Saturday, February 16, 2008

Prideful or Humble?

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

As I was reading in Proverbs this morning, I was struck by how beautifully this particular proverb ties in with the New Testament commands for wives to submit. If we have a humble spirit, submitting will be a much easier task than if we are prideful. Pride leads to feelings of entitlement, which leads to resisting submission. If I am prideful, I am going to be concerned with *my* right to be heard, *my* ability to make intelligent decisions, *my* right to do what I see fit. Why should *I* have to do what my husband wants, or abide by his decisions?

A prideful spirit is self-focused while a humble spirit focuses first on the Lord, and then on others. In a marriage, pride does bring destruction, we see it around us every day. Perhaps this is one reason why divorce is as prevalent within the church as it is without. We are not taught to think beyond ourselves, and it's killing our marriages and our families.

So much of the church is structured around "individual" needs, that it promotes pride. We have special programs for everyone ~ are you single? Do you have toddlers? Are you a "youth"? Instead of feeding and discipling and encouraging humble service, our churches perpetuate a prideful, "What can you do for me?" attitude within their congregations.

It is time for Christian men and women to lay down their pride and to pick up the humble, multi-generational vision that we find in Scripture. If we would do that, we would see reformation and revival ~ within the church, yes. But more importantly, we would see reformation and revival within families and marriages.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Taming of the Tongue

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

What a wonderful nugget of wisdom for wives wanting to grow in godliness! We would improve our "serve", so to speak, by leaps and bounds if we could just keep this one proverb in the front of our minds and put it into practice!

I know that far too often, I let my tongue loose before I think, and my response to my Beloved is harsh. Many times I'm not even "responding" to him, but out of the circumstances I find myself in ~ I just take it out on him. It grieves my heart to think of the number of arguments I have started just because I didn't take the time to think and to give a "soft" answer. Sometimes my harsh answer doesn't actually start an argument, but it does stir up my Beloved's anger.

James tells us that, "no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." (Jas. 3:8) The good news, sisters, is that we don't have to rely upon ourselves to tame our tongue! We have the enabling of the of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this overwhelming task.

God calls us to live in a deliberate way. To measure our steps; to count the cost. It's not easy. I find that most days I walk in a reactionary rather than deliberate way. Instead of thinking through my words and actions, I walk through my day "reacting" to the circumstances around me. Which in turn causes me to be contentious with those around me ~ whether it be my husband or my children.

I believe that as we rely on the Lord and strive toward godly living, we will see changes ~ in a formulaic way (as in: If I do A and B the result will be C), however often God does honor our efforts to honor and glorify Him. Whether or not our children improve in their behaviors or our husband becomes easier to live with, or a more godly leader is not what is important. What we will see is a change in us. As we live to glorify God, He will mold us further into the image of His dear Son. And that's truely what it's all about.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day

Well, I meant to post earlier today, but I ran out of time! Thursday's are Kathleen's piano lessons, so I was gone part of the morning, and after getting home, I spent most of the afternoon in our bedroom, getting things straightened up.

Bedroom's seem to be one of those "problem" areas that are difficult to keep tidy, because they end up being the depository for all the odds and ends! So, I decided that in order to have a truely romantic evening, our room needed to be neatened (is that a word?) up.

My Beloved came home from work a little early, and we took our oldest son, and his friend out on a "double date". We went to a nice restaurant for an early dinner, stopped and picked up a movie to bring home to everyone else, and came home.

Now, I have candles lit in our bedroom, a pot of herbal tea brewing, a couple of pieces of Turtle Cheesecake, cut and on china, and a bottle of Raspberry sparkling juice ready to go up to our room. We'll have a private dessert and some romance! A nice way, I think, to end our Valentine's Day.

I hope you all had a wonderful, romantic time with your beloved.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love is an Action

"You can give without loving,
But you cannot love without giving." Amy Carmichael

As warm and fuzzy as love can sometimes be, it doesn't take long after the wedding bells to realize that love can also be difficult and downright hard. It's easy to say the words ~ to talk the flowery talk and make someone else feel good. But until the rubber hits the road, and actions begin to speak, love is nothing more than that: words.

True love is action. If I truely love someone, I am going to give: of myself, of my time, of my resources, etc. I don't just sit and tell my husband how much I love him, and expect him to believe me. I do what I can to be a helpmeet to him, I look for ways to serve him within the home and without. I make an effort to honor him, and speak well of him when out and about. I make an effort to be his best friend, taking an interest in the things he is interested in, and I am his lover ~ he gets all of me. Not just a bit here, and a little there, but I am wholly his. I make (although admittedly, I do fail) every effort to put into action those precious words, "I love you."

Lest you think that this is one-sided, my Beloved also makes every effort to make sure that I *know* that when he says he loves me, he means it. He is particularly good at acts of service. Recently, I have not felt particularly well, and he has taken over cooking, and making sure the children are keeping things straightened up. Not because I asked him to, but because he knows that it relieves stress for me to not have to worry about those things when I am not feeling well. He is wonderful about coming up with innovative ways to make my jobs easier around the house, when I have difficulty with something. Example: A few years ago he bought me a front loading washer. Our dryer was still working fine, so, we didn't replace it. However, when I am pregnant (which seems to be quite often), it is difficult to bend over and pull things out of that machine. So, while we were at the store, looking at washers and accessories, he decides that he can build me a box to go under the dryer. It's wonderful! My dryer sits at the same height as my washer, and so it's quite easy to move clothing from the washer to the dryer, and it's also easy for me to take out the dry clothes out and get them folded.

Think about ways to *show* your love to your husband today. Put some feet on those sweet words.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

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