Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Drum Roll... The winner of Erica's Wiggenhorne's book The Unexplainable Life is...
Now, I'd like to begin a new series on restoring love in a marriage when we've "fallen out of love."
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Friday, August 5, 2016
Here is another post on the theme of "I'll get him to the altar and then I'll alter him." This time, let's look at the idea of "If you change, I won't feel embarrassed."
If we think that, it's because we believe our spouse is a reflection of us! We may even have stopped appreciating the very thing that drew us to him/her in the first place.
For instance, you may not value your husband's love for details, yet friends call him to find out his opinion on buying a car because he's read the latest consumer magazines. Maybe you don't appreciate your wife's gift of gab, but she receives invitations to everyone's party because she brings it to life.
Or you might think your husband is boring for telling everyone all the details. Or you might think Susie is being silly for needing so much attention. It could feel like it's a reflection of you because you should be correcting Don or toning down Susie. Isn't that what a spouse is supposed to do: help them change their flaws? Since I'm not able to do that, I must not be important to my husband/wife.
You might further argue saying, "But everyone is calling Don on the phone and he doesn't have time for me." Or "Susie is the life of the party, but she rarely talks to me."
Could it be that your lack of appreciation or criticism of your mate's strengths (which you perceive as weaknesses) has caused him/her to seek love and significance from others? He or she may have given up trying to get it from you.
That's why Larry found lots of extra reasons to work and fly early in our marriage. Tweet that!
I could only see his flaws and point them out. Certainly that would change him and he wouldn't embarrass me with his cop demeanor if I even got him to go to a public or family function. He didn't want to talk to anyone. So I went overboard with trying to be friendly to counter-act his lack of it. I was embarrassed. Why did I pick such a non-social guy?! How stupid is that!
But in time, I realized I was fulfilling Proverbs 27:15: "A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike" (NASB).
We need to see that no amount of criticism, manipulating, nagging, or any other creative thing we think of is acknowledging God's ability to change another person. We think we should be our mate's Holy Spirit.
Next time I'll be featuring a book give-away but after that we'll examine how to motivate instead of manipulate.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
I hope you are being blessed with our theme of "After I get him to the altar, I'll alter him." Today we'll look at the manipulation myth: "If you change, we won't have any problems." Don't laugh. I actually thought that. Tweet that! That's what motivated my need to change Larry into my image!
This myth is especially prevalent in a marriage where one mate is a Christian and the other is not, or is not growing spiritually. The saved spouse can easily believe that if he/she will come to know Christ, Jesus will change him/her. Then "I won't have any problems because together we'll be able to take them all to Jesus."
Pat DeVorss, who has been married to an unbeliever for many years, says, "The problems that bother a saved spouse may not be the result of being married to an unbeliever at all. Every person has flaws whether or not he's a Christian. Even if your mate becomes a Christian, his or her basic temperament and personality will most likely not change that much."
Every one of us has a God-created temperament with strengths and weaknesses. The basic temperament of someone who comes to know Christ will not be altered. She most likely will change to some degree, as we all do, but she won't become perfect.
In case you've never studied the temperaments, here's a fast description of the basic four temperaments:
- Expressive: loves people and activities, is talkative, and tends to be insensitive to the need for others to talk. Wants to have fun.
- Analytical: loves to analyze and gather details, and values time alone. Can have "analysis paralysis" trying to gather every detail before making a decision. Wants to become perfect.
- Driver: loves to be in charge. They never question their decisions and believe they know best. Wants to have control.
- Amiable: values people but doesn't want the spotlight on themselves. Is a wonderful negotiator because he/she can see the perspective of everyone. Wants peace at any cost.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
We are examining the theme of "When I get him to the altar, I'll alter him." Here's manipulative myth #2:
In all these myths, the motive is to alleviate ourselves of pain caused by our spouse. We are eliminating God as the source of our joy and contentment, and instead trying to change someone else to be come through for us.
Here's another story, this time, from Alan and Tina who have been married thirteen years.
Because of Alan's drug use and workaholism, Tina felt lonely and isolated. After becoming a Christian, Tina prayed for Alan continually, yet his addictions grew worse. She saw no alternative other than to divorce him.
Threatened with losing his family, and challenged by some godly men, Alan dedicated his life to Christ.
Together they began a wonderful adventure in seeking God. But the fear of Alan's sliding back into his old sin patterns made Tina try to manipulate him to perform as a Christian. She hounded him to read his Bible. She bought him every book she could find about becoming a man of God. She became angry if he wouldn't go to church. She felt responsible to keep him sober and making wise choices. She became a complainer and controlled by fear, not trusting God.
Tina explains, "Everything I said was meant to make him stay on the straight and narrow. Now I understand all my manipulative devices were meant to guarantee that Alan wouldn't go back to that old lifestyle and leave me. I felt insecure. Now I tell myself over and over again the truth: my security doesn't have to rest on Alan. Besides, Alan's love for God is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit, not me. It's a burden I'm not supposed to take on."
It boils down to whether we trust God to change and help someone to grow. We can certainly influence them, but if we get tense, angry, or discontent, it shows we're trying to take responsibility.
Next time, we'll talk about:
"If you change, we won't have any problems."