Your signature temptation

About 25 years ago, I heard a line in a sermon that will always stick with me.  The pastor said we all have a “signature sin”…a sin that has our name written all over it!  Do you have a signature sin or temptation?  Is there one particular thing that trips you up all the time?  Yes, that’s what I thought.  And I’m sure Satan laughs his butt off every time you and I give into that temptation.

Well, we all might have a signature sin or a specific temptation that seems insurmountable, but Satan doesn’t get the last laugh!  Jesus promises to provide a way out of every temptation.  I just need to ask Him to give me eyes to see the avenue of escape and for Him to give me the strength to turn from my old patterns and take that escape exit.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says “…God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

I’ve learned that the first step in overcoming that signature sin in my life is this: discovering the lie I’ve believed!  For me, the “way out” of temptation to eat the wrong food is uncovering the ridiculous lie I’ve believed about food.  God is showing me that I have somehow been deluded into thinking that eating a boatload of sugary treats and a ton of french fries would make me feel better!  That’s a lie.  The truth is that eating healthy will make me feel better, so that’s what I’ve been choosing to do for the last 8 years.  And you know what?  I feel great…physically, spiritually and emotionally.

Do you keep repeatedly falling into the same temptation because you’ve believed a lie?  It’s food for thought (pardon the pun!).

Best question when frustrated

There’s a golden phrase I discovered many years ago.  When I started using it, I found it helped prevent my husband from getting defensive when I was upset or frustrated about something he had said or done.  Instead of accusing him of doing something wrong, I learned to kindly and sincerely ask this question: “Help me understand why…”

This simple question prevents the monster of defensiveness from raising its ugly head.  By asking your husband to “help me understand”, you’re communicating two things to your husband.  1) You really do care about his perspective and feelings, and 2) You’re acknowledging there may actually be a legitimate reason for why he did or said whatever.  At least, you’re giving him a chance to explain himself before you start arguing with him or condemning him!!  

By asking your husband to help you understand his behavior or perspective, you’re avoiding a foolish argument.  Proverbs 18:2 says “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”  By asking your husband to help you understand his perspective, you’re pleasing both God and your husband by living out the instructions in Philippians 2:4 “Each of you should consider not only your own interests, but also the interests of others.”

Try this phrase when you sense a potential ugly argument is headed your way.  You can not only use this phrase with your husband, but with your children, your in-laws, your co-workers, your boss, and more.  Again, the phrase (actually a question) is….”Help me understand why…”

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How to avoid frustration with him!

Even if you have a great marriage, we will all experience moments of frustration with our husbands from time to time.  Well, one key to resolving those frustrations (and avoiding them in the future) is to understand the cause.  In my experience, the cause is typically “unmet expectations”.   We consciously or even subconsciously expect our husbands to act in a certain way, and when they don’t, we get really frustrated!

So, here’s a nugget of wisdom that may be the remedy.  Clearly communicate your expectations and desires to your husband!  Duh!  I know this sounds too simple, but honestly, we are often at fault for holding expectations but failing to clearly reveal those expectations to our men.    We act like husbands are mind-readers and should “just know”.  News flash:  Most men don’t “just know”.  They don’t think like women, and they don’t know what you expect and desire from them.  In fact, when we fail to communicate what we want, we’re not really being honest with them. 

Maybe it’s time to bless your husband by being honest about your expectations and desires.  Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips“!!  Start to clearly communicate your expectations to your man.  Now, your husband may disagree with your expectations, and that’s okay.  That’s an opportunity for the two of you to sit down and discuss your respective opinions and work toward a compromise.  But at least you’ll be on the same page and understand each other’s expectations!

How to help him avoid lust

Our men are bombarded daily with temptations to lust.  They drive down the freeway and there is a billboard featuring a sexy woman.  They go to work and encounter a female co-worker showing too much cleavage.  It seems like there is no safe place to avoid the temptation to lust!

However, your home could be one of those safe places, especially if you choose to avoid watching TV shows that feature scantily-clad women!  Personally, I would have loved to watch Dancing With The Stars over its many seasons.  I so enjoy watching a dancing novice grow into a fabulous dancer in just a few weeks.  But I knew that watching that show with my husband would likely cause a huge challenge for him regarding lust.  So, I chose not to watch that program.  The same thing is true for many other shows.  We always applied the same rule of thumb to the movies we watched over the years.  I checked beforehand to see if a movie featured sexual scenes or partial nudity.  We didn’t watch those movies.

Are you helping your husband avoid sexual temptation through your choices of media?   1 Corinthians 10:32 says “Do not cause anyone to stumble“.   Are you allowing things into your home that could cause your husband to stumble?  For instance, I called Victoria’s Secret many years ago and asked them to stop sending their catalog to our home.  That magazine is soft porn to men and boys!  Should you make similar changes at your home?