No Record of Wrongs

To set up this story, my husband’s driving tends to make me crazy, even his parking.

One morning, on our way to church no less, we stopped at the grocery store for a coffee. I was already stirred up due to his driving habits to get there. He parked, got out and walked into the store. I, of course, noted his crazy crooked parking. Not all the way into the space, across the lines and sticking out into the drive way. Side note, there was almost no one in the parking lot and it did not impact anyone but me. I promptly pulled my phone out and prepared to take pictures for evidence of his “poor driving and parking habits”. I am thinking, I could show him his error, or show people to get sympathy and ammunition to use against him.

But God, quickly put the kabosh on my plans. The Holy Spirit dropped a reminder into me, “Love does not keep records of wrongs”.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, well known love passages, starting at verse 5 “it (love) does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…”

I was preparing to keep a lot of records of his wrongs. Wow, where was my heart? Would I be showing God’s love? Not just no, but …. NO!! I put my phone back into my purse.

His driving and parking referred to in this story was not unsafe. It was that he does not do it the way I would, his motivations for how he drives are different than mine, as a man and a woman we think differently. Me being irritated is ultimately my issue. I was judging him not loving him.

Now understand there are times it is necessary to document when there are true safety issues or abuse. We must be very aware of our hearts motivations in these circumstances.

Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.”

Sometimes we feel we have been wronged by our spouse and maybe they sought forgiveness or maybe they did not but we granted forgiveness. But did we really if are we keeping the records to add up or to pull out and throw at them when we are angry.

Try this fun exercise. Read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. I recommend New International Version, The Amplified Bible or the The Passion Translation or the like. Put your name in the place of love or it. For example; Julie is patient, Julie is kind, Julie does not boast and so on. Because we strive to be more like Christ, to exhibit the Love of God, This is helpful to periodically evaluate where we are and remind us what love should be like in our life. It is about our heart.

Reminder, we are all human and have failings, we are not to condemn ourselves but to recognize, confess, allow God to make the changes and move forward.

“Today is a new day, we can learn from yesterday, change our thoughts, words and actions today that we may look forward to tomorrow.” Julie Wolfe

Let Them See You

It is really easy to go along in our day not thinking about how our attitude, words and actions effect those around us.

What do they see when they look at us and see us in action?

I hear music frequently throughout my day at work and today I walked into another department playing a popular national Christian music station. Mind you I work in a secular health care facility. On the radio a song by JJ Weeks was playing…. Let Them See You.

Please make the opportunity to find it and listen.

I stopped and sang along quietly. As I sang and listened to the words my heart broke. I asked myself, in my actions and words today, are people able to see God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit in me? Was I walking in the Love of God or was I grumbling? Was I blessing or was I cursing? Was I seeing the good or only the bad? I cried in the elevator on my way back to my own department.

We need to stop and evaluate ourselves, our thoughts, words and actions. At work or at home is God visible in our lives or are we walking by the world’s standards. Are we pointing people toward God or away from Him, especially those who are closest to us, our families?

My prayer: “Let them see You in me…”

Daddy’s Little Girl

All children need a daddy or solid father figure. Daddies with daughters have a special responsibility.

I was talking with a friend at work recently about the importance of both parents in a family. She made a statement to the young dad in the room, how she said it, was so profound I asked her if I could post her comment.

She said, “As a Daddy you need to dance with your daughter, tell her she is beautiful, treat her like a princess because she will one day drag home a boy just like you.” Wow…. This is a truth that too often dads don’t understand in their own youth and ignorance regarding their daughters.

Because girls, as they grow up, need to know what qualities to look for in a man and in turn what to avoid. Be the example that they see and experience, so they can recognize the good and right for themselves as adults. This not only applies to girls but to our young men. They need to know how to treat a woman, how to be a gentleman, and find a woman that will allow them to be a gentleman.

Manners, etiquette and respectfulness is something that our culture is convincing our young people is outdated, passé and unnecessary. Wow is all I can say to that.

We want our children to have strong and safe relationships. They need to know what that looks like. The example we set in their childhood will make a deeper impact than anything we tell them later. Now we also need to understand that we can only do what we can do. As adults, it is up to our children to make good decisions using the training and wisdom they got as a child.

Don’t Get Distracted

Good Morning Friends,

We hope all had a magnificent Independence Day, enjoying good company and stayed safe.

We also want to take a moment to thank ALL who have given of themselves that we all may enjoy the freedoms we have today. Also honor to those who fight and have fought to restore and or maintain our Christian heritage in this country.

The enemy, would have us be distracted. Anger, bitterness and apathy makes it easier that as the thief, to kill, steal, destroy and divide to conquer families, communities and country. After all, by the Spirit, the family is where we should learn and practice love, joy, peace, patience and perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I was listening to a song on the radio this morning, “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. The truth in the words are like a knife to those who dare to listen. “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little feet where you go”… How do we protect our children, ourselves and our communities and country from the evil that deceives us and slowly steals our innocence, peace and joy?

Too often our families suffer with generations of dysfunction to the point we don’t know what we don’t know. When will we put our foot down and scream out “WE MUST STOP THIS INSANITY”, and call out to God? We must make a conscience decision to stop the dysfunction and remove ourselves if others insist on continuing. The lies and deceptions of the enemy have us convinced that life will cease if we stand up for right. “It might hurt someone’s feelings” or “we don’t have any other place to go” and so forth.

I will speak for myself, Juliah, I grew up a people pleaser. It would paralyze me to think that I hurt someone’s feelings and that they would not like me anymore. Even way into my adulthood, I was more worried about what people thought about me or even more my husband, than what God thought of us. I thought I was peacekeeping, but it was and is pathologic passivity. I still occasionally experience the terror of what someone else will think… It takes faith, that God has our back, prayer that we acknowledge our weaknesses and need God, and practice taking action to get beyond ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, doing or saying something with the intention of offending or injuring is wrong. What are your motivations for the things you think or do? Faith or fear, love or bitterness, selflessness or selfishness or, God forbid, revenge? Something we need to evaluate constantly.

1 Corinthians 13:3 “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (NIV)

All things are to be truth in love. It is ultimately up to the other person to decide to be offended or not. We cannot control what others think… We always do our part in love with right motivation and God will honor it. Starting with our families and working our way out… Our families deserve our best…

Our Spouse is a Precious Gift from God…

Each Day is a New Day… 

“We have the opportunity to learn from yesterday and renew our minds, actions and words today that we may look forward to tomorrow.” Juliah Wolfe

A definition of precious, according to dictionary.com, is as follows “of high price or great value”.

How do you take care of a precious gift from the best father ever? Do you honor it, care for it, keeping it in a special place?

Or do you set aside and forget about it? Maybe disrespect or speak harshly to it? You could be taking a chance of losing it.

Let me tell you a short story.

Many years ago when my youngest son was about 14. He built, with his own hands, a small Knick knack shelf, out of scrap wood and nails from the garage. He decorated with paper and labelled the shelves, one with Mom and one for Dad. With an ink pen, he also wrote on it, “You two will always be loved.” Now in anyone else’s eyes it might not be beautiful, scrap wood and paper. But being very special to us. I put that shelf in a special place, out where everyone could see it. Over the years, it worked its way to the laundry room window sill. This place was not particularly special. Eventually, it was hidden. Mind you this was years later. One day, I thought about that shelf, but did not know where it went. I scoured the house. After days of searching, I found it, behind the water heater in the laundry room, covered in dust bunnies and spiderwebs.

God showed me how something so special to me could get lost over time, unintentionally, but lost just the same. He related it to marriage and how we could lose something so precious to us, something that God had given to us because we did not take care of it, or had let it become devalued in our heart. Your spouse may not be beautiful to someone else but is still a precious gift to you. Given to you by God, to care for, to work and grow with, till death do you part.

In John 14:16-21, Jesus was speaking to His disciples, to comfort them before his crucifixion.  “…I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The Spirit of truth….” continuing on in verse 19 “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (NIV)

If you are in Christ and Christ is in you and Christ is in your spouse, what you do to your spouse, you are doing to Christ….

I don’t like to think that when I speak harshly to my husband, ultimately I am speaking harshly to God. God gently corrects me by asking “just who are you rebelling against now?” When I pay attention and listen, the Holy Spirit redirects my thoughts, words and actions. I don’t know about you… I find that arguing with God, trying to justify myself, is not very productive.

Sometimes it is easy, in our anger or bitterness or just plain apathy, to forget that our spouse is a precious gift from God. As we stay close to God, we will be able to take note of our Father gently reminding us to care for our spouse and love them unconditionally, as God has first loved us.