Sunday, 29 August 2010
We had a great "sex" talk by a Kenyan bishop that made us laugh so much. And we were worried about talking on marital intimacy. Ha!
We had an amazing afternoon. Together with 2 bishops, we married 5 couples and prayed over every other couple present, about 75 couples all up. It was a humbling and at the same time an exciting experience.
It has been wonderful to see changes in marriages and attitudes towards marriages. Even though we have been with them for only 3 days we have seen some dramatic changes. We have been so blessed by the people. We have felt like celebrities (see the banner photo from yesterday) and everyone constantly wants to shake our hands and have photos taken with us. We have learnt so much! It has been beyond our expectations.
It was announced at the closing of the seminar that this will be an annual event and we have been officially invited to return each year.
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Each morning has started late with few people but by the end of the day the place is full and jumping. We weren't sure on day one if they were on the same page as us about wanting their marriages to be different. We were so encouraged during today when both men and women were sharing and encouraging each other to be different to their culture (in East Africa the man is the authoritative boss) and be more biblical in their love for their partners. They spoke about wanting to be different but also acknowledged that change will be difficult. Today we saw and heard many breakthroughs!
These are pastors and church leaders and many are planning to return to their churches and challenge the men and women in their congregations about their relationships. We give the honour and glory to God for how he has broken down barriers and is working in the lives of these couples.
Sunday, 22 August 2010
We will spend the first 2 weeks in Kenya. The first week we are running a Marriage Enrichment Conference for over 50 pastor couples from Kenya and Uganda. We will also catch up with many of our friends in Kenya and we have some work to do for Kenya Help. Please pray for us as we visit Kenya again and that God would use us to minister to these pastor couples.
After Kenya, we head off to Hungary to see where Linda's father grew up and also catch up with some family. Then we're cruising from Budapest to Amsterdam.
We will post updates here when we are able - internet access permitting.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Friday, 22 February 2008
Why is anger so pervasive? I want to suggest that the answer lies in the reality that we are made in the image of God, and God experiences anger. God’s anger is based on His holiness and His love. His holiness means that He is righteous in all of His thoughts and deeds, and His love means that He cares about the well-being of His creatures. When His creatures violate what He knows to be right, God experiences anger. This motivates Him to take constructive action. I believe our experience of anger is very similar.
More Than an Emotion
Anger is more than just an emotion. It involves the emotions, the body, the mind, and the will, all of which are stimulated by some event in the individual’s life. All people have some sense of fairness or rightness. When they encounter what they consider to be wrong, they experience anger. Anger is an indication that we are moral creatures. God made us, and we reflect His concern for righteousness. Anger is a friend, not an enemy.
Simply Being Human
Your spouse does something that you consider to be unkind or unfair, and you feel angry. Why? Because you are made in God’s image and when God encounters injustice, He too feels angry. You have a concern for right and when you encounter injustice, you feel angry. The purpose is to motivate you to take constructive action. The problem is that we often take destructive action and make things worse.
Another problem is that often our anger is distorted. That is, it is not based on actual wrong doing by our spouse, but rather some petty inconvenience. She forgot to take your shirts to the laundry. He showed up 30 minutes late for your dinner reservation. You are angry, but your spouse has committed no immoral act. They have simply been human. Forgetting is human. Your anger is real and needs to be shared, but it does not call for repentance on the part of your spouse. It calls for understanding.
Thankful for Anger?
Anger is not evil; anger is not sinful; anger is not a part of our fallen nature; anger is not Satan at work in our lives. Quite the contrary. Anger is evidence that we are made in God’s image, and He experiences anger because He is holy and loving. We should thank God for our capacity to experience anger. Thank God for anger, and then learn how to process it in a godly way.
Excerpt taken from Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way by Gary Chapman. To find out more about Gary Chapman's resources, visit www.fivelovelanguages.com.
There are five love languages. What's yours? Take the 30-second quiz.
Thursday, 19 July 2007
For more information and to see how your marriage can be enriched, see their web-site www.bettermarriages.org.au
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
Would you call your relationship good or would you call it great? A great relationship isn't the product of a storybook tale that just happens when a fairy godmother waves her magic wand. They happen because you take charge and you make it happen. To have a great relationship, you need to be great.
The things you accomplish do not define greatness, but how you accomplish them makes a huge difference. So how can you be great in your relationship? First and foremost, does your spouse know where they stand with you? Do they feel adored? Do they know they come first? Do you tell them you don't have time for them? When you're great to your partner, they feel it and more often than not - they reciprocate it.
Selfish Patterns of Desire
As a species, we are naturally selfish. Our desires are strong - it's that selfish desire to be with our partners that likely flared when you first met them or began to date them. The need to please each other often meant giving in to each other's selfish desires, but part of building a great relationship comes from putting your partner first and squashing selfishness when it comes to deciding what course of action you will take.
In great marriages, your focus is on your partnership in all things. Those connections are not ignored in parenting decisions, financial decisions or career decisions. Your focus should not be on the temporal pleasures of the moment - yes, going out to the movies with your friends may seem like a fantastic time, but what does your spouse think? Do I mean you need to subjugate every decision to your spouse? No, but it's a form of courtesy, consideration and caring to ask them if they mind.
My husband enjoys going out with his co-workers and friends. But he doesn't make major plans without consulting me and often finding a way to include me if I want to go along. He is thinking of our partnership first, before his own desire. If I really wanted to do something at the same time with him or if there were plans that we wanted to go - say to the same film as a couple - that takes precedence over these other plans.
Don't Be Self-Centered
When you are self-centered in your marriage and your choices in that marriage, you tend to be very lonely. Selfishness is one of the worst flaws you can bring into a marriage and while selfishness is a necessary part of our existence, recognizing that it can hamper our relationships is an important step. Remember, selfish doesn't have to mean you are mean or mean-spirited, it just means you think of yourself first.
First and foremost, take a look at how you make your decisions and your choices - do you just go and do something, because asking for forgiveness is easier than asking permission?
Do you make plans with your friends and your co-workers, but cite the need to work or other plans when your spouse does the same so you don't have to go with them?
Do you decide what bills will get paid, choosing your own personal entertainments for the excess spending rather than compromising with your spouse on their choices?
We're going to talk more about this trend for building a great marriage out of a 'good' one or an 'okay' one over the next few days - but take a look at how you make your choices and your decisions. Do you think about your spouse, do you ask for their input? Do you take that input seriously? Or are your decisions selfish?