Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blessed New Year!

Life Coaches Chris and Carol Green
As we close out this incredible year, we first want to thank all of you for your support in prayers and finances. We could not have made it successfully through this year without you.

We have been in full-time service to the Lord since we retired from our state government jobs in the spring of 2015. After leaving those jobs, we spent the next year training in a master life coaching program, serving other ministries in the community, hosting a monthly coaching session in an unemployment, and then, as the calendar rolled into 2016, we started serving in a local women's shelter. The shelter (Shalom House) is located in one of Harrisburg's most violent and crime-challenged neighborhoods. For us, it was like returning to the community in which we ministered while living in St. Louis, MO.

We are forever grateful for the executive director, Denise Britton, for taking a chance on a couple of unknown pastors, and allowing us to come in and coach the residents and staff, and for supporting us with prayer and finances as well.

We had no idea what was in store for us in 2016. The Chief Chancellor of the school, from which we were being trained to become master life coaches, conferred honorary doctorate degrees in Christian Leadership and Humanities upon us, to acknowledge our three decades of urban community ministry and outreach, and for the success we have had with innovative ideas to rebuild, restore and renew hearts and homes in our first 10 years in Harrisburg, PA. The honorary degrees were conferred on February 1, 2016, but publicly presented in Washington, DC, in April of 2016.

That same month, we re-launched our Fruitful Life Network of Ministries, Inc, with a new emphasis on life coaching, consulting and equipping people to become community care ready responders. We temporarily closed the Urban Life Family Center and converted its website into an online reference and resource to provide a massive 1500 video and audio teaching library. We titled the website Urban Life Family Connections ( We launched a new Home Church gathering that met in our home every Friday evening.

One of the pastors in the area, in their effort to support our work in Harrisburg, placed us on their monthly calendar to speak and minister in their church on a regular basis. This was the most amazing thing we could ever have imagined because most pastors would not feel secure enough to invite another pastor to speak in their church every month, but this was pastor and their church family are not your typical church family.  Pastor Paul Lebo, his wife Atha, and the leaders of Cumberland Valley Church (aka The Barn) are the most precious, genuine and powerfully prophetic people one could ever hope to meet in their entire lifetime. We owe so much gratitude to them for their support in 2016.

In the summer of 2016, we started a new Statesmen Training with Dr. Clyde Rivers, founder and president of iChange Nations™. We were chosen to be part of a handful of couples to participate in a special training that will prepare us to go to heads of state, presidents of nations, and world government leaders with our areas of expertise, providing practical solutions for them and their people. That training takes place monthly.

Our Overseers, Bishop Raphael and Pastor Brenda Green, invited us back to St. Louis, MO to be part of our home church's 29th anniversary celebration. It was a powerfully prophetic and strategic time for us to be there.

On September 21st, our first grandchild, little Robin Evon Green, was born to our youngest son David and his wife Michelle. At the time that she was born, we were conducting one of our monthly coaching support meetings with the staff of the women's shelter. That same day, we officially received our Master Life Coaching certifications.

As the year has come closer its end, the more things have been accelerating for us. On December 14th, we held our first Community Care Ready Responder Orientation/Training. It was our honor for that first-time event to be held at the Shalom House Women's shelter. A week later, we made our international streaming TV broadcast debut on Christ Family Network's Golden Rule Channel.

Dr. Clyde Rivers, brought us onboard as his first broadcasters on his new Golden Rule Initiative Channel. We call our broadcast FRUITFUL LIVING. The Christ Family Network is a Streaming TV Network, available online and also on the ROKU system. ROKU is a TV streaming system that allows customers to watch internet programs on their regular TVs. It has broken the barrier between internet and regular TV watching. The Christ Family Network reports that they are now being watched in 60 nations with a potential of 30 million viewers.

Along with the weekly streaming TV broadcast, we have the ability to go LIVE through Christ Family's C-Scope Application (similar to Twitter's Periscope). Catch us tonight LIVE at 7:30PM (EST) on

We encourage you to watch the broadcast TONIGHT and every Wednesday at 8:00PM (EST) at

Or you can watch the replay on our Facebook page on Wednesdays after 8:00PM (EST) at

Now let's talk about the New Year. As we move into 2017:

We are assembling a new board of directors for the Fruitful Life Network of Ministries, Inc.

We are changing the name of our local (home group focused) church from Urban Life Family Center to Fruitful Life Learning Center.

We have launched a new online media training in partnership with iChange Nations™. Our first online session is already booked for the first week of January with more coming on-board even as we write this letter. We are anticipating more opportunities coming up soon for Community Care and Ready responders Orientation/Training, so we find that we must adjust our schedules and calendar accordingly.

Starting immediately, we will adjust our newsletter from weekly to monthly. Look to hear from us in the last week of each month. However, you can still keep up with us through our blogs. Most of our writings will still appear there on a weekly basis.

Access our two most popular blogs at:

Urban Life Family Matters -

Fruitful Living -

We will continue our Home Church Network gatherings on Friday evenings.

We also anticipate more travel opportunities and online coaching and training as well.

As you can see, 2016 was a surprisingly busy year for us. We did a lot of sowing and as the year came to an end, we began to see a little more financial support come back in return. Like most missionaries, we work in the community in which we serve, but often we don't charge full price for our services because frankly, most of the people that we serve are either homeless, unemployed or just starting over again. Therefore, we look to the Lord to keep us free to serve the people.

Our prayer request:
First we want to be able to go and see our grand baby. Obviously, when you're living by faith, monthly donations, and self-employed income, you never know what you will have from week to week, so this is a deeply personal prayer request.

Please join with us and pray that those who see our TV broadcast will obey the compelling of the Lord to sow into the lives of the people that we serve.

Pray that our coaching and consulting work will prosper, so that we can remain free to serve.

Pray for those whom we disciple and teach in the Fruitful Life Learning Center, that they would embrace the home-church-vision and run with it within their own households and neighborhoods.

And pray to the Lord of Harvest that HE would send forth laborers to help in the field.

May you have an very blessed New Year!

And remember that we do what we do because of Jesus Christ and....

For the least of these,

Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Did you know that December 25th is not the actual birth date of Jesus Christ? Did you know that this was a date that was established by the Roman Catholic Church when they initiated a Mass during the same season that pagans were already engaged in various winter solstice celebrations? That's how the term Christ Mass was established. It was all part of an effort to covert people to Christianity. However they failed to steer the people away from the sun god rituals in spite of the new church-initiated Mass to celebrate the Son of God.

We share this with you because many skeptics in the urban world use this well established historical fact to attack urban Christians who are ignorant of church history. They feel that this discrepancy, concerning the birth of Christ, gives them leverage to deny the Bible and the Son of God.  

Instead they encourage many urban dwellers to replace December 25th with celebrations like Kwanzaa. This celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. We're not saying there's something inherently wrong with celebrating Kwanzaa. We're just providing a little more understanding as to why there is so much confusion and controversy surrounding December 25th. 

Many Believers already know that the Bible never says that Christ was born in December. The point is that it doesn't matter that He wasn't born on December 25th. We believe this church-initiated celebration should no longer attempt to celebrate December 25th as Christ's date of birth. Now it should be used to celebrate the REALITY and PURPOSE for His birth.

Since millions of people have come into the Faith as Protestants, they have never been aware of the history behind December 25th. Most of that history is very negative and even involves an annual persecution of Jewish people on that day.

Over the years, the Christmas (Christ Mass) celebration has embraced many not-so Christian-like traditions and those traditions have become disconnected from historical facts and understanding. Of course the history is far more complicated than this, but we really don't have space to cover every detail in a simple newsletter. Hopefully, this will get you started in pursuing answers in your own personal study.

As a side note, many Biblical historians believe that Christ was actually born at a much more significant God-ordained time (perhaps in the Ppring when sheep were giving birth). However, for most Jewish people, December 25th is directly connected with a negative history of persecution, and it is a 24-hour celebration declaring that there is another way to come to Jehovah God; so they want no part of it.

Over the past few weeks, we have been offering very important points for you to consider for making Godly responses to the pagan origins of December 25th. As Community and Spiritual life coaches, we have decided to provide practical answers and solutions for you and your family. 

Here are the four points we asked you to consider for responding to people who are caught in the midst of this controversy:

1.) Become all things to all men - 1 Corinthians 9:18-23 

2.) Don’t cause your brother to stumble - 1 Corinthians 8:4-13

3.) Use the opportunity (holiday) to bless your enemies - Matthew 5:43-45 

4.) Continue in the early church lifestyle of giving to others/helping the poor 
- Acts 2: 40-47

This week we are offering the fifth response:

5.) Consider a foundational Christian celebration: Partaking of the Lord's Table in Remembrance of Christ (Luke 22:14-20).
Jesus instructed His followers to partake of the communion table in remembrance of Him. The holiday season is another perfect opportunity to place emphasis on Jesus Christ by gathering to do what HE instructed us to do. That's what we choose to do every year with our Fruitful Life Home Church family. 

Millions of Believers will gather in sanctuaries or in their homes to partake of Holy communion and truly reflect upon the reason Christ came into the world. 

These special gatherings remind us that the Son of God is not to be merely thought of as a baby lying in a manger, but as our Savior who was brutally beaten and nailed alive to a wooden cross. We should remember that He rose again from the dead to usher all of us into the Kingdom of God.

As we stated last week, we are simply trying to communicate that in spite of the historical facts, controversies and conflicts, CHRIST must truly become YOUR reason for this season and all year round.  The world will continue to celebrate the sun god (in all of its many names and forms) as part of their annual winter celebrations. WE must celebrate the Son of God and give a Godly RESPONSE to our non-believing family and friends, and to our Christian brothers and sisters who may not have this insight.

Enjoy the day and enjoy the season!

World Peace Ambassador, Dr. Clyde Rivers calls Chris and Carol Green leading skilled experts in rebuilding, restoring and renewing hearts and homes. The Green are certified master life coaches who founded the Fruitful Life Network, Inc. an innovative community care and coaching outreach.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Called to Reconciliation

Christopher G. Green

The unimaginable has happened and Donald Trump has been elected as the next President of the United States of America.  While millions are rejoicing, rebellions and protests are breaking out all over the country.

As I have written and warned in previous blogs, many in the American Christian Church were choosing sides. Millions of Believers were voting based on issues of liberty (religious, civil, moral, etc.). On the other hand, millions were voting based on issues of justice (economical, social, political, etc.). 

Please don't be duped. Get out of your feelings and emotions and really listen to what I’m saying. We cannot win this battle by seeking one or the other (liberty or justice). In our pledge of allegiance, the quote is "liberty AND justice" for ALL. If you fight for liberty at the expense of justice, there will be an uprising from those who are not getting justice. If you fight for justice at the expense of liberty, the entire country will pay the price, falling under the tyranny of the majority.

So how do we get both liberty and justice for all?

I believe both are found only in one government and that is the Kingdom of God. I'm talking about the governance of God in every heart and home.

Now let me make it practical for what is happening in America today. The ugly giants of racism and class-ism are rising and Christian Believers will not be able to ignore them any longer. In today’s world, silence is approval of the suppression of liberty or justice. We must recognize it in our own hearts and expose it in our own Churches. We must deal with the -isms, but joining with or simply ignoring the protests, even in your own heart, is not the way.

The slumbering giant (the True Church) is waking up. It is waking to its mission to win and disciple the nations, to take care of the poor and widows, and to walk and live in unity and love. 

We are Ambassadors of Christ, called to the Ministry of Reconciliation. We are not called to merely fight for liberty, but we must join the fight for justice as well. We can no longer leave these battles to the government or radical activist groups.

A violent overthrow of President-elect Trump and the White Supremacy mindset that is often attached to many of his supporters, will not bring Peace, liberty or justice.  If that were to occur, people would not unite. Instead, such action would only release another set of protests; perhaps a major revolt. 

I'm not a Republican. I'm not a conservative (many people's code word for racist).  I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a progressive (many people's code word for atheist). I’m another one of those registered Independents who has, through the years, sometimes voted for write-ins at the Presidential level, while voting according to my understanding of Biblical priorities at the state and local levels of government. So I have no allegiance to any earthly parties. I ‘m not writing from those perspectives.

Let me start here. 

My government is within me: Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost. On the earth, I can vote for a president, but in reality, I have a king. He is the God of the universe. He told Pontius Pilate, "My Kingdom is not of this world."  

So our role, in this emerging racial and class war, is to promote reconciliation. That's what the Word of God declares. It’s not an opinion. It's the command of God.

Reconciliation is about bringing opposing forces and enemies together. Every one of us, in the True Church, is called to THIS. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. His word declares that He now pleads to the world through us. 

Over the last week I’ve had to tell myself to get back in focus. Get back to the reason God saved me. Get back to the place where I kept my eyes on the Lord our God.  Let’s seek first the Kingdom of God and get His strategy to reconcile the fight for liberty with the fight for justice. He will do amazing things in the hearts of people.

God says in His word: “Why do the nations rage, imagining a vain thing?” God laughs from the heaven because He has already installed His king. His king is installed in the hearts of His people and they already have a government. They already have a purpose because GOD already has a plan.  His plan is Reconciliation. He desires to reconcile ALL people to Himself and to one another. 

So, before we try to fix America, let’s allow God to work IN us, so He can speak through us to bring reconciliation.

Christopher G. Green

Christopher Green is an international columnist/writer with the Global Journalism Award winning team of Dr. Clyde Rivers and iChange Nations Social Media News™.  As Community Ambassadors, Global Leadership Ambassadors, and Urban Leadership awardees by iChange Nations™, he and his wife, Carol Green, were also appointed Goodwill Ambassadors of World Peace by Golden Rule International. They founded Fruitful Life Network, Inc. which provides a unique blend of hope-based Life Coaching strategies that rebuild, restore and renew hearts and homes in the urban community. Global Peace Ambassador, Dr. Clyde Rivers, calls them leading experts in connecting people to their path of discovery and the fulfillment of their dreams of success in their lives and families.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

We Must Be Prepared for a Battle

Christopher G. Green

Like millions of people in America, I was engaged in a texting conversation about the upcoming election and what it will mean for American Churches and various Religions in our country. My conversation was with a gentlemen that I highly respect and whose views and opinions are very important to me. While many political conversations are leaving people conflicted, I tend to focus on what we’re going to do on the day after the election; the day after casting my vote and my candidate has either won or lost.

Since I’m a husband, father, life coach, ordained minister, and an overall nice guy (at least my wife of 35 years still thinks so), I must say that the various issues surrounding this election have left, in my humble opinion, millions of people of faith very anxious about this year’s outcome.  

There are various camps, denominations and groups who are vehemently opposed to one another’s political views, even to the point of questioning the legitimacy of the other’s Faith. This level of hostility is very dangerous and the day after the election will simply drive the various fragments of the various Faith camps even further apart.

If we allow this division to fester, it will prove to be a critical mistake. After the election, regardless of the outcome, people of faith will need to rally together like never before. That’s because, many American Christians, who are leaning towards a Conservative as the President, see a loss as the signal to Progressives that they can launch overt attacks against religious liberty in America. However, they see a Conservative victory as, at least, a postponement or pushing back against that tide. 

While all of that may be true, there is another thought that I’d like to throw into the mix of outcomes. The way I see it, no matter if whether Conservatives win or lose this election, there will still be overt assaults on religious freedom. 

If Conservatives win, I believe the American Church should anticipate retaliation from the public. By the public, I mean special interest groups, activist groups, vigilantes, and people who just simply don’t like Christianity or anything remotely religious.

In my view, the soil of this nation is so saturated with anti-Christian hatred that Church leaders need to be preparing their leadership teams and congregations for some major public push-back, regardless as to which side wins the election. This is not the time to just sit back and wait to see what happens on November 8th. I believe many Church Leaders will need to have a plan of action in place for November 9th and the days, weeks, and months that follow.

If the Progressives and Liberals win, I believe many of us will need to get our houses in order: the legal, financial, administrative, and operational policies of our churches. Many more Christians will be forced to join the fight for our very existence. While many Churches and Ministries already have home groups and small groups in place, many more will need to seriously consider making this the strongest aspect of their gatherings, moving forward.

However, if Conservatives win, I think we might want to consider making plans to deal with the activist groups that may stage protests outside or within our church services.  Some of us might need to check with our property insurers and prepare for acts of vandalism. Others, depending upon their situation, may have to connect with local law enforcement or hire additional security for our congregations going in and out of our facilities. 

I realize there are those, from certain camps, who feel I’m just inciting fear and speaking negativity that can be used to bring panic upon many in the Church. Actually I’m just asking Church Leaders to implement Proverbs 27:12 which reads, “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

Yes, I say this with great caution. I know this can sound alarmist and overreaching, but we need to realize that this election is not about winners and losers. This is about the way that our society will view the Church on November 9th and beyond.

I want you to consider this; that no matter who wins the election, the Church will be in the middle of a battle. So we must do more than raise the level of our people’s excitement and interest to vote. Don’t give them the impression that everything will be okay if their candidate wins. Like Jeremiah of old, when he was warning Israel of what God said was coming upon them, I’m saying everything won’t be okay. 

Finally, I believe we need to be preparing our church to pray and I mean daily prayer; around the clock prayer; and ‘even if we don’t do anything else on our agenda’ prayer. If we move to this level of prayer, we can actually be setting the stage for the Spirit of God to move upon the Church and even those who may publicly come against it. This could be the beginning of true revival in our country.

When you go and cast your ballot, do not place your confidence in that person. Do not cast your hopes and dreams on that person. They can get my vote, but God alone gets my heart. We are bowing to the will of God. After you cast your votes, I ask that you pause for a moment and say, “Lord, thy Kingdom come and Your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.” 

In this act of submission, you will be surrendering your life as an ambassador of Christ that He can work through in the ministry of reconciliation. That’s because we will need the release of the ministry of reconciliation on the day after the election.

I believe November 9th will be Day-One of a new level of spiritual warfare for the Church in America as it returns to its primary role declaring and demonstrating the Kingdom of God in every day life; and we must be ready for that battle.

Christopher G. Green
Fruitful Life Network, Inc.

Christopher G. Green is a certified master life coach, urban family advocate, marriage and family adviser, community leadership consultant, licensed and ordained minister, the executive coach of Fruitful Living and Learning, the principal instructors of the Urban Potential Innovative Life Coaching Certification program, and the pioneer of the Urban Life Family Connections resource website. He and his wife, Carol Green are based in Harrisburg, PA, where they work primarily with the homeless and unemployed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It's Still a Matter of the Heart

Prior to the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, we offered no political opinions. We simply presented the spiritual and moral issues that are identified in the Bible. Unfortunately, the issues and interpretations of morality, justice and equality have fallen on two different sides of the dominant political parties in America.

This dilemma causes many Believers to vote for a president who is a Democrat while others vote for Senators and Congressmen who are Republicans. Or they vote for a Republican president while others vote for Senators and Congressmen who are Democrats. This is why it’s so difficult to navigate through the political process in our country. It’s also the reason it’s so difficult to explain one’s choices to family, friends and colleagues.

Here is what we wrote nearly eight years ago and it is incredibly amazing how it still applies to us today:

After we sent an email on the day of President Obama’s inauguration and quoted from the Bible that we are to pray for him, several pastors and leaders in this community, who opposed Obama, discontinued support and communication with this ministry and us. On the other side, friends and family who supported the new president took our email to mean that we were merely offering some form of insincere political patronizing.

We thought we were (and our intentions were) fulfilling our Pastoral leadership responsibility to bring our divided congregations together and to focus on the things that God desires to do in our nation. Our email had nothing to do with either endorsing or rejecting the President.

Here is what we sent out on January 21, 2009:

"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers and intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone---for kings, and for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior."
---1 Timothy 2:1-3

Make no mistake about it; yesterday (the inauguration) was a profoundly significant day. We still don’t agree with some of President Obama’s policies and agendas. Many of them conflict with Biblical teachings. However, that still doesn’t change the fact that God will use anybody to accomplish what HE wants to do in a nation.

Where did we get the idea that a political leader MUST be someone who follows all of the principles of the Bible in order for God to use that person to accomplish His purpose and plan?

Again, we're not ignoring the agenda of any particular President. We’re actually acknowledging the sovereignty of God. As flawed as we are as human beings, it’s amazing that God chooses us to do anything in this life.

God called Nebuchadnezzar His servant even though he was the emperor that destroyed Jerusalem, killed thousands of people, and carried their best and brightest into exile. God chose him to execute judgment; therefore he was God’s servant even though he wasn’t a Godly man.

Presidential elections are about more than trying to get a scripture-quoting, Bible-toting candidate in the Oval Office. This is about getting synchronized with what God is doing in our lifetime in America. If America is under judgment, (and many Christian leaders believe it is) then God will set the person in place that needs to be there at the time of judgment, repentance, recovery or rebuilding.

So we’re going to stay focused on the bigger picture. It doesn’t matter so much who sits in the Oval Office of the White House. It still comes down to who is sitting in the Oval Office of MY house.

We'll close this week's newsletter with the lyrics of a song written by a dear mentor and friend more than 30 years ago.

If you want a brand new world, you gotta have brand new people.
If you want brand new people, we've gotta have a brand new life.
If you want a brand new life, you gotta have a brand new spirit.
If you want a brand new spirit, you gotta come to Jesus Christ!
- Dr. Myles Munroe

We encourage you to cast your vote, but do not cast your cares on a human being. A potential candidate will get our votes, but only GOD gets all our confidence.

For the least of these, 
Christopher and Carol Green (D.Hon.Causa) 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Let It Live!

The Holy Spirit reminded us of emails that we released eight years ago in the weeks following the 2008 Presidential election. At that time, as it is in this time, Christians were divided and confused about what to do in perilous times. 

Last week, we received the highest number of responses to our weekly e-newsletter, than in any previous edition. That tells us that many hearts were stirred regarding the issue of knowing who their true King is. We stand corrected in one of our observations from last week. This is not so much a time of DIVIDING the Body of Christ, as it is a time of DISCERNING the Body of Christ. Now we will discover who understands what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ, and who simply holds a few religious beliefs. 

Change has come to America. In my humble view, we are no longer one nation under God. We have become many nations, bowing to many gods. With that altered view of where our nation truly stands, we can still prepare ourselves to go forth anyway, into this changed world as ONE Body to do God's will.

The real revelation of this so-called “New America” is that the term Christian does not mean the same thing to every American. Today, there are many definitions of that word. The main issue is that many citizens of our nation have made it clear, even before the election, that they don’t want God, His Word, His ways, or His influence in their lives. 

So how do we proceed from this moment on? Carol and I believe that God has appointed this moment to be part of the history of this nation, but it is for reasons that are known only to Him and His sovereign will. As a result, there is a new level of dependence upon God that has developed in our hearts.

Over the last two weeks we've been talking about what it takes to live in the eye of the hurricane. First we discussed the Peace of God and then we encouraged you to keep the unity of the Spirit. 

This week we want to conclude this discussion with the final portion of our focus scripture, Colossians 3:16, which tells us:  

...Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

That's a lot of scripture to attempt to discuss, so we'll sum it up with this: Let the Word of God really live in you.  We're not going to be able to navigate in the eye of the storm if we don't recognize the voice and will of God. The only way to consistently recognize God's voice and will is to know God's Word. We can't truly stay in step with Him if we don't live in His Word and let His Word live in us. 

As we read this verse it occurred to us that we can always teach and admonish one another, but the question is, are we teaching from the wisdom that comes from the Word of God? 

James 3:15 declares that there is a wisdom that does not descend from above, but it is earthly, sensual and demonic.

If we operate in the kind of wisdom that comes from natural thinking, our own feelings, or even from the realm of the demonic, we will find ourselves in the midst of the destructive storm of division, instead of moving in the eye of the storm, in the peace of God. 

In fact, this same Bible passage goes on to say: 
...the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 

Wow! Isn't this a great thing to know?

Finally, we are encouraged to literally sing the Word of God. God understands something about us in that the Word is able to get anchored in our spirit when we sing it. We all know how quickly we memorized commercials and theme songs to TV shows. That's because we sang them to ourselves and those songs became a part of our thinking and behavior. How much more will happen in us if we SING the realities of the Word of God?

So let the Word of God LIVE in you! 

We believe God's Word will become an internal compass with which we can navigate in the eye of the storm. No matter how difficult the future may be for the world around us, we will prevail and prosper in the purpose of God because His Word is alive within us.

This e-newsletter was originally written in November of 2008 and it still applies to us today.

For the least of these, 

Chris and Carol Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

United in the Storm

The Holy Spirit reminded us of emails that we released eight years ago in the weeks following the 2008 presidential election. At that time, as it is in this time, Christians were divided and confused about what to do in these perilous times. This is what we wrote to our small church congregation in November of 2008:

Last night our nation elected another president and no matter if whether your candidate was chosen or not, we are facing many storms in our future. I personally believe the first one will be a storm of division, which always strikes after an election. This time it will have a significant affect on the Church in America because the polls within the Church show the Body of Christ was divided along racial, political and social lines during this election. 

Since the Church in America is so divided over the candidate choices, we have found it necessary to minister on a HIGHER and more meaningful level than politics and race.

So you ask, what could possibly be more important than politics and race, especially since the issues that were raised were deeply spiritual and moral?

We choose to focus on the HEARTS of men, women, boys and girls, because the Bible declares that from the heart, spring the issues of life. This is where our political views are birthed.

Proverbs 4:23 reads: Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. 

So, before we start discussing the issues of life (politics and race), we have to deal with the HEART.  Many hearts have not been kept (guarded and protected). They have been broken, wounded, damaged, crushed, twisted, perverted, distorted, etc. People take their personal and political positions (the issues of life), based upon what has happened in and to their hearts.

Last week we started talking about Living in the Eye of the Hurricane. We felt this was necessary to discuss because we believe storms are on the way. However, if our lives are built on the rock-solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word, we will withstand the winds, rain and floods that are coming. We will be required to learn what it means to stay in the eye of the storm.

After last night’s presidential election, we know that millions of people will come away from it with a lot of complaining. The election results have the potential to bring more division, than ever before, into the Church in America. Somebody’s expectations were not met and the complaining has already begun. 

But look at the first portion of this scripture in Colossians 3:15-16, which tells us: 

"…And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." 

If we’re going to get through the coming storm of division, we must let the peace of God rule, to which we are called in one body. That’s why we declare that no matter who has won the elections at state and federal levels, the Body of Christ must have a different perspective. Our goals and objectives go beyond politics, race and social reform. We are called in ONE BODY, not one political party.

We must let the peace of God rule in our hearts because we are called in ONE Body.

That’s why, especially after this election, we must be thankful. Give thanks to God, no matter who has won the election. Even if you feel the absolute wrong person was chosen, you and I must MOVE WITH the peace of God, in the eye of the storm. Be thankful that we can take the fight for righteousness to another level, over and above the political process. We can take it to the Lord, in prayer.

Look at Ephesians 4: 1-4. Paul writes: “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.”

This passage opens up a whole new understanding for us in this season. Paul is saying clearly: "....even though I'm in a tough situation, I beg you to walk worthy of the calling." He even tells us how to do it. He tells us the real point of it all, which is to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

There’s that word peace again. We have to MOVE TOGETHER in the eye of the storm. We won’t all approve of the direction that our nation is going, but since our calling is higher, our goal must be higher. Our purpose is above the earthly agendas.

So we are urging you to not get caught up in the swift moving storm of division that is coming against the Church. Everyone is not pleased with the election, but if we turn from putting our hopes in an earthly leader, to placing our hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can move forth with our Kingdom of God mandate. We can truly keep the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace. This will keep us united in the eye of the storm.

This e-newsletter was originally written in November of 2008 and it still applies to us today.

For the least of these, 

Chris and Carol Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In the Eye of the Hurricane

As the election draws closer, we can feel the tension rising in our entire country. We also sense a lot of anxiety among many Believers who are still unsure about what do. As we prepared to write this week’s letter, the Holy Spirit reminded us of emails that we released eight years ago in the weeks leading up to the 2008 Presidential election. 

At that time, as it is in this time, Christians were divided and confused about what to do in perilous times. This is what we wrote to our small congregation in October of 2008:

We're living in such a critical time in the history of mankind that I've found myself in deep prayer and thought about what to share with you this week. The financial markets of the world are collapsing, crime and violence are soaring, persecution is increasing against the church around the world, and we're about to transition into new leadership in this country. 

As we have prayed and asked the Lord how to navigate the days ahead of us, we have heard this one word of instruction: You must learn to live in the eye of the hurricane.

The eye of the hurricane has to be one of the most phenomenal wonders of the world. How is it possible that in the center of this horrible storm, where the wind can exceed 150 miles per hour, that the atmosphere can be peaceful, calm and even sunny? As the storm moves along the ocean's surface, it is picking up energy and growing worse, but the center remains calm.

We find it interesting that the only way you can stay in the center of the storm (prophetically in the peace and presence of God), is to keep moving. You can’t just stand still. You can’t be passive and comfortable.  If you try to maintain your personal space of comfort, you will find yourself caught in the outer perimeter of the storm. The eye of the storm is moving because the storm is moving.  So you have to keep moving with the peace of God in the midst of the storm.

Colossians 3:15-16 tells us how to keep moving with the peace of God in the midst of the storm. 

…And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 

This week, let’s talk about letting the peace of God rule. This phrase means, we must be governed and led by the assurance of God Himself. That means He will direct us to go places, meet with people, and do things that we may not want to do.  So we must learn the difference between the peace of God and the peace of our own hearts and minds. 

Sometimes there’s no peace in our mind about doing certain things or going certain places because of our bad memories and our negative experiences. Many people have to learn the difference between their own personal peace and the peace of God. 

Since we’ve been in our current roles of ministering in this community, we have seen scores of people who are led by their own personal peace.  If they don’t feel right about something, they won’t do it, even when God is clearly leading them in a different direction. 

Even after God has clearly proven that it was Him directing their steps, they still allow their past to rule their hearts. They allow previous church experiences to rule their hearts. They allow their personal preferences to rule their hearts. They allow their expectations to rule their hearts. They allow the way others treated them to rule their hearts.

We recently heard a well-known television minister declare that they don’t go places where they are merely TOLERATED, but they only go to places where they are CELEBRATED. That’s a very powerful, but unscriptural approach to following God. What happened to OBEDIENCE TO GOD? 

I don’t know of any of God’s prophets, apostles, preachers, or leaders who were living by that standard. Not only were most of them not celebrated, but they were hated. We don’t only go where we feel we will personally benefit from the experience. You and I must go wherever God says for us to go. (And do what He commands us to do).

As the storm is moving, we have to move with the eye of the storm (the Peace of God). What if the eye of the storm leads you to fellowship with people you don’t usually hang out with? That’s what happened to Peter.  What if the eye of the storms positions you to work for your captors? That’s what happened to Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah. What if the eye of the storm leads you to join a small group of people like our home church family or some other new gathering of believers in your community? What if the peace of God leads you away from all that is familiar and comfortable? 

Even today, as the current (political) storm moves and the peace of God moves, we are facing major decisions. This time we must be faithful and obedient to move with God in the midst of the storm.

In 2004, Carol and I left all that was familiar, prosperous and comfortable, to move to this region.  Since we’ve been here, we’ve continually been required to move with the eye of the storm and remain in the peace and rest of God. (And this has been a very difficult storm to navigate). 

God’s peace led us out of full-time (and propserous) ministry and into the marketplace. God’s peace led us away from gathering within church facilities and into a home group gathering. God’s peace led us onto the internet and into our current multi-media outreaches. We recently discovered that God is directing many church planters in the same strategies all around the world because of the storms that are coming forth on many nations, the world and the Church.

We have often asked God why we were moving in this direction, but He keeps assuring us that a day will come when people will search for those who are lifting up Jesus and not lifting up personalities. They will look for people who are real as they grow weary of their traditions, religions and politics. So we’ll just keep moving with the eye of the storm, in the peace of God.

Right now, many are finding their jobs threatened and their families in crisis. Even some church communities are beginning to waiver in fear.  We encourage you to abandon your fear and just flow with God.  He is trustworthy.  So this week, the Word for all of us is, “Keep moving with the peace of God.” 

This e-newsletter was written in October of 2008 and it still applies to us today.

For the least of these, 

Chris and Carol Green (D.Hon.Causa)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Sword of the Lord Prevails

As many of you may know, Israel is celebrating the fall feasts, a special season of biblical holidays. These annual holy days begin with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and include Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. 

We just held an all-night prophetic prayer session this past weekend as part of exhortation, worship and acknowledgement of 12 years of ministering in the Harrisburg urban community. Every year we use this time to rehearse the prophetic declarations that have been made over us, this ministry, and this city. We also cast vision for the upcoming year, connecting with and focusing on the prophetic significance of the meaning of the upcoming Jewish New Year.

Many, who receive our weekly newsletters, are not part of Christian fellowships that follow the annual holy days, feasts and celebrations. Most have been taught that the original apostles of the early church stated that they would not place any burdens on the Gentiles beyond a few stipulations regarding what they eat, idol worship, and sexual immorality. Therefore, they don’t really “get into" these Jewish traditions.

We’re not here to debate that. However, at the very least, we’d like for you to consider seeing these celebrations and feasts as some of the things that we are not required to do, but we have the opportunity, honor and privilege to connect with, so that in some small way we can gain a better understanding of, and more insight into this new life that God has granted to us through His son, Jesus Christ. 

We learned in our studies that we have just entered the Hebrew Calendar Year 5777. We first started looking at the meaning of each year when we came upon the year 5774.  At that time we discovered the meaning of 74 through the Hebrew alphabet/numbers for 70 (ayin) and 4 (dalet). Ayin (pronounced ah yeen), the 16th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it is a silent letter. There is no translation of it in English.  It sees, but does not speak; representing humility. The name ayin can also mean “eye” or “fountain”.  It teaches us to speak and observe without making a commentary about what we see. 

The Hebrew letter/number 4, is dalet (pronounced dah let) and is represented by the symbol of an open tent or an open door.  At that time, three years ago, the Holy Spirit revealed to us that we were about to see and experience a year of open doors.  For the record we can tell you, that is precisely what happened in our lives and ministry that year.

Since that time, we have eagerly anticipated each year, with its prophetic significance. Now we have entered the year of Ayin (70) Zayin (7).  So let’s take a look at the alphabet and symbol that represents seven. 

Zayin (pronounced Zah yeen) - The number seven has always been regarded in Jewish tradition as the number of completion, wholeness, blessing and rest. However, Zayin is a paradoxical word, since it means “weapon” or “sword”, but derives its meaning from a root word that means sustenance or nourishment. The root word (zan) appears in words like food. So the question is, how is food or nourishment related to the sword? 

We believe the Church is about to experience and see the manifestation of the sword of the Lord.  Our awesome God is about to bring the sword into hearts, homes, schools, businesses, neighborhoods, communities, cities, regions, states, and our entire country. We’re not able to tell you what that will look like, but when it happens, we will each know that whatever is happening, it is because this is The Year of the Sword of the Lord.

At the same time, we are to rest. For us, this is the year of completion, wholeness, blessing and rest. Our God will nourish and sustain us, even as HE fights on our behalf.

We wanted to share this with you as we enter into the month of October, which has annually become filled with the worship of demons, death, witchcraft and the occult. We insist that you make deliberate and intentional efforts to guard your hearts and homes in this season.

Watch and pray over your children and loved ones. It is very important that you monitor what you watch and entertain. Don’t leave an open door anywhere in your life, especially during this season with its heavy influence from satan (we refuse to capitalize that name) himself. If you need assistance with this effort, please order and utilize the prayer strategies in our book, FIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY.

We encourage you to use this season to fast and pray for your family and friends. Pray about the upcoming elections. Get on the offensive and refuse to allow the enemy of your soul to take any territory in your life. 

We cannot tell you how much we have hated the month of October. One of Chris’ brothers passed away in October. It has been a very difficult month for our whole family. However, THIS YEAR, there is a new spark of faith, hope and anticipation. That’s because we have entered the year in which God will complete many things that HE started in our lives 12 years ago.

We have entered the year of wholeness and healing from our losses and disappointments.
We have entered the year in which God provides for, nourishes and sustains us. We have entered the year when we will see the Sword of the Lord prevail!

For the least of these, 

Drs. Chris and Carol Green

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Always Be There for Me

As most of you know, we are ministering on the front lines in Harrisburg, PA as community life coaches; particularly as marriage coaches. God has been using this aspect of our coaching to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that recovery process involves helping them recognize the lies that played a big part of throwing them off track.

According to Dr. Chris Thurman, who wrote a book, The Lies We Believe, there are at least five categories of lies that are affecting our lives. Those categories are: self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies, and they have been received and believed by millions of people.

As we continue in our effort to expose the marital lies, I want to discuss the lie that says,
“My spouse can and should meet all of my emotional needs.”  

In our many years of marriage coaching, we have found this to be one of the toughest lies to overcome. Although we make promises in our wedding vows and have sincere intentions in our hearts, eventually we come to realize that no human being can always be there to meet all of our emotional needs.  Dr. Thurman lists emotional needs such as attention, acceptance, appreciation, approval, affection, affirmation, comfort, encouragement, respect, security, support and understanding.  How unrealistic it is to expect a human being to be able to always meet all of those needs.  

This week I’m going to quote Dr. Thurman a lot because he helps us deal with the false hope that a spouse will perfectly meet all of our emotional needs.  Many believe this lie because they feel that the person they married should somehow automatically know their every need and meet those needs without them even communicating it.  This expectation presupposes that our spouse is perfectly, emotionally healthy themselves.  It presupposes that they can read our minds, thoughts and feelings on some hyper-spiritual level.  When our spouse does not meet our expectations, we often assume that they are the one who is somehow lacking. We conclude that our unmet emotional need is their fault, alone.   

Dr. Thurman explains: The reality of any relationship is that NO one person can be the perfect “need meter” for another person.  Our needs are too many and can be met only through a variety of people and activities.  People who depend solely on one person or one thing usually haven’t developed other resources such as a best friend, hobbies, satisfying work, and a close relationship with God.  So rather than recognizing and accepting the fact their expectation is unrealistic, a husband or wife will turn to their spouse and say, “Here’s my life.  You take care of all my needs.”

In healthy marriages, there is a mutual commitment to meet each other’s emotional needs as much as possible, and there is a mutual commitment to recognize when we can’t.  In healthy marriages, neither spouse depends solely on the other for all of their emotional needs to be met.  In healthy marriages, both spouses make every effort to be honest about when they are not meeting each other’s emotional needs and try diligently to do better.

My husband and I have done a lot of pre-marital and marital coaching over the years.  It not only helped the couples we coached, but it helped our marriage as well.  It helped us to stay in communication with one another about meeting emotional needs and has helped us to develop a habit of staying in communication with one another regarding those needs. The coaching taught us to not accept the lie that our spouse should always be there to meet all of our emotional needs.

Dr. Thurman adds:

When you have emotional needs that are not being met in your marriage, you can basically do the following: 
(1) remind yourself that having emotional needs is healthy and it is okay to feel hurt when they are not met; 
(2) identify what emotional needs are not being met
(3) ask your spouse if he or she would be willing to meet them (be specific as to which ones and how you would like them met); 
(4) affirm and appreciate your spouse for meeting your emotional needs when he or she does; 
(5) keep meeting your spouse’s emotional needs as best you can, even if he or she is not willing to do the same for you; and 
(6) look for other morally appropriate ways for your emotional needs to be met (a close friend, an interesting hobby, volunteer activities, ongoing education, church involvement).

He concludes:

It is normal to have emotional needs. We all have them.  It is unrealistic to expect one person to be able to meet all of our emotional needs. Expecting your spouse to meet all those needs is one of the reasons why there are marital problems. This lie puts too much pressure on our spouse and causes damage to our marriage.  

The truth is, we are healthier when we have several sources to meet our emotional needs; especially our ultimate source, which is God.  

Philippians 4:19 says “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  

There is nothing that we need (even emotional needs in marriage) that God cannot supply.

For the least of these, 

Dr. Carol L. Green

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Right for Each Other Means Working for Each Other

A couple of years ago my husband and I met a Nigerian Bishop by the name of Dorothy Tee. God sent her and her husband to this region just like us. Many times we heard her say that God had showed her that the way to reach people in Harrisburg was going to require that we go out into the community and rake the people in; similar to the way one has to use a rake to get to the leaves that are hidden under bushes and dark places under porches.

God stirred our hearts with her admonition even as he changed our circumstances in such a way that we were literally forced to leave the comfortable church setting and go out into the community in the manner God had shown Bishop Tee. Then the Lord gave us a powerful way to go into the community and begin to rake in the souls. It was through life coaching. 

God has been using this aspect of our ministry to provide practical tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives in the midst of great devastation. Part of that rebuilding process involves helping them see past the self-lies, worldly-lies, marital-lies, distortion-lies, and religious-lies that they have received and believed.

I have been sharing with you, from a book titled “The Lies We Believe” that was written by Dr. Chris Thurman. His book has revealed some of the ways we are helping people to identify these lies that have held them back. This week, we continue in our discussion about the marital lies, as we address the lie that says: “If our marriage takes hard work, we must not be right for each other.”

Dr. Chris Thurman makes this statement on this topic: “Marriage is hard work.  Make that, marriage is very hard work; tremendously hard work.  Underline it.  Boldface it.  Tattoo it on your forehead.”  

Dr. Thurman helps us to see that every marriage that is intent upon success has to be worked on.  It’s a truth few couples seem to realize when they first get started in life together.

There are times the marriage will hit such rough spots and hard situations that the resulting fear and insecurity can be so strong that a couple can start to believe they may have made the wrong choice in their partner.  Hollywood movies and romance novels have caused many to believe that their marriage shouldn’t be so hard. They can begin to think that they wouldn’t have to work at it if they were right for each other.  

I want you to hear the truth that emotions and magical feelings don’t make you right for each other. Couples must learn to work on their relationship to make things right. When you see a marriage that is successful over many years, it’s not just because they are right for each other. They have learned to work for each other.

During the time my husband and I worked as Associate Pastors at our church in St. Louis a young couple called us one evening to say they were splitting up and wanted to talk with us. They arrived at our home and when they came in the house they sat on the couch next to each other.  They had come to an impasse in their relationship and they didn’t know how to navigate.  
The first thing we told them was that they did not really want to split up. We pointed out the obvious, showing them how they had ridden together to our home. They had just demonstrated that they were willing to come and ask for help together. They had even unconsciously sat next to each other on the couch. We told them that the fact that they even took the time to argue, said that they cared enough about each other to try to come to a mutual understanding.  We helped them realize that they didn’t really want to split up. Their actions had shown that what they really meant was that they didn’t know how to go beyond the point of disagreement.

We explained that if they didn’t care about each other they wouldn’t have even taken the time to argue or try to make the other person understand their viewpoint. We were able to give the couple the tools they needed in order to bring resolve to their disagreements.  We helped them to understand that they were going to have to work on their relationship. We helped them to understand that this is what it takes to make a marriage successful.

Like that young couple, many believe that an impasse means the end of a relationship. They get tired of the real work. They wish their relationship could stay in the stage when they were living on an emotional high. 

But the truth is that there will be times when we will come to a place of impasse and won’t know how to navigate past it.  When that first happened between me and my husband, we learned how to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom. We had to learn to agree with God’s word about the situation and to humble ourselves and obey God’s word.

As I said in previous letters, we all come into marriage from two different household cultures with specific viewpoints and lifestyles.  I learned that marriage is often a clash of cultures, viewpoints and lifestyles.  Marriage is a blending that takes place in the midst of these collisions and conflicts.  As we learn to live with our partner, we will have to work out the difference between what is a personal preference and what would actually bring harm to the other person and the relationship.  

This was a major point of discovery for us. Most people take their stance in their impasse based upon a personal preference. Their stand is not based upon seeing what is actually harmful to their spouse.

We can feel as though our spouse brings out the worst in us, but what is being exposed are preconceived ideas, personal preferences, hidden fears, selfishness, self-centeredness, and just plain untruths.  These are things that need to be brought to the surface and dealt with for the health of our partner and the marriage.  

Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

The hard times expose the unhealthy attitudes in our own hearts and give us the opportunity to change them through the Truth of God’s word.  It also gives us the opportunity of going through our process of maturing and healing in the company of someone who loves us. 

Marriage isn’t for cowards, escape artists, people who are bored, the selfish or the self-centered. It is not for the one who is unwilling to deal with their flaws.  Marriage is not for the person who is locked into the negative survivalist mentality.  I repeat, marriage is hard work and it brings out the areas of our lives that need to be changed.  

This Truth also applies to the person who divorced based upon this lie that Dr. Thurman has exposed. If they don’t deal with their flaws, they will repeat the same negative patterns in any future marriage. If they are unwilling to work in the next marriage, they will come to the same conclusion as before, and terminate the relationship.  

Your marriage can be happy, healthy and whole as long as you are both willing to do the work necessary to make it successful.

Dr. Chris Thurman says:
The Apostle Paul was right when he said, “Those who marry will face many troubles in this life.” The wisest couples use marital problems as an impetus to work even harder, not as an excuse to bail out.  If your marriage is hard work, you have a golden opportunity to use that reality to make needed changes in who you are.  You do not want to pass up that opportunity.

For the least of these, 

Dr. Carol L. Green

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"It's All Your Fault!"

As community life coaches, we help people walk through the process of discovering truth so that they can recapture their lives. To help in that process, we expose our clients to the wisdom and revelations from Dr. Chris Thurman’s book, The Lies We Believe. He categorizes the lies we believe as Self-Lies, Worldly Lies, Marital Lies, Distortion Lies and Religious Lies.

I have been sharing with you, some of the ways we are helping people identify these lies that have held them back. Last week I started a new discussion on marital lies. Marriage is a major topic for me and my husband.  This week, I want to get into the specific lies that have wrecked countless marriages. This week I want to take a closer look at the lie that Dr. Thurman reveals as, “All my marital problems are my spouse’s fault.”

There are many who believe that their spouse is the sole reason for the failure in their relationship. The truth is that it takes both partners to make a relationship successful. Although one person can inflict more damage than the other at any given time, it still basically takes two to make and break a marriage. It’s not demolished by one single act by one person.

One place to begin, in the laying of a good foundation for the relationship, is by understanding the blind spots, strengths and weaknesses of each other.  The blind spot or past hurt of one partner may be causing problems or offense in the relationship, but the offended spouse must push past their hurt feelings and try to help bring God’s perspective to the issue.  The conflict is often compounded when the offended partner does not receive or respond according to God’s viewpoint on the situation.

We are all imperfect human beings and we go into relationships needing to make adjustments in our own hearts and minds. We must learn how to let go of the past and not to be selfish or self-centered. Two people go into a relationship with blind spots, preferences, prejudices, weaknesses and strengths.

Internal vows might have been made that affect and negatively impact the relationship.
Internal vows are promises that one has made to oneself, that they will never allow anyone to hurt them again.  One partner will inevitably say or do something that will cause the offended partner to flash back to an incident or conflict from the past that did not end well. This often causes them to respond to their present partner out of the pain from the past.

A lot of the conflict that came up in my marriage was due to the affect that the separation and divorce of my parents, had on me. I was not raised in a Christian home. My mother and I received Christ when I was twelve years old. I was raised by a mother who was sexually abused as a child by a relative. She often kept us away from extended family. Then my parents separated and I later carried all of that hurt and pain into my marriage.

We fail to realize that our backgrounds, societal pressures, past decisions, and the emotional reasoning we have formed and lived by, will affect our relationships.  Our marriage was affected by the way I grew up in Pennsylvania. My husband brought all of his negative experiences and reasoning from his life growing up in St. Louis, Missouri.

When Chris and I began our relationship, I was afraid to argue with him because while growing up in my household, I saw that arguments led to separation and divorce. So I wouldn’t say anything.  That was childish reasoning that developed into a fear of doing something that would cause my husband to want to leave me.

The “It’s all your fault” lie is basically the message that if it weren’t for you, everything would be fine.  We must be aware that we all have baggage that we bring into our relationships.  

Dr. Chris Thurman relates this scenario from his book:

In the case of an affair, the offended spouse feels crushed by the revelation, as anyone would, but it can be taken to a deadly conclusion.  The offended spouse sometimes concludes that the offender is the reason their marriage is on the rocks and that their spouse is to blame for all the misery they are now going through.

The offended spouse is understandably in a lot of pain, but at the risk of sounding insensitive, the offended spouse must also face the part they played in the marriage not being a good one.  Yes, the act of the offender was very selfish and destructive, but was the offended spouse loving, caring, supportive, attentive, affectionate, understanding, etc?  Was the offended spouse consistent in showing these attributes toward their spouse?

It is essential that the offended spouse comes clean about what they contributed to the marriage being so troubled.  Intense emotional pain triggered by something such as a spouse having an affair has a way of interfering with our willingness to do any honest self-examination, but it has to be done if the marriage is to be saved.

Notice how Dr. Thurman does not place all of the blame on the offender. He provides the balanced perspective in which both the offender and the offended must do self-examinations.
For a marriage to be successful, both partners must look at their own flaws and work on them according to biblical principles.

Matthew 7:5 says, "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

This doesn’t mean you don’t express how you feel. This scripture is talking about the manner and the viewpoint from which you approach your partner.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “….with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.”

That’s how we walk together in unity and how we respond to our spouse when they make a mistake.

It’s wonderful when a couple chooses to follow these biblical principles and makes them a lifestyle.  When they do, they are fulfilling what it means to walk in love, to sanctify and cleanse one another with the water of the word, submitting to one another and respecting one another.

So the next time your spouse makes a mistake, resist the temptation to blame and lay all the problems you’re both experiencing at their doorstep.  Try to recall what they have experienced and what those experiences have caused them to believe and live.

Think about how your actions or decisions impact your spouse.  Remember what the Bible says concerning the issue you’re dealing with and pray before you speak. Wash them with the water of the Word in love, gentleness, longsuffering and humility because you have made mistakes as well.  Remember to always take the plank out of your own eye first.

For the least of these,

Dr. Carol L. Green