Edifying the TRUE feminine spirit

That's right - the TRUE feminine spirit... Not what the WORLD says we should be but what GOD *made* us to be!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Looking at headship

Okay - so now that we’ve covered a few of the basics, let’s get into the specifics of what the Bible says. The first thing that we need to understand is the authority that God set up for us to abide by.

1 Cor. 11:3 – But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Let’s look at this piece by piece. Head primarily means authority or top. But just because the head of the woman is man does not make us any less important. Obviously, Christ is not beneath God. Christ was God on earth. God is the head of Christ and man is the head of woman. That doesn’t mean that either Christ or a woman is less valuable. After all, if it weren’t for Christ, our sins would not be redeemed. I think that’s pretty important. Don’t you? Submission does not indicate inferiority but subordination. Just as Christ and God had different roles in the Bible (and we know this as truth from Jesus praying to God in the desert and in the garden) we have different roles from men.

God determined this order of submission when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. We were made as a helper. We were taken from a rib (which is in the middle of the body). We were not taken from his toe and we were not taken from his head. Some theologists view this as God’s way of showing the equality between men and women. We were not meant to be below (or walked on) man and we were not meant to be above man. God further determined it when Adam and Eve were disciplined from eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:16 – To the woman He said: I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.

If you haven’t already done so, go back and read the first post called, “The Battle of the Sexes,” I go into detail on this verse.

To be a godly wife, we must be submissive and follow our husband’s lead. If we want to claim that we follow God then we must obey Him. To obey Him we must submit to our husband as we submit to Him.

Go back and read Eph. 5:22-24.

You will read this from me a hundred times: to submit to our husbands is to submit to God. To submit to our husbands is to follow God’s Will. When you do God’s bidding (praying for someone or helping someone in need or starting a ministry or whatever He calls you to do) how do you go about it? Are you grudgingly dragging your feet and mumbling under your breath? I sure hope not! We do it with a willing, happy heart. To submit to our husbands is to submit to God. You should do this with a willing and happy heart. We cannot claim obedience to Christ if we are not following His will with a happy heart.

There is more to submission than being a “servant”. I know that’s what a lot of “modern” women think when they hear the word submission. They think it means being a slave or servant; maybe even being walked on. It is so much more than serving. It is an attitude of your heart.

Eph. 5:33 – Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

How do you treat the people you love? You like to do things for them. You like to show them that they are loved. I guarantee you that when you start submitting and RESPECTING your husband you will see a change in him. He will love you more and you will feel incredibly fulfilled. One of the keys to submission is respect.

We’ve all heard in pop psychology that before we can love anyone, we have to first love ourselves. That’s partially true. But we what we need to love about ourselves is who we are in Christ. When we learn to love ourselves then we can learn to love others with the same love Christ has for us.

Here are three verses I would like you to read and think about for the next day or two:

Romans 12:3, Philippians 2:3-4 and Romans 12:16.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Submission

Submission? What does the Bible mean by the word, “submission”?

Let me ask another question: do you obey God and follow with His will? You do? Guess what? That’s submission. Submission is a positive thing, ladies. Now, let’s read some Scripture to get a better idea about submission.

Eph. 5:22 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Are we forced to submit to Christ? Of course not. Then why do we do it? We do it because we love Him and want to live for Him. Do you love your husband?

Eph. 5:23 – For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 – Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Well, that pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? We submit to our husbands for a couple of reasons:

  1. Because it is God’s will.
  2. Because we want to obey God’s will.
  3. Because we love our husbands.

We are told to submit to our husbands in the same way the church is to submit to Christ. Either way, it is submitting to a higher authority. It doesn’t mean you lose your own self or your life - but rather you are obeying God and begin to find out who you are in Christ.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines submit as: “to yield oneself to the authority or will of another” and “to make available”. I know what you may be thinking; that the word submit seems just so, well, medival and controlling. Then think of it this way: instead of using “submit to my husband” think of it as, “make myself available to my husband.” Either way it is a VOLUNTARY action. It is the ultimate act of love.

Of course not everything your husband may ask you to do is God-pleasing. If that is the case, you must do what you know God would want you to do. You are responsible for your own sin just as your husband is responsible for his.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Priorities

I have a question for you today (I know that is not a surprise). Who should come first God or your husband? I’ll give you a little hint: God…but what does He tell you to do?

God is number 1A. Your husband is number 1B. Most husbands can be very jealous of someone or something that they feel is moving in on their space. That includes God. Your husband should be *first* in your life. Have a servant’s attitude towards him just like the one Christ modeled for us when He washed the feet of His disciples. Our society will lead you to believe that your children should come first and DH better just learn to take a back seat. However, keeping your husband as number 1 in your household, you teach your kids respect for authority. You are showing them that serving is a POSITIVE trait and you are demonstrating love and caring for a marriage relationship. They will know how to behave when they marry.

Expect your marriage to be a good one!! Whether or not your DH follows Christ has little impact on the mechanics of a good marriage. Of course, the foundation is God (at least for us).

Add some respect and consideration and you will see a successful marriage. Keep love in your heart and your actions and you will see a happy marriage. The only bond an unequally yoked wife will miss out on is a spiritual bond. I am not putting this down at all, okay? For us believers it IS a big deal. But don’t let it make your marriage miserable. You CAN be content in your marriage and have every good benefit of that union while showing your husband Christ’s love.

So, should you turn to your husband for advice in spiritual matters? Not unless he is a Christian. The plain and simple truth: he is an unspiritual man. He does not read the Bible which means he probably does not believe it’s truth. He is not guided by the Holy Spirit. Even if he picks up a Bible once in a while, your husband’s advice would be, well, incomplete at best. It could be misguided or misleading at it’s worst. Talk with your pastor or another Sister or read a reputable BIBLE based book for advice in spiritual matters.

Should you turn to him for advice in unspiritual matters? Yep! Buying a new car, a new house, changing jobs or what sports your kids might or might not play, who should do which chores around your home, where you want to go on vacation ect. Essentially, I am saying to consult him on decisions that are part of everyday life. Especially in BIG decisions, like something financial. Go to God in prayer too! Rely on and include your DH’s advice in these kinds of decision. They affect him to after all. He might not have a great time at a doll museum but you could both have an equally good time elsewhere. Those decisions are part of what makes a marriage.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Living with an unsaved husband

“Sister Bertha Holy’s husband is so perfect! And so is Sister So and Sos! They are just so lucky!”

  • Do not EVER compare your husband to other men! Would you like it if he was comparing you to other woman in church? You are setting yourself up for a very, very harmful emotional situation. It’s easy to see the outside appearance; especially if you don’t have to live with them. Remember, NO ONE is perfect: only Christ. All men are just that: MEN. Another good thing to do: spend the day looking at your husband in the same way you looked at him when you first started dating or courting. Remember, that just because you just see him as your ol’ husband doesn’t mean that other women do. Other women will still find him desirable! Why don’t you?
  • Let me give you some advice: DO NOT make a man (not talking about your husband here) your confidante. (aside from your dh and your pastor of course!) Try to find a couple of good Sisters that you can talk to. There are many reasons for this but I am only going to tell you the obvious one: if you feel like your husband isn’t everything you need, telling this to another man sets up an atmosphere of false intimacy that can lead to lustful thoughts or actions. Also, talking about your husband’s faults only reinforce them in your mind. You certainly don’t want to make him look bad so don’t do it.

“My husband should see that there is more to life than just *this*!”

Now that we’ve all agreed that no one is perfect, it’s safe to say that even God fearing men have problems, faults and struggles too. You need to accept that an unspiritual man is going to have many of the SAME struggles (plus a few more) that stem from having a worldly view. He won’t make decisions the same way a godly man will (through prayer or the Word). As far as your dh is concerned, he doesn’t have an ALL POWERFUL God to turn to. That is just how a worldly person lives. You were like that once and so was I. We’ve been in their shoes. Pray and gently offer advice - avoid phrases like, “You should just give this problem to God,” or “Well the Bible says…” Why? Refer back to the 1 Cor. 1:18.

So you think God can convert him in no time? Don’t even start with me on it. You will just get disappointed. Now before you throw the baby out with the bath water know that God’s time is not our time and His ways are not ours. Take each day as it comes and PRAY PRAY PRAY! Even if he converted tomorrow you won’t see much of a change in his habits or attitudes. Were you a godly wife as soon as you found Christ? Probably not.

So you feel like you are the only one suffering? WRONG! It can feel just as bad to your DH to live with you knowing he often lets you down or displeases you with his “worldly” ways. He might even feel a bit shut out in an important area in your life and at the same time feel like you are smothering him with a lifestyle he doesn’t believe in. Take great care not to present yourself as a “holier than thou” martyr.

So what do you do? Unequally yoked couples are spoken of in the Bible. Read 1 Cor 7:12-13. Go ahead! I’ll wait right here. God is pretty clear. He does not want His people to get divorced but again, if you are being physically abused GET OUT NOW! God’s Word makes NO provision for beating a wife.

The best answer I have is the simplest to carry out but most difficult to do with diligence AND faith.

PRAY PRAY PRAY!

  • Pray that you would be motivated to read God’s strength giving Word every day!
  • Pray that you will be obedient to what the Scripture says about divorce.
  • Pray that God will protect your heart and mind from discouraging thoughts in what might seem like a hopeless marriage.
  • Pray that God will continue to work on your DH’s heart.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Build up your husband

Remember the old folk song that was in the Coca Cola commercials? “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, I’d like to hold it by the hand and keep it company.” Harmony starts in the home, ladies!!

Proverbs 12:4 – An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.

Of course, we all know Proverbs 31 so I am not going to type that out. LOL

Eph. 5:22 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

  • Whoa, that puts a whole new spin on things…submit to dear hubby like we do to the Lord. You cannot submit to your husband unless you are standing right with God. Why not? Because eventually, it will fall apart. God is a firm foundation…flesh is soft.

Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) – The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears hers down.

  • Build your husbands up. Do not tear them down. Be wise.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Being a godly wife

1 Peter 3 (NIV) – Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands to that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine cloths. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Stop for a second and think about what you believe a godly wife should be like.. Done? Okay. Let me tell you a little about a godly wife. First, no matter what spiritual condition your husband is in he deserves a wife that shows *God-pleasing* behavior. (That shouldn’t be a problem if you are truly following Christ.) Do not hold back ANY good thing from your husband just because he may not share your belief and love of Christ. In fact, the way you treat him just might help him change his mind! I am not saying that a woman can save her husband’s soul…only God can. But we can be a good example of the wonderful, faithful things God has in store. You can influence him without words...but with actions! Show him the love of Christ through what you do.

Sounds good right? Right...but maybe you don’t know quite how to do that. Well, here’s a mini-how to section. Print it out and keep it where ever you will see it often.

  • Do NOT preach. Remember? Without words…..use your actions! God showed His love for us with the greatest action…sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.
  • Don’t ever use the Bible to back up what ever you open your mouth to criticize your husband about. The wisdom of the Bible is foolishness to unspiritual people. (1 Cor. 1:18).
  • Praise and encourage him when he does something that is God-pleasing. We praise and encourage our children all the time. We enjoy hearing nice words. We need to share those nice things with our husband too. Even if he doesn’t show it, he appreciates it.
  • God loves your husband more than you and wants him saved.
  • PUSH – Pray (for him) Until Something Happens

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Some Biblical (and personal) perspective on divorce

Alright, let me start this off by saying this: if you feel I am being harsh or mean or just plain unreasonable let me tell you in advance, what I teach is straight from the Bible and if you are feeling bad because of something I say, God is convicting you. Immediately stop and go to Him in prayer for understanding and guidance. If you are confused or need to talk with someone privately (or send me hate mail – he he) please send it to: ADD A COMMENT and I will respond as soon as possible. Please pray for me as I conduct these lessons for you. With that said, I’ll start.

I am not your “run of the mill” Christian woman. I don’t save my faith just for Sundays but I don’t preach on a street corner either. I am a stay at home mom but I’ve also been a working mom. I am a married and submitted wife but I’ve also been a divorced single mom, and a “liberated” re-married working mom. During my years as a single mom and a “liberated” re-married working mom, the employment I held was anything but menial. I worked anywhere between 40-80 hours per week because I loved that money and the “comfort” it could provide for myself and my family.

In 2001 I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and He certainly took the blinders off. I quit working to stay at home with my two children and let me tell you, we endured trial after trial after trial. People say that when it rains it pours…and that certainly is the case. But now that the rain is subsiding I want to explain one thing about that comment: it goes the same way with God’s blessings. When He rains them down upon us, He doesn’t just sprinkle a shower of them – He pours them down and floods our lives. But to receive His flood of blessings we have to learn how to swim in His Word and hold on. Sure, we may be as water logged as Noah when the rain ceases but what happens to the earth when after a good rain? The soil becomes fertile and the flowers begin to bloom.

We know that over 50% of marriages end in divorce – matter of fact, one of the latest statistics I came across listed it as almost two thirds! Seventy five percent of divorcees will remarry. And 70% of those marriages end in divorce.

God hates divorce – He doesn’t hate the people that are divorced but He hates the *act* of divorce.

Malachi 2:16 – For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously. (NKJV)

Let’s look at this verse for a second. There are two words that really stick out to me. The first one is violence. It says that divorce covers our garment with violence. Violence is a strong word. We all know, in some way, what violence is. We know it when we see it. Do you want the Lord of Lord’s to see you covered in violence? Divorce is not pretty. Read the last word - treacherously.

Dictionary.com defines it as:

  1. Marked by betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidious. See Synonyms at faithless.
  2. Not to be relied on; not dependable or trustworthy.
  3. Marked by unforeseen hazards; dangerous or deceptive: treacherous waters.

To be treacherous means that we cannot be relied upon and are not trustworthy. A treacherous person is not worthy of trust.

When we throw away wedding vows that we made BEFORE God, we are acting treacherously! Having an attitude of indifference toward our vows and marital duties by just deciding that we can’t get along and we might as well just get divorced is dealing treacherously with the Lord! So many people getting married have that attitude – if it doesn’t work, I can always just get a divorce. We need to understand that it’s not that simple for people that love God! Why would anyone following Him want to be a traitor of God’s Word? We made oaths before God. Till death do us part should be just that (provided that there is no physical abuse or infidelity).

Matt. 5:31-32 – “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”

Let me tell you something. I am in my second marriage. My first husband was not a godly man (but when we were married, I did not follow God myself!). He battered me and cheated on me. It took a couple of years after he left, but I was finally able to get a divorce. I felt guilty for a long time after I came to know the Lord because I wasn’t sure that I did everything I could have to save the marriage. Then God showed me two things: we were “unequally yoked” (maybe not in a biblical sense but I was more family oriented and he was not. I also wish to say that not all marriages that have uncommon interests should end in divorce). When he left, I prayed and prayed that if only God would save my marriage that I would worship Him. But that was not God’s plan for my life. Had I remained with that person, I probably would have ended up strung out, in jail or maybe even dead. And he certainly was not showing me the love of Christ. God removed me from the situation. Now I am happily married and although my husband is not involved in church, he does not hit me or my children, he takes care of us, he loves us. Sure, we may be unequally yoked in a biblical sense but he still shows me the love of Christ. God can use even those who do not worship Him for His own good Will. If you are in a physically abusive relationship, please please please get out now!! That is not what you were made for. You were made as a helpmeet and not a punching bag.

Sexual immorality - a general term that includes premarital sex, extramarital infidelity, homosexuality and even beastiality. Pretty clear isn’t it? We should try to work through the rest of it with guidance from God.

Matt. 19:3-6 – The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

These verses are some of the most interesting ones in the Bible, I believe. You see, the Old Testament deals mainly with the laws that the Jewish were supposed to live by in order to maintain salvation. The New Testament while pointing out that the laws are good for us give us salvation through the grace of God. But the book of Genesis tells us the same thing that the book of Matthew tells us: that men will leave their parents and cling to his wife and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24) Yet, Jesus tells us a little more: “…what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Unlike today, divorce was controversy during the time of Jesus. Jesus avoided the controversy by giving three reasons for why married folk should stay just that. 1. God made one male and one female. If God had intended more than one wife for Adam He would have made more women. The same would be true for husbands for Eve. He who made them is literally, “the One who created” or “the Creator”. The implication is that the Creator is lord and is the One who determines what should be an ideal marriage. 2. God ordained marriage as the strongest bond of all human relationships. A man is to leave his parents and start his own family with his wife. The language is very strong here. Leave means, “to abandon”; joined to means “to be glued to”. The most permanent relationship in society is not between parent and child but between husband and wife. If that can be broken, than anything can. 3. The two become one flesh. The basic element in marriage is a contract - part of that contract is physical intimacy.

When we marry, we enter into a covenant relationship not just with our spouse, but with God. We make vows to God and He joins us together. Should we, as people, try to undo what God has done?

I could keep quoting scripture about divorce but guess what? They all basically say the same thing.

But again, we have an example of the Old Testament and the New Testament touching on the same subject: TWO BECOME ONE. THEY JOIN FLESH. Do you want to cut your arm off? No, not willingly - big problems if we lost an arm. What about a finger? Want to cut your finger off? No! Your husband is your flesh now. Do not cut him off either (no pun intended).

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Battle of the Sexes

Did you know that the battle of the sexes began in the Garden of Eden?  
It's true!

Let's look at some pointers:
In Genesis 2:21 God made Adam a helper *comparable* to him.  
She was taken from his rib which could be meant as being
equal to man...versus being taken from say, a toe bone...then
seeing man over her.
Or she could have been taken from his skull for
her own superiority.
God deliberately chose the rib. Because she is
a comparable helper.
 
In Genesis 2:23, Adam referred to Eve as "bone of my bones"
and "flesh of my flesh".
They were a perfect match...complementary.
Two ninety degree angles.
 
Then came the fall of woman kind and then man kind. 
 
In Genesis 3:16 it says, "...your desire shall be for your husband
and he shall rule over you." NKJV
 
The word desire can mean a couple of things.  In our society, we
use it to let it be known that we want something.
It can also mean
an attempt to usurp or control.
We can paraphrase this part of the
scripture as, "You will have a tendancy to try to control your husband
and he will possess a tendancy to act as a tyrant over you."


Thus began the battle of the sexes...and to think most people
believe it started during the era of bra burning and "femenist" (sp?_}
women coming out of the wood work to be treated equally.
 
Both sexes strive for  control and neither necessarily lives in
the best interest of the other in the secular world.
The antedote
to this sickness is the restoration of mutual love and respect and
dignity through Jesus. (Eph. 5:21-33)
 

Wait upon the Lord!

Are you broke? Down on your luck? Having trouble at work? Or having trouble finding work? In short, are you having trouble? I have a friend that can help. One that sticks closer than a brother. But you have to know Him. You have to know Him. You have to know that while sometimes He says no, He never leaves us. You have to know that He loves it when we ask for His help. Sometimes His help is just giving us an ever listening ear. Sometimes it’s a miracle and sometimes He simply says, “Wait”. I know it’s hard to hear the words, “no” or “Wait”. But sometimes we have too. We are willing to save our money for a better vacation. We are willing to save our money for a bigger TV. We are willing to work hard for years to get that promotion. But are we willing to wait on the Lord?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

If you are in Oklahoma City or the vicinity...

Come join us for revival starting TONIGHT at 7:30 through Saturday and Sunday service at 2 pm at Courts of Praise! We are a small church that meets at 3629 NW 25th in Oklahoma City inside a United Methodist church. We would LOVE to see you there!

Friday, March 04, 2005

You belong to GOD!

Mark 12
17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

You belong to God, sister. Your heart, your actions, your life and your talents all belong to God. Oh sure, the world does get some part of us. Either working outside of the home, going through rush hour traffic, volunteering our time, just plain being physically IN the world.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to act like the world. We belong to God. And I know it’s not always easy to behave the way we should as women of God. Something that always helps me is to just stop and open my Bible and read about the Proverbs 31 woman or 1 Titus or even Ephesians; something that speaks directly to me as a woman of God.

Let the world marvel at you! Let them wonder why your face shines with love! Let them be in awe of your inner beauty. Yes, you have to give to the world but do it in a manner that would please the Lord.

Are you neglecting your talent that God has given to you to glorify Him? That was the real reason why I am writing this. Do you give and give to the world and have nothing left to give to God? Oh what a shame that is. I am guilty of it as well. Sometimes God says to me, “Robin, you need to write my message and here it is.” And sometimes I say, “Wow, that is a good message but I really need to do the dishes.” Everyone does it sometimes but that doesn’t make it excusable or the right thing to do. We need to start giving God what is His. We need to give Him our time, our hearts and our talents to glorify Him. What has God given you to use for His glory? Are you taking the time to do it? I know there never seems like enough time in the day, but sister those dishes can wait an hour.

Greetings in the Name of Jesus everyone!

Just wanted to let you all know that I have NOT forgotten about this site. Things have been really busy with the move and all. We are now getting settled in. Randall loves his new job with Cox. Bryan loves his new school. Jacob loves having a yard with a fence so he can play with the dogs. I am a little home sick from missing my old job at AAFES but have two new interviews on Monday.

I am also toying with the idea of learning PHP. My church wants a web site and I don't want to use plain old HTML. :)

But I WILL be updating this site very soon! Hey, maybe even now. I think I have a few shorties I can post.

Love and blessings in the name of Jesus Christ,

Sis Robin.
 
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