Sunday, July 30, 2006

Simple Ways to Pray

pastor's wife, here's a resource article for personal or ministry use

Simple Ways to Pray
Written by Jewly Hight

In the book How to Listen to God, Charles Stanley writes, "Nothing is
more urgent, nothing is more necessary, nothing more rewarding than
hearing what God has to say." The key is finding the pause button in
our noisy lives so we can focus on those words from God.

Though 1 Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us to pray without ceasing, life's
pace exhorts us to cease praying and focus on everything else. How do
we turn our minds to God, who longs to draw us to Him? First we have
to be intentional about it. Here are a few simple ways you can pray
throughout the day:

1. Get alone. "Through spiritual discipline," Henry Nouwen wrote, "we
prevent the world from filling our lives to such an extent that there
is no place left to listen." Finding solitude is one discipline that
allows us to listen for God's voice. Jesus "often withdrew to deserted
places and prayed" (Luke 5:16). If Christ, who "was God" and "was with
God" (John 1:1) needed time alone to connect with the Father, you can
be sure that we do too.

If your home is a beehive of activity, snag quiet moments by waking up
earlier or staying up later than everyone else. Use alone time in the
car or shower to turn your thoughts to Him. Create silence by turning
off your radio, television, and cell phone.

2. Embrace simple prayer. When our minds are full of earthly details,
sometimes less is more. When you just don't have the words for a
lengthy prayer, embrace simplicity. Try praying the Lord's Prayer
(Luke 11:2-4), or pray the words of a Scripture verse that's central
to your situation. Worried? Focus on Jesus' words from John 14:27 —
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you" — and pray, "Jesus, I
receive Your peace" until the truth of it sinks in.

3. Use the news. The Psalms speak of God's heart for broken people.
Psalm 140:12 says, "I know that the Lord upholds the just cause of the
poor, justice for the needy." Read the newspaper or watch the news to
see which situations might tug at God's heart, and pray for the people
who are involved.

4. Skip a meal. Deuteronomy 8:3 says that "man does not live on bread
alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Why
not forgo lunch one day, and find a quiet place to pray and feed on
God's Word instead? Fasting helps us confess our desperate dependence
on God.

5. Do chores. Brother Lawrence is famed for practicing the presence of
God, learned while cleaning pots and pans for a monastery in the
1600s. He trained his mind on God while going about his kitchen
chores, addressing all his thoughts to God, doing work to please Him.
Eventually, he found it's possible to "think often on God, by day, and
by night, in your business, and even in your diversions." Practice
keeping your thoughts on things above as you clean and do yard work

6. Get visual. Focus on God's presence by placing visual reminders in
your home, office, or car. Write a concern, praise, an attribute of
God, or the name of someone who needs prayer on a sticky note; then
put it on your fridge, dashboard, computer, or bathroom mirror to
trigger your thoughts to seek Him.

7. Open your address book. "When I sit down to pray, I can get
distracted by other things I feel like I should be doing, like calling
to check in on people and sending e-mails," says Kim Thomas, author of
Simplicity and Even God Rested. "I've got to learn to turn those into
quotidian offerings. They're an everyday part of my life, and they
should become a part of my prayers."

When people come to mind while you're praying, intercede for them. Or
open your address book and pray for those people you haven't seen or
spoken to in a while.

8. Carry a journal. Find a small journal you can take with you. When
you find yourself waiting — in the pickup line at your child's school,
at the doctor's office, or while waiting for a delayed flight — pull
out the journal, and write your prayers to God. Make them
conversational, and record what you hear God saying to you.

9. Turn frustrations into prayer. Unexpected events will inevitably
challenge your resolve to keep an attitude of prayer. Voice your
frustrations to God rather than harboring anger or calling someone to
complain. By turning to prayer, you'll gain God's perspective on
things and be reminded of what's important.

"When things don't go according to plan, I get exasperated, but the
Holy Spirit lets me know that there are divine delays that don't look
like they're divine," says Leza Krzywicki, a wife and working mom
living in Titusville, Fla. "I can surrender my day back to God and ask
Him to orchestrate it."

Jewly Hight is a writer and musician living in Nashville, Tenn., with
her husband, Bob. Together, they're looking for ways to simplify and
pray throughout their days.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Avoiding Dangerous Distractions

pastor's wife, a resource article on marriage by JB and Shugie Collingsworth

In every marriage, at all times, in all seasons of life, it is important to keep your relationship top priority. It is easy at times and harder at other times, but you must commit that your spouse is the most important human being in the world to you. And you have to follow up that commitment with choices supporting your decision, when you feel like it and when you don't!

Be forewarned – Satan does not want your marriage to succeed and he will bait your life with many temptations and distractions to bring havoc to your marriage relationship. God knows this and that is why His Word is filled with warnings and instructions for keeping your marriage safe and strong.

Below are five distractions that may damage your marriage. While some may seem harmless, be assured that the potential exists for any of these to create divisions and pull a couple apart. For example, when something makes you angry with your spouse, you both become vulnerable. God's Word instructs and warns us, "Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, and don't give the devil an opportunity." (Ephesians 4:26-27, HCSB)
I pray God will show you which of these you may need to work on so that your marriage has the best chance of survival and godly success.

Dangerous Distractions

1. Children - Children are a blessing, but it is easy to put the children and their needs and demands ahead of your marriage relationship. It is imperative that you preserve time for the two of you and keep your marriage #1.

2. Work – Your work may be overwhelming at times. You may feel pressure to keep up or to climb the ladder of success in your career. If you both work, there are more challenges and roller coasters of good and bad times at work that impact your personal life. As a couple, you must decide that your work will not jump in front of your commitment to each other. You may need to set up accountability and boundaries to keep things in perspective. When you are not at work or are on family vacation you can choose to refuse business calls and e-mails. It is possible to give adequate commitment to work while still maintaining your marriage as a higher priority.

3. Individual hobbies – Many couples have different interests and you will do some things by yourself or with friends who enjoy the same things. However, it is important that you intentionally choose to do some mutually enjoyable activities together. Too much social time apart is potentially dangerous. Be creative and find some old or new hobbies you can enjoy together!

4. Friends – Hanging out with one or more of your own friends is good, but at times these relationships can become a distraction. Your friends must not take priority over your marriage! Watch out especially for easy friendships with someone of the opposite sex. Guard your heart and your marriage. Treat your spouse like your best friend and you will probably be reminded that he or she really is your best friend!

5. Activities - Too many activities is a killer of marriages. You have so many choices and opportunities. It is easy to over-commit and then suffer the consequences. Discuss this subject and come up with a plan for protecting your couple time and family time. Guard your calendar. Set dates and getaways as a couple and decline other things that might override your commitment to each other. It is easier to be considerate of each other and support one another when commitments are accepted or declined together.

These are just a few possible distractions. In our next newsletter, we will address five more. Keep in mind that Satan does not want your marriage to flourish, but God's Word says, "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate." (Matthew 19:6, HCSB)

"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil." (Ephesians 6:10-11, HCSB)
J.B. and Shugie

The Collingsworths travel around the country, coaching churches and couples on how to build strong marriages. Their ministry is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. If you are interested in having them speak at your church, contact them at 1(800)404-MAFM (6361).

Seminar: How To Be Joyful No Matter What

hi pastor's wife, thought i'd share these treasures i've gathered from a women's seminar held here

How to Be Joyful No Matter What
Kay Warren
July 27, 200
6GCF,Ortigas, Philippines

.a. an unshakeable assurance or total confidence that God is in contral in every detail of our lives.
b. a determined purpose to praise Him no matter what.
c. has to do with the choices we make and not with the circumstances we are in
d. not related to what happens in our lives

5 Ways to Choose Joy as a daily basis
1. See the humor in life.
Laugh at the absurdities of life. Life is hard and God has given us funny situations to help us cope.

2. Practice gratitude.
a. We're often blind to the goodness of God in our lives:comparing ourselves with others, thinking God favors somebody else more than us, that He is shows more goodness of His with others...

b. Have 'stones of remembrance' (altar of remembrance) of God's faithfulness.

3. Become a giver.( give of yourself in every situation)
Gal 6:10
a. Don't wait till you have time or resources before you become a giver."out of their deep poverty, they gave...."
b. When u withhold yourself from others, you withhold God from them.
I'm just busy. ?

4. Live IN the moment. (not live for the moment)
a. Understand that every moment that comes your way is a God-given moment, and have joy in that.
b. Experience joy in the moment.
c. Don't wait for perfection before u experience joy and before u "love this moment". Don't wait for your marriage, your work, ministry, family, situation to be perfect before you experience joy.
d. Sometimes, moments are all we have.

5. Find the "blessing" in the mess.Phil 4:8a.
Life is like a multiple tracks that run parallel together, where the good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow, exist and run together .
b. God can ressurect a dead marriage.
c. Become someone who trusts God through the tears.

Choose Joy...
IN THE MIDDLE OF (some circumstances may never seem to change)EVEN IF

He who sees the end from the beginning, knows what He is doing."

Joy and Peace: not a denial of the circumstances I am in but a confident acceptance of them.

Forgiveness is precursor to joy.

Lesosns from the unforgiving servant in Matthew
a. We love a result we hurt others.

b. God is the only person who can love you to ALL YOUR INMOST BEING

c. He loved me to the deepeest level of who I am!

d. God sees u at your deepest level and has forgiven you. That should allow you to respond to others in the same way.

e. The unforgiving becomes the unforgiven....The quality of forgiveness I exhibit to others is the same quality I will get.
Matthew: forgive to be forgivenJames: show mercy to get mercy

f. Unforgiveness is like a bed sore that eats its way through flesh and bones.

g. stories you rehearse and retell are sign of unforgiveness
"God is always faithful"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What Does Love Mean

What Does Love Mean?
Author Unknown

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year olds, "What does love mean?" The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

1. "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got 14.arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca - age 8

2. When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth." Billy - age 4

3.Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other. Karl - age 5

4."Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." Chrissy - age 6

5."Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." Terri - age 4

6.Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." Danny - age 7

7."Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing,you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss" Emily - age 8

8."Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen," Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

9.If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka, age 6

10."There are two kinds of love. Our love. God's love. But God makes both kinds of them." Jenny - age 8

11."Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle - age 7

12."Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." Tommy - age 6

13. "During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore,"
Cindy - age 8

14."My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

15."Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." Elaine-age 5

16."Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." Chris - age 7

17."Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." Mary Ann - age 4

18."I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." Lauren - age 4

19."When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
Karen - age 7

20."Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." Mark - age 6

21.You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget," Jessica - age 8

22.And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

15 Things God Won't Ask

15 things God Won't Ask
Written by: Unknown
Source: CCN

God won't ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people you drove who didn't have transportation.

God won't ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your house.

God won't ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.

God won't ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed.

God won't ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.

God won't ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.

God won't ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.

God won't ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others.

God won't ask what your job title was, but will ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

God won't ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others.

God won't ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.

God won't ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.

God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won't ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.

And God won't ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn't

Saturday, July 01, 2006

NEWS: Religious Switching in America Today

[Religion Trends]
A Look at Religious Switching in America Today
The Gallup Poll, USA
June 23, 2006
Frank Newport

Princeton, USA - Seventy-two percent of Americans claim to have maintained the same religious preference during their entire lifetime. Fifteen percent say they have changed from one religious preference to another. Ten percent say they had moved away from religion altogether. These data were obtained in response to the following question asked in a recent June 9-11 Gallup Poll:

Which of the following best describes you:

Always the same religious preference - 72%
Switched from one religious preference to another - 15%
Moved away from any religion whatsoever - 10%
No opinion - 3%


You disagreed with the teachings of your original religion
Major reason - 40%
Minor reason - 24%
Not a reason at all - 34%
DOESN'T APPLY (vol.) - 2%
No opinion - 1%

You found a new religion that is more fulfilling
Major reason - 38%
Minor reason - 14%
Not a reason at all - 46%
DOESN'T APPLY (vol.) - 1%
No opinion - 1%

You grew dissatisfied with your local church and as a result changed religions
Major reason - 26%
Minor reason - 18%
Not a reason at all - 52%
DOESN'T APPLY (vol.) - 4%
No opinion - 1%

You disliked the fact that the leaders were struggling with each other to control the direction of your religion
Major reason - 25%
Minor reason - 18%
Not a reason at all - 54%
DOESN'T APPLY (vol.) - 2%
No opinion - 1%

You married someone from another religion
Major reason - 12%
Minor reason - 10%
Not a reason at all - 74%
DOESN'T APPLY (vol.) - 3%
No opinion - --

You moved and could not find a church of your religion that you liked
Major reason - 9%
Minor reason - 14%
Not a reason at all - 75%
DOESN'T APPLY (vol.) - 2%
No opinion - *

(vol.) Volunteered Response
* Less than 0.5%

Previous research has suggested that individuals sometimes switch religions for quite practical reasons: marriage to a spouse of a different faith, the desire to worship with individuals of one's social class after undergoing upward social mobility, and moving to an area in which there are no churches of one's original faith.

These data, however, suggest that religious switchers are most likely to do so because of a disconnect between their beliefs and goals and what their former religion was teaching or providing. At the top of the list of reasons for switching are the statements "You disagreed with the teachings of your original religion" and "You found a new religion that is more fulfilling." Of those who changed religions, 40% and 38% respectively cited these as major reasons for their switch. Switchers are much less likely to agree that the practical reasons of moving and marriage were reasons for the change.

Although the sample sizes involved are small, it is instructive to look at the importance of these reasons for leaving one's religious preference among those who have switched from one religion to another and those who switched away from religion altogether:

Reasons for Religious Switching

You disagreed with the teachings of your original religion
Those Who Switched From One Religion to Another - 37%
Those Who Switched Away From Religion Altogether - 44%

You found a new religion that is more fulfilling
Those Who Switched From One Religion to Another - 63%
Those Who Switched Away From Religion Altogether - 2%

You grew dissatisfied with your local church and as a result changed religions
Those Who Switched From One Religion to Another - 31%
Those Who Switched Away From Religion Altogether - 18%

You disliked the fact that the leaders were struggling with each other to control the direction of your religion
Those Who Switched From One Religion to Another - 23%
Those Who Switched Away From Religion Altogether - 29%

You married someone from another religion
Those Who Switched From One Religion to Another - 20%
Those Who Switched Away From Religion Altogether - 1%

You moved and could not find a church of your religion that you liked
Those Who Switched From One Religion to Another - 12%
Those Who Switched Away From Religion Altogether - 4%

These data show the same basic pattern discussed earlier. Those who switched from one religion to another are by far most likely to agree that having found a "new religion that is more fulfilling" is of major importance as a reason why they switched. That's followed by disagreement with the teachings of the original religion, and dissatisfaction with one's local church. The practical reasons of moving and marriage are still at the bottom of the list among these inter-religious switchers.

Not surprisingly, those who switched away from religion altogether are most likely to agree that a disagreement with the teachings of the original religion was of major importance as a reason behind this switch.

News reports are full of stories of squabbles within religions and Protestant denominations over various doctrinal issues (e.g., the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, Southern Baptists). Of some interest is the fact that those who switched out of religion altogether are as likely to cite these types of internecine fights as a reason of major importance than are those who switched between religions, and that at least one out of five of those in both groups say leader disagreement has major importance. This suggests that struggles among church leaders in many religions today could be having a harmful effect on the viability of the religious group.

There is an interesting correlation between church attendance and inter-religious switching.

Twenty-one percent of those who currently report attending church on a weekly basis say that they have shifted religious preference at some point in their lifetime, compared to 11% of those who seldom or never attend.

It is impossible to determine causality here. It may be that less-active church members become more active once they have switched and found a more compatible church. It is also likely that active church members are those most likely to take the time and effort to explore the possibility of switching to a new religion if they do not find their current religion to be fulfilling. At any rate, this correlation suggests that active, involved church members may also be the most mobile. This is not surprising, but could stand as a wake-up call for church leaders.

Some differences exist by age in those who report having switched out of religion altogether.

The percentages decrease from 19% of those aged 18 to 29 to just 6% of those aged 65 and older.

Of course, we do not know what has happened during the course of these individuals' lives. In other words, older Americans may have shifted out of religion when they were young, and then back into a religious identity at a subsequent point in their lives. This "drop out in college and return to religion when the kids are born" pattern is the conventional wisdom about lifestyle changes in religiosity, but cannot be verified with these data. We can simply confirm the fact that young people are the least likely to claim a religious preference (based on data reviewed elsewhere), and are also the most likely to say they have shifted away from religion altogether. Of great concern to church leaders, of course, is the question of whether or not these young people will come back to religion as they age and as their life and familial circumstances change.

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,002 adults, 18 years and older, conducted June 9-11, 2006. For results based on these samples, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

4 New Expectations for Mentors

pastor's wife, we found this resource article on MENTORING...

Rebekah Montgomery, Editor

Mentors are important to everyone, but especially to women. In Titus 2, Paul tells women to mentor one another.

Right to the Heart of Women editor Rebekah Montgomery gives us 4 New Expectations for Mentors.
When I entered the ministry, I thought I knew it all - until I grew up a little. Then I was desperate for another woman who could show me the ropes so I wouldn't accidentally hang myself.

I needed a mentor. Actually, what I discovered was that I needed several mentors in different areas.

I still do. But experience has taught me to have new expectations of ministry mentors.

Old Expectation:
My mentors and I should have a lot - gifts, callings, goals, doctrines, experiences, etc. - in common.
New Expectation:

Mentors can be mismatches.

Women tend to be comfortable with other women with which they have a lot in common. But that doesn't leave much room for challenge or personnel growth. And it limits ministry potential. If a certain Carpenter hadn't reached out to include fishermen, a tax collector, and a political extremist in His sphere of influence, where would we all be? We should do the same.

Old Expectation: I look for my mentor higher-up on the "food chain."
New Expectation: A good mentor is anyone I can learn from.

A prominent writer/speaker related how a wannabe followed her around at an event with puppy dog eyes wanting to be mentored. "She didn't seem to care that I was in the middle of a family crisis. She wanted only to tell me about herself and her ministry. She saw me only as a stepping stone instead of a friend."

There are literally millions of Godly anointed women the world over. Be open to learn what you can from every one God puts in your path. But be sensitive. It's more important to build relationships than to build your ministry.

Old Expectation: Mentors pick their protégés.
New Expectation: Protégés pick their mentors.

Women often ask me how I became involved with Right to the Heart ministries. Initially, it was recommended to me by Gene Kent, husband of Carol Kent. Believe me: I studied the ministry and Linda Evans Shepherd very carefully. Then I volunteered to help.

I suggest that you do the same if you are seeking a ministry mentor. Study the ministry and its leaders. Ask questions. If you have something to contribute, volunteer. Don't expect to be paid. Come to serve.

Old Expectation: You're a mentor or a "mentee".
New Expectation: Everyone needs mentors.

Be quick to learn. Women can be very judgmental of one another, slicing and dicing another woman down to size. Learn from the woman whose ministry God is blessing rather than harbor jealousy or speak against it.

And be quick to be a shoulder others can lean on. You'll learn a lot. You give as much as you get when you are a mentor to others.

Rebekah Montgomery is the editor of Right to the Heart of Women e-zine, a publisher at Jubilant Press, and the author of numerous books on spiritual growth. She can be contacted for comments or speaking engagements at

The Effects Of Complacency in Marriage

pastor's wife, a resource article on marriage

Written by JB & Shugie Collingsworth

Early marriage bliss! Nothing could compare to it, and nothing could change how you felt. The warmth of a smile, a touch, or a short embrace would leave you feeling as if you had just flown…without a plane! You would look at him or her with awe and wonder how you could be so fortunate. Life was good!

What happens many times to that wonder and awe when we marry? What is it that can lead to the disintegration of marriage? Volumes of books could be written and there would not be enough paper to underscore all the problems couples face. Galatians 6:9 encourages us to “not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up.” (HCSB) That verse probably should be etched on the hearts of every married couple who faces trials.

Five Ways to Combat Complacency
1. Prevent Minor Problems from Becoming Major Ones
Problems start snowballing unless we do something to stop them. I remember the call. It was from a newlywed couple—struggling with new issues, things that didn’t crop up before marriage. The husband said, “J.B. we want to get some minor things we see cropping up resolved before they turn into bigger issues—nothing major is going on, just minor things, but we need help.” Wow! I call that maximum efficiency—preventing minor problems from becoming major ones.
Why is it that many people settle for minimum efficiency marriages? God wants us to follow His plan, and often we choose the one of least resistance. Why? Because there are things that need to be changed that aren’t being changed, and things that need to take place that aren’t taking place.

2. Change Your Attitude
Ask your spouse, children, or even co-workers, “How is my attitude these days?” They will tell you the truth. If we are honest, we all struggle with this issue from time to time. I have always told my children,”The one thing I will not put up with is a bad attitude.” But if we struggle with negativity and ill will, unresolved hurts become bigger and bigger each day.

3. Get Motivated
Motivation plays a huge part in our lives. We must have a desire for things to get better. Have you ever given a woman a book and said, “This will really help you?” She will usually devour that book in no time. Give the average man a book and say that same thing, and many times it will sit and gather dust. Why is this? Some people are more motivated by change than others. I am not a “rut person,” I don’t even like driving the same way to work each day.

4. Be Willing to Do What it Takes
“Oh, I want to change and do better—I promise.” So many individuals struggle with this issue. One spouse wants one thing and the other spouse another. It is so important that we do what the other spouse needs us to do in order to be servants to one another. We are not to put one person over the other, but in loving-kindness we are to care for one another. When change needs to take place we must be mature enough to do what it takes.

5. Use Word Pictures to Communicate
I was talking to a man one time who just could not grasp what I was telling him he needed to do for his wife. He was clueless! Finally, to communicate that he was taking his wife for granted, I used a golf illustration. Being a golfer, he got it!

I simply said, “Pretend someone gave you some great clubs—your dream set. You took such good care of them when you got them, always cleaning them and the bag after each round. One day you stopped doing that each time you played. One night, you even left them outside in the rain. You began leaving them in the trunk of your car. Then one day you couldn’t find them only to remember you let someone borrow them and they broke your driver..."

The same is true of marriage…we may nurture it in the beginning but unless we cultivate it all along the way it will never be all God intended for it to be.

JB & Shugie Collingsworth travel around the country, coaching churches and couples on how to build strong marriages. Their ministry is based in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.