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A Marriage Carol

A Marriage Carol

On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm. This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they’re traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer’s office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Jacob is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs-and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

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A Marriage Carol

On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married in a snowstorm. This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they’re traveling and as blocked with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer’s office, on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow , spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly, freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Jacob is nowhere to be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside, built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore marriages. She laughs-and begins a journey through her past, present, and future that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available. Which will she choose?

Becoming Love

I’ve never met a couple who married with the intention of making each other miserable. Most people want to have a loving, supportive, understanding spouse. I’m convinced that the fastest way to have such a spouse is to become a loving, supportive, understanding spouse. What are you doing to have the marriage you’ve always wanted?

If you recognize the need for marital growth, my book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted will give you ideas on how to become the spouse you’ve always wanted. If both of you are willing to share the book, you can grow even faster. But someone must take the first step.

 

 

Hand in His

Everyone admits that these are troubled financial times. Many families are living under financial pressure. But for the Christian, money is to be our servant, not our security blanket. For many non-Christians, money is a sign of success. All of their decisions are made in response to the question, “What offers the greatest financial advantage?”

For the Christian, some things are more important than money. We have all learned that money can be ‘here today and gone tomorrow.’ But God is always ‘here’. He is never ‘gone’ today or tomorrow. So in hard times, we put our hand in His, and use whatever money we have to feed or families and help others. Our security is not in money, but in a loving and faithful God.

Healing the Past

Life’s greatest happiness is found in good relationships, and life’s deepest pain is found in bad relationships. If you feel loved by your mother, then the maternal relationship brings you feelings of comfort and encouragement. On the other hand, if your relationship with your father is fractured, you probably suffer feelings of abandonment.

Many single adults have felt unloved by one or both parents. In my book The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition, one of the ideas I discuss is how understanding the five love languages can help singles establish or re-establish a more positive relationship with parents. Love holds the greatest potential for healing the past and creating a better future.

God Speaks YOUR Language

What is the greatest commandment of all? Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Why would you want to love God? The Apostle John said, “We love God because He first loved us.” Some time ago, I began a study of the various ways in which God expresses His love to us.

I discovered that God speaks all five love languages fluently: Words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch. That study led to the publishing of my book: God Speaks Your Love Language. What makes one person feel loved does not necessarily make another person feel loved. God knows you, and He chooses to speak your Love Language.

People Reach People

It is amazing that God chooses to use people to reach people. Jesus said to His early followers, “I will make you fishers of men.” He used that analogy because they were fisherman. They became the people who laid the foundation of the early church. We follow their example. We reach out loving people in the name of Jesus.

I’m sure the apostles did not sit around talking about the five love languages, but I can assure you that they spoke all five languages. Read the New Testament, and you will hear them speaking words of affirmation, giving gifts, performing acts of service, spending quality time, and extending physical touch. God uses us to express His love to others.

Balance

This is the day for Spring 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 Summer? 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?

Come Out Winners

In today’s world, many people are suffering from the pain of debt. Others are troubled with the upheavals of the financial markets. Let me remind you of the words of Jesus: “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” If you understand that truth, it will change your life forever.

Real satisfaction is found not in money, but in loving relationships with God, our spouse, children and friends. Loving relationships are our greatest assets. Most of us could live with less money, and may of necessity have to do so. But, if that helps us focus on relationships, then we still come out winners. Why not have a family ‘soup’ night – eat only soup and crackers and thank God that you are alive and together.

Love is Patient

Some people find it strange when I suggest that the greatest thing you can do for an estranged spouse is to love him or to love her. Yet, this is exactly what Jesus taught. We are to love even our enemies and we are to return good for evil. One of the ways in which you express love to a spouse who has walked out on you is by being patient.

The scriptures say, “love is patient”. Your marriage did not fall apart overnight and it will not be rebuilt today. Don’t set time limits for yourself or your spouse. Be patient with your spouse’s ambivalence. During separation people are often pulled in two directions:  On the one hand is the desire for reconciliation, on the other, there is the pain and hurt that says, ‘give up’. Patience is the first step toward love.

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