Showing posts with label scriptures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scriptures. Show all posts

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Make Your Marriage Work

Let me start by saying that this post is only for those who want or think that they might want it to work. If you have decided in your heart that you are done and that your marriage is not worth fighting for anymore than you will not find much support through what I write. I do not judge you because there were times that I had been there, but I do encourage you to leave just a little room for the possibility and to seek counseling. The fact is even if you do get a divorce you will continue to carry the baggage of a torn marriage around with you until you have resolved it and begun processing it. Again, if you choose to get a divorce I wish you all the best in your life but this post is not meant for you. 

When making a marriage work you can start by thinking of it as a war for your marriage instead of a fight. What do I mean about that? There are going to be battles, some that you win and some that you lose, but you can't just surrender at the the defeats. When you start a war you have to have a military plan.You need to know what you are fighting for, what damages you expect, and who your allies are. Allies would be pastors, counselors, and other spiritual leaders. You need soldiers to fight with you who understand your goal. They fight with you through all the battles and they give you emotional support when you feel like putting up the white flag. Real soldiers do not sabotage you. Like wars, patience is key. There is no way to know how long it will last. 

If you are at this point you may have been facing loneliness, abuse, addictions, infidelity, loss of identity, and hopelessness. All of these things deserve to be addressed. 

I wanted to start by discussing loneliness. One of the hardest things I faced was not being lonely in general but was being lonely in a marriage. It can make you feel like a caged bird, one that longs for freedom but is stuck all alone. I wanted to address loneliness first because of the risk of future harm to your marriage. When there is trouble in a marriage it is important to not confide in any males that you are not related to. Even with the best of intentions, a friendship can quickly escalate to an emotional attachment. When you feel lonely and unloved by your husband, it can be easy to allow yourself to listen to a male who is willing to listen to you and support you. Even if the emotional attachment never turns to more, any time you go to another male for that attachment and not your spouse it can cause a further drift in your marriage. This is why it is very important to learn the importance of some good female Christian  fellowship.

Three things that most people consider deal breakers are abuse, addiction, and infidelity. If you have had to face any of these issues, I am so sorry. These can tear down your confidence. They can make you lose trust in people. I believe that a couple can move past these hurts and still have a very healthy marriage but it takes a lot of work, love, and forgiveness. I truly believe in God's strength and power when He is put at the center of a marriage. While I believe in working through these issues, I also believe in healthy boundaries. You can love a person and still not allow their actions to affect you. It is important that if you are in danger, you need to separate yourself from the person. You can continue to love them by not enabling their behavior, by taking the time separated to connect with God, and by remaining in prayer for them. I think of this as loving from a distance. Boundaries is a great book that teaches about Godly boundaries. 

When struggling in a marriage you can face loss of identity. I remember this vividly. I feel like I went from Faith to just being Alvin's wife and Abbie's mom. I placed all of my confidence and identity in my spouse instead of in the Lord. When I began to see a change in my marriage is when I began to pray that I would find fulfillment in God and not in my spouse. I realized that if I could be fulfilled in God then any love my spouse gave me would just be overflow. The only person we can change is ourselves. 

There is no way for us to create hope... hope only comes from God and knowing His promises. We have to know that God would not lead us astray. If you place God at the center of you life and your marriage, He will give you the wisdom and strength you need to make it through. 

When speaking to others about the struggles in marriage, one common theme I hear is, "Why should I fight (change... go to counseling) if they aren't willing to fight (change... go to counseling) for me?" This can be a tough question to answer. How often did God fight for me, when I was not willing to fight for Him? How often did He love and forgive me when I was angry and sinful towards Him? I am just so thankful to God that through out the many struggles in my marriage we never both gave up fighting at the same time.... there was always one of us fighting. I know that it was God who carried us through those times. I am amazed to see the couple God is changing us into. 

God can heal your marriage, but you have to be willing to let Him. Seek godly wisdom and counsel. Set up godly boundaries for yourself and your spouse. Lose yourself in God because that is where you will find fulfillment. Pray for your spouse. Hope comes from God alone. 

Romans 5:10 "For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

Warren Barfield- Love is Not a Fight


Love is not a place

To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Leaving A Ripple

This week I have been focused on what faith is. Faith is a word that I have literally heard countless times in my life. On an average day I see, hear, and say the word hundreds of times. 
Faith is the belief in God, in His word, and in His character. 
Who is God? He is a triune God, one God in three persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). He is the creator. He is omniscient (all knowing) , omnipotent (all powerful), and omnipresent (not bound by time and space). He is both just and loving. He is pure and Holy. 

What is His word? His word is the Bible and is also the promises and covenants He made with His people. Since the fall of man God promised a redeemer that would crush the head of the serpent. He also made a covenant to never flood the entire earth again. The Bible tells us that God sent His son, Jesus as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. Jesus is God that came to earth in human form. The Holy Spirit indwells us when  we accept Christ and repent from our sins. The Holy Spirit guides us and leads us, helping us through the sanctification process. 

What is His character? God's character is extremely complex and beautiful. He is authoritative. He is pure. He is love. He is a provider. He is a just judge. He is understanding. He is creative. He is beautiful. He is personal. He is God. 

Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."

How does faith help us? I think there are a couple parts to faith. The first one being what God has given to us. It is through Him opening our eyes to who we really are and to who God is in relation. The Holy Spirit softens our hearts and convicts us. The second part to faith would be the choice to believe even when it goes against our flesh and our world. An example of this would be shown in Mark 9:24. The father of a sick boy who said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Faith is NOT the lack of concern, fear, or worry. It is choosing to give the concern, fear, and worry to God and believing that He is in control. Look back at what God has done to see what God will do when you can't see what He is doing now. When I am struggling with something and feel at loss of what to do, I look at God's character and what God has brought me through. I then can look forward to what God can and will do, which gives me hope for what is doing. A lot of times we have blinders on and cannot see outside of our circumstances. 
God reveals Himself through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit, through His creation, and through history. If we don't believe what God has revealed to us, how can we expect to have faith? 

How can I increase my faith? The first way is prayer, in asking God to help in our unbelief. The second way is in reading the Bible and learning about God's character. Finally, through obedience. By being faithful in what we are told to do and trusting God in little things. Our faith is like a muscle.. it can grow with use. 
I love this question. When we have faith it ripples and touches those around us. Abrahams faith is still touching those around us today. I long for this kind of faith. I am not sure what kind of ripples I am leaving, but I pray that I will grow in faith and become the person God longs for me to be. 

What Ripples of Faith are You Leaving? How has God been faithful to you when you stepped out in faith? 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Distorted

As I walk through the hallway something catches my eye. I step back to see what it is. The reflection in the mirror is one that I find some familiarity in but do not recognize as my own. The image looking back at me brings tears to my eyes. Who is this? When did I become this? 


What Others See
What I see
I know that I am overweight, but why is my view so distorted? Why is what I see not what is actually there? I feel like I am in a funhouse. When speaking to a friend, I realized how common this is. I think it is just more of the devil's lies. How can I expect anyone else to love me and see me as I am if I am not able to? I find that the only way to combat the lies is with truth.


The truth: 
1. I don't think that other women that are overweight are ugly. Why am I more harsh on myself? There should be some accountability but I can not have unrealistic and unfair expectations. 


2. It is a distortion. A lie. I am overweight but I am not what I see in the mirror. 


3. My outward appearance should not matter. God expects and wants me to have inner beauty. 


4. I am a child of God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 


5. I don't have to be perfect. I have been given grace. I need to be self-controlled but I am not expected to be perfect. 


6. Only the word of God is sharp enough to separate mind from spirit. I need to keep in the word and I need to hold on to scriptures that uplift. 


While I need to work on loving myself, I also need to work on my weight. I need to work on it for my health, I need to work on it for self-control, and I need to work on it to be an example to my children. I am going to try to do the WW diet again. I want to succeed this time. I need to stop being too lazy to work the system. Sadly, I don't have any money to join a program, so a couple of friends and I will hold each other accountable. I am trying to make the most on the budget I have. I put some tips and a review on a blog about it. 






Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."


1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."


2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."


Psalm 139:14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."