Imagine…being born to die. Really, take a moment and imagine if your whole purpose in being born, was to give your life and die.
As we approach this wonderful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Christ, take another moment if you will, and imagine what it would be like for Jesus to know He was coming to earth–to die.
At a lunch last week I heard a man speak about keeping “short accounts” with his wife – meaning they would talk about most everything that created disharmony in their relationship – even if it was simply an unkind or harsh tone of voice. Does that sound absurd? I hope not. It is probably one of the healthiest aspects of marriage if done well.
Here are 7 ideas to keep in mind:
Recently I tried to help a husband understand why his wife was frustrated and hurt. I worked hard to help him be able to see things from her perspective. He didn’t get it. I tried explaining it two or three different ways and he still didn’t get it. I used an example in his own life that would have been very similar in nature to the frustration his wife was feeling. Finally, it seemed as though it began to click. He turned slightly towards his wife to say that it “kinda made sense.” Then he turned back to me and said in a somewhat frustrated tone of voice: “I could have said that a long time ago, but that doesn’t solve anything.”
And I had a light bulb moment!
My wife started out praying today thanking God for the beauty of the creation around us, for eyes to see and ears to hear. She expressed gratitude for our nation and the freedom and security that we still experience today. While listening to her I was aware of feeling a bit guilty. As she was expressing her sincere gratitude to God I realized I hadn’t even thought about doing so.
How often I forget.
Recently as we dropped into bed at midnight, I remembered to tell Zerrin that in the morning two pastors were coming over to the house to talk about us doing a conference with them sometime next year. Her response was: “In the morning?” and then she sighed and rolled over while we went to sleep. Early the next morning I heard my wife scurrying about in the kitchen. I got up and started some stretching when it occurred that I might ask: “Anything I can do to help?”
With a mixture of frustration and teasing that only my wife can pull off, she said she was fine–although gonna be later getting to school than she wanted to because she had a husband who tells her things at the last minute which meant spending an extra 20 minutes cleaning up before she left the house. My response? Not the best…read on!
It was a genuine delight to host the Madly in Love conference this past October. Although I had never actually attended one before, I still confidently assured the folks I invited that the content of the weekend would “speak to them” no matter where they were on the “marriage journey.”
After making that guarantee, Mark & Zerrin actually exceeded every expectation I had as they wisely, humbly, and practically encouraged all of those who were able to participate in the conference. And based on the feedback I have received from others who attended, they had the same experience.
(Director, Behind the Scenes Ministry)
No doubt we have all heard our spouse start a sentence with: “You ALWAYS…” or “You NEVER…” Truth be known, we have probably all said those words ourselves. I remember once, telling Zerrin I was frustrated about her using those words when she talks to me, only to find myself doing the same thing on a walk with her only one hour later. Ugh! I hate it when that happens! What do we do?
I remember feeling a pain deep inside, when just days after my first child had arrived I had to go to work. It just didn’t seem right. There she was, the most precious gift God had given Zerrin and I–a very real part of me–and I had to say good-bye.
From that day forward I would increasingly experience an unexplainable mix of joy and pain inside my heart between wanting to hold on to her forever and letting her go. I have felt that mixture of emotions every day for 28 years not only with Brittany, but again with my son Micah, and my second daughter Taya.
How do we enjoy the time we have with our spouse and children, while knowing our time is limited?
Last week I wrote about priority management being more of the key rather than time management. This morning as I awoke and laid in bed feeling overwhelmed with all I had to do, I reminded myself: “priorities Mark…think priorities!” That helped me once again to put things in focus. It got me out of bed and into my day as it does most days. At the same time, there are still nagging questions I have and questions you have asked about handling time and things to do. Over the next few weeks I am going to do my best at answering them. Here is the first question…
“How do we deal with what seems to be an endless list of tasks?”
Finding time! It is a struggle for most of us living in this fast-paced world, with its incessant demands, and virtually (no pun intended) unlimited opportunities. What is the secret? How do we find time for everything?