Sunday, March 29, 2009

Footprints In The Sand

Trusting In God For Your Marriage

Who are you trusting in when things go wrong in your marriage? Are you trusting in self, or perhaps you go running to family and friends, explaining your side of the story? Some of us go running to therapists, counselors, divorce lawyers, and strangers on the street. But we seldom run to God.

Many of the people we go running to in times of marital troubles aren't equipped in giving us proper advice and guidance. Most of them have had divorces themselves! How can someone fix our marital wounds when they can't fix their own?

Most people mean well when they offer advice but is that advice really what your marriage needs? Family and friends are always bias toward your side of things. Anything you have to say about your spouse will be treated with such bias. Is that what you want, really?

Have you ever gone to the doctor with a certain ailment and the doctor sends you home with medicine to cover up the symptoms with? That's what its like when we go running to family, friends, and counselors. I'm not saying we shouldn't go to counselors, but what I am saying is, have you tried going to the Architect of marriage? Perhaps He can shed some light on your problems - do you think?

Why do people get sick with disease and illness? It is because they are putting something in the body, on a daily basis that it doesn't like. The body is rejecting what it's being given every day. For a healthy body we need to feed it nutritious building foods and then it will begin to heal itself. Whole foods in their pure form are what the body REALLY needs.

It is the same with marriage. Marriages fail because couples in marriage are getting fed lies and deceit from the world, and they believe it! The institution of marriage is rejecting what it is being given on a daily basis. For a healthy marriage we need to make the Designer of marriage a priority in our lives and let Him feed us with His truths. Christ-like principles are what marriage REALLY needs.

Don't treat your marriage like everyone else does. Go to the Inventor of marriage. If you want a chocolate bar, you wouldn't go to the hardware store to get it, would you? Where would you get your chocolate bar? The corner mini mart or the grocery store, right? But you still have to ask this question, where did that chocolate bar come from, originally? It came from the factory, but where did the factory get it? From the cocoa bean!

If it doesn't come from the cocoa bean then its not real chocolate it's a fake. Look for the fruit, or in this case look for the cocoa.

It's impossible to manufacture a REAL chocolate bar without first starting from the cocoa bean. ALL chocolate comes from the cocoa bean it is its source. ALL people come from God He is our Source! Chocolate makes a candy bar, which comes from the cocoa bean. Couples in marriage - a man and a woman, make a marriage, which come from the Creator!

My point? God created and designed marriage. He is the Master Architect! So then why are we not trusting in God for our marriage? All the principles for a healthy, abundant and blessed filled marriage derive from the Source and Creator of marriage God our Lord and Creator of the universe has already given us everything we need to be fulfilled in our marriage.

All you have to do is put those blessings into action, and you do that by trusting in God. Trusting in God takes more than "saying what we're going to do". We actually need to change our way of thinking and attitude and be the people that God created us to be FOR OUR MARRIAGE. It's a personal discovery, really. It's a renewal of heart and mind a transformation.

Angie Lewis is the author of five marriage books offering marriage tips and wisdom filled answers tackling such issues as addiction, adultery, pornography, emotions, beliefs, forgiveness, communication and much, more.

by Angie Lewis

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why Jealousy Hurts So Bad

Jealousy is a very powerful emotion and if left unattended it can literally wreck havoc in our relationships and marriage. Why do we get jealous of our spouse? Why does jealousy hurt so badly? Jealousy hurts because we feel this emotion usually after our spouse has harmed us in some way. But sometimes we feel jealous for no reason whatsoever and this is very harmful to our relationships.

There are several reasons why we get jealous. Jealousy is a mixture of insecurity, anxiety, and fear. And if we allow this emotion to take precedent in our life we will surely create problems in our marriage and other relationships because of it. To have these feelings can be scary. But did you know that God tells us there is nothing to fear when we put our trust and confidence in Him. God will take fear, jealousy and anxiety away from us.

He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:40)

Childhood environment has a lot to do with how we react with our spouse and other people we are involved with. This is one reason why it's crucial for families to stay together and adhere to the proper roles and positions given to them designed by God. God definitely knew what he was doing when he established marriage there is a purpose for each and every person in the family and when we rebel against the design of God we can see the impact of how negative emotions can rule the heart. For instance, if a parent abandoned us when we were little we may carry those feelings over into our relationships with others.

The good news is it does not have to be like this. We can overcome jealousy by learning to put our trust in Christ. When we put our trust in Christ we will automatically trust our spouse. Where is the jealousy? Where is the fear? Where is the anxiety? By learning to give up being in control of our jealousy, we can finally be free of the feelings that make us feel jealous. Why don't have to let jealousy hurt us so bad.

Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?
(Proverbs 27:4)

If our spouse has sinned against the marriage in some way and we are jealous and suspicious of them, then those feelings are justified, but there are ways we can use our emotions in productive ways to bring about a resolve to the marriage dilemma. When we communicate properly about how we feel rather than remain in a defensive mode of character, we can better figure out ways to mend the marriage. Jealousy makes us defensive and we use it to tear down the marriage rather than build it up. But this way is allowing our emotions to control us.

Understand that our emotions don't have to control us. We can be in control of how we use our emotions by realizing the potential of what they can do. Jealousy can bring about many other issues and cause resentment and animosity with the person we are jealous of. This is what we don't want. What we do want is to talk about our feelings with our spouse and come to an amicable solution to resolving the issue of jealousy in an appropriate manner.

The best way to get over jealousy is to express ourselves about why we feel jealous. Don't be afraid to talk about the way you feel and why you feel a certain way. If there is good reason to feel mistrust or suspicious with your spouse find ways through your communication to reestablish trust with them again. Scripture gives us the principles we need to overcome our emotions and move on in a good way with our spouse. Our emotions are ok to have when we don't let them take control over our lives.

We need to pray about it and ask Christ to give us a fresh new look at the issue in the marriage that is causing the jealous emotions. Build the marriage back up by learning to work together in healing and restoration of the marriage, always keeping God in the forefront while respecting one another in all ways.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth".
(1 John 3:18)

by Angie Lewis

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

House Guests

There is a saying I remember from my teenage years, "When you can't go anywhere else, you can always go home". At the time I thought it meant that after I exhausted my list of fun and exciting places, such as my best friend's house or the mall, then I would head back to my boring house. Now that I am grown and have a home of my own, I can't think of any other place I want to be. In my home I feel safe and comfortable. Home is the one place where I can block out all the unpleasantness of the outside world. It's where I can climb into my warm familiar bed for restful sleep or put my feet on the coffee table and do nothing at all. It's the one place where I can snuggle my husband, daughter and dog to my heart's content. Everything I have come to treasure is in my home.

As a Christian there's another treasure in my home that I far too often forget about. In John 14:23, Jesus tells us, "if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him (NIV). What an awesome but intimidating thought is that? Not only is my ever-faithful dog waiting for me at home, but she's waiting alongside my God and my Jesus. They are waiting to talk with me, comfort me, strengthen me and be a part of my life.

Like any good southern woman, knowing I have house guests causes me to wonder if I have been hospitable enough. No, I don't mean making sure the dust-bunnies are out of sight and that there is plenty of sweet tea and a tasty dessert in the refrigerator (although, those are very important). What gives me pause is wondering if I have shown the most important house guests I will ever have the hospitality They deserve? Ironically, I have to stop and ask myself, is my family's home the first place They want to be, or as if a mirror image of my teenage self, would They prefer to be somewhere, anywhere, more inviting than my home?

Do they avert Their eyes and nervously shuffle Their feet when I speak gruffly to my husband and daughter because I'm in a constant rush when I get home from work? Would my house guests be embarrassed by the television programs we watch? Are they disappointed that meals I prepare for my family do not honor the bodies They gave us?

Most importantly, do I treat Them as I do other house guests, or do I send Them off into the sunroom to wait for me to find a free moment for Them. Do I hurriedly relay the day's events just before bedtime, nodding off before They have a chance to tell me what They have been sitting with the dog, patiently waiting to tell me all day long?

I am confident that I haven't been the best hostess I can be. In fact, I'm pretty sure my dog has been the better hostess. And I am very sure that if I had been treated the way my house guests have been treated, I wouldn't return, no matter how tasty the sweet tea may be. Fortunately, my house guests haven't left yet and today when I push the button on the garage door opener, I will remember to put on my best southern smile, open the back door, pat the dog on the head and greet my house guests with all the hospitality They deserve and desire.

By: Scarlett Far
Scarlett Farr lives with her husband, daughter and dog in Lizella, Georgia.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Love Them Into The Church

1 John 4:7-12

Sometimes even as Christians we tend to be judgmental or critical of someone who is not a believer or isn't as far in their Christian walk as others. We may look at a person's behavior in scorn. We may not even realize we do it, for we have no intention of hurting them.

Even though my sons have been raised in the church and brought up in a Christian home, at ages seventeen and twenty-one, God is definitely not finished with them yet. They're not perfect. They are also at a vulnerable age where they are questioning their faith, the Bible, and the beliefs which they have been taught.

Thank God, we attend a church that is very kind and tolerant. The truth is preached, but sinners are welcomed, not condemned. I'm so glad, because right now it is an effort to even get them to go to church. If they thought people were going to gossip about them, judge them, or shun them because they are not measuring up, I don't think they would go at all.

This has made me very aware of how I treat people. After all, Christ came to save sinners. He came for the sick, not the well. If we turn away the very people who need him, what a terrible eternal consequence that could have!

So when I see people coming to church, or anywhere for that matter, I try to treat them the way I would want my own sons to be treated. I want to act in love, not rejection.

My mother was right when she always said, "We have to love people into the church."


Dear Lord,

Remind us that the very essence of your character is love. Please fill us with your love, so that it becomes the essence of our character, too. May we demonstrate your love to others so that they will be drawn to you, not repulsed by Christianity.

Jessica Gerald
Ladies Ministry Online
"Encouraging and strengthening the Christian Home"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Life Lessons From Pizza

Read our newest blog, Life Lessons From Pizza - Written by Colleen; CMW Member and Founding Partner from Operation Life Transformed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wife of a Soldier, Journey To Faith By Diana Juergens

When I fell in love with my warrior, I could not fathom how much his profession would impact my world. Little did I know how it would entwine itself around my heart and life. I didn’t fully understand the requirement it would place on me, but thankfully God did. God had a plan and placed a call on my life to be a military spouse....

I had the privilege of meeting Diana Juergens over a year ago, at the Wives of Warriors cell group located at Manna Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina and have kept in contact with her ever since. Diana is a wonderful mentor, outstanding friend and loyal military wife.

Diana Juergens spent five years on active duty as an Army aviator. She has been a military wife for more than twenty years. During this time she has moved ten times and has faced six real-world deployments. She has been the Family Readiness Group Leader at both the company and battalion level and has held positions of leadership in Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) and Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC). She is the homeschooling mother of eight daughters, ranging in age from 2 to 20 years old. Diana is an avid runner who enjoys running marathons. Her husband is an Army Colonel currently serving an unaccompanied tour in Honduras. Diana lives with her daughters at Ft. Eustis, Virginia.

I encourage you to check out Dianas new released Christian based book about being a military wife.

to go to her website.