Posted in Tools for Couples

Wisdom in the counsel of… do you make decisions?

Y’know, things aren’t always as they seem at first glance. My scriptural checklist for making decisions.

Steps – I’ll let your devotional time be looking up the scriptures. Maybe you’ll add some steps:

  1. Pray
  2. The decision must not offend but be in alignment with scripture. e.g.: no, you should not steal.
  3. Wise counsel of many – this is peer mentoring from those as close or closer to God than you. Your golf buddies may not qualify.
  4. Timing – God may support your ‘instinct’, but not now. e.g.: You want to go into ministry full time but the kids are in college and you have no money in the bank. Better keep your day job for now.
  5. ‘Instinct’? – For the believer, there is no such thing as ‘gut feeling’. You’ve prayed, read the Word faithfully, sought counsel, taken inventory of timing, and now find quiet moments to Listen to the Leading of The HOLY SPIRIT. Communication is 2 way, not giving your to-do list to God, but listening. Does a certain outcome make sense to you ? That’s why you wait & listen for peace that only the Holy Spirit provides.
  6. Fast – at a minimum fast 24 hrs, from sundown today until sundown tomorrow.
  7. Wait upon the Lord – give a minimum of 7 days for major decisions. Let there be time for emotion to fade out of the picture – it should be the ‘caboose’, not the engine.
  8. Act with faith.

ps. How many guys in that photo….12? 13?


How not to make decisions:

  • At a time of emotion or gut reaction. “Emotions are the caboose on the decision train”.
  • Because ‘it just feels right’. .. see above.
  • Because a fortune cookies said its so – apply this to any random or collection of random sayings. This would include any philosopher. Have you noticed that they have changing advice depending on what time of their life they wrote it ? Think how one world religion in a single ‘holy book’ first says ‘Christians should be tolerated’…later it says they should be treated with aggression…later, they should be killed. Contrast this to Christian scriptures written by 40 some authors over 1500 some years yet all with a theme that is consistent from beginning to end.
  • Because ‘all my friends think its right’. Did you know the most powerful friendship builder is when 2 or more agree AGAINST something or someone ? Further, many false friends won’t risk the friendship but favor being a ‘yes (wo)man’ to keep the relationship…for self purposes of course. Think about these friends motivation – it should be to disciple from a consistent scriptural world view.



Posted in Uncategorized

Shadowlands – watch it together for many life lessons…

by Paul.

Recall how we’ve discussed “the 5 steps to grieving/healing”, recall the film I had to watch for a management class “12 Angry Men” -where you learn how to be a better persuader, and NOT, recall that there are risks in life that go with the rewards?C.S. Lewis:  Through the Shadowlands

Here’s your next night in flick.

“What would a loving God do ?…allow you to love and then loose the one you love ? or never introduce you to such a lovely one in the first place, sparing you the pain ?” ( paraphrased as close as memory allows ). Certainly one of my favorite lines follows in the answer: ” He’d give YOU the choice”.

But you will treasure your spouse as well as learn about healing and about staying true to you purpose in Christ as an individual by the time you get to the 2 closing priceless scenes – that as well as the summation ending dialogue.

Much as I dislike giving my precious life moments away to sit for a film, this one is useful for the greater purpose.

Posted in Uncategorized

Marriage: God’s Idea

Marriage: God’s Idea

Where there is anything that’s designed, there is a designer. Whether it’s a truck, building or train — or even marriage — there is always a mastermind behind the masterpiece.

God, the mastermind of marriage, also has a plan for how marriage works best.

This article is on our newly added Tool, …. ….from their Marriage section. I’ve found Focus on the Family to have an exhaustive & user friendly site for both “mountain top” times as well as deep deep “valleys”.

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Eyes that point inward !

by Paul.

Bev, my so excellent SS teacher back in the 80’s once said, “….more therapists today than ever before, but marriages are still being attached by satan….if couples would just get on their knees and seek the Lord…”

To bad I have a “Concrete Random”  learning style.

You’ve familiar with Cynthia Tobias’ “The Way We Learn” book,  right? Surely you’re read it so you can better understand how you are different from your children…or better yet, your spouse. Naturally you want to know how to better understand why he/she isn’t as clean as you ( or perhaps a “neat freak” ), or why he needs to see map and can’t otherwise remember directions, etc etc.

The styles: Concrete Sequential, Abstract Sequential, Abstract Random, and Concrete Random, I don’t really care about. But I do care – now that I know – that we are different. We need to know that.The Way They Learn

The “to bad” about me remark ?…is that it took me so long to know what Bev was saying. Basically, its not how we share God, when, where, or why perhaps – but that we do. Regularly. Deliberately. Even tho she felt by and large we need less pills and less counselors and more prayer time ( and her life is a fine example of her teaching ), I believe she’d agree with me that we need to understand more about our spouse, just like we need to understand more about God.

I, for example, ..learn/ work/ interact.. with the need to actually SEE and TOUCH – so I had to have proof of the “praying has good consequences” which I got statistically years later, then believed. I also …learn/work/ interact.. RANDOMLY. As overwhelming it is for my brother to multiple tasks spinning in front of him, I am equally overwhelmed with only 1. Yikes, the stress for me to think when I’m mentally blocked on one item I can work a bit more on the other 68 open tasks on my desk and the floor all around me. My poor spouse may never understand. At the same time, I get overwhelmed if anything “gets moved” because after all – I knew just where I’d put it! Thats the  CONCRETE part; if I can’t see it in plain site – it must be lost and impossible to find.

I need to work hard at making the most of minimizing my shortcomings related to both my learning style and personality type. ( see links in Tools ). At the same time, I pray I give my spouse flexibility in her lifestyle because she is indeed different than I am – Thankfully! I hope she will learn about & do the same with me.

And if we really want to use the eyes God gave us, pointing outward for many reasons, we will both focus together on pursuing Him….


US States

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Trust & Communication, Effects on Intimacy

by Paul.

Happy New Year !!

If over 90% of communication is non-verbal, ie, without spoken word, what ARE we communicating ?

What do we use to communicate “it” ?

  • How’s your body language ?
  • Is your touch loving ? Do you touch ?
  • Whats in the eyes ? How much eye contact do you make and for how long at each glance ?
  • Do you act consistent or unpredictable / changing ?

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

So when we act like we are frustrated, perhap we do not believe this scripture or perhaps some part of it? Which part,

  • that all of our things are NOT going to work together for our good ?
  • or, perhaps that we do not love God
  • or, maybe we feel we are not called according to His purpose

We communicate to God that we do not believe that He is being Lord over every part of our life and we need to simply live for Him daily.

And what does unfairly directed frustration communicate to our spouse ?

  • Perhaps that they might not wish to communicate so much in the future ? Is that what we want ?
  • Will it increase deep personal thoughts shared ? Will intimacy have a tenancy to decrease and grow cool ?

When we keep a God centered focus and purpose, we have to accept what life gives us, just as we’d accept a teacher’s assignment and an employers task memo – as a “to do” list. God’s to do list gives us opportunities to “lean not on our own understanding” and presume He is not only in control, but He is providing a moment to learn/grow/disciple/perhaps be a blessing to another – even a spouse.