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What is commitment? Does anyone know these days? Here’s what the dictionary has to say about that.

1 a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b : mittimus
2 a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date

 b : something pledged
 c : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled <a commitment to a cause>
A commitment does not have to be a signed formal contract (not that those last long in this century), it can be a spoken word, a written message, or a non-verbal understanding.
This week I’ve witnessed two acts of non-commitment. A friend left his wife because, as he said “she has issues she needs to work out”  (though he does too…) and another friend was cheated on for the second time. The first instance is sad because a husband (or wife) should be committed to their spouse no matter what.  In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or for worse, as long as you both shall live. ‘Til death do us part! Nowhere in this verbal agreement does it say, “I get to leave you because you have issues.” The second instance is sad because within days of saying “I want to be with you” to my friend, this guy was with another girl. After he had already been forgiven for cheating on my friend once, he was with another girl. What is wrong with these people?!
1 Corinthians 7:10-11: “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not [d]leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not [e]divorce his wife.”
Malachi 2:13-16 tells us that God does not accept the offerings of those who are unfaithful to their spouses: Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. 1You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant.

Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.[c] So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,”[d] says the Lord Almighty. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful. 

The Bible says that God hates divorce. Why? Because it tears apart something that he has designed to function as one unit. We were created to be married and partnered with someone for all our lives.

“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

I know that ending a relationship is not nearly as serious as ending a marriage, but it has the same effect in this day and age. It used to be that people did not have an intimate emotional relationship until the point where they were engaged or married. In our society we have a serious intimate relationship before we are married, often with physical affection attached. When these relationships end abruptly, they can be just as painful as divorce (even if they’re less complicated legally).

All this is to say PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTIES AND DEAL WITH IT!!!! When you commit to a relationship you are in it until you have a seriously good reason to end it. “I met another girl” is not a good reason, nor is “I’m bored” or “you gained weight” or “you aren’t as perfect as I thought you were.” If there’s a logical reason to end a relationship, be honest and just do it. If you’re married, just deal with it. Get counseling, talk to a pastor, and stick with it. There is NO good reason to end a marriage, even if you think there is one at the time. Deal with it.

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22-33)

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An article I found on http://www.marrywell.org The website had lots of useful articles and other resources, maybe you should check it out! I originally shared the article on Facebook and then stumbled across it again today as I was sharing a new “note” on facebook (the poem “Creed”, by Steve Turner). Enjoy!

Growing in Biblical womanhood

by Candice Watters

 In our culture, it’s become accepted that men, by their nature, are brutes, jerks or buffoons, while women, by their nature are loyal, smart and admirable. Men, bad. Women, good. That’s the underlying worldview of the majority of the entertainment, education and even public policy (laws) that surround us. So it’s not surprising that even Christians believe men — even Christian men — have to become biblical while women who know Christ already are.

The reality for both male and female is that we were created different (Jesus said, “Haven’t you read … that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’”), we are all sinners (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”), and we all have the potential to be redeemed (“whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”). Accepting Christ’s gift of redemption is a decision that begins the process of sanctification. It’s this process — this pilgrimage — that requires both male and female to actively work at becoming who God originally created us to be.

It’s not enough to have the body parts. Or even to be saved. That’s where it starts. But biblical femininity requires first, understanding what God designed woman to be and second, deciding to become that woman and living it out.

Several years ago I studied the Bible through a course called Five Aspects of Woman by Barbara Mouser. It not only answers the question — What is biblical womanhood? — but also gives lots of practical applications for being a biblical woman. Far from the stereotypical head-covered, docile, kitchen-bound caricature the media so loves to spoof, this is a serious study that embraces the complexity, creativity and beauty of God’s design.

 The Five Aspects, as described in the study, are:

 Mistress of the Domain (Genesis 1) — Woman, like man, is created in God’s image and has authority from God to rule, subdue and be productive. Because of sin, however, she both “abuses and abandons” her call to stewardship (characterized by manipulation, pride and domination, biblical example: Jezebel). As she is sanctified, she reclaims, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the areas of responsibility God has given her (her home, her studies, her work, her marriage, her children, etc.) to God’s glory (characterized by humility, hope and productivity, biblical example: the Shunammite woman).

 Helper-Completer (Genesis 2) — “Woman, from the man and for the man, completes him in his person and his work. As helper, she provides partnership in work, fellowship in body and spirit and membership in marriage.” In our spirituality, at the foot of the cross, man and woman are alike. Both are in need of a savior, both able to accept salvation and find fullness in Christ. But in our humanity, male and female are different. Under the curse of sin, we are competitors. Once redeemed, we are complementary: a man, by God’s design, needs help. A woman needs to give help. We fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

 Lifegiver (Genesis 3) — God created women uniquely to literally bring forth new life. The ability to bear children is the obvious mark of His design. Women are also designed to nurture (this includes married and single women). Marred by sin, women despise, neglect or smother their children. The extreme example being abortion. The redeemed woman “does all she can to alleviate the suffering of others … and eagerly seeks to have children, both physically and spiritually.”

 Lady of Wisdom (Proverbs 1-9, 31) — “Wisdom is the body of God’s creation principles.” In the book of Proverbs “she is personified as a woman.” As created by God, she is the “inviter and hostess, reprover and teacher, counselor, protectress, patron and friend.” In our fallen state, women model not wisdom, but folly. They deny Truth and do what feels right, rather than what is right (biblical examples: Eve, Delilah, Potiphar’s wife and the Proverbs woman of folly). Once redeemed, women can become wise by mastering skills and studying to develop their minds. Skillful and intellectual women are in a position to influence their world for God’s kingdom (biblical examples: Proverbs 31 wife; Ruth; Esther and the wise woman of Abel).

 Glory of Man (1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5) — As created, woman “glorifies her husband and her heavenly King with submission, adornment, purity and love. She emulates the Church’s membership, as her husband emulates Christ’s headship.” In her fallen state, woman makes her beauty an end in itself, leading ultimately to ugliness (shame, lust, pride and sexual perversion, for examples; see Isaiah 3 and Ezekiel 16). Once redeemed, a woman is free to use her beauty for the benefit of her heavenly father and when married, for her husband.

 Because this trait is so interdependent on created man, a godly woman must “find a man who commands her respect and wins her love; to please, be beautiful for, desired and cherished by such a man.”

As you can see, becoming godly is no less a process of learning and practice for women than it is for men. In summary, we must as men and women, strive for spiritual strength and maturity, “full of the basic virtues, if we are ever going to be a glory with the opposite sex…. Masculine authority does not limit [a woman’s] giftedness; rather it increases the effectiveness of [her] labors.”1

NOTE: Quoted material, other than Scripture verses, are taken from Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman, (Waxahachie: International Council for Gender Studies, 2002).

Copyright 2007 Candice Watters. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

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It’s amazing how the things that happen in our lives that seem like negative events are often things that make way for our lives to be better. God has a better plan than I do, and He can see the bigger picture. I just have to have faith that he will fulfill His promises and that He knows best.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Most of you who will read this blog know that I had a music teaching position last year for 6 months, in lieu of a teacher who had to suddenly leave. I was not selected to continue in the position, as there were other more qualified and more experienced people who were interviewed. I also was passed over for another position for reasons that I believe were less than legitimate. I was rather frustrated with this for a while, really wanting to be able to help my husband in payment of the bills, his college loans, and general savings. I also wanted to be able to have some fairly decent health insurance, and have a better standard of living than I had been able to in the early years of my life. I was somewhat depressed by the turn of events; I had been so looking forward to having a full-time job!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Now I realize that God has put me in a wonderful position in life! I currently teach music lessons twice a week; I have about 9 students total, and I am clocked in for about 6-8 hours a week (depending upon the lesson schedule). I also substitute teach every week, usually averaging 2 days per week, though sometimes I get longer jobs for teachers out on illness, vacation, etc. I have the opportunity to practice my teaching skills in varying classrooms and I am able to experience different teaching styles through the lesson plans given me by the absent teachers. I use the time that I am not working to keep the house looking neat and clean, run errands, cook/bake, study scripture, practice music for church worship team, exercise, pay bills, manage the mail, grocery shop, and do laundry. I am able to spend time with my sister occasionally, and help her with college tasks. I have time to develop skills needed to care for my husband and be a good and loving wife. I nearly always have the house cleaned up and smelling nice, dishes done, and dinner on the table when my husband gets home from work. He doesn’t have to do anything! Once a week I usually attempt some form of new culinary or baking venture so that my husband has something delicious and different to eat, and isn’t stuck with the same foods every day. I also enjoy making healthier foods (I made fresh bread!) that aren’t processed or canned. And the best part is that I can just spend time relaxing with my husband when he gets home — neither of us have to be stressed or rushing around to get things done in the evening because it is already finished. I love being a part-time worker and full-time housewife!

All this is to say, when God closes a door for you he has another one open somewhere that he wants you to go through. It may not be open yet, and you may not recognize it when you walk through it, but have faith and patience and you will see that God has everything under control. 🙂

” Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

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