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I think I landed on a gold mine.

I had no ideas for gifts for my husband one holiday. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I wanted to do something really special on my less-than-stellar budget for this man who, without fail, out-gifts me every single birthday, holiday, and anniversary. And that’s when I landed on James 1:5-8 in this context:

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 1:508

Since God loves my husband and knows him intimately, wouldn’t He know what my man would want—not to mention knowing my budget—and want me to honor Him that way? (Score!)

It totally worked. For the innately creative guy who’s always wished for art lessons, we got a day together at a very inexpensive pottery studio building pots together. We made a memory and some cool things to set around the house, and more than that, he could see that I pulled out all the stops on creativity and personally loving him. It wasn’t flawless in execution. But it was definitely answered prayer.

So now I’m going with the “all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” theme in my parenting and marriage, and God continues to allow me to love better. And why not? He’s the Good Shepherd who knows His sheep, and He gives me what I need to know the sheep He has entrusted to my care.

Won’t He generously give me the wisdom I need if I ask Him things like,

Lord, please help me know exactly how to love/honor my husband today.

Lord, allow me to know the individual tendencies of each of my kids and discipline them according to that bent. Teach me their strengths and weaknesses intimately, and let me know what I need to do to make them flourish.

Lord, help me to do things that would make my child feel deeply loved.

Lord, help me to see my weaknesses in parenting. Bring me people and resources to raise Your children in a way that deeply pleases You.

After all—

…if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us…

1 John 4:12

What a great way to love God, and let His love fill me, as He fills me with His thoughts on how to love His image-bearers.