Dillon has intrigued music fans with her uncanny maturity laced with unfiltered enthusiasm…
A roll-top desk is built into the cabinetry of our kitchen. It’s become the catch-all for mail, school papers, coupons, and spare change. The desk provides a quick and easy spot to stash our clutter—we can pull down the lid and pretend the whole ugly mess has disappeared.
In time the piles max out the capacity of the desk. I have to roll up my sleeves and dig in, sorting out ‘throwers’ from ‘keepers’ and bringing order to the chaos. As I shuffle through the stacks, it makes me think about other hidden issues in my life. What kind of “messes” am I avoiding in my marriage today?
It’s easier to ignore those nagging questions and concerns in the back of my mind. It’s safer to stay quiet instead of opening up old wounds. It’s less offensive to pretend I’m fine with my spouse’s opinions and choices. It’s less threatening to keep my negative emotions to myself, where they can’t be judged or disregarded. But left unspoken, secret hurts, fears, and desires grow into an ugly mess in our relationship.
Today is the day to tackle the tough work in our marriage. Here are five problem areas we need to consistently bring into the light:
We can grow complacent and turn a blind eye to the weaknesses in our marriage. But if sin, misunderstandings, and hurts continue to pile up, the “lid” will blow off eventually. It takes courage to take a hard look at our issues.
Today, let’s commit to doing some heart-work as a couple. We can begin by asking honest questions and making ourselves vulnerable. Let’s build trust by confessing our sins to each other and offering sincere forgiveness. Let’s pick up the undecided matters we let fall to the side. If we reach an impasse, let’s have the humility to seek wise counsel and advice. God stands ready and willing to help—investing time in prayer will invite his love and power into our home.Click To Tweet
A beautiful reward is waiting for our marriage. We’re going to experience a fresh dose of support and encouragement. Guilt and regret will lift from our shoulders. Romance will be kindled again. Laughter, fun, and friendship will grow between us. Destructive patterns will be broken. We’ll be set free to live and love with no barriers or fear. We’ll receive the gift of hope from God, giving us the confidence to overcome any struggle we face. Love will flow in, satisfying the desires of our heart.
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. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:11, 14)
Joanna Teigen and her husband Rob have shared over 25 years of marriage and life with five kids, plus a lovely daughter-in-law. They’re a neat-freak married to a mess, an explorer to a homebody, and an introvert to a ‘people person.’ But they agree their vows are for always, children are a gift, and prayer is powerful. Joanna is the co-author of Mr. and Mrs., 366 Devotions for Couples, 52 Date Night Ideas for Couples, and a variety of other resources to support your marriage and parenting. She looks forward to meeting you at GrowingHomeTogether.com.
Copyright (c) 2018 Joanna Teigen, used with permission.
A husband once shared with a friend his secret to making his marriage last. “We go to a nice restaurant once a week and enjoy a good meal and some relaxing music.”
To which his friend replied, “Wow! That does sound nice.”
“It is,” the husband responded. “She goes on Tuesdays and I go on Fridays.”
Although the marriage relationship is one of the most rewarding relationships we can enjoy, it also can be one of the most challenging. No other relationship requires such an intense level of emotion, communication, patience, passion, and more. Simply by design, the marriage partnership sets itself up to be one of the most testing, trying, or even exhausting engagements in life.
But God often uses the people closest to us to do the greatest work in our hearts, minds, and souls. God always has a purpose for pain (Romans 8:28) when we commit that pain to him and his will.
One of the best passages on having a kingdom-based view of hardship or conflict is found in 2 Corinthians 12:7: “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me — to keep me from exalting myself.”
The apostle Paul is not suggesting you view your spouse as a “messenger of Satan” or a “thorn in the flesh.” Your spouse is a gift God has given you to better enable you to carry out your divine destiny in life. He or she is not your enemy but rather a tool God sometimes allows to soften your edges, strengthen your weak spots, and deepen the authenticity of your faith and love.
The Greek word for “thorn” refers to something that causes irritation. In marriage, it could be that thing your spouse does, or does not do, that always invokes your sigh. Or a difference in perspective that the two of you have never been able to resolve. It could be any number of things.
Some of us deal with emotional thorns in our marriage — loneliness, depression, regret, pain, or even bitterness.
Some deal more with relational thorns — when the personality, quirks, bents, or preferences of their mate simply annoy them. Couples often feel stuck spiritually, unhappy because their needs are not being met, but also unable to do anything substantial to change that reality.
I’ve seen marriages battered by financial thorns as well. Despite two incomes, couples find it difficult to make ends meet. And then there are the physical thorns — health issues, such as chronic illness, headaches that won’t go away, disabilities, low energy, cancer, or any number of other ailments.
Marriage comes with pain. To ignore or dismiss that reality only makes wounds fester and grow rather than accomplish what they were designed to do.
Thorns come in all shapes and sizes. Yet regardless of its magnitude or sharpness, a thorn always hurts. Marriage comes with pain. To ignore or dismiss that reality only makes wounds fester and grow rather than accomplish what they were designed to do, which is to mature us into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
How do you know when you are facing a thorn? Because it won’t go away. In 2 Corinthians 12:8 we read, “Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.” Paul’s thorn wouldn’t quit, despite his time in prayer with the Lord. When that is the case with your marriage, consider instead what God may want to accomplish through the issue you face.
If you’ve been praying for something in your relationship and it doesn’t seem like God has removed the issue or provided a solution, the next time you pray, ask God what he wants to teach you and your spouse through this thorn. One reason God gives you a thorn is because he wants show you something new. He wants you to see something beyond your normal comprehension and he wouldn’t easily get your attention without it.
While God may to remove the thorn by answering yes to your prayers, if you are enduring a thorn he refuses to get rid of, he will also supply sufficient grace for you to handle it. This is a promise based on God’s Word: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
The pool of God’s grace is available to you when you need it. You just need to access it by relying on his strength and focusing on his will in the midst of your pain and trials.
When you deal with a thorn in your relationship with your spouse and have committed it to prayer — and yet God has not removed it — ask him for his grace. Don’t try to pull that thorn out yourself, because you are going to rip something. Rather, go searching for God’s grace. The difference between a defeated marriage and a victorious marriage with the same thorn is that the victorious couple experiences grace while the other couple tries to fix things on their own. One marriage is resting under the spiritual cover of grace, while the other is battling things out in the physical realm. When you spend your life running from your thorns, you will miss the revelation and illumination —and grace — God wants to give you.
God’s grace is all you need to transform the thorns in your marriage into pearls of great value. When his grace covers that thorn, it will become a blessing at some level if you stop fighting it and yield to it, seeking his wisdom and strength.
Taken from Kingdom Marriage copyright © 2016 by Tony Evans. Used by permission of Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
My husband, Philip, and I have been married a long time, so family and friends might be surprised to discover we’re not Facebook friends.
Sure, Philip’s sent me a friend request and I include him in posts on my Facebook timeline, but I’ve never accepted his request. We’re still happily married and talk in person, on the phone, and via text — but when it comes to Facebook, we remain friends of friends.
In case people are wondering, I feel confident it’s no sin to ignore your husband’s Facebook friend request. And here are
four reasons why I decided not to“friend” Philip.
We talk in person, on the phone, and via text — but when it comes to Facebook, we remain friends of friends.
As a writer and editor, if I see my husband’s posts with typos and grammatical errors, I’ll just want to jump in and edit his comments. But I’m pretty sure God hasn’t assigned me to be Philip’s online editor. Some might see it at helping him, but I’m not sure my motives wouldn’t be rooted more in caring what other people think than being a help to him.
First Peter 5:6-7 advises me to humble myself before God and cast my anxiety on him because he cares for me. So trusting God to guide my husband’s Facebook comments — instead of stepping in and trying to manage them myself — is one way for me to humble myself before God and trust him.
Whether sharing viewpoints on Facebook or from a pulpit, it’s important for Philip’s words to be led by God rather than by me. When Philip was senior pastor at a church, congregants would often ask me to tell him what topics to preach about in his weekly sermons. Well, this didn’t work with me. I have enough of the fear of God in my life to respect God’s calling on my husband’s life.
However, I’d often hear topics we’d discussed at home come up in Philip’s sermons, not because I told him to talk about them, but because God often works through a wife to speak to her husband. And if what we had discussed showed up in his sermons, I knew it was because God was leading him to talk about it and not because his wife was trying to put words in his mouth at the pulpit. I suspect the same can be true of topics Philip might post about on Facebook, too.
My husband and I often don’t express ourselves in the same manner. We have differing ways of communicating or use different types of words. To me, his language can sometimes come across guy-like and rough, causing me to flinch. However, I realize that there are people in the world who will resonate more with his words than mine, so I resist the temptation to control how he states things.
Believe it or not, my reasons for not accepting Philip’s friend request are based much more on my weaknesses as a spouse than his, and more for his overall well-being than mine. Ephesians 5:33 encourages a wife to respect her husband, so this is one practical way I live it out in our marriage. God created Philip to be who he is, and gave my husband the freedom to express himself as he chooses. So who am I then to dictate his online presence?
Lest any loved ones still worry because I don’t “like” Philip’s posts or make comments, there’s no need for concern. My husband makes me a cappuccino every morning, kisses me good-bye before work each day, fills my car up with gas even though I’m quite capable of doing it myself, and so much more.
Not friending my husband on Facebook is working at our house — and we’re sticking to it.
Reprinted with permission from Ungrind.org.
I share the Marriage Minutes with my husband. I have seen some change in him!!!! Linda from Missouri