Thursday, February 11, 2010

Daddy's Girl

I am oldest of 5 children, the only girl with 4 younger brothers. I guess you could say that I was spoiled, but I also bore a great deal of responsibility as the oldest child - and with being the only girl I was expected to do all the things that girls do in the home...you know helping with dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc... so, while I was spoiled, I also was held responsible for my younger siblings.

I never was bothered about being the only girl, and I didn't mind not having a sister while I was growing up because I was able to share a special relationship with each of my parents. For my mom I was her only girl - so I was able to become the recipient of all the adorable things that moms like to get for their daughters. For my dad - well, I was a daddy's girl, and to a certain extent though I am in my 50's and have been married for nearly 32 years, I still am.

Today is my dad's birthday. I was thinking about my dad this morning and as I pondered the wonderful relationship that we have enjoyed I bowed my heart in prayer to the Lord and thanked Him for giving me my father. I thought of really all the wonderful attributes that he has – he has always been very loving, honest, hard working, faithful, fair, and overall a great man. I believe that all those qualities I saw in him helped me to know what to look for in a husband, and how thankful I am for that!

I also thought about the fact that God is our Heavenly Father, and how much importance that puts on the fact that Dad is called father. I believe when we as children, or even as adults hear "Father" we think of our earthly fathers. Wow, what an awesome responsibility that carries for the man that is called father - because forever in the hearts of their children when they think of God they will see an image of their dad.

With that thought in mind, I believe it is so important for you mom to help your husband with this task. I don’t mean to nag him or even to tell him how to be a father, but rather gently let him know when you believe your children need special “daddy” time. I remember when we were raising our children there were just some times that I felt it was important or would be helpful to our children if they had a special outing with their dad. I firmly believe this helped their relationship, and worked to foster a better relationship our adult children now have with their heavenly Father.

Here are three examples I find that teach special times when children should be encouraged to go to dad, and likewise when you mom should encourage dad to help the kids.

1. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11 Children usually find it easier to ask mom for things – when they do encourage them to go to dad (and let him know in advance that you have done so, so that you agree together the answer – you don’t want your kids pitting you against each other.)

2. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13 When your children are hurting, of course as a mom you are the comforter – but be sure to share with your husband your children’s heartaches and allow him to sometimes be the one that does something special to help them feel better. (Like taking them out for an ice cream or to do something special)- I remember asking my husband to spend special time with our children from time to time just because – it was always a blessing for both of them.

3. “For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:12 This is a tough one especially on dad, but especially for boys it really seems to work better if dad is the main one doing the disciplining.

So Dad thanks for being such a truly wonderful father to me and my brothers – we all love you and think the world of you. And to my hubby, thank you for being a great dad to our children. Ladies – help your husbands by encouraging them to be a good dad you'll be glad you did - and so will your childen.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fire it UP!

We live in a “me” generation, by that I mean most people ask “what can I get?” instead of “what can I do?” We can all be so selfish, even on the Ruffles chips bag, it says, “Get your own bag;” in days gone by, it was the "family pass around pack." We used to be encouraged to share, now it’s “get your own” - it sounds silly, but it’s just subtle and constant enough to affect the way we think.

We all expect something for ourselves - “What’s in it for me?” is a very common question. People that are consumed with serving themselves will not muster up the strength or energy to serve God or work on the things that God has given them. "And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee..." Isaiah 64:7 I would like to encourage you to “stir yourself up” and “keep the fire burning” in your marriage! God instituted marriage; it is a holy union that will be blessed as your keep Christ in the center.

Too many wives complain about what their husband is not doing and sit back and look at what they’re getting out of it instead of looking for ways to fire it up and keep it going. Have you ever noticed that if you leave a fire unattended it will go out, but if you stir it up a little and get the embers glowing and feed it some more wood, it will get burning?

Stir yourself up to keep it burning - Fire it up!

1. Pay attention- be attentive, attend to it. Give your marriage your attention, don’t let it just happen, you have to work it. Appreciate it, don’t take it for granted, remember when you were dating, and how much you wanted to get married? How sweet and polite you were? How you dressed to impress him fixing your hair, wearing make-up and jewelry, perfume- you always made sure your teeth were brushed and your breath was sweet. You would never have wanted him to come over to your house and see it a mess- why should that change? You need the same ingredients to keep a fire going as it took to start it. It’s the same in your marriage. Of course, there are times you won’t have make-up on (in the morning when you wake up) and every house needs to be cleaned, it won’t always be 100% perfect, but your husband should not come home from work to a messy, dirty house or a sloppy looking wife. Show your husband you appreciate him.

2. Build him. “Every wise woman buildeth her house…” Let him know you appreciate him, and that you are following him. He has a God-given position to lead; it gets lonely in front all alone. Let him know you are behind him. You are commanded to be submissive, (not just if you think he deserves it). God will honor your faith and obedience.

3. Be affectionate. Remember before you were married, you wanted to hold his hand, hug him, kiss, or be close to him? Men physically need that. They are made that way. Make it romantic- soft music, candles, nice dinner, look nice, and be sweet. If you have kids, occasionally farm them out or wait until they go to bed. Think about it, if your husband came home to that kind of scene how it would encourage him to know that you would do that for him. Now if you’re a stay at home mom at the very least your husband deserves a clean house, a nice meal waiting for him and a wife that is dressed and made up for him. You would do that much for friends; you should be willing to do more for your husband.

4. Give 100% Realize the fact that marriages are falling apart because everyone expects the other half to do the stirring.

I don’t think any of you want a dead marriage, don’t sit there and let it happen. Stir it up; create some excitement in your marriage. Your husband is the purpose God created you for- that to me makes him pretty important. Too many wives, Christians, fail to stir themselves up to take hold of God and to take care of their marriages. God has so many wonderful things prepared for us, if we’ll wait on Him. That means do it His way. "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways..." Isaiah 64:4, 5

Too many of us stir things up alright, but we need to stir ourselves up to take hold of Him and then you'll see the joy that God has in store for you. "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Built by a Break

For a mother there aren't many things capable of bringing sheer joy, or a broken heart like the actions of her children. It seems that our hearts are completely enveloped by the lives of our children. Even now that my children are grown as I think of them throughout the day I bring them before the throne of grace. When I see my children fulfill a goal or accomplish something new I want to be the first one to cheer them on, or let them know how proud I am of them. When any of my children face a trial, while I know that I can't prevent it or be there to make everything all better as I did when they were young, I carry it in my heart and go through it with them, and pray it through.

I have been thinking of an account of a mother whose heart was broken by the acts of one of her children. She was attending an event over which one of her children was presiding. She was so proud of this great accomplishment, the sessions being taught, and the respect with which her child was being received - she made sure to sit front and center. Perhaps she was being a little proud, but what mother wouldn't be proud of such an accomplishment by one of her children? In the course of the day her child introduced with great pride the woman that he said was "like a mother" to him, and proceeded to list all the wonderful attributes of this woman. Now, there was nothing wrong with what was done, but the "real" mom felt slighted. She didn't expect to be introduced, she just felt that if her child was going to say someone was like a mother, the fact that the real mom was there should have been at least mentioned. For the balance of the event she sat in the back - her heart was broken.

She never told her child how she felt or how she cried many days over the fact that she felt another woman had taken her place in the heart of one of her children. Being a Christian woman she prayed about her feelings and asked the Lord to help her with her broken heart. God answered her with a reminder that He knew exactly how she felt. You see everyday people fail to give God the glory due only Him. Through this heartbreaking experience she learned some things that helped her to grow closer to the Lord. "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." I Peter 5:10. From this verse in Scripture we learn that the things we suffer make us "perfect" (meaning mature), strong, and settled (in our faith - less likely to be drawn away).

What did she learn?

1. She learned to understand "...thou shalt have no other gods before me." For the first time she realized just how painful it must be for the Lord when we give people, chance, or luck credit for things that God does.

2. She learned the importance of showing her appreciation to the Lord for the things He does and for the influences He allowed in her life that caused her to grow and progress.

3. She learned that suffering in this way helped her in her Christian walk. She came to the conclusion that her child probably did not mean to hurt her, but that perhaps the Lord used that event to help her to get a glimpse of the heart of God, for which she remains thankful.

Ladies, moms, we will all face difficulties that will cause us to feel broken hearted. This mom was built by a break-it is my prayer that as Christians when we experience the pain of being broken hearted we will go to the Lord for help and allow Him to minister to us through His Word.

Have a wonderful day!