Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Purposing to be grateful . . . and vigilant!

The other night, I stopped, turned to the Coach, and thanked him for being a faithful husband to me.

I take it for granted, and I don't say it as often as I should.

But I'm so so grateful.

He would tell you his faithfulness is because of the LORD's faithfulness to him.  He would.  And it is.

And if one of us stumbled, fell, or blew it completely, God would still be faithful.  To both of us.

In our culture, though, it seems like a marriage of faithfulness and commitment and determination to be pure is a rarity.

There are so many things pulling us away from each other in towards the world.  The devil, the sensuality of our culture.  Even our own selfish hearts.

Hearts that often would rather NOT work though a conflict.

Hearts that are often too quick to snap when irritated.

Hearts that treat someone unkindly, then expect them to respond in love.

Hearts that think being tired is an excuse for not reaching out to one another.

Hearts that only focus on what annoys us, instead of how we are blessed.

It's tough.  I won't lie and say it isn't.

We can NOT underestimate the temptations that are out there for our men.  From larger than life pictures in store windows at the mall, to the easy and sometimes acidintal access to pornography on our computers and phones, to the junk that arrives in our homes over the airwaves and is just a TV power button click away.

Our culture is rough on men.  The visual assult never ends.  It requires non-stop vigilance and protection and accountability to survive.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil 4:8

So today. . . help a guy out.  Your husband, your sons, your brothers.  If you don't have a filter on your computer, a good one, install it NOW.  Install it on your phone, your itouch, your ipad (on EVERYTHING!).  Get the mail before they do and trash the swimsuit catalogs.  Go through the paper in the morning and chunk the ads.  Dress modestly and encourage your daughters to do the same.  Limit your freedom, if necessary, to be blessing to them.

And then. . . SAY IT!  Tell your husband you are grateful for all he does and how hard he works to be faithful to you.

If he has failed in the past, encourage him to get the help and accoutability he needs to be faithful to you from today ON.  PRAY for him.  Every day.  ASK him the hard questions.  Encourage him to have men in his life that will ask him the hard questions, too.  Find someone who has loved their husband through failure and ask them to pray for you and encourage you.

I wish I could just ignore it.  Stick my fingers in my ears and shout, "I'm not listening!" when yet another friend starts to tell me their husband is having an affair or is addicted to pornography or worse.  But as a wife and mother, I don't have the option.  I have to fight.  Fight to protect my family.  Fight to guard my sons, do the hard thing, say NO to things I know will open them up to temptation, and work constantly to have a relationship with them that warrants talking about it all.

Think I'm blowing it all out of proportion?  Just ask someone who is struggling right now in the battle of the mind.  Ask them  how hard it is.  Ask them if they can even quit fighting.  Ask them how many relationships their addiction has destroyed.  Read some statistics about addiction.  Ask your boys what they've seen or been shown, lately.  Then get on your knees and PRAY for the men in your life.  Do everything you can to protect them.  PRAY some more.  And encourage.  And love.

We are beyond the place in our culture that our boys will get through life without seeing pornography.  They WILL see it.  They WILL have someone show it to them, come across it on the computer, or even find it intentionally.  They WILL.  Have you prepared them for when that happens?  Have you given them scripture to show them how dangerous sin is and how far reaching the consequences are?  Have you equipped them to look away, turn the page, close the browser, turn off the TV, and then tell you the truth?

This is something we are constantly talking about and working on at the troops.  If you don't think you need to be working on it, I pray the Lord will open your eyes.  And then give you the strength and grace to face it honestly in your home.

I hate it.  But it's our reality.  It's your reality, too, whether you realize it or not.

The GOOD news (yes, there is good news!)?  Is that no matter what you've done, no matter what sin holds a grip on you, no matter what your past (or future) failures. . . CHRIST gives us hope.  We have forgiveness.  We have power over sin.  HE has conquered sin and death and because of HIM we can conquer it, as well.

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."  I Cor 15:57-58

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

1 comment:

amber said...

amen! so well said, karen.. straightforward and without apology and yet with so much humility. i just love you! i'm grateful for your sincerity and faithfulness to the Lord.. the inspiration you are to the rest of us wives and mama's. keep on friend. fighting in the trenches right next to you~