Five Steps to Destroy Your Marriage

Five Steps to Destroy Your Marriage

God creates, Satan pervertsThe Five T's are the road that will bring you to intimacy beyond your wildest dreams with your spouse, as we mentioned in Five T's for Success. Before marriage and outside of marriage, the Five T's are like a road which leads up to and potentially over the proverbial "line". The problem with a line on the road is that it can be difficult to see until you're almost on top of and about to cross it.

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Recovery After An Affair: There is Hope

Recovery After An Affair: There is Hope

I could sense the fear in his eyes, as the tears began to flow down the side of his cheek. “You just don’t love me anymore, do you?” I selfishly ignored the question and continued to drown the sound of his trembling voice with the vigorous  roar of the vacuum cleaner. Frustrated, my husband snatched the cord from the wall and began to cry out, “Tell me, I have to know do you still love me?” I stood there callously, unmoved by his daunting words and then without thinking or even showing the slightest remorse I blurted out my reply: "I just don’t “feel” a thing!"

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Take a Stand: Divorce is not the answer

Take a Stand: Divorce is not the answer

Surely you've heard the saying "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." Little is more true than this when deciding to stand for your marriage even as the world gives you every reason to walk away and not to stand. Believe it or not, there are times that those who will discourage someone from standing will even use God's Word to make walking away seem okay. DON'T BE THAT PERSON! 

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How did I not know?

How did I not know?

"I feel like such a fool!"

We hear that all the time from spouses who have found out that their husbands or wives have been having an affair and they didn't know about it. And they feel like such a fool because they feel they should have known about it. They beat themselves up with the question "how did I miss all the signs?" They feel like everyone in the world knows except them.

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I'm Done: What to do when you are sick of your marriage

I'm Done: What to do when you are sick of your marriage

The sleepless nights, waiting for my husband to come home from fire calls...driving past the local dive in the afternoon and seeing his truck parked there...fighting about everything...I was just plain done. I was sick of our marriage. Surely, there had to be more to marriage than the cycle of disappointment, hurt, fighting, and making up.

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Fill My Rolo-SEX!

Fill My Rolo-SEX!

Do you remember the Rolodex? For those of you who are under 35, it was little round desk accessory that had hundreds of cards in it. The cards held information from business associates and contacts. When you wanted to call someone, you spun through the alphabetized names, picked up the phone (which was attached to the wall/desk by a cord!) and called. We've already established through numerous previous posts that men and women think differently, and even if we hadn't, it's no mystery that we see the world through very different lenses. One writer says that men see the world through blue tinted glasses and women through pink. So just keep that in mind as you continue to read.

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Greatest Love Story

Greatest Love Story

What's the greatest love story you've ever encountered? I recently read a trending article about lady who is a writer of a television show who chose to divorce her husband and pursue a relationship with an actress she works with. It's not a show I know anything about, nor am I familiar with the people involved. But the article that I read begins with this phrase:

"In what is arguably the greatest love story of our time..."

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What To Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart

What To Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart

His voice began to break as he shouted above the roar of the blaring vacuum cleaner. “Tell me, I have to know, do you still love me?” I ignored the impending question. His tone became stronger, and the look of fear and concern became more evident in his temples and tear filled brown eyes. My selfish desires had led me to a life that was flirting and dabbling with secret sin. I looked up at my husband and blurted out, "I just don’t feel a thing…" 

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Who Do You Belong To?

There is a song that I love by Grey Holiday, and it has come to the forefront of my life recently. There is something so easy about running away. About hiding. Early in marriage counseling, I was asked why I didn't want my husband to look at me. Whenever we would fight or if there was something important that needed to be said, I wanted to hide my eyes. I thought of it as not wanting Kris to look at me.

But there was a deeper meaning.

I didn't want him to really see: my guilt, my shame, my fear, my heart. I longed for him to hear my heart, but it was extremely difficult for me to let him see into the depths of it. It is still very difficult. My instinct, when he stares at me too long or wants me to look at him when we are having a serious conversation, is to look away. I seem to believe that if I let him in, if I let him see, what he'll find is something that he will despise. That somehow, he'll see the ugly and the shame and he'll turn away from me.

And don't we do this with God?  When we sin, when we run from what He has called us to, and He wants to talk to us about it, do we have the courage to look up, to face him and have an honest conversation about where we are at?  Or do we pull away and try to hide?

youbelongtomeIY

More often than not, we hide.  We don't want God to see who we really are.  Because we are afraid that if He truly sees what lies in our hearts, underneath all of our pretense, that He will turn and walk away.  And in this day and age of husbands or wives walking away and abandoning us, the last thing we need is one more person turning away and washing their hands of us.

But why do we do this?  Why do we put God on the same level as the other broken humans around us?  Why are we so convinced that this amazing God we claim to love will see our guilt and our shame and say, "That's it. I give up on you."?

Do you really believe that?  Do you believe, deep down, that if God sees what's really in your heart, underneath the layers of pain and hurt and guilt, that you will no longer be worthy of his love?

What I think God wants us to learn is that even when we run and hide, He still knows our hearts.  He knows the ache we feel. He knows the wounds we nurse.  He desperately longs to bandage those, hold us close and say, "It's okay. I love you just the way you are."

It is only God who can do that.  Until you can allow God to play that role in your life, no other human on earth will be able to give you what you want.  If you do not first understand that you belong to God, no matter what condition your heart is in, you will not find joy in your relationships.  It isn't possible.  God is the only One that has the power to say to you:

"So come back to the light, to the love; you will find that it's been here all along. So come back to the start and you'll find in your heart that you always belonged to me."

Too often we depend on those around us, especially our spouses, to be the hope that gets us through another day. And when they fail us, we fall apart. Because all along, we have been dependent upon the wrong person. When your marriage seems to be falling apart and you can no longer depend on your spouse, and you don't know where to turn, you've missed the very important truth. You belong to God.  No relationship you have or pursue will bring any kind of true and lasting fulfillment without your complete and utter dependence on God.

"Just take the rope I won't let it go Give in We can start again I'm Life I'm Hope And I'm ready to explode With how bad I want you back Home."

And while I know some of you long for these lyrics to fit in with your marriage, it is a message that is intended to touch your heart and help you see that first and foremost, you should desire this from God.

Because He desires this from you.

He wants you to know that you have always belonged to Him. And God always takes care of those under His care. Psalm 17:8 says, "Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings." It is a prayer of David, as he understood that He belonged to God and that God alone could give him the peace and comfort he needed in a very difficult time in his life.

"You're my daughter, you're my son. You're the one I chose to love. And you've heard I chose to die. Do you know you're the reason why?"

YOU belong to God.

You have always belonged to Him and nothing you ever say or do will change that. And no matter how long you have stayed away, no matter how far you have run, you can always start again. You can grab onto that frayed strand of HOPE that God holds out to you, and it will always be stronger than your pain. He'll pull you back up to solid ground and bandage up your wounds. As a child belongs to its mother, YOU belong to God.

Plan for Success in Marriage!

Plan for Success in Marriage!

I didn't want to get up this morning. I didn't want to get out of bed at 5AM to run. I wanted to stay snuggled in bed. I hit the snooze button over and over, having compelling conversations with myself, rationalizing why staying in bed was better. Indulging in snippets of sleep, justifying running tomorrow instead of today....so I could sleep in.

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Just Say NO To Sex?

no sex

I grabbed my oversized sweat pants and tank top. With every ounce of energy left within my five foot four and a half-inch frame, I swiftly pulled back the covers and eagerly collapsed onto the bed. At that moment, the emotional exhaustion from dealing with twenty plus clients, the stress of laundry, dirty dishes, the disgruntled shouts of an I want it my way or no way teenager, the awaiting upstairs clogged toilet, the to do list that stretches my entire neighborhood block, the unanswered emails, voice mails, it all seemed to slowly diminish...

This is my time- rest, relaxation, a good book, the ipad, two dark chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, followed by the anticipation of much needed sweet dreams, but then out of nowhere I felt IT… the hand! My hubby’s fingers begin to crawl up my spine like a stealthy, sneaky, recluse spider. I know what he is expecting.

At that moment my fleshly side wants to shout out, I wouldn’t do that if I were you! Do you want to keep those ten fingers? Don’t you even think about it! You had it last week, to be sure that should last for a good month. What in tarnation are you thinkin’?

Every selfish instinct tells me to stand my ground, demand my sexual rights, not give in, and just say NO to sex!

I Am The Only One?

It's then I am reminded that I am the special gift that God gave to my husband to meet this need. You see, my husband can take his laundry to the cleaners, dine out for all of his meals, confide in a close male friend, and in doing all this he can still be in the will of God. Yet, if he chooses to have sex with anyone other than his wife-ME- it is sin! I am the only one who can minister to my husband in this area.

This love, intimacy, and the act of being completely transparent and naked before each other creates a oneness within our marriage that should take precedence over everything else; the iphone, ipad, commitments, chores, kids, chocolate, Facebook, EVERYTHING, with the exception being for a mutual short retreat for prayer. In reading 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul goes on to caution that even this should be done for a short time.

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. ~1 Corinthians 7:3-5

Getting My Priorities Back In Line

I am learning that my commitment to sexual intimacy in our marriage involves doing what is necessary to achieve it, and getting rid of whatever is necessary that hinders it. There will be times that I have to take control of my thoughts, lay aside my selfishness, and focus on the needs of my husband. In all honesty, there are times that I find myself praying these words.

Lord, I need you to help me. You know my faults, how I tend to overcommit myself, and can get my priorities so out of line. Help me to surrender any emotional or mental obstacles that may be hindering me from wanting to share this pleasure with my husband. Father, I want to meet my husband’s needs. God, give me a passionate desire to be intimate with him, and a fresh renewed strength. Thank you for choosing me to be his gift. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

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. Your donation is more than a tax deduction- it’s a tool to empower us to continue changing lives, marriages, and legacies. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Affair Proof Your Marriage

affair proof

Your marriage is like a vineyard, lots of room to romp and play, the sweetest fruit, it's a safe place of pleasure and growth. But we've got to guard that fruit from anything that will come against it that seeks to destroy what we're building together with God. It's time to affair proof your marriage!

Then you must protect me from the little foxes, foxes on the prowl, foxes who would like nothing better than to get into our flowering garden. ~Song of Solomon 2:15

The enemy is clever like a fox. We saw in the Garden of Gethsemane that he chose to slink away to wait for a more opportune time to come against Christ. If Satan was scheming that way against the Son of God, then you know he is planning attacks on you and your marriage. Adultery doesn't just happen. David didn't just wake up and decide to sleep with someone else's wife.

Do You Need to Affair Proof Your Marriage?

Don't think your marriage needs protection from foxes or affair proofing? Here are a few simple indicators that your marriage may require protecting:

  • You and your spouse don't eat dinner together regularly
  • You and/or your spouse work full time
  • You and/or your spouse watch a lot of TV
  • You and/or your spouse don't attend church together regularly
  • You or your spouse has had an extramarital affair, including emotional affairs
  • You and your spouse are human
  • You are married
  • You are breathing

So how do we protect and affair proof our marriages? Temptation has always and will always exist, so the best way to turn from it is to limit the opportunities to fail. Most adulterous relationships begin as friendships, as seemingly innocent business lunches or time spent alone with someone of the opposite gender. So you've got to protect and affair proof your marriage from the fox of adultery by deciding upon the ways you will avoid being in a position to fail.

Things we WILL NOT do with a person of the opposite gender:

  • Ride alone in a car
  • Dine- breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, etc
  • Go into the place of residence, unless spouse is home
  • Meet behind closed doors or confide in a person of the opposite gender. A person of the opposite gender cannot be an accountability partner or confidante
  • During business trips, no in hotel room meetings and the front desk to disable all pay movies and adult television stations. If you have to, ask to have the TV removed from the room!

It's not just a matter of choosing what NOT to do...in the course of transforming your thinking about the vineyard of our marriage, you must chose to do things that protect, enrich, nurture and grow a strong marriage with deep roots in the Word of God.

Things we WILL do with our spouse to protect and nurture our marriage:

  • Watch and remain guarded regarding platonic touches
  • Pour love, respect and attention onto each other
  • Share an email account and passwords to email/facebook accounts including work accounts
  • Have accountability software on ALL computers, with a third party accountability partner and discuss computer history BEFORE deleting it
  • Give each other the benefit of the doubt first, before assuming the worst

Well, here's a bonus...want to really REV UP your marriage and sweeten its fruit? Put the kids in bed, light the candles in your bedroom, get under the covers and read Song of Solomon together out loud. *wink*

Have you experienced the fruit of protecting your marriage from the little foxes?  How do YOU affair proof YOUR MARRIAGE? Tell us about it!

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. Your donation is more than a tax deduction- it’s a tool to empower us to continue changing lives, marriages, and legacies. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!