The Alphabet for Marriage

The fundamentals of maintaining a caring marriage are easily summed up in The Alphabet for Marriage. Read through each letter and it will help you think of some ways to improve your marriage. God’s name isn’t mentioned in this list but I guarantee you can see there are spiritual principles to back up this practical advice.

Ladies, don’t let the ministry (of house, children, and church work) get too busy that you neglect your husband. Your purpose of ministering is to do it together, as a married couple because marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. This list came from a special sermon I found (more on that at the end of the post) and hope it will bless your heart too.

The Alphabet for Marriage

Adaptability – Cultivate a liking for the other’s tastes.

Belief – Trust one another.

Children – Be of the same mind on the subject, whether boys or girls, or money. Agree on their training.

Devotion – Not only feel love but show it.

Entertainment – Keep each other amused and interested.

Finesse – Handle each other with love and tact.

Generosity – Don’t be stingy with love, money, or praise.

Health – Keep well as long as you can.

Interests – Enter into everything the other does. Play the same games, read the same books, like the same people.

Jokes – Learn to make ’em and take ’em.

Kindness – Never fail to share with each other tenderness and sympathy.

Love – Never let your supply of that run low.

Money – Is for both and should be for the mutual happiness and well-being of each other.

Need of each other. – Make yourself necessary to your husband or wife’s happiness.

Observation – See what each other needs and supply it. Notice when your husband or wife looks nice.

Politeness – Show as much courtesy of each other as you would to strangers.

Quiet – Don’t argue, keep a peaceful home.

Respect – Show deference for each other’s opinions and intelligence.

Sportsmanship – Take marriage on the chin, don’t complain of hardships you may have to endure.

Tenderness – Whatever you are to other people, be all heart to your husband or wife.

Understanding – Enter into thoughts or feelings of your mate so you will know when each other is low.

Virtue – No philandering around on either side.

Willingness – Both husband and wife must be willing to help each other pull weight in the boat.

X-tra Attention – especially when down-hearted or sick.

Yes Them – Be agreeable as you can as often as you can.

Zero – Your marriage will never be a zero if you follow these rules.

~Author Unknown*

This was found in my great-grandfather’s sermon notes. My husband inherited his books and many files when he passed away and a yellow legal sized paper appeared after recently going through our personal library. I just loved reading it and truly believed it was his own outline until I saw just under the letter “z” that it was copied. *If you know the author of The Alphabet for Marriage please let me know and I will gladly update it on this post.

Ideas: This would be a great help to use at a couples retreat, banquet, or even marriage counseling. This could also be used as a fun wedding shower devotional or as a thoughtful thing to read in a married Sunday School class.

 

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8 Things You Can Do to Help Your Local Church Planter

Church planting is a necessary and vital aspect for other churches to fulfill the Great Commission in reaching lost souls; particularly “home missions” in the United States. If you have a local church planter in your area, what are you doing to help them? My hope and desire is that you will not allow the men and women who are laboring in a new work to be an island to themselves, but rather be the shot in the arm and an encouraging and motivated force to help them keep going.

My family and I live in a metroplex where urban cities intertwine and the old suburban areas are no longer on the outskirts of town. Cityscapes of shopping centers and housing divisions are everywhere! The population here is continually growing and industry is thriving. Even with Baptist churches of all sizes in our area, God is calling men and women to our area to begin new works because the population growth is so rapid. Baby churches are scattered throughout the cities here, and the church where we help our pastor is one of them. Naturally, church planting and supporting church planters is a living burden on my heart since that is our life now.

Do you know if you have local church planters in your area? Do you know their names? Have you chosen to be a blessing to them? Are you their friend? Have you forgotten to keep in touch or pray for them like you promised? Lord willing, these ideas will help you find a way to be a blessing.

8 Things You Can Do to Help Your Local Church Planter

1. Fellowship and Food.  A church planter needs friends and friends aren’t real friends unless there is food involved!

Encourage a church planter by taking him out to a meal and talking with him and his family about their church work. Let them share their heart and listen. Pray with them. If you discern their family is needing more than a restaurant meal, then possibly provide them grocery money or a gift card to meet those needs.

2. Inclusion. Include your local church planter and his church in your large activities.

Consider inviting them to be a part of: church camp, luncheons, revivals, retreats, Bible studies, men’s and women’s meetings, etc. If their church is small they probably do not host their own spiritual growth activities and may miss participating in them. Everyone needs spiritual sharpening times to boost them in their day-to-day routines.

3. A Church Service Visit. Actually attend one of their church services!

A neighboring church had a combined afternoon service a few weeks ago and ended their daily services at 2 pm. Several families from their church traveled 30 minutes to attend our church services at 4:30 pm. Our pastor seemed to beam a special smile during his sermon that day. It was a boost in attendance from the two families in our church right now.

If you are able to see what is going on in their church plant, it will most likely burden your heart for church planting all over again. And if you can’t go, send a faithful family or two in your stead who will be a blessing.

4. Door-knocking and Outreach Help. Share a pair of feet, or two, or three, or 10!

It is a blessing to see other churches send families to help a church planter knock doors and pass out flyers before their very first service. Excitement buzzes in the air and there is a hope visitors will attend. Then, the first services comes and goes, often leaving one man to do his door-knocking alone with his family.

What if your church helped your local church planter regularly sending couples weekly to help? Or what if you designated at least two special visitation helps in your “Judaea” and helped sow seed in another man’s fields? I believe that in sowing you also would reap blessings when you see their fields begin to bear fruit.

5. Real Prayer. Don’t just say you will pray for someone… do it!

It’s common to take a person’s prayer card or tell someone you are praying for them and not think about them until that card falls out of your Bible or you see them again. Prayer letters hang in churches on bulletin boards as people pass by and names are written in bulletins as prayer requests and can still be overlooked.

Make your statement of saying you will pray for that church planter into real prayer for their ministry and family. Invest time in authentically praying for their needs and the souls they are meant to reach.

6. Peace. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” Philippians 3:14

Ruffled feathers show themselves when a pastor believes another man’s church is encroaching on his idea of where the “boundaries” or “lines” of his church outreach should be. Shun the temptation to become a jealous competitor if your local church planter is encroaching on your idea of where he should be. Set that aside and be peaceful. God adds to each local church as He sees fit and can work best with peaceful ministers who refuse competition, criticism, gossip, and hypocrisy. If you see him wave as you pass by.  And if there is a problem, just talk about it peacefully and see if you can come up with a solution.

Ladies, this can happen with us too. Find a way to push past any jealousies you may encounter and be a real friend and a blessing to the church planter’s wife.

7. More encouragement and understanding, less expectations.

It’s easy to shove people and ministries into a box and assume a pastor should be at a certain amount of members by a specific deadline. If you know a local church planter who is still struggling don’t write him off as a failure. He needs your support! If you are able, do what you can to help Him stay faithfully serving God’s call on his life. Church planters need local friends who will check on them, call them, listen, and not compare him with their own experience or with any other ministry.

8. Give Families. Yes, you heard that right, give people rather than dollars.

It’s easy to give dollars to a local church planter because you can see the need your area has for the gospel. Challenge yourself to give more than dollars and prayerfully consider giving families to them instead of your dollars. If you have an established church with faithful members you already know what a blessing it is to have help and trained workers who understand the Bible and obey it.

What would it do to a new ministry if they had a group of church members to help? Faithful people who were willing to give their tithes and offerings to the new church and help use their talents to reach people, and help disciple them are priceless. We know God loves a cheerful giver and encourages “give and it shall be given unto you…” Why do churches shirk from the idea when it comes to giving families? Do you believe He would supply the needs of your church if you asked a Sunday School teacher or deacon’s family to pray about moving their membership? God most certainly would! It could also be as easy as asking families who live nearer that ministry to consider supporting the church plant. Ask God if He might have you support your local church planter in that way. I know churches do not like to lose folks, but I would rather lose church members to helping another church than see another church plant die for lack of help.

All eight of these items are simply an extension of down-home hospitality and sharing your resources and kindnesses to those with the same Biblical mission you have to reach people for the gospel. The impact that caring can do on a church planter can mean the difference between their continuing on in God’s call or discouragement knowing there were people who could help but would not. Through God’s help you can be a blessing!

 

 

 

25 Mother-Son Church Activity Ideas for Mother’s Day

Mother-Daughter activities abound around Mother’s Day and most churches host fun activities for women to be able to spend time with their daughters or focus on being a “daughter of the King.” Have you ever considered changing up the normal routine of events and focusing on those Mamas with sons in the family? I know this post is a little early to help you with some planning ahead if you’re interested in changing up your Mother’s Day event this year or making plans ahead for the following year.

This can be a lot of fun! Don’t discriminate between ages, let older men bring their older mothers if they want to and let mothers bring their younger sons too. If you allow the older men to come with Mama then it will show the younger men to show honor and respect to their mothers for their whole life. It will also give you a source of help for cooking during the cook-out and men who can do the devotion or be the drivers for the day-trip excursions.

1. Son-Hosted Grill Out/BBQ – Have the sons grill up meat for the mothers and have a picnic on the church grounds. Moms bring sides!

2. Mama-Son Baking Championship – Do a bake-off between families, having the mothers and sons cook up a baked dish and compete with each other. Add a twist by giving them a theme to base their baked goods from. P.S. If you’ve ever watched the hit show “Kid’s Baking Championship” on The Food Network then you will learn there are great boy chefs!

3. Lego Build Banquet – Boys love Legos, so why not have a Lego-themed event!? All you need are tables, legos, and decorations. Let the boys build to their heart’s content. Devotional Idea: “Lego and Let God,” talking about how mothers raise their sons for the Lord and then let go and allow God to take over their life. Or perhaps a devotion about building your life upon God’s foundations.

4. Raising Knights Night – Using a medieval theme you can teach Christian boys how to treat a lady by allowing them to be a valiant knight for their mother.  Devotion Idea: Gentlemanly etiquette and Biblical advice on raising a knight.

5. Be Mom’s Super Hero Banquet – The idea is like that from above, concentrating the focus on teaching boys how to be a hero for women, especially defending and respecting their mothers. The super-hero theme is not complete without thinking of Christ’s love and tenderness toward Mary, His mother. Use primary colors for decorations, wear capes, and have fun with it!

6. Mother-Son Bowl-A-Thon – Gather up all the gals and guys and rent a few lanes at the bowling alley and just get out and enjoy those stinky bowling shoes and a striking afternoon game together.

7. Mother-Son Hike/ Nature Walk – Organize an outdoor hike and walk for either a day trip or a nearby adventure locally. Plan a picnic and have them enjoy God’s creation together!

8. High Tea with Son and Me – Have a dainty tea set up for mothers and sons to enjoy little sandwiches, punch/tea, and little desserts. This seems a little too close to what is normally done for mother-daughter events but this could be an exercise on teaching a young man to treat his mother to a fine date and wear his Sunday best and enjoy each other’s company. This is great training for men to learn the value of dating their future wives.

9. Sports Event Spectacular – Plan moms and sons to attend a sporting event together with the other mothers and sons in your church. I know some of you gals dig sports, so this would be the occasion for mothers to “take him out to the ballgame!”

10. Board Game Bonanza – Have an afternoon of fun with snacks and games enjoying mother-son bonding time playing board games with other mom-son competitors.

11. Birdhouse Build Day – Create a time of building (what boys like) a birdhouse together and then decorating/painting it together (what moms like). Devotional ideas: Putting together a life for God, Preparing your heart for God to live in (like you prepare a birdhouse for a bird’s family).

12. Dessert Potluck – Need an idea in a hurry? Just invite mothers and sons to bring desserts and enjoy a dessert potluck in the church fellowship hall together on a Saturday afternoon. Devotion Idea: Be Sweet to Mama – Be Sweet to Son (Use examples from God the Son).

13. Mama/Son Picture Booth – Okay, so this would be something you can incorporate to any of the events! You could also find a background and a photographer, and perhaps a few props for a fun activity to do on Mother’s Day Sunday itself for all children and their mothers. Set it up in the foyer or another easy spot to get access to and you can give them a great memory to cherish for years to come.

14. Coffee and Cookies Campout – Mix a camping theme with yummy coffee and cookies and you’ll have a great mother-son connection. Imagine tents and fake campfires in your fellowship hall and cowboy coffee (or real!!)made on electric burners surrounded with plates of cookies made by Mom. OR break out the patio fire pits and use them outside in someone’s backyard instead! Devotion Idea: How Parenting is Like Camping – Crazy things happen on camp-outs just like in parenting but when it’s over you cherish the adventures!

15. Talent Show/Hobby Highlight Night – Showcase the talents of your mothers and sons by allowing them to have a time to share their God-given abilities for the church or for the other mothers and sons. Ensure the content is appropriate by having a sign-up sheet with what each family will be performing for each other. Mother-Son ideas could be: duets, instrumentals, comedy/skits, scripture recitation, etc.

16. BYOB – Bring Your Own Breakfast – Meet at a park for an early morning picnic and have each mother-son duo bring their own breakfast to eat. Devotion idea: “Joy Comes in the Morning” Highlight the godly benefits of being a joyful mother and a godly son.

17. Chef Cooking Demonstration – Hire a local chef to come in and do a cooking demonstration for mothers and sons. This could also be hosted by another cook (perhaps a gifted person in your church) that is great at teaching their skills. Have them create a meal that could be served to the group and easily duplicated at home. Encourage them to foster a love for family by learning to serve each other with these newly acquired skills. (Add this to the Mother-Son Baking Championship and you’ll have a pretty cool event.)

18. The Amazing Race Adventure – Create your own local scavenger hunt placing other mothers and sons on teams working together to carry out tasks and find clues that will lead them to a common place to enjoy time together.

19. Go-Kart Championship – Enjoy an afternoon at a local Go-Kart track. Rent a place for the afternoon and enjoy mom-son competition and speed!

20. Mother-Son Pottery Painting – Pottery painting is not just for girls! Creative boys would like to make something they can take home or maybe even a gift for Mama. Check out your local pottery painting place and see if you can rent a room for an afternoon.

21. Theme-Park Trip – Do you have a theme park within a day’s travel? Gather a mother-son group and set out for roller coasters and rides for a fun day trip.

22. Ice Cream Social – Ice Cream + Moms & Sons = Special Memories. Provide the ice cream and have the ladies bring the toppings. An exciting edition to this would be to create a “Giant Banana Split” like you can find here. Devotion Idea: God sprinkles blessings on us just like we’ve sprinkled toppings on our ice cream. Even though we can have cold times (like ice cream) God can make them sweet.

23. Glow Game Night – This can be a fun night activity done indoors at church or outdoors. Include black lights, glow in the dark paint, and more! Create fun games using glow sticks where mothers and sons can compete to win prizes together.

24. Card Game Carnival – Set up a variety of card games at different tables. Rotate the groups through the tables to be able to play a variety of card games together. Or drop the card games and just have a carnival with carnival games!

25. Mother-Son Lock-In – Gather the boys together with Mamas and enjoy fun at an all-nighter! Moms and sons can enjoy doing all types of activities (incorporate a conglomeration of the things listed here for a night of fun!). Choose a theme to go along with the lock-in and you’ll be able to focus on decorations, food ideas, and the devotions. Have a son bring the devotion to the group at some point in the evening. Don’t think mothers will attend all night? Then end at midnight.

Thank you so much for coming by and taking a look at these ideas. If you ever use one and do your own Mother-Son event please take some photos and send them to me in an e-mail! I’d love to see your creativity.