Do you esteem your spouse? I remember my youth. I remember during college offseason arriving at the track with my friend, Michael, before the sun rose. We would start our workouts in the murkiness just before sunrise. And I knew there was going to come a time when I came around the corner the brilliant line of white light would pierce through as the sun tipped over the horizon. In Lubbock, Texas, the land is flat and the sky is huge. An array of oranges, blues, and yellows would fill the expanse above me. And I would remember my God.
God is not utilitarian, but creative. The beauty of all that is around us can arrest us, take our breath away, stopping time for a moment as we take it all in. The beauty speaks to us. The sunrise whispers and the sunset sings into my soul the wonders of my God.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
Psalms 19:1-6 (NIV)
I would go out onto that track and the Lord would greet me with a sky painting of love, colors or passion, and I was esteemed. I felt the value He put in me to give me such beauty to ponder. It was a glorious ‘Good Morning,’ and my heart would basque in the heat of His affection. The Heavenly Husband esteemed His beloved with affection with love words in the sky. He pours esteem into the heart of His spouse.
Ok, God is our example of how to be a great spouse, a great lover. This is how He greets us in the morning. How do you greet your spouse? Before getting up out of bed, do you roll over and hold them tight and speak sunshine into their life? Or do you let the fog of fatigue drag you away to start your day? How about when you see them at the end of a busy day? For decades, my wife has worked with me in ministry up until these past few years where she has joined corporate America. If she has arrived home before me, as I walk through the door, before she can even see me, I hear her esteem me, “Hey Babe,” said with a love tone that soothes my spirit. If I have arrived home first, I esteem her with a bear hug that she falls into and we embrace. We esteem one another. How about you?
Do you esteem your spouse?
Oh no, we are not the perfect couple and stress can get the better of us. There are times when the other is hardly noticed because of the stress of the day, worries lingering for a difficult conversation, or bodies worn down. But I have noticed when we pause for a moment, whether it be from the entertainment of a good movie, overwhelming pressure from tasks left undone, or the drowsiness of exhaustion, we change the other’s environment. Like the sunrise pours light into the darkness so our esteem changes their countenance. The esteem of our greeting, our embrace, our attention speaks loudly, “I am so glad to see you. I’ve been waiting all day to hold you. You are my joy.” The sun rises. Hearts are filled with warmth and things are better. What greater gift can you give your spouse than to esteem them when you wake before the day begins and when you see each other again as the day ends.
Leave me a comment and let me know how it helps when esteem is given to your spouse or you.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Happy Friday to you. When I am counseling a married couple, I will ask what they expect from the marriage or what do they need from their spouse to make the marriage better. Each will gladly begin to tell me what the other person is doing wrong and how, if that person could just change a few things about themselves, the marriage would be wonderful. But then I ask the question: “How do you respond when they don’t do what you think they should?” They are usually not as quick to answer this question.
In my Fighting to Win Marriage Workbook, I explain how most people think marriage should be a 50-50 relationship, where each takes responsibility for their part of the relationship. I disagree. In my opinion, a 50-50 relationship will never be all it can be and would struggle to remain a happy marriage. So then what? Should it be a 100-100 relationship where each person is taking full responsibility for the marriage. Even then I don’t think this is the best because both of these are based on reciprocity. Read More
Before I dive into the Verse of the Day today, I feel that I need to address sin. For so long the church defined sin in such a way that it seemed that some sins were worse than others. For example, homosexuality was treated as something wicked and evil, but gluttony was readily accepted. Obese preachers had no problem condemning the gay community while overeating after every church meeting. This is an unBiblical perspective. The Bible teaches us that all sin is sin. Experience teaches us there are different consequences. Let me give you an example.
If the speed limit is 65mph, that limit has been set by my governing authority. And I am commanded to obey my governing authority (Romans 13:1). If I drive 66mph, then I have broken that law…Read More
The dog pooped on the brand new carpet. I’m running late for work. My son didn’t wake up so now he can’t ride the bus and I have to take him to school. Frustration mounts up within me. I remember the old commercial, “Calgon, take me away!”
Wouldn’t it be nice if everything just went smoothly? In my counseling sessions, often I have a client who is really struggling with stress and pressure to make everything right. They want to be perfect at work, the perfect spouse, the perfect lover, the perfect parent, the perfect host, the perfect friend, the perfect picture of perfect perfection, and this creates so much tension and stress trying to make everything just so. Recently, I explained to a client that even if they did everything perfectly in every place of their life, there would still be something that goes wrong, something difficult to deal with. Even if you had super-powers greater than the entire Justice League combined, life will never be perfect…Read More