What Happened To My Marriage?

What Happened to My Marriage 1


Written by Anne L. Bicks, Editor of Dana Bicks LLC

 

Dana and I were united in marriage on the beautiful beach of Okaloosa Island in Florida, last November, and one of the first verses recited were, “It is love and God’s grace that has brought you here, and it is love that will keep you together always”. Well, this statement is true! It was and still is, one of the most beautiful moments of my life. He is truly the love of my life. Recently though, I came to acknowledge the Bible’s explanation that marriage is dissolved at death and will not exist in heaven. What?? For me, this was a true panic attack because I cannot envision life without my husband. So, a ton of questions popped into my mind: Why did I fall in love and get married if he will be taken from me? What is the purpose of getting married? What happens if we marry more than one time? Which spouse will be mine in heaven? Can I trust God will make it better there for all couples?

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No need to panic for God is in control! First of all, in this life on earth, marriage is designed for procreation and companionship. We are to raise children and promote goodness and holiness of our spouses, building a foundation and family for our afterlife in heaven. He clearly states we will not give birth after death because His nation of people will have already been created in this life.

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Contrary to belief, Jesus did not say marriage doesn’t exist in heaven. What He said is people blessed with eternal life will not get married in the afterlife, for it is only an earthly concept. There’s a big difference! This does not mean that spouses will no longer know each other in heaven or keep an intimate relationship. It will be a perfect bond that unites two humans into one under Christ and the Church. I envision this as the immaculate union we will share with Christ and all our loved ones. It will be fully unraveled in all its glory in the eternal form of agape love in heaven.

So, how will this affect us if we were married more than once? Just because a man and woman might not be married anymore doesn’t mean they will lose their relationship. They will still remember their time they had on earth and the intimate love they shared, but Christ will take away the earthly sins of that relationship. Because sin will be non-existent, everyone will be filled with God’s love. We will love one another (yes, even the exes) with an intensity never known while on earth. Even if an earthly marriage was not made in heaven, it will be fulfilled there. The close relationships we have now will be even better as we won’t hurt or disappoint each other anymore.

It is hard for me to conceive having a marriage in heaven that is just perfect! I can’t imagine loving my husband even more than I already do here on earth, but God guarantees it. Personally, I can’t wait to live in a God-centered world and be in a marriage where no laws are needed. We must trust and believe God’s word of the continuance of marriage in heaven. Couples will have all of eternity to learn and grow deeper than they ever were on earth. I don’t know about you, but I’m totally excited!

The Hidden Signs

Christians and verbal abuse –

The Hidden Signs 3


Written by Anne L. Bicks, Editor for Dana Bicks LLC

 

I have a close friend who is a wonderful Christian woman—a regular participant in church activities and worship. She devoutly lives her life and is raising her children (from an earlier marriage) by the Ten Commandments. She married a Christian man  twenty-two years ago. With a beautiful future ahead of her, she has relished in the joy of holy matrimony.

One day, upon visiting her home, I witnessed her husband’s verbal abuse to both her and the children. Later, I approached his anger issues with her and she made excuses for his behavior – “he’s stressed out from work”, “he’s tired,” “I’m not perfect either,” and even, “but he’s a good man!” Finally, in a weak moment, she admitted that leaving her marriage was not what God would intend for her to do. So, she would stay with him and just pray for his salvation. As you can see, abuse is often more difficult to see because, in public, the abuser is the perfect Christian. In private, however, they are a different person.

Most of us know someone who is verbally abused or perhaps you, personally, are involved in an abusive marriage. You understand that it is NOT God’s will for this to happen as angry and critical words destroy confidence and self-esteem. Verbal abuse is about having power and control over another human being…. an un-Christlike drive to meet and keep dominance. Its harmful and destructive to everyone, including any children who may be part of the picture.

So, what are the hidden signs of an abuser? Here are some true indicators:

Do they withhold information?

Do they constantly counter and correct everything you say and do?

Do they take verbal jabs in the form of humor?

Do they accuse you of doing things that could harm the relationship?

Do they judge you and become critical of expressing your point of view?

Do they take something that is said or done and make it insignificant?

Do they undermine you by withholding emotional support?

Do they threaten you? This may include threatening to leave or threatening to get a divorce.

Do they call you names?

Do they consistently forget about the promises they have made which are most important you?

Do they give orders instead of asking, treating you like a slave or subordinate?

Do they use the Bible as a weapon against you – usually taking things out of context?

Do they isolate you from family and friends and insist on knowing your every move?

Do they deny you access to financial information or accounts or prevent you from attending school or getting a job?

Do they mock you or put you down?

Do they accuse you of being controlling, disrespectful, unsubmissive, and self-important?

Are they in denial they are verbally abusive?

 

If two or more of these questions may be answered with a “YES”, the chances are very good that an abusive personality is in your midst. A verbal abuser doesn’t characterize the truth that comes from God. They are being used by Satan to accomplish his evil plans. If marriage partners are truly seeking to honor Christ, they will not want to hurt each other, but instead encourage each other. The Bible clearly warns us about the dangers of being in the presence of an angry person:

 

Proverbs 22:24
“Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man.”

and….

Proverbs 29:22
“An angry man stirs up strife, and a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.”

 

As is so often asked, is there hope that some abusers can change? The answer is yes, but with certain stipulations. It begins by recognizing verbal abuse for what it is and taking deliberate and immediate steps to stop it and bring healing. The abuser needs to repent!

Sadly, most Christian women are less likely to seek help, because many believe the Bible says they must submit to their husband regardless of his behavior (as in the case of my friend). Being submissive in a marriage does not mean allowing yourself to be verbally beaten by your partner! The best chance a marriage has of surviving verbal abuse is to seek professional help. God does call for us to be good stewards of our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual and financial health.

Some important things to note:

#1: Know that God loves you!

The Hidden Signs

#2: Understand that verbal abuse is NOT YOUR FAULT! You may be feeling that the problems in your marriage are caused by you or that you’re a bad person. Deal with the feelings of guilt and shame through a parish or a professional Christian counselor. Build a support system!

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As Christians, and on behalf of the unity of the church, let us pray –
Dear God,

You are the God of all comfort. We pray for those who have been abused within our churches and across our nation. Have compassion upon all who suffer the injustice, humiliation and pain of abuse. During their stressful circumstances, give them courage to speak. May your perfect love drive out fear and anxiety. We humbly ask you to create opportunities for these men, women and children to share their pain, reveal their struggles and expose the hurtful actions of others. Strengthen them with Your precious love. We humbly plead these things in the name of our Lord.

Amen.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE:
I found a wonderful article written by a Christian woman who lived through an abusive marriage. I would like to share it with you –

https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2009/january/myabusivechristianmarriage

Are You The Right One For Me?

….if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference.

Are You The Right One 9


Written by Anne L. Bicks, editor of Dana Bicks LLC

I have been so blessed to have found the right partner for life. It wasn’t until my sixties that the wisdom of God taught me what I should have seen when I was younger. Even so, when I was nineteen years old, I married for the first time. I was raised in a Lutheran church, so marriage was considered a very sacred event. Had I known then, what I know so well now, that matrimony would have never occurred. The only positive thing from that union, was my three beautiful children. But, I realize that young people, widows, or divorcees are all capable of getting married (or remarried), for the wrong reasons. The golden rule is that if a marriage cannot be glorified in the Lord, then we are settling for Satan’s interference. Most people that are in and out of marriages constantly, are not looking to God for their discernment of true love. They have also chosen to ignore the Christian traits of a perfect spouse.

So, I have decided to put together a list of important characteristics that you should consider when deciding if someone is the right one for you. I wish this checklist had existed for me, so if you or someone you know is considering marriage, please share and pray for your or their discernment.

 

CHRISTIAN TRAITS OF A LIFE PARTNER:

Does he/she love God more than you? This is critical, as in time, the way they serve Him will be reflected in the way they love and serve you. Remember, this trait will be passed on to your future generations.

Are they to kind to others? If you don’t see your future partner treat others with kindness and grace, in time he or she will be treating you the same way.

Do they treat their parents with honor and respect? How a person gets along with parents, brothers, and sisters will tell you volumes about their character.

Proverbs 19:26
A son who “mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.”

Ephesians 6:2-3
A person who honors his father and mother enjoys the favor of the Lord.

 

Are they trustworthy and righteous? This indicates they will keep their word no matter what the cost. By the age of 30, a person’s character and values are formed so this trait should be seriously evaluated by young people under the age of 30.

Are they respected by others? Pay attention to any hesitations people may display when they speak about your possible partner. Do others say both negative and positive things about them? If so, take heed, for they may know something you do not about their personality.

Are they flirtatious? A person’s actions and looks speak volumes about respect for you and the opposite sex. It is NOT in their personality to flirt – it’s indicative of insecurities. Understand that insecurities cannot be “cured” by you or a marriage – it is a character flaw.

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How does your potential partner dress? They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing clothing that flaunts personal assets. Sexy clothing should be reserved for the marriage partner.

Are You The Right One 3

Are they contentious or violent? If you notice a lot of unhappiness or anger in this person, then be warned this will definitely transfer into your relationship. Most partners in abusive relationships, report anger issues from the very beginning of their dating cycle.

Are they selfish or lazy? A selfish, lazy person will lack the desire or the means to fulfill certain spousal responsibilities. It is a snapshot of their maturity level. Remember, you can’t pay bills with promises of love.

Are You The Right One 4

Are they addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, work, sports, or impulse buying? This indicates how they keep emotions and desires under control. Addictions are a symptom of a larger problem and much larger than your marriage could survive most times.

Are they a believer in the Lord and share the same religious beliefs? If you are religious and they are an atheist, this will form a constant discord in your family. Oil and water do not mix. Nothing should be more important to you or to the person you marry than your spiritual well-being. By ignoring this critical trait, you may be facing a lifetime of spiritual unrest in the marriage and a battle for the spiritual well-being of your children. In fact, the Bible warns of dating someone who is unevenly yoked with your spiritual beliefs.

What kind of close friends does your potential partner have? Friends can easily mislead and falsely persuade the best of partners.

Are You The Right One 5

Have they been open with you about their part in the failure of past relationships? Beware of the person that always blames others for a failed relationship. This indicates they are not honest to their own self, or God, of their personal downfalls. They can’t ask forgiveness from God without confronting their own part they played in past problems. How can they correct their mistakes and learn from a past relationship without an admission of guilt? They can’t and they will surely carry it through to your marriage!

Do you know the true priorities of your future partner’s life?

Are You The Right One 6

Have you continuously prayed for guidance in making the right choice of a life partner? As Christians, we must learn that we have to wait on the Lord. For a man or woman who has an aching heart and longs to get married, the wait can be very, very hard. Any delay you may encounter might be a message from God that it is for your good. God wants you to call on Him, walk close to Him, and wait on Him. Don’t lose patience and wander away from God in your attempt to find someone to marry. This is extremely dangerous and will usually end up disastrous!

Are You The Right One 7

 

No one is perfect but these basic spiritual and character qualities should be there. Proverbs is very clear that we are to find a partner who has godly characteristics in our lives. Looking for a man or woman to keep us from being lonely, or just to fill our needs, or to be a parent to our children, should not be the only reasons for marrying someone.

God cannot fail and therefore any marriage built on Him is guaranteed to succeed. Women or men who allow emotions of a potential love to dictate their lives, will never be victorious Christians.

But, so they say, “Love is blind”. Just don’t let it be you!

Are You The Right One 8

Our Wedding

Our Wedding 3

 

With our heads in the clouds and the stars at our grasp, you walk down the aisle. The music plays as the ocean keeps beat with our hearts. In your lace dress, decorated with pearls and sea shells, you look like a goddess returning to the sea once more. I stand alone and watch you carve your way onto the sand. You’re footprints are forever sculptured in eternity in the sand.

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A couple stops to commemorate the ceremony with us, then another and another as though they are all invited. The crowd forms a semicircle to watch us and minus the waves’ accompanying sound, you can hear a pin drop.

Facing each other and holding hands, we smile at each other and the minister begins. The minister smiles as it’s only supposed to be a party for two. “Dearly beloved, we have come together….” I think to myself, this reminds me of a wedding on the Hallmark channel. But you squeeze my arm, which I guess is better than kicking my shin.

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Reciting our vows, they mean so much more when the two of you are soulmates that God made sure he reconnected later in life. It’s a beautiful day and the heavens sprinkle diamonds as we look across the waters. God not only anoints me with you but the crowd too. He is laying His hands upon the ocean, blessing everything in our hemisphere. It’s such a comforting feeling to know the world is watching us….on this our special day. Being on center stage, commencing the ceremony, our life is one and only God will ever come between us.

 

Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate

Mark 10:9

 


Pictures of this, our special day, will be shared with all our friends soon – stay tuned……..

Engraved Hurts

Like soldiers on a battleground, our persistent thoughts are marching on….


We sit across the table from each other and the tension rises like ocean waves before a hurricane. Our hearts ache from the daily frustrations. Words fly like cannonballs across the bow. The night is lighting up from the fiery hurts and our broken souls is damforgiveness 2aging our spirits. There is not a “sorry” that can mend the fury; no kindness is coming from giving; no hugs healing the hardened hearts; just short little snippets that become too repetitive to hear. I’m asking for grace to bring some peace to the table. But when two hearts aren’t in sync, God has His work cut out for Himself. Our love is souring like month old milk.

Love, like spring pollen, carries off to a neighbor’s lawn; walls are retaining the temper and silence is becoming enemy number one. So my conscience knocks on heaven’s gates and I’ll pray for our Lord to hear my heart. But like statues in the wind, the prayers are standing guard of the present. Life, cruel at times, has no invitation. Joy, the ultimate restorer between two hearts, is waiting on the other side.

mignon mclaughlin

I’m in awe watching the tears as they flow and sorrow can’t explain the reckoning. Blame is passing like vegetables at Thanksgiving. There is no rhyme or reason. Our Lord sits at the head of the table trying to join our hearts in prayer. Stubborn though, our minds are overruling the prayers. Like soldiers on a battleground, our persistent thoughts are marching on…. I’m carrying the flag trying to surrender but our guns are still drawn.

Morning arrives and a tranquility, like the dew from the night before, is falling over the engraved flowers. Hearts are listening to subconscious minds as we cease fire. Over early coffee, our guns are holstered. An anointing brings a smile as the sun breaks through the thunder. Love is being restored and the sun is warming little petals. God, the only true peacemaker, is reigning over the battlefields of our minds. We sit in peace and the quiet sermon is coming as the gentle breeze rings the wind chimes.

I’m asking myself, could this have been avoided? Unequivocally, yes, if God is first and past hurts are left by the headstones of our deceased memories. We’re limping away, now handicapped from the wounds encountered from the night before.

Mandrell

So, here we are off on our busy day….people to meet, bills to pay, and our Lord is holding down the fort. We are marching off, alone, to fight our own personal battles…

 

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EDITOR NOTES:  Did you ever hurt the person you loved?  Did you say unwanted things?  If you have hurt someone you loved, it is not easy to repair this mistake.  It is time to seek forgiveness.  You may have to go to great lengths to win over the trust once again.

Watch your words in a fit of temper and weigh the pros and cons of every word you utter. If you want to express your anger at an event, target the incident and not the person.

Be truly repentant…

 


Related Articles:

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; … (1 Corinthians 13:13)

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.   (1 Peter 5:10)

 


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Learning To Trust

…..go to God where trust originates.

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Sitting at the kitchen bar, watching the sunlight in the clouds, I’m deciding what to wear. Listening to the weatherman, I wander, what crystal ball is he looking into? For sure, not the one in his hands! He’s saying clear but I swear it looks like rain. The only thing warm is the coffee cup against my palms. I hate this kind of weather because you never know how to dress. Throwing on my winter coat, I grab a sweatshirt, cap and gloves and think to myself, now I’m prepared. But are we ever? Our best guess might be the worst case scenario.

Not looking back, I start to back out of the garage. Trusting there is nothing behind me, I pull out into the street. I guess I should have looked but for the millionth time, I will be fine. Like kissing my bride good-bye, I trust today will be like tomorrow and like yesterday.

It’s noon and wanting to send my love, I reach for my phone. There’s no answer. What comes to mind? A million thoughts – the “what if’s” are haunting and all of a sudden I’m wondering… hmmm. But I’ve been married for years; I’m certainly secure but there’s a little inkling that something is wrong. I’ll shake it off and go about my day.

Arriving home, I see she’s beat me. What a surprise, or, what is she up to? Dinner’s nice but a little too quiet. Suspicious, I’m afraid to ask. I’ll get my shower and slip under the covers….the place where no bars are held. She’s putting her back to me! My trust is on the line and comfort zone infiltrated. Reminded of the weatherman, I’m trying to prepare for the onslaught of the night. All these years are wrapped up in an instant. There’s no time to ask for prayer unless I’m trying to save myself. So I go to God where trust originates. A clap of thunder and it’s not just three of us anymore – God, her, and I. Now I know it’s four!

Learning to trust, it’s faith that’s granted but still, there’s doubt after all these years. Feeling for my life, I’m trying to prepare but there’s no way my heart isn’t broken. I’m trying to trust with suspicion arising but it’s like painting rust… hopefully it will go away. Trusting in a can of paint is much the same as believing in the honesty of a liar.

So it’s back to square one. I don’t know how to cope with the elements at hand. Now it’s me that wishes I had a crystal ball. But the only peak I see is that which God determines. Protecting me, God wards off the evil spirits. Staying diligent in my Father’s faith, He instills in me, Learning to Trust 101….

How trusting are you??  Share your experiences….

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Related Articles:

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! (Psalms 44:4)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. … (Romans 7:15-24)

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. (Proverbs 31:11)

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