Examine your relationships. Is love gone? Then we will pray for love and work to change the attitudes or circumstances which rob our life together of its joy. We will determine through communication, even that type which is painful, to develop welcome in our hearts toward each other.
If the welcome is gone, then we need to ascertain whether we take one another for granted, or if it is because deep-seated feelings of resentment have put down their bitter roots. In both cases honesty and forgiveness are essentials.
Sometimes taking one another for granted occurs simply because we are busy living separate lives. David suddenly realized after 12 years of marriage that we shared few extra interests beyond the common goals which joined us—that of the church and the children. I had stubbed my toe on this truth early, around year one of our union, nagged for a while, prayed next, reconciled the concern to God, actually forgotten about it until David reminded me of it. Our hobbies and out side activities flew in scattered directions with mine winging toward the arts and nature and David’s soaring in a steady course toward the church.
I have accused him of being single-minded. We could foresee the potential difficulties this discrepancy might produce in the years ahead and, perhaps, even in the years present. When you remove children and church, what bonds are left? Were we enjoying one another as much as we might? We chose several common interests—a sport, playing paddleball once a week at the Y; a literary interest, taking a course under a noted college professor on modern myth; a pragmatic occupation, gardening in our neglected back yard; and a purely pleasurable pursuit, studying drama including an annual excursion to Stratford, Ontario, Canada, for the superb Shakespeare Festival.
Our hindsight has more than validated these efforts. Our life together has been greatly enriched. There has even been more confidence in the continued development of our independent pursuits. Since so much is shared, those activities we enjoy alone can only further enhance our life together.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.