Become 1

Don't Leave Intimacy to Chance

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Become 1 is passionate about deepening the relationships in life that matter most. Don't leave intimacy to chance, begin the journey of having the kind of relationship you've always wanted!

Change or Cherish?

Alone but not Forgotten

Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today. Luke 19:5, NIV  

Zacchaeus—a hated tax collector, a traitor to his own people, and a thief—was no doubt often ridiculed and attacked for his sins. Lonely and curious, he climbed a tree to get a good look at this “Messiah.” He had to wonder if Jesus would notice him. And if He did, would He too reject him? What a miracle Christ’s call must have been to this outcast! God, remind me to look to You as my example as I respond to the imperfections of others. Jesus called Zacchaeus to fellowship with Him by the sharing of a meal, which was one of the most intimate social settings of the day. This was a deliberate offer of welcome, reception, and loving relationship. In the midst of Zacchaeus’s failures, Jesus offered compassion, companionship, and acceptance. It’s interesting to note what Jesus didn’t do that day: He didn’t attack the tax collector’s behavior, point out things that were wrong with him, or even give helpful advice. He didn’t remind Zacchaeus of what he should be doing or criticize him for not taking more responsibility. Jesus didn’t quote Scripture to Zacchaeus or make comparisons with other tax collectors in town. He didn’t try to manipulate change or withhold affection. I (Teresa) want to respond to David the way Christ responded to Zacchaeus. As I encounter David’s inevitable failures, I want to be free from the impulse to be critical and give advice. I want to say words that are tender and welcoming, rather than judgmental and comparing. I want to make certain that the “welcome mat” is always out. To be like Christ will mean that I consistently invite David to fellowship with me. I want to respond to David with words and actions that invite him to “come down out of the tree.” After all, it gets awfully lonely up there!      

What steps can you take today to replace words of judgment, comparison, complaint, and criticism with words of unconditional acceptance and love?

 

 

 

Ferguson, Teresa; David Ferguson (2004-10-25). The One Year Book of Devotions for Couples (Kindle Locations 221-239). Tyndale House Publishers - A. Kindle Edition.

Just As I Am

Accept one another. Romans 15:7 (NIV)  

My (Teresa’s) ability to show acceptance of another is contingent upon my deep knowledge of a loving and accepting Christ. If I am to accept my spouse as Christ has accepted me, then I need to understand His wonderful love for me. God, please help me to “look beyond” my spouse’s flaws and imperfections and unconditionally and deliberately love this person, just as You have unconditionally and deliberately loved me. God made a deliberate choice to allow Christ to die on my behalf. It wasn’t a convenient or easy choice, either. It was a choice that prioritized the relationship between my heavenly Father and me, His child. Christ took the initiative when He came to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He didn’t wait for me to “get my act together.” Rather, He looked beyond my actions and sins and accepted me as I was. This acceptance is unconditional and permanent. There is nothing I can do to earn it or lose it. God demonstrated this unconditional acceptance when He looked beyond my faults to see my need. He didn’t excuse my sin but instead gave the best He had as a remedy for that sin. This kind of “looking beyond” makes marriage work, too.

Accepting my spouse as Christ has accepted me means making a choice. It won’t be convenient or easy. It will mean taking some initiative. It may mean being the first to say, “Honey, I love you.” It may mean not waiting until he changes to tell him how glad I am to be his wife.

Unconditionally accepting my spouse means looking beyond

  • differences,
  • disagreements,
  • and disputes.
  • It means looking beyond irritations,
  • personality flaws.
  • It even means looking beyond wrongs and sins committed—not to excuse these things, but to see his worth in spite of them.  

In what ways can you daily demonstrate your unconditional love for your spouse?

Ferguson, Teresa; David Ferguson (2004-10-25). The One Year Book of Devotions for Couples (Kindle Locations 161-178). Tyndale House Publishers - A. Kindle Edition.

Building Trust

Building Blocks of Trust

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My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19, NLT  

Teresa and I often point out to couples that building a relationship involves being vulnerable and discussing a growing number of topics. Unfortunately, however, many couples develop a list of off-limits topics—topics such as emotions, money, in-laws, sex, driving, golf, and so on. As this list of off-limits topics grows, marital distance widens and a shaky marital foundation soon becomes evident. Father, help my spouse and me to deepen our relationship by broadening the array of topics we can talk about. To address this issue of “off-limits” topics and to encourage deeper trust in relationships, we challenge couples to communicate with one another about intimacy by asking this question: “What changes can I make to improve our intimacy?” We also challenge couples to talk about confidentiality within their marriage so that each person is secure that the thoughts and feelings he or she communicates to the other will be kept within the confines of the marriage relationship. Finally, we ask couples to consider the kind of support they will give to one another as they work to improve their intimacy. We ask couples if each of them can count on the other to be empathetic and supportive, or if they will “shoot down” one another’s ideas and negate one another’s feelings.

  • These ingredients encourage vulnerability as trust is deepened and a growing list of topics opens for discussion. Once couples have taken these steps, they can begin communicating what topics they want to open up for discussion.

 

  • They can do that by writing down the following sentence: “I think I might enjoy our being able to discuss more about _______ _____.“

 

  • They then exchange these lists and begin including one of the topics in their ”marriage staff meetings.”   When couples begin adding to the topics they can discuss, they find that their closeness is increased as communication opens up.    

 

What topics do you need to open up for discussion within your marriage?

Ferguson, Teresa; David Ferguson (2004-10-25). The One Year Book of Devotions for Couples (Kindle Locations 7164-7184). Tyndale House Publishers - A. Kindle Edition.