Satan Knows Your Bliss Point

The fact that we crave sweets is no surprise to anyone over the age of two. What is surprising, however, is how precisely food scientists have pinpointed our cravings.

Satan knows your bliss point. Don't let him use it against you.
[photo source]

To make any food taste better, just add a little sugar. Add a little more sugar and it will taste even better still, but only up to a point. Too much sugar and we start to feel the food has become “too sweet.”

The trick for the food manufacturers is to find that perfect amount of sugar for any given food that will make us really, really crave it. This is referred to as the “bliss point.”

The bliss point varies from food to food. It also varies with race and gender and is typically higher for children than for adults. Kids, as a rule of thumb, like their foods to be twice as sweet as adults do. This is why sugary cereals are so often marketed to youngsters. Some cereals are actually so sweet that they risk being relabeled as cereal flavored candy!

Over time, our foods have been slowly “optimized” for maximum flavor as the food manufacturers have gradually found the bliss point for nearly every food out there, then carefully targeted their marketing to the appropriate demographic.

Unfortunately, keeping our taste buds happy has come at a price.

Obesity is at all time highs, and in children, obesity has reached epidemic proportions. The current generation of children is the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents, almost exclusively due to obesity.

Diabetes is up. Blood pressures are on the rise. Basically, the foods we love so much and crave so strongly are slowly killing us.

  • What is your favorite food?
  • Do you think of it as sweet?
  • Have you ever looked at the label to see how much sugar it contains?
  • Even foods we don’t think of as sweet such as bacon, hot sauce, and pickle relish often contain added sugar. Are the food manufacturers wrong for making their foods as delicious as they can by adding a little sugar, even if that might pose a long-term health risk?
  • Aren’t they just giving us what we want?

The third chapter of the Gospel of John contains the most well known verse in the entire Bible, John 3:16. It is followed by several lesser-known verses that give it some context:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
(John 3:16-18)

The passage clearly states that Jesus’s purpose in coming to Earth was not to judge, but to save. The judgment part has already happened. It is built into the system.

If you don’t believe in Christ, if you want to have nothing to do with Him, then fine, you get to have your way, but being separated from Him is the judgment. He is the lifeline; He is salvation. When you reject Him you reject your only hope.

Sadly, people have a hard time distinguishing between who is judging them and who is trying to save them.

For example, if a man goes into a casino with cash in his pocket and a smile on his face, the first thing the casino owners try to do is to judge how much of that cash they can get out of his pocket and into their own. If they judge the number to be significant, the man will get the VIP treatment – little perks to make him feel special and lower his guard.

They may even arrange for him to win a little, so that he starts to think of himself as “lucky.” When they judge that they have squeezed him for all that they can, say ten thousand dollars, they will give him a free room for the night and maybe a limo ride home in the morning, lots of little things to keep him happy and hopefully coming back. It is a good investment from their perspective.

When that same man starts to have financial problems and turns to his parents or siblings for help, one of them will likely raise the question about his gambling. Invariably, his answer will be, “Don’t judge me!” But the judgment and sentencing have already taken place; they occurred back at the casino; they are built into the system. The family member is simply trying to help in the aftermath of the gambling losses, yet somehow the gambler always manages to believe that the family member is his enemy and the casino owners are his friends.

We see a similar pattern play out with other vices:

  • Are smokers happy to hear that smoking is bad for them?
  • Do alcoholics want to be invited to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?
  • Do drug addicts welcome interventions?

It seems clear that the judgment for something like smoking or drinking is built into system in the form of disease and early death. Why do you think that people who are addicted to these things would rather “shoot the messenger” than address the problem?

Let’s look at the rest of the passage following John 3:16 and see if we can find some clues.

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)

And there is the answer to every mystery of self-destructive behavior you will ever encounter: Men love the darkness and hate the Light. We come prepackaged with a sin nature.

That sin nature will manifest in different ways based on age, gender, income, culture, and any number of other variables, but manifest it will. And when it does, Satan will be right there to cheer us on.

He has been doing market research on the human condition for thousands of years. He knows the “bliss point” for every sin. He has judged us to be weak, susceptible to his trickery, and an easy mark for his ploys. He has judged rightly, for so we are, all of us having “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

The only question that remains is this:

When Christ comes knocking on the door of your heart, will you shoot the messenger or embrace Him?


Life's Big Questions: Colossians Study Guide. Great for families!Life's Big Questions - The Gospel of John (Vol. 1) This post is adapted from Life’s Big Questions: The Gospel of John, which encourages readers to examine all of life’s questions in the light of Scripture. Whether used for personal devotions, as family discussion guides, or in a study group, this series provides an invaluable resource for enhancing your spiritual walk.

Husbands: Be Careful with Female Friendships

Couple Dining

We all have friends and colleagues of the opposite sex, and it is important that we learn to interact with them in a healthy way — especially once we marry.

If you’re newlywed, then you have likely spent a good portion of your life trying to “find” the right girl to marry. Now that you’ve found her, you must get out of “search” mode. The charm and flirtatiousness that served you so well when you were single is now a liability, not an asset.

If you have been married awhile, then you’ve probably already figured out a lot of the things I’m about to discuss. Nonetheless, the occasional reminder can be helpful, since many of us tend to forget or neglect the basics as the years go by.

To begin, let me state that being married doesn’t make you a monk. You don’t get to live in a monastery somewhere, shielded from any association with females outside your family. You still have to live in the real world, work a job, and interact with living, breathing human beings, roughly half of which are women.

For this reason, a few basic rules of engagement are in order. Four basic principles should guide a husband’s interaction with women other than his wife:

  1. Protect Your Reputation
  2. Reputations, as they say, take a lifetime to build but only an instant to destroy. This is even truer in the modern era where people thirst for negative news and are quick to believe the worst. Superimpose the lightening speed of modern communications, and you have a recipe for disaster. Don’t let it happen to you.

    There are several simple ways to avoid this problem:

    • First, do not be alone with any woman who is not your wife.It may sound a little old-fashioned, but this sound advice may someday save your reputation and very likely your marriage if only you will follow it. Why risk ever becoming embroiled in a “he said/she said” misunderstanding when it can so easily be avoided?

      Life is too full of traps and temptations as it is, why set snares for your own feet unnecessarily? Once there is an asterisk by your reputation, it never goes away.

    • The second principle is a corollary to the first: Don’t spend an excessive amount of time with a woman who is not your wife, even in public.
      When your co-workers or friends notice the two of you together all the time, either laughing and joking or engaged in deep, serious conversation, they begin to wonder why? Their imaginations will quickly answer that question for them, regardless of how innocent your relationship may be. It’s no longer a “he said/she said” situation, but becomes instead a matter of what “they said” — behind your back.

      Steer clear of clandestine rendezvous with friends or acquaintances of the opposite gender. Always be honest and forthcoming with your wife concerning what you do when you’re apart from her, and with whom. Keeping secrets spells trouble no matter how you slice it.

    • Furthermore, some subjects should be off limits for discussion between you and someone of the opposite sex.
      Bawdy humor is an obvious example. Another is the discussion of marital discord, either yours or hers. Such discussion, if necessary, should always be redirected to a trusted friend or counselor of the same sex. Expressing dissatisfaction with a spouse very commonly becomes a pretext to finding solace in someone else’s arms. Don’t take that chance.

    I don’t mean to imply you cannot have female friends, nor am I advocating making such relationships weird and awkward. I’ve known people who refuse to even look members of the opposite sex in the eye, lest they come across as being too familiar. In my opinion, they’ve let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction, making it hard to have even the simplest of exchanges.

    Interacting with other women is both possible and necessary, but you must be careful how and where you invest the bulk of your time and energy. It’s more a question of degree — if your dearest and best friend is a woman who isn’t your wife, then it’s clearly time to reassess.

  3. Guard Your Heart
  4. Tread cautiously when relating to female friends and acquaintances. Affairs don’t happen in a vacuum, they develop over time. Don’t let them.

    Remember, also, that not all affairs are physical ones. Honoring your marriage vows means remaining faithful in thought and word, as well as in deed.

    It’s understandable that we would become close with our coworkers. After all, we spend forty hours or more together every week. In some cases, this may mean we actually spend more waking hours together with them than we do with our spouses.

    Some of those coworkers may be single. Some may be happily married. Some unhappily married. Many of them will be smart, attractive, kind, filled with many admirable qualities that your spouse may or may not share. But at the end of the day, no matter how wonderful your female colleagues may be, none of those women are your wife, nor should they be treated as such.

    Your wife is the only woman with whom you should cultivate physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy. She’s the one you should live with, confide in, depend on, and bare your soul to. The harsh reality is that the woman at work or the gym who seems to get you only does so because she doesn’t have to live with you. She’s only observed the “fitness” version of you or the “dressed up and working hard” version of you.

    She has never seen the “flatulent, half-dressed, hair a mess, haven’t bathed in two days, sports-watching, short-tempered, forgot to pick up the milk, bring in the mail, or pay the bills on time” version of you. And that version of you isn’t nearly so attractive.

    Your wife sees and knows all of you, not just the cherry-picked, carefully polished facets of your personality. She knows you as a real and complete person, not some smoke and mirrors illusion. That other woman doesn’t.

    In similar fashion, the notion that you’ve found a “soul mate” other than your wife is pure fantasy. That woman at work or the gym only seems amazing because you don’t have to live with her annoying idiosyncrasies, her inexplicable mood swings, her spitefulness when upset, or any of a myriad other things that can so quickly extinguish the hottest flames of passion.

    Men who stray eventually come to realize the grass on the other side of the fence isn’t as green as they initially thought. Unfortunately, that realization often comes after it’s too late. Don’t destroy the hope you have for happiness in your present marriage by seeking happiness elsewhere. All meaningful, lasting relationships take work. They demand intentionality.

    To know and be known requires an investment of time and energy. Invest in your wife.

  5. Consider Your Wife’s Feelings
  6. The third rule is to be considerate of your wife’s feelings in how you relate to other women. Sounds simple, but it can be more complicated than it seems. How men view certain words or actions and how their wives view them can vary significantly. Beware the landmines!

    Such consideration comes in two varieties: how you interact with other women and how you speak about other women. The short version is: don’t be too positive or negative in either situation. Relative neutrality is key.

    Let’s start with how you interact with other women. When your wife is present, assume her radar is up. You shouldn’t eyeball the gorgeous woman in the skimpy outfit who just walked into the room, even in your wife’s absence, but when your spouse is sitting right beside you, you certainly better refrain from gawking.

    The same goes for such women in the movies or on television. Your wife needs your assurance that you have eyes only for her.

    Likewise, don’t get enmeshed in a two-hour conversation off in the corner at a party with that cute new girl from work, as steam slowly pours from your spouse’s ears. And, most importantly of all, never ever ever flirt with anybody but your wife!

    Of course, you can be kind and hospitable without being flirtatious, and I recommend you do so, especially when relating to your wife’s friends. Her friends are constantly judging you and providing feedback, solicited or otherwise, and it would serve you well to be in their good graces. This really isn’t that hard. Common courtesy and small talk can go a long way. While you don’t want your wife’s girlfriends to think you’re coming on to them, neither do you want them to think you are rude. Learn to walk the line. Be friendly, not flirty.

    But how you behave toward other women is only half the equation, and the more straightforward half, at that. The really tricky part hinges on how you speak about other women.

    You obviously can’t be too complimentary — especially about looks. However, if you are too dismissive of unusual beauty or talent, your wife will become suspicious and question your judgment, including your judgment of her.

    A good rule of thumb is to compliment talent without gushing, but say nothing regarding looks, unless she specifically asks. If she does ask, be careful — she is testing you. The correct answer is to mildly acknowledge beauty, so as not to appear dense, but to include a modifying caveat, so as to reaffirm your loyalty.

    You might answer, for example, “Yes, she is tall and thin, but it makes her seem frail. I have always preferred a more athletic build, like yours. It just seems healthier and more robust.”

    Again, you must also be cautious with the flip side. You should not be overly critical of other women, especially of their appearance. The most serious and stoic of women are highly self-conscious about their looks. In their minds, criticism of one woman translates into criticism of all women.

    This is especially true regarding weight. If you casually mention some other woman has gained weight, your wife will immediately assume that you are insinuating she, herself, has packed on a few too many pounds, as well. Just don’t do it. That discussion is a tar baby made with extra sticky tar.

  7. Be Considerate of Significant Others
  8. All humans are territorial, and men particularly so. It doesn’t take much to instigate jealousy or even anger in their partner if you aren’t careful. You don’t want the spouse/fiancé/boyfriend of your female friend or co-worker to view you as a threat or a competitor. You should be neither, and your behavior should reflect that fact.

    A moment of cuteness or flirtatiousness on your end can translate into a lot of heartache and misery on hers. Don’t do that to a friend.

    Just as you should avoid flirting with other women, you should also take appropriate measures to keep them from flirting with you. Neither engage in it yourself nor encourage it from them.

    That’s why it’s so important — not only for your own marriage, but also for others’ — that clear boundaries are set. Rarely if ever do these boundaries have to be explicitly stated. Usually just talking about your children and your spouse in glowing terms early on and repeatedly thereafter will clarify the situation for everyone involved without things becoming unnecessarily uncomfortable or awkward.

    The same principle holds true in social settings — especially whenever alcohol is served. I remember attending an out-of-town, obligatory social event several years ago at which a woman who’d obviously had too much to drink came over to me, draped her arms around my neck, and asked what I’d be doing later that night.

    When I politely explained that I would be talking on the phone to my lovely wife and our eight kids, she dropped her arms in stunned surprise and quickly moved on in search of a more receptive companion.

    A couple months later, the woman was divorced. She evidently found somebody who shared her lack of concern for maintaining proper boundaries or showing appropriate consideration of her spouse.

    If you want your marriage to last and your wife to feel loved, you’ll have to do better than that.


25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife -- by Doug Flanders, MDThe above post was adapted from a chapter in my marriage book, 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife. Each chapter is followed by action points that makes it easy to apply what you are learning. My wife has written a companion volume, 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband. These books make a great couple-study for husbands and wives wishing to strengthen their marriage and improve communication skills.

What to Do When Your Wife Won’t Sleep with You

I received the following question through my blog last week. Since it deals with a problem nearly all husbands face at one time or another, I decided to share my response here, in hopes of helping others.

Help! My wife won't sleep with me.

Question:

My wife and I love you guys. We are reading your books, and they are helping us. She is reading 25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband, while I am reading 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife. They have really helped our marriage — we were almost breaking up.

My wife has been disinterested in sex for over a year. We only have it once every two weeks. She says she doesn’t feel like it.

I’m deeply stressed and don’t want to cheat on her. I have talked to her a lot of times about it, but nothing changes. I can’t talk to her about it anymore.

We have even seen a marriage counselor, but she is still not interested. I’m frustrated and don’t know what to do. Kindly help.

Answer:

Let me start by saying you are not alone in your frustration.

If I had to pick a single issue that challenges married men who love God and want to honor Him in their lives and marriages, this would be it — wives who have lost interest in sex. I would not be exaggerating to say that it is something every marriage faces at one point or another.

  • Sometimes it is a new bride who finds sex terrifying or painful.
  • Sometimes it is a new mother who feels embarrassed about her post-baby body or is simply exhausted from being up all night nursing.
  • Sometimes there are trust issues if the husband has been unfaithful or is addicted to porn.
  • Sometimes there are trust issues that have nothing to do with the husband at all, such as a wife with sexual abuse in her past, which is alarmingly common.

Whatever the reason, the result is the same: a husband trapped in a marriage where his need for intimacy is not being met.

The default solution to this dilemma usually involves looking for intimacy elsewhere. Affairs, mistresses, prostitutes, and, in the last few decades, online porn are all variations on the theme of finding intimacy outside of marriage. I could give a laundry list of why this is a bad idea, including sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and further deterioration of trust issues, but the bottom line for the Christian is that the Biblical standard is complete and lifelong faithfulness in marriage.

It seems a cruel trick, that God commands a man to have sex only with his wife, knowing full well that at some point, the woman he married will refuse to have sex with him! Why would God put virtually every Christian couple into this horrible conundrum?

The answer is this: God wants us to be fully dependent on Him and also to learn to put our spouse’s needs ahead of our own.

Trusting God and serving others are recurring ideas throughout Scripture. In this particular area, they are precisely what He is asking husbands to do, because He has given us no other option. We cannot change a spouse’s heart, only He can. We can’t even change our own heart. We must therefore turn to Him in prayer.

I have actually prayed with men about their wives and seen such sudden and dramatic changes that the men quickly forgot that there was ever a problem in the first place. Sometimes the change is slower and more progressive. Whatever the timetable, always start with prayer and continue in prayer. It is the real secret. God loves to show Himself strong, to lift us up when we are weak, and to answer when we call out to Him.

The second thing is to pray that God would open your eyes to your wife’s needs.

  • Is she too tired for sex? Maybe you can arrange for her to have some help around the house or to take a relaxing vacation.
  • Is she insecure about her appearance? Maybe you need to reassure her that you still find her attractive.
  • Does she have unresolved trust issues? Then dig deep, seeking to understand the source of her fears and lovingly address them.

On some fundamental level, a wife’s denying sex is a cry for help. Through God’s enabling Grace, you can be the help your spouse so desperately needs.

On Hope, Holiness, and Authenticity

authenticity-seal

This article by Christian Living’s Brett McCracken sheds light on a concerning trend:

In recent years, evangelical Christianity has made its imperfection a point of emphasis. Books were published with titles like Messy Spirituality: God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People, Death by Church, and Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and churches popped up with names like Scum of the Earth and Salvage Yard. Evangelicals made films like Lord, Save Us from Your Followers, wrote blog posts with titles like “Dirty, Rotten, Messy Christians,” and maintained websites like anchoredmess.com, modernreject.com, churchmarketingsucks.com, recoveringevangelical.com, and wrecked.org — a site that includes categories like “A Hot Mess,” “Muddling Through,” “My Broken Heart,” and “My Wreckage.”

Meanwhile, self-deprecating humor sites like Stuff Christians Like and Stuff Christian Culture Likes became hugely popular repositories of Christianity’s many warts, and writers like Anne Lamott and Donald Miller became best-selling, “non-religious” expositors of messy spirituality.

Evangelicalism — both on the individual and institutional level—is trying hard to purge itself of a polished veneer that smacked of hypocrisy. But by focusing on brokenness as proof of our “realness” and “authenticity,” have evangelicals turned “being screwed up” into a badge of honor, its own sort of works righteousness? Has authenticity become a higher calling than, say, holiness?

[you can finish reading the rest of this article at The Gospel Coalition]

Immunize Your Marriage/ Energize Your Life

Immunize Your Marriage

We have all heard that the divorce rate amongst Christians and non-Christians alike is around fifty percent. There is some evidence that this number may be falling — not because more people are staying married, but because fewer people are bothering to get married in the first place. If you include couples who live together for a few years and then separate, the numbers go right back to that unfortunate baseline.

The one thing that has been shown to protect marriages better than anything else is prayer. Couples who pray together regularly have a divorce rate of less than one percent. Sadly, only about four percent of Christian couples actually do this (pray together regularly). If you happen to be a pastor, then that number goes up to six percent!

It seems that if we want to protect marriages, we need to teach couples to pray together. We read books, attend seminars, go to counseling, and do a myriad of other things of unknown benefit to those trying to stay married. Yet,we don’t do the one thing that is virtually guaranteed to work.

If you contracted Ebola and had a fifty-fifty chance of dying, but your doctor offered you a vaccine that would give you a greater than ninety-nine percent chance of surviving, would you take the vaccine? Your marriage has a fifty-fifty chance of survival, but a vaccine exists called prayer. Only a small percentage of married couples have actually taken this vaccine. Are you one of them? Should you be? Is today the day to start?

Of course, marriage is just one facet of the Christian experience. Perhaps the reason we lack spiritual power in other areas of our lives is because we aren’t plugging into the spiritual power Source through prayer. Churches aren’t lacking in plans or programs — just in prayer.

In Colossians 4:2, Paul urges Christians to “devote yourselves to prayer.” In fact, he encourages prayer over and over throughout all of his letters to the churches. If someone is sick, pray. If someone is in jail, pray. If someone is suffering persecution, pray. His answer to virtually every problem is the same: prayer. Even in the Old Testament, people would “call upon the name of the Lord” or “cry out to God” in times of trouble.

Prayer is a central theme of Scripture, yet it seems to be less central with modern believers and modern churches. Perhaps that is why today’s Church appears so anemic. We’re trying to do things in our own limited power, when what we need — now as desperately as ever — is God’s supernatural power.

Could it be that modern affluence and technology has tricked us into believing we can do things on our own that we actually cannot? Maybe we have all been busy building a gigantic spiritual supercomputer, but no one has bothered to plug it in.

  • Is prayer a central component of your personal life?
  • Is prayer a central component of your family life (spouse and children)?
  • Is prayer a central component of your church’s life?
  • If you are not relying on God’s power through prayer, what are you relying on? At work? At home? At church? Can you change?
  • Consider your ability to lead the lost to Christ. Has God used you to lead anyone to Christ recently? Ever?
  • Is it a lack of knowledge that is limiting your witness — or a lack of power?
  • Is it a lack of opportunity or a lack of perception that is holding you back?
  • Are you willing to pray that God opens your eyes to the needs around you and that He gives you the power to meet those needs?

Power and perception are only a part of the equation. Wisdom, in both conduct and speech, is the other part of the equation. Paul addresses them both in the second portion of this passage.

  • If a nation has empowered someone to be an ambassador to a foreign country, how is that person expected to behave while serving abroad?
  • When that person speaks on behalf of his home country, should he be rude or diplomatic?
  • Whom are we representing in our conduct and speech? Are we representing Him well, as good ambassadors?
  • Paul uses the phrase “seasoned with salt” concerning our speech. Is salt sugary sweet? Is it bitter and offensive?
  • In addition to adding flavor, salt also acts as a preservative. Could Paul be communicating the idea that we are trying to preserve relationships in the way we speak?
  • Is this always possible? (See John 15:18 or Matthew 10:22)
  • Should we try anyway? (See Romans 12:18)

Those who name the name of Christ are ambassadors for Jesus wherever we are. We don’t get to take off the uniform and just “be ourselves.” We have been purchased with His blood and we are no longer our own.

Our goal is to represent Him well in all that we do or say. This is a daunting task, one for which we have not the strength. God, however, does have such strength and is willing to give it to us, if only we will ask. Isn’t it time to stop trying to do so much in your own power?

When it comes to your marriage, your chances of success on your own are the same as the flip of a coin. When it comes to leading others to faith, your chance of success apart from God’s empowering grace drops to zero.

Isn’t it time to stop treating life-like a Vegas casino with the odds so heavily stacked against you and to call out to the only One Who is a sure thing?


Life's Big Questions: Colossians Study Guide. Great for families!This post was excerpted from my book, Life’s Big Questions: Colossians, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and through fine booksellers everywhere.

Strength through Weakness

His power is made perfect in weakness... When it comes to raising children, we’ve been told, “Affluence is a handicap you must work to overcome.” Kids who have everything are hard to motivate, so as parents we’ve chosen to consciously withhold some things we could easily provide.

Our children buy their own toys and, once they hit the teen years, most of their clothes, as well. We send them to serve the poor via mission trips and community service projects. We expect them to do chores.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then wealth can sometimes have the opposite effect: It can stifle creativity and resourcefulness.

The same is true of talent. It is easy to rely too heavily on our own abilities, to become overconfident, to say, “I got this.”

But talent only goes so far. Heads will nod in agreement at sermons, feet will tap along to songs, but heart change requires a supernatural act that God alone can accomplish.

My pastor sent me a link this afternoon to the following article by J.D. Greear. It was so good that I wanted to share it:

Are You Weak Enough for God to Use You?

“There aren’t many societies that praise weakness. Ours is no different. Whether you’re a pastor or a police officer, an on-the-go salesman or a stay-at-home mother, weakness is seen as a liability. Nobody wants to be weak. Strong is the name of the game.

“Sadly, our obsession with strength blinds us to a key biblical truth: God uses the weak. It’s so pervasive that you’d be hard-pressed to find a book of the Bible that can’t be summarized this way. And yet despite being hard-wired into the very DNA of Scripture, we don’t really believe it. We still clamor after strength. But God doesn’t need our strength to deliver us. In fact, our strength is actually more of a liability than an asset…” [continue reading at jdgreear.com]

Loving Your Wife in Word and Deed

There are countless ways to demonstrate your love, but women still like to hear it spoken. Open and continuing communication is key.

My father-in-law used to brag (presumably tongue-in-cheek), “I told my wife I love her on our wedding day and promised to let her know if that ever changes.”

His implication was clear: Once should be enough.

But it isn’t.

Tell Your Wife Your Love Her...Not for most women. Not by a long shot.

Once a day would be a closer approximation, and even that may still fall a little short of how often your wife would like to hear verbal assurances of your love.

Of course, words not backed with action are meaningless: Remember Christ’s parable of a father who asked his two sons to come work in the field with him?

The first son said, “Sure. I’ll be right there,” but never showed up.

The other son initially refused, but later regretted it, sought out his father, and worked alongside him for the rest of the day.

The question Jesus then posed to his listeners is this: Which son actually obeyed? The same principle applies to love as applies to obedience.

If forced to choose between the two, your wife would probably rather have you demonstrate your love for her through your actions without expressing it in so many words than to have you repeatedly declare, “I love you,” then behave in a way that contradicts what you’ve said.

Hollow affirmations don’t carry a lot of clout.

But why make her choose, when it’s within your power to do both?

Show her you love her. Yes, by all means. But then speak your love, as well.

Tell her you love her. Tell her how much you love her. Tell her what you love most about her.

Tell her clearly. Tell her sincerely. Tell her often. Then back it all up in the way you treat her.


This post is adapted from my new book, 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife: A Handbook for Husbands, on sale now. Pick up your copy today and give your wife the gift of LOVE — in both word and deed.


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