Category Archives: Marriage Advice

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Abuse Is Devastating

By: Steven R. Tracy

Abuse is unique in the way it damages people because it literally wounds the soul. The ravages of abuse are deep seated and often life-long. This is evidenced in many forms of pathology which ultimately have their root in abuse. Abuse is one of the most significant sources of emotional, physical, and relational damage. For instance:

  • Recent neurological research has definitely shown that early childhood abuse, neglect, and witnessing family violence permanently alters and damages the brain, thus leading to a host of long term individual and social pathologies.
  • The annual cost of intimate partner violence in the United States is estimated to be $8.3 billion dollars (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003)
  • Adult prostitutes are three to four times more likely than non-prostitutes to have been physically or sexually abused in childhood.
  • 70% of all psychiatric emergency room patients report a history of childhood physical or sexual abuse
  • It is estimated that two million Americans self mutilate, and a high percentage do so because of unresolved childhood trauma, particularly sexual abuse
  • Abuse is one of the primary reasons for homelessness in America
  • It is estimated that one-third of abused children will become abusive parents
  • Alcoholics are over three times more likely to have experienced childhood abuse
  • 70-80% of adult sex addicts are survivors of physical or sexual abuse
  • According to an study released by U.S. Dept. of Justice, being abused or neglected as a child increased the likelihood of arrest as a juvenile by 59%, arrest as an adult by 28%, and arrest for a violent crime by 30%

https://mendingthesoul.org/research-and-resources/research-and-articles/abuse-is-devastating/

 


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Parenting and Temperament

Category : Marriage Advice , Thoughts

We often talk about temperament in terms of the husband – wife relationship. Here is a wonderful video from Dateline NBC : FamilyFocus that explains the value of temperament for a Mom and Dad when raising their child. Understanding your child’s temperament can improve parenting.

 


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The Behavior Chain

Behavior Chains

This is an exercise I like to use whenever someone is having a “chronic fight” with a spouse, coworker, child, or any other human being on the planet. If you think about it, most arguments in any relationship have their roots in two or three basic issues that never get resolved. This is a great tool for figuring out how to get out of the argument cycle and make some positive changes. Of course, you can use it in any situation where you didn’t behave the way you would have wished to.

You cannot do this in the heat of the argument.?This is a post mortem examination that takes place after tempers have cooled and you have a clear head. You are doing this so that?next time, you will hopefully be able to initiate some sort of change in the situation.

Grab a piece of paper. At the top, write the very first thing that happened in the situation. At the bottom, write the last thing that happened.

Mine would look like this:

I asked him a question.

 

I threw the coffee pot.

 

Now, begin to fill in the paper with everything that happened in between. It’s OK if you don’t remember every little detail, but put in as much as you can. I would write:

He didn’t answer.

I repeated the question.

He still didn’t answer. He was staring at the computer.

I asked a third time. This time, I yelled.

He still didn’t answer.

I called him a name and stomped off to the kitchen.

He followed me and wanted to know what I was so mad about.

Now, go back through it again and put down what you were?feeling?in each of those steps. I would put down things like ignored, invisible, unappreciated, angry, etc. This is the most important step of the process because?feelings drive behavior.?I didn’t just throw the coffee pot because I felt like it. I did it because I was sick of being ignored (remember this is a chronic fight) and I wanted to get his attention, no matter how I did it.

At this point, you might need to put the paper aside for a bit, because writing it all down might dredge up some of those feelings, and you need to be as unemotional as possible when you do the last step. The final part of the process is to look for places where you could break the chain. In my scenario, I could have walked away after he ignored me for the first time. Remaining calm and not allowing him to push my buttons would have been much more effective than allowing my anger to control me. Since this is a chronic fight, he?knew?how I was likely to react. Doing something different would probably have produced some kind of change … or not. I can’t control him, but I can control me.

But if you’re both committed to working on your marriage, then this exercise will produce change, because you’ll be aware of what’s really happening in a chronic fight. You can both choose to change your actions and reactions, and the underlying issues can finally be resolved.

Read the entire post on Ephesians 5;25 Ministries Online Counseling Forums:

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The “Vision” of Ephesians 5:25

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

The thing about Ephesians 5:25 that most men struggle with is that “vision” of what laying out life down for our wives as Christ did the church. So many men will tell me they will take a bullet for their wives. Reality is, that is not what God is implying.

Being male – our nature is compiled of carnal sins. These are the sins that kept the Israelites out of Canaan. Lust, greed, sloth, etc . So in our roles to become Christlike men, we must “die” to these flesh needs. – This is what God is asking us to do. As a “man” we must come to realize that we try to fill our needs in worldy ways – instant gratification. But we know when Christ went to the Cross for you, He had no idea if you would accept His message – there was no instant gratification for Christ. God told him, He must do this so He did. Just as God asks, and I say “asks” because you do have a choice (free will), you go to the Cross for your wife. You have no idea if your Wife will respond back. No idea if she will open her heart back up to you. No idea if she will forgive you. Christ went first with the faith that you will receive His message. You must go first and have faith that your Wife will receive your message. And the reality is, she may not because just like you, she has free will. So when you say you are not sure if you should continue to pursue her, I infer you are not getting the response you want or expect and are getting frustrated. – And to this emotion, you must die. Your wife will sense this. For most of the men that actually do win their wives hearts back – consistency is the number one factor that helped them succeed.

If you have a chance, I have a literal translation of the verse 25-33 on my website www.ephesians525.org. I believe the KJV says wives should reverence their husbands. First the word reverance was not “invented ” until the late 1300’s. Everytime God tells a man how to love his wife, He uses the Greek word AGAPE. Agape is defined as unconditional sacrificial love. When God tells a wife to love her husband, He uses the Greek word Philias – which is a conditional love. (this is consistent through out the Bible – not just in Ephesians). So God is telling the wife, “if” the husband does verse 25-32, then he has earned her love and she should respond with that conditional love. So as we always say, the wife is the responder. So at this point – if you have not presented your wife washed by the Word, Holy and unblemished, she is not called to respond back with love to you. See how that unfortunately ties back to male frustration because you are not getting the response and gratification you expect?

In His service…. TimothyPaul


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Five Ways to Be the Husband God Wants You to Be

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Five Ways to Be the Husband God Wants You to Be

Stormie Omartian, Author, The Power of a Praying Husband

In the Bible, God commands, All of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted,be courteous (1 Peter 3)

Paying heed to these directives can change your life and your marriage and make you the man and husband God wants you to be. Its definitely something well worth praying about.

1. Be of One Mind

Its horrible to have strife in a marriage. It makes us miserable. It affects every area of our lives. And its probably the closest thing to hell well ever know on earth. If it goes on long enough, it can destroy everything. Jesus said, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand (Matthew 12:25). Those are frightening predictions. But prayer is the key by which unity in the marriage relationship can be maintained.

A man and wife cannot live entirely independently of one another without paying a steep price for it. It makes them incomplete. Neither is a man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:11). But because men and women are different, its quite easy for them to get off onto completely separate paths. Even in the closest of marriages, the two partners are still not joined at the hip. You and your wife may have separate work, interests, and activities, but if you are praying with and for one another regularly, it will keep you in tune and on the same path. Without this unity of mind and spirit that prayer provides, its too easy to get used to the other one not being there. And if resentment about that creeps into the heart of either one of you, you can begin to hold yourself apart from one another mentally, physically, or emotionally, without even realizing it.

It is especially important to be of the same faith and beliefs. In fact, this is a good place to begin praying. Your entire relationship is compromised if you are not on the same page in this area. For example, going to separate churches, or going to a church where one of you is not happy, or one of you going to church while the other one consistently does not, all promote a lack of unity.

If you can think of other issues such as this that have caused division between you and your wife, pray specifically about them. Ask God to change your heart where necessary to bring you into unity with your wife. Where your wifes attitude and perspective need to change, pray for her to be able to change them. Your marriage will be a strong force for good if the two of you are of one mind.

2. Be Compassionate

Have you ever seen your wife suffering, but you dont know what to do about it? Some men become impatient with that. Others feel so at a loss or overwhelmed by it that it causes them to withdraw. If you recognize that happening to you, ask God to give you a heart of compassion. To be compassionate toward your wife is to have a deep sympathy for any area in which she suffers and to have a strong desire to alleviate that suffering.

Part of being compassionate has to do with simply listening. That means being able to listen without having that faraway look in your eyes that says, I have more important things to do. Lets get this over with quickly. Your wife is not expecting you to solve?everything. She just needs to know that you hear her heart and care about how she feels.

In the past my husband would stand still and listen to me for no more than three seconds (I timed this) before he would walk out of the room. If I wanted him to hear a complete sentence, I either had to run after him or finish the sentence the next time I saw him. Even when I did get him to actually sit down and look at me while I was speaking, I still had to ask him to give me some indication that he com?prehended what I was saying. Usually I said something like Blink if you can hear me. When he blinked, it meant so much to know he had heard my voice. Now he has a heart for my struggles, and he listens with care. Those moments of listening and indicating compassion have been healing to our relationship.

Pray that God will give you a heart of compassion toward your wife and the patience to listen to her when she needs you to do so. Its a fine art worth cultivating. It can get you places with her where youve dreamed of being.

3. Be Loving

Jesus loves us with fidelity, purity, constancy, and passion no matter how imperfect we are. If a man doesnt love his wife in that same way, he will abuse his authority and his headship and as a result will abuse?her. Because you are one with your wife, you must treat her the way you would your own body. You wouldnt do anything to deliberately hurt or destroy it. You love it and care for it. Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself (Ephe?sians 5:33).

Jack Hayford, our pastor for 23 years, always said he could tell when a woman was truly loved by her husband, because she grew more beautiful as the years went on. He recognized an inner beauty that doesnt fade, but rather increases with time when a woman is loved.

You have no idea how much your love means to your wife. Dont withhold it from her, or one way or another you will lose her. The Bible says, Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so (Proverbs 3:27). Ask God to increase your love for your wife and enable you to show it in a way that makes her beautiful.

4. Be Tenderhearted

Is there anything about your wife that bothers you? Is there something that she does or says, or?doesn’t?do or say, that irritates you. Do you find yourself wanting to change something about her? What happens when you try to?make?those changes occur? How does she respond when you show your irritation? Have you ever just given up and said, Its no use. Shes never going to be any different?

The truth is, we all have a hard time changing. Try as we may, we can’t change ourselves in any significant way. Only God can make changes in us that last. Only?His?power can transform us. Thats why prayer is a more tender and more certain way to see changes happen in your wife.

For example, does your wife always run late, while you like to be on time? Shes probably not doing it on purpose. She may either be a poor judge of time or else she is trying to do too much. Pray that God will help her to organize things better or not take on more than she can handle, or that she will gain a clearer concept of time. Above all, dont let anger, harshness, or demeaning attitudes creep in. Crit?icism intended to make your wife change doesnt work. It will never give you the results you want. The only thing that works is prayer.

So rather than be impatient with your wifes weaknesses, ask God to give you a tender heart so you can pray for her about them. Ask Him to show you how they are a complement to your strengths. And remember that, though the ways you and your wife are the same can unite you, the ways you are different can keep things interesting.

5. Be Courteous

Do you ever talk to your wife in a way that would be considered rude if you were speaking to a friend or business associate? Are you kind to everyone all day at work, but then you take out your frustration, exhaustion, and anger on your wife when you get home? Do you ever allow criticism of your wife to come out of your mouth in front of other people? If so, as a sister in the Lord who deeply cares about both you and your wife, allow me to give you your first serious assignment in this book:

STOP THAT!

Marriage is hard enough without one of the parties being rude, cruel, or inconsiderate. Nothing makes a marriage feel more like hell on earth. Nothing is more upsetting, defeating, tormenting, suffocating, or emotion-provoking, nothing does more to bring out the worst in us, than a marriage where one of the partners is lacking in common courtesy. I have heard of more marriages dissolving because the wife had been treated rudely for so long that she felt herself becoming resentful, angry, bitter, and hopeless. In other words, she was turning into the kind of person she never wanted to be. We have to care enough about our mates to stop doing things that hurt or upset them.

There is nothing more wonderful than the male voice. It is strong and deep and rich. And the sound of male voices singing together is one of the most beautiful sounds on earth. But the male voice can also be terrifying, especially to women and children. Most men have no idea about the power of their voice. When a man speaks, his words have the power to create and the power to destroy. His words can be like a sharp knife that wounds and kills, or a soothing balm that heals and brings life.

Im not saying that you shouldnt talk honestly and openly with your wife about the issues in your lives. By all means, put your thoughts and feelings on the table. But dont let your words turn into weapons of criticism that destroy what you want to preserve. Even when we dont mean to, our impatience or exhaustion can make our words seem less than courteous. Remember that the kingdom of God is not in word but in power (1 Corin?thians 4:20). Its not the words you speak, its the power of God behind them that will make the difference. Praying first,?before?you talk about a sensitive subject, will give your words power and ensure that you speak them from a right heart.

Your wife was created as a gift from God to complete you. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man (1 Corinthians 11:9). But she must be treated as the gift from God that she is, in order for that complete blessing to happen in your life. Your wife will prove to be your greatest asset if you value and honor her. The Bible tells us that whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:22). Pray for God to help you speak to your wife in a courteous way that is pleasing in His sight, and to convict your heart when you do not.

Praying about these five simple biblical directives will transform your life and your marriage. And no matter how great your marriage is, God wants it to be better. Since God tells us to be transformed, that must mean there is always room for improvement (Romans 12:2). Therefore it stands to reason that, as we improve individually, our marriages will also improve. Next to your love for her, the greatest gift you can give your wife is your own wholeness. Her most fervent desire for you is that you become the man God created you to be. It must be your desire also. God has given you strength, brilliance, power, authority, and the won?derful and admirable traits that come with being a man. Ask God to help you use them well and to His glory. Ask God to make you everything He created you to be so you and your wife will always be a winning team.

Originally posted March 5, 2009


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It’s your turn…

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

In a marriage filled with strife – Who goes first ?

This morning though, I was reading James 1, and when I came to the final verses – I believe around verse 23, I was kind of thinking about us guys. You know, Jesus doesn’t tell us anything in His commands are conditional responses. Actually, He tells us the opposite. Think of the verse in Mathew where He says it easy to love someone who loves you, but the true challenge is to love those that treat us like crap.

I am working with a couple and the guy refuses to change anything unless his wife changes something first. I keep trying to explain to him, this is not about his wife, it is about his relationship with God. Truthfully, the couple will never divorce, but they live in flipping misery everyday. I’m like, “ok, I get she has issues ( she has some really big issues ) but why not do what you can to change, because ultimately that what God looks at. He looks at character. Then lets see how your wife responds.” I always ask the guy to go first, because thats what Christ did. That whole Ephesians 5:25-32 thing .

And then the problem we face as guys, is that the women are usually months behind. There has been so much screwed up in their lives that they don’t trust our changes. It can take 6 months to a year for them to start trusting and believing we have changed. It gets really frustrating for us so we want to quit.

But it is what it is. Newton’s Third Law –

Formally stated,?Newton’s third law?is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object.

So guy to guy, just think about why you are refusing to be the first one to make a move towards a better marriage, and living out His will for your life.

In His service….TP


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This is the reason I love the APS … it’s so accurate!

On 4/20/2017 at 0:14 PM, Debra said:

I am truly fascinated by the results of our personality tests – frankly, it only confirms what I think we already knew about each other and have articulated to one another, but the fact that it can be quantified is amazing. I personally love the relationships analysis based upon our results. It identified every area that we, as a couple, have struggled with.

 

 

On 4/20/2017 at 1:20 PM, Cindy said:

This is the reason I love the APS …it’s so accurate! I’m sure you can see how it helps us get to the bottom of things quickly. I did that analysis simply based on your temperaments, without really knowing you all that well. We probably saved at least 10 hours of counseling right there, because we didn’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out why you two are having trouble.

The good news is that, if you are both willing to learn and apply what I’m going to teach you, your issues can be solved. You can end up with a good marriage. It is simple … but it’s not easy. You will both need to be willing to make some permanent changes.

 

 


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The Lost Glory….

What would it be like if we had a vision for each other, if we could see the lost glory in ourselves, our family, our friends? What would the effect on your sons or daughters be if they realized if you were caught up with the possibilities of restored glory, of what they would become – not successful, talented, good looking, or rich but kind, strong, self assured, fully alive.

When people connect with each other on the basis of a vision for who they are and what they could become; when we see in others what little of Jesus has already begun to form beneath the insecurity, fear and pride; when we long beyond anything else to see that little bit of Jesus develop and mature; then something is released within us that has the power to form more of Jesus within them. That power is the life of Christ, carried into another soul across the bridge of our vision for them, a life that touches the life of another with a nourishing power. Vision for others both bridges the distance between two souls and triggers the release of the power within us.

From ” Connecting” by Larry Cobb


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Thank you for an Amazing 2016

I would like to take a minute and thank everyone who supported Ephesians 5:25 Ministries in 2016.

When we look at the Body of Christ, we see that it takes all of us as a team to fulfill His Vision for His will on Earth. While Nehemiah may have been given the Vision by God of rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem, it was the entire community that performed the task.

All of your prayers, financial contributions, investment of time and energy are so very appreciated. We have seen some amazing and wonderful things happen in 2016. Every marriage saved, every broken heart that begins healing, and especially any one has has struggled in their relationship with God, that is brought back to see His Light and Love is because of you. The launch of our specialized ministry in August to work with the chronically ill is especially close to my heart.

I would especially like to thank the non-Christians that have supported us through out the year. To me, that has amazing consequences and I realize how special your faith is in us, the ministry.

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.

Jonathon Swift

God has brought us some new visions for 2017. Honestly, I am overwhelmed by the path (and faith) God is placing before us. But thankfully, we need not look to “how”, that is His role, we are only called to obedience.

Look forward to the announcements in the late first quarter for some amazing changes, development, and growth from Ephesians 5:25.

Again, must humblest gratitude for all you do.

In His service… TimothyPaul
__________________________

TimothyPaul, L.P.C., D.D.
<((((><
Ephesians525 Ministries

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10 Things I Hate About… My Addiction

by Michael Taylor

(this is from the Beyond Betrayal Blog – original link on bottom of page?)

There are many things that I hate about my addiction and addiction in general. Over the next two weeks I’ll discuss ten of them?but the reality is that the list is longer than that.

Wreckage

The thing that I hate the most about my addition is the absolute devastation that it has caused my wife, my children and myself. Pornography is human suffering: for those that use it, those that create it and anyone close to them. When my wife, Lisa, learned of my habitual sin, hidden with lies and deceit, it nearly cost her life. It has been years since I acted out, but the consequences of my betrayal still play out for my wife, my children and myself every day.

When you come out of a life of ***ual sin, you have to face that you are surrounded by wreckage and debris on all sides. It is hard to fully grasp the extent of the damage done. Many of the remaining nine points that follow just describe more fully the debris-laden landscape of *** addiction.

Some examples of the wreckage include:

Tainted Memories

For Lisa, it meant that every good memory of our marriage was potentially a lie. Our photo collection became a field of land mines. We lost our shared history because so much of it was a lie.

Relational Wounds

I was a poisonous person to my family. Like many *** addicts, I showed my best side to the world while being toxic at home. I was angry, demanding and blamed my pain and unhappiness on others. This has created relational wounds in my wife and children that will take a miracle of God to heal fully.

Lies

The lies that I hate take two forms.

Lies I Have told

The first kind of lies that I hate are the lies that I have told. The first *** addiction specialist that I went to see said to me, “Wives can forgive almost anything, except for lying.” I hate the lies that I have told and the effect that they have had. Lisa must now live the rest of her life wondering, “is he telling the truth THIS time?”. The only thing that I can do is to be consistent in living out the changes that God is making in me, year after year. Consistency, in the good sense, does not come easily to the addicted. It absolutely requires a work of God.

Lies Believed

The second form of lies that I hate are the false beliefs that warp our identity. My wife Lisa struggles with believing lies that she is ugly, worthless and “less than.” Those are some of the things that I told her when I lied and betrayed her. Any time I withdraw or choose not to connect with her, those lies take on fresh life.

For myself, I battle with a with a collection of lies that took root in my childhood. Only through connection with others and God can we replace those lies with the truth.

Fear

I really hate fear. It has haunted me all of my life. I identify too well with Charlie Brown in, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where Lucy diagnoses him with a “fear of everything.” My addiction to lusting developed as a way to control my anxiety when living in a large city. By the time I met Lisa, my life was a patchwork of coping skills for dealing with anxiety, fear and shame.

Life with a recovering *** addict is fraught with fear for the spouse too. Lisa has to live with the fact that I hid a ***ual addiction for eight years and that many recovering *** addicts fall back into addiction. When ***ual addiction has devastated your life, it is perfectly natural to fear its return. That is why it is so critical for a recovering *** addict to work towards creating safety for their partner.

For the addict, fear can interfere dramatically with your recovery. Our brains actually erase memories of things that happen while we are afraid. Many *** addicts, including myself, have a fear of intimacy. By the time our addictions come into the light, we have created a situation where we must learn to be intimate and vulnerable in a situation that feels profoundly unsafe.

Fear affects our brains in many unpleasant ways. Fear causes us to move out of the rational frontal lobe of our brain and into more primitive parts. When that happens I have to struggle to think rationally and communicate. We have to learn how to be present when our wounded spouse shares her pain and disappointment.

Fear also causes our brains to release cortisol which erases recent memories. It is very frustrating to make an effort to be intimate and vulnerable only to have our brains erase what we learned in the process. I had to resort to taking notes in intensely emotional situations. It can be immensely frustrating for a wife to express herself only to find out that her husband cannot remember anything that she said later. A man sitting there taking notes can be triggering to the betrayed wife too, but it is more honoring than the alternative.


Next week Michael continues this series with a look at anger, shame, depression, broken trust and more.

This week’s song, like last week’s, is from New Zealand’s Derek Lind. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for our country in the wake of this week’s series of massive earthquakes that continue to wreak havoc on the lives of many.

 

Original Blog Post

Original Post on Beyond Betrayal


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The Mature Husband

Tags :

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Few things are more subtly abusive than an immature husband.

An immature husband is like a grenade with the pin pulled. You don’t know when it will go off, but you know it will, and when it does its going to be messy.

Its OK to start immature, we all do, but at some point its time to grow up, and lead for the good of your family.

I Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) makes this truth clear:

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

Maturity isnt merely about age and experience. You can be young and mature, or older and immature. Maturity is an inner quality that resonates through all the components of a husbands life. This doesnt mean that a mature husband has arrived. We all have moments of immaturity, but its easy to identify the primary patterns of a mature husband.

Patterns of a Mature Husband

Mature husbands take responsibility for their own actions.

This is arguably the most important factor to discern maturity. Its not the only factor, but until a person takes responsibility for what they do and say, they are behaving immaturely.

I find a major issue for husbands is accepting responsibility for making a mistake, regardless of how it affects a wife or children. As men we tend to shroud our errors with excuses and reasons.? The “cause and effect”, in other words, “yes, I know I screwed up, but it really isn’t my fault because…“? The reality is, as humans, we should realize we are not perfect, and will make mistakes.? The difference for the mature husband is he will own it, and take the appropriate action; first with an apology and then action to correct it. Further, he will not repeat it.

Mature husbands continue to love even when they dont receive love in return.

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)

Whether its your wife or children, lets be honest, you dont always feel the love right? We have all experienced that. Jesus demonstrated this kind of unconditional and sacrificial love for all of us, and we all fall short. But He set the high standard for a Christian husband to strive after.

As a Christian husband, you may have a wife or child, who does not always treat you with the respect and kindness you think you deserve. When someone doesnt interact with you in a loving way, love them anyway. This isnt easy, but your love toward them will likely go a long way toward resolving whatever conflict may exist.

Mature husbands demonstrate a surrender to God.

Its hard to admit, but its easier to submit to Gods will and plans for our life when things are going like we want them to. When things are tough and not immediately according to our prayers, the definition of surrender seems to become negotiable.

Maturity demonstrates a unique blend of confidence and humility. This quiet confidence comes from a knowledge that God gave us the talents and gifts we have, and provides the power that allows those abilities to result in changed lives. Mature husbands are at ease within themselves. It is not arrogance, it is self assuredness.

Its understandable if young husbands are unsettled and restless.?They need time to learn how to handle insecurities, discover who they are and how God has designed them to be submissive leaders.

In time, however, maturity reveals itself when a husband is comfortable in who they are and personal insecurities have become minimal. This personal security allows you, ?as a husband to invest your energy into making progress, solving problems and elevating your wife, rather than trying to get people to see you as something other than you are.

Mature husbands value accomplishment over status.

Mature husbands want to be the difference and immature husbands want to be noticed. Immature husbands are more concerned with status and what people think about them. Mature husbands want others to see the Light of Christ through their wives, and find contentment in knowing that other couples will desire the same result..

Mature husbands learn from mistakes and continually improve.

To most outsiders, when a couple gets divorced, few have seen or understand the inner dynamic that has been operating behind the scenes. Most often, people will see the husband as the good guy although few realize he refuses to learn from his mistakes. It might be anything from a lack of discipline to an independent spirit, but when a capable husband repeats the same mistake over and over, even with coaching, they are revealing immaturity. To be blunt, they just want to do what they want to do. Us therapists call this narcissism..

Mature husbands continually learn, grow and improve. They get better at what they do. This enables them to handle more responsibility, love more consistently, lead in surrender to God, live comfortably in who they are and seek meaning over status.

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

In His service. TimothyPaul, L.P.C., D.D.


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Must Marriage be Legal to be Blessed by God?

Category : Marriage Advice

Must Marriage be Legal to be Blessed by God?

I have an 18 year old son that has been dating his girlfriend for 2 years. They are officially engaged. Recently they suspected she was pregnant. God answers prayers and thankfully she was not.

I tried to talk to both kids about pre martial sex and abstaining until they are married. My son’s reply shocked me.. He proceeded to tell me “We are married mom”.. I asked what made him think that. He said they had made their vows to each other and consummated the relationship, and though not legally married he felt that they are married in the eyes of God. He also stated that no where in the bible does it state you have to go through a “ceremony” and he felt what they did was enough.

My son is a VERY intelligent boy, in the top 10% of his class in college, but since he started taking philosophy he has come up with some strange ideas about God etc.. I want to show him that they need to be legally married but I can’t find anywhere in the bible where it states “How to marry”, it just says marry. Can you help me find an answer, or is my son right? Any advice would be appreciated.

Lynn

Hi Lynn,

Thank you for writing. This is a very interesting question as it pertains to the biblical approach to marriage. I’d like to review the way the Bible approaches the concept of marriage. I think marriage is woefully misunderstood in our society and by examining how the Bible defines marriage we can better grasp how we should enter into a marriage relationship.

1. Marriage is an institution created by God and therefore is holy.

Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 19 when He said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

Because God created marriage, it becomes more than just a cultural idea. It is a holy union blessed by God. In recognizing such, it deserves a certain amount of respect and recognition beyond “we say we’re married so we are”.

2. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

In creating marriage, God defined it precisely. Genesis 2:24 states, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Marriage can only be between a man and a woman where they are joined together as a single entity. It involves the leaving of the old, childhood life and starting something new.

There are many kinds of unions between people. However, that does not make them equivalent to marriage. Living together may be a type of union, but it does not join the participants into a single entity. Our laws recognize that spouses cannot testify against one another; precisely because they are joined in such a union.

It also answers the question of so-called “homosexual marriage”. Since, by definition, marriage can only be between a man and a woman, homosexual unions are not marriages. They cannot be. You may use some other term to describe their relationship, but to use the word marriage is incorrect. The definition won’t allow it.

3. Marriage is more than a commitment.

In your question, you state “He said they had made their vows to each other and consummated the relationship, … He also stated that nowhere in the bible does it state you have to go through a ‘ceremony’ and he felt what they did was enough.” Your son said he felt making vows to each other was enough to constitute a marriage in the eyes of God. However, the Bible actually does take a different view.
You see, marriage is more than just making a commitment to someone else. It is also entering into a holy covenant before God. In Malachi, God is rebuking the people of Judah for not following His laws. There we read, ” ‘Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and your wife by covenant.. For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord.” (Mal 2:14,16). (For more on divorce, please see “Is Matthew 19 a Contradiction?“).

God says here that marriage is a covenant, one witnessed and sealed by Him. A commitment is a civil agreement. A covenant is religious by nature and should be presided over by a religious official. Breaking a commitment can be done by mutual agreement. However, a covenant is considered binding and can only be broken if God has provided for such a dissolution – such as adultery.

4. Marriage is to be witnessed.

Because marriage is a covenant to be entered freely by two individuals, is must be witnessed by at least two or three people. This idea is confirmed in Matthew 18:16, where Jesus quotes Leviticus, “Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.”

Ruth 4:9-12 shows this applies specifically to marriage when Boaz seeks out witnesses to secure his right to marry Ruth, the Moabitess. There, the witnesses even pronounce a marriage blessing on them.

5. Marriage is to be held in honor.

If we take all of the above into account, we can see that marriage is an institution not to be taken lightly. In fact, it is a union of the highest honor. “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled…” (Heb. 13:4).

Interestingly, this verse links the idea of marriage to legal custom. In Romans 13, Paul tells us that we are to be in subjection to governing authorities. In other words, we are to obey the laws of the land because God has placed those people in power. Then, in verse 7, he writes, “Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”

We know that marriage is honorable and the Bible commands us to render it honor properly. Further, it shows that we are to obey the governing laws and respect the customs associated with Biblical marriage.

Our laws recognize the holy union of marriage (point number 1), require it to be between a man and a woman (point number 2), recognizes the covenant nature of marriage by sanctioning clergy to perform marriage ceremonies (point number 3), and requires witnesses (point number 4). Therefore, in order to give marriage proper honor and to render the proper respect to the governing authorities, legal marriage is both required and appropriate. It does not follow that legal marriage is not necessary in today’s society.

Taking all into account, the Bible clearly shows that an official marriage ceremony governed by clergy is entering into marriage appropriately. Jesus blessed official marriage by performing His first miracle at the marriage feast in Cana (John 2) . His relationship with the church is compared to a bridegroom and his bride, again showing the holiness of the marriage relationship.

It is an unfortunate commentary on our society that we’ve reduced the idea of marriage to one of comfort. With Las Vegas 30 minute weddings and no-fault divorce, we are straying farther and farther away from the idea of the holy covenant God set forth. It is to be binding, not broken by any man.

I would question your son’s sincerity in his intent for marriage. If he truly is serious in vowing “until death do us part”, then why would he be resistant to making that vow legal? Many times people are betrayed by their concern for the consequences of their actions. The consequences of dissolving a legal marriage are much less than they were, but are still significant. It could be those consequences are what bothers him, which means he isn’t entering a covenant relationship, but merely a temporary agreement -and that isn’t marriage.

I hope this has helped you understand what Biblical marriage is and why it is important. Please let me know how things go. I will be praying for you and your family. May God bless you as you continue to seek Him.

Reposted from 😕 http://www.comereason.org/marriage-god.asp


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Reconcilable Differences….

Category : Marriage Advice

I am working with an interesting couple right now.? When I initially did their temperament profiles I believed I exclaimed out loud, Good Grief.? In all my years of couples counseling, I don’t think I have ever seen two APS tests so far apart.? I was so surprised I actually called Dr. Phyllis Arno, the mastermind behind the APS testing program for her insight as well as another counselor friend of mine.

Before our very first session, I prayed and asked God for His wisdom.? This was going to be a challenge.? What God brought back to me was, I have brought this couple together for My purpose and although you may not understand it too bad, help this couple understand the Glory others will see when their marriage is healed.

This is how God views it. He has reconciled you. He says He is the one who joined you together (Mark 10:9). He is the one who makes you one flesh?not your similarities or common experience (Eph. 5:31).

God brought you and your spouse together because of your differences . . . not in spite of them. Just think: God knows your spouse even better than you do. He knows all too well how you both are made and how you are bent.

God put you two together because He knew what was best for the both of you.

Make the Best Marriage Out of Your Differences

Appreciate your spouses strengths. Rather than getting frustrated at how quiet or loud, relaxed or uptight, they are;?decide to be thankful for how God has made them. You can choose to be upset by the way your spouse ruins the well-laid plans with their spontaneous projects . . . or be thankful for the fun that they bring into your life with their wild ideas. The second response can make it more fun for all of you! One the other side, can you appreciate that God may have placed someone in your life to help keep you grounded and rooted in reality?

*How do you respond to your spouses strengths? Do you let them annoy you or are you grateful for them?

Grow in the areas you are weak. God designed your temperament with challenges also.? Your spouse maybe as a Melancholy may be very frugal and have a fear of not being financially secure.? You as the sanguine are always donating and giving far beyond your means.? We can see how both these parties would need to create a balance to be the good stewards of God’s gifts.? (another couple I am working with is going through trying to find this balance).

*What are some weak areas that you can grow in and learn from your spouse? Take a look at our temperament attributes list (Temperament Strengths and Weaknesses) and see what are the strengths you admire in your spouse.

Then work on developing similar interests. Rather than settle in your different camps, seek to do what things you can together. Enter into their world and invite them? into yours. Talk about what activities you could both learn to enjoy together.

 


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Do you feel a tap?

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

I know you are in there.

You are the man who makes integrity the corner stone of your interactions in your business and community. You feed and listen to your conscience, which develops wisdom, abundance, and security. You are guided by the Holy Spirit and affirm others’ worth and potential. You are the man I want to welcome home and embrace. You are the man I want to inspire rather than require, to treat with gratitude and respect. Our relationship combines high standards, strong values, unconditional love, deep empathy, and a lot of fun.

Therefore;

My heart is open to you physically as I eat healthy, exercise, and strive to care for my body.

My heart is open to you emotionally as I am willing to work toward deeper understanding.

My heart is open to you mentally as I strive to learn you as a whole person and love you as you desire (five love languages).

My heart is open to you spiritually as we seek God’s wisdom in the covenant relationship we have created.

 

Winston Churchill once said,

“To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents.”

Do you feel a tap?


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Are we equally yoked ?

Category : Marriage Advice , Thoughts

In several sessions recently the discussion of being unequally yoked has come up. It is also something I see increasingly more frequent on the Christian dating sites.

Biblically, the concept of being equally yoked in marriage is never referenced. When Paul talks about being equally yoke in 2 Corinthians 6:14, his reference is all relationships a Christian should have, not just marriage.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Cor 6:14 NIV

But if we wanted to apply this concept to a marriage relationship of two Christians, what might it look like?

The interesting thing I believe we forget is the very specific purpose of a yoke. And Jesus, as a carpenter, would very specifically understand its purpose. No two oxen are alike. They are different in strength, stature, and their abilities to perform their specific tasks. When Jesus says, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” in Matthew 11:30, He is saying that when we share our burdens with Him, our journey becomes manageable. ( – The Greek word used for easy is actually Chrestos, which when properly translated means well fitted, not easy ).

So the yokes purpose is to balance the differences between a couple. It is not that they will be in sync all the time, or agree on everything. It is an example of Gods design that a husband and wife complement each other. The strengths and weaknesses will balance each other out as they continue to seek the Lords guidance in His marriage covenant.

Historically, a yoke was often adjusted over time, refitted and fine-tuned. The same would hold true with your marriage. It is unlikely that each spouse will spiritually mature at exactly the same rate. So, we cannot believe that Gods design is that if one of the spouses grows closer to Him faster, that He would find the couple unequally yoked. It would be the responsibility of the more mature party to be an example of Christ like love and bear the extra burden of the yoke until the other party came along side.

complimentary


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Are You Being Gaslighted

Category : Marriage Advice

Reprinted from Psychology Today

Robin Stern Ph.D.Power in Relationships

Are You Being Gaslighted?

Are you in a gaslighting relationship? Here is how to tell.
Posted May 19, 2009

Dear Readers,

In my first blog about gaslighting, I talked about the “good news” about gaslighting?that is, that once you identify this destructive pattern in your relationship, you can change it.

A reader asked me, if it is possible over time to get so beaten down and so sure you might be at fault, that you can’t identify the dynamic? The answer is YES. The Gaslight Effect happens over time, gradually, and often, by the time you are deep into the Gaslight Tango (the dance you do with your gaslighting partner, where you allow him to define your reality) you are not the same strong self you used to be. In fact, your ego functioning has been compromised and, no longer being certain of your reality, you are not often able to accurately identify when something is “off” with your partner.

The process of gaslighting happens in stages, although the stages are not always linear and do overlap at times, they reflect very different emotional and psychological states of mind.

The first stage is disbelief: when the first sign of gaslighting occurs. You think of the gaslighting interaction as a strange behavior or an anomalous moment. During this first stage, things happen between you and your partner, or your boss, friend, family member, that seem odd to you.

A young woman I know let’s call her Rhonda, just told me about her second date with Dean. She was shocked when, after a terrific dinner, he left her at the bus stop. He told her she was nuts to wait for a bus, and, if she wanted to travel that way, he was not going to wait with her and would just see her another time. But, the piece de resistance, was that he called her later that night (note that she picked up the call) and, he was insistent that there was nothing wrong with his jumping on the subway, while she took the bus. Further, he told her that he was certain there was something wrong with the way she made choices about traveling. She argued, but, ultimately wrote off his behavior as “really weird”. In recounting the story, she says it is “weird”, and, that he must have a “thing” about buses but, she does really want to see him again they have so much in common and he is really romantic.

Unlikely that this is going to be an isolated incident. Dean sounds like he has to get his own way?and, he has to be right. Rhonda is very attracted to him and wants things to work out, so, she is likely to explain away his behavior, at least for awhile.

The next stage is defense: where you are defending yourself against the gaslighter’s manipulation. Think about it?you tell your boss, for example, you are unhappy with the assignments you have been getting; you feel you are being wrongly passed over for the best assignments. You ask him why this is happening. Instead of addressing the issue, he tells you that you are way too sensitive and way too stressed….. well, maybe you are sensitive and stressed, but, that doesn’t answer the question of why you are being passed over for these better assignments. But, rather than leave it at that, or redirect the conversation, you start defending yourself, telling your boss you are not that sensitive or stressed, or, that the?stress?doesn’t interfere with your ability to work. But, during this stage, you are driven crazy by the conversation…. going over and over, like an endless tape, in your mind.

What’s worse, is that these kind of conversations characterize your relationship more and more. You can’t stand that your boss sees the situation like that and you work even harder on the assignments you find boring, even demeaning, just to prove that you are not overly sensitive and stressed out.

The next stage is?depression: By the time you get to this stage you are experiencing a noticeable lack of joy and, you hardly recognize yourself anymore. Some of your behavior feels truly alien. You feel more cut off from friends in fact, you don’t talk to people about your relationship very much none of them like your guy. People may express concern about how you are and you are feeling they treat you like you really do have a problem.

One of the examples I wrote about in my book?The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulations Other People Use to Control Your Life, concerns a lovely woman, Melanie. In the story told, Melanie was frantic because she couldn’t find the “right” kind of salmon (her husband likes wild salmon and the grocery only had farm raised) to serve at the dinner party for her husband’s company. She knew her husband would accuse her of not caring enough about him to go to the store earlier in the day. Incidents like this were happening so much at home, Melanie began to believe he was right. After all, what was more important than her husband? Why wasn’t she a more considerate wife?

She was unhappy almost all the time and, she really believed that she could be a better, more considerate wife. She began to look for evidence of her poor behavior. Melanie had lost the ability, over time, to see anything else wrong with the relationship, besides that she was a less than adequate wife.
It took a long time, and a lot of reflection and analysis, reality testing and self-management, for Melanie’s view to shift and for her to reclaim her reality and her life.

**********************************

How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship .

 

Here are the signs:
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,?boss.
5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
9. You start?lying?to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more?confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

 

 

Psychology Today


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Temperament Strengths and Weaknesses

Temperament Strengths and Weaknesses

It is temperament that makes some people art and music enthusiasts while others are sports or industry minded. Temperament sets broad guidelines on everyone’s behavior, patterns which will influence a person as long as he lives. Each temperament has its own unique qualities and shortcomings, strengths and challenges. What accounts for these differences?

To use the idea of temperament most effectively, it is important to understand that the temperaments are not simply arbitrary collections of characteristics, but spring from an interaction of the two basic dimensions of human behavior: our communication and our action, our words and our deeds, or, simply,

what we say and what we do.

Isn’t it interesting that some people talk about reality, while others talk about ideas.? Some people do what?works, while others do whats right. The bottom line is each person has the choice to develop his natural temperament strengths and overcome his natural temperament weaknesses. To what degree this occurs depends on the individuals motivation. It is possible to learn how to control and overcome the natural weaknesses associated with a temperament blend.

It is of benefit furthermore to recognize one’s temperament. Only if one knows it, can he judge correctly himself, his moods, his peculiarities, and his past life. If one knows one’s own temperament, he can work out his own perfection with greater assurance, because finally the whole effort toward self-perfection consists in the perfection of his strengths and in the combating of his weaknesses.
Thus;

the Choleric will have to conquer his obstinacy, his anger, and his pride;

the Melancholic, his lack of courage and his dread of suffering;

the Sanguine, his talkativeness and his inconsistency;

the Phlegmatic, his laziness and his lack of energy.

The person who knows himself will become more?humble, realizing that many good traits which he considered to be virtues are merely good dispositions and the natural result of his temperament, rather than acquired virtues.

Consequently

the Choleric will judge more humbly of his strong will, his energy, and his fearlessness;

the Sanguine of his cheerfulness, of his facility to get along well with difficult persons;

the Melancholic will judge more humbly about his sympathy for others, about his love for solitude;

the Phlegmatic about his good nature and his repose of mind.

Temperament is innate in each person; therefore it cannot be exchanged for another temperament. But one can and must cultivate and perfect the good elements of his temperament and combat and eradicate the undesirable ones. Every temperament is in itself good and with each one man can do good and work out his salvation. ?With Gods strength this is possible.

I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13)

It is, therefore, imprudent and ungrateful to wish to have another temperament.

“All the spirits shall praise the Lord” (Ps. 150: 6)

[1]./the-fourtemperaments-by-rev-conrad-hock/ pg 10
[2]./the-fourtemperaments-by-rev-conrad-hock/ pg 11

Free Strength and Weakness Handout


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Are We Compatible ?

A Couples Temperament Test Compared

Below is a typical analysis we do for a couple in counseling.  It’s a wonderful tool for identifying the areas a couple should be aware of.   We find this tool to be incredibly insightful because it goes far beyond the ” 5 Love Languages” many couples have already tried.  It is not just the love languages but the in born design God has for your life and how that relates to your spouses design.  By working through these revelations we find couples gain amazing insight into their husband’s or wife’s needs of both expressing and wanting the desires.

 

Inclusion Control Affection
Peter 4/7 (PS) 6/7 (G) 0/4 (MP)
Ellen 6/7 (G) 2/4 (MP) 9/9 (Gc)

  

Inclusion – In the Area of Inclusion, Peter and Ellen are very compatible. They both have similar expressed needs and they have identical wanted needs. Again, the biggest issue here is for them to learn to honor God in their behaviors and interaction with others. They need to learn not to compromise God’s standards in order to feel accepted by friends.

Control – The Area of Control has potential for conflict due to Peter’s temperament. A Sanguine in Control can cause other people to think the person is “crazy.” In the secular psychology world Peter would be typically described as bipolar. One moment he wants to be in control (Independent Mode) and the next moment he will flip to self-deprecation and claim that he is worthless (Dependent Mode). As a Melancholy Phlegmatic in Control, Ellen will probably shut down when she starts to see this behavior. If she says anything at all that Peter perceives as negative or derogatory, he will move into this dependent mode. Peter will ask for Ellen’s input but then become “unreasonable” when she gives him this input. Over time this will cause a lot of damage in their relationship. Peter needs to learn that when he is in his independent mode he has the potential to be a very good leader. He needs to recognize when he swings to his dependent mode and he needs to learn to indulge himself in ways that are not sinful, but still meet his need for self-indulgence. The key is for him to recognize the swing before it becomes too severe. Ellen needs to also learn to recognize this swing and to permit Peter to self-indulge in non-sinful ways. This means letting things go and not pursuing Peter until he is able to move back to his independent mode. (Self-indulgence may be eating a candy bar or taking a bubble bath. This may be anything that brings pleasure but is not sinful or destructive.)

Affection – This is a huge area of potential conflict for Peter and Ellen. As a Sanguine compulsive, Ellen is looking for affection and opening up to everyone and anyone. She can never get enough touch and “I love you.” As a Melancholy Phlegmatic, Peter is not prone to saying “I love you” very much. He feels that sex is his way of telling Ellen that he loves her. He may also do things to show his love. However, it is not enough for Ellen and he will eventually get emotionally worn out and quit trying. Ellen will then turn to others to try and get this need met. This could lead to an affair or other inappropriate behaviors, not because Ellen is looking for sexual relationship, but because she wants emotional intimacy. This is a tough case to work with. Ellen needs to learn to meet her needs in Godly ways. She also needs to learn that there is no one that can meet all of her emotional intimacy needs. Peter needs to learn to step out of his comfort zone and make an effort to spend time with Ellen and tell her regularly that she is loved. When we consider Ellen’s Sanguine compulsive needs in Affection with Peter’s Sanguine needs in Control there is the potential for huge conflict. They have got to learn to turn to God and meet these needs appropriately.


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How an Affair Really Begins

Category : Marriage Advice

It’s been a little while since I’ve shared something from The Land of Other People’s Writings. Today I came across a concise list of the steps common to every affair. I wish I didn’t feel led to post it. I wish all Christians had strong marriages and didn’t make the kinds of decisions that led to affairs, but alas, they don’t. They key, though, is that these are decisions … totally under our control and avoidable as we choose to follow Christ instead of our own selfish desires.

Quotable ~ Affairs do not begin with sex. Falling into bed with a man who is not your husband or a woman who is not your wife is never a sudden, unplanned event. Instead, it is a culminating decision in a long list of terrible, self-centered decisions.

Decide wisely.

Read the rest here.

Blessings … Cindy


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Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Good people are kind people. If she isn’t kind then she isn’t worthy of taking up a part of your life. Being a woman, being nurturing is very important as well.

In some relationships the man may be more nurturing than the woman. Nevertheless, women are born with/develop maternal instincts with age. If you wish to one day start a family then you want to be sure you found a woman who wants to be, and is suited to become, a mother.


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Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder – as long as you find her to be incredibly beautiful, according to your definition, then she is worth holding on to.

I feel that these days we have those that put too much emphasis on beauty and then those that are rebelling against the concept and giving little to no importance to beauty.

Beauty is something that has been reveled upon since humans had eyes; it’s not something that we should be ashamed of, but rather something we should learn to appreciate properly.


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Special Qualities A Woman Has That Mean You Should Never Let Her Go

Category : For Men , Marriage Advice

Every man needs a smarter woman to help him get through life in one piece. They say that behind every great man is a greater woman – they aren’t lying. Without woman, man is little more than an ego-trip.

Enter a smarter woman into his life and suddenly that ego has a purpose, a direction, and the wisdom not to screw everything up.


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Stupid Little Stuff

Category : Marriage Advice

By now, you all know that I enjoy entering the Land of Other People’s Writings. Today I stumbled across one that really hits the nail on the head. Why do couples fight so much over “stupid little stuff?”

News flash … it’s not the stuff you’re fighting about. Not really.

Quotable: “Most guys don’t know that she’s NOT fighting about the glass,” says Matt. “She’s fighting for acknowledgment, respect, validation, and his love.”

Read it here.

Do you know what’s important to your spouse? Do you value them enough to do it, even if you think it’s stupid?

Blessings … Cindy


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When Opportunity Knocks

WHEN OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

August 9

Read Esther 4:1-17, James 1:5–8

Adapted from In the Gap by Wilfredo De Jesús

 

A crisis can confuse us or it can clear the cobwebs and help us think more clearly. Esther had a background of faith, but she lived in a pagan world. As queen of Persia, she had much to lose: beauty, wealth, and power. The plight of her people, though, shattered her illusions. She realized she could no longer live simply for herself.

She realized the risks. She told Mordecai, “If I perish, I perish.” She was willing to lay everything on the line for the Jewish people, no matter the cost. This was her time, her moment, her God-given purpose. She may previously have had selfish desires, but now her only desire was to rescue her people.

We might say, “Well that was then; this is now. We don’t live in ancient Persia or first-century Palestine. We don’t have a king. Things are different.”

Yes, on the surface things are different, but human nature has not changed. People are just as selfish, just as divided in their loyalties, just as evil, and just as victimized as they were twenty or twenty-five centuries ago.

People in trouble need others who, like Mordecai and Esther, have the courage to stand in the gap and take action.

All of us have defining moments. Sometimes they come and go in an instant, so we must be ready. More often, we have more time—either to respond with wisdom and courage or to make excuses and walk away.

If you’re not sure how to respond to a situation, James, Jesus’ half-brother, has this advice:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:5–8).

Look around. Do you see people in trouble? You stand at a crossroad—between someone in desperate need and God’s desire to use you. The situation, the timing, and the opportunity didn’t happen by chance. You’re there by the providence of God. You have an incredible opportunity. So take advantage of it. This is your time. You can make a difference.

From “My Healthy Church”

TimothyPaul, LPC

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