The Bible says in
“On that day the LORD their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land”
You never throw expensive jewelry away, unless it’s broken. If you can fix it you do, and you keep it, but you never give away something broken.
Exactly what I said! Neither of those two things exist. (By the way my 6-year-old daughter gave me the title. LOL) The Perfect Marriage? Let me just say from the get go, Unheard of! There is no perfect marriage, there is no model. What we do have are either healthy marriages and unhealthy ones.
I LOVE to eat. I could live eating NY style pizza, chicken wings, rice and beans with tostones and pork chops every week. Make me some mofongo and take me to a chinese buffet every week, oh and with a diet coke. For me, that would be just PERFECT, but the reality is that I would probably never make it past 50. In order for me to walk a longer life with Lucianne, and be able to one day enjoy my grand children, I must change my diet. Young Adults, this one is for you. I must eat my carrots, I have already quit on soda, and I am carefully watching my carbs and sugars. Why? Because aint nobody got time to die. I want to live longer. A healthy Marriage lasts longer. That’s our goal. But a perfect marriage is probably only found in movies and fairy tales. (Daniel 1:12 NIV “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.)
Lucianne and I have only been married for 9 years, but we’ve been studying each other since 1992. That’s over 21 years of us liking each other, and disliking each other very much. Going to the same church, worshiping in the same teams together, and also disliking each other’s dates as our childhood years passed by. Growing up we were extremely competitive. We competed so much; who had the best grades in high school, who knew more about the medical field, and Jeopardy. Years ago we decided to study both of our parent’s relationships to gather an extended amount of information that has made their marriages successful.
In the past 9 years Lucianne and I have been so blessed to have done everything from Singles Cruises, Single and Young Adult Conferences, Marriage Counseling including Marriages in Gangs, believe it or not! We are by no means saying that you must do exactly what we do. Lucianne and I tell each other absolutely everything. We don’t hold any secrets. We know each other better than anybody else would. Are we perfect? No! But we have learned how to sustain a Healthy Marriage.
So how do we keep or strive for a healthy marriage? Here are a couple of great tips:
- Every marriage needs an older Exemplary Godly Marriage that will pour into your relationship weekly. It seems crazy, but it’s true. My wife and I have people who have been married longer than we have been alive, and they pour into us. They check in on us and they never take sides. We are honest with them, and we trust our lives in their hands.
- We have Godly Friends that pour into us, as they also allow us to poor into them.
- I have Godly Male Friends in my circle, that make my marriage stronger, and my wife also has strong and Godly Female Friends that poor into our marriage.
- The Last 10 years we’ve been on and off on tour, traveling the U.S and the world. One lesson we were forced to learn, is to Speak or Facetime at least 10 times a day before the day ends. Every week we have “Our time” Yes, that means no kids, and we have three crazy ones. If we can do it, you can too. This one is extremely challenging, but we are intentional about it.
- We know each others Love Language, like its nobodies business. We know each other’s Strengths and Weakness. We know each others Desires, Dreams and Passions. She knows all my passwords, and I know all of hers. We must remember that everything we do in the secret will be revealed in the public. We never operate in the secret realm. The enemy is the prince of darkness, and that’s where he resides. Stay in the Light.
- We Respect each other and we never yell at each other (Ok, Only when the Gators play the Seminoles)
- Last and definitely not the least, in a world filled with social media, and crazy schedules, Prayer is the foundation of our relationship. If something bothers us, we pray. Our home literally was built on prayer. When we built our first home, we wrote out prayers and blessings on paper and we place them inside the cement blocks of our home.
No marriage is perfect. Perfect means that there are no flaws. Do we disagree? All the time. At the ages of 34 we are still trying to get it together. It will never be perfect, but it’s healthy.
So after my last blog, my amazing, now two year old son, who is built like a linebacker for the Pittsburg Steelers, decided to tackle my laptop. It took a while, but now we are finally back in business. In one of our daily journals we were required to read a very powerful Bible Verse, that in many years I had overlooked. This Bible verse is Psalms 66:9-10, and it reads,
“He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God tested us; you refined us like silver.”
But wait a minute….I thought Gold was better. Isn’t Gold better? Why not refine us as Gold? Shouldn’t it have said Gold instead of Silver? These were the questions that raced in my mind. What about the miners? These men and women that sacrifice their lives for hours under mountains, for such a low return. Why not just mine for Gold, where there is obviously more financial gain. Why not leave the business or change caves? The truth is that even though Gold is worth more than silver, silver is directly more influential in people’s lives. So why does God chooses Silver to parallel our lives?
Here are 10 principles of Silver that apply to our everyday lives:
- Silver tarnishes, Gold doesn’t. -We were created by a perfect God, but we ourselves are not perfect. As Christians we will make mistakes. There will be times when God has to purify us.
- Silver is more rare than Gold over ground. -There aren’t many people like you with your passion, your commitment, and purpose.
- There is 7 times more gold in the world, than silver. – I like to see it as; it takes 7 people to do what you do. You are unique, and you are rare.
- Silver is the greatest electrical conductor. –You are the perfect means for things to move, operate and function. Without “You” things are not the same. You are special..
- Silver does not spark. –In Christianity is not about the lights or the stages. Is not about fame and Glory, but we are called as Christians to Shine the Light of Jesus. A spark shines quickly then stops. We need Christians to Shine for Jesus in long lasting ways, with fire that cannot be quenched.
- Silver is used in electronics, switches, and batteries. It is used in small quantities, it has no substitute, most of the time it ends up in the garbage when used in modern industry. –You make people’s lives easier. You chain God’s power to improve people’s lives, but in the end you must not expect anything in return. You must be nameless. At times you will be forgotten.
- Silver is less mined today. -One Verse comes to mind, Luke 10:2 “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Make a commitment to be one of those workers that are few.
- Silver is used in printing photographs, X- rays, and in the medical field it is used to prevent bacteria from growing, promoting healing. – God’s refining process allows us to change interiorly, especially the things that people can’t see, it allows us to heal and in the end not only do we see a healthy picture of our lives, but others do also.
9. Silver is structurally stronger than gold. – God calls you strong. I’ll rather be strong in God, than living a “Flash” life with no essence, and a weak character.
- Silver is used for Soldering and Braising. – You have been called by God to bring things together. Our purpose is to make things stronger. We have been called by God to make others stronger.
I leave you with this thought. What God has called you to do, it may not be as big or shiny as other people, but nonetheless, the little you do will change the world. You have worth, and you are needed. Let God refine you as silver. Today I encourage you to be you. It may not be popular but it has extreme significance and value.
If we study the verse carefully we read that God preserves our lives and keeps our feet from slipping. God enjoys the life processes he puts us through; he enjoys the refining process, the steps, the journey, the climb, the digging, not the elevators. Since we are not perfect we need refining. Today, allow God to refine you as silver.
2 Corinthians 7 (NIV)
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”
A Great friend asked me yesterday, “What does Success means to you?” I really had to think about it, and after carefull thought, this is what I responded:
“Success for me is not an accomplishment but a repetitive scheduled routine. I believe that success is not a destiny, but the Right Path. In my life my four main responsibilities, are God, Family, Myself and Close Friends.
When we speak about “Success in God”, it means that I have developed the ability to hear and be sensible to God’s voice. In my life he is constantly asking me to do things, in my Church, and my individual ministry. God is constantly checking our Obedience, Finances and our responsibility with the World, the Poor, the Broken, and the Lonely. It means to serve my Church, my Pastors, my Leaders, and my Community.
When we speak about “Success in Family”, it means to spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially take care of my wife and my kids. To be a Godly son, brother, uncle, etc. It means to make sure that my family knows, understands and walks in our Core Values. In The Jimenez household our non negotiable values are: God, Family, Affection, Fun and Loyalty. Our family lives by these values, and they are a priority for us.
When we speak about “Success in my Individual life”, it means that I am being responsable with my time with God. It means that I am responsable with my Spiritual Walk and disciplines (Prayer, fasting, tithing, sowing, worship, serving and loving) It means that I am walking healthy, and I am taking care of my body, my strengths, my weaknesses, my insecurities and my emotions.
When we speak about “Success in Friends”, it means that I am responsable for being a Godly friend and an example to them. It is my responsibility to keep in touch and to pray for them. To always be open so they may pour into me and I may pour into them when needed. It means that I know and that I am aware of my “Me Time” Success means that I know how, when and where to recharge my energies.
When these things are in order, and with rhythm not balance, I believe that we are “Changing the World”, and we are walking in the path of, not to Success. In my opinion, everything will fall into place when these four values and responsibilities are a repetitive and in a scheduled routine.
Every year my family and I do the 21 days of fasting at the beginning of the year. We don’t do it as a result of everyone doing it, and it’s certainly not the only time we do it in the year. Our kids are involved and so are our friends. (I know there are some people right now that are going crazy because I’m even speaking about it in a public place.) I totally understand you and what Mathew 6:18 (NIV) when it says,
“So that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” But this is different. This text is geared towards believers who proudly profess their actions, so others my perceive them as “Super Holy” This verse goes deeper than that. As the body of Christ we are one. Churches can fast together, husbands and wives can fast together, etc. One thing I learned in these 21 days, that there are many people who can’t do this alone, and therefore I strongly believe that fasting as a group is in God’s heart. What about the people who quit? Wouldn’t God want us to help people who quit in life altogether? Then why is Fasting different? Specially when it is something that will bring a person closer to God.
These past 21 days were powerful. Our friends and family disconnected from Social Media (Yes, Even Blogging,LOL) We disconnected from Video Games, Movies, and of course Food. I even believe that Starbucks had a major loss in revenue due to our fasting (Smily Face) and lets just say we also had a few cranky folks, Ha! But in the end, we accomplished it, we met our goals, we got healthier, and we let go of some bad habits and began some great everlasting ones.
As we near the end of 2014, it’s really cool to see what goals or resolutions my wife and I actually accomplished. One of the first things we decided to do for this year was to change our diet, by improving our food intake. We wanted to live healthier and eventually lose some weight. As we saw our kids growing so fast, and almost seeming abnormal, for example, my one year old looks like a college linebacker and my oldest daughter has developed the body of an olympic athlete, it was just too much. Lucianne and I decided that enough was enough. We realized that we needed to give our family food with “LESS” hormones and injections, etc, etc. We decided to go the less travel road, yes the Organic Road. I am extremely proud to say that together we have lost almost 50 Lbs. Yes, I know that’s crazy. She lost around 23 Lbs and I Lost around 26. (Yes Ladies, it’s true and I Sympathize with you, guys do lose weight faster.) Even tho we lost almost 50 Lbs, switching to organic food doubled how much we spend on groceries. Then I realized a truth, in order to live a healthier life, there is a price that must be paid. So what about our Christianity? I believe that in order to be the more Jesus Effective christians we also need to live an Organic Christianity, the real stuff, a more healthier walk, without adding sugar, or injecting growth hormones. I believe this was God’s intention the entire time, but we have altered the process with great excuses, selfishness, filled schedules, financial goals being our top priorities, and the list of chemicals goes on. To live the life that God intended for us to live, there will be a price to pay, Yes he paid the price at Calvary, but this price is my sacrifice, my commitment, my discipline.
2015 New Years Resolution: One of my biggest resolutions for 2015, is to spend more time with the people who have invested their friendship into my family and I. I will be more intentional with them. I will spend less time with people who subtract my time from my loved ones.