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Become Man, Wife in God: Nurturing a spiritually-based marriage Part 1

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When you got married, the officiant likely ended the ceremony by introducing you and your spouse as man and wife for the first time. Did you know that someone was left out in that introduction? A marriage isn’t, after all, a relationship between two people. It’s a relationship between two people and God.

What if, however, you’ve pushed God aside in the marriage as a silent partner? How do you and your spouse make Him an active participant again? Here are three tips to cultivating a faith-centered marriage:

Pray Together

When we pray honestly, we are laid bare. We reveal our vulnerabilities. We drop pretext. Is there anything more intimate than this? Even more significant, however, is that praying together invites Christ directly into your relationship. Remember, in Matthew 18:20 Jesus says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Read Scripture Together. Study Scripture together

The Bible is the living word of God. When we schedule time to read scripture together, we are saying God’s message to us is important. We are making our faith a priority. When we study scripture together we delve into a deeper understanding of God’s word and what it means for our lives and our relationship.

Love is an Action Verb: Living 1 Corinthians 13:4 Part2

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The word “love” is often used as a noun: a way to label an emotion or state of being. Love is also used as a passive verb: more of an abstract emotion or a focus on a physical draw that we feel intently. In fact, take a look at the way the Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word:
“Love: n. a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. v. to feel great affection for (someone) : to feel love for (someone)”
The Bible, however, tell us something entirely different; it tells us that “love” is an action verb.
Love Does Not Envy:
Are you home with a young child while your spouse is at work: talking to adults, using the bathroom alone and in peace, and finishing a cup of coffee while it’s still hot? Maybe you wish you had your spouse’s gregarious nature or special talent. Regardless, when envy rears its ugly head, resentment quickly steps in. Close that door, because love does not envy.
Love Does Not Boast:
That last time you argued and it turned it out you were right? Love isn’t interested in “I told you so!” We may relish that feeling of vindication, sure. It isn’t doing our relationship any favors, however. Let it go.
Love is Not Proud:
So that last time you argued and you were wrong? It can be hard to admit we made a mistake. Apologizing can be a blow to our ego. Love squashes down pride and does it anyway. (Need help saying you’re sorry? Try this:  I’m sorry: How to say it and mean it.
Challenge: Read 1 Corinthians 13:4 this week. How will you exhibit the action verb “love” in your relationships? Come back here next week to dig deeper into 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

Love is an Action Verb: Living 1 Corinthians 13:4 Part1

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4
The word “love” is often used as a noun: a way to label an emotion or state of being. Love is also used as a passive verb: more of an abstract emotion or a focus on a physical draw that we feel intently. In fact, take a look at the way the Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word:
“Love: n. a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person. v. to feel great affection for (someone) : to feel love for (someone)”
The Bible, however, tell us something entirely different; it tells us that “love” is an action verb.
Love is Patient:
You know that bad habit your spouse has? That one that just got on your last raw nerve merely thinking about it? That one. Ask yourself this: is it worth your frustration? Love is patient. Take a deep breathe. Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Love is Kind:
Whether it’s confusing sarcasm and teasing for quick wit or going for the easy verbal jab when angry, we can all push “kind” to the wayside. Bring it back. Love is kind. Love doesn’t engage in name calling or put-downs. Remain respectful.

5 Habits to Break for a Healthier Marriage Part2

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There is no perfect marriage. And in case you didn’t get the memo, husband and wife aren’t perfect either. The issue is that most of us don’t understand relationship maintenance at all or how to care for each other past the first blush of heat.

Just like good nutrition and regular exercise can help you to have a healthy body, there are things you can do to have a healthy marriage.

Habit 4: Venting to your public

Neither your social media status nor your friend’s inbox is the place to release your frustrations with your spouse. Turning your latest frustration into a Facebook post isn’t about releasing what bugs you. It’s really more about amassing a team of folks on ‘your side’ who can validate your feelings. If you’re annoyed with your spouse, tell your spouse.

Habit 5: Overconfidence

Even the healthiest marriages need tending. When things are going good and we’re happily in love with one another, it’s easy to coast. Don’t. Make time to spend together. Talk about the things that make you happy, as well as the things that don’t. Compliment your spouse. Pray for each other. Evaluate your relationship habits and see where you can improve. Your marriage is always a work in progress.

Challenge: What habit do you need to break? What steps will you take to break it? Talk to your spouse and ask for support in making the change.

5 Habits to Break for a Healthier Marriage Part1

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The key to nurturing a healthy marriage lies as much in what you should not do as it does in what you should do. We’ve talked a lot recently about steps you should take, like how to   fight fairer and communicate more clearly. Let’s look at the other side of the coin. If you’ve got one of these 5 bad habits, it’s time to break it.

Habit 1: The affair with your phone (and other tech)

We live in a world of constant connectedness. It reminds me of a recent exchange on Facebook. A friend posted, as he often does, “Out to breakfast with my wife.” Another person replied, “Shouldn’t you be talking to your wife instead of posting about it?” When you’re with your spouse, or anyone else for that matter, put the phone away. Focus on the person sitting with you right now.

Habit 2: Peacekeeping

A quest to avoid all disagreement is unrealistic. Consistently biting your tongue and acquiescing to avoid conflict will breed resentment. Critiquing your spouse’s method of folding laundry is not a battle worth having. Feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list and wishing you had more assistance is a dialogue you need to have.

Habit 3: Comparing your spouse / relationship

Have you had one of those “Why aren’t you more like him/her” moments? That trait or exchange you are wistfully eyeing and wishing for in your own life was a single snapshot moment in someone else’s. You’re not seeing their whole reality. Don’t covet what you imagine exists. Step back and focus on what is wonderful in your own relationship with your own spouse.

 

4 Secrets to a Successful Long Distance Relationship

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Long distance relationship is something that requires too much trust and great faithfulness. You cannot deny the fact that both of you in a long distance relationship are prone to temptation and misunderstanding. But there are four secrets to have a successful kind of this relationship.
There is no “normal” relationship. 
You need to remind yourself that there is no normal relationship and everyone has its unique story to tell. There are times that your situation is similar to one relationship but it will not be always the same. You also need to remember that both of you are not perfect so it is ok to forgive and forget something that is in the past. While away from each other, talking about the flaws from the past cannot make a relationship stronger and longer.
Open communication
Communication is very important especially if you are away from each other. Constant updates are good to keep the trust and doubt will not settle in. Using the social media sites is a very good way for you to communicate everyday anywhere and everywhere without too much hassle.
There will be doubt, but do not let it stop you.
There are times that you find yourself doubtful but listen to him first before concluding. Feeding yourself negative thoughts will never help your relationship and that will cause you stress or depression instead. Sleepless nights at first is very normal but you need to remind yourself about your love for each other and do not think of those things that both of you will not trust each other.
Keep the romance alive.
Do not forget that you are his best friend no matter what and you are always there to listen virtually since you are far from each other. Always remind your partner that you trust him, you care for him, you miss him and above all else you love him. Saying these things will give both of you comfort while you are still away.
Long-distance relationships can be hard on anyone, but these secrets can help you get through the tough times. Remember to put God always in the center of your relationship.

Being Consistent Part2

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Being consistent on what you are already doing is a very important thing. You need to be focused on what you do and you need inspirations like your partner and your children to keep you going. Continue to be a loving partner and a loving parent. Your family will always thank God because of your life and you just continue to do your responsibilities to them. Remind yourself that you are one of their inspirations too and the center of your relationship will always be God.
Lastly, be consistent on what you really want to happen in the future, not just for your family but also for yourself. Be consistent and as much as you can, do not change plans especially if there are influences from others. Depend on God’s revelation and always be transparent to your partner. Always remember that you are not alone and both of you can make a decision. Advice from others may help you make decisions but God’s revelation is the most important thing. Just be consistent of being dependent to God.  Consistency is essential in one’s everyday life.
Goal setting for your family with your partner is an important thing to do. Others forget to talk about their plans and even what they feel that is why other couples tend to have doubts or do not have full trust to their partner. Always ask the Lord to guide you in every plans and decisions you make.

Overcoming Conflicts Between A Married Couple

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Conflicts are normal in a marriage for these can help you grow together as a couple.
But if both of you don’t know how to handle or overcome conflicts, you might end up hurting each other that can lead you through making wrong decisions.
To overcome conflicts, first, you need to have an open COMMUNICATION.
Conflicts can never be solved with silence, you need to talk it over and don’t let them stay until the sunlight comes up.
In the scripture Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
You have to understand that you made a vow with each other and before the Lord that you will stay together through thick and thin, so whenever you’ll encounter disagreements, don’t sleep until the problem has been solved.
Your marriage is more important than your pride. Don’t make any decisions when you are consumed by your emotions. Don’t let the enemy stir up the word “divorce” in your marriage because that is not the solution.
In Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Believe that God has joined you together as one intentionally with a purpose, and that is to make God known in your marriage.
Second, you have to be more UNDERSTANDING with each other. 
Realize that your spouse is not perfect. He or she has also has his or her own lapses but that shouldn’t be the basis of your love for him or her. God has united you together to fill each other’s gap.
According to Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Choose to forgive your spouse like how God forgave you.
Lastly, you have to LOVE EACH OTHER WITH GOD’s LOVE.
In Romans 5:8 “ but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He decided to love us despite of who we are and not we ought to be. If we’ll love our spouse with a human love then I believe we won’t survive, because human love is selfish but the love of God is unconditional and selfless. So we have to ask God to be the vessel of His love towards our spouse.
Marriage is a teamwork, both of you should pay the price, this team won’t work if the both of you doesn’t understand your goal. Your goal is to glorify God in your marriage. Give your best for this marriage to grow.
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” You have to understand that the strength that your marriage has should come from our Lord Jesus Christ. He should be the foundation of your marriage for there is no firmer foundation than Jesus Himself.

Things You Can Do With Your Spouse

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Even if you are already married, you should not limit yourself doing more things that will make you happier. Being married does not mean you do not have much time to enjoy; hence, this is even the best time to enjoy life because you are with someone to do these things.

Know Your Favorites

It is important to know what your favorites are even in the smallest details such as your favorite foods or drinks and even your favorite color. You and your spouse will surely talk about that because both of you want to know each other better.

Take a Road Trip

Taking a road trip on a weekend is an experience to see more of God’s amazing creations. This is one way of feeling the God’s goodness and you are making good memories together at the same time.

Discover New Places to Bond

Discover new places to bond with your darling. You can forget the park you usually go to or your favorite spot in the mall for a while and discover new restaurants or new coffee shops. You can try restaurants that serve exotic foods and you can even try to experience extreme activities like ziplining or wakeboarding.

Discover a TV Show

Discover a Godly TV show that both of you can learn from. You can even watch tutorial videos on Youtube for you to learn more things like how to do make up, how to declutter you home, how to make handicrafts and so on. God will always want you to be a better you and you should not limit yourself on learning many things even if you are already married.

Get Fit

You both need to realize that your health is very important. Your body is God’s temple and you should take good care of that. You need to live longer for your spouse and of course for your children. Even if you both have busy days during the weekdays, you can go to the fitness gym on the weekend to keep your body fit and healthy.  The couple that gets fit together stays together!

Volunteer

Go out and volunteer. Help those who are in need and communicate to these people and learn from their experiences. See the both sides of this world together with your spouse. It is a God given chance to help God’s people and share your testimonies to them.

Make a New Hobby

Do you love taking pictures of sceneries or people? Make photography as your new hobby! It is good that you and your spouse share the same hobby and in the near future, that will be your passion and that can be possibly a source of another income.

These are samples of the things you and your spouse can do in your marriage life. It is not yet late to do or discover new things you have yet experienced when you were still single. To have a happy marriage life is always a choice and a couple should work on that.

Things a Single Needs To Do before Getting Married

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Travel

Traveling is one of the things you can give to yourself as a reward. It is a wonderful feeling to witness and experience God’s awesome creations like the different land and water formations. You can even witness and communicate with other people from different culture and traits. Traveling is more awesome when you are with your favorite people.

Learn Cooking

Of course, you should learn how to cook before getting married. Either you are a man or a woman; you should know how to prepare meals. Learn the basics and much better if you know something that will make someone appreciate your cooking skills more.

Be Financially Stable

You need to be financially stable before making your own family. You should be independent and capable financially so that you will not ask help from your parents because they have their own expenses too.

Face Your Big Fear

God will always want you to be fearless and courageous. Before settling down, you should be a conqueror in dealing with small things that you are afraid of doing of. If you are afraid of heights, try zip lining or mountain climbing. Achieving one of these things is such a good moment to embrace.

Live Alone

Experiencing to live alone does not mean you hate everyone around you. It means that you want to experience of being independent because you are in the right age to do that. You can just experience that six months to a year. It is also the right time to soak in God’s presence and be more dependent to God.

Finish a Degree

It is much better if you finish your degree. Everyone wants that but not everyone can accomplish that. Achieve that before getting married. Your future children will soon appreciate the importance of education especially if they see that in you.

Do the First Move

This is not only means that you do the first move to get in touch with someone. This means that you need to learn how to initiate especially if you already know what to do in a certain situation. This shows that you are maturing.

Challenge Yourself

Aside from facing your fear, challenge yourself to do things that you have not yet experienced. Talking about initiative, you should also make the first move to achieve things that will make you a stronger person but will always be in line with God’s will and guidance.

Learn To Drive

Of course, you want that moment that you will drive next to your spouse, so learn how to drive!

Live Somewhere Else   

To live alone or with your best friend, try this in a place that is very new to you. With this experience, you will appreciate life more and you will know yourself more. This is also the right time to make more time to God and deal with Him for more amazing things coming.

Make Something With Your Hands

Talking about tutorials, you can make something with your hands and treasure it for the rest of your life.

Read Books

Reading books will not just improve your intelligence but this will make you discover more about life. Read books because you deserve it. There are many things in life to discover. Enjoy reading!

Keep a Journal

One of the most important things to have is to keep a journal. You should have a daily devotion to God. God loves you and He wants you to know Him more.