Sep 4, 2014

What's coming out of my mouth?

September Reading Plan: Psalm 31-60
September Memory Verse: Psalm 34:1
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I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.
 I will boast only in the Lord;
    let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:1-3

The verse above hit my beating heart in a very real way this morning. 

I desire to live this way, truly I do. I want my mouth to continually praise the Lord. My lips to speak His praises all the day long. 

However, I fall short. Constantly. 

Stress, life, demands, worry, anxiety. These can easily distract my heart and keep it far away from a praising mouth. 

I desire more today, though. I desire to live this verse out. 

However, I also want to live this verse out in my marriage. 

Here's why this verse hit me hard today....

When I insert my husband's name into this verse, I get a big dose of conviction.

Listen to this: I will praise [Lem] at all times. I will constantly speak [Lem's] praises. I will boast only in [Lem]. 

Obviously, I am in no way taking the Lord out of this verse. I am just showing you what this can look like in our marriages.

Imagine how our marriages would change if we praised instead of criticized. If we built our husband's up, instead of tearing them down. If instead we boasted about our very own husband's instead of a friend's godly and seemingly perfect fella. 

Girls, we can have this kind of mouth. We can sing our men's praises instead of singing their faults. 

It is possible. 

Prayer is the only sure way this is possible. 

Prayer changes us. Which in turn, changes everything, including our marriages.

Pray for your man when you are cleaning his dirty dishes. 
Pray for your man when you see yet another pair of his shoes in the middle of the floor. 
Pray for your man when you have to put the lid down on the toilet--again. 
Pray for your man each time you fold a piece of his laundry. 
Pray for your man as you prepare his dinner. 

When we desire the best for our men, instead of pointing out their worst, the walls around our hearts begin to crumble. 

I used to get so mad at my husband when he would find yet another hobby to entertain. I soon nicknamed him the "Hobby Man". 

Golf, dirt bikes, paintball [yes, for real], camping, hiking, basketball...the list goes on. A new year, a new hobby.

For so many years I would boil inside because I hated when he would be away from us as he enjoyed his hobbies. However, one day the Lord changed my heart with this verse:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I was not patient, or kind. I was envious of his hobbies. I kept record of his wrongs---his time away from us and would gladly show him when I was at my breaking point. 

When God opened my heart to the conditional way I was showing Lem love, I was devastated. I begged God to help me love Lem. I begged God to help me to love Lem in a way that was honoring to the Lord, and not self-seeking.

The Lord taught me in the sweetest most gentle way. He showed me how happy Lem was when planning one of his trips or hobbies. He showed me the light in Lem's eyes as he came home from one of his excursions. The joy, the laughter, the ease that would be all over Lem's face.

Love cannot be based on guilt or based on my demands. Love can only be rooted in Christ and in prayer.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God." 1 John 4:7

The older Lem and I get, the more I desire joy for Lem. I desire Lem to enjoy activities, and things that he is interested in. I love this man! Why would I not want him to have joy?

Prayer has changed the way I love Lem. It's not about what I can get from him anymore [which it was for many years!], it's about what I can give to him. What can I do to love him more?

The irony is that when we try to love selflessly, as Christ would have us to love, we end up having more JOY too! It's crazy, but true. 

Prayer marks the beginning of being able to sing "praises" from our lips for our husband's. Prayer is the beginning of our mouths "boasting" about our beloved men. When our hearts change through prayer, our words will soon follow .

Our men don't have to "deserve" it for us to pray for them.

 "love covers all offenses" Proverbs 10:12

Ready to pray for that man of yours?

singing my man's praises,


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