Modeling Mondays: Series on Teaching Children to Live a Godly Life

As a new mom, I had a lot of worries for bringing children into this world. How could I be a good mom to them? I was clueless how to even raise a child for Christ, and honestly, still am quite often. Really… my children are 4 and 3… so I have much more to learn, but I have learned a lot in the last 4 years.

I want my children to grow up learning to love God and relying on the Holy Spirit. I want them to see an example they can live by. An example of parents who are living a Christ-like life. 

It is my job to teach and train my kids in the way they should go. My job to make sure they know how to live a godly life. What a godly life looks like. Why a godly life is important. Why we serve our God and love Him. What He has done for us and wants us to continue to do for them.

Living a Christian life isn’t always easy, but it comes with great reward.

I want my children to know about His sacrifice. To know His reward for us. To know what God did and why He did it when He sent Jesus. To know what Jesus did for us.

MY job.

Wow! What great responsibility God has given us as parents. He expects us to teach them what they need to know. Especially when they are too young to learn it themselves.

God is showing me these things each and every day. The Holy Spirit reminds me that they are learning from me. My choices. My words. My actions. Where my time and energy is spent. How I react to certain things.

I take the responsibility quite heavily. And I fail daily. Guess what?! We all do. We all fall short.

So should we give up? Give up on being patient with our children? Give up showing them love and compassion when they fail? Give up on teaching them even when we set a bad example sometimes?

Do we want God to give up on us? I DON’T!

I am learning to be new everyday. I have to pick up my cross everyday. I have to teach my children the same.

So join me if you’d like. As I seek out what God wants for me and my family. How I can best learn and then teach them.

Over the next several Mondays I am prayerfully exploring how God wants us to teach our children. I am praying about how I can MODEL to my children a godly life; as I have prayed just about everyday for at least the last 4 years.

These posts will include many things we have already been implementing in our home, and many ways we want to improve and grow.

Here is a list of topics we will cover:

  • 3 Ways to Teach Children to Pray

  • Teaching Children to Memorize Scripture in 4 Easy Steps

  • 4 Steps to Help Children Have Daily Devotions

  • 3 Ways to Teach/Model Worshiping God

  • Teaching Children to Love as Christ Loves Us

What do you think? Are you excited about this series? I look forward to you adding what has worked for you in these areas! 

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2 Kids and Counting (Prayerfully)

I hate gas!

No joke. This was what I said to my husband last night laying in bed.

You know the kind. The kind that rumbles in your tummy but not like usual. The kind that feels like a baby moving around in your belly. Kicking and rolling. Playing around.

This stupid gas. Always gives me a slight shimmer of hope that maybe I’m pregnant and I’ve just been bleeding every month for fun.

My heart longs for that feeling again! I ache to feel the movement of a baby inside me again. Although, I will admit, I’ve told God I would be ok to be one of those moms who “didn’t know I was pregnant” and I suddenly had a baby.

I must insert here… My heart aches hard for my friends who have this same longing but cannot get pregnant and have never been pregnant. I cannot fully imagine the longing and hurt they have. I am blessed to have experienced this, and I know I should just be grateful for my two precious boys, but it still hurts. Let’s just say it like it is… This sucks! For both of us.

Shortly after James and I got married, we decided we no longer agreed with the way many (most really) birth control methods worked, and we did not like the side effects I was having. We started natural family planning. We’ve always known we wanted a large family. Six. Or more 😉 if God so chooses. After Conner was born we kind of went back on natural family planning, always knowing we would be ecstatic any and every time we got pregnant. Planned or not. Bring on the babies God.

Elias was pretty well planned. Well of course except his arrival ;-)!

And then the miscarriages started.

My sweet Hope.

And Jonah.

And then Shiloh.

And precious Grace.

My prayer…

God we give all our children to You! You know our hearts desires. May they line up with Your will.

It is hard to understand why. James and I want children; Your blessings! We try not to take this area in our own hands, while so many others cry in anger at being pregnant.

God continue to strengthen and renew us daily. Continue to give us the peace only You can. Thank You for being a big God who can take my anger. Who can handle my fears. Who can calm my storms. And thank You for Your promises. Thank You for all SIX of my children. And thank You for all future children we will be blessed with. May we continue to do Your work. And continue to spread Your Word. Use us in anyway You can. Even in our heartaches. Thank You God for loving us and taking care of us. We love You. Amen.

Touchy Topic: GOD “GETS” MEN

I am so very excited about today’s post! About a year ago I ran across this wonderful blog – Peacefulwife – and I was amazed at how much I “was” this woman. I was a feminist and so WAS she. I was am learning how to better respect my husband and submit. She has been there and has so many wonderful stories of her transformation and how great her marriage is now as a result. April has kindly written a guest post for me so please join me in welcoming her <applause>!

He understands men and women extremely well. He did create both of us, after all. And He created marriage, sex, attraction, families, masculinity and femininity. So Who better to know what it takes to make marriage work and work well?

Our culture has completely ditched God’s prescriptions for a joyful, solid, healthy marriage and has redefined masculinity, femininity and marriage to be what we want it to be. Feminism has taught us that men and women are not only “equal” – which they are of equal value in God’s sight – but that we are the “same.” There is a HUGE difference between being of equal value and being the same in spiritual/emotional/physical/sexual makeup.

So, many of us grew up never questioning that men need love just like we do. We assume they think and feel just like we do and that if we give more love, that will fix all the problems in our marriages.

Unfortunately, we have forgotten what men need in marriage, and as a result, husbands and wives are largely miserable.

SIGNS THAT A WIFE MIGHT NEED TO LOOK A BIT CLOSER AT GOD’S WAYS:

– I am angry with my husband a lot
– I am full of resentment
– I feel like I am carrying the weight of the family on my shoulders alone
– I feel like my husband is “another child”
– I constantly badmouth my husband to others and tell them how awful he is so they will sympathize with me and see what a miserable life I have and pity me
– I boss my husband around, tell him what to do, lecture him, scold him, criticize him often, roll my eyes, sigh in disgust, give him “the look” that I think he is inept and/or use the angry mama voice a lot
– I complain to and about him and argue with him often
– I have no joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness or self-control around my husband
– I am anxious, stressed and afraid in my marriage often
– I believe that if my husband “would just be more loving” or would “stop doing X” that our problems would all be solved and our marriage would be the amazing union I dreamed it would be
– I know that my husband’s sins are WAY worse than mine and HE is the problem
– I feel very lonely in my marriage
– my husband barely touches me and doesn’t seem to care about my feelings
– I have my heart set on my husband behaving a certain way and things working out a certain way and I CANNOT and WILL NOT be content or happy unless I have what I want
– I believe I am always right and my husband is always wrong
– I believe I am spiritually superior to my husband
– I believe I am a better leader than your husband
– I don’t think my husband is able to lead our family
– I don’t trust my husband
– I don’t cooperate with my husband’s ideas
– I refuse to listen to his perspective and act like his ideas are worthless
– I think if I had a more godly husband, life would be wonderful

This is not an exhaustive list – but it is a start.

WHAT DO THESE SYMPTOMS MEAN?

Well, primarily, it means that I am not filled with God’s Spirit. Either I have not accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior if this list describes me in my marriage, or I have so grieved God’s Spirit that I have reduced His flow into my life to a trickle.

When I have God’s Spirit filling me and consuming me, I will have all the fruit of the Spirit on a daily basis: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control Galatians 5:22

If I don’t have His Spirit empowering me, I am probably cherishing sin in my heart.

The sins I cherished were:
– idolatry (of myself, of my way, of my desires, of my feelings of being loved, of expecting my husband to be Christ and be perfect and meet all my needs)
– PRIDE PRIDE PRIDE – thinking I knew best, better than my husband, and really, better than God’s Word
– unforgiveness – I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t know how to forgive
– gossip – talking about my husband with bitterness

These are HUGE sins that deeply offend the heart of God. As long as I am holding onto those sins and cherishing them more than my intimacy with Christ, God will oppose me.

BEING A GODLY WIFE GOD’S WAY

To be a godly wife, I must be willing to do things God’s way. God’s design for marriage is primarily found in Ephesians 5:22-33, but also in Genesis 3, Titus 2:2-5, I Peter 3:1-6 and I Corinthians 11:3.

God designed men to need to lead in marriage. He made them to thrive on respect. That is why He commands wives to respect their husbands and submit to (willingly cooperate with) their husbands’ God-given authority (unless our husbands are asking us to sin or condone sin).

FIRST – I must decide to submit totally to Jesus Christ. I lay my whole life before Him and die to myself. I give up my dreams, my way, my will, my purposes, my wisdom, my rights, my plans and I yield fully to His control. I respect Him as LORD.

THEN – out of love and reverence for Christ, I begin to desire to obey Him in all things, even things that are culturally unacceptable, or weird, or counter-intuitive to my female, human mind.

And as I embrace His ways and obey Him – I discover that unspeakable peace and joy await me. After the pain of dying to self, there is a new, abundant life! Then God becomes my partner and empowers me to do things I can’t do on my own. He teaches me to look for the best in my husband (Philippians 4:8) and to build him up with my words, to praise what is good, to encourage him, to show faith in him. He teaches me to share my feelings with my husband in a pleasant, calm, non-threatening way. And then to trust that if my husband disagrees and decides to do something I don’t want to do, that my God is SO SOVEREIGN that He can and will lead me through my sinful, human husband in His will for His glory.

So I can’t lose! I am seeking God’s will and glory, not mine. I don’t know the way there. So I can trust that He will use all things for my good and His glory because I love Him and that even my husbands’ sin and mistakes will bring me to the place God wants me to be. So I can be at peace. I can be content no matter what my husband does or does not do – because my hope is firmly set on Christ. He is my strength and joy.

SO EMPOWERING

Husbands are drawn and attracted to our respect, trust and faith. They are repelled by our disrespect and dominating/controlling behavior. Husbands have a long list of things that speak respect and disrespect to them that most wives know nothing about! They think and feel in an entirely different way than we do. And if we can learn this new language of respect, we can meet their God-given needs and draw our men closer to us and to God.

It’s hard to look at our own sin. But that is where our power is in our relationship with God and our husbands! I CAN control me. I can’t control my husband. I can’t control God. When I focus on MY responsibilities to my husband and to God and I do it because Christ is the most important thing in my life, not to try to manipulate my husband – GOD SHOWS UP. And miracles happen!

Check out my blog at www.peacefulwife.com for more about these topics!

Can You Be a Feminist and Still Be a Godly Woman?

King James Version of the Bible

Recently I posted A Former Feminist. Something I should have considered is the many, many definitions of being a feminist. I don’t know that I was clear on what I meant by feminist and I know that many assumed what I meant and labeled me as a hypocrite immediately. (Fortunately, God has been working on me to not care so much what others think, but focus on what God wants for my life!)

Either way, it got me thinking about the topic, A LOT. God really began speaking to me about what it means to be a feminist and what it means to be a Godly woman. So I posed the question to a number of women. Many of my friends and family responded and I was so pleased with what they had to say! Quite a variety of responses. I want to start there and then I will get to my opinion. They are in no particular order and unedited. Enjoy…

     “I don’t think so… God has called us to be submissive and to embrace our roles as women and I don’t think a godly woman has any room to pursue equal rights or feministic view points. We are called to put off ourselves, put on Christ and live a sacrificial lifestyle, love our children, love our husbands, serve one another. We were made differently than men, with different gifts and we should use those created gifts as best we can to honor the Lord.”
     
~Brandi, wife and mother of 4 and expecting

     “I believe that a feminist can be a Godly woman. True feminism to me is to support the rights of women; which would not have gotten a lot of attention had it not been for the feminist movement. It’s like the suffrage movement worked to get women the right to vote. I don’t believe that God is against that. Just because you speak does not mean that you do not respect God.”
     
~Anonymous, wife and mother of 1

     “I had to be the head of my home when I was married or it would have fallen to the children. Would I have been otherwise? Prob not.”
     
~Anonymous, mother of 2

     “I certainly think you can be a feminist and a Godly woman. I think unfortunately the current modern-day feminists have done damage to women and I don’t think they represent what the original feminists represented.”
     
~Anonymous, wife and mother of 2

     “The definition of feminism is advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men. Given that definition, I would ask were men created greater than women? Were we not all created in God’s image? While our roles may be different, our roles should be equal in dignity, honor and worth. While you may disagree with some things considered “feminist”, there are many things you obviously are ok with, such as the fact that you can wear pants and have a job. If you completely disagree with feminism your life would be entirely different than it is now.”
     
~Sara, wife and mother of 1

     “My feelings on this subject are not the popular opinion, I’m ok with that. My hubby calls me a chauvinist, and I’m ok with that 😉
     I believe that God created men & women differently, we need different things, we are good at different things. This is not to say we can’t be good at things not traditionally our “roles” because God also made every single person different.
     So that being said I believe my role in life is a helpmate for my Hubby. I cook & clean (not as often as I should, but I am a work in progress), I listen to him, I respect his opinions & decisions. In return he loves me & provides the security I desperately need.
     I am not against Women’s rights, I vote, I share opinions with my Hubby without fear of being shutdown. But I have a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Feminism. I feel that once women started getting treated equal, they just continued to push because they think it will never be good enough.
     Every person is different & every couple is different, the most important thing is to find the perfect balance for your relationship. Hubby & I tell each other all the time that our relationship is our favorite ;)”
     
~Krystle, wife, at Just Me Writing to You

     “I think Proverbs 31 kind of clears up the whole can one be a feminist and still be a Godly woman. Especially the last line: “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (KJV)” Since the “gates” were places of merchandising and trade, I think it is rather accepting of the feminist woman. It does not explicitly say that she was at the gates, but the phrase before it would indicate that she was the one actually selling the merchandise at the gates (participating in business outside the home).
     Another idea is that the Bible likens Gods people (men and women) to a bride for a bridegroom. If a woman cannot be a feminist (here feminist is defined as deserving of equal rights and treatment as a man), than this presents a break in the analogy because the Bible also says we are to work (whatever that is for the person). To not allow a woman to be feminist would disallow said woman to work in the way she may be called to do. Hence this would violate both the work mandate and therefore the bridegroom mandate. Thus making the Bible an illogical picture of who we are to be to Christ. That is just plain illogical because even if one does not believe in Christ or God, it is very difficult to suggest that any book would present a theme and then contradict its own theme.”
     
~Eric, husband

     “Perhaps feminism, in its infancy, was truly a great movement to free women from oppression and abuse. I mean, we won the awesome right to vote! But those things have been clearly and foolishly redefined recently in America. We live in the grandest country for women in the world, we have more opportunities than anywhere else and yet I still hear us complaining of tyranny! The cry reaches out from the beginning itself with Eve and the curse. The Hebrew word translated “desire” in the passage of chapter 3 actually means “desiring to have mastery over”, which implies all women ever afterward will strive to have mastery over men, and the answer is that men will in response rule over the women (uh, sound a little familiar?). Women cry out for equality and the abolition of every female oppression, but the way we go about that reveals what’s really in our hearts. I hear today women demanding the legislation of evil atrocity (abortion) in the name of defending their bodies. This is weakness in the heart of the woman, the weakness that the new feminism has taught us- entitlements without personal responsibility. Chapter 8 of Proverbs personifies WISDOM as a woman. This should be the point of reference for every feeling and desire and campaign we have to be great- to be the embodiment of wisdom. And wisdom is never weak.”
     
~Erin, wife and mother of 1

     “I believe Jesus came to set the captives free. For His time He was a feminist. He stopped a crowd from killing an adulterous woman by telling them to cast the first stone if they were without sin. Mary and Martha: who was best.? The one doing a woman’s work or the one learning Jesus teachings? And this in a time when custom dictated her to serve. Care of the unwed mother? Mary was provided for. The woman at the well? She brought people to see Jesus because he made time to speak with her. Mary Magdalene the prostitute? Redeemed.  Jesus is about love. If a relationship between two spouses is built on that and the desire to do God’s will then prayer will dictate that they can come together and make the right decision even when they disagree. Not all relationships are like this and then it us our job as Christians to see that the weaker party is protected. Women’s rights are necessary to protect women in a world that does not always obey God.”
     
~April, wife

     “I believe that it could be possible to hold some of the tenets of feminism – ie: equal pay for the same job, women’s rights to vote, women are equal in value as human beings as men. Where it gets problematic is that the vast majority of the teachings of feminism in the 1st, 2nd wave and 3rd wave of feminism is that they go counter to God’s Word. So I have to decide if God’s Word is the ultimate authority or if feminism is the ultimate authority. “Radical Womanhood,” by Carolyn McCulley, is a book by a former feminist who is now a Christian. She studied women’s studies in college and was a very radical feminist as a young woman. She goes through the history of feminism. And when you see the roots of the ideas of this movement – they are so counter God, counter the authority structure of God, counter the Bible, counter God’s design for marriage and family and counter God’s design for godly femininity and masculinity -that it is shocking.
     Feminism embraces the idea that the God of the Bible does not exist, and that we can create our own god, or preferably, goddesses. That was even in the 1st wave. The first wave also undermined God’s authority structure in the church by saying that women should have “equal rights” to ministry as men even though the Bible expressly forbids women to teach or have authority over men. By the second wave of feminism, feminists were advocating that marriage and motherhood was oppression and bondage and that women should find fulfillment in career alone. No fault divorce was the biggest victory for 2nd wave feminists that allowed women to leave their husbands without cause or justification. This has dramatically contributed to the skyrocketing divorce rates in our culture. The idea of feminists is, “I don’t need a man. I can take care of myself!” That works ok when a woman is single, but marriage is not about independence, it is about interdependence. And marriage was designed by God to show the very great mystery between Christ and the church. The husband is to represent the love and selfless leadership of Christ. The wife is to represent the adoration, submission, reverence and cooperation of the church with her Lord. Feminists sought to destroy God’s design for marriage. They discredited the Bible. They encouraged sex outside of marriage as being freedom. Today, the 3rd wave of feminism has goals such as: don’t allow biology to define the family anymore, gender should be fluid (people should be able to change genders anytime for any reason), homo-sexuality and bi-sexuality are normal and healthy, there is no absolute truth, women should be in charge not men (in business and the home), women are BETTER than men, men are idiots, women can find freedom in being porn stars and pornography is a good thing.
     With those ideologies, I don’t believe that a godly woman can espouse feminism.
     A godly woman is going to accept God’s design for marriage, His Word as authoritative, His authority structure as divine, His commands for wives as life-giving and joy-producing, and his design for women to be wives and mothers as some of the ultimate fulfillment of godly femininity. A godly woman embraces marriage, embraces God’s Word, embraces respect for her husband and submission to him as God’s authority in the marriage, and embraces children as a gift. A godly woman knows that God’s wisdom is vastly higher than her own or than the wisdom of the culture.
     Feminism appeals to our pride, our rebellion against God and our sinful nature. That is why it is so popular!”
     
~April, wife and mother of 2, at Peacefulwife

     “Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Now I think feminism has gone past that and focuses on destroying any trace of a distinction in roles between men and women.
     Feminism Issues:
-Feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society.
-Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life.
-Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant.
-The actions of the modern, militant feminists are geared to cause women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind.
     Woman of God:
-A believing woman, who is seeking to obey God and walk in peace and grace, should remember that she has equal access to all spiritual blessings in Christ.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
-A believing woman should not allow herself to be in the worldly agenda of the feminist movement. Men and women have a God-given privilege to fulfill the plan He has set for us. Rebellion against that plan and the arrogance that seeks to put self above God’s Word result in very difficult consequences. These consequences are in the destruction of the relationship between husbands and wives, the destruction of the family, and the loss of respect for human life.
     Back to the basics:
Eve believed the lie that eating the fruit would bring her wisdom. She lusted and she took or arrogated to herself something that was forbidden. This is the basis for the feminist movement. Women have bought into the lie that feminism will bring them what they want, what they think that they “deserve.” However, the promise is empty for the premise is based in pride and pride goes before a fall. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
     Conclusion:
There has always been inequality in the world. There is only one race—the human race! Within that race are male and female, different ethnicities, different colors, and different national origins. It is sin in the heart that causes inequality. It is sin in the heart that causes men to treat women in ways that are meant to demean. It is sin that sets one person above another. And it is sin that seeks to use counterfeit solutions to counteract these inequalities. The only true cure for inequality is obedience to God’s Word.”
     
~Carisa, wife and mother of 2

     “If answering the question in the blog post title…my short answer would be no. Simply because the idea of fully self-reliant woman isn’t biblical. God created woman to be a helper to man, and we are meant to live blissfully and harmoniously together, as a blessing to one another. I think a better suited goal would be to aspire to that of Proverbs 31. She is secure. And ultimately, because her God is the LORD.
     So….I would preface that with….how do u define “feminist”? And how do u define “godly woman”? Because there can be unmarried independent godly women……
     The major thing that pops up in my mind when I hear feminist is “women’s rights”……..that is a pendulum that could swing pretty wide……
     and if feminist means independent from needing a man…then that is completely contrary to bible when it says husband is head of the wife….”
     ~Brandy, wife and mother of 8, at The Marathon Mom

     “I am a creative stay at home mom and love using my husbands tools to create my big ideas. I think you can be a strong, motivated, and even a self-sufficient, Godly woman. I feel part of being a Godly woman is needing a man though. As a Godly wife I think it’s impossible to be a feminist because I see a feminist as not needing a man. God called us to be our husbands help mate. (Genesis 2:18 says: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”) In my opinion; that is being a housewife/homemaker and stay at home mom. I don’t feel you can be the attentive Godly wife a man needs and work too. If you are not there for him how can you be his helper? I know a lot of women that do it and do it well and I commend them. I know it can’t be easy and has to be exhausting.
     Something somewhere has to suffer, and it’s usually the marriage. I personally do a lot of things that would be considered mans work, but I have my limits and that’s when I call the hubby. Ecclesiastes 4:9 tells us: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 
     If you were unmarried and working ….maybe. I guess it really depends on how independent a woman wants to be.”
     ~Kristi, wife and mother of 4

     “The question ‘can you be a feminist and still be a godly woman?’ Really got me thinking. I do believe you can be a feminist and be a morally good woman, but as far as being a godly woman I think the answer is very much a NO. Let me explain why. The Westminster shorter catechism question one is ‘what is man’s chief end?’ The answer of course being to glorify God and enjoy him forever. I as a woman cannot glorify God by totally focusing on myself, making me my own idol. I cannot serve God while only thinking of myself. You cannot serve two masters.
     Wives are to submit to their own husbands as it says in Ephesians 5:22. We are not to lead our husbands but to follow them. To be their helpers. I think if a feminist were to read that she would quickly become outraged, and rightly so if she looked at it solely from a legalistic point of view. However, as with any stand-alone Scripture, you really need to read it in its context. If we look at verse 25 it says that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. That is some kind of love there. That kind of love is not just a love letter kind of love, that kind of love is respect, to provide for and to protect along with a whole lot more. But we as women have to be careful not to look at this husband-wife relationship as a financial transaction. For example, I should not submit to my husband IF he love/respects me, likewise my husband should not love/respect me only if I submit to him. It is not an “if you then I will” command that God gave us, it is a DO IT command. I think feminism started with the right intentions because women were in the same category as slaves. We had no value, no voice, no rights. The heart issue was spot on. Women and men were created equal. Woman was created out of man’s rib bone. We belong at man’s side, not in front of him leading him, and not behind him trying to catch up. Woman was not made from his foot to be trampled on or stomped on, but man’s side is where we belong. Equal. Not of greater value. Not a lesser value. Equal.”
     ~Lisa, wife and mother of 5

     “I googled “feminist” and found most definitions to be something like, “an advocate for the rights of women in relation to men.” Rights and equality are something that should be fought for. God created us equal before Him. However, we get confused about what that means. Although we are equal, we do not have the same roles. Our different roles are not an indication of our status, but simply differences in our relations with each other. Most feminists fight for completely equal treatment in every way. However, the Bible clearly teaches that we are made different, and therefore should act differently. For instance Titus commands older women to teach younger women to “love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God.” Be busy at home and be subject to their husbands? I can hear the feminist’s incredulous, “Are you kidding me?!?” in my head right now. But why are we supposed to do those things? So that no one will malign the word of God. People will speak evil of our God if we do not do these things. So, can we be a Godly woman and a feminist at the same time? Well, if we are trying to make equal rights the same thing as equal roles, then no.”
     ~Erin, wife and mother of 3

     “I think the answer is yes. The feminist movement started with an aim to obtain equality for women in politics (the vote), the economy (equal opportunity for jobs and equal pay), and education (equal access). Recently this has also come to incorporate some trickier social issues such as the right to have an abortion or free access to birth control. Personally, I think that feminist has become a title, much like being a republican or a democrat. A person may agree with many of the issues but disagree with others, seldom does one find that a label is a complete description for their own beliefs.
     Would someone consider me a feminist? I have spent 9 years in higher education, and am in a highly competitive line of work. I have put off starting a family to reach these goals. I suppose they might. I do disagree with abortion, but also recognize that to make it illegal would require defining when life begins. For us as Christians, that is very easy to do. For secular people in the population, that definition is much harder to reach. I do not think we can force Christian beliefs on the general population. I also think it is important to recognize that any label may or may not hold true in all of its particulars for a given individual.”
     ~Anonymous, wife

     “If you mean feminist by someone who is co-equal heir with Christ-equal to men, I believe scripture supports that idea. However, if you mean someone who thinks they are better than or can do something better than another because of their gender, the ‘I can do anything better than you” then, that brings us into issue. This is wrong thinking along with the stubbornness or lack of willingness to be in submission to authority. This is not a godly attitude not just with women but with men, as well.”
     ~Stephanie, wife and mother of 6

     “I think it’s important that as women we advocate for those in need and become a voice to the voiceless. Feminism in today’s society warps many individuals into thinking that being an advocate and fighting for justice means equality. I am a firm believer that God made all of us equally and with the same intention. I feel that as women we have an innate desire and responsibility to nurture and stand beside others with compassion and a fierce love. With that said, I believe it goes completely against biblical principle to encourage, fight and advocate for abortion or marriage for lesbians. If you are a true follower for Christ, your desires become His desires. What breaks His heart should break yours. Instead of advocating for the senseless murder of innocent babies and skewed perspectives of love and marriage in the name of “women’s rights” we should be praying for, loving on and showing compassion for our fellow women. Abortion and same-sex marriage is not a God-given right and to say that they are changes the word of God. It’s a fine line- feminism and being a Godly woman… I personally feel that the two, in today’s standards, cannot coincide with each other.”
     ~Tara, wife and mother of 1

     “(This was a comment for your last post, but it also answers the question you asked.) Great post, Tiffany. I understand what you’re trying to say here–not that you want women to return to the days when they were not allowed to vote, own property, or even express an opinion in some circumstances. But, I do think that a lot of the rights that women have been ‘blessed’ with have perhaps been a double-edged sword for us also. Sure, we can work in the marketplace and earn just as much as men, but at what cost to our families, and our society. We have a culture with new terminology like ‘latch-key kids,’ before- and after-school care,’ and a whole new business world of day cares and preschools–all related to the hours the mother is no longer in the home providing care and nurturing for her own children. Of course, this is just ONE area that has been affected by feminism. Dictionary.com defines Feminism as “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. ” And that’s the issue for me…feminism seems so selfish–it’s all about ‘Me” with a big M. That is the opposite of Christ’s teaching, which says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. ” Philippians 2:3 NIV That should be for BOTH partners in a marriage, but it certainly doesn’t fit the view I have of feminism.
The real issue is that Christ intended the marriage covenant to be a ‘picture’ of His relationship with His bride, the church. And in THAT relationship, Christ is clearly the head, the church is clearly NOT. I think it grieves Him when women have a ‘rebellious’ attitude toward their husbands–the “I can do it my way, and it’ll be BETTER” attitude. And even if a woman DID marry a jerk, God honors the POSITION of head of the relationship/husband because that’s how He created it to work. So, if the woman who is married to a ‘jerk’ will just be obedient to God’s Word and honor her husband, God can work on him and actually make him into a Godly husband.”
     ~Janey, wife and mother of 6

WOW! What a variety of thoughts and opinions from all different kinds of women and even a husband’s perspective. I love how thought-provoking this question is and I loved reading each and every quote.

There are so many definitions (according to our own personal definitions) for being a feminist. Some would call any woman who works a feminist. I have met many women who work, wear pants, and vote that I would never classify as a ‘feminist.”

I appreciate the rights I have as a woman in America, but I would be lying if I didn’t see how some of these rights have been the demise of the family and marriage even in our Christian homes.

After quitting my teaching job to stay at home, God began to change me as a wife and a mom. Our home was much different. Things were calmer, less stressful, peaceful. I trusted in God to provide instead of me and my job. In turn, I trusted my husband as our financial provider. I allowed him to lead our home. I was happier! My husband and children were happier. God began to show me how to be the biblical wife and mother He has called women to be!

This was so freeing! I no longer felt the need to control every situation. It was so nice to not have to take on all the responsibility. This is what I refer to in my post A Former Feminist. This was my struggle and still is at times. We all have our own struggles and sin. Each of us have things we need to work on and can improve. Not one of us is perfect, but we should strive to be as close as we possibly can.

How sad is it that Christians no longer stand out as different? What makes us unique? We try to take control over so much and claim it is our “right.” It is our “right” to decided when and if we want to have children and how many. It is our “right” to decide who should lead in our home and who makes the big decisions. It is our “right” to work as much as we want and let someone else take care of our home and children. It is our “right” to let our voice be heard no matter how disrespectful it may sound to our husband.

As a godly woman, what makes me different from a worldly woman? (maybe another post lol)

My feminist views were many of the reasons I struggled to allow my husband to lead. My feminist views caused me to try to be better, not just equal, than my husband (or any man for that matter). So are all feminists this way? Absolutely not! But can many of the feminist fights lead to this mindset. Absolutely!

Those are many of my problems with “feminists.” I do not have a problem with all of women’s rights, or being equal to men, but many times it is the fight to be better, not just equal where the problem lays. The fight that focuses on selfish desires instead of God’s desire. My feminist views caused me to be more focused on self rather than Christ! We are to serve, not be served. Man and woman.

We were created equal but with much different roles. We ARE called to be great, but in how we take care of our home. In how we raise our children. In how we serve and share Christ. Men will be held responsible for their actions, and so will we as women.

I will leave you with this:

Proverbs 31

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Titus 2:

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Ephesians 5

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

What do you think, Can You Be a Feminist and Still Be a Godly Woman? What makes a godly woman different from a worldly woman?

A Former Feminist

When I started this journey a year ago, I knew God wanted to work on me. He had already been working on me as a wife and mother, but WOW! In this last year, I feel He has really laid some true convictions on my heart.

As a former feminist, I look back and cannot believe my thoughts, my actions, my “right” to control and do whatever I wanted. I had a need to prove I could do everything just as good if not better, and by golly, we are EQUAL! Wow, even writing that now I chuckle!

*OK, so I guess I should warn you… I am about to step on some toes… I am about to be brutally honest… I am about to speak my heart, through ideas and thoughts (and many of His words) that I truly believe come from God… you have been warned 🙂 and you may disagree and you are free to do so*

I have since learned, it is not about “Are we created equal?” Our purposes are DIFFERENT! This is evident in our nature. Women have more compassion, they long to care for and love. Men are strong and desire to provide.

Over the last many, many years, women have worked hard to “prove” ourselves, and show we can do what men can do. Yes we can and hear us roar! WHO CARES!?! What has this done to our society? What has come about because of these actions? We see it all over our televisions, our movies, in our music. Men are no longer strong and powerful, they are stupid and pathetic. They can’t think or make any decisions without a woman telling them how it should be. Women are degrading and rude. They speak their mind with little to no consequence and could care less. How sad! This is a sad world to live in. I know. I’ve been there.

Why won’t he lead? Why can’t he think of this and that? What is wrong with him? I was so right and he was clearly so wrong. Why doesn’t he just listen to ME? SELFISH!!! Sad. Lonely. Angry.

Then God got ahold of my heart and began to change ME! Not him. He began to show ME what society had convinced me of about how a woman should act and be. Then he started showing me how a wife treats her husband. You know? The wife that is above rubies! He began to show ME how to respect and respond.

All this time I thought he needed to change, but it was ME! I began exploring and learning to become a better wife and mother. I realized I had to trust God and let go. I quit my teaching job to take care of my husband, home, and children.

*I have since started working a part-time job that allows me to bring my children with me, but have felt some convictions over this decision so I have stopped writing until now… due to time also.*

Once I started blogging, I discovered another blogger, PeacefulWife. She too had to go through this difficult journey, and she is way ahead of me, but I am coming along. I have changed. God has changed me.

Reading through many of her posts, I struggle with my old self, the feminist in me, screaming “NO! I cannot do that! He needs to change. He needs to “this;” he needs to “that.” ME. ME. ME. I am equal. Those rules and roles don’t apply to us now. We are in the twenty-first century for goodness sakes! Get with the times.” At these times, the Holy Spirit calms my heart and reminds me His purpose for my life. He reminds me that it is not about me. It never was. In fact, it’s not even really about my husband. It’s about Christ and what He wants to do through me. I must prepare myself to be used my Him.

He created me as a helpmate. I can hinder my husband from doing God’s work, and push him down, make him feel like less of a man, or I can make him stronger and help him as we do God’s work together.

I am far from the end of my journey, and I still have much to learn, but at least I am changing! So many women are not, and it makes me sad for them because it is so much better on this side! And NOT just for the husband 🙂

What hard lesson did you have to learn? Did you have to change your worldly nature?

A Study Through the Bible: 1 John 2: 7-11

Did you see my post on 1 John 2:3-6?

Hi! Let’s get these devotions back up and going! God is moving in our lives, and we are amazed everyday and that things He is doing in and through us. We thought we were heading in one direction, but God has pointed us in another for the time being. I am excited to see where it will lead me and my family. I am so blessed!

Opening Prayer

God, thank You! Thank You that even when we make our own plans, You step in to guide us the way we should be going. Thank You that You are faithful and providing for us everyday!

Thank You for sending our church a new Pastor!!!! Thank You for leading us through a tough several months, and never giving up on us. Thank You for the amazing things You have in store for our church and this community!

Speak to me today. Use Your Word to confirm the plan You have for each and every one of us! Amen.

Scripture

1 John 2:7-11

7 Dear friends,   I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning.   This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command;  its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing  and the true light  is already shining.

9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister  is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sisterlives in the light,   and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister  is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness.  They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (NIV)

Application

What a strong command! Obviously one we struggle with often or it would not have to be emphasized over and over again. Love, love, love! If we ever get overwhelmed with the Bible and all of the commands, just love. How can we go wrong if we love?

I don’t mean love the sin. Some argue we should allow things to happen, or it’s ok for people to do this or that because it’s all out of love. “God won’t condemn people for who the love.” and such. This is simply not true. God will still judge those according to their sins, even if it is done in “love.” This scripture speaks to us about loving one another and showing God’s love. God loves all of us, but that does not mean He encourages acts of sin.

Moving on, because that is not the point. So what is the point? We oftentimes hold onto anger, bitterness, resentment. We forget to forgive and show love. Christ loves us and we need to show that same love. People will learn about Christ and His love by how we represent Him. We must be in the light as He is. We must love and forgive as He does. It is so easy to say this, but so difficult to do at times, especially when we are hurt deeply.

I struggled with forgiveness several years ago. I found myself angry at a close loved one and unable to truly love them. I had to pray and pray and pray that God would help me to forgive and learn to love them again. It took a long time to get past the hurt and deep scars, but with God as my strength, I was able to love again and truly forgive.

We must watch carefully for the small acts of hatred we show too. We can see the big ways people hurt us, and we know we need help to forgive, but sometimes it’s the little things we let slide into our hearts. We begin to slowly hate someone without even realize what we are doing, or with simple justifications. I am so thankful that this Word reminds me to love and to live in the light. And, that I serve a God who helps me show the love that may not always be easy for me.

Closing Prayer

God, thank You for the reminder that I need to love. You have shown me so much love even when I didn’t deserve it. Who I am if I do not show that same love in return? Help me show that same love and forgiveness. I love you! Amen.

A Study Through the Bible: 1 John 2: 3-6

Did you see my post on 1 John 2:1-2?

I have missed my blog!!! And my wonderful readers!! We are getting our house ready to sell: boxing up, taping walls, painting, yard work, and about to put in hardwood floors. Whew! In addition, my husband and I decided I would accept an offer on part time job that allows me to bring my kids. This has been quite a change for us this week, and we are learning to adjust. Thanks for your patience on this journey!

Opening Prayer

God, wow what a week! A lot of changes and unexpected things coming my way. I am so thankful that no matter what I am faced with You are with me and I am living in Your Will. Speak to me and give me the strength I need to face what is still to come.  Amen.

Scripture

1 John 2:3-6

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (NIV)

Application

Wow! This is EXACTLY what I needed to be reminded of right now. It amazes me how God knows exactly what we need to hear especially when we are feeling discouraged.

We must obey His commands. He commands us to love Him first. He commands us to love one another. His Word is filled with commands that help us lead happy, fulfilling lives, that share His light. He wants us to be honest and trustworthy people. He wants us to live our lives following His Word.

We may fall short, but, as His Word told us in the previous verses, He forgives us those sins. He wants us to walk in His light. He wants us to read and listen to His Word and what He tells us in our prayer time with Him. We may not always understand why things happen, but we must trust that if we are living as Jesus lived, we cannot go wrong.

We must obey Him to show that we love Him! I believe this is how others will also know we are living with Christ. We can look to see if they are obeying the Word. We can check their actions with the Bible. I am not talking about judgement, but common sense. In order to know who to trust and who to listen to (as in our pastors and teachers), we must first look to see that they are obeying the Word. It is our rule book and teaches us how to live. If people claim to be living for Him, but do not follow His example, we need to be mindful.

This is also how we know how to live our own lives. We shouldn’t just use the Bible to check other people’s motives, we should use it to check our own motives. We should use His Word as a guide. How wonderful that not only did He send His son to die for us, so that He can forgive us our sins, but He also sent His Son to set an example for how we should live our lives. There is no better example!

Closing Prayer

Lord, You are so amazing and Your Word always leaves me to think and check my actions. I need to make sure I am living just as Your son lived. I need to walk in Your light and share Your love. I need to live by the commands You gave me, and as long as I do that then I know I am living and doing just as I should be. Thank You for this confirmation. I love You! Amen.

A Study Through the Bible: 1 John 2: 1-2

Did you see my post on 1 John: 5-10?

Opening Prayer

God, You have amazing ways of opening and closing doors. We do not always understand why things happen the way they do, but I know I am living in Your Will and I am at peace. Show me through Your Word what I need to hear today. Amen.

Scripture

1 John 2:1-2

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense —Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also forthe sins of the whole world.  (NIV)

Application

This passage continues his statement from chapter 1. We have all sinned. Even as believers we are still sinners and are in need of Jesus’ defense. How amazing that He loves us enough to defend us even when we have wronged Him.

The Bible is clear, do not sin, but if you do, Jesus Christ has already sacrificed for those sins! Wow! Before I was born He knew I would fall short, and He took care of me even then.

Maybe the last part is even more important, for us as believers, to pay close attention to. Yes He died for us, and that is wonderful, but He died for the WHOLE WORLD! It is so easy to feel happy and content. Yippie… I am going to Heaven! I don’t need to worry anymore!

What about those around us? Our friends and family? What about those in other countries where churches cannot be found every 100 yards or so? What am I doing for them?

I can pray more. I can share more with those around me. I can give more to the missionaries that go where I cannot. Oh how we, as Christians, need to focus so much less on us and more on others. I know I get caught up in my world: me and my cute little family! I need to see and remember that Christ didn’t just die for me, but for EVERYONE! Let’s agree not to be selfish with our God!

*Apparently God really wants me to hear this. Our Youth Pastor, Wade, preached about sharing Christ with others this last Sunday. It was a wonderful message he left us with on his last Sunday at our Church.

Closing Prayer

God, wow! You sent Your son to die for me, but also for EVERYONE else. This is not an exclusive group. You didn’t just select a few. You want everyone! Thank You for loving us that much! Remind me always, to live a life that is a testimony to You, but also to share You with everyone! Amen.

A Study Through the Bible: 1 John 1: 5-10

Did you see my post on 1 John 1: 1-4?

Opening Prayer

God, I need this time, more than ever, this morning. Please show me what I need to hear! Give me peace and open my eyes to the things I need right now. Amen.

Scripture

1 John 1: 5-10

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (NIV)

Application

Am I the only one who reads God’s Word and ends up with a ton of Christian songs stuck in my head?!? I just think it’s funny!

Anyways… what a strong message today. Let’s take the Word and read it literally. What does it mean if something is in the light? It means it can be seen. There is nothing hiding. What about the dark? Things are unknown, unseen. You don’t know what to expect.

God is light. He shines on us and nothing is hidden. We cannot be with Him, since He is light, and still be in darkness. If I walk outside and the sun is shining on me, I cannot make myself and my area dark, without putting up a wall. God is our light, we have to live by the truth otherwise we have created this wall. I want to live in the light! I want to be seen and I want to live a life worthy of that light.

No one is perfect. We all sin and fall short, but He forgives our sin. This passage talks about not living in darkness, but yet we all sin. Just because we sin does not mean we are living in darkness. Darkness happens when we shut out God. When we build up the wall to create darkness despite the light.

We need to be honest people. We cannot tell the world become a Christian, stop being sinners. We are all sinners, but we have One who restores us and makes us new each and everyday. The point is that in the light the sin is revealed. It can be seen and taken care of. The light allows us to recognize the sin and confess it to God and seek forgiveness.

Closing Prayer

God, what a wonderful message. You are our light and reveal the things we need to fix. Thank You that even though I am not perfect, You still forgive and want me to live in Your light! I pray You continue to reveal in me the things that I need to work on, and give me wisdom to know how to best serve You. Amen.

A Study Through the Bible: 1 John 1: 1-4

Well, for those who have been following my Bible Study, I am sorry it has taken me so long to get 1 John started. I have been researching and trying to find a good site to use. I did not find a super great one, but did find one that gave me some information on the book. You can see it here.

So I have decided to jump in and go for it on my own. Please bear with me, I am not a Reverend like my husband ;-), and he doesn’t always have time to read over my stuff to make sure I am correct, but God created the Word for His everyday people and I believe we can all read it and take from it. Having said that, here we go!!

Opening Prayer

God, I am so very excited to study with You through one of my favorite books in the Bible. Show me and speak to me. Use me to share Your Word and read it for what it says! I love You and look forward to Your Words always. Amen.

Scripture

1 John 1: 1-4

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. (NIV)

Application

I love this opening. You can sense John’s compassion for Christ and for these believers. He comes to remind them what they have seen and heard. He reminds them that they have a true testimony. John comes to tell what he has learned and that he is learning from God and His son.

We should never listen to teachers or pastors who are not in fellowship with God and His son, Christ. We can tell this by the fruit they bear. John has a heart for the people and he wants to share with them the things he has learned. I love this and love that believers continue to learn from his powerful words! I wonder if they knew then the power their words would have this many years later. Amazing!

Closing Prayer

Lord, You put a special calling on the lives of those who wrote Your word. Thank You for speaking to them and using them so that I can learn from them over 1900 years later! How amazing! I am in awe of You. I love You and look forward to reading through this passage more. Amen.