Lies Women Believe, Chapter 7

So it is time for me to post my reflections from this chapter.  It has taken me a while, because there is a lot in this chapter I have yet to experience.  I am a relatively new mom, as my son is 15 months old just this week!  He had his wellness visit this week, and is growing and developing in amazing ways!

With this new insight as a mom, some of these lies hit me pretty hard.  Let’s dive in!

 

 

Lie #27:  It’s up to us to determine the size of our family.

Truth #27:  God is the author of Life.  Seriously, look at human anatomy:  in a woman, there are so many barriers and factors  going into whether an egg will be fertilized or not.  When I think of all the variables that go into this, I am amazed!  We can take birth control; we can make choices to seek fertility treatments or to terminate a pregnancy; men and women can have surgeries to “ensure” that pregnancy is not possible.  And yet, I am reminded of a young, teenage girl who stood before an angel and received the words that she would bear a child, that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit without ever having “known” a man sexually.  And from this girl, Mary, we meet our Savior and King, Jesus the Messiah.  Who are we to play God when it comes to pregnancy?  Rhetorical question there, as we have been given the gift of free will.

I go back to my claim though that God is the author or life.  We will never understand fully why He allows miscarriage, pregnancy, still-born births, and healthy babies.  We will never fully understand why some children are born without blemish, and others come out with very clear birth defects.  And yet, our God does not create mistakes.  And He has created each and every one of us, with purpose, for a purpose:  to honor and glorify Him.  All I know for sure is this:  if God wants a child to be born and live, He will make that happen.  There have been babies known to survive abortion attempts.   There have been so many women who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock who have chosen to give birth to the children they carry and either raise them as their own or lovingly give them to another family to raise and love.

Psalm 139:13-16  For you formed my inward parts;you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,intricately woven in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,the days that were formed for me,when as yet there was none of them.

Luke 1: 26-38  In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

So, I place myself in the Lord’s hands.  Yes, I have fear in this area, namely because I have type 1 diabetes.  The Lord has brought me through the pregnancy with my son with few issues.  I am so very thankful for the gift of Life that my son is!  And whether the Lord allows me to birth another child, opens the door to foster or adopt children who need to be loved and cherished, or any combination thereof, I want to be open to what my God has in store.

 

Lie #28:  Children need to get exposed to the “real world” so that they can learn to function in it.

Truth #28:  I don’t think I can say anything better than these passages of scripture.  For me, it comes down to this:  why let my son experience something that he is eventually going to have to “take off?”  Why do I even want to give him opportunity to TASTE what is evil?  I know he has free will, and I pray that as Brandon and I teach Zander the statutes of the Lord, that he will cling to the truths therein.

Proverbs 22:6

 Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

1 John 1

The Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Romans 12:1-2

A Living Sacrifice

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Colossians 3

Put On the New Self

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Lie #29:  All children will go through a rebellious stage.

Truth #29:  It is my goal to teach Zander to be obedient.  Even at 15 months, he definitely pushes toward rebellion.  And yet, when I say to Zander as he plays in the grass, “Zander, that is not to eat.  Put that down,” he does!  Granted, I haven’t figured out how to get him to stop pulling one of the wall hangings down onto himself, but we’re working on it.  He responds to my “Zander, that’s not a toy” by looking at me with the”But it’s pretty and colorful and I want to play with it” look.  He will cry and fuss when he does not get his way, but he is also easily redirected into something more constructive.  If he is not easily redirected, I know he needs down time or a nap.  After 20 minutes of down time, he’s fine and back to learning what obedience is.

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children and Parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Scripture teaches that children are to obey and respect their parents.  Why encourage or expect them NOT to do these things?  Let’s start from day one and teach them the way in which they should walk.  (referring back to Proverbs 22:6)

 

 

Lie #30:  I know my child is a Christian because he prayed to receive Christ at an early age.

Truth #30:  When we are fully adopted into Christ’s family, there is fruit that bears witness to the transformation we experience.

Galatians 5:16-26

Keep in Step with the Spirit

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

Paul continues this thought even into the next chapter:

Galatians 6

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

We see this again in 1 John 1:

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

I pray that my son comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as his Savior at an early age!  I want my son to have as many years as possible to experience sanctification and transformation by the Holy Spirit!  I want him to have a Christian world-view and be able to make solid decisions based on knowledge and wisdom received from the Lord.  And I want to see him bear the FRUIT of the SPIRIT!  I want to see his heart stayed tried and true on what is good, what is pure, what will bring honor and glory to God!  As his mother, I will seek to guide and protect him from the snares of the enemy; if Zander falls into any of the enemy’s traps, I want his head knowledge and heart knowledge to lead him to Christ, take His hand, and climb up and out of the stronghold.  I cannot do that for him.  Zander’s faith will be his own, and I pray for strength and wisdom for us as his parents to teach him the Lord’s precepts.   Lord, may his eyes and ears be open to receive Your Truth!  May Brandon and I be diligent in teaching him Your Truth.

 

 

Lie #31:  We are not responsible for how our children turn out.

Truth #31:  Nancy addresses this lie on the two ends of the spectrum:  parents are 100% responsible for how they children turn out vs. parents are not responsible at all for how their children turn out.  There truly is a balance.  Yes, we pour into our children’s lives, teach them, correct them, discipline them, and everything else that goes along with being parents.  Ultimately, our children have free will.  They can choose Christ, or not choose Christ.  Of course, my heart’s desire is that my son will choose Christ!  As I stated earlier, though, his faith will be his own.  His dad and I can model for him as much as we are humanly able.  God gives us the responsibility to teach our children the ways of the Lord.  We will be held accountable for what we bestow upon our children.  Our children will then be responsible for their walk and obedience to the Lord.  We are all accountable to our actions and choices.  We all have soiled pasts, full of imperfections, mistakes, good and bad examples.  It is what we do with all of that stimulation that matters, both as parents and as children.

Our past does not define us.  Christ alone defines us.  Our past does not limit us.  For with God, nothing is impossible.

So many of the verses I have already shared hit the truth revealed here.  God calls us as parents to teach our children the commandments, the love of Christ, the sacrifice made for our sin, and our need for a Savior.  We are called to pray for our children, and to love them as Christ loves us.  If I could protect my son from every hurt, how would that benefit him?  Even God did not spare his son from pain and suffering.  Life can be hard.  Endurance of faith and breath are part of what we teach our children, and we can do that without throwing them to the wolves of this world.  We do that by walking in faith and trusting in God, seeking His wisdom and mercy every step of the way.

 

 

My first Easter as a “Pastor’s Wife”

This was a challenging week!  Very draining, but very fulfilling at the same time!

My husband and I stepped into a small church plant, and together with another couple are leading this small flock.  God has been so good!  He is teaching us to be diligent in prayer, to seek His will above our own, and to pour into the lives of those around us.

That’s been since last August.  So what of this week?

Thursday, we had our small church family over for a pot-luck meal of sorts to celebrate the Last Supper.  We talked about the importance of that practice.  Friday, we had everyone back over to watch a couple movies.  The adults watched and discussed Passion of the Christ.  I took the kids into the other room and “watched” Chronicles of Narnia:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Of course, we had popcorn and caramel corn as we watched (and played…and talked…).  Then, Saturday night, one of our friends from church and I got to dye the Easter Eggs for the kids’ lesson for today.  We watched Frozen while we colored each egg and had fun mixing colors!  Today, we prepared the house, made muffins, put out the leftover popcorn, made coffee, put as many chairs as we could find into the living room (including the glider love seat from the back patio), and set up to have everyone in our home to worship our risen King!  What a morning!  Then we all went out for lunch.

Now, I type this as I wait for dinner to finish baking.  Mom’s cheesy potatoes (minus the onions) and a spiral ham in the oven, and veggies steaming on the stove will soon be on our dinner plates!

Can I go sleep for a week now?

The hardest part of this week was being away from my family.  I think this is the first Easter in a VERY long time (if ever) that I have been away from them and not able to celebrate with them.  Such is the life of a pastor and his family, right?  The big holidays, we stay home to “work” and the weekends are hard to travel.  But, I look forward to seeing my family soon.  Love you all and miss you so much!

Marriage: a picture of faith and grace

“Thank You, Lord, for being faithful, even when we are unfaithful to You.  I recognize that we need Your presence and power if our marriage is going to reflect You and bring You glory.  Please give me grace to be faithful to You and faithful to my husband.  In the difficult times, help me to walk in humility, love, and forgiveness, and to trust You to work in our lives and our marriage.  Amen.” (Lies Women Believe Workbook, page 70)

 

Marriage is hardly easy.  Since the original sin, the relationship between husband and wife has been strained.  Yes, there are easy times, and there are glorious times!  And yet, there are troubles and even bombs that drop in the midst of marriage.  More often than not, those bombs, termites, and rot consume our marriages before we even realize what is happening. 

I’ve been there.  I failed miserably, and gave up too easily.  I fell victim to the lies of the enemy in so many ways!  It got to the point where I was fighting for my life over suicidal thoughts, depression, and desperation.  I was in anguish, from my marriage, and drowning in grief from losing my sister and grandfather just a few years prior to getting married.  That’s the other thing:  be emotionally healthy before getting married.  Getting married in the midst of grief, if you don’t have the proper support in place, brings in all those termites right away, and you might not have the strength to survive anything like that too soon!  Needless to say, I found myself divorced at age 26, turning 27 the next month. 

And thus my journey toward healing from grief, from doubt, from selfish desires, began. 

God, in His goodness, gave me a fresh start.  For three years, He took me on a journey that taught me what a relationship based in Him looks like.  When I finally understood that He alone is my desire, and that He alone can supply my every need, He allowed my heart to be ready for marriage once again.  That is when I met Brandon.  I am so thankful for the faith that blossomed in my heart and soul over that three year period!  I am so thankful for the grace God showered upon me, for the cleansing flow of blood through Jesus Christ on the cross and the empty tomb that followed! 

Not to say this marriage with Brandon is perfect.  We certainly have had some arguments, and have been able to talk through them.  It is challenging, financially and emotionally.  And yet, our God is here.  He is the center, and He allows us to communicate with Him and with each other.  That is the secret:  God alone.  Marriage vows are impossible for us to keep on our own.  We do need supernatural strength sometimes to press on, to ask for forgiveness, to offer forgiveness, to pray for each other, to release anger and frustration.  For some, this is a daily occurrence.  For others, this might happen once in a while.  But at all costs, Christians in marriage, let us be faithful to our spouses and faithful to our God.  

That is not to say if you are being abused you should stay where you are.  Get help!  It is ok to walk away from abuse and seek counsel and a safe haven.  I will join you in prayer for that situation, for healing for the abusive spouse, for healing for you the abused.  Cling to the Lord.  

We are set apart for a reason:  to be beacons of light in this dark world.  Our marriages are one way those lights shine bright.  So, if you are having trouble, seek counsel.  Marriage counseling is a great thing, especially with a Christian counselor or therapist.  Marriage accountability groups, a marriage mentor couple, marriage retreats are also great resources for getting through the tough times.  The biggest things toward healing a marriage though:    God and COMMUNICATION!  Talk to each other!  Listen to each other!  Reflect with each other.  Pray together.  And love each other well.

 

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading.  🙂

Lies Women Believe, Chapter 6

It is fitting this chapter is about marriage, since our small church has been in prayer about marriage and hosting a marriage weekend.  So, back into prayer I go!  Thank you, Lord, for continuing to reveal Your truth about marriage, about us, about YOU!  May I continue to seek to glorify you, and to submit prayerfully to my husband.  Thank you for the man my husband is, that he desires to love and honor you!  Because of his desire to love and honor you, I know it is easier for me to love and honor him.  I pray for those women who do not have a man like Brandon in their lives, and that You would be at work in their hearts and the hearts of their husbands.  Thank you, again, Lord, for your provision and presence.  Amen.

Now, to dive into the lies we receive about marriage.  I think it will be difficult to find songs to supplement each truth that follows, but I know there are some good songs about marriage!  🙂

Lie #21:  I have to have a husband to be happy.

Truth #21:  My Joy is made complete through and in Christ alone!

John 15:1-11 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

 

 

 

Lie #22:  It is my responsibility to change my mate.

Truth #22:  I love this quote from Nancy Leigh DeMoss on page 140:  “I wonder how many husbands God would change if their wives were willing to let God take over the process.”  We are such meddlers sometimes!  I know I have been guilty of this, especially in my first marriage.  Yes, that’s right, I am divorced and now married for the second time.  I have fallen into the snares of the enemy on numerous occasions.  1 Peter 3:1-6 reminds me of the truth of my role in any changing my husband experiences:  “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” 

And so, wives, we must learn patience.  Change does not happen in a day.  It does not happen in a month.  So, as we wait upon the Lord, let us me mindful to PRAY for our husbands.  Truly, the Holy Spirit is in the business of CHANGE!  Let us step back and cast our cares before the Lord, living to honor Him in how we relate to our husbands.

 

 

Lie #23:  My husband is supposed to serve me.

Truth #23:  Why would I expect my husband to serve me?  There are times he has; for example, after the C-Section birth of our now almost-15-month-old, my husband did serve me while I healed.  But on a regular basis?  Not necessary.  Jesus himself teaches us about servant leadership and the gift it is to serve instead of to be served.  That is especially at the forefront of my mind as we enter into Holy Week here, and I reflect on the Last Supper where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.  John 13:1-20 shows us much about serving:

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Lord Jesus, give me a servant’s heart!  I know that being a servant does not belittle me, but gives glory to You!  Give me a heart to serve my husband so that he may be able to complete the work You have given him.

I write this prayer to serve my husband for many reasons.  There is no way I can even fathom requiring my husband to serve me, because he really is overworked.  Not only does he have a full-time job that provides medical benefits for our family, but he is also shepherding our church, doing online coursework for Seminary to get his Masters of Divinity so that he can be an ordained pastor, edits manuscripts to bring in extra income, and is a very loving father and husband.  I can’t add anything to his plate, and seek to take off his plate as much as I can so that he can accomplish his 4 major roles.  Yes, FOUR.  Well, FIVE if you separate husband and father.  My husband is a busy man!

 

 

Lie #24:  If I submit to my husband, I will be miserable.

Truth #25:  This was a very difficult truth for me to accept, because accepting it meant accepting responsibility for the failure of my first marriage.  I was far from submissive with my first husband.  I did not understand the importance of it.  For three years post-divorce, the Lord worked on this truth in my heart.  It was not until fully understanding the submissive role of a wife that the Lord brought Brandon into my life.  Being submissive does not mean being weak.  In fact, there are times it takes a lot of strength to BE submissive!  You know those situations:  where you completely disagree with your husband, but you muster the strength and pray to the Lord to give you the ability to say, “Ok, _____, as you wish.”  And yes, I did just quote The Princess Bride there!  It is Princess Buttercup who should be saying “As you wish.”  🙂

I have learned the hard way that submission becomes “easier” (it is always challenging for us strong-headed, stubborn women!) when we are in a relationship with a man who submits to God’s authority.  So, when I found myself post-divorce and post-psycho-Kara (I had about a year of extreme “rebound” from the oppression I was released from), God showed me the importance of painting a picture of the ideal relationship.  And, being that I paint best with words and NOT with a paint brush, I made a list.  Well, more of a rubric than anything else.  The “Must-Have” qualities in a man, the “Would-to-Have” qualities, the “I-Can-Tolerate,” and the “Heck-No’s.”  In my “Must-Haves” I wrote “a man who loves the Lord.” Brandon definitely loves the Lord!  I have found it is so much easier for me to submit to his authority because I know he is seeking the Lord daily!  For those of you who are married to a non-believer or to a man who is not where you are in your faith, I appeal to you:  Pray about the words in 1 Peter 3!  How can you, by submitting to your husband’s authority, help pave the way for his heart to come to the Lord?  It is possible!  Don’t give up.  God can heal ANY marriage, and bring His Truth into any heart.  Pray for your husband!  Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal to him the Truth and Grace we have through Jesus Christ!  And serve your husband from the heart, willingly, with your mind on the Lord as you do so.

I am going to link several scripture references here for you all to read and dwell upon regarding submission.  Read the whole passage of each chapter!  There is more than just us submitting to our husbands.  God calls them to love us as Christ loves the church!  That’s right.  It is not a one-sided relationship.  We submit and respect, they love and cherish us.  If they don’t yet, they will.  Keep him lifted up in prayer!

Colossians 3

Ephesians 5

1 Peter 3 I have quoted above.  Take the time to re-read that passage!

And, Proverbs 31:10-31

 

 

Lie #25:  If my husband is passive, I’ve got to take the initiative or nothing will get done.

Truth #25:  The truth here is that there is a huge difference between equipping and enabling.  If we continue to step into the leadership role in the marriage, our men will never learn to be the leaders God created them to be.  This ties in with the act of submitting to our husbands’ authority.  When we fight this truth, we end up with resentment and frustration even more so than if we continue in submission to our husbands’ authority.  Truly, by continuing in prayer, the Lord will be at work in the hearts of our husbands and eventually they will pick up the role God has given them:  the leaders of the households.

Genesis 16 through Genesis 21 shows us how Sarai took action, and then ended up hating the result of that action.  It is so hard to trust in the Lord’s timing, but it does bring so much more peace in the long run!

Psalm 27:14 encourages this truth:  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

 

 

Lie #26:  Sometimes divorce is better than staying in a bad marriage.

Truth #26:  This is a lie I fell to.  Granted, I was a broken, depressed, grieving woman at the time and thus extremely vulnerable.  I know I was wrong to leave, and yet God has given me grace and taught me much.  Nancy DeMoss does write that there are some situations where it is not safe to remain where you are (in cases of abuse for sure!), and that God gives wisdom.  When we choose instead of letting God choose our spouse for us, we will face many challenges.  Even when we let God choose for us, there will always be challenges.  No marriage is easy.  Since the fall of man (and woman) in the Garden of Eden, there has been strife and role-reversal in marriage and thus all these lies we are addressing.

Another issue here is the Happiness Factor.  This is the society and culture-driven lie that “we have the right to be happy.”  When I searched for “happiness” in scripture, every verse I found talked about delighting in the Lord, being joyful, or rejoicing.  Other words include peace, blessed, content, comfort, etc.  These words are VERY different from what our society views as “happiness.”  This leads me to believe that true HAPPINESS is found in complete submission to God’s authority in our lives, letting His Spirit bring love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control into our hearts. (Galatians 5:22-23)

So how do we “fight through” the hard times in marriage?  I found a lot of great examples from Love and Respect, The Art of Marriage, The Five Love Languages, and similar books by Christian authors and psychologists.  Remember, scripture never tells us life will be easy.  In fact, numerous times, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and other writers speak frequently of challenges we will face.  Through each challenge, hardship, trial, persecution, etc., the Holy Spirit is surrounding us.  Jesus walks with us.  God’s strength becomes evident in the midst of our weakness.  As tempting as it is to throw in the towel, I pray more and more of us will stand firm, and trust in the Lord.  In the years ahead, I hope to see the divorce statistics for Christian couple DROP.  The Bible clearly defines marriage and the call God has for us in marriage.  Be in prayer for your spouse.  Be in prayer for yourself!  Pray against the schemes of the enemy, and daily put on God’s Armor (on you, and on your marriage!).  Read Ephesians 6, starting at verse 10, to learn more about God’s Armor.

 

God Gave Me You:

 

Lead Me:

 

Grow Old Along With Me:

 

 

Our God’s Alive!

 

With Easter quickly approaching, I have been reflecting on the MEANING of Easter for us as Christians.  This song definitely conveys that TRUTH!

There is a lot that leads up to Easter Sunday, particularly reflecting on the cross and an innocent man who hung there, taking on our sins so that we may be atoned.  What a sacrifice!  And three days later, what a VICTORY!

But why did this man have to die in the first place?  Why is it He had to take upon His shoulders the sins of an entire human race?

And this was and is God’s plan from the beginning of time:  That in spite of sin that separates us from His Holiness, Jesus reconciles us so that we may spend eternity with our Father, with our Creator, with the King of kings and the Lord of lords!