Monday, February 13, 2012

A Happy, Healthy Heart ~ A Pray For Me Monday Post

JAMES 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and
pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (NIV)

PSALMS 116:2 "Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live" (NKJV)

Join me as I blog with Pray for Me Mondays hosted by Tiffany at Home Grown Families and Pamela over at Troop Petrie. Basically, it works like this: both blogs are hosting this blog link-up and will post about relevant topics and may perhaps have a prayer request and will pray together with their readers, coming together in agreement to go before the Throne of Grace.

* ~ *

Some of you may know, Darling Groom and I are currently doing a study (through our church) on Mike Storm's book, Parenting 101: A Practical Hands-On Guide to Raising Remarkable Kids. It is a very easy read but it really makes you stop often and pray and deals with a lot of your own past and relationships with your parents as you seek out Godly ways to continue the good and break the chains of the generational curses.

One particular thing that caught my heart was about the amount of genuine encouragement we give our children. Mr. Storm points out how when our children are born and learn to roll over, crawl, talk, walk, etc., they receive a constant stream of encouragement. He also talks about how the older they get the more and more it drops off.

The Bible teaches us that out of the abundance of the heart the the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45) and also teaches us to think on those things that are lovely, pure, holy, etc. (Philippians 4:8). At what point did our hearts change toward our children that we constantly give them the do-nots more than the dos. Yes, safety probably played a big part in it (don't touch the stove, it will hurt), but why? Our brains are wired to hear the command, not necessarily the "don't".

Don't believe me?

Okay, let's try this: you are watching what you eat. On the table is a birthday cake and in the fridge, some berries.

If I were to tell you, "Don't eat that birthday cake," what do you think you'd be thinking about all day? What would you be craving? That's right! That birthday cake would be front and center of your thoughts. And the more you tried to not think about the cake, the more you most likely thought of it.

Now, let's flip this. Same scenario and the cake is still sitting on the table, but this time I tell you, "Let's eat healthier. There is a bowl of fresh berries in the fridge for you." What are you thinking about now? Most likely, you are thinking about the berries, good for you and there is a lot less struggle for you to want them, less rebellion and temptation--all around a better option and it was a simple matter of phrasing things.

We have been concentrating on using more uplifting phrases and it's been a learning curve for all of us. Our children have even asked me what is going on because they have noticed an obvious difference.

I have also been trying to apply this to my marriage. I've never struggled with nagging, but there are times that when I get frustrated I will speak sharply. I have often had to ask Darling Groom to forgive me and pray with me. A lot of times that I do speak that way is because I want things to be done MY way. Talk about pride. It's an excellent example of how to not be submissive. So, a lot of prayers lately has been for God to direct my words to be more kind and loving.

So anyway, this week, while decluttering I came across an article in a Prevention magazine I was getting ready to toss. The brief article was titled, Tongue-lashing Leaves Scars by Sari N. Harrar. You're thinking, yeah, knew that already. But did you know that for your own heart (and your spouse's heart) keeping the sharp words to yourselves makes you physically healthier? According to this article, the University of Utah researched married couples having brief conversations on sensitive subjects (finances, in-laws, etc.), then they checked arteries with a CT scan. Women who heard (implied or actually said) or made hostile comments such as "you can be so stupid" were 30% more likely to have hardened arteries. For the men, it was controlling phrases like "do it my way" (heard or said) and the risk was the same. In fact, Ohio State University research concluded that harsh exchanges between spouses lowered their immunity enough to slow down any physical healing by at least a day.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. Here is scientific proof of that verse. When we view that evidence through the lens of Scripture it just confirms that our Lord created us to be encouraging and uplifting to one another at the benefit of their health and even our own!

This week, I hope you'll join me in praying that we all learn to speak to each other in God's love and design and that we become more intentional in speaking good into our husband's lives, our children's lives and that we can encourage them in the simple every day words we use. Pray that God continually reminds us that the state of our spiritual heart and emotional heart can affect our physical heart and to create in us a clean--happy and healthy--heart.

Hugs & Prayers,


  1. Wow, that sounds like a great parenting study!!

  2. It really is. If you can get your hands on a copy of the book, it has some of the questions at the end of the chapters. If you can get both the book and the workbook, even better. REally recommend this one.