Let Me Tell You, Gentlemen

If you think that your marriage is good, or even perfect, that may be because all of your needs are met by your good and faithful wife. Have you ever asked her what she thinks about your marriage?

You may be surprised to find out that she is so busy caring for you and the home and children, that she has no time to fulfill her needs. She may have longings in her soul that are not realized; so make the time to discover her needs and help her to accomplish them.

You may criticize her for her irritability, insecurity, jealousy, rage, discouragement, etc., and view these negative emotions as separate from your behavior. They very well may have an outside source; but you could help to relieve them, even if your behavior and attitude are not causing them.

Do you ignore her when she talks to you, and only listen to her with half an ear? Do you take all of her needs seriously and ask her how you can help her? Do you provide her with a stable living environment full of cherishing, nurturing and acceptance?

She may need an hour to soak in the tub, some help with the dishes or bathing the children, a night alone to read or watch a movie in the sanctity of your bedroom, or a special date night. Take charge and give her that time.

Make sure that you inundate her with continual focused attention; date nights which you help to plan; and little gifts, notes, cards, emails and phone calls to let her know that she is not only in your heart but in your mind as well.

Never take her for granted. Bless her with words, which affirm your appreciation of her, but back the words up with actions too. Celebrate her successes along with her and show her your care and concern when she is discouraged or ill.

If she works outside of the home too, help her with the household chores and make sure all of your children have assigned duties, so that the whole family cooperates to keep your home clean, harmonious and running smoothly.

Never allow your children to speak to your wife with disrespect, and model this respect by your behavior. Find a church to attend with your family, have daily devotions with them all and disciple them in Biblical truth to help them to withstand the devil’s temptations.

Prayer:
Father God, You created the husband to serve as a role model in his family as he patterns his behavior and attitude after Your character and nature (Galatians 5:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4). Help him to consider the needs of his wife and children above his own (Ephesians 5:25). Yet, give him the boldness to express his needs as well, so his family can uplift him as he supports them.

Meld the husband and wife in such unity that they provide a positive and cohesive home for their children. This will give more security to the children and reduce rebellion in them as well. Remind us that You are the reason we are alive on this earth, and that serving You as a family is the greatest privilege, which life affords us.

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

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Shopping Spree

Once every quarter, we take the trek to the area Walmart, and I put everything on the shelves into my buggy; or so it seems! I load up on items from the meat, dairy, fresh veggie and frozen veggie aisle.

As the cart gets fuller, our bank balance gets smaller; and when I get home, I have hours of work ahead of me. I pre-cook all of the meats and veggies in order to preserve their freshness.

This also allows me to have simple, quick meals for the months ahead, and to save space in the freezer. Today, I have been cooking and freezing since 4PM, and it is after 10PM; but I am only three quarters of the way finished with this process.

I wonder, at times, why I put myself through this. However, I enjoy the fruit of my labor on the hectic work days, when I can serve a fully home-cooked meal in minutes instead of hours.

Our Christian walk is very much like this shopping and cooking spree. When we come to Christ as a baby Christian, we have no resources to provide for our needs.

We are extremely hungry for God, as well as to learn about Him and His principles; therefore, we go to every church service, read every book and listen to every radio and TV preacher we can find.

We stockpile this spiritual food in our newly reborn spirit, all neatly categorized and shelved in all the right places. Then, in years to come, we have a storehouse of spiritual food and reinforcement to see us through the roughest trials life has planned for us.

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing more fulfilling than fellowshipping with You around Your table. We thank You for Your generous provision for us in body, soul and spirit, throughout our lifetime. We give You all the praise and glory for the peace and joy we enjoy in Your presence, regardless of life’s trials.

Remind us to continue to gather Your spiritual food, regardless of how often we read through the Bible or how many verses we committed to memory. Every day with You is “sweeter than the day before” (Robert Claire Loveless).

Thought for the Day:
If you are going through a trial, and feeling famished for the presence of God, remember the first principles you learned when He came in to dine with you that very first time.           – Revelation 3:20

Help My Unbelief

A father brings his son to Jesus. The boy has a mute spirit and experiences epileptic-type seizures. He believes Jesus can heal his son; yet because the disciples already failed to do so, he is afraid to try again. He asks Jesus for help with his unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

We all feel this way sometimes. We know what the Word of God says, what preachers tell us, and what our friends share with us; yet, we still have such little faith!

Through this tiny verse God shows His humor and mercy in the same breath! He teaches us that the important aspect is to choose to believe, even when circumstances cause us to feel uncertain.

God understands that we lose hope and get discouraged. So, God put this powerful verse in the Bible to remind us that as long as we choose to believe, then He will do the rest.

Prayer:
Lord, we want to walk in obedience, trusting in Your promises and doing greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12). We believe in You; yet, at times, our faith is weak. Thank You for helping our unbelief, and for providing for all of our spiritual, physical and emotional needs.

We praise You day and night for Your wonderful works and multitude of blessings to the Your children. You do so much for us and take such an active roll in the details of our life. Thank You for caring enough to give Your life for our redemption and salvation.

Thought for the Day:
Hearing from God often requires that we find a quiet place to still our thoughts and focus on His presence in our life.

Identity Crisis

If a child does not receive the fulfillment of his/her legitimate human needs, they will look for people in their adulthood to meet them. Belonging, significance, acceptance, identity and security are the major psychological and emotional necessities in every human soul.

Our emotionally wounded parents were unable to provide these for us. As adults, we search in vain for our perfect soulmate, who has the limitless resources to make up for the deprivation from our past. In search of our fulfillment, we get too involved in earthly pursuits and change partners too often.

Those we reject suffer deep emotional scars, which are almost impossible to heal. As individuals, we attempt to perfect our personality and performance in order to find our personal worth through our human qualities, talents, intelligence, and physical assets.

The problem is that no one is capable of perfection. The key to our fulfillment on this earth is to realize that our true personal worth comes from our relationship with our supreme God and Father (Philippians 4:19). Only He provides us with a secure sense of belonging. We can trust Him and have no fear of His rejecting us for any reason.

If we cling to our deficiencies, rather than surrendering it all to God, we erect an idol, which we continue to “worship”. We allow Satan and our flesh to deceive us, which continues to cripple us. However, when we completely surrender all of our needs to God, He will meet them in His way and timing.

Prayer:
Father God, our freedom comes only as we surrender every aspect of our life to You. As long as we focus on what we lack, we continue to worship idols. Once we take our mind off our needs, and put it on worshipping and serving you, we suddenly discover that we are living a very fulfilling life. Remind us to commit our life to You, because then Jesus heals us and we are totally set free from emotional and psychological hindrances (John 8:32; Psalm 37:5). We enjoy mental, emotional and spiritual freedom, which only comes by learning to find our contentment in You (Philippians 4:11-13).

Thought for the Day:
In truth, complete fulfillment only comes when Christ is our whole life. – Colossians 3:4

God Takes Care of Us

Although times of quiet fellowship with our Father are necessary in order to increase our intimacy with Him, we do not need a quiet place in order to have companionship with Him or to hear His voice. He lives within us and He will never remove His presence from us (Hebrews 13:5; Colossians 1:27).

We have access to God’s ear anytime day or night (Ephesians 3:2; Hebrews 4:16). Our human reasoning and fears are the only issues, which can prevent us from walking in God’s Spirit. As we learn to respond to His still, small voice within, we will walk in His wisdom and anointing throughout our day. God transforms us into His Saints by the sanctifying work of His Spirit in our soul (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God’s Word is alive (Hebrews 4:12; John 1:1). Every concept in the Bible is an illustration of the nature and character of God. The more time we spend reading the scripture, the more wisdom we acquire for living, and the more we understand God’s ways. We also realize that God does not pick superstars for His Saints, but faulty, weak and humble people who are prepared to do His will (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

If we have an earthly necessity, God will supply it as we seek His Kingdom and wait on His perfect timing (Matthew 6:25-33). As we take our needs to Him in prayer, He brings people into our life who can supply what we require. He will also lead us to the mate of His choosing and direct us to the employment, which He pre-arranged for us (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for residing within each of Your Saints. Teach us to follow Your Spirit every day (Galatians 5:16-25). Give us a hunger for Your Word, so that we can learn to trust You with our life as the Saints of old did. Their lives are an example to us of Your love, provision and discipline. Remind us to budget our income, starting with giving a tithe to You of the first fruits of our labor (Malachi 3:10). Through Christ, we continually offer the sacrifice of praise to You with heart-felt words filled with thanksgiving for all that You did and continue to do for us (Hebrews 13:15).

Thought for the Day:
Each new morning is a chance to glorify God with our life; every evening is an opportunity to thank Him for His daily provision and to cast our worries and concerns on Him, because He truly cares for us. – 1 Peter 5:7

Serving One Another

The work of God’s Spirit within us depends upon our cooperation with Him. We cannot produce fruit without His presence in us; but He cannot produce fruit in us, if we are not willing to surrender every area of our life to Him. As the Spirit gives us God’s character and special gifts, we use them to serve one another (1 Corinthians 12:4).

The Holy Spirit enables us, by the grace of God, to be good managers of His diverse gifts within us (1 Peter 4:10). God instructs us to care for others, but He also cautions us to care for our needs as well (Matthew 22:39; Philippians 2:3-6). If we neglect our own salvation, or our physical, emotional and mental needs, then we will have no resources to share with others.

We will run out of emotional and physical energy. We will end up bitter and resentful, because we will do all of the serving. It is important for us to care for our self too. Some believe it is selfish to care for our self. I used to think that as I served others, they would serve me, and both our emotional tanks would be full.

This put an undue burden on others to give to me as much as I gave to them. They did not have the resources within them to do this, so we all ended up losing. My expectations were constantly disappointed and I battled to keep myself encouraged and motivated to continue serving anyway. What I finally learned was that codependence with other people is an illness.

We are to depend only on God in our life. We are to obey His Spirit’s direction each moment of the day. If we serve someone, without His direction, we may divert God’s dealings in that person’s life. As we function in God’s spiritual anointing, we never run out of energy to serve those to whom God leads us to minister. We can even meet our own needs as God’s Spirit brings them to our attention.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to rely on You for every need in our life. Please encourage us with the truth that it is acceptable to ask for our needs to be met too, and to meet our own needs if no one else will. Help us to make friends who will bring blessings into our life rather than those who suck the life right out of us. Teach us to erect boundaries for those toxic people who attempt to take advantage of us. Remind us that we should minister to others only as Your Spirit directs us throughout the day. We will show the love of Christ to others as You make a way, not as our human compassion demands.

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Believers dwell in, exhibit and function from the righteousness and holiness of God in our service to those God brings our way.