marriage monday
Marriage Monday: June 18, 2018

BECOMING one is a process, but it doesn’t ‘just happen’ over time.

After almost 42 years we are still on the journey. Our process has had highs and lows; but we are intentional about keeping our relationship on the front burner. Some of the ways we invest in the process include going to marriage retreats, praying together, working through issues instead of burying them, and speaking truth in love. We are in community with other intentional couples.

It’s never too late to become intentional about BECOMING one. Here’s a good place to start: Couple Checkup.

“and the two will become one flesh.”
Mark 10:8 NIV

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Marriage Monday: June 11, 2018

marriage mondayWork for your marriage with all your heart because a myriad of distractions will threaten to put it on the back burner. A marriage on the front burner provides stability and peace so all the other pots stop boiling over.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Marriage on the Back Burner

We mentor married couples, and one of the most challenging issues of mentoring is finding times to meet. Their lives are frequently in chaos. They often have financial problems, organization problems, parenting problems, extended family problems, job problems, and not unsurprisingly, extremely high stress.
We will tend to meet with them once or twice, and then they kind of fall off the radar screen, and don’t answer our calls or emails. The chaos has gotten to them again, and they don’t think they have time to work on their marriage. It’s gotten assigned to the back burner.
It’s so important for them to see how critical their marriage is to everything else. And the most important element in their relationship is how they communicate to one another. Communication is the keystone of every great relationship. The attitudes, words, facial expressions, and tone of voice convey our true feelings when we communicate. There is really nothing more important in a marriage than communicating in humility and love. That’s why we always start with communication when we are working with a couple in conflict.
And yet, all those other things crowd in, and they put the boring communication exercises on the back burner. Then everything goes to Pott! HAHA!
If we live as God’s word says, and do everything as if we are doing it for the Lord, things tend to fall into place. God’s word defines the mature Christian as one who ‘speaks truth in love’ in Ephesians 4:15. I find it interesting that this one example was chosen as the benchmark of maturity. It seems simple, but actually it is anything but easy. Most of us tend to major on the truth but are weak on speaking in love; or we major on the love part but are weak on speaking truth. Both are necessary, and both are equally important.
Speaking truth in love is called assertive communication. It’s neither aggressive (when we major on truth) or passive (when we major on love). It’s balanced. It takes spiritual maturity to have the honesty and humility to communicate this way.
If each spouse feels safe speaking truth in love, feels understood, and listened to, the marriage will thrive. All other components of the marriage tend to fall into place with this one building block of healthy relationships. If communication is a strength for a couple, all other problems suddenly become solvable:
  • conflicts
  • forgiveness
  • finances
  • household duties
  • parenting
  • career choices
  • extended family issues
  • sexual relationship
  • goals

Marriage on the Front Burner

 

If your marriage could use a tune-up, contact me and let’s talk. I can help you get started with the Prepare-Enrich assessment that will give you a snapshot of the strengths and growth areas of your marriage. I can point you to resources to help you get your marriage back on the front burner.

 

..because U count, deb

marriage monday

Three simple steps to cultivating a great marriage:
1. Do good
2. Do pray
3. Do thank

I DO! Sometimes.  When I DON’T, it teaches me how to improve the next time. Failures didn’t stop Edison, and they won’t stop me. We are all on a journey and none of us has arrived yet. Strive for the three DO’s to cultivate a great marriage. Do You?

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:15-18‬ ‭NIV‬

Bruce and I are perfectly matched-opposite in every possible way! We are attracted to our opposites, but too often we just want to change the other person to be more like us. Allow your spouse’s differences to temper you to achieve balance.
Dreamer vs Detracter
Self-reliant vs Needy
Stubborn vs Compromising
Control Freak vs No Control
Detached vs Agitated
“Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
marriage monday

A branch can’t receive life from another branch. The branches of a grapevine get their life from the main trunk or vine.

My husband and I are like two branches on a vine. If he’s my source of life, we both get dried up. If God’s our source of life, we both get filled up.

“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches. As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭TPT‬‬

reconciliation not retribution

“Healing does not barter back everything tragedy steals, but when we enter it together, we already co-midwife a kinder tomorrow.“ Hana Shapiro

God asks for reconciliation, not retribution. The ministry of reconciliation is won only through God’s love., and is the only way to have peace with healing. Whether the aggrieved parties are 2 prickly people or 2 prickly people groups, reconciliation is about winning in the future. Retribution is about losing in the past. #pricklypeople

A portion of my book profits for Making Peace with Prickly People are donated to Musalaha (see more about this on my Prickly People page). Here’s an article about their current work of reconciliation in the middle east. 

“He will judge between the nations and decide for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning knives. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, nor will they learn war any more. Come house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of ADONAI.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭TLV‬‬