Developing a Healthy Marriage_Pt. 4

Bride and groom kissing.7. The Faithful Connection – A Steadfast Commitment

“It’s over.” “We’re through.” “I’m finished!” These phrases are too often thrown around in arguments and should never be a part of a Christian’s vocabulary when it comes to marriage. The greatest insecurity in a relationship is the lack of security. Your spouse needs to know that you are in for the long haul. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but how can you resolve problems and work things out if someone is constantly in fear of being abandoned and deserted? When you establish security in a relationship, you establish a key element for long term survival and happiness.

Being faithful is not only a characteristic of a good spouse; it is also a prevailing characteristic of Christ himself. Jesus tells his spouse, the church, in Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” He also said in Matthew 28:20 “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” What was Christ doing in these verses? What message was he sending to his followers in John 3:16 when he said “whosoever believeth in him shall never perish, but have everlasting life.”? Jesus wants his bride to know that no matter what trials and difficulties would come our way, He will always be there for us and we will never be abandoned. WOW, What security! The New Testament is full of verses like this offering eternal security to the children of God. If we really want to be like Jesus, we must learn to display this level of commitment and faithfulness in our marriage. If God offers this commitment to us, why then can’t we offer this same security to our spouse and family? What stops us? Allow me to offer some insightful statements that will help us understand the anatomy of commitment and more effectively develop this connection of faithfulness:

  1. You must first accepts Christ’s security for yourself and understand that God will never leave you, before you can offer this kind of commitment to anyone else. Are you 100% sure that you are a child of God and that when you die you are going to heaven? If you are sure of this, do you understand the doctrine of eternal security as taught in the Bible? Take time to study God’s word and learn more about Gods unconditional love and commitment to his children. Learn all you can about the forever faithful nature of God.
  2. Don’t place conditions on your faithfulness. Be faithful and committed to your spouse and family, regardless of what they decide to do. You keep your vows even when others break theirs.
  3. Compare not, want not. To stay committed we must stay content. We cannot be looking at what others have in their relationship and family; and compare what we don’t have to what they do have. This breeds discontentment and will loosen our bands of commitment. When tough times come in a relationship, discontentment makes it easier to walk away than to stay and pray another day.
  4. Don’t be a score keeper. How can you stay committed and faithful to someone you’re trying to beat? Holding grudges and bringing up past failures will destroy the faithfulness in your heart towards your spouse, which will ultimately destroy the relationship. Forgive quickly, fully and totally; no strings attached!
  5. Give more than you take. Be a Christ-like giver. Invest into the relationship with all your might. When you are building and investing in something you tend to protect it and hold it in high regard. The more you help and do for your spouse and family, the less likely you are to do anything to destroy them.

This list is not exhaustive, but it is to the point on the basics for developing a marriage that is biblical, healthy and strong enough to last the tests of time. Your home and marriage has the potential to be great and wonderful, but it will only reach that potential by faithfulness, hard work and the blessings of God. Faithfulness in conflict is not a common quality to mankind. We tend to leave when it’s tough and stay if it’s good. Faithfulness is a character trait found throughout the pages of Scripture and in the person of Jesus Christ. The more we learn about Christ and the closer to him we walk, the more likely we will be to express faithfulness even in the toughest of trials. Faithfulness is more than just staying together for a lot of years; it’s about staying together in the right spirit and for the right reasons. It’s about loving God and each other with all your heart and growing together for the glory of God and the good of your home; it’s about obedience to Gods word, following his Holy Spirit and putting his will and your family’s needs before yourself. Keep growing in Christ as an individual and watch Him bless you both together as a couple! “…and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24  (Be sure to look back and read parts 1-3 of this devotion)


The Perfect Spouse

largeEph. 5:25-27  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Jesus Christ is without question the perfect “spouse” and example for any marriage. The phrase “as Christ” in verse 25 proves to us that when God wanted to give his people the perfect pattern for a faithful spouse, he thought of his son Jesus Christ. God wants us to love our spouse in the same ways that his son loves and cares for his bride, the church. I would like to show a few examples from the life of Christ that will be a help to every husband and wife that have a desire to learn and to improve their relationship.

First, I want you to see The Example of His Love. Verse 25 says we are to love our spouse “as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” The same way Jesus loves his bride, is the same way we are to love our bride. How does Christ love his wife the church? He loves with Strong Affection. You will never have to wonder if Christ loves you. His words, actions and affection are more than visible throughout the pages of scripture.  As we walk with Christ, we easily feel his love for us as we see him provide and care for his own. Does your spouse know you love them? I don’t mean that they heard you one time on your wedding day express affection; I mean do you presently and persistently tell them they are valuable to you and that you love them!  A strong affection is a visible affection. Christ loves with Sacrificial Action. It is no secret that Jesus died on the cross; but the reason he died should move us and motivate us to love him and serve him faithfully – he died for you and he died for me! Jesus knew that as sinners we could not save ourselves; he knew we would perish for eternity in a devils Hell without his intervention. His love for us was more than words; it was a visible action that to this day is the greatest picture of sacrificial love known to mankind. In a similar way, we should sacrifice for our marriage. Our spouse should be able to see our love by the actions we display. Christ loves with a Selfless Attitude. The reason Christ could die on the cross is because he first died to himself. Christ thought more of us than he did of himself. The needs of his bride where in his estimation greater than his own personal needs and feelings. When we die to self, we are putting down our fleshly wants and desire so we can clearly see the needs of others. We must learn to say NO to our wants, so we can meet the needs of our home and those around us. No one teaches this better than Jesus Christ.

Next I would like us to look at The Example of His Life. In verse 23 it says “Christ is the head of the church.” This means that he is first in the church; he is the one in charge, the leader, the pace-setter and the example of what is right and acceptable. If husbands and wives would strive to perfect in themselves the righteous character of Jesus Christ, homes would be more peaceful and more productive. We see many things in scripture as to how Christ lived and conducted himself, but I want to focus on just a few details. First look at The Goal of Christ. His goal or purpose was to make people better; to make us just like him (Rom. 8:29). Jesus wanted to clean and wash his church to remove all spots and wrinkles from his precious bride. We should purpose to help our spouse be like Jesus. We often make goals that best suit our wants; we try to shape our spouse into our mold, when we should be encouraging them to be just like Jesus. After all, if our spouse is like Jesus, then they will be exactly what we need them to be. We should not force changes on them, or try to guilt them into doing right. We should focus on living a Christ-like example ourselves; praying for them and encouraging them to grow in their own Christian walk also. We see The Goodness of Christ in scripture. Jesus was good and kind to the people he met. It didn’t matter who they were or how they treated him, Jesus always seemed to walk the high road and treat people with a polite and respectful disposition. Are we good to our spouse? What was the last thing you did for your spouse with no expectation of anything in return? It is easy to do something nice so we can get something nice, but genuine goodness needs no motive; goodness is the motive. Jesus did things for others just to be a blessing. Let’s practice being a blessing to our spouse and family. Then we see The Gladness of Christ. Jesus was a man that spread joy and happiness wherever he went. At the birth of Jesus the angles announced that his life would bring “great joy” to all people! Whether it was providing food, healing the sick or being friendly to an outcast; when Jesus touched a life that life was more joyful and complete than before. Are you a positive influence in your marriage or do you make trouble? Do you see the glass half full or half empty? Do you encourage with positive words or do you discourage with complaining and criticism? Try being the encourager in the relationship; I’m sure you’ll find it becomes contagious and helpful.

Then last we see The “Let It Go” Example of Christ. The greatest quality of Jesus Christ in my estimation was his ability to fully forgive people who hurt him. When Jesus forgives, he lets it go forever! God says in Hebrews 10:17 that when he forgives a person “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Why do we hold thing against people? We certainly don’t learn this from God; it must be that we learn it from our sinful flesh. We hold things over people’s heads as a way of making them pay for the hurt they have caused us. We secretly want them to hurt like we hurt. The best way to deal with pain is to give it to Jesus. Get the hurt out of your hands and put it into the loving hands of Christ.  Ask God to help you love the people who have hurt you. See them that hurt you through the eyes of Christ and forgive them and let it go! If Christ has forgiven us, we can forgive others also. The pain and hard feelings will never go away from you as long as you “hold” un-forgiveness in your heart. Think about it, when you hold hard feelings, you are “holding hard feelings.” In your hands, in your heart, in your life and in your mind, you are literally holding on to hurtful and damaging emotions in your life, restraining them from ever leaving, therefore infecting every area of your life and relationship. Marriages die every day because of un-forgiveness, but with full-forgiveness relationships can blossom with new hope.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of a spouse; teaching every man and woman how to have a peaceful, passionate and productive marriage relationship. Surrender to Christ is the first step to a successful and long-lasting relationship with your spouse. Start today patterning your own life after the examples found in the life of Christ, and discover for yourself that happy marriages aren’t just found ‘haply ever after’ in fairytales, they’re found every day in Jesus Christ!


Love….As Thyself

j0442995Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Mat 22:39 “…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jesus teaches his children to treat others the same way you would want others to treat you. In a healthy and spiritual atmosphere, most people love and respect themselves. It is not normal for people to want to hurt themselves, lie to themselves, or treat themselves cruel or unkindly. We are to love and treat people the same way and with the same love wherewith we love ourselves.

Christian people by nature should be kind and thoughtful people. Jesus is our example of this. Everywhere he went he showed love and kindness to those he met. He went out of his way to help the sick and poor, he made it a point to stop and talk to the ones that others passed by. He willingly laid down his life for a people who did not know him, and many of which would even reject him. He died to save sinners; not the good man, but the bad man, not the righteous man but the ungodly man. Christ’s life and sacrifice on the cross are the greatest and clearest display of love and compassion the world will ever know.

What will you do today? Who will you come into contact with and how will you treat them? Will you show the love of Christ to the nice people only, or will you be kind also to the mean and lowly people as well. If we will move FORWARD in our Christian walk, then we must move FORWARD in this area of love and kindness toward others. Pray for the heart of Christ to come alive in you. Think of people as precious and needy souls instead of just people who sometimes get in our way or make us angry. See them through the loving eyes of Jesus Christ. This will not only help you enjoy your day, but this will also make your home and community a much more enjoyable place to live. Think of a kind gesture and commit a “Jesus Act” on someone today!


Developing a Healthy Marriage_ pt. 3


Bride and groom kissing.6. The Physical Connection

Genesis 2:21-25 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

God made man, and then made woman from the same flesh as man. The physical connection between man and woman is natural, appropriate and expected. God made us to fellowship with him, so it’s natural for us to desire a connection with others. The physical connection between husband and wife is a blessing by God, only to be enjoyed within the boundaries of marriage. In our corrupt society man and women have taken liberties that God never intended; liberties that instead of strengthening the physical connection will actually destroy it. Many relationships have been destroyed by an “old flame” of the past coming back to haunt the new relationship. Thoughts and images are never really erased from our mind and they often cause arguments and trust issues in new relationships. People who jump from one relationship to another are never satisfied and are often hurting emotionally inside. The bottom line is God has intended one man for one woman for life, and that man and woman were designed to connect physically. There are different ideas and aspects of the physical connection; I will briefly look at two:

A. The Quality Time Connection

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Time is one of the most precious blessings you presently have. The only time you are guaranteed is the time you are currently experiencing. Spending physical time with your spouse is important. Long distance phone calls, texts and video chats are fine to sustain short term separations, but they can never replace personal contact. Some people, especially military are forced to be away for long periods of time, (and I am grateful for their sacrifice and pray for their safety) but many couples live separated and have little contact, and they see each other every day. This is not healthy for the relationship. We live in an evil day with many devices and distractions, we must invest all the time we can into our marriages. While the evil in our day seeks to destroy your relationship, you should use time wisely to strengthen it.

The verse says “redeeming the time,” which means to buy it up or to rescue it from loss; we must use each hour wisely because when the minuets are gone they are gone forever. I was recently talking with my wife on this subject and we came up with three areas of time we needed to be aware of: neutral time, negative time and nutritious time. Neutral time is time wasted or time spent idle. This would include television watching, sitting on the couch looking at your mobile device, social media & web surfing, personal hobbies & recreation…just to name a few. Please don’t misunderstand me, not all of this time is bad, but it is not all good either, that is why it’s called neutral time. This neutral time could very easily be converted into nutritious time if you are using social media to encourage others or lift up the name of Christ; on the other hand it could be turned into negative time if you are gossiping and running down others. Negative time is time you spend engaging in sinful activities; arguing and shouting at one another, talking about people and spreading gossip, looking at sinful material and listening to ungodly music, selfishly using all your spare time for you and your hobbies while robbing your family of time with them…are just a few. Nutritional time is time which builds and encourages each other. This is the best time to invest in because it builds protective walls around your marriage & family, and gives much needed strength to your home. This is the time your family will remember and appreciate most for years to come. A few examples of this time would be: family bible time at home, church attendance together, serving Christ together, “couch time” talks, writing little notes to each other, making time for dates, encouraging words to family members…the list is endless and the results are wonderful.

B. The Intimate Time Connection

Gen. 2:24 says that the man would “…cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God intended for the man and his bride to enjoy the blessings of sexual intimacy as a way of becoming one with each other. The word “cleave” means to adhere, cling or stick to someone or something. It literally means to be joined together. One of the reasons sexual relations are so sacred and reserved for married couples only is because of what happens in this act. Sexual intercourse is an act which God designed to unite a man and woman together forever, making them one flesh. No other act makes two individuals one flesh. This act is not to be taken lightly or given freely outside of the marriage vows. Sexual relations within the marriage forms a bond, a unity and a closeness that cannot be matched or mimicked anywhere else in society; therefore, it is to be cherished, respected and private between a husband and wife. When this act is enjoyed within the marriage, the result is joy and contentment between husband and wife.

This privilege is not to be abused outside of marriage, but it should also not be abused within the marriage either. It should not become a bargaining chip or tool you use to control and manipulate your spouse. The bible is clear about this in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” The wife is to give herself freely to her own husband, and likewise the husband is to give his body freely unto his own wife. When couples withhold physical contact from each other, it makes it easier for Satan to tempt them and draw them into sin and adultery. This is why God allows us to have our own spouse, so we can meet each other’s needs and grow as one in Christ together. God wants us to honor him as we enjoy our marriage.

These biblical principals will help you safeguard your marriage. Here are a few helpful hints to put into practice as well that will strengthen your home and your relationship: loving embraces, holding hands while talking, revisit an old spot that was special to you before marriage, writing encouraging notes (we use Post-it notes and place them all over the house), words that compliment, unexpected flowers, prepare a favorite meal & make it special…. These are just a few, but use your imagination and pray for God to help you encourage your spouse and meet their individual needs. Your home will be happier if you do.

(look for part 4 coming soon)



The Good News

j04359122 Timothy 1:10 “… our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”

What an amazing verse! Jesus Christ “abolished death” when he was crucified for our sins, placed in the tomb and rose again the third day. Because Christ beat death, those who trust him as Savior also have defeated death. We will all certainly die one day physically, but a child of God will NEVER die spiritually. Through Christ we have the hope and promise of immortality; eternal life is the result of Jesus Christ living in you. His eternal life becomes your eternal life. FOREVER!

The verse also says that Jesus “brought life” to us. Before a person accepts Christ as their savior, that person is actually a living dead man. He may be alive physically, but he is absolutely dead spiritually. Sin brings death, and because all mankind is born into sin, all mankind is doomed by that sin. It is a very dismal and despairing thought, but without Christ there is no hope of eternal life; only eternal death in a horrible place called Hell. GOOD NEWS, when Christ comes into your life he brings life! Because of Jesus you are brought to life spiritually. You are still part physical which one day will die, but you are also a new creature in Christ spiritually and will never die but live forever in a place called heaven. Life comes to not only your spirit, but also your mind and conscience. In Christ you think differently and see things through new spiritual eyes. You understand more fully as the Holy Spirit of God guides and directs you day by day. Life is in Jesus, and that life is GOOD!

Last, verse tells us that all of this good news is brought “to light through the gospel.” Which means a person would never know about this wonderful new life without the message of the gospel. The word gospel literally means good news. The message of Jesus, forgiveness and eternal life is the good news that people need to hear. You will not see this gospel message reported on the nightly news, it will not make national headlines and sadly these days you won’t even hear it mentioned many churches. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, it is our life’s mission to spread this good news. We should and must tell everyone we can that Jesus is the answer for the sin problem, and that he can forgive and bring eternal life to all who call upon him. If you have never trusted Christ as your personal savior, this message is for you to receive. Simply acknowledge you’re a sinner and ask Jesus to forgive you and give you eternal life. Trust him today as YOUR savior; yes he died for the entire world…but he died for YOU too! He loves you and wants to bless you. Please friend, trust him today.




“I go a fishing…”

fishing boatJohn 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.”

What’s so bad about going fishing you ask? Nothing is wrong with fishing as long as you’re not putting it before the Lord’s work. In the previous chapter, Jesus tells his disciples to get busy preaching the gospel; instead, Peter is found 8 days later going fishing. Not only did he disobey, but he influenced 6 other men to disobey also.

As Christians we have a great work to do. Christ left us on earth not to occupy space or accumulate goods, but to spread his message of forgiveness and hope. There is a generation present in the world today that knows not our God. They have no clue about Christ and his love for them, nor do they care. They think not at all about sin, hell, judgment and the coming wrath of a holy God if they do not repent of their sins. They only mention God in curse words, or when they hit bottom and need a leg up. This problem is not just in the unregenerate men of the world, but also within the church walls. Many Christians today are blinded by the watered down gospel sermonettes, the popular health and wealth prosperity preaching; the all smiles tickle your ear with cotton candy motivational speeches, or the ever growing modern worldly church with their rock and roll worship tunes and their laid back, casual philosophies to approaching God. These are just to name a few, but in every case the modern church with its modern Christians is lacking much of what the early church possessed. We have busied ourselves to the point of comfort and conformity and the result is a powerless, carnal Christian generation. A generation that has a very tainted view of the holiness of God at best! A Generation that is misled and misdirected because they have not a strong prayer connection with God, nor a knowledge of the Holy. John 21:3 says they went fishing “and that night they caught nothing.” Our disobedience not only affects us, it affects others also. Notice how many fish they caught…none! It is very unprofitable, as well as a big waste of time to disobey God and walk in our own way. No wander we have very little joy and prosperity; if we disobey God then His blessing is far from us.

So who will preach the cross of Jesus Christ today? Who will count the cost and pay what is necessary to see people saved, lives changed and real power restored to the Church of Jesus Christ? We must stop praying for leaders and stand up ourselves and lead. God will empower any Christian to serve Him. God has already purposed and chosen us to good works even before the foundation of the earth. We don’t need to pray about doing the right thing! It is not a question of “should I serve” but rather “will you serve?” In verse six after obeying the command of Christ they caught an enormous amount of fishes. God blessed them for obeying his word. Later in the chapter he told Simon Peter to feed his sheep, he told him to get busy serving and doing what he had already told him to do! Will you be faithful where God has put you? Drop the fishing rod of the world and pick up the Sword of the Spirit of God! Start seeking God’s direction, pray for strength and guidance and begin now doing what God has shown you is right. Many are counting on you. You can make a difference with the power and help of Christ on your life. Someone is ALWAYS watching you….be a good example. Move FORWARD in your leadership.


Leave a comment

Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Leadership Helps


“My Peace”

Waiting-for-The-Crew-original-gallery-artwork-painting-of-a-boat-on-the-sea-realism-art-by-artist-Horacio-CardozoMark 4:37-38  And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  38  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow..”

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

In Mark chapter 4, we see Jesus asleep on the back of a boat that is in the middle of a terrible storm. The waves are so high that the boat is filling up with water. The storm is so bad, that the experienced boatmen on board are worried beyond measure. It is interesting that Jesus is fast asleep on a pillow in the back of this boat.

The first thing I notice is the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that in Mark 4:35 Jesus said “Let us pass over unto the other side.” Christ knows he will arrive safely on the other side, his command will be carried out; he knows that everything is under control and because of that he can sleep in the storm. It is no surprise that in Mark 5:1 we read “And they came over unto the other side of the sea…” Many times in life we find ourselves in “great storms” that seem to fill up our boats. It is in these storms we find ourselves fighting to stay above water. We struggle to make the right decisions, and find peace to carry us over to the other side.

Christ makes a very encouraging statement to his followers in John 14:27 “my peace I give unto you” I want you to meditate on the magnitude of this statement.  Christ is saying; the same peace that allowed me to sleep in the middle of a storm, in a boat that was filling up with water, is the same peace that I will give to you in your time of trouble. We have a promise to receive the most powerful type of peace available in the universe…Christ’s peace! Child of God, rest in this promise, Christ’s peace is only a prayer away. Pray now and ask for this peace, then stand on the promise that he will deliver.


Leave a comment

Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Devotional Reading


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 738 other followers

%d bloggers like this: