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Archive for the ‘Love Dare’ Category

Love Intercedes

LovedareLove Intercedes.

I love how God does things in such a way as to gently direct my heart towards Him in all things.  I’ve just posted about soil and how we can be a tree of life. Now here in this challenge, it talks about farmers and soil. I know that this chapter has touched my heart in a way that may not have happened if I hadn’t been praying and thinking on soil. Being ranchers, and since it is harvest time, this is really on my heart right now. Thank you Lord!

I have seen the power of prayer in my life and in the lives of others – I know its greatness! I LOVE praying – it’s God’s little gift to me. However, I can say that with the busyness of my life lately – my morning time has been replaced by much needed sleep.  I have made a point lately to get my sleep at other times and recommit to morning time…my life just doesn’t function without it!!!

A farmer can prepare the soil, plant the seed, water and nurture it, keep it free from weeds – but he can not demand it to bear fruit! Isn’t that what we do sometimes?  We think that once we plant the seed, it’s ours.  We think that if we demand it to flourish, it will.  Our job is simply to plant the seed, give it water and give it to GOD.  Oh dear friends, can’t He do a much better job at changing your spouse than you can?  You can plant the seed and share your heart, you can nurture it with prayer but you can’t DEMAND him/her to change.

Prayer. It’s the answer to all questions. Pray for his heart. Pray for her thought life. Pray for his attitudes, his work, his responsibilities to God. Pray for her as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter to Christ. Prayer. I love this chapter and I’m not taking it lightly.

Today’s Challenge:

Begin praying today for your spouse’s heart. Pray for three specific areas where you desire for God to work in your spouse’s life and in your marriage.

Dear friends, prayer is intimate. You are covered by the covenant and what you pray for your spouse is like no other prayer.  Dedicate your heart to his or hers – give your marriage wholly to Him and see what HE wants your harvest to look like.

May He breath beauty into your heart today dear ones.

From My Heart to Yours,

Laurel

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Love is honorable. This is a deep and thought provoking chapter.  Take the time to really think about what this means, what ‘to honor someone’ truly means.

To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem, to treat them as being special and of great worth. Whe you speak to them, you keep your language clean and understandable. You are courteous and polite. When they speak to you, you take them seriously, giving their words weight and significance…

Think about that. Do your words and actions show not only your husband/wife but anyone who sees you, that you HONOR your spouse? 

One thing that is most hurtful to me is when I’m trying to talk to my husband and he’s reading the paper or busy doing something else.  We have both purposed to stop what we are doing and listen to each other when the other speaks…be all there

In marriage, your spouse is set apart for a higher purpose.  This means that nothing can rival them in your heart. Of all of the relationships you have, you should value your spouse the most – and make sure to show it. Remember all of the love in the world is worthless if someone does not know it is theirs!  Of all of the sacrifices you make in your life, the sacrifices you make for your spouse will be greatest – most joyous.

Perhaps your mate does not honor you. Maybe you wish you could expose them for this…but you can not change someone else. What you can change, is your own heart and reactions.  Ask God to show you how to truly and deeply honor and respect your spouse and find tangible ways that you can show it.

Today’s Challenge:

Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his cloths away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he/she is highly esteemed in your eyes.

I love this chapter.  I find little ways to honor my man daily and I shall make an extra effort today.

Have a blessed day friends.

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Love fights fair!  This is a really valuable chapter and I can see dedicating some MAJOR prayer to this.

Mark 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

My love and I used to take long drives (before we had kiddles).  We loved seeing all the farm houses and making up imagined stories about the people who lived there.  So today we’ll use that as our analogy.

Just married, shiney red car, waving to all those who love you – off on your journey together! The sun is shining, the top is down, the wind is in your hair and you are holding hands –  dreaming of what you will see on your drive.  Before long, you notice the clouds are growing to the west. You aren’t worried, you’re in love after all 😉 .  As you get a little closer, the road begins to wind and throws curves at you that you didn’t see coming.  A storm is brewing. You put the top up. The rain starts. It seems gentle at first but the further you go, the more intense it becomes. Now you have to shout at one another over the rain, to be heard.

When you are in the middle of a storm, this is when your pride is strongest, your temper hottest, your words most venemous and your selfishness is at it’s height.  This is also where the most damage can take place in your marriage if you aren’t diligent.

The car slips and slides, your hands break free from one another’s as you grip the dash.  You barely miss the tree to your left. You skid sideways, you close your eyes and start to pray….Love steps in – GOD steps in and when you open your eyes, the wind has stopped, the sun peeks out through the hills and you know you’ve made it through this storm. Your love beside you; together.

Every one of us goes through storms in our marriage. Not everyone makes it through these storms. As life throws little curves your way, you begin to see what the other is made of, what you are made of.

Married couples who learn to work through conflict tend to be closer, more intimate, more trusting. That is what I want for my marriage – for the marriage of my babies when the time comes. I know I have to model that if I have any hope of them understanding this.

We need to make up healthy rules of engagement, guidelines we can follow when we’re in the middle of a storm. We need to learn to use different weapons and we need to plan ahead. Have you talked to your spouse about this?  Love shouldn’t always be a fight, but it should always be worth fighting for!

Today’s Challenge:

Talk with your spouse about establishing healthy rules of engagement. If your mate is not ready for this, then write out your own personal rules to “fight” by. Resolve to abide by them when the next disagreement occurs.

I love the book DNA of Relationships for Couples. Smalley and Paul really address the issue of conflict resolution and getting to the heart of the issue. Another good book is Love and Respect

What will your rules of engagement look like?  This is a great chapter!!

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Love Lets

Love lets the other win. When I first started reading this chapter, I was thinking, “we almost never disagree and I almost always give in when we do…this sounds easy enough.”, but God brought to mind some bigger and reoccurring issues in my heart.  He wasn’t letting me off that easily. Isn’t it easy to remember your spouses faults but overlook your own?! Sigh…

Philippians 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.

He wants us to have an attitude of willingness, flexibility, and humble submission.  Since we’re studying Esther, let’s think (even tho we aren’t there yet) on how she had a willingness for Christ. She could have kept her secret of being a Jew, from her husband and watched as her entire people were annihilated.  She chose to be a willing heart seeking after Christ and saved a nation. Think of Christ Himself, who had the right to be served but came to serve us.  Having a willing spirit means laying down for the good of others what you have the right to claim for yourself.

When you are having ‘words’ with your spouse, try saying, “I’m willing to go your way on this one.” I can say with fair certainty, that will be the end of the argument! Yes, it may cause a bruise in the old pride, a bit of discomfort but it will also be a valuable investment in the future of your marriage.  Perhaps you are thinking, ‘well yeah, but I’ll lose the fight. I’ll lose control.’  You’ve already lost the fight by just entering into a fight!  Love does not treat the ones it cherishes with harsh words, nor does it devalue the words of the one it cherishes.   As soon as you use words as weapons, you’ve already lost control. 

James (which we’ll be doing after Esther) 3:17 The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield.

Today’s Challenge:

Demonstrate love by willingly choosing to give in to an area of disagreement between you and your spouse.  Tell them you are putting their preferences first.

 have some serious prayer to devote to this chapter. I am going to go further and write down 5 things that God has revealed to me, areas of disagreement and I’ll ask my husband to do the same.  I will pray over them and seek which are worthy of standing firm for (in HIS eyes and scripturally based), and which I can release to Christ and give in to my love – as a way of showing how I honor him.

From my heart to yours with love,

Laurel

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Love cherishes. Do you cherish your spouse?  The meaning of cherish is: 1. to hod dear: feel or show affection for. 2. to keep or cultivate with care and affection. When you marry before Christ, you become one, literally. Your husband is as much a part of you as your hand, your eyes, your heart. When he hurts, you hurt. When he feels joy and victory, you do also.  There are so many in this culture that say they have simply ‘fallen out of love’  and choose to walk away from their marriage promise. Yet do they fully understand the signifigant bond between husband and wife?  You would not cut your eyes out if they weren’t working properly – you’d seek the best advice and dr.’s to correct the problem.  Your marriage is as much a part of you as your eyes.  Marriage is a beautiful mystery created by God, joining two lives and hearts together. This happens not only in name, but also in spirit and emotion – forever.  The sobering reality, when you are struggling to love your spouse, is that he/she is married to an imperfect human being too. Choose to love. Isn’t it time to let love change your thinking?  Isn’t it time to lead your heart instead of letting it lead you?  Don’t let this culture dictate your happiness in your marriage. If your spouse has issues which are causing him/her pain or frustration, you should be coming along side them to be the instrument God uses to bring healing.

Today’s Challenge:

What need does your spouse have that you could meet today? Can you run an errand?  Give a back rub or foot massage?  Is there housework you could help with?  Choose a gesture that says, “I cherish you” and do it with a smile.

Cherish the one God has blessed you with.

From my heart to yours with love,

Laurel

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Love is unconditional.  In my life, I’ve had many relationships where I knew, without a doubt, that love is unconditional.  My family is amazing at showing love. My husband, on the other hand, has not felt unconditional love as deeply, in his life…while I know his parents do love him deeply, they have a much more difficult time showing it.  So when I was saved, I felt God really asking me to show him that my love for him was unconditional.  Whether he was a Christian or not, I’d love him and stand by him, forever.  I have purposed to show this to my husband in a number of ways.  I know it is part of his path to salvation – in understanding what unconditional love means.   I’m so excited to see the day when his eyes are open to the ways Christ loves him, deeply and unconditionally!

There are three basic types of love; phileo (friendship), eros (sexual love) and agape (unconditional and selfless).  In the book Feminine Appeal, there is a chapter on The Delight of Loving My Husband that talks about agape love. True love is agape love.

Romans 5:8 God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ doesn’t love us because we’re worthy, He loves us because He chooses to.  We can not succeed in marriage unless we understand this kind of love.  God wants us to share the love He gives us, with each other…with the world, so that it can grow.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Faith only grows when you use it?”  I think it applies to love also.

Today’s Challenge:

Do something out of the ordinary today for your spouse – something that proves (to you and to them) that your love is based on your choice and nothing else. Wash her car.  Clean the kitchen.  Buy (or make) his favorite dessert.  Fold the laundry.  Demonstrate love to them for the sheer joy of being their partner in marriage.

You might also be interested in this post on “What Does “Delight in My Husband” Look Like?”

I’ve said this many times but, if someone has all of your love – deep and unconditional, but doesn’t know it; then it is worth nothing! Show your love dear friends. Remember the saying, “Faith only grows when you use it.” Step out in faith today, push yourself past emotion and into faith and give your marriage to Christ.

From my heart to yours, with love

Laurel

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Love makes good impressions.  Have you ever been around a couple that just makes you want to go home and hug your man? You know the type, always looking directly into one another’s eyes, speaking praises to and about one another, touching, hugging…Now that really speaks about their relationship doesn’t it?  What does your behavior speak about your marriage?

How do you greet your mate when they arrive home?  Do you say a quick ‘hi’ on your way to something else? Do you stop what you are doing, drop everything and embrace him?  Do you tell her you’ve missed her?  Isn’t it true that a beautiful greeting can make or break the following time together?  Which do you think would make you feel more cherished; to arrive home to a happy household of hugs and kisses or to arrive home only to have an ear FULL of the day’s gripes and frustrations, before you even had a chance to take a breath?

When I was a little girl, my Mom would start a few minutes before Dad would arrive home, “Daddy’s coming….”, with excitement!  When he came in the door, she and I would race towards him, fighting over who would kiss him first. Of course, I always won (I still do)!  In our house, now that I’m the wife and Mom, we have a special way to greet Daddy.  He always calls when he is on his way home. We all kick into action tidying the house (ten second tidy we call it as we race about).  Then Songbird makes sure (in the winter) that the outside light is on like a welcoming beacon. We all wait at the door for him to walk in and there is a flurry of hugs and kisses.  Then the children run off to their rooms to give Daddy a few minutes to unwind before meal time. We’ve done this ever since they were each tiny.

1 Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Today’s Challenge:

Think of a specific way you’d like to greet your mate today.  Do it with a smile and with enthusiasm. Then determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for them.

Remember, love is a choice.  You can choose to change the way you greet your sweetie pie, you can choose to love.

Blessings from our house to yours,

Laurel

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