Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Serve the Lord with Gladness

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2

God is so good and His mercy endures forever. Women, we are creatures of emotion. We all know it to be true, especially during times of hormonal imbalance, right? I am the worst when it comes to P.M.S. and letting my emotions get the better of me. We can be so sensitive and our moods can fluctuate so rapidly that our husbands sometimes don’t even have the ability to keep up. I know that it is hard to dwell in joy.

We have all the struggles that anyone else does. We have had problems with finances, infertility, health and much more. I will be perfectly honest with you; sometimes it is not easy for me to be joyful. My emotions take over and I’m swept over by waves of sadness and grief. I have a need to cry sometimes or to go for a long, hot bath and just listen to my Savior comfort me. Life is not easy and I want to make it clear that there are times for tears. There will be a time for mourning and weeping. There will be times when it is right to grieve.

We will lose loved ones, experience sickness, be hurt by unbelievers and sometimes fellow believers—it is right and appropriate to feel sad and express sadness when there is loss, pain or suffering. What we must remember, however, is that the Lord’s joy and mercies are new every morning. There will be a time for tears, but there will also be a time for the tears to give way to smiles. There will be a time for mourning, but there will also be a time for the mourning to turn to dancing. There will be a time for grief, but there will be a time when the grief is covered with joy. As Christians, we know these trials are but for a short time and then we will see the glory of the Lord. In Revelations we see that God will wipe away every tear from our eyes and we will spend eternity praising Him for He is so worthy.

Return to joy, dear ones, and do not let yourself dwell in sadness, but in the peace of the Lord. Cry when you need to, but live in joy. Do not let sadness and discontent rule you, but let the Lord fill you with the precious hope He has for you. Do not be chained down by discontent, but allow the Lord God of Israel to be your fullness and your portion. Do not fret and worry, but rejoice knowing in full assurance that the God of all Creation will meet your needs and bless you exceedingly with His love and mercy. There is much to rejoice about, so make a choice today that you will live out His joy in your heart, blessing your family, your husband, and your Maker.

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Practicing Hospitality

“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate…” Titus 1:7-8

One of the ways we serve the Lord as keepers of the home is to open the doors of our home to others and show hospitality. The Guest Room is all about using your home to bless others. I do want to make it clear right from the start, however, that you are to only show hospitality as long as your husband has agreed to it and does not mind. Remember that your first calling is to submit to your own husband so do not disobey him even in order to do thing that would be considered good or right. That being said, hospitality is a beautiful calling and one that God has spoken of often in His Word.

The passage above from Titus (also found in 1 Timothy) is a list of qualifications for a bishop in the church. A bishop would be an overseer or elder in the church body. He is held to a high standard because he will take on the responsibility of caring for the body of Christ and it is a big deal. So part of the qualifications for a man to become a bishop is that he must be a lover of hospitality. He doesn’t just tolerate hospitality, but he loves it. To understand what that means we need to know what the word “hospitality” really does mean.

Looking up the Greek word we can see that there is not much to go on. The word simply means “hospitable or generous to guests.” It doesn’t say much. In the dictionary the word “hospitality” means: “the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers, the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly or generous way.” So hospitality is welcoming guests and strangers. This is fantastic! Who knew that as Christians we were to be welcoming strangers? We would have if we were reading the Bible as we should be because it says so right there.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

I love this verse in Hebrews because it ties right in with the story of Lot. When the angels came to his town he showed them hospitality and brought them into his home. He was indeed entertaining strangers unawares! Then we see his family was the only one to be brought outside of Sodom before the firestorm. God wants us to welcome strangers and guests into our lives, whether it be at home, in the church, or wherever we can serve them. We should also be welcoming our church family into our homes and sharing life with them. In the book of Acts, the disciples of Christ and New Testament Christians went from home to home each night, breaking bread together and talking about Jesus. This is the kind of close-knit relationships we are meant to have within the body of Christ. I believe the church family should be so close that we are connected in unity, but we should also be ever-so ecstatic to open our arms to strangers and draw them in.

 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:9

We are to extend hospitality and also do so with a good heart and attitude. Have you ever invited a family from church over for dinner and forgot that you had a very busy day planned and ended up running around like a lunatic all day to get the house in order, the groceries bought and the dinner cooked before your guests arrived? I have done this very thing. You love having people over but the added work can sometimes be a heavy burden and that can lead to complaining and grumbling. God wants us to show hospitality to others with a good attitude. He wants us to enjoy it. How can we make ourselves enjoy what is a difficult task to accomplish? We are as prepared as possible and we realize that God is not asking us for perfection. The house doesn’t have to be immaculate, nor the meal sublime, in order to extend hospitality. The more you practice hospitality, the more it will become a way of life and a part of life that is not stressful but pleasant.

This gift of hospitality is one way that God knits our hearts together with others from our church body. My husband I believe that having close relationships within the church is very important. We therefore try often to have other families over for dinner in order to get to know them better, find out how they are doing, and simply edify one another in the Lord. If I waited until my schedule was clear or my house was in perfect array before I invited anyone over, we would miss a lot of good, uplifting fellowship time with our brothers and sisters.

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Love Your Husband

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5

Aged women should instruct the younger women to love their husbands. Now this can seem like a funny statement to some women, especially to younger wives and newlyweds. It seems to be a silly thing to advise someone, for surely a young wife loves her husband automatically and without hesitation at all times. That’s why she married him, right? It’s certainly true that most people truly love each other when they get married. They have a passion for one another and that blissful feeling that they will live happily ever after. How many women go into a marriage knowing it’s going to be a failure? Even early on in our marriages, or before the wedding itself, we must study the Word and pray about why God would include in this verse that older women should teach younger women to love their husbands. The Lord wouldn’t have included it if it were not something we needed to know. It’s important we understand what the word “love” really means and how loving our husbands could mean something different to them than it does to us.

The first thing to consider is the culture at the time that this scripture was written. People during this period had a far different idea of love then we do today, and that is due in part to the typical nature of arranged marriages. Today most people choose their own spouses, and therefore will only marry someone they love emotionally. In the days of the early church, women and men were matched for marriage by parents and for all manner of reasons. It was tradition, and in most cases it worked out just fine. Many wives at the time this passage was being written would have been placed into an arranged marriage, and therefore might not have feelings of love for their husbands right from the start. It was not unusual for men and women to be betrothed before they even met. These wives did not start loving their husbands until after their marriage began. They therefore were instructed by older women to choose to love their husbands, and often the feelings of love would develop later in the marriage over time.

This concept reminds me of one of my favorite books by author Janette Oak, “Love Comes Softly.” In this book a woman must marry a complete stranger out of sheer necessity. He is respectful and kind to her, and her affections begin to grow towards him slowly but surely over time. I highly suggest reading this book or watching the movie version. It will certainly make you laugh and cry! As this book so rightly presents, love sometimes comes after time, as respect for a person grows and develops into deeper feelings. Ultimately, in these cases, a woman chooses to love by being the wife God has called her to be, regardless of her immediate emotions and feelings.

Love is not simply a feeling. It is also a choice. Every woman of this generation can agree that love in the early stages of courtship and marriage is much different than in the later years. It starts out as an exciting burst of emotion that can hardly be contained. As time goes by, love is still there, but it changes and develops into even deeper forms of love, respect and honor of one another. Sometimes women in their super-emotional states will feel confused by this change and will think love has faded or gone. Or perhaps the husband begins to behave differently than he did the beginning. Husband and wife are becoming more comfortable with one another and less apt to try to impress each other. Romance just doesn’t have that flare it used to. Perhaps problems have developed in the marriage, and your husband is simply not acting in a loving way, which makes your feelings of love for him diminish. Perhaps it is you who are not living up to your commitments within the union.

There are many reasons the feelings of love change in marriage. Couples often joke that after the first couple years their sex life dwindles, as if that’s the norm in all marriages today. In a lot of homes, I’m sure it is the case. No matter what the cause or symptoms for these changing emotions, women must remember that love is also a choice. We can choose to love and respect our husbands regardless of how we feel at the moment, or whether or not he deserves our love. Just as we can choose to have a good attitude and to take our bad thoughts captive, we can choose to love in deed and truth with the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what the aged women are trying to teach the younger women and it is an important message in a world where people are filing for divorce because they simply “fell out of love.” You can fall out of a boat but you choose to stop loving someone.

According to Titus 2, God wants wives to love their husbands whether they deserve it or not. This commandment is between us ladies and God. He is the one instructing us to love our husbands, and if we disobey, it is the Lord we are turning our backs on. If we obey, it is the Lord who sees and will be honored by our obedience to love. Choose God’s way ladies. Love your husbands whether they deserve it or not. Keep on loving them when times are hard, and never withhold your love from your man.

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