Respect dare series – day 40 – Press in

Luke 4:5-8

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”

Ultimately, this dare is not about honouring Glenn as much as it is about honouring God through my marriage. As I finish up the blogging, I am reminded that God is my source. In Him, all things are possible. In Him, respect is possible. In Him, perfect love is possible. I cannot succeed in honouring Glenn everyday without the Spirit’s help.  I also cannot honour Glenn above God. It is in God that I trust. He is the One I must turn to at the start of each day, and the One whose wisdom I must seek continually.

My action for today: Put God first. Press into the Word. Seek His wisdom. Listen to the Spirit’s whispering.

This is the last day of the dare blog, but not of the dare. This dare must continue every day of my marriage. I choose to walk in respect and love towards Glenn.

My prayer for today:  Father, be my first love. Be my first desire. Be the One I seek in all things. Keep me hungry for you and thirsty for your ways. From this place, let me love my husband and walk in respect an d honour of him. In Christ’s name, Amen.

In covenant with God and each other

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Respect dare series – day 39 – Christianese

Psalm 4:2b-5

How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah. But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.

I need to ban Christianese from my relationship with Glenn! There are times when we use “Christian language” as an excuse to be mean to each other, or to win an argument. Saying something like: “Why don’t you go and pray about it!” certainly isn’t a nice way to end an argument. And phrases like: “I don’t have grace/patience for this today” is an excuse to put off godliness in preference for selfishness. Such words do not honour God. They are vain and unloving.

Instead, when we are angry, tired, grumpy, frustrated, hurt, etc we are to call to the Lord, seek Him silently alone, and listen. He is our help in trying circumstances, and tiring seasons. He strengthens us to choose the path of righteousness. We have been freed from sin and have come into such beautiful freedom to walk uprightly, but it remains a choice that we must make every day. Not allowing ourselves to use glossy, but selfish, words is part of the choice.

My action for today: Watch my words. Seek God first when angry, tired, grumpy, frustrated, hurt, etc. Do not use pretty words as an excuse to be selfish, impatient, or mean.

My prayer for today:  Father, we walk in your freedom. Thank you for releasing us from captivity to sin. Let us not continue in sin, and especially do not let us use our faith to gloss over our sins. Encourage us forward in love, truth, and grace for each other, our family, and those around us. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Watch our words!

Respect dare series – day 38 – Accept it

Song of Songs 1:6

Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!

Song of Songs 2:2-3

He: As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.

She: As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

It is beautiful to be redefined by Glenn’s love and praise, and redefine how he views himself through my love and praise. The example above in Song of Songs is mainly referencing the physical, but it doesn’t have to be. It could be regarding our talents, receipt of someone’s time, or accepting gifts.

For example, Glenn tried to buy me a few small cacti plants the other day to make me smile. I loved the gesture, but I turned him down. Why? I didn’t feel I “needed” them. So instead of accepting his love, I turned it away. Silly girl! God told me off later :p Accepting his love through gifts is an area I need to grow in.

My action for today: Allow Glenn to spoil me through gifts. Yes, we have to be responsible with our finances, but God also asks us (a) to live generously, which I prevented Glenn from doing the other day, and (b) Jesus, himself, allowed the disciples to feast with the Bridegroom and allowed a woman to anoint His feet with expensive perfume in a gesture of love.

My prayer for today:  Again I am reminded that you are truly the Giver of Good Gifts! You gave me an amazing husband who is building me up in his love and giving. Help me to accept his love, praise, and gestures of romance. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Accept love gifts

 

Respect dare series – day 37 – Clean slate

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 18:21-22

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

These verses are vital to remember in marriage. I don’t believe there is a marriage that has seen no pain and hurt inflicted, intentional or otherwise. If we don’t walk in daily forgiveness of each other we can let the hurts and perceived injustices mount and mount and mount until we cannot see past them. Christ commanded us to forgive. It is not a choice.      

My action for today: Clean the slate. Wipe away the tally. Hold no grudges and bear no unforgiveness.

My prayer for today:  Lord, I rejoice in your salvation. Thank you for your great love. Thank you that I am forgiven. Help me to extend this same forgiveness to Glenn each and every day. Let me bear no record of wrong in our marriage. Let my words and actions reflect this forgiveness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I love that Glenn washed my feet on our wedding day. It was like he was washing away all the past hurts so we could enter our marriage with clean slates and servant hearts.

Respect dare series – day 36 – Keep the romance

Song of Songs 2:3-5

She: As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men. With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apples, for I am sick with love.

I read a really good article on romance once. It made the point that romance looks different for every individual and couple. For example, I’m not a “wine me and dine me” woman; I love cooking and rarely feel inclined to eat out. I also don’t really get a buzz when Glenn buys me cut flowers; my practical side would rather a potted plant I can put in our garden! But I know other women love being taken out or brought flowers. Some women would hate the idea of a hike with a picnic; for me, that’s the epitome of romance.

But whatever your preference, no one can read Song of Songs and not feel the love of the lovers. No one can miss their infatuation. No one can miss the delight they take in each other. They are sexually attracted to each other, they love each other’s company, they are consumed with loving each other. They delight in one another. I don’t want to lose this with Glenn. I want to keep hold of this love, the infatuation, the romance.

Through the daily grind, through caring for our child, through ministering together – through all seasons and events, I want to make time for the romance. It is so important that God devoted a whole book in His Word to it!

My action for today: Massages and a beach walk. Followed by a home cooked meal. Ahhh.

My prayer for today:  You are truly the Giver of Good Gifts! Thank you, Father, for the gift of romance. Thank you for the love between man and wife. Thank you that we can take such joy and happiness from each other. Help us to make time for the romance. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Capturing the romance

Respect dare series – day 35 – Do not deprive one another

1 Corinthians 7:1-5

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

I know I’ve addressed this, but after some recent discussions I felt it needs a second showing because it is just so important.

S.E.X.

It’s needed in marriage. It’s beyond important – it’s critical for a healthy marriage! And, no, once a week is not enough, or once a month, and especially not once a year! I was horrified to hear that women really don’t realise that men need it more frequently than this. Biologically, a married man, having sex regularly, will build up sperm needing to be released within 2-4 days. This is our challenge as wives – to meet the needs of our husbands in this area.

I love that the Bible talks about these things and so we need to talk about it, too. If you want a good starting point for how the differences of men and women can come together beautiful in marriage I recommend: “Laugh your way to a better marriage” with Mark Gungor. Glenn enjoyed it, which is saying something for a relationship seminar!

My action for today: (And the next week). Re-watch “Laugh your way to a better marriage” and follow Paul’s commands.

My prayer for today: Thank you, loving Father, for creating something as beautiful and intimate as sex. Thank you that we can enjoy it most in the intimacy and protection of a safe marriage. Help me to remember its importance and never deprive Glenn of it. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Regular sexual intimacy is vital for a healthy marriage – the Bible tells us so!

Respect dare series – day 34 – Build Kingdom together

Matthew 25:34-40

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Galatians 2:10

Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

I think it is so important in marriage to have similar, if not the same, goals. And as believers this centres in our faith. For this reason, I am excited about how God is building Glenn and I more and more together in vision. We always theorised wanting to follow God radically, but now we are truly seeking to start living it. One of the chief commands we see in the Bible – both Old and New Testament – is to care for the poor and lowly. Glenn and I are in a place and time where God is sending us out to just this group of people in our area.

My action for today: Minister together amongst the poor, taking baby with us – we value family ministering together and want our children to grow up equally comfortable with poor, rich, black, white, Australian, South African, clean, dirty – aka, equally comfortable with everyone!

My prayer for today: Keep drawing our heart more and more into you, Lord. Work in us true compassion. Give us your heart for the poor, the least, the abandoned, the hungry, the lonely and the hurting. Let us be your hands and feet in this world. Send us out in the power of your love, counting the cost of staying at home too great! In Christ’s name, Amen.

Remember the poor