Category Archives: The Church

The Prince of Peace

This post is written by Laurence Vance and copied here today to remind everyone what we celebrate on Christmas Day.  See his entire post on the Lew Rockwell blog here.

Prince of Peace

The Prince of Peace bids men to come to him (Matthew 11:28); the god of war bids men to go fight foreign wars.

The Prince of Peace says it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35); the god of war says it is more blessed to kill than to be killed.

The Prince of Peace says to love your enemies (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to kill your enemies.

The Prince of Peace is righteous (1 John 2:1); the god of war wants men to commit unrighteousness.

The Prince of Peace says to bless them that curse you (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to curse them that curse you.

The Prince of Peace witnessed a good confession (1 Timothy 6:13); the god of war spouts lies.

The Prince of Peace says to do good to them that hate you (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to do evil to them that hate you.

The Prince of Peace is the Son of God (Acts 9:20); the god of war is the enemy of God.

The Prince of Peace is the creator (Colossians 1:16); the god of war is the destroyer.

The Prince of Peace died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3); the god of war wants men to die for no reason.

The Prince of Peace rose from the dead (Acts 26:23); the god of war sends men to their deaths.

The Prince of Peace was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7); the god of war wants men to sacrifice other men to him.

The Prince of Peace died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6); the god of war wants men to commit ungodliness.

The Prince of Peace was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23); the god of war encourages men to violate virgins.

The Prince of Peace came in the flesh (1 John 4:20); the god of war is a destroyer of flesh.

The Prince of Peace glorified not himself (Hebrews 5:5); the god of war glorifies war.

The Prince of Peace is the bread of life (John 6:35); the god of war is the slayer of life.

The Prince of Peace redeems (Galatians 3:13); the god of war condemns.

The Prince of Peace is the light of the world (John 8:12); the god of war plunges the world into darkness.

The Prince of Peace is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); the god of war is the wounder and taker of life.

The Prince of Peace was made to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); the god of war wants men to commit sin.

The Prince of Peace is the mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5); the god of war is the separator of God from men.

The Prince of Peace is the Saviour of men (Titus 1:4); the god of war is the enemy of men.

The Prince of Peace forgives (Colossians 3:13); the god of war punishes.

The Prince of Peace suffered for us (1 Peter 2:21); the god of war wants men to suffer on the battlefield.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, not a military one. Worship and serve the Prince of Peace, not the god of war.

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Ask Affaircare: How Could You Be So Heartless? Have a Little Sympathy!

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes from a lady who commented on our “Sample No Contact Letters” page.  She writes:

Wow … Yes, I know that we can disagree, but your response is just about the most heartless thing I’ve ever read. The truth is that the cheating partner has deeply hurt BOTH the spouse and the affair partner. In my case, I was wooed and pursued relentlessly. Yes, I should have resisted and I did try numerous times to end things from my end, but every single time, this man came after me full throttle with beautiful words, love songs, everything he knew to wear me down to opening my heart to him again.

I gave SIX YEARS of my time, my emotions, my heart, my love to this man. Yes, it was wrong and I take full responsibility for that. But to encourage men (or women) to chop someone off without ONE WORD of kindness or apology or at least a simple well wish for the future is heartless. The affair partner is a person too … there is incredible (almost life-threatening) pain on our end too. Many of us are good, loving people who made a terrible decision. I feel that the cheating partner owes us at least a tiny recognition for the fact that we hurt too. That he/she wronged us too by making promises they wouldn’t/couldn’t keep, seducing us with many thousands of hours of communication and love and affection.

In my case, I understood completely (and supported) the decision to end the affair and return to his wife. But the pain inflicted at the end (by the approach you are recommending) caused me to feel so completely worthless that I have considered suicide just to end the pain. I was tossed aside as if I were a $50 whore that he’d spent a night’s fling with … not someone who invested six years of my life, built a strong friendship above and beyond anything sexual, stood with him emotionally through some really challenging times and truly loved him.

As a Christian, I would challenge you to rethink the statement that “all empathy should be toward the spouse.” I believe it is possible to make it clear that the affair is over without dehumanizing and treating the affair partner like a worthless piece of shit. In my case, HE PURSUED ME RELENTLESSLY up until two nights before he ended things. He was pressuring me for video-chat sex two nights before … and you’re telling me that I don’t even deserve a simple acknowledgement or apology that he wronged me as well? I cannot tell you how far that would have gone to heal my heart.

I never see Jesus treating someone with such complete disregard. I agree with no contact .. but not with the detached cruelty expressed in these letters. What would be so wrong with simply saying, “I am so sorry for the pain I’ve also caused you and sincerely apologize for the selfishness that I showed in creating a relationship with you that I should not have. I hope that you will find healing from the pain that I’ve inflicted on you I wish you all of the best for your future” That simple kindness would at least acknowledge that this woman/man is a person too.

To pretend there is no emotion involved in severing a six year relationship is ludicrous. To pretend that the only woman’s heart that matters at all is the wife’s is very simplistic. This man wronged TWO women and we both deserve the decency of that pain being honored … at least with one small sentence of kindness and warmth.

PLEASE reconsider this … I have spoken to so many other “other women” who have also been devastated by this approach. The manner in which our affair was ended is truly the most crushing, demeaning thing that has ever happened to me …. even though I was wrong and sinned, I have value and worth as a human being.

Dear Ms. Have a Little Sympathy,

This is Cindy writing from Affaircare, and I wanted to respond to this one today because this issue is very important to me, personally. The first thing I do want to let you know is that I, myself, was a formerly Disloyal Spouse, so I do not write to you as if I am a blameless, perfect person. I do understand that as human beings, we do sometimes make poor choices and do the wrong thing, as I did it myself!  I also realize that often when we make a poor choice, that the consequence is excruciatingly painful. The second thing I do want to let you know is that we, at Affaircare, do not not want anyone–Loyal Spouse, Disloyal Spouse, or Affair Partner–to believe there is not HOPE. We are nouthetic counselors so that means we engage people in biblically-directed discussions so the Holy Spirit can bring about change in personality and behavior. We use the Bible, and not “psychology” or the popular opinion as our guide.

That being the case, I’d like to start this letter by talking about feelings. Feelings are the perception of a bodily state as pleasant or unpleasant; they are responses to judgments made about the environment or oneself. These judgments trigger body chemistry to orient our body to meet the situation. The body chemistry accounts for “feelings” or “emotions.” Some examples of feelings would be that you feel “happy” or “sad” or “good” or “bad.”

However, one does not “feel” inferior. That’s not an emotion brought about by body chemistry. It’s an expression of a judgment, attitude or conviction about your own self–“I AM inferior”–a conclusion reached about your own behavior, attitudes, character or capabilities. You wrote that you felt like “…a $50 whore that he’d spent a night’s fling with … not someone who invested six years of my life, built a strong friendship above and beyond anything sexual, stood with him emotionally through some really challenging times and truly loved him.” Since it is a self-judgement, though, there is HOPE because the Holy Spirit can bring about change in personality and behavior!

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It’s important to know what a feeling is and isn’t because when the Disloyal Spouse married their Loyal Spouse, they made very specific promises such as forsaking all others. The entire point of marriage is to say to one other human being “I willingly volunteer to give you 100% of my affection and loyalty, and I willingly volunteer to spend the rest of YOUR LIFE getting to know you deeply and treating you in a loving way.” Because of this promise, Disloyal Spouses actually morally and legally have a duty to their Loyal Spouses. They do not have a moral or legal equivalent to any other human being on the planet.

Unfortunately, with Hollywood showing us that love is a “feeling”–something like “star-crossed lovers who see each other across a crowded room and overcoming all obstacles they fulfil their destiny”–most people have no idea what Real LOVE is. It’s not having another person “complete you” or having your needs met by someone. It’s definitely not looking at your lover’s spouse as an obstacle to overcome either! Real Love is not “love yourself” or “self-esteem” or supporting sin or offering sympathy by feeling bad for you. In fact, Real Love is not a “feeling”! Feelings change and are not dependable! Think about it: day-to-day you can “feel” different just because you’re hungry, tired, or it’s a time of the month. So “feelings” come and go, wax and wane, and roll in and out like the tide, but Real Love is like I Corinthians 13. Real Love is FOREVER–so it just couldn’t be talking about a “feeling.”

Real Love is the ultimate answer to all problems of living–Love is our goal, here at Affaircare! But Real Love is serving and is obedience-based. Real Love is an ACTION–a choice. Between human beings, Love is when you choose to treat another person in a loving way. Between humans and God, Love is obeying God. So if I really and truly love you, I’m not going to encourage you to continue to sin–I’m going to treat you in the most loving way I know, and that’s to encourage you and help you in every possible way to obey God. I’ll only say this once: disobeying God comes with some excruciating consequences. If you disobey and repent, that does not automatically mean that God will take away the painful consequence of the disobedience you chose! So if I love you, and I do, I will do my very best to support you in your obedience.

Finally I know you wish I would support you, and from what you wrote, I don’t think you wish I would encourage or endorse the affair. It sounds like you wish I would tell the Disloyals to send one last love letter to their Affair Partner to say goodbye…or maybe at least offer one last bit of tender kindness to someone who loved them well. I would like to let you know why I DON’T endorse that. It’s for two reasons:

1) Disloyal Spouses have a duty to their Loyal Spouse not to their Affair Partner. Now, I’m not saying that any human being has the right to treat another human being with hatred and harm, but rather that when it comes to consideration, a spouse owes 100% to the person they married. Not even 1% is theirs to give away! Think of it like a person who has had their leg caught in an explosion. There are chunks of leg still hanging there, but the damage is so extensive that the leg can not be reconstructed. So is it more compassionate to cut off the leg in one, swift slice with a scalpel? Or is it more compassionate to gradually cut off a little bit at a time every day over several days?

It’s the same here. The Disloyal Spouse gave away what was not his/hers to give. Taking it away and returning to their spouse is going to cause DEEP pain to the person they have injured (you)! You may wish he gradually cut off a little every day, but that actually just extends the pain. It’s more compassionate to have one swift cut-off and then you can be on your way to healing and learning how to live as an amputee. That’s why I encourage Disloyals to send a letter that cuts it off 100% thoroughly and that gets them back in the habit of giving 100% to their spouse again rather than prolonging the sin of giving some portion to someone else.  But make no mistake, the Disloyal’s and the Affair Partner’s choices  cause harm just like an amputation.

2) Offering “support” and “sympathy” by just feeling bad for you is not a help. A nouthetic counselor will never support sin, but rather point out biblical principles and use kind, concerned, confrontation to bring repentance, faith, and hope. The aim is HOPE through change. It’s not sympathy to stand back and feel bad for you; it is sympathy to ACT. Look at the Good Samaritan. He didn’t see the wounded man and just “feel bad for him”–he ACTED, bound his wounds AND took him to a place that could care for him AND PAID FOR IT! He showed mercy and love by acting. If I were to offer support or sympathize, that would mean there are no better options, and I’d be standing by while you suffer. Instead of standing by, I’m rolling up my sleeves and jumping in to actually offer HOPE–doing something concrete.

So I do understand that indeed you hurt tremendously and that you felt deep feelings and that losing someone you loved is very hard. But I want you the hurt to end. I want you to recover and feel “good” again, and the fastest way to do that is to encourage you to discontinue all connection with your Disloyal right away, and to return to obeying God and living in a way that pleases Him, even if it’s not easy for you.

Faithfully,

 

~Cindy J. Taylor

Praying for Reformation

95thses

Today is Reformation Day, and while most people focus on cute little kids in adorable costumes, today is the day that Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church.  In his day, Martin was a theology professor at Wittenberg University and a priest, and he saw the Roman Church telling people that they could gain salvation by buying indulgences.  

It’s the stuff of legend, and many have heard the story–yet how many have ever actually READ “The 95 Theses” that Martin Luther wanted to debate?

Without further adieu, I will let my brother-in-Christ, Martin, speak for himself:

33973-Clipart-Illustration-Of-A-Set

Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.


  1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
  2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
  3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
  4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
  5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.
  6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.
  7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.
  8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying.
  9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
  10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.
  11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept (Mt 13:25).
  12. In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
  13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.
  14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.
  15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.
  16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.
  17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.
  18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
  19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.
  20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words “plenary remission of all penalties,” does not actually mean “all penalties,” but only those imposed by himself.
  21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
  22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
  23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
  24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.
  25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
  26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.
  27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
  28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.
  29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.
  30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.
  31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
  32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
  33. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope’s pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.
  34. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
  35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
  36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
  37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.
  38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.
  39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.
  40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them — at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.
  41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.
  42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.
  43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.
  44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.
  45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God’s wrath.
  46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
  47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.
  48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.
  49. Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.
  50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.
  51. Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.
  52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
  53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
  54. Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.
  55. It is certainly the pope’s sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
  56. The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
  57. That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.
  58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
  59. St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
  60. Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
  61. For it is clear that the pope’s power is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and cases reserved by himself.
  62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.
  63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last (Mt. 20:16).
  64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.
  65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.
  66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.
  67. The indulgences which the demagogues acclaim as the greatest graces are actually understood to be such only insofar as they promote gain.
  68. They are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross.
  69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of papal indulgences with all reverence.
  70. But they are much more bound to strain their eyes and ears lest these men preach their own dreams instead of what the pope has commissioned.
  71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
  72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.
  73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.
  74. Much more does he intend to thunder against those who use indulgences as a pretext to contrive harm to holy love and truth.
  75. To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness.
  76. We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.
  77. To say that even St. Peter if he were now pope, could not grant greater graces is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
  78. We say on the contrary that even the present pope, or any pope whatsoever, has greater graces at his disposal, that is, the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written. (1 Co 12[:28])
  79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.
  80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.
  81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to rescue the reverence which is due the pope from slander or from the shrewd questions of the laity.
  82. Such as: “Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church?” The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.
  83. Again, “Why are funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continued and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded for them, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?”
  84. Again, “What is this new piety of God and the pope that for a consideration of money they permit a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God and do not rather, beca use of the need of that pious and beloved soul, free it for pure love’s sake?”
  85. Again, “Why are the penitential canons, long since abrogated and dead in actual fact and through disuse, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences as though they were still alive and in force?”
  86. Again, “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?”
  87. Again, “What does the pope remit or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?”
  88. Again, “What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?”
  89. “Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons previously granted when they have equal efficacy?”
  90. To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy.
  91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.
  92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace! (Jer 6:14)
  93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Cross, cross,” and there is no cross!
  94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
  95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace (Acts 14:22).

These “95 Theses” may seem irrelevant to our modern society, to infidelity, or to your life….but bear in mind that the thing that will save your marriage is God working in us to completely REFORM us and renew our mind.  You can “try” all you want, and you may even make some progress through sheer willpower, but for things to really, truly, deeply change, God needs to RE-FORM us.

Praying for another Reformation Day, today.

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Need HELP for your marriage? Here are some folks I recommend!

I have a privilege of working with a lot of other bloggers and Christians who are passionate, not only about making marriages better, but also about helping people live in such a way that their covenant with the Lord is reflected in every part of their lives.  I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge these people, whom I am proud to call associates:

A Desert Experience – Juan Benito: I am a simple father of three beautiful children and a lovely and beautiful wife. I love God, my family and my friends. But my life was not always so simple. Only six months ago, my family was falling apart, my wife of ten years had left me for someone else. I was left without a job, without a home and three children to care for, 1,000 miles away from all of my friends and family.

A Grown Up Marriage – Kentucky Colonel: Do you remember playing house with the kids in your neighborhood growing up? I don’t know about you but when I played house I usually got told what a daddy and husband was supposed to do and in all honesty I was probably a little bossy about what a mommy and wife was supposed to do as well. Thirty plus years later I can look back at those games and see the expectations my playmates and I held about marriage and roles within marriage. A lot has changed in those thirty plus years but having expectations hasn’t changed at all.

Auntie Em’s Guide To Life – Melinda Stanton: Hi! My name’s Melinda and I’m a teacher. Not just a school teacher- I am that too, but I love teaching anybody anything. Nothing scratches my itch like somebody saying that something I said helped them, or something I showed them made a difference. I like to cook, to read, to garden.

Becoming His Eve – Hannah Williams: I am an aspiring writer and spunky housewife who loves the Lord and her husband, Adam! I have a passion for young women, writing, books, baking, nature, and music! I want to use my gifts, talents, and abilities to help transform relationships and communities for the Kingdom of Christ.

Cassandra’s Marriage Mints Ministry – Cassandra Salamone: This page offers refreshing and sweet counsel and encouragement concerning marriage in the form of pics, poetry, Bible verses, and other assorted writings.

Christian Home and Family – Carey Green: Helping you make Christ the center of your home.

Christian Mommy Blogger – Nikki Hughes: Charge your eMinistry! We are here to educate, encourage and energize you on your eMinistry journey!

Chronic Marriage – Helena Madsen: Imagine having a chronic illness AND an extraordinary marriage. Sound possible? Chronic Marriage is for “chronic couples” – those relationships in which chronic health issues are present – who desire not only to survive but thrive in their marriage despite living with chronic illness.

Do Not Disturb – Justin & Megan Wright: We believe Sex was given freely as a gift from our Creator and should be freely reflected in one’s marriage. After discussing marriage and intimacy with many young couples, we’ve come to recognize we should do whatever it takes to help other marriages recognize this freedom. This blog is one small aspect of this mission, and we hope you find the posts within useful in more ways than one.

Elevate Your Marriage – Edward Lee:  I am a husband and father that loves making the deep stuff of the Bible easy to understand…because that is what saved my relationship and marriage. As I talk about openly in the first HWG book my wife and I had a rough five years of dating and first few years of marriage – fairly literally, we broke up every weekend. What I now share in my books, speaking and through this blog is what I know that God can do – from the experience of my own relationship. God really can save marriages as couples grow in their relationship with Christ.

Encourage Your Spouse – Lori Ferguson: a wife, mom to grown kids, and Christ follower. This blog is for husbands & wives leading meaningful lives – encouraging each other and making a difference in the world around them.

Genuine Husband – Thomas Bittner: I am an ordinary man who serves an extraordinary God. I long to be a better servant, husband, father and brother.

God’s Help For Marriage – Daniel Robertson: At God’s Help For Marriage we believe that God’s desire for your marriage is an extension of His mission for the Church. Namely, marriages are designed to foster evangelism and discipleship by partnering with your spouse to grow more Christlike as you face and overcome the challenges of married life, and by reflecting God’s love for both His children and the lost.

Hombres de Dios 360 – Hector Cortes: Trials for men who want to glorify God in their relationships and in all areas of your life.

Hot, Holy & Humorous – “J” (Anonymous): I am…a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, and a work in progress. What I write about in this blog is the kind of stuff I would talk to my closest girlfriend about in confidence, but plenty of us don’t have someone who’ll chat biblically and bluntly with them. Read my posts to see how sex in a Christian marriage can be HOT, HOLY & HUMOROUS!

Intentional By Grace – Leigh Ann Dutton: We believe that by inspiring, teaching, and equipping women with not only the Gospel but Gospel application, we can change the world one woman at a time thus impacting families around the world. We believe we can, together as an Intentional By Grace community, truly make a difference.

Intimacy In Marriage – Julie Sibert: Encouraging Christian women toward healthy sexual intimacy.

Journey To Surrender – Scott Means: The Journey to Surrender is about exploring, discovering and attaining the fullest potential in Christian marriage. It is an exciting expedition available to every Christian couple willing to travel the biblical path of God’s design for marriage, a path filled with fiery passion, unmatched intimacy and joyous freedom.

Live Simply Love – Merritt Onsa: Todd and I are newlyweds. We married somewhat later in life, because that’s just how it worked out. We certainly aren’t perfect, but we thought we did everything we could BEFORE the wedding day to be prepared. The first few months taught us there was nothing but MARRIAGE that could have prepared us for this.

Manna For Marriage – Tami Myer: Whether you feel that you are starving in your marriage or feasting, God has truth that will nourish and strengthen your relationship. Your marriage is worth nurturing because your marriage represents people who are worth loving.

Maranatha Life – Rich Murphy: More than anything, Maranatha Life is a missions organization working in Latin America. Our focus is to minister to pastors and Christian leaders; providing them with trainging, resources, advice and spiritual support as they complete the vision that God has placed upon their hearts.

Marriage By Divine Design – Scott & Nicole Gower: On June 21, 1997, we began our lives as a married couple, but it wasn’t until much more recently that we truly understood God’s design for marriage. By the grace of God, we have survived many challenges in our marriage and we desire to encourage others as they seek out His design for their own marriages.

MarriageDance – Dawn McDowell: MarriageDance combines the beauty and romance of partner dancing with scriptural truth about marriage. The result is a celebration of God’s relationship plan. MarriageDance believes our Creator made us for adventure, intimacy and joy. Would your marriage benefit from more of those?

Marriage Gems – Lori D. Lowe: For the last several years I’ve interviewed couples who have used adversity to improve their marriages. The result is “FIRST KISS TO LASTING BLISS: HOPE & INSPIRATION FOR YOUR MARRIAGE”. In it, I share couples’ experiences with drug addiction, infidelity, military separation, opposing religions, stranger rape, life-threatening illness, differing races, financial crises and much more.

Marriage Life – Clint & Alecia Stark: Every week, we’ll provide you with a Marriage Truth. Tell it to yourself in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the shower, in the car, write it on a post it note, put it on your smartphone, say it in your mind, say it out loud, say it to your spouse. There are a thousand different ways to tell ourselves the truth. But the important thing is to tell yourself the truth.

Marriage Missions – Steve & Cindy Wright: This Christian marriage website seeks to help those who are married and those preparing for marriage to be PRO-ACTIVE in helping to save marriage from divorce and to enrich it by offering INSPIRATIONAL, skill-building information which REFLECTS the HEART of CHRIST.

Marriage Works! – Kevin & Cetelia Bullard: We create resources and experiences that help couples build & sustain a healthy, functional marriage.

Messy Marriage – Beth Steffaniak: We offer support and resources to Christian and non-Christian couples who experience the messiness of life and marriage. We address anything from light issues like personality differences and/or conflict resolution to extreme issues like adultery and/or pornography addiction.

Mission:Husband – Gerad Harris: On May 5th, 2005, in a little house in Wallowa Lake Oregon (because our outside ceremony got rained out), I committed to “love, honor, and cherish” Valerie Russell “til death do us part, and took on the mission I now call “Mission Husband”. It hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t always been fun. There has been amazing good times, and really hard bad times. But the things that have remained constant regardless, are our faith in God, and our love and commitment to each other.

Mission:Wife – Valerie Harris: My mission, is to be the best wife I can be to Gerad and my goal is to encourage you on your journey to be the best wife to your husband.

My Beloved Is Mine! (SongSix3) – Jason & Tiffani Graves: We are a couple who love Jesus without hesitation, have been married since August 1987, and have been through the fires of hell in our marriage journey.  We have 6 children (2 grown and 4 young ones) and a grandchild, a shared heart for music ministry, and a calling to help other couples make their marriages be ALL that God intended them to be.

Mystery32 – Erin Baxter: Mystery32 is based off of Ephesians 5:32 that says of marriage: “This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Marriage is a powerful thing in the eyes of the Lord. It is used to describe His Love and commitment to us and I do not take that lightly. Marriage can be an absolute blessing but marriage also needs constant maintenance.

ONE Extraordinary Marriage – Tony & Alisa DiLorenzo: The intention of ONE Extraordinary Marriage is not to make this a one-sided conversation about a day in the life. The ONE podcast is a dialogue between Tony, Alisa, and YOU! Start listening and start implementing little changes in your marriage that can take it to extraordinary levels.

One Flesh Marriage – Brad & Kate Aldrich: We have been together for 18 years, married for 12! Over those 18 years, we have been blessed to experience God’s reality of a “One Flesh” marriage. We hope to share that blessing with you.

One HeartBeat – David & Lorrie McIntyre: Not too many years ago Lorrie and I were on a destructive path in our marriage. Both of us were on a train traveling a hundred miles an hour away from each other. Over time and with help we turned things around and we work to continue to grow together and desire to help you do the same. That is what One HeartBeat is all about. Strengthening marriages in our community.

Passionate Christian Marriage – Sis: I have a passion for helping marriages survive in this fallen world and for encouraging wives to love their husbands.  I have been married almost ten years now and have survived some very rough times in our marriage.  We have lost all hope and then been surprised by how God keeps His promises, works and molds me through the awful things.

PeacefulWife’s Blog – April Cassidy: My journey toward becoming a respectful, submissive, joyful wife with a gentle, peaceful and quiet spirit that does not give way to fear.

Pearl’s OysterBed – Pearl: Helping women understand their men, marriage and sex….and a little bit about themselves along the way.

Rebel For His Cause – Melissa Titus: I chose to let God use my rebel personality for His cause. My husband and I are still married. God has restored our marriage and our lives. As always, we are still a work in progress. I have learned to stop trying to control other people, including my husband. It never, ever works.

Redeeming Marriages – Jack & Janet Surrett: After 20 years of a bad marriage that nearly ended in divorce four times, we have learned a few things about the difference in a good marriage and a bad one. We have also learned a great deal about God’s redeeming love after He took our last near divorce experience in 2002 and turned us upside down. We now enjoy a deep committment of Love for each other and our Lord.

Romantic Act Of The Day – Rich Murphy: Help for all those desperate men out there who haven’t got a clue and want to find one. Here’s a clue: if you want your wife to be loving to you, be loving to her. She understands the word “loving” as “romantic.” What’s that? Find out here. By the way, ladies, this site is restricted FOR MEN ONLY! Go ahead and call me a chauvinist, I’m doing it for your benefit.

Sensuous Happy Hubby – Andre Pottas: I believe in the sanctity of marriage and monogamous relationships, and that within the bounds of marriage couples are free to fully explore their passion. I write honestly and openly based on my personal experience.

Shocking Marriage – Jerry McColgin: The goal of this blog is to highlight successful marriages and techniques that keep the joy and excitement in the relationship for the long term. It’s sad but true, but a great marriage is a Shocking Marriage. And that’s worth blogging about.

Square 1 Ministries – Rob Thorpe: To educate, equip, encourage and mentor husbands and wives who are passionate about their walk with Jesus, and their mission to bring Him glory in their marriage.

Stupendous Marriage – Stu & Lisa Gray: We Want You To Have a Stupendous Marriage!

The Alabaster Jar – Jolene Engle: Encouraging, Equipping and Inspiring Godly Women, Wives and Mothers.

The Generous Husband – Paul Byerly: Generosity seems to be in limited supply these days, even in our marriages. This list is about learning how to “go the extra mile” for our wife, rather than doing only what we think is “required”. Each day you will receive one tip or suggestion for being a more generous husband.

The Generous Wife – Lori Byerly: A daily reminder to grow your marriage.

The Marriage Bed – Paul & Lori Byerly: The Marriage Bed provides a Christian alternative for married and engaged couples seeking information about marital intimacy. We combine the truth of the Bible with biological facts to educate, encourage, and minister to those seeking God’s best for their marriage relationship.

The Marriage Concierge – The Marriage Concierge: We provide a wide-range of Concierge services tailored for Married Husbands & Wives! We plan the details,while you 2 as 1, Perfect your Vows to each other! Love the BEST Gift of all!

The Marriage Guy and Gal – Tim & Michelle Croyle: The Marriage Guy and Gal, Tim and Michelle, have been married for going on two decades. They are not traditional marriage counselors, but advocates believing that practically all marriages are savable, if both partners are willing to do the hard work necessary to get them back on track. However, Tim and Michelle don’t advocate waiting until your marriage is headed for divorce court to seek help. It is their conviction that the choices that are made each day by each partner are ones that can build strength or tear down.

The Pure Bed – The Pure Bed: To promote a healthy discussion about marriage, faith and sex.

The Respected Husband – Greg Cassidy: Insights on Love and Respect from a Male Perspective.

The Romantic Vineyard – Tom & Debi Walter: A Rich Harvest of Ideas to Help Your Marriage Grow.

To Love, Honor and Vacuum – Sheila Wray Gregoire: Real marriage. No pretensions. With author Sheila Wray Gregoire.

Too Darn Happy – Kim Hall: Welcome, welcome, to your bright spot on the web, where you can find everything from toddler to family sized servings of optimism and joy, a helping hand and a fresh point of view. Set your cares by the door along with everyone else’s, and join me. Slide onto the sofa, hang out in the hammock, or collapse into a comfy big chair. You are welcome just as you are.

True Agape – Cassie Celestain: Hi our names are Ryan and Cassie and we are the creators of this site. We created this site because we feel there is a lack of commitment, personal responsibility and willingness to make marriage work. It seems that divorce has become the easy way out and is actually acceptable.

Vicki Tiede Ministries – Vicki Tiede: Vicki Tiede is an inspiring Bible teacher, conference speaker, and author. Her passion is to open the Scriptures with women in order to share God’s grace and enduring faithfulness. She transparently relates life experiences that resonate and draw others into a lifelong pursuit of knowing God.

Warrior Wives – Elizabeth Spence: I’m young. I’m 32 years old. I’ve only been married 8 1/2 years. I am deep in the trenches here. I am learning new lessons about marriage and about my husband daily. But I have a passion for young marriages. I think it is so, so important to get grounded now…to get a good start…to get good habits and godly thinking patterns engrained in our heads and hearts. I want to come alongside you and encourage you to know that with God’s help, you can do it.

Writing Out My Rehab – Mal Davis: One woman’s journey through the aftermath of adultery. It’s very blunt.

Young Wife’s Guide – Jami Balmet: Welcome! I’m Jami and this is Young Wife’s Guide to Gospel Centered Homemaking or simply YWG. I began my blogging journey in October 2009 shortly after I got married. I have fallen in love over the years with blogging and the community and friends I have met along the way.
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It is FINISHED!!

it-is-finished

 

Isaiah 53

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Adultery: An Equal Opportunity Evil

Lust sin

 

I received a comment today that was so good, I decided to make a blog post about it.  This was a comment to my blog post: “What NOT To Do If Your Spouse Is Cheating” and the person who commented wrote:

“Interesting. I know in hindsight that I did a little bit of spineless sniveling. Further hindsight would probably show that reparations would have been more sincere had I shown some dignity. Even to this day I harbor some resentment that I did not just laugh at the despicable nature of a dignified spouse of some class and worth stooping to build such a pathetic fantasy with HER mentally-challenged little welfare drunk. Today I know for a fact that I harbor even more anger towards “ladies” such as yourself who have this facade of purity wrapped around you as though you could do no wrong. You will be the first to spout lie after lie about how you never planned your rendezvous, you never committed certain acts of lust, and the warts on his genitalia never alarmed you. Newsflash ma’am. Ladies are perfectly capable at stabbing their partners in the back also.”

There is no one who is immune from sin, so we all know that anyone who tries to “look” pure is truly just presenting an external, hypocritical image.   “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23)    So every single one of us–you, me, our spouses–we have all disobeyed God, not done what He has told us to do, and done what He has told us not to do.  This is why Christ came to the world and became flesh–so that He could live the life we should have lived and then pay the penalty we should have paid!  The Good News is that while we were yet sinners, and at enmity with God…Christ died for us.  His righteousness is imputed to us.

As God would have it, I do happen to be a female person.  My male spouse did cheat on me, break up our family, and end my first marriage.  My current, second spouse is a male person, and his female spouse did cheat on him, break up his family, and end their marriage.  Together, we have worked with hundreds of couples, and I want to be sure this is crystal clear:  Adultery is an Equal Opportunity Evil.  It does not matter if you are male or female, you can still be the Loyal Spouse (whose spouse is unfaithful), and you can still be the Disloyal Spouse (who is the one who is unfaithful).  Your wealth, race, and creed do not exclude you from infidelity, and there is no demographic that is shielded.    In fact, if you think about it, in order for there TO BE an affair, there has to be TWO PEOPLE who are actively participating in actions which are inappropriate.  Now one of the two may be single, but they would still have to be acting that way with someone whom they know is taken and committed to someone else.  Yes, a single person is available to flirt–but the very FIRST thing you find out is whether or not the other person is also available.

So again, to be crystal clear, unless a person knows them self and their own weaknesses, and unless a person put limits and boundaries around themselves to protect themselves, their spouse, and their marriage from infidelity–it can very literally happen to anyone.  Any gender, any race, any religion, any socio-economic class, any location…  I do my best to write “Loyal Spouse” because it could be a man or it could be a woman.  I do my best to write “Disloyal Spouse” because any one who is a breathing human being could do the wrong thing and choose the evil choice.  In fact, we know that we all do:   “There is no one righteous,  no not one.”  (Romans 3:10)

We “made the list”!!!

Affaircare has been included in the list of the Top 100 Christian Marriage and Relationship Blogs on the CatholicDatingSites.net Blog!

Want to take a look at the list?

Top 100 Christian Marriage And Relationships Blogs

Thank you CatholicDatingSites.net!  We’re proud to be included in such great company!!

What To Do When You are Hurting for the Holidays

As I mentioned in my previous article, not everyone has perfect holidays.  Many people are hurting for a variety of reasons.  So today let’s talk about what to do when you are hurting for the holidays.

Let’s talk about WHY you’re hurting:

Have you lost your job this year?  Are you running out of ways to keep your house out of foreclosure?  Are you behind on your bills?  Is you electricity and water shut off?  Can’t afford to eat AND pay your bills?  No money for the presents you think your family or children want?

Dear reader, our God is not a vending machine.  If you have made some bad choices and are now experiencing the costs of the decisions you made, God is not magic and He won’t just magically make money appear out of thin air.  But He IS the King of the universe and the Creator of heaven and earth.  He is omniscient and He CARES for you (I Peter 5:7 says “Cast your cares on Him for He careth for you”).   Like Jesus told his disciples, the birds of the air and the lilies of the field do not worry about their next meal or their clothes, and yet God provides for them, and He will provide for you too.  It may not be what you “want” but I guarantee it will be what you “need.”   Go to the Lord with your financial cares and have faith in His promises.

During this holiday season, remember this is a time of giving…AND RECEIVING, and it is completely okay to allow others the joy of giving to you!  Yes it can be hard to swallow your pride and admit you need help, but there are people who care about you and your family–let them help you.

Are you ill?  Is someone you love ill?  Are you utterly SPENT emotionally and physically just taking care of someone and don’t have the energy to also “celebrate”?  Are you facing death?  Are you afraid?

Dear reader, our God is the Creator of each of one us and He even numbers the hairs on our head  (Matt. 10:30).  He IS the Great Physician and although that doesn’t mean you should stop your medication or stop your treatments, it does mean that our God is more than capable of healing you, emotionally or physically.  We all get older; we all feel the changes as we age and grow more frail; and our lives do end, but in this time of illness or caring for a loved one, our God is a very present help in times of trouble (Ps 46:1).

During this holiday season, remember this is a time of loving, and it is completely okay to love your ill spouse by serving them when they can not pay you back.  It is completely okay to love your own self when you are ill and give yourself time to recuperate…and to only do the holiday things that you can do.  If you can only lie in bed and unwrap presents then so be it…that’s fine.

Are you struggling with personal issues like depression, bipolar mania, or a spouse or child who has mental health issues?  Does this time of year bring up triggers of old hurts such as a loved one passing away or your spouse’s infidelity?

Dear reader, our God is a God of compassion.  Sometimes issues like this can cause guilt or shame that stop a person from praying, and I encourage you to speak out the sorrow of your soul in prayer.  King David wrote in the Psalms: “I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.  I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done. I lift my hands to you in prayer.  I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.” (Psalm 143:4)  King David was PARALYZED in his pain!  Does this strike a cord with you?  I encourage you to follow King David’s example and bring it to the Lord…as it is…a big, old, blob of painful mess.  God knows you’re having a hard time so don’t try to hide it–be honest.  Come to Him as you are.  But then follow his example further: King David purposefully brings to mind the ways God has helped him in the past.  He takes control of his own thoughts and examines them.  Where he has been believing lies, he changes.

During this holiday season, don’t depend on your spouse or your family to make you happy.  Don’t depend on your church to make you feel welcome or accepted.  Look to the Lord and bring your burdens to Him.  And as a little challenge I would challenge you to reach out to one person…one.  I will bet you that all around you are people just like you who are sad or hurting, who are wishing that someone would notice their pain and reach out in comfort.  If you are wishing someone would notice you and hug you and help…offer that to one other person.  It could be a co-worker, a family member, a neighbor, the “perfect lady” at church, a person in the nursing home down the road, or a homeless person.  Offer to one other person the caring and hug that you wish someone would offer you.

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The Power of We

Today is Blog Action Day, which may not sound like a big deal to you…or maybe you’re wondering what it is exactly.  Well Blog Action Day started in 2007.  It brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day, and this year the topic is “The Power of We.”

After a four, seven-step series (The Love Extinguishers, The Love Kindlers, The 7 Steps to Ending an Affair, and Rebuilding After an Affair) and after having a week-long hospital visit interrupt the well-laid plans of mice and men, I thought it might be nice to write blogs for the rest of this month that are just from my heart, topics with which I see people struggling, or topics sharing about us and our life and our reconciliation after an affair.  Today, with Blog Action Day’s topic of “The Power of We” I thought it would be appropriate to offer some thoughts on being unity or on the same team with your spouse, and to offer some thoughts on the people and other bloggers without whom I just COULD NOT do this!

The first “Power of We” that I’d like to discuss is the power a marriage can gain when the husband and wife are united by being Christians.  When both the husband and the wife are part of the consecrated Bride, set apart for God‘s glory, then both of them will be pursuing one thing: pleasing God.  In many, MANY verses the apostles asked us (Christ‘s Bride) to be united:

1 Peter 3:8
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

Philippians 2:2
“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

As Christ’s Bride, The Church, both the husband and the wife would be living a life that is worthy of the gospel, and the way we LIVE would be a mirror to those around us of the holiness of God.

Philippians 1:27
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”

So how does a man and a woman become “of one mind” when one is an Introvert and the other is an Extrovert?  How are spouses supposed to be united when one is a Thinker and one is a Feeler?  They just aren’t alike!  Here’s how (peek at Romans 12:2)…by not going along with and being like “the world” but by being TRANSFORMED so that our minds become more and more and more like GOD’S mind!!  We are supposed to have the mind of Christ.

NOTE: even the verses above mention some of the ways that our minds would be changing: by developing “sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and humility” according to 1 Peter 3:8 and by having the same love (Love of GOD) in Philippians 2:2!   But want to see something AMAZING?  Look at the very next verse, Phillipians 2:3

Philippians 2:3
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

So often in marriages, and especially when there’s been an affair, one of the spouse’s thinks something like: “Well my needs aren’t being met.  I need more affection!  He never talks to me anymore.  She isn’t interested in sex.  I can’t remember the last time they complimented me!”  Where is that focus?  It’s a rivalry isn’t it?  Instead of being a united marriage, it’s Spouse A vs. Spouse B in a royal rumble!  And rather than focusing on humility or being sympathetic toward the tough things in your spouse’s life or being gentle and tender when they make a mistake…it’s become HIM against HER.

God has a plan for marriages.  The plan is “The Power of We.”  The husband and the wife are to be His Bride and be united to Him pursuing His mind.  And the husband and wife are a mirror to the world of what that unity to God looks like, by being united themselves.  He says:

Genesis 2:24
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”

This does include sex–sure of course it does!  But it also includes things like not letting your mom tell your wife she doesn’t cook right!  It includes the wife turning to her husband when she is sad, and not her mom.  It includes backing up your husband in front of the kids when he says something to them (“Did your dad tell you no?  You know I back your dad”)  and if you do think he’s wrong you speak to your spouse privately and explain your reasons, and if they change their mind, then THEY announce the change and why.  It includes doing fun things together.  It includes doing work together.  It includes having an attitude of US on the same page, doing things together as a team, and we’ve got each other’s backs.  After an affair, reconciliation begins when the spouses are a “we” again, because there is Power in We.

The second “Power of We” that I’d like to discuss is the power of working with a group of associates.  I have learned, over the course of my blogging career (lol), that there are  the people and other bloggers without whom I just COULD NOT do this blog and this whole website.  Together, we all minister in our own ways for better marriages, and we are all more effective because we work together.   So my hat tips to these folks:

Christian Marriage Bloggers Association:  You know I started with this group when it was pretty small–and from this group I’ve found mentors and been a mentor.  We’ve shared group topics (like writing about “50 Shades of Grey” and my own “50 Shades and Infidelity–There is a Connection!“), and challenges.  And always these brothers and sisters in Christ continue pursuing godly marriages in their writing and encouraging each other.  I love this group and learn more as part of this association than with any other.

I’m going to mention a few of the newer bloggers I’ve just met recently, in hopes of “paying it forward” a little for them, and in hopes of encouraging them to continue writing:

The Alabaster Jar – Jolene has a wonderful, personal writing style and is very gentle, but extremely biblically accurate.  She’s not afraid to tackle the tough topics either.  She’s pretty much who I hope to be when my blog grows up.

Auntie Em’s Guide To Life — Okay maybe it’s just me, but Auntie Em cracks me up.  I don’t feel like I’m such a dork when I read her blog because she writes like she lives in my life.

Becoming His Eve — I love Hannah.  She is a newer married person and it reminds me so much of what it was like to be relatively newly married and all the things you face in those first years.

Cassandra’s Marriage Mints Ministry — I used to wonder why Cassandra’s blog was called “Marriage Mints” but if you read her blog you’ll understand.  She is cool and smooth in her writing, and yet full of zest … just like a mint.

Hot, Holy & Humorous — “J” is another blogger who just cracks me up.  I guess I should clarify that means that their enthusiasm and energy makes me smile big, full-face smiles.  Her approach is Bigger-than-Dallas, face those issues HEAD ON, and she does not back down from anything.   Ever.

My Beloved Is Mine! (SongSix3) — Jason and Tiffani remind me so much of my Dear Hubby and I just a few years ago (you know…before the kids moved out and we “got old”).  They have been inspiring friends moreso behind the scenes but I’d definitely tip my hat their way!

PeacefulWife’s Blog — Okay I don’t know any other way to say this: here is a woman who knows what she’s talking about.  Listen to her.  I used to be a disrespectful wife myself, and Peaceful is ON THE MONEY.  If only I could have learned this while I was younger it would have helped SO MUCH.   Plus, her vlogs are fun to watch 😉

Pearl’s OysterBed — You know I can’t put my finger on what it is about Pearl.  Maybe it’s because I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan and hula girl at heart.  But she puts me at ease even when addressing a difficult topic, and I just like her stuff.

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On Facebook I’ve met several invaluable associates as well.  In particular, I’d like to mention:

I want a Godly marriage — I learn more just from their little status quote and tweets than I do from most folks.  You have GOT to follow them.  No…I mean it.

A Proverbs Wife — It’s one thing to read Proverbs 31 and quite another to live it…and she’ll help you live it day by day.

Marriage Works! — It’s weird, I haven’t as much gotten into their website and whatnot, but I get their statuses on FB every day all day, and again I just learn about having a great marriage.

Making Love in the Microwave — Okay I love this lady!  Her name is Aja and I think I found her when she was relatively new.  But are you one of those time-crunched, two-earner families with kids who have activities?  Yeah–she’ll show you how you can STILL make love even when all the time you have is a few nuclear seconds.

Ruby Wives — A good wife is more valuable than rubies, but who teaches regular women like you and I how to be that kind of wife?  Why Ruby Wives!  Every day I get statuses from them that are helpful that I can put into action today.

Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage — This is Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, and they are into EVERYTHING– Twitter, FB, blogging, podcasting, TV, movies…you name it!  But what they provide is invaluable: an image of black marriage that is something people can LOOK UP TO and admire.  Personally every Wednesday they host a chat at 6pm PT/9pm ET called #marriagechat.  I usually attend and HIGHLY recommend it!!

More Precious Than Rubies — I love these women and sadly they are the only ones I know who are working this ministry.  They train regular women like you or I to reach out to and minister to the women who are in the sex industry (for example, strippers).  Now I realize this isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, but these ladies help us remember that women who sometimes “get stuck” in the sex industry are our mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, lovers and the dearly beloved daughters of the Most High God who may not have had someone reach out a hand in love…yet.

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Finally I most assuredly would not be who I am today without one forum:

Talk About Marriage: Coping with Infidelity Forum — I actually hang out here.  I answer PMs and try to reply on threads, and I write quite a bit in the Private Forums.  So I don’t do it as a “business generator” — I do it because it is SO NEEDED.   Infidelity is so painful, so confusing, and so counter-intuitive that someone has to do it, right?  So I’m there on that forum every day and my user name is just what you’d expect: “Affaircare.”  Come say and discover the “Power of We” being with others who understand what you are going through.

This is post #15 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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I also join this Godly Link-up on Mondays:

The Alabaster Jar

Back to Basics–Love Extinguisher #1 Emotional Neglect

Today is the start of the second series of our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics.”  This week we’ll be going over the seven Love Extinguishers.  To understand what a Love Extinguisher is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.  When you make the decision to love, you choose to act in a way that is likely to kindle feelings of interest and passion; so you decide to act in a Love Kindling way.  When you get married and do not make diligent efforts to keep stoking the fire, life, bills, and children intervene and you begin to gradually take your spouse for granted and act in a Love Extinguishing way.

Today, we look at the first behavior that can put out the fire of love:  Emotional Neglect!   This extinguisher involves disregarding your spouse’s emotional needs and in fact inflicting emotional harm by becoming the sort of spouse who is a:

  • Scorekeeper–Do you keep a record of every past “sin” you spouse has ever committed against you…and never let them forget it?  Do you keep track of who does more household chores, who’s turn is it, or who did it last?  If these sound like you, you may be slowly draining the love out of your marriage by keeping track of the “score” in your relationship.
  • Fault Finder–Does he load the dishwasher wrong?  Does he put the diapers on wrong? Does she drive the car wrong?  Does she mow the grass wrong?  Do you pick your partner to death wanting them to do a certain thing…and then when they do it, tell them every little thing they did “wrong” because they didn’t do it your way?  Then you are a fault finder, and you find are not so slowly draining the love out of your spouse’s heart.   Their way is JUST as legitimate as  your way!
  • Controlling–This one is a hard one to define, but let’s put it this way: is your spouse free to say “no” and not be punished for the rest of the marriage?  Is your spouse viewed as an equal partner who’s opinion and preferences are just as valid as your own?  Do you try to “MAKE” your spouse do something by manipulating them, what they know, their schedule, who they “can or can not” talk to,  or what they “can or can not” do?    If you are trying to force your spouse to do things they do not want to do, or do not view your spouse with exactly the same power as you have in your marriage, then you may be “controlling” and you may be putting out the fire of passion in their heart.
  • Bottomless Pit–Are you so continuously NEEDY for emotional support or approval or reassurance that you are clingy and strangling your partner, emotionally?  Do you lack self-love and force your partner to “say it ” or “prove their love” over and over even though they already HAVE proven their commitment?  Or alternatively, do you ask your spouse to give and give and give and give…and never think of their needs?  Have you heard your spouse say “enough is never enough” and no matter what they do, they never ever please you or make you happy?  Then you are a Bottomless Pit and that kind of behavior is going to extinguish the love in your marriage.

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   Last week we examined the Love Kindlers–this week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!