Be Present With Your Love by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The upcoming Valentine’s Day has me thinking about how I can better love my spouse. God put it on my heart to be more present.  We have a busy life with four kids and carving out time to go on dates can be hard. However, being present is key in the way we interact with our spouses. I look at all aspects of our relationship and I’m more aware that connecting with my husband will allow him to feel more loved by me. It is in the little things like when he calls me.  Am I focused on the conversation or am I distracted? My husband knows when I am not fully listening to him on and off the phone. In order to affirm that I am listening on the phone, I ask questions or repeat what he just said to make sure I understand.   Eye contact is the key in person and truly giving him your attention by turning off the television and phone, or going in another room where your kids can’t distract you. Giving of your time and listening well allows you to be present in the moment with your love/valentine. Our spouses deserve to be loved well and if we can’t give them our time and focus, then we are missing out on a deeper relationship that we can have with them! My husband does a great job at loving me well.  For Valentine’s Day he makes a homemade dinner and we stay at home and just be together. He shows me he is present by making himself available and carving that time out. It is not complex, but a simple gesture to just spend time with your sweetie and it doesn’t have to cost to be present with your love. I challenge you this Valentine’s Day to take a break from the busyness and spend time with the ones you love.  You will never regret being present in their lives!

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You’re Better For It by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 20:35

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I love this verse because it’s promotes generosity.  It displays Christ’s purest desire to give rather than to receive.  It highlights the needs of the weak and the poor yes, but you can also take on this attitude in many aspects of life.  Other versions say, “It’s better to give than to receive.” To the truly selfish person that may sound perplexing.  Surely receiving is more enjoyable!  I’ve managed to learn over the years, however, the joy that is attached to giving.  One of my love languages is Gifts.  Which means I express love through giving gifts, and I also interpret or receive love through gifts.  When I was younger I think I much preferred getting a gift. Now that I’m older and more experienced, the joy for giving gifts has far surpassed the happiness of receiving one.  The look on a person’s face when they behold what I have spent time and money on to give to them is truly a delight to me.

“It is more blessed to give – It is a higher privilege; it tends more to the happiness of the individual and of the world. The giver is more blessed or happy than the receiver.” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

It is a higher privilege indeed to be in the position to give. Think about that for a moment.  Think of how impacted you were when someone reached out to meet your need. What a blessing to be in the seat of the giver at a later turn in life.  This verse isn’t talking about physical gifts alone, but also about meeting the needs of the disenfranchised.  Maybe you were the person in need for a long time and now you are stabilized.  The best way to honor those who helped you is to help others.  People need food, shelter, community, a friend, a prayer partner, and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes in the “name it and claim it” circles of ministry believers are consumed with trying to get their needs, wants and desires met, and they neglect the needs of the weak.  I’m all for a strong prayer life, and humbly asking God to grant you what you need, all I’m saying is that the bigger blessing is in giving.  Don’t believe me? Well, Jesus said so.

Let’s hit the pause button on some of our typical requests and instead maybe ask the Lord to show us ways that we can grant requests. Let’s ask God to point us in the direction of opportunities where we can be the better for giving to those in need.  It’s the higher privilege that will leave you more blessed and happy than those you choose to look out for.

 

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Nagging Wife Syndrome by Sonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is so hard to not nag your husband when there are messes around the house and you can trace his tracks of where he has been. I can get so frustrated if my husband is just watching TV and I am slaving away at cleaning up the kitchen from dinner or doing laundry or chores of some sort. I don’t like to nag him to help clean up because that just makes it stressful and tense between our relationship. As frustrated as I can get about it, those messes are reminders of God’s gifts all around us. Like Jesus’ example, He extends His love all around and we have the opportunity to demonstrate that love to our loved ones by serving them through our daily lives like doing chores and cleaning up after them. Marriage is designed to be a reflection of Christ and His love and serving your husband is key in that. Therefore when I nag and point out his faults, that is poisoning our relationship and not allowing God to shine through our marriage. I have failed many times at this and not looking at my spouse through God’s eyes and how He sees him. But I get tired of picking up after my family and I get grumpy and don’t want to serve. Than I am reminded of the verse in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good.” We have our days where we get exhausted but I need to remember to focus on the good work ahead. I know it is hard work to serve someone when you are tired and all you want to do is nag and yell at them to get it done but that has gotten me nowhere. My husband doesn’t want a nagging wife, he wants a loving wife that will serve him and do the good God has called me to do. A nagging wife is like, “A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike,” Proverbs 25:24. I don’t want to be that dripping water that annoys the ones I love.  I want to bring refreshment and encouragement to my husband. Taking these messes as blessings and understanding how God created my husband in His image has helped me see that serving him is a gift. I should be thankful when I do clean up, do laundry and chores around that I am doing unto the Lord.  I’m grateful to be able to do this for my loved ones because I don’t know how much longer God will allow me to be with them. Let that be a reminder to cherish each day and when we start to nag at our spouses or get frustrated of the messes they’ve made to know that it is an honor and gift to serve them as they are a gift from God!

 

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Fruit Inspectors by Trish

 

 

Have you ever attempted to eat an apple and after you carefully selected what looked the best, bit into what was rotten and decayed on the inside? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were confused by a person’s character? They spoke of being one way but the walk didn’t match the talk or the appearance didn’t match the core of what was on the inside?

As believers it is not our place to judge a person because only God knows the intent of the heart. However, we do have the responsibility and ability to inspect the fruit that is coming from one’s life.

In other words, you can tell by the actions demonstrated and words spoken from one’s life if they are bearing good fruit or not. We then have the responsibility to guard our hearts and distance ourselves from what is toxic to our spiritual health and personal growth. We don’t stop loving but we maintain boundaries that say, “I love you and will pray for your but I value the person God made me to be.”

Matthew 7:16-18 New Living Translation

“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.”

We are taught that what comes out of one’s mouth reflects what is in the heart. What one speaks of is evidence of the type of fruit they produce. If lies, deceit and slander are what are spoken, that is fruit from a root in that person’s heart. An apple is only the fruit from a seed that was once hidden and buried. In time, that seed grew and became a visible, tangible thing.

A bad tree cannot produce good fruit. Before making a character assumption of someone’s life watch him or her. What is the fruit they produce in their life? Do they have a track record of maintaining healthy relationships? Are they respected for their character? Are they known for being agents of unity or do they disrupt peace and cause chaos and confusion?

We are to be women of wisdom and virtue and we are to bear good fruit! Our fruit is the proof that we are connected to God and we allow Him to work through us. Something that has great worth and value does not have to announce itself as such it just is.

Ladies, rest in who your God is and just “be.” Spend time in His Word, learn of His ways and let the seeds of His love produce good fruit in your life!

 

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