for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.

Archive for the tag “love”

His resurrection

His (Jesus ’) resurrection gives me hope. To me it means that His love is unyielding, wreckless, and faithful for eternity. It wasn’t for His glory that He rose from the dead. It was His love for us that He rose from the grave, returned to earth, and instilled us with His hope. Hope for a new way of life.
  Jesus is our example. How to obey, how to surrender, how to trust, and how to love our Heavenly Father. We are to be like Christ. Therefore we should die to our flesh as Jesus willingly died to His. He said no to His personal gain, protection, and comfort. We are called to do the same.
  In His resurrection we are called to rise up with the power of the Holy spirit. When we choose Christ as Savior, we are renewed to live a life set Free from the bondages of sin in this world.
  On top of all that, Jesus prophesized this entire thing. Honestly without knowing and believing that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, I would have thought Jesus to be crazy. BUT… Knowing and believing that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead proves something far greater. His own prophecy proves His Sovereignty. He is faithful to His word.
  The best part is, when you put the two together, without God’s love… His sovereignty doesn’t provide much comfort or peace. But, with God’s sovereignty interdependent with God’s love… Well that means something entirely different. It means he can be trusted. It means He is our safety. It means He is ours and we are His. He gave us everything. He held nothing back, because He first loved us.

Lord, help me to live the life you created me for. Holy spirit live in my life. Help me to die to myself so that I can live more fully in you.

Imperfect

I’ve been reading the first 5 app bible study! I’m really living it.

We just finished Sarah and Abraham.  2 things have jumped out at me and coordinated perfectly with my personal life.

The first thing was that God told Abraham to listen to Sarah about getting rid of Hagar and Ishmael. It didn’t make sense to Abraham. He loved Ishmael too. He wanted to be kind to his servents. He was distressed.

Genesis 21:11-13

The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring b will be reckoned.  13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation s also, because he is your offspring.

Often times my wonderful husband and I get into a fight because of my emotions and insecurities. I think this is a great reminder and example for husbands and wives. Abraham did not know what to do. He didn’t feel comfortable with his wife’s request, he was DISTRESSED. So he went to God. He asked God what to do. He was humble enough to listen and obey God. It wasn’t about trying to fix Sarah’s emotions or insecurities. It was about trusting God and loving his wife. What a great example of the Ephesians scripture. God calls his men to love his wife as Christ loved the church. To give himself up for her to make her holy and blameless. Try as I might there are feelings I may never be able to help my sweet man understand. But when he seeks Jesus and loves me anyways, there is nothing better for my heart and my soul. Often times his willingness to love me in the emotional and insecure mess that I may be in, pulls me right back out to be the woman God has called me to be.

Now ladies this doesn’t mean that we can just let our emotions and insecurities run wild. We must submit, seek, and trust God too. The great thing is that God knows our emotions. He gave them to us. In His power they can be changed or used in a productive way. We can have all of our emotions, we just can not sin in them. We must surrender them. And when our husbands don’t understand, take heart because Jesus does. Pray that your husband will seek Jesus, trust Him, and wait on Him.

Even when I don’t like you…

Joel and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary this past May!  I am so happy and blessed that God has given us these 10 years and 3 boys.  For our anniversary we decided to spend a week in France and then visit my sister in Germany this past October!  Again what a blessing and gift.

We watched many of the videos of Rick Steves Travel through Europe.   I thought we were well prepared.  We were and we weren’t…This will become another post.  Anywho…France was beautiful.  Germany was amazing, but I want to focus on what God kept telling me while in France.

Norte Dame district

Norte Dame district

Walking through downtown Paris along the river from the Louvre to NorteDame, there were so many breathtaking views, great architecture, and lots of street vendors.  So much history on the streets we were walking.  More than I could ever imagine.  So many people.  So many people who did not seem to like me. People who to me seemed not nice, unfriendly, and unkind.  I felt a sense that I did not belong.  What a beautiful place, but what not so beautiful people (on the inside).  The only people that were nice seemed to be people you were buying something from, some other foreigners, and the most awesome concierge.

2013 - Germant Trip Camera 051

In case my readers haven’t noticed…I tend to just talk to God in my mind most of the time.  God reminded me that He loved these people that I did not want to like.  God kept reminding me how He loves them and died for them and they are precious to Him.  I started this post thinking that this is where it ends, but I sense God is saying more.

As I sit here and type about how I don’t really like the French people because they seem unkind and were not welcoming, I see my own judgement staring me in the face.  I am judging people I don’t know.  I’m just judging them based on an expectation of how I think I should be received.

Who am I?  I am no one to pass judgement.  I have a list of imperfections and shortcomings.  God forgive me for my judgement.  Help me to love your people no matter how they receive me.   Give me the strength and courage to be who you created me to be.  Give me your grace and mercy to respect the different people you have put in my life and will bring into my life.  Thank you for revealing this truth, help me to not forget it.

What a MESS!

mess

mess (Photo credit: Fernando Stankuns)

For those of you who know me well…you know that I don’t like messes.  Yet with 3 boys under 6 I have a perpetual mess in my Kitchen, my laundry room, my living room, my bedroom, their bedroom, their toy room, my van, my yard, my garage…well you get the idea.  And most of all I REALLY do not like extra or unnecessary messes.  And yet I want my boys to learn how to do dishes, pour their drinks, get dressed, do the laundry, make their own food…and so on.  And so the conundrum ensues.  They can not learn unless I am willing to let them make a mess.

Well, I get frustrated at times and I loose my temper.  Sometimes, many times I even yell.  I have really been praying about this short fuse problem of mine.   God has been whispering this truth in my heart and my mind.  “I entered your mess, because I love you.”  ” I walk with you in the midst of your mess because I want to help you clean it up.”

Jesus left heaven…sweet, peaceful, perfect Heaven.  He left such a great place and came to the messiest place in the galaxy.  He put on the clothes of our mess…He became flesh because He loves us.  He wants to give us freedom from the mess we are in.  He wants to show us, teach us, and love us through this mess.  He wants to transform our mess to heaven on earth.

Jesus wants our emotions, our expectations, our failures, our anger, our striving, our fear…He wants all of the things that keep us from creating a life that exemplifies “…on earth as it is in heaven.”

Let me be really honest with ya’ll.  I am still sorting all this out.  I am still learning what this looks like for me in my life.

I pray Abba that you will help me accept your love.  Open my eyes to Your wisdom for my life.  Jesus help me to reflect you as best I can, by allowing you to invade all of  me.  Lord give me your wisdom to make decisions and have responses that will bring Heaven to earth.

Jesus loves the beautiful mess that is each one of us.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble ( messes). But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is our hope and salvation from the messes in our lives!!! Praise. The. LORD.

There are differences

I’m sure most of you know people are different.  Sometimes those differences are good, weird, and down right WRONG.   But wait…if we are all created in His image how can a person be wrong?

The obvious answer is that we live in a fallen world and there are people who will make choices that do not align with God, but I want to focus on the fact that we are different in weird ways, but still in His image.

Sometimes people can be so different than myself that I just don’t like them.  I don’t want to be friends with them.  I want them to stay in their own parts of the world and leave mine alone.  Unfortunately for me and my comfort zone I serve a God who does not promote division and separation.  I serve a God who calls His people to become one with Him and therefore unite in His Kingdom as one people.  It doesn’t mean that we all have to become the same, but I do think it means that we set our differences aside. We must learn to disagree with respect and love for one another.

So I have people in my life that I don’t like and I can’t just eliminate them or always segregate myself from them.  As I was telling God that I just really don’t like this person…He says to me, “Sometimes I don’t like you.”  Sometimes I make choices that God doesn’t like.  He still loves me; He still extends His grace and mercy to me.  He ALWAYS loves me.  He calls me to reflect Him to the world around me.  Yes even to those I do not like.  That means I need to love them. I need to accept them for all the mess that they a

English: no original description

English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

re, all the hurt they can inflict on me, all the opinions I don’t agree with, and all the choices they make that I don’t agree with.  I need to love them anyways, because God loves me anyways.

Do you know that God loves you anyways???  I pray that this truth invades your souls, your hearts, and your minds.  I pray that you will accept His love for you!

I don’t have an awesome tie in for the waterfall…I just like them.  But God’s love will drench you like a waterfall if you just walk with Him…You can stand back and look at a waterfall and not get wet…Just like you can put God out of your life and not receive His love, His grace, His protection, the list is endless.

The battleground of your marriage

Couple holding hands

Couple holding hands (Photo credit: Search Influence)

This post is very near and dear to my heart.  This topic of Marriage I hold sacred and close.  I believe a Godly marriage is the cornerstone to changing the culture in which we live.  I believe that God intended a marriage to be a glimpse of the intimacy He desires to have with His people.

Marriage is a Big topic. I have read several books on marriage by various authors and I have gleaned some great things from them.  I have posted a list of some titles and authors.   As I recall some of that wisdom I will more than likely forget who wrote it and which book it was in, so please forgive me now.  I could and probably will write several posts about marriage.  But first I want to start with the following scripture, Ephesians 5:25-28.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;”

Wow.  That is a tall order.  Men are called to be the head of our homes earlier in that chapter of Ephesians.  As a woman I am called to submit, respect, and honor.  I know in this day and age lots of women may complain about that, but I am happy to take up that yoke.  I know that I am blessed to have a husband that submits himself to the Lord and therefore he makes it easier to submit to him.  I am thankful.

Let’s dive in to how God calls a man to love his wife.  I think it is important to recognize that God’s focus is that men LOVE their wives.  I read in one of those marriage books that Women want to be loved more than anything else and men want to be respected.  Our father in Heaven created us.  It makes sense that He would know our deepest needs from one another.  God’s biblical blueprint has been proven, more than likely, by every marriage counselor and by every Happily married couple.

I like gray areas and this has a HUGE gray area.  What does loving your wife as Christ loved the church look like? Well I think it will look somewhat different in every marriage.  And it should.  We are all different people.  Our marriages will look different.  Read the book the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman.  What I think it means is that men must give up their pride, their egos, their selfishness, and even their fears.  When a man can set those things aside he will now have room in his brain and his heart to learn to love His wife as God created that specific woman to be loved.

I need to draw attention to a simple fact first.  Before we can love one another first we must learn to love ourselves.  To love ourselves we must see our need for Jesus sacrifice to cleanse our sins.  To accept the fullness of God’s love for us and allow Him to make us whole.    If a man does not accept the love of  his Heavenly Father then he will be unable to take this next step to love his wife.  We live in a fallen world.  Men please see yourselves as God’s sons.  Dearly loved.  Accept His love and be filled by His love, without it you can not love anyone else.

When a man submits himself to the Lord and seeks His wisdom to love His wife God will unfold that beautiful mystery to him.  Its like the key to a secret peaceful garden.  To become the keeper of the garden a man must first take his oath to give himself up for her purity, for her holiness, and for her radiance.  Marriage can be a beautiful amazing gift when put under the submission of God, who created the covenant.  On the other hand when marriage is entered into with selfishness and there is no submission to God it is not pretty.  It can be hell on earth and I wouldn’t doubt there are readers who know what I am talking about.

There  is so much more to marriage than just this, but again I’m not ready to write a book yet.  So we’ll get to the rest another time.

For now:

If you haven’t read my first post God’s Knights…read it now https://forthemeninmylife.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/gods-knights/.  As a knight in God’s kingdom one of the most important battlegrounds is your marriage. Are you righteously protecting it with a jealous eye?  Are you walking the gates making sure to reinforce weak areas of your marriage?  your wife’s heart, her need for affirmation, her need for your protection from the world, and the list goes on.

Men what do you need to give up so that you can love your wife as Christ loved the church?  Better yet…ask the Lord, Lord what do I need to give up to love (your wife’s name) as Christ loved the church?

Women in what areas do you need to surrender your selfishness and control to let your husband be the head of your home.  Where do you need to nurture and foster an atmosphere of honor and respect for your Husband?  In the home, with the kids, with family, with friends, in your heart, with the finances, and the list goes on.

Ladies…Ask the Lord, Lord in what areas of my life do I need to submit to (your husband’s name)?

When I was a newly wed and naive to many things God gave me a great prayer I want to share it with you.

“Lord help me to become the woman and wife you intended for me to be and that Joel needs for me to be.  Lord help Joel to be the man and husband you intended for him to be and that I need him to be. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”

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for the men in my life

Sharing what God lays on my heart.