Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Five Marriage Killers Part 4

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4. Manipulation & Spiritual Domination

When we look at scripture, we see a long list of women who manipulated their husbands in order to get their own way. Let’s start with Eve in the Garden of Eden, feeding her husband bad fruit (Genesis 3). Adam should have been leading, but Eve took the reins and led them both into temptation and the first sin. Should Adam have refused to follow her into sin? The answer is clearly yes, which is why both were disciplined by the Lord. However, would Adam have ever considered eating the fruit if not for his wife’s encouragement? Perhaps not. How about Sarah and Abraham (Genesis 16)? Sarah’s deep desire to give an heir to her husband prompted her to convince her husband to commit adultery with her own handmaid, Hagar, and to produce the son of the flesh, Ishmael. Once the son of promise, Isaac, came along, there was tremendous friction and subsequent pain. We certainly cannot forget Delilah (Judges 16) and how she manipulated Samson, causing him to lose his hair, his strength, his connection with the Holy Spirit (for a time) and eventually his life.

These are just a few examples of women manipulating their men, but manipulation may not always be leading our husbands into sin. Sometimes it is simply leading them in a different direction than they feel God has called them. A man and woman get married and the woman wants to have a child right away, while the man feels they should wait for a few years so that they can spend time together as a married couple first. The woman seduces her husband and conveniently forgets to take her birth control pills. Whoops! Now certainly there is no sin when it comes to sex in marriage, nor is having children a sin, but the refusal of the wife to follow her husband and her clear manipulation is far from fitting behavior for a daughter of the King. Perhaps you want to move to the beach but your husband feels called to buy a home in the mountains. Circling the ads for lovely beach homes for sale and leaving them sitting on his favorite chair when he comes home is not the way to do it. Neither is crying and complaining all day and night until you get your way. These are tactics of manipulation and are not in line with God’s Word.

The same principle holds true when it comes to spiritual issues. Women are far too swift to take up the role as spiritual leader when they think their husbands are doing the job incorrectly. Spiritual domination by a wife can be a marriage killer. I know a young woman who was the daughter of a pastor, and she married a nice, young Christian man when she was about 19 years old. This young woman and I would chat about married life, and I was always taken back by her attitude of spiritual superiority over her husband. Her husband was raised in a different type of church than she was, and so there were small differences in doctrine. She would complain that after hours and hours of trying to convince her husband that his church was wrong and hers was right they would get nowhere. She called him stubborn, but I think the more problematic of the two was this woman who thought it was her job to teach her husband in spiritual matters. If I, as a friend and outsider, picked up so quickly and with such clarity that this woman considered herself far above her husband in spiritual wisdom and maturity, than there is no doubt her husband felt the weight of her spiritual domination on a daily basis. No doubt he felt disrespected and deflated at home instead of built up and edified.

Don’t get me wrong. It is fine for a wife to share with her husband in a respectful and humble way. Most godly husbands cherish their wife’s opinions and are more than happy to hear her feelings on various topics of faith, the Word and spiritual growth. However when a bossy, dominating woman sits across the table from her man and lectures him for hours about praying longer, throwing out any PG-13 rated movies they have, or his faulty views on the issue of whether or not the Bible speaks against tattoos, I have to question her spiritual discernment. God never intended wives to lead their husbands in spiritual matters, or to instruct them. Yes, she may be right sometimes, but her disobedience to the Lord is far worse a sin than her husband’s occasional bad decision. The correct response would have been to lift her husband up in prayer and to speak with the law of kindness on her tongue. God is the head of her husband, and He will complete the work He has started. A pushy woman is merely a hindrance to the handiwork God wants to do in her husband’s heart, and she ought to spend more time focusing on her own spiritual growth than worrying about that of her husband’s.

Now we look for a moment back to Eve. People love to debate which of the two was more to blame for the fall in the Garden of Eden. Eve was the first to fall into sin, being deceived and tricked by that cunning serpent, and she gave to her husband of the tree as well, who was not deceived but willingly disobeyed God’s instruction. Men love to talk about how women lead men into trouble, just as Eve led her husband into temptation and sin. On the flip side, where was Adam’s leadership or discernment? We don’t see him struggling against doing what he knows is wrong, or rebuking his wife. When it comes down to it and their sin is exposed, both man and women tried to pass the blame and both were punished and therefore both guilty. While figuring out who was more to blame is not necessarily an important quest, we do learn something quite fascinating and significant from this passage about our strengths and weaknesses as women and the roles we are intended to have. We will take a right turn in the Bible to 1 Timothy 2:11-15.

 

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

 

Feminists hate this verse. They love to label our brother Paul as being sexist and the Bible as being outdated and oppressive. Others will attempt to explain away this verse by saying that it was only for the early church and does not apply today or that perhaps it is acceptable for women to teach as long as they are under the authority of male elders. After all we’ve come so far in our mission to create equality between men and women, and to prove to the world that there is no difference between us, right? Wrong. The Bible doesn’t change because God doesn’t change. He created us for a beautiful role and purpose. As women we are precious jewels to our Heavenly Father and to our husbands, should we choose to follow God’s plan for us as wives. There is nothing belittling or insulting about this passage of scripture. Nor does it say it is for a time or a generation, and therefore we must accept that it is for all generations and still applicable today.

Let’s move on to the second part of the passage from 1 Timothy about Adam and Eve. Paul is explaining why women are to learn in silence at church and not to teach or have authority over men. Notice he doesn’t say it’s because women are not educated well enough in the Bible or that it is because at the present time woman were not treated as equals in society. Paul gives two reasons for creating these role boundaries. 1. Adam was created before Eve, and 2. Adam was not deceived in the Garden but Eve was.

Indeed, as we read back in Genesis 2 we see that Adam was created first. This does not mean he was more important than Eve or that he has priority over Eve. It is simply the order in which the Lord God willed for mankind. He has appointed the man to be the leader, going forth first with his wife following right by his side. Men are given a huge responsibility here. Teachers of the Word of God are always bearers of great responsibility as they must pray and study diligently not to lead anyone astray or misinterpret the Word. Secondly we see that Eve was deceived by the serpent. In Genesis, Eve makes the mistake of having conversation with the serpent, misquoting God’s actual words and then allowing the enemy to fill her heart with lies. She was caught up with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. As a result, she was deceived. She certainly wasn’t the only one in sin. Adam sinned willfully. The Word does not mention him being deceived, but he did sin. Perhaps in God’s deep knowledge of the character heart of women, He knows that we are often times more easily deceived and led away by emotions than our other halves. There is no shame in this, but the verse in 1 Timothy makes it clear that this commandment not to allow women to teach or usurp authority spiritually over men is not cultural or for Paul’s generation alone, but based on the will and wisdom of our Lord God.

As women we are to refrain from taking control of situations and decisions, even if we think we will handle them better. If you are a controlling woman, this will really be a challenge for you. If you are set in your ways and are married or planning to be married, pray for God to change your heart as I did before I was married. If you are one of those ladies who must have everything “just so”, pray that the Lord will give you a spirit of flexibility, patience and submission. God finds these characteristics so lovely in his children.

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Five Marriage Killers Part 3

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3. Sexual Stalemate

“And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:25 “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” Genesis 4:1

God created sex. He intended for marriage to be consummated by an intimate sexual fulfillment when two bodies are made one flesh. It is a beautiful gift that God gave His children for wives to experience sexual intimacy with our husbands for the cause of having children and for a pleasurable bonding with each another. The Lord God said man and woman would be one flesh before sin had ever entered the world, therefore we know that sex between a husband and wife is not sinful, nor is it defiled. It is in fact a lovely and most natural unity.

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled…” Hebrews 13:4a

Sex is a beautiful and honorable union when it happens within marriage. We see back in Genesis 4 that Adam “knew” his wife Eve and she conceived a child. Now we all know that the word “knew” is referring to sexual intimacy. This word is used throughout the Bible to refer to love-making. It’s so fitting as well to consider that a sexual relationship is the physical act of knowing someone so intimately that you are aware of every part of their body. This is why it’s so important for Christians to strive to remain pure until marriage. That intimate sexual knowledge is one that should only be shared between a husband and wife. Your husband should be the only one to know you that intimately and vice versa. It is so sad that the majority of people today miss out on the blessed experience of being their spouse’s one and only sexual partner.

God had a design for sex. He formed man and woman to be perfectly suitable partners for one another. In simple terms, all the parts fit, and when they do, the pleasure is incredible! Ladies, God designed us to be sexually involved with our husbands. As women we must recognize that our husbands have sexual needs that must be fulfilled. Science can show us why men seem to need sex more often physically. Their simple anatomy and reproductive system have been created in a way to need regular release to maintain a state of well-being. Sure men can go without sex—of course they can. The question is why should they? If their bodies were created, by God Himself, to renew and require release, why should we deny them the fulfillment of what their bodies are demanding? We should not. It’s simple.

While our men are driven by physical sensitivities to feel the need for regular sex, we women tend to need sexual intimacy on an emotional level. For many of us, it is through sexual bonding that we feel loved, connected and close with our husbands. I know when my husband and I have had to go for short lengths of time without intimacy it has left me feeling a bit disconnected and needing that physical closeness. If we need sexual intimacy emotionally and they need it physically, then it’s a win-win situation!

Women of today are deceived into thinking that a wife should never feel obligated to make love with her husband unless she feels like doing it. We are told that we should consider our own needs first and the needs of our husbands secondly. We are told that we have the right to say no when we’re not in the mood (or fake a headache as the magazines would say), and that our husbands must simply accept that and reign in their natural desires. Biblically speaking we see a sharp difference in the approach to sex. God tells us that, when we are married, our bodies no longer belong to us but to our spouse, and that we are to meet each other’s needs whenever they arise.

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” 1 Corinthians 7:2-5

This passage starts out with a command and a way to avoid lust and fornication. Let every man have his own wife and every woman have her own husband. God knows that we are sexual creatures. He made us that way. He knows that we will struggle with lust and the desire to have sex. He knew that Adam needed a helper to meet ALL his needs—including the sexual ones. Marriage is the only right place to express that sexual nature of ours, therefore let a wife have her husband and let her husband have his wife.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband. What does this mean? The Greek word for “benevolence” is the word “eunoia” which means “goodwill and kindness”. Women should render unto their husbands the goodwill and kindness that is due to them. When the verse says it is “due” to them, do not be deceived into thinking that means you only give them the goodwill you think they deserve it. Our reverence of our husbands is not based on what they deserve. If you think of it that way then you have to swap it around and also say that your husband only needs to be kind towards you when you deserve it.
Do you think so highly of yourself that you think you will always be deserving of his best towards you? Do you really think you are perfect sister? I know I’m not. I don’t deserve my husband’s affections and love all the time. If we really got what we deserved, we would all be cast into the lake of fire. Thanks be to God and Jesus Christ, Who has shown us kindness and given us—not what we deserve—but His unending mercies and grace. Your husband may not deserve your goodwill but the Lord Jesus Christ is commanding you to give it to him regardless.

The passage goes on to talk about the wife’s and the husband’s bodies. “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” Now this goes against everything the world teaches today, doesn’t it? They tell women it’s perfectly okay to deny their husbands sexual intimacy because it’s their body. They give their hearty approval for abortion because they say it’s a woman’s choice what happens to her body. The Lord God of the universe says that when you marry your husband and commit your life to him, you give over ownership of your body to him permanently. If your body is a door, you give your husband the key so that he may enter in at any time. Wives, your bodies, according to the Word of the Living God, belong to your husbands, and you are not to deny them the pleasure that you have to offer.

No doubt there will be some reading this fuming with hot anger. Let me address one point that is certain to come up and cut it off before it even begins. By saying the wife’s body belongs to her husband I am NOT saying that a husband should or has the right to force his wife to have sex against her will. It is very wrong for any man to force any woman to have sex, even his own wife. I am VERY against it. Whether or not a woman chooses to follow God’s instruction to give her body willingly to her husband is her decision to make. She can decide to disobey God or she can obey. That is up to her. I think I’ve made myself clear.

“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” 1 Corinthians 7:5

Ladies, the world wants us to believe that we should look after our own needs first, but the Word of God says that we are to care more about our husband’s needs than our own. Withholding one’s body from her husband is in direct contradiction to the Bible and I would encourage you ladies, if you struggle in this area, to pray for God to help you make things right and meet the sexual needs of your husband. Keep him satisfied at home and be the lover he’s always wanted you to be. And remember to enjoy it!

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Five Marriage Killers Part 2

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2. Clamorous and a Nag

People assume that nagging is just a normal part of marriage and turn a blind eye. Then again, divorce has become such a “normal part of life” that people rarely even bat an eye at the mention of it. It’s hardly surprising to find nagging an acceptable trait amongst wives and Christian women. It is time to wake up, sisters, and identify nagging for what it is—ugly, ungodly and just plain irritating.
Nagging occurs on a variety of levels and within a wide array of topics. Women are almost always the culprits and the need to nag seems to arise from a feeling that they are entitled to more than they have or that their husbands are not meeting their high standards in one way or another. That unrighteous attitude of entitlement creates in a lack of gratitude, anger, resentment and indignation when we don’t get what we want. For example, Lisa feels she is entitled to a tidy yard, and so if it is not tidy she feels at liberty to nag and shout at her husband until he gets it done. Jane thinks she’s entitled to brand name clothing at top prices, so she makes her resentment known to her husband when he insists all they can afford is the knock-off brands. Ladies, we need to remember what exactly we are entitled to—death.

Remember that it is by the grace of Jesus Christ that we have not been condemned to eternal separation from God because of our sins. We deserve nothing. Every good and perfect thing that we have is from God and because of His sweet and rich grace. I’m not saying that we should be doormats as wives and that we should never ask anything of our husbands. It is how we go about asking and how we react that matters.

Is it good for our husbands to take care of the maintenance of our homes and yards? Sure. Is it good for him to live up to his responsibilities as a husband and father? Absolutely! Godly men usually do behave in these ways when they are seeking the Lord. The kicker is that this book is not written for those men. They have their own literature to read and more mature men to disciple them. You, as a wife, need to abandon those feelings of entitlement which prevent you from being truly grateful to God for the life, husband and provisions you have. We need to learn that we can respectfully share with our husbands once and then leave it alone. God is in control. When we can get to that point and stop the conflict-inducing nagging, then we can live at peace with our men.

When it comes to nagging, my own guess is that about 90% of nagging is about tasks the husband is not getting done around the house. He forgot to take out the trash, fix the leaky sink and clean out the storage unit. He keeps forgetting to call when he knows he will be coming home a bit late from work. He squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle and leaves his clothes on the bathroom floor every morning! He never takes his plate to the kitchen sink when he’s finished with the meal you’ve lovingly and selflessly cooked for him, right? Cry me a river! Okay, I shouldn’t have said that so flippantly, but if these are the biggest problems in your marriage, you should be dancing for joy and praising the Lord for the blessings He’s poured out on you! Ladies, there are women out there who are being beaten daily, cursed at daily and treated horribly. There are women whose husbands have left them to raise their children alone, who are barely able to keep food on the table and could care less about the state of the yard. There are real problems out there, so it is time to stop nagging your husband for not taking out the trash, appreciate him for the man that he is and all the worthy things he does for you and the kids, and take the trash out yourself.

While it certainly is a pleasure to have a husband who takes care of these needs around the home, it is important that you, dear wife, are not causing friction in the marriage relationship by bringing up the same topics over and over. Chances are your husband heard you the first time and has decided not to comply with whatever you have asked of him. Now the ball is in his court. Leave it there. If your husband neglects to do these things, then do them yourself or hire someone else to do it, but be careful not to nag him. Even Jesus spoke of this type of repetitive communication when He commanded His disciples not to use “vain repetitions” in prayer. If the Lord God Himself doesn’t want vain repetitions, then I’m sure our husbands don’t appreciate it either.

There is often a lack of accountability and discernment in this area within the church, and wives are becoming better and better at getting their way through the art of consistent, persistent nagging. The truth is, it works like a charm, as men give into their wives’ demands with broken spirits and contrite hearts, but is this a method that God finds acceptable? What about your husband? Is a nagging wife lovely and virtuous? Does your nagging make him want to please and love you more? What does he really think about your nagging?

“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” Proverbs 9:13

The Hebrew word for “clamorous” is the word “hāmâ”, which means, “roars, noisy, disquieted, troubled, loud, tumultuous or raging.” Basically, the foolish woman is a loud-mouth. She constantly feels the need to tell everyone where they should be going and what they should be doing. She is never quiet and content, but always finds something that she feels she must put right. Perhaps she has a word quota to meet each day, but kind and uplifting words of affirmation don’t count! We need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we are clamorous. Do we love to hear ourselves talk? Do we have to be right all the time? Do we think we always have the right answer? Are we just plain loud all the time? While we may think this makes us look wise, the hard truth is it makes us look foolish, and does not encourage affection from our husbands. When you ask your husband why he loves you, would you be offended if he said, “I love you because you have a big mouth, tell everyone what to do and nag me constantly”?

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…” James 1:19

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

A woman’s mouth can either be used to build up those around her or to tear them down and destroy them. The tongue can be such a dangerous thing; the match that starts a raging wildfire. With only a few words you have the ability to encourage, edify and show love to your husband and children, building them up. Words of affirmation are a help-meet’s best friend. Use them whenever you can. Give your husband praise for being a good provider in the home and taking care of you and the kids. This manner of edifying communication is good in the sight of the Lord. However, if you then use the next breath to discourage, wound and humiliate, would you not consider that foolish? Words are powerful tools. How will you use your words today? Will you use them to criticize and nag you husband for not taking the trash out this morning, or will you use them to whisper sweet words of affirmation in his ear as he heads out to work, knowing he will be thinking about you all day? The choice is yours sister. Don’t make yourself a fool.

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James 3:10

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” Proverbs 17:28

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:9

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19

“It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” Proverbs 25:24

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Proverbs 27:15

The Hebrew word for “brawling” and “contentious” is actually the same word, “midyān”. It describes the woman who is always nagging, moaning, unhappy, complaining about something, and ever-so-difficult to please. Men often call this type of woman “high maintenance” and it makes perfect sense that men married to “high maintenance” women often walk around defeated and deflated with their heads hanging low. They never seem to win! Why is this same basic sentence about contentious, nagging women repeated over and over in Proverbs? Are we seeing a pattern? Repetition indicates importance in the Bible. We can clearly see from these passages that the Lord knew and recognized that nagging was, is and probably will continue to be, a huge problem in marriage. Is a woman who fits this description attractive?

The God of the Bible, who loves you and cherishes you dear sister, says that nagging and clamorous behavior is not beautiful, but indeed very, very ugly. I’ve struggled with nagging as well in my own life and daily ask the Lord to help me bridle my tongue and use it for edification instead of destruction. Praying the same for you!

 

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Five Marriage Killers Part 1

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“Mawwage. Mawwage is wot bwings us togevah today. Mawwage that bwessed awwangement…” (from Princess Bride).

“Mawwage” is a blessed arrangement indeed, or it can be. It can be wonderful. It can be a joyful, lifelong union. Unfortunately, as far too many people today know, it can also be unhappy, broken, empty and dead. For many, marriage becomes some sort of hostile hostage situation, where both husband and wife are miserable and they can’t even believe they have come from a place of love to what exists today. Sometimes a marriage is decent. We could class it as mediocre or “okay.” Who wants a marriage like that? When two godly people are married, they may strive to stay married despite a real lack of joy and peace. While it’s honorable to stay in the marriage, we know that God wants His children to enjoy the gift of marriage.

This is the first part to a five part series on some of the behaviors, attitudes, heart issues and so forth women often do/have that bring disruption, disharmony, disunity and ultimately death to a marriage. The issues I’ll address are ones that are not always on the surface and often not given due credit for the problems they cause. I think most of us have flirted with or engaged in some of these activities at some point in our marriage, but as is the case with progressive diseases, they will eat away at a marriage until it is frail, empty and lifeless. So let’s get started ladies.

1. Disrespecting Your Husband

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

While we know there is a Biblical mandate for wives to respect and honor their husbands, I think we often miss the mark because we aren’t quite sure what this “respect” is supposed to look like. I know that I have disrespected my husband in many ways over the years. I’ve heard the words from my mouth and seen a mirror reflection of the disrespectful expression on my face, and I’ve felt ashamed of my own failure in this way. I’ve repented on numerous occasions. I share this so that you know that I study this issue not only to encourage my sisters in the Lord, but also to challenge and train myself. We are in this together ladies!

What does it mean to disrespect my husband? What does it look like? How can I avoid doing it?

Well, to understand that better, we need a man’s perspective. Why? Quite simply, men and women are different (hopefully that’s not a surprise). We perceive things we see and hear and do differently. A man and woman can hear the same phrase and interpret it two vastly different ways. What is disrespectful to a woman might not be to a man, and vice versa. We need to know what our husbands find disrespectful.

In order to get some male perspectives, I interviewed my husband, father-in-law, my two brothers and my mom’s beau. The following are some of their thoughts on things a wife can say or do to make her husband feel disrespected:

* Making insulting and belittling comments such as putting down a man’s work and tasks that he’s trying to do is not good. Putting someone down or insulting them publicly is a big one too.

* Unfavorable comparisons with other men. “You’re nothing like so-and-so.” Also picking apart a man’s faults first rather than focusing on their strengths or on blessings is not good. It’s easier to stoke a fire when you have plenty of fuel.

* I’d say talking about all the nice things that all their friends have as if you are not providing as well for them. I read that was a common one. Just complaining about him not making enough money. Obviously sometimes there are problems that need to be addressed but women sometimes don’t understand how sensitive money can be to men. Dudes often base their worth on how well they provide.

* Sometimes if a wife starts to put other things first, even good things such as ministry, friends, extended family, etc, it can make a man feel disrespected and devalued. It makes him question his place in her life/heart.

* It’s disrespectful when a wife makes unfair comparisons. Sometimes a man is doing the best he can, working hard, but maybe he has less opportunity than someone else.

* Trying to humiliate a man or bring him down is disrespectful. Anything you do to show him that you think he’s not a good enough man, provider, husband, father.

* Not even acknowledging when he’s home from work.

* Rolling her eyes at his suggestions or ideas or when he’s talking to your kids in a disciplinary manner where they can see it too.

* It’s disrespectful when she makes big decisions (like making big purchases) without even talking to you about it because it’s “her money.”

* It can feel disrespectful when she doesn’t even ask if you’re interested in watching something on TV but just puts on what she wants to watch.

* When women talk to their husbands like they are children it is very insulting and disrespectful.

These are great, challenging points to consider, and there are many more. Feel free to share in the comments some of your ideas of what might come across as disrespect. The thing is we can so often do these things and think it’s no big deal, but these actions and words tear down our husbands and make them feel disrespected. We need to mindful to do the opposite…to build up rather than tear down.

I also would refer you to the guest article provided by my friend April from Peaceful Wife Blog called What is Disrespectful to Husbands. It has some great information and examples.

Stay tuned for the next part in this series!

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First Family Trip to Disneyland

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We did it! After months of planning and saving we embarked on our first ever family Disneyland trip! It was a blast with many fun, and also a few bizarre, adventures. While I tried not to faint every time I saw the price of a drink or the cost of a balloon, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and especially loved the looks of wonder and amazement on my daughter’s face. Special memories indeed!

We decided to make this a big trip, so we arranged for my in-laws from Scotland to come for a visit at the same time. We were already taking my mother with us, which was so special for me and my daughter. We picked my in-laws up at the airport on Sunday and then spent Monday at Disneyland and Tuesday at California Adventures. Five adults and one child please! haha it was actually more like six children! It’s funny how being in Disneyland makes you feel like a kid all over again.

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My daughter had some really fun experiences. She was hand-chosen (literally) for a stroll around the square with Minnie Mouse. She showed no fear as she walked around holding Minnie’s hand with pride. She met many princesses (though not Anna and Elsa due to the 3 1/2 hour wait!) and other fun characters. She just loved meeting the characters! She also LOVED the parade. She knew and sang all the songs and waved to the characters as they danced by. Yep, she’s my daughter! hehe

Some of the attractions Tabitha liked best were: the Aladdin Musical (superb), meeting Merida and other princesses, the Monster’s Inc ride, Dumbo, Roger Rabbit Ride, Toy Story Mania ride and several others. She was also blessed by her grandparents in getting some pretty cool souvenirs.

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It was a great trip, BUT every fun adventure has to come with a few unexpected twists and turns. We had TWO! Our first crazy incident happened in Disneyland. My husband’s parents had decided not to wait with us in line to meet Merida so we left them in a nice shaded seating area and went to meet our favorite Scottish princess. About 45 minutes late (when we were done), we returned to find no scottish parents. They didn’t have a phone and we had no way to contact them to find out where they were. We sat and waited while my husband started searching. We figured they had wandered off to find something and gotten lost, which is exactly what happened. Eventually they ended up wandering outside of the park and then security was giving them a hard time about getting back in. They asked a stranger to call us and we were so relieved to hear from them! It had been 3 hours! My husband met them at the front and they were able to get back in and enjoy the rest of the day. Haha…yeah. We lost my in-laws for 3 hours at Disneyland. That’s a pretty crazy twist.

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Our second adventure was my mother being locked out of her hotel room. When we returned from D-land, we found that her room, which was adjoining to ours, was locked. Apparently when the maid closed the door, it made one of the locks shift over. It took them about a hour to get in and they had to cut the lock. They did give us a refund for one night for the inconvenience so that was nice.

Despite our little issues, we had a great time and can’t wait to get back. It was a sweet time of bonding, having fun and just being young at heart. Thanking the Lord today for providing for our trip and getting us home safely! God bless!

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Raised Up with Christ

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Happy Resurrection Day! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for His sacrifice on the cross, his suffering and pain. Praise Him that He bore the weight of our sin and faced the death that should have been ours. Praise Jesus that on the third day He was victorious over death and rose from the grave! What joy! What wonder! What glory and majesty! What love!

As I celebrate Resurrection weekend with my family, we keep Jesus as the center and focus of our festivities. Even in Easter egg hunts and baskets, we are always reinforcing to our daughter what we celebrate and worship the Lord for what He has done. We praise Him because He’s alive and because He’s alive, we too shall live! That’s the thing that hits me hard as we meditate on the cross and resurrection. You see, when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, we are also celebrating our own. We too will be raised up with Christ! We too have new life in Him. We were dead in our sins and transgression and we crucified the flesh and was buried with Christ. The old, dead person was buried in that grave, but as Christ broke the chains of death and rose in glory, we experienced His glory washing over us and giving us newness of life.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” 1 Corinthians 6:14

Oh friends, how can we read these verses and not praise Him? How can we read these words and not weep for joy and fall on our knees before our God? Look what Jesus has done? He faced death, conquered the grave and rose from the dead so that we too may live!

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then the Bible says you are dead in your sins. We have all been there. Before I committed my life to Jesus I was dead inside. Then I gave my life to Christ, He washed me clean from my sins and I was born again as a new creature in Him. Because He lives, I live! If you don’t know Jesus, I pray that this Easter you will turn your heart towards Him. Here’s what the Bible says to you:

* Jesus loves you, even before you love Him. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

* You are a sinner. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all menfnbecause all sinned—” Romans 5:12

* The wages of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

* You need forgiveness. “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

* Jesus offers salvation to the repentant. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

* You are born again in Christ. – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.fn The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

* You have eternal life. ““For God so loved the world,fn that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

Today I’m filled with hope. I know that no matter what hardships I face, no matter how many times I mess up, no matter what comes my way, I am saved in Christ Jesus. He has died for me and rose again, and in His resurrection I am raised up as well. I am no longer that old, dead soul with no purpose and no hope. I am new and alive and will live forever with my Lord. I am so blessed. If you don’t know Jesus Christ today, don’t wait another minute to turn your heart to Him. Believe. God is real and He wants a relationship with you. Pray. Speak from your heart. There are no magic words. You just confess that you believe, that you are sorry for your sins, that you want new life in Him, and give Him the reigns of your life. Trust me, you’ll never be the same again and you will know the joy and peace of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is alive! My Savior lives! Because He lives, I live! I’ll never stop proclaiming it! May you have a wonderful Resurrection celebration and may the Lord God of the Bible be glorified!

 

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A Study on Eldership

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The following is a study I’ve done on the purpose, qualifications and callings of an elder in the church family. This has been something on my mind and heart for a long time. It’s important that we know that being an elder isn’t just a title to be had in the church. Rather it is a ministry calling that comes with responsibilities. It is important that elders be chosen based on their qualifications and also on their ability to commit to the ministry calling.

Appointing Elders

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—” Titus 1:5

Paul writes to Titus about the need to appoint elders in every town as directed. He pre-clarifies that this is to be done in order to “put what remained into order”. This is an ordering of the church family. One can imagine that the New Testament church was chaotic at times, with threats of persecution and execution from all of the political and military leaders. There was fear. There were false doctrines. We know there were false prophets coming in and leading some in the church astray, which Paul speaks about a little later in the chapter. In this verse, Paul introduces the need for elders, gives the qualifications of an elder and then goes on to show an example of why elders are so important.

What is an Elder?

Titus 1:7 refers to elders as “overseers”. Elders are spiritual leaders and overseers in the church. They serve in a variety of ways; as pastors, teachers, counselors and ministry supervisors. Elders are committed to the Lord’s work. It is an office and a position of authority in the church. It is a big responsibility and merely a title to be claimed.

And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.” Acts 14:23

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” 1 Timothy 3:1

That word “task” is the Greek word “ergon” which refers to employment, work and a hard job. It is a job that one is undertaking. It is an act, deed or a thing done. It is the opposite of “less work” and indicates a greater degree of responsibility. In other words, the job of an elder is active. It is not a passive role. It is active. It is a time consuming undertaking. Therefore an elder should be a man who is ready, willing and has time to fulfill the office.

If we elect someone as mayor of the town, that person is going to have a lot of work ahead of him/her. There are going to be long meetings, sleepless nights, piles of paperwork, press reports, etc. The mayor oversees the town. The mayor takes care of big and small issues that affect the community. It’s hard work. The office of an elder is hard and time-consuming as well….or at least it should be.

Qualifications of an Elder

“The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:1-7

Let’s look at these qualifications as a list:

  • Above reproach – He strives to live a life that glorifies God so much so that no one could accuse him of wrong-doing.
  • Husband of one wife – Whether or not this means an elder must have a wife is debatable. We know that he must not have multiple wives. One could also take this as meaning an elder must have a wife and this makes sense. We know that Adam needed a helper in the Garden. When God appoints a man to eldership, it is a big responsibility. Perhaps God is saying that men with such a large job in the church need a helper too.
  • Sober-minded. Temperate. Thoughtful and grounded in the word, this man thinks clearly and shows wisdom in his words and actions.
  • Self-controlled – He is self-disciplined and does not fly off the handle.
  • Respectable – He is well put-together, modest and dignified. He is well thought-of by those around him.
  • Hospitable – An elder and his wife should be given to hospitality. They should be known to welcome people into their home often.
  • Able to Teach – An elder should have the gift and calling of a teacher.
  • Not a Drunkard – An elder must not be addicted to or prone to drunkenness. He must be temperate.
  • Not Violent but Gentle – Doesn’t crave violence or get in fights with people often. He doesn’t look for trouble with others. He is gentle.
  • Not Quarrelsome – An elder should not be in constant quarrels and fights with others. He does not stir up strife and cause problems. He is a peacemaker not a troublemaker.
  • Not a Lover of Money – He is not money-hungry or focused on acquiring earthly, material wealth. He does not boast in his riches or what he has attained, but seeks the Lord first and always.
  • Manage His Household Well – An elder must have his home in order. That covers his marriage and his children. He must have children who have been taught to submit and obey. He must love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He must have his home in order and his obligations met.
  • Must Not be a Recent Convert – A new believer should never be appointed as an elder. It is dangerous to bring someone up into leadership before he is ready. God says that a recent convert who is made elder too soon may struggle with pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
  • Well Thought-Of by Others – An elder should be someone that other people generally like. He should be one who others look up to and respect spiritually.

 

Responsibilities of an Elder

There is no conclusive list of the responsibilities because the truth is an elder has to basically do whatever it takes to minister to the body for which he is responsible. Just like a parent takes care of the many needs of his or her child, an elder is charged with taking care of the Christians that God entrusts to their care. This could fall under a variety of tasks, ministries and works. Here are some of the responsibilities an elder must be prepared to do to fulfill the office:

  • Love the body. “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…” 1 Peter 1:22
  • Pray for the body. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14
  • Stand on and Teach the Word. “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Titus 1:9
  • Watch over the Souls of the Body. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17
  • Oversee the Church. “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly…” 1 Peter 5:2
  • Be a Good Example – “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness… Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” Titus 2:2, 7-8
  • Disciple – “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
  • Invest Time in Fellowship – “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

 

These are only a few of the responsibilities of an elder in the church. What became overwhelmingly clear to me as I studied this topic was how important it is for elders to be connected with the people in the church. Being an elder is not just a title you give men who love the Lord and are well-versed in scripture. The office of elder requires work, time, commitment and a passion to love and care for the body of Christ. It is a very hard job. A man who loves the Lord but doesn’t have time to fulfill the calling of an elder shouldn’t commit to taking on the job. Just like any other commitment we make, we should be sure we have the time to meet the responsibilities that come with the position.

Not only must an elder meet the qualifications listed, but he must devote time to fellowship and getting to know the people who are supposed to be entrusted in his care. How can he oversee or shepherd the body if he has no idea who the people are, what they have going on in their lives and where they need help? How can an elder minister to people if they never spend time with them? How will young men and women grow in the Lord if they are not discipled? If the elders aren’t going to do it, then who is?

Eldership is not just a title, and it’s also not a position of tyrannical rule. Elders should not see themselves as the boss who calls the shots, but rather a servant of the most High God (the actual Head of the Church). An elder is feeding and tending to the sheep of God with love, gentleness, compassion and sound doctrine. He does not see himself as higher, more spiritual or better than any other brother or sister. He is a humble servant. An elder is not just a man who helps make decisions on a board. He is someone who is invested in the people of the body. He makes an effort to know them, minister to them and sacrifices for them when need be

There is one big difference between the majority of American churches and those church plants out on foreign mission fields around the world. Good missions churches know the importance of relationship, discipleship and community in bringing others to Christ and raising them up to spiritual maturity. It’s not about big outreaches. It’s not all accomplished on Sunday mornings for an hour or so of teaching. Missionaries know that their life is to be about making disciples, not converts. They open their homes and hearts to people without bias or judgment. They teach this way of life to their children, because when a person is called to a ministry, the whole family is called. These church planters understand that investing in people is the key to evangelism and discipleship of God’s people. They bring them in, show them Jesus’ salvation, train them up and send them out.

Yet the American church (the majority) is missing some of these important key elements. We seem to think it’s okay for us to go to church Sunday mornings, hear a good message, give a few hugs and then go about our own lives for the rest of the week. We seem to the think that it’s all about building our own little kingdoms….my home, my family, my church. We are missing so much. There needs to be a change in the way we “do” church and the church family, and it needs to start from the leadership and trickle down. We need to see our pastors and elders investing in the individuals, giving up their time and making people more of a priority. We need real discipleship, where older men meet with and train up younger men, preparing them for the next generation of ministry.

I know how busy life can get. As I type this, I’ve got a million chores on my list calling out for me. Still, I have come to realize that my life is not my own. My family is not mine but God’s. My home belongs to the Lord. I am no expert and I’m certainly no authority, but the God of the Bible is, and His Word shows us that elders have a big responsibility. They are called to a large work, and it takes time and commitment and sacrifice. If a man is not able to sacrifice the time, then maybe he is not called to be an elder at this time in his life. Praying for elders everywhere to be encouraged and to be filled with eagerness to serve and minister to God’s people.

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When You Feel Like a Failure

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In all of my blogging there has always been one thing I’ve wanted to make perfectly clear….I fail. I’m a sinner. I’m not perfect. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I blow it like everyone else. I don’t write about these topics on marriage because I have always had a perfect marriage or because we never have difficult times. I don’t write these encouragements because I think every other woman needs my advice, but rather because I need God’s advice. That’s what I’m sharing, and it’s as much for me as for anyone else.

That being said, the word “failure” is such a defeating word. I’ve felt like a failure many times in my life and in many different ways. I’ve failed to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend I want to be. I’ve failed to study God’s Word or pray enough. I’ve failed to show grace in the face of persecution or to love my enemies. I’ve failed to make changes in my life that I know would benefit both me and those around me. Sometimes these thoughts of failure can become overwhelming and steal away our joy and our identity in Christ Jesus.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

As women I think we internalize our mistakes even more. We allow bad choices to become our identity. We don’t compartmentalize. We make a mistake and then paint ourselves all over with that color of defeat and self-depreciation. We compare ourselves to other women and wonder if we measure up. Little do we know that behind closed doors, that perfect woman we so admire and look up to probably has some of her own struggles and issues. Oh ladies, why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we judge ourselves do harshly when we know we have found grace and compassion in our Lord?

The truth of the matter is, it is good to judge ourselves in issues of sin. We do want to examine our hearts and our choices so that we can repent on do better next time. The problem is, so often that examination isn’t about constructive self-criticism with a positive note for improvement going forward. So often it is more about self-condemnation and we lose our new identities in Christ Jesus. We forget who we are in Him. We focus on our failures and forget that we are new and clean and spotless in Him.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

Well I’m tired of feeling like a failure! I’m tired of failing to meet my own standards. I am ready to embrace the grace of God. I will continue to repent of sin and bad choices. I’ll continue to try to make positive changes. I can do these things and still remember that all have fallen short of the glory of God. In fact, the law shows us that not one of us could achieve perfection on our own. That’s why we needed Jesus in the first place! Should I grieve my sin? Absolutely! Should I strive to live a life that pleases the Lord? Of course! Should I condemn myself as a failure and a loser every time I fall? God forbid! I am a daughter of the King and He loves me. He knows I will fail. I have the covering of Jesus when I fall on my face and the power of the Holy Spirit to get back up and continue the race. In Jesus, I’ll cross that finish line. In Him, I’ve already won!

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ” Phil 3:13-14

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ” 1 Corinthians 15:57

I don’t recommend calling ourselves failures because I believe in Christ Jesus we have a new identity that isn’t about how well we’ve done. We are victors because He has victory. He has made us more than conquerors. All things are possible through Christ Jesus. We are the perfect, spotless bride because He has removed our stains by His spilled blood and broken body. So, while I may feel like a failure and I may become very unhappy with myself at times, I need to remember that my weakness is only an opportunity for God to show Himself mighty and strong. I need to trust in Him that His grace is sufficient and that in Him I am victorious – even when I fail.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

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Spirit of Adoption

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For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.” Psalm 27:10

When my parents have failed me, forsaken me, abandoned me, neglected me and harmed me….where can I go? Starting these classes for the foster/adoption certification has been quite an interesting journey for me. I find myself feeling very sensitive during the classes because of the difficult issues we need to discuss, but also feeling more and more confident that I would like to spend my life making a difference in the lives of children who need to be cared for, loved and shown that God is there for them. There can be fewer callings more difficult to go through and yet fewer more rewarding.

I tend to get tears in my eyes at each class meeting, and I know that there are others in the same boat. At the last class, one lady read us a book about baby bunnies saying goodbye to their bunny mommy and going to live with the kitty family. I just ached inside. We were asked to consider what we would feel like if we were the birth parents who had children that were removed and put into foster care. It’s something I find it very hard to even think about without crying. I know God has given me a sensitive heart so that I can relate to and love any children He sends our way, but I also know I have the strength through His Spirit to do this.

We are going to be adopting through the foster care system, though as provisions allow in the future I would like to continue to provide foster care as well. I’ve been meditating on the idea of adoption, and what that means from a Christian perspective. God is the Father and Author of adoption after all. It is by adoption through faith in Jesus Christ that we are welcomed into His family and made the sons and daughters of the Most High God. God tells us to care for the orphans and widows. He ignites in us a spirit of adoption to open up hearts and homes to those who need it most.

To redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:5-7

You know, in Jesus’ time on earth, adoption was a matter of great importance. When a family adopted a child, to that family and to the community, there was no difference between the adopted child and the birth child. They were equal members of the family and equal heirs. I love that through adoption we can cry out to God and say “Abba Father”! This was a title reserved and used only by the children of the master. Servants could call the master “father” but not this form of the word “Abba Father”. This was an intimate, family relationship. It is such a marvelous expression of adoption.

I have started praying for the child/ren that God will bring to our home. They may or may not already be born. I pray for their safety, their needs to be met and for their precious hearts to be guarded. I pray that God will open doors and clear paths of any obstacles we may come across. I pray for provisions to prepare our home to meet all certification requirements. Mostly I just pray that God would somehow speak to the hearts of all of the little ones who are being neglected, abused, abandoned and harmed in any way that He loves them and that He will never forsake them.

We appreciate your continued prayers as we continue on this journey. We know spiritual attack will come. The enemy doesn’t want these children in loving, Christian homes. We know that we face obstacles that others may not have. We don’t have much in terms of material wealth to offer a child, but when it comes to the most important things (love, family stability, God) we have in abundance. We know the Lord will take care of the rest! Thanks for your prayers!

 

*If you feel called to help us on this journey to getting certified, we do have a few needs. We need to make some alterations on our home and yard to meet qualifications and we also need some furniture, etc for the little ones to come. We will be having periodic yard sales to raise funds. Also we have an online donation page to accept monetary donations. If you feel called to help in this way, we appreciate it and thank you. God is good and we are trusting in Him completely to supply and to provide according to His timing and will. Click HERE to go to our fundraising page. Thanks and God bless!

 

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Lighten Up and Make Merry!

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My husband loves it when I’m silly. He loves the silly, playful and eccentric me. That’s the girl he fell in love with and he just delights in my carefree silliness. The problem is, when real life gets to be busy, hectic, difficult and downright chaotic, it can be difficult to find a few moments to be silly and playful. We often fall into the trap of being too serious day after day as we deal with trials, packed schedules and the labors of life.

It’s in those times, when our home is filled, not with laughter and playing, but with serious tones and furrowed brows, that we just don’t enjoy each other the way that the Lord wants us to. It’s not to say that we aren’t going to need serious intervals. We know that for everything there is a time. There is a time to mourn and to grieve and to focus. There is a time to meditate on the Lord and to soberly consider issues facing the family. God calls us to be a sober (thoughtful, wise and careful) people. We definitely don’t want to be a bunch of giggling weirdos all the time, but it is a good thing for a family to play, laugh and be silly together.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.” Job 8:21

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

When life is getting too serious in your home, try a little play time. Tackle your husband and remind him of the carefree girl he married. Make faces, be silly. serve with joy and play with the kids. The thing is, the world has plenty to worry about and a million problems to steal their joy away. While we face trials and tribulations (especially being Christians), we know that our Lord Jesus has overcome the world. You see, we have victory. We have a relationship with the all-powerful God of the universe. We have no need for worry. We do need to be wise and sober, but we can laugh in the face of every trial knowing that God is in control and that He is bigger than our problems. The Proverbs 31 woman laughed at future trials.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:25

So lighten up! Let go and have some fun with your hubby and your kids. Be silly. Be goofy. Enjoy your time with them and make your home a place of happiness, joy, laughter and love. Rejoice in the Lord always and make merry!

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