November 1, 2016
You don’t have to be perfect to have a good marriage. But, you do need to deal effectively with your failures. Otherwise they sit as barriers to a growing marriage. How do you get rid of past failures? First, you identify them – write them down. Second, you confess them as wrong – to God and to your spouse. Third, you repent – change your behavior. To confess this week, and then repeat the same behavior next week, does not remove barriers. It makes things worse. God is in the business of changing lives. Why not sign up for God’s rehabilitation program. Let Him give you the power to break old habits and replace them with acts of kindness and love. You can become the person, your spouse deserves.
October 27, 2016
Would you like to put the past behind you and start over? I’m talking about in your marriage. Many couples have so much pain from past failures that they have a hard time moving ahead. Time alone, will not heal hurts. Healing comes when we are willing to confess our failures and change our behavior. Some of us would like to leave out the confession part and just focus on being different in the future. However, confession is essential to the healing process. Even God requires confession before He forgives. I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” Confession means that we admit to our spouse that what we did is wrong. We accept responsibility for our failure and request forgiveness.
September 27, 2016
A husband once said to me, “Why can’t we just forget the past and focus on the present and the future?” I’m empathetic with this husband, but it doesn’t work that way. We must deal with past failures before we can ‘put them behind us’. Otherwise, it keeps popping back up. The first step in dealing with past failures is to identify them. Where have we failed each other? Most of us can identify our spouse’s failures more readily than we can identify our own. However, Jesus taught that we should first – get the beam out of our own eye. So why not ask God to bring to your mind all of the times when you have hurt your spouse. Write them down. We cannot deal with past failures until we identify them.
September 22, 2016
Western society is largely addicted to romantic love. This kind of love is obsessive in nature. You can’t get the other person off your mind. They are the most wonderful person you have ever met. Now, your mother can see their flaws, but you can’t. Your friends can even point out potential issues. Many single adults make poor decisions because they are overcome with this euphoric state of love. Research shows that this euphoric state is temporary. On the average, it last for two years. Then, we must move to what I call the covenant stage of love. We must learn the love language of the other person in order to keep emotional warmth in the relationship.
September 16, 2016
Q: Gary, I thought the ability to truly love someone and to feel loved is directly linked to the ability to love oneself first, so can someone who doesn’t love themselves ever really feel loved?
Gary: Well I think you’re wise to address the issue. The answer is to learn to love yourself. Listen, if the Holy God loves you, then you need to love yourself. Accept his love. If you’ve done wrong things, fine! Repent of those things. Ask God to forgive you and you then become a child of God, and God loves you with an everlasting love. So if you’ve experienced God’s love —whether you’ve experienced love from people or not — you’ll be able to love others.
September 8, 2016
This is the time for Fall reflection. Are you pleased with the way you invested your time and energies so far this year? Are there changes you need to make in your lifestyle as we move into Fall? Do you need to drop some activities and add others? Family, church, vocation, and neighbors are all important. The key word is ‘balance’. The greatest satisfaction in life is in investing your life in the lives of others. But you also need to take care of yourself. Proper food, sleep, and recreation keep the body strong. A daily quiet time with God, and weekly involvement with other Christians energizes the spirit. Could a minor change in your lifestyle make a major difference in your effectiveness?
August 31, 2016
Though the word apology, as we know it, does not exist in the New Testament, an absence of the specific word does not indicate an absence of the concept. Scripture provides lessons for how to do this well and demonstrates that there is more to making an apology than what we often hear in popular culture.
Continue Reading Article by Dorothy Greco >>
August 3, 2016
I grew up in a family that understood anger as a threat to relationship. As such, raised voices or certain vocal tones got us a ticket to our bedrooms where we were supposed to magically get over it. Only we didn’t…
…The unfortunate conundrum is that unless humans pathologically detach, we cannot avoid anger. If you are awake and paying attention, there’s actually a lot going on around the globe to inspire this threatening emotion. Thankfully, God does not call us to be emotional agnostics. Anger is one of many appropriate responses to atrocities, particularly those that end in premature death. When Lazarus died and Jesus faced his grieving sister, Scripture tells us “a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled” (John 11:33). Because of his connection to God the Father, Jesus didn’t sin in his anger. As Paul referenced in Ephesians, we occasionally do.
How are we to respond honestly without hurting others when the inevitable anger rises up within our marriage?
Continue reading article by Dorothy Greco >>
June 16, 2015
Bob and Janice have been separated for three months. The only contact they have had is when they met briefly with a lawyer to discuss the terms of legal separation. Is there hope for their marriage? Not until someone seeks to penetrate the silence. But let me remind you that one person can break the silence. It takes both to communicate, but only one to initiate the process.
Have you been standing off, refusing to give in and call, waiting for your spouse to make the first move? Jesus said, that if your brother sins, you are to confront him in private and seek to be reconciled. You can’t make him reconcile, but you can seek reconciliation. If your spouse refuses, you have lost nothing. It is worth the effort.
June 15, 2015
Q: Gary, my wife and I attend separate churches because of our differing opinions of what a “good” church is. It feels awkward sometime, but I just don’t know how to come together on this.
Gary: I have known couples that have gone to separate churches for over thirty years. I don’t, however, think it is the healthiest thing. Sometimes, one individual is so “married” to a particular church that they are unwilling to budge at all and this becomes inevitable.
It’s much healthier for your marriage to find a place you can go together. My suggestion is to challenge your spouse to visit another church with you, at least once every month or two—not her church, not your church. By doing this you open the possibility of finding a church you both feel good about.