Charisma: John, what have you done over the years to cultivate the spark in your marriage?
John: Diana and I have something between us we call O.W.E. It's an acronym for One Way Everyday. One way, every day, I seek to find a way to make Diana feel good about herself or to help her accomplish a task that is becoming overwhelming.
Last night we washed dishes together. Some days, it's a rose from the rose garden. Other days, it's a card. Other times, there is a date night. But one way, every day, there has to be the transmission of my effort to make that day a better day.
Charisma: Diana, you spend a lot of time in your part of the book talking about honesty and communication.
Diana: So many times we hear men tell us that we are so much more "emotional" about the events of our lives than they are. Because of that, it is sometimes easier for a wife to keep her emotions hidden from her husband.
But it will be difficult for your husband to give you the emotional support you want and need from him if you cannot openly express your emotions--positive and negative--to him.
Because you have not given him your emotional honesty, he will disappoint you by his lack of understanding the emotions you are feeling.
I used to hide my feelings from John. Well, that has changed!
I am so honest with what I need and want from him now that I write it on the bathroom mirror with lipstick! I leave notes in his briefcase and in the pages of his sermons! Notes are left on his office calendar: "Diana needs a date night--now!"
Satan is present to destroy the works of the Lord in His people. He wants to keep you from communicating honestly with your husband. If you are dishonest, you will be falling right into the evil one's trap to rob, kill and destroy your marriage.
Charisma: You give some amazing testimonies about how various marriages have been repaired--including those that were torn apart by addiction and unfaithfulness. You even describe a couple who were about to divorce because the husband had a gay affair. Is reconciliation in such cases truly possible?
John: Let me tell you the story of Robert and Rachel. Robert was a very successful stockbroker. He had feminine characteristics, and he was homosexual. He came to the church and confessed that he wanted to make a change in his conduct and become a Christian. He began to serve and serve well in a number of ways in our church.
He met Rachel, who was far more successful in her business than Robert. Rachel was extremely intelligent, a type-A, turbo-charged woman who lived in a man's world and was extremely successful. They met and were married within six months.
For the first year, life seemed to be a thing of beauty. And then the thing that I had feared from day one began to manifest itself. Robert told Rachel he was having an affair with a man.
Rachel came to my office shaken but committed to solving the problem. She said, "If it were another woman, I know how to fight that fight. But how do you fight a relationship with a man?" I had no intelligent answer.
I asked Robert and Rachel to come to my office together, and I asked Robert the question I have asked everyone in the first five minutes of the first counseling session: "Do you want to save your marriage?"
Robert said yes, and we began to work toward removing the roots in his past life that would bring him to reconciliation with God and Rachel. What we did and said and experienced is in and of itself worthy of a book, but the point of this story is to say that, years later, Robert and Rachel are living together in divine harmony with their children without another homosexual manifestation. Yes ... a marriage can survive even homosexuality.
Charisma: How important is it for couples to pray together?
John: A man and a woman talking to God, bound together in prayer, is an unbreakable union.
Diana: My husband and I have prayed together for almost 30 years. When we pray together, we get answers from heaven. And it is simply not possible to be angry with each other when you pray.
I tell couples to make a prayer list and to find a private time and place for prayer. John and I like to have our prayer time while we walk. We are away from intrusions and able to call on the Lord in freedom.
First, we come into a time of repentance, asking forgiveness for anything we have said, done or thought that has grieved the Holy Spirit.
Our list then begins: We pray for our children by name, their spouses and our grandchildren. We pray for the protection, direction and prosperity of our church, TV outreach, and school and for everyone associated with them.
Then we submit any personal petitions we may have. Finally, we pray for the peace of Jerusalem and end in a time of praise for our Lord and His blessings.
Learn to pray in agreement, not in competition. There is a sweet sound in heaven when a husband and wife are in harmony before God.
The more this divine communication occurs, the more you will want to talk to each other about other things. You will find that the "things" you speak about will not include gossip or tale bearing. Your conversation will concentrate on your petitions and the testimonies associated with those prayers.
You will share the dreams and aspirations each of you has as you come into agreement. Your children will know that when Mom and Dad pray, things happen.
This teaching is far greater than any book or class you will ever enroll them in. Without communication, your marriage will become dry and wither, just like the soul when it has no time with God.
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