Some Days Fighting Orcs Would Be Easier

Life can be challenging most days, at least for me it can be. There are times when I feel it would be easier to face down a horde of angry Orcs rather than enter into what the day holds for me. If you know me, then you know that I love fantasy and science fiction. Really what I love is a good story, I always have. I’m a very visual person too, that’s actually how I learn . When I can see something in a story that I can apply to my life, then it helps me to learn and grow.

There is a scene in the Lord of the Rings which takes place as Frodo decides he must leave the fellowship and take the ring into Mordor by himself. As Frodo is talking to Aragorn and asking him to watch over his friends, a number of Orcs arrive on the scene. 

Telling Frodo to run, Aragorn turns to face what for most men would be certain death, yet there is a smile which creeps onto his face as he draws his sword gripping it ever so tightly, then charging straight towards them. And there is a part of me that thinks that would actually be easier to deal with too.

I think the reason I feel this way, is that at least if you are fighting 100 Orcs, you know what you are up against, there is a tangibility by which I can judge where I am. Yet the day to day life for me can at times become so mundane. It’s hard to know what God is up to in my life some days because of the normal daily grind; I’m up early, drink my coffee, do my Bible reading, go to work then come home and clean up, rest for a few hours then go to bed so that I can get up and repeat the cycle the next day. It’s like rinse, lather, rinse, and repeat.

The thing is that I know God is working in my life even when I can’t see it, it’s just that at times I sure wish I could see what was going on behind the scenes. Have you ever felt like that? Some days a little bit of clarity would be nice, although I have never found where God promised that we would have clarity, instead He says that we just need to trust Him. Take a look at Proverbs 3:5 – 6:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”

So while I may never face down a horde of angry Orcs, and my days may at times all look the same day after day, I will continue to trust the Lord with all of my heart, knowing that He is at work in the background making my paths straight. And that my friends does my heart a world of good for sure. Strength and honor for the Kingdom and the King!

I’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, whoa, that lovin’ feeling, you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, now it’s gone…gone…gone…wooooooh.”

I made a statement once which I think angered a lady. We were part of a group discussion about marriage and I said most days I have to choose to love my wife, it doesn’t just come naturally. She responded by saying how awful this was and she believed love isn’t a choice but a by product of what happens when you find your mate. Her naiveté was showing, but she had only been married a few years and was still in the throws of the love induced hormones working in her brain.

I’m not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I did learn about this little area in the brain which produces a chemical giving you that “lovin’ feeling”. It’s what causes us to be attracted to our spouse at first. It’s almost as if there wasn’t this chemical imbalance in our brain which steers us towards our mate we’d never give them the time of day; and this is exactly what God intended.

While this chemical helps us overlook little things which might aggravate us at first, once it stops producing we can get annoyed by them and feel as if we don’t love this person anymore. It’s at this point in our relationship we need to have a solid commitment and are willing to stick to our vows. This is where the choice to love someone comes into play.

My bride and I have been married for over twenty-eight years and there have been plenty of opportunities for both of us to have said to heck with this and throw in the towel; but we haven’t, we’ve stuck it out, sometimes slugging it out to work through our issues. Of course I don’t mean physically; this is not okay under any circumstance. We’ve had to work to see things from each other’s perspective (something which takes time and effort) and we agree to disagree from time to time. What we’ve learned, is to give in on the little things and stick to our guns on the bigger issues, but always from an aspect of I’m in this for the long haul, so we’re going to make it work.

When we first met and began talking about marriage, divorce was never an option for either of us. We made this commitment to each other before we ever said our vows. We both decided that whenever we disagreed about something, we would never speak of divorce. When we fight and yes in twenty-eight years together we’ve had plenty of opportunities for this, it has been easy to work through things knowing the other person isn’t willing to quit. There is a lot of comfort in this too!

I am totally amazed how quick younger couples give up nowadays. Instead of seeking counsel from older people who’ve been married for many years, and figuring out how to work through their issues, they just jump ship, missing out on what is one of the greatest things; sharing your life with another person .

I heard a man say the number one indicator of divorce is the avoidance of conflict. When you avoid disagreements, just agreeing for the sake of not having an argument, you are making a grave mistake in your marriage. Don’t get me wrong, I hate to argue, but I have come to learn if my bride and I don’t talk out our differences in the hope of resolving them, then our relationship is not going to get any stronger; and building a strong life together is worth the effort I promise you.

The next time it seems you’ve lost that “loving feeling“; knuckle down, stick to your guns and work it out. Don’t quit thinking you can find another person who will give you this feeling. You may, but in a short time you’ll just be back where you were with the other relationship. If you have questions, email me. I don’t know everything, but I do know a little bit having been married this long and I’m happy to help.

Email: godsfirstknight@yahoo.com

Growing Spiritually in Marriage

I asked for topics to blog about last night and a young lady requested I write about growing  spiritually in marriage. This is my last blog of four which I have written today and quite possibly the one which scares me the most. The reason it scares me is I’m not exactly sure I have this one figured out yet and I’ve been married for twenty-eight years. But let’s press on and see what comes of it.

You have to realize in marriage there is a chain of command. First there is God; He has to be put in the forefront of your relationship, everything should be centered around Him and what He has for your life. Secondly, there is a hierarchy in marriage and please don’t let this offend you, but the husband is like the president and his bride is the vice-president. Now before you ladies get mad at me, this is not due in any part to him being better than you ; it’s just the role God has given men.

Women are not and never were designed to be servants to men, but helpers called alongside their husband to help fulfill what God has called them both to do. Ladies shouldn’t look at their role as subservient to their husbands, because they were called alongside to be co-laborers with him. Men, don’t talk down to your wives because they’re women; they are usually smarter and obviously better looking than you after all.

Once you have the order of things correctly in place then you can begin. I recommend praying for each other daily. Having said this, do I practice what I preach? Not as often as I should I’m afraid to admit. But the truth of it still stands, praying for one another is a foundational truth which you should implement into your marriage if you haven’t already. Plus it’s kind of hard to be mad at someone you are praying for.

Secondly, share Scriptures and the things the Lord is showing you with your spouse, and let them reciprocate. Oh, and just a note about this, when your spouse is sharing with you, don’t interrupt, let them finish before adding your own two cents. When you do this, don’t preach at each other, just talk about the things of God. Once you’ve introduced children into your marriage this will carry over and you will be amazed at what all your kids will learn just from listening to the conversations you and your spouse have.

I remember many times desiring to have a family prayer time; I would gather everyone in the living room, put on some worship music and we’d begin. Most times within a few minutes we’d have utter chaos; the kids doing their own thing, Cheryl praying and I’d be trying to orchestrate some holy moment while wrangling the kids and trying to get them to sit still for a few moments. More often than not I walked away from those moments feeling like a failure.

One thing That would always make me laugh was what people thought our family was like, they would comment on how we must be so spiritual at home. I think some of them actually thought we floated around on clouds in our living room. It was always a shame to let them down, but my marriage and family is no different from yours, we all make mistakes and have much learning to do. We are spiritual, not perfect.

I think the thing which will really make your marriage strong spiritually is to daily work at improving your walk with the Lord and do whatever it takes to help your spouse do the same. Having a spiritual marriage doesn’t mean you walk six inches above the concrete; it means you live the same way every person on the earth does, you just do it a little bit better because you’re following the Creator of all things who leads, guides and directs you.

Marriage…It’s Not Just About You Anymore Bubba

One of the most misunderstood aspects of marriage is the thought that it is a 50/50 proposition. Seriously nothing could be further from the truth. Marriage is giving yourself 100% of the time to your spouse regardless of whether they every give back to you or not. It is an agreement you made in front of witnesses stating you were giving yourself to this person and no other.

The reason so many people find this difficult is because of an unwillingness to stop being selfish. Selfishness is the root of almost every problem a marriage will face, and if you were to look at your actions in your own marriage honestly you would agree. Too many husbands spend their time pointing fingers at what their bride is doing instead of focusing on the areas in their own lives where they could make changes.

Many years ago, I began writing down all of the Scriptures I could find in the Bible about who my wife was supposed to be. I was a baby Christian at the time and newly married, but didn’t really like a few things about my bride so I was going to use the Word of God to make her change. (As I said, I was a baby Christian, I know better now.) Anyway, as I began quoting these passages several times a day, something happened; Cheryl didn’t change, but the way I began to view her did. It wasn’t too long after this our marriage really began to get better and the little things which had ticked me off were no longer doing so.

I’ve seen too many marriages where the husband points out his wife’s flaws, but overlooks all those he has. It’s the plank of wood versus the speck of sawdust story Jesus told in the Bible. (Matthew 7:3) I feel pity for these husbands, I have heard the stories about how little sex they are getting, how they feel all their wife does is complain about how little they do around the house or with the kids and so on. I pity them because the biggest problem they have in their marriage is themselves and their selfish ways.

The reason men don’t give 100% in their marriages is because of fear they are going to be seen as a whipped man by their peers. I gotta tell you right now, I could care less what any other man says about me in regards to my relationship with Cheryl because they are not the one doing life with her, I am. Most of the time men who give me crap about doing so much for my bride, do so because they feel bad for not giving as much to theirs. And the rule of thumb is; if I’m not doing it, you shouldn’t be either. It’s like when your coworkers say you’re making them look bad, I like to reply, “No, you’re making me look good.”

Stop being selfish and take care of your bride men, it is the best investment you will ever make in your life, I guarantee it.

 

 

 

Are You Being Your Bride’s Superhero?

Let me ask you married men a question; do you know your wife’s love language? You know the things you do which show her you really love her? Just saying, “I love you.” isn’t enough, she needs to see something which proves your love as well.

In my home, I’m responsible for taking out the garbage. I see to it all our refuse is put in the trash container and placed by the curb to be picked up on Fridays. If our trash  can is piled high with its contents balancing precariously on top, this bothers my wife. Taking care of this household chore is just one of the many things I do which shows her I love her.

Guys, if you’re like me, you probably worked pretty hard in the beginning when you dated her; pulling out all the stops to impress your girl. If I was a betting man, I’d say you did a lot of crazy things to show her how much you wanted and desired her. The problem is we often stop doing these things after saying, “I do.” Too many men get upset after the wedding because the lovey dovey stuff seems to end and the nagging begins.

When I say nagging what I really mean is, she is telling you the things which bother her. Generally when someone is complaining about something, it’s not so much because they want to make your life miserable but more likely at a deeper level they are really telling you what bugs them.

The best thing would be if we actually just said what we mean, but in my married life I’ve found a lot of times I have to look for clues as to what is meant. It’s probably because she doesn’t want to just nag me as she wants me to find out what it is she needs.

In the movie The Breakup, there is a great scene about this. The couple is arguing about household chores:

Brooke: “I want you to want to do the dishes.”

Gary: “Why would I want to do the dishes?”

And this is the story of married life; the wife wants you to do something and we as men are usually clueless to what she is really saying. You see it wasn’t about him actually doing the dishes as much as his willingness to do them. This willingness to do something is usually at the heart of all disagreements.

Finding out the things my wife likes and doing them and figuring out what she doesn’t like and not doing these makes me out to be the superhero she needs me to be and what man doesn’t want to be his bride’s superhero? And part of this means I’ve got to be looking for the things which show her how much I love her.

This is why I lift the toilet seat and put it back down, why I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and generally look for things to do which say to her heart, this man of yours really loves you. It’s all about the relationship and I want ours to be the best.

Guys take some time and listen for what your bride is really saying to you. It will take work to be her superhero, but it is doable and in the end worth it.

You Made a Promise, Now Keep It!

The conversation started like this, “Dave, I’ve met a girl.”

“What do you mean you met a girl?” Wondering as I said it, because he was already married.

“It’s a girl I knew from high school.”

Mentally scratching my head I thought, “Well, this can’t be good.”

This conversation happened many years ago, (no names to protect the innocent) and as he continued telling me about this girl he knew from high school who had turned up in his life again, I was shocked. This was WAY before Facebook too, so reconnecting with old flames isn’t a new thing.

At the time of our talk he had finished college, had a good paying job and was married.  He told me she had contacted him out of the blue; just to catch up you know, totally innocent.  But as the phone calls increased, they decided to hook up.  He made up a story about a hunting weekend, packed all his gear and ended up at the old girlfriend’s house for two and a half days.

“Man, it was the best sex I’ve ever had Dave.  I think I’m in love.”  He told me all of this in confidence, and it was knowledge I wished I’d never been given.  The more I thought about this in the days which followed, the more it ate at me.  I couldn’t help but think about his wife; who thought their marriage was great, never realizing all the numerous hunting and fishing trips he was taking as often as possible were really romantic liaisons with another woman.

We talked again a few weeks later, and you would’ve thought he was back in high school the way he talked about this new girl in his life.  He explained how they had dated in school, but a miscommunication their senior year caused them to break up.  He said, “I would’ve married her back then if it wasn’t for this.  I’ve gotta leave my wife and marry her, she’s my true love.”

I couldn’t take it any longer and said, “What about your marriage vows, you know, to have and to hold in sickness and in health until death parts you?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t know she still loved me.  I would’ve never gotten married if I’d known.  My high school sweetheart is the one I should’ve been with all along.”

“Man, cheating is wrong!  You made a commitment to your wife, and you should honor it.  You need to cut it off with this other girl now.”

There was more to this conversation; which involved a lot of yelling, cussing and him trying to make the case for why cheating on his wife was okay, me countering it with why is wasn’t, but when it was all said and done, what we had left was a broken friendship.  He went his way, and I went mine.  I heard a few months later he had left his wife and moved in with the old girlfriend.  I’ve got no idea where he is today.  His ex-wife remarried and is living happily ever after now with a great family.

I am an opinionated, self-righteous loud mouth at times.  I think if you have read my blogs you’ve probably figured out I am not a man who minces words when it comes to things I’m passionate about.  I don’t apologize for this, it is who I am.

One of the things I’m very passionate about is marriage.  Having been married for almost twenty-eight years to the same woman, I can tell you it is by far one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life.  Being married is also one of the hardest things I’ve ever done; it takes a lot of work to make it great.

Cheating on your wife is wrong no matter what spin you put on it.  When you married her, you committed to stay with her forsaking all others; ALL.  This is pretty cut and dry, it means you will stay with her for the rest of your life.  Now some guys look at this as imprisonment, but then they don’t understand what marriage really is all about.

Marriage is about giving yourself completely to one person; and I’m not just talking about sexually, although this is one element of it.  When you give yourself completely to another person, you look out for their interests before your own.  You make sure their needs are met before meeting your own.

Many times you will hear people say, “Marriage is 50/50.  This is not true; to make your marriage work you have to give 100 percent.  This is why so many men fail in their marriages.  Now understand; I am speaking in general terms here, if this doesn’t apply to your marriage, then great, but more often than not the problem in marriages revolve around the husband.  After all, he is the head of the family, and the leader.  If he’s not leading well, then the marriage won’t be doing well.

I’m not really sure why I get so worked up about infidelity, but I know I hate it!  I hate what it does to the relationship between husband and wife.  And if there are kids in the mix, well it causes the problems to grow exponentially.

If your marriage isn’t what you want it to be guys, then make the necessary corrections in what you’re doing so it will be.  It’s not rocket science, give one hundred percent, taking care of the needs of your bride and she will reciprocate, I promise you.

 

 

 

 

 

Wham, Bam, Thank You Mam

Today I’d like to talk about something men hate, but let me forewarn you ladies, you may not like what I have to say at first, but I think if you will read this through to the end, you might end up agreeing with me.

Wives, when you tell your husband during sex, “Just hurry up and finish.” You might as well be saying, “You’re not worth my time.”  Now before you get mad at me, hear me out.  Sex is supposed to be the most intimate time a married couple can experience together.  It’s not just about the sexual act; it’s about connecting with one another on a level you share with no one else.

I know a lot of men who think sex is just about getting their rocks off, having a sandwich and then going to sleep.  But there is so much more and guys who only use women as their release valve really haven’t figured it out, regardless of what they think or say.

Having a positive sex life with your spouse takes time and effort on both of your parts.  If you tell your husband often to just hurry up and get off of you, I have a couple of questions to ask.  Is it because it’s painful?  Is he too rough?  Does he only pay attention to you when you’re having sex?  Are there things in your past you’ve been holding on to and possibly transferring to him when it comes time for sex?  Do you climax during sex, or is all about him?

I understand I’m speaking in very general terms here when I say this, but many women could go the rest of their lives without ever having sex again and it would be perfectly fine with them.  Women usually aren’t as interested in sex as men are; therefore it’s up to us men to start working on things before ever making it to the bedroom.

I heard a man say one time, “Sex begins in the kitchen.”  He wasn’t saying to have sex in the kitchen, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but what he meant was, before ever getting her to take her clothes off, sex begins by doing little things around the house without her telling you to do them; like emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash or maybe giving her a break while you get dinner ready for the family.

I heard another speaker tell his audience, “When it comes to sex; women are like crock pots and men are like microwave ovens.”  Yeah, I know there seems to be a kitchen theme here, but stay with me.  A crock pot cooks your meal, but it may take all day to get it ready, where a microwave can cook your food in under a minute.The point he was making is it takes women longer to get ready for sex than it does men.

Guys start putting money in the bank so to speak by loving your bride in nonsexual ways.  Do little things around the house, rub her feet or back with no strings attached or bring her little gifts for no reason.  Loving her well before the actual sex act takes place will bring so much more passion to your lovemaking and will make it much more amazing for both of you.  And if you love her well before climbing into bed with her, she probably won’t be saying to you, “Hurry up and get off of me!” when you are having sex.

Now you know what I think, tell me what you think.