August 31, 2015

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (4)

‘Leave your troubles with the Lord…’ Psalm 55:22 GNT Give your marriage to God. The last word on the matter must be God’s Word! Seeking professional help is a good thing, but until you’ve transferred ownership of your marriage into God’s hands, you haven’t exercised your best option. You say, ‘What does handing my marriage over to God mean in practical terms?’ It means two things: (1) You stop calling the shots—that’s God’s job and you must get out of His way so that He can do His work unhindered. Your self–interest and need to control must bow to His […]
August 30, 2015

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (3)

‘Pray then like this…Your will be done…’ Matthew 6:9-10 ESV Here are another two helpful keys to resolving marriage conflict: (1) Let God direct your prayers. Prayer can be closed–ended or open–ended. When we think that our perspective is the only accurate one, we pray closed–ended prayers calling on God to solve the problem our way, believing it’s the only correct way. However, closed–ended praying produces two problems. First, it locks us into rigid thinking and blinds us to other perspectives. Secondly, it keeps us from seeing God’s perspective, the one that can heal and restore the relationship. Open–ended praying […]
August 29, 2015

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (2)

‘In order that Satan might not outwit us…’ 2 Corinthians 2:11 NIV Recognise who the real enemy of your marriage is. On those days when you think, ‘I can’t spend another moment in this relationship,’ it’s easy to lose perspective and focus on the wrong things. Marriage was God’s idea. He planned it as the foundation of His earthly Kingdom. That makes marriage one of Satan’s prime targets. It’s why he poisoned the perspective and confused the thinking of the first couple. He deceived Adam into believing that Eve was his problem, blaming the fiasco on her (Genesis 3:12). But […]
August 28, 2015

Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (1)

‘…humans must not pull apart what God has put together.’ Mark 10:9 CEB Not every relationship can be saved. When physical, mental or emotional abuse threatens your child’s safety, or your own, you may be forced to leave. Failing to do so could lead to tragedy, but where a workable resolution can be found, a troubled relationship can become a source of shared joy and fulfilment. Here are some keys to make staying worthwhile: Adopt God’s perspective on sin—yours and your spouse’s. One of the major problems is the way we classify sin—especially our spouse’s. You’re understandably overwrought and anxious […]
August 27, 2015

On the Home Front

‘…I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire…’ 1 Samuel 2:35 NLT Being the high priest in Israel was a prestigious job, and Eli seemed suited to it. Yet he failed badly on the home front. ‘…His sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.’ (1 Samuel 8:3 NIV) As a result, God told Eli He ‘…would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed against God, and he failed to restrain them.’ (1 Samuel 3:13 […]
August 26, 2015

Handling Your Failures (2)

‘Return… I will heal your backslidings…’ Jeremiah 3:22 NKJV What’s the root of our failures? Failure doesn’t lie in the strength of the enemy, or our own weakness, or God’s reluctance to help us overcome. Israel was defeated by a small town after having conquered mighty Jericho. Their failure, like ours, was the result of unconfessed sin (Joshua 7). But once their sin was brought to light and dealt with, God spoke encouragement to them. ‘…Do not be afraid…Take all the people of war with you… I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, […]
August 25, 2015

Handling Your Failures (1)

‘…the hearts of the people melted, and became like water.’ Joshua 7:5 NKJV Even the most seasoned believers experience failure and the big question at such times isn’t, ‘How could I have let that happen?’ but, ‘What’s the right way to deal with it?’ Indulging in self–condemning thoughts comes naturally to us, but it does no good. It just produces discouragement, and adds failure upon failure. As a result of Achan’s sin, Israel was defeated at Ai and fled before their enemies. Like us, in response to their defeat, ‘…the hearts of the people melted, and became like water.’ Their […]
August 24, 2015

The Huddle

‘I appeal to you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another…’ 1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV To lead your family effectively, you need to learn how to huddle regularly. The ‘huddle’ is where a team: (1) sets its goals; (2) discusses the division of responsibilities; (3) tackles the issues that determine whether it wins or loses. Parent, even though you call the plays from overhead, your family must be taught how to accomplish them on the field. That means working through things, talking through the disagreements, motivating and appreciating each member. Try […]