Cost of Love

When was the last time you woke up, thought about the day ahead of you, and hoped to show your love for your wife by having an opportunity to die for her? Not recently? Me neither. But how did it go when there was an opportunity to show love in lesser sacrifices (difficult to call them sacrifices) such as patiently listening, being gentle and kind, forgoing a convenience, or doing some extra work to help her?  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25, 28). 

Being committed to following Jesus is a good foundation for being a great husband. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). What opportunities and need we have for grace, obedience, and growth.

Protecting Your Family

A good dad is concerned with protecting his family since God has assigned him to be head. As head, Dad is to be aware of what might threaten their physical safety. Ephesians 5:25 calls Dad to even lay down his life for his family as Christ did for His bride the church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” 

I’ve known a lot of dads who are focused and concerned with their family’s physical security. However, there are dangers to the family that are of greater importance and often go unnoticed. Are you careful and on guard with what is coming into the minds and souls of your family? Media abounds, and people have their favorites, justifying why it is good for them. However, I’m confident, most are similar to “dumpster diving.” 

I believe if you embrace the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:23, you will not only enjoy safety, but your family will grow in the Lord Jesus Christ. If it edifies, embrace it. If it doesn’t, pitch it. 

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23). 

Do you Want a Stable Christian Life?

Are you a professing Christian whose life tends to “fall apart” (meaning no stability) when the storms of life come? Jesus made it clear what you need. 

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:46-48).

Note three very key aspects. First, he came. We came to Jesus as repenting hell-bound sinners needing a sin-atoning Savior. That is like a stage 4 cancer patient (a living dead man) who sought a cure and found it. There is no question in his mind that he was cured. For us, no question, either. Jesus is my Savior, and I DAILY depend on Him. 

Next, he hears His Word. Not just simply heard, but hears it (ongoing). Are you reading the Bible every day and hearing biblical preaching? 

Finally he obeys it. The Word must be daily applied to our lives. Knowing but not living it, does no good in stabilizing our lives. Brothers, we are to live it. Then, we can rest assured. We will have stability because we have a sure foundation. 

Problems

My heart aches hearing of the problems some are facing. Is God still good? Yes, beyond measure! Has He forgotten His children who are struggling? No.

Are you complaining and fearful or praising and joyful? Brothers your wife, your children need you to be strong. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

As you have needs, lay them before your Lord. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

Keep a journal and capture all your needs and God’s answers for future encouragement. God is always good, always.

Victim or Victor?

Most of us face challenging, hurtful, and even overwhelming situations. With each of those, we are also faced with decisions when we meet them and in their aftermath. We take either the victim mentality or the victor-through-Christ mentality. Each born again believer is the bondservant of Jesus. As we seek to obey His will, how does He want us to think in the midst of trials?

I know I can be prone to victim thinking: “It’s too hard. Why do I have to face this? I don’t like what’s happening. Nobody understands.”

God’s Truths

Are those thoughts the truth? Doesn’t our strength come from our Savior, the God of the Universe? Hasn’t He told us that His grace is sufficient? Isn’t He our strength and our shield? Hasn’t He said He loves us with an everlasting love? Aren’t we called to trust Him no matter what our circumstances might be? Doesn’t He tell us He works all things together for good to them who love Him and are called according to His purpose? 

There is nothing victim in those truths. They are the most beautiful, empowering truths, and they are valid in every situation from small, daily trials to the ones that feel like they might take us under. Each of these truths are victoriously grounded in the One Who died and rose again for our salvation.

I have had to seek the Lord, learning from Him the victor-through-Christ thinking and using it: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13). His grace is sufficient for me (2 Cor. 12:9). I am to cast all my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). He works all things together for good (Roman 8:28).

An Example

I want to share a story with you about a victor-thinking mom. Do you remember when we talked about the “I can” and the “I can’t” mom (I Can Corner or I Can’t Corner)? This mom is an example of the “I can” mom.

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Eleven years ago her youngest birth son died. The realities of living without him, had at that time, seemed beyond all that she could do. She couldn’t remember the simplest of things and struggled with “doing the next thing.” So, they began diligently following their schedule and found comfort in routine, and in time could put one foot in front of the other again. 

In the years since her son’s death, she and her husband have adopted five children, many with varying medical and special needs. Her husband is a physician and works extremely long hours. Because of the recent pandemic, almost all of her supports to make life more doable at home have gone away, and she finds herself just that much busier as she sets up a school for all, not just some of her special needs guys, in her house.

The level of scheduling required is immense because of needing not only to teach and keep house, but also to schedule tube feedings, water boluses, special times to make people sit and drink water (because they won’t on their own volition), and use the potty, as well as therapy sessions, etc. Almost no one can do anything alone, which is more challenging to juggle.

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As this mom shared her story with me, there was not a hint of a victim in it. It was all victor—through the grieving of her son’s death to the acceptance of a harder life without help caring for her adopted children. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are days when she slips into victim thinking, but when she wrote me she wanted additional scheduling materials to put together schedules to help her home function as efficiently as possible and meet all the needs. 

Thinking and Emotions

I don’t know what hardships still come to your mind from the past or what trial you might be in the midst of right now, but I do know that your Lord Jesus will enable you to have a peaceful victor attitude regardless of the outcome. He shows you in His Word Who He is, what He will do for you, and how you can trust Him. From that comes what you should think, and as you do that, your emotions follow. Right thinking = right emotions; wrong thinking = wrong emotions.

May I challenge you to be in the Word, seeking and desiring to grow closer to Jesus and to learn the Biblical truths that help you be the victor thinking mom you want to be and lets you leave behind the victim mentality? Look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:2). He is everything you need at the moment of your struggle.

Posted in: Mom's Corner