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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Monday, July 24, 2017

DOES SAYING "I DO" MEAN YOU WILL?

"I _______ take ________ to be my wife (husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death."

We Christians sometimes joke about the fact that the Bible states that there is no marriage in heaven - Matthew 22:30, and we are neither "male nor female" - Galatians 3:28 When we leave this earth and get our new resurrected bodies, that's the end of it. In a way, that makes me sad because I had a good marriage and loved my husband who came into my life and made it so much better. He's the one who shared Jesus as a personal Savior. We are 'saved' by God alone, but He often uses one of His believers to come along beside us in a very hands-on manner to share the miracle of being "born again" - John 3:3 I do know that whatever God is doing is for our utmost best. I trust Him.

World - wide, I don't know, but in the United States approximately 50% of those who get married, get divorced. I wish I did know as I have many people from all over the world who read this blog. I'm sure the numbers are different for each country. A very sad result is that this leaves a lot of children in a single parent home. And they usually suffer because of this; each in their own way. I've read studies that claim that nearly 90% of men in jail have been raised without a father in the home. Children feel more secure when they have a mother and father who are stable and love each other. Christian marriages fail too. Selfishness, immaturity and often infidelity are a clear and present stumbling block; a hurdle we must all clear in order not to fail our wedding vows.

Relationships in general, especially family relationships, can be difficult. Why is this? Emotions and feelings are much more intense than we experience toward a neighbor or casual friend because we care so much more. There is a solution for those who believe in God and use His Word, the Bible, as a guide.

Matthew 11:28 - 29  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke (teachings) upon you and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

These words were spoken by Jesus and notice He doesn't say, try harder, be nicer, love more, go to a psychologist - no, He just says "Come to me". Our natural tendency when faced with a difficult person is to become defensive, maybe even hostile. Nothing is more painful than being misunderstood, falsely accused or having our motives misinterpreted. We strike back. The Lord suggests a different approach - instead of fighting with a person you love, fight for them!  If your loved one is being unreasonable, there is a reason that even they might not know. Ask the Lord to reveal this to them and heal their pain. 

Often times we need to go through something really bad before it gets better. God never loses control; it is He who directs our lives and we need to trust Him, totally.

Romans 8:28  "For we know that in all things God works for the  good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose."

This is the first verse I memorized after becoming a Christian. It is so soothing! It says so much! God is working in all things for our good if we love Him; not everyone, only those who love Him, the believers. He has called us for a purpose; there is a specific reason we are alive on this earth. There are times we wander around in the wilderness wondering - why am I here? God knows why He has chosen us. Some He's called to do amazing, extraordinary things, others simply are here as an extension of His love. 

Mother Teresa said,  "We can do no great things - only small things with great love."  She understood that whatever is accomplished is done by the power of God and He gets the praise.

Your husband or wife cannot, no matter how wonderful they are, make you happy. That comes from within - if your mind and heart is in turmoil, it will spread into all areas of your life, especially your close family relationships. You will have no peace, certainly no joy, and you will probably have the need to blame someone close to you. For sure, pain and chaos will follow!

'Joy is entirely different than 'happy'. Happiness is based on circumstances, true joy and peace of mind comes from having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus isn't just a way, He is the only way.

John 6:30, Jesus knew what was coming and said, "In this world you will have trouble" . . .He also said that He'd overcome the world so when we have a problem to overcome, we go to the Lord. In Matthew 6:32 - 34 Jesus explains that we don't need to run after the things of this world, but rather seek (find) Him and we'll have everything we need. He also tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Matthew 19: 4-6 - God created male and female, they would become "one flesh". My words, so if we separate, the flesh is torn and a piece of us dies. If you've come from a broken home, the sad truth is, you have a good chance of also breaking up your family. If you were a troubled youth and left the family, you've given permission for your siblings, if you have them, to also act out and exert their independence and defiance. "What goes around comes around" and statistics show this to be true.

Ephesians 5:28 says that "a man who loves his wife, loves himself." I've always thought this was an interesting statement, finally the Lord revealed how this is true; subject for another blog. A wife is told to honor and respect. If she does this, even when she doesn't feel like it, the result will be that the husband will show love in return. I know there are many intolerable circumstances, physical, emotional abuse, alcohol and drug addiction that affects the whole family, continued infidelity - so many obstacles to a good marriage. I know sometimes, even if you have children, divorce is your only recourse. Don't count on yourself to get through it, count on God.

When your mate is stressed and struggling, fight for them by praying for the Lord to intervene. God won't solve every problem in the way you might like, but He will deal with it in His time and way; you can trust Him. Remember, nothing will ever, ever separate you from God's love. Read Romans 8:38, you will be blessed.

So, think about it, when you said "I do", did you also commit to "I will?" Every day I am aware that I don't need to fight this world by myself, help is ready and waiting - I call on my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Thank you Lord that you are always there for us, when we fall, you'll get us back on our feet. Problems and circumstances overwhelm, give us patience, sustain us during the painful times. Help us seek real joy, not just worldly 'happy'.