Day 18
"Love Seeks to Understand"

"How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding."
(Proverbs 3:13)

"I don't understand her! Why does she do that?" Have you ever thought that, or said that about your wife? We see these differences in our spouses all the time - even at Christmas. There are couples who disagree over colored lights vs. white lights on the tree; purchasing a live tree vs. using an artificial tree; opening presents on Christmas Eve vs. Christmas morning; sharing Christmas with in-laws vs. having Christmas alone ... you get the idea. There are usually good reasons for these differences, but do you take the time to know and understand the differences between you and your wife?

Lets take this one step further - it is a challenge to step outside of your box. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Chances are that while you were dating you thought the differences were interesting and exciting. For example: perhaps you are a "planner", and your fiance was more spontaneous. You thought that was invigorating - and it opened you up to new adventures as opposed to getting bogged down in details. But now you're married, and the differences can be real sources of irritation and frustration. You want to save up the money for a trip - and she want to just "go". And that's just one example . . .

Today's I want you to go into "solving" the problems of differences, but rather understanding your wife better. After all, that's the first step. The analogy here is for you to "studied" your sweetheart while you were dating and found your understanding of her reached the level of a "high school diploma", now is the time to take that knowledge to a new level. Learn more about her likes and dislikes, ask good questions, listen, pray for discernment and get a "college degree" concerning her . . . . and then a "master's degree" . . . and if you're fortunate over time, a "doctorate". There is a depth of beauty and meaning inside your wife that will amaze you as you discover more of her. Enter the mystery with expectation and enthusiasm. Desire to know your wife even better than you do now. Make her your chosen field of study, and you will fill your home with the kind of riches only love can provide.

Today we're going to build on yesterday's challenge. The challenge yesterday was to ask your wife some questions which would help you to grow in intimacy - sharing things that are personal. From that conversation, write down two things that you learned about your wife that you didn't know before. Consider two more questions to ask her in the future, perhaps about something that hurt her or excited her. Examples might be: "What things in the past do you wish could be erased from ever happening?" "What words would you like to hear from me more often?" The goal of getting a "doctorate degree" on your wife will take time and some intentional conversations, but it will be worth it. There are rewards to understanding each other!

The ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15b)

Wise men store up knowledge, but with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand. (Proverbs 10:14)

A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out. (Proverbs 20:5)

The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6)

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3,4)

Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20)

The benefit of living in the blessing and significance that God has designed for our lives has a price tag attached to it. That price is the daily surrender of our own dreams, hopes, and agendas to the Lord with the confidence that His design for us is so much better in every way than whatever plan we may have created for ourselves. By comparison, it would be like finding a priceless antique or piece of art at a yard sale with a price sticker of $1.00 on it.

However great or small we may find the price to be, the fact remains that we must be willing to pay it. Every day as we approach His throne of grace, we must come with our hands opened before Him, willing for Him to take out of or place into our hands anything He wishes. Success in God's economy is measured by our willingness to live with open hands and teachable hearts, to grip or release whatever He asks, and to be characterized by the kind of love, compassion, humility, and determination that only He can produce.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I'm willing... and wherever I'm not able, change me. I only want what You desire for me. Shape me, with a heart of willingness and humility to be used of You. My wife and children needs me to be only what You've designed me to be. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

Scripture For Today: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 ... Samuel learned an important lesson from God as to what matters most. What do you think God sees when He looks into your heart? What would you say in response to His observations? How has He changed your heart over the last several weeks?

God Bless - and may He keep you and your family safely under His wings. -
The Dove Alliance