Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Do you have Pigitis?

Yes. Pigitis! No not the swine flu, but just as deadly. Pigitis can destroy any relationship and there is only one known cure and for most it tastes terrible and is very hard to swallow. Have you ever watched pigs in the pen all full of mud fighting over there spot in chow line. They cast off all restraint. They will run there own piglets over to get to the slop or jockey for position. This is a reoccurring theme with those who have developed a case of pigitis. It's all about them. This disease that can be so devastating, if it goes unchecked can leave you all alone and broken. The ramifications of this disease will keep people away from you. In fact they will begin to avoid you as your symptoms are more present and visible to their eyes. So what could be so devastating a sickness that could ruin your entire life? So examine yourself honestly of course and if you dare have your spouse examine you. 1. Am I immature? I mean immaturity in the fact that as your relationship exits the bliss stage and real life gets crowded by many new moving parts that you don't get the same overwhelming attention you once did in the courting stage. 2. What do you choose to do with your spare time? When I say spare time. I mean after you punch out from work what do you choose to do? If your list doesn't have spouse at number one, not good. 3. Are you insensitive? Do you listen to your spouse,empathize with them, and give them appreciation or words of encouragement? 4. Are you stubborn, headstrong, or pigheaded? Have you ever laid down your guns in the fight even when you knew you were 100% in the right. Humble yourself lately?
Selfishness is a destroyer of mass proportions. The problem with selfishness is big and sometimes goes completely unknown for long periods of time. I know you have run into someone or have relative who is always telling you about what she's doing, the vacation she just went on, the new stuff she got this week at the mall, and then they tell you all about what their kids are doing or what their husbands are doing for them, never once asking a single question about you or how your life is going. Just like the pig in the pen their only concern is for what they want or gotta have or they think their entitled too. Anything that comes against those desires is viewed as the enemy. Now you can also be pushed over the edge to a selfish behavior pattern by not getting the things you deem as necessities in your relationship. Intimate contact, quality time, encouraging or kind words, physical intimacy, and respect just to name a few. When met with deficiency or lack we tend to go defensive as human beings. We're hurt so we push away so we don't get hurt again but this solves nothing and drives a deeper wedge into the relationship. The bottom line is this. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves"
Phi 2:3 NIV
Sounds easy right? I know it can be difficult but to change the dynamic of any relationship someone has to take the first step. "Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up". James 4:10 If you humble yourself and think of others better than yourself and serve others with a pure heart you will see amazing results.
Remember it's all about your motives. You must not be expecting a certain result or immediate return. Then your motives are simply for selfish reasons. Do these things because God says if you "delight yourself in him and commit your way to him and trust him with the outcome, he will give you the desires of your heart". Psalm37 4-5
That sounds a whole lot better than in the mud and mire of the pigpen.

Excerpts taken from "The 10 Commandments of Marriage" By Ed Young

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Contract or Covenant?

Take a look around you it doesn't take long to spot someone you know who's marriage is in trouble, heading towards divorce, or someone you know who is already divorced. The statistics don't lie the divorce rate has been steadily climbing for decades. There are many factors that have contributed to the lack of commitment to the marital bond and the vows we swear before God and witnesses. To have and to hold, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, until death do us part, these just doesn't seem to resonate with people anymore. In the Garden of Eden, Eve listened to the serpent and disobeyed God and got Adam to follow along bringing sin into the world. God confronted Adam with what he had done. Adam promptly blamed Eve and then blamed God for giving Eve to him. He didn't take responsibility for his actions but he never said that woman is not good take her away and give me a new one. Marriage is a covenant agreement not a contract like the world would like you to believe. It isn't a license that gets revoked if there are to many violations or infractions. You see in marriage you will have sickness, money will run low sooner or later, and you will have ups and downs in your relationship and life will challenge you at times but in spite of this your loving bond to have and hold each other through it all is to be until you die. Marriage was never meant to be about any one person's personal happiness but to the growth and development of the two people in a bond to love each other for life. We are to be united together and dependant on each other to get through all the challenges of this life. Through our experiences and loving care for each other, we grow closer in everyway. Did you ever notice how some of the qualities you lack, your spouse has them in abundance or just how complimentary you both are to each other. What we tend to do though is point out the things that we don't like the things that bother us, that drive us crazy, or pet peevs that our spouses have. We focus there instead of on all the positive characteristics and good behaviors our spouses do have. If you find yourself in trouble in your marriage relationship or you see yourself doing some of these things I mentioned, there is hope. You need to take inventory. Examine your heart and see what it is that really matters to you and your relationship. You will probably find very few things that are in need of immediate change. The one's you do though will need to be talked about with your spouse in a loving manner. Don't let your current circumstances keep you down. Don't allow an unresponsive spouse or denial of a problem to handcuff you. You have to stand up and work towards change to have the relationship you desire and it helps if you pray.... alot.
I have a challenge for you. Take a piece of paper fold it in half long ways or by height. Then make a list of all the things your spouse does that drive you crazy or you just can't stand. Then email me and I will give you the final direction on this exercise. It is sure to open your eyes to some things and change your perspective going forward. It may even keep your marriage together.

God Bless!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"You've Lost That Loving Feeling"

I'm sure you remember this classic scene in Top Gun. It was an over the top pick up line of sorts from a guy who was a little bit wacky. I know it's a movie but just follow me for a minute because if you remember the movie, she falls head over heels for the guy. The point here is that he wanted to meet the woman and by this clip he was shown to be willing to do just about anything right up to embarrassing himself in front of his peers. It shows he's committed and he was willing to lay down his pride-persona-ego and take it to the limit. He thought the woman was worth possibly humiliating himself for the opportunity to meet her. Now I know there are some women saying " So your telling me to fall for every over the top pick up line". No, what I'm saying is you can recognize in moments after that if the person is genuine or not and whether there is sincerity at heart. Through conversation make your own assessment whether a relationship is worth pursuing or not. (watch the clip again she is qualifying him to find out who he really is.)

So here's the question. Have you found moments where you felt you lost that loving feeling for your spouse. I'm sure if you've been married for any considerable length of time you have hit this proverbial wall or maybe your there right now. You may be saying to yourself "this can't be all there is" or "this isn't what I dreamed my marriage would be", or the new classic "I have fallen out of love with you" or this cult classic "we've just grown apart". These are some of the common phrases of people that have given up on their marriage or are about to walk out on their marriage. One of the most common things I here from people who are in marital distress is " I can't believe this is where my marriage has ended up". They respond almost like they weren't aware they had a part in messing it up. What happened?

I'm here to tell you marriage is hard work. To have a healthy, growing, intimate, and loving marriage takes all you have to give and odds are if you have fallen on hard times in your relationship you haven't been doing what is required. When we are in the early stage of courting someone, it is usually very exciting and new. Just like Maverick we bring it, we do everything we can to win her heart. I like to call this the Bliss stage. We are so entranced by our new found love that we pull out all the stops. We are always doing things to show that special person how much we care about them and are thinking about them. Then something happens, we commit to each other in the relationship and slowly all those beautiful loving gestures, acts of service, special walks together or just quality time together starts to fade. If it goes unchecked the beautiful loving relationship you once had will eventually fade away.

The good news is it's not to late to turn back the clock and get back to what endeared you to your spouse in the first place. It takes two to make a marriage work. So don't be shy to say exactly what you need from your spouse or would like to see more of in your relationship. Be creative and get out of your comfort zone. Spontaneity wins points and who doesn't like to be surprised from time to time. Bottom line is show your spouse how much you love and care for them. Ask God to help you with this rebuilding and understand it's a process but don't be surprised to see instant changes and benefits. With God's help any marriage can be restored into a relationship that is more fulfilling and loving than you could ever of imagined.
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