Monday, June 24, 2013

Respect Challenge: Week 8

Quick Recap - I am on a 25 week journey to becoming a more respectful wife.  I want to be the best wife my husband could ever ask for!  I found my inspiration over at Loving Life at HomePlease feel free to join me on this might even change your marriage...  ;)

Be Thankful.

Jennifer notes, "Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Don’t take your husband for granted. Be appreciative for everything he does for you, whether big or small. Always say thank you."

1 Thessalonians 5:18-In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:20 - ...always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God...
How often are we stuck trying to figure out what God's will is for our life.  When big decisions come up it always becomes a matter of God's will.  Well, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us what God's will is for us!  To give thanks in everything!  That is definitely not easy all of the time.

Especially when we don't think out husbands are doing what they should.  I tried extra hard to be appreciative of the things my Hubby did do this week instead of focusing on the things he didn't do.  It definitely helped me see that he does more than I realize.  For instance - he helped clean up dinner almost every night.  I don't know if I never noticed or if he has just stepped up recently, but I'm loving it! I'd thank him for silly things like putting the toothpaste away and he'd ask "Why are you thanking me?" and shake his head.  I just told him it was because I even appreciated the small stuff - which is true!  I guess I just don't express it enough.  To be honest, I failed miserable yesterday though...I gave him a really hard time for not appreciating what I do and going on and on about how he always notices the negative things but can't ever appreciate the good things I do.  After a great week of appreciating him, I turned it sour by focusing, again, on what he wasn't doing...and I exaggerated the whole situation at that!

I hope, unlike me, that you remember this week that we are doing this to better ourselves and our marriage, not to keep score.

I also think it is important to note that Ephesians 5:20 says we are to give thanks in the name of Christ to God.  That sounds an awful lot like prayer doesn't it?  While you are thanking your husband this week for all he does, why not thank God for him while you're at it?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Respect Challenge: Week 7

Quick Recap - I am on a 25 week journey to becoming a more respectful wife.  I want to be the best wife my husband could ever ask for!  I found my inspiration over at Loving Life at HomePlease feel free to join me on this might even change your marriage...  ;)

Don't Nag.

Jennifer notes, "Your husband is a grown man, so don't treat him like a two-year-old.  Leave room for God to work.  You are not the Holy Spirit, so do not try to do His job."

First of all, I just want to say *ouch.*  That one burnt a little.  I never viewed my nagging as stepping on the Holy Spirit's toes...  Secondly, I would like to note that we all (as wives) have a very negative view of "nagging."  I know I'm not speaking for myself when I say that I really don't want anyone (my husband included) to consider me a nag.  And don't you tend to look down on behaviors of other women that you would consider nag-esque?  Simply put, we definitely know it is a negative trait no woman actually wants to be associated with....why, then, do we all do it?  

Proverbs 31:12 -She does him good and not evil / All the days of her life

Proverbs 31:26 - She opens her mouth in wisdom, / And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
This one was a really tough one for me.  I want things done my way when I ask and on my time.  If that means I have to get on Hubby's case 10 times in one night, so be it.  But sometimes (or maybe all of the time) I need to let go and let God.  I did learn this week that Hubby does get things done when I ask.  I've been prefacing with, 'I don't want to keep bugging you so this is the only time I'm going to ask, can you please...."  And, no, I'm not being smart about it either, I have tried to be as sincere as I possibly can be.  I don't want to be a nag...ever...  I think if I can learn to have a little bit of patience with the strength I get from the Holy Spirit then the Holy Spirit is also going to be working on Hubby.  Now that I see nagging as a hindrance to the Spirit's work, it is much easier to stop before I ever start.  I pray that it is the same for you! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Respect Challenge: Week 6

Quick Recap - I am on a 25 week journey to becoming a more respectful wife.  I want to be the best wife my husband could ever ask for!  I found my inspiration over at Loving Life at HomePlease feel free to join me on this might even change your marriage...  ;)

Pray for Him.

Jennifer notes, "Take your concerns to God.  Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well."

Philippians 4:6-7 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.  

This one was easy!  With everything that has come with Hubby's promotion - the questions, the stress, the fights, the change - the only thing I know how to do is pray.  This week, I focused a lot more on specific prayers for him.  This allowed me, if even for a few moments, to put my own feelings aside and do my best to simply be what he needs me to be.  It was hard sometimes.  But I know for sure that God opened the door for me to see things through Hubby's eyes for a while - and it brought me to tears.  He is dealing with so much, going through so much...and all I was doing was complaining that he wasn't himself at the end of the day.  Which would have made complete sense if I had just stopped to think for only a moment.  Prayer brought me back to Love.  And Love showed me where I was falling short.  I have also seen a small change in him: a little more hope, a little more motivation...

I'm not going to stop this, I'm going to follow the directions of 1 Thessalonians and pray without ceasing.  It is the only way he and I will get to the other side of this unscathed.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Respect Challenge: Week 5

Quick Recap - I am on a 25 week journey to becoming a more respectful wife.  I want to be the best wife my husband could ever ask for!  I found my inspiration over at Loving Life at HomePlease feel free to join me on this might even change your marriage...  ;)

Emphasize His Good Points. 

Jennifer notes, "
Sure, he has his faults (as do you), but dwelling on them will only make you (both) miserable. Choose instead to focus on those qualities in your husband that you most admire."

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.


This was a tough one....two weeks in the works.  Which is a sad truth.  You see, Hubby took a new promotion recently and it has really added a lot of stress to both of our lives.  The end of the day has resulted in him being extremely tired and (he would admit) a little more cranky.  Unfortunately, instead of me being the supportive wife I should be I kept harping about all the things he wasn't doing or being.  At the end of last week I realized I hadn't once tried to emphasize his good points.  I never told him how proud I am that he was promoted to such a good position so soon and at such a young age.  I never thanked him for taking on the added stress so that he could be the bread-winner.  I never told him he was doing a great job with all of his added responsibilities.

Well, the beginning of this week didn't go so well is so easy to keep being the "same old."  But I realized toward the end of the week that I really needed to turn things around.  So first I left him an "I'm Proud of You" note on the table one night - he got it the next morning at breakfast.  (It was part of a printable set of note-cards I got from The Dating Divas, you just have to sign up for their newsletter).  Then, over the next couple of days I sent him random text messages to tell him all the things I thought he was good at, like encouraging me, working hard, etc.  

It was so very worth it!  Our Sunday was so blissful!  We spent the morning snuggled in bed, went to church, celebrated the dedication of a friends dear baby girl, and then came home and snuggled some more.  We decided on a sushi night and headed out for dinner, laughing, talking, and smiling the whole way there.  We ended the night with ice cream.  Even though it was a pretty normal day, it was one of my very favorite days.  After a rough few weeks, Sunday was the first day we not only didn't fight, but we reveled in each other's company!  I haven't smiled like that in awhile.  I truly believe it is a memory I will treasure forever - the calm after a storm.  And all I had to do was change my attitude - stop focusing on the negative and refocus on the positive!  

True Heirs

Cara Wood lived a normal life, working as a waitress during high school.  While working, she befriended a regular customer, Bill Cruxton, and began helping him around his home and running errands.  Because of their friendship, Cruxton changed his will so that Cara, even though she was not a blood-relative, inherited the mass of his fortune: $500,000 (The Register Guard).  

I'm sure there are many more stories like this, in fact, the song "People Are Crazy" by Billy Currington comes to mind: "he left his fortune to some man he barley knew..."

But the best story of all is that of God's fortune.   

Psalm 15:1-2
1 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart

Simply put, "to [dwell] in the tent of Jehovah be frequently present in the temple [or church]; to be...God's guest have His care and protection" (Gesenius' Lexicon).  The heirs of Christ are not only His guests in the present age with access to His care and protection but will also be His guests eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven.

So who are the true heirs of Christ?  In other words: "1. Who can be considered a fit member of the church of Christ here below? And 2. Who shall be made partakers of an endless glory" (Clarke).

First of all " are not their birth and blood: all shall not abide in God's tabernacle that have Abraham as their Father" (Henry).  This means that just because you are an Israelite or a Jew does NOT mean you will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven or even have His care in the present world.  There is more to it.

In order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, it comes down to faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith... (Ephesians 2:8)

Faith, in it's true form, will exude the 3 characteristics listed by David in the Psalm above: integrity, righteousness, and a heart of truth.  For, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself...You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder...are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? (James 2:17,19-20)

Yes, we are saved by faith.  But true faith results in works.  True faith results in righteousness, in integrity, and in a heart of truth.  In other words, "His mouth speaks nothing but what his heart dictates.  His heart, his tongue, and his hand are all in unison.  Hypocrisy, guile, and deceit have no place in his soul" (Clarke).  

Therefore, the true heirs of the Kingdom of God are those whose hearts portray integrity, righteousness, and truth.  Simply put, "as men's hearts and lives are, so will their lot be" (Henry).

What will your lot be?  If God were to dole out his fortune today - would you be an heir?  Or is your faith dead?