Last week we as a ministry sent out our first “IV” box to Kenya, Africa. (You can read about the adventure here) In the box, we included a Manual for Success! Which, in addition to setting up daily routines for successful living (such as reading 15 minutes a day, and listening to an audio CD a day) included in the box a 56 page manual. Within this manual is the 22-Day Challenge, which is set up in order for the reader to begin to focus daily on one attribute of a wholehearted individual as outline in Proverbs 31. Today, I would like to “sneak peek” the 22-Day Challenge with you, before it is available in stores!
Today’s principle focus is on Service
Today’s Positive Affirmation and Encouraging Words to Live By:
“I enjoy serving and giving to others.”
She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life. -Proverbs 31:12
Proverbs 31:12 Interpretation: Those who are wise will bring each other good, not harm all the days of their lives.
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. —Luke 6:38
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Circle where you see yourself in the area of service. How servant-hearted do you feel you are??
Our third day of this 22-Day Challenge is a day devoted to servitude, a day of eagerly anticipating serving your fellow human being, especially your spouse! Someone who is focused on serving will look for ways to bless their household. They go out of their way to schedule car maintenance, household chores, outings with the children and other organizational gatherings. Those who have servant hearts use their spare time to invest in enriching the lives of others.
Portrait of the Servant-Hearted Single:
The servant-hearted single has perhaps the best opportunity for ministry available to all of mankind. This man or woman can freely come and go, worship openly and unabated and can devote to God all of their attention. The Apostle Paul wrote,
Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Cor. 7 NIV
The servant-hearted single can come and go as they please, and can listen to God with open ears. They can hear His direction and immediately act on it, without having to ask someone else’s opinion or permissions. A servant-hearted single can be diligently submitted to God and His will for their lives as long as they take the time and discipline required to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10) Listen, pray and obey.
Portrait of the Servant-Hearted Wife:
Both servant-hearted wives and servant-hearted husbands must listen and obey God. However, as they are married, they are in a different position than singles. Married individuals have a partner to communicate with and confer with. When this is done right, and by the Spirit the two in agreement can do anything!
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. Matt. 18:19
The servant-hearted wife will communicate with her husband regularly, asking him if there is anything that he would like her to do for him. As a wife, I call my husband every morning, to ask him if there is anything I can do for him that day. Whether you are a working wife or not this kind of morning-by-morning communication and outward expression of respect does wonders for the relationship. Realize that if you serve your husband long enough, in no time you will begin to reap a personal harvest of joy. Remember to dig deep in your knowledge of the Word, and time you spend with God in order to have the continual energy that you are going to need to keep up the good work.
The servant-hearted wife’s goal in her life should be to be the very best wife and mother as possible. She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that replacing her would be impossible, and she strives to maintain poise and dignity all the days that she is married. Scripture says, “all the days of her life.”
The serving wife cares to speak highly of her husband, both to the world and to her children. She is compassionate when she hears other wives speaking negatively about their husbands. She constantly speaks encouraging words to her husband and to others, she can be found praying for the wives she knows in compassion that someday they too might be able to feel as loved as she does.
Talk to your husband today and ask him if you can do anything for him. If there are things around the house that you know he would like to have done, try and get them done before he gets home.
Portrait of the Servant-Hearted Husband:
The servant-hearted husband will offer to watch the children for his wife, will find himself engaging in conversation, cook when needed, and even changes the occasional diaper. Men don’t have to do much to show their wives that they care. Women can be easily pleased by being made dinner for, or by being taken out. Women appreciate their dishes being done for them, and the ability to get a good night of sleep.
The servant-hearted husband casts a vision over the family of where they are going, and explains to his family just what it is going to take to get them there. This serving husband will care to share details and his motivation with ‘the team’ in order that the group will be able to have what it takes for them to get through the toughest times. The servant husband strives to never get angry, bitter, or cross because he understands that his wife will submit to him as easily as he submits to Christ.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Eph. 5
Husbands, is there anything that your wife is in need of right now, that a little money or time could make happen for her? Can you remember anything she might have mentioned in particular? Serve her and watch what happens. In doing so, you might find rekindle that feeling of deep love for her that you thought was all but gone!
Everyone has a need and a dream, find your spouses and begin to support it, wholeheartedly.
Are there any life long dreams that you know of that you can look into for your spouse? Dreams are very important, as important as needs. Without dreaming for the moon, how would we ever reach the stars? Research is free, and often you can get a hold of brochures or videos on the things they have always wanted to accomplish. Encourage dreams!
A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out. Proverbs 20:5
KNOW YOUR SPOUSES DREAMS
Knowing what your dreams are, and being able to draw them out of each other, takes an understanding husband and wife team. Set some time aside today to really meditate on how you can bless each other and draw out your deepest dreams and desires for life. What is that unaccomplished goal? Where is that place that you have always wanted to see? Spend time together tonight before bed dreaming about the future.
Everyone has a need and a dream, today is a day to find your spouses and begin to fill it. I personally have done hours of research on golf, airplanes, boats, vacations, and the costs of flights all around the world! These dreams are wrapped in material packages, but both my husband and I know that these dreams will never become fulfilled without first seeking God and His Kingdom. (Matt. 6:33)
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
A Real Life Example of Service in Action:
The Working Man and His Daughter
It is said that, “ Where there is a will there is always a way”. It is in our experience that men and women who give their best, will always be able to provide the best.
We once heard a testimony of a father who worked hard as a gardener. He did very well at his job, but was not paid very much. His daughter took an interest as a girl in playing the piano. She loved playing the piano very much. When this girls father came to understand that she was gifted, he immediately got her involved in the best piano teaching school that was available. When she asked him if he was sure that they could afford the lessons, his simple reply was “Yes, I’m a working man.”
His daughter went on to win many musical awards including “most talented piano player in her grade in the Los Angeles Public School System.”
Today’s Key Take Away:
- Let us remember today that everyone has a dream knowing your friends/family/loved ones dream is an important factor in serving someone else. As you begin to focus on serving others and encouraging them in their dreams, you will be doing your part to bring them good, all the days of your life.
At the end of your day, take the time to answer these questions:
What are some of your dreams and the dreams of others that you have discovered today? How did focusing on service make a difference in your life today?
Today’s Suggested Reading:
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (This book is included in the I.V. Box)
This excellent book will give to you key insight about your spouse and their individual ways that they communicate love. According to his understanding of anthropology and men and women, each person has a certain love language complete with internal ‘love tanks’, Dr. Chapman encourages us all to work at filling our spouses love tanks, and suggests that most problems in marriage stem from emptied love tanks. It is in his professional experience, that just like a gasoline engine will not run when it is empty, a relationship will not have the opportunity to operate successfully when married individuals are not sending each other the right love message. This book will forever change your marriage by showing you your spouse desires to speak love to you.
The Five Love Languages are:
1. Physical Touch
2. Words of Affirmation
4. Acts of Service
5. Quality Time
If you are interested in beginning and taking the 22-Day Challenge for yourself: 22 Days to Unlocking the Wholehearted You, please send an email to Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to purchase a copy. If you would like to sponsor a box and help be responsible for sending the 22-Day Challenge and more IV boxes out across the globe, you can make a donation of any amount here: IVB PAYPAL DONATION .
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