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FireProof your Marriage

Harmony comes from UNDERSTANDING, not agreement!

Get a sitter, have a "date" and watch it!  Then go for ice cream or coffee and just talk.

Help !

The "Love Dare" 40 day journal and devotional is available
for you and I to use in our marriages as well.  Get it at Amazon for 8 bucks: 
 "The Love Dare" 
(Click HERE to see the
introduction and the first day)

We personally recommend this helpful and funny book, "Marriage Takes More Than Love"

There are also some good helps to download at:
Here they are all in one place:

MarriageAlive.com is another good resource - see "10 Great Dates".

"Mars & Venus"

 - Ever hear "Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?"  It is a book about how men and women
are "wired" differently.

 - In short, as I heard a doctor describe it once, before a man is BORN, a powerful chemical hormone
is released that, among other things, CUTS thousands of connections between the left and right halves of his brain.  Not so for the woman.

 - I DID disagree though when the doctor called it "brain damage" for the men!  I know it is the Creator's DESIGN.

 - Incredible.  A man tends to focus
on either the more logical side or
the more emotional side, but not both at the same time.  VERY helpful when this kind of "focus" is needed.  Yet, a woman sees and feels everything together, picking up things that a man misses. 

Women's intuition is reality
- listen up men!

 - Click "His & Hers" on this page Fireproof, then click "watch video."  The videos show the differences of men and women in a VERY funny way (especially the 2nd one) -- and it is an ACCURATE "word picture!"  We men need to understand the way a woman thinks, and women - it's going to help you to understand how WE think!  These videos are GREAT!

 - Then treasure your differences
and learn from each other!

 - And, of course, each of us is a special individual with varying degrees of "connectedness" in this way.

"Word Pictures"

One of the best ways to help your spouse understand is to describe it in an emotional word picture.

For example: "When you correct me in front of others, it really hurts. 
I don't feel like your partner, but instead, as if you, the parent, are treating me like a "child."
  (My wife is a pro at this now, I've got to get a better example from her).

Marriage manual

It's "Built-In!"

Men, just ask your wife: "Honey, where would you rate our marriage
on a scale of 1 to 10?
"  ... but do not argue or fuss when you hear the answer!  Instead, ask: "OK honey, what can I do to help make it a 10?"

Your wife is your built-in marriage manual - if you're willing to ASK - and then DO.

At work, inside burning buildings, Capt. Caleb Holt lives by
the old firefighter’s adage:  Never leave your partner behind.
At home, in the cooling embers of his marriage,
he lives by his own rules.
After seven years of marriage, Caleb and Catherine have drifted so
far apart that Catherine wishes she had never married.
As the couple prepares to enter divorce proceedings,
Caleb’s father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment he calls
“The Love Dare.”
When Caleb discovers the book’s daily challenges are tied to his
parents’ newfound faith, his already limited interest is further
dampened.  Is it too late to fireproof his marriage?
Caleb’s job is to rescue others, but now he has to face his toughest job
ever … rescuing his wife’s heart.
 Be sure to check out the video clips on this page also (especially, "The Cross," "Caleb's apology," "Breaking Free," and "Lead your heart"):

SEVEN Principles for Skillful Living
... in Relationships:

1. Spiritual living:

Our relationship with each other can be no better than each of our relationships with God.  We must be “spiritual,” or under the Spirit’s control.  In order to be Spirit-controlled, we must feed our new nature with God’s Word, prayer, spiritual music, fellowship, and outreach.  We must be “abiding in Christ.”  (Jn 15; Eph 5:18).  And of course, these principles won't work if you aren't His child.  To learn what the Bible says about becoming God's child, look here: http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/

2. Reaping & Sowing:

Results are not immediate; it takes a while for the crop to come in—both good and bad.  In the short run, it may seem that we can get away with wrong living, but it will catch up with us (Gal. 6:7-9, 2 Cor. 9:6).  We must take responsibility.  For example, if I don’t love my spouse, it isn’t really because of the way they are, it is because I have been sowing wrong seed—it is my fault.  If we sow deeds of love, after a while we WILL reap the feelings of love.  We must continually sow “the first works” (Rev. 2:4&5) in each other’s lives to ensure a good harvest. 

3. Keep "Short Accounts:"

We must “uncover” our problems and deal with them.

 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper but whoso confesseth
and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13).

In Hebrew, prosper means “get out of the rut” -- like the hardened clay wagon wheel rut on a Jerusalem road after a rare rain.  We stay in a rut if  we blame our faults on someone or something—if we cover our sins rather than confronting them.  Most marriages are in a rut—OK, average, boring.  We must keep short accounts. (Eph. 4:26b)

Do you wan't to be "normal?"  Just keep doing what you are doing and you will be like most, still stuck in the same "normal" rut.

If we cover our sin -- our marriages will be "normal" stuck in a rut marriages. Is that what we want?

As God told His people in Hosea 14:2, "take WORDS with you," CONFESS what it is you did that was wrong, and determine as best you can to forsake it. You'll get out of the RUT!! And find God's mercy in your lives and marriage. 

But if you WANT to be NORMAL and STAY IN A RUT,  just "cover."

4. Speak - the Truth - in Love:

We must speak the truth in love.  

This has three parts -

     I. First, the TRUTH:

We must be TRUTHful and not exaggerate, for example:

"you always do that" ...  "you never do that" ...
In relationships, "Always" and "Never" are almost always not
true! ... i.e. "false," a "lie"

How are you honey? "fine!"
Is anything wrong? "no!"
-- are these true answers?  or ... a lie?

     II. Second, in LOVE:

Our motive should be LOVE rather than getting even or winning.  We should be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, helpful, and positive. (Eph. 4:15, 29, & 32).

     III. Third, and so obvious we miss it, "SPEAK!"

We must SPEAK, rather than give the silent treatment.  Clamming up is NOT "speaking the truth in love!"  Don't go to bed angry (Let not the sun
go down upon thy wrath).  You must TALK!

If someone thinks you have offended them ... GO (Mt 5:23). 
If you've been offended ... GO (Mt 18:15). 
If you're sure they won't apologize anyway, and then they don't
... still GO. 

If you don't, the offense will continue to damage you and have power over you.  At least you've done what you can, and addressed the truth plainly.  Now practice letting it go ... and not giving it power over you.

5.  Mind your own Business:

Roles & Responsibilities:  We must “mind our own business” in the sense that each of us must major on the responsibility of our own role before God and not that of someone else.  For example, I am to concentrate on being a good husband since only “husbanding” is my job, not “wifing;” or I am not to try to make my wife submissive, since submission is her responsibility before God, and only she answers to God for it.

6. "Knowing" won't help:

Finally, none of this will do a bit of good if you know it, but won't do it. James: "be ye doers, and not hearers only."  (James 1:22-25, I Sam. 15:22).

7. YOU can’t do it:

While you’re “doing these things,” realize that you can’t.  Though we know and believe all of these principles, we cannot make it happen.  WE can’t make it all work.  We must humbly and happily acknowledge that “man plans his ways, but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9), and that “it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12 & 13).  Just as we didn’t save ourselves by our own works, we can’t sanctify ourselves by works (Gal. 3:3).  While we seek God’s wisdom and make plans and decisions, we must count it a real blessing that we aren’t left to our own devices.  Our Father in Heaven is the one who is REALLY in control. 

Daily Family Life ... with Children:

 1.  We must be real, not just “religious.”  If you're "real," you'll live and talk about Jesus, the grace of God, and His words - as a normal way of life (Deut 6:6-9).  "Abiding in Christ” will be a desire, and a realization of your need, that drives you to Him and His word.
 2.  Our Husband-Wife relationship must have priority.  To give our children security and a role model by giving the husband-wife relationship priority over the parent-child relationship.  The best way to love your child is to love your mate.  The husband and wife who don’t keep their love alive are bad parents (in spite of giving the extra “spouse-hours” to the kids).
 3.  We must build a sense of belonging.  We must be sure our children feel a sense of belonging as wanted and loved members of the family “team.” Child-centered parenting is harmful—children’s wants should not control the family.  (God is the owner.  Dad & Mom are the coach & assistant coach.  Kids are team members.)
 4.  We should never discipline in anger.  Discipline to correct & mold, not punish.  Parental discipline NEVER means DAMAGE—physical or emotional.
 5.  Be a Blessing.  Believing that others are precious to God, we must teach our children to be a blessing to others.  Can they answer "yes" to this question?  “Have we been Respectful, Responsible, and Fun To Be With?”  (Can WE answer "yes" to that question?)

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