Being appreciated for all you do!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get in a poopy mood (yes, I just used the highly technical term “poopy”!).  During my marriage to Raul, I would get in this grumpy mood when I did something sacrificial for my husband and he didn’t even seem to notice!  For instance, even though both my husband and I worked full-time in ministry, I decided that, for a while, I would do all the household cleaning chores so that my husband would be freed up to serve God even more.  I did this for a several-month stretch one year.

Did I enjoy vacuuming, dusting, cleaning toilets?  No, I did not.  Did I sometimes feel grumpy when I cleaned the house after already working a full day?  Yes, I did.  But then I thought, “well, at least my husband will sing my praises when he gets home and notices all I’ve done”.  However, even though I subtly pointed out to him what I had done, much to my shock, sometimes he didn’t say anything at all.  What!?!  

It’s at that time that God graciously reminded me that He noticed all I had done and he was pleased.  I know that God was pleased whenever I served my husband because God instructs us in Matthew 9:35 that “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”  

God always notices what we’re doing even when no one else sees it!  In Matthew 6:4, the Bible reminds us that “your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”   Let’s take heart that we are pleasing the “right” man when we serve our others sacrificially.  That right man is Jesus.

5 verses to help you be bold!

If you are a follower of Jesus, I’m sure you are so very grateful for his presence in your life and for the sacrifice He made so that you can be guaranteed a forever life in paradise with God.  But don’t you want other people in your life to find the same rich relationship and promise for the future that you have discovered?  You probably do, but aren’t quite sure how to share the Gospel message with relatives, friends, co-workers and neighbors.  Maybe you shrink back due to fear of what others will think.  Perhaps you need help in becoming more confident and bold.

Allow me to share 5 Bible verses that can be somewhat of a guide as you consider sharing the Gospel message with others.

  1.  Ask God to show you who you are supposed to talk to about Jesus and invite to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  God may be assigning you that job, or perhaps God has appointed someone else to be the person.  So ask God!  Psalm 32:8  I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
  2.  Ask God to show you the right time to present the Gospel.  Ecclesiastes 3:1  There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
  3. Ask God to give you confidence and boldness instead of fearing the person’s reaction!  Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…
  4.  Study Bible verses that reveal the path to salvation, and also equip yourself with Bible verses that may address any objections or questions that person raises.  2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
  5. In the end, rely on the Holy Spirit to give you the exact words to say to that specific person.  Luke 21:14-15 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

What husband needs to feel loved

You’ve probably heard of the “Five Love Languages”.  It’s something Christian author and psychologist Gary Chapman figured out about how people are wired in terms of receiving love.  The love languages are:  words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.  Well, here’s something I’ve learned after talking with many wives whose husbands have completed the love language assessment.  Almost all men have “physical touch” as one of their top 2 love languages.

Ladies, this means your husband craves not just sex, but little signs of physical affection throughout the day.  When you do these small things, he feels loved by you.  So, why wouldn’t you give him the physical affection that you know would bless him?  By purposely withholding what he needs to feel loved, could it be that we’re actually sinning?  Listen to what God says in James 4:17: “If anyone knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”  Oh my.

Here are several ideas on how you can communicate love through physical touch.  Reach out to hold his hand as you walk through the store.  Give him a 20 second neck and shoulder rub as you’re walking by.  Pinch his tush as he walks through the kitchen.  Lean over his shoulder while he’s on the computer and give him a kiss.  Rest your hand on his leg while you’re sitting together on the couch watching TV.  Run your fingers through his hair.  These small acts of physical touch are totally easy and yet they mean so much to most husbands. Try it!

2 decisions to combat worry

I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes get consumed with the “what if” questions.  What if a loved one passes away?  What if I don’t have enough money to be secure in old age?  What if my kids make a really bad life-altering decision?  When I start thinking this way, my serenity level plunges, and my anxiety level shoots through the roof!

Well, here are two decisions that both you and I can make in order to regain peace of mind:

1) We must decide to follow the instructions given in Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  In other words, we need to tell God all our concerns, ask Him to be in control, and then LEAVE the concerns in His hands!

2)  We must remind ourselves every morning that Jesus is FOR us and that we can trust Him to bring something good out of even the most daunting or difficult situation.  I mean, seriously, do we believe God loves us and that He is perfect in all His ways?  If we REALLY do, then we can relax and realize that, even in difficult circumstances, He has a plan to bring about good thing in the lives of those who love Him.  This is the essence of Romans 8:28… “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.

Don’t share your friends with hubby

At the risk of you thinking I’m totally looney, may I suggest that you talk with your husband about clear boundaries regarding your female friends?  In other words, he should not be a close “friend” of any of your own girlfriends!  I know this might seem old-fashioned or even ridiculous, but many affairs start out with a husband “just talking” with another woman.  We need to be careful and alert to the schemes of the enemy!

1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober-mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  So, be alert to the enemy’s scheme to get your husband emotionally entangled with one of your friends.  He should not spend time with her without you.  He should not even be spending time on the phone with her giving advice or listening to her woes.  Without him intending to do so, he will slowly find himself developing an emotional bond with your friend, and she will start bonding with him.   Danger lies ahead!

Defusing argument before it starts!

I’m on a journey of learning how to do relationships in a healthier, God-directed way!  I don’t know about you, but, in the past, when I got really disappointed in my husband or anybody, I tended to go in one of two unhealthy directions.  1) I avoided the potential conflict entirely by clamming up, putting up an ice shield, and then spiraling down into toxic resentment or 2) I let my tongue run wild and blasted the person with both barrels!  Neither one of these options yielded good results.

God’s way is so much different and better!  He says in Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.  Gentle words.  Gentle words.  Gentle words.  I need to remind myself of this!  God is saying that we can avoid a nasty argument if we speak gently and kindly and maybe even assume the best about the other person instead of giving full vent to our anger.

I vividly remember when I put this into practice about a year ago.  My husband was really stressed as we were on a long-distance drive.  I was attempting to help with googling a gas station, but my phone ran out of data.  Ugh.  Then he started getting really sharp with me in his tone.  I mean…REALLY sharp.  I felt disrespected.  And oh boy, I decided that I didn’t deserve that tone and that I was going to tell him what a jerk he was.  Yeah, pastor’s wives don’t always have gracious thoughts apparently. Sigh.

Anyway, somehow God got my attention before I blasted him and God reminded me of Proverbs 15:1.  So, I bit my tongue until we got all the way home, and as my husband was about to exit the car, I turned to him, laid a hand softly on his arm and said gently, “I know you love me and you would never intend to hurt me, but the way you talked to me back there was not okay.  Please don’t talk to me like that again.”  And that was that.  No big blow-up.  He didn’t feel condemned because I affirmed that I know he loves me.  With God’s prompting, I was able to defuse the nasty argument before it could start.  Gentle words.  Gentle words.  Gentle words.  Let’s all remember that!

Don’t make big decisions if…

You may have heard of the acronym H.A.L.T.  It stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired.   It is a caution often used in addiction recovery where people are urged not to make any drastic decisions when one of those 4 conditions applies.

That’s a really good caution for wives as well!  Don’t make any major decisions about leaving your husband, filing for divorce, or even giving full vent to your temper if you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.  However, I would like to add one more condition.  Don’t make any major decisions when….it’s that time of the month!!  Women are often so overly-emotional in the days leading up to their period, that we become drama queens!  Everything happening around us is exaggerated in intensity.  So, even though you feel like reacting in a dramatic way, remind yourself to pause and see if you still feel the same way 3 or 4 days later.

This verse comes to mind.  James 1:19-20  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Getting unstuck

Most every person I know struggles with something, and often in the midst of that struggle, we get stuck in a rut.  Even though we don’t like where we are, we often do the very things that keep us mired down in that area.

Some people get stuck in a rut regarding a dysfunctional coping mechanism such as drinking too much alcohol, or overeating, or over-shopping!   Other people get stuck in a rut in terms of unhealthy and unhelpful communication with their family members.  They might get stuck in the habit of yelling and criticizing or complaining.  And still other people get stuck in a rut regarding depression and despair.  Obviously, no one wants to stay in this rut, but we can’t seem to get ourselves unstuck!

Please allow me to share a few Bible insights that have really helped me get unstuck so I can move forward with joy, peace, and hope.

  1. I’ve learned to do what Paul teaches in Philippians 3:13-14….  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.   Let me make this personal.  I lost my husband about 10 months ago.  It was shocking.  It was devastating.  My world tipped upside down.  And I could have easily got stuck in depression and even resentment toward God.  However, I distinctly remember the moment I decided to pivot from the pain and turn forward, asking God to open up new adventures and new joys in my life.  That was a choice.  It was a really good one.  I was able to heal and start grabbing hold of joy again.
  2. I’ve learned to pause and consult God when I notice dysfunctional habits in my life.  I ask Him to change my heart so that I desire good things, healthy things, and behavior that please Him.  On my own, I don’t really have the strength to make these changes, but when God comes in and changes my heart in response to prayer, then I have the strength and strong desire necessary to make those changes!  Listen to what God says in Ezekiel 36:26-27  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.   Ask God to change your heart. That’s the first step in getting unstuck from bad habits and unhealthy behavior.

** or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO BELOW

Rebounding from heartbreak or trials

Almost every wife will eventually encounter a tough time in her marriage.  We’re all going to experience heartbreak and challenge in our lives in general.  The question is this.  Why are some people able to bounce back from adversity relatively quickly, and why do others seem to remain stuck?

At the risk of you hating me 🙂 …I’ll be honest and let you know that I tend to be very resilient.  After an initial period of shock and grief, I’m usually able to quickly pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward.  After pondering this ability with God, allow me share a 3-word insight that might help you become more resilient too.

I trust God.  Period. Three little words that mean everything!  I have decided to believe that God is in control and that His ways are perfect.  I have decided to believe that God can and will bring something good out of my hardship.  This is what we learn at the end of Joseph’s painful story in Genesis, where Joseph proclaims in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…”   I also take heart from Romans 8:28, where God says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I can bounce back because I trust God and because He says He will never leave me nor forsake me.  Do you truly trust God?  It’s a decision you get to make, and it makes all the difference.

Husbands want this kind of kiss!

Okay – I’ll come clean.  This might not be exactly what you expected.  I’m not going to attempt to teach anybody how to kiss well…in the literal sense!  However, God reveals something interesting in the Bible about kisses.  He says in Proverbs 24:26, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips“.  Wow!

What if you were to bless your husband (almost as good as a passionate kiss!) and be honest with him?  According to God, being honest with your guy would be very well received and appreciated!  Here are 3 ideas on how you can start being more honest with your husband:

1) Stop hinting and decide to directly and clearly state your needs, desires, and ideas.

2)  Be transparent about your past failures and even your current struggles instead of pretending you’re perfect.

3) Be respectful but honest if something is really bothering you, as opposed to stuffing your true feelings and allowing bitterness to close down your heart toward your husband.  In other words, when he asks you if something is wrong, don’t say “everything’s fine”, if it’s not!!