Thursday, September 2, 2010

Nurturing Our Marriages...

{{originally posted February 14, 2006...transferred from previous blog}}
{re-posted May 2007 and November 2008}

Over the past few months,
I have known about a handful of couples
that have been struggling in their marriages.
Struggling to the point of defeat,
hopelessness and despair,
and even retreat.

My heart fills with grief
as I see loved ones,
fellow sisters

and brothers of the faith,
and, in general, worldwide
turmoil and defeat in marriages...

It hits so close to home...
as our own marriage
has been through so much.

So, once again, the Holy Spirit
has pressed upon me to share this post

(with a few additions)...

May we be humbled.
May we be motivated, edified,
challenged, convinced.
May we be shaken
out of apathy
and mere lip service concern
for our fellow believers.
May we pray...
and pray often.


Nurturing Our Marriages

Sometimes it's so easy
to get caught up in every day life

and we (sometimes unknowingly)
neglect to do what we can
to protect and nurture our marriages.

God's Word says,
"Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil,

like a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour."
~ 1 Peter 5:8

He, that terrible deceiver,
that evil one, hater of of our soul,
is constantly doing what he can

to create "wedges" in our marriages
and doing what he can to destroy them.
So many marriages are being hurt,
ripped apart, and even
given up on.
This awful deceiver, this wicked one,
despises marriage
they are a picture
of Christ and His Bride.

We need to "chew on that",
take it seriously,
and be ever watchful.

We need to be as active (& more)
in building our marriage

as Satan is busy in trying to tear it down.
We need to be (must be!) pro- active
every month, every week,
every day, every moment...

to diligently protect, build,
and nurture our marriages.

Below are some things
(and some suggestions)
that our Wonderful Lord
has used in our own marriage, thus far:

~ PRAY ~
faithfully and fervently
for our marriages,
for our husbands,
and our own selves.

We need to pray diligently
and we need to be specific, too.

Pray for protection
from that wicked one.
Pray for wisdom.

"The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much."
~ James 5:16b

"Pray without ceasing."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17

of prayers that you pray
to your Heavenly Father.

Don't spend this time
discussing husband's flaws,

but our own instead.
Asking HIM to open our eyes,
to show us where we need to change.

Asking the LORD to help us grow,

to help us love darling husband even more,
to help us be the servant
and help meet
to our husband
that HE created us to be,
asking Him to change our own hearts
and help us keep our focus OFF of ourselves.
Instead of calling friends or family,
call on your Heavenly Father,
your Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

"I will call on the LORD,
who is worthy to be praised:"

~ 2 Samuel 22:4

in our quiet time with the LORD.
Morning is really the best time for this.
It makes a difference to begin
our day with the Lord

and helps us keep an eternal perspective.

"O God, thou art my God;
early will I seek thee:

my soul thirsteth for thee,
my flesh longeth for thee

in a dry and thirsty land,
where no water is"

~ Psalm 63:1

Commit to memorizing HIS Word,
allowing It to transform your mind,
your way of thinking.
One good resource for wives is
a Scripture Pack by Ron Hood
that contain some key verses
to help a wife in her role.
This pack has been a blessing to me.

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee."
~ Psalm 119:11

If this isn't part of your marriage,
don't scoff at the idea.
This may mean that we
need to get up early in the morning,

a lot earlier than we'd like,
or, perhaps, stay up later.

DO IT. It is well worth it.

Let's never assume
that he is not interested.

Prayerfully approach him
(with no expectations)
& ask if he would be willing

to read the Bible together.
Volunteer to be the one to read aloud,
if we need to.

If he says no, then okay,
but at least we can try
and continue to pray for this.

"For where two or three
are gathered together in my name,

there am I in the midst of them."
~ Matthew 18:20

Our spouse needs to be
our next best friend,

aside from Jesus Christ.
Talk with him.
Listen to him.
Express to him how we feel
(not with tears or complaint),

share how we think,
what our goals and dreams are,

and, especially, what we love about him, etc...

We HAVE to find a way to communicate,
even when we don't feel like it.
MAKE ourselves communicate.
We can not wait for husband to initiate.
That is the sin of selfishness and pride.

"...that I should know
how to speak a word in season..."

~ Isaiah 50:4

Again, do not assume he isn't interested.
Volunteer to read to him, if needed.
You could read it after supper,
while he's working in the garage,
before turning the lights out at night...

One resource is "Have a Heavenly Marriage"
by David Sorenson (under $9).

We have found that the perfect place, for us,
to read our marriage books together
is right after climbing into bed at night.
There are no interruptions
and there is a different kind of closeness.

Also, to read alone, a great book is
"How to Save Your Marriage Alone"
by Ed Wheat (about $3).

"Two are better than one..."
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9

Do all that we can to allow the LORD
to change what HE wants to in US.
Ask Him for a teachable spirit
and a humble heart,
in spite of ourselves.
Purpose in our hearts to find the areas
that WE need to be changed in.
Beg HIM to open your eyes.

I HIGHLY recommend a sermon
that I feel ALL wives

and potential wives should listen to.
A very powerful message called
"How a Wife Can Use Reverence
to Build or Save Her Marriage
by S.M. Davis. The cost is $4.50
and WELL worth the buy!

"But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge

of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ."
~ 2 Peter 3:18

(even if he doesn't do them for you)
Cook his favorite meal,
make sure the house is clean,

write him little love notes
put them in different places
(his pillow, lunchbox, mirror, car, etc...),
buy his brand of something that he likes
(ex... Charmin, Heinz, Post Raisin Bran, etc...),
put his laundry away,
make sure his socks are clean,

learn to like his hobby,
be interested in his work,

make sure the children are properly trained,
make Daddy coming home a big deal
(he is, after all, the king of his castle...
make him feel that way),

if he suggests something,
don't suggest something else

and don't suggest a different way to do it,
be sure to pay attention at church
and be ready to leave

when he is ready
(don't spend time socializing/fellowshipping

and take advantage of his patience/tolerance).

There are SO many things we can do.
When we think of them... DO them.
Be thoughtful.
Ask other wives for creative ideas.

"And be ye kind one to another,

~ Ephesians 4:32

Keep a playfulness in your marriage.
Make 'eyes' at him from across a room,
give him that 'flirty' smile and look.
Go out of your way to hold his hand,
rest your hand on his leg,
play 'footsie' under the table,

initiate intimacy with him, etc...

Make him know and feel
that you love him & desire him.
Show him your affection.

If you don't feel that way,

Ask the Lord to help you
and purpose in your heart

to allow the Lord to change you.

"Drink waters out of thine own cistern..."
~ Proverbs 5:15

Find another family with children
swap babysitting nights.
You don't have to spend a lot of money.
Go get coffee together, watch the sunset
as you talk to each other, take a stroll,
window shop at his favorite store
(Bass Pro, Home Depot, Radio Shack, etc...),
do his hobby with him
(golf, hunt, fish, etc... with him).

Be creative.

If you cannot get a babysitter, that's okay.
Put the children to bed early
and have a picnic, coffee, or tea
while sitting in your own living room floor
or the backyard,

listening to classical/instrumental music
and having delightful conversation,

play a board or card game together,
look at photos,

color, build with legos, and so forth.

Do something/anything to have fun together
and enjoy each others company.

"Let thy fountain be blessed:
and rejoice with the wife of thy youth."
~ Proverbs 5:18

There ARE things we can do... lots of them.
We simply have to make the choice
and purpose in our hearts to do them.

Marriage cannot afford selfishness,
waiting for ourselves to be pleased and satisfied.
It's about making the other person happy,
fulfilling his needs,

whether we think he 'deserves' it or not
and whether he returns the 'favor' or not.
Afterall, that's exactly what our Savior
did for us.
HE died for us, when we were unworthy.
HE loves us, when we are unlovable.
When we fail to give thanks,
taking HIM for granted...
HE remains full of mercy and grace,
tenderhearted and longsuffering.
May we allow the Holy Spirit
to change us
to be more like HIM.

May we purpose to rise above ourselves
and get an eternal perspective on our marriages.
Let's pour our hearts and souls,
our time and effort,
into our husbands and marriages
and let's ACTIVELY fight off Satan
by making everyday a special day
of prayerful, heart-felt,
zealous, passionate effort

to keep our marriages,
not just surviving,

but thriving!

© February 2006


Military Mommy said...

This was a touching, beautiful, and much needed post. Thank you.

It reminded me of Elisabeth Elliot's writing, who I dearly love.

Your words go against everything society teaches about marriage. I wish I had more girlfriends my own age (and that lived in my area) that I could share and cultivate this view with. Most of the women my age are more about "Oprah" and "self-fulfillment". I do enjoy an Oprah show on occasion, but I find the majority of the time that she teaches the society's view of marriage. Thank you for the biblical view.

Love, Michelle

Tina said...

Marriage is not about selfishness,
waiting for ourselves
to be pleased and satisfied.
It's about making the other person happy,
fulfilling his needs,
whether he returns the 'favor' or not.

This really hit me hard Christina. I REALLY needed this today. I am about to start reading Created to be His Helpmeet again. Thank you for another wonderful post. God bless you!

LBP said...

I so agree with Military Mommy! So many of my friends think I'm "old fashioned" for pampering my husband as I do. I fix his lunch every day, do most of the cooking, etc. we both work full time but these are things I enjoy doing for my family.

Kelli said...

What a wonderful article, Christina! Full of wonderful ideas and encouragement, thank you!


Chyrll said...

I enjoyed the post and your article was great. It is what us ladies need to hear.


Excellent advise!! Good marriages don't just happen they have to be tended and worked at, to be the best they can be. connie from Texas

HsKubes said...

Military Mommy ~ I find that the vast majority of our society goes against what God says. Early in our marriage and in my walk with God, I was sadden that there seemed to be such a lack of Titus 2 women. I praise the Lord that He worked mightily in my own heart (and continues to do so). We do live in a selfish society... in a selfish, fleshy body but it's a wonderful thing how God can open our eyes, speak to our hearts, and change our way of thinking when we are truly seeking Him with our whole hearts. For marriage advice, only God can give the Perfect answers. ;o)

Tina ~ What you quoted is something that God is very Faithful in reminding me of. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking what we would like or what we need. My prayer and goal is that I follow after Christ, who came to serve (Mt 20:28 "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister").

LBP ~ Praise the Lord when we find joy and delight in doing the exact things that He has called us to do. And praise the Lord for being "old fashioned" and different from the world (1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a PECULIAR people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light")

Kelli ~ Thank you. Rejoicing in the Lord that it has been an encouragement.

Chyrll ~ I am glad you enjoyed it. Thank you. We, ladies, need to hear God's Truths more often... we get so bombarded with our society's views nowadays. Praise the Lord we have the Living Word of God.

Thank all of you ladies for your kind comments. I pray the Lord will work in and bless each one of y'all's marriages.

~ Christina

HsKubes said...

Connie ~ Thank you. Yes, our marriages do need to be tended to and worked at, faithfully and diligently. I am sure you know this very well. I look forward to laboring with God and my husband. Thank you for being a Titus 2 woman.

~ Christina

Happymama said...

That was a wonderful reminder, Christina. Thank you for sharing it with us!


CaraqueƱa said...

Christina, thank you so much for the reminder! I so often stray...and I have such a wonderful, caring, hard-working husband! I have no excuse...I find your blog to be one of the most edifying that I've found. Thanks! I'd like to know how you've done it~raised your children so well, organized your house so well, etc. It's really a battle for me! And blog too! How do you do it?!

Sheri said...

Thank you for this wonderful marriage post Christina. I was reminded again how priceless my husband and my relationship is and some things I can do to make it better. One that stuck out to me was to "flirt with him!" Often times I get so busy with meals, homemaking, our children, etc. that I forget to be playful and just enjoy romance with my husband. Thanks again for the godly reminders!

Pam said...

Excellent article! We need constant reminders due to how we are inundated with opposite views of God's Word for Biblical Marriages. I hope you don't mind if I put a link for this article on my blog! God bless you all!

HsKubes said...

Kristi ~ You're welcome. ;o)

Caraquena ~ I, too, fall short but I know that if I have goals and reminders before me, it helps me to stay focused. Thank you so much for your kind words. They were a blessing to me to read. I thank you, also, for your question and am praying about my response. I hope to reply soon.

Sheri ~ It sure is so easy to get busy in daily tasks and forget to flirt with our husbands. But they need it so much... we need it. I'm thankful the Lord used it.

Pam ~ Thank you. Yes, we do need constant reminders. The devil is attacking our marriages. We do need to be diligent in protecting and nurturing them. I don't mind, at all, if you put a link up. Thank you!

~ Christina

maranatha777 said...

Excellent post, Christina! Our marriages are worth it!

HsKubes said...

Kate ~ Thank you. Yes, our marriges ARE worth it! ;o)

Mrs W said...

Mrs Christina, this is a great post. You gave me one or two new ideas and reminded me of a few things I once did until things got tough. While my husband and I both believe that problems in the marriage are usually the result of both parties, I do know that there are plenty of things for me to work on.

A note on Debi Pearls book that was mentioned...this book almost destroyed our marriage because Debi Pearl is describing what HER husband wants HER to be, not what all wives should be to their husbands. My husband said he "doesn't want a wife like that". Anyone can twist Scripture to fit with their interpretations. We can be submissive (which the Bible teaches) without doing things the exact way that Debi Pearl does them, eg. my husband doesn't want me to keep quiet when I don't like something, he's already told me to speak up etc. So read the book with caution when you do read it and ask God to show you what applies to YOU and isn't just something that Mike Pearl wants his wife to do.

Madeleine said...

::::GASPING::: You have no idea how much I needed this today.

I have forgotten my role in making him king of our castle. Maybe not forgotten, but neglected. How easily we as women can tear down our homes if we are not vigilant.

Oh, I may need to put this post in my favorites and come back to it often.

Thank you.

Kristy... said...

Thanks Christina,
Even tho we all "know" all of this, we still to be reminded and keep it on our minds fresh daily. Its easy to get caught up, I am guilty of it at times ...and always its nice to see something like this to put me back on track :P thanks!

Maggie Ann said...

I loved this post...thank you for sharing such wise thoughts. As we think, so we become. This was a blessing to me. =)

HsKubes said...

Mrs. W ~ Thank you. Yes, I agree, problems in marriage involve both parties but, as you said, there sure is plenty we can work on as wives.
Yes, regarding Debi Pearl's book, as with anything, if it is read it needs to be read with much prayer and discernment.

Madeleine ~ I am thankful the Lord used this post. Yes, it is easy to neglect and become forgetful. We certainly do need to be diligent and vigilant.

Kristy ~ Yes, much of it we have had previous knowledge but it sure is nice to have encouragement & a reminder. I needed this myself. ;o)

Maggie Ann ~ I'm thankful it was a blessing to you.

~ Christina

Lisa said...

I cannot think of a more important union than that of a man and a woman joined togther in holy matrimony.You are so right. The devil is out to destory our marriages and we must do all we can to keep our marriages and lives in the Lord's will. Thak you for this post. Have a great weekend.

Modest Mama said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. It was a great blessing to my heart. As a pastor's wife it is so hard for me as my husband is not mine. He is married to the ministry as much as he is married to me. I need to focus on what I can do to make our marriage great.

Also you have a blog award waiting for you over at my blog

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much I really needed to read this. What a blessing your blog has been to me.

Where do you get such beautiful femenine artwork you have on your blog?

Thank you very much.
Have a blessed weekend.

Lori said...

Thank you so much for this entry. God brought me to your site at the perfect timing for me. How do I approach the subject of praying and reading the Bible together without sounding bossy or like I am trying to criticize?

Mrs. Cuddles said...

Thank you for sharing this timely post for me. I'm so overwhelmed by everything right now and keep trying to find my marriage again.

May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving. I know you had left a comment with something that you wanted to email me...I will go and email you right now.


HsKubes said...

Lisa ~ Yes, the devil IS out to destroy our marriages and all that Christ is seen in. We do need to do all that we can. You're welcome for this post. I pray it was a blessing and encouragement. Thank you for your thoughts.

Modest Mama ~ Thank you, too, for your thoughts. I'm glad this post was a blessing. I can understand how your husband is married to the ministry... my beloved is married to the Marine Corps and it can be a real challenge sometimes. But when I remember that my marriage isn't about me being happy, that there is a higher purpose in it, it is helpful when my perspective is right and I can, then, do the things HE has called me to do. ;o)

Anonymous ~ Thank you for your kind words. I am thankful this post was a blessing.
I'm not sure which artwork you're referring to but much of what I use is found at allposters or at a few Victorian links that I keep stored at our favorites blog. I hope that helps. ;o)

Lori ~ Praise the Lord He brought you here for this post in His timing.

Regarding how to approach your beloved...
First, I would not approach him without fervently praying about it to the Lord. I would pray the Lord would work in my beloved's heart, that He would help me to be respectful and loving, and that He would work in my own heart to help me accept whatever answer my beloved gives and to have peace that HE is in control either way.

My beloved and I are 'let's get down to the point' people and I have learned that if I try to give a prelude to what I am asking, it can create issues instead of get resolvement.
In approaching my own beloved, I would simply find an approachable time for him and come right out and ask if he would be willing to read our Bible together or if he would think about reading it together as a husband & wife.
Something like, "Honey, I sure am enjoying reading God's Word in the morning and thought it would be nice to enjoy it with you, too. What do you think about reading It together?"
I, personally (because my beloved is a 'specifics' kind of man), would, also, mention that what I mean by reading is just simply reading a chapter or portion out loud (without the discussion of it being a requirement or expectation) and that, I, would be willing to get up earlier, stay up later, etc..., if convenient or needed. I would, also, reassure him that I did not need an answer immediately, if he wanted to think or pray about it.
And, then, I would purpose in my heart to accept whatever answer he gives and continuing praying about it specifically whether he reads with me or not.

Whatever his answer may be,
I would resolve to not take it upon myself to ask him, again, nor would I be the one to remind him of the fact (unless he asked me to and I knew how he wanted me to do so). If he doesn't, give thanks, be content and continue reading yourself. If he does, give thanks, be content, and continue reading yourself (oh, and be sure to verbally thank him once in a while and let him know you're enjoying it, whatever his reading aloud skills may be). ;o)

I hope that helps some and pray the Lord gives you wisdom, grace, and the desire of your heart.

Mrs. Cuddles ~ I hope this post was a blessing. I am continuing to pray for you and your family. It is an encouragement to see your determination to do what honors the Lord. He will bless you for it. Praying as He gives beauty for ashes and works all things for good. ("To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." ~ Isaiah 61:3 & "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." ~ Romans 8:28)

~ Christina

PlainJane said...

Oh my, I'm behind again on reading your posts. I simply must come by way more often. What a wonderful post Christina. Thank you for the reminder about leaving church when "he" wants too - that spoke right to me as uaually I'm the one that would love to visit and my Sweetie likes to bug out asap. :)

Jaime Lynn said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I really needed to read it. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard sometimes even when we already know the answers?.
Thank you so much for your encouaring words and not just your words but HIS words. This comes at a very needed time in my own personal life. Nothing is by coincidence.
It's so very kind of you to reply to everyones comments. It shows what a truely caring spirit you have.

HsKubes said...

Jaime Lynn ~ You're very welcome. I really needed to read it, again, too. ;o)

Jess ~ Yes, I understand. It can seem so hard, even when we know the answers. How important it is to stay in HIS Word, at HIS feet, learning of HIM, keeping our eyes on HIM so we can find the grace and strength to change and keep on!
I agree... it is not by coincidence. I am thankful HE brought these things to my mind, again, and am rejoicing and praising HIM that HE is speaking to hearts.
Thank you, also, for your kind words. They are a blessing, indeed!

~ Christina


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