Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

The Life-Giving Phone Call

Monday, February 19th, 2018

life-giving-phone-call

I rushed to the emergency room because my friend from Honduras was doubled over in excruciating pain. She needed someone to translate her Spanish into English. Wheeled into a CAT scan and a sonogram, my friend discovered she had a 14-centimeter mass on her uterus, a cyst in her ovary, and the organs in her abdomen were swollen. At that point they didn’t know that her appendix was full of pus and was about to burst.

Meanwhile one specialist after another came in and out of the room, asking questions. I found out that in Honduras, years ago, her last C-section had gone bad. It had opened up, and her intestines had come out of her body. She held her intestines in with her bare hand for 6 hours before she could get an operation to put them back in and sew her up.

After translating for 10 hours with no food, I was exhausted. Another friend from my Hispanic church called and asked if I needed anything. Food, I said. Within a short time, I was eating delicious Cuban food as far away from my friend as possible, since she was not allowed to eat or drink in case she needed emergency surgery.

When I looked into my friend’s anguished face, all I wanted was to take that pain into my own self to alleviate her. I realized this is what Jesus does for us. He loves us selflessly and takes all our anguish into Himself. I saw the cross in a new light, and I felt that Jesus was shining out of my face.

The lab assistant noticed. She said I had a gift, and that she had noticed my selflessness a year ago as I was taking care of another Hispanic woman who was alone at the hospital, in an emergency.

When she pierced my friend’s arm with a needle, I petted my friend’s head and told her that it was all for the best because now she was going to get the surgery that she had needed for years. “Hold on,” I said. “God is providing for you to be healed. Not many hours from now, you will be healthier than you’ve been for years.” Her eyes filled with hope and joy in the middle of her moaning pain.

I called home and told my son to make spaghetti for dinner. I texted my husband that dinner would be ready when he got home, but that I was at the hospital with my friend.

Later that evening, I answered my cell phone; it was my husband. We had been in some recent arguments, and depleted as I was, I braced myself. I didn’t want to be told that I had to go home and abandon my friend who had no way to communicate with the doctors and surgeons. I asked questions of the doctors that my moaning, almost unconscious friend wouldn’t have thought of asking, and I knew enough of her story to be able to add vital information that was needed for making the decision to go ahead with the surgery.

I was pleasantly surprised that the phone call was life-giving.

My husband asked if I wanted him to bring me some food. I told him I had just eaten, but it was kind of him to think of me. I wasn’t sure how much longer I would be at the hospital, because my friend was going to be transported to another hospital for the night, to have surgery the next day.

I was so exhausted from making life and death decisions for my friend, answering social workers and countless other people what her situation was. On the phone with my husband, he gave me the strength I needed by cracking jokes and then staying on the line and not hanging up. I was transported back in time to when we were dating, and he cared and wanted to be with me.

I felt refreshed after the phone call. It was exactly what I needed.

After following her ambulance to the other hospital, I settled her in for the night and went home. The next day my friend got the surgery she needed, and she has been recuperating ever since. I’m exhausted from spending a full week at the hospital, and I’m glad things are sort of back to normal.

Don’t Attribute Wrong Motives to Your Husband

Friday, February 28th, 2014

wrong-motives-to-your-husband

Don’t attribute wrong motives to your husband. In the same way that you are a new creation at salvation, your husband is also a new creation. Deep down he desires to please God. Even if he is trapped in his flesh and sins out of habit–usually through some form of selfishness–so do you. None of us who are true believers wants to do the wrong thing. Our conscience makes us feel bad, and we ask God to help us overcome sin.

I used to attribute wrong motives to my husband without even realizing it. My husband would make a statement, and I would twist his statement to make him seem like he was attacking me when he wasn’t. “Susan , you’re just hurting yourself by making up something that I didn’t say,” he told me one day. I stopped in my tracks and realized that he was right. He had made a statement that was not positive or negative, and I had extrapolated a negative motivation behind it. And there he was, refusing to defend himself because I was the one causing the problem.

“I don’t know how to stop doing it,” I said to my husband, referring to the fact that I would subconsciously attribute the worst motive to him instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt and expecting that we were on the same side. “What should I do? My brain automatically makes you out to be the bad guy, and I don’t want to do that any more. Help me figure out what to do.”

We sat down, and he prayed with me. We asked God to break this pattern of negative interaction. Do you know what? From that day forward, I stopped doing it!

Most areas of sin in my life take years for me to overcome, but this one was resolved in an instant. I’m not sure if God just fixed the negative pattern in my brain through a miracle, or if realizing that I was twisting my husband’s words and hurting my marriage caused me to be aware of what I was doing. In any case, I praise God that this destructive pattern is gone from my marriage!

I talk about this a lot more in my free audio about how powerful praying with your spouse can be: How to Get Your Husband to Pray with You

How Does Your Identity Affect Marriage?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

identity-affect-marriageHow does your identity affect marriage? If you are a believer, you are a new creation in Christ. The core of your being desires to please God. First I’m going to address how understanding your identity in Christ causes you to derive your worth from Christ so that you’re not so needy with your husband.

In another article, I will show you how to not attribute wrong motives to your husband, because if he is a believer, his identity is to please God. This affects everything in your marriage. You will begin to see each other in a more positive light.

You must understand who you are in Christ so that you don’t think of yourself as inadequate. Most women view themselves this way. They compare their outer bodies to supermodels who have been airbrushed, and they resent that their own bodies don’t respond when they put in tons of workouts. I myself have given birth 4 times, and my stomach is not the same as it used to be. Just try to take care of your body as best you can, and your positive attitude can take care of the rest.

When you come to Christ, you are forgiven from all sin. You are clean, and God has taken your old nature and replaced it with a new nature. You are now a saint. God is transforming you into His image. You are becoming more and more beautiful inside.

Christ gives you worth. You were created for a purpose, and you can ask God how to fulfill your life purpose so that you can have more joy in your life. If you feel fulfilled in your life, even if you have a flabby stomach, you will still feel good about yourself because of the inward joy of living out what you are supposed to be doing with your life.

Don’t rely on your husband to build you up. If you hang your worth on what your husband says, you are setting yourself up for unnecessary pain. Men say things casually without realizing the emotional implication of their words. Like when I said, “Does this shirt make me look fat?” and my husband said that I’ve had four kids. Wrong answer. Bzzz… You struck out, mister. I could wallow in the pain of that statement, or I can derive my worth from the Lord, knowing that beauty comes from the inside, and that I’m exercising to stay in shape. My husband meant to say that he didn’t expect me to look the same as when I married him, and that of course I was beautiful to him. But he didn’t say it at the time because he felt trapped by the situation. Men don’t want to feel forced to say a certain thing. It feels disingenuous to them. Their minds move on to something else, and they have no idea that they’ve devastated their wives.

Don’t let that happen. Derive your complete worth from Christ. He loves you so much that He died for you. I have close friends that have been abused by their husbands physically, and they absolutely had to disconnect their worth from their husband’s mindless statements. This is not who you are. You are a daughter of the King.

Don’t allow your mind to dwell on negative things. Your mind has a doorway. Shut the door on anything that is not good, right, and true. (Philippians 4:8) Most of the time when we feel like a piece of dirt, it’s because we have allowed ourselves to wallow in our hormones, letting our minds drift into whatever. We spiral deeper and deeper into a negative state. You can stop that spiral at any time. Start breaking free from negative thought patterns and walk in the freedom of your identity in Christ! If you need help with controlling your mind, here is a free audio that will show you how to take every thought captive.

32 Date Night Ideas for Married Couples

Friday, February 14th, 2014

date-night-ideas-for-married-couples

If you’ve gotten into a rut with your husband and would like to refresh your marriage, why not have fun with these 32 Date Night Ideas for married couples:

  • stargazing
  • renting a boat or canoe on a river or lake
  • sitting outside in the moonlight
  • bicycle riding
  • horseback riding
  • going to a restaurant for dinner
  • watching a movie
  • walking along a lake shore or dock nearby
  • hiking in the woods
  • racing around in go-carts
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • swimming or hot tub
  • giving each other a massage
  • sky diving
  • white water rafting
  • shooting at a rifle range
  • taking photos of each other
  • going on a train ride
  • attending a concert outdoors
  • eating a murder mystery dinner
  • going to an art gallery
  • slow dancing to great music
  • floating in a hot air balloon
  • sledding down a hill
  • swinging on the swings of a nearby park
  • skiing on a mountain
  • going for a walk while it’s snowing
  • ice skating or roller skating
  • having a nurf gun fight
  • checking into a nearby motel
  • going to an arboretum
  • seeing what’s in the local paper (there’s sometimes free stuff to do)

If you would like to print out this list and use it like a bucket list, here it is:

 

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