Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

From Weeping to Joy

“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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Why Marriage? Why You?

With the release of my book, “Keeper of His Home”, and the upcoming speaking engagements, I have been asked by several people to explain why I write and speak mostly about marriage. People have asked me why I feel called to this issue, especially in that I’ve only been married 8 years myself. Why is it a topic that is so important to me?

In the Introduction of my book I share my testimony which sheds a little bit of light on that subject. I come from a broken home of divorce myself. My mother was a Christian and my father was not. My father was an adulterer (frequently) and verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive to my mother. Childhood was hard. I was sixteen when the divorce went through and my father married his mistress, raising her kids. I didn’t have a relationship with him for 8 years, and even then it was labored and awkward. I can happily share that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was able to forgive him in the end and tell him I loved him the day he passed away. Praise the Lord!

Why marriage? Well, I don’t honestly know. All I can say is that the Lord has put the burden of marriage heavily upon my heart. I look around and see marriages ending, marriages in trouble and families being torn apart. I see statistics that send a shiver down my spine. I see the faces of children being caught in the middle and it breaks my heart. God had a plan when He created marriage, and this wasn’t it folks. This wasn’t it. His Word gives us the answer of how to have His plan for marriage actuated in our lives.

Why me? Again, I don’t really know. To be honest, I’m not the most perfect candidate. If there were any misgivings, let me lay them on the table now. I don’t have a perfect marriage. In fact, I’d say my marriage has been a hard one from the start. My husband and I honestly barely knew each other when we got married and have both changed so much since then (for the good I think). If not for God’s Word, I don’t think we would have made it, but this message changed my heart. While we don’t have a perfect marriage, we have a happy home. We have peace, joy and Jesus! We have a beautiful daughter whom we love dearly. She has parents who love each other through God’s love and respect and honor one another according to His Word. Do we make mistakes? YES! We make mistakes but God’s grace is sufficient and each year we get better.

Proverbs 5:18-19

“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.”
 
God has called me to the ministry of marriage and I accept that calling, knowing I’m inadequate, ill-equipped and unqualified. Thank the Lord He uses the weak things of this world to confound the strong! If your women’s ministry would like me to come and share at one of your events, feel free to contact me. God bless you!
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Gracious Woman

“A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches.” Proverbs 11:16

I love this verse. It’s really a wake-up call and a reminder of what’s important in life. We so often get it all backwards. I know I do. Then God gives us a beautiful scripture like this and reminds us that there is more to life than what the world seeks. There’s more than riches and wealth, fame and power. There’s more important things than achieving worldly beauty or fighting for position. A gracious woman retains honor.

Graciousness is a beautiful characteristic of how God describes an honorable woman. The word could be translated to mean “favor, grace, charm, having found grace in someone’s eyes.” The idea here is that a woman who is seeking the Lord walks in His grace and is consequently a gracious woman herself. She is humble, kind, generous, loving and sincere. She walks in integrity and dignity, as befitting a daughter of the King. She is also generous and charitable, not looking down on the poor but feeding them. She is gracious, slow to answer with harshness and quick to forgive in love. She retains honor because she walks in the grace of the Father. She knows where she came from and how much she has to be grateful for, and she therefore has no interest in chasing the material things of the world but rather enjoys the honor of the Father.

I love the word that is used here: “retain” or “retaineth” for the KJV fans. A gracious woman retains honor. That word retains is the Hebrew word “tamak” which means “to grasp, hold, support, attain, lay hold of, hold fast.” Notice that the translation covers the before and after of the verb? It means we are to grasp or lay hold of something and then we are also supposed to hold fast to it. It’s a continual process. We lay hold of honor and then we keep honor purposefully. Well, the laying hold of honor happens when we become daughters of the King, doesn’t it? When we become joint heirs with Christ, because of His amazing sacrifice on the cross, we are given a certain honor. It’s an awesome thing that God does. He calls us daughters! Then, as we walk with Him, we must walk in a way that holds fast to that honor. We walk in grace. Can we lose that honor and dishonor ourselves? I believe we can. I believe we do when we get distracted by those pollutions of the world again. We can set aside the honor we’ve received, but we can also take it up again by simply turning our eyes back to Jesus and accepting His grace and favor.

A gracious woman retains honor…she walks in honor and keeps honor because she is walking with her Father the King and seeking Him in all that she does. While she walks in honor, there are ruthless, strong and terrifying men and women seeking riches. If we want to seek riches instead of the honor that God gives via His grace poured out upon us, then we can choose that, but it will never satisfy. It will never bring joy and peace. It will only bring emptiness and despair. Riches of this world fade and will eventually burn, but God’s grace and honor endure forever.

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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 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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