4 ways to love your husband NOW!

There are all sorts of reasons not to love your husband. He farts, burps, leaves dirty socks on the floor, watches movies that make you want to vomit… Or maybe it’s more serious and he had an affair or wrecked your finances…. As wives the reasons can be infinite for us to be bitter, resentful, and unhappy.

What I am asking you to do today, love your husband, may seem impossible. And mind you it would be if we didn’t love him with Jesus love. Unconditional love that absolutely does not condone sin, but also freely forgave us even before we realized what we were doing was wrong and turned around.

This message does not apply to abusive situations nor do I suggest you just ignore your spouses issues and sweep them under the rug. What I am suggesting is that while you work out the messes, you choose to love your man anyways.

How do you do this?

1. Respect him always. You don’t have to respect what he does but respect who he is. Catch him off guard and compliment him on what he is doing well.

2. Take the word divorce out of your vocabulary. Rebuilding your marriage may require counseling, working with a pastor, etc. But threatening divorce is never healthy or helpful. Don’t do it.

3. Make a list of the qualities about him you do enjoy or did enjoy in the past. Focus on these!

4. Pray! You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil 4:13) pray for the strength to pursue and fight for your marriage. God can and will redeem any marriage. Start loving your man NOW and pray for God to give you wisdom and guidance to take steps towards healing the messes.

If God is for me….

6 words...and a crossHumble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10

At times it’s comforting to think of being wrapped in my Jesus bubble. Other times, it has concerned me. If God can only accept me wrapped up in the forgiveness and love of Jesus, how can He really know me? And if He can’t really know me, how can He care about me?

How can I stop doubting when the very message of the Gospel reminds me that I will always fall short of the Glory of God?

But then I step back, and realize what a prideful viewpoint this is.

The Gospel of Christ requires a certain amount of humility.

A certain willingness to stand up under the grace of God and it is here I realize that humility is not the same thing as self bashing and self abasement…but when we humble ourselves before the Lord…He will lift us up.
It’s different than an abusive relationship that would keep us pressed hard under thumb. That would press us down and never allow us to get up. Instead, God affords us the choice to come willingly under The Hand of Grace, bowed in humility. And rather than keep us under the massive thumb of sin, He allows us to be lifted up by the Gospel truth of Jesus Christ.
Our thoughts, our feelings, and our emotions must come under the grace of God, must bow willingly at His throne before we can ever truly be known. Because being known as one stuck under the thumb of sin and pride is never really being known at all.
This week in our Online Bible Study we are learning about the difference between “for me” thoughts and “against me” thoughts.

What stood out to me the most is that “against me” thoughts are self centered. Thoughts like “I am not good enough”, “I am unworthy”, “I am a failure”.

“Against me” thoughts are dependent on our own strength.

Perhaps the best way to move from an “against me” mentality to a “for me” mentality is to humble every thought I have before the grace of God. Before I can ever believe God is for me, I must believe He is with me…in me…enough for me…and available to me.

I am not good enough(against me, prideful, and painful)…but God is (for me, lifting me, and healing me).

I sin and fall short of perfection…but God loved me enough to send Jesus.

“Against me” thoughts are me centered, but “for me” thoughts are God centered.
So today I will bring it all under the Glory of God, humbled, and allow myself to bend down, get wrapped in my Jesus bubble, and then stand known and untainted by the tangled webs of lies and sin.

Standing spotless before His throne fully known…fully loved by a God who is for me.

Marriage on purpose: pursue passion

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So much of life is driven by our desire to have purpose. To make a difference. To be noticed. To do or say something meaningful. Something that would be remembered. Or embraced. Something that would leave us feeling deeply loved, needed, and wanted. Valued.

I push for purpose in my work. In my writing. In teaching Bible study. But I am a bit saddened to say I haven’t pursued much purpose in my marriage. And maybe you haven’t either.

It hadn’t occurred to me that the most important relationship in my life next to my relationship with Jesus beckoned more than a haphazard showing up…

If I want my marriage to be meaningful. Enjoyable. If I want it to thrive, I must also pursue purpose here…in my marriage!

Would you like to join me on this marriage purpose pursuing journey?

I am going to dedicate one post each week to living married, on purpose!

I can’t wait to see what God does in our marriage relationships as we choose to invest time, energy, and resources in our spouse.

Our challenge this week?

Pursue passion on purpose!

Your relationship with your husband doesn’t have to be boring. Do something this week out of the norm. Be it something cute at bedtime instead of sweats and a t-shirt or even a full on date night, whatever you can work into the schedule…

Decide to do at least one thing this week, on purpose, to pursue passion, and let’s look forward to some happy husbands 🙂

“…It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling Certainly—but only within a certain context. It’s good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.” Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.” 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 MSG

3 tips to developing the purpose in the pain…

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Then David dwelt in the stronghold; therefore they called it the City of David. 1 Chronicles 11:7

We all experience strongholds. Places in our lives that seem fortified castles of brokenness. Portions of the past that keep us tied onto pain with strings of shame and self-doubt. So how do we move past these places?

You’ve likely heard that God has purpose in your pain. That God can and will use your past to bring about His glory and freedom not only in your life, but the lives of others. But you just can’t seem to get out of the rut you have been living in. How do you get to that place of finding purpose in your pain?

The story of David in 1 Chronicles provides us with a few tips on how to build a castle in the middle of a hostile land. To thrive in a place that was once unavailable for habitation. Tips that stand the test of time and can teach us how to dwell successfully and at peace amidst our own hostile past circumstances.

1. 1 Chronicles Chapter 11 begins with David being anointed as King over Israel. This might seem all wonderful; being anointed King, but the process in David’s mind would require accepting the appointment. That he would mentally push past any self-doubt that would keep him from taking the position God gave him.

To pursue God’s redemption of our past, we must accept His sovereign appointment to the level that pushes past our uncertainty.

2. After David was anointed King, He went to inhabit His land in Jerusalem. However, naysayers were in the way. They told him he could not come in. That he was not allowed. But David knew better. God had blessed him with an appointment as king and now it was time to take his land. So David enlisted to help of his friends and took back his ground.

To pursue God’s redemption of our past, we must not back down. There will be people who put down, and even put down your faith. There will be others that tell you God cannot use your story. You may tell yourself that God can’t use you, that you are un-gifted and that your appointment for such a time and place as this is an accident. But this is not true! Enlist the help of your friends. Find Christian partners in prayer and ministry that will lift you up. That will help you find the ways and avenues God can and will use you to spread the message of redemption He has so faithfully entrusted to you. Go with the Godly, go with Scripture, go with Jesus and take back your land.

3. In 1 Chronicles 11:7 it says that David dwelt in his stronghold. This is one of my favorite passages in scripture. To think of building a fortress, a castle to the glory of the Lord right in the middle of the pain of my past makes me giddy! Not only does the Lord appoint us, help us take back our ground, but He also allows us to dwell amidst what used to be a place of pain and hostility, and allows us to dwell there knowing all has been redeemed and made new. He helps us build up a new stronghold in Him so that all may share in and view His amazing redemption and glory.

To pursue God’s redemption of our past, we build strongholds to Him in the lands of past strongholds of pain.

I Chronicles 11:9 goes on to say, “So David went on and became great, and the Lord of hosts was with him.”

Oh sister, this is my prayer for each of us. That we might pursue and follow in the steps of David. That we might build up new strongholds to the Lord in the place of ruins and that it might be said that the Lord of hosts was with us through the entire process.