I did a Periscope Broadcast today. I prayed for new homeschool families and prospective homeschool families. I also prayed for those who are having a hard time getting back into the groove of learning after the holidays – students and moms!
Watch this Periscope broadcast and join me in praying for our families!
Sometimes life gets hard. And having a good, strong marriage can help you through the hard times. At other times, it seems that your marriage is what is making life so hard.
So what do you do when it seems like life and marriage aren’t turning out the way you expected it to despite your best efforts?
Here are some things you can do to help improve your attitudes and make life more pleasant for yourself, for your husband and for your whole family:
- Adjust your expectations.
- Accept that some things about your mate may never change.
- Take on the leadership role (e.g. spiritual leader) if you have to even if you wish your husband would take it on.
- Encourage your husband to read the same books about marriage, relationships, parenting, family, etc. that you are reading so that the two of you are on the same page. Pun intended.
- Talk to your husband about how you are feeling in a non-threatening, non-accusing way.
- Pray for God to help you to see your husband the way He sees him. And love him the way God does.
Please watch the scope I did about this topic here:
Do you find yourself longing for more in the life of your family? More unity? More warmth? More peace? More of God?
If you build it they will come. Hee hee. Just kidding.
Actually, maybe I’m not.
We Christian mothers have one overriding desire. We want our family to be a godly family. But how can we go about building such a family? It’s more than a dream. We can make this a reality.
We need to lay a foundation for this godly family that we desire with all of our hearts. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Is this the declaration that you make in your heart?
If so, start here: Build a close, intimate relationship with God yourself. This involves more than just the spiritual disciplines that you may be familiar with, like reading your Bible and praying so that you can check these off of your to-do list. I’m talking about a relationship with God that is as real, as tangible as your relationship with your husband or your best friend. You need to get to know God. You need to go deep with him. Learn to hear His voice. When you pray, don’t just talk to Him. Listen for what He might be saying to you. This may take some time. And some effort. If you have never done this before and you’re not sure how to go about it, try this. Tell God that you love Him, and then pause and just listen to your spirit. You will probably hear a voice inside of you responding in kind. That is the voice of your Beloved telling you that He loves you, too.
Develop and cultivate a deep awe and reverence for God. Worship Him from the depths of your being. Imagine Him seated on the throne of the whole universe. Picture yourself bowing there before Him. Remind yourself of His goodness to you. WORSHIP Him in spirit and truth. Thank Him for His blessings. Let your heart fall in love with Him. Picture Him in all His majesty and splendor looking on you with eyes full of love, smiling on you as a good father smiles on his little girl that he delights in.
You have to make time for this and really do it. Sometimes you will hear the Lord call you away from something else to spend time with Him. When He does, make sure you do! You need it! You won’t be sorry. On the contrary, you will be very glad that you did. Spending time in His presence builds you up.
The second phase of this building project is to love your husband and honor him. On days when he walks in the door and rushes over to you and gives you a long kiss that melts you and makes you feel like the most loved and beautiful woman, the center of his universe. And on those other days when he doesn’t notice that you’re there. Or worse he complains about everything in the universe and asks what you did all day, why is the house a wreck, and what’s for supper. Even when you feel like screaming at him, telling him what an insensitive brute he is, how hard you’ve worked all day taking care of HIS kids, and how he has ruined the loving welcome you had planned for him by his rotten attitude. Yes, even on those days, honor and love him. I didn’t say this was going to be easy. Pray down blessings on his head. Not, “Lord, get him!”
His biggest need and desire is to be respected. Show your love for him by treating him with respect even when he deserves all the wrath you have stored up from all the times he hurt your feelings, ignored you, took you for granted, overlooked all of your hard work, and broke your heart. By praying blessings on him and treating him lovingly, you are giving God room to deal with him. Do your part with all your heart. Build him up. Treat him better than he deserves. Your relationship with him is the bedrock of this family you’re building. Your relationship with God is the foundation and cornerstone, but your house won’t stand if your relationship with your husband is filled with anger and resentment. Also remember that whatever happens to him happens to you. If you want to live a blessed life, you should desire that he be blessed and then do whatever you can to help make that happen.
You are a wise woman building your house. Not a foolish woman tearing it down with your own hands. Or your mouth.
Now on to the next phase. Love your kids in such a way that they feel loved. Not like they are an obligation or a burden or a pest. Your children need loving, patient discipline and instruction. They also need to know that they are greatly loved and highly valued. You love them more than anybody else in the whole world. Make sure they feel that. Show them affection and kindness in the middle of the messes and frustration that define toddler. Love those kids that seem like they’re only here to give you more work to do and a bad attitude. Love them as they grow up and start thinking they know more than you do and think they learned it on their own without any help from you. Show them you love them by listening to them, responding to them, treating them with dignity and respect, not like they are your property only here to carry out your wishes. Lead them to Jesus by modeling the same attitude he had toward children. Let the children come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Keep at the forefront of your mind that childlikeness is good, and maybe you need to take some lessons from them!
Listen to those who inspire you to grow spiritually. If you can find a group of Christians that gathers regularly and love the Lord and their only purpose is to know Jesus and make Him known, then you are truly blessed. If they have good teachers and prophetic teaching and ministry, even better. If they follow the first two commandments – to love God and to love people – then you have found a gold mine.
We find good Spirit-filled teachers and worship leaders online and listen to them together and individually. We read the Bible together as a family and individually. I would encourage couples to pray together. We pray for our kids and just doing that takes us quite a while!
Some of my favorite teachers are Lance Wallnau, Todd White (lots of videos on YouTube), Rick Joyner, and Kim Clement. I have recently started listening to Shawn Bolz, who teaches a lot about giving words of knowledge. One of the best things I do for myself spiritually is worshiping the Lord with good worship music. I love to worship with Bethel Music. They have a lot of great worship leaders. I especially like to listen to Steffany Gretzinger, Amanda Cook, Kim Walker-Smith, and Jenn Johnson. I get touched and ushered into the throne room while worshiping with Cory Asbury, Matt Gilman, and Kari Jobe. I play videos on YouTube and worship along with them.
Love God’s word. Use examples in everyday life. Let it flow naturally in your conversations with your children. In situations that come up, especially relationship challenges, ask yourself and your children, “What does the Bible say about this?”. When the little ones argue about a toy and one snatches it away from the other and then they start chasing and hitting, kicking, and crying, sit with them and talk calmly with them about how Jesus wants them to handle situations like that. Ask them what the Bible says. We are to love each other, be kind to each other and put the other person’s happiness before our own. We are to do everything out of love for the other person. There are so many verses about walking in love and dying to yourself. Read a verse to them and remind them that they want to please Jesus. Live what you read about in the Word of God. Speak the Word all the time. Stay in the Word and ask the Holy Spirit what He wants you to read and meditate on for that day. Keep meditating and thinking about what you’ve read throughout the day. Tell your kids about what the Lord is saying to you right now and what you are reading. Ask them what the Lord is saying to them. Ask them if they have had any dreams or any specific words that the Lord is saying to them.
Look for analogies in nature. You can teach the way Jesus did! He told stories about farming: sowing and reaping, seed time and harvest, and looking for signs in nature of the seasons and what is coming next. He used poetic words like the trees clapping their hands, the seas roaring, the mountains shaking, the animals frolicking with joy and many other similes and metaphors, such as the heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Point out how God made intricate, delicate flowers for us to enjoy and marked many animals and plants with beautiful designs. Remark to your children about how our bodies are so amazing and self-healing because of the way God made them. Notice and call attention to little ordinary things that are marks of a loving Creator who made all things good.
Apply the parables of Jesus to daily life. Make connections between what is happening in your life and the life of your family with the parables that Jesus told. If someone needs help, if you are able to help them, you should, just like the Good Samaritan. If someone doesn’t want to forgive, there are many parables about the power of forgiveness, like The Prodigal Son and The Unmerciful Servant, and Jesus spoke about it in The Lord’s Prayer. I like to let life present the problem and become a teachable moment that you can use to apply the spiritual principle or story from the Bible.
Pray together. Our family tries to do this on a regular basis. We make sure that we all gather at least once a week. The goal is to do it every evening, but it doesn’t happen when life gets too busy. Sometimes we have to just go ahead and pray with whoever happens to be home. Try to find out what works best for your family as far as time and method. We have a pattern now of saying a blessing over the new day, putting our spiritual armor on and saying The Lord’s Prayer in unison. Then we take turns praying. We have at least 4 people pray each time. You can experiment with different methods and times and see what works best for your family.
Worship together. When children are younger, listen to worship songs for children. Or let them hear what you are listening to, and they might like some of those songs, too. Then play often the songs they like throughout the day.
Minister to others in your home. Demonstrate to your children hospitality and helping others in need. Invite people to eat with you. Teach them how to be good hosts when someone comes to visit. Pray for friends when they come over. Lay hands on them and pray if the situation warrants it.
Give to those in need. Model generosity to your children. And don’t forget to tie it to the Word of God: Give and it shall be given unto you. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to give to the poor and to orphans and widows and ministries that you feel are really doing a great work in the earth. Make sure your kids know that you are giving in obedience to what God has told us to do and because you have compassion in your heart. Let them experience the joy of giving themselves. Don’t hinder them when they want to give of their own money or possessions. Encourage a giving heart. I believe that is extremely precious to God and blesses His heart. Help others all around you and give any time you feel prompted by the Holy Spirit. Don’t hold back. God will bless you when you bless others.
Relationships take a lot of work. More work than many people think. More work than many are willing to invest.
Whether it be the relationship between a husband and wife, mother and daughter, father and son, or any other combination you can permutate, there are dynamics, personalities, human foibles, differing viewpoints and mindsets that can make it difficult or impossible for some people to relate well to each other.
Misunderstandings are all too prevalent.
In his book, “Keep Your Love On”, Danny Silk identifies many of the dynamics that cause relationship problems.
With chapters like:
Powerful People, Powerful Relationships
Turn Your Love On
The Battle Between Fear and Love
Building Healthy Relationships
Communication: Exchanging the Truth Inside
Communicating in Conflict
Did You Learn to Love?
plus many more
You will learn about connection, communication and boundaries.
One thing we have to realize is that the goal of a relationship is either connection or disconnection.
We get to decide a lot of things. You’ve probably heard it said that love is a decision. We must practice unconditional acceptance and unconditional love. We learn not to control the other person while at the same time, we don’t accept their negative behavior.
We tell them, “No matter what you do, I am going to pursue the goal of connection with you.”
Danny observes that people who feel powerless will try to gain power by manipulating or controlling those around them.
All through the book, he presents scenarios that happen as people attempt to get their needs met by others instead of keeping the attitude that they should be powerful people who are here to help others. “A powerful person’s choice to love will stand no matter what the other person says or does.”
Another principle we all need to internalize is that the purpose of communication is to understand the other, not convince the other to agree with you.
These principles help us to realize that we are not at odds with each other, but we are on the same team.
1. The goal of a relationship is connection.
2. The purpose of communication is to understand each other, not convince the other to agree with us.
Danny has this to say about setting Boundaries:
“If you don’t prioritize your relationship with God, then your God Spot will end up with a human being in it.”
“Keeping God in your God Spot keeps you connected to the Holy Spirit’s incredible resources of wisdom and understanding to define your relational priorities and boundaries. He’s going to show you who you’re supposed to be, with whom you are supposed to be connecting, and how to build and protect those connections. He’s also the Spirit of power, love and self-control who enables you to follow through on your “yes” to these relationships.”
I have been putting many of these principles into practice since reading this book. I am reading it again to get it down deeper into my heart.
I feel that it has really helped me to improve my relationship and communication skills.
I feel so strongly about it that I have bought three more copies of this book, and I want to give these away to three of my readers. This giveaway will end November 28, 2014, the day after Thanksgiving.
How to win the giveaway:
Just leave a comment answering this question:
1. How do you keep your love light burning when your spouse is acting unloving?
Or this question:
2. Do you think a wife should confront her husband when his behavior is hurting his relationships?
I will read the comments, but I will just number the comments and choose a random number to give the books to. Please leave your email address so I can get a hold of the winners.
I wrote a similar post about marriage here based on things I gleaned from this book, KYLO.
Please read this post to get some more insights into ways to improve your marriage relationship.
The Giveaway is now closed. The winners are Nikki Landis and Kathleen Carroll! Congratulations to the winners. I pray that their lives and relationships will be extremely blessed by the principles in this book. I know that I have been changed by reading it.
I linked this post with the Wise Woman Builds Her Home link-up