15 Ways to Encourage Your Husband by Betty Beguiles

29 11 2013

15 Ways to Encourage Your Husband by Betty Beguiles

Lately things have been a little tense at home. Nothing serious but we’ve had our fair share of worries and stressors. I’d like to be able say that I’ve walked through this trying period with grace, humility and faith but the truth is that when I get stressed, I get controlling. I want to fix, fix, fix; instruct, instruct, instruct; and boss, boss, boss. My motives are pure–I only want to stop the suffering–but the way I go about it leaves (more than) a little something to be desired.

The problem with my approach is that it presumes that I am smarter than everyone else; it presumes that I have all the answers; and it presumes that everyone else is stupid. That’s right, I said it: it presumes that everyone else is stupid–including my husband who I’m afraid bears the brunt of this domineering (born-of-fear) attitude.

While I know that my actions don’t reflect my true feelings or opinions (which, if they could speak, would tell you that I think I have the most awesome husband on the face of the earth), the message they send is harmful nonetheless. My actions imply that I don’t think my husband has a handle on the situation; that he’s not up to the task; and that I’d better step in and assume control of the ship before it sinks and we all drown.

(Did I mention that I also get a bit melodramatic when under pressure?)

The truth is that it is I who would be lost without him and his wisdom. He is my rock, my safe haven, and my solace. This is what I actually want to communicate. It just comes out all wrong when I start to panic. What’s up with that?

Sometimes I worry that he can’t say the same about me for so often when he approaches me to share his burdens my response is to correct and advise, rather than to comfort and console. I want to offer him a secure place to lay down his armor, rest, and be vulnerable but how can he when he knows that I will most likely respond by showering him with unsolicited advice?

Maybe I’m exaggerating. Perhaps my husband will read all this and object but my heart tells me I could do better and more and so I thought I might create a little list of 15 ways that I can support and encourage my husband…

• Compliment him on his strengths and achievements and acknowledge his victories.
• Create a peaceful atmosphere within our home. Make it a place that he can lay down his burdens and rest easy.
• Pray for him. Reread The Power of a Praying Wife.
• Write him love letters. Make sure he knows how absolutely swoon-worthy I find him to be.
• Speak well of him to friends and family. It wouldn’t hurt if he accidentally overheard from time to time, either.
• When he stumbles, respond with mercy, compassion and encouragement.
• Encourage him to dream big and find ways to support those dreams.
• Try not to give feedback on every single decision he makes.
• Ask him for his opinion and guidance. Make sure he knows how much I value his opinion.
• Be affectionate. Don’t be shy about communicating how much I desire him.
• Make sure he has the time to do the things he loves and to pursue his passions.
• Apologize for things I’ve done in the past that have hurt him.
• Thank him for all his hard work and many sacrifices.
• Don’t bring up past failures or hurts or rehash old fights. Truly forgive and forget.
• Have faith in him and let him lead.

 





Why do I exist?

22 06 2013

why do i exist2

It is not a strange question at all, but a very natural question. Everyone asks it, consciously or unconsciously, though not necessarily in those words.
It is a religious question. It is a question to which all religions claim to have an answer. It is not abstract but as concrete and particular as you are. It’s about your life. Why is my existence in question?
Because you didn’t have to exist. If one little thing had happened differently to any of your ancestors, you would not exist. For instance, if your great-grandfather hadn’t been surprised by the sound of a squirrel dropping a nut on a dry leaf in the park where he was sitting on a bench a hundred years ago, he wouldn’t have turned his head around to see what the noise was, and he wouldn’t have noticed the pretty girl on the bench over there, walked over and struck up a conversation with her, got to know her, and eventually married her–and you are part of the rest of that story.
So is it just luck that you exist? Just chance? Did you just happen, or are you designed? Are you an accident, or are you wanted? Are you just lost on a stage without any lines to speak, just making it all up as you go along, or are you part of a play, a plot, a plan, with an Author’s mind behind it?
You can’t get the answer to that question just from your feelings, because your feelings change from year to year, day to day, even minute to minute. Everyone at times feels lost and meaningless, and everyone at other times feels part of a meaningful story.
It makes all the difference in the world how you ask that question. It amounts to asking whether your life has real meaning or not.
We deeply want our lives to have a real meaning. But where does this real meaning come from? Why is there a real answer to the question “Why do I exist?”
Because God is real, that’s why. Because you were willed into existence by an all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful God. That’s why your life has meaning and purpose. How can we know the true answer to this question, the meaning of our life? What must we know, to know who we are?
The secret of your identity is in the mind of your Creator and Designer. Therefore, to find the meaning of your life, you must know God. To find out who Macbeth is, you must ask Shakespeare. To find out who Gollum is, you must ask Tolkien. To find out who you are, you must ask God.
How do we know God? Through Christ. “No one has ever seen God; the only Son . . . has made him known” (Jn 1:18).
To know yourself adequately, you must know God. And to know God adequately, you must know Christ. Therefore, to know yourself adequately, you must know Christ. Christ reveals not just who God is but also who we are.
When we ask why exist, what do we seek?
We seek our origin, our nature, and our destiny. There are actually three parts to this question: “Where did I come from?” and “What am I?” and “Where am I going?”
There are two radically different possible answers to this three-part question: the no-God answer and the God-answer. We exist either because of mere chance and accident or because of divine design; we exist either because of blind matter below us or because of conscious divine spirit above us.
The three questions (of origin, nature, and destiny) are connected. If our origin is only material, if we came only from mindless matter blindly bumping into more mindless matter and not from the Mind of God designing and creating matter, then our nature is also only matter: we are only apes with bigger brains but no souls. If our parents were big apes, we are only big apes. And then our destiny, our end, is only the destiny of all matter and animal life: death and decay. Period. End of the story. That is the logical consequence of believing that there is no God. Death wins in the end.
But if one’s origin is from above, from God–if we are designed and created by an intelligent Spirit–then our nature can be also spiritual, made in the image of the God who is spirit. God may have used evolution to make our bodies out of previously existing animal species, but souls cannot evolve. God must create each soul afresh.
If that is true–if we exist because of God, if we are real because God is real–then the practical consequences are tremendously important. For then each one of us has intrinsic dignity. That means that we are not mere objects to be used by other objects. We are God’s kids!
And then our destiny (the third connected question) is also spiritual: to live forever with God in Heaven. God is our first beginning and our last end, our ultimate origin and our ultimate destiny.

Prof. Peter Kreeft.





The Inquisitive Little Boy

19 06 2013

The Inquisitive Little Boy

During the great Exhibition in London, a gentle man went his little boy.
The child was astonished at the things he saw, and was anxious to know why they were made. His father answered him , and described the use of the various things as they passed along.

You see, my dear boy,” said the father to him, ” everything here has been made for a certain purpose. You also were made by God for a certain purpose.”

“For what purpose did God make me, Father?” the boy asked, excited.

“God made you to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this world, and be happy with Him in the next, my boy. Keep these words always in your mind,  and try every day to learn something about your Father in Heaven.”








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