SAVING A TROUBLED MARRIAGE---GOD'S WAY
Lupie Riley, freelance writer
Wen and I will be celebrating 50 years of marriage in 2010. It's been many years of harmony between two different personalities without the loud arguements, name calling or physical shove and push episodes that happen in so many marriages today. NOT !!! Only in my dreams. Weve had our bumps in the road and mountains to climb just like everyone else. Marriage is a process in constant motion. Anytime you have two different personalities trying to mesh as a single, harmonious unit sparks can fly from the friction thats created. One spouse might tend to dominate and control while the other may fight for their right to maintain some identity. Entering the marriage union does not give anyone a license to rob their partner of their personality through intimidation, manipulation or force. However, it is an opportunity for both to grow and excercise "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, gentleness and self-control. Gal 5:22." Eventually you reach a point of maturity that will enable you to resolve your problems in a calm, responsible manner without leaving a trail of deep wounds that take years to heal.
At the core of our marriage there has always been the uncompromised commitment to each other--the knowledge that we never want to be without the other. I call it that ember of love that holds us together in tough times when the option of separation or divorce rears its destructible head. When this happens we always fall back on the core of our commitment. We also discovered in the first years of marriage that this cannot be achieved without knowing the author of LOVE who gives us the ability to love our spouse unconditionally. "Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are children of God and they are getting to know him better. If a person isn't loving and kind, it shows that he doesn't know God--for GOD IS LOVE. 1 John 4:7-8" "God is Love and anyone who lives in Love is living with God and God is living in him. I John r:16b" "And remember that if anyone doesn't have the Spirit of Christ living in him he is not a Christian at all. Rom. 8:9b"
Your relationship with the author (Jesus) is essential towards a healthy, long lasting marriage. You won't find Him (Jesus) in church membership, religious rituals or ceremonies but you will find him at the foot of the cross as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. You may have already went through the full course of self help books, counselors and advice from family and friends. It is now time to do it God's way.
FACT: God is the author of Love and Marriage. He created the first couple, Adam and Eve who would populate the Earth. And the Lord God said, "It isn't good for man to be alone; I will make a companion for him, a helper suited to his needs" So the Lord God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever he called them, that was their name. But still there was no proper helper for the man. Then the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and took one of his ribs and closed up the place from which he had removed it, and made the rib into a woman and brought her to the man. "This is it!" Adam exclaimed. " She is part of my own bone and flesh! Her name is 'woman' because she was taken out of a man." This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife in such a way that the two become one person. Genesis 2:18-24"
ACTION: You need a personal relationship with your Creator Father God to be able to comprehend His ways and plan for a long and successful marriage. Confess your need for forgiveness and invite Him (Jesus) into your life. He will create in you a whole new person with a new mind and heart towards God and your spouse. "When someone becomes a Chrisitian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! II Cor. 5:17"
AGREEMENT: You and your spouse must be in agreement to allowing God into your lives and seeking his help to resolve your marital problems. Then you can move onto the next step...the reading of His Word..his counsel to you. "The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us to do what is right. It is God's way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone. II Tim. 3:16"
HUSBANDS: "You husbands must be careful of your wives, being thoughtful of their needs and honoring them as the weaker sex. Remember that you and your wife are partners in receiving God's blessings, and if you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not get ready answers. I Peter 3:7"
WIVES: "Don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on jewelry, or beautiful clothes, or hair arrangment. Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God. That kind of deep beauty was seen in the saintly women of old who trusted God and fitted in with their husbands plans."
MUTUAL RESPECT: "Honor Christ by submitting to each other--husbands show the same kind of love to your wives as Christ showed to the church when he died for her. 28. That is how husbands should treat their wives, loving them as parts of themselves. For since man and his wife are now one a man is really doing himself a favor and loving himself when he loves his wife. 33. So again I say, a man must love his wife as a part of himself; and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband--obeying, praising and honoring him. Eph. chapt. 5"
PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIP: "Let their be no sex sin, impurity or greed among you. Let no one be able to accuse you of any such things. Dirty stories, foul talk and coarse jokes-these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God's goodness and be thankful. Eph. 5:3" "But sexual sin is never right: our bodies were not made for that, but for the Lord, and the Lord wants to fill our bodies with himself. I cor. 6:13b" "Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God; for all these worldly things, these evil desires--the craze for sex, the ambition to buy everything that appeals to you, and the pride that comes from wealth and importance--these are not from God. They are from this evil world itself. And this world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever. I John 2:15-17" "The man should give his wife all that is her right as a married woman, and the wife should do the same for her husband: for a girl who marries no longer has full rights to her own body, for her husband then has his rights to it, too; and in the same way the husband no longer has full rights to his own body, for it belongs also to his wife. So do not refuse these rights to each other. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from the rights of marriage for a limited time, so that they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterwards they should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control. I Cor. 7:3-7"
QUARRELING: "Stop being mean, bad temered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tender hearted, forgiving one another just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ. Eph. 4:31"
CONCLUSION: "God's plan for marriage is good. These were His words after creation..."then God looked over all that he had made and it was excellent in every way" Gen. 1:31 LB All it takes from you is for you to confess your mistakes and admit your need for Him to be a part of your life. Invite Him in today. It was never God's intention for a husband and wife to seperate. If we heed His counsel His blessings will follow.
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plan's for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray I will listen. You will find me when you seek me, if you look for me in earnest. Jeremiah 29:11-12"
Note: All verses were quoted from the Living Bible