marriage

I'll Treat You Like a Princess...

I remember the first and only time I used that line on a girl. It was November of 1988. We were just leaving the Perkins Restaurant off Merle Hay Road. I stopped her in the doorway, put my hand on the glass over her head, leaned in close, and with the best movie star voice I could muster I whispered, “I’ll treat you like a princess.” It did not illicit the response I expected. She gave a small laugh, ducked under my arm, and walked away. Perhaps it was the cheesy way I said it or the fact that my best friend drove us on this date because I didn’t have a car.

I have learned a few things since then. The obvious is that being poor with no car and a few cheesy lines didn’t stop that girl from marrying me, but more importantly, I had no clue what it meant to actually treat a girl like a princess.

If I could go back in time to that night, the first thing I would do is give myself a smack on the back of the head. Then I would teach myself what it really means to treat my wife like the royalty she is. The first paragraph in our Kingdom Kids’ manual says this, “We believe that every child that comes to Jesus is royalty, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. So every child at Heartland is the King’s son or daughter which makes them a prince or a princess.” 

This does not just apply to children. This is for you as well. When you come to God with a repentant heart, you are not only forgiven, you are now a member of the royal family. He is not just God to you, He is now Father and you are Son or DaughterThink about that for a moment. You are a joint heir.

Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:17).

So, take a moment to put the word Prince or Princess in front of your name. Let it roll around in your mind for a while, then let it sink into your heart. When you truly understand your identity, then your expectations for who you are, what you are and how you should be treated rise to a new level.

Can you imagine what would happen to you if walked up the President’s daughter and began mistreating her? You would be on the ground and in cuffs in no time. Why should it be any different when you are treated in a way other then who you are, the son or daughter of a King. 

When I look at the amazing woman Father God gave me, I don’t just see a wife, a mother or a woman. I see the daughter of the King who set me free.  I wish I could say I’m never a knucklehead with her or don’t need that smack on the back of the head anymore, but I can finally say I know what it means to “treat her like a princess”. 

If you are a young man or a young woman who is reading this, or you’ve been married for a while and being treated like a prince or princess is not on the table, I want to tell you what I would have told my younger self. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness, pursue a passionate relationship with the Father, work on yourself and your identity as royalty.” When you know what a prince or a princess looks like, then you’ll raise your expectations of how one should be treated. 

Do You Merely Want A Resolution or Do You Truly Want A Solution?

As human beings, Christian or otherwise, we have a tendency to think that the beginning of a new year will bring change automatically in the same way that we think marriage will change us. 

Many people who struggle with loneliness approach marriage with the idea that it will solve all of their loneliness problems. It may or it may not.

Many men with sexual struggles think that marriage will cure all of these problems. It may or it may not. 

The event in itself - a wedding on a specific date - won't necessarily change you. Your marriage will only be as good (or bad) as the culmination of your previous thought patterns, choices, attitudes, and decisions. 

It doesn't all change on that one date.

It's the same with the calendar year, your life will not automatically change simply because we're moving into a new calendar year. 

The bad news is: There is nothing magical about 2017.

The good news is: You have been given great opportunity.

Every day, no matter the year, you get to make very powerful decisions. You get to decide to cooperate with God and co-labor with Holy Spirit to bring about change in your own life and in the environment around you. 

Just know that it will not come about by accident. There are many ingredients that will go into your success for this year. One key ingredient is an intentionally renewed mind that recognizes that destiny is determined by daily decisions. You have been empowered to make powerful choices. Be sure that you make the right ones as you are in line with God's Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit. 

I pray that each and every one of you has a wonderfully blessed 2017.

Fifty Years of Love

In the early 80’s in Hawaii, Sandra and I celebrated our 24th anniversary and renewed our vows. Seven years ago in Chattanooga, we celebrated our 50th anniversary and renewed our vows.  Our two sons walked Sandra down the aisle and our daughter walked me down the aisle. Seven of our eight grandchildren were also present.

I am not one given to poetry, but for this occasion I wrote a poem to read to Sandra.  It is entitled, “Fifty Years of Love.”

Now we have 5 great-grandchildren and another one due in November.  We have a wonderful family and we have had a wonderful life!

In Blogs to follow—helpful information for your marriage.