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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Survival Stage - Part Two

Half of the married couples in our country will not make it through the Survival Stage. (Check out the two previous articles on Spirituality and Marriage.)  They can’t take the fire (storms, trials).  Precious metals have to go through fire to be perfected.  So do our relationships with God and with our spouse.

What does it take to get through the fire? Commitment - conviction - perseverance to continue no matter what.When I hear newlyweds say they’ll just divorce if things don’t work out, I know things are not going to work out for them.
Every relationship will go through the fire, and everyone makes their own choice whether to continue or not, regardless of the circumstances.  If you and your spouse refuse to allow the word “divorce” in your vocabulary and thoughts, you will never have to face it.  It all starts in your thinking.  Just don’t go there – divorce cannot be an option.  Make the choice to commit your life to God and to your spouse.  (If you are not yet married, I would adv…

Level Two of Spirituality and Marriage - the Survival Stage

Before I move on to the second level of spirituality and marriage, I want to share some thoughts from Gary Thomas, author of “Sacred Marriage – What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than happy?”  They fit right in with what I’m talking about.  (Excellent book – I highly recommend it!)
When asked “why should I get married?” Gary responds as follows:
“If you want to be free to serve Jesus, there’s no question – stay single.  Marriage takes a lot of time.  But if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine anything better to do than to get married.  Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise.”
God meant for marriage to be much more than a joining of two so they could live happily-ever-after.  That may be what gets us to the honeymoon stage, but if you desire to venture no further, then you are not living a married life the way God intended for you.  Your marriage will probably not survive . Gary Thomas goes on to say, “If the…

The Three Levels of Spirituality and Marriage

I am reposting this series that I shared a few years ago.  Happy St. Patricks Day!

I have often talked about the comparison between our relationship with our spouse and our relationship with God.  It seems to me that both relationships are built in similar ways.  We go through three levels to achieve the joy and richness that God desires for us with Him and in our marriage.   Today, I’d like to discuss the first level.
Level one is the honeymoon stage.  In our marriage relationship, we all know the thrill of falling in love, planning a wedding, and starting a life together.  An euphoric high usually accompanies this stage, and we often fail to see the reality of living with another person because of the joy and excitement that encompass us in this early stage of love.
I personally believe that God allows this crazy, “can’t be without you” kind of love so we will take the step to marry.  This fairy-tale, live happily-ever-after, want you by my side notion is what initiates the idea of mar…

Eve and the First Sin - Part 3

Genesis 3:7 - "Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves." 

So Adam and Eve know they are naked and try to hide from God.
Genesis 3:8-10, “They hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Adam was afraid – the birth of fear in the Bible.  Fear can cripple our walk and keep us from the path that God intends for our lives.  Even we faithful Christians struggle sometimes with fear because we have an enemy who likes to fill our heads with doubts.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Fear is putting your faith in the devil.
I find it interesting that God is talking to Adam here, but the devil approached Eve about the fruit.  Did the devil suspect that Eve might be a little more vulnerable and easier to persuade?  Not to mention that Eve…

Eve and the First Sin - part 2

Genesis 3:6 tells us, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Isn’t that how the world entices us?  The food is so good (not usually good for us) and pleasing to the eye.  Who can resist that?  (Instead of food, you could fill in whatever worldly idol has a hold on you - shopping, alcohol, food, drugs, gossip, sex…) Most of us have a strong desire, also, for gaining wisdom.  Why study and take the time to learn if you could gain wisdom through just eating some fruit?  Sounds good to me!  
Here lies the beginning of instant gratification, something that seems to rule the choices of most of the world today.  Eve was so taken by how good the fruit looked and influenced by the desire to gain wisdom that in her haste for pleasure, she didn’t stop and think of the consequences that would follow..
How often do we…