Moments with You Couples Devotional 12/30


DECEMBER 30

Cheering Them On

Comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word. 2 THESSALONIANS 2:17

Evidently Obadiah Holmes, who lived in the 1600s, understood the power of a good word, as evidenced by the following words to his lifelong bride:

Sorrow not at my departure, but rejoice in the Lord. In nothing be anxious, but make your request to Him who alone is able to supply your
necessities and to help you in time of need. Let your love to me culminate in this: that it is better for me to be out of the body and to be with the
Lord. Consider the fears you had concerning me every day, for the pains and weaknesses and dangers, now freed from sin and Satan and all enemies and doubts. At the resurrection, this weak, corrupt, mortal body shall be raised immortal and glorious.

And now, my dear wife, it will be but a little while before your day will end and your time comes to sleep with me in rest. . . . Be cheerful and
rejoice in God continually. Care not for the things of this world. Say not, “What shall I eat, and with what shall I be clothed,” for your Father knows what you have need of. And He has given you much more of these things than you and I ever could expect or have deserved, and you have enough and to spare if His good pleasure be to let you enjoy the same. If not, He alone is a sufficient portion.

Amen. Fare thee well.

Three hundred years later, Obadiah Holmes’s words about how to love and live are still significant and relevant for us today.

DISCUSS

Talk about how you treat the Scriptures in your home. Do you read them regularly to one another? How can you make the truth of the Bible central to your marriage and family?

PRAY

Pray for an ever-deepening love and understanding of what the Bible says so that it will become for you a second language.  

 

Visit the FamilyLife® Website, or Own Your Own Copy of This Devotional


Moments with You Couples Devotional 12/13

DECEMBER 13

Holy Terrors

He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” MATTHEW 4:19

Do you have a child with a strong will? When you look into his or her face and wonder where he or she is going in life, what do you envision?

Perhaps your child has instigated so many calls home from school that your number is on speed dial at the principal’s office. Perhaps he or she has dared you to enforce so many different house rules and boundaries that your backbone has threatened to sue you for pain and suffering.

Perhaps you resonate with one of the chapter titles from Kendra Smiley’s book Aaron’s Way: Prison or Presidency: “Which Route Will They Take?” Kendra and her husband, John, can relate to the desperation you feel about your strong-willed child. But they would also tell you that they always knew God had a special plan in mind for their son, Aaron. They made it their plan and prayer that this boy, who caused them so much consternation throughout his childhood, would make good, godly, self-controlled decisions for himself by the time he reached high school. Like Jesus, who took one look at a handful of smelly anglers and saw in them “fishers of men,” John and Kendra observed Aaron’s maddening behavior and chose to see a bold, young leader—a real man in the making.

As a senior in high school, Aaron’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter was barred from advertising in the school newspaper. So he turned his strong will into action, phoning a Christian legal advocacy group to put legitimate constitutional pressure on his school’s policies. They fought. He won. And Kendra and John knew their labors had not been in vain.

There’s hope, Mom and Dad. Hang in there. Do your job. Pray for your child. And don’t be surprised one day if your headstrong headache turns into a champion for Christ who melts your heart!

DISCUSS

What is your vision for your children? How can you pray and work at turning the negatives of their personalities into godly strengths?

PRAY

God knows what He’s doing—both in your child and in you. Keep going, and keep trusting.  

Visit the FamilyLife® Website, or Own Your Own Copy of This Devotional


Quiet Down


DECEMBER 1

Quiet Down

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness to pray. LUKE 5:16 

Did you know there are cultures in the world that don’t have a word for “minute” or “hour”? They simply have no need or desire to measure time in such short increments. Nor do they attempt to maximize every second of every day. Filling their lives to the brink would be unthinkable.

Sound too third-worldish to you? Isn’t it easy to see how such words are not necessary in places where people grow their own food and rarely venture beyond their own village?

I’m not suggesting that we all move into the woods and live off the land.

But I am encouraging you to consider the benefits of pulling the throttle back just a notch and embracing a more contemplative lifestyle. When you allow yourself time for creative solitude, you can see God at work and begin to rediscover life in all its richness. When you give yourself the necessary time and space to seek clarity, gain perspective and ponder decisions, you find more to savor, enjoy and appreciate.

As I reflect on these two different approaches to life—the rushed and the restful—I force myself to ask, How did Jesus live? Was He frantic or steady?

Was He checking the sundial every few minutes, wishing He could cut some time off His commute to the next city? Or was He able to stop and tend to the needs around Him?

Jesus had more pressure on Him than any of us can fathom. His own disciples were always peppering Him with questions. The Pharisees wanted Him dead. The crowds wanted Him king. Many pressed against Him, wanting to be healed.

Yet He got alone to pray. To think. To be strengthened. He sought His Father and enjoyed Him in the quiet moments of life.

DISCUSS

What is one thing you could change in order to carve out more time to rest? Talk about how you use Sunday, the day of rest, as a couple.

PRAY

Ask the Lord to start you on a serious six-month quest toward a quieter heart. Let Him show you what could be eliminated to open up time with Him. 

Visit the FamilyLife® Website, or Own Your Own Copy of This Devotional