2 Timothy 3:16
Lifemates Blog

Fawn Weaver said that the beauty of marriage is not always seen from the beginning… but rather as the love grows and developes over time. Regrettably some have taken this beauty of marriage and turned it into a system of control over their spouse.

“COVID has created stresses on even the best relationships, let alone ones where there’s control and abuse,” one former abuser said “But it’s never OK to make your partner the object of your frustrations.” He urges any man who feels anger rising inside of them to seek immediate help from one of the many help-lines available. Being abused is never the fault of the recipient, and help should be sought.

According to the Federal Government’s report on Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence in Australia 2019:
Almost 1 in 4 (23%) women and 1 in 6 (16%) men have experienced emotional abuse from a current or previous partner since the age of 15. Almost 1 in 6 women (17%) and 1 in 16 men have experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or previous partner since the age of 15.’

We should all be horrified by these statistics.

Some of this control occurs as a result of a misunderstanding about what exactly are the roles of husband and wife. Being part of a group of ‘marrieds’ sharing the ups and downs of life and marriage with each other is often a fun way to share and learn from each other and to hold each other accountable in a non-judgemental manner. There are also many opportunities to take part in a ‘marriage refreshment’ event – visit the ‘marriageweek.org.au’ site for tips and ideas. Each year there is also an invitation to take part in the –

GREAT AUSSIE DATE NIGHT, which in 2021 is on 18th September 2021. Why not spend time soon talking together with your spouse about a fun way you would like to have that date. Why wait until then – regular, fun spontaneous dates should be a normal part of your married life.

Tips

“God does not expect us to love any differently than how He loves: with faithfulness and forgiveness.
Marriage is a school of love because it demands the gift of love each and every day.
Marriage is a lasting commitment to be tenacious in this ongoing relationship to one another.” ~ Posted on ‘For your marriage’

Thoughts

Protecting Your Love with Boundaries, taken from A Love Letter Life by
Jeremy and Audrey Roloff:

Here are a few of the boundaries we use to protect our love story:
We don’t use social media on Sunday.
We don’t check our phone during date night.
We don’t get on our phones in bed.
We have access to each other’s social media accounts.
We don’t go out one-on-one (coffee/drinks) with the opposite sex.
We don’t keep texts, emails, or social media messages to the opposite sex a secret.
We don’t text old boyfriends/girlfriends without the other knowing about it.
We encourage you to come up with your own list of boundaries. It doesn’t need to be exhaustive, nor does it need to be completed overnight. Just begin the conversation for the sake of protecting your love.

‘Lord, you know the person with whom I live; you know I have great difficulty in seeing anything positive about him (or her); but I know that you love my spouse. I want to be your channel for loving him (or her) too. Use my hands, my tongue, and my body to express your love,” ~ Dr. Gary Chapman

Forgive and forget – there’s no such thing as a perfect person.

Apologies: Because People Aren’t Perfect

When is the last time you apologized? What did you say or do? Did the person to whom you apologized seem to accept your apology? Did they forgive you? Was the relationship healed? If not, I have an idea as to why they found it hard to forgive you. They did not hear your apology as being sincere.

When someone hurts us and is now trying to apologize, the question in our minds is: are they sincere? We judge sincerity by how they apologize. If they simply say, “I’m sorry,” that may seem a bit weak. We may want to hear them say, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” There are five ways to apologize. If you speak only one, you will likely come across as insincere.

Apology 101
Do you know how to apologize? Chances are you do what your parents taught you, but that may not be enough. Dr. Jennifer Thomas and I discovered that people have different ideas on what it means to apologize. In fact there are five languages of apology. If you don’t speak the right language you are not likely to have a favorable response.

If you aren’t sure how to apologize, consider saying this: “I value our relationship. What do I need to do or say in order for you to consider forgiving me?” Their answer will reveal their ‘primary apology language’. Express your apology in that language and will likely receive forgiveness.
Sincere Apologies
What do you consider to be a sincere apology? What does the person need to say or do that will make it possible for you to forgive them? I have discovered that there are five ways that people typically apologize. I call them the five languages of apology.

  • Expressing regret. “I’m sorry for what I did.”
  • Accepting responsibility. “I was wrong.”
  • Making restitution. “What can I do to make things right?”
  • Genuine repentance. “I don’t want to ever do that again.”
  • Requesting forgiveness. “Will you please forgive me?”

Which of these is most important to you? That is your primary apology language. Why not share this information with your family and friends so they will know how to apologize to you.

Authentic Apologies
Do you have a relationship that is presently broken or fractured? What would it take to heal the relationship? I’d like to suggest two essentials: apologizing and forgiving. When we have hurt someone, it is time to apologize. Don’t let your pride keep you from admitting that you were wrong.

When someone has hurt you, it is time to confront. Jesus said that if someone sins against you, then you should tell them, and seek reconciliation. Don’t let fear keep you from confronting the person who has hurt you. Healthy relationships must be authentic. You cannot suffer in silence and hope things will work out. There are no healthy marriages without apologies and forgiveness.

Learn More: ‘The Five Languages of Apology’ ~ Dr Gary Chapman

“When we become too proud to let go of our anger or to accept a sincere apology, our marriage may be destined for failure. Forgiving a spouse doesn’t mean we’re denying that they’ve hurt us in some way. It’s simply acknowledging that we’re all human and we all make mistakes. It also doesn’t minimise what happened. You’re not saying to your spouse, “What you did isn’t important.”

Anytime someone wrongs another person, the offence is important. What you’re saying to them is, “I believe you’re sorry, and I choose to forgive you. Because our marriage is too important for me to do otherwise.”” ~ Focus on the Family Australia

THOUGHTS FOR PARENTS

Society’s continued rejection of God has had “staggering ripple effects” on children, the mother-of-three said,Priscilla Shirer, head of Going Beyond Ministries.
“Kids think they are what they feel and how they behave; that their inclinations and past define them,” Shirer continued. “But the Bible said that while those things may be true, they don’t define you. You are who God says you are, and you have the right to operate in that way.”Finding your identity in Christ will impact every decision you make, Shirer contended, from choosing a career or spouse to posting on social media. “Before you make a decision, pause and give yourself the grace to ask, ‘does this stem from one of the lies of insecurity, fear, and rejection? Or am I making this decision from a place of truth?'” she advised. “When we pause, it gives us a place in our heart to see the root of why we’re making this choice, and if we need to, recalibrate and make the right decision.” “Think about how many relationships we choose out of a place of insecurity and how differently we’d make choices if we truly believed, ‘I am enough,'” she continued. “We’d choose different friendships, romantic relationships, career paths. Coming to grips with this issue of identity and recognizing your significance can change the course of your life.”

Quotes

Technology is wonderful when it works, but sometimes it robs couples of face time. Use tools like email, Facebook, and texting to connect with each other, not disconnect. A live spouse is better than a virtual one. ~ Tip from ‘for your marriage’

“When I fall in love, it will be forever” ~ Jane Austen (and Karl Marx)

“Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.” ~ Marriage.com

Parenting

No successful athlete, artist, musician or business person has succeeded by aspiring to failure or mediocrity. If we don’t expect our marriage to last, chances are it won’t. If we don’t aspire to providing children the stability of both parents in the one home, we can be almost certain that we won’t.

The first step towards rebuilding marriage as a life-long commitment in our society is believing it is both possible and optimal. Pretending ‘it doesn’t really matter’ is unhelpful, to everyone involved. ~ Francine & Byron Pirola

Laughter

A priest was invited to attend a house party.
Naturally, he was properly dressed and wearing his Priest’s Collar. A little boy kept staring at him the entire evening. Finally, the priest asked the little boy what he was staring at.
The little boy pointed to the priest’s neck. When the priest realized what the boy was pointing at, he asked the boy, “Do you know why I am wearing this?” The boy nodded his head, and replied, “Yes, it kills fleas and ticks for up to three months”.