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Win the Argument

 

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My husband and I have been arguing again. You know how that goes. It’s over a topic we’ve discussed before – serving one another. The conversation went something like this:

Me – Let me do that for you.

Him – No, I already took care of it, but thank you.

Me – I can never seem to find a way to serve you: you always beat me to it! You do so much more for me than I do you.

Him – Hon, that’s not true! You do so much for me. Goodness, I couldn’t do what I do on a day without you!

Continue reading “Win the Argument”

Christian Life · Speech · tongue

Let the Fire Die

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A fire in a fire pit is a great thing!  A fire in your lap…not so much!  You may say, “A fire in your lap?  That’s dumb!  Who would want that?”  The answer is no one!!  Proverbs 26:20 says,

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer,
the strife ceaseth.  

You see, a person who bears tales (gossip) causes strife.  It’s like having a fire in your lap.  No one wants it!

The strife that tale bearing causes is as hurtful as a fire burning in your lap.  Even if the words are true, they are painful to hear.  What do you do with this “story” after you’ve heard it?

I recently had someone share a “fire” with me.  The words were true, but I didn’t need to hear them.  They stung.  It was like sparks flying from a hot ember, touching my very heart.  Trying to deal with the burning coals for the next day or so wasn’t easy.  They needed to be extinguished with the Water of God’s Word.  I was reminded of words that were flung at Christ; untrue accusations, ugly names, words of doubt about Who He really was.  What did He do?  He answered not a word.

Not a word.

For me to pass on what was shared would be to pass along the fire.  No one else needs this in their lap.  I told my Savior, and of course He already knew.  He applied the salve of His love and comfort.

Do you know some “hot news?”  Keep it to yourself.  It could be a burning ember that will scorch the hearer.  The fire in my fire pit needs to keep burning, but the fire that needs to go out is the one that will cause strife.  May we each let that tale bearing fire cease.

With love,

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Family Friday – Be Kind!

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Sometimes all it takes is a simple request to repeat what I just said to my husband that will do it.  I make a statement, he doesn’t hear and he says,

“What did you say?”

So, out it comes again, only this time it has a razor-sharp edge to it that would make Floyd the barber flinch!

Do I think he purposefully cannot hear me?  Do I really believe his diagnosis of hearing loss was an intentional  plan just to get under my skin?

How ridiculous, yet, sadly, that’s occasionally how I respond!

Why is it often easier to be really kind to people we barely even know than to our spouse?  He’s the one to whom we pledged to love until death, yet we kill him with our sarcastic responses, glaring looks and deathly silences.

 

There are kinder, nice ways of saying something and there are words or tones of voice that I could use that would upset someone.  Your husband is a person, too.  There are kinder, nicer ways of communicating with him and there are ways of setting him off, just by your choice of words or tone of voice.

Today’s encouragement for your family, your marriage, is just this –

Be Kind.

  • There are two ways to say something.  Choose the kinder way.
  • Show him even greater kindness than you would a friend who you love dearly.
  • Smile at him.
  • Forgive him.
  • Listen.
  • Look in his eyes when he speaks.
  • Lend him a hand.
  • Do a favor.
  • Oh, and repeat yourself with the softest tone when he cannot hear you (said Denise to herself!)

Do you find yourself being kinder to others than you are your spouse?  What will you do today to fix that?

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Christian Life · tongue

When You’re Slandered

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Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said,

“Our people come to us and pour out their hears, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.” In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking to play cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”

We laugh at that story, but the truth is, there are people who love to share things about someone with anyone willing to listen. If you’ve ever been the one being talked about, you know how hurtful those words can be. No one likes to think that someone is talking about them, because usually what is shared isn’t completely the truth. What can we do about it? Aside from approaching the person who is the gossip, we really can’t stop people from saying what they will. The answer to handling words from others comes from the Scriptures.

In Psalm 119:23 the psalmist says, Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. I read that in my prayer time a couple days ago and it hit me like a ton of bricks – this is the way to respond when others speak ill about you! What did the psalmist do when princes spoke against him? He thought on God’s Word. What might he have thought?

  • Psalm 56:9 Lord, I thank you that you are for me!
  • Psalm 73:25 Lord, you’re all I the approval I want.
  • Psalm 18:20 I thank you, Lord that you know my innocence and You will handle this for me.

There could be many other truths to meditate on when someone is speaking evil against you. What a blessing it is that the Lord knows and He cares. If we meditate on His Word instead of the gossip we will be encouraged instead of enraged, humbled instead of hurt.

If you’re going through a time of slander, be like the psalmist and run to the Word and think on its truths instead!

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My Own Denial of Christ

It was early morning, and I had just finished having a sweet time listening to Scripture on my phone as I prepared for the day.  What a blessing to hear Christ explain to His disciples in Matthew 26 what was going to happen to Him in the near future. I listened to the Scripture telling about when Peter cut off the servant’s ear.  Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, that He was laying down His life willingly. I listened as Jesus said that Peter would deny Him.  In my heart I wondered how he could do that after being with Christ.  I mean, didn’t Peter know he was sinning against the One who was getting ready to die for him?



Statue of Peter’s denial of Christ

I slipped out of my room, a song of thankfulness in my heart for all Christ did for me in those agonizing hours on the cross.  Now down at the lovely breakfast the hotel provided, I was carrying my plate to my seat, when I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen in a long time.  I held my breath as I approached her, smiling.  I said hello, then held my breath as she, consistent to every time we meet, made a stinging remark to me about my stature.  I muttered a negative remark about myself (not sure why I feel obligated to add misery to misery), then found my way to my breakfast table.  Now I had two meals to eat – my breakfast, and her! 

“Why does she always feel she has the right to make disparaging remarks about my size?”  Then in my mind I thought of all the smart remarks I could have said, should have said, and might say the next time we meet.  I even felt justified in my thinking!

Breakfast being finished, I returned to my room and its quietness, except for the voice that was whispering in my heart.  It was the Spirit of God, showing me how that, like Peter,  I, too, had just wielded the sword.  It was His voice also reminding me of Peter’s denial, and of my own.  Yes, my sinful thoughts, though unspoken, had dealt a fierce blow.  They had also denied Christ.  “I don’t know Him!  I don’t know the One who designed me!  I don’t know the One who is my Justifier, my Defender, my Father, who knows when I’ve been hurt!  I have to take care of this myself.” Wham!  In simply thinking the thoughts towards the offending lady, I was denying my Savior Who died for her…Who died for me.

Bowing on my knees at the desk chair, I was able to confess my sin.  I cried out for God to set a watch before my lips and keep the door of my mouth (Psalm 141:3).  I prayed for her, my sister in Christ…something I don’t think I’d done in the previous times we’d met and exchanged words.  I prayed that the Lord would keep my tongue and my thoughts from sinning against Him and also denying Him.  I must learn to put the sword back in its place…and also my wicked thoughts.

Thankful for Calvary’s love,