Slander and Gossip

I’ve been listening to Chip Ingram’s sermons lately. They’re awesome! (I highly recommend downloading the Chip Ingram app.)

The other day, I heard a sermon on slandering and gossiping about people. Chip said that you slander someone any time you talk about him and the person you’re talking to thinks less of him after your conversation than before it. 

Wow. That’s hard. 

I heard that a couple of weeks ago and I’ve really been trying to watch what I say since then. So many times, I’ve left a conversation and then realized what I’d just said about someone and then asked for forgiveness. It’s happened a bunch in just a couple of weeks! It’s really tough, but I’m going to keep working on it. It’s so important! 

Slandering is definitely not loving, but Christians do it all the time. Imagine what people would see in Christians if we could stop slandering others! It’s something people would definitely notice and hopefully admire. 

I hope you choose to work on this with me!
Featured image from LinkedIn.com

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Grace is for Everyone

I’ve been struggling for a while with my attitude toward certain people. I haven’t felt like helping people who aren’t trying to get out of their situations on their own. Which was probably a result of the work that I do as a home visitor, but it also made my job more difficult. I wasn’t putting all of my effort in for my clients when I didn’t feel like they were thankful and they weren’t helping themselves. 

So, I’ve asked God to help me change my attitude over the past few months. I wasn’t understanding why I should try so hard for people who aren’t trying for themselves. So today, I don’t even remember exactly what I was praying about, but I was asking God to help some people even though they don’t deserve it. 

Then I said “ohh…”

That’s why I need to help people. Because of grace. 

Grace is giving people what they don’t deserve. And it’s how God shows His love to us. So if I want to show God’s love to others, then I need to be pouring out grace to them. 

I’ve always understood grace and I’ve been thankful for the grace of God, but I guess that I didn’t fully understand it. Or maybe I just forgot what it was supposed to look like. 

Either way, today I realized that grace is not only giving people what they don’t deserve, but it’s also giving to people who are undeserving. It’s not just for the people who I like or who are trying (so being a little bit deserving) or who are thankful. I need to show grace to everyone

Now the hard part: applying what I realized. 
Featured image from Victoryus.org. 

7 Relationship Mistakes to Avoid

I work with people, so naturally, I hear a lot about relationships. I hear about relationships in all aspects of my life, really. So, I’ve made a list of some things to avoid in relationships based on what I’ve seen in the people around me (it’s always easier to see problems and solutions in someone else’s life!)

So, here we go. Here are some mistakes to avoid making in your romantic relationships.

Mistake #1: Not communicating.

I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. But have you ever really thought about communication? Yes, talk about your feelings with your partner and tell them what you’re upset about and have honest and clear conversations. But communication also involves listening. That’s the part we forget sometimes. We might be ready to pour out our hearts, but we need to be ready to listen to our spouse’s heart too. Listen and be ready to take what your partner is telling you seriously.

Mistake #2: Not knowing or considering your significant other’s love language.

If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages, do. If you refuse to read it, at least take the quiz for you and your partner online and read a little synopsis of the languages. The idea of the love languages makes a lot of sense, but I’ve actually seen a lack of understanding of them affect marriages. I see people who need quality time with their spouses and they don’t realize it because it’s not what they need. Some people give their all in a relationship, like buying their husband or wife endless gifts, but their partner doesn’t respond because he or she doesn’t communicate love that way. It’s amazing to see how a relationship can change once a couple discovers what each other needs to feel loved.

Mistake #3: “We don’t have a problem. We’re doing fine.”

If your significant other says that there is a problem, then there is a problem. Please don’t brush it off as nothing just because you are perfectly happy with how life is going. Your relationship is going to be awfully rocky if you don’t take your partner’s concerns seriously and if you are only working toward your own personal happiness. And eventually, your partner’s unhappiness will lead to your unhappiness.

Mistake #4: Bringing up the past.

If you feel like an argument from the past is not fully settled or that something your partner did is still bothering you, have a conversation about it. Do not bring it up during a fight about something else. Sometimes, every fight starts to come full circle to “that thing you did that really hurt me.” That is not solving anything.

Mistake #5: Making ending a marriage an option.

Don’t give yourself an escape route so you don’t have to work through the hard parts of marriage. Read this post for more about this mistake.

Mistake #6: Giving up on trying.

It’s heartbreaking to see people reach this point. I don’t blame people for wanting to stop trying when their spouse is not putting any effort in, but if you give up, then there is no hope for the relationship. Try everything. See a marriage counselor. See one by yourself until your spouse is willing to go too, if you have to. Never stop trying to communicate what is bothering you (without being naggy or mean). Read resources, watch videos, make a plan, pray about it, talk to someone who has been through the same thing… just do everything you can… because it is that important.

Mistake #7: Making something other than God the center of your relationship.

Nothing could make your relationship stronger than putting God at the center of it. If both of your eyes are on God, then you’ll both be moving in the same direction. Just because you have a Christian marriage does not mean everything is going to be perfect, but you will always have a reason to keep trying! God can strengthen your relationship, encourage you to not sin against your partner, and lead you both on the same path. God can do anything, including save a broken marriage (with some effort on your part). Remember, if you, your spouse, and God are at the three points of a triangle and you and your spouse are moving toward God, you and your spouse will be closer together too.

From timewarpwife.com

Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” You, your spouse, and God are stronger than just you and your spouse.

 

Obviously, there are about a billion other mistakes that you can make in your relationships, but these were just some that I have been hearing about recently, so they’ve been on my mind. I’m hoping that I will remember the mistakes that I’ve seen others make so that I can avoid making them in my own marriage!

 

Here are some of my other posts on relationships:

5 Tips to Reduce Arguing

Falling in Love

Not Everyone Experiences Marriage the Way You Do

Wives, Submit to Your Husbands

Featured image edited from eharmony.com 

Falling in Love

“Falling for him wasn’t falling at all. It was walking into a house and suddenly knowing you’re home.” -R.I.D.

I read this quote and it perfectly described what meeting my husband was like.

It also made me think…

Meeting the right person doesn’t mean that there have to be fireworks (even though there may be).

When meeting someone, sometimes the excitement, fear, sadness, anger, and happiness of the relationship all combine to create extreme emotions. “Having feelings” for someone sometimes just means that you have a whole bunch of feelings about that person. I think that it can feel like passion. But that does not necessarily make for a healthy, happy relationship.

Sometimes, when you meet someone, you don’t have crazy highs and lows. You just feel safe and comfortable. You feel a joy in your heart. Everything seems like it fits together. That person becomes your partner and your support. You’re on the same page. You can see the same path in life.

You just click.

And then you start to see that there’s no place you’d rather be than with that person.

Everyone experiences love differently. Every relationship is different. But no matter what the emotions are like, how long you’ve know each other, what your pasts look like, if there were fireworks or not, if you fight or don’t, just make sure that you’re with someone who makes you feel like you’re home.

Then, put God at the center of your relationship and watch if flourish.

(Check out these other posts on God and relationships: Not Everyone Experiences Marriage the Way You Do, Divorce is Not an Option, Wives, Submit to Your Husbands, and Praise Without the Criticism)

Find Some Joy

Today I saw a dad and son on the sidewalk. The little boy was riding a bike with the biggest smile on his face! He was clearly loving life and enjoying the moment. The dad, on the other hand, seemed less than thrilled. He honestly looked like the weight of life was too heavy for him. He didn’t seem to notice the beautiful weather or the joy on the child’s face.  Continue reading