How to Make Your Long Distance Relationship Work

While a long-distance marriage may not be what you imagined when you said, “I do,” it’s the reality for many people. Whether due to deployment with the military, a company move or a family emergency, long-distance relationships can work ― it just takes effort and communication. Nobody says it is going to be easy — the extra distance makes many things unachievable. Things could get complicated, and you could get sad and lonely at times. However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest, being able to hold the other person’s hand.

Do long-distance marriages work? Yes, they absolutely can! Just like any other relationship, a long-distance marriage will work as long as both parties are invested in it, put in the work to nurture it and genuinely care about the other person’s happiness. To keep your love alive and strong, here are 3 important tips to make your long distance marriage work:

1. Quality time is necessary for couples to nurture their connection. Long-distance couples need to be creative when spending quality time together, and technology can play a significant role. For example, one couple we work with has a standing virtual “meeting’ every Friday evening even though they cannot be together physically. They use this time to connect and share their common vision, which is important when spending quality time together. Whatever a couple chooses to do, this time needs to be distraction-free.

2. It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

3. Surprising your partner is essential in any relationship, and it is just as important in any long-distance marriage. This can be tricky for couples separated by distance and can take creativity and planning to implement. Surprises—because they are unsolicited and unexpected—communicates a message to your spouse that you are thinking of them and that you took the time and effort to show them.

If your marriage is healthy and supportive and you set the right conditions for it, it’s absolutely possible to have a thriving, happy long-distance marriage. As with any other relationship, it’s important to put in the work that’s required to support each other and ensure that you and your spouse are working towards the same goals, supporting each other’s’ dreams and building each other up — all of which is absolutely achievable even if you aren’t in the same place all the time.

Peace & Blessings

Marriage of God

7 Things to Discuss Before Marriage

Marriages today are crumbling at a high rate — not because we no longer get along, but because we have lost sight of the blessing tied to a biblical marriage. Before even thinking about getting married, one point that you need to consider is about your devotion and how you are going to spend time on your devotion to your partner?

As Christians, we know the value of daily devotions. We see great men and women of God who set aside time every morning to meditate on God’s Word, spend time in His presence and commune with Him through prayer. One way to strengthen your marriage is to study the Bible together. To start, you can read your devotions together, but as you know it’s going to be difficult because whether you like it or not you will experience busyness and conflicts as you go through this time as a couple together, that’s the reason why devotion is important, in fact, it is critical in the relationship because it’s going to be the foundation of your marriage.

Here are 7 things you need to discuss before marriage.

1. As an engaged couple or newlywed, it’s a big plus knowing the expectations your spouse has for your marriage. Because it will help you communicate effectively with each other, merge your lives as a married couple, and learn how to meet each other’s needs. Also, it will show you things you have different mindsets, perspectives, or views about. Marriage is about a million different compromises and things that you will never think to ask will come up. Over time, meaningful communication and quality time together can return if the couple works each day to make it happen, but both partners need to make a commitment.

2. Accepting the fact that everything in life changes, including marriage – can help you focus on reality and what the possibilities are for you both. Letting go of what was and working toward what can be is the answer to rebuilding something beautiful. The stronger you are together, the stronger you will be as individuals. This not only requires time; it requires an authentic commitment. Marriage makes two individuals, even stronger as one.

3. Marriage is a partnership that can take many different forms depending on the emotional needs of the people in it. The important thing is to articulate and define how you and your soon-to-be spouse sees your marriage. Will it be drawn along traditional lines, with one partner focused on finances and the other on running the household, even if you’re both working? Being clear about your own needs, your desires for intimacy, for autonomy, for support must precede the talk.

4. One of the biggest things married couples fight about, and one of the most common sources of stress and tension, is finances. Too many couples get caught in the trap of financial stress and struggle because they didn’t take the time to discuss the finances. How do you feel about combining money? What are your spending habits? Do you have any debt and how are you going to pay it off? What are your views on saving, tithing, and giving? Getting on the same page when it comes to money will save you so much strain as you soon become one.

5. Arguments are inevitable, but it’s how you can both handle them that determines whether you’ll get through them. As a couple more likely you’re going to disagree about how to run the house, chores, who cleans the bathroom, but those are the kinds of things that you can settle if you work on your communication style. You have to be aware of the expectations you’re bringing into the marriage. While the thought of spending the rest of your life with someone you love is heart-warming, know that you won’t always feel “in love” during your marriage.

6. People change gradually. It only feels like they change quite suddenly when they don’t continually talk. If your spouse is slowly becoming depressed or dissatisfied, it shouldn’t take you by surprise. You should know about all the stages, through constant talk. There should be many, many opportunities for intervention. From petty things like maintaining a clean house to major decisions about finances and raising children, there will always be disagreements and fights that are bound to happen.

7. You and your significant other should agree on fundamental topics like finances even though they’re not always fun or easy to discuss. Money may not be on your mind when you’re in your 20s, but it’s crucial to have this discussion ahead of time so you’re not finding yourself in situations down the road that could do damage to your marriage in the future and that’s the reason why this topic should be crucial before taking any further step on your relationship like marriage.

Peace and blessings!

~Marriage Of God

Communicating In Times of Conflict

There is no way to avoid conflict in your marriage. The question is: How will you deal with it? All relationships go through phases, there will be good times and challenges. When you recognize that your relationship is in a rough spot, take heart. Great relationships don’t happen by luck.

Conflict resolution is really a subset of communication, but for most couples, communication does not become problematic until there is a disagreement. Even though conflict may be rooted in poor listening skills, lack of affirmation, or clumsy expression of feelings, it deserves special attention because this is where couples most hurt.

Here are 3 ways on how to deal with conflict in your marriage.

1. Learn to Listen

Listening is just as important as talking when it comes to conflict resolution. You show your partner dignity when you hear what they have to say. It would also be wise to stay quiet and patient as your spouse expresses their feelings. You can also resolve relationship conflict respectfully by avoiding distractions. Maintain eye contact as you talk, and eliminate distractions such as the television, radio, or phone.

2. Communicate Clearly in a Relationship

Talk to each other. No matter how well you know and love each other, you cannot read your partner’s mind. We need to communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings that may cause hurt, anger, resentment, or confusion. It takes two people to have a relationship and each person has different communication needs and styles. Couples need to find a way of communicating that suits their relationship. Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work. Communication will never be perfect all the time. Be clear when communicating with your partner, so that your message can be received and understood. Double-check your understanding of what your partner is saying.

3. Show Respect

When things get heated, you may resort to some disrespectful speech or actions that you normally wouldn’t. Disrespecting your partner is one of the worst things you can do during an argument. You can resolve relationship conflict without hurting your spouse by taking a minute to cool down. Conflict resolution isn’t about seeing who can yell the loudest or opening old wounds to make your partner submit. It’s about solving a problem.

Remember this: The keys to great communication are learning to listen, staying respectful, trying to see a situation from your partner’s perspective, and forgiving each other. Open and clear communication can be learned. May heaven smile upon you and always be a bridge and never a burden. Be a bridge to your spouse. Be a bridge to your significant other.

Peace and blessings!

~Marriage Of God

Work And Commit In Your Marriage

A marriage based on love and respect doesn’t just happen. Both spouses have to do their part.

“For better, or for worse, till death do us part” can sound so romantic – but it can also sound deadly. Regardless of whether one marries in a secular or religious ceremony most couples still believe that they are making a permanent commitment. Of course we all know that the divorce rate is between 40 – 50%, but most couples who marry don’t think it will happen to them.

Obstacles are going to be trials and hardships that are going to come your way. It’s part of your marriage life. You’re going to have some disagreements, you’re going to have some times where things are stretched or strained. What do you do in those times? Pray!

Prayer is the first line of defense every time. Seek the will of God for your life and your marriage. Ask Him to show you where you can be the spouse He calls you to be. Pray for strength and unity in your marriage.

Love is a decision. It reminds couples that as wonderful as the feeling of love is, it is not sufficient for a marriage. At some point (actually many points) husband and wife need to decide to love – even when they don’t feel like it. Acting on this decision by doing loving things for your spouse, speaking kindly and respectfully, and deciding over and over to pay attention to the relationship makes love rekindle.

Couples who understand the essence of making a permanent commitment realize that it’s much more than just a decision not to divorce. It’s a commitment to do the daily work of keeping the commitment alive. It may mean turning off the TV or taking a nightly walk in order to listen to each other’s concerns. These simple actions, and many more, are the stuff of commitment. They are the actions that keep a marriage vibrant, interesting, and exciting so that temptations to make another choice don’t erupt. Although marriage as a permanent commitment is not restricted to people of faith, Christians might reflect on the scripture to, “take up your cross every day and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Every day we recommit to follow our beloved and vice-versa.

Peace and Blessings!

– Marriage of God

Dishonesty Destroys The Mood

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”

– Proverbs 11:3

How can dishonesty kill the mood and how will it affect marriage? Dishonesty greatly affects the trust that couples have in each other. It definitely is a killer. First, it will destroy the person and eventually, it will destroy all relationships surrounding him/her.

We are fighting this war against divorce – and all the things that lead to it. Dishonesty is one real culprit. As said by Steve Maraboli, “If you behave in a manner that poisons your relationship, don’t be surprised when it dies.” Taking care of our integrity with our partner means taking care of your relationship. This may be an old cliché, but honesty is always the best policy. As we’ve been polling about marriages and what most couples are having problems with, Honesty and Infidelity are high on the list.

Lying tops the bill when it comes to dishonesty. Sometimes we tell ourselves that “Oh, its just a little lie. It doesn’t matter,” or “what he/she do not know won’t hurt him/her,” and all sorts of other excuses when we lie. Lying could also be not telling everything. Lying could also mean omitting the details that might cause your partner’s questioning, because you just don’t want to answer – mainly because you knew that what you did was wrong. Going back to the Proverbs where we started out, if you are righteous and you are telling everything, it gives you the liberty to do the things you really want to do.

When you speak about intimacy, you open up yourself and you say to your partner ‘look-into-me’ and if you are looking into someone that has been lied to, it’s not a pretty picture. The whole premise behind being intimate is me being able to trust you enough, that I can get my guard down and I could just be me. But if there are questions and doubts at the back of your partner’s mind, they will most likely reserve their true feelings or hold back on many other things that you both should be enjoying like their service to you, sex and even conversations. Wall are built back up, and the longer reconciliation happens, the higher the walls are built.

Thus even if you run the risk of upsetting your partner, you must tell the truth. We can recover from the truth a whole lot quickly, and most of the times, we cannot recover from a lie. So the best thing to do when you have lied or been dishonest is to reconcile with your partner with the TRUTH.

Intimacy is important and that is an important thing to get everything going in marriage. Dishonesty is such a poison, thus something that we need to avoid and flee from ALL THE TIME.

Peace and blessings!
~Marriage Of God

Beauty’s Only Skin Deep

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

All too often we hear of marriages falling apart or dissolving in divorce due to one partner “falling out of love” with the other because of changes in their physical appearance. Either the wife’s smooth skin has become marred with stretch marks or the husbands six pack has evolved into a keg. As surely as we live and breathe these physical bodies will betray us! This is why is crucially important that we get to know and love the heart and spirit of our mates. Our scripture reference for today, reminds us not to become overly concerned with the outward appearance of our significant others.

There is absolutely no place for superficiality in a marriage. God is only concerned with what is in our hearts. Therefore, we should follow Our Father’s lead and love like Him. Our love for each other should be a reflection of God’s perfect love for each of us. You see, God’s love for us is unconditional. He loves us in spite of our many flaws. So too, we should love our mates…flaws and all. The love that we hold in our hearts for one another should be powerful enough to cause us to see each other through God’s eyes. It should also cause us to remind our mates (especially in their times of self-doubt) that they are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Finally, don’t allow yourself to be deceived or distracted by the looks of someone whom the enemy may plant in your path. Just as in our scripture reference warns, they may have a great physique and be beautiful on the outside, yet be someone who God Himself does not approve of.

Remember…everything that looks good to us is not necessary good for us. So love on your mate with an everlasting love that reflects God’s grace.

Peace & Blessings!

Brent & Angel

Get Out of Your Feelings

“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” (Psalm 126:5-6 NLT)

How many times have you heard it said or even said yourself, “I’m in my feelings today or I’m just in my feelings right now?” The fact of the matter is, getting in or being ruled by our feelings is easy to do if we are not careful. The enemy desires to get and to keep us trapped and held hostage to our feelings. However, God has called us to live our lives by faith in Him.

In keeping with the context of our scripture for today, farmers do not always feel like going out to till the ground, plant seeds or pull weeds. There may be days when they are tired or discouraged and would rather sleep in and relax for the day, but he gets up and does it anyway – in faith that he will be rewarded for his work. When the time comes, he joyfully reaps the benefit of the harvest.

We are not always going to feel like doing the right thing, but remember the farmer and do it anyway. You may not always feel like being nice to your mate…do it anyway. You may not feel like paying your spouse a compliment…do it anyway. You may not feel like fasting and praying for your marriage…do it anyway. You may not be walking in our purpose because we are fearful of failure, rejection or criticism…DO IT SCARED!

Know that God will bless your acts of faith. Living by faith means that we do the things that we are called to do regardless of how we may be feeling. God has promised to bless our acts of faith. The key is being intentional about acting on faith. We have to do the work that we have been called to do…for faith without works is dead.

Peace & Blessings,

Brent & Angel