Grace & Truth ~ 3 Benefits you Gain by Praying for Your Marriage

If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, it wouldn’t be difficult for you to see how much I value prayer.  Especially prayer over my marriage.  Really, prayer is what got my hubby to come to faith in Jesus – not my nagging.  Not my relentless invitations to come to church.  Not my own perfect faith (ok, how about ‘holier-than-thou’ persona???  Sound better?).  It was prayer.  Desperate prayers from a desperate wife.  It has been prayers – by both of us – that have made our marriage rock solid.  So, naturally, I loved Nicole’s post, 3 Benefits you Gain by Praying for Your Marriage.  

Nicole’s 3 benefits are spot-on.  We need to make sure we are praying God’s will for our marriages!  We need to understand the incredible strength in Biblical submission.  I had to submit to my guy recently – it was hard.  And I was disappointed that I couldn’t do what I wanted to.  But…for my guy to fully trust me and to feel respected by me…well, ladies, that will go a whole lot further than a nail appointment;)  I still want my nails done, though;)  Maybe in a few months…  We also need to understand the difference between fighting with our hubbies and fighting for them.  Nicole helps distinguish between the 2.  Head on over to her blog to read her post!

Nicole, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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How Does a Husband Wash His Wife in the Word?

Words cut deep.  Rejection is heartbreaking.  Friends come and go…sometimes on good terms, many times the termination is excruciatingly painful.  A family becomes estranged.  Tragedy crushes the soul.  Brokenness is inevitable in this shattered world.  I am sure, just like me, you’ve had a lot of experience with painful relationships and events.  This life is challenging and troublesome enough if we are facing it on our own.  However, having a Godly spouse who loves as Christ loves the Church sure makes a difference.  When a husband washes his wife in the word of God is one of the most rewarding aspects of marriage.  But what does it mean for a husband to sanctify his wife and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word?  How does a husband wash his wife in the Word?  

Paul tells husbands to sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word. Does he mean that our guys need let us have baths on a regular basis? No. It means so much more than that. It roots the mystery that is the union between husband and wife. And it is so good. If you’ve been wondering How Does a Husband Wash His Wife in the Word, this post will help.

My husband understands this verse quite well.  He washes me in the Word often.  But there was a time when he didn’t understand this truth.  I was reading one of my journal entries from our first year of marriage.  I was struggling through the disclosure, flashbacks, and repercussions of childhood sexual abuse.  This is what I wrote: Read More

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Grace & Truth ~ When Spiritual Warfare Hits Home

I recently read a fantastic blog post about how Wonder Woman and the Christian woman are alike – we fight in a battle.  I loved it.  I need to find that post again because the author sure got some flack for her comparison to Wonder Women (my goodness, will there ever be a day when Christians are not so easily offended?).  One commenter was angry because women had no business in the battlefield.  Women are not warriors.  I didn’t realize that God’s armor was just for men.  When did this happen?  When did Paul refer to just men in Ephesians 6?  Did that change when I wasn’t looking?  

Satan doesn’t care if we are men, women, or children when he attacks, so we all need to be properly equipped and trained.  Candace’s post was a good reminder of being prepared for spiritual battle – and that it does exist!  Head on over to her blog to read, When Spiritual Warfare Hits Home.

Candace, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes)

I was angry.  I was deeply hurt.  And it was late.  He knew how I felt and yet, he still didn’t apologize.  Instead, he was getting ready for bed. My frustration elevated.  The tears rolled down my cheeks.  I hate this.  And it didn’t look like anything was going to get resolved tonight.  I started to get ready for bed, too.  Guilt washed over me as I brushed my teeth and contemplated that popular marriage ‘rule’.  “Never go to bed angry”.  Right.  Now not only am I upset, but I am breaking this cardinal rule!  My marriage is doomed!  Or is it?  Early on in my marriage, I worried about breaking popular advice such as this one.  But then I realized that just like any cliché advice, it must be taken with a grain of salt.  This is Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes).

The popular cliché advice for newlyweds is usually “never go to bed angry – stay up and work it out”.  While those offering the advice probably have good intentions, this advice isn’t always practical or wise – and really, if you’ve been married any length of time, you have probably gone to bed angry a time or two!  Here is Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes)

Fighting with my husband is one of the things I dislike most in my life.  It doesn’t occur very often, so it isn’t something either of us is used to.  We are blessed to have a marriage where arguments and pain are not a normal occurrence.  But, we are both human and we get angry sometimes.  And sometimes we do go to bed angry.  Maybe this sounds like your marriage.  Maybe you fight sometimes and go to bed angry knowing it goes against that marriage rule.  But, it works for you and your hubby.  It turns out to be a good thing.  And guess what?  That’s OK.  

In The Quiet

When I go to bed angry, I use that time before falling asleep to talk to God about what is happening.  When I am in the heat of anger, I don’t think to quiet myself before the Lord.  I am too busy fighting and trying to make myself heard.  My focus is on me.  My wants and needs.  

But when I am quiet and conversing with my Heavenly Father, my anger disperses and I feel His peace.  It is during this time that He is able to speak to my heart.  I am more open to receiving His conviction if I have wronged my husband in any way, including thinking bad thoughts about him.  During this quiet time with God, He is able to give me His love for my husband and I can pray for God’s solution to the problem and wisdom in how to deal with it – wisdom for me and for Marcus.

Clear-Headed

When I am tired, my emotions tend to be more sensitive and unreasonable.  Not really ideal conditions for working out a problem, right?  With some rest, I am better able to think about the issue.  I’ve had time to think and process the situation.  

Do you need time to process, too?  I find the extra time helpful for me to see things clearly and to deal with any rooted issues I might have.

Renew

I’ve gotten into the habit of asking God to renew and revive my love for my husband.  You see, my husband and I have been through a lot over the years.  We’ve had ample opportunities to prove the scripture verse that says 2 shall become 1.  We’ve had to.  

Because of events that have occurred in our extended family, Marcus has had to be my defender, my protector.  I’ve had to rest in his strength and protection many, many times.  

He has proven to me time and again that his heart is for me.  That he has my best interest at heart and he would never intentionally hurt me.  I have resolved to not allow disagreements to hinder my love for him.  

And sometimes I need the night to seek the Lord and ask Him to remind me of my love for my husband.  It always works;)

Shut My Mouth

Sometimes God needs me to keep my mouth shut so that He can deal with my husband.  If I am blabbing on and on about how I am right, then I don’t leave room for God to speak to Marcus’ heart.  My husband needs that quiet to seek the Lord as well.  Staying up all night trying to work things out just might interfere with what God wants to teach Marcus (and me).      

Always Right?

Just because a piece of advice is popular doesn’t mean it’s always right – or even just right for that given situation.  If you go to bed angry, don’t seek the Lord and then don’t try to resolve the problem the following day (or ever), then yes, you might want to stick to the cliché advice of staying up until the issue is resolved – but still, seek the Lord! 

Maybe, like me, you need that time to process, pray, and listen.  Just because a piece of advice is popular and touted by almost everyone without much thought or reason, doesn’t mean it is the best advice for your marriage or for that specific issue.

Walking Where?

Walking in the Spirit requires us to seek the Lord for His counsel instead of worldly cliché advice.  Instead of reacting to a situation, I turn to the Lord for wisdom and discernment.  Doing this has helped me to see if there is something else bothering my husband or if I am ‘over-reacting’ because of some unhealed root in my own life.  Being lead by the Spirit has really helped me to know when to keep talking it out and when to remain quiet (as hard as that is sometimes!).   

Do you go to bed angry?  Have you been walking in the Spirit?  Do you allow the Holy Spirit to guide your conversations?  Are you and your husband ‘one’?

The popular cliché advice for newlyweds is usually “never go to bed angry – stay up and work it out”.  While those offering the advice probably have good intentions, this advice isn’t always practical or wise – and really, if you’ve been married any length of time, you have probably gone to bed angry a time or two!  Here is Why I Do Go to Bed Angry (Sometimes)

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Grace & Truth ~ 5 Guidelines to Getting It Together

I love Becky’s writings.  I love her honesty.  I love how she is practical and to the point.  I love how she points right back to Jesus.  I think she is just the ‘cat’s pajamas’ (I love that term!  Because then I begin to picture a cat in pajamas.)  Her latest post was one I could totally relate to.  I’ve heard the same statement directed at me – more than once.  And it’s not like I am trying to make it look like I have it ‘all together’ – in fact, I am honest when I have been struggling.  I have been very transparent with the garbage I’ve been through in my life.  I do kind of wish we’d stop judging each other in this regard – and, yes, it is judging.  I wish we could give each other the benefit of the doubt instead of allowing jealousy to rule our assumptions of others.  

I just appreciate what she says in her post, 5 Guidelines to Getting It Together.  And you know what, maybe people do see me as ‘having it all together’ because I don’t complain about my husband – in fact, I cast him in a good light.  I speak highly of him.  And so I should.  I’m his wife.  And maybe people make their assumptions about me because I don’t complain about my body.  If you can relate, too, then you’ll appreciate Becky’s post.  OR – if you are one of those women who seem to think ‘we’ have it all together, maybe Becky’s post will shed some light on the misguided notion.  Just hop on over to her site – I am sure you will love her like I do! 

Becky, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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What It Means For A Husband To Love His Wife

We had barely been married a year when he said those terrible, heart-breaking words.  I knew something was ‘off’ in the weeks previous.  He wouldn’t touch me anymore.  He barely spoke to me – at least not the way he used to.  Sleeping in the same bed was like sleeping with a stranger.  And forget about any kind of intimacy.  It just wasn’t happening.  I was hurt, lonely, and headed for trouble.  We both were.  And those words confirmed that what I was sensing was true.  So early in our marriage, neither one of us knew what love meant. And because Marcus wasn’t a believer, he certainly had no idea What It Means For A Husband To Love His Wife.

Sometimes, we get a warped view of the marriage relationship. We excuse bad behavior because we don’t know what love really means. But, if we truly did understand how to love, so many more marriages would be healthy and whole. What It Means For A Husband To Love His Wife

I gathered my courage and asked my husband what was going on.  He responded with:

“I love you but I’m not in love with you”.    

Nice, hey?  Just what a new bride wants to hear.  This is what I call “Hollywood Love” – the fluff we see in movies.  

This is what I call “Hollywood Love” – the fluff we see in movies.  And it’s crap.  Sorry for the crass word – but it is what it is.  It is ‘love’ based upon feelings.  Fickle feelings.  It isn’t true love.  

Well, things obviously worked out since we are happily married and on to year 20. Those early years were still rough and painful.  It wasn’t until I received a lot of healing from the Lord and he came to faith in Jesus that marriage got better.  My husband will be the first to tell others that he had no idea what it meant to love his wife before he was a believer.  This is a different kind of love.  Not a worldly love or how the secular world views love.  This is a supernatural love from heaven. 

Let’s see what it means for a husband to love his wife by looking at scripture.

What Is Love?

Ephesians 5:25 talks about how the husband is to love his wife.  But sometimes we need to dig deeper in order to really get the gist of a verse.  In our culture, we have one word for love – just love.  Sure, we can whip out the thesaurus and find several synonyms, but they all basically mean the same general, all-encompassing thing.  

There are, however, there are 4 different words for love in Greek, each with its own specific meaning.

First, we have Storge which is the affection parents and children have for each other.

Second is Philia, a love between friends.

Third is Éros which is a passionate love, an intimate love.

Finally, we have Agápe, which is God’s supernatural love.

The word Paul uses for love in this verse is agápe.  Paul assumes that a husband and wife already feel philia and eros in their marriage (otherwise, why did they marry?).  Note I said ‘feel’ – because these versions of love are feelings.  Agápe is a decision for higher love.  It is a choice to love.

A Definition Of Love

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 gives a very clear picture of what love is.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

Now, instead of using the word love, put your name in and read it.  Try your husband’s next – or better yet, have him do this with you.  

Convicting, isn’t it?

Now replace love with the name of Jesus.  

Doing this activity should not condemn or shame you, instead, it ought to make you want to love like that.  This is healthy love.  This is Agápe love.  This is the love a husband should have for his wife (and vice versa).

It’s a Choice

So, Paul is saying that to truly love your wife as Jesus loves the church, there is a decision that is made in addition to the heart.  You see, “it is love so great that it can be given to the unlovable or unappealing” (Guzik’s Commentary).

Agápe love gives and loves because it wants to; it does not demand or expect repayment from the love given. It gives because it loves, it does not love in order to receive.”  (Guzik’s Commentary)

Paul is encouraging husbands to go beyond kindness and compassion by choosing austerity in consideration for their wives.  So, basically, a complete act of selflessness.  Christ has a self-sacrificial love for the Church and husbands are to have this same kind of love – self-sacrificial

What About Submission?

God gave husbands and wives these commands for marriage for a reason.  They balance each other out.  They compliment each other.  When one is out of balance, or both are out of balance, trouble ensues.  Husbands may abuse their headship, creating an oppressive environment instead of a holy and freeing relationship.  And wives end up becoming controlling and cold.   

When a husband loves his wife the way he ought to, she will have no problem with Godly submission.  I mean in general, sometimes it is difficult when I want to go shopping and Marcus says ‘no’;)  But I do strive to submit to him because I am commanded to, for one, but he sure makes it easy for me to submit.  So easy.  

What Can I Do To Encourage Agápe Love?

Are you wondering what you can do as his wife to encourage Agápe love in your marriage?  Well, there are a few things.  But first, let me say something you can’t do – or try to do – and that is control your husband.  It’s just not going to work, friend.  He is responsible for his behavior and you are responsible for yours.  

Here is what you can do to foster Agápe love:

  1. Pray.  I know, it might not seem like much.  BUT…any change that has occurred in my marriage has been because of prayer.  Don’t give up on praying for your man.
  2. Submit.  Oh, I know the argument well – because I’ve tried to use it.  “I’d submit if he loved me better”.  Yeah, I get it.  BUT…it doesn’t work that way.  That is not what scripture says.  Paul didn’t say, “Wives, submit when your husband proves his Agápe love to you.”  We submit because we honor God when we do.  I know it isn’t easy, but it is good.  
  3. Talk.  Communication is key.  Plan a date night with your hubby and bring some planned out discussion questions.  I LOVE these conversations with my man.  Sure, they are uncomfortable for me at times because I have to hear something I don’t really want to hear…but it is for the good of our marriage.  I created some printable discussion questions that include the topic of Agápe love and submission.  These are available below.  Keep them stashed in your purse for date night (tip – pick just a few to discuss in one outing).  There are some blank ones for your own questions..make them as saucy as you wish;) 
  4. Forgive.  If you want to quickly destroy your marriage, keep holding on to that grudge.  Healthy marriages practice keeping short accounts with each other.  With God’s grace and His Agápe love for your husband, you can choose forgiveness.  Ask Him for a softened heart.
  5. Remember.  You are a team.  You are doing life together.  Root for each other.  Encourage each other.  Be on each other’s side.   

What About That Hollywood Love?

I am sure you want to know what happened to “I love you but I’m not in love with you”.    Well, my hubby did come back to me after talking to his mom…and a lot of prayer by me.  He started to understand what true love was.  It took a while, but he displays true Agápe love now…and we are both still learning.

How do you and your husband foster Agápe love? 

Sometimes, we get a warped view of the marriage relationship. We excuse bad behavior because we don’t know what love really means. But, if we truly did understand how to love, so many more marriages would be healthy and whole. What It Means For A Husband To Love His Wife

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Grace & Truth ~ 5 Tips To Freshen Up Your Quiet Times

I love studying God’s Word.  I also like to switch things up and try new study methods. And then there are times when God has His own plans for your study of His word.  You see, I wanted to study John but I couldn’t find ‘anything’ to guide me.  Yes, I know, I don’t need a guide – I just wanted one.  OK, and there were studies out there – just not any I was content with.  So, I got the idea to just dig in.  Then – I got this little idea…why not invite ladies in my Facebook discussion group (available to subscribers) to join me in reading and study.  We would just discuss what we read.  

THEN…I got another ‘idea’ when I started to study.  I was looking up this and that and started forming a few basic questions.  So, I thought “Why not pose them to my friends in the discussion group?”  So, I did.

THEN…I kept digging and researching…and the questions grew in number.  They were also more thought-provoking.  I got another idea – “Why not just add these questions and findings to the discussion group?”  The posts started to look messy and difficult to follow.  So, I created documents in the group for ease of use.

THEN…I know this was God and I am sure it was His plan from the beginning to ease me into this idea because if He told me to write a full-on study right off the bat, I’d say No Way!  I’m not qualified!  Anyway, this idea was “Why not create a more official upgrade for your study.  You are already doing the hard part – the research.  Just make it pretty and add some video and other content.

So, I did.  I am creating my very own Bible Study on John – and can I say – it is amazing!  BTW – today is the last day for the early bird price – so get it now!

When I read Barb’s post, 5 Tips To Freshen Up Your Quiet Times, I knew I just had to feature her!  it’s all about Bible study methods – and she links to one of my all-time favorite bloggers, Kaylene.  Bonus!

Barb, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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Praying Boldly And The Truth About Rejection (Women Who Move Mountains)

When was the last time you dared to pray something “BIG“?  It is scary to pray those big prayers.  Recently, we had a ladies worship night at church.  This is something that has been on my heart for quite some time – ever since I was nominated to head up our Women’s Ministry team at church (which came as a complete surprise to me!).  I desperately wanted Jesus to show up that night and change hearts – to bring healing and break changes of sin and bondage.  I longed for Him to move.  And I prayed that He would – I expected Him to do something amazing.  It is a bold thing to pray for, don’t you think?  Because this is my heart for women, I naturally was intrigued by Sue Detweiler’s new book, Women Who Move Mountains.  

When was the last time you were challenged to pray big prayers? Maybe quite some time because it hurts too much to even consider that God would want to listen to you. That He would want to give you good gifts. What if He doesn’t answer? What if I start to trust and He doesn’t come through for me? These questions and more are addressed in Sue Detweiler’s book, Women Who Move Mountains

My heart, as a prayer warrior and as the leader of Women’s Ministries in our church, was deeply encouraged by Sue’s book.  She challenges the reader to pray with confidence and to pray bold requests.  And through prayer, we draw closer to the heart of God. Read More

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10 Worth-It Benefits Of Bible Study

I used to find it hard to sit down and spend time reading God’s word.  Well, OK, I still do at times.  I think my biggest hindrance is thinking of everything that needs to get done in a day.  The ‘to do’ list never seems to get much shorter.  There is always something pressing to do – and when there is that pressure, remaining focused on reading something from God’s word grows even more difficult.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who has this struggle!  I, mean, I absolutely LOVE God’s Word.  I adore it.  But life tends to get in the way.  I have to constantly remind myself of all the benefits of studying His Word.  How about you?  Do you need that, too?  If so, let me help you a bit with 10 Worth-It Benefits Of Bible Study.

Do you need some good, solid reasons to commit to studying your Bible?  Maybe you are looking for a study that helps you dig into His Word without spending countless hours reading.  Here are 10 Worth-It Benefits Of Bible Study that will assist you in studying and digging into the Word of God.

I Need Nourishment

When I am in His word, my soul is well-nourished.  And a well-nourished spirit is full of joy, grace, and love.  Good nourishment does not come from ‘fast food’.  It comes from a hearty diet of healthy ‘food’ – something substantial that satisfies.  That only comes from digging into God’s word.    Read More

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Grace & Truth ~ What Does The Bible Say About Fear?

I had PTSD.  I’d walk down the street and if I heard footsteps behind me, panic and anxiety would consume me.  If I woke up during the night because of a sound, I’d wrap myself up in the blankets, terrified at what – or who – it must be – listening intently for any more danger.  There were many many more instances where my PTSD reared it’s ugly head.  It make life unbearable.  I hated living in this bondage.  

But God…

Yeah.  He rescued me.  He healed me.  That’s why I love Julie’s post for this week, What Does The Bible Say About Fear?  PTSD did not have the final say…and as Julies says in her post, neither does anxiety.  Be blessed in reading her post today.

Julie, please be sure to grab this “I’ve Been Featured” image below and add it, with a link to this page, to your post so that your readers can celebrate with you!  

Grace and Truth Link-up http://aimeeimbeau.com

Now for this week’s link up!  Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord. Read More

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