Long Before They Say I Do – Praying For Our Kids and Their Future Spouses

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I do.

“I do.” Two simple words that hold such deep meaning. Almost 13 years ago I said, “I do” to my husband. When I said those words I didn’t know how much weight those words held. “I Do” is meant to be carried through the good times, the bad times, the wealthy times and the times when we are in need. “I Do” is commitment.  “I Do” is for life.

A Different I Do

Thirteen years ago I didn’t realize that I would have 4 more chances to say “I do.”  I didn’t realize there would be another situation when I would have to think about those two words and make a commitment that lasts until the day that I die.  The next time I had to say “I Do” was 9 and half years ago when our first daughter was born. As I held my beautiful, perfect, little daughter I realized what a great responsibility I had just been given.  It was as if God was saying again: “Do you, Dana?” Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Never Fails

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Love NEVER Fails.

There are days when life may seem too hard to handle. There are days when you doubt. Days when you are fearful. Days when nothing seems to be going right. But on those days there is one truth that remains constant: Love never fails. God’s love will always be there, ready to wrap you up and comfort you. God’s love will draw you near. God’s love is ever ready to supply all your needs and bless you beyond what you can even imagine.

Remember, the love your heavenly Father has for you is like the love you have towards your children. No matter how naughty they have been, you always get up the next morning to do it all over again, because your love is never ending. There may be days when you don’t like them very much, but your love for them will never change!

Praise God the same is true of our heavenly Father. No matter what we do or don’t do, His love is permanent. It never comes to an end. It never fluctuates and will last for eternity. On the days you don’t have much left to give, hold onto this promise: LOVE NEVER FAILS! Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Always…

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As we have journeyed through how to be a 1 Corinthians Mom, we have learned so much about the different character traits of love. We started with two positive expressions of love, patience and kindness. Then we talked through eight different verbs of what love is not like. Now we end on four absolute truths of love.

  1. Love never gives up.
  2. Love never loses faith.
  3. Love is always hopeful.
  4. Love endures through ALL circumstances.

When it comes down to it, the song is right: “All you need is love.” It is love that keeps us going. Love for our children is what gets us up in the morning ready to do it one more day. It is love, after a long battle of the wills that melts their heart and gives us strength to do it all over again.

Love believes the best in our kids. Love is what motivates us to never give up on them. Love so deep in our soul that puts us on our knees to pray even harder for their souls. Even on the bad days, the days when their wills battle against our own, our love for them flows out as we rock them to sleep at night.

There is nothing that love would not do, especially when it comes to our kids. Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Rejoices With the Truth

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1 Corinthians 13:6 (NASB)

 Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

At first read, this one seemed easy.  Of course I don’t rejoice in unrighteousness!  Quite the opposite in fact.  But when I got to the second half of the sentence I realized it was a little trickier.  I mean, I like the truth and everything else that is the opposite of unrighteousness, but do I really, actually rejoice along with it?

My commentary 1 says it so well: “The person full of Christian love joins in rejoicing on the side of behavior that reflects the gospel…”  In other words, 1 Corinthians 13 love rejoices when God’s character is lived out. As moms we can sometimes be so focused on correcting the wrong that we fail to praise the good. We fail to recognize when our child does reflect the character of God. I know that I am guilty of this. Some believe that for every criticism or correction you should give your child seven words of praise. Sadly, there are days when I would be hard pressed to even have a one to one ratio. Continue reading

C13 Mom – Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs, Part 2

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“There is nothing you’ve done wrong that is too big for God to fix. He can truly make all things work together for good, not only for you but for your children too.”

– Joyce Meyer, from her book The Confident Mom 

Reread that statement, and then think about it.  Do you believe that this statement is true for you? “Mom guilt” is too prevalent in today’s society.  In fact, it seems like you can’t win!

“We aren’t doing enough… we are doing too much.”

“I should have said this…I shouldn’t have said that.”

“I know what I am doing…I don’t know what I am doing.”

“I should have done this and not that.”

“They will never forgive me after what I did.”

“I am going to ruin my kids.”

 The list could go on and on. If we start believing these lies we will become paralyzed, and we will forget one key event that occurred so long ago. Jesus loved each one of us so much that He willingly died on the cross for our EVERY sin. In accepting that beautiful gift, we let Him wipe our slate clean! Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

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Do you have a laundry list? Not one that can be washed and dried, but one that is never ending. Can you list off all the wrongs that your husband has done against you? How about your children or that one lady at church? The human mind has a hard time forgetting wrongs that are done against them. We are all about justice and fairness. Whether we admit it or not, we want people to get what they deserve. We as humans have a hard time offering mercy to others, but deeply desire it to be given to ourselves. My husband likes to quote an old saying, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and then waiting for the other person to die.”

I think keeping records of wrongs can be closely tied to being easily angered. In my life they seem to go hand in hand. When I keep tallies of the things people have done to me, I begin to block my ability to walk in kindness and love towards them. My anger fuse gets shorter and shorter, to the point where I can easily blow up or act in ways that I shouldn’t.

In one commentary it says, “love does not reckon the evil.” It is almost like it is impossible for you to remember the wrong that has been done to you. When we keep no record of wrong, we give everyone, including our husband and children, a clean start each and every day. We give them a gift of love that is similar to the gift God gave us so long ago. Praise God that He is so willing to wipe our slate clean each and every time we ask for forgiveness. He gave us the gift of reconciliation and desires for us to offer the same gift to others. Continue reading

C13: Love Is Not Easily Angered

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Love is not easily angered, even when put to the test. And motherhood can definitely put your self-control to the test! (Talk about an understatement!)  There are plenty of opportunities for us to lose our patience and act out of frustration or despair. But it is possible to control your emotions instead of letting your emotions control you.

I looked up “slow to anger” on Bible Gateway and these are the scriptures that talked about God being slow to anger towards us. There is a so much we can learn from God’s perfect example! Please read through these and see if you can find some similarities: Continue reading

C13: Love is not Self-Seeking Part 3

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We moms are generally not self-seeking…whether by choice or out of love. We (and dads too) have to stay up in the night soothing a crying baby or a scared toddler. We miss out on a play date or church because of a sick child. We forgo a relaxing shower and instead try to keep a tiny peeping tom entertained while we at least take off a layer of dirt from our bodies.

Our constant laying down of our needs, wants and desires for our children can be one of the most wearying parts of the job. Especially if we expect appreciation and a reciprocal life style from the ones we are serving. Children are incapable of laying down their lives for their mommas! That is our job to teach them how to do that; it will not come naturally. We have eighteen years to instill that principle into their little hearts, and I pray I am able to accomplish that goal, hopefully sooner versus later.

We can become weary when we look for a specific person to return the favor. A lot of times in our lives God uses someone else in your life to fulfill your needs. Most of the time it isn’t going to come right back at you from the people you deeply serve. Now, in an ideal world your children and your spouse would return the love and willingly and lovingly serve you like you serve them. But don’t limit God to only use them. If you do, you will only become frustrated and grow weary as the days continue with no immediate gratitude. Continue reading

C13- Love Is Not Self-Seeking Part 2

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Last week we talked about the general concept of putting others first, above your own needs and wishes. This is the desire of our heart for many of us, but I believe it is a hard one to live day in and day out.

I know I have caught myself with thoughts of “What about me? When will it be my turn to get what I want?” When I get in this place I have to remind myself that serving others is a privilege, not a task. It isn’t something that we can accomplish, check off our to-do list and not do it again for awhile. It is an opportunity to love others like Jesus modeled.

Jesus was constantly giving and serving. He would stay longer when the people wanted to hear more wisdom. He would take the time to heal those who believed. He fed those who were hungry, both physically and spiritually. He loved on those who were unlovable. Jesus modeled the ultimate servanthood. This is something that I am constantly striving for.  At times it is easy. Other times it is more difficult. Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Is Not Self-Seeking

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Today’s trait of love is one that is so against our human nature but is the key to living an abundant, fulfilling and joy-filled life.

I think Gordon D. Fee’s commentary on 1 Corinthians explains this trait well:

“…they should not seek their own good but that of others. In some ways this is the fullest expression of what Christian love is all about. It does not seek its own; it does not believe that “finding oneself” is the highest good; it is not enamored with self-gain, self-justification, self-worth. To the contrary, it seeks the good of one’s neighbor-or enemy.”

It is all about who is more important. You, or those in your life? Is your job more important than your relationship with your spouse? Is your hobby more important than playing a game with your kid? Is watching your favorite show more important than watching your tired friend’s kids for a few hours? Is having a relaxing morning at home more important that helping with a work day at church? It is all about priorities. Are you here on this earth to advance yourself, or make life better for those around you? Continue reading