For the Men: Be Her “CONSTANT”!

Rev Jenine MarieThere are two definitions of “constant” 

  1. Occurring continuously over a period of time

  2. A situation or state of affairs that does not change 

From the original Latin, it comes from the word “constare” which means “stand”, and translates “staying resolute, or faithful”. 

Can you see where I am going with this already? Since I am talking to the men here, let me address your headship. Wow, did I need to go there with you? Uh huh.

Let’s take a look at the example of headship that men are given through Christ.

Hebrews 13:8 says ” Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. ” 

No wonder so many women fell in love with Jesus and followed him when He was here on earth! Everything about Him is constant, and it still is now that He is the resurrected King.

God’s protection of women is so evident throughout the Bible. He allowed divorce during the time of Moses because husbands were rejecting and not treating their wives well. Jesus tells men in the New Testament that even when a man looks at another woman with lust in his heart he has already committed ADULTERY. Jesus was not just picking on men here, He was, and is, protecting women.

Women are the sensitive, faith filled, and emotional facet of the coupling relationship. We are like Holy Spirit. We carry much of His same attributes. Holy Spirit is also faithful, sensitive, sparks emotion in His presence, and leads with compassion, truth, and reverence. Women are the glue that hold families together and our part in relationship guides with a special type of wisdom. Even in the Bible wisdom is referred to “as a woman” or in the female context.

Men are designed to lead in headship as God the Father and God the Son. I am by no means dividing the Godhead between men and women, so please do not take it that way. We all have every part of the Godhead when we are in Christ. I am speaking about the nature of the parts of the Godhead and a man’s responsibility to a woman in relationship. A man/husband has been instructed to lead in the relationship. The order is God, husband, wife, children. This does not mean that each individual does not have their own relationship with God. I am speaking of “order”. God is a God of divine order. He likes it that way and when we follow His lead it works out pretty darned good!

Getting Back To Being a Constant 

So, men, let me “go there” with you. I hope I have not lost your attention because this is very important. YOUR woman needs to know you are there for her, always. She needs a constant in her life; a representative of God’s faithfulness in headship. She needs to know she is protected, covered, loved, and appreciated. You have the divine opportunity to show your woman that you are faithful as God is, and you will stand with her. NO MATTER WHAT. 

This means placing your relationship with her FIRST before anyone else. After all, in marriage we promise this to each other. It means being continual, and to stand unmoved when it comes to your love for her, and your protection. It also means to make sure she knows that she has a forever partner in you. We know you are not perfect. No one is perfect, but when you stand “in Christ”, He gives you what you need to “stand” for your woman as well.

Bottom line: We need a Christ following example of a husband on this earth who will guard our hearts as much as Jesus wants them guarded. We need to know you have our back and that your love for us is everlasting, all the way too physical death. Headship does not mean “Lord over”. The word headship means:

The position of a leader or chief. 

Yep, God chose you to lead as Jesus leads. When Jesus addressed His disciples to take a trip to the other side of the waters, His words were “Let us go over…”. Notice, there is no demand there.

Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

You see, this is the “nature” of God. He draws us toward Him with His love and kindness. There is no demand there, only guidance and protection. He also has everlasting love. His kindness is unfailing. Now, I know that as people we can fail, but in humility a man can pull off having unfailing kindness. If you really want your woman to respond to you with willingness, compassion, faith, grace, love, and acceptance, then this is the kind of headship to work toward giving her. Bottom line, be Godly good to her!

With All Reverence,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765

What Will a Good Marriage Cost You?

couple cuddle-saidaonlineI know this title is a strange question. I’m not going to go into dollars and cents. The subject is so much deeper than that and so much more important. My dear, to everything in life that is worth pursuing there is a cost. It makes no difference what that is. If there is something you decide you want more than anything else, you will pay a cost. Some of it will be your time, efforts, sacrificing other things, or maybe giving up one dream for a bigger one.

If you want something good, like a good marriage, its going to cost you. Before I go into some of what that cost might be, ask yourself an important question. How important is it to have a good marriage? How about a GREAT marriage? This question is the first one you should ask and is the most important. Why you ask? We guide our decisions and ultimately our efforts according to importance. If we want something bad enough, we will work for it no matter what it takes. We will jump hoops and go out of our comfort zone. We will fight the good fight and not even bat an eyelash when adversity comes along. I think you get my drift here. So, what’s the verdict? Do you want a good or great marriage bad enough to do whatever it takes? After you answer this question, you may proceed to some of what this will cost you .

  1. You will need to lay down your “right to be right.” A marriage is not about who has the correct answer. It is more about exchanging ideas and coming to  a happy medium within those ideas. Its about compromise more than it is about our need for “rightness”. You might even be right, at least to yourself. But remember, your spouse is not you and operates on other thought processes which draw from experiences you did not share before you were together. We all have different experiences, and our decisions can be guided by them.
  2. You will need to lay down putting anyone else before your spouse. I know, I know, sometimes you need gal pal time, but if your spouse will have to be slighted during those times then it is not a good thing to press at the moment. Decisions on when those friendship times should occur can take place through open honest discussion. After all, he will need his time without you as well. It just takes planning.  No one wants to sit around waiting for their spouse to get back after a day apart and one of you has taken 3 or 4 hours more than your time. I am not fond of waiting for someone, are you? Don’t disrespect your husband by making him wait and wonder. Even if you call, you are speaking to his unconscious mind that your gal time is more important. Not a good deal.
  3. Sometimes you will have to lay down your right to have your say. Some arguments are not worth having, so listen objectively and just “be there” for him the way you would want someone to be there for you.
  4. Give up your old guy friends from before you met him. Yep, I am serious. Another man has no business being in your life unless you and your spouse spend time with him at the same time and all have become friends. Even so, if that man is single, spend no alone time with him. Respect and guarding your marriage is important. You will need to lay down some other relationships and prefer your spouse over them.
  5. Flirtatious behavior is off limits to a married woman. Respect of your spouse is one of the greatest gifts you can give him, aside from love itself. In fact, respect is a part of love. That is why the word is often in the marriage ceremony. You know, “Will you love and respect…” If you feel the need to flirt with others you are doing this out of your own insecurity and that needs to be dealt with from inside of you! Don’t drag your hubby down that road with you. Go to God and get yourself a good dose of self esteem.
  6. Be prepared to leave some of your independence behind you. Your husband will need to know he is valued for what he puts into your marriage. Independent things for you both are good for you, just don’t make yourself so independent that he feels you don’t need him. We all desire to be needed and appreciated for what we freely give to another.
  7. Jesus said that there is no greater love than to lay ones life down for a friend and your spouse should be your best friend forsaking all others. If he is not then you need a friendship lesson. If he is not a good friend to you then maybe he needs one!
  8. Be willing to love when he is being or acting  less than love-able. Not everyone is in a great mood all of the time. You know that you are not. Your spouse won’t be either. Don’t take his bad mood personally and love him right on through it!
  9. Pray for and with your husband! A marriage that prays together stays together! Prayer is the power of God in your marriage! You could never underestimate this one!

I hope this gives you a good start. I know it might not be popular with your ego, but our first ministry is to our spouse, like it or not. It is what God has ordained. You can not minister to anyone else until you know how to do it with your family first and that means your spouse before anyone else!

PS, the exception to all of these is if you are being abused or mistreated. I have to add this in here because of the tendency for abused wives to become co-dependent husband pleasers in order to not be abused. This does not work out. Mutual respect is a major gift to a marriage that will work. If you are being disrespected then maybe you need to make a new decision. I’m a firm advocate that we teach people how to treat us. If you are being mistreated, never reward that behavior. Safely walk away from abuse. That one IS your right! 

Dear God, help us all to know and understand what the cost for a good marriage will be for us and help us to be better wives in the process! amen

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765 for prayer

To Thy Own Self Be True (Re selfing Yourself!)

woman-huggingAs I pondered what I would like to give up for Lent, a very important issue came into my focus and mind. I really believe God drew this to me and I feel “we” have decided upon this one. I’m going to give up caring what other people think of my decisions and I’m going to work on “re selfing” myself. I’m no longer leaving my decisions to others but I am going to take care of them all myself, regardless to what others think. Re selfing  is a term I picked up from Author Harriet Lerner in her book “The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships.”    I highly recommend this book as a good read for you. I am sure you will find a scenario in there that reflects part of your “self”.

This means taking responsibility toward self care upon myself. It’s basically where it belongs, right? No one else can provide this for me or for you who are reading. We have to provide this on our own no matter what it takes. Surprisingly it might take more than you think. Once I took a hard look at it all, I never realized just how much of my own decisions I have made according to what others might think about it, care about it, object to it, or not like it. Even with the knowledge that I deserve my own life while living it with others. Even with the knowledge that I deserve the best in this life, even if others don’t think so. Even with the knowledge that my best blessed life depends upon it, I still did not completely do it.

So, I am on a mission! I am putting my own desires, decisions, and destinations back into my own hands with God. Part of that means doing this even when others disagree, feel discomfort, or have to deal with their own “re selfing” because of it. Let’s not confuse re selfing with being selfish. Being our authentic self is the best gift we can also give to others as well. It causes them to look more deeply at their own self and make new decisions according to what they see or feel. It leaves others with their own feelings and whatever those might be, they will have to deal with them. You see, re selfing means also keeping out of others decisions as much as it means stepping completely into our own.

This has to be done without the fear of other’s reactions. Remember this always; you can not please everyone. There will always be someone who does not agree with you! Also, this does not have to be a harsh decision in which you have to fight tooth and nail to get what you want. You simply do it and leave others reactions to themselves. It does not mean we don’t care and it does not mean we don’t love. It means we love ourselves enough to gift ourselves with God’s best. This also means obeying God for ourselves when others around us don’t want to obey Him. Our responsibility is not to fix anyone else’s sin. We can comment on it in the form of guidance but we can not make someone want to change. They have to do that on their own.

So, what does this mean in the context of relationships? 

It means to express our authentic self and ideas without the fear of retaliating opposing comments. Someone else’s ideas and opinions do not make ours wrong for us. We are entitled to our own even if someone else disagrees with us harshly. Their disagreeing emotions belong to themselves. We care about them, but we can not change nor guide them. Re selfing means claiming our own lives and allowing others around us to adjust accordingly. Maybe some will do more than disagree. Maybe they will distance themselves. So be it! They were not meant to be in our lives then anyway. Anyone who does not want the best for you does not belong with you! I can’t even stress this enough.

On the flip side, being our authentic self means allowing others to be theirs as well. We can not guide or dictate someone else’s decisions no matter how upset they make us. We can respond to them as long as we don’t react. We can make our own decision according to how we feel about it. If they violate our boundaries then we also can decide to disconnect from them. It sounds easier than it really is. The concept is simple, but it takes some practice and faith. In the long run; I have to tell you the truth. Re selfing is the greatest thing you could ever do for your life. You are too important to pass yourself by! So, please pray about this for yourself! I’m sure that God will empower you because He wants the best for you too!

Loving myself and YOU from here!

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765 for prayer

I Could Easily Be Sick to My Stomach (Read Anyway, It Gets Better!)

bh7gmftkI woke up today in the same way I usually wake up. I stumbled into the kitchen to get my coffee, fed the cats, and said good morning to my hubby. It’s a beautiful day today so I slid open a few windows to hear the birds and take in the wonderful spring like air! Wow, that really is nice! Then I like to check my messages and see what is happening in the world. I need to know these things because I live here! You know…in the world.

I sipped my coffee and just got caught up on some friends updates, some emails, and even a few prayer requests. I had not prayed yet this morning because I like to see what is going on first before I do that. It’s a good practice. We can’t address what we don’t know about and everything is pretty important when it comes to our lives.

Then it happened. As I got caught up, I suddenly felt like I wanted to PUKE! Yep, I just said that! I took a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. It only took me about 30 minutes to get  to that place, where I wanted to puke. I’m not fond of that feeling but I am sure God is not fond of it either when it happens to Him. Oh yes! It DOES happen to Him too!  You think not? Check out Revelation 3:16 where God tells the church that they are neither hot nor cold so He will SPIT THEM OUT OF HIS MOUTH! The love just was not there in the church, ya know? God just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Ok So Here Is My Rant ! 

In all honesty I really don’t want to hear about what Pastor people feel is apostate or not. I’m not in the mood for dishonoring our country by calling our President “Hitler”. I could care less what bathroom people feel they need to use. I mean really, when a person has to go, just go! When I really need the bathroom, I use what is available because its a natural thing, its going to happen regardless to where I plant my body! Yep, I do care a lot about gender and race issues. I mean, I would love to have people get along and go a bit deeper than what is on the outside, but that is not going to happen just because I want it to. Let’s face it, people will think what they think and believe what they believe. I don’t give a rats potato about having an argument about any of that!

Yep, it all kind of made me want to vomit this morning. Just like God feels when the church’s love is neither hot nor cold. This is not a reflection on the church. It’s just a point I am making here. Let me tell you what I DO care about and let’s see if this makes any sense at all.

I care about if people are hungry and if there is a good shelter for them to get out of the heat or cold. I care if people need love, because if that is true, I will give them some! If someone is struggling with addictions I want to pray that right out of them because that stuff is just messy and it hurts them and everyone around them. If someone needs a hug, I am right there! I WILL hug you and I don’t care what bathroom you need to use! If something is bothering someone, like if their marriage is a struggle today, I want to LISTEN to their issue. I might not have an answer. I might just have some suggestions. I do know what is really needed the most is to have someone listen. We all need someone who will listen. I care about loving not hating. I care about faith and not having people feel lonely.

Yes, I have my rants and sometimes I am not happy with political decisions. In all honesty, anyone’s opinion about whether Trump builds a wall or not is not going to heal a broken heart when someone gets dumped by someone they truly love. The wall will go up or maybe it won’t, but a broken heart needs love, faith, prayer, and kindness in order to reconstruct it. This is the greatest part; AND JESUS ALREADY PAID FOR THE HEALING! We don’t need Mexico or anyone else to pay for it! JESUS did that for FREE! 

So you see, although I have my opinions about a lot of stuff, I really would much rather be a part of what this world needs more than anything else, and that is God’s love. It’s so much more constructive! I can’t tell anyone to think the same as I do. I can’t persuade someone to even believe as I believe. Heck, I can’t even make anyone like me when they don’t! Truth is, whether ya like me or not, my focus has to be what the world truly needs.

I pray a baptism of love, compassion, listening, honoring, warmth, shelter, food, wisdom, faith, and Holy Spirit, upon this land and world today. I pray that especially upon the lives of those who need it. I pray deliverance to whatever people are captive to, and I do this all in the name above any other name, JESUS! Regardless to who is at the helm of our country’s ship, or who is called Pastor, JESUS IS KING!

Loving you all right from here,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

800-421-1765 for prayer

 

A Deeper Sense of Thanksgiving

sept_feature_02_hPsalm 95:2 “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.”

As we approach Thanksgiving, tradition tells us that we are supposed to be thankful. After all, we have been through this year after year. Each year, we are reminded we are supposed to be thankful. Isn’t it easy to take being thankful for granted when tradition takes over? It can be very easy to become numb to the feeling we try to even muster up as we cook the turkey, plan for family visits, and fellowship together. For some, Thanksgiving is a reminder of those who are not with us, or a reminder of how hard life has been this year.

Regardless as to the feelings it brings up in us, it is still so easy to allow tradition to speak to us that this day that comes once every year is a day we are supposed to be thankful. Most of the time we truly are thankful even with the traditional reminder. I know that I am. I’m grateful I get to eat one more day, to breathe and smell good food cooking, and to be with those around me who love and care about me.

The truth is, my greatest gratitude comes from a place that was delivered out of adversity or strain. The meaning of giving thanks is magnified by the feeling of a deep sense of amazing grace that I have ,or had, experienced through the harder times. A deeply thankful person has been saved from tragedy, death, sure destruction, and sometimes sickness. When someone comes up from a deep sense of sadness or finally had a breakthrough that suddenly has made life much more worth living gratitude and thanksgiving come flowing out like a fountain from a deep well that once was stagnant but somehow a radiant love has stirred the pool and it comes alive once more!

This Thanksgiving holiday let there be less tradition and more true gratitude from the places inside of us, and around us,  that have been delivered from the most difficulties in life. Allow the meaning of Thanksgiving be transformed into our witness that God has been good to us over the years and will never cease His goodness or His delivering love. The pilgrims of yesteryear might have felt this deep sense of gratitude for all they had, mostly because they had somehow been saved from the most horrendous storms in life.

We are still as those pilgrims. We have been saved from sure destruction and if we think about it hard enough, we realize that God has stepped into our lives over and over to give us His powerful deliverance. We have been saved through the devastation of cancer, abuses, financial hardships, defamation of character, and grievous losses. Our pilgrimage here on earth has never been easy, even if his year seems to have been a bit more tolerable. We all have things in life that have given us cause to be more grateful than tradition speaks to us we should be.

This year I am deeply thankful that the illness I have experienced over the last year and a half has been resolved and I am feeling so much better. It was a hard and very financially expensive year. I am thankful for the roof over my head because 2 years ago I had no place to call my own, like a vagabond on this earth with no direction. I am thankful for relationship and support when I have needed it, for God and His spirit, for answered prayers, and for blessings upon family members. I am grateful to have heard my son talk about Bible stories and grateful he has a renewed sense of his relationship with God. There are many more things I could mention that have pulled at my heart strings. All of them give to me a sigh of deep relief. Thanksgiving sure does not come from tradition this year. It comes from having come out of the desert and still being intact, knowing God loves me completely, and some of the insanity of this world is just a bit less insane because His restoration is a true thing and not just something we occasionally preach about.

God bless you in your Thanksgiving holiday ! May God reveal the deeper sense of thankfulness that comes from adversity and His great delivering love!

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Thankful for you!

**Image from FaithPub