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The Gift of Heaven

The longer I live, the more I appreciate the earth’s majestic beauty and magnificent wonders. However, my heart still cries out for far more than this world has to offer. I can’t help it. I’m a perfectionist, and I want perfect health and perfect relationships and a perfect home in a perfect environment. I think God must be somewhat of a perfectionist too because He has fashioned such a place for each of us who’ve accepted His extraordinary proposal to be His beloved bride.

           

Ecclesiastes 3:11 puts my longing into words, as it says that God has “set eternity” in the human heart. We naturally long for something beyond what this world has to offer. We instinctively crave what only heaven can provide. Of course, we may not be aware that eternity is what we long for because it’s hard to imagine what eternity will be like. We mistakenly envision heaven as a celestial place where we will sit on a cloud and play harp all day, every day, day in and day out, forever and ever and ever and… Ugh! How boring! Who can look forward to something like that?

           

Fortunately, the Bible tells us that eternity will be nothing like that at all. Pastor Randy Alcorn searched the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation and wrote an incredibly insightful book (appropriately entitled

Heaven), which reveals much of what Scripture has to say about our heavenly home. According to Alcorn, the best way to envision heaven is to imagine the presence of all of the things we love about this world and the absence of all the things we hate. Imagine all of the wonders of nature, such as oceans and mountains, without any hurricanes or earthquakes or other natural disasters. Envision having a strong, fit body that never ages, never aches, never gets fat or flabby, never gets sick, and never dies. Imagine being around your family without anyone ever getting mad, getting even, or getting their feelings hurt. In heaven, everything is perfect. Heaven is sin-free, guilt-free, stress-free, sickness-free, and abuse-free. Only peace and prosperity for all God’s children to enjoy.

Throughout this Christmas season let’s reflect on the Gift of Heaven God has given to us.

 

CH - COVER
Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007.  All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

Hot Tips For Sexually Confident Wives #44

Don’t Get Mad… Get Sad… Then Get Glad- Part 2

This Hot Tip was inspired by a woman I met on a weekend retreat in Saskatoon…

Darlene bemoaned that when she comes home late at night, it’s often to a sink full of dirty dishes. Her husband has messed up the kitchen, then spent the evening on the computer or in front of the TV, but wants her to go upstairs to bed with him as soon as she gets home.

Of course, Darlene feels angry, put-upon, taken for granted, pulled in two different directions, etc. Understandable.

But women have the power to turn these situations around to work in our favor!

Consider these four different approaches that Darlene could have taken to that scenario, and contemplate which you’ll choose the next time you’re faced with a similar dilemma:

  • Response #1 – Get mad, send him on to bed alone, and do the dishes yourself, begrudgingly of course, withholding sex as punishment for his inconsiderate behavior. (bad choice, but the one that Darlene admits to making numerous times)
  • Response #2 – Get sad, then explain, “It’s disappointing to me to come home to a sink full of dirty dishes when what I really want to do is spend quality time with you. I can’t do both simultaneously – dishes and sex – and all I have the energy for is one or the other. Which do you prefer?” (and if he says “sex” ask if he’s going to get up early the next morning to take care of those dishes himself?!)
  • Response #3 – Simply say, “Honey, I really appreciate you feeding the kids dinner tonight. And I’d love to show my appreciation by floating your boat tonight, so would you mind giving me a hand with these dishes so we can go to bed together?” (much better approach)
  • Response #4 – Call on your way home from work to explain, “Honey, I confess… I’ve been having this fantasy all day… that I come home to a totally clean kitchen so I can walk right past it… and straight up to our bedroom with you! Are you game?”

Yeah, that last one would be the best approach, by far. Let him know in advance what kind of expectations, hopes, and dreams you have about how you spend your time at home, and chances are, he’s going to be much more inspired to live up to those expectations, fulfill your hopes, and perhaps even surpass your wildest dreams!

So which response will you choose next time? Will you get mad? Or get sad? Or be glad that you know just how to handle the situation, inspiring the intimacy you both long for rather than requiring it of him?

Hoping you’ll move beyond the madness… through the sadness… and discover the gladness in marriage!

Shannon

Excerpted from The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind*Body*Heart*Spirit by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008.  All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.