Fuel for the Weekend

The love husbands express to their wives reveals a heart condition.

On this Valentine’s Day, husbands attempt to express to their wives their love, commitment, and appreciation in a meaningful way. Gifts are reminders to our wives that they are still the one – and the only one – for whom our heart sings.

Sometimes the struggle in communicating their love to wives reveals a heart condition. We tend to hold back, protect ourselves, and thereby miss out on receiving something so valuable – a deeper, more intimate relationship with our wife.

And that same heart condition can affect our relationship with God.

I recently came across a compelling article by Jarrid Wilson, “4 Things to Do When Pursuing Spiritual Growth.”  While reading his thoughts, I have applied four short prayers to help reveal our heart condition before God and help us love our wives in a more meaningful way.

1.  Drop your guard

You’re never going to learn anything unless you can first admit you need the help. Spiritual growth and pride don’t mix. So if you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of God’s glorious power, you must first learn to remove yourself from the picture and allow the Spirit of God to consume you. Take a step back and trust in the promise of God’s Word. Strip away your fears and skepticisms, and open your heart to be radically altered for the sake of a spiritual transformation.

Perhaps we can pray, “Lord, remove my fears, my pride, my selfish ambitions, and my skepticism that I’m not capable of having a deeper relationship with God – and my wife. Help me, Lord, to drop by guard.”

2.  Serve God. Serve People

No matter the way one will find themselves serving the cause of Christ, selflessness must play a role if one hopes to find a deeper understanding of their spiritual journey. When one serves, they must understand the reality that everything one has is from God in the first place. Therefore, the point of serving God is not to be blessed by God but to grow closer to him in the process. Serving God, the church, and the needs of others is to do that of Jesus during his time here on earth.

Perhaps we can pray, “Lord, so often I serve myself over you and over others. And, I confess, I seek to be blessed rather than be a blessing to others. I ask for your forgiveness. Help me be far less of a self-serving husband and seek to place the needs of my wife ahead of myself.”

3.  Love without limits

1 John 4:19 states, “We love because he first loved us.” And when it comes to us showcasing that love to the people around us, we must use every opportunity available to demonstrate it. We see in the Bible that the love of God was shown through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. This love was without limits, sufficient for all people, and done without anything expected in return. In the same way, we as Christians must engage in a lifestyle of loving our neighbors. In showcasing this love we will find ourselves gaining a deeper understanding of who Jesus is in our lives. Why? Because to know God is to know love.

Perhaps we can pray: “Lord, remove my self-imposed limitations to discover that true love has no limits. Love sometimes requires sacrifice. As Christ loved and sacrificed for me, I can love and sacrifice for others. This demonstrates my heart condition to be one of thankfulness for what You have done for me. My wife loves me and cares for me with a love that often goes unnoticed and without words of appreciation from my lips. May I love her without limits that includes not expecting anything in return.”

4. Unplug from distraction

Whether your distractions are found in social media, mobile devices or toxic friendships, in order to truly engage in a deeper relationship with Jesus, one must first understand the importance of unplugging from the infection of distraction. This means you may need to take time away from a current relationship, break away from your current community of friends or even take a step back from social activities. Whatever your distractions may be, they are not worth keeping if they are hindering you from engaging in a relationship with the only person that truly matters: Jesus. Do away with distractions and fix your eyes on Jesus.

Perhaps we can pray, “Lord, allow me to take a step back and analyze activities and pursuits that could be distractions in allowing me to draw closer to you. May I ask myself if there are distractions in this world that do not allow me to fix my eyes on my wife – so that she may know that I love her, protect her, and acknowledge her as a special gift from God.”

Interesting blog posts this week: 

Learning the Beautiful Art of Friendships

Anita Mathias lives in Oxford and has a wonderful prose that takes people on faith journeys while viewing European art and architecture. This blog post is a good introduction to her writing.

Pastors and the Internet

The Barna Group just released another interesting study on how pastors utilize the internet in their ministry.

Valentines for Grown Ups

Time of Grace provides an opportunity to give out small cards like the kids do at school.

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