Just a little reminder to guard your heart.

From time to time you may meet an “interesting man.” It can happen and there may be nothing wrong with you or your marriage (if you are struggling in your marriage be aware of the areas of lack or wounding).

The important thing is to act appropriately and guard your thoughts. This is where some of the decisions are made when it comes to emotional affairs.

Make sure that you are investing in your marriage and that you don’t let this gentleman take up residence in your head. He’s probably a great guy, but he has no reason to be in your thoughts in an ongoing way. Boot him out.

The bottom line is the greener grass is the grass you water. Water your marriage relationship and guard against emotional affairs.

Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3 NRS

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you create intimacy in your marriage as an ongoing work. Ask Him to help you stay faithful to your husband.

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Making Love in the Microwave: I Love You Because: Free Printable! Print them out and leave them around for your husband to find.

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Intimacy in Marriage: Being “In the Mood” is a Poor Gauge for Deciding to Have Sex Sex is a responsibility and a privilege.

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Image credit © Alexander Ryabchun | Dreamstime.com

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Surprise!

October 15, 2014

in the generous life

Plan a little surprise for your husband.

Is there something he wants? Can you buy it and wrap as a gift?
Is there somewhere he wants to go? Can you make time and steal him away?
Is there something he wants to do? How can you make that a reality?

I am sneaky challenged, but my husband is way talented in this area and I am learning from him. Even if your husband figures out your surprise, he will be flattered that you wanted to bless him. And you can keep practicing until you sneak one by him.

There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. Charles Morgan

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God for creative ideas on ways to bless your man.

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The Forgiven Wife: One Year Take up the one year challenge. How would your husband be different after that year? How would you be different?

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The Good Men Project: 5 Reasons to Get Your Wife Out of the House and Into a Hotel Gaye (of Calm.Healthy.Sexy.) guest authors and shares great reasons to have time away with your sweetie.

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Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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CMBA_challenge_14

This week’s theme in the CMBA October challenge is to share words of wisdom for your marriage “from the Bible.”

What I want to share is not so much a Bible verse, but rather a perspective about Bible content.

Any time you read the Bible, ask yourself how it could be applied to your marriage.

Going the extra mile for a Roman soldier (Matthew 5:41) or restoring someone in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1) can translate into generous attitudes and gracious living in your marriage.

Even if the scripture isn’t specifically addressing husbands and wives, the content may apply in principle because much of it is about how to handle relationships.

What’s your favorite Bible verse? How does it apply to your marriage?

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  2 Timothy 3:16  NLT

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to teach you from His Word. Ask Him how to apply those truths to your marriage.

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The XY Code: Tell Your Husband to Go Away! Your man needs time with other men.

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Becoming Minimalist: Speak Your Dreams Be bold this week.

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Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Notes of Blessing

October 13, 2014

in the generous life

My sweetie has been away at a men’s retreat.

Before he left he wrote messages on sticky notes and left them for me to find.

The cute twist was that he placed them where I would find them as I walked through my day. I’d pick up my coffee cup and there was a heart or I’d slip into the shower and there was a sexy little note. He knows me well enough to know my daily patterns. He also knew some of the things I would be facing while he was gone and he left me encouraging notes too.

The boy has made major points with me.

The best portion of a good man’s life. His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.  William Wordsworth

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you how to bless your husband with words.

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Here is another blogger who has taken on the CMBA challenge ~ marriage wisdom from family.

The Romantic Vineyard: Modeled Words of Wisdom

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Becoming His Eve: When It Seems Impossible: 30 Dates in November Challenge Do all or part of the challenge for some date night fun.

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Image credit © Lori Byerly / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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A Theory Tested

October 12, 2014

in the generous life

Yesterday I talked about positive and negative marriage lists and how we tend to drag out one or the other when things get stressful.

I was talking mostly theory (I got the idea from Seth Godin), but today I had a real life experience that was pretty interesting.

While doing laundry I got aggravated over a mess in the basement.

Mentally I started to go into the litany of messes I have had to deal with over the years, but then I remembered Seth’s post and I stopped myself. I made a list of all the things my husband does that blesses me and listed all the ways my husband has grown and changed over the years.

There is still a mess in the basement, but my attitude is more gracious and cleaning up the mess feels far more doable (it’s not buried under a pile of fussiness and blame).

You go, Seth.

The thing is, at every juncture, during every crisis, in every moment of doubt, you have a choice. You will pull out one (virtual) list or the other. You’ll read and reread it, and rely on it to decide how to proceed. Up to you.  Seth Godin

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you develop a go-to positive marriage list for those fussy moments in marriage.

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Image credit © Lori Byerly

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Which List?

October 11, 2014

in the generous life

Seth Godin’s recent post talked about two lists – one with all the good stuff in your life (the successes, the great circumstances, etc.) and one with the tough stuff (the failures, the criticisms, the bad breaks, etc.). His thought was, when you’re stressed, you tend to pull out one of the lists and that motivates your choices.

I think this has marriage applications.

If you have a positive marriage list (the sweet gift he brought home yesterday, that time your husband was there for you, etc.) and a negative marriage list (his habit of leaving his socks on the floor, the time he didn’t phone and he was three hours late, etc.), which list will you lean on when you have a stressful marriage moment? Which list will motivate your choices?

It’s an interesting perspective. I’ll have to give it some thought the next time Paul and I have a stressful moment.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. Flora Whittemore

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you embrace the positive in your marriage and give you wisdom to see and deal with the negative.

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The XY Code: 5 Things I Wish Someone had told my Wife about Male Sexuality The title says it all.

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Ferguson Values: 5 Ways to Build A Durable Marriage How to help your marriage repel the pressures of life. 

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Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Small Things

October 10, 2014

in the generous life

I was wandering around in The Generous Wife archive and read this post. It encouraged me and so I thought I would send it out again, hopefully to encourage y’all.

On Sundays my church gathering is studying 1 Peter (this week it was 4:7-11). One of the points our pastor made was that we need to be “deliberate and faithful to use our gifts.” He spoke about a variety of gifts and how they are all important. I think for the most part we don’t understand how the simplest of things we do can be a gift from God and a gift that can be used to bless those around us. We sort of discount it as just something we do … that anyone could do.

And while that’s true to a degree, the bottom line is that we can do it and God wants us to use what He’s given us. Our gifts may seem small, but small can have great impact and be strategically important. And small tends to become big over time if we will be faithful and consistent in what we do.  

Years ago, I was “just an ordinary wife and mom,” changing diapers, baking dinner, and doing all the usual things of life. I started to learn about generosity. One day I thought it might be fun to blog about it and The Generous Wife was born. All these years it’s been just a simple blog, a small thing, a few words written each day, but during those years I have watched God use this small thing to change lives (my own included). I’m still “just an ordinary wife and mom” (now grandma) and I’m still doing “small things,” but I have a bit more faith in what God can do with small things because of the history that I have with Him. He can turn a few fish and a loaf of bread into a buffet for a crowd. He can turn a kind word or a simple gift into a life changing moment. Do not underestimate our God!

You have gifts too. Yes, you do.

Maybe you’re a terrific cook. Maybe you have a way with people that communicates warmth and acceptance. Maybe you’re great with numbers, or you have a way with plants. These gifts may seem small or insignificant to you, but what God can do with them is amazing! Let me repeat that ~ what God can do with them is amazing!

Why not make a list of the things that you do well, things that you have a natural gift for and things you enjoy doing (no matter how small or unimportant they may seem). How can you bless your husband with those gifts?  How can you bless your kids, neighbors and friends?

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms … so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 4:10-11  NIV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to show you your gifts and abilities. Ask Him how to enjoy them and use them to bless your sweetie and others.

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Here are a couple more bloggers who have taken on the CMBA challenge ~ marriage wisdom from family.

Hot, Holy & Humorous: Sex Wisdom I Learned & Teach
Pearl’s OysterBed: Words of Wisdom: Food Equals Love

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Are you shopping online this week? Please start on the Shop and Support TGW page. It won’t change your purchase price, but I will receive a small commission.

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Image credit © Martinahavlova | Dreamstime.com

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