Thursday, 9 June 2011

Saving Your Marriage Requires a Three Step Process

I recently read a blog the title of which was “What Most Couples Don’t Know About Saving Their Marriage”. As with much of the secular material that I read there was some wisdom in the advice given, such as “don’t put your head in the sand thinking things will get better because circumstances may change”, etc.

In all honesty some of the secular approaches to reconciling a troubled couple are effective – statistics cited however suggest that only one in four marriages are helped by marriage counseling, The second piece of advice from the blog was basically if you need eye surgery don’t go to a foot doctor (my paraphrase). Not all counselors are marriage counselors.

A serious health issue that requires surgery might mean that you are on the operating table for eight hours or more with perhaps months of recovery. Yet for some reason we think that a marriage that has been unhealthy for years should be cured in a couple of visits to a counselor or by merely attending a weekend seminar.

The fact is an unhealthy marriage needs more than eight hours of surgery and the healing period will most likely be much longer than a few months.

First John, chapter four, verse 20 says that we must consider that the true character and quality of our love for God is reflected in the quality of our relationship with the person nearest to us. Our problem isn’t that we don’t love our husband or wife enough it is that we don’t love God enough. First address your vertical relationship with God, the author and holder of the patent on marriage.

Second acknowledge that you have to change whether or not your spouse changes. If you are the husband you have to begin loving your wife with the same commitment and intensity that Christ loves His bride, the church. (Ephesians 5:25) This is made more difficult because there is no formula; the husband needs to learn what love looks like to his wife. The wife needs to begin to respect, admire, revere, support and encourage her husband. It is easy to tell wives what to do since men are far less complex than women. You noticed nagging isn’t on the list – it has never proved to be very effective.

Finally first Corinthians 10:31 tells us that whatever we do we are to bring glory to God.

The Three Step Process for saving your marriage. (1) Get right with God; (2) follow His commandments found in the Book of Ephesians, chapter five, verses 21-33; and (3) treat your spouse in a way that will bring glory and honor to God

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Knowing Versus Being Known

On previous occasions I have quoted Bob Snyder, MD who writes “Lessons Learned on the Journey”. Bob heads up IHS an organization dedicated to training doctors to integrate their faith into their medical practice. He wrote:

Knowledge is a much-rewarded commodity in our culture today. Striving to know has been a large part of my journey in life. Also, I have found that knowledge can be used as a weapon for arguments or making myself appear smart. It is then that knowledge becomes less about the subject and more about me.

However, my journey to "being known" is a less traveled path. Being known requires me to be vulnerable, to confess, to forgive and to reconcile - actions I often pursue with less zeal.

The Apostle Paul suggests that my spiritual journey seems to have similar options - knowing or being known.
......We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.(I Corinthians 8:1-3 NIV
Bible dart
Sometimes a husband or wife has more knowledge of Scripture and tends to act as if that makes them superior. This makes God’s Word less attractive to the one on the receiving end of the Bible darts. As Paul says, “love builds up” it doesn’t tear down. Love, if it is to represent the King, must be a verb. We must die to self and become a servant.