Happy Anniversary 

I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was on a Saturday fourteen years ago.  I was twenty years old and I was about to make the biggest decision of my life. This decision was a lifelong commitment. 

When I got up that morning I had one goal. That goal was to marry Brandy Melissa Clemons. I was a nervous wreck but I knew I was making the right decision. This was a decision that I had prayed about and felt I was doing the right thing. 

Over the fourteen years we have been married we have had our ups and downs. We have had our disagreements but in the end we still love each other more than we did the day we said I do. 

Marriage is a beautiful gift that takes work to maintain. It takes both of you putting effort into it to make it work. It also takes putting God in the center of the union to have a healthy relationship. 

God has given us some great times in our marriage. When we bought our first house Brandy decided we would rip the carpet up and redo the hardwood floors. Now I did not think this was fun at the time because I did the majority of the work. Looking back on it I really enjoyed it because we did it together. Neither one of had a clue what we were doing but we did it. The floors turned out beautiful. We make a great team. 

Many times we did things like this and I look back and think I am so lucky. I have a beautiful wife that loves to spend time with me and our children. There are two important things I have learned about marriage over the past fourteen years. Put God first. Make time for God. Second make time for each other. Take every opportunity you have to make special memories. It could be as simple as going to the grocery story, but make every moment special. 

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Anniversary 

Today is the thirteenth anniversary for my wife and me. I am so thankful to be married to my best friend. It has been a journey that I would not change. 

You want to see what love looks like spend a few days with us. I wish I could say that our marriage is all great and there are never fights but that just is not reality. There are always going to be arguments and disagreements in a relationship. The thing you have to remember is that you have to forgive. If you want your spouse to forgive you then you must also forgive. 

You must also compromise. There are going to be times when you should give in. This will help cut down on the fights. 

Marriage is hard work. It requires both parties to put forth an effort. Even though it is hard work it is a job that will be worth it. 

You get out of marriage what you put in it. If you give up your spouse will too. If you love with all your heart your marriage will be happier. If your spouse is your priority you will be their priority. 

A marriage is joining of two souls. A marriage is a great gift from God to a man and a woman. This gift is something that is to be cherished. 

Fight for Marriage 

I am hearing more and more divorce attorney advertisements. The latest is a local law firm advertising a military divorce class. This class is to teach military personnel about divorce. Some things covered are child support, custody issues, and pension issues. 

My first thought is that the world is fighting to gain money off a broken marriage. If you think about it this is great advertising for the law firm. They are gaining potential clients with a free seminar on divorce. The world has made divorce okay and convenient. 

My second thought is why is the church not fighting to keep marriages a live. Marriages are unions between the husband, wife, and God. It seems like the church would be doing more to help broken couples reconcile and repair their relationship. 

Marriage is very sacred and should be valued. Marriage has been around since the beginning of time when Adam and Eve were joined together as one. It was never God’s plan that a couple would divorce. A marriage should be a lifetime commitment. 

Now there are times when you might feel that there is no hope. As long as you both are willing there is hope. You will never be a perfect partner for your spouse but you can be a praying partner. Pray and seek God’s will in your marriage. Seek guidance from your pastor. Seek guidance from other couples that you trust and that will give godly advice. All couples face some issues even those that seem to always have it together. 

The struggle is real. Marriage is hard work. It is something that you have to constantly work at. Think about it this way if you do not do your job at work you get fired. If you do not put anything into your marriage you might get fired as a spouse. 

As a couple you are going to endure different seasons of your life. Sometimes those seasons might not line up completely with your spouse. Your job is to make them line up. Marriages involve compromise. There is some give and take. Do not focus on how much you are getting, because both should be giving. If this is the case both partners should be satisfied. 

If your marriage is in trouble I want you to ask yourself one question: Is my marriage worth fighting for? I pray that you said yes. Forget about calling the divorce attorney. Find a Christian counselor in your area. Go to your pastor. If they cannot counsel you hopefully they know of someone that is qualified. Rekindle your romance. Find that passion again. Seek that love you had in the beginning. I am pretty sure it’s still there, you just let the world interfere with it. 

I want to make a challenge to the church as a whole. When there is a couple that is in trouble lets love on them. Let’s be there for them. Let’s guide them and help them as they heal their marriage. 

A Good Wife is a Gift From God. #marriage

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:22‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Guys have you ever wanted something really bad? Once you obtain it you take care of it. You do this because it is something you really wanted. If this item is so important that means it is good. If it was not good why did you want it to begin with? 

When you are dating you hope to find a good woman. You might even pray that God sends a good woman. I hope that you pray this when you are searching for a wife. You do not want a wife that is not good. When you find a good wife you have obtained a great thing from the Lord. 

Here are some characteristics of a good woman:

Loves God – This is number one because it is so important. The love for God must take priority in our lives. If your wife does not love God she cannot love you. God is the source and example for love. Guys this goes both ways. We must love God first then our wives. 

A heart of gold – One quality of my wife that I admire the most is her pure heart. She will do anything for anyone. She has has such a gracious heart. 

Loves her family – A good woman will love her family. This means her spouse, children, and the extended family. It is a beautiful thing to see the love of a woman for her children. She will love her children no matter what they do. 

Beautiful – As I talk about beauty I want to talk more about what’s on the inside. Physical beauty fades but what is on the inside does not. A good woman’s character will make her beautiful inside and out. 

Humble – A good woman will remain humble because she knows that she is where she is because of God. A good woman is not proud and boastful. 

Respects you – A good woman will respect you not because you demand respect but because she loves you. She will respect you because you are the spiritual head of the household. 

Hard worker – A good woman will be a hard worker. She will work hard at home to keep the household running smoothly. She will also work to help provide for the family if necessary. 

When you find a good woman treat her right. Take care of her and your marriage. You should equally be a good husband. You need to treat her better than you could ever expect to be treated. 

I have found a good woman. I am very thankful to God for such a great gift. She is a blessing to me and my family. I am the first to admit I am not the best husband. I want to challenge every man to treat their wife as a gift from God. Guys we need to man up and be godly husbands if we expect our wives to be godly. 

What Happened to Committed Marriages?

I was reading about Ashley Madison this morning. Do you know hundreds of thousands are still signing up? Just last week almost 100,000 women signed up.  My guess is that some of these women are looking to get their husbands back or they are spying on their husbands. 

My question is what happened to monogamous relationships? I was looking at Ashley Madison’s Twitter page. They had an article back in July that posed the question can a couple be monogamous. I say that the answer is YES. My wife and I have been married for almost 13 years and neither have cheated on the other. 

This is not something that effects only a certain population. It effects everyone. There are plenty of maps put out by Ashley Madison that show where cheaters are. The biggest population is DC. The biggest area in DC is Capital Hill area. There are also other maps throughout the world. This is a big problem. 

If you are on the fence and are thinking about signing up let me give you some advice…don’t do it. I know it sounds simple and it is but evidently people still do it. 

I feel that there are things that can be done to stop an affair before it happens. These are some ideas that will hopefully be beneficial. 

1. Don’t join dating websites while married. 

Ok I know this sounds elementary but it happens and it will continue happening. It is sad that this even has to be said. A lot of people were mad when their information was released. Did they think they would not get caught. If you do not want someone to know you are on these sites do not get on them. 

Make sure your spouse knows your social media accounts and has your passwords. What? I would never do that. I am entitled to my privacy. I can hear someone saying that. Let me be honest if that’s your response you are hiding something. When you are married your life is not private. 

2. Rekindle your romance. 

Are you cheating because there is no romance? I have never cheated so I do not know if this is a reason but I can only guess it is. When you were dating your spouse you fell in love with them. If you didn’t why are you married? So my advice is never stop dating your spouse. 

Make time for you and your spouse. Both partners should be romantic. It is a two way street. You both have to work at keeping the love you have. 

3. Find an accountability partner. 

Find someone (of the same sex) that will give you godly advice and not steer you in the wrong direction. If you have the desire to cheat talk with this person. Be honest so they can give you advice and pray for you.  This person has to be someone that you can trust. 

4. Do not be alone with someone of the opposite sex. 

Take the temptation away and you do not have to worry about it.  If you commit to not being alone with someone of the opposite sex then there will be no chance of an affair. This could also protect you against false accusations. 
I can only imagine the pain caused by an affair. You might be thinking I would never get caught and you might not. I can almost guarantee you will eventually be filled with guilt. If you are caught you are going to cause pain for everyone involved. You will be hurt by this decision as well. Why put yourself or your spouse through this? Is a moment of false pleasure worth a lifetime of guilt and pain? 

Have You Built Strong Defenses in Your Marriage?

I was reading Nehemiah this afternoon. In the second chapter when Nehemiah went out and viewed the city he noticed there were no walls around the city. The city was vulnerable. The enemy could come in and attack the city and they would not know what him them until it was too late. I could not help but to think of the marriages that came under attack over the past several years by the Ashley Madison Company. These people let their guard down and now they have been caught. Couples now have to rebuild marriages because their guard was let down. I am not saying that they have to rebuild their marriage because they got caught. I am saying they have to rebuild their marriage because they have let sin enter into it. They let the enemy attack their covenant between them and God.

I think there are several lessons from Nehemiah that we can learn in building our marriage so that we do not allow ourselves to get in this type of situation.

Each partner must be responsible for building their own defenses and doing their part.

In chapter three we see the builders of the walls. Each person had their own portion that they were responsible for. They knew that to keep the enemy out they had to work individually and together to accomplish this task. They were responsible to their selves as well as others in Jerusalem.

In a marriage we have a responsibility to God, our spouse, and ourselves. One of the main responsibilities we have is to build up a wall of defense against anything that might harm our marriage. We have to get away from things that could tempt us to do something inappropriate.

A spouse should never be alone with someone that is of the opposite sex. This has many issues. One if you are building a relationship with someone of the opposite sex and spending time with them alone it could lead to other things. Also if nothing ever happened it could lead to accusations. It is just not a healthy situation and should be avoided.

If you struggle with pornography you must do away with anything that will lead you to it. If you have a computer or smart phone have your spouse put a lock on that type of content so that you cannot access it. You also have to be responsible. You know that what you are doing is not right. You have to stay away. When you are tempted to look at it, think would I do this when my wife is here with me. Stay away from dating sites.Spend time with your wife. The best defense is a strong offense. If you are constantly working on your relationship you will not have to worry about fighting off temptations from outside your marriage.

We must have accountability from others.

We can also see that in chapter three that people were dependent on their neighbors. The neighbors would hold each other accountable. Certain tasks had to be done and people were expected to hold up their end of the bargain. They were expected to be honest and work hard to accomplish what needed to be done.

Many people struggle with temptations. The best way to combat temptations is to have an accountability partner. For obvious reasons this person should be of the same sex. This person should be someone that you can trust and not someone that will go out and tell everyone your struggles. This also should be someone that is going to give you Godly advice. You do not need someone that will lead you in the wrong direction.

We have to fight against any outside forces that want to attack our marriage.

Sanballat became angry with the work that was being done to defend the city. He started ridiculing the people doing the work. He was being used by Satan to get into the minds of the people that were rebuilding. He wanted to discourage them so that they would leave gaps in the wall. This would leave the city vulnerable.

We cannot let this happen in our marriage. In some ways I believe that our culture has become numb to the fact that marriages do not last. Things that are meant to destroy a marriage are so prevalent in society. We see in television and movies things such as adultery and divorce. People flirt with other married people all the time. A lot of times no one even thinks twice about it. It is not appropriate and should not happen.

You have to fight together. These attacks will harm both of you and not just one party. In a marriage you are one flesh. A marriage is not a joint venture. These attacks will eventually harm both parties and should be fought off from the beginning.

We have to overcome discouragement.

There will be times that you face burdens. This is a given in any relationship. The way you respond will be an indicator as to how your relationship will go. If you constantly fight and do not overcome discouragement then you will struggle. Your love will be in danger of slipping away. I am sure that this has caused many affairs and divorces. If you are constantly mad then you are going to look in other places for happiness. If you are not finding that happiness at home, you are possibly going to start trying to find that happiness in other partners. This is going to be more discouragement latter on.

If you can overcome the discouragement you will have a better chance of making your marriage work. In chapter four we see the enemy was getting ready to attack the city while it was still being built. The city came together and protected their city. As a couple the partners have to stand up and fight together. They cannot fight against each other, but might stand together. If you are fighting against each other, it will prove to be counterproductive

Commit to finish strong.

They had finished the wall with the help of God. I read another blog over the weekend. The author said the one thing that surprises him anymore is when couples celebrate their 25th, 50th, or 75th wedding anniversary. This used to be something that you heard of all the time. With divorce so high it will get rarer to hear of these long time wedding anniversaries.

The goal of my wife and I is to grow old together. I hope that we live long enough to celebrate these milestones in our marriage. When I made a commitment to my wife and God I meant it. Things are not always great in a marriage but you have to stick with the commitment. Love is not something that we should ever take lightly. Love will have its ups and downs but we must persevere.

Make a commitment today that you will be in it for the long haul. Decide at this moment that nothing will come between your marriage. Finish Strong.

Marriage 

“The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.”‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:22‬ ‭NASB‬

This post is for the guys, but ladies please stick around and enjoy. 

Have you ever thought about how much your wife is made for you? As I read this verse I immediately thought how much my wife means to me. She does so much for me and my family. She sacrifices so much. I never knew I would be so lucky to have such a wonderful wife. She truly is made for me. 

Guys if you have ever bought anything that was custom made you know how much thought was put into it. When you get that product whatever it is you know it is for you. You treasure it and show it off. Why? Because you are proud of it. You are proud to have such a beautiful thing. 

This is how we need to view our wives. God has painstakingly developed a wife for each us. We should be proud of her. We need to show her off. We need to take care of her. Wives truly are one of a kind.