****NOTE**** These notes and points are taken from the Sermon by David Platt – Desire – Do We Want Him – See sermon included at the end of this posting.
In the last post we went over the first two points that Pastor David Platt covered in his sermon about desiring God in Prayer. We saw that the ultimate goal of prayer is to mold out desires into those of God’s and to make our will and desires one with His. Before we continue I would like to again review the passage in Luke 11:2-4 so that the verses are fresh in your memory as we continue the following two points.
If for some reason you missed the first post, here is the link so that you can go back and read what was covered, because it is deep and extremely important :
“And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
3. Ask God For His Grace – “Forgive Us Our Sins”
There is amazing truth in this point. We often read over this and think, “Yeah, yeah. God forgives my sins” and no one really considers the magnitude of that fact. We have a hearing with God – the Almighty God of the Universe, the One who holds the World in His hands and breathed life into man, we are able, as His Children, to go before Him and seek His grace and mercy. What an awesome thought!
The more we walk with God in prayer the more connected with God we become and the more real and literal this fact becomes to us as believers, as children of the Most High. The deeper we come into God, the more we realize our need for His grace as He exposes things in our lives that we never saw before. The awesome thing in all of this is, that as we become closer to Him and He reveals these sins and the wickedness in our lives the more we desire and long to get rid of it because we want to walk the Christ like life and want to be molded to be more like Him.
There are two points within this one that I would like to make as it regards the specific way we are to approach God as we seek His forgiveness for sin in our lives.
1.) We are to experience His grace continually
We are in constant need of forgiveness. There is not a day that goes by that we are not in need of the continual forgiveness of our Father. It is in this that we are shown that even our best works need to be washed in the blood of Christ because before a righteous King they are but mere filthy rags.
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
This is why we are to go before God over and over again, consistently and constantly, asking Him for His forgiveness. We are driven to go before Him because we realize that we are in such deep need to be washed clean by the blood of the lamb. There is no way we can exhaust the mercy of God by going to Him with our sins and failures, that is exactly what He desires in each of us, a humble and contrite spirit that looks to please Him.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
1 Chronicles 7:14
We can boldly approach the throne of grace, knowing that we have an audience with the King and that He offers a well of mercy and forgiveness that will never run dry.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
2.) We are to experience His grace and mercy specifically
It can be so easy to go before God in prayer, seeking His mercy, and rather than praying for specific sins we have in our lives, we want to generalize our sins and sum them all up without laying them out one by one before Him. We need to go before God and ask specific forgiveness for the sins that we are aware of as He brings them to our attention. We go before Him and we say the things that we would be horribly ashamed of anyone else to hear or to know, and yet He already does know, and desires that we come to Him and be specific about the sins we seek to have cast away.
When we first become regenerated in Christ, we experience the knowledge and freedom of knowing that we are completely forgiven and that all of our sins are cast as far as the east from the west and that God remembers them no more. In a sense, it is a general forgiveness. As we grow in grace though, God will begin to point out areas in our hearts and lives that are sinful and need to be changed, it is those thing that we need to be specific in seeking God about and asking Him to remove from our lives. We desire that God would wash the entire cup of it’s filth and not just the outside of the cup.
We need to go before God seeking Him and His forgiveness as a child before his father because God is there extending his forgiveness and mercy and compassion to us (thought that does not mean that there will not be discipline that may accompany sinful and wicked behaviors).
We also need to realize that unforgiveness is a sin in our hearts and if we cannot forgive those who have wronged us then we cannot truly be forgiven before God because even if we were to go and ask for forgiveness before God and yet still harbor bitterness in our hearts, it is as if we haven’t asked for forgiveness at all because there is still the root of sin in our lives that we are not willing to give up to God. Letting go of unforgiveness means letting go of all grudges, roots of bitterness and desires for revenge and instead seek to make peace and live a life that shines the light of Christ. If we remember how unworthy of forgiveness we were and yet Christ still died for us, then it may help keep our perspective on straight as we seek to kill all sin in our hearts, including that of unforgiveness because we were a million times less worthy of the forgiveness and blood of Christ than some other sinful human being is of our forgiveness.
So let me ask you, in what areas are you harboring bitterness ? Are there areas in your life where you may be keeping a grudge or anger towards another person who has wronged you ? What about retaliation and revenge ? Do you seek to cause another person harm and pain because you have been hurt by them ?
We are called to not only receive His forgiveness, but to radiate and show His forgiveness so much through ourselves that it makes no sense to the lost world around us. The only way to do this is to spend much time in prayer seeking Him, and much more time in confession before God, on our faces, seeking to have all sin destroyed in our hearts, minds and lives. This is a place that many of us need to spend more time camped out in, because this is an area that is so often neglected.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
(Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
4. Ask God For His Guidance – “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
We are to come to God as a people who are prone to sin and prone to wander into temptation (as the hymn above states). We are those who are prone to get lost far from God and leave behind His love as we foolishly chase down false idols and temporal pleasures of this lost world.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
We see here in this last point that we are to pray because we need Him, we desperately need Him. We need Him to redirect us and to lead us in a way that honors and glorifies Him. We need to be shown the path of righteousness and Holiness and only God is able to do that, apart from Him we are powerless against temptation and we need the power of Christ to protect and guide us.
It is a hard reality in modern day America, yet one we need to come to admit, WE CANNOT OVERCOME TEMPTATION ON OUR OWN. It is as simple as that. The belief that we are able to overcome temptation on our own goes back to the self sustaining attitude that says “I won’t sin like that!” Whether because of the thinking that we are better or beyond that, or because of the belief that we are strong enough on our own to ward off temptation.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12
There are many who think that there is no harm in flirting around with sin. They play around with this sin and that sin, thinking that it will never go beyond where it is….not realizing the deadly danger that they are in and the urgent need that they have for the guidance of Christ.
It does not simply end though with our need for guidance throughout temptation, but our need for perseverance in the middle of trials. He is the sustenance needed to continue to seek Him in the midst of trials. It is the same power that gave Christ the strength in the garden of Gethsemane to say; “Not MY will but Yours be done” that will come to our aid and give us the strength to say the exact same thing.
It is easy to say that though, we have all been in the middle of those struggles and trials where we want to throw our hands up to God and ask Him “Why ?” There will be many times in the life of a believer where we will struggle with praying that prayer that says “Your will and not my own, Father.” The beautiful thing is that Christ understands and sympathizes with that. If we remember correctly, Christ too agonized in prayer.
The precious thing is that through prayer and seeking His face, God can lead us there, even when we feel like it is impossible. We can ask Him to take us to that place where we are able to say that and He will bring us to that point where we can truly and earnestly say (and mean) “Your Will Be done and NOT my own.” It is not in the triumph but in the trial where the beauty of God in prayer is so much more real and necessary in our lives. It is in those moments when we lean so deeply upon Him and rest in His grace that He begins to draw us closer and into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Himself, as we realize He is all we need truly, and that He is enough.
It is interesting if we take a look back at the Puritans during the 16th and 17th centuries how they had such a deep and profound trust in God. It was they that coined what is now known as the “Valley of Vision” prayers. They saw that it was in the middle of the valley that God gives the clearest picture of who He is and how He guides. Puritans are known in history for leavings some of the greatest legacies of prayer and devotion. I am convinced that it is because they were born in a time period in England where they were trying to bring the church back to what Scripture truly taught and the purity of the Word. Due to this, they were persecuted beyond measure, their homes burned down and their leaders tortured, even having their ears literally cut off. Yet in the middle of it all, they realized and knew what it was for God to lead and guide them, even in the middle of the valleys.
So what then, after reading through all 4 points, is our challenge ? What are we supposed to do with all of this information we have learned ? We as true believers in the body of Christ need to be done away with futile, empty senseless and affection less prayer. This means even at the dinner table! If you really take what you have learned in these two messages seriously, then you will know that this type of senselessness misses the very heart of prayer and what God intended it to be to us. Lets let the desire for what He desires be the secret for discovering what it truly means to pray and then – lets see what He does and how He works in our lives and the lives of those around us.
****NOTE**** These notes and points are taken from the Sermon by David Platt – Desire – Do We Want Him – See sermon included at the end of this posting.
“And He said to them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
‘Give us each day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
How many times have we read through this passage in Luke and not even given it a second thought ? We may think; “Oh, yes. That is the Lord’s Prayer” – but often times it does not go far beyond that. Today I would like you to dig deeper into this passage and truly understand the meaning behind what is being said here by Christ and what He is saying about the true format of Prayer.
Let me begin by saying that this passage in Luke is showing us how we should pray and where our desires should be placed. Prayer in the closeness of intimacy with Christ is to ask or request something knowing that only God can fulfill those desires and requests.
- Desire For God is the Heart of Prayer
The point of prayer is to drive us closer into God, deeper into His arms. The point of praying should be because we want God, because we desire Him. We should as true believers have a deep longing and yearning for God because our souls crave Him and there is nothing else on this earth that can satisfy the deepest needs and desires of our heart like He can.
Without this desire, our prayer lives cannot survive. We need this deep intimate desire to draw us closer to Him and to spur us onto wanting a more profound and vulnerable relationship with this God who so sustains and fulfills us like no other can.
2. Desire For God is the Secret to Prayer
* Prayer and Desire go hand in hand. There are (in generality) two points that we can use to show how desiring God and prayer go hand in hand.
1.) Make Your Wants God’s Wants
Your main goal, what you seek towards in prayer needs to be the wants and desires of God. You need to have a passion for the things that God has a passion for and a desire for the thing that God has a desire for. Make His wants your wants. In any relationship we can see that intimacy is created by unity of affection – when you each desire the same things and you each have the same yearnings and wants. The same goes of for your relationship and prayer life with God. You need to seek to have your will joined together with His will.
Then once the above truly becomes what your heart desires it will lead you onto the 2nd point :
2.) Ask Whatever You Want
All too often Christians want to skip the first part of this and jump right into the second part, and then they become frustrated and bitter because God does not seem to be answering their prayers. The problem is that they are forgetting that God is not some magic genie that they can just rub and all of their dreams and wishes would be granted. If that were the case wouldn’t you think that Christianity would be much more widely accepted ? No, the point here is that once you make God’s desires YOUR desires you can ask what you want because what you want will be exactly what He wants and He will answer your requests. Sadly, not many care to know what the desires and wants of God really are because they are radically opposed to the things that many modern day American Christians want and desire.
As I stated above, when coming to God in intimacy, we often come to Him with requests. Luke 11:2-4 shows us 4 primary requests; things that we should be asking God while we are in prayer and conversation with Him. Take note that these things are in line with the above points. When praying the heart and desires of God need to be first and foremost that the front of our minds so that we are setting our eyes on Him and not on ourselves or our circumstances.
1. Ask God For His Glory – (vs. 2 – “Father, Hallowed be Your name”)
Many times when we read this, we view this as a declaration. Something that we are stating, simply like; “Father Your Name is Hallowed.” But in reality, the point of Jesus saying this here was to point out that this was actually a request. We need to ask that God would make His Name Hallow, not only to you as an individual, but the World around you.
The word Hallow literally means to “sanctify something.” We as believers are all pretty familiar with the term, Sanctification, but do you really understand what it means to sanctify something ? To sanctify something is the way in which it is made Holy. When we pray, “Lord, Father, Hallowed be Your name” what we ultimately are asking God is that He would cause for His righteous Name to be treated as Holy – to be regarded among every person as Holy.
God is our Sovereign Father. This God who is Sovereign over the ENTIRE Universe calls you child. This God who calls the stars by name, who has created the mountains and the valleys and seas and the skies – THIS God calls you His own, His son or His daughter. Let that sink in. When you pray to Him, this mighty and awesome Creator, you pray to Him as your dad. How much more intimately should you (would you) pray to Him when you take this into consideration and keeping this at the front of your mind while you pray ?
God is The Holy One. He is completely Unique. He is completely unlike any other. Our prayer should be that God would make Himself know as the One that know one else is like, the one who is Holy – completely set apart from everyone and everything else.
“I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,” declares the Lord God, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight.”
“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The whole earth is full of His glory.”
”For this reason You are great, O Lord God; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.”
2 Samuel 7:22
God is the Coming King. (Vs 2. “Your Kingdom Come”). Our prayer here should also be that God would bring His Kingdom back to earth. We should have an eagerness and a desire to His coming Kingdom. We should have our eyes set upon Him and should be looking forward to the consummation of that Kingdom. It will be a day when God will finally eradicate all evil from the earth and things will once again be as He intended.
So in this verse we see that the deep point here is that we need to desire that God make Himself known to us. Make Himself known to the World. We must desire that God be known in our lives and to the World as Holy and Great. We need to ask Him to give us that fear of Him that we may treat His name as Holy and Great as it deserves. Our desire needs to be that everyone, everywhere would know the Holiness and the Greatness of the name of God.
We as believers bear this light to the World, we are His way of showing the World His glory and holiness and greatness. We need to remember this as we interact with those around us, especially in the unsaved community. We as believers bear the name of our Father and what we do is a reflection on His name. This should cause us to tremble and seriously think things through before we act in a manner that might trodden upon His Holy and Righteous Name.
So how does this line up with the first two points about desiring that which God desires ? Well it is very evident in scripture that God desires that His name be Hallowed among the Nations, among the World. The whole person of God is inclined towards making His glory known, and because of that, our whole being should be inclined to do the same.
The Lord is high above all nations;
His glory is above the heavens.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
2. Ask God For His Gifts – (Vs. 3 “Give us this day our daily bread”)
Nope, this is not meaning what you might think. Often times (as I stated above) we like to think of God providing gifts for us in the sense that He is providing us with things that our selfish hearts desire. Rather, let us think about God providing gifts in the context of Exodus chapter 16 where we see that God provided for the Israelites. They had needs (real and true physical needs, not the empty “needs” like Television and Internet and brand new name brand clothing or big houses and new cards like we think are essential needs in today’s society) and He provided what they needed to remain sustained. So what are the two points that we see here that are key when asking God to supply us with His gifts ?
1.) God Satisfies Our Hunger
Let us ask a simple (almost ignorant) question. Why were the Israelites hungry ? The common response to that would be, because they have a need and essential desire to be fed to live. But instead of simply stopping there, why don’t we dig a little deeper, looking at this in the context that God is truly the creator of everything. WHY were they hungry ? Because that was the way that God had created and designed them (along with all of humanity). God has created within us a hunger that only He can fulfill, for not only in the physical needs but also in the spiritual.
2.) God Sustains Our Faith
“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.” ~ Deuteronomy 8:3
The reason that God has placed that hunger within each of us is so that we would look to Him to be the one to fulfill and supply all of those needs. He has done this so as to teach us to trust Him to give us what we need and to supply the things that will fulfill us. His purpose in this is so that we would look to Him as our provider and seek for Him to bring those provisions to us. That is why so many feel that aching emptiness within them apart from Christ. There is a black hole that God has placed there that only He can fill. You can seek out earthly pleasures as much as you like, but nothing will fulfill that place where God is intended to be. We have all sorts of longings and desires; for things like, peace, purpose, intimacy – we need to go to God to fulfill and provide for these things because nothing in the world can fill these longings that were divinely placed inside of each one of us.
” All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.”
What we need to see in this verse is that Jesus is saying that we have a need to pray and to ask God to fulfill these things that He has placed within us all. We need to be ever so careful to guard our hearts and minds against the thinking that we ourselves can be the providers for our own hungers by going to the things of this world to fulfill us. The reason that we become so flippant and casual with prayer is because we believe that we can actually do this on our own. The world has tricked us into thinking that we can provide for our own selves because look at all of the things we seemingly already have provided for ourselves.
It is prayer that brings us back to the realization that God is the only provider and that apart from Him we have absolutely nothing and that nothing we have was gotten because of us but because He has provided it all. We need to seek God in prayer, asking Him to deliver us from the the trap of a “self-sustaining” Christian life. It is through prayer that God will begin to change our hearts to help us realize that we don’t need things, WE NEED GOD!
Lose your job ? GOD IS GREATER
Unsaved Spouse ? GOD IS GREATER
Financial Struggles ? GOD IS GREATER
Poor Health ? GOD IS GREATER
Loneliness ? GOD IS GREATER
Prodigal Children ? GOD IS GREAT
Fear ? GOD IS GREATER
GOD IS ENOUGH! He is the one who satisfies our greatest needs. He is our sustainer and our provider, and if you are regenerated in Christ then you are one of His Children and you can bet that He will provide and care for you. You simply need to come to the realization that He is enough. Period. God is ALL you NEED!’
GOD IS ALL YOU NEED!
I am going to leave off here for the day and tomorrow will pick back up on the last two primary requests that are evident in this passage. I pray that you have been as blessed and challenged reading this post as I have been writing it.
Please read the 2nd Part of this post here :
In the meantime if you would like to actually listen for yourself to the David Platt sermon that I collected my notes from, I will include it under this post. God bless you dear brethren and I pray that you will spend some serious time with God tonight seeking His face and asking Him to make the desires of His heart, the desires of yours. I would love to hear in the comments below some of the awesome ways that God has shown you that He is enough and that He is all you need, and the ways that He has provided for you and your families.
So I finished week two of the “Be My Valentine” challenge and I must say, the more that I do for my husband to tell him that I love him, the more that I want to do, and the more ideas flow in to me! I am having so much fun doing this! And then on top of all of this amazing fun, I am starting a new 30 days of encouraging my husband. This to me goes hand in hand with me finding new ways to show my husband that I love him. What better way to show my husband that I love him, then to spend each day telling him and making it evident not only in creative little love notes and messages, but in my words and deeds.
Here is the link from week two of this challenge on the Women Living Well Blog for those of you who are following along or are interested in joining in:
So here are a few ways this last week that I have said “I love you” to my sweet husband
I actually took another one of our sons bathtub crayons and wrote on our bathroom mirror a little love reminder for my husband. He at first thought that I might have wrote this for our son(who is 3 and cannot read yet, lol) Sometimes my husband is a little oblivious to obvious things
Here is a little love letter that I wrote and left in the car for my husband. He found it on his way to school. (This time I placed it in a place that he couldn’t miss it, lol)
And here is a picture of the back of the love letter that I left him. I put on his favorite lipgloss and left some kisses on the back of the envelope
Here is something that I am doing everyday up to Valentines day. I posted this on our bedroom door, and each day I put up a new heart with a new reason why I love and appreciate him. It is something that he can see each time he looks at our door – and I hope this shows him a little why I love him so very much (though these will barely scratch the surface!)
I also made one for our son – lol, he was starting to feel a little left out of all of the love!
These are just a few of the things that I did this past week to let my husband know that I love him and that I appreciate all that he does for us and for our family. I encourage you to join in with me – it is never to late to come up with creative ways to tell your husband that you love him. Remind him of why you married him, why he is so important to you, and why you still are crazy in love with him. I promise, it will make a difference in your marriage.
I am not a patient person. Not a patient person by any means and having an almost 4 year old little boy does nothing but heighten that. Is it his fault that I am impatient ? No. There are often times when I will blame him for my impatience though, saying that if he had not done such and such or if he had done this or that then I would not have lost my patience (and often my temper). I know that it is sin, and an area in my life that I need to work on.
Over this past week I have made this a focus of mine. I made it my goal this week to note when I was about to (or when I did) lose my patience, and then go before God in it. I seriously asked myself what the reason was for my loss in patience. In the end, every time I lost my patience, I realized that it was not due to someone else or some outside circumstance, it was because of some issue within my own heart. I noticed that the more upset or stressed out I was over something, the more impatient I became with my son. I would be short and snappy with him or become easily irritated by things that are natural for boys (like the desire to run around and karate chop everything in sight, lol). This broke my heart. My poor precious little man was not even in sin over anything and I was being so mean and impatient and indifferent to him because of an attitude that I had in my own heart. It hit me hard, what a horrible mother he must think I am, being so cross and rude to him when all he was doing was being a little boy!!!
I can only imagine his emotions and feelings as his mom loses her temper and becomes frustrated at him, and he doesn’t even realize why. I am sure that many of you have been there, been in my shoes. Had your days when you were mis-tempered and impatient with your little ones. I am sure that you have had your days when you put your littles to bed and then finally sit down and as you begin to think back you feel a sickening feeling of regret and remorse and conviction at how unkind you had been for the day, maybe not only to your babies, but maybe to your husband as well (I have noticed that this often goes hand in hand).
If this is you beloved, then let me offer you a bit of comfort and encouragement, as well as a bit of a rebuke. If you are in Christ, truly a child of God, then he has equipped you for every good work. That means that God has already equipped you to be a mother and a wife who glorifies Him in everything. He has already given you what you need to be patient and good tempered, all you need to do is seek Him.
“Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” ~ 2 Peter 1:3
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:10
I challenge you this week, to get on your face before God. I know that I say that often in my posts, but I truly mean it. Get before God and ask Him to guide you and direct you. Confess to Him your impatience, your ill temper, your anger and anything else sinful that seeks to ensnare you. This is so important, that you go to God and you talk with Him, I can tell you that once I had begun to make an effort to do this throughout my day, my attitude had totally changed. I no longer saw my son as a bother or an irritation, but rather I saw him as a blessing and it began to bring me joy to see him run around and play and laugh. (I also noticed that he was much happier when he noticed that mommy was happier )
It is also so important that you make time to be in the word of God. I know that we as moms can be so well meaning, but then we get caught up in the day to day that there are times when we are not in the word of God like we should be, and let me tell you, that makes a huge difference. I have been doing a read your Bible through in a year plan with some ladies in a homeschooling moms facebook group, and let me tell you, I can tell a complete difference in my day and my attitude when I am in the Word compared to when I am not.So ladies, make time to not only seek the face of God by talking with Him, but by reading His word, his letters to you.
And last, I challenge you to make time for your little boy(s) (or girls ). Spend time just playing and talking with them. My son feels so important when mommy actually sits down face to face and holds a conversation with him, he smiles ear to ear and you can tell he feels like he is the only thing that matters to me, and that is so important. If you do not take the time to build relationships with your little ones now, you may not have the chance to when they are older. So play and have fun, actually get to know your kids and what is important to them. And remember motherhood, it is about serving and glorifying God and raising children who seek to serve and to glorify Him as well, in the end that is all that matters.
“The wise woman builds her house,but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
After reading a blog challenge from the Women Living Well blog, I decided for the next few weeks to follow along and each day find a new (and hopefully creative) way to say I love you to my husband.
Here was last week’s challenge :
Week 1 Challenge - Take the Initiative! Look for ways to praise your husband verbally.
Praise him in front of the kids, friends, family, co-workers, on facebook, tweet it – get praise out anyway you can! Try to mention something noteworthy he has done – in his role as provider, father, husband, lover, or friend. If the thought of trying to come up with one terrifies you, then pray right now that God will give you new eyes to see your husband as God does. Then open your mouth and say something kind and uplifting to your husband today and tomorrow and the next day until Valentine’s Day arrives!
Last week went pretty well, though I cannot say I was too creative with the ways that I said I love you to him, LOL. Here are a few of the ways that I told my husband I loved him :
This is one where I wrote a little “I love you” to my hubby so that when he got into the shower he would see it. Sorry that it is a little blurry here and there, this is what it looked like when he got out, lol, I think the water wore off parts of it. I just used our sons bathtub crayons to write this out.
Here is another love writing that I did. I took one of the folders that my husband uses for his college class and I wrote these little notes on a piece of paper and I taped them inside of his folder. I was thrilled at how cute they were, he on the other hand was not as happy about them. He thought that they were nice, but was a little embarrassed when in his class of 700 students he opened up his folder and got chuckled at by other students…..oh well, I liked my creativity.
And here is a picture I sent to him via text message. I just found the image on Google and sent it to him. If you have a husband like mine who is a little electronically challenged when it comes to cell phones, then you may want to make a hint to him to have him check his phone. LOL
So these are just a few ways this past week that I let my husband know that I loved him.
I encourage you ladies to join in. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut in our marriage and we can take for granted the fact that God has blessed us with the precious man that He has. I know that I tell my husband constantly that I love him, but I think that making it a daily effort to do something new and surprising to tell him that I love him and keeps things fresh. It also tells your husband that you are making a constant effort to show that you love and appreciate him and all that he does, and I know that makes every man feel cherished and special.
So as you follow along, let me know what creative ways you tell your husband that you love him and then at the end of this next week I will post on some more of the ways that I told my husband that I loved him (hopefully a little more creative than this past week, )
“The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.”
So I have started day 1 today of the 30 day challenge by Nancy Leigh Demoss – “30 days of Encouraging Your Husband”. I know that it is something that I really need to work on, and I think that this will give me the grip I need to stay on track and really focus on this over the next month. But as I begin today, I want to share with you ladies some ways that over the past few weeks I have been working on diffusing arguments with my husband and really working to respect and uplift him.
First off, if you haven’t learned already, I have a pretty short fuse. Little things can make me go off, and I rarely think of the consequences before I “blow up” over something. I usually lose my cool and say things I later regret and that cause friction and pain and arguments between the two of us. Later I slap myself in the face and want to pull out my hair, asking myself why I feel the need to cause such snares in my marriage.
What I have been working on (though I am far from perfecting yet) are a few steps that really seem to help me remain humble and pleasing to God no matter what the circumstances . I must admit that these few steps have really prevented a lot of arguments and harsh words that would have been deeply regretted later on.
Number one and most importantly, I pray. I work hard stop everything that I am doing and I pray. Not a simple flippant prayer, or a one line sentence, but I pray and seek God until my heart attitude is changed. I try hard to not approach my husband until I am ready to go to him out of love and respect, rather than anger and frustration. Now this may not be instantaneous. I have learned over the past few weeks that this may actually take a few days…yep, I said it, A FEW DAYS. But until I am ready to approach him in a way that is glorifying to God and loving and respectful to him as my husband and as my Head, then I need to remain in prayer and keep my mouth SHUT!
Second, I must choose my words very carefully (this part is much easier if I have already sought God on the situation and He has given me a new perspective on it all and has changed my heart attitude). My husband already faces enough opposition from the world, my goal is to support, encourage and uplift him, not to tear him down and beat him about. My goal as a wife is to be the one to care for him and nurture him and to make our home a place where he is eager to be and hates to leave. If I am cruel and disrespectful all the time to him, what would make me think that he would want to be at home with me ? So when I approach him I work hard to not say cruel or mean things to him or insult him or disrespect him. He is the love of my life, next to God my #1…so I need to talk and communicate to him my feelings and frustrations in such a way that makes him feel loved and respected. This is one of the hardest things for me to do, but as I have found one of the most important as it relates to my husband and our marriage.
Third, I have found that communication is the key. If he never knows how I truly feel, then how can he ever change it ? I mean communication in a calm way, not in the middle of an emotional roller coaster (which I am often prone to do). I try and not talk over the phone about something that is bothering me, because then it makes communication hard because key elements are absent, such as body language and eye contact. He is more prone to know how serious I am about something and really take it into account if I am sitting down one on one with him and looking him in the eyes. He is also more likely to remember what I have said in the future if he has a visual image to remember.
The last thing that I must remember, which is so hard, is that I am created to be his helpmeet and I am to love him unconditionally. There are times when he will say or do or expect things of me that I think are unfair or possibly even hurtful, but even through all of that, I must love him with a love that overcomes all of that. Often times that will mean overlooking some small offense or thoughtless deed that really isn’t anything big (such as him forgetting to stop at the bank after I have asked him to for 3 days straight) but may be building frustration and stress for me. It is in giving these little things over to God and trusting that God knows best, that I have begun to find the freedom that comes in relying fully upon God in all circumstances and situations. I am not perfect and yet my husband still loves me through all my imperfection, and even more so, my PERFECT God loves me through all my sins and weaknesses, so how much more so should that spur me to love my husband with that same kind of love ?
As I said, I am still a work in progress and have by no means perfected this. I have just noticed huge changes in my marriage as I seek to glorify God truly in everything rather than trying to make things “right” my own ways.
Dedicated to my precious Husband whom I am blessed to be able to spend the rest of my life with! I Love you! Thank you for loving me so much – here is to a great 5 years of being together, 3 of it in marriage! Cannot wait to spend 50 more with you! <3
Cherished are the memories that
brought us to this day
For yesterday was just a dream…
a wish to contemplate
A Fantasy where in my mind
a fleeting glimpse I’d see….
A vision of the true desires
I longed for endlessly
And when I dreamed, I did not know
the love I’d feel today
the height of my true feelings
and the depth they would portray
And if I had one wish today
A simple wish t’would be
is the love that we feel this moment
Reality has merged now
as you stand here by my side
and as I join your hand with mine
my heart does fill with pride
For as I pledge my love to you
I see in many ways
Reflections of my love for you
are mirrored in your gaze
And by your presence here today
and for the love we share
I thank you for our yesterdays
that brought us to be here
But more than this I vow to you
my wishes yet to come….
Tomorrows dreams and fantasies
this day that we are one
Tomorrow’s an adventure
that we’ll share together now
our futures intertwined forever
through this Holy Vow
I promise to remember
in the future years and days
the love I feel for you this moment
….the dreams fulfilled today
For in the coming years as we
move on and reminisce
back to the day I stood with you
and promised with a kiss….
That blessed are the days that
I have looked into your eyes
and felt the warmth and love
reflect the essence of our lives