Husbands (Part Two)

I shall be talking about “Encouraging the Spiritual Growth of our Husbands.” I think we hear more about encouraging women who are married to unbelieving husbands. But I am going to start with talking about the woman married to a strong Christian husband.

Just as we know there are problems that come with poverty and problems that come with riches – just different types of problems- so it is being married to a strong Christian husband or a non-Christian husband. The woman married to a strong Christian man must face and deal with certain issues just the same as the woman married to a non-Christian husband.

I remember Robbie, a Young Life leader whom we loved very dearly and who was praying for a Christian husband. She finally married a Christian man and has been happily married for over 20 years. But I remember a statement she made when she was first married. She said, “I prayed for a Christian man – now what do I do with him?”

Perhaps a young woman dreams of marrying a Christian man – but one who works 9 to 5 and is home every evening, helping with the children and with whom she has long talks each evening by the fire.

But more often than not, the Christian man, especially one involved in a Christian ministry of some kind, is just as passionate or more so about his work, than the young executive trying to climb the corporate ladder.

More people are ‘needing’ him because he is able to help them.

He is often ‘in front’ of people more, open to sometimes embarrassing a shy wife.

We have been involved with Young Life in many various aspects over the years, and have seen the lives of wonderful godly men, who were doing great things for the Lord, fall apart as their marriage turned to shambles and their children turned away from God. Many times because daddy just wasn’t there. He was so busy meeting the needs of other people’s children and other families that his own were neglected.

I can’t believe this is God’s plan for those in ministry and service of any kind to the Lord. But it takes much wisdom and courage for these men to do all they feel they should in their ministry and all they should be as fathers and husbands.

I am including a quote from Dr. Dobson in answer to the question, “What has been your greatest challenge as a father? What did you learn from it?”

I certainly made my share of mistakes as a father. Like millions of other men of my era, I often had a tough time balancing the pressure of my profession with the needs of my family. Not that I ever became an ‘absentee father’, but I did struggle at times to be accessible as I should have been.”…..“My father, who always served as a beacon in dark times, saw what was happening to me and wrote a letter that was to change my life. First he congratulated me on my success, but then he warned that all the success in the world would not compensate if I failed at home. He reminded me that the only way to build their faith was to model it personally and then to stay on my knees in prayer. That couldn’t be done if I invested every resource in my profession. I have never forgotten that profound advice.”

There are many things we can learn from the story in 2 Samuel 6:12-23 in regard to our lesson on being married to a strong Christian man. The story is about Michal, married to a very strong man of God, King David.

Perhaps we can look at Michal’s behavior towards her husband in the same way we read the stories about the Bernstein Bears, and see some examples of how NOT to behave as a godly wife.

What can we learn from Michal’s mistakes? And what were her mistakes?

  1. She threw cold water on her husband’s service to God.

  2. She did not share in his joy.

  3. She stood on the side lines despising him, not encouraging him or worshipping with him.

  4. She thought he was a little too enthusiastic and a little fanatical about his religious business.

  5. She was embarrassed by his behavior. So certain he had made a fool of himself.

  6. She gave him much constructive criticism.

  7. She thought it her duty to straighten David out. Polish him up a bit abd make him a more proper person. (She didn’t stop to think that maybe God liked him that way)

  8. She didn’t allow David to share his joy with his family abd her sarcasm was a slap in his face.

  9. Verse 23 implies their marriage relationship fell apart or else was an answer from God.

What God is doing in your husband is a serious thing and not to be taken lightly. Do not judge the work of God in his life – support it.

Allow your husband to rejoice in the wife of his youth. Proverbs 5:18,19 “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely hind, a graceful doe. Let her affection fill you at all times with delight, be infatuated always with her love.”

May we be the wives God would have us be, so that we can encourage our husbands to be all that God would have them be.

Husbands (Part One)

My teaching is based on Titus 2:3-5 and this is what verses 3 & 4 say:

Bid the older women likewise to be reverent in their behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, and SO TRAIN the young women to love their husbands and children…”

Those very words seem to tell us that real life and marriage isn’t exactly like the fairy tales say, “They married and lived happily ever after”. No, in real life it takes hard work and relying on the Lord and the direction he gives us for marriage in his word.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us how we are to receive this training. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction AND FOR TRAINING in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete for every good work.”

What is the good work we are talking about here?

Loving husbands

Raising godly children

Being the heart of a warm, godly and loving home

I passed out some sheets that had words on them by Sharon Ries that were very important. [Editors Note: these words not included] By believing and putting this truth to practice you free yourself up to just love your husband. That truth is that your husband, Christian or non-Christian, cannot meet your deepest needs. Only Jesus can do that. Don’t expect that from him.

In one of Dr. Dobson’s monthly newsletters a question was asked, and the answer to that question ties in with the truth we just stated. “What do you consider to be THE greatest threat to the stability of families today?”

His answer:“It would be a phenomenon that every marriage counselor deals with regularly. The scenario involves a vulnerable woman who depends on her husband to meet her emotional needs and a workaholic man who has little time for family responsibilities. Year after year she reaches for him and finds he is not there. She nags, complains, cries and attacks him for his failures – to no avail. He is carrying the load of three men in his business or profession and can’t figure out how to keep that enterprise going while providing what his wife needs. As time goes by, she becomes increasingly angry, which drives him even further into his workday world. He is respected and successful there. And thereafter he is even less accessible to her. Then one day, to her husband’s shock, this woman reaches a breaking point and either leaves him for someone else or files for divorce. It is a decision she may live to regret and one that often devastates her children – although by then the marriage is long gone. It was such a preventable disaster, but one that thousands of other families will be victimized by in the coming months.”

I shall read out loud also a portion called “Expectations” from Ruth Bell Graham’s book Its My Turn.

By not laying heavy expectations on your husband you also free him up – to be a husband, father, and grandfather – who is “playful” and who can help build memories. It is a chain reaction when we do our job as the wives God intended us to be.”

As I first prepared this lesson years ago the ink ran out in my Word Processor. I put in a new cartridge and it still wouldn’t work. I tried and tried and finally put in another cartridge that I had on hand. It still wouldn’t work. I became very frustrated and finally thought of saying, “When all else fails read the instructions.” I did read them and it said to clean the new cartridge head when replacing it. I did that and it worked. It made me think of this lesson. For it is the same principal with husbands. I would hate for you to throw one away, get another one and it doesn’t work because you are not following the instructions. God gave us a plan and instructions as wives and it is found in His Word, our precious Holy Bible.

Every Christian woman wants to be married to a strong Christian man.

  1. Mature in his relationship with God

  2. Who leads the family in love for the Lord

  3. Has love for his church

But much of his spiritual growth depends upon his wife – part of what it means to be ‘one’ person.

Our attitudes, emotions, weaknesses and strengths affect our mates, as though they were their own. Many women work against the very goal they want.

We need to be aware of what builds up and what tears down a man’s relationship with God.

Don’t fall into the trap that Eve did. Her husband lost power because of his wife’s influence.

A Fresh Look At Love (Part 2)

Within Song of Solomon are eight ingredients of a Happy Marriage. We will look at those and see if we can apply them to our marriage.

  1. She is a romantic wife. Positive, idealistic, optimistic. Looks at her lover through rose colored glasses.

  2. She is full of lighthearted fun, companionship. Sometimes we are too intense, too business-like, over worked. We crowd out romance simply because we are too busy for it. In Song of Solomon, both parties could have had great responsibility. We know he did as he was a king, but they found time for carefree escape and a childlike ability to delight in little things.

  3. Verbal expression of love and admiration. Compliment your husband often.

  4. Complete acceptance of mate as he is. Don’t make him over. This is a fast way to take romance out of marriage.

  5. Habit of viewing your husband as your lover. Gives meaning to the other roles he must be.

  6. Couple had a healthy attitude toward sex. It was mutually enjoyed. She desired him as much as he desired her.

  7. Enjoyment of nature – out of doors. Enjoying God’s creation together. How about one beautiful day, play hooky and go on a picnic.

  8. They had young vibrant spirits – alive – alert and it wasn’t a question of age. An aging spirit, even if you are under 25, can make you tired and bored with everything. Can’t feel romantic about a woman who is feeling old and weary. God doesn’t want us to feel that way. In John 10:10 it says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I want to give you a challenge: Ask God to help you put some romance into your marriage!

Put some thought and effort into doing something romantic and creative yourself.

Be aware that you may be hurt or rejected. But you give that to the Lord also. Run the risk. Tears are OK.

I want for each of you to experience what I am experiencing right now. I have gone through the busy, hard time of raising children and now am left with my lover. We enjoy every minute we are together. He has always felt Friday nights were our date nights, and continues to do so. It seems every meal is special. In the summer we love to eat each meal outside on the deck, amidst the flowers. We just love reading by the fire, sharing our lives. He isn’t a great one for bringing flowers or gifts but he does sweet spontaneous things I just love. Yesterday he came into the kitchen from an errand and said, “Woman, get on your shoes, I am taking you out for a Frappachino.” Might not seem romantic to some but I loved it. Then today, as I am re-writing this lesson, he came in holding a big bunch of pussy willows saying, “These are for my darling.” Now he probably won’t bring me flowers on Valentine’s Day, but this spontaneous gift, knowing how I love those first pussy willows means more to me that two dozen roses ever could.

Many years ago Becky and I gave a talk on Romantic Marriage at Covenant Beach. Looking over those notes was fun as it was probably at least 15 years ago, and I am feeling the same way now as I did then, even perhaps more so.

Then I said, “I think I have a wonderful marriage. Many people looking at it might say, ‘Boy what a boring life. They don’t belong to any social clubs, they rarely go places, do anything interesting anyway, don’t have company very often and never what you might call a party’.” But to me it is not boring. Everyday is a new adventure and I wouldn’t trade my life or my husband for anything I could dream up.

I say, Amen to that today. Now at ages 71 and 73 we see many friends losing their spouses. That makes us treasure our life and our time together even more.

Perhaps 30 years ago I was asked to give a talk about marriage to a dorm group at PLU. Several years later one of the girls told me that because of my talk she had decided to marry her husband. She said she was worried that the ‘romance’ would leave and that she wouldn’t be so excited about him after awhile. She said when I told them that I got excited when I heard his truck come in the driveway, she decided that perhaps it would last. I have to laugh because we probably had been married 20 years then and it seemed a long time to her. Now we are married 51 years and I still get excited when his car pulls in and I hear the garage door go up, or when I see him across the room.

I base my teaching on Titus 2:3-5 which says in part, “train the young women to love their husbands…” I love that because it implies that it does not just come naturally but might need a little training.

But I think going a step further, I think wives sometimes need to “train” their husbands as to what they really want. They are not mind readers. What made their mothers happy, might not be the thing that makes you happy. Remember Valentines Day, and your Wedding Anniversary are a two way street. What are you going to do to show him you love him on Valentine’s Day, and on your “mutual” anniversary. It is so sad to see a pitiful wife, with a hangdog expression saying, “He didn’t remember…etc” Why don’t you remind him?

I shall close with Ruth Bell Graham’s “Train Our Love”

Train our love

that it may grow


til our hearts will overflow

unrestrained and readily.

Discipline it too

dear God;

strength of steel

throughout the whole.

Teach us patience,


tenderness, and


Deepen it

throughout the years,

age and mellow it


time that finds us

old without,


will find us

lovers still.

A Fresh Look At Love (Part 1)

[Editor’s note: For those who knew my grandmother Rosemary, she was passionate about teaching on healthy marriage.  She was not shy about discussing sex, and encouraging both women and men to bring more joy and love into their marriage relationship.  This entry, “A Fresh Look At Love” is separated into two parts.]

There is an old song called “Love and Marriage” and part of the words say, “you can’t have one without the other.” But I am afraid there are many marriages where the love has died or is dying, and the partners have become more roommates than lovers. I don’t want that to happen to you and neither does the Lord. Today we will be looking at some things that might add a little spark to your marriage.

What is a romantic marriage?

Is yours romantic?

Do you wish it were?

Were you? Or are you? Disillusioned?

Romance is just one aspect of marriage, but it is the important oil that lubricates the rest.

Are you more in love with your husband that when you married him – or have you become roommates and just politely tolerate each other and sometimes not so politely.

We are going to read Revelations 2:3-5. This was written to the leader of the church of Ephesus telling of the church’s love of Christ growing cold. But the same words can be true of a marriage. And we will look at it in that light right now.

I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first.”

To a wife – these words could be taken as thus: Oh, yes you are working so hard, and enduring patiently all the trials of trying to be a good wife, and a good mother and you try to smile and not grow weary. But oh, my is it hard. This is all good, but have you abandoned the love and joy and excitement you had when you first got married? Do you remember those days? The little things you used to do or say to your husband? Why don’t you think about how far you have fallen away from the joy of being in love. Why don’t you again do some of those sweet, loving things you did at first.

I am going to share a few thoughts with you to help you revive a dying marriage, or put some life in a stale one, or add some spice to an already good one.

  1. You need time alone. You need dates. You need weekends together, just the two of you. A friend told me she needed these times to remember why she married her husband. This is sooooo important to a marriage. Afford it! Make the effort! Even if it is one night and not the whole weekend it will seem like a long time once you are away.

We would try to do this once or twice a year and now really try to tell couples how important it is. The preparation of getting 5 children ready to go in three different directions was hard. Later on, we hired someone to come to the house and that was much easier, although a little costlier, but well worth it. While in the midst of arrangements to go I always felt, “Is it worth it?” “Why am I doing this?” But once away, YES it was worth all the preparation. Getting away from the daily problems. Getting away from being a mommy and a daddy, concentrating on being lovers.

  1. You need to find times of romance within the busy hectic life at home. Yes it takes effort, but it is possible.

  2. Our children had regular bedtimes and we allowed some time for “just us” after they went to bed.

  3. What about playing old music that brings back memories and moods?

  4. How long has it been since you have done the following:

    Bathed together?

    Kissed in the shower?

    Held hands under the table?

    Held hands in public?

    Gave him a love pat when you walked by?

    Special time together at a dinner out?

    A special walk?

    Laughed together?

Make time for romance right now – in the midst of your busyness – or you’ll be 50 – children leaving – and you are left with a stranger instead of a lover.

Love Him Now

Tell Him Now

I love the poems by Ruth Bell Graham in her book Sitting by My Laughing Fire. I shall read you the one on page 215, “I Met You Years Ago”. [Editors Note: Poem not included in notes] This is so true of me and my sweetheart Richard. We met when we were 14 and 16. Began going steady when we were 15 and 17, and married when we were 19 and 21. He is my dear lover and I love him more each year. We both love the saying of Robert Browning, “Grow Old Along with Me, the Best is Yet to Be.” We believe that with all our hearts. Our life and our love only gets better each year.

I am also going to read another poem from this favorite book. Page 116 “You Look At Me” [Editors Note: Poem not included in notes]

It has been said, that men give love to get sex, and women give sex to get love. We could also change love to romance. Women seem to need it more than men.

If your husband isn’t satisfied sexually you might as well forget about romance. When that area is cared for, he can be trained to be romantic. But he has to know what you like and want in this area and each of us is different.

The Lord wants your marriage to be more romantic than anything the movies ever dreamed up.

Proverbs 5:18-20 “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely hind, a graceful doe. Let her affection fill you at all times with delight, be infatuated always with her love.”

Ecc 9:9a “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love…”

Song of Solomon 5:16 “His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend.”

The Bible also tells us many ways not to kill love. These are two:

Eph 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is head, into Christ.”

Pro 25:24 “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

God’s planned for a better romance “after” marriage than you ever dreamed of. The world has it in reverse. An exciting courtship, then settle down to a dull marriage. Perhaps that is why so many live together and not marry, they are afraid of this.

In Bible times romance began “after” marriage. The marriage was arranged by the parents, leaning heavily on God’s choice.

Many of the woman in the Bible were described as beautiful. In Gen 21:16 we read about Rebekah, “she was very fair to look upon.”

And this about Esther in Esther 2:7 “The maiden was beautiful and lovely.” But even so she was given 12 months of ‘beauty treatments’ before being presented to the king. We read in Esther 2:12 “Now when the turn came for each maiden to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil and myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women.” Wow, this was some kind of a beauty spa.

We aren’t able to do something like that, but we shouldn’t either, jump out of bed, facing the world and our husbands, without taking a little effort in caring for ourselves. It is hard for a man to feel romantic about a wife who is a slob. He’ll put up with us, understand being busy with children, etc., but can he feel romantic about it.

If you are like most women you don’t feel romantic all the time. Perhaps more so during certain cycles of the month. When you so – make the most of it.

If you are embarrassed to speak your feelings, write them. Give him little notes.

Read Song of Solomon in its entirety. Beautiful picture of a loving with abandon.

Celebrating 64 Years of Marriage: A Daughter’s Reflection

(Reflections by Becky Brown, for the Siblings)

July 28th, 2015

Today is Papa and Mum’s 64th wedding anniversary, the first anniversary they will be celebrating separately; papa still here on earth with his family, and mama in heaven with Jesus. They started ‘going steady’ when mom was 15 years old which means they’ve been together for 68 years! Wow, that is a long, wonderful time.

It is a tenderly-sad day to think of mama not being here to celebrate with her beloved and us all… but we are grateful for the many years they did have together… and for the model of faithfulness, love and marriage that they left for us all to follow.

Thank you mom and dad for… (in no specific order)

  • kissing each other in front of us, it made us feel secure in your love for one another (and even times when you ‘snuck off to do more than kissing’ (we realized as we got older)… even that set a good example for our own marriages
  • saying “I’m sorry” when you hurt each others feelings
  • taking time for ‘just you’ away together (maybe not that often with a busy family of five, but enough that we knew you loved to be together and we as kids would benefit from your ‘oneness’ once you were back again
  • always staying together. I’m sure there were times when things were difficult and you didn’t get along perfectly but we always knew you would be together, forever and ever… through the good times and the tough times.
  • your teamwork in so many areas of life. Praying together, playing together, planning together. For example the effort of skiing as a family together; the cost and mom packing all the kids clothes and the food and the ‘stuff’ each weekend… and papa patiently teaching us all to ski (and buying one more pair of gloves ‘cause one ‘got lost’ on the way to the slope!)… just one example of teamwork for the betterment of family-life.
  • The effort of making a house a home together… from the double-lot at 35th street, which was always full of adventure, love, laughter and much fun; to the restoration of the Fox Island house and making that home a ‘haven’ for so many; to the wild wonderful adventure of Drommegaard, your Dream Farm… papa reclaiming the fields, mama planting and caring for the plethora of flowers and both of you loving the cows!
  • for just loving to do things together; whether it was cutting letters to make money for a Norway trip, or watching a Netflix, or going out for a ‘treat’, or attending a grandchild’s sporting event, or going to church… and especially for baking all your Christmas cookies together! We will surely miss the lefse which was loving hand-made together by you both.
  • for the support you gave each other in your interests and passions, whether papa singing in the Norwegian chorus or mama loving her ladies through the Cancer Care group to name a very few.
  • the list could go on and on… but most of all, thanks for loving Jesus together, loving each other, and loving us kids… and then our families that came… along with so many dear ones, close to your hearts, all over the world.

We miss you mama on this day. But we say thank you to Jesus for bringing this amazing couple together so many years ago… and we know the legacy of their love and their marriage will have a lasting impact, not only on their family, but so many others as well.

A Peaceful Habitation or a Hectic Home

We all desire a Peaceful Habitation, but it doesn’t “just happen”. It seems strange to say but you have to “fight for peace” if you want it to happen.

There are some wonderful verses in the Bible that speak about living in a peaceful habitation.

Is. 32:17,18 “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Isn’t that what we all want.

Pro. 3:33 “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous.”

Don’t we want our home blessed by the Lord? It sounds like being “righteous” is the key of both these verses. The Isaiah verse talks about the ‘effect’ of righteousness will be peace, and the ‘result’ of righteousness will be quietness and trust forever.

Righteousness seems to be the key, but what actually is righteousness? Webster says, “Righteousness is doing that which is right” and also, “free from sin”. We can do neither of those without Christ.

Jeremiah 23:6 say “The Lord is our righteousness”.

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness for they shall be satisfied”.

Matt. 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you”.

Now we shall look at some practical ways to have a peaceful habitation, knowing that first we must have Jesus and his righteousness.

Isaiah 30:15-18 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and in trust shall be your strength,’ AND YOU WOULD NOT, but you said, ‘No! we will speed upon horses’, therefore you shall speed away and ‘we shall ride upon swift seeds.’ Therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. THEREFORE, the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

AT THE THREAT OF FIVE” spoke to me as a young mama of five children. I was not to be frightened by those 5 children, nor the huge task of raising them. I was to be in control and not them of me. I had the Lord with me. These verses are encouraging on that point. Out of context but they spoke to me of this need.

Part of being in control is making wise decisions as a parent, and setting boundaries for our children. We can’t just always ask our children, in a gentle voice, what they want to do, and then go with that decision. We have to see the far reaching aspects of that decision that our children wouldn’t see.

These verses were also helpful:

Deut. 1:29-30 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or fear of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you.”

Deut. 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

I am going to share some thoughts from a diary from May 4, 9, 11, 1978. I was 46 years old. Becky was married and Jane was to be married in June.

[Editors Note: These particular dairy entries were not included in this typed talk.]

Longer term lessons learned from those hectic days.”

  1. Listen to God. What is it he wants me to do.

  2. Talk it over with Dick. Get his approval and support before undertaking. Learning more and more God uses Dick to protect me as I submit to him.

  3. Learning to say No to things PEOPLE ask me to do – if not in line with what the LORD has already shown me I should be doing.

  4. Remembering – His burden is light – Whose am I carrying? Matt 11:28-30

  5. Most important what God thinks of us – not peers and relatives etc.

  6. Learning to take moments of time for myself (what brings me peace)

  7. Take positive steps toward peace – it won’t “just happen”. Lev. 12:14 Strive for Peace with all men.

Striving for peace also could involve some “fighting” for peace. Right now there are so many good things in the world to ‘fight for’ and so many bad things we need to ‘fight against’. Just reading Dobson’s Citizen magazine can really get you riled as to the sin in the world. It can give us a restless, disturbed, fighting heart that we need to turn over to God, in order to be the “peacemaker” in our home. We need to deal with our own restless heart before we can bring peace to our family. We need to ask God to help us with this, as we are called to minister to our family.

Yes the world is changing. When I first wrote this lesson in 1978 life was different that it is now. But we must remember that “Jesus is Changeless”. His truths are changeless. His truths remain the same throughout all the generations.

Heb. 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Psalms 145:4 “One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”

Ecc. 1:4 “A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”

Learning the difference between Hospitality and Entertaining. Martha was “entertaining” Jesus. Mary was showing “hospitality”. How often do we do the same – wanting the ‘best’ in the name of honoring our guests, but making our family crazy and really doing it in the name of ‘pride’.

Something comes to mind that I learned at one of the first retreats I had ever been to. At the final meeting I could hear women working in the kitchen, behind the scenes. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, “These women have worked hard to make this a pleasant and restful retreat for you. Now you are to go home and work hard to make your home a special retreat place for your family.”

A friend sent me an article quite awhile ago entitled, “What Makes Your Home a Sanctuary?”. It was from an article in the Chicago Tribune and written by Michele Weldon. Now these aren’t thoughts from a Christian paper, but I think they are very true and very noteworthy, and some things that would be helpful for us to apply to our lives.

You can sense it immediately when you walk through the door. There won’t be a sign, or brochure in the front hall. But if it’s there, you can feel it through you; it is nearly palpable, a smell, a feeling, a radiance, a calm. When a home is a spiritual place, it feels real as a golden retriever curled at the foot of a favorite chair.”

(Now we might mean something different than she does by a “spiritual” place, but we want a home that Jesus is present, and that presence is pervasive in our home to others.)

Continued: “When you walk through the threshold of your home, you feel you are safe. Even gardens for a lot of women are their sanctuaries. It is essential to create a small space, a place of retreat. Whether it’s a room, a tent in a yard or a chair with a walkman, it’s a place where I need time for myself in order to be a better human being. When you are out of balance and life is chaotic, and you walk through the door and can’t find a place to sit down, then you are robbing yourself of serenity. My home was always a sanctuary, and I knew everything was OK as soon as I walked in the door. I want my kids always to feel safe when they come home. It’s my special place. It’s where we belong.”

If we can create this kind of a home, it will be one where your children will want to invite friends to come.

To be happy at home is the greatest gift life will ever present to us.”

We hear a lot about “peer pressure” these days, mostly in relation to our children. But I think peer pressure has a lot to do with our having a peaceful habitation. And that is “our” falling in the trap of “peer pressure”. Do we fall into the same trap as our children do?

  1. Wanting everyone to like us. It is a favor to tell our children that no, everyone is not going to like them. Then they are not so shocked and hurt when someone doesn’t.

  2. Trying to please everyone – keep everyone happy.

  3. Not wanting to say no for fear of rejection.

Let us set an example for them as Jesus is our example. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Perhaps someone will be affected adversely by my saying no. Yes that might be likely. Good words on this in Oswald Chambers My Upmost for His Highest, January 11th.

[Editor’s Note: Oswald passage not included in typed talk]

Sometimes we get too busy for our family by doing everything everyone else wants us to do. The little booklet “Tyranny of the Urgent” is very helpful on this point.

Remember this, “The Need is NOT the Call”. So many needs, but we are not called to them all. Only Jesus can show you what is the most important and what He desires you to do.

How do we get all the things done on our “to do” list?

  1. Let Jesus make your list.

  2. Do only what He gives you strength to do.

  3. Do it in the calm manner that he would do it.

There are also allusions – mirages that the world would have us believe.

  1. There will be more time later (60min Father, Cat in the Cradle, Greatest Man I Never Knew)

  2. I shall always be this age. Remember we all have just one year at each age. Remember being 7, 14, 21. And suddenly you are a mother-in-law and then a grandmother and you feel the same inside.

  3. I’ll be a big nothing if I don’t – do this, join this, have this person over, etc.

  4. My child will never be able to play in Jr. High or High School sports if I don’t start him out in preschool sports teams.

Can I trust God to help me in these areas?


The world and common sense say one thing. But God often says the opposite. Sounds crazy – but makes for a happy exciting life, full of glad surprises along the way.

Oh may we follow Jesus in his guidance to make our homes a Peaceful Habitation.