You know how it is when you are in middle school or high school and you have a crush a someone? You spend class after class writing your names together all over your notebook and drawing little hearts everywhere? Well I love Ron….I love Ronald Edward Hunter Jr…..Pamela Ann Hunter……Pam Loves Ron Forever and Ever…..
We have been doing a great Bible study in Lifegroup (Our church’s Sunday School program). It’s been wonderful. But because we do it during the Lifegroup hour the only thing we get to do in our Beth Moore study is watch the weekly video. We don’t get any discussion time. It’s been wonderful but I do miss the discussion time. I heard a few really great points in this morning’s video that I wanted to share. Since we don’t discuss in class and I have a blog that means I get to share my thoughts with you here.
We are doing an older study of Beth Moore’s called Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. It has been wonderful so far. I love any of her studies. She is a very gifted Bible teacher. I am always challenged by everything she writes. You can tell that she spends some serious time with God preparing for each lesson and before every video session.
This week we have been studying the first fruit of the Spirit – love. Each day of the homework was challenging and moving. However the points that I want to share with you here today came from her video session. It was about love and rejection. Who among us has experienced rejection? If anyone says they haven’t then I think it’s pretty clear that you need to look a little deeper inside yourself.
Have you ever noticed that a prerequisite to rejection is relationship. It could be a romantic relationship or a friend/family relationship. Now there was a wonderful outline that she covered but I’m not gonna reteach the whole lesson. There were just a few points I wanted to cover because they struck me in a powerful way.
When we are confronted with a rejection it leaves a vacancy in our spirit. Because we feel that vacancy we then attempt to fill it ourselves. It leads us to act and do things we wouldn’t normally do. That of course leads us to more heartache and more rejection. Even though we know where our actions are coming from – a place of hurt – we fight to regain that person who rejected us, whether they are good or bad for us. And if we accept that they are gone we often seek how best we can go about making them pay for how they have hurt us. There are times that God leads us to that place of rejection because the situation we were in is not His perfect will for us. I dare say if you think back to a lot of those rejections you experienced you will see that they were really the best thing for us. Yes it hurts! But often the pain is what leads us to a complete healing from Christ. God is sovereign and He knows best what is ahead of us. Our job is to trust Him with that future and not take things into our own hands. That never ends well.
The last point I wanted to make is how we feel rejected when we are showing love to someone. I’m sure this could be true for any relationship but I thought of my children first of all. Because I have teenagers I am familiar with the whole ignore mom and maybe she’ll go away thing. I Corinthians 13:8 says “Love never fails”. The translation of the word “fail” is ekpipto. It means “to drop away or fall away”. So, think about that, Love never falls away. When we show love to someone (in my case, my kids) and they don’t receive it God does not allow that love to “drop” or “fall”. So what happens to it, you ask? God accepts it. He accepts our love even when it’s directed somewhere else and goes unnoticed by that person. It doesn’t go unnoticed by God. He sees us. He sees our heart. He sees our offering of love. He sees how the other person doesn’t accept it. He steps up and takes it. The times our love seems to be rejected it really isn’t.
How awesome are those points? I knew you would like them. This coming week we are studying joy. You know what I like about joy? It has nothing to do with happiness. Joy and happiness are two different things. Where does true joy come from? You give it some thought and we’ll discuss it next week.
If you recall a few weeks ago I mentioned that Ron and I were going to renew our vows next summer for our 25th wedding anniversary. We decided to do a Bible Study together as a part of that process as well. We chose the book Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. There is an accompanying workbook. We will each work individually throughout the week and then on Wednesday nights while the kids are gone to Youth group he and I will go over our study. My plan (which doesn’t always pan out the way I intend for them to) is to write about the what the book covers prior to our study each week. Just to clarify, I will not be sharing what he and I discuss in our study. I’m even planning to write the entries prior to doing the pages in the workbook. So, the posts will contain the gist of each chapter along with my thoughts on that chapter. A number of you have asked me to share about the book. A lot of you have mentioned that the book is on your To-Be-Read list. I hope this will be something that you can use in your marriage and in how you relate with your spouse.
The book is based on Ephesians 5:33 – However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV) Dr. Eggerichs has put together a series of marriage seminars based on this book. He shares about his marriage with his wife Sarah and what the two of them have learned in developing a Cycle plan to bring light to the basic cycle a marriage travels in relating to one another.
First of all if you ask married couples anywhere you will find out that what the woman needs more than anything else is to feel loved by her husband. And what the husband needs most is to be respected by his wife. Yet very often our interactions with one another work against that plan. Paul writes very clearly in Ephesians 5:33 that a man MUST love his wife and a woman MUST respect her husband. It doesn’t say or even imply that a man only needs to love his wife IF she respects him or vice versa. It is a Biblical commandment. Those are not optional. Just as we do not love our children IF they obey us. We love them unconditionally in spite of what they do or say. Love and respect in a marriage should be no different. We’ve all heard about unconditional love but have we heard about unconditional respect?
I can almost hear you mumbling now “but my husband gives me no reason to respect him”. Well, according to Paul giving you a reason to respect him is not something that we have to wait for. We should respect him simply because he is our husband and God tells us to. He may say or do something to make you feel unloved which then makes us respond in a way that makes him feel disrespected and so on. Dr. Eggerichs calls this The Crazy Cycle. It’s like one big circle. The sooner we come to the understanding that we are actually IN this cycle and can recognize it for what it is then we can change direction thus breaking the cycle and give our relationship a chance at a healthy bond.
The next chapter talks about how to communicate and decipher the code necessary to change the cycle and our response to it and to one another resulting in a stronger marriage and a tighter bond. I foresee a lot of lessons to be learned along the way.
I am participating in a challenge this month from CafeMom about improving my relationship with my hubs, Ron. Yesterday’s assignment was to share 10 things that I love about him. Have you ever sat down and made a list of at least 10 reasons/things you love about your spouse? Sometimes when things get a little sluggish in our marriages it helps to remember the reasons we fell in love with them in the first place. Chances are your reasons you fell in love is just the beginning of the reasons you love them now. The challenge was to list 10 things. I think I could have gone on a while. So, here is my list. I think it would be awesome if we all accepted this challenge. If you choose to do so please leave me a link to your post. I’d love to read yours too.
10 Things I Love About Ron
1. His work ethic.
2. His loyalty to me in spite of my failures to him. He sticks with me no matter what.
3. How he takes care of me.
4. His commitment to us.
5. That he tells me how much he loves me when I feel so useless and unattractive.
6. That he is an amazing example to Michael of what a Godly husband is supposed to be.
7. That he is an amazing example to Lauren of what a Godly husband is supposed to be.
8. That he is a committed and caring friend he his to his personal friends.
Today is the final day for NaBloPoMo for January 2011. The theme has been Friends. If I had 31 friends it might have been easier to complete. But I made it through. I have written about specific friends that I have, shared a poem, shared a you tube video about how to be on the lookout for a person who needs a friend, wrote entries inspired by a quote on friendship, written entries about specific character qualities that make a good friend, used scripture references on friendship, shared examples of friends in scripture, shared examples of good friends as well as bad friends from my life, shared many pictures of my friends and shared Continue reading →