Listen

Listen

Porch time has always been my favorite part of the day with my husband. I used to see it as a time to totally download all my thoughts onto Scott, giving him my expectations for his day. I didn't understand why he would clam up and shut down. Car rides were that way, too, as I invited Scott into my stream of conscientiousness, dragging him through my every thought. And yet, with porch time and car rides, I longed to hear my husband's thoughts but didn't understand why he didn't share them..and I didn't know how to listen when he did. Can you say overwhelmed?

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If You Can't Say Something Nice

If You Can't Say Something Nice

"Although that fleece isn't flattering, I bet it's super warm!"

Yes, my super husband, my perfect gift from God, said that to me. About a fleece I was wearing. In the car. On our way to work together. Past the point of possibly changing my clothes. Did it hurt my feelings? Yes. Did he mean to hurt me? No. But I love the way Dennis Rainey sums it up:

No other human relationship can approach the potential for intimacy and oneness than can be found within the context of the marriage commitment. And yet no other relationship can bring with it as many adjustments, difficulties, and even hurts. ~Dennis Rainey

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Not a Mind Reader

Not a Mind Reader

Don't have the argument by yourself. Those were words of wisdom from once upon a time when I worked in property management. It was Friday afternoon, and I'd gotten a voicemail from the vice president of a large firm and long term tenant in one of the office parks I managed, asking for a return call to discuss a letter he'd recently received from me. My mind raced. I spoke with the our lease administrator, running through the things I thought the VP could be calling about and how I would respond. A wise man, he reminded me that I knew this tenant's lease, I was good at what I did, and I should stop preparing for an argument that didn't exist. Don't have the argument by yourself.

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Expectations

Expectations

Growing up, my father knew everything and could fix anything- plumbing, electrical, carpentry, roofing, cars- you name it, he could do it. Yep, I grew up in Superman's house, watching him leap tall buildings and race with locomotives. So when Scott and I got married, I knew he couldn't possibly be Superman. Every time something required repair in our house, I would tell Scott he couldn't fix it and that he needed to call my dad. And most times, Scott lived right into my negative expectations.

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Just Say Thank You

Just Say Thank You

Around our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband Scott bought me an anniversary band, giving it to me at Christmastime. I was mortified. The thoughts that raced through my head and came out of my mouth unfiltered were so disrespectful, and not the response he anticipated. 'I can't believe you did this. I can't believe you spent this kind of money. I don't want expensive jewelry. What were you thinking?' It makes my heart sad to think about it now. Why didn't I just say thank you?

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Your Thoughts Determine Your Destiny

Your Thoughts Determine Your Destiny

We've all engaged in the battle of the cookie, haven't we? It's there, the aroma calling out to me, reminding me of its chewy gooey goodness, and how I could have just one to satisfy my craving. So I agree, yes, I could have just one chocolate chip cookie. After all, it's just a cookie, it's not the whole batch, hot from the oven, right?

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Showing Respect for the Separated Husband

Showing Respect for the Separated Husband

There are times, of course, when it feels easier to respect your husband. Such as when he is being loving, is well rested and polite, meeting your needs and being understanding. I know first hand how challenging it can be when your life and marriage are not living up to even basic expectations. Or worse--you are estranged or separated from your husband and he isn't exactly behaving respectable.

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The Art of Gentle Persuasion

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole world? I mean, that thing you do just for you - because it just seems to make everything else in life "right"? Now imagine if that one thing were taken away from you suddenly. Possibly permanently.

What sort of mood might that put you in?

gentle

That one thing for me is running. Like Eric Liddel once said, "when I run I feel His pleasure." Maybe it's because I'm naturally very hyperactive and running just seems to calm my mind and spirit. Or maybe I was just born to run. But it's something I really enjoy, and something I like doing on my own or with a friend, out on a deserted country road or in the middle of a busy metropolis. I enjoy long runs especially. I'm one of those guys who thinks it's hardly worth lacing up unless it's going to be for at least 5 miles. Half marathons are just bliss to me, and I've even got a handful of marathons under my belt.

Get the picture?

But a couple of months ago, things changed. I developed some nagging injuries and had to stop running. At first I thought I could scale back, but that didn't work out so well. So, I've stopped. Entirely.

I haven't stopped exercising altogether. I've been to the gym a handful of times. Stationary rowing, cycling, stair climbing, and elliptical machines at least allow me some way to get in a calorie burn. But it's not running. I've also been cycling. And some of the guys I ride with are pretty intense cyclists, so I certainly get in a good calorie burn. But it's not running.

I'm usually one of those "silver lining" people. I can always find the good in just about anything, and I'm rarely down for long. But over the past several weeks my mood has been, well, deteriorating. You might even say I've bordered on depression.

A couple of days ago, I went home for lunch. What I really wanted to do was go for a run. But since that's not possible right now, I went home. And I just sat there. Didn't want to eat, didn't want to do anything.

Gentle Pursuit

My wife, Tiffany, had been at work that morning as well (we work in the same office, same department), and she was planning to go to the gym at lunch time. So I didn't expect to see her home, which was just fine with me. I wasn't much good to anyone anyway.

But then she came home, and obviously hadn't been to the gym. She went to the kitchen saying how she decided get some things started for dinner and might go to the gym later. Then she said she was going to make herself something to eat, did I want something too? Sure, why not. Then she asked if I'd like to go to the gym with her. Well, guess I could. At least I'd get some sort of exercise.

In essence, my wife changed her plans and went out of her way to include me in what she was doing when in fact she really didn't have to. Her God-given intuition told her I was on the brink of a deep sadness. And through her thoughtful, intentional actions, my mood was changed entirely!

Sure, it was more of the stationary bike and the elliptical that day, which would not be my preference. But it was with my wife, who took the time and effort to demonstrate love and consideration for me, solely for my benefit, just when I needed it. She gave up a little of her self, and adjusted her schedule - all for my benefit. It wasn't some flamboyant gesture, just gentle persuasion  - right when I needed it most. And that made all the difference.

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. ~Proverbs 31:10 LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGE! Join us September 5-6 at Faith Fellowship in Kinston! 

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Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

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Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

It's YOUR fault: The Blame Game!

It's YOUR fault: The Blame Game!

I'm done with this marriage because of him. It's his fault. He always works late, he never calls, he leaves dishes in the sink, he never brings me flowers, he leaves his wet towels on the floor, he doesn't tell me I'm pretty, he doesn't romance me, he's addicted to pornography, and the list goes on and on. I'm done with this marriage because of her. 

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Protect, Provide, Pursue

Protect, Provide, Pursue

Men, we've all been there. You just get comfortable in bed and at the very moment you're drifting off to dreamland, your wife rolls over and says she thinks she heard a noise downstairs. What's your first reaction? If you're like me it's to say "I didn't hear anything." Which to your wife loosely translated means "I'm not really concerned about what concerns you, I just want to sleep." This does not promote a feeling of security in your wife's heart.

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The Tongue: Torturing or Tantalizing Words?

The Tongue: Torturing or Tantalizing Words?

I could hear the shrill sound coming from the dentist’s drill as it headed straight for my mouth. Out of fear and shear panic, I started waving my hand and attempted to cry out the first words to leap to my mind… Stop! Doc, you're killing me! My slurred speech and limited vocabulary only left me more frustrated. I began to tense up after realizing that I had absolutely no control over my lifeless, numb tongue.  That cunning, skillful dentist had successfully paralyzed my tongue without even telling me what he was doing. I had tasted the swab filled with minty topical solution and saw that it was followed by what seemed to be an 8 foot long needle. What came next was a sudden desire to pass out and hit the floor! I’ve always been a little drama queen. Surprised?

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I Choose Love

“What if God is more interested in changing you, than in changing your spouse?” I wish I could tell you that I sat still on that cold, harsh brown  sofa, as the words from the Christian counselor’s lips echoed and replayed over and over again in my mind. Just being candid, it was NOTHING even close to still! I actually began to fidget, get antsy, almost jumped off that couch and stuttered helplessly for words to spout back! Her soft-spoken response was FULL of conviction and had followed my list of complaints and selfish demands for changes I yearned for in my marriage. Changes that all centered around my spouse.

choose love

Wasn't Marriage Created To Make Me Happy?

Didn’t I deserve to be happy? I mean, isn’t that what love and marriage were created for, my Happiness? The tears began to flow from my eyes as I began to try to justify to her my reasons for asking him to leave. “You just don’t understand, I don’t feel a thing. I don’t think I love him anymore.”

Unwavering in her stance, she did not seem to empathize with my reasoning of wanting to desert the marriage.  How could she ever understand what I knew to be years of wanting more in a relationship, the outbursts of verbal abuse, feelings of  isolation, mixed up priorities….. Although her words were convicting, I wanted to reject them and remain in denial. It did not help matters at all that I had been confiding in a friend of the opposite sex about the struggles in my marriage. I loved the way he listened and understood. I appreciated his compliments, and I won’t deny it, I even liked his flirtatious remarks. Deep down, I knew they were so wrong and my emotional involvement in this inappropriate relationship was doing nothing at all to help heal my shattered marriage.

The Change Had To Begin In Me....

The ride home that day, the continued counseling sessions with my husband, and the steps of marriage restoration were some of the hardest difficulties I have ever faced. In all honesty, I remember several nights, lying on the edge of the bed and crying out to God. It was a desperate, painful cry. Have you ever been there? When you don’t know what else to pray….when you just can’t find the words to say? It takes all your strength just to muster a whisper of the name, JESUS. Yet, I knew that if my marriage situation was going to change I needed to repent of my  sin and ask God to change my marriage. I came to that harsh realization that the change had to begin in ME!

I began to pray and ask God to resurrect my marriage and my feelings for my husband. Over those next few months, I woke up every morning and I purposely chose to love him!  Just getting real, I am sure there were days when I had my cranky rotten attitude that he had to do the same….. and he chose to love me.

I learned that marriage was not created just for me to be happy. It was created to make us more holy. Rick and I  were created to sharpen each other into the image of Christ. Even when we did not feel a thing we had to choose to love, sacrifice, listen, empathize and affirm one another.

♥ I Am Grateful That We Chose To Love

It’s been a little over three years now since that attack in our marriage. I love him more now than the day we were married. I am so glad we chose not to listen to the world, it offered us little hope. There were those who thought we were crazy, insisted we move on, “find someone who will make you happy, you deserve it.” We had to shut them out, and instead we focused on prayer and stood on the promises and marriage truths found in God’s word. I am so grateful that we chose to LOVE! 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In which area do you need to choose to love?

 

FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember saved our marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

weekend to remember

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God’s truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

 

 

When the Grass Looks Greener: Water Your Own Lawn

It was my neighbor Stan’s green grass- it looked and felt like a rich plush green carpet as I squished it between my freshly painted, bare toes. I had walked by it many times and I knew I was trespassing, but I just wanted to touch it! No one would ever know. JUST TRY IT OUT! Our grass always looks so dry and I hate those tiny little aggravating ant mounds that invade our lawn. Oh, and then there are the ferocious WEEDS! Seriously, it looks like I have discolored collards or some kind of thorny looking vegetable plant growing on my front lawn. The weeds have crept in and I just mow right over them. At least they are a semi-green color and fill in the bare spots!

Sometimes I sit on the front porch and laugh at Stan in that hideous oversized sun hat. No kidding though, it seems he tends the grass 2-4 times a week. Giving it just enough water, the right amount of chemicals and handpicking any weed that may survive his strict regiment. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he sings to the grass to make it grow…

When The Grass Looks Greener On The Other Side

Why is it sometimes within our MARRIAGES the grass can APPEAR to look greener on the other side? We get our priorities so out of line, work, kids, church, sports, commitments… that we soon forget to communicate, to take time for each other, to “water OUR lawns.”  We find ourselves enticed to the sights…oh if I could just have that lifestyle, enchanted and drawn to the sounds of a flirtatious remark, or even allured by the feeling you had when you received that compliment from a man or woman other than your spouse.

grass looks greener

If our hearts are left unguarded it can lead to coveting, complaining, discontentment and soul draining, relationship killing ENVY. You see there was a time in my marriage many years ago that I became shackled to discontentment.  It  lead to self pity, anger, depression and self- centeredness. If we are not careful we can find ourselves right smack dab in the middle of falling into a death trap of sins such as devastating emotional or sexual affairs. Yes, I Was That Prodigal Wife.

Don’t Be Fooled, Every Marriage Has Weeds

My friend, no matter what you think, EVERY marriage has weeds!  Your neighbor’s marriage, your church deacons', your Sunday School teachers', even your pastor’s marriage! No one is exempt. It is unrealistic to believe that you can live with another human being for any length of time without having relationship problems.

Tend The Lawn: PRUNE to Get Rid of the Weeds

Pray for your spouse. Praying together as a couple and praying individually for your spouse is one of the most powerful weapons you have against attacks from the enemy. (Power of a Praying Husband, Power of a Praying Wife)

Rid your marriage of the unrealistic expectations. You need to realize that your spouse can not meet your EVERY need. There is only One who can do that and His name is JESUS!!

Uninterrupted couch time. Take at least 15 minutes of communicating with no electronics, no kids, and no remote control...EVERY DAY! That’s right, we just need to take time to listen to each other.

Needed accountability. We all need Christian friends to hold us accountable to our marriages. Are your friends only telling you what you want to hear? If you are struggling in your marriage, you need to be cautious as to whom you are taking advice from. If the words being whispered in your ear do not line up with the Word of God, you need to run from them!

Enjoy regular date nights. We all have insanely busy lives. Couples need to reconnect emotionally and physically on a regular basis.  Go ahead, write those date nights on a calendar and tape it to the 'fridge. Go dancing, to the movies, the dollar store, go parking, whatever you do use your imagination, laugh and have fun. Just GO, GO, GO!

You see sometimes the grass looks greener and we just need to water our OWN lawns. I love this one, “Sometimes the grass looks greener because you can’t see the MANURE from where you are standing! Think about that one...

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5

 

HWClub_SqBlogButnBThis post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  Fawn Weaver, the founder of the Happy Wives Club wrote a book about the best marriage secrets the world has to offer. You can grab a copy HERE.

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember saved our marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too! 

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Book Review: Why You do The Things You Do

Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships

Why You Do The Things You Do

By Dr. Time Clinton & Dr. Gary Sibcy

I've had this book for a few years now...isn't that always the case? About a week or so ago, it was just sitting there on my bedside table, where it's been for months and I couldn't ignore it any longer. I read most of it right then and there. I even needed to grab a pencil and start underlining so much of the wise goodness it contained!

It's about relationships in general, not just marriage but how we operate in our friendships and our parenting. The authors break relationship styles into four basic categories (and corresponding chapters for each), starting with what the healthy one looks like:

The Secure Relationship Style The Avoidant Relationship Style The Ambivalent Relationship Style The Disorganized Relationship Style

The book is filled with great examples and testimonials of individuals operating from each style. It explains them well and gives a very clear picture of each. I found the information easy to understand and painfully relatable.

The authors also do a very good job of breaking the styles down in how we parent our children. The book gives practical advice on how to raise emotionally healthy children that can actually manage both their positive and negative emotions.

I have read many relationship books that felt like they simply reiterated the same tired basic communication skills. Not this one! It is Biblically centered and challenges the reader to explore, acknowledge and analyze their individual woundedness, in order to move forward along the path of healing and healthy relationships. The last chapter was one that left me feeling equipped and filled with hope.

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I finished this book a few days ago and I have already noticed changes in how I respond to others. I am excited to start implementing what I have learned, in my role as a parent.

Whether you are married or single, someone's child or a parent, or even a friend, this book will have a positive impact on every relationship you have. I can not recommend it enough.

New year, new you, new marriage!

Now it a great time to tune up your marriage at The Art of Marriage! We've got events at Sandy Plain OFWB in Pink Hill January 10-11 and 902 Church in Kinston January 17-18. Register for one of them today!

AOM

 

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Your Husband Doesn't Think Like You

For so many years of our marriage, I thought I had to have the answer for everything. Whether it was how to hang the bathroom light fixture to squeeze all of our 'to do' list into a Saturday, I took on the responsibility for all of it, asking my husband into the execution of my plan instead of the planning. And then we'd argue when he had ideas that were different than mine! Go figure!

husband

In Chapter 24, Let Him Solve Some of Your Problems of The Surrendered Wife, author Laura Doyle reminds wives to value and honor their husbands' thoughts and ideas with practical examples. With the world telling women they can do it all without help, and as you hear that Proverbs 31 woman whispering in your ears, it is almost easy to believe the lie that you are supposed to be able to shoulder all this responsibility. Not true!

Husband & Wife: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

You and your husband are on the same team. When you work together to plan and execute your plans, you both feel valued and your marriage is strengthened. When you, as a wife, take the time to share with your husband what you want/don't want, how you feel, and what your limits are, you enable your husband to be there ready and willing to solve problems on your behalf. Admitting that you don't know the answer for every situation opens the door to intimacy with your husband, drawing you together.

Your husband is a man, he doesn't think like you. He wasn't created to think like you. Aren't you glad? Men were created to see things from a different perspective than women...and that different thinking is likely part of what drew you together to begin with.

Pray about where you can invite your husband into a situation in your life. Share with him the situation, what you want and how you feel...and decide that you will:

Value His Ideas: Asking for your husband's solutions to affirm your own is setting the bar way too low.  Share your challenge or trouble with your husband, listen carefully to him as he works toward a solution from his perspective, even if initially you don't like the idea. Express your desires and feelings to your husband about his plan, NOT arguing why your plan is better. Then pray, and let him execute his plan to solve your problem. Don't let the enemy dredge up past mistakes and failures that might sabotage your cheering your husband on. Be open to your husband's ideas, really hear him, and do not reject him or his ideas.

Honor His Ideas: Honoring his thoughts and ideas doesn't mean you can't have a conversation; it does mean that you don't argue with his thinking. It means you choose to defer to his thinking and solution, after you've expressed your desires and concerns about the situation. Honoring his ideas and deferring to your husband gives him the space to succeed and surprise you in ways he hasn't been able to before. I love that deferring to your husband is in such good company in 1 Peter 3 as a way to reverence your husband:

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,

When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. ~1 Peter 3:1-2

Don't make every decision alone

When you said "I do," you covenanted to walk through life together for a greater purpose than your own happiness, and God drew each of your strengths together, that you would be more powerful and impactful together than you ever could have been separately, as two became one. Take steps toward each other and intimacy...together...by inviting your husband into your challenges.

Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him. ~Matthew Henry

In case you've missed it, this post is part of a series following along with The Surrendered Wife. I've got to say, as much as this book shocked me and moved me to surrender, I wish the author would embrace her Creator! I'd strongly encourage you to pick up the book, read along, keeping your bible close by! Catch up on the blog series now by reading: Control or IntimacyDid You Marry a Loser?, Chauffeur or VIP, Shhhh!, Crazy Resentful, Your Heart's Desire, You Bought a What?!Just Say Thank You, GirlfriendsButton Pusher, Expectations, Not a Mind ReaderSpace to WorkA Wife's Role, It's Okay to Say I Can't, Intimacy: Naked & Unashamed, If You Can't Say Something NiceLet Your Husband Be the Dad, ListenSeduce Your Husband, Say Yes to Sex and Not Every Thought is Your Own, Halt, Pray, Speak Life and The Secret of Marriage.

It's time to declare 2014 will be DIFFERENT! Dove recording artist Sarah Groves, Beverly Weeks and I get intentionally candid about how you can be set free from your bondage in the name of JESUS! That's not all! We will have over 50 vendors on site with shopping, a concert and a TONS of PRIZES!!!! Tickets are on sale at www.bridgechurch.cc Bring your church groups! Bus and van parking is available!

IWM 2013 cc

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

In This Corner

"My husband wants counseling so he can have someone in his corner."

"My wife wants to go to counseling just so she can have someone on her side."

Can you hear the cry of desperation in the hearts of these spouses?

corner 

Every day we hear from couples/spouses seeking counsel. Sometimes they are in agreement, they'd like to come to counseling together. Often times we'll hear from a spouse who desperately wants marriage counseling, but won't commit to it because they feel their spouse's motivation is misplaced, as in the quotes above. Both spouses are missing it...the cry of their hearts was placed there by God. It is the desire for oneness in marriage.

It goes back to Genesis, when God created the means to have someone in your corner and on your side in marriage.

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. ~Genesis 2:24

The desire God has placed in your heart lines up with the covenant you made on your wedding day, to become one in marriage through the process of leaving, cleaving and becoming one. What does that mean? Let's break it down:

LEAVE: The first responsibility is to establish independence from your parents. Naturally, having spent 18 +/- years of varying dependence upon our parents for the necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, stability, values, etc.), leaving seems counter cultural- you've learned all your life that "blood is thicker than water". But God designed it so that as you make your marriage vow, you are saying that you are cutting the cord of dependency and allegiance to your parents, just as the doctor cut the umbilical cord when you were born. This means that you've joined a team of three- you, your spouse and God. Your spouse is your go-to person her on earth- the first person you go to with your needs (after God). You must always honor your parents, but must put your spouse first in your life (after God)- it is essential that your spouse is the PRIMARY relationship in your life. You cannot have oneness with your spouse and with your parents.

The degree to which you leave is the degree to which you can cleave. - FamilyLife Weekend to Remember

CLEAVE: The second responsibility is to establish a commitment to one another. It's funny, for the first twelve years of our marriage, I had NO idea what it meant to cleave. I thought "cleave? I get to use a knife?" Nothing could be further from the truth- to cleave means to stick like glue, a permanent bond that can't be broken. Cleaving involves walking out the three promises you made on your wedding day- to stay married forever, to love and care for each other and to be faithful to each other. Love is not based on feelings or emotions, "love is to will another person's good" as Elisabeth Elliot says. Did you know that God created you with a need that only your spouse can fill? Your spouse is able fulfill this need as you choose to receive your spouse as God's perfect provision for you, as you focus on God's character and His goodness in providing your spouse, and as you receive your spouse based on God's goodness, not on your spouse's performance. Oneness grows as we receive our spouse as our perfect provision from our perfect God.

BECOME ONE FLESH: The third responsibility is to establish intimacy with one another. All right, this means sex, right? Well, becoming one flesh is more than that, it's the process of becoming a more as a couple than you could ever be as individuals.  Oh yes, physical intimacy and sex is an expression of this ultimate oneness, but is is so much more. Oneness is the daily embracing of God's purposes and plans for your marriage. It is the changing of pronouns in your marriage from "he", "she", "his" and "hers"  to "us" and "ours."

Your spouse is not your enemy. -FamilyLife Weekend to Remember

That is the cry of your heart. Your spouse was created to be the person in your corner, the one who is on your side. You were created to "have your spouse's back". You and your spouse in your marriage is the world's smallest battle formation. It is the cry of God's heart that you stop fighting IN your marriage and start fighting FOR your marriage. If you need help to get back on the same side with your spouse so you can fight the culture and not each other, get the help. Check out resources like those in our Marriage Toolbox. Find a local biblical counselor. Get understanding.

Which of these responsibilities have been toughest for you?

 

Dove recording artist Sarah Groves, Beverly Weeks and I will share from own personal struggles and how you can be set free from your bondage in the name of JESUS! That's not all! We will have over 50 vendors on site with shopping, a concert and a TONS of PRIZES!!!! Tickets are on sale at www.bridgechurch.cc Bring your church groups! Bus and van parking is available!

IWM 2013 cc

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!