Is prayer your first reaction, or your last resort?

Is prayer your first reaction or your last resort?

The day our daughter had her cardiac MRI I was sitting in the hospital lobby waiting, when halfway through the exam her doctor comes out with two nurses.

They took me to a small private room where the doctor began to explain what they had found and what needed to be done.

Her condition was not something that could be easily corrected, it needed surgery.

I sat there as he explained to me the anatomy, the risks, the procedure etc.

It was a LOT to process, and the only thing I could say to him was “I’m processing all of this that you are saying. We are people of faith, would you mind if I just took a moment right now to pray?”

They graciously agreed and I prayed at that moment. Right there in that small conference room with the doctor and the two nurses.

And I can say there was a supernatural peace that allowed me to hold it together.

And continues to do so to this day.

Prayer should be our FIRST response. Sincere, genuine prayer can do amazing things in our lives.

We have a very real and loving Heavenly Father and prayer is our daily connection to him.

It is as crucial to us as the food we eat to nourish our bodies.

Do not let anything keep you from your conversations with God. They can be open, and real. You can cry it out and tell him exactly how you are feeling.

Angry, scared, terrified, ashamed….whatever it is.

Do not believe the lie that you are unworthy of speaking to a most loving and forgiving Father.

He is there waiting, ready to listen to every word you say. He knows even words left unsaid.

How good is our God ❤️

-P. Jenn

#nationalprayerday #prayer #firstresponse #faith #believe #power #strength

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Why Is Honor Important In Your Family?

3, 2, 1…….. Have you ever said these words when your child disobeyed you? Through repetition, you’ve taught them that if you get to the dreaded zero in your countdown, then there will be some type of punishment. This had been my form of control and teaching my children how to be obedient. Because for me, obedience is very important. Who doesn’t want their children to obey their every command? But I really didn’t enjoy those times that I counted down to zero. As I counted, I’d have this internal conversation in my head. All I would be thinking was “come on kid, I don’t want to do this but I will.” Have you ever been there? Maybe you’ve had a similar experience in the disciplining of your child. Let me tell you about something that changed the way I disciplined my children.

It’s one word, HONOR! I know, I know. How can one word be so effective that it would cause me to leave my other discipline strategies? I was also skeptical, when I first heard it. Pastor Andy Stanley brought this idea that he experienced and is currently living out with his family. After teaching and studying the idea, and after practicing it myself, I realized how effective it was. So, let me break it down. In Ephesians 6:2 the bible teaches us that, children should honor their father and mother. Yes, as a parent you have the bible on your side but it goes beyond that. It’s possible that, you simply telling your child, “well the bible says you have to honor me” may not work. It requires more work on our side as parents. Honor in the new testament can mean that something is of value to you or it’s something you deem to have a price; but it also comes about through time. Who wouldn’t want their children to value, respect, and admire them? Before we get there, we have to Honor our children first.

The bible teaches us that, we love because God first loved us. He modeled that to us by revealing himself to us. In the same way how can our kids honor us if we don’t model it to them. Your children imitate you. They speak like you, and even act like you because they are learning from you. If we are constantly lying to our children, then we are not honoring them. If you say yes, I’ll take you to get ice cream tomorrow, and tomorrow comes and you don’t keep your promise, then you’re not honoring them. Instead, you’re teaching them that it’s ok to not follow through on what is said. Then they begin to lie to you, but remember where they learned it from first. As a parent we have the privilege and responsibility to teach, guide, coach, and love our children. Don’t take it lightly. If you do, someone else will teach them, and it may not be what’s best for them. I believe we now understand the importance we play on our children’s life, so let’s begin to teach honor.

We talked about how we must show honor to our children. Fathers, you can achieve this in the way that you interact with your wife. Do you value her in front of your children? Do you lie to her? Do you lift her up? Can your children see a healthy relationship between you and your wife? Fathers if you have boys, the way you treat your wife is the example you set for how they will interact with women when they are older. If you have daughters, the way you treat your wife will set an example of how they should expect to be treated as they are looking for their future husband. Mothers, the same go for you with your children. The way you treat your husband can bring him value, respect, and authority in your home. Our kids study everything, and the relationship between the spouses is a vital one. It’s the one they see throughout their life, and molds most of their future relationships. So, with that being said, parents honor your spouses. Not only does that benefit your children but it greatly benefits your marriage.

So, what do I do if my child dishonors (disrespects, lies, hurts, disobeys) me? Well here is the thing with honor. When you teach your children honor it leads to relationship. So, if you punish your children by taking away their cell phone, video games, YouTube, etc. all you’ve done is take something they like for some time. They might even resent you for it. It doesn’t feed or lead you to a closer relationship, but instead it serves to pull you apart. Now I know some of you are thinking “come on now” but hear me out. I come from a background where whooping is very common, and being familiar with a belt while growing up, but I think I turned out alright. However as a parent, I now know that it isn’t the most effective way. So, you might be asking “well then, what do I do?” Let me give you an example. Not too long ago my eldest dishonored her mom. When she got home, I asked her to go to her room and told her I would be in shortly to talk to her. When I got there, I asked her what happen. She told me a very non-detailed account of what happen. I told her what her mother told me and pointed out how she dishonored her. I reminded her how in our family we honor each other. I reminded her how dishonoring breaks the relationship we are building. Once she acknowledged what she had done, I then asked how she planned to fix it. I asked how can she now show honor after dishonoring. So, she threw out some ideas like making mommy a card, giving her strawberries with whip cream, and apologizing. I agreed and told her “so this is what you are going to do, PERFECT.”

When you lead your children to honor it always leads to building and protecting your relationship. If I take away YouTube, sure its effective for a while. But we never address the offense, the hurt that was done. By having them do something for the person they dishonored it leads to a reconciling and a building of the relationship.

Now teaching your children honor is not a one-night thing or a magical thing that works all the time. It’s something you must dedicate, focus, and prioritize on, if you want it to be a part of your family. Like we said earlier, honor is developed over time, so don’t rush it, just be consistent. When your children are trying to honor after a dishonor you might need to guide them through, on how to mend that relationship. At times, you might even need to strongly guide them in a direction you think is right; and as you do, be creative with it. The more creative, the stronger impact it will make, and they will remember it.

Now, teaching and upholding honor will take some work. It is far easier to take things away as a form of discipline but consider this, let’s stop taking away and start giving our kids practical ways to honor and treat people, and how to mend relationships. The end result should lead you to having children that even when they become adults, they are excited to spend time with you, because they honor you and cherish the relationship, they have with you. That destination sounds like a beautiful place to arrive at, as a parent. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Let me encourage you with this prayer. Father God, I thank you for this teaching that has and is impacting my life. I am thankful for the honor and privilege you have given me, to be a parent. I pray for all those who reading this. Lord, may you encourage them and build them up as they are doing their best with what they have. Father strengthen them physically, mentally, and spiritually. Let them love what you have given them, the same way you love us all. Amen!

Written by Pastor Danny

Learn more about us @ Love Always Faithful

 

Keys to a marriage that thrives

Today marks eight years we have been married. And our marriage has been a book of good and rough moments, sometimes scary or funny. Other times heartbreaking and hopeful. But through it all we have found one thing to be consistently true; that when you have God as number one in your life as an individual, your life together becomes an adventure.

We realize having a thriving marriage seems something foreign or far off for many couples. But it doesn’t have to be. God wants everyone to live a fulfilling and thriving marriage. Not one that gets by just “making it”.

We’ve taken time to discuss and share as a couple some key points that have proven to be crucial in the strengthening of our marriage. These are meant for reflection, and it doesn’t mean our marriage is perfect. But we can honestly say that we walk each day feeling blessed. So here goes:

• Your individual relationship with God must be a priority in your life. He is the solid foundation your marriage will grow on.

• Turn to God about your frustrations. Not friends and family who can be biased and “feed” your negative feelings.

• Learn to love unconditionally. We are far from worthy of God’s love, yet he gives it to us. Don’t live with the mentality that your spouse needs to be “deserving” of your love.

• Seek to live out 1 Corinthians 13 in your life. Make a conscious decision to do so. The flesh wants what is easy, but a strong and thriving marriage is a result of intentional effort.

• Plan life together. You are no longer two but one. Meaning your goals and aspirations should always keep the well being of your spouse and marriage in mind.

• There’s no happily ever after without commitment.

• Never compare your marriage to another. Focus on reaching the best that you and your spouse can be, not who you can “be like”.

•You contribute to the state of your marriage. Meaning what you get out of it is determined by what you pour into it and your mentality about it.

We encourage you to take time in prayer and seek God in the areas your marriage needs improvement. Don’t hesitate to seek help from qualified individuals such as your pastors or counselors. They are in your life as a valuable resource from God to help guide, counsel, and teach. When your relationship with God is strengthened, so is your marriage, and as result so is your family.