Jesus tells us, "IF YOU LOVE ME, YOU WILL OBEY WHAT I COMMAND" (Jn 14:15 NI). There are many commands from Jesus but Jesus quoting God (Lev 19:18) says the second greatest command is to "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF" (Mt 22:39). For many people their closest neighbor is their spouse. Obeying Jesus by loving our spouse is important. Some people when dating are constantly evaluating how they feel about the other person and continue the practice after they are married. Ignoring that Jesus says, "NO ONE SHOULD SEPARATE A COUPLE THAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER" (Mk 10:9 CE). Yes, at times married couples have conflicts but even in the worst times, when they act like an enemy, we can remember Jesus said "LOVE YOUR ENEMIES" (Mt 5:44) and continue to love our spouses. How much? Jesus' answer is "LOVE EACH OTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU" (Jn 15:12).
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A Psalmist wrote: "Your constant love is better than life itself" Ps 63:3 GN
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
One time I stated that I consider it was a bad witness for me if I go to places that promote alcohol, like when they have "Bar" in their name. A man at church complained to me saying, "You will miss out on lot of good food". That's my problem not his. If a wife is late to work, that is the wife's problem not her husband. If a husband doesn't like to play golf and his wife think he should. That is the husband's concern not the wife. We need to be careful how we talk to our spouse. When we marry someone we marry them as is, we don't marry them to change them. It is good to consider who really owns a problem before complaining. It is important how we talk to our spouse. Avoid character assassination that implies things can't change. For example instead of saying to your spouse, "You are a slob" it is nicer to say, "It bothers me when you leave your dirty underwear hanging on the door knob". Avoid saying harsh words to your spouse. Remember Jesus said in Mt 5:22 (NI) " anyone who says, `You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell." When you have trouble with name-calling or character assassination, it may be a good time to call time out and discuss the subject using the Speaker Listener Technique.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage. Jesus said, "all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). As the spouse that is trying to make your marriage better, you can be careful not to tell your spouse what you think they ought to do. You can say how you feel with out name-calling or character assassination. Remember Jesus encourages us to "Treat others as you want them to treat you" (Lk 6:31 TL). When a spouse calls "time out", it is an opportunity for a couple to calm down before continuing the conversation at a later time (anywhere from an hour to no later than the next day) using the Speaker Listener Technique. Initially after calling time out it is an opportunity to take authority over the enemy and pray for the marriage. Example: "In the name of Jesus I command you demons to shut up and leave our marriage and not return" "Thank you God for helping our marriage be in Your will and guiding us in our relationship, in Jesus name, amen." When a spouse will not cooperate, you can still take authority over the enemy and pray for your marriage.
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