Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Women's roles

Your Modeling Career

(Lesson 4 in the Adorned Study)

Being only 4’9″, I never had any aspirations that I would ever be a model, but now that I’m an older woman, I’ve learned that a modeling career is indeed a part of my life! Unlike those who walk the runways, my modeling has absolutely nothing to do with physical beauty. Sound impossible? That’s what our God is all about – doing the impossible!

Paul wrote in Titus in chapter 2 –

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

When older women model the beautiful, winsome spirit of a woman who is filled with the Spirit of God, we also know that this did not happen overnight. This has come as a result of years of walking with the Lord.

What kind of things will we be modeling if we’re this kind of woman? What kind of woman will we be? Paul gives us six characteristics here in Titus 2.

Is this what you think of when you think of a woman who is “grave?”
  1. Sober – The first literal application that comes to our minds is being free from the intoxicating influence of alcohol.  But being sober-minded in a biblical sense is broader.  It involves not becoming drunk on any of the many excesses available to us in the world.This woman has learned what really matters and leans her heart in the eternal satisfactions instead.
  2. Grave – This means to be discreet and reminds us to be honorable and appropriately serious about life. Sounds boring, right? A woman like Katherine Brooks in Anne of Green Gables comes to my mind (see picture above). But this doesn’t mean we live life without joy, because joy is a fruit of the Spirit.  It means we see the seriousness of living with an awareness of eternity.  We realize that heaven is nearer, that our days to live for Christ are shorter and that gives us an appropriate seriousness about how we live out our days. We live out our life with dignity and that is always a lovely thing to behold!
  3. Temperate – This comes from sophron, two Greek words, one meaning saved or sound and the other, meaning a mind. Being temperate is to live out life with a sound mind. Phron is related to the modern Greek word for brakes.  The self-controlled person knows when to stop.  The Holy Spirit controls her.
    What do we need Him to stop?  
    Our words.
    The poor use of our time.
    A relationship headed in the wrong direction.
    Anything we might want to do in excess. A temperate woman will put on the brakes.
  4. Sound in (the) faith – The word sound implies health.  This is so encouraging when it is applied to our lives as older women who are experiencing declining health and strength!  Even as our bodies are slowing down, we should be (and can be!) in the best shape of our lives, spiritually speaking!
  5. Sound in charity – Love – This is having a great capacity for love.  We don’t just have this head knowledge of God and His Word.  We demonstrate it with His love.  This will show itself in how we live out the Gospel.  We will show kindness, sacrifice, and forgiveness. 
  6. Sound in patience – steadfastness

I’ve heard so many older people say, “The golden years are not golden!”  Their reason for saying that is because they are experiencing hardship.  Scripture doesn’t say we won’t have any trouble as we age – as a matter of fact, Psalm 90:10 says, The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away.
To be patient is to abide under this heavy load.  We’re not going to cave in under this hardship that might be coming.  We won’t just be gritting our teeth and squeezing by, we will bear up and glorify the God we love and trust.

Sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, charity and patience – what a beautiful model for younger women to watch and imitate. Who comes to your mind when you read those characteristics? Would YOU come to another woman’s mind? These attributes can be a part of our lives as we walk with God, study His Word, and learn His character.

You will become like the One with whom you spend time!

Walk the walk. You are the model younger women need to see in this upside down world.

Biblical Womanhood · Discipleship · Women's roles

What Do We Teach a Younger Woman?

This is the second in a series, Adorned. We are highlighting the book, Adorned, by Nancy Wolgemuth.

Did you go to church last Sunday?  Did you read your Bible today?  Did you treat your neighbors kindly or go out of your way to make things right after you and
your spouse were at odds?  Why did you do those things?  Because of the soil in which you are planted.  Let me explain ~ 

I love having raised beds in my backyard.  In them I grow a variety of herbs and vegetables.  When we first added the beds to our backyard, my husband made sure to get the right kind of potting soil so that the plants would grow.  We know that all plants have to have some kind of dirt to grow in, and while I don’t know all the scientific facts about my garden, I do know that my plants need good soil that is full of rich nutrients.  A pile of dirt, or a ton full of sand won’t work.  Having a good harvest starts with good soil.

When we talk about being a mentor or a discipler of a younger woman, we understand the “what” of our task.  The Lord has told us to teach – that’s what we are to do.  However, the next question is What are we to teach?  Usually older women ask that with a fearful look on their face, because they don’t think they have anything to tell a younger woman, but be relieved, Paul gives clear direction in Titus 2 – 

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.

We are to teach sound doctrine.

You may ask, “Woah!  Wait!  Doctrine?  Isn’t that some deep, theological word preachers use?  What does that have to do with teaching a younger woman?”

Let’s start by defining the word.  Doctrine is simply What we believe.  Everyone lives by some sort of doctrine.  Even an unbeliever in Christ has doctrine that they live by.  In her book, Adorned, Nancy Wolgemuth quotes a man who said,

“At our church, we don’t preach doctrine.  We just love Jesus.”

Perhaps this man’s church doesn’t teach doctrine, but they do have some, and they are living it out, as each of us is.
Nancy says,

“Doctrine is the soil that provides the context for growing character.” 

Just like the soil in my raised beds enables my herbs and vegetables to grow and be beautiful, right doctrine will enable us to adorn the Gospel that saved us.  We will be able to show a watching world how wonderful it is to know Christ’s character and to live a life following His Word. 

It’s important to remember that Paul says we need not just any doctrine, but sound doctrine. We must be planted in the Truth.  That Truth is found in God’s Word and it must be the foundation that gives us deep roots as a believer. 

If the doctrine is bad, what kind of fruit will it produce?  Bad fruit.

Let’s answer two big questions in this post ~ Let’s answer the “Why?” and “How?”

#1 Why do we have to teach doctrine? What’s the big deal about teaching sound doctrine?
Why is it important?  Can’t we just jump to how I’m supposed to love my husband? Can’t we just talk about how to be a Christian woman?
Doctrine is important because all the things we think and do are connected to what we believe about our God.

Wrong thinking and behavior all stem from wrong thoughts about God. That means if we can help a woman have the RIGHT thoughts about her God, her thinking and her behavior will both change!

Our feelings aren’t the boss of us; our Bible doctrines are!

  • If a woman believes that after she’s saved she’s on Easy Street, how will she survive when hardships come?
  • If a woman believes that she needs to work to stay saved, she’ll come close to dying an early death trying to do enough to please God.
  • If a woman fails to understand that Christ lives in her after salvation, she will fail to see that she can have His victory over the sin to which she feels in bondage.
  • If a woman doesn’t know that she’s secure in Christ, she will live a life of fear and insecurity.
  • If a wife doesn’t feel in love with her husband any more, she will think the best thing is to leave the relationship.

However, when women learn Bible doctrine that applies to their lives and to their roles as women, they live lives that show the beauty of the Gospel!  When we do this, we will be living lives that are radically different from the unsaved world.  

Question #2 – How will we learn Bible doctrine?  We learn it as we read God’s Word. We learn it as we sit in a church that teaches sound doctrine.  This is the watering of the soil.  We must put ourselves in places where we will learn the solid meat of what the Bible says, rather than the fluff that sounds good but has no substance.  

When we don’t act on the Bible’s solid foundation, it’s  because we have either not been taught it, or we know it and are not living accordingly.  When either one of those are true, we will have wrong thinking and wrong actions.  However,

Right doctrine is so freeing! 
Right doctrine is applicational to our everyday lives!
Right doctrine is beautiful because it reflects the nature of our God.

Nancy says, “Our ultimate purpose is to make much of God.  We do that as we experience, enjoy and reflect the loveliness of Christ, making Him known to a world that is starved for true beauty.”

Do you know Bible doctrine?  Do you know what the Bible teaches about salvation?  Eternal security?  Forgiveness of sin after salvation? A short study of four essential doctrines of salvation is The Exchange.  This would be a great place to start!

Friends…

  1. We need to know sound doctrine so we can grow.
  2. We need to know sound doctrine so we can think and react biblically!
  3. We need to know sound doctrine so we can teach it to another woman.

If you want to go a little deeper in this study…

  • Start keeping a notebook: What I know about My God. 
    Every time you read a verse that tells about God’s character, write down the character trait and its reference.  For example, God chooses not to remember my sin.  Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.
  • Memorize Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Discipleship · Mentoring · Women's roles

A Life-On-Life Mentor

Years ago when I left home and stepped out on my own, there was no one to whom I spent time asking questions and being taught.  I had had the privilege of a Christian home and godly parents, but as far as someone sitting down to teach me my role as a Christian woman, I had no type of discipleship.  I think part of that was that in those decades, the idea of mentoring and being mentored was a quiet subject.  Not many addressed it.

Today that is not the case.  There have been many authors and speakers who have reminded us of our role in Titus 2 – that the older are to teach the younger.  I’ve been blessed now to have been on both ends, and I know the joy and blessing of learning and also of helping a younger woman to grow in Christ.

One newer book that is that is a wonderful teaching tool is Adorned, by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.  The emphasis of the book is that as believers, we are to adorn the beauty of the Gospel and live it out before the world, and we are also to teach it to the younger women in our lives.

I have the blessing right now of using this book to teach a young woman in Spain!  We are using Facebook video to chat, to grow, and to pray together.  I thought back to my time as a young woman when there was really no one reaching out to me (but neither did I reach out!).  I especially needed help when I was married.  I had so many questions that I wished someone could answer.  Perhaps you feel that way, too.  If that is the case, I wondered if you would allow me to walk you through this study?  If you can get a copy of Nancy’s book, I’d highly recommend that.  I will simply be pulling some of the truths from each chapter and highlighting them with you here as I will be doing with my young Spanish friend. 

So today is the beginning of this series.  Why not grab a pen and a journal and write down anything you read that challenges you?  

Let’s dive in, shall we?

I want you to think back to some time when you were adorned in your finest.  Perhaps it was an event that you attended – a special dinner, a concert, your graduation, your wedding or someone else’s where you stood up as an attendant or gussied yourself up as a guest.  At times like that we may have the “glow” of beauty about us.  That is the picture we need to have in our mind as we think about reflecting the love of Christ to others. The beauty of our lives should reflect His joy, His peace, and His love in the midst of a world full of sin and chaos.  Our lives should point other people to our Savior.  When a bride is glowing, it’s obvious to others that she loves her groom.  When our life is radiating the love of Christ, we will reveal our love for Him!

Think back to this past week.  What happened in your week to dim your spiritual “glow”?  

  • Busyness
  • Family struggles
  • Marital conflict
  • People problems
  • Financial loss
  • Sickness
  • Fatigue

These and a million other things threaten to rob us of the joy of being in a love relationship with the Lord Jesus.  

What is a woman to do?  At those times when we feel the rug has been pulled out from under our feet and we feel alone, shaken, and even in despair, what are we to do?  

Do you remember the show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?  The contestant would be asked questions that required much knowledge.  As they progressed in successfully answering, their gain got higher…to the point that they could become a millionaire!  However, if they got stumped, they could call a friend for help.  The friend would be asked the question and given the chance to answer. The contestant then had to decide whether or not to accept the friend’s answer or give one of their own guesses. Obviously, the contestant chose this friend carefully.  They didn’t call someone who was the class clown, or had flunked out of school!  This was someone very wise that they knew they could count on!  When we are stumped in our spiritual life and unsure of the next step, or are depressed or discouraged, we need to do the same thing…call a friend!  This is going to be someone who has been a student of God’s Word – someone who wouldn’t just say they’re praying for us, but would actually do it right now.  This is going to be someone who will give “right answers” to us because they will be biblical answers.

In short, we need a mentor.  If possible, we need a group of women who can encourage us, keep us accountable and keep our feet on the right path!  We won’t end up a millionaire, but we will be rich in many other ways!  

The truth is – we need one another!!

This shouldn’t just happen in our desperate moments, but in every day life-on-life experiences.  Women need one another.  And where will this happen?  Not in the classroom, but in an informal setting like at the kitchen table.  It’s at the table where we can be casual, honest and approachable.  The kitchen table is where we can open our home and our heart to allow a younger woman to sit and learn from our mistakes. 

They can learn from our example. 

They can grow with us as we obey this command in Titus 2 – The older women teach the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands that the Word of God be not blasphemed.  In other words, teach so that the glow of the Gospel doesn’t fade from our lives!! 

It’s not about having a big stage.  It’s not about having a huge audience.  It’s about obeying this command and using that “kitchen table” platform that God has given you.  It’s about reaching out to a woman younger than you are to teach the Truths of His Word as you are learning and growing yourself.  

You may be thinking you are unqualified.  You know that you don’t know everything.  You know that your life is as sticky as you table sometimes is.  You know that you’re still growing.  Well, guess what?

  • You don’t need a degree – you need discernment. James 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
  • You don’t need perfection – you have a perfect Savior – Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • You don’t need an immaculate home, you need a clean heart. Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

As an older woman, ask the Lord to guide you to someone that you could approach about meeting with you. Remember, we’re all older than someone.

Or if you’re younger, pray the Lord will show you someone who is older and spiritually wiser whom you could ask to mentor you. My young Spanish friend reached out to me…I admire her for that!

If nothing else, you have this lesson right here, right now.  Learn.  Grow and then glow with the adornment of the Gospel so a watching world will see Christ in you! Then go and share with someone else what you’re learning.

Want to go a little deeper?  

  1. Memorize Titus 2:1,2

But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

  1. This week, invite a friend to join you at your kitchen table (or some other informal setting) and share what you’re learning through this study of Adorned.

Next time we’ll discuss that first verse to learn what we are to teach.

If there’s a question you have as we go through these lessons, please write and ask me!  I’d be happy to try to answer them in the comments or you can contact me at Refreshherblog@gmail.com .

Be adorned!

Comfort · refreshment at home · Women's roles

Five Routines That Will Help During Difficult Times

Maybe with all the stuff going on in the world you’re having a bit of a hard time getting motivated in your home. I want to encourage you today about how helpful it is to keep moving forward especially during these difficult days.

If we can’t have the confidence that home will be a constant place of comfort, where will we go?

If we are also at odds with our loved ones because we are stressed, who else on this earth will love them?

Therefore…

This was supper one night this week. I moved a small side table in front of the fireplace so we could have the ambiance at our simple spaghetti supper.
  1. Keep your normal routines going at home.
    Get up and get dressed.
    Make the bed.
    Do the laundry.
    Vacuum the carpet.
    Sweep the floor.
    Make the bathroom shine.
    You have control over yourself, so be disciplined.
  2. Keep mealtimes delicious, engaging and special.
    Cook good food. That doesn’t mean you have to fix gourmet food.
    I do think there’s great value in fixing a supper meal at home, in involving your family in setting the table, and helping with clean up. While at the table, turn off the television and make effort to create conversation, even if it’s just you and your spouse.
    Turn on some relaxing music in the background.
    Light a candle.
    Set the table.
    Linger after the meal.
    Have a small dessert and coffee and take time to enjoy it all together as the gift it really is.
    It’s hard work being a homemaker, but if you don’t do it for your family, who will?
  3. Be present for your spouse and children. In all that’s going on, it’s so easy for people to feel disconnected.
    Children are certainly feeling some hard things and may need to ask questions or share any fears they may be experiencing.
    What a great time to point them to God’s Word with answers.
    Stop and pray with them over any anxious feelings they may be experiencing.
    My husband and I quoted Bible verses to one another one recent evening as we were drifting off to sleep. They were verses of comfort that did much to stop my worry!
    No one can take your place in the home. Your presence is imperative and irreplaceable.
  4. Make home the best place to be. Create a warmth that draws your family back.
    Plan for game night with popcorn and hot chocolate.
    Keep the house tidied up so it feels welcoming.
    Get that last bit of Christmas decor put away and the tree needles swept up.
    Light a new, fresh candle.
    Make comfy places for people to sit and read.
    Maybe this is the time to change the furniture around for a fresh look in your living room?
    Home is a gift, and the woman is the one who sets the tone.
  5. Make sure you’re spending greater time with the Lord each day. If we ever needed direction and comfort from His Word, it’s now.
    Pray.
    Spend time giving Him your burdens.
    Learn from Him.
    Write down what you learn.
    Stay close through the day by listening to godly podcasts.
    Meditate on God’s Word through Scripture memory.

If you wish to know God, you must know His Word. If you wish to perceive his power, you must see how he works by his Word. If you wish to know his purpose before it comes to pass, you can only discover it by his Word. ~Spurgeon

Without a relationship with God, we can do nothing that is effective for eternity.

These five things will not change the world, but they can change the people that live inside your home…including you! I pray that these simple steps will help you bring some joy from the home that our loving God has entrusted to you. You can make a difference, dear friend.

Refresh the atmosphere of your home,

Home making · Women's roles

What Does a Homemaker Do All Day?

What is your employment?

I’m a homemaker.

Oh.

Enter blank stare.

I have had that awkward conversation in the past.
I think it could be easy for women who work outside the home to wonder…

Is there really enough to keep a woman busy homemaking all day long?

It could be easy to assume that a homemaker has lots of down time, time to just sit and do anything she wants! But just as with any assumption, those statements are far from the truth. May I take you through one of my weeks and give you a little glimpse at the busyness and the joy of being a homemaker?

My children are gone from home, but I’m still their mom, and that means I have the blessing of participating in celebrating their birthdays and our family holidays. So that involves cooking, decorating the table, purchasing gifts and being the hostess.

On Saturday and Sunday I was busy with attending Bible study, doing laundry, preparing Sunday’s clothes and dinner, fellowship with friends, and worship on Sunday morning. Then on Sunday evening we traveled to Kentucky to visit my parents and also get to see my aunt and uncle from Florida. I helped my mom prepare the meal for our family, which was a blessing.

When I got home on Tuesday, I had a half bushel of South Carolina peaches waiting for me. I really enjoy canning, and I really love the reward of opening my pantry and seeing these jars on the shelves! It’s a labor of love that we enjoy all year long!

In case you didn’t know, I’m also a Gigi (ha!!)! Each week I have the boys over for Bible Club. This week it was really hot, so they came over to use the pool that we had prayed for when every store was sold out! They had so much fun and so did I! I got to remind them that we had asked God to provide a pool and He did it!! It’s my greatest joy to point their little hearts to the Lord!

Daily it is my joy to prepare meals for me and my husband. I try really hard to provide food that is healthy and delicious. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it! We love being outside during the warm days, so this lunch was served Al fresco, as are most all of them during the summer months!

Not pictured is the house work- mopping, wiping, dusting, polishing, ironing, sweeping, gardening, straightening, fluffing, decorating, and folding that happens weekly.

Of course I also have a personal life and a ministry life. As a wife, I try to serve my husband (though I feel like he does a whole lot more serving me than I do him! I take time each morning to study God’s Word, to journal and pray. In an effort to stay active, I walk two miles at least three times a week.

I take time sometime during the days to prepare and study for my radio ministry, my blog and any speaking engagements that are coming up. So I do spend a good bit of time at my computer.

It feels like the days are very full, but honestly, so is my heart. My husband worked three jobs early in our ministry life to provide so I could stay home and be the homemaker. He has sacrificed, because he has seen the benefit of my presence in the home. I am so very thankful!

There were times that I have been embarrassed about telling someone what my “employment” was, but I’ve learned over the years that being a homemaker is a high calling. I couldn’t be more fulfilled doing anything else!

What do I do?

I get to be a homemaker!!!!

Do you wish you were a homemaker but have to work out of necessity? Pray. Ask the Lord if He would give you the desire of your heart. Wait and watch what He will do! In the meantime, do what He has called yo to do with a thankful, contented heart.

Are you a homemaker? What do you love most about it? What do you dislike?

Here are some other encouragements about homemaking!