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Joined: Apr 1999
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I just have to share an experience that I had today:<P>I have to admit that I have had a really rotten attitude about Christmas this year. I am still writing finals and that may be part of it, but I think it was left over from the six weeks of discouragement i had just come out of. <P>I have been thinking, I really don't want to celebrate Christmas this year. I miss my husband, he seems to be getting in deeper with the ow, money is tighter this year, and my h just seems so consumed by the fog of infidelity, feeling he is entitled to his happiness.<P>Well in church today I was standing up and had just finished singing, I think. The Pastor was describing a time when he was in Switzerland. He had taken a walk with a friend into the dark woods. Well the moon came over the Alps behind them and all of a sudden the woods were filled with this glorious light. He said "God wants us to believe the unbelievable and to receive the inconceivable!" Will you? <P>I thought of Christmas and the grumbling started in my head. All of a sudden it felt like something brushed by and through me. I thought to myself that is not the meaning of Christmas. Christmas is the birth of Christ, not whether there is enough money to pay the bills and get presents, it is not about having my h home. I choose to celebrate Christ's birth despite the circumstances of my life. My whole attitude was instantly transformed. I felt real joy and there was a smile on my face. I had peace and joy right then and there. The rest of the service was a joyous celebration. Praise the Lord! <P>There is no other explanation except that the Holy Spirit brushed by me depositing the true meaning of Christmas in my heart. The other immediate thought I had was. O, my poor h. He doesn't know the real meaning of Christmas. All it is to him is another day and you exchange gifts. All of a sudden I realized that for many that is their meaning of Christmas also.<P>I know that I have intellectually understood the meaning for ten years, but now I feel it in my heart. I want to share the words of a song that we sang later in the service that really touched me:<P>We Sing Your Mercies<P>Should He who made the stars, <BR>be hung upon a tree?<BR>And should the hands that healed <BR>be driven thru for me?<BR>Should He who gave us bread<BR>be made to swallow gall?<BR>Should He who gave us breath and life<BR>be slaughtered for us all?<P>We sing Your mercies.<BR>We sing Your endless praises.<BR>We sing Your everlasting love.<BR>We sing Your mercies.<BR>We sing Your endless praises,<BR>Sov'reign One who died<BR>Sov'reign One who died for us.<P>Should He who is the light,<BR>be cast into the dark?<BR>And should the Lord of love<BR>be pierced thru His own heart?<BR>Should He who called us friends<BR>be deserted by us all?<BR>Should He who lived a sinless life<BR>be punished for us all?<P>We sing Your mercies<BR>We sing Your endless praises.<BR>We sing Your everlasting love.<BR>We sing Your mercies.<BR>We sing Your endless praises.<BR>Sov'reign One who died.<BR>Sovreign One who died for us.<P>My prayer request this week that all of us KNOW the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts and choose to celebrate the birth of our Lord with praises and joyous singing.<P>I pray that our spouses will be brought to life in Jesus this week. That the Spirit of the Lord will touch their hearts too. That they will KNOW the true meaning of Christmas in their hearts and come and bow before the baby in the manager and go home to their families.<P>I praise the Lord for His great love that called us. I praise the Lord for never giving up on us and I praise Him for the incredible gift of Himself to save us through Jesus. Without Easter there would be no Christmas.<P>Have a truely blessed week!!<p>[This message has been edited by hw (edited December 11, 2000).]

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Neat post HW. I have spent years and years trying not be "selfish," one of the childhood message carryovers from childhood. Now one of my homework assignments from pastor is to learn some of this. Boy is that a tough one!<P>This is the first year since I moved here that I have felt joyous in celebrating our Lord's birth. This is especially remarkable in that when we have his children for the Thanksgiving holiday and not for Christmas, it just didn't feel like Christams without children around. <P>Another part of it I think is that I did not allow hubby pressure me into buying him his desires beforehand, leaving nothing to go under the tree, and I actually was able to buy a gift or two that he does not know about. Another thing is that we actually had a budget for gifts this year and even though we went over the budget a bit, H was more cooperative in trying to stay within the budget. <P>I have always felt I had a right understanding of gifts as a means of passing on the gift given to us, just as the wisemen gave to the babe and as God gave us Jesus. My Christmas tree reminds me of the everlasting life given to us by Christ. The ornaments each have meaning, some given by children and friends, some made by my children reminding me of the times when they were little and of our advent celebrations with each other. I miss my children very much and so in this learning process of "feeling the feelings" I am doing more crying for those things that are important to me.<P>I have had some moments to reflect on what letting go means. I am clinging more to the cross now, I think, rather than the marriage. I don't know if the marriage will last, but I know who will last and stand by me no matter what. I think I am seeing this verse in a different way:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>1CO 7:29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; [30] those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; [31] those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I think the age old question of what one would do differently if they knew their time was short makes me realize that there are many things I would like to participate in with the Lord. And I have to ask myself what stops me from doing those things? <P>I've made plans to start weaning the children I watch during the week starting this Summer, so that I can volunteer in the soup kitchen in our area. Feeding the hungry has always been important to me. I think I was afraid of letting go of the income "in case" I needed it if the need to leave my husband became necessary. How is that trusting the Lord for what I need? <P>I am more open to listening than before I think. My largest source of tears is in not wanting to let the Father down and so I need to be more sensitive to that, not that I have to perform or do works for Him, but that I desire to be where He is working, to see Him stir hearts, to be in His shadow. I do see that my gusband was not ready for another marriage, but I also see God's grace in that I was the wife chosen and not some other woman who might have dragged him farther down the evil one's path.<P>The battle is not mine. It is His.<P>My 23 year old son is having a lymph node biopsy today. Pease pray that it is benign and that the doctors have wisdom to discern and treat the problem. Also please pray for my parents as they are having extreme finanacial difficulties and I am 3000 miles away and cannot help them. And that in my marriage, that His will prevails, that I can rest in Him and that I can truly discern what selfishness is and is not.<P>Thanks ladies. I am truly blessed to have you as sisters to pray with me.

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The battle is not mine. It is His.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>This spoke directly to my heart SueB.... confirmation of what has been on my heart for quite a while, that my husband's salvation is not on my shoulders, and I am not out there fighting the enemy alone. He is right here, right now, fighting the battle for me!! <P>hw, I loved your post. I got chills reading it! God is so glorious isn't He. I understand the feeling of something brushing by and through you in service. I have felt that too. Sometimes it feels as though an incredible warmth/joy starts at the top of my head and goes through me during praise and worship. Being in the presence of the Lord is so wonderfully beautiful. I can't explain it.<P>PS - I'm not waiting until Tues. nite to pray for you SueB.

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Dear hw et al,<P>Sorry but I am not really in the best frame of mind to read and just needed to pop in with a prayer request and will catch up with the reading later. thanks.<P>Please pray for my family to be in perfect health, safety and peace. Please pray that my live-in help will be respectful to us, and be totally obedient to God (she is a Christian) in all she does. Please pray that she will not despise or laugh at my situation as I am sure she has pieced things together as well as from hearing full range fights and listen in on counselling with visiting pastor and family, and must know that my husband has committed adultery. That day, she stared at the slashed portrait painting and has tried not to say anything about that. <P>It really is difficult to cry and sob my heart out when there is someone you are employing in your own house. I just pray that she feels compassion and love for us and baby , not disdain or glee.<P>thanks so much.<BR>God bless all of you<BR>take care<BR>from weep

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I have to keep this short my 15 month old is demanding my attention. First I want to thank you for the prayers for my FIL. He does have a cancerous mass in his lungs. He goes Fri to the surgeon to find out how and when they will operate. they believe they can get it all thru SX.. Please keep hin in your prayers. This weekend H spent it with FIL since MIL was outr of town and FIL just had hip SX. He will have two Sx in a 2 months. H called to see if S and I would come over, which we did. He also asked us to stay overnight. Ya Ya. My marraige is along way from being back, but i feel we are getting closer so please keep us in your prayers. Everyone here is in my nightly, Daily, hourly and so on prayers.<P>Thanks

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I have been a little reluctant to post lately as I have been fighting discouragement. My specific prayer request this week is rather selfish. Please forgive me. H is wavering between going out of town to spend Christmas with his family, or going on a ski trip with friends. Spending it with me does not seem to be an option he prefers...he keeps telling me that I can just spend it alone with my other children. However, they have made other plans for the holidays and it isn't possible for me to be included as it is with my ex inlaws and ex husband. My H is going through a bout of anger (directed at others, but I am definetly getting a large dose of fall out). My attitude is rather blase about it all, but I truly want to spend Christmas with my daughter. H has my new car and our daughter. I need to either have him deliver them back to me or find a way to make the journey to get them on my own. I am unable to accompany H to see his family as he will be gone for a week and I only have 4 days off for the holidays. They are also concerned that the pressure of having my H bring his family (me and D)will bring out the worst in him...it usually does. He is able to bring D as well. They are stating for the record that it is a lack of room. Please pray that I am able to have daughter and my car for the holidays (otherwise I will be spending the holidays alone), please pray that I will have God's peace and presence as well. After the miscarriage, the wreck, and the stress at work, I am very emotional. I internalize the stress and I have been discouraged about my personal failings, lately. I know this is discouragement from the enemy and I am trying to turn these things aside. I am lonely and tired....I am missing my daughter, missing my Mother (she died several years ago), and missing my older children....they seem to have gone on to lives of their own. I also have been missing the loving side of my H. Most of all, I miss my heavenly Father. I know this distance has to be my own doing, but I have felt so very unworthy and just plain weary. I seem to always do not as I know I should do, but to follow a lifetime of human habits and fall into the same old patterns. Thank you all for your prayers....I have been hesitant to ask as I view this inability to overcome without intercessory prayer as another failing on my part. Your prayers have supported me so many times and I thank each of you....

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Keep Lonesome Heart in your prayers. She is taking a stand today and moving out of her home. Also pray for clarity of mind and peace of heart for Renae from the "other topics" board.<P>As for me, I am experiencing withdrawal,I am looking for apartments within my price range and praying about whether it s better to spend my resources here or to move nearer my family. My H finally admitted yesterday that he doesn't know whether God is real and so my prayer is that he experiences new understanding through this trial. Pray that I allow myself to feel and cry as things occur. I am fighting the old behavior of clamming up and closing off my heart.<P>

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Boy discouragement is everywhere. The enemy seems to be attacking us all in this manner. We need to take a stand against the enemy. He is the one who is discouraging us. He is the master of discouragement. The Lord, our God is waiting for us to tell the enemy off and waiting for us to turn to Him. <P>I too have been greatly discouraged. I have also been greatly encouraged by the Spirit also. Again read the sermon from Dec 28, 1998 od David Wilkerson's called "When You Come to the End of Yourself." It is about how discouragement came to him and that it is not because of something we did wrong but rather because we have been walking strong in the Lord.<P>This season is so hard when your loved ones are torn from you. I have cried so much lately. But I know God is sovereign and I know He is still present. I know that I was looking at Christmas for what I did not have (not materially) but I know that Christmas is about Jesus, Christ with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!<P>If we can turn our eyes to the baby in the manger and remember He came for us to bring us Easter: His death and resurrection then maybe we can endure our trials a little longer, knowing we are not abandoned by our Father in Heaven , whether our earthly loves have. And maybe we can love them a little longer even though they have walked away from us. He is God and He is sovereign.<P>He is Christ, "God with us." Don't let the enemy have his way, it will be his christmas present if we do. Instead give the enemy a lump of coal and ask our Lord to open our hearts to let Christ come in and dwell within us. This is my prayer requests this week for us all. Praise the Lord, loudly with Christmas tiding and joy in Him.

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I really need your prayers. I emotionally drained stretched to the breaking point. I don't want to shame my husband by saying what has been going on, but feel a need to<BR>explain things for specific prayer.<P>My husband is an alcoholic. There is hardly ever a day he is sober after 5 PM. Weekends he drinks from early AM until he goes to bed or passes out, whichever comes first. <P>Over the past few weeks the enemy has been fiercely attacking me and our marriage. I have been praying every morning and night for my husband and things have gotten worse between us; I don't know how to put it in<BR>words - he says things to deliberately hurt me, calls me hateful names, cusses me out, talks down to me like I am the stupidest person on earth, tells me that I am an idiot, says things like "how stupid can you get" etc., and then tells me "I" better shape up and see how lucky I am to have him for my husband. I don't fight with him, I usually say nothing but it does make<BR>me cry; his cruel comments really hurt. <P>I am at a loss as to what I have done to cause him to turn on me again. I pray asking the Lord to guide me and change me according to His will; and help me to be<BR>kind and gentle. I feel His presence with me and know that He wants me to keep praying for my husband. <P>Please, ladies, please pray for us. My husband is so deeply deceived......and running fast down the wrong path towards destruction. Thank you so much for<BR>praying. God bless you,<P>AW

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>I pray asking the Lord to guide me and change me according to His will; and help me to be kind and gentle.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Hi Rootbeer! I have missed you! Some things I am learning through these trials:<P>God's will is that we develop His character. His character is truth emparted in love. Anger can be a part of love (Eph 4:26, Pro. 27:6)Self love is imperative for loving others, integrity and honor for self is <B>not</B> selfishness, The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding, (Job 28:28), being self-controlled does not mean we ignore or deny feelings but requires us to speak the truth in love even if others do not want to hear it, living in harmony with one another; being sympathetic, loving as brothers, being compassionate and humble, seeking peace and pursuing it does not mean avoiding painful truths or accepting evil. <P>The unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight means you know where your strength lies and it is not in allowing insults and abuse to occur. I am not showing my H honor or respect as his helpmeet if I do not speak the truth in love. To act in accordance with another's wishes, opinions, or decisions (submission) always must be in the context "as unto the Lord", in line with His will. I am not honoring God or my H if submission does not line up according to the Word.<P>1PE 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. [8] Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. [9] Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. [10] Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. [11] If anyone speaks, he should do it <B>as one speaking the very words of God</B>. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. <P>So often we mistake our sufferings as persecution because we are a Christian and so we deny ourselves thinking that we are in line with God's will, and even at times rejoice, as the Word says in 1 PE4, all the while denying the truth of who we are in Christ. Satan is deceiving us I think. <P>Am I loving my H to allow a lie to occur by withholding truth due to fear of reprisal (H's abuse) or am I, with my confidence in the Lord, facing the lie with truth in His serenity and strength, stating boundaries worthy of a daughter of a king? I am worthy of consideration, of treatment as the weaker vessel, of treatment as described in Eph 5 and I am dishonoring my H and the Lord to accept less I think.<P>Believe me, I am not talking about haughtiness or superiority, but am struck with humility that God deems me worthy of such and that if this is how He deems me, how saddened I am not to expect this same treatment from the One God has united me with. If I do not embrace the fears I have and renounce them with the truth in love, placing appropriate boundaries as God places boundaries, then I am willingly accepting less than God's best for me. <P>Phew! I am always in awe when I start writing to see what it is He wants me to know! I didn't address an issue last night out of fear and it has bothered me tremendously. Now I know why. <P>Mold me Father and let me be pliable to your teachings. IJN, Amen.

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Oops, double post! I must have needed to hear it more than once!<p>[This message has been edited by SueB (edited December 20, 2000).]


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