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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What Does It Mean to Love? Part 1

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 13 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? Guess what? Well, whenever the above are not in operation it is not love. We all should seek to improve how we respond in love. Guard the Love the Lord Blesses you with!

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! Learn to be “angry and sin not!”


I am eternally grateful that the LORD has bestowed His Love upon our lives and our marriage. I can say we genuinely love, appreciate and respect one another as husband and wife. It is not something we take for granted. We both are able to stand firm as individuals in what and who we believe in. Together we have faithfully allowed the Lord Center Place within our marriage. We are thankful for His Holy Spirit His Comforter. There is never question as to His Divine intervention in bringing us together. This was confirmed by our late Elder Pastor/mentor. He told us it was important to not let anything come between the “circle” of our God given love. We have held his godly wisdom dear to our hearts… It has helped us to weather the storms of life as well as the plethora of mountaintop experiences. We enjoy, genuinely love, respect, trust without doubt and care passionately for another.  This is something our children can also attest to.

 

I am most thankful for God given coping skills. There is a Joy and an unexplainable Peace that is present even in the midst of sickness, sorrow, contention or spiritual warfare. The HOLY SPIRIT is a wonderful  SPIRITUAL COUNSELOR! GOD’S TRUTH is POWERFUL. It will not allow you to freely move in denial but rather seek TRUTH. (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ANYWHERE IS HIDDEN TO THE LORD) A lie will keep you in bondage. There is no place in truth for delusional illusions to persists. I/we Thank the LORD for “Sound Minds!” And an undoubtable constant awareness of GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE everywhere you are. Always seek the TRUTH above all else… I fully realize without the Lord I am nothing but walking breathing shaped formed dust. Yet in Him I am confident knowing that within me His Holy Spirit resides.

 

As we submit to the “WILL & WAY” of the LORD HIS HOLY SPIRIT leads us to ALL TRUTH!

It is important to readily strive to resolve conflict. It only serves to limit your own “Walking in the Spirit!”  Feelings need to be validated. Discipline needs to be embraced when responding or not responding. Confrontation exercised from the perspective; “this is how you feel” Be willing to “REPENT” whenever in error. Choose freely the path of spiritual growth Move forward allowing the Lord to build your character. Don’t let life make you bitter always strive to “BECOME BETTER!” Life is so very precious and you do not want to spend the majority of your marriage and your relationships in “much ado!” You get stronger in this as you practice it.

 

 

There are those who have lived with much turmoil. Rather than seek to resolve their inner turmoil they tend to continue to create it. They will often project how they are feeling upon you. Pray for Discernment!

 

Whenever you are dealing with someone who does not really understand love they will often misinterpret your intentions. Their perspective of you will fluctuate. They base everything on their feelings. Not usually looking at what they have done or said to make the relationship go south. Yet, you suddenly 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. But yesterday you were the greatest… But now since you won’t let them have something or do something you are cold. Yet they have done little or nothing. Go figure? Watch the double mindedness. They will accuse you of not really loving them when you don’t give them what they want. Know they are hurting and want you to hurt too. This is not the case in a healthy marriage or relationship.  Even when you disagree you will reinforce your love for one another. You know one another and don’t try to reduce one another to a lower standard. You can disagree respectfully. Patience is key!

 

Don’t fret! God knows your heart. Pray for them. (In a trusting relationship you don’t go here…) Stand fast. Be patient and allow the Lord to bring what is really happening to the forefront. Don’t manipulate or don’t allow anyone to manipulate you. Seek the Lord fervently for direction. In the meantime pray for them. Begin to practice healthy boundaries with them. Or you will engage in a continuous cycle of dysfunction.

 

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 and or unresolved conflict. It’s okay for them to have a tantrum. Its okay for them to vent and rant. Its okay for them to do very little. Like a spoiled child they want what they want right now. Usually at your expense.  Your are prideful yet they are justified.  You are expected to appease them.

 

 

Anger is natural. It takes discipline to combat anger. Encourage them to learn to be patient and 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. The responsibility to nurture the marriage is not mutual.

 

Many couples are unaware of the necessary tenacity for building an enduring marriage. There are also those who come to marriage to get rather than to give. They have been so hurt that they remain insulated from learning how to really love and keep the vows that they made. Sometimes they will exit selfishly living behind a wall of shame… (But that’s another column/sermonette). 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. They will often go the mile with a coworker or a friend and their spouse receives the leftovers. Or as a friend you will have to carry the load the majority of the time. They tend to participate in just about everything at their place of worship, or work related activities, yet their home life suffers and takes secondary place. Their need for acceptance by others is their priority. This should not be. It is clear that they don’t perceive  or understand God’s Omnipresence.

 

Anger and dysfunction need to be confronted. Avoiding conflict is not healthy. Did you know you could break unhealthy cycles by employing better ways to resolve conflict? Allowing a cooling off period before discussing the problem may be helpful. Always seek direction from the Lord He will never lead you wrong. He will help you to humble yourself. Learn to walk in meekness. Which is power under disciplined control.

 

Sharing a one sided account of what has happened to your friends will not help your relationship. It may get you some momentary support. But it won’t help you to grow spiritually. Words spoken in a fit of anger can be very damaging. Taking responsibility for your actions is always a step in the right direction. 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 often respected nor appreciated by many. God must be the central focus of your life and  relationships for true successful living as a believer. Life will present challenges. But with the help of the Lord; He can and will deliver you through it all. The prophets pleaded over and over with God’s people to return to His principles. But many still preferred to do their own thing. Knowing the WORD of GOD for yourself is important. God wants to be first in your life. Remember after all you claim you belong to Him?

 

As believers we have been grafted into His family. He wants us to know Him through His Word. 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. ALL HIS WORD IS TRUE.

‘”GOD IS LOVE!” Love will help you weather the storms of life. Love must be balanced. The term “unconditional love” is often misused today. I often hear SOME SAY; “I can do without your kind of love.” Well, “your kind or my kind of love” is not love at all. This is really more about how you are feeling in the moment. Remember, God sets the standard for love, for “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 anymore.” As long as I let you rock my boat it’s thought of as love. This does not have to be. WRONG! This is immaturity. How can something as important as Love be reduced to such insignificant terms. This is what I call “intoxicating affections.” It mimics love and doesn’t last.

 

Don’t get love confused with how you feel in the moment. You can not like what someone does and still love them. It is love that actually helps you to respond properly or not respond to them despite the way you feel. Remember God’s love rejoices in the truth! Although it can be painful shift through what someone says to you and see if there is any truth in it. Make an adjustment whenever necessary. This is how you shape your character. Beware of counterfeit love. When you have been truly loved you will know the difference.

 

In a healthy marriage or relationship you do not seek to reduce the love you have for one another. You take responsibility for your actions and how you are feeling.

There are only a few that find genuine love. But God really wants this for all of us. Love is precious! It is never too late to seek GOD’S LOVE! This is true if you are married or single. “Be ye perfect because I AM Perfect” God really does wants us to become perfect in HIM. Which means to become complete in HIM who IS LOVE! No one is flawless but JESUS. This is why we all need HIM as SAVIOR & LORD! HE says; we ALL CAN BECOME PERFECT in HIM! 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. This is why it is so very important to know His Word for yourself!

Growing your love in a healthy marriage or genuine relationship should be a mutual priority!

We are living in some interesting times when some of everything is happening all over the world. The Spiritual Warfare in these “Last Days” has heightened. The devil’s agenda is to reek extreme havoc upon the children of God as well as those in the world. He will use whoever he can. He knows that time is winding UP!

Now is a good time to seek the Lord above all else. In the Word, God says; “Is anyone of you in trouble! He should PRAY!” James 5 Humble yourself before the Lord. Be encouraged for GOD always has a way to HIM 24/7…

See Part 2


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Marriage Still Means The Same Thing to God – No One Has The Right To Redefine Marriage

Our economy has been down and is now rising, gas prices were up and are now going down. The housing market was in a flux and many mortgage companies have folded. The automobile industry, stock market fluctuations, credit card companies as well as many other businesses both large and small have been greatly impacted. Life as we once knew it has changed so drastically over the last few decades. Marriages and family life have been further impacted; there has been a steady trickle down effect. There was a time when marriage was considered a respected solid rock heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman. It was the foundational basis in which onedesired to build a stable, nurturing, healthy family environment. In the eyes of GOD marriage still is and always will be a solid rock institution! However man has attempted to perniciously shatter it somewhat when the state of California decided to okay same sex marriages. THIS IS NOT GOOD!!! But, “Marriage still means the same to God.”

Since we live in a liberal society why not call a union between same sexes just that; alternative or open-end lease relationships or simply “same sex unions”. Why redefine marriage and make it inclusive for a relationship that is based on someone’s sexual preference? No one has the right to redefine marriage. See CNN Article )“Across America Human Rights Commissions have been threatening and attacking Christians and their beliefs.” according to Reality Alert news forum. As well, just recently in Alberta, Canada as well the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has sentenced a pastor…to silence due to comments he made regarding homosexuality. He cannot speak out against homosexuality–either verbally or in writing–for life. He must compensate the professor who filed the complaint $5,000, along with a written apology. This decision will radically further impact our society as we know it. What do you think is next? Marriage which is honored by God is now being reduced (in my opinion) to a civil right. Marriage is a God ordained relationship between one man and one woman, it now is being redefined to satisfy the desires of society. Webster’s Dictionary will have to redefine it’ “Bride & Groom” they will say “party A & party B.” But, “marriage still means the same to God.”

What does this do for future generations? What message does this send to our children? I think confusion! There is a difference. Depending on whatever your sexual preference is you can now marry who ever depending on what state you live in? Or better yet anyone who wants a “same sex union” can just come to California. Please take a moment to ponder this as well! “A homosexual man who has a blog on Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign website is suing two major Christian publishers for violating his constitutional rights and causing emotional pain, because the Bible versions they publish refer to homosexuality as a sin. Bradley LaShawn Fowler, 39, of Canton, Mich., is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson Publishing in lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Press reported. “

What is next? Changing another taboo from abnormal to normal? Perhaps lowering the legal age limit to marry and then the reinstatement of incestuous marriage relationships between close relatives? God forbid! What was unheard of a few decades ago is now the norm. God has established good healthy boundaries for a Christian marriage from the very beginning. It was the misuse of God’s liberal freedom way back when that mankind sought to do what was “right in their own eyes.” The Scriptures records in Genesis 19 the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, a society that was devastated because of their sexual sins. So here we are again. The Bible is so true when it says “nothing is new under the sun”. Same sex relationships are not new. They now just want to impede on the rights of God’s ordained institution of “HOLY MATRIMONY”. This actually puts our religious freedom at risk. Secular beliefs have now begun to merge and infringe on our Christian foundational principles. Think about it marital rights just because of your sexual preference. Does this mean we will have to selectively overlook certain passages of Scripture? Romans 1 tells us God tells us that “They exchanged the Truth for a lie.” Paul is clear in regards to what God regards as sexual impurity. God is clear on His position in regards to marriage! “Marriage still means the same to God.”

What is next? Now that everyone is coming out of the closet. I am not saying this to fuel any “gay or homo phobia” I am saying this because many Christians do not see spiritually what this is doing? There is a seducing spirit in operation here. God gives us the right to choose. As Christians you need to come out of the closet too; but, STAND for GOD & HIS WORD against anything that is not of HIM! You need to come out and openly declare what God has to say about this… Don’t passively listen or read through the Word of God! Since God did create us He knows what is best for us. When we embrace His Word it nourishes your inner spirit. Digest His Word and let it become your daily bread as He intended. Let it be that Living water that He provides that can only quench your spiritual thirst. When we choose Him we choose Jesus Christ as our personal Savior! “His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a Light unto our path.” Does this mean we simply overlook all the passages in regards to marriage? His Comforter comes to reside within us to help us to live to please God! There is absolutely nowhere in the Word of God where this is acceptable. Is not ALL God’s WORD true? Of course it is! God is Omniscient meaning all knowing! He knew then what would be now. II Timothy 3 tells us “ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD BREATHED and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” “Marriage still means the same to God.

We as Christians must firmly proclaim the Truth. We are becoming an increasing minority as far as upholding God’s design for marriage. I am pro God! God has already set the standards. God is Love. This is why He has establish healthy boundaries for us. We need to tell our children, friends and love ones that we love them. God meant love to be something wholesomely beautiful. Love encompasses a deep sincere concern. We should be concerned enough to say, this is what God has to say about marriage, life and living. God is Love. Don’t allow carnality to pervert God’s love. His love does not sanction nor ordain “same sex unions”, adultery, lesbians, homosexuals, fornication, jealousy, lying, pornography, sowing discord among the brethren, selfish ambition, drunkenness nor any other sins. Please don’t turn your ears away from the Truth! Know God’s Word for yourself! Meditate on His Word. LISTEN with your spiritual ears. I Corinthians says; LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil but rejoices in the TRUTH. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS.” When you say that you love somebody, mean it. But first check it out by the one who is LOVE.The last time I checked God did not redefine LOVE; to mean whatever your sexual preference is……… God’s definition of LOVE remains the same regardless of what man does or says. Love is a gift from God. There is much inner peace when you know that the Lord knows your heart! I Peter 1 tells us; Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him, and so your faith and hope are in God. NOW that you have PURIFIED yourselves by OBEYING the TRUTH so that you have sincere LOVE for your brothers, LOVE one another deeply from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and enduring WORD OF GOD………”

Within God’s Word you will find grace and peace in abundance as you embrace the knowledge of His Truth. His promises are precious. God has created us for a purpose and that purpose has not changed. We are living in times when marital infidelity is being rationalized and compromised. The world is ever changing. But as Christians we must look to His Word for direction. It is our “Life Manual”! God and God alone is Sovereign! God has revealed to us through His Word what He expects of us as His children. God has no grandchildren. Therefore as long as He has us here we are here to learn. He has created us with an innate ability to know what is right from wrong. The Bible also records the consequences of what happens when we do otherwise. Take some time in His Word. “Marriage still means the same to God!” If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you need to get to know Him intimately and personally. The world in which we live at large does not value what God has to say. So you need more than just second hand information. God knows where each of us is in regards to spiritual growth and development. The wonderful thing about God is “He is not a respecter of persons.” His Holy Spirit is readily available to all who sincerely ask. His Holy Spirit is our Comforter our Teacher and our Guide. God and God alone is Omnipresent. He is right here or there. This means He is everywhere you are.

Today it is becoming increasingly difficult to live in a world that does not respect what God has to say. But, “Marriage still means the same to God.” This is why we who say we are Christians must continuously consult the Lord’s Word. It is important to know that there is much spiritual warfare about us. God does not want us to live in fear. It is also good to know that the battle is not ours it’s the Lord. Ephesians 6 teaches us the significance of spiritual armor. Our position is to stand on His Word. Through Faith we can declare it fearlessly. It is important to know what His Word says when you take a stand. Marriage is important to Him. In the Old Testament Genesis He says, “She shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.” In the New Testament in Mark 10 He says, “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” God’s principles for marriage have not changed.Search the Scriptures for more information on Christian marriage. Marriage is not the same as “same sex unions”. Finally in Hebrews 13 it states “ Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral………..” “Marriage still means the same to God.”

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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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Homosexuality

Homosexuality

Today the world fervently proclaims homosexuality is an alternative lifestyle. Society disrespectfully disregards what God has to say in regards to the matter. We as Christians often take a neutral position fearfully dreading being persecuted for being unloving and judgmental. What is homosexuality? Webster defines homosexuality as relating to or exhibiting sexual desire towards one’s own sex… By the way there is no factual medical data to substantiate homosexuality as an inborn trait. It is a learned behavior. The scriptures tells us homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God. I Kings 14: 24. ” Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman that is detestable.” Leviticus 18: 22 (NIV).

Homosexuality is not something we as Christians should passively overlook. Especially when it obviously raises it’s head in the assembly of the Lord. It is the sin that literally destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. We have an obligation to enlighten others in regards to the pitfalls of sin that God has clearly defined as forbidden territory. Roman states “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 exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator who is forever praise, Amen.. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even the women exchanged 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. Futhermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind to do what ought not to be done” Romans 1: 24-28 (NIV)). This is GOD speaking. This passage of Scripture is quite clear. To those who have an ear let him/her hear.

We should really be about our Father’s business daily. Instead we select to entangle ourselves in a web of bureaucracy. We have allowed immorality to permeate our worship services. Appointing known practicing homosexuals, bisexuals as well as adulterers to highly visible positions. All in the name of Jesus. Know that there is a seducing spirit in operation here. Creating a multiplicity of carnally based programs and positions patterned after the standards of the world. What kind of example does this set for the children? Many teenagers are finding themselves confused and not knowing who they are. Now to the point that some are confused about their gender? This should not be! They are having an identity crisis and beginning to venture further into homosexuality. Young girls and boys need positive Christian role models as well as some one to discuss their inner feelings! The world continues to blur the sexual lines and many are getting trapped! The Bible is clear on its position of “same sex relationships!”Christ is the head of the body, the church, He must have the preeminence in all things.

You don’t have to allow sin to reign in your life. A few moments of lustful pleasure could possibly result in eternal damnation. God does not always stop us from choices that are against His will. Just know whatever gifts He has bestowed you with are greatly hindered if you choose to indulge in sexual sin. The sexual sins carry a stronger penalty. Don’t be seduced by that seducing spirit. Be truthful with yourself. You won’t have inner peace unless you repent. If you know someone who is trapped in homosexuality immediately begin to intercede for them. If you have the faith God has the power. James says “My brother, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20 (NIV.)

Jesus is coming back and although He is coming as a thief in the night He tells His children that we should not be surprised at His sudden return. We definitely know He’s coming we just don’t know when! “Finally brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please GOD, as in fact now you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is GOD’S WILL that we should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality: that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For GOD did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but GOD, who gives you His HOLY SPIRIT. I Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NIV)

Whenever anyone chooses to indulge in destructive or immoral behavior consistently that is in a position of leadership they should opt to “sit down” until they have gained self control over the impending behavior. In ministry our first desire should be to live to please the Lord. When under the influence or engaging in behavior that the LORD has deemed unacceptable it is difficult to help others break free of the shackles of sin. We must daily check ourselves to see if we are operating in the Faith. When we submit to the WILL & WAY of the LORD we are in a better position to help those we are called to minister to. As we empty ourselves we can ask the Holy Spirit to Fill us so we can go forth in JESUS NAME! God knows what is best for each of us have given us instructions for living in HIS WORD! Live everyday to the GLORY of GOD!

Today in the world where there is a multiplicity of “alternative lifestyles” know that GOD has NOT changed HIS design for marriage. Readily “REPENT!” of anything that is not like GOD in your life. Spend some time in His Word and draw closer to Him daily. He will and can lead you in the “Path of Righteousness” for HIS Namesake and get you back on the straight and narrow. Have FAITH in GOD!

God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. He wants us to have a companion helpmeet but not of the same sex. We must daily contend for the faith in these Latter Days! We must not walk in darkness and claim ourselves to be children of the Light. We must like the salmon swim against the current to get upstream! We must go against the grain when necessary We must take a stand for righteousness… Look back to learn from where you have been and what has happened. But press forward and consistently reach to the Lord to take you higher in HIM! Move up higher a little more each day. Christ is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle. Don’t be left behind. Will you be there? Will you be caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air?


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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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MARRIAGE:Developing Intimacy

MARRIAGE:Developing Intimacy

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 b: suggesting informal warmth or privacy

The Bible describes marriage as two becoming one flesh. This is really truly a fascinating concept that has become all too common. Take some time and ponder on this; we were made for God. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1. Today the world offers many variations as to what marriage can consists of? Remember God who is the Original Designer designed marriage to be a monogamous partnership between a man and a woman. Do you realize that you made a vow to love, walk together, grow together and go through both good and difficult life experiences with your spouse? Think about it your commitment was not only to your spouse but to God as well.

Man in general continues to quite often overlook the WORD of GOD in order to appease the desires of the flesh rather than seek the wisdom found in the Holy Scriptures. What was once sacred has become an optional alternative. The United States Supreme Court has even voted against the WORD of GOD in favor of same sex unions. This is a radical switch from the moral principles in which this country was founded upon. It is important to know God has not changed His principles for marriage.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2. Although Adam was very close to God he still needed human companionship. Intimacy in marriage is vitally important. Intimacy consists of being transparent; being able to freely express and communicate however it is you are feeling, to openly disagree without fear. To learn, express and experience the depth and benefit of God’s true Love within the confines of marriage. Intimacy when embraced helps you to also become closer to God. The Hebrew word for “intimate friend” is partner. Intimacy actually brings an element of responsible emotional freedom to your relationship. You do not elect to major in the minor things of life. Mutual trust, compassion, concern and respect then naturally become healthy components of your relationship.

Within marriage you are able to learn and understand the concept value of submission, which really is meekness. Meekness is so often misunderstood. It in no way implies weakness! It is a Fruit of God’s Spirit. It simply means “power under control.” Self control is an important element of the Fruit of God’s Spirit. The insecure desire to always want to dictate and control someone or something is easily relinquished when you know that it is God who really is in control of all things anyway. You also can easily recognize manipulation. “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Partaking in all the Fruit of His Spirit is quite beneficial. (See Galatians 5) Getting to know the Lord in an intimate personal way is so very important!

Why is it that all too often you are respectful to everyone else except your own spouse? Is your relationship often fueled by your residual unresolved emotions, impulsiveness, impatience and or hot tempers? When you usually relate in this mode to one another it will create a lot of tension between you. This also negatively impacts the overall quality of your relationship that can create a hostile unhealthy living environment. Relating in this manner, is it because you really do not believe that God is present when no one else is? Anger really grieves the Holy Spirit. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly beloved children and live a life of love.” Ephesians 4. The “TRUTH” really does set you free! How did you relate to each other before you married? It is important not to take one another for granted. “God’s Love endures forever.”

Since we live in the world that so strongly influences behavior, for many actually including God’s principles usually just becomes an afterthought. Common excuses “I’m human” well I hope so! Or “nobody’s perfect.” Did God not say “be ye perfect” because He is perfect, which really means mature not flawless. As God’s child we should be growing until He decides that it is time to meet Him face to face. Or repenting in stead of repeating. Pride usually takes the forefront. As a Christian your marriage should be different. God really is Omnipotent, He is right there! His Word is meant to be our life manual. When truly embraced fully and practiced, intimacy will alter how you interact and behave tremendously. You share mutual interests and your needs are met. You invite God in your circle. Of course you disagree at times but you learn to resolve most of your differences responsibly which further strengthens each of you as independent individuals, yet matures you as a couple.

Intimacy helps you to learn how to appreciate and to mutually respect one another, to entrust your inner self to your partner. This reinforces your union as a couple. You usually don’t impulsively just react when something or someone triggers you emotionally or “pushes your button”. You do not have to give them “a piece of your mind” all the time. I always say that I prefer to “keep my entire mind.” When put into practice you instead, learn to think first, and then responsively respond if and when necessary. The more you practice this principle you gain deeper insight and acquire calmness, inner peace and serenity. You do not just let others outwardly control you by remote. Be alert because you will be tested! “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires…” James 1 The peace of God brings much inner contentment. If you read on you will find that there really are spiritual benefits in learning how to bridle or control your tongue! God is AWESOME! Each of us has an innate God given unique temperament. “It is our temperament that determines how well we react to people, places and things. In short, it is how people react with their environment and the world around them.” (Creation Therapy by Dr. Richard & Phyllis Arno)

Our Creator knows what we need. The malleable brain, your mind God has given you has over 12 billion cells, and over 400 miles of capillaries within 100 sq ft. In other words it can store a lot of “stuff”. You know the saying “practice makes perfect” what we really should say is “practice makes permanent.” Be careful what you ……. Creativity and learning by building upon what you already know builds dendrites or increases learning which builds your mind. Spiritually digesting and applying God’s Word transfers into a stronger solid spiritual foundation. Intimacy with God works absolute wonders! God’s Word is spiritual food for your mind. He says we can be “transformed by the renewing of our minds…” Romans 12. Change is possible. Do you really believe His Word? God really does have a better way! This is why it is so important to consult the Lord and apply His Word. Since He created us He really does know what is best for us. “With God all things are possible!

Remember God has designed marriage for each of you to have a “helpmeet if desired.” Developing intimacy has to be a desired goal; it is not an automatic process. Rather than just “dump” on one another you create an environment where you can learn healthier relational dynamics. Intimacy also helps to release inner anxiety, allows free expression, frees your mind, and allows room instead for each of you to build an inner strength which stabilizes your relationship. The two becoming one is a spiritual principle of intrinsic value.

Marriage is supposed to be something that is cherished. It must be attended, nurtured and cared for in order to create an environment in which you both are able to mutually grow together both spiritually and emotionally. Each marriage is different and as two different individuals you both together are able to determine what your priorities are in your own marital relationship. It is important to respect, support, encourage, chastise and urge one another to be all they can be in life in order to grow and fulfill whatever their God given purpose may be. God wants to be a part of our lives each and everyday. Sometimes this requires a shifting or reprioritizing of what you think or perceive to be important. Ultimately instead of trying to fit God into our lives we should design our lives to center around Him.

Quite often when one thinks of intimacy they think only on terms of being physical. Many couples have and are experiencing physical relationships without any intimacy. They physically engage regularly with one another, without really getting to genuinely know one another. This may fill an immediate physical desire. However in the long run it hinders your ability to bond and develop a depth and significant security within your marriage that comes along with intimacy. There instead resides an insecure, unstable shallowness to the relationship just waiting to become unhinged. Intimacy is possible but it takes time and a mutual commitment to move towards a deeper transparent relational level in your marriage. “God’s Love endures forever.”

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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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