Hello and thanks for stopping by my blog. If you’re looking for specific resources, be sure to check out the topics in the column to the right. Otherwise, feel free to look around! ~ Kerry

Friday, January 8, 2010

Loving God More Than Your Husband

Recently I answered an e-mail from a precious young friend, and I thought there could be someone else struggling with the same issue. My friend wrote:

“How do you love God more than your husband? Or desire God more than your husband? Before I met my husband, I committed to give my heart completely to Jesus and to just dwell in His love. But since we’ve been married, I have struggled to do that. Even my husband has noticed that my love for Jesus seems to have faded. I feel that I am just lukewarm, just living life, and I hate it. I have asked God to rekindle that flame that once burned in my heart. And I am beginning to make myself push beyond my own selfish comfort zone. I don’t just want to desire God; I want to move on to seeking Him out. Will you please pray that my heart will desire and love God above my husband? And that I’ll know how to love my husband too, and not choose sides?”

My reply:

I will pray for you! You are definitely taking the right steps—asking for a renewed hunger and humbling yourself before God. Here are just some thoughts about loving God more than your husband:
1. First of all, God knows that you are human—and that your husband is human and right there before you in flesh and blood. Naturally, we can be more captivated by what we can see and touch than what we have in faith. God completely understands this weakness!
2. As a wife you are to love your husband and give yourself unreservedly to him, and by doing that you are loving God!
3. But it is so important to keep these truths in focus—God is your Creator, your Redeemer, your Savior, your Guide, your Sustainer, your Strength, etc. And your husband is not.
4. However, you must know and live out this truth as well—your husband is your MOST important human relationship! He is your closest friend, life companion, lover, encourager, etc.
5. As you earnestly seek God and allow His Spirit to fill your life, your love for your husband will grow stronger every day, and your ability to have a wonderful, intimate relationship with him will as well.
6. Try not the think of it in a comparative way. Love God and seek Him with all your heart, and love and care for your husband like he is an extension of your own body.

I hope this helps! Love you!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maintaining a Balanced Life

“The man who fears God will avoid all extremes” (Ecclesiastes 7:18, NIV).

It is quite interesting that the book of Ecclesiastes follows the book of Proverbs. Both are written by the wisest person who has ever lived—Solomon. Yet at a first reading, these books may seem like a contradiction. In Proverbs 4:7, Solomon says, “Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” The entire book is teaching us how to attain wisdom and live a disciplined life.

Yet in the first verse of Ecclesiastes, Solomon says, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” He goes on to say, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes was written at the end of Solomon’s life. He had lived a life of great extremes—if one wife is good, then hundreds are even better; if one palace is nice, then many are better; if knowledge of plant life is helpful, then knowledge of everything is best. Yet as Solomon aged, he saw the futility of the extremes and realized that life is meaningless apart from God (12:13).

Solomon tells us that there is a season for everything (3:1-8), and he encourages us with these words: “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is a gift of God.”

In chapter four, Solomon says, “The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” I believe he is describing the extremes of one who is lazy and one who is a workaholic. The lazy person may see the futility of grasping for wealth, yet he accomplishes little and disappoints those who depend on him. While the workaholic is driven by greed, he lives a life with full hands and an empty heart.

I believe Solomon would want us to understand that we should live disciplined lives that are balanced—working and resting, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, embracing and refraining. Some women may tend to work, weep, mourn, and embrace projects, and truly neglect opportunities to be refreshed. And at the other extreme, there are women who neglect work in order to only rest, laugh, dance, and refrain.

Here are some practical ways to make sure we are living a balanced life:

· Work when it is time to work.
· Sleep when it is time to sleep—try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
· Play more games—especially with those you love.
· Pray every day—and make sure there is a time of silence for listening to God.
· Take time to express thanksgiving and praise.
· Take time to celebrate the good things—every good thing is from God.
· Read more books—watch less TV.
· Call your family often.
· Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and take a walk every day.
· Don’t waste time on complaining; smile more.
· Don’t over commit; know your limits.

So how about you? Are there extremes in your life? How can you grow more balanced? Consider reading Ecclesiastes and writing down the ways you can avoid extremes.