Don’t Miss the Miracle

    There is a wonderful story in the second chapter of John about a wedding.  Jesus and His disciples had been invited to a wedding.  This was not just an event of a few hours but could last for several days.  We know the story of how the host had run out of wine and Jesus’ mother, Mary, decided to remedy the problem and she knew just who could do that!  Jesus seems reluctant at first, but gives instructions to the servants to fill the large jars that usually held water meant for washing.  He tells them to fill them to the brim.  They do what He says and the water the servants had poured into the jars becomes fine wine. The host is saved and the wedding continues with finer wine than was served at the beginning. This is the very first miracle performed by our Lord Jesus.

    As I pondered these verses and their applications, I saw how we can apply this story to our marriages.  The points of this application are simple but profound and when put into practice may very well be life changing or maybe we should say marriage changing….

               Invite Jesus to your marriage… every day.

               Do whatever He says do…already written in His Word.

               And do it to the brim…obey completely.

               Quickly obey…no second guessing.

                Then watch for the miracle….when the ordinary becomes a miracle.

 

Gifts to Give Your Husband on Father’s Day

   
    Your husband was not born knowing how to be a good Dad.  Even if he had a good role model in his own Dad or knows God as his perfect Father, he still must find his way.  His responsibility is great!  In the final analysis much is on his shoulders.  So what can you , as his wife, do to help him be the best Dad ever?  Consider these suggestions:

    1.  Encourage him, encourage him often and in everything.  Let him hold that new born, tell him he can do the things he feels awkward doing… having a tea party, or listening to the piano recital….
     2.  Support him in his decisions in parenting. ( Discuss your differences away from the kids and come to agreement)
     3.  Show how much you respect him before your children and do not let them disrespect him.
    
4.  Join him in a united front.  Stand together and do not let your children drive that wedge between you.
    5.  Pray, pray, pray for him and let him know you are doing so.
    6.  Allow him to do what only a Dad can do.  We mothers often hover and hold on too long and too much.  A Dad can do the things that call you children to maturity. 
         Whether your husband has been a Dad for two months or twenty years, be his greatest cheerleader.  Express your gratitude often to him and again remember to pray that God will do the work in him that only God can do. 

The Lost Art of Contentment

    
     In our times of grabbing, gaining, climbing, collecting and even hoarding,
the art of contentment seems lost. The desire for more, better, new and improved moves us to the place of never being content.  Contentment may even be seen as apathy or complacency by the world.
     Paul says to Timothy, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6). To connect Godliness with contentment tells me this is an important attribute for me to have.  What is contentment and why is it so illusive?  Why is it important to have? 
     Contentment has a settled, peaceful heart in whatever circumstance it’s  in. It is not wanting more, better or a different place in life. Paul also writes, “Whatever circumstance I am in I have learned to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) Paul says this from a life in which he experienced many extremely difficult circumstances yet he stayed in the place of contentment whether he had “much or little”.
     Contentment can only come when my eyes are focused on my Provider, my Protector, my Strength; in other words in my Father God.  It says, no matter what, in whatever place I am in, He will meet me there and He will be enough.
      And why is it so illusive?  Why does it often slip through my soul and become displaced by dissatisfaction, stress, unrest, or contentiousness?  I think the answer may be because we do not give the effort or practice needed to learn contentment.  Remember Paul said, ” I have learned to be content…”  He had made the effort to take each circumstance and bring his heart to the place of acceptance in the midst of it and trust in His Sovereign Lord for the eternal purpose that it was meant to serve! 
     I think we need to preach these truths to ourselves, (I know I do). We need to be  reminded of what we probably already know and just settle our heads down in the pillow of contentment (as Jesus did during the storm). 
     Why is it important for believers to be characterized as content?  I think when our contentment is evident in our lives the world around us sees that our Father is not only enough for us in our life situations, but more than enough. The testimony of contentment speaks volumes of the care and power of our God.
      Contentment produces thanksgiving and thanksgiving gives way to contentment.  Praise follows close behind and our God gets the glory.  As John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied.”  So Godly contentment is really deep satisfaction with our Father God… Are you content today right where you live????

The Preciousness of Marriage


   Hebrews 13:4a says “Let marriage be held in honor…”  The word for honor in the New Testament commonly means precious.  It is the word used in 1 Corinthians 3:12 where Paul speaks of “gold, silver, and precious stones”.  It is used in 1 Peter 1:19 in reference to the “precious blood” of Jesus and also in 2  Peter 1:14 to refer to the “precious and very great promises” of God.
   You may now be looking at this verse with new insight.  In the Amplified Bible this verse reads this way, “Let the marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things.” John Piper’s comments on this verse are these: “We should hear the ring of preciousness. Let marriage be thought of as precious.  Let it be treasured like gold and silver and rare jewels.  Let it be revered and respected like the noblest, most virtuous person you have ever known  Let it be esteemed and valued as something terribly costly. When we think of marriage we should be gripped by emotions of tremendous respect and sanctity.”
   Do I daily think of my marriage in this way?  Or has the world so affected my view that I consider it much less than I should?  There is an onslaught by the Enemy, this world and our own flesh against this precious institution created by God.  Others are seeking to minimize it, redefine it, and sacrifice it.  We cannot make light of that which our God deems precious! 
   How do I look at my own marriage?  Do I see it daily as precious or have the passing years robbed me of the treasure it is and made it become a thing to be taken for granted or even endured?  Because of problems, conflicts and pain, you may say my marriage is far from being precious to me. Please remember the Maker of marriage knows how it best works and has given us the best marriage manual available to all in His Word  and He can give you the power and grace to produce that preciousness once again. I encourage you to meditate on this preciousness of marriage and pray that our Lord will bring it back to your marriage and to your heart.  God loves what He creates and He created marriage to be a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.
   See what a new or newly remembered view will do.  Look to do and say the things in your marriage that indeed prove it is a precious treasure to you.  God will be pleased and your marriage will be blessed.

 

Are You a Crown?


           Proverbs 12:4 records these words; “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings him shame is like rottenness in his bones.”  ( ESV)  The amplified version says it this way; “A virtuous and worthy wife (earnest and strong in character) is a crowning joy to her husband, but she who makes him ashamed is as rottenness to his bones.”
          What a picture of contrast these words bring to our minds.  Of course, we wives would much rather be crowns to our husbands than rottenness to them.  What do these words really mean and how are they fulfilled in our marriage relationship.   
          Think of a crown. What does a crown do?  When you see someone wearing a crown what do you think of that person?  A crown says that the person wearing me is special.  There is an honor, an air of prestige, a setting apart as important associated with the one wearing a crown.  We, as wives are to reflect these things for our husbands.  My words, my actions, my attitudes, even my very expressions should give honor, respect and love to my husband.  My attitudes should say to the world…. this man is so special, he is my treasure and I am honored to be his wife.
          I like that the analogy is that of a crown.  What is a crown like?  In the Bible, there are numerous descriptions of crowns and they are filled with beautiful, priceless stones and metals, ornately carved and molded; often one of a kind.  In Proverbs12:14, the wife is described as excellent, virtuous, worthy, earnest and strong in character.  The crown (or the wife) can be beautiful, but her purpose is not to bring attention to herself by pointing out her own beauty, but to bring recognition to the wearer; her husband. 
        Practically, how do I walk this out?  Ephesians 5:33b tells us best how we can be a crown to our husbands.  The Amplified version says it this way, “…let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and 
esteems him, and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.)”
        There you have it!  We have our call as wives and then we are clearly given the how to’s. I did not say that this was easy. It will rise up in our minds and flesh: all the BUTS…. What if he does not do this or does do this.  So we go off chasing those rabbits and may never come back to the place of simple obedience to what our Lord clearly tells us to do.
        Start being your husband’s crown and I just believe he will gradually turn into that prince that you first fell in love with, only better…. the son of the Father..
        Now the second half of this verse is a dire warning and we will discuss that another day.  So for now, be that beautiful crown that brings honor to the one you call husband!