Today as we honored the memories of those killed in one of the darkest days in our nation's history, a Bald Eagle literally came and landed on the 9-11 Memorial in Minnesota during the prayer ceremony! It went viral. It was a miracle in the midst of remembering tragedy. In 1776, the American Bald Eagle was chosen by the founding fathers as our national bird. It symbolizes strength, courage, freedom, and immortality. In Isaiah 40:31, God used to Eagle to mark a message of hope.
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
What does the Eagle represent?
When an adult Eagle teaches it's young to fly, it first lines up the Eaglet with the Sun and begins to fly in small circles. As it gets stronger and stronger, it goes higher and higher until it's circle gets bigger and bigger. Even in our weakness, if we line ourselves up with the Son of God, we grow stronger and stronger in our faith. As we do, we get closer and closer to Jesus the Son, and our circle of influence gets bigger and bigger.
Today's miraculous Eagle landing reminded me of a vision I had several years ago and in honor of 9-11 I want to share my story.
What was the vision?
Suddenly, I heard something very loud outside my home, and I ran out of the garage to see what it was. At the side of our driveway was a huge bird. The bird was screaming and fighting for its life. It was facing away from me with its head hanging down so low I could not tell what kind of bird it was. It's wings were dark brown so I assumed it was the hawk that lives in our back yard. It was so badly injured it was gasping for air. I felt compelled to run into the house to get a glass of water in hopes it might help. I was afraid of the bird, so I stood back to back behind it, sticking the glass around to its beak as it gulped down the water. Each time it finished the water, I ran back in for more. Every time I returned, I could tell the bird was getting stronger. The last time I offered the bird a drink, it suddenly raised it’ head and screamed. To my surprise, its head was as white as snow. I realized it was the American bald eagle. Suddenly I heard a voice say, “America is gasping for air and living water is the only thing that can save it. If my people will generously pour out living water, America will be revived.”
What is the living water?
As I pondered the symbolism of water, I was reminded that deliverance throughout Biblical history many times came through water. Moses' mom sent her newborn son down the Nile river in a basket in hopes of saving his life from Pharaoh's order to kill all baby boys. Her faith and God's faithfulness delivered him from the water. He grew up to lead God's people out of generations of Egyptian slavery. As they left captivity, Moses again parted the waters of the Red Sea to lead them into freedom and deliverance from Pharaoh and his men in hot pursuit. Then there's Jonah, called by God to dish out some living water to the people of Nineveh. Instead, he chose to run the other way and be a stowaway. As the endangered ship's crew threw him overboard to save themselves, God sent a great fish to save him and spit him out on the beach heading him towards his original destination. He went on to give the people of Nineveh the drink of salvation. What about Noah, who built a boat in a desert despite the fact it had never rained? When God brought the great flood, Noah and his family were packed safe inside the ark. They were mankind's only hope of a future. The ark came to rest when the water subsided and the hope of man's future was reborn. The most significant person of all came through a virgin as her water broke. In a cold, dark stable, God brought forth the choice of salvation through his son, Jesus. In the Jordan River, as he was washed in the water of baptism at the start of his ministry, a dove descended signifying the beginning of the fulfillment of his call and our liberation from sin.
What was the symbolism of the Eagle landing today?
As I think about the Eagle today, maybe God sent him as he sent the dove to remind us that he is our strength, our courage, our freedom, and our immortality. Our government was never meant to save us, Jesus was. Our hope is in who he calls us to be as 'we the people" and what we have to offer the dying world around us. Just like the Eagle in my dream who was injured and gasping for air, so are the multitudes that surround us. Jesus is longing to restore our nation with the water of life and bring revival. If you and I are going to contribute to that hope, we've got to start pouring water. The same living water Jesus offered at the well to a woman who was a minority, a loner, a prostitute, a divorcee, a live-in girlfriend, and an outcast. We live in a nation full of this kind of wounded, hurting people. The call to us all is to drink from the well ourselves, and then offer what we have found to everyone we know who is thirsty.
What will you do?
As we reflect on 9-11, while looking our future in the face, ask yourself what you have to pour out? You have a circle of people around you who are thirsty. They've been placed in your life for you to pour into. Let's all start digging wells with our hands. We can reach out and lift up our brother. We can offer our hands in service to make another person's load lighter. We can clasp our hands in prayer for the government and the people around us. Will you pour out the living water to the world around you? They are longing for a drink!
Fall is in the air and it's one of my favorite seasons of the year. As I've watched the leaves begin to fall, I'm reminded of how important it is that "everything's nice" in the kingdom. Marriage is full of seasons. With each one, challenges arise and storms blow in. When they do, let's make sure we're not allowing negative thoughts or poor behaviors to develop in the midst of the surge. Weathering the seasons of life requires us to monitor our relationship to make sure everything dead falls away. God wants us to cast it all aside like the leaves falling from the trees in preparation for Spring.
Identify and Address
In our twenty-seven years of marriage, there have been times Dan and I have taken our heart break out on each other. At times hard feelings and words have been spoken out of pain. Poor habits of relating have developed. At each turn, we had to determine to identify them all and address each one so they could die and fall away. Casting aside anything the enemy is using to bring down your marriage is a crucial part of the journey. God can use it all for the good of our marriage if we let him. In fact, conflict in marriage can be constructive if we allow our marriage to grow deeper roots like an oak tree planted by the water that shall not be moved. It's up to us to surrender it all to our Father's hands and commit ourselves to a lifetime of fall seasons.
Here are the things to look for if you want pumpkin spice and everything nice in the palace:
We can learn a lot about what to do and what not to do when confronting the issues of marriage by examining couples in scripture. One such couple is Queen Esther and her King named Xerxes. Theirs is a story of loving confrontation. Queen Esther had to confront her King because her future was on the line. She had to take a walk to the palace if their marriage was going to survive. As the story goes, King Xerses was keeping bad company with his right hand man, Haman, who was known for his naughty behavior. Haman had deceived the King into making a decree that all the Jews should die. He hated the Jews, and he thought if he influenced Xerxes to declare their deaths, he could solve his own personal problems. Sadly, the King was so out of touch he had no idea his beautiful Queen, who was also a Jew, would be facing an “Off with her head!” due to his decree. When Esther learned of the death sentence she had no choice but to gather herself and take a walk for the sake of a truthful confrontation with her King.
Why should we confront?
When you live in a one flesh relationship, if one spouse is doing something hurtful to the marriage covenant, both people are suffering in the situation. In Esther's case, it wasn't just her marriage on the line but her entire family. In our situation, it's not just our marriage that's at stake but the future of our children and grand children. Everyone needs an accountability partner and in marriage we are to hold one another accountable for the sake of the covenant. Ezekiel 33:6 says, "But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand." Unfortunately, accountability is greatly lacking in our world today. Nobody wants to be responsible for their choices. Our willingness to choose integrity in our marriage requires us to take responsibility for what we do and hold our spouses accountable if their actions affect or harm our relationships in a negative way.
How does accountability look?
Step One: Identify Wrong Behaviors
This step is half the battle to protecting our happily ever after. Some of the behaviors easy to see in our own marriages often originated from the first famous couple six thousand plus years ago as Adam and Eve set the stage for our struggles. Once the garden vines began to unravel, their relationship took a turn for the worse. Do any of these behaviors sound or look familiar in your marriage?
First, Adam chose cowardice when the serpent arrived and slithered through their conservatory. He was passive and apathetic as Eve’s protector. He wasn't across the garden he actually stood nearby watching her converse with a serpent while letting her eat from the tree. He later blamed Eve for what had happened when God came looking for them. The first thing out of his mouth was, “It was this woman you gave me.” This symbolized Adam wanting to protect himself over the responsibility God had given him to lay down his life for his bride.
I can look back over our past and remember instances where Dan exhibited these Adam qualities. I have honestly exhibited all of Eve’s at some point or other myself. This chick had her own issues. She was disrespectful to Adam when she chose to speak with a serpent in the first place. Her loyalty should have belonged to her man but she was easily led astray. The conversation led to her greed for power she wasn’t meant to possess. Following her faulty decision, she persuaded and possibly pushed Adam to join in her mistake and eat from the tree. She then blamed the serpent when God started calling their name. During our love life I know I’ve gotten greedy for power. I can definitely relate to being pushy and then blaming Dan or the enemy for mistakes I’ve made.
As a married couple, we have a choice to make. We can either walk under the curse of Adam and Eve or walk under the covering of Christ as God’s blessed, adopted children. The wrong choice will cause the kingdom to fall into the enemy’s hands every time. Confronting in love is often the path to turning things around and casting them aside.
Step Two: Fast, Pray & Examine Your Motive
As we consider Queen Esther’s journey to confrontation, the scripture says she entered a season of prayer. Before carefully confronting our spouse, we have to first examine our own heart and pray for God to give us His perspective on the matter. God sees the heart of our spouse and He's more than able to address the situation if we willingly step out of his way and pray. We don't confront unless the Lord says "Go". Esther also fasted before her confrontation. Fasting is a method used in Bible times that Dan and I have used many times to empty ourselves of our “self” so we could hear the voice of God. Once that happens, God can soften any heart and move us to say whatever needs to be said.
If He does ask us to confront, our primary goal is to restore our spouse to a right relationship with God, not to ourselves. Don’t look for an apology from your spouse, instead seek to help them make an about face and reconcile in their relationship with the Heavenly Father. When this relationship is restored your marriage will be restored as well. Our motive must be pure and without selfishness. We may never hear the words “I’m so sorry” or “Please forgive me.” Those words are the words meant for the Heavenly Father. We can't approach our spouse and succeed if our heart is in the wrong place, and if our motive is pure and our priorities in order, we can move to the next step in the process.
Step Three: Gather Your Courage
Next, Esther, who was determined to do the right thing, had to grab hold of bravery and devise her plan. Confronting a spouse requires courage, especially if the subject is a sensitive one. Our courage comes from the Lord, and in our bravery, humility is required. We cannot approach our husband with a prideful, righteous arrogance. Esther approached the King humbly and he received her. Back in those days, it was illegal to approach the King unless you were summoned. The King actually had the option, if approached without being called, to order execution. Thank goodness those days are over, but knowing the Father has sent you is crucial to your success. We have no guarantees that our spouse will be willing to listen to what we have to say, but if we follow Esther’s example and approach them with humility and respect they will be more likely to listen.
Step Four: When the Timing is Right, Extend an Invitation and Share the Evidence
Queen Esther gathered her courage and approached the King extending an invitation to dinner. It’s always best to offer an invitation to our mate, trusting they’ll accept our request for conversation. Over dinner is a great idea. Sometimes confronting in public keeps the emotions of both spouses under check. Once you are face to face, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you share your evidence to support your frustration. Esther didn't end up confronting the first time. Instead, she listened to her gut and requested dinner a second time. Timing is everything when it comes to confrontation.
When the time comes, have the evidence ready. In the first few years of our marriage, when I would confront Dan, I rarely had the evidence prepared. As I was presenting my opening arguments before the court, I was like the young, legal assistant who had not prepared her case. I soon learned I had to have the evidence to back up my case or the conversation quickly turned into an argument. Remember presenting evidence doesn’t give us permission to bring up old crimes that have already been discussed and forgiven or throwing old issues into the ring. It does mean we provide a couple of recent examples to make our point in a respectful way when presenting the proof. Remember, you’re not keeping score; you’re just keeping good records. Esther clearly explained why she needed to address the crisis with her King and she gave the evidence that proved the guilt of Haman.
Step Five: Speak the Truth in Love
Speaking the truth in love is one of the most important aspects of confronting your spouse. The scripture says if we speak but have not love we are like a clanging gong. If we put ourselves in our spouse’s shoes, I think we’ll realize the truth is really hard to hear. It means coming face to face with our personal failures. Realize the truth is always easier to swallow if spoken with loving lips. Queen Esther spoke the truth in love, with respect to the King's authority, explaining her circumstances clearly.
As Esther journeyed toward the throne, she said, "If I perish, I perish." She accepted the fact the King still had the final say in the situation. Enter your conversation as she did, with no expectations. She went only with hope and faith in the Lord who had sent her. It’s up to your spouse how they receive the truth. If they don’t willingly accept the confrontation, remember it doesn’t mean it can’t change over time. With God all things are possible. Sometimes it requires a time of thinking, waiting, and more prayer. If you can't seem to find a solution, seek the council of a pastor or marriage counselor as an objective third party to resolve the issue. God commands us to seek Godly council when in need of wisdom beyond ourselves.
As you enjoy this season of Fall, if you are facing a challenging season, don't lose sight of the good when things are hard and allow your heart to grow faint. God wants us to stand strong, gather our courage, and do the work to bring new life to any dead situation. Confronting those we love isn’t easy, but it is sometimes necessary to maintain a relationship of integrity and nobility in the kingdom. Your palace can be full of pumpkin spice and everything nice if you're both willing to let the dead leaves fall away and the Father bring new growth and life in the Spring!
It's fall y'all! This is one of my favorite seasons. September is the ninth month of the year and it's always held a special place in my heart. It's not just the beginning of fall, but it's the month I became a mom for the first time twenty-two years ago. A woman never forgets that day and mine was quite “eventful” to say the least! I'll share some of what happened later, but first let's talk about having children. “How does a couple know when the time is right to have a baby?” Or “How does a couple decide whether they should have children at all?” In order to find answers lets explore some of the misconceptions of our day on the matter and examine what God has to say about it.
Let's be honest, today's culture is not very interested in children according to recent statistics. I would even go as far as to say we are not living in a very “child friendly” world. Could it be we've lost our perspective? In Psalms 123:7, God gives His perspective on the matter. He says, “Children are a gift from the Lord.” Even if they scream and cry, create sleep deprivation, and scatter toys all over the floor, they are unquestionably, exceptional, one of a kind blessings. I can verify that it's all worth it. God even goes on to say in the same Psalm that a man is blessed if he has a “quiver full of them." What's a quiver? It was the holding place where warriors held their weapons until time for battle. In that same scripture children God calls them arrows because they are the weapons meant to be held in the quiver.
Unfortunately, many couples today are choosing to forgo parenthood. One reason is “fear of the unknown”. Realistically, life is full of the unknown and if we're honest with ourselves, isn't that what makes life memorable? Without the unknown, life would be mundane and purposeless. Another reason prompting couples to remain childless is the pursuit of careers and a desire for no inconveniences. Based on my experience, as crazy as it may sound, I got better at what I did once I became a parent. Choosing to have a baby brings a whole new level of understanding, maturity, and education to your resume'. Now that we are pushing towards our older years, it's easy to look towards the end of a great career and realize if there's no one to share your later years with or to leave all you've worked for behind to, then what was the point? As far as inconveniences go, the experience of birthing and pouring into the future is not an inconvenience but an incredible opportunity to impact culture on a whole new level.
Finally, many couples are choosing not to pursue parenthood because they have been told the world is over populated and overpopulation is creating all the problems in the world. The overpopulation myth is just that, a myth. In fact, studies show cultures thrive when they are highly populated versus sparsely populated. The mathematical numbers show the real truth about the population. Did you know if you took every single human being alive today and put them in the state of Texas and gave them each 1,500 sq feet to live in, the rest of the entire globe would be completely empty? Over populated? Not at all.
On the flip side of that argument, if we stop having children and raising them to be responsible, productive, moral human beings there would be complete chaos in the world. If we choose to do our job well, children are our one opportunity to leave behind a legacy that can change the future for the good of mankind. They are the weapons of good we can launch to help glue the world back together. Don't get me wrong, having and raising children isn't always easy, but God never promised everything he calls us to do would be easy. Instead, he promised he would be with us and help us through it all. Not to mention he promised to bless us if we fill our quiver full as stated in Psalms 123.
Choosing to have our three children was the best decision of our married lives. It is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things we've every done. It changes your perspective on everything. In fact, I often say it's like being color blind and putting on a new pair of glasses and suddenly the world goes from being black and white to being full of a whole rainbow of colors. So if you're pondering whether you and your spouse should have children, then maybe I can encourage you to pray about God's timing and trust him with the details.
Here's my story....When I got pregnant with our first, I was an aerobics instructor. I optimistically believed I would be able to do labor easily, and there was no doubt I would go all natural. I developed my birthing plan for how the process would unfold. I knew what I wanted from the time we would arrive at the hospital to the labor music I wanted playing during the pushing phase. I determined to have no drugs, and I knew the doctor I wanted to deliver my baby based on the on-call schedule.
By now, if you have had a baby, you are probably laughing your head off at my birthing plan. The reality is, nothing in labor goes exactly as planned, no matter how much we prepare down to the last detail. In fact, I believe the labor process is a part of God's last hour of preparation to help us embrace the “unknown” and the reality we will be dependent on Him from that moment forward, for the rest of our lives.
The first sign that my plan was in trouble came as I handed my doctor a copy of my birthing plan and she laughed. I wasn't sure what was humorous, so I didn't ask. The next surprise came when my friend, who was due on the same day but went early, called to say “Go ahead and make your sign “Epidural NOW!” because when you get into labor you will not be able to speak and believe me you do not want to give birth without drugs.” I shrugged her off because I was in such great physical shape.
My baby was due on August 23rd, but during my prayer time one morning I kept seeing the number 9 in my mind and I knew it had something to do with our baby's birth. I assumed I would deliver my baby on August 9th. I was excited, the sooner I could lose the weight the better. When that date passed, I thought maybe it meant I would only be in labor for 9 hours. When the due date arrived and I showed no signs of going into labor, I began to do everything in my power to help my body along in the process. I even took castor oil because my mom had taken it when she was pregnant with me. Never mind this wasn't a part of my birthing plan, someone should have told me it was a laxative.
When day eight of being overdue rolled around, the doctors started discussing intervention. They chose to give me something the night before that would calmly kick-start the process so I could go in early the next morning to be induced. No induction needed! That calm kick-start came in like a hurricane with contractions starting at five minutes apart. I was screaming, “Wait this was not a part of my plan!”
They insisted I go to the hospital immediately. Unfortunately, I was trapped in “no man's land” all night. They couldn't admit me because I wasn't dilating, and they couldn't let me go home because contractions were too close together. I spent the next 9 hours walking the halls and laying on a hard gurney as an out-patient. The next morning, after I calmly threatened the doctor with bodily harm, I was admitted. I was desperate. I had reached the end of my rope. I didn't think I could hang on any longer. When I let go, the Lord took me by the hand, and took over. My plans went out the window and his came rushing in. I realized he was there when the doctor told the nurse to put me in room number “9”. Our son was born 9 days late, in room number 9, weighing in a little over 9 lbs. on the first day of the 9th month of the year. God had been faithful. He had tried to prepare me, but I had my own agenda. His agenda was so much better than mine. I needed him there for the emergency C-section that was never a part of my plan.
After coming home with our beautiful son, the failed plan was forgotten because it had all been worth it. I soon began to ponder the meaning of the number “9” so I looked it up in scriptures. The number 9 means “the end of God's judgment, the end of a matter as far as God is concerned.” The birth of Jesus was a gift to us and he was the end of our judgment as far as God was concerned. He was the weapon God launched for our future. When we choose to receive the child God sent us, we are choosing to grab hold of one of the greatest gifts God has to offer. When we choose to become parents ourselves, we receive the next best gift he has to offer. When we stop controlling birth and give birth to life, God offers us the opportunity to take part in helping him create a small tiny life than can change the course of history. We have the incredible privilege of raising up children with love, peace, honor, and integrity so we can launch them into tomorrow like arrows.
Our children have turned out to be the most amazing blessings we've experienced in our lifetime. As we have taught them, they have taught us what it really meant for God to give up his one and only son. Our Father gave us everything he had so we could experience everything his love had to offer. There is no perfect pregnancy or labor and there is no perfect time to have a baby. If you wait until perfection, you'll never do it and before you know it, it could be too late. As the creator of the entire universe, God clearly says in his word that there is “a time to be born” and his timing is always perfect. If we let go of our own agenda, we get the honor of watching him bring forth a new life, and He calls the miraculous experience of childbirth a glorious gift!
To learn more about what God has to say about the topic, check out “Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?” where I share in greater detail what I learned when I suddenly found myself pregnant with an unplanned, surprise third baby in mid-life. It was quite the journey, but it taught me the truth of God's heart toward birthing life.
Recently I had the privilege of literally standing on the battlefield in Yorktown where our nation fought for its freedom over 200 years ago. It was eye opening to stand in the midst of the place where so much blood was shed for our nations freedom.
As I thought about this month's blog I felt led to stray away from marriage to our spouse to marriage to the real bride groom by sharing my life story about freedom. As I have meditated on the word freedom, I realized that
FREEDOM = SACRIFICE
In order for freedom to exist, something has to die. Scripture says in Galatians 5:1,
“It is for freedom that Christ died.”
Despite how we view our nation in the midst of this dark season, our freedom doesn't come from a piece of paper or from protesting, or shooting, or fighting, or arguing our point. Our freedom only comes through the sacrifice that was made on our behalf in history on a wooden cross over 2000 years ago. Christ died to set us free and that is the only true freedom we have.
Not only did Christ die for our freedom, but in order for us to find freedom in him, we also have to die to ourselves. Matthew 10:39 says, “Who ever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
If we want to find freedom we have to go to our death to self. In fact, just as Christ began his death in a garden, I believe we all have to go to our own Garden of Gethsemane where we must die to ourselves as Jesus did and say, “Not my will but thine be done.” That is the only place we find freedom and resurrection from our nations turmoil, our emotions, our circumstance, and our confusion.
At one of the darkest hours in my own life, I found myself in my own garden. It started when my father died without a will. In the midst of the legal chaos, I abruptly learned I might not really be my father’s daughter. After 7 years of being in court, the Lord told me to offer to take a DNA test. On the day of the test I grabbed a book as I walked out the door called "The Gift". As I sat waiting my turn for the DNA test, I didn't realize it, but I was walking to my own death and I was about to receive the greatest gift of freedom the Lord had to offer me. He was calling me to die to the pride I had in being called “my father's daughter.” I had been proud to be my father's daughter because everyone knew his name and I used his name to my advantage to open doors. I was a name dropper. On this day, as I sat realizing I did not know who I was anymore, I opened the book I had grabbed to the page that was marked. To my shock it said, “For you no longer have to worry about who your father is, for you are an heir to my throne through my son." Gal. 4:7
In an instant, I became the daughter of a great King.
Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
When we enter into a relationship with our Heavenly Father, we become children of a noble King. We are grafted into a vine and given a new blood line. We then walk in nobility and we can rule our kingdom well as we live by our new identity and walk out our purpose..
As a result of that freedom, we then willingly make sacrifice. Jesus had to lay down his identity as teacher in order to become Savior and we have to lay down our old identity in order to lead the world to the Savior. When we sacrifice ourselves, we are resurrected from our spiritual death to walk in freedom. When we find freedom through sacrifice of our self, we can then go and set others free through our story. God calls us to lay down our lives so we can find it and then give our hearts away so others can find him.
As we move forward in this nation in pursuit of freedom, remember that freedom only comes in truly know who you are in Christ. If we all embrace that identity, all the other issues of our day would be resolved.
"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners." Isaiah 61:1
What's your favorite Season. The "hot" season has definitely arrived in the South so I thought it would be a great time to talk about a “hot” topic, Let's explore the birds and bees and the seasons of love. Did you know that the seasons of intimacy are a lot like the earths seasons. In many ways our sexual relationship actually has seasons that come and go. In fact, sexual intimacy has highs and lows like the thermometer.
Let’s start with one of my favorite seasons of the year, Spring. Everything is awakening from a time of dormancy and plants are budding with the beginnings of new life. Spring was the season that Adam and Eve first experienced in the garden as newlyweds. Everything was new and they had no hindrances or sexual barriers. From the heart of God, out of his love for us, our Father longs for our first time to be within the covenant of marriage. He knew from the beginning that sex outside the covenant can cause challenges later when we finally marry. The great news is spring is known as a season of restoration and God is not only the Creator of all things but the restorer as well.
If you experience sex outside of marriage, God can restore and renew your heart and emotions before you marry if you confess those choices to him, ask his forgiveness, and accept his mercy and healing. As a teenager I dated a lot of people so I speak from personal experience about our Father’s restoring power. The fact is with each dating relationship people have the tendency to give a small piece of their heart away as a result of emotional entanglement, not to mention the physical temptations faced due to an improper understanding of love and relating to the opposite sex. Before I met my husband, I had experienced a lot of what the world had to offer. He on the other hand had only had one other dating relationship prior to me. After we started seeing each other, I began to realize how much I longed for God to heal me from my past. I longed for him to restore my purity and renew my mind. I determined to take each relationship I had been in and confess any parts of it that were dishonoring or unhealthy, then I repented of any bad choices I had made, and God healed me from my past relationships. On our wedding day after I walked down the isle, we walked through the season of spring on our wedding night. Nothing is impossible with God and he longs to restore and heal us all from any past we many have in order for us to experience the “Spring” season in intimacy in our future.
In spring things begin to awaken. On the “honeymoon”, the bodies of the bride and groom are awakened from a period of sexual dormancy and every experience is fresh and new. The couple begins to learn about each other’s bodies and how to please one another. Even if one or both have experienced sex outside of marriage, the sexual relationship between a husband and wife is different inside the boundaries of marriage. There is a freedom that comes from being intimate with your spouse once you’ve entered into a covenant of love for a lifetime. There is a whole new level of intimacy based on the security of a lifelong commitment. Everything you experience can be refreshing and new. You may leave that season and enter another, but as sexual drives rise and fall throughout your life, it’s like starting anew each time.
Spring may come many times in a marriage as things are refreshed. One example might be after giving birth and having months of healing and breastfeeding behind you. It’s like starting the honeymoon all over again. Another example is when a woman enters menopause and her body goes through many changes. That’s when learning starts anew.
Summer follows Spring. Summer is the time of year when everything is in bloom and the newness is gone, but it is still exciting to see the fruit that is produced from the blooms in the spring. This is so true in marriage once the honeymoon phase is over and you’ve conquered the new beginning, then Summer just naturally follows. At the end of that time, you’ve fully come to know each other’s bodies, but there is still the opportunity each time to experience something new. Each time a couple comes together with their hearts and minds in the right place mutual enjoyment can be the fruit of their labor. At some point in “summer” the fruit you produce can also be the fruit of life. It’s a joyous time when a couple begins the process of partnering with God to create life by giving birth to a baby.
The most important thing to remember during the season of summer is to keep your perspective and don’t allow yourselves to become so focused on the end goal of having a baby that you forget to enjoy the process. I know so many couples facing infertility problems, and in their desperation to conceive they forgot to continue to love. There’s no reason to panic if you’re not getting pregnant immediately. The best thing to do is step back and regroup. Don’t allow pressure to become your partner because pressure will kill passion every time. Pressure can drive you to make wrong choices out of fear of failure. Trust God with his timing on your children. There are times in this season that you may have to seek medical advice, but remember that God is the great physician and holds the key to your success.
Fall is a time of resting where things are beginning to slow down sexually and settle in. You may be focused more on your career or other outside interests. If you have children, they begin to take some of your focus. For our marriage, fall was a time where children came into our lives and we entered a time of physical exhaustion. Quite frankly it was a time where I was so tired I thought I would fall like the leaves falling from the trees. This season too shall pass, but during this time intimacy can easily fall by the wayside because you’re so busy or you’re just too tired to commit to the work required to enjoy it. It’s OK to realize the season for what it is, but don’t allow yourselves to be apart for so long that you lose your oneness with each other. Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 7:5,
“Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (NIV)
During this season you may not enjoy the full capacities of sex, but by giving each other grace, you can still enjoy sex because it’s your way of staying connected. All other parts of your life, including the emotional health of your children, are cultivated from a healthy marriage foundation. A part of that foundation is sexual intimacy. It may be a time when quantity is less, but you can still strive for quality. This means regardless of how busy or tired you are, your physical oneness must still remain a top priority. You might actually have to put it on the calendar to guarantee it doesn’t get neglected. If you do have children, it may mean that you schedule an overnight baby sitter or a trip to the grandparents every now and then. It’s very important to remember that regardless of circumstances, intimacy must be pursued.
As you know, winter is the coldest season of the year. Winter is actually my favorite season. I love it because I enjoy the quietness of it, and I know spring is coming. In marriage, couples can visit this season several times due to different circumstances. It doesn’t have to be the gray and depressing time in our sexual lives, it can actually be the winter wonderland. It’s not necessarily the season at the end of our lives. It might simply be a season we enter for a time due to illness or injury or maybe even menopause. This doesn’t mean we have to stop enjoying our sexual relationship. It just takes on a whole new meaning. As long as we’re married we can love one another and enjoy the intimacy of just being together. It doesn’t have to be exciting all the time. It can simply be the peacefulness of feeling warm and cozy with your commitment to each other. After the dormancy comes the spring!
Just as in nature, seasons come and go in the royal kingdom. It doesn’t matter what season you’re in, each one can be a wonderful season of mutual sexual enjoyment for you and your spouse. Actually our differences as men and women can mean each season holds a new meaning of enjoyment for each of us and change is always good. It keeps us from getting bored and complacent in the bed chamber! If you want to learn more about joys of intimacy you can check out the book and order it on line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christian Book Distributors. It’s sure to bring a season of Spring to your marriage!
Did you know that in the scriptures a wife is called a beautiful tiara? That’s right ladies, we're meant to shine in the crown of leadership that sits on the top of our husband’s head.
“An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4 (NAS)
No wonder diamonds are a girl’s best friend? We are a jewel ourselves! I dare say that I am a diamond in the rough some days, but, nonetheless, still a jewel in my husband’s crown. As a result of that role, I say "let the spring cleaning proceed". It’s time to take out the crowns and polish them up. In order to do that, we have to answer this question first, “Do I want to polish his royal crown or will I tarnish it instead?” You might be asking, “How do I tarnish the crown on his head?” That was a question I had to answer myself, and what I learned as I searched the scriptures for the answer was eye-opening.
The “male ego” is a very fragile thing, and as noble women, we can build that ego up or tear it down by the choices we make as the queen by his side. That ego can easily be wounded, and one of the most common ways women tend to tarnish their husband's crown is with the words they speak. If a wife speaks embarrassment or ridicule to other people about her husband she is tarnishing his crown. In turn, this action affects us as well. If we tarnish their image, we are tarnishing ourselves since we are the crown that sits upon their head. Most importantly, the way a husband interprets this kind of betrayal is the way a king would interpret treason. It means his queen has gone over to the other side and joined the enemy’s ranks.
There is an example in the Bible that quickly comes to mind here, and we can learn from this queen’s mistake. Her husband was King Xerxes, the King of Persia. His wife was Queen Vashti, and boy did she really rub his crown the wrong way. In fact, she tarnished her husband’s royal crown beyond repair. The short of the story is the King had called all the dignitaries and rulers from other lands together for a very important summit. They were discussing war and how to conquer their enemies. On the other side of the royal palace, the queen was having her own party with all the wives. I can imagine they were getting their hair and nails done while talking about the new fashion trends in royal clothing. Unfortunately, Queen Vashti was having so much fun with all the girls that when her King requested her appearance she refused to stop the partying. He had beckoned her to come and dance before their guests, which was customary, but she refused to go. As a result of his embarrassment, he had her put away. In fact many historical papers imply she was possibly beheaded. Her husband’s image of power was tarnished in front of the most important people in the land, in the midst of a war at a crucial time of leadership. She had undermined his authority and he took her betrayal seriously. Maybe the bigger the ego or position, the greater the offense to the king of the kingdom? Whatever the case, his embarrassment caused him to end his marriage and possibly her life over her act of treason. He really had no choice because weakness at a time of war by his most trusted confidant was inexcusable and could cost them the kingdom.
In modern-day times, how can we apply this lesson? I personally learned about my ability to tarnish a crown early on in our marriage when I misspoke a few times in public about my knight in shining armor. To my surprise, Dan quickly confronted me once we were alone. After praying about it, I committed to always present him with nobility by pointing out his strengths versus his flaws to other people. I’ve worked really hard at being sensitive to his request and making sure the shine on his crown stays there.
Let me give you another modern-day example of this “help meet” principle gone awry. Years ago, while Dan and I were out having date-night, we ran into a young couple we knew also on a date from their children. Her husband held a pretty important position in the community. We both shared where we had been on our dates. She quickly informed us they had just finished a movie and her husband had cried through the entire thing. The look on his face painted a clear picture of the dagger she had just driven through his heart. Men are taught to be tough and never show emotion in our culture, but showing emotion with the queen in his life should be safe. We can be a place of refuge for their innermost thoughts and feelings. Dan and I considered this couple our friends, but after that conversation, he avoided us until they moved away. He was humiliated by her sharing his vulnerability with us. It was like her waving the white flag from the castle spire saying, “We have weakness in the kingdom, we surrender." We didn’t see it that way but he did.
A few years back, while sitting at the salon, I began to listen to another female in the chair next door. She was bragging about how she had recently attended a party and gotten so carried away she had to call her husband to retrieve her. She laughed as she told how she hung her head out the window relieving herself as he drove her home. She thought it hilarious that she had so much fun on a "girls night out" at the expense of her husband's honor. As I sat in the salon chair, I wondered if he thought it was funny?
What will you do with his reputation? These examples clearly show we not only hold the power to tarnish our husband’s crown, but we hold his reputation in our hands. If we show our husband’s weaknesses to the world, embarrass him with unladylike behavior, or ridicule him for his mistakes, we might as well let down the draw bridge for the enemy to cross the moat, take over the castle, and overthrow the throne. Realistically, none of us have husbands without imperfections. Women have shortcomings too, but hopefully we are all working on becoming better people, better wives, better husbands, better mothers and fathers. However, none of the failures we have should be displayed before the world. Weaknesses on display are “welcome signs” at the gates of our kingdom for the enemy.
You can bet the serpent studied Adam and Eve from a distance, watching for their weaknesses, before he curled around that tree and sold them a lie. Our duty as a wife is to always uphold our husband’s position in leadership at home, especially before our children, at church, in the community, and in his career, and even through our own public actions. He may not always put his best foot forward, but we can nudge him along until he’s ready to step up. So get that polish out and remove the muck from his crown, fair maidens. If you’ve wounded him in the past, make amends, ask for forgiveness, and commit to yourself never to sling mud in his direction again. As stated before, women hold great power in their hands. We can build our kingdom up with our two appendages or we can tear it down. We can build our husband’s reputation up before others or we can destroy it.
Proverbs 31:10 says, “Who can find a virtuous (noble) woman? For her price is far above rubies.”(KJV2)
Remember you are your husband’s headdress, and to shine brightly in your role as "wife" choose to be a noble "help meet." Take out the polish and shine up his crown. In the end, he will love and appreciate you for it and you will become more radiant as the beautiful tiara atop his royal head!
*To learn more ideas and way to polish your husband’s crown check out “Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?” at Barns and Noble and CBD-Christian Book Distributors.
It seems the entire world was captivated by the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle this weekend. Thousands stood in line, some for days, just to catch a glimpse of the royal couple! Many more watched from the internet and social media. Dan and I woke early and watched live via the news network to see the fanfare and pomp and circumstance. It was spectacular! The American Cinderella wed her Royal European Prince and entered into a life committed to nobility!
Why are we so intrigued by royalty?
As a young person, I was intrigued by Prince Harry's parents, Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles of Wales. Up until that point, I had only heard of royal families in the history books. Lady Di was the first royal bride that made a fairy-tale wedding a reality for me. I don’t even think I realized royalty existed in my lifetime until Princess Diana stepped out of her Cinderella carriage. I watched the entire ceremony along with the other 750 million viewers around the world. It was known as the “fairy tale wedding of the century." That day began my personal dream for a happily ever after.
As I was writing "Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?", it seemed like the cover of every magazine had something to say about their son and next royal heir, Prince William and his bride, Catherine Middleton. The future of the monarchy had begun. The next generation royals would eventually inherit the throne and wear the royal crown. With modern day access to the internet and social media, this young couple carried on the family tradition of royal weddings by captivating an estimated 108 billion viewers worldwide. It was the largest viewed royal wedding in world history until yesterday when Prince Harry Married Ms. Markle. The new Prince and his bride successfully multiplied the viewing audience by 150 times over the weekend, as compared to the number of viewers who watched his mom, Princess Di, wed his dad, Prince Charles.
Are you prepared for your royal wedding?
I think if we’re honest, we’ve all been intrigued by royalty or fame in some way. It captivates our imagination. Every girl dreams of a royal wedding like Princess Di, Catherine Middleton, and Meghan Markle, where life seems perfect and everything falls into place, enabling the bride and groom to live in marital bliss forever. The royal wedding ceremony is viewed in our imaginations as a pivotal point to a grand future which is why the world watched as royalty wed. That’s also why many couples spare no expense to make their wedding day as breathtaking as possible, but the truth is a well planned wedding does not guarantee a happy couple a fairy-tale life. The grandeur of the wedding doesn’t determine the promise of its success.
According to a book released several years ago about Prince Charles and Diana, the author states they both wanted to call off the royal wedding the night before. As Lady Diana expressed her fear and the desire to cancel the whole event, she was told, “It’s too late; your face is already printed on the tea napkins.” As we all know, Diana divorced her Prince Charles fifteen years later, rocking the royal palace and creating public frenzy as the media accusations spun out of control about the stability of the family throne. The truth is, once the wedding is over and the guests are gone, the work of learning how to live together has just begun. Princess Diana had spent months in training on how to behave like a royal. She learned how to dress, how to present herself to the public, and how to take tea in the afternoon with diplomats, but no one had prepared her for how to be a wife.
What does "I DO" do?
Somehow the two small but powerful words, "I DO", change everything for the two people getting married. Even people who have chosen to live together first, before marrying, still say once they recited their vows everything changed. Why is that? Could it be the promises made in the wedding day formalities actually hold some incredible power over the relationship once it is officially sealed? In my book, I delve into the history and symbolism of the wedding ceremony as we learn what all the pomp and circumstance actually means and why every wedding is meant to be royal.
Is Happily Ever After possible?
As far as happiness goes, some couples go into marriage realistically knowing it won’t be that easy to find. In fact, they know it will be hard work, but they still believe with all their hearts they can overcome the challenge and live a life at least close to their version of Happily Ever After. On the other hand, some go down the aisle with blinders on and no idea what it will require to make a marriage last. Many unrealistically believe in the automatic fairy-tale ending before they even say “I Do”.
Some couples don’t believe in the wedding nuptials at all, so they simply choose the less complicated route without a solid commitment. They pack up their bags and their toothbrush and move in. That way if it doesn’t work out they can just call it a purely physical thing and move on by moving out. Despite how it all began for each of us, most of us still long to feel our heart skip a beat when our lover enters the room. We long for the simple brush of one hand against another to take our breath away for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, after saying “I Do” or sharing dresser drawers, most couples quickly realize it’s not as easy as all the fairy-tales make it out to be. What if, however, it is easier than we think it is? What if we just need clear answers to tough questions, about this mysterious thing called love and marriage in order to find peace?
What's the answer?
In 1 Corinthians 14:33a we learn that, “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (NIV)
What really makes a wedding royal?
If we want to rid ourselves of chaos we have to dig deeper for answers in the Scriptures. After all, God was the one who performed the first wedding ceremony. The Bible, in essence, is a history book. Although many argue against its truth, archaeology has continued to prove its historical accuracy. Even if you don’t have a relationship with God, the relevance of the information in this history book called the Bible can’t be denied.
What did I learn?
I was amazed and I think you will be too as I share in chapter five of my book some of the interesting facts I discovered about the wedding and its traditions. I unearthed some details that help define marital identity that can change your life no matter where you are in the journey of love. Many couples never realize the traditional wedding ceremony typically uses the Scriptures from the Bible's first wedding. In fact, not only are the vows we say found there but many of the rituals we do in the ceremony are actually found there. As I began to read and understand these ideas, I learned that the wedding ceremony itself is based on many covenant traditions. These ideas aren’t just formal vows written by a wedding planner, they are the water, sand, and gravel used to construct the foundation of a strong marriage that can last a lifetime. They’re meant to be the solid ingredients on which to build our palace. These ideas are our hope and our future for the wedding of our dreams and its success. The defining point in a royal wedding is the rich history of traditions and covenants the ceremony represents.
Were you created for royalty?
We were all meant for royalty! In fact, we were designed for it. We were also created for a royal marriage built on unshakable ground. From the first wedding ceremony, the principles of till death do us part were put into place to give us the foundation we need to move forward in holy matrimony. Marriage is not just something we survive, it’s meant for us to thrive in royal marital bliss! What an incredible gift we’ve been given. I hope you’ll follow me through my book, "Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?" as I unpack everything I learned in my own journey. It will change your life. It will set you free to be royalty and live nobly for a lifetime.
Purchase the book here:
Speaking to the king in your home versus the fool is not an April Fool's joke. In this month's blog I'm heading into the topic of communication and how we relate to our husbands. In fact this is one of the most important principles to conquer if we want to build a healthy marriage. When we get this right we defeat the chaos and welcome in true peace!
This concept holds immense importance because it's based on one of the primary biblical mandates given to women in Scripture by God. Despite that, it is one of our greatest challenges as women to carry out. Fulfilling this command is crucial to the survival of any marriage. It’s a defining role moment for every woman. All the other great things we do as queen of our domain lose their importance if we don't or won't answer this question with nobility. After all, love and marriage go together like a horse and a Cinderella carriage, and this idea is about hooking the horse to the right carriage and moving forward in showing love toward our husbands which in turn causes them to show the love we long for towards us.
I was inspired to look at the idea of speaking to the fool or the king by a quote I once heard in a women’s small group discussion. I have no idea where the saying originated, but whoever coined the phrase was brilliant.
"In every man there is a fool and a king. If you speak to the fool, he will act like a fool, but if you speak to the king, he will act like a king."
We can probably all think of a time in our own marriage when either we or our husband acted so out of character in a particular circumstance that others would consider it foolish behavior. I can remember a few times when my husband's response totally surprised me. Once, at the check-out line at Wal-Mart, I was shocked when he embarrassed us both over the price of a screwdriver that rung up incorrectly. As I applied the above quote to the situation, I realized he had begun to act out of character when the check-out attendant began to speak to him in a disrespectful, condescending tone. Real customer service says the customer is always right, but in this instance she had spoken to him as if he were a fool for expecting to pay what the price tag actually said. We walked out of the store without the screwdriver we intentionally went there to buy. Instead of my husband staying true to the man I admired, he had acted like the court-jester. The tone of the check-out clerk had triggered and exposed a foolish response.
Proverbs 26:4-5 warns us that participating in foolish arguments can lead everyone into foolishness.
“Don’t answer the foolish arguments of fools, or you will become as foolish as they are…” (NLT)
This Scripture is not an easy one to live by. Anytime a discussion is taking a turn towards the castle of war instead of the palace of peace, responding with wisdom requires a lot of self-discipline. According to this verse, if our spouse is acting foolish and we join in the chaos, we also begin to look foolish. That's why arguments escalate. As our husband's helper, we can fetch a pail of water to throw on his royal crown instead of a bucket of gasoline, if our husband is burning with anger. Women have the power to either fuel the fire of foolishness or diffuse the frustration in the kingdom.
Why did God give women the mandate of respect toward their husband?
"However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
Every man has a fool or a king inside their heart and God commanded us to speak to the king with respect. By doing so, we encourage their noble nature to emerge. The reason God commanded us to choose respect over dishonor is because respect is received as "love" to a man. Studies have shown when men feel respected they rise to a level of bravery that can conquer any enemy and call forth their nobility. That is why the military system is built on a foundation of honor and respect between fellow warriors. Soldiers throw themselves on a bomb to save their entire battalion because they feel respected by the other men on their team. They are willing to lay down their lives because they feel respected and this honor builds a sense of camaraderie and love toward their fellow soldiers. If we want a man of bravery in our kingdom, respect is how we get there.
"Married men, love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself up to death for her;" Ephesians 5:25 (WNT)
In the Scriptures, woman is commanded to respect her husband and man is commanded to willingly lay down his life for his wife if necessary to save her. If we want a warrior in our household who follows that mandate, a man who is willing to die to protect the kingdom, then we must show them the respect they deserve for the position they hold in our kingdom. When we do that, we find ourselves with a knight in shining armor and not a soldier who's gone AWOL.
How should I speak to the King in my husband versus the fool?
As I began to search for more evidence in Scripture that could give me answers and help me apply this lesson to my marriage, my steps led me to the Old Testament where I considered the biblical accounts of King David and two very powerful women in his life. In the book, "Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?" I discuss King David and his interactions with these two powerful women. Each saga ended very differently as I discovered the choices that were made in the middle of their crisis and the results. One ended in brokenness and isolation and the other ended with a happily ever after. One woman chose to speak to the King like he was a fool. The other chose to speak to the King he would eventually become even in the midst of his foolishness. Both stories give insight in how we as wives can win the battle for love and turn our chaotic castle into a peaceful palace. I hope you'll join me in the pages of the book where you will learn how to live out this principle daily with practical ideas and methods.
The next time you face a crisis consider the options. You can speak to the king in your husband that you know he can become or speak to the fool he may be portraying at the moment. When we choose the latter, we end up with a court-jester instead of a noble king and a brave warrior. The choice is up to us. We can defuse any situation by making the right decision in the heat of the moment. To learn more about how this dynamic actually works order the book on-line at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You won't be disappointed!
Let’s be real with one another. Making our husband out to be the king in our home may not sound that appealing to a strong, intelligent, independent woman. So let me appeal to the queen in us all. I know that every woman reading this blog has at some point longed for the lap of luxury where everything is roses and life is like a fairy tale. It’s like that old commercial from when I was a child where the woman is stressed, the phone is ringing, the baby is crying, the dog is barking, dinner is burning, and someone is ringing the door bell all at the same time. Then she says, “Calgon, take me away!” Suddenly she is soaking in a beautiful bubble bath with soft music in the background and flower petals floating on the water. Her dreams come true and life has become a luxurious, warm, happily ever after. We have all longed for that, but to get there we have a decision to make. We have to decide if we are willing to follow rank and order in our kingdom according to its original design, In the end that design gives us all what we are longing for, power. Not the power to dominate but the power to become the woman we were created to be.
Following Rank and Order = Power
We all know that submission or subjection to our husband is not something very popular with the majority of women we know or the female population at large. I have to be frank; those terms were not very appealing to me either. When I heard them as a young woman, I would get a chill up my spine and cringe at the word pictures they created. That was primarily because my idea of "submission" was based on the same lie the Serpent originally told Eve in the Garden of Eden. He convinced her that she could be in charge like God if she ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge. More importantly, he implied that if she didn’t take charge, she was some how inferior.
As women, we are very strong. If we are honest, we might even say we are strong-willed. Eve was strong-willed. We come by it naturally. The good news is our strong-willed strength doesn’t have to be a negative attribute! Once I began to understand the role I was designed for, I began to embrace the strength that I possessed. God created us to be strong and with that strength we can accomplish great things. In fact, by walking out marriage in the proper rank and order, we can win the war raging on the home front against us while standing beside our warrior on the battlefield.
What is Rank and Order according to scripture?
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be subject to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22 (NASB)
What does “be subject to” mean? Let’s look at its original meaning. The word subject is a Greek term pronounced huppataso. It’s a military term meaning "to be ranked under in military order." So if we take this idea and look at it from that perspective, we can understand what being subject to really looks like. For the military in our country to succeed in war, its members follow proper rank and order which enables the battle plan to work and our troops to be victorious. For example, a General can’t win a war without the information he receives from the Sergeant underneath him. The Sergeant is closer to the battlefield on a daily basis than the General. He knows what’s happening on the front lines and he takes that information back to the General for consideration. The General then uses the Sergeant’s information to plan the next strategy and make the decisions necessary to win the immediate battle and eventually win the war. On the other hand, the Sergeant is solely dependent on the General’s position. He can’t go to the battlefield and win without the General’s decision-making skills and leadership. Since the General is farther removed from the front lines, he is less emotional about his decisions and can base them on the overall bigger picture of the war. He has a different perspective, and he knows how to look at each battle with the end goal in mind. Once the General determines the battle plan, the Sergeant can take it to the front lines and carry it out to completion with his troops. It takes both their perspectives to win the war. As leaders, they need each other to survive. They combine their strengths and weaknesses, and together they overcome their enemies and are victorious in securing our nation.
The destructive cultural war around us is raging against our marriages and homes. We are fighting for our relationships to survive, and as parents, we are fighting for the souls of our children and the security of their future. We all have God-given strengths and abilities that make us who we are as women. They are the same qualities that captivated our husband’s heart causing them to fall in love. Nevertheless, our skills have to be placed and used in the proper rank and order by God’s design or they become the same qualities that can cause our husbands to go AWOL.
How does it look to live in rank and order day after day in our every day lives?
As wives, we are typically the more emotionally sensitive side of the relationship. No matter how tough we may try to be, we have a sensitivity that men do not have. This gives us a powerful perspective our husbands don’t have. It’s called women’s intuition. As women, we are intuitive by nature and we see, feel, and sense what the battle really is in our home on a day-to-day basis. If you haven’t tapped into this gift from God yet, you can start developing it now. If you are a stay home mom, you are on the battlefield every day and you are closer to the front lines for sure. If you work outside the home, you probably use that same intuition at the office to position yourself to move up the corporate ladder, but when you arrive home, those same skills are just as important. What do we do with the information we are intuitively gathering from the situations we are seeing and sensing around us? When we apply the military term, “huppatasso” from Scripture, our job is to take information from the front lines back to our husband and share it with him so he can come up with the battle plan and lead us to victory. For example, if you have a situation at home involving the children, once you share the information, he can devise a battle plan to alleviate the problem. If you work outside the home and you are struggling with something there, if you share it with your spouse, as a result of being less emotionally involved he can see the bigger picture . He can often bring objectivity to the situation, helping you come up with a solution. Our men have a perspective that can likely benefit us in many areas of our life. From the beginning Eve needed Adam just as much as he needed her.
When we apply what we have learned from the example above, we realize we have greater strength when we depend on each other and work together on the battlefield than when we wage war against each other. Without working as a team in the role and rank that God has given us, we can lose the war and end up as a casualty of divorce To learn more about following rank and order and its practical application check out my book "Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?" It can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, in both book and kindle format. Don't forget to post your comments on the blog below and share a link with all your facebook friends!
Do you want to live in a war-torn castle or a peaceful palace?
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