Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Unconditional Joy

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years is that we cannot expect the world to bring us unconditional joy. You know, we talk a lot about unconditional love. As Christians we understand that God pours His unconditional love upon us and through us, and therefore we are called to love others unconditionally. But what about unconditional joy? What about unconditional hope?

It seems that there are so many Christians dealing with so many horrible circumstances. Health, finances, marriage troubles…the average Christian will be going through hard times at one point or another. Sometimes it’s all the time! Yet, through all of the hard times, we are called to have unconditional joy. How does one do that? Well, we first have to understand and acknowledge that joy is not a response to our circumstances. It shouldn’t be. We should have the joy of the Lord in our hearts in the best and worst of times. Think about it this way: what bad circumstance could cancel out the joy of knowing that Christ died for us to give us eternal life? Nothing.

We need to admit that we cannot create joy in and of ourselves. We cannot work hard to make ourselves joyful. The joy that we have comes down from the Father through the Holy Spirit. We have joy because He pus His joy in us, and if it’s His joy that’s in us then we should always have it, whether or not we are going through various trials.

Walk in joy today sisters. Know that God has put His joy in you so that you can be a light to the world. So many people are suffering and they need to see your joy; the joy of God spilling over. His love never fails, and neither does his joy.

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Part 9 – Love Thinks No Evil, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“….Love thinks no evil.” 1 Corinthians 13:5

What does it mean to think evil? In this world we temporarily dwell in we are surrounded by evil. It’s on the television, in the newspapers and magazines, in the streets—everywhere. It’s so easy for us to get desensitized to what is evil because we see a world full of people accepting and even glorying in evil. So when God says that love doesn’t think evil, what does He mean and how can it be accomplished?

Let’s get back to the language. The Greek word for “think” is “logizomai“, and it can be translated to: “reckon, count, compute, calculate, to take into account, to number among, to consider, weigh, meditate on, to determine, purpose, to decide.” So this word is more about how we weigh something up in our minds. What do I determine about this person or issue? What is their substance? How have I judged or calculated their motives to be? It is actually less about what the subject actually is and more about how we’ve labeled it.

Now the word for “evil” is the Greek word “kakos” and means “of a bad nature, of a mode of thinking, feeling and acting base, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, and baneful.”

What’s fascinating about taking this phrase apart is that by understanding the text we get a better idea about the point God is making here. You see it’s not about whether or not a person is evil or has a bad nature. It’s not about whether or not they truly are being troublesome or wicked or if they secretly despise you. It’s not really about them at all. When God said “love thinks no evil”, it’s about me. It’s about how I view people and how I love them. It’s about not being cynical and looking for the worst in people. It’s about not labeling someone as evil, wicked, troublesome or destructive, especially when I don’t know that it’s true.

I think about a juror in a court room. They are presented the facts and are told to make a judgement based on those facts determining whether or not the defendant is guilty. They may be looking at a pile of evidence but it all comes down to how concrete they determine that evidence to be. God is reminding us here that we aren’t the judge and we aren’t in a courtroom. We are supposed to be loving people, not determining how wicked they are or labeling them as evil. Now, there may be evil in their lives. They may be guilty of all of the bad things you suspect. They may be out to get you or they may really be giving you dirty looks behind your back. That’s not the point. The point is how are you going to think on that person. You can choose to think no evil by taking those thoughts captive. You can choose to love people, whether or not they love you. If we really want to be effective in leading others to Christ, we need to show them this kind of love.

I think about a time when a young man came to our old church for a while. The church was something of a legalistic church, and the people weren’t very graceful to say the least. Regardless, I remember this young man entered the church and he was wearing torn up, un-matching clothes, dog chains and a bright green mohawk. He had several tattoos and piercings. The young man attended the church for a while off and on. I’ll never forget when one of the ladies from the church (in her sunday best looking prim and proper) walked up the young man and said she had to confess to him that she had secretly been judging him by the way he looked ever since he started attending.

For one thing, I couldn’t believe this woman’s discernment that the best way to deal with HER inward sin was to confess it to the person who didn’t even know how much she had been despising him. She unburdened herself at his expense when she could have simply confessed and repented to the Lord and spared him the embarrassment. Still, this woman’s heart was to think evil. She had judged him. She had labeled him. She had determined he was wicked and evil. And even when she did confess of this sin, her unloving attitude had driven the young man away from God and not to Him. How sad. Let us not be this kind of person. Let us love people and think no evil.

God says we can take every thought captive that goes against His Word. He also says in Philippians 4 that we are to think on what is true and of good report. We aren’t to go passing judgements or labeling or determining the heart of another person. We aren’t called to do that. We are called to love. Love.

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Part 7 – Love Does not Seek Its Own, The Loving Homekeeper Series

“…love does not seek its own..” 1 Corinthians 13:5

What does it mean to “seek ones own” in terms of love? It’s an interesting phrase and also interesting that most of the various translations have it the same way. Some add that love does not “seek its own things” and another shortens it to being “self-seeking”. The NLT says love “does not demand its own way”. When it comes down to it, what the Lord is basically saying is that His kind of love—the real kind—is not selfish, self-seeking, self-focused and self-pleasing. Self, self, self!

It’s not difficult at all to get caught up in self in the world we live in today. Every magazine, therapist and politician we see and hear proclaim that we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. I cringe to think of a Christian sister going to the world for counsel because she will be bombarded with messages of self-love, self-focus and self-gratification. She is told that she needs to care for herself first before looking to meet anyone else’s needs. She will be told to search within herself for the answers instead of searching out the Word of God and His heart. She is told to neglect her family in order to seek out her own way in life. She is told if she doesn’t like her husband she should leave and follow her dreams. Who cares about her husband and children? They can take care of themselves, right?

I think that most of the reasons people have for getting divorced today boils down to this very important point—this point which has been lost in a social sea of self-seeking corruption. It all comes down to seeking one’s own instead of others. Love does not seek its own. If more people understood this there would be so fewer divorces and strained marriages. Love does not seek its own! Its so simple and yet so corrupted by the wickedness of this world!

Sisters, do not be deceived. God has not called us to be self-seekers but self-sacrificers! God has not called us to be self-gratifiers but selfless servants. God has not called us to be self-focused but to be self-abandoners so that we may truly be lovers of the hearts of our husbands, children, family and friends. We were not created to be selfish beings. We don’t need more self-esteem, we need more God-esteem. We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and put them directly on Jesus Christ.

I have known many women who have suffered with depression and anxiety. I myself battled with it at times in my life and I can tell you from experience that those times when I have been most depressed and most anxious were the same times that I was taking my eyes off of the Lord and putting them on my self. Self-focus causes sin. It causes pride, bitterness, self-love, arrogance, depression, anxiety, self-harm—the truth is it is toxic to the heart of a believer. We need to stop looking at the mirror and start looking to the sky and to our Creator for fulfillment, happiness, joy and love. He is the source. There is nothing good within us and everything good in Him.

Love does not seek its own. Love does not seek itself or demand its own way. Love is giving. Love is selfless. Love is self-sacrificing and humble. Oh Lord, let us keep our eyes fixed firmly on You and let us abandon ourselves so that we can be perfected in Your love!

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Early Morning Time

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household,

and a portion to her maidens.” Proverbs 31:15

Did you know that at the time this was written, and in Jewish history, the days were counted by sunset to sunset? So a day would start at sunset and as per Genesis there would be an evening and a day, and then sunset would mark the end of one day and the beginning of a new one. Just an interesting fact.

This scripture says she rises while it is still night, still dark, before the sunrise. I love the Proverbs 31 Woman. She is such an amazing example to us of a woman who keeps her home and cares for her family. She works hard, day and night. She does not sample the temptation of idleness but works diligently. And here we see that she gets up while it is night, before anyone one else, and provides for her family and the servants of he home. In other words, she gets up early and makes a beautiful breakfast for her hubby, kiddos and even her employees.

Let me start by saying that I’m no morning person. It takes me a long time to rise. I prefer to stay up late and sleep in. Even when I do wake, I’d much rather lay in bed for an hour thinking about my day before actually getting to it. Then I had my daughter and all that went out the window. There’s no such thing as having a “lay in” when you have a three year old to care for. It was only after becoming a mother that I started to appreciate the early morning time when my daughter was still asleep and I had the freedom and time to actually get some things done.

The only problem is deciding what to do first! My list of “things to do” is both long and daunting on any given day. I could do my workout first and get that out of the way…no excuses later then! I could start the cleaning and make breakfast. Been wanting to vacuum out the car. I could answer emails or get work on editing a few chapters of the book. What to do? What to do with those few precious hours in the morning before the chaos begins?

No wonder the Proverbs 31 Woman got up before sunrise! There is so much to do and so little time in the day! So much to do and the list will never really go away. That’s why I’ve decided the first thing I want to do in the mornings is spend time with my Jesus; in His Word and in prayer. This time prepares me for the rest of the day. I notice such a difference in me and how I react to the challenges of the day when I’ve had my quality Jesus time first. He puts everything into perspective. Big challenges become small and I realize that not everything I thought was needful actually matters.

The Proverbs 31 Woman is a hard worker. Her story comes before Jesus had arrived so her relationship to God was different, but my guess is that through her early morning service to her household she probably spent time in the Torah, or recited it as she went about her business. How blessed we are today to have access to our Father God through the Savior and to be able to spend sweet moments with Him in the morning before the chaos begins!

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Rejoicing with Your Husband

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”

Proverbs 5:18

With so many trials, tribulations, hardships and struggles coming in day after day, it can be so easy to get bogged down in stress and anxiety. We know the Lord has told us to trust in Him, to be anxious for nothing and to give Him our burdens, but these are not easy times to live in. I think about Paul when he was imprisoned and still wrote to believers encouraging them to rejoice in their afflictions. What faith! What joy! That kind of joy has nothing to do with our circumstances because it is entirely based on the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of Christ Jesus who bled and died on that cross for our sins. Amen!

Sisters, we as wives and mothers are very influential in setting the tone in our homes. It doesn’t matter what circumstances we are living through, nor what kind of husband we are married to, we have the strength and power through Christ Jesus to exude joy in even the worst of circumstances. We have the power to influence our husbands and children towards either stress and anxiety, or joy and peace by our own attitudes and hearts. If we are faithful to trust in the Lord during rough days and to really live out the joy of salvation in our homes, our children will follow. Our husbands will appreciate our good attitudes. Their hearts will be lightened by our smiles and ease. A joyful countenance is a mighty thing and we all have the ability to be joyful no matter what trials are at our doorsteps because of what Jesus did for us. Amen? He endured the cross, the humiliation, suffering and stripes so that we could spend eternity with Him in paradise! We have so much to rejoice about!!

So when the hubby comes home, even if the bills are stacking up and the children have been misbehaving and everything seems to be going wrong, let’s be the kind of wives that our husbands can rejoice with. Let’s fill our home with joy and peace and hope and know that God is in control!

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