Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Love their Own Husbands

"to love their husbands"

While English uses 4 words here, the Greek uses just one, "philandros". It's roots are the words, philos,meaning a friend, a companion, someone who wishes one well, or loving as a friend, and aner, meaning a husband. So literally Paul is saying that we need to be a friend or a well-wisher to our husbands. At first glance, it seems silly to have to tell a wife that she should be a friend and well-wisher to her own husband. After all, if our futures are dependent on each other, who wouldn't wish their spouse well? But if you look at all the troubles present in today's marriages and the vast amount of "me" time we are encouraged to engage in, do we really take the time to wish our husbands well? To be his companion and friend? Do we look for ways to encourage them or support them as we would a friend? Think of some of the things you would do for your best friend: call them just to say hi? Send them a note of encouragement? Make them a special meal when they are feeling down? Take them out for coffee just because? Would we and more importantly, do we do the same for our husbands?

I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about. Since my husband and I have been married (over 3 years now), we have had children for all but 9 months of that. Dinners have almost always been spent with babies or toddlers or both and there is rarely (read: never) time for us to just enjoy eating together without near constant interruptions in our own home. One evening about a month ago, my husband came home to one of his favorite meals and both the girls were asleep. So I quickly set the table for two, complete with a candle and we sat down to a quiet, uninterrupted meal, just the two of us. I didn't plan it that way; it probably wouldn't have worked if I had tried but we enjoyed it none the less. It was a chance for me to enjoy the companionship of my husband.

My point in telling you this is simply that we need to look for ways to care for our husbands as we would a very dear friend. You don't stay best friends with someone by making a pact and then not talking for years. You have to communicate, show interest and excitement about spending time with that person. You have to long for those times you get to spend with them and you have to make the time to spend with them. Friendships don't just happen. They may start unexpectedly but if they are to continue, it takes work and a will to keep it going. If we are willing to do this for just a friend, how much more should be take the time to make it work in our marriages?

Serve and love him as you would the Lord himself. Treat him as you would want to be treated. Ask the Lord to show you how to be his biggest cheerleader and well-wisher. And see what a blessing it is to love him as Titus 2 says.

The previous post in the series:

Thoughts on Motherhood

I have been reading through The Shaping of the Christian Family for the last few weeks, and I came across this quote, which I thought was worth sharing.

"There is no nobler career than that of motherhood at its best. There are no possibilities greater, and in no other sphere does failure bring more serious penalties. With what diligence then should she prepare herself for such a task. If the mechanic who is to work with 'things' must study at technical school, if the doctor into whose skilled hands will be entrusted human lives, mu through medical school...how much more should the mother who is fashioning the souls of the men and women of tomorrow, learn at the highest of all schools and from the Master-Sculptor Himself, God. To attempt this task, unprepared and untrained is tragic, and its results affect generations to come. On the other hand there is not higher height to which humanity can attain than that occupied by a converted, heaven-inspired, praying mother."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Martin Luther on Marriage

Our family attended the wedding today of a girl I first met when she was 9 years old. I thought in honor of her and her new husband, this quote was very timely.

"Our natural reason looks at marriage and turns up its nose and says, 'Alas! Must I rock the baby? wash its diapers? make its bed? smell its stench? stay at nights with it? take care of it when it cries? heal its rashes and sores? and on top of that care for my spouse, provide labor at my trade, take care of this and take care of that? do this and do that? and endure this and endure that? Why should I make such a prisoner of myself?'

What then does Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful and despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels. It says, 'O God, I confess I am not worthy to rock that little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child and its mother. How is it that I without any merit have come to this thy most precious will? Oh, how gladly will I do so. though the duty should be even more insignificant and despised, neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor will distress me for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight.'"

(The Shaping of a Christian Family, pg. 87)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Sweet Story

Reformation in Childbearing from NCFIC on Vimeo.

I found this video on the NCFIC (National Center for Family-Integrated Churches) website. I hope it encourages you as it has encouraged me for the last 13 years. You see the man being interviewed is my dad and I am blessed to be the older sister to the 5 young blessings who he mentions in the clip. What an amazing story of how great a blessing children are! Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Helpful Hints for Mothers with Young Daughters

I have been praying that God would help me to raise my daughters to be the kind of women who would be a blessing to my future son-in-laws and grandchildren. I found these articles on the newly launched Raising Homemakers site. I hope you will find them encouraging too!

~Queen in a Home of Her Own

~Queen in a Home of Her Own~Continued

Edited to note: You can now find their button on the side bar of my blog! Feel free to click on it to pop on over and see what is new there!

Learning to Love God's Role for Women

I found this collection of video clips encouraging. It features the women of the Brown Family speaking on God's Role for women and embracing it. I hope you will be blessed by it too!

Ladies Tea in Chicago from NCFIC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Wonderful Giveaway!!!

Warehouse Fabrics Inc. is giving away a $50 shopping spree to one blessed lady out there! The entry deadline is today at Midnight, so head on over there and get yourself entered!!!!

Isn't these fabrics just too cute!!!

Which ones would you choose?

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Saturday of Bargains

This weekend my husband and I took our girls and spent a little time shopping for some deals. We started with book shopping and I found a hardback copy of Elisabeth Elliot's The Shaping of the Christian Family for $8. I had a copy once upon a time but it is no longer with me so I was thinking I would pick it up. Then I opened it up and found that it was a signed copy! That sealed the day for me!

Then we have been talking about getting a second computer so we could write together but were not willing to spend a ton of money on a new computer. So we took a tip from the Duggar family and went looking for a hard drive at the thrift store. And what a blessing, we found one that works great for only $20! It's amazing what gets passed off as junk sometimes! So now we are able to sit side by side and write! Praise God for that!

How did God bless your weekend?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teach the Young Woman to be Sober

In case you missed one of the previous posts or if you would just like a review since it's has been a while, here are the links to the first four posts on Titus 2.

~Titus 2 Introduction

~The Aged Women Likewise

~As Becomes Holiness

~Teachers of Good Things

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...

“That they may teach the young women to be sober”

The good things that are listed in verses 4 and 5 are what the older women are supposed to teach the younger. These are things that honor Christ, that show a good witness and that set us apart as something out of the ordinary.

The word “teach” here is full of meaning. Literally to translate it fully, it means, “to discipline, to train to think and act soberly, discreetly, and in moderation, to correct to cause to be of sound mind, to recall to one’s senses.” First of all, before we tackle all that there is to learn from just this one word, I’d like to point out two things. First, that these are things that you can’t just tell someone and not be living yourself. In order to teach someone to be disciplined, you have to have discipline in your own life. It has to be something that you do day in and day out or you will not have to tools necessary to teach it. You can’t teach what you do not know yourself. As any mother can tell you, you can’t teach your children if you don’t know what it is you are supposed to be teaching. Now you may still be learning some aspects of it or you may be only one or two steps ahead but you have to have learned something before you can teach anything. Second, this is not the kind of list that can be taught in a day or a week or even a year. This is a process that continues on over the course of many years. This is not an evening class or semester class kind of learning. This is discipleship. It takes commitment to this young lady or ladies that you are teaching. It is not something that you flippantly throw out there once in a while and you’ve done your duty. This is real work. It takes time and it takes a lot of it. Now the best way to teach this is to your daughters as they are growing up. Our children are with us all day every day (assuming you do not send them out to be educated by someone else). This is the kind of learning we are talking about here. The nitty gritty stuff, good days and bad days and everything in between. This is discipleship, not just tidbits of wisdom passed on occasionally.

As young women, we need to working towards thinking and acting soberly, discreetly and in moderation. How many of us struggle with anger towards our husbands and children daily? How many of us call our friends to complain about what we’ve had to deal with just today? I’m not talking about calling a wise older woman to ask for advice on how to deal with your children’s latest personality addition, I’m talking about nothing short of gossip, things that don’t need to be shared and yet we share them anyway, because it makes us feel better, especially when our friend tells us that they are dealing with the same thing. “Ah, I am not alone!” My dear readers, this is not thinking and acting discreetly! By all means, ask for advice, seek Godly wisdom but avoid telling things about your husband and your children just to get sympathy or even a hug. If you need comfort, just say, “It’s been a tough day, would you pray that God will give me patience?” There is no need to give details. A true friend will pray for you without all the juicy tidbits.

Also as young women, we need to be open to correction. No one likes to be told they are doing something wrong. But all of us need it from time to time. God is gracious to us and gives us elders to point out areas where we need a little refining. Now, a word of caution. There are plenty of people out there who are not correcting you because you are doing something outside of scripture. Some don’t like your methods (which may or may not need to change), and some don’t like your convictions (which may or may not be based on scripture). If an older woman approaches you and disagrees with something you are doing, be polite. They may be dead wrong but you owe them respect as an older woman. Remember that the bottom line of what you do in your family is between you, your husband and God. If you are following scripture and your husband’s wishes, kindly disregard all comments and suggestions to the contrary. But make sure you are listening to the Lord and your husband. Be very sure that what you are doing is right before you walk away from what an older woman is telling you. If you are in doubt, talk to your husband and seek his wisdom. Many times older women see things from a perspective that you can’t, having been there and done that. And while as first you may not like what they are telling you, if you will take the time to reflect on what they are trying to tell you, you will see that there is wisdom in that. And if your first reaction is not one of immediate dismissal, you won’t have to eat crow later. :D

So as we go out into our day, let us remember that we must strive to be disciplined in our thoughts and actions, to think soberly and to be of a sound mind. May God give us the grace to do so and the wisdom to see the areas where we need to change.


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