Tag Archives: Christ

The Prince of Peace

This post is written by Laurence Vance and copied here today to remind everyone what we celebrate on Christmas Day.  See his entire post on the Lew Rockwell blog here.

Prince of Peace

The Prince of Peace bids men to come to him (Matthew 11:28); the god of war bids men to go fight foreign wars.

The Prince of Peace says it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35); the god of war says it is more blessed to kill than to be killed.

The Prince of Peace says to love your enemies (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to kill your enemies.

The Prince of Peace is righteous (1 John 2:1); the god of war wants men to commit unrighteousness.

The Prince of Peace says to bless them that curse you (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to curse them that curse you.

The Prince of Peace witnessed a good confession (1 Timothy 6:13); the god of war spouts lies.

The Prince of Peace says to do good to them that hate you (Matthew 5:44); the god of war says to do evil to them that hate you.

The Prince of Peace is the Son of God (Acts 9:20); the god of war is the enemy of God.

The Prince of Peace is the creator (Colossians 1:16); the god of war is the destroyer.

The Prince of Peace died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:3); the god of war wants men to die for no reason.

The Prince of Peace rose from the dead (Acts 26:23); the god of war sends men to their deaths.

The Prince of Peace was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7); the god of war wants men to sacrifice other men to him.

The Prince of Peace died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6); the god of war wants men to commit ungodliness.

The Prince of Peace was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23); the god of war encourages men to violate virgins.

The Prince of Peace came in the flesh (1 John 4:20); the god of war is a destroyer of flesh.

The Prince of Peace glorified not himself (Hebrews 5:5); the god of war glorifies war.

The Prince of Peace is the bread of life (John 6:35); the god of war is the slayer of life.

The Prince of Peace redeems (Galatians 3:13); the god of war condemns.

The Prince of Peace is the light of the world (John 8:12); the god of war plunges the world into darkness.

The Prince of Peace is the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); the god of war is the wounder and taker of life.

The Prince of Peace was made to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21); the god of war wants men to commit sin.

The Prince of Peace is the mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5); the god of war is the separator of God from men.

The Prince of Peace is the Saviour of men (Titus 1:4); the god of war is the enemy of men.

The Prince of Peace forgives (Colossians 3:13); the god of war punishes.

The Prince of Peace suffered for us (1 Peter 2:21); the god of war wants men to suffer on the battlefield.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas, not a military one. Worship and serve the Prince of Peace, not the god of war.

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Ask Affaircare: How Do I Get through the Holidays?

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our email question today comes from a spouse who needs hope for the holidays, who writes:

I just read through the steps that you’ve sent me.  I just found out the truth a couple weeks ago, I’ve definitely failed in a few things. We are Christian and I’m little by little holding on to God’s promises; I’m still in shock. Definitely on a roller coaster. My failure is that I’m crying a lot; and hard to function day to day. So, my Disloyal Spouse is probably not looking at me like I’m anyone to come home to. BTW, my Disloyal came back one day after Discovery Day, and wants to work this out. So, my question is, do I ask my Disloyal to leave temporarily so I can deal with my emotions better. We have 3 children; two teenagers and one tweenager. Our oldest is coming home from college end of the week. Christmas is days away and I’m trying to rack my brain and emotions on how to have somewhat of a new normal and not destroy everyone’s Christmas because of my grief??  Hope this isn’t too much info. Just trying to cope.

Dear Hope for the Holidays,

I am so sorry that we are meeting under circumstances like this.  I’m sure it just feels impossible to deal with an affair and also deal with all the pressures of the holidays as well.  As Christmas comes around, people have SO MANY expectations and feel the pressure to have perfect travels, to have all the family get together, to get the perfect gift for everyone, to decorate perfectly, to cook perfect holiday meals, to spend more than they have, to make people happy, and to be perfect!  In real life, people are not perfect, holidays are not perfect, and spending beyond your means does not make happiness!!  So here are a few tips for you to help you get through Christmas and also cope with an affair.  Bear in mind these tips are not necessarily directly from a bible verse–they are just good, common-sense suggestions:

1) Do not ask your Disloyal Spouse to leave if they are repentant and willing to work on reconciliation. This year is going to be different than other years, and yet if your Disloyal has ended their affair, has cut off all contact with the Other Person (OP) and is actively committed to reconciliation and working hard, I would say stay in the same house and “be there” for each other.  Both of you are going to be dealing with emotions and struggling, and you can support your Disloyal, and they can support you.

If your Disloyal Spouse is still active in the affair, if they are unrepentant, if they are not committed 100% to you and the marriage, if they are still in contact with the OP, or if they not willing to work on reconciling (for example, if they are trying to rugsweep and “pretend it didn’t happen”), then I would say it may be wiser to ask your Disloyal to leave until they have ended the affair and are willing to commit 100% of their affection and loyalty to you and only you!

2) Let people know you are sad–don’t try to hide it. This is part of learning how to be transparently honest, and it’s also a lesson in letting people give to you and support you.  The truth is that you are upset.  You are struggling and hurting.  Now you don’t have to divulge every detail or use the affair to hurt or humiliate your Disloyal Spouse, but there is no reason you couldn’t let your children and/or extended family members know that this has been a tough year for you for personal reasons, and that this year you may not be as “sparkly” as you usually are. Let people see the ‘Real You’ not some fake image–that is what transparent honesty is all about: letting others in to know your real thoughts and feelings.  So practice what you expect of your Disloyal Spouse–be transparent with the people who love you–your family.

3) Ask for what you need.  Are you having a day where you just need a break–not a full stop but just a temporary halt to the merry-go-round?  Are you feeling a little insecure and a hug would help? Are you just exhausted from not being able to turn your mind off, and you need a nap?  So often we need fairly reasonable, simple things that would really help, but we expect our spouse to “just know” (somehow)! Or sometimes we just don’t know WHAT we need! This would be a great time of year to just ask for what you need. If you don’t know what you need, think about it: “What would make me feel better right now?”  My point here is that rather than expecting your spouse to read your mind, setting them up for failure, and setting yourself up for disappointment, SPEAK OUT LOUD.  Ask, “Would you be willing to give me a break?  I just need about 30 minutes to myself to re-gather my energies.”  Ask, “Would you be willing to fend off the kids so I could take a hot bath? It would really help me to relax!”  Ask, “Would you be willing to tell me 3 things about me that you love that made you want to come back to me?  I’m feeling a little insecure and I could use a little reassurance.”  Just ask!

4) Keep expectations low.  This one is SO HARD!!!  We expect so much during the Holiday Season!!  World Peace. No family fighting. Everyone getting along in a spirit of love and joy.  Endless finances. Perfect decorations.  The house stays clean all the time.  Everyone is thoughtful and finds JUST the right gift. Everyone is THRILLED when they open their present.  The cookies are golden brown or chocolatey and never ending….. AND our holiday clothing fits perfectly and no one ever gets dirty.  How can anyone do all that?  This year, you know what?  Admit your humanity.  This year, have pizza for dinner–why not!!??  Your kids will remember that Christmas FOREVER!  Stay in your jammies all day and just watch old Christmas movies together.  The point is that if you expect a quieter, lower-key Christmas, some of the pressure of those impossible expectations will give you the emotional room to deal with the affair. Plus, who ever said you couldn’t have pizza for Christmas dinner, right?

5) Make new traditions. You can see that this suggestion follows right after the previous one.  This year things just really are not “the same” and really it’s never going to be “the way it was.”  So rather than mourning the loss, why not choose to acknowledge it and celebrate it by doing some new traditions?  Some of the traditions you used to do before the affair will only serve as triggers and reminders of the painful things that occurred, but there is no law anywhere that you HAVE TO continue those triggery traditions.  So make new ones.  Do you love music and one of the things that is helping you and your Disloyal rebuild is “love of music”?  Well go to a new symphony performance or go caroling together!  There are tons of new things you can do as new traditions, and one of them might be as funny as “wait to decorate the tree until Christmas eve, and do it together as a family” or as silly as “Eat spaghetti with our fingers for Christmas dinner” or as thoughtful as “Everyone in the family donate to XYZ charity”.  Just do some new things and make one of the new traditions a way to celebrate “our first Christmas together again.”

6) Volunteer. Right now you are hyper-focused on yourself, your pain, your marriage and your family…and probably thinking about how Christmas is ruined.  But you’ve forgotten to focus on your blessings and yes, believe it or not, you have some.  So to be reminded of all that you have, go to the nearest nursing home or homeless shelter and actually spend some time there getting to know the people.  TALK to them.  Show them you care by your actions.  And when you volunteer, you’ll forget your issues as you help others.  You’ll realize you don’t have it so bad.  You’ll connect with another person who is deeply lonely and needs a friend for the holidays.  You’ll actually be acting in the spirit of the holiday!  After all, it’s not about decorating, and traveling, and dinners, and cookies and presents is it?  It’s about remembering that God was made flesh and came to this earth as a baby so that we might be reconciled to Him.  That is a MIRACLE and we celebrate THAT!!

Ask Affaircare: Should I expose after the divorce is final?

AskAffaircare

 

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


 

Our email question today comes from a divorced wife, who writes:

It has been a year since I caught my husband and his mistress (also his employee). When I went to his family, they said I was being paranoid. Now it has been 7 months since our divorce has been finalized. His mistress and her husband are divorcing as well. I want to forward the personal email correspondences between my x husband and his employee to his mother. Should I? That is the only thing that is bothering me…that none of his family helped me, they made me feel crazy and paranoid. I also want to resend it to my husband and his employee and to his workplace.

 

Dear divorced wife,

You are DEFINITELY in our prayers!  We bet this has been a very painful, trying time for you working through the discovery of the affair, dealing with in-laws that did not support you, and then finalizing a divorce.  It sounds so hard!

But let’s start by saying that the step of “Exposure” in our “Steps to End an Affair” is often a step that is misunderstood.  Very often people think that exposing the affair is just going to drive their spouse further away or that it is done in a spirit of vengeance to hurt their spouse back.  But the Bible is VERY clear about being vengeful–in both the Old and New Testament God is consistent when He tells us what He wants:

Deuteronomy 32:35 says “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”  So in the Old Testament days, God was telling Israel that if a nation did not hear His voice and follow Him, when that evil nation sent thousands against His people, that He would be their ROCK and feed them, defend them, and avenge them.  The message was that vengeance is God’s job, not ours.

Romans 12:19 “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul quotes the verse we above!  He is teaching the new Christians what Love in Action looks like, and he says  something beautiful in the verses surrounding this one:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
 if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

WOW!  What a lesson in how to treat our spouses and their families when they are being hurtful to us!

Now, after reading all this you may be thinking, ‘Well wait! Then how does your Exposure step fit into all this?  Seems like it would be contrary to what we just read.”

If you review the steps we suggest, the first step is that if you suspect, before you go off half-cocked making accusations, that you keep an open mind and investigate to find the truth.  When a person is sinning (and adultery is sin), they usually try to cover it up with lies, deflection and hiding it, so in order to find out if the gut feeling is true, you keep your mind open to either finding proof they are faithful or they are not, and you search out facts.

The second, third and fourth steps exactly mirror the steps on dealing with sin in the Church in Matthew 18:15-17:

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” [This is Step 2 Confront–alone, one-one-one, giving them the opportunity to deal with it honestly and discreetly.]

“But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” [This is Step 3 Disclose–tell one or two mentors, wise people that your spouse looks up to and may listen to, and give them the opportunity to deal with it as quietly as possible.]

“If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” [THIS is Step 4 Expose–and the goal of “telling it to the church” is to give them the incentive to stop an active sin and be reconciled with God and with their church family!]

It is important to note that Exposure has a very specific goal: to END AN ACTIVE AFFAIR. Yes, the Disloyal Spouse is likely to be angry, because you are not keeping their secret, and having the affair out in the open takes away some of the “fun” of their clandestine rendezvous!  But a marriage can survive anger–it can not survive active adultery!  So the goal is very clear and very focused: end an active affair. It is somewhat drastic, but often shining the light of truth on a sin that someone is trying to hide is enough motivation for them to stop!!

So to solidly answer YOUR specific question, no we do not think it would be wise or helpful at this time to send the emails to your ex-spouse’s family OR to his workplace.  That was maybe an option while you were still married in an attempt to break up the infidelity and then give you two time to save your marriage, but now, the divorce is final.  It’s been final for almost a year.  And yes, often people disappoint us and hurt us when they are not willing to stand up for the truth and do the right thing.

It sounds like his family just swept his adultery under the rug and/or accepted it, and we understand that is EXTREMELY painful to you.  But now you are no longer bound to or obligated to or part of that family.  You are free to associate with people who do love you and support you, whether they be your blood family or your Christian family.  Personally, we suggest that rather than sending out those emails, that instead you return your focus to living in a way that pleases God, and focus on people in your life who ARE loving and who have acted in a way that supports your spiritual growth.  If someone is encouraging you to seek vengeance, that is not a person who is encouraging you to mature in Christ!  So instead, let go of your ex and his mistress and his family.  Your responsibility to them has ended.  NOW your responsibility is to being the woman God intended for you to be.

 

 

When people say “God is my Husband” or “Jesus is Enough”

 Heart Puzzle

I was reading “Is Jesus Really Enough?” by Lilly Grace, and her blog really got me thinking.  In fact, it inspired me so much I wanted to write about it!  

My “blog sister” Lilly Grace is in a difficult marriage–her husband reminds me of Abigail’s first husband, Nabal.  He is not loving and gentle and kind toward her, but she doesn’t give up.  I would say I’m in a difficult marriage, but not because my husband is abusive or because our marriage is sexless!  Nope, my Dear Hubby who writes here often is a WONDERFUL man and a loving husband, but my Dear Hubby is very ill and so I do have many things I have to do “by myself” where others might have their spouse to support them.  And I’m sure that many of you here who read my blog can relate–if your spouse is committing adultery, whether it’s an emotional affair or a physical affair, your marriage is DIFFICULT.  It can feel very lonely.  You may not have your spouse there for you.  Your Disloyal Spouse is probably angry, abusive, deceptive, dishonest, and hurtful.  Chances are good that your sex life is suffering, and you miss the hugs and kisses and loving physical touches.  

But I still hate it when people say cliche kind of responses like these because they don’t really HELP. I don’t need some meaningless cliche–I need some understanding, sympathy or at least something that’s actually helpful! LOL I will say one thing about these sayings though: they aren’t utterly inaccurate.

To me, when I think of “God is my husband” what I truly, honestly think of in my head is that as a woman, I want a male person to treat me with love and kindness and gentleness, and God is not a male human in flesh and blood in front of me. But when I think about marriage, I think that it is an image of the way God wants to be with us…with ME. Marriage reflects the intimate knowledge of one male person to one female person–full, deep, true KNOWING and BEING KNOWN with covenant commitment to each other. This is what God wants: He wants me to fully, deeply, truly know Him and been known by Him.  He wants covenant commitment to each other. And in that sense, He is my Husband.  

Likewise, I think of “Jesus is enough” I think of Jesus, who is fully the Maker and Creator of the Universe, but who humbled Himself and took on flesh. He was fully GOD, but he experienced the hunger, tiredness, frustration, limitation and yes physical sexual hormones and everything that comes with a human body…and He voluntarily gave Himself to torture and death to atone for us! If He can endure that for us, then yes, I can endure what physical discomforts this short time here on earth  may give me, even if it’s being horny or without sex.  After all, the point of sex is not “to relieve my horny physical itch” but to physically share in the pleasure of my spouse and serve them!  My focus in sex is on intimacy and on my spouse.  

And the last thing I think of is actually adultery, and I think of that because so often we think of our little pain or our loneliness or our lack of sex and try to justify to ourselves “Well, God would want me to be happy” or some such nonsense.  But in real life, marriage is a mirror of our relationship to God (as the Bride of Christ)…and adultery is a mirror of our relationship to God before Christ!  He loved us, as a husband loves his bride, and we “cheated” on Him by loving other gods and chasing them rather than being faithful to Him.  We were rageful, hateful, deceptive, dishonest, and followed our lusts–and despite all that, God kept His covenant with us and sent Jesus to pay the price in our place.  

So at times, the frustration and loneliness and longing for just loving physical touch can feel overwhelming and be very hard to bear–but then I think of what marriage is, what a covenant commitment means, and how God loved me (His Bride) when I was committing adultery.  And with His help, I can endure this small trial here.  

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Adultery: An Equal Opportunity Evil

Lust sin

 

I received a comment today that was so good, I decided to make a blog post about it.  This was a comment to my blog post: “What NOT To Do If Your Spouse Is Cheating” and the person who commented wrote:

“Interesting. I know in hindsight that I did a little bit of spineless sniveling. Further hindsight would probably show that reparations would have been more sincere had I shown some dignity. Even to this day I harbor some resentment that I did not just laugh at the despicable nature of a dignified spouse of some class and worth stooping to build such a pathetic fantasy with HER mentally-challenged little welfare drunk. Today I know for a fact that I harbor even more anger towards “ladies” such as yourself who have this facade of purity wrapped around you as though you could do no wrong. You will be the first to spout lie after lie about how you never planned your rendezvous, you never committed certain acts of lust, and the warts on his genitalia never alarmed you. Newsflash ma’am. Ladies are perfectly capable at stabbing their partners in the back also.”

There is no one who is immune from sin, so we all know that anyone who tries to “look” pure is truly just presenting an external, hypocritical image.   “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23)    So every single one of us–you, me, our spouses–we have all disobeyed God, not done what He has told us to do, and done what He has told us not to do.  This is why Christ came to the world and became flesh–so that He could live the life we should have lived and then pay the penalty we should have paid!  The Good News is that while we were yet sinners, and at enmity with God…Christ died for us.  His righteousness is imputed to us.

As God would have it, I do happen to be a female person.  My male spouse did cheat on me, break up our family, and end my first marriage.  My current, second spouse is a male person, and his female spouse did cheat on him, break up his family, and end their marriage.  Together, we have worked with hundreds of couples, and I want to be sure this is crystal clear:  Adultery is an Equal Opportunity Evil.  It does not matter if you are male or female, you can still be the Loyal Spouse (whose spouse is unfaithful), and you can still be the Disloyal Spouse (who is the one who is unfaithful).  Your wealth, race, and creed do not exclude you from infidelity, and there is no demographic that is shielded.    In fact, if you think about it, in order for there TO BE an affair, there has to be TWO PEOPLE who are actively participating in actions which are inappropriate.  Now one of the two may be single, but they would still have to be acting that way with someone whom they know is taken and committed to someone else.  Yes, a single person is available to flirt–but the very FIRST thing you find out is whether or not the other person is also available.

So again, to be crystal clear, unless a person knows them self and their own weaknesses, and unless a person put limits and boundaries around themselves to protect themselves, their spouse, and their marriage from infidelity–it can very literally happen to anyone.  Any gender, any race, any religion, any socio-economic class, any location…  I do my best to write “Loyal Spouse” because it could be a man or it could be a woman.  I do my best to write “Disloyal Spouse” because any one who is a breathing human being could do the wrong thing and choose the evil choice.  In fact, we know that we all do:   “There is no one righteous,  no not one.”  (Romans 3:10)

My Vows

Do you remember the vows you took on your wedding day?  Word for word?  I remember mine.  My Dear Hubby and I were not dewy-eyed youths when we got married, and we wrote vows to really express the covenant we were making.

I,      Affaircare    , in faith, honesty and love, take you,     Dear Hubby    , to be my wedded husband to share with you God’s plan for our lives together united in Christ.–In the first sentence, I wanted the part in there about sharing with my Dear Hubby God’s plan for our lives, because I wanted to express that we weren’t just here to live for our happiness individually or “our” happiness as a couple, but rather, we were put together specifically to perform a plan that God had for us.  I was to do my wifely duties; he was to do his husbandly duties; and TOGETHER we were to do God’s plan for us…not our own!  Furthermore, that sentence ends with “together united in Christ” because we are both believers–so not only do Dear Hubby and I unite to each other…but we also unite in Christ.

As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life and love.–This sentence is all about one thing: being married is not about “what’s in it for me?” but it’s all about “What am I going to voluntarily and willingly give TO YOU?”  As a married person, my job and my focus are on studying my husband and learning how to be the best wife I am able to be.  When you become focused only on yourself and your own happiness, rather than focusing on your spouse and on doing what pleases God–that’s when marriages can be torn apart!

It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord.–This part of my vows was my way of acknowledge the authority in my new marriage and the role I saw myself playing, namely that my husband would be the head, that I would willingly submit to him, and that I saw my role as being not just “his helper” but someone who would be fit to help him grow and assist him in his work.

Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows until in death do we part.–Boy, I bet when everyone says this part of their vows they THINK they mean it, but wow…life can really throw some zingers at you!  For example, this part of the vows means: “I will not threaten to leave when your ex-spouse is a hassle and tries to interfere in our marriage.”  It also means “When your ex stops paying child support and the kids are living at our house all the time, I will stay with you and work it out.”  It also means “When we hit menopause and our sex drives change up, I won’t just leave because I’m not happy.”  It also means “When you get a chronic, life-long illness I won’t just up and leave you when you are too ill to meet my needs.”  It also means “When you lose your job and feel like the dirt on a worm’s shoe, I’ll be the one standing by you.”  It also means “When you parents die and you close up to deal with it, I will patiently wait for you.”  DO NOT take this part lightly, because it means that through every trial and tribulation of life, you promise to turn TOWARD your spouse.

Therefore I pledge you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife and pray I will fulfill God’s place in our home.–Yep you see it there–that scary “obey” word.  To me, this sentence is once again stating what I see as the role in the marriage.  It’s not my job to make sure the marriage steers in the right spiritual direction.  That’s my Dear Hubby’s job.  When I’m standing up there before God, He’s not going to put the responsibility of directing the family on me–He’s going to ask me “Did you respect your husband’s authority?”  If I did, that would be fulfilling my place in our home.

“Whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and they God, my God.”   In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.–Ah the conclusion.  I’ve always liked the story of Ruth.  I love how she was originally from Moab–grew up outside the covenant and just happened to marry a guy who was an Israelite but who was disobeying God.  So she learned about I AM from her husband and she “got it”… through God’s gift of faith, she understood!  Then when her husband died, her mother-in-law says “Hey you’re young yet.  You go to your own family and have a good life and I’m heading back to Israel” but what does Ruth say?   She says THIS VERSE, because she knows that her duty is to help take care of her mother-in-law, and she knows that her mother-in-law’s God is The One God!  She does the honorable thing, pleasing God, and as the rest of the story progresses, she ends up meeting Boaz, they get married and is the grandmother of King David and in the lineage of Christ.  So yeah I love her.  She was an “outsider” and God loved her and added her to His elect.

So there you have it!  My vows:

I,      Affaircare    , in faith, honesty and love, take you,      Dear Hubby     , to be my wedded husband to share with you God’s plan for our lives together united in Christ.   As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life and love.   It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord.  Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you—for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, in joys and in sorrows until in death do we part.   Therefore I pledge you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife and pray I will fulfill God’s place in our home.   “Whither thou goest I will go; whither thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and they God, my God.”   In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Do you remember your vows? If you do, post them in a comment and let’s talk about them.

This is post is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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And on Tuesdays I also join this Godly Link-up:

The Power of We

Today is Blog Action Day, which may not sound like a big deal to you…or maybe you’re wondering what it is exactly.  Well Blog Action Day started in 2007.  It brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day, and this year the topic is “The Power of We.”

After a four, seven-step series (The Love Extinguishers, The Love Kindlers, The 7 Steps to Ending an Affair, and Rebuilding After an Affair) and after having a week-long hospital visit interrupt the well-laid plans of mice and men, I thought it might be nice to write blogs for the rest of this month that are just from my heart, topics with which I see people struggling, or topics sharing about us and our life and our reconciliation after an affair.  Today, with Blog Action Day’s topic of “The Power of We” I thought it would be appropriate to offer some thoughts on being unity or on the same team with your spouse, and to offer some thoughts on the people and other bloggers without whom I just COULD NOT do this!

The first “Power of We” that I’d like to discuss is the power a marriage can gain when the husband and wife are united by being Christians.  When both the husband and the wife are part of the consecrated Bride, set apart for God‘s glory, then both of them will be pursuing one thing: pleasing God.  In many, MANY verses the apostles asked us (Christ‘s Bride) to be united:

1 Peter 3:8
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

Philippians 2:2
“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”

As Christ’s Bride, The Church, both the husband and the wife would be living a life that is worthy of the gospel, and the way we LIVE would be a mirror to those around us of the holiness of God.

Philippians 1:27
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”

So how does a man and a woman become “of one mind” when one is an Introvert and the other is an Extrovert?  How are spouses supposed to be united when one is a Thinker and one is a Feeler?  They just aren’t alike!  Here’s how (peek at Romans 12:2)…by not going along with and being like “the world” but by being TRANSFORMED so that our minds become more and more and more like GOD’S mind!!  We are supposed to have the mind of Christ.

NOTE: even the verses above mention some of the ways that our minds would be changing: by developing “sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and humility” according to 1 Peter 3:8 and by having the same love (Love of GOD) in Philippians 2:2!   But want to see something AMAZING?  Look at the very next verse, Phillipians 2:3

Philippians 2:3
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

So often in marriages, and especially when there’s been an affair, one of the spouse’s thinks something like: “Well my needs aren’t being met.  I need more affection!  He never talks to me anymore.  She isn’t interested in sex.  I can’t remember the last time they complimented me!”  Where is that focus?  It’s a rivalry isn’t it?  Instead of being a united marriage, it’s Spouse A vs. Spouse B in a royal rumble!  And rather than focusing on humility or being sympathetic toward the tough things in your spouse’s life or being gentle and tender when they make a mistake…it’s become HIM against HER.

God has a plan for marriages.  The plan is “The Power of We.”  The husband and the wife are to be His Bride and be united to Him pursuing His mind.  And the husband and wife are a mirror to the world of what that unity to God looks like, by being united themselves.  He says:

Genesis 2:24
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”

This does include sex–sure of course it does!  But it also includes things like not letting your mom tell your wife she doesn’t cook right!  It includes the wife turning to her husband when she is sad, and not her mom.  It includes backing up your husband in front of the kids when he says something to them (“Did your dad tell you no?  You know I back your dad”)  and if you do think he’s wrong you speak to your spouse privately and explain your reasons, and if they change their mind, then THEY announce the change and why.  It includes doing fun things together.  It includes doing work together.  It includes having an attitude of US on the same page, doing things together as a team, and we’ve got each other’s backs.  After an affair, reconciliation begins when the spouses are a “we” again, because there is Power in We.

The second “Power of We” that I’d like to discuss is the power of working with a group of associates.  I have learned, over the course of my blogging career (lol), that there are  the people and other bloggers without whom I just COULD NOT do this blog and this whole website.  Together, we all minister in our own ways for better marriages, and we are all more effective because we work together.   So my hat tips to these folks:

Christian Marriage Bloggers Association:  You know I started with this group when it was pretty small–and from this group I’ve found mentors and been a mentor.  We’ve shared group topics (like writing about “50 Shades of Grey” and my own “50 Shades and Infidelity–There is a Connection!“), and challenges.  And always these brothers and sisters in Christ continue pursuing godly marriages in their writing and encouraging each other.  I love this group and learn more as part of this association than with any other.

I’m going to mention a few of the newer bloggers I’ve just met recently, in hopes of “paying it forward” a little for them, and in hopes of encouraging them to continue writing:

The Alabaster Jar – Jolene has a wonderful, personal writing style and is very gentle, but extremely biblically accurate.  She’s not afraid to tackle the tough topics either.  She’s pretty much who I hope to be when my blog grows up.

Auntie Em’s Guide To Life — Okay maybe it’s just me, but Auntie Em cracks me up.  I don’t feel like I’m such a dork when I read her blog because she writes like she lives in my life.

Becoming His Eve — I love Hannah.  She is a newer married person and it reminds me so much of what it was like to be relatively newly married and all the things you face in those first years.

Cassandra’s Marriage Mints Ministry — I used to wonder why Cassandra’s blog was called “Marriage Mints” but if you read her blog you’ll understand.  She is cool and smooth in her writing, and yet full of zest … just like a mint.

Hot, Holy & Humorous — “J” is another blogger who just cracks me up.  I guess I should clarify that means that their enthusiasm and energy makes me smile big, full-face smiles.  Her approach is Bigger-than-Dallas, face those issues HEAD ON, and she does not back down from anything.   Ever.

My Beloved Is Mine! (SongSix3) — Jason and Tiffani remind me so much of my Dear Hubby and I just a few years ago (you know…before the kids moved out and we “got old”).  They have been inspiring friends moreso behind the scenes but I’d definitely tip my hat their way!

PeacefulWife’s Blog — Okay I don’t know any other way to say this: here is a woman who knows what she’s talking about.  Listen to her.  I used to be a disrespectful wife myself, and Peaceful is ON THE MONEY.  If only I could have learned this while I was younger it would have helped SO MUCH.   Plus, her vlogs are fun to watch 😉

Pearl’s OysterBed — You know I can’t put my finger on what it is about Pearl.  Maybe it’s because I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan and hula girl at heart.  But she puts me at ease even when addressing a difficult topic, and I just like her stuff.

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On Facebook I’ve met several invaluable associates as well.  In particular, I’d like to mention:

I want a Godly marriage — I learn more just from their little status quote and tweets than I do from most folks.  You have GOT to follow them.  No…I mean it.

A Proverbs Wife — It’s one thing to read Proverbs 31 and quite another to live it…and she’ll help you live it day by day.

Marriage Works! — It’s weird, I haven’t as much gotten into their website and whatnot, but I get their statuses on FB every day all day, and again I just learn about having a great marriage.

Making Love in the Microwave — Okay I love this lady!  Her name is Aja and I think I found her when she was relatively new.  But are you one of those time-crunched, two-earner families with kids who have activities?  Yeah–she’ll show you how you can STILL make love even when all the time you have is a few nuclear seconds.

Ruby Wives — A good wife is more valuable than rubies, but who teaches regular women like you and I how to be that kind of wife?  Why Ruby Wives!  Every day I get statuses from them that are helpful that I can put into action today.

Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage — This is Lamar and Ronnie Tyler, and they are into EVERYTHING– Twitter, FB, blogging, podcasting, TV, movies…you name it!  But what they provide is invaluable: an image of black marriage that is something people can LOOK UP TO and admire.  Personally every Wednesday they host a chat at 6pm PT/9pm ET called #marriagechat.  I usually attend and HIGHLY recommend it!!

More Precious Than Rubies — I love these women and sadly they are the only ones I know who are working this ministry.  They train regular women like you or I to reach out to and minister to the women who are in the sex industry (for example, strippers).  Now I realize this isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea, but these ladies help us remember that women who sometimes “get stuck” in the sex industry are our mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, lovers and the dearly beloved daughters of the Most High God who may not have had someone reach out a hand in love…yet.

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Finally I most assuredly would not be who I am today without one forum:

Talk About Marriage: Coping with Infidelity Forum — I actually hang out here.  I answer PMs and try to reply on threads, and I write quite a bit in the Private Forums.  So I don’t do it as a “business generator” — I do it because it is SO NEEDED.   Infidelity is so painful, so confusing, and so counter-intuitive that someone has to do it, right?  So I’m there on that forum every day and my user name is just what you’d expect: “Affaircare.”  Come say and discover the “Power of We” being with others who understand what you are going through.

This is post #15 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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I also join this Godly Link-up on Mondays:

The Alabaster Jar

How to Rebuild After an Affair: Step 1 Forgiveness

Before there can be reconciliation, there are three things that need to happen for true growth and rebuilding to occur:

  • No Contact,
  • Transparent Honesty,
  • Agreement to work on yourself and your marriage

I will write about those three topics in the Affaircare newsletter this coming weekend–Sunday October 14th!  If you want to hear more, please feel free to subscribe right there on the right sidebar.   But TODAY, the topic is how to rebuild after the affair has ended.  How do  you pick up the pieces and build a new marriage?  What steps should we take to start making a marriage that is mature, healthy, loving and happy for both of us?

Step One: Forgiveness

There are several myths about forgiveness. First, there is a difference between forgiving someone and reconciling. Another common myth is that forgiveness is the same thing as forgetting. A third debunked myth is that if you forgive someone, you condone the behavior or it makes you a doormat. In real life, if you can choose enforce your personal boundaries about 100% faithfulness. Finally, often couples think that forgiveness is an emotion. They confuse forgiveness with feeling like everything is fixed feeling like forgiving, whereas actually forgiveness is a choice.

According to Merriam-Webster definition, forgiveness is

“a deliberate intellectual decision to give up resentment of or claim to requital for a perceived offense; ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.”

In layman’s terms forgiveness is giving up your right to hurt them because they hurt you and allowing your Disloyal Spouse room for error or weakness.

There are five steps to forgiveness:

  1. be willing to forgive
  2. take small steps
  3. leave your anger behind
  4. be kind and forgive yourself
  5. don’t hold it over their head

When the thoughts return, tell yourself “I’ve forgiven so and so and won’t think about this anymore.”  To aid forgiveness, educate yourself.  The more you know and understand what happened and why, the easier it is to forgive.

Finally, the source of forgiveness is not within ourselves but God. Remember the sins from which we have been forgiven.  God knows that we are weak, selfish individuals who will commit adultery despite His warnings and commandments, so He provided a way for us to break out of our destructive, sinful patterns. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This is the first blog in a seven-part series about rebuilding after an affair.  Here are the links to the other blogs in this series:

Step 2 – Commitment

Step 3 – Take Some Time

Step 4 – Mutual United Understanding (MUU)

Step 5 – W-T-F-S

Step 6 – Self-less, Selfish or Self-aware?

Step 7 – Rebuilding Tools

This is post #8 in the CMBA 1/2 Marathon Blogging Challenge to post everyday for 13 days in October … AND is part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge!

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I also join these Godly Link-ups on Mondays:

The Alabaster Jar

Back to Basics–Love Kindlers #2 Spiritual Commitment

Today we are continuing our month-long “Back to School–Back to Basics” series and this week we’ll be going over the seven Love Kindlers.  To understand what a Love Kindler is, you could read the Basic Concepts article to get a more indepth explanation.  Briefly, to help you envision the idea, think of your marriage like a campfire. There are actions that can quench the fire of love, and those actions are Love Extinguishers.  BUT there are also actions that stoke the fire of love and make it hotter–those are Love Kindlers.  When you make the decision to love, you choose to act in a way that is likely to kindle feelings of interest and passion; so you decide to act in a Love Kindling way.

Today, to stoke the blaze of passion and love in your marriage today, the second Love Kindler is:  Spiritual Commitment!  

  • Offering your spouse forgiveness
  • Supporting your spouse’s spiritual values
  • Having a shared spiritual life
  • Respecting your spouse’s beliefs
  • Living a personally transparent, moral life

The “spiritual” part of this kindler has to do with your spiritual lives as a couple and as a family.  As you know, here are Affaircare we are Christian Nouthetic counselors, so we do take a distinctly Christian view on what spirituality is and what that means in your marriage.  Thus, to be spiritually committed to your spouse means that you recognize that BOTH of you are forgiven sinners.  You hope for some degree of mercy and forgiveness when you are less-than-perfect, and so does your spouse.  But on an even deeper level, spiritual commitment means that you care about the spiritual life of your spouse enough that you will encourage them to grow in their relationship to God, encourage them to read the Bible regularly, encourage them to pray personally and with you, encourage them to attend church and edify the Body of Christ, and encourage your spouse to live a life that is pleasing to and obedient to God!   If you are a husband, you will love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her and you will lead your wife and your family in a godly way.  If you are a wife, you will respect your husband as the one with god-appointed authority in your relationship and submit to him as we, The Church, submit to Christ, our Lord.

Over this month, we will be going “Back to School” by going over all our Basic Concepts.   This week we will examine the Love Kindlers–next week the Love Extinguishers.  During the third week of September we’ll look at the Seven Steps to End an Affair, and for the last week of the month, we’ll review the Seven Steps to Rebuilding After an Affair.  We hope you’ll join us on this journey to get “Back to the Basics”!!

The Alabaster Jar

Happiness Month! Day 27: Spirituality

Today is Day 27 of Happiness Month and it will be continuing all month long. This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life: Spirituality!   “…the deepest values and meanings by which people live.”  Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.  So take time out today to pray or attend a worship service.

The word “spirituality” is a noun, and it means:

  •  sensitivity or attachment to religious values.
  •  the quality of one’s sensitivity to the things of the spirit.

This day and age, people use that term to mean SO MANY things, but since Affaircare is a site that offers Christian nouthetic counseling, I’m going to focus my comments today on Christian spirituality and how that relates to happiness.  One justification that people frequently give for having an affair is something like “I deserve to be happy” and all month we’ve been discussing how happiness is not a feeling, but rather a choice to be happy.  This whole month we’ve been talking about ways to increase your happiness every day.   But to find real happiness and truly reconcile your marriage requires more than just your will or determination.  It requires God.

The Bible tells us that all of us (including me!) are sinners and fall short of the perfection required by God–see Romans 3:23.  Yes, God requires perfection–not just “do your best” or “try really hard.”   Because we are all sinful, we are spiritually dead–see Ephesians 2:1.   II Corinthians 5:21 says that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” so we could be brought back to spiritual life!   Romans 5:6 tells us that while we were without strength (spiritually dead)  that Christ died for us in our place.

Envision people in a sea who are drowned, and the “sea” is the sin that we live in every day….and the drowning is the spiritual death.  We can’t even help ourselves!  We’re dead!   The consequence for sin is spiritual death–but God loved us and sent His Son to pay the penalty in our place.  Justice was served and the price was paid!  Christ’s death and resurrection are like a spiritual lifeline, and God pulls us out of the sin we’ve drowned in and brings us back to life!

You know there’s that one verse in John that everyone knows:  John 3:16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”?   Now you know what it means!  To find TRUE happiness and TRULY reconcile your marriage after adultery requires God.

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.
The Alabaster Jar