Friendship is the Wind in Our Sails

friendship in Marriage

Friendship is the Wind in Our Sails

Marriage thrives on friendship. The joy of sailing through life together. Yet most couples are not prepared for the reality that although 80% of the time you will have “smooth-sailing” — 20% of the time you will experience “rough seas.”  Watch this short video.

Friendship brings life to our marriages. When friendship falters, the relationship is at risk. Maybe you are at a great place in your marriage and are experiencing the positive emotional connectedness of being one with your spouse. If so, great! Keep investing in your friendship.

Alternatively, you may be secretly crying into your pillow, feeling as if your needs are unmet. You could be withdrawing to your workplace and flirting with the secretary who admires your leader- ship. You could be wondering if it’s possible to regain the passion you once felt in your marriage.

Friendship is the wind in the sail of your marriage. Whatever the current state of your relationship, invest the time in strengthening your friendship.  Make your marriage a rich, life-giving adventure.

Reinforcing the foundation of friendship can help you grow together, rather than apart, and keep your marriage stable and fun.

Friendship in Marriage

I remember a time when I wanted to change my husband (see chapter 2 of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage).Can you relate to that? Have you tried to change your spouse?

Last week, we learned about Acceptance. This week, remember, your spouse was created in the image of God. God fashioned and design your spouse with His purpose in mind. Since you do not have the power to change your spouse, you will need to learn to trust God and realize that it is not your role to act like the Holy Spirit in his/her life.

Now that we’ve relieved the pressure of needing to “fix” your spouse, let’s focus on the fun we can have in our marriages.

“Make time for friendship. Go out and have fun. Leave the kids with a sitter. Focus on your marriage. Focus on building your friendship, rather than proving your point.”

Trait #2 (Friendship) - 9 Traits of a Life Giving Marriage by Sue Detweiler

Week 2 – 9 Traits Marriage Study (Friendship)

Let’s discuss Chapter 2 of #MarriageRocks:

Read Chapter 2 of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage. Reflect and journal the following questions. If you signed up, you will receive a free download today in email that you can use.

  1. What were some of your favorite things to do when you were first forming a relationship with your spouse?

 

  1. Is there one “Horsemen” negative style of behavior that might be holding you back from building Friendship in your marriage (Criticism; Contempt; Defensiveness; or Stonewalling)?

 

  1. What are some ways you can commit to this week to restore Friendship in your marriage?

 

We’ll see you back here on Wednesday to discuss Chapter 3. Have a great day!

Invite Your Friends:

There’s still time to also invite your friends to join the book study. Sign up for the #MarriageRocks Study here

Join the FREE online #MarriageRocks study: http://suedetweiler.com/bookstudy

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Strengthen your marriage by setting aside time to be together. This intimate conference will help you build on a deeper foundation of friendship. You will be encouraged as well as empowered through time together as a couple. Sign up today!

friendship in marriage

Sign up for The Marriage Bridge Retreat Today! 


Building Life-Giving Relationships #Linkup

Life-Giving Relationships

Last week my husband and I took a 5 day trip to the Houston area to celebrate 31 years of marriage. It fills up my love-tank when I spend time with my husband. I also found myself reflecting on the power of life-giving relationships.

Life-Giving Relationships

 

Watch this short video:

Life-Giving Relationships take time.

Right before we left for Houston, I found myself irritable with my husband. When I thought about what was truly bothering me, I wanted more quality time with him. Then I realized, “Oh, he is making up hours at work so that he can take days off with me.” When I reframed the situation in my mind, I was able to realize that I was simply being petty.

Life-Giving Relationships need priority.

We only have so many hours in the day, if we don’t prioritize our relationships tasks and deadlines will win over relationships. As a type A personality I have let my tasks and responsibilities run my schedule. I am trying to change this, and make people my priority.

Last week, I was working on blog post that I regularly post on Monday’s when I received a text from my friend Susan Mead about having lunch. I had made a mistake and written our lunch date for the next Monday. When I looked at her text I knew I had a decision, I could either go out to lunch with Susan OR complete the blog post. Because we were going out of town, I couldn’t do both. In the past, I would have stolen the time from my anniversary trip.

The Holy Spirit will lead you on how to prioritize the time in your day so that you are able to fulfill your calling in your life. Part of your God-given calling is to make time for relationships.  I am so thankful for the way that God gave me time with my children when they were small.  I often felt pulled in every direction. It was only by listening to the still small voice of God leading me that I could prioritize time with each one.

Life-Giving Relationships may be Life-Long or Seasonal

Every year in grade school I would moan to my mom at the end of the school year. “Mom, I had the best year! Next, year could never be as good.” Then I would talk about each of my friends. Some of the friends continued to be strong each and every year, others because my classes would change would become more like acquaintances. I would mourn the fact that I couldn’t keep up with every relationship. In fact, if we tried to make every relationship life-long, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill all that God called us to do in our lives.

Recently, a hard decision that Wayne and I faced was the choice to answer God’s call on our lives and to move across country to relocate in Frisco Texas to plant Life Bridge Church. It was a bold move for us. We still value all the neighbors, friends, co-workers, church family that we used to see regularly in the flow of our lives. It was sad and we grieved saying goodbyes. We love it when we have the opportunity to connect on social media or in other ways.

Life is bittersweet and takes twists and turns that we don’t always anticipate. I have sat with so many broken couples who did not anticipate their marriage ending in divorce. Their relationship that was once the joy of their life had been broken by sin and neglect. God is a restorative God. He heals, mends, repairs, and restores the broken places of our lives and gives us the hope of new beginnings.

Life-Giving Relationships are our Inheritance

Jesus modeled Life-Giving Relationships. He gathered the 12 around him and lived every day life with them. The disciples didn’t think they would have only 3 years with him, they wanted the relationship to stay the same. But Jesus knew His purpose. He was called to die and rise again for those he loved. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we have eternity with him and with others who call on His name. Everything else will pass away, but life-giving relationships lasts forever. In eternity we will have an abundance of what we didn’t have on earth…TIME.

Life-Giving Marriage

I would love to give you an opportunity to read the Introduction and First Chapter of my upcoming book 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which comes out in book stores on October 2. Click the button for immediate download.Download Here


10 Ways to Love #LifeGivingLinkup

10 Ways to Love

10 Ways to Love

Do you remember the zing of attraction you felt when your relationship with your spouse was brand new? Being in the same room brought both comfort and butterflies. You felt empowered by the looks of admiration. Chills ran down your spine when your hands brushed together as you walked or reached for the popcorn.

Do you still have those feelings? Do you still get a rush when the love of your life walks into the room? Or has exhaustion, disappointment, or bitterness replaced the elation you once felt? With the starry eyes of new love, we all fantasize about how life could be together. We want to feel that same sense of excitement, joy, and fulfillment all the time. But that isn’t reality.

If you have been married for more than a week, I’m certain you’re aware that your marriage is not perfect. No marriage relationship is. And regardless of how wonderful or terrible your marriage may seem right now, I’m also certain that you are aware of ways it could be better, healthier, stronger, and more loving. We all desire to see positive changes in our relationships. We all want to be built up, encouraged, and empowered to live life to the fullest. Whether or not you use the exact words, what we want are life-giving marriages.

10 Ways to Show Your Love

As you read through this list of 10 ways to love, think about your relationships. How can you put these principles into action today?:

10 Ways to Love

Putting Love Into Action

I hope you enjoyed these tweets. Now to put love in action takes focus. I would love to hear your comments on this.

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


Messy Marriage – Sue Detweiler #LifeGivingLinkup

Messy Marriage

Messy Marriage

We live in an instragram world that wants to portray us as living lives of flawless perfection.

I was touched by the honest reflection of Darlene Schacht as she shares her heart and brokenness in this video:

Painful Places

I don’t know the types of painful places that you have walked through, but I do know that you weren’t alone.

Darlene in her video mentioned key words from this Scripture

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly

above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that works in us…” Ephesians 3:20

In the midst of your biggest trial, if you surrender all to God He will do exceedingly abundantly more than you can imagine. That does not mean that you will get everything you want. It means that God is bigger than the situation you are in.
Click Here for Download

Jesus Steps Into Messy Marriages

When Jesus was faced with the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, He was both just and grace-giving. In His love for her, He didn’t condone her sin. However, His grace-filled-way made it possible for her to stand up with all of her accusers fleeing. Neither did Jesus condemn her. His grace made it possible for her to gain a fresh start.

Marriages are messy because the two people involved in the marriage are both imperfect sinners.

Does that mean that every marriage is repaired? No. The miracle of God’s grace is bigger. He goes deeper. He goes to the heart. He repairs the heart of every sinner that comes to Him. He doesn’t dish out cheap grace, but he sacrificially gives costly grace.

When Life Is Messy…

How is Jesus leading you to respond? Is he calling you to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness? Is He calling you to give mercy, grace, and truth to someone who has fallen? Whatever He is calling you to, His grace is sufficient. In fact, His power is perfected in weakness.

And He said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Today, be willing to wade into the mess of life. It’s out of our messes that He brings His message.

 Click Here for Download
 


9 Words to say in healthy relationships (Linkup)

9 Words to say in healthy relationships

Do you think you are always right?

Healthy Relationships

I was in argument with my husband and I sensed that I shouldn’t say another word. But, I had 4 words that I wanted to say, to prove my point. You guessed it. These four words were the gasoline that took our disagreement into full blown war.


It’s more important for you to be in right relationship with others than to try to always be right. Admit when you are wrong it will go a long way to heal your relationships.
Tweet: It’s more important for you to be in right relationship with others than to try to always be right http://ctt.ec/Kq9If+

Life-Giving Relationships are Mutual

My husband Wayne and I love to perform wedding ceremonies for couples. Using these following 9 words are helpful in every life-giving marriage. If you haven’t used these words in awhile, humble yourself and make them a part of your healthy relationship vocabulary.

1. I Was Wrong

If you are a human being you will make mistakes. Learning to say these simple words “I was wrong” help you to admit your short-comings. Saying “I was wrong” is the starting point of learning to change harmful habits in your own life.

Notice the words are not, YOU ARE WRONG! If you think you are always right, it shows a lack of maturity and insecurity in your life. You may feel pressured to perform. Your confidence is built on your performance.

Living as a disciple of Christ calls each of us to stay connected in life-giving relationship with the ultimate Life-Giver. Jesus said this,

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

John 15:5-8 MSG

Jesus is the only perfect human being who came to do with His father in heaven told him to do. Only God is right all the time. A big weight will come off of your shoulders when you realize that apart from Him you can do nothing.

2. I Am Sorry

The beautiful words “I am sorry” only mean something if you are willing to change. By staying in an intimate life-giving relationship with Jesus, his life will flow into you if you stay connected to Him. Inevitably, there will be habits in your life that need to be pruned for even more healthy relationships

Learning to say “I am sorry” in words and actions will change your life. The good news is that saying “I was wrong, I’m sorry…” does not mean “I’m terrible, I can’t do anything right…” There is no shame in being sorry.

If you have made Jesus Lord of your life, He has already freed you from condemnation. Add this Scripture to one that you meditate on:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”

Romans 8:1-2 NLT

There is no condemnation for you. You don’t have to live under a low-lying cloud of condemnation feeling worthless about yourself if you get something wrong. There is freedom to say “I’m sorry” because you know that Jesus has already paid for your sin and guilt on the cross. It’s from that freedom, that you can and should acknowledge to your spouse and others when you have been wrong.

3. Please Forgive Me

To forgive someone is to cancel their debt. Before you are able to get to the point of genuinely saying these 9 words, you need to forgive them. You need to stop being angry and resentful for what they have done to you. When you have been hurt by someone, that hurt clouds your judgement. You may only see what they have done to you.

If you forgive them from the heart, the life-giving spirit of God freely shows you the way that you have fallen short in the relationship too. The Holy Spirit will also protect you from taking on blame or condemnation that is an exaggeration of your offense. You are able to take responsibility for your action, without being beat-up on the inside of you.

Life Giving Relationships Last

When there is mutual love and respect in relationships they last. Toxic relationships are marked by manipulation, control, condemnation, and blaming. Any cycle of ongoing abuse needs the help of life-giving counsel for health to be restored in your relationship.

I would love to hear your comments on this. Leave your comment below or join the Life-Giving Linkup!

#LifeGivingLinkup Time!

We all need encouragement. No matter what stage of life, we need others to share the journey with us. We don’t want to be alone. It’s more fun together. Let’s Linkup in a life-giving journey of encouraging each other.