How to Take Charge of Your Marriage

How to Take Charge of Your Marriage

There are two opposite and equally destructive strategies many husbands and wives fall into when it comes to seeking marital happiness. The first is trying to take charge of your spouse. The second is assuming your spouse will take charge of your marriage. But the only truly effective way to get closer to the meaningful, connected, and happy relationship you want is for you to take charge of your marriage.

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When Your Past Complicates Intimacy

When Your Past Complicates Intimacy

People who research such things say that somewhere around 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men have been sexually abused in some way. And then there are many who received distorted messages about intimacy as they were growing up, or who became caught up in unhealthy sexual relationships. Those experiences have long-lasting consequences. When so much of your past complicates intimacy it seems a miracle for any marriage to be sexually functional.

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How God Uses Marriage to Heal You

How God Uses Marriage to Heal You

God uses marriage to heal you. It’s one of the most important and effective tools He uses to bring you the healing and transformation you need.

If you’re in a miserable or dysfunctional marriage that may seem completely contradictory. How can I experience healing when my spouse is emotionally unavailable, won’t communicate, continues to cause me pain, refuses to understand me, and withholds intimacy? I need healing FROM my marriage!

You’re right; you married a sinner. You married someone who doesn’t meet your needs and keeps wounding you over and over again.

But your spouse married a sinner too – YOU. You don’t meet their needs and you keep wounding your spouse over and over again too.

Didn’t God know marriage would cause so much pain? Couldn’t He have created us without these needs and desires?

Yes, He could have. But without marriage we would be deprived of one of God’s most effective tools through which we experience our need of Him as well as His healing and transformation. Some of His best miracles only happen in the impossible environment of marriage.

(Note: Trauma, abuse, and violence is always wrong. If you are in an abusive marriage, get help right away.)

Here are some of the most important ways in which God uses marriage to heal:

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How to Experience Permanent Freedom

How to Experience Permanent Freedom

Wouldn’t it be nice to live completely free – permanently? Imagine how it would feel to not have to expend energy fighting against fear, or anger, or lust. Think what your life would be like if the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, goodness, faith, etc. – was your default mode of responding to people and circumstances. There’s a permanent freedom God has promised that can begin now.

Sometimes I think back to the years I was so dysfunctional. But the truth is, I have to work hard to remember. The sting is gone – permanently. As I walked with God out of that prison in my mind I learned a way to live that has brought permanent freedom. Who I am on the inside is different. My default way of responding to even the worst of circumstances is not the same. I’m not vulnerable in the ways I was. I’m not holding on by my fingernails, desperately praying I won’t fall apart again. It’s just not there any longer.

I say that humbly and gratefully. I am still a sinner saved by grace. I am still dependent moment by moment on God’s presence through His Holy Spirit. But I have absolutely no fear that a negative circumstance, attack from the enemy, or some toxic person will wreck my peace and spiritual joy.

My experience of permanent freedom has lasted 20 years. Do I feel pain? Yes. Must I make a daily choice to live in that freedom? Yes.

But this I know; “Once I was blind. Now I see!”  (See John 9:25)

Wouldn’t you love to stop wrestling with the same sins year after year? I think God sometimes pleads, sometimes shouts, “You don’t have to live like this!” You can come to the place where:

  • The desire for cigarettes or alcohol is gone
  • Someone irritates you and you feel no internal anger
  • A horrible circumstance happens and you respond calmly without angst
  • Your default response to a real need is not how little can you give, but how much
  • Your mind forgets the pathway to pornography or illicit sex

Don’t get me wrong. We live in a sinful messed-up world, and will until Jesus returns. We will never be “good enough” on our own. We will be forever dependent on the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus and the sustaining power of His Holy Spirit.

But we don’t have to be slaves to sin any longer!

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