Author Archives: grelanmuse

Bradshaw: That’s just wrong!

Published by:

Sherry Bradshaw

By Sherry Bradshaw
Special to Inside The Pew

I don’t think you can go through life without at some point feeling wronged or be wronged by someone. I wish it weren’t true. But in the Back 9, I can say from experience, if you have lived long enough, you will unfortunately feel that way at some point. Depending on the wrong, the hurt can be mild or it can be severe and devastating. The only way I have found to truly get to a place of healing and comfort is in “running” to God, not only running there but camping there.

Only God knows the whole picture, the motives of my/your heart and the motives of the other party. He does have the “helicopter” view and He has everyone’s greaterSherry Bradshaw good in His heart. One of the main responses to hurt is anger and bitterness. It is only in going to a “loving” God that we can find the nourishing help we need to appropriately deal with the pain.

Even when our children were young, I would see human nature (our sin nature) reveal itself when one would hurt the other one–anger, tears, and, at times, “revenge” would be the quickest course of action they would take. I didn’t have to teach them this…Revenge was the direct, almost instant response. In adults…it can be the same way except maturity has molded revenge into a plan of action that is just more crafted and not as obvious.

Revenge is the last thing that God would want us to take into our own hands. Proverbs 20: 22, “Do not say, ‘I’ll pay you back for this wrong!’ Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.” I love this scripture and can honestly say for 100% sure that I have lived and experienced God’s delivery.

Wait is a key word here. Seems simple, but running to God enables you to be delivered from the natural tendency to seek “revenge!” The key is taking a step back, taking a “hard right” and seeking a Holy God! There is much to say in God’s Word about how we should respond when we are wronged.

I love the book of Proverbs. It is full of direction and wisdom in how to live an obedient and prosperous life in Christ. For instance, when you’ve been wronged and you choose to turn around and seek revenge, take a look at what scripture teaches about that choice. Proverbs 26:4, “Do no answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.” Or, with regard to evoking the “wait on the Lord” scripture, look at Proverbs 25:28, “Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lack self-control.”

One of the hardest, yet most rewarding, scriptures I have ever chosen to live is Proverbs 25:21, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

The KEY is seeking the Lord’s approval and rewards and not my/your own selfish desires. God’s way is 100% the best way always. It may not make human sense. I have obeyed at times and trusted that the way I “feel” will change, trusting God with that also. It is amazing, now that I have lived many years that I can truly say that He has and will bring my feelings along!

Sometimes we have to realize obedience to His Word comes before we start to have the “right feelings!” If I had waited to feel like it, it makes me shudder to think where I might be. In fact, I had to learn this lesson through disobedience. Yep…sitting and harboring and “thinking of several ways I could get even or ahead” took me further away from God. It hindered everything about my day and robbed me of the “peace and joy” that Christ desires for us to live.

Revenge, bitterness, and even thoughts of getting even only “tear our city walls down!” Christ created us in His image…He knows what is the very best for us. His desire is for us to lay our hurts at His feet. He promises to bind, heal and, yes, even take care of the “wounders!”

Sherry Bradshaw is author of “The Front Nine: Making Your Shots Count in Life” and founder of Back 9 Ministries. Bradshaw, a native of Columbia, S.C., is a former first runner-up in the Miss America pageant. She speaks at corporate events, schools, churches, and community organization events.

 

Allow God to direct all business efforts; how can you go wrong?

Published by:

John Crawford

By John Crawford
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: Contrax Furnishings provides turn-key furnishing and equipment solutions for educational environments.

Why did you create your business?

“Not too long after graduating college with an engineering degree, my business partner and I purchased our business through aJohn Crawfordc leveraged buyout. To be honest, I had neither history, nor particular affection for the industry in which we had entered. I had been one of only a small number over the last few generations of my family that actually graduated college. Most were businessmen of one sort or another and perhaps that is in part why I was so restless three months into my new ‘career’ as an engineer.

“I had been searching for a number of business opportunities during that time and in God’s grace came across an opportunity that was too good to pass up. Although I am sure it was of some benefit, I promptly put aside my previous few years of university training and jumped into the deep end you might say of the pool of business. It was something akin to boarding a fast-moving train and then working hard to keep it on the tracks. Thankfully, it has stayed on over the years and I have been able to learn, grow and have some fun in the process.”

What is the one scripture (or two) that you draw strength from?

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal” (John 6:27). Although the full context of this passage is richer than just a simple application to business, I have always treasured it as a word from God to direct all of my efforts. In the end, whatever I am doing must contribute ultimately to building God’s Kingdom. All other ambitions will produce fruit that may taste good now, but in the end will perish.”

Share the best advice you can share with an entrepreneur?

“The business world is changing quickly and competition has increased exponentially. Although it may be different than myreal_stamp_proof experience, I think it is essential to get involved in a business that you 1) are passionate about and 2) one that can harness God-given talents or previous experience. If someone is more passionate than you about your business then chances are their passion will translate into harder work and creative thinking on their part. This is an ‘edge’ in business against which it is difficult to compete. Find your own edge and make your contribution where you are most likely to succeed.

“I would also highly recommend a good business partner or at the very least, an advisory board that can be helpful in challenging you in order to make you better. We all need the “iron that sharpens iron.”

Have an interesting tidbit about your business or yourself that you would like to add?

“I have been blessed to experience business on a number of levels. Our current business has grown from just a handful of people in a limited market to a large number spread out throughout twenty states and across a national market. It has been a fun and challenging ride. During that same time I have sought outlets through which to contribute that actually exceed my passion for business. In recent years it has resulted in a book that was published and a website on which I blog regularly, www.CovenantalDivide.com.”

 

Mother on death row for marrying Christian says baby daughter is fine

Published by:

Meriam Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani and baby Maya are pictured inside the US embassy in Khartoum where Meriam is waiting to hear when she can leave Sudan.

By Jeremy Reynalds
ASSIST News Service

KHARTOUM, SUDAN (ANS) – The Christian mother put on death row for refusing to become a Muslim has revealed that herMeriam Ibrahim, her husband Daniel Wani and baby Maya are pictured inside the US embassy in Khartoum where Meriam is waiting to hear when she can leave Sudan. baby girl has not been damaged after she gave birth whilst shackled to the floor.

According to a report by Antonella Napoli for a MailOnline story, Meriam Ibrahim said that 2-month-old Maya will undergo an ultrasound in the coming weeks to confirm that she will be able to walk.

It had been feared that, like her father Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen who has muscular dystrophy, she could be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

MailOnline said Ibrahim, 27, spoke to Italian journalist and activist Antonella Napoli who visited her and her family in the library of the US embassy in the capital Khartoum which has become their makeshift home while they wait to leave Sudan.

Four camp beds have been put down in the floor and the family are being attended to by embassy staff in the cramped building.

Writing exclusively for MailOnline, MailOnline reported that Napoli said Ibrahim and Wani wanted to thank the public for all their support which played a huge part in getting her out of jail.

Napoli wrote, “Meriam knows that her and her family will be safe only when they will be very far from away from Sudan.”

MailOnline said Napoli is one of the few journalists to speak to Ibrahim in person since she was freed on June 30 after spending eight months behind bars in a women’s prison in Khartoum.

Ibrahim had been sentenced to death and 100 lashes for apostasy and adultery for marrying Wani, as they are both Christian and a court wanted her to convert to Islam.

During her time in jail Ibrahim gave birth to Maya. Her son Martin, 21 months, was with her during the entire ordeal.

Johndrow: Trading good for God

Published by:

Gold

By Lee Johndrow
Special to Inside The Pew

All that glitters is not gold or so the saying goes. Actually the words came from Shakespeare in “The Merchant Of Venice,” where it Lee Johndrowsays “all that glitters is not gold.” The meaning is the not everything that is shiny is necessarily valuable,

As a child I would go to the local rivers and dig up “gold” or fool’s gold (Pyrite). Later, I had an amazing pyrite collection, along with some beautiful real gold nuggets. But the pyrite was worth little. And that is the point of the phrase. Lots of things can look like gold but it does not mean they have the same value as gold. Are they?  Hmmm…Probably not!

Yesterday I wrote an article about avoiding or moving past the point of pain. A lot of people read it. A lot less people liked it. I am okay with that. Not everyone will do what it takes to get to the next place or level.

What I am going to say next is going to be controversial to some.

Today while walking and praying, I thought something has changed. All afternoon I felt it. And then tonight I felt, the collective is about to rise up and change things. The results of our expressing His goodness just overturned something. Locally, regionally and nationally. But do not look at the “obvious” but seek out that which is underneath. Earlier this week as the storm moved in, the undersides of the leaves were upturned. Keep watching. That which is hidden is being revealed. The word overturning is in the air.

What does that mean? I am not totally sure, but I am not thinking it is as easy as I would like to believe it to be. Now Ringo Starr said, “It don’t come easy, You know it don’t come easy.” I do not totally agree with that either. There is an ease in God. I believe that and experience that. But sometimes the “world” has a current created by sin. Our job is to overturn that!

Yet I recognize not everything is easy. Back to the gold. Not everything we think to be “gold” is gold. And now I move to the hard part of what I am going to say. If something good happens it does not necessarily mean it is “God” yet I can be grateful. It may not in fact mean I am “blessed” so much as it is because it may simply be a circumstance. Many things are happening these days that are good. (Be grateful.) But not all that is good is God. Hear me please. I am okay with being thankful for good things happening. It makes life easier. But it does not necessarily mean that it is God. Anymore than an accident is necessarily the devil. It may well be…just an accident.

Too many people are believing for something big and accepting something moderate. It takes a lot to wait, to be patient. To bypass good for great.

Any one of those can be a big deal. The end of arguments, with wills and estates distributed. But the one that most unnerves me is acceptance of things that will cause one to stop the growth, give up and “call it a day. My daughter Amy always told me she would never “settle” and I am kind of glad. (A great husband and a new baby.)

I feel it is important to put this on the table. Not all that glitters is gold. It is important to know that. Many things will come down the pike. And they may gleam in the distance, but that does not necessarily make it gold. And the longer you “wait” the harder it is to be sure. “Was it God? Did I miss it?”

Be wary you do not trade “good for God”. (Or “good” for excellence.) It may be a temptation. It may be comfortable. BUT…it does not mean God is on it. So, why rely on Romans 8:28 to “bail you out”? It is the “rest of God” from whence your provision comes from. It is the peace of God that allows for you to be patient. To be joyful.

Every word will be tested. Psalm 105:18-20…They afflicted his feet with fetters, He himself was laid in irons; until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples, and set him free …

Easy does not always mean ease. Comfort does not always mean comfortable. What you trade for good may be the very thing you don’t want 5 years from now.

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.

Lee Johndrow is a staff member at The Village Church in Swanzey, N.H. Learn more about Johndrow and his dad’s ministry at www.leejohndrow.com.

Three-year-old says Jesus saved her from drowning in backyard pool

Published by:

Ella Kimbro

By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News

She leaned over to rescue a cat that fell into her backyard pool. Then she plunged in herself and nearly drowned until JesuElla Kimbros brought her back to life, according to a story by WMC Action News 5 in Memphis, Tenn.

Ella Kimbro, a Gibson County 3-year-old, nearly died May 22 in her family’s pool when she tried to reach in and rescue a cat named Elsa, according to WMC.

Like many parents in the mid-South, Johnny and Christy Kimbro like to spend time in their pool when temperatures rise.

Christy thought the three Kimbro kids were out riding their bikes on that fateful day. But she was surprised when she looked outside and didn’t see Ella.

Christy scanned the backyard carefully until she saw a horrible sight — her young daughter floating face-up in the pool.

“I thought she was dead when I first saw her. I remember yelling ‘Oh My God, she’s dead!’” Christy told WMC.

“She was blue, she was cold. I pulled her out of the pool. She wasn’t breathing,” added Christy. When Ella’s father, Johnny, startedKimbro pool CPR he could see her pupils were dilated. “What I do remember is standing over my daughter and I reached down to feel for a pulse, and I couldn’t find a pulse,” he told WMC.

After a few minutes of CPR something miraculous happened. Ella came back to life!

She was airlifted to LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and was on a ventilator for five days, according to WMC.

When she awakened, Christy will never forget the story Ella told.

“She said she drowned. She saw a bright light and a man walking to her with long hair.”

Christy’s sister showed Ella a picture of Jesus on her phone and asked if the man looked like that.

“Ella said that was the man who saved her.” Christy says her 3-year-old had never heard a bright light story before this happened.

Ella has recovered completely, thanks to a Rescuer and Savior with much more than CPR at His fingertips.

 

Round: What will it take to stop the madness?

Published by:

Fei Wilkening leaves flowers at a growing memorial at the entrance to Reynolds High School on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Troutdale, Ore. (Statesman Journal)

By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”—Proverbs 22:6 (NIV).

Did you know the recent school shooting at Reynolds High School inFei Wilkening leaves flowers at a growing memorial at the entrance to Reynolds High School on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Troutdale, Ore. (Statesman Journal) Troutdale, Ore., marked the 74th one since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012? In 2014, so far, there have been 37 school shootings and as of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.

In the latest shooting, at least one student was killed and a teacher was injured by a lone gunman who later took his own life. According to police the teenage gunman had an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun and nine loaded magazines in his possession.

Have school shootings become the norm in our country? According to press reports, each gunman, including the ones involved in the Columbine High School massacre, occurring in 1999 were outsiders – loners who didn’t fit in or who had been influenced by our culture of movie and video violence.

In the case of the Columbine massacre, 12 students and one teacher were murdered by two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Although Harris and Klebold’s motives still remain unclear, their personal journals reveal they wanted their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing. USA Today referred to the Columbine massacre as a “suicidal attack [which was] planned as a grand—if badly implemented—terrorist bombing.” The two had also been influenced by violent movie and video games, according to the press.

School shootings have sparked debate over gun control laws, the availability of firearms in our country and gun violence involving youths. Discussion has also revolved around the nature of high school cliques and bullying as well as mental illness.

Why has no one stopped to consider that ultimate responsibility not only lies with the parents of the shooters but our society as well? Government cannot fix our broken country. We can’t enact enough laws to stop the madness.

What can we do? As Christians, we have a responsibility—several actually—to not only make sure our own actions reflect our Carol Roundmorals but to help others who are struggling. Can one person make a difference? Yes!

Reflect on these choices:

  • Do your values reflect God’s Word or do you allow culture to define who you are?
  • Do you allow your children to watch television shows or movies or play video games depicting violence or behavior that society deems acceptable?
  • Do you read and study the Bible and pray with your children? Do you attend church regularly?
  • Do you teach your children the value of human life, including accepting others who might be different? Do you tell your children it is wrong to bully others?
  • Do you spend quality time with your children in wholesome activities?
  • Do you teach your children about peer pressure? Do you emphasize the importance of following godly principles instead of the crowd?
  • Are your life choices the ones you want your children to emulate?

This list is only the beginning.  I urge you to reflect on your life and help stop the madness.

Need a speaker for your women’s event? Email carolaround@yahoo.com.

 

 

Vigil held for Christian Sudanese woman who faces death for not marrying Muslim man

Published by:

Ibrahim

Meriam Ibrahim and Daniel Wani

By Jeremy Reynalds
ASSIST News Service

LONDON (ANS)A variety of Christians from numerous minority groups met outside the Sudanese Embassy in London on June 6 and demanded justice and freedom for imprisoned Christian believer Meriam Ibrahim.

According to a story on the blog of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), people came to the protest after hearing Ibrahim’s tragic story.

Ibrahim is facing death and up to 100 lashes for apostasy (converting from Islam to Christianity), and for “adultery,” marrying a man who is not a Muslim. That despite Ibrahim being raised by her mother as a Christian.

Ibrahim is considered Muslim according to Sudanese law because her father was Muslim. As a result, courts have ruled her marriage to be illegal.

Ibrahim has just given birth to a daughter in prison, and also has a 2-year-old son with her husband, Daniel Wani.

She has continually refused to renounce Christianity. Her commitment to her faith has resulted in a court decision of execution after staying in prison for two years to nurse her baby. The date of her flogging is not yet known.

The event was organized by the BPCA in Partnership with Christian Voice.

Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said in the BPCA story, “We call on President Omar al Bashir to direct the Sudanese Courts and government to drop all charges and release Meriam Ibrahim immediately, to allow freedom to convert to Christianity in law, and to guarantee the safety of Christians and the ancient Sudanese church.”

Wilson Chowdhry chairman of the BPCA said in the story, “Christian persecution in the Islamic world has reached unprecedented levels. Extremist ideology has been endorsed by fanatical religious leaders and knitted into the fabric of their societies, through stigmatized national curriculum within these intolerant states. This has bred hatred towards minorities and culminated in alienation and conflict.”

BPCA said he added, “Christians have now become the most persecuted faith adherents in the world. Moreover, the effect of these acts of violence and oppression has been an increase in the societal differences in our own communities.”

Lyn Julius, leader of HARIF a group that represents Middle Eastern and North African Jews, said in the BPCA story, “I was moved by the suffering of innocent Meriam Ibrahim. There was once two million Jews in the Middle East and North Africa, now only around 400,000 remain. The conditions faced by minorities living in the region has reached (its lowest point).”

A petition was signed by all attendees at the vigil. BPCA said, “However, despite his promise the Sudanese Ambassador failed to receive the petition, opting for it to be left at the reception area.”

 

A son’s sacrifice: ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ strengthens family of fallen soldier

Published by:

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

As a youngster in Cleburne, Texas, 101st Airborne Sergeant Bryan Burgess was an exciting and fun-loving kid who loved to climb

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

trees and play sports. Like older brothers are prone to do, he was protective of his younger sister, Brandi. Bryan always wanted to be a firefighter, police officer, or a member of the military.

Bryan Burgess chose the latter. He served his country well. He gave his life for his country.

Bryan Burgess, 29, died March 29, 2011, in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed by the Taliban. According to The Associated Press, another solider was also killed in the attack.

The airborne sergeant’s life is one of many men and women who serve and die for our freedom is told in “The Hornet’s Nest,” a moving documentary now in theaters.

Terry Burgess, father of Bryan Burgess, told Inside The Pew that someone had contacted him about the making of the movie, but, at the time, he really didn’t pay it any attention because he was still grieving his son’s death.

The producers of the movie arranged a meeting with Terry and his family in Dallas and to review the footage of Bryan in action and his fellow soldiers. Terry indicated that it was a moment of joy and sadness but yet uplifting. Footage used in the film shows the ambush that claimed Bryan’s life.

“There was times in the movie we wanted to tell our son to stop and don’t go there,” Terry said.

He said the watching this movie and seeing his son and those brave soldiers give their life of this country renewed his faith in God and God restored him and gave him his purpose and mission to tell the story about these brave men and his son. Terry felt God united them together again in the Spirit.

“It was Bryan’s spirit that help us through this difficult time,” Terry shared.

A soldier is born

According to Terry, Bryan entered the National Guard right out of high school and was greatly impacted  by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It was after the attacks that Bryan made the decision to join the Army.

“Bryan told me that his decision was to fight back for real so he joined the Army,” Terry said. “Nine-eleven really hurt Bryan, and he was ready to fight for his country. He was ready for the sacrifice.

“Bryan stated that he wasn’t asking me, he was telling him he was going to join the Army and fight back. I was very, very proud of Bryan for making a decision to what to fight for his country.”

Terry said Bryan’s decision to join the Army provided a mixed bag of feelings. He said his family was proud of Bryan’s decision but, at the same time, they were afraid of the warrior.

“We stood by him because we love him had faith in him; he had faith in God,” Terry Burgess said.

The elder Burgess said Bryan’s faith and spirit carried him where he needed to be, and Bryan believed and lived by it.

Bryan was a member of Glendale church of Christ in Cleburne. Growing up in Cleburne, Bryan Burgess was very active in the church in Sunday school and teaching Sunday school even up until adult life.

Bryan’s Christ-like demeanor was impressionable to superiors and soldiers alike, Terry said.

“Bryan loved the Lord,” Terry said. “Because of what his men saw in him, they stated that they would follow Sgt. Burgess into hell and they pay a heavy price.”

Terry Burgess said he was very happy and pleased about the making of “The Hornet’s Nest” and was ready for the whole world to see these touching moments of this movie.

Learn more about “The Hornet’s Nest” at http://thehornetsnestmovie.com/

The American Bible Challenge returns for another season on GSN

Published by:

The American Bible Challenge

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

Starting Thursday, May 22, the game show platform will once again be implanted with a dose of the good word. On this day, The American Bible Challenge returns to GSN (Game Show Network) at 8 p.m. EST with host Jeff Foxworthy and newly added co-host The American Bible ChallengeKirk Franklin for another season of  quality family entertainment.

The studio-based game features contestants competing against each other by answering questions drawn from the Bible. In addition, the contestants share back-stories about their lives, which is often very interesting and inspiring, and each team plays for their charity of choice.

“I think it’s the only game show ever that’s done that. I think that’s what makes it unique, and to me that’s a big part of the show,” Foxworthy said. “It’s one thing to talk about faith, but when you can see it, when we go in and show what these people are doing in their communities, to me that’s when faith gets interesting, when you can see it in action.”

The American Bible Challenge celebrates the Bible, its teachings, relevance, and place in American culture.

Foxworthy said the success of the show has caught him off guard. At the onset of the game show’s creation, he held the belief that it would have critics from the secular and faith community. In fact, there was no outcry over the show.

“It was such a pleasant surprise, here you’ve got a faith-based show, you’ve got a show about the Bible on a network that’s not a faith-based network and it’s the number one show in the 18-year history of the network. Who saw that coming?” he said.

The comedian lauded the addition of Franklin to the ensemble.

“I think in Season 2, bringing Kirk in was just such a great move. It added so much fun and modern-day relevance to what we were doing.”

Franklin told Inside The Pew at the beginning he didn’t know exactly what he would bring to the show. After learning more about The Challenge, he eventually found his place.

“So I got the call and started finding out more about it. I thought, ‘Okay, well maybe it’ll be cool to work with Jeff and see if there’s a space to try to create something new and try to be a part of something different, Franklin said.

“They allowed me to bring some ideas to the table, and they were really open to those ideas. They thought they were pretty fun. And so I hope I add something that’s kind of fun and entertaining and maybe just try to add a little part that just kind of makes it a little more fun, make it pop a little. I really hope I’m doing that.

Franklin said the show serves many purposes. The American Bible Challenge brings the Bible to life and it crosses racial and generational lines. The show garnered GSN’s highest delivery in its 17 year history; it ranked among the Top 5 cable networks in total viewers, women 25-54 and viewers 25-54 in its time period.

The Christian hip hop of Franklin and Foxworthy’s country influenced humor are solid in this medium.

“It is a great privilege to work with him,” Franklin told Inside The Pew of Foxworthy. “He does things to help other people, like feeding the homeless in Atlanta.”

“I love to watch Kirk. It’s fun for me to have somebody to bounce things off of, because when I ask him something it’s usually going to be a pretty funny answer that I did not see coming. He just brings a whole element of fun to the thing,” Foxworthy said.

The most important aspect Franklin and Foxworthy want to bring to the viewers is to show infiltrate the Word into the minds of the lost and encourage believers to re-connect with Bible.

“I had somebody say to me, “Well, we thought of the Bible as a book of rules and then I’m watching the show and I’m like, ‘well, maybe that’s not right,’” Foxworthy points out. And I said, “No, you know what it actually is? It’s the coolest love story ever written.

“That would be kind of my desire, to take people that maybe had never been exposed to it or had a preconceived notion of what it was about and to go, “You know what? It’s not that at all. It’s very personal. It’s the most personal relationship you ever have.”

Steiner: Rescue your ‘hopeless’ marriage

Published by:

Marriage Karleia Steiner

By Karleia Steiner
Special to Inside The Pew

As Christians, we believe that marriage is a lifetime plan, not a convenience that can be disposed of in a lawyer’s office.  The loveMarriage karleia steiner of a husband and a wife is in all reality a hint of the deeper love between a human being and God. Proverbs 5:15-19 states, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure and receives favor from the LORD.”

Marriage if of course not always easy, but with hard work and commitment come immeasurable rewards. Below are some simple yet powerful strategies for sustaining a long and successful marriage.

Identify the issues
If you can’t pinpoint specifically why you’re having difficulties in your marriage, you’re probably not thinking hard enough. Sit your spouse down and address the troubles you’ve been experiencing. Be 100 percent honest. Identifying your problems is the first step in getting on the path to fixing them. Perhaps you don’t spend enough time together. Perhaps you disagree about factors related to money. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement regarding your troubles, you can work together as a team to determine whether they can be salvaged.

Communicate openly
Communication is the key to any successful relationship, marriage or otherwise. Many relationships fail due to poor communication. When you talk to your spouse, do so with clarity and care. Make sure you always say the things that you truly mean. Never say anything just because you believe you’re taking the “safe” or “easy” route. If you speak from within, your spouse will pick up on the effort and hopefully return the favor.

Spend quality time together
Many relationships and marriages collapse because couples drift apart, plain and simple. Stop that unfortunate fate from occurring by making a point to regularly spend quality time with your spouse. While you both might lead busy and chaotic lives, it’s absolutely essential that you prioritize each other. Setting up official romantic “date nights” each week can go a long way in saving a previously hopeless marriage.

Admit your own faults
When it comes to marriage, pride is the enemy. Never be too proud to acknowledge where you’ve been wrong. If you haven’t exactly been the most attentive spouse, say so. If you’ve been a lousy partner due to work stress, admit that. Realize that it takes two to tango in a marriage. Your spouse isn’t perfect, but you aren’t either. The goal in any healthy marriage is to always focus on improvement — on both sides.

Marriages feel terrific when they’re working, and awful when they’re not, understandably. Having said that, you don’t want to give up on your commitment at the first sign of a rainy day. Put love, care and effort into your deserving marriage. Great marriages call for dedication and lots of patience.

What is an annulment, anyway?
Prior to considering annulment or divorce, focus on strengthening your existing ties with your spouse. Instead of declaring your union invalid through an annulment or legally dissolving it through divorce, concentrate on saving it. Remember what made you fall in love with your spouse in the first place.

Karleia Steiner is a freelance writer. To respond to her column, contact her at pewnews@aol.com. We will gladly forward your comments to her.