Saturday, October 03, 2009
Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
I like what Erma Bombeck says, that "marriage is life's last chance for adults to grow up." That's what many men need to do when dealing with the emotions their wives naturally face during different seasons of their lives. We need to understand those emotions and not belittle them.
The first thing I had to do to help Barbara grow emotionally was put aside my own agenda and selflessly reach out to her. You can't simultaneously be understanding and defending yourself. One gives way to the other.
Have I always known what to do when Barbara was working through her emotions? No. Did I take it personally? Absolutely. I remember taking all of Barbara's emotions like I was a failure. I had to choose to "give myself up for her," to help her with her emotions.
The second thing I needed to do was verbalize my commitment to her frequently. I was caught off guard by Barbara's insecurity regarding my love for her early in our marriage. Barbara's trust in me had to be built one brick at a time. You don't just walk down the aisle and all of a sudden have a trustworthy relationship. You have to constantly reaffirm that love and trust.
The third thing I had to do was to give her space for her identity, to reflect who God is in her life that makes her a woman. My assignment, as a man, is to take her emotions and to value them, never saying, "You shouldn't feel that way." I need to let her express what she's feeling. And respond by saying, "I'm glad you shared with me because I'm interested in how you feel."
Finally, you can gently point your wife to find her confidence in God by leading her in prayer together. Read through Psalm 31:1, which declares "In Thee, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Thy righteousness deliver me." In Him, I have nothing to fear.
Ask the Lord to help you both grow in your understanding of one another's emotions and to learn to be sensitive, to lovingly listen and affirm your mate.
Discuss: Are you encouraging or discouraging your wife in sharing her emotions? What can you do to start encouraging her and stop discouraging her?
Friday, October 02, 2009
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, "God has not given unto us the spirit of fear..." So, fear is a spirit and it is not from God, it is from the devil, and his target is your heart not your head. That is why you must guard your heart with all diligence. Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe, in my name shall they cast out devils..." including the evil spirit of fear. So, when fear comes knocking on the door of your heart, you cast it out in the name of Jesus! Better still, you can stop fear from gaining access to your heart.
One of the avenues by which fear gains access to the heart is through what we see and what we hear. Many people become afraid when they hear of the evil that has happened to other people. When they hear that somebody has died of cancer they begin to ask, "Who can be saved?" But the Bible says, "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." (Psalms 91:7). God has exempted you from whatever evil is happening around your vicinity or around the world. So when you see people dying, and diverse diseases spreading all over the place or you hear gunshots at night, don't fear because you are not their target. What that scripture means is that eleven thousand people must first be destroyed before the trouble can come near you. The worst satan is permitted to do is to come near, he is not permitted to touch you. The things you regard are the things you fear, if at the instances of hearing evil news, you are smart enough to say, "No! It can't happen to me", you have escape fear already.
The Bible says, "...Take heed what ye hear..." (Mark 4:24) and "Take heed therefore how ye hear..." (Luke 8:18). Relationship influences -- negatively or positively, so mind who you listen to! Never call a man your friend who does not edify you with his words. Don't let people feed fear into you, don't stay around talebearers. Keep company with people who carry good news, people who will always assure you that your life and future are preserved in God. Walk with people who have focus and who plan great things for the future, not people who speak with uncertainty and who talk of writing a will when they have not achieved anything in life. It may be the accepted norm in the society for a man to write his will when he is fifty years of age, but it is not scriptural because such things signal death to come. The implication of writing a will is that the man is expecting to die soon. If you are not expecting to die yet never think of writing a will!
Often times, when satan can't get your attention with words from people, he comes to show you some fearful things in your dream. And an ignorant believer would wake up in the morning after having such bad dreams and begin to announce it to everyone he meets, thereby confirming what the devil has shown him. When satan comes to show you anything that is contrary to the Word of God or contrary to your desire, as soon as you wake up, cancel it and decree what you want instead. Cast down that imagination according to 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ..."
Also, take heed what you read. Whatever is not backed up with Truth from scriptures, drop it, it is not your portion! Don't let tradition or the sayings of the elders kill you before your time. Many of such things are fables, they have no biblical basis. I don't care who is saying anything, if it is not founded in scriptures, it is not the Truth and if it is not the truth it is not for me! Go for the Truth and clear the enemy out of your way. Walk in the liberty wherein Christ has made you free!
Meditate on these: Prov. 4:23, Isaiah 54:14, 1 Peter 1:13
Friday, October 02, 2009
Fear is one of satan's strategies to disarm the saint and make him a cheap prey. He flashes all kinds of dangerous images into your mind and when you become afraid, he afflicts you. No matter how righteous you are if you fear you will fall. Psalm 91:5 says, "Thou shall not be afraid..." That means it is in your power to say 'no' to fear or to open the door to it. Philippians 1:28 says, "And in nothing terrified by your adversaries..." Your defense in God is impenetrable; there is a hedge of protection around you that satan cannot cross but his plan is to terrify you, he wants to scare you and make you forsake your defense, so that he can afflict and devour but you can stop him.
The truth is, fear comes to all; there is no man who does not fear. David, a great warrior who never lost a single battle in his life said in one of his prayers to God, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee" (Psalm 56:3). So, fear comes to all, but your reaction determines your outcome. You don't overcome fear with prayer, rather you kill it by talking faith. When satan threatens you, don't keep quite! Speak out in faith! It may be insignificant to you, but the sound of your voice as you declare the word of God, has great impact in the spirit realm. When you make declarations of faith, satan begins to take steps backwards and to withdraw his demons out of their hiding places.
So, anytime he brings the fear of death to your heart, declare boldly, "I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord" (Psalms 118:17). He tells you, "You will have an accident today." Declare with all your might, "God has given His angels charge over me, they bear me up on their wings lest I dash my foot against a stone. I cannot have accident!" Whatever you talk against, can't have power over you. So talk courageously against every threat of evil that satan brings into your heart, keep declaring your faith in the covenant of exemption that you have in Christ. "I am defended! I am kept by the power of God! No plague shall come near my dwelling! A thousand may fall at my right hand and ten thousand at my left hand, it shall not come near me! I cannot suffer lack and want!" You can't be speaking and be afraid at the same time.
One of the secrets of very courageous and bold men is speaking. They intimidate their oppositions with their words. That was how David killed Goliath. Goliath cursed David in the name of his gods but David did not keep quiet. I can imagine him declaring with all his might, "This day will the LORD deliver you into my hand; and I will take your head from you...that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel" (1 Sam 17:46). And as he used his sling, by a strange force, the little stone penetrated into the skull of Goliath and he fell down dead. You know why? David had killed him with his declarations of faith before the stone touched his head. So, when you speak out in faith, you are destroying your fears and at the same time disarming your enemy. The more you speak the more courageous you become. That is why when soldiers go to war they sing all manner of instigating songs, to kill fear from their hearts. If you don't know how to speak you will become a cheap prey in the hands of the enemy because death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov.18: 21). God said in Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper..." Why? Because He expects you to speak out and condemn every tongue that rises up against you in judgment.
Meditate on these: Psalm 81:10, 91:2
Friday, October 02, 2009
You expect things to be much better by now but rather they have gone worse. You are stressed, over burdened by issues around you. Your expectations after all donít seem likely to be fulfilled.
One thing is sure if this describes you, Itís Time To Give Up on you. To succeed you need wisdom beyond yourself. Unless you totally focus on God, you wonít be able to receive His help.
In life we act as if we hardly need Him when the truth is we desperately need Him to be free from the stress and burdens of life and relationship.
Jesus says you should come for help. It takes really wanting that help for you to be able to make the best of Godís assistance.
It is Godís pleasure that life is great and successful for you in every area of your marriage/relationship. He knows about your stress, and the heavy burden you are under. He wants you refreshed and at ease. He wants things comfortable, gracious and pleasant for you.
Thatís why He wants you to come in complete surrender, ready to listen carefully. Donít think you know what to do only to fall flat on your face.
God has wisdom to heal all your pain, free you from every burden and stress. All you need to do is GO, go to him unashamedly tell him you desperately need His help for you to achieve the kind of relationship He wants for you, one that is not harsh or hard but peaceful and joyful.
Heís got all the help you need, absolutely everything you need He has, He is calling you. Take a break from worrying and doing things your way He knows better and easier ways for you to have the best in your marriage/relationship.
Go to Him you will be glad you did. Donít quit going until you have heaven on earth.
Friday, October 02, 2009
1 Peter 3:7
You husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way.
There is this maddening part of being a man. When Barbara comes to me with a problem, my mind immediately shifts into a "fix it" mode. I wanted to solve the problem, you know, get to the bottom line! But often, the most important thing our wives need is to know we hear them and we care.
The other day Barbara came to me discouraged because our lives had been incredibly busy, and she hadn't been at home as much as she wanted. She was so busy going to ministry, church, school activities and driving kids to different functions that she hadn't been able to clean the house.
And guess how I handled it? First I took it personally. I said, "Well, I help around the house a lot." But she wasn't accusing me of not helping-she was just sharing a burden she felt.
Then, typically, I came up with a solution. That night, I declared, the entire family would participate in a "Clean Up the House" campaign. And once again I missed the real issue-how she felt. It took a few moments for me to understand that what she needed was for me to just listen and understand her.
So I dug myself out of the hole I'd fallen into and told Barbara I was sorry I had missed her clues, that I didn't hear what she needed. I began to move toward her with the understanding and compassion she needed in the first place.
Want some advice? When your wife approaches you with a problem, repeat back to her what you think she said and ask her to confirm it. For example, I could have said to Barbara, "It sounds to me like you're discouraged because you feel like you've been busy. And the kids and I have allowed the house to get to where it looks like a small volcano has gone off. Is that right?"
Believe it or not, men, often that's all a wife needs-an understanding husband. Resist the urge to fix it immediately.
That God will give you the ability to live with your wife in an "understanding way." Ask Him to help you communicate this to your wife.
Discuss: Ask your wife if this is what she generally needs in the above situation.
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