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The Welcome Home Message
Are You Looking Around?
pamela spurling

Today I want to share with you something that continues to be a theme over the years---as I talk with or hear from women in situations they’re discontent with.  One of the common themes is trust and respect.  Think of the matter of trust... it takes years to build and a moment to crush.  Respect is kind of like this---it takes time to build, but unlike trust which can be dashed in a day, respect erodes little by little... a remark here, a missed opportunity there, a careless word here and an insensitive gesture there.  Slowly the foundation of respect suffers cracks and stress fractures.  Little comments, resentment,  little quarrels, disappointments, little splinters that become agitated sore spots...  passing thoughts that become daily patterns of thinking and then accompanied by negative behaviour and attitudes---until slowly respect is seemingly gone. 

You want to know one of the greatest tragedies in a marriage?  It's not when the husband starts looking around... though that is an immensely painful tragedy... and I don’t want to minimize the horrible impact on a marriage.  But what I want to share with you today is a real tragedy in the Christian home: one of the greatest tragedies is when a dissatisfied wife starts Looking around... lingering on and entertaining the "what if..."  thoughts, and the  "if only..." thoughts.  Thoughts that turn into statements… bitterness… critical behaviour and words.  The erosion of respect happens a thought at a time. One of the most damaging assaults to a man is to know that his wife is looking around... demonstrating to him her discontent with who he is and what he provides. 

Are you looking around? 

Now, I know that some of the messages I share seem a bit hard, maybe too cut and dried, too conservative or too simple and from time to time I’ll be telling you things that may sting a little, many times they stem from personal experiences from which scars remain; other times the experiences I share are not my own, but are experiences I've observed in others or that others have shared with me. Whatever the case, I pray to share messages that are based on the Word of God and that will ultimately bless your life in some way.  I know that some of you might be hurting with pain and heartache you feel no one could ever understand or even know of, some of you can tell now one the pain you carry in your heart.  I know I sometimes sound saccharine-sweet about some aspects of life and marriage---believe me, I really do understand the anguish some marriages undergo; the pain that is part of the history of some marriages.  If you’re not experiencing joy in your life or in your marriage, I know it’s hard to hear of a joy-filled marriage or of praising the LORD for His work---or it’s hard to even hope that someday things could be different...even delightful for *you.* 

So then, if this is the case with you, with this message I pray that you will *pray* and *seek* the LORD in your marriage and that you will seek, from this day forward, to *do* those things which the LORD has called *you* to do.  That you will seek to respect the husband the LORD has given you, to joyfully serve him, to be a fragrant offering to the LORD in your home as you seek to be a compliment to your husband.  The help *meet* for him.  I tell you the truth: there is great joy in obedience to the LORD. 

I pray again, like I have shared with you on several occasions, that you would no longer *compete* with your husband for the role that God designed for him but that you would seek to *complete* him in the role that God designed for you. No more looking around... no more comparing... no more resentment... no more wasting time on things that diminish your joy and produce no fruit in your life or in your home...  no more looking around at the "might be's" or looking back at the "might have been's." 

No more looking around. 

You have the blueprints!

Have you ever wondered about the wording of the text of Scripture or of the commands of the LORD and why the specific wording for specific commands? The more we read and study the Scriptures, the more we see how precisely they were written and the purpose for which they were given.  Consider:

Ephesians 5.22, 32-33  "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord....This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." 

Christian psychologists and popular Christian authors are writing books uncovering startling "new" ideas and revelations about the differences between men and women...understanding these differences and working with them are ideas that are being heralded as newly discovered keys to success or happiness in marriage... but who thought of these?... are they really new? No, surely not... the LORD had these differences covered long ago... even before the Word was written---since the beginning, God created differences on purpose---for His purposes.  Then when He gave us the written Word, these differences were included and specific commands were given.  So then, the Bible really is a blueprint or a handbook for marriage... there is great specific reason for the wording in Ephesians 5.21-33.  God in His wisdom commanded for us to do things that don't come naturally for us but are the very things that will provide the blessing and the love we so desperately long for and desire.  And it's all part of the great and wonderful mystery of God's design. 

I have an acrostic for Respect 

R
This is for Reverence. Wives are to reverence their husbands.  The greatest need a man has is to be respected or reverenced (by his wife).  He needs to know that he is revered above all other men...  that he is the one you admire, he is the one you respect.  God in His wisdom knew that this teaching would be necessary and thus commanded it in His word.  In the same way, one of women's greatest needs is love that's why God commanded it and why the wording in Ephesians:

5.25: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"  Respect or reverence is not a feeling or an emotion, but a decision not based on circumstances but based on personal resolve to obey the LORD. 

E
This is for encouragement.  A wise wife will be an encouragement to her husband.  She will look for ways to improve herself, the home, and the processes in the home.  She will look for ways to be more careful with the finances and with the needs of the home.  She will look for ways to encourage her husband that he need not worry about the way the home is being run, about where the money is being spent, or about how she is spending her time.  She will look for ways to be joyful and contented... for there is nothing more DIScouraging to a man than to be around a bitter and discontented wife. 

S
This is for sexual pleasure.  Along with respect, sexual gratification is the greatest need a man has.  It is greater than his need for food or for a home or shelter---though these are great needs.  It is the force that drives him.  A woman may not understand it nor share its intensity, but the wise wife who seeks to understand it by regularly meeting or feeding this need will experience the greatest blessing in her own life and that is her personal need to be loved and cared for.

She looks for ways to bless him by the way she anticipates his sexual needs.  She plans for these times and prepares herself just for him this is one of the reasons his heart safely trusts in her. Intimacy in marriage gives the man opportunity to love his wife, (Ephesians 5.28 "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.") and to demonstrate he cherishes and pleases her. I cannot stress the importance for the husband to know that his wife finds him pleasurable and desirable. Song 2.3 "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste." 

P
This is for preference. A husband needs to know that he is preferred above all other men... that who he is and what he has to offer is preferred by the wife above what any other man: is, does, has, offers.

The respected husband is preferred over activities, children, hobbies, friends...and he will surely know it if he's not!  Ways a wise wife can demonstrate this is to never miss his phone calls, remember the things he might request to be done each day, preparing the foods he prefers or arranging the schedule in a manner he prefers, wearing the fragrance he prefers, the hairstyle or clothing he prefers.  It really takes very little to arrange one's life around the preferences of another... the benefit, the blessing and the grace of God is abundant. 

E
This is for esteem.  Men need to know that they are appreciated and exciting.  They need to know that they are desired above all other men.  That's why I share with you about the dangers of a wife looking around to see what other husbands are like and what they are doing for their wives and negatively comparing the others to ones own husband.

Their faults or shortcomings need to be overlooked... this will make the strengths increase and the weaknesses diminish.  A man who hears good things about himself, his work, his accomplishments, and his abilities will be a man who knows he's respected by his wife.

C
This is for committed to Christ.  We have the wonderful teaching in God's Word that pertains to wives behaviour and her influence on her husband. "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;"  1 Peter 3.1 You see, even if your husband is not a believer, the LORD can be honoured in your home by the way you behave and your husband must still be reverenced by you.

 

I hear time and again how husbands were drawn to the LORD or to a deeper walk with the LORD by observing the chaste conversation and behavior of their wives---how their wives purity and commitment to the LORD compelled them to seek Him or more fully serve Him.  So... the wife who is obedient, prayerful and committed to Christ will be a heavenly blessing to her husband.  He will be won over by her pleasant conversation.

Proverbs 31.30 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

T
This is for thankfulness.  A husband needs to know that his wife (and children!) is thankful for what he does---thankful for him, who he is and what he provides.  I don't know any man who enjoys coming home to or being around a wife who is ungrateful... or unthankful for what he does or for who he is.  A man will be slowly worn down, slowly degraded, slowly lose joy with a wife who is unthankful, ungrateful, complaining.  Unthankfulness is a the great destroyer.  Thankfulness is health and life!  The greatest blessing for a man is to come home to a joyful wife who is thankful to see him---and demonstrates it!   Thankfulness is a virtue... "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." -Proverbs 12.4   "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."--- Colossians 3.15

Ephesians 5.32-33 "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Reverence
Encouragement
Sexual pleasure
Preference
Esteem
Committed to Christ
Thankfulness

Attention to these will leave no time for looking around.  No time for discouragement because in these will your husband be exceedingly blessed by you---and you will experience sweet joy.  The fruit of obedience.  Resolve today: No More Looking Around---It's Time for Respect!

 

God Bless you!  ---pamela

Are You Looking Around 2000; 2004 pamela spurling  http://www.achristianhome.org 
 


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