Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes

Today’s guest post is written by Jennifer O. White, author of Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor After the Wedding DressJennifer is veteran of one failed marriage and one rescued by the marriage Savior. Praying God’s Word played a critical role in her transformation into a God and husband-honoring wife.

Today’s post is an excerpt of her book. She is also offering us a free download of another very important chapter: Seeing Your Spouse through God’s Eyes.

prayers for new brides on erikadawson.com

Your Wow Inheritance

What if you inherited $68 million but you couldn’t take possession of it until you turned 75 years old? You’d be rich, right? But you would have to wait a long time to live rich.

You struggled all of those years but you knew there was hope. And finally the day you had dreamed of arrives. You show up at the attorney’s office to collect your grand inheritance on your 75th birthday.

The new secretary would greet you with a big smile because she knew this was the BIG day. But she has just one question. Why hadn’t you been living on the interest all of these years?

Interest? What? Your mind races through the scrapbook of your last few decades imagining what that interest could have changed for you and your whole family. You sigh, thinking, “How could I have not known?”

When I said yes to Jesus, I knew that heaven with Jesus was in my future. I knew that heaven was going to be a sweeter life than this one. But I did realize He could make everyday living radically better.

Fast-forward to the counseling session where I was introduced to the list entitled “Who I am in Christ.” That list is the interest on my inheritance. And it is yours too.

 

Live on the Interest 

Saying yes to Jesus changed my spiritual identity. I gained all the privileges of being in God’s family. God adopted me. Jesus bought that privilege for me with His life. But I spent years living as if I were an orphan with a promise of a good life one day.

The truth was in the Bible and I had been reading it. I grew up in church, taught Sunday school, attended a Baptist college and even married a preacher. I thought I knew God.

I left my first marriage in fear that things would never get better. Five years into my second marriage, desperation finally exceeded my fears. God responded to my 911 pleas for His help. As I simply turned to Him, He ran to me. Just as the father welcomed His prodigal son home, God lavished his unlimited spiritual riches on me. 

I am much more to God than I ever dreamed possible. I have a spiritual reality that changes my earthly life and lifestyle. You do too. We have an enemy who does not want us to know God’s role in our lives. But he loses! The interest on the inheritance is yours and mine!

 

Invest Your Inheritance in Your Marriage

Embracing my place in God’s kingdom has been a journey. Each time I’ve asked for help, God has moved mountains on my behalf. Praying to know God and to know who I am to Him led to a revelation of God as my Mighty Warrior, my Wonderful Counselor, my Redeemer, and my Defender. I am securely held in a relationship with this unstoppable force of love.

The spiritual battle happens in my thoughts, my words, my choices – everything that will affect my faithfulness to love and honor David. Ten years of feasting on God’s Word has trained me to lift up my shield of faith that God is who he says He is and can do what He says He can do. I know that doing what God says leads to peace in my heart and my marriage (Isaiah 32:17).

The shield of faith is part of your marriage armor. When the fiery darts fly in the battlefield of your mind, you must be ready to fend it off with a strong assurance of God’s delight in you. You lift up your shield of faith with declarations of the truth. Here are just a few you can put in your arsenal.

  • God is delighted that I belong to Him. He sings over me and settles my soul with His love. (Zephaniah 3:17)
  • God makes me strong. He lovingly and faithfully guards me from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
  • God is patient with me. His loving kindness prevails no matter what I’ve done. (1 Corinthians 13:4,7)
  • I confidently ask God for what I need. He is my generous provider. (Matthew 7:7, Hebrews 4:16, Philippians 4:19)

The blessings are yours. Don’t stop leaning into God until you are enjoying all of them.

Blessings,

Jennifer

PFNB Book Cover


Don’t forget to stop by Jennifer’s website – jenniferowhite.com – for your free chapter: Seeing Your Spouse through God’s Eyes.

And if you haven’t yet picked up your copy of Pray Truth: Praying God’s Word for My Husband’s Heart, grab it now while it’s on sale!! 

How to Start Praying with Your Spouse

great tips to use if you want to start praying WITH your husband
Praying for your spouse is an incredibly important investment you can make in your marriage, and it is one that many of you committed to this past month.

Coming off the heels of Valentine’s Day, I want to challenge us to go one step further. Instead of just praying for our spouse, this month, let’s purpose to begin praying with our spouse.

We all have reasons not to begin — busy schedules, insecurity, miscommunication, different interest levels, and constant interruptions are just a few of the obstacles we have to overcome when making the effort to pray together. On top of that, praying together sometimes just feels awkward!

But even though praying together might feel uncomfortable at first, God uses that time of prayer to knit our hearts together. The power of praying together is unmeasured, but pivotal in our marriages!

If you’re struggling to start praying together as a couple, I’m sharing 8 tips over at For the Family to help you get started.

8 Quick Tips to Start Praying with your Spouse


Guess what?!

My book, Pray Truth: Praying God’s Word for My Husband’s Heart is only $.99!! Get it here and please spread the word! 

 

 

The Lessons Impatience Teaches our Children

Today’s post is a guest post by my friend Melinda Means. She and Kathy Helgemo just recently released their new book Mothering from Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family. Read more about Melinda and her book below.

The Lessons Impatience Teaches Kids
 

Do you long for instant gratification as much as I do?

For example, I work out for two weeks and expect miracles. I get discouraged when I can’t suddenly slip toned thighs into my “skinny jeans” or show off my “guns” in a cute, sleeveless shirt.

This lack of immediate results is precisely why my “working out regularly” routine often ends at … two weeks.

The biblical concept of patience or “endurance” is a tough one for me to swallow. Quick results are more to my liking. But I can’t recall the apostle Paul ever writing about that.

When I became a mom, it didn’t take me long to realize that patience is a virtue that might come in handy. My children don’t often respond or develop on my timetable. Can you relate?

Unfortunately, for my children, my capacity for patience didn’t develop overnight. It took me much longer to ask God to change my heart instead of expecting my children to change the way God designed them.

Over the years, I’ve conveyed impatience and anger (the two seem to go hand-in-hand) to my children more times than I’d care to admit. I’ve had to ask their forgiveness over and over again as God slowly and mercifully used hardships and difficulties to grow my capacity to love and wait and endure.

Looking back, it’s painful for me to recognize how my impatience was teaching my kids lessons that I never intended.

The WRONG lessons impatience taught my kids:

Lesson #1: You aren’t good enough. When I’m frequently annoyed, irritated or frustrated with my children, it chips away at their confidence. What is the incentive for a child to keep trying when it becomes apparent that his or her method or pace of doing things is never fast or efficient enough for our liking?

Lesson #2: Hurrying is a way of life. No child should have to always feel continually rushed. It’s a very unsettling feeling for adults, let alone little people who have no concept of time or our very busy, important “to-do” lists. Ahem. I remember when my son Micah was about three, I was continually hurrying him out the door with these words: “Come on, come on, Micah. We have to go!” One day, he looked at me in frustration and said, “I’m come on-ing!” “Come on-ing” shouldn’t be a way of life. Especially when you’re three.

Lesson #3: God is impatient. God intended for parents to reflect His love for our children. We’re His earthly representations to our children. If we’re impatient, we unconsciously send the message that their Heavenly Father is, too.

Lesson #4: It’s okay to be impatient. I can talk all day long about being patient and loving, but if my actions betray my words, I lose all credibility. And I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not easy to rebuild.

How do we become more patient with our children?

It requires a heart change that starts with one single act of obedience:

  • I’m going to choose to stop myself mid-sentence when I start to hurry my child.
  • I’m going to choose to take a deep breath when I have to explain the same instruction for the 10th time to my child because he/she can’t grasp the concept.
  • I’m going to choose to focus on my child’s need for grace in a situation rather than my need for efficiency.

With the Holy Spirit’s power, we can start with one choice and build from there.

Instead of asking ourselves, “Why are they so slow?” or “Why does everything take so long?, maybe a better question to ask is, “What is God trying to teach me through these precious, but at times challenging, children and times of waiting?”

When we begin to sincerely seek the answer to that question, we have this assurance: “Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” Daniel 10:12 (NLT)

The lessons He teaches will always produce results.

 

latestcoverimageMFS
 

Bio:

melindameanscloseupMelinda is mother to a strapping teenage son and a beautiful and entertaining teenage daughter. She has written for Focus on the Family, CBN.com, In Touch and Lifeway’s Journey.

Melinda and her blogging partner Kathy Helgemo are co-authors of the new book Mothering From Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family (Bethany House, 2015), available on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com and ChristianBook.com, as well as bookstores nationwide. They blog together over at Mothering from Scratch.

 

 


 

 such a great resource for families to use this Easter!

Holy Week is only 5 weeks away! Have you picked up your copy of Clean on the Inside: A Family Devotional for Holy Week? I’m excited to join together again as we lead our families to Jesus this Easter!

 

Other Posts You May Enjoy

How to Really Change Our Kids’ Hearts

Praying for Our Kids: 5 Verses to Pray

More: Pursuing my Daughter’s Heart

How Do You Parent?

 

3 Questions to Consider before Lent Begins

Such great perspective for Lent!
I’ve never observed Lent in my life. As a kid, I didn’t even know what Lent was, and my understanding as an adult hasn’t been much deeper.

We had Fat Tuesday parties in college, and not many years after, I attended an Ash Wednesday service. I wrote a popular devotional for families to engage with Jesus during Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter. But for some reason, Lent was never on my radar. 

I’m not sure what changed this year, why God pressed the idea so heavily on my heart, but I couldn’t shake the push. After the first 30 seconds of my google search on “what is Lent,” I knew that this year, Lent is for me.

“Lent is a season of the Christian Year where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God.”

And isn’t that exactly what I want? The exact thing I’ve been craving? Simple living, prayer, fasting so I can grow closer to God? My journal holds page after page of prayers crying out, less of me and so. much. more of you, Jesus

“Are you searching for something more? Tired of running in circles, but not really living life with direction, purpose or passion? It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the drama of classes, relationships, family, and work. Our lives are filled with distractions that take us away from living a life with Christ. We try to fill the emptiness inside us with mindless TV, meaningless chatter, stimulants, alcohol, too many activities or other irrelevant stuff. We run away from life and from God. (source, emphasis mine)

I don’t want to run away; I want to run toward.

I don’t want to disconnect from relationships, avoid pain, and live a detached life. I want to engage, seek out, fall forward, and give away. I’m tired of living distracted, living selfish, living numb. I want the full, free life that is already mine in Christ Jesus. I want forgiveness and joy and generosity. I want more Jesus. 

I've never considered participating in Lent, but after reading this post I SO want to. I want more Jesus!
So these next 40 days? That is my pursuit. Jesus. Just give me Jesus. Do you want to join me?

I don’t know what that will look like here on the blog or on my IG or FB feeds. My first intention was to post daily, sharing what God is teaching me during these 40 days, but I know how full my plate is and committing to 40 days of writing, posting, and sharing will empty and not fill.

But I can commit to pursuing Jesus, and I will share as He leads.

3 Questions to Consider before Lent Begins

As I prepare my heart for Wednesday when Lent begins, I’m asking myself 3 questions. I would love for your to join me in more intentionally pursuing Jesus these next 40 days. Will you prayerfully answer these questions, too?

  • Where will you say no? {What will you withhold?} —>What is distracting you from God? Is it TV, books, your planner, social media, your phone? What is it for you? Do you have the courage and the faith to go without that thing for the next 40 days? What do you need to let go of, withhold or say “no” to in order to focus on God? What are the activities, attitudes, or obligations that clutter your calendar and life?
  • Where will you say yes? {What will you contribute?}  —> What can you take on for Christ these next 40 days? Where have you struggled to be a “doer” of the Word and not just a “hearer”? Maybe it’s time to serve at your church or collect food for the food pantry. Maybe it’s blessing a stranger with a random act of kindness in the name of Jesus every day of Lent or maybe it’s being present, purposeful and engaged at home with your husband or your children. Where can your love take action these next 40 days?
  • How will you pray? For many, Lent is a time of intentional prayer. How will you grow in your prayer life over these next 40 days? Maybe it’s committing to a time of prayer every day. Maybe it’s praying intentionally for your kids or for your husband. Maybe during your prayer time you can listen more and talk less or commit to praying with people once a day rather than just asking how you can pray. Pick up a prayer book or read Scriptures on prayer — but don’t neglect to pray.

I know life is busy, but can we slow together? We have to choose. We have to purpose. We have to start somewhere. Maybe now is the time. I just want more Jesus. You too?