A praying couple is as staying couple. This saying or other similar sayings have been said for many years. I think it is the one piece of advice that I have heard most often, but it is one piece of advice that I think I have followed the least. My husband and I don’t often pray together. While that is something I am not proud of, it is also a habit that I often have no idea how to start. This week we are going to look at whether or not this piece of advice is biblical in origin.
While there aren’t many verses that specifically speak of a praying couple, we can conclude from some verses regarding prayer and verses regarding marriage that this concept makes sense. Matthew 19: 4-6 says,
Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Then we have hundreds, maybe even thousands of verses like Psalm 145:18 which says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”, or verses like Luke 18:1 which says, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” The parable from Luke 18 is in regard to a woman seeking justice and protection from her adversary. This parable is not specifically about marriage, however, I can see some great parallels as marriage seems to face some pretty difficult adversaries. Luke 18:7-8 then goes on to say, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? We are also told, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20.
From this mix mash of verse we can determine that man and woman are joined together by God, that God will bring justice against our adversaries if we are persistent in asking him, and that when two or more are gathered in His name, He will be there. For these reasons it is obvious to me that prayer would be a life giving tool of marriage.
Join us next week as we dig deeper into the concept and application of a prayerful couple.
Make me Empty is a topic that was hard for me to really grasp. I related so easily to make me lonely and make me broken, but what does make me empty really mean? As I thought on and prayed about this subject over the past month God gave me some wisdom to share.
To be emptied out of our own will does not always mean that we are filled with “bad” things. While yes, many of us may be struggling with the idols of this world such as too much media, money or financial gain, alcohol or drug dependency, too often we overlook the less obvious ways in which our lives are filled to the brim. Maybe we are "yes women"... you know, the women who say "yes" to everything. "Yes, I will run MOPS." "Yes, I will go on a short-term missions trip this year." "Yes, I will serve in nursery every single Sunday for the next year." "Yes, I will watch your children." "Yes, I will make a meal for the family who just had a baby." "yes, yes, yes."
While none of those things are bad-- and in fact they are very good ministries to be involved in-- they can only be good things in our personal lives if they are the areas that God is calling us to. God has so many blessings that He wants to pour over our lives. He has so many opportunities waiting for us and our testimony; opportunities that only we can fill. How are we going to fill them though, if we never give God the opportunity to work by constantly filling up our lives, our time, and hearts with the things that we have willed for ourselves?
Let’s face the facts, we "yes women" tend to say "yes" because we like the appreciation that we receive from completing so many tasks, we don’t want to be outdone by the next woman, or our pride gets in the way. We need to learn to say "no" to our selfish reasoning in ministry and start saying "yes" to the tasks that God designed us specifically for.
"Let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't." (Romans 12:2-3, MSG).
So this week, we are actually going to skip ahead to Make Me Lonely. This is in light of the impending doom of Friday. Yes ladies, that day has arrived again, Valentine's Day. This post is for all of you. For married women, engaged women, dating women, single women, recently broken up women. This is a must read!
Valentine's Day tends to be filled with high expectations and painful disappointments. Those who have no one to spend the day with often feel out of place, lonely, unloved, or unsatisfied (just to name a few). Those who are in a relationship often feel unloved, under-appreciated, unsatisfied, disappointed, or lonely (just to name another few).
Valentine's Day is a day when our God-given desires meet worldly capabilities. God created us, as women, to have some pretty unique desires. We were made in His image and we have some amazing attributes. Men were created with the other half of God’s heart. In this way, our relationships with them are often filled with the many blessings that God intended them to be filled with. However, men, just like women, are imperfect beings. They don’t always satisfy the very God-given desires of our heart and, honestly, I believe that there are times when God allows and even desires for us to experience these times of dissatisfaction.
While God gave man to woman and woman to man, He created this relationship to further our understanding of Jesus’s relationship with the church. His desire is not that we will seek satisfaction from our earthly relationships, but from our heavenly one. John 4:14 “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Isaiah 58:11 “And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
I love the above verses, but the one that struck me the most in my research for this section was Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Our God desires that we delight our selves in Him so that He can give us the desires of our heart. The love, satisfaction, appreciation, closeness, and belonging that our delicate and intricately-woven hearts desire can only be filled by The One who fully, truly, perfectly complements our heart with His own.
So ladies, as we go into Valentine's Day tomorrow, give the men in your life a break. More than that, give them grace. The very same grace that God gives us every time He offers up a new season of loneliness that we might seek Him out for our satisfaction. Make a commitment to see your desires and even your disappointments as what they truly are; a reminder that we desire to be His and that He can fulfill all of our desires.
Father God, thank You for Your never ending pursuit of us. Thank You for Your desire to make us whole. Thank You for times of loneliness that allow us to become fully Yours. Help us to keep this lesson present in our minds as we enter the temptations of worldly satisfactions tomorrow. In Your loving name Jesus, Amen.
I love the song Keep Making Me by Sidewalk Prophets. It is one of those songs that you better be careful singing out loud as its words are exactly as the group name implies, prophetic. Songs like this should come with a warning, “Do not participate in the singing of this song unless you are prepared for it to take effect in your life.”
The message can be broken into three parts: 1)Make me Broken So I can be Healed. 2)Make me Empty So I can be Filled. 3)Make me Lonely So I can be Yours. Let’s start with the first, Make me Broken. Having your will broken is never a fun event, but sometimes we get so caught up in what we think is right that we leave God no other choice. A great example of this is Paul. He was a well versed religious leader of his day, but he was pursuing God his way, not God’s way. Then one day on the road to Damascus, God literally broke Paul. Acts 25:13-14 (NKJV) “At mid day, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
As you may know, Paul was blinded by this event. God took Paul from spiritual blindness and brokenness to physical blindness and brokenness, and I for one am so thankful that He did. Paul was a large cornerstone of the modern day Christian church. Without Paul being broken and then healed and restored by God to eternal life where would we be and where would Paul be?
Being broken isn’t comfortable, but for those who long to know God’s healing, it is desirable. Are you ready to ask God for brokenness? Are you ready to experience his healing?
Father God, We ask You to keep making us Lord. We ask that You break our fleshly wills Lord that we might know Your eternal healing. We desire to have a Paul experience that brings us closer to Christ-like lives Lord. Lord, make me broken.