Saturday, January 31, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
It appears to me that the concept can also be applied to couples attitudes towards reconciling with their spouse.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Here are just a few testimonies I have on the top of my head. Names have been changed, but I suspect most would be willing to testify of God's work in their lives to help another couple.
- Sue had an affair many years ago with Joe's good friend. She eventually confessed it, he confessed his time with a prostitute on a business trip, and now they are one of the most loving older couples I know.
- Dick had an affair. Carol eventually found out. I believe they continued to live together, worked through the issues, and now work in their community to reconcile marriages.
- Dave had on more than one occasion engaged in domestic violence. Joy confronted him and threatened to leave. He got good counseling help; now they lead the marriage ministry in their church.
- My own wife and I were separated 16 months. My wife promised to divorce me and hired an attorney. We went to a one day seminar where we learned PAIRS - Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills - and now we are together and trained as marriage coaches and mentors.
- Clint and Penny Bragg (their real names) were married, divorced, moved 3000 miles apart and didn't even know where the other one was. God brought them back together after 11 years and now they have a marriage ministry. See Inverse Ministries.
So often, they will grumble about spending money on counseling, or going to a marriage weekend retreat, but their own hobbies can often consume alot of money.
Why is it that it's so hard to convince couples of the benefits of spending money to build or save their marriage, before they spend even more tearing themselves apart legally?
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Clint and Penny were married, then divorced, but after 11 years and 3000 miles of being apart, through a miracle from God, they reconciled. I know them personally and they have a passion for seeing marriages healed.
For more on the book see Marriage on the Mend.
For more information about their ministry see Inverse Ministries.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
One thing I have noticed in my own reconciliation and in other struggling marriages is that people get to a fork in the road where they have to decide - am I going to proceed in life under the assumption that I am married and will continue to be married even when it doesn't look good, or am I going to proceed assuming that I probably won't be married, but hoping that maybe we will reconcile.
Actions that indicate you are on the road to staying married, in spite of appearances otherwise, are things such as:
**You continue to allow your spouse access to your accounts
**You continue to reach out to your spouse
**If you have been paying certain expenses, you continue that or increase it
**You refuse to date others
**You keep your wedding ring on
** Continuing to send small notes, cards, gifts to your spouse even if they are rejected
Actions that indicate that you are assuming you are getting divorced, maybe even as you are saying you really want to reconcile, are things such as:
**Restricting bank accounts
**Cutting back on what you are providing to your spouse
**Taking off your wedding ring
**Eliminating notes, cards, gifts etc. to your spouse
I remember a scripture in the Old Testament when Joshua was addressing Israel and God said "Today I set before you death and life, chose life."
Even if your marriage looks dead, remember God is in the business of resurrection - He rose Christ from the grave.
In my case, when my wife wanted a dissolution, I calmly told her that Jesus had said "Let no man put asunder what God has joined together". So for me to sign a dissolution would be to participate in ending my marriage and I could not in good conscience do that.
An incident that probably cemented my commitment was when I walked outside of our home and in a booming voice said something like "Spirit of Divorce, in the name of Jesus, be gone."
I can give testimony and can point to other testimonies, but at least one person in a struggling marriage has to somehow get to that bottom line determination to fight for their marriage with all they have and that is often when things look hopeless.
It is not something I can teach anyone, they have to wrestle it out with God until they get there in their own unique way.
Rejoice Ministries is one of the best resources for inspiration and practical advice for those prepared to stand for their marriage with all they have. Another good resource is Divorce Busting with Michelle Weiner-Davis.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It is by a married couple named Scruggs who were married 10 years, divorced seven years because of her affair, and are now remarried. They also have a book out "I Do Again." I am always so encouraged when I find stories like this.
Friday, January 9, 2009
I think this is quite profound.
On a practical level maybe there is something that you know you should do for your spouse, child, neighbor, and yet you just don't feel like it. If you make a choice to do whatever the action is, often times you will start to feel positive about them.
If you just wait for a feeling to hit you before you do anything you may wait a long time and miss out on the joy God has for you.
Reminds me of God's conversation with Cain in Genesis 4:6-7, "Then the LORD said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.'"
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The nice thing about "The Love Dare" is that it shows us what love looks like in action, and it can be very simple things, although some can be hard to decide to do.
Some of the simple things are "Do one unexpected kindness for your spouse" or "Buy something unexpected for your spouse". A little harder is "To resolve to say nothing negative to your spouse."
Hopefully, I will make a habit of so many more of these actions.
I know when it looked like my wife was going to get a divorce I was thinking about such things, although I never hired a divorce attorney.
I know in Ohio there is a little used provision where one party can request the judge to order marriage counseling. It is somewhat up to the judge's discretion.
I know that in California some people have been court ordered to go through "Reconciling God's Way".
One simple thing in most states is that even if a person is sued for divorce they have time, such as 30 days, to respond to the court. Just making your response filing towards the end of the filing period can slow things down.
I am sure that there are many other legal and ethical techniques that can be used to help the partner who is in a rush to get out of the marriage to think twice.
Alot of people will probably dismiss such things as a waste of time and say, "Why try?" when eventually the person will get their divorce.
My thought is that if you really believe that God hates divorce and that Jesus said "Let no man put asunder what God has joined together" and "All things are possible with God"- then why not try?
Friday, January 2, 2009
From January 5th to February 13 Family Life is challenging couples to do "The Love Dare" and to "love like you mean it" culminating with a special time on Valentine's Day.
You can get your love dare each day by going to www.familylife.com/Meanit, listening M-F to Family Life Today on the radio, by signing up for a daily email reminder at www.familylife.com/Meanit.
My love for my wife grew as I did this before. I am looking forward to doing it again with her. Hoping to more and more develop loving her as a lifestyle.