This post is i'd rather laugh than cry gold originally published here May 2007. I've posted this in honor of our upcoming one year anniversary.
When you listen to a sermon that exhorts hearers to extend grace to others as grace has been fully given to them, you may nod your head in agreement but your mind is puzzled about how you might actually do that.
A mavelous theory ... a great idea ... but how will I actually extend grace, what does that even mean? what does it look like practically? So you stow it away in a card file of "good ideas" in your brain, but keep on living life as usual.
In a conversation today with a friend, I challenged him to move beyond the "idea" and toward the practical living.
How will you bless and honor the reputation, family, and heart of the woman you love?
One practical way Mike honors and blesses me is through prayer.
This may sound trite. One of those things in your card file ... you know you should do it ... but honestly ... what good could it actually do?
From the beginning of our relationship, Mike would end each of our conversations over skype or the phone with prayer. Take it from a woman whose man leads her spiritually in this manner, I am blessed, encouraged, and proud that Mike leads us before God in prayer as the spritual leader in our relationship.
I began to look forward to that time of prayer together more than anything. It removed the distance between us bringing us together to stand before the throne of God in prayer. God became more than just an honorary member of our relationship but the Cause, Sustainer, Lord, and Fellow-covenanter in our love.
Mike continued this discipline when we were together for two months in Australia. Each evening when we parted ways, Mike led me before the Lord in prayer to bring before Him our hopes, our sin, our love, and our desires.
Knowing that prayer ended our time together deterred a world of sin because we were living our lives before God.
When Mike leads in prayer, I am honored and blessed and respected.
Men, how can you honor the women in your lives?
Women, how can you encourage the men in your life in their spiritual leadership?
(For a fabulous Piper sermon on extending grace, click here.)