Tag Archives: marriage

Family first

It took me by surprise.

My emotions welled up and then tipped over…

Tears were in my eyes as I related to my husband my concerns.

“My health restricts me. I’m not able to serve others like I have in the past.”

“It’s difficult, I don’t know if I’ll ever travel again.”

“I’m just sad about not being able to help people like. I want to be a blessing.”

Before my husband could respond, the Lord did.

Serve those you can.

I brightened and wiped my eyes.

“As long as I have you, darling, I have a ministry.”

“I can serve you.”

I hugged him.

In that one moment the Lord reminded me that He doesn’t compare.

He’s concerned with today.

Not what I can or can not do, but whether or not I submit myself daily to Him.

He’s the Author of it all anyway and there’s nothing He doesn’t see.

His will for me is to trust Him and to serve as I’m able in today.

And scripture shows that our family is to come first.

1 Timothy 3:5 NKJV — (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

This verse is specific to the husband, but as a wife I can support him in his management of our family.

The Lord gave me to my husband and my husband to me, in that is a blessing and service daily.

1 Timothy 3:11 NKJV — Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

I can always honor the Lord by serving my husband.

Colossians 3:18 KJV — Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Because it’s an every day thing, sometimes I forget just how valuable it is.

But yesterday, God reminded me.

Along with this reminder, He blessed me incredibly.

My husband had waited for me to finish before responding.

Then his eyes held mine while his hand brushed a lock of my hair away.

“Honey, that’s how I feel about you. As long as I have you, I have a ministry.”

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your gift of marriage. It was Your idea from the beginning and it’s such a blessing. Lord, I often forget what a ministry I have by simply serving my husband and children. I know each one of them is a treasure. Please help me never to forget that, but instead to love and serve them as You. Lord, I want my life to be used by You and I want to be obedient to You in all things. Please help me to live unto You today and to love as You do. Thank You for the reminder. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Relationships

The Bible is full of relationships; examples of healthy as well as unhealthy ones.

Ephesians spells out clearly how to handle some of the fundamental relationships, beginning with the institution God began all of society with: marriage.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22 NKJV

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Ephesians 5:25 NKJV

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33 NKJV

There is so much here, as well as the verses between, for how God intended marriage to be.

A solid Biblical marriage brings fruit in so many areas.

Respect is not blind to sin, nor does it bend to allow that which is an abomination to God, but it instead holds fast to what is right and encourages a right standing before God.

Wives need to be right before God if they are going to be able to respect and trust their husbands.

It is from trusting in God that a wife can trust her husband, it comes from a security in the Lord Jesus.

Loving a person as Christ loves the church seems to be crystal clear.

Jesus Christ left His place in heaven to be born in a stable, to flee from an insane king, to live in a foreign land, to return after a time, and finally to begin His ministry, where He was misunderstood, misrepresented, and betrayed, a ministry which the culmination was being beaten, mocked, and crucified, all for the sake of the church, all because of His love.

Truly, husbands have an incredibly high standard, but Jesus will guide and direct and provide the way for those who choose to love like this.

What if you’re not married?

The Bible speaks to those who have parents and those who are parents.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:1‭-‬4 NKJV

Obedience to parents is not always easy, nor does the nature like to obey anyone other than self, but learning to practice self-discipline is a valuable lesson.

As adults obedience to parents can become tricky, but honoring God and serving Him first will clarify how to honor and serve one’s parents.

These verses speak directly to the father, but other places in scripture bring attention to the mother’s role as well.

Parents are to teach their children.

Deut. 6:6-7, 31:12-13, Prov. 13:24, 19:18, 22:6, Col. 3:21 are just a few verses dealing with this.

The Lord Jesus is our example in all things and since He taught and corrected His disciples with love and patience we too should teach and correct our children in His ways.

What if you don’t have any children and your parents are no longer alive?

Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he  is a slave or free.
Ephesians 6:5‭-‬8 NKJV

Bondservants are not common in our society, but these verses can certainly be applied to the working world.

As an employee, we can work: “in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,”.

But the chapter doesn’t end there, the verse is directed to the master, but it could easily be applied to the owner of a business, the boss, the supervisor, ect.

And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Ephesians 6:9 NKJV

Ephesians 6 continues to speak about relationships.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:10‭-‬12 NKJV

For whatever relationship we may be in we can be guaranteed that God will give us direction in dealing with them.

When we walk in this world we will find trouble and often that trouble will come in the form of a broken relationship.

Therefore we must remain steadfast in God’s Word and remember that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.

Our spiritual enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy, but God has come to give life and that more abundantly.

Through Christ Jesus we can have healthy godly relationships.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for the wealth of knowledge and examples You have given in scripture. Lord Jesus please help us to be steadfast in Your Word and to walk in Your ways, especially in our relationships. Lord, help us to seek You and Your Word in all circumstances. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for the relationships we have in our lives. May Your name be glorified through us. Amen.

The cheering section

This is one of the stations I staged ahead of time.

I’m so thankful the Lord had me do things this way.

I’d prayed a lot about the best way to organize and plan everything.

Experience has taught me things rarely go as planned.

Of course this was true yesterday as well.

Setting up was nothing like I thought it would be.

But God had spoken to my heart ahead of time and I knew He wanted me to be flexible and at peace no matter the circumstances.

I’m glad He did.

Because I really hadn’t expected to be one of the cheering section.

I thought my name was on the “play” roster.

But God knows when it’s best to “bench” someone and that was me.

So, I was really glad I had pictures of things to show the players.

Not everything stayed as I had planned, but that’s fine.

It’s lovely.

I’m praying for all the details to come together smoothly today.

That our daughter will be blessed as well as her husband.

I’m praying for both families as we let go of our children into a new family of their own.

I’m praying for the Lord to touch the hearts of those attending.

I’m praying for…

Well, you get the idea.

The longer I walk with the Lord the more I realize just how little I know what is best.

My plans and ideas are so far from the knowledge of God.

So, when He changes the game, I need to enjoy the position He’s given me.

Yes, at times I’m disappointed.

But that too can be an opportunity for the Lord, if I’m willing to let go.

I’m looking forward to seeing how God is going to direct today.

After all,

I want to enjoy this special day for my little Bell.

She’s beginning a journey of a lifetime.

It’s one I’m so blessed to be called as well:

Wife.

And the Lord God said, “ It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
Genesis 2:18 NKJV

Truly, God’s ways are best!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the institution of marriage. Thank You for my husband and how blessed I am to be his wife. Thank You for walking with our two oldest daughters and giving them husbands. Please guide each if them. Lord, hold them in Your paths and teach them how to walk with You in all things. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. Thank You for walking with us each and every day. Today belongs to You. May we glorify Your name in all we do. Thank You. Amen.

It’s raining

Which seems fitting.

In all our activities of packing yesterday evening, I forgot to water the garden.

Tim and Sis left before dawn to travel down.

Tim still has to work (he travels all over the state) and it’s easier for them to travel when the babe is sleeping.

All the wedding things were carefully packed into the trailer.

We double checked everything.

Today, I’ll be heading to Sis’s garden to cut the flowers she’s been growing.

I’ll head down early tomorrow morning.

My sister grew a lot of flowers for the wedding as well.

It’s nice that the gardens will get a good soak before I have to start chopping.

I know that a little rain might damage a few, but why worry?

Although our weeks and days have been filled with planning, changes, purchases, and working, none of this is what is important.

Pictures and decorations are all nice, but they are not the priority.

The truth is, the wedding is really a tiny moment on the timeline.

The priority of Saturday is the beginning of a marriage.

Marriage is a holy institution created by God from the beginning of man’s history.

It is the building block God chose to start all of society.

It’s where we find the future generation being nurtured or neglected.

A healthy marriage is a product of two people and God.

It takes all three for it to work exactly as God designed it.

As Mom, I want each of our children to enjoy a healthy marriage.

Of course, it’s not up to me.

But I have been and will continue to be praying for all of our children, those married, those yet to marry, and those about to be married.

I’m praying for them as individuals.

That they would seek God with their whole heart every single day.

Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV — Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

It’s the best way to walk in marriage; complete devotion to Jesus and loving others more than oneself.

And it’s reward is beyond anything this world has to offer.

Because this life is temporary, but life with Jesus is eternal.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the rain. Thank You for the truth You are gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. Thank You for being good to all. For supplying our daily needs. Thank You for numbering our days and knowing the plans You have for each one of us. Thank You for loving us more than we can ever imagine. Thank You for new beginnings. May our lives bring glory to Your name, Jesus. Amen.

Three years ago today

Wow!

The days have swiftly gone, like dried leaves in a strong wind.

How blessed it has been.

God has truly done marvelous things in these three years.

When our Sis married, we gained a son.

Our other children gained a brother.

We all were granted a huge blessing.

For truly, he loves all of us and most importantly, he loves Jesus.

Through this wonderful new family, God has granted such encouragement to us.

Tim has supported Sis as she’s continued to follow her education, because he knows she feels called by God to do it.

And God has blessed them in that.

Both of them have supported us as we walked this road of struggle, first with injuries to Anne and Bell, then with my illness.

Along with that, they opened their home to us.

I spent a major part of last summer living with them while we tried to figure out what to do about my inability to live in our house.

Often Jase or Anne was there as well.

When it was clear God was moving us, Sis packed, and Tim hauled things in his trailer.

They helped unload and unpack when we got in this house.

There are so many little things they have done to bless and encourage us.

Of course the best occurrence in these three years has been our grandchildren.

Both the birth of our first granddaughter, over a year ago, and the expected birth of our first grandson next month.

Near Tim’s birthday, this spring, I asked him how he felt about his birthday.

I can’t recall the exact phrase, but it was something like:

“Really blessed. I had no idea God was going to bless me so much. I have a beautiful wife and I’m the father of two children, although our next is still in the womb. Yeah, I’m really blessed.”

My husband and I agree.

God has truly blessed them and us.

So much has happened in three years.

What an incredible God we serve!

Happy Anniversary, Tim and Sis.

We love you!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for family. Thank You for creating the entire social and human relations with the first family, Adam and Eve. Lord, none of us deserve Your blessings, but we are so grateful for it. Our hearts are full of wonder at Your works. As we walk into another day, please continue to lead us. We want our families to be a reflection of You to those around us. Thank You so much for these three years. Thank You for our daughter and son-in-law and their children. Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace poured out upon us. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Because sometimes words escape you

We knew it was coming.

He’d driven three hours, weeks before, to talk to her father.

And yet the words have escaped me.

Until now.

I’m so thankful to God for His blessing.

Marriage is His idea.

Genesis 2:24 KJV — Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Malachi 2:15 NKJV — But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

Hebrews 13:4 NKJV — Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Marriage is honorable.

God created it and it’s an incredible blessing.

As I look backwards over our twenty plus years of marriage, I’m so grateful for my husband.

And I can look at our daughters, our son, and son-in-law resting in the knowledge that God is guiding each of them.

They each have given their lives to Christ and therefore, He will see them through, no matter what may come.

When the call from our Bell came, the sound of her voice told me more than words.

This young man, who loves the Lord and has been raised by godly parents in His ways, had asked for her hand in marriage.

I cried.

Tears of joy.

For I know God is in this.

Recently, with my husband’s hand clasped in mine, our hearts open before God, as we prayed for these two and the new family they will become, another mother had tears of joy as well.

After we had finished she turned to me, dabbing her eyes.

“I’m sorry, it’s just that, to think about how my husband and I have always prayed for our son to find a godly wife, and you have prayed for your daughter to have a godly husband, and God has brought them together…”

Hopefully my smile was as warm as my heart.

“I know. I just cried my tears already. But I know.

Circumstances being such, they are planning a small family wedding in August.

I thought about that.

Turned to my husband, “Can you believe it?! God is giving us two new sons in the same month! A new son-in-law and a grandson!”

Praise God!

Answers

It’s been several days.

I’ve been seeking the Lord for direction and guidance for our family.

My prayer: “Lord let us know what Your will is.”

The answer came yesterday.

But it didn’t look like what I expected.

It wasn’t a comfortable circumstance.

Yet, our direction was clear.

As I went to bed, I thanked God for His direction, although was still a little emotionally prickled by the form.

I hadn’t realized it until this morning.

Without really thinking about the words my emotions were asking God, “Why did the answer have to come that way?”

With my first thoughts this morning He answered.

You wanted direction and I gave it.

I chose that tool to make it very clear to you and your husband.

And my response had been to be focused on my own discomfort, rather than praising God for answering.

I had to wonder.

Would my husband and I have accepted His guidance if He’d used a different circumstance?

I can say, my perspective changed in that moment.

I began to praise God for His direction and guidance.

My heart thanked Him for His Sovereignty.

I looked at my life and began to see a long series of circumstances which were uncomfortable, some very painful, and I could look back at how God’s hand of direction was in each.

Although I didn’t enjoy walking through those things, I am praising God for them.

He has used trials, pain, and all manner of life’s struggles to direct, guide, and hone me.

As difficult as those things were, I am praising God for them.

As uncomfortable as some things are, I’m praising God for them.

I don’t want to live without Him, and He said to take up my cross and follow Him.

He wasn’t walking to a picnic when He carried His cross.

I shouldn’t expect one either.

Following Christ, carrying His cross, brings so much reward.

His path broke the chains of sin and death forever!

Then He rose, and He walked a little longer with mankind on the Earth.

And now He is preparing a place for all who believe in His name, what He did, and who He is, God’s Son.

Part of that preparation is a wedding feast, the marriage of the Lamb.

Yes, I want to carry my cross and follow Him.

For the days of struggle, trials, and pain are few compared to the joy which eternity holds.

I praise God for His path for me.

And I’ll take a wedding feast over a picnic any day!

Psalm 16:11 NKJV — You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Happy Anniversary, darling…

Where do I begin?

What words can I really command to relate it all?

It seems too obvious, but I’ll start here:

I’m so thankful to Jesus for my husband and all the years we’ve shared.

I love him, dearly.

-sigh-

It just doesn’t seem to evoke the depth of my experience.

And since I’ve never been a poet, I’ll have to satisfy myself with:

“Praise You, Jesus!Thank You for the wonderful gift of my husband! I can’t imagine life without him!”

-smile-

(That’s a little better!)

(When in doubt, use more exclamation marks!)

It’s difficult to squeeze the full meaning out of those words.

It seems nearly impossible to crystalize emotion into black and white,

words on a screen.

Words can not express the years of God’s love and provision through my husband to me.

They don’t even come close.

My husband has been such an incredible gift from God.

I’m truly thankful.

I’ve not always realized it, unfortunately.

Infact, at times, I’ve chosen to belittle the blessing and focus instead on my own interpretation of how I wanted to be blessed.

I’ve said things I’ve regretted.

I’ve made mistakes which have trodden upon the heart of my spouse.

I’ve even been hurtful without any idea of the fact.

Yet, through it all my husband still loves me,

and I love him.

Because love is a choice.

And we choose it daily.

Because love is a gift,

and we’ve both received it, fully.

Because love was actually God’s idea from the first.

He gave Eve to Adam.

He gave Sarah to Abraham.

And He gave me to my husband.

What a wonderful blessing!

So on this,

our 22nd

wedding anniversary,

I can say,

“Happy Anniversary, darling!

I thank God for you!”

My husband, my blessing

image

Yup, those belong to me!

Bell and her dad are two peas in a pod.

They both enjoy being able to work out.

They enjoy the outdoors.

They are super funny!

And anyone who knows them well can say they have many sides to their personalities.

Infact, I can easily point to characteristics which each of our children have that are a reflection of their father.

It’s amazing to me how blessed I am to be married to this guy!

I was chatting with someone about how my hubby had learned to dance as a teen and had shared it by teaching all of us how to dance.

It was one of the best memories from the wedding last summer : Daddy dancing with the bride.

It has become one of my favorite things we do as a family.

I am so thankful for the gifts God has given through my husband.

He is a hard working man, not unlike my father.

He is a brilliant man who has poured hours upon hours into learning as well as teaching.

He’s amazingly creative and has written and preformed in many skits.

His ability to act as well as write skits has brought Bible truths to kids both here and in other countries.

He’s a loving father.

It’s not been easy for him to divide himself in so many directions, but his love for his children has caused him to put off more and more of the things he enjoys to be at events or to touch their lives.

He’s a wonderful man who loves me, but most importantly, loves Jesus.

He’s not perfect.

Neither am I.

Yet through our broken battered sin-torn lives he has walked with me and Jesus.

We still have a lot to learn.

We still have areas of healing.

Yet we are determined to hold hands while we face the future together, with Jesus.

Dear Jesus,

Thank You for my husband. Bless him today as he walks into whatever You have planned for him. Please teach me how to be a good wife to him. Please protect him from the evil in this world and help our family to grow ever stronger in You.

One plus one

image

In the past,
I have been blessed to encourage young couples as they seek God’s will for their lives.

In the everyday basics of dodging what is unhealthy,
planning for the future,
looking forward to the blessings of a lifetime together,
and holding steady to God’s Word,
they have run into many questions.

One of the most common:
“How do we know this is the right one?”

In today’s world of looking for a soul mate,
of searching for the perfect person who will make their spouse happy,
the idea of seeking a person for one’s own fulfillment,
is flawed.

God never intended marriage to replace our individual need for Him.

To find security, purpose, and fulfillment in a person instead of the Lord is impossible as well as foolish.

However this doesn’t mean people should not be thoughtful as well as wise when looking for a spouse.

God makes it very clear the person who has accepted Him as their Saviour should not even think of marrying someone who has yet to do so.

Marriage should never be the “tool” to get someone to change their fundamental beliefs.

Marriage was created by God and when seeking a spouse one should take into account the priorities in life.

Do both hold the same views on children, work, church, the Bible, future calling, and common interests?

Variety in these things is healthy,
but direct opposites is dangerous.

What happens to the couple when  the first child comes along and Dad wants his wife to leave the baby with childcare while she wants to quit so she can stay home?

What happens when the wife feels a need to work at the career she has trained for but her husband also desires to move up in his field which means a change in location resulting in the loss of position for the woman’s career?

The goals, purpose, and drive of each should not be in opposition to the other.
So how do two people answer the question: “how do I know it’s right” ?

First,
are you equal in fundamental beliefs?

Second,
will marriage promote the mutually beneficial encouragement to your lives?

Third,
what is your motive for marrying?

Be careful, for a motive of selfishness in a relationship is a recipe for heartache.

Think about it in the reverse.

Would you want to be joined into a lifelong relationship because the other person wants you to do or be the answer to their own desires, or status?

Of course not.

Each of us wants to be valued and loved.

We want to have a spouse who will join with us as we face life as a team.

So when answering the question of how does one know if these two people are compatible for life there is a twist.

One can look at all the facts and make wise decisions based upon the priorities.

But ultimately as believers the guidance of the Lord Jesus must be sought diligently.

Only through the wisdom and Word of the One who created marriage can two people truly find the answers to the questions of life.