Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas in December

Luke 2:10: ...I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

The season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is really special. Everything comes alive in December. The lights glow in dark places, Christmas carols are playing everywhere we go. The food in December is better than any other time of year!

Although it's an awesome time of year, it does come with it's challenges. The schedules are full, budgets are stretched and relationships can become easily strained. Let me challenge you this year to overlook little offenses by easily forgiving one another and walking together in unity and love!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friendship & Intimacy

If you ask men and women what they like to do for fun,   the differences in the way we like to spend our time are quite different. The challenge is to find activities that suit both the husband and the wife and do things together. It is through developing friendship that we are able to really develop true intimacy.

Jerry and I were friends before we ever became interested in each other as marriage partners. After we had been married for quite some time though, we let our friendship slide. We were busy with life! You know what I mean. With work, family, pets, house upkeep and church, we just didn’t make time for ourselves.

As a result, we drifted apart and eventually separated for a year and a half. God miraculously restored our marriage. That story is for another day. However, when we first got back together, we really did it because we knew God was telling us to do so. We didn’t even have any feelings for each other. We had destroyed friendship and intimacy.

Our restoration began with a decision to start all over again. One of the first things we did was find a hobby we both enjoyed. That way we were able to have something to talk about besides kids and hurt feelings.

At the time we lived on the East Coast where antiques were plentiful, so we began collecting them. We went to auctions and yard sales, and then we would take our newly acquired treasure to the garage and refinish it together. We would have to sell something in our house to make room for the new piece. Today looking back, it seems symbolic of us letting go of the past failures little by little and replacing them with something better!

It required a lot of time and effort to rebuild each piece of furniture and to rebuild our marriage. However, the end result made all the hard work worth the investment! Today we are best friends once again and we do have intimacy in our marriage.

Now our passion is to see phenomenal marriages fill our church, community and world! Whether your marriage needs to be rebuilt completely like ours or just needs a little bit of TLC, it’s worth the effort.

We would love to hear your comments.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Marriages Walls of Protection

Jerry and I believe that one of the benefits of marriage is to be able to join together as one and be a powerful spiritual force that can withstand any enemy. The Bible tells us in Deut. 32:30 that one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight. It’s so important for us to be watchful and not invite the enemy into our homes.

In Bible times, city walls were erected to keep the enemy out and they posted watchman 24/7 on top of the walls to make sure no enemy was even at a distance.

Communication touches all areas in our marriage relationship. We feel marriage boundaries or hedges are important.  Because Satan is so subtle, it is important to have firm boundaries established before a problem arises.

If you are communicating intimately with your spouse and are meeting each other’s needs, the walls of protection remain strong. However, when you allow little things to come between you, it opens the door for other things and people to get in the way of your closeness.

In such an age of technology, keeping connected with people is easier than ever before. Making phone calls and sending endearing emails, texts, etc. to your spouse are ways to connect & keep the marriage fires burning. On the flipside, doing these things to anyone besides your spouse can hinder your relationship.

What about lunches and coffee breaks at work? Although a business lunch may be necessary occasionally, keeping it strictly business is wise. Once you begin talking about personal things, it could spiral into something before you even realize it. Be sure to stay on guard and alert in these situations.

Jerry and I also make it a boundary not to go places in a vehicle with someone of the opposite sex alone. If it becomes necessary because of work or something unavoidable, we let the other spouse know – and we don’t make it a routine practice. When I was in a youth group (more years ago than I want to admit), my youth pastor began giving another woman a ride to work. He and his wife were very close to the coworker and her husband and often did things as a foursome. What started out as just helping a friend eventually destroyed two families and caused devastation to our youth group.

This is a subject that could go on and on. Entire books have been written about it. Obviously, this barely scratches the surface. We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Just click on “comment” below. You can either sign your name or remain anonymous.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Marriage Affair

Malachi 2:15 (The Message): “His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does He want from marriage? Children of God, that's what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you. Don't cheat on your spouse.”

These last few days, talk-radio, television and the internet are all discussing the marriage breaches of those in the spotlight. David Letterman and Jon & Kate are the most mentioned – and it seems their troubles have increased their ratings tremendously. Why are people so drawn to failed relationship stories?

Many movies and television programs today make it look like the grass is greener on the other side. I’m here to tell you, it still has to be mowed – just like your own! New relationships always start out with excitement and fun; however, life always becomes routine. It takes commitment to tunnel through the daily-ness of marriage and be willing to stay devoted in the midst of it all.

Our marriages can stay fresh, and we can have the unity we so desire. However, it requires work! As time passes by, many tend to relax and take each other for granted. Let me encourage you to continue to do little things for your spouse. Remember those things you did while you were dating? Are you still doing them?

Let me encourage you today – have an affair with your spouse so no one else will!

Monday, September 28, 2009

How To See Prayers Answered

Matthew 18:19-20: "Again, I tell you if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

You will hear the above scripture again and again from Jerry and me. We believe making Jesus the Lord of our lives and then agreeing together in prayer not only brings God's presence to our home but we also see answers to our prayers.

It's no surprise that Satan tries often to get married couples to disagree and become irritated with each other. He knows the power we have if we walk together in unity, and according to 1 Peter 3:1-7 our attitudes and actions towards our spouse can actually hinder our prayers.

Satan is a strategist and works hard to get us upset at each other. He knows just what buttons to push. He knows our strengths and weaknesses, and is patient with his plan, working behind the scenes to bring division and strife.

Your spouse can make a simple mistake and Satan will try to convince you that he/she did it on purpose just to hurt you. In reality, your mate may not even know he/she has offended you.

The sooner we learn to recognize how little things can bring big division, the better off we will be! Let me challenge you this week to recognize those things that try to derail your life and home and refuse to give into the temptation to argue! Instead, join together as a couple and agree with each other in prayer, bringing the presence of God into your home!