A Favorite Chapter

Colossians 3:1-2

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬http://bible.com/100/col.3.1.nasb

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭NASB‬

This  chapter goes on to talk about family relationships, behavior, and work ethics.

 

I like to ponder what the opening verses mean. I always thought it said we were seated in heavenly places and that got me wondering. Now that I began to write about these verses, it says Christ is seated above, at the right hand of God. Now it makes sense to me.
My husband began a class on Wednesday nights, for beginners in the faith to go through the fundamentals of our beliefs based on the Bible. He offered the class for those who’d been believers in Jesus for many years as well. He comes home on Wednesday nights all revved up because of the participation and enthusiasm of the attendees.

 

I told him if he chooses to teach on how to study the Bible, I’d like to join them at that time. He went through Kay Arthur’s book: How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God’s Word some years ago. The book is published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR and copyrighted in 2013.

https://www.christianbook.com/study-bible-discover-changing-approach-word/kay-arthur/9780736953436/pd/953436?event=ESRCQ

 
My husband pulls out colored pencils to highlight sections within different categories. Well, I can’t really explain it, I just watched him do it. He may teach on that, he said, but he thinks he gave his copy away. ‘We’ll have to order books after we see if people are interested.”

 
Sounds good to me.

 
I haven’t blogged since last Monday I think. Not yesterday, but eight days ago!

 

Unbelievable. I started to blog six days ago and got involved with family, so I put it off. Then I began to blog on my computer and it acted up. So, I started on my phone and it got late, so I put it off. Then last night I determined to blog and I got hit with nausea which caused me to slow down big time.

 
I told my husband of my dilemma. “You need to start earlier in your day.”
So, here I am before noon typing away instead of writing before midnight. Praise God. And my guy thinks I don’t listen to him. I wonder why he thinks that. 😊

May God bless you!

 

 

 

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A Movie for Thought

My husband and I, and my sister watched the movie, “The Shack,” the other night. We ordered it from Netflix.

 

I wrote my thoughts before I read the review from “Plugged In” from Focus on the Family website. Here’s the link I copied: http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/the-shack-2017/

I got the photo from that link.

I read the book years ago and if I saw the movie, I didn’t remember it. The idea of an African-American woman being God didn’t set well with my pre-conceived belief of God, the Father.

 

As I heard her explain that since the main character’s upbringing might cause him to reject an image of his cruel daddy, the three in the godhead agreed that “I Am,” aka God, should show up as a female.

 

That same person comforted him as a young child after a trauma and I wondered why he didn’t remember her in his adult years.

 

As the movie progressed, it got into some deeper issues. Why does God allow evil? Also, Romans 8:28. Additionally, where is God when we suffer?

 

Wisdom, a female as represented in Proverbs, had the main character put evil ones on trial. He was the judge. As an adult, he got to see his father traumatized as a child.

 

We noticed a contradiction to Scripture when they said God is not a god of wrath. He does get mad and metes out punishment-just read the Old Testament. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

It seemed as if all of mankind gets into heaven, if I understood the movie correctly. That is definitely unbiblical. Yet, by the end of the show I felt as if I knew God more. I experienced an infusion of hope.

“Plugged In” gives sidebars:

CAST

Sam Worthington as Mack Phillips; Octavia Spencer as Papa; Radha Mitchell as Nan Phillips; Megan Charpentier as Kate Phillips; Gage Munroe as Josh Phillips; Amélie Eve as Missy Phillips; Tim McGraw as Willie; Avraham Aviv Alush as Jesus; Sumire Matsubara as Sarayu; Alice Braga as Sophia; Graham Greene as Male Papa

 

DIRECTOR

Stuart Hazeldine

 

DISTRIBUTOR

Lionsgate

 

RATING

PG-13

 

GENRE

Drama

I believe the producer is Summit Entertainment because that’s at the movie’s website http://www.theshack.movie

 

God bless you all! Any thoughts you’d like to share?

Marriage Helps

 

 

 

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/managing-marriage-conflicts-in-healthy-ways will take you to a site that enables you to hear their daily broadcast on September 26, 2017 at Focus on the Family radio.

 

It features Greg Smalley and his wife Erin, talking with the show’s host, Jim Daly. The featured resource that Focus on the Family offers in connection with the program is pictured below:

 

Erin, Greg and Gary Smalley wrote book, The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship, which was published by Tyndale House, Carol Stream, IL and copyrighted in 2014.

 

The Smalley’s and Jim Daly discussed the benefits of conflict and the dangers of unrestrained conflicts that cause harm.

 

“Focus on the Family” radio’s input blessed our family dynamics numerous times over the decades that I’ve listened to them and to the experts they interviewed. If you’ve never heard their broadcast, I invite you to check them out now.

May God bless you.

Marriage Can Be Fun

My husband and I celebrated more than 40 years of marriage this month. The actual day, we usually try to go out to eat and maybe take in a movie. It’s not as easy to choose a flick nowadays because the options are not as wholesome as they were in our growing up years.

That day fell flat because we had obligations we couldn’t overlook. So, we decided to put off our date until later in the week. My husband was not feeling well, and that inhibited his enthusiasm. I offered to wait even longer, but our schedule is really full sometimes. We found a restaurant we both like in a little out-of-the-way town. Since we only stop every nine months or so, we’re always delighted with the physical changes the owners make.

My husband worked in the food industry for many years, so he especially notices when they re-pave the parking lot, put in new landscaping, add new décor, update the restrooms, etc.
Unfortunately, they must have hired a new cook, because our entrees lacked seasoning. If we stop again, maybe we’ll take the opportunity to ask if they still have the same cook and suggest a change in recipes. It’s a little awkward. We added condiments to help improve the flavor.

So, rushing to an appointment took some of the romance out of our date. We also got the chance to talk about our relationship a bit. You can bet he didn’t bring that subject up. 😊

I brought up the five love languages mentioned in the book by Gary Chapman:

found at: https://www.christianbook.com/languages-secret-that-lasts-new-edition/gary-chapman/9780802412706/pd/412706?event=CBCER1.

Our love languages are not the same, so I should remember what his choices are so that his “emotional bank account will be filled up,” when I meet that need, according to Mr. Chapman.
A few days after our anniversary, we opened our home to family for at least seven days. You might think that would interfere with our relationship, but since we enjoy our children and grandchildren so much, it actually drew us closer with the laughter and the challenges.
The youngest ones went home and now our son is staying for a few days. So, last night we drove to a bigger area to get my car looked at and watched a movie after our meal.

On the way to the car I began to hunt for my keys. They were somewhere in the mall. I thought of three places they could be, so the guys went back to our theater seats and I stopped at the concession stand. She called her boss whom alerted the cleaning crew and within moments the head cleaner removed the key chain from his apron.
It’s been a stressful week for me and for some of my friends. My mind was not in full gear. My husband said, “Well, you’ve never done that before,” after all was well. I tried to smile and then I almost cried and he shook his head gently in an it’s okay kind of motion.
It’s those kind of kindnesses that make me glad I married him.

Today, when under a time pressure and because of being tired and because sometimes I just feel ornery, I interrupted him to demand he listen to me. He waited while I got my point across and then started at the beginning of what he’d been trying to tell me. After I heard him, I realized he just answered my question and so I started on my last-minute project.
Moments later I replayed our conversation in my mind and by then he was in a meeting, so I texted him instead of giving him a call and apologized for being curt with him. Later, we talked and he said, “I don’t hold on to those things.”
He’s not perfect, I’m not perfect and I guess we try to accent the positive and downplay the negative. I don’t take advantage of his good nature, or at least I try not to take his attitude for granted. He speaks up if he feels the need to, which I appreciate.
A few years back, I helped an eighty-something year-old woman with her memoirs. She said, “I believe in laying your cards on the table. People need to talk honestly with each other,” when I asked her what helped her marriage last all those years.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a widow who didn’t wish she’d done more to show her love for her husband. One lady said, “He always wanted to open an Italian restaurant with recipes that came from Italy. You never saw that kind of food in our day. I held him back. I was afraid to take the risk. He was a great cook. I could’ve helped him with the books. I would have been better off today, too.”
She sounded like she was a great wife when she shared stories of their life together. One day, I told her my husband liked steak but it was so expensive. She was 79 and I was in my 40’s. She looked at me, “Buy your husband a steak.”
So, I did and he smiled when I pulled it out of the bag.
A 90-year-old grandmother at church lost her husband of 70 years in 2016. She credits a previous pastor’s wife for advice that improved her marriage. She was told to be a “helpmeet” to her husband, to do her best to meet his needs and show him respect. She said it revolutionized their relationship. Then she tells us, “We married for better and for worse. There was a lot of better and a lot more worse, but we stayed together and it was worth it.”
She’s quiet about her grief, but occasionally it overwhelms her and then she’ll tell us she can’t wish him back. He’s with Jesus and one of their sons that passed on ahead of them, and now he’s healthy and strong in heaven.
I can’t imagine being married for 70 years, but at the age of 20, being married 40-some years felt like a long time.
I hope you are doing well. If you love Jesus, keep looking up. Take advantage of praying for others, many people need it even if they don’t ask for intercession. One nice thing about being a Christian-Jesus said He’s up there talking to God the Father on our behalf.
May God bless you and protect you from the spiritual enemy of mankind.

Emotions

I headed for the library tonight with an armful of books when I saw a UPS (United Parcel Service) slim package stuck in the door jamb. I’ve been setting a box outside for UPS because I think the little store that accepted UPS in our town went out of business.

After many days of seeing the box on our porch, my husband asked the legitimate question, “How long are you going to leave that box outside?”

I placed it inside the doorway a few days ago, tucked out of the way. The UPS guy always rings the doorbell; I’ll catch him when he drops something off, I thought.

We get the church parcels at our house if no one is there and they seem to get more deliveries from UPS.UPS Drivers Never Turn Left, and Neither Should You | Travel + LeisurePhoto from: http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=free+family-friendly+images+of+a+UPS+truck

I’ve been looking outside whenever I hear a heavy truck go by. We tend to receive items from the USPS (United States Postal Service) – some even delivered by UPS to them first.

The man with the big brown truck either didn’t ring the doorbell or I was in a noisy room and didn’t hear the rumble of his engine or the chimes.

I got instantly angry. Got in my car and drove slowly down to an intersection and the cutest child waved and smiled. I waved and smiled back and the anger lifted.

Earlier today I misunderstood my husband when he said something and I admit it, I snapped at him. I apologized immediately and he said, ”That’s okay. I know you’re in pain.”

I softened like a marshmallow about to be added to a gooey crisped rice cereal treat.

My husband is easier-going than I am. There are times when I’ll tell him what a great guy he is and he’ll tell me, “Yeah, until you’re mad at me again.”

What can I say to that? 🙂

I notice my emotions stay on a more even keel when I get to bed at a decent hour, eat as healthy as possible, read the Bible and pray earlier in the day, get my work done, exercise and see people.

We have a bakery in town and once I bought a bagel and a cup of tea. I told the lady I actually came in just for some human contact.  Photo from: http://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEV70_9H9ZNX8AlOdjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&va=free+family-friendly+images+of+a+bagel+and+cup+of+tea

A disadvantage of writing is that it’s a solitary pursuit.

The baker stopped mid-stride to the back room and chatted for just a minute, which suited me fine. People can be so kind.

I hope you’re doing well. I go back to Physical Therapy tomorrow for aches and pains. My heart goes out to folks with chronic pain. A friend of mine deals with that and she prays and uses humor to cope.

May God bless you.

Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Marriage for Life, Uhuh

My youngest daughter stopped over to the house today. She does that on occasion and I took advantage of her company by asking her to lift a heavy bag for me to move to another location because I pulled some muscles in my back over the weekend and they’re still a little touchy. She had an agenda as well. “Do you want to spend some time talking about the marriage book you want to write? Do you still want me to collaborate with you?”

We spent a few hours shaping our ideas. She read my synopsis while I wrote a letter to a publisher explaining who we are and what our perspective is. I figure we might as well have a publisher on board if we can interest one, because why write a book if they want a different slant.

Cute Married couple fall photo shoot! 2013 | Photo shoot | Pinterest ...(photo from :http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.BJ8qz4_CIX9mBktgl7ZJhQDGEs&pid=15.1&w=77&h=116&p=0 )

It will be a richer book with her input because she wants to address issues people in younger generations are dealing with, and when she asked for advice from her parents and other couples, some almost seventy years old, they gave her a blank look. With all the years of wisdom accumulated, they hadn’t run into some of the issues she’s dealt with and others are facing.

We’ll see if God wants this project to go forward. We plan on praying our way through it.

I hope this finds you well and able to sit up easily and type without pain. It’s amazing how I take my health for granted. I’m grateful for a fairly rapid recovery.

By the way, if you’re married, there are lots of good reasons to stick together if you and your spouse aren’t sure at the moment. Of course, when there is abuse, I always tell folks to separate until the abuse stops through a changed heart and new, healthy behaviors have become the norm.

May God bless you!

We’re All Unique

Over the years I’ve noticed married couples and how they interact. Every couple is unique in their own way. One of the sayings in Proverbs gets me thinking every time I read it:

Proverbs 30:18, (KJV):  There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:

Pro 30:19  The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

(photo from images search yahoo.com, for married couples)

We visited a couple in their eighties and nineties, she and he respectively and she asked how we came to meet and date. Then I asked how they met and when did she know he wanted to go out with her. He glowed when he spoke about her and told us he has a good wife. She worked in a small restaurant and he kept coming in for coffee. One night she got stranded there and was trying to come up with a way to get home. He offered to give her a ride and she didn’t feel comfortable with that until her co-worker vouched for his character. Since she trusted her co-worker, she accepted his offer and the rest is history. 🙂

At a marriage enhancement group of some sort, many years ago, we attended because I convinced my husband that we should go. He told me we were okay, but I felt there’s always room for growth. He’s a nice guy, so we went. We wrote in notebooks about our feelings and what can I say, I’m a writer. I would have about a page and a half for each category; he would have about three sentences. Then we had to exchange our notebooks and talk about them. For him, this was akin to torture. By the end of the weekend, I felt sorry for him.

I’ve shared here before that he and I see the world differently. He’s opposite me in lots of ways. Even our upbringing wasn’t the same, although we both came from parents that loved us and worked hard to provide for us and we learned to work for a living, too.

He was brought up in a rural town, and I grew up in a city. He’s athletic, I’m not. His parents didn’t attend church. We went every Sunday and for the first eight years of school I attended a religious school. He got straight A’s in school, not I. Well, there are other areas of differing interests, but I’ll stop here.

I think what helps our marriage is our willingness to step into each other’s world. If he wants to watch basketball, I’ll watch for a while. I may even watch the entire game and enjoy it. When he wants to watch some kind of wrestling match or no-holds- barred Eastern world fighting, I may notice for about twenty seconds and then I leave the room. I’ll get busy doing something I want to do and then later he’ll look for me and we’ll do something together. He started watching a series on television about a Canadian Mounty and a schoolteacher falling in love based on stories set in the early 1900’s and he now likes it. The occasional catching of criminals and the horses appeal to him more than the relationship stuff, I’m sure.

We agree on the major things in life. We both love God and pray for others to know how much God loves them. We view money and the use of it pretty much the same. Sometimes we compromise if there’s a limited amount and we both want something at the same time. He’ll get what he wants this time, and I’ll get what I want the next time, or vice-versa. It usually works out. We talk about financial disagreements when we’re not exhausted and cranky.

Our differences balance us out when we listen to each other. Every marriage has ups and downs, but I learned over the years to give him space when he needed it. If I needed to confront him over something, I usually prayed beforehand and I waited for the right time to bring it up. When he ran into problems at work, I didn’t talk that day. I didn’t wait too long, but I wanted us both well rested and less stressed when I brought up a touchy subject.

My aunt and uncle told me the secret to their successful marriage was the respect they showed each other. As an older adult, she decided to go to college. She told him he had to keep up with her on the learning curve so they didn’t grow apart. He agreed to, so they talked about the new concepts she encountered. She actually ended up becoming a college professor for less than ten years if memory serves me, and it didn’t seem to hinder their relationship.

One time we stopped for ice cream at a roadside stand and she told him to choose the flavor for her. He tried to get her to pick the kind she liked the best. When he came out carrying a cone without her favorite ice cream, she pouted and frankly I don’t think he even noticed. She got over it soon enough, but I thought, my mom wouldn’t have tried to get my dad to figure out her choice.

We’re all unique and interact differently. She was an only child and they never had children, so she liked to be pampered once in a while. She didn’t demand a lot, but I suppose like all of us, once in a while she was selfish.

She kept a tidy home, worked outside the home and sewed clothes and doll clothes for us – her nieces. She was like a second mom to us, my brothers and sisters.

May God bless you. If you’re married, it’s worth it to work at your relationship for your sake and the sake of the many people that know you and care about you. I’ve heard it said that divorce is worse than losing your spouse due to death.

When I consider things from my husband’s point of view and we communicate clearly and kindly, things go better at our house. He’s good to me, too. He tries to understand where I’m coming from. We’re all works in progress is what I figure.

Do you have some ideas for solidifying a marriage that I didn’t mention that are appropriate for any audience? I’d love to hear from you.

Listening Skills, II

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Have you ever noticed that before you say something if you start meditating on God and His ways, you may change your mind and your words? I asked my husband to go to a store 50 minutes away from home because he was going to be nearby.

He agreed but didn’t want to because I needed one and a half yards of 45 inch wide fabric to make a curtain for a door. I wrote out the size needed, cut off a swatch of the remnant and told him he could ask the saleslady. Usually he calls me, but my note told him to ask for advice. My mistake was forgetting she was a SALESlady. They didn’t have 45 inch wide fabric – it was 44 inch wide fabric. I would have said, “Fine.”

She said, “Let’s go to 92 inch wide fabric or somewhere near that width. As she measured for the yard and a half, they came to the end of the bolt. “Would you like the extra yard at the end for half price?”

“Okay,” he said.

When he got home with a large plastic bag with lots of folded fabric inside, my eyebrows lifted. “Here’s your fabric. I don’t like shopping in a store mostly for women.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked after he explained his purchase. He might have said, “Be glad I got it for you.”

I don’t remember.

I told my daughter. From my peripheral vision I saw him standing there, listening. I snuck into another room and called my other daughter. Now I’m telling her that I’ll certainly have enough fabric and there he was to get something and he’s listening.

So, I prayed about it and thought about it. Just because I’m trying to eliminate clutter, it’s not that big of a deal. I did thank him for going out of his way a bit and taking the time on a busy day.

The next day I’m telling a friend at church but now I’m saying, “Maybe there’s a reason for the extra material,” and he comes into the room and this time he joins the conversation and we’re laughing.

I did buy fabric for curtains for another room and I told the young girl I needed more than the bolt held. She assured me that there was plenty. I bought it at a store an hour from home and sure enough, the length was off. I called some fabric stores and got online to find there wasn’t any available. This extra material may allow me to add some length.

The thing I realized is how often my husband listens to me when I’m unaware.

Occasionally I’ve started to relay something and he’ll say, “I know, I heard you on the phone.”

This got me thinking of verses Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, (ESV): “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Mat 12:35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Mat 12:36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Mat 12:37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Being an extrovert, words come easily to me at times, and one day I got worried. My spouse said if I spoke in a way that offended God, repented and asked forgiveness, I wouldn’t need to be concerned on judgment day. Big sigh of relief!

Not only have I found out that my husband listens to me when I’m not sure he is, but I realized that he’s good at reading non-verbal communication. If I’m mad about something but I’m not sure if it’s a good time to bring it up, he’ll see me avoiding eye contact, biting my lower lip and being extraordinarily quiet, possibly tapping my foot or doing other restless gestures. Then he’ll ask, “What’s the matter?”

I got online today to see what Focus on the Family’s website had to say about communicating. I read two articles out of many, and here’s the link to one of them: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/effectively-communicating-with-your-husband

I enjoyed what I read, but it just helped me to springboard to this idea for this blog. Although I couldn’t find the reference, one comment about communicating being hard work struck a chord with me. When I’m tired, I have to force myself to pay attention to the other person and to try and decipher what they mean.

Hope you’re communicating effectively. May God bless you!

Marriage Takes Work

 

I’ve been hearing a lot about marriage ever since I started writing about it the past few days.

I heard a couple speak about their marriage on Focus on the Family radio broadcast yesterday. The woman said they found out after the wedding that despite having many interests in common, they discovered they were exact opposites in their personality traits and in the way they did things.

The man said it added flavor and spice to their interactions and he wouldn’t have it any other way. She agreed.

That surprised me. I’ve heard other people say the same thing, but their differences drove each other crazy.

So, how do you work things out?

  • Be willing to try things another way. You may find you like his favorite lunch: a peanut butter onion sandwich, if you take a bite.

  • When your spouse rolls the toothpaste tube up tight and you like it flat, consider if that is worth even arguing about. Do you have control issues? Talk about it, or pray about it and then bring it up, or gasp! – ignore it. It’s easy to get over things if you don’t build them up. Maybe be grateful that your spouse brushes their teeth in the first place.

  • When both parties are not tired, make a list of things you like to do together. If there isn’t anything, ask what they like to do and see if you can force yourself to go. Stepping into the other person’s world can bring a connection worth any initial discomfort. If you hate it, be honest and tell your partner that it’s just not for you. At least now you probably have an understanding of the job or hobby and it’s an area you can talk about.

When you love someone, you want what’s best for them. If you’ve lost that loving feeling, become a detective and look for things you like about your spouse.

Concentrate on the positive attributes and try to ignore the minor annoyances. When you try and bless the other person, they will notice and usually pay attention. That’s a great first step to re-kindle the spark that ignited early in your romantic relationship.

Image result for male and female couples on a date

I’m not very familiar with arranged marriages, but I’ve met some people that started marriage due to their parents’ agreement with another family. They seemed content with one another.

If a person finds themselves in a marriage with someone with serious issues, many folks find help with a marriage counselor’s assistance.

To me, a marriage is worth working on to strengthen the bond between man and wife. I remember a friend of mine back in high school. She was an art student. She showed me her arm and the way it curved. She said it’s perfectly designed to fit with a man’s arm.She found that fascinating. An arm linked with the arm of a person of the same sex does not meld together.

In the book of Genesis, near the beginning, God made man and then He made woman to be a helpmate for him. Men have strengths and women have strengths and they complement each other.

In our home, if one of us is better at paying bills and keeping a budget, that person does the work regardless of their gender. If one of us likes to garden and the other doesn’t, then the other gets to totally ignore the garden and the landscaping and the other gets to choose plants and dig in the dirt until the sun goes down if they want to.

1 Corinthians chapter 7 gives principles of marriage: these include showing affection for one another and realising that since they became one flesh they don’t have authority over their own bodies, but their spouse has authority over the other’s body. So they should not deprive the other person without permission from their spouse. Even then, Paul says it should not be for a long time so they don’t get tempted by someone else.

There’s so much about marriage, I could write a book, which is why I started to. I don’tknow if I’ll write anymore about marriage for a while. I’ll have to pray about it. I just know that the longer I’m married, the more I appreciate God coming up with the model of marriage for men and women. Marriage gives men respect, purpose and stability. It gives women love, value and security, to name a few benefits for both sexes.

May God bless you.