February 20, 2017

Marriage Wisdom from Sharon Jaynes (w/Giveaway)

I’m excited to welcome my friend, Sharon Jaynes, to my blog today to share her new book, “A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage.” You will be blessed by her words of wisdom AND her GIVEAWAY! Read through to the end of the post for a chance to win a copy!

What do you do when you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ in your marriage?

Maybe you truly adored your husband in the beginning, but now you can’t remember why.

Maybe you honestly admired his finer qualities, but now you can’t remember what they were.

Maybe you appreciated his wonderful attributes, but now you take them for granted.

Between taking out the garbage, paying the bills, running the car pool, mowing the lawn, disciplining the kids, and folding the laundry, sometimes the passion of marriage gets lost. It happens to all of us at one time or another.

We can get so busy taking care of life that we forget to take care of love.

None of us got married so we could have a long list of chores. If you’re like me, most likely you got married because you were madly in-love and couldn’t imagine life without your man! You got married because your heart skipped a beat every time you laid eyes on him.

You couldn’t wait to tie the knot and build a life with this incredible person God had miraculously brought into your life. Maybe you still feel that way. But maybe you could use a little reminder—a re-stoking of the romance.

In the book of Revelation in the Bible, God had this to say to the church at Ephesus: “I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4).

Ephesus was one of the most loving churches in the New Testament, and yet somewhere along the way they lost that initial thrill of knowing Christ. Their love for each other and for God had grown cold.

So how do you get that lovin’ feelin’ back?

God gave the church two simple steps, and I believe we can apply them to our marriages as well. “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:5, emphasis added).

Remember how it was in the beginning.

Return and do the things you did at first.

One day I took John’s words in Revelation to heart, and decided to remember and return by romancing my husband for fourteen days straight.

Can I tell you, I was a little bit nervous about it?

What if he thought I was silly?

What if he didn’t respond?

But I took a deep breath, push the fear aside, and began to romance my man like I did in the early days.

Every day wasn’t earth-shaking romance, even though there was some of that.

One day I simply put a sticky note on his bathroom mirror that said, “I love you.”

Another day I placed a box of Red Hot candy on his car seat with a note that said, “You’re a hottie.”

One morning I warmed up his towel in the dryer and had it ready when he got out of the shower.

And you know what happened? At the end of the fourteen days, Steve had a skip in his step and smile on his face like a Cheshire cat.

And what happened in me? I can hardly describe the love that welled up in me, as I loved my man well. Hear this…I changed.

I don’t have a big, bad personal story of how God took a terrible, tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white-knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset leaving all danger and darkness behind. Although our marriage has been all that at one time or another, it’s no fairy tale.

Our marriage is a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. I’m guessing just like yours.

Some entries are smudged with tears; others are dog-eared as favorites.

Some days are marred by unsuccessful erasures that couldn’t quite rub away hurtful the words said; others are finger-worn by the reading of precious events time and time again.

But on those days when I see my marriage slipping back into the mundane cadence of passionless routine, I pull out my list of ideas, and put a smile on Steve’s face.

And that’s my challenge to you and to me today. When we see the fire needs stoking, remember and return. It may be a little scary at first, but be brave and begin!

What is one thing that you can do for your husband today to remind him of how much you love him?

Leave a comment and tell one thing that attracted you to your husband when you were dating. We’ll randomly pick one name and send a FREE copy of Sharon’s new book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage. I’ll announce the winner next Tuesday.

Sharon Jaynes is a conference speaker, devotion writer for Girlfriends in God and Proverbs 31 Ministries, and author of 21 books. Her latest book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage will help you step out of the mundane routine of life and captivate your husband all over again. With encouraging stories, Biblical principles, and over 250 simple ideas on how to romance your husband, Sharon will show you how to put a smile on your husband’s face. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

June 16, 2014

Praying for our Husbands

***The winners of Rob Teigen’s gift packs are listed at the bottom of today’s post***

Welcome to all my Encouragement for Today friends!! I’m excited you stopped by today.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner with a young couple soon to be married. They asked for any advice we had to share. After 27 years, surely we had some wisdom!

As my husband shared his advice, which was hilarious by the way, my mind raced. Mine wouldn’t be clever or funny like his. I wanted my words to encourage, but I also wanted to be realistic. Marriage is wonderful, but it’s also hard…very hard. Especially those first few years.

So I spoke honestly. The most spoken word from my lips was “prayer.” But, that’s not how it was early in my marriage. I confessed that I rarely prayed for anything, let alone my marriage. As the years passed, I prayed a bit more. But they were self-centered prayers asking God to change my husband, to give me patience with his annoying habits, and to curb my anger when he ignored my requests and hurt my feelings. But I never really prayed FOR him or for our marriage.

Twenty-seven years later, I cling to prayer. I pray for my husband, my marriage, my children and our family. It’s a staple in my prayer time. It’s often not long and involved, but it is continual. Yes, I set aside specific prayer time for my family, but I also pray throughout the day as the Lord brings each to mind.

Here are some wise words of wisdom from my dear friend and Proverbs 31 sister, Lysa TerKeurst:

Lysa.Praymorethanspeak

Praying for our husbands is the greatest gift we can give them.

Praying with our husbands is even better! Praying together intimately knits our hearts together in a way nothing else can. It creates an impenetrable shield about our hearts and our home that NOTHING can pass…especially the evil one.

Praying for my husband comes easy for me. But I’m not so comfortable praying with my husband. It’s a “me” thing. Anyone else relate? I pray with women all the time…friends, Bible study leaders, speaking event coordinators and leadership teams. But I struggle praying with my husband. Excuses abound. Life is busy. It’s hard to carve out time. I feel a bit uncomfortable. I’ve learned, these are Satan’s tactics. He doesn’t want us to pray together because he knows prayer STRENGTHENS marriages and DEFEATS his schemes.

Sweet friends, the only way to pray is TO DO IT!! To intentionally take a step and pray.

A few days after our dinner with this young couple, I sat down at my computer and wrote a prayer for them. I haven’t given it to them yet, but I thought I would share a portion of it with you.

Heavenly Father, we thank You and praise You that every good and perfect gift is from You. You alone are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You alone are our Redeemer and Savior. You alone are the Lord of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign over ALL things, including our marriage.    

God, I thank You that Your Word says You know the plans You have for our marriage and our family, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give us a hope and a future. What a precious gift  to know that You planned our union before time began! This is Your good, pleasing and perfect will.

Lord, Your Word promises that when we seek You with all our hearts, we will find You. Father, we pray that You will remind us to daily come before You, seeking wisdom about our marriage and our family. And thank You for Your promise that You will generously pour out that wisdom. And thank You, Lord, that there is no good thing that You will withhold from us.

Father, You are El Roi, the God who sees all. As husband and wife, help us honor You each and every day.  Enable us to love each other with Your sacrificial love…to lay aside any hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment, and any other issue, including our wills, that would prevent You from being at work in and through our marriage.

Release the power of Your Word and Your Spirit into our marriage and our home. We are asking You to do as You promise—to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.

We ask that from Your glorious storehouses of riches You will make our marriage beautiful. We boldly come to Your throne and ask that our marriage be rooted and established in Your deep and abiding love, the love that surpasses all knowledge. Help us to live lives worthy and live out a marriage worthy of You, Lord. Give us great endurance and patience. Fill us with Your joy so that on the hard days, we will look beyond our circumstances and remember the Promises made in You. Keep our eyes on You and not on our faults and difficult circumstances. Help us to be living sacrifices to You, giving up our own desires to accomplish Your greater purposes for our marriage and our family.

Father, humble our hearts to recognize when we are wrong. Make our hearts tender to any faults, selfishness, self-centeredness. Equip us to combat critical spirits. Through Your spirit of humility, work in and through us daily to eradicate all pride so that we will put each other first in all things. Help us to surrender our will to Yours. Help us to lay on the altar anything that will get in Your way. Open our eyes to see those things and make them clear.

Transform our marriage and our family each and every day by the power of prayer and Your Word.  Make our home one that will be built solidly on the foundation of Jesus. May our house be a safe place in this world where we feel loved and protected. Help us to humbly submit to You and to resist Satan. 

Thank You, Father, that there is hope in You, hope for a rich, wonderful future for our marriage and this family. And whatever Satan throws at us, we trust You will empower us to battle him victoriously and what he intends for harm, You will give purpose and turn into good. Cover our family from this day forward with Your hedge of protection. Keep us in perfect peace because we love You and have our minds fixed on You. Thank You that You have begun a good work and will perfect it for Your glory. We ask all of these things in the powerful name of JESUS. 

For a pdf of another marriage prayer I have written, click here.

Before we close today, will you commit to doing something with me? Let’s take one intentional step together toward praying more in our marriage. If you’ve never prayed for your husband, take a step of faith and pray Scripture over him. My Encouragement for Today devotion gives you a great set of Scriptures to begin. Click here to find them. Lysa TerKeurst shares some great Scriptures as well. Click here to find hers.

And if you’ve never prayed with your husband, let’s commit to pray the prayer I shared above with our husbands…at least once. And if it goes well, pray it weekly. And if you are up for it, make this prayer your own. Add your favorite Scriptures and add words that reflect your dreams, your struggles, your heart for your marriage.

Please leave a comment and share your first step toward more prayer in your marriage…a Scripture you will pray or maybe you will tackle the entire prayer!  I will pray for each of you who leaves a comment today.

***The winners of Rob Teigen’s gift packs are below. Congratulations! Please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and address so we can get these in the mail to you.

Carol who posted on 6/9 at 11:23 a.m.

Nancys 1128 who posted on 6/9 at 2:23 p.m.

Susan who posted on 6/10 at 11:59 a.m.

Blessings,

January 10, 2014

A Marriage Prayer for You

(If you left comments in response to the last two giveaways ($50 gift certificates and “Living So That Gift Packages,” the winners are announced at the end of this post. Please respond by Monday Jan. 13).

A warm welcome to my Proverbs 31 friends visiting from my Encouragement for Today DevotionWho Sits on the Throne of Your Heart?  I’m so excited you stopped by to visit.

Since my devotional delved into a tender place in my marriage, a place that was very hard to share, I thought I would write a marriage prayer today. Monty and I have come so far since those early years of our marriage. We have traveled down smooth roads, tackled rough roads, survived deep valleys, and danced on mountain tops. But through it all, we have remained together. I couldn’t imagine sharing my life with anyone else in the entire world!!  Every rough road and every valley, though hard to walk through at the time, has strengthened our marriage and drawn us closer together. This year we will celebrate 27 years of marriage!!

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I pray God will use this prayer to bless and encourage you. If you visit my Free Resource Page, you will find a longer marriage prayer. To access that prayer directly, click here.

My Marriage Prayer

Heavenly Father, I come before You today praising You as the giver of every good and perfect gift. Your word tells me that all my days were ordained for me before I lived a single one. You knew before time began that we would be joined together as one. You gave me my husband as one of those good and perfect gifts. But marriage is hard, Lord. It’s messy. Sometimes I feel _________(alone, unappreciated, disconnected, jealous, neglected, angry, bitter, misunderstood, hurt, betrayed, etc). I don’t like these emotions. I know they are not healthy and not what You want for me as a wife. So I come before You today for direction and help. I know that I cannot change my husband, so I invite You to help me change the only thing I can and that is ME. Lord, please change me.

First, I want to confess my role in this mess in my marriage. Search me, Lord. Know my anxious thoughts. Test me. If there is any offensive way in me…if there is any part of this mess we are in that is my fault…reveal it to me. Open my eyes to see it. Humble my heart to confess it. Tender my heart to change it. Father, I ask You to forgive my ________ (anger, bitterness, jealousy, prideful attitude, self-pity, etc) Thank You that You forgive me…that though my sins are like scarlet, You make them white as snow. You remove them as far as the east is from the west.

Lord, help me to walk confidently in who I am in You. Thank You, Lord, that I am a display of Your splendor! My value and worth is found in You and You alone. My husband is a gift in my life, but my identity and worth is NOT in Him; my identity and worth is found in You. Heal any part of me that has forgotten that or doubted that. Restore to me the JOY of my salvation. I am Your child. I am filled with Your Spirit and Your glory. Help me to walk in the fullness of who I am in You.

I surrender my marriage and my husband to You, the giver of the gift of marriage, more specifically the gift of my marriage. I ask the following of You for my husband and me:

Heal our hurts.

Knit our hearts together as one.

Bring us into unity and agreement in all things.

Move our hearts to respond to each other with humility and unselfishness.

Equip us with the mind of Christ and enable us to acknowledge You daily as Lord of our lives and our marriage.

Help us not look to each other for affirmation, but look only to You.

Grow us daily in spiritual wisdom and discernment.

Humble our hearts to serve each other with a sacrificial love.

Develop in us praying hearts  and unite us to pray as one.

Cover us daily in the armor of God and protect us from the guiles of the evil one.

Bless and establish the work of our hands and our hearts.

Bind our marriage with unbreakable chains and blanket us with Your great love.

Heavenly Father, I give our hearts, our minds, our marriage and our family to You and trust You to do a “new thing.” Help my husband and I forget the old, to forgive what has been in the past. I trust You to make a way in the desert. Flood our marriage with Ephesians 3:20 blessings, Lord…do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or imagine.  I ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I pray this prayer meets you in your tender place in your marriage. If you would like prayer for your marriage, or you would like to leave a prayer for your marriage or someone else’s marriage, please share it in a comment today. I promise to pray for each and every request over the next week. And I will choose one comment randomly to win an Inscribed necklace to celebrate the release of my new book coming out in March 2014, Living So That: Making Faith-Filled Choices in the Midst of a Messy Life.  To see the necklace, click here.

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I’m so thankful you stopped by today. As I close this post, I’m praying for the Lord to draw every woman here who needs this encouragement…this prayer. And if your marriage is GREAT right now, praise God and join me in praying for the comments left today. Let’s storm the gates of heaven on behalf of marriages today. No marriage is hopeless because NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD!!

******Winners of $50 Proverbs 31 Gift Certificate

Angela B.who posted on 12/26 at 5:44 p.m.

LaKeisha who posted on 12/21 at 7:48 a.m.

******Winners of “Living So That Gift Package”

Karen Conner who posted on 1/1 at 8:19 a.m.

Carolyn who posted on 1/1 at 10:44 a.m.

If you are one of the four women listed above, please e-mail me at deuteronomysix@aol.com with your full name and mailing address so I can send you your gifts.

Blessings,