God Doesn’t Always Fix You

God Doesn’t Always Fix You

By that I mean, God doesn’t always fix you in some magical single moment. In the ultimate sense God always helps you. The Bible says so. I’ve experienced it. You’ve experienced it. But sometimes your heart has a hard time believing it. Sometimes it seems as though God is doing everything else except help you.

When you pray and struggle and nothing seems to get better your faith is challenged.

  • You are sick and in pain, and keep praying for God to heal you.
  • You have more bills than money, and keep asking God to send you resources.
  • Your mind wrestles with depression or anxiety, and you keep asking God to take it away.
  • You struggle with an addiction to pornography or alcohol, and keep asking God for deliverance.
  • Your marriage is in trouble, and you keep praying for God to fix it.

It’s always right to pray. Always. But sometimes that’s not all you need to do. Frequently you need to put legs on your prayers.

Frederick Douglas said, “I prayed for 20 years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” Perhaps it’s time to start walking!

Repeated scientific research on spirituality and health demonstrates that when facing tough stuff, those who see themselves working together with God come through their challenges with better wellbeing and spiritual resilience. Those who either try to do it all themselves or sit back waiting for God to do it all do consistently less well. It’s Philippians 2:12-13: God works, and we work. It’s you and God working together.

Here are 3 ways to pray with your legs.

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How to Love Your Wife like Christ

How to Love Your Wife like Christ

When Percy Sledge or Michael Bolton begin to sing “When a Man Loves a Woman” the ladies swoon and scream. And if you as a husband love your wife that way, she’s likely to respond in a similar fashion.

That song, still heard 50 years after it first came out, speaks to something deep in the hearts of human beings, something God put there, something that differentiates a successful marriage from a non-successful one. Regardless of how hard the enemy tries to distort and complicate it, loving your woman well will keep her heart close to yours and make your relationship intimate and strong. That’s something of what it means to love your wife like Christ.

Let’s get the objections out of the way right now. Life is complicated, and human beings are broken. God has given your wife free will also, and she has the option to refuse your love. Women can cause men enormous pain (the song implies that too), and your needs are important. I have some very strong things to say to women who behave badly toward their husbands.

But as a man God has gifted you with the responsibility and the power to be as Christ to your wife. Nothing happens – spiritually, emotionally, or sexually – until you step up. It’s vulnerable, scary, and perhaps overwhelming, but that’s what God has called you to do.

And you can do it!

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You’re NOT Stuck in this Marriage

You’re NOT Stuck in this Marriage

Stuck in this marriageOne of the most common sentiments I hear from married people is, “I feel stuck in this marriage.” Yes, you’re miserable. You’re needs aren’t getting met. There’s little or no intimacy or sex. Your spouse doesn’t get you.

But I’m here to tell you, you’re NOT stuck in this marriage!

Perhaps if you’re reading this from some middle-eastern country that might be true – sort of. But even there we regularly hear stories of women who refuse to be stuck. Some may be whipped, imprisoned, or killed for trying to leave – and that’s NEVER NEVER ACCEPTABLE! But the point is you always have options regardless of your gender.

That also illustrates that your choices have consequences. In most of the world you have the choice to get a divorce, to leave the marriage. That choice may involve financial difficulties, trauma to your children, emotional and spiritual baggage, and a change in the way others see and treat you socially. But that is a choice you can make.

So get it out of your head and your vocabulary that you’re stuck. Remember the maxim that insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results? It’s time to do something different if you want a different outcome. Now that we’ve illustrated what may be the extremes, let’s consider some of the various choices you have if your marriage is not the way you’d like it.

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Positive Thinking and the Bible

Positive Thinking and the Bible

Is it magic? Is it “mind over matter?” Does faith mean white-knuckling it with positive thoughts and affirmations? What do you do with negative realities such as ISIS, your spouse’s infidelity, or your doctor speaking the dreaded word “cancer”? Is positive thinking compatible with both reality and Christian faith?

That may seem a difficult question for some. There are preachers who teach that speaking (or even thinking) something negative will bring it to pass, and that the only Christian response is to exclusively think and speak positive things. And then there’s the positive thinking “movement,” where the message seems to be that if you visualize something good long enough and often enough it will come to pass.

Research is abundant that our thoughts and words do have enormous power.

The risk with these ideas is that they imply your mind can control anything. And that’s a distortion of the truth. There is truth here, but it’s not the whole truth.

The Stockdale Paradox may help put this into perspective. When faced with extraordinary challenges, it’s important to “Retain faith that you will prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be.”

Our minds are powerful, but they are not all-powerful. But here’s the truth:

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When Your Spouse is Emotionally Distant

When Your Spouse is Emotionally Distant

He seems to pay more attention to his dog and his TV than he does to you. She is always on the phone to her friends but can’t seem to engage in fifteen minutes of focused conversation with you. You’ve told your spouse how much they are hurting you, but nothing seems to change. Your spouse is emotionally distant, and you’re feeling lonely, disappointed, and perhaps angry and desperate.

Relationships have a way of deteriorating over time unless both of you invest focused effort on a regular basis. If that has happened to you, doing something about it now may save your marriage – and your sanity. Most human beings respond best to clarity, honesty, and respect. By doing something positive now, you can bridge the emotional distance between you and your spouse.

I’m assuming you and your spouse are people of good will and that you’re basically physically safe. If you’re in true danger, get some help right away!

Here are four keys that will help you emotionally connect with your spouse again.

  1. Learn to Feed Yourself.

No human being can be responsible to fill up another all the time. In the best marriages each spouse meets many of their partner’s needs, but that’s only because they have something in their own hearts to offer. In marriage, two halves do not make a whole. If you’re looking to your spouse to fill you up and meet all your needs, you will most certainly be disappointed, angry – and still empty.

Take responsibility for learning when your soul needs nourishment, and for finding and choosing healthy godly food for your inner being. God makes food – both physical and emotional – available, but you and I are responsible for deciding what we need and taking it into our being. That may be time in nature, making some form of art, reading, inspirational media, time with friends, and time alone with God. When you’re filled up, you will be more appealing to your spouse and have more to offer the relationship.

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