A Good Marriage – Respect and Cherishing

green and purple flowers

 

A husband’s greatest need is to receive respect from his wife, and a wife’s greatest need is to feel cherished by her husband; so as we meet one another’s needs, our bond of love and unity will increase rather than to diminish over the years.

 

One of the best attributes in a good marriage is kindness. When this virtue is present, we go out of our way to show compassion and benevolence to one another. We consider each other’s needs above our own, and we prefer our mate over our self.

 

This does not imply that we neglect our self, or constantly enable our mate by depriving our self. Kindness is a give and take proposition where the same person does not always do the giving while the other does all the taking.

 

God created marriage as a union between two individuals that actually becomes one flesh (Genesis 2:23; Mark 10:8-9­). He gives us His Agape love for each other, and we grow more comfortable in our union as the years of our marriage progress.

 

At times, we may feel tired, worried, frustrated, overlooked, neglected, unappreciated or afraid, and we may tend to speak curtly or with a grouchy attitude. This is a clue for our spouse to help us to search for the cause of our negative emotions, to show compassion for us, and to pour out God’s love toward us.

 

We do not condemn, condescend, criticize or belittle each other in our words, attitude or actions. We listen to one another, and we share in every decision. We lift each other up above the world’s crass treatment of us, and we make our home a haven for one another that we enjoy together.

 

This practice allows us to help our mate in their inner struggles, and to attempt to improve the situation by helping to alleviate their stress, or by giving them a listening ear. Together we take the matter to God in prayer, because praying in unity is paramount for a successful relationship.

 

Prayer:

Father God, fill us with the fruit of Your Spirit by teaching us to surrender our dreams, plans and goals to Your will. Replace our selfish, carnal character traits with Your deep and abiding love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23). Remind us that we are Your emissaries in this life and that Your will is our overriding priority.

 

As we walk in Your Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). We will lay down our life for our mate and for Your Body as we reap the benefits of Your amazing Agape love. You, our King, died for us; and the least we can do is to lay down our life for one another. We praise You, and we give You all of the praise and glory due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

In a good marriage, we rejoice when our mate rejoices, and we share his/her burdens with empathy and concern, because we sincerely care about each other, and we honestly want what is best for our mate as well as for our self.

– Romans 12:15

 

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Since the Days before Time

pink flower

 

In the beginning, the Lord laid the foundation of the earth and the vast heavens with all of the galaxies and stars. He actually knows the name of every star that He ever created, even those that are no longer in existence, and those yet to form (Psalm 147:4).

 

All of creation has an expiration date, wearing out and returning to the earth. However, God remains unchanging forever without an end (Hebrews 1:10-12). Jesus is also the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

 

These truths give us a solid bedrock on which to stand – safe, secure, unmoving – regardless of the changing environment of circumstances in our life. We never need to fear that we will face any trial alone. The triune God is within us.

 

God’s presence fills us to overflowing and all of His supernatural nature and character are with us and in us to utilize at any moment of the day and night. We are always generously cared for.

 

The Word of God hints that, at times, the mountains will disappear, the hills will fall flat, but His steadfast love surrounds us and fills us. His compassion and covenant of peace remain within us (Isaiah 5:10).

 

When we are tempted to panic over the events of our day, we may lose sight of God’s presence in our life. We struggle with the situation accosting us, and forget to run to the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91:4).

 

The more we seek God first in each moment of our day (Matthew 6:33), the more of a habit we develop to trust in God’s watch-care over us. He cherishes every aspect of our life, and He is worthy of our confidence in Him.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us not to get carried away by insecure moments of life and lose sight of You. Remind us to keep our eyes on Christ in us, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), rather than to focus on the insecurity of the circumstances all around us.

 

Trusting in You fills our soul with peace, our heart with joy, our spirit with assurance, and our body with health. Thank You that anxiety and other negative emotions find no resting place in our soul, because we confirm our commitment to You and we rejoice in Your assurances to us.

 

Thought for the Day:

Fear rises in our hearts during some daunting experiences in our life, and we no longer feel Jesus’ presence; of course, He is still there, waiting for us to come around full circle and to put our hand in His nail-scarred hand.

Have Some Fun

photo of two black, white, and orange koi fish

 

Play is one of the most neglected rituals in our society. A child’s job is to play. As adults we often overly schedule their unique independent, free-style fun right out of our child’s life, and out of our own life too.

 

We neglect our Inner Child and deprive him/her of much needed soul time. Some people are way too childish, and they neglect their adult responsibilities; but others are too focused with getting ahead to their detriment, they neglect play time.

 

Our soul – our feelings, thoughts and choices – and our physical health prosper when we make time to have fun too. Play is not unproductive, frivolous or fruitless. Fun actually energizes our soul to function more productively. We take an inventory of our soul and find balance.

 

We play by maximizing our recreation time. It energizes our immune system, benefits our brain, escalates our efficiency, creates positive relationships with family and friends, boosts our creativity, increases our ability to minimize tension, etc.

 

We must ensure that our inner “slave driver” allows daily play time. Fun is different for everyone, and this diversity of interests is healthy and creative. During play, we feel freer and less restrained. There are no schedules or efficient plans.

 

Play promotes endorphins, reduces worry, and encourages us to smile, and even giggle or laugh out loud (Proverbs 17:22). Play may be considered by some as impractical, a waste of time, unproductive, etc., but it is actually very beneficial to our body, soul and spirit.

 

Play is both individual, and social with friends. Our interests change as we age, but unique playtime is viable at every season of life. Plan some time for play into every day – time to relax, to laugh, and to breathe deeply.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that Jesus made time to play with the little children, and He also escaped to the wilderness to enjoy creation and to feed His soul and spirit as He communed with You. All of creation plays and frolics – each in its own environment. Teach us that play is not frivolous and purposeless, but vital and healthy in so many ways. Playing outside also benefits us from sunlight, nature, fresh air, etc.

 

You created play, because it enhances our immune system, our confidence, sense of community, brain development, self-esteem, resiliency, neuron survival, motor skills, problem solving talents, balance and flexibility, coordination, cooperation with others, strengthens muscles, conditions our heart and lungs, combats chronic diseases, helps us to maintain a healthy weight and emotional expression, etc. You are an awesome God, and You care about every aspect of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

A few examples of play – individually or with one or more people:

  • Playing with our pet(s), maintaining an enjoyable hobby
  • Gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, art, music, etc.
  • Sports, walking, jogging, gym-time, dancing, etc.
  • Board games, card games, word games, electronic games
  • Swimming, skiing, surfing, mountain climbing, biking, etc.
  • Strolling in nature – alone or with a friend

The possibilities are endless.

 

Delight Yourself in the Lord

low angle photo of green leaf tree

 

Intimacy with God fills every crack in our soul. It fulfills us better than any person, place, vocation or thing on this earth. Our heart swells to overflowing with the joy of God’s love, which cascades over our soul like a waterfall.

 

At times, we are so desperate to find peace, joy and love that we are never going to get from this world. We hunger and thirst for fulfillment. We forget that we have an abundance of joy in validation, affection, acceptance and satisfaction from God, who is already inside of us.

 

Many Believers will spend time in prayer, reading God’s Word, and telling others about what Jesus did for us; but we forget to bask in His presence, enjoy companionable silence as we sit at His feet, and allow our heart to notice and thrill at His multitude of hugs every day.

 

We use an abundance of words in our prayers, making our requests known to God; but then, we forget to listen to Him, to what He wants to say to us, to the affirmation He has for us, and to the fact that He rejoices over us with singing.

 

We do not take time to meditate on the fact that God is powerful, just, faithful, a righteous judge, a loving Father, a divine inspiration, etc., and that Christ is our whole life. These facts put a new perspective on our outlook in life (Colossians 2:12, 3:3-4; Jeremiah 11:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 1:6).

 
When we hunger and thirst after God (Psalm 42:1-5), He fills us to overflowing. We delight in God’s creation, in His Saints in our life, in His provision in the most amazing ways, etc. Our gratitude for His nurture and care for us overflows in praises all day long.

 

Prayer:

Father God, delighting in You creates a positive environment for our health in body, soul and spirit. We dwell in abundant life in every area of our existence. Our relationships improve, our creativity abounds, our intuition and inspiration are sharper and clearer, all because of our intimacy with You.

 

As we focus our gaze on You, the edges get knocked off our circumstances, we have fewer mountains to climb and less temptation from things pertaining to this life. Our concept of our identity, our purpose in life, our trials, our vocational demands, our ministry for You, etc. improve and stabilize. We look forward to living in Your presence every moment of each new day.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we see life from God’s viewpoint, our trials have less of an effect on us, because we look for the seed for a miracle that He plants in every one of them; we have hope that sustains us through the bad times, and that enhances our good times; we bask in the realization that the supreme Creator of our universe abides within us.

 

 

Our Purpose in Life

green tree on grassland during daytime

 

In His foreknowledge of our choices, God pre-ordained our life before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). With our mind on this world, we are nothing more than a dead stump; yet when God fills our life, we flourish and produce fruit for God’s Kingdom (Proverbs 11:28).

 

When we trust in Him, and the Lord is our hope and confidence, we are truly blessed. We send our roots deep into the river of life, to sustain us through the heat and drought. We bear fruit when others are struggling just to survive (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

 

We find our purpose in Him as we recognize the amazing visible and the invisible attributes of God and creation (Colossians 1:16). He directs the flow of rivers (Proverbs 21:1), the leadership of nations (Romans 13:1), and the individual lives of everyone ever born (Ephesians 2:10; Job 12:10).

 

Obsessing over our success and our rise in this world’s order will get us nowhere. Even if we ultimately reach the top, it does not fulfill us (Romans 8:6). The more of our self that we give to God, the closer we come to finding our true fulfillment (Matthew 16:25).

 

The mystery of God’s truth is available for everyone to see. The pages of His Word are full of wisdom for living. God had a design for us long before our birth, and as we surrender to Him, He carries it out one moment at a time each and every day (1 Corinthians 2:7).

 

In Christ, we discover our true identity, our purpose, and the fulfillment that we long for in life (Ephesians 1:11). We were in His watch-care before we were ever born (Isaiah 44:2). He fulfills His purpose for us as we surrender our life to Him (Psalm 138:8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You know us from our rising each morning to our snuggling in our comfy covers every night. In fact, You are intimately acquainted with every bone in our body. We delight in the fact of our intimate union with You; we rejoice in Your presence within us. Help us to walk in Your ways each moment of our day.

 

We are so glad that You rejoice over us with singing. We always want to live in such a way that we bring You glory, honor and praise. We want to fit into Your plans for our life, and to allow Your Spirit to mold us into vessels of honor for Your service. We love You with all of our heart.

 

Thought for the Day:

We all wonder why we are here on this planet, and we strive to find our purpose and to leave our legacy behind for others to enjoy; yet the greatest legacy we could ever pass on, to posterity and to everyone who was touched by our life, is a personal relationship with Christ.

Truth or Consequences

landscape photograph of trees near sea

 

Satan is very stealthy in his efforts to tempt us. He is shrewd and indirect, mingling lies with truth. He is the father of lies (John 8:44), and His goal is always to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He pretends to want our best, but then with sleight of hand, he devastates us.

 

The devil’s ultimate goals is to turn us into a full-pledged devil worshipper. He cannot make an all-out, frontal attack, however; so he starts with a simple temptation. He whispers the thought in our soul, and smirks as the lie’s effervescence weaves its spell over us.

 

Please understand that the temptation is from him, and it is not a sin until we swallow his bait – hook, line and sinker. At the same time, God always gives us a way of escape from the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The choice is ours, of course.

 

Eve made her mistake by talking to the serpent, and then by believing his lies. We do the same thing. He plays off our emotions, and then builds on his lies as we start to agree with his line of reasoning. He rejoices as we fall into his clutches.

 

Our only hope is to submit our thoughts to the Lord for His scrutiny. He will quickly point out the faulty reasoning behind the devil’s logic, and speak His truth to us in contrast. It is not hard to see the difference, once we give God the chance to instruct us (James 4:7-10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we can say, “No” to any of the evil one’s suggestions. He is quick to interject his viewpoint in convincing words that tickle our fancy. Show us that we fall into sin when we agree with his lies, and help us not to cross over the line of righteousness and slip into the realm of disobedience.

 

We need Your wisdom as we navigate life through the seen and unseen toils and snares inherent in this world. You forgive us regardless of our choices, but we never want to take advantage of Your grace by stepping over the line of temptation into sin. We love You with all of our heart, spirit, mind and strength.

 

Thought for the Day:
Jesus was tempted in all points just as we are, yet, without sin; and He abides within us with all of His power, discernment, wisdom and grace, which He shares with us as we consult Him with our every thought, word and deed.

– Hebrews 4:15; Proverbs 5-6

 

 

Our Identity in Christ

waterfalls

 

As human beings, we are so hard on our self. Perfectionistic attitudes drive us to attain more, reach a higher level, get that promotion, increase our bank account, earn that raise, live in a showcase home, marry the right person, etc.

 

We forget basic attributes like empathy, compassion, and love for our self and others. Some of us even bully our way to the top, regardless of who we step on during our ascent. Then we discover that the top is lonely and ultimately unfulfilling.

 

Reading daily affirmations of our identity in Christ, taken directly from God’s Word, is the only way to attain the fulfillment that we seek (https://gossipforjesus.com/2016/04/18/the-christian-identity-affirmation/). They build our confidence in God’s love, plan and provision for His Saints.

 

They teach us humility and kindness, and how to walk in God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). These positive thoughts give us more energy during the day, peaceful sleep at night, and joy with each new morning, which have nothing to do with our earthly experiences (Philippians 4:8).

 

We set our mind on wisdom from God’s throne rather than to worry about finite issues. All negative emotions are red flag to alert us to the fact that we are not meeting a need in our body, soul or spirit. As we listen to the accompanying words in our mind, they enlighten us.

 

If we do not heed their warning, they affect us in body, soul and spirit with ill health, mental illness and spiritual apathy. Rather than disparaging our self over a short-coming, we can lift our failings up to the Lord.

 

Failings are temporary misjudgments, but never the failures, which Satan tries to convince us that they are. God has plans, even for our imperfections. We may lose a battle, but Jesus already won the war on Calvary’s cross.

 

The blood of Jesus brought us into the family of God through salvation. Then, the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit in our life makes us worthy, lovable and beautiful in the eyes of God. He sees us clothed in Christ’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), and calls us as His own (1 John 3:1; John 15:15).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your Word has a major impact on our physical, mental and emotional health, as well as our spiritual maturity, and our overall worldview and perspective about life. Remind us to keep a record of our internal dialogue with our self, and to come to You to discover the truth about any lies perpetuated in our mind by our peers, authority figures, and the devil.

 

When we walk in Your will for our life, we are excited about our vocation, fulfilled by our ministry, thankful for our relationships, and amazed at our strength in Your joy. Thank you for freeing us from the dysfunctional memories of our past, which influence our current thoughts and emotions, and affect our health in body, soul and spirit.

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we properly assimilate the memories from our past, which are stored in our subconscious mind, and which inflict their power over our current thoughts and emotions, we are free from their intrusion in our life and their effect on our overall health.

(https://www.transformationprayer.org/supplemental-training-menu/)