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Posts Tagged ‘military’

The word bold is used to describe coffee, clothing, and cuisine.  It’s applied to rebels, risk takers, and revolutionaries .  But, this is one term rarely attributed to mothers–and certainly not to me.    Recently, though, I’ve learned to be bold in both my decision-making and prayer life.

Last year, my husband deployed to warm, sandy places and I was in the midst of a maelstrom at home.  Seth, the youngest of three sons, woke each morning in a panic.  Why?  At the tender age of six, my little boy was overcome by fear.  He clung to me in desperation as we crossed the school’s threshold and wept uncontrollably when I picked him up at the end of the day.  Convinced the house was no longer safe, Seth locked the bedroom door and huddled near the end of the bed where he slept—though fitfully.  The markers of anxiety continued to flash brightly in every area of his life—school, church, and home.

Seth’s fears became my own when I realized comforting words and gentle arms did little to help my son overcome the giants of Worry and Anxiety.  Lord, I don’t know how to help him.  What do I do?   For the first time I understood what it meant to pray continually. 

I began going before God boldly with my prayers and interceding for Seth–regularly and at random times.  Help him, Father.  Now, after more than a year’s worth of doctor’s appointments and interventions, Seth has made huge strides.  His fears are no longer giants.  Instead, they are close to just-above-average size–and they continue to shrink.

And, I continue to approach the throne of mercy in boldness–knowing that the King of Kings answers the prayers of even those who are timid. 

3 Simple Ways to Pray for Our Children

  • It’s a Date- Schedule specific times during your day to pray for your family.  The times that work best for me are those quiet moments just after school drop-off when I’m driving to work and early in the morning before the chaos begins.
  • Between the Lines-Keep a journal of prayer needs AND answered prayer.  This activity helps me stay focused and reminds me to notice how God is working in the lives of my children.
  • Do It Together-Make time to pray for your children with your spouse and/or a close friend daily, weekly, or monthly. 

 

 

Scripture for Reflection

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. [2] He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. [3] And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

[4] “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, [5] yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ “

[6] And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. [7] And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? [8] I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  Luke 18:1-8

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 “I am by nature a people pleaser, which means that by nature I’m a coward.”  –Pastor Mark Bates

Those words resounded with me.  How many times in my relationships had I been “diplomatic” in order to avoid disappointing someone?  Or, even worse, appeared to agree with that person, but instead proceeded to erect a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone for those of you who are non-military wives)?

What is a DMZ?  Let me illustrate.  Imagine I am South Korea.  Dave, my dear husband, is North Korea (for demonstration purposes only).  We’ve been at war with one another–although we can’t seem to remember why or even how it all began.  Now, though, we’ve decided to declare a tenuous peace.  We’re tired, bear noticeable war wounds, and need to regroup.  An agreement is drawn and, with distrust in our eyes, we draw lines in the sand.  If neither of us crosses this line, we’ll be just fine.  Peace has been made.  Really?  Have North and South Korea found that to be true?

Of course not.  Peace in the home is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of humility.  As Matthew 5:3 reminds us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”  Another version puts it plainly, “Great blessings belong to those who are humble.”  I don’t know about you, but humility in the marriage relationship can be tough.  What if he’s the one was wrong in the first place–or, if I was just a little bit in the wrong?  Shouldn’t he apologize first; ask forgiveness first?  Maybe–maybe not.  But am I more concerned with who crossed the DMZ first or do I desire to be reconciled in my relationship with the one I call husband?

I tell you honestly that making peace after even after an imagined insult  is one of my greatest areas of struggle in marriage.  Could it be a challenge for everyone?  I would guess that it is–after all, don’t we all enjoy being “right”? Most of the time, though, being right is far less important than acting in love.

3 Tactical Pointers to Help Disarm the DMZ–and Declare Peace

  • Relinquish your “rights” and admit your “wrongs”
  • Make the first move
  • “Do it badly if you must.  It’s worse not to do  anything at all!”  –Pastor Mark Bates

What works best for you to diffuse tension?  How have you learned humility in your marriage? 

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