Cultured Cowboy Presents

Second Time Around?

Healthy Marriages, (even if not necessarily the first.)

Some of us will make news with anniversaries that last beyond three generations. Some of us have not had the good fortune to live our lives with only one partner. In real life, there are deaths, painful relationships and losses too numerous to give count. So, what can make this marriage stay special after your previous experiences, or those of other family and friends? What will best prevent today’s happiness from being just another of tomorrow’s statistics? How can you help your wedding train prevent itself from becoming a wreck?

(You can see from your slider bar that this is a long read, but an important one. Print it if you prefer. Pass it to friends. Permissions granted. Thanks for taking time, C.)


Put God in the relationship.
Oh yeah, I heard this one before!

Make Him an active partner in your relationship. Why not? So, do you think you are not worthy, or do you think you can’t have God and a fun relationship? You love your spouse to be, but does your future partner avert this issue? What are your real chances without His favor?


Who is worthy?
But we met in a bar. We like sex. I work six days a week.

All of us have goofed and fell short of the glory of God. Who can live up to all those laws every day? No one. That is why Jesus needed to come! Holy people waited for centuries for relief from their habits. Jesus taught that the law should not be forgotten, but that love should direct the meaning of the laws rather than rhetorical traditions. In reality, church is really a lot of sinners trying to keep each other “mo betta”. Yep, the church-going sinners are supposed to hold each other accountable for actions. By preaching, teaching and example, they attempt to support each other in soul and deed. They’re even supposed to correct each other with love. (This means without judging the persons, trying to rehabilitate each other’s actions or behaviors, for the betterment of that person and all people that they influence.) These church people, (that many in cliché terms think are hypocrites), realize that there is strength in strong company.  And there is weakness in separation from others like them. It may just be better to be called a hypocrite that tries, than a loser or quitter. In this marriage, you may feel like you can’t get close to God because of who you are, who you were, or who you might not become. This is one of the lies that “ole Satan” likes best.

Jesus came to earth and spent his time explaining love in understandable terms by answering questions from people in bars, and back streets, who because of some traditional law, were not acceptable in existing church circles of their day. Many of these people had decided to drown sorrows, or find happiness in strong drink. Jesus spoke with prostitutes who never imagined they could do any better in life because they already used their bodies. Jesus ate among hated tax collectors who excluded themselves from their neighbors, and trapped themselves economically, because they made riches by paying their government for the right of overcharging. None of the people who were healed, forgiven, or “saved” were worthy. Not worthy then; not worthy now; just forgiven because they made a commitment to the cause of love.

Once, a disciple asked Jesus, “For what sin was this person afflicted so”. Sometimes, people have an impression that some church going folks think every ill in life is caused by a sin. Jesus said that the man had not been afflicted for a sin of his, nor a sin of his fathers, but just so that the glory of God can be seen today, by a few who will never forget this miracle came from God. This means that even good people have troubles. Maybe even undeserved troubles. The more troubles you may have, perhaps the better your chances, that God will allow you to see a difference between His way of life and that of most of this world.

Jesus asked, “If two men are forgiven a debt, and one is many times more in debt than the other, which will be more grateful?” The one with the most debt, of course. So it is today. Those of us who have botched the most are most grateful for the opportunity to be forgiven. Most of us consider ourselves to be good people. Just the same, many of the people Jesus rebuked seemed to see themselves as good people. We all have our faults. Even when we try hard to hide them, change them, or deny them, we are human. Jesus does not expect humans to be perfect, and neither can you expect perfection from your spouse. But, God asks us to continuously try for what is right. And to try to do right without the help of a higher, forgiving power, is a more frustrating effort. So, although no one is worthy, all are welcome to continuously try. Surround yourself with friends that will feel good about encouraging you as a couple. Get involved with a church family together. You are as worthy as anyone. And you are not hypocritical for trying.

I personally like to have a glass of wine or three. I like the taste of beer. There is stock in my cabinet for friends or business associates that may visit. I like to pray and sometimes sing loud when I am relaxed. When my back hurts, I drink more than when it does not. On the other hand, I do not drink around people that are disturbed by alcohol. I do not like hangovers, hugging toilets, or drunks tearing up my home. I know there is danger in too much wine. I know its habit forming and escalating nature. A hypocrite is not a person that drinks and goes to church. A hypocrite is one that downgrades the drink and all drinkers while with “church buddies”, then quietly gets drunk every night in his study.

Go study your Bible for yourself, then you will see that even with a wart or two, God still loves you.


Fun times?
I like things just like they are.

What is fun anyway? There are two types of fun: Healthy and Destructive. Healthy fun is real enjoyment often resulting in a longer and happier life.  Destructive fun is an illusion of euphoria that comes back to bite you. A little of something fun can become destructive if taken to extremes. Things thought by some as destructive, or that are destructive in abuse, can become great pleasure when used properly, or in proportions that are controllable. Almost any aspect of life can be, or can lead to healthy fun, or not.

There are all sorts of studies that show laughter as a good medicine for health. Smiles use less muscular-skeletal effort than frowns. Happy people live longer. All of us hate to feel depressed, unloved, unwanted, alone… All of us want a sense of belonging, love of various sorts and degrees, warm tingly feelings, comfort…A fun life is one that is filled with love.

Take a closer look at the basic Ten Commandments that became the basis of Mosaic Law. Keeping in mind that this discussion is on marriage, fun, and therefore life’s best goals, how can what you might have before seen as stifling, be really fun?

Laws One and two – Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment  in the law?” Jesus said to him,” You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

What does this mean to us? The heart, soul, and mind represent the whole person in all of us. It is not hard to understand love, especially in a time of wedding celebration. There are seldom greater feelings of love than at a wedding. Jesus used the examples of weddings, brides, and bridegrooms to demonstrate how strong the love of God was for you. Believe in a creator, who if He created the entire everything, certainly conceptualized the best forms of love. If He created love, then isn’t He the “most wanted” guest in your home environment? Devote your love to Him first. Then, devote to each other.

Would you agree that you cannot out-give a creator of love? If so, then by giving extreme love to this creator of love, do you not only show respect, but good sense? (Sometimes respect is referred to as fear in some Bible translations.) If ultimate love is given for love’s sake and not for a result of greed, ambition, or condition, and if ultimate love is returned not as a result of that greed, ambition, or condition, why not bring this ultimate love into your marriage? Without constant love, where does your marriage stand? Without God supporting the love of today, that love will usually wane into oblivion in a few short years.

The fact that we never want to hear when we are about to tie a knot is that most marriages in America end in divorce. It was not always this way. As the regular attendance of church, (involvement with God in a setting among others that support each other in faith and works), has declined to about 25%, the divorce rate has soared to greater than 50%. There is a correlation between the obedience to God, (Part of which is finding a church family to nurture within, then to nurture.), and the continuing love in a marriage. Especially when you read and reason that Jesus tells us the two most important Laws are to love God and to love mankind. What could be more fun than a life with love as its purpose? A married life with love as its purpose! Yours can be one of the minority of marriages that will mature in faith, security, and happiness of just being together.

We all have a need for love. God places this need in his human creations. He intended this need to be filled by a close personal relationship with Him. And just as a parent can love more than one child, God allows us to love Him and also love a life mate. Love for the mate should not lessen the love for God; the two loves can secure each other if we will allow them to.  We can try to fill our need for God with drinking, smoking, sex, work, too many relationships, more stuff, or any other pleasures of this world. But nothing will fill a void like love will. The mistake most of us make is that we try all by ourselves to make love work. It’s just too hard that way, and much easier to let God do a lot of the lovemaking we try to do by ourselves.

Getting into more specifics of the Ten, you are not to make anything that looks like a creation of the creator, for the purpose of worshiping that idol. Why should you worship a creation when there is the Creator? God is a jealous God that states He will punish even the children and grandchildren of those who hate Him. But, He is a God that wants your love so much that He also follows the jealousy promise with fact that for those who love Him, He will show kindness. And He states that it will be thousands, meaning thousands of thousands, (numbers without end), that receive His blessings. Show God your love by using these rules to live happily ever after. Your favorite wolf statue is not an idol unless you value it more than you do your God. So enjoy the pretty wolf, and thank God for it.

You must not use the name of the Lord, your God, thoughtlessly. God will punish those that misuse His name. If you respect your God, if you really want Him into your marriage, and if you want to have fun with your God, then respect His name even more than kings on earth; even more than your own name; even more than the new name you may be acquiring or sharing.

Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. Work and get everything done during six days each week. But the seventh day is a day of rest to honor the Lord your God. On that day, no one may do any work: not you, your son or daughter, your male or female slaves, your animals, or the foreigners living in your cities. The reason is that in six days the Lord made everything – the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. On the seventh day He rested. So the Lord blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Jesus came here and healed somebody on the Sabbath. The church leaders had a cow. Jesus ate some seeds that He picked on the Sabbath. The leaders had a cow. They saw Jesus picking crops and healing people as working on the Sabbath. Jesus explained that the Sabbath was made for man. Man was not made for the Sabbath. You need a time of respite and relaxation. Worship God and relax with each other on the Sabbath. But, if the cow is in a ditch, get it out now. Do not take little nit picking quirks and make them above the purpose intended for a marriage to be happy. Rest together.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” We have seen overwork bring its punishment through added stress. We have seen neglected families. We know for fact that we need a regular break from work details. God recommends one day a week for timing. Take His recommendation. Who wants his gravestone, or divorce decree to say “HE WORKED ALL THE TIME”, “SHE COULDN’T RELAX FOR A MINUTE”, or “THEY SPENT NO TIME TOGETHER REBUILDING FOR THEIR FUTURE TOGETHER”? Spend your day in love and respect for God and each other. This law says take some time off, often, for renewing love.

Honor your father and mother so that you will live a long time in the land that the Lord you God is going to give you. Marriage almost always involves parents of one or both partners. It also often includes the mates being parents too. Every marriage by definition is some sort of blended relationship. Two leave their fathers and mothers to become one very special family together. Whether there are stepchildren, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grand parents, weekend visitations, or weak long encumbrances, honor is important. To show honor to parents is to show by example how honor gains respect and wealth for generations. If you teach love by honor and respect for each other by example, it will come back to bless you many times again. What we do in our youth, or today, will reflect our futures together. Good Law!

You must not murder anyone. Did you realize that most murders are in haste, in anger, and done to someone close? This is because we are emotional beings. How many TV news programs have shown some person that murdered his family, then tried to kill himself? Do not allow your relationship to deteriorate this far. Love is not a reason for killing each other. With God in your home and hearts and minds, that kind of disappointing anger, or depression has little chance to materialize. If both of you ask, diligently, God will help you to identify little issues before they become too large to handle. 

You must not be guilty of adultery. In most states, adultery is the unconditional, can’t fight back, can't get it back together, lose it all reason for divorce. In most cases, it destroys the marriage. Sex is the most wonderful bond that God gives you as husband and wife. It seals the relationship. The two become one through intercourse. The shared release through orgasms is so special, when it is not filtered down by too many partners. You and your spouse can always develop a special talent for each other, shared only with each other.

If this is not your first marriage, and if this sexuality has not been so special or unique in your past, Jesus can turn this around. Believe that He can be there for you, as a mediator for God, forgiver of past mistakes. Believe that if you trust your love and your souls to God, God can send a Holy Spirit to help take the personal relationship you want to achieve into unbelievably great bliss. Believe that through monogamy, and really making effort to love only your one, you can begin anew. You can build that special specific of healthy sex in your marriage. God invented sex. God blesses sex between husband and wife. He wants you to go make healthy love with each other so you can strengthen your relationship. If you will believe in sex, only with your spouse, you will make better commitment to this union. If you believe that you can “get off” with anyone you choose, then there will be a tendency to look for new partners when something in the relationship disappoints you. Something will always disappoint you. Happiness comes from within. Close sexual fulfillment comes through prayer, wisdom, and communication with each other. (Read Proverbs and I Corinthians.)

You must not steal. In this age, there are different degrees of stealing.  None of us want our truck to be gone when we return from a horseback ride. That is a no-brainer. But, what about the smaller things we steal? Do you want great respect? Try this: even if it is a piece of gum from her purse, ask her first out of respect and love. Even if you need $10.00 for his lawnmower gas, ask before pulling it from his pants pocket. Going “above the call of duty” in honesty can make a relationship more intimate. Intimacy involves all aspects of your living together. Intimacy comes from respect. If there is total honesty between partners in marriage, there will be intimacy. God made this plan. How much fun is it to live with a thief? How much glory there is in living with a partner you respect!

You must not tell lies about your neighbor. My daddy used to say, “If somebody will lie, they will steal.” When we got our worst whippings, it was for the lie told to cover the original problem. The bible says that everyone is your neighbor. So don’t let this “neighbor” thing be an excuse to lie about someone across town. Ditto the respect of the past law. When your spouse or child or in-laws see that you will lie about one thing, they wonder about their trust relationship with you. Marriage must be built on trust. When trust is damaged, it takes much effort to regain; too much effort to risk on a stupid lie. It is much nicer to have a family relationship based on trust and respect than to wonder about what happens after revealing your intimacies. Or worse, wondering if something will be made up to damage you, at some future time, based on these intimacies shared today.

You must not want to take your neighbor’s house. You must not want to take his wife or his male or female slaves, or his ox or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Today we could say you must not want to take your neighbor’s trailer, lawn tractor, Jacuzzi, specially trained employees, his hunting dog, and certainly not his wife. When you begin your life together, there are always needs. Then there are wants. Most of us want it all, don’t we?

You must decide together what items are most important to you. There will always be a new toy to come along. And you may have a friend with that new toy. One of the best things about having friends is the sharing of new toys or just enjoying the fact that they are happy with their “somethings”. While helping them celebrate, don’t lose track of your plans. Each family has its own priorities. Set them for long term, short term and intermediate times. Be thankful for all that you have. Set goals and get happy to achieve them together. This is a smart way to build your relationship as partners. Planning and achieving, or simply trying to achieve together, will again build the partnership stronger than separate banking accounts and moving toward different directions.

Common goals, getting your own stuff honestly, having fun with what you have now, while working toward a savings program that will allow for your future will prevent a lot of stress that is common in most marriages. Both partners need to contribute to what the goals of the family are. Both partners need to focus on the needs of their household. If you are always worried about what someone else has, you can’t have any fun with your stuff.

Simple Laws, really! Laws for happiness through love. If you study, you will understand why all the last rules for living are built on the love relationships of the first two. If there is enough love in your hearts, everything else will tend to fall into place. Trust in these wise lessons and your marriage will certainly be more intimate, more fun, more trusting than most. God gave these axioms to the people He preferred as His people. He did not give it to them so they would be sticks in mud. He gave this to them to set them free. Let His Laws of love, and Jesus Christ’s explanations of the love of the Father, set you free to love as greatly as love can be.


What about the partner you love, but who thinks this is a crock pot of old ideas not made for this century?

This is a tough one. If you are reading this article you are probably not married yet. Or, you are helping someone who is about to make this commitment. Even though we sell wedding attire and supplies and desire to sell more; even though we are here to provide service for you, rather than to discourage you with fears; even if we want every marriage we assist to succeed forever; know that most marriages end in many forms of disaster. We would be remiss in not revealing this fact to you at this time.

Your "Justice of the Peace" may not tell this stuff to you. What are your chances when you two are not on even spiritual bases? Unfortunately, statistics tell us they are not much, my friends. With the Lord your God as leader and example, you have a focus for marriage to continue getting back on track when that wedding train tips or derails.

Without God as the focus. there will be some other focus. Nothing is as strong for your relationship as a focus on the Creator of Love. Things of this world rust, rot and fall apart. Life continues onward, though you may not be here. Life is really short. Even a ninety year lifespan is small in the scheme of times. Let’s say you can last ten years through your troubles before one of you decides that you have not got what is seemingly ideal at the time. Then the marriage falls two years in a decline.

Twelve years and a couple children later you are alone, or feeling alone in a relationship that is no longer special. Without God, one of you is likely to begin searching for some pleasure to attract you away from drudgery. Without God, this pattern will most likely happen again and again. God knows this and we are foolish for not looking at the world around us. This pattern of failure repeats itself so much that it can take months to get a family court date.

Back up and discuss with your love the possibilities of a permanent relationship without permanent love. Delve hard into this discussion now. Do not wait years down the road to have your discussion shared with attorneys, other lovers, and broken hearted children. God invented marriage and sex. God set the rules for wonderful life together. Let God into your lives now, so you can have the advantages that succeed far more than two human frailties. (Read I Corinthians, Chapters 5,6,7,13)


If you are married, put your trust in the Lord, now. Live a life of example for your spouse. Do not hit them over the head with hell and damnation every chance you get. Use the example of Jesus, not the Pharisees. Hit ‘em over the heart with multiples of love and tenderness. Jesus told us that divorce was a stinking excuse for quitting, hard hearted, foolish people. Getting religion is not a reason to leave your partner. Finding God is every reason to stay to work through life together. (Read I Corinthians, Chapters 5,6,7,13)

Go to church and invite the significant other. But go, even if they choose not to do so. Pray together. Hold hands and insist on prayer together for strength. Not a twenty minute lecture with eyes closed, but a true from the heart short discussion of thanks for each other, and for blessings, and for forgiving misunderstandings, and for health, and for family concerns. Save the frustration speech for closet prayer. Either spouse can lead by example.

Most churches have something going on besides Sunday morning worship. Invite the spouse to become involved in some other window of opportunity. Channel into music, church league ball games, youth activities, young or senior adult excursions, anything that is an attractive beginning. And then don’t expect sudden salvation. Love each other. Then just let God take it from there.


What if your partner is turning into a Jesus Freak?
Just when I thought I found somebody I like, they have to go and change.

Take advantage of everything they are learning. Part of marriage is learning new things. Part of marriage is growing through experiences. God is a God of love. Yes, bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to everyone. God is still a God of love. Sharing new ideas, sharing love; isn’t that why you are in this relationship? Can more love damage your relationship? The love of God that your mate has found should be viewed as more opportunity for them to learn to understand how to better love you. Christian love deepens over time.

Christian families are more secure in their relationships with each other as they learn more about truest love. Even if you miss late Sunday morning sex for church, you will find that as a Christian gets more into the rules of God’s plan for lifestyle, marriage to them can include more intimacy than with any other ideal partner, if you will open for them. Many Christians get religion and start hitting you over the head with it. Have patience. They are just excited.

Someone might have even “evangelized” them about unequal yokes, hell, and such. That just made them scared to lose you. If they really found Christ, they will soon learn to “sell you the bill of goods” by good example. Don’t make light of them, Ask them for more information. They will have to dig into their Bible. And if they really dig, they will teach you more about love than Playboy, or soap opera, ever understood. Your benefits and their new commitments will pleasantly surprise you.

But that music! There is every kind of worship for our Lord. Contemporary licks and lyrics are often easier on the ears than 16th century Hymnal favorites. Use today’s arts to worship today. Unless you are a fan of Shakespearian times, read a Bible with more modern translation. Don’t take the time to learn King James talk, Greek and Hebrew before you start. Get a Study Bible that explains the wording and makes cross references. You will really have a tool for a better life. This may be the first time you have ever shared a book on ideas with each other. The Bible is chocked full of right ideas for marriage. It can be exciting. Especially Song of Solomon!

What can be better than a life together based on intimacy, love passion and compassion? Learn who you can trust for guidance in this religion thing they are finding. Ask their Pastor about his or her certifications. Start asking some other ministers about this God thing. Let them know your circumstance and why you are learning now. Tell them you don’t trust them, if you feel that way. Make them earn their keep. Check up on them.

Know that it is not religion that saves people, but the belief in salvation through a Son that came to teach love. The spiritual relationship they now have is with a Lord that loves you too, before you even know about Him. Your God is kind, just, forgiving, and waiting for you now. “Just Do It” and enjoy the benefits forever.

Many marriages that are not based on God do make it. And I wish everyone health, wealth and happiness. But the odds of long-term success are less. It is just too easy to quit when the commitment is not based on ultimate love. Marriage combined with and based upon our God of love predicates ultimate happiness in your marriage. Give your marriage all you can for the healthiest, wealthiest, happiest life on earth, and after.


May God Bless Yours,

C Taylor, Jr.



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