The value of thank you.

When you have gone out of your way to serve someone, isn’t it nice when its acknowledged? Just hearing a simple thank you really speaks to our hearts. Don’t get me wrong. We shouldn’t be doing anything just for the boost to our ego or pride it can give. We should be serving just when we see a need. We do good because we see good that needs done, not for the thank you.

Now why don’t we hear these words more in our own homes. Husband and wife should be the place you hear thank you more than anywhere else in your world. More often than not it goes silent and leaves too much area that can make someone feel taken for granted. When we feel taken for granted a sour bitterness can begin to grow and if not fixed can really lead to trouble is so many other areas.

I want every one reading this to realize I am talking to myself just as much as anyone else. I need these reminders to say thank you just like anyone else. One thing I have found in my second marriage is that my attitude is so much different. I went in with a very big presence of God in my life. God worked with me for 7 years before this time and it really feels like He is looking over my shoulder seeing if i learned the lessons He showed me during that time. How do I treat my wife? Am I communicating in a way she needs or a way that makes sense o her. (Yeah I fail at that one a lot haha but working on it) Not so much to always meet her needs but so that my marriage is always number 2 in my life behind God.

This area of saying thank you has been a big one. I can’t imagine going a day or so with out telling my wife thank you for all she does and that I acknowledge the work she does and how thankful I truly am. I find that the more I grow in this area that the more its given back. She really is an amazing woman and I never want her to feel like she is taken for granted. What I am getting at is that we need to keep it on our minds and not let it be forgotten. We have to fight that tendency too think, well thats just normal and just part of life. No!!!!.. both men and women need to stop and say…. “Hey thanks for making the bed this morning or thanks for the great dinner last night it was really good.” It’s far to easy to fall into your own little rut in life even separate from each other, then never think about how someone else is serving you day in day out.

As men, we tend to think of the big things that wow her when in reality she is looking for a lot of the little things that build the relationship. Our problems as men is we can get focused on the big and forget the little things. So in the end the big thing will mean very little because of all the other stuff that was forgotten.

I think all of us, husbands and wives can do better by always keeping an eye out for things to be thankful for. We all like to hear a thank you so why not give them more often.

A simple note.

Guys……. I think I can say fairly accurately, that we fail at expressing our emotions. Especially to have to sit down and write them out. I’m going to tell you something that could change your marriage. If you would work on expressing how you feel, to your wife, and how much she means to you and all that she does and express your appreciation for all she does what effect do you think that would have? How would you feel if she did that for you? You would have a happy wife. She needs to hear or see your words and actions of encouragement, just as much as you do. She needs to know that you are aware of all the little things she does to keep the house going. The laundry, the dishes, the meals, the cleaning. Not that men don’t help, but as a whole I would say most men don’t help very much. What I’m saying is just tell her thank you in a totally honest appreciative way.

So what I’m saying is get off your duff, stop complaining about how you are not good at writing anything, and write her a note. It can be short, just a simple note on a post it stuck to her keys or on her steering wheel in her car. Practice makes perfect. The more you write your feelings out the easier it is to do. Take me for an example. I’m a guy that writes on a blog, It didn’t start pretty, my grammar is usually off to say the least, and my spelling at times is (shocked face) a little lacking LOL. But what I write is real and its from a guys point of view and its from a guys mind, as scary as that is. It was not always this easy. It took practice. Just like writing a note to your wife for the first time, it will feel off, it will feel forced, but don’t let that stop you.

I’ll give an example from my own life. I write notes to my wife either on the bathroom mirror or on post its everyday and have since we got married. Is this easy? Not always no way. We have had some fights and there have been times we haven’t really liked each other. I’ll say some times those notes have been very forced and hard to write but I think I have only missed a few days. I never realized how important they were to her until she told me one day. I know the value of our marriage and how much I value and appreciate her and I really try to not let some hurt feelings get in the way of the bigger picture and who I fell in love with.

So start thinking, how can I as a husband show my wife my appreciation and communicate to her just how important she is. It may not be a note or writing anything, but the trick is to figure out how she needs to see it and feel it, but starting with a simple note is a good place to start.

Don’t let your fears of opening up and becoming vulnerable by expressing your emotions stop you, what we see as weakness, to your wife can be a huge strength and the beginning of greater communications and a new level of intimacy.

So pull out that piece of paper and pen and start writing. No fear here fellas, let her know how important she is to you.

How do you make your wife feel cherished

The Webster’s definition of Cherish is…

1: a :to hold dear :feel or show affection.

b :to keep or cultivate with care and affection.

2:

:to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.

As a husband are you doing things that make her feel like you value her and cherish her? Do you know the best way to find out? Ask her. Yeah I know thats so simple, but its the quickest and easiest way to see if your connecting in that area. In your mind you maybe doing all kinds of things that you feel should be showing her, yet she may feel like you don’t. Don’t take it personal, there maybe areas that she specifically needs that you don’t see or are not aware of and thats ok. The fact that you asked shows that your trying to get tuned in.

The biggest thing for most guys is just plan old effort. If your looking for ways to make her feel special your on your way to having a cherished wife. As long as you have your feelers out because you really want her to know how you feel about her is a big thing to her. Once you do that you can start to fine tune it to her specifically and start to really touch her heart.

It just takes a little effort and a desire to honestly have a wife that feels loved and valued by her husband.

Start with this simple question.

“What am I doing now that makes you feel valued and cherished by me and how can I improve in this area?”

What are you doing?

It’s a simple question and one that needs to be asked much more.

I hear so often all the complaints about someone’s spouse. How they are not doing what they think they should, how they have fallen short or failed.

We point fingers and blame but can you force change on them? Not really, they are the only one that can desire to change. So where does that leave you?

What’s helped me more than anything when I have gotten into those moments.

I have to ask myself. Am I doing all I can in this marriage? Where am I failing or not being a part of a solid connection.

Start with yourself. If you need to ask for forgiveness do it, don’t delay it.

Even better ask your spouse. “What am I doing right and what or where could I improve as a husband/ wife. “ Ask them how they specifically need to see things

Don’t be afraid to ask.

Why your Why is so important.

Think about this one for a little bit. Not only how important, but how damaging it can be not finding your why? (Listened to some Simon Sinek today and it hit me)
When you go through life not really understanding how important it is to discover your own personal why. The lack of your why becomes almost like a vacuum. It can suck the life out of you. You see people all the time. At the same job for 40 years, usually a bad attitude about their company and or leaders and disgruntled yet not brave enough to leave. (Been there myself)
So with that in mind, finding your why becomes a life support to you. Once you state your why. Hang onto it. Your purpose is not in the $’s, your purpose is in fulfillment in that field. I ask myself this. Is this a skill or ability I naturally have? Is it a God given skill?
That maybe hard to answer, but it’s possible.
When you can look at a job and know you would take it and not look at the salary, I think your heading in the right direction. Those are the places we are all supposed to be in. To use our God given talents that naturally fulfill us.
So. What is your why in your career or life?Why do you do what you do? (Not to make money) but in your heart, why do you clock in?
Is it feeding your life or is it a drain?
That’s what I love about coaching. My why is inside of each client. If they find their dreams, then I feel fulfilled. It doesn’t get any better than that.

What is your fruit?

One of the best questions, I think, we can ask ourselves is this. What are the words and subjects that are coming out of our mouths more often than anything else? I don’t care if your a business owner, employee, family or friend.

“The good person out of good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 ESV

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalms 19:14

“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” James 3: 5-6 NIV

So do you think God knew just how dangerous our mouths can be? He gives us examples of the dangers of the fruit of our hearts. The dangers that our mouths and words can have. These are strong warnings to us and should be taken seriously.

So the question is. What is your fruit? Looking inward at ourselves we can sometimes see some bad fruit, times our words hurt someone very badly or a harsh word said in anger at a spouse. Those things happen I’m talking about the consistent talk or bad things, evil things, or even bad attitudes from a hard season your in. It happens, The difference in a Godly person and person playing the role is the heart. As a Godly man, I want to never say things that are not baring good fruit. I want to add to peoples lives not take from them. The fact is, I’m not always that good person and neither is anyone. We all struggle in life and in work. There are people in our lives that will test us. They will push and pull and hurt and destroy to get you to drop down to their level.

I remember reading a quote. “Never argue with a fool, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” -Mark Twain-

Boy is that true. Its easy to get baited and to jump in the mud with someone and verbally duke it out. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when you need to take a stand on truth and not back down. Thats different than getting into a verbal battle only a fool gets into.

What I am getting at though is the importance that God puts on the power of our words and actions and how we are to use them or them us.

So what is your fruit? How do you speak to people, how do you treat people? Always being aware of the fruit that your producing in life is a very important thing because bad fruit can sneak in on you and be there with out you really noticing. Be aware of your moods and what causes those bad things to come out of your mouth. My dad always told me that words are important. You can say whatever you want in life, but you can never truly take anything back, once it leaves your mouth its gone never to be gotten back, it can only be forgiven and thats a hard one sometimes.

What’s your fruit in life right now?

Learning to Let go.

Many things in life we refuse to let go of. Our dependency on money, approval from others, anger and bitterness are all just a few of the things we hang on to or carry with us into new seasons of life.I think this happens more than any of us like to admit. Sometimes we are not even aware of it. It seeps into our relationships with our spouse and friends and can start to set bitter roots that really have nothing to do with the current relationship.The only thing I have found that can free us from the hold our past has on us is a deep, close personal relationship with Christ.

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”‭‭ Romans‬ ‭5:8‬ ‭

I believe most don’t understand the weight of this verse and the power it carries. God loved us even when we didn’t love Him. He allowed His son to die for us. Would you sacrifice your child’s life for anything? Look at Abraham. He was going to plunge a knife into his sons chest because God asked him too. I don’t think I could do that to be honest. That verse alone should be the very backing of all other verses about God’s promises to you. He is you fortress, He is your rock, your anchor, He will not leave or forsake you. All of these are based on His love for you no matter who or what you did or have done. Let your mind dwell on that one for a bit. So the question remains, what are you holding onto that is damaging your life right now that needs to go? Anger? Bitterness? Contempt? Comparison? Resentment? Everyone has a few, so don’t feel bad if you find a few things. The real question is if you were to ask God which ones of these do I need to be holding? He would more than likely tell you o let them go and reach for his hand. I would never say I speak for God like some of the current books seem to do. But I do like to think about what God would think about things and might say or react to our silliness in how we deal with life at times. Sad truth is, He is just wanting us to trust Him in all things, not just the easy ones. thats like thinking love is about loving someone when its great. The truth is that true love is loving someone when they are at their worst. Looking through the ugly reactions, the ugly remarks. Those words that hit hard and hurt bad and are uncalled for. But you choose to love the person God sees in them. The heart of the person not just reacting to them in a weak moment of anger. Yes, more letting go of the need to be right, the need to defend, the need for perfection or even the need for someone to do things like you would and expecting them to be just like you. Are you starting to see the desperate need we have to let go and let God. Trust in who He says He is and the promises He has for us, even if we can’t seem to grasp the path getting there. We have to trust He can see out ahead of us when the bad times hit, He knows the blessings hidden in our misery and struggle. His ways are higher than our ways. Its all about trusting Him enough for us to let go of all that has become a weight holding us down. Satan will use those to eat away at your faith and make you feel discouraged and hopeless. Those are not the tools of God. No guilt or shame in His ways. By Him alone we are to stand up again with the strength only He can give us. He tells us in His word so often that we should never doubt but we do. Learning that anything that is hindering your relationships and life today needs to go. Anything that has you doubting God will do what he says He will? That is all from the devil. That is all junk and made to pull you in and eat you up. Its a giant trap that we continue to justify over and over. Its time that ends, its time we start to actually live out the faith we read and talk about, its time to put some action to your faith. In my mind I can image God standing behind us waiting on us to make a move. Thinking Ill take care of you either way you go, I’ll get you were I need you, just move and do something to show that you trust me. Thats s the stuff that goes through my head sometimes. He has got to be very frustrated with out waffling and over thinking ourselves into so many places we are not supposed to be. So start today to look inward and see what is holding you back in life? What things do you need to let go of?

The ugly monster of bitterness

Bitterness is a poison that kills from the inside. It kills your joy it kills your relationships, it is like a cancer that slowly taints your whole life.

Learning to let go of an injustice in your life is not easy nor does it come natural, but It is the best thing for you in your life. To be able to breath again and not carry the weight of hate on your shoulders.

Think about how much energy it takes to stay that angry at someone for decades. You have to mentally go over the things that hurt you over and over and over again. Its just not worth it to go around hating people. Will people keep hurting you in life….. yup some people just don’t care, but that shouldn’t influence your life or attitude about it because there are many that do care. Learning to let go of bitterness and the feeling of being justified in that bitterness is vital to a true joy filled life.

If you are wise and understand God’s ways. Prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. (James 3:13-16 NLT)

Humility

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Humility is a must for an authentic man. We as men, can easily slip into pride and ego. These are some of the biggest trappings of any man.

The older I get the more I realize my need for God in my life. Not just a small, yeah he is out there type thing, but a daily giving of myself to Him. The reason why is because its so easy for a man to get caught up in his own accomplishments and praise. It goes to our head and it will start to inflate like a balloon. By giving God the glory I am letting the air out of myself, basically. Always point the reason to God and raise him up not ourselves.

The other thing Humility gives us as a man is that it keeps us on the ground with all of those around us. Everyone knows someone that speaks to others from a lofty position. They speak down to you with an authority they have no right to use. Even if they have more knowledge than you in the subject matter it still doesn’t give anyone the right to speak down to others. When that happens their message is lost anyway. No one likes to speak to or take advice from someone that doesn’t have humbled spirit. It also lets you be more empathic to others needs and situations. It keeps your heart from hardening to this world around us and guys. This world needs us to be the best we can be.

We can not be humble to our families, wives or people around us if we are not willing to be humbled before God. That is where the real change starts. That’s why I loved the quote above so much. It is a simple mental picture of the effects of a humbled spirit. It doesn’t guarantee, as a man, we will do it all perfectly. It means we will be able to lead with the right heart. It means the Holy Spirit inside of us has more power, more say and more influence in our daily life than if we let pride lead us.

How can you as a man maintain a spirit of humility? Its fairly simple… read your bible. Its all right there. Let Gods word course through your veins and infuse every ounce of your body an mind. Think of all the things that can be stopped if we not only read it but put it to into practice. Just a few key verse. Philippians 4:8 is one that comes to mind for me. When my mind starts to free wheel on fears and all the unknowns in my life. It can get scary and I can create problems I don’t really have. I stop and compare my thoughts to that verse. And It has yet to not bring me back to reality and Its all because of God’s word that keeps the world at bay.

The other thing is does is keeps your fruit fresh and good and useful. If you want to analyze yourself. What is the thing you talk about the most? What is the thing that passes your lips the most. How are you talking to your spouse? How are you talking to your kids? One thing I have learned is that most times when bad fruit is spewing out of our mouth or we have let anger take the wheel, it has nothing to do with who is in front of you or what the subject is. Its usually deeper, a past hurt or pain or mistreatment and it doesn’t even have to do anything with the person we are yelling at. When we stop and look at our fruit in our life and not a biased view or just the good, but an honest look at the bad, and yes we all have some, don’t try to hide it from yourself, God can see it. He knows your bad fruit and He wants it gone too. Be honest with yourself, or ask a close friend or your spouse to help you see past any blind spots. That being said be ready for what they may say. You can’t get mad or defensive in that situation. You may feel justified in your fruit but its still coming from bad motivation.

Humility. We need it gentlemen. We have to keep our minds focused on it because its so easy to let it slip away and let pride raise to the top. Be vigilant in your prayers and never stop reaching for the man God wants you to become.

Life is not easy.

We know its true. We know its a fact. We know that God never tells us it will be easy, as a matter of fact, He says that the moment we give our heart to Jesus that we will come under attack. So we supposedly know all of this yet scream WHY WHY WHY when life does get hard.

You have lived a good clean life, you have followed the laws dictated by God, you have done your best to not sin. Yet Life has hit you with a super punch and your left wondering why. Don’t get me wrong, I am not coming down on you or criticizing you. I’m right there with you. I have not lived the pure life. I have had a life full of sin, just like I do now. Wait your thinking what?? Your saved how can that be. The difference is not that I a don’t sin. The difference is in my heart. My sins now come under God’s divine eye in my heart. Before I didn’t know what I was doing was sin. It never bothered me it never affected me. Now when they happen they weigh on me. The fact that I did something or thought something that is not God honoring hurts my heart and thats a good thing. Its called conviction.

You might be asking, what does this have to do with the image above and the word determination. Well I’m going to be honest. We can be passive in our faith and say all the kind peaceful Christian phrases and still be stuck in life. We can be on a faith based treadmill running over the same ground not growing and not advancing in our faith. Determination is a vital part of a mans faith. It has to be and here is why. I know that 100% of the time we do not feel very faithful all the time. Times you do not feel like God gives 2 cents about you. Why do I say that? Because life and the opposition we face is so large in front of us, that our focus moves from God to a looming fear. Everyone has a Goliath, everyone has a giant in their lives. We tend to look outward for him so we can easily identify our opponent. As a man you can tell me who I have to beat and I can look it over and plan an attack to take it down. The fact is most of our giants lie inside of our own person. You see, most of the sins in our lives are not the problem, porn, greed, laziness, ego, pride and more, are not the problem. They are just a symptom of the problem. There is another cause deeper inside. Your giant is you. In the Mens class I have been going through, they talk about digging into yourself to unravel the root cause. You have to be determined to get to the bottom of it. To unleash the Godly man inside, you must be determined to root out the ugly parts you do not like to admit that you have.

For a man to love God, love his wife and family unconditionally, a man must be determined to do it God’s way, as He instructs us in His word. Be determined to read His word even when you don’t feel like it. Be determined to love your wife even if she isn’t engaged in the marriage or during that season of diffuculty, could be kids or work has filled her schedule up. Be determined to shine Gods light in your life each day. Be determined to overcome all the things thrown in your way to act with integrity and good character. Follow the psalms and not be envious of the wicked that seem to prosper. Be determined to trust God in all circumstances. Be determined to live out your faith even when your mind is having trouble believing it. Believing God, when all the things in our face is saying the opposite, is the very definition of determination. When your standing up to one of your biggest fears I have an image in my head. One of a father and small child standing at his side facing his fear. The father is holding his hand and telling him its ok he will be with him the whole time. The child maybe shaking in fear but he knows is dad is there and he moves forward because of that, not because he knows he can do it himself. A determination to believe. Thats what its all about. Determination to live your life according to Him and not the obstacles I am currently seeing.

Probably one of the hardest parts of truly living out our faith is putting the verses we know like Proverbs 3:5,6 into practice.

Really doing what we need to do in life that speak truth and God are what’s important. God never asks us to just lay down and give up. Our faith is not a passive thing but should be an active thing in our life and the hard times are those testing seasons.

People think that determination is taking charge of our own plan and rushing head long without God, thats wrong. Our faith demands a sense of determination but not for ourselves. We can fight for and be determined to live for God, the fact is its hard, its really hard at times and to really live a faith thats based on a true relationship with Jesus you have got to be determined to do it. Just as determined as it took for me to run the Tough Mudder (which is a 12.5 mile obstacle run) in the image. Or crawl under water and pull myself along that chain linked fence with just an inch or 2 to breath between the water and the fence. Different motivation but still determination. He always will call us to places we are not comfortable an we must show a level or trust in Him and not our own ability. Its the learning to trust part that seems the most difficult for most of us.