#1 to Way Get Rid of Negative Self-Talk

forgivenes

Do you think negative thoughts about yourself? Put yourself down? Try to look better to others because of your insecurities?

The first step to live free from self-doubt and negative self-talk is to forgive yourself.

I have ministered to many people in this area. I found that forgiving yourself is sometimes the hardest to do.

  1. Unforgiveness opens the door for the enemy to taunt you and speak lies into your life. When you hold unforgiveness against yourself the enemy’s lies are aimed at you and fuels the insecurities.

Remember, you do not fight against flesh and blood.

Your enemy is a spiritual being living in the unseen.

2. We are commanded to love others as we love ourselves. It is impossible to love others to the extent we are created to if we cannot love ourselves by forgiving ourselves.

Forgiving oneself opens the door to loving deeper in all our relationships.

3. We walk in obedience to God, our Heavenly Father, when we forgive. That includes ourselves.

How do you show love to yourself?

Forgive yourself.

Ask God to show you. “Lord, what do I need to forgive myself for?”

Take time to listen to Him. If any thoughts come that cause guilt or shame then there it is! You identified something.

Then, say this prayer.

If it is something that you need to repent for, Pray: Heavenly Father, I repent for ____________(name what it is). Thank you for your forgiving and healing power. I am free from all my past. I choose to receive your forgiveness.

Heavenly Father, I choose to forgive myself for ________________(name what it is). I let it go. I ask you to come and heal my heart. Tell me your truth about the situation. Tell me your truth about me.

Forgive yourself for every grudge you hold against yourself.

Doing this will begin to release that hold the enemy has had on your life to bombard you with lies and negativity.

You will begin to notice changes in your thoughts.

Next time we will talk about how to get rid of that negative self-talk once and for all.

God Bless!

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#loveyourself

love 2It’s true. You do have to love yourself before you can love others well.

I can remember the time when I didn’t love myself. I didn’t realize it. I sure wouldn’t admit it. I wouldn’t believe you if you told me.

So how did I realize it?

Little by little. I really didn’t realize it until I started to LOVE myself..accept myself. To know I am accepted. To know I am worth loving.

Jesus eroded away every reason I had for disliking myself. (I use the word “dislike” because “hate” is too strong a word.)

How did I start?

I forgave myself.

Forgave what?

Lots of things. All the hidden skeletons. All the regrets. All the mistakes. All the things I should have known better and did anyway. Even some things that were not my fault but I took ownership anyway.

What did the “dislike” look like?

It was all the thoughts and self-comments that said….

“I can’t believe I did that!” (in disgust)

“I have ugly arms”

“I am ugly, I am fat; I am stupid”

“Nobody wants to be around me”

“I have no talent”

“I can’t do anything right”

“I deserve that” (if it was anything bad)

“If I do this perfect maybe someone will notice me”

“If I do this perfect I will be somebody”

“If I do this right I won’t be a failure”

“If I didn’t have bad luck I would have no luck at all!” (yeah, that’s a song…I’m singing)

It wasn’t just thoughts.

It came out in how I expected to be treated.

I expected:   to be ignored, to be rejected, to fail…

It also came out in how I treated others.

“I’m not good at relationships” “I don’t have many friends” “I’m ok alone” “I don’t need anyone”

The relationships would become strained. Sometimes I would self-destruct or sabotage. It was easier. (Did I realize I was doing this??? NO!)

I also blamed others for the difficulty of a strained relationship.

The worst is when it affects your kids. Not loving myself led to perfectionism. A perfectionist mother is difficult to live with. The relationship becomes performance based. Criticism and judgment become the norm all in the name of “helping”. That is really code for “fixing”. When you feel like you need to be fixed it’s easy to try to fix others.

It’s hard to forgive others when you won’t or can’t forgive yourself. Constant negative self-talk only increases the unforgiveness and perfectionist behavior.

Warning signs:

Negative self-talk

Grudges

Difficulty forgiving

Justifying grudges

Addictions

Perfectionism

Being critical of everyone else AND yourself

Judging everyone’s weaknesses by your strengths

How do you fix it?

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
  2. Be aware of your thoughts and intercept every negative one
  3. Intentionally say positive things about yourself. Find ways to compliment yourself.
  4. Forgive yourself. Say it out loud! “I forgive myself for….”. Start off easy at first. Then you will find lots of ways you let yourself down. Forgive yourself for each of them.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you TRUTH about yourself.
  6. Find scriptures in the BIBLE (since that contains the truth about you…all the positive things) and write them down, say them out loud, put your name in them.

Example: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” “I am accepted/adopted”

  1. Be patient. It takes time. You didn’t become this negative about yourself overnight. It will take months even years to undo the negative habits. But it will happen.

Then one day…you won’t even have a negative thought about yourself all day.

And the best part….You don’t expect the worst out of yourself or people. You can trust easier. Relationships are easier. You don’t feel rejected all the time.

A negative thought is easily identified and the truth readily applied.

You can’t love others until you love yourself.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

You WILL love others to the same extent as you love yourself.

What does the OTHER side look like? (When you do #loveyourself?)

  1. Instead of perfectionism, you live in excellence. This is much more fun! You do your best. You improve on your worst. It is not performance driven. Not critical of yourself.
  2. Invest in yourself. Because you are worth it! You are valuable. For you, it may be exercise, reading books that challenge you and grow your abilities, or spend your resourced on yourself.
  3. Criticism becomes constructive instead of destructive. You can take criticism without falling apart or becoming defensive.

I’m sure there are lots more benefits haven’t named in my own life yet.

How are relationships affected?

  1. They heal!
  2. Communication is easier
  3. Your kids don’t have to perform to feel loved and accepted. They just know they are.

Can you imagine the environment when a kid reacts and acts from acceptance everyday than judgement and criticism or fear of rejection?????

  1. Since you accept yourself more readily, it’s easier to accept others even in their faults.
  2. More “grace” in relationship and a whole lot more “mercy”.

Try it. How many more benefits can you add?

 

 

God Reveals Himself in Mysterious Ways

I had arevisedn important revelation at a funeral.

Some people may think that is a great place for a significant revelation. Others may think that a little crazy.

 

My sister-in-law passed away this week. As I sat among the grieving family all I could think about was how beautiful her smile is. There was a photograph placed on an easel next to the coffin showing off her spiky hair and toothy smile. She was always the life of any party and had a smile that would light up a room. As I thought about all her wonderful traits … it was like a light went off in my head.

I felt the Holy Spirit saying…”Her love, her smile, her joy…was all a reflection of the Heavenly Father, all His good traits to show His glory in the earth. ”

When  someone… or you..share love, joy, peace, patience, humbleness, grace, goodness, mercy, etc to another you are showing off God. All good things come from Him. He shows up everywhere because He longs for you to know Him. He shares His goodness because He loves you. He chases you in every smile, every sincere hug, in every kind word. He reveals aspects of who He is so we can know Him more.

God is not distant. He is very near, in every good thing we see, hear, smell…

I thought of all the times I had the joy of spending time with her and I am thankful. I am thankful for the life she courageously lived in love and strength. I am thankful that I got a glimpse of my Heavenly Father in her.

It’s pretty cool to think that we represent Jesus to others. But what is greater is that we carry His traits not only as a reflection of who God is but also as a part of who we are. I hope I am sharing my heart well enough in words to capture the weightiness of this statement. We are made in His likeness and we carry His traits in us. We are not just a mirror to reflect Him but we are made like Him. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe so pleased to place all His goodness in us just so we could know Him better as we share our lives with others.

I got a glimpse of how loving, how joyful, how wonderful my God is through the attitude and smile of lovely woman named Darlene.

Remember, as you wake up to another day, that you are part of God’s master plan to share Him with those you meet today.  Smile, laugh, be patient, be kind, and show goodness, grace and mercy to others.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to show YOU to others. Thank you for the fruits of your Spirit that are shed abundantly in our hearts as we serve you and come to know you more. I pray that we will seek out those fruits in others and that we would show these fruits to all people around us. Give us strength to do so. 

Forgive us for all those times that we choose not to show the fruits of YOUR Spirit and chose instead to represent the kingdom of the the enemy. Forgive us now as we choose to forgive others that have done that to us. 

Help us to remember daily that we represent you, Lord. I ask you to remind me even in hard times to show these fruits and represent you well. Help us to represent you in love and in joy. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Leadership Key: What to do when your boss is a jerk

…And other such despicable bosses. So, you’re a Christian and you work in the secular workplace. Hey, even sometimes in the Christian world you can have difficult bosses. What do you do?

Some Christians refuse to work with bosses that are sinners. Some refuse to work in a secular workplace. I don’t believe this is a biblical approach. Jesus gave us the example of being in the world, around the angry, hurting and the filthy. He actually chose to be around them instead of the religious. He said it is the hurting that need a doctor.

1.Be a light where you are planted.

Daniel is a great example. He was a godly man. God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. He also had the honor of God’s messenger appearing to him and telling him the future of his nation.

He was employed and grouped along with the magicians in the king’s service. He was dragged away from his home and enslaved. He was a godly man who was employed by one the most carnal, heathen, evil rulers and who built a statue to himself. Yet through all this Daniel honored the king and served the king with excellence.

You can see Daniels humble and respectful demeanor toward the ruler in this passage when Daniel is asked to interpret a dream for the king.

19“Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries!

Then Daniel had to deliver the bad news to the king. He did so with great sadness and weighty heart when he could have glorified, even relished in the much earned judgement of his boss. Daniel did not judge or abuse his privileges. He maintained a steadfast integrity in the midst of much idol worship, orgies, drunkenness and sin.

2. Show honor because of the position.

Saul tried to kill David. While David was playing music to sooth his king, Saul shot an arrow at him. That’s a bad day at work.

Of course it missed. For years Saul tried to kill David. He chased him all over the countryside. Yet when given the opportunity David did not harm Saul. Sure, if you look at the selfish, egotistical, foolish behavior of Saul, he didn’t deserve to be honored . But David respected the Lord’s anointed because God placed him in that position.

8Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.” 9But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed and be without guilt?”

All leadership placed above you in churches, government, or the workplace are there because they are ordained to be there by God.

3. Only the Lord is judge.

Daniel 4:22Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.

23“Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’

24“This is the interpretation, Your Majesty, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king: 25You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. 26The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules. 27Therefore, Your Majesty, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

This is the interpretation that Daniel gave the king of Babylon. It was judgement from God the creator of the universe.

Then it happened: 

Daniel:28All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. 29Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, 30he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”

Psalm 75:7 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.

You will never work for a perfect person because we are all human and subject to vulnerability and fault. Consider it a high honor to be considered worthy to work with a unsaved or heathen boss. You have a unique opportunity to be a brilliant light in a dark place.

What do you do?

Daniel prayed and fasted
David praised and worshiped God. He called out to  God for guidance.
You are commanded to love and to pray for those that despise you. God will either move you or favor you.
Prayer will move mountains and that mountain might just be your boss.
Prayer:

Thank you Father for this job you provided. I acknowledge that all good things come from your hands. I praise you in every situation regardless of my comfort level. I will praise you on my way to work. I will praise you and lift up your Name at work. And I will praise you going home. I lift my eyes to you because you are where my help comes from. I look to you for wisdom in this situation. Holy Spirit, give me guidance how to handle the situations I face today. Give me favor with my boss and co-workers. Guard my mouth so I will not utter an unkind work. Give me boldness when I need it. I pray for the heart of the unbelievers at work that have been blinded by the devil; that their eyes will be opened to the light of your Word. That you will illuminate their dark places. Give me opportunities to show your light, to share my testimony and to represent you well. In Jesus Name, Amen.

*all Bible scripture is from BibleHub.com (the best online Bible source…in my opinion)

Why I Keep Saying “Yes” to Sex

This is a great post on sex and why it is important to a marriage.

Loving Life at Home

Why I Keep Saying Yes to Sex | a word to wives from lovinglifeathomeAuthor Leah Holder wrote a terrific post this week for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which she entitled Why I Keep Saying “No” to Sex.

The gist of the article is this: She says “no” because she is not yet married.

Sexual purity is important to her because it is important to God, and she has therefore made a commitment to save sex for marriage, however unpopular or difficult such a decision has sometimes seemed.

The Bible is very clear in its stance regarding sex outside of marriage. (Colossians 3:5; Hebrews 13:4)

The reason we have the skyrocketing rates of STDs, abortion, divorce, and single-parent families we see today is because far too many people have ignored God’s guidelines in the area of sex for far too long.

But there is a flip-side to the coin: The Bible also speaks clearly about what our attitude…

View original post 1,048 more words

Secret to Success

large__5844929080 The world has found nominal success through persistence and perseverance.

They trust in their own power, own understanding, their own ways.

The greatest basketball player is Michael Jordon. He didn’t just practice now and then or when he felt like it.

Michael Phelps who won all those gold medals and set new records didn’t just swim sometimes. They both practiced their sport continually until they became the best.

 

However, God has all the answers and enjoys the success of His people.

Ps 35:27-28

27 Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; And let them say continually, “The LORD be magnified, Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” 2 8 And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long.

The secret to true, everlasting, success is in the Lord. You are made in His image to reflect His glory and bring honor to Him. And He delights in you and in your prosperity.

The way to honor God and live an abundant life is to be persistent and intent every morning when you get out of bed to glorify God in your life. That doesn’t mean just sometimes pray or honor Him but to continually practice, be persistent and persevere daily in prayer.

It starts with recognizing Him and praying every day.

Thank Him for another day and for all the blessings. You can ask for things. But remember to ask God, “God what can I do for you today?” “Who do you want me to speak to today?” ”Who can I help today, serve today, or encourage today?” “How can I honor your Name today with my hands, my feet or my mouth?”

We are His servants and we serve where we are planted in our circle of influence. We lead from our position of honoring God in every aspect of our lives. And He will honor you. You will be blessed with blessings far above money, riches or fame.

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for all your blessings, love and mercy on my life. I thank you that I live another day to honor you in my daily activities. I ask for strength today to do your will. I ask you to lead me to hurting people that I can help. I ask you to give me words to speak to bring healing, joy or encouragement into someone’s life. I ask that you use me today as your hands, feet and mouthpiece to show your love. Let me lead people to you today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

UnComfortable Christianity?

is 61 1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners, Isaiah 61:1 (NIV Bible Hub)

I usually cry when I read this. My heart is so stirred for the hurting people both in the church and in the world. But being stirred is not enough.

What do I do?

Searching for people, books, blogs, etc that possibly put into words my inner turmoil has consumed my time lately.

The book Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker, put much of what is happening in my spirit, (or rather between me and The Holy Spirit) into perspective. book interrupted

 

First, as I read pg 14, I was shocked that someone else is having a similar experience. The question looming over my head lately is “Do I really love Jesus?” “If so, what does LOVE JESUS look like, act like, sound like?”

The institutionalized religion of Christianity has me somewhat bumfuzzled. I’ve been raised in it. I speak it’s language. I pray the prayers. I shake hands the right way. I know the nods. I know all the songs (old hymns and new worship). I am even “spirit filled” which means I raise my hands and move when I pray and sing too!

However, I can’t remember the last time I led a sinner to Christ. I feed the hungry “spiritually”. I’m a teacher, a prayer warrior, mentor…

We feed many people at our house in the name of fellowship but they can all feed themselves just fine. We enjoy their company.

I never took blankets to the homeless or visited prisoners.

The scripture “feed my sheep” is repeated in my spirit…

John 21:17  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

A lightbulb came on in my head. I don’t get to choose which parts of the command I fulfill  in Isaiah 61, John 21:17, and …

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35

I don’t get to choose to do those acts of love and service that I want to do or like to do. I shouldn’t refuse to do some acts of service because I don’t like doing them and they make me feel uncomfortable.

In my life I chose teaching as the preferred method of “feeding the sheep” I even occasionally preach and desire to preach and teach more. My preferred method is not God’s desire for me…or so I am beginning to comprehend.

I must serve people that no one else wants to serve for starters.

I am uncomfortable in modern Christianity.

Are you willing to be uncomfortable with the status quo of institutionalized religion that has forgotten how to love the unloveble, the poor, the broken, the imperfect?

Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Idol of Self

Spennyelf absorbed reads the Bible from a purely individualistic view forgetting the eternal, global view. It forgets the higher purpose.

I recently realized that I tend to read the Bible from a certain perspective. Even though I am a teacher at heart I read the Bible from the perspective ‘how can I teach this’ or ‘who needs this’.

 

That sounds very unselfish doesn’t it? Sounds like my motives are for the greater good.

But are my motives really unselfish?

 

Maybe it’s not an argument of selfish or unselfish but of glory of self versus glory of God. I love the Bible. No kidding. I get all giddy and joyful when I read it or listen to it on MP3. Yes, I am a nerd. I love to study it. I love to get fresh revelation. The Bible is living and active. So a verse read 10 years ago can have new meaning today. It’s so cool.

I have to watch my motives because they could be driven by the idol of self. It’s that part of  all of us that enjoys the accolades, the glory, the ‘wow, you know a lot’.

If I never heard another compliment or shared a revelation or scripture would I still study it with such conviction?

That goes for anything in our lives. Many people have a calling or a gift or talent that brings them much fame and admiration among believers. But would they still do it if they never got another “atta boy/atta girl”?

The apostle Paul was so thrilled when he was put under house arrest. When he asked everyone to pray for him he asked for boldness and that the Good News would be spread to the Romans.

What if fear of failure was the other side of the idol of self coin?

That is the other thing that keep people from being effective. The ones that don’t do anything because ‘what if I fail’, ‘what if someone says something bad to me’?

The focus is still on self and not God. Idol of Self. It keeps all those gifts, talents, teaching, preaching, love, testimony, etc. from being used because we might fail.

Ask God to show you your inner motives.

What motivates me to serve the kingdom of God?

If I never received any glory from it would I still do it?

Am I willing to try and face the possibility of it not going the way I want but still see God glorified in it?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, reveal my motives behind my actions for your Kingdom. If there is anything not pleasing to you I repent of those behaviors. Show me your truth and love for me. Show me your way. Thank you for loving me and using me. Amen. 

The Comparison Trap: Marriage

comparison 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living in the Land of “Er”

“If I was pretty-er..”                   “If I was thin-er…”                         “If I was rich-er…”    

“If I had  more-er.”                   “If I was lucky-er..”                        “If I was smart-er..”

…I would be…Happy-er…Fun-er…Bett-er………..

I was recently listening to Andy Stanley. He preached a great lesson on the comparison trap and the Land of Er. While listening to this I realized there was a great connection for marriages. Read on as I share the connection and how your marriage can be healed.

Here’s a link to Andy Stanley’s messages: http://northpoint.org/messages/comparison-trap

Who do you compare yourself to?

Why do we compare ourselves to anyone?

Down deep inside is a part of us that needs to feel successful, accepted, and okay.

We just want to know we are OK. And how do we know we are OK? We compare ourselves to people around us that seem OK or not oK and we say “well I’m not as OK as that person, but I’m better than that person. So I am OK.” Because there is always someone better and always someone worse off.

And we compare everyone in our lives to other people too. We compare our children to everyone else’s children. “My children aren’t as smart as her kids.” “My children act better than her kids.” “My children can’t play sports like those kids.” “My son is…My daughter is…compared to….” “MY baby is prettier than all other babies!”

Who do the perfect parents compare their kids to?

Who does God compare you to? As his kid. He compares us to no one. He loves and accepts us just the way we are. You are not compared to sister so & so in the front pew. Your holiness or lack thereof or shortcomings are not compared to anyone.

When your child does something wrong you don’t love him less. When you correct him you do it for his own good. To help him live a better life as he grows up. You don’t expect him to know it all. You teach him and he develops good habits and such over time.

The Garden of Life

garden

I picture my life as a beautiful garden.

Each lesson that we learn is to pluck out the roots that cause the ugliness in our lives. Roots are being plucked out: Bitterness, unforgiveness, traumas, etc.

Think of your life as a garden. Do you want ugly weeds in your garden?

The light has to shine on it. Show that it’s there. Then we can deal with it with God’s help and healing.

We all want our Garden of Life to be beautiful-filled with joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, goodness, purity, beauty, etc.

So is there one more root that has to come out?

Comparison

 

Parable of the Talents (money bags)

Matthew 25:14

14“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,a each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.16The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28“ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  • 1.    Each servant was distributed his portion to care for. Entrusted “his wealth”

2.    Each servant had to answer for his actions.

3.    Only one servant placed blame.

           a.       He was called “wicked and lazy”.

           b.     Can we be that way sometimes in our marriage? It’s easier to complain and criticize and compare than to do something positive?

4. Suffer the Consequences

           a.  Not living the way God intended results in frustration, fear, and torment.

           b.  And results in no peace.

How does this apply to marriage?

1.    God entrusted one of his most precious treasures to us–our spouse. God’s creation. Beautifully and wonderfully made. To love, honor and cherish. God’s Treasure.

2.    In the most holy bond on earth-husband and wife united as one.

3.    How we respond to what was “entrusted” is up to us. The blame is not on God if we feel we got a bad lot. We can’t say…if only my spouse was like ….. or…if only my spouse was this or that…

               a.    The 3rd servant blames the master for his actions. “If you had given me more I could have done more with it. I didn’t have the 5 or even the two.

                You gave me just one, how am  I to make that into something great?” With God all things are possible and maybe what you look at as a “bad lot” and less than ideal                   may be the best you could ever imagine if you changed your perspective. Sometimes it is our perspective that is off not God handing you a bad situation. Sometimes                its our own sin and mess ups we pay for. But even our own mess-ups can be made into something great if we fully rely on God to so something with it. 

4.    We compare our “lot” or “spouse” to others just like we do our house, car, job, money and our children.

            a.    We say “if my husband acted better I would act better” “If my wife was..” “If he acted like so & so…” “if wasn’t as lazy as…” or “if he would just do this …”

5.    Sometimes we contributed to the way our spouses respond to us through our own disrespect, dishonor, superiority, criticism.

Living in the Land of Comparison “ER” is dangerous. The grass is NEVER greener on the other side. That is a lie. 

How do we move out of the land of “Er”?

  1. Be thankful. Recognize that God gave you that husband. (and everything else you have). His precious treasure that he shares with you.
  2. Ask God to show you what you can learn with your spouse. There is always a lesson. God is developing something in you. Look for it. Learn it. Live it.

Peace will be found when you move out of the land of “Er”. That is what we seek. PEACE

The Christian life was never meant to be just a get out of Hell free card. Jesus didn’t just give his life for that. He gave his life so we could live free and abundantly. With peace and joy. In whatever situation it is.

Don’t just say “Oh, I can be thankful because my spouse could be a lot worse.”

Instead “I am thankful because my spouse is…” Be specific. If you can’t think of anything then because “he/she is loved by God and God will save him, renew him, etc.”

Don’t let the bitterness cause you to resent your marriage. Or cause you to blame God for everything wrong in your life or marriage.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I repent for not treasuring my spouse, for not honoring him/her in my thoughts and actions. I repent for every blame I have ever put on you Lord. Holy Spirit, help me to be thankful for my spouse. Help me to praise him for things he does. Help me to recognize the gift and talents you have put in him. I repent for any resentment I may have. I trust in you Sovereign God that you give good things to your children and you do good for us all our days. I trust that my spouse is your Best for me. I will start to look at him/her in that way. I am willing to learn from him/her the lessons you want to teach me. Holy Spirit, show me what you will have me to learn.

If he/she is not saved I ask you to open his eyes and show him/her your truth. Help him/her to walk in your ways. Turn his/her heart to you. You change the heart of a man from stone to flesh. Change it Lord. Send someone to him/her to minister. Help me be the light that will shine for you and point to your grace and mercy every day.

I pray blessings over my spouse. That he/she is strong in you, that he/she is highly favored. That he/she hears your voice and follows you. That you protect him/her everywhere he/she goes. 

For Women Only

We can learn a lot about being a good wife by looking at what NOT to do by some of the “Bad Girls” of the Bible. 

The Bible is living, alive and sharp. Any situation you will encounter…I guarantee there is something useful in the Bible about it.

Today, I want to talk about Delilah and Samson. This is a great story of love and betrayal. Then read on as I link this to how we can be in our marriages.

Judges 16:4-20 story of Samson and Delilah.

Verse 4: Some time later, he fellin love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah…

The Rulers of the Philistines hated Samson because he had killed so many of their people. The Israelites and Phillistines were always at odds with each other and hated each other.

Samson had long hair because God told his parents that he would be set apart as a Nazirite and must not cut his hair. He was stronger than any other man. He had supernatural strength given by God. He used that strength to fight the Philistines.

When the Philistines found out that Samson was in love with Delilah they went to her to make a deal. “We will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver”  (the equivalent of 275 slaves, a very large amount) (Jesus was betrayed by Judas for just 30 pieces of silver) to find out the source of his great strength. She must not have had a reputation for honesty and purity.

She said yes. She then began to question Samson about his strength. “if you love me you will tell me…” was the line she used. The first time he told her to bind him with seven fresh thongs. She did it while he was sleeping and woke him up saying “the philistines are upon you!”. Samson broke the thongs easily. He didn’t tell her the truth. He did this several more times and each time she would bind him in whatever way he said. The same way she would wake him up with Philistine leaders hidden in the room ready to take him away. After much pleading Samson finally told her the truth. That his hair has never been shaven and he cannot cut his hair. She shaved his head and sure enough, when she woke him up his strength had left him. The Philistines bound him and gouged his eyes. (This is the short version.)

This is a popular story. But I want to look at it from a different point of view…that of a wife.

If you look at this from a marriage perspective, what can we learn? How does this story apply to our relationships with our husband?

Story: 2 very close friends meet for lunch. Their conversation almost always ends up at the subject of their husbands. Each tells the other something stupid or silly or just plain aggravating her husband did this week. The complaints take center stage of the topics. Each lady believes this time of discussing the topic of husbands is just “girl talk”. Harmless talk about your husband is just a way that we women bond. Right?

Proverbs 31: 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.12  She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

Ask yourself:

Can my husband truly trust in me?

Do I share any of his secrets?

Do I honor him everywhere I go and with everyone I talk to?

Have you ever thought about how you talk about your husband to your girlfriends, mother or sisters?

Did you ever consider if you honor your husband with your words?

Have you ever made fun of him in front of his friends or family? Or your friends and family and her knew about it? Even if it was just “harmless” teasing or sarcasm?

A.      Venting

It’s easy to vent to other wives. And especially to women who are not married to “warn” them what marriage is really like.

In the book “Marriage on the Rock” it talks about not talking about your husband to your family. Your family will always take your side. They are YOUR family. Even though your mother or sister may understand, they will always have a tainted view of your husband. This serves no purpose in your marriage other than your need to vent. However, a selfish act of venting has just dishonored your husband.

Yes, venting is selfish. We all do it. It makes US feel better. It doesn’t help any situation we feel is bad or unfair. It doesn’t make anything any better. It serves no other purpose except for us to tell our frustrations to someone who will listen, probably reassure us how bad we have it but it will get better. If we are not careful who we vent to our friend may just say divorce is the best option “why don’t you just leave him?”

We say we need to vent because we are women. We talk it out. Talking out loud sometimes helps me think through problems. However, be careful who you talk to.

Honor your husband with your words. You dishonor your husband when you talk about him behind his back. How would you feel if he talked about you? Maybe he has. But that doesn’t mean we return sin for sin. Dishonoring our husbands is sin. We talked a few weeks ago about love. Love does will treat others the way you want to be treated. You want to be honored. You don’t want your faults and failures to be discussed and flaunted. Even if your husband dishonors you in this way you must rise above that and not do it to him.

B.      Do I build up or tear down?

1 Thessalonians  5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

“Be a safe place for your man to fall. When the entire world seems like it is out to get him, he’’ll home running home to you!” The Respect Dare, Nina Roesner

The story in the Respect Dare says:

Time walked in and set his computer backpack next to the table. Without saying a word, he hung up his coat and sat down in his easy chair with newspaper. He usually greeted his wife, Maxine, as she prepared dinner, but tonight the energy required for niceties and human connection completely escaped him.

Maxine, hearing him arrive and wondering where he was, came around the corner, wiping her hands on a dish towel.
“Is something wrong?” she asked.

For a moment, he simply sat and stared at her. Later she found out that this moment lasted so long because an internal war waged within his mind. He experiences in letter her know his frustration in the past frequently ended up badly. She took things personally even thought they seldom had anything to do with her. So he sat and looked at her, debating whether or not to open up and confide in his wife.

Finally, he spoke. “things are ad with the business. I had to lay off six of our team today—all of them have been with me since we started the company. They understood, but I still feel bad about it. Financially, I’m uncertain as to how we’re going to get through the next three months, even after laying people off.”

Now it was her turn to start at him. After a moment, she spoke. “Wow. I didn’t know things were that bad. You’ve always taken good care of us, though, honey. We’ll get through this too. Do you want to talk about it?”

Gone were the insinuations of his lack of managerial skills, and this time there were no cutting remarks about his ineptness at dealing with people. Her tone was kind, gently, and compassionate. He took a risk and poured his heart out to her, and all she did  was listen. He found it a complete relief and sensed that, somewhere along the line, a burden had been lifted.

Maxine felt privileged to sit and listen to her husband’s troubles. Her entire goal for the day was not to be critical, to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. While she now had some concerns about their financial situation , she realized that her husband was fully capable of dealing with it and that, if he needed her assistance, he would ask. In the meantime, she would simply trust God and not worry about whether they would be taken care of  or not. Later, her husband told her that this conversations was a real turning point in their marriage—one that paved the way for deeper intimacy and greater trust between them.

Think about recent times when your husband may have tried to confide in you about something. How did you respond?

Were you trusting of his ability to handle it? Did you criticize him? Were you critical of him?

How do you think he feels about telling you when he fails at something?

C.      Be supportive

In the book “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldman—she shares insights from men. 84% of men feel uncertain about themselves at work. Some said “I’m always being judged”

Men admitted that they frequently feel insecure, uncertain and vulnerable. Imagine if your man feels this way frequently but always acts like he has it all together and knows everything.

Be careful to always be supportive and reassure him how much confidence you have in his ability. Be specific about things he does well. Ex: he is smart, he is creative, he is good at solving problems.

Don’t just tell him what he is not good at. Chances are he beats himself up about those things.

Create a safe haven in your home that he knows when everything else goes wrong that you will always have his back.

Prayer:

Father, forgive me for every time I have dishonored my husband with my words. Forgive me for talking about my husband’s faults to my friends and family. Lord, help me to watch my words. Help me to build my husband up and not tear him down. I ask your Holy Spirit to show me my ways that are not pleasing to you or honoring to my husband. Lord, help me to talk to you about my problems and not other people. Give me wisdom when I talk to my husband. Help me keep my mouth closed when I shouldn’t say things. Help me to be a helper to my husband and for him to trust safely in me. Help me to forgive him for times in the past that he did not honor me or did not build me up. I forgive him for each time. I choose not to hold that against him. Since I look to you for my joy, peace and identity, I know that when I can’t depend on someone else to build me up I still know that you are always there and what you think of me and that you give me strength, security and confidence. Help me to be that for my husband whether he can do the same for me or not.

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