Let’s talk about LOVE…

lovestudy

By the middle of February some people are sick of hearing about romance, Valentine’s Day, gifts, cards, and even love. But can love be over-emphasized?  As believers in Christ we are to walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), be rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17), follow after love (I Timothy 6:11), and put on love (Colossians 3:12-14).   Can we talk about it too much?  Love is a consistent theme throughout the entire Word of God. The greatest command in all of scripture is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, and mind.  The second command is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Jesus said that, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets,” Matthew 22:40To put it differently, the entire Bible can be summed up with love.

Love is a wonderful topic for study and February is a great time to gather your family up for such a study. A good place to start is with the writings of the Apostle John. Love envelops his epistles. In 1 John alone we see 46 different forms of the word love. Let me share just a few truths about love that adorn these inspired epistles.

  • God is love. (1 John 4:8)

  • We cannot truly love until we know God. (1John 4:7-8a)

  • We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

  • There is no fear in love. (1 John 4:18)

  • There are certain things that God does not want us to love. (1 John 2:15)

  • Love and truth go hand in hand. (1 John 3:18, 2 John 1:1-3, 3 John 1:1)

  • If you love God you will love God’s children. (1 John 3:11, 3:14, 3:23, 4:7, 4:21, 5:2)

  • God demonstrates His love through His actions. (1 John 4:9-10)

  • We demonstrate our love for God through our actions. (1 John 2:5, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6)

  • We demonstrate our love for others through our actions. (1 John 3:16-17)

If you would like an additional resource for personal use or to use with your family consider getting a copy of Love: A verse by verse study through the Epistles of John. It is a study that dives into the deep truths of God and His great love.

14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect (Part Two)

part twoFold his eggs. Watch Finding Bigfoot with him. Write love notes and send sweet texts. These are ways to respect your husband. Click here to read Part One on 14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect on Valentine’s Day.

Part Two continues:

Encourage the children to show honor to their father every day.

The first commandment with promise is “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee,” Deuteronomy 5:16. One of the best things you can do for your husband is to teach his children to honor him in attitude and action. Teaching this also greatly impacts your children. If we don’t teach them to honor their earthly father, they will have a hard time learning how to honor their Heavenly Father. A lack of proper respect and obedience for those in authority will transcend into a lack of proper respect and obedience for the Highest Authority – God Almighty.

Don’t nag.

The strongest man who ever lived was nagged so much, “that his soul was vexed unto death,” Judges 16:16. Don’t be a nagging wife. It is very disrespectful and is more annoying than a leaky roof. “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike,” Proverbs 27:15. Besides that, you will never change his heart or ways through nagging. Love him and win him over with a “meek and quiet spirit”, 1 Peter 3:4.

Smile at him often.

Have you ever seen a smiling face that was not beautiful? Smile at your husband and do it often. It will bless his heart. “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance,” Proverbs 15:13.

Pray for him daily.

Your husband carries a large load. He is responsible for his family physically and spiritually. He needs your prayers. It will strengthen your marriage and your love and respect for him. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:18.

Take an afternoon nap.

One of my dearest friends gave my some advice years ago that has transformed my marriage. She said, “Take an afternoon nap so that when your husband comes home you will have energy left for him.” You know how tired and exhausted you are at the end of the day. And it is quite easy to use up all of your energy before he comes home, so save some energy for him. If that means taking a nap – DO IT! He doesn’t want your leftovers. Respect him enough to take care of your body. Trust me on this one!

Dress in a way that pleases him.

I have a white jacket that my husband hates. I like it, but for some reason it reminds him of the 80’s. The other day I put it on over a dress and when I asked how I looked he responded with “okay”. Because he is always kind and gracious with his compliments, I know that “okay” is code for “not so good.” So, I took it off. Thinking back even now, I am sure that all my friends would agree that the jacket looked great. But is that really the point? My husband doesn’t like it. I think I will go right now and put it in box marked Give-Away.

Make building a godly marriage a priority.

Your marriage is the most important earthly thing you can build. Make it lasting. Make it strong. Be a testimony to this lost world. It will take work no doubt, so be willing to work hard at building a godly marriage. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD,” Proverbs 18:22. For more on building a godly marriage click here.

So there you have it. 14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect on Valentine’s Day! Hope you enjoy it. Better yet, I hope your husband does! 😉

Many Blessings!

14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect (Part One)

heartFebruary 14th is a day of love and nothing speaks love to a husband like

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

God knows the importance of respect in a marriage and reminds wives in Ephesians 5:33 “see that she reverence her husband.” Remember it isn’t about feelings or even because he deserves it. We respect our husbands because of their position in our marriage. The husband is the head of the wife. It’s not that he should be head, but that he is head, just as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23).

Showing respect should be an everyday occurrence, and there is no time like Valentine’s Day to begin! Below are just a few practical ways to show reverence to your husband. Be creative, no two husbands are the same. However, I can confidently say that every husband wants respect.

Fold His Eggs. 

My husband loves eggs for breakfast and prefers them to be folded (like the eggs at McDonalds), not scrambled. It would be a lot quicker and easier to scramble eggs, but I take the time to fold them. Why? Because in preferring him, it shows that I love and respect his desires. Maybe your husband likes scrambled eggs; maybe he doesn’t like eggs at all. But I guarantee that he does have a favorite meal. Fix it for him and see his eyes light up!

Watch “Finding Bigfoot” with him.

I hate that show! I feel stupid just watching it. However, my husband deals with serious issues all day long. Many times he comes home exhausted and drained. So sometimes he just needs to relax and quite frankly, watch a stupid show. I fail, but I do my best to not complain. I sit by him, hold his hand, and patiently wait for those “scientist” to finally find a Sasquatch. Hopefully before too long they will so we can move on to something else. Perhaps watching “Finding Bigfoot” is not an issue for you. But I am sure that your husband enjoys activities that you don’t care for. Maybe it is fishing, playing golf, watching football. Do it with him on occasion. He’ll love you for it!

Write love notes or send sweet texts.

Taking the time to express your love to your husband is a great way to respect him. Tell him you appreciate all the hard work he does. Let him know that he is special to you. Tell him you are thinking of him. And on occasion, send a quick text to brighten up his day and make him look forward to coming home. Just be sure and send it to the right person!

Be understanding when he is late for dinner.

It happens. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Traffic is terrible or something unexpected comes up. And…..sometimes it can be helped. Either way, when we are forgiving with an understanding attitude it shows that we respect him. The golden rule found in Matthew 7:12 is a good guide for a happy marriage.

Iron his placket.

I often tell my husband that my love for him is like the laundry – It’s never-ending! It seems as though I iron all the time. And the plackets on his dress shirts always give me fits! But, it’s the little things I do that shows my husband respect. So if ironed plackets can accomplish that, so be it! What little thing can you do to show your husband that you care?

Speak highly of him in front of others.

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.”Proverbs 31:11a. There is no better way to gain your husband’s trust and show respect than to praise him in front of others. Has he fixed the car? Does he take care of you when you’re sick? Does he bring you flowers? Does he work hard to provide for your family? Is he a good daddy? Honor him with your words. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and genuine words of appreciation will bring life to any marriage.

Argue with him in private.

No marriage is without arguments. You will not always agree with our husband, but you do not have to adamantly disagree in front of others, especially your children. If you disagree voice then your opinion in an honoring way, if the disagreement cannot be lovingly and respectfully resolved then work it out in private. Then you can come together, unified in front of the children.

So there you have it. Part One of 14 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband on Valentine’s Day. Be watching tomorrow for part two.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life,” Proverbs 31:10-12.

Perfect Love

It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air….or so they say. But just who is this “they” we are always talking about? According to 2012 statistics , they are the millions of people that will purchase Valentine cards this year. They are the people who will spend on average $126.03 per person this holiday (up 8.5% from last year). They are the ones that will collectively spend $4.1 billion on jewelry and $3.5 billion towards a romantic evening on the town. They are the 220,000 that is expected to give a wedding proposal today. They are the ones who will buy over 8 billion Sweethearts Conversation Hearts this year. And let’s not forget the ones who will spend $367 million on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets this year. And the 15% of the estimated portion of women who will send themselves flowers. So I guess we could say that “love” is in the air, but probably a more accurate depiction would be that there is a shadow of love in the air.

Would you like the truth? What most people think of as love is not really love. Love has nothing to do with flowers, cards, or candy. Love is not about romantic nights out on the town. It’s not about jewelry or (I hate to say) chocolate. In fact, society, as a whole, does not even comprehend true love. They see a glimpse of it here and there but they do not know it and cannot show it to others. That is unless they know the author of love.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love,” 1 John 4:7-8. Not only is love of God but God is love. You cannot know love unless you know God. Love is not only a general theme within the book of I John but also throughout the entire Bible. The greatest commandment of all is centered on love. (And let me be transparent for a moment; this commandment alone is enough to keep this child ever striving.) “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment,” Matthew 22:37-38.

We are to love God (Matthew 22:37).

We are to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39).

Wives are to love their husbands and children (Titus 2:4).

Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).

We are to even love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

As believers in Christ we are to walk in love (Ephesians 5:2), be rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17), follow after love (I Timothy 6:11), and put on love (Colossians 3:12-14).

But in general the term love is abused and misused. Have you ever heard someone say that they “fell in love”? A person cannot “fall in love.” It was Voddie Baucham, author of Family Driven Faith, who clarified this in my mind. He explains that anything we fall into we can climb out of. (Think about that statement in light of the modern attack on biblical marriage and the disintegration of the family.) True love is not a feeling. True love is not an emotion. To borrow Dr. Baucham’s definition, “Love is an act of the will which is accompanied by emotion that leads to action on behalf of its object.” This is a fabulous definition of love. Love is an act of the will. It is in our will that we choose to love. This would explain why we say that love comes from the heart. We will it. We choose it. But not only is love an act of the will but it is accompanied by emotion. True love is not void of or detached from emotion. When love is willed in our hearts emotion follows. This emotion leads to action towards its object. If it does not lead to action, it is not love. Just ask someone who is told that they are loved but never showed. This is why children of God are commanded in I John 3:18, “let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

The perfect example of true love (love that is willed, accompanied by emotion, and leads to action) is found in what God did for us by sending His Son to die on the cross for the sins of mankind.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” John 15:13.

We now know what love is because God revealed Himself to us. We love Him because He first loved us and only after perfect love is manifested to us can we show true love to others. You will never know love until you know God’s love. If you do not know Him, cry out, repent of your sins, and trust Him to save you. He’s waiting. If you do know God and His love make it a point to read the chapter on love today (I Corinthians 13). And live it out, because now you can.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

REF: 

Samantha Grossman, Valentine’s Day 2012, Time Newsfeed article, 2-13-2012,

Voddie Baucham, Family Driven Faith, pg 57, Crossway Books, IL 2007

5 Ways to say “I Love You!”

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the card, chocolate, and flower industries are prospering.  Everyone wants to show their loved ones just how much they truly love them.  But let me ask.  Is this the best way to show our love?  Sure, it is nice to get a card, some chocolate, or a vase of flowers on Valentine’s Day.   But is it really necessary? 

Do not get me wrong.  I love getting flowers and such from my husband.  But I love getting them much more “just because”.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that the “just because” are not expected.  They are just because he is thinking of me and wants to show his love.  The second reason is that these industries usually increase their prices this time of year.  And I hate having money wasted.

So, what is one to do?  After all, it would be incredibly disheartening to just ignore an extra opportunity to show some love.  We could buy things for our family and they could buy things for us.  But, I’ve put together a list of five ways that we can show our husband or children just how much we love them without spending a dime.

Writing – It stands to reason that a writer would list writing first.  It just makes so much sense.  First of all, when you take the time to write something down it means more.  It is longer lasting.  I’ve written many poems for my husband and family.  One year I made an acrostic poem of my children’s names.  I simply listed attributes about them beginning with the letters of their names.  Maybe poetry is not your expertise.  Don’t despair.   A simple letter that they could hold on to would speak volumes.  I have learned that very few men care about poetry.  They do, however, want to be respected.  So, make a list for your husband of all the reason’s you respect him.  Tell him he’s doing a good job.  Let him know he’s a good father.  Thank him for providing for you every day.  My husband has told other men to go to Wal-mart and copy down a Halmark card word for word.  I won’t comment on that! But I will say that there is nothing sweeter than a hand written note.

Baking – Sure you can go to the store and buy cupcakes or cookies.  But there is always one ingredient the stores leave out – love.  Sure you can go out, wait in line for two hours, and share a fancy meal at an expensive restaurant with dozens of other couples but where is the romance in that?  One sure way to let your loved ones know you care is to bake them something.  Pancakes for breakfast with chocolate chips are one way to give my children something special.  One year I took some chocolate and melted it down.  I then took wooden skewers and made chocolate heart suckers for my children.  A little time and $3 later I was their hero!  A frozen pizza is particularly special for my husband!  No, not for him to eat but for the children.  You see, I can fix us a special romantic meal and send the children to another room with a frozen pizza and a movie.  They are happy to get a special treat.  We are happy to have some special time.  Everyone wins!  Does your husband have a favorite meal or dessert?  Make it for him.  He’ll love you for it! 

  Investing – Nothing articulates love like time!  Invest some time into your children.  Play a game with them.  Color with them.  Read a book together.  Help them make a tent in the living room.  Just spend time with them.  And, after spending time with them put them to bed early and spend time with your husband.  My husband and I like to take walks together.  We stay close to the house, hold hands, and walk.  It’s wonderful.  If you have a busy day scheduled make the effort to get up 15 minutes early and linger over a cup of coffee together.  It will set the tone for the rest of the day.  Keep some white space on your calendar for your family.  It shows them you love them!

 Organizing – One day my children and I spent an afternoon cleaning out and organizing their daddy’s closet.  We even categorized his dress shirts by color.  He was so thrilled!  Sometimes I surprise him and we clean out and vacuum his car.  Doing little things for others is a big way to show love.  Does your husband have a desk, a work area, or a shed that needs some attention?  Surprise him and organize it.  What about your children’s bedrooms?  We expect our children to be responsible for their own rooms.  It is their job to clean them.  And maybe you have extremely neat and organized children who keep their rooms perfectly clutter free.  I don’t.  My children for some reason think that the trash can is under the bed.  So every now and then (for no other reason than because I love them) I help them organize their rooms.  A little help goes a long way.

Praying – So far I have listed ways to show our family we love them with our hands – writing, baking, investing, and organizing.  But this next one is not something we do with our hands.  We do it on our knees.  One of the greatest ways to show you love your family is to pray earnestly for them.  Pray for your husband, that God would lead him as he leads his family.  Pray that God gives him wisdom.  Pray that God would bless him.  Pray for your children. Pray for their salvation, pray for their protection, pray for their health, and pray for their future.  Pray that God will work mightily in your family.    Prayer is a great gift that shows great love.  Your family may not ever know about it but the effects are eternal.

This list is not exclusive.  There are many ways to show love to your family.  Be creative.  And have a blessed Valentine’s Day!

We love him, because he first loved us. (1John 4:19)

 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)