A Marriage Made in Heaven or NOT!

A marriage made in heaven or not??? Would that be an accurate description of your marriage? Some days it appears to be made in heaven and some days…… not so much!

As I have counseled couples for many years and watched relationships made in Heaven and others that never were, I have made basic observations about men and women in marriage. Perhaps some of these observations will be beneficial to you.

We all know about the “sacred vows” and the “fairy tale” image. This article is not about any of that. I am convinced that the world as well as the church has failed to give us appropriate tools to complete this marriage journey. At best the world seems to diminish and often “demonize” the institution of marriage. In my opinion, the church is trying to answer questions we are not asking.

Religious platitudes and worldly ignorance and stupidity will not help on the days when our life relationship is “difficult” and worrisome. We need real answers to real questions, apart from political correctness in and out of the church.

The preceding observations have led me to search for some realistic and helpful “tools” in my conferences and retreats. Many of these come from my own experience in marriage. YES, I’ve been there, done that and got a T-shirt to prove it!

Almost everyone, in subtle ways, falls into the trap of wishing your partner were different. We might wish our mate were a better provider, more ambitious, more attentive, or possessed some combination of other qualities. And whenever there is a gap between what we have and what we want, we feel dissatisfied and truly frustrated. We think that our partners transformation will make us happy.

We are resentful because we are convinced that our partner is preventing us from being happy. I have noted that even if this transformation is accomplished through hard work, prayer or compromise it is usual short-lived. We soon discover that like an addict we need something more and additional changes will be our requirement.

Instead of this “yo yo” syndrome, ask yourself what would happen if YOU stopped wishing for your partner to change. You can make a decision to give love to him or her right now, UNCONDITIONALLY! Interestingly when your attention shifts, the changes will occur in YOU. You will become less demanding, more forgiving and less judgmental. Who among us couldn’t benefit from that.

It is very tempting to keep track of all that you do to make your partner’s life easier, and how much you do the sacrificing in the relationship. That tally can lead to perceived inequities. It is a common habit and contributes to cultivated resentment and frustration. Anger soon follows and loving feelings are diminished. These thoughts are burdensome and “burn out” will soon follow.

Unfortunately your partner will “pick up” on this attitude and will usually respond defensively and then in anger. Negative feelings then surround your relationship, your home, and your mind! That atmosphere is toxic and leads to accusations and blame throwing.

To avoid this “joy robbing” trap, reverse the thought process. Don’t think about what your partner isn’t doing, but what he or she is contributing to your life and relationship. Start having an attitude of gratitude about what you have….joy is a strength builder. Strength for your emotional wellness and relationship stability. This will increase the good will in your partnership.

This point reminds me of a joke I once heard. A dietician was once addressing a large audience in Chicago. “The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?” A 75 year old man in the front row stood up and said, “Wedding cake.”

A marriage made in Heaven has a satisfying facet, that even after many years of being together there is still an “air” of playfulness. We should never take ourselves so seriously. That leads to discontent and frustration. My husband has a wonderful “relief” statement when I get to a “boiling point” after “running off” at the mouth. He will cut the tension with this simple statement “I’m going to overlook that little outburst”. I immediately laugh and reconsider my tone and the argument is avoided Remember life is short and there will be no marriage in Heaven. So lighten UP! Have some fun together and be playful NOW.

Avoid the trap of having time for everyone but your partner. It is so easy to become quite overwhelmed with the responsibilities of work and life in general. Unfortunately when we have become overwhelmed it is easy to push those who mean the most to us to the end of the line. Your special time together becomes less and less frequent. I am often told how a spouse feels neglected. I am convinced there is no easy solution or perfect way to correct this. Just be aware this trap is always there and try to make necessary adjustments at work and in other areas to find time for those you cherish. Set boundaries and limits in your life and always think about ways to make loving connections with your family.

Our deficiencies are apparent. The answers are not all that simple or are they? Perhaps we could learn to make our mate a priority with God’s help! We could learn to accept our differences. We could learn to listen carefully, compliment daily. We could work together as a team and mind our manners. We could find time for fun…think good thoughts and strive to fight fairly. Naturally forgiveness would follow!

We could learn to pray daily and specifically for our mate. I teach others to have a 31 day prayer list for their partner. Make your own 31 day prayer plan specific to your partner’s weaknesses. Correspond the day of the month with the number on your 31 day prayer plan. For example: “Lord, today I pray for (name of your spouse). Keep him from sexual temptation and help him avoid and “flee” from it.”

Remember when you move away from each other Satan will often send someone to tempt you. Treasure your marriage. It is truly a “gift”. Champion your mate and your relationship. Don’t try to make your mate “YOU”. That will surely fail. Regardless of the circumstances or challenges in your relationship, becoming more loving is always a great choice for achieving dramatic and positive relationship change. It is YOUR choice.

I have often thought about what attracted me to my husband. I have decided it can be summed up in only a few, but very important words. He is the only man I’d ever dated, who loved God more than He loved me. It has been a tremendous foundation for our relationship. And I love God more than I even love him. I think that may be the “secret” ingredient to a marriage made in Heaven. When we stop acting like and talking like and loving like God it becomes the -or NOT!

Submitted by,
Joani Tabor

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Author's Bio: 

award-winning musical career

Born in Bluefield, West Virginia , Joani is no stranger to tragedy. At age 11, her childhood was suddenly interrupted when her father passed away. She credits her dad, a choir director, for her love of music. A year later, when she became a Christian, Joani says, "Christ became my father." Joani is a pastor's wife. Her husband, Dr. Glenn A. Tabor, Jr., prayerfully supports her ministry. The couple lost a child, and again she found comfort in Christ. That grace is truly reflective of Joani's heart.

Joani quickly gained national recognition with an impressive "Female Vocalist of the Year" and Gold Cross award-winning musical career. Her first professional recording contract featured a national release "Nothing's Gonna Steal My Joy." The song charted nationally, an amazing accomplishment for a release from a new artist. It was the first of many songs to chart on the national Christian music charts. She has completed numerous recording projects, a live video and recordings of her seminar teachings. Her music has received stellar reviews from national Christian music magazines. Joani continues to merit accolades.

Throughout her ministry, Joani has had the opportunity to entertain presidents and national leaders. Among those are the Reverend Billy Graham, who says of Joani, "The Lord has blessed you with a remarkable musical gift. I am so glad you are able to use it for His glory," Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle), who says, "Joani, my friend, it was great. I really enjoyed your singing. Your music is excellent. You are a very talented lady. Keep on singing." And former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, who says, "I send you my warmest best wishes and good luck with your career."

Audiences find her warm stage presence
and unassuming manner very refreshing

Joani holds a Master of Theology degree. Besides having taught voice, she speaks for colleges, universities, retreats, conventions and seminars. Joani has a passion for women's conferences and retreats and focuses much of her attention in those areas. She has seen as many as three hundred respond to Christ in a single invitation.

Joani says, "My life verse is 1 Peter 5:7, 'Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.'" I have a clear call to follow Jesus in ministry. My commitment to evangelism is central."

Joani celebrates life through her music, spreading her message of hope and encouragement. Sharing Christ with others is what Joani Tabor is all about.