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Monday, March 16, 2009

Fanning the Flame

This weekend we had the pleasure of teaching the Ignite marriage conference at the Embassy Christian Center in Tennessee. The whole weekend was great, well, other than a few, not so fun flights.

Returning home late Saturday night we boarded our connecting flight from Charlotte to Gainesville and the pilot comes on and tells us he is waiting on a part for our plane. A Part!?

I wanted to ask, “How vital is this ‘part’ we are waiting on?” But I am sure I was better off not knowing. But I am here typing, so as you can see, I mean read, we are alive and well. Amen! Thank you Jesus!

Back to the conference, I tend to get a little sidetracked sometimes, sorry. Surviving a flight where the plane is being repaired, with me on it, gets me a little excited. BACK TO THE CONFERENCE… AGAIN.

As the last session ended, Pastor Tod closed out the meeting asking for those who would like, to stand up and brag on their mates. I expected only a couple people to participate. Standing in front of a group and speaking can be very unnerving, much less sharing your heart regarding how you feel about your spouse.

It was amazing, almost everyone stood up and said something. Tod asked the ladies to go first and as wife after wife stood to share why they love their husbands so much, not one of their husbands had a dry eye. They were so moved to hear the words of appreciation and pride their wives had for them that they could not hold back the flood of emotion even if they tried.

Ladies, our words carry so much power. They are like the wind to our husbands fire; with them we can fan his flame or blow it out.

The words of love and thankfulness pierced these men in the heart in a way no cupid’s arrow ever could.

You may say, “Tina, you do not know my husband. He’s done nothing deserving of my praise, acceptance, love or appreciation.”

Hmmmm, I seem to remember a little scripture that says, I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. John 13:34

How did God love us? But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:1-11

When I was a self centered no good sinner, God showed how much he still loved me by sacrificing His one and only son so that I would have just a chance at eternal life. That’s how we are to love one another; sacrificially, whole heartedly, expecting nothing in return.

Let me say this in North Florida terms, that ain't easy. To love like that is a choice. To love like that is Christ. Oh, more than I want to be right and be justified in my actions, I WANT TO BE LIKE CHRIST.

I am thankful for a great husband, but neither of us were who we are today 18 years ago. Things changed when we both started saying thank you, please, you’re welcome, and I appreciate you. Just common courtesy toward each other goes a long way.

No matter your thoughts and feelings toward your spouse, they need your unconditional love and your acceptance, even when they do not deserve it. Remember, Jesus demonstrated His love and acceptance for us 2000 years before we ever loved and accepted Him.

I’m sure a couple of those guys this weekend were not all that their wives made it sound like they were. But after they showed them unconditional love, I just bet, today they are being the best husbands they can be.

Fan your man’s flame and you will forever have a fire to keep your love warm.

Hope you have a great Monday!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more...have to admit I have not always been an encourager...thanks for reminding me...my goal is to do much better in the future...thanks for all the little "gems" you give us week after week....

Barbara said...

This is so true...we can't say enough good things....and through this we can truly "reap what we sow"...I have 28 years that prove it works. Great message...

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this message. Sometimes in the day to day we stop looking AT our mate, and start looking THROUGH them. It's amazing how much a little word of gratitude, appreciation, or praise can strengthen a relationship.