To hear our heart on why we're tackling this controversial topic this week at ByFaithShe.com, watch this quick 4 minute video before you read.
As a follower of Christ I never want to turn people away from the Good News of the Gospel. My job is to love people and lead them toward The Lord and not away from Him.
However, I am also called to stand for truth. Doing both of these things at the same time seems to be getting harder and harder with each day that passes.
The lines between right and wrong are becoming more blurry as the world pushes its agendas. But one thing remains the same. God’s Word is truth! It will not fade and it will not change!
So, let’s talk about LOVE!
Those who have given up their lives to follow Jesus Christ as their Savior as well as their Lord are called over and over again throughout Scripture to love.
I encourage you to read through each of the verses below and not just skip over them. They are powerful commands to Christians!
Here Jesus Himself tells us that the most important commands are to first,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
And second, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Jesus commands, “Love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
1 John 4
The entire chapter, beginning in verse 7, is dedicated to the topic of love. Here are a few quotes from this chapter:
vs.7 - let us love one another, for love comes from God.
vs.11 - since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
vs. 12 - no one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
vs. 16b - God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
vs. 19 - We love because he first loved us.
vs. 20 - Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
vs. 21 - And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Says that a friend loves at all times.
Tells us to serve one another humbly in love.
So, we very clearly see that Christ calls us to LOVE!
Unfortunately, the world has tried to change the definition of love.
The world, and now even some who claim to be Christ Followers, say that “sin is a joke” and “anything goes” and if you don't agree then you are unloving. They also say you can love Jesus and love your sin at the same time.
But, when we look back at the life Jesus lived on earth, we get a completely different picture of what love really is.
Yes, Jesus engaged people who were caught up in sin. He healed them, He protected them, He hung out with with those that, at the time, were considered the lowest of the low. He loved the sinners!
But, what you NEVER see Jesus doing is accepting peoples’ sin. He ALWAYS called out their sin, gave them opportunity to turn from it, and asked them to follow Him. This is where truth comes in!
So, let’s talk about TRUTH!
Jesus lived and died so that ALL the people of the world, would have the opportunity to turn away from their sin and toward Him. Accepting His sacrifice for us, and therefore covering our sin.
We absolutely have to love people right where they are, just like Jesus did! BUT, we would not be loving them if we let them stay there, living in that sin.
The Bible says, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Loving someone,means treating them well, giving them respect, and serving them in the name of Jesus. But, loving someone equally means leading them to the truth!
So, How does love and truth go hand-in-hand
for a Jesus Girl?
1. Find out what things the Bible calls sin.
2. When you learn that something is a sin, FLEE from it, Sister!
*Sin and Holiness can not coexist!
1 Peter 1:14-15 Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But, just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
Jesus says that you can’t be lukewarm. You must be either hot or cold. Choose God or choose the world.
He says, whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
James 1:14-15 says each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. So, what starts as a little, tiny, insignificant thing, eventually leads to sin and ultimately death!
*Girls, I am not saying this will be easy! Denying ourselves is never easy! And ,Satan will most definitely fight back with everything he has. Ephesians 6 reminds us that when we accept Jesus, we are in an ALL OUT BATTLE!
But Jesus is worth it!
Freedom from our sin is worth it!
Walking in step with The Holy Spirit is so worth it!
We are not powerful enough to battle Satan on our own.
There will be days that we try to fight with our on strength, and on those days, we will lose. But if we follow God’s battle plan, He gives us the power to overcome our sin. Let's encourage each other in our battles against our sin! I need your help and I'm here if you need mine.
3. Create meaningful relationships with and love people where they are!
“If you are a sinner, I accept and love you! Do you drink, do you curse, are you gay,
are you _________?”
“Just know - no matter what you struggle with? No matter what sin you may face... we are all sinners saved by grace and we will love you exactly where you are.”
4. Lead others to a life saving relationship with Jesus!
I'm not trying to change you, that's not my job. And I sure don't want to make you like me. That's not my goal. But, I would absolutely love to introduce you to the One who is changing me, for my good and His glory. And I can promise you, if you decide to give up your life to follow Him, you'll want to be just like Him!
In Acts 26 Jesus says, I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
James 5:20 says, whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Be the light!
My encouragement to you today is to love others,
lead them to the truth, just like Jesus did. You CAN do both!
It’s my prayer for each and every one of us that when we do sin, we won’t make light of it, we won’t flaunt it, but that we will encourage each other to turn from it and repent!
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him
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Although yesterday was our 18 year anniversary, it all started over 20 years ago!
I can’t believe it’s been that long. Some days it seems like last year, while other days it’s like it was another lifetime ago. We were just kids, sixteen years old, sophomores in high school. I never even thought about marriage at that time. We were just dating, having fun. But over the next four years we stayed together. He convinced me to go to the same university as him. And as juniors in college, we began our lives together as husband and wife.
I remember just hours after we said I do, we were finally alone, off on our honeymoon. Driving down I-20 headed to Dallas, TX to catch a plane, Jordan looked at me and said, “This is it. No matter what happens from here on, we are together. We will not mention the D word (divorce), no matter what.” “Of course,” I agreed. That was an easy commitment. At that point, I couldn’t imagine having an argument, let alone not wanting to be married anymore.
We had a wonderful honeymoon. Life was good!
But eventually the honeymoon was over. We both went back to school. Went to work. And life set in. We had less time together. He was a 20-year-old boy. And let me tell you, if you’ve never lived with one, it can be a rude awakening. We both were selfish, and sinful. Over the next few years, there were many days and even seasons that we both wondered, “Did we make a mistake?
Don’t get me wrong, there were mostly great times! Happy days. Lots of fun. But living with a sinful person is not easy. They don’t always meet your needs or fulfill your desires. The plans you have for your life can unexpectedly get changed when someone else becomes involved. Sometimes they can’t live up to your expectations either, and, goodness, that’s frustrating!
And sinful people, sometimes sin!!!
I already had a relationship with the Lord when we married, but that didn’t make things perfect or even easy.
I did learn one very valuable piece of information years into our marriage that changed everything for me.
I realized that Jordan wouldn’t always do just what I wanted him to do. That just like me, he was a sinful person, not a perfect god. I understood that I was created to need the Lord, and no matter how hard he tried, or how much I wanted him to, Jordan couldn’t meet all my needs all of the time, and I couldn’t do that for him either.
It doesn’t seem like that big of a revelation. I probably already had that knowledge in my head. But making that shift in my heart made a world of difference. I went from getting upset with my husband to being ok with taking my expectations and unhappiness and imperfections in our marriage to God. In fact, a whole lot more changed when I talked to God about it, than when I nagged my husband about it. I started putting more effort into my relationship with God than wasting it on being mad at my husband. Sometimes I would even tell God all about how He needed to work on Jordan. The funny thing is, He usually ends up changing my heart in those situations instead.
Our marriage is not perfect. That’s not possible. But our individual relationships with Jesus, our reliance on God, and our continued pursuit to love and serve each other well has made the last 18 years ones I would never change.
I tell you this story because marriages in 2018 are under attack! I’ve seen it in the lives of friends, church members, fellow ministers, and even my own. Satan is using this God ordained union to tear The Church apart. I don’t have all the answers for your marriage, but I know Who does. I urge every one of us to seek the Lord on behalf of our own marriage and the marriages of friends, family members, church leaders, neighbors. If your marriage isn’t under attack today, praise God, and don’t take that for granted. Pray for your spouse to have victory over the attacks of the evil one. Pray the same for yourself. Beg God to fill you with His Spirit and allow you to unselfishly serve your spouse well. Put energy into and focus on building your marriage up and building the bond between God, your spouse, and yourself.
If your marriage is being attacked right now, do these same things, and ask fellow believers to join you in prayer. Take your hurts, desires, wants and needs to God. Beg Him to work in your heart and in the heart of your spouse.
Wives, don’t disrespect your husband for his lack of spiritual growth. Don’t nag him that he isn’t seeking the Lord like you are. Don’t belittle him for his lack of spiritual leadership. Take it to God. Allow God to work on his heart. Allow God to change him from the inside. (1 Peter 3:1-6) Ladies, these things are not easy! They are hard! They do not come natural! They require supernatural power!
Satan is attacking marriages in 2018, but guess what else is happening? God is restoring them! We are seeing couples who have no hope of restoration come back together. We are seeing God soften the hearts of men and women to selflessly love and forgive their spouse. Yes, it is a battle and it can be painful, hard, and scary. But God can restore, rebuild, reshape, and revive your marriage. Not only that, He can make it stronger than it’s ever been.
Isaiah 61:1-3, proclaims that Jesus can give you beauty for your ashes, joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. He wants to use your life to bring glory to His name for the display of His splendor.
We are praying for you! We are in the trenches with many of you, helping you fight! We have seen it! We believe the Lord for it!
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.
How to THRIVE in Your Wedding Vows Series - Part 6
Disclaimer - Because of sin, there is serious dysfunction in some marriages today. This series does not mean to whitewash any problems inside of broken marriages. Instead, I desire to uncover the beauty of the vows thru a Biblical worldview and how they are meant to play out in a healthy marriage.
My husband made a comment. I replied with a snarky remark. Without missing a beat, he quoted, “It is better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” He had a twinkle in his eye which caused me to laugh, diffusing the fight in me. But it also made me stop and think,
"Are my callous remarks and digs causing my husband to want to be anywhere but at home with me?"
On our wedding day, promising to “love and cherish” our spouse seems like an easy task. Yet, how often do we hear, “We just don’t love each other anymore.” when couples choose to divorce. When I thought about skipping this line in the Wedding Vows series, the Spirit slowed me down and prompted me to dig a little deeper. What a treasure trove I discovered.
What does this line of the vow look like for the Jesus girl yearning to thrive in her wedding vows? My hunt began with the wisdom book of Proverbs. As I dug, I began to formulate a question to guide my research, "Which Proverbs wife am I?”
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Am I like the wise woman building up those in my household, starting with my husband?
Do I resemble the foolish woman by tearing down my house, beginning with my husband?
Proverbs 31 helps us answer these questions. Let's personalize them to see which wife we are.
The Proverbs 31 "Love and Cherish" Litmus Test
vs. 11 - The heart of her husband trust in her.
Wise wife - My husband’s heart trusts me, no question about it. Like a bird in a nest, he trusts his heart in my gentle, kind hands.
Foolish wife - My husband’s heart used to trust me, but now he’s not so sure I’ve got his back. Some days I’m encouraging and loving, but other days I slice and dice him with my words and actions.
vs. 12 - She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Wise wife - I do him good not evil ALL the days of my life.
Foolish wife - I do him good some days, but other days I do him evil if I am feeling hormonal or tired or I didn’t get my way, or he just isn’t living up to my standard of an excellent husband.
vs. 26 - When she speaks, her words are wise.
Wise wife - I only open my mouth when I have something wise and encouraging and edifying to say.
Foolish wife - I open my mouth with wisdom some of the days, but other days folly spews forth like a toxic brew.
vs. 26 - and she gives instruction with kindness.
Wise wife - My words and actions are those of a lover, rather than a mother. They are kind and gentle and patient with him at all times.
Foolish wife - Some days my words and actions are kind and compassionate, but other days, I nag and demean and belittle.
vs. 30 - But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Wise wife - I am a woman who fears the Lord and thus even on the hard marital days, love my man well for the glory of the Lord.
Foolish wife - I fear the Lord some days unless my husband irks me then I let my flesh take over.
Ouch! This litmus test hurts and is convicting. Proverbs 31 is the standard God has set for us Jesus girls. I fear I fall short more days than I care to count. But I want to measure up. I want God to find me faithful to this task He set before me.
On our wedding day, this task to "love and cherish" others well moves our spouse into the top spot below God. And... above our children. Goodness, that's a whole other post.
So, how do we "love and cherish" our husbands well thru the good, the bad, and the ugly? God in all His kindness provided us with a list full of attainable ways to "love and cherish" our men well. In the place of the word love, however, we're going to insert ourselves. Lol - come on, don't check out on me! We want abundant life for our marriages. No better place to start then on ourselves. Join me, my sister!
The 1 Corinthians 13 "Love and Cherish" Checklist.
I am patient - I will love with a long-suffering kind of love, through the good and the bad, with a "til death do us part" kind of patience.
I am kind - I will be mild and gentle in my manner toward you. I will do simple acts of kindness, a "just because" loving act, because I choose to be kind.
I am not jealous - I will rejoice when others prefer you over me for we truly are one.
I do not brag about my accomplishments to undermine you or appear superior. Nor will I trumpet the little or big things I do for you.
I am not arrogant. I will not look down my nose at you because you don’t know something or act a certain way. I will focus on your needs rather than my own.
I do not act unbecomingly - I will not be rude or disrespectful to you in my words or actions.
I do not seek my own way - I will not manipulate a situation for my own good or favor.
I do not provoke you - I will not seek a fight or a rise from you. I, in turn, will not be provoked by you, or become irritated by your ways or habits.
I do not take into account a wrong suffered - I will not hold an infraction over your head over and over again. I will let the past stay in the past and hope for tomorrow!
I do not rejoice in unrighteousness - I will not color the truth or paint a scenario to mislead you or negatively influence you about others or a situation.
I rejoice with the truth - I will stand on the truth in a loving, encouraging way.
I bear (or cover) all things - I won't go around telling all your deep secrets or faults.
I believe all things. - Even in the worst of times, I choose to believe the best of you.
I hope all things - Some days seem long, as do some seasons, of marriage. Yet, l will hope for brighter days and for the best in you.
I endure all things - I won't give up on you, no matter what. I will keep on bearing, believing, and hoping until death do us part.
And that's it. God's doable checklist on how to "love and cherish" our spouse well. It's a tough list, but through Christ, it is not only doable but also the way to thrive in our wedding vows.
Why do we want to "love and cherish" our spouse well? At the end of the day, we want to be the safe place where our spouse chooses to land. So, we will choose to be the wise woman and build our house by loving and cherishing our spouse for the glory of God and the good of our marriage.
I don't know if you or your spouse wish the other was living on the corner of the roof. But dear one, you obviously loved your spouse deeply at one time, or else you wouldn’t have married him. Listed below are some tips on how to rekindle that loving feeling.
How to Rekindle that Loving Feeling:
- 5 Love Languages - take the test to find your spouse's love language and intentionally serve him that way.
- Husband Encouragement Challenge - a 30-day encouragement challenge
- Love Dare - Take the 40 days Love Dare
- The Three Things Thankfulness List - Write down three things you’re thankful for about your spouse each day.
- One Act of Kindness - Choose to do one kind thing each day for 30 days for your spouse.
How about you? How did you fare on the Litmus Test? Which area do you need to move from the foolish wife to the wise wife? What about the Checklist? I know as I was writing there were a couple of areas the Spirit convicted me. Let's lock arms and cheer each other on in this race called marriage!
Wedding Vows Series
I Do? Who Knew? - Part 1
Heat Up Your "To Have and to Hold" - Part 2
Winning Solution in "For Better or For Worse" - Part 3
Do not Grow Weary "in Sickness and In Health" - Part 4
Content in "For Richer or Poorer" - Part 5
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, lively laughter, deep talks and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.
You know what I love? I love loving on people. I love making people feel special and letting them know they matter. I am like a 98% extrovert, so meeting people and engaging in conversations come pretty natural to me. My husband on the other hand is the total opposite. He is an introvert by nature, but the Lord has really given him more extrovert characteristics through being in ministry. We like to say we balance each other out really well! I know when he needs some time at home and he knows when I have been cooped up and I need to get out! Ha!
We are in our sixteenth year of ministry and every year is getting sweeter! As I look back over the years, the one theme I find is that the Lord has been very gracious to give us favor with people. We have served alongside and ministered to the most amazing people and they have loved on us so well!
The one prayer that we as a family have always had is that we would be authentic, real, and love people intentionally right where they are. We view our mission field as more than just the church building. We strive to represent Christ and love people at the ball fields, schools, restaurants and wherever else the Lord may have us. Now, hear me out...we don’t always get it right and we have had to learn over the years how to love people well. It is a refining process that will continue until the day we take our last breath.
What would this world look like if we showed deep love for one another? What would this world look like if we were intentional and loving in the way we treated others and spoke to others?
I thought back over our married years and came up with four ways that we as a family have tried to show love to others. I hope they can help spur you on to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those you come in contact with.
First and foremost...BE YOU! Nobody wants a fake you. God created you for a purpose! Don’t try to be someone that you’re not. People are drawn to authenticity. When we realize that none of us have it together, the walls come down and real life happens. Whatever your struggles are, you can bet the people you are loving on have similar struggles too. We have so much to learn from each other, but that can only happen when we remove the mask.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
One thing that I hear people say about my husband is, “he calls me by name”. I am envious of that trait because I am not very good at it. Being intentional is not self seeking, but seeking good for that person. You loving on someone may not bring any benefit to you, but it may be everything that person needs to push them towards Christ. Scripture tells us to encourage one another! Let people know that you are praying for them and that you are interested in what is going on in their life.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
An important part of loving others well is being able to speak truth in love. God created each of us in His image (Genesis 1:27), so to treat someone poorly or to say things about someone that are hurtful is pretty much saying that what God created wasn't good enough. Have you ever thought about it like that? When people get to know the real you and see that you really care, my experience has been, they take truth so much better. People then begin to appreciate and respect your honesty.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Ephesians 4:15
Have you ever heard the saying, “talk is cheap”? Our actions help solidify our words. Be there for people. Be present in their lives. There is nothing better than doing life together. Be aware and notice when people are not around. A friend of mine recently said that her family will begin opening their home one night a month for anyone to come and have dinner with them. She wants to create community and love on people around her dining room table. WOW! What a great idea! She inspired me to want to do the same in a different format for the women of my community. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything, just being there is all someone needs.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10: 24-25
If I have learned anything about being a pastor’s wife, it’s to be bold in my friendships, to not fear rejection and to just be me. What you see is what you get and I am thankful for a Savior that is molding me and making me into an instrument to be used for Him everyday. If you are not an extrovert by nature and building friendships is scary for you, know that more times than not, people are wanting you to notice them and engage with them. People want to be acknowledged, loved, and feel that they matter.
Maybe there is someone that you have been meaning to reach out to...go do it! Maybe you see the same customer come through the door or the same lady at cheer practice...find out who they are and call them by name. This is where the journey begins!
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!
When my blogging life started five months ago, I often found myself parked on our couch with laptop or notebook in lap as my kids carried on around me. This was the only doable solution if I wanted to be present with my kids and not hole myself away in a room, which never works well in my house. After the first few weeks of this new routine, my daughter began to pull out her own notebook and would nestle up close beside me and started writing, too. But, instead of blogging to an audience of many, she began writing to an audience of One. Thus, at the ripe age of 8, her prayer journal began.
She would let me peek at it once she was finished. Her words moved me more than any blog I could ever write. She asked God questions that were pressing on her mind such as, “How can you walk on water? Is it gravity?” or “How did you make weather? How did you make us? I just want to know.” She then moved on to praises such as, “Thank you so much for everything you do for me. Sometimes I don’t even realize that you do stuff for me.” And “I love you. You’re the best. I was wondering what I would do without you? I don’t know what I would do!” And, she always, always would include, “Can I have a baby sister?” (Bless her!)
A peek inside her journal. Shown with her permission.
Seeing her childlike faith and adoration spilt out onto the pages of her journal revealed an important truth to me – she’s ready to go deeper. Long gone are the days filled with The Jesus Storybook Bible and countless hours of Veggie Tales. Her faith has matured past animated talking vegetables and paraphrased Bible stories. She’s ready for more! And, because of the wonderful command to parents tucked inside of Deuteronomy 6 and 11, I knew it was my job to show her what going deeper looks like.
As Valentine’s Day approached this year, the Lord showed me a way to use this day to sow into her heart. This grand day of LOVE has the amazing potential to teach our children WHO loves comes from. Yet, we never use it for that purpose. Scripture tells us that Love comes from God 1 John 4:7. Why not shift our focus and make it about HIM instead of US?
Because I love a good party, especially when it involves giggly little girls, I proposed the idea to my girl about having a Jesus Loves Me Valentine party. She loved the idea! We texted a few friends’ mommies who caught our vision and they said they’d come in their Valentine best with Bibles in hand. I was giddy with excitement! I have never done Bible study with little girls. How would they react? Would they roll their eyes? Would they understand? I didn’t know these answers but it was a gamble that I was willing to take.
So, the day of the party came and I must say it will forever be a cherished memory of mine. My girl helped me with every detail. She thoughtfully planned out the seating arrangement which was based on who was friends with who and where she thought they'd feel most comfortable. We strung felt hearts from the chandelier and then she divided up the fruit evenly into cups and arranged the mini cupcakes and brownies onto a platter. This prep time with her was my favorite!
Simple decorations that cost only $1-$3
Once the party started, six sweet 8 year olds gathered around the table with me and did their very first “Bible study” – looking up and reading the verses on “Conversation Hearts” that I made (see printable at the bottom). It warmed my heart to watch them help one another find Zephaniah or pronounce words they didn’t know. I briefly explained each verse and they would add their insights as well. These verses about God’s love for them – His inexplicable, unexplainable, and undeserved love – filled both my home and their hearts. We talked about how He sings over us, how He goes before us, how He delights in us, how He fills us with joy in His presence, and how He will love us forever and ever. And then, we talked about how long forever is.
In addition to Bible study, I wanted to show them a way to go back home and continue growing in their faith. So, I made each one a “Praises & Prayers” jar, memory verse holder, and a Prayer Journal. These items are nothing fancy or expensive. Any non-crafty mama or grandmother can make these! Or, the girls may have loved them even more if I would have helped them make their own. Either way, I wanted to give them something special, something personal, that encourages ongoing conversations with the Lord and Bible study.
The Prayer Journal is a simple composition book from Walmart. I splurged an extra $1 and bought pretty ones with plastic durable covers and silver spines. Use stickers to personalize or find a friend who has a Cricut or Silhouette machine to make some for you!
We also had a craft that I thought of on a whim the night before and it was the biggest hit! I bought $2 wooden letters of their first initial and they painted away as they sang along to The Greatest Showman (their request). By the way, this age LOVES turquoise! They squealed with delight at the sight of the turquoise paint being squeezed out and they all called dibs on it.
After the letters dried, they took fine-tipped paint pens and wrote one word to describe each girl onto her letter. These letters with words of life written onto them will remind them how special they are to their friends.
The day ended with lots and lots of twirling and hide-and-seek. We all agreed that we need to plan a party for Easter and then for the Fourth of July and then… They kept going on and on. As I thought about it, I realized that we can turn any occasion into a way to point to Christ!
If you sense that your girl is ready to go deeper and grow in Christ, look for opportunities to share this wonderful experience with her. You will find that as you guide her in her walk with the Lord, your faith will grow, too.
P.S. Just before I was about to go live with this post, I had to drop something off at my daughter's classroom. I wasn't three steps into the room when one of the little girls who attended her party came running up to me and exclaimed, "Mrs. Rebecca! I've written in my prayer journal every night!" It made me smile big.
Give them a pen mamas and watch them go!
By Faith Kids - Conversation Hearts printable:
Join us next week as we share Raising Little Kids with Big Faith - Tools for Sowing Seeds of Faith into Your Children. This post will contain practical and fun ideas to spur both your girls and your boys onto a greater, more intimate relationship with the Lord as they grow in their knowledge of Him.
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a passionate advocate of all things healthy & natural and a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.
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Fun Ideas to Show Some LOVE This February
Mailboxes- Audra's pick
At the beginning of February each year we pull out these adorable mini mailboxes that I found in the dollar section at Target several years ago. There’s one for each family member. For the first half of February, up until Valentine’s Day, we “mail” love letters to each other. The kids are thrilled every time they receive a new letter and it’s so sweet to receive them from them!
Chocolate Covered Strawberries - Laura's pick
I think chocolate covered strawberries scream Valentine’s Day! I have spent many years making them as gifts and I always spoiled my youth Bible study girls with them! Last year though, our daughter was preparing to go on her first mission trip and we had the idea to use strawberries as a fundraiser. It was perfect! She assembled the boxes, washed all the strawberries, wrote an individual “thank you” card to each person, and I dipped all of the strawberries (I’m a little OCD about that). She raised over half the money for her trip! What a blessing it was!
Crafts - Rebecca's pick
Valentine's Day has always been my favorite holiday for crafting! All the pretty pinks and reds and messages about love are so fun! My daughter is at the perfect age for crafting so I lug a Valentine craft box down from the attic every year and set it out on the table. We dabble in it whenever creative inspiration hits. Sequins and buttons and doilies litter my table the first half of February and I love to read all the heartfelt messages and ooh and aah over the things she creates. And, we love making Valentine boxes, too!
Valentine Coupon Book - Tammy's pick
I always have the best intentions to be more intentional with my kiddos but life gets in the way. A couple of years ago, we tried a coupon book with monthly date ideas. It worked. The kids loved cashing them in, and it gave us the one on one time we longed for. With two teens and a tween in the house, one on one time grows more scarce. Therefore, a coupon book is just the gift! Here are some great sources for ideas and printables.
Celebrating Sam- Joy's
Mine may be a little different. My son, Sam, was born on Valentine’s Day so we are celebrating him! Birthday celebrations begin first thing in the morning with waking up to the Happy Birthday song followed by a special breakfast. It’s a day full of celebrating his special day! 💕
“I am done babying him,” she exclaimed! "Whoa! What?" was my shocked response. You see, my friend had just been sharing about a time sensitive matter pressing on her and her mate. As the deadline approached, her man had called and texted throughout the day asking her different questions regarding the location of places and materials. She could feel her resentment growing with each of his requests for help. She concluded her narrative by stating that she was done babying him…he was a grown man…he had a smartphone and could find this information himself. Hmmph!
As she was fuming, I started thinking: How does a bride go from wanting to do everything for her groom to:
- despising his asking for help?
- considering his requests a burden?
- reducing him to a little boy in her mind?
My answer: It’s the slow fade, my friend, the mundane of everyday life dulling the glow of “happily ever after.”
In the thick of the day in and day out of everyday married life, "for better or for worse" fades into the background as annoyance, impatience, and complacency push to the forefront. Yet, our husband asking us for help is exactly the role we signed up for when we said, "I do." Look at Genesis 2:18,
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”
The word helper means "to aid or help or succor." Wait. What? Succor? What in the world does succor mean? It means: “assistance and support in times of hardship and distress.”
To be our man’s succor during hardship and distress is much like a three-legged race. Depending on how athletic you are, walking together successfully is quite the challenge. There can be much stumble tripping, perhaps falling in a heap of laughter with the finish line oh so far away. But choosing to throw our arm around the other person’s shoulder and finding a walking rhythm to move forward productively is a step in the right direction to winning. A team effort!
And I think this is the key: to be our man’s succor victoriously, we need to adopt the mindset that we’re on the same team! Just like I’d help my 3-legged race partner up if they’d fallen or throw my arm around them so we could walk in sync, it’s the same for marriage. If my man is in need of my help, as his helpmate or succor, it benefits me and us if I joyfully give him the aid he needs to thrive!
To thrive at being our man's succor is choosing to live out the beauty of Proverbs 31:10-12:
"Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."
When I'm my man's succor, he can trust me... I greatly enrich his life... I bring him good, not harm... ALL the days of my life. That, my friend, is winning! Replacing the "me" attitude with a "we" attitude is the best way to win at marriage.
This post has caused me to take a hard look at myself. How often do I default to a "me" attitude instead of choosing a "we" attitude in my own marriage? Does my man trust me? Do I greatly enrich his life? Do I bring him good and not harm? These are good questions to check the barometer of my heart toward my man and adjust as needed.
We humans are drawn to the strong and despise the weak. But our husbands are just like us, fallen creatures in need of a Savior, in need of mercy, in need of a succor. By faith, I will choose to throw my arm around my handsome 3-legged partner and be his succor for the glory of God and for the win at this thing called marriage.
"Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you MUST clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Colossians 3:12
I'd love to hear from you! What do you think of this idea of being your man's succor? How do you push thru wanting to give up and press in for the win? Maybe you feel done. I'm sorry. That's a hard place. We can't change our spouses, only ourselves. Therefore, ask the Lord to show you what areas of Genesis 2:18 and Proverbs 31:10-12 He would like you to work on. Then do it for His glory and blessing. My friend, He blesses our obedience even in our hard places. I'm cheering you on!
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, deep talks, lively laughter, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.