What M.A.N. is Separating (Splitting) You & Your Spouse Apart?
The Seventh Commandment
Exodus 20:14 (NKJV)
“You shall not commit adultery.
Last week, I asked this profound question, “What is Your Mistress?”
I hope you and your spouse explored this question and had a real conversation about what or who you are emotionally investing your time into. It is not until you identify your mistress that you can pinpoint the issues of your marriage. Once you realize who or what you are giving to and investing in rather than your spouse then you can come to terms with why you have chosen to have an affair or mistress in your marriage.
Affairs and mistresses are sought after because something is lacking within an individual and not so much the marriage itself. Affairs/mistresses are selfish and are only pursued because the individual wants their selfish desires met even at the cost of their marriage. Instead of blaming your spouse about not meeting your needs, you should first examine yourself. Affairs are about you and not your spouse. What is driving you to have an affair and a mistress? If your answer to this question is about what your spouse is not doing, then you have not taken responsibility for your actions as to the issues of your marriage.
The only way to take responsibility and to examine yourself is to ask yourself this question, “Have I been the epitome of a loving, romantic, caring, servant-hearted, and giving spouse?” If your answer is anything but a resounding yes, then you have to realize your fault in your marriage and not constantly look for an affair or mistress.
“They that Love Beyond the World Cannot Be Separated By it.”
Matthew 19:6 (NKJV/NLT)
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore let no man separate (split) apart what God has joined together.”
What M.A.N. is Separating (Splitting) You & Your Spouse Apart?
M (man, mannerisms, money, ministry, etc…)
A (attitudes, attractions, access, addictions, etc…)
N (neglected-needs, nasty behavior, needy expectations, etc…)
This week, we will deal with the first letter of man (M) as it relates to affairs and mistresses.
You and your spouse are one. The oneness of marriage is defined as one love, one mind, one body, one spirit, one heart, and one vision! Therefore, when you have an affair you take the beauty of the oneness and make you and your spouse two-flesh beings again. Affairs separate the oneness of marriage because they destroy the trust and foundation of the union.
So, when you give into an affair or some type of mistress you are literally tearing apart the oneness of your marriage and separating it into two parts all over again. No affair or mistress is worth separating the oneness of your marriage. Affairs don’t bring about togetherness, but rather separation! You can’t be one with someone who is not your spouse.
What or who are you allowing to separate (split) you and your spouse apart? Is it a physical man or woman? If the Man that is separating you and your spouse is a physical person, then end it now. Remember an affair is not love, but lust.
If your affair is mannerisms, which is defined as a habitual or characteristic manner, mode, or way of doing something; the distinctive quality or style as it relates to behavior or speech. How do you talk to your spouse? If it is not in a loving, caring, and respectful manner, then this is the man that is separating you.
Mannerisms are excessive adherence to an unusual or a particular behavior. If you are a controlling spouse and it is your way or the highway, then this is what is causing separation in your marriage. The problem is not that your spouse is not following “your rules” but rather that you do not view your spouse as an equal.
If your affair or mistress is money then this is a problem. Money is one of the leading causes of divorce. If you love money more than being faithful to the family budget then you are having a money affair. Money is your mistress, it is what you enjoy and invest your emotional time and self-value on. Things and money cannot be your driving force. The proper understanding of Work (world) success vs. Marriage success is paramount. The world says get, get more, and keep on getting. Marriage says give, and then you will receive all that you need. The world measures success based on status, stuff, and money. A marriage measures success on faithfulness, trust, and love.
Instead of spending money, you should be giving to your spouse. Don’t spend money, but spend time with your spouse. Don’t go over your family budget, but rather bond with your family and have a proper work-life balance.
The stuff and money is sidetracking you from the true meaning of your life and your marriage. I do not believe it is by happenstance that we are now in what the world calls a recession, but what I believe is a Refocus! You and your marriage are not in a recession, but a Refocus! To refocus means to look again, or focus again. It is time to Refocus (look again) at yourself and your marriage!
Looking or focusing on stuff instead of meaning and purpose is causing many to have affairs and mistresses. That is why when you buy stuff, the minimal excitement lasts only for a few days. You cannot feed your spirit and your life with the perishable. What you need is the imperishable richness your marriage to endow your life. Go back to your first love, and get your hunger and thirst back for the needed things of life, your marriage and family.
“What You Need Most, You Cannot Buy!”
Maybe your affair or mistress is ministry. Ministry: religious/church activities, community involvement, volunteerism, and other charitable works and outreach are great, but charity starts at home then goes abroad. To take care of yourself would seem to be something that no one would have to tell you, but we are all always worried and consumed by everyone else’s needs. It is wonderful to do great things for others, but charity starts at home, and then it goes abroad. If you neglect yourself, your marriage and your family, then are you really helping others? If you are in a place of restlessness, burnout, and hopelessness, then you will not be good for others. You have to consider yourself and really focus on your needs to make sure you are equipped to complete the task before you.
Really take inventory over the next month of all the demands, activities, errands, and everything else on your to-do list and see where some things can be eliminated. Again, what is needed vs. what is necessary? Once you have looked at your full monthly calendar and considered everything, then go back in the recesses of your mind and figure out how you got to this place.
The place of being so inundated with stuff, that you have allowed it to define who you are. If you took all the stuff and the busyness away, then what is left? Who do you see when you look at yourself? Are you afraid of just being alone with yourself? I think you are missing out on the greatest relationship that is always near you, the one with yourself, your marriage, and your family!
“I will give my all to what I do, but I cannot do it all!”
Reasonable expectations of you and others are the key to balance. However, the thing that has to be set in place before balance is Proper Prioritizing. Setting things in Proper Order brings about balance. *Use a Pie chart: Make a big circle on a piece of paper and make pie sections of your life and base them on the percentage of time, energy, and commitment that they require.
*Hint: God should get the first piece of the pie, then you, your spouse, kids, family, ministry, career/education, etc… If you can see where you are and how much of you is required, then you will know what you can give. Allow God to order the day in order to have balance and success.
Remember you are only able to be 100%. Therefore, if your pie chart has total of a 150%, then you have already overdone it. In actuality, there will never be true equality in all areas of your life because there is not supposed to be. What? Yes, I said that not everything in your life will be equal with one another. For example, your work should never be equal to your kids and your spouse. Why? A job is simply that--it has terms and conditions and you can be fired from it. It is based on work and performance.
You are a spouse and a parent, regardless, and you can’t be fired from it. It is not a job. The exceeding joy that you have with your family can never be compared to some job. Balance refers to bringing harmony into your life--not over giving, or under giving, or neglecting the true mission in your life and marriage. True balance is not to give everything equal amounts of you, but rather to make them compatible in a working sense of being a part of your everyday life.
You can’t do it all, but you should give your best to what you can do. It is not the Quantity of what you do, but rather the Quality! “Plan for Tomorrow, but Focus on Today!”
“Prioritize! Don’t Overload Yourself.
The copyrighted materials from this teaching are excerpts from author Tashara Luster’s soon to be released book:
THE TOTAL MARRIAGE
Copyright. ©2010-2016 Tashara Luster. All rights reserved. This material as well as The Total Marriage Images may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without consent.