Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Enjoy Unconditional Love In Your Marriage

Let me start off by saying, no marriage is perfect. That's because no one is perfect. But it's something we should all strive for. I fall and mess up all the time. One thing I don't do is give up. I keep persevering.

I know this sounds selfish, but I want (that's the selfish sounding part) to have the kind of marriage God speaks of in Scripture. It's what He intends for us. We're (I'm) the one that messes it up. We (I) keep letting "flesh" get in the way.

I have to admit, that in the 26 years that my Knight and I have been married, I have never "not loved" him. My love for him has been unconditional. I KNOW, that his love for me has been unconditional too. Believe me... I REALLY know!

This was one of my devotions and I felt led to share it. It really spoke to me and I hope and pray that it blesses you too.

Lady G~

You love your spouse ... as long as he or she fulfills your expectations. Your spouse loves you ... unless you do something wrong. Does this sound like your marriage?

You and your spouse can love each other like God does - unconditionally - with His help. Here's how:

Choose to love.
Recognize that love is a choice, and decide to act in love no matter what your current feelings or circumstances. Trust that the Holy Spirit will give you the power you need to do so. Know that loving choices can bring about substantial, positive changes in your heart and marriage.

Look for God in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
Understand that God is present with you and your spouse at all times and in all situations - not just in exciting "mountain top" experiences. Be willing to trust God and choose to love your spouse in the "valley" of your daily grind as well.

Imagine the possibilities.
Read stories of God's work in the Bible, and listen to testimonies of how He is working in people's lives today. Recall the ways He has answered your past prayers. Then, as you consider God's awesome power to transform lives, imagine how He could change your marriage. Understand that each person and each marriage is a work in progress. Ask Him to give you a vision of hope for your marriage so you can see it from His perspective.

Embrace your spiritual identity.
Know that you are a beloved child of God. Accept the gift of His deep, unconditional love for you. Let your own experience of God's love help you more fully understand how to love your spouse unconditionally. Understand that God has chosen to love you no matter what, and strive to choose to love your spouse no matter what.

Look for true fulfillment only from God.
Realize that no human being - not your spouse, or anyone else - is able to fulfill all of your expectations. Expect your spouse to fail to measure up because every person in our fallen world is imperfect. But also know that God has the power to fulfill your greatest hopes and dreams. Look to Him alone to fulfill you.

Be patient.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you stay in step with God so you're not running ahead of His perfect pace for your life. Ask Him to give you His perspective on challenging people (including your spouse) and difficult situations so you can handle them with patience. Remember that God is patient with you, and take the time to thank Him for that.

Fight negativity with kindness.
Avoid the dangerous habits of criticizing and condemning your spouse. Never treat him or her with contempt. Instead, be proactive about finding as many ways as you can to be kind to your spouse. Treat your spouse with courtesy, honor, and respect. Then watch how your kindness changes the dynamic of your relationship.

Choose contentment.
Don't compare your marriage to that of someone else. Understand that God has made you and spouse unique individuals, and that He has unique purposes for your marriage. Make a regular habit of counting your blessings and thanking God for what you do have so you can break free of envy.

Focus on who you are, not what you do.
Realize that God cares about who you are as a person much more than your accomplishments or circumstances. Rather than trying to impress God or other people, choose to rest in God's unconditional love for you.

Choose humility over pride.
Don't fight with your spouse just to prove that you're right. Realize that it's not worth it to win an argument just for the sake of winning, because by doing so you lose out on your relationship. Strive to look at a problem or conflict from your spouse's perspective.

Seek to serve instead of being served.
Rather than asking, "What can my spouse do for me?" ask, "What can I do for my spouse?". Ask God to give you a servant's heart so you can work for the good of your spouse before your own good. Express your love for your spouse regularly by looking for and grabbing opportunities to help him or her. Know that God will reward you for your efforts if you think of others first.

Manage your anger well.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you manage your anger effectively, so that you get angry about only the right things and are able to control your anger to channel it toward constructive solutions. Seek to understand your thoughts and feelings before lashing out. Pray for God to give you His perspective on whatever is making you angry in your marriage.

Don't keep score.
Avoid keeping a record of wrongs to use against your spouse. Instead, be willing to forgive your spouse every time he or she does or says something hurtful. Remember that God will give you the power you need to forgive, and that He expects you to forgive others as He has forgiven you. Don't hold grudges. Instead,strive to give blessings whenever you have an opportunity.

Be honest.
Don't pretend that you're doing better than you actually are in your marriage. Be honest with God and your spouse about the recent losses and conflicts that have taken a toll on your marriage. Get support from friends, pastors, counselors and others as you pursue healing.

Remember that God's love is for always, and never fails.
Remind yourself that God will never stop loving you, and that you can rely on Him even when everyone else has failed you.

Accept the messy life.
Understand that your marriage will never be perfect in this fallen world. Choose to live in the messiness of imperfection and failure by accepting yourself and your spouse as you are and relying on God for grace.

Change yourself, not your spouse.
Realize that you can only take responsibility for your own attitudes and actions. Stop wasting time and energy trying to change your spouse, and focus on yourself instead. Know that by changing yourself, you'll change the dynamic of your relationship.

Live in the present.
Let go of the past and leave the future up to God. Anchor yourself in the present, aware that God is with you and giving you faith, hope, and love.

Adapted from, I Love You Unconditionally ... On One Condition, copyright 2004 by Joey O'Connor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Night Out... Just The Two Of Us.

My Knight and I decided to go on a date. It was a last minute date. Sometimes those are the best. He had a Little League Board meeting. So we decided to go after the meeting. The meeting ran longer than anticipated. But we still wanted to go out.

Would you believe that after 26 years, we still hold hands. Not just when we walk, but even in the car. Holding his hand makes me feel wanted, protected and loved. I'm sharing this cause while we drove to the restaurant, we held hands. Yes, we still do that, even when driving. Please don't turn us in. :o)

During dinner we talked a little and a lot about everything. Let me share how in tune we are with each other. The other day we went to the stores together. He saw some digital picture frames and mentioned, "That's what I need for my office." I told him, I was planning on getting him one, but wasn't sure which one to get. Well, tonight he mentioned what he was thinking about doing with the Christmas bonus. I smiled and told him, "Funny cause that's exactly what I was thinking."

Mind you this doesn't mean that we always see eye to eye on matters. I respect his views and he respects mine. Because we love each other, we put the other first. It goes without saying that God comes first though. :o) But you know what I mean. Since we put each other first, it brings balance to our relationship.

I LOVE my Knight. He is not perfect, neither am I (we all know only Jesus was perfect), but he's perfect for me. He makes me whole. I'm so thankful that God saw fit to bring us together. I'm so blessed!

You all know I'm a lover of words and I love quotes. A friend recently shared a quote and I thought it's perfect for this entry...

"Immature love says: 'I love you because I need you.' Mature love says 'I need you because I love you.'"
~Erich Fromm

my cup runneth over...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Sickness Or In Health

Twenty six years ago, my Knight and I took a vow. We were young (19 & 18). Did we really understand the vows we were making? We committed to love one another in sickness or in health. Little did we know what the future really held for us.

We have been really blessed. If I wasn't a Christian, I would say we've lived a charmed life. But I am a Christian and I know that luck has nothing to do with anything. God has everything to do with it. For that I'm thankful.

My Knight and I have always been healthy and active. We love and enjoy sports. Not just watching, but actively participating too. When we first got married, we played raquetball, tennis, worked out with weights. Through the years we've continued playing different sports. If one of us wasn't playing a sport, we would be on the sidelines cheering on. He's played basketball, football, softball and volleyball. I've played softball and volleyball. I love it when we are in the same team. We have always been very supportive of each other. He has never criticized me or belittled me. He's always been an encourager. Needless to say, I've always felt my Knight can do no wrong.

Back in 1998, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (lupus or SLE). I started having symptoms while I was pregnant in 1993. But it was a while before I was diagnosed. Mainly cause I was having so many different symtoms, it was hard to pinpoint what was the culprit. Once I was diagnosed, it was hard to accept, so I went through a denial stage. But my Knight was unbelievably supportive. He read everything he could, so we could understand what it was all about. He ROCKS!

In the fall of 2003, I was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation II and Hydrocephalus. My brain had herniated 12mm down into my spinal canal. I had a shunt installed to help with the hydrocephalus. Once I was stable enough from the shunt surgery (6 months later), I had the decompression surgery. There is no cure for chiari, but the surgery helps alleviate the symptoms. Recovery from the surgeries was long. My Knight and my family were awesome. But I have to honestly say, I have no recollection of what happened during my recovery. I know that I couldn't of done it without the love and support of my beloved family.

Now I'm not saying cause I want people to feel sorry for me. I'm doing great. My memory isn't good, but I'm feeling great. :o) I'm sharing because I want everyone to know what an AWESOME husband (and family of course- but this blog is about my Knight) God has blessed me with. For my surgeries, there was talk about shaving my head. Sinful that I am, I was concerned of how I would look. My Knight told me, he loves me with or without hair. Not many would say that and mean it. I know he meant it. He took care of cleaning my incisions. He washed my hair, well... what was left of it. LOL! He slept with me on the couch, cause I couldn't sleep in our bed. He was there for me EVERY step of the way. Why? Because he was committed to me. Because he loves me. Because he's a man of his word. Because he loves God and made a covenant with Him and me.

Our children have grown up seeing his example. Our Fair Maiden's future husbands have big shoes to fill. Not that they have to be like my Knight, but he surely has raised the expectations. My prayer is that our Fair Maidens be more blessed than I have been (if that's possible) and that our Squires be a blessing to their spouse. May my Squires be just as blessed too.

Twenty six years ago we made a commitment to one another. We were kids then. We've grown up together. We have honored those commitments and will continue to keep our covenant. God has truly blessed us. I keep thinking, this is the best , it can't get any better than this... but it has and it will continue to get better. My cup runneth over...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Loving Actions

Increasing Your Intimacy 100 Percent...

Genuine love doesn't necessarily spring from feelings. Its basis is primarily a concern for the welfare of another. Although the feelings of affection will follow, genuine love is initially an action directed toward fulfilling another person's needs.

-From "It Takes Two to Tango" by Gary and Norma Smalley

My thoughts:

Feelings come and go. You have to choose daily to love, accept, forgive and stay committed.

I know I've said it a million, gazillion times, love is a verb... it's an action. You can say I love you, but are you showing it with your actions?

When God created Adam, he saw that it was not good for man to be alone. So he created Eve. We are to be as one. This doesn't mean we lose our individuality as the "world" sees it. This means we grow close to our spouse and become one. We balance each other. We support one another. We are there for one another in good and bad times.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simply Romantic... Tips

Romance is the process of keeping your courtship alive long after the wedding day.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Blink...

... and then, we are celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary. I love my Knight more today than I ever dreamed possible. To think that on our wedding day, I thought I couldn't possibly love him any more than what I did on that day. But I do...

... he is my Knight in shinning armor. The Prince I dreamed of marrying. The kind man every parent dreams their daughter will marry. He's my wish come true. My answered prayer.

My Dearest Knight,

I remember as a little girl, thinking and wondering what kind of man I was going to marry. I made a mental list of I wanted him to be and how he would look.

At first my list went something like this...
* Blue eyes
* Someone like my dad
* Likes to play football
* Taller than me
* Stronger and faster than me ( I don't want a sissy boy)
* A policeman or a soldier
* Someone who wants a motorcycle

As I got older my list changed (somewhat) and it went something like this...
* Someone like my dad
* Someone who will love me and wants me for being me
* Someone who wants lots of children
* Someone of honorable character (faithful, honest, courageous, responsible, virtuous, etc...)
* A Knight among men
* An athlete
* Someone with blue eyes
* Someone with morals and values

Looking back, you are everything I ever dreamed of and more. Marrying you at the tender age of 18 was the best decision I have ever made. You've encouraged and uplifted me every step of the way. You have helped me to grow and blossom. I am the woman I am today, because of you. The past 26 years have been the best years of my life. Every step of the way I've thought, "It can't get any better than this." But is has. I look forward to the years ahead. I love you so much that at times I can't even find the words to express myself. The thought of you leaves me speechless. I'm so blessed you chose me to be your wife. Te amo...

forever yours...
Your Lady~

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Judge A Man By The Woman

Judge A Man By The Woman
by Heartland

Some judge a man by the way he shakes a hand
And if he looks a man in the eyes
By the way he treats his tools
The way he treats a fool
And the things that he can buy
His shoes, how they shine
All that I admit

I judge a man by the woman
And her smile, the light in her eyes
The way she holds him when they dance
She's the window to his soul
His best friend, don't you know
You judge the day by the sun
But you judge a man by the woman

You can spend all day watching work and play
Get to know his habits and his friends
Learn what makes him laugh, pry into his past
Find out what makes him cry and makes him sin
You might think you can right through
Oh, but the best thing you can do

Is judge a man by the woman
And her smile, the light in her eyes
The way she holds him when they dance
She's the window to his soul
His best friend, don't you know
You judge the day by the sun
But you judge a man by the woman

Judge a man by the woman
And her smile or the light in her eyes
The way she holds him when they dance
She's the window to his soul
His best friend, don't you know
You judge the day by the sun
But you judge a man by the woman
You judge a man by the woman

Friday, April 25, 2008

Happy 45th Birthday To My Knight!

Happy Birthday Babe! I'm so blessed that God saw fit to joins us two, to be one. You are a Knight among men. You are my dream come true. I love you.

My poor Knight had to ump a little league game on his birthday. I, being the supportive wife that I am, went along. We all know how fans can be. I'm there to back him up and make sure no one gives him any trouble. They all know to behave when I'm around. Not that he can't stick up for himself, cause he does mighty fine on his own. I just like being there with him. Even though he's in the field and I'm in the stands. I hate to seem him go, but I love to watch him leave. ;o) Babe, you are one hot Blue. Who loves you Baby?! ;o)

For those that want to read more about my Knight's birthday celebration visit my family journal at: A Gland Into My World.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Great Expectations

For those that read my other blog, be be warned. I reposted this entry there. I don't know if everyone that visits this blog, visits my other one. I wanted to be sure that everyone got to read it. I feel it's an important topic. Too often, we do have great expectations...

Great Expectations
by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

"For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh."
~Ephesians 5:31

My wife and I spent the first year and a half of our marriage in Boulder, Colorado, where the winters are cold and electric blankets are standard survival equipment. We fell into a habit of snuggling under those blankets but forgetting to turn out all the lights. And every time, Barbara would say, "Sweetheart, did you remember to turn out all the lights?"

Usually I would hop out of our comfy bed and run barefoot through the 55-degree apartment, turning off light after light (that Barbara had turned on). But one time I got fed up and groaned, "Honey, why don't you turn out the lights tonight?"

Barbara replied, "I thought you would because my dad always turned out the lights."

Suddenly I was wide awake. It dawned on me why I had been suffering occasional minor frostbite for the past few months. And I shot back, "But I'm not your dad!"

We stayed up for a long time, discussing expectations-what Barbara expected of me and what I expected of her-with many of those expectations stemming from what we had imported into our marriage from our homes.

When we were married, for dinner I expected meat and mounds of mashed potatoes with butter cascading down the sides. Alas, it was not to be. Barbara leans toward exotic tuna casseroles and lots of other things I could not begin to identify.

Each partner brings a certain set of expectations into a marriage. When they are not met, the drought of disillusionment can dry up the dialogue in the streams of our conversation.

Marriage provides a relationship where two people can hammer out realistic expectations. No mate will ever fulfill all of your desires in marriage. There is only One who is capable of that.


Ask God to help you to be realistic in your expectations of others.

*Discuss:* What expectations of your mate did you bring to your
marriage? Which ones were met? Which ones were not? How reasonable
are they? If you haven't ever done so, why not consider sitting down
and communicating your expectations to your spouse?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who Is Your Enemy?

Below is my devotion for today. I felt lead to share it. May you be blessed by it. I know I was.
Lady G~

Who Is Your Enemy?
by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.
-Ephesians 6:12

A lot of jokes picture marriage as a battlefield. MS magazine once
advised: "Marriage is the only war where you sleep with the enemy."

I would rather picture the entire world as the true battlefield and
your marriage as being God's smallest battle formation for winning
the war. In truth, your marriage is taking place on a spiritual
battlefield, not a romantic balcony.

Every married couple needs to understand the following biblical

Your mate is not your enemy.

Picture your marriage as two people joined together in a foxhole,
cooperating in battle against a common enemy. Take a good look at
your own foxhole. Are you fighting the enemy or each other? As a
friend of ours told me, "I was so busy standing up in the foxhole
duking it out with my husband that I had no time to be involved in
fighting against the real enemy."

Keep in mind that whenever you declare war on your mate, ultimately
you are opposing God Himself. You are rejecting the person He
provided to complete you, to meet your needs.

Here's a practical test to discover if you view your mate as an
enemy or as a fellow "soldier." Do you focus on the negative in your
mate or on the positive? When you marry, you're so caught up in your
new spouse that he or she can seem to do no wrong. But within 12,000
miles or 12 months, whichever comes first, you reverse the process.
You are now so focused on what your mate does wrong that you are
oblivious to what he or she does right!

I love Robert Lewis Stevenson's exhortation for us as we look at our
spouses. He says, "Make the most of the best and the least of the


That God would make you aware of the true battle and enemy you face
each day, and how you need each other on that battlefield.

Discuss: Who is your real enemy? Think back to times when you have
forgotten who your real enemy was-how did that impact your marriage
and family? Do you treat your mate as a partner or as an enemy?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Parents PLEASE Teach You Sons!

If you are a frequent visitor of my other blog: A Glance Into My World, please be warned that I posted this same message on both blogs. I felt lead to post it twice. Not everyone visits both blogs.

Let me start of by saying that I KNOW that parents ALSO need to teach their daughters. But I'm writing about the "sons" today. Because I'm getting sick and tired of hearing how rude and cruel some young men are. YES, I know that young ladies are too! But like I said, I'm focusing on the young men today. URGH!!!!!!!

Mom's we need to do a better job of teaching our sons how to treat girls. I'm saying moms, because we are their primary influence when they are young. Now, dad's you need to step up to the plate and show you sons how to treat young ladies. I say this to you, because once your sons are older, they need to be mentored by you, a grandfather, an uncle, a male church member, a caring neighbor or another "positive" male role model.

Soaring Amongst The Clouds has tennis twice a week at her school. Today the young man that made the rude comment last week, made another comment. *READ PREVIOUS POST HERE*He rolled up his short as high as they could go. The teacher asked him teasingly, "What are you doing? Roll those down they are too short." He replied, "Well, Soaring Amongst The Clouds wears short shorts." My Fair Maiden has the longest shorts in class!" She just couldn't believe that he was calling attention to her shorts and being singled out. Our Fair Maidens are modest. Ok, they don't wear turtle necks or skirts that touch the floor, but they are very modest. Not just in what they wear, but in how they speak and act. URGH!!!!! Now their mama, is another story. I want to go over there right now and wring that young man's neck!

As soon our dad gets home she's going to talk to him and see what if anything she can do about him. He's just giving her a hard time. She has tried ignoring him but that doesn't seem to discourage him.

My mom use to tell my brother, "You need to treat a girl like she's a rose petal. Treat them delicately." She told him this throughout his growing years. He died at 19, but let me tell you, girls LOVED him. I was 7 years his senior and my sister was 6 years his senior. Even so, you would think, poor guy, he didn't stand a chance. He did. He had charm, charisma and people were drawn to him.

I know that not everyone is like that, but we can teach our sons to be polite. To think before they speak. To be gentlemen. To help out and not sit there while a lady is trying to juggle bags. Moms need to give their sons opportunities to be young men. Let them help you carry the bags. Let them open the doors for you. Have them take the kitchen trash bags outside. Allow them to do "outdoor" work. They can weed, water the plants, cut the grass (if they are old enough). Give them the responsibility to take care of your indoor or outdoor pets. Allow them to clean your car, inside and out. Once they are old enough, allow them to pump the gas for you when your car needs gas. When you make the menu for the week, give him the opportunity to pick a couple of dinners for you too cook. These are only some ideas of what a mom can do to help their sons along.

Dad's there is so much you can do. One of the most important thing you can do is to LOVE and RESPECT your wife. This will set an example for him. When your wife gets home with the groceries, help her carry the bags. Better yet, carry the bags while she puts all the items away. When you are fixing the car, have your son help you. When you are doing yard work, get him involved. If you are working in the garage, let him give you a hand. If you are going to the hardware store or auto shop take him along. Spend time with him. Make sure he hears you edifying your wife.

Ladies, if you are divorced, I know it would be a little more difficult if dad isn't around. Allow the grandfather to be involved in his mentoring. If that is not a good idea, maybe a neighbor who has a son the same age or a church member. I knew this family who's dad had passed away. The mom had two young daughters and a young son (they were all under 10). The men of the church stepped up and mentored the young son. They included him in outings. They would invite him to baseball and basketball games. They taught him how to play ball. What a testimony all those men were to this family.

*NOTE: I'm not just saying this to moms and dads out there. This is ALSO a reminder to myself and my Knight. I know that it's sometimes easier for us just to "do it" ourselves. It takes TIME to show our children to "do things". But it's TIME WELL spent.

The most important thing parents can do is to PRAY for you sons. Let me share my prayer with you. You don't have to pray what I pray, but it's some of what I pray for my Squires. Oh, I pray this over my Knight too. ;o) This is in no particular order...

* for divine protection and perfect health
* That all behavior born out of hurt, rejection, or negative emotions/responses be healed
* Give him discernment, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, anointing, revelation, vision, faith and favor
* Create a desire and passion for God above all other things, wife and family next
* May he be a man giving of time, energy and prayer with accountability and follow through
* That he be man who submits, listens and obeys God with an insatiable hunger and thirst for God's Word, God's presence, and God's plans
* Search and know his heart, expose what is not pleasing and drive it from him
* Establish integrity in him, and guard his heart, mind and spirit with truth
* Give him courage to walk in that integrity too
* For his education, future mate, marriage, future children and generations to follow

Please keep in mind this is SOME of what I pray. The Lord will lead you differently. I did not "come up" with my prayer on my own. I'm not gifted with words. LOL! I learned from other moms and God leads me in my prayers. There are times that I think, "Wow, where did that come from? Cause that certainly isn't something I would say." Amazing how, when you open up to Him, He just fills you up.

I guess, I'm just trying to say, please remember your son is hearing and watching you. Be a positive example, not just for your's but others are watching too. Who knows, you could make a difference in someone's life.

Love Or Lust?

"The desire to love is to give. The desire of lust is to get."
~author unknown

I LOVE my Knight....

Monday, March 24, 2008

Battling The Temptation Of The Eyes

I know that this will probably ruffle some feathers. But I'm feeling lead to write about this. I know that this article talks about why men should guard their eyes. I'm here to say that women have to do the same too.

I know that I'm a visual person. I know we are all different. Praise the Lord for that! But I can honestly say that my eyes are for my Knight only. Yes, I see movies. Yes, I know that God created men handsomely. But I don't give a second glance. I don't entertain thoughts about other men. My thoughts are of my Knight. I'll even say this, when speaking with another man, I am careful not to look him in the eye. Like I've mentioned before, the eyes are the window to your soul. The only one that should be looking into my soul is my God and my Knight.

Ages ago, my Knight and I decided that we should guard ourselves and not be alone with someone of the opposite sex. That means, no lunch date with co-workers unless it's a mixed group and even then, not sitting next to the opposite sex. No riding in the car alone with the opposite sex. By guarding ourselves, we show respect for one another.

I want to respect and honor my Knight. I know that scripture tells us to do this. But that's not the only reason I do it. I do it because I love him.

Battling the Temptation of the Eyes
Dr. David B. Hawkins
The Relationship Doctor

"It’s okay to shop, as long as you don’t buy," I overheard a man say, chatting with one of his buddies at the gym.

"My wife gets a little rattled when I look at women," the second man continued, "but that’s her insecurity coming out."

"I don’t understand the big deal. I don’t see why they get so upset," the first added. "It’s all innocent fun."

Is that true? Are women fine with their husband’s ogling other women? Is it all innocent fun? Who’s having the fun, and how is it innocent?

My counseling experience reveals women hate it when their men look at other women on the street, on television, in magazines, or even on Internet pornography sites. Here’s a recent example from my counseling practice.

Beverly and John have been married twenty years, with three children in late adolescence. Their difficulties stem primarily from her increasing lack of security in their marriage, which is part of a vicious cycle involving John’s "innocent" interest in other women.

John describes himself as "a looker," but this has created greater insecurity for Beverly and has added to tension in their physical relationship.

John, feeling deprived and entitled to sex any time he wanted, has became resentful when Beverly insisted that their emotional relationship be strong in order to enjoy a strong sexual relationship. While she has never deprived James of a sexual relationship, the frequency has not been what he wanted, and he let her know he resented her for it. She has pleaded for him to stop watching other women, which he has continued to minimize.

They came to counseling hoping to end their vicious cycle, hoping to create a more intimate relationship, something they seem to have lost.

Beverly has tried to share her sadness and resentment about John’s behavior. She has explained to him that looking at other women was not innocent to her. James offered this response.

"Everyone knows men are visual, and it’s only natural for men to look. I’ve never cheated on Beverly. Guys will be guys. I don’t think she has any right to be upset about this. It’s not like it is our only problem."

Beverly countered, obviously exasperated and deeply hurt.

"I can’t believe he can say these things, and do these things, knowing how hurtful it is to me. I feel betrayed every time he leers at women on the street. I can’t compete with some of those women, and I’m not going to try. It just opens the wound back up again, and I want to push away from him even more. We’re caught in a vicious cycle."

Some time ago, in my book When Pleasing Others is Hurting You, I wrote about an old-fashioned concept -- chastity, and it is a concept we seem to have lost. Consider how this word and meaning may apply to men today:

Chastity —simplicity of affections, purity of intentions.

Can men "shop" as long as they don’t buy? No, because our affections need to be kept simple—on our wife. Can men look at the merchandise as long as they don’t touch? Of course not. Our intentions are not pure. Our fantasies are not pure.

In fact, I teach men that when meeting others of the opposite sex we send out a signal:

Green Light: Body stance is open, eyes are direct, conversation is
engaging. We are available for a relationship.

Yellow Light: Caution—however, let’s talk, flirt a little, and
possibly even move into a closer relationship.

Red Light: Stop! Don’t even think about it. I’m taken and I will
guard my boundaries vigorously.

Too many married men think they can flirt with danger, sending out yellow and green lights. They may even think their behavior is innocent when it is anything but that. We’re flirting with danger when we allow ourselves to take a second and third look at a beautiful woman. In the "yellow zone" we allow ourselves to be playful with women, talking flirtatiously. Taking the "look" further into the realm of pornography is particularly damaging to the "looker" and to their mate.

The Apostle James warns us about temptations.

"Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged
away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth
to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
(James 1: 14-15)

Stephen Arteburn, in his book, Everyman’s Battle, offers several lines of defense from temptation of the eyes. First, recognize that this attraction threatens everything I hold dear. Again, there is nothing innocent about flirting with danger. It leads to greater temptation and hurts your mate, damaging your marriage. Second, recognize I have no right to this. Other women are off limits. You are taken and belong to someone else. Third, heighten the red alert. See the dangers in this "innocent activity," and treat it like you would treat any dangerous situation.

What does this mean practically? It means that like John, we must learn to bounce our eyes off attractive women. We cannot afford our glances to become stares. We must avoid dangerous, flirtatious situations. Conversations with women can be friendly, but must give the distinct message, "This relationship can go no further, not now, not ever!"

Finally, we must honor and cherish our wives by letting them know they are who we want to be with. They are the one that excite us and our marriages are dear and valuable to us. Our energies, emotions and eyes are focused on them. We choose chastity -- to focus our affections and intentions on our mate with purity.

David Hawkins, Pd.D., has worked with couples and families to improve the quality of their lives by resolving personal issues for the last 30 years. He is the author of over 18 books.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Never Judge A Book By It's Cover

My Knight once told me, "Never judge a book by it's cover." We were only 16 at the time. How can someone be so wise at the age of 16? If you are interested in how we met and courted, check my entry called, How I Met My Knight.

He was different than all my guy friends. There was something about him. Even at that age, he had this presence about him. He was intelligent. He had a dry humor, uniquely his own. He was good in every sport. He had his private pilot license. At the age of 10 he was the one that did the budget for his family and paid all the bills. He knew how to have fun, but was level headed enough not to do something just for the sake of doing it. He had two jobs. He worked at Burger King and as a security guard. He knew how to enjoy his off time. Before he had a car, he would ride his bike to the beach. Which happen to be 11 miles away. Yep, he rode that on a ten speed bike. He was into martial arts. He was also quite the marksman. He was quiet and I'd even say shy. He was a young man of few words. But when he spoke, one would want to hear what he had to say. He had a way about him. I didn't take the time to look "inside" the book. I can't believe I almost let him slip through my fingers.

He didn't hang around with the popular kids in school. He had his lifelong friends and that was good enough. He started the Aviation club in high school. He was part of the honor society. For him there was no need to "belong" to what other's thought were the "in" clubs. He was fine being who he was. For him, honesty was the best policy. When he spoke the truth, it wasn't blunt, it was just matter of fact. He was right of course, but I was not use to that. I was use to things being sugar coated. People agreeing even though they really didn't agree deep down. In essence, I was use to people being untruthful. He was different. He was what I needed, but I didn't realize it.

He was a handsome young man. But I was judging him by what I saw, what I noticed. I didn't give him the chance to really get to know him. He was right, I should not have judged a book by it's cover. But God is good... ALL the time. He knew that we were meant to be. We had been given a third chance.

When we got married he was 19 and I was one week away from turning 19. So "officially" I was 18. This Spring & Summer my Knight and I will be celebrating our 45th birthday and our 26th wedding anniversary. I know many at our wedding were thinking, "No way is this going to last. They are too young. What's the real reason they are getting married so quickly? They are crazy!" The only ones who gave us their full support was my family. All I have to say is, that we have never regretted getting married so young. We have grown together as a couple. We have been there for one another every step of the way. We encouraged each other. At that young age, we knew our love was a special love. The one people dream of and hope for. We were blessed to have found it while we were young. We are even more blessed that we still have that same, dare I even say deeper love and understanding for one another.

My cup runneth over...

My heart's desire is for our children to be, even more blessed than what my Knight and I have been blessed with. For their marriage to have the unconditional love that is written in Scriptures. The unconditional love my Knight and I have for one another. May they be blessed tenfolds. May their children and generations to follow them be blessed too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

30-Day SEX Challenge

I'm sure by now many have heard of the pastor of a little church in Florida. He proposed a 30-Day SEX Challenge to his congregation. I'm sure this raised lots of eyebrows, I know that it did with me. I found this interesting. So I went to their site to check it out.

At first, my Knight and I thought, "What if you aren't married?". Well, he challenged those that aren't married to a 30-Days of Abstinence. Imagine that! What a concept! My other thought was, "What about those that can't keep up with the 30-Day challenge because of health reason?" Not that I have a problem with this. LOL! RABBIT CHASING: Years ago while we were in a couples Sunday School class, the subject of intimacy with your spouse came up. Someone mentioned something and I blurted out "Oh we don't have a problem in that department!". I still can't believe I said that! To this day (15+ years later) they haven't let me live it down.

RABBIT BACK IN THE CAGE: I want to be the wife, mom & woman God wants me to be. So aside from reading His Word, I read books and articles about being a better wife, mom and woman. I don't do it fore me, I do it for my loved ones. BUT, by doing it for them, it blesses not only them, but it blesses me too. By having a good and healthy relationship with my Knight, we are setting an example for our children.

This 30-Day challenge is not only a sex challenge. It's an intimate, soul searching challenge with yourself and your spouse. Can't get any better than that! God has a wonderful way of putting things together. The online devotions I received, all had to do with my entry's topic. It's not because it's been on the news lately, cause some of the devotions came from books that were already written. It's a God thing.

I'll share this one with you today...

Chemical Reaction

My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion.
-Proverbs 5:1-2

High school chemistry taught me a very valuable lesson: When certain substances come into close contact they can form a chemical reaction. I proved that one day during my senior year of high school when I dropped a jar full of pure sodium off a bridge into a river and nearly blew up the bridge. You'd think I would have at least had enough sense to step off the bridge!

"What I've learned since then is that many people don't respect the laws of chemistry any more than I did back then. They mix volatile ingredients without giving much thought to the explosion that could occur. In particular, many married people don't understand that a chemical reaction can occur with people other than their mates. Don't misunderstand me here-I'm not just talking about sexual attraction. I'm referring to a reaction of two hearts, the chemistry of two souls.

"This is emotional adultery-an intimacy with the opposite sex outside the marriage. Emotional adultery is unfaithfulness of the heart. When two people begin talking of intimate struggles, doubts or feelings, they may be sharing their souls in a way that God intended exclusively for the marriage relationship. Emotional adultery is friendship with the opposite sex that has progressed too far.

"Often it begins as a casual relationship at work, school or even church. A husband talks with a female co-worker over coffee and shares some struggles he's facing with his wife or kids. She tells of similar problems, and soon the emotions ricochet so rapidly that their hearts ignite and can ultimately become fused together as one. To those who have experienced it, this catalytic "bonding" seems too real to deny.

"You can take some steps to practice discretion in these matters. That's what I'll discuss in the next devotion.

"That God will give you wisdom and discernment to know when you might be risking a "chemical reaction."

In what situations can Christians find themselves committing emotional adultery?

By Dennis and Barbara Rainey
Moments Together For Couples

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Simply Romantic... Tips

I haven't posted one of these in quite a while. I figured it's time. :o)

TIP: Take a class together. Find a topic, hobby, or sport you both want to learn more about--and sign up!

My Knight and I have been married 25 years. Ah... I love saying that. :o) I guess it helps that we have similar interests. I guess it also helps that I'm sporty too. LOL! Through the years we've done so many different things.

He's always enjoyed photography. Even though I wasn't so much into it, I would still go with him and see him develop the films. I enjoyed watching him "play" with the different lenses and take pictures of what he found interesting. Just being with him was good enough for me.

We have played all sorts of sports: tennis, raquetball, snow skiing, windsurfing, bowling and softball just to name a few. He's always enjoyed playing basketball and football. When he played, I'd go and cheer him on. It didn't matter if I was the only wife there. I was there for my Knight and that's what mattered.

We use to cook together. That was always fun. But now our Fair Maidens are the ones that cook. I must say they do a great job at it too.

Putting a puzzle together is always fun and relaxing. During Summer breaks, we always have one out on the card table. Not only is it fun for the family, but once everyone else is asleep, it's nice to sit and talk while we are "puzzling". :o)

Once things slow down a bit, we plan on taking dancing lessons. I LOVE to dance. I know that we'll enjoy taking lessons together.

Any ideas you'd like to add? Feel free to post them!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Because Of...

......................... the example he set before me, I...

................................... married my Knight.