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Monthly Archives: February 2013

  • Selfless Love

    Posted on February 18, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love is not self-seeking. 1 Corinthians 13:5

    Selfless love is happy when those they love are happy. They find great joy in seeing others live in harmony. These unselfish lovers are willing to sacrifice the fulfillment of their needs for the good of the whole. Selfless moms lose sleep for their little ones and selfless dads invest intentional play time and prayer time with their children. Time consuming habits like golf are put on pause for a season of selfless love. Love seeks what’s best for those it has incredible influence over.

    Has love of self hijacked your schedule with no time left to serve others? Has your ambition shifted from being godly to leaving  God out? Self-seeking love gives the Lord and others spiritual and emotional leftovers. However, your selfless love learns first how to love your heavenly Father with your heart, soul, mind and strength;  then  go out of your way to love others. You love selflessly when you give instead of spending on yourself. Love is generous.

    Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31

    Selfless love does not mean we are not to love ourselves. Christ commands us to love ourselves in the same way we love others. We feed, clothe and care for our body, so we are able to care for the physical needs of others. We do not neglect our own nourishment for unsustainable expectations, no we take care of personal needs, so we are capable of communicating the gospel in word and deed. Your love of self qualifies you to quietly and selflessly love and serve others.

    Selfless love is the way of your Savior Jesus. He submitted to His heavenly Father and humbly served humanity though He was the most powerful person in the room. He gave His life to save lives. He took time to teach sinners why they are to worship God in spirit and truth; because He is Spirit and He seeks out those who worship on His terms. Yes, your other centered love is an opportunity to teach your children that God created them for His glory. Selfless love teaches truth.

    We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, whose needs can I lovingly meet in deference to myself?

    Related Readings: John 4:23-24; 1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 1 John 3:17

    Post/Tweet today: Selfless love is happy when those they love are happy. #happylove

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Corinthians, Love

  • I Feel Forgotten

    Posted on February 18, 2013 by Tracie Miles

    Tracie Miles

    "Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?" Psalm 77:7-9 (NLT)

    Several years ago I was drowning in a sea of difficult circumstances. With each gasping breath, God appeared farther and farther away. I prayed, but God was silent. Emotions played tricks on me, causing anxiety and fear to get the better of me. Instead of God's kindness and love, loneliness and abandonment loomed large. In my head I knew that wasn't true, but that's how I felt.

    Apparently the person who wrote Psalm 77:7-9 experienced these same doubts. It seems he was at the end of his rope, pleading for God's deliverance from hardship. He expressed his feelings, and asked why God had rejected him. Did God even care?

    He felt rejected, alone and afraid.

    Maybe you are experiencing a season of life where God seems to be a million miles away. You're wondering "why?" and questioning, like the Psalmist, if God has forgotten you.

    We all experience feelings of rejection and loneliness at times. Whether as a little girl who desperately wishes her daddy would love her, an employee who longs for the approval of her boss, or a woman who would give anything for a husband that pays attention to her. There are countless reasons to feel rejected in this broken world - but feeling forgotten by God really hurts.

    When we find ourselves feeling forgotten, we have two choices. Either turn away from God in anger and frustration. Or we can allow the words of Psalm 77:11-14 to motivate us to recognize God's sovereignty ... and continue to trust and praise Him even in the midst of our difficulties.

    Despite his heartache, the author of this Psalm remembered that God truly was his only help. Psalm 77:11-14 says, "But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations." (NLT)

    He recognized his own weakness, and his need for God. In the midst of his suffering, he chose to willfully and wholeheartedly ponder the Lord's goodness and praise Him.

    The Psalmist changed his attitude completely by focusing on all God has done over the years. Instead of keeping his eyes on his own circumstances and troubles, he meditated on God's ability to overcome them. He gave himself a little praise pep talk, ramping up his faith from the inside out.

    If we feel rejected, it's time to turn our focus upward instead of inward. Rather than rehearsing all the ways God hasn't changed our current circumstances, let's praise Him for the many times He has shown His faithfulness in the past. We can have a little praise pep talk of our own! God is waiting with open ears and outstretched arms, for we are too loved to ever be forgotten.

    Dear Lord, I feel forgotten and alone. Forgive me for my doubts, and reassure my heart of Your love and protection. I commit to put my hope in You, and trust and praise You in the good and the bad. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

    The best way to remember God's faithfulness in the past is by reading Scripture that recounts it. Renew your trust by going through The NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women, featuring devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries writers.

    Reflect and Respond:
    If you feel forgotten or abandoned by God, give yourself a praise pep talk. List three specific instances God has been faithful to you in the past.

    Remind yourself about God's goodness and how His promises are true. Spend time in His Word, looking up and memorizing one Scripture that will motivate you toward a personal revelation of faith.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 83:1, "O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God." (NIV)

    Jeremiah 29:13-14a, "'If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,' says the LORD. 'I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes.'" (NLT)

    © 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm

  • Love Is Not Rude

    Posted on February 17, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Love is not rude…       1 Corinthians 13:5

     

    Love rejects rudeness because rudeness is reserved for the insensitive and the insecure. Rudeness is impolite and disrespectful. Indeed, a rude reply stands ready on the lips of an unlovely life. Rude people use coarse words that rub their listeners the wrong way. They pride themselves in being without airs, but they are insensitive in the timing and the tone of their conversations. They hurt feelings at the drop of a hat and seem to alienate people on purpose. However, love is the light that leads rudeness out of darkness (Romans 2:19).

     

    A rude person is a rascal to work alongside because you never know when they are going to offend you or someone else. You lose confidence in rude people because of their volatile nature. You don’t want to be embarrassed around one of their outbursts or social indiscretions, so you shun their presence. Rude people become loners by default. Over time, no one can tolerate a barrage of irreverence and sarcasm. Even the most accepting and forgiving saints grow weary of rudeness. Indeed, rudeness has no place in a caring culture.

     

    Love expunges rudeness like a healthy body does a virus. It uses tough love to escort rudeness out the door of relationship. Because you love them and those they influence, you need to be very direct and matter-of-fact in your communication with a rude person. Direct conversation is the only way they begin to “get it.” Love takes the time to be very candid and clear with rude people who run roughshod over others. However, be careful not to be rude in dealing with the rude. Do not lower your standards to theirs. Be prayed up and filled up with the Spirit before you encounter the rude with truth (Romans 9:1).

     

    Without patronizing, love is able to find at least one thing they admire in someone else. Even if a person is full of himself, there lies dormant, within him or her, some redeeming quality. Love is able to pull out the potential for good that lies deep within a selfish soul; the way Barnabas saw possibilities in Saul (Acts 9:27). Love looks beyond the hard, crusty exterior of someone’s character and understands that fear may have locked his or her love into solitary confinement. They feel lost, lonely, and afraid. Nonetheless, love is able to get past this rude roadblock and inject faith. Faith in God, faith in oneself, and faith in others frees one from rudeness.

     

    The Almighty’s rude awakening transforms an impolite heart into one full of kindness and grace. When love has its way, rudeness runs away. Love the rude, and watch what God can do. Their sarcasm is a smoke screen that hides a lonely, loveless, and hurt heart. Rude people are reaching out but they don’t know how. Stay committed to your rude roommate, relative, parent, child, or colleague. Love them to Jesus, and your unconditional love will melt away their iceberg-like insecurities. Pray they will see themselves as Christ sees them, and pray they will love and be loved. Love loves the rude and is not rude. Therefore, be persistent by staying engaged in unconditional love. Watch the rude walls come down as you bombard them with consistent acts of love.

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with 1 Corinthians, Love

  • Wedding Anniversary

    Posted on February 16, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth (Proverbs 5:18).

     

     

    There is something sacred and celebratory about another year of marriage. It is sacred because a covenant to God has been fulfilled. And it is celebratory because a man and woman have grown closer to Christ and to each other. This marriage milestone is meant to mean something. It is not just another day that comes and goes without recognition.

     

    Wise are the husband and wife who make much over their wedding anniversary. It is a testimony to their commitment to Christ and His commitment to them. In a day when some men trade in their wives like a used car, and some women walk away from their husbands and children like a nuisance to her freedom, much needs to be made about marriages that achieve longevity. “Until death do us part” is not a trite saying but a bold declaration of lifelong dedication. So be proud you have persevered and celebrate!

     

    Plan ahead, spend some money, and invest in a long weekend away from home. Make sure you do not over save for retirement and miss enjoying your marriage adventure now. The way to enjoy your spouse as your best friend in the future is to enjoy your spouse as your best friend now. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). Your wedding anniversary is a big deal; so make it a big deal.

     

    Husbands, lead the way by talking with your wife about the best way to celebrate this year’s anniversary. Perhaps you prearrange your favorite babysitter and work some extra hours so your wife is secure with the children’s caregiver and at peace with the extra expenditures. If it is important, you will make it a priority that might even require a project plan. Give her a day at the spa in preparation for the second best celebration of the year.

     

    The best celebration of the year is your union with Christ. Your relationship with Jesus is meant to be a mirror of your marriage. Both are by grace through faith. They both require focused attention and going deeper with each another; so hilariously celebrate your marriage anniversary. Enjoy the blessings of being together over time.  It is something to be proud of, because God says marriage is meant to last a lifetime.

     

    “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth” (Malachi 2:15).

     

    Prayer: How can I honor God and my spouse and have fun on our wedding anniversary?

     

    Related Readings: Song of Songs 2:1–17; Romans 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:2–3; Hebrews 13:4

    Post/Tweet: Make sure you do not over save for retirement and miss enjoying your marriage adventure now. #marriage

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs, Wedding

  • Kind to the Needy

    Posted on February 15, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy. Proverbs 14:21

     

    The needy have unmet needs that cripple their ability to live life to its fullest. It may be the need for food, clothing, or a place to live. They may need a job, a car, or an opportunity to get ahead. The needy may be lost in their sins without Christ, which is the greatest of needs. Wherever their point of need lies is our obligation to kindly care for them. “Give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21).

     

    Evidence of our following Jesus is shown by our caring concern for the poor. Our kindness may require us to give up something so that another can gain something. Perhaps there is a fun trip you give up so a poor person can enjoy food for a month. What financial expenditure can you put on pause? Do you know someone who could benefit from a car repair or a mortgage payment? Sacrifice solicits most when the need of others is highest.

     

    “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31).

     

    Furthermore, the best motivation for reaching out is kindness of heart, not guilt of mind. It is a kind word that lifts another person’s spirit. It is a generous gratuity to a diligent server. It is a gentle response to a demanding spirit. The needy are all around us, especially during economic downturns. Maybe there is a neighbor who is out of work whom you can invite into your home for dinner and  encouragement. Kindness is a culprit of compassion and care.

     

    Lastly, look out for the needy because of the Lord’s great love toward you. Kindness asks, “Where would I be without God’s grace? Where in my life can I extend His grace, love, and mercy?” Blessings await those who give and receive kindness. We are all needy, some more than others, but our provider is the same—Jesus Christ.

     

    “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22).

     

    Prayer: Who in my life is in need whom I can show kindness to in Jesus’ name?

     

    Related Readings: Deuteronomy 15:4; Isaiah 58:7–12; Luke 6:30–36; 1 John 3:17–22

    Post/Tweet today: Our kindness may require us to give up something so that another can gain something. #kindness

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs

  • Collateral Damage

    Posted on February 15, 2013 by Suzie Eller

    Suzie Eller

    "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 (ESV)

    My house has a crack. Just over the doorframe, creeping to the ceiling. It catches my eye every time I sit on my couch in my living rom. My house isn't that old, so when I asked how this happened, the answer was, "collateral damage."

    Collateral damage is defined as damage to things that are incidental to the intended target. Who knew that the sunny rays outside could fracture the wall of my nicely air conditioned home? But it happened.

    Last year we had one of the hottest summers on record and the parched ground around the foundation strained the frame, which put pressure on the walls, and eventually a crack appeared.

    Collateral damage can also take place within our family when we've been hurt by something or someone else, no matter how long ago.

    Because a parent made you feel unworthy of love, you lash out when your child doesn't eat the meal you lovingly prepared.

    Because your trust was shattered by another, your loyal husband pays the price as his faithfulness is questioned again and again.

    Because of negative words poured over your tender heart, you struggle to believe your value to God.

    Collateral damage. All of it.

    Years ago I struggled with collateral damage. Because of my own past hurts, sometimes I lashed out, or withdrew from a loved one. Sometimes I worked way too hard to be accepted by a God who loved me right where I was.

    Psalm 147:3 promises God can fix these broken parts. As He began to heal my heart, He showed me the cracks weren't the source of the problem. My behavior, my inadequacies, even my struggle to feel grace ... these were superficial issues.

    The foundational issue was there from the time when a little girl tried hard to stay out of trouble, to make peace, and yet nothing I did worked. So I learned how to hide, how to defend myself, and a few other unhealthy behaviors along the way. Do you relate?

    By taking my eyes off the cracks and opening my heart to God, the original source of damage was in plain sight ... where it could be addressed and healed. The more I soaked those wounds in God's truth, the more I began to recognize the cracks and see them in an entirely different Light. The more He healed me.

    The fact that a child didn't eat a meal so lovingly prepared has nothing to do with a woman's value; it's just one of the many mom-things we get to tackle.

    The fact that your trust was shattered by another just makes the gift of a loyal husband that much more sweet.

    The fact that negative words were poured over your tender heart means the thousands of words etched in Scripture are that much more powerful because they redefine you, as seen and loved by your Heavenly Father.

    The crack in my living room is slated to be fixed. And next summer I'll be sure to water my foundation in the fierce heat. But as for me, my heart is bound and secure, and that foundation has become a source of collateral gifts in my marriage, with my children and grandbabies, and in my relationship with my God.

    Dear Jesus, before today I pointed out the cracks, those superficial acts and behaviors that I've tried to patch over. But today I hold up my heart. You see the foundation of my brokenness. Thank You for binding up my wounds, for healing, and for my new journey to wholeness. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

     

    Reflect and Respond:
    If you take your eyes off the cracks, what do you see?

    Invite God into those broken places. He's been waiting to fix the foundation of your heart for a long time.

    Power Verses:
    Proverbs 4:20-22, "My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm

  • Date Weekly

    Posted on February 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Song of Songs 2:3

    Couples who calendar weekly dates subscribe to not taking themselves and life too serious. A night of romance and fun is a sure fire way to keep the flames of marriage burning brightly. Work and children are put on pause during this window of intimacy, so emotions can lovingly engage. A date is meant to be free from distractions (no electronics) and mental clutter. Indeed, weekly dates recalibrate a husband and wife’s relationship around love and laughter.

    When you sit in the shade of your spouse’s tree of trust, you find acceptance and affirmation. No one can give you more meaningful approval than your best friend. If he or she seeks approval elsewhere, you are in danger of emotional estrangement. Yes, dating gives you an excuse to pursue your precious marriage partner with romantic anticipation. You clean up and dress up just for them. Perhaps you take turns planning the date experience, so it stays fresh and exciting.

    Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women. Song of Songs 2:2

    Date night can require a financial commitment, so budget accordingly. There is a cost, but you can’t afford not to invest in your most important relationship. It’s less expensivethan a counselor or divorce. Be creative: a coffee shop, bookstore, walk in the park or park the car and quietly watch a sunset. Use date night as an excuse to buy new shoes or get a haircut. Do something special just for your special friend. Conversation and connection can lead to physical intimacy.

     

    Lastly use your weekly time together to reminisce about fun times from the past. Ask questions like: What was your favorite trip we had together? What getaway would you like to do together going forward? What past answered prayers are you grateful to God for answering? Your weekly date night is a remedy for getting stuck in the crazy cycle of no conversation and growing apart. Focused time with your sweetheart honors them and honors the Lord. Plan to date weekly.

     

    Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me. Song of Songs 2:13

    Prayer: Heavenly Father give us conviction and creativity to calendar a weekly date night.

     

    Related Readings: Song of Songs 1:4; 1 Samuel 1:19; 1 Corinthians 7:3; 1 Peter 3:7

     

    Post/Tweet today: Couples who calendar weekly dates subscribe to not taking themselves and life too serious. #datenight

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Dating, Song of Solomon

  • "Just Because"

    Posted on February 14, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions." 1 John 3:18 (NLT)

     

    Grace looked up from the old, worn photo album to see Richard the postman making his way through the cold to her door. What a sweet young man, she thought.

    Grace loved her walks to the mailbox in late spring and through the summer, but the cold winter air seemed to whip through her thin skin. Though in her heart she still felt like a young, energetic girl, her age was evident to her. Aches and pains made her careful and slow. As the air turned cooler, Richard made it a habit to deliver Grace's mail to her door.

    Today was an especially lonely day for Grace. It was the seventeenth. No one but her Jim would have known what a special day this was. It wasn't her birthday or their anniversary. For forty-two years the seventeenth of every month was their unique day, as Jim would say, just because.

    Though they never were rich with money, they were determined to be rich with love. For this reason, on the seventeenth Jim always found some special way to say it and live out 1 John 3:18, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions."

    Over the years the gifts had been as simple as a scribbled note or as elaborate as a bouquet of store-bought flowers. But the message was always the same: "Just because." Once he'd secretly taken Grace's wedding band from her jewelry box and had it engraved with their special saying.

    She found such comfort, confidence, and connection in those two simple words. To Grace it was more than a gesture of love, it was an outward symbol of much more.

    When she'd gotten sick and couldn't keep up with the house, it meant I love you for who you are not what you do. When they had an argument, it meant even when we don't see eye-to-eye I love you still. When she started aging, it meant yours is a timeless beauty. Though Jim had never been a man of many words, his just because was perfect and poetic to Grace.

    Jim had passed away three weeks ago. It wasn't a sudden death; they both had known his end was near. They'd had a sweet time of reminiscing, hugging, crying, and then as quickly as he came into her life all those years ago, he was gone. She missed him terribly but had peace.

    They'd had a wonderful life and left nothing unsaid. Now Grace loved flipping through their old photo albums savoring pictures, but even more so she loved touching all the mementos from over the years written in his masculine handwriting.

    Though she'd seen the postman coming, the doorbell startled Grace. Carefully, she made her way to the door. She graciously took the few letters he handed her and apologized for not having cookies. Maybe tomorrow. She then walked slowly to the kitchen to open her mail. A bill, another sympathy card, and something that made her heart jump and melt all at the same time.

    Her eyes filled with tears and her hand trembled as she slid her finger underneath the envelope's back flap. It was a simple letter as they always were, delivered on the seventeenth as they always had been. Before his death, Jim had arranged for Richard to make one last special delivery. "Not even death shall stop my heart. Just because, Jim."

    Sometimes a short story illustrates a point better than pages of instruction on how to have the perfect marriage. This kind of love — not flashy but forever; not commercial but committed — is truly honoring to the Lord and to your spouse.

    I pray this story settles into your heart. That it reveals something to you about the heart of your loved one. Because even the smallest things can bring the greatest joys.

    Dear Lord, I am so thankful for who You are – the Great Lover of our souls. Cultivate in me a heart of generosity and intentionality so Your love can shine through me into my relationships. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    For ideas and wisdom on how to have "Just Because" days, pick up a copy of Lysa TerKeurst's Capture His Heart and Capture Her Heart for you and your husband.

    Reflect and Respond:
    What relationship is the Lord calling you to be intentional with?

    Think of how you could make that person feel truly special. Then, write five things that you could do to help foster this relationship.

    Power Verse:
    1 John 4:7, "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 1 John

  • Dialogue Daily

    Posted on February 13, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

    Busyness is the uncaring culprit of inconsistent communication in marriage. Couples exhausted from a calendar of frantic activity have no emotional energy at the end of the day to engage in meaningful conversation. Like two sleepy ships they pass through the night unaware of the other’s tattered soul. However, hearts that dialogue daily are intentional with intimacy. It may be only 30 minutes of focused conversation after dinner, but wise couples stay verbally connected.

    Often woman starve for words and men lack language. So husbands, make sure you unselfishly express yourself to your sweetheart. Ask the Lord to give your conversation clarity, compassion and depth. And wives, be patient with your man who wants to share his heart, but his speech needs a safe environment for expression. Your respect and approval frees him up to speak freely. Daily dialogue gives couples emotional connection that facilitates trust, security and love.

    Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

    Make sure your children know your priority of communication as a married couple. Tell your little ones that mom and dad need to grow their friendship with each other, so they can become better parents. Teach your children to respect the space you need as husband and wife to grow a healthy home. Next to salvation in Jesus, the best gift you can give your son and daughter is a maturing marriage. Hence, growing relationships require regular doses of meaningful discussion.

     

    Have heart-to-hearts and your heart will grow fonder and your faith will grow fresher. When you talk with each other make sure you talk together to your h

    Heavenly Father. Communication with Christ as a couple draws you closer to Him and to each other. Words birthed out of prayer build up and bring great joy. Love is the language you employ to engage each other’s heart, mind and soul. Indeed, dialogue daily and like dollar cost averaging, your relational equity will compound.

     

    How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray for an open, loving heart that shares daily with my spouse.

     

    Related Readings: Proverbs 22:11; Malachi 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:1; Ephesians 4:15

     

    Post/Tweet today: Daily dialogue gives couples emotional connection that facilitates trust, security and love. #marriage

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Proverbs

  • The Day I Almost Quit

    Posted on February 13, 2013 by Renee Swope

    Renee Swope

    "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great." Psalm 18:35 (NIV 1984)

    I love my kids, but I haven't always liked being a mom.

    Once my boys became toddlers who wouldn't listen to me or obey consistently, I kind of panicked. Other moms appeared to know what they were doing, and I wondered why I couldn't get it right with my kids.

    Their children seemed to listen when told no. Why wouldn't my child stay in the cart at the grocery store or stop begging me when I told him we could not buy everything his little hand could touch? How come no one told me being a mom would be so hard?

    I felt like such a failure. Almost every day I compared how I felt on the inside to how other moms looked on the outside.

    I held up my feelings of inadequacy and thoughts of insecurity in contrast to moms who dressed their children in matching outfits and adorned themselves with attitudes of grace and wisdom. How in the world did they pull it off with a smile? I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed and get us out the door before lunch.

    I just wanted to quit. One day I came home from running too many errands with two very tired, fussy kids. When I put them down for an early nap, I started looking for pink construction paper to write "I QUIT" on it so I could turn in my "pink slip" to my husband when he came home from work.

    It was just too hard, and I was tired of thinking I would never be "good enough" as a mom.

    I needed a new place to start. I started becoming the mom God created me to be, the day I was ready to quit. That afternoon I fell on my knees before God and choked out the words, "I can't do this."

    In that place of surrender, His peace came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It was as if God bent down and spoke to my heart: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can't do this. But with My promises, My presence and My power — all things are possible. I will help you become a great mom.

    Looking back on that day, I'm reminded of our key verse in Psalm 19:35, "You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great."

    When we acknowledge that on our own we are a mess, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down to show us that with His grace, wisdom and guidance, we can become the mom He is calling us to be, the mom our kids need us to be, and the mom we want to be!

    Dear Lord, I need Your shield of victory to protect me from discouragement. Please extend Your right hand to sustain me; Your grace to strengthen me; and Your wisdom to lead me. Today, I want to find a new starting place with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write a letter, telling God how you feel. Be honest and open. Sharing your heart and thoughts with Him is the first step toward freedom and hope.

    As you read today's devotion, what struggles are similar to yours as a mom? Have you ever wanted to quit? What got you to that hard place and what do you need to do to rely on God's perspective instead of your own?

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 113:5-7, "Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap." (NIV 1984)

    © 2013 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Psalm

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