Category Archives: Uncategorized

Worry Robs Rest

Do you have a problem with worry? Maybe you feel emotionally drained at times–worrying about everything from your family to the economy to the condition of the world.   

I didn’t have to learn how to worry. It just came naturally as a by-product of an overactive imagination, a curious mind, and a relentless memory. Marriage and a family only brought more responsibility.  More things to worry about.  I agree with my friend who defines worry with the acronym: W.O.R.R.Y:  Worry-Only-Robs-Rest-from-You. It’s true. Worry is exhausting.

I’m inspired by Paul’s letter to some persecuted Christians in the early church. They were always in danger of getting killed, and therefore had lots to worry about. “Don’t worry about anything,” he encouraged them. “Instead, pray about everything”  (Philippians 4:6 NLT).

I was struck by the word instead. Paul didn’t just tell them to stop worrying. He said, instead of worrying, we should pray.   He encourages us to redirect all that worrisome energy into prayer.   What if we make anxiety work for us instead of against us?

This reminds me of a little like a trick I learned back in high school when I took karate in between my sports seasons. I was taught to use the enemy’s energy against him. A violent attack could be redirected to incapacitate my attacker.

The Bible reminds us that we are in a spiritual battle.  Let’s reflect on these verses:

“Don’t worry about anything.  Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace,  which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT).

When you are tempted to worry this week, try redirecting all that energy into prayer!

Believe the Best

Honor may be best expressed through words and deeds but it begins in the mind.  It greatly matters what we think about our husbands.  What I think about David determines whether my words and actions will honor him.  What we believe about our husbands can make or break our marriages.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a common theme in the marriages I’ve grown to admire.  The spouses seem to be intentional about interpreting each other a positive light. The wives speak about their husbands with respect.  The husbands find ways to honor their wives. It’s clear they treasure and appreciate their partner.  In short, they believe the best about each other and it shows.

Turns out there’s some research to back up this observation.  Author and longtime Gallup poll associate Marcus Buckingham surveyed thousands of married couples to discover the traits at the core of good marriages.  He found something intriguing. The common thread running through happy marriages was this: In the most successful marriages, each partner rated the other person higher than that person rated him or herself.

I take this to mean that as a wife, it’s important for me to value and respect David, believing in him even more than he believes in himself.  I can choose how and what I think.  Do I respect him?  Appreciate him?  Do I focus on his strengths and downplay his weaknesses? Do I take time to reflect on the many ways he sacrifices for our family?  Am I there for him to support and strengthen him, especially when he feels weak?  In short, do I believe the best about him?

Pray Like You Mean It

If you were to ask me what’s the single most important thing you can do to honor your husband, I would simply say:  Pray for him.  Pray like you mean it.  Pray like you believe God works through your prayers.  And make prayer for your husband a priority.

I have seen many wives’ prayers encourage husbands who are already following Jesus.  And I have seen prayer soften the hearts of men who have rejected God.  I am mystified as to why prayer works when words fall short. I just know it does.

My dear friend whom I will call Janet prayed for years for her husband to accept Christ. He continued to resist the gospel.  My friend was wise.  She refused to nag.  But she did set aside 15 minutes to pray for her husband every morning.

I don’t know how long Janet prayed for him.  But, some years later, I watched in amazement as her husband walked forward to accept Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade in our city. During the invitation, I happened to glance to my right. I was startled to see this man who had stiff-armed God for so long! There he was, wife by his side, resolutely heading to the front of the arena where he gave his life to Jesus Christ once and for all.

The ripple effect of that one influential man’s devotion to Christ was powerful.  The impact he had on his family and community is evident to this day. All because of the quiet witness and faithful prayers of a strong wife.  Like my husband always says, “If you don’t love Jesus and you have a praying wife or a praying mother, look out—you’re toast!”

Laughing at our Fears

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come (Proverbs 31:25).

One of the things I love most about my husband is the way he would encourage our children to laugh at the very things they were afraid of.  He referred to their fears as “fret flies.”

When our daughter was very young, he challenged her to conquer her fear of riding ferris wheels.  With Daddy cheering her on, she was overjoyed to finally defeat another “fret fly!”

I’m glad David is not a worrier.  But that doesn’t mean he’s unaware of danger.  He just doesn’t overthink imaginary scenarios. What’s more, he doesn’t spend needless energy looking back at the “if onlys” or ahead to the “what ifs” of life.

Like any pastor, he’s had to deal with all kinds of tragedies and emergencies throughout our years of ministry.  But I’ve seen firsthand how his faith has strengthened him.  I’ve often told him that the greatest gift he has to give others is his faith. And sometimes his laughter!

David is right.  It is incredibly liberating to laugh in the face of fear. Laughter is a healthy way to lighten up.  I wonder if the secret is to have such strong faith in the Lord that we can laugh at our fears.  We may discover greater joy than we ever thought possible when we conquer our fret flies!

Wage Peace

Peace is a priority in our home.  A peaceful home refreshes and blesses our family.  But sometimes, peace doesn’t come without a fight. If I’m serious about “waging peace,” it helps to know my enemy.

I’ve discovered that the quickest way to rob peace is through worry.  Anxiety can drain my energy and quench calm faster than just about anything.  What’s more, it’s contagious.  When the kids were small, if I became worried, they seemed to absorb my anxiety and become fretful.

Worry is also exhausting.  I agree with a friend who coined this acronym for

W-O-R-R-Y:  Worry Only Robs Rest from You.

Worry says loud and clear that I don’t really trust God. But when I refuse to be anxious, when I trust God and remain peaceful, I create a climate of peace.

I have to confess I grew up as a world-class worrier. There were times early in our marriage when fear held me in its grip.  Fear of storms, fear of intruders, fear of illness, fear of flying. You name it—I probably wrestled with it.

But I’ve learned to be ruthless.  By standing on the promises in God’s Word, lots of prayer, and putting my faith into action, I have wrestled most of my fears to the ground.  I’m not completely worry-free, but I can tell you I no longer feel like a prisoner to fear.

These twin invaders, fear and anxiety, can wreak havoc on a home and a marriage. God doesn’t treat fear and worry as small things.  He tells us to “cast all our anxiety on him” because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

He commands us to “have no fear.” To “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6 NKJV).  As with any stubborn problem, the first step is to confront anxiety head-on and call it out for the enemy that it is.   We may find that our repentance is soon followed by times of refreshing and revival.  And a peace that passes all understanding!