Category Archives: leadership

A Different Kind of Faith

About 15 years ago Sally and I were living in another city. I was working and being treated well, things were ok except for one thing. The home we were renting was being given to an organization as a charitable donation.

The organization receiving the home was kind and generous, having given us a more than fair amount of time to move. We researched apartments in the area, but really wanted another home because we had two small children. Homes to rent in our price range were fairly scarce.  However we found what seemed to be ideal. A nice place, affordable rent and in a good location.

As I was making final plans to sign the lease and pay the deposit Sally called me and told me not to do so. Keep in mind we had looked quite some time for a place and we even knew the owner. A bit confused but without question I did exactly what she said. We passed on the almost ideal home.

A few months later I was offered a job in Bloomington, IL. A hour and a half away in a city we had never considered. Had we taken the other house we would have been trapped in a lease.  I was so glad we had not walked that path.

On the day that we were preparing to sign the lease Sally said not to do so. Do you know why?  Because she didn’t feel it was the right thing to do. Where did she get that impression?  From the Holy Spirit. She was (and is) close enough to the Lord that He can whisper to her spirit and she will obey.

Do you know why I stopped on that day?  I didn’t hear from the Holy Spirit.  God didn’t whisper to my spirit. I stopped because I have faith. But not only faith in God.  Faith that my wife knows the voice of her Father. Faith that she knows to obey His voice. Faith not to doubt her when she brings His Word to me.

To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.” – 1 Corinthians 12:8 (NLT)

Let me ask you a question friend. When your wife tells you she feels something is from the Lord, what is your FIRST response?  To listen immediately or to question and doubt?

I am NOT saying that everything anyone ever says is “from the Lord” is necessarily so. But I am asking, how much do you trust your wife’s spiritual hearing?  My wife loves me, supports me and honors me as the spiritual leader in our household. That doesn’t make me proud or haughty, it makes me humble. Humble enough to have faith that when she says the Lord has spoken to her I have trust…and we follow HER lead.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15 (ESV)

The difference between a leader and a boss is simple. A boss is always right, but a leader takes counsel from those he trusts. Be leader, take her counsel and you’ll be a happier husband. :-)

Love you all!

-Troy

 

The Good Old Days?

A few days ago I saw a comment on a recent post of a pic from 25 years ago… “Those were the good old days.”  Wow.  I’m not a fan of that type of attitude.  Let me explain why.

When we consider the past to be better than the present and wax nostalgic there are two problems:

1) We begin to live in the past.

2) We become disappointed with our current point in time.

Living in the past means stagnation in the present and death to your God planned future. Here is the scriptural proof:

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

The future of your life and your marriage depends on exactly two things: God’s plan and your belief in God’s plan.  The good days are today and tomorrow and next year.  To believe the best of your life is in the past is to give up all hope.

You must know this, there ARE better days ahead…unless you let them slip away.  You can have the marriage of your dreams, but not if you believe the best is in the past.  Is the marriage you have everything you want in marriage?  Even the best marriages can grow and develop.  Sally and I do devotions together, we pray together (every day), we talk about God’s plan for our life together and we do these things regularly.  Have we always done these things?  Nope.

For decades we didn’t pray together and do devotions together.  Did we have a great marriage?  Ask our friends, but I know we did.  Did we have the best possible marriage?  Not at all.  We are MUCH closer now.  The good old days?  Yes they were good.  Do I want back what we had then?  Not a chance.  Our “now” beats our “then” by a wide margin.

Growth in marriage is intentional.  The future of your marriage is made in your efforts today.  It takes time and focus but it’s not hard work.

Ready to stop living in “the good old days” and make the present and future better than you ever thought possible?  It takes simple steps, done daily.

1) Believe it is going to be better.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 NASB

2) Pray for the Lord’s leadership and wisdom in your marriage.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5

3) Make it happen.  Do the small things you know to do and God will grow your marriage into something beautiful and powerful for His glory.  “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin” – Zechariah 4:10a NLT

Don’t live on past successes in your marriage, be always striving to love each other more each day.

-Troy

 

22 Years of Failure

I write about truth in life and marriage.  Everything you read in these blogs is from real experiences that either we or people we love have gone through.  Today I want to share something I failed in…for 22 years.

In 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read, “But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.

First of all this is NOT about a husband controlling a wife.  The marriage relationship should never be about a power struggle or one person forcing their will on another.  Here is the point, as Christ is the Head of the man (the spiritual Leader) so should the husband be the spiritual leader in the house.

Ok, once more.  The husband should NOT make this into some kind of dictatorial situation.  If we, as husbands, act like Christ does when he leads us then we will be “gentle and humble in heart” (see Matthew 11:29).

Here is where I failed.  I was not acting as a spiritual leader.

Did we go to church?  Yes, pretty much every Sunday and often for other services.  Did we pray?  Yes, individually, but I was not nearly as consistent as I should have been.  Did we have a great marriage?  Yes, thanks be to the Holy Spirit.  Were we as close to each other as we could be spiritually?  Not by a long shot.

I recently heard a statement that changed my behavior in a small way, and our relationship in a huge way.  “According to a study, the reported divorce rate among couples who pray together, out loud, is less than 1 in 10,000.” – Andy Stanley

BOOM!  This is a big deal!  Now, before I heard this were Sally in danger of splitting up?  Highly unlikely as we had a fantastic marriage.  Did I make a change due to this fact?  Absolutely!  Why?  I’ll give you two reasons.

1) I firmly believe in insurance.  :-)  If praying together gives us incredible odds of being together all of our lives then it is a small investment for a very large return.

2) “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20).  I’m pretty sure having Jesus in our midst is the best possible thing for our marriage.  :-)

Was it awkward at first?  Yep.  Is it still awkward?  Not so much.  We read a short (one page) devotional in bed and I pray out loud, sometimes my lovely bride prays as well.  Total time?  Usually less than five minutes.  Total value?  Immeasurable.

Here is the catch.  Someone has to be the one to step up and make this happen.  It’s not natural.  Guess what Mr. Manly Husband?  It’s your responsibility.  Go back and reread 1 Corinthians 11:3.  I had to man up and do it and you should too.  Out loud.  Out loud.  Out loud.  Not silently.  Out loud.  Clear?  😉

I can make a suggestion on a devotional in the comments section if you like, but it’s really not important which one, or you could simply read a verse or two.  The critical thing in praying with your wife, out loud, at least once a day if at all possible.

Try it!  I challenge you to give it a shot for just 7 days.  One week.  Do you accept my challenge?

Let me know in the comments section below.

The results will be amazing!

Now go pray with your wife!

-Troy