How God Intended Marriage To Be

I think many of the problems married people face today stem from not seeing marriage the way God does.  If we focus on our marriage vows and live them out how God intended, we would have less problems and less people would be heading for divorce, in my opinion.

God commands us to respect our husbands (no matter what) and for our husbands to love us (no matter what).  I think the “no matter what” trips a lot of people up.  They think to themselves, “but you don’t know my husband”, or “you don’t know how my wife can be”…. my response to that is….no, you are wrong,  God does know.  If BOTH spouses are obeying God’s commands….marriage works!  It’s like He knows what He is doing or something. 

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”  Ephesians 5:33 

As an example of this topic, I want to share something with you.  This past weekend, on Valentine’s Day,  my husband had me read two blog posts by Gail and Michael Hyatt.  Michael Hyatt is the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, the largest publisher of Christian books and Gail is his wife.   We follow Michael on twitter and also read his blog posts.  I also follow Gail and it is very inspiring how much focus they both put on God first, and then their marriage.  Read each of these posts and you’ll see what I mean.  They seem to have a pretty good handle on marriage and making it work.

Click here to read Michael’s post from last Valentine’s Day entitled “What I Love About My Wife”.

Click here to read Gail’s response to Michael’s post.  Gail’s is entitled “A Super-Human Husband?”.

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Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband Brian’s birthday, so I wanted to write a blog devoted to him.  First of all, Happy Birthday honey!!  Brian is 2 years younger than me, and for about 2 months out of the year he is actually 3 years younger than me.  He loves this and does not let me forget it.  By the time his birthday comes around I’m just glad he can no longer say he is 3 years younger!

I feel so blessed to be married to this man.  He is such a wonderful husband and father.  He is so good to me and treats me like a queen on a daily basis.  I know I do not always deserve that. 

I’m so proud of him too.  He recently started a very cool website built around helping bands get their music in front of more people.  It’s called Bandzam.  He’s also working on another website that will enable parents to watch their children’s sporting events on-line.  He has some great ideas that he is now putting into action.  He is also writing a book.  A good one.  I can’t wait until he is finished and it is published.  I really am very impressed with his writing skills.  He also has a wonderful editor who happens to be his mother.   He is participating in a program right now that started on Nov. 1st and goes until Nov. 30th.  He has to write 50,000 words during that time.  He is right on track so far.

Today is his day and I hope it is a special one!  

God brought us together over two years ago, and it’s so obvious to us why He did that.  We are much better as a team than we are alone.  My weaknesses are his strengths and vice versa.  I believe that is what makes a marriage work so well.  We also have a commitment to God first, and to each other second, which is the most important characteristic of a good marriage.

Brian is my best friend and I cannot imagine my life without him. I celebrate today because I’m so thankful he was born 37 years ago.  He did take a little too long to find me, but I’m extremely glad he finally did!

I love you honey, Happy Birthday!

Marriage Isn’t 50/50

Our pastor made this statement during one of his recent sermons.  Marriage is not 50/50.  It’s 100/100.  It’s not about being fair, or always giving the same amount to the marriage.

It’s about each person giving 100%.  It’s about serving your mate, going above and beyond and not counting the costs or keeping score.

Next time you are upset about something not being “fair” in your marriage, remember that it was never meant to be fair.  It’s about commitment.  Period.  It’s about giving everything you have.

However, all of this is not at all possible without God being at the forefront.  You have to have God first in your marriage, or it will never work.  If both of you are focused on God then you’ll be headed in the right direction.  If that is not the case, you’ll be headed in circles or worse, nowhere.

Marriage is a commitment to each other and most important a commitment to God.  You’ve committed to God that you will love this person no matter what, that you will be there for them when times are tough, you’ll pick up the slack, serve them, and respect them.

Ephesians 5:33 says  “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”  It doesn’t say “respect your husband if he deserves it”  and it doesn’t say “love your wife only if she deserves it”  It just says to do it.  This, in my opinion, is what keeps marriages together for the long haul.  Because I can almost guarantee you will come across times where neither of you deserve love and/or respect.  And God knew that, that’s why He instructs us to do it anyway.

Our pastor also always says that if you see something positive in your spouse, then focus on that.   Even if it’s small at the moment  just keep fanning the flames to make it bigger.  Encourage whatever is good until you are blue in the face. 

Nobody said marriage was easy, but if we approach it in the way God has outlined in the Bible it will not only last through the hard times, it will flourish.  

Here are 5 things that will help every marriage:

  1. Focus on God for your guidance, answers and strength
  2. Pray together
  3. Communicate constantly
  4. Honor your commitment to your spouse by loving and respecting them no matter what
  5. Have fun

Marriage can be a lot of fun.  It can be so rewarding.  You have your best friend right next to you to do life with.  But I think the most important component is commitment.  100% commitment from both sides.

Being Accountable in Marriage

Accountability is a very important aspect of being a follower of Christ.  The Bible calls us to be held accountable by those close to us and those we trust.  Those people that have our best interest at heart. It’s a very important task that we should only give to those who will, in fact, hold us accountable. 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.”

We need those people in our lives, that will hold us up, and hold us accountable to the Word of God.  If we try to follow Christ on our own, we will surely fail.  We cannot grow or learn in a vacuum. 

My marriage is the most important relationship in my life, besides my relationship with God.  And I believe that my husband and I need to hold each other accountable.  Not only do we need people outside of our marriages to help us with this, but we should start with each other.

When my husband and I got married, I bought the Family Life Marriage Bible, authored by Barbara and Dennis Rainey.  It’s a great Bible with devotions specific to marriage and parenting.  I love it.  We try to reference it often.

One of the devotions talks about this very issue, accountability in marriage.  Here is an excerpt from this devotion on the areas of accountability that the authors feel we need to focus on:

  1.  Spiritual Health.  In order to remain on track, every marriage must involve daily communication with and dependence on God.  Most of us are prone to laziness or distraction in the daily maintenance of our spiritual needs.  A loving spouse who has permission to encourage us in our devotion to Christ can help by asking open-ended questions such as “What has God been teaching you lately?”
  2. Emotional and sexual fidelity. This is a potentially sensitive but critical area in any Christian marriage.  The way in which you handle the issues of temptation and moral struggles will largely chart the course for your relationship.  Neither you nor your spouse can risk opening the door to inappropriate intimacy with someone of the opposite sex, and/or coming in contact with any inappropriate materials or media.  Be open and honest about temptations that you are struggling with.
  3. Schedules. Always try to help each other make good decisions by monitoring each other’s workload and schedules.  Making good decisions means saying yes to some good things and no to others.  Schedules are ultimately a statement of our true priorities.
  4. Money and values. Sometimes nothing can create the need for accountability more than the checkbook!  We need to be accountable to each other on what we are spending our money on and what major money decisions we are making. 
  5. Parenting practice.  Interact and sharpen each other with your parenting styles.  We all tend to draw on the parenting techniques modeled for us by our parents.  When you notice a good, or bad tendency, encourage your spouse in love, and help them improve.
  6. No secrets.  Secrets are one of Satan’s primary tools to divide couples.  Accountability between husband and wife is a superb way to keep them from messing with your marriage.

One of the greatest challenges to any marriage is the access we give one another to our lives on a daily basis.  Accountability is an honest, practical submission of your life to your spouse that says, “I have no secrets that I will withhold from you.”

Thankful Thursdays

I follow Lisa Welchel on Twitter.   Yes, she was Blaire on “The Facts of Life” TV show.  She is now one of the speakers with Women of Faith.  Last week or the week before, she mentioned that she has Thankful Thursdays.  On Thursdays, she makes a point to express the things she is thankful for.  I think that is a great idea, so I’m starting today. 

I’m thankful for so many things in my life, but today I’m going to focus on a few blessings that stand out to me at the moment. 

First of all, I’m so thankful that I have a husband who I can talk to, confide in, laugh with, share with, and have fun with.  I know I can talk to him about anything.  Even if it seems silly to me, he always makes me feel as if it’s not.  I trust him completely and I feel 100% safe in our conversations and in our relationship.  That is something I never had in the past, and I thank God everyday for bringing him to me.  He only helps me to be a better me. 

I’m also actually thankful for Thursdays.  Thursday is the day that my husband and I have together.  I call it our “date day”.  Once we drop the kids off at school in the morning, we have a day to ourselves.  Both of our kids are with their other parent on Thursday nights.  So it is the one day we do not pick them up from school, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, we love our kids more than anything….but….we really enjoy and cherish the time we have together.  It’s just our day.  And I’m so thankful we have it.  As I type this, I’m here at my husband’s office with him.  I’m usually at home working, and he goes to his office.  On Thursdays, I come with him to work now….and it’s a great day.  We can discuss work related issues, or just anything that comes up during the day.  Then at night, we have our date night.  We sometimes just go to dinner.  Or we make dinner at home, and watch a movie.  Sometimes we go out on the Mobile Loaves and Fishes truck together or we go see a movie.  It’s important time for us to strengthen our relationship and become closer.  Everyone should have a date day or night.  I believe it’s part of a good marriage, and essential for a great marriage.

What are you thankful for today?