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Who’s in Your Profile Picture?

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I’ve picked my brain for several days trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. I would start a post and then wouldn’t ‘feel right’ about what I posted. Everything I post, I want God to be a part of it. I know I talk a lot about Social Media and being careful on how you present yourself. What you put on Social Media reflects parts of your life. What are you showing the World?

While my husband and I were going through some of the hardest seasons of our lives, I am sure if people on our social media sites poked around enough, they would see that we were going through hard times. You notice a lot just by song lyrics, single pictures, promiscuous looking pictures, quotes, ect… I know that when I was having trouble with my marriage, I would have pictures of just me and the kids because 1) I wasn’t spending enough time with my spouse. 2) I didn’t want to post pictures of him. (not because I was looking for anything outside of my marriage, but just because I was fed up..) 3) He wasn’t posting things about us, so I wasn’t posting things about us.

When my husband and I had our big revelation in our marriage over a year ago, I realized how much of my life I shared on social media, and how many pictures I didn’t capture of us! One day, my husband was looking for a picture of himself and asked me…I searched my phone that I had been using for 2 years and found 4 pictures of my husband! This made me sad..

I’m not trying to shoot down people that just have themselves on their profile pictures…that’s okay. You were having a good makeup and hair day or you’ve gained a lot of muscles so you want to post it and brag. That’s okay. All I am saying is..watch what you put on Social Media. What we post on Social Media truly defines us. It’s okay to post all these things from time to time, but be sure to post positive things about your marriage as well. BE SURE TO NEVER POST ANYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT SHOOTS YOUR SPOUSE DOWN OR DEGRADES YOUR SPOUSE….I DON’T CARE HOW BIG A’ PIECE CRAP YOU THINK THEY ARE. CALLING THEM OUT ON FACEBOOK NOT ONLY SHOWS THE WORLD YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, BUT IT SHOWS YOUR TRUE CHARACTER AS WELL! REMEMBER THAT!

If you are having a hard time in your relationship, don’t make it obvious by posting obvious things on your page that will get the attention of others. Sometimes, like in my case, I didn’t realize until AFTER THE FACT that I was doing it. So, I wanted to write on it..

If you post single pictures- and you are doing it for attention of the opposite sex. You might want to check yourself.

If you post picture of yourself- and you are getting more likes from the opposite sex and one of those likes from the opposite sex isn’t from your spouse. You might want to check yourself.

If you are putting pictures of yourself- without shirt, low cut shirts, bikinis, and making obvious that you have nothing to do with your spouse.. you might want to check yourself.

If you are liking pictures of the opposite sex- and you are in a committed relationship or married…you might want to check yourself.

Maybe your spouse hates taking pictures. Make it a point to WANT to take a picture with them. Just because your marriage is going through a hard time don’t let that define your whole marriage. Make your spouse feel good by posting a picture of your wedding day, a special day or your anniversary! Post a picture of your family or better yet, post a picture of just your spouse. This will make your spouse feel valued and special. If you are having a hard time in your marriage, this doesn’t mean that you need to find a temporary fix with someone else or that you need to start looking for a back-up plan just in case your marriage don’t work out.

Lord, Social Media can be a great place to keep up with friends and family, but it can also be used as a huge marriage trap. It can destroy marriage and us not even be aware of it. Lord, let us have the eyes to see and help us to be on guard. Lord, help us to be smart about the things that we post on Social Media sites. Help us by strengthening our marriage and giving us a refreshment in our marriage.

Until next time….be encouraged.

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Hope for the Separated Couples

In a way, I do have to give some respect to those who choose separation rather than just hopping right into getting a divorce. I am not saying that separation is necessarily a good thing, but I believe that divorce can be better than divorce. Granted, separating can be hard on families. I have been on both sides of separation. I have been  child and my parents separating over and over again, and I have even separated from my husband once in our marriage, but played the “I am leaving you” game plenty of times.

I think some couples get a couple of things confused when they decide to separate. If you are separated from your spouse at this time, or you have talked about separating, make sure that you are understanding what you are doing, and if you have children, make sure that you realize that they may react negatively towards your decision.

After my youngest child was born, I suffered from PPD (Post Partum Depression) and like I had described before, my husband and and I had been completely disconnected for a long time. I was suffering from depression and he was so busy working to make ends meet and we were just distant. We were constantly arguing and it was just a really rough time in our marriage. Our kids were young and we had a newborn and we thought that it would be best to separate. One of the things that we didn’t consider was how the kids would react. We didn’t talk to the kids or explain anything, I just up and left with the kids! It was during the summer time so I made it like a summer vacation…without Dad! The kids started acting out. I was even more depressed trying to juggle everything together. When we did talk, we threw around divorce a lot. That is just some of our story!

Some things to consider or think about before or if you are currently separated:

  • Your children- If you are constantly fighting, then yes, maybe it is time for a little break. But, sometimes it is good to let your children know that marriages aren’t perfect. I used to have it in my mind that my children would always see my marriage as perfect and no fighting! But, if we never allow our children to see us argue sometimes, then aren’t we setting them up for disappointment? Think about some of the things your children might go through if you were to separate. The changes that it would make in their lives.
  • What exactly is separation- A lot of people separate and they think that they can immediately take off their wedding rings and are single. Separation is to HELP your marriage, not to make it worse. When you are separated, it doesn’t mean you are divorced or single–it means that you are taking time away from your spouse (with hopes of working things out) and you are working on your marriage.
  •  Keeping contact with your spouse while you are separated- Sometimes it is good to keep in contact with your spouse. If you are thinking of any hopes or futures with your spouse, keep all contact positive. Meet up for a date for just the two of you! Send cute text messages! Send her flowers! Don’t waste your time grooming for a relationship that isn’t with your spouse…put the effort into working on the marriage that you already have! Work on forgiving! Get in church and really seek God during this time!

It is crazy how people will get separated and start sleeping around with other people and making relationships with them. It’s “play” time. I don’t think that’s what separation is about.

Lord, I pray for all the couples are going through separation. I pray that couples start realizing how valuable their marriage is. I pray that you open the eyes of the ones that are separated. I pray that all communication is not negative but positive communication. I pray that you will restore marriages that don’t feel like they have any hope! I pray for all marriages!

Until next time… be encouraged!

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Making Up Our Minds That Our Marriages Will Not Fail

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Making up your mind that your marriage will not fail!

Have you and your spouse ever thrown up the “D” word? Yeah, I am talking about divorce. A lot of couples, in their marriages have. If you are a couple that hasn’t, then that is great! You see, we live in a world where is our marriages aren’t working, then we can just get a divorce. You are encouraged to get a divorce. It isn’t looked down on anymore. The world just doesn’t see marriage as something to be taken seriously or something that is supposed to be valued.

Before I even thought about getting married, I had it in my mind that if I was going to get married, then I wanted it to be a marriage that lasted forever! When thinking of divorce, it never was a pleasant, easy fix to a sucky marriage. Divorce was awful to me. Divorce was something that broke up families and I never wanted my family to be torn apart.

Our first year of marriage was complete chaos. Ha! Looking back on the “young girl” I was. I had no idea how to be a wife. We argued over the things that really shouldn’t be a big deal. Things like, how to cook the supper properly, folding his jeans the correct way, paying the bills on the correct day. I know what you are thinking! I was a mess and I will admit it! I don’t know how many times my mother came to my house and gave me the lecture on how to be a wife! Anyway, we argued…a lot! And, it wasn’t long after we had married, we had a huge knock-down, drag-out fight and I threw my wedding ring at him. I didn’t want to be married anymore. I wanted a divorce. This was an open door..and it wasn’t the kind that Elsa and Anna sing about.

After we opened the door and spoke of divorce, that became our default. We would have huge arguments, and we would just “get divorced” to fix things! But, in reality, we never got divorced, nor ever even went forward with filing for divorce…ever! We just liked to bring it up that that’s what would happen if we didn’t straighten up and get out of the stupid argument we were in! I know, it’s dumb, right?

After a marriage conference we attended about a year ago, the speaker said to never bring up divorce unless that’s what we truly wanted. We both felt like it was really speaking to us. We never wanted to lose each other, but on the other hand, we didn’t know how to fix our problems, so the “We’ll just get a divorce,” became our default. Even after our worse issues in our marriage, it still comes creeping into my mind that, “maybe he and I would be better apart.” “Maybe like would be easier.” Although I don’t voice that I want a divorce, or even want to use the word, the enemy plants thoughts that we should leave one another.

Is your marriage like this? Have you had thoughts like this? Do you want a divorce? Do you really want to go through that? If you truly love your spouse and they love you, then make up your mind that your marriage is not going to fail. Make up your mind that you and your spouse will NEVER mention the word divorce unless it is something that you two are truly prepared to go through. When you are having times where you thing that you would rather be divorced, or maybe that you and your spouse should end it– really spend some time in prayer. Don’t keep agitating your spouse. Get to yourself, pray, think, and fix the problem. The truth of the matter is, when people “seriously get married” and I say it that way because some people go through with getting married with the attitude, “if it don’t work, we’ll get a divorce!” If you were not that person, then seriously, work on it. Make up your mind TODAY that your marriage will not EVER fail.

Lord, I pray for marriages that often have arguments and bring up the “D” word. I pray that they learn to control themselves and communicate with each other in a way that won’t offend each other. I pray that they choose their words wisely and that while they are speaking to their spouse, their ears will be open and they will think about what they are saying. I pray that marriages start feeling closer to one another. That divorce will never be the answer. I pray that couples that are talking about marriage are serious about it and never go into their marriage with divorce on their minds.Help us, Lord, and guide us! In Your name we pray! Amen!

Until next time…be encouraged!

Learning to Forgive After an Affair

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Unforgiveness is a prison that we get trapped in when someone that we love or really care for hurt us. It can take a significant amount of time to forgive someone after they hurt you, especially after they have cut you really deep. This blog post is talking about my struggle with forgiveness after I found out about my husband’s affair.

Before I found out about my husband’s affair, I talked and preached on forgiveness. I believed that you needed to forgive someone right away. I thought forgiveness was some easy thing, and when people would tell me about their hurts, I would tell them they needed to forgive that other person. It was a whole different story when it came to my situation though. Forgiving wasn’t as easy as preaching about it.

I didn’t know the other woman, although, for some strange reason, we were Facebook friends during the time she was talking to my husband. I knew nothing about her though. I think that was one thing that bothered me so much, is that a complete stranger had helped do so much damage in my marriage. I was convinced I hated her. I could not see her name without getting upset. I could not see her car without wanting to chase her down and harass her. I could not see an innocent post that she posted on Facebook without wanting to reveal to the world about who she “really was” and what she had done to me and my family.

I started searching for so many different things..praying God to heal me of my hurts..I wanted to just live a normal life and not have to worry about forgiveness. I thought since Facebook was bothering me so much seeing all her things being posted, that I would block her.  So, I guess you could say that I was just pushing it under the rug. I wanted it, but didn’t want to take the actions to get there. So anything to do with her made me mad all over again. Her and my husband work together and continued working at the same place and that would make me mad just knowing that they had the chance of running into one another. The more self conscious I got, the more worry came over me, the more angry I became!

My husband and I was at the store when we ran into her and her family one Sunday and it just rolled all over me.. I was mad and my husband had not even seen her. I made my husband pay for the affair that he had had 8 months prior to running into her. I was miserable. I was making my husband miserable. I wasn’t fulfilling my promise on doing my best to work on the marriage.

It wasn’t until almost  year after the affair, I was with my children at the store and saw her car in the parking lot. Instead of getting all riled up, I began to pray. I prayed that God would help me and help me to be prepared because it was a small store and I was most likely going to see  her. I just remember rushing through the store saying to myself, “Lord, help me..give me strength…thank you for healing me.” Sure enough, I passed the woman and I was able to successfully smile at her. I felt relieved. I felt that healing had started. I praised God.

I had unblocked her several months before running into her at the store because I felt that I wasn’t allowing myself to forgive by keeping her blocked. A couple of days ago, it came up in my newsfeed that she had “liked” something I said. It didn’t really bother me. I realized then, I was being healed even more.

Unforgiveness is like a prison. It took me almost a year to make up my mind to forgive her and deal with the problem. It was extremely hard for me because it was someone I shared a town with and would run into from time to time. It was someone my husband still shares the same employer with. Our children attend the same school. If I had to look back, I would have definitely done a lot of things differently, but I believe God has let me see this hard situation so I can minister and share my story with the world.

I can’t tell you how to forgive or how to take steps to forgiveness because I am sitting here still in disbelief that I have been able to come as far as I have. Especially after seeing some of my worst days. My advice, trust God. Ask Him. Remember how God has forgiven us and how bad we want to be forgiven. We sin and do wrong and expect to be forgiven, so I try to offer that same grace to others.

Let me pray for you. Lord, I know how hard it is to forgive someone that has done us wrong. Lord, show us how to forgive because it is our human nature to hate people that have done us wrong. Lord, show us grace and help us to show grace. Lord, thank you for restoring our marriages and giving us strength. We love you, Lord and we thank you!

“Not forgiving someone is like drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die.” Author Unknown

Like, Share, Pin this post and encourage someone who is trying to forgive after an affair! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post as I give more encouragement on how to deal and get over our spouse’s having an affair!

Until next time…be encouraed!!

My marriage was over…but God had different plans!

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My Marriage was over, but God had different plans!

One year ago, I didn’t realize what that day was about to hold. I didn’t know how I would make it this far. One year ago, I thought was one of the worse days of my life. I thought my marriage was over, but God had different plans.

It was a Monday morning, and I woke up and started the coffee just like any other morning. I like to wake up a little bit before my husband and kids so I can have some “me time.” While I waited on the coffee to brew, I read my Bible verse of the day from my app, and then checked to see what was going on on Facebook. I noticed I had 7 messages, which was completely out of the norm. The messages were from a man that I was familiar with. I had called this man a month beforehand to let him know that his wife had been calling my husband quite a bit and I was concerned with her calling and talking to my husband so much. The messages from the man were screenshots of e-mails between my husband and this man’s wife woman. I couldn’t do anything but cry. My world had fallen apart.

I went on with my day, taking the kids to school and picking them up. I was alive on the outside, but completely dead on the inside. I locked myself in my room and stayed asleep. When I was awake, I was crying. I didn’t know what to do, how to tell the kids, why this woman. These questions ran through my head for months. I hated my life and couldn’t find any self worth in myself.

For years, my husband and I had experienced a big drought in our marriage. I was sleeping in my children’s room, we weren’t spending much time with each other. Often times, my husband described our relationship as “We were roommates, just living together.” We had no physical contact. Nothing. What was there to fight for after I found out about my husband’s affair? I thought it was time to get a divorce. I questioned God, “Why would God let this happen to my marriage when I had been praying for something to turn our marriage around.” My husband wasn’t in church and had no desire to go to church with me the past 3 years I had been going with just the kids, with the occasion he would go with me. Granted, my husband felt awful for his decision to have an affair. He called and confessed what he had done to our family, to our Pastor and to our closest friends. He was sick and confessed he just wanted to die for making such a careless decision.

Days passed, then weeks, and I could never make myself go talk to a lawyer. This is a man who had been such a great Father to our children, and who did love me, regardless of the many mistakes. I began really seeking God. After the hurt left, I became angry and wanted to seek revenge on him and her. I couldn’t even watch a show that had her name in it. I would see her name and get sick. I would see her car and get sick. I would run into her and have to repent because the words I had for her were awful. Many Facebook messages to her that I had to erase. I was broken and just wanted this all to be a dream, but it wasn’t. God started showing me about forgiveness. God started showing me the times that I had “mental affairs” with different men. We were both unhappy, and honestly, I thought many times  of guys who I came across had it all together…how I just wanted THAT!

Different things began to happen. God started showing me things. I would open the Bible and it would be a scripture on forgiveness. I would hear things on the radio about marriages and how God never wanted to see people hurting and families broken into. We went to a church that had no clue about our situation, and they preached on David having an affair, but still doing great things for God. I saw different posts on Facebook about the people of the Bible who were messed up and God still used them. I began remembering my prayers that I prayed for my husband. I had written the prayer down in a notebook:

January 12, 2014, Lord, please shake our marriage and wake us up! I don’t know how much longer I can take our marriage being this way. I do love him, but I can’t live this way. Please show me, Lord, how to be the wife that you have called me to be, because I’m not doing things right. I don’t have good thoughts towards our marriage and often dream about being in a perfect marriage. I need your help because I can’t do this by myself. Help us, Lord! Make us the people that you have called us to be! Let us be examples for those around us, our children, our family, friends and co-workers. Amen!”

I see it now that God surely woke us up. We had tried Christian counseling, going to different churches, talking to each other…nothing was working. I still have days of sadness that this has happened to our marriage. I still have trust issues. I carried hate for the other woman for awhile, but was able to see her in public and smile at her and truly meant my smile was a friendly one. I smiled because I want her to know that I know she was broken and when I find myself wanting to hate her, I just pray for her and her family. I pray that her husband and her are working on their marriage and it’s going great.

We all get away from God at sometimes. We make mistakes. We sin. My husband had an affair, but God has used that affair to make us realize that we didn’t want to lose each other and he has used this event to get my husband back in church and to start having a personal relationship with God. Even though I went to church every time the doors were open, I still had some learning and growing up to do myself. I wasn’t the perfect wife. I neglected my husband and there were times I could care less. I am learning to love life and enjoy my marriage.

God can restore any marriage. I’ve always said that if you aren’t divorced yet, there is still time for God to work. I’ve even witnessed God restoring marriages after divorces. We get married, and when we say our vows, we are just thinking about the good and don’t ever want to experience the bad. We promise each other through good and bad. This post is to share a little of my testimony. I believe God has allowed me to go through tests this past year, but my husband and I choose to turn those tests into testimonies. If we can share our story and encourage any marriage that is hurting, we’ve met our goal. No, I wish our marriage wouldn’t have to go through the worse, but it did. Like I’ve said before, I believe God uses our struggles to make us stronger and that we may share our struggles with others to encourage them and let them know there is hope for their marriage.

Share this, pin this, e-mail this, please! I know that we aren’t the only couple that has had issues in their marriage. Somebody needs to hope and encouragement today! If you are reading this, please pray for our marriage and all marriages! John 10:10 says that we have an enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy..but we have a God that promises life and abundance!

Until next time….be encouraged!!!

Spouse First…Kids Second

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“Spouse First, Children Second.”

I know, I know. A couple of years ago, if someone would have told me to put my spouse before my children, I would have laughed and said, “Whatever!” I guess during my husband and I being ‘disconnected’ it was always easy to put my children first. And by putting my children first, I mean my husband and I are talking and my kid needs something or wants to say something and they trump my husband’s feelings or needs. I was quick to take my children to all of their events and not even try to schedule some time to just my husband and I.

I read something not too long ago that said to basically put your spouse first because your children will not always need you like your spouse will need you. It is very true. Most likely, your children will grow up, graduate, move out and live their own lives and your spouse will still be there. How would you feel if you put your children first on everything and your spouse stuck it out with you…then when your children moved on, your spouse was still there waiting and you had neglected them all that time?

Know that when I am saying to put your spouse first, I’m not saying just drop your kids and let them fend for themselves and give your spouse all the attention. I know when you get married, you have just you and your spouse. In my case, we blended families, so we brought children into the marriage. My husband always put me over his children. He always stuck up for me. He never let them interrupt. Me, on the other hand, I would do all the wrong things. I let children get in the way of our marriage!

After realizing that I had been so wrong for so long, I began really thinking about how I could start putting my husband first in my life! Trust me moms, I know that we moms can put our children in front of our husbands! But, think of how you “push” your husband away when it comes to kids. My big one was conversations. My kids would always come between our conversations and I would tend to listen to them and then tell my husband, “We will talk later.” Well, later never came!

Some encouragement, make time for your husband. Some ways to let your spouse know that you care:

  • Make time for your spouse! Set a date! My excuse was..no sitter! Well, guess what? We started putting the kids down 30 minutes early and going outside to have coffee dates! Sometimes we can’t always find babysitters, but there is always some time to spend with your spouse! MAKE TIME EACH WEEK!
  • Ask your spouse daily how their day was and really care what happened through their day. I make time to ask each person at the dinner table how their day was, no interruptions! Ask questions about your spouse’s day, just like you would with kids! Keep up with important things going on and follow up with how things are going. If your child was not doing well in a subject, you would stay on top of things. Well, if your spouse has things going on at the workplace or in their lives, listen! Sometimes, they just want to talk!
  • Pray for your spouse! I know, some might still feel weird about this one. I’ve prayed with my spouse and when I never felt comfortable praying WITH I prayed FOR! The more we pray for people, the more involved we get in their lives and begin to care for their feelings.
  • Show your husband you care! Give goodbye kisses (like you do kids!), give goodnight kisses (like you do kids!), get your spouse special treats (pick them up their favorite drink, a candy bar, or leave them a sticky note in their lunch that says you care and love them!

If you are thinking, “My husband and I could never do this!” Yes you can! You fell in love with this person and it’s time to get back to basics!

Let pray! Lord, please help me to start putting my spouse first! I know that it’s hard parenting and also being a wife/husband, but help me to balance the two and to put my spouse first. Give me ideas to help me to connect with my spouse that make he/she feel special and wanted. Help us restore our marriage! Help us not to give up! Help us to see value in our marriage! In Jesus’ Name!!!

Share, pin, e-mail…I want to see marriages encouraged! I want to see marriages last forever! I want ‘these’ marriages be an inspiration! There are too many divorces these days! It’s time to get marriages back! It’s time to start getting these divorce rates down! AMEN??!!!!

Until next time, be encouraged!

50 Shades of My Marriage Sucks!

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It may be a little bit late to hop on this band wagon, but I do have a lot to say about this whole trend of 50 Shades of Grey. When I first heard about the books that were coming out, I was somewhat intrigued. My husband and I were separated, I thought I needed some romance in my life, but what did I know? I have never been a reader, and really didn’t care to spend money on a book that I was going to probably not finish anyways.

The trend of the books died down and then comes the movie. Every married, single, (it didn’t matter) lady was going to see this movie. Some were going to see the movie with their friends some were going to see the movie with their spouse. It was crazy to think some of these people were in the theaters watching this movie and then sitting in church the next morning.

I got to thinking how many men (with already pornography issues-maybe their wife/girlfriend is aware, maybe not) but how many men were triggered by this spicy, sexy movie? How many women have gotten themselves into pornography because they want more spicy in their marriage!

I have admitted, I have never read the books nor have I watched the movies. But, I do know what it is like to have a drought in the marriage. You get married, kids come along, you’re tired, you don’t really want to be intimate…but then again you know you should be and you want to be. It’s confusing being an adult, huh? But, back to the subject. I know marriages can go through periods and seasons where it is crappy. Sex is not the way it should be, communication is not good..so you argue, and marriages are torn apart!

People begin to turn to outlets when their marriages go down hill. They turn to pornography, technology, the flirty co-worker at the office. Things are thrown at marriages straight from the pit of Hell, and if our marriages is not going great 97% of the time, we will find an outlet to make us happy. And, let’s just be honest, a movie that is known to be about sex and spiciness, and a person who is wanting to see this type of movie or read this type of book is looking for something in their life!

Don’t get me wrong, I love sexy, but sexy should be kept in YOUR bedroom with YOUR spouse. A movie, a porno, a magazine, a book, an affair will only last for a season….then you will be looking for the next thing to get you excited in marriage. God created marriage and it is written in black and white in the Good Book..there are no shades of grey when it comes to God’s word and how he intended marriage to be.

I am not trying to judge anyone, but simply say, “Hey, I’ve been there!!” “I’ve looked for outlets in my marriage and THANK GOD it didn’t lead to enough destruction that is destroyed my marriage!” God loves you, and He loves your marriage. I truly believe if we ask Him how to spice up our marriage, He will give us the desire and wisdom and it will be something of Him.

If you have an issue with your marriage, and have been looking for an outlet or have found an “outlet” I just want to pray for you–

Lord God, I know that marriage is hard and that we go through so many droughts in our marriage–droughts in our bedroom. Lord, the World tries to throw these outlets at us, but God I pray that we recognize them and choose to turn to you on how to fix our marriage. Let our outlet be You, Lord! Lord, I pray that any man or woman that deals with addiction to pornography or anyone who uses pornography to satisfy their needs be healed. I pray that us that are in relationships and married, that we turn to you!

Until next time….be encouraged!