Mel's Heart

My thoughts about God, living for Him, being a writer, wife, mom, and child of God

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Husband and His Dogs

I have a great, great husband. He is an awesome husband to me, makes me feel so loved, and he's an awesome dad to our sons, I mean really really awesome. He just knows what to say to them, how to advise them, when to be serious or when to be silly, when to pray with them.

Okay, so why are there pictures of the dogs while I'm blogging about my husband? Well, plain and simple, Scott and these dogs are one. They are a part of him. If you've been reading my blog over the past few months, you know that I have, at best, a love-hate relationship with these dogs.

Jenna, the wonder dog, playing our favorite game Rummikub:) with Scott. She's brilliant, loyal, obedient and she was very cheap.

Then the top pictures is Emma, emma, the thorn in my side. Just look at that picture. There's not a whole lot going on upstairs with that dog. granted, she's only one year old, we haven't spent time with her the way we did Jenna, but all in all, she was not the best decision we've ever made. She's a purebred, expensive, and then she required very very expensive shoulder surgery, and she still limps, by the way. She's eaten the book of Genesis out of one leather bound bible, and then she ate the ENTIRE leather-bound Bible I got to replace the first one. So now I have a bible missing genesis...

What does this have to do with my husband? my marriage? actually quite a bit. I believe one of the purposes of marriage is to minister to one another. That means dying to my "self," putting scott's desires above my own. And having these dogs is one small way to give to him.

The other morning Emma knocked over Tyler's new Sponge-bob lego creation, the one pictured in the previous blog entry, and it just made me so darn mad. It made me sick and tired of dealing with those dogs, all their incoveniences. So I told Scott, we had quite a fight, eventually resolved it, and there you have it. The dogs are still a part of my life, still a way that I can love my husband by having them.

I'll end here with an excerpt from my book, What a Husband Needs from His Wife, about how marriage can be used by God to refine our character as we practice living beyond ourselves.

"Marriage can actually be a training ground where our character is refined, and we become more like Christ. In Malachi 3:3 we’re told that God is “like a refiner’s fire.” God uses the fire, or challenges in marriage, to refine our character. My study Bible explains this refining process. “In the process of refining metals, the raw metal is heated with fire until it melts. The impurities separate from it and rise to the surface. They are skimmed off, leaving the pure metal. Without this heating and melting, there could be no purifying. As the impurities are skimmed off the top, the reflection of the worker appears in the smooth, pure surface. As we are purified by God, his reflection in our lives will become more and more clear to those around us.”

Marriage is fertile soil for spiritual growth as day in and day out in our relationships with our husbands we come face to face with many opportunities to choose our own selfish ways or God’s ways.

The very ordinary course of a wife’s day brings opportunities to refine her character. Just today I am struggling with my attitude as my husband’s work schedule has changed – again. He was supposed to be home Wednesday night, but now it’s Friday and because of a malfunctioning plane I’m still not sure when he’ll be home.

So how will I handle this small challenge? Will I be gracious and loving with my husband, as he’s frustrated too? Will I feel sorry for myself, as I get my sons to yet another basketball practice and baseball game? Will I be resentful as I walk the two dogs, something he would normally do?

I know these small obstacles may sound petty, but I want to be honest about what’s in my heart this morning. This is the opportunity God has given me this morning to refine me. I have tears in my eyes because really I just want my husband home! I don’t want to be refined! And then God brought me this verse this morning. Deuteronomy 8:2: “’You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” After reading this verse, I prayed that God would till the soil in my heart, so He would find a heart fully yielded and committed to Him. God gave me His strength to respond in a way that glorified Him.

What challenges has marriage brought to you? What opportunities has God presented to help you grow in spiritual maturity? In every day situations and in crisis we make choices to walk in the flesh or walk in the Spirit. Choosing to walk in the Spirit leads to growth and maturity. We can choose complaining or thankfulness; forgiveness or resentment; patience or irritability; love or selfishness. Hebrews 6:1 commands us to “press on to maturity.” Each choice we make in the Spirit, in other words in obedience to the Holy Spirit and in the strength of the Holy Spirit, leads us to maturity." pp. 185-186


At 7:25 PM, Blogger AmyCatherine said...

Melanie - This is so great and so right on. I needed this reminder and insight today! So often we look for the BIG ways God will use us and break us, but more often it is the daily irritation that polishes us. LOVE the dog pics!


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