This will mark our final post here at Successful Christian Remarriage.
Our marriage is stronger than ever. We will continue to offer our prayers and advice to those who want their remarriages to grow. We feel that God is leading us in other directions, so we will be migrating the posts on this blog to another website. This blog will be shut down in the upcoming months of 2016.
The advice that you have come to expect from this blog will become available on Loraine’s author website at www.lorainenunley.com
“I Do… Over? A Christian’s Guide to Remarriage” will continue to be available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Thank you to all of our readers. It has been an honor to share our journey with you. We pray that God will continue to bless your remarriages every day.
[tweetthis]Moving On… Final Post. Thanks to our readers. #ThankYou #ChristianRemarriage [/tweetthis]
We live in Texas which, for the past few years, has been in a state of drought. This year, God sent the rain. While we did not have some of the flooding that other people experienced, we did have to keep an eye on our property in case we did get the flooding. We also had to be alert to changes in the weather that might bring tornadoes. One rainy evening, in the course of this awareness, we found ourselves standing on our patio watching the lightning display. The heavy rains were creating a moat around our house. It was stressful – worrying about the weather, our home, and our family. We were tired from the workday. But in the midst of that storm, we stood with our arms around each other, enjoying the moment. We weren’t talking, we were just enjoying being together.
How often do we take the time to enjoy the little moments with our spouse?
Here are some suggestions for enjoying those moments – Take a moment to…
- Enjoy a few sips of coffee (or even a whole cup) in the morning before you leave each other.
- Sit in the car together chatting before you rush into the house or wherever you are headed.
- Watch the sunset from outside or inside.
- Take a mental picture of your spouse that you can carry with you throughout your day.
- Read something to each other before you get ready for bed.
- Talk to your spouse during the day about the little things.
- Pray together.
- Watch your children play.
- Interact with your children together.
- Breathe in the air that God has given you for the day.
- See how good your spouse smells.
- Give a good kiss to each other.
- Laugh about something good.
- Say “I Love You”.
Take a moment to enjoy each other as often as you can during your day.
Here’s a riddle for you: What do you have in limited resource but can give a lot of? What doesn’t cost anything, but can cost dearly?
The answer is TIME.
Celebration of birthdays is a big thing in our household and one of the more memorable ones was one where Time was the theme. Each member of our family spent individual time with the birthday person. The activities included things like having a meal together, playing miniature golf, ice skating, going to the movies and other things. It was a busy time, but it left our birthday person feeling pretty special. This got us to thinking about time and how we use it. We are each granted only so much time. There are only 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 12 months in a year. Not only is our time limited in its counting but also limited by the amount of time we spend here on earth as God deems it. Ecclesiastes tells us that there are times for everything – a season for every activity. The Bible also tells us that we do not know the amount of time that God will give us here on earth. So time is an important commodity. This begs the question – How are we choosing to use our time? The best way that we can spend our time is by giving it to others. If you want your treasures to be built up in heaven, then giving your time to God will need to be a priority. If you want to build up your marriage, then giving time to your spouse will be the priority. Even spending time on yourself can be giving your time to others. The stressed out husband or frustrated wife can benefit their families by taking time to themselves to relax, de-stress and recharge their batteries.
How will you choose to spend your time today?
Many of you have heard that conversation is a key component to a good marriage. If so, then this post will come as no surprise to you. Conversation with your spouse is IMPORTANT. This is the reason that it is so heavily emphasized in marriage counseling and self-help books. Many times, even though we know that it is important, we forget (or choose to ignore) it’s importance. We mistake one-sided commentary as a conversation, or worse, we expect our spouse to read our mind. Remember that only God can read your mind and even He wants you to talk to Him. It is a disservice to our remarriages to lessen the importance of conversation between us and our spouse.
Healthy conversation involves listening, hearing and speaking with consideration. It is used to build our relationship up, not to tear it down. Conversation doesn’t have to be constant. You don’t have to fill every silence. But it does need to be there. Talk to each other. Laugh with each other. Dream together. Clear up conflicts right away. The better your conversations, the more you build up your marriage.
Marriage takes work, no doubt about it. Any good relationship does. But remarriage is a different animal. Why? It really comes down to one thing – Baggage. Everyone has emotional baggage that they carry around. Some of us have more than others. The older we get the more we tend to have because we have lived longer. Even first marriages can have baggage. But remarriages always have baggage. There is no question about that because at the heart of the “re” marriage is a prior one. No matter how long or short, good or bad that first marriage was, it has created baggage that you cannot discard. It’s just a fact. A key thing to having a successful remarriage is not to ignore this fact. We often enter into a remarriage as if this is a completely clean slate, but that isn’t the case. It can’t be. You can ignore the elephant in the room, but it is there nonetheless. So instead of walking around the elephant, we need to acknowledge it. Talk to each other about your baggage. It is extremely important in the success to your remarriage. Some baggage has to be unpacked and dealt with, others just need to be acknowledged and set into a corner where you are not tripping over it every day. Have you unpacked your bags?
It is important in a good relationship to be available to each other. Now, that doesn’t mean being in each others “hip pockets” every single minute of the day, after all, you do not have to be physically present to be available. But you do have to make the effort to be there for your spouse in the ways that they need you. That can be physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. The question is, “how does your spouse need you at this point in time?” Sometimes they will tell you. Maybe they will call you with a request for prayer because they are meeting with the boss this afternoon. Perhaps they need an encouraging word via text because they are having a rough day. What about a quick hug or hand squeeze? It isn’t very difficult to determine how to be there for your spouse if you have made it a point to study them. If you have gotten to know them pretty well, you can use that to your advantage. If you are unsure as to how you can best be there for your spouse – ask. Ask them. Ask God to show you. When you ask God to show you how to be there for your spouse, don’t be surprised when He begins to do just that. In fact, you may find God giving you lots of opportunities to be available.
How can you be available?Listen – What is your spouse saying? How can you meet a need for them today?
- Listen – What is your spouse saying? How can you meet a need for them today?
- Watch – What is your spouse speaking through their body language?
- Learn – What are your spouse’s hot buttons or their cool buttons?
- Speak – What can you say to be encouraging, loving, or attentive?
- Do – What can you do to be there for your spouse?
Let’s start by excluding God from that question. It goes without saying that God should be your best friend. If He is not, you have more important things to work on :o).
If you answered that question with a resounding “MY SPOUSE”, congratulations! You get it! Your best friend is the person who is with you through thick and thin, mountains and valleys, joy and suffering. This is the person who you share most of yourself with. The person with whom you can be at your most vulnerable. Until you get married, that person can be one or a few other people. Once you have committed to your spouse, however, he or she must fill that role. Otherwise, you are setting yourself (and your marriage) up for failure. Your marriage is the most important relationship that you have outside of the one you have with God. As such, no other relationship can come before it. If you are sharing your innermost self with someone other than your spouse, that relationship is coming between you and your spouse. But my girlfriends understand me so much better than my husband, you say? My buddies get me in a way that my wife doesn’t, you say? We say that this is part of the work involved in being married. If you both work at being each other’s best friend, you will find that you will not only “get/understand” each other, but that the intimacy backing it up makes that relationship infinitely stronger than any other. When your spouse is your BFF, they will surpass what you thought you had with anyone else. We speak from experience here. If you and your spouse aren’t best friends, start changing that now. We promise you that God will reward it.
Coming upon the holiday season, we are preparing to celebrate with family and friends. This is the time of year when many traditions are observed. It is important to have traditions, especially a remarriage and blended family. There are so many obstacles in a remarriage because of the baggage that exists from the previous marriage. One way to overcome those obstacles is to establish traditions that draw your new family together. If you must carry over traditions from your former marriage, perhaps because you have children from that marriage, you must find ways to include your spouse in them. The good thing about traditions is that they can be tweaked and changed to accommodate change in your relationships. Over the upcoming weeks, we will highlight some of the traditions that we have in our family, we encourage you to create your own traditions.
Does your church have a ministry specifically for blended families and/or remarried couples? Tell us about it!
You are rushing around getting ready for the day. Where did that shirt go? You know, the one that you laid on top of the laundry basket so that it would be where you need it to be in the morning. You wore it once already this week so you didn’t want to hang it up, but at the same time, you only wore it once so it didn’t need to go into the laundry. You yell to your spouse to see if they knew where the shirt went because you are sure that you put it on top of the laundry basket. The response? “Did you check in the laundry basket?” You shake your head. Why would you check in the basket when it was supposed to be on the basket? Someone must have put your shirt in the basket because it was assumed that since it wasn’t in use and it was near the basket, it should have been put in it. Frustrating? Possibly. But it is indicative of what we do with those things that we have used and leave out with the intention of using them again soon. Passion is one of those things. We do not have passion for each other, use it and then put it away with the intention of never using it again. If we enjoy our marriages, we have every intention of using it again and again and again! ;o) But there are times when we find that life has gotten in the way and has put passion away because it hasn’t been used in awhile. Why leave things laying around unused? The first step to correcting this problem is to be aware that you have put passion aside for too long. Whether it was intentional or not is beside the point. Next, go check in the laundry basket (or any place else you may have left it). Take it out. Dust it off. And use it!