Discipleship · Mentoring · Wife's Role

Need a Little Help Loving Your Man?

Adorned Study #11

A long-distance friend on Facebook is engaged.  She wrote on her fiance’s wall this week,

“You are so easy to love!”

Anyone who has been married for a month or two, knows that husbands AND wives don’t STAY easy to love; both need grace at times in order to love the other as we should! 

We need help and encouragement to keep loving our husbands as God loves us and for that reason, our wise and loving Father put instruction in His Word to help us when the love doesn’t feel so natural anymore.

 That they (the older women) may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, 

Why isn’t love a natural response?  

  • Sin – Two sinners make up a marriage! We stand shoulder to shoulder before the cross.  One is not better than the other!
  • Selfishness and pride
  • Our focus gets misplaced – We focus on the irritants instead of the blessings. 

I smile at the wisdom of God to tell the older women to encourage younger women about loving their husband.  How encouraging it is to know that the older woman struggled to love, too!  What a testimony a divorced woman can also be to a younger woman about the important truths she learned in a very difficult time in her life and how God can help the younger woman keep her covenant of marriage. Again, we see how much we need one another!

The word for love that Paul uses here is “phileo – This is the friendship kind of love, not the romantic, passionate kind.  It’s the love that says, not only do I love you, I like you! It conveys the idea of being a friend to our husband.  We enjoy time with him.  We enjoy being with him. 

When we’re dating, all those things seem easy.  We count the minutes until we get to be together again! 

My husband and I lived three hours away from one another for a good part of our dating and engagement period.  I could hardly wait until he would come visit for the weekend.  I would put everything on hold so I could just spend time with him!  After marriage its’ so easy to get too busy with life and busyness to stop and spend time together.  When we put everything before spending time with our husband, we’re not loving him well.

Elizabeth George encourages wives to have a positive word she can use when he suggests an outing.  I chose “sure!” 

Want to go up with me to wash the car?  Sure!  Want to just go grab a hamburger for lunch?  Sure! 

bike riding

Nancy says,

Marriage, at its heart, is a sacred covenant between a man and a woman, designed to display to the world in Technicolor the covenant-keeping character and faithfulness of God Himself.  …Human marriage is a story intended to draw people toward the gospel, showing them the love of God through two imperfect individuals whose lives become one in Him and who are devoted to one another for better or for worse…for life.

  It’s good to remember that Adam needed a helper.  Your husband – my husband needed a helper.  They needed a companion, a friend to do life with them.  It takes effort, but we need to intentionally pour into our marriages.  Take time to “travel the scenic route.”  That means finding time to talk, to share, to be together.  We need to continue to develop interests as we age.  Find things you could do as a couple.  Find ministries where you can serve together.  Keep on being One – not two individuals doing your own thing and bumping into one another on the way to the garage where you’ll get in your own cars and continue in the fast lane!

What is a wife to do about the irritants and the things she thinks her husband is doing incorrectly?  PRAY.  Ruth Graham said it well – It’s my job to love Billy, and God’s job to change him. 

It’s not our responsibility to point out his faults.  He’s well aware of them.  It’s our job to be his cheerleader.  To believe in him when all the world is against him.

You can go here and listen to the podcast on this chapter of Adorned. You will hear four practical encouragements regarding ways to love your husband well.

Let me end by asking, two questions –
Do you have a word that lets your husband know you’re happy about spending time doing what he suggests?
What could you do this week to be a friend to your husband?

If your marriage seems hopeless, please read this post. If you need some practical tips on demonstrating love to your husband, here are some simple suggestions.

Refresh the love for your husband,

Discipleship · home · Mentoring

Keepers At Home

Adorned Study #10

Isn’t it a comfort to know that God cares about what happens in our houses?  He created the family, and He has a plan for how we care for this ministry! Listen what He specifically says about the home in the Titus 2 passage…

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,

I love how the KJV translates it; as “keepers at home.” This is a woman who is devoted to her home, who has a heart for it.  She’s actively engaged and makes it a high priority in her life.

But all too often, home is a place where we come in to get ready to go out to the next event.  Not much is really happening at home.  There’s little investment in one another’s lives.  Rather than it being the hub of life, it is too often just the spare tire.  

In her book, Adorned, Nancy reminds us that teaching young women God’s Word includes teaching them that working at home is in the core curriculum.

When I talk to women and they lament and say they “are only a homemaker”  I always say, “That is a high calling!”  There’s no shame in being in the home so that you can make it your priority.  But there’s also no need to feel ashamed that you work outside the home.  Sometimes it is necessary.  You may have to be more creative in how you make time for caring for the needs and the people in your home, but with the Lord’s help and wisdom, you can still be a keeper at home.

When my oldest daughter was four, we were so strapped financially.  Then a teaching opportunity was opened to me and it seemed like this would be the best way to help our situation.  However, the added stress it brought hardly justified my time away from our home!  Those are nine months that taught me that my heart was in my home and that is where I belonged

Later I had another time in my life when extra funds were needed because we had one daughter in college! Do you feel my pain?! I wasn’t free to go out and look for part time job, because the other daughter was in homeschool, and I also remembered the hard lesson I had learned years before. 

I prayed about it and the Lord brought to my mind a way I could work from home and bring in a little extra income.  I began a home-baking business.  While my daughter did her school work, I baked.  One day a week, I took my goods and sold them at the local banks, hair salons and medical offices.  God provided and I got to stay where my heart was – at home.

If your finances are tight, I’d encourage you to pray and ask God for the best way to prioritize your home.  There are lots of creative ways to earn money from home!

I’m reminded that it isn’t just young women who are needed to be keepers at home.  Nancy says in her book, 

No matter what our circumstances or season of life, home still matters for us women.  And we will diminish the impact of our ministry as believers if we allow home to become an afterthought or resist God’s call to be workers/keepers at home.

I think it’s easy for us to brush aside the truth that our ministry impact is affected if our home is an afterthought.  How can we use our homes to adorn the Gospel if we’re not watching over it? It’s doubtful that we will.

So if we’re keepers at home, what are we to “keep?”

  • Our heart for the Person of Christ. Make sure He is at the center of every part of our home.  Honor Him in your choices of your time, your free time, the way you use your finances, your relationships, people you encounter at the store, etc.  
  • Our heart for the purpose of the home – to display the Gospel.  Live out the Gospel as you love, forgive, show mercy and kindness. Apply that sound Doctrine to every area of family life.  Share the Gospel with your children. Open your home to share the Gospel with any that enter your doors.  
  • Our priority for the people of our home – Husband, children, those outside the home
    • Time with our husband
    • Pouring into our children
    • Reaching out with the Gospel to others
  • Our heart for the plans for  accomplishing the necessary tasks 
    • Meals are prepared – Groceries purchased
    • The home is clean and inviting (not necessarily Pinterest worthy, but managed and clean)
    • Finances – wisely using what God has provided

If this sounds like a lot…or maybe just too much, let me remind you that you have help in doing all of this!  It isn’t Merry Maids or your 7 children or your husband, (though the people there can certainly be helpers), but it’s the third person of the Godhead – the Holy Spirit of God. 

We have a Savior Who is preparing a home for us, and He is able to help you and me to make our homes a place that will comfort those who live there and point each one to the Gospel!

Do you have a heart for your home? With what areas do you need help in being a “Keeper at home?” Ask the Lord these questions and then watch how He directs, how He changes your desires, and how He brings in wisdom to help you be the Keeper of your home.

Here are a few posts about homemaking that might encourage you.

Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Mentoring

Enslaved

Just one more, please???!!!

One more what?

That’s what I want you to answer! What do you need just one more of to make it through this day? What is it that will make your hardship easier to handle?

  • Coffee?
  • Chocolate?
  • Pain pill?
  • Anxiety med?
  • Drink of alcohol?
  • Hour of social media?

If our answer isn’t “CHRIST!” we may be looking at a stronghold in our life. For many women in Paul’s day, their answer was

I need more wine!

He told Titus to tell the older women to teach the younger women that they were not to be given or controlled by wine. Titus 2:3 The reference of wine includes the enslavement to anything that takes the place of our utter dependence on Christ.

It’s easy for us as we age to swallow the lie that, “I have earned the right to a little pleasure! One more ______________ won’t hurt.” We become slaves to it and then believe the lie that we could walk away from it if we wanted to.

 Titus 2:3 the ESV says, slaves to much wine. And it means to be held and controlled against one’s own will. “This is what happens when we become enslaved to certain substances or habits or activities – anything that we deem essential to our happiness, sanity or survival.”

That slavery can be called many things – addiction, compulsion, stronghold, or dependency.

In her book, Adorned, Nancy listed some of the other common compulsions that enslave many women – even Christian women today. They might include:

  • Food – binge eating as a way to numb feelings. 1 in 4 women in churches struggle here.
  • Diet and exercise – Hooked on being healthy – it’s all they talk about.  Exercise, carbs, scales, etc., consume their world and conversation.
  • Shopping –  What starts out as a way to meet needs, ends up spending and overspending, hiding receipts and purchases in order to relieve pent up pressure.
  • TV, Media – Panic sets in when the Internet is down and you’re not able to check in, scan Facebook or Instagram.
  • Prescription medications – At one time needed for one thing, now relied upon just to get us out of bed or “give a little more energy.”

If you’re still not sure if you have something in your life you’re enslaved to, try going without it for 30 days.

If you find you can’t, then ask yourself,

Who’s the master, and who’s the servant?

 

There is hope for you, if you do find yourself a slave to something!
Jesus said, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, Luke 4:18-19

How does it happen?

Not by willing ourselves to do so, but by yielding ourselves to our Master. It won’t necessarily happen in a moment, but in each moment as we yield ourselves to Christ. 
Now…and now…and now. 
We can live in victory over sin’s pull by appropriating His strength to worship Him, rather than that other god.

Reach out if you need help. Ask a strong believer to make you accountable. Keep yourself constantly yielded to Christ.

He is enough!

You can hear more on this chapter by listening to the Adorned (7) podcast here.

You can be free!

Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Mentoring

The Damage Of Diabolical Words

Continuation of the book, Adorned, Lesson #6

What would you say is the easiest way to determine a person’s character?

Listen to them talk.

Our Savior said that what is in our heart will come out of our mouth.

As we continue through Titus 2, we read,  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers .

Our last lesson spoke about  being reverent in our behavior.  Could a woman have behavior that is reverent – realizing that God is present and acting in a way that reveals His character – and also be a false accuser?  No, of course not.  Another type of speech a false accuser uses is slander.  To slander someone is to simply spread harmful information or lies about another person. 

Slander is so harmful.  It hurts the one we’re speaking about, and it will also harm or discredit our testimony as a woman who should be adorning the Gospel.

Often we run another person down, perhaps sharing something we perceive about them, but don’t know to be true.  We might also share something that is true about them, with an intent to make ourselves look better, or to discredit their reputation.    

If you’ve ever been the one talked about, you know the pain involved, yet we must admit that we are guilty. Where does this come from anyway?

The word “malicious gossips” or “false accusers” is the Greek word diabolos, from which we derive our English word diabolical.  This word refers to Satan.  In other words,

Slander is devilish.

The first time we meet Satan in Scripture is in Genesis when he is speaking to Eve, and what kind of speech is he using?  Slander.  Against Whom?  God.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

So, Satan slanders God to humans.  It’s one of his tactics.  Have you ever had him tell you things like, “If God loved you, this wouldn’t be happening!”  Or “Why didn’t that happen?  God is not on your side!”

Satan also slanders believers to God. In Rev. 12:10 John called Satan the accuser of the brethren. He constantly brings slanderous accusations about us before the throne of God.

Here are three questions to ask ourselves before we share information:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Does it need to be said now?

All three questions need to be answered affirmatively before you should speak it, and even then it might be best not to let it from your lips.

Wow, slander is easy to speak, but its damage is widespread, both to ourselves and the precious Gospel. Let’s ask the Lord to set a watch before the door of our lips so that our words adorn the Gospel and speak of our much of our Savior .

You can listen to the full broadcast on this lesson on my podcast by going here. You will also find all the posts in our study of the book, Adorned, by Nancy Wolgemuth.

Ask the Lord to refresh your speech so it will run from slander in any form.

Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Mentoring

What Does a Reverent Woman Look Like?

Lesson 5 in the Adorned Study

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If you know a woman who
~is godly in her conduct,
~wears clothes that are tasteful and appropriate,
~uses speech that is gracious,
~and shows that she loves the Lord by the way she speaks and acts,
then you know a woman who is reverent in her behavior.

If you go out shopping, walk the streets in a city, or go to a public event, you are likely not going to see these kind of actions present in excess, or even being applauded. But that’s to be expected in the world, right? Why? Because sinners sin.

But let’s think about the behavior of women in your church, and more specifically the woman who sits in your pew…in your seat. Do you and I typify the command Paul gives to women in Titus 2?

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, 

Reverent behavior isn’t something we put on and take off. It isn’t wearing long robes and walking around with our hands folded. It’s showing that our relationship with Christ has an effect on every single day and every single thing we do. 

It will show in the way we carry ourselves, in the way we respond to people in public, the way we go about our daily responsibilities.  We will consistently realize each moment of our day is a high and holy calling.

In her book, Adorned, Nancy Wolgemuth references Anna in Luke 2, who was daily in the temple. It seems she lived there because she loved God and His people. She was there when Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
She realized this child was God’s Son, the promised Savior! She recognized God’s work in her midst! If we are reverent in our behavior, it will be because of what’s in our hearts. That means that we, too, will be aware of God’s work around us! She used her words to express her joy in the Christ child and then she told everyone who would listen! What a beautiful example of a reverent life

Nancy asks: Does this kind of woman appeal to you? Would she fit in well among your circle of friends?  Would they admire her brand of perpetual reverence and want to be like her?  Or would she be the object of condescending comments and rolled eyes – just a bit too serious about her faith?

Maybe we wish we could be “cool” as we age and be able to relate to the younger women by doing so, but Nancy reminds us that,

They don’t need your relevance; they need to see your reverence.

That’s stinging, isn’t it? How will younger women see our reverence? Like Anna, it will be through

  1. Our appearance
  2. Our attitude
  3. Our lifestyle

This happens when we spend quality time with Jesus. We will show the radiance of a life who daily lives in the presence of a holy God.

May there be a revival of reverence in our hearts so we can show our Savior and adorn the Gospel and may it affect the woman who sits in each of our pews…in each of our seats!

As you consider being “reverent in behavior,” what attitudes and actions come to your mind? Does it seem out of the question to live in the way Paul admonishes here?

Refresh reverence!

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