Here is a blog of what I have learned and God has stirred in me the last couple of days. This can relate to EVERYONE! Family, friends, at work, Growth Groups, Ministry, and etc. We as Christians have responsibilities to whom we “Shepherd”.  What does it mean to be a good shepherd? What defines and makes a shepherd good? How do you lead and what do you lead by? A father is a shepherd in the home, a boss can be a shepherd over his employees, a coach to his players, and etc. To trust a leadership and follow the leadership can be a challenge of some. God has wired us men to be leaders, not followers. So often times it is hard for a man to follow a male figured leadership, but we are to obey respectfully to that leadership. I want to focus more on how we ALL can one way be a shepherd. Being a shepherd means being a devoted example and leader who love the flock and would sacrifice for the flock unconditionally. A mom while the dad is at work has to tend to the children is an example of a shepherd. A mom has a responsibility to raising those children up in Christ.

Leaders in work, home, church ministries, and even to our friends as examples of Christ, The GOOD shepherd.

John 10:1-18

1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. 2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Jesus models for us what a shepherd should be. Are you leading your home in a loving and sacrificial way? Are you leading by your actions in a loving and sacrificial way? We need to be in control of ourselves for there are eyes watching our every move, decisions, and sayings. Are we leading a life that is pleasing to God? Is that leadership (shepherding) reflective of Christ shepherding and leading you? Fathers, SHEPHERD your homes that build up your kids to whats pleasing to Christ and so that they know how to shepherd and lead. Its hard in our culture seeing the lack of passion to love people more, and sacrificing more for others. we live in a selfish and personal world (loving self/all about me) , in which we need to live in a selfless and sharing world (loving others/all about them). A shepherd needs to tend to the flock and do anything and everything for them. That is the example of Christ. That is how we need to be. Being a leader comes with great responsibilities, but a great leader takes on those responsibilities.

-David Long

dlongmarriages@gmail.com

Loving others for God, Not For Personal Gain/Satisfaction

My “new years” prayer this year is learning to love people more and better. I am not doing this to gain anything, but share what God has taught me that maybe can bless others in a similar boat as me. I want to make this loud and clear, many of you are victims of my wrongs, and I ask for your forgiveness. A phrase I used recently rings constantly in my mind, “love heals, unforgiveness divides”, so I ask for your forgiveness. Today a couple of Bible verses has struck me not to my mind, but to my depths. Many of you know that I was born deaf, and had a hard time loving people, and fighting for people to love me and gain approval. I feared people more than I should have, I feared rejections and took them personal, I feared being unloved, and I feared I was never good enough for anything, or anyone. Here is what I learned, still learning, and working on.

Learning to love others is to retire approval for love

I married an AMAZING woman of God who taught me, corrected my wrongs, and pointed me to God with prayer when I needed them. She showed me what no other human being has showed me, true love. I grew up with an amazing family that showed me what a family love is, but my wife showed me an amazing compassionate love.

She would often tell me “why do you care for approval?”, “Don’t worry of what others think”. She’s right, because firstly, God cares and made me very unique for Him. I learned that I was loving people the wrong way. Trying to love others for emotional satisfaction, but rather should love others as a blessing for others. We are to bear fruit, plant seeds, and love one another. God did not say do all things for self, do all things for personal gain and satisfaction, or do all things for emotional fulfillment.

What I learned, was I need to love others the same way God loves me, kindness, grace, mercy, gentleness, compassionate. My priorities are to love and serve God, love wife, love my kids, and love one another.

Loving all people regardless of our individual differences, loving all regardless of political differences, loving all regardless of Biblical theological, or non-biblical differences, and loving all regardless of ANY differences. I may and will disagree with other’s choices, but I should still love them. I make bad choices and decisions too.

What should I gain in fighting for approval of self but rather it leads to more insecurities and unsatisfactions. I need to retire the old self (loving others for self), and be the ”loving”-self that I should be in Christ, and not of me.

Being a Christian is not about pleasing others for personal gain/satisfaction, but loving one another to please and honor God

God created man in his own image, and said it was good. I am to love God our creator, and love and respect his created people. This world is full of sin, and we are a part of it. God calls us to go into the world and proclaim The Good News of the gospel and baptize others in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Can we all do this without love for people? To have love and passion for God, then we must have love and passion for His people, all peoples. Being a Christian is not a religion, but a relationship. Also, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are to be driven to love people relationally, not religiously. God has shown us throughout scripture on what love and commitment looks like. I knew of this, but was blinded on to what that should be for others, not just me. I will NEVER be perfect, or make the right choices 100% of the time for the rest of my life.

David, why all this?

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to help and assist to those that are struggling. So I ask that you guys can keep me in constant prayer for continuing to love others better and more. Being born deaf has and is a true blessing and testimony for me and my family, but I cannot use it as a blame for my weakness on what love is and how to receive love. We all struggle somewhere when it comes to relationship with others, family, friends, co workers, other Christians and non-Christians.

Again, I apologize for my sins if I have wronged you, and I pray that I can love you all better the same way God desires for all to love others. Loving some may be hard, but we must. Forgiveness maybe hard, but we must. Remember, “Love heals, unforgiveness divides”.

David Long

dlongmarriages@gmail.com

I work at UPS and it is very inetersting seeing all of the orders and packages just for the one of the most romantic day of the year…..eeerrr!?!?!?!?

Let me say and share a few things about romance. Ladies, do you only want romance one day of the year? I am sure the answer is no. Some of you guys might think, “heck, only once a year I only have to buy flowers and everything once a year?? sweet!!” Um, NO!!  We live in a “controlled” world and society. We tend to go with the flow, and do the minimum required. Marriage is an EVERYDAY romance with the Maximum required! 

EVERYDAY tell your spouse “i love you”

EVERYDAY appreciate, honor, and respect your spouse

EVERYDAY help and be a team member around the house

EVERYDAY you love and sacrifice for your spouse

EVERYDAY your spouse wants a little “something” that shows love, motivation, validation, and appreciation for who they are and what they bring to the marriage

You see where I am going with this??

Mix up the romance daily. You ask, “But how David?” Well I am GLAD you asked! I dont mean candlelight dinners, flowers, and sex everyday. Every man must be thinking “I can do sex everyday” But, to the wife, marriage is more than sex. Sorry guys. Marriage is living with your bestfriend, not a sex toy. I am talking about things that your spouse loves seeing you in action. For example, My wife loves seeing or hearing me playing with the kids and even doing chores.

The little things sometimes we do and do not realze our spouse loves. What does your spouse do that not just turns you on, but feels like you are falling more in love with them? When my wife helps other people, it makes me proud and happy that I married a woman with a compassionate and caring heart.

Now on another note, If your spouse loves getting flowers, and all the other valentine gifts, make valentine’s day more than an annual thing. Buy flowers, chocolate, and etc more often. Write a note, or buy a card more often to show you are thinking of them and appreciate them. Bring your spouse lunch to work, or take them out on their lunch break. Only you know what your spouse likes. Don’t do the same thing all the time, mix it up. Remember what your spouse “likes” can change over time, so don’t be alarmed when you do something and you feel shot down. Hey Husbands, if you romance your wife more in this way, maybe you will get….sex…., but no promises. But do NOT try to romance just to get what you want(sexually), but do it all that says “hey babe, thinking of you, and I love you.” or “thanks for all that you do, I love you”, and leave it as that. If she makes the move, then good, if not, then good. So what are you going to do for your spouse on Valentine’s Day. Go get what she likes, but, go above and beyond. Not just on Valentine’s Day, But EVERYDAY!! Your marriage WILL improve and be stronger. In marriage, everyday is Valentine’s Day!!

Until next time, Love your spouse just as Christ loves us and died for us, both unconditionally and sacrificially.

 -David Long

Parents, don’t forget about your spouse and your marriage!!

There are stages in life where we will always be learning, growing, and maturing. Marriage also will always be a learning, growing, and maturing experience over time. The important thing that most spouses in marriage forget is that there will always be obstacles, and marriage challenges. And children are definitely one of them. Knowing and accepting that you are a spouse first, and parent second makes things easier on the family order. My wife’s needs come before my children. Remember, my wife’s needs emotional, spiritually, and physically are very important. If distractions come in the way of our marriage and if I am not meeting those needs, marriage problems arise. Yes, I love my children, and they are never on the back burner. Remember the phrase, “If momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy”? There is some truth to that. If I focus too much on work, kids, sports, etc. and not enough on my wife, problems arise. Marriage is a union, a team effort. If the marriage is weakening, the family will soon weaken. It’s good and important to be a parent and spend time with your kids as much as possible, just don’t forget to spend time with your spouse. I am in no way saying kids are not important, they are VERY important! I’m mostly talking from a marriage perspective of our roles and responsibilities in our marriage.

I want to paint a “marriage map” of stages of dating/marriage, and the value and importance of remembering our spouse, our role, and our purpose in marriage and family. These will paint a picture that sometimes we forget as husbands and wives, that your marriage will have its ups and downs

Dating

-Learning about each other’s likes and dislikes

-Expectations?

-Goals and dreams?

What were your goals, dreams, and visions when you were dating?

Engagement

-Learning each other’s visions for marriage likes and dislikes

-Marriage expectations?

-Marriage goals and dreams?

What were your goals and expectations for your marriage? 5 year plan? Children?

Newlyweds

-Learning each other’s new marriage likes and dislikes

-Expectations on communication, conflict resolution, sex, finances, and etc.

-New goals and dreams?

Now that you’re married, now what? Kids?

Married with children

-Learning about each other’s marriage likes and dislikes as parents

-Expectations on parent roles, time for spouse (dates), sex, finances, communication, and etc.

-Goals and dreams for your marriage? Your Children?

Now that you are married with children, what are you doing to continue the marriage bond, growth, and health of your marriage?

Empty nesters

-Learning about each other’s new likes and dislikes without children in the home all over again like newlyweds

-Expectations of growing old together, retirement, traveling, enjoying new adventures, and etc

-Goals and dreams for being just a couple again? Quality time?

Do you and your spouse have a vision as to what married life without children will be like?

The last part of “marriage map” that can be at any stage depending on where you are in marriage that is hurting or struggling, newlywed, married with children, or empty nester.

Hurting marriage

-Relearning each other’s love languages and needs and the likes and dislikes

-Expectations of fixing, forgiving, and focusing on what’s important for your marriage, and not just about yourself?

-Goals and dreams of moving forward?

Do you and your spouse feel hopeless and helpless? Are you fighting for your marriage or fighting against your spouse? Refocusing the importance and value of your marriage? Willing to fix, or wanting to run? Are you making your spouse a priority?

This marriage map shows that it takes a husband and a wife to work as a team in all areas of marriage. I hope you saw the pattern. Sometimes we forget our role, and place in marriage when raising kids. Sometimes we forget our role in marriage when there is hurt and pain, when we need to love and forgive. Sometimes we make things more complicated than what it should be. Sometimes we forget about God in our marriage. Sometimes we forget that we need to abide in our marriage, meaning we must remain, and continue in our place and roles in marriage. From what I hear from empty nesters, it’s our choice to reignite our marriage, and not go separate ways. Also, quality time and sex life seems to get better and easier without the distractions of kids around. I hope so. :)

What can you do to continue and remember your spouse’s value and important for you and your marriage?

-Are you still dating?

-Romanancing each other?

-Listening to the needs of your spouse? They need help around the house, the kids, and etc?

-Are you loving your spouse?

-Are you allowing your spouse to fulfill their roles in marriage?

-Is God the center of your marriage?

-Are you on the same page with your spouse on parenting?

-Do you have a marriage and family mission statement?

So parents, remember your spouse. Remember your marriage. Love God, love your spouse, and love your children.

I hope I painted a picture with the marriage map of what we tend to forget will happen or what will be a part of our marriage. The “marriage map” needs to be in perspective of what to expect in your stages of marriage. You will have to expect the unexpected, but expect to go through all your journeys with your spouse.

Love your spouse!

Homework:

Show some appreciation and thanks to your spouse of something they do for you that means so much to you.

David Long

dlongmarriages@gmail.com

Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid”.

I am starting a new study series on Godly Marriage with Parenting. Today I want to start at the heart, the core, and the foundational purpose of parenting that needs to have a mission, plan, and purpose. Is God the center of your of your home? Some may look at their parenting style and its influence/reflection from their marriage. Or the impact of the marriage reflects on to their parenting style. I want to be thorough and transparent. Look into loopholes. We as husband and wife have a responsibility to our children as Godly parents and SHOULD reflect our Godly marriage on them. The kids will see some marriage weaknesses, but its the strengths that matters. What Godly examples are you applying and reflecting onto your children? Is your marriage in shambles where the children can see the tension in their parenting style? My parents never fought in front of us as I was growing up. My parents made sure there was no room for fear, insecurity in our family. We had a strong family bond growing up. I myself is now a father of two, and struggled to make my parents model our model. But, my children knows and sees that we strive as parents to make our weaknesses our strengths and not letting our weaknesses control us. We will stumble, make mistakes, make bad decisions based on emotions, and etc. But I imply to my kids that by the grace of God, I know I am not perfect, and I will continue to do my best and give my best for my children. Knowing I may not being the best parent, but what it should be is how can I be a better parent.

The verse above from Proverbs 12:1 reminds me of a purpose that my dad reminded me of his job as a parent as I was growing up. He said, “We are to be raising you to release you”. That will always be stuck into my mind with many truths in that. We are to be raising our children to prepare them for the world, prepare for reality, and understanding the reason for discipline. Most importantly, we are to be raising our children knowing who God is, and why He is foundational to our purpose and roles in marriage, and parenting. Showing our kids that we are to love them and discipline in love just as God does. God Does not discipline in hate, but in love when we need correction. It is stupid to hate discipline and correction. Kids don’t know any better or understand why us parents seem “mean”, but I remind my children that we love them too much to let any bad habits, bad decisions go unnoticed, or undisciplined.

Being a Godly Parent really will challenge your strength in your marriage. Make sure your marriage is strong, ready, and healthy before having kids. If you get married and are having marriage problems, the last thing on your mind should be having children. The children will be running your marriage and family when there is no strong marriage foundation.

Do you and your spouse have a mission statement for your marriage? Do you have a mission statement for your parenting/family? I have heard of some who have mission statements for their marriage, and family, because its a healthy way to remind everyone in the home who we are, what we are, and what our purpose is in family and in marriage. It teaches the children our role as parents, their role as children, and a commitment by the husband and wife that it takes the family team to be successful. A common verse that we hear people use for their “purpose” if you will is from Joshua 24:15 “…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Is your marriage serving the Lord? Is your home pleasing and serving God? Our home is like the church, the father is the lead pastor (head of the home Ephesians 5), and the Mom is the assistant pastor(suitable helper to the husband and home).

Husbands and wives, do you have a mission and agreement for what you want your kids to learn and understand as they grow up? Are your kids being disciplined in love and not in anger or hate? Are you letting your emotions get in the way and control how you discipline your kids?

You must agree to and create boundaries, rules, and forms of discipline before having children or you will have many disagreements on how to parent and discipline your children. It is important for both parents to stick to the agreement and abide by them. If changes are needed to be made, don’t change your rules or decisions in front of your kids but away from them. After you agree on the new rule or discipline changes, then as a team show support for each other that both parents are on the same page.

If you don’t have children, create an agreement, purpose, and plan for your parenting roles. Are you ready for kids? If not, wait until your marriage is strong and united. If you have kids, and your marriage is rough, then regroup, re-strategize, and re-establish your mission statement. This blog is to set the tone for tomorrow, and that is the effects and importance of your marriage as parents. The hardships, challenges, and the reminders we need to who we are in our place of marriage at the “parenting” stage.

Homework:

Do you have a mission statement for your marriage? For your family? If not, create one as a family, and frame in it in your home. Your kids will remember and be reminded for when they become parents of the model, message, and purpose for family. This can be a fun thing where the family can come together and can create a family bonding moment.

Have a great day and love your spouse, and family!

-David Long

dlongmarriages@gmail.com

What do you do when you are not “feeling” love for your wife?

This question/topic has been brought to my attention by multiple people lately. I am going to take the Biblical approach and I am not here for debates, but also give perspectives.

When I recently talked with someone regarding having a hard time loving their spouse, a lot of questions and thoughts come through my mind. Let me start by giving some questions and you can see where you stand on your love for your spouse, and maybe see what areas you need to work on, and or if it applies to you.

What are you not doing for your spouse?

Are you fighting with your spouse when you should be fighting for your spouse?

Is your spouse becoming a less of a priority? Interest?

When did the feeling of unloved, or no love for your spouse start?

Have you communicated with your spouse on your feelings, hurt, struggles?

How did you fall in love in the first place? Is it continuing?

Are you and your spouse dating? When was the last time you went on a date?

Was there a dramatic incident that caused a feeling of no love for your spouse? Boken trust? Lack of leadership? lack of spiritual leadership? Lack of intimacy? Etc.

Are you meeting your spouse’s needs?

Are you listening to your spouse’s cry?

Every situation is different and these questions are just a sample of trying look at things in perspective of where you stand, and what to fix.

Now in the Book of Hosea, God had Hosea marry a prostitute to show in perspective of how the people of Israel are to God, and also showing God’s love and commitment to His people. The people were worshipping other idols, forgetting their purpose, and sadly, forgetting God’s love for His people. Hosea HAD to remain committed and fought for his marriage and fought for his wife. Hosea remained in his role as a husband to love his wife. For the people of Israel, they were distracted and placed God on the back burner, and God was trying to remind the people that God is still there and will always love them regardless of their actions. People say God is an evil God for Killing innocent people, but God IS love, and shows his love in ALL he does.

Now, Hosea had to understand God’s love and commitment through his marriage with a prostitute wife to help understand God’s love He has for us. God’s model is eternal love, faithful love, sacrificial love, and unconditional love. If you were to tell me that you dont feel love for your wife, I might say you’re not doing enough for your wife, meeting her needs, or listening to her cry. If the marriage is at the point where it’s too late and a lot of damage is done, then you got to work harder. I tell men, fight for your wife, and win your wife back.

One of my favorite words in the Bible is ABIDE. It means to continue in a place, and to remain. Marriage is a commitment that you are to continue and remain. You made a commitment on your wedding day not only to your spouse, but to God also. I have a job as a husband, a responsibility to my wife’s needs emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I MUST be listening, knowing, and acting out on ALL of her needs. The mental image I have is when I die, and I stand before God, I will be held accountable to my actions and leadership of my wife and family. Now I am going to share one perspective. Remember I am not God, but just painting a picture of what I do not want to experience when standing before God.

Now lets say I find myself in the presence of God, and God looks at me and sees that I stand alone. He looks around me with his eyes from His throne as if I forgot to bring something. Then says, “Where is your wife? You made a commitment to her and me that you would love her in sickness and health, richer or poor. I told you in scriptures to love your wife, lead your wife, and your wife is not here. Why did YOU stop loving your wife? Why did YOU give up on your wife? I never gave up on you, nor did I stop loving you. I gave you one simple task, love your wife.”

Now some of you may say, David, God wont or may not do that, I know, but it’s the image or conversation that I do not want to have with God. In Ephesians 5, it mentions that we are to present our wife spotless and without blemish. I rather stand there and my wife is standing by my side and God says, “David, I am well pleased. You had your moments, but you remained in your place of marriage, you loved your wife, you led your wife, and you did the best you could with what you had”

Look, I know I am not perfect, and God knows that and my wife knows that. What God wants us to do is to give our best and not give up. Hosea did not give up, God will not give up, Jesus did not give up before going to the cross, neither should you give up on your wife.

Well what do you do to get your spouse back?

-Communicate with your spouse in areas that is lacking that you both need to work on. Listen to each other, and fight not against each other, but for each other.

-Counseling. Do WHATEVER means necessary to fight for your marriage and go to counseling and get help. Remember, you’re not alone.

-Commit. The road may be long and hard, but truly worth it in the end to save your marriage. God will not give you more than you cannot handle. So be committed and fight the good fight.

-confess. Confess to your spouse your wrongs and sins,and must own up to it. Remember, we are ALL sinners, and ALL wrong at times.

There are great books on marriage love, knowing your spouse’s needs, wants, and etc. The first I would recommend is The Five Love languages by Gary Chapman. It deals with and covers knowing and understanding what is your love language, and your spouse’s. You husbands may think that buying her a rose is supposed to make her happy, but what if she wants quality time, a date with you. Or words of affirmation like ‘I love you, thank you, etc”. Also, I recommend the Love dare challenge. Its an example of showing your spouse everyday an act of love for your spouse. Remember, little things matters and can go a long ways.

If you feel like I don’t understand your situation, or you could say, “David, you don’t know my wife. She is not easy to deal with.” I would say to you that I don’t need to know your wife. You married her, you chose her, you fight for her. One thing I told a couple was to go on a date and not talk about any stress, but just enjoy each other like you were before you got married. They came back and said that they needed that and learned that just because you are married now that the dating should stop, and it shouldn’t. There is a reason you guys fell in love, there was an attraction, there was a spark, you just need to do it over again and continue it all. You know what your spouse likes and dislikes, if not, ask them.

Lastly, if there was an affair, that is a whole different ballgame. If one partner is cheating, then the other cheated them out by not meeting the needs. If my wife had an affair, I could blame her, but the reality is, I am either not doing something right for her, not giving her the love and security she needs, or not listening to her cry. If your wife is crying out for more dates, more of your time, more of anything, you MUST listen, act, and serve your wife to meet those needs before its too late. If its too late and the damage is done, win her back. You may be the reason she cheated, so prove that you ARE the man and meet her needs. How would you feel if God one day says “I don’t love you anymore and I’m leaving” what would be going through your mind? God will never leave us or forsake us, so why should you give up and leave your spouse? Marriage is not temporary like dating is nowadays and people tend to make marriage the new dating where you can give up when you want. If you are dating, think HARD and pray if you should marry the person you are with.

Love can be complicated, but it’s up to you if you make it complicated. I hope all of this makes sense, and again, please forgive my grammar. As a deaf guy, writing was never my gift. I’m not doing this blog for my glory, but wanting to be resourceful and try to help.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at dlongmarriages@gmail.com

Have a great day and love your spouse.

-David Long

Marriage is never what you expected or assumed. There was a topic brought to me and I think it is always healthy to always look at where you are in your marriage, is it what you expected? What changes did you make? Still trying to figure things out for and in your marriage? Someone gave me this topic.”Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently in your marriage from the start?” My answer for me and my marriage, being better communicators and listeners.

One thing that is a major marriage tool, is communication.  if you want to make your marriage stronger, learn to be better communicators.  How you communicate to your spouse, time and place, and reasons to communicate is important.  If my wife does not agree with something, or does not like some of my bad habits, its her job to communicate those things to me, or how am I to know things bother her, or she does not like what I say or do.  Marriages fail because some do not know how to communicate. My wife and I sucked at communication in the begining and the one thing we learned is that we must LISTEN to our spouse, and not just ourselves.  Are you listening to your spouse? if he/she is hurt, bothered, frustrated, or etc. It is important to put your disagreements, or frustrations aside and hear your spouse. I learned that if something is bothering my wife i needed to LISTEN to her COMMUNICATING to me. I should NOT be mad at her for she is expressing something to me. My wife is to be like a rose, be gentle, she can be fragile. Am I being gentle with her? Or am I ignoring her/the rose and getting hurt by the thorns.

I am not a marriage counselor, but I do try to help couples, and its a huge passion of mine. Communication is the number one problem I see and hear. You must communicate about EVERYTHING. It was a problem for us, and learning what the problem was and fixing it.  If one communicates, and there’s a problem, there must be a resolution and solution. Marriage problems often are exposed, and often communicated, but never resolved, or solved.  The first year of marriage is the toughest and hardest.  My wife communicated all of my weaknesses or lack of as a spiritual leader and husband she needed.  To me it was an insult at first, but it was a cry from her that i LISTENED and acted.  I have a huge repect for my wife communicating to me where I may be lacking, or she needs more of and from me. Sometimes taking the heat, or not liking what our spouse is saying is tough, but give your spouse the respect for at least communicating. Listen to her cry out, act out on it by fixing the problem while owning up to your weaknesses and faults, and you will create a healthy pattern for your marriage. Sweeping it under the rug, or avoiding to communicate, listen, and fix the problems is a pattern for your marriage that could ultimately and sadly lead to failing in your marriage.  That is what I learned in my marriage, and if I were to rewind and start all over, I dont think I would want to, because going through the experience made me and our marriage stronger. But, if I were to rewind and fix or do differently, it would be to listen better, and communicate better.       

When I meet with couples, the one thing I say to them is to do the “SHUT UP, and LISTEN”. harsh? maybe. But true.  I needed to shut up and listen to my wife. if I didnt or dont shut up, how am I going to listen and know what my wife is thinking, going through, struggling, hurting, or is she crying out? We must be still and listen. Trying to defend your self becomes a selfish act in a problem instead of listening and trying to fix the problem. Also, you must be taking things to consideration of what your spouse is saying you either need to work on to fix and help better your marriage. Its not a “I am changing you, you’re the problem” its a “Things we need to change together, as I do my part and you do your part”

I hope all of this makes sense. There are lots of things in my marriage that i would  want to undo, but the thing I learned was the root of it all was listening to my spouse and communicating things together as a team. We are not enemies in marriage, and some treat thier spouse like they are the bad guys and always wrong. My wife is not the bad guy, I am not the bad guy, but we are humans and sinners. Know that we are going to make mistakes, be wrong, make bad choice, and by the grace of God, He still loves us. So know that your spouse is not perfect, and will make mistakes, and by the example of God’s love and grace he shows and gives us, we should also with our spouse. Work with your spouse, not against. Work for your spouse, not yourself. Listen to your spouse, not just yourself. Love your spouse, and you will be loved.

Be better communicators and listen to your spouse. Do you need to “shut up and listen” more? Do you need to change and work on things to help your marriage? Instead of focusing on the problem being your spouse, could you be the problem?

have a great day and love your spouse,

David Long

if you have a marriage question or topic you want me to talk about, email me at dlongmarriages@gmail.com

 

 

 

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