Marriage, Postmarital, Prayer, Premarital

Disagreements in the Marriage Relationship

If you are married any length of time, you quickly discovered that this person who you thought was just like you was in reality quite different from you.  In fact, you may have wondered where this new person came from and where your former husband or wife went.  Counselors will tell us that most couples know how to fight, but what they do not know how to do is resolve their conflicts.  We’re good at stating our cause, defending our side and being right.  But, if the goal is being right, then one of you has to admit being wrong.  We all know how hard that confession becomes.

One day I was complaining to God about how often I have to apologize to my wife.  So, I asked Him why is that so frequently the case.  His answer?  Because I was the one who was so often wrong – ouch.  James 4 asks an interesting question, “Where do fights and quarrels come from among you?”  Great question wouldn’t you say?  What’s the answer?  “Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but you don’t get it.”  Think of your last fight or disagreement.  You wanted one thing and your spouse wanted another.  Maybe both of you wanted something good, but it turned into a “who is right” rather than doing what James further encourages us to do.

“You quarrel and you fight.  You do not have, because you do not ask God.”  Rather than fighting, God wants us to ask Him – pray together.  After all, what’s more powerful than disagreement?  Agreement.

Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital

Genesis One and Two Marriages

We were born in a Genesis three world, the world of fallen natures.  It is all we know.  You and I have never experienced what God originally intended for us as individuals, as married couples and as families.  What God designed was without sin and without curse.  We do not know a curse-free world.  Our marriages have never experienced such freedom as walking with God hand in hand in the garden He planted.

But what we do have is the curse breaker, Jesus.  Galatians 3: 13 says, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’”  In Jeff VanVonderen’s book, Families Where Grace is in Place, he makes the statement, “In a curse-full marriage, one partner makes demands on the other as if he/she were the source rather than a resource.”  He then states the ingredients to a curse-filled relationship as controlling, unforgiving, reactive, shaming and ego-driven.  If Jesus took these curse-filled areas to the cross, then we do not need to walk in them.  Marriage issues are individual issues.  As you and I are individually healed by the Curse Breaker, we will notice a healed marriage to follow.

Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital, Premarital

Marriage is a Team Effort

God loves teams.  The very first team was the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   Adam and Eve were created to be a team of two and then as children were born, a family team.  God encouraged teams for Moses of tens, hundreds and thousands.  Jesus had a team of twelve and an even closer team of three.  Many of us love team sports and have even played them.  Teams work together for a common goal through common values and a common plan.  Teams practice every day at becoming better in their sport or their sales goals.

When a team begins to fight with or pick on one another, they defeat themselves.   Something I call the Terrell Owens syndrome is when a team member sees himself as more valuable than his teammates.  These types of thoughts eventually lead him to feeling superior through thinking the team needs him but he doesn’t need the team.  Team members watch each other’s backs. (Think Michael Orr when he was learning the game of football portrayed in the movie Blind Side.)   Teams have their differences, but they realize they cannot hold on to them or it will affect the outcome of the game.

How are you working on team in your marriage?  If your marriage was a professional doubles tennis team, what would need to change in order for you to be in sync on the court?  Or, if you were a professional dance team, how would you anticipate your partner’s next move so that you can move with him?

Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital, Prayer, Premarital, Small Groups

The Most Intimate Thing a Couple Can Do

Is sexual intimacy the most intimate aspect of marriage?  Is sex the most intimate act between two human beings?  If the answer is “yes,” then social scientists are correct when they conclude that at our very core, we are primarily sexual beings.  But, Scripture tells us we are spirit, soul and body (I Thessalonians 5:23).  If we were just soul and body, I might be inclined to agree with social scientists.  God, however, in creating us in His image added the eternal part of us, the spirit.  Therefore, I would conclude that we are primarily spirit, having a soul (will, mind and emotions), all housed on this earth in our temporary vessel, the body.  If we are primarily spirit, then our first function, our most important function is to worship God.

What does all this have to do with sexual intimacy and marriage?  It is to conclude that sex is NOT the most intimate aspect of marriage.  What is then?  Seeking the face of God together.  Prayer between husband and wife, spirit to spirit, to Holy Spirit is the most intimate thing we can be involved in within the marriage covenant.  No wonder so many Christian couples do not pray together. For far too many, it’s way too intimate to fully disclose your heart, speak your deepest desires and blurt out your darkest brokenness.  The enemy knows that if we take a step of faith and enter into this closet of prayer intimacy with our life mate, nothing will stop us.  When two or three agree…  Agreement together in the Spirit is a place of unity, a place of oneness and that place, dear ones, is far more powerful than disagreement.