Testimony

Recently I have been observing our two teenage daughters and their personal walks with Christ. Our daughters know Christ, but seem to have put him on the back burner as of late. Replacing the time spent with him, doing other things. It has grieved my heart, and I prayed to God about it asking him why they don’t see the importance of putting him first, after all they are saved, they go to church, they live in a christian home and have christian boyfriends. God answered me in a way that made my mom heart drop to the pit of my stomach. He said this; “Because, they don’t have a testimony yet.”

As a follower of Christ, and as a seasoned veteran of the things that our testimonies are built out of, with tears in my eyes I thought “Oh Lord… I wish they didn’t have to.” But, they have to.

You see, our testimonies are made in those places of struggle and in those places of peace beyond our understanding. Our testimonies are built when we go through times of plenty and times of famine.Our testimonies are refined in those places of loss and heartbreak.  Our testimonies are strengthened in that place where we don’t have the courage to get up off of our knees because the pain is too much to bear. Our testimonies are discovered when God allows us to move to a place where we have always wanted to live, and then sends us back to our desert. Our testimonies are God in us, God with us, God before us and God beside us. They are the place where God is glorified because of His goodness, His mercy and His grace to us. At the end of the day, our testimonies are what sustain us.

As a mom, I pray that their testimonies will come easily, and that they won’t have to go through the seasons I have been through to get there. But I also know and trust that God has  purpose and plan for them that surpasses my human understanding. In the end He will be glorified through their testimonies, and that is what matters above anything I could ever hope for. After all, they belong to Him. I am just blessed to be their tour guide.

Blessings

Sherri

 

Edifying Your Husband

My 16 year old daughter decided last week that she was going to start saying things to people she didn’t know to build them up. Maybe if she saw someone standing in line behind us at the grocery store she would comment on their outfit, or maybe tell them that they had a great smile, or beautiful eyes… You get the point. When she told me I thought this is awesome, I am so proud, What a great thing to do for others! As the week went on, I had to take a step back and examine this and bring to her attention, that although what she wanted to do for people she didn’t know was a great idea, maybe she should start in her own home. As saying nice things and building others up such as her sister wasn’t happening, in fact, quite the opposite was happening and she was tearing her down. I thought about all of this for quite some time, even examining myself in my own home. God revealed a powerful truth to me, and that truth is that we would NEVER treat a stranger or even a friend the way we treat the people in our own homes, the people we are supposed to love the very most, the people we call our family, the people God Almighty has blessed us with. Let’s be honest… Take a minute seriously, and examine your own life. Ask the tough question… Would I talk to someone outside of my home the way I just talked to my husband or my child? The answer for me is NO WAY! I would NEVER! We seem to have more respect for “others” than we do our loved ones. I remember years ago when my husband and I were going through a tough spot in our marriage… And when I say tough spot I mean years… Not just a blip on the marriage map. Not just a hurdle, but a mountain, and when we would finally get to the top of the mountain Satan would push us right back down. And when I would finally get to the place where I could stand and start climbing again, the enemy’s push to destroy us would come at us like a vengeance. The toughest day of the week for us was Sunday… Getting ready for church would always end up in an argument, and I would spew ugliness out of my mouth at my husband that I am so ashamed of now. The ride to church would be a nightmare of silence with steam coming out of both of our ears. But, once we opened that church door, we put on our perfect couple faces and spoke love and life into every person we saw. Hugs, prayers, smiles… Me opening church with announcements and praying over the prayer requests, my husband delivering the word… We did church. Then, when we left church, all of the ugliness reared its head again and we spent the rest of the day battling and accusing. Sometimes even into the middle of the night, when we finally just gave up and tried to go to sleep. I remember lots of times of getting out of bed and seeing my husband on his face in the living room in the middle of the night begging God to help us. I would NEVER dream of speaking to someone the way I have spoken to my husband. And all of this has made me think… How much stronger would our relationships with the ones we love the most be if we spoke to them and treated them the way we treated a friend, a neighbor, or even our pastor? How much stronger would our homes be against the schemes of the evil one, and more importantly how much stronger of a force could we be for the kingdom of God? I just imagine the 6 of us in our family standing side by side, hand in hand, a force to be reckoned with. A small army of Christian soldiers living our lives sold out to God, and putting each other first above ourselves and letting Christ literally radiate out of that bond for others to see. I think that could preach. Amen? The Word of God says that we are to edify and build up others, and as women of God we need to build up and edify our husbands on a daily basis. (Not to encourage arrogance or pride, but to encourage them to keep going) If you want a strong marriage, and a bond that is unshakeable, I challenge you to try. Contrary to popular opinion, our guys need to hear that they are loved, appreciated and desired, just as a woman does. You may be sitting there reading this thinking why should I? He doesn’t deserve it… Build him up. He can’t even take out the garbage… Build him up. He doesn’t lead our family the way he should… Build him up. He doesn’t even know God… Even more reason to build him up! Let him see God through you. He___________. (Fill in the blank)… I get it. Build him up.

“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it.”                              -Ephesians 4:29 (AMP)

We simply cannot pray for God to strengthen our marriages, or for our husbands to start treating us with the love that the word of God says they should have for us, unless we are willing to change ourselves. And spewing ugliness out of our mouths at our husbands is just that… Ugly. It isn’t beneficial and it doesn’t edify. It tears down and rips apart. Listen, we cannot expect marital bliss and love the way that God intended it when we are not walking in the will of the Lord. So often I hear of marriages falling apart because the man is watching porn… I’m here to tell you ladies, if you are praying for God to change your man while you are lying in bed reading smut books or watching 50 shades of Grey, it’s not going to happen. You are not walking in the will of God, and you need God to cleanse and change your heart too. Guys are not the only ones failing in marriage today. Women are just as accountable. Our husbands need to hear that they are important to us. They don’t need to feel second to an obsession with some actor, or some inappropriate book. They need to feel like we appreciate them and the job they do in providing for our families, they need to feel like we desire them and still find them irresistibly attractive, and funny (Adam loves trying to make me laugh), they need to feel like we trust them to lead our family spiritually and to protect us in all situations, they need to feel like they are enough and are deserving of our love and affection, and lastly, they need to feel like men. God designed them to be men, and they need to feel like men… Admire his muscles, tell him how strong he is, let him do something for you that you know you could do by yourself… Build up your husband. Make him feel like a man. You will see an immediate difference. Then, pray, pray, pray… and pray some more. Read the word every single day! Pray alone, and pray together. Let go and let God. After all, the life God has for you in your marriage is better than any fairy tale, book or movie could ever be. It is orchestrated by Almighty God! And that… Is pretty amazing to think about! God has answered Adam & I. He has certainly refined us by fire, and the process has sometimes been excruciating, but hallelujah God answers prayer and we are stronger than ever in the Lord, and in our marriage. God is mighty to save, mighty to heal, willing and able. He desires you and your marriage. All glory and honor go to Him alone. In His love, Sherri