Happy Friday y’all! I’m here today with a brand new post as we finish out this week talking about marriage. So far this week we’ve discussed roller coaster days, making more deposits in your relationship than withdrawals, and the high cost of foolish choices. Today I want to talk about wise choices and how they will effect your home.
Many women were so very grieved this week to hear of a well-loved Bible teacher announcing her divorce to her husband. Serious infidelity and substance abuse got a grip in her husband’s life, bringing their marriage to an end. I don’t know all the details, of course, but it has impacted the world with its sad ending. I’m afraid that some women will hear that, and then feel helpless themselves.
“If her marriage is falling apart, and she’s a famous Bible teacher, how can I ever hope to have a happy marriage?
When you consider the trials, the disagreements, the financial woes, the verbal misunderstandings, the pride, the emotions, the daily pressures, and the parenting conflicts, it’s a miracle that any marriage survives, but it can!
But how? I believe with all my heart it’s through the presence of the Lord and His guidance, His example of love, and the counsel of His Word that allows a Christian couple to remain together for a lifetime.
Satan wants to destroy our homes, but God is greater, friends! I’d like to share with you some choices we have to make to see our marriage to the Finish Line.
- Stay on your knees in prayer for your mate and your marriage. Think about it – if you’re not praying for your husband, who is? Pray for ~
- His heart for God
- His purity
- His protection from Satan’s attacks
- A tender heart to sin
- A fear of God
- A desire for God’s house
- His leadership in your home – Note: Talk to the Lord about this – not him!
- Keep the fun in your relationship. Don’t stop laughing, flirting, dancing in the grocery store aisle, or any of the things that made you smile when you were dating!
- As your children grow up, release more and more of that attention they were getting and lavish it on your husband! A wife who makes her children the center of her attention even after they’re able to care for themselves is pushing her husband out of her life, and that is a dangerous action.
- Send the child back to their bed.
- Put them on a schedule and spend time with your husband.
- Leave them with a caregiver and go on dates.
- Be excited about your empty nest rather than crying on Facebook about how you miss your little boys! I know I’m stepping out on a limb on that one, but I love you, ladies, and someone needs to tell you to build a bridge and get over it.
- Don’t make your children the center of your world – make your husband the center. Doing so will give your children the security of parents who love each other and are going to stay together forever.
- Keep the tenderness in your relationship.
- Use tender words, rather than angry, cross ones.
- Make sure your conversation is more than about who’s picking up the gallon of milk.
- Use tender touches. Hold hands. Kiss goodbye and hello. You never know when that might be your last kiss. We’re not promised tomorrow!
- Use tender words, rather than angry, cross ones.
- Be first. To forgive. To serve. To love.
- Be thoughtful. Pick up his favorite treat. Make a nourishing breakfast before he leaves. Ask what he would like for supper. Ask if there’s an errand you can do for him, or a way to lighten his load.
- Do what he enjoys doing on his day off. I”m not much of a hiker, but I think my husband’s favorite date in recent years was a January birthday hike I planned, complete with a picnic lunch of homemade soup in Mason jars.. It was freezing cold and snowy., but we had so much fun!
- Make plans for the days ahead. Doing so says, “I’m planning on spending all my life with you, and it’s going to be wonderful! What do you want to be like as you age? What trips could you dream about? What goals could you write down and look forward to as your lives change in the years ahead?
- Don’t allow yourself to make excuses as to why you prefer to be slouchy at home. It is possible to be comfortable and look great for your husband. I’ve seen one too many videos of wives saying, “Yeah, my hair looks awful; I haven’t washed it in a week.” Really? Shampoo is cheap, and it doesn’t really take that long to get your hair cleaned. Men are visual – give him something great to look at!
- Make a play list of all the love songs you listened to while dating. Let your hearts spin along with the music and remember where it all started between you both!
Because there is a God in heaven, there is hope for our marriages. Don’t let yourself feel in despair or like there is no chance that your marriage can be awesome! Which of these suggestions do you need to start on? Ask God to help you and see what a difference it can make in your home!
Refresh your marriage!
Someone told me recently that they had enjoyed reading my blog until they began reading my posts about The Foolish Woman! They were teasing, but the implication was that it’s not always easy to read things that hit home and bring conviction. I trust that you will read on anyway, and consider the description of the foolish woman from Proverbs 7.
Proverbs 7:6-10 reads, “For at the window of my house I looked through my casement. And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her (the foolish woman’s) corner, and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot and subtil of heart.”
I see here that another foolish characteristic of this woman is the choices she makes. She’s going out in the evening when it is dark outside. This is a romantic setting and she is setting herself and this foolish man up for a huge fall by being out at this time of night. She has no concern how this might look to others who might see her standing on the street alone with this man.
What a warning this must be to us! We have to let our mind run ahead to look out for situations that could put our testimony at jeopardy. Some potential danger zones would be:
- Having a man in your home when you are there alone.
- Listening to a man tell you about his marriage problems or you talking to him about yours.
- Sending private emails to men (Why not send a carbon copy to his wife?).
- Having chats with men on the Internet.
- Riding alone in the car with a man.
Some may say, “My goodness! Are you suspicious of everyone?” No, but we need to make good, wise choices before we are in a situation that destroys our testimony and possibly our marriage. What seems harmless could lead to other things.
If we guard our hearts and are also thoughtful enough to protect the men around us, we will know that our choices will label us as wise instead of foolish.
Were any of these surprising to you?
Make wise choices and guard your marriage.
No one wants to be forced to ride a roller coaster – especially when it’s an emotional one caused by stress in marriage. But, if we’re honest, we’ve all been there at one time or another. We feel like life is spinning and twisting out of control and all we can do is hang on and hope for a safe and eventual landing.
That Marriage Roller Coaster ride can also make you feel helpless, alone, and desperate. In the middle of a marital crisis, you can “feel” like you will never be happy again, that there’s no hope for your relationship, or that it would just be better if your marriage was over. These can all be dangerous emotions/actions, if not handled biblically.
How about if we just stop together and get a biblical perspective for those kinds of days?
- Realize that your spouse is not your enemy. Satan is the one attacking your home. But the biblical perspective is, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4) God is stronger and greater. He can get you past this hurdle, and that’s all it is – a hurdle. The good news is that hurdles are meant for jumping over!
- Struggles are not a sign that your marriage is done. Jesus told us, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer – I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 Since He has overcome, so can we! When two sinners live together, there’s bound to be difficulty at times. Add to the mix, children, who are also sinners, and you can have a house full of struggles! But, as in the roller coaster analogy, you don’t just jump off when you’re climbing the steepest incline of the ride! You sit tight, hold on (to the Lord and one another!), close your eyes (in prayer), and do the next right thing. Soon you’ll be pulling into the very place the ride started, renewed in your love and softer and gentler with one another.
- Ending the marriage is not God’s answer to the struggle. Seek for restoration. Humble yourself and do what is necessary to obey Romans 12:18. Sincerely ask the Lord to show you if you are in the wrong. Seek the biblical advice of a godly friend who will love you enough to be honest with you and tell you what you need to hear – not what they know you want to hear. Lovingly talk to your spouse, when the time is right. Share your heart. Ask if you can get down on your knees and pray together. It’s pretty impossible to pray as a couple and stay angry. Again, humility is necessary on your part! You can’t change him, but with God’s help, you sure can change the girl in your shoes!
- Believe the truth that the best is yet to be. Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has a plan to give us a hope and a future, and that includes your marriage! You can both learn from this experience and enjoy greater days in the future, because of the restoration and reconciliation that has taken place.
If thou faint in the day of adversity,
thy strength is small.
Let the Lord be your strength, and climb down off that roller coaster, straighten your wind-blown hair, and don’t faint! Believe the biblical truth and press on for God’s honor!
While waiting in line at the bank, a man developed a very loud case of hiccups. By the time he reached the teller’s window, the hiccups seemed to have worsened. The teller took the man’s check and proceeded to run a computer verification of his account.
After a minute she looked up from her terminal with a frown and said that she would be unable to cash his check.”Why not?” the man asked incredulously.
”I’m sorry, sir,” she replied, ” but our computer indicates that you do not have sufficient funds to cover this amount. As a matter of fact,” she continued, “our records show your account overdrawn in excess of $5000.””It can’t be!” he cried. “You have to be kidding!” “Yes, I am,” she answered with a smile, counting out his cash. “But you will notice that your hiccups are gone.”
Probably most of us know the sinking feeling to know of one time or another when there weren’t sufficient funds in the bank to cover our withdrawals. It makes for a rough day, doesn’t it?
While we are ever so careful to guard our bank account from being over drawn, I wonder what the records would show on the monthly statement of our marriage? How many withdrawals have you made? Wives need love, affection, attention, compliments, encouragement, dates, pampering, help around the house, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on… Each one of those represent a withdrawal from our marriage account.
We can also make withdrawals by nagging, belittling, giving a cold shoulder, being unforgiving, negligent to his needs, etc.
Now, think back on this past week – what kind of deposits have you made? Not the monetary kind – but the relational kind.
- Have you shown respect for your husband with your words?
- Have you elevated him in front of others?
- Have you thanked him for being a provider for your family?
- Have you done a thoughtful gesture for him? (Bought his favorite candy bar, written him a note, made his favorite meal, took him out on a special date or created one at home- you get the idea)
- Have you spent time doing something he enjoys even though it might not be your favorite activity?
- Have you done something to lighten his load?
These things (and many others) are ways we make deposits into our marriage. There’s a double blessing here – we’re meeting the needs of our husband and rediscovering what a joy it is to be married. It’s fun! It is God’s plan and He can only do what is good!
Take a thorough check into your “account” and make sure you’re not overdrawn! If it’s been a while since you’ve put something into your marriage, you might surprise your husband so much you’ll scare his hiccups away!
Refresh you marriage today!!
Come back the rest of this week for more marriage posts that will encourage you to make your relationship the best it can be!
Happy Monday, friends! I had a great time Friday night sitting out on my back porch with a stack of food magazines and iced coffee. Most of the periodicals had been given to me by others who had looked through them, then passed them along. How sweet! Why do I flip through food magazines? Or why do I sit with one of my cookbooks and put page markers in the pages? Not just to “Oooo” or “Ahhh” over the pictures (though I do that!). I do it for three reasons:
- I get tired of eating the same things
- I like to try stirring new things up in my kitchen!
- I like to surprise my husband with special recipes I’ve made for him!
I sat there for about a half an hour and ripped out recipes I want to try.
How about you = are you in a menu rut? Spaghetti, frozen pizza, chicken tenders from the freezer section, steamed veggies in a bag…it just gets old. I would challenge you to pull out either the magazines that have been delivered to your mailbox or one of your favorite cookbooks. You can even go to the library and check out a cookbook from there to get some fresh ideas. The point is, flip through and find recipes of menu items that you maybe already have most of the ingredients for. If you know you purchased chicken breasts and they’re in the freezer waiting to be cooked, look for a recipe for chicken! You might only try one new recipe this week, but add something to change up your normal routine.
Here are some of the recipes I found:
- A supper Entree’ – Chicken breasts with Strawberry Salsa and Feta cheese – I have all the ingredients!
- A fish recipe – Salt and Vinegar Baked Fish – You use the Salt and Vinegar chips as the coating! That’s brilliant! Similar to this
- A weekend breakfast – Sausage and Egg Flatbreads – I’m going to make my own .
- flatbreads for this.
- A dessert – Strawberry Icebox Cake – This will be great for company this summer! Similar to this one.
I won’t make all these this week, but I will try at least one! It’s amazing how much money and time is saved when you make a menu. It is so helpful to me to know what’s for supper, so I can plan and work ahead.
So, if you’re not in the habit of making a menu, plan at least few nights for starters. If you’ve been making a menu, but you’re in a rut, go find some new, yummy sounding recipes to add!
Now let me share a recipe that I love. This is a quick and delicious Strawberry Shortcake, made a little lighter. These sweet biscuits are so much better than the store bought sponge cakes! The addition of the orange juice and vanilla to the fresh berries makes it SO good!
Lite Strawberry Shortcakes
- 3 1/2 cups halved strawberries, divided
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons chilled stick margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- Cooking spray
- 6 tablespoons frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
- Whole strawberries (optional)
Combine 1 cup strawberry halves, 1/3 cup sugar, orange juice, vanilla, and lemon juice in a bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Stir in 2 1/2 cups strawberry halves. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 4 times with floured hands. Pat dough into a 6 x 4-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 6 squares. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Split shortcakes in half horizontally using a serrated knife; place each bottom half on a dessert plate. Spoon 1/4 cup strawberry mixture over each bottom half. Top with shortcake tops; spoon 1/4 cup strawberry mixture over each top. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon whipped topping; garnish with whole strawberries, if desired.This dessert is as delicious as it is pretty!
I hope you’ll add this to your menu and also find some other great recipes to freshen up mealtime at your house this week!
Refresh your menu!
One day last week, my husband was cleaning out some of his office boxes that had been stored away in our garage when he came across a stack of preserved letters, notes and cards, most of them written by “Yours truly.” We began reading them and found ourselves laughing, crying, and rejoicing over the years, the experiences we’ve shared, and the goodness of the Lord in it all.
It became so obvious to me that the written note is so important! Without that, how would we recall these precious memories? How would we have remembered how awed we were by God’s provision, or how near the Lord was during that trial?
Since that afternoon, I’ve determined that I must
a.) Continue writing notes. Texts are great, but in ten years, how will we be able to reread that form of media?
b.) Read through the stack I have tucked away from the 36 years behind us!
Now, here are 30 great Summer Date Night ideas!
- My first encouragement to you about a summer date night is to make a time when you and your spouse can sit down and read through some of your cards and letters you’ve saved. Go out on your back porch to read them, or take them to the lake where you can sit at a picnic table. Just do it. It will remind you where you’ve come from and how special your relationship really is! I fell in love with my husband all over again!
- You don’t have any notes? Sit down and write your husband one today and leave it in a special place where he’ll find it. Write it on pretty paper. Spray a little perfume on it. Then tuck it away so you can start that file you’ll be able to read again when you’re old and gray.
- Make your own Drive-In. Make the setting outside your home perfect for watching a movie or show on your laptop or tablet. Turn on the patio lights, light candles, get a bowl of popcorn popped and a comfy swing to share!
- Bookstore Date– I first shared about this here ,and no matter if you have done it before, this date can be done over and over again and it will be new each time. It’s one of our favorites!
- Read your favorite books to one another – or find a new one to read!
- Bake cookies together
- Watch the sunrise, then make breakfast together
- Attend a local baseball game
- Go for a long drive
- Have a picnic
- Play Frisbee
- Visit the farmer’s market
- Video Record the Story of How You Met & Fell in Love
- Cook a Late Night Dinner Together
- Write a Prayer List & Pray Together
- Make Smoothies or Milkshakes
- Share 5 Goals Over a Late Night Snack
- Do a Puzzle Together
- Play a Game
- Have a Chip & Dip Night – Add Conversation
- Record Each Other Sharing a Recent Memory
- Tackle a FUN Project
- Write a Gratitude List about one another
- Have an Ice Cream Sundae Night
- Search for Funny YouTube Videos
- Go to Yard Sales and see who can find the best bargain
- Go to the Local Bike Trail and ride bikes.
- Enjoy an Outdoor Concert
- Begin a Date Night Journal and Write down each time you have a date, what you did and any fun memories you created.
- Go to a Theme Park Without your children and leave your phones in the car. Ride all the water rides. Eat the snacks. See the shows. Stay late for the fireworks!
I hope you’ve had a great first week of June, and I hope some of the ideas shared this week will inspire you to create some fun at home this summer! Each day is a gift from God and is worth celebrating! So enjoy!!
Stay refreshed in God’s Word this weekend. We need Him every single day!