Why is that? Why are we giving our waitresses 15-20% & God is only getting 10% or He isn't getting anything at all? Is her service really healing us? Is it blessing us? Will she give us eternal life? Will she let me see Kayleigh again? Don't get me wrong ladies, I was a waitress once. I am not asking you to stop tipping. But, I think you can get my message.
If I asked most of you how 2009 was for you, I bet you would say that you hope 2010 is better. Why would you say that? Well, because you are hoping for more money, less stress, a job, etc. Bascially, less crisis, right? That is what most of us think. Adam posted this on his Facebook page on New Year's Eve:
Some may say...the death of our child, nearly a year spent in the hospital, our successful business floundering, our beautiful home foreclosing, our car being reposessed, our marriage separation would certainly be considered a bad year, but I see it as how God used us to show others how awesome His love is and that with the Lord in your life, you'll be filled with the strength to get through ANYTHING!!! I call that a GREAT YEAR!!! God Bless you all and Happy New Year :)
When I went to church on Saturday night, the sermon that Pastor Furtick gave was very similar to Adam's words. There was one comment in that sermon that stuck with me. I believe I will make it my mantra. I earned it. LOL "Crisis Provides Opportunity." For our family, 2009 was just one crisis after another. But each off those situations provided opportunity for us to be closer to the Lord, but for us to share with all of you. I met one of my dearest friends, my mentor, I moved to a new city that is allowing me to get involved in fundraising, I am active in church, getting involved in small groups, mentoring women that I would never have met, etc. etc. Many many lives were & will be changed because of my family's crisis of 2009. Shouldn't that make it the best year, not the worst? Are you using your crisis as an opportunity to share the Lord, or to bring you or your family closer to the Lord?
God's blueprint for marriage involves one flesh. Marriage is a total commitment & a total sharing of the total person with another person until death. God's intention is that when two people get married, they share everything - their bodies, their possessions, their insights, their ideas, their abilities, their problems, their successes, their sufferings, their failures, etc. A husband & wife are a team & whatever each of them does must be for the sake of the other person, or at least it must not be to the detriment of the other person. Each must be as concerned about the other person's needs as he is about his own. (Eph. 5:28; Prov. 31:12, 27)
God's blueprint for a good marriage is total intimacy & deep unity. Now, this does not mean total uniformity or sameness. Our bodies are made up of many different parts. Hands do not do the work of feet. Our heart does not do the work of our livers. There is great diversity in our body, yet there is unity. Each part works for the benefit of the other parts, or at least one part does not try to hurt the other parts. Similarly, husbands & wives may be very different, but they must not allow their differences to hinder their unity because God's purpose is total unity.
In Genesis 2:25, immediately after God spoke of the husband & wife becoming one flesh, the Scripture says, "And the man & his wife we both naked & were not ashamed." After they sinned we read that "they eyes of both of them were opened, & they knew that they were naked, & they sewed fig leaves together & made themselves loin coverings." As soon as sin entered the picture, they began to cover up. This attempt to cover up was certainly an evidence of their awareness of their sinfulness before God. Immediately & foolishly, they tried to hide their sin from God. Still further, this "covering up" symbolized an attempt to hide from each other. When sin entered the picture, their transparency, openness, & total oneness were destroyed.
In today's times sometimes marital oneness is destroyed by the sin of selfishness. Sometimes it is marred by the sin of pride. Sometimes it is broken by the sin of bitterness or ingratitude or stubbornness or unwholesome speech or neglect or impatience or harshness or cruelty. It was sin that destroyed the oneness of Adam & Eve, & it is sin that destroys the oneness of husbands & wives today.
This brings us to our need of Jesus Christ. First of all, we need Jesus to bring us into the right relationship with God. But not only that, we need Jesus to help us be rightly related to each other. Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy barriers between man & woman & man & God. He alone can take a sinful, selfish man & woman & enable them to leave father & mother, cleave to one another, & become one flesh. Therefore, if you are going to experience that total oneness that God says is essential to a good marriage, you need to come to Jesus Christ. He cleanses our sin & gives us the Holy Spirit, who produces in us the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self control. What area are you lacking in? What sin is destroying your total oneness with your husband? How can you rely on the Lord more to help change you for the better?
Day Twenty Three -
You're moving toward the home stretch of your 30 day challenge! Just a reminder of what you've committed:
You can't say anything negative about your husband...to your husband...or to anyone else, about your husband. Each day, say something that you admire or appreciate about your husband...to your husband...& to someone else...about your husband.
"In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works..." (Titus 2:7a)
Does this challenge seem like hard work? Or is it becoming a pleasant exercise in genuine Christ-likeness in your home? You are only scratching the surface of ways to encourage your mate.
Is your husband organized? Is he diligent? Is he persistent? These are all related to a pattern of personal disciplines that are worthy of your praise. Affirm him for one or more of these traits that you see in him.
Some men have not developed these qualities because they are naturally more spontaneous. You can praise him for his spontaneity! Perhaps God has called you alongside to help him with disciplines he has not yet developed - but this does not include nagging. You can keep him organized.
Whatever the need, you can be your husband's cheerleader, encouraging him when he wants to give up.
Day Twenty Three Prayer -
Pray that your husband will work hard to provide for your family, to the best of his ability. Pray that the character qualities are necessary for a successful career & ministry will be a growing part of his character - persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, positive relationships with people, determination, etc. (Rom. 12:11, 1 Cor. 15:58)