seen the aftermath of what it does to the soul, the person, spouse and family… In many cases it creates and ongoing cycle of distrust, rejection, selfishness and secretiveness that causes much ambivalence, despair, insecurity, resentment and anxiety for those involved.
When the man on the “Down-Low” is in ministry this can be devastating. This causes much conflict within the family as far as their belief system. For example; the woman may seek the comfort of another woman. This in turn leads to a confusing physical relationship that further complicates her life as well. This is the ultimate rejection so her self esteem is at stake. She begins to question her own sexuality? To assuage her guilt she now turns to drugs!
The various family members begin to act out rebelliously and justify turning to worldly living… In some cases becoming a lesbian… The children become confused as to what is right? They begin to experiment and then become promiscuous as they reach puberty… Which begins to perpetuate another vicious cycle of dysfunction? Now the world has entered their home and the enemy has covertly shifted the entire focus of the family from God’s principles…
It really boils down to spiritual warfare!!!
The Word of God is powerful and was given to help us navigate through this maze of life! We must proclaim the Truth of His Word and encourage others to draw closer to the Lord in these last days. I know what it is like to be censored and oppressed for believing the Truth of God’s Word. Yet, we must stand on the Word of God! “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These men will divide you who follow mere instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourself up in the most Holy Faith and PRAY in the Spirit.” Jude 1.
When you see someone drowning do you try to help them? The point is we are called believers for a reason. The world and its ways of manipulation have worked itself into God’s Church. I am not talking about the building! I mean the lives of many baptized believers! The world says “ do whatever you feel is right” The Word of God says “Repent!” Which means to turn to God; not to repeat? We are not to jump into the quicksand of life! “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch them out from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 1.
It is important not to compromise the Word of God even if it means being misunderstood! It is much more important what God knows rather than what others think? Don’t give in to false doctrine that goes against what God says! We are supposed to influence the world not let it influence us! Spend time meditating on His Word; “Be still and know!”
It is so important that we personally know God’s Word! We must develop and ongoing, growing intimate relationship with the Lord! This is about learning how to honor God with your bodies. In the Old Testament sacrifices were offered to God for the sins of the people! Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world. Now we are to offer our body as a sacrifice to the Lord! As we do this our lives are transformed and our minds can be renewed daily by the Word of God! Do you believe God knows what is best for us?
“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God –this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer by the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12.
One must seek to rise above any behavior that is not pleasing to the Lord! This closeted homosexuality, adulterous, bisexuality is dangerous! The “Down-Low” is one of those patterns of the world, and it is inappropriate!
I realize that the Church is divided on the subject of sex. No one wants to talk about sex really, or address the growing issues? Do we continue to just bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich? Many go to worship, sing, pray, dance, shout, fellowship and then go back to in many instances a lifestyle that is contrary to what God says is acceptable! Worship really becomes a temporary distraction or just another social activity? Think for a moment; what if Jesus were to return tomorrow? God is aware of the Truth… True worshippers must “Worship HIM in Spirit and in TRUTH.”
The idea of worship is to honor the Lord is it not? Are we not to learn to worship Him with our lives daily?
Should we not be concerned? Concerned does not mean you make someone feel comfortable in sin! It means that you care enough that you want to do something about it to help them… Many do not realize that they are looking for love in all the wrong places. The enemy just uses sex to win a stronghold over your life! He always perverts what God made for Good!
If you know that your spouse is indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! I suggest stepping back. If you suspect this is so, be careful how you confront your spouse! Set aside some time when you both can talk. It is important that you get yourself tested? Prepare yourself. Keep in mind he may not be ready to confront his behavior. He may be offended if he is a leader in the Church… This makes it just that much more important! Talk about your relationship and how you feel. Allow him to talk about how he is feeling. Ask him about his current sexual relationship with you before you approach his suspected infidelities if you are not sure?
When you find out this is so? Know you cannot change him; he has to want to change. Many women marry men thinking that they are going to change them? It won’t happen! Only God can do this! “HE IS ABLE!” You can and should model godly behavior. You can intercede and pray fervently! This is his problem and you are not the cause. It is important that he seeks help and you both get godly counsel as to how you go forward?
See PART II
Marriages that do not include “Transparency & Intimacy” are susceptible to infidelity. An affair is a sexual relationship between two people outside of marriage! An affair can also be an emotional attachment. Be it physical or emotional there is a transference that occurs. The spouse has opted to seek someone outside of the marriage to meet their physical or emotional needs!
When either spouse does not learn how to become transparent they are usually deficient in the intimacy department. Although the relationship continues marital “Trust” is not established. There is a lingering element of insecurity that is indicative of the relationship! There is also an insatiable void! A pattern of ongoing dysfunction within the marriage can easily be established if not dealt with… Secrecy becomes a part of the marriage!
Marriage was designed so each spouse could grow together and openly share their wants, needs and insecurities and become sensitive, and vulnerable to one another! The desire is to build a loving environment of trust and enjoy life together with one another! This is what transparency is all about! This leads to building a stronger cohesive bond. Each partner is different yet equally important. Mutual respect cultivates a healthier environment where your personal needs can be met! Vigorously meeting one another’s marital needs are then a major priority in your marriage!
There are numerous reasons why someone is not able to establish “intimacy and transparency.” When one has been abused, mistreated, neglected, lack coping skills, is subject to peer pressure, or has an addiction they quite often lack self esteem as well. They may suffer from depression, rather than address their hurts they suppress them. It may also be that they simply lack moral and spiritual values. In either case they may unconsciously select a partner that does not subscribe to transparency or is abusive! The relationship tends to remain surface without depth and void of any fulfillment. This in itself can cause one to continue to look beyond marriage to have their needs met. Secrecy begins to dominate the marriage!
Each marriage is quite different! Each spouse has a different temperament. They each vary in the need or desire for Inclusion, Control and Affection. Some couples marry and establish a businesslike relationship. They then often seek to have their emotional and sometimes physical needs met outside of the marriage. Open marriages rarely work. They do not allow the couple to properly bond and establish trust and intimacy. Here again there is also usually an underlining insecurity. Some seek open marriages because they lack the ability to commit to a trusitng monogamous relationship.
Adults need healthy self esteem! When they do not have self confidence there is then a tendency to cover it up! Drugs or alcohol is another way of covering up low esteem and inner pain to compensate for their insecurities. The changing shift in morals increases and abets experimentation in the area of illicit sex and drugs as well. Countless individuals are currently addicted to pornography and other sexually related addictions. Unknowing they have been seduced not thoroughly considering the spiritual ramifications or consequences of walking in disobedience! This is why it is important to know that God sees everything!
Many enter into marriage without really getting to know the person they marry. Either spouse has quite often, not taken the time to examine one another’s values or priorities. They in fact are “unequally yoked.” Your spouse is supposed to be your life partner! Marriage is supposed to be a commitment to God’s design for marriage! This is why it is so important not to rush into marriage for whatever reason? After all, you are going to be together for a lifetime?
There is much on the horizon in this 21st century to change God’s design for marriage. It is within the context of this article I am attempting to make an exertion to address “Marriage God’s Way” and some of its surrounding issues. His original design for marriage has not changed.
When one hastily rushes heart first into marriage, the relationship often become compartmentalized and there are parts of one another that are not readily shared. It takes more time for each spouse to sort through the layers of personality. In order to grow together there must be the desire for ongoing transparency. When one does not become transparent emotional walls begin to erect. In the interim you may “walk on eggshells.” This becomes stressful as well as unhealthy! Nor does this let your spouse in and often one elects to supplement their needs outside of the marriage.
Pornography, sexual addictions of all sorts and affairs are on the rise in this 21st century. These are a few of the unhealthy ways of meeting your marital needs outside of marriage! Addictions are strong, uncontrollable compulsive behaviors that are damaging to the mind, body and soul! Sexual dysfunction is prevalent today and rising! It is a not only a physical disorder but psychological as well. STD’s and HIV become probable dire health issues? Since sex outside the sanctity of marriage is often supported this tends to make it much easier to go outside the marriage to seek ways to get your needs met.
Our teens need better healthy committed marriage role models! Sexual feelings are natural and should be openly discussed rather than ignored! Many teens participate in sex before marriage without fully considering the bonding that takes place when sex occurs. Promiscuity among teens often occurs when one seeks to fill their inner void through sexual relationships. Not realizing that they are actually giving away parts of themselves. There is an enormous amount of peer pressure for teens! This can result in unexpected pregnancies. This can also later result in further hindering future transparency in marriage!
Marriage is the first institution that God designed! “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh…” You void Trust when you dishonor your marriage vows… It is important to know what you join yourself together with becomes a part of you! This is another reason why one should take their time in selecting a spouse!
If you are a believer, you must consult our Creator and Maker instead of embracing the world’s many alternatives? If you have ignored Him, you can always change? God is able! Start right where you are! You must begin to diligently seek God for help with your marriage! Meditate on His Word, embrace and implement His principles in your life! Begin to be honest with your spouse! Or you can continue to “do your own thing?”
Getting your needs met outside of marriage is not His way. It is actually a weakness taking the helm of your life. This leads you on the broad road that leads to destruction. This will eventually devastate your spouse and further weaken your ability to build a strong healthy marriage and hinders your spiritual life as well. One must take some time and ponder what the impact of practicing infidelity or sex outside of marriage does to their spouse! It hurts them terribly!!!
* If you are in ministry one should really take time to address the consequences of indulging in a sexual relationship outside of marriage! You water down your effectiveness and invalidate the call on your life! The Word teaches us a seducing spirit is in operation here and causing you to “walk in the flesh” See Galatians 5.
If you are a believer it is important to know the WORD of God! The Word was never meant to be a set of rigid legalistic rules and regulations. It is our “Life Manual!” A powerful loving guide that is designed to point us to TRUTH! To keep us on the straight and narrow road! God is now your Father or is He? God does not force us; we have the right to choose! It is important to weigh the consequences? You do not want to be a stranger to His will and way! Or do you?
When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord you are saying you want to develop an intimate transparent relationship with Him! Don’t let the world dull your conscience and spiritual ethics! As long as we all are on this side of heaven we are here to learn and grow spiritually! The Lord sees us individually and knows exactly where each of us are! We are supposed to reach out for the Lord, call on Jesus and apply His Word to our lives daily! His arms are always open …
God has instilled in all of us a desire for relationship. But we must realize that our true security and significance can only be unearthed and experienced in a relationship with Him. When we embark upon the quest for a partner, we must keep in mind God's principles. One of the main problems occuring in marriage is “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.”
When a person has an addiction it can be totally devastating. It not only affects the addict but anyone they come in contact with. It causes fear and insecurity to dominate the lives of their family and often friends as well. It often paralyzes them in a cesspool of co-dependency, inhibiting them from taking a lawful stand.
Intervention when properly initiated can be a catalyst for repentance in the addict. You see we don’t really like to confront problems. We tend to take the ostrich approach, burying our heads in the sand. Guess what? The problem won’t just go away. We often think of love as not making someone feel bad. (Except when it comes to punishing children) But we must be careful not to unconsciously support any wrong behavior. An addict is a devotee to whatever substance they are controlled by. They surrender their will and allow themselves to be habitually, obsessively controlled by the proclivity of their desire. Their addictive need is compulsive and they will do whatever is necessary to fulfill that need.
Buried underneath the layers is really a diamond in the rough! How ironic? God can take their faithfulness to what ever their desire is (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, dirt, etc.) and turn it too good. The process is really miraculous to watch. But it will never happen as long as we keep our head in the sand. God will not force His way. Remember their allegiance is just inappropriately designated. Do you know why it’s easy to abet them in there slow but sure death? They can appear so loving and talk about the life of the party! Who needs a party? They are a party all by themselves. They can be so compliant and giving. But right around the corner lives Mr. or Mrs. Tyrant. . They can embrace the reigns of violent and destructive behavior like sugar to an ant. Talk about a roller coaster! Except this ride is not very amusing. Living on the edge is their theme.
The deepest emptiness and a gulf of shame awaits the departure of each subsequent binge. But don’t be in total despair. There is hope. You see God really does make the difference. Just know you can’t change them. But you can and should abandon providing them a security blanket in any form. Begin to shift your focus to God. He’s the ultimate COMFORTER. He will direct your paths as you truly learn to trust HIM. Begin to develop your role as their faithful prayer intercessor. The chronic abuser allows freedom to his love ones. Freedom to know you can’t depend on them. This freedom can cause you to take on their responsibilities. Oftentimes this can cause one to reach for situations and people they can dominate just as the addict controls their life. To the other extreme, it can also cause them to look to someone who will stroke their insecurities. What a cycle! One can become enmeshed in a sea of burdens. But I’m glad there is a burden bearer. The scripture says: “take my yoke upon you and learn of me for my yoke is easy and my burdens are light”. Easier said than done huh! But it is really possible. Begin to transfer this burden to the Lord. Embrace the scriptures daily to spiritually equip you for warfare. Ephesians is a book that let’s the child of God know that you have been sealed and deliverance is at hand. The mighty weapons of God are not carnal.
You cannot change anything that has happened. Don’t overindulge yourself in a guilt trip. But don’t jump in the quicksand of denial. The noose of addiction can be broken. Jesus did not die in vain. He can resurrect any life. He can peel away the layers of sin by the cleansing power of His BLOOD. It takes only a little light to dispel the darkness. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. That’s’ why we need a SAVIOR. TO SAVE US FROM THE POWER OF SIN. Reach out to the Lord. He can and will be there for you TWENTY/ FOUR / SEVEN.
What does it mean to love someone? Does it mean you give them everything they want? Does it mean letting someone run over you? Does it mean you tell them what they want to hear? Does it mean you never make them angry? Does love ever end? Webster defines love in this way; strong affection for another based on kinship ties. Example: maternal love for a child. Attraction based on sexual desire. Admiration or benevolence. Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. A beloved person: Darling. Brotherly concern for others. To hold dear. To feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness. An unselfish concern of God for man. The scriptures tell us that “God is Love.” Tell me can you really truly love someone and not know God? Or better yet to the degree you know God; does it help you love in a profound way? According to I Corinthians LOVE……is PATIENT………is KIND………does not ENVY……. does not BOAST…… Is not PROUD…..is not SELFISH. Keeps no record of wrong doings…….does not DELIGHT in EVIL……..but REJOICES in TRUTH. Always protects. Always TRUSTS. Always HOPES. Always PERSEVERES. Does your definition of love encompass Biblical principles?
I have found that love is a term that many people use loosely. If you listen clearly they usually base love on doing or not doing something for them. Love is not giving someone what they want. Love is not letting people run over you. Love is not telling people what they want to hear. If you love them you will speak the truth in love. Just know when you truly love people they will get angry with you sometimes! Their perspective of you will modify. You are no longer the kind wonderful person that they thought you were. All of a sudden you will be perceived as being cold, uncaring, and selfish. They will accuse you of not really loving them when you don’t give them what they want. Don’t fret! God knows your heart. In the meantime pray for them. Begin to practice healthy boundaries with them.
There are many angry people who will chew you out at the drop of a hat. They have oodles of pent up unresolved anger. Cancer, high blood pressure, eating disorders, temper tantrums and depression are just a few results of stored anger. It’s okay for them to have a tantrum. But you are expected to appease them. Anger is natural. Encourage them to find healthy ways to express their anger. Suppressing anger is unhealthy. Just know it takes more control to not respond than to throw a fit. Did you know you can be angry and sin not?
By the way you must let go of some people you love. I am not talking about letting go like in divorce. Divorce occurs because two adults are not able to work through whatever problems they are experiencing. They are not able to keep the commitment they made to each other for whatever reason. Often this is because they really didn’t think things through first. Many couples are unaware of the necessary tenacity for an enduring marriage. (But that’s another column). When I say letting go I mean putting them in hands of the Lord. Allow Him to intervene. There are those who just enjoy a habitat of tension and confusion. Did you know you could break unhealthy cycles by employing better ways to resolve conflict? Avoiding conflict is not healthy. Allowing a cooling off period before discussing the problem may be helpful. Words spoken in a fit of anger can be very damaging. Letting go and allowing them space to feel the consequences for their actions can be beneficial to their spiritual maturity.
The world is a very inconsistent place. God’s standards are not respected nor appreciated. God must be the central focus of your life for true successful living. The prophets pleaded over and over with God’s people to return to his principles. God wants to be first in your life. God has instructed us to; “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children and talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest……. (Deuteronomy 6) God loves us and is faithful. His WORD is true.
Love will help you weather the storms of life. Love must be balanced. The term conditional love is often used today. I often hear I can do without your kind of love. Well your kind or my kind of love is not love at all. God sets the standard. God is love. Unless we measure it by His standards it’s merely subjective opinion. For example; the more I don’t rock your boat you love me. Once you rock my boat I tell you to get out. Now all of a sudden you cry, “You don’t love me”. As long as I let you rock my boat it’s thought of as love. WRONG! How can something as important as Love be reduced to such insignificant terms. Don’t get love confused with how you feel. You can not like what someone does and still love them. It is love that actually helps you to respond or not respond to them despite the way you feel. Remember God’s love rejoices in the truth! Beware of counterfeit love. When you have been truly loved you will know the difference. True love is kind of like quality; you know it when you see it. “I love the Lord because he heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to my prayers.” (Psalms 116) This is one of my favorite passages of scriptures. We are saved by God’s grace. The Lord has saved my entire household! This motivates me to stand for what is right. Our purpose for living is to praise and worship HIM! Knowing that forever we will be together gives me an unexplainable peace and security in the midst of a world full of turmoil. For this I am eternally grateful!
Few people really know what it means to be loved. People live in estranged relationships for years. Households are literally filled with strangers. Sickness, anger, resentment and unresolved bitterness becomes the cohesive components to bind them together. Don’t spend a lot of time in the garbage of life! God has a better way for you to live. It’s never to late to implement His principles in your daily lifestyle. He can and will guide you. Get off the broad road. This is the worldly road. The broad road leads to destruction. The narrow road leads to God. But there are only a few that find it. Scriptures tells us that love covers a multitude of faults. This does not mean we ignore or condone sinful habits. Don’t be deceived! There are consequences for sin.
God always allows you to choose. It is the unselfish concern of God for man that explains love in a nutshell. God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us. To redeem us from the power of sin. In order to free us from sin’s captivity. He laid down His life for us! There is no greater love than this? Does grace give us the right to willfully sin? God forbid! Out of spiritual ignorance we support all the wrong things in people. We literally “love them to death”. When they are six feet under we cry, rant, rave and shout. But why wait until it’s to late? Why do we allow people we say we care about to slowly die little by little right before our faces? Why not do something while the blood is still running warm in their veins? It’s because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. Right! We don’t want to hurt their feelings but what about hurting their life? We prefer to take away their motivation to change by comforting them in sin. Motive is always key in whatever you do. Some people have been loved so wrong for so long they can’t recognize true love.
We can not change anybody. But we can stop supporting what we know is wrong. Some thing’s will just not be understood on this side of heaven! Believe it or not God does not support wrong! I don’t care if you have two or two thousand or two million people to support you if it’s wrong it’s wrong. No one is above reproach. Just try reading Jeremiah. Look at what obedience and love he had for God and His principles! For over 40 years he pleaded with Israel. They ignored a great opportunity for spiritual, moral and ethical maturity. They still chose to justify their sins. Did you know that they did not repent in Jeremiah’s time? I wonder if they thought Jeremiah was too negative and needed a personality adjustment? Just imagine the rejection and ridicule he received for taking a stance against sin! Jeremiah didn’t just talk the talk. He walked it! He was steadfast! God is about freedom! Sin is a slavemaster. Did you know that it is easier for many to believe a lie rather than believe the truth? God is a Spirit of Truth. “They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth”!
God will bless and keep you in any and all circumstances. Remember GOD is Love! God is eternal! “Stand fast in the liberty that Christ has set you free and be not entangled with a yoke of bondage! Sin is bondage. The Love, freedom, and security that God provides is priceless! Get off the broad road. Discover that narrow road that only a few find. Commit to making a conscious effort to sin less and love with Godly Love! HALLELUJAH!
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.
“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.”