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Be Still

As a woman, my mind is always thinking and there are ideas whirling and multiple things I’m remembering to do and concentrate on.  But I used to try to carry the burden of figuring out a lot more things than I really need to.  I was constantly expending so much mental and emotional energy that I was VERY stressed.  I guess that could be called “worrying” – if you wanted to get all technical about it!  Of course, it could also be called, “controlling.” 🙂  I couldn’t really see that at the time because I didn’t know any other way to be.  If I knew another way to be – I would have definitely chosen the other way!

PEACEFUL HEART

Now I know that I can rest peacefully in God’s sovereignty and love – and I also rest peacefully in my husband’s love. Those of you who are having very difficult marriage situations may not be able to start out resting in your husband’s love – that will come in time as you build trust.  But you can rest in God’s sovereignty and love even now!

Now – I know my husband will handle a lot of the big decisions and plans for our family.  He carries the responsibility with such grace and poise.  It doesn’t seem to overburden him at all.  I just simply tell my husband what I want and what I need in a pleasant, respectful, brief way – and I leave the results up to him and God.  I DO tell him my perspective and desires.  I don’t expect him to guess or read my mind and I don’t become a voiceless wallflower who gives away my influential power.  I use my God-given power of godly influence to bless my husband and share my feminine perspective so that my husband has all of the information he needs to make the best possible decisions.

 

I used to spend tons of time trying to figure out exactly how to make things happen the way I thought they should.  Now, I rest in my husband’s love for me and in God’s love for me.  My husband is a super responsible, trustworthy, capable, competent, intelligent man.  I know he will make wise decisions and that I don’t have to go behind him trying to be sure he is handling things.  I just trust that he will- and he does!  I don’t filibuster for my case.  I don’t get all in a tizzy about that things must be a certain way.  I know now how to trust God and trust my husband to lead me in a way that is even better than I could have planned for myself.  And I don’t  worry and fret.  I just smile, enjoy my life, enjoy my children, am thankful, care for my family and my home, and make sure I am taking care of my own physical/emotional/spiritual needs to the best of my ability so that I can have the most to offer to my husband and family.

I spend plenty of time with God and His Word for perspective and balance and He helps me keep my priorities right.  I want to be as close to Him as possible!  But now I can really and truly be still before Him. I can trust Him to take me wherever He thinks best – even if it is a route that isn’t something I would have chosen –  and I am excited with anticipation to see all the surprises He has in store.  I don’t fight against Him.  I have learned to trust and WAIT.  If I have to stay right here and not move an inch for decades- that’s ok.  Wherever God wants me is where I want to be.  He is plenty capable of opening and shutting doors and causing things to happen just as He desires them to.  I am not trying to run ahead like I used to.  And I know that God will lead me through my husband – even though my husband isn’t perfect.  I also know that even if and when my husband makes mistakes, God will use those things to take us to the place where He wants us to go, and I don’t have to worry.

It is such a relief and blessing to be able to just smile, praise God, praise my husband, enjoy my life and trust that God and Greg are taking me exactly where i need to go at the right time in the right way and I am just focusing on today and loving my family and being the best wife I can be right now.  I love the gift of having my husband lead me and our family and my having the space to be able to breathe and relax, knowing all that weight is on him not on me.  His shoulders are a lot more able to bear the weight of the responsibility of our family.  God gives my husband wisdom, perspective and insights that He doesn’t give to me.  And I love it that way!  Now, I have peace and joy.  Now, I don’t panic.  I just trust, wait and savor.  It’s such a wonderful way to live!

A Different Kind of Valentine's Card

Valentine’s paraphernalia is everywhere at Wal-Mart and all the grocery and drug stores- it’s hard to miss!  And there are lots of great lovey-dovey cards that appeal to women.  But what about the guys?  A love note doesn’t usually speak to a man’s soul the way that it would to a woman’s, but the greeting card industry pumps out thousands of cards about love written for men to receive.

I have a radical suggestion!  Maybe I need to ask Hallmark to hire me to start a new line of cards, but I believe that men would much rather receive respect notes than love notes.  I know this concept seems strange to women, but I think men would actually keep a card from his wife/girlfriend that talked about all the things she admires and respects about him.

I’d like to encourage the women out there- you may have to make a handmade card since the whole respect theme isn’t very mainstream- but how about making a respect card for your husband.  It doesn’t have to be long, but just tell your man some of the wonderful things about him that you really look up to him about and some of the things you admire about him.

Some wives have a really tough time with this, so here are some suggestions- talk about his:

– physical manly build – his muscles, his strong jaw line, his strength, his height, his ability to lift heavy things and handle difficult jobs around the house.

– career – his strong work ethic, the fact that he goes to work daily to provide for his family (regardless of whether the wife works, too) without complaining, that he is great at what he does and contributes to the betterment of the world through his talents.

– leadership and character – the way he sees the big picture and makes wise, responsible choices, his generosity, his kindness, his loving nature, his thoughtfulness, the way he sacrifices his own desires in order to please his wife and take care of his family, the way he stays calm under pressure, the way he protects his family from spiritual/financial/physical harm, the way he teaches his children about life and God, his priorities, how responsible he is, how much he researches things before making a decision, his wisdom and insight.

– talents – his abilities with fixing cars or doing renovations around the house, his athletic ability, his creativity, how great he is at hunting/fishing/hobbies.

– his abilities as a dad and husband

Mention a few of these things and see if your husband doesn’t keep that card for a long time.  Your respect means the world to him!  Your respect and admiration inspire him to become his very best self.  Your trust and faith in him motivates him to move mountains and do the impossible.

Lord,

Help us as wives to become students of our husbands and of how to show respect to them in a way that really honors the needs of their souls as men.  Help us to see better from their perspective.  Help us to inspire our men with our godly femininity and our admiration, praise, encouragement and respect.  Let us be the best wives we can be, and the wives our husbands desperately need us to be!

Amen.

Being a Cheerful Receiver

Think about the people you know who are fun to give to.  I have to give kudos to my 5 year old daughter’s teacher at school- she is one of the best gift-receivers I have ever seen!  When someone gets excited about a gift she receives, it is FUN to give to that person.  This teacher demonstrated such gracious receiving at Christmas time when she was opening the little gifts the 4  and 5 year olds had given her.  She would ooh and ahh and squeal with excitement before she even opened the gifts.  Then she would gush about each gift and how she would enjoy it and when and where she would use it.  She modelled all the jewelry the children gave her.  She acted SO appreciative of each small gift and like it was the greatest thing in the world that each child gave her something so special.  I have to give her a big A+ in receiving abilities!

What do our husbands see in us when they give their time or effort to delighting us?

A husband’s biggest thrill is when he can delight his wife and really make her face light up.  When he does projects around the house, or takes out the trash, or makes dinner, or helps with the children, or handles the finances, or goes to work, or buys you something – these are all gifts he is presenting to you with the hope that his efforts will bring a gorgeous smile to your face that goes all the way up into your bright, beautiful eyes!  It is FUN to give to someone who receives with joy.  In fact, when a man sees that he can delight and please a woman, it often becomes his mission to do even more things for her because he loves feeling like a success and loves feeling like he knows how to make her happy.

Instead of saying things like, “You loaded the dishwasher wrong again!” or “The clothes will wrinkle if you let them sit in the dryer that long and I will have to do it all over again!”  or “Why couldn’t you wash the dishes instead of just rinsing them and leaving them in the sink for me?”  or “I don’t like that color on me, I’m going to take that dress back.” or “That’s not the brand of orange juice the kid’s like” –  we can express delight, joy, appreciation and gratitude. If gifts of time and effort and money are unappreciated by a wife, a husband may eventually lose the motivation to even try to do anything special for her because “What’s the point?  She won’t like what I do anyway?  Nothing I do is good enough for her.”

A cheerful and simple, “Thank you!”  with a huge smile is the least a husband deserves after doing anything for his wife or the family!  When my man makes any effort to lighten my load or help me with chores or give me a gift (even if it is not wrapped in a bow)- I want to be sure he is glad he spent the time doing something sweet for me.  I thank him right then and hug him and smile brightly at him.  I am sure to tell the children how thoughtful and generous and kind their Daddy is.  I might even brag on him on Facebook or to his parents or my parents or our friends.

A wise woman appreciates whatever her husband offers her and receives it cheerfully and joyfully.

Are you noticing the little gifts and effort that your husband is offering to you on a daily basis?

  • Does he take care of your car or get you a cup of coffee in the morning?
  • Does he live where he knows you prefer to live even if he has to spend more money to live there or drive farther to work himself?
  • Does he let you have the better car and he drives the old clunker?
  • Does he go to the church you like best or crawl under the house to work on the sewer pipes?
  • Does he run by the store if you are sick or need something?
  • Does he pitch in and try to help out with chores and with the children when you politely ask for help?
  • Does he go to work daily to provide for the family without complaining and without fail?
  • Does he take you on dates and plan family vacations he knows you would enjoy?
  • Does he let you watch girly movies sometimes?

Our men are generally extremely generous towards us.  They love us and often try to show their love by serving us, doing things for us and buying things they hope we will love.  Sometimes we don’t recognize how generous our husbands are because they are giving us things we didn’t ask for or things that aren’t wrapped in pretty paper with a bow.  Or they don’t pay as much attention to all the details of a chore that we would.  Sometimes we squash our husband’s generosity with our negative reactions and criticisms of the gifts they do offer to us.

Lord,

Help us be wonderful, joyful receivers of all the gifts our men give to us.  Help us inspire the generosity of our husbands by our gracious reception of the time, effort and money that our men spend on us.  Help us to be easy to please and to be generous with showing our delight with our husbands.  Help us make it easy for our husbands to feel successful and like they are doing a great job in our marriages and families.  Help us to be generous with praise and gratitude and smiles.

Amen.

Prayer for 2012

Lord,
Thank You for this precious new year- a time of renewal and a time to think about our priorities and habits, our strengths and weaknesses. Lay our hearts open before Your Spirit. Probe each dark corner of our souls with the piercing light of Your Word. Reveal every sin to us, Lord! Let each of us, and all of Your Church, be awakened to our sin and how far short we have fallen from Your standard. Open our eyes to see exactly how lowly we are in comparison with the Lamb of God in Whom is no defect or blemish.

We praise You and Thank You for being the Alpha and Omega, the Creator, the Sovereign One God, the Great I Am! Thank You for making us in Your likeness. Help us to value and cherish human life because it is precious to You. Let us love what You love and hate what You hate! Thank You for the time – this precious gift- You are giving to each of us today. Help us to use it to bring glory to You!

Thank You for the gasoline, electricity, food, material things, houses, clothing, medicine, jobs, safety and peace You have so generously lavished on us! Thank You for our government. Thank You that we do not live under oppression or an evil dictatorship or under anarchy. Give our president and governors and all of our political leaders wisdom to lead us in Your will. Use them to accomplish Your purposes for our nation and for Your people.

Give us, the Church, a spirit of boldness and courage to proclaim the truth of Christ to the world- in school, in our businesses, in our homes, and everywhere we go. Let us be the salt and light that You designed us to be. Break the shackles of sin that have us paralyzed and let us truly serve and worship and honor You as Lord of our lives! Let Your Church fall on her knees and return to You. Let us love You wholeheartedly and seek You above all else! Let us love people with Your divine love.

Change our families to fit Your pattern and design, Lord! Help us to understand our roles as husbands and wives and parents. Help us to discard the lies we have learned from our culture and let us embrace godly femininity and godly masculinity. Thank You for the beauty of Your design. Thank You for the way Your design brings such joy and peace and also brings glory to Christ. Let our marriages bring honor to Your Name in 2012!

Let the wives of Your Church be changed dramatically and embrace Your purpose as believers, wives, and mothers! Raise up a godly generation of women who are radically different from the world around us. Help us to see how our culture has crushed the life, gentleness, tenderness, mystery and beauty out of femininity. Let us rediscover our true glory, beauty, joy, power and peace as women! Let us joyfully step out of the leadership position in our marriages and surrender control to You and to our husbands if we have not already done so. Let us joyfully empower our husbands as leaders and model respect for our husbands for the world and especially for our children to see. Let the wives in Your Church embrace humility and be willing to give up control in order to gain glory for Your kingdom so that no one may malign the Word of God. Let us embrace the things You say are good in Titus 2 :” to be reverent, not to be slanderers, not to be drunk with wine, but to teach what is good. Let us train the younger women to affectionately love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” We desperately need women to step up to the plate and question the values of our culture and to decide to be godly women and to train the younger women and our daughters Your path of Life! Show us that our power is not in high paying careers or in trying to control everything in marriage or trying to have it all. Help us see the power of surrendering to You and trusting and acting in faith with our husbands. Help us to see our power in using our words to build up, praise, encourage, follow and pray for our men. Let us find the joy in nurturing our husbands and families spiritually, physically and emotionally. Use us to impart Your wisdom to the next generation! Let us know and love Your Word and live it in front of our families every day. Let us teach Your Word to our children and let us be found faithful! Until the wives in Your Church are obedient to Your Word, our husband’s leadership will be paralyzed. Help us as women to see that we must get our house in order as wives and leave room for You to work and then You can begin to create revival throughout our land through the godly leadership of our husbands.

Let the husbands of Your Church be changed dramatically and embrace Your purpose as believers, husbands and fathers! Raise up a godly generation of men who are radically different from the world around us. Help our men to regain the vision, the nobility, the strength, the power and the honor that comes from true godly masculinity. Let our men rise up to lead our families, Your Church and our nation back to Christ! Let the men of God be set free from the sin that entangles them! Let them grow strong in their faith and love Your Word and be mature and complete, lacking nothing and able to be godly warriors, protecting their wives and children from Satan’s constant attacks and attempts to destroy us. Let our men take back over the leadership in our homes and Your Church the way You designed them to. Let our men become beautiful examples of Christ loving His Church in the way that they love their wives with a self-sacrificing love. Give them Your wisdom to lead their families and Your Church and our country, Lord! Don’t let them fall into scandal and temptation! Let them be faithful to Christ and let them do the work of Your kingdom- winning many to Christ and protecting their families and Your Church from evil. Use husbands and wives as a team, each one using their unique strengths and abilities to contribute to benefit the marriage and the whole family. Let our children witness unwavering commitment, willingness to sacrifice, determination to put actions ahead of feelings, the sanctity of a covenant, love that always hopes, always trusts, always believes the best in others and love that never fails.

Let our children grow up in godly, orderly, loving, peaceful homes with vibrant, healthy, in-tact marriages as the example of God’s love for them daily. Let our children have godly spouses and use us and them to reverse the overwhelming tide of immorality and divorce in our nation. If we can’t understand Your design for marriage and can’t live out marriage- the living parable of Christ’s relationship with the Church- what impact can we have on the world for Christ? Strengthen our marriages and families, Lord! Let our children be raised as You desire them to be raised to know You, to love You, to know and love Your Word, and to love people as You do. Use them to radically impact the world for Christ and to bring many to heaven’s gates!

Amen.

Marriage Seminar “7 Basic Needs of a Wife and 7 Basic Needs of a Husband”

My husband and I began attending a class at our church tonight taught by one of my favorite Bible teachers, Harold Weaver.  I wish this class went on for about 7 hours- it is so fascinating to me!  But tonight we only got to the first need of a wife.  I am paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of “a wife needs her husband to be a spiritual leader and authority over her in the marriage.”

I love the point that Rev. Weaver brought up that when God designates authority over us, it is always for our benefit, protection and freedom.  The world wants to say that submitting to authority causes us to be repressed and oppressed.  But the opposite is true when we follow God’s Word and obey Scripture.  I LOVE the freedom of knowing I am under Greg’s spiritual authority.  I can bring up any issue I want.  I can say, “I think we should adopt a baby.”  “I think we should give money to orphans and widows.”  “I want to read Bible passages with our family after supper.”  And then my husband is responsible to God for how he handles things and the decisions he makes.  I present my desires and what I believe God wants us to do, but he is the one who must make the decisions and he will face God and be accountable to Him.  What a huge weight of responsibility.  I used to think I carried a lot of the weight of responsibility in our marriage and it was overwhelming, exhausting, scary and made me very anxious and afraid just thinking about the ramifications of making so many important decisions.

I am so thankful that God gave me a husband and placed that weight on his stronger shoulders.  I am thankful for the protection of being under my husband’s protection and authority.  He can see things that I can’t.  He can see when I am overextending myself and need to slow down.  I would have just driven myself into the ground if left to my own devices.  He can see toxic relationships and tell me that he doesn’t want me to spend time talking to a certain friend – what freedom that brings me!  And I am blessed when I listen to his counsel.

One thing I hadn’t thought of before tonight was that when the Bible says that “The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the Church.” (Ephesians 5:23) – that is actually not transferrable.  It is not optional.  It’s not a suggestion, “the husband could be or should be the head of the wife.”  There is no wiggle room.   Many husbands try to say that the wife should be the head because “she is more mature, she knows the Bible better, she is a better leader…”  Those things may be true, but he cannot give her his authority in God’s sight.  The authority and responsibility rests on him alone.

What an important choice- deciding to get married.  Ladies, those of you who are not married- I implore you, choose a man who loves Jesus MORE than he loves you!  Choose a man who loves the Word of God.  Choose a man who desires to seek God’s kingdom first.  He will be the spiritual authority over you.  Be sure you chose wisely!  Once you are married, it is no longer a choice, it is your reality.

Lord,

I pray for my husband and the husbands of the wives who will read and pray with me.  Let them use their authority over us well.  Give them Your wisdom to lead us and our children in Your paths.  Let them have ears that are eager to hear Your voice!  Let them love You with their whole hearts, souls, minds and strength!  Let our husbands seek You above all else on earth!  Let our husbands submit themselves to You as their head so that they might be godly leaders over us and our families.  Use them to do Your will in our lives even when we can’t see the way and don’t understand.  Help us to be respectful of the authority You have given our husbands over us.  Help us to make their job easier and pleasant.  Help us to have a willing spirit and to offer encouragement and praise whenever we see our husbands doing something that honors You.  Thank You that You are so powerful that we can trust You to lead us through our husbands.  Help us to properly respect the position of authority You have given our husbands over us and to bring glory to the Word of God and to Christ by our behavior towards our husbands.  Raise up a generation of godly men who know how to lead their wives and children and a generation of godly women who appreciate and respect their husbands’ leadership and who support their husbands’ wisdom and decisions and pray for their husbands daily.  Raise up our children to be faithful servants of Christ who have godly examples of faith, love, respect, marriage and who are taught Your Word daily by word and example!  Let us shine brightly for You, Lord!

Amen!

SYNOPSIS OF THE ENTIRE CLASS, A BRIEF OUTLINE OF ALL OF THE NEEDS OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES

BASIC NEEDS OF HUSBANDS

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Marriage Seminar "7 Basic Needs of a Wife and 7 Basic Needs of a Husband"

My husband and I began attending a class at our church tonight taught by one of my favorite Bible teachers, Harold Weaver.  I wish this class went on for about 7 hours- it is so fascinating to me!  But tonight we only got to the first need of a wife.  I am paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of “a wife needs her husband to be a spiritual leader and authority over her in the marriage.”

I love the point that Rev. Weaver brought up that when God designates authority over us, it is always for our benefit, protection and freedom.  The world wants to say that submitting to authority causes us to be repressed and oppressed.  But the opposite is true when we follow God’s Word and obey Scripture.  I LOVE the freedom of knowing I am under Greg’s spiritual authority.  I can bring up any issue I want.  I can say, “I think we should adopt a baby.”  “I think we should give money to orphans and widows.”  “I want to read Bible passages with our family after supper.”  And then my husband is responsible to God for how he handles things and the decisions he makes.  I present my desires and what I believe God wants us to do, but he is the one who must make the decisions and he will face God and be accountable to Him.  What a huge weight of responsibility.  I used to think I carried a lot of the weight of responsibility in our marriage and it was overwhelming, exhausting, scary and made me very anxious and afraid just thinking about the ramifications of making so many important decisions.

I am so thankful that God gave me a husband and placed that weight on his stronger shoulders.  I am thankful for the protection of being under my husband’s protection and authority.  He can see things that I can’t.  He can see when I am overextending myself and need to slow down.  I would have just driven myself into the ground if left to my own devices.  He can see toxic relationships and tell me that he doesn’t want me to spend time talking to a certain friend – what freedom that brings me!  And I am blessed when I listen to his counsel.

One thing I hadn’t thought of before tonight was that when the Bible says that “The husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the Church.” (Ephesians 5:23) – that is actually not transferrable.  It is not optional.  It’s not a suggestion, “the husband could be or should be the head of the wife.”  There is no wiggle room.   Many husbands try to say that the wife should be the head because “she is more mature, she knows the Bible better, she is a better leader…”  Those things may be true, but he cannot give her his authority in God’s sight.  The authority and responsibility rests on him alone.

What an important choice- deciding to get married.  Ladies, those of you who are not married- I implore you, choose a man who loves Jesus MORE than he loves you!  Choose a man who loves the Word of God.  Choose a man who desires to seek God’s kingdom first.  He will be the spiritual authority over you.  Be sure you chose wisely!  Once you are married, it is no longer a choice, it is your reality.

Lord,

I pray for my husband and the husbands of the wives who will read and pray with me.  Let them use their authority over us well.  Give them Your wisdom to lead us and our children in Your paths.  Let them have ears that are eager to hear Your voice!  Let them love You with their whole hearts, souls, minds and strength!  Let our husbands seek You above all else on earth!  Let our husbands submit themselves to You as their head so that they might be godly leaders over us and our families.  Use them to do Your will in our lives even when we can’t see the way and don’t understand.  Help us to be respectful of the authority You have given our husbands over us.  Help us to make their job easier and pleasant.  Help us to have a willing spirit and to offer encouragement and praise whenever we see our husbands doing something that honors You.  Thank You that You are so powerful that we can trust You to lead us through our husbands.  Help us to properly respect the position of authority You have given our husbands over us and to bring glory to the Word of God and to Christ by our behavior towards our husbands.  Raise up a generation of godly men who know how to lead their wives and children and a generation of godly women who appreciate and respect their husbands’ leadership and who support their husbands’ wisdom and decisions and pray for their husbands daily.  Raise up our children to be faithful servants of Christ who have godly examples of faith, love, respect, marriage and who are taught Your Word daily by word and example!  Let us shine brightly for You, Lord!

Amen!

SYNOPSIS OF THE ENTIRE CLASS, A BRIEF OUTLINE OF ALL OF THE NEEDS OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES

BASIC NEEDS OF HUSBANDS

Need 1

Need 2

Need 3

Need 4

Need 5

Need 6

Need 7

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