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Hurting? Frustrated? Feast on Cindi's articles for singles and couples alike.

Every week for the past ten years, I’ve received at least one or two emails asking me for marriage or relationship advice.

And while there are thousands of books out there on the topic — and a thousand  more reasons why women struggle in their relationships — I’ve found that what has most helped my marriage of 28 years — and thousands of other marriages and relationships as well — is  best summarized in my book, When a Woman Inspires Her Husband

“The quickest way to run your marriage into the ground is to expect your husband to be God in your life — to fill your every need, to know what you’re thinking and feeling and be able to respond accordingly, to be your joy, to be your all-in-all. He is a man. He is not able to be all of that for you. He is human, and that means he has weaknesses and will let you down at times. Finally, he is a sinner (as all of us are), and that means he will disappoint you, anger you, and even hurt you more times than he or you would like. So don’t look to your husband to be God in your life, or to fulfill your every need. Instead, look to God as your spiritual husband (Isaiah 54:5-6).

“God’s Word frequently uses the marriage relationship to illustrate God as our husband. God desires to be a husband to us and have us respond, in return, as we would respond to a husband — to forsake all other gods and love only Him, to respect Him, to dwell intimately with Him, to look to Him for our provision, and so on. There is nothing that will free up your husband to love you more than taking your emotional expectations off of him and leaving them with God. Your husband can then love you in the best way he is able, without feeling he has an impossible task in front of him. (For an in-depth look at this subject, see my book, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs.)”

Whether we are married or not, as we look to God first to fill our emotional tank, we will find we are more able and stable to deal with whatever comes our way. And that makes us more appealing women to be around.

It’s been said that a woman should be so deeply immersed in God that a man has to seek Him in order to find her.

Immerse yourself in Him this week. And watch the benefits of it in your relationships.

Before my daughter, Dana. started work at Disneyland  she had to take a class called “Traditions.” In this class, Disney employees (called “cast members”) learn the traditions and values upon which the Walt Disney Company was established so that they can continue in those traditions and provide parks guests with the ultimate magical experience. In the class, they heard stories of their founder, Walt Disney, that helped establish Disneyland as the happiest place on earth. And one of the stories Dana told me about struck me in a particular way.

Shortly after Disneyland Park opened, Walt was walking through the park and observing the happiness he had created when he noticed a little boy, sitting on a bench in Fantasyland, crying.  Walt sat down next to the boy and asked “Why are you crying? You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth! What could possibly make you cry?” The little boy wiped his eyes and he said “My brother got to sit on the white horse on the carousel.”

Walt reached into his pocket and pulled out a ticket and handed it to the boy and said “You come back tomorrow and I guarantee that you will be able to ride the white horse.”

That night, after the park closed, Walt ordered that every horse on King Arthur’s Carousel  be painted white so that no child would ever cry again for not being able to ride the white horse. To this day, every horse on what is now known as Sleeping Beauty’s Carousel is white, so every child who rides on the carousel will feel special.

Carousel

Jesus said in Matthew 7:11: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”Walt Disney was just a man, and he had limited resources when he opened that park. And if he’d go to that extreme to please a little boy who isn’t even his own, how much more will our Heavenly Father (who owns the cattle and the white horses on a thousand hills!) make the effort to please the hearts of His own children?

Our God’s resources are so much more than Walt Disney’s were when he opened his park.  And our God wants to bless, but in a way that’s eternal, not just temporal. And in addition to wanting to bless, He knows what’s best for you and for me.

Can you trust that God knows your life’s story and He can still work it out even if right now, you aren’t sitting on a white horse? Can you trust that He doesn’t need to repaint…He already has your story written and perfected?  And will you trust that He knows exactly how to get you to the happily ever after!

In Psalm 84:11: we are told “The Lord God is a sun and a shield. The Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” If you are asking God for something “good” and He’s not granting — it either isn’t truly good for you — or it isn’t time.

Trust Him. He specializes in the happily ever afters. And He always knows what is the very best for His children.

Is Our Culture Forsaking God?Forsaken God book cover

Sadly, the answer to that question is “Yes.” That’s what my friend, Janet Thompson, says. She is the author of the newly-released book,  Forsaken God? Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten.

Janet says we, too, can forsake God without realizing it by forgetting the good things He has done for us.

I asked Janet to share her insights on my blog this week. Here is what she had to say:

Today’s culture is quickly forsaking and forgetting the goodness and power of our Great God. The Bible describes the potential destruction through all generations to people who forget God. The dangers are paramount.

If we don’t remember what God has already done, we won’t believe what He is capable of doing in the future. Memory builds faith.

We read the Old Testament and lament at how forgetful the Israelites were of God’s goodness. Every time He did something good for them, they started grumbling that they needed something else. And are we any different today?

The Israelites repeatedly rejected God, even though He:

  • freed them from bondage and slavery by miraculously parting the Red Sea for them to pass through on dry ground,
  • provided manna from heaven,
  • guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night,
  • never let their shoes wear out even after walking for 40 years,
  • and He offered them a land flowing with milk and honey.

God was only as good as the next miracle or provision. A forsaken God.

Yet they were warned:

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT

We wonder at how the Israelites could be so blind and ungrateful. Why couldn’t they trust that a God who provided and protected them in the past, would do the same in the present and future? But their memories were short. As often as Moses and God tried to help them remember, still they forgot. And at great sacrifice. The original generation freed from Egypt never got to see the Promised Land because they doubted God’s goodness. Even Moses wasn’t able to enjoy its beauty because at a crucial moment, he took matters into his own hands and forgot that God was in control.

We would never forsake God! But wait . . . don’t we forget too? God has done amazing things in our lives, but when the next crisis arises, we panic that He might not show up for us this time. Or when prayers are answered, we might take credit ourselves or offer praise to someone else instead of giving God the glory and recognition He deserves.

We never intentionally forsake God, but if we’re honest, we do unintentionally forget him. So let’s agree that forgetfulness will stop with our generation. We live in a world today that is quickly trying to eliminate God from the public square and even in the private domain. Christians need to help a lost world remember God and that starts with remembering Him ourselves.

In my new book Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, there are suggestions for ways to remember all that God has done in your life and, then share that memory in your sphere of influence. One effective way is to share our testimony. As a Christian speaker, I give parts of my testimony every time I speak. “Feed my sheep” is my testimony of a time when God clearly spoke those words to me. When I said an obedient “OK,” He went on to reveal that the sheep were women and feeding was mentoring.

That was 20 years ago, and today God has taken Woman to Woman Mentoring around the world as women enjoy the blessings of being in Titus 2 mentoring relationships. I still stand in awe as I write that story, and every time I tell it from the stage. I will never forget how God used me to start a worldwide ministry, and I give Him all the glory for the blessing it has been to so many.

But you don’t have to be a speaker to share your story. Someone today needs to hear how Jesus changed your life. A hurting world needs the Christian world to tell them the source of our joy and hope. Mentoring is a great place to share our testimony to encourage others to know the Jesus of the Bible.

There are over 50 ways described in Forsaken God? to help remember God. Here are just a few:

  • Taking pictures
  • Journaling
  • Reading our Bibles
  • Receiving Communion
  • Making a thankful list
  • Joining a small group
  • Sharing with children

What are some ways that help you remember God’s goodness?

(You can order Janet’s book at Amazon, Christianbook.com, and signed at her website.)

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and an award-winning author of 18 books including Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer and Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Visit Janet at: womantowomanmentoring.com.   www.facebook.com/Janetthompson.authorspeaker,   http://www.linkedin.com/in/womantowomanmentoring/ www.pinterest.com/thompsonjanet  and https://twitter.com/AHWministries