Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A matter of life and death

Our words have power.  I'm sure y'all have heard that a million times before today, but it's true.  I think we don't always realize just how powerful our words are, especially when it comes to our husbands.  Ladies, we have the power to make or break our husbands.  It all comes down to our words.

There are many, many passages in the Bible which talk about the words we speak.  Proverbs 18:21 says "The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences" (NLT).  It's ours to choose whether we bring death or life to our husbands (or to anyone).  I think it is especially important that we are careful with the words we choose to use with our husbands.  (I think we should be careful with our words to everyone, but this post is specifically about marriages today.)  We're so comfortable in our own homes and with our families.  For most of us, our husband is our best friend.  We're comfy and we let our guard down because we are in our own space.  This is a good thing, but it also means that we don't always put the effort in that we should.  We don't think before we speak because we're comfortable.  We say things to our spouses we would never say to a casual acquaintance.  This should not be the case!  Our spouses deserve at least as much respect as the guy in the office next to yours; the teacher in the class next to you; the mom you sit next to at your Mother's Day Out group.  If you wouldn't say it to them, you shouldn't be saying it to your spouse.  Speaking harshly, negatively, disrespectfully to your spouse is a quick way to bring death to your relationship.  That's what the Proverb above says-- your words can bring life or death and if you speak with words of death you'll suffer the consequences.

And not just you, but your husband will suffer the consequences as well.  If you're berating your spouse, he'll start to believe what you say and act accordingly.  Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will.  If your words are disrespectful towards your husband, especially in public, you're bringing death to your husband.  Proverbs 12:4 says "A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones" (NLT).  Just as cancer can bring death, so do your disrespectful words.  They eat away at your husband until the spirit inside him withers and dies.

On the other hand, if you speak words of life, you lift your husband up!  When you support him and affirm him with your words, you empower your husband to rise above.  If you are affirming your husband and showing him that you place value on him it makes him strive to be worthy of that affirmation.  When you do so publicly it is a wonderful example of how a wife should treat her husband.  You are then "a crown" for your husband rather than a "cancer in his bones."  I would certainly rather be a crown to my husband!  I would never want to bring him death; it hurts my heart to even think about bringing death or pain to my husband.  Some of y'all bring death on a regular basis, and you probably don't realize the extent of the damage you're causing.

Our words are either death or they are life.  I know that I don't want to bring death to my husband and I'm sure y'all don't either.  Start examining what you say more closely; think before you speak, even- maybe especially- when you're comfortable in your setting.  Speak life!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Respecting authority

Let me start by saying that I'm not the most politically-minded person, and I don't follow politics closely, but I do have a working knowledge of the things that go on in our society both locally and nationally.  This entry is not intended to start a big political debate about who's right and who's wrong in our country.  My goal here is to address the way in which we relate to those in positions of authority in our towns, our states, and our nation.

A friend of mine, who is a law enforcement officer, recently pointed something out that really opened my eyes.  He referred to Romans 13 which states in verse 1 that "all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God" (NLT).  If you're like me, you've heard that verse before and it's nothing new.  However, what struck me was the fact that I'd never considered our law enforcement as authorized by God to uphold our laws.  Verse 2 of Romans 13 goes on to say that "anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished" (NLT).  Those who break the law are not just breaking man's laws, they're actually rebelling against God as well.  Our law enforcement officers are placed in their positions by God in order to uphold a system He established.  They deserve our respect, our support, and most of all, our prayers.

Slightly off topic for a moment- I had been wondering why our law enforcement in this country should be under attack the way they have been in recent months.  It didn't make sense to me.  When I heard my friend talk about being placed in authority by God according to Romans 13 it made so much more sense to me that law enforcement would be under attack.  They're under attack because ultimately, by upholding the law, they're doing the Lord's work whether they realize it or not.  Satan is always going to try to bring down those who do the work of the Lord.  I don't know if y'all have been wondering the same thing, but maybe that will help you understand as it did for me.

Back to the main point.  The verses in Romans 13 extend beyond our local law enforcement.  They extend to our city government, our state government, and our national government.  Again, I'm not the greatest political mind, and on the whole I find that I disagree with our president's politics, however, he has been placed in a position of authority over us, by God, (do you really think he'd be president if God didn't will it so?) and therefore we are to be respectful of him.  Much the same way that we are to respect Christ as the head of the church, and our husbands as the head of our home, we are to give respect to Barack Obama as president of the United States.  That doesn't mean we have to agree with the president, like him, or even trust him, but we do have to be respectful.  Ultimately, God is in control and His will is going to be carried out regardless of who is president, governor, or mayor of your town.  Those digs and insults to the president (or other authority figures) you post on Facebook?  It's disrespectful and ultimately rebellious against God.  It does not exemplify the relationship we are supposed to have with our loving Savior.  Being respectful of someone, loving them, and praying for them has nothing to do with the kind of person they are, but rather everything to do with the person we purport to love and serve.