Yesterday,, we discussed the topic of benefits!!  

When you hunt for a job, often you look at the benefits the company offers.  Sometimes, you may even be prone to choose the job with the better benefits over the pay.  Benefits can draw you in or deter you from anything!!

Marriage offers many benefits as well; companionship, help, support, physical intimacy, friendship and a partner who hopefully always has your back. But most importantly, if you have a spouse that loves the Lord and places God above all else in his or her life, you reap the wonderful and beautiful benefits of their relationship with Christ as well!

A spouse that loves the Lord will never be perfect, but God will show them how to prioritize their life and how to love others.  God is a master at both things!!

Garrick and I have walked through seasons where we were both doing very well with placing God first and prioritizing well and we have also reaped the negative consequences of failing to do so.  

As we discussed this I shared that a struggle I have consistently struggled with after having children, is giving my spouse my left overs at night.  Being home with the kiddos all day and homeschooling does not wear me out physically, but can mentally drain me to the point where all I want to do when Garrick gets home is stare mindlessly into space in a quiet room filled with chocolate!

I don't want one more person to ask one more thing of me!  When I see Garrick's truck pull in I came to look at it is my reprieve finally arriving rather than my husband being to home spend time with me!

This has been especially difficult as Garrick's top love language is physical affection and verbal affirmations.  So here he comes home from a long day at work and all he wants is  hug, kiss and a welcome from his wife and instead he gets me whizzing past him, passing the baton of parenting with zero affection.  

Though he understands and most all parents can understand that type of mental drainage from constant parenting demands, this is a sure sign of misplaced priorities.  It is not purposeful, yet once I realize this, it is my job to ask God how to curb it.  

I am currently reading a book that is helping me learn how to do just that!!!  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  It gives practical ways to care for myself during the day, so I am not completely drained when my husband walks in the door.  I am also still working how my issue with taking other's emotions and problems on to carry.  I have to learn that some burdens are not mine to carry and I need to leave them with the person they belong to.  This is very hard for me and has been a lifelong battle.  I trust God will deliver me from this in His timing!
Garrick shared that now that he is healthy and completely sober from anything mind altering, he is able to prioritize very well and I totally agree with this.  

He shared that when we first became Christians  and when we first started the church, he struggled with putting so much emphasis on ministry and church functions he neglected his family.  I remember feeling resentful at times when he was prepping a sermon for hours on end or leaving to go to another church function, continuously leaving me to care for the children.  The hard thing is this would appear like a good thing from the outside, he was focusing on God, however, God would never ask so much of him that his family be neglected.  That was his struggle with learning to prioritize.  

Obviously during his season of addiction it was hard to prioritize anything.  God certainly went to the wayside and in turn, everything became out of balance and neglected.  We would both agree this was an ugly time and in turn our family was not flourishing the way God intended.  
Now that God has us back on track.... I can see the beautiful benefits slowly reappearing in our lives.  Garrick is extremely diligent in prioritizing God now, and in turn he is placing everything else in his life in proper order.  I never feel neglected by him, even with his full time job and trying to build a garage and raise four children, he always makes his love for me known and obvious.  

I feel blessed every day to have my God loving husband back!!! 

What did you and your spouse assess were your struggles with prioritizing???

It is never too late to get on the right track!

Ask God what need to be done, be obedient and then sit back and watch your family grow and flourish!!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick
 
 
Meaningful, Messy Marriage
❤Moments ❤

(Learning to Let God Lead….. One Day at a Time)
-A Woman Redeemed
Hello my friends!!!!  

Today's marriage devotion is about benefits!!  

 Did you know that there are many benefits to being married???? LOL  I know, I know, there may been times that you have questioned if this is true.... but I promise.... it is!!!  

Aside from the benefits of having one another for company and for help when we need it.... and to help meet needs only our spouse can meet..... the benefits we will talk about today are the benefits we reap when we have a spouse that loves the Lord above all else!!!

Believe it or not..... we receive direct benefits from our spouse if they have a solid and established relationship with God.  Consequently, we also reap the negative effects of a spouse that does not know the Lord or place Him above all else in their life.  

God is very good at keeping our priorities straight and our thoughts and action Godly.  Without Him, it is VERY easy to slip into a pattern of embracing idols and neglecting the very things God desires for us to place first in our lives.  Satan LOoooooVVVVeeeessss this!!  And Satan is so crafty, that he will often present these things as "good" things; things that are beneficial to you.  

An example is a hobby.  Hobbies are good right?  Hobbies allow us to express our creativity and are used an a stress outlet and much needed relaxation.  HOWEVER, hobbies are often placed above God and when this happens, people often struggle prioritizing their hobby in it's proper place.  A hobby should never become more important than our relationship with the Lord or our spouse and family.  

We are going to focus in on this scripture.....

"Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of your labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it all should be well with you.  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table." Psalm 128:1-3

Though this scripture sounds as though it is mainly focusing in our men, we can apply this scripture to both husband and wives!!!  

What we can learn from this scripture is very simple...... when we put the Lord first...... the rest of our lives will fall into their proper place.  Our spouses will flourish, our children will flourish, you will be blessed.  It takes the guess work out of prioritizing because God will make sure your priorities are in proper order.  

In this last difficult season Garrick and I went through, the effects of misplacing God in our lives were devastating.  They always are, be assured of that.  We are still reaping the negative consequences from this and though God will no doubt, completely restore us, we will never be able to erase the past from our memories or our children's. 

This is where we discuss balance......when you put God first..... your spouse will reap the benefits.... naturally.  In order to do this.... you have to have your daily priorities in proper order.  

Today.... this is what we shall work through in this devotion.  

1.  Take some time and make a list with your spouse of your daily priorities.  

2.  Assess how your prioritize these daily priorities.

3.  Is your current way of prioritizing helping your spouse and children flourish?

4.  Do you need to adjust your way of prioritizing???

In order for our marriages and families to flourish, we must have our priorities stacked God's way....

*God
*Spouse
*Children
*Work

A great acronym I learned to prioritize life is JOY!  Jesus Others You.  This does not mean you should not take care of you.  That is also a necessity, however, we should not constantly be placing our self and our needs above everyone else's and never above God!

This also does not mean we slack off at our jobs, what it means is, you have to be willing to pass up the promotion to make it to your date night with your spouse or your child's game.  Money means nothing if you die alone.  You may climb the corporate ladder, but when you reach the top, you are standing alone.  

Tomorrow, I will share with you what Garrick and I discovered about our own priorities and how this negatively or positively effects our marriage!!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friends
Missy and Garrick