What’s in Your Love Pocket?

  

(My devotions will focus on marriage for the month of February. If you’re not married, I encourage you to read them anyway! If you have a heart…then this one is for you tooJ And while you’re reading, pray for your friends that are married.  Believe me, they will appreciate it. Also, give a special blessing by passing these devotions along to them! Here we go…)

 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many,” (Hebrews 12:15 NLT).

 
One of the most common reasons for a wife to withhold love and affection from her husband is unforgiveness. [tweetherder][/tweetherder]A seed of resentment can grow into a well established root of bitterness that produces hurtful words and destroys a marriage like kudzu on a beautiful hillside. Maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe you feel that your husband doesn’t deserve encouraging words or affectionate touches. After all, what’s he done to encourage you lately?

A young lady went to my friend, Florence Littaeur, with a tale of hostility toward her husband. As she poured out all his misdeeds, they seemed so trivial that Florence asked her when her feelings of hatred had started. She replied quickly, “I was mad at him before we even got married.”

She went on to explain that her fiancé had written a letter instructing her to find a car for their honeymoon trip. She had answered that it was his responsibility to provide transportation and besides, his family had three cars while hers had only one. He made it clear: “If you want to marry me, you had better find a car!” She found a car, but she vowed she would never forget his injustice.

She looked up at Florence with bitterness lining her face and said, “In case you don’t believe me, I’ll show you the letter he wrote.” She reached into her handbag and pulled out a worn and tattered envelope that had moved from bag to bag for ten years. As she handed it to Florence she said, “I always carry it with me so I won’t forget.”

I doubt that any of us carry around a letter in our purses or our pockets, but I wonder how many of us carry around a letter in our hearts – the real love pocket. The writer of Hebrews warns, “Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many,” (Hebrews 12:15 NLT). A bitter root is one that produces bitter fruit. A bitter heart is one that produces a bitter woman with bitter words.

Jesus reminds us: “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briars.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:43). [tweetherder][/tweetherder]What determines the fruit of a tree? The root – bitter or sweet.

So, what’s in your “love pocket?” What’s in your heart? Do you have any list of wrongs that need to be destroyed? Any past offense that needs to be tossed? Any sin against you that needs to be tossed into the deepest of seas where God has tossed yours? It’s time to clean out your pockets. Are you willing to let it go?

Let’s Pray

Lord, my love pocket is full of old messy stuff. That’s just the best way to describe it. I’m cleaning it out today. Just like my purse gets full of gum wrappers, receipts, and to-do lists, my heart gets full of bitterness and resentment. So today, I’m cleaning it out. Particularly, I am cleaning out any resentment I’ve stored up against my husband – great or small. Out it goes. Hallelujah!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 What do you Think? 

Just for fun, clean out your purse today. As you look at all that trash, envision cleaning out your heart.

Look up the following verses and note what you learn about forgiveness and unforgiveness.
Luke 11:4

Colossians 3:13

Matthew 6:14-15

Just for fun, click over to my blog page and tell me what trash you cleaned out of your purse at www.localhost/sjold.  I’ll go first: gum wrappers (I’m a big gum chewer!), old grocery lists, 4 receipts that needed to be filed away.

Want More? 

February is the month of love and a wonderful time to contemplate our marriages.  Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? The woman who makes him sorry to leave in the morning and eager to come home at night? Then you’ll want to read Becoming the Woman of His Dreams for an insightful look at the wonderful, unique, and God-ordained role only you have in your husband’s life. But today’s devotion doesn’t just pertain to marriage, it pertains to life! For more on the scope of forgiveness, see Your Scars are Beautiful to God to learn more about how to let go of past pain and embrace the present purpose.

And if you want to add a little spark to your marriage, join me for my 14-day Romancing Your Man Challenge. Click here to learn more, sign up, and to start receiving your 14-day challenge!

 

 



 

23 Responses to What’s in Your Love Pocket?

  1. gale February 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Hey Sharon,
    I met you in Auburn last month. Thank you so much for hearing the Lord the ministry the Lord has given to you. I just cleaned out my purse the other day. A few receipts from “eating out too much” . My husband and I were married 35 years when he developed cancer and within six weeks he was gone. Praise the Lord we had cleaned out our wallets and purses before he died. In fact the last words spoken unbeknownst to us was I love you. However, for many years we both had a lot of trash hidden in deep pockets. He was a Vietnam vet and had so many issues of which as a young woman I didn’t understand I grew up in a single parent home where the women took control , It was only by the grace of God and His forgiveness that we could ever forgive each other. It has been seven years now and how I wish I could have the opportunity to do my marriage all over knowing what I know now and to love him the way God did.

  2. Peggie Jones February 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Dear Sharon, When I clean out my purse I find all kinds of stuff, wrappings from mints, candy and anything that will keep me from being a littering person. Grocery list from last month, grocery and bank receipts and advertising or handouts.
    I have been a widow for 3 years now and would have been married for 38 years the year he passed. There was mental abuse that I endured to make sure my kids had a 2 parent family, he would say things without thinking how that would affect the person he was saying it too. Everything had to be his way or no way,nothing I did or our children did was good enough. When my son from my first marriage died he told me that I needed to be a woman and stop crying and mourning my son, that really did hurt and that is when I start to resent him and evenually hating him, when he would touch me my skin would cringe, but I continued to do my wifely duties. I became so depressed that I stayed in the hospital and my doctor told me if I did not give up whatever was causing this I woukd die, I told my doctor that I was living with the cause. I start to use food as my crutch and gained weight and he would totally embrass me in front of people by calling me fat, and that I needed to lose weigth ( I knew that ) I did not needed him saying it to me in the ways he did. He just never compliment me but said things to hurt me, but he said he loved me. When he would do or say these things I would tell him about it and how I felt, I also told him that its not always what you say it how you say it. Before he died I told him that I forgave him for everything he had put me through.
    Ladies do not carry those feeling around with you for years, believe me they will eventually turn in to resentment or hate.
    Peggie J

  3. Michelle Field February 19, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    Sharon,

    I just had to share how wonderful our God is. Like you don’t already know! I started to do your 14 day marriage bible study and stopped after a few days. It was too painful. We have been married for 27 years! A few years ago, my husband stopped telling me I was beautiful when I dressed up. I am actually a real beauty queen, Ms. United America Classic, but I longed to hear him tell me I was beautiful. I cried every time I ready your posts. It was just too hard. I also gave up reading the GIG emails for the same reason. Today, I felt the not so gentle nudge of God to read today’s email. Yep, straight to the heart. I am still struggling with this, but I pray that God will take this from me and I will let it go. Thank you for being such a servant of God!

  4. Gladys Otono Atsenokhai February 19, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    My baby’s dad sent me a hurtful text message that I’ve kept all this years. I know the content by heart because he rejected me and the baby I was carrying. It took a while to forgive him but now after reading this post I’ll destroy the message and replace his hateful words with truth of God’s words.
    http://Www.houseofloko.blogspot.com

  5. jane February 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    empty candy wrappers are what I find in my purse and unused, unuseable tissues

  6. Betty Shotts February 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Sharon, I am a lady 78 years of years of age. My husband of 48 years passed away going on 6 years ago. He was my life. I miss him terribly. We had our ups and downs but the way I live is that what happened yesterday is over and done so let’s move on to tomorrow. God will take care of us and He certainly has taken care of me. Enjoy your blessings every day. Have a gret day. Betty Shotts
    bettys2424@aol.com

  7. chelsea golding February 20, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    Dear Sharon,

    I cleaned out my purse and what a surprise! Gum wrappers and old reciepts. As i was reading GIG today i realized that cleaning out my heart pocket was no simple task. I have a few toxic relationships in my life and would be much happier without. Aftef reading today’s message i realized that i am holding myself back with the toxicity building up and should forgive and move on. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration.

    Chelsea Golding
    NS Canada

  8. nelly February 20, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    hi sharon. thanks for your lovely message. i understand the message, but how do i go about doing it? how do i get rid of the bitterness? i can relate to the young lady in your story. i’ve never gotten over an incident at the beginning of our relationship, almost 10 years ago now. those seeds of resentment (and the accompanying lack of respect for husband) eventually led to the breakup of our marriage, but the bitterness remains. i don’t want my 5-year-old son to become poisoned by my continuing bitterness! how do i let go of the feeling of being wronged, resentment and bitterness?? by the grace of god i am coping day to day and pretending everything is ok.

  9. Juli Ann February 20, 2013 at 4:11 am #

    Sharon, I too am a big gum chewer (my favorite is the Extra brand, Classic Bubble made by the Wrigley’s company). So, needless to say, there are almost always gum wrappers, cough drop or candy wrappers to calm the tickle in my throat caused by the post nasal drip from my allergies, straw wrappers because my 2 year old grandson loves playing with straws and broken pens.
    As for the trash in my heart, I am slowly beginning to throw away all the trash and garbage my parents have left there every time they dumped their verbal and emotional abuse on me. Neither of my parents ever felt that they were “good enough” (whatever that is) or loved in their own families so they never learned how to give love to anyone, especially, a child. God created me as a very emotional, sensitive, touchy-feely person who wears her heart on her sleeve and cried when a bug is squished which, of course, irritated the heck out of my parents. I used to consider being so sensitive and emotional a curse from God but, in the past years, I have grown to see that He richly blessed me when He made me this way because I am able to really sympathize, connect and nurture other people who are going through a hard time. Thank You Heavenly Father!!!!

  10. LagosMums February 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    This is such a great post! thanks for writing and it is important to indeed remember that carrying around past hurts and holding on to unforgivness like the letter she was carrying around exactly does that to our heart and soul – turns us into “worn and tattered” people.

  11. Laura February 21, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Wow, I have been dealing with the forgiveness thing for quite a while now. I am learning that forgiveness is not easy, as I seem to hold onto old hurts, resentments that bring on anger and yes hatred. These are not emotions that I want in my heart and life . God is good and is helping me to get over my emotional hurts and to learn to forgive and put my life daily in his hands. As for what I found in my pocketbook – the usual suspects – old candy wrappers, grocery lists, church bulletins, kleenex (clean and not (yuck)), and dirt/lint. Anyway, a great message.

  12. Glenda Kennedy February 21, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Sharon,

    Praying for my husband from head to toe; I’ve go him covered…..Thank you Jesus

    Mrs. G. Kennedy

  13. Jennifer Tomas February 21, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    I’ve got him covered!! Thank you for all you do!!

  14. Arline Cooper February 21, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I’ve got him covered

  15. Cathy February 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    I’ve got him covered!!!

  16. Jane February 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I’ve got him covered

  17. Marcie February 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    I’ve got him covered

  18. Alice L. February 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    I’VE GOT HIM COVERED!!! THANK YOU JESUS!

  19. Vineè H February 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I’ve got him covered!

  20. MHM February 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    I’ve got him covered. And I told him how handsome he looks today:)

  21. Cynthia February 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    My life 100% of the time for the remainder of my life and my families lives.

  22. Faith Owens February 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    I would like GOD to work on my marriage and my attitude completley!!!!

  23. D.J. February 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I’ve got him covered! Thanks for the great devotions on marriage!

Leave a Reply