15 kindness tips that can change your marriage…

We all know how wonderful it feels when we are treated kindly, especially by our spouse. We feel welcomed and valued, like a special friend to whom is shown gentleness, concern, warmth, consideration and affection.

And our husbands or our wives, they are our very best forever friends.

In the beginning of any marriage kindness seems to come easily and naturally. With rose colored glasses in place and a strong desire to spend as much time as possible with our significant other, we go out of our way to be kind, which is a foremost attribute of what God defines as true love according to 1 Corinthians 13.

But then the daily grind sets in and we begin to see our spouse as the highly-imperfect yet no less deserving of our love individuals that they — and we — are. And we start to slip a gear here and there. In our society’s rush-rush world of full time careers, raising children, serving in our churches and communities, we can quickly become worn out.

Leaving little time for marriage care and building.

And when we are are overtired and stressed our defenses weaken, we get less alert and diligent in our obedience towards God and His command to love Him and others well. Often the first person we push to a distant second place in our lives is our spouse, our very own one-flesh other that we have promised to love, honor and remain faithful to in better and worse for all the days till death.

But we forget all this and easily fall into me-first mode. Making God, our spouse and eventually ourselves very unhappy. And if this situation is not rectified, it can lead to the destruction of our marriage. For a marriage begins to weaken with the very first careless choice.

But God.

And His Holy Spirit ever present to remind us that kindness counts. Especially in marriage and our families where little hearts are growing daily, their ever watchful eyes seeing everything, tiny ears taking it all in. Better and worse. We want to teach our children well and make our Father proud. And the added benefit of doing life and marriage God’s way is that it provides a solid, secure foundation — the best gift any parent can give a child.

Kindness and kin comes from the same root word. When we are kind to our husband or wife we are treating them as flesh and bone of our flesh and bone, both of us belonging to each other and the family of God. And to grow and maintain a happy healthy marriage we must remember to daily practice treating each other with courtesy, compassion and respect. Treating others the way we want to be treated.

So today, let’s stop whatever we are doing and exhale for a moment. Then whisper a prayer to God for grace to put our spouse before ourself and love them with simple kindnesses such as:

1. Having a positive and pleasant disposition.

2. Using polite and respectful language.

3. Tenderly showing we love them more than any other.

4. Paying attention and really listening to them.

5. Valuing their thoughts, suggestions, feelings.

6. Accepting differences and recognizing the gift of those differences.

7. Honoring them at all times and especially in front of the children or others.

8. When in the midst of a conflict, choosing our words carefully, keeping a lid on our temper and purposing to solve the issue not change each other.

9. Finding ways to genuinely compliment our spouse.

10. Always saying thank you even for little things typically taken for granted.

11. Letting them know we’re thinking about them when apart.

12. Keeping our eyes, heart and body only for our spouse.

13. Choosing to surprise them by doing a chore they don’t much enjoy.

14. Leaving a love note in their car, on their laptop, in their lunch.

15. Reminding ourselves that this life we share with our spouse can suddenly be gone without warning.

And above all, praying for our spouse daily, for their strengths as well as the weaknesses we do not like, asking God to bless them generously in all ways.

Always…

Sheila Kimball Mentoring encourages you to heal your heart and move forward from where you are today through an abiding relationship with God. CLICK my image now and get started on healing your heart and mending your marriage or life.

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Heal your marriage from the effects of growing up with an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional mom or dad …

Maybe your marriage is miserable right now and you’re on a messy merry-go-round and you’re wondering if the brass ring even exists. You keep repeating the same words, actions or choices expecting different results that never come. And you wonder why you can’t change your life or marriage for the better.

I have been there.

Got the battle scars to prove it. And it is only as I became aware of — through repeated marital/relational loss — and then faced the devastating impact of my past on my present that I sought healing. Not blaming those that gave me life, but saying yes to God who set me on a path of progressive freedom, traveling from darkness and pain to light and love.

What about you?

If you are feeling hopeless as you read my words, keep reading. Open your heart, your mind and believe. There is a way out of your mess that while not quick or easy will prove absolutely well worth it. You are worth it. So is your marriage, your children and grands. Like anything else that you will ever attempt in life though, it begins with your choice. Surrendering your will. And if you will set your will in His and work hard at re-learning life and love God’s way you will alter your future and break free of the devastating cycle of destruction that currently plagues you.

Perhaps like me your early years involved lots of chaos and drama. For a long time I underestimated the impact that having had a dad that drank was exerting on my adult life. Maybe it was wishful thinking or denial but I thought I had survived and gotten by okay. I was smart, earned a degree in journalism with honors, married my high school sweetheart, landed a job I loved. For all outward intents and purposes my life, marriage, future, looked bright.

But inside in the secret place where shadows of long ago lingered and often raged, nothing was good. There was much fear and pent up, repressed anger that came out in screaming bursts. Such shame. And the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me and that in having grown up in an alcoholic home I was all alone in all the world.

And you? Are you coming to realize that your parent’s alcoholism — or abuse, anger, addiction, control, mental illness — has far reaching tentacles that are choking your life in this present moment? For no matter how much we pretend, wearing a mask and stuffing the truth, our past catches up with us. We are only as sick as our secrets.

God wants you to come to Him and be healed, set free of all your hidden or not so hidden struggles, sins. And for your marriage, as full of chaos as your unpredictable childhood, to be made good, strong, right. And those coping mechanisms — the ones we used as kids to survive the trauma when all we wanted was parental consistency, security and love — are what we mistakenly think help us today. We are adult children, fearful and controlling, perfectionistic, over or under-achieving, or drowning in our own addictions as we try to numb our pain, reduce our stress, quiet high-level anxiety or overwhelming depression. We struggle and act out in many ways — sexually, financially, relationally — and our lives result in rubble.

No matter how you or I got broken the result is the same. Our adult lives and marriages are tormented and by extrapolation the lives of our children and their children become fractured, rife with a howling ache that demands attention one way or another. Generational cycles perpetuating.

But God.

He came that you and me, our spouses, babies and grand babies may have life. And have it abundantly. But first you are invited to commit your life to Jesus Christ who shed His life blood that you might be free, go in peace, sin no more. Forgetting what lies behind because He has glorious plans to make everything and everyone new.

I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

That verse if for you. And me.

All of us who would hold His hand and bravely face the future, coming to Him on bended knee and seeking help. Believing that He is the God who saves us and makes us whole. A wholeness that comes through increasing holiness, us becoming like God in our thoughts, words, and actions. And choosing to let go the memories we cling to as if our identity depends upon them, those very same horror stories that wake us in the wee hours, the tales that over time still produce tears.

Yet obedience over time brings blessings.

And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— for He says, At the acceptable time I listened to youAnd on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” … in everything commending ourselves as servants of God, in much endurance, in afflictions, in hardships, in distresses … in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, in the word of truth, in the power of God… 2 Corinthians 6: 1-8

The Son longs to make you free so you will be free indeed.

And now is a good time for a new start…

Is your marriage falling apart? Has your marriage ended? Are you wracked with pain over your brokenness, your past? A free mentoring session can help.

Sheila Kimball Mentoring encourages you to heal your heart and move forward from where you are today through an abiding relationship with God. CLICK my image now and get started on healing your heart and mending your marriage or life.

So you don’t miss out on other valuable heart-healing and marriage-mending tips, subscribe now by clicking on the box.

And please share this post via your social media circles. Thanks!

You may not save your marriage, but Jesus can rescue your heart…

Sometimes marriages end. A very sad reality for adults as well as the children involved. There is terrible pain when a union dissolves, whether or not you initiated the divorce. Pain that lingers long after the judge signs the final documents.

Today it’s raining and the world is all weepy and I am thinking about your tears, how they readily fall because your heart is hurting badly. You are drenched in despair, trying to pick up the pieces of your broken marriage, life, heart. A long time ago I was where you are today. And I’ve learned the hard way that it is much better to commit to doing your marriage God’s way from the start instead of trying to fix it later, or needing to let go once it has ended.

But if your marriage has come apart at the seams and it seems the end is imminent — and you and I know that we cannot change our spouse’s mind or heart, only our own — may I gently suggest that God may be using this devastating event to get your attention. To call you to Him so that He might rescue your heart even though your marriage does not survive. Because sometimes, no matter how much we pray, go for counseling or work on changing ourselves, if our spouse is determined to end the marriage, it will end.

But God.

His love for you will never end, nor will He ever abandon you, even if your behaviors and choices helped precipitate your spouse filing for divorce. No matter where you are today, or what you’ve done, or what you have suffered in your adult life or childhood, God is closer than your next heartbeat. God will be with you through this ordeal, every step of the way.

But you will get to where He wants you to go that much more quickly by doing things God’s way, not your way. Because sometimes when we choose to do whatever we want, believing we know what’s best, swayed by our emotions, fears, anger and wanting to get back at our partner for hurting us, we dig a deeper hole causing ourselves more pain, loss and mess.

Take courage and have hope. There is a Jeremiah 29:11 future for you. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

However, read beyond the oft quoted verse 11. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Will you search with your whole heart for the God that loves you more than you realize? Or will you stay where you are in your pain and sadness — and I am not suggesting that a relationship with God precludes the grieving process. Processing your grief from a broken marriage is part of the healing process, but now you know that God is with you.

If you turn your heart, mind, life and will over to the care of God today, right now, then He will take all your broken pieces and over time reassemble them into a beautiful mosaic. A new and different life and future from what you earlier envisioned, but beautiful, meaningful and powerful nonetheless because it is now His to mold and guide as He knows best. And when there are children involved, your getting healthier and closer to God benefits them, and their healing and future.

One day Jesus asked a blind man, What do you want me to do for you? And the blind man said, Rabbi, I want to see. Mark 10:51

Do you want to see clearly how to live and love? Do you want to see your life become whole? Then look to the One who is Love. The One who is waiting for you with arms outstretched.

And take His hand…

Is your marriage falling apart? Has your marriage ended? Are you wracked with pain over your brokenness? A free mentoring session can help.

Sheila Kimball Mentoring encourages you to heal your heart and move forward from where you are today to a much better life based in an abiding relationship with God. CLICK my image now to get started on healing your heart and mending your marriage or life.

So you don’t miss out on other valuable heart-healing and marriage-mending tips, subscribe now by clicking on the box.

And please share this post via your social media circles. Thanks!

When your heart is breaking and your marriage failing…God

Skies, like lives, split open. Rain comes down, waters rise up and torrents gush. Yet there is a steady hand, unseen, a shield against the battering. And you are held fast as surges threaten a sweep to sea even as your heart lurches and you’re not sure if you can hold on a minute longer. Splattered with dirt, cold and wet, your heart in a million broken pieces, you feel desolate and ashamed. Your soul in the brig behind pain’s iron bars. And teardrops gush like raindrops, flooding your soul. Safe harbor seems so far off …

At a college commencement a few years ago, hope filled for the future, one of the speakers said:

That which hurts us, instructs us.

And a long time ago, a wiser man inspired by the Wisest, wrote:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed…But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name…Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 4:12-19

Yet you were surprised when this gut wrenching event happened in your life, in your marriage.  You thought the journey would be smooth sailing; that this ship wreck would never come. But hard days are upon you. And I know a lot about hard days. With two divorces behind me, and multiple episodes of chaos and drama in my past life, I know how excruciating it is to desperately hurt.

But God.

And Him teaching you — like He’s taught me — all the life lessons that are only learned through terrible suffering. Suffering that helps us be more like Jesus who suffered greatly so that we might know forgiveness, healing and the abundant life, now and later.

So take heed as your heart goes through the paces of changing circumstances that have come upon you like the tide — or maybe a tidal wave — and you find yourself being piloted in a new direction. For when you open your heart to receive all there is to learn in your pain, lessons soak in and the seas seem less daunting, but only if you hold His hand tight.

There is safe harbor.

God guides you to shore.  And though a soaking, swirling rain storm on the open sea is frightening, rain also replenishes dry ground helping it become more fertile. Teardrops water seeds planted deep in the dark of a heart too often broken.  A heart that has made made its own share of mistakes and poor choices.

But now is the time for a season of new growth.

Pain of loss, betrayal, abandonment, or disappointment have littered the soil of your heart, making it difficult to sustain good crops, but God is sifting the stones, breaking up the sod, and your new life is sprouting. Roots of bitterness being pulled up one by one.

And even though it appears you have lost nearly everything you hold dear, you still have your heart to offer. Not the heart of the parent who hurt you or the spouse who betrayed and abandoned you. This journey is between you and God. So why not surrender? Right now. Press in and find God in the Gospels the way you never have before. Talk, and listen, to Him during prayer. Be willing to let Him take you through the storm to the other side where there is much good for you.

From my own experiences, I assure you that these moments of ripping pain are some of the times when you can feel His love most tender if you open to it. No matter what you are going through today, discover the sweet spot where He meets you and holds you close.

Don’t give up no matter how dark your life and marriage looks at the moment. God is for you. From the ashes of your heart bountiful blessings can emerge in the way the Lord shall choose.

Welcome the tiller’s Hand…

Is your marriage falling apart? Are you wracked with pain over your brokenness? A free mentoring session can help.

Sheila Kimball Mentoring encourages you to move forward from where you are today to a much better life and marriage based in an abiding relationship with God.
CLICK my image now to get started on healing your heart and mending your marriage.

So you don’t miss out on other valuable heart-healing marriage tips, subscribe now by clicking on the box.

And please share this post via your social media circles. Thanks!

Post updated from the archives.

How your family of origin issues from childhood can destroy your marriage…

I married for the first time right out of college. My high school sweetheart. He and I were still wet behind the ears, having come from parental homes to our home without ever really growing up first and experiencing life on our own. Both of us had stuff and neither of us had viable marital role models — and God bless the parents involved who did the best they could given their own brokenness emanating from their childhoods.

Getting served with divorce papers after 12 years and three children — a horrible, gut-wrenching experience which further increased my abandonment issues — was a true wake up call for me. I immediately set about pressing into God and sought counseling. I also asked forgiveness, stating that I was willing to do whatever was needed for as long as it took to win my marriage back and keep my family intact.

But for me there was no second chance.

Hearts which allow themselves to harden seldom budge in time to stave off a divorce, and more’s the pity. Because later, when things cool off and you are thinking more clearly about the life-altering ramifications of divorce, there can be regret — and some of it may not manifest until after a new marriage is formed and you realize you’re facing the same or similar problems in your new marriage.

Because the problem in your marriage didn’t solely lie with your spouse, but was lurking within you, too.

And the baggage we drag into our marriages gets packed when we are very small. Family of origin issues — the home life you grew up with — impact spouses for better or for worse. Any marriage where there are two wounded, messy, selfish, immature individuals will result in relational rupture and often divorce. And if you’re on the verge of divorce, I pray you read my words before taking that next step. There is always hope for getting the marital monkey off your back if and when both hearts involved are willing to trust and begin the process of building a whole new life from the ash heap.

Surrendering all to God.

I am the adult child of an alcoholic dad. The fear, violence and pain I witnessed at home translated into a twisted mess of anger, more fear and not having a clue about God’s ways of love and marriage. I will never forget the time — before filing papers — that my former spouse said,

“You are the adult child of an alcoholic. You need to go to meetings.”

Wow.

Immediately I felt shamed. There is something wrong with me. Then fearful. What if he leaves me?

I knew deep inside things weren’t right in my heart and life, yet I wasn’t fully out of my own denial about my issues and was less than humble about needing help. I disregarded his words. With the wisdom that only pain and hindsight imparts, I now know that if I had seriously started dealing with my issues — AND if he had begun unpacking his own issues –my family of three little boys would have grown up with mommy and daddy together, instead of in a single parent home later marred by an awful, abusive second marriage.

For the dance of every failing marriage takes two. Sometimes one spouse presents with a bigger, louder problem that gets most of the notoriety, but the spouse that seems the better behaved or sinned against, has his or her stuff that needs dealing with, too. Whether our parent was an alcoholic or we suffered through a childhood with parental mental illness, depression, incest, abuse, anger and fighting, divorce, overly-strict control, perfectionism, a parent walking out, or even a lack of emotional warmth and healthy, human touch, we grow up to become adult children in pieces. And all adult children, regardless of circumstances, present with some degree or other of these traits.

But God.

He is the healer of the breach who puts our pieces back together forming a beautiful mosaic of hope.

And when at least one spouse is willing to start — though full and lasting marital healing always needs the cooperation of both husband and wife over the long haul  — the place we must begin is with God. Humbling ourselves. Becoming repentant. Naming our sins and realizing that we are all in this messy, glorious life together. Learning a new way to love and do relationships.

For when we allow God to reparent us, we are on the road to eventual wholeness and marital success…

Is your marriage falling apart? Are you wracked with pain over your brokenness? A free mentoring session can help.

Sheila Kimball Mentoring encourages you to move forward from where you are today to a much better life and marriage based in an abiding relationship with God.
CLICK my image now to get started on healing your heart and mending your marriage.

So you don’t miss out on other valuable heart-healing marriage tips, subscribe now by clicking on the box.

And please share this post via your social media circles. Thanks!