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How To Love An Angry Person

How To Love an Angry Person

There is no respite when we are in a relationship with an angry person.  Whether they are a relative we live with or a spouse, it is exhausting trying to tiptoe around all the hidden emotional landmines never knowing what is going to set them off.  Yet, Scripture calls us to love even the angry ones.  But how do you love an angry person?

WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE SO ANGRY?

Before we have the necessary resources within us to be able to love someone who is angry, we first must understand what causes someone to be angry.  If we do not understand this, we will have no patience, no compassion, and no ministry to this person. We will simply be offended by their disproportionate anger.  To love an angry person, we must take time to understand why they are so angry.

BEFORE THEY WERE ANGRY, THEY WERE WOUNDED

We must understand that anger is a secondary emotion.  Before we are angry, we are wounded.  No one is born angry.  No one has a natural disposition that is angry.  Human beings by design do not want to be angry.  We want to be happy.  We spend all our lives searching for happiness.  But we are also selfish causing all of us at some point to hurt another.

People subconsciously use anger to protect past wounds.  They do not necessarily get angry with someone because that person has done something that has wounded them.  Anger is to protect anyone from touching an open, unhealed wound.  It does not matter who inflicted the initial wound.  Now that there is a place vulnerable to pain, anger is one way that our mind attempts to protect our heart from anyone touching that wound.  Think of someone who has hurt their hand, they will carry their hand differently and contort their body to keep anything from touching that hand and stirring up that pain.

With most people, we will see that their anger revolves around a specific subject or emotional space within them.  Someone might be especially sensitive to anything that makes them feel inferior.  Another may be sensitive to anything that makes them feel unloved or unaccepted.  For some, they have been wounded so often by so many people, their entire outlook on life has disintegrated into a hopeless disposition and this too can create anger that seems to be always present.  The wounds dictate the space where anger lies in waiting.  We do not have to know the source of the original wound to see the pattern of what causes someone to become angry.

PATIENCE REQUIRES UNDERSTANDING

To be able to love someone who gets angry seemingly at the drop of a hat is impossible unless we have compassion.  If anger is a protective instrument for someone’s pain, we must see through the anger into their pain.  They are hurting and do not want to be hurt again.  When they lose their temper with us, we take an egocentric perspective only thinking about how their anger is affecting us and not taking the time to remember they have been hurt.  Like anyone who has been hurt, we want to respond with compassion.  This is an act of the will because it is hard to not focus on their angry behavior.

Imagine if someone you love deeply were to be in a car wreck for no fault of their own. And suddenly they were paralyzed from the neck down.  Supposed you now had to care for them.  You would need to lift them from their bed to their chair, to the couch, to the kitchen, to the car.  You would have to feed them, dress them, bathe them.  But if you genuinely loved them, you would not be angry with them for needing your help.  You may get tired, frustrated, but you would not blame them.  And though it may fatigue you, you would consider it a labor of love.

Well, everyone has been through at least one major emotional wreck leaving some part of who we are immobilized.  Emotional paralysis can keep us from loving, from smiling, from hoping, from giving.  It makes us selfish, paranoid, stressed, insecure, and bitter.  But most of us did not choose to be in these wrecks.  At least, we are not responsible for the early wrecks.  The wounds from the initial wrecks may not have healed causing us to hurt others by guarding those unhealed wounds.  We guard them with anger, selfishness, pretending, and dishonesty.  Then we begin to create wrecks.  The initial wrecks usually occurred in the innocence of our childhood.  We never choose them, but they changed us and caused us to create more wrecks than anyone would ever have to face.

A person’s anger hides their wounds and we need to know this so that we can find compassion for them and not get offended at their offense.

UNDERSTANDING LEADS TO COMPASSION

The word ‘passion’ means suffering.  We speak of the passion of Christ as the crucifixion event where Christ suffered to the point of death.  But why did He allow Himself to suffer like this?  The Bible says ‘for the joy set before Him,’ Christ endured the cross.  He allowed suffering in His body because He knew without His suffering, we could not have been rescued from this body of sin.

As Christians, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation.  God wants to use us to reconcile others back to Him.  There, they find healing for their wounds erasing their anger forever.  This ministry is a hard road.  Inevitably we will suffer at the hands of an angry person.  They will eventually yell, scream, grab, hit us.  We know this, but to honor the Lord, we need to allow ourselves to be His instrument to reach this person that we struggle to love.  But this we may have to suffer by not retaliating and responding in kind to their anger.  We can’t get offended and still minister to them.  We must be patient which requires discipline to suffer in patience to keep the relationship from breaking down.  This is compassion.  Passion is to suffer, compassion is to suffer along with someone.  They are suffering so we endure in suffering the effect of their suffering remaining patient to give God a chance to use us to reconcile them back to us.

LOVING AN ANGRY PERSON REQUIRES PREPARATION

If we wait until they lose it then expect ourselves to have what it takes to remain patient with understanding and compassion, we will not have enough in our own emotional bank to return their anger with love.  Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  It is not natural.  No one is patient except by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Even unbelievers who do not have the Spirit in the same way believers do have received prevenient grace.  This is the grace of God that gives to every human being a portion of His presence within them.  His purpose is so that they can one day understand His loving thoughts for them because only the Spirit can discern the thoughts of God.  But this preceding presence of God in unbelievers also gives each of them some ability to operate in the fruits of the Spirit.  But in difficult times, if we haven’t been flooded by His Spirit, we will not have enough to consistently love those who are angry.

We need time in the presence of God where His Spirit moves us as the water moves the Earth cutting deep and changing the terrain.

I live near the Frio River in Texas.  There is a campground where we have prayer retreats.  The main gathering place is right next to the river.  There is a cliff on one side of the river and a flatland on the other.  Standing on the flat side of the river, the power of the rushing wind can be seen at the bottom of the cliff where the river has run for thousands of years cutting deep into this mountain.

Jesus said to the woman at the well that He could quench her thirst with rivers of living water.  The Holy Spirit is this River of Living Water and the longer we remain in His presence, the movement against our stony soul will change the terrain of our heart.  Where we had no patience, we will have an abundance.  But this requires time in the Spirit on our own daily because the change is gradual.  This time alone with God will prepare us to have patience and love for an angry person.  The Spirit flows into us changing us over time and He flows out of us into others.

The more you have to be near an angry person, the more time you need in the Presence of God.  Get up early.  Pray to the Lord.  Remember His patience with you and your faults.  Remember how He has loved you even at your worst and you will be filled with patience and love for the angry person in your life.  Love is patient and love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

CAN AN ANGRY PERSON CHANGE?

All things are possible with God.  This question deserves a quick and emphatic ‘yes’ and ‘amen.’  The bigger question is how can you help.  A powerful Biblical principle is found in 1 John 4:19.

“We love because He first loved us.”

We did not fall in love with Christ because He got mad at us when we weren’t living out love to Him.  The Lord responded to our worst behavior with love.

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,

Though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

But God proves His love for us in this:

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:7-8

This is the power of love.  When we love someone in response to their anger, we are sending a strong message to their core.  That message is that we still love them even at their worst.  This is real love.  And love is the power to heal and restore.  The Bible says that love covers a multitude of sins.  Loving others with patience when they don’t deserve it, as God did for us, has the power to melt their hearts.  That is the effect that God’s love had on us.  Lover covers over their sins against us, but also the sins against them in their past.  Love exists outside of time and has the power to go back in time to heal the wounds inflicted on them that created the anger.  When we receive from God what we need to love an angry person, the power of love can move a person to change.  God is love and when we love as He loves, power from Heaven is released into us and into them.  And once that river begins to flow in them…who knows what may happen.

 

LOVING AN ANGRY PERSON REQUIRES BOUNDARIES

Someone who is angry will hate boundaries, but loving someone means not enabling bad behavior.  To let someone rant and rave against you over and over again is not love.  Love is doing what is best for that person even if they don’t like it.  They want to be able to vent their emotions, but that behavior is not good for them.  The Bible says that harshness can stir up anger.  Though they may be blaming you for their anger, the reality is that only they can reign it in and if they don’t, they will stir up anger in all those around them.  Their anger toward you can hurt their relationship with their own children, other family members, and close friends.

You can set a boundary simply by politely and kindly ending a conversation when they start to behave in an unhealthy way.  You don’t have to stay on the phone.  You don’t have to continue the argument.  You don’t have to stay in the house.  If they won’t let you get away to your room when they are yelling at you, then grab your keys and get in your car and drive.  You can say to them, “I love you, but regardless of why you are angry, this behavior is destructive to you.  I don’t want people to see you like this.  I don’t want anyone to hear how you are acting.  It will hurt your reputation and relationship.  It is not good for you spiritually and your relationship with God.  And if I let it keep going, I am only enabling you.  So, because I love you and want what is best for you, I am not going to continue the conversation as long as you are acting like this.”

 

THERE IS A TIME TO END THE RELATIONSHIP

Unfortunately, even if you love perfectly, set up perfect boundaries, stay patient all the time, it is not guaranteed that anything will change.  The Bible says do not cast your pearls before swine.  In other words, don’t give the best part of yourself to someone who is going to stomp on your heart repeatedly without remorse.  Sometimes, the best way we can love someone is to deprive them of our company until they humble themselves and gain control of their temper.  This is not an easy decision and it should not be made quickly.  It is a last resort.

I was counseling a person recently who was being verbally attacked by their spouse repeatedly and they said, “But God forgives.”  This is true.  God does forgive, but God also holds us accountable.  He does not allow bad behavior to continue and when we disrespect and dishonor Him, He allows consequences.  These consequences to sinful behavior are God’s boundaries.  Boundaries are godly and loving when they are set in kindness and love.

My Husband Hates me

What To Do When Your Spouse Hates You

 

“I hate you!”  These may be the worst three words a person could ever hear.  This is especially true in a Christian marriage that is supposed to have the advantage of Scripture, prayer, and God, right?  But it is not uncommon to get into a heated argument that continues to escalate until finally, someone throws out these searing words that burn through and through.  And once someone has told you that they hate you, they can’t take it back.  They can apologize and apologize, but those words turn our hearts hard, even if we don’t want them to.  We can’t get them out of our minds.  They are like a dark shadow with us all the time.  What do you do when your spouse hates you?

 

What is hatred?

The first thing we have to understand is the nature of hatred.  Hatred is an emotion and emotions deceive us into believing something is true when it isn’t really.  Emotions can make us feel something, but when we calm down for a minute, we realize that we do not actually feel the way we thought we did when we were so angry.  The Bible makes this very clear:

 

The heart is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)

 

What does this mean for you in your situation?  It means that there is a good possibility that what your spouse said in the heat of the moment is not truly their heart.  Are they repentant?  Did they say they were sorry? That they didn’t mean it?  If they have asked for forgiveness in any way, there is a very good chance that they do not hate you, but their anger reached an emotional level that pushed them to a place they could not handle.  They were out of control.  

 

If they have not said they were sorry or even acted as if they felt badly, then the next question for you is to discover if they are still angry.  Or perhaps, they are the prideful type that does not generally admit when they are wrong to begin with.  Don’t lose hope and don’t accept their words as the Gospel truth.  They married you.  They felt so much love for you at one point that they were willing to enter into a sacred and unending covenant.  They felt the emotion of hatred during a fight, but emotions are like the weather in Texas.  If you wait a minute, it will change.

 

Anger Hides Hurt

Before someone gets angry, they first are hurt.  The nature of the hurt could be many different things.  A person can be hurt because they felt you did not appreciate them, did not respect them, did not care for them.  These emotions can come from very deep places but occur in the simplest of exchanges.  For example, if a wife interrupts a man during a football game, he may get angry.  His anger seems to be over something very insignificant.  However, it may touch on a deeper issue of respect or care.  If the wife knew he was enjoying the game and was really into it, and then she interrupted, he may have felt she didn’t care.  If he has asked her before not to interrupt his football, but she does anyway, now he may feel disrespected.  Of course, his reaction to his wife may cause her to feel unloved or disrespected which may cause her to lash out.  Then everything escalates.

 

But one thing you must do is try to understand the deeper issue that has hurt, insulted, or disrespected them.  I have a workbook that helps people walk through this process of discovering the hurt of their spouse and their own hurt.  It’s called Fighting to Win.  This is usually something under the surface.  You may think you are fighting over a football game and you may wonder how a football game is more important than you, but the issue is really about respect, love, understanding, not football.  If your spouse is a Cowboys fan and you find them crawled up in the fetal position crying, just bring them some more chips and Dr. Pepper.  They have to work through it on their own.  Seriously though, consider this passage:

 

A gentle answer turns away wrath,

but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

 

You might have immediately thought to yourself that you weren’t harsh, but the harshness of what is said is subjective.  If the person felt it was harsh, then it was.  It doesn’t do any good either, to argue that you were not harsh.  Have you ever felt someone was harsh with you and they disagreed?  The more they told you that you were wrong, didn’t it just upset you all the more?  That person’s perception, right or wrong, becomes their reality.  And we all do this, but if they are saying you were mean, harsh, nagging, or whatever, don’t argue.  It doesn’t do any good.

 

The word harsh comes from a word that means ‘a sudden burst of physical pain or anguish.’  Once someone feels hurt, there is a good chance they will lash out in anger.  

 

Anger is an emotion we use on the subconscious level as protection.  It is a way of letting the other person know they have crossed a line and you don’t intend to let it happen again very easily.  An angry outburst born out of hurt can prompt someone to yell those words, “I hate you!”  It is important for you, when your spouse has told you that hate you or something similar, it is a temporary emotion most likely.  The key is their regular behavior when they are not angry.  If, when they are not angry, still behave in a way that they care for you, then you must learn to let it go.

my spouse hates me

What to do when your spouse hates you

First and foremost, don’t turn inward and don’t lash out.  Both of these are relationship killers.  When someone has said something hurtful like this to us, if we forget that they are acting out in their own hurt, then our natural reaction will be to do what they have done.  We will let our hurt produce anger that gets the best of us.  The next thing you know, we are saying the same type of things to them.  With each word to them, it’s like sticking our finger in their wound, then they do the same to us.  Both wounds get deeper and the anger intensifies.  

 

Or you may allow hopelessness to set in.  The pain of being rejected can steal our drive for life.  We will just want to sit on the other side of the couch only speaking when spoken to and only with short phrases, never with a smile.  I have to say something at this point that may feel ‘harsh.’  I am warning you to help you get ready so that you can see I am saying it in love.  When hopelessness overcomes us, it is a subtle form of self-centeredness.  Eash!  I hope that didn’t hurt too much 🙂

 

We are not being selfish in that we are trying to get what we want overtly.  We may be trying to get what we want implicitly.  We know, on some deep level, that they are not going to be comfortable or happy when we are upset so we remain upset as a way to get them to change their behavior or apologize or whatever.  Or, even if we have totally given up on the relationship, the hopelessness is the result of the eyes of our heart being completely focused on self.  All we can think about is our own misery and sadness.

 

Don’t let anyone determine your state of being

When your peace and joy can be stolen from you by the behavior of other people, you are not in a good place.  Solomon, the richest man in the Bible, wrote the book of Lamentations.  To lament is to grieve when hurt.  Solomon had an entire book like this.  Just goes to show you that money can’t buy happiness!  But here is one line from one of his laments:

 

I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)

 

What does this mean that The Lord is my portion?  Solomon is saying that God is all that he needs.  God is his portion.  In other words, Solomon is trying to remind himself that he doesn’t need people to like him or love him in order to be fulfilled.  Of course, we all want this and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved especially by our spouse.  But when ‘want’ crosses over into ‘need,’ we are in a bad place.  

 

Not only do we live topsy-turvy lives being shaken like a rag doll with every whimsical word someone speaks when they are not in their best mood, but this also creates pressure in the relationship.  Your spouse will begin to feel pressure to be a certain way, say certain things, do certain things to keep you happy.  But when a spouse feels responsible for your emotional health, they are in a bad place.  This is an impossible task.  Even if you do everything right, sometimes, people are just in a bad mood.  Sometimes, no matter how good things are, people can only see what is bad.  Each person must be responsible for their own state of being.  

 

When you find yourself in that dark place, remind yourself that God is your portion.  He is all that you need.  Remind yourself that God’s plan for your life is not dependent upon any person.  There is no person so mighty as to be able to destroy God’s plan for your life.

 

“I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

Job 42:2 (NIV)

 

The only person who can destroy God’s plan for your life is you.  You can reject it outright.  You can be angry with God because His plans are not your plans.  Just keep in mind that He already told us that His ways are higher than ours so…

how to get my husband to love me

Make a Choice to Live at Peace

I know…this is much harder to do than it is for me to say.  But you have the ability to do it.  You don’t have to be controlled by what you feel.  This is what got the whole negative cycle started.  Your spouse let their emotions dictate their behavior and now all Hell has broken loose.  You must make a decision to stop the bleeding.  In the Scripture, God tells us that what we make of each day, of each moment is our choice.  We can choose to ignore the negative emotions, the fear, the rejection.  We can lay it aside.  It’s not easy and there is a trick that I will share with you shortly, but it is possible.  

 

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

 

Don’t let anyone have so much power over you that you forget it is your choice.  You can’t choose to stop the pain, but you can choose to defeat the pain.  You can’t change your spouse, but you can change your own heart.  You can’t erase the past, but you can find a better future.  God has put this within your power.  

 

And if you have children, your children need for you to be at peace.  They need to see stability and strength, not wishy-washy narcissistic behavior.  God is your portion.  Now choose life.

 

Do not seek vengeance

George Herbert once said, “The best revenge is living well.”  That sounds wise, but I take issue with one part of it.  Revenge is never a good thing.  The Bible tells us to leave room for God’s vengeance.  In other words, when we start trying to get back at someone because of what they have done for us, God will not hold that person accountable.  He will not make them answer for what they have done.  And if we attempt to get even with them then we are putting ourselves in the place of God and if we exalt ourself to his place, He will humble us and it won’t be pretty if you know what I mean.

how to make my marriage better

Sarcasm is never good

So, when I am talking about choosing to live at peace, check your motives.  Are you acting like you have not been hurt and that you don’t need your spouse to be happy with the motive of getting even with them.  Is it a backhanded way of hurting them?  If so, you are just being selfish again.  It will come across sarcastic, which will be perceived as disrespectful, deepening the wounds and stirring up more anger.  To live at peace we must live in Christ.  He is the author of peace, the Prince of Peace.  If you are going to be able to live at peace with righteous motives, you must live in Christ meaning your way of responding must align with Jesus’ way of responding to those who hurt Him.

 

When Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, Jesus sincerely called him, “Friend.”  When Peter denied Christ three times, Jesus accepted him back and forgave him without ever mentioning what Peter had done.  To live at peace must include not throwing those words back in their face.  And to respond in the spirit of Christ, we need to spend some time with the Holy Spirit asking Him to bring healing to our hearts instead of trying to get something from our spouse to heal the wounds they created.  They can’t heal you.  They are not your doctor, your counselor, your God.  Take your pain to the Lord.  

 

The more time we spend in the presence of the Holy Spirit, the more He is transforming us to be like Jesus.  This means that we will love better.  He will give us better capacity to be patient, to forgive, to be selfless, to not throw their past in their face, to live at peace.  Then we start loving them even though they have hurt us.

 

Love is What They Need

I know that you are not going to like this necessarily, but it is true.  There is a power in love that is the power of God because God is love.

 

As I was doing a bit of research, I came across an article giving you signs that your spouse no longer loved you anymore.  The premise of this take is so unBiblical.  Love is a commitment.  It is not a commitment to always ‘feel’ in love, but to always behave in a loving manner.  

 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

 

Love is a commitment to always be patient.  I know it is so hard to ‘always’ be patient, but God is always patient and He is helping us to become more like Him through the Holy Spirit.  God doesn’t sit around depressed every time we sin because we did something unloving towards Him. He is focused on loving us whether we return that love or not.  He sends the message, “I love you even at your worst.”  Wow!  That message resonates with our spirit and it draws us to Him.  Those who love Jesus do so because they realized He loved them first.  The only chance we have to change their heart is to love them at their worst.  Please keep in mind that love is complex.  Love doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be treated like dirt over and over again.  Love means doing what is best for them.  It is not good for them to treat anyone like dirt including you do don’t just sit there and let it happen.  Draw boundaries, but don’t draw them in anger, hurt, or revenge.  Draw them because that is what your spouse needs.

best marriage ever

Love is complex

Love may mean to sit down and have a long drawn out conversation about what they said to you, but be careful that you don’t have that conversation from the standpoint of trying to get healing from them.  That kind of conversation must take place on your end by realizing they feel hurt and you want to understand that hurt so that you can do your best to assure them you didn’t mean to hurt them.  

 

Love may mean letting it go.  The Bible in one place teaches us to go to people and confront them when they sin against us, but it also says a wise man overlooks an offense.  To know which one to do is based on what your spouse needs in that moment.  Maybe they need the long talk but not today.

 

Love may mean make-up sex or it could mean someone is sleeping on the couch.  The key is to draw boundaries in sincere love for them, knowing, like we know our children, that sometimes they need grace and sometimes they need tough love.

 

Love doesn’t guarantee anything

I realize the Scripture I gave you up there says that love never fails.  This does not mean that if you love someone, you are guaranteed that they will love you in return.  Remember that Jesus loved the world perfectly, with a willingness to die for them, and some people still hated him and killed him.  Love never fails means that love never stops.  It keeps going.  True love has no motive but itself.  Many people begin to try hard to love like Jesus and then get angry when their spouse doesn’t suddenly start loving them the same way, but as soon as you get upset, you can know that your motives are wrong.  You are not loving them for what they need.  You are loving them to get what you want.  It is a subtle form of manipulation.  

 

Get some Outside Help

Keep in mind that we don’t always see ourselves well.  This is when a good Christian counselor or pastor can be very helpful.  Or you may have some strong Christian friends who are not afraid to be honest with you even if it means saying something you don’t like.  Pastors, counselors, and friends like this are wonderful, but you have to be willing to accept that you are not perfect.  Oh…I know that you know you are not perfect, but knowing we are not perfect has never kept any of us from acting like we are.  Right?

 

Wounds from a friend can be trusted,

but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)

 

I pray this was helpful to you.  The main way people read these is when people like you share them.  What was that?  You are wondering why I didn’t address what your spouse said to you.  You were wanting to know how to put him or her in their place and change their behavior.  Well, remember, you can’t change their behavior.  They have to want to change.  When you love like Jesus, it can, though it doesn’t guarantee, motivate them to change.  

 

As far as what they need to hear…well, I’ll have to save that for when they do their own Google search.

 

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Biblical principles Christian Counseling

Esteem Your Spouse

 

Do you esteem your spouse? I remember my youth.  I remember during college offseason arriving at the track with my friend, Michael, before the sun rose.  We would start our workouts in the murkiness just before sunrise.  And I knew there was going to come a time when I came around the corner the brilliant line of white light would pierce through as the sun tipped over the horizon.  In Lubbock, Texas, the land is flat and the sky is huge.  An array of oranges, blues, and yellows would fill the expanse above me.  And I would remember my God.

God is not utilitarian, but creative.  The beauty of all that is around us can arrest us, take our breath away, stopping time for a moment as we take it all in.  The beauty speaks to us.  The sunrise whispers and the sunset sings into my soul the wonders of my God.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
Psalms 19:1-6 (NIV)

I would go out onto that track and the Lord would greet me with a sky painting of love, colors or passion, and I was esteemed.  I felt the value He put in me to give me such beauty to ponder.  It was a glorious ‘Good Morning,’ and my heart would basque in the heat of His affection.  The Heavenly Husband esteemed His beloved with affection with love words in the sky.  He pours esteem into the heart of His spouse.

Ok, God is our example of how to be a great spouse, a great lover.  This is how He greets us in the morning.  How do you greet your spouse?  Before getting up out of bed, do you roll over and hold them tight and speak sunshine into their life?  Or do you let the fog of fatigue drag you away to start your day?  How about when you see them at the end of a busy day?  For decades, my wife has worked with me in ministry up until these past few years where she has joined corporate America.  If she has arrived home before me, as I walk through the door, before she can even see me, I hear her esteem me, “Hey Babe,” said with a love tone that soothes my spirit.  If I have arrived home first, I esteem her with a bear hug that she falls into and we embrace.  We esteem one another.  How about you?

Do you esteem your spouse?

Oh no, we are not the perfect couple and stress can get the better of us.  There are times when the other is hardly noticed because of the stress of the day, worries lingering for a difficult conversation, or bodies worn down.  But I have noticed when we pause for a moment, whether it be from the entertainment of a good movie, overwhelming pressure from tasks left undone, or the drowsiness of exhaustion, we change the other’s environment.  Like the sunrise pours light into the darkness so our esteem changes their countenance.  The esteem of our greeting, our embrace, our attention speaks loudly, “I am so glad to see you.  I’ve been waiting all day to hold you.  You are my joy.”  The sun rises.  Hearts are filled with warmth and things are better.  What greater gift can you give your spouse than to esteem them when you wake before the day begins and when you see each other again as the day ends.

Leave me a comment and let me know how it helps when esteem is given to your spouse or you.

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 


50-50 Relationships50-50 Relationships Will Not Work

Happy Friday to you.  When I am counseling a married couple, I will ask what they expect from the marriage or what do they need from their spouse to make the marriage better.  Each will gladly begin to tell me what the other person is doing wrong and how, if that person could just change a few things about themselves, the marriage would be wonderful.  But then I ask the question: “How do you respond when they don’t do what you think they should?” They are usually not as quick to answer this question.

In my Fighting to Win Marriage Workbook, I explain how most people think marriage should be a 50-50 relationship, where each takes responsibility for their part of the relationship.  I disagree.  In my opinion, a 50-50 relationship will never be all it can be and would struggle to remain a happy marriage.  So then what?  Should it be a 100-100 relationship where each person is taking full responsibility for the marriage.  Even then I don’t think this is the best because both of these are based on reciprocity. Read More

 


The Active Agent of Your MindWhat is the Active Agent in Your Mind?

Before I dive into the Verse of the Day today, I feel that I need to address sin.  For so long the church defined sin in such a way that it seemed that some sins were worse than others.  For example, homosexuality was treated as something wicked and evil, but gluttony was readily accepted. Obese preachers had no problem condemning the gay community while overeating after every church meeting.  This is an unBiblical perspective. The Bible teaches us that all sin is sin. Experience teaches us there are different consequences. Let me give you an example.

If the speed limit is 65mph, that limit has been set by my governing authority.  And I am commanded to obey my governing authority (Romans 13:1). If I drive 66mph, then I have broken that law…Read More

 

 


Are You A Perfectionist?Are You a Perfectionist?

The dog pooped on the brand new carpet.  I’m running late for work. My son didn’t wake up so now he can’t ride the bus and I have to take him to school.  Frustration mounts up within me. I remember the old commercial, “Calgon, take me away!”

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything just went smoothly?  In my counseling sessions, often I have a client who is really struggling with stress and pressure to make everything right.  They want to be perfect at work, the perfect spouse, the perfect lover, the perfect parent, the perfect host, the perfect friend, the perfect picture of perfect perfection, and this creates so much tension and stress trying to make everything just so. Recently, I explained to a client that even if they did everything perfectly in every place of their life, there would still be something that goes wrong, something difficult to deal with. Even if you had super-powers greater than the entire Justice League combined, life will never be perfect…Read More

 


 

Better Communication in Marriage

 

The Bible says our words carry in them the power of life or death.  If that is true, we definitely need better communication in marriage. We can bring our spouses heart back to life or crush it forever with just a few words.  And many times, the outcome we see in our communication does not reflect our intention.  Words are very important.

If we believe this then, especially in highly tense moments, we need to think about what we are going to say before we say it.  And it is not simply trying to figure out how to ensure we are understood in our desires.  When it comes to our words, before we begin to try to communicate our desires, we need to check our motivation.  Here is what the Scripture teaches us about communication:

 

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

 

This is the standard God has given us to guide our better communication in marriage.  First we should not have any corrupt talk.  The original word here also means ‘to putrefy.’  Putrefaction is the decomposition of a dead body.  

We do not want to use words that kill the spirit of the person we are speaking to.  On the contrary, our words should give grace that builds up the person.  The words we use, even in conflict, should have the goal of building up the other person with words of life.  When a person is not listening to us or when they have offended us, our words are graceful, building them up even though what they have done may have torn us down.

This is God’s way to communicate to our spouse when we have been hurt.  To speak like this, our goal must be to present our issue through the prism of what is best for them.  Let me give you an example.  If a husband easily loses his temper and yells at his wife all the time.  She can respond to him by yelling and screaming as well.  She can communicate that she needs for him to stop yelling at her.  But in this conversation, her goal is to get her husband to love her.  Her goal is not to love him and build him up, but to get him to build her up.  This is the way we naturally communicate, but it goes against the Biblical principle of Ephesians 4:29.  We don’t need more words that hurt but communication to make our marriage better.

On the other hand, if the wife approached her husband according to what he needs to be built up, she might say, “I’m worried about how often you get upset.  It is not good for you.  I am concerned about what it is going to do to you if you keep getting so angry, to your health.  I am concerned about what it is doing to our marriage and to me.  I want us to be close, a team, working on things together.  Can we talk about what is going on and pray for God’s wisdom to help us stay close in conflict?

Of course, the exact phrasing would be specific to the conversation, but I think you can see the idea.  We are making the marriage better by the way we address subjects that could lead to arguments and fights.  In the second scenario, the wife is approaching the issue in a way that her priority is for his well-being.  She is not defensive trying to get him to change so that she can feel better, but trying to help him change for his own benefit because she loves him.

Like all aspects of loving God’s way, we may feel that we are allowing our spouse to get away with bad behavior or that we are letting them just walk all over us.  Well, God doesn’t want us to let people continually walk all over us, but when it happens occasionally without intention, God wants us to give grace and help them overcome.  This is a different type of love.  This is agape.  Agape is the presence of God, the power of God to change hearts.  

 Think about it.  The last time your spouse hurt you by something they did or said, how did you respond?  If you responded defensively, you may have seen them also take a defensive posture against you.  Suddenly, you were enemies, not lovers.  That type of cycle is not going to make the marriage better.  The Bible says a harsh word stirs up anger, but a gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).  You might look back and see that your strategy produced only rotten fruit.  But had you communicated with their well-being in mind, presenting the solution as something that would make their life better, giving grace, who knows?  The fight might have never become a fight, but a bonding moment drawing you near to one another.  That is the pathway to a better communication for your marriage. This is God’s principle that will lead to less fighting, more laughter, more fun, more snuggling, and more sex!

How is the communication in your marriage?

 

To go deeper with this, I would recommend the Fighting To Win Marriage WorkbookUSE THE COUPON CODE: “Marriage” to get it for only $5.

Leave me a comment or maybe a question of how to craft words according to this Biblical principle in your specific argument.

 

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 


marriageThe Duck Billed Platypus and Your Wife

You probably never thought you would see your wife compared to a duck billed platypus and let’s be clear:

I AM NOT COMPARING YOUR WIFE TO A DUCK BILLED PLATYPUS!!!

But, they do have a strange connection that you, husbands, need to be aware of if you want your marriage to be all you desire.

In Genesis, there is a strange little passage where the text seems to go off on a nonsensical tangent.  God says about Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone.”  Well, I have spent a weekend or two by myself and I agree with this statement.  I’m not all that pleasant and tend to forget about hygiene when my wife and kids are gone.  But that’s for another blog.  Let’s take a look at this strange passage…Read More

 


Assumptions Kill Marriage Assumptions Kill Marriages

There are so many marriage killers but assumptions may be one of the worst.  So often when people are trying to rescue their marriage, the focus is on what we say and how we say it.  We’ve all heard that we should never use the words ‘never’ or ‘always.’  We are told to be respectful, polite, and kind when speaking to our spouse.  The old saying is thrown in our face:

If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!

These are all good, but today, I don’t want to talk to you about what you are saying.  No, I want to talk to you about what you are thinking in your relationship.  I want to talk to you about the quick assumptions that kill the marriage and how to stop doing it…Read More

 


Christian Living Books from Pastor LeeA FREE Preview of my latest book

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CLICK HERE TO START READING

Assumptions Kill Marriage

Assumptions Kill Marriage

 

There are so many marriage killers but assumptions may be one of the worst.  So often when people are trying to rescue their marriage, the focus is on what we say and how we say it.  We’ve all heard that we should never use the words ‘never’ or ‘always.’  We are told to be respectful, polite, and kind when speaking to our spouse.  The old saying is thrown in our face:

If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!

These are all good, but today, I don’t want to talk to you about what you are saying.  No, I want to talk to you about what you are thinking in your relationship.  I want to talk to you about the quick assumptions that kill the marriage and how to stop doing it.

If you are an athlete, you have probably heard the term ‘muscle memory.’  In sports, we train through drills, doing the same thing over and over again.  When I was playing football, over and over again, I would trace my steps to get the gap I needed to cover based on what the offense was doing.  The purpose is to do it so often that in the game, you don’t have to think.  Your muscles just know what to do.  Well, in relationships, we have emotional memory.

As soon as our spouse starts to say something similar to what others have said that made us feel unloved, unappreciated, disliked, disrespected, our emotions run away within us like a tsunami.  Our emotions don’t wait to hear the whole thing.  Our emotions systematically rush hurt, frustration, and offense into our heart like they always have in our life without knowing if this situation really is just like all those before.  If your Dad always told you that you were lazy as soon as your wife asks why you didn’t get to the “honey-do’s”, your emotions are going to fill your spirit with the same stuff it used to when you Dad would go off on you.  In fact, the emotions may be so strong that you stop really listening.  Our emotional memory pushes us to make assumptions about what our spouse thinks or feels.  We will read into their body language, facial expressions, or words something that is not there.  And we are so sure that they are thinking what we think they are thinking that we don’t stop to ask if that is really what they are thinking.  Then, we get angry, offended, hurt and this is usually followed up with frustration, yelling, screaming, locking yourself in the bathroom, storming out of the house, withholding sex, etc. Assumptions will kill the marriage.  But here is the truth:

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 (NIV)

Even when you have known someone your whole life, you can still, at times, assume they feel or think something they don’t actually think or feel.  It’s possible.  But when we assume it to be true when it’s not and then act as if it is true, we create more hurt and the divide between spouses widens.  Here are some tips to help stop the assumptions that will kill your marriage:

  • In humility, try to reserve in your mind the possibility that what you think may not be correct

Yeah, that is a hard one.  Yes, I am asking you to remember that you have been wrong before and that you have misunderstood what people were saying before.  Remember, there have been times where it became clear that you assumed someone thought or felt something then realized you were wrong.  It’s ok to be wrong.  Rather than working so hard to not be wrong, we should work harder to protect the peace in the relationship.

  • Be aware that you have often been misunderstood by people assuming they knew what you were thinking or feeling.

Yes, if people have done it to you, then don’t be so arrogant to think that you could also do it to someone else.  It’s human nature.  It’s emotional memory.  It’s not that we are trying to do it.  It is the pain of our past still working to control and destroy our future.

  • Listen with patience.

Many of us do not realize that we do not listen with patience.  We hear a couple of words from someone, our emotions realize that those few words are stirring up things from the past and that old fire burns again in our belly and we start thinking of our defense.  When we get here, it is hard to control that fire and we start talking before they finish.  We interrupt.  Here is a good technique.  Teach yourself to take a deep breath when they finish talking.  You will be amazed at how often you thought they were done, but they really weren’t.

  • Ask questions to clarify.

It is always a good idea to ask them if they feel what you assume they feel.  Ask them if they are thinking what you are assuming they are thinking.  Give them an opportunity to realize what is coming across to you and clarify.

 

These are four ways to save your marriage from assumptions.  Keep a tight reign on that tongue of yours and use your words to build up the marriage, but also, keep a tight reign on what you are thinking and stop assuming!

 

Love y’all!

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 


Security in Covenant

Security in Covenant

I came across a recent news article that quoted Justin Bieber.  This is not an endorsement of Bieber nor his music, but I do believe from this quote that somewhere he was taught some Scripture.

“The security marriage gives you is make a covenant before God to love that person for better or worse, in sickness and in health, which is something that you’ve done amazing for me,” he said to Hailey.

Hailey is Justin’s wife and they are now doing a Facebook video series called “The Biebers on Watch.”  With 77 million Facebook followers, Justin and Hailey spoke of the security of marriage that comes from a Covenant made before God to love unconditionally… Read More

 

 


Remember these?  -Your vows?Remember these?

So today, I am preparing for a wedding.  How appropriate on Marriage Friday, right?  In just a few short hours, I will stand before this beautiful couple and I will charge them with these very familiar words as part of their wedding vows:

Will you love, honor, and keep for richer-for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish til death do you part?

These vows have been in place for centuries.  In fact, most of you reading this and me too, as I am writing this, remember repeating these words possibly in a church in front of a preacher… Read More

 

 


Love Never FailsLove Never Fails…or Does it?

God is love (1 John 4:8) so if we are to know God, we must know love.  God defines love for us in Scripture (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).  He tells us that love never ends, love never fails, love endures all things, but does it?

The power of love is obvious.  It is the love of God revealed through the Scripture, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that has released power to turn millions of hearts from pride and selfishness to love, humility, and generosity.  He loved us first (1 John 4:19) and when we realize the depth of His love, we fall in love with Him and want to honor Him with our life.  Lives are changed by the love of God in Jesus Christ… Read more

 


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The Bible reminds us that we need our daily bread.  But time can get away so quickly and easy.  Subscribe today to find devotions in your inbox each day.  3-4 minute devotions to help you get the day started out right.  Subscribe now and get Pastor Lee’s free ebook: 10 Steps to Living in the Abundance of God’s Plan.

 

 

 


 

 

guard your heart

Guard Your Heart

 

Do you believe God has a beautiful plan for your life?  If you don’t, you are denying Scripture and the very words of God.  He has said that He has a plan for your life and that plan is beyond comprehension filled with hope, purpose, and prosperity of the soul (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 2:10).  These bring meaning and enjoyment to life.  But how do we find this plan?  let’s consider this passage:

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

 

That last part gives us the answer.  We first must engage in the renewing of our mind.  This is a continual process of forcing our thoughts to conform to Biblical truth,  Then we have the right mindset to change our behavior so that we no longer conform to the pattern of behavior we see in the world.  Then, and only then, can we test and approve what God’s will is.  This means we can look at any situation before us and test it according to Biblical truth to determine our response that will lead to His good, pleasing, and perfect will for our life.

The hardest part about this is learning to think differently.  The Bible uses the word ‘heart’ to take into account our thoughts, our will, and our emotions.  The bible also says the heart is corrupt and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) meaning the way we think and feel has, for the most part, been affected by our life experiences.  Our family relationships from early childhood have a great impact on how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general.  Throughout our life, there are significant relationships that will define core values such as love for us.

I remember counseling a couple once and the man was weeping trying to tell his wife how much he loved her.  She sat next to him on the couch with tears running down her face, but both eyes blackened with bruises from their confrontation a few days earlier.  For them, love had been defined differently, deceitfully and it needed to be redefined according to Scripture.  

Usually, this happens for us at such a young age, we don’t even realize what has happened.  It is dangerous and can separate us from the love of God and His plan for our life.  This is why the Holy Spirit gave us this proverb:

 

Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

 

We must stand guard over our heart in order to set emotional and intellectual boundaries to keep any thoughts or emotions that do not align with Scripture out.  We can’t do this unless we immerse ourselves into the Word of God to find truth, then we stand guard forcing ourselves to not comply with any thought or feeling outside the boundaries of God.  When we learn to master this process, it will radically change our life.

 

Live Blessed and Be A Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

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marriage

The Duck Billed Platypus and Your Wife

 

Welcome to Marriage Friday!

You probably never thought you would see your wife compared to a duck billed platypus and let’s be clear:

I AM NOT COMPARING YOUR WIFE TO A DUCK BILLED PLATYPUS!!!

But, they do have a strange connection that you, husbands, need to be aware of if you want your marriage to be all you desire.

In Genesis, there is a strange little passage where the text seems to go off on a nonsensical tangent.  God says about Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone.”  Well, I have spent a weekend or two by myself and I agree with this statement.  I’m not all that pleasant and tend to forget about hygiene when my wife and kids are gone.  But that’s for another blog.  Let’s take a look at this strange passage:

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:18-22 (NIV)

 

So…what we are saying here is that after God says it is not good for man to be alone, He brings every animal He has ever created so that Adam could give them a name.  Hmmm….that seems weird.  It becomes clear that as Adam was naming all the animals, the purpose was for Adam to find a suitable mate.  So God brings all the animals and Adam gives them a name.  Alligator, monkey, zebra, duck billed platypus, but none of these were suitable mates for Adam.  Duh?

When God brought these animals, especially the ugliest of them like the duck billed platypus, you can’t tell me that God didn’t already know Adam was not going to find a mate from all of these.  Sure, some were beautiful with vibrant colors making the most beautiful sounds, but God knew that Adam needed what he had never seen…a woman.  So why did God do this?  What is the purpose of this interval of time taking for Adam to look every animal over and come up with a name and what does this have to do with Adam finding a suitable mate.  These things don’t seem to go together any more than a duck billed platypus and your wife.  But they are connected.

You see, after Adam has looked over every animal to give them a name, God put him to sleep, pulled a rib from him and created Eve.  Adam did not wake up and Eve was sitting there next to him.  No, God brought her to him.  God presented her to him.  God told Adam to sit down and get ready because He was about to show him something incredible.  When God said this to Adam, he might have thought, “I’ve already seen thousands of creatures today.  I’m tired.  Seriously, there is no suitable helper for me.  Did you even see that duck billed platypus….what is that anyway??”  He sat there on a rock surrounded by the beauty of the garden and all the animals of creation.  A dramatic pause came over the whole garden.  They sensed something was different about this time.  God was acting different.  They could tell this was not just another four-legged creature or a colorful winged-animal.  No, this was different.

The panda bears picked up some bamboo sticks and began to beat them like tympany drums.  Birds began to sing a new song.  The sun was moved to create spotlight and from the shadows, the most exquisite creature Adam had ever seen stepped forward and God said, “Adam, I present to you, Woman.”  Adam’s eyes bugged out.  His jaw dropped to the floor. He was entranced and who could blame him after hours of looking animals like the duck billed platypus.  Compared to all of these animals, Eve was special, very, very special.

This was God’s plan all along.  By giving Adam time to evaluate every living creature first, an awe for Woman came over him more than if God had not taken Adam through this exercises of comparison.  If God would have just made Eve appear Adam, no doubt, would have been impressed.  But how much more taken he must have been with her after looking down the mouth of alligators and cobras.  She was brighter than the sun, more glorious than the stars.

Imagine how Eve must have felt when she saw Adam’s response to her.  Woman’s first moment of existence was overflowing with the admiration of man.  She was the main attraction.  She was uniquely beautiful in her speech, in her form, in her character.  Adam was overwhelmed and his first interaction with Eve overflowed with high esteem.  God purposely designed this first meeting so that Adam would exalt Eve above all the other creatures and Eve would know that she was special.

“Ok, Pastor Lee, but what does this have to do with my marriage.”  One word: Romance.

Men do not understand romance.  They do not understand why they need to go out of their way to make their wife feel special.  Men look at Valentines Day like a conspiracy of women and retailers on how to separate them from their money.  But it was not women, not retailers.  It wasn’t chocolate companies nor florists.  It was God who created the first Valentine’s Day and established the first marriage in romance.

Men, you may not understand it, but let me put it to you this way.  Look at your wife.  Go ahead, look at her.  She’s not a duck billed platypus.  She is unlike anything else in all of creation.  She has been specially designed for you.  And you must appreciate this Heavenly gift.  But also men, please understand that God planted into the DNA of women a desire to be cherished and to be made to feel special.  I know you don’t need a steak dinner, whataburger is just fine.  I get it.  But your wife has an underlying desire to know that you think she is uniquely exquisite.  Every now and then surprise her by taking her out on the town.  She is worth it.  There is a big difference between the duck billed platypus and your wife, and aren’t you glad?!?!

The next time your wife says to you that you never get her flowers anymore or that you never kiss her without wanting sex, or that you never do anything to show her she is special, don’t get frustrated with her.  It’s in her design.  God made her that way.  And God wants you to know that she is a gift from Heaven that should never be taken for granted.

He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22 (NIV)

 

Click here and let me know what you think.

 

Now, go have a fantastic marriage!

Be sure to share this with anyone the Lord puts on your heart.

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

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Remember these?

Remember these?

 

So today, I am preparing for a wedding.  How appropriate on Marriage Friday, right?  In just a few short hours, I will stand before this beautiful couple and I will charge them with these very familiar words as part of their wedding vows:

Will you love, honor, and keep for richer-for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish til death do you part?

These vows have been in place for centuries.  In fact, most of you reading this and me too, as I am writing this, remember repeating these words possibly in a church in front of a preacher.  My wife were married on New Year’s Eve in Lubbock, Texas with Pastor John Donnerburg.  We repeated our wedding vows like so many others.

The question I have for couples today is not if you remember repeating these words, but how well do you live by them.  Every single time I perform a wedding ceremony, I remind both the bride and groom that marriage is not about emotion, but a promise.  This is where most couples struggle in their marriage.  They live with emotion as the priority believing their spouse’s job is to make them happy.  But that is not what the vows say.

 

The preacher did not ask you to repeat these words:

“Will you love him as long as he is loving you back?”  Pretty sure no preacher ever said this in a wedding ceremony, “Marriage is for life unless your spouse stops being nice to you, then you are free to get the hell out of there!”  Nope, none of that conditional love stuff is in the vows.  The wedding vows we take are purely unconditional.  It is a promise to love that person no matter what.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

When your spouse is not living up to this passage, your vows should keep you from reciprocating.  Yes, I know their vows should have kept them from acting out in the first place.  I get that and it’s true.  But marriages head down negative cycles when each one justifies not loving according to 1 Corinthians 13 when the other isn’t.  Because as you know, in an argument, we have a tendency to justify our bad behavior by the other’s bad behavior.  Then they justify continuing in that same line because of what we just said.  Then, of course, we feel every right to not only continue, but escalate our bad behavior.  And this goes on so forth and so on until we are treating one another with such contempt.  And God is not pleased.

 

Remember your vows.

Especially remember them when your spouse has forgotten.  This will help deescalate things and when people are calmer, they can work through their issues instead of planning what they are going to do the next time they see them napping peacefully 🙂

To live by your vows, you cannot be a slave to your emotions.  It is important to take captive every thought so that when you are having thoughts of kicking them where the sun don’t shine, you can be patience and restrain yourself.

Now, I just want you to know that this is impossible…without the help of the Holy Spirit.  If you want to keep your wedding vows, you need regular time in the presence of the Holy Spirit in worship and in meditation of the Scripture.  Sex may begin in the kitchen, but a great marriage begins in the prayer closet.

Hey y’all, no matter what the week has been like, go out and love one another.  Remember your vows.

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

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Learn to be patient

Learn To Be Patient

 

Is anyone patient anymore?  How can we learn to be patient?  From people driving us bazonkers to marriage, to parenting to traffic jams to Jerry Jones messing up yet another season with his craziness, it’s hard to be patient.  How can we learn to be patient?

It is interesting to note that the early church spent more time working to develop patience than they did preaching the Gospel to unbelievers.  They believed patience was the true image of God and reflected God to the world more than anything.  They believed God was incredible patient with everyone.  He allows us to live our life without final judgment patiently waiting while wooing us to Him.  He remains patient with us as we grow in Him.  To be patient is to reflect the glory of God in our life.  But where does patience come from and how we can make it part of our life?

First of all, patience is the result of love (1 Corinthians 13:4).  It is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22).  The Holy Spirit is the presence of God in us.  And God is love.  The greater His presence in our life, the greater capacity we have for loving others.  And with this increase in love, there will be an increase of patience.  

The process of becoming patient begins with understanding and accepting the love of God.  The Bible says that we love because He loved us first (1 John 4:19).  The Apostle Paul reminds us that we need supernatural power from the Holy Spirit to help us grasp the love that God has for us.  Spending time in the presence of God through the Word, the gathering of believers, praise, and worship fills us with power to grasp the powerful truths of Scripture including the love of God.  That God gave His only Son to receive the punishment we deserved because of our sin so anyone who chooses to follow Christ can be set free from this judgment is the love of God.

To love God is to love His creation.  It is to love every person, everyone regardless of social status, race, religion, sexual orientation, or personality.  The world loves by deciding who is worthy of being loved.  God loves everyone though no one is worthy to receive His love because of their rejection of Him through sin.  When we don’t love people, we are not loving God.  Love is patient, kind, gentle, not proud, not seeking harm, never beating people down with their past mistakes.  To love God is to treat people in this manner.

If you tell me you love me, but treat my children with disdain, then you are not loving me because you are hurting my heart when I see how you treat my kid.  The same is true with God, but with greater depth.  When we mistreat anyone, we are hurting God’s heart because that person, no matter what, is a child of God whom He loves.

More than this, though, we have to understand that God wants to see everyone healed in their spirit, for broken lives to be made whole, for broken hearts to be mended, for souls to be saved.  If I truly love God, then I will want for His children what He wants for His children.  Then I need to be moved in my heart to do what creates the greatest potential for others to be saved, to be healed, to be made whole.  And at the heart of this behavior is patience.  Without patience, there is no love.  If people can’t see the love of God in me, I am doing nothing to help them find the source of their healing.

The Scripture says ‘for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross,’ speaking of Christ (Hebrews 12:2).  In other words, He wanted to honor His Father in Heaven by helping His Father’s creation find salvation.  To do this, He was willing to suffer for them to see the love of God that they might fall in love with God.

Patience is a mindset.  It is not an emotion, but a way of looking at every situation from a spiritual perspective.  If we want our children to find and know God, we must be patience to reflect God’s love to them.  If we want our spouses, family, friends to know God, patience is required.  And even for those we struggle to love or like, we have to keep in our mind the simply truth that God loves everyone the same.  Determination to hold fast to this mindset will develop patience in our heart.

 

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Leave me a comment.  What is the hardest part about being patient?

 

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

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