Saturday, April 27, 2013

Our Needs, Our Marriage (Week #3)


In our final installment of this series, we are going to talk about the overall most important aspects of the marriage. The first two weeks we talked about the overall needs of the spouses, but today, we will talk about the overall needs of the marriage. In order for success to happen in the totality of your relationship, each spouse has to meet the needs of the other spouse and the marriage. Some may be confused as to what the difference is.

There will be days that you do not like your spouse, but you are committed to the vows of marriage. Marriage is a covenant, and according to the very definition of covenant especially in biblical terms, it can only be broken in death. Nothing should break a covenant and a covenant stands no matter what, and the only release is death. So, when life gets hard and you and your spouse can’t agree, lean on the covenant promises of your marriage vows.

Marriage is the habitation, atmosphere, commitment, and the home of the relationship. Marriage is the house that your relationship lives in. Marriage is your Residence! Even when you or your spouse don’t, can’t, or even mess up meeting each other’s needs, you still remain committed to the marriage and the person. Each spouse’s needs are their wants and desires, but the marriage is your foundational covenant promise that you have made.

The vows that you made on your wedding day, you first made them to God. Yes, you made the promise to God to commit your life forever to the person you have chosen to marry. When hardships, selfishness, trials, financial woes, infertility, distractions, and just life cause you to be distant and pulled away emotionally from your spouse, then remember the marriage. Remember the vows, remember the promises, and remember your commitment! When you remember something, it is more than just a thought, but it is an action of doing something!

You can’t change your spouse, but you can change the atmosphere of your marriage by staying faithful to your commitment and meeting your spouse’s needs on a daily basis. You and your spouse might get sick, go broke, and have bad days, but that does not mean your marriage has to be sick, broken, and bad! Remain committed and God will Reward your Covenant!

The Needs of the Marriage:

• Spiritual Commitment

• Family Commitment

• Purpose Commitment

Spiritual Commitment: Each spouse must be committed to the spiritual aspect of their marriage, first on an individual basis to their personal relationship to God, and then to the spiritual atmosphere of the marriage. Commit to praying together, doing a devotion, going to church, joining a marriage ministry, going to a marriage conference, and especially having a spiritual couple to mentor you. The key word to the spiritual commitment is devotion. Setting time a part to make sure you ask God into the life of your marriage daily.

Family Commitment: Both spouses have to be committed to raising their kids together. There should be an agreement that no one parent does it all. You are to parent together and spend quality family time each week. Commit to eating dinner together throughout the week. Commit to family schedules. Be present it the home and at the kids’ school and extracurricular events. Especially commit to doing family night without electronics, get the conversation started at your home with your kids and find out what is going on in their lives.

Purpose Commitment: Every person has a purpose and so does every marriage. It is not just to be happy, but your marriage has a bigger impact to make on the world and to leave a legacy. You and your spouse should have a vision/mission statement for your marriage. When you have a set vision and mission, you will see the dreams of your purpose fulfilled. Your marriage should be one that gives back and inspires others. What is the purpose/significance of your marriage?

Love Assignments: (1) Commit to praying for your spouse this week. Send your spouse a spiritual/inspirational card, email, letter, or devotion this week. (2) Have family night this week…eat at the dinner table, talk, play games, watch a movie, and get reconnected with your kids. (3) Ask your spouse, “What are your dreams?” Moreover, write them down. Write-out a vision/mission statement for your marriage. Define the purpose/significance for your marriage and start living it out! Find a way for the two of you (your family) to be a blessing to another family this week!

“Marriage is where His Needs & Her Needs become Our Needs & Commitment”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

His Needs & Her Needs Week #2


Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband

(1 Corinthians 7:3 NKJV).

Marriage is not 50/50… it is 100/100! You have to give a hundred percent (100%) in order for marriage to work and for it to be fruitful and satisfying. Even when we go over the list of His Needs & Her Needs this is not a license for you to say, “My Wife didn’t give me sex last night, so I don’t have to give her meaningful conversation and affection today!” Moreover, “My husband didn’t give me loving security so I am definitely not going to have sex with him tonight and meet his needs!” Marriage is Sacrifice; it is sometimes giving when there is nothing given back in return. Marriage is managing and having realistic expectations!

Yes, I am saying that if your spouse does not fulfill your needs, you still have to fulfill theirs. I know that hurts, but how much more will your marriage suffer if both of you gives nothing? Keep loving, praying, and giving to your spouse and being the best example you can be. Soon they will have to return love for love.

If each spouse seeks to meet the other’s needs and not focus on getting his or her own needs met, then marriage would be completely satisfying. Even if your spouse messes up when they are trying to meet your needs still praise their efforts. We are all students of love. No one is an expert, but every day we must be willing to show up and learn more than the day before. From this day forward, express to your spouse your needs, but Focus on meeting their needs.

Love in Marriage is Living Out What You have Learned about your Spouse!

Love Assignment: This week take the conversation outside! Go for a walk, sit on the patio, or do a picnic in the backyard or the park. Get out and talk it out!

His Needs:

• Domestic Partnership

• Loyalty/Support

• To Make His Wife Happy

Her Needs:

• Domestic Partnership

• Security/Trust

• Romance

Domestic Partnership: Many of you probably saw that men and women both want domestic partnership and thought, “we match on something!” Wrong! Yes, we all want the outcome of domestic partnership, but how we get to it as men and women is totally different. A man’s idea of domestic partnership is a well managed home that is clean with well-behaved children. It is a need that a husband comes home to a safe haven (castle), and not a torture chamber.

Now women want the same thing, but not the overwhelming responsibility of having to do it all by themselves. Here lies the difference between the two: men want it, but women feel they have to do it by themselves. So in order to have domestic partnership husbands and wives must work together in managing and achieving a prosperous and peaceful home. Women want men to help and take the initiative to making their home the best it can be by cleaning, cooking, and managing with the kids.

Loyalty/Support: Allow Him to Fail! What? Yes! A man wants to be made to feel he is a man and that means even when he has failed at something. It is not the failure that destroys him, but your lack of support and loyalty to him after the failure happens… the most important thing for him after a failure is your being there. He can lose it all, but he can’t lose you, your support and loyalty. He needs to know that you are there no matter what. Men do not want to know that you are only there for what they do, but rather for who they are! He wants you to be there because of him, not what you get from him.

To Make His Wife Happy: This may shock wives, but yes, your husband wants to make you happy… but he does not know how all the time! A man’s heart is to meet the needs and desires of his wife. Wives have to express what they need from their husbands without the overwhelming pressure of perfection. Men have to make an effort and not always wait on their wives to tell them what to do. A man’s greatest disappointment is disappointing the woman he loves.

Love Assignment: Wives this week don’t focus on the faults of your husbands, encourage him even when he fails, and show him tangibly and with words of affirmation that you are loyal and supportive of him. Make your home a castle and safe haven for your husband. Ask him what you can do to make your home better and do it for him. Wives be rest assured that one of your husband’s greatest need and desire is to make you happy. Help him and yourself to get to happiness!

Security/Trust: Women have to know that they are a priority and a purpose in the life of their husbands. Women have to feel needed, taken care of, and provided for by their husbands. Not so much from a monetary sense, but from a sense that your life is more with them in it than it would be without them. A woman has to feel she can trust you and that you will be there no matter what. If she gains 20 pounds, gets wrinkles (aging), gets sick, or whatever calamity that happens a woman has to trust that you are a man of your word and vows.

When you married your wife, you gave her the validation that you wanted to marry her, give her your last name, and spend the rest of your life with her. Women need this validation beyond the wedding day; we have to have it in marriage… to know that we are still the One!

Romance: Women have to hear, “I Love You” and have to have expressions, gifts, and acts of service that express love on a daily basis. Men would be shocked to know that it is not the grand gifts or grand moments, but rather daily thoughtfulness that counts the most. It is the loving intentions of a man to make a woman smile and make her feel loved that matters most.

Love Assignment: Husbands give your wife a day off from domestic (household) chores and duties. Give her a free day. Also, ask your wife what chore you can do to help around the house weekly. Make sure your wife knows you love her and that she is a priority in your life. This week set your schedule around the needs of your wife showing her that she matters most. Always be a man of your word and vows. Be romantic and give gifts and compliments this week. Do something you have never done before this week for your wife.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

His Needs & Her Needs


Over the next couple of weeks, we will discuss His Needs & Her Needs of marriage. In order for a marriage to be all that it can be and before two individuals can become truly intimate in oneness there must be an understanding of each spouse’s needs, and a willingness to fulfill them.

Now, you and your spouse love one another, but how you arrive at expressing that love and what you need from the love of the marriage is very different. Don’t worry it is supposed to be this way. You and your spouse are inherently different. You have a man and a woman who were raised differently and whose families expressed love in very different ways. These differences don’t have to divide in a marriage, but if celebrated and embraced they can become the glue to keeping you together in a long lasting love affair with one another.

The His & Her Needs that we will discuss come from my own research and those of marriage therapists and various psychologists. I encourage you and your spouse to make your own list and to add to the one we will discuss over the next few weeks.

Often when couples discuss the various aspects of their marriage, they sit and talk with one another as if they were in a board meeting. We need to make marriage fun even when we have to deal with issues in marriage. So, this week when you are going over your list of needs, I want you to stand in the bathroom together in front of the mirror and talk. This is your Love Assignment for the week!

His Needs:

• Respect

• Sex

• Fun/Recreational Time with Wife

Her Needs:

• Loving Security

• Meaningful Communication

• Affection

His: If you look at the list, you see that the top three (3) needs of each spouse are totally different. Our goal is not to point out the differences, but to focus on meeting our spouse’s needs. First, a man needs Respect. Respect to a man is honor. A man does not always have to feel/be right, but he does have to feel that you believe in him. Respect to a man from you is based in the way you talk to him, treat him in public, and honor him in front of your children. A man does not constantly want to feel challenged in his authority, but rather respected for being a man and especially the head of his household.

Hers: A Woman’s primary need is for her husband to Love her and give her Loving Security. Being loving is kindness, warmth, and heartfelt appreciation of her. A woman has to have security in the love and commitment of her husband in order to be vulnerable and really be able to express herself completely. A woman has to feel loved by her husband; she has to know she is a priority in his life and that he only desires her.

#2 His: Sex! A husband has to have physical connection with his wife on a regular basis. Sexual intimacy makes a husband feel connected to his wife, and this makes him feel loved. This is not only a need, but a deep desire of a husband to have his wife want to be sexual with him and initiate these encounters.

#2 Her: Meaningful Communication! A husband has to communicate with his wife. Not just the run-of-the-mill conversation, but deep meaningful conversation. A wife needs for her husband to open up to her and to initiate these conversations. A wife needs loving words of appreciation from her husband.

#3 His: Fun/Recreational Time with his Wife! A husband needs friendship with his wife. Although his enjoys hanging out with his guy friends, he also desires to spend recreational time with his wife. Men need adventures and they want to have fun with their wives. Wives should show an interest and willingness to learn about the various things that their husbands enjoy. So, the way to his heart is through heart-stopping adventure sometimes.

#3 Her: Affection! Women need non-sexual affection from their husbands. A wife wants hugs, kisses, hand holding, back rubs, foot massages, and other tender moments from her husband. A wife needs her husband to appreciate her physically without always expecting sex to be the outcome. A wife wants her husband to make her feel beautiful through affection.

This Week’s Love Assignment: Husbands this week make it all about your wife and shower her with loving security, meaningful communication, and affection! Make sure she knows how much you love and appreciate her. Every day set aside at least 15-30mins and focus on talking with your wife. Every day give her some type of affection either a hug, kiss, foot massage, back rub, and hand holding without any expectation of sex as an outcome.

This Week’s Love Assignment: Wives respect your husband this week, and make sure he knows how much you appreciate him. Find unique ways to honor him this week. No negative comments to him or about him, but only words of affirmation. Even get the kids involved in honoring their father. Wives initiate sex this week with your husband. Do romantic gestures for him, wear his favorite outfit, perfume, and cook his favorite meal. Plan something fun for just the two of you. Get involved and get interested in the sports, tv shows, outings, and adventures your husband enjoys.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Marriage Series: “How To Build A Love Base Foundation”


Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed….Starts by Going to Sleep on the Wrong Pillow!

Building a love base foundation starts in the Marriage MIND.

What is a Marriage Minded Person?

A marriage minded person is one who has the thoughts of building love, spirituality, respect, intimacy, trust, growth, and excitement in their marriage.

Pillows & The Bed: It is all in the Mindset!

Have you ever wondered, “How Not to Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed?” Well, you can’t go to sleep on the wrong pillow! Meaning not going to bed with negative emotions, feelings, and thoughts about your spouse, it is all about your mindset.

So fluff those pillows and watch how your mind will fluff-up too.

Do you want to know, “How to wake up on the right side of your spouse’s bed (their needs)?”

How you truly love and treat your spouse starts with how you think about them. Love is not based in being negative, but rather it based upon being positive.

If everything in your marriage were based solely on your thoughts and words, what would your marriage be like?

Don’t allow your mind to think anything that you don’t want to possess in your marriage. Your thoughts are seeds for the upcoming harvest in your marriage.

Negative thoughts weigh on the mind, weigh on the stability of the emotions, and weigh on the productivity of your relationship. You can become bitter, unprogressive, and then unforgiveness takes root. If there is unforgiveness, then there is no love and without love, there is nothing.

Where you place your mind (thoughts) about your spouse is where you place your marriage. Therefore, if your mind is placed in the past, on the negative, in disappointment, and in resentment, then this is where you marriage will be, in the gutter. If you place your mind (thoughts) about your spouse on hope, help, love, acceptance, grace, and respect, then your marriage will be in paradise.

So, if you go to bed with bad, negative, & unloving thoughts about your spouse, then you are setting the tone for the day ahead before you even get into it. Your mind, thoughts, and attitude gets into a new day before you do.

Your mind, thoughts, and attitude have to be in check in your marriage!

First, change is a mindset! Change begins as just a thought in your mind, grows into a desire in your heart, and finally manifests outwardly after you surrender. What are you thinking & talking about? It is all about what you think and what you speak that determines the life and destiny of your marriage. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). I like to phrase it like this about marriage: “As a husband (wife) thinks in their heart about their spouse, so is the marriage.”

What you dwell upon & think, you will become! Therefore, if the past has your marriage in the grips of its despair and this is your focus, then all you will ever see, have, or possess is the past in your marriage. What you think about your spouse is all that you will see when you look at him/her. So if your mindset about them is bad, negative, disappointing, and resentful, then this will be what you see when you look at them. They look bad, negative, disappointing, and resentful to you.

*What if your spouse thought about you the way you think about them…How would you feel?

What you place your focus on will become the very thing that drives your marriage, and whatever drives your marriage determines where and which way it is going.

So, if you don’t like where your marriage is going, change the driver’s seat in your mind.

Step 1: Change Your Thoughts and Words, then Your Situation will Change. A New Beginning in your marriage starts in the mind. You have to make your mind up right now that you are not going to live this way in your marriage anymore. The first step is to speak positively about your marriage, which will then help you to speak joy and blessings into the life of your spouse.

What are you dwelling upon now in your marriage? Because whatever has your mind and your focus has control of you, and you are therefore yielding power to that very thing. If you are focused and set on achieving marital goals and becoming united as one, then you are yielding yourself & your spouse to success. On the other hand, if you focus on the failures and bad things about your spouse, then you will have those things in life. What you think drives the laws of attraction. What you think really does attract those things into your life. Your thoughts entice and draw to you what you will have. Old thinking cannot work for new things in your marriage; the old can’t produce the new!

“If you don’t want it in your marriage, then don’t think about it!”

Step 2: What you set into motion will determine your momentum and distance. Now that you know your thoughts and words are literally shaping your relationship, it is time to focus on your actions. Your steps, the actual movements you make towards your marital goals, are literally the vehicle that determines where you are going. What are you doing right now to manifest your dream marriage? What you do is just as important as what you think! If you are thinking the right marital thoughts, then you have to walk in the right marital steps. The two go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other.

Your thoughts catapult you toward a better marriage. If you delay, make excuses, or remain unmotivated, this will weigh heavily on your successful dream marriage. It is all in your Attitude; you will possess a greater marriage when you are positive! Waking up in a bad mood starts by going to sleep with a bad attitude.

Maintain a good attitude and motive about giving in your marriage. Giving is directly in line with the heart. Giving is not always equivalent to money. You are the best gift to give to someone. Give your time, love, respect, appreciation, undivided attention, and intimacy to your spouse.

Give and sometimes don’t expect anything in return!

Even if the disagreement or argument is unresolved by the time you and your spouse go to bed, you still don’t have to go to sleep on the wrong pillow (mindset) and wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Actually, agreement is overrated. You will not always be in 100% agreement on everything in your relationship. People would prefer simply to be understood, which is to be respected, and appreciated for their viewpoint and what they bring to the marriage.

So if you can’t agree before bed, then simply just understand your spouse. The best way not to sleep on the wrong pillow and wake up on the wrong side of the bed is to do these three (3) Affirmations every night.

1. Affirm your spouse’s Character

2. Affirm your spouse Physically

3. Affirm the Relationship

For example, a Wife might say to her husband:

1. You are such a man of integrity and I appreciate that about you

2. You are a desirable and handsome man

3. I am so glad to be your wife and receive your love and provision every day, and you are also a great father to our children

For example, a Husband might say to his wife:

1. You are woman to admire and emulate

2. You are more beautiful today than the day when I married you

3. My life and our family would not be complete without your strength that holds us together

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marriage Series: Building a Love Base Foundation!


Luke 6:48-49 (NLT)

It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

One thing is for sure when it comes to love and marriage, love cannot be bought, it must be built. You absolutely cannot buy love; you must build love within a relationship. In today’s society, many are willing to buy tokens of love and affection versus building a true foundation of love in a marriage. Relationships are in the tug-of-war of buying vs. building. Anyone can buy something, but not everyone is equipped to build. Many are willing to buy, but many are not willing to take the time to build their marriage and relationship continually.

To build means to construct (especially something complex) by assembling and joining parts or materials: to establish, increase, or strengthen. To build something is to mold, form, or create it. It also means to engage in order to develop something toward a maximum and intense climax.

Marriage and relationships although complex must be constructed, assembled, and joined together so that the established love between two individuals can increase, strengthen, engage, and develop towards a maximum and intense climax of their being. When a marriage is built, then it is able to achieve the maximum and intense climax of love.

What are the foundational steps to building a love base marriage? Building a marriage is like building a house or a home. Actually, the two go hand-in-hand. The first step is found in the parable of Luke 6. The first step to building the love base of a marriage is to Dig Deep.

Love is not superficial. We must go deep when it comes to love. We must take all the covers off, remove the masks, and get naked and unashamed with one another. Digging deep is allowing your spouse the ability to express themselves and tell of their past without feeling judged. Digging Deep causes you to believe in your spouse no matter what, and to forgive without resentment. Digging deep is the ability to let go of all selfishness and to put the needs of your spouse in a primary position of priority in your life. When digging deep, no subject, issue, or situation should be inaccessible by a spouse, who should be your best friend and confidant.

Digging deep is the ability to see the “inner” aspects of all of your spouse’s flaws and imperfections and still find them absolutely amazing. Digging deep allows you to go to an untapped place that no one has ever been within your spouse’s dreams, emotions, passions, and past. You cannot dig deep without hard work and patient time.

In the natural, imagine digging a massive hole in your backyard. You get a shovel, and you could be out there for hours or days digging. Digging deep does not happen overnight, it is a process to love, grow, and become more compatible with your spouse. Digging deep does not quit or stop when you come to place that you don’t like about your spouse, but rather you love, challenge, and pray for your spouse to change.

Not only do we have to dig deep according to the parable of Luke 6, but we must also build marriages on a solid rock. What are the attributes of Rock Solid Love?

• Faith

• Honesty

• Truth

• Integrity

• Commitment

• Passion

• Forgiveness

• Patience

• Giving

• Servitude

• Loyalty

• Maturity/Growth

• Sex

• Fun

All relationships will experience hardships, trials, tribulations, and storms, but if that relationship is built on love with solid rock attributes then when issues occur, the relationship will be able to stand firm, because it was well built.

If relationships are bought and not built, then they will not be ones that are “dug deep” into passion, trust, loyalty, truth, strength, and love. There will be no foundation because these relationships were bought; they are superficial, non-transparent, non- committed.

To Buy means to acquire the possession of something, or the right to, by paying or promising to pay an equivalent, especially in money; to purchase. It means to acquire by exchange or concession; to hire or obtain the services of; to bribe or corrupt.

No person wants to be treated as a possession, but rather as a purpose and priority in a marriage. A relationship based on the “buy” foundation is one of business transactions, and a goods & services partnership… “You do for me then I do for you.” These relationships are score keeping relationships. They are based on an exchange of goods and services, they bribe, corrupt, and they lack true love and intimacy.

Therefore, there is no foundation, structure, and nothing about them is fortified. So when the hardships, trials, tribulations, and storms come, these “bought” relationships will collapse into a heap of ruins.

Love Building Materials to use this week in order to Dig Deep & Build A Love Base Foundation in Your Marriage!

• Build with your Words…don’t destroy!

• Build with your Affection!

• Build with your Time!

• Build with your Acts of Service!

• Build with your Sexual Intimacy/Love Making!