3 Simple Things to Pray Over Sex in Your Marriage and Why

new blog picI am super excited about this post. I have long admired Sheila Gregoire and her site To Love Honor and Vacuum. I think the issue of sex and intimacy in Christian marriage is not talked about enough, but Sheila has been changing that for 9 years. I had the privilege of writing and sharing 3 things that I pray over sex in my marriage and she has published it today her on her blog.

Here is a sneak peak at it and you can click the link to read the rest:

For most who will be honest, if you have a rocky marriage, sex is the last thing on your mind. Therefore, whether your marital problems started with sex or not, it becomes a big issue or rather the “not having it” becomes the issue adding to marital turmoil.

In my past, I was mistreated and told that a true woman pleases her man sexually no matter how depraved his request may be. There have also been times when I was that woman that used sex as punishment or reward. I’ve also been through the deep pain of divorce. I am happily remarried now. I want to learn from my past and not make the same mistakes. I want to change unhealthy attitudes I have had about intimacy. I also have a very strong belief in the absolute power of prayer. I thought I would share three simple things that I pray over sex in my marriage.

To find out the 3 things I pray over sex in my marriage and why, visit 3 Key Things to Pray Over Your Sex Life.

 

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A Devotional Thought for the Stepmom Dealing With Some Difficult Feelings

a-new-heartAre you a stepmom that is having a hard time right now because of some difficulties you are facing? We have all been there. I wrote this short devotional post three years ago but feel it is still a hot topic for struggling stepmoms.

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. ~Ezekiel 36:26

During my engagement to my husband, I scoured the internet reading posts, forums, articles, etc….about blended families and being a stepmom. The relationship with my little 6 year old stepson was very important to me and I wanted to do things right. I remember reading forums, posts and articles about stepfamilies and stepmoms.

I was surprised at how many stepmoms are struggling. There were numerous posts about how the stepmom can’t stand the stepkids, or how the stepchild tries to manipulate to get more attention from their father, or that the husband doesn’t understand.

The thing is, the father and his kids are a package deal.

Maybe you are one of those moms. You may feel hopeless in your family situation but prayer changes things. Maybe it’s not the stepchildren, but your relationship with your husband that needs mending. God doesn’t want your family to fail. God wants your family to be strong, compassionate, and loving. And I truly believe it starts inside our own heart first.

I encourage you to pray for your husband and your children no matter how you “feel”. Ask Him to help you see them through His eyes and ask Him to change your heart. Ezekiel 36:26 is a promise that God will change your heart if you are willing and open. Don’t think for one second that because your family was a product of divorce or brokenness that God thinks less of you or doesn’t want your family to succeed! Remember that Jesus lived in a blended family…

Let God work healing in your marriage and family. Let Him start by giving you a new heart and renewed spirit.

Fight and Flight…my thoughts on marital conflict

My husband and I recently had a huge fight.  It was the biggest fight we have had since we married 5 years ago.  I’m not saying we don’t ever fight but we typically are over it very quickly and get on with the making up part. (blush blush)  The trouble had been brewing for a short while now but it came to a head and exploded over $30 water bottles. (crazy! right?)  This is the kind of argument that you can’t see your way past your anger and the kind that last a few days and when you’re done you feel exhausted and maybe even a little numb.  Teen in the midst of this came home and feeling the oppressive tension asked me if we were going to get a divorce.  I’m pretty sure that when parents fight that all kids ask that but I feel it is asked on a deeper level by a kid that has already gone through a divorce and remarriage with a parent.   It got me thinking.  There’s such a high percentage of subsequent marriages that don’t last.  Why is that?  My guess is that after going through divorce it is no longer this huge wall that you have never seen what’s on the other side.  It is no longer an unknown.  Most people when facing something big would rather face the known rather than the unknown, at least I would.  In those heated moments when you want to shake them and make them understand, when your inner self is wanting to be “one up” and the winner, you tend to think very irrationally.  (duh!)  Be very honest….how many times have you thought or said or had your partner say, “Well there’s the door if you want to leave!”  During times of stress and fear, scientists say we have a fight or flight response.  We decide to stay and fight or we rapidly run away.  I think in a remarriage/blended family relationship it’s more like fight AND flight.  You get to fighting and decide “I’m strong and independent.  I’ve taken myself out of a bad situation, started over, and I certainly can do it again!”  So you remove yourself from the situation or think about removing yourself from the situation.  In other words, you think about leaving.

I am trying to put my trust in God.  This is what I am trying to do during those times.   There is a marriage page on FB by DaveWillis.org. It’s an awesome site.  I found a picture on his page that sums it up.

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It may seem easy on paper but it is so very hard to do!   Be compassionate, have sympathy toward your spouse, love them without condition, and show humility if at all possible!  1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you be like-minded,  be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”  Wow! In researching and praying as I write this post I am so convicted!  How often have I not practiced this verse towards my friends, my family, and most importantly my husband! If you are reading this right now will you stop and pray for me and my husband.  Pray that I will remember this verse when our marriage faces difficulties.  Pray that I will be mindful to put my trust in God because He loves me, He loves my husband and my children, and because He wants us to succeed.  Pray that I will remember He has it all figured out.

My husband and I drove down to the dead end of our street where we could have privacy and worked it out that afternoon.  We started with arguing but ended with really listening to each other.  We then went back to the house and had a family meeting.  We explained to the kids that it was no secret we had been arguing that day but that no one is perfect.  We are all human, we get angry and emotional at times, we don’t always agree and our farts smell sometimes. (Rec’d giggles from them over that last part).  We explained that we love each other very much and that we are not divorcing or splitting up.  We re-assured them of how much we love them and asked if there was anything they wanted to say or any questions they may have. You could see the worry and tension leave their faces and a peace settled in our home.  (Thank you Father God for that amazing peace!)

All of this has made me sure of what I want and don’t want.  I don’t want the fight and flight response!  I just want the FIGHT!  I want to fight for my marriage.  I want to fight for my family.  I want to fight to ensure that our blended home is a happy home.  I want to fight satan and defeat him and not let him have yet another marriage that will destroy lives!  As I hit the publish button, I am praying for you reading this.  I am praying for you to show forgiveness and grace in your marriage and I am praying for that peace that passes all understanding that only comes from God.

Amazing like God

So this past Sunday was Mother’s Day and as a mom and bonus mom, it was a great day.  My kids showered me with lots of hugs, kisses, and “I love yous”. My youngest son still holds a bit of a soft spot in my heart because he is still at that age where I don’t embarrass him.  He loves for me to hug him and hold his hand in public, say prayers and tuck him in at night, and write notes on his napkin in his lunch box.  He drew me a special card that spelled out the letters in my name and described me.  The very last letter of my name is ‘A’ and he wrote about me: “A is for amazing like God”.  Other things were “nice as a flower” and “cute as a dog” but wow! “Amazing like God”.  It got me thinking about the example I am to my son and my children.  Those are some really big shoes to fill!

Webster’s definition of amazing: amazement, great wonder and surprise.  The definition of God:  the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe;  a person or thing of supreme value.  To me, my son thinks that as a mom, I bring wonder and amazement to his life as someone who is in authority with wisdom and goodness in his life. Proverbs 31: 28,29 NLT   “Her children stand and bless her.  Her husband praises her.  There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”  

Heavenly Father, how do I ‘surpass them all’?   How do I set that example of how a Godly mother should be?  How can I truly be amazing as a mom?  And God seemed to speak to my heart.  It is by teaching him the commands of God about ‘loving thy neighbor’, ‘honoring thy father and mother’, and ‘putting God first in everything’.  It is by tucking him in at night and praying with him.  It is showing him my love with those hugs and kisses.  It is leaving those little notes on his napkin in his lunchbox.  It is by doing those things we do as moms that can make us amazing and wise and good in the eyes of our children. 

Take it a step further and extend that to your bonus sons and daughters.  Try to show them love, affection, wisdom and goodness.  Be an example of what a Godly christian woman, wife, and mother should be in your home so that you can strive to be “Amazing like God” to your hand-picked God-given precious family!  Deuteronomy 6:6,7 NLT “And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children.  Talk about them when you are at home and on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”Image


Broken & Blessed

I can’t believe that this week I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage with my wonderful husband.  It seems like it was only yesterday we were married and yet we have been through so incredibly much!  I remember in a previous marriage I was married for 7 years and yet it felt more like 20 years.  I’ve written about that experience in a few previous blogs but you can read this one  to get an idea https://blendermom3.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/abuse-is-abuse/.   Obviously it was a very dark time for me.  I learned so much about myself as a Christian woman, mother, and wife after I got away from that situation and started to heal.  I felt like I had fallen into a deep dark hole.  I felt like I was made wrong.  I felt inadequate.  I felt broken in my soul.  I could say that it was all in God’s plan but I honestly do not think it was His Will for me to marry that man.  However, guess what?  God takes our mistakes and what little we give him and uses them for His purpose anyway!  I heard this in a sermon by Bishop T. D. Jakes.  In Mark 6:41 NLT  “Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.” Rev. Jakes revealed in that scripture that God broke it.  Then, God blessed what was less than enough.  Lastly, God multiplied what was broken.  Wow!! Take a minute to let the Reverend’s words sink in!  God broke it.  God blessed it.  God multiplied it.  Through all the pain and brokenness God took what little I gave him and blessed me and gave me a heart to share these experiences in hopes it might touch others.  He gave me  three beautiful children to teach them about God’s amazing love and he gave me a sweet loving husband that I can serve right along side and together to try and be an example of that amazing love is to our children.  Read that scripture and think on those words.  Try and think on even in those darkest times when it’s hard to see it that there is a blessing waiting.  When you feel like you are broken in your soul like I did, God will still bless what is not enough and make it more than enough.

Love Him/Love Him Not

Heart

Today’s topic is about how we love our husbands.  It pertains to normal relationships.  This does not apply to abusive or cheating men. 

My husband is a very good man.  He is good to me and very importantly, he is good to my kids.  He is my best friend (we love being together).  He is my lover. (woot woot!!)  Now, if you are reading this, you are probably thinking about your husband in comparison and how he is or is not like my husband, or if single, thinking how you wish you had someone like him or how your ex was certainly NOT like him!  However, what you probably did not think about is the kind of wife you are or were and how that has shaped the kind of husband you have or want.  It is only natural to look away from ourselves to the outside influences especially if we are not in the best place in our relationship.  We tend to not stop and say to ourselves “how did I contribute to us getting to this point?”  No, if you are unhappy in your relationship you tend to use alot of finger pointing the other way.  I know that I am so guilty of this, especially in previous relationships. How often do we women fall into a pattern of thinking how he does not do this or does not do that or does not say this etc…  We become so obsessed with standards that he is not living up to that we discount our own behaviour. Don’t get me wrong, it takes both of you to make or break a relationship, but let’s face it ladies, the only thing you can change in this thing is yourself! I see alot on social media, the ladies posting actors, musicians, etc… pics talking about how gorgeous that man is or talking about the latest “colorful” book they have read that is nothing short of soft porn and all the while they are married.  I can’t help but feel how utterly disrespectful that is to your man.  What is sad is that I see it coming from the ladies way more than I see it coming from the men.  I think that if your man turned around and did the same thing you would be so angry with him and upset.  I think that you would feel inadequate and unattractive.  My husband takes care of himself and likes to be healthy by working out. In a previous relationship, my husband’s ex would see body builders on TV and say things like “why can’t you look like that”.  Now I don’t know if she said it often or only once or twice but it tore him down and has affected him more than I can put into words.  One of my ex’s loved to look at women.  Every where we would go he would comment on some woman.  I always felt that he was looking at every woman in the room but me no matter how hard I tried to look good and it cut deep and hurt me deep in my spirit.  It taught me that I do not ever want to treat the one that I love in that way!!  I don’t ever want my husband to feel the way I felt! 

In today’s blended family marriage is the upmost importance but can also be very fragile!  You have so much working against you but it is so important to be strong and together for your kids so that they don’t have to go through yet another divorce.  Stop and think right now about how you have been loving your husband and think about how you have not.  Ask God to show you how to love your husband the way He wants you to love him.

Song of Solomon 8:6
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. (NIV)