February 2017

Forgetting the Past

Past

Forgetting the past is not easy to do, but the following three steps will help you let go of the past so you are free to press on and serve God in the present.

Step 1: Discover the gold.
Whatever has happened to you in the past and whatever is happening in your life now, be sure you look for the “gold.” Trust God that somewhere in your trials there is gold for you—a hidden blessing, a lesson learned, or a character trait being forged! Find the “gold”—the good—and let go of the rest. Take it with you and move on!

Step 2: Find forgiveness.
If you were at fault or contributed to your trial, you need to find forgiveness. And that forgiveness comes from God: “If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins…” (1 John 1:9). In this truth you find forgiveness—a truth cost Christ His life. You are gloriously free to let go of the past and move on. As this wise saying goes, “Why should you remember what God has forgotten?”

Step 3: Forgive others.
Freedom is yours when you forgive those who have hurt you. Jesus modeled such forgiveness for us as, hanging on the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). When we fail to forgive others, we sentence ourselves to a life of bitterness. We also stop growing in faith. And we compromise our service and witness for Jesus. When we—by God’s grace—extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us, God can mightily use us.

Are you at a crossroads in your life? Wondering what to do about a complicated relationship? Don’t guess about the next step and hope for the best. Get a clear view of the right path as you follow God’s wisdom found in the book of Proverbs with Elizabeth’s NEW book, Proverbs for a Woman’s Day.

 

Keep the Slate Clear

Forgiveness

From Jim’s Heart

Have you ever noticed that, as a man, asking for or offering forgiveness is often very difficult? It’s almost as hard as asking for directions! Why is that?

Well, I can’t answer for you, but for me, pride is often the culprit, especially in my marriage. Here’s how it goes: I say or do something stupid to Elizabeth that’s—shall I say … a little gruff? Then, instead of immediately asking for forgiveness and being done with it, my pride says, “No, I was right about what I said,” or “Well, it wasn’t that bad!”

Regardless of my wife’s response, as long as I fail to label my deed as “sin” and ask her forgiveness, there is a cloud over our relationship—all because I wasn’t humble enough to admit I was wrong.

Let me encourage you to learn to quickly admit wrong and ask for forgiveness … no matter what. Keep the slate clear and the communication line open with your wife. Forgive each other, “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

In A Man After God’s Own Heart, you’ll discover God’s perfect design for how you can make a difference in all the key areas of your life:

  • Marriage–what it means to love, lead, and protect your wife
  • Children–the keys to training them up and shaping their hearts
  • Work–modeling integrity and diligence in the workplace

Teen Tuesday—Guarding Your Purity

 

Purity

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace,
along with 
those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
(2 Timothy 2:22)

It’s crystal clear in the Bible that God wants His women—young, old, and all ages—to be pure. Titus 2:3-5 tells the older women in the church to teach and serve as role models to the younger women. It’s amazing that there are only six topics listed for these ladies to teach to those who are younger. And guess what? Purity is one of them: They are to teach and “encourage the young women to…[be] pure” (NASB).

Purity does not come naturally! That’s because of our sin nature, which means the opposite of purity is what comes naturally! So you must choose to avoid people, places, and practices that might tempt you toward wrong and impure thoughts and deeds.

What else can you do? A daily dose of the Bible will have a powerful purifying effect on your heart and mind. Reading the Word will lead you to a purer life, and it will expose you to scriptures that give good advice to young adults—like Psalm 119:9: “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”

Another step you can and must take on the road to purity is confession (1 John 1:9). To confess your sin means to agree with God when you have failed to live according to His standard of purity. When you think an impure thought, confess it. If you hear something impure, confess it. When you see something impure, confess it. If you say something impure, confess it. Jesus, the one who died for your sins, is ready to forgive you!

When it comes to purity, you want to guard your …

… physical purity. This will guide how you behave.

mental purity. This will dictate what you think.

… spiritual purity. This will determine the depth of your devotion and worship.

Like all the areas of your life, God expects you to manage your purity. He has entrusted you with this most precious possession. Guard it well!

Surround yourself with inspiring Bible verses and encouraging guidance to discover purpose and confidence you’ve only dreamed of having with Beautiful In God’s Eyes for Young Women. If you want to see something really beautiful ― take a look at the incredible young woman God made you to be.

 

Everyday Beauty

 

Beauty

It’s true. Beauty on the inside counts with God! However, there are a few additional steps we can take to represent Jesus Christ well so that what others see in us honors Him (Titus 2:5).

Dress up—Queen Esther, chose to wear her royal robes into the presence of her husband, the king (Esther 5:1). The Proverbs 31 woman wore silk and purple (Proverbs 31:22). These women dressed with a touch of class, wearing what was right for the occasion and proper in her day and time.

Fix up—You can make an effort to create a pleasing appearance. Think about the people who fill your day. What will they see? Fresh face, hair, and makeup? Clean, wrinkle-free, spot-free, odor-free clothes? A bright smile and a little color here and there?

Clean up—You’ve heard that cleanliness is next to godliness. Plus Proverbs teaches that “ointment and perfume delight the heart” (27:9). Both are pleasant and heartwarming and indicate that someone has gone to the trouble to spruce up.

Look up—Throughout your day look up to the Lord. Pray to Him, think on Him, serve Him, worship Him, do all unto Him, obey Him, and love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). As you are consciously aware of His presence, His beauty will shine through your efforts. And then He is glorified (Matthew 5:16)!

In Beautiful in God’s EyesElizabeth George guides women through the popular Bible verses in Proverbs 31 to show how God defines beauty and reveals His plan for a woman’s success.

Loving Your Wife

Loving

From Jim’s Heart—

L ove your wife unconditionally. Your love cannot be cause-and-effect in nature, with an attitude of “if she does this, I’ll do that.” Love does not keep records (1 Corinthians 13:5). It gives, expecting nothing in return.

O rder your priorities. Next to your love for God, you are to love your wife. She is to be your highest human priority. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife” (Genesis 2:24). What have you done lately that would make your wife know she is your Number-One human priority?

V alue the many sterling qualities in your wife. She married you, so she definitely has a lot going for her! Praise her often, and praise her publicly. One husband said this to his wife before a whole city: “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all” (Proverbs 31:29).

E njoy the wife of your youth—sexually, physically, and as a best friend. She, and she alone, is to be the love of your life. Never let your eyes wander from her beauty (Proverbs 5:15-19). Your vow to love your wife was a covenant made with God and with her (Proverbs 2:17). So keep it!

Jim and Elizabeth share their 40-plus years of marital wisdom and experiences to help couples grow closer to each other and to God in A Couple After God’s Own Heart. Pick up your copy today to discover how you can enrich your marriage by looking at the lives of key couples in the Bible.

Loving Your Husband

Loving

L ove is something every human needs and desires, including your husband. So lavish love on him in every way—

  • Physically (the meals you make)
  • Practically (the care of his clothes and the home)
  • Mentally (the encouragement and praise you give)
  • Sexually (“the marriage bed”)
  • And spiritually (the prayers you say on his behalf).

O bey God, and you will have all the love in the world to give your dear husband! Love is given to you in full measure and is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. So, dear wife, you don’t have to find it, learn it, or muster it up. You only need to seek to walk by the Spirit … and He will do the loving. Remember: Loving your husband has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with you and your walk with God!

V alue your husband above all other people. He should always receive the firstfruits of your love.

E njoy every minute God gives the two of you.

Your prayers for your husband are a priceless gift, a special show of support that lets him know you care about him, desire God’s best for him, and love him deeply. In 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband you’ll discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God.

Comfort Your Wife

Comfort

From Jim’s Heart—

If I asked your wife to tell me when you last gave her comfort, what would she say? If you are like a lot of husbands (me included!), it’s been a long time. We men get so used to receiving tender care, especially from our wives. They’re right there whenever we need them. Anytime we’re down, or things aren’t going well at work, there they are, angels of mercy and comfort. It seems so natural for them!

But all believers are exhorted to “put on a heart of compassion” (Colossians 3:12), and that includes you and me.

How can you develop in this vital area of your Christian walk? How can you begin to give more comfort to your wife?

  • First, remember that God has demonstrated His compassion to you.
  • Next, acknowledge that the “Comforter,” the Holy Spirit, lives in you. Allow His powerful mercy to flow through you into the lives of others, starting with your sweet wife.
  • Finally, remember that God comforts us so that we may do the same (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

who comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction,
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Take the Husband Communication Quiz to determine your current level of communication with your companion-for-life. Then, check out A Husband After God’s Own Heart to help you build a richer and deeper marriage.

 

Marriage Is A Team Effort

Team

Marriage is a team effort, but sometimes a team fails to function as a unit. You can’t make your other team member—your husband—do anything. So do what you can to help and honor him. Whether it’s his refusal to take his health seriously or a misuse of time or money, or a hundred other things, do your part.

Stop worrying about your husband’s faults. Instead, start focusing on what’s right about him—and express it to him! Work at changing your perspective. Recall those things that first attracted you to your husband. Consciously notice what he does that’s right, that’s helpful, that’s commendable. And, of course, compliment him and share what you’ve noticed.

Step up your prayers for your husband. It’s hard to criticize someone you are praying for. So pray like crazy! You can’t pray too much, but you can certainly pray too little. Embrace prayer for your husband as a lifelong commitment.

Talk to your husband. Instead of worrying about an area in your husband’s life, ask God to show you areas where you may be contributing to the problem. Check your actions. Check your timing. Check your words. Above all, check your heart. Then talk with your husband and ask him how you can help or how you can change.

Major on wisdom, not worrying. Wise decisions, wise actions, and wise words—all guided by God in answer to your prayers—are what will help you help your marriage.

In A Couple After God’s Own Heart, discover how you can enrich your marriage by looking at the lives of key couples in the Bible.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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