Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Moral Authority


Today I received a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries that I thought I would share.  I did not write it personally, however I felt that it had several things that I know that I need to work on and consider, and I felt that maybe it might benefit some of my readers as well. 

I hope that you enjoy today’s blog.  And if you would like to see a certain topic discussed just inform me, it is appreciated.  Also, if you like my blog, please tell your friends and family.  I would love to gain more readers.


Establishing Moral Authority

6 Jul 2010
Glynnis Whitwer
"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:14-15 (NIV)
Talking with my son one day, I mentioned I thought I might have made a good lawyer. I love discovering facts, proving my point and standing for justice. It wasn't a real longing, just a passing comment in an afternoon filled with incidental but pleasurable conversation.
At my observation, my son adamantly replied, "You would make a horrible lawyer!"
I looked at him with curiosity and surprise dressing my face. He continued, "You would never lie. In fact, you could boast the fastest conviction rates in your ads. I can see you standing before the judge saying, 'Your honor, my client is guilty!'"
We both laughed at that comment. And I completely agreed with his assessment of my lawyering potential. I guess it's a good thing I stuck with writing.
My son made an exaggerated comment that day to make an observation about my character. We both know there are lawyers with the highest integrity. That wasn't his point. His point was his mother doesn't lie.
His comment snuggled its way into my heart and has stayed there ever since. I make a lot of mistakes in my parenting, but apparently I've done something right. My son knows the real me – the good, bad and ugly. And in this one area of my life, my son has made a crucial observation of my character: it's consistent with what I say.
I've discovered that I'm influenced most by people whose lives match their words. Interestingly, for these people, doing what's right is a natural way to honor God. Their influence over me is a by-product of that devotion, and I'm changed by watching the unspoken alignment of their talk and walk.
Jesus had both authority and influence because His character and actions completely matched His words. Twelve disciples watched His every move. Because they found no inconsistencies, they grew to trust Jesus. This gave Jesus a moral authority that superseded the authority of any other religious leader of the time.
That's the type of mother, wife and friend I want to be. I want to be pursuing God with all my heart, and in so doing, establish moral authority in my life with those closest to me. You see, I understand that even though I have authority with my children, I don't have influence unless there is consistency in my life.
Having my life match my words is one of my highest desires in life. People will eventually notice inconsistencies in my life and when they do, it erodes my influence. Sometimes, I only get one chance to influence the people around me. Sadly, once lost, moral authority is very difficult to regain.
I don't always get it right. There are plenty of times when my actions don't match my words. But my son's comment inspired me to examine my life, and see where there are inconsistencies. As I find them, I am being honest about my weakness, and seeking God's help to deal with them. That's the only way I'll ever develop into the woman I know God wants me to be: one who doesn't have to shout to make her point, but whose quiet actions speak louder than words.
Dear Heavenly Father, I need Your help. I want to be a woman whose life completely matches up to her words. You know there are areas where I fall short, like patience. I submit those areas to You, and ask for Your strength to be the women You want me to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Need help with parenting? You might enjoy When Your Child is Hurting by Glynnis Whitwer

P31 Woman magazine
Visit Glynnis' blog to continue this discussion
Help your teens strengthen their moral authority with Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Brett and Alex Harris
Brokenness, Surrender, Holiness: A Revive Our Hearts Trilogy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Application Steps:
Identify one area of your life that doesn't match what you say you believe. (Examples might be honesty, patience, kindness, forgiveness.)
Using a Bible concordance, search for scriptures that inspire you in this area. Write them down and review them regularly. (Bible Gateway offers a free keywords search.)
Why is moral authority so much more powerful that traditional authority?
What are some of the reasons we say one thing but do another?
Power Verses:
Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)
Titus 2:11-12, "For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God." (NLT)
© 2010 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Proverbs 31 Woman Rises Very Early

Proverbs 31:15 "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls."

We see that the woman of Proverbs 31 is a treasure to her husband because she is trustworthy, a woman of action, she works with eager hands and is a great shopper! In verse 15 we see a new character trait. She rises VERY early!

For all the night owls, I want to clarify in advance - I am not saying that all godly women rise early. I'm saying the Proverbs 31 woman rises early. Later in Proverbs 31:18 we'll see that her lamp does not go out at night - so she stays up late working too.

But since in this passage, she rises early, that is today's topic of the blog post. Why does the Proverbs 31 woman rise early?

1. To provide food for her family.
2. To provide portions for her servant girls.

The word portions in this passage actually means work. She rises early to feed her family and delegate the days work that needs to be done. You may say "I don't have servant girls!" - my sentiments exactly! But let me suggest that your washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, and vacuum are just a few modern day servants that lighten our work load tremendously compared to Biblical times.

What are the benefits to rising early?

1. Time with God. You can be alone - just you and God in peace and quiet. This is my most precious time of day.

***Tip for those with little ones who disrupt this golden time.*** Starting at the age of 3, I will train my children to stay in their rooms until there was a 7 on their digital clock. I found a woman who covered the last two numbers of the clock with masking tape and wrote the number 7 on it. Then told her children to wait until they saw matching number 7's. They are allowed to play and read in their rooms just not come out until there is a 7. Training them to do this has been a huge blessing to this mama. I will enjoy this quiet hour with nearly no interruptions. They will know what is expected and they will do it.

2. Time alone for planning. The Proverbs 31 woman delegated the days work. She knew what needed to be done and she owned her role as the manager of her home. I like to use the morning quietness to think clearly and write a list of what I need to get done that day.

3. Time for making breakfast, packing lunches and even some dinner preps. The priority of providing food for her family got the Proverbs 31 woman out of bed in the morning!

4. Time for family devotions. We try to read the Bible while we eat breakfast each morning. It's a great way to prepare everyone's hearts for the day.

5. And for me, it's my time to post my daily blog!

How to discipline yourself to rise early:
1. Determine what time you plan to rise and make it the same 6 days a week.
2. Get to bed early - at least 7 hours before your wake time.
3. Pray and ask God to help you rise early.
4. Get up!

If you are in a season of life where you are nursing a baby or caring for a sick family member - please do not let this blog post put guilt on you. There are seasons of life where we are not able to rise early. God never commands that we do. Rather we see the example of the Proverbs 31 woman as a goal to attain.
Are mornings hectic and chaotic in your home? You can change that by rising earlier. Rising early can change the entire course of your day and will bless your family.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Embrace Homemaking - Be Busy At Home

cleaning_tools Do you feel frustrated with your homemaking skills? I do! And then I think, how will I ever pass this on to my daughter if I don’t get this myself? I especially feel frustrated on days when I decide to have a down day. If I spend one day just letting things go – the place suddenly appears as though a bomb went off – the dishes quickly pile in the sink, the shoes pile by the door, the coats pile on the chair, the clothes pile in the bathroom, the markers, crayons, paper and toys just pile pile pile!!!!

Homemaking takes diligence and we must embrace it if we will find joy in it! As we clean we long for perfection – to create a heavenly home that truly does not exist – there will be no perfect home until we reach the shores of heaven. The frustration we feel as homemakers is a direct result of the effects of a fallen world.
Have you ever noticed how every time you go to the grocery store there is a new expensive cleaning gadget that has been created to make cleaning quicker? We have gone from rags and soap to throw away wipes that already have the solution in them. We have gone from buckets of soapy water and mops to thingymajigs that spray liquid and mop. It’s really amazing how they market these “quick” cleaning items! We want the easy way out!

But truly to be a good homemaker it takes just one thing – DILIGENCE! It’s not the tool in your hand – it’s your heart! You can read all the websites and magazines and books on cleaning and own every gadget and gizmo – but if you lack diligence and have not given homemaking your time – you just won’t get it all done. And this is what our daughters need to know!

The Proverbs 31 lady gave time to her home. We can be busy running here and there – going to play dates, sports for the kids, birthday parties and serving at church. Those are not bad things – BUT Titus 2:5 says that the younger women in the church need to learn to be “busy at home“. So that means – first we need time in our homes and second, if we feel really busy homemaking – then you are doing it right!!
Homemaking takes time and will keep you quite busy! The home is where the molding of children’s hearts takes place. The home is where your husband finds comfort and solace, where your children can share their passions and grow intellectually, spiritually and emotionally. Because we live in a fallen world – your home will never be perfect. Please do not strive for perfection – you will frustrate yourself and all who live in your home. But on the opposing side, please do not neglect your home believing that there is something greater and with more meaning outside the doors of your home.

God clearly puts a priority on homemaking in both Titus 2 and in the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. So embrace homemaking today – and get busy. Sit down and make your to-do list and follow the mandate that God has given younger women – “be busy at home“. And don’t forget to bring your daughters along side of you as you are busy at home.

Walk with the King!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Menu For 7/4 - 7/10

Sunday: Spaghetti and Meatballs


Homemade seasoned beef meatballs combined with tomato sauces, served over spaghetti

4 servings (of meatballs)
For Spaghetti and Meatballs:
Spaghetti pasta, as many servings as you need
Homemade pizza sauce (2 c per meatball recipe)
Homemade tomato soup (2 c per meatball recipe)
Homemade meatballs (recipe below serves 4)
Shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese, optional
Meatball recipe:
1 lb ground chuck
2 medium eggs
1/4 c minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
2 handfulls quick oats
To make meatballs:
1. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
2. Shape into balls and place on a jelly roll pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
For spaghetti and meatballs:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat sauce and meatballs over medium-low heat.
3. Serve meatball and sauce over pasta, topping with mozzarella and parmesan cheese if desired.
Spaghetti and meatballs, served with asparagus and onions and 
italian bread
Additional Notes: 
We like to have this with homemade garlic bread and a cooked green vegetable.
Meatballs can be made in large quantities and frozen in meal-sized portions. Just thaw and re-heat for a quick and easy meal!

Monday: Oven-Roasted Chicken

Juicy and tender roasted whole chicken

4-6 servings
1 whole frying chicken
garlic salt
seasoned salt
lemon pepper
1. Rinse chicken with cold water and remove giblets from inside. Lay chicken, breast side up, in sink.
2. Sprinkle seasonings generously over chicken (still in sink; this makes less mess!). Lift chicken and place, breast-side down, in baking dish (one that had a lid). Season the back side. Cover with lid.
3. Bake chicken for about 30 minutes per pound at 325 degrees. I find that the chickens I usually cook are about 5 pounds and I can bake them for at least 2.5 hours, but up to 3.5 hours, with success. It seems like the ones baked for at least 3 hours are the most tender!
4. Test chicken with thermometer and remove when tender (and, of course, at least up to temp!). Remove chicken and place, breast side up, on a plate to serve. The juices left in the baking dish make a great gravy! :)
Unbaked seasoned chicken     Freshly baked chicken, still in the dish

Oven roasted chicken served with egg noodles and easy green bean 
Additional Notes: 
I use a deep glass baking dish that's just big enough to hold the chicken. I like to season the chicken ahead of time and keep in the fridge until it's time to start baking it.
I've also made this recipe in the slow cooker. I cooked a 5+ lb. chicken for 7 hours on HIGH and it was very tender and delicious!
Preparation Time: 
7 minutes
Cooking Time: 
2-3 hours
Sweet Mommy's  Review: 
This recipe is a 10/10. DH loves roasted chicken, and I have been experimenting for years (literally!) for just the right flavor and moistness. This chicken falls apart when you take it out, and is so moist and tender, we use our forks to cut it on our plates. I season the outside liberally, and the flavor permeates the meat as it bakes. And since it's baked breast-side-down in a small dish, covered (as opposed to a large pan with lots of extra air and space inside), it just doesn't get dried out. We have this recipe as often as once a week. Almost as good as the fresh roasted chicken itself, is the leftover meat. Perfect for making casseroles, soups, gravy, or sandwiches requiring chicken. This is a must-try recipe. :D
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Corn and Black Beans

Crispy flour tortillas with a flavorful filling of grilled chicken, corn, black beans, and cheese, best enjoyed with toppings of sour cream and salsa!
6 (whole) quesadillas -- about 3 full servings
1 can (15 ounces, or about 1 1/4 cups freshly cooked) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 of a 15-ounce can of corn, drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked chicken*, chopped into thin, small pieces
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
12 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
Sour cream, for serving
Salsa, for serving
1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl for the filling.
2. Coat 1 side of the tortillas with a small bit of olive or vegetable oil. Lay half of the tortillas, oil side down, on cookie sheets.
3. Spoon filling mixture onto tortilla,s dividing evenly among them. Top with remaining tortillas, oil side up.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until filling is warm and melted and tortillas start browning. Flip quesadillas halfway through the cooking time to brown both sides of the quesadillas.
5. Cut each quesadilla into quarters with a pizza cutter and serve with salsa and sour cream.
Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Corn and Black Beans

Preparation Time: 
15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
15-20 minutes

Wednesday: Shepherd's Pie
A flavorful beef and vegetable mixture, topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese, baked until hot
6-8 servings
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups mixed vegetables, either frozen, canned, or leftover*
4 cups (approximately) mashed potatoes (made from about 8 potatoes)
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1. Brown ground beef with onion, pepper, and garlic. Drain grease.
2. In a large bowl, combine the meat, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and mixed vegetables.
3. Grease a (deep) 10-inch glass pie plate. (You could also use an 8-inch square glass dish.) Spread the meat and vegetable mixture in the dish. Top with a layer of the mashed potatoes, sealing to the edges. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top.
4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Just before baking, pour milk over cheese. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until pie is hot and cheese is lightly browned.
Additional Notes: 
*I like to use a mixture of corn, cut green beans, green peas, and chopped (cooked) carrots
Preparation Time: 
45 minutes (if using all fresh ingredients) or 10 minutes (if using leftover ingredients)
Cooking Time:

Thursday: Incredibly Easy Taco Pie
A spicy taco meat casserole surrounded by cheesy soft breading, topped with sour cream, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and green peppers

8-10 servings
2 pounds ground chuck
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Tapatio or other hot sauce, to taste
Filling:2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups original Bisquick mix
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon Tapatio hot sauce or hot sauce of your choice
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups sour cream
4 cups shredded or thinly sliced Iceberg lettuce
1 cup diced tomato
diced bell peppers or green onions, optional
1. Fry beef with onion, pepper and garlic. Drain grease. Add cumin, chili powder, pepper, salt, and hot sauce.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spread meat in bottom of dish. Spread 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese over beef.
3. In mixing bowl, whisk together the Bisquick, milk, eggs, and hot sauce. Pour over cheese.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil after about 25 minutes, to prevent over-browning. If desired, sprinkle top with cheese during final 10 minutes of baking time.
5. When casserole is finished baking, cut into pieces. Spread a layer of sour cream on top. Sprinkle shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and bell peppers (optional) on top.
Incredibly Easy Taco Pie
Preparation Time: 
15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45 minutes

Thursday: Sweet's Easy Pizza
A soft pizza dough recipe, topped with your favorite pizza toppings and baked
12-16 slices
Crust Ingredients:
3/4 cup water (110-115 degrees, preferably)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablesppoons butter, melted or very softened
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon yeast
Other Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon cornmeal (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pizza sauce
12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced onions, optional
chopped bell peppers, optional
turkey pepperoni, fried turkey bacon, or fried hamburger, optional
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon basil
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
1. If using a bread machine to make pizza dough, put ingredients in bread machine in order listed and set to dough setting.
If making dough by hand, mix water, butter, and sugar in mixing bowl. Add part of the flour and stir. Add the rest of the flour and the yeast, and stir into a dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Set dough in bowl and grease the top. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes.*
2. After dough has risen the first time, punch down and knead until air bubbles are removed.
3. Liberally butter a 16-inch round pizza pan, and press dough onto pan. Carefully lift one-half of the crust and fold over (to expose half of the pizza pan). Sprinkle 1/2 Tablespoon cornmeal over pan. Lay crust back in place and repeat on other half, so that there is cornmeal sprinkled between entire layer of crust and pan.
4. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt over top of crust and then spread with 1 cup pizza sauce. Sprinkle on cheese and any optional toppings desired. Sprinkle on oregano, basil, and parmesan cheese last.
5.** Place pizza in oven and turn heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes; rotate crust and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until top is browned. (Be sure to watch so it doesn't burn; every oven is different!)
6. When pizza is browned, turn off heat and open oven door. Leave pizza in oven until ready to serve. Then remove from oven, cut, and serve. If there is leftover pizza, we often put the pieces directly on a cooling rack to cool, which prevents condensation forming between the crust and pan.

Easy Pizza

Tammy's Easy 
Pizza (unbaked)
Tammy's Easy 
Additional Notes:
*If you're short on time, you can skip this rise and just press your freshly-kneaded dough onto the pan and continue with the recipe.
*Alternate baking directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake pizza for 15 minutes on the bottom rack, or until browned. (Baking on the top or middle racks could result in an under-cooked crust.)

Tammy's Easy Pizza
Preparation Time: 
30-40 minutes + rising time
Cooking Time: 
15 minutes

Friday: Homemade Lasagna


A flavorful and cheesy homemade beef lasagna with cottage cheese and spinach

8 servings
3/4-1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional
8 ounces* lasagna pasta sheets, cooked according to package instructions
2 cups pizza sauce
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups (16 ounces) cottage cheese*
1-2 cups fresh spinach leaves, optional
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, for serving
1. Brown meat in skillet with onion, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and Italian seasoning. Drain grease.
2. To drained meat mixture, add 1 cup of the cottage cheese, stirring well.
3. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread a small amount of pizza sauce in the bottom. Layer cooked pasta in a single layer on top of sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
4. Continue layering: meat mixture, pasta, sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, remaining 1 cup cottage cheese, spinach, pasta, remaining sauce, and remaining mozzarella cheese. Garnish top with oregano if desired, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until top is golden. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese when serving, if desired.
Lasagna, served with garlic bread
Homemade Lasagna, served with Garlic Bread
Additional Notes: 
*Or more, depending on how deep your 9 x 13 baking dish is. I like to use about 12 ounces of pasta, but depending on the dish, it can get too full to fit.
**If cottage cheese is watery, as some brands are, strain off any excess liquid before using.
Preparation Time: 
30 minutes
Cooking Time: 
30-40 minutes

Soup Saturday:  Vegetable Bean Soup with Spinach
A brothy vegetable soup with two kinds of beans, flavored with basil, with chopped spinach added near the end
6 servings
1 tablespoon oil
3 medium carrots, diced
2 ribs celery with leaves, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
7 cups chicken broth (or water; it's good either way)
2 cups cooked great northern beans
2 cups cooked red kidney beans
2 cups tomatoes (may be canned)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon parsley
10 ounces fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped (about 12 cups loose leaves before it's chopped, or about 6 cups coarsely chopped)
salt, to taste
1. Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
2. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, basil, pepper, sugar, and parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, until carrots are tender and flavors are well-spread throughout the soup.
3. Reduce heat to low and stir in spinach. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Add salt to taste.
Vegetable bean soup with spinach, shown with hearty herb bread
Vegetable Bean Soup with Spinach,
shown with Hearty Herb Bread
Preparation Time: 
15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
45-60 minutes


But I am Submissive!

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:22-24

As men and women, we tend to loath submission to authority. From birth, we don’t want to be told what to do; everything is “mine” and anything that goes wrong is “somebody else’s fault.” It’s the nature of sinful man.

So it’s not surprising that the “chain of command” found in Scripture tends to be a hotly debated topic – even within Christian circles. And thanks to the feminist movement, the biblical concept of wives submitting to their husbands is many times misinterpreted or rejected all together.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives us this definition of submission:

"Resignation; a yielding of one's will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring. Entire and cheerful submission to the will of God is a Christian duty of prime excellence."
Even those of us who agree with this biblical principle struggle with submitting from the heart. It’s so easy for me to believe that I am submitting to my husband when in truth I am already in agreement with him. During these times, I can fool myself into believing that I am a “truly submissive wife.”

“Honey, I believe that you should wear your hair long and down, the way that you wore it when we met.” Says Darling Husband.

You may think to yourself, “I really liked my hair longer too.” So you happily “submit” and commit to growing it out.
“Honey, will you please make sure that the grocery budget stays under ­­­___ amount?”

You had been planning to make that cut and are in agreement with saving money on groceries. “No problem, Darling Husband!”

When husband and wife are in agreement in spiritual matters, matters of how the house should be run, or how the children should be raised it is a wonderful thing. Our lives run smoothly and the oneness we enjoy is evident by a peaceful home. However, we can be easily deceived. The true test of submission comes when we analyze our reaction to areas of disagreement with our husband’s choices.

For instance, what about when your husband informs you that he is going to allow your thirteen year-old-son to play a game that you feel is particularly dangerous? Or do you find yourself on the defensive when he speaks to one of the children in a way that you felt was too harsh? What happens when he wants to purchase something that you feel is a total waste of money! Does your sweet demeanor fall to the floor and shatter into a million pieces? I know I have to get a staple gun after mine at that point!

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that wives should not give valuable input and wisdom in these matters, but there is a respectful way of giving input and that’s probably where I struggle the most. I tend to respond with emotion and passion and it can come across as demanding and critical. I know I’m “right” and I want him to know it too—and admit it!

My husband needs to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his is the last word. Not only does he have the final say, but he has it with my total support and trust. Here’s the trial!

Many people picture an unsubmissive wife as one who angrily stomps her foot and says, “No, I won’t do it your way!” May I present a different picture; one I am much more familiar with myself because I have sadly fit the image too many times? Imagine the wife who says with her lips that she will do as her husband asks, but then pouts, is disapprovingly quiet, whines, or even resorts to tears of frustration. All of these tactics are called, quite simply, “manipulation.”

Many times, I deceived myself into thinking I was submissive. After all, I never said I wouldn’t agree to his decision. I never disobeyed or went against his wishes. However, my secret (or not so secret) unsubmissive attitude turned me into a contentious, rebellious, woman.

It can happen to you too. Beware of a manipulative and controlling nature. The Lord will work mightily through your obedience to Him.

You may ask, “What if my husband makes a foolish mistake?” Be in prayer for your husband’s decisions, but submit joyfully, trusting God for the outcome. Remember that God is right there in the midst of the situation, working things out for your ultimate good and His glory. It may not be the outcome you would have chosen, but again, remember that His ways are above our ways (Isaiah 58:8-9).

“Let the wives be to their own husbands in everything….” (Ephesians 5:24) Not just those things in which we agree.

That being said, we should never submit to any leader to the point of sin. We must obey God above all others and violating His statutes under the guise of submitting to a sinning husband is wrong. Yes, a husband will be held accountable for leading his wife into sin, but a wife is also accountable for her own sin.

There is a peaceful trust that is born from obeying God and remaining under the authority in which He has placed us. There is a distinct comfort that comes from recognizing the sovereignty of God and being content in our role. May God bless you as you glorify Him in all you do.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

A Challenge:
Be on the lookout this week for manipulative reactions to your husband’s requests. If he asks you to do something (that is not sinful) and you get the urge to show your disapproval with a healthy dose of the “silent treatment,” repent right away and out loud. Confess to your husband right then and there that you were tempted to control him by ignoring him and ask him to hold you accountable.
Rather than manipulating or berating your husband, calmly and thoughtfully present your case. You may need to pray first, write out your appeal, or gather your thoughts before speaking. Sometimes arguments are born out of a failure to communicate properly and we become overwhelmed with frustration that the other person "just doesn't understand." So take the time to gather your thoughts and then present your case in love as a well-reasoned appeal.

Ask God to show you other ways that you attempt to manipulate authority and repent to God, confessing and asking forgiveness from your husband. Let him know that your desire is to be submissive in action and attitude. Show him that you want to joyfully follow him and that you trust his leadership because you trust God. After he picks himself up off the floor, I’m sure he’ll forgive you—and it just may make him a better leader.

One of the most helpful and balanced books on this subject I’ve ever used is The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I have taught this study in my home as well as online and have found it to be doctrinally solid, well written, and packed with biblical advice. Other resources on this subject are:

As Unto the Lord by Pam Foster
Biblical Womanhood in the Home by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Building Her House by Nancy Wilson
Damsels in Distress by Martha Peace
Domestic Tranquility by F. Carolyn Graglia
Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem
The Fruit of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson
God’s Priceless Woman by Wanda Sanseri
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald
Praise Her in the Gates by Nancy Wilson
Seven Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh Demoss




Sanctuary Isn't a Great Pair of Jeans

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus who went before us, has entered on our behalf..." Hebrews 6:19-20a (NIV)

As I got dressed, the brand name label in my jeans caught my eye: Sanctuary. Really? They definitely are my favorite pair of jeans, but could they really be considered a sanctuary?

This word "sanctuary" keeps showing up in my life. My family recently took a much needed respite away from our busy and demanding schedules. We went to a place whose motto is "Escape completely." That sounded perfect to me.
One morning, I headed to a spot they called "The Sanctuary." Anticipating a great time with the Lord, I found a quiet chair overlooking the peaceful water. Settling in, I had my Bible open and journal and pen in hand when I heard "Excuse me Ma'am. Do you have your Sanctuary card?" Sanctuary card? You've got to be kidding ? I have to have a separate card to get into "The Sanctuary?" I picked up my things and found another cozy spot two feet outside of "The Sanctuary" where I didn't have to have the appropriate card to meet with God.

Opening my Bible again I could hardly believe my reading:

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus who went before us, has entered on our behalf..." (Hebrews 6:19, NIV).

I had not been allowed to enter "The Sanctuary" two feet away because I didn't have the right card, but because of Jesus, I could enter the true sanctuary...His presence.

The Bible says a true sanctuary is not a place created with comfy chairs, soft music and views of the water. It is a place where the presence of God pours over us like a healing balm and Jehovah-Rophe, our healer, is present.

Combining the many definitions of sanctuary in the dictionary, I created this one: A place in God's presence where I can find shelter or protection from danger or trouble, finding relief and escape, and exemption from liability and prosecution.

The Psalmist spoke of his need for just such a sanctuary throughout Psalm 73:
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.

(Sometimes in life, I feel like I'm hanging on the edge. Something has happened; causing me to feel like I'm going to lose it. What are you doing, God?)

For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.

They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.

This is what the wicked are like—always carefree, they increase in wealth.

(Sometimes in the middle of our pain, we look around at others, and ask – "Why is their life going w ell? And why isn't this Christian life thing working for me?)

Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.

All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.

(He just doesn't get it. Why is his life a mess? Can you relate?)

When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

(In the sanctuary of God, things changed. In the presence of Jehovah-Rophe my healer, I can find relief; escape and exemption from liability and prosecution. I find healing.)

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds (verses:1-5, 12-14, 16-17, and 23-28).

Sounds like the Psalmist really got it and it doesn't sound to me like a sanctuary can really be a pair of jeans!

Dear Lord, sometimes I feel like I need to escape completely. May the only place I escape to be You. When I feel like I want to run, help me to run straight into Your arms! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Searching for the Truth

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness,
O God our Savior.
Psalm 65:5


My child, does your heart still search for truth? Are you confused about the whys of life? Study My words. Let Me share with you the mysteries of My kingdom, available only to My children. I reward the diligent seeker, as I hold the keys to life. I'm waiting to unveil so many things I want you to know. I am the answer.


A thousand questions pelt my life like the raindrops of a summer storm. Too often, after I've searched in vain, I finally turn to You. You not only have the answers I need, but You are the answer. Through nature, through Your Word, through the whisperings of Your Spirit, I hear You, Lord.

Even in changing times, God's faithfulness remains a constant source of help — ever loving, ever guiding, ever giving.