How Does the Kingdom of God Grow?

A Lesson from the World of Agriculture

Before I tackle that question, let me ask, “Did Jesus talk more about the Kingdom or about the Church?”  If you said, “Kingdom,” you would be absolutely right.  In fact, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven over 100 times and about the Church about 3 times.  The most famous is Peter’s confession of Christ and Jesus’ response saying, “I will build  my church (Matthew 16:18).”  Just a simple look and one will conclude that Jesus wanted to build a Kingdom that would cover the entire globe.  The Church is not bigger than the Kingdom.  The church is a vehicle to build the Kingdom.

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The first command Jesus gives His followers is to “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).  One of the goals of His followers is to set up God’s Kingdom here on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).  Jesus even tells His followers to Seek first the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).  What does that look like?  How does the Kingdom of God grow on earth?

Typical thinking would say we build the Kingdom of God with a preacher, a church building, a stunning worship band, lights, and a haze machine.  The preacher should be able to communicate to a large crowd so people would listen.  The problem with that thinking is it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible.  Kingdom growth is much more simple than that.  It is simple and transferable.  Kingdom DNA has the power of reproduction in it from beginning to end.  Jesus tells us clearly how the Kingdom of God grows through a lesson from agriculture.

The simple and reproducible lesson is found in Mark 4:26-29.  This parable of Jesus is ONLY found in Mark.

26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

I am amazed every time I think about how Jesus says the Kingdom grows.  Only 5 things are necessary for the KINGDOM OF GOD TO GROW (maybe 6).

  1. A Sower
  2. Seed
  3. Soil
  4. A Season of growth
  5. A Sickle (harvest tool)

Sowersare the beginning of God’s plan. They are men and women who are willing to cast the seed. God has chosen to use US, his people to be catalysts for HIS KINGDOM growth.

  • What does a Sower do?
  • Who is qualified to be a Sower?

READ- 2 Corinthians 9:6

Seed The Word of God from the hand of the sower. God has provided us a picture of Kingdom growth to be like a seed planted in the ground. In another place, Jesus talks about SEED as being the word of God (Mark 4:14).

READ- Romans 10:17

Faith comes by hearing. Yet not everyone who hears believes (Matt 13:14). Some people’s hearts are just not ready, but that is not our job to distinguish between the two.

The sower sows the seed. The sower also tries to remove any obstacle from growth to happen. We want to do our best at being able to be hearable, loving, and full of grace and respect.

  • What is the best way to sow seed?
  • What barriers exist from keeping people from receiving the seed?

SoilThe hearts of the lost in which seed is cast. Everywhere we look we can see spiritually lost people whose hearts are far from God.

  • How many lost people do I know personally?
  • Do I know the condition of their soil?

SeasonCommitment to the sowing of seed and harvest. No seed grows over night. NO farmer sows one day and expects to reap the next day. The wise farmer returns to the field where the seed is sown regularly.

  • Are you committed to bringing the harvest in?
  • How much priority do you give to checking on the growth of the seed you cast?
  • Are you patient to wait for the harvest?

SickleWorkers in the harvest force intentionally seeking to bring the harvest in. It only takes one to sow but it takes the entire community to bring in the harvest.

READ- Luke 10:1-2

  • What resources do we have for bringing in the Harvest?
  • Is your sickle sharp?

I said there might be a sixth necessary thing…

Spiritread Mark 4:27…there is a worker that is working behind the scenes. Seeking to live on mission or go on mission without the power of the Holy Spirit is like planning a trip to the moon without a rocket ship. God calls and God empowers us through the HOLY SPIRIT.

  • How often do you spend learning about God and listening to God?
  • How would you describe your relationship with God?

Sunday Reflections 7.5.2015

Concerning 290 CC, Rock the Block, Yorkmont Fireworks, and USA World Cup Finals.

I love Sunday’s sleeping in and cleaning and relaxing.  I love when I get to be with people at one of our Life Group meetings.  The name Life Group comes from the idea of doing life together.  We did life together yesterday at our Fourth of July Picnic.

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Great Time at the Picnic.

Brooklyn White was crushing the wiffle ball, the brisket Loooonnnngggg smoked by Glen and Lynda was awesome, the shade was great, Robin Walls is awesome for the creativity behind the picnic, however, I counted her “star” blueberries she had 80 blueberries on her amazing patriotic flag pie.  I think she may have either vision of countries being annexed by the US or several states splitting and making 2 separate states.  Loved seeing everyone out and mingling.  Missed some folks that were traveling and others who had family visiting.  I was reflecting how important these kinds of hang outs are so important to us as a family of believers.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 6.37.30 PM Rock the Block coming to Yorkmont Drive and other Neighborhoods.

Rock the Blocks are happening in three different neighborhoods around Cypress in the coming weeks. Sure hope they are a blast and help us build great relationships around us.  I understand that teens will be heavily involved. To be honest, that was my full intent, I just didn’t press it the first year.  I love how a plan comes together.

Who Doesn’t Love Fireworks?Fireworks Stands

Love fireworks! Which is your favorite?  I like the bright ones that spray sparks everywhere and the ones called Patriots that shoot up hundreds of little- pew-pew-pew-pew rockets.  I wondered last night what it would be like if everyone in Coles Crossing, for instance, took their fireworks down to the soccer fields and let them off there while folks sat on blankets and chairs around the soccer fields.  I think the Chinese were pretty brilliant in thinking up fireworks.  I do love our street and the fun we have every year.

11109005_987254007953085_613127016487196069_nEquipped Series

I am pumped about this series for several reasons.  First, it shows how God’s Kingdom Grows by using people rather than focusing solely on programs.  It is reproducible and simple.  Anyone can learn how to be equipped and to equip another person.  Our Mission at 290 CC is to exalt Christ by making disciples that make disciples.  This equipped series is a big vision, a real path toward’s seeing our mission come to life.  It expects obedience as part of the discipleship process, it honors accountability and challenges any follower of Jesus to say, “I must decrease and He must increase.”

GO USA Women’s Soccer.soccer-us-womens-2

Go USA vs. Japan today in World Cup women’s soccer.  The US women have revenge in mind after losing to Japan in the finals of 2011 from Penalty Kicks.  The US won the gold in the Olympics but it is the World Cup that shows world-wide dominance.  Our ladies led by speedster Alex Morgan and veteran Abby Wombach along with a slew of quality athletes will do an amazing job.  Japan is flawless on the offensive side of the ball but the American’s will show what true grit is made of.  PREDICTION:  USA wins 2-1.

The Declaration of Independence

An amazing act of courage...basically 56 men signing their death warrants.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

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When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

DeclarationSignatures-LARGE

What is your Sexual Ethic?

If we choose sex, shouldn't it be ethical?

A column in the New York Times called The Ethicist gives readers opinions on a variety of topics.  Since sexuality and marriage are a hot topic these days (actually everyday) they have covered the topic.  It is like a Dear Abby approach where a writer genuinely wants to get advice on real life issues, “Do you tell a friend his daughter is sexually active?” or “I am a lawyer and had sex with another lawyer on our first date and later found out that she had herpes, should I report her bad sexual ethic?”  The New York Times’ writers  share their advice on sexual ethics and provide answers.  The Bible has a sexual ethic that I thought would be informative as well.  Do you think the Bible is right on or out of date as it relates to the topic of sexual ethics?

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God is the author of all things that deal with sex, romance, dating, marriage, etc.  An entire book is dedicated to the topic of attraction, dating, engagement, honeymoon, deepening a marriage, and working through conflict in a marriage relationship.  God’s will in this area is a protection and a provision.  A protection from painful consequences and provision of deep fulfilling relationships.  There is a great deal of information on developing a sexual ethic.  After a cursory perusal I found that the biggest difference between any old sexual ethic and a biblical sexual ethic was in the use of the word ‘your’.  It is your body, your sex life, your life, etc.  While that is true it may also be true that only thinking of yourself will lead to self-centeredness and not God-centeredness.

I don’t think the Bible is outdated.  There are some clear differences between the Bible’s sexual ethic and some of the current secular cultures’ voices.  Here are some broad stroke principles over-viewing a Biblical Sexual Ethic.

  1. Beware of Desires
  2. The Gateway is the Mind
  3. Sex in marriage is not the Holy Grail.
  4. Sex outside of marriage is never right.
  5. Sexual sins are forgivable.

Beware of Desires

Desires are tricky.  They war against our minds.  James, the brother of Jesus who also wrote a letter in the Bible, said, “Desires lead to sin” (James 1:13-15).  He also connected our desires as the gateway towards becoming enemies of God (James 4:1-4).  I said, “Desires are tricky” because they can be for good or for bad.  Paul in Romans 8:5-8 shows the difference between good and bad desires.  Bad desires are based in the flesh and good desires are based in the spirit.  In marriage it is a great thing to desire one another (Song of Solomon 7:10).

The Gateway is the Mind

Sex is more than physical.  The greatest sexual organ in our body is our minds.  Paul draws three lines in 1  Thessalonians 4:3-7 that act as a guide to building our sexual ethic.  Line 1- It is God’s will to abstain from sexual immorality (4:3).  This means any sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage.  Line 2- Do not “rip” your brother or sister off, that is “transgress or wrong his brother in this matter” (4:6).  Guys should avoid strategic touching below the neck and whispering sweet nothings in order to lead a gal towards meeting his selfish desires.  A girl should consider how they dress because guys are extremely sight oriented.  Line 3- God is calling us away from impurity (4:7).  Sexual immorality is the physical act.  Impurity is the mental act.  Sexual misconduct happens first in the mind.  Another word that is commonly used for impurity in this case is lust.  Jesus said lust, thinking about adultery, is as bad as the physical act of adultery (Matthew 5:28).

Sex in Marriage is not the Holy Grail

Many a man who has chosen a path of virginity before marriage jump into marriage and struggle with sex.  They have made sex the Holy Grail of the relationship.  Sex is more than physical in and outside of marriage commitment.  It has a spiritual component to it.  That is why when two consenting adults have sex inside a dating relationship, one without a commitment, and subsequently break off the relationship there is a great deal of pain.  Our minds and bodies think we are married.  God made us that way.  Sex inside of marriage is great when each person is thinking of the other.  This overlooks the pettiness of selfish sex.  Any sexual act inside of marriage can be moral if selfishness is far away.  However, any sexual act inside of marriage can be immoral if selfishness is the motive.  Sex is not a weapon against your spouse (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

Sex outside of Marriage is Never Right

This is probably the biggest difference between a Biblical sexual ethic and popular culture’s ethic.  This is where the Bible is seen as out dated and out of touch.  How can we expect teens to wait?  10o years ago men and women were getting married in their teen years or early twenties.  They did not have sensual music, TV, movies, etc. like there is today.  Nowadays marriages are being pushed well into the twenties.  We live in a sexually saturated society, how in the world can a man and women save themselves for their one and only?  The Bible offers God’s blessing on sexual intimacy only when it occurs within the boundaries of marriage.  It denies that sex outside of marriage is justified for any reason. It rejects the idea that sexual intimacy outside of marriage can be moral if partners are honest, consenting, or sufficiently committed. It opposes the portrayal of sexual sin as a way of enhancing the popular appeal of entertainment. It rejects the idea that sex between unmarried teenagers is acceptable if it is “safe.” (Exod. 20:14; Lev. 18:7-17, 20; Deut. 5:18; Matt. 5:27-28, 19:9,18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Rom. 1:24, 13:9; 1 Cor. 6:13,18; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 13:4; 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Thess. 4:8; Prov. 5:3-14).

Sexual Sins are Forgivable

There is a difference between needing and getting a pure heart and a brand new heart.  When a person comes to the place in their spiritual journey where they understand sin is a problem (Rom 3:23), separation from God and death are the consequences (Rom 6:23), the cross of Jesus is the solution (Rom 5:8), and faith is a choice (Rom 10:9-10), they are given a brand new heart.  The old heart is gone and they are given a new heart (2 Cor 5:17).  God offers incredible forgiveness, mercy, and grace to those whose heart are already His but they have chosen to walk outside of God’s plan for sexuality (1 John 1:9; 1 Cor 6:9-11).  The challenge is to seek out folks who can encourage you to walk God’s path (2 Tim 2:22).  Although a person’s relationship with God is fully restored there are often physical and psychological scars that must be dealt with that come from sexual sin.

How to Make a Good Decision

And have peace of mind at the same time.

Decision making is tough for those who think it is easy.  It is doubly tough for the indecisive among us.  I am not sure what the percentages are but I can’t imagine a majority of people enjoy making decisions.  Decisions are here to stay.  They cannot be avoided.  They only vary in size and impact.  I have no doubt that decision making can become something that we get better at with time.  What are the best steps to take to make a solid decisions?

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Decisions come in big and small packages.  Here are 4 steps to take in making a good decision.

  1. Look outside of the box for both/and instead of either/or.
  2. Sometimes only Time will tell.
  3. Kick the can down the road.
  4. Prepare for failure.

Look for Both/And and not just Either/Or

When making a decision, put all the known data and information on the table.  Then ask, “Is there a Both/And solution to be made here?”  The stress of decision making often comes from the fear of not getting “IT” right.  If it is as simple decision such as what to wear (I think that is simple but then I have heard that some people change clothes 2-3 times before leaving the house) then a YES/NO or EITHER/OR will be appropriate.  You can use gut feelings, plurality of counselors (husband, kids, friends, etc), and past experience (how these clothes looked last time you wore them) to help guide the decision.  But what if it is a grey area where it goes beyond a simple yes/no.  How do you make a decision?  Like, how does one decide on staffing a position, cutting an initiative, adding an initiative, or what to do on vacation?  Look for a Both/And and not just and Either/Or.  Chip and Dan Heath call this, “Narrow framing.”  They wrote a book called Decisive.  Narrow Framing comes when we limit our choices to those that are obvious.  In order to get the focus broadened, deliberately ask what would happen if we couldn’t do any option or what would happen if we could do two options.  For instance, hiring may be avoided by re-structuring or doing both.  Get outside the box and take a risk.

Give it Some Time

As long as it is available, time is a friend not an enemy.  Calm leadership is nearly always the best leadership when it comes to decision making.  Poor decisions are rushed.  Good decisions come from taking your time.  Don’t be afraid to say, “Let’s TABLE that for next time.”  Sleep, life, eating, and relating can bring a ton of great insight.  BE PATIENT.

Kicking the Can

Can the decision be put off?  If not, think in terms of what the outcomes might look like in the short term and the long term.  It takes guts but it also takes understanding reality.  Many a poor decision has been made because someone’s gut got in the way of clear thinking.  A great way to kick the can is to consider what it would like if a decision was made through a test of it.  For instance, if an organization is not sure about how to change a procedure they can try something out for a short time and make tests and gain more information.  What is true of procedures may also apply to personnel.

Prepare for Failure

The reason we don’t prepare for failure is because we don’t appreciate it enough.  Failure is a massive blessing.  In the 1960s, IBM CEO Tom Watson called an executive into his office after his venture lost $10 million. The man assumed he was being fired. Watson told him, “Fired? Hell, I spent $10 million educating you. I just want to be sure you learned the right lessons.”  Organizations can learn from this example.  Instead of fearing failure we should spend some time celebrating failures.  Without failure there may have not been risk and without risk there is often no productivity.  If the ship is on autopilot the team avoids failure but there is no real growth either.

 

How To Make Your Wife Happy

50 plus two ways that will do the trick...

Have you ever heard of the statement, “A Happy Wife equals a Happy Life?”  Is it true?  How can anyone argue with it really?  I asked my wife for a couple of ideas and she gave me 2 good ones and then I thought of some others all on my own.

I asked Allison what makes a wife happy and she said, “It really depends on what day it is.”

One day it is chocolate!

One day she wants her man to look her in the eyes and say, “You are the one I am dreaming about.”

Chocolate and eyes.  Do they go together like a Peaches and cream?  Ebony and ivory?  Laurel and Hardy?  Do them both and your wife might have exponential happiness!

Here are 50 additional ideas on making your wife happy.

  1. Verbalize, verbalize, verbalize, I LOVE YOUS often.
  2. Emotionally relate to her kids, your children.  Say, “I love you” to them all the time.  It will make her heart go pitter-patter if you love your children.  Be a father not a babysitter.
  3. Be physical together, not just sexual, but play together, go on walks and hold hands.
  4. Be quick to say, “I am sorry, I was wrong, Please forgive me.”
  5. Take care of yourself, grooming, working out, staying fit.
  6. Make sure you encourage her and allow her to cultivate same sex relationships. Girl time will be so valuable to your relationship and it will definitely make her happy.
  7. Make the coffee, clean the kitchen, help out around the house.
  8. Don’t always delegate discipline of the kids to her.
  9. Take the pressure off when it comes to financial decisions by giving solid input.
  10. Hug and cuddle as an end in themselves.
  11. Tell her she looks great in her clothing.
  12. If she asks for a decision on what to eat give her a decision (i.e. Peas or Carrots?  Just pick one!)
  13. Tell her about some of your fears and ask her to pray for you.
  14. Watch Hallmark movies with her.
  15. Schedule date nights before the month begins.
  16. Schedule family nights before the month begins.
  17. Schedule a time for her to have an extended time of journaling and reflecting (i.e. we call it a DATE with God) before the month begins.
  18. Make goals together before the month begins.
  19. Keep traditions happening and alive around special occasions.
  20. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  21. Set up epic romantic getaways.
  22. Give her room to soar and celebrate victories as well as comfort in defeat.
  23. Love her in the way she receives love best, not always in the way that is most comfortable to you (i.e. if she loves gifts, give her gifts, if she loves touch, touch her non-sexually, if she loves quality time, do that, if she loves acts of service, clean the bathroom counter).
  24. Put chocolate chips in a bowl of popcorn that you make for her by surprise.
  25. Re-read old love letters together.
  26. Spend time looking through your children’s photo albums and scrapbooks.
  27. Celebrate her creatively for an entire week around her birthday.
  28. Go on a picnic.
  29. Take a nap at a picnic.
  30. Read a book while at a picnic.
  31. Pray together for your kids futures and present days.
  32. Spend a weekend away, pack her bags for her, and surprise her.
  33. Go on a shopping date and give her the privilege of trying on clothes at the store and giving her your opinion.
  34. Dance with her in the kitchen.
  35. Take a dance class.
  36. Go on a date and make art together.
  37. Take her on a dinner and movie date.
  38. Run a half marathon together.
  39. Tell her parents how much you love her and some specific qualities that you love about her.
  40. Tell her friends what you like about her.
  41. Make breakfast for dinner for her.
  42. Stay up and wait for the kids at their curfew.
  43. Lead the kids in devotions before school.
  44. Pray for your kids before they go out the door in the morning.
  45. Send her sweet texts telling her that you are thinking about her throughout the day.
  46. Take her to the Miller Outdoor Theatre or go see her favorite teenage band at a concert.
  47. Finally, and maybe the most important:  DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE LID DOWN.