Obligation or Opportunity?

Put the following into one of these categories: Obligation or Opportunity

• Doing yard work
• Folding laundry
• Engaging your wife and children
• Going to church
• Praying
• Watching your favorite team
• Hanging with your buddies
• Going fishing or hunting

Did yard work and laundry fall into the opportunity category? Did you place watching your favorite sports team in the obligation category?

What happens of you decide see obligations as opportunities?

Invite your wife outside to help with the yard work. Offer to help her fold the laundry together. Pull out a puzzle or a board game with the kids. Ask your wife how her day was. If you view these as opportunities to connect with the most important people in your life, then you attitude toward these “obligations” will change your heart…..and it will ultimately change the level of success that you experience.

We have no idea what God intends for our marriage if we remain narrow-minded. But…if we open our hearts to God’s plan for our marriage and trust in Him, then can you imagine what God will do!

Being married to your wife and leading your marriage is an opportunity to grow in your relationship with God. It is an opportunity to celebrate rather than an obligation that you must struggle through. God gave us the opportunity love and respect each other…to grow closer to Him through each other. It is a simple key to success….and one that we don’t take advantage of nearly enough.

Be Happy!

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Brent Sharpe, a licensed marriage and family therapist, wrote that the key to strengthening or restoring a marriage relationship is to change behavior.

Think about it….feelings are a byproduct of behavior. Right behavior produces right feelings. And the good thing is that we get to control our behavior, so if we change our behavior the feelings will change. Behavior is a choice.

Give it a try. Start with your co-workers. Regardless of any challenges at work – say good morning to everyone that you see without expecting anything in return. Be upbeat. Be happy about your greeting. I bet that you will feel a change inside….and you might even see a change in those people around you.

And then give it a try with your wife. Treat her right, no matter how you feel inside or how she is treating you. Have no expectation of anything in return. Remember…this is about making you feel better through the exercise of treating others right. I bet that you will start to feel new energy and excitement about your marriage. I bet that it will eventually transfer to your wife and family.

 

Summer Vacation Schedule

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

Summer Vacation! A time to get away, rest and enjoy time spent with those that you love. It is important to step back and focus the blessings that God has provided in your lives. We are going to do just that. Our attention will be placed on our wives and our families for the next couple of weeks.

Last week….we shared some of the most popular posts.

This week….find the posts that were the most encouraging to you; and then leave a comment about them.

Be Strong. Act Like Men.

Most Popular Post Countdown – #1

#1 Romantic Need of Your Wife

“To be spiritually ministered to by her man”

He writes: “A woman wants a man eager to be her protector, someone who cares not just about her security and physical needs but also (and even more importantly) about her spirituality, the well-being of her very soul.

A husband can be a spiritual protector and advocate for his wife by praying with and for her daily, putting his arms around her, and saying, “I want to ask God to bless you. I want to take any needs you have in your life right now to the Lord. And I’m going to pray for you throughout this day.” A wise husband takes the lead in sharing Scripture and eagerly initiating conversation on spiritual issues.

A husband can contribute to his wife’s spiritual well-being by giving her some time to pursue her spiritual growth. For example, he might watch their child while she attends an evening Bible study.”

Be a student of your wife. Pray about her fears, worries and desires. Ask her – what you can pray about for her today. Don’t overlook the importance of building your own relationship with God. It is crucial that you take the initiative to study God’s word and understand His expectations of your role as a husband.

Don’t know what to pray for or even how to start. I would encourage you to check out “Power of a Praying Husband” by Stormie Omartian. It is a great book. It will give you insight how to start.

Guys – however you decide to start – make sure you start. It will change your marriage.

Be Strong. Act Like Men.

Most Popular Post Countdown – #2

Are you still dating your wife?

If not, you should be. Remember those days early on in your relationship before you were married or maybe even just after? Remember the way it felt to have someone be the focus of all your attention, mentally, emotionally, physically? Remember all the Corny things you would do to make her feel special or for one chance to get her to notice you? Remember all the creative things you would do just to spend one more hour with her? Are you still doing those things? If you’re anything like me and have been married long enough then jobs, kids activities, and the general business of our daily lives has prevented you from continuing to date your wife, but it shouldn’t. The enemy is very skilled at finding ways to get between you and your wife and using the daily mundane structure of our lives is one of his most used tools. Well it’s time to recognize that and do something about it. My wife and I recently sent our oldest off to college and in doing so have found a whole new schedule around our lives and are being very intentional to take a good portion of that time to ‘date’ again.

Get back that relationship you had early in your marriage or when you were courting. Make it a priority to ‘date’ your wife. Don’t ever give up making her feel like everyday is a new and exciting day to be in a relationship with you. Show her how important she is by cultivating and guarding the woman that God has entrusted you with. You know your wife better than anyone else, you know what she will like and what will work but if you need any ideas here are a few dating tips to kick start your creativity (some content of list taken from familylife.com).

1. Make a list of ten things your wife loves to do. Each new time you take your wife on a date, do one of those ten things as your date.

2. Do the classic date: dinner and a show. Take your wife to din­ner and to a movie she wants to watch.

3. Write a love note to your wife. Tell her all over again what she means to you.

4. Spend an evening stargazing with your wife and talking about dreams you have for the future.

5. Devote the next month to studying a book of the Bible with your wife. Take twenty minutes several nights a week to read, discuss, and pray through a shorter book such as Ephesians or Philippians.

6. Hold your wife’s hand often, in public and in private.

7. Tell your wife that you love her. Tell your wife that Jesus loves her more than you do. Pray with her.

8. Set a weekly date night. Each week rotate going out and stay­ing in for your date night.

9. Cancel work for the day and do something special with your wife.

10. Cut something from your schedule and use that time to date your wife.

Be Strong. Act Like Men.

Most Popular Post Countdown – #3

We share a Facebook page…..my wife and I. We took my existing page; and then converted it. We have mutual friends, friends from high school and college. Only challenge…when we start leaving each other comments to status updates. It looks like we are talking to ourselves…which is funny. We like it. It has been fun.

A single guy at work thought it was a ridiculous idea. He suggested that I was not “in control” of my marriage and that I had given up my privacy to my wife. It was at work, so I simply left him with this – it was my decision to open my Facebook page to my wife to build trust between us. I’ve been thinking about this conversation and reading articles about it. Here are a couple of headlines:

Facebook a top cause of relationship trouble, say U.S. lawyers
Facebook

Facebook often leads to divorce

Facebook contributes to 20% of all divorce

Now – it’s not Facebook. It is the Facebook users. It is the behavior of the user.

Facebook, texting, smart phones, emails are all ways to exclude our spouse from our lives. Would you find it acceptable to allow your spouse to invite a “friend” of the opposite sex to visit your home and retreat into a room behind a closed door; and then have a private conversation? It is not appropriate to take this action; however we justify the behavior because it is Facebook? It is not okay to take this type of action. Plain and simple.

What? So…you think you are entitled to your privacy?

If you are not willing to allow your wife into every part of your life; then that is not privacy – that’s called secrecy. And secrecy it not acceptable in a marriage. Privacy – that might not be the right thing either. Tiger Woods had a yacht named – “Privacy”. We know how that turned out.

Most Popular Post Countdown – #4

John Ritter starred in a show called “8 Simple Rules”. The rules were:

1. Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them after.
2. You make her cry, I make you cry.
3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
4. Bring her home late, there’s no next date.
5. If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you’re sure not picking anything up (Alternative rule #5: Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.)
6. No complaining while you’re waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil.
7. If your pants hang off your hips, I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
8. Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.

Just a little humor to end our week…..