Monday, March 8, 2010

Marriage Mondays ~ Giving or Going Together

I'm posting today's Marriage Monday post a little later in the morning, since my schedule was influenced by my hubby's this past week ;) during our amazing missions conference. Last night as we feel asleep, Jeff said, "It's great to serve with you Jul." Love that!! In fact, it has inspired my topic for today's post, so welcome to Marriage Mondays!

This past week our church family was presented with many needs, both physical and spiritual. But don't we encounter needs all the time in every day life? Watch and listen this week and see what needs God shows you. When our hearts are tuned to God's heart, we are mindful of those around us. As God has moved in my husband's heart through the years, Jeff has come to me different times to share burdens God has put on his own heart, and his desire has been for me to "share the care" and to join him in wanting to respond. The burdens have taken many forms ...

- Honey, I know a college student who really needs a car repair and can't afford it. I'd like to anonymously pay for it. What do you think? (My brain: hmmmm ... deposit on a beach vacation or help a college student?)

- I'm really burdened for the needs of this Asian pastor who is reaching people for Christ and has needs of his own, how about if we help to meet that need? (hmmm ... my carpet is nearly Smithsonian status, but ...)

- God showed me how we could be used to reach people in Asia. How do you feel about leaving life here and becoming missionaries? (hmmm .... God knew this was coming and prepared me. Let's go!)

When my heart is in tune with God's, my attitude is more prepared to join my husband in "the giving or even in the going." I know God will speak to my husband as the leader of our home, showing us where He wants us to take part in meeting needs. I decided early on in our 20 years of married life that I NEVER WANTED TO HOLD MY HUSBAND BACK FROM RESPONDING TO GOD's MOVEMENT IN HIS LIFE. I've seen a lot of husbands miss out on God's blessing or get "stuck" in their lives, because they have a wife who is clinging to something else that is truly mastering her life and leading her decisions. A husband can't lead a wife like that, and they both miss out.

Imagine who our men could be if they had wives who were ready "to give or to go" with them when God called them. What if Sarai had refused to pack the tent when Abram said, "Let's move out!"? What if Rebekah had refused to go with the servant who came to bring her to Isaac? (Read about it here) And what about if Priscilla had told Aquila that he could just go work with Paul without her? Imagine all those gals would've missed. Imagine all that those COUPLES would've missed. Imagine all that others they never knew would've missed. When God calls us, He calls US.

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When we returned from Asia, we were in a time of transition. Before we arrived to the US, a friend called to tell us a young family wanted to give us their family car, which would leave them with a 2 seater truck for 4 people. We didn't know the family well, but they said they really believed God wanted them to give it to us. Not having a car to come back to, we were so thankful. It was such a tremendous gift at great cost for the family who lived in a humble home.

Weeks after receiving the gift, I ran into the wife and tried to put into words how much of a provision and blessing the gift had been. She stopped me, telling me SHE was the one who wanted to thank ME. Her husband had been impressed with our need and by his desire to give the car, and he had come to her to ask her to pray about it with him. As they, together, gave us the car, she said the spiritual growth in her husband and his renewed desire to be a man who followed God had been magnified many times over when he had been obedient to give the car away. By encouraging the obedience of her husband, this wife had given him the freedom to discover a new season of walking with God as never before. With tears in her eyes, she thanked ME for TAKING the car, so they could receive God's blessings on THEM.

Giving or even "going" together brings the benefit of greater intimacy with God and greater intimacy with each other.

Is God prompting your husband with a desire to give of your treasures or even to serve in a new way? Don't be afraid that God will leave you without what you need or leave you wishing you had tied down your possessions and changed the account numbers. I pray we will always be eager supporters to give away what we can't keep to gain what we can't lose.

Luke 17:33

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it

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3 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

I followed a trail from Pearls of Wisdom and came across you here. You post today has spoken to my heart!

My husband has developed a deep love for the nation and people of Haiti ever since he spent 2 weeks on a mission there in October. I share his love for them, but struggle between doing all that we can to serve the ministry of Haiti Arise (both from here in Canada and by going there) and doing my own thing - women's ministry.

What God has been telling me, I think, is that it's okay for me to pursue women's ministry (after all, He gave me that passion), but I need to be willing to drop it in an instant if my husband asks (not that he'd ask, but I'd be able to tell if that was what he was thinking).

all4boys said...

WOW! I absolutely LOVE this post. You put it so eloquently, and in a way that just makes it shout for attention! I have never thought of the fact that I might be holding my husband back. What an eye opener. I will be talking with him about this very topic tonight~and I will begin to pray that God will let me be a helpmate and not a hindrance. Wow. Amazing post. Thank you for this!

Jen

Kristi Stephens said...

This is so, so true!!!

Sometimes God calls our men to do things that are uncomfortable - and it makes us even more uncomfortable because we haven't necessarily been called directly by God. We need to listen to our husbands and follow God's leading through them! I always wonder if Sarai struggled with the fact that she hadn't heard God's voice directly - it would have been a challenge to trust!