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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Family Blessings - Home Sweet Home

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Home Sweet Home
"But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:15(b)




To enjoy a blessed and a happy family life one must have a steady happy relationship with each other. If parents have to bring up children properly, it is essential that they have a good relationship between themselves. 

Both husband and wife should be aware of their duties as parents and be ready to face the challenges of parenthood before the birth of a child. 






To attain this blessed family lifestyle one must have a good consistent relationship with God.  This will enable Married couples to  understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life. When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.


Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill. 

We are always accountable to God so we are therefore responsible to ensure that our marriage remains a Christian one and that it remains vibrant, strong, and a ministry in itself to others. 

     
10 Bible Rules for a Happy Marriage

(By Steve Arterburn-New Life Ministries)




Never bring up mistakes of the past- Stop criticizing others or it will come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).














Neglect the whole world rather than each other - And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? (Mark 8:36)



Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled - And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 4:26).



At least once a day, try to say something complimentary to your spouse. 
Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit (Proverbs 15:4).


Never meet without an affectionate welcome.
Kiss me again and again, your love is sweeter than wine 
(Song of Solomon 1:2).





"For richer or poorer" - rejoice in every moment that God has given you together.  
A bowl of soup with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate (Proverbs 15:17). 



If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate. Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them (Proverbs 3:27). 






If they're breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive. I am warning you, if another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him (Luke 17:3,4).



Don't use faith, the Bible, or God as a hammer. 
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it (John 3:17).







Let love be your guidepost - Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged(1Cor. 13:4,5).




Establishing Family Rules


(Message by: Mark Gregston, Heartlight Ministries)



When I was growing up there was one major rule—don’t make mom or dad mad.  If we broke that rule, we got whacked when Dad got home.  It was a “My way, and there is no highway” kind of arrangement.


That kind of militaristic approach just doesn’t work today.  We live in a more relational culture.  Most parents today have better relationships with their children than parents did when I was growing up…but while that’s largely a good thing, there is a downside as well.  If our teens don’t “buy in” to the rules, the relational approach makes enforcing those rules more difficult.



So, let me share some ideas for successfully creating rules for your household.  The earlier you start this process the better.  If there’s still time for you to do this while your children are still tweens, it will be easier than if you wait until they’re old enough to drive.  If yours is already in the teens, start today.  Preferably before the sun goes down.



Have your teenager help you establish the rules and consequences.
If you establish the rules unilaterally, especially if your home has been relationally focused, you’ll probably face significant push back from your teen.  They are not going to understand why they have no say in the process and they’ll be less likely to follow the rules as a result.




Sit down together and discuss what you think behavior in your home should look like.  This is a time to turn off the cell phones, the television and the laptop and focus on what you’re doing.  Talk about how your family expects to deal with issues like dating, driving, cell phones, church, school work, friends, media . . . the list can go on and on, but be sure to major on the majors. 



Discuss (don’t dictate) what kinds of behavior fits with your family’s values and which don’t, and include some rules for the adults in the family as well, so the kids don’t think this process is just targeting them.  Talk through the reasons behind the rules that you are establishing and get everyone’s opinion about what consequences should be applied for breaking the rules.  You’ll be surprised how tough your kids will be on themselves when consequences are being discussed, so you might have to lessen them to be realistic.




In working with thousands of teens over the years, there are some warning signs that point to great trouble ahead.  Disrespect and dishonesty are two of those for which violations should have clear and steep consequences, so that your teens know what to expect if they cross one of those lines. So, tackle those first.  Never bend on character or moral issues, but allow some slack in other areas so your teen feels there is some give and take.




The point is this, by getting their input in drawing up this document, you are giving them a sense of ownership of the rules and foreknowledge of what consequences to expect. It allows them to weigh the consequences against breaking the rules.  So, as you work through this process over several weeks, have the final document typed and printed out so that it is clear for everyone to see.





Allow the consequences to play out.






Once you have laid down the rules and the consequences with your children, don’t back down when it comes to enforcing them.  Teens are masterful at trying to get exceptions made “just this once.”  Parents are often afraid that if they enforce the consequences that have been set they will damage their relationship with their child.  The truth is just the opposite.








Kids actually want their parents to be consistent, and they can live with the consequences, so let them be involved in setting those consequences.  I’m not a big fan of, “I told you so,” but it’s appropriate to remind them when they step over the line that they chose the consequences and will now have to live with them.


Proverbs 19:19 says, “If you rescue [an angry child] once, you will have to do it again.”  It’s far better for the consequences to teach them; you don’t want all the teaching of teenagers to come from you.  Don’t give in, but don’t give up either. Your child will push against every rule you have  and even violate each one at one point or another.  So keep at it.  Keep letting the consequences work in your favor.  And keep giving them unrelenting love as you go through that process with them.



Beliefs and values never change; rules do.
Don’t think of your rules as written in stone.  That’s one of the nice things about having them on your computer; they can be easily adjusted over time.  So check your rules every six months to make sure they still apply to the maturity of your child.
Sometimes parents don’t adjust the rules and they make the mistake of holding a sixteen year old to the same exact rules they had for him as a twelve year old.  This can be exasperating for an older teen.  I’m not suggesting you let him do things that are wrong.  But some things that are procedural can be relaxed as they mature.  For instance, bedtime and curfew can be moved to a later hour, more independence and decision making can be transferred, and more responsibility can be added.


There are obviously limits, however.  One of the things that I believe pretty strongly is the old saying that nothing good ever happens after midnight.  So when our kids got older, we moved their curfew, but we never moved it past midnight.  It’s a very positive thing when you show some flexibility.  The problem some parents have is that they aren’t willing to change on anything.  The world has changed, and we want to be sure we’re only holding on to the things that are worth holding—and not holding on to things just because “that’s the way it was when I was growing up.”


Above all else, I encourage you to work diligently to keep your relationship strong.  As you can probably tell, I think rules are really important, but the relationship you have with your child is even more important.  Take the time to involve them and help them take ownership of the rules.  I think you’ll find the fights decreasing and the relationships and harmony in your home increasing.  It’s worth the effort!
Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder and director of Heartlight, a therapeutic boarding school located in East Texas.

Special Advices on Do's & Don't in a Happy Marriage
  (message by - Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman)

The Bible teaching about a happy marriage is shared by all spouses. We all want contentment and satisfaction in our relationships. Well, maybe there are some unfortunate folks who want a miserable relationship. Pity them. We are told from Scripture that the relationship with our spouse is to include love, respect, understanding, honor, harmony, sympathetic kindness, etc. (cf. 1 Peter 3:1-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18, 19). 

In this study, I offer 11 principles that will bring about that happy marriage in a practical way. Maybe you can get your spouse to go over these principles with you, and together you can think of even more ways to apply the principles. Don’t you want a happy marriage? I know that you do. 


Don't Nag

A constant drip (or steam) of criticism and nagging of your spouse will certainly make for a miserable, tension filled marriage. It will grow contempt, anger, and resentment in both your hearts. A happy marriage is not filled with negativity. Criticism leads to contempt, and then to blaming the other for anything and everything. The next step is refusing to speak. Finally, there is misery – and maybe separation and divorce.




Encourage




A happy marriage involves genuine encouragement and appreciation for your spouse. This principle of a happy marriage is the medicine to cure criticism and nagging. If you don’t feel like encouraging your spouse, start by just saying the words and putting a smile on your face. You will be amazed at the response, and after awhile it will become natural for you.




Enjoy
The wise man said, “rejoice in the wife of your youth” (Proverbs 5:18). This verse is in the context of sex, but you can enjoy your spouse in every way – just like they are. Your spouse is who they are, their personality is set.Do not try to remake or change your spouse into something other than what God has designed them to be. But do help them grow in their Christian faith. Let God work in their lives, and give them freedom to grow in God’s timing and power. Whatever you do, don’t marry someone with the idea of changing them after you have married them. That will not make for a happy marriage.


Be a Happy Person
Ephesians 5:22-33 deals with Christian marriage. However, the passage starts in verse 18. There it says to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which results in a thankful, nice, happy, humble heart attitude. Being a cranky grouch does not encourage a happy marriage. People don’t like to be around unhappy, grumpy, negative, gripping people. Be a happy and kind person, pleasant in your attitude to them.



Love Your Spouse
Love your spouse, cherish, and respect them. Forgive them, and don’t hold resentment and grudges against them. Look for the good in your spouse, don’t focus on their faults. Look out for their best interests. Defend them. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 explains how to love.






The Albanian-born Roman Catholic Missionary once wrote, “Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.”


Attention
Notice and appreciate the little things your spouse does. Don’t be lost in your world and ignore them. It takes time and effort to develop a happy marriage. You must notice and take their interests into consideration. Paul wrote, “but the one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided” (1 Corinthians 7:33, 34).
Like the old cowboy proverb: your wife’s heart is like a campfire. If you don’t tend to it regularly, it will go cold.

Be Courteous, Kind, Patient
Often when we are courting our spouse we are one type of person. We put our best foot forward, open doors, say kindly sweet things, and are patient and tolerant of things that may irritate. Sadly, when the honeymoon is over, we forget these characteristics.




We think that now that we got ‘em, we can act our own gruff way. Irritation, indifference, impoliteness, and rudeness can become a way of life. A happy marriage is a courteous relationship.


Inclusion
Include your spouse in your dreams and life. Don’t shut them out of your world. Genuinely be interested in their dreams, desires, goals, and life. Help them fulfill God’s design and purpose for their lives. Don’t mock or ridicule their hopes and dreams, but listen, share, and celebrate their world. Sometimes it just is a matter of sitting down and talking with and listening to each other – getting reacquainted.



Sex
This is an important issue. Paul wrote, “But because of immoralities, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband…Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:2, 3, 5). Talk with each other on how to make the experience satisfactory for both. 

Read a good (Christian) book on the sexual side of marriage. Husbands should not be selfish and think only of their own pleasure. Most of all, if you want to keep your marriage intact, don’t cheat on you spouse. That is sin. When cheating happens, trust leaves, and rarely does it return.







Caring
Take care of your spouse. Support them. Pray for them. One common problem is that some husbands refuse to work and support their wife and family. A wife needs security and a home to take care of. However, it is fine for a wife to work (cf. Proverbs 31:10-31). In some cultures, like America, both spouses sometimes must work to pay the bills. However, it causes problems if she is required to support the entire family as a way of life. Paul wrote, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worst than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). But, to apply some grace, sometimes the husband is injured, cannot find work, and the family falls on hard times. In those cases, the family must do what it can to survive and get back on its feet.

Important and Special
Consider and treat your spouse as the most special and important person in your life. Some say that a person’s most important need is to feel special and important. Tell your spouse such, and by your actions demonstrate how important they are to you. Reassure them often. Treat your spouse the same way as when you were courting them.


How the word of God can Fix your Marriage
A short story (Message by: parent zone)
Were you like me? In getting married, I basically shut my eyes and hoped for the best. That the premarital fighting would disappear. That Dean suddenly would make my dreams come true. That I no longer would be lonely.

We had our fairytale wedding with Dean looking cute in a pink jacket, pink tie and white pants. We both said “I do,” but everything in our honeymoon spoke of “we don’t.”

Our honeymoon was a week of disaster – clogging the hotel toilet, fighting over where the money that we didn’t have should be spent, while sex was not what we saw in the movies.
My head swirled with comparative imaginations from encounters with a previous boyfriend. Not really a great conversation to have with a new husband. Here we were, newly marrieds, yet feeling newly lonely and disappointed. Twenty-five years later I am so much more aware of the beauty and reality of God’s plan for not just marriage, but for us as individuals.
Two Things come to mind.
Forget the Past. I had done some foolish things previously to my marriage. These things can be a hindrance. The thing is that our choice determines that these things do not have to cause problems.
Paul writes in Phillipians 3:13, “forgetting the past and and looking forward to what lies ahead.” We can realize some great things in this statement.
1. We will all make mistakes. 
2. We can learn from these mistakes rather than allowing them to cripple us. 
3. We can leave them in the past and this includes to think of them no longer.
In other words, I’d messed up in a previous relationship, and while the devil would have me remember this stuff to wreck my present life, Paul realizes that we can choose to forget these things and run with the life we have today. We are set free from our past as long as we repent and decide to not visit that past any longer.
2. Marriage cannot fix loneliness. Solomon found a new love in a Shulamite girl. Solomon found many new loves in life including 1000 wives and concubines, being a king, owning palaces and land, having many slaves and servants and, at times, worshipping more than the one and only God. However he adored this Shulamite girl and spoilt her in the way that all girls desire.
Solomon and the Shulamite girl learnt, though, that marriage cannot cure loneliness.
In Song of Songs 5:6, the Shulamite girl cried in desperation, “I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer.”
She desperately wanted to be close to her man but he could not be found. She’s not talking about physical proximity so much as the loneliness felt by us all at times.
Again we can learn from her statement.
1. No other person can fulfil us or make us ultimately happy.
2. Once we realize this, we can be real concerning our expectations of others.
 3. Happiness comes from within rather than from without. It’s an internal thing and not external.
Therefore choose to give, and not self pity. This makes us focus externally rather than on ourselves.
Pull the Bible from the bedside table and read Proverbs. It has great everyday advice. Choose your thought life. When I see my day as lonely, I choose to change it. I may not be able to change the situation, but I can choose the way I think about it. 

Marriage is an amazing adventure involving a process of time and commitment. However, I’ve worked out that this process means that I am responsible to change me and enjoy Dean, rather than me changing him into my idea of best. This understanding makes marriage and life so much easier.


"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." - Romans 12:10


"He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect." - (1 Timothy 3:4). 




Read More about 
Christian Sex Rules for married couples - Hebrews 13:4
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