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Boundaries in Marriage Advice

Marriage Takes a Giving and Forgiving Attitude
By: Angie Lewis

I believe the whole idea of marriage is getting a bad rap these days, and it is because some people are just a bit too selfish for marriage. What do you think? You can't be selfish in your marriage and then expect it to prosper, can you? Happiness is not found through the person you married? Not to say you can't be happy with the person you married, but as we all know, happiness comes from within.

But what happens when we don't have anything "within us" to be happy about? Well, then you stop and look at your attitude. What are you bitter about? Why do you feel the need to control people and situations around you? Many things you are powerless too, and so you need to understand what those things are and let them go. For instance, you cannot control another human being without them feeling resentful. You cannot stop an alcoholic from drinking anymore than you can expect your spouse to change to be what you want them to be. This is how a selfish person thinks. It is selfish to try and "make" someone do something just so you can "feel" better. This is not a giving or forgiving attitude but an attitude of bitterness and contempt.

How can married people concentrate on the blessings they have and heal their marriage? How can a married selfish person discover the goodness in their spouse? By focusing on what brings true contentment and happiness in life. Stop and look at your attitude. What is your attitude telling you? Unfortunately, so many married people rely on the sins of the world for pleasure and happiness only to bring garbage and negativity back into the marriage. Why focus on what's out there when you can focus on what is in front of you and make it better?

Jesus said, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:36-38)

Why do you say, "I have a bad marriage?" Maybe what you should be saying is, "I am a bad marriage partner?" The reality is folks, marriage takes a giving and forgiving attitude, and without that, what is left? You tell me what happens when you don't forgive your spouse? Tell me how you feel when you hold in resentment about something your spouse did? What does it feel like to only see the negative stuff about your spouse? It feels like a bad marriage, doesn't it? But who is doing this to you? Who is giving you that kind of attitude? You are doing it to yourself, and that is the real facts here. How come do I know this? Because I carried around that attitude myself!

None of us are immune to behaving selfish but when a spouse refuses to forgive, or refuses to trust again, or to be accepting, or to come out of their resentment, I believe there is a real lack of wisdom in that person's life. Wisdom comes from God, but if we do not really know God or accept God into our lives we will not have godly wisdom within us. We will have an attitude filled with our own understanding. And what is that?

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

So then what is the struggle in marriage? Is the struggle saying "no" to worldly pleasures and desires? Is the struggle not realizing the perfect blessings we have been given already from God? Could it be the struggle is that we have not asked For God's loving guidance into our lives? Are we too proud to come to Christ and accept His love for us?

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)

Double check your attitude and see if it only needs adjusted a little bit. When our bodies get too cold or too hot we adjust the thermostat in our homes, when our minds get too hot or too cold in our marriage we only need to adjust our attitude. Forgive others, be repentant, be forgiven, and love!

Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:37, 38)

New Release! Love The Woman You Married, the companion book to Love The Man You Married. This book explores several main issues that are involved in preserving a happy and purposeful marriage, mainly the areas of submission and spiritual authority. Why are women afraid to submit to their husband's spiritual influence? Over the years, society has turned this issue into something women should fear. Submission is not about control or power like many would like to believe, but about love. Submission is love; if it were anything else than it would not be true submission.

For more information about Angie's marriage ministry, visit www.heavenministries.com.



Living With An Alcoholic Spouse: A Healthy Detachment
By: Angie Lewis

The best thing you can do when dealing with an alcoholic spouse is to detach from the abuse of the alcoholic. You can do this if you truly love your spouse and want to help them to possible sobriety. The more you focus all your energies on the alcoholic, the less likely he is to get sober. This article focuses on how you can detach and remain healthy mentally.

  • Don't Make Alcoholism Your Problem

    If you have never read any of the Al-anon material then you probably don't know that you are making the disease of alcoholism YOUR problem. One of the sad facts of living with an alcoholic is we become just as mentally and emotionally sick as the alcoholic. This happens because every step of life we take, and every breath of air we breathe has some involvement with the alcoholic. Our emotions overtake our own mental health as we try and cope with the deterioration of the alcoholic in our life. What are we doing wrong? We are concentrating too much on the disease, instead of concentrating on our mental and emotional health. We may as well be tipping the bottle for them. Better yet, we may as well be drinking with them!

  • Don't Enable

    Most spouses of alcoholics don't realize they are helping their spouse drink just by a few simple behaviors and actions. Several ways in which you may be enabling your spouse to drink by buying them alcohol, drinking with them, calling the boss and or family members for him because he is too hung over or too drunk to do it himself. Lying to friends, boss, family and co-workers about him and his drinking problem. Taking them to the store, arguing with them, and behaving like a victim. You are not the victim of alcoholism until you make yourself become the victim.

  • Get Off The Pity Pot

    Get off of the pity pot and begin living for yourself, instead of living for the alcoholic. "Oh poor me, everyday I am suffering and I can't take it anymore" attitude won't get you anywhere. You need to take care of yourself and that cannot be done if you are focusing all of your attention on the alcoholic and what he is doing or what he isn't doing. Start focusing on what you can do for yourself. Get out of the house, don't hang around the alcoholic, and don't let them abuse you with their words. If you care about the alcoholic in your life, this is what helps them more than anything else.

  • Detach With Love

    You are powerless to getting your loved one to stop drinking. The first step in being able to detach is by realizing that the shenanigans of the alcoholic is not your problem. Don't try and fix their messes for them. Not only does this enable them to continue drinking, but also it justifies their drinking. Don't have any interaction with the alcoholic while they are drinking; that includes, talking and arguing with them. Why fuss and fight with someone who has lost the ability to make any sense? Don't become ensnared in the alcoholic trap with them. Stay out of the trap, so you can help them. Ninety-five percent of what an alcoholic says is manipulative and hogwash anyway. Don't start believing in the lies of the disease. Separate yourself from the antics of the alcoholic.

  • Pray For The Alcoholic

    I can't tell you how important the process of daily prayer can be. Not only does it bring you closer to God but it will also get you into the habit of going to God with your life challenges. God does hear your cries of pain and He will give you the answers you need to get through your trials and tribulations, even if your spouse continues to drink. Be patient and remain faithful in the Lord and He will deliver you from your suffering.

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)