The Power of Acceptance in Marriage – Sue Detweiler

The Power of acceptance in marriage

The Power of Acceptance in Marriage

Every human being is woven together by God in a unique way. You can either magnify your spouse’s weaknesses, thereby causing strife with your scrutiny, or you can accept who God made them to be.

I struggled with accepting Wayne early on in our marriage. Here is his testimony of how God changed my heart and it impacted our relationship.

Learning to Accept Your Spouse

It is often the very traits that initially drew you to your spouse that you may have to come to terms with after you are married. For instance, you may have a husband who is a strong-willed leader; he knows what he wants and when he wants it. You may have been impressed by his confident demeanor and decision-making ability when you were dating. Now, those same traits make him seem overly opinionated. Or maybe you’re married to a wife who is very detailed-oriented. While you were dating, you appreciated her planning skills and innate ability to efficiently organize her home. Now, it seems like all she does is nag and nit-pick you to get all the details right.

Acceptance can be hard! Sometimes it can feel like acquiescence. You feel like you are “stuck with the other person.” You reluctantly put up with them while the life drains out of your relationship. That doesn’t seem very life-giving. But stay with me, because acceptance can bring about beautiful change.

Experience a Miracle Change through Acceptance

As a wife, you have the power to magnify the God-crafted personality of your husband. As a husband, you can lift up your wife’s God-given characteristics. When you do, you not only change the way you perceive your spouse, but, over time, you also change his or her perception of you and of yourselves as a couple.

In response to the encounter with the Holy Spirit that my husband spoke of in the video, I began to speak words of respect to my husband. I also began to speak positively about him in public, building him up. My decision to accept the way that God created Wayne, empowered a miracle-cure in our relationship. His personality did not change. But when I looked at him with eyes of acceptance and respect, my husbands confidence level grew.

You may be thinking, “You don’t know my husband and how difficult he is!” You are right; I don’t know your husband. But I know that you chose him. Something about who he is fits with who you are. Otherwise, you would have chosen someone else. Or, more accurately, God would have chosen someone else for you.

When Wayne and I conduct marriage conferences, it isn’t unusual for at least one man in the audience to turn to his wife and say, “See, you need to treat me with respect! If you would treat me like your Prince Charming, then everything would be fine.” If you’re tempted to point the finger at your spouse and demand that he or she changes first…don’t. Your mandate for superficial acquiescence will not bring breakthrough, but it’s a sure path to bitterness.

Enjoy the Uniqueness of Your Marriage

It’s important to embrace the way God has made your spouse. It is also helpful to accept how God has made you. Understand that the way you two work and live and love together may not be the same as any other couple’s relationship. There are no cookie- cutter marriages.

For far too many years in ministry, I believed that, if God had just switched our gift-mix, life would be better. If Wayne had my gifts and I had his, we would fit into the traditional Christian perspective of marriage.

Joyce and David Meyer felt pressured to change who they were early in their marriage. The church they were attending made it clear that Dave should be the one who taught the Bible study they were leading from their home. The couple tried to conform; Dave taught while Joyce kept silent. It didn’t work very well. God had not designed them to be like that.

Just as Priscilla’s name frequently appears before Aquilla’s in Scripture because Priscilla was the primary speaker, Joyce Meyer is a natural communicator and teacher. Their gifts didn’t need to be swapped. Neither did Wayne’s and mine. You don’t need to be or do something other than that for which God created you. God doesn’t make mistakes. He uses us individually, even as He uses us together.

If you are feeling pressured to fit into some type of mold, relax and enjoy who God has made your spouse to be. Enjoy and embrace the distinct way you are made and look for all the ways you suit each other.

This blog post is adapted from the first chapter of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriag

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5 Stupid Questions Women Ask Man

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage

Be Stable and Strong in your Home

After gaining a great deal of weight in my journey towards menopause, I find myself struggling with body image in a new way. My body simply isn’t the same as it was when it was younger. It has thrown me off-kilter. I seem to be dealing with some of the insecurity that I felt as a young married bride.

I ran into a woman in Target that just had her second baby. We were commiserating together about the change in our bodies. The ever-changing hormones can play a number on our brains.  Let me know if you can relate.

5 Stupid Questions Women Ask Men

If you ask the wrong question, you will get the wrong answer. Because men and women are so different, it can feel like women are from venus and men are from mars. You are speaking a different language. Watch this fun video by Connie Podesta where she talks about 5 stupid questions to ask guys:

1. Do you notice anything different?*

I love Connie’s illustration that asking a man if he notices something different about the way you look, is like him taking you to his car and opening the hood and asking you what you notice. Women need to approach men with their own sense of self-respect. Your husband will not be able to demolish your own poor self-image if you constantly think negative about how you look. Give husbands an ability to affirm you without feeling like they are going to “get in trouble if they get it wrong.”

2. Do you think this makes me look fat?*

Women really don’t want to know the honest answer to this question. Struggling with weight is something that many of us will deal with at some point in our lives between pregnancy and menopause. Our own insecurity makes us want to be affirmed by the husbands we love. As the scale goes up, our rear end is getting bigger. It’s just part of what we deal with.

3. So what are you thinking?*

With men, this question is about timing. If we ask a question like this in the middle of his favorite ball game, we will only get blank stairs. Part of learning to bear with one another is learning to embrace what is important to the opposite sex. We need to learn to ask better questions with better timing.

4. Do you think that woman is prettier than me?*

When we ask the wrong questions, we will consistently get the wrong answers. Comparing the beauty of another woman who you already think is prettier than you will only put your man on the spot. The only way he can answer it and not get in trouble with you is to say ‘what woman?’  Every woman has been woven together by her maker in heaven. We have all made to be beautiful, no matter what our present cultural norms say.

5. Honey what’s wrong?*

Communication and intimacy is something that women and men both value. Again, this question is about timing. If your husband has had a bad day and is wanting to relax on the couch, it is not time for a deep conversation. Allow him to process, pray, and at least unwind from the day.

*I hope you enjoyed these 5 Stupid Questions that come directly for Connie Pedesta.

Building a Happy, Healthy Marriage

Every life-giving marriage requires work but also pleasure. If we stop falling into these male-female arguments, we will learn to appreciate our spouse for who they are. We will stop expecting them to fill up our emotional tank.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage I’m excited to share that I have completed the manuscript to 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which will be in bookstores beginning October 2. Click the button below and you can download the introduction and first chapter of the book for free.

Download Here


How to Build a Marriage that Lasts

How to Build a Marriage that Lasts

A Marriage That Lasts

Have you every wondered what the secret was to be happily married?  Have you wanted to find out how you could have a marriage like that? Shaunti Fieldhahn has spent 15 years researching what we need to know about men, women and relationships. Listen to her short video:

5 Habits of “Highly Happy” Marriages

If you want to build a marriage that lasts, it’s helpful to study those who have exceptional marriages. Shaunti Feldhahn’s study led her to write Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. Instead of focusing on our problems in marriages, she encourages that we look at things that the happy couples to do to make their marriage stronger.  What actually works to make marriages great.   The following 5 areas are summarized from her book.

1. Little Things are BIG in a Marriage.

A marriage is a daily endeavor to share love with our spouse. Wonderful Marriages have in common that both the husband and the wife put into practice little things in a marriage. The simple fact of a wife saying “thank you” and affirming the husband for work he has done goes a long way to show respect to him. When a husband reaches out to take his wife’s hand it shares the sweetness of love in a simple way. One way to begin to build a stronger marriage today is to start concentrating on the small things in your marriage that says “I Love You.” 

2. Believe the Best About Your Spouse.

Happily Married couples believe the best about their spouses intention. It’s amazing what a difference it makes on what you think the heart of someone you love. Couples with great marriages give each other the benefit of the doubt and think positively about their intentions. 

3. Take Charge of Your Feelings About Your Spouse.

All of us can have bad days and our feelings can snowball out of control. As happily married couples choose to think good thoughts about their spouse, they also choose to take charge of their feelings. Feelings can be inaccurate and can color how you respond to someone. Your response can be harsh or disrespectful and that will lead to a harsh and unloving response from your spouse. Before you know it you are on a crazy cycle. One way to break the cycle is to take charge of your feelings.

4. Temper Honesty with Wisdom.

. Your spouse will feel like you are dumping on them. In your heart to be honest with them, you have exaggerated the situation and blown it out of proportion. True honesty is tempered in wisdom.

5. Take a Risk and Share Your Heart.

It can be tempting to pull back and not share your full heart with your spouse. It feels risky to be open and vulnerable with your heart. However if you risk it all, you have the opportunity to hit the jackpot with your spouse. Totally surrendering and letting yourself be vulnerable will help open emotional intimacy which often leads to physical and spiritual intimacy as well.

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How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage I’m excited to share that I have completed the manuscript to 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which will be in bookstores beginning October 2. Click here and you can download the introduction and first chapter of the book for free.

Download Here 


 

 

 

 

Who do you trust to provide?

Who do you trust to provide?

Are you stressed when your checking account is overdrawn. You thought you had more money than you actually did. You are broke. Now what are you going to do?

Who do you trust

Watch this short video:

If you find yourself hanging your head, here are a few things that you can do to find help.

Find Healthy Financial Advisors

Turning on the Dave Ramsey show can be a very smart thing to do. I have known a number of families who have been overwhelmed by debt who have turned to principles of Financial Peace and found God’s peace in their finances. We have used the “envelope system” most of our married life to budget our finances and live within our means. These principles work because they are based on God’s principles.

Find Faith in God as Your Provider and Protector

Financial pressure shows who you depend on. Do you trust God to provide for you and show you how to be a faithful steward? Or do you rely on yourself to figure everything out?

After we had adopted our sons, my husband began waking up in the middle of the night. He was stressed about the cost of the adoption and how to provide for the needs of our large family.  He realized that he was trying to figure things out himself and it was causing him to lose sleep. Wayne knew this Scripture where Jesus said,

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Matthew 6:25-26 NLT

Yet my husband Wayne, like most of us knew what Scripture said, but didn’t have a personal revelation of the Father Heart of God as his provider. He needed a fresh understanding of God’s goodness.

We also needed a fresh understanding of God as our protector. The economic downturn impacted everyone we knew. We needed to see God as the beacon of light keeping us from harm. We were concerned that in the economic stress of the time, we would be shipwrecked as a family.

Find Faith-Filled Solutions

As we began to pray together, the weight of this financial load began to lift off of my husband. We had a very clear word to sell our house to pay off the debt of the cost of our sons adoption. The economy was poor and large houses like ours were not selling well. But we believed that God had spoken to us. So we went to work as a family. We painted and had the home looking better than ever.

The real estate agent was a friend of ours. She and her husband followed in our footsteps and went to Brazil to adopt four children. We signed the contract, she put up the sign and left for the 6 week trip to Brazil. Before they returned from Brazil, not only did our house sell but we had moved out of it before she returned home to a nice commission check (which helped them pay off their adoption).

God had provided and protected us once again. Our faith in His goodness grows every time we face a difficult situation.

God is Good!

If you are in a tough place right now, know that you are not alone. Find the financial advisors to help you. Find fresh faith in God to provide for you and protect you. Find faith-filled solutions on how to walk through the situation trusting in God to help you.

I would love to hear your comments.


 

How to Fix Your Marriage

How to fix your marriage

How to Fix Your Marriage

If you have been married for any length of time, you know that you can’t “fix your marriage” only God can. You have probably learned by now that you can’t change your spouse. You can’t control what they think or what they choose to do. You have probably been hurt in some way by your spouse. Likely there are cycles and circles and patterns in both of your lives that are unhealthy to your marriage.