Three years ago RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I was living in the deepest, darkest hole of my life. I was in two affairs with two different married men, lying to my husband and family and living two completely different lives. I was so broken, I had nowhere to turn and no one to talk to. Who was going to listen to me? I felt alone and lost as I continued to bury myself deeper into the hole. Satan was my only friend, telling me LIES that I was believing. It felt good to have that positive attention. The compliments I was receiving constantly was like a drug addiction. All the while going home to my husband of 12 years and my 4 year old and 8 year old daughters. The enemy kept telling me that I can get out any time I wanted to, but I couldn't. Sin is like quicksand, you put your toe in it, then your foot, then your leg and all of a sudden your entire body is engulfed in sinking sand. But PRAISE GOD, I got to the bottom of my pit and HE is the one who pulled me out! And I now know my purpose in life - my ministries & serving Him! My life is forever change!
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see brokenness? Pain? Unworthy? A past that you can't change? Unfortunately we look at ourselves in a mirror and we are disgusted at what we see. We see the lines on our face that show we are no longer 18 years old. We see the cellulite on our legs from lack of exercise. We see stretch marks on our belly from the children we carried. We see spider veins on our legs from the hard work we put in every day. We see the tired eyes of a woman who works endlessly for her family. But the beautiful thing in all of this, is that is not how God sees us.
God sees us as a beautiful, pure bride for His church. He sees flawless skin, beautiful eyes and a past that does not determine our future. Whatever it is that the enemy is lying to you about as you look in the mirror, take the opposite of that and tell yourself THAT is who you are. God does not see who the enemy sees, God sees the REAL you!
What would your mirror tell you today? My mirror would tell me that I am a product of my past mistakes. But God flipped it around and told me "YOU ARE NOT YOUR PAST MISTAKES!"
Next time you look in the mirror, do not listen to the enemy. Defeat the lies of the enemy by speaking truth into the mirror.
Through everything my husband and I have been through in our marriage, we started counseling other couples through their marriages and the difficulties they were struggling with. When we speak at marriage conferences, this is what has been a very popular topic to talk about and we experience a positive result from it. These are the seven things we have seen, and experienced, that has been seen to have caused a fallen marriage. We will be writing a book on it, but here are the highlights of it.
Jimmy Evans from Marriage on the Rock says:
“MARRIAGE WAS INTENDED TO BLESS YOU AND MAKE YOU HAPPY… RIGHT AFTER IT KILLS YOU”
SOMEONE ONCE SAID: There are 2 forces in the universe trying to kill you: SATAN…. THROUGH EVIL / GOD ….. THROUGH MARRIAGE
When you both finally die you’ll have an awesome marriage - our selfish spirit has to die!
1. SPIRITUALITY - EXODUS 3…. Have no other Gods before me.
Romans 3:10 Paul says, “ There is no one righteous not even one”
Humble ourselves before Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation.
PROVERBS 3:6 … In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight
Question: So How do I put God first?
2. DISTRACTIONS – Mark 4:19 But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful
3. KIDS – GOD’S PERFECT DESIGN AND ORDER……GENESIS 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a Man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being. GENESIS 2:15-18 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” The Lord God said, “ It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” GENESIS 2:21-23 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man and he brought her to the man. The man said, “ This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
How do kids fit in the picture?
God’s Hierarchy: GOD, MAN –WOMAN BESIDE HIM THEN CHILDREN.
4. COMMUNICATION: When communication breaks down it drives a wedge between husband and wife creating a multiplicity of problems. (research says one of the leading causes of divorce)
Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the HEAD, that is, CHRIST!!!”
Ephesian 5:22-23 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord, For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE IN MARRIAGE?
5. SEX: Seems to be an uncomfortable topic for church.
I CORINTHIANS 7:3-5.The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
5 sex needs of Men & Women
Gary & Bob Rosberg
As a couple, how do we find sexual agreement?
6. MONEY: I TIMOTHY 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Judas Iscariot sold jesus for 30 pieces of Silver
Luke Chapter 12… parable of the rich fool!
So How do we handle our finances?
7. SELFISHNESS - Defined: Lacking consideration for others; chiefly concerned with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. WE ARE NOT THE POINT!!! God created us to worship him. We are called to be servants. WE are not that awesome. Our life is but a mist, a vapor
a. the moment we make ourselves the point we take our eyes off Jesus and we begin to make it about US!!!
Sin is not just sin, it’s a spirit of self. Every sin can be traced back to a selfish motive, of which we justify our actions– DAVID
We need each other to fill our needs otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten married. So when we become selfish we CANNOT fulfill our spouse’s needs and is a huge contributing factor to the breakdown in marriage.
Selfishness Is brutal on a marriage…Marriage is great on Servants!
Satan is a real adversary who is seeking to steal, kill and destroy our marriages and families.
Both sides contribute to how it destroys
How can we bulletproof our marriages?
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Nothing compares to an invitation from Jesus. Can you imagine? You are just sitting there on a Monday morning doing your job and out of nowhere The Savior of the World comes up to you and says, "Follow me..." Yeah, that would make my day!!
When Jesus arrived in Capernaum there was a lot of sinful things going on with the people and the tax collectors. When Jesus made His entrance there, He started changing everything. He did things that were "frowned upon" by the Pharisees and other people in town. He ate with sinners and did not stone adulterers. He was kind to everyone and healed the sick. He came for the sick, not the righteous. He loves us NOT for what we have done in our past, but WHO we are. He does not look at our past and talk about our sins; He looks to our future and sees a spotless child of God.
There is nothing in this world that compares to the freedom in Jesus Christ. There is no sin that will give you peace and joy like what the love of Christ will give you.There is one thing that you must do in order to receive this peace - you must RSVP to His invitation. He loves you in your brokenness, your darkness, your scars and your worst of the worst days. And He will rescue you from that instantly, as soon as you say YES! Remember, He will take you just as you are.
For years, I would make resolutions, only to find myself in February again, feeling guilty about the resolutions I didn't keep. I think to myself, "Why is it that everyone else can keep their New Year's resolutions except me?"
It's taken me dozens of years to realize, maybe it's not me. Maybe it's the resolutions.
Resolutions are All or Nothing You don't get credit unless you've done the whole thing. You said you wanted to lose twenty pounds, and only lost seven? In resolution-world, that's a big old failure. You said you would exercise five times a week, and you only are getting to the gym twice a week. Well, why go at all?
When your goals are all or nothing, 99.9% of the time, they will be nothing.
As humans, we need to see our progress and we need encouragement along the way.
When it Comes to Resolutions, Turns Out That SMART Goals for Life Change Aren't That SMART We've all heard about SMART goals. That our goals should be:
Peter Bregman, writing in the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, argues "When we set goals, we’re taught to make them specific and measurable and time-bound. But it turns out that those characteristics are precisely the reasons goals can backfire. A specific, measurable, time-bound goal drives behavior that’s narrowly focused and often leads to either cheating or myopia. Yes, we often reach the goal, but at what cost?"
So If Resolutions are Not the Answer, What Is? Bergman says that instead of goals, we should be focused on areas of change. "An area of focus taps into your intrinsic motivation. It offers no stimulus or incentive to cheat or take unnecessary risks, leaves every positive possibility and opportunity open, and encourages collaboration while reducing corrosive competition. All this while moving forward on the things you and your organization value most."
Instead of resolutions, maybe you can create a personal manifesto.
A personal manifesto is a statement of your core values and beliefs, what is important to you, and how you plan to live your life. It is written in the present tense, even if not everything you state is one hundred percent true about you today, it is a declaration of what you are working to become.
So instead of a resolution that says, "I will lose twenty pounds this year," my manifesto states, "I cannot buy good health. I must earn it. Daily." Instead of short-term goals, I'm looking for lifetime growth.
Personal Manifesto I sat down and wrote my manifesto in about an hour. (As an author and speaker, I spend a lot of time mulling such things over in my day-to-day life already. So when it came time to put it down on paper, it was pretty easy for me.) But others can get stuck in the creation of such a personal document.
I can think of dozens of reasons to create your own personal manifesto, but let me give you my top three:
2. Your Get to Dream (and Pray) Bigger With a Personal Manifesto Resolutions are all about temporary changes. Lose weight, eat healthy, quit a bad habit. But a Personal Manifesto enables you to not just focus on the behavior, but on the person you are becoming, and who God wants you to be. Plus, you get to include others in your dreams, plans, and prayers.
In resolutions, you only get to set goals for yourself. In my Personal Manifesto, one line says, "I help others be world-changers." To me, that's a powerful reason to get out of bed and do life every day.
3. Your To-Dos are Born Out of Your Personal Manifesto Don't think that with the Personal Manifesto you will walk aimlessly through life with no goals. Oh no. your goals, daily to-dos, and even your routines are all born out of your Personal Manifesto. In fact, you will be more focused with a Personal Manifesto than with resolutions, but the focus will not be born out of your self-will, it will spring from your heart.
Listen to my testimony here: