Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
While singing this verse with 170 Vacation Bible School kids, we literally LEANED sideways, as if we were falling into the word "lean." Even though it was taught to children, it is absolutely a song for us all. It's truly what takes us through life, the thick and the thin. Lean on the Lord.
There is no doubt that even the best of marriages struggle at some point(s).
Struggles can be with trust, communication and understanding. To truly give oneself to another is very challenging; just as challenging as understanding God's love for us. How could He really love each of us so much and so completely, when sometimes we can hardly do that with our own spouse, or even our own selves?
We tend to Lean only on our understanding instead of balancing our lives with our spouse's understanding. Maybe we rarely give acknowledgement to who purposely brought us together.
And our paths? Can they always be straight?
Marriages and life
are a winding, sometimes narrow, sometimes WIDE path.
In our marriages, we must acknowledge that He
has brought us together. We must trust that He will show
us the way. We must Lean on Him to show us where
He wants to take our relationship. We must trust that what
we experience in our marriage is only to make us better.
We must, together, share the belief that our path will
never be completely straight in our view,
but that The Path That Lies Ahead will be the one chosen for us,
to share completely together.
1) What do we struggle with most in our marriage?
Do we each struggle with the same things?
2) Do we Lean on the Lord to support & help our marriage?
3) Do we walk the path together? Are we on the same team?
There is SO much power in our relationships. Next to God, you are the most powerful force on earth in your spouse's life. Have you ever thought about how much power we really have over and with each other? The words we use, the faces we make, the intimacy we share, the way we wake up and lie down, all heavily influence the other person.
There is power in your relationship. The power of commitment! Everything successful comes from commitment. Everything that is worth anything in life requires commitment. Your commitment to each other is a force in our world. It shares the message that as a couple, you can make a difference and you value each other.
THE POWER OF TWO
Are you and your partner different? Don't fight it, embrace it! Together you make a whole. Together you are complete and effective. Together you compensate for each other's weaknesses. God can use differences and struggles to make us better people and better partnerships.
THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT
The greatest gift you can give your partner is encouragement! Be on the same team. Believe in each other. Talk about your future, not where you're at. Make time to dream together. Encourage one another with your words, actions, time and deeds.
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
Remember that forgiveness is not for the person you are forgiving, but for you. "Cut it Out & Move On!" Physically act like you are cutting a piece of paper, pretend to wad it up and then throw it over your shoulder. Leave it right there! Sometimes, we even need to forgive ourselves.
There is power in your relationship. But, always remember God's power is beyond comprehension. Give glory and honor to Him in all you do. Accept the power you have with one another and accept the responsibility that comes with it. Use it gently and gracefully.
1) Have we ever thought about how much power we share?
2) How do we encourage one another?
3) Is there something or someone we need to forgive?
Grow together, stay together.
Grow together, stay together.
It happens over and over. It happens in churches, at work, in cities and throughout countries. It happens in wealthy communities and poor communities. It happens across the world...THE GAP.
The gap is where one person in the marriage or relationship grows either emotionally, spiritually, intellectually or in any way, and the other person does not grow. One person excels in some way in life and the other does not.
2It creates a gap. Becoming a better person requires stretching oneself. Becoming a better partnership requires each of you stretching yourselves. However, do not think you must each stretch in exactly the same way, just as long as you're stretching!
Isn't it funny that one key to a successful marriage is that each person grows as a person by themselves? It is like a paradox. But, it is the truth. Maybe one of you is trying to eat healthier and the other is taking a night class towards a second degree. Maybe you can find time to work out together. In both those scenarios it creates team spirit within your marriage. What does NOT create team spirit is when one of you moves forward and the other's feet remain planted in the same spot, refusing to move!
1) What are 2 things each of you are doing to make your life better?
2) What is 1 thing you COULD START doing now to move forward?
3) What are some things you can do together to build a better partnership?
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10
1) Conquers all!
2) Is a CHOICE, not a FEELING!
3) Yourself. It is important to stay positive because all things come from the inside out.
Imagine if we could Live like we knew we were Loved? Take a listen:
In trying a new recipe, which is always a really bad idea for me, this was the end product. It is supposed to be a red velvet heart scone. I believe the word “cardboard” was mentioned at first taste by my lovely husband But, when I look at it I see LOVE! I see that Love can be really messy. It can have highs and lows. It can reach and runneth over into many areas. It can be built on something very ugly and turn into something beautifully made. It reminds that we are called to Love because He first Loved us by sending his one and only son.
John 3:16 You are Loved!!
Keep in mind that LOVE is also an ACTION, not a thought or a word. #Toughlove
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV)