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THE DOVE ALLIANCE
"Serving God's Word On Saving Your Marriage"

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"Comparing oneself to another in any way - good or bad - is detrimental. Comparison will always lead to a critical spirit which stops everyone concerned in their tracks. Don't even compare your present state with your past..."

BIBLICAL BALANCE

"Dwell in Me and I will dwell in you, Live in Me and I will live in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without being vitally united to the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me" (John 15:4)


ANGER:

At some point, every man gets angry with his wife. It could be over something minor like leaving the cap off of the toothpaste, or something on a larger scale like disrespecting you in front of other people. The anger itself is not a sin...it's what you then do with it and how you respond to it that can potentially be classified as sin.

How are you dealing with your anger in your marriage?

There are different ways that men typically deal with anger. Many men internalize their feelings of anger. In trying to avoid dealing with it, unforgiveness and bitterness take root, gradually poisoning their marriage. Turning it inward doesn't deal with the anger; instead it's allowed to build up over time.

Others externalize it. They turn their anger outward, towards their wife, children, or anyone else who gets in their line of fire. They let their feelings lead them to hurt others, either verbally or physically. Many of these men profess that they just "couldn't control themselves." This is a person that's controlled by their emotions, instead of being in control of their emotions. These men will continue to physically or verbally abuse their wife or children as long as they can get away with it.

Now, take that same "out of control" man and put him up next to a 300 pound linebacker. Do you think he would control himself enough to keep from slapping that linebacker around? Oh yeah, because they know they couldn't get away with that...not without some pretty hefty consequences.

We should never let our feelings of anger cause us to get "out of control."

So what are some ways to deal with anger in marriage?

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)

1) Admit to yourself and God that you are angry. There's no reason for denying it. Plus, as you get it out in the open, you'll be better prepared to deal with it.

2) Don't yield to your feelings. If you think you may say or do something that you'll regret, walk away from the situation until you have control over your emotions. Take a deep breath to bring your physical reactions to anger under control. Realize that YOU are totally responsible for your own actions.

3) Whether the wrong committed against you was real or perceived, intentional or accidental, bring the offense to God and forgive your wife. Forgiveness is not for your wife, it's for you. As you get in the habit of actually forgiving your wife, your anger will lead you into sin less often.

4) Don't give the devil a foothold by dwelling on the offense. If you've forgiven your wife, quit replaying the situation over in your mind. Otherwise, not only will you cause those angry feelings to come back, but you will give the devil the opportunity to add fuel to the fire by telling you how evil your wife is. This will only serve to send you back to square one, negating any progress you've made.

If you've let your anger lead you into sin in the past, ask God to forgive you and let it go. You can't control what you've done in the past, but you can control what you do now and in the future. Start preparing now for the next time you get angry, because the time will come again when you'll need to deal with it. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you control yourself and diffuse the anger without sinning. And remember Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God."

Your marriages is constantly under attack. Once you say "I do", the devil sets his sights on trying to tear the relationship apart. The reason for this is that so much good comes from marriage. It's the foundation of our society and the first institution established by God. What happens in our marriages usually filters down to the rest of our lives and it greatly influences our children.

The devil doesn't want your marriages to succeed or give any sort of glory to God. So he fires shots at your relationship to disrupt it any way he can. If you allow satan any sort of an opening, he will march right through it, guns blazing.

"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Ephesians 4:26-27

In this verse, it shows that anger towards your wife is a huge opening for the devil to exploit. When you go to bed angry at our wife, you allow satan an opening into your marriage.

The word "devil" means "slanderer". So satan will take that opportunity to suggest to you how bad, mean, or evil your wife is. He accuses her of all sorts of things that make that anger even worse. Then upon waking up the next morning, the anger has grown. The devil has just gained a foothold in your marriage. All he has to do is keep gaining ground a little at a time. Eventually, he will accomplish what he set out to do.... destroy your marriage. That is, only if we let him.

Anger is a feeling, a natural emotion, a human response to your safety, well-being and happiness. Everyone experiences anger - some people more intensely and frequently than others. Though anger is one of the most common emotions known to the human race, few people are skilled at reacting to this feeling with complete effectiveness.

Many of us rely on a few specific responses that we learned as children and continue to use as adults. These responses can turn into constructive or destructive behavior. Recognizing what makes us angry can help us to find better ways to cope with this emotion. It's not whether we get angry, but what we do with our anger that matters.

Those who have studied anger indicate that more anger is developed in marriage relationships than in any other relationship. Unresolved anger is the principal cause of violence toward another person. Successful anger management can mean the difference between marital joy or absolute misery. The success or failure of a marriage may depend on the way you cope with the anger in your marriage.

Misconceptions of Anger

Many of us hold misconceptions of anger, and these misconceptions can lead people to cover up their anger in different ways. Five misconceptions are:

1. If you don't look angry on the outside, you don't have a problem with anger.
2. If you ignore hurt and anger, these feelings will go away.
3. Venting feelings and anger will make them go away.
4. Playing the martyr (being nice all the time) and not expressing anger will not damage you.
5. Your relationships will suffer if you express any anger or hurt.

How People Cover Up Anger

If you have any of these misconceptions, you may be covering up your anger in one or more of the following ways:

* denial (ignoring the evidence)
* peace at any price (i.e. giving in rather than engaging conflict, withdrawal)
* grievance collecting (keeping track of everything that has happened)
* passive/aggressive behavior (pouting, sarcasm, stubbornness, procrastination, generating guilt)
* bigotry (hating another group of people)
* all-is-well attitude (overly sweet and nice about what is happening)

Anger Can Be Healthy in a Relationship

Anger is present at different times in all marital relationships. Couples should give each other the right to be angry. But only in a righteous anger of God. Anger that ends up in violence is not the way of God nor is it healthy.

When you notice angry feelings coming on, those angry feelings should be expressed in words, but said calmly and with love. These feelings should be expressed in much the same tone as you would say, "I'm tired," or "I'm very tired." To manage your anger it is necessary to express and acknowledge it. But never attack in anger even though you share angry feelings.

Resolving Anger

Remember this as a better way of resolving anger:

* Admitting your anger to your wife;
* Desire to restrain your anger and not let it get out of hand by blaming or belittling;
* Explaining in a very calm manner why you are angry; and
* Action planning or doing something about the cause of the anger.

If anger is handled in this way, using a calm approach to identify the cause of the anger and what can be done about it, you will usually find that the anger was based on a misunderstanding or misinterpreted words or deeds. You may also find out that your wife was pushed beyond a level of tolerance. All these things can be resolved if approached calmly.

If you are not controlling your anger but only letting your emotions lead you is a sure way to get out of the will of God. We're so used to doing or saying what we feel that we allow our emotions to control us without a second thought.

In the process of following where your "feelings" lead you, you begin veering away from God's will. This then leads to many other negative consequences, including hurting those around you like our wife, children, friends, and co-workers.

Many times it gets us into trouble with people we don't even know. Road rage would be a prime example of that. Decisions should not be made on the basis of the negative emotions we are feeling.

That is especially true when it comes to dealing with another person; such as your wife. Damaged marriage or relationship can be hard to mend when one has been hurt by something another has said or done hastily in a moment of uncontrolled emotion.

"Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification." Romans 14:19

SELFISHNESS:

The Number One Problem in Marriage

What have you probably heard is the number one problem in marriage? Often cited as the number one problem is the lack of communication. I don't believe that's the case. It's a problem, but not the main problem. The lack of communication is purely a symptom of a deeper problem. The number one problem in marriage is... SELFISHNESS.

Selfishness means "seeking one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others."

Everyone struggles with selfishness. We all want what we want when we want it. We were born this way. You don't have to teach a small child how to say "gimme, gimme" when they see a toy they want that someone else has. Are You A Sucker?

"The leech has two daughters. 'Give! Give!' they cry." Proverbs 30:15

The leech is a parasite that never gets enough. It continually sucks the life out of something. There are two relationship types:

1) the parasitic relationship, where one sucks out of the relationship.

2) the edifying relationship, where one puts into the relationship.

Many times people go into a marriage relationship for what it can provide for them. They want security, affection, companionship, money, sex, to name a few. "Give, give" they cry. But God wants us to be more focused on others and less focused on ourselves.

"Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being." 1 Corinthians 10:24 (NKJV)

How often do we enter into marriage thinking, what can I do to make this other person's life more fulfilling? Rarely. Living a life of selfishness will hinder a person from receiving from God.

Personally, this area hit me right between the eyes. I ask you to think about this for a moment: Are you sucking out of your marriage? Constantly in a mindset of why won't your wife do this or that? You want her to give to you? Concern about what you could give to her without expecting something in return is not a part of your thinking? Respect, honor, kindness, and self-worth are things you are requiring from her? If so - then this picture is pretty ugly. Would you not say so?

And if you say yes to these questions then you are being a parasite in your marriage. Edifying your marriage and building up your wife by seeking to only meet her needs are things you need to be doing. You need to be constantly seeking to put your wife's well-being first... and without expecting anything at all in return.

You shouldn't always be thinking about yourself and only what you need. You should walk in love, unselfishly thinking of your wife and her benefit more than your own. When you walk in love and bless others, you can expect God to take care of you needs in the process. Don't suck the life out of your marriage by always seeking to get and never giving. Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything.

MARRIAGE ROLES IN BIBLICAL BALANCE

Men - this is YOUR responsibility to bring balance into your marriage. If you live your life within this balance then your wife WILL be submissive beyond your dreams and she would not even realize she is doing so.

God's will is for Christians men and women to esteem His entire Word, and to both understand it and obey it in biblical balance. However, all too often Christians fail either to understand biblical balance in marriage roles or to be willing to obey God.

God has given five basic principles for marriage that are to be obeyed, not because a husband or wife "feels like it," and not because the other person "deserves it," but because God commands obedience.

Practicing God's five principles for marriage means obeying God, loving God, and trusting God whether or not it is easy or "feels good."

A first one of these five biblical principles is given in Ephesians 5:22-24. God says that wives are to submit themselves to their own husbands "as unto the Lord," and they are to be subject to their husbands "in every thing."

If this one truth is accepted and practiced in a marriage, and an equally important truth is misunderstood, ignored, or rebelled against, that marriage falls short of God's will.

A second biblical truth is: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it" (Eph. 5:25).

To understand God's command that husbands love their wives, we must recognize that the word translated "love" is "agape."

Inserting the meaning of "agape," we paraphrase: "Husbands, each of you must dedicate yourself to your wife and to her good. You must purpose and do those things that are best for her, whether you like her or not, no matter how she treats you, even if it kills you, just as Christ dedicated Himself to the church and gave His life for it" (Eph. 5:25).

We can find further light on the husband's role in marriage by considering the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. As we read "charity" or "love" we need to understand that God is speaking of "agape" love.

Agape love does not seek its own--it is not selfish (1 Cor. 13:5). Instead, agape love is directed toward the good of the other person. Therefore, for a husband to love his wife in accordance with God's command in Ephesians 5:25, he must unselfishly dedicate himself to doing what is best for his wife. And this means unconditionally.

Agape love is not puffed up--it is not proud (1 Cor. 13:4). A husband is not loving his wife as God has commanded him to do if he is so proud that he will not let his wife have a thought or an opinion that does not agree with his own.

By commanding that the wife submit to her husband, God has placed on husbands the responsibility for all decisions.

Let's put the husband's leadership and the wife's submission in biblical balance:

1. God has given the husband the leadership role for the good of his wife, not as an excuse for him to be proud or selfish, and not as an excuse to treat her as a servant.
  • Some husbands do not seem to understand that yelling for food or beverage service while they are watching a sports event on TV and while their wives are scrubbing the kitchen floors on their hands and knees does not reflect biblical truth in balance.
2. God has not said the husband must, or should, make all decisions in his family. If a husband wants to please God, and if he loves his wife with agape love, he will delegate some decision making to her - she has brains too.

3. God has not said that the husband must make decisions without obtaining input from his wife.

4. God has not said that the husband must make decisions according to his wishes, nor even according to his wisdom. Instead he must make decisions that are best for his wife.
  • If the husband is not proud, he will not think that he is always right. If the husband is not proud, he will seek her input before making decisions.

  • If the husband is not selfish, he will not want his way, but instead will desire to please his wife.

  • God has not made him the leader in the family to feed his ego, or to satisfy his selfishness, but for her good.
5. If husband and wife disagree, if he is not proud, and if he is not selfish, he will be willing to go along with her ideas and her desires - unless it would hurt her or someone else spiritually, emotionally, or physically, or unless what she wants is prohibitively expensive.

6. However, again keeping biblical truth in balance, if she is not proud, and if she is not selfish, she will not think that she is always right, and she will not want her way.

7. If the wife considers the leadership role that God has given her husband, she will recognize that God wants to give her husband the insight and wisdom that he needs to lead the family - she will look to her husband for leadership.

8. Obeying God and loving his wife with agape love includes the husband assuming his God-given responsibilities and shielding his wife from emotional and physical loads that are too heavy for her.

9. If a husband understands God's Word in biblical balance, if he loves God, and if he loves his wife with agape love, he will not abdicate his God-given responsibilities to his wife, nor for rearing their children.

Thus far we have considered two biblical principles that God has given for marriage.

God has given the third and fourth principles of marriage in the first epistle of Peter. God says that husbands must live with their wives (3) "according to knowledge," (4) giving [them] honor" (1 Peter 3:7).

Living with wives "according to knowledge" is much more than treating them with consideration. Living with wives according to knowledge includes:

a) creating an atmosphere in which, in absolute trust, they will reveal their thoughts and feelings;
b) gaining understanding through listening; and
c) doing what is best for them in accordance with knowledge.

If the husband wants to obey God, please Him, and show God that he loves Him, he will treat his wife with respect because God commands it. Treating wives with respect rules out jesting that degrades them personally, degrades wives or women in general, and/or that degrades marriage (an institution ordained of God).

The fifth biblical principle is: God commands wives to honor ["reverence"] their husbands (Eph. 4:31).

Even though some translations of the Scriptures may give the erroneous idea that wives should have respect for their husbands, God does not command wives to respect their husbands, nor does He command husbands to respect their wives.

Respect must be earned. In all too many marriages, it is impossible for the wife to respect her husband, and in other marriages it is impossible for the husband to respect his wife.

Instead of commanding respect, God commands treating with respect. To honor means to treat with respect.

If the wife wants to obey God, please Him, and show God that she loves Him, she will treat her husband with respect, even if she is unable to respect him as a person, or respect his judgment.

How do these five principles relate to "being one?" Too often, when "two become one," there is a power-struggle to determine which "one" they will become. Will they become him? Or her?

Instead of a selfish and prideful fight for power, they should become "one" in their desire to please God, in their desire to serve Him, in their desire to fulfill their respective roles in marriage, and in their desire to help each other become more and more Christ-like.

Marriage can be likened to two trees. The husband should be like the oak tree. He is to be stronger, and he is to protect his wife from the winter winds. She is to be like the apple tree, not as strong but with a godly beauty, usefulness, and fragrance.

If two trees are too close together, they do not have limbs all of the way around. If a husband loves his wife biblically, he will give her opportunity, space, and encouragement to develop "limbs all of the way around."

If a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, he will allow her, give her opportunity, and encourage her, to develop as a godly and competent woman in the home, in the church, and in the community.

Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks of the wife of many virtues. This woman heard of a field that was for sale, she considered its worth, and she bought it (vs. 16). God commended this wife. What about the husband? Since God was pleased with her, she had not done this contrary to her husband's will. Instead, we can assume that he was encouraging her, and God was pleased with him, too.

There is a message for husbands. We read that "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land" (verse 23). Apparently, her reputation, and his reputation for his wisdom in using her skills and talents, had led him to a place of leadership in the community - he sat at the gate as one of the rulers.

If a man is wise, he will take his wife as a full partner and help her develop her talents. If he really loves her, as opposed to considering her as a possession to serve his every desire, he will dedicate himself to helping her develop as a godly woman.

Wives submit? If a husband is loving her as God intends him to love her, he will be so unselfishly and humbly dedicated to her good, and so considerate of God's will for her as well as her wishes, desires, and opinions, that she will hardly realize that she is in submission.

This is the beauty of biblical roles in marriage. If biblical truth is held in balance and practiced, the husband will be dedicated to doing good for her, and she will gratefully let him lead.

 
God's Love From Genesis Through The Revelation.

Insert here I have come to you today to open some more layers of truth and dismantle any overshadowing from the enemy through lies, wrong self-perception, pride or fear. I have come to give you life abundant this moment. Before you receive keep this in mind, Rome wasn't built in a day. They didn't quit building because it couldn't be done in a day. Don't think about how you have done this before and haven't seen the change or fulfillment you long for. Why not try a whole new way looking at things? Why not just assume (to do so would be the 100% correct thing to do) a good thing will take place - assume help has come and progress is made whether you see it immediately or not?


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