Women…Improve Sex with your Husband

FOR WOMEN:

1. Communicate that you accept his sexual nature as valid and God given. (don’t withhold and try to change him)
2. Be energetic.
3. Be sensitive to his sexual nature. (know that that he is visual)
4. Be organized. (make sure you are available and tell him what you need)
5. Be sexual. (make a decision and be available to him, dress and act sexually, let his needs dictate your behavior)
6. Be honest. (don’t let emotions build up you haven’t talked about.

Check out more on Mission: Marriage at http://www.daystar.com/missionmarriage/

Men…How to Improve Sex with your Wife

According to Jimmy Evans on the Mission: Marriage showing on Day Star:

FOR MEN
1. Be sensitive to every problem and stress your wife has in her life. (women are inclusive, everything is connected through sex, she needs to know you care to open up sexually)
2. Be sensitive to her different nature. (communication about emotions and non-sexual touch)
3. Be romantic in her language. (talking to her, paying attention, cards, letters)
4. Be pure in thought and actions. (don’t try to bring sin in your sexual relationship.
5. Be prayerful about unmet needs and desires. (include God in it and he can bless it.
6. Communicate desires to her.

Tomorrow FOR WOMEN!

Six Ways to Hinder Your Prayers

Many of my clients come to me broken and frustrated about their marriages and their lives.  I prayed and thought about why that might be.  Many feel like God isn’t hearing their prayers and I reassure them that he is.  It got me to thinking about what hinders our prayers I came across this great article from some years ago that addresses some things that might hinder our prayers.  I know I need to work on some of these and pray that it may lead you to do the same so that we can all move toward a more fulfilling life.

(Reprinted from www.challies.com)

It is the Lord’s delight to give us what we ask of Him in prayer. Like David, we should all pray, “O God, hear my prayer; give ear to the words of my mouth” (Psalm 54:2). If Christians did not believe in the efficacy of prayer, there would be no reason for us to ask anything of God. He is the one who tells us that we can have confidence that our prayers ascend to Him. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14,15). While as Christians we pay lip-service to the superlatives in that sentence (“whatever” and “anything”), how often do we really believe it?

The fact is that our prayers are often hindered. There are times when it feels like our prayers are reaching the ceiling and going no further; times when we are lying face-down on the floor and feel that our prayers are rising no higher than the fibers of the carpet. While we can be sure that God does hear our prayers, there are times when He chooses not to heed or answer them. In this brief article we’ll go over six reasons God may not heed our prayers. This list is incomplete, for there may be other ways our prayers are hindered, but it contains the most likely and significant ways.

It is important to know from the outset that I am the only one who can hinder my prayers. You are the only one who can hinder your prayers. I cannot hinder your prayers anymore than you can hinder mine. And while we may have done much to hinder our prayers, we are not necessarily even aware of this. So let’s look at these as six warnings from Scripture.

Selfish Motives

All humans are selfish. It is part of our human nature that we naturally regard our own interests ahead of the interests of others. And sadly, we often regard our own interests ahead of God’s. In the passage we read above, 1 John 5:14 and 15, the apostle tells us that our confidence comes from asking “according to his [God’s] will.” James similarly exhorts “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3).

So the first hindrance to our prayer is our motives. We must ask in accordance with God’s will as revealed in the Bible. We must ask only for things that are consistent with the character and nature of God. We must ask for things that are for the spiritual benefit of ourselves or for the person on whose behalf we pray. God will not answer our self-centered, self-serving prayers.

Turning Away From Scripture

If we are not spending time immersing ourselves in Scripture and are not obeying what we have learned, we should not expect God to answer our prayers. Our defiance in ignoring the life-giving Words of the Bible may hinder us from having our prayers answered. Solomon goes so far as to suggest that prayers made from such a hardened heart are an abomination to God. “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Proverbs 28:9).

When we read the Words of Scripture, we ask and encourage God to speak to us. He provides the understanding we need to live lives that bring glory to Him—lives that are increasingly consistent with His standards of grace and holiness. If we thumb our nose at the importance of this discipline and if we disobey what He teaches, He will not answer our prayers. Without submitting ourselves to Scripture, we may not even know what and how to pray. We pray best and most effectively when we are saturated in the Word of God.

Unforgiving Hearts

The Christian has been forgiven for the greatest of offenses. He has been forgiven for knowingly, purposely and unrepentantly transgressing the Law of God. And yet we are often slow to forgive our fellow man for the smallest of transgressions. Even the biggest of the sins committed against us are as nothing compared to how we sinned against God. God does not honor this attitude. In Mark 11:25 Jesus says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Our ongoing assurance of pardon before the Father is in some way dependent on our willingness to forgive others. We must be attentive to our hearts, to ensure that we are not harboring hatred and resentment towards others. If we have this attitude we should expect our prayers to be hindered.

Family Discord

It is God’s will that families live together in peace and harmony. It is, of course, impossible for us to live in perfect peace, but God demands that we maintain close relationships and that we seek harmony in our family relationships. It is foremost the responsibility of the father, as the head of the household, to ensure that there is not discord within the family. When this discord exists, especially in the relationship of a husband to his wife, his prayers may well be hindered. The apostle Peter, a married man himself, exhorted husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way, being sensitive to their needs, “showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

The relationship between a husband and a wife is to reflect that of Christ to His church. It is to be a relationship of absolute love, adoration and sacrifice. If Christ gave His life for the church, how can a husband do any less for his wife? This is, of course, impossible when the relationship is strained or broken. Thus a man should examine his relationship with his wife to ensure this is not a hindrance to his prayers (and to hers).

Unconfessed Sin

Just as unforgiveness can hinder our prayers, so can sin in our lives that we have refused to confess before God. “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18), says the Psalmist. Before we conclude that God has simply not heard or prayers or that it is not His will to give us what we ask, we need to examine our hearts to see if unconfessed sin stands as a barrier between ourselves and God.

While we need to continually examine our hearts, we need also to ask God to reveal our sin to us. We should ask those closest to us what they have observed in our lives. While God most often reveals sin through the reading of and meditating upon His Word, we should realize that if we do not learn our lesson from Scripture, He may have to resort to harsher tactics where our sin is revealed before others, even publicly. While this may be difficult and humiliating, He does so because He loves us and does not wish for this sin to continue to corrupt us and to stand as a barrier between Himself and us.

Doubt

God wants us to have confidence in His ability and willingness to provide what is necessary for us to attain to godliness. He wants us to believe that He can and will do what He says. Thus when we doubt—when we ask expecting rejection and when we ask almost hoping for rejection—we will hinder our prayers. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:5-7).

Our prayers cannot be separated from our faith. If we are to ask God, we must ask with expectancy, believing in our heart of hearts that God can and will give what we desire, provided that what we desire is really what we need and what will bring glory to Him! We are to ask with confidence and expectancy, praying out of the faith He has given us.

Conclusion

The eighteenth chapter of Luke is premised with the following words: “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus goes on to share the parable of the persistent widow. It is a parable designed to teach the importance of persisting in prayer. It is God’s desire that we persist in our petitions before Him. When we ask and do not receive, we need to examine ourselves and question why our prayers are being hindered. Are we asking selfishly? Have we turned away from God, harbored unforgiveness in our hearts or ignored sin in our lives? Or have we allowed discord to creep into our families? These questions can lead us back to the Word of God, guide us to an examination of our hearts, and lead us back to sweet communion with the Lord.

Tim Challies

Complementing, Not Conflicting, in Marriage

By Dr. Tony Evans on April 11, 2011

 

(Reprinted from startmarriageright.com)

 

One of the most uninformed statements that a husband or wife can make is, “We are not compatible.” Sometimes the words change: “We don’t have anything in common,” or, “We are as different as night and day.” Of course you are different. If both of you were the same, one of you would be unnecessary. The reason you need each other is because you are different.

One likes coffee; the other likes tea. One goes to bed early; the other stays up late. One of the sweetest blessings God has give me is a woman who has a personality totally different from mine. I’m an outgoing, public personality while my wife is sedate and serene. We are different, and that is according to God’s plan. Because our personalities are in contrast, when I’m too outgoing, her reserve pulls me back, and when she is too reserved, my enthusiasm pulls her forward. Occasionally this causes tension, but that is the exception. Our goal remains to make our God-given differences work for us instead of against us.

The presence of sin in the world has clouded this understanding. However, if we would simply look for what God is trying to teach us through the mate He has given us, we would be growing rather than complaining. You may say, “I don’t believe God gave me my mate.” It’s too late for that conclusion if you are married. Yet even if it were correct, God is still able to teach you how to love and learn from the one you’re with. And the Lord has laid out clear guidelines for doing that, as we’ll see.

Adam recognized immediately how distinctly different Eve was from him, and he was excited about those differences. Adam also knew that Eve was part of him; she made him complete and drove his loneliness away. He called her “bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” She was his helpmate and completer. It was love at first sight for Adam and Eve. It was what we call a “match made in heaven,” and with God’s blessing, they married immediately.

Although it was Adam who gave us the introduction to marriage vows, the words were prompted by God. In Genesis chapter two, we read, “For this cause [because she was taken out of man], a man shall leave his father and his mother [Adam didn’t have parents but would have left them for Eve], and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” That verse summarizes what a marriage relationship is about: to leave, cleave, and become one. The great tragedy is that most people have heard these words many times but don’t know what true oneness means.

Oneness doesn’t mean sameness. Oneness means demonstrating a willingness to work together toward the same goal. Anyone working together toward the same goal will have to, out of necessity – communicate, cooperate and merge strengths with strengths while overlooking or overcoming each other’s weaknesses. This not only requires time, it requires an authentic commitment. Ladies, even if a man says that he loves you, and as much as you’d like to think that he’s promising to share his whole life with you, he may be only planning to work you into his schedule. He may not be planning to cut back on any activities, or give up anything for you. That kind of man doesn’t know what marriage is about.

God specifically asked men to give up the closest ties we have in order to honor our wives when he said that, “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife” (Genesis 2:24, The Message). This is because one of a woman’s greatest needs in marriage is for security. That is why a woman will sometimes ask her husband to hold her. Most men misinterpret that as a request for physical intimacy, but if the emotional need for security is on her mind, she is not thinking about physical desires. Because a wife needs to feel secure, a husband must make that a priority. He must be intentional about demonstrating to her how deep a commitment he is willing to make. When he does that, both will be able to function within the unique gifts that each possess because in security is found the freedom to fully express oneself.

Marriage is a covenantal union designed to strengthen the capability of each partner to carry out the plan of God in their lives. Marriage takes two individuals and makes them even stronger together as one.

Understanding Basic Principles of Marriage & Money

 

This is republished from the Marriage Today website.  I think the author of the post is Jimmy Evans, but it isn’t specified.  Awesome information to pass on and help us marrieds.

Of all the enemies that can attack the intimacy and security of a marriage, money problems are among the most destructive. In fact, they are the number one reason why couples divorce. On the other hand, one of the greatest potential blessings in marriage is the financial benefit it can provide. Statistically, married couples are better off financially than single or divorced people. But, the truth is, most husbands and wives view money very differently.

One of the most intriguing studies I’ve read on this subject was by Dr. Kenneth Doyle, a financial psychologist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Doyle concluded from his studies that there are four basic “money languages” people speak. In other words, your money language determines how you view money and use money to express yourself.

RECOGNIZING YOUR MONEY STYLE

The first group is the “Driver.” For the “Driver,” money is equated to success it protects against fear of incompetence. For this person, competence is measured by the amount of money gathered.

“Drivers” communicate love by showing what money has done to bless and improve the lives of those around them. The weakness of this money language is that “Drivers” can be overly dependent on money for their significance, and they tend to be more materialistic.

Another language is that of the “Analytic.” Money for this group of people wards off chaos and problems. They are well-structured financially, and they are good long-range money planners. “Analytics” communicate love by saving money and looking out for the future well-being and interests of those they care about.

The weakness of this group is that “Analytics” can be unyielding and legalistic regarding budgeting and money issues. It’s common for people who are around “Analytics” to feel less important than money. “Analytics” can unintentionally communicate a disregard for the feelings of others because of a conservative financial attitude.

The third money language is “Amiable.” Relationships and people are the focus of the financial desires of the “Amiables.” To them, money means love and affection. The lack of money translates as an inability to demonstrate love. “Amiables” communicate love by sharing what they have with those around them, especially family and friends.

The weakness is that while “Amiables” are generous and good-hearted, they are often poor money managers with little or no financial structure or long-range planning.

For the “Expressive,” money is acceptance: it purchases the respect and admiration of others. It provides the basis of relationship with desirable people. “Expressives” communicate love by shopping, purchasing and spending to gain acceptance from a select group. This language can be used in a negative way ? to hide feelings of pain, insecurity or incompetence. Rather than relying on God, “Expressives” can be overly dependent on money to solve problems and calm fears.

Why is all this important? Understanding your financial languages can help stop fights over money and actually lead to healthy discussions. It can also help you appreciate the fact that what you may be interpreting as a financial weakness in your spouse could actually be their effort to express love to you.

CONTROL OF THE FINANCES

No marriage should have one-sided decisions. God created marriage as a partnership between two equals. Therefore, a husband should never dominate his wife. Being the head of the home isn’t about domination and control. Being the head of the home means taking the initiative and being a Christ-like leader for the well-being of the wife and children. True love is sacrificial and selfless.

Men are not the only ones prone to domination. Women can be just as controlling when it comes to finances. Some women believe that they make better decisions, while other women may see their husbands as irresponsible when it comes to finances. In either case, there will be problems. Be careful not to judge each other’s weaknesses. Judgment is a serious issue, and it will breed contempt and disrespect for your spouse that will damage your relationship.

The picture of a perfect marriage is two servants in love. For you and your spouse to truly become “one” in marriage, you must surrender your individual control and work for shared control.

The first way to do this is by creating a budget together. This is the most proactive way to fend off arguments and avoid the pitfalls that your differing financial views may create. Working through a budget allows financial differences to be discussed before the money is ever spent. It gives you a setting that is not strained by pressing financial needs or wants and places you on a level playing field.

Some people feel insecure if they disagree or have differences with their spouse. It is okay to have differences, as long as you commit to work through them. In fact, it is beneficial for you to have different money languages, because you will then have very different strengths and weaknesses which will help to provide balance in your finances. You may not always agree, but it should also be understood that you will come to a mutual decision. Be willing to give up some ground to each other, but most of all pray and ask God to give you wisdom.

Proverbs 22:7 tells us, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” While I do not think that this means that we cannot borrow, it does caution us against the bondage of debt. Couples who fight about finances are often over their heads in debt. When the debt payments that are due each month challenge or exceed their ability to pay them, tremendous stress is put on the marriage. I recommend that you take steps to avoid or resolve the pitfalls of debt.

First, don’t owe God. Malachi 3 commands us to tithe your first ten percent is God’s. You rob God when you do not tithe, and you miss out on the blessings that God desires to give you. God doesn’t need your money ? but He wants your heart. The two are closely connected. Giving to God shows that you believe that God has authority in the area of finances and puts Him on your side. As a response to your obedience to trust Him, God promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings to the point that you won’t be able to contain them (Malachi 3:10).

Next, save and live within your means. If you are not saving, you are not within your means. You should be able to tithe, save, and pay for essentials without taking on debt. Saving helps secure the future and therefore gives a feeling of assurance.

Borrow wisely and cautiously. Make sure that you can pay off your debt without strain. Avoid credit card debt the interest is high and the purchased items are usually highly depreciative, meaning that they lose value. While you may have to borrow for a house or even a car, make sure that you get the best interest rates and pay off the debt as quickly as possible.

Don’t be prideful or timid get financial counsel. The wealthiest people are the most likely to hire financial advisors. People who struggle with finances are often threatened by outside input and will not seek help. If you are in serious debt, you need to seek help. It won’t go away without a conscious effort and a plan. No matter who or what created your situation, there is help and hope for you. People who are willing to learn are the ones who overcome financial problems.

God wants you to enjoy the blessings of life. It is our prayer that as you seek Him for your finances, you will find security, comfort and peace.

Scriptures for meditation : 1 Timothy 6:10 Proverbs 3:9 Luke 12:34 Malachi 3:8-10 Matthew 6:33

Hidden Issues in Couple Communication

 

HIDDEN ISSUES

One reason communication can be confusing and unsatisfying is because two people are having different conversations: one about the actual topic and one about the hidden topic that has not been revealed.

Some signs of hidden issues are:

  • Arguing about “little things.”
  • Constant misunderstandings that result in comments like, “You know that’s not what I meant.”
  • An issue that was supposed to be settled keeps coming back.
  • Someone gets harsh or defensive in response to something intended to be positive and neutral.
  • Arguments with harsh words that are overdone in the way they are said like these listed below:
    • You always…
    • You never…
    • What did I just tell you?
    • It’s a waste of time to talk to you.
    • You’re too emotional.
    • You have no feelings.

Better ways to address this:

  • “I didn’t expect that response. Did I say something wrong?”
  • “Is there a possibility you are mad about something else, besides what we’re talking about?”
  • “You seem to be in a bad mood. Is something bothering you?”

Positive scenarios:

Q       “Can’t you stay focused on what we’re talking about now?”

A        “Yes we can go back to talking about that. I just wanted to make sure nothing else was bothering you.”

Q       “If something else is bothering me, I’ll let you know.”

A        “Thank you. If something is on your mind, I would love to hear about it.”

Negative answers:

  • “I can’t believe you’re upset about that! Why do you overreact for no reason.”
  • “I don’t always do that!”
  • “If you’re going to exaggerate, this conversation is over.”

Real Talk

Your issue may not be about your spouse at all. It may have something to do with yourself or something that happened in the past. Check yourself. Are you being overly defensive because you felt like you took too much in the past, and are dead set on never taking someone’s crap again? If so, talk about it with them and seek professional help to work through it if necessary.