Did I Say Enough About Respect?

I’m wondering if I said enough about respect in The Maker’s Marriage. And did I say enough about the personal blindness engendered when we look at others’ (our husbands’) faults? Most of all, did I get across the bottom line: It’s not about me, you, our mates–it’s about our relationship with Jesus.

Do we respect the Lord of all good and glorious gifts? Or, do we disrespect Him, and thereby assure that our marriages are not good or glorious or gifts at all?

Apart from Him (which is where I live when I choose my own stupidly selfish way) I not only can do nothing worthwhile, I have nothing worthwhile, and can therefore give nothing worthwhile.

This Christmas, why not give the gift of respect.? I mean to, for sure and for certain. Amen.

This Prayer I Keep Praying – Merry Christmas to Me!

I opened an e-mail from Dr. Carol this morning, knowing she always come through for me, but today she went above and beyond ( www.drcarolministries.com. Or you could also include the direct link: https://www.drcarolministries.com/christmas-prayer-for-your-marriage/

I’m going to share the prayer and suggest you do as I did: Pray it through aloud, and then pray it again as though it’s a done deal. I’ll share the prayer and then illustrate. Now, here’s Dr. Carol:

A Christmas Prayer for your Marriage

Choosing a gift for your spouse at Christmas can sometimes be frustrating. That may seem even more difficult this year as 2020 has disrupted everything. But much more than physical gifts, your spouse needs you. A prayer for your marriage would be just the thing to help you there. 

Every marriage has challenges, and it’s not easy to stay focused when the stress builds. That’s a big reason why praying for your own heart, your spouse, and your marriage is so helpful.

Let this prayer set your mind and heart in the right place.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the gift You have given me in my spouse. My vision is so often clouded by their failures and weaknesses that I forget to treasure who they are to me. Forgive me for taking them for granted. You’ve entrusted me with the privilege of caring for my spouse’s heart in a way no one else can, and I thank You for that honor. Fill me again with Your love for my spouse.

I ask You to bless me with special vision to see my spouse as You see them. Let me value them in the same way You do. Forgive me for trying to make my spouse into the person I want them to be. Help me to see the work You are doing in their life, and to support that work in any way I can. Let me rejoice in every step my spouse takes in becoming the person You have created them to be.

Give me an understanding and open heart to truly hear what my spouse wishes to communicate. When faced with a conflict let me reserve judgement until I fully understand. Give me the courage and wisdom to stick around through difficult conversations, and to always work toward not what is best for me, but what is best for our marriage.

Let me see frustrations and conflict between us as opportunities to understand better, and to offer my own character to You for any necessary changes. Show me who You need me to be in this season of our marriage. I give You permission to change me into the person You need me to be to my spouse. Use me in my spouse’s life in any way you can. I invite Your Holy Spirit to have full sway in my own heart and in my spouse’s heart.

Dear Lord, be the glue that holds us together. Surround our marriage and home with Your Divine protection from all that the enemy would do to drive us apart. Break down the walls between us, and show me whatever I can do to help that happen. Deepen the intimacy between us. Bring us closer together and closer to You at the same time.

I ask You to fulfill the purpose You have for our union. Heal us where we need healing. Change us where we need changing. Fill our marriage and home with Your Divine presence, peace, and joy. As you love us, may we continue to learn ever more how to love well. Continue making our marriage into a demonstration of the love You are and wish all marriages to know. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Perhaps you will want to share this prayer with your spouse, and pray it over each other.

My prayer for you this Christmas is that God bless you with His understanding, healing, courage, and wisdom you need in order to love well.

Your Turn: What gift from your heart are you going to bless your spouse with this Christmas?

__________________________________________

OK, that was all Dr. Carol, and here’s a sample of what I did (I’m sharing because it was SOOOO powerful). After praying the prayer, I went back and prayed as though it was a done deal. Like this: “Thank you, Father, that I don’t take John for granted, and for the privilege of caring for his heart . . . thank You for the treasure he is . . . thank You that I have an understanding and open heart to hear what my spouse wishes to communicate . . . thank You that I see John as You see him . . .”

Merry Christmas to me!

A Valentine’s Day Thought or Two

I always get a card for John that makes me cry – it’s the one that reminds me what’s in my heart, way deep under the crud that’s not real, and not really me.

This year, I vow, I will speak much more often like that card.  “A smart girl,” I reason, “should be able to do this.”

So, that thing that I’ve spoken (groused, grumbled, murmured) so often about, and thereby made it a real thing, needs to just go away.  Because experience teaches me that until I put it away, and give it to God entirely, it’s here to stay.  I’m talking about a little thing, because so much of the time it really is the little stuff.

It’s the little bad stuff crowding out the REALLY BIG good stuff.  In my case, it’s like packing my wicker picnic basket with fried chicken, devilled eggs, potato salad, artichoke dip with radishes and celery sticks, plus nut-filled brownies, thermoses of both cold milk and hot coffee, a bottle of Moscato, and taking it all to the river with my lover, and then . . .  letting one mosquito spoil the day.

SMASH THE MOSQUITO!!!!  SAY “NOT JUST ‘NO’, BUT HELL, NO!!!”

How again, does a smart girl smash her mosquitoes?  With her tongue.  I read Proverbs every day, and I read the tongue scriptures out loud, so my smart self can HEAR and BELIEVE and RECEIVE them.  Amen!

Like so:  Proverbs 6:2 – You are snared by the words of your mouth, you are taken by the words of your mouth (not anymore!!!!); 8:9 – All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them; 10:19 – In the multitude of words sin is not lacking; 12:18 – There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health; 13:3 – He who guards his mouth preserves his life (and marriage!), but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction; 15:1 – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger; 15:28 – The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil; 16:21 (especially for parenting) The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning; 17:18 (perhaps my favorite) Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

I vehemently exhort you to read Proverbs 17 and 18 for yourself, and as I have, highlight each tongue scripture, and then put a big black “T” next to it.  Then in Proverbs 20 we find that “any fool can start a quarrel (verse 3), and let us not forget the squirm-inducing verses 9 and 19 in Chapter 21:  Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman; and, Better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman.

If that “angry woman” describes you (I think at times it describes all of us), get with God and get free.  “Free indeed” freedom is one of the many treasures Jesus purchased for us on the Cross. (you might begin with singing a little ditty such as, “I’m so free cause it SO aint all about me!”).

Oh, and Happy, Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day.  It’s yours for the saying.