I have always said MOTHERHOOD is synonymous with guilt and self-loathing! This must stop! No more should we think, I wish I baked cookies every week like Sally does, or I wish I was volunteering at the school every day like Jennifer or got to stay home with my kids like Molly. Or from under a pile of dirty clothes the Mom who wished she had a degree that could support the cost of daycare and make it worth her while to work outside the home, so she could have a boss that didn’t’ need burping or a midnight feeding. 😊 This must end.
I believe that fear plays a role in the dysfunction of many marriages today. Deep inside each one of us is a need for attachment with another human. Keep reading as I explore the effect fear may have on your marriage.
The pivotal moment in the marriage ceremony is when bride and groom make vows to God and then turn and make vows to each other. We should not take the covenant lightly, God surely doesn’t.
Today I’d like to share a little more about the birth order theory and how it may relate to what is going on under your roof. If you have more than one child, I believe you will be able to relate and hopefully will benefit from this post. I wish Dr. Leman’s book, The Birth Order Book: Why You are the Way You Are had been written back when my kids were small, but I was not so lucky. It was published in 2004 and, by that time, my youngest was already 12 years old. Too late. All behavior patterns had been well established by the first time I read this book. But as I look into the rear-view mirror, I see God’s hand at work, even in our ignorance.
During each Easter I find myself pondering deep questions. I wonder about Judas and he’s role in the betrayal of Christ. Could he have resisted, and what would have happened if he had? I think about the two thieves who hung on either side of Jesus on Calvary and the death bed conversion of one thief and the rejection of Christ by the other. I think about the man who gave the tomb to the disciples for Jesus to be buried in and I question what I have freely given up for Christ. I also ponder Peter’s denial of Christ three times and make a promise to never be quiet but instead stand up when Christians are attacked. But this year, the question that keeps racing through my mind is about Jesus’s example of submission. How did He do it?
This post is very timely, as tomorrow I am facing the next big change. I am retiring. Cue the choir- "Hallelujah!" I have worked full time 28 of the last 32 years.
Each time I watch the Olympics, I always have the same thought- we need an average Joe. If I was in charge I would insist we start each event with a random drawing from the list of spectators- “Would the person sitting in Section F, Row 16, Seat 7 please report to the starting line or the ice rink, whatever the event.” Then we would all watch as the average Joe, someone like us, attempted the event.
As much as I profess that GOD IS MY SOURCE, there is a part of me that also subconsciously thinks, “but I got it God, don’t worry about me.” When I want water I turn on the tap, out comes clean cool water. The City Water Board has never let me down.
Now lies hold a common place in life today. If you don’t think so, watch any 24-hour news network or listen to a politician speak for more than 5 minutes. They know just how to phrase something to convince you it is truth and keep up their ad sells, viewership and voting numbers.
Ponder this: To a God who sees lust as adultery, and hatred as murder (Matthew 5:21-30), how do you believe He sees evil words and angry outbursts? I believe that God sees emotional abuse no less a sin than physical abuse. Both expose an ugly side of our heart – the side that is rebellious and must have its own way at all cost. Whenever we hold ourselves in higher regard than our spouse, we sin!
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We neglect our spouses. Then wonder what happened when we find ourselves in the ditch. For example, if I pursue work as my priority for a few weeks, months, years and then want to have an intimate conversation with my long-suffering spouse, I will find both of us unable to do the heavy lifting. There is truth in the proverb- use it or lose it.
I’m not sure where I heard this story or if I have even told it exactly right. But if you have been married for a while, you will agree the message is on point. The consequences of poor decisions, or sin, can be long-lasting in your marriage. But with dedication, putting one day behind the next, doing what is right day after day, allowing God’s spirit to heal the hurt, I promise the trust will be rebuilt.
In rank order, your relationships should be God, then your spouse, then your children, then your extended family, friends and neighbors. NOTE! Children, and the demands of raising them, should never be allowed to unseat your spouse. Keeping your relationship with your spouse a priority is good for you AND for your children.