MARRIED? THIS WILL HELP YOU…

Know your source.

Make certain you and your spouse know the source of your marriage. One of my favorite questions to be asked is, “How did you meet?” Because it reminds me of our source.

The Lord Jesus Christ came into our lives and turned us into what we are. For every challenge, struggle and obstacle in married life He has been our source of strength. I know I can make it through any day because I see how he works in my wife, and our marriage.

What is the source of your marriage? Why does it work? Does it work only when the income is large? Does it only work with the kids in the equation? Does it only work with alcohol? Seriously, what is the source of your marriage working?

If your marriage is working or not working this Sunday in the final message of Salvaged I am going to talk about the things that will help your marriage. It’s time to get back to the source of what works. Let healing reign over marriages. Let couples come back together and remember the love and grace that is upon them. Let’s be reminded of our source, Jesus Christ.

He can repair, recoup, save, rescue and salvage any marriage, no matter the state. To do it, you have to recognize that he is your source.

MARRIED? THIS WILL HELP YOU…

Pass the SALT. I am going all acronym on you today…

S is for SOLVE:
When I approach Melinda to talk about something I let her know up front if I need her to solve it with me. For instance, if I am faced with a difficult circumstance I’ll approach her and say, “Do you have 5 minutes to help me solve this problem?”

A is for Advice:
Instead of needing a solution I need her advice. The difference is that in the case of solving something I am looking for her solution, but in the case of advice I am receiving her input and adding it to what is already rolling in my head.

L is for Listen:
For me this is the biggest one, and I think there are times where this is huge for most guys. Sometimes I just need to talk it out, vent it out or let it out. I am often faced with stuff that has huge implications depending on the path I choose, so I need to talk out the many options with her.

Here is the key to the “L.” Really listen. Don’t listen to respond. Don’t listen to solve of give advice. Simply listen, and ask clarifying questions. It helps both of us know where we are headed. Usually at some point in the listening process I will ask for advice, but Melinda doesn’t give it unless she is asked. Do you know how helpful it is to have a legit sounding board. By legit I mean unbiased, no agenda, but just listening for content and understanding. My personality is that I often need to “talk stuff out” instead of “think it out.” The L is big for me.

T is for Talk:
This is about dialogue. We want each other to talk. We don’t necessarily want to solve it or give advice, and if we do find solutions or give advice we write that down as a potential idea. In reality we to talk it out without an end in mind. This works great in talking about our future strategies like should we send Seven to public or private school, where will we vacation this summer, building messages, strategies for family things, and etc.

Hopefully the SALT can help your communication. Here is the secret to implementing it. Set boundaries around your communication, especially when it’s about challenging subjects like money, advice, raising kids, your relationships. Identify time frames and stick to those time frames. For Melinda and I we spend about 5 minutes on S and A, 30 minutes on L and an hour on T, though there is not prescription for time.

MARRIED? THIS WILL HELP YOU…

OK, I tend to feel a lot of things, sometimes they don’t even exist. For example, I can have a disagreement with a friend and feel bad, or guilty or some how I feel ashamed by real and/or imagined thoughts. In this circumstance, my WIFE is absolutely fantastic at helping me process through those things by helping me realize that I am only responsible for me. Here’s how she does it…

She listens. She listens to me tell the story. In the story I share the facts, my feelings, my hurts, my pains, my fears and so forth. She listens to the whole thing.

She waits. She waits to hear the whole story, and even asks clarifying questions.

She pounces. Like a tiger, the second I begin to feel guilt about someones words or deeds, she stops me and says, “You didn’t do that! You are not responsible for how they responded to you. You are only responsible for you.” Do you know how important that is? Huge.

She Encourages. When she hears something that I need to own she gently tells me and encourages me to own it and make it right. I trust her in that correction cause she has my best interest in mind all the time.

She loves. Most of the time I get to the end of the process, but can still feel a bit lousy. She walks to me and picks me up and reminds me that I have a heart of gold, a sensitive spirit and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt anyone.

She repeats. I’m the type of person that sometimes needs to process the same story more than once. If I need to go over it again, she is right there to listen, wait, pounce, encourage and love. This makes her the most amazing person to be married to.

Try this in your marriage. Instead of saying, “Get over it.” Or, “Grow up.” Try to really listen for the content. Separate the content into two categories, “things we are responsible for and things we are not.” Then love. Sometimes it brings healing immediately, sometimes you’ll need to work it again. But every time Melinda helps me put what I need to in perspective. After all, as a husband, father, pastor and friend I can only do what only I can do. Everything else doesn’t belong to me, and that is a great relief.

MARRIED? THIS WILL HELP YOU…

Marriage Questions that make us last, By Jeff Knight

Have we kissed today?

18+ years ago I would have done about anything on earth to kiss Melinda. Seriously, one time I drove 2.5 hours one way just to say good night in person to her. I’d write love songs, poems, purchase gifts and do little things to earn her love and affection. I would do anything to make her know my love.

Soon there were to do lists, responsibilities, a mortgage, work, kids, vision, and a host of other important matters. Suddenly and without warning there are days when we, either her or I, are so focused on what we are doing that we forget to kiss. Lying in bed exhausted one of us usually says, “Have we kissed today?” She turns to me, and I turn to her for one of those kisses that says you are the most important person in my world today and if I wasn’t so tired right now this kiss would lead to a whole lot more, if you know what I mean.

There MUST be an affectionate exchange between husband and wife daily for the marriage to sustain. Embrace, kiss, look into each others eyes. Really, I try and kiss Melinda with no other advancement in mind, it’s really difficult to do cause she is hawt, hawt, hawt. Sometimes I will kiss her for 10 seconds straight, and NO, it’s not foreplay. It’s just affection, her knowing that she is the only person I would ever touch, love, hold and be in love with.

You want to make your marriage last? Make sure you kiss everyday.

SEVEN THINGS I HATE and a bonus

Some random thoughts, By Jeff Knight

7. I hate the enemy. Evil one. The Devil. Satan. Lucifer. I don’t care what he’s called, I hate him. I hate what he stands for in scripture, how he manifests in humanity, and how he deceives in the lives of people. I hate it that he seeks to steal, kill and destroy. I hate it that more and more people think he doesn’t exist, and then they blame God, as if He’s testing them, for things the enemy is totally responsible for.

What to do, what to do? Rather than sit there psychoanalyzing your theology on suffering, sacrifice and God’s will why don’t you pick up your armor from God and do some battling. We wrestle not against flesh and blood…

Now before you get to crazy and run out and get a tattoo like your grandpa who served 2 tours in the war don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. Don’t think for one second that the enemy should get any glory. And he does, when we gripe and moan about all that he is doing to us. He IS POWERLESS! He’s a defeated foe, but you’re going to have to start acting like it.

I really believe there is a time to reflect and consider if God is molding you like clay or like the book of Job, there are times like these and they should not be overlooked. But I think we go there too quickly instead of just getting out prayer, a group of warriors and our bible and start some heavy spiritual lifting. Don’t think for one second that every struggle you are facing is some testing of the Lord, that’s a lie. Certainly God will use every test to teach you, but everything good comes from God, nothing good comes from the enemy!!! I hate that joker.

BONUS. I hate Coffee, brussel sprouts, tuna casserole, onions, and I don’t care what you say–sushi.