If you have had any struggle in your marriage that cause a divide that seemed impossible to overcome. I am sure you have found yourselves asking questions like; What’s next for you and your spouse? Can we survive this? What does that future look like for us now?

Those are all great questions to discuss as a couple. But without a proper mindset between the two of you, you are bound to get off course. It is important to set ground rules in your relationship as you are moving towards reconciliation inside your marriage. Most importantly remind each other of the forgiveness granted by each other and by God. You have been set free so stop reattaching the chains to one another.

Whatever the situation that brought you to the divide, you can survive it! Romans 1:16 says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” We shouldn’t be ashamed to turn from our sin and live as God intended, Set Free! How do I do that with a person that hurt me so deeply?, you ask. Well, first we quit reminding our spouse of their failures and offer them encouragement and praise for the effort to change and come together as one in order to move forward in unity.

You have let go of those old destructive habits and place Christ at the center of your relationship. As you come to understand your roles and the differences between the two of you, you will begin to practice forgiveness and peacefully resolve conflict by developing a healthy, God-centered approach to your life together.

When you are set free together you can overcome marriage struggles that stem from things like: temptations from intimacy drouts, trust issues within your finances and parenting. This list goes on with problems we can face in our marriage, but the answer is always God’s way still remains the best way. So continue to seek Him together and watch the divide diminish and connection become seamless. and Remember you are set free!

A Car’s Warranty

A couple years ago my wife and I went to the dealership to buy a new car with my wife. It was the first and probably the last time I buy a new vehicle. We searched for the vehicle that fit our needs and one that had the least amount of issues from the manufacturer. We picked a Red SUV and we seemed to be the first in our community with that vehicle. We thought it looked pretty good and will last a while without having to do much to it. Eventhough we maintain the vehicle with the necessary maintanence, over time things began to slowly breakdown, wear out and go out of style.

Likewise with a marriage, it looks and performs good for a while, but then over time, things start to wear out and become in need of a tuned up or a part needs replacing. When the things break down that our under warranty we don’t give it much thought beyond making an appointment to have the dealer make it work again. But there are those things that are listed as not covered under the warranty that require close attention and routine maintanence in order to keep the vehicle running and performing it’s best. Those times in which our car won’t start up right away or takes a bit to warm up could of been prevented if we maintained the vehicle and were aware of the out of normal signs our car was giving us.

Taking care of your car is much like a marriage. It needs maintained outside of the warranty in order to stay in working order. It needs level and pressure checked. It needs needs washed inside and out and when the warning lights blink, you need to address the issue then and not wait till the marriage isn’t running anymore. New cars are great and can be fixed by the manufacturer, but marriage requires the individuals themselves to do most if not all of the repair work themselves. What is the condition your marriage is in? What warning lights have you ignored? Remember ….

1 Corinthians 4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseve
res.

In this day and age people want to just trade it out for a new one even before the ride gets a little rough. When things get rough don’t ignore it and run it in the ground. Maintain it and change your marriage for the better. Let it become a classic and beautiful with age. It takes work and time! But it is obtainable!

I have created a 5 question survey that will get your head thinking about where you are at inside your marriage.

Marriage Survey
Please help us improve our content by completing this questionnaire.

If married, how long have you been married?

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Overall, how satisfied or dissatisfied are your role as husband or wife?

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Are you satisfied with the amount of time you spend together?

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Do you feel more emotionally connected thanyou did early in the relationship?

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Would you say that your life has balance between your social, work, home, and spiritual life?

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Heart

 

Each year on February 14th we rush to the store to find the perfect gift or card for a loved one. According to Hallmark, more than 163 million cards are exchanged. And not just in America. Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world in countries such as Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, France, and Australia.

Whether we are spending Valentine’s Day alone or with a significant other, the thoughts of who loves us and how we are loved tends to influence our perception of Valentine’s Day.

This day is one of romance and while it is important to share with those we love, our time and thoughts of what we love about them, it is important to give God his time too.

(1 John 4:19) We love because he first loved us.

Taking time in sharing with God our passions and the things we cherish most. Thanking Him for the love He has for us. In the midst of giving God glory for His part played in our lives, He will enhance the love we have for those around us, and for our significant other, our spouse.

A God enhanced version of love will spill over into every area of our lives, including the intimacy between us and our spouse. There is so much more room for passion to build inside our marriage when we are connected more than just physically. There is power in an emotional and spiritual connection we gain.

When we are connected, we share a wavelength that cannot be disrupted. Even in the midst of the busyness of our daily lives.

(Colossians 3:14) And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Find time to spend this Valentine’s Day together with your spouse in reading God’s word. Let His word guide you. Pray together and enjoy the benefits of the passion God has placed in your hearts for one another.

Triangles are everywhere. Any structure requiring a strong rigid construction depends on triangles to achieve that goal. Even though you may not see it, triangles are at work everywhere.

A triangle is the strongest of the shapes. Squares and rectangles react to force changing the parallelogram. Polygons flex under pressure. A triangle, when put together, the rigid sides are anchored to each other. Push it around anyway you like, as long as the sides are anchored, it can resist the impact of the stress that is placed on each side.

Many of those shapes in construction get their strength from being reinforced with triangles inside them. What a strength God has created for His Church and our marriages. Inside the triangle, the closer we are to God, the closer we are to our spouse. Separate the sides, however, we are farther away from God and our spouse and each piece of the triangle by itself can begin to crumble easily under stress. Until there is nothing left.

You and your spouse make up the two sides of the triangle and the base becomes the connection you create. God is the anchor that holds the pieces together as you and your spouse lean in to one another and to God. Without God in the picture your triangle has no hinge to anchor on. Without the connection between you and your spouse you leave an opening for sin to infiltrate God’s design and this will only push you further apart to eventually collapse the triangle into a straight line that can be tossed in the wind.

This shape in marriage helps us when we fall short of commitment on our part. We can still lean in on the one who hasn’t stopped holding us through the thick and the thin. Inside this institution, the triangle, is best show by the angles. Your sixty-degree angle is always met by the other two sixty-degree angles held by your spouse and God. You, your spouse and God, all leaning in on the relationship. All giving an effort to hold the other up. If your triangle becomes lopsided God’s still holding it together. It just is no longer in equal shares. Giving up breaks that triangle. So, don’t lose hope. Stand and stay connected.

In those marriages that a husband and wife distance themselves from one another, it is important to note that God hasn’t stopped holding on. Our God will always hold up His end of the covenant. Because of that promise, our God still holds on to us. Which means all that needs repaired is for us to stand up and draw closer to Him and in the process of loving ourselves the way God intended and seeking God, we will seek to love our spouse that way. Thus, mending the torn connection in our marriage and once again becoming one through the divine institution God intended. Yes, it may take work and time. But the blood and sweat and tears you pour out isn’t even close to the amount that Jesus shed for each of us individually.

I believe that the odds are in our favor when we are seeking the right model of what marriage should look like. Let’s keep our eyes on the things above and let Him handle the things we can’t.

Let’s talk about coffee for a second. I love my coffee. I started drinking coffee while in college. I can’t go a morning without it. I used to love coffee but had to have it all dressed up for me. I had to have it with creamer. (partial to the caramel flavoring.) I would add sugar to sweeten up my cup. Sometimes I would even have a latte that would include foam and of course chocolate or caramel syrup dripped on top. I smothered the real taste of my coffee by dressing it up with unnecessary things. I dressed it up to where the true flavor was unrecognized?  I lost sight of what it was. Removing our masks, and committing to loving the person we married–flaws, pain and all, and taste the blend of coffee God created when you entered into His covenant of marriage.

If, you made the face that says, “I think I just licked the back of a lizard!” maybe the cup became bitter. We get let down, we fail each other. We hurt each other. The pain stings. We become bitter. Why? Maybe we forgot to clean the coffee maker. Maybe we forgot to keep the water clean. Or, maybe the beans went bad.

The vessel we brew our coffee in needs to be clean. We need to repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness from God and those we wrong. Likewise, the water we put in needs to be purified. When God forgives us, He sanctifies us or purifies us so we won’t contaminate the blend God made. If we don’t fill our hearts and minds with what God wants, the bean produced makes for a bitter blend of roasted beans.

Blending coffee is a fine art that marries coffee beans from different origins to enhance the best qualities of each. Roasters choose coffees that complement each other with a delicate matching of coffee beans that make it a delight among your tastes.

Our Lord, the “Master Roaster”, has put together a blend that no man should separate. Your qualities complement each other. When you blended together, God took your imperfections and strengths and married them with one another and placed His grace inside, to cover all your flaws. Making what you have sacred. And delightful!

Marriage is sacred, a sacred cup of coffee. You can add all the flavorful additives you want to cover up the bitterness from the flaws or the pain caused from the hurt you received. But it is still a cup of coffee. What you have is still sacred. Love each other, flaws and all, and walk in forgiveness, so that you can still remember your original blend. Our master roaster, God, made you with intent and delights in watching it brew.

The world we live in has made light of  a lot of areas that the bible clearly puts out in black and white. The political correctness has began to creep into the relationships within our family, within our marriage.

We want to protect those relationships we hold close to us and the people in them. When those close to us display an area of distress, we look to build them up through complimenting areas in which we see strengths. Boosting their confidence by including a little “white lie.” Whether you meant it to be or not, it is a form of deception.

I know first hand how a marriage can be destroyed by deception. Your spouse asks why you lied to them. Your response is, “I didn’t want to hurt you.” Believe me that does little if anything to make the pain any less. And besides, you weren’t being totally honest when you said that were you. The truth is, You didn’t want to hurt YOU!

There are thousands of ways we can deceive one another, including ourselves. We deliberately mislead others to enhance our own personal gain, deny responsibility for having done something wrong. Deception is a form of deflection. Trying to pin your hurts, hangups and habits on others, just so you can feel better about who you are. This interferes with the quality of our relationships, the quality of our marriage.

While you may have been partially wanting to protect your spouse and what the two of you have through your white lies, I suspect you were also trying to protect yourself. You have been hiding truth that would hurt your relationship.”

Hiding under that white blanket of lies will destroy you. It will destroy what you have and will destroy what you could have down the road. Little by little the truth seeps out. And piece by piece the story is shown. Eroding what is left of the trust in your relationship. Crumbling what the relationship could have been. So what you thought as a little white lie, turns into life shattering decision. May or may not have been intended, but in the end detrimental to you and your relationship, your marriage.

If you have been in these shoes, I can offer you hope. I have been in these shoes, I have chose myself over my family, my wife. Though it seemed harmless, it tore my world apart. Furthermore, it tore my family apart.

In order to stop the destruction, I had to open up and communicate. I had to allow  honest, authentic, two-way communication to reveal where I had cracked open the trust in our relationship. I had to be open to being transparent in everything with my family, with my spouse. The ironic thing is, that is what God calls us to be. Transparent enough to let others see God at work in and around us.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

Is your marriage living out Christ’s example of how He loves His church? That kind of love goes beyond the romantic stage. More than just a feeling. It becomes who you are and how you act. When you said your vows and entered into the covenant on your wedding day, love became a choice. Not just for the present, but until the end of you. Christ’s love was selfless. He sacrificed His perfect place next to his father, so that his father could have a relationship with us. It should be our desire to love that way, too.

The marriage you hold between you and your spouse is as sacred as your fine china and should be treated as such. So, set it apart. Let the relationships you have with yourself, your kids, your parents and in-laws, your friends, become secondary to the relationship you hold inside your marriage.

Everyone has a favorite hobby they enjoy. For example, I enjoy music. I enjoy learning new instruments. I have a few favorites I like to play. But only one I would find hard to part ways with. It is the same way with my relationships. I have many close relationships with family and friends, but the relationship I have with my wife, is special. It is a relationship I won’t give up. A relationship I want to spend time in. A relationship that takes the back seat only to the relationship I have with my God.

Take time to allow the two of you to mesh as one. Make it a priority in your weekly activities. Make it special, make it count! Enjoy the memories and recall them often to keep the spark alive.

Ephesians 5:26 For husbands this means, love your wives just as Christ loved the church. He gave Himself up for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.

There once was a time when I was having trouble letting others in on what I was going through in my life. I feared what others would think of me, and even more, what they would say. The problem was, I wouldn’t even let my wife in on what was stirring inside me. After a while, it began to wear on me. The weight of my problems began to fill me up on the inside and eventually leave no room for the person I was created to be.

I had a friend once tell me, ” letting people in is a tough leap, but worth the fall if it becomes your flight.” I needed my wife more than ever by my side and I was pushing her away. I needed to have faith in God’s design for my marriage. That my wife was not only my partner and lover, but my best friend and that she would stick by me through it all until God calls us home.

I feared being alone when I haven’t been. I feared mistreatment when I have been treated better than deserved. I feared that I would go unloved when I have been loved unconditionally. I lacked faith in God’s design. I lacked confidence in who He had placed in my life to help me through it.

Jumping off the safety of the ground into a world of uncertainty was a leap of faith. A leap I’m glad I finally took. Even though the beginning of the leap looked like a fall, it turned into a flight I couldn’t have dreamed would be so incredibly graceful and so satisfying to my soul.

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Trust in God’s design for your relationship with your spouse and watch your marriage soar. If you are having a hard time trusting your spouse, pray for them. Pray for strength through it. God will show you what you need to do. It may seem like forever, but He always answers. It may be what you least expect or even, at the time, the answer you least desire. Through it you will be shaped and molded into the person that can withstand the pressures the world puts on us to act their way. And remember, God will be with you through the fall and He will give you the grace you need to help you soar.

The moment I let others in, was the moment I began to experience grace. When I let my wife in I experienced what it means to soar.

Choosing to forgive was not something I thought I would be able to do as quickly as I did. Once I let go of my anger, hurt, and resentment towards him, God gave me the ability to forgive both my husband and myself for not trying to meet the needs of our marriage. Forgiving is freeing and a breath let out that was being held in for too long. One thing about forgiveness that some people may not realize is that forgiveness is not saying you are forgetting. Yes, you still remember the things said or done by that person you forgave but you are releasing those feelings and letting God deal with your forgiven spouse. It isn’t my job to judge or point fingers. Your spouse already feels bad enough and knows they don’t deserve to be forgiven, but God gave His son away to take all our pain and sin away. No one is perfect but living God’s way is perfect.