Keeping it Fresh: How Technology Can Help Your Marriage

Technology has its downsides, but it has its upsides too. Recently my husband bought me a new phone (something I was resistant too initially and made no effort to hide my complaints). As I got familiar with this new, and maybe a bit complicated, piece of technology, I discovered an “app” that allows me to record events, appointments, and even shopping lists. The coolest thing about this feature was that everyone on our phone plan could sign in from their phones or computers and view or make changes to the calendar or shopping list. Now my husband and I have a way to keep track with what each of us was doing, eliminating confusion and misunderstanding regarding our respective schedules.

My husband found an even better use for this feature, though. He likes to send me secret messages using the shopping list. For instance, today he added “something special for Rebecca” to the shopping list. Now that made me smile. Not only was it endearing, but I knew he was thinking about me even if he had not verbally communicated it (which is important to many women, including myself). In turn I left an item on the shopping list “I love you, husband”.

Sometimes we need to lighten up and take a step away from the grueling demands of life. With work, bills, health problems, children, LIFE, it can be tempting to let the little things fall by the wayside. My husband and I have found a way to use what can be considered a curse by many to be a blessing and tool in our marriage.

How about you? Have you and your spouse discovered ways to use technology to help add a unique flavor to your relationship?  How do you “keep it fresh” in new and unexpected ways?

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Rippling Effect

Suggested Reading: John 15:1-11

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11

I was thinking about that day, as it often returns to my thoughts. He appeared to me in such a clear way it was undeniable. His voice spoke soft yet firm, “Your independence from Me has shattered his dreams.”

God opened my heart with surgical precision. I had gotten caught up in, “It’s my life; it’s my body; it’s my choice!” All those “my my mys” destroyed my husband’s heart, and mine as well. Did God reveal this to cause shame? Never. He revealed this to cause repentance.

“If only I had remained in His love, attached to His vine of wisdom; if only…”

As the ramifications of what I did spilled into my psyche, I was overwhelmed with grief. It took at least two weeks before I could confront my husband and share with him my regret.

“I should never have done it, I was wrong, I am so sorry! Can you ever find a way to forgive me?”

It was a nice sentiment, but he had long lived with the pain of my decision and bitterness had set in. It was several more weeks before he could talk about my change of heart. Healing has been a long process for us. In His love, God has allowed me to experience the consequences of my decision. I don’t find this to be cruel, however. I embrace the discipline. Everytime I feel the stinging pain I am reminded of how vital it is for me to remain in Him. Stay in His word, and for crying out loud, ASK HIM FIRST before making decisions.

You’re probably itching to know what awful thing I had done. I had many Christian women advising me to do it. Funny how in hindsight no one was telling me to see what God thought about it. It’s not their fault, of course. It was my responsibility to look for His will, and listen for His voice. Truth be told, I didn’t care at the time what He wanted. It was “my choice” and I made it.

Against my husbands wishes I walked into the hospital and signed the consent. I assured my OBGYN I was never going to have children again. My husband (who does not have a relationship with Jesus) and I had been having a lot of difficulties and I concluded I could not bear any more of his children.

Since then Chris has watched his sisters bear children, boys, which is what he always wanted and hoped to try for. I remember snapping a picture of him with his nephew,

and God began working on my heart. I destroyed that man’s dreams because I couldn’t be bothered to listen to the God I claim to serve.; no wonder my husband doesn’t care for “religion”.

I was certain I never wanted more children, but I underestimated the power of God. He has placed within me a strong desire to have another baby. Poetic justice? I mean, why would God place a desire that couldn’t be fulfilled? Actually, I know God didn’t place that desire in my heart to torture me. In a sense He has branded my heart with the hot iron of His love. Every time I hold my friends baby or see someone else holding their newborn I feel the ache deep within and I thank God for it.

Reminders that my choices aren’t my choices.

They effect others like a stone dropped in a pond. The ripples go out far and wide in ways I couldn’t begin to understand.

I’m a firm believer that God doesn’t waste our pain, and he brought me on my knees that day to bring about a glorious new birth. Is it a physical brith? Maybe not, but a spiritual one; definitely.

He told me all of this so my joy could be complete. Thank you, Jesus, for loving me enough to teach me how essential it is to follow You.

 

Delight, Desire…Worship

Delight, Desire….Worship

 “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

John 16:13 (NIV)

 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

 “Whom have I in heaven but You?

I desire You more than anything.”

Psalm 73:25 (NLT)

“Only as we truly delight in God is it safe to give us our desires, for then they are not likely to become idols. And by our delighting in God, He heals our false desires as our souls come true in light of their Maker. Worship becomes the means by which we most deeply heal our desire.

Worship is the act of the abandoned heart adoring its God.

Simply showing up for church on Sunday is not even close to worship. Neither does singing songs with religious content pass for worship. What counts is the posture of the soul involved, the open heart pouring forth its love toward God and communing with Him. It is a question of desire.

Worship occurs when we say to God, from the bottom of our hearts, ‘You are the One whom I desire.'”

John Eldredge (Desire)

As we come together week after week to bring “worship” to the congregation I believe it becomes imperative that we must first ask God to search our own hearts and motives and show us our inner most desires. Can we say to God, in all honesty that He is our only desire, above all else? How can we express true worship to our brothers and sisters in the congregation if our own hearts are not in the right place? It becomes clearer that just showing up on Sunday (and Wednesday) with our “talents” is not enough. The people need to see us fully abandoned before God, every Sunday. The only way we can do that is if we are delighting in Him every other day of the week.