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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for July, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

DEALING WITH THE IMPASSE IN YOUR MARRIAGE

Have you ever had an impasse in your marriage? You know, two people, coming from different backgrounds, temperaments and giftedness, who look at the same data, truth, or reality, and come away with opposite conclusions? No amount of talk, persuasive efforts, argumentation, pouting, manipulation or pressure can change their perspective. Period. From their perspective 2 + 2 seems to equal 4.2. It’s the irresistible force against an immovable object!
Well, what to do. Pout? Yell? Threaten? Withdraw? Cast blame? Slander? Move to the Bahamas? What?
No, as a sheer act of the will you start with praying over, and applying I Corinthians 13:4-8. You just do it, because it’s not about being right. It is about being Christ-like: “Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.” (Msg.)
Next you prayerfully ponder James 1:2-5: “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. And if, in the process, any of you does not know how to meet any particular problem he has only to ask God-who gives generously to all men without making them feel foolish or guilty-and he may be quite sure that the necessary wisdom will be given him.”
You have a trial in your life that God intends to use to produce in you the quality of perseverance that translates into spiritual maturity. God is more concerned about your development character-wise then in you being right relative to the impasse. He intends to use the impasse to forge godly character in you…with no guarantee of solving the impasse. (Rom. 5:3-5)
Then, you prayerfully mull over and apply the characteristics of wisdom mentioned in James 1:5 (above), as amplified in James 3:17, 18. That is, you concentrate on you, making the necessary character changes, and let God take care of the necessary changes in your spouse:
“…The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all:
“Pure”: Literally, clean, modest, innocent. (See Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 11:2) Question: Am I living without hypocrisy? With total integrity?

“Peace-loving”: Literally, loving peace, bringing peace. (See Heb. 12:11) Question: Do I really desire peace (but not at the sacrifice of purity)?

“Considerate”: Literally, patient, mild, yielding, equitable. (See Phil. 4:5; 1 Pet. 2:18) Question: Am I truly a reasonable person or am I dogmatic and arbitrary? Is it “my way or the highway”?

“Submissive”: Literally, compliant, good for persuasion, reasonable. (See Eph. 5:21, 22; 1 Pet 3:1,2) Question: Am I willing to carefully consider and even submit to my spouses’ preferences over my own?

“Full of mercy”: Literally, compassionate, tender, possessing pity. (See Jms. 2:13,16) Question: Am I willing to lighten up and not demand my standard? Do I allow for mistakes and human frailty?

“Good fruit”: Literally, good deeds. (See Phil. 1:11; Matt. 7:17,18) Question: Is what I am saying validated by the integrity of my attitudes and actions?

“Impartial”: Literally, unwavering, unhesitating, not doubting. (See Jms. 1:6) Question: Is my thinking and are my decisions based on the solid foundation of a pattern of applied Biblical truth in my life?

“Sincere”: Literally, genuine and unfeigned. (See Rom. 12:9) Question: Am I the genuine, authentic, article? That is, unaffected, real, frank, truthful, and honest at the core?
This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

16_07_06

Good Morning!
With a history of promiscuity, personal insecurities, etc., etc., both brought excess baggage into the relationship that contributed toward constant conflict. Both however, had recently become followers of Christ and were committed to living out their marriage vows His way.
That was twenty years ago. Today I was on the phone with Sam as he mused over the fact that he and Jean had become “best friends.”
It seems to me there are several reasons for this remarkable transformation:
1 – Both were willing to humble themselves and seek out competent and godly counsel to help them identify and root out the origins of their problems:
“For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure.” (Pro. 11:14)
2 – Both were committed to spiritual growth: Consistent times of prayerful meditation upon God’s word:
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Jos.1:8)

3 – Both surrounded themselves with godly people to whom they chose to be accountable; people from whom they gained supportive strength:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16) (See I Thess. 4:18; 5:11; Heb. 12:12-15)
4 – Both were committed to persevering through their problems. In their minds divorce was never an option. Thus, they chose to face, rather than deny or ignore the critical issues:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9) (See Rom. 5:3 ; I Cor. 15:58; 1 Thess. 3:13; Heb. 12:1-3; I Pet. 3:8-11)
Over the years, I have met few couples who did not face daunting challenges in their marriage. I have come to believe that marital success or failure is determined not by the size of the problems, but by whether or not the couple is willing to face and deal with the problematic issues, whatever the pain, whatever the cost.
Living as we do in a crybaby “if it feels good do it” society where marriage vows often read, “as long as we both shall love”, instead of “till death do we part,” we need to comprehend the fact that God hates divorce, and only granted it because of people’s hardness of heart. (Mal. 2:16; Mk. 10:2-9)
QUESTION: Are you demonstrating your commitment to your marriage by taking whatever steps are biblical and necessary to resolve the difficult issues that inevitably could destroy it? If not, why not?
My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill