Are You Protecting Your Marriage?

Scripture: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 AND
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Thought: I will never forget when, many years ago, I traveled once a month to market the business I was working for. I would leave my husband for a week, and be on the road, away from home, while meeting new people, attending business meetings and dinner engagements with prospective buyers. There were ALWAYS temptations because of the worldly pressure, wealth and fame. Adultery is not normal in my world and unacceptable in my marriage. Nevertheless, my boss invited me to participate in deceit. I was told, I could” move to “the top of the company, if I slept my way to the top.” No one would know the truth but the man, God and myself.

When we are loyal, we reflect our faithfulness to God. When we are disloyal, we reflect the betrayal of Satan. We live in a fallen world—one that is increasingly indifferent to sexual sin. If we want to live and lead with intention, we can’t be naive. I boldly, yet simply with confidence replied, “If I have to sleep my way to the top and not earn it by my own merit, than I don’t need to be at the top with this company.” We must recognize the temptation adultery poses and protect ourselves accordingly. Nothing will destroy our influence and gifts faster than an affair.

My husband and I have policies in place to avoid danger and to protect our marriage:
 Pray together. We are invested in the relationship we have and we pray together before we leave the house. If you want your marriage to grow and flourish, you must invest in it. This means investing time—dreaming, laughing, listening, praying and crying together.
 Using old-fashioned, common sense. We set boundaries; Do not go out to eat alone with someone of the opposite sex; Do not travel anywhere alone with someone of the opposite sex, not to the library, a museum, or a business meeting. Do not flirt with someone of the opposite sex. Speak often and lovingly of each other, when out in public and around others.
 Consider what is at stake. Put the temptation in perspective. If Jesus walked in, would I be proud or embarrassed with my decision? How do I want others to remember me? What last impression do I want to leave as a legacy?

Action: Marriage is not merely between husband and wife; it embraces a partnership with God.
I truly believe with God all things are possible. Marriages that have not allowed God to be apart of the equation are truly missing out. He’s your biggest fan, and if anyone wants you to succeed and be happy, it is God! So don’t make your life even harder, allow Him to help! Character matters. We must take responsibility for our own actions. Our Father God is counting on us to use the Holy Spirit as our discernment. I believe God will rescue me from anything I ask for. I believe in Him for great things. Are you protecting your marriage?

If your marriage has fallen short or failed, know that God still adores you. His grace overflows upon you. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 3.

Prayer: Lord, I will ask, seek and knock. My desire is to fight for my marriage in all situations. I pray for your intervention at all times, so I may remain loyal to You and my husband. If we have a fight, please replace anger with love, and pain with forgiveness. Please restore peace to our relationship. It can happen. Give us rest knowing that Your power is made perfect in our weakness.

5 Languages that Communicate “I Love You”

Scripture: “Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:8-10

Thought: Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a famous book on The Five Love Languages. Based on his book, here are the five languages that communicate love, actions, and things to avoid.
1. Words of Affirmation: Communicate with encouragement, affirm actions, appreciate efforts, empathize with compassion, and listen responsively. Actions to take: Send an unexpected note, text, or card, and encourage often with sincerity. Avoid non-constructive criticism, not recognizing and appreciating.
2. Physical Touch: Communicate through body language and touch to emphasize love; hug, kiss, hold hands, show physical affection regularly, make intimacy a thoughtful priority. Avoid physical neglect and long periods without intimacy. Avoid receiving love coldly.
3. Receiving Gifts: Communicate with thoughtfulness, kindness, patience, make your spouse a priority, and speak intentionally. Actions to take: Give thoughtful gifts and gestures, small things matter in a big way; flowers, dinner out, favorite candy or meal, video game or DVD movie, and express gratitude when receiving gift. Avoid forgetting special occasions, avoid being un-enthusiastic about receiving gift.
4. Quality Time: Communicate without interruptions and focus on conversation. Spend one-on-one time by way of date nights, quiet time after kids have gone to bed, sitting outside and observing the stars, take a walk together. Create those special moments and do small things together. Avoid distractions when spending time together; avoid long interludes without alone, quiet time together.
5. Acts of Service: Communicate that you are united with them as a partner and you want them to know that your are present to help serve; use action phrases, like, “I’ll help do this….” Do chores together or some other project improvement, make breakfast in bed, water plants, wash the car, fill the gas tank, go shopping for groceries or kids school supplies. Act anyway to alleviate the daily load. Avoid making the request of others a higher priority, avoid not following through or completing the task to the end, whether big or small tasks.

Action: Take this languages of love quiz together. Then re-center in Fathers Love and begin your date night with one another’s love language. For quiz go to http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=whats-your-love-langugae

Prayer: Lord, apart from you I desire nothing. I know that when I love you and use the special gift You have bestowed upon me that I can fill my spouse’s love tank. My desire is to do Your Will and I know and believe that you will fill my love tank in return. Teach me to communicate in the same way you so lovingly communicate with you. Please give me the motivation and commitment to take action and not just speak it or think about it. I need You, I want You, and I desire to center my love around You. Amen.

What’s Your Story?

I was pregnant with my third child, when I was baptized. I had given my life to the Lord in 1982. Prior to asking Jesus in my heart, and after 3 yrs of marriage, I wanted a divorce. Do you have a story about your marriage to share? [mk_contact_form style=”modern” skin=”dark” email=”#”]
My husband worked too many hours and was never home. When he was home, he wanted his beer and t.v. He was old fashion. He brought home the money and was king of his home. He expected me to do all the rest. I don’t need to describe my long list of duties as a wife, mother, and daughter-in-law. I’ll just say, I worked long hours too. I wanted more from my marriage and thought I could find something better. I wanted freedom.
Three key principles were missing from my marriage: Boundaries,
Forgiveness, Commitment. Before stepping into the wilderness of darkness God gave me hope with a promise from His word. Galatians 3:20.
Whats your story about when Jesus walked with you? Your story will encourage us. Leave us a comment at www.drjamesgjohnson.org.

Betrayal: When Will The Trust Return?

Scripture: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thought: One night Greg didn’t come home after work. Four o’clock in the morning, Charlotte received a knock on the door. As she opened the door, her heart dropped and she felt like she was going to get sick. A police officer was there to report they had just arrested her husband for breaking and entering with attempted assault. “Oh, my gosh, what has he done”, she thought. Her husband was an alcoholic. There were many nights that she stayed awake waiting for him to come home when she knew he was out on a binge. She worried, “Will he take a cab and make it home safe?” But, breaking an entering with attempted assault, she never imagined he had another woman or would try to hurt someone. When he was sober, he was a quiet, gentle man, who worked hard everyday to support his family. This particular night, he made it home safely in a cab, but after he got out of the cab and started to walk towards the apartment, he fell on the sidewalk and passed out. When he awoke, he stumbled with his keys to open the door, he thought it was his door, but actually, it was a neighbor on the other side of the apartment complex. Greg had gotten lost. When the resident surprised him by swinging open the door to see who was trying to break into their house at three o’clock in the morning, Greg raised his fist to defend who he thought was the intruder in his house. The Bible tells us If you don’t have the gratitude attitude, you cannot possibly be in God’s will (no matter what other great things you are doing).

We are to give thanks because it is God’s will concerning us IN everything. He doesn’t say FOR everything. No, that’s not what we are asked to do. We are not expected to give thanks for what’s happening in the middle of every negative situation. However, we do thankfully acknowledge that our God is in control of our destinies. Greg was released from jail the next afternoon after a hefty fine and charged with a felony. Charlotte cried out to Our Father during her despair and thanked Him that His Will would be done. Within the week, Greg had entered into a rehabilitation center for alcoholics and has been sober for fifteen years. It took Greg falling to his knees before he would surrender. Charlotte gave God thanks IN her difficult time and she forgave Greg for his weakness, pain, and burden he caused the family. God restored her trust, and delivered her with a transformed husband.

Action: Is there something in your marriage where you have been disappointed from a failed promise, or betrayed by your beloved? IN the challenging time, be the mature one, pray and forgive, then give thanks to Our Father who knows it all and will not betray you.

Prayer: Lord, in everything I give you thanks. I confess the anger and resentment I have carried towards _____  for __________________ . I am weak and heavy burdened, my trust has been betrayed and I don’t know if I can trust again. I surrender all to you and pray that my heart will not be hardened, but that our marriage may be restored. In Jesus Name, Amen.