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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Just Wanted to Share

I have a friend who is going through a really tough time.  This morning I Facebook'ed her a short word of encouragement and thought I would share it with you as well...

Dear Friend,

This verse is for you today. Read it. Pray it. And then ponder it all day believing that God's Word, THIS WORD, is true for you!

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 (Message Translation)


I pray that word is a blessing today to you too!!

Much love,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Final Answer

Today we wrap up this little series of blogs on marriage. For the past few posts we have been answering the question, What does your husband need from you?


So far we have looked at these answers…

Build him up and believe in him

Respect him

Be his wife and not his mom

Protect Him

Pray for him

Although we could really look at countless answers to this question, today we are going to look at one final answer…

Continue to Work on You

If your spouse is growing spiritually, maturing, and drawing closer to God then that is all the more reason for you to be.

If your spouse is not growing spiritually, maturing, and drawing closer to God then that is all the more reason for you to be.

News Flash... you will never be able to change your mate. And as a matter of fact, God never asked you nor expects you to.

I wrote this post last June and I think it fits quite well here.

If you are anything like me and many other humans on this planet, you are a list maker. I have a To Do list that is always being added to, and when I’m lucky, subtracted from. I make lists for everything like groceries, chores for my kids, and of course those honey-do-lists.

Lists. Lists. Lists. I love them.

So today that is just what we are going to do… make a list.

Every marriage has its troubles. Every one of us has things that we wish we could change about our spouse; things that we feel make it impossible to live with our husbands at times.

You know, like never picking up his clothes off the floor. Nasty habits like blowing his nose at the dinner table; never willing to have long intimate conversations. Or maybe he forgets your anniversary. Or he's tight with the money or he's not even concerned with the money and you’re doing it all.

So stop right now, pick up a pen and piece of paper and draw a line down the center of the page from top to bottom. I want you to write out on the left side of the line every one of those issues that make you have to love him with the love of Jesus cause your flesh just won't allow it.

Remember we are not doing this for a husband bashing session. Our end goal is to make your marriage a success and you will never conquer what you won’t confront. And you cannot confront what you do not identify.

Take your time. I’ll be right here waiting on you when you’re done.

Ok. I hope you did not jump ahead of me and write on the right side all the positive things about your husband like good provider, loving father and never late for dinner.

If you did you are going to have to erase it. What I now want you to do is beside every issue on the left, I want you to write out your response to it on the right.

Do you pout?

Maybe nag?

Get angry?

Go ahead and complete your assignment.

Now I want you to take a pair of scissors and cut the paper down the middle. Rip up and throw away the left side: your husband's side.

Now look at the right side. What do you see? A record of petty behaviors, shameful practices and destructive responses?

You can do nothing about the left side of the paper you threw away. You will never change your man. But you can do something about the right side of the page. You can change you.

Take your list and pray over each reaction and ask God to give you wisdom, strength and guidance as you work on you in this marriage. Remember, nothing will ever change around you (like your marriage) until something first changes in YOU.

No, this is not a cure-all for those nasty little habits of your husband. Most likely he is a good man, not a perfect man, but a good man. And ladies, let me just tell you, we are far from perfect ourselves. But those trivial little annoyances of his won’t seem as annoying when we respond to them with the right heart and attitude.

Again, you will never be empowered by God to change your mate, but if you will take your focus off his weak areas and focus on yours you will have a strong marriage no matter what issues you face.

And all the wives said, AMEN!!


Although this pretty much wraps up this series of answers, next time I will share with you two last things I have learned how to navigate in my marriage.  Two things that all of us at sometime or another will have to manage.
   
I want to leave you with one last thought today that really hit home for me the first time I wrote it...

If you want the man of your dreams, be the wife of his.

Until next time,



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Answer Number 5


What your husband needs from you...

Answer number 5

Pray for him

If you are not covering your man with prayer, then who is?

Do you struggle building him up and believing in him when you do not feel he does the same for you? Pray.

If you find it hard to respect him sometimes when he acts disrespectful to you.  Pray.

“Be his wife and not his mom!?!? He needs to grow up!!”  No, you need to pray.

Is protecting him the last thing you want to do because you feel no protection from him? Pray.

Our first reaction in these negative areas is to begin preaching at our husbands, you know, hell fire and brimstone kind of preaching. You are not God, and you will never change him with this tactic. You will succeed in causing him to resent you though.

James 5:16 says, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous wife avails much." (emphasis added)

Someone once said, No prayer, no impact. Little prayer, little impact. Much prayer, much impact.

But most of our prayer time is spent in reactive praying instead of proactive praying.

When things go wrong, then we pray for them to turn right.

When we get sick, then we pray to get well.

When our kids are acting crazy, then we pray for their sanity (and ours).

And when our marriage is falling apart, then we pray for it to be put back together.

So I want to give you a link to 31 days of proactive prayers for your husband. I want to encourage you to print them out and pray them along with the verses provided each day. (Click here to read and print the prayers.)

No, there’s not magic pill for your marriage. But praying does produce miracles!!

No one else on this earth will touch the heart of God for your man like you.

And your husband NEEDS you praying for him.

Let him know you do.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Answer Number 4


What does your husband need from you?

Answer number 4...

To Protect Him

And a big way to protect your husband is by doing the things stated in Answers 1-3, Build him and believe in him, Respect him, and Be his wife not his mom.

Because if you aren’t the enemy will send someone to him who will.

There’s something so amazing that God has given us women, it’s called an intuition. Let me give you a great illustration of this.

Brian invited his mother over for dinner. During the course of the meal, Brian's mother couldn't help but notice how beautiful her son’s roommate, Jennifer, was. She had long been suspicious of the relationship between Brian and Jennifer, and this had only made her more curious.

Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between the roommates than met the eye.

Reading his mom's thoughts, Brian volunteered, “I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you Jennifer and I are just roommates.”

About a week later, Jennifer came to Brian saying, “Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find my beautiful gravy ladle. You don't suppose she took it, do you?”

Brian said, “Well, I doubt it, but I'll send her an e-mail just to be sure.”

So he sat down and wrote:

Dear Mom,

I'm not saying that you 'did' take the gravy ladle from the house, I'm not saying that you 'did not' take the gravy ladle. But the fact remains that one has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.

Love, Brian

Several days later, Brian received an email back from his mother that read:

Dear Son,

I'm not saying that you 'do' sleep with Jennifer, I'm not saying that you 'do not' sleep with Jennifer. But the fact remains that if Jennifer is sleeping in her own bed, she would have found the gravy ladle by now.

Love, Mom


As a woman we just know things that are not known. And when you sense something in your husband’s life that just doesn’t seem quite right, address it with him, immediately.

Not in a motherly I’m-getting-on-to-you and your-crazy-for-not-seeing-this-too kind of way. But in a wifely I-feel-something’s-not-quite-right-about-this-situation and I-want-to-protect-us kind of way.

Maybe his job just seems to be pulling him away from the family, friends, church and God.

Or maybe he has a lifelong friend who he loves to hang out with but when he comes home he’s very negative and judgmental for a few days.

Maybe it’s a woman who seems to be hanging around more than normal and although your husband can’t see through it, you can.

When you see an area in his life where the enemy is trying to get in, you need to bring it to his attention… and don’t wait. If you do it could be too late.

For years I didn’t bring some things to my hubs attention because I didn’t want to look jealous, obsessive, or like I was making a bigger deal of something than it really was.

Today, I don’t care what I look like.

I care more about my marriage and my family then me looking crazy. So I am quick to say when I feel something’s not quite right here.

You may question, Well, what if I end up being wrong?  But I say, What if you end up being right?  You just saved yourself and your family a lot of heartache.

Please don’t take this and all of the sudden become the police in your marriage. That will drive him away from you fast.

Just be aware the enemy is out there and when he comes to attack he does not come waving a red flag yelling, OK. I’m here and I have come to wreak havoc in your home!

No he comes subtle and elusive. That is why the Word instructs is to, Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. (1 Peter 5:8 MSG)

There is nothing on this earth I treasure more than my family. And I will protect and guard it at all costs.

Secret number four, your husband needs to feel treasured and protected by you.

Let him know he is.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Answer Number 3

What does your husband need from you?

Answer number 3...

He needs you to be his wife, not his mom.

If you treat him like a child, he will act like a child.  If you treat him like a man, he will act like a man.

It is sad how many men today did not grow up with a father, a real man, that taught them how to be a man. Too many men were raised lovingly by their moms, good moms, caring moms, but women cannot teach a boy how to be a strong man, that has to come from another man.

Then when said man marries, it becomes easy for him to allow a wife to lead.  It’s all he knows.

If over the course of your marriage you had to be the man so to speak, be the leader in your family, it is now your responsibility to step down from that position and hand over the reins to your husband.  I know he may be growing into the leader, and he might not be quite there yet, but he will never make it there if you are always stepping in and not stepping down.

Yes, he may not be as good as you at some things, but how will he ever learn if you do it for him. It doesn’t mean you can’t help, remember, we are his help meet, but he is the head of your home.  And God is the one who set Him there.  So when you honor your husband in this way, you are ultimately honoring God.

If you want a man you respect, then you have got to continue to give him the space and time to grow into the priest and leader of the home. He can’t be the King of the castle if you aren’t willing to get off the throne.

And here's a little secret revealed about us women, whether or not you recognize it, over time you will lose respect for your husband if he is not the leader.

Let him know he is.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Answer Number 2

What does your husband need from you?

Answer number 2…

Respect

How do you show him respect?  By appreciating him. Being considerate of his needs, all his needs. Being courteous, honoring, and adoring toward him. And by making him feel special.

Another little secret... he needs to feel special too.  :)

Let him know he is.

Another great way to respect your husband is to never criticize him before friends, relatives, or anyone. Criticizing husbands is often a popular coffee-time subject for girlfriends, but you must resist any pressure to join in. It is much better for our husbands to hear our praise second-hand instead of repeated criticism.

Also, respect him enough to never criticize him in front of your children. When you do this, over time you will destroy your kids respect for him and for you. Abolish any comments such as: Never on time, just like your father, or Wasting money again; what did your dad buy now?

Remember that in many ways it is the wife who sets the emotional tone of the home. Children and husbands pick up a critical spirit quickly and use it in self defense on each other. This judgmental attitude firmly closes the door to mutual warmth and love. The healing ointment of praise mixed with appreciation heals and encourages healthy, emotionally stable feelings.

Another way to show respect that I learned over the years is by asking my husband things instead of telling him things. When I was a stay-at-home mom, many times my husband would come home from a long hard day at the office and I would tell him, We’re going over to my parents for dinner.

I never once stopped to consider the fact that he had been away from home all day (I on the other hand have been cooped up all day with two kids) and maybe, just maybe, he has been dreaming all day of just coming home and relaxing, not loading up and heading out the door again… with two kids in tow.

Of course my mom is a great cook so he was always happy to go. But it showed him honor and respect when I started asking him if he wanted to go instead of telling him.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to him and you'll be well on your way to a happy, well balanced home... and marriage.



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Answer Number 1

If you missed the intro to this series click here.

Today we are looking at our first answer to the question, What does my husband need from me?

Build him up and Believe in him

Your husband needs your loving affirmation. So, let’s look at a couple ways to do this.

#1 Praise your husband for who he is and what he does well. Minimize the rest. For example, learned to focus on the finished quality of your husband’s home repair projects, not the months he took to complete them. (grin)

#2 Show appreciation for the great moments you have when he’s at home with the family instead of complaining about the countless hours his job may require him to be away. Remember, he’s working hard not just because he may love his job, but as the man of the house he knows it’s his responsibility to provide for his family. And his job is the way he does this. Thank him for that.

#3 Understand the daily pressures faced by your husband that leaves him physically and mentally drained when he comes home. Learn not to join forces with today’s competitive world that tries to tear at his weak points. Husbands need to find their praise and admiration waiting for them at home, regardless of the shape in which our busy overworked society leaves them each day.

#4 The devil and the world are right there telling him everything he cannot do and why he cannot do it, he needs you to be the one telling him why he can.

And let me leave you today with a little secret, he cares more about impressing you than anyone else.

Let him know he does.

Hope to see you back here Monday for answer #2.

Hope you're having a blessed weekend!!  

 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Introduction

If you missed the last post that sets up this one, click here.

So this was the introduction for the ladies.  Hope you enjoy this series of posts. :)

Usually at some stage in life we will come to the point of asking ourselves, Why am I here?  and What really is my purpose in life?

As women, to answer these questions we have to go back to Genesis.  We know about the story of creation.  God spent 6 days creating; day, night, land, seas, plants, animals and finally man.  And God said, It's all good.

When the realization came that all the animals had a companion to share and do life with, and Adam, the supreme of all earthly beings did not, God said...

It is not good that man should be alone; I will make for him a help meet fit for him.  Genesis 2:18

God recognized a dilemma, created an answer, and that answer is you and me.  We were created to love, support, and to help those in our lives meet the goals God has given them.  And if you are married this means your husband first and foremost.

OK.  For all you ladies out there wanting to scream at me, But what about my goals in life?  What about all I want to do and accomplish?

Here's your answer,  But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition. Matthew 6:33

How do you care for His kingdom?  By living the way He subscribes.  And in this case it means having divine order in your home and being a help meet for your spouse first.  And like I told the ladies Sunday night, What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you.  In other words, all these other things will be given to you in addition.

Now that we know our purpose and why we're here (to be a source of stability, comfort and help allowing our husbands to accomplish all God has set before him) then here is our next question we need to understand the answer to...

What is it that my husband needs from me?

I have six answers to this one question.  Join me tomorrow as I share the first one with you.

And if you did not get a chance to register to win a free copy of the very book that has helped me more in my marriage than any I've ever read, click here.  I even added a picture of me at my wedding shower for you.

Try not to laugh too hard at the hair. :)



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Woman After God's Own Heart

For those joining us from Friday's post, at the end of this post you will have the opportunity to register for the give-a-way. 

I had the pleasure of meeting with an awesome group of women last Sunday night. These women are married to some of CCA’s finest going through this year’s Men of Honor class.

The wives and I will meet 3 times over the course of the 8 month program their hubs are participating in. These men are being stretched, guided, encouraged and challenged by my hubs monthly. It is a very intense process these men go and grow through.

We all know that in any marriage it takes two to make it a success. Two to commit to each other, two to love each other, two to overcome each other’s faults, two to forgive, and two to grow into men and women of honor and integrity.

This is why I am meeting with the women. Even though the men are the ones who signed up for the course, if the women aren’t seeking God, gleaning from the Word, and being compelled toward growth then it will be a one sided success.

I am excited because over the course of the next few days I want to take my notes from our first meeting and share them with you too!

In the next post I'll share the introduction but today I want to share with you a GREAT book I read years ago that helped cultivate my heart to become the wife/mom/woman of God I am today. I still have a lot to work on but I can honestly say this book has guided my steps through some very slippery slopes these past years.


All the ladies there Sunday night received one and I would love to give one to another lucky lady.

It makes such a great gift for any Bride-to-Be too!!

And with it being the season for weddings, if you leave a comment and share with us a great gift you received or gave as a wedding gift I'll add you into the drawing for a chance to win this awesome book!

Much love :)




p.s.  Here is a picture of me at my wedding shower with one of my fav handmade gifts from my grandmother.  You can read about something else very special she gave me here.