Excellent Marriage partners hold themselves personally accountable before God for their behaviour in their Marriage
Being happy is an attitude that we can start having, its a state of mind, even in the worst circumstances we can feel joy
Psa 5:11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice. Let them sing with joy forever. Protect them, and let those who love your name triumph in you.
Psa 5:12 You bless righteous people, O LORD. Like a large shield, you surround them with your favor.
God says His love is like a shield that surrounds you and stops arrows of doubt, temptation, and confusion that satan shoots at you. What an affirmation! God loves you so much that he promises to shield you from the enemy’s strongest attacks. God’s love does not necessarily provide physical protection, but God is always protecting your soul, which is so precious to him
If we can truly change, and learn lessons from our issues and arguments, you grow
'n Vrou is soos 'n koolstoof: As jy goed na haar kyk, sal sy baie jare lank sorg dat daar lekker kos op jou tafel is.............
Nou vra jy my, hoekom juis 'n koolstoof ? Die antwoord is eenvoudig, as jy net bietjie daaroor dink. Kyk, om vuur te maak in 'n koolstoof, verg voorbereiding. Jy moet voor die tyd sorg dat daar papier en fyn houtjies is, dat daar lekker stompe is en dat die kole emmer vol is. Dan begin jy daai vuur van bo af aanpak. (Jy kon nog nooit 'n koolstoof van onder af aan die brand steek nie !). Die papier is soos briefies en versies en goed, en is die begin van die hele proses. Dan kom die fyn houtjies. Hierdie is die komplimente en klein dingetjies wat jy vir haar doen om die klein vuurtjie bietjie groter te blaas. Dan volg die hout. Dis wanneer jy begin geskenke en goed koop, laaste kom die kole, die GROOT WOORD, LIEFDE. Dis die ding wat sorg dat die vuur lank en warm sal brand. Jy pak ook nie sommer alles gelyk daar in nie, nee, jy begin met die papier en doen dinge so stap vir stap, en soos die een mooi brand, so pak jy die volgende laag by. En eers wanneer daai vuur goed brand, dan mag my maar die deurtjie hier aan die onderkant oopmaak en met jou poker daar karring sodat die hitte goed kan afsak...........
En 'n koolstoof vat baie lank om af te koel............ As jy dit nie besef nie, kan 'n man jou hande lelik verbrand.....
En moenie dink goed soos Blitz of alkohol is 'n goeie aansteker nie ! Jy sal wel so vinnige opwelling en hittetjie kry, maar gewaarborg, dit sal maar kort van duur wees.
Doen jy die ding nie reg nie, sal daai stoof tjouk en smoor en die hele huis sal naderhand vol rook wees tot pyn en lyding van almal.
Maar doen jy dit reg, sal daar 'n gesellige rokie by die skoorsteen uittrek, 'n sekere sein vir almal dat daar hitte en gerief in daardie huis is. Daardie stoof word die middelpunt van die huishouding wat almal om haar saamtrek, wat sorg vir baie gesellige ure omgesels, wat warm maak as dit koud is en rotsvas staan waar sy staan.
Die ander ding wat 'n man moet verstaan, is dat die stoof gereeld skoongemaak moet word, en gewoonlik word dit gedoen deur iemand anders van die vroulike geslag wat sorg dat daar op gereelde basis van die as ontslae geraak word. Daar is egter niks verkeerd daarmee Meneer, as jy ook gereeld gaan sit en luister as sy haar uitpraat en skoonmaak wat daarbinne opgegaar het nie. Dit sal net help dat die stoof beter brand. En dan natuurlik, so een keer 'n maand, moet die pype en goed skoongemaak word van die roet en goed, en dan is die stoof so bietjie buite werking. En dan is dit ook hoogs aanbeveelbaar dat jy nie gaan staan en karring nie.........
Sy kan natuurlik ook doen met bietjie spoeg en politoer, en daar moet gesorg word dat sy gereeld kry wat nodig is. 'n Gepolitoerde stoof LYK net soveel beter as 'n ou vaal, onversorgde ene. En meneer, as jy nou self so nou en dan bietjie olietjies in die hand neem, en dit mooi sagkens orals aanwend, later tot in die gleufies in, sal jy verbaas wees wat se verskil dit aan jou stofie maak...... Wees net versigtig dat jy dan nie 'n broodjie of twee of drie in die oondjie los nie, want dit sal sekerlik groei en uitdy tot 'n ryke seen.....
"n Man is soos 'n spiraalplaat hotplate: Draai net aan sy knop en hy is feitlik onmiddelik warm. Maar as die pot klaar gekook het, word hy weer net so vinnig koud ook........
"If only I was married to someone else who cares more about me and our marriage, life would be so much better!" ..."It's because of him (or her) that I act the way I do at home. I act like a different person with everyone else!" ..."I know I have my faults, but it's not as bad as what he (she) does --that's why this marriage is such a mess!"
Have you ever voiced one of those statements? Most of us go through times when we think such things. But have you considered... just how easy is it to be married to YOU?
Please prayerfully consider the weaknesses you personally contribute to your marital relationship. Perhaps this could be a personal wake-up call in some way. The following are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Do you speak to your spouse in a way that could be perceived by him or her as dishonoring or belittling? (You may feel justified in speaking this way but the result could be that your spouse will eventually avoid being with you and instead seek to be with others who don't do this.)
- Do you give your full attention when he or she is trying to communicate with you --listening with your eyes, ears, and with your heart? Or are you continually distracted so your spouse could feel that what he/she has to say is unimportant to you?
- Do you have a tendency to lecture or berate him/her, like some parents treat a "naughty" child?
- When you're angry, are you explosive so that he/she could feel assaulted (which could result in him or her shutting down emotionally from truly hearing what you're trying to communicate)?
- Do you treat "outsiders" with more love and consideration than you do your own spouse?
- Do you use cutting humor with your spouse, saying, "I'm just kidding..." and yet he or she doesn't think it's funny? And do you do this publicly so your spouse feels all the more humiliated?
- Does your marriage "partner" complain that you act like you're better than him or her (and deep down, this may be true)? Think about it.
- Do you continually act irritable or are you hypersensitive in your actions with him or her?
- Do you keep bringing up things from the past --things he or she has asked for forgiveness previously? (Please realize, this can result in feelings that it's hopeless that he or she will ever be able to escape past actions with you, no matter what he or she does.)
- Are you living a trustworthy life so your spouse doesn't need to be concerned that you will violate his or her trust? And do you seek ways to show your trustworthiness?
- Do you participate in anything Christ would see as "deeds of darkness" which could bring unhealthiness into your marital partnership? (See Ephesians 5:11)
- Do you seek to be a peacemaker in your home? (See Ephesians 4:3 and Romans 12:18)
- Do you protect your spouse's feelings and dignity in how you speak and interact with him/her both in private AND in public when you're together with others? (See 1 Corinthians 13:7)
- Do you reveal private matters, saying things about your spouse to others that he or she could perceive as hurtful in some way?
- Have you become such a serious person that you rarely laugh and forget to infuse fun times into your marriage --times like you used to have together earlier in your relationship?
- Do you make an effort to show that you value being married to him or her?
- Do you honor his/her communication "style?" If you're a good communicator and your spouse isn't, do you run over him (her) with your words? (This could leave him or her feeling stupid so he or she avoids "communication" times altogether. Just because you're good with words and your spouse isn't, it doesn't mean he/she is wrong and you're right.)
- Are you a negative person to live with? Do you need to make an effort to be more positive in how you interact with your spouse so you don't drag down his/her spirits, as well?
- Do you look for ways to compliment and encourage your spouse (when you're alone together as well as when you're out together with others)?
- Do you receive your spouse's compliments in positive ways so he or she doesn't feel dismissed or discredited when he/she says nice things to you?
- Are you gracious when your spouse messes up in some way, so he or she still feels accepted and loved by you?
- Do you try to make your marriage a better one? Do you show by your actions as well as by your words that you're together in partnership with him or her? So what do you think now? Just how easy are YOU to live with? Do you need to make some adjustments in how you interact in your marriage relationship?
Certainly, your spouse may have many faults that you even point out, as well. But please consider that if you blame your spouse for your wrong actions, you're playing the same "blame game" that Adam did when God confronted him with the wrongdoing. Adam replied, "It's the woman you put here with me --she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Even so, God didn't consider Adam's excuses to be valid. And the same goes for yours (ours). God condemned Adam just as He did Eve. One person's sin doesn't excuse or wipe out the wrongness of what the other does. If you feel convicted, we hope you'll ask the Lord to help you work on your own issues --your own "planks" that need to be removed. As admonished in the scriptures:
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:3-5)
"If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone." (John 8:7)
As you, and as we consider the spouse WE are, may we pray individually: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24). May God help and guide us together in our marriage journeys, Cindy and Steve Wright
Are you mad over money problems in your marriage? If you are, financial
consultant Ron Blue claims that you aren't alone. He states, "Money is the
reason given in 50 percent of divorce cases, but I believe money problems
are symptoms of an inability to relate to each other on other levels. How
you use money reflects your priorities. For example, one spouse may want
to furnish the house, while the other wants to take a vacation. They call
it a money problem, but it's really a priority problem, or a problem of
communicating about their priorities."
It's been said, "Money has power far beyond its ability to purchase goods
and services. It has the ability to negatively change one's attitude
towards our spouse when we don't learn how to use it as a marital team."
Haven't you seen that to be true?
Spending issues sure can cause a lot of division within relationships!
Steve and I know that for a fact! It took a lot of years for us to learn
how to give and take so we could be united in how "our" money is spent
(rather than "his" or "hers"). It's not that we don't each have a little
To spend our own way, but when it comes to bigger purchases, we've made it
our goal and commitment to be united as a marital team (and we are).
To look further into this matter, we'll share a portion of a Kyria.com
article written by Beverly Burch titled, "Stop the Money Madness." In this
article Beverly wrote, "You may not want to discuss personal finances but
it's important that you and your spouse learn healthy ways to talk about
money. And while the size of your bank account is significant, it's the
meaning you assign to money that makes the biggest impact on your marriage
-for good or for ill.
"A factor that affects how couples develop a sense of how to spend their
money as a marital team is coming to an understanding of how their concept
of spending was shaped by the family they grew up in. Spouses may end up
clashing because they came from families, which handled money quite
differently. A woman who grew up equating money with security might marry
a man from a family of spenders who expressed love through buying
expensive gifts. In either case, our own financial style feels right
because it reflects attitudes and values that are familiar.
"Moving from individual to shared control of finances can feel threatening
to newlyweds who are still learning to trust one another in other areas of
life. Money can become the focus of conflicts that are really about
something else. For instance, a newlywed might not accuse his or her mate
of self-centeredness. It's easier to criticize excessive spending instead.
"As couples move into their middle years, no longer does the question '
mine or yours?' drive disagreements over money. Instead, the questions
multiply as the couple's responsibilities mount, 'Who gets what? How much?
When? and how are we going to manage it?' Although some middle-years
marriages are troubled by crisis, most simply begin to experience pressure
from the weight of having more responsibilities & at the same time the
shrinking of available time & money.
"Later Years: CONTENTMENT or RESENTMENT? As a couple mover into their
Later years, they see how their former financial choices have affected
their current choices. As retirement approaches, the most important
financial question becomes 'How are we going to live on a fixed income?'
Resentments that weren't solved in earlier years now begin to surface. At
this stage, arguments over money usually take the form of blame for
decisions long past the possibility of change.
"A negative focus on the past can cause problems with a couple's ability
to work together on current financial decisions. Unless they can let go
of resentment and blame, they won't be able to move on peacefully and
productively with the rest of their lives."
Let me (Cindy) interject here, before sharing more of Beverly's article.
This last point is an important one. The pastor who married my husband
Steve and me, gave us great advice before we married (and we thank God he
did). He told us to work NOT to argue over money. He said that once we
were to the point of arguing, the problem was already at hand and arguing
over it would only make matters worse. He told us to instead, face the
problem - -work together to resolve it and then talk about how NOT to get
in that predicament again. It wasn't to be about playing the "blame game"
but rather to figure out how we could work together on our finances to
find solutions to the problem. I'm sure that small piece of advice saved
us hundreds of arguments. Because of it, we've learned to let go of the
past and instead worked towards making better financial decisions TOGETHER
to build a better future.
According to Beverly Burch, "Here's how to get a head start in an area
where couples struggle:
- "WITHOUT SELF-CRITICISM OR SELF-JUSTIFICATION, IDENTIFY YOUR OWN
RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY. What does money mean to you? Does it make you
feel powerful, anxious, guilty, loved, responsible or secure? What
assumptions and values about money did you develop while you were
- "AVOID LABELING YOUR SPOUSE'S ATTITUDES AS 'RIGHT' OR 'WRONG.' Try to
understand one another's money history. Listen for the hurts, fears
wishes and hopes that get funneled into money. Try to empathize rather
than criticize. Honoring each other's needs can help you respectfully
negotiate your financial decisions. Remember, respect breeds trust.
- "LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. Temporarily out aside your own beliefs and see
what your spouse can teach you. A saver can learn a new kind of security
when stretched by a spouse who exchanges money for present enjoyment, or
who finds satisfaction in giving.
- "TOGETHER, LIST YOUR PRIORITIES. What is valuable to you? Identify the
top priorities you share and what this means for your budget? In my
husband's family, the adventure of traveling around the United States
was a high priority, and their budget was geared toward that. They did
without some things, but family gatherings today are enlivened by the
stories they're able to talk about because of their travels.
- "GET SOUND ADVICE. Some conflicts over money come from not being aware
of your options. Ask someone you trust to refer you to a qualified
financial advisor who will respect your priorities."
Let me tell you that Steve and I are not "qualified financial advisors"
but on our web site at www.marriagemissions.com in the "Finances in
Marriage" section, we link to some who are. And we also provide a link
within this Marriage Message (on the web site) to the entire article by
Beverly Burch (so you can learn more).
From Crown Financial Ministries we give you the following closing thoughts
to prayerfully consider: "Christians who are not experiencing peace in
financial matters should reevaluate and ask themselves: 'Who is in control
of my financial decisions? Who is directing my paths? Am I being
controlled by God or by my own desires?'"
Please make this a matter of prayer. If you aren't using your money in a
way that honors each other and honors God, we hope you will make the
effort to start to change things today.
Cindy and Steve Wright
If we were to ask you, “What’s more important in marriage, Feelings or Actions?” you would most likely reply, “Actions, of course.” That is because mature adults who are thinking rationally and objectively (at this moment in time), know that we can’t always trust our feelings. In fact I (Steve) have learned that it is a rare occurrence where I can trust my feelings. I believe that is because feelings are ME focused and not OTHERS or CINDY focused. If left to my own tendencies it would all be about me “feeling good.” It is also true that our actions can sometimes be motivated by our feelings. This is where we need to “test” the motives behind our actions. We think this will become clearer as we proceed through the rest of this week’s Marriage Message. And while the story that is told deals with a couple on the verge of divorce, we all can — and should, learn a lesson from it. The story comes from the book, Courtship After Marriage, by Zig Ziglar: Don Hawkins, who spent almost 20 years in the pastorate, tells a story of
the time a couple from his church came to see him —en route as a last stop before seeing their respective lawyers about a divorce. It seems the husband had become involved in an affair. His wife became angry and decided to retaliate in kind. According to Don, the tension was electric. The husband sat on one side of the room hurling accusations. The wife sat on the other side, cold as ice, but occasionally blasting away with fireball-type epithets at him. Don suggested to this couple that they go back to that point in time where they were in love. To which the man replied, “But I don’t love her anymore.” Don said to the man, “You do respect the Bible, don’t you?” “Yes,” he replied. “Well, Scripture says, ‘Love Your Wife.’” “Yes, but we’re not living together as husband and wife. We have separate bedrooms.” “Oh, you’re living in rooms next to each other?” “That’s right.” “Well, Scripture has a word for you, ‘Love Your Neighbor.’” ‘The young man retorted, “I don’t feel like she’s a neighbor. We relate to each other more like enemies.” To which Don replied enthusiastically, “That’s great. I have good news for you. Scripture covers that base as well. It says, ‘Love Your Enemies.’” Both husband and wife told Don, “But we just don’t feel like loving each other, and we certainly wouldn’t want to be hypocritical, would we?” Don said, “Why don’t we suspend the discussion of hypocrisy for a week?
Let me encourage you to go back to treating each other like you loved each other.” To the husband he said, “You call her from work.” To the wife he said, “You have a nice meal prepared.” And to both he said, “Speak kind words to each other, even try to show some physical affection with an occasional hug or touch of the hands. Let’s see what happens in a week’s time.” The following week, the couple returned to Don’s office. He was surprised to note that instead of taking seats on the opposite side of the office, both sat down on the same couch. Turning to the husband, Don asked, “What’s the deal?”
To which the wife replied, “He’s been nicer to me than he’s been since we were married 10 years ago.” Smiling, the husband said, “I guess you can love your enemy.” Now, I don’t want to mislead you. As Don shared this with me, he was careful to point out that this couple’s problems didn’t just disappear
overnight or vanish like a fog in the morning sun. There was a lot of hard work to do to resolve the conflicts, anger, bitterness, and hurt that had built up over years of marital neglect. Yet by turning to the kind of actions they practiced for each other in the very beginning, by starting the courtship process over —they became motivated to work on their marriage relationship.
Okay, so what is the lesson for those of us not on the verge of divorce?
Like Cindy and me, you may never even consider divorce as an option. But that doesn’t mean our marriages reflect the love of Christ. And, if we are honest, we have all had conflicts, anger, bitterness, and hurt that have built up over time due to marital neglect.We believe that if we decide NOW to implement loving actions in our marriage it is not only going to improve our relationships now, but it will help us to regain the proper focus (Christ first and our spouse second) and help to heal past hurts. For further study as a couple, we recommend you go to our web site and you both read Marriage Message #105 — Living in an Intentional Marriage and Marriage Message #142 — When Loving Feelings Take Effort. And, if you are highly motivated but don’t know where or how to start Loving Actions, go to the web site and in the Communications section read the articles, “100 Ways to Love Your Husband His Way” and “100 Ways to Love Your Wife Her Way.” We pray God’s richest blessing upon your marriage. God Bless! Steve and Cindy Wright