Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cultivating Tender Thoughts

Today, as I was folding my husband's clothing, I started thinking about how amazing it is that God has allowed David and I to share our lives together.  In our 15 years of marriage, we have experienced great joys and bitter sorrows, pleasant memories and difficult trials, the birth of children and the loss of jobs.  And, I wouldn't change a thing!

I am equally amazed that God chose a man like David, who is so patient and kind despite my crazy antics, strong opinions, and burning passions, which would drive most people crazy. He is unbelievably patient and kind even when I have refused to allow him to use the toilet, simply because I had just finished cleaning it and I didn't want it to get dirty again.  Or, when out of the blue I have decided to boycott a company like Kelloggs because they are using genetically modified ingredients in the food they produce.  My wonderful husband simply smiled and ate the organic, less-tasty cereal I purchased instead.  I could learn a lot from David's example.

Recently, I  read a book entitled, "When Sinners Say I Do", by Dave Harvey.  I would highly recommend it to married couples, couples who are engaged, and even to those who are single, but hope to marry in the future.  It really drives home the fact that a marriage consists of two sinners, both in need of a Savior and that our husbands are hand-picked to bring out our sinful attitudes, behaviors, and thoughts as a way of sanctifying us...conforming us more and more to the image of Christ. This is certainly true in my marriage.  God has used my marriage to David to make me more painfully aware of my sins,and more humbly aware of my Savior

I found a wonderful quote by Elisabeth Elliot which stirs me as a wife to grow in grace towards my husband, and I hope it will stir you as well:
"The consciousness that we are alike in our need of redemption is a liberating one.  For there will be times when you find yourself accusing, criticizing, resenting...But you will find yourself disarmed utterly, and your accusing spirit transformed into loving forgiveness the moment you remember that you did, in fact marry only a sinner, and so did heIt's grace you both need...you love, accept, and forgive that sinner as you yourself expect to be loved, accepted, and forgiven.  You know that 'all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' and this includes your husband who comes short, also, of some of the glories you expected to find in him.  Come to terms with this once and for all and then walk beside him as 'heirs together of the grace of life.'"
As I thought about my marriage today, I realized that there are many areas in which God would desire for me to grow as a wife, as a way of bringing honor to David and glory to God.  So, over the next several days, I would like to share a few of them with you.

My prayer is that each of you would meditate on these truths as well, and by doing so, that your faith would be strengthened, that your love towards your husband would be rekindled, and that ultimately your marriage would be a beautiful reflection of "God's amazing grace".

And, as always, I would love to hear about the changes that God is bringing about within your marriage or within your heart as a woman as you read, reflect, and apply His word. 

Today, I am being prompted by the Lord to grow in my marriage through,
1.  By "taking captive" any critical thoughts I have towards my husband, and replacing them with true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable thoughts towards him.  
One of the best ways I can think of to put this truth into action is by praying for David throughout the day.  Thanking God for the hard-working, loving husband He has given me and by choosing to let go of the unrealistic exceptions that I unfairly place on him.  Ahh, I am ashamed to admit that often times, I have placed selfish expectations upon David, simply because I am overly absorbed with my own desires, wants, and needs;  stirring up selfishness and pride, and a whole host of other nasty things which I am not proud of.  But as I try and look towards the needs of David first, willingly letting go of the unfair expectations I have placed upon him, and as I seek to grow in serving him instead of expecting to be served, my thoughts also become more tender towards David and more pleasing to the Lord. 
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."  Philippians 4:8
2.  By remembering all of the things that attracted me to David when we were first married.
As a wife and mom, there are so many thoughts that consume my days... Where did the kids hide the bread  I was planning to use for breakfast?  Did the dog eat my "to do" list again this week?  Does trying to walk through the house with a screaming child hanging from my leg count as exercise?  And these thoughts all occur within the first 10 minutes of jumping  (or should I say crawling) out of bed. 

I find that at times I am so consumed by the other thoughts spinning around in my head, that I rarely take time to think of David throughout the day.  The following quote from Shirley Rice is a wonderful reminder of the necessity of taking time to intentionally cultivate tender thoughts towards my husband.  
"By the grace of God, I want you to start changing your thought pattern.  Tomorrow morning, get your eyes off the toaster or the baby bottles long enough to look at him.  Don't you see the way his coat fits his shoulders?  Look at his hands.  Do you remember when just to Look at his strong hands made your heart life.  Well, LOOK at him and remember.  Then, loose your tongue and tell him you love him."
I am so encouraged!  Today, I am going to spend time praying for David, asking God to help me find ways of serving him, and intentionally taking the time to remember all of the things that I love so dearly about the amazing man God gave me.

I hope that you are encouraged as well,  to cultivate loving tender thoughts towards your husband, ask God to rid your mind of any critical thoughts you may have against him, and pray that God would enable you to sincerely give thanks for the wonderful and precious gift HE has given you.

Oh, and don't forget to greet your hubby when he walks through the door by wrapping your arms lovingly around him, kissing him on the lips (even if the children are around), and telling him how much you love and appreciate him.


  1. Wow! Beautifully said, Satin! I belive God has really given you a gift here, and your writing has encouraged me again today. I pray it will encourage others as well. I was just talking to Stephen and Juri (his pastor) about that book, "When Sinners Say I Do" I think I will get copies for all of us...thanks for the recommendation, have a blessed day meditating on your husband, what a gift, praise the Lord!

  2. Satin....Thank you for being a Titus ll woman in my life..... you are gentel, honest, and genuinely passionate to share all of that which God has done in your life....I admire your humility and your compassion.... Thank you soooo much..

    I thought of you the other day and your NO Pants experience, when I showed up for a Spa event all dressed up.. and I had forgotten to replace my Burkenstocks with Heels... It could have been worse! :~} Keep writing