Source: The Quest 4 Marital Bliss
“The most important things in a marital relationship are fidelity, communication, and compromise!” -Didymus
Before we get too far into this topic, I’d like to give my definition of what a marriage is. I know not all may see things the way I do, but in order to have a foundation to build upon, the following is the definition we will rely upon for this article. “Marriage is the first and most sacred institution created by Yahweh in which one man and one woman become interdependent, operating as one flesh in order to effectively fulfill Yahweh’s first command to bear fruit, fill the earth and have dominion, as an extension of His heavenly rule in the earth!” (Gen 1 & 2) Since marriage is intended to be a life long commitment the design of the “home” you are building will be ever expanding as you and your spouse get to know each other over the years (yes, learning your spouse is endless). This is in no way an exhaustive blueprint to a loving, effective and lasting marriage but just a few key elements that can help this building project get off to a great start or back on the right track. Now that the foundation has been set, let’s begin to build the dream houses we’ve always desired.
The first building block I’d like to explore is fidelity. Let’s face it, no relationship of any kind can stand the test of time without it. If one or both of the parties is unfaithful to the team mission, the team completely falls apart and will collapse under it’s own weight. A house divided against itself can’t stand. So what does fidelity look like? Well, in a marriage this can be a tricky question because although we may assume we know, we may not actually have the same idea as our marital partner. Faithfulness can include, sexual integrity (adultery, pornography, flirting, etc.) financial stewardship and honesty (abiding by a budget, shared accounts, etc.) and even boundaries (any access an individual of the opposite sex has to you, whether personally or digitally/electronically) just to name a few. All these things need to be discussed (hopefully before you get married) so that lines of communication won’t be crossed.
This brings us to the second building block; communication. Communication is not always about being vocal, but it is always a two way street. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is essential to a marriage, but don’t be misled into thinking all communication is good communication. In order to effectively communicate with your spouse, you must learn to speak their language. This can be a tough thing to do, especially in the beginning years of marriage and trust me, if I had the formula I’d gladly share it with you, but unfortunately only time and conversation (sometimes heated) will lead to perfection in this area. Most importantly, both parties need to feel that their voice is heard and respected when communicating their needs. Both parties also need to remember that their spouse is not a mind reader and unspoken desires often go un-catered to, not due to their spouse’s reluctance to meet a need, but due to lack of knowledge that a particular need has gone unmet.
Lastly, we must talk about compromise. Often the glue to effective communication, compromise says to your spouse that you place their needs, feelings, and desires above yours and that you value them greatly and esteem them highly. Another key word to reference when speaking of compromise is submission. Yep, you read that right…SUBMISSION! This goes for both parties. As mutual submission takes place between the two of you, you will natural meet each other’s needs and fulfill each other’s desires because compromise will feel much less like a task or duty and more like a privilege and opportunity to show your spouse how much they mean to you. I even see it as friendly competition, but maybe that’s just the competitive spirit in me lol! If compromise is not an essential building block of a marriage, the relationship will feel one-sided and one spouse will begin to lose respect for the other and that spells disaster on all fronts!
Again, this is by no means a magical formula for a perfect marriage, nor are these three areas the only important areas to focus on. My hope is that this brief essay will help guide you to the same place my wife of 5 years and I aspire to be…marital bliss J
Today I want to touch on a Kingdom principle that is so often misquoted or paraphrased. I myself was guilty of the same for years until I read the text and recognized I took parts of it out of context. Of course this is common amongst both believers and non-believers so its definitely not an isolated case but the real issue at hand that I would like to address is the truth behind the principal even though the reference most often given is misquoted. So what is the quote or paraphrase up for discussion? “God will not give you more than you can bear!”
So lets jump right into it. Almost everyone assumes that the misquote is actually a scripture in the Bible but let’s look at the text so commonly taken out of context and see what it really says:
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it!
So we see here that the context is not that God won’t give you more than you can bear in terms of stress, weight on your shoulders, problems, etc. but that He will not allow you to be tempted more than you can handle and will ALWAYS provide a way of escape so that you are not entangled and overtaken in temptation unless you personally choose to be in bondage to it. Remember James 1:13-15 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death!” This verse is dealing with temptation, not worldly or even spiritual cares.
This though leads me to my next point and the more important focus of this discussion and that is the truth in this Kingdom principle and correct places in scripture to substantiate the claims being made by so many. First up is the Parable Of the Talents found in Matt 25:14-15 which reads, “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away!” You may be asking how this remotely applies to this topic but its clear as day when you read it again. The scripture says that each man was given the amount he received according to “his ability” or what he was “able to bear” in stewardship. The fact of the matter is to whom much is given, much is required! (Lk 12:48) The end of this parable plays out as the servants whom were given 5 and 2 talents were good stewards over their income, traded in the marketplace, stocks, investments, etc. and had doubled their money upon their masters return. Both were commended and given greater authority through obedience. The problem falls with the servant who was only given 1 talent. Instead of him taken a reasonable risk and investing in hope of turning a profit, he buried his talent in fear of losing the little that he had. He was then rebuked by the master because what he was given was sufficient for him to produce a return and the expectation was not unreasonable but instead he sat idle and did absolutely nothing. Lastly, the little that he had was given to the man whom had turned 5 into 10 talents.
Now I don’t want you to think this is simply about money but most people complain about it so much that they don’t realize there may be a reason for them not having what they desire or them getting what they desired only to have it backfire on them in the long run. Next lets look at Prov 10:22 that says “The blessing of the Lord, it makes rich, and He adds no sorrow with it!” Again we see that when The Lord blesses there is no sorrow that comes attached to it. He will not give you a monetary blessing if you are not ready for it (He may allow you to receive it, but He won’t personally supply it to you). In short, if you find yourself saying that He has blessed you monetarily or otherwise but then say that that “blessing” brought you more than you could chew on aka “more money, more problems”, etc. then that “blessing” was NOT of The Lord.
Now why you may ask do I assume that He won’t bless me knowing that I can’t handle the blessing due to my lack of maturity, disobedience, or ignorance? Well Jer 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future!” Again we must notice His character and He makes it very plain here! His plans are to prosper us and not harm us! Why would He give us something He knows ahead of time will draw us away from Him and bring confusion, turmoil, or possible destruction to our lives? He won’t but being that we fight so hard in ignorance or even plain disobedience, He allows us to receive at times from a resource other than Himself the true source which in turn leads to the exact opposite of what He planned for us. That’s what happened in the Garden. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was too much for us to bear because we were NEVER supposed to know evil, wrong, and sin but ONLY godliness and righteousness. Once Adam ate of the fruit given to him by Eve they literally bit off more than thy could chew. What at first tasted so sweet became bitter in an instant and they became ashamed of their own Father’s creation because they were exposed to something they were never supposed to be exposed to.
Lastly we’ll look at one of my favorite verse in the New Testament.
2Cor 12:7-10 reads, “Or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong!” Paul really says a mouthful here but I will try to stay on topic lol! First we see that the Lord wouldn’t even allow Paul’s pride to become more than he could handle. Instead God allowed Satan to afflict Paul in some way in order to keep Paul humble and not get arrogant due to the vast amount of revelation he had received, etc. Neither Paul’s pride, not knowledge were allowed to reach the magnitude of taking him away from what God had purposes for him. We also see that because of the affliction upon him, Paul asked God on three separate occasions to remove the “thorn in his flesh.” Listen to the Lord’s response. He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” WOW!!!! Not only would Paul be able to bear the vast amount of revelation and knowledge as well as keep his pride in check but God tells Paul that His grace is sufficient or enough to keep Paul in His will and on the right course! Like, the grace He gave Paul to endure his thorn was sufficient to ensure that Paul could bear the affliction itself and continue to do Kingdom work! Why? Because His power is made perfect in our weakness. This means as we recognize where we are weak, we allow His power to sustain us and empower us to endure through or bear it all, even eventually perfecting us!!!!!!! Now that is some powerful stuff right there! He will never leave us or forsake us (Duet 31:6) and He won’t allow us more than we can bare if we trust in His plan for our lives in every aspect and in every season!
So the next time you think life is getting to be too much, think of my testimony, or think of Corrie ten Boom or maybe check out the video at the bottom! God has placed His greatness in you so tap into it and watch him blow your mind away! May Yahweh abundantly bless you as you are able to bear and then expand your borders and increase your territory (1Chron 4:10)!!!
On Monday November 25th, Turf Talk celebrated the first graduating class from the Nebraska Correctional Youth Facility. Using the Born King curriculum developed by Didymus, these young men were heavily engaged for 10 weeks of challenging material. These young men all volunteered to participate in the class and had to maintain almost perfect attendance (only one class could be missed), complete weekly journaling and homework assignments, avoid getting violations within the facility as well as have character recommendations showing their improved bahavior and attitued throughout the 10 week session. 12 young men began the process and 6 of them completed the session and were able to graduate. This was a huge accomplishment for many of the young men who had never completed anything positively in their lives. These young men are incarcerated for everything from robbery and drug, to murder and face anywhere from 5-70 years.
During the graduation ceremony we were suprised by the Warden of the facility who briefly congratulated the young men for their accomplishment as well encouraged them to continue to use the skills they worked so hard to obtain during the 10 week session. Warden Mahr also presented Didymus with the Nebraska Department of Correction Services Volunteer Plaque and State Coin. As incentive for gradutating, the young men were able to recieve certificates, a custom CD by Didymus containing the music used in the curriculum throughout the session, and the Burgur King meal of their choice (probably the biggest motivator for them lol)! Session II will begin January 2014 and all those who graduated Session I have agreed to participate once again. We are so excited about the young men who participated. They showed a lot of growth and maturity as they were challenged to open up about current situation and the underlying causes of their behaviors. We salute these young men and can’t wait to begin Session II with both old and new faces!
As stated before, the Turf Talk classes use the Born King Curriculum which embodies a C3 model approach. This approach is to first Challenge the mindset or way of thinking of the individual, then to Change the indiviuals ideology so that they no longer think the same way they used to, and lastly to Charge or Commission the individual to go back into their environment and duplicate themselves by sharing and demonstrationg the skills they have learned and how their new ideology has impacted their life.
“I don’t work for money, it works for me, as I work for purpose and promotion!” -Didy
Most people don’t understand this vital principal. This principal itself is a Kingdom concept who’s precept is this; Yahweh is our source and all other things He has given us are resources. When one realizes that a job, 401K, IRA, etc. is a resource and not a source, only then can their full potential in the Kingdom be recognized. Yahweh has given us the ability to obtain wealth, so that He may establish His covenant with us (Deut 8:18). Now, He doesn’t shower money, power, influences, or resources from the sky upon us. Trust me, He’s no genie! Through His governing agent, Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), He has given us talents and abilities and has supplied us provisions according to the ability He has given us. Depending on how we use the ability He has given us, He will reward us with more when we multiply what He has already given to us (Matt 25:14-30). So in essence, we are always working for the gift or purpose that He has given us and in return, He endues us with wealth according to how we use our purpose to multiply the provision He has already given us. So now our wealth we’ve obtained works for us and on our behalf so that we can gain more influence to work our purpose on greater levels (Prov 18:16/Prov 22:29)!
With that, I leave you with one last quote…”The person who knows HOW, will usually have a job…working for the person who knows WHY!” -Chuck Swindoll
So the question remains…what are you working for?