Beloved Part VI

We watched this last part of Beloved at the church with my mom’s group last month… actually on Valentine’s Day to be exact.  It was about real challenges and real love. Here’s what I gathered from the video.

God uses the crosses and challenges to stretch you especially in marriage.  Marriage provides security.  God can help us to be much more.  We are better together for God.  The words of I’m sorry and I forgive you are critical ones to use in your marriage.   So that you are able to work it together and move on together.   Demonstrating your love really matters in your marriage.  Marriage is both beautiful and messy. The challenges in your marriage really strengthen your love and grace for each other.  If you come across a situation or challenge, you are to work it out, figure it out because there is no turning back. You are in it for the long haul. Love your spouse in Christ even when you don’t feel like giving love or feeling loved.  Let God in and allow you to help each other in marriage.  No matter how broken you are, you are so much more.  You can be a better spouse and better parent, etc. through God.  Marriage is unshakable and solid bond.  Your spouse is there for you no matter what.  There is so much more to the marriage than just throwing in the towel.  Communication is so important and vital especially towards and with intimacy.  Parenting is the hardest job but also the most rewarding.   We are to shape our wills to His will for us.  Wealth is in the family/marriage, not money.  It’s love and Christ.

We’ve been married for almost 11 years now and together now for almost 16 years (both in May) and we’ve been through so much. We’ve been in challenges absolutely all through our relationship and especially through our marriage.  I am still amazed that we’re still together.  How did we get to this point?  We’ve been through some of the darkest times in our marriage.   As my husband tells me, it’s our love.  Our love has been incredibly solid for each other. It has overcome a lot of things. No matter what we did individually and as a couple though out the years, we still loved each other and still do.  Even on the days that we weren’t feeling love or being in love with the other person, we still loved that person.  And God unknowingly has helped us too.  And we really let him in more four years ago and put him back at the center of our marriage.  And we’ve been close with divorce but we chose to fight for our marriage.  We chose to work it out and figure out how to do make our marriage work.  Our communication is so much better than it was when we were first married.  We have to be able to talk to let the other in and be of support to the other no matter what it is and respect and love.  I married my husband because I loved who he is.  He is who I am meant to share my life, my body, soul, heart, mind  and Christ with.   We choose Us day in and day out.  I’ve also allowed God to shape me to be a better wife and lover and better mom and he really has helped me with it.  I want to be able to spend the rest of my life with this beautiful man. He is just beyond amazing and he is also an amazing dad to our three boys.  I know God  has helped my husband to be a better husband and lover and father too.  Our love is very deep, fierce, real, and holy and we’re not going anywhere.  We’re always going to be there for each other, no matter what throws in our way.  We’re living for Christ together. I love being married to my husband.  We’re both two imperfect people who love each other 🙂 All the glory goes back to  Him… our beloved Father 🙂

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Beloved Part V

We watched this part of the series of Beloved during our mom’s group session back in January at the church.  This one was about marriage being a sacramental bond.

The sacrament of marriage has three characteristics which include being fruitful (creation of new life), being exclusive (only the husband and wife share each other) and being indissoluble (a lifetime commitment). 

In marriage, grace is always a constant gift from God.   He wants us to deepen our love and union for each other like Christ loved his Church.  Grace is given daily.   Especially since we’re all sinners and we have faults and things from our past that we bring into our marriage and need to be able to do this together.

The wedding day brings a supernatural bond which is between husband and wife and God.  It brings the husband and wife together like two people as one.  God becomes the center of the marriage relationship.  This bond is started through the consent of being one another and God’s plan for marriage and ending through consummation which is sexual intimacy.

Marriage is basically a way of learning to love each other, forgive each other and to serve each other.  We can’t do this alone. It is possible through the help of God and Jesus.

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Beloved: Part IV

This part was watched a while back at the church during the mom’s group session back in December.  Just getting around to writing down what was learned in the Beloved video on Total Gift of Self.

Marriage is about dying to self.   The self-giving love is God’s ideal for marriage. When  you marry, you choose your spouse over yourself.  It isn’t about you anymore.

The commitment virtues in marriage are as follows:

  • generosity, patience, courage and humility
  • total acceptance of the other person including their flaws and weaknesses

I definitely married my husband for who he is including his faults too.  I knew he wasn’t perfect but I still loved him and in love with him and I still wanted him for the rest of my life.   We definitely have learned a lot about how to treat each other in our marriage over the years especially within the last four years because God has shaped us so much more.  We’ve learned to be more generous with each other, have more patience in listening and compromising, being more courageous with each other in prayer and talking, and just being more humble with each other.

Sex is the most intimate expression of self-giving.  God’s plan for marriage and sex about the true union of husband and wife to become one flesh.   I totally believe that.  Sex is the one of the best ways to be close to your spouse in all areas.

God’s plan  for sex is the true gift of self through physically, emotionally and spiritually, being faithful to marital vows which are free, total, faithful and fruitful and being more focused on the other person.  Sex is about deep unity and Deeping  unity procreative.

Ways that hinge sex completely to your spouse is through contraception, cohabiting and pornography.

Now, we have done all that.  I was on the pill and the shot before I was married. We have used condoms.  Since 2011, I have been contraceptive free. I have not used any hormones.  I let my body do what it is supposed to do. And I wasn’t done TTC at the time.  Last time we used condoms was in 2013 when my husband had just did his V and we wanted to make sure we were safe while we were waiting that he was in the clear.  and the last 4 years, it’s been all natural and we aren’t having anymore babies.  That was our choice and I believed I was just meant to be a mom of 3 boys even though we had 2 other angel babies.   The  church believes the only way to be in a season of TTC or not is through NFP, which is Natural Family Planning. That takes a lot of work too and knowing your wife’s cycle.  It’s not 100% proof either.  The cycle changes every month and God will choose to open your womb anytime he believes it’s time even if you weren’t planning on it.

We cohabited before we were married as well.  I felt like I wanted to get to know my husband more before we were married.  I already knew he was the one regardless, but I wanted to know how it was like to live with him and then there was less surprises in after we were married.  But we were already sexually active before we cohabited too.  I did not cohabit with anyone else before my husband and same with my husband,  he had not lived with anyone else.

Both my husband and I have unfortunately dived in pornography in the past for many reasons. But it is wrong and we don’t do that anymore.  Our bodies aren’t for us.  Our bodies are God’s.  We have to honor it and he only wants us to share it with each other, not with anything else.  Pornography objectifies men and women as sexual objects and looks at love and marriage and pleasure the wrong way.  It takes a lot of work to rewire your brain and your heart to look at your spouse and your marriage the way God wants you to do and it takes a lot of help on God’s part too.  A lot of commitment, prayer, communication, encouragement and more.  I love and respect my husband so much more now.  I see him more as a son of Christ too. I have to be devoted to him completely as I am to God too.

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Physical Touch-Kids

I come from an affectionate family so I naturally grew up an affectionate person thriving on hugs, kisses and cuddles.  Even being the only sister, I still gave hugs and kisses to both my older brother and younger brother. I knew I was loved by my family and God. God had lend me to an affectionate soul mate too whom I would eventually marry and spend the rest of my life with.  We are an affectionate couple.  We hug, kiss and cuddle all the time. We also make sure that we share that love to our kids. We always say I love you,  hold their hand, cuddle with them, give them hugs, tickle them, kiss them, console them when they are hurt, etc..  We want them to know that they are loved by us and by God too.   For an example, my middle Austin cuddled with me on the couch for a bit last night and he’s almost 7.  Even as an adult, my parents still greet me with hugs and kisses. I am always giving my kids hugs and kisses when I take them to school, in the line up waiting for their teachers in the morning too.  So naturally, physical touch plays a role in my parenting for them. Sure they get discipline if they do something wrong, but I’m always trying to make sure that they are being raised as a man of God and being on the right path as well.  Jesus always loved on everybody no matter what they did and who they were.  I’m the same.  I’m loving on my kids as God did.  Love always overcomes everything else.

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Celebrating You In Christ

There are many times where we feel alone or unvalued.  But we have to remember that God loves us as we are.  Because He made us.   He wants to know that we ladies are beautiful, unique, loved, special, created with purpose, cared for, lovely, precious, strong, important, forgiven, new creation, protected, empowered, chosen, family and we are His.  We are His daughters in Christ. We belong to Him.   We have to celebrate us and what we do for Christ in this life. 🙂  This is all stated in the bible.  We are here because of Him.  He wants us mirroring the life of Jesus.  He gave us this life and we are to give back to Him.  No matter what we do, we are given grace in everything we do.  We are to love Him and allow Him to work in us 🙂  

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Sacred Marriage Part IV

Here’s my continued notes from the current book I’ve been reading on my Kindle,  Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.

In Chapter 10, Christian Marriage is all about learning to fall forward and that results in maturity.  We can control the way we fall towards or away from or spouse.  The right way is toward to our spouse is part of being Christian and it’s duty. Christian love entails aggressive moment, active commitment and we choose where to place our affections. Intimate relationships are a result of planning and it is built.  If you stop moving toward, it means you stop loving your spouse and it holds back the purpose of marriage.  We did stop moving toward each other on and off for a long time and now we don’t do that.  We keep moving towards each other day in and day out now.  We communicate and actively commit to each other daily.

Spirituality is more difficult for men in general than it is for women because men are less communicative and it receives more damage if you remain silent. Interdependence for men is a bitter pill to swallow because it’s a sign of weakness.  Society has portrayed men to be strong and independent.  But in a marriage,  you need to be able to depend on  your spouse too.  Men need to be indicators of love towards others like your wife, friends, family, and co-workers.  this is how God calls you to be shaped into his very image.

The call to fall forward is indicating intimacy. Marriage is a gift of self well beyond sexual fidelity which is a positive virtue.   It is an agreement to grow together, and to share a unique and rare bond.

Communication is the blood of marriage that carries the vital oxygen into the heart of our romance. It includes verbally and physically. Physically is the act of touching which can be both sexual and non-sexual.   Husband and wives who communicate more result in greater intimacy.  Two important ways to give ourselves to each other. We’ve learned to communicate better for sure in our marriage now than we did when we started dating.

Fellowship is a spiritual discipline as Christians.  There is no running from conflict, making compromises, and accepting others. This works well both in the church at in the home. Conflict is an avenue for spiritual growth. You learn to be more engaged, quiet/listen and understand.  It is a direct influence on our relationship with God. Compromise is where two become one, value relationship more than rights preferences and wishes, and is the cement of fellowship. Acceptance and loyalty is to love the person. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult spiritual discipliner of all. We all sin.  In forgiveness, we learn to live by extending grace and forgiveness to those have sinned against us, including your spouse.  We understand them and this is self-defense from resentment.  We definitely work harder at this now than when we were first married.  We learn how to do this the way God wants us to if we want our marriage to keep thriving and become stronger and beautiful.

Chapter 11 talks about a servant heart in marriage.  Servant as a Christian is a duty to put others above ourselves. This is a call for both husband and wives. In Ephesians 5:25 where it says to love your wife as Christ loved the Church.  You are to give up your life for her. This is about family, duty, responsibility and home.

To fully sanctify marital relationship, we are to live it together as Jesus loved his life in discipline and daily service.  Spiritual beauty of sexuality is service, lovingly meeting the physical desire and needs of one mate  The true nature of our spiritual character is best demonstrated through sex. Absolutely, I agree.  It is how marriage should be.  Sex seemed like it was the best way for my husband to show his love for me.  It is now beyond the physical aspect, it’s now more spiritual as well 🙂

Chapter 12 is about sex, sexuality and how it is serviced in the marriage.  Sex is the mirror of our desire and passion for God. It is used to serve our spouse.   Our restlessness for sexual pleasure is our restlessness for God.   We become partners with God through sex.  Faith is on the higher end of sexuality more than procreation in the marriage.  Sex is a spiritual discipline.   Sexual pleasure is something morally and spiritually good and to be desired.  God wants  us to do it often.  We are to pray to God for the amazing blessing and pleasure.  It gives gratitude in our hearts towards God.   Husband and wives are to be seen more than lovers. They are brothers and sisters in Christ.  We definitely serve better now spiritually than we did in the beginning.  It’s been a hard road, but we are doing better.  I definitely see my husband more as a brother in Christ now too!

Sex in Christian marriage is of sanctified bodies.  God is present through the Holy Spirit,  bodies are coming together and celebrating in spirit of reverence and holiness. Godly Sex is marital sex and is both physical and spiritual experience.  Sexuality in marriage involves emotional intimacy, companionship, family responsibility and permancy of relationbship. Sex is God’s way of calling us to connect with each other.  It’s beyond sexual intimacy.  Inside us is the holy temple of God, sex being a physical prayer and paints a picture of heavenly intimacy.  I definitely respect my husband more this way now than I did when we started dating.  I had the right idea in my head, but I didn’t service the way I should have back then.

Godly marriage is the view of beauty through internal qualities. You focus on one person.  You become more holy and give what you have (one body).  I fell in love with my husband (boyfriend at the time) because of who he is. His personality is what made me attracted to him more than physical appearance of his body.  It’s the same reason why I married him. I love him for what he is and wanted to focused on only him for the rest of my life. He’s given me the chance to be more holy and share my body with only him. God had lend me to him and the glory still belongs to Him.   He saved our marriage when we were in the darkest times. He lead us back where we should be as a couple and working in us to be more like Christ.

 

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Sacred Marriage Part III

I’m back in resuming the notes on my current reading from my kindle on Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.  I caught up in Chapter 8 and 9. I’m about to share what I liked from those chapters and believe they are important to know. 

In Chapter 8,  Gary says that we proclaim the prophetic grace of marriage when we understand  the sacredness of building a history together which is an eternal priority.  Personally, our marriage has had periods of great joy and celebration.  We have also experienced the heartbreaking betrayal of unfaithfulness and mournful silence because of me.  Those were the darkest times of our marriage. We were more roommates than lovers for a long time.   Perseverance is where in the marriage  that helps us develop the character of God himself as we stick with our spouses through the good times and bad.  Becoming one takes a good decade like 10 years to become deeply and intimately into the marriage.  To enjoy an intimate marriage, you need to have commitment, tenacity and perseverance.  Growing in your marriage together in build up faith and in turn build up marriage itself.  Persistent righteousness is the commitment to continue.  That includes making the right decision even when you don’t want to/don’t have time.  Persistence is all about glory, honor and immorality.  God’s love and Christ perseverance  brings you holiness and successful life in the physical world.  Half the battle for your marriage is about keeping your story alive, refusing to quit and believing that if we keep hanging in there, we are giving God more time and opportunities to work His Grace into ourselves.  I totally believe that is how we are battling now for and towards our marriage.  We want to keep making our marriage work and keep keeping laying down our lives for Christ and for each other 🙂

Chapter 9 talked about marriage and struggles.  Struggles are what makes us stronger, build us up, deepens our faith, and these are resulted when we face struggles head on. Struggles brings deeper joy in the end. It’s also an entry point to the Christian life, our daily reality of our faith.  Good marriage is something you work for.   It’s the relationship of beauty, trust and mutual support.  Gary stresses that you do not run fro the struggles of your marriage. Embrace them, grow in them, and to draw nearer to God because of them. We are to learn to love our marriage as a way God can grow faithfulness and perseverance into our character. Good and difficult marriages give spouse the strength to become the people God created them to be.  I absolutely  agree with this. All of our struggles have bro0ught out the beauty of where our marriage is today.  We are definitely so much stronger and fierce and really amazing right now.  Our love really gets through those tough times.  We’ve grown so much closer to God and living our lives in Christ individually and as a couple.   He really has anchored us where we should be and we continue to be a work in a progress. He really has been our saving grace in our marriage.  All this glory goes back to Him.  We really appreciate our love story because we were so broken, and we’re somewhat cured now.  We’re still being healed to the point where Christ wants us to be for our life together in this physical world and going towards the goal of eternity and heaven.  We love each other as Christ loves us.

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