posted by on Relationship Encouragement

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Most of us have gotten divorced from someone we talked ourselves into marrying in the first place. Often, we’ve married the person we were dating when we decided it was time for us to get married, or maybe we wanted to get out of our current situation, and marrying our spouse seemed like a good idea at the time. Most of us knew there were issues within our relationship, but we decided to marry our former spouse anyway. I think I had all of those thoughts when I decided to marry my former spouse. || Read more

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My thoughts on emotionally abusive relationships have changed as I’ve become more experienced in ministry to those who are single and divorced. Where I once thought the term was mostly just contrived and used by someone who might be seeking a certain justification for leaving his or her marriage, I now realize there’s more to the story. It’s important for us to discuss the subject of emotional abuse, because those who have experienced it need to know that it is real, and that it produces genuine long-term brokenness in it’s victims.
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“Then Ruth left to glean in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.” Ruth 2:3
We see that “Ruth happened to come to the field of Boaz”. We know that things don’t just “happen” in a believer’s life, so it’s obvious that God has created a situation for these two single and available people to meet each other in a field on a hot summer day outside of Bethlehem. As you live out your single life, God might create a situation for you to meet another available single adult. If you are a man, you might approach this woman you’ve met, or you might not approach her at all. If you are a woman, you might say yes to this man’s advances, or you might respond to his requests with a definite no. || Read more

posted by on Relationship Encouragement

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We want to continue our discussion into relationships and courtships by looking at the theory which says, “My heart wants what it wants and I must follow my heart into love and passion.”  We know God will walk us through our relationship decisions, but we have to be willing to listen. You really must know that totally following the feelings of your heart into relationships and marriages will never really be a successful or trustworthy life-program for you, because the Bible says: “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”  Proverbs 28:26 Does that sound a little harsh to you? || Read more

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“He (or she) who finds a wife (or a mate) finds a good thing.”  Proverbs 18:22.
We all want to believe that God is right in the middle of our relationship and marriage decisions. This verse indicates however, that God’s opinion is that finding a quality marriage partner is a perfectly good idea. However, I hope you’ll notice that God didn’t say, “He or she who finds a spouse finds a “Great thing.” I believe God wants you to know that you already have the great thing in your relationship with Jesus Christ. || Read more

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“It has been fully reported to me, all you have done for your Mother-in law since your husband’s death; how you have left your parents and your birthplace and come to a people you didn’t know before.” Ruth 2:11
Here we see in the Old Testament book of Ruth that this prominent and godly man, Mr. Boaz was intently looking into Ruth’s character before Ruth knew anything of Boaz at all. It looks like Boaz asked everyone he could imagine, every little question he could think of concerning this new woman in town named Ruth. We know this is true because of this verse. || Read more

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The Lord has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead! Ruth 2:20
When Naomi left home with her husband Elimelech, she probably had dreams of returning to Bethlehem someday with a prosperous and successful new life. If that was the case, walking back into Bethlehem on that hot summer day would have been a nightmare for her. While living in the foreign land of Moab, she lost her husband and two sons and she returned with only her daughter-in-law Ruth and a heart full of sorrow. “Do not call me Naomi [pleasant]; call me Mara [bitter],” she told her former neighbors, “for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20). But this wasn’t the end of the story for Naomi or Ruth… || Read more

Being Set Apart

Jan
2012
08

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It seems like I redefine myself almost every week and I reassess my life with even more scrutiny at the beginning of every new year. I think that’s pretty normal for most folks who would call themselves serious Christians. I know I’m an introspective individual, but I also know that if I am going to walk with the Lord, I have to realign myself with Him on a regular basis. I’ve found the more regularly I do that, the better I do. || Read more

A Christmas Letter

Dec
2011
21

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Our ministry doesn’t usually reach into the lives of those who live in relative ease and comfort. Our ministry has always been mostly to those who are weathering a season of loss. We are usually drawn to those who have been cast aside and rejected by those who could have acted differently; but didn’t. We have always tried to be an encouragement to those who’ve been set out in the cultural wilderness, making do with God’s grace and their own thrift and resourcefulness. Joanne and I have always lived that way, and those are the types of folks to whom we best relate. So, I noticed some things in this story from Luke 2, of the birth of Jesus which caught my attention. The story goes like this… || Read more

posted by on Divorce Encouragement

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Angela\’s interview Pt. 1
Angela\’s Interview Pt. 2
Angela\’s Interview Pt. 3
I got a call from a friend and fellow author the other day. She asked me to answer a few questions for her blog,  http://angelaruthstrong.blogspot.com  The interview was fun, Angela did a great job. You can click on the links above to see it on video…
Q. Jeff, I attended your divorce recovery class, but I don’t know your story? Please share a little of your past experience with divorce and infidelity.
Angela, I was kind of an upside-down kid who grew into an upside-down young adult… I was raised in a typically dysfunctional American home, and I met and married an equally dysfunctional young woman. We were not Christians at that time, so we had no concept of a pure and bonding courtship, we just did what normal couples did. We met and moved in together, and we were married about a year later. We were mostly happy for about two years, but my former spouse had some very deep and hidden feelings for someone in her past that I was not really aware of at the time. When that person would become available between relationships every couple of years, the two of them would secretly contact each other, and she would secretly make plans to leave to be with this man in a distant location… || Read more