9.28.2009

Demolishing Arguments ~ Part 2



First off, our apologies for their being no video to accompany this post. Our newer, faster computer decided to succumb to a deadly virus and this one that I'm typing on can't seem to find our web cam so....you'll just have to imagine our faces as you read (smile).


Continuing on with how to demolish arguments in your marriage, I (Annalea) want to tell you of something I experienced with Michael a couple of weeks ago. Let me preface this by saying that in the two and a half years that we've been living this out, Michael has brought A LOT of healing to my heart and our marriage is worlds different than it was and SO much better. There are times, though, when old wounds surface and adjustments need to be made.


So it was that this very thing happened twice in the same day. In a nutshell, Michael made repeated assertions about things he thought I knew (someone's name) and experienced (a particular diet) when, in reality, I didn't and hadn't. What this did for me was to bring up old wounds from our bad days when he thought I was in adultery and would repeatedly claim that I was despite my answers to the contrary. Wow, I can't tell you how quickly I went there.

I (Michael) remember that day. I was asked by my lovely wife if I had noticed a neighbor's weight loss. I replied by saying "You mean George?", to which Annalea replied, "Oh, is that his name?". I pressed a few more times. "You know his name. George". Again she asserted each time that she didn't. At this point I could see in her expression that I hit a nerve so I dropped it. Later that same day I was speaking with my daughter on the phone and the subject of the South Beach Diet came up and I had a memory of Annalea trying that diet so I asked her about it and she told me that she had never tried it. Again I asked if she was sure about that and again she asserted that she hadn't; repeat of our earlier discussion.

Now, the old me would have had to be right and press the point that my memory was correct and Annlea's wasn't. During our bad years this would turn into a full blown argument with me raising my voice and pressing my point until Annalea, tearful and emotionally beaten down, gave up trying to convice me or gave in to my demands.

The difference a few weeks ago was that I was able to recognize that I had hurt Annalea's heart when I questioned her memory and integrity. Instead of arguing with her, I mentioned that I'd noticed how upset she'd become at those two times during the day. I apologized for hurting her and asked if it would bless her if I asked her about something in her life rather than assume it.

Michael has grown tremendously in the last couple of years as a man, a husband and a son of God and I (Annalea) am ever amazed when I experience something from him that personifies this growth. Because of the initiative he took to bring resolution to a situation that could have caused further wounding in both of us, I was validated as his wife and as a woman. He was my hero and our marriage was further restored.

This is how arguments get demolished; a husband goes first by laying down his life (ego, pride, self, etc.) for his wife and loving (ministering, blessing, serving) her as Christ loved the church. He puts her needs and her heart above his own.

Remember, if we can do it....You Can Do It Too!

It doesn't matter what your background is, what your childhood was like, if your marriage is okay or if it's in complete breakdown. It CAN BE Outrageously Happy!

We'd love to welcome you on our weekly marriage ministry calls. Join us tonight at 7pm (pst) to get some help for your marriage, get strengthend and validated. 512-716-6531 access code 981128# If you don't feel comfortable speaking up, it's perfectly fine to just mute out your phone (just press *6 or the mute button on your phone) and listen in. Remember, we're not licensed counselors, we just have hearts for marriages and it's our prayer that our experience will, in some way, bless yours.

In Him,
Michael and Annalea

9.15.2009

The Power Of Words To Hurt Or Heal


"Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body." James 3:5-6

Michael and I have been going through James and last night we read chapter 3 on taming the tongue. Neither of us realized how this would relate to what we read about on AOL this morning with regard to last nights MTV Music Awards show.

Our hearts ached when we saw this. Miss Swift was left speechless and humiliated by the words that Mr. West spoke during her acceptance speech. His words and actions were beyond rude and insensitive; he not only embarassed Miss Swift, but also himself and Beyonce.

In our time within the marriage ministry we've heard a lot of words full of hurt and, I daresay, hate said between husbands and wives. And I'd be lying if I said that Michael and I never said those kinds of words to one another in our bad days. I can remember telling Michael that he was just like his father (a horribly abusive man in every way) and Michael telling me that he wasn't even sure if our baby was his.

I (Michael) remember telling Annalea that I was beginning to get how much I hurt her and that I was fully committed to changing into the man that God has called me to be and the man that Annalea needed me to be. This was a huge promise and declaration on my part and required me to right a lot wrongs. I needed to recognize how I was hurting her and begin to apologize to her with a genuine commitment to changing for the better.

A bit later in the awards show, Beyonce recognized how Miss Swift was hurt and graciously, with words and deed, took action to make it right. With Annalea, whenever I saw there was an opportunity for me to apologize to her I would do it whether in private or in public and at times have been prompted by a scene in a movie we watch together or the words to a song I hear on the radio. I still do this. My whole goal is to bring healing to her heart with words and deeds that uplift her, validate her and bless her.

Whether we speak them or hear them, words mean things and it's our desire that the words we speak on our Tuesday night ministry calls will help and bless you and your marriage. Michael and I hope you'll join us tonight (and every Tuesday night) at 7pm (pst) to say hello and let us know if there's any way we can help. Just dial 512-716-6531 access code 981128#

Remember, if we can do it....You Can Do It Too!

9.09.2009

I Am Married Unto You




When I (Michael) first married Annalea I thought I knew what love looked like and that I was ready to love her with a Christ-like love. I'm discovering that I am just scratching the surface of what this truely looks like. In my journey of being a beliver, nothing in my life has shown me the heart of God more than my learning how to love Annalea in a way that is real to her. I love how Charles Spugeon discribes Christ's marriage to us His bride.

Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented His betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person. On earth He exercises towards her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name, and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for 'He hateth putting away.' Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In heaven they marry not, but are as the angels of God; yet there is this one marvellous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and His Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left His Father, and became one flesh with her.

9.08.2009

Demolishing Arguments Part 1



Husbands don't realize how much power they have to either make or break their marriage and demolishing arguments may seem like an impossible dream. It's possible, however, when they begin to change the thoughts and beliefs they hold towards their wives and embrace the abilities that God has given them as a husband.

God has put into every woman's heart how she should be treated by her husband; the way God calls him to treat her (Ephesians 5:25) and she will reflect back to him whatever it is that he's initiating into the marriage. The quickest way to demolish the arguments that keep arising is to recognize his wife for what she truly is: God's blessing in his life to help him become more Christlike.


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9.06.2009

Things You Don't Say To Your Wife

Every now and then Michael and I come across something that's just too funny not to share with our readers and this is one of those times.

We were introduced to the comedy of Tim Hawkins this morning and looked him up on Youtube this afternoon where we spent about half an hour laughing like crazy watching and listening to his material.

So have fun and let this be a lesson to you guys; there are just some things you don't say to your wife!

9.04.2009

Getting Help Initiating


In the course of starting this blog, I've had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful people. Today I want to introduce you to Shula of Sensuous Wife. She has a huge heart for helping married couples fully enjoy their physical relationship in, of course, a very sensuous way. In fact, she has a tastefully done online store selling sensual products and her tag line is "Pleasure for wives and the husbands who love them." Of course, we're all for a husband treating his wife like a queen in EVERY way so we urge you to visit her blog and her store.

The following is her response to me based on a question I asked about initiating love making. I wanted to share it because physical intimacy issues come up a lot in our marriage ministry and I want to remind wives how important it is for us to let ourselves enjoy our husbands.

A wife asks: How do I initiate more?

Beloved Annalea asked this great question:

"I'm not the greatest at initiating sex with my husband. I never turn him down and I do make the occassional offer on my own. Though he never fusses at me about it, I know he'd love it if I initiated more. Any ideas?"

Well darlin, my answer is counterintuitive. If you want to really bless him, think about yourself more. I’d encourage you to initiate the things that are likely to arouse you and go for it when you find the sparks fly.

For example:
In the evening, when you step out of the shower and your honey is watching TV, take a hairbrush or comb from the bathroom and walk to the bed still nekkid*, hand him the brush, and say “Baby, brush my hair” and smile. He is very likely to say yes. You’re the only smiling nekkid woman in the room.

Now, this is the most important part: Enjoy it. I mean really enjoy it. Turn your whole focus and attention on your skin and scalp and hair. Lean your naked back against your husband’s chest. Notice how good this simple skin to skin contact feels. Feel the delightful pull of the brush going through your hair. Do not be afraid to sigh and say Ahhhh. Make whatever happy sounds you feel like making.

Now this is the part where your thoughts are so important. Do not allow any other thoughts to enter your head besides “he loves me” and “this feels good” and “I love him”. If any other thoughts enter your mind, let them go, by focusing on your skin and drinking in the sensations.
Imagine your spirit melting into his. Imagine his spirit melting into yours. Pretty soon, you’ll be wanting the rest of you to be touched and petted and fondled.

Move your body to expose whatever you want to be touched. Touch him back. Let yourself drink in the sensation and love you crave. Give your husband the gift of knowing his wife is totally savoring his every touch.

There are some more overt, hot ways to initiate sex and we’ll talk about those in a future post. But first, I want to encourage this more “self-focused” approach. Get very used to the idea of going to your husband for touch that is loving and feels good. Get accustomed to receiving from him and receiving well. Get in the habit of letting yourself become aroused and following it up by seeking an orgasm with your husband. Train your body and your heart to anticipate pleasure with him and you will automatically find yourself initiating more.

* according to beloved Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard, Naked is having no clothes on, Nekkid is having no clothes on when you're up to sumthin'. (grin)

Sensuous...Alive to pleasure received through the senses_+_Wife...Woman committed to enjoying her man and being enjoyed by him...for life

9.01.2009

Is Your Marriage A Freak Show?


It's amazing to Michael and me how many people think that living out our marriage as God designed it is some sort of side show curiosity. You know, the shows at carnivals where you pay a dollar to see something somewhat freakish. You're wowed and amazed and even a little uncomfortable by the site before your eyes. You marvel at secure, well-adjusted children, a happy wife and a contented husband and walk out thinking something along the lines of, "Yeah, right....like that ever happens!"

Anytime we choose to do something God's way, we open up the door to questions and lifted eyebrows; maybe even rejection. It's a risk we're willing to take. And I'll tell you this: our marriage is more solid now then it's ever been. We're more in love, more connected, more intimate, more....ONE than we've ever been. And we know we'll remain that way because going back just isn't an option.

We love sharing our story with you and pray that God will use what we've learned and continue to learn to touch a place in your life and heart that you will want to explore and move forward in as well!

So...

Welcome To The Freak Show!

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