Monday, February 27, 2012


“May…God…give you a spirit of unity.”  Romans 15:5

3.   We are not in love any more.  Did you hear about the woman who ran a newspaper advert that said, “Husband wanted?”  She got lots of responses, all saying the same thing: “You can have mine!”  Seriously, if negativity and bitterness are eroding your marriage it is time to make some changes by:
·         Remembering your history.  Chances are you started out as good friends.  So ask yourself how you would treat your best friend if you were having relationship issues.  Not by being critical and defensive, right?  What initially attracted you to one another anyhow?  When did you fall in love?  How did you act when things were good?  Recall and rehearse your best moments.
·         Keeping your thoughts focused on what God can do.  Zero in on your mate’s best qualities, then start believing that God can turn your relationship around.  Remember, you have more ability than you realize to change your perception of your partner.  So concentrate on all the things in your marriage that are “of good report” Philippians 4:8.
·         Building thoughtful behavior back into your relationship.  List some of the things you know would make your spouse happy.  Be specific.  For example, hugging your husband when he comes home from work after a hard day, or helping your wife with the laundry.  Show you care!  Inject consideration back into your relationship.
·         Seeing your partner through God’s eyes.  Trying to love others like God loves you is a good rule for all your relationships, not just marriage.  And if you do not love yourself, start by remembering what God says about you: that you are blessed…loved…valued…and wonderfully made.

4.    Nothing can fix our relationship.  A woman asked her girlfriend, “How come you are wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?”  She replied, “Because I married the wrong man!”  Sound familiar?  The biggest mistake you can make is calling it quits because you think you married the wrong person, and that nothing short of a miracle can save your marriage.

The Good News today is, God is still in the miracle business!  With Him “nothing is impossible” Luke 1:37.  It is when problems seem insurmountable that God comes through for you.  Jeremiah said, “Lord, you…made the heavens and the earth by your great power…Nothing is too hard for you” Jeremiah 32:17.  The trouble is too many of us live in the realm of the probable, thinking things probably will not get better…that we will probably always have money issues…or we will probably get divorced.  Instead, we should be living in the realm of the possible.  Paul says, “Faith…is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen…the evidence of things we cannot yet see” Hebrews 11:1.  The Bible says God’s plans for you “are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11.  If you are feeling discouraged about your relationship, try praying, and fixing your thoughts on what God can do.  The Bible says when you look earnestly for Him you will find Him (see Chronicles 15:2).  He is not some distant deity who is far removed from the challenges of your everyday life.  No, He wants to have an intimate relationship with you; to use His power to transform your marriage into something lasting and wonderful.

Monday, February 20, 2012


This is a depression that happens after childbirth.  The symptoms include low mood swings that develops within the first month after having a baby.  It ranges from mild and normal period of mood disturbance called Baby Blues to the severe and rare problem which is Post Natal Depression.

The Symptoms are as follows:
  • Tearful and miserable feeling.  These feelings are worse at certain times daily especially in the mornings.
  • Insomnia. Waking too early in the morning even when you manage to sleep.
  • Irritability.  This is with either other children, the new baby or with partner.
  • Inability to enjoy self.  This is prominent in new mothers that do not enjoy having a new baby in the way they expected to.
  • Loss of appetite.  This can be a problem because new mothers need energy to look after their babies.
  • Anxiety.  This includes feeling tense and on edge all the time, panic attacks of something catastrophic lasting several minutes.
  • Feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness as well as inability to cope with difficult situations.
  • The feeling of low energy.
  • Suicidal thoughts.
The likely causes of Post Natal Depression includes Hormonal changes after child birth and the stress of looking after a baby and sleeplessness.  These may help to bring on the illness in susceptible people.  Mothers who are more susceptible are those who have previously had depression.  A history of depression also increases the risk.  It is also more common in mothers who have experienced stressful life events during the pregnancy.  For instance, those who do not have support at home, those in whom the baby was unplanned or unwanted, and when the baby has been born with some problem.

Treatment of Post Natal Depression

Post Natal Depression can be treated in the same way as ordinary depression.  Mothers should remember that the most important thing from the babies' and their point of view is to get better soonest.  In this regard, there are a few things that you are able to do to help.
  • Depression is an illness and you are not suffering from it because you are weak or hopeless.
  • Do not bottle things up.  Talk about the problem with somebody such as a health worker and they will be able to sort what should be the best way to help you with your illness.
  • Get extra support and help with looking after the baby.  This is important.
  • Sometimes, antidepressants are necessary.  Although this can cause problems with breastfeeding.  So get drugs that are safe as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not worry that you will lose your baby.  When mothers have post natal depression, they often think that if they speak to somebody like a health worker, their babies will be taken from them.  You will get the help that you need to get rid of it and will help you deal better with the stress of motherhood.
  • Take any opportunity to get some sleep.
  • Try to keep up your normal diet as you will need all the energy.
  • Involve your partner.
  • Take some time for you and your partner.
  • Talk to other mothers with new babies.  You will find that they feel same too.
This is often asked: "Do mothers with Post Natal Depression harm their babies?
  • This is rare.  Mothers with post natal depression often worry about harming their babies or not looking after them properly.  However, they look after their children as well as other mothers.
  • Unfortunately, some mothers and family members that have a history of mistreatment when they were young sometimes harm babies.  But this does not relate directly to post natal depression.
  • Alternatively, they may kill their babies before committing suicide thinking it is better for both to be dead.  This is very rare.
  • If you have worries that you may harm your baby or you know a mother that may harm her child, speak to a health doctor soonest.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


"May...God...give you a spirit of unity."  Romans 15:5

Many couples struggling with "curable" issues, have bought into 4 common marriage myths.

1.  If I try, I can change my partner.  Give it up!  If you think following the "right" plan, struggling harder and refusing to give up will change them, think again.  The Bible says, "Do not think you are better than you are" Romans 12:3.  The truth is, you can only work on yourself.  Once you change your steps in the marriage dance, your mate will begin to adjust theirs.  Plus, by identifying and working on your own shortcomings you will gain credibility with your mate, and create an environment that is conducive to change.  Now, here are some things you can do:
  • Praise the qualities you admire most and build on them.  Anytime you see positive change, recognize and encourage it.
  • Do not let things escalate.  Make a habit of asking, "Is there anything on your mind we have not talked about lately?"  The Bible says do not go to bed angry (see Eph 4:26), so deal with things before they lead to hard feelings and cause strife.
  • Try to be more understanding.  When people do not feel understood, they dig in their heels and resist change.
  • Lessen you dependence on your mate.  Remember, no one can meet all your needs all the time.  You need friends to talk to and share activities with.
  • Above all, be patient; neither of you is perfect.  Ask God to "give you a spirit of unity."  And bear in mind that self control is the result of God's indwelling Spirit, not just human effort (See Gal 5:23).
2.  We are just not compatible.  Marital disagreements fall into 5 categories: money, sex, in-laws, children and household responsibilities.  Too many couples think if they argue about these things they are automatically headed for divorce.  No, conflict does not kill relationships.  What is important is how you deal with it, not the fact that it exists.  One woman said, "My husband hates confrontation so when problems arose in our marriage he just walked away.  I went ballistic and nothing got settled.  Eventually we learned to talk about handling our disagreements; he cannot walk away and I cannot get hysterical.  It we work together to resolve problems."  Anger is just part of your emotional make-up; God did not make a mistake when He included it.  But He wants you to handle it right (Matt 16:15).  Being upset does not give you license to yell and slam doors.  Solomon said, "A fool gives full vent to his anger...a wise man keeps himself under control" Proverbs 29:11.  In other words, think, listen, and calm down before you react.  And never resort to name-calling (Matt. 5:22); it serves no purpose but to intentionally hurt the other person.

We live in a culture of lawsuits and revenge, but a marriage built on retaliation is headed for trouble.  God said "Do not insist on getting even...I will take care of it" Romans 12:19.  You can become physically and emotionally sick by hanging on to bitterness.  So release it and ask God to fill your heart with  His love.  He will do it!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


"Fear of man is a dangerous trap."  Proverbs 29:25

When you enter any relationship, romantic, social, business or otherwise, be careful what you permit in the beginning because it will come to be expected.  For example, if you have to buy someone's friendship by letting them manipulate you, be prepared to keep paying.  And do not plan on changing them.  Just think how difficult it is to change yourself - so what are your chances of changing somebody else?  Decide now what you can live with later.  And stop living like there is no tomorrow - because tomorrow always comes!  Solomon said, "Fear of man is a dangerous trap."  Relationships cannot thrive with one person calling all the shots while the other struggles for approval.

Paul said he had no interest in "trying to make people accept him".  His only interest was pleasing God.  (See Galatians 1:10).  God will never ask you to violate your values or disobey His will to be in the good graces of another person.  In fact, it is better to be alone than to allow anyone other than God to control you.  Let people know upfront that while you would like their approval you can live without it if you have to.  Respect others, and make it clear you expect the same in return.

Above all, never let emotion win out over wisdom, or drown out the voice of God in your life.  When you are insecure you can be drawn into wrong relationships.  Security is a fundamental part of your identity as God's child.  Paul says you "are God's masterpiece...created...anew in Christ" (Ephesians 2:10).  God wants you free to be who you are.  That is why when you ask Him to guide your relationships, He will help you to form the right ones.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


"One day as they were worshiping God...the Holy Spirit spoke."  Acts 13:2

In Acts 13 we read, "The congregation in Antioch was blessed with a number of prophet-preachers...One day as...they waited for guidance - the Holy Spirit spoke: 'Take Barnabas and Saul and commission them for the work I have called them to do.'  So...they laid hands on their heads and sent them off." Acts 13:1-3.  Notice the following things:

  1. God called out Paul and Barnabas by name.  God knows your name and where you live.  Whether you are hiding in a cave like Gideon or gone fishing like Peter, God knows where to find you.  He does not play hide and seek with His purpose for your life.
  2. Their calling was confirmed by trustworthy leadership.  Those who laid hands on Paul and Barnabas, confirming their calling, were leaders who took time to pray, fast and seek God's will.  Such people are a gift.  They will not tell you what you want to hear, they will tell you what you need to hear.  They will cover you, counsel you, correct you, and confirm God's direction for your life.  Do you have such people in your life?  If not, get busy and find some.
  3. They found their calling in church.  Why is that important?  Because God gave us the "pastor-teacher to train [us for service], working within Christ's body, the church" Ephesians 4:12.  The Holy Spirit still speaks to us today as we gather to pray, worship, and hear God's Word.  One reason so many of us lose our way is that we are not in the place where God can speak to us objectively through His Word, and subjectively through His Spirit.