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Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.







Thursday, February 4, 2010

The B's of a FruitLESS and FruitFULL Marriage

Bb

Reminder: These ABC's of a FruitLESS or FruitFULL marriage are intended to be fun and though-provoking not "gospel" or absolute.  I think they are useful for providing visible contrasts in our behavior and can help spotlight areas that we are doing well in (or need improvement in) our marriages.

B is for BLAMING     placing fault on one’s spouse instead of accepting personal responsibility for one’s actions

Who is to blame?  
That's the name of the game.
The fault?  NOT MINE!
'cause I'm doing fine.

You should have, "A, B, and C!"
"Now look... X, Y, and Z!"
You're so 'under my skin'
Don't know where to begin...

Just like time itself, BLAME also began in a garden...the Garden of Eden.  After Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the tree God instructed them to avoid, BLAME came.  Let's take a look at its birth...
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"  10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
 11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
 12 The man said, "The woman you put here with meshe gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
      The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
When confronted with their sin, BOTH Adam and Eve shifted blame onto someone else instead of taking personal responsibility for their actions.  Adam blamed God first for even putting that woman, Eve, there with him.  Next he blamed Eve for handing him some fruit.  Eve blamed her sin on the serpent who deceived her.

How often do things head south in the marriage when we shift blame?  Ouch!  Why is it so difficult to accept personal responsiblity for our sin?  How many conflicts would we potentially avoid or minimize if we would humble ourselves and cease to blame our spouse for all the problems?

We could spend hours discussing this topic.  While that is not my intent for this post, I will submit to you that I believe the culprit of the blame barrier is personal pride.  When we are prideful, we think more highly of ourselves then we ought, and consequently tend to shift blame on others.  Not much good can come from this and blame shifting doesn't usually edify, build-up, strengthen, or unite a marriage.

Try this test in the quiet of your own home: Pride's Plumbline

1. Where are my points of frustration or contention?
2. Who or what do I believe is causing them?
3. Who or what am I comparing myself to?
4. Compare myself to Jesus--His word, His thoughts, His ways (Try typing in some keywords to see what the Lord has to say about them in the Bible.)
5. Accept YOUR part and DO YOUR part to change.  The rest is up to the Lord. 

 1 [a] Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
       who walk according to the law of the LORD.
 2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes
       and seek him with all their heart.
 3 They do nothing wrong;
       they walk in his ways.  
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
       that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:1-3, 11

" 2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
       when will you come to me?
       I will walk in my house
       with blameless heart." Psalm 101:2

B is for BEAUTIFYING     the pure action of preparing one’s heart and home for the return home of one’s spouse

Years ago I had the privilege of attending a BLESSINGS Bridal Shower.  The mother of the groom planned for the guests to bring a verse, tips, or Godly counsel to encourage the Bride-to-be.  I will never forget the wise counsel of one of the women...it went a little something like this...

Before my husband returns home from work, I try to prepare myself for him.  I prepare mentally, physically, and spiritually for his return.  I'm not perfect at it, but I do try to spruce up a bit...trying not to have my home a total disaster when he walks in, having dinner somewhat planned and prepped, and putting on some lipstick or brushing my hair.  Then I spend a few moments reading from the Bible or offering a short prayer to the Lord.  That way I am prepared to greet him instead of gripe about my day.
This, my friends, is EXCELLENT advice.  We CAN be a blessing to our husbands when we beautify our hearts and our home for our husbands.  Beautifying these instead of passing blame for our hurts, our hassles, our headaches, etc. we can usually edify, build-up, strengthen, or unite a marriage.

TIP: Strive for PEACEFUL, not PERFECT.  :)

"16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. 
The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16

 "8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8,9

"22Avoid every kind of evil.
 23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  
24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:22-24

“One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness because it is usually returned.”

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