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I have decided to love you, and I am not changing my mind.

I remember the weeks leading up to my wedding and the excitement that I felt. I couldn't wait to say "I do" to the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. There was not a doubt in my mind that he was the one for me, the one that could give me my happily ever after.

We are now getting close to celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary and we have experienced lots of things together. Loss of loved ones, birth of our babies, sleepless nights, financial ups and downs and everything in between. Through all of it there have been times when the happily ever after didn't feel so happy. There have been times when I didn't feel the butterflies and gushy emotions, but when I decided to love my husband, it was forever, not based on a feeling.

There are all kinds of emotions attached to love, but love is not an emotion it is a decision. You can't "fall out of love." You can decide to stop loving someone, but love is not a mysterious, fickle little feeling that comes and goes.

As Christians we are called to love. If we can't love our own husband or wife unconditionally then how are we going to be effective at loving anyone else? On November 8, 2009 my husband and I made the commitment to love each other until death do us part. There was no disclaimer. I am not going to change my mind. If we are going to love like Jesus loved us then we can't attach our love to the actions of our spouse. It doesn't matter what he does or doesn't do to me, if Jesus loved and died for us while we were yet sinners, then I have the power to love my husband no matter what.

Imagine how different our world would be if our love for others was not based on conditions? There is great power in knowing that it is my choice to wake up every day and love my husband. We live in a world where people allow their emotions to control their decisions when it should be the exact opposite. Do you think Jesus allowed his emotions to control his decision to die on the cross for us? We know that his emotions tried to gain control over him because the bible tells us of the distress he suffered in the garden before he was killed.

"Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26:38-39)

The bible makes it very clear that emotionally Jesus did not want to die. He was struggling, but he submitted himself to the Father so that His will could be done. If Jesus did it, we can do it too. We can overcome our emotions and make the decision to do what is right regardless of how we feel.

We need to start making the right decisions and demanding our emotions submit to those decisions, just as Jesus did. There is a great blessing attached to unconditional love. I can testify from seeing this work in my own life. My husband and I get closer all the time and we are able to overcome any obstacle because of the decision to love each other unconditionally.

I challenge you to try this! Whether it be your spouse, your boss, a difficult family member or a stranger, make the decision to walk in love and be blessed!

Actions speak louder than words.... or do they?

We have all heard the phrase "actions speak louder than words." Usually people use this little one liner when they are trying to see if someone is who they say they are, and it's not usually in a positive context. It is correct in a sense, but the bible says that "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." This means that whatever is in your heart is going to come out of your mouth. You can be sure that if you said something, it was first in your heart.

Have you ever had moments where you look back and thought "wow, did I really say that, it was so mean!?"

I have.

Some of the things that have come out of my mouth still bother me to this day. I am so thankful to be covered in the blood of Jesus so that I don't have to feel shame or guilt. Instead now I plant more beautiful things into my heart so that the words that come out are pure and lovely. I still say stupid things sometimes, but God knows my heart and every day I am growing. Thank God for grace!

Your words are seeds, and you can be sure that whatever you spit out will bury itself in the ground and grow.

Do you gossip? If you do then you are sewing seeds of envy and strife which the bible says leads to confusion and EVERY evil work (James 3:16.) Do you want your seeds to grow into plants of every evil work? Me neither, try using glue stick instead of chapstick, maybe it will help ;) Not really, but maybe some of us would be better off doing a little less talking. Instead, try and see people as God sees them, makes it hard to find anything bad to say.

Are you negative? Do you continuously have something negative to say about every situation? When you speak negative words it is because you have a negative heart. You have a negative heart because you do not have faith, you do not have faith because you have not renewed your mind through God's Word. Discovering who you are in Christ will make you the most positive person on the planet! How can we not be positive when the Creator of the universe has given you all His power through Jesus?! Everything good on this earth is ours through Him, yet very few see the fruit in their lives because they only plant negative seeds with their mouths. Read God's words, speak God's words, you will get God's results.

My husband and I have seen so many wonderful things happen in our marriage because we have refused to speak negatively towards each other. Anyone who knows us can tell you that while we might have an occasional disagreement, we don't have a habit of speaking negative words to each other. Neither of us have ever once brought up the "D" (divorce) word and have never called each other names. We don't point out each other's faults in order to try to prove a point, and we have both learned that it is better not to discuss anything if we are angry. This takes self control, especially for you, ladies! I can tell you though, it works! In marriage there is so much pressure to "communicate" that often people end up only communicating the negative things that won't bring any life into their marriage. Make a commitment to only say positive things to and about your spouse and you will reap a harvest of wedded bliss.

If you want to see good fruit grow in your life then you need to speak words that will bring a good harvest. God is waiting to pour out his blessings on you, but most of us block all the blessing by speaking negative words that don't agree with God's Word. Start speaking God's Words, and you will start getting God's results!

I challenge you to take this week to think before you speak, and choose words of love and life!

We want to hear from you!!!


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