I don’t know what LOVE is….

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“He tells me he loves me….I don’t know. I am so confused.  When he hurts me and belittles me, I just go to bed and cry myself to sleep.  He tells me he loves me but…..I’m not sure he knows what love is, at least the kind I want.”

As a relationship counselor I hear a lot of people’s stories. Most heart breaking are stories of husbands and wives whose marriages are crumbling and toxic.  Both or one of them, come into my office, bleeding and infected and can’t think straight.

The question I hear most is “what is true love?”

This is a complex question. I wish there was simple and easy way to define love to people in a way that they understand.  Sadly, the individuals I meet with have been deceived as to what love is or they have been lied to about love or they grew up seeing a distorted picture of love.

The bible gives us a beautiful example of what love is from the first page to the last page, and in between are notes on the intricacies of what love looks like and how to receive pure love.

First, I need to say that the source of pure, perfect love is God. He is love and exudes flawless love all the time.  If we deeply want to know what love is, I believe, we must find those answers wrapped up in the essence of who God is and who He is not.

The love that is displayed within the pages of scripture depict a special kind of love called agape love, which is covenant. Covenant is the basis or foundation of who God is and the love He possesses.

Covenant love is sacrificial, set apart, pure and endless. It never stops, it is never rude, toxic or conditional.  It never pretends, it never deceives and is always authentic and tangible.  This love gives, gives some more and will never demand its own way.  This love thrives in freedom and choice and brings healing to those it comes in contact with.  This love whispers, nurtures and never goes to sleep.  It is fully alive and will watch over you to protect and keep you safe.

When we discover and know what real, true love is, we are not able to be fooled or blinded by a counterfeit. The love that the world offers is mostly sensual, conditional and contractual.  Meaning, as long as you keep up your end of the deal and fulfill my expectations, then I will keep my end of the deal.  This is dangerous because as soon as one party doesn’t live up to the expectations or assumptions of their partner, then we believe we have a right to terminate the relationship.

In a marriage relationship, most couples have no greater desire than a lifetime of love and commitment to their spouse. Marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity.  It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Although love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive.  These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.  When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love.  When we are not free, we live in fear and love is damaged.  Boundaries in marriage is fundamentally about love.  It is about growing it, developing it and repairing it.  To walk in love with another person is an act of your will – we choose to love.  Mistakenly, people believe that love is an emotion and therefore, can change and fluctuate from day to day.  Our culture most commonly thinks about love in the context of romance.  But true, agape love is much more than that.

Agape love can only be shared with someone to the extent which we have received it for ourselves. In order to receive agape love, we need to posture ourselves before God and receive directly from Him – a download of His beautiful, selfless love.  Then, we can go and give it away to others!

 

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me.  You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.”  John 15:9 TPT

 

Lisa is a certified Christian counselor with the NCCA and Director of Power of His Love Ministries. She has been married to her amazing husband Bill since 1989.  They live in the greater Houston area and have 3 grown daughters and one son-in-love!

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

Attitudes are EVERYTHING!

Garden

The longer I live, the more I realize the importance of attitude on life. To me, our attitudes make the most impact on our life either negative or positive.  Attitudes are more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  They are more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  Attitudes will make or break marriages, families, individuals and even entire communities, cities and nations.

You and I have a choice every day regarding the attitudes that we will embrace daily. We may not be able to change our past or the people surrounding us but, we can change our thoughts and attitudes.  Someone once said that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.  Ultimately, we are in charge of our attitudes!

Attitudes do not run on automatic. I am responsible for my attitude and how I manage it. We choose what attitudes we will have and it’s a continuing choice.  The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take responsibility of our attitudes.

IT’S NOT WHAT HAPPENS TO ME THAT MATTERS BUT WHAT HAPPENS IN ME!

Some people believe that happiness can be found in a position or a place or even in a particular person.   I believe happiness is a feeling but, joy is a state of being!  We alone get to choose.

Our feelings come from our thoughts. And we can change our feelings by changing ONE thing right now – our thoughts!

This is one of my go-to bible verses to ponder on when I realize I need an attitude adjustment.

FIX YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT IS TRUE, AND HONORABLE, AND RIGHT, AND PURE, AND LOVELY, AND ADMIRABLE. THINK ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE EXCELLENT AND WORTHY OF PRAISE.

PHILLIPIANS 4:8 NLT

Changing our thoughts and attitudes isn’t always a stroll in the park. It takes a conscious effort, a daily resolve and a decision to be intentional every moment of every day.  But hard work always pays off and eventually negative attitudes can and will change to positive ones if we stay consistent.  The more we recognize and even label our negative thoughts, we can then weed them out.  And then replacing them with positive ones becomes much easier.

Some may think I am odd but, I LOVE to pull weeds. Especially during the Spring while it is still fairly cool.  Pulling weeds provides me with instant gratification of my labors.  After digging all the bothersome weeds out, I can stand back and gaze at my flower bed and see tidiness and room for my flowering plants to spread and thrive.  It is the same with our thought life.

To me, weeds represent negative thoughts and bad habits. When I spend time weeding out all the troublesome thoughts, I can plant new and healthy thoughts.  Thoughts that will flourish and produce beauty to me and everyone around me.

We need to constantly prune out the things that are hindering us so that our lives can be lush and green in our quest for a joyous and productive life.  Attitudes truly make a difference!

If you think you are beaten, you are.

If you think you dare not, you don’t.

If you’d like to win but think you can’t,

It’s almost certain you won’t.

Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man,

But sooner or later, the man who wins

Is the man who thinks he can.

 

Lisa Roitsch – 6/2018

(excerpts from J. Maxwell’s, Developing the Leader Within You)

 

 

2 Breaths…..21 Grams

Life

Lord, I passionately love you and I am bonded to you! I want to embrace you, for now you have become my power! You are as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet, like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress, my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape, my tower of rescue where none can reach me.
You are my secret strength and shield around me, you are my salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside, always the champion of my cause. All I need to do is to call to you, singing to you, the one praiseworthy God. When I do, I am safe and sound in you.
For when the ropes of death wrapped around me and terrifying torrents of destruction overwhelmed me, taking me to death’s door, I cried out to you in my distress, the delivering God.
And from your temple-throne you heard my troubled cry. My sobs came right into your heart and you turned your face to rescue me!
Psalm 18:1-6 Passion Translation

His magnificent beauty has blinded me over the past few weeks, and I am unable to see anything other than His persistent kindness and mercy. Even through our suffering and pain, He is only a breath away. A tender Father who is watching us and is ever near – He is uncompromising because He longs for ALL of us.
Please do not doubt that He does not see you, hear you and love you fervently!
His love captures you and keeps you in the vilest and darkest times…..only believe!

The human soul is said to weigh 21 grams and the breath of YHWH is expressed in 2 syllables…..inhale and exhale – 2 breaths!

L. Roitsch

Identity Theft

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My new book is available on Amazon.com  Below is an excerpt taken from chapter 5.

“You took away my worth!”

The headlines screamed at me and caused me to slow down and do a double take. I am sure most of us have heard or read about the story of the sexual assault of the unconscious young lady by a male Stanford student. The story has caused outrage and division among people as to what is fair and right punishment. What I find so disturbing from this entire event is the fact that the young lady who was assaulted now believes she has no worth….no value…no voice.

The demeaning assault made against her has formed a dark shroud of shame over her. “Emily Doe” has now become intimately acquainted with dishonor, humiliation and mortification. By her own words, she emphatically states, “the damage is done, and no one can undo it.”

Shame is the belief that one is uniquely and fatally flawed. Most people do not understand the difference between shame and guilt. Shame comes from who we are and guilt is what we feel when we do something wrong. Traumatic events, molestation, sexual defilement of all kinds, rape, and abandonment are all things which can cause shame to come upon a person. The younger the person is when experiencing shame the more devastating it can be.

In the inner dialogue from a shaming event, “Why?” is always the question.

  • Why is my grandfather doing this to me?
  • What is the matter with me?
  • Why am I different?
  • Why am I not able to obtain freedom from some of the things in my life that are wrong?

With questions like that, the answers often look like this:

  • I must be uniquely and fatally flawed.
  • I must be the only person like this.
  • No one understands me.
  • I am powerless
  •  There is no hope for change

To believe one is fatally flawed means “there is nothing I can do about it.” “I am so bad or so wounded that even God cannot help me.” This belief system can spiral downwards quickly and cause people to isolate themselves from the very people who can help them heal from their hidden wounds.

I believe shame is a tool forged by the hand of our greatest adversary, Satan. With it, he wields blows against our self-worth and knocks us down to levels that are near impossible to rise up again. Shame then becomes a barrier that has the power to prevent us from experiencing the love and destiny that God has designed for us as individuals.

Shameful events can and do happen to all of us – some are mild like bullying or name-calling, but others are deeply distressing and crippling. They can come into our lives uninvited or shame can come as a result of some very poor choices. It is what we do with the events, themselves, that determines if and how we can overcome them. The good news is there is someone who can “undo shame.” The harrowing and painful deeds of the past CAN be remedied.

I have counseled and ministered to many young girls and women who have been sexually abused, hurt and molested. All of them come away with a sense that their inward self is fatally flawed and that something is intrinsically wrong with them. All the modern therapy of the day will not be able to permeate the layers of shame and heal their core identity if they don’t turn to the One who created them.

True restoration results from being molded by the Word within, rather than the world without. It starts with believing God’s truths and knowing He is the One who has the power to bring lasting deliverance and healing.

Those events that happened in your life can be turned around and then used to make you into a stronger and better person. When we start looking at our past through the lens of God’s perspective, we begin to realize that even though He did not desire or plan for the hurtful things to happen to us, He has given us His power and grace which will enable us to walk through with our head held high and our focus on Him. It is in these times that we are given the opportunity to allow His character and nature to be molded within us.

In Ephesians 2:10 the apostle Paul states that we are God’s workmanship created, shaped and formed into the likeness of Christ. Our journey with the Lord is just that…a journey. Along the way, He shapes us each day more into the image beautiful of His Son.

The word workmanship in the Greek is the word poiema, which is where we get the English word poem. The idea is that God is the master artist and we are His canvas, His work of art. This is how He sees us.

Mankind is the pinnacle of God’s creation – above all. When God created man and woman, He stepped back and said “this is good.” When we choose to see ourselves the way our heavenly Father sees us, we can then have the confidence to be successful in whatever we put our hand to.

As humans, we were not created to endure pain. Our Creator had a specific purpose for mankind to enjoy an existence of intense joy and fellowship with Him. He placed Adam and Eve into a beautiful garden of sublime existence where there was no pain or sorrow. It was only when rebellion and disobedience entered the garden through Adam and Eve’s choices, did a profound separation occur. Sadly, this led them to place where they were vulnerable to unseen forces that wanted to steal their true identity.

Bad experiences or painful pasts can negatively affect our present. There are forces of darkness that want us to believe that we are the only ones who suffer with these issues and that it is unchangeable. This is simply not true. Too often our sin and emotional baggage gets linked to what we believe about ourselves. In other words, our personality and identity becomes associated with the things we struggle with.

The strategy of the enemy is for us to believe that we actually “are” how we feel or behave, which is not true at all. Satan wants you to believe things like: you “are” depressed, unhappy, worthless, unable to change, stupid, a failure…the list could go on and on. It is important to realize that our feelings and behavior are situational and we can change them. The truth is feelings and behavior are not who we really are. They might be things that we struggle with, but they are not our identity, or who we are in Christ.

This includes the things that you may think about yourself at a deep level. You might not consciously believe them, but you find yourself thinking them or saying them about yourself on a regular basis. Most people don’t see that there is a direct connection between the way they view themselves and their destiny.

God can and will use destructive circumstances that have happened to work out for our good.  When we give God the pieces of our brokenness and allow Him to hold them in His hand, He will shape them into a beautiful piece of art.

God promises that for every ounce of shame you have encountered, He has a double portion of honor to bestow upon you.  Grab ahold of this promise today and make it a part of your daily declaration as you walk your journey of healing.

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”  Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)

  *** if the above portion of  narrative has resonated with you, reading the entire book will bless you.  It is designed to be interactive in that you can journal and answer questions along the way.  If you are serious about breaking up with shame, once and for all, this book will help you get started.

You can go to amazon.com or our website at http://www.powerofhislove.com to order your copy today!  Make an investment in discovering the true YOU!

 

 

 

 

I LOVE YOU!!!!!

True Love

In all the universe there is nobody like you. Destiny was woven into your existence at conception and formed in you even as a child.   You and I were created to receive and give love away.  One of the things I am most passionate about is helping others encounter God’s divine love and mercy.  I want to share with you some of my thoughts and experiences as I traveled to the beautiful city of Guadalajara, Mexico and loved on its precious people.

First, let me begin with the truth that our journey with Jesus is just that…. a long, intimate journey consisting of amazing encounters and resulting in an evolution of thoughts and beliefs. I tell people all the time, it is NOT a sprint to the finish line of eternity, but rather an intentionally paced cross country event!  It is the process of getting out of our head and our fleshy thinking and into the deeper things of His Spirit.  When we lean on our own understanding, we will always fall down and have to start over.  In this season more than any other, I am learning that I must trust in my precious heavenly Father with all my strength.  My peace and abiding love must come from a place of complete dependence on Him, for I realize I have great lack without Him and His power.

So, back to Mexico…. when I was invited to speak at a women’s gathering in the bustling city of Guadalajara, I was humbled beyond description. No one knew that over 10 years prior I had a vision from God where I was standing on a platform in a foreign country proclaiming the goodness of God to a sea of faces.  I instantly knew that this invitation to travel to Mexico was a direct fulfillment of that heavenly assignment.  I have shared many times in the states with diverse groups, but never preached or shared the gospel outside the comforts of my own country.  I knew God was setting me up for some divine happenstances that only He could orchestrate.  Within a matter of weeks, the invitation to speak was growing…. the Pastor called and asked if I would speak in the main service on Sunday morning to his entire congregation. He then proceeded to tell me that a woman had never preached in his pulpit before.  Little did I know that this man of God had been praying for virtuous women to rise up in order to share and testify before the churchgoers.  Since no one had accepted the invite, I was able to step into some holy shoes.  It was if Spirit was saying, “Tag – you are it!”

Once I agreed, another invitation came to travel outside the city to a “poor village” (this is actually what the locals called the village) and share at a sister church there.   This appointment allowed me 2 opportunities to share Jesus’ love and goodness with some of Mexico’s poorest residents.

I will elaborate on these trips but, I want to include that our obedience to the will of God on our lives will often result in more opportunities to bless and give to others. Your obedience and mine are closely tied together and will make a greater impact than we could ever imagine.  Today, I pray for each of you to say ‘yes’ to whatever opportunity presents itself to testify of God’s love, power and goodness.  You never know what or who you will be affecting for all of eternity.

These invitations came at a huge price, as is often the case in our submission to the Father’s call, but it is worth the cost-whether it be monetary, a matter of sacrificing our time or a matter of what we consider to be inconvenient.  Since I had never spoken with an interrupter before I knew I was going to be stretched way out of my comfort zone.  Saying yes to the Lord will always take you places you have not been before….are you ready to accept this challenge and become transformed?

The greatest blessing in living among the people of Mexico and sharing God’s love with them was hearing their stories, their angst and their struggles. There is nothing more sacred than when a small child cries in your arms and tells you of how they are bullied at school and then meekly asks for prayer to make them stop.  Or when a group of ladies bring a 10 year old boy up front who is deaf and has skin cancer….his body a mere skeleton.  Perhaps it was when the elderly man looked into my eyes and begs for prayer because his leg is in excruciating pain and needs healing so he can return to work in order to provide for his family.  There is no sick leave for the poor, or workman’s compensation for when you are injured.  No quality medical care or doctors for the lowly.  There is only a pure and simple trust in knowing Jesus is your only answer to the hardships of life.  Many requested prayer for their marriages to be restored or prodigal children who had gone astray and were now living a life of addiction.  Their problems are the same as ours, and yet they understood that the only attainable solution for them was to turn to Christ.

The small girl, named Maria, who came to me for prayer on Saturday night had a mother and she quickly joined us for prayer. Hastily, her mother began to confess to me that she too held hatred in her heart and lots of unforgiveness.  Humbly, she asked me to pray for her and as I did so, she was completely released.  Straightaway, you could see the visible change in the countenance of both their faces.  Though I could not comprehend the thanksgiving coming off their lips, I knew it was praise to our God.

For the next 2 days, as I served at that church in Guadalajara, little Maria was my constant shadow. Even though we could not sit and talk together, she stayed by my side and pulled on the essence of God’s love within me.  One of my favorite experiences was Sunday afternoon. Maria and I had the chance to stand at the alter, and sing worship songs to our heavenly Father at the top of our lungs.  She in Spanish, and I praised in English, but our God understands all things and indeed knows all!

To hold these people in my arms as they cried, changed me as a person. I realized that as western Christians we really have a lot of options to meeting our needs – some are healthy and some are not.  Sadly, God is sometimes our last resort.  We can run to our bank accounts, our savings account and credit cards for comfort.  We turn to our many social activities to mask our pain or indulge in eating, drinking and entertainment to dull our sorrow.  We engage in frivolous relationships to get our deepest needs met and yet we are still drowning in our troubles.  I have personally done despicable things in order to lay ahold of things I craved, all the while, groaning, and complaining while engaging in the sultry deeds.  If only I had turned to Christ sooner.

I fear we don’t know or fully understand our identity. As children of God, we oftentimes fluctuate between being royal youngsters in God’s kingdom, yearning to become Deborah the Sage or David the giant-slayer! Neither of these roles get at the heart of living with our true identity which is found ONLY in Christ.  I see so many proclaiming these identities and falsely believing that if you wear the uniform, then the identity is yours.  So you and I dress ourselves in godly Bible studies and activities, and yet continue to live with the anguish that we really are not satisfied.  The truth is, our identity in Christ says, You were formed by a loving and powerful Creator who has a marvelous plan for your life and whoever you are in the Lord, go… BE… rest.   In other words, live like who you are – a son or daughter of the KING OF THE UNIVERSE, which means you are royalty.

Our response should be to crawl up in our Father’s loving arms and embrace Him so we can become intimately connected through experiencing His love. We can never find our identity in the stuff we do, or the things we wear, or the holiness that we pretend to exude. Our identity only comes through our birth rights, never our performance. When you accepted Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for your sins, you became His child. As His child you are now part of His royal family and you are entitled to everything He owns-and He owns everything.  You will not be able to know your true identity by memorizing the entire bible or quoting a bunch of scriptures.  Nor will it happen just by sitting in a church pew week after week.  The transformation that you and I want only happens as we surrender everything to Him and give Him first place in our life!

This was the greatest lesson I encountered in the 8 days south of the border. I had no tv, internet, girlfriends or A/C.  I wasn’t able to communicate fully with anyone except my interpreter.  Most of the time, I used by body language and my eyes to speak what was in my heart.  I believe the deepest message God spoke through me was through my tears.  Often times, words would escape me and all I could do was weep before those who came to hear me speak or simply just hold someone while they poured out all their cares on my shoulder.  Even though I could not understand so much of the language that was being conveyed, I believe the essence of Christ that I possessed was given away to those I encountered.   That is what transforms a community, a city, and a nation.  His character, His identity, His life, His love!

The presence of Christ was so tangible in all the meetings that we held. People were impacted, simply because HE showed up in the room to love on His people.  When you and I can become conduits of His love and allow that to flow in and through us, it will change atmospheres, people and nations. Because of His great name, He shows up to meet the needs of the people!  He walks into the chambers of our heart and rearranges everything….if only we allow Him to do so.

I will never forget the words spoken by a young man in his thirties in the Sunday morning service, “I looked around the sanctuary, and everyone was weeping and I thought to myself, I must too!” He had never been in a church service like that and instinctively knew that the people were encountering God’s love and he desired that for himself and his wife.  If only we would all say “Yes, come Lord!”  I promise, that is a prayer that will always get answered.

Jesus said, Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:35NLT

Most people don’t care about how much you know or eloquently speak, they are looking for and needing a love and kindness that will change their reality for the better. I humbly ask you to take this challenge with me.  To lay down whatever is before you that is blocking you from laying ahold of more of Him.  We can only give away that which we possess.  What are you hoping for today?  Is it more money, more friends, more “stuff”?  Or have you felt the tugging at your heart to put off some things in order to grab ahold of more eternal and weightier things?

A very real part of me did not want to return to the comforts of my own community back in Texas. I am ever cognizant of the luxuries that I have as an American, but also as a citizen of a fairly affluent city.  My time in Mexico forced me to rely on Holy Spirit to a degree that I don’t engage in back home every day.   I knew I had the potential of slipping back into some counterfeit affections or frivolous comforts when I returned.  Therefore, I have made a daily declaration that I will do whatever it takes to obey Him because I know that true and lasting joy is only found in giving Him all the praise.  It has become my joy to lay it all down so that I can obtain MORE of Him.  Not my will be done, but HIS be done.   I AM IN LOVE!  And if Oprah Winfrey’s couch was in my living room, I would be jumping up-and-down on it.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, remember back in 2005, when Tom Cruise appeared on the Oprah show? He was promoting one of his movies, however, he began to gush about his new love.  He proudly stood, strutted across the stage and then began to jump up and down before everyone on Oprah’s beautiful white couch.  Out of his mouth, he yelled, “I am in love with Katie Holmes!”  His soon to be bride, sat in the front row blushing with girlish excitement.  Whenever any of us have fallen head over heels in love, we tell anyone who will listen.  Finding that deep euphoric love of Christ is compelling me to do things I would not normally do.  I want to shout it from the rooftops.

Shake off the dust as you arise my friends….the song of love is playing across all the lands. Can you hear the notes and frequencies beckoning us to become the hands and feet of Christ?  To carry out God’s love to the darkest places, the hardest places?  The harvest is ripe.  Jesus is alive and He lives inside of you!!!

Jesus deserves our everything! Our life, our song…..our possessions…..Everything!  But all He really wants is our hearts!  When He is the owner of our existence, then everything is in proper balance.  The peace you and I so desperately crave is available, only I promise you it is not found in the trappings of this world or its imperfect systems.

I want to give Him everything, and nothing less. My life is His – bought and paid for in full!  A finished work!

As David said “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness.”-and not until.

My Gateway to Love: Take ahold of more of Him!

 Take courage….be brave! Do it afraid!  Bill and Lisa Roitsch have decided to follow Jesus and there is no turning back.  Follow them as they follow Christ at:  www.powerofhislove.com

 

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Staying Connected

happy-marriage

Top ten suggestions on how to keep your marriage love alive or what I wish I knew on my wedding day:

  1. Do everything in your power to help facilitate the other person being what they were created to be and to do, without keeping score. This is a covenant; you bring all that’s you (good, bad and the in between) and give to your spouse. Totally giving yourself to the other. Yes, it takes time to build that kind of trust but it’s a process of truly becoming one that’s worth investing your life’s energy into. Think about what your marriage can be if both spouses give all they can to the other.
  2. Embrace and learn to celebrate the differences of each other instead of trying to form the other into your image…. which is not to say that we couldn’t use some training from our spouse on what’s good and appropriate for the other. Learn to love the other how they need to be loved not how you want to or how it is convenient for you to love.
  3. Focus on the good in the other person and the good aspects of your marriage instead what is not so good and what hasn’t happened yet. Balance your expectations for life and your spouse versus what happens through certain chapters of everyday life. The main reason relationships get sideways is expectations that one has in unrealistic time frames. We grow and change at different rates. Remember marriage is not a commitment for a couple of years but a lifetime.
  4. Don’t believe that the honeymoon will end. In fact, if done correctly the honeymoon is only the beginning and should continually increase in love, romance and trust.
  5. Confrontation is healthy, inevitable and necessary. How to do it with respect for most is a life long pursuit. Make the issues, the issue. As long as you both may live, don’t say words that tear the other one down. Don’t use phrases like “you always, you never.”  Never allow the word divorce to be spoken.
  6. Be nice to each other. Remember your spouse is not the enemy. Don’t take your frustrations out on each other.
  7. Be transparent. You now have a partner to help navigate the challenges of your life. Don’t keep temptations, weaknesses and especially sin in the dark. Be honest about your stuff and hopefully it’ll bring the same honesty forward in them.
  8. Life & marriage are what you make it; you have the opportunity and the power everyday to make it kind, warm and joyful.
  9. Make your parent’s ceiling your floor. It has always been God’s plan that each generation learn from their parent’s mistakes, but also to take their strengths to a higher level. Both set of parents want the richest blessings for their kid’s marriages: physically, financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  10. And when you forget all the above, remember the 12 most important words in marriage:  I am sorry, I love you.  Please forgive me, I was wrong.

One of the most powerful acts you can participate in with your spouse is to tell them, “I choose you.  I love you very much.  My goal with you today is connection.”  When this is practiced with intentionality and sincerity, I promise you will huge results of intimacy that you long for.

Love should be at the genesis of every marriage and hopefully it will remain as the abiding force that keeps both husband and wife connected to each other.  When both the husband and wife take responsibility to do what is best in their marriage, love can and will grow.   I always like to challenge every married couple to read I Corinthians 13:4-7 daily and together if possible.  God’s word is our plumb line to keep everything in proper balance and alignment.  When we do marriage HIS way, we will always be successful.

***Bill and Lisa Roitsch are Marriage Mentors who love to coach and disciple marriages to stay together, grow together and stay connected to the pure source of all love and power – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Visit their website at:  http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

The Ironies of the Cross

Streams in the desert

Our God works in mysterious ways. He reminds us of this in the book of Isaiah, that His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts.  The bible is a book stacked with irony and full of mystery.  The first irony I want to look at today is of the cross.

It is where we see evil intention being transformed into divine salvation.

God interrupted the evil schemes of man and Satan when He resurrected Christ from the dead. For we read in the book of Acts that death could not hold Him.  God, in His divine justice, overruled all wicked intentions and used their very acts of disobedience to bring life and salvation to the entire world, for anyone who would receive.

The second irony we see is that resurrection comes THROUGH crucifixion. The cross represents death, pain and suffering.  It is out of this death that LIFE appears.  To personalize this truth, we realize that our own death to self must occur so that we can encounter HIS glorious life and vanquish all evil in our being.  Jesus so eloquently tells us in the book of John, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels–a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.  Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:24-26 NLT

Inside of Jesus’ words is the startling truth that if we desire to save our life we will lose it. However, when we choose to lose our life for His sake, we are then able to find true life- This is good news!

It is on the cross that Jesus once and for all defeated Satan. Paul reminds us in Colossians that we have been made alive with Christ, the anointed One, because He disarmed the powers and authorities and triumphed over them all by the cross.  Col. 2:13-15

Again, we see that out of death, our enemy has been defeated and we can now enter into the abundant life that Jesus calls us to.

My friend, are you truly living today? Are you focusing on the goodness of God despite your current situations?  If not, I want to encourage you to enter into the fullness of God’s goodness.  God will sometimes confront us with deep pain and suffering because He desires to reveal His goodness to us.    We experience the goodness of God only through the revelation of His glory, which is His unique nature and essence.   God displays Himself as supremely good in the midst of the most intense evil and suffering experienced on this earth – the cross of Calvary.

I have a quote hanging in my office that reads, “If I don’t see the cross and what Jesus did for me, then I can NEVER be truly free.”

God has overturned all human pain because He experienced it for us. He displayed His goodness by suffering on our behalf.

And so I leave you with this…..Make pain your friend! Cause any and all pain in your life to catapult you into the arms of a loving Father who created you and has a divine purpose for you here on this earth and for all eternity.  Memorize Jeremiah 29:11 and meditate on its truths and goodness.  Allow pain to bring you to a place of complete dependence on the One who formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139)

Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from pain only creates more pain.” – Asian Proverb

It is through our pain and suffering that we experience lasting joy and encounter His beautiful glory.  Romans 8:17

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L. Roitsch 5/2017