25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband by Jennifer Flanders

In all areas of our lives we should be pursuing learning and improvement. This seems obvious in job situations, but what about the parts where 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband book cover“continued education” isn’t required? Such as marriage? Marriage is a commitment for life so we definitely need to continue growing and learning! Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what we already know and aren’t applying. Other times we may require a few (or more!) kicks in the pants to get out of a rut we’re stuck in!

25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband by Jennifer Flanders is a good book to add to your marriage improvement reading list. With it’s short chapters and straightforward writing, it is easy to read. However, I would echo her suggestion for you to read and work on one chapter a week. Otherwise you might read it in a couple days and yet not do anything for your marriage! Also don’t ignore the “Put It into Practice” sections at the end of each chapter. You may not have time to do them all each week, but they are suggestions to help you apply the topic she discussed in that chapter.

I love the warning on the back… “WARNING: Reading this book may alter the way you look at your husband, your marriage, and life in general. Read at your one risk. Side effects from implementing these principles set forth in these pages may include a more joyful outlook, better communication skills, a healthier relationship, a happier home, and a rekindled desire to love on your man.” 🙂

**The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book through BookCrash for my honest opinion.

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“Women Living Well” Book Review AND GIVEAWAY

I was excited to dive into Courtney Joseph’s new book — Women Living Well. And with a subtitle of “Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Women Living Well book coverYour Home”, I suspect most Christ-following women will be interested in what is shared and how she shares. Not everything she does you will want to do, not every tip you will utilize…but you can tell that she has a heart for God and for helping us to grow – closer to God and our family. Also, it’s very encouraging to see the influence her mom was in her life growing up, because we as moms all desire to leave a legacy!

Women Living Well is split into four sections, which are mentioned in the subtitle. Here are just a few great quotes from each area…

**Our relationship with God: “I learned that I could not throw in the towel when the hike with God got tough. It was this duty of listening to God’s voice in His Word and prayer that maintained my daily life. Time with God was as crucial to me as breathing.”

**Our marriage: “Let go of your expectations, remain steadfastly faithful to your marriage vows, and remember that you married a sinner who needs grace–the same grace Christ gave us at the cross.”

**Our parenting: “I had to learn to strive for progress, not perfection, and to focus on the character traits that I wanted to see in my children rather than on the negative things they sometimes did.”… “Dear mamas, do not lose heart. Do not grow weary of doing good (Gal. 6:9). We are raising the next generation, and we can’t do it alone, We need to daily be on our knees in prayer, not just for our husband and children, but for ourselves!”

**Our homemaking: “God does not base your worthiness of His love on the cleanliness of your home. We stand before God justified by the blood of Jesus! But I want to encourage you, do not grow weary in your mundane tasks. Mundane tasks are the hidden treasure to creating a home that is a haven.”

Courtney Joseph shares some of her ups and downs, but always points us to God’s truth! She also reminds us (and I believe this is a VERY important element of this book) that all these areas of our lives will look different from each other’s because we are all individuals who are married to their own husband and raising unique kids in varying home situations. Her emphasis throughout is that God is our living well and filling up with Him daily and purposefully will transform our marriages, our parenting and our home management. What a clear and encouraging message she shares through out Women Living Well!! Read it with a highlighter and then make it personal — apply God’s truth shared in her practical tips, lots of very practical tips!

More about the author… “… After over a decade of leading women’s Bible studies, mentorships and workshops in her local church, she decided to move her ministry on-line at WomenLivingWell.org and WomenLivingWell.TV. Courtney’s desire is to see women living well through discipleship in God’s Word. … This led her to co-found the rapidly growing, on-line Bible study community at GoodMorningGirls.org.  There thousands of women globally, join together daily, to dig into their Bibles through on-line devotionals, videos, free Bible reading plans and tech-based accountability groups.” –from her “About Me” link on her website

Disclosure: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group’s book review bloggers program, BookSneeze. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

I also received an ebook since I was a part of ithe launch team for this book. I was familiar with Courtney Joseph through her websites, especially Good Morning Girls and the Bible studies available there (my kids and I LOVED the last Christmas one!). I looked forward to getting an advanced glimpse at her new book, however I still reviewed this book as I would any other –with honesty and grace.

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GIVEAWAY!!!…

***Because of my involvement in the launch team, I have been given the privilege of giving away a signed copy of Women Living Well!!

What do you need to do? Well, I’m keeping it simple…

  1. Comment below — What interests you the most about this book? (Make sure to include a way to contact you, like email address.)

  2. Then share — Facebook, Twitter,… you choose.***

The winner will be drawn by my kiddos Saturday (October 5) morning, so comment and share by Friday.

 

****And the winner is…. Kelly! Congrats and enjoy the book!!****

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Building Up the Men in Our Lives

More from Sheri Rose Shepherd this Wednesday….

 

Featured authors
 
Sheri Rose Shepherd
Building Up the Men in Our Lives
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9, NIV)
By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach
learn more ▶
When our husbands let us down, it’s hard not to voice our anger and disappointment. We don’t do it to hurt or embarrass our husbands. We are women, and we’re wired to share our hearts with another person. We definitely need one another to become the women we want to be, but we need to be careful not to cripple our men by uncovering their weaknesses to everyone.

Obviously we all need someone to help us sort through our feelings. I think it is best to find one or two trustworthy people who are in favor of our marriages and won’t repeat our conversation to others. I have two best friends to whom I tell everything because they help me see things from my husband’s perspective and help me fight for my marriage by praying and sharing wisdom from the Word. I am careful, even with them, not to overshare in a way that would humiliate my husband, Steve.

Think about how we would feel if our husbands talked about our weaknesses at their workplaces. Let’s commit to covering our men and not exposing them, and let’s pray for them to grow as leaders.

Don’t Enable . . .

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her. (Ephesians 5:25)

Because we women are so good at leading, many times we leave our men in the dust or allow them to become weak leaders. How are they ever supposed to learn to lead if we do everything for them? We are not their mothers; we are their wives. Christ asked them to love, lead, and take care of us the way He loves the church.

It’s important that we not try to do things that are our husbands’ responsibility unless they are absolutely necessary. Even if we can do their job better than they can, we’re not helping them become the men they long to be; we are enabling them. They will see us as their mothers and not their wives, which will make us bitter toward them and produce the fruit of self-hate in their lives.

Do What You Can to Empower Him . . .

Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. (1 Peter 3:6)

I used to think it was strange that Sarah called her husband “master.” I thought maybe she was even putting her husband before God. But today I realize she was a wise woman. She was empowering her husband to find his place as her leader. We can also help our husbands become godly leaders for us. Even if they do not rise up right away, we shouldn’t give up on them. We can keep praying and empowering them. Whatever they do, big or small, let’s encourage them. Let’s be like Sarah and do whatever it takes to empower our men to be great.

For more teaching from the Your Heart’s Desire book and Bible study, visitwww.biblelifecoaching.com.

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We Are on the Same Team and Fighting the Same Enemy

More from Sheri Rose Shepherd this Wednesday….

 

Featured authors
Sheri Rose Shepherd
We Are on the Same Team and Fighting the Same Enemy
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach
learn more ▶
Think about what makes your heart melt when you watch a great love story. It’s not the hero’s physical strength or his beloved’s beauty, is it? No, you and I are drawn to the power of true love and its inexplicable ability to prevail over tragedy and adversity. The greater the conflict, the stronger the love must be in order to resolve the issue. When the hero does whatever it takes to save the relationship, our hearts soar with renewed hope. Likewise, as we seek to truly listen and understand our men when differences between us create friction, we set ourselves up for more satisfying and loving relationships.

The Author of love and life and the Designer of our differences knew there would be conflict between men and women. The real problem comes, though, when we get accustomed to seeing relational problems solved in the time it takes to eat a bag of popcorn. Our hero and his beauty have less than two hours to defeat the dragons and overcome unspeakable challenges. You and I are not going to magically resolve deep relationship conflicts in our own wisdom and definitely not in less than two hours.

When I met my husband, Steve, I was sure we were a match made in heaven. In fact, we have had the privilege of being in ministry together for most of our marriage. I wish I could tell you it’s been an effortless, wonderful life for the two of us, but I would be lying to you.

I learned to fight loud and strong by watching my parents. My brother and I would hide together in my bedroom as our parents tore into each other during arguments, often screaming and throwing things. Because of my broken family, when I first got married I was sure that every conflict between me and Steve would end our marriage.

Steve was raised by parents who had stayed married, so it was impossible for him to relate to my fears and worries. He was raised in quieter surroundings. His parents dealt with conflict quite differently from mine. There was no rage. No yelling. No broken furniture. His parents rarely fought—and never in front of their children. But his family also had no system to resolve conflict. That meant issues went unresolved—though not unnoticed.

Steve’s and my fighting techniques were drastically different. However, neither of us had been equipped to deal appropriately with marital conflict. That led to major challenges early in our marriage whenever we attempted to resolve a disagreement. To make things even more difficult, when I married Steve I was a new Christian and had not yet learned how to channel my anger properly.

I tried everything to get him to react or resolve conflict with me, and as I waited, I became more bitter and he became more distant. One day I couldn’t take Steve’s calm, cool responses anymore. From my perspective, he obviously needed some lessons on how to fight for our marriage. I’d had enough of his “let’s work it out peacefully by ignoring our problems” act. In my mind, he was being polite only to annoy me.

“Why don’t you ever show some emotion and prove to me you care about our marriage?” I yelled.

Steve stood there quietly, shaking his head and looking down at the ground. Then suddenly, he turned toward the mirror on our bedroom closet door and kicked it as hard as he could, smashing it to bits.

Wow, I thought, what a performance. He sure learns fast.

Suddenly I began to laugh hysterically through my tears. I was so shocked I wasn’t sure if I was relieved or ready to run from what I saw. His toenail was jutting out at a bizarre angle as he asked me, “Is that enough emotion for you? If it would help, I could probably throw myself on the floor and work up a good cry.” We both began to laugh together as we attempted to pick up the glass fragments scattered all over our bedroom floor. In that moment I realized how much we had shattered each other just because we were different and had not been trained on how to resolve conflict. Our marriage was not the problem; it was our hearts. Neither of us had a teachable spirit.

It took several years, a lot of tears, and one expensive closet door mirror to repair the damage inflicted during those early years. We still have conflict, as all couples do, but we now understand that we are on the same team and that it’s okay not to agree on everything.

After twenty-five years of marriage, we’ve decided it’s worth letting go of the little things and fighting to understand one another. Conflict comes no matter who we marry. We may be fighting about different things with different men, but there will always be major differences between men and women. I once heard a pastor say that if spouses agreed on everything, only one of them would be needed. Let’s not allow our differences to divide us any longer!

For a sneak peek of Sheri Rose’s Your Heart’s Desire Group Experience, or to learn more about her ministry, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.

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Desiring a “Happily Ever After” – Fighting the Temptation to Give Up on Love and Marriage

As a Tyndale Blog Network Subscriber, I am honored to have the privilege to share a few articles from Sheri Rose Shepherd. For the next eight weeks, I will share an article each Wednesday. May these articles draw you closer to God and your family as you continue in 2013…

 

Featured authors
Sheri Rose Shepherd
Desiring a “Happily Ever After”
Fighting the Temptation to Give Up on Love and Marriage
By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach
learn more ▶
I don’t know where you stand today with the man you love or loved—or if you are single, divorced, separated, or widowed. I can tell you, though, that if you’ve been hurt, you can be sure Your heavenly Father knows how hard it is to love and forgive the one who caused you pain. Yet regardless of the relational devastation you face, no one can keep you from finishing strong for God’s glory!

I was raised in a non-Christian home. My parents have each been married and divorced to three different people. As part of several blended families, all I understood about marriage when I was growing up was “unhappily ever after.” But then I became a Christian at twenty-four and married my husband, Steve, just a few years later. Because of my love for God and my husband, I honestly didn’t think anything could shake my own marriage or faith.

In the summer of 2007, however, my happily ever after was wiped out and my faith was tested. The family foundation I had worked so hard to build and protect was almost destroyed, along with my ministry, in that season of my life. I truly believed that God had forsaken me.

I had just finished writing my book for mothers about raising sons to become godly husbands. As I excitedly ran upstairs to e-mail the manuscript to the publisher, I suddenly felt as if something dark hovered over me. My passion for the book’s message was drowned out by the fear of an attack from the enemy that could come against me and my family if I stepped on his territory . . . young men and their future marriages.

I called the publisher and said I’d need to wait and pray for courage before submitting the manuscript. I went to my son, Jake, who was eighteen years old and a senior in high school at the time, and asked him if he had any plans of rebelling against his faith once he graduated from high school. I told him I was willing to give him freedom to find his own faith in Christ, but I didn’t want to put out a book about raising boys if my own son was going to walk away from the Lord. He reassured me that he was strong in his faith and that he felt I should publish the book. I decided to take the chance to make a difference and sent in the manuscript.

The book began climbing the charts, and everything seemed to be going well. I even began speaking with my son at conferences for mothers of boys. Then three months into my book tour, my fear of attack hit. My husband had taken a job that we had both prayed for. This job appeared to be a blessing; however, his new position required him to violate some of the boundaries we had put in place to protect our marriage, and we ended up separated.

There I was in the public eye of ministry, fighting to save future marriages, and somehow my own marriage was falling apart. My son was devastated by the division between me and his dad. It was too hard for him to deal with all his confusion, pain, and anger, so he took a break from his faith and began using drugs and alcohol to comfort himself. I had always known to run to God for cover when there was a great attack, but now I felt like He had left me alone on the battlefield to fight for myself. It appeared that all I had believed about God and all my effort to build a strong foundation for my own family had been shattered. My pain, my shame, and my life were an embarrassment. I felt as if I were battling an out-of-control fire that would burn up everything I loved and lived for. Every night I would cry myself to sleep as I struggled to understand why God had not protected me while I was attempting to accomplish something for His glory.

One night I could not take it anymore, so I fell to my knees and told God I either wanted Him to fix my family or I wanted to quit the ministry. Then I felt the Lord asking me a bigger question: Was My life, given on a cross for you, not enough for you to finish strong even if it means surrendering the life you wanted? For the first time I realized that my heart’s true desire was to feel loved and secure, and yet no man on earth could love me the way my Lord does. In that moment of crisis I found the true meaning of following Christ. God had not forsaken me, but He did want to free me from depending on others to give me my happily ever after.

That night I gave my heart’s deepest desire to God and chose to follow Him at any cost. In exchange, He gave me something so much better; He gave me peace that was more powerful than my circumstances. My faith was no longer in people; it was in Christ alone. Although nothing outwardly had changed yet, I had been changed. Today, Steve and I have celebrated twenty-five years of marriage, and our son serves God with His whole heart. He and his bride have given us our first grandbaby girl. However, to be honest, restoring our marriage was excruciatingly painful and more difficult than either of us expected. As hard as this trial was, it taught me a valuable lesson: our Lord is the God of comfort and the author of a new beginning. He can and will rebuild a beautiful life out of any broken heart willing to make a change. He will use one sacrificial choice; one act of forgiveness; one sincere, repentant heart; and one woman who is willing to step out in faith and start rebuilding with His love for His glory.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)

For more teaching from the Your Heart’s Desire book and Bible study, visitwww.biblelifecoaching.com.

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No More Perfect Moms: Learning to Love Your Real Life by Jill Savage

Moms of all types in all seasons of life are dealing with unrealistic expectations or “The Perfect Infection” as Jill Savage calls it in her new book, No More Perfect

Moms. She gives “The Antidote” as taking off pride, fear, insecurity, and judgement and putting on humility, courage, confidence, and grace. Then very honestly she opens up about kids, body issues, marriage, friendship, day planning, houses, and homemaking. She shares the issues that moms deal with in these areas then encourages us and offers some practical tips. At the end of each chapter she shows how “The Antidote” will help us learn to embrace our beautiful, imperfect life. While she reminds us through out the book that we can’t be perfect and need to be careful with unrealistic expectations, she concludes the book

 

point us to the “One Perfect God”. God is perfect in love, strength, identity, hope, truth, and redemption AND He is offering His hand to us. Then we can be at peaces as “imperfect moms partnering with a perfect God”. What a wonderful way to end this book!

 

I have and will continue to highly recommended this book to my friends and I recommend it to you. We women need to learn how to love our real lives and that we are ok being imperfect. After you read this, I believe you will be able to sigh with relief as you realize that our lives need to be defined more by humility, courage, confidence and grace. We will not only be blessing ourselves, but our family and friends as we let go of our unrealistic expectations.

 

There are also more resources at the NoMorePerfectMoms website, including a leader’s guide and discussion videos.