Tag Archives: wife/mom

Super Woman Is Not God’s Goal for You |How The Pursuit of Omni-competence Obscures God’s Grace

25 Sep

superwoman2

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” –2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Why is it so difficult to acknowledge our own weakness? God’s grace is so powerfully magnified when our strength is diminished. Feigning perfection obscures God’s grace; the grace we need to fully die to ourselves and live for Him. From “The Pressure to Pretend” in Christianity Today Courtney Reissig writes, “…we have to be okay with not getting to everything our to-do lists because Christians know that only God has a perfect record when it comes to “having it all” and “doing it all. As Christian women, let us remember that our strength to have anything of value comes not from our own capacity, but from the strength that only God can supply.” That is such an important concept for us to hold onto especially when our attentions wander and we narrowly focus on trying to live up to some perceived ideal or try to become more like a fictional woman in the media, Martha Stewart, or someone we know who seems to have achieved that mythical super hero woman status. We have to learn to carry the load that we are able and recognize that everyone possesses different strengths and we have to have to willing to acknowledge that it is impossible to be perfect. Turn to Him for strength and do all things for His glory.

Super Woman Is Not God’s Goal for You

by Hannah Lannigan.

Do you find yourself striving to be perfect? A June Cleaver, your favorite Christian speaker, and Martha Stewart all rolled into one? Maybe you’re OCD (or, in alphabetical order, CDO). Or maybe you simply desire to be a “well-rounded person.”

But have you paused to ask yourself Why? Why are you OCD? Why are you a perfectionist? Why do you want to be a well-rounded person?

Personally, I wanted to be the perfect wife, the perfect mom, the perfect woman because I wanted everyone to like me and no one to be able to find fault with me.

But I discovered…

  • that perfect woman doesn’t exist!
  • that’s not God”s goal for me. His goal is not that I become this self-made perfect woman in whom no one can find fault and has no need for grace. His goal is that I become like Jesus—and not everyone thought well of Jesus . . .

Ultimately, I was trying to create glory for myself by:

  • having a perfectly clean house (ha!)
  • raising a perfectly behaved son (No temper tantrums in the grocery store for my son. Yeah, right.)
  • being “Super Woman” (I thought I would prove myself on par or superior to my peers by making dinner from scratch every night, discipling students from my church, and creating my own “Martha Stewart” projects.)

But what is worse is that I was trying to steal God’s place and erase His picture of grace in my life. Because with the perfect image of self as my god, there was no room for grace. My definition of failure equaled “not perfect.” So literally, the mantra of failure, failure, failure rather than grace, grace, grace washed over my heart daily.

Does any of this sound familiar? If so, I encourage you to join me at the cross and make this prayer your own:

Father, thank You that You are a God of grace. I’m sorry for stealing Your glory and trying to erase my need for Your grace. I repent. I want to walk with You and become like Jesus—even if that means not everyone approves of me or understands me. Please help me accept Your grace with worship and gratitude. And help me accurately display Your glorious grace each moment of the day to those around me. Help me to hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection.

From:True Woman | Super Woman Is Not God’s Goal for You.

 

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Soul Mates | Soulful Connections

30 Jul

couplepray“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” –Ephesians 5:25-33

Soul Mates

How to become more intimate with God and your spouse.

As newlyweds, one of the first times my husband, Tim, led me in prayer aloud, I made the awful mistake of laughing at him when he stumbled over his words! Many years into our marriage, Tim still remembers how uncomfortable I made him feel.

Most couples have difficulty developing an intimate spiritual life not just in the early stages of marriage, but throughout their lives. Yet there’s nothing more significant than consistently and intentionally coming together before God to know him better and to serve him more fully. Unfortunately, according to author Neil Clark Warren, only 10 to 15 percent of couples really enjoys true intimate spirituality.

The remainder of this article can be viewed here: Soul Mates | Today’s Christian Woman.

This link offers further exploration of spiritual intimacy among married couples: Soulful Connections | Today’s Christian Woman.

Modesty Wars | CBMW

24 Jul

hanger“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” –1 Corinthians 6:19-20

mod·es·ty

/ˈmädəstē/
Noun
  1. freedom from conceit or vanity
  2. propriety in dress, speech, or conduct
Synonyms
humility – moderation – decency – demureness

“The clothes we wear are what people see. Only God can look on the heart. The outward signs are important. They reveal something of what is inside” –Elisabeth Elliot

Modesty Wars By Nikki Daniel (Excerpt)

Just when you think you’re getting along great with your Christian friends, an intense disagreement erupts. Yes, you know this war well. You’ve seen it on blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. You’ve heard gossip concerning the topic. You’ve gossiped yourself about it.  It’s (dun, dun, DUUUN!), the Modesty War.We all have different standards for modesty.  One believer feels that she’s immodest if she shows her shoulders or any part of her legs. Another believer is convinced that she is modest while showing off her figure in tight jeans and a cleavage-revealing shirt.  These sisters in Christ rub each other the wrong way and may find themselves arguing over the issue of modesty.

Many disagreements over modesty occur because we don’t take time to understand one another…

Use this link to view the full article: Modesty Wars | CBMW | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Praying for my husband – from head to toe

15 Jun

father day2“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, a day traditionally set aside to reflect on and celebrate fathers, husbands, uncles, sons, and grandpas. It is often a day when we who are wives go all out showering our spouse with gifts, affirmation, and affection. What if in addition we took the time to quietly and meaningfully lift them up everyday through prayer?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16

Dr. Don Whitney author of “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” suggests, “Pray through scripture and let it suggest, inform, and shape your prayer.” Praying scripture can help our minds to stay focused and encourage scripture meditation.

The following excerpt provides “head to toe” prayer framework with accompanying scripture:

I know marriage can be hard, and trusting someone to lead when there are things you struggle with together is really, really hard. But I also know God uses us in powerful ways to love our men like He does – unconditionally.

One of the best ways we can love our husbands is to pray for them.

Years ago I heard a concept about praying for our husbands – from head to toe.  So, today I wanted to share some verses and prayers that fit with that concept:

Head

“Father, I ask that You would continually renew my husband’s mind, resulting in a transformed life. Help him bring every thought into captivity to Christ to make it obedient to You. Give him a greater understanding of Your Word. Help him to think on things that are pure and right and worthy of praise.” (Psalm 119:15, Rom 12:2, 2 Cor.10:5)

Eyes

“Lord, keep opening my husband’s eyes to deep spiritual truths. Help him to see things as You see them. Please guard his eyes from looking at worthless things. ” (Psalm 119:18, Psalm 119:37)

Ears

“Father, let my husband hear Your voice clearly. Help him to recognize your voice with certainty. Protect him from listening to anyone who is not seeking and walking with You. Help him not to be affected negatively by what others say and to discern between good and evil. Give him the ability to determine what is of You and what is not.” (Is 30:21, 1 Kings 3:9, 1 John 4:1)

Mouth

“Help my husband to speak the truth in love. Help him to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Give him the couraage to lovingly confront when necessary. Let the words he speaks be Yours, not his own. Help him speak words that bring grace and truth to the hearers. I also pray that you will help him to grow in his ability and desire to communicate with you and others.” (Psalm 19:14, 119:13, 41:3; Eph 4:15, 4:29; James 1:19)

Heart

“Give my husband a heart that seeks passionately after You. Teach him to guard his heart with diligence. Help him deal with anything in his heart that is not pleasing to You. Create in him a pure heart. Enable him to lead our family with integrity.” (Psalm 78:72, 119:10-11; Prov 4:23; 1  3:13)

Hands

“Lord, I pray that everything my husband does would be done with his whole heart, serving You rather than man. I pray that You will also help him to increase his skills and his abilities. Bless everything he puts his hands to.” (Psalm 24:3-4, Col 3:23)

Feet

I pray my husband would love Your Words and walk in Your ways. I pray He would be to walk in a manner that is worthy of You, bearing fruit in every good work. Jesus show him how to creatively share your truth with our kids as he does life with them each day. Father, when he walks through the valley of the shadow of doubt and difficulties, I pray he would fear no evil because He knows that you are with him. (Deut 6:7, 8:6, Col 1:10, Psalm 23:4)

Let’s look for ways to build our husbands up – by giving them encouraging words and the gift of prayer – covering them from head to toe!

The article in its entirety can be viewed here: Praying for my husband – from head to toe.

 

Praying for My Husband | CBMW

21 May

woman-prayingDo you pray for your husband or about him? Do you ask God to make changes to him or effect an outcome that would really be for your benefit? Oftentimes we bring marital disagreements to God with the intent of changing our spouse when it is really ourselves that need our hearts adjusted.

“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” Psalm 66:18-20

Praying for My Husband

It was dinner time and I stood in the kitchen cutting up vegetables for a salad. Feeling bone weary, I prayed in my heart, “God, please bring my husband home from work on time tonight.” I stood in front of the sink to rinse off a cucumber and heard a loud crash coming from my boy’s room, followed by the sound of crying. Sighing, I turned off the water and headed for their room, still praying that my husband would hurry home. Not too long ago, I realized that most of my prayers for my husband centered on me and my needs. They stemmed more from my selfishness.  I prayed he would come home on time, prayed he would get the bonus we hoped for, and prayed he would watch the kids so I could sleep in. I even prayed that God would change all the things that frustrated me about him.

It was in reading Paul’s prayers to the churches in Ephesus, Colossians and Philippi where I learned the heart of prayer. Paul’s prayers centered on the spiritual growth of the people he was writing to.  For example, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” Ephesians 1:17-19. Paul essentially prayed through the gospel. He prayed for the power of the gospel to change and transform the believers he wrote to. While Paul certainly prayed for God’s provision and for other practical needs, the core and foundation of his prayers for others centered on their walk with Christ.

I want to pray for my husband the way Paul prayed for the New Testament churches. I want to pray for the gospel to be at work in my husband’s heart each day. I want to pray for the gospel to be the lens through which he views all of life. And I want him to be strengthened and empowered by the truths of gospel as he lives out God’s calling for him.Praying for the gospel to be at work in my husband’s heart and life is transforming, not only for him, but for me as well. I learn to let go of trying to change things about my husband and trust in God to do the changing He desires. Focusing on the gospel in my prayers changes the posture of my heart from relying on my strength to resting in the power of God’s grace. As I pray for the gospel to be at work in my husband’s heart, I am also reminded of how much I too need the gospel each and every day. It also reminds me that all of life is a gift of grace and that prayer is the entrance into receiving that grace.

The article in its entirety can be viewed here: Praying for My Husband | CBMW | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Joy for Every Season of Motherhood | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

12 May

mother's

On this Mother’s Day we celebrate all women; mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and pray whatever season of life you are in you are counting all as joy!

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,” Philippians 1:3-5

Joy for Every Season of Motherhood

“Honey, one day it will be quiet and you will miss the noise, the messes, the chaos. Before you know it, they will all be grown. So for now, knowing there is rest ahead, find joy today.” But it was one of those days where I didn’t feel joy. I wasn’t even fighting for it. I was like Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus, looking around at the waves, and I was sinking. God used my mom that morning to make me think, lead me to His Word, and redirect my gaze upon Him, and there I found joy despite the waves.

In faith, I look ahead, and I’m encouraged to press on and embrace this calling and these fleeting days. Yes, there is a joyful satisfaction and even rest ahead one day, but God has joy for me now. The writer of Hebrews compares a life of faith to a runner in a race. It’s a long race, one that requires endurance and most definitely faith. The call is to throw off any weight that hinders, to run with endurance, and here is the key, to fix our eyes on the finished line, the prize–Jesus.  And get this, He runs with us giving us faith and perfecting it along the way (Hebrews 12:2)!  Then, God has given us the most beautiful picture and example to follow. Jesus himself, for the joy set before him, endured opposition, ran his race to the cross, took the wrath of God upon himself, and gave his life for us. He now sits at the right hand of the throne of God in the satisfied joy of His Father. When I consider these glorious things, I can have joy because: My joy is present because it is fixed in the past work of Christ, sustained in the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, and set before me in the future glory and presence of my Heavenly Father.

The article in its entirety: Joy for Every Season of Motherhood | CBMW | The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part II » CBMW

22 Oct

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part II

Vivian Hyatt – October 20, 2011

Distinctive Helping

I had to stop here, and consider.  In bringing Eve along as Adam’s helper, God was giving her her own dignity and her own distinction.  Being, with the man, equally created in the image of God, she was yet other, a woman, and she had a realm in which to offer her particular contribution to this glorious, as yet unfallen world, as a woman and a wife.

How was Eve to help her husband?  God had already given Adam his work, and now to the pair of them, a grandiose calling.  The two of them together were to work at subduing the earth.  That, to my astonishment even now, leaps off the page.  How in the world were they supposed to ‘subdue the earth’?  In part, at least, by ruling-together- over ‘every living thing that moves on the earth.’

This is where Eve’s distinction as helper comes in.  It took some careful looking, but the juxtaposition of two major verses told me something about one way Eve was to be a helper.  God gave to Adam-before Eve was created-the privilege and the prohibition: eat everything you want, except for the fruit of that very significant tree.  Following the prohibition, God says, in a conversation within the Trinity, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper…’  None of the animals was suitable for this task, so God made Eve.

Adam’s need to obey and Adam’s need for a helper are directly juxtaposed in these verses.

Does it strike you, as it did me, that God knew the man would need help in obeying?  This is before the fall, remember.  Being given a prohibition implies a choice.  Unfallen man was not to be left alone in this quite serious business of obeying God.  He would need help in ‘subduing’ the earth, even a perfect one.  Likewise, he would need help in subduing his own nature, with its God-given free will, in order to be able to obey God.

Click here to read the rest of the article:  CBMW » One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part II.

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part I » CBMW

21 Oct

One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part I

Vivian Hyatt – October 18, 2011

[Editor’s note: Vivian Hyatt and her husband Trent are missionaries to Eastern Europe and Russia with Campus Crusade for Christ.]

I was blind-sided by the ‘gender wars.’  After all, I knew what the Bible said.  Or thought I did.

My attitudes toward marriage were shaped in the context of growing up in what I would (much) later understand to be a traditional Christian home. I watched my father lead in church and in our family.  I took it as the nature of things that my mother was submissive to him, though I never doubted her strength as a person. Neither did I see him ‘lord’ it over her.  In fact, they had, observable to us kids, an affectionate and close relationship, one we admired and wanted to emulate.  Not surprisingly, then, I desired a husband with those same – what I considered to be biblical – beliefs.  When he came along, we set out to have a traditional Christian marriage with headship (his) and submission (mine) fully in place.

After all, we knew what the Bible said.

But then, well into our marriage, my confidence in ‘what the Bible said’ began to be somewhat eroded by voices within and without the traditional church. Views on women’s roles were changing, the voices said. Books questioning the traditional gender roles were put in my hand. Conversations more and more frequently centered on ‘those passages’ which could now be explained by the cultural situation at the time the New Testament was written.  Our society has moved on, the voices maintained, and so should the Church.  Women were strong and gifted and those gifts were going to waste!  The submission of the wife amounted to inequality and could not, therefore, be biblical.

Had I Missed Something?

Click here to read the rest of the Article:  CBMW » One Woman’s Wrestling Match with Submission, Part I.

Hugs and Affirmation

20 Oct

From “Practical Theology for Women”  – Oct 10, 2011

Hugs and Affirmation

I am reminded daily of the interconnected nature of my parenting and my theology. Last week, I was at my wits end trying to figure out how to discipline my younger son, who is not normally the challenging child in our family. He was having a hard week, acting out angrily and then throwing out emotionally charged language at me when disciplined – “I hate you.” “You don’t want to be my mommy.” “You don’t love me.” And even more disturbing – “I don’t like myself.” “I don’t want to be in this world.”

What in the world?! Where was he getting that stuff? The acting out was escalating, along with the emotional verbal aftermath. I brought this burden with me into our mom’s group Bible study last week. As we shared our burdens for our children, one mom told how she had been intentionally affirming and hugging her problem child multiple times a day and the difference that was making in her child’s attitude. I thought, could it really be that simple?! But I felt burdened afterwards that I should do the same with my son.

I knew that giving him extra hugs and affirmation at random times of the day wouldn’t change how I handled his outbursts. I wasn’t going to hug and affirm him if he hit his brother. But I was hoping that if I hugged him and affirmed him when he was behaving, then when the time came to discipline him when he sinned, he would receive it from me without going into his You-hate-me-and-I-hate-myself routine.

Click here to read the rest of this article: �Practical Theology for Women: Hugs and Affirmation.

The Superwoman complex » CBMW

16 Oct

The Superwoman complex

Diane Montgomery

October 7, 2011

Superwoman complex: A woman’s wish to be excellent at all her roles (leader, professional, mother, wife etc.), that very often leads to psychological stress and feeling guilty toward family members or an expectation of being a superwoman that can and should do everything.

I have to confess: if you look this term up in the dictionary, you’ll find my picture right next to it. Guilty as charged. I never realized I fit into this category until just a few weeks ago. I was a little over one month into marriage, taking summer school, making home-cooked meals 3-4 times a week, working out 4-6 times a week, packing my husband’s lunches and mine, working almost 40 hours a week, involved in church ministry, cleaning house, writing papers, reading 200 pages a day for my class, trying to be a friend, daughter, and the perfect wife. I was exhausted by all of this and I don’t even have kids yet! After working 10 hours for my job one Saturday afternoon in a dirty, sandy outdoor concert, I came home and broke down.

Have you ever seen that episode of Saved by the Bell, when Jessie Spano was trying to balance all her life activities and then becomes addicted to caffeine pills to try and succeed at everything? My life was similar to that, minus the drug addiction. At the end of the episode Jessie finally freaks out. She goes from trying to prove she can sing on drugs, to yelling, to finally incoherently balling/mumbling, “No time, there’s never any time!” I think the writers of this show must have looked forward into the future, seen my breakdown and said, “This is great material! Let’s add some pills and we’ll have a great show!” Unfortunately for my husband though, he had to play theencouraging and consoling part of Zach.

Click to read the rest of the article:  CBMW » The Superwoman complex.

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