2-R-1-N Christ Marriage and Relationship Ministry
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|Posted on November 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM||comments (20)|
|Posted on January 3, 2013 at 1:50 AM||comments (9)|
|Posted on May 1, 2012 at 10:52 AM||comments (5)|
There are so many seasons of marriage I thought after over 30 years I had seen them all, but I found out that I was so wrong. Believe it or not there is yet another hurdle that married couples are facing now. That hurdle is retirement. Who knew that one day this could be a problem. For those of you who are not a baby boomer you are not faced with this dilemma so you could save this post for that time way in the future or you could read this and understand that proper communication is needed during every phase of marriage.
My husband and I as you well know are baby boomers. We are nearing retirement age. I personally want to retire yesterday and he wants to work until he drops. So where is the problem with that you ask? With us actually there isn't any. He knows that while I may stop working my full time job that I have enough going to equal three full time jobs and my nature is such that I will keep my part time job until I feel I no longer need to shop as if my life depended on it. But again we had to talk about how each other felt about this. My husband feels that he does not want us to struggle after attempting to do things the right way all these years. I feel the same way but I need to have the time to do my other endeavors while still working for support but not full time.
We came to a happy compromise because we knew that everyone had to be on the right page. I informed him that my body can't take the full time work outside of the home anymore. Ok people those who know me take a seat because I'm about to say something that will knock you to your knees....here goes...after all these years I suddenly want to be a housewife and take care of my husband in our empty nest...I know who is this woman!!! But all jokes aside this is where I find myself today. I want to do the work of God, run my little business, blog and write the great American novel in that order.
As a leader in marriage and relationship many couples are having a difficult time with this issue. According to the latest poles 62% of the married couples who are nearing retirement age disagree on the timing of their retirement. That is over 50%. Many wives who have come in the workforce later in life is just not ready. They are just beginning to peak in their careers. Depending on the age of the couple the one who is the oldest (and in most cases that is the man) that person is getting to the point where they are tired of going out each day and it's taking a toll on their health. Their attitude is becoming negative and the couple begin to have trouble with the marriage.
The younger one who still has to work or still wants to work feels that the one who wants to retire will become lazy and complacent. That person will not be able to pull his/her weight and that their standard of living will be greatly compromise. Resentment of the retired one's easy life style or feeling that the other person is living off the one who is working will bring about feelings of resentment and soon the couple begins to drift apart.
Some couples still have children in college that they are paying for or started their family late and may still have some children at home. The one still working outside of the home will feel abandoned. When you first get married this is not an issue that you think about. I know we didn't. I always felt that one day both of us would just retire at the same time and have fun. Or create a new source of income using our gifts that we never had time to use as we went out to work for someone else. I thought we would have all our ducks in a row and we would live happily ever after.
What fairytale was I looking at? Planning for your marital retirement should take place at the beginning of your marriage. You want to be in a good financial picture and you want to know how each other feels about their retirement goals. With our current economy many people are working longer than they had planned and thats understandable however one member of the couple should not place and ultimatum on the other member if that person feels its time for retirement. You have to work for the betterment of the marriage.
As we always state when you can't completely agree than it is good to agree to disagree. Seek help so that both will understand how each of you feel on the matter. Then attempt to compromise. In our case I did state that I would keep a steady part time income for as long as I could until our other adventures or retirement benefits kicked in. I would never do anything that would put undo strain on our marriage and relationship. Along with that a new lifestyle in budgeting would have to be adopted as well.
Once you have discussed when and how you want to retire then you need to have a plan on what you would do once you retire. Ok after the first two weeks of doing nothing but sleeping you need to come up with something else that will stimulate you and to help improve your health. We have already got back in the gym, have a house self renovation plan, ministry, and home business plan that we both want to do. I for one will remain very busy but not half as busy as I am now.
Many say that most people retire one year and the next year they are ill or dead. That really is not the plan if you remember that life does go on after you give up your day job. Its time to have fun and work in other ways. Make that record you always wanted. Learn how to speak another language, or learn how to play an instrument. Volunteer to help the needy or to teach a senior or a child how to read. There is so much to do just remain active. Plan to spend more time with your love ones.
Plan to spend as much time as you can with your spouse. The spouse thats still working don't expect a house slave and the one who's retired don't lay back and rest feeling as if you have paid your dues. Support each other in ways that you never had time to do before. As I said I never really had the time to just be a wife. It will be fun (for a little while until I wake up and discover that I'm not June Cleaver!!!) but for the most part I'm sure my husband will appreciate me for having this in his life and will try and make my life easy as well.
So just to add another phase to your very full marital lifetime. If you manage to stay married or even remarried by the time you hit middle age just remember there is still one more hurdle you two have to jump over....see it won't be so bad because you already know about it!!!
|Posted on April 6, 2011 at 9:42 AM||comments (3)|
I am a child of the early 50's. Growing up there was one thing that was very consistent and that was music. It was all around us. We as children and through out our teens even into our early adulthood there was music. We learned to appreciate all types of music. Gospel, jazz, rock and roll, country, classical, hard rock , and contemporary. It didn't matter. What mattered was that this music had words that inspired and seemed to generate love.
Whether it was love acquired, love desired, love lasting, love wanting, or love that had been lost but wanting to be regained...the point was it centered on love. This music seemed to keep couples united. Caring and sharing how they felt. Many men didn't know just what to say to a lady but they could hear words to a song and get a line or two that would win the heart of their lady love.
Men would listen to the words of a song by Smokey Robinson and he would say " I will build you a castle with the tower so high it reaches the moon. I'll take a melody from birds that fly and compose you a tune. Everyday we will play on the milkyway and if that won't do then I'll try something new". Knowing that your man could not do any of these things didn't matter but just the thought that he would try something each day to win and keep you would just lighten your heart and keep you loving him.
The words to the songs were always up lifting and presented women and love in a respectful way. Classics such as Elvis Presley's Can't help falling in love with you when he sings "wise men say only fools rush in but I can't help falling in love with you. Take my hand and take my life too but I can't help falling in love with you". These songs in my opinion kept love alive and marriage strong. It focused on love and togetherness. If you were having a difficult season you could put on the music and it would soften your heart.
Even when the marriage was in trouble you could hear songs like the Chilites when they sang "oh girl I'll be in trouble if you left me now. Cause I don't know where to look for love and I just don't know how." Or Johnny Mathis as he sang "chances are you believe the stars that fill the sky are in my eyes." Or the Temptations when they sang "the girls alright with me you know the girls alright".Or even the rock bands like the Rolling Stones when Mic Jagger sang " I can't get no satisfaction..and I tried and I tried and I tried." You have the gospel with "Falling in love with Jesus is the best thing I've ever done."
So when did we loose the love? When did couples stop looking dreamy in each other's eyes? When did marriage and relationship take on such a negative connotation? Personally I think when the music stopped. When the love songs were replaced with pounding demonic sounding beats from hard rock. Or negative adjectives about ladies and their anatomies by rap groups. When women-lib decided that it was too demeaning to receive love in this way and more and more songs about "I am woman here me roar."
I have no problem with women being treated as equals where work is concerned but I do have problems when society tends to forget to give us our respect. When the world mistreats us just because they feel that we are the weaker sex. We are still the hand that rocks the cradle. We are still the ones that set the love tone. We are still the ones whom God created to be a help to man. So we deserve to be loved and cared for in all ways.
I'm not saying that music or lack of it is the entire reason that our society is crumbling and marriage is in jeopardy. What I'm saying is that music, art, poetry and books all have an impact on how we live. When kids constantly hear that woman are whores, that lets sacrifice our lives to the enemy, and money is king and the most important thing that we have then they look at our old values as just that old. When couples constantly hear that marriage is nothing but a piece of paper and that it should not be exclusive. That being with one person is old and out dated creates the image that marriage really is not worth all of the effort.
What the love songs did was keep the love in the air. It kept the melody alive in your heart. Think about it...how many times have you heard one of those great songs and it stayed in your head all day. You walked around humming it or singing the chorus or just a word or two. Each time you sang it you began to smile.
We have to bring the love back. We have to put goodness back in our spirits. We have to place focus back on the things that will keep us together in harmony. I really feel that we must start with the music. Why? Music is a universal language in itself. It reaches all. Just singing a love song that supports women and men in relationship helps strengthen the union. Something that allows lovers to dream again. Something that will make the young take notice and see that its easier to win the heart with love then with demeaning words and gestures. It allows the strong woman to understand that its alright to be strong and its just as good to be loving and lovable.
My theory is that when the love songs stopped the words and music changed then slowly without notice love just left. Replaced with all sorts of dysfunction and malice. It is said that music is the soul of God that's why we react the way we do. Likewise man has allowed what was put here for our good to be destroyed and manipulated to a point that we no longer respect each other or what is good and wholesome.
I would like each one of you reading this blog to go home and put on a oldie but goodie love song. Take your spouse in your arms or by the hand and just slow dance. Listen to the words and feel the music go with it. I can guarantee that before the night is over you will be so deep in physical intimacy that you will wonder where that burst came from (wink wink). Then when you recouperate from this experiment drop us a comment and let me know if my theory was right or wrong.
Finally I leave you with these words:"Finally, brethren whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8. What Paul is telling us is to find whats good in this world and put our focus on that to get us through. Marriage as God created it is under attack. I feel that by loosing the music the love songs that our focus has moved away from love. Only we can bring it back.
One of our favorites is by Frankie Beverly and Mazie...I've quoted from this song so many times but I just love it..."everyone must make their own kind of love in their own kind of way...your own kind of love is what you feel..."
Now with that said I'm going to go and find my spouse and put that song on and well..........
|Posted on February 22, 2011 at 6:24 PM||comments (51)|
We had no idea when we decided to get together with friends as three happy Valentine's couples just what we would discover. We are all in ministry either ministers, deacons, or the director of music in our churches. We each have separate ministries outside of church. The guys are also together in an up and coming male gospel group and we the ladies are their supportive others. Then we have outside work and families to take care of.
So to say that we are very busy is really an after thought. We met for our routine group meeting and at that time we had decided that the married couples would get away for Valentines day. One of the couples had a time-share and obtained a log cabin that would house all of us. We would go down to the wilderness for a long weekend. It was up to the ladies to plan activities and the food. We were told by the men that they would be fixing our Valentine breakfast on the Sunday before Valentines day. They also let us know that they would take the ladies out for a fancy dinner the Saturday before.
The ladies planned the food and the fun. We came up with a theme and worked the entire weekend based on that theme. We named it the "three R's". Rest, Relaxation, and Romance. We were determined to have a free weekend with a focus on the three R's. The ground rules were that no one could bring any work with them. That we would not talk about work or ministry. That we would have an old time "just have" fun weekend.
The cabin in the woods was great. I was in charge of coming up with the games, music, and the food for the first night. Our goal was to make it easy for everyone. We obtained trays of food already made up. Since all the ladies were on diets we were told by the men that the diets were off for the weekend. We got around that by having good food but healthy along with cake and candy. We had surprise gifts for all the couples to take home to remember this wonderful weekend.
We decided that we would work the three R's in reverse. The first night was relaxation. We got there and the first couple had the fire place going and all the rooms assigned. My husband and I brought in the food and set up the music. The third couple started the conversation going as we set up the table. We had decided that we were going old school. We were going to have a PJ party. The guys were sent to get on their PJ's as we decorated the room and got on ours. When they came back to join us they were shocked to see the room turned festive as if we opened a Valentine gift card from Hallmark.
We danced to music that we grew up with. We laughed and joked. We did old dances that we did as youngsters. We ate great food and talked about how each couple met. We stayed up to 4am that first night and then retired to our rooms. The next morning we woke at different times and went back to sleep as we wanted. Finally we all got up and in Pj's went to the table and ate the food we had left from the night before.
Today was Romance. We decided where we would go out for dinner. And each couple got ready to go. It was funny because all the couples ended up showering together in their separate bathrooms. We had not showered together in years. We went out to dinner and had a wonderful relax time. After dinner we stopped past the grocery store so the guys could get the breakfast for the morning and we got snacks for the night and dinner for Sunday.
We went back to the cabin and started our evening of Romance. The guys were such good sports. We had every game we could think of that we grew up with to play. Each game such as hide and seek or truth or dare and even spin the bottle all had an adult married theme. We played music and had so many twist to the games. Each game brought the couples closer together and ignited their love for each other.The last game ended in a way that each couple retired to their bedroom for their night of romance. We had love music playing all night and had games for two once each couple was inside of their haven of romance.
We had already informed the guys that Sunday was the third "R" and it was rest. The ladies were not going to do a thing. It was great the ladies got to sleep late and the guys got up and fixed a breakfast that any great chef would be proud of. They set the table with the nice china. Had the candles lit and when we came out each husband had sticky red hearts all over their faces. We fell out laughing and just enjoyed our meal and day of rest.
We went back to sleep, watched TV, listened to music, had deep conversations and heated up the meal we brought the night before and sat down for dinner. My husband kept saying this weekend is "priceless". Of course the ladies did not want to leave. We had the option to stay one more night but bad weather was predicted and we all had to be back at work early. The ladies pouted like children and the men (who didn't want to go either but knew that somebody had to be adult) push for us to leave late that Sunday night.
We cleaned the cabin and got everything in order as per the resorts directions. We came together and everyone gave their gifts to each other. We got into a prayer circle and prayed and gave thanks to God for the wonderful glorious weekend of love. Every couple rekindled their love for one another and had benefited from the three "R's". My husband took parting pictures and everybody gave hugs. We all left to go back home and had a peace that is still carrying the couples today.
So what does every married couple need? Sometime either alone together or with other loving couples. A get away for a day, weekend, or a week of the three "R's". Rest, Relaxation and Romance. Make it fun and get out of your comfort zone. Just enjoy the gift of love that God has blessed you with.
And oh yea.....do it often as you can
In fact the couple three are doing this again in April only this time we are going to the beach....The three "R's" here we come again!!!
|Posted on February 10, 2011 at 3:14 PM||comments (7)|
Love is in the Air!!! Its that time of the year that we can just sit back and focus on the things of love. Many have mixed ideas about Valentines Day being a made up holiday so that the card etc. companies can make some money this could be true or not. I really don't care. What I do care about is that there is a time that everyone can recognize that its time to outwardly show love.
Its fun to walk through the stores and just see all of the red, pink, white balloons, teddy bears, and lovely flowers. Even the worse of the worse husbands, boyfriends, lovers or just friends will make an attempt to get in on the love. You get to hear love songs. You see people walking hand in hand as they go out on a date.
Those who are not involved will still go out and get with friends that they love just to make sure that they get to enjoy the loving feeling that's surrounding us during this time. So really what is Love and just where does love dwell?
Many have attempted to answer that question. When asked what was love Jeremy Taylor answered :Love is friendship set on fire". Kahlil Gibran stated "Ever has it been that love know not its own depth until the hour of separation." When asked where does love dwell Jean Paul F.Richter states "Paradise is always where love dwells".
So where do we get the answer to this question we wonder? We all know that there is love. We all know that it just pops up when we least expect it. We all know that during this season we are made to focus on it. But we really don't know what love really is and where it dwells.
To answer those elusive questions there is a place we can turn to and obtain any answer we need. For those of us who know Him we know that all we have to do is just read our instruction book. What is Love????...maybe we should be saying Who is Love???
GOD IS LOVE...plain and simple. All consuming love. What we feel for each other is just a tip of the iceberg of love. Where does love dwell??? In our hearts and being as we embrace Him. As we take a small taste of Him and past it on that love just grows and becomes a consuming fire.
So now you know as you allow the Him To Live and Grow In You then you can't help but show love. Not just during a time that someone thought to make us aware but everyday that you live and breathe. You will look at your spouse and loved ones in a different way because you have discovered just where love dwells and just what love is.........
Just in case you forgot what and where we will repeat it again.....
YOU ARE LOVE AND IT DWELLS INSIDE YOUR HEART!!!
|Posted on November 4, 2010 at 8:10 AM||comments (9)|
Everyone is looking for happiness. For the most part they are running around looking from peak to valley attempting to catch the elusive animal called "Happy". Many couples run down the aisles on their wedding day thinking "now I got it" I have finally caught that happy animal. Only to become discouraged the next month after the party to find out the happy animal got away and all you are left with is more reality of an unhappy life. Well lets clear things up once and for all. There is no happy animal and no matter how hard you try to capture it from outside you will never have it. Your spouse does not have a magic pill that once taken you will be happy ever after. That only works for the ending of a fairytale. Happiness is the by product of joy which is one of the fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT. When you receive that fruit then happiness will follow. In other words joy will be given to you from within and come out as happiness. Both spouses must obtain this fruit before the marriage by spending time with the HOLY SPIRIT learning how to be the best "You" that you can be. As you allow the SPIRIT OF GOD to develop you into the person that you need to be then you can bring that character into your marriage. Likewise your mate prior to marriage should be standing before the HOLY ONE as well learning how to obtain the fruits as well. Once you both learn at the feet of CHRIST then become one with marriage then and only then will the fruit of joy permeate through out your marriage and happiness will be obtained. Joy will sustain you even during the difficult times and its by product happiness will continue to be apart of your relationship. So stop running around looking outside for something that is waiting to grow within. Stop trying to seek out people to give you what only God can develop in you. Remember we have not because we ask not. Go to the source of all things and pray for the fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT. Then walk in your love, joy, and peace as you share your life with your beloved.
|Posted on October 9, 2010 at 10:33 PM||comments (13)|
In the computer world there is a term used known as "rebooting". This means to restart a computer's operating system. When a computer is overloaded it does one of three things freeze, shuts down, or crashes. To avoid this most computers experts simply reboot the system. As a married couple without daily work on your marriage you can tend to fall into a rut. Boredom will set in and before you know it your marriage is in a routine. Doing the same things in the same way over and over tends to bring complacency into the relationship. This will cause the marriage to simple freeze in place. A coldness will permeate the relationship and the couple will just remain in place. If the system is not refreshed then the marriage could simply die from pure boredom. Another way that the operating system of your marriage may overload is with constant disagreements without resolution. When conflict arises and as a couple you don't work out the reasons for the disagreements then your operating system breaks down and things simply shuts down. After the marriage freezes and shuts down the next thing that will happen is that your marital operating system simply crashes and can not be repaired or repaired but always has a glitch in the system. To avoid marital operational overload is to simply reboot your marriage. There are several ways of rebooting your marital operating system we are going to highlight four ways.
1. Giving and receiving
Marriage is a relationship where both parties must give of themselves. Giving to your spouse should be a choice. You want to think of ways to keep boredom out of your relationship by finding ways to give of yourself to your spouse. Your warm giving attitude will inspire your mate to do the same towards you. Before you know it both of you are giving and receiving each other's love and time. You become inventive with your marriage so there is always something exciting to look forward to. This planned effort will reboot interest into your marriage and your marital operating system will begin to work at a positive level.
2. Plan to love each other for a lifetime
Marriage is a lifetime commitment. From day one of your marital life incorporate Christ in your marriage. Allow him to direct your marriage and be the glue to hold it together. Join a marriage ministry at your church. Obtain a marriage mentor. Obtain books do the homework so you will know the pit falls that may throw stumbling blocks up that will cause your marriage to shut down. Seek counseling if necessary from your pastor or a good Christian counselor if there are issues that you two can't solve. Be determined to stay together by any means necessary as long as you have a Godly relationship.
3. Avoid boredom by pursuing passion
Intimacy is our God given blessing in marriage. We must remember that and treat this gift with respect. We should never take each other for granted. We must never approach marital physical intimacy as only having sex. We must look at it in the way that Adam approached Eve in the early days of the garden. When Eve was given to Adam it was said that he "knew her", which meant the same as having sexual intercourse. However in the Hebrew language that term was "to know" which meant he didn't only know her body but her emotional, mental and spiritual as well as the physical. We can reboot our marriage by learning "to know" each other on every intimate level. At every chance you get pursue each other passionately enjoying the gift of intimacy.
4. Want to keep marriage alive and active
No one takes interest in anything that they are made to do. Its done only because they have to do it but there is no joy in it. At any given chance whatever you are made to do will be dropped as soon as possible. So with that being said we should want to keep our marriage alive and strong. We should rise every morning with thanksgiving in our hearts and on our tongue praising God for our spouse. If we don't value our marriage it will freeze or shut down and eventually crash and die. We must want our marriage to live so we must pray daily for our marriage and our spouse. We must want to do whatever it takes to keep our love active, alive and strong. We must access our relationship daily and reboot it whenever we see cracks in the operating system.
Marriage is the only thing that God said was very good when he created the world. So we must not take this wonder and treat it like its trash. Give your all to your mate and monitor the operating systems in your marital life. When you see problems then come together and pray about the situations and just simply Reboot Your Marriage.
|Posted on September 10, 2010 at 9:52 AM||comments (55)|
Show Love with these 5 ways!
Attention, acceptance, appreciation , affection and respect.
1. Attention: Make time to sit and talk to one another each day. Give your spouse or mate your undivided attention. Really practice listening and do not let anything interfere with this time.
2. Acceptance: We must accept each other for who we are. We can only change ourselves with God's help. As we change then our spouses and mates will see the new us and want to change too. Love grows when we can accept each other unconditionally.
3. Appreciation: Everyone needs to know that even the smallest thing they do is fully appreciated. As spouses and mates we need to verbally say how much we appreciate each other and then state the reasons. Just hearing that, shows you care for them and this speaks volumes of love. Remember both males and females need to hear that they are appreciated.
4. Affection: The best way to give love is to show your affection with words, touch, and time. Don't just assume your spouse or mate knows that you care. Each and everyday bless them by showing them how much they mean to you.
5. Respect: showing respect for your spouse or mate's deepest needs and wishes is very important. During our workshop we found that men need to be respected by their spouse or mate to feel loved and to show love. This is true, however the female needs to be given respect for who she is and what she is in your life. In other words respect is important to both of you. Even in anger you must say things in a way that will not disrespect your love one.