Encouragement for Men

Footsteps of the Heavenly Father

Father

From Jim’s Heart— 

If you are a dad, you are part of an exciting, exclusive club. However you came to be your children’s dad and whatever the circumstances, you are their dad.

Being a father is one of the greatest privileges God extends to you.  You can use these small steps to make a big difference…

  1. Love your wife.The most important step you can take as a dad is to love your wife. This may not be your easiest step, but it is the most important step. It is the one that goes the furthest in modeling God’s love for His children.
  2. Affirm in your heart that you are in Christ.If you are, you have access to God, His Word, and His wisdom—all the help you will ever need to be God’s kind of dad.
  3. Make sure you are growing spiritually.God wants you to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). To be a dad after God’s own heart, you will want to choose to grow spiritually. Carve out some time each day to spend with your heavenly Father.
  4. Don’t make excuses for not reading your Bible.I’ve heard a lot of men say, “I have to be at work really early.” Or “I don’t understand the Bible.” Or “I don’t know where to start.” If something is truly important to you, you will find a way to fit it into your busy schedule.

To the child, the father is God’s representative;
this makes the father’s task sacred and serious.
  

John Drescher

Drawn from A Dad After God’s Own Heart by Jim George, in which he shares the simple basics for how to be a good dad with your kids. 

Recapture the Fun

Fun

From Jim’s Heart—

Ask your wife to share some of the qualities that attracted her to you. I’ll bet one of those qualities was your fun-loving nature. You were both happy, laughed a lot, and had a good time no matter what. This was true for me in those dating years with Elizabeth. My nickname was “Smilin’ Jim.” I was completely happy-go-lucky and made sure every date was a blast!

Well, it’s now time for you to remember what you did to cultivate fun in your budding relationship with your wife. It’s time to bring that now-dormant “merry heart” out of hibernation. Recapture having fun with your wife!

As you remember the merry times you and your wife had in your earlier years together, remember something.

Fun came with a price—the price of time. You are going to have to be willing to make time for it. In the past you thought having fun together was important to your relationship with your beloved, so why wouldn’t it be important today?

 

The closer a husband is to God, the closer he will grow to his wife. That’s why it’s so vital for husbands to pursue God’s heart and get to know His perfect design for the man’s role in the marriage relationship. In A Husband After God’s Own Heart, Jim George will help you build a richer and deeper marriage.

How to Communicate Better with Your Wife

Communicate

From Jim’s Heart—

Communication—or the lack of it—is a significant issue in most marriages. Here are some little things you can do to make a big difference in your communication with your wife:

  1. Choose to listen. Listening is an act of love. When you listen to your wife, you are communicating nonverbally that she is important to you.
  2. Talk about what interests your wife. Communication is not a one-way street. Talk about what you know is important to her. Make an effort to know what type of books she likes to read, her hobbies, and her giftedness for ministry. And don’t forget to ask, “Honey, how did your day go?”
  3. Observe your wife’s nonverbal communication. Be sensitive to your wife’s mannerisms. Like you, she gets tired. She lives with a large amount of stress. She gets behind. So look for those nonverbal hints that tell you to save some communication until later. And when you goof, a sincere “I’m sorry” goes a long way.
  4. Mind your manners with your wife. It’s hard, but try not to interrupt her while she is talking to you or another person. And never, never, never belittle or put her down in front of others, especially your children.
  5. Identify speech patterns that must go. Do you tend to raise your voice when you communicate with your wife? Do you have an angry tone when you talk? Are you communicating like a drill sergeant?

What wife wouldn’t respond positively to a husband who practiced this type of communication?

 

In A Husband After God’s Own Heart, Jim George will help you build a richer and deeper marriage as you discover how to:

  • Win your wife’s heart through loving leadership.
  • Build a happier home through wise guidance.
  • Enjoy better communication through careful listening.
  • Increase your family’s spiritual growth by example.
  • Excel at your job without sacrificing family priorities.

Leaving a Legacy for Your Family

Legacy

FROM JIM’S HEART—

If you are married, you have one of the greatest of all opportunities—that of leaving a lasting legacy to your wife and children.

Dear brother, to do this you must impart to your sweet wife a strong spiritual foundation that equips her to handle whatever the future holds. That means you must be a strong spiritual leader yourself. Don’t leave behind only personal memories. As wonderful as they are, memories fade with time. And don’t leave behind only financial security. Seek to leave behind a tower of spiritual strength that is being built now, today, through your godly example.

Perhaps the greatest legacy you can leave behind is another godly generation. Humanly speaking, Christianity is only one generation away from extinction. You are to pass on to your children the truth about Christ and Christian living. Your faith ought to become their faith.

As dads, we know that we cannot grant salvation to our children. We cannot give them eternal life. No, that’s God’s job. But you and I can provide the right kind of godly influence in the home that will point our children to the Savior. The reality of Jesus must first be evident in your life before you can point your children to that same reality.

I must warn you that your children may resist your Christian focus. They may object to your Christian standards. They may complain of your direction for their lives. But don’t give in. There is a war going on for their souls and for their purity, just as there is a war going on for your soul and your purity. Do your part to provide a godly influence, and trust God to do the rest.

In The Man Who Makes a Difference, Jim George explores how the Apostle Paul took God’s priorities for life and made them his own. The result? He had a significant impact on everyone around him. From Paul’s example, you will learn how to:

  • Let God’s power work in and through you.
  • Acquire discernment for making right decisions and choices.
  • Pursue holiness that allows God to work through you unhindered.

Working Together as a Couple

Couple

Because you and your spouse as “one flesh” are a team, ideally the two of you have the potential to accomplish twice as much by working together toward common goals. Like Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.”

Unfortunately, in our imperfect world maybe the two of you are not acting as one. Maybe it looks like one of you isn’t shouldering their share of the burden—or is pulling in the opposite direction, toward an opposing goal. Conflicting purposes can be counterproductive and cause you to feel like you are buried under a pile with no way out and no one to help you.

Each of you has some choices to make. You can nag, throw a tantrum, harden your heart, resent your spouse…or you can pray for the two of you to better use time so that together, you move toward fulfilling the purposes God has for you as a couple.

As a couple who wants to do all to the glory of God, get rid of negative, fleshly responses and instead, pray. When you do this, you are putting your problem in the right place—right into God’s hands. And while you are praying for your spouse, take the next step and ask God for His help for yourself—that you would become a better time manager, even an excellent one!

In 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband by Elizabeth George, you’ll discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying the Scriptures is especially powerful because you are actually praying what God desires for your spouse.

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

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.

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.

 

The Joy of Praying Together

Praying

From Jim’s Heart— 

While I was an associate pastor, a couple came to my office for marriage counseling. After we pinpointed several areas of concern in their marriage that needed their attention, I asked the husband to commit the couple’s desires to the Lord. As the man finished praying, I looked up to discover that his wife was crying. She explained through her tears that this was the first time in ten years of marriage that they had prayed together as a couple!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to strengthen your marriage. Make it a point—and a practice—to come before the Lord in prayer together as a couple. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, or formal, or take more than a few minutes. Make it as simple and easy and natural as you can for both of you.

I guarantee you will both be blessed, and it will also do wonders for your marriage. After all, what is the old saying? “The couple who prays together stays together.” Prayer together is a shared spiritual experience. It is a strong tie that binds two hearts and souls together. And imagine the mutual joy you’ll experience as you witness God’s answers to your prayers … together!

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.

  • Learn the essentials necessary for enjoying an exciting life together.
  • Develop better ways to communicate and make solid decisions together.
  • Realize the need to draw upon God for unity and strength in hard times.

 

 

Church Membership Matters

Church Membership

From Jim’s Heart—

Membership in the body of Christ is the greatest of all memberships, and the privileges are exceptional, both in this life and the life to come. Hebrews 10:25 tells believers: “Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

Church is important to God and His Son, Jesus. You and all fellow believers are “living stones, [and] are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 2:5). You can demonstrate that the church is important in your life in these ways:

  • Attend faithfully—Obviously you can worship God anywhere and at any time, but worship is not just an individual experience, but a collective one as well. And as you worship God with other Christians, you also have the opportunity to develop and use your spiritual gifts.
  • Give generously—When you invest your “treasure” in God’s church and God’s people, you have a much greater “heart” interest in the well-being of others. Why? Because “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
  • Pray regularly—The apostle Paul asked others to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18). Pray regularly, not only for your family, but also for your church family, its leaders, and its ministries.
  • Serve diligently—You are following Christ’s example when you serve others. Jesus said that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28). A key reason for serving is that when you serve others, you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:24).

Pick up a copy of Jim’s NEW book, Knowing God Through Prayer. Experience a deeper intimacy with God and give new life to your prayers as you find clear direction on how to pray God’s way in all of life’s hardships and blessings.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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