"Love is Not Rude"
"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him."
Do you know people who are intentionally rude in their behavior? Or perhaps they are rude and just don't know it. Worse would be if they are rude, know that they are, and just don't care! Day 5 addresses this from the perspective of how others view you. This is the day to examine your own actions just to make sure that you are not being rude - that would not be loving.
Of course this does not apply just to men. There are plenty of verses which apply to all of us. Proverbs 26:21 is similar in its use of the term "quarrelsome": "As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife." 1 Corinthians 13, the "love chapter", specifically says that "love is not rude." Perhaps rudeness to you means continuing to do things that are annoying - or maybe it means something more than that depending on the individual. But today you have a chance to explore that with the challenge. "Do you wish your wife would quit doing the things that bother you? Then it's time to stop doing the things that bother her."
Here's another challenge for the day: Ask your wife, by email or phone (or letter) to name three things you do which cause her to be uncomfortable or irritated. Avoid defensiveness - that is a sign of immaturity. This is one of those times that the challenge is easier to do while separated than face-to-face, I think. Give no excuses - just ask. Then the next logical question for you to think about is, "What am I going to do with this information to improve in these areas?"
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. (James 3:13)
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. (Psalm 34:12,13)
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
In the same way, for believers it is not enough to just see the vision that God has for our future. We have to go on the journey of embracing our lives to be molded around it. God's vision is powerful and transcendent. It gives purpose, direction, and passion to those with the courage to run with it. It cannot be altered and tailored to fit your desires, but when embraced, it meets every need, and fills your heart with joy and expectancy!
Prayer: Lord, I trust in the vision that You have for me for I know that it comes from Your heart of love for me. Give me the courage to embrace it and run with it. As I lift up my wife and family, I pray for boldness and determination to see Your kingdom come and Your will be done in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Isaiah 43:16-21 ... What are some of the events or problems in your past on which you tend to dwell? What are the new things that you think God wants to show you or change inside your heart during this time? Are you hesitant to allow Him to do these new things?