Staying Connected

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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 Small Things Matter

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Most couples we mentor and counsel, fail to recognize that sometimes even the smallest, and seemingly insignificant things can make a HUGE difference in building a healthy, happy marriage.

Hopefully, every marriage wants their goal to be intimacy.  Staying connected to your spouse can be challenging, but powerful when it is done with focus and intentionality.

Here are a list of powerful, yet small activities, you can engage in to keep your passion burning and the love flowing:

  • Tell your spouse “Thank you” more often.
  • Greet them at the door when they arrive home from a long day – show excitement that they are home!
  • Leave them a hand written love note somewhere they don’t expect it.
  • Every day tell your spouse one thing you appreciate about them.
  • Send a passionate, steamy text message telling your spouse you can’t wait to see them again.
  • Make a list of why you fell in love with your spouse and keep it handy on those days when you need extra encouragement.
  • Say “I am sorry” and take full responsibility if something you said or did hurt your spouse. Owning our mistakes go a long way in building intimacy and trust.
  • Ask your spouse to tell you one thing about themselves that you don’t know yet.
  • Hug your spouse MORE! Physical touch releases oxytocin which helps lower stress levels.

This list is not exhaustive, but rather intended to help you get your creative juices flowing. As you add some of these small gestures to your marriage daily, I promise it will produce tons of benefits.

One thing I learned early in our journey of recovering from sexual addiction and infidelity was to look my spouse in the eye and passionately state, “My goal with you today is connection. I want to do whatever it takes to build trust, intimacy and passion into our marriage.”  As I faithfully voiced my intentions, it gave my spouse room to relax, enjoy the everyday moments of life and went a long, long way in restoring true passion and closeness back into our relationship.

A good marriage doesn’t just happen. It requires work, patience and lots of intentional moments, where your goal is to stay connected with one another no matter the cost.  Love is a choice….every day!

Our prayer is that you choose to love your spouse more, LIVE every day with focus and intention and experience God’s abundant peace and joy in your marriage and family!

God has more in store for you than you can even imagine! Ephesians 3:20

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

 

 

Friends With Benefits

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I always like to take the week between Christmas and New Year and contemplate all of the past year. For me, 2016 was packed full of surprises, pain, joy and tight pressure from situations that God used to shape me more into His image.  Sometimes restricting me to the point where I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  But God……

As I was sitting in my easy chair today, drinking my lukewarm coffee, I began to entertain the thought of how rich I have become. Now, before you think I am bragging, please understand that my fullness does not come from earthly possessions or material treasures.  Rather, my wealth is found in the abundance of amazing people that have chosen to walk through this season of life with me.  To be specific, my girlfriends.

So, I have decided to dedicate this blog to all the incredibly strong women in my life. Some I have only known for a few months and others, I have known for over 30 years.  Each of you are special, unique and my life would be poverty stricken without you in it.

When I ponder all my girlfriends, tears well up and begin to fall on my lap. I have always prayed and asked God to bring people into my life that He knows will be best for me and wow! has He answered that prayer a thousand-fold!

I think of my oldest friend who has recently moved away and I don’t get to see as much, but now I have a beautiful lake house to go enjoy the hill country with. And then there is my oldest homeschool, all girls family friend, who is like a blood sister in so many ways.  We can go months without speaking and then pick right back up where we last left.

I have some friends who have lived across from me or next to me and know things that no one else does – hee hee!   I pause to muse on one of my newest friends who I found through a “google” search and realized she lived only 25 minutes from my house – my life is so much richer!  I remember friends who have mentored me from afar through their books and writings and then become mentors in the faith for me close up.  Friends who have encouraged me, cheered me on, trusted me and loved me unconditionally.

There are so many friends whom I have raised my girls with, cried with, prayed with, and laughed with. Bold and beautiful….women who are leaders in their ministry, or work place and home.  Tall girlfriends, short ones, little and petite and the lovely curvy ones.  For me, each woman represents a special answer to my prayers.

Our marriages have not been perfect, and our kids certainly have not been. But these women have modeled and shown me how to be strong in weakness.  I think of all the scriptures we have memorized together over the years, all the bible studies we have done, and the long telephone conversations asking each other questions and sometimes never arriving at an answer.

{Big Sigh} Would you like to take the time to sit back with me and name all the wonderfully, imperfect people in your life? You may be surprised and end up embracing a new level of hope and joy, as I have.

I pray you have a friend who will bail you out of jail when there was a big misunderstanding over a check you wrote, or a friend who will drive for hours in the night just to see you.  I pray you have a friend who will allow you the luxury of staying at her house when you needed a fun place to stay instead of paying for a hotel.  Or perhaps you need a friend who knows just the right cheesy card to send you when you are having a bad day.

Bravo, bravo to all the wives who I have sobbed with and counseled to keep loving their marriage, their spouse and their family. Sometimes, the world tells you to “just throw in the towel”….but that was NEVER an option for you!   Thank You!  For I have become a better person because YOU didn’t quit!

Here, here to girlfriends! Homage to all the women who refuse to give up!  Who don’t back down and love a good challenge.  Blessings to all the fearless ladies who have raised children, kept their marriages, sometimes with passion and sometimes with pain, cooked countless meals, cleaned up poop and throw up and then rescued the neighborhood’s stray animal.  To all the women and ladies who have ministered to the homeless, counted out their last change to give away, and who stood and believed when you were not able….

WELL DONE! You are a good and faithful servant and friend!

I love to read Oswald Chambers, My Upmost for His Highest. At the beginning of every year, I read the first post, January 1.  At the close of his writing, Oswald states, “When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.”

I am so blessed to be surrounded by women who have determined to keep themselves entirely for HIM! For Christ alone. I have not done this perfectly, and neither have they, but I sure am grateful that we know the One who did!

To all the faithful ones, the forgiven, the saints……thank you Robin, Nicole, Tina, Michelle, Charlotte, DeeAnn, Maggie, Kathi, Gloria, Susan, Gail, Carolyn, Angela, Kim, Toni, LeeAnn, Diana, Victoria, Jean, Monica, Jodi, Ghia, Melissa, Billie, Amanda, Gigi, Tiffani, Ronnie, Adryanna, Shannon, Vanessa, Laura, and of course, Carissa, Loryn and Kaleigh Ann, my 3 “grown up” angels.  #bebrave

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

 

 

Open Letter of Thanks!

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Dear Faithful William –

Thank you for not quitting! Thank you for not throwing in the towel, telling me “adios baby” and walking away.  You have every reason and right but, you have chosen the narrow and high road.  Thank you!

Thank you for not giving up on me as I strive to grow up and become the Godly woman I desire. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t do that for myself. The world may not thank you, but I do. Thank you for loving me with an unconditional love that frees me to become more!

Thank you for putting God and faith first. Because of this, our family has not crumbled and been destroyed.  Thank you for getting up early to read and spend time in prayer.  The world may call you a fool, but they don’t recognize the gift like you do.  You have made spiritual matters a priority in our life and the results are more valuable than gold and rubies.   Others may look for a big, fat bank account and a vacation house, except those things are not important to you.  Thank you for putting eternity first!

Over the years, you have worked so hard. Many, many hours, so that our family could thrive. You went without and always took “less” so that we could have more.  Others may not have noticed, but I do.  Thank you!

You chose without complaint to drive the old clunky car with peeling paint so that we could have nicer, newer cars. Our neighbors probably wondered…and yet, I didn’t.  Because I knew – you preferred us over yourself.  Thank you!

You turned down lots of fun, fishing trips with the guys so that you could stay home and be a dad. You knew I needed a break from being a mom to 3 little girls who had more energy than both of us together. Your friends didn’t understand why, but I do.  Thank you!

Others may see you as quiet and silent, but I know your mind is full of ideas and thoughts on how to improve our family, marriage and world. People may think you are too quiet, and yet, I know the treasury of knowledge and wisdom that is stored away inside.  Thank you for choosing your words wisely!

You have cooked, cleaned, done the laundry, grocery shopped and more. You have broken all traditional roles of who or what a man and husband is to be.  The world may not have appreciated your example but, I have.  Thank you!

I have been afforded a life of ease in so many ways because you sheltered me and the girls by taking the brunt of responsibility. Responsible for our finances, our future, our provision and our dreams.  You have led us quietly when others may have demanded or forced.  Thank you for leading by example – it is has been more effective and produced more fruit than most can see.

The lined pages of your prayer journals are a legacy that this world can never appreciate, but I do. And your children and grandchildren do – thank you!  You have inspired me, encouraged me and fought the good fight with me.  I am thankful, I am grateful and I deeply, deeply appreciate YOU!

I am so honored that God chose you to walk this journey of life with me. To HIM be all the glory!

Marriage

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

 

Divine Romance

Divine Romance

Is It The Greatest Challenge on Earth???

My husband and I have been together for over 27 years with 3 grown daughters who are our delight and joy!

To say that our home and union has always been filled with unconditional love, peace and joy would be a false statement and would be deceitful. Marriage is hard work!  Two becoming one requires death, sacrifice and an unwavering commitment to the vows you proclaimed on your wedding day.  Some days are extremely painful and there can be feelings of rejection, anger and betrayal.  There are moments when you believe “I should have never married this person” and doubt can cloud everything sacred. Being married forces you to face some ugly character issues you would probably NEVER realize otherwise. But the good news is you are not alone and you do not lack the resources needed to restore and rebuild a marriage that is crumbling.

Strong marriages, Christian or not, will be struck by lightning – sexual temptations, communication problems, major frustrations and unrealized expectations. But I have concluded that if Christian marriages especially, are watered with the word and presence of Christ daily, then conditions will not be ready for a destroying fire to consume them and/or their families.

“If I am only married for happiness and my happiness wanes for whatever reason, one little spark will burn the entire forest of my relationship.” ~ Gary Thomas

One of the reasons that my husband and I have determined to keep our marriage together is not because doing so would make us both happy, and it hasn’t been because we did not want our kids to know the pain of divorce (because we certainly did not). The main motivation for keeping my marriage in tact is because of the vows I made to God the day I surrendered my life to Him.  Since one of my core values is based on proclaiming God’s message of love and reconciliation to the world, I realized that my marriage needed to reflect this truth.  How can I love mankind unconditionally and proclaim reconciliation to the world if my marriage is seeking to be dissolved and finished?

Putting my relationship with Christ first becomes the plumb line for everything else in my life to hang on. When pleasing my heavenly Father is more important than pleasing my spouse or myself, there is balance and order that can produce fruit that others can enjoy.  Not giving up when things get tough, and learning to lean into the pain of conflict and being misunderstood is a huge victory.  One that will produce life, growth and maturity.  Our old pastor used to teach us that marriage is a tool designed by God to conform us into the image of Jesus.  The choice is to allow the tool to be effective in our life or not.

I am convinced that God planted marriage among mankind in order to display the mysteries of His own eternal and spiritual existence. Marriage can become a vehicle that will catapult you into knowing your Creator in ways you never imagined and your life can be filled with deep purpose and satisfaction as you grow to know and love Him fully.  Let us take the challenge of “being fully enlightened to know Him and His calling” (Ephesians 1:18)

May we ever have before us the knowledge that our marriage is not just about “us” but about what God is building through and in us. It is about growing His kingdom on earth and displaying His forgiveness, love and redemption in all ways to all people.  I want my life, marriage and my children to be so fruitful that the world cannot not deny the goodness of God’s spirit living in and through us.  I want everyone who comes into contact with us to benefit from HIS life in us.  For where the kingdom of God dwells there is righteousness, peace and joy! (Romans 14:17)

Let us conclude with this thought: Perhaps the real purpose of marriage is not for my own happiness as much as it is for His holiness.

“Those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15

****I have read countless books on marriage but my all time favorite is “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas.  If you are serious about your relationship with God and your spouse then get a copy today – read it together and pray daily for one another.  I promise you will not regret it!

With deep love and affection – Lisa

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

 

Worship a bunny?

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My family just returned from a weeklong vacation to Cancun, Mexico. While we had a wonderful time relaxing on the gorgeous beaches and listening to mariachi music, I could not help but be fascinated by all the Mayan and Aztec culture that surrounded us.  There are temple ruins in many locations along the Yucatan and most offer tourist packages to traipse around the old, stone structures and learn about the ancient religion of Mexico’s native people.  While I am sure it is fascinating to most, I didn’t have a desire to pay money to climb hundreds of feet to the top of some crumbling rocks.

However, a couple of relics that did vex me were 2 large statues just down from our condo. Along the central expressway that allows you to move along all the beautiful resorts is a promenade park with luscious vegetation and palm trees.  Nestled among the flowering plants and trees are 2 stone images that caught my attention.  After driving past it for the first few days without any attention, all of sudden, it caught my eye.  One afternoon, I walked down to get a closer look.  One stone statuette was of a rabbit at least 12-15 feet tall and the other was a stone figure of a naked man kneeling in front which was about 7 feet tall.  Several feet away, on the other side of the park was another set of rabbit and man statues. Bunny worship

After taking a few photos with my iPhone, I walked back to our condo and began to do some research. The ancient Mayan and Aztec religions worshipped many gods.  One of the main gods involved in their worship was a fertility goddess named Ixchel.  An interesting dynamic of this particular goddess was its involvement of rabbits and eggs.  Both are associated with fertility and were reverently worshipped by these ancient people groups.  I was now beginning to understand why Mexico would proudly display stone statues of a man bowing before a very large rabbit.

A 15 minute ferry ride from Cancun lies ‘Isla Mujeres.’ Mujeres is woman in Spanish so it translates, Woman’s Island.  On the island there have been found many statues of rabbits within the temple ruins.  All part of the worship of Ixchel – the goddess of fertility.  While I certainly recognize that the people of Mexico do not still worship rabbits or follow the ancient traditions of their forefathers, I find it interesting to know where their culture and some of their traditions originated from.

The worship of rabbits dates all the way back to bible times where Nimrod’s son, Tammuz, was worshipped. The worship of Tammuz, which originated in the Middle East, is filled with a lot of similarities of Ixchel worship.  Both pagan deities involve worship of the sun and moon as well.   Ishtar was Tammuz’s mother, and where we derive the name Easter.  I don’t want to get into all the details of the particular genesis of these celebrations.  However, I will say that upon doing some diligent research on Ishtar and Tammuz you will find earie similarities to other traditions of Christianity.  Practices observed today that began thousands of years prior to Roman Catholicism.

I happen to love history so I find “digging around” in ancient cultures, religions and people groups fascinating. Since I do believe history repeats itself, there is much we can learn from going back and understanding what our forefathers did before us.  And we can certainly acquire a measure of wisdom from knowing what NOT to do or rather how NOT to repeat the mistakes of those who have lived before us.

Nevertheless, you and I are here in the 21st century and in “modern” times and about to celebrate our independence from Great Britain – July 4th.  I wonder if most Americans realize that July 4th could really be noted as a religious holiday.  A day where we celebrate our forefathers breaking free from the iron grips of the Church of England and its kingdom power over us.  A time when much bloodshed was spilled in order for us to form this great country of ours under the principles of the holy bible and God.  Where man is free to worship the Creator God in fullness of truth and precept.

I can’t help but ponder if there is any correlation between the blessings our country has enjoyed over the past 238 years and its roots and foundations on the truth of the bible. I wonder if there is any correlation in Mexico worshipping rabbits hundreds of years ago and its state today.  A country some might call “third world.”  A country that has paradise qualities but, also serious crises of education, security, human rights and health.  Sadly, a large portion of Mexico today lies in poverty and the average worker in Cancun makes just dollars a day.

During our visit, we found the native people of Mexico very hospitable and eager to take all of our American money. Yet sadly, as a people group, they are far behind other countries in development of medicine, technology and business.  And yet, they still hold onto and revere their customs of old-even paying homage to their ancient religions.  I wonder how long the grand rock structures of Ixchel worship will be publically displayed in their city.  Do the people of Cancun even notice the 7 foot naked man kneeling before an animal with large ears?

It seems absurd to us today that man could revere a four-legged creature and pray to it for blessings and prosperity.  And yet, isn’t that what so many Americans participate in with the worship of power, sex and money?  As a nation and culture, will we continue to mix our forefathers religion of Judeo-Christianity with the worship of intellect, influence, and riches?  If so, what demise will our country suffer?  How long will America’s greatness last?  Questions that need to be asked, especially for the sake of our younger generations. If we continue on the downward slide we are on, will they be able to enjoy the same blessings we had?

“I am the LORD and there is no other, there is no God besides Me.”

This morning I happened to be reading from the prophet Isaiah. One of my favorite portions of the Old Testament when my eyes fell on the 44th chapter.  God is pleading with His children, Israel, to turn from their idol worship and seek Him only.  In verse 10, God asks man a bold question, “who would form a god or mold an image that would profit him nothing?”

Throughout the entire chapter, you can see that man had been making their own gods to bow down before.  Yet, in His love, God warns them to turn from their stone images and call out to Him.  God is pleading with His people and admonishing them that images made of stone will never profit them in any way, only He can satisfy them.  Isaiah reminds the people that they were created for God’s glory and the success and pleasures that they were craving would only be found in true worship to the creator rather than the creation.

On this holiday of July 4th, many of us will sing ‘God Bless America.’  I pray that as you do, stop and meditate on the words of this historic song and be thankful for the freedoms we all enjoy, and the truth that is our nation’s foundation.

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free.

Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God bless America, land that I love, Stand beside her and guide her

Through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies,

To the oceans white with foam,

God bless America, My home sweet home.

 

http://www.lisaroitsch.com