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!

So Many Opportunities for Joy, Why Let Anything Steal Them?

We went to a Christmas ballet we’ve dubbed “Ballet Bizarre”.  We looked at the checking account and decided repurposing is indeed a wonderful thing.  It will be our first Christmas with our son overseas in the Middle East.  The world is a powder keg, and our child is in the smack dab middle of it.

And so on.  There are reasons to lament during this Season.  There are reasons (but then aren’t reasons simply excuses?) to Bah Humbug it all.  But I am not one to say “Tis the season to be jolly!, or as I was singing (shouting) all morning, “Tis the season to be Jarry, fah, rah, rah, rah, rah!”, and leave it at that, fun as it may be.

I am here to dig and delve deeply into the Reason for the Season.  I am here to say the money (or lack thereof) in the checking account and the bizarrre-ness of “Art” and the locale of loved ones are simply opportunities to remember Jesus.  This is the season for the ultimate of all beauties – the Love of Christ.

And so the bizarre ballet is an opportunity to be thankful that I have yet another focus for prayer.  The repurposing is a reminder of all the treasures I own that will now grace the lives of others.  The son overseas reminds me that technology can be a wonderful thing – his Christmas package will arrive today or tomorrow most likely, and he will open it in our presence via Internet.

The powder keg world?  Still and as always, Jesus is our refuge and our strength, our high tower and deliverer. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Amen!

Sharing Him at Christmas can be done with or without cash.  We are opening our home on Christmas Day for the first time.  We will be sharing a Christmas brunch with people the Holy Spirit has put on our hearts to invite, and there will be much merry-making, joy and celebration.  We’re including the most important of guests via the special invitation of prayer, and as always, He will be right on time.

I have decided and decreed that I will not even think, for one moment, thoughts of lack this Christmas, much less speak words of lack.  What indeed, do I lack?  I serve a Risen Savior.

As for those pesky arguments about December 25 not actually being His birthday so what?  I was born December 28 and I would have no problem with people celebrating my birthday on July 28 or whatever day suited them.  What I would have a problem with would be people being upset because they didn’t have a gift for me, or feeling pressured because the day was a reminder of what they lacked in their lives, rather than a reminder that I loved them.

So, that’s it – the key to joy in this Season, no matter what your circumstances:  We must choose to worship and serve and receive His great gift to us all.

Mr. Bennett, in Pride and Prejudice says, “No lace, Mrs. Bennett!”  I say to myself, “No Lack, Mrs. Bev!  You have Jesus and it’s time to celebrate.  Each and every moment of each and every day.”  Jesus the Savior is Born.

You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.