Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this life, for the gift of love, and the blessing of our marriage. We give you praise for the joy you’ve poured into our hearts through this love, for the contentment of family, and the happiness of our home. May we always treasure the experience of loving each other in this holy union. Help us to remain forever committed to our vows, those we made to each other, and to you, Lord.
We will need your strength daily Lord, as we live together with the goal of following and serving you. Develop within is us the character of your Son, Jesus, that we might love each other with the love he demonstrated—with patience, respect, understanding, honesty, forgiveness and kindness.
Let us always be a support to one another—a friend to listen and encourage, a refuge from the storm, and most importantly, a warrior in prayer.
Holy Spirit, guide us through the difficult moments of life and comfort us in our grief. May our lives together bring glory to you, our Savior, and testify of your love.
In Jesus’ Name.
Prayer For Your Marriage March 13, 2012
Another Thought About Marriage….(part 3) March 9, 2012
One wonderful thing I have noticed in our marriage is that when I pay attention to my husband, listen to his stories and really care about things he is interested in, he really knows I love him.
I am not saying that you have to pretend to love football just because your husband does, but I do think it is important to show interest in things that are important to him. Since we have been married, almost two years now (WOW!), I have learned many, many things about bow hunting, scouting, paintball, and concrete.
These are not all things I would normally look into myself, but because they are part of his life, I try to be fairly knowledgeable. I read the hunting magazines that come into the house before he does and can carry on an intelligible conversation about deer, bows, and scouting.
Your husband wants to know that you care about the things that mean something to him and that you take an interest in him. It is so nice to be able to talk about things that interest him. I think about that song Toby Keith sings...”I Wanna Talk About Me.” It is easy, especially for women to start talking about everything they are interested in and what is going on in their lives and to rarely ask their husband questions about their interests. I have not met very many men who talk as much as their wives. It is wonderful to be able to draw out your husband and really pay attention to his stories about their hobbies and such.
It strengthens the marriage relationship when both husband and wife feel valued, and here is one way to show it! So ladies, start asking questions and listening to the answers. It is nice to surprise your man later when you remember something he told you!
Blessings In Christ,
Some things I have learned from marriage….
1. Read the Bible and pray together everyday.
I cannot express the importance of this enough. God should be the number one priority in both of your lives and you should be pursuing Him together. If God is at the center of your marriage, then you are not going to fail. Reading the Word together gives your relationship a deeper meaning. When you discuss God and what He expects from you, you are in His will. The Bible is what God gives us to help us get through life on earth. It is filled with everything we need to know and how we should be living. God tells us how we should be as husbands and wives and what our relationship should look like. Marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church and our relationship with our spouse should be a glimpse of that heavenly relationship. Reading the Bible and praying is how we learn to love like Christ. Marriage can be a wonderful ministry! For our first year of marriage we read a book of devotions by Dr. James Dobson called Nightlight. It was wonderful for drawing us closer to one another and the discussion questions at the end of each section really helped us talk about important issues.
2. Be humble.
Being willing to forgive and to say I am sorry is an important part of being humble. Christ showed amazing humility. I am constantly drawn to John 13 when I think of humility and how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in love. He knelt down as a lowly servant would have and ministered to his disciples. We should be constantly willing to do this for our spouse even when we aren’t “feeling” the love. I think it is extremely important to note that Christ washed the feet of Judas Iscariot in LOVE. He knew Judas was about to betray Him, yet he lovingly washed his dirty feet. We should be like this with our spouses striving to serve them in any way and to do so lovingly.
P.S.- The Bible tells us to never let the sun go down on our anger. Always resolve issues before going to bed. Do not just brush over them because then the anger, frustration and hurt continue to build until the problem feels irreconcilable.
Prioritizing is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage. Your priorities should be God, your spouse, your children, etc. When your priorities are not straight, your marriage will begin to crumble. Let your spouse know with your words and your actions that they are your top priority under God. If you are telling them that they are your top priority and then spending all your time with your friends, or pursuing your hobbies, then you are shattering their trust in you and you are alienating them. If something or someone is getting in the way of your relationship with your spouse, drop that person or that activity. Nothing is more important than God and your marriage.
4. Pray FOR one another.
Praying for one another is different than praying with one another. This is not an easy task, but we should be constantly lifting our spouse up in prayer even when we don’t feel like it. If you have never read The Power of a Praying Wife or The Power of a Praying Husband, then you should.
5. Invest Time.
When you are dating, your are investing so much time in your relationship. When you get married it is easier to quit investing as much time in one another. Set time aside each day to spend with your spouse. Make this time when you are completely focused on one another. If you have children, wait until you have put them to bed. Use this time to talk and to strengthen your relationship. It is also a good idea to set aside one night of the week as your date night. We prefer Sunday evenings to be our date night. We don’t spend much money, and we usually stay home, but it is necessary for us to have this time together to just have fun. It is easy to get wrapped up in all the problems of life that your time together becomes tension filled. It is nice to set aside problems one night a week and just enjoy one another’s company. I have another post coming soon about date night ideas that don’t cost much!
This is all I have time for tonight, but I will be posting more about marriage this week and the things I have learned so far. I feel that marriage is one of the most important things in this world and we should constantly be encouraging one another and other couples in their marriage relationship.
Blessings In Christ,
How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day This Year February 13, 2012
Here we go all you married couples out there, a list of inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day just in case you are stumped this year! It really isn’t about gifts or extravagance…it’s about celebrating your love for each other. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
1. Build a fort.
Yes, I said build a fort. Get some blankets and chairs and fashion a quilt fort that you can spend the night in. Rent a movie or read a book together, buy some yummy Heart-Day treats and light some candles. This actually is really romantic and just fun, not to mention inexpensive! It feels like you are going away, but really you are just moving to a different room. Be sure to sleep in your fort to get the full experience!
2. Go see a romantic movie.
Usually there are many romantic movies coming out around Valentine’s Day. My suggestion would be The Vow this year.
3. Make dessert together.
Spend the evening in the kitchen making chocolate covered strawberries, cupcakes, or ice cream sundaes. This is sweet because you can spend time together and celebrate the day of love with foods.
4. Candlelit Dinner.
Husband’s this is for you! If you really want to impress your wife, cook her dinner, set the table with flower, candles and a tablecloth, and play some romantic music! She will LOVE it! Here are some great recipes for a romantic dinner:
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 ounces dry bread crumbs
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 3/4 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
- 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheeseDirections
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
- Pour egg into a small shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then into the bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
- Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 7×11 inch baking dish. Place chicken over sauce, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top and return to the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pound broccoli floretsDirections
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, brown sugar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper until thoroughly combined. Add the broccoli florets, and toss until evenly coated with the seasoning. Spread the broccoli florets out onto an baking sheet with a rim.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the broccoli is just browned on the top, 10 to 15 minutes.
- 16 ounces milk chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 pound fresh strawberries with leavesDirections
- Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
- Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.
5. Go for a drive and star gaze in the country.
Make sure to dress warmly, and take lots of blankets if you live in a cold climate! It is always sweet to star gaze with your honey and it’s fun to snuggle in the cold too!
6. Write love letters.
Sit together at the table and write each other a love letter, a poem, a song or make a list of why you love your spouse. It is fun to read these out loud to one another.
I know it’s freezing outside…it is February after all, but picnics can be inside too. Set up a picnic in a room of your house that you don’t normally eat in. Actually pack a picnic basket and lead them to your romantic picnic. This is nice because you can light candles, sit on pillows, have flowers and so much more. Your imagination is the limit on this! It is a nice surprise for your husband or wife too, they will be thoroughly impressed!
8. Decorate your bedroom.
Make the bed, set out candles, rose petals and what not and celebrate love! Your spouse will love this because you put forth effort to make it special.
Give one another massages. It is sweet and free!
10. Board Games.
Play board games or cards together. You can play for different things like winner gets a kiss and loser has to do the dishes after tomorrow’s supper.
Have a Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget that marriage is glorifying to God so take the time and celebrate the love He has given you for your spouse. Let them know how much they mean to you!
Blessings In Christ,
Obedience January 25, 2012
New International Version (NIV)
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
New International Version (NIV)
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
New International Version (NIV)
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
1 Peter 4:16-17
New International Version (NIV)
16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Obedience is a theme I have noticed reoccurring throughout the Bible. Children are to be obedient to their parents, wives are to be somewhat obedient to their husbands. We are to be obedient to the laws of the land, and above all obedient to God. I found a great reference on a Christian website that defines obedience and submission…
- Obey – The Biblical word for “obey” comes from the Greek “hupakou” which means to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority. This word conveys the idea of actively following a command. There is no choice in the matter, it is to be done whether one agrees with it or not. Obedience is involuntary.
- Submit – The Biblical word “submit” comes from the Greek “hupeiko” which means to yield; to passively surrender to an authority. Submission is similar to obedience but in this case one might question what is being commanded. Submission is voluntary. 
Obedience to God is a daily happening. We have to go completely against our human nature to do as God commands. We have to be willing to submit to God’s will and his plan for our lives. Wonderful things come out of obedience to God. When Noah obeyed the Lord’s calling, he was richly blessed by being rescued from the flood. He was righteous and had many descendants. Noah didn’t question the Lord, he simply picked up his tools and went to work on an ark that people probably thought he was crazy for building. He didn’t quit halfway through because people questioned him or wondered if he had lost all his marbles. He was obedient through it all. I struggle with this….I want to always question and when I don’t find the answers, I stop. This is terrible because I am missing out on so many blessings when I balk at the voice of the Lord. I know that others struggle with this as well…stop passing up the blessings just because you aren’t trusting God enough to obey. He knows what He is doing!
Any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them!
Blessings In Christ,
Boundaries… December 30, 2011
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its ow, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, love never fails.
These above verses are the most popular verses in the Bible when it comes to looking at love. This is the purest kind of love there is and completely impossible without the Holy Spirit. Someone who doesn’t have Jesus is not capable of loving like this, so self-sacrificially. I think it is important to set boundaries for your marriage. Before we got married, we had lovely premarital counseling with this amazing couple and it really helped us to set up some rules for ourselves. These rules have helped us to stay happy. Here are some examples of rules that may be beneficial to your relationship.
1. Don’t spend time alone with members of the opposite sex.
2. Do not email, call, or text members of the opposite sex without your spouse being present and comfortable with it.
Especially do not email, call, or text ex-boyfriends/girlfriends. This will create tension between you and your spouse that can easily be avoided. When you get married you forsake all others! It is not okay to continue like you would if you were single.
Genesis 2:21-24 (NKJV)
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said:
‘This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.’
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,
and they shall become one flesh.”
3. If something makes one of you uncomfortable then it makes both of you uncomfortable. You are no longer yourself, you are two joined into one. This makes you sensitive to the other person and you surely do not want to hurt them. When you hurt your spouse you are hurting yourself. The Bible also says that if you have doubts about something, it is wrong. We should do all things in faith or it is in sin…
Romans 14:23 (NKJV)
“But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”
4. Never put yourself in a compromising situation.
For instance, if your husband is home by himself and a woman comes to the door, he should answer it, but should talk to her outside unless it is a close family member of course. It would create a compromising situation for him to be alone in the house with someone. If someone becomes offended it is okay to let them know why you are not letting them in the house. Most people will really respect this rule and admire you for protecting your marriage this way. This is how rumors are started and it can be harmful to your marriage to put yourself in situations where these can develop.5. God is first.
Putting God first is the most important rule to have. God is meant to be the center of your life and if your marriage is composed of three, God, husband, wife, then it will succeed. God created marriage and he should be involved! Read the Word together, pray, talk, study, learn, daily! You should be focusing on God daily, not just once a week. It is important to be strong spiritually and to do this together! It helps to find a good devotional like Nightlight by Dr. James Dobson, and read every night before bed, or every morning at breakfast. Make time with God a routine!6. Be open and honest: No secrets.It is important to be open and honest with your spouse. Secrets always come out anyways and it is better to let them know before they find out something the hard way. You should feel comfortable enough with your spouse to be open with them about anything and everything. If you are having a problem with something, even being tempted, tell your spouse and pray through it together. It is your spouses job to help protect you. Let them!Luke 16:10 (NKJV)
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much: and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”Proverbs 11:3 (NKJV)“The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.”7. Don’t go without him/her.Make it a point not to attend dances or go to bars (we go to bars sometimes to line dance) alone. Temptation seems to be rampant here, and it is not a good idea to go without your spouse, nope, not even with friends. Don’t dance with anyone over age ten or with anyone who is under the age of your grandparents, unless they are sisters or brothers…
Submission In Marriage December 19, 2011
The Bible commands wives to submit to their husbands….
Ephesians 5:21-32 (KJV)
21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
I think submission is hard for many women. According to the dictionary, submission is…
n.1.a. The act of submitting to the power of another: “Oppression that cannot be overcome does not give rise to revolt but to submission” (Simone Weil).b. The state of having submitted.2. The state of being submissive or compliant; meekness