How to Make Strong Plans

Plans are established by counsel;
by wise guidance wage war.
Proverbs 20:18

Life often feels like a battle — because it is! In the midst of it, we’ll take any weapon tossed our way. Even better than that would be walking into the battle with the best weapons we can have.

The best plans are shaped with wise input. The proverb above is giving us a key. Getting counsel when we make plans will make our plans stronger. Using a wise guide, who knows more than we do and can add depth and insight, will make us more effective as we work our plans.

Two is better than one, in this case. None of us know everything or can experience everything, but put us together and see what we have! Mistakes can be avoided, valuable lessons learned can be transferred (instead of having to learn it the hard way), and perspective is wider with two or more sets of eyes.

This does take humility, though. Often we don’t ask for help because we don’t want to admit we don’t know everything and can’t do it all. Letting pride limit us will hurt us every time.

But the benefit is great! Gaining wisdom from God through those godly people He places in our paths is a precious treasure.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
Proverbs 3:13-14

I encourage you to ask for guidance today in a plan you are making. If you can’t immediately think of a good person to ask related to it, start asking questions of others and look to find someone who has the specific wisdom you might need.

Seek wisdom. It’s worth the effort.

Keepin' It Happy

We talk often about loving God and loving our neighbor. Today let’s talk about a specific neighbor — your husband. If you have one, loving him is a priority given to you. If you do not have one, you love your neighbors by encouraging those who are married to love their husbands well.

This love is shown in so many ways, every day, but today I’ll address one aspect only: love him by expressing how special he is to you.

Make a special time together. Remember how exciting it was to go on a date back when your lives weren’t completely entwined? You can’t go back, but you can still keep the spirit of that excitement alive in other ways. Even if family schedules are busy, you can make time for a shared interest weekly or monthly, or you can take 5-10 minutes to share undivided attention each day. Maybe a date night is part of your routine. Don’t let those just become a frantic trips to Sam’s Club with drive-thru on the way home. A little bit of lipstick and clean clothes goes a long way. Showing by your demeanor that the time is special, dedicated to your marriage, is important. We often need the concrete signals for both ourselves and the ones we are honoring.

Play with each other. In a good marriage, there’s no one else in the world with whom you can be quite as relaxed. Keep that fresh. Some times that may take effort, but it will be worth it. Take a deep breath, shake off the tension of the day, smile and then laugh! Laughter is good medicine, for your heart and your marriage. When the giggling and goofing off comes easily, treasure it.

I’ll admit, I was surprised at the bond that was created after our wedding by the times of joking or laughing with my husband. It is a benefit that can easily fall to the wayside in times of stress or too much routine, but don’t let it get left behind. The strength of your bond will help you through hard times, but it needs refreshing as you go.