2 benefits from going “natural”

I’m coming to believe more and more that we would all benefit from living a more natural lifestyle…as in the way God created things to be!  Let me give two examples that might apply to you as a wife:

1) Did you know that most husbands, when surveyed, say they prefer their wives to wear less makeup?  The clear majority of men say they actually like their women to wear either no make-up at all or just light make-up.  In other words, they prefer a natural look…the appearance that God gave you in the first place!

2)  If you’ve been battling your weight, did you know that going all-natural can greatly assist you in dropping those extra pounds?  Let me tell you from personal experience, it’s true!!  For over 7 years now, my husband and I have been eliminating all refined and processed foods from our diet, and wow!  We are enjoying wonderful whole grain foods, cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies, etc.   We have both lost a lot of weight, my early on-set arthritis has disappeared, and we feel great!

Maybe God knew best when he created us 🙂    Deuteronomy 32:4 says “He is the Rock, his works are perfect…”   Maybe it’s time we got back to living the way God intended when he created us!

Avoid these 2 traps of the past!

There are a lot of dangers for a wife who gives into the temptation to look backward.   Allow me to reveal two specific ways in which we tend to look backward, as well as the resulting danger.

1)  Since almost the beginning of creation, we’ve had a tendency to want to look back at our past.  I think of Lot’s wife who looked back at Sodom and Gomorrah and suffered for that decision by being turned into a pillar of salt!  God may have asked us to move forward in serving him, or perhaps we’ve entered a new relationship, but we tend to look back with longing at how things used to be.  In modern day, many wives are tempted to “look back” at their old high school boyfriend by checking them out on Facebook.  But that is dangerous.  It opens the door to make a connection that can slowly develop into something that pulls you away from your husband. 

2)  As wives, we also tend to “look back” at the past failures or sins of our husbands.  We often replay the hurtful incident over and over again, even 10 or 20 years later!  That always ends badly.  Resentment rises up again and causes continuing damage in the relationship.  We need to have a forward gaze.  Philippians 3:13-14 says, ” 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.”   Deal with any sinful behavior going on today, but let’s decide to leave the past in the past.

Examples of boundaries

I get asked quite often about boundaries in relationships. The subject of boundaries is a topic tossed around a lot, and women sort of instinctively know they need boundaries in relationships, but they don’t exactly know the how, what, when and whys of healthy boundaries!

First let me explain that there is a difference between asking your boyfriend or husband to change and setting a boundary.  A boundary is not a request for the other person to change.  A boundary is deciding what YOU will do to protect yourself physically, emotionally or mentally from the other person’s harmful or destructive behavior.  A boundary basically says to that other person, “I can’t control your choices, but there are some things I CAN do to control how your choices affect me”.

Let me give some examples:

  • A husband refuses to stop looking at pornography and that choice wounds his wife’s heart.  She makes a request for him to stop (and most likely to seek serious help for that addiction), but she can’t MAKE him stop.  So, she establishes a boundary.  She tells him if she continues to catch him looking at porn, she will move to a separate bedroom or even separate from him entirely until he gets serious help for his problem.  That’s setting a boundary.
  • A husband is emotionally abusive and that wounds his wife.  She makes a request for him to stop, but she can’t MAKE him stop. So, she establishes a boundary.  She tells him if he screams obscenities at her or degrades her even one more time, she will immediately leave the room (or the house) because she won’t tolerate that kind of behavior.  If the emotional abuse continues, she might set an even larger boundary and tell him she will need to separate until he seeks serious help.  That’s setting a boundary.

By the way, boundaries are Biblical.  Here’s an example from Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.  And 1 Corinthians 5:11  I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Who is your encourager?

Life often seems like a winding highway full of potholes.  We get bounced around by people who disappoint us.  We disappoint ourselves.  Satan loves to plant that seed of doubt about whether we can make it through current challenges in our marriage, with our kids, at our job, etc.  We wonder if we can handle what’s around the bend.

That’s why we need encouragers in our lives!  1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “encourage one another and build each other up.”  My question for you is:  Do you have a friend who encourages you?  Or do you spend a lot of time with women who are negative, critical, and “downers”? 

If you don’t have an encouraging woman in your life, ask God to reveal a woman who seems to have the gift of encouragement.  Then ask her if you could regularly get together, perhaps once a week or every other week, just to chat and mutually encourage each other.  That’s right.  You can be her encourager too.  We all need it!  Let’s link arms together ladies!

New approach to getting healthy & trim

Ladies, I’ve followed these 5 Bible-based principles for 7 years now and have lost weight and felt so much better!   I enjoy really satisfying meals and “healthy” cookies while staying trim!

Principle 1:

Determine to change your approach to eating for the rest of your life!  Each day, decide to eat food that will make you healthy so that you can live the abundant, fruitful life God intends!  Instead of thinking about what you can get away with eating (the unhealthy stuff), choose to eat foods that will MAKE YOU HEALTHY and eliminate foods that make you unhealthy.  P.S.  I cut almost all refined sugar and flour out of my diet 7 years ago and this was transformational!  And the cool thing is, I don’t even crave it anymore at all!

1 Corinthians 6:12  “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

Principle 2:

Get back to eating food the way that God created it, without adding refined sugar, stripping out healthy fiber or adding chemicals we can’t pronounce!  Humans continue to think they’re smarter than God!  We take the food God created and we mess with it! Cut out processed foods and refined foods.  Start eating whole foods as much as possible.

1 Corinthians 1:19-20:  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”  Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

Principle 3:

The minute you catch yourself thinking about eating something unhealthy, realize that’s the enemy trying to destroy you again and reject him with a smile of victory on your face!

2 Corinthians 10:5  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

Principle 4:

Be proactive and have healthy snacks prepared in advance for those times when the devil tempts you to snack when you’re bored or looking for comfort.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Principle 5:

Take care of your body by getting moving!! God didn’t design Adam and Eve to sit at a desk 8 hours a day and on a couch for another 8 hours a day!  Determine to exercise 4- 5 days a week.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Try God’s unusual formula for your marriage

Recently, God has prompted me to consider who is truly on the throne in my life.  Am I really putting God at the center of my focus, or is everything actually about me?  Drat.  I have to be honest and say that when it comes right down to it, I tend to filter everything in my life and my marriage through the question “what will make me happy”.  How about you?

What if we changed the question?   I am suggesting that we start looking at our husbands, our marriage, our children, our work, and everything through the question “how can I please God at this moment?”  I believe this could radically change our relationships.  In Matthew 6:33 Jesus reminds us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well“.  In other words, we should strive to please God in all we do and we can trust Him to meet all our needs in return.

The world tries to convince you to focus on you.  The message is “you should focus on what makes you feel happy at the moment and you will be fulfilled.”  Unfortunately, this “formula” almost never works.  The Bible turns that equation upside down.  God tells us to focus on pleasing Him even when it doesn’t seem like you will be happy, and then you will indeed find true fulfillment and joy. 

What if you were to ask the Lord to show you how HE wants you to treat your husband this week and how HE wants you to handle difficult situations with your husband?  I wonder how your marriage would change?  Shall we try God’s upside-down formula this week? 

Invite a 3rd person into your marriage

One of my super humbling moments as a newly divorced woman actually reminds me of a vital marriage principle.  Here’s the event forever etched in my memory from December of 2002:

It was nearing Christmas and I had just gone through a divorce after 18 years of marriage.  My children were 16 and 14 at the time and I wanted to keep as many Christmas traditions in place as possible, so I announced that I was taking the kids to cut down our Christmas tree from a local tree farm.  Just before we took off, I realized I didn’t have any way to tie the tree to the top of my SUV.  But hey, I’m a reasonably intelligent person, or so I thought. lol  I wasn’t going to let anything deter me!

So I searched my new house for something resembling rope or a bungee cord.  Alas, there was no such thing on hand.  All I had was some….sewing thread. Hmmm. Well, maybe a whole bunch of thread would work?

Off we went to pick out our beautiful Christmas tree.  My son cut it down.  Unlike me, he apparently knew how to handle this part of the operation.  We hoisted the tree to the top of my SUV and then I carefully wove my spool of thread back and forth across the tree to secure it to the roof.  My kids just shook their heads in disbelief.  Then we took off, and we actually made it about a half-mile before the tree took a slow, inelegant slide from the top of the car to the road. Splat!

Why am I sharing this story with you?  I’m using it to remind both you and me that a tiny thread is not sufficient to hold anything heavy when the wind starts blowing against it.  In the same way, we need a super strong rope to hold a marriage together when we are slammed by the wind of miscommunication, frustration, and unmet expectations in marriage. We need a rope of three strands…you, your husband and the Lord.  Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Sit down with your husband and brainstorm ideas on how you can keep God in the center of your marriage. You will need him to help hold you guys together when you encounter the inevitable adversity and challenges that hit every marriage! Invite a third party into your marriage…the Holy Spirit!