-Strength to keep my mouth closed (sometimes nothing but God's power can do that)
-Strength to put my beloved first (getting out of bed at 6 am to make his lunch and/or drive him to work is HARD!)
-Strength to give a soft answer
-Strength to repel bitterness (it's not fair that I have to...*insert bitter answer here*)
-Strength to "get over it" (instead of overanalyzing the situation until the cows come home)
-Strength to forgive (myself and him)
-Please feel free to share what type of strength you've acquired from having the joy of the Lord!
Debi suggests Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." She says that a merry heart is the foundation of health and happiness. Remember this. Write it down. Say it out loud.
The early stages of dating are always so fun and exciting. We ladies are sweet and charming. There's always laughter in the air, and we can't stop smiling. When does that smile stop? It shouldn't ever, but too often it does (even in the first year due to disillusionment)! Do you still smile at him like you did when you first fell in love? Do you plan fun activities for you to do together like you did when you were dating? "Are you still the same sweet little thing, or have you become a long-faced, sickly complainer? Is he still your lover? What would he say?"
One Ugly Hillbilly!
Debi told a story about an overweight hillbilly woman that worked in a local hardware store. There were always several men standing around her, laughing. Her appearance was not appealing whatsoever, but she was always smiling, laughing, and giggling. One day Debi and her husband were in the grocery store and they saw the same hillbilly woman yelling at her daughter. "Gone were the smiles, giggles, and radiance that had so captivated everyone at the hardward store. In their place was a bitter, ugly snarl." As they were leaving the store, Debi's husband said that she looked familiar. Debi told him who she was, and he could not believe it...he said he did not remember her looking like that. She looked the same, but "all she lacked was her glorious smile. It was her most valuable asset. Her face was always so radiant, her smile so infectious, her laughter so sweet, and her eyes so earnest that people simply saw her as cute!"
Debi goes on to say that everyone is drawn to a smile, and men are highly attracted to smiles. Such a simple concept, yet how often do we consciously make an effort to smile and laugh at our mate (and others as well)? I've been really trying to do this more, and I find that it improves MY mood to smile! It's a win-win.
The Desparate Wife
Debi received a letter from a desperate wife whose husband was having an emotional affair with his secretary. Debi gave her an AMAZING response, I wish you could read it all. If you are in this situation, PLEASE track down a book and read pages 28-32. It will empower you. Basically, her points were:
- The husband is wrong for his actions, but if you want to win him back, change your game plan.
- Stand by your rights and stand alone, or play by his rules, "court" him, and WIN back his favor...
- He finds his identity in a woman's approval and admiration. Let that be YOURS.
- No man has ever crawled out from under his wife's criticism to be a better man - no matter how justified her condemnation - this statement will forever ring in my ears.
- "Forget your rights as a wife and forget his Christian obligations to his vows. You must act as if you and the secretary are engaged in open competition for this man."
- "The tool of your warfar is your loving, kind, delightful, radiant, adoring self."
- God is on your side. Fight and WIN.
The day you have a merry heart will be the first day of rebuilding your marriage into the heavenly gift it was meant to be. :)
Time to Consider
~Do a study on the word JOY. Write down and memorize your favorite verses on joy.
~"Every morning, let the first thing your husband sees on your face be a gentle smile, even if your eyes are still closed."