WHY REASONING WITH THOSE WHO DRINK EMOTIONAL KOOL-AID WON’T WORK

Write it on your heart

that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day

who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.

Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;

begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit

to be cumbered with your old nonsense.This new day is too dear,

with its hopes and invitations,

to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever had an hour, or a day, even a week in trying times that your heart didn’t hurt?

Trusting is the key to being able to have that time. The bible records this saying, “Throw all your cares on Him for he cares for you.” As good as that sounds, it depends on the level of mental and spiritual conditioning you have, or have exercised. I admit I am guilty of allowing extraneous thoughts to slide into my mental flow and disrupt my peace, especially when I relax and believe family is family, where everyone cares for each other. Let me explain.

I know a man, who was involved in an accident years ago which left him with three broken ribs, bleeding kidneys and a hematoma in his right buttock the size of an adult fist, tears across his knees, and trauma to his mid/lower back. While he lay supine with his knees drawn up, he felt the Spirit of the L0rd manifest. The heat and pain, the noise and light all faded away. He said he became the best version of himself possible as the L0rd’s spirit took charge. Everything he felt, thought, spoke… everything was of the L0rd, yet he remained himself. To this very day he says that all fear of death, of loss, of pain from that accident fades when he remembers the glory of being transformed, even if for a moment, to more than he was in human terms by the Holy Spirit.

In this trauma he came away with a deeper, clearer sense of how the Holy Spirit works in human beings. No more fear of death, no more fear of being out-of-control. No more fears of being cheated on, or of separation or divorce. Yet, there are others, whose experience coming out of trauma or sin (adultery, sexual sins, separation or divorce) does not leave them with this… glory. These are those whose lifestyle is dependent upon emotional reasoning, on fear and loss and a stubborn determination to hold onto those emotions. They do so because emotional control is all they know, even as it fails them, time after time. Almost all people have some difficulty admitting to errors, to apologizing for those errors in judgement or lapses in decorum to other people; yet this is beyond that!

While some have no trouble admitting to and owning their mistakes because they are determined to make things improve, if not the situation or confrontation with another, then to improve themselves. These are the people everyone likes, but there are others. These people are those who ‘sort of’ apologize, sort of own their errors. If they are angry and call you a name (racist, bigoted, sexist, cheater, adulterer – projecting their sins/failures on you) they may say, “I am sorry your feelings are hurt, but if only you wouldn’t say/do those things,” meaning their ‘sort of’ apology is more about your fault than admitting theirs.

You may notice that the ‘sort of’ apology never admits to any fault except in others. It is as if to say, “You were hurt by that because you don’t understand how that is (racist, bigoted, sexist, cheating, adultery),” and in darker undertones how you were to blame! The people who are unable to admit to their own part in any argument or divorce action are unable to see they had anything to do with, projecting what they do onto others. And a ‘sort of’ apology admits to no fault through humility and repentance.

They are unable to see that arguments and marriages have two participants within which both share. And because they find it so unimaginably horrible to accept their error, a defense mechanism honed over years, causes them to literally distort their perceptions (to see things as they want them to be rather than as they are). This is why they can’t accept blame, or to share blame when there is mutual error, seeking rather to project their faults onto others. They remain unable to do so as long as they hold onto the past (defense mechanism or sin).

People who do this are in pain and in need of prayer, and forgiveness (even if they have trouble accepting it because this means they share blame). They have such a weakened sense of self, a fragile psyche that to admit they were in error threatens their already brittle ego. It makes apologizing impossible or nearly so. Hence the ‘sort of’ apology blaming the victim of their anger, or embarrassment, or pain, or for their affairs (as if you were the cause). The nature of the threat to their psychological health remains insurmountable until they learn to accept themselves as they are and forgive themselves. Indeed, until they remain entangled until they learn to accept they can go to G-d ‘just as they are’ for forgiveness , restoration and healing.

So, yes, they may cry real tears during a confrontation – as if they feel the pain or shared blame for unpleasant events which engendered the disruption. And you may see what appears to be introspection or realization; you may also believe they are considering your point of view or beginning to see and accept their part in events, but the corona of distortion they create to preserve their ego literally warps reality to make it less painful, less of a threat. Which explains the ‘sort of’ apology, if they make one at all. To quote from the Matrix –

You have to understand. Most people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.

— Morpheus, The Matrix

The very thought that they may be in part responsible for any unpleasantness (name calling, blame shifting, or divorce) is so powerful they will immediately become angry and defend their frangible ego.  Do not make the mistake of believing their adamant refusal to back down is a sign of strength or of determined character. Their inability to humble themselves, to feel sorrow and repent for their words or actions is the polar opposite of humility and repentance. And only G-d can change a broken heart. Only G-d can forgive and restore!

In the words of a popular song, “Give them all to Jesus. Shattered dreams,
Wounded hearts, Broken toys.” Give your prodigal to Jesus!

I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and to carefully observe My ordinances.…

Ezekiel 36:25 -27

Dr. Ramón de Torres

Edited: June 28, 2020

Book Review

A Review: “The Man of Her Dreams, the Woman of His,”

by Kathy & Joel Davisson.

I used to think I understood how to “filter” out the problem (and my desire to fix the problem) from the words a woman spoke, and that I would be able to focus on the underlying emotions to hear the real meaning behind the words. I was wrong.

The Davissons made it clear that men are required listen to “how” a woman speaks and not the actual words assigned to conversation. They are silent regarding the importance of reciprocity, namely that both men and women must listen with care and in love. For instance, they never say women have faults or problems that contribute to the stress in a marriage. This egregious omission implies women are lie-detectors, purity inspectors, faultless and innocent and have no problems (except the Neanderthal in the room). All trouble in a marriage is the man’s – so they think.

It is impossible for women not to bear some fault for the problems of a marriage, in how they approach men, how they communicate, and so on. If, as they assert, it is important that men meet women at their point of need, then this too is true (according to Podesta) of me, of all men, and YES, of all women. Every human being has the responsibility to meet the other person at their greatest point of need. In fact, this is an entirely biblical approach to marriage. Quite unlike the Davissons, who seek to blame only the man when this doesn’t happen.

The Davissons deny that women need to be more open to saying what she needs. In this I agree with Connie Podesta, and say that the Davissons are very wrong. Podesta says that men are better at getting their emotional needs met because we just say what we want. Women don’t. Women walk around an issue, they don’t just come out and say what they mean, and they have to learn to do so.

Podesta cited an example. Imagine a man and woman on a long drive. He’s hungry, more than hungry. He sees a sign that says, “Food Next Exit.” He turns, drives to the nearest fast food place, orders a burger, gets a drink. Back in the car. On the road again. Nine, ten minutes.

Now imagine she’s hungry, seeing the same sign, she turns to him and asks, “Honey? Are you hungry?” He thinks about it and says, “No. I’m not. Thanks for asking.” Keeps driving and passes the exit. Next food is 78 miles. She becomes upset that he did not know she was hungry. She pouts. She gives him the silent treatment, which is a big mistake. According to Podesta it takes the average man one hour to realize he’s not being spoken to. So… another hour goes by, then she gives a loud sigh. No answer from him. Another hour and now she hits or smacks something, so then he has to ask, “Honey? Whats wrong.”

The point to all this is IF SHE’D BEEN MORE DIRECT, there would have been no problem. The point is NOT-he should just know what she wants, because no one can know the unspoken, unknown words in some one else’s heart.

The human mind has been compared (by Podesta and others) to a computer. It is the most complex, orderly arrangement of matter in the universe. YET…. no computer can give an answer to data not programmed into it, nor can a male mind act on female words NOT SPOKEN. According to Podesta, the average male mind just does not wonder what a woman thinks inside her heart, because the average male is very literal. As in the road rage example above, if she is quiet, he thinks, “This is great. We’re here together, we don’t need to talk.” In other words, his actions are based on what he can sense, and thus he believes they are connecting on a level so deep words are not necessary. He is wrong precisely because she has with held vital information.

This is something the Davissons don’t seem to understand. Both men and women are responsible for accurate communiciation if they want their lives to remain entwined together in proper relationship. Both men and women need to communicate effectively – one alone is not enough. The Davissons place the entire load on the man for the mistakes of the couple – as if the woman has no standing before Messiah for her own actions, or understanding to make this possible. They underestimate women.

The Davissons’ book, like the leaven of the Pharisees, is dangerous to read without a real knowledge of the word of G-d. Where they discuss Greek, when they discuss the meanings and usage of a word they are correct, BUT the conclusion they draw from their study is wrong. Women are far more sensitive to unspoken truth, to sub-vocal communication than men, sensing things that men miss entirely, and women act on a level of intuitiveness that most men find absolutely baffling – but this does NOT mean women have a built in marriage manual, anymore than men have a built in “how to” or fix it manual. Explaining why Davissons think this is difficult, even if they come close to the truth, they keep missing it. And in missing it obscure some simple basic facts about human needs.

We all come equipped with some pretty basic needs, food, comfort, shelter, love, affection, and so on… nothing inside us is built to know how to accomplish these complex tasks without instructions, and marriage is as complex as it gets in our world. Though women are more attuned to relationship matters, they don’t have a personal indwelling of the Holy Book of Matrimony. If they did, they’d read the part that says men need straightforward (verbal) communication, men need to feel respected more than they want love (if forced to choose between them), men need the reassurance that she admires him for himself (just watch any little boy ask his Mom to “feel my muscle” as he holds up his arm). Yes, men have needs too… and the Davissons seem to miss out on that message, too.

They (the Davissons) seem to think that women are holy and sacred and it is mundane and profane men who miss out on the message of G-d in a holy marriage. Yet, I read passages in other books, other testimonies of restoration, other websites, and in scripture, which more accurately paint a picture where BOTH men and women are responsible for their marriage. If it succeeds, or fails, both bear the praise or the blame. The following quote, written by Erin Thiele, illustrates this point;

It is the same with all who find their marriages in shambles or completely destroyed, including you. You will soon find, if you are not aware of it yet, that it is not just your husband who violated God’s principles. You will find, as I did, that you have done much to contribute to the destruction of your marriage. This understanding will be the turning point as you accept and look at your sins only, not your husband’s. (Italics added.)

This failure to recognize her own sins, failure to seek salvation in Messiah was what doomed her.

Another real danger of the Davissons’ book is that they stress the “if” factor; if you do not believe as they do you cannot restore your marriage. Yet, it is very clear from the testimonies of many women that the Davissons view is not the only one, nor (in my opinion, is their example anything more than what worked for them). The problem here is the same as a the following example; I knew a couple with four naturally compliant children. Great kids who’d do whatever was asked of them with no disobedience. If you guessed the couple began to give advice on child rearing to every one else around them, you are right. Their fifth child was a different spirit entirely. Constantly asking why, constantly looking for loopholes, constantly upsetting their applecart. They stopped giving advice.

It is obvious from the examples (cited in other paragraphs above) that women, as well as men, have problems. Consider the following (from Thiele);

The Lord showed me that I had violated many of the principles of marriage, and He also showed me other sins that I was unaware of or had never dealt with (by repenting of them). All of these sins and violations led to the destruction of my marriage.

Thiele admits to having violated principles of marriage (relationship building principles) and had hidden sins, which she buried, or ignored, or pretended to resolve, but had not worked on to them to repent… where repent has the meaning of… to feel regret or contrition, to change one’s mind, or to feel sorrow, and/or regret, but also to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life. And if this is not clear enough, repentance also includes restoration:TO RETURN what was stolen, rebuild the relationship.

Scripturally when one repents it is as Zaccheus repented – to feel sorrow, to change your mind about the sin, to actively seek to amend (fix, repair, restore) the conditions brought about by the sin, and return in larger measure that which was stolen. In a marriage it means to accept your sin, stop blaming your spouse for those sins, to repent of those sins which caused the separation, and to go home again. It DOES NOT mean to remarry in a final act of rebellion and desert your spouse FOREVER.

There are many sins one may not repair; murder, mayhem, sexual sins… which have unalterable consequences (death of a loved one, loss of a limb, pregnancy, STDs,) but marriage is unique in that the prodigal has every opportunity to turn it around and return to the husband/wife of their youth…. if they will listen to the Spirit of G-d and not to human reasoning and doctrinal interpretations of the Word.

(This requires more in the way of explanation. It is true if you can apologize to one you harm, pay back their losses, replace their property, and so on.. but restoring the loss of security, of safety is not as easy. Nothing you can do will fix that because that is entirely up to the one you harmed. In marriage, the apology, the loss, the theft of security is still up to the one you harmed, but YOU are the property (1 Corinthians 7:4), and YOU can restore that loss by going home. The restoration of emotional, spiritual, or internal losses will be difficult, but in the end it works better than giving back physical goods.)

Lysa TeraKeurst, like Podesta, recognizes that the truth about marriage is a far distant place from the Davissons. Read the following with quotes from Lysa taken from an article (web site follows) by Carol Heffernan, which illustrate this point;

“I went into marriage thinking of all I was going to get out of it, not of all that I had to give another person,” Lysa admits. “To be honest, Art and I were very selfish in our approach to marriage.”

Another problem in their relationship was expectations that went both unmentioned and unfulfilled. Lysa emphasizes having open and honest conversations about expectations, saying, “You cannot possibly meet the expectations of another person if you don’t know what they are.”

“A lot of women make the mistake of placing their children above their husband, and the children become more important. It’s a good thing for a mom to have the desire to really love her children, but setting her husband aside is a great disservice to her family,” she says, (emphasis added).

From http://www.family.org/marriage/a000001137.cfm

Marriage is all about shared responsibilities, not about blaming the man for not following a hidden marriage manual placed inside a woman as the Davissons assert so often. Yet, this approach worked for the Davissons despite their ridiculous rhetoric. It worked because BOTH took responsibility for the marriage.

A decided down side of their book is (leaven of the Pharisees) that they are both in agreement that the man is totally at fault. Though, as I said, this works for them, advice like this could and probably will push a fragile marriage over the edge of divorce. She blames him, he blames her, and they (or one of them) finds the Davissons’ book, a book which places the blame for the destruction of the marriage solely on the husband. A normal human, pushed to the limit, looking for a way out, would grasp this false straw for survival and – blame him. A good man convicted of his sin in his marriage may come to believe he alone is at fault. In either event, this is a recipe for the death of a marriage.

As I said earlier, there is a lot of good in the Davissons’ book, but you have to read it AFTER you have read up in the Word of G-d. Be strong in the might of the L-rd in order to discern where the drek in the book must be ignored. So, if you read the Davissons’ book to find help for your marriage do so with caution, and do NOT let the leaven of legalism (of men bashing, or casting blame) pierce the armor of light with which you must clothe yourself to remain in the gap for your marriage, because marriage is about more than making us happy, it is to make us holy.

Dr. Ramón de Torres

Edited: June 28, 2020

Marriage and Making Norms

My wife and I struggled over this document, each giving and editing till we agreed on the Norms for our marriage. And as you may surmise by this, she is home. She came home! Praise G-d! Enjoy.

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Norms

1. Remember that we love each other.

Ephesians 4:2-3 — Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.

2. Listen respectfully when the other is speaking.

Luke 11:28 — But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

3. Provide opportunity for the other person to speak.

Proverbs 15:23 — People take pleasure in anything they say; but a word at the right time, is very good

4. Choose to be solution oriented.

Proverbs 3:6 — In all your ways acknowledge him; then He will level your paths.

5. Acknowledge that Adonai is the ruler of the Universe and also our home.

Joshua 24: 15 If it seems bad to you to serve Adonai, then choose today whom you are going to serve! Will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the River? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? As for me and my household we will serve Adonai!

 5A. Acknowledge the plain meaning of scripture – 

II Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is God-breathed and is  valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work.

6. Take time to relax together, unwind, date night.

Ecclesiastes 11:10 — Therefore, remove anger from your heart; and keep from harming your body; for neither adolescence nor youth has any lasting value.

6A. SexI Corinthians 7:5 — Do not deprive each other, except for a limited time, by mutual agreement, and then only so as to have extra time for prayer; but afterwards, come together again. Otherwise, because of your lack of self-control, you may succumb to the Adversary’s temptation.

6B. Personal timeMatthew 6:6 — But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your (heavenly) Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

7. Honor your vows, do not make rash promises.

Ecclesiastes 5:4 — Better not to make a vow than to make a vow and not discharge it.

 Barriers and ConcernsIMG_0031

8 Scheduled time for each other – body clock, needs to take into consideration for work.

 

Ecclesiastes 3: 7– a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak

9. At times the articulation of situations is difficult because it may be stated in a way that is not received well by the other person.

Jeremiah 33:3 — Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. ‘

10. Express needs in a timely manner; seek to clarify not confront

Ephesians 4:26 — Be angry, but don ‘t sin – don ‘t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger;

11. Take time for personal health – hormone levels & allergies, family, social relationships, personal choices with time usage, and husband – work and other.

1 Peter 5: 7 — Throw all your anxieties upon him, because he cares about you.

12. Learn to focus and listen for meaning in the moments of silence.

James 1:26 — Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 — a time to tear and a time to sew, a time to keep silent and a time to speak,

Potential Solutions20170624_222419

13. Prioritize/Honor scheduled times, whenever possible. If not then reschedule next opportunity.

Colossians 4:5 — Behave wisely toward outsiders, making full use of every opportunity

14. Articulate the feeling in difficult situations in a way that is received well by the other person.

Ephesians 4:29 — Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.

15. Never assume understanding, ask for clarification before action.

Proverbs 4:7 — The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Goals and Opportunities

16. Honor commitments.

2 Timothy 2:15 — Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.

17. Articulate feelings/needs in a kind and timely manner.

Proverbs 16:24 — Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the taste and healing for the body.

 
 

Dr. Ramón de Torres                  Next Page: On Marriage and Faith

Edited: June 25, 2020

Marriage No More? Part 2

I used to know a woman a believer in the L-rd, (I have to wonder how much difference there is in the quality of faith) who related a story to me about a man whose wife sued him for divorce. While they were separated he would drive by her house calling out to G-d and crying, “L-rd save my marriage.”  When the divorce was granted he stopped praying and let go. She said that sometimes G-d wants divorce because He is working in an individual’s heart. She left out a great deal in that short story.

What she left out was that the word for echad is one that means “unified” but more, it implies a bond that is like glue, or better, welded where the joining is body, soul, spirit. One. The same word is used to speak of G-d as one, echad. For instance, the Word [Mattityahu (Matt) 19] speaks volumes, but two things of the many it discusses stand out; an unbeliever may leave and the believer is not bound (enslaved), and when two believers marry – DO NOT divorce; a command of G-d.

We All Fail and Are Weak

The things is do we fail and are weak and therefore sin, or do we live in deliberate sin and fail because we choose to do so. There are distinct differences in these two positions. The saint of G-d may fail because he/she is weak, but that is different than outright rebellious celebration of sin. We are the righteousness of Maschiach, clean before a Holy G-d. And the prayers of a righteous man (woman) are mighty. Being in Yeshua is win/win.

So when she told the story she didn’t say is this an unbelieving wife? If she was a believer, was he? If both were and he stopped praying then he was sinning [Yakov (James) 4:17]. Lies can come out of just not saying enough.

When is Sin Only Weakness

If a believer divorces a believer, the follow up with Matthew 19 is to remain single and do not remarry, or reconcile. Why would a believer choose what one could only assume is the lesser of two evils, so to speak. It is as they say, “I choose to divorce and stay unmarried.” But why? What is greater than the fear of the L-rd? What fear drives a believer to divorce in the clear light of the command to not divorce?

What if he or she is so wrapped up in their own issues which end up hurting the marriage? What if they feel compelled to divorce to either, stay away from the pain, or keep their pain away from their spouse? Both are very real issues. For the first I’d say, why did you NOT involve your spouse or engage them enough to let them into your private world?

For instance; if you have health issues, did they go with you to counseling or to the doctor? Did you invite them and they refused? In the second instance, were they divorcing to save their spouse what they thought, perhaps, was years of their own agony as they battled either mental or physical illness? I say invite them in and find out what they do. If this drives them to divorce you (as perhaps you feared) it is a shame on them and not you.

When Two Walk Together

If they remain the scripture says in Ephesians 4 two can keep each other warm, and a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Don’t divorce someone because you are trying to spare them pain. They married you for better or for worse. Evidence proves that after 5 years people who stick to their marriage VASTLY improve compared to those who divorce and remarry, and are far happier and rate their marriage as high quality compared to those who take their baggage in divorce.

In marriages where they do nothing but stubbornly cling to each other, five years later their marriage is better than those who divorce and remarry. In marriages of faith where they go to counseling religiously (pun intended), they are closer and happier together than those who divorce and either remain single or remarry. The common factor is staying together, and it doesn’t matter if they are believers or non-believer, of the faith or pagan. Staying together and relying on each other is the key, and I have to believe, because G-d designed marriage (and hates divorce) He is in all marriages and will bless them as they struggle to remain married.

My goal is to remain, to accept the struggles of life and love my spouse with all of my being; body, soul and spirit. That involves struggle, and certainly a great deal of grace, forgiveness, respect and love. If your spouse is not worth the effort of staying married (when G-d says they are) then reconsider why you married them, who changed? And if you decide on divorce, then was that change what G-d truly wants?

Dr. Ramón de Torres      

Edited: June 28, 2020

Marriage No More? Part 1

It occurs to me that the focus of this website is too narrow. Marriage. Life and our relationships are more than just marriage. Singles have a relationship with G0d. Children have a relationship with G0d. Widows and widowers have a relationship with G0d. Did I leave anyone out? Thus expanding this site to include singles means letting ALL who come here and read, that marriage is G-d’s design for human beings. BUT having said that, not all of us have to be married.

While I will always value the topic of marriage, since G-d laid it on my heart, I may occasionally to expand these pages to deal with subjects related to our relationship with Abba Father, through the Spirit and in Yeshua haMaschiach both as if to singles, where it applies, and especially to those married.

My belief is the people prone to believe that G-d, the Holy Spirit, or a dream of a loved one (alive or dead) have fragile ego’s and a fragile psyche and will go to any length to stop the pain of sin, any length except obedience. In this case, the pain is G-d’s Spirit convicting them of sin. The same may be said of singles; they too may fall for this deceptive spirit and take actions not in accordance with the Word.

G0d’s promises are IF/THEN. IF you follow His ways, THEN He rewards you. IF you don’t follow His ways, tTHEN He allows things in your life that may hurt. Yet even this is His hand of discipline reaching out to you. My wife came home. I had nothing to do with it. I had to stop praying she would come home and had to pray for her safety, welfare, for blessings on her. I had to give up on restoration and give in to a Holy G0d!

This is for all who believe!

Shalom

Dr. Ramón de Torres  

Edited: June 28, 2020

 

Marriage and Love

Love is not something you experience like feelings that come and go, love is a commitment, a firmness of purpose, a decision you make. True love unites, true love binds, you are echad (welded soul to soul) with another person in sickness and health; until death do you part.  Love is an action word, love is a verb, love is a challenge that you demonstrate day by day.

Love is not a feeling precisely because feelings are ephemeral and as intransigent as the wind.  To define love as a feeling is to deny the reality of the commitment, the covenant relationship you promised to honor for life. The reality is that love is not only a decision, a firmness of purpose, but true love is a garden, maturing with time, needing constant care and watering. The responsibility to tend the garden is yours and your spouses through a lifelong commitment.

True Love and Faith

True love is like true faith in the Father, without works, it dies. True faith exists not because of feelings or emotions, but is a reality that exists unseen and unfelt, it just is. The commitment to true faith and true love exists whether your feelings or emotions agree; the covenant of marriage means you must love this person you have committed to for life. In this way, being echad, you resolve to fulfill your purpose because you are as one before the L-rd.

Like the seasons we use to track the passage of time, true love also tracks over time. The difference is that true love does not change or waiver, just as true faith does not change or waiver. What changes there are come with physical age, and health, and in various other life circumstances, but the true love underlying the relationship remains, a firm resolve to love for life. True love is like the steel structure of a skyscraper, bearing the weight of the changing seasons of life.

Marriage and Prayer

An integrally important part of marriage is to pray for one another. The following prayer is only a template to help you understand the reality of your commitment to another person in love and in marriage. You may customize this prayer to suit your life’s purposes.

Blessed are You L0RD our G-d, King of the universe, who created all things for your glory and who created male and female in Your image and in Your likeness.  I pray that my commitment to true love for my husband/wife will weather the seasons of life’s changes. I willingly bind myself to my husband/wife to honor You L-rd, to bring glory to the Father of Light in whom there is no shadow of change nor darkness.

Let the glorious light of Maschiach be the witness to my true love commitment to my husband/wife for life. Grant me the supernatural ability to show true love to my husband/wife just as you demonstrated your commitment to obey the Father through your life, death and resurrection. I glorify you L-rd in my marriage as I glorify you in my life. Father I ask you in the name of Yeshua haMaschiach (Jesus Christ) to direct my feelings and emotions in support of my marriage, to guide my heart into your true love for my husband/wife.

All glory, honor and praise is yours oh L-rd. In You we are one, welded together body and soul for life. By faith and for your purposes our marriage will continually conform to the image of Your Son, whose blood was spilled to redeem us. By faith we will grow in true love and commitment one to the other for life. By faith we support and challenge one another to walk in Your ways, oh L-rd. By faith we shall remain echad so long as we both do breathe.

I make this commitment without reservation to support, defend, and honor my husband/wife before all others for life – in the name of your son, Yeshua haMaschiach, I pray. Amen.

Dr. Ramón de Torres              

Resources:   

http://spiritualgiftstoday.com/divorce-god-can-save-your-marriage/

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Blessings/Special_Events/Wedding_Blessings/wedding_blessings.html

Edited: June 28, 2020

Marriage Success & Failure

Though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up, but the wicked will stumble into ruin. Mishle (Proverbs) 24:16

Have you ever had a relationship in which you think too much is at stake to make a mistake? There are mistakes and there are mistakes. In the first case there are mistakes made because of the nature of the person. Armando Ramos, of the BTGmovement, holds there is a difference between habitual sin and sin because of weakness. In the first instance the sin is committed habitually by those who do not care what happens and don’t care if they sin against the L-rd, and in the second instance, flawed every day people who desperately want to please the L-rd and do things right, fail through weaknesses, and sin. Ramos notes that sin of the believer is the second sort.

Target Practice

The word sin means to miss the mark, failure to achieve the target. The failure is a sin, but the good news is, Maschiach paid the penalty for our weaknesses and sin. We are forgiven. We are clean. We are pure.  Don’t get hung up on perfection and doing everything 100 per cent right. No single human being is that exacting in execution. Famed investor Warren Buffet said, “I would never get too hung up on mistakes. I know a lot of people who really agonize over them, it just isn’t worth it. Tomorrow’s another day, just go on to the next thing.”

If you apply this principle, it doesn’t mean you don’t care for the consequences of a mistake or of sin, it means that we’ve been forgiven, and heed the advice of Shlomo, wisest man to ever live, “as a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.” Learn from the mistake and move on. Then forget the failure, don’t relive it, don’t clutch the failure as a badge of honor for all to see.  Don’t let that failure define you, just move on, do something new with what you learned.

Success

Gary Vaynerchuk (entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and internet personality) was asked about his success, “How much of that is luck vs preparation. What do you do when you make a mistake?” His answer is revealing, “I did everything wrong, It’s just that I can’t recall. I am moving on to the next thing. Dwelling on what you f—-d up on is the quickest way for the next thing not to work.”

The key point to understand is you are going to make mistakes. Some will be small mistakes, and some will be larger. In order to grow and mature, learn from your mistake, don’t repeat the same mistake. These men, speaking as businessmen and about business success related failure as something to learn from, not relive. Vaynerchuk added, “If you’re worried about your own mistakes you’ve already lost.”

Mistakes and Marriage

Research has demonstrated that there are two responses to mistakes. One is to learn from it and move on, and the other is a combination of different factors rolled into one. The combination is found in people who do not attempt to learn from their mistake and make it over and over again, people who are so distraught over their failure they never get to Vaynerchuk’ s “next thing, and people who are so intolerant of the mistakes of others they condemn them. All of these practices add insult to injury.

Adding these separate secondary factors to marriage is a recipe for disaster. Why don’t some spouses seem to learn from their mistakes? One obvious answer is they were never told. My first wife would become upset over something I’d done and not tell me, not aloud. I would find out when she wouldn’t speak to me, or would say something back to me (as if I’d deliberately sinned against her) starting an argument as I strove to find out what I ‘d done and she refused to tell me. Had she simply told me what I did, I would have gladly asked for help in avoiding the behavior for her benefit. And my then wife had a habit of rehashing failure in her mind and of assuming I knew my mistake, my sin.

By not telling me I fell into a pattern of making the same mistakes over and over. Am I exonerating myself? No. Simply put, I was and am dedicated enough that when I find out I screwed up I want a chance to fix it, to make things right. Finally, though my ex-spouse was not one to hold on for too very long to past mistakes, her mother was a champion of being wounded. Years after we were married my mother-in-law still held a grudge for the way we were married. She had wanted a society wedding with the huge cake, huge dress, huge everything and I denied her that by eloping with her daughter. She was offended and made sure I knew it 15 years later.

Hope

The best way to move through life is in the mind of Yeshua. If your spouse makes a mistake, don’t save them up for a rainy day and unload on him or her. Practice forgiveness, practice mercy, and practice love.

Peter asked Yeshua how many times should a brother be forgiven?

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]

Essentially that means every time they repent, forgive and move on. An old parable goes something like this (and is good advice for marriage), “don’t sweat the small stuff, and they’re all small stuff.”

Are you sweating the small stuff in your marriage?

Dr. Ramón de Torres                        Next: Marriage and Love

Edited: June 28, 2020

Marriage and Prayer

What is it that we have to face day to day and night to night? What is it that causes most, if not all the pain and discomfort we face in life? We are servant-soldiers in a lost and dying world. We, who believe in Yeshua haMaschiach (Jesus Christ) are no longer of this world, but the world and all its evils are in the enemy’s control. We are thus agents of the G-d of creation, soldiers in an army. and WE ARE BEHIND ENEMY’S LINES.

Fortunately we have a radio to call in bombardments to take out enemy fortifications. That radio is prayer. And like any tool in our toolbox, or weapon in our arsenal prayer needs to be maintained and used correctly.

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Mattityahu (Matt) 7:7-8

These two verses promise that when we ask we will receive. What is more, however, is how to ask.

The reason you don’t have is that you don’t pray! 3 Or you pray and don’t receive, because you pray with the wrong motive, that of wanting to indulge your own desires. Ya’akov (Jas) 4:2b-3

Our motives for prayer have to be for the sake of His kingdom, not for desires of the flesh. We know that when our ways are pleasing to Him he gives us the things we need, in the flesh. So this verse is about discernment and wisdom to know the difference between daily needs and fleshly desires.

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” [26] Mark 11:24

In the Kingdom mountains are reflective terminology of powers of the air, of principalities, and not just surface understanding. We do not make war against a mountain, but against spiritual forces of evil in dark places [Kehillah at Ephesus (Ephesians) 6:12]. And though the enemy uses people and places as tools for destruction, we are not to pray evil against them, but rather to pray against the dark forces surrounding (or even enfolding within) them.

So, what is the result of prayer as He desires we pray? The battle is already won. The fight is over. The enemy has lost. But still we remain servant-soldiers behind enemy lines, and though defeated the enemy still seeks to do harm before final judgement. The only thing we need to do when praying for peace in our life and especially peace in marriage is to seek first G-d’s will for yourself. Where does G-d want you? Where are you at now? If you are not where Father G-d wants you, then you probably are not truly at peace.

Pray. Ask Abba Father for what is right to need, right to want.

Shalom!  שָׁלוֹם

Dr. Ramón de Torres                        Next Page: Marriage Success and Failure

Edited: June 25, 2020

Marriage and Prayer

What is it that we have to face day to day and night to night? What is it that causes most, if not all the pain and discomfort we face in life? We are servant-soldiers in a lost and dying world. We, who believe in Yeshua haMaschiach (Jesus Christ) are no longer of this world, but the world and all its evils are in the enemy’s control. We are thus agents of the G-d of creation, soldiers in an army. and WE ARE BEHIND ENEMY’S LINES.

Fortunately we have a radio to call in bombardments to take out enemy fortifications. That radio is prayer. And like any tool in our toolbox, or weapon in our arsenal prayer needs to be maintained and used correctly.

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Mattityahu (Matt) 7:7-8

These two verses promise that when we ask we will receive. What is more, however, is how to ask.

The reason you don’t have is that you don’t pray! 3 Or you pray and don’t receive, because you pray with the wrong motive, that of wanting to indulge your own desires. Ya’akov (Jas) 4:2b-3

Our motives for prayer have to be for the sake of His kingdom, not for desires of the flesh. We know that when our ways are pleasing to Him he gives us the things we need, in the flesh. So this verse is about discernment and wisdom to know the difference between daily needs and fleshly desires.

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” [26] Mark 11:24

In the Kingdom mountains are reflective terminology of powers of the air, of principalities, and not just surface understanding. We do not make war against a mountain, but against spiritual forces of evil in dark places [Kehillah at Ephesus (Ephesians) 6:12]. And though the enemy uses people and places as tools for destruction, we are not to pray evil against them, but rather to pray against the dark forces surrounding (or even enfolding within) them.

So, what is the result of prayer as He desires we pray? The battle is already won. The fight is over. The enemy has lost. But still we remain servant-soldiers behind enemy lines, and though defeated the enemy still seeks to do harm before final judgement. The only thing we need to do when praying for peace in our life and especially peace in marriage is to seek first G-d’s will for yourself. Where does G-d want you? Where are you at now? If you are not where Father G-d wants you, then you probably are not truly at peace.

Pray. Ask Abba Father for what is right to need, right to want.

Shalom!  שָׁלוֹם

Dr. Ramón de Torres                        Next Page: Marriage Success and Failure

Edited: June 25, 2020

Marriage and Faith

When Lazarus died, Yeshua was deliberately late arriving. The women were not upset with the L-rd (though they were grieving), but said that Lazarus would rise in the resurrection. And when Yeshua said he would live, they misunderstood. What good would that sort of resurrection be in the olam habba (world to come) when it was to show G-d’s glory in the present life? In much the same way marriage restoration is about showing G-d’s glory.

Marriage has to be restored in the present life, as Lazarus was restored to his present life, or it is not a miracle. Yes, if one remains faithful to a prodigal spouse, there will be a reward in the olam habba, but there is no marriage in heaven.  So if when Yeshua called Lazarus out and he remained dead, it would not have glorified G-d, nor been resurrection in a way that the weeping women said he would be restored (raised to life) in heaven. So marriage has to be restored in the land of the living.

But if a spouse in persistent disobedience refuses to listen to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit of G-d) what then? Lazarus could not resist the call of G-d, but wayward spouses do so persistently and find excuses in all manner to justify disobedience. Yeshua G-d said, “if you love me obey my commands.” Does one love Him and yet not obey?

15 If you love me, you will keep my commands; 16 and I will ask the Father, and he will give you another comforting Counselor like me, the Spirit of Truth, to be with you forever. 17 The world cannot receive him, because it neither sees nor knows him. You know him, because he is staying with you and will be united with you. 18 I will not leave you orphans — I am coming to you. 19 In just a little while, the world will no longer see me; but you will see me. Because I live, you too will live. 20 When that day comes, you will know that I am united with my Father, and you with me, and I with you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me, and the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Yochanan (John) 14: 15-21 (Emphasis added)

His law. His mitzvot. The commands or words of G-d. Obedience. We obey because we love Him. What is the antithesis? To not obey demonstrates that we do NOT love, and the corollary to not loving is to live in fear. If we live in fear and do not love, are we then children of G-d? Even the prodigal son came to his senses and returned to his Father in repentance. To persistently live in the lifestyle of disobedience is to demonstrate that we do not trust G-d, or that we love self, or that we value personal pride over walking in righteousness to Adonai.

Some marriage commands are conditional, that is, they depend on the condition in which one finds their life. In marriage humans are commanded to remain married for life, though we do not have to marry, that is the condition. It is in Beresheit (Genesis) 2:24-25 that Yeshua [Mattityahu (Matt) 19:4-6] tells us that the only end to marriage is through death. Therefore the command is to remain married for a lifetime.

Though Rav Shaul (Paul) writes that divorced believers must remain single or reconcile, many take this as permission to divorce, willfully ignoring the greater command in the meaning of the Word – DO NOT DIVORCE. Those who do so respond (as if saying in their actions), “I separated from my spouse, but I remain single,” do so in disobedience to the greater command.

In Mattityahu (Matt) 19, Yeshua continued to confound the Prushim (Pharisees) when He explained that divorce for any other reason than adultery becomes adultery. So, abandoning a spouse who has not committed adultery makes one an adulterer.

Other verses that speak to the permanence of marriage;

Beresheit  (Genesis) 2:18

Mishlei (Proverbs) 5:18-19 18:22

Kehilla in Ephesus (Ephesians) 4:31-32-25

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 4:9-11

Kehilla in Rome (Romans) 7:2

Kehilla in Corinth Alef (1 Corinthians) 7:39

Another explanation is found on the Antidowry website;

Society and civil law may then grant them a “divorce” (not for fornication) and they may “marry” again. Society and civil law then views them as free from their first marriage and entered into a second one, and the Bible calls this “divorced” (“put away”) and “married” again. But though God uses these terms as society does, He does not recognize the divorce as making a valid end to the covenant commitment that He recognized in the first marriage. God still considers them “bound” or “joined” or held accountable for the commitment of the first marriage.

This explains why, if a woman divorces her husband, she still has no right to remarry. She may get divorced in the eyes of civil law, and God calls it “divorce” and says she is now “unmarried.” But that does not free her from her bond or covenant obligation to her first husband. Since she is still bound to her first marriage covenant, her only choice then is to be reconciled to her husband (the one God recognizes) or else remain unmarried (all italics added).

Though the emphasis here is on divorce from a first husband (which is incorrect for reasons discussed in this blog) the more important issue is separation from a believing husband. Thus the above quote paints the image of one divorced ‘in the eyes of society’ in which individuals are considered by that social structure as free to remarry, something not in the Word.

The world and compromised believers take this to be true – that one is free to remarry after an unscriptural divorce, when G-d’s word says the opposite. And if one were to live persistently in disobedience, to refuse to reconcile to a lawful spouse, what is that? 1 Yochanan (John) writes of this spirit and calls it anti-Messiah saying they went out from us because they were not of us (2:19). Mattityahu (18) discusses reconciliation of a brother (that is, of a fellow believer in Yeshua).

Though one may understand that no fault divorce (NFD) is so well accepted by the pagan world, it is difficult to understand how those who say they are of the fellowship of light would also accept divorce so easily. The Catholic faith, for example, has so many rules about marriage and impediments to marriage that their stand on the indissoluble nature of marriage is rendered false, in much the same manner as those who believe Rav Shaul taught it’s okay to divorce ‘as long as I don’t remarry.’ These conceptualizations are false.

The L-rd himself said, “Because this people draw near with their words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from Me, and their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,” (Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 29:13). And in Mattityahu 15:9, Yeshua G-d says, “It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!”

What laws? Any rule or law written by human beings no matter who they are, or for which purpose (being other than that which G-d condones).

Crabb is saying that believers stop acting and living as believers when the pursuit of happiness and joy becomes the purpose of our relationship with G-d. When obedience is difficult, many stop believing. Many make that short journey from faith to unbelief when life is rough, because they equate happiness with worship. So they will no longer obey His commands when there is no physical reward.

Larry Crabb (of Marriages Restored) develops the thesis that there is so close a relationship between happiness in service to G-d and the heresy in which happiness becomes the reason to serve G-d that many find it difficult to continue to walk in faith when faced with unhappiness. The real test of faith is obedience when there is no reward.

Many will happily live with their spouse as long as the good times roll. When problems arise, some may endure for a time, but as long as they look for meaning and happiness from without they will eventually fail. This not to say that real meaning and happiness can come from a relationship with G-d (it can and does), but happiness most assuredly MUST NOT come from someone else (even a husband or lover) other than G0d. So, the real test of faith is to obey no matter the circumstances.

We must rather hope in Christ when life makes no sense, when sin does a better job of relieving emptiness than righteous living. We must write checks on the account of faith. Our hope must be fixed on Yeshua, and the hope his presence brings, not on satisfied desire in this life.

When two believers are married their meaning and happiness, joy and passion for life should come from living for Maschiach. And, even if these are absent, which is a test of true faith, they will continue to serve the L-rd. Iyov (Job) wrote “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him” (13:15). This is how we should live. This is how we should maintain our relationships with men and women in our lives. To live only to fulfill His purpose is the only way to live.

Ultimately, when we base our relationship on the experience of happiness, joy, passion, and so on, these will fail. And in the end the only reason to do so is because of , selfishness which conflates the reward of that relationship with the purpose of the relationship. Marriage is not meant to make us happy, marriage is meant to make us holy. Holiness in service to G-d will make us happy, but happiness is not the goal of service to Adonai.

Dr. Ramón  de Torres                                   

Edited: June 28, 2020