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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

240: IRREPLACEABLE

We read in Ephesians 6:12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." One of the tactics that Satan has used from the very beginning to exercise control and dominion is to attempt to break the bonds of marriage between the husband and the wife. In the garden, Adam and Eve were both tempted by Satan. Once Eve was alone, away from Adam, Satan was able to beguile her. I have wondered if Adam and Eve were together when Satan tempted them that he would not have been successful. Instead of partaking of the fruit when tempted, they could have counseled with each other and waited for further instruction promised by the Lord. When the husband and wife are connected together with God and seek guidance from Him, then Satan is more likely to not have power over them.
 
Currently we are in a war. We are wrestling against the rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places. Below is a 2 minute trailer of a movie documentary that will be coming out this Spring. The movie is called "Irreplaceable". I  look forward to seeing it.

 
 

Marriage has been a hot topic lately on whether it is a right or privilege. In the 1828 dictionary, Marriage is defined as "The act of uniting a man and woman for life" or the "union of one man and one woman"  Ultimately, this union is meant to be fruitful and result in children. Our society is now trying to redefine the word marriage.  .

Here are a few thoughts on marriage and some advice that I wanted to share that I have heard. I thought since it is Valentines Day on Friday that this would be a good time to post this.

Marriage demands commitment, passion, humility, love, and respect. These traits are most evident in a person who has an intimate relationship with God. Communication in marriage is one of the main problems that can plague relationships. Communication is the foundation of every good relationship, especially marriage. In Colossians 4:6, the apostle Paul exhorts us, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Too often this exhortation is ignored in marriage relationships and a lot of hurtful things get said. Proverbs 10:19 says, “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

If emotions are overheating, give one another permission to take a timeout to cool off. Studies show that marriages that fight dirty with a lot of hurtful speech will erode over time and chip away at the relationship until there is nothing left. James tells us that though the tongue is a small member; it can kindle a great fire, and has in it the power of life and death. "Choose today, to tame your tongue, as a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Prov 15:1). Determine to replace the harsh tongues in your marriage with words of graciousness that will bring life rather than death blows.

Forgiveness is foundational to every healthy relationship. We are an imperfect people and we hurt each other and let one another down regularly. Learning to forgive each other is crucial for preserving loving relationships. It's been said that these nine words can save your relationship, "I was wrong, I am sorry, please forgive me." Use them often as they have great power in maintaining closeness in relationships. Forgive early, don't allow a lot of time to go by, often the greater the time lapse the greater the damage done to the relationships. Jesus sets the bar in forgiveness, we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us and no we don’t deserve it. Jesus said, "if you do not forgive, neither will your father in heaven forgive you" (Matt 11:26). Choose to be one who forgives quickly and often, allowing God’s grace to prevail in your relationships!

The first step in re falling in love is to start paying attention again. Do you remember how much attention you paid your mate before they were married to you? The quickest way for you to put spark back into your marriage is for you to start affirming and appreciating and admiring again the strength of your spouse instead of focusing on their weaknesses. You know how affectionate you were during your courting days; it needs to be a part of your marriage each day. You had adventure when you were having romance. You've lost the adventure. Everything is predictable. Predictability kills in a marriage. All work and no play makes a dull marriage. The family that plays together stays together. Revelation 2:4-5 "You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen? Repent and do the things you did at first."

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Sidenote: To the men out there.. a reminder that this Friday, February 14th, is Valentine's Day. Some of you probably know that St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration of a Christian saint named Valentinus. There are many legends about Saint Valentine. One of the more popular legends of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians. The Roman Emperor Claudius II supposedly forbade his soldiers to marry in order to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. According to legend, in order "to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment", giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine's Day. (Frank Staff, The Valentine & Its Origins, 1969, Frederick A. Praeger)