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!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Self Control

How can we submit to someone who is, at best, imperfect? By submitting through faith in our mighty God! As we submit to God’s plan in faith, we are “shielded by God’s power”. No matter how many bad decisions our husbands make, we are shielded. Yes, we may suffer some consequences with him but we will not be overthrown.

It is not enough to submit reluctantly or grudgingly. Remember the happy heart scenario? Would you submit to God grudgingly? I sure hope not. Remember by submitting to your husband you are submitting to God!

Let me answer a couple of questions that some of you may be asking yourself.

1. If my husband has control, does that override God’s control in my life? No. As the leader of our home, our husbands are to submit to God’s control as well - which brings us to another question.

2. What if my husband does not submit to God? Does that mean I don’t have to submit to him? That is just an excuse. While you are not responsible for your husband’s sin, you are responsible for your own. God requires submission as an act of obedient faith. He doesn’t require this so He can get control. He’s already in control. Pray for your husband faithfully to submit to God’s will.

The submission that God requires is not passive. It is active obedience and acceptance to God’s plan. How can we actively submit to our husbands and ultimately to God?

Read 1 Peter 1:13.

Look!! There’s the control that we so humanly desire! But it’s not control over our husbands. This control is more important. It’s self control. Prepare your mind for action by acknowledging that God is the ultimate authority. We must determine to cooperate with God by embracing God’s plan of submission to our husbands.

We must have self control! We can no longer allow ourselves to assume the leadership role in our home. Of course, we should be leaders to our children and maybe even in aspects of the church and community. We must relinquish our control of the leadership role of the house and set our control on our own attitudes, thoughts and actions. It takes discipline to submit to our husbands in accordance with the command of our God!

Don’t allow your mind to dwell on the possible consequences of what appears to us to be bad judgement on our husband’s part. Set your hope fully in God’s grace.

Jesus lives in us by faith. He is revealed to us every day as we submit to God’s authority. As wives, we are faced with a choice. God says, “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1:14-15).

Remember, the Bible says the devil only comes to kill, steal and destroy. If we sit around dwelling on the decisions that we “could have made a better choice” than our husbands, the devil is killing your obedience, stealing your happy heart and destroying you with worry.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Choosing to obey

So now we know that submission is a choice. We aren’t forced to submit but the Bible says we should. When we choose to submit, we are choosing to obey.

It’s easy to think that the Scripture does not apply in our own circumstances. Surely it can’t mean that we are supposed to submit to men that don’t look for God’s will or are not in line with what we understand God’s will to be.

Read 1 Peter 1:1-5. When we read this, we realize that this passage was written especially for us when our husbands are not Christians or fail to make decisions in line with God’s direction. After all, it does say that we can win over our husband without words. If a man already has a strong walk with God, he doesn’t need much “winning over.”

Do you truly understand that verse? If so, you need to prepare to make some changes in your own life.

To understand what the Bible means by, “In the same way,” we have to start at the beginning of the verse.

Re-read verses 1 and 2. Did you notice that this Scripture was written for those who have accepted Christ as Saviour and Lord?

Note that first we were “chosen”. From the beginning, the God who had all knowledge of the situations we would face in our marriages today chose you and me!

What were we chosen for?

Obedience. Since we are chosen, we are faced with an immediate choice. Will we choose to be obedient or disobedient to God’s Word and will? Are you willing to obey what God shows you? That is what really matters. It’s not a question of whether or not our husbands are capable or worthy of leadership or whether or not we think we could do a better job. Those things are for God to decide.

If we are unwilling to submit to God here, at the foundation of this call, who are we to even dare judge our husbands for their failures in the leadership areas God has called them to? By choosing not to submit to our husbands in the ways God ordained, we then choose to rebel against God’s design for us.

The next thing we were chosen for is “sprinkling by his blood”. The blood of Jesus gives us the power to overcome and rescue ourselves from the wrong choices we have made. God knew we would fail in obedience at times. He chose us for forgiveness and for redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Submission is a difficult choice God has called us to make. Commitment is never easy. We have to work hard to get the things we want. School is not easy. Getting a degree is not easy. Sometimes, following God is not easy. Child birth is not easy. Marriage is not easy. Do you know what all of these difficulties have in common? The end result is worth it. Finishing school was worth it. Getting a degree to further a career was worth it. Following God is worth it. That sweet little newborn was worth the pain of child birth. Our marriages and our husbands are worth it.

Submission brings the richness of God’s protection and a blessing that will free you in a way that nothing else can. It keeps you from feeling obligated to say yes everytime someone asks you to do something. You can tell them not only do you need to pray about it but you need to talk it over with your husband. Look at Biblical submission and how those in authority are supposed to love and care for those in submission. It is a wonderfully protected and cherished position.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Play nice!

Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.

As Christians, we ALL need to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle and patient with EVERYONE. We need to bear with our husband and try to get along with him at all times. We need to be forgiving and loving. Even if your husband is not a Christian, you are NOT exempt from living your life according to God’s Word. Be an example of God’s love. Strive to live your life as a godly example.

Read 1 Peter 3:1-6. Oooh, submission. That’s a tough one. Or at least, we try to make it tough. It’s really not. We are to submit to our husbands as we submit to God. And I must reiterate: you do not have to submit to abuse or illegal activity.

It is with our attitudes (remember – happy hearts!) and our actions (striving to live a life according to God’s Word) that we can convince our husbands. We don’t have to say a word. Our quiet spirits will say enough.

Remember, to be an outstanding disciple of Christ is to approach life and marriage with the same heart attitude that Jesus approached everyone and everything during His time on earth.

Friday, April 01, 2005

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Respect. To get respect we’ve got to give respect. Some think that respect must be earned. In some cases, that could be true. If you want your husband to respect you, you must respect him.

What stops a godly wife from respecting her husband? Pride. Remember what I told you earlier in the study about not with holding anything good from your husband? Well that includes respect. I know our husbands can be trying and sometimes down right obstinate…but that does not give us any cause to think that they do not deserve our respect. The Bible clearly states that we are to respect our husbands.

Jesus respected the men and women around Him. As His followers we should do the same. Think about respect this way: the Bible says that we are to submit to our husbands as we would to God. So then we know that even if we have difficulty submitting to our husbands we can see it as submitting to God and that makes it easier. Treat respect the same way. If you respect your husband, you are respecting God.

What are some ways we could show respect?

Ø Putting the needs of our husbands before our own.

Ø Going to him for advice on non-spiritual matters (if he is un-saved) even if we think we already know his answer. It is not respectful to assume we know what someone is thinking.

Let me give you an example. We were an Air Force family. We got paid twice a month. I am taking a course on professional dress-making and I can go no further until I buy some material to make a dress. But I also wanted to purchase a Bible study for my quiet time. I am a home-maker. My husband is a wonderful man and if I ask, I generally receive. I prayed over my dilemma thinking that we would not have enough money for both the material and the Bible study. I decided that if I must choose then, obviously, I would choose the Bible study. So I went to my husband and reminded him about the Bible study and asked if perhaps we could purchase it. He also knew that I needed material for a dress. He asked, “What about the dress stuff you need?” I told him that I could wait on the material but I felt that if we could, I really needed the new Bible study. He smiled and then surprised me by telling me I could have both the material and the study. I was elated and thanked God. So the children and I went to Wal-Mart for material. I found onde crepe on sale for $2.00 a yard and a beautiful pattern on sale for $1.74. God blessed me with my needs because not only did I pray, but I followed His word and respected my husband.

Ø We can let our husbands lead by leaving decisions up to him. The only decision my husband does not make has to do with feminine hygiene products.

Don’t get me wrong here ladies, that does not mean that I do not discuss things with my husband. I do. I talk to him about any decision that needs to be made. But the final decision is up to him unless it comes to car insurance because he doesn’t really understand the policy and doesn’t want to since he knows I used to sell the stuff. Ha ha. But I never make a change to the policy without asking him first.

Ø We can listen and follow his advice with a happy heart.

Our husbands have a lot to tell us and can really help us if we listen. Remember, the devil is out to kill, steal and destroy our joy. Our attitude is a decision. Get up every morning and rejoice in the day that God made and carry a happy heart. It is a conscious effort on our part (in partner with God) to carry a happy heart every day. For instance, my favorite color is red. It’s bright, it’s beautiful and it complements my skin tone. My husband’s favorite color is blue. If I ask my husband for his advice on a new dress (like what color) and he says blue instead of red, I make (or buy) a blue dress. It’s his favorite color and I am happy to make him happy.

Ø Don’t grumble or complain. It’s unbecoming and remember, frowning will cause wrinkles. * smile *

Ø Do not nag or argue.

That one took me a while to master and on occasion, I still do both. You are not his mother. You are his wife.

Let me give you some verses to read in Proverbs. You will see why it’s better to humble yourself instead of provoking an argument.

Ø Proverbs 12:4 – A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Ø Proverbs 19:13 – A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.

Ø Proverbs 21:9 – Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Ø Proverbs 21:19 – Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill tempered wife.

Ø Proverbs 27:15 – A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day.

We’ve all had a dripping faucet or a rainy day at some point. What do we do? It could drive us crazy or we could just ignore it until the plumber comes or the sun starts to shine. If it drives us crazy, we want to get away from the noise. We could just ignore the noise all together. I don’t know about you ladies but I don’t want my husband to flee from our home because my nagging has drove him to it and I don’t want him to ignore me either.

Make a list of ten things you can do for your husband to show your love and respect. You can make it a list of ten things you could ask your husband for advice on or ten ways you can improve yourself so he sees your respect. How ever you wish to do it. If you don’t know or aren’t sure, ask him. Ask him how you could help him out. Is there an errand he needs done that you could do to help free up his time?

 
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