Hello my friends, how are you today?  Just today, how are you doing? Over here, in my neck of the woods, the weather has been wonderful. We have had bouts of rains and thunderstorms, but throughout, the warm weather has persisted.  We’ve been able to spend more time outdoors for which I am very grateful. This is the beginning of the first week without any kids in the house.  It really has not been as bad as I expected. I am very thankful for my husband; he has refused to allow me to mope by ensuring that I get out of the house.  We’ve been to the movies, shopping (my favorite) and just driving around.  I love this man.    ps 46 1Do you know that women are more likely to end a marriage than men? According to several viable sources including Psychology Today and Huffington Post, women file 70-80% of all divorces. It has also been cited in several articles of study that at least 50% of all “Christian” marriages end in divorce.  That’s one out of every two marriages.Psalm 51 10Ladies and gentlemen, you are loved without measure by the God of the Universe.  You are uniquely created: you are one of a kind.  You are beautiful in the sight of a merciful and gracious God. You are so loved that a Bridge to the Father was sent just for you, it is the precious Gift of salvation that can only be found through and in the Son of God; Jesus Christ. John 10 10Secondly, God’s Word is not open to negotiation or compromise. Believe it or not, it’s for our good.  Every Word of God is for our good. It is profitable for our spiritual growth. II Tim 3 16 17Of course, this post begins with the premise that physical harm of any kind is never acceptable nor should it be tolerated in any relationship.

Ladies, here are 10 steps to a better relationship.

  1. Seek the Lord, that’s not negotiable. Spend time in His Word and in prayer for yourself and for others, especially your spouse. And let’s not forget that little thing called obedience to His Word.  Everything else will follow, He promised! [Matthew 6:33)
  2. Trust the Lord.  Our depth of trust displays itself in our ability to obey; there’s that word again.  Success, in every area in our lives, begins in obedience to the Word of God.  As ladies, that’s easier said than done.  We like to do things in set ways and it’s difficult to accept situations that do not align with our ways and schedules. Here’s a little secret, we’re not always right! I know! I was completely shocked too, when I found out.  This may mean some adjusting, but it’s okay I promise, we will give thanks every time things don’t go our way. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
  3. Watch out for that desire to manipulate; you know, that need to control or influence or sway someone’s thinking. How can we tell when we are being manipulative? When the truth has even the slightest difficulty rolling off our tongue.  We really have control issues, don’t we? I know that wisdom is referred to as ‘she’ in the Bible, BUT a little birdie told me, wisdom is found in keeping the Word of God.  Wow! What’s up with that! (Proverbs 14:1,2)
  4. Speak up but watch that tone! In the early years of our marriage, my husband reminded me that he was not my student!  Whoops! Truthfully that took a conscientious effort to stop the patronizing, disrespectful and at times nagging tone. Let’s speak of the things that frustrate, without belittling our spouse in any way. We would cringe if we could hear ourselves. (Proverbs 17:27,28)
  5. Submit to his authority.  And that’s why we do not marry a non-Christian or someone who is not actively pursuing the Lord! Remember that pesky word that just keeps coming up? Obedience! Really, our willingness to allow our husbands to control our homes, displays our relationship with the Lord.  It’s not easy to allow someone else to dictate the pace, but with the Lord’s help it’s possible. That does not mean we don’t speak of our wishes or desires, but the final decision, we leave with him.  Trust the Lord enough to let go. (Ephesians 5:22,23)
  6. Have an abundance of forgiveness ready to go.  Repeat after me; no one is perfect! That’s includes you and definitely our spouse.  Lower the expectations. Don’t put them on a pedestal. Don’t replace God with them; these all hinder our capacity to forgive. Don’t keep an account of wrongs.  Lower the expectations (did I already say that?)  They are mere men; in need of grace and forgiveness.  They will inflict pain, sometimes accidentally and yes, sometimes deliberately, sometimes in retaliation. Exercise that beautiful character the Father wants to cultivate in our lives. Believe me; we too will soon need some of that same grace and forgiveness too.(Romans 5:29)
  7. Marriage is not all about us and our emotional wellness. What!! Say it ain’t so! Marriage is God’s institution to mankind. He uses it to grow us into a deeper more meaningful relationship with Himself.  I think every married person will agree with this statement: “marriage is hard work and expect the unexpected”.  We have to work at it.  Instead of asking what can marriage do for me, let’s ask rather, what can I do for the benefit of my marriage? (Proverbs 31:10-31)
  8. Watch the thoughts! Remember our battle is not against flesh and blood.  Ladies we have an enemy.  He knows that if he can control our thoughts negatively, the actions that follow will also have a negative impact. When our thoughts wander into the files that kept every wrong offense our spouse has committed, let’s talk to the Lord about it.  Allow Him to change our thoughts.  He has this sneaky way of showing us who we really are and reminds us that we are no better.(Jeremiah 17:9)
  9. Don’t compare our spouse to another man!  Sorry, fathers are included in the list, especially when the comparisons leaves them lacking in any way.  Do I even have to say why we should never, ever do this? Let me put it this way, how would we feel, if he compared us to another woman? Bring out the boxing gloves!Watch that desire to compare your relationship with another. It will profit us nothing and pretty soon, discontentment will set in. (Proverbs 31:11,12)
  10. Respect his feelings! It’s in there, even though he does not always express it.  Men feel physical and emotional pain just like we do, let’s not forget that; it shows a distinct trait called vanity and self-centeredness, when we assign them the role of errand-boys. (Proverbs 31:30)

I’ve gone way past my self- allotted number of words.  Hopefully, you got to the end.  Ladies, dig really deep to find other character traits, the Lord is removing from your lives.  Let’s learn from each other.  Gentlemen, what are some things you wish women would know about you?  Really, we want to know, but be gentle, as you probably know, our fragile hearts don’t handle criticism very well.   closing1brenda