This week while reading a book, I was reminded again of the Proverbs 31 woman. I just cannot seem to get away from her no matter how hard I try. For many, this woman makes many of us intimidated by her completely organized life. She’s like the perfect wife, mother, entrepreneur, help meet, missionary — and seems to have everything together. Yet — really, she is just another woman who has definitely put God first in her life which allows her to be able to get the rest of her life in order.
While spending some time focusing on her this week, I started thinking about my home. I guess what really got me to thinking about that was an incident that I ran into with my husband at the Home Depot last weekend and this image I saw on Facebook.
A man was standing in Home Depot looking at paint supplies with his wife. However, she was not looking at anything. As loud as she could be, she was giving him what for in front of everyone. Now, as a wife, I can say that I have done this very same thing (before Jesus). When I thought I was right, I wanted everyone around me to know that my husband was wrong and I was right.
As we passed by this couple, my heart went out to her man. The look on his face as she stood there emasculating him in public. I was completely horrified. I turned around to my husband and immediately apologized to him for all the times that I had been like that. I mean, it takes a moment like this for us to really SEE sometimes what it looks like when we treat our men in such a way.
The same thing can be said about the home.
Even in our homes ladies, we need to refrain from this type of behavior. Just because no one can see our outbursts or our temper tantrums (to which at this minute I will admit that I throw a lot of — but I am working on that), we need to STOP doing that to our man. Our children need to know that we respect them above and beyond everything going on.
Men need to know that when they come home, their home will be a place of peace and rest. My husband once shared with me that when he walks in the door at home, his first thought now is “Thank goodness — I’m finally home.”. Before, when I used to have meltdowns and constant issues, he would stay away for long periods and I could never understand why. Then he shared with me that I made him feel in a constant state of stress because I was an emotional wreck.
Yes he loved me.
Yes he cared how I felt.
But when I constantly nagged him and treated him as if his opinions and thoughts did not matter, he felt it was best to just stay out of the war zone instead of coming home to relax. I want my husband glad to come home instead of wanting to stay away.
How Can We Make Our Homes a Haven of Rest
There are some things we can do to make our homes a haven of rest for our men. Here are a few things that I do that I have learned over the years.
- Play music throughout the house: Before my hubby gets home, I try to get myself praised up so I will play worship and praise music through the house. This gets my mindset from everything that is bothering me to my focus on Jesus which allows my mood to transform
- Straighten the house: A chaotic house will also make you have a chaotic spirit — I do not care what anyone else says. I have learned that when my house is chaotic, my heart and mind are pretty much in the same state. It is those states that I tend to lash out. So I try to straighten everything up and make the house look presentable.
- Burn candles: There is just something about a glowing candle that brings together the feeling of warmth and peace.
- Bake something: Okay– this might not be for everyone — especially those of you who do not bake, but for me, baking a favorite dessert of his puts me into a special place of love for my man.
- Try to get everything accomplished that he asked of you: If your husband has asked you to run a couple of errands for him that morning, try your very best to get them done. Nothing speaks love to a man more than respecting his wishes and desires.
- Pray for peace and love to abide: Before your hubby gets home, pray asking God to remove any uneasiness in your spirit and turn your home into a haven of rest for your husband.
Ladies– it’s time that we stop all the busyness of our lives and make those men — the ones that lead and protect us, feel special and loved in their homes. Let’s make our homes a place of peace and a definite place of rest. They work hard to provide for us, so let’s show them just how much we appreciate that.
Are you struggling in this area? In what ways can you turn your home into a haven of rest?
My husband surprised me by planning a wonderful date night a couple of weeks ago. Here is what he did.
Step 1: Order Tickets to a Third Day Concert
Brownie points for getting us so close to the stage! (4 rows back)!
Step 2: Take her out to dinner at one of her favorite restaurants
Had one of the best Avocado Chicken Salads ever with Cilantro Lime Dressing -it was amazing!
Step 3: Buy her that snack that you know is her absolute favorite
Cotton Candy is hands down my favorite snack in the world. I will not tell a lie — I ate the entire bag.
Step 4: Make her feel like a princess all evening long
This is an older picture, but one of my favorites of us at another concert.
If you want to make your husband or wife feel special, plan a date night for the two of you. Go out, have fun, and just enjoy being together. It will make all the difference in the world in your relationship.
Last night while watching Duck Dynasty, I was once again reminded why I absolutely love Phil and Kay Robertson. To me, they are the perfect example of loving your spouse and putting their needs above your own. Kay just has a way about her that really speaks to me as a wife. Phil — he always wants to make Miss Kay happy and he does his best to accommodate her wants and needs. Every single time I watch the show, their love, their respect, and their desire to be together just speak loudly to me.
Here are a few reasons why those two make me want to snuggle with my man just a little more! To me — she is the Proverbs 31 woman and what a great role model she is.
- Kay never speaks negatively about Phil to anyone. I can tell just by this one small thing that she is a Godly woman. When I watch her on screen, she always has a way to make Phil seem like the best husband in the world. She speaks kindly of him, never puts him down, and does her best to find something positive, when she could easily talk negative about him. I love that about her. It makes me want to really watch how I talk about my man. In fact, we all should do that because in Proverbs 31, this woman speaks so highly of her husband that he is known at the city gates and his reputation far exceeds him. It is because she has done her part in talking highly of her husband and not never negatively or out of the way.
- They never deny each other when it comes to intimacy. Some people might have a problem with this, but in all honesty ladies, if we stop denying our husbands when they need us in this way, our relationships with them will flourish more than we ever thought possible. I honestly think this is one of the reasons that both Phil and Kay are so in tune with each other. The Bible talks about giving ourselves to our mate and never denying them this intimacy except for an agreed upon time. I laugh when I hear either one of them say something about going to the bedroom. Miss Kay says it herself — she loves being with her man. Ladies– let’s learn something here!
- Kay doesn’t try to be the head honcho of their family. The Duck Dynasty family is huge, and they all know that Phil is the Patriarch and has the most wisdom. God has put him in this place as head of their family and everyone respects that. You know why? Because Kay respects that. If you notice in the show, Phil never towers over her and demands that she do things his way. She respects him as the leader of the home and he respects her as the helpmeet. They compliment each other in the way that they both know they have specific roles that are ordained by God and when we operate in those roles the way God intended, much respect will be given. The reason that the boys respect Phil so well is because of the respect that Kay has always given Phil — even when he didn’t deserve it.
This family has really won a special place in my heart and the more I watch them, the more I want to model Kay’s behavior towards Phil. You can tell that her love for God is first and foremost, then her love for Phil, and then her children. She doesn’t try to be anybody that she is not and neither does Phil. They have truly shown me what loving your spouse looks like.
Who is your marriage role model? Do you have one? If not, who would you choose?
5 Valentine Ideas that Don’t Cost a Thing
Rekindle the flame
Write a letter to your Valentine
Create a digital photo album
Take a walk on the beach
Make your bathroom into a spa
There’s nothing more relaxing then a trip to the spa. How about recreating the spa experience at home? Draw a warm bubble bath, turn the lights off and light some candles. If you don’t have bubble bath, try some rosemary or lavendar for a delightful scent. Add a classic touch, by using flowers petals either in the water and leading up to the bath. This is a perfect way to start or end your Valentine’s Day.
What is a way that you can celebrate Valentine’s Day without spending any money?
I found this cool freebie online, and as a wife who is striving more and more to be the Proverbs 31 wife — well, I want this stuck on my fridge every day so I can remind myself of what I promised to God and to my man.
To get this marriage freebie, visit Darlene over at Time Warp Wife where she is offering this to all her lovely readers.
Here are 2 free marriage books for Kindle that I recently discovered on Amazon. You might want to hurry because the prices change on these all the time.
Download a copy of Never Stop Holding Hands: And Other Marriage Survival Tips
Download a copy of A Faith Full Marriage: Building a Lifetime Love on Biblical Principles
These ebooks are specifically for Kindles, but you can go here to download a free application that enables you to read Kindle ebooks on your PC.
Now that 2013 is here and well underway, my husband and I decided to take goal planning to a whole new level. We have goal planned in the past for personal issues, and for our home life, but we have never really taken the time to goal plan for our marriage. My daughter turns 15 in just a few months. With that comes the fact that my husband and I will be spending a lot more time together as just a couple, so we are wanting to put some things in place now that will help us later on once our children are completely grown and out of the house. Here are 3 ways that you can take for setting goals for the new year in your marriage.
Setting Goals for the New Year
Pick a weekend to sit and talk
Okay– this may seem like a no brainer but as families continue to get busier and busier, it’s hard sometimes to just carve out a couple of days to sit and talk. My husband and I are going to go away for a night just so we can do some goal planning not only for our marriage, but our youth group as well. The main thing is — make time to sit and talk about the goals. Make a list of what you would like to see accomplished in 2013 with your spouse. For us, we have decided that
- We want our financial burdens to be gone so we are going to work on getting all of our bills paid off by the end of 2013
- We want to pray together more for each other, our family, and the youth that we are teaching at church
- Make time for each other this year by having a date night at least once or twice a month
- Going away at least twice a year for a couple’s weekend
Set Realistic Goals and Things that are Easy to Obtain
Many marriages set very high expectations on their spouses and make them feel like failures all the time. I know — I used to be one of those types of wives. I wanted SO much from my man that I had this list of dos and dont’s that he had to follow and anytime that he faltered from that, he would be at the bottom of my list.
The same thing can happen when you sit down to make goals for your marriage. Don’t set goals that are hard to obtain. Set your marriage up for success. Start small and choose something that you both can accomplish. Is it having dinner together at least once a week as a family or just as a couple? If so, don’t put the expectation on that you have to do it every night, because the first time you miss — you will feel like they have let you down. So, set small goals up first.
Tackle the important things first
If your goal list is long like mine was, you need to go back over and rank them in priority. Which goal do you want to see obtained the most first? Make that your number one priority and work towards that goal first. Rank them of importance so that you feel like you are truly accomplishing something together and not just writing a bunch of stuff down, just to write something.
Here’s the challenge
Now that you have a few tips on setting goals in your marriage, I challenge you this week to sit down with your man and talk about how you can set some realistic goals for 2013 in your marriage.
This is YOUR year. Claim it and find ways to make it work
Sitting across from my husband a few days ago, I looked at him — I mean really looked at him. As I sat there staring at him, I thought to myself,”Wow, I’ve now been married to this man for 19 years. Where has the time gone? Why do I feel like we’re mere acquaintances instead of husband and wife?”
I do not want to be that couple.
You see, Kayla and Robert will be fully grown and possibly out of the house in less than 4 years. When they are gone, I do not want to look at him and think what are we going to do now. I want that to be a time of excitement for us both so that we can get out and have fun as husband and wife. I am determined to know who my husband is NOW rather than later.
He is my best friend.
He is my soul mate.
We were meant to be together.
I guess that is why I am excited to see Hope Springs on dvd this week. It hit the store shelves yesterday. When I first saw this movie come out, I thought to myself — WOW that is SO my story. Have you seen the trailer?
I love all three of the main characters in this movie, so I know I will love it. More than that, I am hoping to walk away from this with new ideas for my own marriage, ones that will help Stephen and I reconnect as husband and wife.
After watching the movie, I was a bit disappointed with some of the elements in the movie and the rating itself. Moms — this is NOT a movie that you want your 13-17 year old children sitting around watching with you.
While I loved the storyline and the meaning behind the movie, I did not care for the sexual scenes in the movies, bathroom, and when Meryl is in bed by herself. I think that those could have been left to the imagination to make it a more cleaner and romantic movie. I felt a little embarrassed while watching it — so I just wanted to share that info with those of you who want to watch it. Just use good judgement
My advice to you today is this — do not wait until the kids are completely grown to find yourself, redefine your marriage, or get to know your spouse. Do that NOW rather than later. Your marriage will greatly appreciate it.
She knelt down beside her bed, angry at everyone and everything. How things had gotten this way, she had no clue. She looked up at the ceiling and cried out, Why God. Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t you just fix him and make him do right. I hate him like this.”
She began to cry sobs — huge body wracking sobs. Her marriage was going through a season like one she had never experienced before. The thoughts that creeped into her head at night frightened her. Fear gripped her every being.
She lay on the floor and cried the hardest she had ever cried in her life. It was during this time, she felt the Father pick her up and cradle her in His big, loving arms. She felt Him smooth her hair as he shushed her crying. He rocked her back and forth for what seemed like hours. In this place she felt secure, loved, adored. Here is where she longed to be more than any other place on the face of the earth.
She looked up into the face of her Father and whispered, “Why?”
The Father replied — Because YOU are my child and I needed to share something with you, but you have not been listening to me.”
She laid her head back down and at that moment, God showed her that SHE has been the problem — not her husband. She had grown distant and in doing so, began asking God to change her husband, when in the end knew that she was the one that needed changing.
“God, I’m not sure I can do this. Why me? Why not him?”
God spoke to her heart “It always starts with you My daughter. If you seek after Me, if you love Me, if you display Me in your life, I will work out the rest. Trust ME.”
And so she did. She started praying more, reading more, praising God more. She found each day that she did this, her husband was not the target that she at first thought he was. He became her soulmate again, her love, her partner for life.
Her wish had been granted. But it wasn’t he who had changed –it was her and she had God to thank for that.
Today, if you are struggling with loving your husband, and you are like me and always pointing the finger at him to change, ask God to show you what there is about yourself that needs to be changed. Most of the time, if you take the focus off of him and put it on God, all those things that annoy you and you think need to be changed will disappear.
I’ve been married for almost 20 years. I still can’t believe it myself. I’ve been married longer than I’ve been single. The sad thing is this — I’ve never been on a honeymoon –at all. We’ve only been on one overnight trip together for just he and I, and to be honest, I am needing a trip with just me and my honey!
So where do I want to go?
I want to visit Maui. Ever since I have seen the Elvis movie where he gets married in Hawaii (I think it’s Blue Hawaii). I have wanted to visit there. It just seems like the most romantic spot ever.
Where Would I Stay In Maui?
I think I would love to stay at Maalaea Beachfront. It looks SO inviting and I have a beach view with a balcony. That is a definite must, because at night, the beach view would be romantic, right? I could picture us sitting on the balcony having a delicious dinner by moonlight.
It’s all about creating the romantical mood on a honeymoon!
What Would I Do While There?
There are so many options to choose from like National parks, beaches, and the Road to Hana sounds like something I would LOVE to do.
I want to see the Banyan trees, walk through Twin Falls, and to shop at the Lahaina Cannery Mall. I would definitely have to stay for a week or more to do all the things I want to do.
What Would I Eat?
I seriously have started trying to eat different foods when I visit somewhere new. I like to try things that you can only get from that area, so there won’t be any fast food places on my visit if I ever get to go. No — I want to eat at places like, Mama’s Fish House, The Hula Grill, The Flatbread Company, Aloha Mixed Plate, and I definitely want to experience a luau.
Putting together the perfect dream honeymoon was super easy thanks to Gogobot!
Gogobot, a social travel site that launched in 2010, is a place on the web you should know about. The company has racked up accolades including being named one of Time’s top sites of 2011 and winner of the 2010 Crunchie award for Best Design.
Gogobot’s big win is that it allows you to connect with your friends to get their advice on where to visit, what to eat, and where to stay when you travel. You can use the service to plan things ahead of time, or you can poll your friends on the fly.
Gogobot allows you to tap into the knowledge of your friends when planning a trip anywhere. You can find like-minded travelers and inspiration for your next vacation, creating easy-to-use wishlists you can return to again and again.
And when you are not in vacation mode or planning a trip, you can discover hidden gems in your own neighborhood for entertaining guests or a weekend staycation.
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gogobot. The opinions and text are all mine.
Image courtesy of Stock.xchng
I am one of the worst wives when it comes to letting my husband parent. I constantly chime in, sharing with him how I would have did it. How many of you ladies will be the first to admit that you do this too?
Even as I am opening my mouth speaking, I realize that this is detrimental to both our relationship and his and the kids, and yet, I can’t stop myself.
Because I am momma bear.
This is my brood.
No one can do it better than me.
I’m here to tell you that both mine and your thinking is wrong! We are doing a disservice to our husbands when we undermine their parenting.
Think of it this way–If God saw fit to entrust you with a child, don’t you think that he would empower the both of you to care for that child?
Now I know there are some cases where dads should not be parenting (and I am not even gonna touch that one with a ten foot pole), but I am not talking about those. What I am talking about is when daddy has ideas how things should be done and he begins to voice those, and we step in and say– no, we can’t do it that way. It’s wrong. Here, let me show you how we can do it.
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng
We as mothers have got to step back and give the men in our lives breathing room. They need to know that when they parent, we are not going to constantly nag at them about the way they are doing it.
Your way and my way is not the only right way to do things.
I love what Lisa says in her post Let your Husband Be a Dad:
The next time you think that your husband is being foolish in his choices, step back silently and ask yourself how this looks to your children. What do they see through their impressionable eyes? Do they see a Dad with his head hung low and a know it all mom, shoving her way to authority? Or do they see a Dad standing tall holding the whole family’s respect? (Don’t think he deserves it? …doesn’t matter…he IS your childrens’ FATHER.)
Now is the time, ladies, to really practice honor and submission to our husbands. Being a great dad is top priority on their list but if we are constantly squelching their tries, they will soon stop trying.
Let’s make a pact this week to strive to hold our tongues and bow out gracefully when our husbands are parenting the kids–even if we don’t agree with what they are doing!
I have learned a lot over the years being married– almost 18 years. I come from the school of hard knocks, which means that mostly I have had to learn the hard way.
I had one of those lessons this week. One I was not really ready to learn, but God felt it important for me to learn. You see, for the longest time, I have had issues with intimacy.
What I mean by this is just allowing someone to get really close and love me. I grew up in a home where love was conditional and I have always struggled with that. Even after all these years, God is still peeling away those layers.
So it was no surprise to me when God decided it was time to learn a new lesson about intimacy this week. How important it is!
I am going to be honest here…real honest. I brush my husband off a lot (and yes…that is what I am talking about here. We are all grown women and should be able to talk about these things, right? ‘mkay? Good!) . Not because I don’t love him, but because I use the excuse, I just don’t have time.
Are you kidding me?
No time? I have all the time, but I just wasn’t making him an important part of my life.
Other excuses I have used in the past–
~We live in a small house
~The kids will hear
~I have to cook supper
~I’ve got too much work to do
Courtney at Women Living Well always encourages me to meet my man’s needs. I got a firsthand look this past week at how important meeting his needs really are.
God used an experience to smack me back into reality of why His word is SO clear about coming together often.
1 Corinthians 7:5
Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Nothing bad happened or anything. God just found a way to get my attention to a matter that I had been lacking to pay attention to.
Do you see yourself in the excuses that I shared above? Are you one that tends to tell your husband “not tonight honey”.
Stormie O’Martin has a great plan for getting past that hurdle of not wanting to be intimate with your man. She suggests spending 20 minutes in prettying yourself up. Take a shower in your favorite scent of soap, put on some lotion and something that makes you feel attractive and then purpose in your heart to make your man feel special.
It dawned on me that this had been my problem all along.
I had not purposed in my heart about anything. I was just going through the motions of waking up, being here, and then going to bed.
So I made a conscious decision this past week to purpose in my heart to make my husband feel special–to show him that I enjoy the love he wants to share with me. I will not turn away and I will not say no. I will accept him with open arms.
I cannot tell you the difference this has already made in our relationship–in just a few days. You should try it as well.
Courtney shares this in her video. I encourage you to watch it and take to heart what she shares!
I haven’t been the best wife the last few months. I will be the first to admit it. With my life changing like it has, I just kind of withdrew into myself and not allowing myself to love on my husband at all.
But ya know what I have come to realize? The main person I have been hurting is myself.
Touch is SO important. Not just intimate touching, but a lingering hug, a small caress on the shoulder or back, or even a deepening kiss.
God knows exactly how important it is for spouses to feel connected and one of those ways is to connect through touching.
I fail at that miserably. I have never been a “touchy feeling” kind of person. But sometimes, my favorite thing to do is to sit on my husband’s lap and just let him hold me. There is nothing like it in the world.
So why can’t I return the favor of touching him?
I realize I fail at this when he says, “Will you rub my back?”, or when I do decide to give him a lingering touch on his face, he says to me, “What brought that on? You haven’t done that in a long time.”
I will be taking my own advice this week and spend more time touching my husband in a loving manner so that he and I can feel more connected. I encourage you to do the same.
Make your man feel special.
Let him know that he is important to you.
Touch his face as you look into his eyes and say “I love and respect you so much.”
Picture credit: Stock X Chng
Last night I learned something that I believe will stick with me for a very long time.
My kids watch how I act with my husband.
I knew that in my mind, but I saw it come to completion last night during a really bad storm. The kids were so scared. The storm was so bad that I had them huddle in the hallway *just in case*. They were predicting this one to be the worst our area had seen in 50 years.
My husband is a weather watcher. When things start getting rough, he begins watching all the reports, he stares at the sky examining the clouds and whether there is rotation or not–he pays attention to all of that.
We tease him a bit about his pacing from the computer to the front porch. But last night just really spoke to me.
Our neighbors up the road were all huddled into one of the houses basements. They came over right about the time the storm was going to get really bad and asked if we wanted to join them for safety. My first instinct was to jump at the chance to join them and take my mind off the storm. Just about the time I was going to speak up, I felt God hush my words and he spoke to my heart, trust your husband’s judgment and share that with the kids. My husband declined the offer, thanked them for thinking of us, and then went back to watching the storm as it hit our area.
I had no clue that my kids were watching me and waiting for me to say something. My daughter asked me if we could go wait it out in their basement. She was really scared. What I told her next shocked even me, but as I said the words–I really felt them. I told her, “Honey–your dad would never put us in harm’s way. If he thought we were in serious danger, he would have taken them up on that offer of going to their basement. I trust your dad wholeheartedly with my life. He knows what he is doing and I am not worried.”
As I spoke those words, I saw the worry leave her face and was placed by relief. It wasn’t long after that, that Stephen came and told us it was okay to come out. The rain was still coming down hard and the wind was still blowing, but my heart learned a very valuable lesson last night–one I soon won’t forget–I must trust my husband like I trust my Savior.
Two things to take away from this post–
1) Your kids watch how YOU, the mom, interact with your man. When you doubt his abilities, they doubt. When you don’t trust him, they don’t trust him. Show them what it truly means to stand behind your man and support him.
2) Esteem your man highly in front of the kids. When you do that, they gain a better respect for the man that they call daddy.
What about you? Have your kids had issues with trusting their dad? Maybe it’s time to look at your trust in him to see if that is where the problem lies.
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng.
I was recently watching one of the morning shows that come on television and a question was asked, “Should I tell my husband everything going on in my life?” The answer that was given kind of took me by surprise. Supposedly, this woman was a relationship expert and her answer was a resounding NO!
Evidently, she is not a reformed liar like myself.
Apparently, she has never been through the trauma of what one little lie can do to a relationship.
More importantly, all her “relationship knowledge” is what leads her to believe that it is okay to have secrets with your spouse.
That is THE furthest thing from the truth!
The reason that I say this is because for so many years my relationship was built around secrets and lies. I was brought up believing the line “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him”, and I watched as countless times my mother would buy something, hide it from my dad in order to cover up her purchase and then later present as something old she had bought years before and never wore.
This kind of thinking is what leads marriages into failure daily.
I have seen marriages begin to crumble because of secrets of addictions.
I have seen marriages fade away because of secret desires to be someone other than who they are.
I have watched women go from being content with the man they have to secretly wanting a husband who is more romantic, or more loving, or more understanding.
Here is a personal testimony about secrets.
I will be the first to tell you that I had tons of secrets from my husband–my money issues, my adultery issues–all the little issues I had. I would rather lie and keep my secret safe, than to come out and share with him the things that were hurting me.
I have learned that harboring secrets from your spouse causes dissension in a marriage. As a woman hiding a secret, you always are worried he is going to find you out. Then what happens when he does find out is serious betrayal. A man will feel betrayed, disrespected, and unloved.
Secrets will tear you apart.
They need to know. Regardless of how bad it will hurt. Regardless of the outcome. Don’t let secrets tear you apart.
1 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2nd Corinthians 4:1-4
Today–make it a point to keep no secrets between you and your husband. My marriage has flourished because my husband knows without a shadow of a doubt that he can trust me. I am truthful with him regardless of how much it may hurt to tell him whatever has been going on. I urge you to do the same thing.
This week I thought I would start a series of posts on addictions. I am one of those who has been to the depths and back, engrossed in many, many harmful addictions. I can now say that I am free. It was not an easy road to handle. In fact, many times I fell on my face, but when God finally healed me of my addictions–they left.
One of the worst addictions I ever had was one to pornography. Yep–you read that right.
Me–a 21 year old female addicted to pornography.
Today, men get busted every single day for their porn addictions, while ladies are left to hide in their secret addiction. Women are just as much addicted to pornography as men are, yet we hide our addictions well. We mask it with other things so that no one knows our little nasty secret.
Here is the story behind mine.
When I was young and first discovered the Internet (back when it first came out), a friend of ours introduced us to all the many X-rated sites out there. He showed us how to search for things and save images so we could go back later and look at them. At first, I was appalled at this! It was gross and nasty and I could not believe all the stuff that was out there!
But then, the more time I spent on the Internet, my interest was peaked and it was not long before I was hooked.
The thing that people do not realize is that if you are not a Christian, you do not know that looking at pornography is wrong. At least I did not.
Until it started ruining my life and my marriage.
But by then, it was too late. I was hooked and couldn’t stop.
Like any addiction, if you feed it, you will stay hooked. You have to quit cold turkey and get rid of the source that is feeding your addiction. Get help. Ask others. Find ways to fill your life with positive things.
I remember after the day I accepted Christ how that burning urge to look at something started gnawing at me. I was scared and not sure what to do. My heart raced as I sat down at the computer. I looked to my right and there was the huge box of disks that hundreds of pictures saved on them. All I had to do was to pop one in and the computer would do the rest. My hands were shaking and I could feel this other Presence holding me back a bit. I had never felt guilty before about looking at it, so why was it bothering me now?
As I sat there looking at that box, I felt the urge to crush all those disks–and that is exactly what I did. From that moment I felt freed. Something inside of me just knew that what I was involved in was wrong, that the Bible has many verses on keeping your heart pure and clean before the Lord.
I guess that is one reason why the movie Fireproof resonated with me so much is because I was just like Kirk Cameron in the movie. His live was my life–down to the very last T. Here is the clip of him realizing that his addictions were killing his marriage.
I don’t know if you are secretly struggling with this addiction or not, but if you are–seek the Lord’s help above all the other help you are seeking out.
Accountability partners are great.
Celebrate Recovery is awesome.
Addiction groups help too, but seek the Lord also. He has more power than anything to help you break horrible addictions.
One of my favorite songs that helps me remember that I am free from all my addictions is by Casting Crowns. Hope you enjoy this today as you pray and ask God to Set You Free.
I wrote from the heart today about falling in love all over again with your man. You can read the post in its entirety over at A Martha Heart!
Hop on over there and check it out!
My husband made me confront something about myself recently that I had been to stubborn to see. In the search for becoming the perfect wife and mother, I have lost my voice. I thought he was seriously losing his mind, but he pointed out to me the fact that I almost no longer share my opinion on things. It has become a “whatever you want” kind of situation. . . like the one in the movie, Coming to America. Have you ever seen that scene?
Get my drift? At first when he shared this with me, I was angry. Wasn’t that what he wanted from me? To be a submissive and compliant wife? He basically told me that I had become his puppet–that I had lost my voice.
His words hurt. But more than that, the truth hurt. I realized for the first time in my life that I have been living in fear of displeasing him to the point that I no longer had been thinking for myself. Whatever he wanted from me, I would become.
It took his love and truth to make me realize how complacent I had become as a wife. For fear of losing him or driving him away, I had become a puppet and a door mat.
Men do not want that ladies. What they want from us is a strong woman–one who doesn’t mind sharing her opinion and her insight. One that can be independent and yet still let her husband know that she needs him.
I had totally lost sight of that. I started thinking–when did I get like that? Then it hit me. When I came home and started homeschooling our children, I started allowing my voice to take a backseat–all in the name of being a stay at home mom.
By being at home, I convinced myself that my voice, my opinions, and my thoughts did not matter. My husband is the head of the house and his opinion is the only one that matters. How stupid is that? Ladies–don’t be like me. Don’t lose your voice. In doing so, you lose yourself.
My husband began to see the signs of a woman who was about ready to lose it. He has seen this firsthand with many of his friends whose wives just picked up and took off after years of marriage. He wanted to stop it before it consumed me too. When I told him one night–I don’t even know who I am anymore–a warning sign went off for him and he confronted me and made me use my voice again.
He is helping me rediscover who I am by giving me some space to make my own decisions. It’s hard. I find myself saying Are you sure you don’t care?” when I should be saying This is something I really want to do.
I am telling you today–don’t lose your voice. Be who God created you to be. Share with others. Don’t be afraid to live. Speak up when you need to, but do it in respect. Your husband will love you more knowing that he has a wife who has a backbone. Thanks to my wonderful man I am rediscovering mine. This is a long hard road that I hate that I have to go down, but in order to find me again and be the ME that God created me to be, I have to–regardless of how much this hurts.
I challenge you today to stand up for yourself. Speak–live–love. Don’t let fear of “whatever” rule you and back you into losing your voice. Speak out.
The last few months have been filled with tons of questions for me. Our family seems to be going through some kind of transition that I don’t quite understand and it has left me full of uncertainty. It has caused me to become angry and bitter towards my husband and this is not a good place to be.
I am learning right now that even though I may not agree or understand with the decisions that he is making for our family, my job as his wife and daughter of the Lord is to accept those decisions and support him. I can say that doing this is tough. I am struggling to understand it all, yet in the end I know it is for a reason.
I had a major meltdown yesterday and I think that this “season” is what brought this meltdown on. I don’t like having meltdowns like I did yesterday. They leave me feeling less than appealing to my family. SIGH….guess I really need to work on trust in the Lord and trust in my husband. Neither one has a vendetta against my family, and yet, I almost always feel like no one can protect them like me. I know, DUMB!
If you seem to be struggling with accepting some decisions your husband seems to be making for your family right now, here are some things that I have learned over the past few days not to do and a few things that you should do!
~Don’t hold your feelings in. I have a bad habit of holding how I feel in. I don’t share like I should so when a small problem arises, I have all my feelings built up inside of me and then KABOOM, I explode. Don’t do that! Share your concerns with your husband, while they are still fresh. This way, there is not a huge chance of you exploding on him and catching him blindsided.
~Don’t belittle him in front of the kids. If you have something to say to your husband that might cause him pain, don’t do it in front of the kids. This causes them to feel like the arguments are their fault and there is NOTHING worse than having to reassure a child that they had nothing to do with the argument at hand.
~Trust your husband’s judgment regarding your family. I am seriously going to try and take my own advice here. I am speaking to the choir (me) when I write this. Your husband is NOT your enemy. He is not out to hurt your family. His job as head of the house and and leader is exactly that–to lead your family. You may not always agree with how he is doing it, but you need to trust that he knows what he is doing.
~No nagging allowed. During this “season” don’t nag at your husband about the decisions he is making for your family. Voice your concerns and try to get him to explain why but don’t nag. Nagging is one of the #1 reasons men turn their listening ears off.
~Find time to sit and pray and talk. Praying together is the number one way to grow close to one another, so spend some time in prayer together, asking God to help you make good choices together. As a woman, we need to pray for God to give us peace to understand our husbands and to accept the decisions they make for our families. Ask God to change your heart towards your husband–to remove the bitterness and anger that you have allowed to develop over the past few months and to replace it with a renewed sense of love and respect.
Well, now I am off to pray and do the very things that I have shared with you. I need some surgery on my heart and my mindset right now, so I do believe I am going to go spend some time with the Lord and ask Him to give me a new heart full of love and respect. I suggest you do the same if you are struggling with this issue as well.
Photo credit: stock.xchng
Getting away with your spouse is so important for a healthy and vital marriage. However, there will be times in your relationship when getting away is NOT an option.
For us, that is a reality right now.
Between ailing family members, low funds, and nowhere for the kids to go in order to take a vacation together, getting away is just not in our future. Sure, I could be upset and rant and rave about not being able to get away. But, I have decided to just embrace the time and do what I can to make our together time special.
Who doesn’t want to get away and just bask in the love and adoration of your spouse?
Here are a few things I plan on trying to incorporate in the next few months with my man since we cannot get away and go on vacation together right now.
- Try to find at least 15 to 30 minutes a day after he comes home to sit down and talk to one another. We have gotten into the habit of talking more to our computers and the television than we do to each other. During this time of talking, no one is allowed to barge in and bother us and interrupt our talking time. We used to do this regularly when the kids were smaller, but in the last couple of years, we kind of quit practicing it.
- Since our kids are older, we can leave them at home and go on a walk around the neighborhood (when it warms up again) just so we can spend a few minutes alone together.
- Get away at home. This one is easy to accomplish if the kids have somewhere to go. This is also a great idea if you are low on finances. Get creative and create an environment of somewhere you want to visit. One of my places I want to visit is the beach one time in my life. Recreate a room using sheer curtains and play beach music. Transform your dining room into a beach scene using chairs! You can even ask your kids to draw beach scenes on paper and get them involved in helping you treat daddy to a night out somewhere! Make food at home that you might eat on the beach and just enjoy being together.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to “make getting away” an option for you by re-creating something at home.
As the Bible says, Everything has a season and this too shall pass (my paraphrase). Bide your time, be content where you are at the moment in life and when the time is right, you will be able to get away once again!