Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
WELCOME TO WEEK 11 of the Meaningful Messy Marriage devotional!!!!  AND... MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  This week, in celebration of Christmas we are going to do something a little off course from our forgiveness devotion.  This week, we are going to focus on GIFTS!  Yes!!  BUT, not the gifts you may be thinking of! 

Though there are going to be many days that you do not see things in this manner, your spouse was a gift to you, from God.  His goal was to create unity between the two of you, creating an easier and more joyful life as you learn to compliment one another with your gifts and talents. 

So.... this week, we would like you to take the time to make a list of the gifts your spouse has and how they have enhanced your life.  Really take your time and be thoughtful about this.  Then, we would like you to write down the one thing that you could work on in your marriage that would be a gift to your spouse.  Perhaps you have a short temper, you are not good at helping around the house, you struggle with showing affection.  Spend some time talking with your spouse about something that would be a gift to them!!

1.  The gifts my husband has-









2. The gifts my wife has-








3. What is something I could work on as a gift to my husband?









4.  What is something I could work on as a gift to my wife?









5.  How can we, as a married couple, be a gift to others?










MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy
 
 
GOOD MORNING!  God has lead me to start a new little segment of the marriage devotion on forgiveness.  

As I mentioned on yesterday's post, though we are called as believers to forgive, forgiveness can be a process. Sometimes, our hearts are completely ready to forgive and move past the transgression; other times, our hearts may be willing and ready to forgive but have been badly wounded.  Your heart may need time to heal.  Forgiveness does not always mean immediate reconciliation of the relationship.  

Here is the MAJOR thing to remember, if it truly forgiveness, your heart will remain on the journey to heal.  You will long to have your heart feel whole again in order to reconcile the relationship in your marriage.  There are times I have been "stuck" in a stage of forgiveness because I have not felt my husband's repentance or apology was truly authentic.  Though, we are called to forgive even when the transgressor is not repentant, this can make working through the process of forgiveness extremely difficult. 

It is only by the power of Christ within you, that you can find the strength to push forward to forgiving. 

And sometimes, your spouses apology may be authentic, but your heart is longing for true signs of this as a self protection  This is the thing we all have to remember, God was able to forgive our repented sins and cast them into the sea where He will remember them no more.  We as humans cannot do this.  Though we can choose to forgive, we cannot forget, no matter how hard we try. 

There were times along this journey with Garrick that my heart would begin to heal a bit and my negative and bad memories began being replaced with good ones again, but then in the throws of addiction, he would hurt me again and the bad memories would come back like a damaging flood.  I would have to start the process of forgiveness all over again.  

Keep this in mind, especially when you are the one seeking forgiveness from your spouse; a truly repentant heart is not going to use a believers call to forgive as a weapon of manipulation.  A truly repentant person will not make the person they sinned against feel guilty or pushed into forgiving them.  They will humbly ask for forgiveness and wait patiently and lovingly for the person to work through the process of forgiving.  

When you have sinned against your spouse, or anyone for that matter, even if forgiveness is granted, there may still be negative consequences from the sin.  There were times I could extend forgiveness but my heart was badly wounded.  This was a consequence and repercussion of the sin.  Forgiveness does not mean a wiping out of all consequences.  
There may be times when you feel the transgression was way to big and hurtful to extend forgiveness.  I have been there, however, it is Christ IN me that eventually softens my heart and helps me to begin the process of forgiving.  

This leads me, finally, LOL to our scripture for this week, 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

If you have accepted Christ into your heart.... you are a NEW creation.  The person you once were died when Christ entered your heart, the old has passed away. This is what it means to be "in" Christ Jesus.  He is now a part of you.  He lives in you, therefore, your heart will begin to think like His heart.  That is the goal of Christianity. Therefore, even though I may be badly hurt and struggling to forgive, in my heart, I will know that is what I am called to do and I will diligently seek to get there with Christ's strength and power.  

This is how people are able to forgive what the world would deem as unforgivable.  It is not in my own strength and heart that I am able to do it.  Left to my old flesh, there is a very good chance, my marriage may have ended.  

This ability to forgive, when you accept Christ into your heart, will be a witness and testimony to the world of God's grace and mercy.  It will demonstrate to the world that God has the power to heal, redeem and restore anything with a willing and obedient heart.  

As we push through the next few weeks, we will continue to work through the process of forgiveness.  If you are struggling with forgiving in your marriage or any relationship for that matter, may your journey to healing, begin today.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy



 
 
Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
You ARE going to have moments or seasons, perhaps long ones, in your marriage that you will be faced with choosing to forgive your spouse.  I would venture to say, that at some point, each and every marriage will be challenged in the area of forgiveness. I pray, for your sake, the transgressions are tiny, few and fleeting, but sometimes, they are enormous and extremely painful.  

Though angered and hurt, for the most part, it is easy to forgive the little transgressions in marriage that are bound to happen.  In fact, as I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I was able to do this more and more.  God began to reveal to me that my husband forgetting to take the garbage out or leaving his dirty socks on the bedroom floor had nothing to do with his love for me.  I began to believe my husband always had positive intent and never intentionally set out to hurt or anger me.  This was freeing to say the least.  

I spent most of my years with Garrick never really struggling with forgiving him.  I always knew he had my best interest at heart and if he didn't there was a good reason.  That all changed when he fell prey to addiction. I share this with Garrick's permission.  I cannot even begin to tell you the painful and hurtful moments I experienced during these last few years.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a person struggling with addiction will know full well what I am talking about.  Addiction is an illness of deep deceit and manipulation.  You honestly don't even know the person anymore.  They become a vessel of selfish pursuit, forsaking all others needs and desires and will do almost anything and everything to protect their addiction, including hurting and wounding the ones they love the most. 

My heart has been shattered in a million tiny pieces more times than I care to remember and I have been faced with the challenge and choice to forgive Garrick over and over again.  Because of my deep pain and despair, I too became a person that was unrecognizable at times.  With addiction, the whole family gets ill.  I would say hurtful things that before, never would have crossed my mind let alone my lips.  I was brought to the point of rage and anger on numerous occasions and often felt it was my job to punish Garrick, knowing full well, that is not God's will.  

Needless to say, we both were faced with choosing to forgive many times and we are still on that journey today.  It has gotten more and more difficult for me to forgive and with each episode we have experienced.  My heart has become worn and it takes the strength of God alone to even allow the word forgiveness to be an option.  
"T
We are going to focus on forgiveness in marriage for a short time because I have learned for one, how extremely difficult it can be and two, how often we may be faced with this challenge. I can also tell you that if it were not for my relationship with Christ, I truly believe my marriage would have ended long ago.  We will also learn how forgiveness does not always mean immediate reconciliation of the relationship.  There are times when great healing needs to take place. Forgiveness is a process.  You may choose to forgive but that does not mean your heart is healed.  

So for this week..... this is the scripture we will read and discuss.  If we have chosen to follow Jesus.... we must first recognize this and that our old ways of dealing with adversity have died.  
 
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

1.  What does it mean to be "in" Christ Jesus?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








2. What does it mean to be "a new creation in Christ?" 


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








3.  Paul states in this scripture, the old has passed away.  What is "old" referring to?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








4. What is "the new"  referring to?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:









5. How will this "new" effect our ability to forgive in marriage?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:









Spend some time in prayer, really focusing on God's gift of forgiveness. Next week, we will move on to finding the strength to forgive, when we think we can't. 

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy
 
 
I am FAAAARRRRR from perfect!!  I will was perfect.  I never will be perfect and expecting perfection from myself or my spouse sets me up for imminent failure. 

My grandfather Poppy, used to say, "there is only one perfect man that ever lived and He died on the cross." Jesus Christ is the only perfect man that ever walked the earth and ever will walk the earth.  His power, His love, His strength, His mercy and forgiveness.... is perfection.  

My goal as one of His followers is to be "like" Him, knowing, I will never achieve perfection and that my friends...... is a GOOD thing.  

Why?  Why would God not want us to be perfect?  Well... this week I dove into a scripture that about Christ, God in the flesh, understanding the power of humbleness and emptying Himself completely, so He would be able to achieve God's calling on His life.  

I have felt empty in my marriage.  I have fallen to my knees in utter despair angrily asking God.... "what do you want from me? I cannot do this!  I have no strength left!!!"  There have been times that the only thing I have strength left to do is crawl in my bed and lay there talking to God until He allows my heart to rest and sleep. 

The answer I have received time and time again during these painful episodes... remains the same.... God makes it clear....His desire is for me to empty my heart.  Empty every part of me that wants to cling to my will, my desires or my "plan."  

I fight it at times.  Yes, I do.  I blatantly tell God.... "I have done it your way so many times and in the end, I have been hurt!  Do you not see this God, do you not care?"

Well, in case you didn't know, God has a response for EVERYTHING!!!  And aside from the scripture we are focusing on today, He has given me the following responses....

":Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

"Lord, who may live on your holy hill? he who keeps his oath, even when it hurts." Psalm 15:1,4

I took an oath when I married and sometimes keeping that oath can be extremely painful.  But God is promising me..... hold on..... don't grow weary in doing good..... you will reap a harvest when the time is right. 

Waiting for the "right" time can be extremely painful and exhausting.  During the wait, is often when God is choosing to "empty" your heart and mind of your preconceived ideas of how things should go.  

This draws us back to a previous question, why would God not want us perfect?

Because, He is the perfect one and where we are weak, His power is made perfect and visible for the entire world to see.  

"But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you,my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
During these past six years, I cannot tell you how many times I have felt like I just can't go on.  I have pleaded with God to deliver me from the painful situation I was living and though, He did not always remove the situation or circumstance, what He did was empty me of all self sufficiency and personal planning, brought me to a point of complete weakness and a need for total dependence on Him and then replaced my weakness with his perfect power.

I am not going to lie... there were some very ugly times.... times when I literally only had enough strength to take my next breath and live minute to minute... BUT... HE ALWAYS, ALWAYS gave me that strength and very often used some wonderful friends and family in my life to pick me up when I couldn't do it on my own.  

In our devotion for this week, Paul tells us we are to have the mind of Christ.  The mind of Christ is faithful in believing and resting in God's power, knowing He is able to do far more than we can ever imagine.  Jesus knew this and was able to endure the unthinkable because of His faithful belief in God's goodness.  

It is easy to think... well yeah... Jesus was God in flesh... of course He was able to endure.  BUT... remember... Jesus was also made in the likeness of man, which means He was fully able to feel everything we feel, despair and pain.  Jesus knew full well that He WAS God in flesh, but He was so incredibly humble that He never put Himself in equality with God.  He was still obedient and submissive to God's plan, even though He had the power to do whatever the heck He wanted.  This is a beautiful portrait of true submission and obedience. The have the power, yet, choose not to exercise it in submission to another.... is true humbleness. 

We have to power to do our own will at any given time, however, choosing to turn from our own desires and will and fully submit to God's will is mimicking Jesus' s humble heart.  Let me be the first to tell you... THIS OFTEN WILL TAKE GOD'S POWER!  I have fought against doing God's will in my marriage more times than I care to admit and sometimes, from the outside my plan or desire appears like the "logical" and "right" thing to do, however, when I take the time to way my desire against God's word, I often find my thinking is wrong. 

Marriage will often ask much of your heart and soul.  Sometimes, you will have to give and sacrifice way more than you are given in return and it is easy to grow weary and bitter, however, rest in the promise that God will empty you of all the entangled darkness your heart is wrestling with and fill it with something perfect.... His power. 

I COULD not and CANNOT do this marriage thing without my Jesus.  I can't.  It's that simple.  And let me be maybe the first to tell you....more than likely.... you can't either.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy
 
 
Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤
(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Empty.  For the most part, if you apply the word "empty" in marriage, the meaning appears very grim.  No one wants to feel empty in marriage.  In fact, that is the exact opposite reason most of us chose to marry in the first place.  We wanted companionship and an emotional and physical connection with another human being.  Most of our souls long for this.  God placed this need in our heart.  We discussed in prior devotions how two are better than one, as with two you have one to help the other up if they fall.  You have one to keep the other warm on those cold winter nights.  Two souls joined together by God, evolving into one flesh is a direct parallel of our relationship with Christ.  Once you ask Him into your heart, He becomes one with you.  

So, it is no wonder, that is can be extremely painful and devastating when you are married, meant to be one flesh, but yet you feel empty and alone.  It is that tearing of the flesh I talked about in previous posts.  It plainly hurts and the pain can be excruciating.  

So why?  Why does God allow this? Why are we sometimes left feeling "empty" in marriage?  What on earth could God's purpose for this be? 

This week we are going to focus on just that..... Please read Philippians 2:5-9

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is your in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant be, being born in he likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross." 

1. What kind of "mind" is Paul, the writer of Philippians, telling us we are supposed to have?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








2. Jesus did not find that equality with God could be grasped, yet, He WAS God in flesh.  What message can we draw from this?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








3. Jesus "emptied" Himself  and became a servant for the work God laid before Him.  What did Jesus "empty?"


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








4. Jesus was made in the "llikeness" of man.  What does this mean?

❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








5. Jesus "humbled" Himself, to the point of death.  What is the meaning of "humbled" and how can we apply this to our marriage?


❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








6. Based on this scripture, do you believe God would ask us to "empty" and "humble" ourselves in marriage, even when it is excruciatingly painful?

❤Husband’s Response:








❤Wife’s Response:








This is a very hard devotional, especially for those who have been wounded in their marriage.  I pray for all individuals that have found themselves.... empty in their marriage, knowing, the married to fill their heart.... not drain it.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy