Friday, February 26, 2016

Right Relationships & The Restoration Of Marriage Pt. 4

As Continued From My Facebook Series On 5 Things You Must Do For A Fulfilling Relationship In Marriage, Church, And With The People In It.   

#5 ~ SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY, ESPECIALLY ONES OWN SPOUSE AND CHILDREN WITHOUT RESERVATION, INSTEAD OF BEING A PART OF THE LATE NIGHT, RESTAURANT AFTER SERVICE CROWD.

#6 ~ SECONDLY, DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT LUNCHES, DINNERS, TRAVEL OR SUCH THE LIKE WITH MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX (MARRIED OR NOT) WITH OR WITHOUT SPOUSAL CONSENT.

This is probably the genesis of most problems within the modern church. Many times individuals, believe that spending time with the "sheep" outside of the service is a good thing. Many times however, the prevailing logic is that it doesn't matter if their spouse is involved or not, because, after all, the "intentions" are good. There is a saying that "the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions!"

ACCESS + TIME = RELATIONSHIP

It is not a good thing when members of the opposite sex have unfettered access to married people. It is even more significant, when in the context of the church, that access infringes on personal and family time. eg: Receiving a call from a member during vacation or a family moment is always bound to kill the moment, especially when one feels "obligated" to answer or address issues. Some say that access is a good thing and part of the ministry and that they are obligated to the people of the church above and beyond normal limitations. I have personally fallen victim to this, and have lived to say that nothing is further from the truth!

First of all, no one should have better and more access to a married individual within the church than their spouse and family. The biblical command was for the husband to "leave" and "cleave" to his wife, (Gen. 2:21, Mt. 19:5, Mk. 10:7, Ephes. 5:31). Not to any church members or other associations no matter how affluent or influential they may be.

It is absolutely a non-negotiable that spouses and children receive the bulk, majority, lions-share of time and attention. After working with the needs of people and or working in a secular job or place of employment, families deserve time and attention even if nothing is going on but the lights. Spouses deserve and need emotional and non-sexual physical intimacy. Children deserve to be ministered to as well, from 'Dora The Explorer' to simple attendance at their basketball game or other activity. THEY (the family) is a priority and whatever takes away from that should be unwelcome. 

Secondly, neither spouse nor children deserve your "tired" energy, or anger from unfulfilled events of the day. Neither do they deserve to be told to "wait" or that sister or brother "so and so" "needs you" and is more important right now...NO WAY!!!.

This is why the late night, or after service meetings, and otherwise, "hookups" and dinners should be avoided at all costs. I KNOW MY COGIC FOLK DON'T LIKE ME NOW, BUT THIS IS PART OF THE REASON THE CHURCH IS IN THE CONDITION THAT IT IS NOW! ...It's been "COMMONLY REPORTED"....

Some individuals consider these sort of events to be less dangerous as long as the spouse, who is usually at home, knows and understands what is going on. Be cautioned as many times these restaurant and intimate situations are only doorways to the proliferation of false doctrine, gossip, flirtation, and sexual encounters. These settings can also reveal weaknesses within marriage that some willing individuals may seek to exploit. Within these settings, information is often exchanged. When information is added to knowledge over time, the foundation for relationship has been laid.

INFORMATION + KNOWLEDGE x TIME = THE FOUNDATION FOR A RELATIONSHIP 

Long, drawn out phone conversations with persons of the opposite sex, or intimately set private meetings, should be avoided as well especially when "small talk" is the only objective or outcome. These things are usually a way to start trouble and keep trouble brewing whether married or single. With very few exceptions (if there are any), these sort of arrangements are ripe ground for carnality, jokes, vanity, showboating and playing on the feelings and emotions of those involved.

Travel 
Travel is often the ground where infidelity begins. It is usually done in the name of the Lord and for a good purpose and or reason. However, God has NEVER sanctioned a married man to travel and or "hook up" with a single person in the sense in which I am discussing in this article. Even in town travel where there is a man a woman in the same car that is unmarried should be avoided, yet alone travel that takes one from city to city and or across state lines. Situations such as this is fertile soil for infidelity.

Some say that teachings such as this is an "unhealthy preoccupation with potential problems"...I say, if a persona wants a secure, safe and healthy marriage, especially in this day and age, can they be too precautions or pay too much attention and diligence towards their marriage? I don;t believe that it is a possibility to safeguard what God has ordained and what you have built and labored for through and in the bond of holy matrimony.

Get The Story Right....

In this, I am not suggesting that one should be inhospitable to special guests. I am talking about a pattern of engaging the people of the church or otherwise and putting one's family, specifically the spouse and children, on the back burner, and getting in the "flesh" in one mode and method of interaction with others. It amazes me still that some individuals will overlook their own children to meet the needs of a stranger's child and overlook the needs of their spouse to meet the needs of another's spouse or a single individual. The needs of ones own spouse and children are and should be first and foremost priority without hesitancy, question or reservation.

I am also amazed at the man who chased the skirts in the church and gave all kinds of time and access to them, when his spouse had to set an appointment to talk! So sad!!!!

What Of Blended Marriages? What Are My Time Constraints?

Often times I am asked too late about the duty towards children from previous or prior marriages or relationships. Some of these situations involve children in which there is ongoing shared care or responsibility for children. Who comes first in such situations? The child or the new spouse? 

The fact is that each situation must be judged or adjudicated on its own basis. Children entering a new parental spousal relationship due to death oftentimes have a different outlook, perspective and different needs than children entering a relationship due to infidelity or a breakdown in family continuity. Either way, these are very difficult situations and views and attitudes are all across the board on this issue. While there is no hard or fixed answer for these situations, I believe that there are some general guidelines that can be followed to make sure that children from previous marriages are loved and respected and new spouses are honored as well. 
1. With patience and tolerance, lead your child/children into a right and healthy relationship with the new spouse. Children, at any age, can be led by a loving parent. A parent must be careful to not make or force children into a relationship with a new spouse. Driving relationships will only create frustration and possibly create a wedge between a parent and child from the previous marriage or relationship. Remember that a child does not easily view a new parent as a "mother" or "father" and may never do so. That is OK. Be patient, show diligent attention and assure the child that they will not be left alone at any time and stand behind that promise. Avoid tug of war issues in which a choice of allegiance must be made on one side or another.  
2. A parent must be willing to accept responsibility for their part in the failure of the previous marriage and be willing to address issues involved in order to answer questions, doing this without blame. Place the limitations of the previous marriage or relationship in perspective. own your part in the demise of the previous marriage. Failure to own one's own faults will not only erode confidence, it can also stir up anger and if the object is to mold a new family group whereby everyone is honored and respected, one must minimize or reduce anger to a minimum. 
3. Make sure that the child from the previous marriage receives all the necessary time, attention, and privacy required to heal, find their place and understand their relevance. Whether by death or divorce, children from prior relationships are often lost and feel lost as the result of a loss or displacement of a parent and change in relationship. As I have stated in this article, time builds relationships, the same is true of parental time given to children. Make the children a priority so that they can be strong and healthy.  
4. The new spouse must be secured in his/her place within the marriage and new family relationship. Healthy boundaries must be established and the new spouse must be made to feel that they are first and more than a mere "suga-daddy", "baby sitter" or "suga-mama" for children of the previous relationship. The new spouse is not simply and order taker or servant and must feel respected at all times.  
5. DO NOT make a distinction in the treatment of children of new and old relationships. A child thrust into a new situation must feel as comfortable and safe and free as they were in the prior relationship, provided that the previous relationship was normal and healthy. too many times children are treated differently by parents and by new spouses in new relationships. This can be mentally devastating and may deliver many negative consequences as a result.  
I do not advise any individual with children to pursue or get into a new marriage until these issues have been addressed, considered or at least discussed. Keep in mind that children at older ages need just as much attention as children at younger ages when it comes to issues such as these. Make no assumptions and be quick to address issues, openly, honestly and comprehensively with patience and love. every child deserves at least that much!  

Conclusion:

The FIRST thing I place in the last part of this mini-series...that is PRAY TOGETHER! It is the power of God through prayer that will preserve any family and fix any situation that you are dealing with. PRAYER is the key, and FAITH unlocks the door!

Intimate occasions and the distribution of time is for family, spouses or people with whom there is or will be a commitment. One should never be too busy to listen to a problem or a daily event or circumstance. In many cases, a spouse only wants and needs a "listening ear" and needs to know that their spouse has their back on issues and will be there. Very seldom do spouses need their problem solved by the other spouse. They simply desire to have their presence, place and connection with their spouse affirmed Children desire confidence that they are important and will not be forgotten or lost in the shuffle of daily activities and that they matter and have a place.

Time spent with the wrong people or persons create similar results. A formula would be like this:

Time + Knowledge + Individual(s) = BOND

Time should not be unaccounted for within the context of marriage. Remember, time with a spouse is something that can never be replaced. Time with children creates memories that are good both for you, but especially for them as they are impressionable at a very early age. 

Make time if there is none and neither you nor those with whom you spend time will ever be ashamed.

Blessed!

2 comments:

  1. What of in-laws who do the same. Intrude in the same manner as you describe in this article and are aware of biblical scripture regarding marriage and don't care. What then when they feel they have a right to intrude?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The establishment of healthy boundaries is essential to any relationship and especially marriage. Often, in-laws, believe that they should have special access because of relationship and many times abuse their closeness to the situation to drive wedges between those in a primary relationship. In these cases, I believe that the married individuals must come together, establish rules and boundaries and be willing to make the preservation of the marriage the #1 priority.

      No one, not even Momma, has the right to intrude. Now with that said, the couple SHOULD NOT include Momma either...There comes a day when the couple must realize, that they TWO must walk through some issues together, alone (with one another) no matter the outcome, good bad or ugly!

      Don't withdraw the welcome of family and simultaneously need them to "do" or be there...from babysitting on down, if we don't want in-laws or extended family involved, them make your own path.

      So in summary:

      Discuss difficulties with spouse & establish healthy boundaries and boundaries that honor God and preserve the relationship
      Make those boundaries known to in-laws & stick to them when challenged
      Make your own path through trial without the assistance of in-laws
      Be willing to make adjustments based on the needs of the family going forward.

      Hope that addresses the issue. If not, please let me know.

      Thanks.

      Delete

Please send me an email if you try to post a comment and cannot do so. Dunamis1@netzero.com. Thanks.