55 episodes

Marriage is a lifelong adventure of growing together through every age and stage of life. The happiest couples are those who commit to learning skills that help them weather difficult seasons and deal confidently with relationship challenges.

If you are ready to invest in your marriage and intentionally move towards oneness, we invite you to take part in this weekly devotional.

With this podcast, we help you understand God’s blueprint for marriage so you can create a legacy of greatness.

God's Blueprint for Marriage Family Life South Africa

    • Kids & Family

Marriage is a lifelong adventure of growing together through every age and stage of life. The happiest couples are those who commit to learning skills that help them weather difficult seasons and deal confidently with relationship challenges.

If you are ready to invest in your marriage and intentionally move towards oneness, we invite you to take part in this weekly devotional.

With this podcast, we help you understand God’s blueprint for marriage so you can create a legacy of greatness.

    Life after Divorce - Part 4

    Life after Divorce - Part 4

    FINDING CONTENTMENT
    Good day again, My name is Gerda Snyman and I am talking about life after divorce.

    The previous time I talked about forgiveness and today I want to talk about finding contentment – how to live a full and fulfilling life again.

    As I continued my single life, I made peace with the fact that I don’t have what couples have – intimacy with a spouse, children and grandchildren. I had to accept the voids of what I see others are enjoying. It was painful in the beginning and sometime still is when I see my friends bragging about their grandchildren. But I have more time to reach out to others and be there for those who are lonely and struggling. I have more time for Bible study and being with God. I have a peaceful life and found my fulfilment and contentment in those things – being useful in God’s Kingdom.

    I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. - PHIL 4:11
    A book I once studied was The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs.

    Burroughs quoted Paul from Phil 4:11 “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”.

    Burroughs wrote, “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit…..in every condition.” And Paul said it was something he had to learn.

    Most lessons of contentment I have learnt are from these two men. I had to learn to have that quiet frame of spirit and silence the murmuring spirit within me. That came after time when submitting and spending time in God’s Word and in prayer – daily. Then I was able to be of service to others, get involved again with ministry and with action groups at my church. It is striking that John the Baptist, Jesus himself and the apostle Paul were unmarried and they viewed singleness as a legitimate and positive vocation. Paul even said that it is a gift from God.

    The most important thing is to have God as the centre of my universe – not myself or anybody else.

    If you would like to talk to someone, please contact Family Life South Africa.

    • 2 min
    Life after Divorce - Part 3

    Life after Divorce - Part 3

    FORGIVING MYSELF AND OTHERS
    Good day, My name is Gerda Snyman and I am talking about life after divorce. Last time I talked about putting my focus on God and trusting Him to work everything out for the good.

    Today I will talk about forgiveness. One of the most difficult things to do, especially if you are trying to do that on your own. It was only when I put my focus on God, that I could start the process of forgiving. I had to forgive myself for breaking God’s law and making so many mistakes. I didn’t like the person that I became. Then I had to forgive my husband for his part and also some friends that didn’t support me through this difficult time. I wrote them all letters where I could pour out my heart and emotions – I didn’t send them of course, but I could exactly say what I felt. I talked to God about what I wrote – He already knew.

    It was only when I put my focus on God, that I could start the process of forgiving. I had to forgive myself for breaking God’s law and making so many mistakes. I didn’t like the person that I became.
    I was reminded of the parable in Matthew 18 where the forgiven servant threw his debtor in prison. It helped me to see things in perspective and to forgive as I am forgiven. Most of the time I struggled to pray, so I just read the letters to God and told Him, that is how I feel. Other times I read through the Psalms and prayed them back to God asking Him to help me overcome my sadness, emptiness, loneliness and to honestly forgive. He was faithful and helped me. I could forgive and the healing could start.

    I realised that forgiveness is not a once off event but a process of willingness to let go and be free. To not hold on to grievances or fall into self-pity. Forgiveness is not instantaneous but takes courage and perseverance in faith and trust that God will lead us through. Now after more than ten years, I sometimes get angry and have to forgive again. By God’s grace and help I am able to forgive and live a full life again.

    Next time I will talk about how to live a full life again as a single person.

    • 2 min
    Life after Divorce - Part 2

    Life after Divorce - Part 2

    FOCUSING ON GOD’S PROMISES
    Hello Again! My name is Gerda Snyman and I am talking about life after divorce. Today I will talk about how I dealt with the pain and rejection by focusing on God and his promises.

    I was listening to a sermon about the life of Leah and Jacob. Leah felt rejected and was having children in an effort that her husband would see her and love her. It is described in Genesis 29:31-35. When giving birth, she said, “Surely my husband will love me now.” Then “Now my husband will become attached to me”. But after giving birth to Judah, she said “This time I will praise the Lord. Then she stopped having children.” Only when she focused her eyes on the Lord, did she have peace. She didn’t know that Jesus, our Saviour, was to be born from the tribe of Judah. God will work out everything for the good of those who love Him, according to Romans 8:28.

    ROMANS 8:28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
    His promise is still true today and that was what I focused on. I had to trust Him to lead me through the rejection, pain and hurt that I thought would never end. I had to find peace in Him and in his Word. I had to trust God that He will work this out for my good. I couldn’t see it at the time either. I couldn’t see a future for myself in ministry or how I should proceed with my life. The rejection, shame and stigma of being divorced was overbearing and the gossiping I heard did not help at all. But God showed me that I was loved by Him. He took my pain and shame upon Himself on the cross. It took some time, but I rested in that.

    Only after some years, could I see how He worked it out for the good. I came closer to Him over time and trusted Him more to fend for me like a husband would. I know He is all and in all.

    Next time I will talk about the process of forgiveness and healing.

    • 2 min
    Life after Divorce - Part 1

    Life after Divorce - Part 1

    A LIFESTYLE OF UNFULFILLING LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
    Good Day, My name is Gerda Snyman. Some time ago I shared my story with you on how I received Christ as my Saviour.

    I talked about how I took control of my life and for many years was caught up in a lifestyle of unfulfilling love relationships. I was trying to find my worth in being with the “in” crowd and in being engaged or married…belonging to someone. Until I met Jesus Christ.

    Today I will talk about the lessons I learnt as the first in a four part series of how I survived a divorce and grew closer to God.

    Become friends, pay attention to the warning signs and red flags like being argumentative, controlling, selfish, pressing for sex etc.
    After about 10 years of being single and celibate, living a very contented life, I met someone at church. He joined our small group and we started dating. He seemed to be a mature Christian and a true follower of Christ. Someone even said “he really seems to be sorted out”. But we didn’t get to know each other and we got married about four months after we met.

    In hind sight, we were too hasty to get married. We were both in our forty’s and didn’t want to wait too long. But I really didn’t know the person I married. I wasn’t being realistic about the relationship. We were spiritualising everything – how we met, how God brought us together, how our lives connected, that we are meant for each other etc.

    The lessons I have learnt for marriage, is to get to know each other really well. Become friends, pay attention to the warning signs and red flags like being argumentative, controlling, selfish, pressing for sex etc. Introduce the person to your friends and family and listen to their comments. Be careful to spiritualise things and to justify feelings and events from the Bible. Use your common sense. Although as Christians we need to trust God for a partner, we should be sober and clear headed in our choices. Being in love blinds us and it is difficult to see the facts.

    Next time I will talk about how God lead me through the pain of divorce and starting the forgiveness process.

    • 2 min
    Stepfamily Living – Part 6

    Stepfamily Living – Part 6

    FINAL THROUGHTS
    This is our sixth and final podcast on stepfamilies.  We have barely touched the surface, but hopefully we have raised awareness of the need to prepare.  I will bullet point a few final thoughts  and maybe we will revisit some of these points in future podcasts.


    Maintaining marital unity is primary.
    Lower expectations so they are realistic.
    Stepsiblings are not biologically related. It is important to maintain standards of modesty in the home so there are no temptations.  Be aware of possible attraction with stepchildren and expect them to behave appropriately.
    As much as possible, make changes slowly. Try to allow everyone to adjust to a few changes before introducing new ones.
    Sometimes not only birth order changes but also roles of children change. It impacts children even if they are not aware of it.  Children miss the role they played with their biological parent before the remarriage.
    As much as possible maintain a cordial relationship with an ex so children don’t have to take sides.
    Don’t badmouth your ex or their new partner and allow your children to like the stepparent married to your ex so they don’t struggle with loyalties.
    Always extend grace, even when life isn’t fair. Focus on what’s best for the children rather than on trying to achieve fairness for yourself.
    Seek to grow in your stepfamily. Read books, attend courses and look for a mentor stepfamily couple to encourage and guide you in your family.

    For more resources check out familylifeblended.com

    • 2 min
    Stepfamily Living - Part 5

    Stepfamily Living - Part 5

    WHAT ABOUT DISCIPLINE?
    In the early days we recommend that the biological parent is the primary one to correct and discipline children.  The stepparent hasn’t really earned the right to that position yet.  It’s important for the parents to privately discuss discipline in the home, just like nuclear parents must.  They need to agree on what is appropriate behaviour and age-appropriate discipline.  Parents must present a united front, so children are not able to manipulate and divide the parents.  Once you agree as a couple, the primary discipline is administered by the biological parent.  This authority may change slowly over time but should never be assumed by a stepparent.

    The goal is not a power struggle between stepparent and stepchild, but rather focusing on building a relationship of trust. Don’t be impatient because building trust can take years.
    The exception is if the bio parent is not present.  Then, just as a teacher in school has authority for children in their class, the stepparent can step in and correct the stepchild.  The stepparent’s authority in this situation should be communicated by the biological parent in advance and reinforced when necessary.  This is not an opportunity for the stepparent to be harsh and finally have control.  A stepparent’s discipline should rather err on the side of restraint, exercising just enough authority to maintain respect or safety of other children.  Disrespect should never be accepted.

    Children are more likely to respond to a stepparent’s authority if they feel they can trust the stepparent has their best interest at heart.  An important way to build this trust is to show interest in something the child is interested in and actively listen when the child is speaking.

    The goal is not a power struggle between stepparent and stepchild, but rather focusing on building a relationship of trust.  Don’t be impatient because building trust can take years.

    • 2 min