When Jesus commanded us to "LOVE EACH OTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU" (Jn 15:12), the question is raised how much does Jesus love us? Yes, Jesus loves us enough to die for us, however apparently He was following His father's guidance as, after He asked God if there was any way with less suffering, He told God, "NOT WHAT I WANT, BUT WHAT YOU WANT" (Mt 26:39 GN). Jesus love for us is great but not ahead of His love for God. Jesus our example never allowed anything to come between Him and His greatest love which was for His father. For us Jesus states "FIRST OF ALL THE COMMANDMENTS IS …" to love God "WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH" (Mk 12:29-30 NI). We are to put our love for God ahead of our love for our spouse, our children, our parents, our favorite toy, our church, everything.

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A Psalmist wrote: "You are a God who shows mercy and is kind. You don't become angry quickly. You have great love and faithfulness." Ps 86:15 IC


As you improve communication, you will discover that most problems can be solved by improved communication using the Speaker Listener Technique we teach in our Marriage Workshops. Occasionally there could be a problem that could use formal problem solving. The 4 steps to problem solving are: 1. Agenda Setting - decide and write down the specific concern (like, how do we keep our dishes washed) 2. Brain Storming - write down all the ideas, no evaluating, silly ok (like, hire a maid, only use paper plates, eat out all the time, take turns, etc.) 3. Agreement and compromise - a good time to use the SLT 4. Follow Up - agree to a specific time to follow up and see how the agreement worked and be specific (like if you wrote down we agree to get our son a pet, one of you could be thinking a puppy and one could be thinking a horse) Remember some problems could seem to be unsolvable. That is the time to decide how we can protect what is great about our marriage from this seemingly unsolvable problem.

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). Obviously, without your spouse's cooperation you would have difficulty in problem solving. No matter how serious the problem appears to be, it is good to consider that your marriage may be more important than most problems and it is good to make an effort to protect your marriage. Remember, God said, "I hate divorce" (Mal 2:16 NI). 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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