As I was listening to a man named Frank give an analogy– I suddenly had a very vivid image. He said, “Picture a baseball being hit and landing in an outhouse full of waste or a sewage tank. What do you do? Do you get it out?” No, but what if it was a diamond that large? (Paraphrasing) He proceeds with example after example of who and what we honor and why. Frank Seekins zooms in on the issues, and his wisdom and understanding of relationships are undeniably some of the greatest teachings out there. If you get a chance watch. Dr. Frank Seekins ‘A Mighty Warrior’
And if you’re married, I suggest watching them both with your spouse. Grab the popcorn.
I’ve stumbled across several amazing teachings on marriage and the roles of men and women by googling. Yes, right out there in internet land where you never know what you are going to get; I landed on a couple of diamonds. So, to further your appetite, I want to add two more links before I get into this blog post. If your marriage is falling apart, empty, and less than desirable, and in the words of the Righteous Brothers,
“You lost that lovin’ feelin’ Whoa, that lovin’ feelin,” then you need help!
It’s possible that you don’t know how you were designed by The Creator—the One who designed Adam and Chavah (Eve). You may not know your role in the relationship or how to make the most of your marriage. Dr. Skip Moen was one of the first teachers Abba led me to during my journey. His book Guardian Angel is a life-changing read. If you haven’t discovered his blog post or heard of him, here is a short blurb.
“Skip Moen is the founder of At God’s Table, a worldwide cyber community that explores and applies the Hebraic worldview of Scripture. Skip has five earned degrees and travels to the far reaches of the globe visiting readers, teaching and encouraging people to be distinctively different in their thinking and living.”
Click here to order Guardian Angel. Dr. Skip Moen or you can look for his video series on YouTube.
Author and teacher, Kisha Gallagher has an amazing series called Role of Women on her blog site Grace in Torah. You can read her series on the daughters of the Most High here.
According to Jewish history, the Rambam counts four steps to repentance which they call Teshuva. This word literally means to return. Teshuva is a time of self-evaluation and trying to work on coming up higher. This is the season of doing just that and also in our marriages. I have listed the four steps below along with scripture for each.
- Recognize and then discontinue. “Escape from all lusts of youth and run after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on our Lord with a pure heart” (2nd Timothy 2:22 AB).
- Verbally confess the action “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16 NASB).
- Regret the action. “Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge” ( Psalms 51:4 NASB).
- Determine to never repeat the actions. “Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14 BLB).
This blog will have mercy sprinkled throughout. I need mercy.
It will be a blog of pondering traits we see in ourselves. I need to meditate.
It will contain a bit of psychology mixed with Teshuva. I need to return.
Marriage is a funny union of opposition and struggle, laughter and unity. It’s a mixed-up mess of good and bad and at times an incredible masterpiece. It’s both parties coming together as one, but without Him in the center of a marriage, it is fire–a consuming fire.
Time and gravity change us. Our spouses may not look exactly like they did the day we married them, but hopefully, we see them as more beautiful or more honorable now than then.
The word for fire in Hebrew is “esh.” Click the link to listen to the word and see it written in Hebrew. Fire in Hebrew
The word for man in Hebrew is ‘ee-sh’ and woman is ‘eesha.’ Both words have fire in them, and when you place them together and the two become one, you have Fire-(Yah-or God) Fire. He is in the center. When both parties are prideful, stubborn, and self-seeking—placing themselves above Abba, above their spouses, then you have a whole bunch of hot tempers and fiery flames, fighting to be right and in control. Or perhaps one spouse is a believer, and the other one isn’t much on board? One wants a spiritual life, the other not so much. This too is causing one of the parties involved to not be able to fulfill their destiny as they should. Sadly, we can devour each other with our fire, instead of Abba’s fire. All this fire can turn our relationships icy cold.
Most of the time we want things in this life that never bring us joy, peace, fulfillment, or anything worth fighting for.
Used to, when a couple met, and they began to desire one another, they came to a conclusion that it was going to be a good union and they married. Now days not so much. Most people just live together or have bedroom mates. They miss the whole opportunity of standing before family and friends and saying, “This is my bride! This is my husband!” This is the one I am going to become one with—die with—and make a covenant vow with. They miss being set apart from the world.
My husband waited months to hold my hand and even longer to kiss me. He was not going to lead my heart to believe that he had made his mind up about marrying me, or that I was ‘the one,’ until he was certain. He wasn’t going to try and use me for sex and then discard me. When he kissed me it had been 12 years since he had kissed a woman. Not because he is unattractive or didn’t have women pursuing him, because he is a man of valor. They still exist ladies.
Nowadays we go to great elaborate exhausting, expensive wedding plans, but we often are met with divorce and unhappy endings. We are met with fire pus fire. I’ve been there! The person we thought we would grow old with, raise children, and grandchildren with, now is a shattered, broken family. Children, from previous unions that failed, now thrown into a hodgepodge of trying to mix and blend. This was never The Father’s plan. I could list a ton of reasons for divorce and unhappiness in the home, but I just want to showcase some things that affect all of us whether we are married or single. Remember the videos and blogs I posted above are for the deeper healing and revelation.
Many marriages and relationships struggle due to passive-aggressiveness, control, manipulation, the martyr complex, and many other behaviors connected to our past. It’s a common problem today, but becoming aware of some of these sneaky characteristics helps. I wanted to start with a behavior that is common—passive-aggressiveness.
Here are eight features of passive aggressive people taken from Daily Worth.
- Asking Threat-Based Questions
- Making Wistful Statements
- Doling Out Backhanded Compliments
- Ignoring or Saying Nothing
- Leaving Someone Out
- Sabotaging Someone
- Keeping Score
For more info, click the link here 8 Signs You’re Being Passive Aggressive | DailyWorth
Many times our hearts do things that are so subtle it gets overlooked, even by us. . . “If our hearts know nothing against us, we have confidence in approaching God.” 1st John 3:21. What Our Hearts Know? – Obadiah’s Cave
- יְהוָה YHWH our Father is compassionate before a person sins.
So let’s review a couple of characteristics of passive aggressiveness and see if we need to come up higher in an area. I’ll start with wistful statements.
Example: Family member explains that they are going to Australia on vacation. Our response is–“Boy, I wish I could go on a vacation like you, but “I’m too broke—it must be nice.” I wish I could relax and watch a movie, but I have to do all the dishes.” Etc.
A friend calls to tell you about a fabulous book he/she read—a new sushi restaurant tried, and we say, “I wish I had free time to lounge around and read or go out to eat, but I have to take care of my mother who has Alzheimer’s.” The wistful list is unending. It may be true, but it just makes the other person feel bad.
- YHWH our Abba is compassionate after a person has sinned.
Backhanded compliments can be traced to jealousy. The compliments seem more like jabs or smirks—congrats with a twisted remark that takes away from the person’s accomplishments or even their worth. One example would be a friend writes a book or starts up a business and is excited to tell us, but instead, we say “not my type of business, genre or writing style—I only read murder mysteries, but good luck with that. Or perhaps we add on something unneeded. “Nice dress, but you would look better in red than the blue. “You made some good points, but you need to learn __”
- אֵל El: mighty in compassion to give all creatures according to their need.
- רַחוּם Rachum (compassionate): merciful, that humankind may not be distressed.
Many times people can cause us to become distressed. Many times we can cause them to be distressed. Unknowingly, at times our own need for recognition snuffs out others lights.
The silent treatment is one of the most heartbreaking traits. This is when a person acts as if we are unworthy of reconciling or talking through things. The person is clearly unhappy with our behavior or is jealous or suspicious, so he or she is going to punish us by not speaking—or ignoring us. Then we are supposed to try and figure out what we said or did that was wrong or deserving of guilt–silence. Sometimes it’s more subtle. We ask a question, perhaps it’s about a party we heard about and the person ignores it leaving us feeling unwanted on the guest list.
The Martyr image is one rooted in child abuse or strict religious upbringings. Most martyrs have a poor self-image, low self-esteem, and can be moody and judgmental. They often exaggerate their level of suffering and use it for attention. They can be critics to a fault, and they may have difficulty with the word ‘no’ or needing to be right.
Can you see yourself in any of these? I’m sure we all can see something.
Other areas of change may involve looking deeper into our hearts for healing.
Are we know it all’s?
Must we get the last word?
“When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest” (Proverbs 29:9).
Can we learn from others regardless if they have Ph.D. after their name? Humility.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
Do we have a cure for everything?
Do we drive better, cook better, and look better than everyone?
Do we offer advice continuously but never take it.
“If I were you…” Is our way best?
“Are we wiser in our own eyes?
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7.
Are we certain our son/daughter is not the problem in the failing marriage, or our child would never have gotten in trouble if he/she hadn’t been hanging out with so and so?
So often we find ourselves angry and hurt over what others have done to us, but what did we do to them?
Are we as merciful with others as Abba is with us?
- וְחַנּוּן VeChanun (Gracious): He shows mercy to us when we don’t deserve it and is gracious when we are already in distress.
- אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם Erech appayim: slow to anger. He gives us time to repent and think about our sins.
- וְרַב–חֶסֶד VeRav chesed: and abundant in kindness. He is giving and loving and showering blessings that we do not deserve.
- וֶאֱמֶת VeEmet: and truth. He is not a man that He would break a vow or lie to us.
All of the items on this list are just to ponder and search out. They are not directed at anyone, and if we all were honest, we all are hopefully seeing something we need to change.
9.Notzer chesed laalafim: keeping kindness unto thousands;
10.נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן Noseh avon: forgiving iniquity;
11.וָפֶשַׁע VaFeshah: and transgression;
12.וְחַטָּאָה VeChata’ah: and sin;
- וְנַקֵּה VeNakeh: and pardoning.
Who is a God like HaShem?
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).
I want to leave you with the answer to the whole issue. It all stems from love. Loving ourselves, our spouses and others, with a pure love. Allowing Him to increase while we decrease. That means all our knowledge, which isn’t much, all our looks, ambitions and titles become very small in our eyes. You know how small they are compared to Him? Teensy-weensy.
“So we have come to know and trust in the love that God has for us. God is love. Now whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
In this way, love is made perfect among us, so that we should have boldness on the Day of Judgment. For just as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother” (1st John 4:16-20 Tree of Life Bible).