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Posts tagged ‘changes’

Making A Mess Of Marriage

SOURCE:  Dr.Tony Evans

There is no area in which God’s power needs to be more graphically demonstrated than in marriage. Today, over half of all marriages end in divorce. Compounding this tragedy is the fact that not only are the marriages of non-Christians being destroyed, but believers are streaming into the divorce courts as well. For Christians to experience such defeat is an embarrassment to the kingdom of God and an insult to the Creator of marriage.

The Bible tells us that God has the power to do anything He wills. Although God is all-powerful, many Christians don’t believe He can keep their homes together. Christians often don’t recognize God’s power to heal their hurts and repair the damage to their marriages and families. Instead of running to God for help, they accept defeat and sometimes adopt loose living because “everyone is doing it.” It is not unusual to hear Christians excusing their immorality with statements like, “I’m only human.” They have bought Satan’s lie that failure in one’s personal life and in one’s marital life is to be expected.

In some Christian homes, battle lines are drawn. Husbands are looking at their wives and saying, “If I hadn’t married you, I’d be successful and important by now.” And wives are looking at their husbands and saying, “If I hadn’t married you, I wouldn’t be stuck at home with four kids while you’re out having a good time.” Negative, selfish attitudes like those are bringing tension in many homes to an explosive level. The fact is, many people simply don’t know how to be married. They have never studied God’s instruction manual on marriage. The Bible provides clear guidelines for making good, stable marriages, but too many people are looking for directions in other places and ruining their marriages in the process.

Many people subscribe to the popular version of love and marriage that begins when two young people fall in love an emotional experience identified by chills, thrills, and butterflies in their stomachs. With eyes only for each other, the infatuated pair promise undying love and rush to the altar to pronounce their vows. Unfortunately, soon after they say, “I do,” they don’t anymore. Their relationship looks as if they were married by the Secretary of War instead of the Justice of the Peace. Divorce seems the only way to forge a truce.

I recently came across an interesting illustration of the way marriages deteriorate over the years. The comments are those of a husband whose wife has caught a cold during the successive years of their marriage.

  • Year 1 -”Sugar dumpling, this cold is making you mighty uncomfortable. Won’t you let your lover boy take his baby to the doctor to get rid of that nasty cough?”
  • Year 2 – “Darling, that cold seems to be getting worse. Call Dr. Miller.”
  • Year 3 – “You’d better lie down, dear, and rest with that cold before the baby wakes up.”
  • Year 4 – “Be sensible now and take care of that cold before it gets any worse.”
  • Year 5 – “You’ll be all right. Just take some aspirin. By the way, how about ironing these pants for me to wear today?”
  • Year 6 – “Would you do something about that cough, instead of barking like a seal?”
  • Year 7 – “Woman, do something about that cold before you give me pneumonia!”

An example like this one makes a very subtle process look obvious. As a marriage decays, our focus shifts from concern for our spouse, to mutual concern, to concern for ourselves. Whether consciously or unconsciously, both husbands and wives frequently fall prey to this phenomenon. And the process of deterioration can be alarmingly quick.

How can things fall apart a week after the honeymoon? And why do marriages break down after ten, fifteen, and even twenty-five years? The root cause is the failure to understand God’s design and purpose for marriage.

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IDEAS FOR A HEALTHY LIFE & HEALTHY FAMILY

SOURCE:  Unknown

Consider these suggestions and adapt them to your life situation, temperament, interests, talents, and gifting to help bring more calmness and peace to yourself and your family.  As a result, you will experience healthy change in your life and in the life of your family.

1.  Go to bed early (one hour before your normal bed-time).  Experiment with a new pattern for your sleep to find out how more sleep might be helpful.

2.  Declare one night a week to be a “quiet night” (no TV, music, noise of any type).  Talk with each other, play games, read.

3.  Give kids an alternative to watching so much TV or being on the computer.  What about hobbies, family chore time, family fun time, date time with one child?

4.  Read a chapter from the Bible every day until it becomes a habit.  Experts say it takes 21 days of practice to develop a habit.

5.  Turn down a promotion or area of service that would demand even more time from your family than you can afford to give.

6.  Don’t accept any unnecessary business breakfast/dinner appointments.  Make it a working lunch when possible.

7.  As possible, sit together as a family at church….at least on occasion.

8.  Avoid the cultural pressure to give your children “everything now.”

9.  Establish strong family traditions around birthdays, holidays, back to school.  Make time to celebrate significant times in the life of the family.  Also celebrate “fun” times (successful studying for a test, completion of a hard task, “for no special reason” times)

10. Have a purposeful 10-minute dialogue with each family member every day for 21 days.

11. Unclutter your children’s schedule.  Balance them between work, play, friends, family, and rest.

12. Unclutter your own schedule.  Take 4 hours of “unnecessary” events out of your week.  Give one hour to your spouse, one to your children, one to a friend, and one to the Lord.

13. Help your children establish “purpose goals.”  These are goals that help them improve as an individual like goals in music, school, work, relational skills, involvement with older people, handling money, learning to maintain the car, etc.

14. As possible, write each one of your parents and children and tell them why you think the world is better because of them.

15. Give each family member a hug for 21 days in a row.

16. Compile a family tree and teach your children the history of their ancestors.

17. Get involved in a family project that serves or helps someone less fortunate.

18. Praise your spouse and children (genuinely) in their presence to someone else.

19. Help your kids with their homework.  Let them know you are available and interested.  But, don’t do it for them.

20. Make every effort to not let the sun go down on your anger.

21. Make a list of people who have hurt your feelings over the past year…then check your list to see if you have forgiven them.

22. Make a decision to honor your parents, even if they made a career out of dishonoring you.

23. Write out information about finances, wills, and important business information that your spouse can use to keep things under control in the event of your death.

24. May a priority to get out of debt.

25. Be willing to accept legitimate criticism from your spouse or a friend without reacting or defending yourself.

26. Say “no” to at least one thing a day that pulls your time, attention, and health away from what is better – even if it’s only a second piece of pie.

27. Go through your closets and give everything that you haven’t worn in a year (or longer) to a clothing relief organization.

28. Exercise a little every day for 21 days.

29. Establish a budget.

30. Pray for your spouse and children every day.

31. Take your spouse on a “dialogue” date.

32. Go to a Christian marriage enrichment seminar or read a book together on marriage and parenting appropriate to where you are in your family life cycle.

33. Establish a family mealtime at least one evening a week.

34. Develop distractions from problems and stresses such as hobbies and interests, but be sure these things do not contribute to the stress.

35. Develop a low-fat, low-sugar, low-salt diet.

36. Laugh.  Have fun.

37. Learn how and practice Christian meditation in the Presence of God and on His Word.

38. Choose friends wisely.

39. Don’t let things drift or be postponed – deal with them.

40. Admit fears and face them.

41. Work on a realistic self-image.

42. Do what is right – don’t cheat, lie, or be immoral – admit your faults and confess your sins.

43. Take one thing at a time – set priorities and steps to action; then cross them out when they are finished.

44. Be realistic – some things you cannot change.

45. Slow down – move, eat, and talk more slowly, to feel less pressured.

46. Avoid excuses – take responsibility for yourself and your own actions.

47. Talk things over – with a friend, relative, pastor, or counselor.

48. Complete unpleasant tasks first.

49. Set up “recovery times” after particular periods of stress.

50. Postpone making major decisions in times of stress.

51. Give yourself permission to fail.

52. Value life’s little blessings.

53. Accept yourself for who you are.

54. Cherish God’s love and wisdom.

55. Lean to say “no” to unreasonable demands without feeling guilty.

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