As many of you already know from following me on Twitter, Allyson & I went to Charlotte this weekend to find a home for my wonderful clients, the Garbers. I sold their home about a year & a half ago & they are ready to take advantage of these bargain basement home prices. We drove up on Friday & I showed homes on Saturday & Sunday. Ally had a great time hanging out with Alissa & I spent time with Jennifer playing Bejeweled, shoulder to shoulder. LOL
I was so happy that I could stay in town over the weekend & go to Elevation Church. I was able to see Larry Brey & to meet Lisa Shea in person for the first time. Both of these amazing people were instrumental in the reconciliation of my marriage. I will never be able to thank them enough. With service, seeing Larry & Lisa, spending time with my dear friend, & finding the perfect home for the Garbers, I was on cloud nine this weekend. Oh, then to top it off, Barbara Estes, a loyal blog follower recognized Ally & I at Panera Bread yesterday on our way out of town. I am not the kind of person who sits down for lunch when I have a 4 hour drive ahead of me. I believe that God wanted us to meet in person. As Barbara said, "Go God"!
Don't forget, we are gearing up for the New Thru 30 challenge. We are going to be reading the entire New Testament in 30 days, starting next Monday. I am SUPER nervous about this challenge but I am SUPER excited to get started as well. I have been holding myself back from cheating & starting early. You can read my original post about this here & you can check out our Reading Small Group Support Group if you are going to be joining us. It is only 5.4 pages - 8.3 pages a day (depending if you want to read on weekends). You owe it to yourself to take the time out of your busy day.
I went shopping last week to the mall with the kids so that they could spend their CHRISTmas gift cards & I came across a Christian Bookstore. I went inside to browse around & I found a new book that I love. It is called "Strengthening Your Marriage" & it is by Wayne A. Mack. Click on the photo for more info. You can even take a little peak inside!
I read quite a bit of this last night & follows many of the same principles as Love & Respect. It also has a built in work book to help you learn more about yourself, your spouse, & the Bible in regards to marriage. It is awesome! I will be taking information from this book over the next few days.
There is only one statement about marriage that is included in the Bible four times. It is in Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; & Ephesians 5:31. The statement is, "For this cause shall a man leave his father & mother & shall cleave to his wife, & they shall become one flesh." This is God's blueprint for marriage. A good blueprint is essential in a marriage, just as it is for a building project.
What does God mean to leave your parents? It means that you establish an adult relationship with them. It means that you become more concerned with your spouse's opinions, needs, desires, ideas, & practices than those of your parents. It means that you must not be dependent on your parent's approval, affection, assistance, & counsel. It means that you must eliminate bad attitudes towards your parents or you will be tied to them emotionally, regardless of how far away you move from them. It means that you must stop trying to change your mate because your parents do not like the way he is. It means that you make the husband & wife relationship your priority human relationship.
Children do not to indulge their parents. They need parents who will demonstrate how to face & solve problems. They need parents who will show them how to be good husbands & wives, & how to relate to other people. Your husband's parents must allow him to be the head of his household, to make decisions for himself, to look to his wife, not them. You parents should encourage you to depend on your husband & not to them for guidance, help, compassion, & affection. You should be more concerned with being a good wife than a good daughter.
God planned for marriage to be permanent. Marriage, then, is not a matter of blind chance, but deliberate choice.It is not merely a matter of convenience, but obedience. It is not a matter of how the cards fall out, but how much you are willing & determined to work at it. A good marriage is based more on commitment than a feeling or animal attraction.
In many ways getting married is like becoming a Christian. When a person becomes a Christian, he leaves his former way of life, his self-righteousness, his own efforts to save himself, & turns to Christ, who died in the place & stead of sinners. In the act of turning to Christ he commits himself to trust Christ faithfully, completely, & diligently, regardless of how he feels or what problems arise. Just so, God's kind of marriage involves cleaving to one another in sickness & health, poverty & wealth, pleasure & pain, joy & sorrow, good times & bad, agreements & disagreements. God's kind of marriage means that couples know that they must face problems together, discuss them, seek God's help in them, resolve them rather than run from them, because there is no way out. They are committed to one another for life.
Have you made this commitment to Christ? Have you made this commitment to your husband?
Day Twenty Two -
"Let your speech always be with grace..." Col. 4:6a
Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, & your community. In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If all my family & friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?" Do you need to change that filter?
Do you speak positively about your husband to others...or do you complain & criticize? Your speech should reflect 1 Corinthians 13 love. Your words should be kind, & should never "rejoice in iniquity". Refrain from listing your husband's faults to others. Satan likes to trick us in this area - be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests".
Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8b) Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner. Slip in a "good word" for your spouse. Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others. Some of what you say may come back to him - & you want your words to be sweet, building him up & never tearing him down.
Don't forget: you are always criticizing - or encouraging - before an audience. God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own home. May your speech always be seasoned with grace.
Day Twenty Two Prayer -
Pray that your husband will practice forgiveness in your relationship & with others. Pray that he will recognize any roots of bitterness, & yield any resentment & unforgiving attitudes to the Lord. (Eph. 4:32; Heb. 12:15)