…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
People have all kinds of ideas and notions on whom they are to marry, how they go about finding “the one” to marry, and the list of standards and ideals they have for the one they marry. Let’s clear up a few things, shall we?
The bible doesn’t say anything about waiting for your soul mate to get married. It also doesn’t say anything about God having that one special person just for you…although people will argue with me on that one! What it does say is that we are to get or find a spouse—that means you don’t sit and wait for God drop one into your lap.
The only other clear directive to believers is to make sure that the person you marry is also a believer. (See 1Corinthians 7:39 and 2 Corinthians 6:14.) Notice that scripture doesn’t tell us to marry a person who simply says he or she is a believer. There is a huge difference between the two, but in all honesty, most people don’t get that.
Far too often single people—especially women—will date anyone who claims to be a Christian regardless of whether or not they have any real evidence of action to back that report up. You are not a Christian just because you went to church as a child, or because you attend services on Christmas and Easter. Even sitting in church every Sunday doesn’t make you a Christian any more than sitting in your garage makes you a car. There are signs that you need to look for when trying to evaluate a person’s commitment to their faith. And make no mistake, it is exactly what you should be doing during the dating process.
Does the person actually show the fruit of their proclamation of faith? Does he regularly attend worship? Is she actively involved in a local church body? How often does he read his bible, pray, or fast? Is she a generous giver who volunteers her time, money and also tithes? Or is this person someone who just stamps “Christian” on their life but is not living out the Christian disciplines? Are they impatient, inflexible, demanding and selfish? Do their behaviors reflect the heart of a true believer or do they act no differently than those pagans in the world around us?
You need to really look at the person you are interested in and honestly assess their commitment to self- restraint, denying their flesh, exercising sacrificial attitudes and a devotion to truly following Jesus Christ. Check the fruit. Are they the real deal, or just some facsimile or counterfeit of a genuine believer? Far too often single people will jump into a relationship and get all emotionally tangled with another person who claims to be a believer but in reality, is living like total hell.
They don’t read the bible, pray, give to or even attend a church regularly. Some of these men and women may attend church but are out there living just like the heathens when it comes to dating by freely giving oral sex or fornicating their little brains on the first few dates. Clearly there are those who say they are a Christian, and then there are those that truly live as one.
Singles out there in the dating pool must be more discerning and less duped and dense when it comes to choosing the person they will be yoked to in marriage. Don’t make the common mistake thinking all that matters is what a person says in regard to their faith. This is definitely a time that actions speak louder than words, and you need to see their faith in action.
Most people don’t understand the power of sex. Our culture has poisoned their thinking and they’ve bought the lie that sex is just something you do because it’s exciting and feels good. Most people are totally unaware of the consequences of being sexually involved with another person.
I’m convinced that we are clueless about the ramifications of sex done the wrong way instead of the right way—God’s way. We have to start connecting the dots, folks. How you behave sexually outside of marriage has an impact on sex inside your marriage. It’s an important message that we must get out to our Christian young people.
Dr. Kenneth Ryan has written a great book titled, Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads. I highly recommend it for all single women and for parents of teenage girls. The book explains how to date the right way in order to “find a quality guy without getting your heart shredded”. A large portion of it is dedicated to telling young women how to handle themselves when it comes to sex and the importance of doing it right prior to marriage.
Dr. Ryan draws a brilliant analogy that drives home the point of how illicit sex has consequences:
In a classic ridiculous movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, there is a scene in which a supposedly horrible beast is guarding a cave. The knights have heard horror stories about its ferocity, having been told, “It has long claws and horrible fangs. It is a hideous monster,” so they approach the cave with great fear and caution. But all they see is a little bunny hopping around in front of the cave. “It’s just a bunny,” the first knight says in a British accent filled with derision. He approaches the cave casually and the bunny leaps to his throat biting and killing the knight. More knights follow and are slaughtered by the fake-looking killer bunny. It is a classic moment in movie comedy.
Sex outside of marriage is like the bunny. It looks like a harmless, fuzzy thing that you would want to cuddle. It looks warm, friendly, and desirable. People who warn against the dangers of sex while single are usually considered radical nuts, out of step with modern times. The derision is similar to that of the knights just before they were slaughtered. Many people hear the warnings about premarital sex and think they are not susceptible to its powers. You are surrounded by movies, magazines, TV shows, and friends who all deal with dating sex as if it is a harmless little fluff ball, nothing but fun. Any negative consequences are ignored or laughed at. Everyone seems to think sex is “just a little bunny” until it is too late.
Far too many people have fallen prey to the fuzzy little bunny of sex, not thinking that it can actually do a ton of damage. This isn’t about condemning people but rather, we need to teach and warn others…especially our young people. You have to talk to your kids and warn them of the potential damage they face and the probability that they will impact their future sex lives when they become sexually active outside of marriage.
People who have had several partners, had all kinds of sexual experiences, used pornography, gotten into masturbation, or ventured into homosexual behavior, etc. have all sorts of imprinting and images stuck in their heads. There are memories and associations in their minds from all they have seen and done. Often people ask me, “Pastor, how do I get rid of these things so that my spouse and I can have a normal sex life?”
Now, this will really depress a lot of people—not that I’m here to depress you all—but the truth of the matter is you may never get rid of these images or feelings. One of the problems we have in Christianity is that because we believe in healing and restoration, people live casually. They think that what they do won’t matter because Jesus will heal it all and make it okay.
The reason so many churches don’t speak out about sexual sin is because Christians think it’s not big deal since once you get saved and ask Jesus to forgive you He’ll just heal it and it will all be gone. But that’s simply not true. Those of you who have been down this path, have you noticed the pictures never go away? You may be serving Jesus for 30 years and be living as pure as the wind driven snow, but sometimes you might be having sex with your spouse and you’ll still remember having sex with someone else. There are woman and men who love their husbands and wives deeply. Yet, if they are honest, they’ll admit that those thoughts still intrude into their minds even years later. They still remember it. A sound, a smell, a touch can all trigger a memory or an image in your mind. It’s not something you can just do casually without repercussions. This is why the bible says, don’t do it!
Paul warns us to flee from sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6:18 because “All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” What he is saying is that you hurt yourself, you sin against yourself and there is damage done to your own mind and body when you do this.
When you go down this path it’s going to be harder for you and at some level, you may struggle for the rest of your life. There is no magic formula or pixie dust or special prayer that you can say to make the residual consequences disappear. I know that people get upset when I say this, but it’s true. It’s like if you commit murder and then repent and ask God to forgive you, He will. You can even ask the victim’s family to forgive you and they will…but you still have to serve your time in prison. Why? Because even though there is forgiveness, there are still consequences. You can ask God to forgive you of your sexual sin and in your standing before Him, it’s like it never happened. But in your body and in your mind there are consequences to that sin.
Scripture tells us we can renew our minds and take our thoughts captive and that is what people who have done these things have to do. Again, I’m not condemning people but trying to point out the importance of telling your kids and our young people about this. They need to know this is a big deal and that they can’t casually have sexual experiences before they’re married thinking they will just forget it all when “the right one comes along”. You don’t forget it. You can be haunted by the images and the experiences for the rest of your life.
Sexual experience are highly imprinting even if you are not serious about it. Your brain and body don’t know that it “doesn’t really mean anything” and that you aren’t serious and just messing around. There is hope and you are not doomed, but it will require a lot of intentionality, a lot of resistance, a lot of energy fighting the thoughts, feelings and temptations because of your past. You can heal and have a meaningful life, but there is no magic wand to wave to make it like it never happened. People who don’t go there, the ones who do sex right in the context of marriage, don’t struggle with these things.
That is why churches need to talk about this. We should all be driven to teach the truth and quit giving the picture that Jesus will just make things all better…especially those who have been down this road and know what I’m talking about. We must start connecting the dots and realize that sex is very powerful and it’s a really big deal outside of marriage.
Remember the analogy…it’s not just a cute fuzzy bunny.
For many severely conflicted couples, divorce seems to promise peace from the infighting, a fresh start, the hope of new love, and a kind of “reset button” for life. Many buy into the idea that ending a marriage is a viable way to solve relationship problems.
Besides, you reason, it will ultimately be better for all, and the kids will make it—kids are resilient. And you won’t have to look for to find voices to side with you. People who love you will give you a biased shoulder to cry on; they want you to feel loved and supported. But don’t be quick to listen to your personal fan club. They are not objective; they are out to protect and rescue you. People like this will always urge you to divorce if they believe you are suffering emotionally in your marriage.
But divorce has been oversold. What most fail to acknowledge is the longstanding pain created by a divorce. Contrary to popular belief, statistics show that after divorce children are not okay. The ‘trickle-down effect” causes them emotional trauma that stays with them throughout life. Also, divorced people are less healthy and less happy, and have a higher risk of substance abuse. Depression is three times greater in women who divorce than in those who do not. And divorce severely lowers one’s standard of living. In fact, if statistics are to be believed, the one sure way you can guarantee that you, your children, and your grandchildren will live at or below the poverty level for their entire lives is simply to get a divorce.
Never mind the religious implications, we should fight for our marriages because divorce sucks. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t eliminate the relational dysfunction evidenced in the marriage. Marriage problems are relationship problems, they are the result of how two people interact with each other. You may abandon a troubled marriage, but you will still bring the way you interact with others along with you. You can run, but you cannot hide who you are.
And what of the pain you feel when you have to deal with your ex-spouse? You may think you’ll be free when you “ex” your spouse, but you will relive the pain and awkwardness of facing that ex at every holiday, every birthday, and every special occasion. Even in divorce, spouses don’t disappear.
Neither do the problems that divorce creates. It will hound you for the rest of your life.
There is a great joy to the early struggles of marriage. When people who “make it” talk about the early days of their marriage, they admit it was bittersweet but they say the sweet ended up outweighing the bitter. Researchers agree. In a recent study conducted by a team of leading family scholars headed by University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite, researchers found that “two-thirds of unhappily married spouses who stayed married reported that their marriages were happy five years later. In addition, the most unhappy in their marriages reported the most dramatic turnarounds: Among those who rated their marriages as very unhappy, almost eight out of ten who avoided divorce were happily married five years later.
The study went on to say that there is a kind of “divorce assumption” in America. People assume that they will either stay in a bad marriage and continue to be miserable or get a divorce and become happier. But the social science data challenge that assumption. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is no evidence that unhappily married people who divorced were any happier that unhappily married people who stayed married! In no way does divorce reduce symptoms of depression, raise self-esteem, increase one’s sense of mastery, or generally improve any of the twelve separate measures of psychological well-being. Even the unhappy spouses who divorced and remarried generally were no happier than the unhappy ones who stayed married. In fact, the evidence seems to suggest that unhappy people are unhappy, period—married or not.
Dr. Waite concluded, “Staying married is not just for the children’s sake. . . . results like these suggest the benefits of divorce have been oversold.” It may look as if you will gain ground by eliminating some stresses of a bad marriage, but divorce creates more stresses than people bargain for: the ugliness of a breakup between partners; the reactions of children; potential disappointments and aggravation about custody issues, child support, and visitation orders; new financial or health stresses for one or both parents; plus the brand new relationships or marriages that also fail to make one happy.
If you are expecting marriage to be nothing but bliss, you will be sorely disappointed. It’s not that there is not bliss to be had—there is; it’s that bliss comes only after blisters. Marital bliss is the result of marital blisters—lots of hard work, where you work till it hurts, sometimes till you bleed. Marriages get happy not because partners get along so grandly, but because they stubbornly outlast the ways they don’t get along. There are all kinds of rough spots to work through when you step into life with another person: financial problems, job reversals, loss and its accompanying depression, child problems, and sometimes even infidelity. These things can destroy. But they don’t have to.
I know there are millions of unhappily married people throughout the world today. Maybe you are one of them. But unhappy marriages are unhappy because most ignore (or are completely oblivious to) the mistakes they are making in their relationships. There is hope for troubled marriages—even if you have become heartbroken and confused. But there is a connection between what you are putting into your marriage and what you are getting out of it.
The mere suggestion that people need to change their own behavior in order to get a better result is often greeted by blank stares. People tend to believe they should have a good marriage for no other reason than that marriage is supposed to be good. They believe they should have a good marriage because that is what they prayed for. They believe they should have a good marriage because. . . .we.., just because.
Someone who went through a divorce said, “I hit a horrible impasse in my first marriage. I felt I was right and she was wrong, so I cashed out. In my second marriage I saw the same things starting to occur that destroyed my first marriage. At first I thought I had made another bad choice in partner, but I decided to change how I was married, not my marriage partner. It turned everything around. I love my second wife, but I also understand now that I could have loved my first wife and not experienced the hell of divorce and the lifelong awkwardness it creates—especially with kids.”
Divorce is not always what you think it is.
Lots of people wish life had an easy button… like the commercial for the office supply store Staples, where you just push the big red button with the word “easy” on it and everything you want just magically happens. But the reality is, there are no easy buttons in life, and that is especially true in Christianity—even though people often think and act like God is the easy button for us.
Frequently, believers will treat God like the magic genie or giant vending machine in the sky. We ask Him to do things just so we don’t have to do it ourselves; then we don’t have to put any work or effort into a situation. Husbands and wives will pray for God to make their marriage better, yet they will continue to invest no time and attention into the relationship. People may be diagnosed with some illness or condition and beg God to heal them and take it away, but they won’t do anything to change their diet, exercise or lifestyle that would improve their health. Students will blow off studying for an exam, yet earnestly pray for God to help them do well on the test. There are people who pray and ask God to bring them a job or a spouse, but never go out and look for one! I hate to be the one to break the news to you, but that’s not the way it works.
God will help us. We can ask Him to give us the strength and courage to persevere and do the right things—like dealing with disease, a difficult relationship, or temptation—but He doesn’t just magically fix it or take it all away to make it easy. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with and controlling feelings. Here is one common example that I’ve heard numerous times from men: I’m so tempted to look at other women and pornography and I’ve prayed and prayed for God to take those feelings away. I’ve also heard people say that they are experiencing great temptation with attraction to another person other than their spouse and want God to just “take those feelings away”. Mind you, they don’t want to flee the temptation or stay away from this person or situation. They don’t want to learn to control their feelings—they want the easy button instead. And quite simply, there isn’t one.
Part of being a Christ follower is learning not to be led by feelings. We must learn that feelings don’t determine our behavior or else we will be doomed. Most people think that if they feel it, they just have to do it and that’s why they pray those prayers asking God to “take them away”. They reason that surely humans can’t help what they feel! Sadly, too many people end up being slaves to their feelings and think they cannot possibly manage, control or resist their urges, temptations and emotions. Therefore they believe that the only reasonable and certain solution is for God to just zap them away. Nonsense!
The bible is very clear that we are to fight temptation and that God will help us so we don’t have to succumb. I Corinthians 10:13 says: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV) That means you don’t have to give in, nothing is too much for you to take—despite what your feelings tell you. In the book of James scripture tells us to resist the devil and he will flee from you (4:7). But we don’t want to resist the devil; we want to pray and ask God to make him to go away. These are wrong thoughts and wrong prayers. God won’t do it. He won’t sprinkle you with pixie dust and make it all vanish. We are expected to live by His word and that means we have to do our part in this—never giving up and never giving in. James goes on to say we are blessed when we persevere (1:12 and 5:11)
Every human being is tempted—whether that means you are tempted by visual lusts, feelings of attraction or dissatisfaction, the tendency to be mean and nasty to people, complacency in your faith, food, alcohol, drugs, and the list goes on and on—but that doesn’t mean we are to be condemned for feeling certain things. We are to resist, not in our own will power, because as believers we have the Holy Spirit and the power of the risen Christ at work in us to enable us to stand up to any and every temptation or feeling. The problem is often people equate the want to with the have to, but just because you feel it, doesn’t mean that you listen to those wants or feelings or that you act upon them. And sometimes those “want tos” can be really strong, but they are never greater than the strength we have as Christians. Don’t tell me that your desire to look at porn is more powerful than Jesus!
It’s at times of temptation and struggle that we must rely on the power available to us. That is when it is vitally important to have the word of God in you so are able to quote the truths of scripture that will enable you to combat and fight those urges.** Only then will we be able to break free from being a slave to feelings and not allow emotions to dictate our choices. We must stop thinking we have to be “true and honest to our feelings”. They are the most unreliable and dishonest thing a person could possibly follow. As Christians we must learn to control our feelings and not allow them to control us.
Stop asking and expecting God to do all the heavy lifting, just so you can have it easy and not do the work that it requires.
Remember, Jesus said “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
A lot of dilemmas that people find themselves in stem from their own choices, actions and behaviors. Maybe they were sexually promiscuous for years, went down the path of sexual promiscuity since they were teenagers, neglected their marriage and treated their spouse horribly, committed adultery, got divorced, entered into a step-family situation…the list can go on. The source or cause of the current issues and problems can be interchangeable, but the same question comes forth. They want to know how they can fix it, undo it and “make it normal”.
Most people want some magic prayer or answer as to how they can make it like it never happened. In other words, how do I unscramble the eggs that I scrambled? They don’t like the consequences of the choices they made in the past and don’t want those consequences to impact the present or future. Here’s the hard truth: We reap what we sow. It’s in The Bible and apparently churches aren’t teaching this to their people outside of the financial context. Preachers will often use the concept in terms of money, yet fail to extrapolate it to the whole of life.
If you never pay attention to your spouse, if you have an affair, if you sleep with a dozen different people and get an STD, guess what? You reap the negative consequences. But, if you spend time with your spouse, stay faithful in your marriage, remain a virgin and live monogamously, you reap the positive consequences. Amazing how that works!
The world never talks about the ramifications of our choices. A point of fact, personal responsibility and understanding cause and effect is a rare thing in the culture of today. Hollywood makes it seem as if there are no consequences to amoral behavior and that as long as you are doing what feels good to you and makes you happy, everything will be fine. But that is a lie. What we do has a direct connection to what we get in life.
Just take a look at our financial condition in our country today.
Here is where many Christians get hung up. They may have done all sorts of things prior to coming to faith, or even as a practicing believer, and they understand the concept of sin and forgiveness. So they ask God to forgive them of their sins and then expect the consequences of those sins to be erased. They misunderstand what it means to be forgiven of sin.
Before God it is as if these things had never happened. He does forgive and remove the guilt of our transgressions and makes us pure in our standing before Him. But the consequences remain for us to deal with. Please hear what I’m saying…can God do anything? Yes! He can remove every memory you have, restore any relationship, heal your mind and body of disease, and every other thing under the sun that we can ask for or need.
And I certainly can give you my best advice on how to live in the situation, deal with your circumstances, cope with the outcomes, manage the consequences and still have a good life. What I can’t do is tell you how to take it all away and make the fallout of your choices disappear because the principle of sowing and reaping always applies.
Paul writes in Galatian 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived:God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
It’s an imperative teaching that churches must pass onto their people and parents must get into their children. Yet, even though Paul warns us, it seems many Christians are deceived.
They operate under the delusion that they can scramble the eggs and then God, or their pastor can unscramble them. People think they can sow poison and destruction in their lives and that somehow there is a magic prayer to say or a magic wand to wave so they reap blessings and goodness. They want to harvest what they did not plant and think that it’s not fair to get anything less than their greatest wishes and desires. Christians think this way because they fail to understand the biblical concept of sowing and reaping sin, and its consequences.
Just look at David, one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history, yet the consequences of his sin with Bathsheba, were with him for the rest of his life on earth.
It’s as if they are now sitting with a plate of scrambled eggs and saying, “But I don’t want my eggs scrambled. I want fried eggs. I prayed and asked God to change them into fried. Pastor Mark, make these fried for me, will you?” And here’s the deal. You can’t unscramble them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the plate of eggs. You may prefer, fried. You may long for fried. You may look at the other people sitting at the table enjoying their fried eggs and wish that you could have what they are having. You may think it’s not fair that you get stuck with the scramble eggs. But the bottom line is they are still good eggs. You can eat them, live with them and enjoy them just the same.
It’s important to learn and teach our kids that if you want fried eggs, it’s best not to scramble them in the first place.
Make good choices in your life, and teach your children to do the same. Then you will reap the blessings all through this life.
Understanding is extremely important when it comes to a healthy successful marriage. When you are willing to understand each other, new vision and hope will emerge. You will immediately become energized to work on your marriage, even if it is ripe with trouble. Here is a story that illustrates how everything changes when we understand. How our understanding can effect our willingness to stick to a difficult relationship.
Once there was a boy who lived with his mother and grandfather. His grandfather was not really an elderly man, but he was confined to a wheelchair and had very little use of his arms. His face was badly scarred, and he had a difficult time swallowing his food.
Every day the little boy was assigned the task of going into his grandfather’s room and feeding him lunch. This the little boy did faithfully, but not joyously. It was quite a mess to feed Grandfather.
As the boy grew into adolescence, he became weary of his responsibility. One day he stormed into the kitchen and announced that he had had enough. He told his mother, “From now on, you can feed Grandpa.”
Very patiently his mother turned from her chores, motioned for her son to sit down, and said, “You are a young man now. It is time you know the whole truth about your grandfather.” She continued, “Grandpa has not always been confined to a wheelchair. In fact, he used to be quite an athlete. When you were a baby, however, there was an accident.”
The boy leaned forward in his chair as his mother began to cry.
She said, “There was a fire. Your father was working in the basement, and he thought you were upstairs with me. I thought he was downstairs with you. We both rushed out of the house. Your grandfather found you, wrapped you in a wet blanket, and made a made a mad dash through the flames. He brought you safely to your father and me.
“He was rushed to the emergency room suffering from second-and third-degree burns as well as smoke inhalation. The reason he is the way he is today is because of what he suffered the day he saved your life.”
By this time the boy had tears in his eyes as well. He never knew; his grandfather never told him. And with no conscious effort on his part, his attitude changed. With no further complaints, he picked up his grandfather’s lunch tray and took it to his room.
Once you understand why your husband acts that way, or why your wife thinks that way, it will change how you feel about him or her, though nothing has really changed. Compassion will come with an accompanying perseverance—all because you now understand. I cannot overstate the importance of how everything changes when we understand.
All marriages start off very selfishly. When a couple begins dating, it is generally all about each person’s own interests. “I like what you do for me. I like the way you make me feel. When I’m with you I’m happy. You make me feel validated.” At the beginning, marriage really is the ultimate in narcissistic expression. The reason you are getting married is because of what he/she does for you. And it’s the same for the other person. It’s all about me, me, me!
But then you get these two me, me, me people together and something has to give. Marriages where couples are able to make the transition from selfish, me-centered thinking, the ones where the husband and wife realize that they can’t get everything they want, are the ones that make it. The marriages where couples can’t do that…and many people don’t…are the ones that fall apart.
It’s amazing how many spouses are always asking, “How can I make my spouse___________? Fill in the blank with whatever fits.
How can I get my spouse to load the dishwasher the way I want?
How can I get my spouse to do the things I want to do?
How can I get my spouse to keep the house better?
How can I get my spouse to spend less money?
Chores, money, time, attitude…the list goes on infinitely. They may use other words like “get”, “change”, encourage”, “teach”, etc., but the real idea is how do I make my spouse do what I want? These are the people who have not made the shift from the me, me, me and I want, I like, I need mentality to a sacrificial, giving, putting the other first, we way of thinking.
Listen to me. The bottom line is that you can’t make anyone do anything. People will complain that their spouse doesn’t clean the bathroom the way they want, or fold the clothes, or hang the towels, or wash the dishes, the “right” way…which is code for my way!
I’ve got news for you, The Furor, Your Highness—she’s not your slave; and he’s not your slave! Stop being a narcissistic snot! Not everyone gets everything they want. If there is a specific and certain way that you just have to have things done and you don’t like it when your spouse fails to meet your standard, the answer is simple: You do it!
There are areas in our home that I am pickier about, like my office, so I am the one who cleans it. In other areas, it’s my wife who wants things done in a certain way, so she takes care of that. What we don’t do is argue and insult each other all the while insisting that the other person does it my way. I either shut up and let her do it her way, or I do it myself if it’s something that want to have done just-so.
Sometimes you have to give, compromise, do it yourself and hush up. If you constantly fight to win, dig your heels in to have everything exactly the way you want it, when you want it and how you want it, you will lose, but not in a good way.
Sometimes you just have the mentality that “I get to lose.” Deliberately choose to lose. Lose your selfishness, your ego, and your right to be right all the time. Ironically, losers win and winners lose in this one.
by Mark Gungor
Trust is a very fragile flower. It can take years to build and yet in just one short moment of indiscretion can all come tumbling down, and there is nothing you can say or do to change it. Have any of you been there? I think all of us have at one point or another.
The main ingredient in any solid relationship is trust. Without trust there really is no relationship. You see, trust sets a relationship apart from all the others.
A young man who is going to college or out making his path in the world, sees and dates other young women. He’s just looking around not really for anything in particular, he’s just having fun making his way in the world, getting his direction as to where he wants to go…but then it happens.
Of all the people he’s enjoying and having a good time with there is this one that stands out from the crowd. He’s attracted to her and she is to him, and most important of all, they enjoy each others company.
They spend hours on end just talking and learning about each other. Every single detail comes out. They laugh, they cry, and they get to know just what makes the other tick.
This is a place that we don’t usually let other people in, but when someone opens the door to their heart and say’s, “I care about you, I love you, and I trust you to come in and make yourself at home,” that is and should be treated as a very special moment, because something is born at that moment inside the hearts of both of these people. It’s called trust.
If handled the right way, this trust will build into a strong unit and a force that nothing can knock over or penetrate through. There are four pillars that have to be present and born in the right order for all this to take place.
You have to bridge these four pillars together to make a solid unit that you will be able to build on for years to come. These are going to be the foundation pillars of what your relationship, and the relationship of your children and grand-children for generations to come, will be built on. When you think of it that way, you can see how so very important all this is.
Our society today doesn’t hold to these truths anymore, and the selfish, I want what’s best for me, attitude is what is control instead of this process.
The results are very evident… divorce, broken homes, teen suicide, and lots of lonely people who think that sleeping with every women in town, is being open and free, and in reality their heart is cold and empty, and they don’t know the first thing about truth or trust.
There is always the initial attraction that we go through. We may be attracted to a lot of different people, but through the talking period and sharing of truth, you will know if this is the one or not.
Once you have established that this person is willing to open themselves truthfully and honestly to you, this will open up the next bridge to trust that you must cross. Without truth there can never be any trust.
This is where many relationships fail. Truth is not as free flowing in our society today as it once was. People don’t think twice about lying or stretching the truth, but the bottom line is truth and integrity are the only ways to build a solid relationship that will last a lifetime. There is no other way… period.
Jesus said to His disciples in John 8:32, ” you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When you know the truth about anything it does set you free. There is no more doubting or wondering which way to go…when you know the truth. When you know the truth and the solid rock of trust is built you can whether the strongest of storms.
Follow these pillars and you will find that right person that will fit you like a glove, and then continue to build on the truth and trust that you have established, and your marriage will be one that will last a lifetime and one that will be emulated in your family for generations to come.
The death of a loved one is never an easy experience. Weather a person comes to deaths door through a long illness or a tragic accident, losing someone who has been a part of your life, leaves a huge whole. Friends and family that come to circle around, you at that very painful time, can help and hold you up, but they can never take away the pain and devastation that you go through.
On top of the tremendous loss, there is all the paper work that must be handled and taken care of. Yes, I said paper work. I don’t mean this in any way to be disrespectful of the dead, but these are things that have to be done after we’re gone, and it’s a pile of papers that need to be signed and delivered to all the right places. This is something that all of us must go through, but none of us ever think about until it is all to late.
My mother-in-law passed away after a fourteen month battle with pancreatic cancer. Cancer is a horrible illness that usually leaves families reeling, but pancreatic cancer is usually discovered after it is too late and death is quick. Usually two to six months, but my mother-in-law lasted fourteen.
Then there are the constant drives back and forth to the hospital for the chemo treatments and any other things that may come up. It is a long and draining experience that leaves you numb and listless.
With all this going on and now the tragic news of the persons demise, there are the insurance forms and agents that need to be contacted. If there is an estate, there are attorneys, social security, clergy, funeral homes, and family members, just to name a few of the many things that have to be taking care of. This in and of itself, can be a daunting task for anyone to handle, but even more so after the devastating news that your loved one has died.
With all the emotions, fears, and drama that this brings, wouldn’t it be nice if you had everything prepared and ready to go, when this door, that we all must pass through, opens?
I would like to introduce to you an eBook that I have been given access too with all these answers laid out for you. A guide to organize and put together the people, phone numbers, and addresses, that you must contact. Have all the right papers ready to go and everything that you must do, all laid out for you. “This is My Story” is a great resource for everything you must do during this very difficult time.
Don’t leave your loved ones running around trying to find your insurance papers, or the name to your pension administrator, or your doctor, attorney, and close friends, during this very emotional period. They will have enough to deal with your loss, let alone all of the administrative process as well.
I remember everything that my wife had to carry, and all the arrangements that she had to do, and when the evening came she would just collapse in my arms, weeping desperately for her mother. If I could have known where some of these documents were and who to contact, I could have helped her so much more.
In, “This is My Story“, you will find resources and guides on how to leave a legacy for your children and grand-children. Record your family history on videos, and guidelines for a personal legacy letter, setting up wills, trusts, guardianship, and marital agreements.
What is power of attorney? Find out in this incredible resource. How to set up your personal, real estate, medical, insurance, and much more is included in this tremendous resource that all of us are going to need one day.
Bank accounts, financial investments, debts, and business interests are all covered in this eBook.
I know that my wife’s burden would have been so much easier to carry if she had all this information organized and set up before hand for her, but this is a bridge that we never feel we will have to cross…but we all will one day.
If someone charged me $100 for this, I would pay it in a heart beat, but they aren’t. $50 dollars would be a steal for all the valuable information in this book, but they aren’t selling it for $50 either. For the price of what it would cost you for a meal at McDonald’s, $9.95, is what you will pay for all this information. I still can’t believe that’s all they are charging for everything that you get in this book.
Click on the book and view a sample of this amazing information that we all need to know. Let’s see McDonald’s or peace of mind? I think I’ll take peace of mind.
It’s been a couple of years since the movie, “Fire Proof”, has been out, but with all the talk of Tiger Woods infidelity, I thought I would ask the question, is your marriage fire proof?
There are three things that everyone can do to fire proof their marriages. If you put into practice these three simple commitments, your relationship with your spouse will be fruitful and long. Now I say commitments because without commitments, there is no marriage or relationship. Without commitments there is nothing at all about anything.
Commitments make the world go round. I think America has trouble with commitment, that’s why 50 percent of all marriages will end in divorce. We make commitments in business, with friends, our kids and our spouse, but pay little attention to when we break those commitments. Our commitments need our daily decisions to make those commitments work.
Here are three commitments, if put into place and followed everyday without wavering, will change your life.
1. Commit to Always Keep Growing With Your Partner
Do you remember when you and your spouse first were dating? Wasn’t that great! Nothing but uninterrupted time together. Do whatever you want. Go wherever you wanted to go. You laughed and talked for hours, and didn’t care what time it was. What happened to it? It should never stop. There are times when it may slow down, but it should never ever stop. Your kids will grow up and move away, you will retire from that job some day, but you will always have your spouse. Put some time back into your relationship and watch it grow.
2. Make Barriers and Stay Way Behind Them
The scene is two people having words with each other and the one draws a line in the ground and says,” I dare you to cross it”. You have to set up and follow those lines before you get into those sticky situations that will require you to make a split second decision. It’s not if those situations might occur, it’s when they will occur, and they will occur. That’s when the decision you make, could define the rest of your life. Just ask Tiger Woods.
3. Find an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone that you go to talk about your personal stuff, whatever it is. Someone you are close to and trust with these intimate parts of your life. It could be an older person, or more then one person, but it can never ever, ever, be someone of the opposite sex. Unless it is your mother, and then you might not want to share that kind of stuff with your mother. This is very important. To have someone who can step up to you and say, “I think your wrong….. You better be careful about this….watch where your going.” These are rare people indeed, because we have a tendency to always cling to those who will say what we want them to say.
Tiger Woods was always so close to his father. I don’t know for sure, but I think that his father was kinda like his accountability partner. They probably talked all the time about different things. He went to all his tournaments and was always there to greet him when he came off the course. It was very hard for Tiger Woods after his father died. I remember that first tournament that he won after his fathers death. Tears streaming down his face, the emotional Tiger Woods wept in the arms of his wife. His good friend was not there to greet him this time.
All the infidelity problems that Tiger has been dealing with have all come after his father’s death. This is probably the most important part of the three. Learn to be accountable to someone. It could mean the difference between a healthy marriage or divorce.
My name is Brian Gosur .
We plan our wills, our finances, our health, and our vacations. When we are planning a vacation, we go through great lengths to plan and organize everything. Where stops will be, how long we’re going to be staying there, and what we’re going to wear….etc. The list is never-ending. When my wife and I go on a short weekend trip, she takes enough clothing for a month. When we plan a promoting scheme for our business, we leave no stone unturned. What about the biggest, and we are hoping, the most extended trip of your life? Your marriage.
I know this is just about a foreign word in our society today, but I’m from the Old School and I still think that a lifelong dedication to one partner brings with it some of the most overwhelming results you can never really explain, and that no amount of money can ever buy.
It also brings with it some twists and turns, bumps and bruises, talks and compromises, and that’s what makes it so great.
I love hockey, and when I used to play, I took plenty of bumps and bruises, twists and turns, compromises and talks, but boy was it fun.
Everyone would limp off the ice, get our gear and limp off to home and we were smiling and taking about what a great game we just played. It was fun! We played because we loved the game, irrespective of if we took a blow now and then. Do you love your spouse? Have you definitely made a game plan to make this commitment succeed?
Now you who are not married and just living together will never understand what I’m talking about. LOVE IS A COMMITMENT! You do not have a relationship that will feel what I just described, unless you’ve got a lifelong commitment. No running out the back door when things simply do not go your way. You work it out. If your marriage relationship does not have a destination, how can you know when you arrive? And why wait for love to materialize out of stardust, when you might select excitement and romance now?
There’s a straight forward yet surpassing plan for a marriage of depth, hot romance and excitement! A Plan, you ask? Exactly! Good marriages are no accident. The rules are easy enough; you only need an outline to follow. Hard times can strike any family relationship. But deciding to love, in the effective techniques outlined here, can result in relationships that are harder when the hard times come, and they can come.
Six elements to staying in Love:
I can go further into each one of those points on another post, but I am able to assure you, if you implement these into your marriage, you’ll see a major change happen. That change may take time and lot of persistence on your side, and don’t be stunned that the most wide-reaching change just could be in you.
The word compromise is defined as,” an agreement reached by adjustment”. That is a very good definition because that is exactly what compromise is. It takes an adjustment on both sides to reach the agreement. Unfortunately that is not what people do to complete their definition of the word compromise.
Because their is one human characteristic that is formed very early in everyone’s life, and makes it nearly impossible to achieve the true meaning of the word compromise to ever exist in anyone. That is the me, my syndrome. Selfishness.
Let me give you an example. Do you ever have to teach a child how to lie? Or if a child sees another child playing with a toy that they want, they just go over and take it. You don’t ever have to school them on how to do this. They have it all down by the time they are two years old. Then they know how to inflict pain to get that toy from the other child if that child resists, and then lie about how it was the other child fault because he hit you first. I know all about this, and you know all about this if you are human.
Now if these same kids have learned how to do all this by the time they are two years old, imagine how much they have mastered this art by the time they have had twenty years of training and experience watching you and me. If you have children or grand-children, I know you have all seen this in action.
Now if this trend is not corrected, these children grow up to be adults, and those adults go off into various careers. Politics, attorneys, bankers…..well, you get my drift. They also go on to become partners in holy matrimony. (when was the last time you heard marriage referred to as holy matrimony)
I believe we are at a crossroads in America today. We have so many of these children that have entered into adulthood taking with them that same selfish arrogant attitude, and are now using it with great accuracy on the other individuals that they come across every day of their lives. If I don’t get what I want, I will lie, cheat, and inflict pain, (emotional pain), on anyone that gets in my way.
Now I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it applies to a good portion of people today.
I grew up like this. I was a horrible person to be around. I used all these with exact skill. I had some of the best teachers also. It was not until I met Jesus Christ, that my life finally turned around.
People like this do not make good marriage partners. They are not willing to compromise. To them compromise is when you give me what I want. When I went into an argument with my wife, I was planning on how I was going to win, not compromise.
For those of you who are in these types of marriages, I know how difficult it can be. You can never win when you are up against someone who is uncompromising, selfish, and never able to look at themselves in the mirror and see who they really are. That is what has to happen before there can be any real change.
What about you. Do you compromise? Or do you go into that marriage with fight in your eyes and the attitude that you are going to take what you want. You’re not going to give in. You have rights!
The greatest act of love is to serve. If you want to be first, become last. Even if you are getting battered and beat up by your marriage partner, learn to compromise. Go that extra mile. Over time they will see the difference, and soon they will be able to look into the mirror and see someone that they never saw before. Someone totally new and different.
I will end with this story that I heard a while back.
A man’s wife was in a terrible auto accident. She was a very beautiful women. The doctors said it was a miracle that she was even alive. They had done some surgery on her face and did a wonderful job at restoring her facial features back to what they were before the tragic accident, but warned the husband that her lips would always be crooked and angled to one side.
The day came when the husband was going to see her for the first time since the surgeries on her face. He walked into the room slowly. His wife was sitting up on her bed. She was afraid he would never look at her the same, and maybe never kiss her again. No words were spoken. He very gently walked over to her…..as he angled his face and lips so that they would fit right into hers…..he kissed her so tenderly. With tears streaming down her face, they embraced, and all her fears she had disappeared.
That’s called compromise my friend. Adjusting yourself to reach an agreement for the good of someone else.