Marriage Series: “It’s Not Personal!” by Jesse Birkey

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This is the fourth message in my marriage series “Two Are Better Than One.” Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series. Today, I have a guest marriage post by Jesse Birkey. Jesse and his wife Kara run Reflect Ministries. They experienced a wonderful transformation in their marriage. They shared their testimony on 700 club and wrote about it in their book, “Marriage: What’s the Point? One Couple Finds Meaning in a Crazy Mess.”

JESSE BIRKEY2

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Jesse and Kara made a special offer on their book for this marriage series. They are offering their book for only $9.99 with free shipping and only $5.99 for the ebook version. Follow this link to take advantage of this great offer! As a bonus, if you live in the U. S. and you purchase any format of their book, let me know in the comment section below and you will receive 3 entries into my gift card and book drawing. I also wanted to announce that I changed the gift card amounts to $50 since you can’t really go out to dinner for $25 anymore.

In case you missed the previous posts, my husband and I are giving away 2 – $50 dinner gift cards for Brinker restaurants (Can be used at Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s) and a signed copy of my book “You Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children.” If you live in the U. S., every marriage post that you comment on through July 19th, you will automatically receive an entry into the drawing.  The first winner will be announced on our wedding anniversary (July 20th). And the second winner will be announced on our dating anniversary (July 21st).

Now for this encouraging message from Jesse about not taking the things our spouses do that annoy us as personal attacks. I think we all can relate to this one!

 

  It’s Not Personal!

by Jesse Birkey

 SL2056

 

I think there are many of us who believe our spouses wake up in the morning and say, “Hmm, today I’ll do all of the things he/she hates so that I can see him/her get really mad.  I’ll do them because I just don’t love him/her.”  Now we might not say that’s what we believe but subconsciously I think many of us do.

In our kitchen we have a special hook designed for car keys to keep them from getting lost.  When I get home I hang them there and when my wife gets home she hangs them there…sometimes.  I would get so mad when the keys weren’t on that hook.  I would tell her over and over and she would be better for a period of time but it never seemed to stick.

One day she took both sets of vehicle keys leaving me stranded at home.  I was furious and also felt totally justified in my key hook rule.  If she had followed the rule she wouldn’t have taken both keys.

Certainly annoyance was fueling my anger, but there was also something else.  Annoyance alone builds a tiny flame.  But my anger was burning intensely.  It took some time for me to see what it was and when God exposed it I was shocked.

Somewhere along the line I began taking things my wife was doing personally.  It wasn’t just the car keys but others things as well.  Every time she did something opposite than the way I asked her to I took it as a personal attack.  I heard things run through my mind like, she doesn’t care about you or if she loved you she would do it the way you like it done.  Perhaps the most destructive lie I heard was she’s doing it on purpose.  She wants to hurt you.

Sadly there are some cases in which this is true but for the most part it’s a complete lie.  Either way it’s very hurtful to believe that your spouse’s #1 goal for the day is to hurt you however they can.  It’s the stuff resentment and bitterness is born from.

I began to recognize the pattern of perceived personal attack, hurt, offense, and bitterness and decided to investigate.  I needed to know what was true and what wasn’t.  When I asked her about it she told me that it’s got nothing to do with how much she cares about me and that sometimes she just forgets.  It’s definitely not personal.  She also shared with me that it seemed like I only noticed the times that she didn’t do things the way I liked and not the times she did.

It’s the little things that build up and become volcano’s ready to explode at any time.  The “little things” vary and can look 100 different ways for 100 different couples but when they build up, peace doesn’t have a chance.  Many times personal hurt, legitimate or not, gives way to a spirit of offense making true forgiveness almost impossible.  Many times when we feel personally attacked we also feel justified in our negative reactions.  We can’t reflect the heart of God to our spouse with all of that junk standing in the way.

Though there are times in which the attack is, in fact, personal the majority of the time it really isn’t.  If we can begin to see this we can pour big buckets of water on smoldering embers before they get a chance to blaze.

I encourage you to take some time to think about the little things your spouse does that really gets too you.  Have you been taking them personally?  Are they really personal?

Jesse and Kara Birkey

JESSE BIRKEY

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/reflectministry

Watch the testimony of our marriage appearing on “The 700 Club” here and purchase our book Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess, on here or on Amazon.

Read Jesse and Kara’s bio here.

 

 

4989528In Marriage What’s the Point? One couple finds meaning in a crazy mess, Jesse and Kara  Birkey will bring you into the tragedy that threatened to destroy them. The Birkey’s share  their journey of tragic infidelity to the joy of miraculous restoration with passion and total  transparency. Marriage What’s the Point is a journey of pain, reconciliation and discovery as God showed Jesse and Kara how the wounds and scars from their past were affecting how they treated each other. They found it impossible to reflect the heart of God to each other  while being held captive by things like self-hate, fear and bitterness. Knowing they aren’t  the only ones to have been imprisoned by those chains, they desire to show others the path  of freedom God revealed to them. Marriage What’s the Point? will challenge and encourage  you, inviting you on a path to restoration that is different than you might expect. There is  hope! Find it with Jesse and Kara in Marriage What’s the Point?

 

*Don’t forget to leave a comment below for Jesse and you’ll receive an entry in my gift card and book drawing. Remember to let me know in your comment if you purchased Jesse and Kara’s book and you’ll receive 3 entries. Here’s the link again to their special offer.

 

 

 


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Monday’s Blog: You Can’t Carry People Through Life

I just returned from a short blogging break. I’ve found that it’s necessary at times to stop what I am doing, take a step back, and make sure I am in the right direction doing what God wants me to do. During my time off with the Lord, God led me to read a powerful book titled “Life Resurrected: Extraordinary Miracles Through Ordinary People” by Jesse Birkey from Reflect Ministry.



Here’s  a brief description of the book:

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary miracles if they are willing to be transformed.

Being ordinary completely qualifies you for God’s mighty power. No titles, ministries or name recognition are required. But there is one catch—you must be willing to be transformed. Testimonies are a crucial element of transformation. Testimonies give us the hope we need to continue on. We need to know that God still moves in signs, wonders and miracles. But above all else, we need to understand that God specializes in taking ashes and resurrecting them into beautiful life!

“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul …” – Acts 19:11

In Life Resurrected, Jesse Birkey will share some extraordinary miracles performed by ordinary people. He will also take you on his journey of transformation from a life of bondage and slavery to the enemy to a life bursting with miraculous testimonies. While recounting his and others’ encouraging and inspiring testimonies, he provides insight into the ways God wants to operate in and through all of His children.

Start the journey and you too can have your Life Resurrected!

 

God ministered to me in many ways through this book, but I wanted to share one section on Joshua 3:8 that really spoke to my heart.

“Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

Joshua 3:8

Jesse wrote:
“As I closed my Bible, I thought about the instructions God gave Joshua. I wondered why God wanted the twelve chosen men to actually stand in the river with the heavy Ark before He would move on their behalf. God began to softly speak to my heart. We often stand on the “bank” looking over at our problems and issues saying, “Alright God, I need you to take care of this mess. I need you to perform this miracle and heal me or deliver me, but I am not going to get my feet wet. I am going to stand here where it’s dry while you do the work. After all, there’s nothing wrong with me. There couldn’t possibly be anything I might need to do before you move on my behalf.”

 

One of the reasons I knew I needed to take a break was that I was starting to get overwhelmed and not feel well. As I spent time with God, asking Him to show me what was wrong, He revealed that I had been taking on people’s problems and trying to fix them myself. Through Jesse’s message, God showed me that I was so desperate to see people’s problems resolved that I was losing hope, and it was making my heart sick.

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

Proverbs 13:12

Instead of praying for and encouraging people to seek God with all their hearts, because He has all the answers, I was trying to find the answers for them. But as we see in Joshua 3:8 above, God will perform the miracle, but He requires us to take that step of faith, seek and follow Him, and allow Him to transform us. We can’t carry people through life. We can carry their burdens by helping them and directing them to Jesus, but ultimately they have to take responsibility and seek His will for themselves.

A couple years ago, God used me to help a young woman through a difficult time in her life. As God brought her through that time, and miraculously turned her life around, she no longer needed my help. Soon after, a man who had heard how I helped her, contacted me and requested that I daily feed him God’s Word.  I kindly directed him to the Bible and encouraged him to seek God with all his heart (Jeremiah 29:13). He wanted me to carry him. He didn’t see God as the source of that woman’s miracle. He saw me as the source.

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?…. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

Acts 3:12, 16

As Jesse’s book explains, God uses us ordinary people to do extraordinary miracles through. But we must remember that the people God uses us to help have to eventually get up, walk with Jesus,  get their feet wet, and allow Him to transform them.

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”

John 5:8

 

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for giving us everything we need to walk in victory. Transform us and fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Empower us to do Your Will. Help us to know when we are stepping in front of You trying to fix people’s problems for them. Help us to step back and direct them to You.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!

 

*My newest devotional “Armor of Light: A 7 – Week Devotional on Ephesians 6:10-18” will be FREE  (ebook version only) on Amazon from Tues. to Wed. (6/11-6/12).


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