#1 Most Under-used Spiritual Weapon that you need right now

forgivenesThis is a weapon every Christian must use to fight the enemy of your soul. Not using it leaves you open to resentment, bitterness and anger that magnifies emotional scars and wounds. It divides and harms relationships.

Using this one weapon sets us free from the pain the enemy inflicts upon us. It is also a weapon of obedience.

It is a not-used-often-enough weapon. In fact, many don’t think of it as a weapon. A duty at most. But it is a weapon of mass destruction to the enemy’s camp. Satan fears this weapon more than you can imagine. It is part of a two-prong sword:  Forgiveness and repentance – go together to set us free from spiritual bondage in our life.

Forgiveness is key!

How does it work?

Jesus talked about forgiveness frequently. It’s in the “Lord’s Prayer”. It is the topic of many parables.

My favorite is in Luke 17.

Luke 17:4 Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to say, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” 5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6And the Lord answered, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.…

Forgiveness is an act of faith that releases Jesus Christ’s healing and restoration to your life. Forgiveness means to let go, or release. When you do this you let go of the right for vindication and  judgement on the other person. You release that person and that situation into God’s capable hands. He takes on your cause. Then he gives you healing in your heart in return.

What happens if you don’t forgive?

bitterness

 

 

Choosing NOT to forgive is a seed. That seed of unforgiveness becomes like a root in your life. That seed grows and is fed with resentment and anger. Once it is fully grown it becomes a root of unforgiveness with branches that produce hurt, pain, bitterness, resentment, anger, judgement, etc. The fruit of a bitter root is poison to your relationships. Even people that were unattached to the situation or person are prey to that poison. It affects your thoughts about yourself and others. The Bible say s it “defiles many”.

You may not realize it. We push the painful memories way down, lock it away and throw away the key. It doesn’t stay forgotten and it doesn’t stay hidden. We just grow accustom to the pain. We justify the unforgiveness. We tell ourselves it’s just a part of life, or they don’t deserve to be forgiven, it was a long time ago, don’t be a wimp about it…. and many other excuses not to deal with it.

Truth is it takes an act of your free will and a declaration from your mouth to apply forgiveness and receive the benefits Jesus gave His life for. 

There’s a reason Jesus compared unforgiveness in Luke 17 to the roots of a Mulberry Tree. It has very deep roots.

Forgiveness is an act of obedience to our Heavenly Father. He commands us to forgive. Jesus gave us an example of how God feels about it when we don’t forgive in Matthew 18:21-35. Hint: he doesn’t like it.

32Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ 34In his anger, his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed.…

How can we think we are better than anyone else in the entire world and history of mankind that we can ask for forgiveness of our sins and wrongs but hold sins and wrongs of another person against them?

It is not wise to think we should have that power. I’m glad God didn’t give me the power of who gets forgiveness and who doesn’t. This world would be even more messed up!!

So we know why it’s important, what it does and why we should do it. Now, HOW do you forgive?

It’s not complicated but 3 things are very important:

  1. Declare it out loud with your mouth
  2. Say it with faith in Jesus that He is the great forgiver and healer
  3. Listen to the Holy Spirit and receive what God wants to do in your life to heal you.

Great example of a Forgiveness prayer:

Heavenly Father, I choose of my own free will to forgive _______________(insert the person’s name) for hurting me by ________________(insert what the person did to you and it made you feel). I release and let it go to you. Holy Spirit come and heal my heart of all this pain and heal the pain in the memories. Come and tell me your truth about this situation. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Then Listen.

If you begin to have thoughts about another painful memory, that’s ok, it is God bringing up things that need forgiveness. Pray this prayer for each painful memory. That is God’s way of cleaning up the mess and yanking the bitter roots out.

If you are struggling to forgive read this previous post Can you forgive when the person that hurt you will never say “I’m sorry”?

Be blessed today as you go on your journey to living a forgiving lifestyle!

 

***BibleHub is my website of choice to look up Bible verses! All verses posted on this site come from here. Happy studying!

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

Fits of Rage

angerFeelings and thoughts of anger are intense. So uncontrollable. Blood pressure rises. Ears turn red. Eyes shoot fire. (at least we wish they could) Where does all that anger come from ? Why does it seem so friendly, so intriguing to be in the rage of anger? It’s not just a lure, it’s an enjoyment. All other possibilities of love or joy or peace are forgotten. All nice thoughts seem lost. Love seems too far away to be felt. Have you ever been there? I read  somewhere (sorry can ‘t remember where to give credit) that anger is kindled by hurt or fear. When you think about it there is really no other reason to be angry. We are either hurt (whether we admit or not) or fearful of someone or something. Marriages are torn apart by angry words used in the heat of arguments. When the dust settles the underlying cause can be determined – hurt or fear. Anger Management is a common term. There are tools and resources available to help in those uncontrollable angry times. For those that believe their anger is not that bad there are common tricks we pick up like counting to 10 or leaving the room. There are real answers to anger and how to overcome it before it overcomes you.

Ephesians 4:26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 

So, there is a possibility to be angry and yet not sin. If anger comes from fear or hurt then those emotions are not sinful in and of themselves. The emotion tied to it is not sin. The sin happens when we dwell on the anger or target of our anger. What you dwell on, think on, meditate on will come out in your actions.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.  http://thinkexist.com/quotations/action/

This quote may not be from the Bible but it is biblically based.

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he:

After we dwell on the target of our anger for awhile we begin to list other things that make us angry. Soon, we are angry at other people or situations that were not even the original issue. In the south we call that “getting yourself worked up”. That is exactly what happens as we are consumed by angry thoughts. Then sin comes in. Our actions are affected. We begin to move from angry thoughts to angry words. Our actions change and become an extension of our anger. Hurting others is an effect of anger. Rage is only appeased by retaliation. At this point the anger feels too good to stop and ask why and where are these emotions from. Analyzing the root issues to solve the problem is not appealing in these moments. Although, it is not impossible, it requires a great deal of discipline and self control. If you are not disciplined in other areas of your life you will find this particular time very difficult to overcome.

The Unnamed Consequences

Before we discuss the solutions and root causes so we don’t find our-self that far gone let’s look at the consequences of anger when it becomes sin. Look back at at Ephesians 4:27   and do not give the devil an opportunity.  Some versions use the word “foothold”. It means a place or a seat. The consequences of sin is that you give the enemy a foothold in your life at that point. A place of control and power in your life. If we look at sin, the weight of sin is death, then maybe we will begin to understand just how important it is to recognize the sin while it is still a thought before any action takes place. Giving the devil power in our lives is not a welcomed outcome.

The devil is described as the “accuser of the brethren”. You will notice that during times of anger thoughts of accusation are instrumental. A small off handed comment can quickly become a raging argument when we entertain accusatory thoughts. Learning to listen to your thoughts (think about what you are thinking) will help in these times. Realizing that every accusatory thought is not complete truth. Some truth mixed with some lies are strong accusation”You always…” “You never” are strong statements are usually not completely true.

What is the solution to anger?

Hurt or fear, as we discussed earlier, is the predecessor to anger. Anger becomes sin when we don’t immediately obey God by forgiving the person that caused the hurt or fear. That unforgiveness becomes a tool for the enemy to accuse others to us. Then it is only a hop, skip and jump into easy anger, quickly kindled.

It takes practice to forgive that quickly and it takes a lot of prayer and trust in Jesus. He gives us the strength, through Him, to live a forgiving life. Forgiving people quickly before we have time to brew over it seems almost abnormal. Yes, it is from the worldly view. However, Jesus spent a great deal of time explaining how to forgive, the importance of forgiving, how to pray to forgive and then He died for it. So I would say forgiveness is a pretty big deal to the Lord. Maybe because He knew just how much power it gives the devil in our lives to act out his accusations, bitterness and resentment.

I personally am tired of anger, bitterness and resentment in my life. I am tired of uncontrollable outburts (even if only in my thoughts) of anger.

Jesus has the answer. I practiced it today. I forgave and it made all the difference.

Who do you need to forgive?

Heavenly Father, I forgive this person that continues to do hurtful things to me. I let it go. I will not hold this behavior against them anymore. Instead, heal my heart and cleanse me from all the anger, bitterness and resentment towards this person. Heal my heart. Renew my mind with your truth in Jesus Name. I command all the anger in this situation to leave. Jesus give me your peace and comfort. Tell me you truth about this. Amen.

 

For Wives Only

Promotional art for Superman vol. 2, #204 (April 2004) by Jim Lee and Scott Williams (Wikipedia)

Promotional art for
Superman vol. 2, #204 (April 2004)
by Jim Lee and Scott Williams (Wikipedia)

Kryptonite and Superman

(adapted from Peacefulwife.com and Daniel Robertson “God’s Help for Marriage”)

“You NEVER…!”

“You ALWAYS do that!”

“I can’t believe you…!”

“What were you thinking?”

“I don’t think you can do….Don’t we need to call…..?”

“Just ask for directions!”

Patronizing “Wow, you took out the trash. I’m so proud of you!”

Nagging (constant reminders because you think he isn’t doing something on your time frame.)

Insults (destroy trust and demoralize)

Cutting Sarcasm: How many kids do you have? “3 if you count my husband.”

Would you ever say these things to Superman? But Lois Lane did to Clark Kent. 

Do you treat your husband like Lois Lane treated Clark Kent? Or like  Lois Lane treated Superman? There was a big difference in how she perceived each one. Maybe you are like me..I just want to yell at the TV screen “They are the same person! Why can’t you see that!”

Sometimes that’s how I feel about my husband.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Words are Kryptonite

Prov 18:21 The tongue holds the power of life and death

Speaking life                                                   Speaking death

Praise                                                          Negativity             Criticism

Bless                                                           Complaining          Sarcasm

Judgmental

 

 

What can I say?

Stages of changing your words and thoughts.

  1. Surprised: Realization that most of what comes out of your mouth and thoughts in your head is disrespectful, negative and hurtful.
  2. Quite Mode: Can’t say anything at all. Every thought and every word seems disrespectful. Especially when you can’t think of anything good to say.
  3. Searching: Questioning God, reading the Bible, asking others, reading books trying to find out what respectful words sound like.
  4. Awkward: Saying all those good things when you don’t feel like it seems strange and abnormal.
  5. Filter: Begin to filter words before you say them. Begin to process what words are good and what is not.
  6. Comfortable: Saying positive things and not negative things becomes normal and the usual. Still mess up sometimes but able to recognize it quickly. Still make the decision to say it though.
  7. (Not there yet)

 “The more time you spend with God, the more you take on His character and His thoughts about what matters.  True selflessness is a reflection of God’s character and comes only as a result of time spent with Him.” From Nina Roesner in The Respect Dare:

Learn to filter with discretion and wisdom
Proverbs 18:2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
Proverbs 18:1  An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.

Proverbs 6:22 Anyone who has understanding is a fountain of life, but foolishness brings punishment to fools.
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:18  A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.

Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife: but he that puts his trust in the LORD shall be prospered.

Proverbs 25:15  By patience a prince shall be appeased, and a soft tongue shall break hardness.

Luke 6:45 – NKJV)A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Emotionally Fueled Words

You CAN express your emotions – but keep in mind that when you are responding to a situation where it could be easy to jump to conclusions, or if you are communicating something important to your husband that you really want him to hear – he will be better able to hear you with fewer words and less emotion.

And when you do share your emotions, if you can share them in a non-blaming, fairly calm way – that allows your husband to hear your heart much more accurately.  That’s why I like Laura Doyle’s method (The Surrendered Wife) of speaking our desires and feelings very simply.  Less words and less emotions actually get our message across many times much more effectively with men:

  • “I want X”
  • “I don’t want Y.”
  • “I feel sad.”  ”I feel afraid.”  ”I feel nervous.”  ”I feel upset.”  ”I feel lonely.”

ie: “I feel lonely. Would you please hold me for a  few minutes?”  or “I feel lonely.  I’d love/I want to cuddle for a few minutes, please”  work MUCH better than, “You never spend any time with me!  You obviously don’t love me at all!”

And, remember to share your positive emotions, too! Your emotions are VERY POWERFUL to your husband.  Using them in a constructive way will help you bond and become even closer.   I like to share all of my emotions with my husband – that helps him know me better and understand my heart more.

  • “I’m so happy being here with you!”
  • “I feel very safe with you.”
  • “I’m so glad we got to do X!”
  • “I really appreciate all you have done for me.”
  • “Thank you!!!!!!!!!”    *“I’m so full of joy!”

 

Positive Words:

Humbleness is a virtue. Refusing to say these words just because you are right or feel validated only makes things worse.

 “I love you.” Should be said daily and sincerely.

“I’m sorry.” Sometimes even when you still feel mad or hurt. It soothes the wounds.

”I really appreciate…”Gratitude does a lot to put both in a good mood. Motivates more than nagging.

“Thank you” Almost as good as the previous one.

“What can I do to help?” It’s all about serving your partner. Serve him=serving God.

“How are we?” for a quick marriage checkup or not so quick if your spouse feels like venting. Don’t ask if you aren’t prepared to listen.

“Let’s pray{ about that}” Be careful if your husband is not a believer. Don’t say things like this if it makes you sound more spiritual or could sound like you’re putting him down.

“Do you want a back rub/foot massage/etc?” Who doesn’t like that!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I repent for speaking words of death over my husband and our lives together. I choose now to speak words of blessing and life to my husband and about him and our marriage. Help me to speak truth with grace and mercy. Give me the wisdom to speak when necessary and a guard over my mouth when I should be quiet. Holy Spirit, I ask you to help me discipline my will over my tongue. Give me more understanding about respectful words that can be healing to my husband’s heart.

Identity Theft

Millions of people are victims of identity theft each year costing millions of dollars. Companies claim they can protect your assets for a nominal fee. But there is an identity theft that is facing every person on the planet today. It costs much more than money.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan works diligently to strip our identity from us. He starts at an early age with every child. The media is just one of his tools. TV, movies and books display a culture and behavior opposite how our Heavenly Father intended for us to live.
Jesus said He came to give life and give it more abundantly. Popular culture depicts a life pretty on the outside but void of “life”. You can only have “life” through Jesus Christ. All other options are a mirage of the real thing and lead you down a threatening path.

Know who are in Christ.
From youth people are bombarded with lies saying they are worthless, they can’t do anything, they are not as good as someone else. God can never fully forgive you. He is just waiting for you to mess up. You are not pretty or handsome. You focus on all your flaws.
These are lies. Think about all the bad stuff you tell yourself…
This is your true identity: You were born for a reason. God has a purpose and a plan for your life. You are more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ.
You are a child of God. You a wonderfully and fearfully made. God made you for a reason and made you wonderful! You are beautiful! Handsome! You are unique treasure of the Heavenly Father! You are valuable. Period.

Have you ever heard that someone is searching for who they are? That phrase is used as an effort to excuse to describe poor behavior of someone that “hasn’t found themselves”. Humans search for “who they are”. Teenage years are difficult for this reason. “Who am I?”

If we really knew it would shock us, in a good way. Satan does not want humans to ever know or fully realize “who we are in Christ”. If we did the world would be impacted and his kingdom would be desolate. So he uses an ancient strategy of deceit to strip away everything good thing God created us to be. Systematically changing our view of ourselves and thus our view of the world.

Linda Foley, founder of the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a non-profit organization that provides education on identity theft and assists identity-theft victims says that thieves “are looking for our weaknesses.”  Foley said, “They take advantage of our apathy.”

Christians have become apathetic. We accept the cultural view of who we are. We accept the lies fed to us all our life. The apathy keep us from diligently searching the truth. The truth of who we  really are.

If Satan works this hard to destroy it could it be something amazing? Could you really be strong, confident, accepted, loved, powerful? Could God really have given you an amazing gift of abundant life found only in Jesus Christ? All you have to do is believe the truth of the Word of God.

Go read you Bible and see what God says about you…

*Psalm 139:13-16   For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

1 Peter 2:9   But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light

Jeremiah 29:11   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Ephesians 1:4-5   For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will

Ephesians 2:10   For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Psalm 139:1-4   O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.

Colossians 2:13-14   When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

John 1:12-13   Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Galatians 4:6-7   Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

1 Samuel 16:7   But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

John 15:15   I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Romans 5:1-2   Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Colossians 3:12   Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Galatians 3:26-27   You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Psalm 138:8   The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-do not abandon the works of your hands.

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6   For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:14-15   because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Colossians 3:3-4   For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Ephesians 2:19   Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household,

1 Thessalonians 5:5   You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

Philippians 3:20   But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 3:14   We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Matthew 5:13   “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22   Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

1 John 3:1   How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Matthew 5:14   “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden

1 Corinthians 3:16   Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

Romans 6:18   You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

1 John 5:18   We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:5   you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:6   And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,

 

*There is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1)

We can never be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:39)

We have wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30)

We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We become God’s children (Galatians 3:26)

We have every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)

We have the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7)

We were also chosen (Ephesians 1:11)

We are for the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:12)

We’ve been given the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)

We may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 2:22)

We are light (Ephesians 3:12)

We are holy and faithful (Ephesians 5:8)

Our joy overflows (Philippians 1:26)

*Adapted from John Sachen on Yahoo and Bill Gaultiere at Soul Shepherding.

Lesson 5: Praying for your Spouse: Be the example

Be the Godly example.

This is the hardest part. (for me anyway, because I’m stubborn and I want vendication)

1 Cor 7:13-14   And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

You can’t be the example as a “holier than thou” “throw it in your face” type of christian. You are the example when you retaliate and respond in love and forgiveness rather than bitterness, strife, anger, or resentment.

1. Fight against the evil of resentment.

It will start as a “Keeper of Wrongs”. Keeping a list of every unkind deed or word he ever did. It will grow to resentment and eventually into bitterness.

It’s fairly easy to determine if you have resentment in your heart right now. Start praying for God to show you any resentment or unforgiveness you may have.

Ask yourself a few questions.

1. How does my spouse treat me?

If all you can thing of are the bad things, then you have kept a record of only wrongs. You need to start thinking of the good things. Maybe it’s only “he provides partial financial help”. Maybe it’s a stretch for you but start with something.

2. How much do I love my spouse?

Depending on how long you have been dealing with issues in your marriage and how severe the issues are this could result in various answers.

I remember a time when I knew I loved my spouse but I couldn’t say that I respected him. This is very serious. This is a sign that you are in trouble and need God’s help. Seek God’s help and seek godly counseling if at all possible.

Ultimately, you must come to a place where you realize that “love” the way the world views love is very different from the way God views love.

You must realize that “love” is a commitment not a feeling. Unconditional love doesn’t only return love when it “feels loved”. Unconditional love will love no matter what. This type of “agape” love is difficult when you are more concerned about yourself and how you “feel”.

The world will tell you that you deserve better. You deserve this…that…You deserve nothing but to keep your marriage together and sacrifice whatever is necessary for it. We don’t even understand what true sacrifice is anymore. That is why the divorce rate is just as high in churches as it is in the non-church world.

2. Fight against the temptation of bitterness

Hebrews 12:15    Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn’t take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you.

Bitterness will feed hate into a struggling marriage until separation or divorce seems the answer. Your spouse may succumb to this but you can’t.

Bitternesss starts as unforgiveness, then it turns into resentment, anger, and frustration. Then if it you don’t let God deal with this in your heart it turns into a hard wall that is only seen by harsh words and thoughts that say “I could kill you” “I wish you were not around” “You are…(fill in the blanks)”.

If you already see the fruits of this in your life then you are already ahead of the enemy. You “see” the problem. Now God can begin to heal this in your life.

Read the “Prayer for Bitterness”. This is a good start.

Jesus can set you free from all the bitterness. Once you are free you can effectively pray for your spouse.

Lesson 4: Proclaim in Faith (praying for your spouse)

Proclaim what is not yet as though it is.

Hebrews 11:1     Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

1. Caught being good!

Not only do you proclaim the truth of God over your spouse in prayer but also proclaim it to your spouse. Not in a condescending manner or taunting.

Proclaim his identity traits in Christ at every opportunity.When he shows patience in the smallest form praise him for it. Tell him “you are so patient” when he shows patience. When he shows love, praise him for it. “I feel so loved when you do that”, “I am so thankful I have you in my life. “ Even if the trait is faint and hard to see, find ways to tell him how wonderful he is. He may not be wonderful yet but God is changing him from the inside out.

2. Watch your words

The words you use daily are very important to your husband’s spiritual walk. If you use words that tear him down, disrespect or dishonor him whether in private or in front of people will negate everything God is trying to do.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Another verse that is helpful to remember is…

Proverbs 12:18 ESV   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We are to bring healing by using words that are in line with the Word of God. Healing is what your spouse requires. And while we can’t heal or change anything. God is the only one that can. We can be helpful or we can hinder it.

Ask yourself before you speak…”Will this help to bring healing to my spouse?” If not, then keep your mouth shut.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to put a guard over your mouth to help you say what is helpful or to not say anything at all if it will hurt.

The Lord will help you of you allow him to.

Prayer for Bitterness (from Praying for Spouse)

Prayer for Bitterness–

Father, forgive me for not forgiving my spouse as you commanded me to forgive. (Matt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.) You placed no limit on the amount of times we forgive. So forgive me and forgive me for keeping a record of wrongs.

I forgive (name) of every wrong he ever committed and every offense against me (list every one you can think of) I choose to forgive completely just as you forgive me and to remember those sins no more as far as the east is from the west. i release hm from any debt that is owed to me. He owes me nothing from this point on. I am due no repayment for wrongs against me. In place of anger, hurt, resentfullness, regret and bitterness I pray your great compassion and boundless love abides in me. I pray for grace that is sufficient in all circumstances. I declare that joy is my inheritance in all situations.Thank you for moving on my behalf in this marriage covenant. I Jesus name, Amen.

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