My Husband is not Yours to Take

marriage meme

I have seen this meme a few times on Facebook and even shared it before. I am pretty sure I laughed the first time I read it and thought it was a little obvious, but the more I see it, the more it really sticks with me. This should not even be an issue, but sadly, it is.

It also goes both ways. God will not send you someone else’s wife either. I think instead of bringing God into the conversation, you should just say that no matter what anybody else says, you are going to get what you want. You want to marry that person and it doesn’t matter if they are currently married. Until that divorce decree is legal, that man or woman is still legally married. Quit bringing the Lord into your selfish desires. You may think you deserve this person as a gift, but do you realize that you are only saying their current spouse doesn’t deserve them and you do? God isn’t saying, “Boy, Trista sure has screwed up in her marriage, time to send another woman Chuck’s way!” Not my God!

Yes God wants to bless us. He loves us and wants the best for us, but He will not go against His word. The church needs to respect the marriage vows first. We can’t expect the world to take us seriously when we do stuff like this!

Even if a man or woman has recently become divorced, let them grieve the loss, because it is a loss. Let God work in their life and let them find healing. It takes two people to make a marriage work or not work. No one person is ever to take the total blame for the marriage coming apart.

Women, respect your husbands and do it unconditionally. Men, love your wives as Christ loves the church. As Christians, we need to honor our spouses and our vows. The world is not going to do it for us. We need to lead the way. We need to be the light for the world to see. Our lives need to be a witness to the world and this sort of behavior is selfish and ungodly. Forgive us Lord!

 

Forgiveness When We Don’t Deserve It

God is Love. I guess that is where He is continually leading me lately; teaching me about love. Love is something I fail daily. God helps us with what love is in 1 Corinthians 13.

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whetherthere are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A couple of years ago I felt like I was supposed to write a song to this scripture and I began, but it is one of those songs that I just can’t seem to finish. I can’t find an appropriate ending. I still sing it in my room, and every time it truly makes the words come alive. I find myself in tears at my failures to show love. God shows me love and forgiveness and grace and mercy on a daily basis, yet I still get angry, and envious, etc etc. When my husband and I fight, I bring up old things that he has done and I have supposedly given forgiveness for. I wonder how God can forgive me so quickly when all I have to do is ask. Clearly repentance is turning away from that sin, but seriously, He forgives us and doesn’t even remember it. I find myself fuming at times even after I grant forgiveness. I am such a justice personality. I see things as just or unjust. I see the same thing somewhat in my sons and I hope it doesn’t trip them up at times. First I have to trust God because God is a just God. There are so many promises in His word about justice, so why do I feel the need to control everything!? Perhaps that is where the problem lies. I feel out of control. I feel like I have to punish my husband when we fight because I am feeling out of control, or because I don’t think he was ‘punished’ enough. That is not my job. My job is to love and respect my husband. When I don’t, I am being disobedient to God. When God forgives me, it isn’t because I deserve it. I don’t deserve it; none of us do. God forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. I should forgive my husband perhaps not because he deserves it, but just because I love him and the Love of God that is in me, is now shining through.

I need to remember this daily, probably every hour of every day. It isn’t about what people deserve, it is about the love of God. God loves us not because we deserve it. He loves us because that is who He is. He forgives us not because we deserve it. He forgives us because He loves us and that is who He is. When you really think about love, it is truly amazing!

‘Til Death

I love being married. It can be very difficult, yet very rewarding. My husband and I are opposite in so many ways it can be a challenge for each of us. One thing we are not opposite in is our belief in marriage. Marriage between one man and one woman; as God intended. We are both saddened by the constant news about divorce and how rampant it is; even in our own families. We believe that divorce is not an option. We hear people talk about how the Bible tells us the reasons that we can get divorced. The Bible talks about how people’s hearts were hardened so they got divorced. The Bible is not a how to get divorced handbook. ‘Til death do us part is a covenant between you, your spouse, and God. To me, ’til death is pretty cut and dried. We are married until death parts us.

I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy. I believe God’s grace covers a multitude of sins, including divorce. He loves us no matter what; no matter how good we are; no matter how bad we are. He loves us…plain and simple. I love my husband; no matter how good he is, no matter how bad he is. I love him. He loves me; no matter how good I am, no matter how bad I am. Love is not an emotion. Love is not that high you get in a new relationship. Love is commitment. God is love. God hates divorce. Divorce is selfish. I know these are probably not popular words, but as Christians, followers of Christ, we seemed to have merged the path less traveled to the widest path available. We make excuses why we should be allowed to divorce our spouse. Some of these excuses are completely legitimate….as to why we should get into counseling.

People don’t just fall out of love with each other. They make choices to stop loving and remaining committed to each other. Instead of finding excuses where you can get a divorce, find excuses on why you should stay committed to each other. Start with your vows. Those are powerful words; in sickness and health, rich or poor, ’til death do us part…etc etc. Instead of naming all the reasons why your spouse is wrong or finding all their faults, start with yourself. Be honest with yourself and name your own faults. Find ways to work on yourself and go before the throne of God and find a way to begin again. Give yourself to your spouse and make your marriage about them, and not yourself. Marriage is a gift. Don’t squander it.

Finish Strong and Mature

My baby turned two yesterday. He was my last pregnancy. We feel like our quiver is now full. We love our sons and we celebrate each stage of life with love and laughter. As parents though, how many times have we stated how we want to keep them at a certain stage or age of life? I know we have. I absolutely love those first few weeks of my baby’s life where I can literally hold my baby day and night and just love on my perfect little angel. My husband likes it when they learn to talk a little more and he understands what they truly want!

We love our sons and ultimately we are raising them to be independent, God-fearing men. Though we all love certain stages of our children’s lives, we all know that life is a continuous journey. We grow, mature, and develop into the people that God created us to be.

As children of God, we need to continue to grow spiritually. As a newly saved Christian, we are spiritual babies, but we should never stay babies. The Bible tells us that we cannot survive on milk alone. Just as our babies move from milk to baby food to solid food, that is how our spiritual walk is supposed to be. We are supposed to read and study the Word of God and pray without ceasing. We need to learn our Spiritual Father’s voice just as a newborn baby learns his biological father’s voice.

God celebrates with us. He loves to see our growth and maturity. Just as it would seem silly for our kids to stay the same age and maturity level for the rest of their lives, doesn’t the same apply to our spiritual lives? God wants to see us mature steadily. He calls us to finish the race. That means we have to keep moving forward and never give up. I want to finish the race stronger than when I started. I want to do all that God created me to do and be all He created me to be. This life may be a race, but I am going to enjoy and celebrate each stage of it just as I enjoy and celebrate every step and stage my boys succeed in.

He Says This, She Hears That…

I have been with my husband for 17 years and even after 17 years, I still have trouble hearing what he is saying. He has trouble hearing what I am saying. God made us so unique that we even communicate differently. He may come home after work one day and say something about how disorganized and messy it is by my front door. What I hear is what in the world do I do at home all day with the kids? Why couldn’t I get off my butt and clean up by the front door? How lazy am I?! He said, pretty much what he said. It was a statement. My school age boys came home from school that day and threw all their stuff into such a mess that my husband, who really doesn’t notice many things, actually noticed.

So automatically, I become defensive and let him know how hard I work all day and that he has the luxury of actually completing his work outside the home without a two year old destructinator walking behind with his massive little arms of destruction. [At least in my mind!] I get upset because that sentence he spoke when he walked into the door sounded like literal fighting words. You want to fight and compare jobs!? You get paid with money and compliments while I get paid with grey hair, no daily showers, and stained clothes that don’t fit in any sort of appealing manner any more. At this point, my husband is clueless to what I am so upset about, but if I want a fight, he will not roll over and take it.

This is a terrible cycle unless both a husband and wife can understand that we are not communicating the same way. Instead of assuming that my husband has turned into a mean-spirited, thankless, no good…..you catch my drift, I can believe that he is the wonderful man that I married who was possibly not intending to hurt my feelings. He never intended to hurt me or make me feel worthless. He was actually taking note that our sons had disrespected their Mother by coming in and making a huge mess where I had kept things previously neat and tidy. He was being a loving husband and Father.

Next time your spouse says something that makes you immediately put your boxing gloves on, take a moment and remember what kind of a man or woman you married. They love you just as much as you love them and perhaps you didn’t hear what their words were trying to say.

Now excuse me while I go look for that box of hair color……

Empowering Women to Submit

“Women need to be empowered.” I feel like I hear those words multiple times a day. I am sure this may make some women upset, but let’s get real for a moment. Who is truly holding us down? Is it men; other women; God; children? In my opinion, every time I see or hear about empowering certain races or genders, I hear the word division. We are constantly dividing ourselves when we promote one race or one gender. Society has made leaps and bounds where slaves are freed, women are considered equal and we all have the power to make something of ourselves. I think another problem is that we would rather blame somebody else for our shortcomings than to be honest with ourselves. We need to look ourselves in the mirror and be honest about the choices we have made in our lifetime to get us where we are now.

I am saddened by the way many liberal women see the world. If you can’t kill your baby, somebody is taking your power away. How can you pick and choose what empowers a woman. I feel empowered when I have the right to bear arms and protect my family, but many of the same women who want permission to abort their own offspring, think that is absurd and outrageous that I would want a gun.

I believe that the spirit of Jezebel along with other spirits has truly blinded this nation and the world for that matter, to what God’s true order is. I remember when Candace Cameron Bure went on talk shows talking about how she submits to her husband and women were literally outraged. Marriage is an equal partnership, but God placed men to be the heads of their homes. God meant for marriage to be between one man and one woman. Too man women see submission as enslaving themselves to a man; giving up all power and choices. God meant for submission to be a protection for women and children. Too many women want men to become wimps and have power over men. There are too many marriages where the man submits to the wife and that is so against the word of God.

Yes, we all want to be empowered, but don’t allow the enemy [satan] to warp what God intended. Do not let the world tell you what you deserve or are entitled to; let God. God wants us to be blessed because He loves us, not because we are entitled to it.

Will This Love Last?

I remember being concerned before I got married; concerned that I could be in a long term relationship. I knew my fiance was the man I was supposed to marry, and wanted to marry, but I had never been in a relationship for more than 6 months previously. I was so nervous. What if I couldn’t do it? What if I couldn’t be with a man for more than 6 months? I am not even sure I ever admitted this to my husband! What if I fell out of love?

The problem is, that the world has taught us that when we marry that other person, if it is the right one, things will be perfect. If we marry our true soulmate, things won’t be difficult and we will agree about everything. Well, world, you are stupid and your version of love is wrong and unattainable! I have been married now for 16 years and obviously, from the title of my blog, we have five sons. I have fought with, argued with, screamed at, cried to, and slammed doors on my husband. He has pretty much returned each of those things to me as well. Love isn’t this perfect bubble that can never be broken. Love is being broken and humble, and standing with your spouse, who is also broken and humble; standing together through everything. 

I am truly awed by what love is. Love isn’t what I thought it was; it is nothing like it. My husband is my best friend. We have been through many trials throughout our 16 years of marriage; perhaps not as many as some, but our fair share. I am in awe of the love I have for him, and that he has for me. When we got married, we vowed to love each other through anything. We say love, but behind that word is so many others that we don’t say. We vowed to trust each other, to stay committed to each other, to love each other, to be faithful to each other sexually, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. 

I may not always be the best at letting my husband know how full my heart is with love for him, but it is there. I don’t ever have to worry about that concern about my marriage lasting, because my love for him grows every day. My committment to him grows every day. I love him; I can’t help it. When we have bad days and we fight, I still love him; I am still committed to him. That is what love is. I will never give up on him and he will never give up on me. We are truly one; just as God intended.

So to my husband, I love you. I can honestly say I love you more now than I even did then. You truly make me a better person. I will stand by you no matter what happens in this lifetime, because that is what love is. Love it nothing like I imagined, but everything I could ever wish for. I love you My Honey!!

Alternative Lifestyle

I love to watch the news. I like to know what is going on in the world, nation, and locally. I don’t ever want to be ignorant about politics and where my vote goes. I have seen the news releases where NBC talked about the alternative lifestyle a member of the USA Olympic team had because he is married to a woman and has a young child. He also says he goes to church and could see himself being a Pastor in the future. HUH!!!??? Since when has God’s definition of two becoming one become an alternative lifestyle? 

I have been reading the bible in a year together with my husband this year. If I am honest, reading much of the Old Testament is difficult for me. I have grown up in an era where life and Christianity is all about God’s grace and mercy. While I know we would all probably be dead if it wasn’t for His grace and mercy; I think we live in a society where we rely too much on God’s grace and mercy. We do first; ask forgiveness later because we know God is a merciful and forgiving God. I am grateful for His love and grace and mercy; don’t get me wrong. Uzzah was killed for touching the Ark of the Covenant. Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt when she disobediently turned to look back. Nadab and Abihu were consumed with fire after offering unauthorized fire before the Lord. 

The scripture is filled with people like that who were disobedient to God’s laws and paid the price. The presence of God is a sacred thing. We are blessed to have His presence constantly with us. We are blessed to be able to ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Why then, when we find ourselves at a crossroads where we can choose to sin or not sin, do we choose to sin?! We rely on God’s grace. Instead of trying to live as the Holy Spirit leads us to live, we attempt to change laws; we try to talk our way out of doing the right thing because it is now unpopular. God’s word never changes. 

God’s view of marriage is not an alternative lifestyle. People can fight it, argue against it, belittle others who disagree, but love is not love. God is love. If God is love and God is against homosexuality, beastiality, and all perversion; then those things are not love. We need to love each other whether or not somebody is a homosexual or sinning in any other form. God loves all of us, and we all sin, but God still loves us. 

As I read the Old Testament and see all these people who lacked a true fear of God actually die from disobedience, I wonder what will happen to this nation. Every day I watch the news and every day I can only pray for forgiveness and grace and mercy because today I woke up to living in an alternative lifestyle, and wonder, what will the world attempt to do to Jesus next?

Expectations

Even when you see that word; what does it bring to mind? We all have expectations. The problem comes when our expectations are unrealistic. When we get married, what do we expect from our spouse? Do we expect our husbands to always help with the house cleaning? Do we expect them to always meet certain financial requirements for us? Do we expect them to meet our every need regardless of whether they like it or not?

How about husbands? Do they expect us to always maintain a certain physical appearance? Do they expect sex at least once a day? Do we meet their every need whether we like it or not? 

Expectations are difficult for me. I put high expectations on myself, but is it fair to put those same high expectations on my spouse? When I said my vows, I said for better or worse, in sickness and health, rich or poor. That pretty much sums up what our expectations should be in our marriage. Through anything and everything, I will stand by you; because I chose you and I love you. Of course that doesn’t mean we should gain 200lbs in our first year of marriage and spend every penny that is in the savings account. Things happen in marriage; in life that make it difficult. That is what those vows are about. Those vows aren’t about standing by your husband, or wife, in those great easy times where it is literal bliss. Those vows are meant to help you when your husband loses his job because of downsizing; when your wife puts on extra weight because the baby she is carrying in her womb is causing so much nausea, all she can do is eat to make it not hurt; when one of you gets bad news at the doctor’s office. This is when those vows and those expectations are truly put to the test. This is when I expect my husband to stand by me; when my husband expects me to stand by him. Marriage isn’t about what we can get from our spouse. Marriage is about what we can give to our spouse; how we can serve them. 

What about all these expectations that we have in other areas of our life? Are those realistic expectations? What do I expect out of my church? One of the problems with our expectations in church, is that we expect to receive so much from our church. How many areas of our life do we expect to receive rather than give. 

Society has become all about me me me and what I want and need. Listen to how you talk to your spouse and your friends. Truly listen. Do you complain because your expectations are realistic, or are they so unrealistic that you could never possibly be happy. 

Be realistic with your expectations in every area of your life. Are you the person that you expect others to be? Be the person that God made you to be. Be who God expects you to be. He expects us to follow His commandments; I think that is a really good start. Love your neighbor as yourself. He expects us to love. So today, give His love away, because He freely gives it to you! 

Love Story

Sometimes I have this huge desire to write a love story. I have never really told anybody that. I love romance and love stories. I think most people do; even men. I think men sometimes have trouble with them because they make love look unattainable. Hollywood has made love look like this perfect dance or song that has no sour notes or unpointed toe in it. It is perfection. Really, I am not sure Hollywood could tell the perfect love story. I don’t think any writer could tell that love story. Maybe one day I will write one; of course not the perfect one, but a good one nonetheless. 

There is but one love story that has been told that is perfection. That story is the story of a man who gave everything for love. He lived only a short portion of life as we know it for love. He loved like no other. He actually gave His life for love. Who is this man? I think you know; Jesus. God sent His one and only Son to die for us. There is no greater love than that. I could never write another love story that comes even close to matching that. 

I know some may say that. Sure, we’ve all heard about that, but really, read the story. Read those words in the Bible. Just do it; read them slowly and let them sink in. Can you imagine loving so many people that you give your one and only son to come into this world, only to be tortured and murdered? I can’t; and I love people. God loves in the purest sense. It is almost unbearable to comprehend that pure unfiltered love for me. God loves me even though He sees my flaws. He sees me mess up; sometimes a little; and sometimes horribly so. He loves me! There is no doubt. God is love. That is the definition of God. That does not mean He accepts my sins, but He forgives me if I ask and repent. In fact, when I repent and ask Him for forgiveness, He actually forgets about it!! 

There is no greater love story than of that man Jesus. There is no greater love. One day I may have a completed love story to finish on paper, but in my heart, I know there is no greater love than the love of my Father. He loves us!