Candy Quarter

He came out of the door marked “Kitchen” wearing an apron and a t-shirt with some BBQ something like WGPM (world’s greatest pit master) or something about Smokin’ something.

The t-shirts always crack me up. I appreciate a funny t-shirt.

america-1293768_1280He made his was around to tables handing quarters to his youngest patrons. He would pause at the tables and ask how lunch was and if everything was alright. My eyes followed him around the room. He would pause at tables making small talk with the adults and passing out quarters to his youngest patrons. There were rambunctious little cowboy boot wearing girls and sneaker wearing boys. When he would hold up the quarters in their direction, their faces would shine with excitement as they gazed upon that silver circle held between his thumb and forefinger.

I mused on his small business owner cohort at the end of the road in the opposite direction. He does the same thing, hands out quarters to the children who frequent his establishment, and despite the obvious differences in that one is a restaurant and one is a tire store, the proprietors, at least in that regard are similar.

close-up-view-colorful-candy-chocolate-65547.jpgThe tire store quarters will yield a gum-ball. I learned that afternoon the restaurant quarter will yield a handful of slightly squashed m&ms or a handful of rainbow colored candies.

I watched as those children raced to the machine and were elated over a handful of candy. Their mamas attempting to coax them back to the table to finish their lunches. I noticed that many of them literally had nutrition on their plates, yet they readily abandoned it for the handful of crushed candies. A momentary sugar exchanged for real Sustenance.

I was reminded of the quote by C.S. Lewis.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

I too, am like those tiny patrons, ignorant of what truly awaits me, satisfied with the temporary and non-beneficial ways of this world in exchange for the beautifully beneficial things of God.


Ice for Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas memories was really an unusual Christmas.

The year was 1989. My husband and I decided that we would like to have our own Christmas celebration instead of going to either of our parent’s houses on Christmas Day. This was not a popular decision in our family, but we thought the time was right to start our own traditions. Our son was 9 years old and our baby girl was 16 months old.

I had purchased a turkey and the trimmings to make our own small Christmas dinner. I had decorated the table and was ready to cook on Christmas morning. The temperatures for Birmingham, Alabama, were unusually cold that year. It was called the Siberian Express. From December 23rd – December 25th, the temperatures did not get above freezing. The temperatures were between 1 degree to 15 degrees. This is extremely cold for Alabama any time of the winter.

trees-253178_1280As I was about to put the turkey in the oven, my father in law called and said that the pond was frozen. My husband told me to put the turkey back in the refrigerator and we would cook it later. We needed to go see the pond. We bundled everyone up with extra socks and lots of layers and ran across the street to go behind their house, down the hill, and then down the bank to see such an amazing sight. The pond was indeed frozen all the way across and back in the trees further than we could see.

We knew the water was not deep under the ice so if the ice broke, there would not be danger of not being able to get out of the water. My husband went out on the ice first. He would walk a few steps and then slide a few. He was having so much fun. My sister-in-law and her husband went out on the ice. They were having a great time.

We had a sled from years past that was rarely used. We put our two children and our two snow-sky-clouds-winter-70448nieces on the sled and pushed them out just a few feet to get their picture. We figured this would never happen again in their lifetime. The children were 9, 5, 16 months, and 12 months. What a picture and what a memory.

We were concerned about the younger children getting too cold so we took them inside my in-law’s house and started taking off all the layers we had them bundled up in. The fire was so inviting. We started hanging wet socks and gloves up in front of the fire. My mother-in-law made hot chocolate and we all got warm inside. She always made the best hot chocolate.

After I got warm, I went back out to the pond. It was amazing and beautiful at the same time. My sister-in-law and her husband started walking on the ice again and it started cracking. My sister-in-law started going toward her husband and he told her to move away. There was too much weight in that area. We laughed and laughed. It was such a fun morning.

The next thing I knew, it was lunch time. My turkey was still in the refrigerator. My mother-in-law knew everyone would be cold and hungry so she was making chili. Chili for Christmas dinner? Yes!!! It was wonderful. Everyone was tired and cold and wet from playing on the ice. What an amazing day.

Later that afternoon a neighbor came over with his tractor with the wagon hitched up to it. We all piled in and had quilts under us as well as on top of us. He drove us back out into the pasture land behind the pond and then around the surrounding area to see all of the neighbors’ ponds. We sang Christmas carols and had a wonderful time. 


By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. Job 37:10 ESV

There was a magic about that Christmas Day. Even though we did not have our turkey dinner, it is a day that we will never forget. God’s handiwork was so beautiful   He forms each ice crystal and makes them unique. He protects the fish under the ice. He is such a gracious God. He gave us his one and only son as a gift of salvation so that we would be able to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. I will never forget this day. There was fun. There was family. And there was faith. What more could a person need on Christmas.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV

Prepare Him Room

When the children were little we had a small, wooden manger that sat beside the fireplace for the entire holiday season. Next to it was a bin of hay. Each time a child did a kindness for someone He got to add a handful of hay to the manger. The children knew that as they were acting in love toward another, they were preparing a place for Jesus to come on Christmas morning. The child-friendly lesson was simple and based on scripture: “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40

A very familiar Christmas carol encourages us to “let every heart prepare Him room.” Are we? Preparing Him room in our hearts and homes and lives? Are we, coming in child-like faith and laying down a full, soft bed of hay for the baby Jesus through our generous and kind acts of love and service to the world around us?

That same carol proclaims, “Joy to the world the Lord is come!” Does your life proclaim joy to the world? Does it reflect that all joy is because the Lord has come? Does our daily behavior encourage the those around us to “let earth receive her King”?

This Christmas, may you find joy in the Lord. May you prepare Him room in your life and in your home. May your actions draw the people you come in contact with to come receive the King!


A Rough Christmas

Christmas has been a little rough for me for the past several years.

I’m not sure, but I think it started with the loss of my oldest sister. She loved Christmas, although she got anxious about gift giving. She made the most delicious fudge, and we spent days together making goodies.

Another reason it was rough is because my kids grew up and lost the “magic” of Christmas, so it became like routine to me. Just going through the motions of celebrating.

A few years ago, we lost my brother-in-law way too soon and again, Christmas changed. We always looked forward to being with him and all the sudden, he wasn’t there…

Christmas had become a time of grief. My heart ached each year, and I began to buy gifts because I had to. There was no joy in it. people-walking-in-the-street-2009905

This year has been much the same. Little money to buy gifts. The busyness of the season and always being gone. Never getting to spend quality time with family because each one is somewhere different.

I have a dear friend battling cancer and she is fighting for her life.

This year, we also have the added grief of divorce in our family and my grandchildren will have to leave on Christmas afternoon to spend time with their Dad. Again, I had lost the joy of it all.

This past Wednesday, I had the privilege of watching my oldest granddaughter and her friends perform various Christmas songs for us. Each song mentioned Jesus and the real imagesreason for the season. As I watched her sing, watched her face light up as she recited scripture of the Christmas story, listened as she loudly and proudly sang, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” at the top of her lungs, hearing them sing away in a manger and resting their sweet heads on their hands,… my heart began to melt. The joy began to return.

Why? Not because of a 3-year-old, but because of the God who used that 3-year-old to proclaim his message to me once again. “Perhaps Christmas you see, doesn’t come from a store. Perhaps Christmas means so much more.”

Today, if you are searching for that Christmas Joy, just remember the savior born in Bethlehem and the Joy he brings to the world and to your heart.


Never Alone


He sat alone.

I noticed him facing my direction. I am a bit of a people watcher, I take mental inventories and notice things. My eyes are constantly darting back and forth. I typically notice my fellow shifty-eyed, people-watching, cohorts.

I took notice of him as he was looking in my direction yet, he was not looking directly at me. He was alone and I felt a pang of sympathy and sorrow for him.

I wondered if it were just his lunch break at work or if he had met with some tragedy that had afforded him his lunch alone. For a brief moment the thought crossed my mind, given the choice, would I choose to enter a busy restaurant and dine alone. I decided I would have opted for my meal to be shoved into a paper bag and would have eaten it in my parked car.

I surveyed the crowded dining-area of the bustling fast-food restaurant that day. I made a mental note. In the following weeks of the Christmas shopping season places like this would be filled to capacity on any given day of the week, but today, there he sat all alone.

I made note. His food was delivered to him and he folded his hands in his lap, closed his eyes and bowed his head. I watched, occasionally his mouth moved and formed word fragments, all silent. I recognized immediately that he was praying. I felt intrusive and averted my gaze. I instinctively made an attempt at conversation with those with whom I was sharing my table. I made small talk, yet I could not keep myself from
glancing back and his head remained bowed. I don’t know for how long, but I made note he had a salad and was glad at least that portion of his meal wouldn’t be cold.

I have no idea what he was asking or saying. No idea what expressions of gratitude or reverence he expressed, but it mattered not. I was struck as I watched him eat his meal how wrong I’d been about him being alone. He wasn’t alone. Jesus Christ sat opposite him and in his quiet petitions I have never been more aware of the presence of my King for another as I was in that moment.

Tears welled up in my eyes, so much so that the Modern Day Bethany 3 thought I was having a moment with my sandwich.

The King’s Word promises he will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) It also promises that where two or more are gathered, He is there. (Matthew 18:20) I then pondered His name Immanuel, literally God with us (Matthew 1:23) and I realized that fall afternoon that one of those two can be THE ONE, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, despite what appears to be one in the physical, when we have Christ we are never alone.


Present, Present, Presents!

As my schedule has whisked me down the river of life this holiday season, I’ve come up against a thought – that I’m still sorting through – but maybe it will help you too.

I was thinking of how busy-ness has seemed to control many of my waking moments lately. Normal things that keep life busy from January through October continue: laundry, dishes, church commitments, doctor/dentist appointments, planning Sunday school lessons, (Yes I’m old! It will always be Sunday school to me no matter what you rename it!) grocery shopping, quiet time with the Lord. Add to that holiday baking, Christmas parties, meal planning and prep for big family gatherings, shopping for presents, wrapping presents, hiding presents… and every minute of every day seems to be taken, leaving me to fall into bed at night. Instead of visions of sugarplums (whatever that is!) I have stressful dreams of all that’s still on my “To Do” list, and I wake up running to see if I can conquer it all.

I find myself so busy planning it all that I’m constantly thinking ahead.

I had a bit of an epiphany at my grandson’s birthday party. (As if holidays weren’t enough, my grandson’s birthday and our anniversary are both within a week of Christmas!) As I sat for a moment in our local kid’s museum watching my grandson and his buddies run from exhibit to exhibit, I got a text. I glanced at it to find a question about  business details for our women’s ministry. I shot off a reply, realized another lady needed to be in the loop, texted her, and several minutes later “woke up” from virtual world to realize none of my crew were nearby.

It was probably only 2-3 minutes that I was zoned out in another world, but I realized in that moment that I had missed a few minutes of my now 9 year-old grandson’s life. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things. He wasn’t hurt with me. His parents and Papa and other adults were there, so he was safe, but I had missed out on precious moments I could never get back. Had he done something brave or cute or novel that I will never have a memory of because I was distracted? I was so busy living for future events that I wasn’t living in the moment. It was then that my wandering thoughts of the last few weeks became crystalized in the word “present.”

God whispered to me. “Be present. It’s not about the presents. Present to me your heart.”

Although that was His short message to me, it came to my heart with intricate insight and depth. Some of it so personal and intimate I ponder it alone, but the other concepts are needed by us all. So I challenge you this holiday season to those 3 things!

1. Be present in your life. The past is gone, never to be recaptured. The future is yet to come and none of our worrying will change it; only our prayers and our obedient submission to carrying out the Lord’s will can affect the future.

Life is a vapor.

Treasure and savor those precious times with family and friends.

Put the phone away.

Save business times for business hours.

2. It’s not about the presents… or the shopping, or the baking, or the decorating, or what others expectations are…. It’s about Jesus! It’s about His great gift of His Son our Saviour. It’s about His love for us, and by extension our love for the people around us. It’s about peace and a heart fully resting in Him for your joy and affirmation and contentment. All your holiday prepping cannot buy you these intangible gifts of the soul.

3. Present your heart to Him. While many things seem urgent during the holidays, only one thing is needed, to sit at Jesus’ feet. To be loved by Him, to learn from Him, and to experience all he has for us. As Jesus reminded Martha of this, we need to be reminded too.

Mary… sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:39-42

There is a time for preparation, but are we so caught up in the preparation that we are sacrificing time with our Savior? This Christmas I challenge you to focus on Christ. Spend sweet time at the Savior’s feet. Let Him dictate your calendar and schedule. Enjoy! Savor! Let Him fill your empty heart!

The present day, the present moment in time is God’s gift to us. We may never have another, and we definitely will not have one exactly like this. Therefore, let us live in it and use it wisely – loving and participating and experiencing all He has for us! Live this Christmas as if it were the only Christmas. Celebrate the birth of our Savior and live out all that His life represents. Be that light to a world that needs hope, unconditional love, and the light of Christ in their lives. Give the gift of Jesus!


Jesus: Hope for a Weary World

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ’til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

At the beginning of human history, sin came into a perfect world through an act of disobedience by the created toward their Creator. Perfect communion was shattered. Consequences came. But even in the consequences God offered mercy and HOPE. In punishing the serpent God said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) The woman’s offspring would crush the enemy and offer restoration to relationship with Creator God.

Generations waited, hoped, longed for this Redeemer-Restorer to come: Noah, Abraham, Moses, the children of Israel through their centuries of ups and downs, the exiles in Babylon longing for home. They hoped in dark times and in silent times, longing for help in their weary world for hundreds of years. Praying and hoping.

And then the Messiah came! The Light of the World! The Hope of the World! The Restorer – Jesus Christ!

Are you waiting, praying, hoping in darkness? Is the silence of yet-to-be-answered prayer weighing your heart down? Hang on to Hope, your Deliverer is coming! God has heard your weeping. He has a plan. His timetable is not like yours. The enemy knows this and  whispers in your ear, “He’s not going to come through for you.” It’s a lie! Don’t believe it.

silhouette-image-of-person-praying-1615776During those times where God seems silent in your situation, think of your Savior. God was also silent when Jesus asked for the cup to be removed from Him. But God did not remove it; He had a plan for our redemption. Also remember this Old Testament verse: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” ( Deuteronomy 31:6) God WILL NOT leave you. He is working His plan – timing and all – preparing the way for your next step even when you cannot see it. Hold onto Hope!

This Christmas season, cling to Hope in Christ no matter what you face: a court hearing, financial instability, failing health, broken relationships.

God is working on your behalf even if you cannot see it.

When you hold onto faith and hope going to the Father over and over again in prayer, your faith will grow, your spiritual eyes will be opened, your Redeemer will come through for you – in His time. Don’t grow weary waiting. And when you grab hold of Hope and live it out before this weary world, you encourage those around you to Hope as well.

When Jesus came to this earth He didn’t come through a line of perfect people, He came through a lineage of sinners and flawed, ordinary people just like you and me. Despite their sin and imperfections God used them to accomplish His will for the World. We don’t have to be perfect to be used of God either. He has a role for us to play in His Kingdom here on earth. We need to grasp this HOPE of the GOSPEL. Not just for ourselves, but for this weary world. 

This Advent season and in the coming year – as you await the arrival of whatever your heart is longing for… 

  • May you remember the world waiting for the Messiah to come.
  • May you know the HOPE of Jesus Christ
  • May you grasp God’s great love for you
  • May your longing for His 2nd coming and eternal life be greater than any earthly longing you are struggling with
  • May you meet Jesus in a new way through the silent, dark times
  • May healing, redemption, and restoration arrive this year for you!
  • And may you BE A BEARER OF God’s HOPE in the darkness!

In His time, God’s plans and purposes will be accomplished!


“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. … For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2 & 6

Love Came Down

This Christmas let the reality of the baby in the manger transform your perspective.

Little things. Lowly things. Unnoticed things. These are some of the rarest and sweetest gifts. It’s so easy to get caught up in the trappings of the season. A picture perfect tree. box-celebrate-celebration-christmas-264988Beautifully wrapped gifts. An impeccably decorated home. A table set intricately with Christmas China. There’s certainly nothing wrong in making your home beautiful, or taking joy in the fun of decorating for the season. It’s only when the “stuff” becomes your focus and your motivation shifts from the Giver of all good things to the good things themselves.

When the focus is on the things, we veer into the lane of comparison. That turns our focus to ourselves and others and takes our eyes off the truth–the Creator took the form of the creation. He allowed Himself, not just to appear in human form, but to live a fully human existence from birth to death. He chose to come as a baby—helpless and completely dependent. He entrusted himself to the fallen ones. He left his throne and stepped out of eternity into the constriction of time. He exposed himself to the sin-infested humanity he knew would, in the end, reject him, beat him, crucify him.

Jesus knew what it was to be weak and defenseless. He knew what it was to be dependent and discouraged. He knew what it was to be rejected and mocked. He suffered sadness and solitude and grief and pain. Yet he did not sin. He was obedient to His Father at every moment. Even to his last breath in his broken, battered mortal body hanging on the cross.

All that Jesus did, He did out of a great, unbelievable, unimaginable love for us. He could have come as a conquering King. He could have come as a Mighty Warrior. He could have come in power and majesty, but He didn’t. He chose to make Himself vulnerable. He chose to live in a fragile human body. He fully experienced what it was to live a mortal life. Hunger, thirst, exhaustion, loneliness, pain, joy, laughter, weeping, grief. He lived his life so we could run to this High Priest, this Messiah, this Savior, who is well acquainted with our mortality. He knows your heart. He knows your struggle. He knows your hurt. And He loves you. More than mere words could ever express.


This Christmas, more than most, I’m spending more time soaking in the majesty of who He is. This reorientation is the gift of a struggling season. A season where the Lord has asked me to visit some terrifying places, and His goodness is there, His love is even more visceral, tangible. My heart is overwhelmed. Unable to take in how beautiful and how gracious He really is. It seems the more threatening the darkness, the more I understand how great His love is. How even the hard things of the past prepared me for these very moments of discovering His abounding love and overflowing compassion anew.

This Christmas my prayer is that your heart is reoriented. That your eyes are refocused. That your mind is caught up anew in the incredible gift of the baby in the manger. The baby who changed everything. The One who came to give us hope. The One who came to bring us from death to life. This Christmas take intentional time to step away from the twinkling lights and gift wrapping and decorating and shopping and remember the powerful gift of the love of a Father who gave His only Son, and of the obedience and love of a Son who went to His death so that you would live.

Love came down and changed everything.


All the Things For All the Reasons

I hadn’t seen my friend in a long while. Whenever we see each other she hugs me big. I am not a big “Hugger.” Some people are. Some people will throw their arms around another and squeeze. I’ve known some Huggers to even make a um-um sound as they give the Huggee the Hugger’s most valuable form of affection. Most people find it surprising that I am not a hugger. The conversation usually goes a bit like this:

Me: “ I am not really much of a hugger person.”
Hugger: “What? No! I’ve hugged you lots of times. I wouldn’t have guessed you weren’t a hugger.’
Me: “Usually I stiffen up, brace myself because I know you are a hugger. Have you never noticed that?”
Hugger: “Hmm, now that I think of it I have.”
Me: “The stiffening is usually a good indicator of a non-hugger.”

As my friend saw me coming down the work hallway, maybe she heard me talking because before I knew it she was coming at me full throttle. Her arms were in the ready position before I had time to lock my knees in preparation for the inevitable impact. She squeezed and even twisted a tad. She told me she sure was glad to see me and I told her I was sure glad to see her. She then explained she couldn’t visit long because the one for whom she had been caring “Has all the things.”

All the things. A quick survey and I saw that she was correct.

All the things, for all the reasons.

A this to manage a that. A one of those for some of it. A little thing for a small amount. A large one for substantial volumes. One of those objects for that particular purpose. That implement for that impetus.

All the things, for all the reasons.

I have pondered much on that as of late. All the things that is. I have found myself saying it often.

“I am going to the Big Box Store because I need all the things and they have all the things.”

“I am not able to do that because right now I have all of the things to take care of.”

“She isn’t feeling well. She has all of the things.”

I have found that I casually say “all the things” all the time.


I was pondering all the things when the King whispered, “But there is but One thing.”

I was transported back to one of my favorite stories. The one of Mary and Martha from Bethany. I have said many times I am the Mother of the Modern Day Bethany Three perhaps it is that kinship that keeps the Bethany Three in my mind in such a way I knew exactly to whom the King was referring.

The story goes a bit like this. Jesus and his dudes were welcomed into the home of Martha. Martha had a sister named Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to him teach. Martha was distracted by all the things and said to Jesus, “Don’t you care that I am doing all the things for all the reasons and Mary is just sitting there doing none of the things?” To which Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 41-42

The One Thing. Not all the things. Mary chose the One Thing. The One Thing, unlike the numerous unnamed all the things, has a name and it’s Jesus.

When we chose the One Thing, all the things are no longer as overwhelming. When we chose the One Thing, the King himself said, we are choosing the good portion that can not be taken away from us.


What Does a “Christian” Marriage Look Like?

Part 5 – How to Fight the Good Fight

I do not fight fair. I get angry. I accuse. I threaten. I say “I hate you.” I twist words, and remind my husband of his previous “failures” like this one. I’m really a mean person. I tell you all this to be transparent, all the while holding my breath that I’m not the only one, and that you will give me grace.

The really bad thing is this – my husband is the kindest, gentlest man in the world. He is patient, considerate, and loves me dearly. Our first few years of marriage he wouldn’t even fuss with me. He’d just sit there and take it. But over time I trained him to be defensive and return harshness for harshness. Now we can have a really “good” fuss if we allow ourselves to, and abandon all self-control and godliness.

anger-18615_1280.jpgThat’s what this real Christian marriage looks like.

Sad, isn’t it?

He and I are each flawed, sinful, selfish human beings.

The really good thing is this. My husband and I are both Christ-followers. And Christ never touches anything and leaves it the way it was. He makes all things new! There is hope for our marriage and for yours! We have seen this newness come and this hope take over throughout our marriage. So maybe you can learn from our mistakes and things we have absorbed through the years.

Within the first few years of marriage my husband’s company required all their employees to go through a course on handling conflict. My husband came home from the conference and we got into a fuss that very night because he told me I wasn’t fighting the right way! Yes, you understood correctly! We started with one argument which turned into a fight over how to fight! We learned this important habit that we have developed over the years:

  • Argue using “I” statements, not “you” statements. This helps us to “fight fair.” “You” statements are accusatory. “I” statements take responsibility for how we feel and for our reactions. Quite often it is the reaction, not the action, that starts one of our arguments. The action might have been done innocently, yet it triggered a negative reaction when it touched on an already inflamed nerve.

For my wise mother-in-law who was a first grade teacher for 30 years we learned this truth:

  • Grab a snack or take a nap or both! Her philosophy was that kids misbehaved because they were either hungry or sleepy. It’s often the same with adults. Everyone understands “hangry” behavior. I can testify we often stop the argument to take a nap and wake up not even remembering what we were angry about.

Scripture has given us a wise instruction on fighting fair. It tells us:

  • Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:25-27 ESV reveals several important things to us. Here’s the whole section of scripture:

“Having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor [or husband – our closest neighbor], for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

  1. Don’t lie, tell the truth. If it hurts your feelings, just say so. If you sinned, just say so. If you just want to be mad, just say so. …
  2. We are part of one body – the church. And one body – husband and wife (the two shall become one, Matthew 19:5). So why in the world would we injure our own body?
  3. “Be angry and do not sin!” It’s ok to be angry at times. It’s the way we do it that can be wrong.
  4. “…Do not sin!” A command. Enough said. We all know how to disagree correctly, and we know when it turns into sin. We can do it correctly with certain people at certain times, which goes to show, it’s our choice. We are giving ourselves the selfish freedom to react in anger.
  5. The word for that angry means “being exasperated with.” But in the following phrase we are told not to let the sun go down on our anger – and that is a totally different word. It is the word meaning “wrath or rage”! So… its normal to get exasperated/angry with someone, but resolve it and don’t go to bed in a rage.
  • Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Quit grumbling. Quit arguing. Just do it. Apply the Thumper Rule from Bambi: If you cannot say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” The entire scripture is as follows:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” Philippians 2:14-16

Our witness to the world will be greater as we live out scripture and give up our grumbling and arguing.

  • Last but not least. It all goes back to part 1 Philippians 2:3-4 – Unselfishness.

Now I’m praying that you and your spouse will grow and mature and be far more fair fighters than my husband and I are. May our mistakes prevent you from making some of them. May our experiences be redeemed through using them to teach and encourage others around us.