The Stats on Marriage

gavel-wedding-rings-broken-heart-30050% of all marriages end in divorce. This statistic alone can scare the best of us. Some would argue that this stat is incorrect, and in fact, they may say the rate of divorce is decreasing. We won’t spend time debating, but we do know that over that past 30 years this statistic has, for the most part, held true. Take a moment and ask yourself the question: is your marriage the next statistic? Tough one, huh? What are your thoughts at this very moment about your spouse and the state of your union? What are the flies on your wall gossiping about? More importantly, what does God think about it?

I don’t at all proclaim to be a marriage expert, but I am an expert in analyzing the positive and negative impact my actions have on my marriage.  And if I’m honest with myself, I realize there are more opportunities to be an asset than a liability. My hope is that you feel the same way.

One of the main areas where you can truly add value to your marriage is communication. Think about it. How many times do you sincerely compliment your spouse during the week or even the month?  This easy, but very thoughtful and powerful way to communicate your love could be exactly what your marriage needs. And if you need help on words to say, then check out Song of Solomon 1:1-17.  There are nearly 15 compliments made by the couple in this passage of scripture alone. What are some other ideas you have to prevent marriages from becoming the next statistic?

dangerously in love blogJoin us this Sunday for part 2 of “Dangerously in Love”.

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Satisfy Your Spouse

As we come to end of the “love month” ask yourself this question; the question Tyler Perry asked, “Why Did I Get Married?” According to love-sessions.com, here are the reasons why many men and women get married:

  1. The man’s wish to continue the motherly love received in childhood
  2. Desire to have a lifetime companion
  3. The love the man and woman has for each other
  4. The woman having become pregnant
  5. To have a woman/man who has a similar career for easier adaptability
  6. Wish to escape from parents

It’s interesting the to read reasons we see above and find out how much they differ from God’s standard.  In 1 Corinthians 7:4  the Apostle Paul says this to the Church at Corinth:

Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.

If you made the decision to marry for any reason other than to satisfy and serve your spouse then please rethink that decision. The success of your marriage is determined by how you view the needs of your spouse and meet those needs.  As Rick Warren says in his book The Purpose Driven Life, “it’s not about you!”

Check out the next three commandments to keep the flames burning and focus on satisfying your spouse:

Commandment 6: Thou shalt write love letters – Song of Solomon 1:10-15

  1. This passage reveals a spiritual spouse who identifies specific qualities he appreciates about his beloved, then expresses his appreciation in a love letter. He didn’t text it, tweet it, or Facebook it, he wrote it down!
  2. Here are four critical elements that must be present in your love letter
    i.      Identify – Declare what it is you appreciate. Name it.
    ii.      Specify – Be as specific as you can. Don’t make generalizations about the things you love about your spouse.
    iii.      Quantify – Express how they have made a measurable difference in your life.
    iv.      Magnify – Encourage your spouse liberally in public, before their peers.

Commandment 7: Thou shalt be spontaneous. And here’s why:

  1. Your spouse is counting on you to do something different, something unplanned, unstructured, and spur-of the-moment.
  2. Spontaneity brings surprise, fun, creativity, and freshness to a marriage.
  3. Spontaneous moments and times don’t have to be huge events… small ones have the same effect on your marriage. Have fun together!

Commandment 8: Thou shalt seek to satisfy your spouse. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5

  1. The Bible says that marriage partners should offer their bodies to each other in marriage and should not deny each other except for a short season for fasting.
  2. To rekindle the flame in your marriage you must seek to satisfy your spouse in bed and out.

All in all, remember that it’s not about you! Base your marriage on serving your spouse in love and I guarantee the flame will continue to burn high!

Last minute Valentine’s Day shoppers, this one’s for you!

Hey men, listen! Don’t stand in line today for that dull, ordinary Hallmark card that you’ve waited till the last minute to buy. It’s not worth the $2.89 you’ll spend. Plus, your wife will keep it on the shelf to please your ego and will soon store it with all the other thoughtless cards you’ve given her in the past. Instead, I have the perfect inscription for the card that will last a lifetime.  You probably never thought you could find the perfect description of your wife. The card that says it all! Perfect words, spoken so eloquently, never fading, never dull, simply perfect!

Open your Bible. Yes, I said your Bible. Just bear with me.  As a matter of fact, click here and read Song of Solomon 4:1-7. Ok, now I hope you believe me. These words by Solomon have to be the best love letter, poem, and Valentine card ever written.

So if you can’t make you wife a card with these words, then just open the bible and read it to her after that special candlelit dinner you prepared for her.  And ladies, if you’re reading this, and not sure if your man will, email it to him – here’s the link: http://wp.me/p1Ne14-2O

And finally, continue to work on the “Rekindling the Flame in Your Marriage” by taking a look at the next three commandments:

3. Thou shalt be attractive
Work to be attractive physically, mentally, and spiritually.

4. Thou shalt compliment each other
Listen to the compliments in Song of Solomon 1:15-16 and share them with your spouse.  

5. Thou shalt set aside a date night
With the busy schedules families face every day, finding a free moment to connect with your spouse can end up feeling like one more task on your already full plate. But if you put off spending time together until a “better time” comes along, it will eventually lead to emotional distance between you and your spouse. Make spending quality time with your spouse a priority – tonight!

So how are you showing your love for your spouse today, and hopefully every day? Share with us in the comments below!

Rekindling the flame starts with forgiveness

How is your marriage? Be honest! Is the flame burning as high as it was the first week of holy matrimony? Or has it been extinguished by the mundane, unexciting thoughts of being with one person for the rest of your life? How was the last date you and your spouse went on? What about pillow talk, the back rubs, and candlelit dinners? Are they still happening? Do you find yourself in a constant disagreement about everything in the marriage?  ‘He doesn’t pick up after himself;’ ‘she doesn’t give me the attention she knows I need;’ ‘he works all the time;’ ‘she never cooks a dinner like my mom;’ these little arguments can quickly cause the flame to die down, or worse, burn out.

The thought of your marriage being as cold as the ice cubes in your freezer is life-threatening and you have to do something now! Your actions during this critical stage in your life will be the oxygen your marriage needs to rekindle the flame or the extinguisher that leads to a road of destruction and divorce. Revelation 2:4-5 says this:

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.

Thank you God for the hope of restoring our marriages to what they used to be by bringing us back to that first love! There is something about those first moments in our lives – that first kiss, that first date, the first night after the wedding. There is nothing like it and we must repent and get back to showing our spouses the love we had at first.

As you pray about the actions needed to rekindle the flame in your marriage, start with the first two of what I call the Ten Commandments of Rekindling the Flame in your Marriage.

1. Thou shalt put aside anger and forgive

a. The first step in striking up the flame, in making your marriage hot again, is to stop carrying the grudge and forgive.

2. Thou shalt always pray

a. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to pray without ceasing
b. Grab your spouse by the hand and let them hear you praying for them and your marriage

Join us this Sunday for the continuation of this dynamic series: The Ten Commandments of Rekindling the Flame in Your Marriage.

I Just Want to be Successful

The evidence is clear and convincing that the better your relationships are at home, the more successful you are in every other aspect of your life. Your career is better. There tends to be more harmony in your friendships.  You also see tremendous growth spiritually. On the other hand, however, if you’re having difficulty with a loved one, that difficulty will be translated into reduced performance on the job, discord in friendships, and certainly an empty spiritual life.

In studying the millionaires in America (U.S. News and World Report), a picture of the “typical” millionaire is an individual who has worked eight to ten hours a day for thirty years and is still married to his or her high school or college sweetheart. A New York executive search firm, in a study of 1365 corporate vice presidents, discovered that 87% were still married to their one and only spouse and that 92% were raised in two-parent families. The evidence is overwhelming that the family is the strength and foundation of society. When you follow God’s biblical design for the family, you strengthen family ties and enhance your opportunity to succeed.

When we look at God’s plan for our families, there is one word to sum up success …submit!  When we submit we surrender ourselves to the authority or will of another. Every member of the family must give up something for the sake of others.  Take a look at some proven ways that wives, husbands, and children submit in family relationships to make it work:

  • Wives submit by
    – Supporting their husband in ways that show their support for Christ
    – By believing that God says their husband is their leader
  • Husbands submit by
    – By going all out in love for their wife
    – By sacrificing everything
    – By making his wife’s well-being his primary concern
    – By treating her as his equal
  • Children submit by
    – Being obedient to their parents
    – Honoring their father and mother

Carry out your role in the family to help it be all that God wants it to be, and enjoy the  success!