Let Me Tell You, Ladies

A man loves to be useful and to feel needed, admired, accepted as he is and appreciated. As his wife, we are his biggest fan and most vocal cheering section.

We encourage our husband, show him appreciation, leave love notes in his briefcase or lunchbox, get excited at his accomplishments and care about his day. We can ask him what he needs, and do all in our power to help.

Our husband is not our mule and a paycheck. His role in life is not to function as our servant. Even if we both work all day, and we share the chores and child care, he should choose the chores he feels comfortable doing.

When our husband has a day off, he needs some of that time for himself. Family time is important, but he needs some of that time to chill, to hang with his buds, to create in his shop, to surf the waves or the internet, or to play his gaming device.

He decompresses his stress this way and can pay more attention to the family during our time together. A date night is also important for us as a coupleā€¦a time to play, laugh, make memories, form a closer bond and do something fun.

If we make his favorite meals and have everything he needs for the next day in plain view and ready for him before we go to bed, his love for us will grow; and he will make more of an effort to care for our needs as well.

If he is withdrawn, irritable, angry, or exhibiting any negative emotions, we can give him some space and some time to work out his issues. We can ask if there is anything we can do to help, and then follow through with his requests.

When a disagreement occurs, we brainstorm and pray together rather than just caving in to our partner or fighting to get our own way. Once God shows us a scenario, which we both feel good about, we proceed with unity and joy in our heart.

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word warns us that all of the forces of hell, along with the temptations and disagreements of the world, unite to destroy our marriage. We often join them and make life more difficult for our partner.

Remind us that love never fails; so we can decide together that divorce is never an option, since divorce shreds our family and removes the support that our children need regardless of how old they are. Divorce makes Your Church vulnerable, unstable and defeated.

Revive us, O Lord, so that we can rejoice in You (Psalm 85:6). Satisfy us anew each new morning with your unfailing love, so we can sing for joy and rejoice all the days of our life (Psalm 90:14).

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer the other person, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.

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Filled with God’s Spirit

I write the posts for my blog between the latest hours of the night and the earliest hours of the morning. I am usually “three sheets in the wind”, as they say.

On a sailboat, if the sheets – the ropes used to secure the sail – are loose, the sail will shake around in the wind, causing the ship to sway, much like a drunk person.

However, I am not drunk with alcohol. I am filled with the presence of God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). There are no distractions, no demands on my time, no interruptions with phones or chores. I am al-one with God.

There is nothing mysterious about God’s Spirit. Our body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and He does the work of God in our life through Christ in us (Hebrews 13:21).

The function of the sail on a boat is to catch the wind, so the craft can move in a stately and confident manner. When our “sheets” are tight, we can catch just the right amount of God’s Spirit in order to move confidently in God’s will.

The Holy Spirit is described as a rushing, mighty wind on Pentecost, and He moves wherever He pleases (Acts 2:2; John 3:8). We cannot see God’s Spirit, but we can see His effects in us.

The number of sails used on a boat at one time depends on the strength of the wind. The determining factor is to remain balanced and steady as the wind propels the ship through the water.

The stronger the wind of the Holy Spirit moves in our life, the fewer sails we need in order to be guided in the correct direction. We quickly respond to His prompting, because we are in tune with His ways.

We operate in the power of God’s Spirit as we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We share His Truth with everyone we meet in every city, state and country, in which we travel or live (Acts 1:4-9).

Prayer:
Father God, help us not to trade in our treasure by buying into the lies of the devil. Satan will imitate You and draw us away from following hard after You (Psalm 63:8). Give us discernment to tell the difference between Your Spirit and his.

We thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit within us, giving us both the desire and power to serve You with our whole heart, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Remind us to cling to Christ, who is the head of His Body, and to be complete in Him (Colossians 2:10, 18).

Thought for the Day:
Through the power of God’s Spirit within us we spend our life glorifying God.

Loving Our Spouse

The joining of two human beings as one is a very difficult prospect (Mark 10:8). The high divorce rate proves that this is often impossible to do. There are basic human needs in each person, some of which were never satisfied in childhood. We carry these needs with us our whole life, trying to find fulfillment for them, even in marriage. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs )

When two people marry, they take these needs into this new relationship. If they are incompatible needs or if one person insists on their own needs being met instead of their partner’s, there will be conflict in the marriage. However, if the couple is willing to humble themselves and to prefer one another on a daily basis, a happy marriage is possible (Romans 12:10).

Ask your spouse what he/she needs to feel loved. They may not even realize their basic needs, but there is Christian help at the bookstore, counselor’s office and online. Words are either power tools of encouragement or lethal weapons of destruction (Proverbs 18:21). It turns out that many people need verbal validation from their spouse to feel loved (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Others need help with daily chores, which often overwhelm them (Galatians 6:2). Receiving a little love note or a simple gift during each day will help many other spouses to feel loved (1 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Having a meaningful, undistracted conversation, often accompanied by snuggle time, will do wonders for some other relationships (Hebrews 10:24).

The easiest tool to use to ensure peace and harmony in a relationship is to never insist on one’s own way. Often, one person will have a need or idea they want to fulfill, but their spouse has a different idea of how to respond to this issue. Neither of you can agree with the other person’s assessment, so there is an impasse or a violent argument.

As the popular song recommends, “The road is shorter when we meet in the middle.” Rather than focusing on your own needs to the exclusion of your mate’s needs, look at the issue from a third perspective. Brainstorm together about the problem or need until you find a solution that is agreeable to both of you. Rather than your Plan A, or your spouse’s Plan B, agree on a Plan C that you both feel good about.
Prayer:
Father God, remind us that You joined us as man and woman for the purpose of serving You together with our lives. Help us to prefer one another and to share with each other what you are teaching us every day. In an impasse, remind us that You have a perfect will for this issue or activity in our life. Rather than insisting on our own way, we need to seek You together in order to find Your solution for the problem. We love You and lift You up as Lord and Savior of our life and our marriage.

Thought for the Day:
Today, there are some great resources to help us to maintain an equitable and successful marriage, starting with The Five Love Languages ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ ).