Over the past year, God has been making some pretty amazing connections in my life and the life of my husband, Steven. It has been so awesome to watch the way that God connects the dots. I have met people that will forever change my life. One of those connections is with Clarence and Alicia Hill. They are pastors of Church Ablaze. Clarence is also the Director of Eye to Eye Marriage Community. They both have been like meeting our long, lost family. I’m pretty sure this 6’8″ African American man is my brother from another mother. It has been such a tremendous blessing work along side of them to help bring the conversation of Marriage and Family to the forefront in Oklahoma City. Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak at a Celebrate Marriage Oklahoma rally. For Steven and I sharing our testimony of how God has restored our family is something that we love to do. The rally was to help gain support of the Covenant Walk that we will be doing on October 13, 2014. This walk will be an event to raise awareness of the need for support in our community for Families and Marriage. I would like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to join Steven and I and Bridge Builder Marriage Ministry as well as many other organizations as we march from the Myriad Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City to the State Capital. Marriage and family are so important that spending this holiday bringing the conversation to the attention of the city is more than worth the time you will spend. So please join us. You can find out more information here.
We are now nearly half way through the month of January in 2014!!!! How the heck did that happen. Having past the mid-century mark in my life I now know and am in complete agreement with the statement, “Time flies whether you are having fun or not.” It seems funny that as a younger person I was always living for the next thing and now I am digging in my heals hoping to slow things down. Okay, enough about that and back to the topic at hand. With the first half of January behind us, the question is…..have your set goals for you marriage for 2014? For several years Steven and I have developed goals for our marriage and our family. I call it my vision list for the year. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says:
Then the Lord answered me and said,
“Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.
This is a pretty common passage when talking about visions. I love that it is so clear and easy to understand. You see having a written vision for your marriage and your family increases the likelihood that is will come to pass.
Having a written vision not only will help increase the success rate of reaching your vision it will also do several other things. First, it will help you bring clarity to what you really want. By taking the time to write it down you can give thought to what really is important to you and your spouse. You have the opportunity to narrow the list to the things that are really important to you. Secondly, keeping the vision in a place where you can see it, will help you be inspired to take action. I have a huge, wall size, Post It note pad that we write our vision on. Keeping it in a visible place all years keeps us inspired to keep pressing towards completing the vision. Seeing the vision regularly will increase your pin-point precision and increase your success rate. Thirdly, having a written vision will help you identify and avoid distractions. Going in to many directions will dilute the effectiveness of your vision. Fourth, keeping the vision list before you will help you press on when you want to quit. By looking at the vision and seeing the progress you have made toward the vision, you will have the inspiration you need when the going gets tough. Fifth, having a written vision will increase the success of your marriage as you and your spouse work together to accomplish the things on your list. Finally, it will increase the celebration when you see the vision accomplished.
If you have already completed your vision list, congratulations you are well on your way to being more successful in your marriage than the majority of marriages without a written vision. If you have yet to write the vision for your marriage, I encourage get together with your spouse, spend some time praying and then write the special vision for your marriage for 2014. I will be one of the best things you do for your marriage.
Most women when asked, would respond that the most important need of a man is sex. While respect/honor is actually the primary need of man, sex is a very close second. Yet sex is one of the biggest areas in many marriages that cause a lot of conflict. For many women I work with, this very conflict causes a great deal of pain. Finding ways to navigate the balance of desire for sex between husbands and wives can be very complex. However, by have some very open conversations with your spouse about where they are both coming from can help this area of your life come into balance. Beginning that conversation often means wading through unmet expectations, hurts, feelings of failure on both sides, and even the releasing of using sex as a punishment or reward. While this is can be a path least taken, it is a path that can lead to a more satisfying marriage then you have ever dreamed of. I encourage all couples to have open, honest, and loving conversations about where there marriage stands in relationship to their sexual intimacy.
I recently read a blog Holy Hot and Humorous which addresses one of the big issues in marital sex. Just Because He Stopped Asking Doesn’t Mean He’s Stopped Wanting. This blog poses some great ideas. These ideas could be used to initiate a conversation that would help wives begin to discover exactly where their husband is in relationship to sex in their marriage. I encourage you to do a check up on your intimate relationship with your husband. It will be one of the most life giving things you will ever do.