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.
So yesterday as I was heading to the airport with my wife and daughter to fly out to an event that I was going to speak at something caught my eye. We were sitting at an intersection that we always go through about three to four times a day and there was a man on the corner with a refrigerator. That’s right a refrigerator all by himself on a dolly. Then as we pulled up the light changed and he painstakingly hauled the refrigerator across the street to the other side, but when he got to the corner it got stuck. So he worked and worked the refrigerator up on the corner as all of the cars in the turn lane waited and honked. Then once he got it up on the corner sidewalk he paused caught his breath and then hauled the refrigerator down the street to some unknown destination.
As I watched this happen I was thinking first, how I could get out and help this guy with out getting run over and with out being late for my flight. Then the second thing that came to mind was why is there no one to help this guy to move this refrigerator? Why is he carrying so much of a load all on his own? I thought that it was really interesting to see this since this last weekend at Elevation we talked about the need and call for community. We talked about “Relationships lead to community and community fuels maturity.”
It made me think about all the people that are involved in faith communities (churches) that are carrying to much on their own. Whether it because of their own choice of not being involved in community by choosing to be that person who just shows up and never gets to know any one. Or that they are involved in a faith community (church) that doesn’t make relationships a priority. It burdened my heart to think about how we have so many people that say they are following Jesus but have made a choice to forget about the “One Another’s”. Through out the New Testament there many “One Another’s” and there is one that I thought of when it came to the man on the corner with the refrigerator.
2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (NLT)
When did we start to think that we need to handle things all on our own? When did it become ok to know of the struggle someone is having and to do nothing? It is my prayer that today you will notice the family member or friend that is carrying to much, like the refrigerator and get involved. Who do you know that you can help carry the refrigerator down the street today? Don’t miss out on sharing in the burden.
This last Saturday I had the great opportunity to spend the evening with my brother Casey and Peter Boyle. It was dinner and it was then watching some local MMA fights with KICK DOWN MMA 110. It was a lot of fun being able to be a part of a great event and a great night. But what I enjoyed the most was the time that I was able to spend with my brother and with Peter here is why:
- That when you spend time with people you get to hear things about their life that you might not hear if you are just passing through.
- That when you spend time with someone you get to know even more about them if you understand that you need to listen.
- That when you spend time with someone you might just experience something that you never thought you would. (Meeting Royce Gracie)
- That when you spend time with someone you see them enjoy life and share life with them.
But the problem is that most of us are so busy that we don’t take the time to really be with people. We are checking our phones, we are watching TV, we are on our IPADS, or we are just not paying attention to the people around us. Here is my challenge to you this week. SPEND TIME with someone, don’t do it with the TV on, don’t do it with your phone in your hand, and don’t do it just on your terms. SPEND TIME being with someone. So parents plan out time to SPEND TIME with your kids, if you are married SPEND TIME with your spouse, (Date your Mate, blog for another day.) and if you have people that you are just getting to know SPEND TIME getting to know them. By the way thanks Casey and Peter for spending time with me, it is much appreciated and I hope and pray that we get to SPEND more TIME.
I am so excited that this weekend we are having some very special and awesome people share their story during our services at Elevation Christian Church in Aurora, CO. You are not going to want to miss hearing all that has happend in their life and thier marriage over the last year. So with that we are finishing up our series called “I Want A New Marriage” and we want to do something special. We want to make sure that we are not just a church that talks a good game but really puts our money where are mouth is when it comes to enabling people to experience life change. So this weekend during our services we are going to give away a “NIGHT OUT” we have purchased meals and a movie tickets for two lucky people that come this weekend. The meals are for Chili’s, On The Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s. The movie theatres are Regal Cinemas, United Artist Theatres, and Edwards Theatres.
We have been talking about making sure that we are loving and caring for the people in our lives. We know that right now for people it can be a huge financial burden just to be able to afford to go out. Well now that is not going to be an issue because we have taken care of that for you. Who knows maybe we could talk Ryan Graham into being your driver. (That is a joke, not happening) Make sure that you get to one of our services this weekend at 9:00 & 10:30AM at Dalton Elementary School in Aurora, CO. If you are a really nice friend you might even invite them to come with you so that they have a chance at winning as well.
At the beginning of the month on Superbowl Sunday we as a church chose to also be a part of what is called “Porn Sunday”. Crag Gross and the people at XXXChurch did an awesome job of providing information as well as support to the churches that were a part of “Porn Sunday”. It was a very powerful and amazing day where we saw both men and women start to deal with their addiction to porn. But I want to share with you just a small section of a letter that was sent to me by a very brave and awesome lady that has gone through a destructive relationship that was destroyed by a porn addiction. What she shared was some things for spouses of porn addicts to work through. I felt that they were awesome to let people read because this is from someone that has gone through the fire and is on the other side with a perspective that will enable us to care for and reach not just the porn addict but their family as well. Here is what she shared:
1. I didn’t show honor – At the time, in my mind it was ALL his fault – our divorce. I had done nothing wrong. I now know differently. While I can’t change anyone, I am fully responsible for me. I reacted with rage, anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, hatred, verbal abuse, and emotional withdrawal. Someone had quoted a verse to me earlier and was right to quote it to me, though it was used out of context: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” I now understand what that means – I had told everyone I knew of all of my husband’s faults and about his addiction for TWO reasons: 1) I really did want help and 2) Honestly, to try to make me look good and him bad. I did not honor him. While what he had done was wrong, what I had done in spreading the gossip about his addiction was just as wrong. It was not honoring, respectful, or loving. I see now it did not provide an environment where he could feel safe to be vulnerable and receive the help & healing he needed. That’s not to say he would have chosen to do that if I had reacted differently. Maybe he would have accepted help, maybe not.
2. It is ok to be angry!! It’s not ok for that to grow to bitterness. Several years later I finally did receive the help that I needed. I was able to express my anger and intense pain to people who listened and didn’t blame. But at the same time they held me accountable for HOW I expressed that anger and wouldn’t let me stay there. There is help out there and for those who have a spouse involved in pornography – THEY HAVE TO GET HELP FOR THEMSELVES. I realized I was trying to change my husband. To make him stop so I wouldn’t hurt any more. I couldn’t change him. I can only change myself. I learned to press deeply into God’s Word and let him change ME. To see my ex-husband through God’s eyes. I was able to release him and forgive him. The pain is still there, but it doesn’t control me. I was able to write my ex-husband a letter asking forgiveness for what I had done in verbally lashing out at him and the other hateful things I had done.
3. Boundaries are necessary. Pornography is progressive. It is a sex-addiction. It is wrong. It destroys families. It may not always be necessary to divorce but sometimes it is necessary to separate. Make boundaries clear beforehand and with a plan as to what will happen during the time of separation.
If are you someone that is in a relationship with someone that is a Porn Addict then I encourage you to go to XXXChurch.com and see what they can do to help you. If you are a person maybe a husband or dad that is dealing with this then I ask you to go to someone and get help right away. This is not just something that affects you it affects your whole family. If you are a lady and would like to email the woman that shared what she dealt with then please message me and I will make sure you can get connected with her. I also want to remind each and every person that reads through this that Jesus loves you not matter what you have done or where you have been and He is waiting for you.
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.
As we head into the month of February we all know that Valentine’s Day is in that month. So with that in mind we decided that it was a great time to talk about relationships, marriage, and all that goes with that. Valentine’s Day is really a day that we celebrate the love and relationships we have and it comes only once a year. What is sad is that may be for some people the most romantic and awesome day they have in the year which is really pathetic! With that in mind we are going through a series called “I Want A New Marriage” what we want people to really see is that the new marriage or relationship that they want is the one that they already have, it just takes some work. I know that we always hear that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, well that is because someone on the other side of the fence put the work into the yard and that is why it looks the way it does.
I thought that we could start out the month by giving people some tools that they can use when it comes to the relationships in their lives. But I want you to realize that the tools are only good if you use them. Here are two books that I have read in the last couple of weeks that I think have great information and practicality in them for relationships.
“Love & War: Finding the marriage that you dreamed of” by John and Stasi Eldredge you can also find the 8 week Devotional for Couples that is great.
“The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” by Gary Chapman it too has a companion book that you can go through as a couple for Bible Study.
“Love & War” is a great book that walks you through their relationship and all that they struggled with to be where they are today. It is a great read if there are things in your marriage and relationship that are keeping you part. “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” is a great book that will actually give you work to do at the end of each chapter that allows you to put into practice what you are learning, if you are not a big reader then this is the one that you will what to get. I hope that this is a help to get things rolling in your relationships and marriages. Even if you are a single person these are great to read because it prepares you to think now about what you will want in your marriage. If you are a single guy then I would encourage you STRONGLY to read these because it will prepare you to be the husband that I guarantee a lady is looking for in her life.