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Consider This When You Think Your Marriage Was a Mistake

There are many husbands and wives who think their marriage was a mistake. They’re looking back with regret at their decision to marry. And they’re wondering now if there is some reasonable way they can correct their mistake. They don’t want to hurt their spouse, their children, or their family. But they just can’t imagine having to live with their mistake for the rest of their lives.

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Maybe, this is the way you feel. Or, maybe you have a strong sense this is the way your spouse feels.

In either case, I understand this line of thinking. I’ve been there, on both sides. So I’m not here to pass judgment on anyone for feeling this way.

However, I do want to challenge this way of thinking and the reasonings that go along with it. Read more

Marriage Covenant is NOT a Weapon to Use Against Your Spouse

Your marriage covenant is not an entitlement. And you should not take it for granted. You don’t get to say vows before a minister and expect that to be your guarantee to lifelong marriage. It takes more than that.

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I believe many marriages suffer from abuse and/or neglect because people treat their marriage covenant as an entitlement. Their hunt is over. They caught their prey. Now they don’t have to give their marriage the same work as they did when they were dating. When their former boyfriend or girlfriend had the freedom to walk away.

We believe in covenant 100%

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Do You Believe Your Marriage Can Be Healed

Believing your marriage can be healed is tough sometimes. The separation between you and your spouse is so far apart it feels hopeless to close the gap. You can’t undo all the things that went wrong. You can’t undo your history. And so now you look at your situation and all you see is a mountain that feels impossible to climb.

I’ve been there and I know how it feels to want with all my heart to see my marriage healed. While at the same time I had to face a very tough situation that made what I was hoping for appear impossible. But the one thing that kept me from being overwhelmed and discouraged was I dared to believe God and what His word teaches me.

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You see, I believe God has a completely different view of your situation than what you’re capable of seeing right now. Jesus made this same distinction between what we see and what God sees when He said these words.

Matthew 19:26  And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Read more

Can You Love Your Spouse Even When it Hurts?

It’s easy to love your spouse when your marriage is healthy and going strong. There is a rhythm to how love flows and it seems effortless. It’s like the two of you are dancing in harmony with each step perfectly timed and choreographed. You give and then you receive and then you give some more. You both give love at the same time and in the same way. You both give love at opposite times and in opposite ways. You know without a doubt the two of you are becoming one.

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But what if your marriage is not working this way? What if the music has stopped and there is no dance left in your marriage? You’re trying to continue to love your spouse even though you are seriously hurting inside. You believe in marriage. You want to honor the vows you have made. You want to do what is right before God. So you keep trying to love even when the pain of rejection and neglect keeps telling you to stop.

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Should You Stand for Your Marriage

There are many of you who are in a very difficult place right now. Your marriage is in trouble and all you know to do is stand your ground and believe for the restoration of your marriage. You’re in one of the greatest challenges a person can face in life. And I know some of you ask yourself how much more you can take.

I want you to know Janet and I admire and appreciate every one of you facing this battle. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to take this stand. As many of you know I have been there, and I know too well how difficult it is.

 

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Your story may be different from what I went through, but I understand the delicate balance you have to walk between heartache and hope. One minute your heart is so torn and broken you don’t think you can go any further, then the next minute your heart is so alive with the hope of your future as long as you can just hang on a little longer.

I know there are times when your spouse has a lot to do with how much heartache or hope you feel. You hang on to every little word and every little action trying to read into which direction your spouse will take. And then there are times when your spouse gives you no reason at all to hope but yet you have hope anyway.
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Divorce, Remarriage, & Personal Disclosure

Many of you who follow our blog are facing some of the hardest decisions you have ever had to make. Along with all the heartache you feel because of your broken marriage, you also have some agonizing questions that need to be answered.

Should you stand for a marriage that looks impossible to save? If so, how long should you stand? Or in your situation, is it God’s will for you to stand for your marriage at all? When the bible says “God hates divorce,” does that mean He will condemn you for not doing all you can to stop it from happening? And what if your marriage does end in divorce, is it wrong for you to remarry someday?

For people who love God and value the bible as the Word of God, the questions you are facing are very serious questions that cannot be taken lightly. You search the scripture for answers that apply to what you’re dealing with. And because you don’t want to get this wrong you seek out godly counsel to help you navigate your way through this. But still if you look hard enough you can find lots of people who love God and love the Word of God and yet they are divided over these questions.

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Early this week I read an article on Sheila Wray Gregoire’s website To Love, Honor and Vacuum, called Reader Question: When Do I Give Up Trying to Get My Ex Back? I thought it was an excellent article. One that helps answer some of the same questions our readers are asking.

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When I Said I Do, I meant ….

“What right do you have to destroy my dreams?” I asked my wife. It was a question I felt very strongly about many years ago when she wanted to end our marriage. And it is a question I still feel very strongly about today.

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I take the marriage vows very serious. I believe the vows are promises of commitment to see the marriage through even the toughest of times. Vows like “for better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer,” are meant to foretell our commitment to the marriage and our spouse with the presumption that there is a good chance we will face any number of trials that will test our resolve to stay committed to the marriage.

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What Does a Good Marriage Look Like?

The desire for a good marriage is a strong desire for most people. I don’t know of anyone that is married, or hopes to be married one day that doesn’t desire for their marriage to be good. But how do you know if you have a good marriage if you’re not sure what a good marriage looks like?

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Sure, it’s easy to look around and compare your marriage with some other couple who appear to have a good marriage to see if you have what they seem to have. Read more

When You’re the Only One Trying to Improve Your Marriage

Can one person make a difference in their marriage even when their spouse is not trying? My answer to that is a resounding, YES they absolutely can!

There is no question in my mind that even if only one spouse is trying, they alone can make a huge impact on their marriage and if only one person is trying there is still tremendous hope for the marriage.

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I know some might say. “but, it takes two to make a marriage work.” I know because I have heard someone say that to me before and which my reply was, “yea, but it only takes one to quit.” ( For more on that conversation check out, Easy as One, Two, Three.)

And so yes, it is true, to make a marriage work the way God designed it to work it does take two; both spouses working together becoming one.

But the question for some is, What good can one person do when they are the only one trying?

There are several suggestions I want to make on how one person can make a difference in their marriage. These are ideas that I have seen work in my own marriage and for many other marriages as well.

1) The first place to start is with prayer. Prayer is a powerful weapon for anyone to use and yet it is so often neglected. But the bible clearly says that instead of letting ourselves become overwhelmed with fear and worry we should take all of our request to the Lord.

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.”

Praying for a spouse who is not giving their best or who has completely given up on their marriage is always the right place to start. Not only can prayer change their heart and turn them around, prayer should also change the one who is praying. Because sometimes it may be your own attitude or perspective that needs to be changed first. And if nothing else prayer is most vital to you during times of difficulty in order to keep you calm, at peace, and continually hopeful.

2) The next thing is don’t focus on the negatives that your marriage doesn’t have and start working with what you do have. Your marriage doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s marriage. It just needs to work for the two of you.

If you dwell on the negatives you see in your spouse or your marriage as a whole you are creating an atmosphere that will push your spouse further away from you. Your spouse cannot be forced to want to be close to you, they have to voluntarily want to be close to you. So you have to attract them with the positive, full of life, best of you that you can be.

3) If you have a hard time being positive and trusting in the Lord, that is a good sign there is some work that needs to be done in you first. Your spouse cannot be the one you expect to fix you. You have to allow yourself to be broken and humble before the Lord and allow Him to heal your issues from the past and restore you as the person He created you to be.

Often this type of inner healing requires some outside assistance from someone who is capable of seeing your situation objectively and is capable in leading you towards sound biblical answers. Don’t hesitate to turn to a counselor, pastor, or even a friend depending on the severity of what you need. Just be sure you choose someone who will give you Godly counsel that protects your marriage covenant and promotes your focus on you and the healing you need.

4) Invest in knowing what makes your spouse feel loved, appreciated, and wanted. Learn your spouse’s love language and speak it often. Just see yourself as someone who is planting seeds in a garden knowing that in due season if you do not faint you will see your harvest.

But don’t over do it by appearing to be desperate or even fake. The thought here is to serve your spouse with love in subtle ways that will penetrate any hardness they have towards you. Love is hard for anyone to resist as long as it is genuine and is not used as a form of manipulation.

5) Look for ways to rekindle the romance. Get back to dating your spouse on a regular basis. Do what you can to turn up the heat on your sex life. Find other creative ways to be spontaneous and romantic. Again, the same here as with love language, just don’t come across as desperate, fake, and manipulative.

6) Work on communication at whatever level you’re at with your spouse. See communication as something you grow at doing. Don’t expect your spouse to jump into deep levels of communication if that is not something they want right now. You can make your desire for improving your marriage and your level of communication known to your spouse, but do not constantly remind them.

 

Finally, remember as long as you are willing to keep moving forward and you’re inviting God to do a work in your marriage you have plenty of reason to be hopeful and encouraged. After all, you are just one step away from two people trying to have a great marriage. And once your spouse is on board and with the Lord’s help, you can have the best marriage you ever dreamed possible.