Archive | February 2016

Protecting your Relationship through your God-given Sexuality

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Day 19, Principle #19

The act of marriage is what sets our marital relationship apart from other relationships. The topic of physical intimacy is vitally important for a thriving marriage.  God designed sex solely for marriage.  Therefore it’s safe to say we married our men so that we can have sex with them.  Sure there were other reasons why you married your guy.  But ultimately the obvious reason we got married because we wanted to connect with our guy physically in an intimate way.  Most marriages start off with a thriving intimate life.  But over time either our men stop romancing us, women loose interest in sex after kids, or simply stop having sex with their husband.  For whatever reason our schedules become too demanding, or our hearts become hardened against our man.

1 Corinthians 7:5, says “Do not deprive your husband”, (go look it up), it’s actually a commandment.. well actually it says, “Do not deprive each other of sex”, but yes it actually says that.  It’s the gift of your God given sexuality.  When any of these things take place in our marriage then the marriage is under attack by the enemy.  The lord in his infinite wisdom gives us some instructions for thriving intimate relationship. 1 Corinthians 7:4, “the wife has no authority over her own body but yields it to her husband, In the same way the husband does not have authority over his body but yields it to his wife.”  Do you let your husband delight in you?  Is he enraptured by your love or do you tend to shy away from his advances or discount what he says about your physical beauty?  Perhaps you don’t feel confident about your appearance.  I think all women have had these thoughts at one time or another.

Stop looking to media and television to tell you what’s beautiful.  I have said this before, it’s not about being skinny or stick thin like runway models.  Good health is simply about being the proper weight for your body type and height so that you don’t put unjust pressure on your heart, thus affecting your health.  Try to have a balanced diet, stay active, and put effort into your appearance, (your hair, your makeup, your clothes).  There’s no way around it not for you, not for me, it takes effort to maintain your appearance.

The creator of the universe made you and deems you as beautiful.  So when insecurities rise up in your mind about your outer appearance you can meditate on Proverbs 3:15, God says “you are more precious than rubies and all the things that he desires can not compare to her.”  Physical intimacy for a wife starts in her mind.  A wife generally connects with her husband through talking.  A husband connects with his wife through physical intimacy.  However, Satan does not want you to draw closer to your husband.  If the enemy can get the two of you to have very little sex or stop you from having sex, or convince you that you despise having sex with your husband, then the enemy has a foothold in your marriage.  Mark 10:9, says, “What God has joined together let no one separate.”  You have to fight for your marriage!

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Tips to Plan and Protect your Relationship from the enemy

 

♥  Be intentional about defeating the enemy with regard to this aspect of marriage.


♥  Be a wife who has embraced what God has ordained, specifically for marriage rather than a wife that rejects it, avoids it or becomes complacent about it.


♥  Plan your times of intimacy with your husband so that you’re not exhausted at the end of the day.  Put the kids to bed earlier.  Don’t over commit yourself to outside activities.  Take a nap if need be.


♥  Be a wife that places a higher importance upon her marriage, rather than motherhood, a career, outside activities, ministry etc…


♥  Be a wife who looks forward to being intimate with her husband.


♥  Be a wife who actively pursues her husband


 

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In Honor of Black History Month, we honor Dr. James McCune Smith.  He was the first African American to hold a university degree in medicine.  He was a tireless physician, writer, leader in the abolition movement.  He was a community organizer involved in African American education, orphanages, and healthcare.  He attended first the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  He chose to leave the United States at age 22 when no American University would offer him, a free person of color, a place to pursue higher studies.  He set sail for Glasgow Scotland and acquired a University education in Scotland and France.

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A Loving and Respectful Wife

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Day 18, Principle #18

Proverbs 5;18-19, tells husbands: “May you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A Loving doe, a graceful deer, may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.”   Webster dictionary’s definition of captivate: is to “capture the attention or affection of, as by beauty and excellence, fascinate charm.”  Do you remember when your husband was first captivated by you?  He saw you as beautiful and excellent?  You fascinated him.  Your eyes twinkled, you smiled at the very thought of him.  You bonded over long conversations of who you both were and dreamed to be. Do you remember the butterflies when he was around?  How it felt for his hand to hold yours?  When he put the diamond on your finger you sat and stared at the reality that you were about to become the wife of the man of your dreams.

Remembering does wonders for our soul, it reminds us of just how fabulous our men are.  I am a hopeless romantic and a bit of an idealist.  I want to have a life long love affair with my husband.  Now of course you cannot be on your honeymoon everyday.  However you can remember why you married this man in the first place.  And be grateful to God for bringing him into your life.  When God gives you a gift you take care of it.  Your husband is a gift.  I told mine just yesterday that no matter how upset I may get with him at times, I’m here to stay.  Because the problem is, he’s the most wonderful man in the whole world.

Consider how much time you spend on a daily, weekly basis cultivating your marriage now?  In what ways can you regain some of what has been lost in the daily shuffle of life?  On purpose do something this week that reminds your husband of the youthful wife you once were.  Maybe its wearing something you know he likes on you. (remember you dressed to please back in those days.)  Go somewhere you both used to enjoy going together alone!  Look at photos of the good ol’ days.  Watch a favorite movie.  Or just simply sit together talking, listening, dreaming, holding hands, rubbing his back and simply paying attention to the husband of your youth.  Treasure him this week.



 

5 Ways to show a Loving and Respectful attitude toward your Husband

  1. Give him your undivided attention.  Women are masters of multi tasking.  But when he’s speaking to you make a point to lay other tasks aside, look into his eyes with the goal of understanding and remembering his words.

  2. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude.  Don’t take your husband for granted.  Appreciate everything he does for you especially the little things.  Always say thank you.

  3. Don’t complain.  Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer it’s grating on the nerves.  Hebrews 13:5,  “Says be content with what you have.”  Philippians 2:14, says, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”  Remember the serenity prayer,  “God grant  me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

  4.  Protect his name.  Honor your husband in the way you speak about him to family and friends. Guard his reputation.  Do not let minor disagreements at home cause you to speak ill of him in public.  Live in such a way that it will be obvious to others why he married you in the first place.

  5. Follow his lead.  If you want a leader you must be willing to follow.  Learn to defer to your husband’s wishes and let final decisions rest with him.

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Speaking the Truth in Love

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Day 17, Principle #17

In marriage, confronting your husband about some of his actions that we don’t care for can definitely stir up a hornets nest in the relationship.  However, sweeping concerns under the carpet hoping they will go away is not a wise path to take either.  This path can often lead to resentment and bitterness in the heart of a wife.  Not every disagreement in a marriage is centered on a spouse’s sin.  Some arguments are based on differing perspectives or misunderstandings due to a lack of communication.  Ephesians 4:15, Tells us to, “speak the truth in love”.

This is not just in marriage, you should speak the truth in love to family and friends also.  Meaning plainly just tell the truth.  The truth may hurt, but it’s okay, you can begin to work things out from a place of truth.  When you speak the truth in love, you don’t have to yell, scream, or angrily get your point across.  You’re speaking the truth.  As long as you’re speaking the truth in love as the Bible tells us, God will have your back.  The truth is able to stand on its own.

For instance, you may tell your husband, “When you drink, you become hostile, and angry and it’s not setting a good example for the kids. I want you  to get help before it tears the family apart.”  Or, “we haven’t had a date night in months and it makes me feel neglected.”  Whatever the problem is, speak the truth in love.  The Bible tells us that there are ways to confront your spouse.

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5 Ways to Confront your Husband

  1. Based on, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, the scripture tells us the way in which a wife should conduct herself when she needs to confront her husband and why she should conduct herself in this way.  “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”  Sit down with your husband calmly and just talk.  If tensions rise and things begin to escalate, you remain calm, it shows real maturity and spiritual growth.

  2. When a wife needs to confront her husband how should she speak to him?  According to Proverbs 31:26,  “She opens her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”  As the saying goes it’s not what you say but how you say it.  The way you approach your spouse can make all the difference.  Remember that you’re not talking to one of the kids.

  3. When your husband sins against you what is the proper biblical response?  Based on Luke 17:3,  “So watch yourselves if your brother or sister sins against you rebuke them, and if they repent forgive them.”  It’s never good to sin against your wife or vice versa. However, attitude is everything.  If your spouse has an attitude of remorse and regret, i.e. repentance, find it in your heart to forgive them.  If not, stand your ground and hold your peace.  God will correct and convict him in his spirit. (you know when God is convicting and correcting you).  If I do something wrong I will feel a conviction in my spirit.  It’s God telling you that was wrong and this is how you correct it.  We are all a work in progress including myself.  Yes, I’m still learning everyday.

  4. According to Colossians 3:12-14, How would the lord desire you to share what is on your heart as you discuss your concerns with your husband?  “Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bear with one another and forgiving one another as the Lord forgave you, and of all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

  5. Tone and Timing.  Proverbs 15:1,  “A soft answer turns away wrath.”   I’ll tell you how I handle it when I have to talk to my husband about something.  First of all before I even talk to him I give it a lot of thought.  I think you should think things through before you speak.  Then I consider timing and tone.  The timing of the conversation and the tone of my voice when I speak to him.
    For instance, a married friend of my husband’s recently had a medical procedure that was going to cost him around $75,000 plus he and his wife were also in the middle of relocating their business and home, just a really stressful time.  Now this is Not the time to discuss MORE bills with him or about how you need $15,000 to get a mommy makeover, i.e. tummy tuck, stretch mark laser removal etc…. Tone.  Consider your tone of voice.  You want him to speak to you respectfully and he deserves that same respect back.


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Honoring your Husband by Obeying the Lord

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Day 16, Principle #16

Are you bringing honor to God in the way that you treat your husband?  We are to love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other Romans 12:10, are you taking delight in honoring your husband?

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5 Ways to Honor your Husband

  1. Making sure your behavior is beyond reproach.  A woman’s behavior affects how other’s see her husband.

  2. Do not dishonor his name in any way before others.  Husband bashing has become all too common when women get together.  It’s one thing to bring your personal problems before a trusted marriage counselor, pastor, friend, but quite another to share your husband’s fault with casual friends or associates.  There’s nothing in me that would want to defame my husband to another.  Some things need to be kept between you, your husband, and God.

  3.  Openly let your children see you honor their father.  You greatly influence how they view their father by how you honor him in your home.

  4. Remember that honor involves all that you do with your life.  The values you hold, your morals, the way you talk, the way you work, the way you carry yourself.

  5. Honoring your husband through embracing your femininity.  Femininity is a gift that God has designed women with that contrasts the design of men.  There are differences in gender that play a significant role in marriage.  Simply put: “Use everything you got!”  My husband says I, “know how to work it!”



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Learning Spiritual Discernment

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Day 15, Principle #15

We’re going to go Deep today!  Luke 5:4,  “Come out into the deep and get ready for a haul.”  This blog is intended to strengthen, build, challenge, and elevate your faith while entertaining. While making faith that once may have seemed intangible, suddenly become practical, a practical living faith.

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In this post we will learn about a very interesting spiritual gift called “discernment.”  What it is, and how it works for you as an individual, and in your marriage.  What is Spiritual Discernment?  Discernment is a spiritual gift from God, (before anything else.)  Spiritual Discernment is calling on the holy spirit to lead or give direction on a matter.  It is how the Spirit shows the church or its people what God wants them to do and be.

You may have heard the Holy Spirit referred to as the helper.  The helper that dwells in us and comes alongside us in difficult times to help us make decisions.  And to lead and guide us where God would have us to be.  This gift is not for babes in Christ.  You have to be spiritually mature to understand, receive and exercise those gifts.  God must reveal Himself to you.  It takes time to grow up in Christ. Took me a long time and I’m still learning.  So don’t be discouraged if you’re not there yet.  Just keep walking with GOD and the more you walk with him the more he will reveal himself to you.  And remember that we do not all have the same gifts in the Spirit.

Life is all about decisions and choices when you get right down to it.  It can be hard to always know what the right thing is.  For married couples trying to navigate their journey, God gives them a helper.  It’s also been called the little voice inside.  I think everyone has experienced this on some level.  Say for instance you’re leaving the house and heading to your car, “something says to you”, “Go back, you forgot your phone”.  It’s the voice of reason and protection.  Once you’re married you’ll have the Spirit to help you on bigger issues.

For you single ladies I think learning about spiritual discernment is very important for you on your journey of finding the right life partner.  Learn to use discernment when you meet these men.  You ever seen a guy that looks good to your eyes but your spirit tells you, “there’s something wrong with him” (you just don’t have a good feeling about him)?

With women having their God-given intuition and spiritual discernment working all together at the same time it makes you a very sharp individual.  It’s also about not looking at a situation with your eyes, but closing your eyes to hear what the Spirit is saying deep inside you.  Discernment is a skill, and you can become better at it through training and experience.  Learn to see through the eyes of faith.

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Scriptures on Discernment

  1. Romans 1:17,   “the just shall live by faith”

  2. 2 Corinthians 5:7,  “We walk by faith and not by sight”

  3. Isaiah 30:21,  “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.”

  4. Hebrews 5:15,  “For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

  5. Jeremiah 17:10,  “I the Lord search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the result of his deeds.”  This is why you can get over on people, but you can not get over on God because He sees your heart. Your intentions, your reasoning. Man can only see the outside. Once you learn and receive the gift of discernment people won’t be able to get over on you with their lies. This is the way I judge everyone that I come in contact with, by discernment. Not by what they say, what they look like, what they are wearing, rich or poor, I go by what the Spirit tells me about them.  Also be a good listener, that tells you a lot about the person because out of the mouth the heart speaks.

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According to the scriptures discernment comes from knowing God’s Word.  The babes were unskillful in the words of righteousness.  But the mature individual knew the Word and used the Word.  They had become skillful in the Word, it sharpened their senses and enabled them to discern good from evil.  Many today have been led astray because of the lack of knowledge and lack of exercise in the scriptures. Discernment requires use and knowledge of God’s Word.  Discernment also relies on knowing the Spirit of God in a matter, being sensitive to His leading.  We must empty ourselves of self and allow the Spirit to fill us.  So that He can lead us.

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Uses of discernment in Marriage

Use discernment to make major decisions in a marriage

Use discernment in making decisions about your children

Use discernment when making decisions about making major life changes such as a move to a new city, new career, job location change, having children.

Use discernment on the new friends that you make or business associates.

Use discernment on a daily basis with your spouse to discern their moods, to see if you can help in any way.  Use discernment for the timing of conversations.  Knowing when is or isn’t a good time for certain conversations.

Use discernment on houses of worship where you and your family will be fed on the Word of God. Make sure you are sowing into good ground.

Use discernment with your children to discern their moods and cries for help.

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Things that can be discerned

Spirits

People

Places

Situations

1 Corinthians 2:14,  “But people who are not spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it for only those who are spiritual can understand what the spirit means.”

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How God’s Grace works in your Marriage

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Day 14, Principle #14

We’re working away at our “20 days of love”.  We’re all working out those relationships closes to our hearts and wanting the best for our families.  Ephesians 3:17,  “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that you be rooted and grounded in love.”  We are to be rooted and grounded in love.  Keep your intentions pure.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9,  “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Ephesians 2:8-10,  “For it is by grace we have been saved through faith and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God lest any man should boast.”  What is God’s grace?  And how does it work?  Grace is the miracle-working power of God on the inside of you to help you to do what you cannot do for yourself.  Simply put, Life is Hard!  It’s a struggle at best.  But without God it’s a nightmare.  I certainly would not want to go through life without Him.  There are two sides to life the natural and the spiritual.

The spiritual world that we cannot see is actually more real than the natural world that we can see.  Ephesians 6:12,  “We war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of the dark worlds.”  Life is a spiritual journey and sometimes a spiritual war.  War on your family, war on your job, war on your children, war on your peace of mind.  And yes a war on your marriage.  We have to fight for what is ours.  The enemy hates unity.  And now that the two have become one and are blessed by God, the enemy comes to disrupt that.  I was talking with my husband about that and I told him, we have something so beautiful, our relationship our family, we have to protect it because the enemy will try to disrupt.  We have to stay prayed up.

We have to recognize when pettiness presents itself and as my husband said focus on what’s important.  Don’t major in the minors he said.  The way God’s grace works in the lives of believers and married couples is when presented with difficulties God may not take them away, but He will give you the grace to deal with the situation.  Say for instance you and your husband have a special needs child.  This can be a difficult thing, but God gives the couple a grace to go through it.

It’s a spiritual ease that only comes from God to make the road a little smoother.  Say for example you and your husband are dealing with the death of a parent.  God will give you the grace to deal with it.  Or you’re going through a difficult period your marriage.  Think of it this way in the natural because grace can be a little difficult to explain.  It’s something you can’t see because its spiritual.  Last week I had some dentistry work done, without the anesthesia it would have killed me.  God’s grace is like the anesthesia in a way because with it I was able to get through the procedure with a bit of ease.  You want to first pray and ask God to give you grace in any given situation.  As God gives grace to you so shall He expect you to extend grace to your partner.

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Grace needs to be applied daily in our Marriage.  Acts of Grace

  1. An act of grace in marriage is recognizing your spouse is in a foul mood letting your spouse vent his frustrations without judgement.

  2. An act of grace is cutting your husband some slack when he did not finish everything on the honey do list that day.  Instead of saying you got everything but…. say I really appreciate your hard work today.

  3. An act of grace is letting your husband relax after he’s had a hard day, even though there are issues you would like to discuss with him.  Perhaps today the timing is not good. Let it keep till tomorrow.

  4. An act of grace may be for the husband to clean the kitchen tonight if the wife is not feeling well.

  5. An act of grace may be for the husband to take the kids out of the house for ice cream while mom has a few moments of quiet or perhaps a nap to unwind from her long day with the kids.

  6.  An act of grace might be being kind and gracious to one another on purpose.  The more grace your spouse receives, the more grace they’ll want to extend to you when you need it.

  7. Pray for each other, and for the marriage that God will give the both of you the grace to deal with the vicissitudes of life.

 

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Scripture

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Affirmation

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An Exceptional Wife

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Day 13 Principle #13

If you are a wife, then God has called you to a wonderful position.  But at times being a wife can be difficult and sometimes even overwhelming.  The struggles of life can lessen our desire and occasionally our ability to live out our Godly calling as wives.  Don’t look to the world to see how to fix your marriage or the type of wife we should be.  A Smart Christian Women knows to look to the Bible and what God says on the subjects of marriage and being an exceptional wife.

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5 Ways to be an Exceptional Wife

  1. Be a Homemaker.  It is clear that God has given women the home as their domain.  Men are called to lead and provide for the family and women called to care for the home and family.  No matter the changing times, the economic struggles.  A wife’s primary responsibility is her home.  If she is also a career woman she needs to find balance.  Being lazy, or too busy, or out of the home too often will often lead to a wife who is not fulfilling her role in this area.  Proverbs 31:27,  “She looks well to the ways of her home and does not eat the bread of idleness.  She keeps her house in order and remains fruitful.”


  2.  She is Called to Love.  The kind of love that God calls wives to isn’t conditional or based upon feelings.  This is not the kind of love you fall out of.  It isn’t an optional love it’s a commandment.

  3. Showing respect to her husband.  Often when a husband loves a wife the way he should, it is easy for a wife to respect her husband.  Likewise when a wife shows respect to her husband it is easier for him to show love the way he should. While this is usually a nice trade-off it doesn’t always work.  Even if a wife doesn’t feel loved by her husband this is not an excuse to not show respect to her husband why?  Because God commands it. (pray about it)

  4. Intimacy.  The sexual bond between a husband and wife is a gift from God for the enjoyment of physical intimacy and the procreation of life.  All that God created is good and physical intimacy is no exception.  Some wives can struggle to see this as a gift, they see it as an obligation.  The bottom line is God has intended for each couple to have a sex life that is fulfilling for both husband and wife.  No shame in consulting a sex therapist if you have issues that need to be worked out.  You can even get a Christian sex therapist.

  5. Submission.  Submission is a touchy subject today.  Of course here at SCW we don’t shy away from touchy subjects.  However it is clear what scripture teaches on the subject.  Those who find excuses in order to ignore it are doing just that, making excuses and not looking to scripture as their final authority.  In a biblical marriage where spouses are trying to live out their God-given roles the husband would ideally lead his wife and the wife would lovingly, graciously submit.  This leading and submitting would be mutually beneficial ultimately glorifying to God.  However a husband doesn’t always lovingly lead and a wife doesn’t always graciously submit.  This does not excuse either side from their roles.  Submission is a much bigger topic than can be addressed in a few paragraphs.  I recommend SCW’s “Understanding Submission, Submissive wife , Committed Husband.” Also read Bible passages on Submission.

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Surrendering to Spiritual Intimacy in your Marriage

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Day 12 Principle 12

Spiritual Intimacy occurs when you as husbands and wives surrender your life and relationships to God.  You grow together spiritually when you live out your marriage relationship according to God’s ways and aim to please Him in all things.  Problem is people have their own version of what they think marriage should be.   So they do it their way, it folds, then they say I can’t believe it didn’t work out.  It never works out when you don’t follow God.  The Bible says in all thy ways acknowledge the Lord and He will direct your path.  I think that people are so desperate to find someone they’ll take what looks good at the time.

They will marry an unbeliever thinking they can change a person when only God has the power to change.  Or maybe they do marry a believer then don’t know how to treat the person.  This is my favorite line from divorced people they say “marriage wasn’t what I thought it was going to be”.  Oh boo-hoo, stop your whining and crying and acting like a baby, Grow up!  I heard a divorced person the other day say “Getting married is fun, staying married not so much.”  You know what they’re really saying here?  The party, the celebration, of the marriage, the honeymoon was fun.  But now that reality has set in and I’m with one person for the rest of my life, and I made a commitment, I have to make it work.  I don’t know if I can do this.  If all you wanted was a party and great sex you didn’t have to get married for that.  Marriage is a commitment.  And perhaps you’re not grown up enough for commitment yet.

Too many people marry with the attitude you should keep me happy.  What can you do for me?  When instead you should take the posture of a servant with the attitude of how can I enhance your already great life.  You need already be a whole happy person when you meet your spouse.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.  God is saying get yourself together first.  When you have matured I will add all these things.  I’m here to tell you I have tested and proven this one and it works.  God had to do so much work on my personality, my spirit.  I was always a good person, a God-fearing person, but I wasn’t without flaws, and I still have flaws.  It kinda goes with the territory as a human being.  But His strength is made perfect in my weakness and God started to show me the things I was doing wrong and how to fix it.  This went on for years until God thought I was finally ready to pair me with the person He had for me.

When God gives you a blessing YOU KNOW IT!!!!!  A good spirit is one of the things that draws a Christian man to a Christian woman.  Then the spouse you marry completes you with the characteristics they have that compliment your character.  I have learned to trust and lean on Him and when God gives you an experience in Him and reveals Himself to you, you are forever changed.  In stead of having to struggle with things all the time be led by the Spirit.  Spiritual growth is  the job of both husbands and wives as individuals.  The more spiritual you become as an individual the closer spiritually you will become as a couple in Christ.

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  • It empowers celebrating Love


  • It allows you to connect at the deepest level


  • It links you with God’s purpose and plans for you


  • It allows you to bless each other with God’s Love


  • It brings your deepest values and desires into agreement


  • It opens the door the  deepest levels of communication


  • It empowers your marriage to survive


  • It connects you to a supportive body of fellow disciples


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10 Ways to develop Spiritual Intimacy

  1. Schedule daily times to read God’s word.  Get a daily devotional book.  Schedule time with God and keep it.

  2. Share the word with him.  Talk about what God is teaching you.

  3. Be accountable to each other.  Your spiritual relationship will grow deep if you allow correction from each other.  You are both learning.  Although the man is headship.

  4. Hold hands and pray.  Joining your hands as well your hearts and voices as you pray is a great way to draw close.

  5. Speak up.  When you see your spouse take steps of spiritual growth compliment him or her about it.

  6.  Seek God’s will for your life.  Start by telling God that you want to do life his way.  Read scripture and heed the advice of more mature Christians in discovering what it means to live out God’s will for your life

  7.  Spend time with other couples. Choose Wisely.  Link up with other Christian couples who are intent on developing a strong marriage and have boundaries.

  8. Find Mentors.  Ask a mature Christian couple with a healthy marriage to mentor you as a couple.

  9. Teach your children to Follow God.  One of the greatest responsibilities of your shared commitment to Christ is passing your faith on to your children

  10. Count your blessings.  Set aside time to thank God for all He’s done for you 1 Thessalonians 5:18,  In everything give thanks for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

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Living Outside your Circumstances

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Day 11 Principle# 11

Don’t let the circumstances intimidate you.  Philippians 8:1-2, when Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians during a long and unjust imprisonment, his stint was full of rejoicing.  Paul never complains or cast blame for his situation because he has learned to live above his circumstances.  Paul knew the strategy for living above one’s circumstances rather than merely muddling through them.  He shifted his focus.  Instead of examining his problems and whining about them he looked to God.  Praise came from his lips.  “I count all things to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ the Lord”,  Philippians 3:8.

God wants to hear our honest concerns and even anger or frustration about our trials but he also wants us to trust him to see us through.  Focusing on the Lord and praising Him does not mean that we pretend to enjoy tough times.  We can acknowledge that He is in control of the situation and will guide our every step.  It’s something we have to learn to do because our natural tendency is to only be happy when our circumstances are good.  You have to stop letting the trials of life toss you to and from like a boat with no captain.  A believer’s circumstances  may not be “good” but he can have ‘joy” in the midst of his circumstances.

For instance there have been some circumstances in my life lately that I’m disappointed about, however I still have joy.  I’m still laughing, going on with my life thankful for each day, knowing that God will work it out.  I just have to tell myself and speak out loud to that situation that “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose”, Romans 8:28. 

Pastor T.D. Jakes said something so simple and so powerful once and it stayed with me.  He said “Don’t let the circumstances intimidate you, it may not be ideal circumstances but it can still be the ideal promise.”  He was speaking on the birth of Jesus and how He was not born into ideal circumstances.  You know it’s really something to think about.  Joseph and Mary walked all night and when Mary was ready to deliver the baby there was no room in the inn.  No system no structure, no organized support to accommodate what she was about to deliver.  However, this woman was so pregnant with destiny.  I would have thought that the King of kings the Lord of lords, God will allow to be born in the Jerusalem luxury Marriott of the day.

Interesting that He didn’t do that.  T.D. Jakes said “you may have to bear down in a barn around sheep and oxen and cattle.  And you may have to give birth to your dream and wrap it swaddling clothes, but the circumstances do not diminish the greatness of the concept.”  I tell you, this story stayed down in my soul.  This story tells us it may not be the best of circumstances but God’s plan WILL prevail! (to God Be the Glory)  Also, whether you are up or down, right or wrong, God is still good and still faithful.  I believe God wants us to keep a good attitude in the midst of our circumstances.  It’s like everything might not line up right now “but I’ve been good to you.” Paul said, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.”, Philippians 4:11-12,  That means I’ve had plenty and I’ve had  little or lack.  I’ve had good times, I’ve had bad times. As a matter of fact I have some pretty tough circumstances today and there’s really nothing I can do to change the circumstances I just have to ride it out.  In all things God is my strength.

5 Ways to Live Beyond your Circumstances

  1. Cast your care 1 peter 5:7. Pray, cast your care on God and rest.

  2. Don’t let your circumstances rob you of today. Every single day is precious and I don’t want to waste it in worry.  “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.”  John 10:10.  That’s right he wants to destroy you because you are loved by the Lord your God.  He wants to steal your peace, steal your joy, tie your mind up with worry and anguish.  Hold your peace.  Like the Word says,  “be still and know that I am God”,  Psalms 46:10


  3. Shift your focus to the goodness of the Lord.  The Bible says to set your mind and keep it set on things above.  Colossians 3:2,  “whatever is of good report concentrate on these things.”  That seems so simple it’s like DUH, think on what is good.

  4. Know that things will work out for your good even if it doesn’t look like it.  For example, you miss a train for an important meeting, you’re beside yourself.  However the train crashes. Everything happens for a reason.

  5. God has a plan, Jeremiah 29:11,  “For I know the plans I have for you, thoughts of peace and not evil to give you an expected end.”


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Living and Loving by the Spirit

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Day 10, Principle #10

Living and Loving By the Spirit

Galatians 5:17,  “For the flesh opposes the spirit and the spirit opposes the flesh.  They are in conflict with one another.”  Galatians 5,  “You were called to be free.  Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.  Rather serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command. Love your neighbor as you love yourself, if you bite and devour one another watch out you will be destroyed by one another. Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit and the spirit desires what is contrary to flesh. They are in conflict with one another so that you are not to do whatever you want. but if you are led by the spirit you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witch craft hatred, discord jealousy, fits of rage selfish ambition, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, I warn you that those who live like this will not inherited the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love joy, peace forbearance, kindness goodness faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh, with it’s passions and desires.  Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Human beings are naturally inclined toward sin.  From scripture we see that feeding our flesh is not limited to sexual immorality it is also attitudes of jealousy, hatred, envy and the like.  Everyone feels the urge to sin at some point because sinning gives us tangible yet fleeting benefits at the cost of moral and spiritual ones.  Temptation is the urge to sin.  Because of humanity sinful nature everyone at some point fail to resist their temptations.  We’re never alone in our quest to fight temptations.  In the words of the Bible 1 Corinthians 10:13,  “no temptation has ever overtaken you which is not common to man.”bigstock_Young_couple_in_love_and_havin_14089820

5  Strategies to Avoid Temptation

  1. Making a plan to avoid temptation.  Identify your temptations and make a conscious plan to overcome.  For example if you’re battling alcohol addiction you may not want to hang out in a bar.

  2. Set reasonable goals for fighting temptation.  Don’t say things like I’ll never sin again.  You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment.  A thought can be sinful. Though Jesus never sinned, He was tempted to Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

  3. Fighting temptation through positive behavior.  Avoid situations and people that lead to sin. Certain people, places and situations that make sinning easy.  If you’re frequently feeling the pressure by your “friends” to do things that you don’t want to do, don’t hang out with these friends. By distancing yourself from people, places, and things associated with your sin you’re eliminating opportunities for sin and giving yourself less chances to fail.

  4. Get help and accept help.  There is no shame in asking for help from God or another person.  Don’t hesitate to turn to a pastor, priest, counselor or trusted friend.  Seeking and accepting help is a strong, sensible thing to do.

  5. Occupy yourself Positively. There’s truth to the old saying “idle hands are the devils workshop.”  If you keep yourself busy with good virtuous work or an assortment of hobbies. Devoting yourself to your job and your studies you’ll have less time to feel that you need to sin out of boredom.  If you have lots of free time, then do anything you can to fill it with activities that bring you closer to God.  Hence making you a healthier richer better person for you and your spouse.

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Pride Vs. Humility in a Marriage

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Day 9, Principle # 9

I hope you ladies had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!  So did I but the Love doesn’t stop there, today we pick up on our “20 Days of Love” Series as we make our way through February the month of Love.  Today’s post choosing humility over pride is an important one.  It’s important as individual’s but especially in a marriage.  The world falls into 3 types of destruction.  The Pride of Life, The lust of the eyes, The lust of flesh.  1 John 2:16,  “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the father is not in him, for all that is in the world, The lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It is not from the father,it is from the world. The world is passing away and also it’s lust, but the one who does the will of God will live forever.”

Proverbs 16:18, “Pride come before a fall.”  James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.”  A great hindrance to fellowship in marriage is pride.  Self-confident, self-exalting pride, self protecting pride.  Pride is perhaps the most deceptive, pervasive, and multifaceted form of  sin.  It plays a central role in virtually all sin.  One way that the foolishness of pride comes out is in our communication in our love from our own voice and opinions. (some people just love to hear themselves talk.)

Consider this proverb, just one of the many that tie our speech to foolishness or wisdom. Proverbs 18:10,  “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”  In contrast humility yearns to learn because it recognizes it’s deficiencies.  This is the type of attitude I display, I’m very humble and teachable.  Willing to learn, wanting to learn. I don’t know everything. Teach me, show me something positive I don’t know.  Explain it to me, make me understand.

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6 ways to show humility to your Spouse

  1. Be selfless, Putting your spouse first.

  2. Be consistent with small acts of service

  3. Welcome advice from your spouse on many topics

  4. Be quick to admit when your wrong

  5. Accept apologies and give forgiveness freely and quickly.

  6. Respond graciously when you’re really right and your spouse is wrong.

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RedheartFun Valentine Day post wrap up scoop of the day:  Well ladies, now I can share. My Valentines Day and Valentines weekend was perfect!  So let me give you guys the what, when and where of the weekend.  First What did I wear?  I went with the little black cocktail dress with red  Pumps.  Where did we go?  It was a surprise, he didn’t tell me where we were going until we got there.  I was so surprised, He took me to a concert!  Not just any concert.  He took me to the “LOVE Affair” Old school music concert at the Honda Center here in Orange County where all the big names play when they come to Orange County California.  There were sooo many performers about 10.  My heart belongs to old school music, Motown, Temptations era.  The 70’s was the era in music and some of the musicians came out of that period. “Grown Folks Music” we had a blast.

The concert was Friday night.  We said we’d take turns pampering each other with massages and such, so Friday night was my night to be pampered by him and Sunday was his turn to be pampered.  He said he had a great time!  On Saturday night we did the hot tub for a nice long time of relaxing.  Sunday we had our Valentines Day breakfast and dinner.  I told him I wanted to stay in Sunday and just have a romantic dinner at home.  We did.  For appetizer we had shrimp cocktail.  For the main course we had Lamb chops and lobster tails, with baked potato, butter and sour cream, and a fresh salad.  We had a bottle of wine,  double fudge chocolate cake for dessert.  I wore Frederick’s of Hollywood silk red lingerie  with chemise and robe.  What was the best part of your Valentines Day weekend we’d love to hear about it!  Please leave a comment and share.

 

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