Monday, January 12, 2015

The "P" in GPS


The “P” in GPS stands for “Pray.”  Pray with your spouse at least once every day.  Praying keeps God in the center of your marriage and is the key to a successful, healthy marriage (the marriage that God intends for you).

When Rick and I went through our marriage crisis, the turning point for us came when he took my hand in his, and we turned our marriage over to God in prayer. God literally melted away all the pain, anger, indiscretions and mistakes we made – I mean MELTED them away! It was amazing!

We have kept the habit of praying together – every day. Through it, we turn every issue we face that day, no matter how big or small, over to God before it can become an insurmountable problem. Five seconds into a prayer and we forget what we might have been angry about.  Prayer between two people joined as one in the eyes of God is very powerful! 

If you aren’t yet comfortable praying out loud with someone else, here is a sample to get you started.  Remember, prayer is just talking to God as if He were a friend sitting on the couch with you.  There is no need for elaborate words.  God knows what’s in your heart and on your mind.  Just talk to Him.    
“Dear God.  We haven’t done such a great job in our marriage so far, and we would really like your help. We ask you to heal us of any hurt or unforgiveness between us and help us learn how to communicate with each other. Help us to hold our tongue and only speak positive words to one another. Rekindle our love, Lord, and show us how to have the healthy marriage You desire for us.”


PRAISE - STAY POSITIVE

Another “P” word that I want to add to GPS is praise.   Speak positive words to your spouse and praise them daily.

I can sense the snarls as some of you read this. “But you don’t know MY husband or MY wife!” No, I don’t, but I do know that none of us is perfect, and NO one is easy to live with.

Joining man and woman in holy matrimony shows God’s sense of humor (in my opinion). I always thought it would be easier for the women to live in one house and the men to live right next door. Couples could share plentiful conjugal visits while avoiding the dangers of living together under the same roof. However, God didn’t ask for MY opinion now, did He? He also didn’t promise us it would be easy. He joined man and woman because He knew, together, they would need His help.

God has a plan for each and every one of us, and He knows what is best for us. He saw that man and woman would complement each other and form a perfect union ordained by Him. That’s what we need to focus on. We need to continually look at the good in our partner and what they complete in us and not dwell on the negative.  Divorce begins in the mind with a negative thought.

Think about the power our thoughts have over us. Thoughts can imprison someone so deeply in fear that they refuse to leave their house. Thoughts can bring actual physical symptoms to a person convinced they have a terrible disease. Unresolved thoughts from abuse as a child negatively affect adult relationships.

The devil wreaks havoc in our minds, his favorite playground. He attacks us constantly. Most of our negative thoughts initiate with him. He’s fooled us into thinking we’re at the mercy of whatever dysfunction we’ve experienced in the past. The old devil loves for us to believe we lack any control over our thoughts.  Contrary to this manipulative lie, we possess the power to command them.

The Bible tells us, “Take captive every thought.” (2 Cor. 10:5) That means to stop those negative thoughts before they ferment and form unintended words that recklessly escape your mouth. Find something positive to focus on, or pick up your Bible, or sing praise music. The old devil really hates to hear scripture or worship to God!  Or, you could think about what attracted you to your spouse in the first place.  Dwell on that.

Praising your spouse is almost impossible when negative thoughts bombard your mind. It is crucial that you learn to control your thoughts and even more, the words that come out of your mouth. Make a sincere effort to speak only loving, edifying words to your spouse. Before you speak, ask God to give you the right words to use without bringing offense to the receiver. If Jesus stood in the room with you, would you feel embarrassed for Him to hear what you say to your spouse and family? (Guess what, He IS there!)

The words from our mouth can turn any bad relationship into a good one OR vice versa. My husband’s rule of thumb when a discussion is getting "heated": if it’s worth saying, it’ll be just as good waiting until tomorrow to say it. Experience has proven that 95% of the time that day of waiting avoids selfish, flesh-based comments and the senseless arguments that follow. So, speak positive, edifying, words to your spouse and watch your Stinkin’ Thinkin’!

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