Untitled Document

Succeeding In Marriage

By: Randy Jordan

New Life Bible Bookstore

Your Heart Follows Your Eyes


Brad worked in an office with 12 other coworkers. Brad always enjoyed giving compliments especially to the women. Alice was different. Her eyes would light up and a smile would break across her face from ear to ear after Brad would compliment her. Soon Brad and Alice were taking breaks together and going to lunch together. Brad would lay awake at night thinking of Alice. He could see her eyes lighting up and the smile on her face. One day Alice asked Brad if he could stop by her apartment and help her rearrange some furniture. Yes, Brad knew that Alice wanted more than just her furniture rearranged. Though Brad was a married Christian man, He justified going over to Alice’s apartment because after all, she just wanted help moving some furniture around. Knowing in his heart that Alice wanted more then some furniture rearranged, Brad begin to imagine what it would be like making love to Alice. When the day arrived for Brad to help Alice move her furniture around, Brad and Alice did indeed end up in bed together.

Though this is a fictional story, the principles of how Brad committed adultery with Alice are very true. Brad created his own temptation for Alice through his own eyes. Man creates his own temptation by how he sees or looks at something. No man can be tempted by what he does not see with interest and desire. When a man’s eyes find confirmation and approval by the meditation and thoughts of his heart, his temptation will be too much for him to resist.

Couples would do well to choose to follow Job’s example of his eyes. “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1 ESV). Job was being accused of adultery as a reason for all the calamities that he was experiencing. But Job argued that he could not have committed adultery with a woman because he had made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon another woman with eyes of desire.

So what is a covenant with the eyes within marriage?

(1) A covenant with the eyes is an unyielding choice to see no other person more precious and valuable than the way you see your spouse.

(2) It is an unwavering choice to see and believe the best about your spouse.

(3) A commitment with the eyes to reject and resist seeing another with unrestrained fleshly desire.
A resolution of being faithful to your spouse with your eyes.

Learning to see your spouse with eyes of compassion and empathy will go along way in keeping love and intimacy fresh and alive within marriage. Love follows how the eyes see. The reason you have no love for eating dog food is because you do not see eating dog food with any desire. Seeing your spouse with graceful eyes helps to overlook the small things that often create much conflict in marriage.

The good news is that you have control over how do you see. Brad could have talked back to his eyes reducing the desire that he was seeing Alice with. It was his choice to see Alice either with fleshly desire or as a bait of Satan that leads to hell on earth. A man’s voice becomes the filter through which his eyes see. A man’s voice is always greater than his eyes. Brad could have opened his mouth and rehearsed all the pain and sorrow that it would bring into his and his wife’s life if he had an affair with Alice. Brad could have used his voice to talk himself out of an inappropriate relationship with Alice. But when a man keeps his mouth shut his eyes will lead his heart.

A man’s voice is his authority over his eyes. However, when a man’s eyes has the approval and the blessing of his voice, his eyes will be the steering wheel as to where he goes in life. The Psalmist said, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” (Psalms 101:3). Brad flirting with Alice may not have been a sin, but it was a worthless thing to the health of his marriage. May your prayer be, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” (Psalms‬ ‭119:37‬ ‭ESV).‬‬‬‬

Satan’s Battle Against Marriage


Love is beautiful and perfect in every way. Love never fails. So how does love so many times turn into unforgiveness, pain and hurt within the union of marriage? Just as electricity must have the right wiring to flow properly, so love must have its proper conduit. That which warms a house and cools it is the same source that can burn it down and destroy it. Electricity can bless or curse a house all depending upon the wiring through which it flows. Love is indeed beautiful and perfect provided it also has its proper source through which to flow… which are thoughts. Just as wrong wiring can turn electricity into a nightmare and wrong thoughts can turn love into its own nightmare.

Satan caused a nightmare in the Garden of Eden the same way he causes love to become a nightmare within marriage. Satan could not find any weakness whatsoever in Adam and Eve, so he took their greatest strength and used it against them. This same process is how the enemy destroys pure love in a marriage…he takes the strength of the marriage and uses it against the couple. What set Adam and Eve apart as superior from all other created beings was that God gave Adam and Eve a free will to think, to ponder, to consider, to meditate, and to behold. All the enemy had to do was to get Adam and Eve to think, ponder, consider, meditate, and behold the wrong thing such as the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve created their own weakness through their strength by using their strength against themselves. The strength of a marriage and it’s weakness both abide within the same source, how a man thinks. This is why the Bible exhorts us to think, to ponder, to meditate and to behold whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

The enemy has no power over your marriage unless he can influence you to think wrong thoughts about your spouse. The only way the enemy can touch your marriage is through your thoughts and it is the only way God can heal a marriage. Both God and the devil need your thoughts to work and flow through. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. It is not uncommon to hear, “I just fell out of love with my spouse,” or something similar. No one falls out of love or falls into love. Love comes, flows and is maintained through thoughts. It is not the passing thoughts that create, but thoughts that one thinks in the heart. Thinking in your heart involves (1) how you are seeing your spouse in your heart, (2) what you are meditating upon concerning your spouse, and (3) what your self-talk is saying about your spouse. It is not, “As a man thinks in his head, so is he,” but “As a man thinks in his heart.”

Thoughts are so powerful that they can take down a perfect sinless man with no weaknesses whatsoever. Satan did not out muscle Adam. Their was no power struggle between Adam and Eve and Satan. Satan simply introduced thoughts to Adam and Eve about the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve took hold of the thoughts and meditated upon them creating their own temptation, desire, and feelings concerning the fruit. What you focus upon you give life and power unto.

Love in marriage must be protected against negative thinking in the heart. What bad wiring is to electricity, negative thoughts are to love. It is not conflict and the occasional arguments that hurt a marriage, it is the wrong thoughts that are given permission to be mediated upon within the heart. Conflict and arguing can actually be healthy for a marriage if the couple maintains healthy thoughts which empower the couple to be respectful and compassionate while showing empathy towards each other.

You create the quality of your marriage with your thinking. How you think is either your greatest strength or your greatest weakness. The choice is yours. If you desire more love for your spouse, you must think better thoughts. If you desire your spouse to love you more, you must provide amble reasons for your spouse to think better thoughts about you.


How To Keep Your Spouse Loving You Forever

Love enters the heart through thoughts. Love is created through favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts about a person. The heart cannot be effected or influenced except through thoughts. This is why it is so vital to daily give your spouse good reasons to think favorably, enjoyably, pleasingly, and desirably about you. If love is a bank account in the heart, then favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts are the deposits that you provide for your spouse to enter and increase his or her love bank.

“YOU”are the one – the only one – that provides reasons for your spouse to have favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts to increase his or her love bank account toward “you.” Unless you are giving your spouse amble reasons to think favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts about you, his or her love bank is not growing. Just as a natural bank account will not multiply unless you are making deposits, so your spouse’s love bank for you will not multiple without you providing the deposits for your spouse to enter. Again, the deposits are favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts that you provide for your spouse by your own behavior, words, deeds, actions, and attitude.

When your spouse sees you helping with the kids, around the house, and doing your part of the daily chores… favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts will come about you. When your spouse sees you sacrifice your own way just to please him or her… favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts will come. When you speak your spouse’s love language and meet your mate’s needs… favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts will be deposited increasing the love bank account.

Withdrawals from your spouse’s love bank occur when you give your spouse reasons to think unfavorable, unenjoyable, unpleasant, and undesirable thoughts about you. Obviously, the goal is to provide far more deposits for your spouse to make in their love bank than withdrawals. You get to provide as many favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts for your spouse to think about you as you choose.

If by chance someone else comes into your spouse’s life that is providing more reasons than you are for your spouse to think favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts about them, then your marriage is in danger. This someone providing more thoughts than you are that are favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable towards them could be through social media, friend, or co-worker. Again, your goal is to increase your spouse’s love bank to such a level that your mate has no desire or reason to open another love bank in someone else’s name.

Learn to be creative in providing reasons for your spouse to continue to think favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts about you. Be on guard against behavior, words and actions that only make withdrawals. You are the creator of your spouse’s thoughts about you that either make deposits or withdrawals in his or her love bank. So be diligent that you provide far more thoughts that are favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts about you. Occasional withdrawals are not an issue when the love bank has plenty of deposits. If you want to drain your spouse’s love bank account, daily provide thoughts about you that are unfavorable, unenjoyable, unpleasant, and undesirable.

Your spouse’s love for you largely depends upon you. Giving your spouse reasons to love you and to stay in love with you is your responsibility. Yes, your spouse should have unconditional love for you. Yes, your spouse’s love for you is a choice and not a feeling. However, God gave mankind a physical brain that is designed to take the thoughts that the mind provides and create corresponding feelings and behavior. This is the reason why God can stay in love with you and me... because His thoughts about us are always favorable, enjoyable, pleasing, and desirable thoughts. Consider God’s thoughts…

“Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” Psalms‬ ‭40:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬ “‬How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” Psalms‬ ‭139:17‬ ‭KJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

Let God be your example of how to stay in love in marriage.

Above All Else Guard
Your Marriage


It’s not how good your job is...how good is your marriage? Who cares how great your church is...how great is your marriage? Above all else guard your marriage. You are not married to your church nor are you married to your job. Nothing else matters more than building a great marriage. Ok, you have money, but do you have joy and peace at home? Wonderful, you have a nice house and drive a nice car…but how nice is your marriage?
If you bought a toaster from Walmart and only two of the four burners worked would you be satisfied? If you bought a gallon of milk that was a little sour, would you accept it? We often treat our marriage with less expectation then we do buying groceries from Walmart. You would fight for your right to get fresh milk when you buy it and a toaster with all its burners working…but often we settle for a marriage that’s just OK.
The marriage you settle for is the marriage you must live with. Above all else guard your marriage.
You may be thinking, “Guard from what?” Allow me to suggest a few things to guard your marriage from.

Guard your marriage from apathy.
Apathy in marriage is insensitivity to the needs of your spouse. It’s easy to take for granted one another. Without realizing it, we often lose our passion for meeting our spouse’s basic needs. We must always remember that we married our spouse because of the way they met our need for love, acceptance, and friendship.  When apathy sets in toward meeting your spouse’s need, conflict always fills the void. Such needs will never go away with age or time, rather they will only increase. Apathy can be discovered in marriage behind words such as, “I used to hug and kiss my spouse more than I do now;” “We used to date more often than we do now.” The sweetness of marriage flows through the passion of meeting each other’s needs. Guard your marriage against apathy where you take each other for granted in assuming that your partner is having their needs met.    

Guard your marriage from distractions.
We live in a society drunk with entertainment. The drunkenness of entertainment causes us to lose sight or have blurry vision for the needs of our spouse. When technology replaces face-to-face communication, trouble is sure to be around the corner. When the Internet replaces quiet time with your spouse, issues are sure to arise within the marriage. Children are a blessing from the Lord when you do not allow them to distract you from meeting the needs of your spouse. A successful career is indeed a blessing only when it takes second place to building a successful marriage. Seldom, if ever, will a marriage fall apart where there were no warning signs. Being distracted from your spouse’s needs can cause serious warning signs to go undetected. Learning to stay in touch with your spouses feelings and needs will go along way in preventing loneliness and unhappiness in marriage.

Guard your marriage from destructive thoughts.
No one hurts your marriage more then your own destructive thoughts. Your marriage cannot suffer the loss of love and romance without your thoughts first suffering the loss of thoughts filled with love and romance toward your spouse. The function of your brain is designed to take your thoughts and create corresponding feelings, emotions, and behavior. Your brain does not know the difference between good thoughts and bad thoughts. The brain simply takes whatever thoughts you feed it and creates the corresponding reactions. If you think unloving thoughts toward your spouse you will feel unloving feelings. However, if you think romantic thoughts about your spouse you will feel romantically. On any given day, you can enhance your feelings towards your spouse by enhancing your thoughts for your spouse.

Guard your marriage from the lack of knowledge and understanding.
Remaining a student of marriage all the days of your life is just smart. Ever learning and growing is where abundant life is realized. The greatest enemy to marriage is that there are no requirements of education or training to be married. It may be humbling but true that the vast amount of fighting and arguing in marriage is founded upon ignorance and immaturity in understanding how to get alone as a married couple.

Taking Control of Your Inner Movie Theater


On the inside of you and me is a movie theater. Whoever controls the type of movies we consistently watch controls our emotions, our temptations, and our actions. Our movie theater is always open playing movies every moment of every day. Some movies are about our self-image. Other movies that are playing are about our marriage, our spouse or our children. We tend to see life through the movies we allow to be played on the inside of our hearts. Becoming aware of the movies we daily watch is a vital key in improving every area of our lives.

A classic example of just how powerfully we are influenced and controlled by our inner movie theater can be seen in the life of King David. One night David was walking around on the roof top of his house when saw a beautiful woman bathing.  A day or so later, David committed adultery with her and after learning that she was pregnant, he had her husband killed seeking to cover up his adultery. The movies we watch can drive us to success or failure. Understanding the root cause as to why King David committed adultery with Bathsheba is a vital lesson in understanding the power of our inner movie theater.

David’s downfall was not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is never an excuse for our actions. If your heart plays the right movies you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and yet do the right thing such as Joseph did with Potiphar’s wife. Simply looking upon Bathsheba as she was bathing was not David’s downfall but continuing to replay the inner movie seeing her beauty quickly took control of his life. Long after Bathsheba got dressed and went back home, David continued to watch Bathsheba within his inner movie theater. The next day David sent a messenger to enquire about who this woman was.

So powerful and influential was the movie that David was playing in his heart about her, that after the messenger came back with word that she was married and her husband was currently fighting in his army that David nevertheless invited Bathsheba to his place and had an affair with her. This affair took place in his movie theater long before it took place physically. It was not seeing a beautiful naked woman bathing that caused King David to fall. Rather, it was the continuous seeing her in his inner movie theater that motivated and empowered David to have an affair with her. It not unfair to suggest that King David went back inside his house that night, after first seeing Bathsheba bathing, and replayed what he saw over and over again in his heart. The movies we allow played within our hearts determine our behavior and our destiny.

The good news is that you and I can control what we watch in our movie theater. Often married couples allow movies to be played in their hearts concerning their marriage and spouse that are destructive and hurtful. It is difficult to love someone above the quality of the movie you watch about that someone. So how do you control the temptation to play and watch wrong movies?

Our voice or words takes charge and controls the movie playing in our hearts.
Our voice is our authority or our remote control that determines what we watch. David failed to speak out against what he was seeing on the inside. There were strong objections for David to have spoken out with renouncing the lustful movies playing within his heart of adultery. But David continued to watch Bathsheba in his movie theater with delight and pleasure even after he learned that she was married and her husband was currently serving in his army. Rather than opening his mouth and rejecting and renouncing his lustful movies, David fed, enjoyed, and reinforced lustful movies of Bathsheba when he asked who she was and when he spoke words inviting her to his house.  

This is the very process or type of movies played within the hearts of all who commit adultery and sexual sin. No one falls into adultery; rather they play adulterous movies in their hearts that later are physically acted out. If you keep your mouth shut from speaking out against wrong movies being played, the wrong movies will enable wrong behavior and actions.


Give Grace …
Not Judgment

Married couples tend to judge each other according to their spouse’s actions, words, and behavior while judging themselves by their good intentions. Being quick to judge your spouse is the root cause of offense, hurt, and pain. When you judge your spouse’s actions that offended, you are judging their intention as mean, rude, and unkind. Without knowing it, couples all too often become each other’s greatest critic, accuser and judge.

In order for someone to really offend me over what they said to me, I have to assume or judge them as intentionally being unloving, rude, and unkind to me. However if I judge them as being a good person and what they said they did not really mean to hurt me, then the offense has no place to lay hold up on me. My judgment of people either gives them opportunity to offend me or takes away the opportunity to offend me...all based upon how I judge them or see them.

For an example, while driving my car, if a man pulls out in front of me in his car and causes me to slam on my brakes, then I have the choice to judge him as being a dumb stupid driver or I can judge him as just an ordinary person like me who also has pulled out in front of others but didn’t really mean to but was just not looking carefully enough. My response and my offense all depends upon how I judge the driver and his intentions.

Angry people are folks who are quick to judge and assume the worst intentions of others. There is a story of a man who was enjoying his early morning bus ride on his way to work. It was quiet on the bus and he was catching up on his reading assignment. The bus stops and picks up a middle aged father with his three children and they sit across the aisle from him. The father’s little girl was crying nonstop. His two boys were fusing and fighting with each other. The man on the bus kept waiting for the father to help his daughter stop crying and get his boys to stop fighting. But the father just sat there staring at the floor. Annoyed and angry, the man stands up and taps the father on the shoulder and said, “Sir, you need to do something to stop your little girl from crying and your boys from fighting?” The father responds as if awaking out of a trance and says, “I am so sorry sir, you see we have just come from the hospital where my wife…their mother died last night from cancer.” “I’ve been trying for hours to get my daughter to stop crying and my boys from fighting but they are just reacting to the shock of losing their mother.” The man on the bus suddenly stops judging the father as being lazy and irresponsible as his heart is filled with compassion, grace, and mercy.

How we judge our spouse and their words and behavior depends upon how we see them. When we see and relate to our spouse with grace, compassion and understanding, we tend to be far less judgmental towards the things they do and say that may offend us. The Bible says that love believes all things, endures all things, and hopes in all things. There is simply no place for a judgmental attitude to be found in love. Whomever we judge as being rude, mean spirited, and offensive, we fail to love.  There is no judgment in love. Rather, love gives grace, tolerance, and seeks to understand.

Being quick to judge your spouse is not only a sign of the absence of true love, but it’s also an indication that the heart is filled with pride. Pride is only concerned and consumed with what it feels and how it has been hurt and how it was offended. Pride has very little tolerance and zero grace. Pride is easily offended.

The best cure for a judgmental attitude and pride is to pray for others…primarily your spouse. When you daily bless your spouse in prayer and pray for them asking God to give you understanding and compassion for your spouse…a judgment attitude will disappear and pride will fade away.

Love sees the best in others while pride sees the worst. Pride feeds judgment. Love gives grace.

5 Ways Husbands & Wives Hurt Their Marriage


Don't let the small stuff ruin the things that will bring you the greatest happiness in marriage. Here are 5 ways wives might be unknowingly destroying their own happiness and marriage followed by 5 ways husbands do that hurt their wives and weaken  their marriage:

1. Living outside of what you can afford.
A wise old woman once advised: "The best thing you can do as a wife is to live within your husband's means." Wives, show sincere appreciation and respect to your husband by carefully following a budget and making the most of what you have. Putting financial pressure upon your marriage is so destructive.

2. Constant negativity
Men like to fix things, and constantly being hounded with complaints makes it difficult for him to feel he is  solving your pains and if he can't help you do that, it makes him feel frustrated and unhappy.. It's okay to voice your real needs,  but don't forget to praise him for his efforts to make you happy. .

3. Putting everything else first
When your children, mom, best friends, talents, or career is put before your husband, you send a clear message to him that he is unimportant. Imagine having that message sent to you every day for many years. Putting your husband first makes it easier for him to help you celebrate the others things that you cherish..

4. Withholding physical affection
Men crave and need physical affection with their wives. When you constantly decline intimacy, it wears on them. Sex should not be used as a tool to control your spouse; it should be viewed as a sacred tool to draw you closer to one another and to God.

5. Not speaking his language
Women love to drop hints. But often men just don't get them.
Don't waste your time giving subtle hints that he won't understand: Speak plainly to him. Be honest about your feelings, and don't bottle things up until you burst. If he asks you what's wrong, don't respond with "nothing" and then expect him to read your mind and emotions. Be open about how you really feel.

There are 5 things men do that hurt their wives and kill their marriages:

1. Not providing the basics for the family
As man, it is our  responsibility to provide for our  family, regardless of whether or not our  wife works. Sometimes this means working a few overtime shifts so your kids can sign up for that baseball league. And sometimes this means biting your lip when your boss is being a jerk because you need the stability for your family. But it makes it all worth it when you come home at night and see the smiles on everyone's face.

2. Pessimism
Your wife needs you to be an optimist. Your relationship will need to rally from all kinds of challenges, failures, hurt feelings and health problems. Your wife doesn't need someone to tell her to stop crying, she needs a shoulder to cry on and a reason to have hope.

3. Withholding physical affection
Physical affection is more than just sex. It includes giving her hugs before you leave for work, holding her hand in the aisle at the grocery store and pulling her close to you when you're watching a movie on the couch together. If you're withholding these things from her, you're withholding physical affection that she thrives on. The affection you try to show inside the bedroom will never make up for the physical affection you show her outside the bedroom.

4. Putting other things first
Your work is important, but don't forget what you're working for. Remember that there's nothing on your agenda that's more important than what's going on right around you.

5. Not speaking her language
Women need to know they are loved and that you are grateful for her. You think you're showing love by going to work every day and bringing home a paycheck, so most of the time you don't do much more than that (except maybe on Valentine's Day). But, she needs more than that to see your love and she needs you to show her that you're doing it all for her. So take a little extra time and do something special. Send her a couple texts during the day or bring her home some flowers from the grocery store. You might be surprised at the reaction you get.


Boundaries for Conflict

Do you have a plan for success in marriage? It is true, without a plan, you plan to survive, get by, or say goodbye. With a plan, your marriage can thrive. It is stunning at the number of couples who attempt to have a marriage without a plan. A plan for success in marriage will always include the boundaries and principles couples have clearly laid down especially for times of conflict. Established boundaries will serve as a referee during those times of conflict. Without boundaries and guidelines, a referee has no authority or influence.

In this article, I wish to lay on the table a few suggestive actions to consider as an effective plan for success in handling conflict in marriage. Because conflict is inevitable even in healthy marriages, having a plan of how to handle conflict is essential. Smart couples take the time to develop a plan for handling conflict. So here are a few suggestions for the wise.

As a couple, sit down together and agree upon boundaries concerning how to act and treat each other in times of conflict. Where there are no boundaries, motivating forces to control words and behavior will be limited. Boundaries help keep things fair. Boundaries should be agreed upon, written down, and signed by both spouses. It is helpful to see boundaries as “protective love.” Love naturally displays a strong desire to protect the one it loves. Love will enjoy and celebrate boundaries. Boundaries may include the following:

No cussing or swearing during times of conflict. Agreed upon and signed boundaries can really work if they are clearly set down between two people who care about each other. There is greater power to an agreement you have personally signed. Foul language during even mild conflict is never helpful. There should be zero tolerance for foul language during conflict.

Keeping respect towards each other in words, body language and behavior is a must in any plan for working through conflict. Being disrespectful must have understood and agreed upon narrow boundaries long before conflict arises. Attempting to set boundaries after conflict arises seldom works. Keeping respect towards each other during conflict should be an agreement where each person can complete their thoughts in expressing their feelings without being interrupted. Conflict can be extremely frustrating when one party dominates the conversation without genuine respect in hearing out the other person. This part of a plan could be called, “My Time” rule. “My time” means that the other party must be silent and listen with empathy until the other has finished speaking.

Consider having a “Time-Out Rule.” Time-out is called by either spouse whenever time is needed to cool-off, calm down, or allow emotions to settle before continuing to discuss the issue in conflict. A major cause of out-of-control conflict is when emotions and anger are not given time to settle down. When “time-out” is called, the discussion ends, the argument is put on hold, and time to calm down is given.

The “Time-Out-Rule” may be applied not only when conflict is accelerating out of control, but when one is too hurt or emotionally drained to discuss the issue. “Time-Out” will serve as a peace-keeper.

To have a successful “time-out” plan, agreement should be written down concerning how long to have “time-out.” Couples must decide the time frame themselves. Keep in mind that “time-out” rules must be reasonable. “Time-out” until “I feel like talking” or until “I say so” will never work.

Time-out” is not, “I don’t want to talk about it,” but rather, “I agree to talk about this at an agreed upon time.” “Time-Out” is not to avoid communication but to protect open communication. Where there are no “time-out” rules, open communication is in danger. People naturally shut down after being cussed at, yelled at, called degrading names, and their feelings ignored. “Time-out” rules serves to manage anger and emotions.

Consider allowing “time-out” to be called to pause from our busy schedules to come together for meaningful talk. Often life becomes so busy that couples can go days and even weeks without real meaningful communication.  “Time-out” offers a solution to stop the madness and pause to communicate.

Other boundaries during conflict should include no “silent treatment,” “walking away in defiant response,” “slamming doors or throwing items,” and no “screaming.” Often boundaries may be violated. Sitting down and revisiting boundaries (during times of peace) will be necessary. Remember, love protects and defends.

The Root Cause of Troubled Marriages


God’s institution of marriage is the perfect atmosphere for heaven on earth. Marriage has neither flaws nor imperfections. It is a Garden of Eden created by God. However, it is man’s choices called behavior that destroys the Garden. One major disadvantage of divorce and separation is both are normally blind to personal behavior that paved the road to divorce or separation. You will seldom, if ever, hear a person who has separated or divorced detailing their poor behavior that played a part in destroying their marriage.

The high level of divorce is actually a high level of poor behavior from poor choices being made within the Garden of Marriage. The root cause of troubled marriages is poor behavior. Marriage is harmless thus incapable of hurting anyone in anyway. No one needs to fear marriage. Troubled marriages cannot exist without poor behavior from one or both spouses.

Poor behavior is always conquered by right choices. Right choices override negative behavior that is responding to feelings void of right choices. The life and strength of poor behavior are actions moved by feelings void of wisdom and understanding.

Love is good behavior acted out towards another. Remove good behavior and love soon begins to die. Good or poor behavior is always the activity of our choices. Neither you nor I are robots programmed to act in ways we have no control over. We have a choice to behave as we choose in every circumstance that we may encounter. Every word we say, how we say each word, and every act of behavior are all choices we have made. Please allow me to offer a few suggestions to make better choices for better behavior.

(1)             Forever reject and renounce the lie that you cannot change who you are you and how you respond to circumstances and people. Anger, rudeness, a critical spirit, and such like are all poor behavior flowing from the choices we allow to dominate us. Poor choices and behavior must be rejected and renounced. Being good and even sincere at asking for forgiveness after poor behavior will never overcome poor behavior. Many couples settle for “making up” rather than “growing up.”   

(2)            Make a quality decision (a commitment) to change any behavior that is offensive. All behavioral changes start with a quality choice. Neither time nor age transforms poor behavior into better behavior. Only a decision to behave better can produce it. When trouble and strife are repeatedly showing up in a marriage, they are always invited and welcomed by poor behavior. Trouble in marriage feeds off poor behavior.

(3)            Journal acts of poor behavior. Ask yourself why you behaved so poorly. How could you have acted in better behavior? Journal how and why you are going to behave better the next time. When you journal this way you are preparing yourself to behave in a better because you have already rehearsed the better behavior through journaling.

(4)            Take personal responsibility for your behavior. Remove any and all excuses. There is nothing more repulsive than an apology with an excuse attached to it. There are no excuses for poor behavior. Behavior is a choice. Justifying poor behavior will always empower the poor behavior to reoccur in the future. Justifying poor behavior is an act of weakness. You cannot change what you do not own. Own up to poor behavior with a decision to change.

(5)            Ask your spouse and others to help you. The choice to grow better must include permission to be called out on poor behavior. Expect to stay the same if you get offended when your spouse brings to your attention poor behavior you have or are acting out. Above all, ask God to help you overcome any and all behavior that keeps heaven on earth away from your marriage.

(6)            Often times, better behavior is impossible until you cut off relationships with others that inspire poor behavior rather than better behavior. It is hard to grow better with friends that choose to stay the same.

(7)            One last thought on developing better behavior. What behavior you can laugh at on TV and YouTube, will be the behavior that you give permission to in your life. Don't be deceived. If you can laugh at poor behavior in others, you will tolerance poor behavior from yourself. If seeing poor behavior from others is entertainment to you, then you have yet to renounce it.


How to Stay In Love Forever

Just as food feeds your physical body, so thoughts feed your emotions. What healthy blood is to the function of the heart, healthy thoughts are to the function of the brain. A man can have a strong and healthy heart, but if his blood is poor, though his heart is healthy, he will have serious health problems. A man can have a healthy brain, but if his thoughts are poor, he will have a poor life.

A man’s physical brain creates emotions according to the thoughts of his heart. God created man’s brain to respond to how he thinks in his heart. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. When a man’s thoughts are lovely, kind, and of a good report, so his brain creates corresponding emotions and feelings. Man’s physical organ called the brain is lifeless without thoughts. So as his thoughts are, so he programs his brain to create corresponding emotions and feelings.

The brain does not create emotions based upon reality or facts but upon how it’s being programmed with and by thoughts. Dreams prove this point well. We all have experienced a dream in which we were in some frightening circumstance such as being chased by a monster or falling from a building, only to wake up in the safety of our own bed, yet our feelings and emotions, at least for the moment, were fearful because our emotions corresponded to our dream. The physical organ called the brain did not know reality from the dream but rather created emotions and feelings based solely upon the thoughts. On the other hand, many of us have experienced a dream in which we fell in love and we woke up feeling emotions of love in that we wished we could go back to sleep and continue dreaming. In both cases, the brain was creating corresponding feelings based upon the thoughts that it was being fed through the dream – not upon real events and circumstances.

When a couple understands that they are the creators of their own emotions and feelings, they are well on their way to staying in love with each other forever. With thoughts we program our brain to create emotions and feelings. This truth this is also proven by those who have had a family member that has passed away and upon every remembrance of them emotions and feelings follow. Our thoughts tell the brain to create wonderful and beautiful emotions or they tell the brain to create anger, hate and bitterness.

This is the power that is in thoughts. Thoughts create emotions. A man never falls out of love. Rather he falls short of thinking lovely thoughts. This simple truth is profound. A man can fall in love with his wife over and over again if he chooses to think well of her, speak well of her, and make it a habit of defending her in his thoughts and with his words.

As long as a couple is dependent upon a conflict free marriage for their love to flourish, they will struggle to grow in love. Conflict and negative circumstances are never the thieves that steal love and romance from a marriage. The thieves of joy and peace are never from outside circumstances. It is a man’s thoughts programming the brain that destroys or increases how he loves his spouse.

Just as a carpenter uses his tools to build beautiful cabinets, so you can use thoughts to build a beautiful marriage. With your thoughts you build up or destroy. If you will choose to deliberately and on purpose think precious thoughts toward your spouse, you will program your brain to create corresponding feelings. Behind every negative emotion is a negative thought. Locate the negative thought and you will pinpoint the root of the emotion. Where love has died, thoughts of love died first. No man can feel love for that which he thinks poorly about. There are no prescription drugs that can be prescribed nor is there any heart operation that can be performed to improve a marriage. Marriage can only be improved by improving a couple’s thoughts toward each other. As a man thinks in his heart, so is his marriage.

Removing negative circumstances may temporarily improve a marriage, but until a couple discovers that thoughts program the brain to create corresponding feelings, they will continue to find negative circumstances that eat away at the quality of their marriage.

Starting Marriage Right


How you start often determines how you end. Marriage is a lifelong journey. How well you prepare for the journey will determine how enjoyable the journey will be. Many couples spend thousands preparing for their wedding “event” (a few short hours) and yet spend so little preparing (on the inside of the heart) for their “lifelong” journey together. A successful marriage journey is not dependent upon an expensive and elaborate wedding event but on how prepared the heart of the couple has become for the journey.

Starting your marriage right begins by taking a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses as a couple and as individuals. Being aware of your weaknesses with a determination to grow and change will bring about more success in your marriage than any amount of money spent on the wedding event. If you say, “I really don’t have any weaknesses;” you just exposed two major ones – pride and ignorance.

Identifying weaknesses is the starting line to overcome weaknesses. Marriage is not the instrument whereby a man overcomes his weaknesses. Marriage is not the answer for getting rid of depression and loneliness. Rather than marriage changing you for the better, marriage tends to magnify and enhance all your weaknesses while challenging the strength of your strengths. Beginning your marriage having already identified and being in the process of working on your weaknesses and improving your strengths is starting your marriage right. In identifying weaknesses, here are a few questions to ask:

(1)    How often have I and or do I view pornography? Every bride must know the answer to that question of her future husband. How exposed the groom was and is to porn will set the unrealistic expectations of sex in marriage far more than you think. Pity the bride whose husband’s expectation of sex in marriage comes from porn. Bringing the baggage of pornography into marriage will always prove to be destructive. Marriage will not deliver a man or woman from porn. Make no mistake about it, if pornography was an issue before marriage, it will be a much greater issue after marriage. And do not be deceived…promises of stopping cannot cure the addiction to porn.  If you are unwilling to get help before marriage, you will remain unwilling after marriage.

Whatever your future mate is unwilling to address NOW, talk about NOW, change NOW, and do together NOW, he or she will continue to be “unwilling” to address after marriage. If your future mate will not attend church or counseling before marriage, they will not attend church or counseling after marriage. Marriage does not make everything work together for good. It is a myth that all you need is love. The truth is love needs (demands) the sunshine of personal growth and the nourishment of receiving wisdom.

(2)   How well do I handle my anger? How do I vent my anger? I strongly encourage couples before marriage to “test” their mate’s anger. Determine how violent they become at you. Learn how they express their anger towards you and how long they stay angry. Whatever you do, DO NOT believe the lie that they will change after marriage. Observe the level of anger your future mate displays towards his or her parents, friends, and even enemies. This same level of anger they will indeed bring into the marriage towards you. Marriage does not cure anger, rather it feeds it with opportunities to express itself more. If you marry someone who has anger issues and who had not enrolled in counseling for anger before marriage, you will have started your marriage destined for much trouble.
Anger sucks the life out of any marriage. Anger makes life a roller coaster of up and downs twist and turns of emotional outburst. Getting married to someone with anger issues can be hell on earth. No one “outgrows” anger issues. Anger grows with you in life. Anger must be confronted and dealt with before marriage starts.

(3)   Am I committed to personal growth? If your future mate cannot articulate his or her plan for personal growth, they will (at best) remain the same as they are now. What you fail to have plans for, you plan to fail in.

No one accidently grows out of self-centeredness and laziness. Years do not mature one; it only makes one an older immature person.  Starting marriage right involves addressing areas in your life that need improvement and begin those improvements before the wedding. Start your marriage right!

Marriage Is Not What It Is


How would you describe your marriage today? No matter how you may describe your marriage, it is not what your marriage is, rather it is what your marriage has become.

To say that your marriage is good or poor is not true. If your marriage is good or if it is poor, it is that way because it has become that way. The condition of any marriage is never a state of being but rather a state of how it has become. If a marriage really was good, then it would always be good because that is what it is. For example: A lemon tree will always be a lemon tree because that is what it is. But marriage is never what it is; rather, it is what it has become. If a marriage has become poor, it could become better.

A poor marriage is not what it is but what it has become, therefore, it can become good because it is not really poor but merely has become poor.

This is not a play of words, but a correction in how we view marriage. Marriage becomes what it is but never is what it becomes. Marriage is ever becoming. If a marriage really is good, then it would always be good, because that is what it is.  But because a good marriage has become a good marriage, it can become better or worse because it never is but it’s always becoming.

Understanding that your marriage is what it has become will empower you to know that you can change your marriage because it is not what it is but what it has become, therefore, you can make it become what you want it to become more of. To say that your marriage is broken is not true. If your marriage is broken it is not what it is but what it has become. And if it has become broken it can become repaired.

It is my hope that this new way of looking at marriage will empower you to change your marriage for the better because since your marriage is not what it is but what it has become…therefore, you can re-make it what you want it to become. The truth is marriage is always becoming. Whether we realize it or not we are either building our marriage on a daily basis or we are tearing our marriage down. Marriage never is but is always becoming.
Our daily words and behavior are always important. Our words and behavior are either building or tearing down. Our marriage is always becoming. It is forever becoming what we are saying and how we are acting towards our spouse. This is why a marriage that became good for 40 years can become bad because it never was good but rather it had become good.

Only God is. God is good and He never changes. Marriage may become good but it can also become bad or can become even better. Why? Because marriage never is but rather what it has become. What good news to know that your marriage is ever becoming what you make it. There is no such thing as a poor marriage. A marriage that is poor has become poor. The couple that creates a poor marriage can create a good marriage because their marriage is not poor but has become poor, therefore it can become good.

Taking ownership of a good marriage is the first step toward your marriage becoming a good marriage. As long as a couple with a poor marriage thinks that they were just not made for each other or that their marriage was not meant to be, they will fail to empower themselves to make their marriage become good. Stop saying, “My marriage is good” or “My marriage is bad.” The truth is your marriage has become what it is and it is always becoming what you are making it.

Your marriage always has and always will be becoming what you are making it. Take responsibility for your marriage. Take ownership that your marriage is what it is because it’s become what you made it. Because it has become what it is and is not what it is, it can become what you want it to be. Remember, every marriage is built from words, behavior, and attitude. We all have the same tools but not all use them as skillfully.


Your Actions Speak Louder Than Your Words

Rarely will you meet a person without some level of desire to speak one or more foreign languages. As for myself, I would love to have the ability to speak Spanish. But there is a strong probability that I will never actually learn to fluently speak Spanish. The reason of course is that I do not have the necessary passion nor am I in love enough with speaking Spanish to learn the Spanish language. 

Rarely will you meet a married couple without some level of desire for even a better romantic marriage. What keeps a man from learning another language is the same reason that keeps a couple from achieving an even better marriage; they simply are not passionate enough about loving each other more. Learning another language takes time, effort, lots of practice, and a love for that language. Improving your marriage also takes the same.

Most folks will continue through life only wishing they had a better marriage. They have learned to be satisfied and feel justified with their excuses. But there is a major difference in not learning another language and not improving your marriage. Not improving your marriage directly affects your spouse, kids and others. Many marriages remain prisoners of mediocrity in passion and love. Every couple’s choice to have an ever-growing marriage or an ever-the-same marriage is motivated by their mediocrity or passion of love for each other.

Attempting to motivate a person in learning to speak a foreign language who is not in love with that language is a near impossible task. Real genuine love is one of the most powerful motivating sources known to man. It appears today that the pursuit for a greater quality of love is becoming more and more compromised with self-centeredness. It is common to find a young man who claims they “love” a girl enough to have sex with her, but when she becomes pregnant, their so called love for her ends as they reject her and her baby because they never loved her that much! Actually, they never loved her at all.

It is also common to find a man who claims they love a girl enough to “live with her” but they do not love her enough to marry her. Don’t be deceived! Genuine love honors and values the object of its love enough to do the right thing every time and in every way. A man who loves a woman enough to live with her but not enough to marry her is not in love with her at all. Lust will go to bed with anyone while love will honor, respect, and wait for sex until marriage.  I don’t know why a woman would accept and embrace a man who “by his own actions” says, “I love you enough to live with you but I do not love you enough to marry you; after all, I may find that someone that I do love enough to marry, but until I do, I will settle for you.” To argue, “This is not true” is expecting others to ignore your actions as if your actions have no voice. Actions speak louder than words. Words can lie, but actions never lie. It is also true, “I cannot hear what you are saying because your actions are speaking so loudly.”

So how well do you love your spouse, kids and marriage? The answer to the following questions will reveal the level of your love.
·        Do you love your spouse, kids and marriage enough to go to church with your family?
·        Do you love your spouse and kids enough to stop drinking?
·        Do you love your spouse and kids enough to get the help you need to conquer anger?
·        Do you love your spouse and kids enough to stop smoking?
·        Do you love your spouse enough to grow up and overcome those annoying habits?
·        Do you love your spouse and marriage enough to become a life-long student of building a better marriage?
·        Do you love your spouse, kids and marriage enough to kick pornography out of your life?
·        Do you love your spouse enough to date each other at least once a week?
Genuine love is all about the object of its love. It is void of self. This is what genuine love is…it is focused energy upon the object of its love. The words, “I love you” are cheap and pitiful without the sacrifice and death of self-centeredness.


Foul Language In Marriage

Experiencing conflict in marriage may be normal, but speaking to each other with profanity and harsh words are not. There should be zero tolerance for using foul and offensive language in the conversation between a husband and wife. Harsh words along with profanity adds absolutely nothing in creating and maintaining beauty and happiness in marriage.  Claiming, “That’s just the way I am,” is as foolish as a sex offender claiming justification because, “That’s just the way I am.”

How we speak to our spouse (good or bad) is a habit of choice. Angry outbursts of abusive language is a habit that one has chosen to keep. It is no more acceptable than beating your spouse. Harsh words and abusive language are not an out-of-control behavior, rather it is an accepted and tolerated habit that has been allowed to remain. There is no excuse for the habit of speaking foul language to your spouse. If a habit has been formed, then a habit can be broken. A habit is nothing more than a choice repeated over and over again. Habits are not formed from some unseen forces overtaking a man making him say and do things he really doesn’t want to say and do. Habits are repeated choices. Yelling and screaming at your spouse is a choice not an uncontrollable emotion. Profanity is a choice. Offensive language is a choice.

Man is not a creature of habit, he is a creature of his choices. It is our choices that form our habits and it is our choices that break bad habits. Until man realizes that every habit in his life is the creation of his repeated choices, he will remain a slave to his habits.

Foul language is not just communicated with words. Body language can express harsh and abusive communication as effectively as words can…if not more so.  Rolling of the eyes… flinging of the arms… getting into your spouse’s face… slamming the door, all communicate harsh language. The silent treatment towards your spouse is an abusive language of rejection and rebellion. It is a deliberate act in which one intends to inflict some level of hurt. Abusive body language is an expression of the choices you make relating to your spouse. The tone of your voice can also be harsh and offensive. Body language, the tone in your voice, and the very words you say are all expressed through your power of your choice.

So how do you break the habit of harsh, abusive and foul language? Number One: Breaking the habit of foul language begins with the quality decision to stop the habit. This decision becomes quality when you fully understand the hurt and damage that is done through speaking harsh and foul language. Who wants to make love to a dirty mouth and abusive tongued person? Any one can clean up their mouth, but it begins with a choice to do so.
Number Two: Understand that your repeated choices forms your habits. The power of choice belongs to you.

Speaking foul language is never OK because it is a choice, not a disease. It does not matter how you were raised, you were never robbed of your power of choice. What is going on around me does not control me; what controls me is my choices to what’s going on around me. Taking ownership of your words and behavior is the only foundation for building a better you while making excuses reinforces poor choices.

Number Three: Ask your spouse to help you. No one will become your best supporter than your spouse when he or she sees your sincerity and effort in trying to stop.

Number Four: Make it a matter of prayer. Humble yourself and repent immediately after you catch yourself speaking foul language. If you fail, don’t run from God but run to God for His help.

Number Five: Reject the habit of speaking foul language. How? Through talking to yourself. Talk yourself out of the habit and talk yourself into the habit of speaking words that build rather than destroy.  Tell yourself that you’re going to stop. Tell yourself that you don’t have to have this bad habit. By telling yourself what you’re going to do, you are preparing yourself to do just that. No relationship will ever be better than the words expressed in the relationship. Intimacy and love dies or thrives according to the choices made in communication.


Revealing the Heart
of Marriage

Early one spring, Bill planted a garden of various beautiful flowers. Within just a few weeks of planting his garden, Bill noticed that his plants looked sickly and were failing to produce flowers. So Bill decided to start over. He dug up all his plants and put new plants in the ground in their place. Just as with the first plants, Bill’s new plants also became sickly and were failing to produce flowers. What should Bill do this time? Should he dig these plants up as well and plant new ones again? Obviously, Bill is assuming that the problem is with the plants. But unaware to Bill, the problem isn’t his plants, it is his soil. The soil in Bills garden is inefficient to produce healthy plants that will produce beautiful flowers. As long as Bill overlooks the soil, his garden will fail to produce healthy plants.

Marriage is very much like a garden. If a garden is not producing healthy plants, it is not a plant problem but a soil problem. The plants represents the bride and groom. The soil represents the hearts of the bride and groom. With the right soil every marriage will produce beautiful flowers of love and happiness.

Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23 reads, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” As your heart is so is your life and your marriage. All too often, this principle given to us by our Creator is neglected or overlooked when it comes to growing a beautiful marriage. Many couples who find themselves struggling in marriage, has made the mistake of trying to fix the plant as they fail to understand that the plant is only the product of the soil or heart. Attempting to heal a sickly plant while neglecting the soil is fruitless not to mention frustrating.

One reason why healing a troubled marriage is often difficult is that couples attempt to change outward behavior while neglecting to change the heart that is responsible for the behavior. All of your behavior – good or ugly – comes out of your heart.

As your heart is, so will be your marriage. It was Jesus Christ who said, “Out of the abundance of the heart comes all kinds of activities and behavior.” (Luke 6:45).  So how do you guard your heart?

The doors into your heart include your eyes and your ears. Therefore, guarding your heart requires guarding what you see and how you hear.

Just as a man can put poison or fertilizer into the soil of his physical garden, so a man can put poison or fertilizer into his heart. This process is done through what he allows his eyes to see and what he allows his ears to hear. Neither poison nor fertilizer can enter into a man’s heart without his permission.

You and I live in an age flooded with information, entertainment and influence. If the right information, godly advice and healthy influence are not before our eyes and entering our ears, our hearts will fail to produce a strong marriage. Your heart is as soil. It cannot produce healthy relationships without the necessary nutrients being put into your heart.

It does not matter that you and I may not be actually putting poison into the soil of our hearts. If we are not purposefully feeding our hearts the right nutrients, our hearts will be unable to produce desired fruit.

The books you read…the movies you watch…the friends you allow into your life…all either poison your heart or supply proper nutrients to your heart. Couples that are not proactive in guarding their hearts cannot expect above average results in marriage.

As a whole, our society does not build strong marriages. Therefore, if you and I are not active in setting our eyes upon books and materials that build marriages, we will not be getting such nutrients any other way. If you and I are not active in hearing sound advice for strong marriages, we will not be hearing it any other way.

Your marriage is the result of how your heart is being feed. If you desire a better marriage, build a better heart. All your behavior and all your words come from your heart. Whatever your behavior is towards your spouse, your behavior is simply revealing the condition of your heart.


Love is the Right Focus

Marriage is not so much about finding the right person as it is about seeing the right person in the one you married. It is a myth that married couples can fall out of love. There is no such reality. Couples do not fall out of love…they fall out of focus when their love for each other fades. Love is the right focus. Years ago when I was first learning to drive, I struggled driving at night. My dad noticed that with every oncoming car I would slow down. He asked me why and I explained that the headlights of the oncoming car were distracting my vision. He said, “Son, don’t focus on the headlights of approaching cars; just keep your focus on your side of the highway.”

When a spouse focuses upon negative flaws of their mate, negative feelings are created. What you see is what you feel even if what you see is not real. When you were a child, did you ever have those nights that you feared someone was outside the window watching you? The fear was real even though no one was actually outside, but because with your inner eyes you were actually seeing or imagining someone outside your window, the fear was indeed real. It may have been a monster under your bed or a demon in the closet, but the feelings of fear were real because of what you were seeing with your inner eyes.

Your feelings do not have the ability to discern truth from lies nor realities from make-believe. As you see, so you feel. How you see your spouse and marriage is how you will feel. What you see on the inside is what you will feel on the outside.  Whatever you give focus upon, you give life unto. Seeing is feeling. If your focus is on the brightness of negative things, you are sure to drive your marriage into the ditch. So how do you keep your focus right when the flaws of your mate are so distracting?

See with empathy.

Empathy is the art of seeing the world as someone else sees it. When you have empathy, it means you can understand what a person is feeling in a given moment, and understand why other people’s actions made sense to them. Some people have fantastic natural empathy, and can pick up how someone else is feeling just by looking at them. Some people have only a tiny amount of natural empathy, and won’t notice that you are angry until you start yelling. It is worth whatever effort it requires for you to learn to have better empathy.

See with compassion.

Seeing with compassion requires humility. It is seeing that just like you, everybody has faults and flaws. Seeing with compassion is offering mercy and grace when justice could be the focus. Seeing with compassion empowers you to let go of offensives while keeping your focus from double-vision of seeing both the good and the bad. Double-vision blurs the good.

Choose to see the best.

We all have the choice to see what we choose. The world is what you see it as and as you see the world, so is the world you see. We live in a world of comparison. We shop for the best prices, but comparing our mate with others is never good. This is a destructive habit. Empathy and compassion will never allow you to get caught up in the destructive habit of comparison. Choose to see the best in your spouse.

Just as love is seeing the best, so anger, bitterness and resentment is seeing the worst in others. Prejudice is not an attitude, it is how you have learned to see someone. “Hands up, don’t shoot”, or simply “hands up”, is a saying and gesture originating from the August 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  However, this saying and gesture was not created upon true facts but upon how others preferred to see the shooting. Strong feelings arose, not based upon reality, but upon how one chose to see.

In the same way, couples can create a riot of feelings and emotions all based upon how they choose to see their mate and marriage. Marriage is not so much about finding the right person as it is about seeing the right person in the one you married.