Words

Posted: June 29, 2012 by Troy in marriage

A good friend and confidant told me something today that really meant a lot to me. They mentioned that it may seem like a random thing to tell me what they had to say. I thanked them for the kind words but I don’t think they knew exactly how much the words really meant to me.

It made me think about how often we think good things or kind words in our minds but they never cross our lips to be heard by our spouse.

It was a huge breakthrough for me the day I realized that I didn’t have to keep my thoughts in. I quite often thought great wonderful things about my wife but never spoke them to her. I was missing out on a chance to uplift her and be supportive in the different things she would do, or maybe just brighten her day by telling her how pretty she looked.

If you have those thoughts, why not share them with the one you love? What’s keeping you from doing it? Fear of allowing your thoughts to be expressed outwardly? Possibly having the words be rejected?

It would seem that having those thoughts and not expressing them, would be the equivalence of never having the thought in the first place. At least to those who need to hear them.

If you aren’t having them, try picking out the positive things that your spouse does and compliment them on it. The more you do it the easier it gets.

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Constraints!

Posted: June 9, 2012 by Kara in marriage

A constraint is a limitation or restriction. I was reading a book today and it talked about an experiment with fish. They divided a fish tank with a glass pane and added food to the empty side. They watched to see how many times the fish would bump into the glass to get the food. After they stopped they removed the pane but the fish stayed on the other side of the tank even though they had access to the food.

I thought for a moment about the constraints in marriage. For years some of us try and try in our marriages but then we give up. We have gotten bumped around so much and we feel it’s no longer worth the effort to get hurt. We give up!

I was ready to give up but God moved in and removed the pane. He opened up my husband’s heart and He changed my marriage in a miraculous way. He changed both of us!

Even though I knew the pane was gone, I still lived behind the constraint. I was scared to move past the pane. I was living like I would get hurt if I opened up myself to the newness of my marriage.  I had a hard time trusting God with the control of my marriage. To be honest, I still struggle sometimes, but I push through it so that I can let go and let God!

God, He is the Blessed Controller! I had to let go and swim to the other side. And on days when I want to swim back, I have to remind myself that He is my guidance and I can trust Him with my heart, with my life, with my marriage! He will not fail!

Our marriages can be so great if we would trust God and swim past our constraints. Yes maybe it’s hard but He is greater than the hard and He wants so much for your marriage.

I was at a kid’s camp with my daughter this past week. The kids were asked to close their eyes and then asked who came from a divorced home. The amount of hands that went up brought tears to my eyes. I wondered, how many of these marriages could have been saved, how many of these marriages were living behind constraints that had been lifted? How many of these marriages could have been saved by simply letting God be the Blessed Controller?

God will lift the pane (pain) but you have to swim. You have to fight past what your mind is telling you and trust God with everything! He did it for me and He can do it for you.

Do you live behind a constraint that God has lifted?

I struggle daily with myself. I always try to do the right thing. Most days I succeed, but on the days I don’t, I don’t have the fear of being a complete and utter failure. I have faith in my God and that he will forgive me for whatever it is that I have done. I also have faith in my bride’s love for me and know that she will forgive me when I don’t live up to what I say I will do.

Finding that kind of peace in my life didn’t come by accident. It also didn’t come easy. I have a few bumps and bruises from life’s lessons on how not to do things.

I have that kind of peace in my life from communicating openly with my number 1 (God) and my number 2 (My wife). The more I talk to either of them the more I want to talk to them, the more I know that they are on my side and want to see me succeed in all I do. I have that kind of peace in my life because I am able to trust them both with my heart and my soul.

Some of you will know exactly what I am talking about and can identity with me. If you can, take a few minutes and give credit where it’s due. Thank God and your spouse for that peace you’re able enjoy.

Some of you are thinking that you would never be able to have that kind of faith in anyone. Maybe you feel as though God or your spouse has abandoned you. Rest assured that he is still on your side and still working miracles in marriages, He did in mine.

Posted: May 29, 2012 by Troy in marriage

5 Love Language book give away winner!!!!!

Posted: May 1, 2012 by Troy in Contest

And the winner is – Gloria Nixon!!!!

We will be in contact with the winner to arrange the details. Thank you all for supporting this blog. God bless!!!

Loving your spouse the way they need to be loved

Posted: April 30, 2012 by Troy in marriage
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Once upon a time a long time ago I fell in love with a very pretty young lady, I loved her with all my heart and wanted to be near her. I gave to her my time, my money, my love and I thought that was all there was to marriage. I wasn’t ALL wrong but where I WAS wrong is that I gave her the love I wanted to give her and thought that was good enough. I gave her what I had to give and thought that should be it. I couldn’t possibly give to her any more than I had to give right?

Well fast forward quite a few years and a few bumps in the road and it turns out I could give her more. I could love her the way SHE needed to be loved. Wow, what a concept to try and live out. I wish I could take credit for coming up with that idea all by myself but I can’t. It was through reading lots of books written by folks who had “been there, done that” Marriage seminars and even some counseling. It took some time (read days, months, years) to actualy impliment the idea into our marriage even after it was shown to us in several different ways. Boy was it worth it!

Its a very simple idea that at first is REALLY hard to do. But as time goes by and you start seeing the results of putting this idea to work in your marriage it will become easier and easier. I actually find it exciting and look for new ways to surprise her these days. After all, it’s God’s plan for us to be all that we can be in these things.

To love your spouse as they need to be loved, is a concept that works. What that meant to me is that I had to quit loving my wife the way I wanted to love her and start loving her the way she wanted and needed to be loved. At first that meant a pretty big change for us both. We had to be willing to discuss with each other the areas that we felt we were lacking in our marriage (and be willing to change). I had to become a student of my spouse. Really paying attention to the little things that made her feel loved, those are the easy things that have huge rewards. Also begin working on the “big rocks” you know needs to be chipped away, those won’t happen overnight but without a doubt, it will over time.

Our marriage is not perfect and we will continue to make mistakes (at least I will). The difference now is the anger is gone, the fears aren’t there. We have learned to truly communicate with one another at every level and that makes a recovery from a disagreement SO much quicker and easier to do.

About the book we are giving away –

The 5 love languages played a huge part in our lives and how we came to be were we are today. Dr Chapman has had years of counseling experience with all sorts of folks. He was able to capture how we react as humans in a relationship and what our needs are as individuals and put that into 5 different categories. Its pretty amazing in the 5 categories we all have something we can relate to and actually need in our lives to feel loved. If you have never heard of the concept please take a few minutes to vist the website http://www.5lovelanguages.com They even have an online test that does a very good job at figuring you out, but you have to be honest with yourself when you take the test. Be aware that your love language can change over time and the things you feel you need today may not be the same 5 years down the road. Who would have thought our hearts would be a moving target? I would have never guessed that.
Take the test yourself here http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/

We will be giving away one free copy of “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Comment below to be entered into the drawing and please share about the giveaway with your friends and family! Contest ends midnight April 30, 2012. Drawing will be held on May 1st 2012.

Incline, Recline or Decline!

Posted: April 17, 2012 by Kara in marriage

We attended some leadership training a while back and the speaker spoke on the three phases of leadership. I thought it reflected the phases of marriage pretty well.

Phase 1 – Incline!

This is where we should strive to be in our marriages.  In the incline phase you are having steady progress in your marriage. You are excited and are in a forward motion. You love learning new things about your spouse, you love doing things with and for your spouse. You are looking for ways to show your love to them. You are communicating well with your spouse or you are trying to at least.

 

Phase 2 – Recline!

Recline is not terrible and I think most of our marriages hit the recline phase a lot. In this phase we have hit a comfort zone. We are okay with where we are at and we can relax.  But when you relax you let tiredness control you instead of passion. The joy you used to find in your mate is declining.  You’re not sharing as much with your spouse as you used too. When we relax for too long the chance of boredom sets into our lives. And boredom is a very dangerous spot. Boredom is a route to decline in your marriage. If you think boredom or complacency is setting in, then it’s time to get up and start putting some action into your marriage so that you can head back to incline. I know it’s easy to get stuck in recline and go through life in a comfort zone but God has so much more for our marriages. Our spouses deserve more than comfort, they deserve the best.

 

Phase 3 – Decline!

This phase can be very dangerous. You start looking for all the negative things in your mate; you see all they are not doing. You just don’t care anymore. It’s more about you and not at all about loving your spouse anymore. Watching that ball game or going shopping is way more important than spending some quality time with your spouse.  Communication is not really in the equation at all or at least not the way it should be for a good marriage. In this zone, you begin to wonder if you even like your spouse anymore.  Some counseling and Godly advice should be sought during this time.

 

Take a look at these phases. Do you see your marriage in one of them? What is a step you have taken to put your marriage on the incline?  We would love to hear some insight and ideas you might have to get marriages to Phase 1.

I will start! Daily Devotions are great on keeping you communicating and sharing in each other’s lives. Those that pray together stay together!

 

We will be giving away one free copy of “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. Comment below to be entered into the drawing and please share about the giveaway with your friends and family! Contest ends midnight April 30, 2012.  Drawing will be held on May 1st 2012.

Guarding your heart

Posted: April 9, 2012 by Troy in marriage

You have probably heard that before. But guarding your heart is one of the things you have to do to keep you’re marriage safe and you out of trouble. Not guarding it often times lead to an affair or divorce.

When you let someone of the opposite sex get to close to you or discuss things or problems that should only be talked about by them and their spouse or someone of the same sex (or a counselor) thats when things can go wrong. You try to identify with them and often times that will open things up for you to tell them about your marriage. When you are able to find that common bond that is when you both become susceptible to the wrong thing happening.

For the most part we just want to help people. That’s a good thing, but this is one area that gets a lot of folks in trouble. Books have been written about it, it is a repeatable pattern that really no one is exempt from.

Guarding your heart starts with putting God first and your spouse second and also watching who you talk to and the content of the conversation. Being observant and knowing the types of people that are able to get inside your “circle” and staying away from them will keep your heart from ever feeling that tug towards them. These types of people are the ones that you know you like to talk to, they give you a certain feeling when you talk to them, maybe even igniting a small spark when you talk, you may even think about your future conversations and what you might say.

Guarding your heart is something that you must do in your marriage. If you aren’t careful no matter who you are or what your background is you can find yourself in a situation that could lead you to a point of failure without you even realizing how far you are into the situation.

Keep your eyes on what God has in store for you and your marriage. He will never lead you or your heart somewhere it shouldn’t be.

Keep and guard your heart with all
vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow
the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23 AMP)