Would You Like to Keep Your Marriage Fresh?

Keep Your Marriage Fresh

Would you like to keep your marriage fresh?

I have been talking about meeting each other’s needs in marriage. This is the third part of the second step in the series.

The first part of step two was helping discover, using the list, why you may have had conflicts in the past. Part two was explaining how thrilled your spouse will be when you value their opinions as related to the list.

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When your needs are met, and when your spouse’s needs are met, what a wonderful thing it is in your marriage. Even though you’ll have ups and downs, you’ll have a thrilling and very fulfilling marriage when both of your needs are met.

Now, this doesn’t happen by accident You have to be proactive and cause these things to come about.

Taking Steps

As I said, I’m talking about some steps toward meeting each other’s needs. In previous posts, I talked about making a list and then ranking that list in the order of importance.

Two posts back (link above) talked about using that list to the best advantage in your marriage. Use it to enhance your marriage and to make it sparkle.

The post just before this one (link above) talked about recognizing the value of your spouse’s opinion.

You may find that you have a certain need way up on your list and he or she may have it way down towards the bottom on his or her list. That doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Not at all.

When you recognize and value each other’s opinions, it gives you an opportunity to have some discussions that you may not have had previously.

Once you’ve recognized the value of each other’s opinions, work toward meeting your spouse’s greatest needs. If there have been areas and things that you have neglected, you have a new emphasis on what you want to try to do in your marriage in order to meet your spouse’s needs.

Likewise, your spouse will do the same for you.

Keeping Things Fresh

There is another way to use those lists, and that is to review them from time to time.

One way to remind yourself to review your spouse’s list is to put it in your Bible, a book that you’re reading, or somewhere else where you will see that often. Then and you will review your spouse’s interpretation of what are his or her most important needs in his or her life.

A fresh new use for the list.
A fresh new use for the list.

You’ll be reviewing it when you do that, but you should also review this by going through the process again at different stages in your marriage.

So you reviewed these needs again, but you also go through the process of the ranking again.

The reason for doing that is that life just changes.

Life Stages Related to Children

Let’s think about some life stages that are related to children.

If you’re in the before-children stage, that is a good time to make your list and do the rankings and trade the list. The goal is to work toward meeting each other’s needs.

It may be that you and your spouse do not have children. Well, most people your age probably will have children during that life stage. This is a good time for you to, again, redo your list to see if anything has changed. it may not change as much for those without children, as it would for those who have children.

Life stages related to children are good times to make sure your list is fresh.
Life stages related to children are good times to make sure your list is fresh.

Then there comes what might be called the empty nest stage of life. That’s another change. It is a time when life has changed so much that your ranking of how you feel about those felt needs may have changed.

Your spouse needs to know that. If you have a new number one need, your spouse needs to know that. Your spouse needs to know you’ve changed your mind about what’s important.

Another life stage will be what we might call retirement or I refer to it as the later ministry stage within our life. The circumstances have changed.

Those are four different times that would be a good time to review your lists about felt needs.

If you haven’t done your list yet, go back to the previous blog posts. I talked about making a list, ranking it, sharing it with your spouse, and how to use the information you learn.

Life Stages Related to Finances, Careers, or Jobs

There are other life changes that are not related to children, but related to finances, careers, or jobs.

It may be that one time when you filled out your list, your finances were very low, so financial security may have been very high on one or the other of your lists. However, if you are comfortable now, that may not be quite as high on the list.

You may have gotten to the point where you have financial peace. Maybe one or both of us have lost jobs. Those events would probably make a difference in that area of your ranking. I would urge you to go through those lists again at that time.

You'll want to review your list after changes in finances or jobs.
You’ll want to review your list after changes in finances or jobs.

You might have a career change, or a different job within yourcareer category. When you start a different job and have different time demands, it will be very important for you to consider how you’re going to work through these time demands and how your spouse feels about it.

If it’s going to demand more of your time, how are you going to work that out where you continue to have good quality time with your husband or wife? Perhaps you will end up having a whole lot more time than you did before. In either case, your needs have likely changed.

These are good times to go through the list again.

Life Changed Related to Maturity or Renewed Focus on Spiritual Growth

Then there are life stages that are related to your own personal maturity; Your own growth or renewed focus on spiritual growth within your life.

When it comes to maturity when you’re very young, your needs or perception of needs may be quite different than it is after the two of you have gone through some storms.

Maturity and spiritual growth can cause your needs to change.
Maturity and spiritual growth can cause your needs to change.

Those storms may not have been caused by either of you, just by life events. But having made it through those storms together, you have grown within your lives and your priorities may end up being different than what they were when you filled out that list in the earlier stage in your life.

You have also may have had a time when you decided the two of you were really going to focus on your marriage. You had a renewed focus your marriage has just become better because of your renewed focus in that area.

After having refocused for a while, it would be a good time to go through the exercise again. Rank those needs in order of importance to you and then you and your husband or wife will trade those lists again. it will give you a means for further discussion, and a basis for how you’re going to focus your life in the next few years because you really want to please your husband or wife.

So you have maturity or you had renewed focus in your marriage.

You may have new spiritual growth. If you did not know the Lord when you first filled out the lists, and then later if you came to Christ, your priorities will probably have changed.

If you’ve had a new stage of spiritual growth and your life and both of you have a new commitment in that area, or if it’s changed for one or the other of you, it would be a good time to go through the process again. Then look at your current status of how you feel about what is important to you in your life.

Try those lists, discuss them if you need to, but then focus on focus on doing what is best for your spouse.
Review the list periodically as needed throughout your life.

Well, I hope this has been helpful to you. For more tips on marriage, and to see the other posts in this particular series, click here.

Helpful books on marriage
Helpful books on marriage.

I also, have two books on marriage some books on Amazon. One is called “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the other is “From Mountains to Molehills” Both of those will prove beneficual to your marriage.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, I wish you the best in your marriage.

Respect the Value of Each Other’s Opinions & Watch Your Spouse Beam with Joy

Respect the value of each other’s opinions and watch your spouse beam with joy.

Welcome to part 5 of my series on meeting each other’s needs in marriage.
First I told you about the benefits of listing each other’s needs.
Next came information about the troubles you can avoid by doing the list-building exercise.
Following that was instruction on how to create, rank, and use your list.
Most recently, I revealed some reasons why you may have had conflicts in the past. These 4 complete the first step.

Now, I’m moving on to the second step, where I talk about using the information gained in step one.

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Review of Step One

In the first step, you had a list of needs that was developed by marriage counselors and marriage researchers.

Next, you customized those lists by adding your own ideas if you thought there had been some that had been left out.

Then you took those lists and we ranked them in the order of importance to each of you.

After that, you traded the list with your spouse. Doing that gave you some revelations and ideas of things that you may have not considered before.

I want to encourage you to think about meeting each other’s needs.

Beginning Step Two

Getting started on step two
Getting started on step two

Now in the second step, I’m talking about using that list to gain a better understanding of one another in dealing with our husbands or wives.

Here I’m going to talk about respecting the value of each other’s opinions.

When it comes to these lists, you may be surprised to find that your number one need is way down on the list of your wife or your husband.

Out of the 1000s of couples that were surveyed this list of 10 or so needs was identified. There were many others that were also important, and that’s why you customized your own lists.

One person’s opinion is not better than the other’s, it’s just different. It’s great if you have been honest about how you feel about these needs in your particular situations.

Respecting the value of each other’s opinions: the wife was just beaming. She said, “My husband really gets me and he listens to me. Sometimes he acts on what he has to say.”

This is important for both parties because it motivates you to do things that can be beneficial to your marriage.

What happens when you respect the value of each other’s opinions?

It Builds You Up

First of all, it builds you up and makes you feel good. When you feel good, you are likely then to want to continue on with a certain project or a certain thing that you are doing. So it makes you feel good, especially when your spouse meets your needs. It also makes you feel good that your spouse, who was previously unaware of how important some things are to you now realizes it.

In this process of identifying how important these things are, they begin to meet your needs.

it also makes you feel good when you start attempting to do a better job of meeting your mate’s needs. At least you know that you’re trying and can show them that that is what you are doing.

So it shows that you’re trying and it makes us feel good.

It Gives You a Basis for Discussion

In addition, it gives you a basis for a discussion. You might not be questioning that is really how your husband or your wife feels. But after comparing lists, you might ask for clarification.

Valuing opinions can bring about fruitful discussions.
Valuing opinions can bring about fruitful discussions.

“What is it about this that really triggers you? Really motivates you? How is it that this thing really motivates your need?”

Ladies, be prepared.

Your husband may not be able to articulate some feelings very well. But they might, you never know.

But it does give you a basis for discussion. After a while, you will begin to consider “Well, what is it about this that makes me feel so good, and what is it about that motivates me?”

You get the basis for discussion.

It Gives You Joint Projects

The second thing is it gives you joint projects.

When you are working on things together, it gives you the opportunity to be together.

Some couples may say, “Well, that’s not too good. We just get in an argument when we try to do things together.”

But if you respect each other in how you approach things, how you ask questions and aren’t critical, you can avoid arguing.

I know of a family that bought some chickens. They decided to build a chicken house and the chicken run that would go with it. They didn’t know much about it and started watching videos trying to figure out how to do this project.

Respectful communication can avoid arguments
Respectful communication can avoid arguments

Fortunately, they had a friend who was pretty good at building who came over to help them get started. This friend really did a lot of things. He sped up the process quite a bit, but they had done most of the project themselves.

While doing the planning, they would come up with different ideas. The testimony has actually been good for them to be doing this together.

The wife said, “Well, I learned to be careful how I would ask a question if I thought maybe something could be done differently.”

He really listened and they considered the ideas and then came up with the idea.

Working on these lists of meeting each other’s needs is giving you a joint project. It is something that you are doing together.

Value one another's opinions and watch what happens
Value one another’s opinions and watch what happens

It Forms the Basis for Change

It shows that you are willing to change and that goes a long way in a marriage. When you’re talking about being willing to change, it’s also about respecting the value of each other’s opinions, especially in the areas of health needs.

There’s a difference between when you want to do something and when you are forced to. If you feel like you are being forced to do something then you are not as likely to be motivated to do that particular thing.

But if it’s something that you really want to do, then you go into it without hesitation and it forms the basis for change. It helps you respect each other’s opinions and to listen, to really listen to each other’s ideas, and consider those ideas.

Beyond that, it gives you the joy of knowing that you are serving each other. It makes you feel good to know that you are serving someone else. It makes you feel good when someone’s serving you and meeting your needs.

I don’t mean that in a selfish way. I just mean that we are fulfilled and of course that makes us feel good.

Respect the value of each other’s opinion.

I hope this has been helpful to you. Be sure to look for the next blog in this series

Books on marriage
Books on marriage

If you would like some more marriage tips like these click here..

Also, I have two books on Amazon that are on the topic of marriage. The first is “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage.” The second one is called “From Mountains to Molehills.” These posts here are actually the basis for my fifth book on marriage. It will be out soon.

Book on writing
Book on writing

If you’re interested in writing a book yourself, my book “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” is available on Amazon as well.

Please consider subscribing to my YouTube or Rumble channel, and following me on Facebook.

I hope you are having a great day. I wish you the best in your marriage

Oh, That’s Why We Had Conflict!

That’s why we had conflict. This is the next part in the series about meeting each other’s needs.

First I told you about the benefits of listing each other’s needs.
Next came information about the troubles you can avoid by doing the list-building exercise.
Following that was instruction on how to create, rank, and use your list.
Today, I’ll be revealing some of the reasons that you may have had conflict in your marriage.

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In this post, I’m going to talk about using the information you get from the list-building and ranking process to its best advantage. Utilizing it will help you in your marriage.

After looking at one another’s list, you may say, “Oh, that’s why we had conflict, I didn’t realize the importance that my spouse placed upon that particular need within his or her life.”

You want to realize what it is that causes you to have different perceptions of your needs.

Different Backgrounds

First of all, everyone has differing backgrounds.

I’ll give you an example.

I grew up in a family that enjoyed going camping. When I was young, we went tent camping. Later on, we got a little camping trailer. Then later my parents got even more elaborate trailers and at one point after I had gotten married, a very nice motorhome.

On the other hand, my wife grew up in a family that had never gone camping. So it was an experience for her. To her credit, she was willing to do that a few times. But see the excitement and fun things I remembered were not there for her as they were for me.

Different backgrounds can sometimes cause conflict.
Different backgrounds can sometimes cause conflict.

I have to admit that some of the camping trips that we had after we got married, had a lot of uncomfortable things happen, which would not help in the future.

So if I felt a need to go camping, or desire, maybe not so much a need, then her desire would not be nearly so great. First of all, she did not have the great memories that I did, and secondly, she had some uncomfortable experiences to look back to.

Now, I’m not saying that she would never go camping again. Although that might be the case. But I realize that her need for that is not nearly as great as my need and her need to perhaps avoid it is much greater than it would be for me because of my optimism and hoping that I can have a joyful experience again.

We did have one or two good camping trips later in our marriage, but I have to admit that most of them have not been as joyful as those two.

That’s an example of the differing backgrounds.

Different Interests

Conflict can arise when your interests don't match up.
Conflict can arise when your interests don’t match up.

The second area is in our interests. You have different interests. Some of those interests are long-standing interests that you develop early in life. As you followed those interests, you got good at some of the skills that were associated with those interests. You’ve experienced some feelings of success in those areas and that made you feel good, so you continued on.

Some of your interests may have come about more recently.

One of my interests came in the area of construction work. I did not do a lot of it when I was young. I had watched my father and others do some construction work but I mainly was relegated to going and getting things and was not taught very many of the skills that were involved.

Then my wife and I came to a point in our lives, where our income was so sporadic, that we did not think that we would qualify for a loan in order to build a house or even purchase a house that had already been built. We didn’t have a piece of land upon which we could place a house. So I developed an interest in construction.

Also when we had some home repairs earlier in our marriage, our income a lot of times did not make it easy for us to just call a repairman to come out. And so I started learning about things and how they worked and did that out of necessity.

But I also became very interested in how things worked. The electronic things and construction things.

Also, later on in my life, I became interested in computers and programming, I learned a little bit about programming in basic, but there is so much you can do with computers that don’t involve certain types of coding.

So I became very interested in that. My wife is glad for me to learn more about that although sometimes becomes a little expensive when we get some new computer equipment or things like that.

On the other hand, I have been able to monetize those things to a certain extent, and it has certainly turned out well in our lives.

For instance, I have three books that are on Amazon right now. It’s because of my interest in computers and word processing and developing websites and things like that, that I have been able to complete those.

Feelings of Success or Failure

Feelings of success or failure can have an impact.
Feelings of success or failure can have an impact.

I mentioned in an earlier post that men like feelings of success, and don’t like feelings of failure.

They’re not a married couple, but two counselors worked together and wrote a book. They said that one of the major things that a man did not like in marriage was the feeling of shame. It was not the shame that came from doing something evil, but more like the shame of not doing something well.

So, when we look at the needs that are listed, sometimes those needs are related to things that are related to our successes or failures in life. The things that make us feel good are things that we perceive to be important, and the things that make us feel uncomfortable will be placed lower on our lists.

You have the two lists and have ranked the items on them according to the order of importance to you. Then you have traded that list with your spouse. You might have found some revelations in doing that. You might have found some things there.

As you look at that your mate’s list, you might say, “Oh, that’s why we had some conflicts in the past. Because I didn’t perceive this one thing to be as important as my wife or husband.”

Take your list and discuss it with your spouse. The premade lists that have come from the research on marriage may also cause you to have a discussion about something the two of you have never talked about within your marriage.

Books on marriage
Books on marriage

I hope this has been helpful to you. If you would like more posts like this, you can click here and it will take you to my marriage blogs.

As I mentioned earlier, I have 3 books currently available on Amazon. Two are on the topic of marriage The first is “21 Ways The Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the second is “From Mountains to Molehills”

For aspiring writers.
For aspiring writers.

If you happen to be interested in writing, my most recent book is “How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death” which is also available on Amazon.

That’s all for now. I wish you the best in your life and marriage. Have a great day.

Listing, Ranking, and Using Your List

Using Your List

Today I’m talking about marriage again. In the first post in this series, I spoke about the benefits of making a list of one another’s needs. The second one talked about troubles that could be avoided by making the list. This blog will be about using your list.

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What you and your spouse are going to do is make a list of your most important felt needs. Both of you will get value from going through this exercise.

Why Make the List?

Why will this prove valuable?

What's the importance of using your list?
What’s the importance of using your list?

No one wants to have hard conversations. You probably won’t come up with anything that will be really difficult when you do this list although you might. You don’t want to feel selfish when talking about what you need all the time.

So you’re going to go through the exercise of making a list of your ten most important felt needs and ranking those.

In talking about making a list of your needs and ranking them in order of importance to you, you don’t want to appear selfish. That may be a reason why you would never bring some of these things up on your own.

So the process of going through and working with this list will help you to have some conversations that you might not have otherwise.

Getting Started

I’m going to make it easy for you because I’m going to give you a pre-made list. This is a list that has been compiled from information from marriage counselors, pastors, and health professionals.

What I’m going to do is give you a list of categories that they came up with when they did their research. As you look at the categories, you may feel like something that’s not on the list ought to be. Tell your spouse that you think that category ought to be on the list and both of you add that to the bottom of your personal lists. Your mate may feel that something else is missing. Go ahead and add that to your list too.

You’ll end up with a list of 10 or 11 needs that you’re going to rank.

Now when it comes to ranking, there are two ways to do it. I’m going to talk to you first about the one that is the most effective, but more time-consuming. Then I’ll give you another way to do it, which is less time-consuming, but probably not quite as effective, but will still be very good.

First Way to Rank Your List

For the first one, you’re going to compare your ranking of every need that’s on the list with every other need that’s on the list.

So you’ll take a piece of paper and on the left-hand side at the top of the paper, write one, comma one, and then you’re going to come down in a column. You write one comma two, then on down one comma three, one and four, one and five one and six, one and seven, one and eight, one and nine, and one and 10.

So there you’ll have the first item on the list, compared with the second item on the list, and then you have the first item on the list compared with the third item on the list. Then you have the first item on the list compared with every other item that is on the list.

When it comes to using that, you will look at number one and number two on the list. Which one of those is most important to you? You’re going to have to rank them in order so pick one, then compare one and three; which is more important to you? Circle the one that is more important.

Then you will come down to one and four and decide if one is more important, or four is. Whichever one it is, circle it.

Once you have compared the first need listed with all the other needs, then you’re going to go through the same thing with the second need listed. However, on this column, you will jump over right beside where it says one and three.

The reason for that is you’ve already compared one and two and you don’t need to compare two and two. So you’ll jump down there and beside one and three, now you will have two and three and then move on down the column. You will have 2,4 2,5 2,6 until you get down to two and 10.

More time-consuming, but more accurate results.
More time-consuming, but more accurate results.

Then go through the process again. Compare each couple. There will be a couple of needs that are listed. Pick one and circle it, then go with item number three compared with all the rest of the items.

You will start with three and four.

So on your row there on the top on the left, you will just have one and two. And then you’ll have two and three and so forth coming down that left column on the next column at the very top. You won’t have anything there for one or two. But you will start with two and three coming down. So coming across you have one and three, two and three, and so forth.

Okay, so now you’re coming down so there are fewer items to put in your column because you’ve already compared them previously.

So we come down to comparing three and four. Below that is three and five, three and six, and so forth till you get down to three and 10.

Next, you will come across and you will start with the four and five until you get down to four and 10 and so forth.

You will finally end up with just nine and 10.

Once you have reached the end, you count how many times you circled an item The one that is circled most will be the most important need for you. It will be your number one ranking.

The one that got the next highest number of circles will be your second rank. You can do the third one which would be the third most items that are circled and so forth until you come down ranking from one to 10 with one being the most important because you will have circled that item the most times.

That is one way to rank it and it’s the most effective way to do it because you are making a decision on every comparison.

The Second Way to Rank Your List

Now here’s a quicker way to do it. It is a really good way to do it. It may not be quite as effective but it will probably serve your purpose.

When I do marriage seminars I use this method just because it is easier.

A simple list.
A simple list.

For this one, you’ll take the list and look from one to 10. Whatever one is most important to you, put number one out to the right of it.

Then look through your list again. If you could only choose one item, what would it be? Out to the right of that you put number two.

Just go down through the list doing the same thing until you have your list of needs in the most important order. The needs that are most important to you will be listed from one to 10

When you’re done ranking this way, you will have to look up and down on the right side to find what the number one most important need is and so forth because your numbers will be mixed up there on the side.

If you want to make it really easy, then you can rewrite them in the most important order.

Trade Lists

Having done that, we’ve come to the important part of this. Double-check to make sure that it represents your ranking and, without commenting on it, trade it with your spouse’s list.

Look at the list first without comment. Give it a minute or two until you’ve looked over the whole list. Then you can discuss the list.

Using Your List

Are there any surprises?
Would you have thought that your husband would have ranked something much higher than what he did?
Would you have thought that your wife would have rank something much higher than what she did on the list?
Are there any surprises there?
Are there any immediate ideas?

There could be some real revelations.

One of you may say, “Well, honey, I hadn’t realized that that was so important to you. I know we haven’t spent much time on that. I’m willing for us to spend more time in that area.”

Likewise, your spouse may say the same.

The two of you may decide to come up with some projects or some priorities in your mind. Because what is important is what your husband or wife thinks. It’s not what’s important as to how you think it would be. It is what they feel.

With an understanding of that, you can then meet your husband’s or wife’s needs more easily than you would have been able to otherwise.

I truly hope this is helpful to you. There will be another post in a day or two.

Two books on marriage.
Two books on marriage.

In the meantime, I have two books on marriage currently available on Amazon. The first is “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the second one is “From Mountains to Molehills“.

In addition, the previous post in this thread, along with the future ones, can all be found right here.

Thank you for reading. I wish you the best in your life and your marriage

Troubles You Will Avoid by Engaging in the List-Building Exercise

The troubles you will avoid by engaging in the list building exercise.

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Once again, I’m talking about marriage. Here, I’ll discuss another aspect of the idea of building a list that will help you to meet each other’s needs within your marriage.

In the previous blog post, I talked about some benefits that you can get out of that process.

I also want you to realize that this will help you to avoid certain troubles in your marriage.

You Will Avoid Feeling Like Your Mate Does Not Care

One of the first struggles that this will help you to avoid is the often false idea that your mate does not care about you at all.

When you both start working on the list, your spouse will think, “If they’re willing to do this, at least they care enough to get involved in this project.”

When you see that your husband or wife is willing to do the exercise, that will encourage you.

Working together shows you care.
Working together shows you care.

When the two of you see that the other is making an attempt to get the list filled out, you’ll realize that they’re making an attempt to make some sort of a change in your marriage that had not been attempted before.

So just the process of seeing your mate attempting to work on this project along with you shows that you do care about each other.

It will avoid the feeling that your mate does not care about you at all.

You Will Avoid Looking to Someone Else to Meet Your Needs

Then you will avoid the dangerous situation of looking for someone else to fulfill your unmet needs in your life.

When you have certain needs that are unmet, you have an emptiness inside. You are discouraged and others can see that within you. Sometimes, they just want to encourage you but sometimes they will come along and flatter you.

Some couples have the privilege of being able to work with each other, but many go their separate ways in the workforce and spend time around other people.

People generally have things at their jobs that they do well. When others recognize that and give you encouraging words, it helps you to feel better. Everyone can have that emptiness of unmet needs in their lives, so they look for something to come along and help that need to be met.

Flattery can be dangerous.
Flattery can be dangerous.

If someone flatters you it makes you feel good. Now sometimes you’re wise enough to know that it’s just flattery. That’s great if you are.

But if you and your spouse focus on that list of needs that you came up with, it will keep you from looking for someone else to come in and help you meet those unmet needs.

It starts off as discouragement, and when you went to feel better, you’ll start searching for those encouraging, flattering words. If those needs aren’t met by your spouse, then you will start looking to someone else for that.

But if you and your husband or wife are engaged in a project that both of you are working on and giving it an honest attempt, then it will help avoid looking for someone else to come and meet that need.

You Will Avoid Drifting Apart

The third trouble it will help you to avoid is that of just simply drifting apart.

I know of a couple that seemed to be very happy in the early years of their marriage. They had three children and did a good job of raising those children with integrity. They worked in different areas and were good at their jobs.

However, they came to a point where they just drifted apart. While talking with a counselor, he or she said, “I’ve never seen a couple like you. Neither one of you speaks badly of the other one. You just have recognized that you’ve just drifted apart.”

When you are engaged in a project such as the list-building project that I’m going to talk about in the next post, then you are both focusing on something that has the prospect of helping your marriage.

List-building can keep you from drifting apart.
List-building can keep you from drifting apart.

That means that you realize that your spouse does care and your spouse is making an attempt.

That’s encouraging.

It will help you to avoid thinking that your spouse just does not care at all.

Then when both of you are focusing on this and you are both trying, it removes the hopelessness. It will also remove the temptation for you to look for someone else to meet your needs.

Then we have the situation of simply drifting apart. Focusing on a project like this, which will help you discover what your husband’s needs or wife’s needs are and the ranking of those needs will help connect you.

The exercise may give you some surprises. The lists may give you something else to work on in your marriage in an attempt to meet those needs. however large or small.

You will have the benefits of realizing that your mate does care.

It will have the benefit of you not looking somewhere else to get your needs met because you see that your husband or wife is willing to work in that area.

Then the fact that both of you are focused on the same thing causes you to be working together rather than drifting apart.

So those are some of the troubles that you will avoid by going through the list-building process. As I stated in the last post, the list has to do with the felt needs within your life.

I certainly hope this has been helpful to you. If you would like more tips on marriage like these, just click here.

I also have 2 books about marriage on Amazon. The first is “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the second is “From Mountains to Molehills.” Please check those out.

My 2 current books on marriage.
My 2 current books on marriage.

Looking Ahead

I also have two more books in the works!

One has to do with valuing your spouse and the other is about developing physical and spiritual intimacy in marriage. Another book about meeting each other’s needs in your marriage will come later . These blog posts are a foundation for that one

Until next time, I wish you and your marriage the best.

Benefits of Listing Each Other’s Needs

Benefits of listing each other’s needs.

Vlog

Today I’m talking about marriage. In particular, I’m talking about the topic of meeting each other’s needs.

Here, I’m going to talk about the first of seven steps for helping you to meet each other’s needs.

Your Mate Will Feel Fulfilled

The first step is listing each other’s needs and there will be some benefit to doing that.

One of those benefits is that it will make your mate feel fulfilled.

Knowing what one another needs can lead to fulfillment in your marriage.
Knowing what one another needs can lead to fulfillment in your marriage.

Now, whenever your mate has a sad countenance, that often brings frustration to you and may cause you to be embarrassed and have a certain amount of shame.

Shame is especially hard on husbands. It’s hard on both husbands and wives but some researchers have said that it is especially difficult for husbands to feel ashamed.

The other problem is that whenever your mate does not look happy, there may be others that may step into the situation. You may find out that not only your mate but that may happen in your case too. So we need to be careful of that because that is a very, very dangerous situation.

You Will Feel Fulfilled

Having a clear path can make you feel happier.
Having a clear path can make you feel happier.

The second benefit is that you will feel fulfilled.

The first one is your mate will feel fulfilled because you are taking steps to meet your husband’s or your wife’s needs. When they are also doing that, then it becomes reciprocal and you will feel more fulfilled also.

Being happy is a very good thing.

A Warning

I mentioned how others may creep in when either of you are not having their needs met very well. Someone may come along and ask, “Do you want to talk about it?”

You need to be careful in that situation because that can be very dangerous. Especially if the person who wants to show that sympathy to you wants to step in and maybe meet an unfulfilled need. That’s a very dangerous and vulnerable place for you or your mate to be.

It’s one thing to talk with someone who has a similar situation as you. If you’re a man, you could talk to another man. But even at that you need to be careful about airing your problems with your friends and with others.

Now, it may be that you really do need to talk. You might be better served to talk with a professional counselor or a professional religious worker and for it to all be in the proper setting.

Just be careful. If you don’t look happy, or if your mate doesn’t look happy, someone else may come along.

The Bible speaks of those who creep in to women’s houses and they creep into their minds and their souls.(2 Timothy 3:6) It can also happen by getting into your mind and your soul. This can happen to a woman or a man, so you need to be very careful.

You want to affair-proof your marriage and you want to have a happy marriage.

You Will Be Encouraged by Knowing What to Do

Another benefit of doing this is that you will know what to do.

I mentioned husbands not liking the feel like failures or feel ashamed They need to know what the steps for success are.

I remember a young man who was placed on a basketball team and he was very good. His major contribution was his speed and his quick reflexes. He was very good on defense. It could be between his opponent and the basket. If his opponent was not careful, his quick hands would steal the ball.

fter a while he began to anticipate where they were going to throw the ball and sometimes he could jump in and steal the ball that way. But when it came to offense, he felt very inadequate.

Knowing what is expected makes it so much easier.
Knowing what is expected makes it so much easier.

Then not too late in the season, the coach came up with a series of plays, and they started practicing them. They knew where the ball would start, they knew where it wouoldd be thrown next, when somebody would run from one side of the court to the other, and when somebody would run to a certain position.

He really appreciated those plays, because then he knew what to do.

Well, one of the benefits of listing each other’s needs is that it will give you a step towards knowing what to do to be able to attempt to meet each other’s needs more fully.

The List

As we think about that, we’re going to come up with a premade list of 10 categories of needs. These will be felt needs that have been identified by professional counselors, marriage researchers, and many surveys that have been conducted.

In the next post, I'll give you the list of felt needs.
In the next post, I’ll give you the list of felt needs.

Once you look at that list, you may feel that there’s a felt need that’s not on the list. In that case, you and your mate should just add that to the bottom of the premade list that I will give you. So instead of having 10 categories of needs, you may have 11 or 12.

After listing the needs, I will show you how to rank them.

Hopefully, it will encourage you to know that you are taking a step towards something that you can do that will be beneficial to your marriage.

Now this is for newlyweds or for those who have been married for quite a long time. In the process of doing this exercise, you may discover a few revelations that may just help you to improve your marriage in a way that you did not expect.

Well I hope this has been helpful to you.

I currently have two books on marriage on Amazon. The first is “21 Ways the Principle of Leaving Will Benefit Your Marriage” and the second is “From Mountains to Molehills

My 2 books on marriage.

Also, if you’d like more tips and advice on marriage, click here to be taken to my blog where you will find more posts like these.

Be sure to check back to find the next blog in this series.

I hope you have a great day!

The Power of Encouraging Words

Edification Mistakes Christian Family Members Make – Part 2

This is the second in a four-part series on mistakes that Christian family members make, when dealing with one another, without realizing it. In the first part, I discussed the mistake of not knowing how fragile your family members are. You can read that post and watch the video here.


Today, I will be talking about the power of encouraging words.

A Lasting Impact

There was once a teacher who was concerned about some problems going on in her class. She came up with an assignment.

Students learned the power of encouraging words.

She began by giving each student a list of the names of all their classmates. She instructed the students to write down one good thing about each one in the class. The students turned in their assignments the following day.
The teacher then compiled all the good things the children had written about one another, and gave the list to the respective student. She then moved on with her normal lesson plans for the rest of the year.
Several years passed, and the teacher hadn’t thought much about the lists. Then, one of those students was killed in the Viet Nam war. The teacher, along with several students from that class, attended the visitation.

While talking and remembering, it was said that, among the soldier’s belongings, was the letter from the classmates listing his good qualities.

Once that was revealed, one by one, the other former students began saying, “I still have mine.” One said, “I look at mine at least once a week.” Another smiled and opened his wallet, and removed a tattered and taped piece of paper, showing that he, too, still had the letter from so long ago.

The teacher’s actions that day so long ago had a lasting impact on those students. It was evident by how many of them held on to and cherished the letters and the words written on them.

We see the power of encouraging words in examples such as these.

At Home

As I’ve said in previous blogs, the one about humility, for example, (read it here) supportive words and actions can go a long way and have a deep and lasting impact on the recipient. Words have the power to build up or tear down.

People at home need to experience the power of encouraging words

I’m sure we’ve all seen a child light up when a parent, teacher, or coach, tells them they did well, or praises their attitude, or congratulates them on a newly mastered skill. The encouragement makes the child want to try even harder, or repeat the action, or get even better at the skill.

Adults are no different. We all need to hear that we’re appreciated for who we are and what we do. We all need the encouragement of those we love and are closest to.

Husbands need to hear from their wives that they are proud of them, how hard they work, and how well they lead the family.

Wives need to hear from their husbands that they are pleased with the work she does, both in and out of the home. Wives need to be encouraged that they are doing well with the children and running the home.

Children need to know that Mom and Dad are proud of them and their efforts to learn, grow and improve.

Children need to communicate to their parents that they’re appreciative of the time, money, and effort that is put into their well-being and upbringing.

Not Just Blood Family

Christian "family" members need to experience the power of encouraging words

While the main focus of these posts is on blood-related family members, it’s important to note another family relationship. For those of us who are believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ are our family as well.

Those family members need support and encouragement as well. It’s easy to grow weary while serving Christ. Especially these days when we are under attack from so many directions. Discouragement and frustration can easily creep in. Just as it’s important to encourage our spouses and children, it’s important to lift up and exhort our pastors, deacons, elders, and other fellow believers.

Everybody needs encouragement and support from those around them. It’s so important to understand the power of encouraging words.

Thank you for reading. Please check out my other blog posts at Randy’s Blogs and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Building Confidence

In my recent posts, I’ve discussed edification or encouraging one another in the family.  Here, I’ll be talking about building up each other’s confidence.  While I’ll be focusing on relationships between husbands and wives here, remember that the church is the bride of Christ, so this blog post can be applied to relationships within the church as well.

Philippians 1:3-6, 25 (MEV)

I thank my God for every reminder of you. In every prayer of mine for you all, I have always made requests with joy, due to your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.
25 Having this confidence, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your joyful advancement of the faith,

Definition of Confidence

Let’s start off by defining confidence. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstance” Another definition is “…feeling sure of yourself and your abilities — not in an arrogant way, but in a realistic, secure way. Confidence isn’t about feeling superior to others. It’s a quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable.”

Confidence is not just our own confidence, but who we are in the Lord and how the Lord can bless us. We should be able to lift others up within the Lord and that should bring confidence within our lives.

Problems From Lack of Confidence

A lack of confidence can cause missed opportunities. Feelings of inferiority can cause you to think you can’t do something, or shouldn’t try. Maybe you won’t go out for that promotion at work because you feel like you wouldn’t be able to handle the extra responsibility. Perhaps you decline an offer to teach a Sunday school class because you think you lack the necessary abilities. It’s important to take advantage of opportunities that come your way. No matter if you succeed or you fail, you will always learn something.

Personal growth can stall without confidence. For example, what if, in order to get a new job, you needed to go back to school? If you’re feeling less than adequate, you may miss out on furthering your education, not to mention a great new career. You will feel defeated before you even start, so, you may not start. That goes back to those missed opportunities. How many things have we missed out on because the words “I can’t” or “I’m not” ran through our minds? It was once said that the word “can’t ” should be removed from the dictionary.

I think the worst thing to come from a lack of confidence is the feeling of being worthless and feeling that no one cares.  It can get to the point that it will pull a person down. If Satan can’t rob you of your knowledge of who Jesus is, he will try to rob you of your joy.  He’ll rob you of thinking clearly and he will fill you with lies. Satan will gleefully remind you of your past failures. That robs us of the freedom we have, in Christ, from those failures. When Satan gets a foothold in your thoughts and keeps reminding you about your past, it steals your confidence, and you fall deeper and deeper into despair. The sadness turns into more self-deprecating thoughts, Satan gains ground and the cycle continues.
      

Helping Rhonda

Let me begin by saying that I am in no way elevating myself. We all need to encourage one another.

Something I have always wanted to do is encourage my wife, Rhonda in her personal growth. She was once asked to speak at a Mother’s Day banquet.  She had never really spoken like that before and was a little apprehensive. As a family, we encouraged her to speak.  She did and was successful. Then word got out and another ladies’ meeting called and asked her to speak.  We encouraged her to do that event also. Hopefully, that helped her develop some confidence

While living in Georgia, we started a Christian school.   Rhonda hadn’t completed her education degree yet, but we felt like her main ministry should be at home during that time.  She did come into the school once a week and started working with a reading program helping the children.  She was also a monitor which is like a teacher’s aide.  While helping out, I knew I could just ask her to do something and she’d understand what I needed.

Another time, I worked at Accelerated Christian Education (ACE).  They did “Bible Time Boosters” which is similar to VBS.  They asked her and another lady to work with the little ones.  There were at least 35 children in the group.  To get the kids to walk in line and stay together, they all had to hang on to a rope.  When it came time for the closing program, her class’ turn came and she took the front of the rope, the children grabbed on, and the other teacher took the end and they did their program.  When it was time to leave the teachers and children took the rope and went back to their spot.
The rope trick really impressed a lady in the church named Mrs. Howard, who was in charge of many areas of the ministry. Later, she became president.  When it came time to start the preschool program, they wanted someone to be in charge of the school. This school was to be the pilot program for the development of the curriculum, which would have a world-wide impact. Mrs. Howard asked me if Rhonda would be willing to do that.  I would have encouraged Rhonda to do that, but we had already determined that her main ministry would be with our own preschoolers at home. Nevertheless, the idea of someone wanting her to head up the school was a big confidence builder for her.

Rhonda played the piano for her church as a teenager and she told me about a time that she couldn’t hold the foot pedal down because her knee was shaking so badly.  But she’s practiced and played many times for our church and others and has gained confidence and been a blessing.

As a teacher, Rhonda’s confidence was in working with the smaller children.  She worked with them for a while and was then asked to work with older children.  It was intimidating to her, but she did it and gained confidence. 


As a Sunday School teacher, again, her confidence was in working with children.  But she’s taught young adults and adults and I’ve seen her confidence grow.
I’ve just been trying to encourage her to grow.

My Personal Journey

Rhonda has encouraged me to grow and helped me gained confidence as well.  She’s encouraged me to trust in the Lord, and I’m SO glad she was willing to do that.  Our confidence in the Lord has grown through our lives because of our little, feeble faith that we started with that we could trust God when we couldn’t see what the next steps would be.


I was attending Seminary and had been a youth director at a church. That time was coming to an end, and it was time for me to graduate.  The house we were living in did not belong to us, and we needed to move out because the new youth director and his family were going to be moving in.  It got to the point where we had to be out in 6 days and didn’t know where we were going.  I had sent out many letters all over the country telling them I was available to pastor. 

I got a call from a church in Mt. Vernon, Illinois to preach a trial sermon.  I went and spoke, but was not called by that church. That was not in God’s plan. 

We got some replies from Georgia, and in that 6-day time frame, we went to one church, and I spoke.  I was scheduled to speak the next week at a youth revival at another church in Georgia.  After speaking at the first church in Georgia, we were headed back to Tennessee and were in prayer about what God wanted.  We said if that first church called us, we would accept the call.  Before we even got back to Tennessee, they had their meeting and called me as their pastor! 

We loaded up and moved to Georgia.  We pulled our U-Haul into one of the deacons’ yards with barely any time to spare and headed to the youth revival to fulfill that commitment. 

Then we were going to start a Christian school but it all fell apart.  I had already resigned from my church, and we had to be out of our house.  The church people asked me if I had made a mistake.  I said, “I don’t know. I don’t understand.  I don’t know what’s happening. But, I’m pretty sure I was right to resign.  I just don’t know yet what my next step is.”

They said they needed someone to fill in as pastor, so they asked if I would be willing to do that until I discovered my next step.  I agreed, and they said my family and I could live in the parsonage until everything got sorted out. So, even though the direction wasn’t clear at that time, God still provided for our short-term needs.

That Sunday we went up to a Sword of the Lord conference in Atlanta.  The regional coordinator from ACE was there, and I said, “It looks like we’re not going to start a school.” He said, “That’s OK.  We can just keep everything on file and in the next 3 years the church there can start.”  I started to walk away, and he asked if I needed a place to go.  It had never occurred to me to tell anyone that I need a place to go.  So, I told him that I did, and he told me he knew of a pastor who was wanting to start a school but didn’t have a principal or a supervisor and hadn’t sent anyone for training yet.  Classes were supposed to start in a few weeks.  So, it turned out that was the next step for us. 

Through all this, Rhonda just went along with me, even though I couldn’t see clearly the direction that God wanted me to go.  She got confirmation from the Lord along with me that He was doing something.  Even though we couldn’t see it, we relied on Him and trusted Him. In our case, God seems to let us just barely hang on when things seem to be falling apart. We just cling tightly to our faith.  Throughout our journey, Rhonda has encouraged me, and that has been a confidence builder for me.

Then, I worked for the International Institute, a college program for ACE, for a time. I then went back to southern Illinois and began a college there. 

Things didn’t always turn out how we had planned, but no matter what, God worked through that, and people were blessed.

God Provides Confidence

We don’t know how big or small things will be, but they are never insignificant. God is faithful.  He can instill the confidence in you, that when you take some steps, even if you can’t see how it will work out, God will come through and it will work out!  Then, when you’re facing another time of uncertainty when you can’t see how it will work out, you will remember what God did before, and you ask Him to please do it again. 

Rhonda and I decided that we wanted all our children to attend college.  We didn’t know how we were going to pay for it, but we took a step of faith and enrolled them.  Somehow, through God’s grace and provision, we made it.

We had one year when 3 of them were in college at one time. Our son, Rusty, was told by someone to apply for some scholarships. They scholarship providers didn’t know him and weren’t from our state.  Rusty wouldn’t have had any idea about applying for those, but someone suggested he do so, and he got several scholarships out of that encounter. God works that way! He also provided jobs for them.  That was the year that our income came up and was one of the highest we’ve had in our lives.

Then, Rusty decided that he was going to be a missionary to Japan.  I said, “How are you going to get funding?”  He went to area churches to get monthly funding. The mission board said he needed a budget of $108,000 a year.  To us, in our area, it seemed excessive.  But Rhonda and I took a trip to Japan and bought a watermelon while there, and it was $40, so we found out that level of funding was totally in line.  But God made a way, and Rusty and his family were able to move to Japan, and he is still serving in the mission field today!

The Lord builds confidence in failures.  Abraham Lincoln ran for office several times and didn’t get voted nt.  Then, finally, he was elected the 16th President of the United States.

Encourage One Another

You can encourage one another.  If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing poorly until you can do it well. You can encourage with that. Wives can encourage husbands.  Perhaps the husband gets a new job and isn’t doing well in the beginning.  She can encourage him by using that phrase and letting him know that she believes he will improve and be successful.

Encouragement Regardless of Personality Type

God can use every personality type.  There are some people who are very driven and outgoing and will work to get things done.  You can be thrust into leadership positions.  You can be a follower.  You can be the best support person you can be.  But, there are also people who have milder personalities who can be leaders. 

There is a spiritual gift of pastoring, but there are some pastors who do not have that spiritual gift.  I am currently pastoring a church, but I don’t feel I have that spiritual gift.  But I have learned that if God calls you to serve in a certain role, He will provide the necessary tools.

You may have that hard-driving personality, and God will cause things to happen because of your drive. You might have a milder personality.  You might be introverted.  In many companies, there are people that are introverted and quiet who are in positions of leadership, and people can’t figure out how they got there.  The reason those kinds of personalities can be successful is that they are willing to put up with things that people with stronger personalities aren’t.   God can take that and use that. 

Whatever your spouse’s personality type is, please encourage them that God can use them. 

I’m currently interested in Internet marketing and I’m trying to learn how to do that.  My confidence grows each time I fail at that. I lean a little bit more each time I try.   Maybe someday I’ll be a great Internet marketer and be telling you all how to succeed at doing that.

What Can Be if We Instill Confidence in Others

Think about what can take place if you build your confidence, and your family builds your confidence.  You can begin to tackle new things, and you can see God do unusual things.  You’d be willing to start without knowing what the next steps will be.  You may be called to go to minister in a prison.  You may be afraid, but you take a step and be willing to start. As you do this, you may appear to be more outgoing than you actually are. You may overcome some obstacles along the way, but you will recover from failures that you face.

Before Rhonda and I got married, I sang in a quartet.  There was a song we sang that said:

When trouble is in my way,
I can’t tell my night from day,
When I’m tossed from side to side,
Like a ship on a raging tide,
I don’t worry I don’t fret.
My God has never failed me yet.
Troubles come from time to time,
But that’s all right,
I’m not the worrying kind because
I’ve got confidence
God is gonna see me through.
No matter what the case may be.
I know He’s gonna fix it for me.
Job was sick so long
Till the flesh fell from his bones.
His wife, cattle, and children,
Everything that he had was gone.
But Job in he despair,
He knew that God still cared,
Sleepless days and sleepless nights,
But Job said that’s all right because
I’ve got confidence.

In Closing

I pray that you will have it as part of your mission to instill confidence in those around you. My desire is to instill confidence in you so you can talk to people about your faith. I want you to be able to step out of your comfort zones.  When asked to be a Sunday School teacher, you will accept and see where the Lord leads.  When you see a challenge before you, I pray for you to realize that God has never failed you yet. Step out.  Even if there’s a failure, you learn from it. I pray that in your life, failure is never a bad thing.  Don’t let the failure go to waste.  Learn from it and build your confidence. 

Thank you for reading. For more posts like this, go to Randy’s Blogs. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and my Rumble Channel.

The Healing Power of Humility

Humility can bring about healing in our own lives, our marriages, and our Nation. Here, I will address the importance of humility, examples of humility, commands concerning humility, and the most important requirement of humility for us all.

James 4:10
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
II Chronicles 7:14
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Marge and Mark

Marge and Mark were on opposite sides of the hedge, feeling torn down

Marge and Mark were next door neighbors. Marge was in her back yard. Mark was in his. Their yards were separated by a tall hedge and they could not see one another. Marge, to herself, said, “I can’t do anything right! He never stands up for me. I’m always taken for granted. He doesn’t notice when I try to look good for him. He is SO arrogant. He never apologizes for anything! He never supports me when the children put me down.”

Imagine if Marge had felt appreciation or gratitude from her husband.  How would her attitude be different?  Instead of the frustration she was feeling, maybe she would have felt grateful for a husband who supported her and showed his love.  Was her husband being arrogant, or just not paying attention?  Either way, it’s obvious there was work to be done.  Marge needed the support of her husband, and some

encouragement when she made extra effort to fix herself up.  Dealing with the children alone was draining, and feeling like she had no one to back her up or stick up for her when they put her down was very hurtful.  The whole home would have run more smoothly if Marge’s husband would have shown humility and stepped outside of himself for a few minutes and looked at things from Marge’s perspective.  I’m sure she would have had feelings of admiration for her husband as opposed to the resentment her thoughts showed.  She was working hard and did not feel the validation she needed.

Similarly, Mark was thinking to himself, “She doesn’t seem to think I know anything! I’m always taken for granted. She never says anything good about me in public. She never apologizes for anything! She never stands up for me when the children push against me. It would be nice to hear ‘thank you’ once in a while.”

Mark’s wife seemed wrapped up in her own world, her own self.  Mark worked hard, both at his job and at home.  He was skilled at many things, and knew how to do a lot.  His wife never seemed to appreciate that.  He felt beaten down and defeated.  If his wife had taken the time to step out of herself and look at things through Mark’s eyes, she may have seen what her pride had done.  Maybe she would have realized that he was a good provider, a good husband, and a good father.  Maybe her heart would have been softened, and she would have apologized for how she had treated him, and how she had not taken his feelings into consideration.  It could have been the beginning of a new commitment for her to be more appreciative of Mark, and to make sure to thank him for the things he did. 

The Importance of Humility

A man once said, “There’s one thing that I’m better at than anyone else: being humble.”

One thing I'm better at: I'm more humble than others

Pride Brings Pain

Proverbs 21:9
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

In both Marge’s and Mark’s houses, it seems there were people who were lifted up with pride.

Proverbs 21:19
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Proverbs 25:24
It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

There was a time when God commanded King Saul to take his army and totally and completely destroy the Amalekites. They were to take no prizes, trophies, or plunder. They were even commanded to kill all the livestock. This was to prevent anything from the pagan land from influencing His people.

Instead, they took some of the spoils. When Samuel returned, King Saul claimed to have done what was commanded. Samuel questioned him. What is the bleating of sheep and goats that I hear. King Saul continued in his lies, indicating that he kept the animals for sacrifice.

Samuel responded:

I Samuel 15:17 -19
So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?
18 Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’
19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”

So, you can see that pride brings pain in our lives. In the case of our marriages, our own pride is a hindrance to helping our spouses to experience that feeling of value they deserve.

However, when we humble ourselves and get our eyes on others, we get into a better position to lift them up.

Humility Brings Joy

1 Peter 5:5-7
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.


So, if you have cares, you can bring them to God. All you have to do is humble yourself under His mighty hand. Not only will you feel better, but you, yourself, will be lifted up in due time. Your humility will help you lift up your husband or wife, but it will also place you where God will eventually lift you up too.


II Chronicles 7:14
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.


Humility brings joy. It brings healing. Healing for our land, for our marriages, and for our lives.

John 9:33
33.Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?”
34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest.
35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,
37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”


I have an entire message on just this, called the Secret of Greatness. It can be summed up in just one sentence: The secret of greatness is humble service without thought of reward. That is what Jesus was talking about here.

 Marge and Mark are good examples of what can happen if we don’t practice humility in our own lives.  Resentment and hurt feelings arise.  That’s just from the human standpoint.  Relationships between one another are an important part of life.  We want to go through life with people who appreciate and respect us, and we need to do the same. 

Imagine if we all showed one another the grace that God shows us.  How much more kind would we be to the cashier who made a mistake in giving us our change, or the driver who cuts us off in traffic?  Imagine how our brothers and sisters in Christ could be lifted up and encouraged if we addressed them with humility and grace and love?  If the humility is something we are the recipient of, imagine how encouraging that would be, and how much more joy and contentment we would feel in our lives.  Pride can cause so many problems. Refusing to be humble can cause hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and sometimes much worse.  The biggest reason to be humble, though, is because God commands it!

Examples of Humility

Moses

Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.

Numbers 12:3  
Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.
Moses was leading millions of people. God used him to part the Red Sea, and all the children of Israel went across on dry ground.

Something I want you to understand is that humility does not mean being a doormat. We must humble ourselves in the sight of God. We can fall down before God in our feelings of unworthiness. We should be humble in our dealings with others. But humility does not equal weakness. Moses was very strong. In fact, he even had a problem with anger. His anger caused him to miss seeing the Promised Land when he struck a rock instead of speaking to it as God had commanded.

Jesus

Humility: the greatest example was Jesus

Of course, the greatest example of humlity is Jesus. He was King of the Universe, yet He humbled Himself, was born as a baby, and raised by humans. He knew hunger, thirst, criticism, and intense pain on the cross. He had the power of Heaven at his disposal and He chose humility. Humility is strength and power under control.

Luke 2:51
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Joseph and Mary had lost Jesus. Imagine what it must have felt like–to have been given the responsibility to care for God’s only begotten son, and the lost Him!

When they found Him, He was in the temple talking with the doctors of the Law.

When they questioned Him, He told them that He must be about His Father’s business. Still, he went with them and was subject unto them. Here is the ruler of the universe deciding to be subject to human beings.

Notice He was subject to them even though He knew more than they did.

Not only that, He was subject to them even though they were sinful and He was not.

I John 3:16
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Jesus came to this earth and humbled himself. When they came to crucify Him, He allowed it to happen.

If the strong personalities of Moses and Jesus could humble them selves, surely we could temper our own selves.

Commands Concerning Humility

Ephesians 5:32-33
32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

We need to value one another, and make one another feel valued. You are valuable to God. So much so that He sent His son, who was willing to take your sin upon Himself. God values you so much, he offers you the gift of eternity in Heaven. You are that valuable!

Scripture tells us to not grieve the Holy Spirit. We’re told that when we receive Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit. We also receive the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness*, self-control. Against such there is no law.
*Gentleness is the same as meekness or humility.

When we looked at the translations that said that Moses was the meekest man on the earth, we saw that alternate translations said the more gentle than others, and further that he was more humble than others. We see the synonyms: meekness, gentleness, and humility. Therefore, humility is a part of the fruit of the spirit.

How can we learn to be more humble?  The Bible is the perfect place to start.  Use a concordance or search engine and find scripture verses about humility.  Write them in a notebook and keep them where you have your daily devotional.  Read the verses daily.  Commit them to memory.  Another way is to look up…from the phone or computer, from the television, the book, paper, or anything else that takes your focus away from others.  Look for needs around you.  Look for the person who is hurting.  Pay attention to words and actions.  Not everyone who needs help will tell you.  Pray and ask for wisdom and discernment in seeing people’s needs.  Ask for guidance in how you can help.  Be open to correction and direction.  Remember that being humble is a fruit of the Spirit, a gift from God when we accept Jesus as Savior.

The Most Important Requirement of Humility for All of Us

Kneeling at the cross, remembering that Jesus humble himself and gave his life for us

We have to humble ourselves and admit that we have sinned in order to receive Christ. God requires it. If you are going to be saved, you can’t say, “I don’t need to be saved. I’ve done all these wonderful things. I’m better than that person over there” The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

Humbling yourself before God is the only way to get to Heaven. Why would God have sent His son, and why did Jesus lay down his life, if there were another way? Even Jesus Himself prayed to His Father, if there were any other way, to let the cup “pass from” Him.

The first step to salvation is to humble yourself before God. Acknowledge your sin, that you’ve gone your own way, and that you have pushed against God. Give yourself to Him, and He will fill you with His Spirit, and you will receive the Fruit of the Spirit.

Pride stands in the way of us lifting up our husband or wife. Humility will remove that barrier.

Humility then will heal our land, our marriages, and our lives.

If you enjoyed this marriage tip, you might like this one that talks about the power of overcoming.

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

How to Write Nonfiction | Turn Your Knowledge into Words

How to write nonfiction – Turn your knowledge into words that can be shared in books and articles. Your life has given you a lot of experiences. From those experiences, you have gained knowledge. That knowledge can help people, and that’s what you want your book to do. But how do you go about putting that knowledge into words?

Writing From Mountains to Molehills

Several years ago, I wrote a book called From Mountains to Molehills: Overcoming and Celebrating Your Differences in Marriage.

The process of writing this book was easier than it was for some of the others That was because I already had some chapters written from a previous book that was divided into six parts.

I later decided to revise the original book, but then I decided instead to write a series of six books. Each new book corresponded to one of the parts in the original book. So, I had several chapters that related to that content that was about “Overcoming.” I think there were probably about 40 or 50 pages that came from those chapters. To come up with the new book, I thought more about the topic. How could I expand it from about five chapters to anywhere from 12 to 20 chapters? The final product ended up being 14 chapters after I got it all put together.

Then I thought more about what I had covered in the chapters that were in the “overcoming” part of the original book. As I thought about that, I looked for the gaps. What else did I need to talk about on that topic? Then I did research.

Part of that research involved putting out a survey, and surveying other books that related to this topic. Then I went back and filled in the gaps, and outlined those other chapters. Having completed that research, I was able to finish the book.

After that, I was able to go in and put in some of my own personal touches. I added some personal stories out of our own lives. Then, as I recall, I made up some fictional stories in that particular book and put those in at the beginnings of the new chapters. They were stories of Ralph and Elizabeth. Of course, Ralph and Elizabeth were not people that I really knew, rather they were composites of people who were experiencing the things that I was talking about.

Brainstorm What You Know

First of all, brainstorm what you already know. Just get a piece of paper, and start writing down ideas on that piece of paper. Set a timer for 15 minutes and write as quickly as you can. After the timer goes off, set it again if the ideas are still flowing. Keep doing this until things slow down and you run out of ideas. At this point, things will not necessarily be in order. After that, one of the ways that you can handle that brainstorming and reorganizing would be to put little symbols beside the topics. For instance, sometimes I put a little box beside sentences or phrases that are similar. Next, I find another group of similar phrases or sentences, and I put a circle beside those to differentiate between them and those with the boxes. You can think of other symbols for that purpose. I remember using a triangle one time when I did that. I also remember using a 5-pointed star, and an asterisk. I was able to group those ideas together. So you use a process like that to brainstorm what you already know.

Look for the Gaps

Then, you try to find the gaps. Ask yourself, “Will this cover the topic? Will this give my audience the help that they really need?” Once you answer those questions, you can do further research.

Research for Info to Fill the Gaps

When you find the areas where the information is lacking, it’s time to research your topic. With that added information, you can come up with chapters to fill in the gaps.

Get the Rough Draft Done

The next step is the most important: Get the rough draft down, just get a draft down. In most cases, that will help.

Some people are really good at writing and editing the same day. If you do that, then you just need to have a word count for each day. Others do really well by just rough drafting each day until they’ve got the whole book done. Sometimes those people use a timer, and write those sections until the timer goes off. They have a time goal for the day instead of a word-count goal. Then they go back and do the editing and refining. Either way though, get the rough draft down.

In some of the coaching that I do, I help people with writing rough drafts of books. I have two different methods of fast writing that can be used. I also have two different methods of how they can “talk” their content out. They can utilize their phone, even do a live video like my “Walking with Randy” videos. They have an outline, and speak the book. There are two different methods for doing that, but going into more detail goes beyond the scope of this blog post.

So, you brainstorm, fill in the gaps, research, and get the rough draft down. After that, you make it even more interesting.

Add Your Personal Touches and Stories

Go in and add your own personal touches and stories. Now the stories don’t all have to be yours, they can be stories of other people (with their permission to tell their stories). But, tell your stories where you can. That adds the personal touch. You can also make up stories that are actually composites of people you know. That’s what I did in the case of Ralph and Elizabeth.

You have knowledge, and you have knowledge that will be helpful to other people. I hope that this blog post will help you to be able to turn your knowledge into written words.

So, how to write nonfiction-turn your knowledge into the words. Again, I hope this has been helpful to you.

I will remind you that you can go to Randy’s blogs.com to get more writing tips like these. If you are already on the blog, you can click on the “Writing” tab on this page.

You can also get videos like this on YouTube. I would even recommend that you subscribe to my YouTube channel to get a sample of more videos like these. if you are a subscriber, on a rainy day, you can binge watch the whole set!

Incidentally, if you are interested in the above mentioned, From Mountains to Molehills: Overcoming and Celebrating Your differences in Marriage you can find more info here.