Respect Your Husband’s #1 Need

Image-1For years now my husband and I have been working with couples to help them find the amazing marriage that God has designed for them to live.  Many of the lessons I have learned came from a 20-year failed marriage.  After spending 20 years learning what not to do, I have spent the next decade learning what to do from the best teacher of all, the Bible.  Yes, I have done research in other books and from other great teachers but the ultimate lessons about marriage still come from the God that created marriage in the first place.

Wives, your husband’s number one need is for respect.  Believe me when I tell you I was the queen of disrespect for 20 years and didn’t even know it.  I have many times had to apologize to my ex-husband for being so disrespectful.  I have spent countless hours learning how to be respectful.  Yes, I’m still in the respect school, but God has used my amazing husband and partner in everything, Steven to help me learn.  He has also given me a great group of male pastors to work everyday with who are great at helping me identify disrespect in my life (they do it because I ask them to).  The reason I need this help is because disrespect can  be so sneaky and subtle.  I often times find myself being disrespectful without even realizing it.  You see girls, disrespect to a guy is much different than to us.  I’m getting so much better, but I’m confident it will be something I have to continue to work on for the rest of my life.

In my Bible study today I read Ephesians 4:29

29 Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good andbeneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. (AMP)

One thing I have learned is that most disrespect comes straight out of your mouth.  If we can get better at living out Ephesians 4:29, we can decrease our disrespectfulness by so much.  In James 3:2 tells us that if we don’t offend with our tongues we are a perfect manor in this case a perfect woman.  We can learn to be respectful in our speech.  We can meet the number one need of our spouses.  Watch what comes out of your mouth.  Live out Ephesians 4:29.  As you do you will begin to see your marriage become a living example of God’s design.

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To Speak or Not to Speak?

For many years I have been a strong proponent of the scripture Proverbs 18:21 It says:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

This concept is a central theme throughout the Bible.  It starts in Genesis 1 where God speaks and creates the world.  No where in the Bible does it say anything about thinking and creating.  As Christians we have been given the same amazing power just by speaking out the Word of God.

I have been noticing lately that the Christian world has become more and more silent.  Why has this happened?  We have replaced prayer in school with moments of silence.  We have accepted the idea that we can pray silently and be as effective as when we pray out loud.  While I do believe that God knows our thoughts and when we pray in our heads.   He knows our prayers and that is fine, it just has one great drawback, and that is that we give up the creative power of speaking.  Nothing can replace the power of the spoken Word.  It not only affects things in the spiritual realm but it truly affects things in our own lives.  We believe what we say more than anyone else.  When we hear ourselves speaking the Word out loud it moves from our mouth/head to our heart.  It becomes who we are and then begins to really impact what we do.

I am reminded of the Centurion who came to Jesus to ask for healing for his paralyzed servant.  He understood the power of the spoken word and ask Jesus to “just say the word” knowing that there was incredible power in speaking.

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “]Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus *said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.      Matthew 8:5-10

Speaking the word is an amazing creative power.  Truth is we see it happening in our lives everyday.  We become what we say we are.  Even psychologists agree with this fact.  So my question to you today is, what are you saying?  You are what you have said you are in the past.  Here’s the great part.  If you don’t like who you are and where you are in life you can change that just by being intentional about what you are saying.  I encourage today, get in agreement with what the Word of God says you are.  Begin to use the creative power that God has placed in you by speaking the word.  I promise that as you begin to speak the Word OUT LOUD, your life will change.  I guess it goes without saying but I feel obligated to add this final thought.  You didn’t become who you were overnight.  You became you because of what you have spoken for years.  You probably won’t change over night.  I do promise though, that if you keep speaking the Word of God over your life you WILL see change over time.  Take back the creative power you have been given and begin to become the person God says you are.

Marriage Done Well!

Yesterday was quite a great day for me in the blogosphere.  Since it was my day off, I spent a great deal of the day reading other blogs and working on my Facebook Blog Page.  I am super excited at the activity my blog and FB page is generating.  More than that, I am really enjoying the new information I a gaining from reading other people’s blogs.  One of the treasures I discovered was from a blog called Double Hockey Sticks.  The writer discussed the idea of married couples having a team name.  I love the concept of having a team name which inspires you to remember that you and your spouse are a team.  Steven and I are in the process of identifying our team name.  This process is much harder than I anticipated but I am anxiously awaiting the official naming of our team.  So I encourage you, read their blog and work with your spouse to find your own team name.  Then remember your team of three (you, your spouse and God – Ecclesiastes 4:12 ) are a team that when working together is unbeatable.

Oh! That Again???

I just wanted to take a few minutes and share with you the conversation I had with my super, amazing husband, Steven this morning.  I am in the process of reading through the Bible in year.  Each day I read a portion from the old testament, new testament, Psalm, and Proverbs.  Also, Steven and I are studying the book of Acts in the Bible Study we do each morning together.  I came to the realization this morning that there is a recurring theme throughout the entire Bible.  I am amazed at how many times, as Christians, we are warned, encouraged, and admonished by God to stay faithful, follow God’s commands, and to not let anything in our lives take the place of God. In spite of all these warnings and encouragement, generation after generation we continue to do the things God has told us not to do.

A few years ago I was visiting a church in Hinton with my parents on Easter.  The sermon that day was from Matthew 7:13-14

 13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

After the sermon, I was very surprised that the pastor had chosen such a “discouraging” sermon topic for the day of the largest crowds in the Christian community.  After all, wouldn’t it have been better to tell the members/visitors of the church that day all about how good God is and how coming to Christ is such a blessing, both of which are true.  I must confess that in the years that followed, Steven and I have often joked about the poor choice of sermon topics.  Well, today I really began to be convicted about all the times we has joked about the sermon choice, and how arrogant we had been in second guessing the pastors ability to prepare an appropriate sermon.  In light of the recurring theme throughout the Bible, I feel like I must repent.  You see too often I think we have watered down the Bible to make people feel better about their low commitment level to the a very committed God.  God thinks that our very committed life is so important that He continue time and time again to remind us to maintain a high level of commitment.  So why then do we walk away from that commitment so easily?  A review of my life bears witness to the fact that during the times I have been diligent to maintain my strong commitment to God’s commands and way of living my life (choosing the narrow path) has indeed been much better than the times that I have chosen to go it on my own (choosing the wide path).  So my question to you today is, which path are you choosing and what are the results of that choice?  If you have been choosing the wide path let me join the many people God spoke through.  Choose to follow God’s commands and don’t allow anything to come between you and a loving, committed, faithful God.  Your life will be much better on the narrow path.  Be one of the “few”.

Lord Versus Lordship

While having coffee with my super amazing husband this morning we were talking about people we know who do and do not know Jesus as their Lord.  He made this comment about our daughter, Mariah’s friend “She knows who her Lord is, she just doesn’t know how to live under his Lordship.”   This was in my opinion, a brilliant thought.  Might I just add here, that he has tons of brilliant ideas and I get to be there recipient of many of them.  It’s the beauty of being married to a really smart guy.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  There are many people who understand the concept that they are a sinner in need of a savior.  They even understand that Jesus is that savior.  What they are lacking is the understanding that when you make Jesus the Lord of your life you should also give Him lordship of your life.  This is really two different things.  Lordship is a position of authority.  When we submit ourselves to God’s Lordship (authority) we begin to live our lives in the way that He has set forth for us.  We use His word to be the guidelines/parameters for our lives.  We submit our will to His will for our life.  We seek His plan and purpose for our life over our own plan and purpose for our life.  Unlike many of the modern-day rulers, God is a loving, caring and gracious Lord.  He wants what is best for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm, you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  God is a good God and great Lord.  So often people don’t know enough what the Bible says about the life that Jesus died for us to have.  Lack of this knowledge keeps them from walking in everything that is provided to us as believers in Christ.  In the last part of 1 John 1:9 it says “I have come that you might have and enjoy your life to full until it overflows.” (Amplified Version)  So I ask you, have you made Him lord of your life?  If the answer is yes then it beckons the next question, are you living under his Lordship? Are you walking in all the Jesus died for you to have?  If you haven’t made him Lord of you life then start there.  The Bible says “all who call upon the Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13.  Call on the name of Jesus and make him the Lord of your life.  Then begin to learn how to live under the Lordship of a loving savior.  I promise you won’t ever be sorry you did.  Lord or Lordship, which is it for you?  If you have further questions about accepting Christ as  your Savior, leave a comment or go to your local church.  It can change your life forever.

Godly Guys

I count myself really blessed.  My husband, Steven (here’s a pictures of the most wonderful husband in the world)  and I lead a Couple’s Small Group at Victory Church.  Our Small Group has grown over the past 2 years and become what we lovingly call “The Biggest Small Group Ever.”  If everyone in our group was there at the same time we could have nearly 70 people in our group.  This is more than just a small group.  This group of people have become a family.  They have really become our family of choice.  They are aunts and uncles for Mariah and brothers and sisters for Steven and I.  Steven is leading the men of our group in what I am now calling the Monday Night Men.  They were at our house tonight and it just reminded me how lucky the girls of my small group have it.  There is truly nothing like having Godly men for husbands and fathers.  They truly love God and have a deep desire to grow in their relationship with Him.  They have a desire to help the newer Christian men in our group grow in their relationship with God and grow in the roles as husbands and fathers.  I find it amazing how blessed we all are.  If you are a gal looking for a husband I want to encourage to not settle for anything less than a husband who loves God more than he loves you.  I promise those guys are out there and they are totally worth waiting for.  I know this concept is something that we are diligent about teaching our daughter, Mariah.  I am happy to say that Mariah has a great example of a Godly man as a Step-Dad.  Steven has always lived a Godly life before her and I am confident that she will never settle for less than all God has for her.  So again girls, I encourage never ever ever settle for less than God’s best for you.