Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Woman After God's Own Heart ~ Chapter 7 & 8

A Heart That Loves
Titus 2:4 ~ that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,

"In the tiny book of Titus, I discovered that I am to hold my husband first in my heart after God."

Heartfelt Yet Practical Love - "a love that cherishes, enjoys, and likes our husbands!"

"We should see our husband as our best friend and want to be with him more than with any other person."
How?
  • Decide to make your husband your Number One human relationship
    • "The way we use our time should reflect that ranking."
    • "God said that we are to 'leave and cleave'--to leave our parents and cleave to our mate (Genesis 2:24)."
    • "Your husband is to be Number One in your life (after God)--and he needs to know it.  And everyone else needs to know it too."
  • Begin to choose your husband over all other human relationships -this includes your children.
    • "The point at which many marriages jump the track is in over-investing in children and under-investing in the marriage."
    • "You're wise to keep checking priorities....You can be both mother and wife.  But the wise woman remembers she will begin and end as a wife."
    • "This is what loving your husband is really all about--spoiling him rotten."
    • "Nine tried-and-true ways to groom yourself in the fine art of showering your husband with friendship love."
     1) Pray for your husband daily
James 5:16 ~ Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

"As you invest your time, your heart, and your life in prayer for your husband, you'll wake up one day and find arguments decreasing and a mellowing--even a warming--in your heart toward your husband."

1 Peter 3:1-6 ~  Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Matthew 6:21 ~ For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

"You'll also be surprised at the fruit born in your own life from this prayer--the fruit of understanding, cheerfulness, patience, helpfulness, and calmness.  You'll realize that while you were praying for your husband, God changed your heart!"

     2) Plan for your husband daily
Proverbs 21:5 ~ The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.

"Here are some plans that will help you show your husband--and the watching world--that he is your highest human priority.
  • Plan special deeds of kindness
  • Plan special dinners
  • Plan special times alone
  • Plan special dinners alone
  • Plan an early bedtime for children
  • Plan to go to bed at the same time"
3) Prepare for your husband daily
  • Prepare the house - the goal is not perfection, but instead an impression of order and neatness.
  • Prepare your appearance
  • Prepare your greeting - ask God to give you just the right words--words that are positive and welcoming, words that focus on your husband and his frame of mind rather than yours.  What you first say when your husband arrives home can set the tone for the entire evening.
    • "Prayer is the most important preparation of the heart."
4) Please your husband
"pleasing him  means paying careful attention to his wants, his likes, and his dislikes"

5) Protect your time with your husband
"Consider the following as a general principle, no matter how many decades you've been married: If my husband is at home, I am at home."

6) Physically love your husband
1 Corinthians 7:3-5 ~  Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

7) Positively respond to your husband
"Imagine the lack of tension in a home where the husband's thoughts, decisions, and words are greeted so sweetly instead of met with resistance, negativism, or a lecture."

"you are more likely to be able to communicate when you are  more positive to your husband's thoughts, dreams and ideas."
8) Praise your husband
"never speak critically or negatively about my husband to anyone."

"If you catch yourself speaking critically about your husband, quickly shut your mouth and do these three things: 
  • Search your heart - something is out of sync in your heart because 'a heart of love draws a curtain of secrecy over the faults and failures of others...love does not gossip.' 
    • Proverbs 10:12 ~ Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
  • Seek a solution - devote yourself to prayer and if you need to speak up, do so after much preparation and with gracious, edifying, sweet speech.
    • Ephesians 4:29 ~  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    • Proverbs 16:21-24 ~ The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
  • Set a goal - make a resolution not to speak destructively about your husband but to bless him at every opportunity."
"Blessing your husband in public--and in private-- is one way to sow seeds of love for him in your heart."

9) Pray always
"Take every opportunity throughout the day to ask God to enable you to be the kind of loving and supportive wife He wants you to be."

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