“I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and
see something totally different.” We don’t know who wrote that
statement but it sure is true—especially when it comes to the
different ways that men and women perceive so many things!
Ladies, I (Cindy) came across an article I think all of us as wives
could really benefit from reading and applying. It was written by a
man, Dr Val Farmer, who gave several points of advice that “men
frequently mention when it comes to describing what they would like
in a marriage.” It was published in The Pilot— Independent and is
titled, “What Do Men Really Want in Marriage.”
It’s my prayer that you’ll read it with an open heart and mind to
see what you could learn from it concerning your husband. It could
be invaluable to every one of us as wives if we’ll take it to heart.
When I showed it to Steve and asked what he thought, he said he
wished all wives could read it because it could transform countless
marriages if wives would apply its principles.
Ladies, I urge you to read what Dr. Farmer has to say and pray
about it. Ask God to reveal to you anything that you could learn
that could help you. Even though it wasn’t written from a Christian
perspective, I saw so many Biblical applications. See if you agree.
Dr. Farmer wrote:
• Be less critical. Men feel they’re often on the defensive and
“wrong” just for voicing an opinion that doesn’t match their
wives’ expectations and standards. They want a feeling of
teamwork, cooperation, and a more legitimate discussion of
issues in their marriage.
• Accept him for what he is — imperfect. He needs to be accepted
as he is with his own legitimate interests and hobbies. Take
advantage of his strengths and good points. Men want appreciation,
probably for the things they are doing for the family. Reinforce
and reward the things you appreciate him doing.
• Don’t make every issue between you a fight to the death. Some
quirks and differences you can live with. Trying to change him
adds to his and your frustration and resentment.
• The home should be a refuge, not a place where he faces a barrage
of criticism and conflict. How strongly and frequently you are
judgmental of him may shut him down or trigger an emotional
response that exacerbates the problem.
• Forget the past. Husbands feel that some past hurts and blunders
in the marriage aren’t left alone. They feel matters they think
are resolved are brought up unfairly in fights. “Let the dead
stay buried.” Forgive mistakes. Don’t bear grudges. Don’t bring
up the past unless it pertains to a current problem.
• Be supportive of work and leisure activities. Men want their
wives to understand that work obligations occasionally take
precedence over family needs. Some of their priorities are out
of their control. “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”
Men would like understanding and appreciation for the work
pressures and responsibilities they face. A man’s work
accomplishments and struggles need to be recognized and supported.
• They also want acceptance for their occasional need to be alone
or to pursue their personal interests.
• Be nurturing. Giving emotional support, respect, attention,
soothing and meeting his needs makes coming home special. Family
meals together give more than bodily nourishment.
In homes where there is confusion, disorganization, anger or
emotional distance, men don’t do well. The family doesn’t do well.
When women reject or struggle with the homemaking role, there may
be a basic discontent that eats away at the marital relationship.
These traditionally female responsibilities are important despite
everything else that is going on in life.
This isn’t a rehashing of stone-age advice on how to please a
husband —”shut up and wait on them.” Mutual roles need to be
clarified, understood and negotiated. If you are working outside of
the home, this is a two-way street. He has a supportive role to
But the nurturing and caring still needs to take place. What we
are talking about is caring, not care-taking. In the era of
women’s greater involvement outside of the home, the baby shouldn’t
be thrown out with the bath water.
• Verbalize needs. Men don’t like being judged or criticized for
not doing something they “should have known.” There are times
when they just “don’t get it.” They want their wives’
expectations spelled out — the more detail, the better. Don’t
expect him to read your mind. Be clear and spell out exactly
what you want and expect from him.
• Be a friend. Men want a safe haven, a best friend where they
can unburden themselves and be accepted for who they are. They
want to be able to share emotions and know their thoughts and
feelings will be kept confidential. Companionship, affection
and romance are important. They want a friend who can take
their side and is supportive of their struggles.
• Take responsibility for your own happiness. Don’t expect your
husband to solve all your problems. If you depend on him to
make you happy and always do the thoughtful, loving or right
thing, you will be disappointed.
If you are insecure or unhappy with yourself, you’ll have a
tendency to put strong and unrealistic demands on the marriage.
Over time, unhealthy dependency breeds hostility and resentment.
Ladies, I realize that so many of these points are ones that we
want from our husbands also. And they may or may not meet these
needs—even though they should. But the purpose for us to share
this with you isn’t to point fingers and say, “Me too! I want
these things too, so I’ll do my part if my husband will also.”
That’s not Biblical (no matter how much we want it to be). It’s
to gain a better understanding of our husbands as God would have
us. Below are a few Bible proverbs that talks about the
importance of gaining understanding:
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing
his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2).
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding
rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16).
“Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of
Understanding.” (Proverbs 9:6).
“Do not say, "I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that
man back for what he did.” (Proverbs 24:29).
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like
him yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4).
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is
established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare
and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4).
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the
foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1).
We pray this has been helpful! God Bless you!
The greatest day of lists is still New Year's Day. And the number one
list is the list I call the Laws of the Lighthouse.
The Laws of the Lighthouse contain more than good ideas, personal
preferences, and honest opinions. They are God-given, time-tested truths
that define the way you should navigate your life. Observe them and
enjoy secure passage. Ignore them and crash against the ragged rocks of
The wise captain shifts the direction of his craft according to the
signal of the lighthouse. A wise person does the same.
Herewith, then, are the lights I look for and the signals I heed:
- Love God more than you fear hell.
- Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
- Make major decisions in a cemetery.
- When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
- Succeed at home first.
- Don't spend tomorrow's money today.
- Pray twice as much as you fret.
- Listen twice as much as you speak.
- Only harbor a grudge when God does.
- Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
- Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
- 'Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of
- God has forgiven you; you'd be wise to do the same.
- When you can't trace God's hand, trust his heart.
- Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
- Don't feel guilty for God's goodness.
- The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
- Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
- Live your liturgy.
To sum it all up: Approach life like a voyage on a schooner. Enjoy the
view. Explore the vessel. Make friends with the captain. Fish a little.
And then get off when you get home.
From In the Eye of the Storm
The story is told of Morris, a Russian man, who saved his rubles for
twenty years to buy a new car. After choosing the model and options he
wants, he's not the least bit surprised or even concerned to learn that
it will take two years for the new car to be delivered. He thanks the
salesman and starts to leave, but as he reaches the door he pauses and
turns back to the salesman. "Do you know which week two years from now
the new car will arrive?"
The salesman checks his notes and tells the man that it will be two
years to the exact week. The man thanks the salesman and starts out
again, but upon reaching the door, he turns back again.
"Could you possibly tell me what day of the week two years from now the
car will arrive?"
The salesman, mildly annoyed, checks his notes again and says that it
will be exactly two years from this week, on Thursday.
Morris thanks the salesman and once again starts to leave. Halfway
though the door, he hesitates, turns back, and walks up to the salesman.
"I'm sorry to be so much trouble, but do you know if that will be two
years from now on Thursday in the morning, or in the afternoon?"
Visibly irritated, the salesman flips through his papers yet another
time and says sharply that it will be in the afternoon, two years from
now on Thursday.
"That's a relief !" says Morris. "The plumber is coming that morning!"
We often have to make plans far in advance so as to avoid any conflicts.
Before making any commitments - you know the routine - we have to pull
out the date book (or the iPhone). "The kids have got a soccer game
that night at 7:00, but the next night is free." Planning ahead isn't
wrong; in fact, it's a scriptural principle. What makes it wrong,
though, is planning ahead without any thought of God.
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such
a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'; whereas
you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It
is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this
or that.' " (James 4:13-15)
Go ahead! Make your plans! Fill in that date book! Just make sure
that God hasn't been left out.
Then the Lord sent fiery ( burning ) serpents among the people and they bit the people; and many Israelites died.
NUMBERS 21 : 6
ARE YOU SPENDING JUST ABOUT EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY WORRYING AND FEELING ANXIOUS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS AND TROUBLES THAT YOU ARE FACING ?
In our above Scripture we read that the Israelites were dying in large numbers because a deadly plague of snakes had come upon them and were biting them as a result of the sinful way in which they were conducting their lives.
A deadly plague of snakes .. Now that sounds like a very serious problem .. And the solution ? .. Well the solution rested solely on the shoulders of one man .. One man that could fix the situation and make it right .. and that man was Moses.
Can you imagine the huge amount of stress and the worry that Moses must have experienced ? ..
Well actually he did not .. HE PRAYED !!
Moses did not waste one moment of precious time worrying, he immediately focused all of his attention on God and he prayed.
Moses did not rely on himself or anyone else to try and solve a problem that was obviously far too big for one person to fix.
As you spend time meditating in the precious pages of God's Word, you will soon begin to realize that all the men and woman who walked in God's victory, did so because they handled their problems with prayer .. They did not worry .. They did not fear .. They were not anxious .. THEY PRAYED !!
SO WHAT ABOUT YOU .. ARE YOU WORRYING OR ARE YOU PRAYING ? ..
Looking back at Moses, he prayed to God and he asked God's advice about how exactly he should handle the problem regarding the plague of snakes .. he did NOT make his own plans and then expect God to bless them .. he did NOT try and reason out an answer .. and he did NOT worry .. HE PRAYED .. and because Moses turned to God first and put his faith in his Father .. God responded to his prayers.
God instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent, set it on a pole and place it in front of the Israelites. God then ensured Moses that every person who had been bitten by a snake, who then looked up at the bronze serpent would live.
Now in the New Testament of God's Word, it is explained to us that this particular scenario is a symbolic representation of the Cross and Jesus Christ taking our sins upon himself.
Just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the desert .. (on a pole) .. So was the Son of Man lifted up .. (on the Cross) .. in order that every person who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life .. John 3 : 14 - 15
The message that God was portraying to Moses and the Israelites is the very same message that He wants you to hear today .. LOOK UP AND LIVE !!
Look at Jesus and at everything that He HAS already done .. Do not look at yourself and what you can and can not do.
The Answer .. The only answer to your problems, no matter what they may be, is definitely NOT to kill yourself with anxiety and worry but rather to trust in God your Father and pray.
Pray and worship God because He is a good God and by doing this, God WILL most certainly respond to your prays by releasing an outpouring of His goodness and His favor into your life.
THE ONLY LIMIT TO YOUR REALIZATION OF TOMORROW WILL BE YOUR DOUBTS OF TODAY
But the blood on your houses will be a sign for your protection.
When I see the blood, I will pass over you. Nothing will touch or destroy you when I strike Egypt.
EXODUS 12 : 13
In Exodus 12 : 13, you see how God shared with the Israelites the instruction to use the Blood of the Lamb as a sign to Him. The Blood of the Lamb, if applied by the Israelites would protect them from harm under the Old Covenant.
God clearly told them .. " When I see the Blood, I will pass over you "
God was going to send the angel of death out over Egypt and He was telling His people that if they wanted His protection during this time that they must apply the Blood onto the side-posts, as well as onto the door-frames of their homes.
Praise God, that thankfully you are no longer living under the Old Covenant, you now have the incredible blessing of living your life under the New Covenant, which puts you in a far better position because it means that you no longer have to literally use a lamb's blood for protection, you have the Blood Of Jesus and that is permanent in your life .. Amen !! .. Hebrews 9 : 12 - 26SO HOW DO YOU " APPLY " THE BLOOD OF JESUS TO YOUR LIFE ? ..
You apply the Blood by believing in Jesus Christ and confessing boldly in faith .. " I believe the Blood of Jesus over my life, cleansing and protecting me !! "
Jesus shed His precious Blood for you .. So use it !!
Start applying the " Blood Of Faith " over you and everything that belongs to you .. Your children .. Your family .. Your car .. Your home .. Your body .. The truth is, that the Blood of Jesus can be applied to every practical situation that you face on a daily basis.
Are you fighting broken and wounded emotions ? ..
Apply the " Blood of Faith " and cover your emotions so that you will be protected form the pain and devastation that you currently go through when you feel let down or hurt by the people in your life.
Are you suffering from an illness ? ..
Apply the " Blood of Faith " and cover your body, this will release your faith in God to heal you, which will in turn allow the Blood of Jesus to protect you body.
Are you facing financial problems ? ..
Apply the " Blood of Faith " and cover your finances. Lay your hands on your cheque-books, wallets, purses and tithes. Pray in full faith that they will be protected by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Ask God to allow your money to increase for the work of His Kingdom and to ensure that satan does not get His stealing, evil hands on it.
The ultimate sacrifice has been made for you, the Blood of Jesus has been shed. He gave up His life and died on the cross, taking away your sins, forgiving you and reconciling you with His Father, Almighty God !!
Under the New Covenant that you live in with God and with a humble, child-like faith, you can pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ and you have the privilege of applying the Blood of Jesus over your mind, your body and your soul.
REMEMBER .. There is life in the Blood .. It will cleanse you from all sin and it will serve to protect you from all things that may come to cause you harm !!
The sacrifice HAS been made .. The " Blood of Faith " is yours .. APPLY IT !!
CAN GOD CLEARLY SEE YOUR NEW COVENANT FAITH IN HIM ?
All tests are temporary, limited in duration. 1 Peter 1:6 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” Some tests end on earth, but all tests will end in heaven, right?
In the meantime, let God train you. He watches the way you handle the little jobs. Jesus promised in Matthew 25:21, “If you are faithful over a few matters, I will set you over many.” Do you aspire to great things? Excel in the small things. Don’t complain. Let others grumble. Not you. When you’re given a task, take it. When you see a hurt, address it. Compassion matters to God.
This is the time for service, not self-centeredness. Cancel the pity party. Love the people God brings to you. He will work in you what is pleasing to Himself. And you will get through this!
From You’ll Get Through This
"It didn't take long before we realized we had to reinvent our marriage.
We had to learn to relate in radically different ways instead of
destroying our marriage with angry insults, self-righteousness, and self-
centered attitudes." -Kim
Sometimes we need to reinvent our marriage, and sometimes we need tips to
apply to make our marriages good ones. To help in either mission, below
are useful relationship pointers based on long-term studies from the
Gottman Relationship Institute, on what makes marriage fail or succeed.
We've added scriptures [and additional thoughts in brackets] to support
- "HAVE HIGH STANDARDS: The most successful couples are those who, even as
newlyweds, refuse to accept hurtful behavior from one another. The lower
the level of tolerance for bad behavior at the start of a relationship,
the happier the couple is down the road."
- "EDIT YOURSELF: Couples who avoid saying every angry thought when
discussing touchy topics are consistently the happiest."
[It's too bad we don't have workable buttons installed so when we say the
wrong thing we can rewind and erase it. But since we don't have that
luxury it's important to be careful of what we say in the first place. As
it says in the Bible, "The tongue has the power of life and death."
Careless words, when spoken, can deeply crush our spouse's spirit. Just
because a thought comes into our mind it doesn't mean we have to let it
pass through our lips. Garbage should be thrown out --not delivered to the
one we vow that we will honor for the rest of our lives.]
- "Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking" (1 Corinthians 13:5). "A wise
man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction" (Prov.
16:23). "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of
understanding is even tempered" (Prov. 17:27). "He who guards his lips
guards his life; but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin" (Prov.
13:3) "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself
under control" (Prov. 29:11).
["What men fear most is criticism and rejection. That doesn't mean that
you can't be honest and truthful just because they've got fragile egos.
You can. But you have to look at the consequences and see if what you're
doing is working or not" -Dr. Phil McGraw. Ask yourself if what you're
doing and saying is respectful. We are responsible for our own words and
our own actions and God's Word tells us to be respectful in all we say and
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is
helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may
benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29).
- "SOFTEN YOUR 'START UP: Arguments flare because a spouse escalates the
conflict from the get-go by making a critical remark in a
confrontational tone."Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool
is consumed by his own lips" (Ecclesiastes 10:12).
["Do you treat your spouse as the most special person in the world or are
you more polite to the neighbors? We teach our children to be polite, yet
how polite are we to their fathers?" (Linda Dillow) And husbands: how
polite are you to their mothers? Are you living out what the Bible
commands of you?]
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up
for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through
the Word, to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or
wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy & blameless" (Eph 5:25-27).
- "LEARN TO EXIT OR REPAIR AN ARGUMENT BEFORE IT GETS COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL: Change the topic to something completely unrelated; use humor;
make it clear you're on common ground ("this is OUR problem"); back
"Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your
servant cursing you --for you know in your heart that many times you
yourself have cursed others" (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22).
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:23). "Live in
harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be
compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult, but with
blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a
blessing" (1 Peter 3:8-9).
- "TAKE A BREAK: If an argument gets too heated, take a 20 minute break
and agree to approach the topic again when you are both calm."
[Don't allow the problem to come between you so you forget that the object
of marriage ts to be in partnership with each other. Don't let it divide
you to the point that it permanently chips away at the commitment you have
to "love, honor, and cherish" one another for the rest of your lives. When
an argument starts to get out of control look for ways to defuse the
situation until you can can come back and work on the problem again in a
more sensible and honoring way. Even if you have to revisit the same
problem a dozen or more times, commit to working on it --until you can
control it together --rather than having it control you and allow it to
- "FOCUS ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: In a happy marriage, couples need to make at
least 5 times as many positive statements to and about each other, as
opposed to negative statements."
[Find ways to encourage your spouse in positive ways like you did before
marriage. Ask God to help you apply Philippians 4:8 in how you view and
interact with your spouse. "Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such
things" (Phil. 4:8).]
- "SEEK HELP EARLY: The average couple waits six years before seeking help
for marital problems, which means that many couples live with
unhappiness for far too long."
"Be very careful how you live --not as unwise but as wise, making the most
of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be
foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine,
which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Submit to
one another out of reverence for Christ." (Eph. 5:15-21)
We hope you will, and together, it is our hope we will apply the above
tips as needed,
EPHESIANS 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
God wants us to walk as wise men and women, and not as fools. (Ephesians 5:15) Now, He will not tell us to walk in wisdom without showing us how. That is why His Word goes on to say, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
So what is the will of God? The next two verses tell us how to identify it: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:18–19)
As you allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit by lifting songs of praise to the Lord, singing or speaking (God knows some of us can’t sing!) psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, and making melody in your heart to the Lord, God promises that you will know what His will is for your situation. You will then have the wisdom to decide wisely what to do next.
I have found this to be true in my own life. Whenever I face a difficult situation, the more I think about it, the more confused I get. The more I try my best to come up with a smart solution, the further the answer seems to get from me. But when I turn away from my problem and turn to God, singing in the Spirit and praising Him, I get a clearer perspective of the problem when I come back to it later. I also find an inner prompting to make certain decisions which in the end, turn out to be better than anything I could have come up with on my own.
So my friend, lift up songs of praise to the Lord, whether times are good or bad. For when you fill your mouth with praises to God, He will lead you and guide you in all the affairs of your life. Even if you are stuck with a problem, He will show you the way to go or make a way out for you. Either way, you will get the wisdom and help that you need!
But the Lord has been my defense, and my God the rock of my refuge.
Imagine being a poor widow, a stranger in the land and holding one of the lowliest jobs in society. That was Ruth’s situation, so it would have been easy for her to feel vulnerable and defenseless. But because she trusted the Lord (Ruth 1:16), He placed her under Boaz’s protection.
Boaz, the owner of the field she worked in, commanded his young men saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her.” (Ruth 2:15) What he was saying to his men was this: “She might be a gleaner, but because I care for her, treat her with respect and make sure she is not put to shame.”
Boaz is a picture of our Lord Jesus. If you are feeling vulnerable and defenseless right now, imagine Jesus commanding His angels, “Watch over this one who belongs to Me. Make sure he is treated with respect and not put to shame because he is someone I love and someone whom I died for.”
God’s Word tells us that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) No one who has set himself against us can prevail because when God is for us, His protection is upon us. That is why I have never answered any of the poison email messages which I have received in the course of my ministry.
My attitude is this: Jesus is my defense. If He does not defend me, it means that there are things in my life that are not to be defended, and I would be glad to find out about them now rather than later. On the other hand, because I take the Lord as my defense, and He defends me, what can those who are against me do to me?
When you defend yourself, you have only your two hands and your own human resources. But when you let Jesus take up your defense, He defends you with His nail-pierced hands and His legions of angels! The results will be amazing.
Beloved, the Lord is your defense and refuge. Trust Him to defend and protect you!
Ana & Andre Schoonbee
God uses us to motivate and encourage the body.
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