Divorce rates are going up, why? A study shows that for couples who pray together, the divorce rate is less than 1%.
God is the One who invented marriage, so it should work! It does work but it is not always easy, in fact it is obvious that the partners should make it work, preventing those situations where things might take the wrong way.
The partners who pray together, stay together.
“Most of the Christian couples that I know do not pray together. I know one Christian brother who flat out refuses to pray together with his wife. He says he prays by himself, but he won’t pray together with his wife. Praying with his wife makes him feel too uncomfortable, so he won’t pray with her. I hate to say it, but his views are not uncommon. Very few Christian couples actually take the time to pray together. Pollster George Barna recently reported his findings from interviews with 3,142 randomly selected adults, 1,220 of whom were born-again Christians.
•Of those who are non-Christian, 23 percent have seen their marriage go through the devastation of a divorce.
•27 percent of those who call themselves born-again Christians have been divorced. (That makes the divorce rate higher among Christians than non-Christians)
•And of those who label themselves “Fundamentalist Christians,” 30 percent have experienced a divorce.
FamilyLife has surveyed of thousands of Christian couples and found that less than 8% pray together on regular basis. That is a shockingly low percentage. However, the statistics that I found show that of Christian couples who actively pray together, the divorce rate is less than one percent. Less than one percent! This begs the question: How often do you pray with your spouse? Don’t include the mealtime blessing, that doesn’t count. The response to the question is enlightening because most couples very rarely pray together, with the exception of the mealtime blessing. So why don’t we pray with our spouses? I think it’s because we just don’t realize the importance of prayer to our marital relationship. Most people acknowledge that prayer is very important to them but they simply fail to do it on any regular basis. The fact of the matter is that if we don’t pray very much, then prayer is really not very important to us.”
Do you have a soul mate? It is so romantic to think that there is only one person meant for you. It is also very spiritual to let God pick someone out for you. So, has God handpicked someone for you? The answer might be more complex than you think.
The most thorough story of God’s involvement in bringing together a relationship is found in Genesis 24 – the story of Isaac and Rebekah. Abraham sent a servant to pick out a wife for his son, Isaac. Abraham said that God would send an angel to help his servant find a wife. The servant prayed and asked God to reveal the wife He had chosen for Isaac. God led the servant to Rebekah. Rebekah’s parents let her marry Isaac because they believed God arranged the marriage. This story supports the “soul mate” idea.
The story of Ruth may throw a wrench in this theory. Ruth’s first husband led her into a relationship with God. Previously, she worshipped another god. Unfortunately, her first husband died. According to Jewish law, she was then suppose to marry her husband’s closest next-of-kin. Her closest next-of-kin refused to marry Ruth. Ruth then married Boaz. It is through this marriage that Ruth and Boaz became part of Jesus’ family tree. Which person did God chose for Ruth? Is it possible that God picked all three for her? Is it possible that God picked two of them for her? If so, then God did not pick only one soul mate for Ruth.
Then comes the story of Hosea. God asked him to marry an adulterous woman. Hosea obeyed God and chose to marry Gomer. God is probably not going to ask you to marry an adulterous woman like He did Hosea, but maybe this is how God also works. Maybe God says date and marry a certain kind of person and then lets you choose a specific person who meets those standards. God cares about who you date and who you marry. God can orchestrate your relationships. At the same time, you have choices in the matter.
Well, has God handpicked someone for you to marry? Maybe. A better question might be – how can you involve God in helping you find someone special? Follow in the footsteps of Abraham’s servant in his search for a wife for Isaac. He first looked for someone who was spiritual. Abraham did not want Isaac’s wife to be a Canaanite because Canaanites were famous for being great idolaters. Abraham wanted Isaac to marry someone who believed and worshiped God. God has repeatedly asked His people to marry believers. He then prayed and asked God to bring him success in finding a wife. Have you prayed about this? Finally, he looked for someone with a servant heart. What characteristics do you look for in someone to date and marry?
If you find a good spouse, he or she is a gift “from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22; 19:14)
~ Jeremy Walden
✿ God obviously comes first: Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” All of one’s heart, soul, and strength is to be committed to loving God, making Him the first priority.
Married Man: A married man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).
Married Woman: Wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22).
Parents are to raise godly children who will be the next generation of those who love the Lord with all their hearts (Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4)
If you love your ministry more than your spouse, it is likely you could lose your spouse. Husbands, love your wives more than your ministry.
He has commanded that we love our wives and strive to protect our marriages, even from something as noble as our ministry call.
Is kissing an evidence of lust? is kissing a form of sexual sin? If all sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin, is it also a sin to kiss. Kissing is a temptation and can lead to sin.
I read an interesting article about “The power of Kiss”…read on!
I did not save my first kiss for my wedding day and always thought that maybe some girls could handle kissing while still pursuing purity and others could not. But lately I’ve been asking a new question in relation to the issue of purity. Instead of asking, “Is this okay?” I think it’s more helpful to wonder, “Is this holy?” and “Is this what’s best for me and my future spouse?”
Since science has proven that every time you kiss someone your body wants to bond with that person at a chemical level, we know that there can never be kissing without an emotional connection. Science has also proven that a kiss can be even more powerful physically and emotionally than a full-fledged sexual encounter. That little tidbit of information sounds like a warning siren to me. “Steer clear! Kissing is a potential danger zone!”
– Pray he/she will turn to God and that God’s peace will help him/her to be inwardly calm and willing to wait.
– Pray he/she will have a quiet and steady faithfulness to God.
– Pray he/she will be content in every state he/she finds himself/herself in.
– Pray his/her eyes will be focused on things to come, rather than things he/she wished he/she had now.
– Pray he/she will not push for answers before the time is right.
– Pray he/she will trust God’s sense of timing.
– Pray he/she will be reminded of all the/she times God has been patient with him.
– Pray he/she waits with hope and expectancy.
Of course, as you pray these things for your future spouse, be sure to pray the same for yourself. Patience is like holding a closed bud of promise in your hand. Imagine that closed, white rose in your mind. Consider allowing each petal to unfold slowly, in its own way. Can you see the beauty of each stage? Can you see God’s hand wrapped around yours, watching the unfolding with you?
Your prayer will be answered someday. For many of you it will. Concerning your future husband it could be in the near(er) future, or like some, it could be years in the distance. It could be a quick romance. It could be a slow falling in love. It could be exactly like you pictured it or like nothing you ever dreamed. But when the day comes that your story is celebrated by your closest friends and family, you’ll know that every prayer was worth it. And you might even wish you’d prayed more, because prayers are the first gifts you give to your future husband. Gifts that heaven participates in giving.
While we can’t guarantee every one of you will have that type of love story, there is another type we do believe will take place. Everyone, everywhere can have a beautiful love story with her God. It begins the moment you look into His eyes, realize how much you are loved, and give your love and commitment in return.
While we cannot guarantee your prayers will lead you down the aisle to a waiting mate, we do know that every prayer whispered is precious to God. None of them are wasted. While we hope your prayers for the man of your dreams come true, we know that your prayers bring you closer to the God of your eternity. And seeing the love in His gaze is the most beautiful love story of all.
If you are to be committed to anything, be committed to preparing your heart for God’s — in this way — and in every other aspect of your life. The love you’ll experience will be life-changing, and the celebration in eternity is one to look forward to with all your heart.
~Tricia Goyer and Robin Jones Gunn
Tired of praying for your future spouse? Dies it hurt when so many of your friends are married and have children?
Perhaps you’ve prayed and prayed, but God hasn’t answered. Your prayers seem like bulbs planted in a winter garden. Each time you check for results, all you see is barrenness, debris and frost. You doubt the warmth of your faith when you first planted the prayers in a season of light and hope.
Patience, dear God Lover. Nothing is wrong with your prayers. Leave all of them safely hidden with the Lord. Hold fast to the hope that He has heard and is at work in the garden of your heart.
One bright spring morning you will be stunned when you see what God’s resurrection power has done with those requests you buried so long ago.
What is it that the Lord is asking you to work on in your life during this season? Please don’t compromise your standards. Don’t start making excuses to justify why you’re settling for actions or relationships that you know in your heart aren’t what you want your life to be about.
How can you change that destructive behavior today? What are the new choices you need to start making?
Most importantly, be at peace. See this time as an opportunity for God to develop His patience in you. And don’t forget: Love is patient.
Will you get married one day? Statistics say that you will. We all know that staying married is a whole lot more important than just getting married. How you spend this stretch of waiting and allowing God to develop His patience in you will only benefit you during the difficult times that all married couples go through.
And just as there are two people in every marriage, there are two people who are learning patience as they wait for each other. If you’re having a hard time, your future spouse most likely will, too. Remember, your prayers will make a difference.
There are lots and lots of warning signs. Not every warning sign means that your spouse and you are not having an easy time of it. But what we do need to do is pay attention — pay close attention — to the things that are going on within the person that we love, and what’s going on within the relationship that we’ve committed ourselves to.
Shirked Responsibility Is a Warning Sign of a Troubled Marriage:-
This is generally a warning sign when couples have generally worked together on things and have shared responsibilities within their household and in their lives. So when you find that your partner is shirking responsibilities and not really interested in participating in the things that he or she used to participate in, you can take that as a sign that something is not quite right.
Disinterest in Working on Problems Is a Warning Sign of a Troubled Marriage:-
You may find that your spouse is no longer interested in dealing with problems, or dealing with any kind of conflict and just pulls back again, but in this way, wants to avoid making things better. This is sometimes an indication that there is some trouble going on in the marriage.
Abuse Is a Warning Sign of a Troubled Marriage:-
If you find your spouse is speaking to you in a very harsh way, is putting you down, is diminishing you, is hurting you, pushing you, shoving you, or in any way making your life miserable, you really need to take this as a warning sign that there is some trouble in your marriage.
We have to pay attention because there is always a reason when these things happen, and it may have to do with a dissatisfaction in the relationship — it may not — but it may and it’s worth investigating.
Statistics now show that 60 percent of marriages fail. Why do you think that is? It is because we are not marrying suitable people. If a person exploits you and disrespects you during the courtship / dating period, what makes you think anything is going to change after marrying them?
During the “getting to know one another” stage of the relationship do they care more about what they can receive from you than getting to know you? Do they care more about what you have, how you look, or what you do for a living than the person within? These things are all very superficial and do not matter for having a loving and stable marriage.
Building A Firm Marriage Foundation Before Getting Married
If your relationship starts out as a sexual relationship but never develops into anything else and you marry them, what will the relationship be based on? Lust and desire are not emotions that we should base our marriage on. Having sex with someone before getting married does not guarantee marital success. But getting to know someone’s character and seeing they have moral convictions about marriage purity does!
Marrying someone with lots of money and stuff will not guarantee marriage happiness, but marrying someone because you both live comparable lifestyles in Jesus Christ does! Marrying someone because they are good-looking does not guarantee happiness ever after, but marrying people who are committed to staying married, no matter what, does!
The bottom line is we need to marry people who share our same beliefs in Jesus Christ. Just because two people “say” they are Christians does not mean they are compatible people. One person’s faith and beliefs may be VERY different than another person’s faith and beliefs. Know who you are marrying!
The root of the problem for failing marriages is that they do not start off right to begin with. Without a firm foundation to support the marriage on, it cannot survive, hence divorce, or at the very least, an unhappy marriage. We need to start off our relationships on something tangible and true! God and His principles are something we can hang onto when times are tough in our marriage, but feelings of lust and desire diminish with time and will not be around to help us when we are having marriage difficulties.
Why are we so superficial in our relationships? Why are we jumping into marriage with such fairytale images of happiness ever after? I think it is because we have not been taught how to find suitable marriage spouses from our parents and because we aren’t waiting on God. We seriously need to pray about our friendships with the opposite sex and never take our focus off of the reason we are able to even love another properly in the first place. If Christ had not sacrificed his life for ours how would we have learned what real love and forgiveness is all about?
Jesus Christ living in us gives us the fruits to discern the difference between someone who is only using us and thinks they want to spend the rest of their life with us, and the person who we should actually marry. Look for the fruits in others. Fruits do not come from outside appearances, nobility, status, money, power, etc. But fruits of the Spirit come from within a person. These are what we need to look for in a potential marriage spouse. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
For some women, the transition from exciting dates to marriage is inexplicably difficult. Although, marriage can spurt adjustments and difficulties, silly mistakes can weaken the foundation of your relationship. Here are some common marriage mistakes that women make. Remember that little positive actions can win a great deal of good.
Insecurity towards other Women
A common marriage mistake women make is being constantly threatened by the other women. Don’t be jealous of the other women around your man. Remember that your husband has chosen you as a life partner. Therefore, it is wise to focus on energies that will keep his eyes on you rather than be insecure. Negative and insecure thoughts can give birth to an unnecesary sense of helplessness and anger.
Being too emotional
Mostly, men resolve their problems analytically while women give preference to their emotions. Don’t let your emotions dictate you and control every bit of your action/s.
Withholding sex to ‘teach him a lesson’
Some women use ‘sex’ as a tool of punishment; this is not the right thing to be done. Sex is the most intimate part of marriage; whoever uses sex as a way to control the other partner does not value the relationsip as much as he or she should. If you have any point of difference with your partner, sit together and sort the problem by discussing about it.
Being over Accommodating
“Post marriage, some women become over-accomodating and are ready to give up their wishes”, says a Denver-based clinical psychologist; however, what women don’t realise is that by being over accommodating, they are not becoming a part of the marriage, but an accessory.
Complaining, Nagging and Criticizing
Complaining, nagging and criticising fell under the most commonly given answers that men gave when asked what their wives do that bothers them. Hence, don’t make these mistakes; remember that love is not about owning someone entirely. You have to accept his choices and move ahead. No one likes being criticised and torn apart.
Trying to Control Him
Another common complaint by married men is that their wife tries to control them. This is the biggest marriage mistake that women make. Every individual is a master of his/her own will and men are not an exception to this fact.
THIS post last week (10 Things Men Should Consider About Their Wife) received a lot of attention in regards to facts that men should consider about their wives…and so this week I wanted to write about seven facts that a wife should consider about her husband.
#1 – As a wife you should never, I MEAN EVER, underestimate the power of your words in regards to how you speak to your husband. You should be his PRIMARY source of encouragement. The words you speak to him and about him in front of others carry more weight than you could EVER imagine! (I wrote about that specifically in this post entitled, “What A Wife Should NEVER Do,” I would strongly encourage every woman to read it!)
#2 – A woman who attempts to manipulate/control her husband through emotional outbursts, crying and temper tantrums is NOT focused on what is best for the marriage but rather obsessed with getting her way…which always leads to division in the marriage relationship. (See Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 19:13, Proverbs 21:9, Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 25:24, Proverbs 27:15!)
(AND…btw…a woman who is emotionally out of control is always out of control in another area of her life…it just usually becomes obvious in her emotions!)
#3 – Your husband should NEVER be the object of your worship…you will crush him under that weight! He is a man…he is going to do something dumb, he’s going to say something insensitive and he’s not going to fulfill your every need/desire. Your primary focus should be on the LORD…and as you grow in your love for HIM you should constantly beg HIM to allow you to see your husband through HIS EYES!!! (I promise you this will significantly impact your marriage!)
#4 – Every man wants to know that he can trust his wife. Be trustworthy! It takes a man longer to be open with his heart/feelings…and when he opens up you need to be trusted with that information. If you take what he tells you and use it as a conversation piece with your girlfriends and he finds out it is going to be incredibly difficult for him to trust you in the future.
#5 – Your husband cannot read your mind. He cannot understand how you feel. This isn’t a game…it’s marriage. If something is wrong then select the right moment, speak the truth in love and do not attack him when you share what is on your heart. The goal isn’t to win an argument but solve the problem.
#6 – How you speak about him in front of your children either sets him up for success or failure as a father. If you constantly tear him down to your kids then they will see him as you see him, have no respect for him and in the future when you need him to help out with explanation or discipline your children will not listen to him because of the foundation of disrespect that you put down.
#7 – Your character is the most important quality in your life in regards to what your husband wants/needs the most from you (see Proverbs 31:10-12!) Spend as much time developing yourself internally as you do in regards to external appearances!
With downcast eyes, Kathryn confided, “I have a hard time respecting my husband. I want to be obedient to God’s command, but I don’t want to be dishonest to my feelings.” by Cyndie Hamley
God doesn’t command a wife to feel respectful toward her husband. She is to be respectful. Her responsibility is to obey God; not her feelings.
A wise woman once told me, “If you want a truly fine husband, respect him at the level at which you want him to reach. A man will usually not rise above the level at which his wife respects him.” This is a general principle, not a hard and fast rule because God does not put accountability or responsibility for a man’s character on his wife. Nevertheless, strong evidence indicates a woman holds great power to make or break a man. In his book His Needs, Her Needs,
Willard Harley amends the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” to “Behind every great man is an admiring wife.”
Something in a man needs the respect of his wife. He thrives and grows toward godliness when his need is fulfilled. This explains why God emphatically says, “The wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:33 NASB).
10 Steps Towards Respecting Your Husband
1. Pray for him daily and trust God to answer your requests.
• Pray for his well-being, wisdom, protection, blessings, guidance, knowledge, spiritual maturity, success, purity, strength in temptation, etc.
• Look for God’s answers to your prayers.
• Thank God for working in your family.
• Thank God for your husband.
• Pray for your attitude.
2. Remember that God has put your husband in a position of leadership, and He will lead you through your husband.
3. Make a list of your husband’s qualities that you appreciate. Review and add to your list regularly.
4. Tell your husband what you appreciate about him. Tell others what you appreciate about him.
5. Don’t criticize your husband to others – especially your children.
6. Look for the positive side of things that you may find irritating. If you find it boring when he spends time telling you about his bad day, remember that at least he is talking to you, spending time with you, sharing his concerns with you, bringing you into his confidence, and giving you the chance to be an encourager and helper.
7. Respond to his loving advances with enthusiasm.
8. If you are concerned about a decision your husband has made, ask him the following:
• “I’m confused about _________. Can you explain it to me?”
• “Can we talk about _____? I feel uncomfortable about ______.”
• Don’t ask: “WHY in the world would you do it that way?” or ask “Why?” in any way that implies you think he is foolish.
9. Respect his likes and dislikes. If he likes a particular food, make a point of serving that regularly. If he hates the color purple, don’t wear purple in his presence. If he likes you to wear perfume, do it.
10. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts about your husband, stop and choose to think of something else – especially things from your positive quality list.
Remember, God is working on you and your husband. You can both learn from your failures as well as your successes. Give God the freedom to teach your husband through failure. In the same way, give God the freedom to teach you to trust Him through your husband’s failure.