Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pray for your Beloved ~ Spiritual Growth

We live in society crippled by an epidemic of boys in men's bodies. Somewhere along the line, we quit raising men. Oh, they grow physically, but in their actions and emotions, they remain boys. Where are the real men?

The church is not immune to this epidemic, but it affects the men in the church spiritually as well. It is imperative that we pray for the spiritual growth of our husbands. The church is suffering terribly because the men within her are lacking in maturity. There are few men who truly are mature in Christ, and there are so many who, having come to Christ, remain as spiritual juveniles, because there is no one to mentor them and feed them, bringing them to spiritual maturity. We see the results in weak doctrine, and even weaker families. It is heartbreaking, and we must lift our men before the throne of grace and plead for the Lord to bring them along to maturity.

God calls for men to be mature. "And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ." Eph. 4:11-15 ESV

Spend time each day praying for your beloved to grow and mature in his relationship with Christ. Following are verses for you to use as prayer prompts throughout the week.

"Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation." 1 Peter 2:2 ESV

"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." Hebrews 5:14 ESV

"Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature." 1 Corinthians 14:20 ESV

May God bless you as you lift your beloved husband before Him.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Giving up habits

My Beloved began a journey today to give up smoking. He's smoked for 20 years and has at various times tried to quit, but has never been successful. I determined a while ago, to make an effort not to nag him about it ~ it's difficult. I have never liked his smoking, and I know that it's not good for him. I just keep praying that every time he smokes a cigarette he will have less and less desire for the next one.

If your husband has a bad and/or unhealthy habit, join me today in praying for him. Pray for victory, for him to lean on the Everlasting Arms for his strength. Pray for yourself to be able to support him and not nag. Praying with hope that soon you will be able to rejoice in his conquering whatever his bad habit is!

Father God~
I lift my Beloved up to You now. I pray that he will turn to You, and rely on Your strength to get him through the nicotine withdrawals. I thank You that he has the desire to quit. I pray for patience and love, for the children and myself as he deals with kicking this long-standing habit. Father, I pray for the ladies who read this. I ask that they too would see their husband's have victory in their lives ~ not because they are such strong men, but because they have relied on You. Thank You that You care about the littlest details in our lives.
In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

10 Free Valentine Ideas

*Wear some yummy smelling perfume or lotion- I bought some called Body Truffles ~ smells like chocolate! If I put it on in the evening, I can still smell it in the morning.
*Leave love notes for your beloved to find. Last night, before I went to bed, I wrote a little note on a heart shaped doily and taped it to his steering wheel, so he would findit this morning. I also stuck one in his wallet and in his little paper *brain* he carries with him at work.
*Fix his favorite meal.
*Fix his favorite dessert.
*Have the children make handmade cards.
*Give him a massage. Massage his: scalp, neck and shoulders, back, legs and feet ~ or all of it.
*Don't ask him to one *chorish* sort of thing this evening ~ just let him relax and enjoy his family.
*Read love poems ~ read THE love poem of the Song of Solomon.
*Write out 10 or more things that you love and appreciate about your beloved.
*Think about something you know that he would like you to do or change, and commit to him to do it.

BONUS - Put the children to bed, and remind him WHY he loves YOU! ;-)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day is NOT just for beginners!

To get you ready for Valentine's Day. :-)

"My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand. His head is the finest gold; his locks are wavy, black as a raven. His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, sitting beside a full pool. His cheeks are like beds of spices, mounds of sweet smelling herbs. His lips are lilies, dripping liquid myrrh. His arms are rods of gold, set with jewels. His body is polished ivory, bedecked with sapphires. His legs are alabaster columns, set on bases of gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as the cedars. His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem." Song of Solomon 6:10-16 ESV

Do you see your beloved in this way? Can you rattle off a list of things you find desirable about him? I want to encourage you to read through the Song of Solomon. As you read what the bride has to say, picture YOUR husband. Remember what it was like when you were first together. The rush and excitement of being together. How you longed for his company and his touch. How the sound of his voice was music to your ears. Oftentimes the longer we are married, and the more responsibilities we have, the more complacent we become in our love relationship. Sometimes it becomes almost rote. We don't put a lot of thought or enthusiasm into it. As we approach Valentine's Day, THINK about it!

Read through the Song, and allow yourself to see not just this young, royal couple, but you and your beloved. God includes this book within THE Book for a reason. While there are those that would say it is just an analogy for Christ and the Church, I would encourage you to read it as it is written ~ as a passionate love story. Use your imagination. It's okay. They were married and you are too. ;-) God created intimacy, and He desires for His children to enjoy it within the context of marriage. You may even want to read it together before you go to bed. We have found this to be very inspirational, and moving.

Create an entire evening of romance. We have a house full of children, so I will fix a *romantic* dinner of lasagna, homemade french bread, green salad, and sparkling juice for the whole family to enjoy. We will spend the evening enjoying each other's company ~ possibly watching an educational program or playing games together. After the children are put to bed, we will retire to our room and have tea and dessert *just for two*, and let things take their natural course.

Let your beloved know that you're thinking about him. Stick a valentine or love note into his suit or lunch box or someplace where he's sure to find it during his work day. If it 's appropriate, call him at some point during the day, just to tell him that you love and miss him and are anxiously awaiting his return. Put clean sheets on the bed, and make sure your room is tidied up. If he likes you with a little makeup, then put some on before he gets home, and do your hair in a special way. Think about him throughout the day ~ not as *Daddy*, or *Mr. Fix-it*, or *Mr. Bill-pay* ~ but as *LOVER*. And anticipate him coming home! Meet him at the door with a smile and a kiss and *welcome* him back to his family.

Have a blessed, enjoyable, romantic Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Preparing for the return of my Beloved

Tomorrow he's home!!! I can't wait! I have missed this dear man more than I could have imagined.

So, I told you I would share what I was doing to prepare to make things special.

*I bought a card, and I plan on writing some verses from the Song of Solomon in it.
*I am doing a little rearranging, and cleaning in the bedroom, so it will be conducive to romance.
*Making sure the candles have plenty of burn time left and all holders are clean ~ we love candle light!
*Making sure there is romantic music ready to go.
*I bought some *yummy* chocolate smelling lotion. This stuff is incredible. Hours after putting it on, it STILL smells like chocolate! I plan on wearing some of that. ;-)
*I bought a bottle of wine, so that we can share a glass and relax after putting everyone to bed tomorrow. I may pick up a cheesecake as well, so we have a special dessert to share.

My plan is to get the girls to bed early, encourage the boys to get to bed at a reasonable hour, try to get the baby down by 8:30 or 9:00, and then ~ romance my Beloved! Maybe I'll make a pot of tea, or we might just be happy with the wine, and some dessert. We'll take it to our room, where I have a couple of chairs and a small table, and we'll be surrounded by candle light. Then, I'll let him know just how much he has been missed.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Seeking Him Whom My Soul Loves

"On my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but found him not. I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares; I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but found him not. The watchmen found me as they went about in the city. 'Have you seen him whom my soul loves?' The Song of Solomon 3:1-3 ESV

The one whom my soul loves is gone this week. If he wasn't half way across the country, I would be tempted to be like Solomon's bride, and search him out. I know that many, many military families go through this on a fairly regular basis, so please don't see this as a complaint. However, I'm not used to being apart from my Beloved. I can feel the longing in this passage. The one whom her soul loves is missing, and she is unsettled, empty, and driven to find him. So much so that she is willing to risk danger and possible disgrace to find him. When I went to bed last night, I found myself wishing that I could just roll over and find myself in my lover's arms, but I could not. If I could have searched him out and found him, I would have done it.

When did that happen? Several years ago, I left him twice to go on mission trips, each 3 weeks. I missed him, but really didn't think anything of leaving him for that amount of time. As I lay, running my fingers through his hair, watching him sleep the night before he left, I couldn't even imagine what my week would be like without him, and I found myself praising God for bringing such a change in our marriage. We loved each other then, but now, now we are much more one.

"Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me." Song of Solomon 3:4 ESV

Friday he returns! I can't wait! When I find the one whom my soul loves, I will hold him and not let him go! I cannot wait until my Beloved returns from this business trip, and I can show him how much he has been missed, how much he is needed at home. I have been making an effort to make each day's homecoming something for him to look forward to, but I hope that this Friday and the following weekend will be so wonderful that he won't ever want to leave home again!

What am I going to do? Not sure yet, as I figure it out, I'll post. So stay tuned!