I’m sorry that this post is 2 hours late! Hattie awoke from her usually nap time, when I am able to blog, with a tummy ache, so I have been cuddling with her. Sometimes other things have to wait when our priorities cry out for us! I hope that you can understand!
Update: If you are just joining us we are so excited to have you here with us. You can get up to speed by looking over these two past posts (here and here). You can view all of our posts for this study at the category Women After God’s Own Heart, found here. If your browser is not allowing you to view any attachments email me, and I will send them to you so that you don’t miss out!
This week, we are beginning Part 2 of our book, in which the new theme is now: The Pursuit of God’s Priorities. Where we were before admitting our longing for God, and chasing after him, we are now in a relationship with him, courting him so to speak, and learning what he expects from us as disciples. The first 4 chapters of Part 2 (2 of which we are focusing on this week) speak to us as wives, and God’s intention for our ministry to our husbands. This has been a week that I was excited for, yet felt a bit dreadful about. Excited because I believe that this is such an important topic of discussion, and education for so many young and even older women. Nearly every part of our society has been touched with the feminist movement in a way that blinds us to what the feminist movement was intended to do (equal pay, maternity leave, laws on sexual harassment, etc.) and instead makes us think that it is “sexy” and “right” for us to be the head of our household. To be equal with men. How many times does someone in conversation bark out, “My wife wears the pants”, or “Do you wear the pants in your relationship?”. If we as women respond, “I sure do” with pride, then it is safe for me to say that we have allowed our culture to push us much further from the truth about marriage, and the husband and wife relationship than God every wished. I know that the key to a wonderful marriage, and the key to changing the divorce rate (now 50%) is a woman’s heart toward her husband. I know this because the Lord has revealed this to me-I’m not one to spit out information without factual backing, but when something has been revealed to me-I do not argue, and I am quick to share, so you can see how exciting it is for me to get started with this heart changing process in all of us, and how scary it is as well. For one, I have only been married for 2 years, so my advice to those who have been married for 10, 15, and even 30 years may be taken with a grain of salt, and I’m okay with that. I know that if you are participating in this study, you are wanting to Bee Better, and that means that you are most likely open to listening to the Word poured out of the mouth (or fingers) of a fellow sister in Christ. You also most likely understand that I am not making any of this up, it is biblical, and relates back to a book written by a spiritual woman who has many years of marriage under her belt, so while I may feel a little fear spark inside of me as I type, I know that this is the devil, trying to stop me from ministering to you, and stop I will not. I also know that most of St.Paul’s teachings about the wife and her role beneath her husband in God’s family hierarchy is one that is often criticized for being archaic and chauvinistic. It is argued that his teachings are outdated and in no way can work in our 21st century. It is my prayer that you all realize that God’s teachings were meant to last forever. His teachings span our lifetime, and countless lifetimes. It is no more “right” to allow murders to happen now, since our world is plagued with crime. Do we deal with sins by allowing even more sins to intrude? The answer is no. I hope that you can all agree.
As I reflected back on these chapters to draft this week’s post, I noticed the countless notes, highlights, and circles that decorated my book’s pages. I couldn’t help but giggle as I thought about how much work I need as a wife, and how this is my daily fight with the devil. The devil chose this to be our battlefield, he is tenacious, and aggressive, and oh, so deceiving. He is even quite beautiful at times, but my fight is deeper and stronger, and I rumble when I charge. The fight between good and evil has already been fought, and I know who wins, which makes my blows stronger. At times I feel weak, and he utilizes these moments, but my comeback is fierce, and it is backed by God’s word and God’s will. I hope that you can find comfort is knowing that your personal battle with the devil is not one to be ashamed of. It isn’t one to hide, but it is one to win. One that I so deeply desire for you to win. The following chapters will strike you in places that burn, that make you think, “I just can’t”, but you can, and you will, because you have an army of women, and angels fighting along with you. My weekly blog posts have been reaching around 200 views/day, meaning that army is growing. As shy as that army may be, we are here, and we want to Bee Better too, so fight that devil, tooth and nail, and pride yourself in actually recognizing his presence, because he camouflages himself so exceedingly well. He takes the form of your pride, your free will gone astray, your desire to “buck” as our author called it when your husband makes decisions that you don’t like, in the way that you question your husband, or rebuke him, even bad-mouth him on the phone to your friends. Take this week’s readings deep inside your heart, and keep them there, so that when the devil sneaks back up in 5 minutes, an hour, 4 hours, and soon after, you will have all of the ammunition that you need. Take pride in knowing that you overcome him, but be wary my dear friends, because he will be back soon with a sharper sword. The devil hates women after God’s heart.
Here are my favorite points from this week’s readings:
-Our service glorifies God. Your daily dish-washing, and clothes folding, and floor moping is a service to God. The next time that you want to whine to your husband about how he does nothing, and you tend to the house, and the kids, and the bills, and the dinner, remember that it is all services, and our reward will be great if we silence that devil and keep our sassy lips sealed. (Did you recognize the devil here? I told you he was sly).
-Always ask, “Will this hinder my husband”. Do you ever find yourself in conversation/debate with your husband and you just have to say something. You just HAVE to say that one snide comment that you think is so clever, and you think “Boy, I sure told him”. I do it too, don’t be ashamed. Do you feel any better after you speak your piece? Maybe for a second, but then you realize that it didn’t do a lick of good. Make it a habit to ask yourself, “Will this hinder of help my husband”. You will know the answer, and if it’s hinder, it’s time to keep your mouth closed, because that “piece” you want to speak, that’s the devil too sister.
-No husband? Don’t feel left out. Maybe some of you are preparing for marriage. This is such a head-start! You already know how to make it the best marriage possible! Not entering marriage soon, or not even in a relationship with a man? God sees our service to others in our lives (family, friends, associates, complete strangers) as an example of his love on Earth, and his reward for this is great as well! An added bonus to this marriage education is the advice that you can offer your married friends down the road when they begin speaking down on their husband, or spilling their heart to you. How beautiful that you will have all of the necessary tools to heal them back to a healthy faith tucked deep in your heart!
-Our husband’s are our #1 EARTHLY priority. Not our children, not our jobs, not our bible study, not our church. Our husbands are. Take note of this, and remind yourself often. (Don’t worry, your children are #2 in case you were beginning to get a little panicky, but the truth is, without a strong relationship with their father, you cannot parent them as effectively as God wishes you to.)
-Do not find the word “submission” to be a scary one. It does not dehumanize you, or make you unimportant. It means that you are following the Lord’s commands. We are to submit to our husbands, and our husbands are to submit to the Lord. We have to answer for our role of following, and our husbands have to answer all the same for their role of leadership. Like the author points out, which one would you rather answer for?
-One of my favorite points that the author makes is listed on page 69, where she states that we are to respond to our husbands nature with understanding and love. How fitting is that statement. It goes to show you that everyone’s character is completely different, so a set of standard guidelines for each wife is impossible to implement. Instead, we are reminded to respond to HIS NATURE. Anyone that knows my husband knows that this statement was profound for me, because my husband’s nature is quite unique. He was very ADD/ADHD as a child, and still can bounce from one subject/project to another. He makes jokes 99.9% of the time, and laughs with his whole heart. He is adventurous, outdoorsy, hard-headed, protective, and very forgetful. I know all of these things about him, and I am to RESPOND to them with kindness, not with anger and frustration. I knew who he was when I married him. I must find every way possible to respond to every aspect of him in a suitable manner, one that brings the Lord delight. One example of this was when he began bringing his lunch to work. I bought him a nice little lunchbox, with lunch storage accessories, and ice blocks to keep it all nice and cool, except he would bring it to work on Monday morning, and forget it in his truck/on his trailer/in another vehicle until Friday afternoon when he would finally drag it inside. I spent the first week fussing at him once he got home like a mother hen. There was no “Hi love, how was your day” when he returned home. Instead I would start in on him, “Hey, where is your lunchbox? You forgot it again!”. Not a great way for him to end a day spent in the hot summer sun. Not fun for me to have to nag either. My solution was to fill sandwich sized Ziploc bags with ice cubes, and throw that, along with his lunch (also in Ziploc bags), and plastic cutlery into a Wal-Mart bag for him to take to work. Everything was disposable, and he didn’t have to worry about bringing it home, and I didn’t have to pout when he didn’t! See-responding to his nature, instead of condemning him for it. The duty of a Godly wife.
-Refer to Proverbs 31:26 in case you are thinking, “But I’m smart, my husband needs my input to make sound decisions!” I sometimes want to buck by thinking, “But Ben has done no research on this matter, I know best, what did I go to college for 4 years for if my knowledge takes no merit?”. That’s when the Proverbs 31 woman comes flying at me, (She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.) Well, duh, it doesn’t say I’m not allowed to give Ben the information he may need to make a sound decision, I just have to do it in a respectful way, such as, “I respect that you have a final decision on the matter, but if it’s okay with you, I have some information that I read previously that may be of use to you”, and go from there (he may allow you to speak your mind, or he may not allow it, but remember that HE has to answer to the Lord for his choices, he does not answer to you, you are not to punish him on your own, this is not your job).
NOTE-If he is asking you to do something that is immoral or illegal, this is an exception, do not take part and consult the next available trustworthy person in your life. Also if he is making a decision that will harm your family, you are allowed to provide or seek protection.
The hardest part for me when I first came to the realization that I needed to submit myself to Ben was that I didn’t know if I could trust him to make all of the right decisions, because obviously he isn’t perfect. I was quickly reminded by the Holy Spirit, that he put Ben into my life, and if I were to do my job as a Godly woman, and submit to my husband, he would be sure to lead Ben in a righteous way, this would be my blessing. It may not be the first time you submit, and it may not be the second time before you notice change. It may take years for you to constantly take the biblical high road before you feel progress, but God will pull on your husband, this is a fact, he will reward you for your obedience, and if you need to hear it from God himself, read 1 Peter 3:1 (Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives ) If you don’t believe that your husband is spiritually educated enough to make sound decisions, or he doesn’t have as strong a faith as you do, or he doesn’t make decisions like Christ would, let this verse be your guiding light. The calling to bring your husband closer to the Lord is YOURS. It is through your continued obedience and respect that he will come to know God. It is the reason that you have been put into his life, to HELP him, and SERVE him. May this verse rock your world, may it make you uncomfortable, and make you squirm. It is the truth, and it goes against most everything we have witnessed in our lives, but it is right, and true, and it is how I want to live my life, it is how I want to set example for my daughter, future children, and all people that I encounter. Changing your ways may be one of the hardest tasks that you face in the coming years, but it is necessary, it is good, and it is beautiful.
1. Readings: Chapter 5 and 6 of our book (Pages 67-89): A Heart That Serves, and A Heart that Follows
2. Activity: I want you to write your own heartfelt prayer this week, that you will learn to whisper to God as soon as your day begins anew. This prayer will uplift you, and give you the strength to serve your husband before yourself (or serve your family/anyone you come in contact with that day before yourself). It will be sentimental, and personal, and it does not have to sound scholarly one bit! It is what makes sense to you, and what guides your day in a fruitful way. Once your prayer is written, keep it near your bed, and speak your beautiful words every morning. Blessings are sure to follow!
I will share my morning prayer with you for an example:
Lord, please give Ben the discretion to make the best decisions for his family that mirror your will, and give me peace to fully trust his heart in order to serve him according to your Word. In your name I pray, Amen.
And while you’re at it, please water your plant too this week
3. Verse for memorization: 1 Peter 3:1
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands,that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives
(NKJV-New King James Version)
Download for picture is here
I chose this verse because I think it so profound in our lives as wives. I think that it is an answer to a cry that many of us have. I think that pride and fear are the two things that keep us from following our husbands the way that Christ wants us to, and I think that this verse should find its way into our hearts to remove that fear. It should remind us that our obedience will not only please God, it will also bring our husbands to God. God does not fail us, and he will not fail you in your quest to be a woman after his heart.
4. Discussion Questions: I will offer 1 topic for this week, to start off our virtual discussions below. Notice the change from questions, which makes some people uncomfortable, I’ve found.
Our topic of discussion will be:
Ways in which we can learn to be more obedient to our husbands, and ultimately to the Lord.
I am always available for questions, whether through email, or through the comments below. Happy studying!
All of my love,