Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment

Notes of Marriage Enrichment Class

This month our church Legacy is holding a class on Sunday mornings at 9 during our first service for Marriage Enrichment.  Marriage Counselor Lauren Early and her husband Aaron are leading the group.  Since I love this subject, I thought I would attend, although my husband is preaching in the auditorium, there are always things to learn when it comes to marriage even after 34 years.  Here below is the handout and my notes on the subject.

Week One:

Marriage is a covenant – a promise to care for and keep – exchange of persons as opposed to a contract which is an exchange of promises.  A contractual relationship benefits self but a covenant relationship benefits the other at great cost to self.  I love this statement!  When you see marriage as a covenant and not a contract, you are married to one another for one another and you are not looking for a way out.

God needs to be the center of that before covenant can take place and the longer we stay in marriage covenant, the more God’s grace comes alive.  Marriage is likened to the relationship between Jesus and the church.  You can only become one in a marriage through Christ.  When you hurt, he hurts.  His goals become my goals and united in vision where we see ourselves for the years to come.

We look to Christ together, submitting one to another.  Submission is not domineering but giving ourselves one to another and the husband must give just as the wife.  Submission is not where the wife believes her opinion doesn’t count or matter.

Love is the greatest commandment and therefore a choice and matter of obedience.  It is an action.  People leave marriages because of feelings – “fell out of love”.  We don’t base our covenant on feelings of love but choosing to love, because it is the supernatural love comes from God.  Love is a choice even with the unloveable spouse.  Marriage requires submission which is yielding to another’s will by choice.  Submission requires leadership which is a responsibility more than it is a privilege.  Christ is the ultimate server.

“The more encouragement we give our spouse, the more full potential they will become.  Figure out what submission looks like for your marriage.  It is not comparing yourself to other wives as a helpmate but what you need to be.”  stated Lauren.

“Submission is not a servant but from a husband’s point of view is not domineering either, but more about listening to her viewpoint, weighing and taking account what her needs are.  It is not a feeling.  It must benefit for her as to reference to Christ as a responsibility at the end of the day to make those decisions for the whole family.” stated Aaron.

Lauren also said the power to honor her husband is the type of supernatural power to honor above all other relationships, and we answer to God for how we love and submit to our spouse.

This nugget was my aha moment….(and I hope I state it the way she did)  If we want to know how we are treating our spouse, check ourselves by looking in the mirror because the reflection should be how we are really treating ourselves as well as having their best interest in mind.  In order to meed the needs of our spouse, it is sacrifice as well as a willingness to go out of our own comfort zone.  Even when we disagree it is not an attack on “who” you are but just a passionate opinion.  The more transparent you become the more we can update ourselves on our partners world.

Can’t wait till next Sunday for the next class!  Until next week, hope you gained some insight about the class through the worksheet as well as my notes.  Below is Scripture Reference!

Malachi 2:14, Ephesians 5:32, Galatians 3:28, I Corinthians 12:13 13:4-7, Genesis 2:24, Matthew 22:26-40, I John 4:8 &19, Luke 22:26

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faith, Fear, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation

Shannon’s Story of Forgiveness

How many times does our Father or Mother’s sin effect our life as we grow up as children?  Sometimes we carry around the sin, the guilt, the blame and yes the feelings of rejection and un-forgiveness in life or even deal with the battles our parents never conquered.  This story was made purposely not to expose one family’s faults but in some way we may all have experienced this or know someone who has.  The ultimate goal of the enemy is always to kill, steal and destroy, however as Shannon met her sister for the first time upon her father’s death bed, Shannon found something she had been looking for her entire life….freedom and forgiveness.

Watch as Shannon tells her story of forgiveness…..

Matthew 18 Living Translation

21Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

 

faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation, Sermon Notes, Supernatural

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Valentine's Day Flowers is a great way to show you love someone

Last night I got the opportunity to speak at our church about the facets of Love.  Since Valentines day is tomorrow and everyone seems giddy about the event planning on flowers, chocolates and cards, I decided to teach about Love.  Here are my sermon notes and in a few days, I will upload the sermon link so you may also hear the message.

I John 4:16 –

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

This type of love that comes from God :

Daily Live in Love

There is love that is perfect love

Pursue it

Is forever love

Is Greatest love

Brings unity

Brings peace

Shows kindness

We have to receive it and put it on – abide in it

Sacrifices for sake of others

Love is a choice….

Greeks had terms of love:

  • Storge – affection that parents have with their children, (putting up with family members) Storge Lovers: life long friends
  • Philia – mental love of give and take – loyalty to others – general shoulder to shoulder friendship, Philia Lover: Philos love is a mutual, “give-and take” relationship,
  • Eros – Physical love – passionate love with sensual desire – love at first site – looks. It is based more on “self-benefit”.  Pure emotion without the balance of logic:

Erotic lover wants to know everything about the beloved from the first moment of their RELATIONSHIP, all of his or her experiences, joys and sorrows, who else he or she has loved in the past, how much and in what ways.  like to wear matching T-shirts, identical bracelets, matching colors, order the same foods when dining out, find out that their blood types are the same; they typically want to be identified with each other as totally as possible. Breakups are explosive and painful. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.

  • Agape – spiritual love – true unconditional love, expecting nothing in return –  no self benefit: Agape Lover: forgiving – “not a fall in love desire” but this love is always available for the opportunity to show that love.  They are patient, have the ability to wait indefinitely for the behavior of their love to change.

Other types of LOVERS:

  • MANIA (Possessiveness and Intense Dependency) (Eros and Game player )Mania is an obsessive love that, intimate  and intense, often includes jealousy, possessiveness and a lack of communication. Maniacal love can lead to domestic violence.   The constructed ideal of this type of lover is obsessed to where they are unable to sleep, eat, or even think logically around the loved one. The manic lover has peaks of excitement, but also depths of depression, with very few periods without a high or low, jealous – irrational.

A manic lover cannot tolerate loss of contact , even for short periods of time, and is distressed by a lack of the lover’s presence .

* crushed by real or fancied rejection, possibly to the point of suicidal ideation.

* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,

* do not tolerate separation at all well.

The manic lover has a tendency to review past relationships and speculate about what when wrong – high level or anxiety,  have problems related to anxiety and associated with low self-esteem and a poor self concept.

  • Pragma (logical – sensible) a person who is unable to invest love in “unworthy” love objects. (You DESERVE ME) The pragmatic lover is keenly aware of the comparison level for alternatives that he or she has. Pragmatic lovers are inclined to look for a “deal – good bargin” A pragmatic lover typically assists the loved one to fulfill his or her potentials; for example, such a lover might make sure the love object finishes school, asks for deserved promotions, gets the attention or that he or she “deserves” from physicians, stockbrokers, or employers. And everything is planned – family
  • Ludus (game player) A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long-range plans. Self-centered and won’t listen

The Types of Love are explained.  The Agape is the highest form of love however culture continues to seek self gratification instead of selflessness.

1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel.

Three primary styles:


1. Eros – Loving an ideal person

2. Ludos – Love as a game

3. Storge – Love as friendship

Three secondary styles:


1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love

2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love

3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

The human brain supports falling in love, which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another.

Most people want love but believe self gratification is in there too.

  • make me ‘feel good’
  • Love  MUST nourish it. : feed it, to take care of it, to value it.

 True love is not about what you feel, it is about what you do.

*Euphoria Stage.  Emotion and feeling based but can be a long term with different value if love grows.

The more time you spend with a person the more you learn about their character and personality. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

*Offense stage comes swiftly after the Reality stage because the relationship was built based on the feelings felt in Euphoria as opposed to a solid friendship.

The Offense stage is different from having hard times in a relationship.

The Offense stage: constant conflict and tension because of false expectations.

*Reality stage it’s not about how you feel, it’s about a choice.  The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

Humans have evolved three different brain systems to encourage mating: sex drive (lust), feelings of attachment (trust), and romance (being in love). Each of these systems plays a role in desire.

Lust. Sex drive is associated with a class of hormones called testosterone (even women have it) Playing competitive sports have been shown to trigger testosterone production; in fact, women get a bigger boost than men during a competition. Making love can also create the same effect. Studies have shown that sex raises testosterone levels, so the more sex you have, the more sex you desire.

touching someone brings more feelings of love because it releases a chemical in your brain to promote love

Trust. Feelings of trust and attachment are fostered by the chemical oxytocin. You can stimulate oxytocin naturally with touch. Hold hands while you watch TV, trade massages, or sleep in each other’s arms. Oxytocin, the love/hate hormone
.  Human and animal studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding;

While affecting positive behaviors of trust and bonding, it can also affect opposite behaviors like jealousy, envy, and suspicion. when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments”.

Love. The third chemical that drives relationships is dopamine, a key player in the brain’s reward regions that’s been found to promote romantic love. Research shows that —taking risks or trying something new—can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.

 SONGS: MRI and PET scans reveal that when you listen to music that excites you, your brain releases dopamine during the most exciting moments of the song and even in anticipation of those moments.

Some things a person does can produce so much dopamine that over time, the dopamine response lessens, which means you can lose the ability to feel any kind of pleasure at all. The usual culprits of this dopamine dulling effect are things like cocaine and heroin, which is good news for the great majority of us who are not addicted to illicit substances. The bad news is that if you’re addicted to fatty foods, the same thing could potentially happen to you. If you let rats eat as much cheesecake, bacon, sausage, and other fatty foods as they want, not only will they become obese, but their dopamine responses will start to attenuate over time. So while a small slice of cheesecake once in a while may get your dopamine flowing, overdoing it may have negative consequences on your brain.

Feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to—at best—three years.

Brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months. Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups: Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.

Sacrificing Love:  It is the foundation to every key relationship in life.

Revolutionizes marriage

Fortifies friendships

Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers

Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better

Love is sacrifice and has a lot more to do with being a servant than with being a hero. 

When you are concerned about the well being of others, you sacrifice.

  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Give up plans
  • Give up independence
  • Give up privacy
  • May have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.

Hard because our Culture teaches exact opposite – Logic thinking doesn’t make sense or logic, it’s not fair.

True personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification but opposite.

The right type of love never fails…. all other types of love will have you wanting but never satisfying.

 

Mark 8:34-35

Deny yourself

“Put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross and follow me closely.  If you insist on saving your life you will lose it.  Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

Matthew 20:26  … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (throughout the gospels: the one who rules is the one who serves)

Luke 22 :28  The one who stands beside me in trials.  (Through everything you love)

It is only when we give ourselves to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

In marriage = a lot of sacrifice

  • A good marriage enhances the life of each spouse, making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage did not exist.
  • Loving marriage help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than squelching either persons dreams
  • Loving spouses put the other persons needs above their own

The highest form of love…..do you agree?

In friendship = willing to make investment in someone’s life

Why is it so hard?  Commitment

Try it – keep giving and giving – good actions not a feeling…. Some do good but then what happens when people come to the point they are running on empty? They get angry at people: how do you know, people become problems. (hermit)

God tells us not only to live sacrificially but also steadfastly. (persistent, loyal, consistently)

“I am done!”  I am burnout….

How do we get refilled?

Spending time alone with God – He is source of love.  Jesus did this many times, leaving the crowd and go pray.

(can’t depend us getting love from another person) Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Want peace? 2 Corth 13:11 :  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God

Burn out 3 ways.

  1. Spiritually :  Love tank is low – daily time with God before the day starts. Listen to Christian music
  2. Emotionally: Feel uninterested in others – Life itself happens (bad days) . replenish yourself through relaxing or recreation
  3. Physically:  Won’t listen, no serving, no confront or encourage people, no energy, easily irritated, critical, short fused, defensive and negative.  It is hard to love others and equally hard for others to love them.

Act as Jesus would act and do in all 3 areas.….

I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

I Corth. 13:1 : If I had knowledge, if I gave to the poor, moved mountains, but If didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not always want nor boastful, is not conceited, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

slow to anger when abused, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge when affronted; but exercises forbearance, suffers long, and bears much, and is ready to forgive:
Agape love is the highest form of love.  Do you think you could reach it?

Love suffers long.


Love is kind.


Love does not envy.


Love does not parade itself.


Love is not puffed up.


Love does not behave rudely.


Love does not seek its own.


Love is not provoked.


Love thinks no evil.


Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


Love rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things.


Love believes all things.


Love hopes all things.


Love endures all things.


Love never fails.

So what does Love Got to do with it… Everything… because without love you are nothing…

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Salvation, Soul Winning, Supernatural

Your Behavior is Linked to Values

your actions are determined by your valuesLeading like Jesus my husband says, “If you live for Jesus hard, it is easy” but “If you live for Jesus easy, it is hard”.

Everyone of us must have a vision to know where we are going.  Most of us can have goals and try to achieve them in life.  Hopefully for all of us, our vision is heaven.  However in life we get distracted by life or get caught up in life we forget the ultimate goal.  Now don’t get me wrong, we should have life goals and achieve them, but we also should have a life full of peace and joy as we live it to see things accomplished .  Not only in that sense but to leave a legacy.  How will people remember you after you are gone?   Yes, life is not all peachy and roses but it is thru the tough times, Christ is there with us, leading us along the way to make right choices.  Those choices are determined by our values.

Seeing the ending in mind means we have a vision.    An element to the vision is our values, because values is linked to how you behave.  Values are nonnegotiable principles that define character in a person regardless if you are a leader or not.  Values is what drives behavior of all of us for our purpose and picture of the future.

true valuesIn Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus ranked two values and He put them in order.

  1.  Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.
  2.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

These are great principles for life but unless they are translated into behavior it won’t happen and they become good thoughts or just words on a paper that we all should live by.  In fact many people say they do live by these words, maybe not daily but try to.

We all  must make good choices and sometimes that means change.  Some of us are hot-wired for change and can adapt very quickly when others, change only is seen by heartache and pain.  We all want to be great leaders, in some form or fashion but to lead as Jesus, these two values must be put above everything else even if it means changing your environment.  The appropriate response for your circumstances will depend on what God has in mind for you.  Since we don’t know what tomorrow brings, that is hard I have to admit.  You see Jesus knows what is best for us regardless on how we feel, nevertheless He gives us a choice.

Our life and leadership are all about choices and the choices  made are based on our values.

I always said, “you are where you are right now in life because of the choices you made yesterday”  What do you stand for?

Before you can reach your goal, you must have a vision and the vision must compel and drive you to reach it.  Nothing should stand in your way.  Not circumstances, not change, not feelings or emotions, not hurt, nor life itself.  It’s called Living For Jesus Hard.  It’s being sold out to the cause.   Is it tough? Yes.  Is it hard to stay strong? Yes.  Do you feel like giving up? Yes.  Is it hard to keep the flesh under control and live by the Spirit under the name of a Christian. Yes.    what values do you hold

It is staying focused.  It is COMMUNICATION with the Most High and with people.  It is doing the right thing and having the wisdom for direction.  It is putting others first before yourself.  It is looking into the future to see the outcome: bettering people’s lives in reaching the ultimate vision.  It is determined by values.  Your choices in life always reflect your values.  Your behavior that you show has your value written all over your face and everyone will see it.

actions determine values

What values do people see written on your face?  They may not see it at first because of the mask, but they will see it in your actions.  Actions will always determine if you reach your vision (goals).   What is your life’s goals?  Do they reflect these two commandments?  Are you doing the right things in your behavior?  It’s kind of funny because sometimes I am hard-headed and aren’t we all sometimes when it comes to listening to the voice of God! Ha!.    Ultimately, I pray that my values will shine upon and through my life for the betterment of more people in influencing more than just a few.  How about you?

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony

Run Toward The Light

I walk in the light
Remember those scary movies you watched as a child?  They would always say, “Run toward the light!” if they were in some limbo area to crossover between death and life.  I find it kind of ironic now for we pursue the same thing knowing what the “Light” is.

We all are on a journey called life, and we really don’t fit into this world, yet we pursue the light.  As we pursue the light the less important things seem to be in this world and character shapes us to who we become.  The light is not darkness, the light is love.  The light is doing the right things.  The light is forgiveness.

If we fail to look closely at our thoughts, motives, attitudes and priorities we will relate with others in unhealthy ways.  The type of person we are is a clear reflections of the condition of our inner life.  Either we walk in darkness and chaos or we walk in light with peace.

images-3

We all have difficulty looking honestly at ourselves and it is easy to overlook our own flaws but oh how easy it is to see the flaws of others.  Can you love others regardless of the flaws?  We tend to blame circumstances for our behavior rather than taking responsibility for our responses.  Right character requires making right choices and disciplining ourself daily.

When we are not running toward the light we will:  react in unhealthy ways of being impatient, unkind, judgmental.  We will fight the wrong battles thinking it is our responsibility to change others.  We will rely on our natural ability to love, however no matter how hard we try our ability will never be enough without God’s help.

I don’t know about you but running toward the light is a daily action and though process.  It is taking time to be thankful for what you have.  It is being kind despite the circumstances.  It is showing and doing right things to others and to yourself.  It is having peace and choosing peace in your household.  So with all that said…. “Run toward the Light” it is your answer to get through this world!

I John 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Abundant life, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile

My Husband’s Blog Is Finally Up

My husband is learning to blogThanks to our new intern Rachel, she has brought us much help in the areas of us oldies know nothing of…. new technology. The way I learn is try to figure things out by pushing buttons, trial and error and didn’t even think about youtube videos which by the way takes me hours!  My husband works smarter.  He gets someone to do it for him.  After several years of telling him to write, he finally has taken the time to get his blog site up and running.  At the church, my office is next to him and when he wants me, he yells “Melissa come here for a minute and show me how to do this, I forgot”.  I take a deep breath and grin at the thought for the 100th of time I am going to show him how to add media to his site.  Now this is my husband who is in the latter stages of getting his Masters in Theology, and his grades are always A+ writing those 100 page thesis.  Smart man…. he married me, so does that make me smart? lol

I’m not complaining, he does bring me coffee, makes up the bed every morning, vacuums and his new chore is washing clothes. I didn’t ask him, he just does it. He also mows the grass, takes care of the yard and the pool.  It seems like our roles have reversed somewhat in the last few years since I now work more than I ever had.  My photography business is still growing strong and my Health business is reaching new levels, so most of my days are here at home on this computer putting out ads, taking pictures or at the church.  It really makes me feel coequal and we are really a team.  He only thing he doesn’t really do is cook but he does know  how to order pizza. 🙂

If you would like to listen to his sermons click here http://jefferymphillipsblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/sermon-player/

Be sure to check out his blog http://www.jefferymphillipsblog.wordpress.com  and subscribe to keep up with what we are doing.  I am proud of my husband.  If you haven’t subscribed to my blog yet, then look for the button SUBSCRIBE and click on it which every time I write, it will shoot you an email!

Marriage after 30 years seems to get better and better.  You learn each other in what works and doesn’t.  It is not very often we fight, maybe once a year.  Do we get agitated, yes, do we get on each other’s nerves sometimes, yes, do we need a break from routine, yes.  All in all the Phillips home is happy and with Jesus Christ being in the middle of it is how we got here.  Loving people. Living for God. Leading others.

http://www.pmetro.org

Abundant life, forgiveness, marriage enrichment, Salvation

What is Unconditional Love

I received a blog about love this morning.  At first I was apprehensive about what he was talking about, but after reading it I somewhat agreed.  I thought I would share this great revelation with my readers.

Bad Theology = Bad Marriage

by Mark Gungor on November 22nd, 2011

There is line of thinking that began in American culture during the hippy movement of the 1960s and has continued to grow in popularity until it proliferated even Christianity.  I’m referring to the concept of “unconditional love”.  Over and over we hear people talking about how we need to love others “unconditionally” and how others should love us “unconditionally”. It also has morphed into the idea that God’s love for us is “unconditional”.  What a bunch of horse manure! Nowhere in the bible does it say that love is to be without conditions…in fact, the phrase “unconditional love” isn’t even in the bible.  (Not to mention that the bible is clearly a list of conditions God has for his people.) Funny how Christians are so quick to make such unbiblical ideas and phrases in to pillars of the faith!

The other phrase that is repeated over and over again until it, too, has become accepted “doctrine” is “God loves you just the way you are.” Wrong!! God loves you in spite of the way you are!

He loves you when you are broken and in sin. He loves you when your life is a disaster, if you’ve committed adultery, are lost in addictions, or cheating and lying up a storm. It’s not that God doesn’t love you, he does… but he expects you to change.
We need to repent, to grow, to mature as Christians. But when people mistakenly say, “God loves you just the way you are”, what is either spoken or implied is the caveat that you don’t have to change.

Words have meaning and by using this oft-repeated phrase, we’ve created a generation of Christians who do nothing to please God, simply because they don’t think they have to. They think that God is there to please them.  Most think, “I said the prayer. I’m covered.” But they are still committing adultery, looking at porn, cheating, lying, and not going to church, or giving of their time or money.  After all, they believe, “It doesn’t matter what I do…God loves me unconditionally…just the way I am.”  It’s broken theology.

This maligned concept of Christianity is the very reason why so many marriages stink. Quite simply, people are taking their bad theology into their marriages, where they think there are no requirements, no consequences, and no conditions. They expect that the same “unconditional love” that they mistakenly believe God has for them applies in their marital relationship too.  The worst marriages on earth are those that one or both spouses buy into this broken thinking.

These are the marriages where women think they can have “boyfriends” and guys think they can have “girlfriends” that they hang out with, text message with, go to dinner with and they say, “No one can tell me who I can and can’t be friends with!”  The marriages where spouses will spend money, not pay their bills, not save for their kid’s college, because, “I want to buy a boat or spend it on a new wardrobe and nobody can tell me what I can and can’t do with my money.” These are the sort of people that stay out till all hours of the night and come home whenever they feel like it stating that, “No one is going to control me.” They demand that their spouse loves them without condition and are simply living out their broken theology in the home.

They reason that God loves them unconditionally, so the rest of the world must love them unconditionally, too. No matter how selfish and boorish they behave, there can be no conditions. Their spouse is to love them no matter what. They think they are passionate about God, they say they are growing in their faith when they are not. They are deceiving themselves.  All because they believe the lie that love is to be “unconditional”.

When we look at our marriages what we really see is a reflection of what our theology is and where our faith is. People think their marriage is a disaster despite their faith, but I argue it’s a disaster because of their faith.  Because their version of faith is “it’s all about me.” People like this think, “I want to be happy no matter what. God loves me no matter what. There are no conditions, I can do anything I want.”

Like the recent email I received about the guy who goes to church and praises God, but is mad his wife because she won’t let him have girlfriends. He was indignant that she would tell him who he could be friends with! How dare she do that! Why?  Because of his reasoning, “God loves me just the way I am.” Therefore, his wife should too.  Okay…you go with that, sir. Take that into eternity; see how that works for you. See if when you get up there God says, “I love you just the way you are, you don’t have to change.”

I’m afraid a lot of people are going to be in for a shock. Listen, I’m not being judgmental, I’m just telling you the truth. Your marriage reflects your theology and your faith. If you can’t live it at home, you can’t live it. If your relationship is suffering, if it stinks, check your thinking. It may be more about your bad theology than your bad marriage.

 

Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Weird Stuff

Dressing Room Drama

This past Friday my husband took me shopping.  Actually I think he took me because he wanted to buy himself a suit for Easter.  I don’t remember the last time he bought himself a suit, so I agreed knowing that I was not in the mood.  You might be laughing at me right now but us gals have got to be in the mood to shop.  You see, I believe there is several types of shopping.  One is when you are a little ticked off and you go just to rumble through the clothes and dream about being skinny enough to fit into those skinny jeans and of course you take the credit card.  Jeans is another issue.  Why do they make those hippy jeans that every time you bend over it shows well you know….my hubby likes them on me but I am sure no one else does! You can laugh cause it is the truth!   Then there is the shopping with the girls but you don’t have any money and wouldn’t you know it, everything is on sale but you can’t buy.  The last kind of shopping is when your husband is willing to sit through all your drama, walk around the store like he is lost, deep sighing or playing on his phone kind of shopping only to hear your complaining about not the right size, color or style you are looking for!  That was the kind of shopping this last Friday.  I know he wanted me to buy something because he gets tired of hearing me say, “I don’t have anything to wear!”.

There is always something about shopping that makes me frustrated.  The first thing is I always seem to gravitate toward the same colors….boring.  I like things that are weird or different and you can’t find those things in TJ Max.  The clothes all look the same to me.  Then there is the fact when you do wander to the mall in Evansville, you find that cutesy little outfit and well it is some famous designer with a $100 price tag and excuse me I am not paying for one shirt that costs that much.  I don’t know why those things grab my attention.  Then the second thing that aggravates me about shopping is the dressing room.  First I don’t like undressing and dressing again because you can only take in a limited amount of clothing.  Then it seems I get really thirsty in a dressing room, so I think they should offer complimentary bottles or glasses of water.  I don’t want to leave out the fact that I seem to always, I mean always have to pee during the time of changing my clothes!  Why they don’t have a bathroom in the changing room I don’t know, but it would be more simple for us gals.  I also would like the fact you get 1% off of each outfit you try on.  I mean, I tried on about 20 tops and 5 pair of pants, that is about a 25% savings IF I had bought them.  It was a nightmare staring at myself, knowing I need to lose 20 pounds, no wonder I don’t like shopping at this time of my life.  Of course I could be like some of my friends, they buy without trying on, take home and then return them.  To much trouble for me.  Needless to say, I did buy a few things.  I am thankful.  By the way, I still haven’t got a clue of what I am going to wear for Easter because wearing the same outfit 3 years in a row has got to look old!

I am looking forward to the new kind of dressing room in the future!

Now after all this, I am thankful.  Thankful I have clothes, thankful I have money to buy me clothes and thankful I have a husband who puts up with me trying to buy clothes. 🙂

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, marriage enrichment

Men Need To Know

I have been reading much about relationships lately because I have been giving tips daily on my twitter.  Recently I came across this little article for men in which I thought I would share.  To most, this seems elementary for a woman to agree but for some men they may never think twice about it.  The two most things proven that women have trouble with is their weight and being accepted.  Since this is true, men should not comment on any of these things to their girlfriend or to their wife.  Here is the list:

Wrinkles, gray hair, weight, cellulite, clothes or other attire, their talking/speech, moods, cooking, house cleaning methods, and I could make the list go on.

Now you are wondering why I say all this.  Women have a tendency to become one with their environment, so even though a man may complain about a messy house, the woman will not feel accepted or loved because her house in her eyes is part of her.  So when a man criticizes the house cleaning the woman takes it to heart and feels rejected.  A man will not understand this and think this may seem ridiculous to think such a thing however the complex difference between man and woman is one of God’s mysteries!  When you understand how God made man and woman so different, then you will understand that we don’t think like each other.  When I read this I understood why I felt irritated when my husband offered to get a housekeeper.  I was offended yet happy that he would make a suggestion because at times I get a little behind cleaning all the woodwork and windows. Instead of complaining if the husband would help out and clean, the woman feels as though she is appreciated and loved, in turn be more likely to step up and do things for her husband or even clean more.  Sometimes this takes time since the woman may have many insecurities about herself.

What about if the woman has negative traits?  Then men must find the positive side.  Here is a list of examples.  The first will list the “flaw” but the second will be the positive outlook instead of the negative.

Nosy – She may be social or alert.  Touchy – She may be very sensitive.  Manipulating – She may be resourceful with creative ideas.  Stingy – she may be thrifty.  Talkative – she may be expressive and dramatic.  Overbearing – she mad be confident.  Fussy – she may be organized and efficient.

You may consider writing down your own list of  “flaws” and then beside it try to come up with the positive.  This is something that everyone can do.  Then make a sincere comment on how thankful you are in what the positive is.  The more you love and feed your wife not only in words but helping out with her environment, the more she will give praise and love back to you.

These are only a few but I know you can find things to praise your wife.  Specific praise is better than general praise.  Instead of saying, “That was a great dinner”, be specific on how great it was, naming the food or what you particular liked about an item.  Start thanking her for cleaning, or doing everyday chores.  As her love grows though this process, she will become more confident to do more things and express her love for her man.

Through all this, we can find the positive aspects in the things we may consider flaws.  Learn to choose your words.  Words come from how you think, words become actions which become habits then bore into character and then on to destiny.  You can have an abundant life and marriage by learning about each other and how God has made you.  Start practicing today!

Genesis 1:27 New International Version (©1984) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Here is a site that might help if you are a man searching for creative helps:  http://www.guystuffcounseling.com/counseling-on-demand/

 

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http://twitter.com/#!/melissamonamie