Slightest touches make your heart skip a beat..

10 HABITS OF COUPLES IN STRONG AND HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

What makes for a healthy romantic relationship differs from couple to couple. Forming a trusting and positive partnership takes effort and time. And unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen overnight. For any relationship to grow strong and stay strong, you need to put in some work. Below are some habits that will create and maintain a happy and healthy twosome.

 

 

 

Cultivate a Christ-Centered Marriage

“I came to a point where I realized I didn’t do relationships God’s way. My way didn’t work. Before I got married I realized that Christ should be Lord of my life, including my relationships,” he remembers. Even still, he said his expectations of marriage were unrealistic, and realized that he and his wife had difficulties communicating.

Now, the Ingrams have been married for 32 years and their marriage has never been stronger. “I’m more in love with my wife and more deeply satisfied in marriage than ever. I long for that for other people.” He teaches that the benefits of a good marriage go beyond the man and woman involved. The couple’s children also feel more secure and often make better mate choices for themselves.

“The greatest thing you can ever do for your children is to love your spouse. They need to feel safe. How they respond to the opposite sex is often based on how their parents related to each other. Kids model what they see in us, whether or not we realize it.”

He says the key ingredient to a strong, lasting marriage is loyalty to Jesus Christ. “When two people are in a Christ-centered marriage, they are saying they are not going to allow anyone to take His place in their lives. When you let another person take God’s place, it ruins the relationship,” he explained. “God designed marriage where He wants to be the center. When Heis, good things happen.”

 

 

 

God’s Design for Marriage

It’s easy to think that only “other people” get divorced. That your own marriage is somehow immune to heartache, infidelity and fights over who gets the house, the car, the dog. After all, how many of us would walk down the aisle if we believed our relationships would end up in divorce court?

Truth is, no relationship comes with a lifetime guarantee. Even men and women who grew up in stable homes, who attend church and consider themselves Christians, who promise “until death do us part,” can have it all fall apart.

As Christians, we know that applying biblical principles to marriage will give us a stronger foundation than those of our unbelieving friends and neighbors. We know this, but what are we doing about it? In other words, what makes a marriage “Christian”?

According to author Gary Thomas, we’re not asking the right questions. What if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?

Instead of asking why we have struggles in the first place, the more important issue is how we deal with them.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Pray Boldly For Your Marriage – Lysa Terkeurst 

“Sweetheart, there is only one day where marriage naturally looks like the storybooks. It’s this day. This day, your wedding day, is where every hour has been arranged and planned to be beautiful and special. And as you wave goodbye to this one day, realize what happens from here is all about choices.

Choose to understand that love isn’t always a feeling. Many days love will be a choice. It’s a choice to press through and learn to enjoy the fragile blend of both the bliss and disappointments of two people learning to become a family.

 

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“While king saul was truly the best man Israel had to offer when they demanded a king, his heart had not been groomed through testing before he assumed the throne. As king, saul was entrusted with a measure of anointing to lead the armies of Israel to victory and shepherd the people. Yet without the strength of character that only comes by winning private battles, these public victories exposed the previously hidden weakness of saul’s heart towards God. That weakness, combined with his growing appetite for favour of man, led him to bring glory to himself and disobey the Lord.”

Bill Johnson – Strengthen Yourself In The Lord

listening

Check out my latest post over at The Fearless Experiment!

 

The voices in my head tell me everything that I don’t like about myself, the remind me of my flaws and failings.  They however are silent when it comes to reminding me what God says about me and His promises and unfailing faithfulness.

“Regardless of what you want to do or who you are, fear will always see you as wholly unqualified for anything you ever dream or attempt.” Jon Acuff

Fear is going to tell you you cant. It’s going to lie to you and make excuses so you stop in your tracks.

Fear and insecurity partner with the enemy to limit us and restrict us. To kill the dream.

But God is great.   He is good.

He wants us to rip that negative self talk out of our heads, to change the cd so to speak and to hear HIS voice of hope and faith and truth.

Last night we had an incredible night at our Daughters @ The River (women’s ministry) event.

We had a local speaker, who shared her story and how God gave her hope,

in the midst of her pain.

As she began to unravel her story, the journey of hope she was on,

there were many tears, and no words.

Before she spoke to us about hope, she thanked the worship team for their worship and song selection.  Every word, she said, resonated.  I knew, this was her life.  This was her declaration.  This was her reality.

In the storm, hold onto the anchor of God.

His truth.  His character.  His heart.

His goodness.  His greatness.  His nearless.

Hold onto hope.

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http://cc.cta.gs/Propel #PropelWomen

He is! Hand ALL cares over to him! He is strong and has so much love for you! He says I AM.

 

Louie Giglio writes about when God revealed His name to Moses as I AM. God said, literally, My name is I am that I am!

Giglio writes, “God was telling Moses: I AM the center of everything. I AM running the show. I AM the same every day, forever. I AM the owner of everything. I AM the Lord. I AM the Creator and Sustainer of life. I AM the Savior. I AM more than enough. I AM inexhaustible and immeasurable. I AM God.

In a heartbeat, Moses knew God’s name – and something more. He finally knew his. If God’s name is I AM, Moses’ name must be I am not. I am not the center of everything. I am not in control. I am not the solution. I am not all-powerful. I am not calling the shots. I am not the owner of anything. I am not the Lord.

That’s my name, too. And yours…I am not, but He knows my name.

I am not, but He pursued me in His love. I am not, but I have been purchased and redeemed.

I am not, but I have been invited into The Story.

I am not, but I know the Creator of the universe.

I am not, but I know I AM!”

What a privilege we have to know this eternal God!

Live under His authority.  Surrender to God’s authority and engage in God’s plan.

Stunning Sparkly Gown- Photo via Clara Richardson via Snippet and Ink

“Marriage isn’t about finding the right person. It’s about becoming the right person.”

If you ask anyone who is married for advice on marriage you’ll get a multitude of answers and responses, because everyone is unique and their experience and practice of marriage is so different and personal.

So this is my list and helps me shape the marriage I am in.

1. Marriage is God’s tool to refine us

Real love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.  We are all sinners, forgiven by grace and growing to be more like Christ.  God intentionally and on purposes refines and sanctifies us through difficult situations and circumstances, like gold in a fire.  

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On Tuesday I prayed for a woman with plates in her legs, knee, arm, shoulder, neck and collar bone.  She had being in a serious car accident 5 years ago that left her with a broken neck and several other broken bones.  She walks with a cane and is in pain every day.  We were sitting outside my daughters classroom as both of us waited to pick kids up after school.

As I listened to her talk, and sympathized with her situation I knew this was a MOMENT.  A yellow shirt moment.  A moment for God to demonstrate His reality and grace.

I believe in the power of habits.  When X happens, then my response is Y.

When someone tells me about their pain or illness, instead of just sympathizing, I want to provide an opportunity for God to intervene.  I want my response to be an automatic heart reaction to hearing peoples stories.   These are the moments where I step out and God steps in!  As I prayed for this woman the bell rung and the kids came out of class.  She thanked me for my care and prayers and it was a case of pray and walk away, praying and leaving it up to God.

Nothing is impossible for Him!

I have experienced my own incredible miracle and know that knitting bones is something that only God can do.  Removing pain is something only He can do.   There is nothing in myself that can heal.  It is all Jesus.  All for His glory.  All for His fame.

However, we possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves 2 Cor 4:7 AMP

 

The phrase Set Apart has a special place in my heart as this year I have been incredibly blessed to be part of our Set Apart School at The River.   Yesterday at SAS (Set Apart School) we did a deployment session at our local primary school and repainted all the concrete art in the junior school.  It was a lot of fun.  I haven’t painted much myself in my life (especially on this scale!) and found that sense of accomplishment as we looked at our finished creative efforts.  It was neat to see both teachers and kids (and then parents) walk past and ooh and ahh at our work.   Our SAS students are amazing.

 

This song may become its new anthem…

 

Set apart for our God above, set apart for the one we love

Set apart for your glory, we are yours, yours

Everything for you alone, everything to make you known

advance river

On Sunday night we did something radically different for church.  We went down the road to an another church, Advance Church, and had church together.  The River, and Advance.  Together worshiping, together loving, together building the kingdom of God.  The service blended River people and Advance people on stage together, with a River person doing the Advance notices, and an Advance person doing our notices.  I was priv’d to speak on the offering (a rather impromptu message!) which we took up to bless our hosts.  Both pastors shared and also we had short messages from two youth leaders, one theirs, and one ours.  It was a phenomenal night, blending together to worship Jesus and encourage one another.  There was a moment after all the messages where we prayed in groups for one another and then had a space of some free worship.  It was a distinct holy moment as two became one, we were loving One Lord, we were One Body, in One Spirit, in One song with One purpose.  One God.  One Church – many expressions.

It’s beautiful and important to love your church.   Love your church, get connected, get serving.  Become a Son of the house.

It’s also beautiful and important to love the Church.

A win for another church is a win for our own church.  A win for Advance Church is a win for The River.  There are so many lost, hurting, hungry people in East Auckland that it will take 4000+ strong local churches to reach them all.  We all have a part to play and an expression from God that will reach out and touch the world around us.

We are One Body, but with different roles and purposes.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in youall. Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV

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