Do you think our love creates miracles?

When I got home from work my body was aching from exhaustion on so many levels.  My daughter and I snuggled in the bed and watched  The Notebook–the movie.  The rain was coming down outside, the lights were off, we were settled in for a rare “slow down” moment. Nothing was moving my body.  My husband got home and walked in on us snuggled up in the bed and watching television.  I asked him to come lay with me.  I knew the ending of the movie because I had seen it before.  In the movie, when the children asked the dad to come home, he said, “My home is with my sweetheart–I’m staying with her”, my heart melted.  Would my spouse pack up and move into the Alzheimer’s unit with me at a nursing home?

For better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health……

So my husband and I were laying there watching this couple ask, “Do you think our love creates miracles?”  “Do you think our love will see us home?”  So, we held each other, watched the movie, and we cried.  God I love that man.

We get up and do homework, work on school work, fold laundry, cook breakfast for dinner, discipline a child, listen to the day’s events from our children……

Grow old along with me…..

The best is yet to be…..

I love you………………

I love the moments that are created only by a God who knew just what I needed to heal…………….

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Radical Love

The best gift is radical love.  Love that selflessly looks past hurt, pain, weaknesses and says, “I believe in you and what God is doing in your life.”

I’m involved in an ethics class for my program that has brought a heaviness to my heart.  The readings, assignments, and discussions have removed me from the automaticity of my life.  All throughout history we have struggled as a nation, a world to “do the right thing” in the name of so many perceived rights.  I was thinking of this simple, yet hard truth in my own family.  Over and over the world and it’s ways barge through my door without welcome.  Radical love says that we want different.

I desire that my children, my home would radically love Jesus and stand for Him, no matter what the world conveys is right or wrong.

His Word stands alone and is TRUTH.

As a parent, my children are wrestling with the world’s ideals along with the knowledge of God’s Word.  It’s hard to see the tug of war in someone you love so deeply.  As their parent I desire to see them in the belief that God restores, redeems, and God is working in their lives.  Who among us does not feel this tug of war?  How much more than our children who lack experience and judgment.

Radically stand for Christ.

Radically love our children through grace.

Radically see past the moment to the bigger picture.

Radically believe in restoration.

Psalm 107

1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,

The heart of the wise….

“The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” Proverbs 16:23

May Jesus who lives within us instruct our mouth.

Jesus guard my heart and mouth.  Work in my heart first, so that my mouth will not sin against You.  Lord may my life and words be an encouragement in the hearts of others.  Jesus even within the privacy of my own home may my mouth be pleasing to you.  Let my mind and heart rest in the knowledge of Your love and grace.  Let today be a new beginning to speak only words of grace and mercy.

Special Grace

Grace Over Relationships

I Peter 3: 2-7 “being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

Your spouse is a best friend to grow old with, make mistakes with, and learn from each other.  The importance of being equally yoked–two Christians, who strive in this world together is paramount to a good foundation in marriage.  Don’t you love the part of I Peter that says “being heirs together”?

In Proverbs 31:11 “Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life!”

We can also say “His wife can trust him, and he will greatly enrich her life!”

How easy is it for you and your spouse to talk about the tough issues, offer grace, and be willing to pray and grow together?

I truly do not want my prayers hindered. Sweet Jesus what hinders me in my relationship with my spouse?  We want more of You in our love, and more of You in our home.

“Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”

Ephesians 4:2

I woke up this morning and read this verse and felt teary eyed.  I’m striving for this kind of love not only in my marriage but also with my children, in my job, and with those I work with in the community.  What if we were humble and gentle before we were cross and angry?  Patience?  I have a dear friend who says, “Don’t ever pray for patience!”  What would making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love look like?   I’ve had awesome moments in which I truly felt the allowance.  Because of God’s great love for me, He gave me the grace to forgive myself and others.  I want to live in a state of forgiveness.  Instead of my first response being defense, my first response would be to seek understanding.  I don’t want to feel like I have my boxing gloves on and I’m in the ring fighting.  I want to be sitting  side by side in prayer.

Jesus help us to be humble, not rude and insist on our way.  Help us to be gentle and listen more than we speak.  Teach us patience, and help us see our mate and others through Your eyes of love.  Amen

Igniting the Spark

Romance: Have healthy discussions on likes and dislikes.  We typically express love in our love language, but is this the language of our spouse?  I highly recommend The Five Love Languages book!  They have a little quiz so you can know your spouse’s love language and pursue them with that knowledge.

KEY = Prefer one another

Do you prefer your spouse?  Pursue them?

Investment: Men desire purpose, respect, and to feel needed.  Women desire affection, communication, and commitment to family.  Are we investing in those things that build our mate up?

Intimacy IQ = 

Here are some good questions to sit and talk about:

1. How easy/difficult is it for us to talk about intimacy?

2.  What gets me upset in the area of intimacy?

3.  What generates the most interest for me?

4.  What are my needs?

Keep the spark alive with compromise.  NO COUPLE is completely the same.  We are different and fit together through healthy compromise, grace, and understanding.

Covenant of Commitment

“Love each other deeply (at full strength!).”  I Peter 4:8

Marriage Workshop, Cloverhill Assembly of God, Lisa Compton

Quenching the flame Part II

Yesterday we talked about how jealousy, sex as a weapon, flashbacks, and pornography quench our intimacy.  Today I’d like to continue the information from the workshop:

Distorted Views– Don’t use the world’s ideal of intimacy.  When Cosmo has 21 ways to spice your sex life it’s not material you want to read.  Stick to God’s Word (Song of Solomon is a beautiful chapter on intimacy).  There are some Christian books on intimacy that keep it filled with God’s best for your intimacy.  A Celebration of Sex is a great book for married couples written by a Christian marriage therapist.

Trauma:  As noted with flashbacks it is so important to address your past head on with a great Christian Therapist.  Trauma will distort our view of intimacy leaving us with layers of shame and confusion.  Don’t try to stuff it, or ignore it.  Work on it and get healing and the help you deserve.

Immoral or degrading:  Intimacy is mutual submission.  Often we ask what’s right and wrong in intimacy.  The answer is found mostly in your mate.  They need to feel comfortable saying to you, “I don’t like that.”  And, you need to listen and respect that.  Nothing should be degrading.

Mal 2:14 God stands as a witness in how we treat our spouse

Mal 2:16 God brought husband and wife together as one along with “the remnant of the Spirit”

Exhaustion Purposefully make arrangements to be rested and put your mate first.  If you have to say no to soccer, dance, another activity, chores SO THAT you can be enthusiastic for each other, say NO!  If you are not enthusiastic about your mate, what are you enthusiastic about?  Are you making THAT first priority over them?

Rejection:  Instead of saying, “No”, say “How about later?” and give a time or date.  One thing Lisa Compton shared was typically a man does not care so much about how we look (because we worry about that so much!)–they just want an enthusiastic mate who respects and desires them.  Wear that to bed one night and see the difference!

Quenching the Flame

In continuation of Lisa Compton’s Intimate Interactions Workshop and adding my thoughts and journey…….

The next section of the workshop was Igniting the Spark!  However!  I feel deeply led to come back to that and go to step three next.  Step three is….

Quenching the Flame…

This morning my devotional from family life for couples was on Song of Solomon and how King Solomon chose a bride who was seemingly “less than” .

“My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me caretaker of the vineyards.”  Song of Solomon 1:6

Solomon’s bride was not refined, elegant–fit for a king.  She had a humble, impoverished upbringing.  Her skin was brown and weathered from working in the fields.  She brought some serious past issues to the marriage.  All the King saw was the beauty that she had in her soul and her potential.  Oh for someone to love us past our mistakes and weaknesses because they see within us great potential and beauty!

What quenches the flame in our intimacy?

1.  Jealousy–

Give no reason for you mate to be jealous.  Be careful how you speak of other men or women and their looks.  Only have eyes for them. Women–do we notice Zach Efron and say, “oooooooooooo baby what a hunk!”  Stop and think.  Is that edifying to your mate?  Men do you gaze a little too long at other women?  We are all capable of this.  No one is excluded.  So be mindful and practice only having eyes for your mate.  If that means cutting off a show or movie then cut it off.

Don’t feel you have to give every detail of past relationships.  If you need to talk about those things due to significant emotional issues then find a good counselor.

Stay away from romance novels, books and magazines that create lust and fantasy.

2.  Sex as a Weapon

Never use withholding sex as a way to get back at your mate.  For women, if we feel hurt or disconnected from our husbands we do not feel desirable and we often don’t want sex.  Try to pick something else.  What happens when you are hurt is you stop having sex.  And, because intimacy is the very act that draws you together in one flesh and unity the wall and hurt becomes bigger and bigger.  A chasm  of indifference and bitterness will be created over time.  If your needs are not being met on a consistent basis then give up time and get into counseling.  Give up pride and consider “one flesh” moments instead.  I’m not talking about abusive relationships.  If there is ongoing abuse then immediate help is needed.  Read I Corinthians 7:3-5

3.  Flashbacks –2 Corinthians 10:5 “and we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”

If you have a past with pornography, other relationships, sexual abuse and/or trauma, flashbacks are a reality for you.  Knowing this can set you free.  You are not crazy.  You are human.  We have brains that remember.  In that remembrance, things trigger us to have a flashback of a moment, a strong feeling or embarrassment/shame.  It’s okay.  Again, counseling is needed because you have to unpack that stuff and deal with it, or else you will carry it around in a suitcase weighing you down for the rest of your life.  When a flashback occurs take that thought captive, rebuke it with a positive statement from God’s Word.  God gave me a very special visual after much prayer in this area for those times.  Pray for God to do the same for you.  I have to say that is the most incredible moment when God gave me a strong positive visual of Him when flashbacks occur.  He will do the same for you.

4.  Pornography–

The access to pornography is real.  As early as elementary years old to as old as your grandma folks are addicted or exploring this avenue of perversion.  Some folks would say it enhances your intimacy.  It does not.  It creates images and flashbacks.  It takes from you because it’s lust, not love.  Love gives.  And, investing in a market that destroys is taking away from God’s Kingdom work.  In the privacy of your home you may feel “it’s okay” but seriously analyze if this is truly something God wants for you and your marriage.

How did I tie the woman from Song of Solomon to these areas?  Perhaps when you began your marriage you came with some of this baggage?  God can turn it around and deal with it so that you can feel the purest intimacy in your marriage.  If you are feeling less than ask yourself, “Why?”  Get at the root of why your intimacy is not all God wants it to be and start healing.  God wants you to experience paradise!  The enemy wants to pervert, God wants to restore and heal.