Thursday, August 8, 2013

Celebrate Your Mate - Magnify (Part III)

Let’s discuss another way we can celebrate our mate and that is to magnify him or her. Isn’t magnify a big word? Not in the pronunciation sense, but in its meaning. When we magnify something we make it bigger. Let us resolve to make our spouse feel like the BIGGEST part of our life. After God. The formal definition of magnify is to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect and to increase in significance.

Scripture says:
Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. (Romans 12:10 God’s Word Translation)
The bible gives us specific instructions on how we should treat our spouse. We can celebrate them by showing them the utmost respect. What does respect look like? Well listen up ladies because us wives are called to respect our husbands in Ephesians 5:33 which says “let the wife see that she respects her husband”.

Here are some examples:
1. Tell him you respect him. Be specific about what you respect. I tell my husband I respect the way he stands by his godly convictions and he doesn’t let anything or anyone sway him from his belief in God.
2. Apologize when you’re wrong.
3. Ask his opinion. Include him in your decisions and thoughts.
4. Be aware of the power of the tongue: ladies, we can be passive aggressive, snippy, sarcastic, and make snide remarks and criticize.
5. Speak kindly and lovingly of your husband in front of family, kids, and friends.
If we do these 5 things consistently, we are well on the way to exceling in respecting our husband.
In Ephesians 5:33 it also says, “each man must love his wife as he loves himself”. So, primarily God requires a husband to love his wife, but he is not off the hook for respecting her as well. A husband can respect his wife by:
1. Don't show her even the mildest forms of contempt. Contempt is poison in a relationship. You don't have to act like you like what she said or did, but do not take on an attitude of superiority, such as momentary smirking, sighs of disgust or eye-rolling. Such gestures, though seemingly insignificant, deeply show a lack of support, respect and trust, especially over a period of time.
2. Treat her as an equal. Even though you as the head of the household make the final decision, be sure to consult your wife and consider her feelings and insight.

The world often says you have to give respect in order to get respect. But in the Kingdom of God we are called to go higher, be better. We give respect, period. I’m not saying it will be easy sometimes, but I am saying it is possible with Jesus Christ.

Looking back at the definition of magnify it said to hold in greater esteem. Esteem means “high regard”. If we want our mate to feel celebrated we need to put him or her before ourselves. Being married successfully requires sacrifice. NEWS FLASH: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!! Philippians 2:3 says, “Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”
What a great verse for marriages. In a God-centered marriage you should feel secure enough to not worry about getting your needs met first. God’s got you! Spend your time meeting your mate’s needs! The return on doing that is huge! Imagine a marriage where the husband or wife is doing their best to meet the needs of their spouse. That’s celebrating your mate!

Let me talk to the wives again and I am going to read Ephesians 5:33 from the Amplified Bible:
“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]."

Whew! What a high-calling! But again, it’s in the Bible and God didn’t put anything in there that we can’t do with His power living on the inside of us. Don’t hear that scripture with a heavy burden, NO hear it as a way to celebrate the man God gave you!

When we encourage, praise, and admire our husbands, when we value their opinions and trust their leadership, we esteem them.  Because God has created men with a great need to be respected and admired by their women, it is especially important that we as wives esteem our husbands.  If we don't, they will be vulnerable to other women who do show them esteem.

Many times women think, "My husband has such a huge ego now, why should I esteem him and admire him and build him up even more??"  However, the wise woman will realize that the male ego is a fragile thing, and men often act "big" to cover up how small and inadequate they really feel on the inside.  They are torn down every day when they go out into the dog-eat-dog world, and it is our job to build them up each evening when they come home.

When we treat our husbands with respect, letting them know how much we admire them and how we value their leadership and their wisdom, it boosts their confidence and helps them lead more wisely.  It also reassures them of our commitment to letting them be the head of the household.

Increase in significance. That’s the second part to the definition of magnify. When something is important to us it’s significant. So, now we are being asked to INCREASE in significance. Well I believe one way to illustrate this is to continue to show your spouse they are number one in your life. No earthly human being should come before your husband or wife. And yes, that includes your children. God, spouse, children. That is the divine order of the family. Over time and as the trials of life come and go our mate can feel their position in your life is becoming less and less important. But no, live in a way that demonstrates nothing and no one will come before him or her. How you might ask? Using the word no. You can’t work from sun up to sun down 7 days a week, you can’t hang out every weekend with the girls or the fellas. Telling people no and valuing your spouse over friends and family members shows your spouse they come first, celebrates who they are in your life by magnifying their position. God’s Word says it best, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:24.

Well we have come to the end of “Celebrate Your Mate” series and I want to leave you with one final thought. It is a wonderful blessing to be married. It’s not God’s plan for every person. So, if you have been blessed with a mate, take time daily to celebrate them. God loves your husband or wife dearly and has given them to you as a gift. Bless, praise and magnify them in private and in public. This is your partner for your life! Celebrate and let the world see that indeed marriage is something to celebrate beyond the wedding day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Celebrate Your Mate! (Part II) - Praise

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Praise makes you feel good. Praise makes you feel loved. Praise energizes you to keep going. It can come from your boss, your co-workers, your best friend, children, but nothing compares to the praise you receive from the one you love. Now that kind of praise has the power to turn a bad day into a good one, a frown into a smile. So, I don’t have to say any more about what praise can do. Many of you know what it’s like when you receive it and when you don’t.

My primary love language is Words of Affirmation and during pre-marital counselling my husband learned my language and over time has grown to speak it fluently. It wasn’t very easy for him at first because he didn’t grow up all warm and fuzzy like I did. My mom told me she loved me every day, always complimented me, said nice things to me and about me and my husband’s family was somewhat different. His mother demonstrated her love in how she took care of them and provided for them. Praise was not prevalent in their household. So, he meets me and has to LEARN how to praise me. And may I say he not only knows what to say, but when to say it! He’s been an excellent student of me…but let me keep going…
Praise is very important to a marriage because it’s a way to make sure your mate knows that their efforts are being recognized. Yes, there are certain things we are “supposed” to do as a husband or wife, but it still feels good when your spouse notices and praises you for it.

Make a goal of making praise an everyday thing in your marriage. If your marriage is in a difficult season right now, praise can aid in turning things around. Finding something to praise your spouse about can help take the focus off the negative thoughts that you may be having about him or her.
Praise doesn’t have to be on a grand scale for the big things in life. It has a great effect on the small things such as when my husband washes my car I say” You did a great job honey, I can see out the windows so clearly”….when my husband is eating something I have cooked he says “this is delicious”. These are ways you can get started on praising your spouse this week or even today! Go out of your way to make your mate feel good about themselves and let them know how wonderful you think they are.
Another way of celebrating your mate is praising them when he or she is not around. Any chance you get to tell someone something positive and great about your spouse you should do it. We hear enough from our friends and family who complain about their spouse and some complain so much you wonder why did they get married in the first place. No, be different. Ask God to keep watch over your mouth and if you don’t have anything nice to say about your mate, don’t say it all. Add this scripture to your prayers, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”(Psalm 19:14). I understand we all need to vent sometimes, but at least make sure it’s someone you can trust and don’t bad mouth your husband or wife to anyone that will listen.

Just last week my husband placed an order for my favorite bbq sandwich and I just needed to pick it up on my way home. When I pulled up the owners starts saying “there she is, there she is”. I was looking around like who’s here??? Well they were talking about me! The gentleman told me my husband said I would be in a gold car and I would be beautiful. I couldn’t do anything but smile from the inside out! The funny thing is I know I was looking  a hot mess! But that’s OK my husband said I was beautiful! You know he got major points for that, right?

PRAISE is also about compliments. Tell your wife she’s beautiful. Tell your husband he is handsome. Compliment perfume, cologne, new dress, new suit. Anything and everything goes when it comes to complimenting or should I say celebrating your mate!

Read from the Song of Solomon Chapter 1, verses 15-16.
"The young man says How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves.
The young woman says: You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words!"

If you need some inspiration on complimenting your spouse, God has it for you in His word.
Here’s just another tip: temptation is real! Don’t let some other man or woman out in the world compliment your husband or wife more than you. Praise from a flattering woman or man can be the tool the devil uses to draw your spouse’s attention elsewhere in a moment of weakness. 

Here is a portion of Proverbs 5 which warns us about this trap:
For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
    and her mouth is smoother than oil.
 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
    as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
 Her feet go down to death;
    her steps lead straight to the grave.
 For she cares nothing about the path to life.

    She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.

PRAISE that evil spirit away and make no room for it to come in between your marriage! Take a minute or two today and notice something good your husband has done and praise him for it. Do it today and tomorrow and the next day! Practice makes perfect!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Celebrate Your Mate! (Part I)

The word celebrate brings about feelings of excitement and anticipation. The definition of celebrate according to Webster's dictionary is:
  1. to honor (as a holiday) especially by solemn ceremonies or by refraining from ordinary business
  2. to mark (as an anniversary) by festivities or other deviation from routine
  3. to hold up or play up for public notice
Now many of us when we think of celebrating we think of birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings. But, we are going to focus on celebrating a person, the person you have vowed before God and people to love until you leave this Earth.

That IS something to celebrate!

Since we have already defined the word celebrate let us look at a few words that are closely related, synonyms, to celebrate:

Bless, praise and magnify. These are words we are familiar with, especially as Christians. We know what it is to bless the Lord, praise His holy name and to "magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).

God has designed it that we put Him first and so by no means should we celebrate our mate over God, but I am saying that celebrating your mate is important to your marriage.


So, let's look at how we can bless our spouse, meaning how we can contribute to their happiness. How we can put a smile on their face and in their heart.
  • With your words. Words are incredibly powerful. The bible says, "death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov. 18:21). Use your words to bless your mate and bring life to your relationship. 
Remember to speak lovingly to one another and use manners. I know this sounds simple, but "please" and "thank you" goes such a long way. We speak so nicely to those we work with, waiters and strangers we come in contact with and our mates deserve the same if not better treatment. Add some sweetness to the way you talk to your spouse. This is a way to bless your spouse daily.

When my husband and I were dating we were out having dinner and he said "pass the me the salt". I passed the salt, but inside I was fuming. Where was the "could you please"? You see for me I liked to be asked to do things, not told. Of course my husband did not see it that way and was not trying to be rude, but that’s how I received it. Once I lovingly told him how I needed him to speak to me he worked very hard to remember to ask me rather than tell me. He even adds a Babe or Honey in there to make it even sweeter.

  • With your actions. Love is an action word. When you love someone you “DO” some things. The bible says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18 NLT). This is where knowing your mate’s love language is so very helpful. The 5 Love Languages is a must have resource for every married or engaged couple written by Dr. Gary Chapman. By learning your mate’s love language and speaking it regularly you can be assured you are blessing them by loving them the way they need to be loved.

Rick Warren, the author of a Purpose Driven Life, says it like this, “If love were just an emotion, then God couldn’t command it. But love is something you do. It can produce emotion, but love is an action. We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them. 

Very wise words from this dynamic pastor…

If your spouse has expressed to you something you do makes them feel loved. KEEP DOING IT. On the other hand if something you are doing is driving them insane and he or she has asked you to stop. STOP DOING IT. So easy, right? But yet you have many couples who won’t follow these simple instructions.

Being newlyweds my husband and I went through the adjustments that occur when you move in together. There have been several things he has asked me to do or not do. Some are minor some are major, but they all involve making his home, his castle and every one of his requests I have complied with. I’m blessing him with my actions and celebrating him as an individual who has his own way of doing things. He has done the same for me.
  • With your spirit. My spirit you may be asking yourself? Yes, your spirit that is connected to God. Your spirit in which the Holy Spirit speaks to you. Even before we can bless our spouse with words or actions we must bless them with our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus Christ that we can offer blessings and not cursings, to be angry and not sin, and to forgive when we want revenge. Stay connected with prayer, bible study and attending church on a regular basis.
I asked my husband what makes him feel blessed as a husband. His answer was having a God-fearing wife. He knows I will honor my vows because I honor God first. He can trust me because of my relationship with Jesus. He knows God will get me! 

Also, when you allow the Holy Spirit to work in you it shows. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23). If we are going to celebrate our mate we are going to have to walk in the Spirit.

It is my sincere prayer that you will take something from this blog post and celebrate your mate by blessing them in some way every day!

Please feel free to comment on how you are currently blessing your spouse or how you plan to.

Stayed tuned for Part II coming next week! Thanks!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our First Anniversary

On April 21, 2013 my husband and I celebrated our very first anniversary. It just happens to also be the second anniversary of the day we met. Yep, we married one year to the day of our first date! We were introduced by mutual friends and spoke on the phone for a week before ever seeing one another. When I think back on that time my heart is filled with gratefulness to God for bringing us together.

Anniversaries are special. Whether it's one or fifty-one. Every year you spend with one another should be celebrated. Anniversaries have the power to bring you closer than you were before. Anniversaries can inspire you to recommit to each other and to your vows. It's a great time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the future. And maybe this year hasn't been a very good one. Maybe you're wondering if you can make it through another year or wondering even how you made it this far! If that is your situation don't lose hope for your marriage.

My husband and I took a weekend trip to Canyon Lake, TX and it was absolutely beautiful. The lodge we stayed at was very secluded and only a few other couples were there. There was a deck right outside the room with a porch swing and the view was incredible! I knew we would enjoy it from the moment we pulled up. I also knew God would meet me there for a time of refreshing and renewal as a wife.

While there I was determined to see the sun rise over the lake. I sat my alarm clock for early Sunday morning and went out on the porch swing and watched and listened. I was amazed by God's creation and all the colors in the sky and all the birds with their different chirping sounds. I breathed in God's air and I prayed.

I prayed that God would cover our marriage with love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. I thanked God for all He has done in me, my husband and this marriage. I asked God to continue to work in me His Word and His ways.

You see, I recognize that I cannot be a godly wife without His spirit working in me each and everyday; better yet, each and every minute. These minutes, these days will all add up to another year together as long as God allows. I don't want a year to go by that my husband will not praise me, that my husband will not say he is blessed to have me, or that he will not see the favor of God on his life and thank God for his good thing.

I encourage you to look forward to your anniversary with excitement, anticipation and love. Seek God on what you need to do to please Him first and be assured you will certainly please your husband.

Share with me a special anniversary you and your husband have shared...
Canyon Lake, TX