Tag Archive | love

Love Your Spouse and Respect Your Ex

  There are many more children who have divorced parents than when I was growing up in the 60’s.  There were only about 9.2 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 1960.  This number more than doubled in 1980 and it continues to increase.

I believe the main reason for the steady increase in the divorce rate is because we have become a disposable society.  Automobiles, appliances, and cellphones are quickly replaced when the newest technology comes out. 
About 12 years ago I tried to have a microwave repaired; I had used it only for 2 years when it stopped working and the repair shop told me it was going to cost almost double to fix it than buying a new one.

It’s the same with marriages and  relationships.  I’ve heard many young people complain how someone they’re dating only stays with them until the next best thing comes around (I blame those numerous dating websites, but that’s a topic to explore another day).  I also hear children complain about how a parent (or another family member) talks badly about the other parent.

 

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 Ephesians 5:22-33 is for wives and husbands, but it’s the first two verses of this chapter that show how we all should treat each other:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)

If we call ourselves Christians, we NEED to love each other.  That means NOT speaking badly about your spouse or your ex-spouse, ESPECIALLY in front of the children.  If you’re doing this, you’re sinning and setting a bad example to your children. 

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 Heavenly Father, I praise You as the Author of marriage.  Thank You for Your Word that gives us the example of Biblical marriage and how we should treat our spouse.  Thank You for faithful husbands and wives who live out these examples each day and who show others how we are to live and treat each other.  Thank You for godly parents who desire to be obedient examples to their children.  Father, I lift up those who are separated/divorced and ask that You please silence the negativity no matter who it comes from.  Holy Spirit, please convict Christian parents and family members who choose to speak badly of ex-spouses.  Please guide our homes to be loving and please restore broken relationships.  I ask these things in Jesus’ precious name so You will be glorified.  Amen.

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Choose to remember the good

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Mother’s Day has been a difficult holiday for me since my mom left this world almost 13 years ago. We often didn’t see eye-to-eye and my rebellion of my parent’s extreme strictness didn’t help our relationship. My mother could also be very manipulative, which I didn’t understand until after she passed away — a few years ago I started having long telephone conversations with my aunt about my mom.  I have slowly gained an understanding as to why Mom acted the way she did and why she often said hurtful things to me.

Mom got married at 17, divorced about a year later, went into the Air Force, and then was discharged from the Air Force in 1957 because she was unmarried and pregnant. Mom then married a despicable man, my biological father. I realize now that Mom didn’t want me to make the same mistakes she had, and that the things she said and did were done out of love and concern, not out of anger or hatred.

Instead of remembering the bad times, I choose to remember the good. One of my favorite childhood memories is when Mom would take us to Jones Beach during summer break. We’d go so early in the morning that the crews would still be combing the sands to make it pretty for a new day. I remember wonderful days of swimming in the ocean, searching for perfect sea shells and beautiful beach glass, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, taking in the wonderful aromas of coconut tanning lotion, and then going home exhausted with lots of extra sand in our car (and in our bathing suits).

Yesterday I attended an Eagle Scout award ceremony for a young man in our town. My heart broke for him because neither of his parents were there for his very important achievement.  I was thankful, though, that over a dozen school staff and their families chose to attend. I have never heard this young man say anything negative about his parents — an excellent reminder that we ALL need to be thankful and choose to focus on the good.

If your own mother was absent from your life due to drug or alcohol abuse, choose to remember the good. If your mother has already left this Earth, whether through death or a devastating illness such as Alzheimer’s, choose to remember the good times you have shared. If you never had a mother at all, or yours was just totally lacking in any maternal skills, choose to be thankful that she chose life!

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

Please don’t allow Satan to steal your joy. If you had a bad relationship with your Mom, pray that God shows you the good times you shared. The Holy Spirit is inspiring me to make one wise choice after another and I do believe that these are sustainable disciplines. To God be the glory!!

A Heart at Rest

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Something the LORD has been working on me since becoming a Christian 19 years ago is learning to trust people. Through the study, “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God”, I have learned that I can often be a very cynical person. I experienced some things in my childhood that often resurfaces a critical, unforgiving spirit in me.

I have found that I have an easier time forgiving a non-Christian than a fellow believer.  So what happens when a Christian hurts me or doesn’t act according to how God’s Word says we should act?  Sometimes I allow old ways of negative thinking to creep back in.

I’ve been out of sorts for the last few weeks and couldn’t put my finger on it.  I gave up Facebook and television so I’d have a week to concentrate on God’s Word and not the things of this world.

Sacrificial giving of money or things is easy for me.  I don’t have anything very valuable or cherished that I couldn’t part with because I realize everything in my possession actually belongs to the LORD.  Forgiveness has always been the hardest thing for me to give someone, and sadly, our adversary knows this about me.

“Try to see others as Jesus see them” is statement a college professor wrote on one of my papers 8 years ago.   When a friend or family member hurts me, I need to see them as Jesus sees them.  When a Christian acts contrary to what the Bible says, I need to see them as Jesus see them.  When I get irritated at the selfish actions of Christians and feel ready to give up on people, I need to see us as Jesus sees us.

Only Jesus was is perfect.  Humans are ALL still sinners, who will NEVER be sin-free while living this life on Earth (Romans 3:23).  I need to love others by giving them grace…the same grace that the LORD gives me.  I need to remind myself daily of this truth.  When I do, my heart is at rest.

“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.  This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.”  (1 John 3:18-19)