to my amazing husband, Adam. Adam is celebrating his 31st birthday today & he looks, acts, loves, feels, smells, hugs, & kisses better than ever. Seriously, I think 31 is the new 21. Yippee! We celebrated a little over the weekend since Adam would be stuck at work most of the day today. However, instead of getting off at 7 or 8pm, he will be home around 3:30 or so. I can't wait. I already gave him his present so I will go ahead & share it with all of you too. Let me know what you think.
I have to say that it looks absolutely amazing on him. Adam gave me my cross on Mother's Day this year & I haven't taken it off since. I play with it all the time & I am so proud of it. He told me a few months ago that he wanted to get a black cross of some kind. I honestly didn't even know where to start so the internet seemed like the perfect choice. Who wants to drive around all day getting hassled by sales people? Adam loves the "tribal" thing as I am sure that you have all noticed from that arm sleeve tattoo that he has. This cross seemed to fit him perfectly. My biggest struggle was deciding on what length to get the chain. Don't laugh, I Googled online ruler because I didn't have one at home. I then took an old chain of his & measured it out on my screen. Problem solved. LOL I am so blessed that I have a husband that would want to receive a cross to display his faith on a daily basis. Thank you God for this perfect man!
When Adam comes home today he will have his birthday treat waiting for him. He isn't much of a cake guy but brownies are the way straight to his heart. So, we are going to have a double batch of:
Maybe a double batch is a bit extreme, but you only have a birthday once a year. His favorite pieces are the end pieces so we always save those for him. He loves to eat them with a BIG glass of milk. I think I am going to have to arrange them to look like a cake at least. I want to do something creative. Any ideas?
We have talked about the Crazy Cycle in the past & I am sure that most of us can relate to that cycle a little to well. Today I want to introduce you to The Rewarded Cycle. There is a third cycle as well but I feel as though my heart is pressing me to teach you The Rewarded Cycle first. I have received many emails from you all telling me that you are trying so hard & things are just not improving. You feel like giving up, & in fact several of you have. A few times. We can't quit on our husbands every time we do not get the outcome that we are hoping for. It took our marriage years in most cases to get to the place that it is in today. We can't expect 14 days or 31 days of being respectful to change him 100%. That can happen, but we shouldn't expect it. Honestly, most of you aren't forgiving him for everything that he has done in that same 14 or 31 days or you wouldn't be quitting so easily.
Well, in honor of Adam's birthday, I have a gift for all of you as well. I am going to explain The Rewarded Cycle, but you can also listen to it by clicking here. The link is part of an actual Love & Respect conference in which Dr. Eggerichs speaks specifically about The Rewarded Cycle. (There are a few other links that would interest most of you as well) Click around & enjoy. You will learn so much! It is priceless information & hearing it straight from the source is amazing.
What is The Rewarded Cycle? HIS LOVE BLESSES REGARDLESS OF HER RESPECT. HER RESPECT BLESSES REGARDLESS OF HIS LOVE. The Rewarded Cycle means that God blesses a wife who respects her husband regardless of his love. These blessings are the rewards that God gives us because of our love for Christ. Christ is the motivation for our action. Don't give up. Keep doing your part because in God's economy, no effort to obey Him is wasted. God intends to reward you even if your spouse is unresponsive.
Proverbs 24:16 says, "a righteous, committed spouse falls seven times & rises again." Spouses on The Rewarded Cycle know the secret of success, & maturity. They keep getting up & dealing with the issues. They don't demand for instant solutions. They are in their marriage for the long haul, & they live obedient to God in order to hear, "Well done, good & faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)
Remember: in the ultimate sense, your marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship to Jesus Christ. A key to benefiting from The Rewarded Cycle is in one word: unconditional. No matter how depressing or irritating your spouse is, YOUR response is YOUR responsibility. Try to look at it this way, when you are entering a conflict, your spouse is not causing you to be the way that you are. They are revealing the way that you are. When you are acting disrespectful towards your husband it is because YOU still have issues. Because YOU have some more growing & learning to do. You have a choice, you can play a victim & quit, or you can admit YOUR failure & become more mature. You will not become more mature by playing the victim.
No matter how unloving a husband may be at the moment, when a wife unconditionally respects him out of obedience to Christ, she can win him "without a word" (see 1 Peter 3:1-2), that is, influence him to follow Christ, which also results in him treating her better.
Ladies, I know this is hard. Believe me, I lived it. I handle to handle the daily rejection of Adam telling me that our marriage was over, that I was becoming better for someone else, that he didn't love me or ever had, & many other things. One of the scriptures that kept me focused & helped to get me through that time was in fact 1 Peter 3:1-2) You know what? It worked! God blessed me & my marriage. Please don't give up ladies. There IS hope, even though you might not feel it right now, today. If you feel like throwing in the towel because you can't do it for yourself or you can't do it for your husband, do it for Christ. You will be rewarded.
Day Eleven -
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Eph. 5:22)
Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands - especially by speaking evil of them to others - show great disrespect. Determine not to do that today (or ever). This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.
Men respond to women who respect them. What do you respect about your husband? Part of that respect includes submission to his authority. Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership. Show your respect in public by listening to him & smiling at him when he speaks. Place your hand in his as you walk together.
If you feel that you have nothing to respect, search harder....nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nurtured & respected. In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership...."as to the Lord."
Day Eleven Prayer -
Pray that your husband will learn how to relax in the Lord, & in his greatest times of stress, find joy & peace in his relationship with God. Pray that he will submit his schedule to the Lord. (Neh. 8:10; Prov. 17:22; Ps. 16:11)