Marriage Series: “Love’s Blind Spot” by Kerry Johnson

MARRIAGE-PIC21

This is the fifth message in my marriage series “Two Are Better Than One.” Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. Today, I have another inspiring guest marriage post by Kerry Johnson about covering our spouse’s blind spots with love. Kerry recently published her first book titled “Grace for the Gaps: Rejoicing in Jesus on Life’s Journey.” In her book, Kerry shares how God’s grace covers our failings in our lives, in our marriages, and in our parenting. She shares how His word is truly a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. If you purchase Kerry’s book, and live in the U.S., let me know in the comment section below and you will receive 3 entries into my drawing of 1 of 2 $50 Brinker Restaurant gift cards and my marriage book “You Can Have a Happy Family.”

 

kerry 3

Love’s Blind Spot

By Kerry Johnson

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, ESV).

We were a few miles over the Florida-Georgia border when I looked up from my book and noticed the tight formation of cars and semi-trucks around us.  I slammed my eyes shut, and my chest tightened as though a heavy boulder had begun pressing on my diaphragm.

Being in another car’s blind spot on I-75 is troubling for me because I’ve seen the results that a couple seconds of blindness can cause.  It can be deadly and can affect nearby drivers and cars.  So driving in a semi’s blind spot for a long period of time is nearly unbearable for me.  The weight on my chest seemed to increase as a small herd of 18-wheelers surrounded us.  One kept pace directly on our right—so close I could reach out and touch it.  Another truck was out ahead of us, and still a third semi took up the far right lane. Like puzzle pieces, cars fit the spaces in between.

I squinted, my gaze sliding to the right, hoping the gigantic truck next to us had magically disappeared.  Not so.  The reach-out-and-touch-me-truck was still right next door, a flag tattoo visible on the driver’s left arm as it rested on the steering wheel.

Inside our Expedition, I felt like a Terrier cornered by a Rottweiler, stuck against a fence with no chance of escape.  My hand crept to my husband’s forearm and gripped, spider-like tension radiating through me.  He didn’t need the reminder.  I knew he knew my fear.  I glanced at my husband’s profile, knowing well the map of his face and every nuance of expression.  I took in a deep breath after seeing the determination in his expression.

Even though Trevor didn’t feel the same (driving next to an 18-wheeler’s blind spot doesn’t faze him), he was aware of the panic blooming inside me.  A swell of appreciation washed over me—gratefulness for marriage, which God ordained for our wellbeing.

Marriage – the covenant between a man and a woman, husband and wife, between two very different people sharing a common bond of affection and faithfulness.  Marriage is intended for the creation and protection of the family and the generational passing of faith, and it’s a beautiful picture of Christ’s faithful love for the Church.

Trevor knew my deep-seated fear, and though he didn’t share it, he cared enough to acknowledge what I was going through and work to alleviate the situation.  My sensitive husband watched traffic carefully until he found a way out.  He sped up just enough to get us ahead of the 18-wheeler so we would no longer be boxed in.  I let out a deep sigh of gratitude.

This is what You intended, Lord.  This is 1 Corinthians 13, a love that’s kind, puts another first, and isn’t resentful when doing so.  In marriage, God calls us to cover our spouse’s blind spots with love.  Criticizing is easy and selfish.  Even though loving through insecurities and mistakes is tough and selfless, it can be done through Jesus’ help.  John 3:30 (NKJV) is a verse I pray often because on my own, I fail miserably:

“[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.”

After nearly thirteen years of marriage, I’m still learning to listen, respect, and defer, while Trevor has learned to understand, share, and protect.  Most importantly, we have both learned that Jesus must be the heart of our marriage.  There are times when vast differences in marriage frustrate and seem insurmountable, but it’s in those times that we have to stretch ourselves in love, trusting our Savior to be our all in all while learning to give our spouse the grace God gives us.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love another” John 4:11 (NKJV).

kerry2Kerry Johnson lives in sunny Tampa Bay with her loud and very ticklish family. Patient hubby Trevor and their two boys, Cole and Chase, give the best hugs ever. She’s been published in Sanctified Together, Granola Bar Devotionals, and Tampa Bay’s Overflow Magazine, and her first novel semi-finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis Contest in spring 2013. She has her Bachelor of Science in English Education and enjoyed seven blessed years as a stay-at-home wife and mom. She’s passionate about her family, reading and writing, exercise and chocolate (not necessarily in that order), and especially sharing the love of Jesus through her writing at http://candidkerry.wordpress.com/.

 

 

*Don’t forget to leave a comment below to receive an entry in my gift card and book drawing (U.S. residents only). Remember to let me know in your comment if you purchased Kerry’s book to receive 3 entries. Winners will be announced this weekend (July 20th & 21st).

 


Posted in Book Giveways, Guest Bloggers, Marriage Series and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , by with
Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73
1 comment
.

My books are FREE for Valentine’s Day!

I wanted to announce that both my books, You Can Have a Happy Family & The LOVE Walk Devotional, are FREE in ebook format TODAY ONLY for Valentine’s Day and to celebrate National Marriage Week! Follow the links on the pictures below.

 

If you prefer paperback, you can get my books today for $5.00 off with this code (GTTTMXCK) directly through Createspace. Follow the link to purchase You Can Have a Happy Family: Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children.

Follow this link to purchase The LOVE Walk: A 15-Week Devotional on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Don’t forget to enter the code GTTTMXCK at checkout for your discount.

 

If you prefer audio, you can follow this link to The LOVE Walk. It’s only $6.95 on audible. You Can Have a Happy Family is a little more ($19.95) since it’s 5 1/2 hours long. But very well worth it. My narrators did a wonderful job. I was blessed by both books as they ministered to me as well.

*For more info about each book, and to read excerpts,  follow this link to my website AmandaBeth.net.

Hope you all have a blessed Valentine’s Day walking in love!

God bless,

Amanda Beth

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:29-31

 

 

 

 


Posted in Book Giveways, Book Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , by with
Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73
no comments yet
.

My new book: “The LOVE Walk” Release & Giveaway!

The LOVE Walk

A 15 – Week Devotional on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 


My devotional book “The LOVE Walk” was released yesterday on Amazon.  It was inspired by the first blog series I did on “love” as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. I created the devotional to encourage and support people in their love walk. Each devotional focuses on a different characteristic of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails….”

Each chapter includes an encouragement, a prayer, verses to meditate on, and one verse to memorize. Additionally, at the end of each chapter there are questions to reflect on for personal evaluation or group study.

Today, I am giving away one signed copy of “The LOVE Walkalong with a “Love” cross to put on your shelf or desk as a reminder to continually walk in God’s love.

*To enter to win you MUST leave a comment below to let me know you are entering, and then check the box on the rafflecopter to enter. After you check the box below, you can earn additional entries on the rafflecopter by “liking” my book on Amazon, and posting my book on twitter and fb. You can tweet about the giveaway, tweet the link to Amazon, and post on your fb wall every day to receive additional entries each day. CONTEST ENDS 12:01 EST 11/17/12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Yesterday, I shared an excerpt from “The LOVE Walk” at PTL.com. Follow this link to read “Week Ten – Love…does not delight in evil” Today, I want to share chapter thirteen with you.

WEEK THIRTEEN

Love… always hopes

 ~1 Corinthians 13:7

What are you placing your hope in? Are you placing it in your job? Your bank account? Your spouse? Your children? Your appearance? Your material possessions?

To put our hope in something means we need it to make us happy. If our hope is in our jobs and we lose them, we lose our hope. If our hope is in our spouses and they leave us, our hope leaves with them. If our hope is in our beauty and it fades, our hope fades with it.

Our hope needs to be in God because He is the only one who can permanently fulfill us.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

—Romans 5:5

God’s love never disappoints. But have you ever felt disappointed in God? I have. In the past, I would get disappointed if I trusted God to answer a prayer and He didn’t. I would get disappointed if I obeyed Him and didn’t see the right results. I would get disappointed if I was hit with a trial and He didn’t rescue me.

I thought my hope was in God, but I was often disappointed in Him. I soon realized I wasn’t placing my hope in God. I was placing it in my own expectations of Him.

When God called me to write my first book, I expected to write it and publish it right away. I was often disappointed when I was rejected by publishers and agents in the beginning. I thought if God told me to write a book He would open all the doors. It took awhile to see He was opening the doors; they just weren’t the ones I was knocking at. I wanted Him to do it my way. I didn’t like some of the doors He wanted me to go through. They often led to trials, lessons, and hard work.

Now looking back, those trials are what I needed to prepare me for what was ahead. Had all my hope been in God’s plan for me, I could have enjoyed those years of writing instead of being disappointed.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

—Romans 12:12

Thinking positive, praising God, and communing with Him keeps our hopes up. It helps us stay joyful while waiting on God to fulfill our desires.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

—Proverbs 13:12

I’ve experienced this verse many times in my life. Once was when I had to go back to work a few years after having my first child. I was devastated to go back and even tried to avoid it. I frequently asked God why He wasn’t providing for me to stay home.

As the years went by, and I had more children, I continued praying for God to help me afford to quit. I tried everything I could to stay happy and be a good employee while waiting on God to answer my request. But as time went on, I started losing hope and fell into depression. Losing hope made my heart sick.

As I clung to God, He brought me out of depression and opened the door for me to stay home. As I looked back I could see His provision was there all along. Through those years, God was working with us on our finances so we could afford one income.

God was also working in me during that time. He was teaching me to be faithful even when it hurts. He was teaching me to trust Him even when I wasn’t seeing results. He was teaching me to be happy even when there wasn’t anything going on to rejoice in.

During those years I learned valuable lessons I wouldn’t trade now for anything. More importantly, I learned my prayers were answered the moment I requested them. I just didn’t see it until after I received it.

God answers our prayers. We don’t see all the behind the scenes work He does to prepare for those answers. We have to remember His ways are far beyond ours. We only see what is in front of our eyes. God sees above and beyond. He sees the final outcome, which is why He asks us to place our hope in Him. We don’t have anything to be disappointed about when all our hope is in Him.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

—Romans 15:13

********************************************************

 Week Thirteen Love Walk: Hope

I encourage you this week to place your hope in God. Don’t focus on your outward circumstances. Face each trial with joy as you hope in Him. Cling to Him. Praise Him. And remember to be faithful even when you’re not seeing any results.

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

—Romans 8:24

 

Prayer For The Week:

Heavenly Father,

I praise You for giving me so much to be hopeful for. I know I will never be disappointed when I am trusting You. Help me remain faithful and continue doing Your will when the devil comes against me. Thank You that through Jesus I am an overcomer. I joyfully put my hope in You, my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

Scriptures To Meditate On (pick one to memorize):

Romans 8:24; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 18:2; Romans 15:13

 

Week Thirteen Reflection:

  • Share how God revealed Himself to you this week as you placed your hope in Him.
  • Do you have a prayer you are waiting to see answered?
  • Don’t give up hope on your prayer. God knew what you needed before you even asked! Write a prayer praising Him that He has heard and answered your prayer according to His Word.

 


Posted in Book Giveways, Book Reviews, Book Updates and tagged , , , by with
Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73

Notice: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 73
18 comments
.

Notice: Undefined index: sidebar-2 in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 168

Notice: Undefined index: sidebar-3 in /home/daubscom/sharingtruths.com/wp-content/themes/adventure/functions.php on line 168