Archive for the 'marriage' Category

Desperate Housewives, or Happy Homebodies?

 

What makes Desperate Housewives such an appealing story for so many women? The premise for this superhit is that these women live lives of quiet desperation. Eva Longoria, Gabbie, yearns to be younger and sexier like she felt in her supermodel days. Marcia Cross, Brie Van De Camp, wants her marriage to be perfect-in suburban Utopia.

       Teri Hatcher, Susan, hopes for a future where she will know true love. The women are desperate because they either wish for the joys of their past or long for the hopes and dreams of the future. Where is the contentment? In life and in love, timing is EVERYTHING. In Ecclesiastes 3: 1, Solomon writes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born, a time to die”.
In the stages of a relationship, there are beauties and blessings no matter what your stage of life. In marriage, God intended for every day of our lives to be sweeter.

One of our best early memories was bus breakfast. The one and only time in our marriage Roger made anything worth eating was on Saturday morning. He would boil 100 eggs, dump some butter and flour to make a gravy and pour the pasty mess over some refrigerated biscuits. Yum, yum….Roger had about twenty volunteers that would meet at church and canvas nearby neighborhoods for children who wanted to come to our church. As a children’s pastor, Roger would wear sheep costumes and donkey outfits to entertain the children-it was great fun.

Then came the kiddie years. We remember all the birthday parties. Bronwyn was born in November, so we’d buy the leftover Halloween costumes (the non-scary ones) and have a dress-up party complete with chubby bunnies and sack races.

All of the kiddie moments weren’t great memories. Some of their antics put a strain on our relationship. Like the time Brianna poured wheat paste over Bronwyn’s head-it took two hours of kicking and screaming in the shower to do damage control. In the middle years of our marriage, we’ve had some great fun while the kids are grown. We loved backpacking through Europe, hopping trains and climbing Alps.Now after many years of wedded bliss, we finish each other’s sentences, and order the same thing at restaurants. And someday, we’ll meet each other at the Eastern Gate in heaven.

       Every stage of life is beautiful in its time…as long as we cultivate it and set it on a solid foundation.Solomon writes at the end of this book these wonderful words…”Remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” When your marriage is based on a spiritual foundation, God makes every stage of your relationship beautiful in its time….there is peace, contentment, and joy.

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Oprah puts her money where her mouth is…

Well, Santa looked cheap this year. Sure, he hit Walmart and finished his naughty and nice list. But Santa gave the goods to the little pipsqueaks who had been nagging him for weeks. Another Wii, another radio-control model airplane…all for kiddies who often would be bored of their new stash about two hours after the wrapping paper was picked up. But Oprah saw some little South African girls who asked for nothing. One hundred and fifty-two impoverished preteens who had suffered illness, rape and heartache received a chance for an education and a better life. Now that’s what I call class! Of course, it’s not Oprah’s first philanthropic gesture. She built a six-million dollar Boys and Girls club in Mississippi, twelve million dollars in scholarships, eighty homes for Katrina victims, and 1.25 million for Afghan orphans. And of course there were the free cars for the unsuspecting audience members on her show…..Two thousand years ago, a man gave a gift to a heartbroken, lonely woman standing beside a well in the middle of the day. Jesus engaged her in conversation. No one ever approached her. She was poor, rejected and despised. She was a Samaritan half-breed, just about as esteemed as the little South African girls Oprah befriended. Jesus asked her for a drink of water. His request blew her away. Jews don’t talk to Samaritans…especially women of ill-repute.

“How can you ask me for a drink?” Jesus answered her, ” If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and He would have given you living water. Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”: John 4:7-14. You see, everyone needs hope for a better life. Oprah may not be around to provide it for you, but Jesus promised to never leave or forsake you. He scratches the itch to live a satisfied, fulfilled life here and now, and a home in heaven forever. But make no mistake, this gift to us was costly. He suffered an agonizing death on a cross, and He did it for you and me. The water of life He promises will fill us with joy and peace. We don’t earn it-He lavishly gives it to us for free!

Honeymoon’s Last Resort!

As females, we must often train the males of the species in basic relational skills. For example, the hubby thinks to himself-“I need to say something about her trip to the beauty shop” so he yells, “Hey Babe, what’s up with your hair?” Another really wise male maneuver is to never ever answer your wife’s question-“Does this make me look fat?” I met a pastor-husband last week who gave his wife a bathroom scale and a set of hand weights for her birthday. I am almost sure he had a death wish. Even traffic safety signs are written with some decorum-“Please drive slowly, we love our children.” Not, “Gun it, we’ll make more!” If God had given King Solomon more wisdom than anyone on earth, he would have certainly bestowed some empathy on the dynamic monarch. Solomon never would have survived the estrogen onslaught of his bloated harem without a touch of savoir-faire. And here’s a little secret–You don’t have to be a MENSA member to have successful people-skills. In fact the opposite can be true. If you look at the left brain human capacity for engineering, math and science, you will find that those individuals (most of them male) have less relational skills than right-brained people. The abstract-random creative, touchy-feely right brainers can’t find their way out of a parking lot, but they can read the body language of a friend in distress. If you are very, very high on the left-brained end of the spectrum, you may have autism or asberger’s syndrome. These people cannot read the emotions of those around them. In fact, successful long-term relationships are almost impossible. But these guys are the ones you want to balance your checkbook and fix your computer. The right-brainers can sniff out hurt, pain and fear a mile away, but please don’t ask them to carry a watch or work a Blackberry.

Solomon, in his fatherly moments, had a great deal to say about relating to others with sensitivity and kindness. His wisdom would serve us well in our everyday lives with our families, our friends and our neighbors. Let’s start where the rubber meets the road-honesty. Proverbs 27:6-“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 26:23-26 “Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart.” Sine cera is a stamp that appeared on Middle Eastern pottery in Bible times. If a pot was cracked some shady merchants would fill the cracks with wax. The pots looked spiffy on the outside, but they fell to pieces when grandma started cooking her favorite matzo bread. A pot that was all one piece was given a badge of honor that read “without wax.” Sincerity is a powerful part of a successful relationship. What you see is what you get.

 


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