Yep, you read right – in our marriage I am the Chief Encouragement Officer, I have been called by God to be the wife that He desires to His son (my husband) and I choose to fulfill my calling.
I Corinthians 7:34b (NLT) 34… But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.
It is now the month of September 2014 and I the fire that I have inside of me has been stoked to burn a little hotter!
My Warrior Husband and I were blessed to be able to attend an 8 hour Christian based Marriage Seminar. This was the first time in 2 ½ years that we have been able to spend quality uninterrupted time together.
We are still feeling the warmth of the blessing we received from our time together. There was no lady on the phone telling us we only had a minute left to talk after 19 minutes. There was no correctional officer giving us a 5 minute warning after 115 minutes of a contact visit. 8 hours together – with breakfast snacks, drinks and lunch our marriage fire refueled for the next portion of time that we will do together in TDCJ.
As the day progressed and we went through the different lessons that the group had prepared for us, we learned more about each other and our relationship with God. We also were able to acknowledge how well we already know each other’s non-verbal communication tendencies which made the day move smoothly and with great joy.
There was a section called “The House of Communication” that particularly peaked my curiosity when they brought up the room called “Cellar of Criticism”.
Now when I think of a Cellar /Basement that seems to have mold and mildew in abundance – something is wrong with the foundation and/or the house is built over some kind of contamination!
Matthew 7:24-27New Living Translation (NLT) 24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
When many of us started our relationships with our husbands, we were in sin. We were slaves of the devil not able to live our lives without submitting to him.
However when we submitted our lives to Christ, we became new creatures in Him. As we grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ then we also learn how to shore up the foundations of our marriage with The Bible!
Up to this point some of us may not have had anyone to show us an example of what it looks like to have a Christian Marriage with a “Basement of Blessings” instead of a “Cellar of Criticism”.
In this writing I am hoping to help you get started on your Marriage Remodeling Project! So ladies, put on your hard hat, your gloves and some bricks and mortar out since this is a job for Warrior Brides!
Build Your Marriage Up!
Proverbs 14:1 (NLT) A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
Let’s get started and see what awesome things God has to say to help build up our marriages:
Matthew 5:3 (NLT) “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
Were your family finances impacted since your husband was sentenced? Have you learned to depend more on God for your finances? Then you are blessed for you have learned who the real provider for your family is! Give thanks to God today for His Provision and remember that without Him we would have nothing.
Matthew 5:4-10 (NLT)
4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
As you can see there are many things that the Lord listed in Matthew 5 that would normally be considered curses or bad luck – where Jesus proclaimed that God blesses those found in these life circumstances when their focus stays on Him!
I pray that a few of these struck home with you – God loves you and cares about the details of your life and marriage. Look to Him when you begin to feel down and see how He will lift up your head. Speak Life and Blessings over your family today!
Marriage Under Construction!
As we learn how to love, respect and submit to our husbands as God desires – understand that any remodeling job takes time. We are all leery of a job that only has the signs up for one day then like magic “everything” is fixed.
Take your time as you learn what God says about how we are to think and act as a Christian. Let’s read what God says about His kind of Love:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New Living Translation (NLT) 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
There was a day that we said “I Do” either in front of a judge or a minister as we pledged our life to our husband.
Today our husband is behind bars and we are not able to show him how much we love him in a physical intimate way.
However God knows what LOVE looks and feels like for each one of us. When we take the time to pray and seek the Lord for what love looks like to our husbands, He will direct our steps through this time of physical separation.
- Love may be letters in the mail
- Love is kind gentle words over the phone
- Love definitely does NOT keep score of wrongs done
- Love visits as often as possible
- Love puts a budgeted amount of money on the books if available
Ephesians 5:33 (NLT) So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband
Ask your husband what Respect looks like to him.
- Does he like you to wear a certain type of clothing to visitation?
- Does he want you to discuss the budget with him before you go out and buy a $100 outfit?
- What about how you talk to him? Do you interrupt him constantly or disregard what he desires for you to do?Ladies as a Warrior Bride, we are strong and determined in many ways – however we are Married Christian Women, dependent on God and our husbands, this is what we signed up for when we got married. We are no longer “single” meaning we are no longer “independent”.
In a lesson written by my Warrior Husband Donnie, The Triunity of Marriage, he shared the following: “Today I am going to share with you the revelation of Triunity. This is the word I use to describe the marriage between God, husband and wife, God’s original plan to share His love with us and for us to multiply that love.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 New Living Translation (NLT) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken
Though our husband may be incarcerated today, He is still the leader of your home. God is the one who placed him there when you committed to be his partner for life ‘til “death do you part.”
When you dis-respect your husband, you are dis-respecting yourself and God. Being a Warrior Bride carries great responsibility.
Ephesians 5:21-23 New Living Translation (NLT) 21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church.
We have discussed Love, then Respect and now we will talk about Submission. Some of you want to wad up this paper right now and through it in the trash. I too was once like you with recordings playing in my mind like “I am NOT going to submit to any man only God!”
Submission is: lower, reduce, yield; Sense of “humble obedience”
You see Jesus submitted his will to His Father God and went to the cross for the remission of our sins. Jesus was on a Love Journey, because He loved the Father and He loved His creation, He submitted His flesh to die on Calvary for you and me.
As a Christian Woman, I have said the same as many of you – Oh I love the Lord and I want to please Him because I love Him! But do we really? Do we Love God enough to submit to our husbands as the Lord instructs us in His Word?
In a previous writing about Submission I covered some of the benefits:
Healing, Blessings, Directions, Love
Today I challenge each and every Prison Wife to be the Chief Encouragement Officer of your marriage!
Take the time to build up your marriage, see how your family is Blessed by God in Matthew Chapter 5.
Ask God what Love looks like to your husband – and then follow through in walking out that love.
Ask your husband what Respect looks like to him – then make a conscience effort to be respectful in his eyes.
Then take the time to Submit to your husband so that you in turn will be in submission to the Lord. This may be the hardest thing you have ever done no matter your age.
With each and every one of these items building one upon another you will see that the things that you could have been nagging your husband about for months or years – God can whisper in a minute and touch his heart as you walk in Love, Respect and Submission.
Jesus told us how important it is to build our house upon a rock – He is that Rock, He is The Word and when we live by the principles that He shares with us – we will have Successful Marriages behind the wall and when they come home!
I don’t know about you but I want a Basement of Blessings as well as an Abundant Life Marriage in every room, because our home has a Rock Solid Foundation on Jesus Christ!
Speaking Life as a Warrior Bride of Christ,
Your Sister-in Christ,
Mrs. Donnie W. Ojemann