On numerous occasions I’ve had men approach me and say, “I have a word from the Lord for you.” They would then speak the “word” which was actually many words, not just one. Without exception their “word” included something about my ministry and finances growing at a breath-taking pace. While I appreciated their encouragement, I’ve since wondered why their divine predictions haven’t happened.
Until three years ago, I didn’t think God spoke today. In fact, I would have argued that there is no need for God to speak to anyone today because he’s given us the Bible. I urged people who wanted to hear from God to read the Scripture. And I would still give that advice. I love the Bible and have spent my adult life studying its words and listening for God’s voice within its pages.
Shortly after getting married, I got into the habit of writing a note to my wife every morning. They usually weren’t long, no more than a few sentences. But I enjoyed writing them and I knew she liked reading them, so every day I would give her a note.
It’s the same reason I surprise her with flowers every once in a while. Really, it’s the same reason I do anything for her—because I love her.
Early in our marriage Cindy and I identified the “I don’t want to feeling.” It’s what we felt when the selfishness monster pleaded with us to disregard the other person. Of course, recognizing the presence of the creature doesn’t mean he’ll graciously leave, especially in areas where he’s established control. But he can be bridled, led to a cage, and deprived of the freedom to roam around our hearts destroying our marriage. Here’s how.
A study of maladjusted students in a large Oklahoma high school reveals the importance of verbal affirmation. The counselors in the school first developed close relationships with ten of the school’s most troubled teenagers. Next the counselors asked the kids, “How long has it been since your parents told you they loved you?” Only one of the students could remember hearing it at all, and he didn’t remember when.