When you get to a certain mile stone in life you should take the time to reflect on how you got there. The reason that I believe that is important is because wouldn’t it be great to share that information with those that are coming after you. Especially as parents and to be honest in this day an age as a father we need to show more young men on how to lead the way in married life. So here are a few things that I have learned over 25 years of marriage. (This is the short list)
- Keep a long list of ways that you can make her feel special and loved.
- Keep a short list of the fights that you have and the things that are said.
- Make time for talking about her day not matter what she does in life.
- Find older men that can talk to you about what they have done to be a healthy husband and father.
- Have a group of men that you can have the tough conversations with about marriage and parenting. (Your wife will not always understand you. DUH!)
- Always find time to get away for at least 24 hours without the rest of your family. Couples need to take time for themselves, your relationship needs to matter or your family will not get your best.
- Celebrate the things that show your wife and your family that they matter. (Anniversary’s and Birthdays are the easy ways, get creative.)
- Make sure that you take the time to date your mate. (If there was more courting in marriage there would be fewer marriages in court.)
- Pray daily for the ways that God can continue to grow and unite you as a couple.
- Start back at one . . .
If you have an idea of one thing that you think is important to remember for a long lasting marriage please feel to make a comment and share. The more that we learn from each other and the more we share the better we become as men.
This last Sunday Tom & Amanda Gould shared something with the people of Elevation Christian Church that the NFL & Players Union wish that they could do. They made their relationship new again. It was almost a year ago Tom said that he was done with their marriage. He had moved out and was living in an apartment and was preparing for divorce. But something happened. Something enabled Tom & Amanda to start all over again. It was the relationship that they both began with Jesus Christ. You see Tom & Amanda had been to church and they had heard all the religious conversation, but they had never made their relationship with Jesus a priority. Let alone that relationship with Jesus the center of their relationship. Amanda shared that for a woman that their are two humbling things that occur in a womans life, child birth and a troubled marriage. She went on to share that they she knew that other things had crept into their life that did not make the marriage the priority.
You see I think that as I watch the NFL and the Players fight away. They to have lost the focus on what is important. It is one word “relationship”. They have unfortunately let other things take the focus away just like Tom & Amanda. The only difference is that Tom & Amanda had the humility to see that they needed number one a relationship with Jesus and a relationship with each other centered in Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if those in the NFL would be able to do the same thing, humble themselves to see that a relationship is at stake here. God saw it that is why He sent His son here to earth. To reconcile the relationship between us and Him.
Maybe just maybe the NFL and the Players Union could learn something from Tom & Amanda as they point to Jesus the one who can and will help in our relationships.
Over the last couple of weeks at Elevation Christian Church we have really felt the need to tackle some heavy topics. We talked about PORN and the damage it does to relationships. We didn’t back down from what it means for the families of people dealing with PORN as well as the ones that are addicted to it.
This week we tackled another heavy topic, DIVORCE. It was a message that I truly prayed over and really knew that we needed to deal with as we go through this series called “I Want A New Marriage”. Anytime that you talk about marriage you also have to talk about divorce seeing how in some books they say 35% of marriages end in divorce or some others say that it is as high as 50%. No matter what the statistic may be it is an area of life that has affected us all. I can share about the different relationships in my own family that have been effected, I have uncles and aunts, cousins, a brother, and even my own parents. So as I walked into this weekend were I felt that there needed to be much grace when it came to this topic because I too know the sting of this subject and how it changes each person that is involved. I also knew that we needed to call peoples attention to the severity of the damage that it causes and I chose to even point out that living together because you have been hurt in divorce is not what God wants either. I know that there are situations that I might not now about or that there are things that have happened in the past. All I know is that I am called by God to speak about what He wants for our marriages and if that bothers someone then I have to remember that even Jesus had people get upset with His teaching. (Good company to be in I think.)
What was awesome was the conversations that I did have with several couples that have been attending our church and are seeing the next steps that they need to take in their own relationships. That they heard the grace and mercy of Jesus and they understood that what they were doing was not what God wanted for them in their relationships and that they knew that God as calling them to make some huge commitments and decisions in their lives. I pray that they continue to take those steps to live the way that Jesus has called them to live not because it is easy but because it is the best for them.
Did you know that every day that I have a fight? I have a fight with myself. No some of you may automatically think like me and picture Jim Carey beating himself up in the bathroom in the movie “Liar, Liar”. I want you to know that is not what I am talking about. I don’t know if I could literally give my self a right cross to the face.
What I am talking about is that every day I fight myself the side of me that wants to do what I want and not what God wants. I fight with the way that I spend my money, the way that I talk to my wife and kids, I even fight with weather or not I want to even spend time with Jesus and His word. Because you know what it would be much better if I just slept in at least a half hour. I deserve that don’t I? I believe that this fight is what leads to affairs, divorces, abuse, addiction, and the loss of our families. I even believe this fight is what is allowing men to stop leading the families that God has called them to lead.
Galatians 5:17 (NLT) “the old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.”
We are always going to be at odds with ourselves. We are always going to be virtually in a fist fight with ourselves over what we are to do or not do in this life and our choices will always have some conflict. But there is hope. There is a way to deal with this fight. It is to trust in the complete work of Jesus Christ. It is to know that the distractions of this life were nailed to the cross and crucified. We need to seek to learn from the greatest fighter that ever walked this planet, Jesus.
Let’s learn to fight and fight with the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, because that will only be the way that you will ever be able to defeat, YOU!