Reconciliation

Love is a Verb

I think most great marriages are based upon principled acts of love. What does that mean? Real love is a verb, which means to love others takes effort. Principled acts of love can actually grow deeper and richer with the age of the marriage, especially if the marriage has been led under the wisdom of God. A principled act of love is all about choosing to love the person you married and doing it with wisdom.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9, 10 NIV

Some people have this preconceived idea that love is something that makes you feel all giddy and euphoric inside. In reality, how many couples after having been married five or ten years still share that euphoric feeling with each other? So in retrospect when that preconceived or learned idea gets squashed out in left field, which will happen, people tend to think they are not "in love" with their spouse anymore. And the next thing you know they are looking for a new partner. But if love is a choice, which I believe it is, and we choose to do those things that are loving it will make us feel more loving too.

What happens to couples in marriage who believe love should feel a certain way? Society has taught that

Why is it Called "Good" Friday?

If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Rom. 5:10)


Before I was a Christian, and even for a while after my conversion, I couldn't figure out why we call it Good Friday. What on earth could be good about the day on which the hands of godless men nailed Jesus to the cross? But as time has progressed, and with it my knowledge of Scripture, I have come to see that it is indeed good Friday - the best Friday in human history.

Jesus did indeed die on what we call Friday - the next to last day of the Jewish week, of which the seventh day was the sabbath. We use essentially the same week, though instead of paying special attention to the seventh day, we give heed to the first day of the week; instead of the sabbath, we celebrate the Lord's Day. But whatever we call the day - Friday in English, el viernes in Spanish, other names in the other languages of the world - on this particular Friday, Good Friday, we turn our minds to the infinite good that took place on another Friday, 2,000 years ago.

Clueless or Purposeful Recovery?

As we bump along in life, we often misunderstand things, especially concerning our recovery. I recently caught a cartoon which captures that reality.

In it, we see Jesus and His disciples on a fishing boat. One disciple is in a festive mood, complete with some castanet shaking. This prompts another disciple's response...

"You idiot. He said cast the nets."

Does this spotlight, once again, our human cluelessness?

Perhaps, rather, it taps into the purposeful recovery-from-addiction meaning in our lives, should we choose to embrace it.

Let's take a gander at the fishy verses...

Finding It Hard to Forgive?

And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
Matthew 6:12

How many times do we pray this portion of what is commonly called "The Lord's Prayer" and yet fail to consider what we're asking? It is a petition, a request of God to forgive us - in the same manner and proportion in which we forgive others. Are you okay with that? Are you comfortable with receiving God's forgiveness to the same extent that you give it to others?

Relief from the Anger

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 KJV

A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.Proverbs 15:18 KJV

The Bible gives us many references about the conditions and consequences of anger in our life and in the lives of people that we are in relationship with. When you can develop a way to manage the anger that has been pushed deep down in your heart and soul, life in recovery gets better.

Another consequence of addiction is that you use rage to express anger. Rage is a dangerous threatening condition that harms people and creates overwhelming fear. You can learn to express your anger without the rage. Anger is a feeling that is a part of the human experience. When you begin to express your anger without rage, you can break the cycle of rage as an expression of anger. Here are some tools that can help break the cycle. Rage is a distortion of reality.
In his book:
Addictive Thinking, Understanding Self-Deception

- by Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.

He says there are three phases of anger:

Reaching Perfection?

Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 18:13

The artist, Salvador Dali is famous for stating one of my favorite quotes:

"Have no fear of perfection. You'll never reach it."

Image taken from About.com
Indeed, if you look at his art, there was a challenging of the perfect, of the “normal," of the expected. Surreal images were not about depicting something as it occurred in life. Stretched out clocks and manipulated human bodies captured that artistic representation.

If one cannot find his depiction of perfection in his work, the same, however, cannot be said about the existence of excellence there. It is pervasive. Imagination, bravery and human imperfections are all there. And, I believe, that's part of why we identify so strongly with his art. We can relate to

Loving Your Spouse With Wisdom

worksheet at bottom of article

There are two ways we can love our spouse. We can love under our own understanding of what we think love is, or we can love the way God has directed us to love. I think we all know how to love, but doing it is a whole different matter.

What is the difference between the two? The first way of loving is a condition and learned way to love, which is selfish and self-seeking. We don't know we are behaving selfishly because we do not know any other way to love. It is a slow conditioning process where we learn to love for our own purpose. But marriage is designed for God's purpose. God wants you to be happy in your marriage and the best way for you to be happy is by loving in the way God has directed us to love.

The second way of loving is what comes naturally because we have loved and accepted God into our lives first. The reason it's so natural is because we have recognized and utilized the spiritual Christ in our lives, which makes loving a natural process of who we are.

It is very difficult to love another if we are only thinking about ourselves. Some examples of how we love our spouse selfishly are

Abused? God has victory for You!

There are many of us out there who have been bullied and abused.

Whether we've been beaten verbally, emotionally, physically and sexually by a family member, have been teased, thrown in lockers or picked last for teams as kids or, worst case scenario - all of the above - it certainly is a challenge to live through that, let alone, overcome it.

Many of us are underdogs, the forgotten, the least likely.

And that is precisely why one of the things that I love most about God is His viewpoint on that status. God's "M.O." is one of championing the underdog, encouraging him/her, and exalting/promoting that individual, not just in spite of the odds, but quite often, because of them.

Discipline Or Regret: Which Pain Do We Embrace?

I don't know who said it, but there is a quote which goes something like:

"You either embrace the pain of discipline or you embrace the pain of regret."


Yes, I know, it's a festive one.

Nevertheless, it is a reality check, especially for those of us in recovery from any particular thing which has seized our pleasure centers, all in an effort to escape pain. We desire pleasure to soothe, numb or obliterate our pain. We believe the lie it will happen. Furthermore, we also believe there can be no good thing which comes from denying our indulgences for it.

Therefore, as we stumble and relapse, we often choose to embrace the pain of regret concerning our addictions and the harmful consequences which can follow.

It's not to shame anyone. Rather, it's, again, to provide the reality check that none of us are immune from relapse and bad decisions. We are all vulnerable.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalms 103:14

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23

It's acknowledged in the first two Twelve Steps:

Unbelieving Spouse and Marriage

I am a Christian but I am married to an unbeliever for almost 7 months. My husband left home about 4 months ago. God wants to restore my marriage?

Marriage Guidance: You’re right. God does want to restore your marriage. So please print this marriage column out and read it with your husband so you both can be responsible for your “part” in the marriage. Let’s start from the beginning.

    * Who Established Marriage For His Purpose?
    * Who Restores Marriage?
    *Who Taught the Principles For Marriage?

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