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!