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Today is roughly the two year anniversary of when I came to the ministry when our marriage was at the lowest point.  I can honestly saw we have stepped back from the edge and are more stable today. 

 

 

 

David, I am so happy to hear that your feeling safe and away from the edge. Never let your guard down and never stop leading and being her hero, the process takes time but most of all - I can vouch that it is WORTH IT!  ;-)

 

You guys looked so good in the pics from Disneyland. Keep up the good fight my brother.....

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Thanks Tony for your words of encouragement. I really have hope we will get to a place of an OHM.  I am praying the Holy Spirit works in both of us and that we are drawn closer to Christ together.  I am honored to be fighting side by side with you my brother.  

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Thanks for the good word from Habukkuk 3.  Honestly it has been up and down for me.  I can get to some low points, but I hold onto God's promises dearly!  I look to find ways to be grateful and appreciative of the small things in life and see that God sustains me through the journey with just what I need.  I would like things to instantly turnaround, but alas that is not the case.  I seek to find joy and to share God's love where ever I can.  I truly the desire for our marriage to be restored in the way God intended deeply loving one another, but there is still quite a bit distance.  I do my best to pursue and honor my wife and my covenant vows.  Satan sure wants to foul it up, so I need to be on guard. Please pray for a breakthrough in our marriage that we will be connected on all levels, spiritual, emotional, and physical.  Thanks 4evr, I am so glad for your thoughtful input and pouring into my life.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Have a FANTASTIC weekend.  :razz:

 

As you may already know ChooseLove, the breakthrough will always come when YOU receive the breakthrough in you. That's just how the upside down kingdom of God works! From within us.

 

As you follow this ministry's counsel to love your wife it begins to expose the junk in you that doesn't want to surrender. So sometimes it seems that you are not as far along as you really are when you have to confront the stuff in you. It's so tricky - you can't focus on you- you must focus on your wife.. but there is also a place for you to have your private relationship with God as you draw from His strength, His healing, His Light. The interesting thing is that if you are wrestling internally with thoughts or temptations- even if you never act them out or speak them out, your wife can still sense that they are there and will still keep her distance to keep her safety. She may not even be fully aware of doing that, but trust me it does go on like that.   When I was struggling with my ex- before I understood the depth of what he was involved in- before I knew there was another woman involved.. he was home almost every night from work.. he was doing and saying all the right things but I could FEEL (!!) the stuff that was between us. I could even feel it when we lay in bed together- like a giant log between us.

 

So as I asked God how to pray for your breakthrough this morning, He showed me that part of it will come as you understand that there are unhealed broken parts of you that still attract the thoughts and temptations. The inside work will allow an external breakthrough.

 

So it's more than just rejecting those thoughts or temptations.. it's more than holding on to the Promises of God.. and yes, it's even more than loving your wife, though that is absolutely necessary for your maturing process.

 

Try this the next time you are feeling discouraged, lonely or deflated:  "Jesus, shine the LIGHT of Your Resurrection- Your 'dunamis' (Greek) power and glory on me and strengthen me from the inside out- healing and restoring my soul. (mind, will and emotions) Fill me with Your Spirit."  Then rest in His Presence for a bit meditating on his Light. As you do that you will begin to experience things that you need to forgive or repent for. After peace comes to you.. then command the devil to flee- whether it's fear or anxiety or loneliness or wrath or??   This inside purification job will establish you in purity and your wife will begin to feel it IN YOU. It should help her to let her guard down- when she senses that you are REAL through and through.  James 4:7-8

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Amazing words 4evr.  Thank for sharing and for TP's confirmation as well.  The devotion I read today was directly related to letting the light of Christ shine in me. A lot to think about.

 
Today's Verse for Monday, December 7, 2015 - http://www.heartlight.org/cgi-shl/todaysverse.cgi
 
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.
Psalm 112:4 (NIV)
Thoughts on Today's Verse...

What a powerful promise! Just as night passes into dawn, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous, dawn comes even in the worst nights of deep spiritual darkness. The Holy Spirit is reminding us that even in those worst times of cultural decay and decadence, Satan's darkness will not rule forever. His darkness cannot stay where Jesus' disciples reflect the character of the Light of the world.

Prayer...

Holy and loving God, help me to shine your light of holiness and Jesus' light of hope to those trapped in darkness. O God, please forgive my sinful failures. Please cleanse me and create a pure heart in me. I don't want to dim or to diminish your light as it shines through me. Help me so that I can more perfectly shine your light to those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

 

psalm112_4.jpg

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I might as well tell you what I'm thinking as well!

 

I read the first two pages of your thread again. A couple of questions for a clearer picture in my mind:

 

1. Are you still sleeping on the couch?

2. Are you inviting your wife out on dates, arranging the babysitting and everything? The idea of INVITING is important.

 

I'm wondering if there might still be a little holier-than-thou attitude in the deep dark recesses of your mind. I have a funny feeling about that. It takes one to know one. I have had that nasty little belief myself in connection to my husband. Ie. Life long Christian, not a BIG sinner, etc. Pride. That's what it is and it stinks! I'm speaking to you, and to myself.

 

Your wife feels the UN-acceptance, the conditional "love." It's the Christ kind of love that will melt her heart.

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Yes, MJ, I too have suffered with this same fault.. over and over again.. It is nasty and it does have to go! So thanks for bringing this up...

 

And ChooseLove.. please allow me to say something else. Your response to both me and TP sounded good.. it was polite.. and it had some of the same concepts.. but it didn't really resonate with me as an "aha" moment for you?  I think you get this intellectually.. but I wonder if you GET it... ?????

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Hi all,  I have been thinking about the recent posts and have had my own personal breakthrough - in the words of 4evr - I "got" it. :)  I have more to write on that but I wanted to quickly share a song that has been speaking to me during this time.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dR0H0tAYT8

 

Also, I just finished reading The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption by Matt Chandler on the Song of Solomon that helped coalesce by own breakthrough.

Edited by ChooseLove
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Verses for the day...

 

Philippians

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

 

1 John 5:14-15English Standard Version (ESV)

14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

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The cool part of 1 John 5:14 is the little part that says "according to his will"  its a littel aspect that is mission critical in how we approach our prayers. 

 

Ever wonder why some peoples prayers don't get answered and then they get upset with God.

 

its all in the details.....

 

TP

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Yes, absolutely TP.  We read that verse today during the morning devotions. 

 

Glad you enjoyed the song MJ.

 

 

So in a nutshell the breakthrough for me was truly looking long-term for my hope, peace and joy in the Lord, knowing He will fulfill His promises.  I fully recognize the circumstances are not what I would like, but rather that complaining about the situation I am looking at is as an opportunity.  I need to find joy in the moment, be present and enjoy life, be grateful for the moments I have to breath and bless others.  I have to go through the struggles of life to become the man God would want.  I choose JOY.  I choose PEACE.  I choose JESUS.  There is no other way for me.  I love my wife and family dearly.  If I fulfill my calling on this earth they will learn to love the Lord MORE than me, a fallen sinner.  

 

Lord have mercy on me and renew a right spirit in me.  I commend my whole being to you that you may be glorified in my weakness.  I love you Lord, you are an AWESOME God and I know I am safe in your loving arms.  Thank you Jesus.  Thank you that you loved me so much.  You chose me first, I am so grateful I can run into your loving arms.  Your covenant is AMAZING and one I can't help but share with the world.  I praise you as you watch over me, my wife and family, draw us near to you in Jesus' name I pray.  AMEN!

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ChooseLove, First of all Merry Christmas! And I want to say that I really do like your username because that really is what life is all about.. choosing LOVE when we don't want to.. choosing to love others when they don't deserve it... choosing to love when no one is looking.. well, I am sure you know all of this!

 

If I may.. I would like to say that I personally would like to see more of your specific struggles on here- because your example is what we all learn from. You talk about struggling but you don't really say what the nature of the struggle is or how your thinking was.. or what was wrong with it and how Jesus helped you to correct it. We women - and men- would like to know more of what you are going through and how you are being affected.

 

Thus, when I read your posts I feel like there is this really bright and cheery person who is just sucking it up and driving on! This is what makes me wonder about how this is working for you. You never directly answered MJ's post # 381 for example.. maybe it was just for you to think about, I don't know... but the idea of this forum in my understanding is that we would all be vulnerable and open and learn from each other.. which mostly entails posting more than songs, videos, book excerpts or Scriptures.

 

This sentence shows me that you don't yet grasp who you are in Christ: "If I fulfill my calling on this earth they will learn to love the Lord MORE than me, a fallen sinner."

 

We are transformed when Christ enters into us to make us new creatures!

 

But what does that mean exactly? That everything changes in a moment? or without effort or struggle?  No, because we are also continually working out our salvation. I think that it means that we are no longer bound by invisible forces of evil- by our own fallen natures and compulsions.. that at any given moment in time we can access grace and power and CHOOSE life. From your words it seems like you are doing this... BUT HOW?? 

 

Are you willing to give us examples of what she said and how you responded? And what you learned from that? And what you would do better next time?

 

Also, I sense that you may have taken more of a burden on yourself than God requires or expects.

 

As a husband you are called to love your wife and lead by example- true story- but even if you do that every single day without fail, that does not guarantee that your family will learn to love the Lord or that you will definitely arrive at an OHM! The reason you should be doing this is for nothing more than love... pure unconditional love... no expectations at all of what might happen- or what might not happen.. that part is best left in God's hands! Your wife has a free will and she may or may not choose life. That's a hard pill to swallow but it's the truth.

 

Interesting enough, if you didn't choose to love her and become Christlike you could be a great impediment to her discovery of the true nature of God and His love... so for love of her and love of Our Savior we work at becoming more and more sensitive to the Holy Spirit.. and more and more obedient to Christ.. so that we can give Jesus honor.

 

And finally, one more thought. The LOVE of God cannot be learned intellectually. It must be experienced by us in our relationship to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. Then we can share what we have received. The LOVE of God is revealed to us! So how is your relationship w/Jesus?

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Thanks 4ver for your post.  I am still processing but I wanted to at least respond to MJ's questions below

I might as well tell you what I'm thinking as well!

I read the first two pages of your thread again. A couple of questions for a clearer picture in my mind:

1. Are you still sleeping on the couch? No, we are sleeping in the same bed but have minimal physical interaction.  For example, I went to pray over her as she was not feeling well last night and I lightly touched her arm and she pulled her arm away and went cold.  I went ahead and prayed on my own in silence as she was obviously bothered by my touch and remained friendly and wished her a good night.  She was a bit more receptive this morning when I leaned over to give her a kiss before going to work.
2. Are you inviting your wife out on dates, arranging the babysitting and everything? The idea of INVITING is important. Yes, we just had a date last Saturday where we had a nice dinner and then I took her to a local botanical garden where we had visited previously.  She had noted the event and I picked-up on it making it happen that evening.  Unfortunately we don't have a regular sitter for the kids and there have been sickness over the last couple months that have prevented us from getting out more regularly.  For the better part of 2014 and this year we have had ongoing dates.  I like the word "inviting" and will continue to do so.   :)

I'm wondering if there might still be a little holier-than-thou attitude in the deep dark recesses of your mind. I have a funny feeling about that. It takes one to know one. I have had that nasty little belief myself in connection to my husband. Ie. Life long Christian, not a BIG sinner, etc. Pride. That's what it is and it stinks! I'm speaking to you, and to myself. I am sure there is some of that as it is part of dying to self.  Although my wife noted I bend over backyards and I am much more accommodating/understanding than most people.  We talked about it briefly even this week.  I think that she may see that as a weakness (too accepting, like a push-over because I don't  press my views on what is right/wrong) as she is quick to anger/blame or find fault in others and slow to forgive.  I don't stay in a place of blaming and work to move to a more mindful state of walking in love.  

Your wife feels the UN-acceptance, the conditional "love." It's the Christ kind of love that will melt her heart.

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I want to ask you about the sentence in red ChooseLove?  When she responded like that, did you make  a presumption that she was bothered by your touch or a presumption about the reason that she withdrew? I am just wondering if you lovingly asked her if your touch bothered her? And if so, why? "Do you feel like talking about it?" or something to that effect...  Because it's her feedback that will inform you about your next moves. It seems to me that if you think you know what is going on and you don't gently press in to find out, then you are at a stalemate.

 

1. Are you still sleeping on the couch? No, we are sleeping in the same bed but have minimal physical interaction.  For example, I went to pray over her as she was not feeling well last night and I lightly touched her arm and she pulled her arm away and went cold.  I went ahead and prayed on my own in silence as she was obviously bothered by my touch and remained friendly and wished her a good night.  She was a bit more receptive this morning when I leaned over to give her a kiss before going to work.

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Good morning 4evr.  I knew not to press it at that time of night as it would not go well.  I have to be very strategic when approaching her.  She can be easily set-off and angered and does not like questions or to be confronted.  This is not just with me but with others in her life.  I pray the Holy Spirit guides my words  and to be aware of the opportunities to approach her.  I work to make myself approachable and listen when she is ready to speak, but to press her or question her does not typically go well.

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Most definitely MJ.  I am glad the forum is working better.  I still get on the men's calls pretty regularly as well.  It is important to stay engaged and continue to grow.

Thank you for continuing to post, CL.

What was it about the relationship between you won your wife over after you first met?

 

My wife has told me how hard it was to find a man who had his own faith and went to church on his own.  She was definitely attracted to that.  I am an extrovert and she is an introvert so there was also that attraction to what is opposite.  We both also happened to be Lutheran.  I made friends quickly with her friends and family and have strong connections with them today.  She saw my love for the Lord, family and friends.  As in many relationships the initial attraction can repel overtime such as my extrovert personality.  I have really delved into better understanding those personality differences and I am in a better place than I was years ago. 

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Thanks for the feedback 4evr.  This is a good place to get feedback since I am more limited on getting on the calls for a good reason, they start at the same time I get home to spend time with the family.  I am thankful for such a great relationship I have with our kids, now 6 (son) and 9 (daughter).  We had a nice time after church on Sunday as we went out to lunch together and then saw the new Star Wars movie.  Nearly each weekday morning we read a devotional before I head into work.  Today I headed out the gym around 5:15 and got to say good morning to my wife as she is not usually up that early, she was wrapping presents today.  I brought her home her favorite specialty bagel (cream cheese with avocado and lemon pepper) as I knew she had been up early.  She had cleaned-up the kitchen and made coffee for both of us.  I love praying together as a family and look forward to when we can pray, just the two of us, as husband and wife again.  Have a blessed day!

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Quickly, I had talked about introvert and extrovert.  I tested out as ESFJ and my wife is INFJ.  Here is a quick breakdown for me.  I am hopeful we will do the temperament testing with TP in the new year.  At least I will go for it.  :)

 

Your personality type: “The Consul” (ESFJ-A)
Strength of individual traits: Extraverted: 90%, Observant: 60%, Feeling: 69%, Judging: 51%, Assertive: 60%.
Role: Sentinel
Strategy: People Mastery

 

Link to your profile: http://www.16personalities.com/profiles/5678793e97855

 

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Greetings all,

 

Just a quick check-in.  I have been enjoying time with the family this Christmas season.  I am looking forward expectantly to what 2016 brings.  As part of that I found a good prayer online at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davewillis/a-prayer-for-my-marriage/I shared with my wife. 

 

“LORD, thank you for my husband/wife. He/she is such a gift to me. I pray for our marriage. Help us work together as a team. I know you designed marriage to thrive when a husband and wife function together in partnership like two wings on the same bird, so help us work together in harmony so our marriage can soar to new heights. I recognize that the only part of our marriage I have the power to change is the part I see when I look in the mirror, so help me to be the best spouse I can be. I know it’s not my job to change him/her, but only to love them, so help me to look for ways to love, respect, encourage and support my spouse in every way possible. Help me to be his/her biggest encourager; not the biggest critic. Let my words and actions build up our marriage and not tear it down. Help me to set a warm tone in our home. Please provide for our needs. Please take away my worries and replace them with faith. There’s so much in my marriage and my life that feels out of my control, but I gain strength by remembering that you are in control and you are for me and your are with me. Please guide our steps. Help me to let go of the pain from the past and extend grace to my spouse and to myself. Please don’t let my regrets from yesterday or my worries about tomorrow rob me from experiencing the blessings you’ve placed in our lives today. Thank you for all you’ve done for us. Please guide our steps and give us the wisdom and the courage to make wise choices.Help us to love each other with the same unending love you’ve given to us.Help us create a legacy with our marriage that will create a positive impact for generations to come. Let our love for you and for each other be unending. Thank you for your countless blessings. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Edited by ChooseLove
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