Are Two Really Better Than One? – 5 Keys to Godly Marriage – Pastor Priji Varghese

Are Two Really Better Than One? – 5 Keys to Godly Marriage – Pastor Priji Varghese

This weeks post is written by Pastor Priji Varghese. He serves as the director of ‘Revive Nations India.’ He also pastors a church ‘Bangalore Revival Centre’ with his dear wife Rashmi Varghese. Together they were blessed by God recently with a baby girl  Zahal. Enjoy the post. I cannot begin to tell you how much of a blessing marriage has been for me. It’s been only a little less than 10 months since Rashmi and I have been married. But yes, there have been moments of challenges, doubts, fears and questions that tend to creep in from time to time, threatening to challenge our oneness and unity of spirit. The more I pursue God along with Rashmi, the more do I see the purpose and goal of marriage, the way God intended it. Allow me to briefly explain the same with the few pointers below. I am in no way saying that God doesn’t or wouldn’t call people to singleness. That is a special calling, and a special unction is given to them that have such a calling. However, if you are not sure about where you are headed to and how God intends you to live, this post just might be for you! What I have mentioned here is also out of my personal experiences, and it can change from people to people, and from couple to couple, depending on their individual natures and God given grace and abilities. If you are already married, and you feel you lack in any of these, would you make it your heart’s cry to get the same fixed? 1. The Power...
Are You Deceived in a Relationship? 6 Crucial Check Points

Are You Deceived in a Relationship? 6 Crucial Check Points

Often people write to us about relationships that they are struggling with whether it is via verbal or physical abuse. Some are cheated of thousands of dollars and others just bound and being manipulated and hence unable to reach their God given destiny. Most of these relationships (this could also be business relationships) began on a positive note. Some even claim that God led them to those relationships. Others have received confirmation through Bible verses too. Could that be possible? How do we know if we are in a relationship that is ordained by God and not something that will end up in deception? Here is a checklist to find out whether you are deceived in a relationship. 1. Loss of Interest in Things of God After you entered into that relationship, you are no more passionate about studying God’s Word and praying. In fact your passion for the things of world has significantly increased. 2. High Interest in Prayer But… It seems like your interest in “spiritual activities” has gone up. You are more than ever excited and involved in various programs at church, but it all seems revolve around pleasing those people. Please note that it does necessarily mean you are in a relationship with that person, but may be your motive is distorted and it’s only a matter of time before it falls. 3. High Interest in God’s Word But… There seems to be a great spiritual growth in you because you are reading the Bible more after meeting this person. However you only believe parts of it and avoid the parts that convict you. Oh and you have many powerful verses that support the relationship and justify...
What to Look for in a Life Partner?

What to Look for in a Life Partner?

“He must be tall, handsome, good looking, sweet, understanding, loving, rich, intelligent and a sweetheart.” This seems to be the kind of a checklist many girls have of their perfect guy, and an almost similar list is a set of expectations from many young men in our generation. However, as a child of God, I want to share with you some of the realistic expectations one should have from a prospective alliance. 1. A ‘God First’ Person First and foremost, your future spouse must fear the Lord. It is in that reverence to who God is, that your house can be built strong. If that young man/lady does not love God, chances are that he/she does not have the principles that the Word of God lays to have a happy married life. If your future spouse would honour God over money, vocation, friends & family etc, you can rest assured that he/she would do the same to the God-ordained sanctity of marital commitment to you. Not only would he/she keep you the closest to their heart, he/she will draw you close to Jesus. 2. Passionate About Prayer and God’s Word Find out if the person enjoys and reads God’s Word regularly. God’s Word, the Bible, is the lamp unto our feet. It is the Bible that teaches the husband to love the wife like how Jesus loved the Church by dying for the Church, and it is only the Bible that teaches wives to selflessly love her husband. This, combined with a habit to pray, is the most dynamic habit you should hope for, desire and expect in your...
Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage?

Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage?

We often receive questions from our readers via email and Facebook on various issues seeking Godly guidance. Not all topics or issues justify a blogpost however ‘Love marriage versus Arranged marriage’ is one of the sensitive topics that I am frequently asked about and hence I thought of sharing my thoughts via a post. Mind you, this may be completely redundant to some of you who are a part of a culture that permits only either; that becomes beyond the scope of this post. For others, I encourage you to keep an open heart and leave room for lot of grace as we try to deal with these tough issues. After all, the intention is not to take sides but try and find some solution to a genuine problem that the current generation is facing. What Happens in Arranged Marriage? Arranged marriage (for those who are not familiar) is the marriage arranged by the parents of the couple. Most of the times the proposal is brought over a meeting or in case long distance – through photographs. Once the parents are happy with the prospects of the other partner, then the families speak and arrange the marriage. In parts of the pentecostal culture where arranged marriage is prevalent, love marriages are considered to be a taboo. What I Believe I do believe God can use parents to find the right life partner for their children and I have seen great examples of the same. But, a word of caution… One of the critical issues that parents of this generation have to pay attention to is the fact that times have changed drastically. The present generation is well educated and informed, largely influenced by their friends’ circle and prefers self decision making from selecting a mobile phone to selecting a life partner. Now that gives you, parents a greater challenge. It...
The Pursuit & Preparation of the Ministry Within You

The Pursuit & Preparation of the Ministry Within You

Serving the Lord is certainly the most privileged missions a man can have. But what is God’s greatest desire for man? We must certainly have the priorities right.   Going back to the book of all beginnings, God first made man and then created family. It is to them He commanded to tend the garden and have dominion over everything else. What we often forget is that we cannot tend the garden if we have not taken care of ourselves first and the partner God has given us. Start With Your Self To be a great husband or wife would require for you to die to yourself. It is in that dying to yourself and putting others ahead of you that you will also learn the principle of what real ministry is. That means your first ministry is to yourself. This is crucial to both singles as well as the married. It is the preparation of you that prepares you to tend to your partner. An ‘unfinished you’ is an emotional and mental expense to your partner. Does that mean you can be perfect before your marriage? Not at all! And I am a personal witness to how much more I know I have to be shaped. However, it is important that you do your best for your marriage. To become the man and woman that God has called you to be will also mean to become a blessing to your other half! [ClickToTweet] So if you are single, you must start working on seeing the world outside you as Christ would. Start with working on the fruit of...
Why Are Women So Significant? – T. D. Jakes at WTAL 2011

Why Are Women So Significant? – T. D. Jakes at WTAL 2011

This is Part 2 of the series titled: “God has a strategy for your life” by Bishop T. D. Jakes at the Woman Thou Art Loosed Conference 2011 on the Philippi Incident. See Part 1 here.   Paul is hanging out with the women. Jesus sat down by the well too. Jesus and Paul knew something. What is so significant about them coming to women? Jesus waited all day for a woman like you. She was neither holy nor righteous. She had five husbands and a friend. But Jesus waited for her.   You’re worth waiting for. You’re worth crying for. You’re worth it! You’re significant! God sent his choice vessel – an intellectual – down to preach to the women.   Philippi was full of religiosity and idolatry that centred around gods of fertility. They worshiped ideas of fertility, and promiscuity was rampant. There were some Jews worshiping an invisible God. But the majority were worshiping idols; mystical religions; fetish religions; witchcraft; voodoo; Satanism and occult movements. In the midst of religious commerce, groups of women came to the river and started thinking: Surely there must be more to God than this. A bunch of women became sick and tired of being sick and tired. So Paul got down by the river where women pray.   There is something about women praying that will make God send his choice vessel. Jeremiah said it too. He sent for the women of mourning to come and take up wailing. Women are nurturers. They won’t let go of something easily. When you give women a request, they hold it in the...
Will You Pass This Love Test?

Will You Pass This Love Test?

“Every high has a low and every low has a high.” That is a fact of life. Life can be compared to a school master, who from time to time puts us through tests, and when we pass those tests, we achieve new levels of understanding. It’s the same with your marriage. You must have heard the saying that once the honeymoon period is over, your love will be tested. There will be moments when you will see the ‘wrong’ side of your partner. Will that cause you to behave the same ‘wrong’ way that your spouse behaves or will you prove successful in your Love Test? Here is a true love test that you should not miss! Will you pass the Love Test when you encounter: – the impatient side of your partner? – the unkind words of your partner? – the arrogant and adamant nature of your partner? – the disrespectful times of your partner? – the angry and bad moods moments of your partner? – the selfish and greedy moments in your partner? – the dishonest moments in your partner? Saying, “I LOVE YOU” everyday does not change a thing. You see, after marriage you will face moments that you did not see coming in your love compatibility test. No one plans these moments, yet as the passions of the flesh wars with the Spirit of God in us, the ugly tentacles of sin surfaces from time to time. However, let’s not forget that in Romans 12:21, the Bible says,”Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (ESV, emphasis added). We need to...
How to be a Great Woman

How to be a Great Woman

In 2 Kings 4:8, the King James and a few other versions refer to the woman of Shunem as a “great woman”. I’ve always wondered what made her so deserving of the title: great woman. It could not have been her wealth alone that made her to be known this way. The question here is how can you – as a daughter of the Most High – be known as a great woman as well? During our travels, we’ve come across many bitter women. We even found some people who shut their minds against marriage because of past hurts. I believe that God loves His daughters very dearly. But life has its own ways of teaching us different lessons. Out of these experiences, many wander off onto wrong paths and come to wrong conclusions. Here are some good reminders as you prepare yourself for the right partner God has for you and as you grow into being the great woman that God wants you to be. 1. Know Your Value As a young woman, you must value yourself first before you expect others to value you. There will be some people who will try to bring you down. But being a person of worth is a personal choice. Every time you look at a person to feel worthy, you are giving that person the power to hurt you. [tweet this]Know that you are precious from the second you were born. And you are so loved by God that He decided to send His Son to die for you! 2. Don’t be Super-Spiritual I do not know how else to...
Five Love Languages That Can Help Your Marriage

Five Love Languages That Can Help Your Marriage

Humans have many ways in which they express their love and out of which there are five key categories called the love language. Soon after our marriage we did the Love Language test by Dr. Gary Chapman and found some interesting variance in the way we expressed our love. Many marriages struggle and partners feel unappreciated and unloved because the love languages go undiscovered. You think they do not love you but the truth is that the way they love may be different from the way you express or expect love. You can also buy the book here Go through these five Love Languages. Check out which one you or your partner belongs to. Words of Affirmation For some people hearing the words, “I love you,” is more important than the reasons behind their partners love. Genuinely meant compliments and words that affirm their commitment to you means everything. At the same time negative words can leave you drained and broken. Quality Time For you LOVE is spelled as T-I-M-E. Nothing in the world matters to you more than undivided attention of your partner. You’re day is made when your partner switches off the TV, or gets out of the kitchen, switches off their phone and spends quality time with you. Failure to do so, distractions and postponing time to be together can be very disappointing to you. Receiving Gifts Not necessary that this means that the person is materialistic. It can be a simple thoughtfully prepared greeting card. Simple everyday gestures make their day. The efforts and thoughts behind it makes them feel loved. Missing a birthday or...
The Solution to Conflicts in Life

The Solution to Conflicts in Life

It’s 5 am. The Lord woke me up with a dream of a relentless runner. When Elijah, the man of God who had chopped off the heads of hundreds of prophets of Baal had to face Jezebel who threatened to kill his life, he fell for this silly woman’s threat. Jezebel symbolizes the fake and deceptive spirit which is contrary to the move of God that tries to attack the body of Christ. You will see this same spirit surface in families and churches from time to time. Endless unreal pressures. Threats and issues. Sense of desperation. Losing control of reality. Quitting on one’s hope. All these are the result of an attack of the spirit of Jezebel on a family or a church. And instead of realizing the trick of the enemy, believers do the same mistake that Elijah did. Elijah ran. He ran towards the wilderness. The running was fine, but quitting was not. Neither was the direction of his running right. It took an angel to get Elijah to realize that he was running towards the wilderness instead of running towards Horeb, the mount of God. There on the mount, he found the answers to all his questions and issues that troubled his heart. Where do you run to when Jezebel threatens you or your family? Where do you run when trouble brews in your ministry and threatens to take it all down? Do you try to take up the issue on your own in your own strength? I do not need to ask you to know that you may have failed. This post comes to...
Mouths To Talk – Marriage, God’s Way!

Mouths To Talk – Marriage, God’s Way!

This one is for those looking forward to getting married soon or for those who are already married. From a young age, I was counselled by many leading men of God to get married as early as possible. One of the reasons, I was told, was that it would help me in the ministry. Best thing told by a man of God was, “Shyju, after you are married, you’ll learn aspects about the bride of God and God himself that you cannot learn otherwise”. Another said, “Marriage is God’s way of teaching a man to die to self”. My wife adds, “Same for a woman as well”. I agree and for me, the last six months of our marriage have been a huge learning experience. I am still trying to unlearn many traits of my bachelor lifestyle. It is good to learn young while it is easier to change. However, here is one thing we need to be cautious about when it comes to marriage. While we learn a lot of good things from other couples, we can also be negatively influenced if we are not careful. Sadly, some people have more bad experiences with their marriage than good. And if we are not alert, we may find ourselves getting into a lifelong commitment with all that is not beneficial in our head and react negatively to otherwise harmless situations. There were many ‘kind’ friends who did that to us as well. They said stuff like, when the honeymoon is over; it is no more what you expect it to be, and marriage is depressive and so on and...
Divorce in the Church

Divorce in the Church

[French Translation] [Spanish Translation] One of the foundation principles of marriage that was instilled in me by many of my mentors was that, ‘marriage is for life’. Sometimes, I was afraid to think about marriage, for I would find myself wondering where would I find a girl that I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. Thankfully God is a prayer-answering God! What shocks me the most in our generation is that the levels of forgiveness and tolerance have dropped by a great measure. Broken marriages lead to disintegration of the family and our children grow up lacking emotional security, a feeling of safety and/ or confused sexual identities. This also leads to an ‘even more confused’ generation as they lack role models in the family. We are, without a doubt, at a point of crisis with marriages of many of our leaders also being on the rocks. Sadly, the sheep follow the shepherd and suddenly, everything seems to become a casual event. Why are Marriages Breaking Down? Comparison You expect your spouse to be like someone else. You want her to dress up like a famous celebrity, cook like your mother or you want him to be like your dad (my dad used to help in the kitchen, make tea and even go grocery shopping!). Immaturity I have seen women who want to run their house the way their moms handled hers; men who want their wives to be like their friend’s wife. That is simply disastrous! A friend of mine once was complaining about how her food did not taste as good as her...
The Unbelieving Spouse

The Unbelieving Spouse

Last week, I got a call from a sister desperate to see her husband saved. She had married him because she thought he was a Christian, only to realize that he was a Christian by name and not in action. Her ailing story went on from one distress story to another. It’s not a new story; I get to hear this in nearly every country I’ve visited. Some have great testimonies but bad endings. The truth is what you do as a true believer can save the marriage. Here are few things that you should keep in mind while you minister God’s love to your spouse: Strong Love I know you’ve heard this before but the fact of the matter is that love is the key to your spouse seeing the truth of Jesus in you. Spirituality should not stop you from candlelight dinners. Guard your heart from the self-righteous spirit. Your partner might be in the wrong boat but remember Jesus still loves your partner, too. Your uncompromised love for Jesus, underlined with strong love towards your husband or wife is certain to create an impact. Your heart to honour and love your spouse will be the way that the light of Jesus will shine into your family. It can sometimes be a challenge but this way, you learn to die to self everyday (1 Corinthians 13: 4-5). Prayerful Patience I’ve come across some people who are so desperate to see their spouse saved that in that process, they end up overdoing things to such an extent that their spouse withdraw or shut themselves to God. Nonstop talk...
How Pornography Kills Love

How Pornography Kills Love

Here’s an article I got by mail by Laurie Hall. I thought this could be informative if I posted it for everyone. Be blessed. How Pornography Kills Love By Laurie Hall     Dear Laurie, I’m grieving the loss of my young womanhood and the countless nights I went to bed wounded in heart and frustrated sexually. It’s hard to look at my face in mid-life and wonder how my husband rejected me when I was at my best—I was really pretty. I went through the stages you did. I was obedient, submitting even over tiny issues. I ministered to his    needs and enjoyed it, even when he was oblivious to mine. For years, I’ve suffered from exhaustion—  afraid that if I went to bed before my husband, I’d be neglecting his sexual or emotional needs. In the process, I was punished by his lack of involvement in our home and our children’s lives. Worse, he’d spend days picking at me until I exploded. Looking back, I realize that I was so hungry for an emotional connection with him that I was willing to get it through anger if that was the only way he would hear me. Meanwhile, I suffered terrible guilt from the increasing breakdowns I was having due to exhaustion. When I fell apart because I was overly exhausted or confused by lies, I was viewed as “the problem.” Once, when I ran out of a Bible time he was having because I was upset that he was demeaning me, my husband shoved me, tore the keys out of my hand and swore at me. I...
Love Whispered!

Love Whispered!

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Love Whispered SeriesFamiliarity breeds contempt. True, isn’t it? More often than not, especially in relationships, when you know a person well, you can easily lose respect for that person or become careless in that situation. Consider a marriage relationship-it all starts off well, but over a period of time the enthusiasm and the love factor gradually seems to fade away. What happened? Well, life had just become too familiar and mechanical, thus leaving no room for the husband and wife to enjoy their relationship. The same husband who would jump onto his feet to fetch a glass of water at the request of his newly married wife, now turns a deaf ear to her repeated calls.  It was not that he did not love his wife anymore, but now that they had seen each other so much, the romance seemed to have died, the red roses had faded, the candles from the dinners had melted. Something was missing – the FIRST love. Do you realize that this human tendency in relationships of this world is also reflected in our relationship with God? We start to get ‘familiar’ with God. Our focus shifts from ‘how much we love God’ to a mechanical and ritualistic ‘ how much we do for God’; from how much we spend time with God, to how much we spend time with His people doing His work! This call goes out to you. Are you getting used to God? Are you getting too familiar with Him? Are you too busy to simply sit at his feet...
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