This marriage minute is targeted to wives! Do we really understand the power of our influence? Can we believe that God has especially equipped us with influence for His purpose of promoting good in our husbands?
Our words have power. In fact, according to Proverbs 18:21, our words can promote life or death! I wonder which of the two we would consider the dominate theme of all of the words we have spoken concerning our husbands if we had a recording from every day of our marriages?
Here is a suggestion: let’s make a commitment to pray daily for our husbands. I find that as a result of that time in prayer for him, the Lord often gives me an encouraging word to share. When I call my husband to speak the life-giving message from the Father, he is always so encouraged and thankful.
The Spirit of God will always lead us in the holiness of God. As we stay in step with Him, we will overflow with the influence that our husbands need.
Is it any wonder that the less time we spend with our spouse, the more we fall away from him or her? Unfortunately, this is something that I have been witnessing in the lives of others lately. The results are not pretty and even sometimes beyond repair. Are we ready to make the necessary changes? Instead of prioritizing our responsibilities above our relationships with God and our spouse, we need to give first attention to that which we covenanted with God to protect- our marriage.
Here are some helpful ideas: schedule a weekly date night and even take turns planning what to do. Don’t worry if you can’t swing the money for a sitter, meal and a movie. Simply send the kids to bed early with the understanding that mom and dad need some time together. Prepare a candlelit dinner and play soft music. Go all out by even dressing in the fanciest clothes you have!
If that is not your style, consider a long bike ride or walk at a place you don’t often visit. Your appreciation of new vistas will spark much needed conversation. Learning something new together can also prove to be an adventure with a great opportunity for bonding.
Whatever you decide to do, know that the romance builds as you both look ahead to that day each week when the focus is simply being together. It’s an investment that will continue to bring a return long after the children have grown and the work schedule has changed!
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way (Daniel 1:8). Young Daniel has just entered King Nebuchadnezzar’s three-year palace training program as a result of Babylon’s conquest of Judah. Being an upright man in the eyes of God, Daniel knows that to eat the food offered to him from the king’s table would be a direct contradiction to the dietary laws of God. It shouldn’t be a big deal, right? When in Babylon, do as the Babylonians do! Not so for Daniel. He resolved not to defile himself, and God honored his purity of heart by causing the king’s official to have favor and compassion for Daniel and to make an exception for his diet.
Believers today are still in this place of needed decision: will we compromise our purity because of the push of our surroundings, or will we resolve to remain pure?
Let’s take this focus to our marriages. In the couple’s covenant of love, the husband is to promote his wife’s holiness as Christ does for His Church (see Ephesians 5:26-27). But here’s the reality: You can’t promote, you can’t give away what you do not have. If the husband lives in a compromised state of tolerating sin in his own life, then he is unable to be instrumental in the increasing sanctification of his wife.
I have a strong caution to give to husbands- that tempting, one little glance at the website is a compromise with dire consequences. You think that I am over-reacting, because in your mind, you have this under control. You can stop visiting that website any time you wish to stop. It’s not a problem, you say.
You’re wrong. I know you’re wrong, because the Word of God shines the light on the real issue: “Death and destruction are never satisfied and neither are the eyes of man” (Proverbs 27:20). If you entertain internet pornography, you have a problem because according to Scripture, your eyes are never satisfied. That is why you have revisited a site after vowing to yourself that you have done so for the last time.
Death and destruction. These are the wages of sin resulting from our being led astray by evil desires and the deception of the enemy. In the context of marriage, trustworthiness dies as betrayal reigns in the heart of one whose eyes are never satisfied. Marriage vows are broken leaving wrecked relationships in the aftermath. Wake up, please! You do not have to be held captive to this addiction. There is a power that overcomes every stronghold of the enemy. The Father in heaven is for you, friend. He has already won this battle and will give you a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline if you call upon Him for help.
Will you be intentional and have a resolve to not be defiled by the things of this world? Your wife and your family are depending upon you.
It’s time to set the record straight. For all who walk in relationship with Jesus Christ, you are the normal ones! I heard a pastor state this fact years ago, and I embraced it. We are normal because we look to and believe upon the God who created us. We were made by Him and for Him. Because we accept His love and acknowledge Him as Lord, we are the normal ones. Anyone who rebels against the Father’s love is abnormal. The same assessment would be given of a young child who would chose to live on the streets as opposed to living under the loving care and protection of his parents. That would be abnormal.
Believers, before you accepted the grace of God, you were also abnormal. All of us have rebelled against the love of the Father and as a result, we were dead in our transgressions and in need of forgiveness. Remembering this fact helps us to reach out to all the other pre-believers in the world. We are not anti-gay, anti-agnostics, anti-abortionists, anti-high-school drop-outs, anti-alchoholics, and the list goes on. We are PRO abundant life in Christ! We have compassion for those who are bound in their sin and hindered by their past. We seek to develop meaningful relationships that we may have plentiful opportunities to share God’s love for them.
We have an image to destroy, one that says we are abnormal. Society projects this idea in an attempt to put us in a corner and silence us. We also need to destroy the image that we are against any who do not believe like us. Let us not be defined by the world’s perception of Christians but instead by the nature of Christ within us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
Heavy-hearted in light of what we have endured once again as a people in the land of the free. Sadness and anger grip the nation and few realize it’s our own fault- we thirst for violence. We replace the goodness of God with a variety of outlets that satisfy our evil desires. We are sin-sick as a people. We are down-trodden. We are chained. We are lost.
We look to someone, anyone to blame. Upon whom can we heap this sin and all of its aftermath?
Lawmakers? Should they not have gotten a better handle on guns getting into the hands of irresponsible people?
Justice systems? Are they not able to fix troubled youth and adults?
Law enforcement? Can’t they heighten the protection of all of us when we gather in public places?
Medical practices? Should they label patients as potentially dangerous based on the drugs they prescribe?
Parents? Are they training their children and leading them in the pathway of life?
Self? Do I always seek what is right, good and pure? Do I 100% of the time keep my thoughts, beliefs and actions in agreement to what is pleasing to God?
Maybe we do have the potential to self-govern. Maybe a time of inward reflection would bring the needed shift we all desperately desire.
I suggest a national lock-down, not to protect ourselves from others. We need protection from us. What if we just temporarily shut down and returned to our homes to reflect? What if we opened our hearts and evaluated what we discover? Would we find ourselves ready to call upon God, to receive His grace that alone can rid us of all of our filth? Jesus took it all upon Himself when He sacrificed His life on the cross. He rose again and empowered us to live a transformed life. Will you receive Him? Will you bring a better self to a hurting land?