The Knight in Shining Armor

Don’t you just love Medieval Stories? Stories about the Knight in Shining Armor who comes to the aid of the Damsel in Distress. We forget he’s wearing a lot of heavy gear to protect himself.

Sometimes, once he’s broken through the castle walls, rescued his Fair Maiden, and settled down to a life without Fire-Breathing Dragons, he still fails to take off his armor.

Like the men in Days of Old, today’s guys often have good reasons to leave that armor on, not only at the office, but at home as well.

For example, does your Knight give you “the silent treatment”? Believe it or not, that’s a frequently used piece of “armor.”

He’s not quiet because he doesn’t care,
but because he needs to shut out something painful.

And are you’re wondering what’s so “painful” about  “simple conversation” with his mate? Get the details in the FREE Book: Why Won’t He Talk to Me? The Simple Truth About Men and Intimate Communication.

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Where is your victory today?

Joshua listened to The Lord. He learned how to listen for His Voice as he served under Moses. And he also learned obedience. So after Moses died, Joshua became their leader with a Really Big Promise from The Lord.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. JOSHUA 1:5-6

First, while serving as Moses’ aide, Joshua learned to occupy his own inner territory fully and bring it under obedience to the will of God. Then he was able to take New Territory. The Land The Lord had promised the Israelites.

What does Joshua’s story mean for you?

You can never be taken from The Father. But there is someone who has been working steadily to make sure you’re totally ineffective in The Kingdom. It’s time we put a stop to his lies. How?

  • First, occupy what you have. Fill it with goodness and excellence.
  • Then pray about New Territory. Watch for open doors. There will be many.

Want to learn more? Join me for Invincible.
June 10. 9am-12pm. Vanguard University.
Register here.

To forgive? Or not to forgive?

heavenly romance

At one time or another, we hurt the ones we love – whether we mean to or not. Sometimes we’re just being selfish – totally self-absorbed, and we don’t even realize the level of pain our actions will cause for our spouses. Whatever the reason, it simply shouldn’t happen – in a perfect world.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a fallen world. And we all need forgiveness. And as Christians, we are required to forgive one another. Jesus said so.

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” ~ Matthew 6:14-15

Even so, we all have the ability – and tendency – to harbor resentment.
It’s the human way – that is, it’s our natural bent.
We want to punish the one who hurt us.
Get even.

[callout]Yes, you can decide NOT to forgive.
It’s completely your choice.[/callout]

And it’s the easier route.
Or is it?

The Real Fight

made for each other

You gotta know who your real enemy is. The Real Fight is not against one another. The Clash between two Kingdoms is not about Me vs. You. We’re in the middle of a Real Fight between the Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of the Air (Ephesians 2:2).

We only have one enemy. And his only tactic is a lie. It’s all he’s ever had … since the beginning of Creation. So the easiest way for him to take us out of commission … to render us ineffective in and for the Kingdom of Heaven … is to pit man and woman against one another. (Genesis 3)

But as Paul said, we are not unaware of his schemes:

Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Communication, Connection, Conflict

how to resolve couple conflict

Every couple experiences conflict. Simply because no two people are exactly alike.

Add to that the fact that men and women speak different languages, and you’re sure to have trouble brewing sooner or later.

Find healthier ways to resolve conflict, break the negative cycle, and create connection.

For more info, please contact Dr. Debi via mail@drdebismith.com

Day 10: Bad Couples Therapy

the right starting point

Dr. William Doherty wrote, “the only form of therapy that received low ratings in a famous national survey of therapy clients, published in 1996 by Consumer Reports, was couples therapy” (see Bad Couples Therapy in Psychotherapy Networker).

He proposed that this problem exists because psychologists, social workers, professional counselors, and psychiatrists have never had even one course in how to conduct marital therapy.

His Bottom Line on Bad Couples Therapy:

Most therapists don’t know what they’re doing and need training.

I was one of the Blessed Ones, I guess. I completed a full semester (elective) course in marital therapy while I was in graduate school. And I did a couple’s Case Study as part of my Professional Qualifying Exam prior to my pre-doctoral internship.

And when I decided to specialize in couples counseling, I read everything I could find about how to do marital therapy well. I took post-graduate courses and even completed a 4-day externship in Houston, Texas.

But as I began to practice, I realized all my training had left out the Key Principles.

[callout]Unfortunately, marriage counseling often fails
– simply because it is founded upon the wrong premises.[/callout]

Here are a few examples …

  • Marriage is a 50-50 partnership.
  • Romance dies a natural, healthy death.
  • There are no God-given gender differences.
  • Men need to learn to express themselves like women do.
  • And we don’t talk about God or spiritual warfare. That’s for preachers.

And here’s my take …

  • Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman before God.
  • God is the Original Romantic, and Romance is what keeps us going.
  • We have many God-given gender differences to be acknowledged and respected.
  • Men do not need to become like women in order to have a happy, healthy marriage.
  • Relationships are – first and foremost – spiritual endeavors. Ignore that, and you lose.

And that’s exactly why I spend so my time talking with you about your spirituality. Without God, you’re fighting a tougher battle than you need to fight. Here’s a short article that you might find helpful: Inside, Outside, Upside Down.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • How do you see the current issues you have in your relationship?
  • What approaches have you already tried to improve things?
  • Have you asked God for His perspective?
  • What did He say?

Day 9: Instructions for Men

instructions for husbands

God talked to Adam. He gave him specific instructions. About what to do. And what NOT to do. But he didn’t listen. Or obey.

The Lord gave instructions for what to do …

Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish in the sea
and the birds in the sky
and over every living creature
that moves on the ground.”
(Genesis 1:28)

… and for what NOT to do …

“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
(Genesis 2:16-17)

[callout]But Adam stood by
while Eve had a conversation with a snake.[/callout]

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food
and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom,
she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it.
(Genesis 3:6)

Adam’s Failure to Follow Instructions

  • He did not take his God-given authority (to rule) over the creature (the snake).
  • Instead of protecting his wife, he stood by and watched.
  • Then he followed his wife’s lead.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • In what ways have you observed this story of deception and disobedience playing out in marriages today?
  • If you could rewrite Adam and Eve’s story with a happy ending …
    • what would Eve do differently?
    • what would Adam do differently?

Day 8: Sweet Companion

sweet companion

We left off yesterday the with Truth that Adam needs his own Someone. So God does surgery … while Adam’s sleeping, of course. The Lord removes a rib to create his Someone – Someone just for him. Can you imagine Adam’s excitement when he wakes up? A totally cool setup – just for him.

He already has the whole world at his fingertips. Lots of food. Freedom to putter around in a lavish Garden. Then God gives him a wife, too? She’s the perfect addition to make his life the Paradise God wanted him to enjoy.

That’d be better than having control of the remote, don’t you think?
Besides, they were the only two people on Earth at that point
… and the football hadn’t been invented yet.

Just think about it.

Adam has everything going for him. The Garden is pure pleasure for all his senses. Sight, sound, fragrance, taste, touch. Nevertheless, the Lord thinks of one thing more He wants for Adam. God sees Adam’s need, and gives him the Perfect Partner.

His Bride is there to rescue him from being alone. Now he has a Sweet Companion – Someone like him – only different – very different. Someone with whom he can enjoy the pleasures of God’s Creation. Plus they are both totally naked. She’s beautiful beyond words … and totally irresistible.

His own Sweet Companion. Adam can hardly believe his luck!

  • No competition anywhere.
  • Complete Freedom, and no 2-hour commute to work 5 days a week.
  • Plus Endless Rapture with his Sweet Companion.

[callout]Sex with her whenever he’s in the mood
– which I’m guessing is pretty much all the time.[/callout]

And Eve’s only desire is to be beside her Dearest Husband, to give herself completely to him, and to bask in his love. She experiences his desire for her as pure Joy and Bliss.

  • No meals to cook.
  • No dishes to wash.
  • No house to clean.
  • No kids to pick up after.
  • And no dirty laundry to do.

Only a totally Hot Husband who adores her. Lucky girl!

Bonus! God Himself comes down from Heaven in the cool of the evening and walks with them in the Garden. And none of them even care if He walks in on their Lovemaking. After all, it was His idea in the first place, right?

For this reason …

 That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
(Genesis 2:24-25)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What about this story sounds like you and your mate … in the beginning?
  • If your relationship has gone south since then, when did the trouble begin?
  • What have you done to try to regain the love you once had?

Day 6: The Importance of Rest

rest

If you’re reading this, you’re probably someone who works hard at your relationships. But are you remembering to rest? To take it easy for awhile? To let go of “intense”? When you focus all your energy on changing yourself, your circumstances – or your mate or anyone else – you miss out on some important possibilities. And it can be a sign that you’re trying to control stuff that’s not yours to control.

You don’t have the inside track on your relationship. Your mate has a perspective, too. Do you know what it is? By slowing down, resting together, and listening, you might find a solution your hadn’t thought of before. How cool would that be?

Resting is part of who we are created to be.

[callout]God Himself rests.
And He set that as a pattern for us as well. (Genesis 2:2-3)[/callout]

… an essential component of our relationship with the Father.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,
just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest … (Hebrews 4:9-11)

Food for thought … or discussion

  • How or where do you experience rest?
  • When do you take a rest from your work?
  • When do you take a rest from “fixing” your relationship?

Where would you like to be in 40 days?

The Truth is – whether you are male or female – you are creatively designed for Romance. And The Lord is deeply interested – not only in your Holiness, but also in the fullness of your Joy. Yes, even your Happiness!

Enjoy this FREE preview of my soon-to-be-released devotional-study-for-couples book. And the opportunity to work through all 40 lessons (and tests) on faith + science. (Save 50% on softcover pre-order here! Amazon Release Date: May 9, 2017)

Each lesson is designed to help prepare you for the greater blessings the Lord has in store for you both. We’ll take a closer look at:

  • God’s Plan for Your Relationship
    • and what science reveals
  • The Beauty of a Woman
    • what she wants and needs in relationship
    • and ways the enemy deceives her
  • The Wonder of a Man
    • what he needs to be all he was created to be
    • and ways the enemy attacks him
  • The Truth About Love
    • how to maintain your focus on Truth
    • and be living in love all the days of your life

[callout]Check back here each day for the next 40 days!
Or subscribe to my FREE Newsletter below
to receive your daily lessons via email.[/callout]