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Please read Nehemiah 9:15-22.<p>"Here are some key elements of the passage:
1.God's response to hunger and thirst: Provision of bread, water and possession of the land.
2. People's response to HIS kindness: Arrogant, stiff-necked, and rebellious making of other gods and a return to slavery.
3. GOD'S RESPONSE TO HATEFUL REBELLION: Forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love. HE DID NOT DESERT NOR ABANDON HIS PEOPLE." <p>Wow, how many times have I done the same darn thing? In my personal rebellion as a teenager I set up my peers and the drugs we were taking and selling as my god's. As a young adult, I set up my ex-husband and his sick lifestyle as my God. And in the past few years, lost and sick myself, not knowing where to turn, God lifted me up and said, I FORGIVE YOU in a way that I heard it and understood and could allow HIS love to heal and revive me. Praise Him for He 'did not desert nor abandon' me!<p>"God blesses; man uses and perverts;and then God disciplines, forgives, restores, and calls us into useful service. The pattern is tragic in its repetition, but overwhelmingly wonderful in its end. God wins, as do those who bear the mark of His forgiving love" AMEN!<p>"His long-suffering patience and forgiveness, however, are not offered without great cost to Himself. The cost is ultimately the sacrifice of His own beloved Son for the payment of sin. His forgiveness also involves a high price for the recipient. The cost is sacrifice as well, but of a wholly different order from His Son's shameful death on behalf of His brothers and sisters."<p>I have to stop here and reflect. When I first accepted Jesus into my life as my savior, I thought heaven on earth was to follow. For years before, I had been tossed and turned on the sea of life&#8217;s events like a war-torn raggedy Ann doll. When I became saved I thought that was all gonna end. And for a very short time, in my closed mind, it did. But then, all hell broke loose, literally. Too long a story to explain what happened or how, just trust me, Satan had so many strongholds in me that God had to literally shake me and my world for a couple of years to loose the hold this world, my flesh and Satan had on me. I am still in the after shock of the shaking but can see why God did what He did. No rosy colored path to walk here, just a whole bunch of reality dumped in my lap to sort out and hand over to God. And a whole new understanding and respect for what 'sacrifice' really means. <p>Here is such a cool paragraph....
"The cost for the recipient of God's grace is NOTHING-and no price could be higher for ARROGANT people to pay. Something within me (that feels noble) longs for a religion that requires payment. I may like an occasional free gift, but I cannot bear the loss of PRIDE and SWAGGER that occurs when I give my life and nothing is required. GRACE IS FREE, and that is disturbing. It is so distressing, in fact, that most who receive it work hard to find some way to preserve their arrogance by laborious piety. The often sincere, but arrogant, penance in many cases serves to retain their false pride and in turn to obligate God to act on their behalf."<p>Wow, I don't know about you all, but that describes my first few years as a newborn Christian to a tea. <p>"LOVE SEEMS TO CONSTANTLY BE DERAILED BY SIN. Every effort to do good, to some degree, seems to flounder on the shoals of SELF-CENTEREDNESS."<p>Sometimes, I read these things and just think that the author must have crawled inside my heart and my life and is writing about me!<p>Recently, in my efforts to understand what to do about my husbands abusive behavior, I did some pretty self-centered things all in the name of LOVE. I sought help from an unproven source, not caring how it might affect my husband. I prayed for God to change my husband before I even considered how much I may need to be changed by God&#8217;s hand myself. I scurried to try to protect my child and didn&#8217;t bother to ask my teenage son how he felt or what he wanted. I have been selfish, self-centered, rude and arrogant in handling the decaying situation within my marriage. And in it all, God watched and protected me from myself. God has provided other avenues of change and healing for both me and my husband we would never have imagined. In the past 2 weeks, our marriage has had a positive note in it that has not been present in over 10 years! We have both happily agreed to go to a wonderful marriage seminar via telecast being held at our church in a few weekends. I am amazed at how God can take the ashes of our life and create more beauty then we could ever have hoped for. And I attribute part of the success in our marital relationship to reading and studying this book along with studying the Bible as my main source of truth. I cannot express how peaceful it is now compared to the situation just a few weeks ago. God&#8217;s loving-kindness IS better then life and His forgiveness is more important then life. <p>&#8220;The flawed lover must be restored to the path of love after love has perished on the shoals of self-centerdness. At the deepest level, the taste of forgiveness must come from the One most offended in order for life and love to be restored. In every case of sin, it is God who is most hurt and offended by our refusal to love. It is His forgiveness that is central to any movement to love after love has been trampled under the muck of hatred.&#8221;<p>After reading this, I was struck by my own lack of real life giving penetrating love. I realized that in accepting God&#8217;s forgiveness and then not forgiving others myself, I was not at all understanding the true nature of God and His Love. <p>&#8220;This is true if the failure of love is in the giving or in the receiving. There are many who offer great gifts of love but are rebuffed and, in turn, refuse to deal with their own hurt, anger, and refusal to love again with an open heart. Many (people) never give again after a sincere, good gift was harshly rejected or thoughtlessly ignored.&#8221;<p>I think that I made that unconscience decision when I was very young. I gave of myself early on like a child does, trusting, wanting to give love and get it in return, but I was neglected, beaten down verbally and physically betrayed by my own parents and family while growing up. I know that I decided a long time ago that giving of myself was just a way for others to use me, so I made it a point to not give. I withheld. It hurt me more then it hurt others. <p>&#8220;Love often succumbs to a cold death on the sharp rocks of disappointment. Love cannot last long or live out its eternal purpose in human relationships without a foundation of forgiveness-the forgiveness from God for our failure to love with a pure other-centered heart, and forgiveness when the recipient of our love spurns our gift or uses our soul in an unloving fashion. UNLESS THE FABRIC OF OUR INVOLVEMENT WITH OTHERS IS WOVEN WITH THE THREADS OF FORGIVENESS, LOVE WILL SUFFER THE CORRUPTION OF DENIAL, HARDNESS, CYNICISM, AND EVENTUALLY HATRED.&#8221;<p>I am so glad God sent me this realization before the hatred within my soul became anymore embedded then it already was!!!!<p>&#8220;Love is dependent on forgiveness. A formula can almost be structured from this concept. The extent to which someone truly loves will be positively correlated to the degree the person is stunned and silenced by the wonder that his huge debt has been canceled. Perhaps another way to say it is that gratitude for forgiveness is the foundation for other-centered love. &#8230;&#8230;&#8230;And all efforts to love are made lovely and useful by a great Lover who superintends all our bumbling efforts and turns the dross of mixed motives to the gold of eternal intentions.&#8221;<p>Wow, Love is dependent on forgiveness&#8230;these are no longer just words to me. I can see more clearly then ever now how much I have been forgiven. And because this mind and spirit expanding knowledge is so ever present in my heart, I can forgive my husband before he even sins. For the first time in my life his foolish speech and unwise ways, which before threw me into a fit of rage at his abusive tendencies, now just, makes me giggle. I realize just how foolish and unwise I have been and still God forgives me and loves me&#8230;..I also realize how much in control God is in my marriage, that He is providing for and protecting us both. I have come to realize that I am no different then my husband in a lot of ways. I may not get physical and hit others or break things, but I am violent none the less, in different ways. My eyes have been opened to a whole new understanding of God and His forgiving love.<p>God Bless,
Bev

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I have recently had the insight that I do NOT have enough love to mend my marriage. (I hope this fits in with your topic)<p>I was doing a great plan A by depending on God's strength. God loved my H through me, and it felt so natural that I started to believe that I was doing the loving, and I stopped going to the source and guess what, I do not have enough love by myself.<p>And certainly this love is going to have to come via forgiveness of my WH's A, as you quoted. But I have got to stop imagining I have the strength to do it myself.

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Just recently, I heard someone compare faith to the new shaker salads that McDonalds has. The dressing is on the top and then you put the lid on and shake it down. But one or two shakings are not enough, the cup o'salad needs to be shaken quite a few times vigorously before the salad becomes saturated with the dressing. In some ways, our faith is the same way. We start by understanding with our minds and accept what faith is all about, but it takes a lot of shaking to get the faith from our head to our heart.<p>Maybe thats what you are going through Bgentle. The shaking your marriage is taking is a way for God to get your faith of trusting in Him for ALL your needs down further into your heart so you can live out the forgiveness and love He is asking you to lean on Him for. <p>I have learned that not any of the love I have now for my H has come from me. It has been purely by the power of the Holy Spirit that I have been able to change and see changes in my H. But I gotta tell ya, I think it was the changes I went through first that has instigated the changes I notice in my H. Praise God for that one!<p>Have patience, and remember there is always another faction at work in this world ready to keep us from recieving the blessings God has for us. We need to pray for constant dicernment and protection from the enemy....and patience to waid it out till God's will is fulfilled in us. <p>Your right, we don't have the strength within ourselves, but He does!<p>God Bless,
Bev

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Yes, for most of my life most of my Christian faith has been head knowledge and not heart knowledge. There is some fantastic material on getting heart knowledge in "How People Grow" which I have mentioned in another thread.<p>Though (because of?) being somewhat neglected as a child, I had a wonderful experience of God's love for me when I was quite small and this is the heart knowledge that has stayed with me and been powerful enough to call me back when I lose my way.<p>But through this marriage disaster, I am learning to claim more in my heart than I had before.

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Hi all,<p>Bgentle, thank you for being so responsive. It lets me know someone is reading and thinking about what I am posting here and it is not all in vain.<p>And maybe I am being overly sensative or am slightly depressed [img]images/icons/frown.gif" border="0[/img] but is there a problem with this study?? Is it going to slow?? Am I talking to much about myself and not giving anyone the oppurtunity to share?? <p>Just asking. Honestly, I am concerned because I thought that some of you were interested in going through the book with me. I believe some of you still are but are busy with other things or life has just taken a different turn for you. And thats cool. It would just be nice to know what is going on and where everyone is. <p>Thanks and God Bless,
Bev

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Dear Sister, I fully understand that you might feel like all your work in this study is not being responded to as you would like. The same thing happened in the BIM series, but I found it to be a wonderful humbling experience, the offering of a gift without expectations, like our Lord did when He hung on the cross. The information you have provided has been powerful and lends much to think and pray about, the challenge to look within and see where we need to apply the scapel to open clogged arteries that love might freely flow from ourselves. <p>The information as you have presented it is such a mouthful that I find myself reading and rereading and praying more for wisdom and insight to how such things apply to me. It is so much easier to get rid of those people who are difficult to love and a greater challenge to not remove them from our lives and to learn to love them with an everlasting love as Christ does to us. I heard someone make a wonderful analogy the other day about Matt. 7u and the log in our own eye vs the splinter in our brother's...the speaker said to imagine your self with the log sticking out of your eye and realize that as you turn to the left, Wham! the log hits the person next to you and as you turn to the right Wham! it again hits another person, that when we have such logs we are injuring so many around us that we are so blinded to how our log is affecting others by focusing on a splinter elsewhere, that the only one who doesn't see the log in your eye is you, everyone else sees it sticking out there ugly as can be. <p>And though you may be feeling that you are not being fed or affirmed by our lack of responses, please know that we appreciate the effort very much, but when the Lord begins to show us where we each have falied in the love category, the humbling is so overwhelming that we often just need to sit and meditate and be amazed at how blind we have been. So many times when the Lord has shown me something, I have said the "yeah, but..." in order to take the focus off myself, only to have the Lord keep the focus right where He wants it on me! Thank you for your faithfulness.<p>SueB

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May I share something else I got from the book? Not exactly chapter one (again), but..<p>It was page 282 or thereabouts. Author was talking about Bold Love always ending in prayer. It hit me that I have had an example, teacher and daily mentor for Bold Love in my life for decades. My firstborn son.<p>I flashed on an incident that took place about 8 years ago. He was 17 yo HS senior. He got lost in the city bus routes in Los Angeles and found himself in a very bad part of town. Not surprisingly, he got mugged. <p>My son was a really innocent and young-looking white kid, in a tough all black neighborhood. A middle-aged dude forceably took his backpack, took his $60 he had for a train fare, and everything else that looked attractive to him.<p>DS looked him straight in the eyes and said, "Oh, PLEASE don't DO this!" <p>Now, you would have to know my son to hear the tone. He said it passionately, out of deep and sincere concern for the mugger's soul, not out of fear or distress at being robbed. That is his way.<p>By the end of this encounter, the mugger had actually walked my son to the proper bus stop, gave him complete instructions on getting to his destination, gave him back his backpack and the contents, including $20 of the original $60. They ended up both in tears on their knees on the sidewalk praying for forgiveness and blessings on each other.<p>I learned a few years ago that this child was my original guardian angel sent to teach me how to raise my children. Now I see HOW he did a good job. <p>He was a great example of bold love all his life, and clearly from about 10 months and on. He didn't even need to be verbal to make it very clear that I was doing something wrong. None of my other wonderful four children had that capacity! <p>He wasn't a perfect child, but he is humble, forgiving, loving and meek. Even now as a respectable 26 year old married father and hard-working diplomat in government service.<p>Now I am trying to be that kind of model for my DH and other children. Pretty poor compared to DS, but getting better. Humility and personal repentance are the foundation. Meekness is not easy for me. Still feels forced, but practice helps.<p>Anybody else have an example of bold love to share?

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Great Story!!!<p>And I finally got the book! but I can't seem to get the book and a networked computer in the same vicinity, but I am reading it - and it was fun to come across quotes I already knew about from the quotes here.

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Hi Ladies,
I was so determined to reach the last three chapters of Bold Love that I haven't taken time to participate in the study. I made it all the way through! In all honesty, there's a lot of things in this book that I just didn't like one bit! LOL I've been very much a fool. This book exposed foolishness in ways that I never knew existed. It also exposed evil in ways that apply to my H that I never contemplated before. It's rather unnerving. He might have more shortcomings than the average joe, but I never thought of him as evil. I still feel perplexed as to how to deal with him. Separation began with a "wait and see" attitude. I see myself drifting further away from him, leaving any effort whatsoever in his court (which have been a nonevent so far). I don't know whether to try with him anymore or just drift. <p>The chapters have blurred together for me at this point. Of all the messages in this book, there was one I find most welcome. Forgiving is totally up to me, but reconciliation hinges on repentance. Did I get that right? H treats me with callous disregard and neglect. I can forgive him for that. Until I see signs that he's willing and capable of changing that behavior, I don't see much hope for a future together. Wouldn't he need to confess his transgressions and make efforts to change for reconciliation to be feasible? <p>If there's just one thing I improve as a result of this book, I want my rebukes to be the whisper of a friend, not the shout of an enemy. I guess that quote was in another thread. I picture my H as a tormented soul surrounded by barbed wire. I can see more clearly now that my own boundaries have a few barbs of their own. I have lots of ways to keep people at an arm's length, and that was true of me before I ever met my H. I need to soften my edges. Perhaps I never considered myself strong enough to let someone too close. Perhaps I've spent to much time being naive. <p>As the author points out repeatedly, we live in a fallen world. That's no mystery, obviously, but I've staked too much of a claim in wanting this world and my life to be more like heaven. You'd think I'd've figured this out sooner. My bubble is burst. I've been holding onto an unrealistic expectation all this time. I've spent inordinate amounts of time wishing and praying for certain struggles to go away. Struggles will never go away, and some of the things the author describes (such as wrestling with God... now that just sounds like a BAD idea!) give me a sinking feeling in my stomach. If I have to struggle to gain wisdom, then wisdom it is. <p>Karenna, loved your story!

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HI, I just wanted to know, even though I did not have the book, bold love?, I enjoyed reading the feedback and thoughts on this thread... is this a book that can be found at a bookstore, barnes and nobles, etc. Perhaps I will look for it online now at half.com. I am interestede in joining you all in this study. I really would enjoy it... so I will look for the book.<p>Thanks for being here, I appreciate it, Lisa

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Karenna, that is one powerful example to see bold love in action! <p>I think that is why this concept is so amazing to me, the relationships in my life have not experienced this kind of passion and I do desire to learn to love like that. Had been doing fairly well and yet, yesterday found my mind wandering about leaving this situation. <p>And LH, trying to seek wisdom to know when to allow those in our lives to accept responsibility for themselves, which is giving them more respect or taking those steps to seek them out...such a tough and confusing delemma. I know my life would be more peaceful, I know that my old job is waitng for me, that friends would encircle me to support me, that my mountain tugs at my heart often, but I just don't think that I yet have learned this bold love thing to encourage my H to grow up and be the leader God desires for him to be....part of me thinks he will never grow up, but again perhaps that is short-changing God. <p>I know his battle is with God and not me; I think that my motivation for my actions is pure and though I have much spiritual growing to do, I also think I am on the right track. I saw the videos on this book and I can say there was a lot of emotion in the group as we tried to understand the fine line between the different types of people...it was interesting as I had originally though my H fit the evil category, but now I think that he is just the foolish one, opening mouth and blurting without thinking and not aware of how malicious his words are. <p>Have been listening to Moore on Life these past few days and part of his description of the Extrovert personality was very interesting as he said they are very verbal and tend to speak without thinking, that in fact, they edit thoughts as they speak. So the emotional speel that pours out all over as he throws his tantrum, rants, name calls, etc. are not even thought about, just verbalized....by the time he thinks about it, it has already been said, pride keeps apologies still...now how can you hate a foolish person? <p>I can only feel sorry for him, and learn how to curb my own mouth like the book says...how that desire for wisdom increases. I am the simpleton, clinging to Romans 7, knowing what is right and continually doing what is wrong...if Paul had not written these words, Satan would have torn me to shreds long ago. <p>And welcome Lisa to the group. This book is called Bold Love and is by Dan Allendar. Very powerful. And again, thanks frstrtd, for all the work you have done with this powerful chapter. I will try and participate more often in the days to come. I know we have been kinda slow, but I do believe that this is an important piece for our growth.<p>Hugs to everyone.

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There is sooooo much history between we and our spouses, that I truely wonder if the kind of Bold Love that Karenna shared in her story could ever be manifested with our spouses.<p>I mean....my H and I are so used to each other. Time has driven us into habitual responses and we already "know" or think we know what the other person is going to say or do or think before they do it. In the case of Kareena's son, he was confronted by a stranger. Someone he had never seen before moved him to what only God can accomplish through a willing vessel. I too want to become that kind of willing vessel, but I have to work through old habits and thoughts and ways of doing things that have been a part of me and my H for years. I would probrably be able to make much more headway with a stranger or someone I barely know then with my husband....and that is proving to be the case. <p>Even now as I am learning how to approach my H's abusive behavior with bold confronting love, I find my new approach with my H being misconscrewed by my H as the old approach only dressed up in new clothing. In other words, my H really isn't hearing my words nor seeing my actions for what they are now, instead he is still focused on what has always been a pattern of the past. He still hears and sees only that which he wants. This is all such hard work that at times giving up has been the only option I seem to have.<p>I know I am not alone in this. Reading these posts helps me understand how much we need each other to lean on and talk to. I am in much need right now. Ever since I discovered just how destructive my marital relationship had become, I have drifted from the saftey of the arms of God. I don't know why, but my relationship with the Lord has suffered tremendously at the very time I need Him the most. Why? I have asked myself that a hundred times and really have no clear idea. Except that I am so angry and frustrated with God because I am in a relationship with a man who cannot even begin to understand how destructive he really is and I hear God saying, 'stay there Bev'....stay in the marriage and I will help you. Yet, I don't see His hand helping as much as hurting. It hurts to want to have your marriage change so much to make things right when only one out of the two in the marriage really wants to change. My H has no idea how much he hurts me everyday. But God does and God says stay. I find it hard to feel safe with my H or with my God anymore.....the lonliness is devastating.

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I have been trying to put up a new chapter study on Mondays, but have not been feeling well this past week. I even took a sick day and am home from work today because I feel lousy. Whether it is the emotional making me feel physically weak or the physicall making me feel emotionally weak is anyones call right now. I just know that I feel rather ycchy, throat kinda soar, body achy, all over blues kinda bad. Have for a few days now. Maybe for a week or so actually. Yea, I am going through the pre-manapause syndrome too...nothing drastic, but hormonal changes non the less. <p>Anyway, if I feel better today, I will post a new study, but if not, hope to get to it soon. Sorry for the delay............<p>God Bless

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Sorry to hear you're under the weather frstrtd. It'll give you some time to think. Looks like I'll have a bit more time to think about things myself. I got notice today that my parttime position is being eliminated. <p>I too was very distrustful of some changes I saw in my H over the last year. In counselling I had asked for affection (at that time he would literally recoil when I touched him). He gave me a hug daily from that point forward. Several months in fact. I couldn't ever shake my own uncertainty. What I REALLY want are gifts from his heart, and I felt like I was receiving something that is somehow contrived or forcibly extracted from him. In one sense, I feel like I could have given it more time. OTOH, I felt like I was seeing the upper limit of his capabilities, and it wasn't enough. He is absent emotionally and I don't have any realistic expectation that he'll ever be anything but absent. Next week marks three months of separation, and to date his efforts toward reconciliation are ZERO. <p>With a stranger, we start with a clean slate. It is certainly more difficult to practice bold love with a man who has hurt me so deeply, a man who refuses to acknowledge how he's hurt me, let alone repent from doing any further harm. Whether I change or he changes, we will both view the other with suspicion that this new behavior is merely a mask on what we had before. I don't know how long the new behavior needs to last for it to be "the real thing." It the same sort of challenge people in MB face all the time with Plan A. The "nice spouse" is viewed with suspicion as the behavior is unfamiliar. One little backslide and you've undone months of good behavior. Excuse me while I go stomp me feet and complain about how unfair and difficult this is!!! <p>Before I go, I'm curious, frstrtd. How do you know God is telling you to stay? I feel like I've been playing a guessing game for two years now and I still don't know the rules and most of what I hear from above is silence.

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You know, lonesome heart, that you even asked 'how do I know that God is telling me to stay' is by no coincidence. <p>I go to counsling every few weeks with a wonderful women who so completly validates me and what I am feeling. Today she helped me to validate how I know I should stay. She said that with all the abuse I have been through in my life, I have never once before allowed myself to really feel the pain of it all. I was hooked on drugs by age 15 and have had one addiction or another since then. I was also diagnosed as bipolar and have been hospitalized for emotional problems 3 times in my life. I have always used some addiction, emotional tool or spiritual mechanism to escape the reality of just plain feeling the pain of life, whether it be addictions or emotional breakdowns or whatever, I have always 'run away'. But for the first time in my life, and I am 47 yrs old, I am facing the pain now that I have could not face for years. All wrapped up in a nice little bundle in my marriage. A lot of symbolic stuff yes, but a lot of present pain as well as pain of the past none the less. <p>I know God is telling me to stay because He doesn't want me to run away this time. It hurts tremendously yes, but God wants me to face the pain and hurt that is keeping me from being the child of God He knows I am inside. I need to go through this now. And I need to struggle and grow through this now too. I need to stay in this place now so God can grow me up even in a somewhat painful circumstance, then I know God will be faithful to change my circumstance. I don't know how, but I do trust in Him and His promises to bless me if I KEEP the commitments I have made to Him. And staying with my husband is a part of that for now. It may change one day, I don't know, only God knows...but for now, I know God is telling me to stay.

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<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by frstrtd:
<strong>There is sooooo much history between we and our spouses, that I truely wonder if the kind of Bold Love that Karenna shared in her story could ever be manifested with our spouses.</strong><hr></blockquote><p>"History" and habit is the one thing I have absolute confidence in the power of God and repentance to break. Why? Because it is entirely within MY OWN power to break my habits. <p><strong>I mean....my H and I are so used to each other. Time has driven us into habitual responses and we already "know" or think we know what the other person is going to say or do or think before they do it. </strong><p>Have you read Michele Wiener Davis? Her main deal in all her books is about breaking your own habitual responses to situations. Change from what obviously hasn't worked to something different. The different behavior may not have the precisely desired effect, but at least it won't be the same ol' same ol' ineffectual stuff!<p><strong>In the case of Kareena's son, he was confronted by a stranger. </strong> <p>Only after 17 years of using Bold Love on those foolish parents of his, the fools in school, and everyone else who offended. I actually think he was born knowing all this. I am going to continue to watch his ministries with great interest and anticipation!<p><strong>Someone he had never seen before moved him to what only God can accomplish through a willing vessel. </strong><p>Whatever was accomplished is between that mugger and God. We will never know.<p><strong>I too want to become that kind of willing vessel, but I have to work through old habits and thoughts and ways of doing things that have been a part of me and my H for years.</strong><p>No you don't. You don't have to break the old habit before you experiment with a different behavior. Just try it once. If you don't like it you can always go back to the same ol' that didn't work before.<p><strong>I would probrably be able to make much more headway with a stranger or someone I barely know then with my husband....and that is proving to be the case.</strong><p>"Headway" is an illusion. Strangers don't count because you can't see the ultimate result. But practicing a response on a friend is a great idea. <p>Role play in advance, either with a friend, or even in a Stranger situation. Even if you don't do the "correct" response in the crunch, you will be able to hesitate from giving the old response just long enough to remember to do a 180 degree turnabout and change the game.<p>But strangers are far more terrifying to most of us than familiar faces. Especially when doing something as high risk as inviting them to repentance!<p><strong>Even now as I am learning how to approach my H's abusive behavior with bold confronting love, I find my new approach with my H being misconscrewed by my H as the old approach only dressed up in new clothing. In other words, my H really isn't hearing my words nor seeing my actions for what they are now, instead he is still focused on what has always been a pattern of the past. He still hears and sees only that which he wants. This is all such hard work that at times giving up has been the only option I seem to have.</strong><p>Do a 180. Quit playing H's game. Take your marbles and roll them in a different frame. <p>If Bold Love hasn't given you a new idea to experiment with, then post a specific example of a destuctive rote dance here and see if the board participants have some new ideas.<p><strong>Ever since I discovered just how destructive my marital relationship had become, I have drifted from the saftey of the arms of God. I don't know why, but my relationship with the Lord has suffered tremendously at the very time I need Him the most. Why? I have asked myself that a hundred times and really have no clear idea. Except that I am so angry and frustrated with God because I am in a relationship with a man who cannot even begin to understand how destructive he really is and I hear God saying, 'stay there Bev'....stay in the marriage and I will help you. Yet, I don't see His hand helping as much as hurting. It hurts to want to have your marriage change so much to make things right when only one out of the two in the marriage really wants to change. My H has no idea how much he hurts me everyday. But God does and God says stay. I find it hard to feel safe with my H or with my God anymore.....the lonliness is devastating.</strong><p>Maybe God really is asking you to make some other changes in yourself?<p>When you are really in touch with your own depravity, then you are in a position to have compassion for your H's evil tendencies. <p>Is there someone in your life who taught you that you also are capable of being abusive? Or selfish? Or petty? Or whatever? <p>This has to start with Repentance. When we have confessed all our own sins and faults the best you can, then we can get divine help with confronting wrong actions against us.

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Guess I am a bit off base. Should have looked for your newest reply before I hit the button!<p>We will pray for you frstrtd! We used to do a regular Tuesday evening prayer night here.<p>Dear Father,<p>We thank you for this forum, for these sisters with whom we can share our joys, fears, pain and grief. We praise thee for the miracles you have performed in our lives already, and for the miracle of this life and opportunity to grow. <p>Please be with frstrtd in her struggles with life, in her marriage, and in her desires to serve thee. We thank thee for the many sisters here who struggle together in faith and love, trying to support each other. Be with all of those who hurt tonight.<p>Help frstrtd to know that our thoughts and prayers are with her. Let her feel thy Spirit comforting her in her pain and loneliness.<p>We thank thee for the wisdom and truth we are finding in the book, "Bold Love." Help us to see clearly the love, repentance, compassion and humility we need to have in order to truly love our fellow beings. <p>Bless frstrtd in her leadership with our new book study. Let it be a wonderful blessing in her life. <p>Bless us all that we might more effectively praise thee and give glory to thee and thy Son. Help us to be more like Him every day.<p>In Jesus' name, <p>Amen

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That was a beautiful prayer Karenna.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>If Bold Love hasn't given you a new idea to experiment with, then post a specific example of a destuctive rote dance here and see if the board participants have some new ideas.<p><hr></blockquote><p>I'm jumping on this one before frstrtd has a chance! <p>Last Saturday I edged the sidewalk for the first time. I don't know how you're supposed to tell where the edge is when you can't see it! Sparks were flyin there for a while and the sidewalk has a few gouges. I erred on the side of caution after that, and let's just say there's a bit more of the lawn missing than needs to be. Still, it looks better than it did. <p>It's material for a long standing pattern. I feel like it's a triple whammy lose/lose/lose situation. When we went to counselling last year, I discovered that any request, big or small, is viewed as a form of control by him. As an example, he sited how I would ask him to get me a napkin at dinnertime. (I'm thinking, well, that's infrequent, and happens only when I'm seated and he's still standing.) I really don't want to be a controlling person. Given his low threshhold for what counts as "control", I don't feel like I'm "allowed" to make any requests. If I wait for him to offer his superior edging skills, I'd have grass to my rooftop and a fine from the city. By taking the initiative to edge the sidewalk myself, I'm subject to ridicule. <p>These days, the lines of communication are practically zilch, but should he take a jab at the way I edged the sidewalk, what would be some responses consistent with bold love?

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I will add another situation of my own which just recently occurred.<p>My husband 'controls' all the finances when it comes to paying bills, having credit cards and using them and basically makes major decisions about our finances without consulting me. Unbeknowst to me, he has been trying to refinance our 2 mortgages into one, until I asked him what was up. He answered that what he is trying to do has nothing to do with me....that is until I need to sign the papers. Instead of getting angry, I asked more questions about the whole process and he became defensive with me saying that all I want to do is control everything by wanting to know. Now, that was not the case at all...I just wanted to know what he was planning on doing and how it would work. He got angry and verbally abused me once again. I quietly yet firmly told him that as a vested partner in our houshold affairs and the moneys we have, I have a right to know what his plans are. He became angry and could no longer talk rationally about the matter, so I said we need to talk about it when he was more reasonable. After a couple more abusive remarks on his part about how I would never understand, implying stupidity, I excused myself and told him once again, we needed to talk when he could be more rational. Well, that time never came for him. <p>Then, just a few days ago we recieved a sizable income tax return which he had been saying for weeks would pay off our jeep. Both my son and myself were told this several times. The money came and a week later I asked if he sent in the check for the jeep yet. He became very defensive and said that there were other things he needed to take care of. Nothing new had come up, but he just changed his mind about what to do with the large sum. And then he went into a tirade about how I need to be flexable and that sometimes things change. I never accused him of anything, I just wanted to know why the jeep hadn't gotten paid off and reminded him that he was the one who made the plan to do this and had told us for weeks that it would be done and now that it wasn't, why hadn't he discussed with me the changes that he had made with the money. He flew into a mini-rage accusing me of wanting to controll everything again and I unfortunatly started to yell back at him. I was furious that he was so angry over my marriage-partner rights to be included in major decisions like this. My anger spilled out with harsh words which now I wish I could take back....but it is done. Though, I didn't let it lie there, I called him when I got to work and said that it is obvious we cannot discuss these things in the morning and that I would be home that night as to would he and that we need to go over what he did with the money. He said OK. That night I didn't ask for him to show me anything, I waited for him to voluntarily show me....and he did. <p>Now this situation with control over money is an ongoing one. After reading what happened above, does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could have better handled the problems I encounter with in this area? <p>This whole incident has shown me a few things...I thing my H is threatened by me somehow. He is very controlling in money, sex and verbally he needs to be 'one up' all the time. I feel like I am in a competition with him over just about anything. He needs to be better then, more then, smarter then, always with the 'oneupmanship'. If I am sick he has been sicker, if I am depressed, he has been even more depressed. And so on. It's like living with a 9 year old little boy mentality who goes around saying.... 'na na na' anything you can do I can do better'. Drives me up a wall at times!<p>Got any ideas on how to help me cope with this and change my way of doing things so as to demonstrate Bold Love? I'd be more then happy to know them.<p>[ April 17, 2002: Message edited by: frstrtd ]</p>

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And Karenna, thank you for the beautiful heart felt prayer. I am touched by your willingness to serve God and pray for me and others here. Where 2 or more are gathered in my Name, there I am in the midst of them Jesus said, and I really believe this includes when we meet here on this board. So Thank You Karenna for inspiring me to do the same.<p>Dear God, how wonderful Your Love is for all of us. Even admidst the painful times in life, you find ways to show us just how much You care and are there for us. I am grateful for the friends I have here who call out to You in prayer and in praise and give me the courage to do the same. <p>God, Help each one of us to learn more about what this real Jesus lived and breathed Bold Love is. Unbind us, unblind us and free us from the bondage of sin and the past. Let us go on from here to learn new and fresh ways to boldly love our spouses in a way that may help release them from their own sin patterns and lack of hope as well as release us and teach us new ways to cope and handle what confronts us with Godly courage. Thank You Lord for giving us first the gift of perfect love.<p>God Bless,
Bev

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