When you look in the mirror what do you see? Throughout the day, when going through all the craziness surrounding you, how do you speak to yourself? Continue reading
This post features the new song, “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle (Performance Video and Lyrics) Most of this week I’ve been listening to breakout Christian artist, Lauren Daigle‘s songs on YouTube. One of my favorites (although she has so many songs … Continue reading
Today I’m bringing you another devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
This one is written by Amy Carroll
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)
She didn’t know I was watching. But I was. And what she did changed my heart and marriage.
Friends of mine told me about Deborah, a woman at our church who had decided not to speak negatively about her husband. Although I truly love my husband and think he is wonderful, he isn’t perfect. So at the time, I didn’t think there was much harm in occasionally complaining about him to friends and co-workers. After all, they had plenty to say about their husbands.
But something about Deborah’s commitment challenged my heart. I began to watch her and her husband for signs of a difference. I also listened carefully to see if she really stuck to her commitment. She did, and the fruits of her faithfulness were obvious.
Deborah and John had been married far longer than I had and had three beautiful children. But they acted like they were still on their honeymoon. Their devotion was untarnished by the mistrust and bitterness caused by a critical heart and complaining lips.
Seeing the difference in them made me much more aware when I started to “vent” or complain about my husband. I thought about how terrible I would feel if I walked into a room and heard him speaking negatively about me. So I followed Deborah’s lead.
It didn’t take long before I started to see fruit in my marriage too. Lots of it! The more I spoke well of my husband, the more I thought well of him too. His virtues far overshadowed his few imperfections. Praising my husband to my friends actually grew my love for him. Plus, I never worried what might be repeated to him.
I have come to believe strongly in the “Sacred Us.” My husband and I have a bond that is stronger than the bond I have with anyone else. There are things that only the two of us share.
Although I love to talk, I don’t need to share everything going on between us with others. If there are problems, I can always pour out my heart to God, and Scripture encourages us to do that. I also have cultivated relationships with several godly, truth-telling women who love my husband as a brother in Christ as much as they love me. They will listen, offer godly counsel and tell me in a skinny minute if I’m the one who’s wrong. Choose women who exemplify Titus 2:3-5 when you need to problem-solve or when you need focused prayer about a situation.
Without ever knowing it, Deborah changed many of the marriages in our church for the better. Let’s all resolve to be the “Deborah” among our friends. I want my words and actions to make that kind of difference — to strengthen my marriage bonds, to encourage others and to glorify God.
Dear Lord, please help me control my tongue. I need Your help to praise my husband instead of criticize or complain. In times of crises or conflict, remind me to turn to You first. Bring godly women into my life who will join with me in this endeavor so that we can encourage each other. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Philippians 2:14-15, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe …” (NIV 1984)
Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (NIV 1984)
This devotional was written by Lysa TerKeurst.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
My heart raced when I saw the number pop up on my phone. Nothing in me wanted to have this conversation. I was beyond aggravated. Hurt. Angry. And tired of being misunderstood.
I answered the call with two goals in mind — to prove how right I was and how wrong the other person was.
How do you think that conversation went?
This conflict happened over five years ago so the rush of emotion has dissipated, and I can see more clearly how wrong my approach was.
I learned from that conflict. Hopefully, I learn something from every conflict — especially how to have better reactions. I’m so far from being in a place where I can shine my halo.
But I’m getting better.
While my initial thoughts when a conflict arises are usually those same old “I’ll show you” thoughts, I’ve progressed by not letting those leak into my reactions.
By asking myself three questions:
1. What part of this issue can I own and apologize for?
There are always two sides to every issue. And no side is perfectly right or all the way wrong.
If I make peace with the part I need to own and apologize for before the conversation, there’s a greater chance I’ll stay calm in the conversation. Our key verse, Proverbs 15:1, is a verse I’ve memorized and recall often, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
2. How can I soften my heart toward this person so I honor them despite how they react?
This one is hard. Really hard. But I know hurt people hurt people.
Usually the person with whom I’m having a conflict has some kind of past or current hurt in their life feeding this issue. Chances are that hurt doesn’t have anything to do with me but is adding to their emotional response in this conflict.
Softening my heart is easier if I can sympathize with the hurt I can’t see. If I can duck below my pride, honor will be my reward. Proverbs 29:23 reminds us, “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (NIV).
3. If I knew this conversation was being recorded and then shared with people I greatly respect, how would this change my reaction?
What if I showed up to church this week and my pastor directed everyone to watch the screen for an example of a bad reaction? And then my face appeared. Have. Mercy. I. Would. Surely. Faint.
While it is highly unlikely that our conversation would be recorded and viewed, it is very likely others are watching our reaction. Children. Co-workers. Friends. But here’s the one that really grabs my heart – my Jesus is very much present. Philippians 4:5 reminds us, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near”(NIV).
Every conflict has variables that must be considered. Some conflicts have escalated to the point where professionals must be asked to help. Be mindful and prayerful about this.
But for the everyday conflicts we all have, these questions are good to consider. If we control our reactions in the short-term, we don’t have to live with “reaction regret” in the long-term!
Dear Lord, I’m inviting You into my reactions today as I realign my perspective. Help me to use words and choose actions that honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Proverbs 18:21, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit — you choose.” (MSG)
James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (NIV)
I mentioned the other day that I wouldn’t be writing anything original this week because my kids are on Spring Break. Normally I share my morning devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries on Scully Speaks Facebook Page. I know that not everyone sees the Facebook page though, so today I wanted to bring it straight to you!
Did you enjoy this devotional from Lysa TerKeurst? Would you like to see more from Proverbs 31 Ministries on my blog? Let me know in the comments or here: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram YouTube Tumblr
“A man who had just arrived in Heaven could hardly stop telling St. Peter how grateful he was to be in such a glorious place. He asked Peter to give him one glimpse into Hades so that he might further appreciate his good fortune, and Peter allowed this. In Hades he saw a long table extending as far as his eye could behold. The table was covered with the most delicious and varied foods the man had ever seen, Yet, everyone seated around the table was starving. The man asked Peter, “Why don’t they eat?” Peter replied, “Everyone is required to take food from the table only with four-foot-long forks. They are so long that no one can reach the food from the table to his mouth, and therefore each one is slowly dying.”
Upon his return to Heaven, the man saw a table that appeared identical! It, too, was laden with delicious foods of every type. Yet the people around this table were well fed. The man said to Peter, “They must have much shorter forks here in Heaven!” Peter replied, “No, only four-foot-long forks.”
Puzzled, the man asked, Then why are those in Hades starving to death and those in Heaven seem to be happy and well fed? Peter replied, “In Heaven, people feed each other.”” (Excerpt taken from “God’s Little Devotional Book for Couples” published by Honor books in Tulsa, OK)
This little story brought a smile to my face yesterday, and I knew right away that I was going to be posting it. Although, in Heaven we won’t need to eat, and therefore there won’t be any feeding each other with Shrek-sized forks, the idea that putting another’s needs before your own is the truest definition of Love. We can “feed” each other without ever sitting down at a table together. If each of us performs the smallest act of kindness towards another human everyday, be it a stranger or a close loved one, we just might bring a little Heaven down to Earth. Who have you “fed” someone and shown love to your corner of the world today?
Did this story touch you in anyway?
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