Say No to Needy

Want to read a message of real freedom?  Here it is:  You don’t have to count on anybody else to meet your needs.

You and God can take care of that!

And then, when you have met your own needs, the other people in your life can fulfill some of your desires, but if they don’t for some reason, you aren’t empty.  And the best feeling of all?  You aren’t needy.

Real Relationship Freedom

She read some books that helped her understand her needs. Now that she could articulate them, she told her husband what they were and that if he would just meet her love needs, she would out love him!

He did a decent job the first week, she responded happily, let him know where he could improve. The second week, he wasn’t much better, and the third week was even worse.
She found herself angry at him. “These aren’t difficult,” she told herself and him.

“What’s wrong! Don’t you love me?”

“Of course, I love you,” he replied.” I love you with all of my heart!”

“I feel like I’m falling out of love with you,” she told him. “what are you going to do about it?”

Both felt trapped. She couldn’t feel love for him because he didn’t meet her love needs. He could’t do anything right; and though he loved her, she would never believe it.

Want a message of real freedom? Here it is: You don’t have to count on anybody else to meet your needs. You and God can take care of that! And then, when you have met your own needs, the other people in your life can fulfill some of your desires; but if they don’t for some reason, you aren’t empty. And the best feeling of all? you aren’t needy.

That’s a great feeling!

Advice for Giving Advice

It can be terrific to offer advice, give counsel, and attempt to change someone’s mind.

If you’ve been aloof, then approaching them when you see something you want to change, you won’t get the response you want.

To speak into someone’s life, be in their life.

Do You Indulge?

Weird or Unique combinations often make the best delicacies and finest indulgences.

  • Chocolate & Coffee beans
  • Peanut butter & Chocolate
  • Pineapple & Pizza
  • Coca Cola & Peanuts
  • Hot Chocolate & Salted whipped cream
  • Cauliflower & Hot sauce
  • Cheetos & Milk
  • Bacon & Anything!!

You are familiar with some of these and LOVE them; and some stretch of your imagination! What are some of your weird or unique combinations that have become indulgences?

How about You and Your Spouse?  Seriously.  You are a unique combination, maybe even a little weird.  Do you indulge?

Often in the beginning of a relationship, a couple will bask in the way they are different from each other.  They embrace those differences, are connected because of them, and say they complement each other. 

Later in the relationship, the focus often shifts from the indulgence of differences to a distaste for our differences often asking, “What did we ever have in common or see in our relationship?”

Get naked and stand next to each other in front of a mirror.   Note:  NSFW                                   

Notice the differences?  Those differences, along with all the many others, create the finest indulgences if that’s where you will keep your focus.

Positive thoughts proceed positive behaviors that create positive feelings!

Just as negative creates negative!

What if you became the Master Chef of your relationship/marriage?!  What if you challenged yourself to create the best delicacy of your unique combination that the two of you begin to indulge in rather than expressing a steady dose of distaste?!

  • Freak, frighten, feel loved, and feel respected over different events and behaviors
  • Late nighter – early riser
  • Messy – organized
  • Work it out – it will work itself out
  • Play before you work – work before you play
  • Cuddle on the couch – whitewater rafting or a competitive activity
  • Rush in to solve problems – step back to analyze
  • Pineapple on pizza – hurl at the thought of it

Choose your mindset!                                                          

What indulgence will you be creating with your differences?

Remember, a delicacy is sought after and valued!  Is your relationship sought after & valued?

Don’t Want to be a Needy Spouse

Picture for Blog“I’ve fallen out of love with him. I don’t know what’s happened. He used to make me so happy. Now, he doesn’t ever try to meet my needs.”

We make our love dependent on the other person’s ability to keep us in love with them.  First, that’s just not the kind of love that God has demonstrated towards us. Hallelujah! Nor is it the kind of love he has commanded us to have for each other.

Practically, that kind of thinking creates a “needy” marriage.  Whether the need is quality time, emotional support, romance, peace and quiet, affectionate touch, etc., when one is not getting that need met, the tendency is to resort to trying to drag it out of other.  Ultimately, this builds resentment and makes both miserable.

A husband’s love is to have its source in the husband. A wife’s love is to have its source in the wife. We don’t love because our needs are met. We love because we are lovers.

Again. We love because we are lovers. Go show your love to your spouse again.  We did.

What’s Going On…?

Country Road SoilsDo you know what’s going on inside of you?

That’s not an anatomy question. It’s a spiritual one.  A really good way to consider inward spiritual health is to consider the soil in your heart. Is your heart like a road? Like the shoulder of the road? Like the edge of the field? Like the rich field ready for the seed?

Suppose you are reading a book about growing your marriage and a paragraph knocks you right between the eyes. It addresses a problem that you have and gives some direction on how to grow yourself.  What’s your reaction? Your reaction reveals your soil?

If there is no impact at all; the words penetrate your eyes and then… nothing. That “seed” has fallen on the road. It’s likely you are reading just to fulfill a duty.

Perhaps there is an immediate reaction. You know that you’ve just read something that you needed. It’s not too long, though, before you’re making excuses about why you won’t grow. Bitterness, resentment, pride, or an unforgiving spirit quickly turn your attention from your stumbles to your spouse’s stumbles. You’ve got rocky soil.

Maybe the hit between the eyes really impacts you. You have a strong sense of remorse and you make commitments to make some needed change. Three months later though, the habits you intended to create haven’t been. The determination you felt isn’t there anymore. You’ve just been too busy. Other priorities choked your good intentions. Your soil is thorny.

Hopefully, though, the seed lands in good soil. You’ve prepared your heart for it. You’ve developed the mindset that you’ll get it done and you have the maturity that you’ll keep growing, even when you don’t want to.

What’s going on inside of you?

Disagreement doesn’t Mean Division

You may never agree with each other.

When one of our kids was heading out to spend time with friends, one of two things was going to be true. Either JeannaLynn was going to feel like we let them go with way too little information about where, when and who; or I was going to feel like we just led through an unnecessarily long interrogation.

Let’em loose or tie ‘em down.

We never “got on the same page” regarding how much information to get.

We did get on the same page finally with this: We were not going to let the disagreement divide us.

Practically, that means:

  1. We quit speaking critically of the other when we didn’t get what we wanted.
  2. We prayed more often together when our kids were away.
  3. We considered the other’s interest above our own.
    1. JeannaLynn would cut back on the number of questions sometimes before she was satisfied with her information.
    2. I asked more questions than I though was necessary.
  4. I always joined her when her intuition said that we needed to check on them.
  5. I didn’t say “I told you so” when the kids were where they said they were going to be. She didn’t say “I told you so” when they weren’t.

Some disagreements will always be disagreements. Your disagreements do not have to cause division. What God has joined together, disagreements should not separate.”

15 – 15 -15

00RJLToday marks a huge milestone in our marriage! Today we celebrate our 30th Anniversary!! We are beginning a new chapter that actually started a few weeks ago.

Our first 15 years we spent miserably married!

Our last 15 we’ve spent reconciling, renewing, and refocusing; thus, Hooked on Marriage.

We will spend the next 15 with what we are calling – 15 years of Celebration!!!!!

We will take a mystery trip every Dec. – just US and just for US! No one knows exactly when, for how long, where, or mode of transportation.

On August 8th (our engagement date) for the next 15 years, we will reveal where we went the previous December, and for us we will have a confirmed new secret of where we are going the upcoming December.

We are incredibly excited about this new adventure and all the endorphins, dopamine, and the other chemical connections it is creating between us!!

Then, on our 45th Anniversary, we will have a party with a video of the past 15 years of Celebration!

We wonder what a video or whatever technical word is used will look like in 15 years?!

For today: We Celebrate “US”!! 💞

Core Essentials in Marriage — Forgiveness

Pretty mature woman hugging husband from the behind
Pretty mature woman hugging husband from the behind

“We are never more like God than when we forgive,” it’s been said.  When Jacob was forgiven by his brother Esau for his theft and dishonesty, Jacob told him, “Seeing your face is like seeing the face of God” (Genesis 33:10).

That’s why in marriage forgiveness is a core essential. No family relationship will survive without it. Grudges kill closeness. Bitterness ends intimacy. Judgment destroys unity.
But mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13).
To forgive doesn’t mean that what was done was OK. It doesn’t mean that the pain from the hurt is healed. Forgiveness is the cancellation of a debt. It is a decision to say:

1.      I forgive you.

2.      I won’t do anything to retaliate against you.

3.      You don’t have anything to make up to me.

Forgiveness frees the forgiven from having to live with the burden of making up for what they did.  Forgiveness frees the forgiver from the burden of needing something from the one who hurt them.  When the debt is maintained nothing can be received as an act of love. The love of the one who hurt will only be seen as an effort to get back to the black.
C. S. Lewis revealed our tendencies when he wrote, “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”
What has your spouse done that you have not forgiven? What would be the positive results from cancelling that debt today?

Changing Feelings

Acrobatic HeartYou feel like:

You have to win this argument!!

You have to have more or less of_______ from your spouse!!

You can’t take it anymore!!

And then, in the middle of the argument, your spouse’s speech begins to slur, he loses his train of thought, the left side of her mouth suddenly turns down.  You know what is happening.

Do you still have to win the argument?  Are you still insistent on having your needs met since you seem to be the only one meeting needs in the marriage?  Have you really reached your limit?

Feelings can change in a heartbeat, literally!  They are a temporary emotional reaction to a temporary situation.  Yet, for many of us, they guide countless decisions in our marriage.  Often, we say and do things that are harmful instead of helpful based on our feelings in the moment.  Our feelings are not the voice of God!!

When you have the mindset that regardless of the circumstances, you are going to be God’s man or God’s woman in your home, your feelings take a back seat to thinking and faith.  That’s when great behavior flows freely and then here’s the added blessing; that behavior changes your feelings for the good.

Determine your mindset. Your behavior will follow.  Your feelings will change, too.

“In your relations with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus… (Phil. 2:5; NIV).