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“I Wish I Could Be a Homemaker Full-Time.”

Before we address this painful issue, that is such a sensitive one for so many wives, let’s go over some basics.
(Note – if you are in the opposite situation, I have a post for wives who want to work but whose husbands would like for them to be home.)
GOD’S AUTHORITY STRUCTURE IN OUR LIVES
Definitions:
  • The world defines authority as – tyranny, abuse, selfishness, lording power over others.
  • God defines authority as – shepherding, bringing order to society, nurturing others, providing for them according to God’s will, loving them, taking good care of them in a humble, selfless, sacrificial Christlike way.
  • The world defines submission as – slavery, being a second class citizen, having less value as a person, being a doormat.
  • God defines submission as – a voluntary willingness to recognize God’s ways and His wisdom and to accomplish His will by cooperating with His directives.
  • Positional authority – a person in a position of authority, like king, president, manager, husband, parent, or pastor.
  • Influential authority – a person who may influence the person in the position of authority like an advisor to a king, a deacon board to a pastor, an assistant manager to a manager, or a wife to a husband.
 
The way God works out His will in our lives is that He uses people in positions of “delegated authority” to help accomplish His purposes. He is the “direct authority.” But He gives His authority to certain people to help accomplish His plan. There are people like this in leadership positions in every area of our lives – at work, in the government, at church, and in the family (husbands and parents).
By God’s design, He chooses to lead us through imperfect people in positions of leadership.
 
If we are seeking the Lord’s will and yielded to His Lordship, part of what we will do is submit to human delegated authorities in our lives (unless they are clearly trying to lead us to violate God’s Word and principles).
 
God’s design for marriage is that the husband is in the position of “leader.” He is in the driver’s seat. Not because he is more important, more talented, smarter, or more valuable. Just because this is God’s design and His appointment to accomplish the picture He wants to accomplish in marriage.
  • The husband is supposed to represent Christ and His selfless, unconditional love, sacrifice, humility, wisdom, and servant hearted leadership.
  • The wife is supposed to represent the church in its relationship to Jesus in the way the wife honors, respects, and follows the leadership of her husband.
  • This portrays the gospel to the world  – and to our children. (Eph. 5:22-33)
If we usurp our husband or rebel against his leadership, we malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:3-5) This is a weighty matter – of infinitely more significance than whether I work outside of the home or not right now.
Also, our children learn how to submit to authorities in their lives, including ourselves and our husbands, by watching our example of how we honor their dad’s authority.
 
MY SUGGESTIONS FOR A WIFE WHO WANTS TO BE HOME BUT HAS TO WORK RIGHT NOW
  • For financial reasons.
  • Because your husband wants you to work.
  • Because you don’t have a choice due to circumstances.
1. Submit first to the Lordship of Christ Jesus.
Be completely yielded to Him, His will, His purposes, and His glory being accomplished in your life. Trust Him fully to lead you. Be willing to lay down your greatest dreams, desires, and fears before Him. Trust Him with them all and allow Him to do what He believes is best in your life. Seek His will far above your own will. This is “dying to self” or “taking up your cross.” Be willing to be content in Christ whether you work outside the home or not.
 
Give all of yourself – your body, your gifts, your abilities, your talents, your intelligence, your health, your time, your money, your resources completely to the Lord. Consecrate yourself and your life to Him. Hold your dreams loosely in your hands. Commit to doing whatever He desires you to do with all your heart in service to Him alone. When you have such an attitude, He will open doors that you can’t begin to imagine. Doors to opportunities that are infinitely better than your personal plans and dreams.
 
2. Submit second to the God-given leadership of your husband.
Your trust is ultimately in the Lord to lead you through this man, even though your husband is not perfect and he may not even be close to the Lord at this time. (If you are not yet married, please don’t marry a man who is not fully seeking to live for Christ as Lord on his own.) God is able to lead us in His will for us as we honor the leadership of those He has placed in our lives. God led Israel through Moses’ leadership. The people could not get to the Promised Land unless they honored and cooperated with Moses. It is the same for us. We can’t live in the center of God’s will if we live in rebellion against God’s authority structure in our lives at home, at church, at work, or in the government (unless the authorities are asking us to rebel against the Lord).
 
You cannot accomplish God’s will for your life if you rebel against your husband – or any other God-given leader in your life (unless they are asking you to rebel against the Lord).
 
Honor your husband’s request for you to work. Respectfully speak up about your limitations and needs. You can share your heart on the matter and say something like:
 
  • “Honey, I would really love to be home. It would be my dream to be home to take care of you and our family all the time. But I know that you are the head of our home by God’s design and I will honor your desire for me to work if you believe that is best for us.”
  • “If me working is the most important thing to you so that I can contribute financially, I will do my best to support your decision, even though I believe it would be most honoring to the Lord for me to be your helpmeet at home. I do need to let you know that I can’t work full-time and do all/most of the chores, cooking, shopping, and child care. That is too much for one person. I will still need time for things that are most important like God, you (and sex with you), the kids, exercise, and time to rest. Balance is going to be much more difficult if I am working full-time. So I would love to talk about how we might want to handle chores and household responsibilities so that neither of us are overworked or overwhelmed. I’d like to know that we can continue to touch base and negotiate together if there are issues in the future.”

You could also suggest a part-time job that may help you have greater balance between helping financially and keeping the house and children. Of course – there may be emergency situations where there isn’t a choice and a wife may have to handle everything, at least for a time.

NOTE – If your husband suggests that he stay home full-time and do the chores and child care and that you work full-time, let’s talk about that together before you agree to it. 🙂

 
3. Pray.
Invite the Lord to work. Ask for His will. Ask for Him to open doors and change your husband’s heart if it is His will. Invite Him to change the circumstances and provide more opportunities for your husband to bring in more income to feel confident to be the sole provider. Invite Him to change your heart and perspective.
4. Examine your motives and approach.
Be willing to examine your spending and expectations of lifestyle. Are you willing to give up eating out, vacations, frequent trips to the salon, fancy new designer clothes, expensive make-up, extravagant purchases, etc…? Have you been asking for a bigger, more expensive house or car? Let your husband know you can be content without those things if being a homemaker is what you believe the Lord is calling you to do. Perhaps your husband would feel better about being the sole provider if you are content with much less materially?  One reason some husbands feel their wives need to work, too, is because their wives talk about wanting bigger, more expensive houses, vacations, or cars. If those things aren’t really that important to you, your husband needs to know that you would be much more content with less things materially and that you are willing to stick to a realistic budget if you are only living on his income.
Go through the budget together and evaluate whether you working really does help a lot financially and whether it is worth the price. Write down all of the costs associated with your working: career wardrobe, gas, day care, eating out more because everyone is too tired to cook, less time to shop and cook so more expensive things are bought that are more convenient, time involved, etc…
5. Embrace the opportunity to be at work.
Thank God for having the opportunity to work if this is His will for you. Own it. Receive it. Decide that you are going to make the absolute most of this opportunity. Invite God into your home and into your work life. Invite Him to help you make both places sanctuaries of peace, welcome, hospitality, warmth, joy, love, and blessing. Ask Him to do big things in both places and invite His greatest glory into your home and work place.
 
Determine to use this time to seek the Lord wholeheartedly and to develop a much stronger walk with Him. Invite Him to show you what He wants to do in your life in this time and what He wants to teach you. Use this time to really seek God’s will and His glory for yourself, your family, and your work place. Be available to be an instrument in God’s hand to bless your family and coworkers/customers richly.
 
5. Avoid harboring jealousy, bitterness, or a critical spirit.
It’s easy to be jealous of women who stay home if you wish you could stay home. It’s also easy to harbor bitterness and resentment toward God or your husband if you don’t get to do what you want to do at the time. That is unproductive and toxic. Focus on being thankful for the situation the Lord has given you and on what He is calling you to do at this time.
And, as a reader mentioned, let’s also avoid judging other women who make different decisions. All of us get criticized no matter what choices we make in this area. That is hurtful. Let’s love, encourage, and seek to bless one another. Being a wife and mom is hard. Let’s not assume we know every mom’s motives or what is best for each family’s situation. We each answer to the Lord for these decisions, not to each other.
 
6. Remember that the dream of  being home all the time can easily become an idol.
Any dream or desire can become more important to us than our love for the Lord if we are not careful. Be sure to seek Christ first far above all else. Let Jesus lead you. Be content in whatever place He decides is best. Whether we are fulfilled or not is not really about our circumstances. It is mostly a matter of our attitude, our faith in God, and our willingness to develop a heart of thanksgiving. (Phil. 4:4-8, 12-13)
7. Savor the waiting.
Often, the waiting is the most important part of the answer to prayer. It is in the waiting that you learn to develop stronger faith and learn to trust God in spite of your circumstances. Check out “Waiting Becomes Sweet.” God may have reasons we will not understand until later for the delay or for leading us into a certain place
8. Remember that you are responsible for your thoughts, attitudes, words, emotions, and actions.
Realize that how you think, act, and respond to this situation is about whether the Spirit of God is filling you or your flesh is in control. Invite Him to intervene and see what He wants to do. Be open to the spiritual pruning and refining that He has in store for you first to help you become much stronger in your faith.
Sometimes life is hard and there aren’t any easy answers.
It is in those moments that God often tests and grows our faith the most. We don’t know all that the Lord knows. We don’t know what He may be sparing us and our families from when He leads us in a particular way. We don’t know all of the blessings He has in store as we yield to His will. Our job is not to understand it all ahead of time but to trust Him completely to do what is ultimately best for our families, ourselves, and God’s kingdom in light of eternity.
 
Much love!

SHARE

If you have words of godly wisdom to share with other wives who are struggling in this area, please do! And if you are having a hard time with this issue, you are welcome to share in the comments. We can hash through some of these hard things together.

RELATED

The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn

Spiritual Authority – by a minister at my church

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

My Posts on Biblical Submission 

What Is Godly Spiritual Leadership?

Posts about Husbands and Leading

 

 

“My Husband Wants Me to Be Home but I Want to Work.”

What is a godly wife to do when she is the one who wants to work more outside of the home, but her husband wants her to be home and not work?
(NOTE – If you have the opposite situation, I have a post for wives who have to work but want to be home here.)
GOD’S AUTHORITY STRUCTURE IN OUR LIVES
Definitions:
  • The world defines authority as – tyranny, abuse, selfishness, lording power over others.
  • God defines authority as – shepherding, bringing order to society, nurturing others, providing for them according to God’s will, loving them, taking good care of them in a humble, selfless, sacrificial Christlike way.
  • The world defines submission as – slavery, being a second class citizen, having less value as a person, being a doormat.
  • God defines submission as – a voluntary willingness to recognize God’s ways and His wisdom and to accomplish His will by cooperating with His directives.
  • Positional authority – a person in a position of authority, like king, president, manager, husband, parent, or pastor.
  • Influential authority – a person who may influence the person in the position of authority like an advisor to a king, a deacon board to a pastor, an assistant manager to a manager, or a wife to a husband.

The way God works out His will in our lives is that He uses people in positions of “delegated authority” to help accomplish His purposes. He is the “direct authority.” But He gives His authority to certain people to help accomplish His plan. There are people like this in leadership positions in every area of our lives – at work, in the government, at church, and in the family (husbands and parents).

By God’s design, He chooses to lead us through imperfect people in positions of leadership.
 
If we are seeking the Lord’s will and yielded to His Lordship, part of what we will do is submit to human delegated authorities in our lives (unless they are clearly trying to lead us to violate God’s Word and principles).
 
God’s design for marriage is that the husband is in the position of “leader.” He is in the driver’s seat. Not because he is more important, more talented, smarter, or more valuable. Just because this is God’s design and His appointment to accomplish the picture He wants to accomplish in marriage.
  • The husband is supposed to represent Christ and His selfless, unconditional love, sacrifice, humility, wisdom, and servant hearted leadership.
  • The wife is supposed to represent the church in its relationship to Jesus in the way the wife honors, respects, and follows the leadership of her husband.
  • This portrays the gospel to the world  – and to our children. (Eph. 5:22-33)
If we usurp our husband or rebel against his leadership (unless he is asking us to rebel against the Lord), we malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:3-5) This is a weighty matter – of infinitely more significance than whether I work outside of the home or not right now.
Also, our children learn how to submit to authorities in their lives, including ourselves and our husbands, by watching our example of how we honor their dad’s authority.
WHAT CAN A GODLY WIFE DO?
Here are my suggestions for a wife who wants to work but her husband desires her to be home (these principles apply whenever we don’t agree with our husband on an important decision):
 
1. Submit first to the Lordship of Christ Jesus.
Be completely yielded to Him, His will, His purposes, and His glory being accomplished in your life. Trust Him fully to lead you. Be willing to lay down your greatest dreams, desires, and fears before Him. Trust Him with them all and allow Him to do what He believes is best in your life. Seek His will far above your own will. This is “dying to self” or “taking up your cross.” Be willing to be content in Christ whether you work outside the home or not.
 
Give all of yourself – your body, your gifts, your abilities, your talents, your intelligence, your health, your time, your money, your resources completely to the Lord. Consecrate yourself and your life to Him. Commit to doing whatever He desires you to do with all your heart in service to Him alone. When you have such an attitude, He will open doors that you can’t begin to imagine. Doors to opportunities and plans that are infinitely better than your personal plans and dreams.
 
2. Submit second to the God-given leadership of your husband.
Your trust is ultimately in the Lord to lead you through this man, even though your husband is not perfect and he may not even be close to the Lord at this time. (If you are not yet married, please only marry a man who is truly seeking to live for Christ as Lord. That is a command God gives to believers, that we only marry someone who is “in the Lord.”) God is able to lead us in His will for us as we honor the leadership of those He has placed in our lives.
 
You cannot accomplish God’s will for your life if you rebel against your husband – or any other God-given leader in your life.
 
God chooses to work through the leaders in our lives and to lead us through them. He chose to lead Israel in the wilderness through Moses. The people could not get to the Promised Land any other way than to follow and honor Moses’ leadership. It is the same with us. God chooses to lead us through our husbands and other leaders. So – seek to honor your husband’s request for you not to work in order to honor the Lord. You can share your heart on the matter and say something like:
 
  • “Honey, I would really love to work. It means a lot to me that I can have this job. But I know that you are the head of our home by God’s design and I will honor your desire for me not to work if you believe that is best for us.”

You can also respectfully ask for things you believe you need. You may also respectfully suggest that your husband consider the idea of you having a part-time job that may be a better balance for your family.

 
3. Pray.
Invite the Lord to work. Ask for His will. Ask for Him to open doors and change your husband’s heart if it is His will for you to work at a certain job. Invite Him to change the circumstances. Invite Him to change your heart and perspective. Ask Him to help you see and appreciate your husband’s concerns and perspective.
 
4. Embrace the opportunity to be home.
Thank God for having a husband who wants to provide for your family and who wants to give you this gift of being a homemaker and maybe you have children and can be home with them. That is a priceless treasure. If this is the Lord’s will and He is leading you through your husband to be here – own it. Decide that you are going to make the absolute most of this opportunity. Invite God into your home. Invite Him to help you make this a place of sanctuary, peace, welcome, hospitality, warmth, joy, and blessing.
 
Allow the Lord to lead you in opportunities to use your gifts and talents. Perhaps there are ministries you can do – with your husband’s blessing. Or maybe there are friends you can encourage. Or possibly there is time for you to read and study more about God’s Word or other topics, maybe even related to your education – with your husband’s blessing.
 
Determine to use this time to seek the Lord wholeheartedly and to develop a much stronger walk with Him. Invite Him to show you what He wants to do in your life in this time and what He wants to teach you. Listen to sermons, podcasts, and praise music while you work around the house. Take the time you need to exercise. Enjoy having balance in your life and living at a slower, more healthy pace. Focus on relationships. Practice ministering to your husband and children by keeping the house neat and organized. Run your home like you would an office – and let your motives be love, honor, respect, and grace.
 
Teach your children God’s ways. Mentor younger wives. Maybe you would enjoy cooking more meals from scratch to bless your family. Use this time to really seek God’s will and His glory for yourself and your family. Be available to be an instrument in God’s hand to bless your family richly.
 
5. Avoid harboring jealousy, bitterness, or a critical spirit.
It is easy to focus on women who “get to” work outside of the home. Or to focus on feeling resentful and bitter at your husband or God that you don’t have the situation you wanted. That is unproductive and toxic. Focus on being thankful for the situation the Lord has given you and on what He is calling you to do at this time.
And, as a reader mentioned, let’s also avoid judging other women who make different decisions. All of us get criticized no matter what choices we make in this area. That is hurtful. Let’s love, encourage, and seek to bless one another. Being a wife and mom is hard. Let’s not assume we know every mom’s motives or what is best for each family’s situation. We each answer to the Lord for these decisions, not to each other.
6. Remember that the dream of working outside of the home can easily become an idol.
Any dream or desire can become more important to us than our love for the Lord if we are not careful. Be sure to seek Christ first. Let Jesus lead you. Be content in whatever place He decides is best. Working outside of the home can be fulfilling. If it is God’s will. But being home can also be fulfilling. Whether we are fulfilled or not is not really about our circumstances. It is mostly a matter of our attitude, our faith in God, our willingness to develop a heart of thanksgiving, and whether we are walking in God’s will for us or not. (Phil. 4:4-8, 12-13)
 
Sometimes life is hard and there aren’t any easy answers.
It is in those moments that God often tests and grows our faith the most. We don’t know all that the Lord knows. We don’t know what He may be sparing us and our families from when He leads us in a particular way. We don’t know all of the blessings He has in store as we yield to His will. Our job is not to understand it all ahead of time but to trust Him completely to do what is ultimately best for our families, ourselves, and God’s kingdom in light of eternity.
 
Much love!
SHARE
What has God shown you that may be a blessing to other wives struggling in this area? Or if you are struggling, you are welcome to share and we can hash through the tough issues together here.
RELATED

Spiritual Authority – by a minister at my church

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage – by a minister at my church

The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn helps women focus on the things that God desires most for us and how to align our priorities with Him.
Radical Womanhood by Carolyn McCulley is an explanation of how much feminism has saturated our culture and how it has affected our understanding of femininity and masculinity. If your husband wants you to stay home, this book may open your eyes to a lot of great reasons why this may be a blessing.
 

Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

Three strong believers share about finding contentment in Christ alone even in very painful, difficult, lonely situations where worldly peace and contentment are completely impossible. I pray their words and stories might bless you and your walk with the Lord richly!

From Sister in Christ #1 

I had to hit rock bottom and surrender everything to the Lord before I found that peace and trust in Him. I had to get to the point where I truly realized that my husband and my marriage had been an idol – that I had been depending on my husband to meet my needs, instead of God. So truthfully, the main reason I was so afraid of losing my husband (in the beginning) was because he was the one that I had been looking to – to take care of me, provide for me, love me, and fill me. I knew the Lord, but I had not been fully relying on God for these things – and I didn’t even realize that until after my husband left!

It took my husband leaving me for me to come to the end of myself and surrender to the Lord. And it took many months (actually over a year) before I FULLY trusted God with my life, my husband, and marriage.

I can assure wives that if they will press into the Lord and give Him total control, that they will get to a place of complete trust and have a peace that passes our human understanding! I’m sure there may be other problems on our spouse’s end, too. But the Lord wants to work on our hearts individually. The change has to start with us! There may be a totally different timetable for what God does in a husband’s heart and in the marriage, but the only time table that we have any control over is what we allow God to do in our hearts right now, even through painful, lonely situations.

I remember people telling me things like that and I would just get angry because I didn’t want to hear that I had no control over anybody but myself.

Control issues are rooted in fear – what do we truly believe about God?

  • Are there false beliefs about God that needed to be uprooted?
  • Do we see Him as being totally sovereign, 100% trustworthy, and that He is exactly who the Bible says He is – and that He can do exactly what the Bible says He can do?

That was another thing that I discovered in this journey, that I had false beliefs about God – I didn’t truly believe He had only the best plans for my life. I had to ask the Father to break many strongholds, and to renew my mind by His word.

I had to start speaking out scripture, and hear myself declare it, until I truly believed it.

 

From Sister in Christ #2

You know what? It would be wonderful to have Christ-centered human companionship always, but so often in life, only the Lord stands with us. For example, in 2 Timothy 4

  • “. . .At my first defense, no one stood with me, but everyone deserted me. . . . But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me. . . . So I was delivered. . .

Ultimately, it is just us and the Lord who have to cross the “Jordan Rivers” of our lives.

God makes all His best people in loneliness. That is so demonstrable. You study the great souls in the Bible, those great souls – they walked alone — alone with God. Just like great eagles that soar, they fly alone.

That loneliness is hard to endure, and impossible to enjoy unless God is really within you. But that’s how you can tell He is really living in your heart. You will enjoy it!

God makes us His, alone. He takes us out to be alone to make us Holy. And Holiness is real Happiness. I believe it is because He knows how dangerous co-dependency is. Faith in Jesus combined with action is the only thing that will bring you contentment. I have to be alone very often because of my work and travel schedule. I was so worried when it all started, now, I can’t wait to get alone with the Lord. That’s how I fully refuel.

My goal is GOD HIMSELF. Not joy, not peace, not even blessing – but HIMSELF. . .my GOD.

I lived for the praise, acceptance, and expectations of those around me. Now, I have an audience of ONE. Also, He is now the only One who gets a vote on my worth and value. Jesus had an audience of ONE, His Father. Only God knows why He takes us along these paths. All we can do is keep seeking God in Christ and let Him direct us. He loves you, you have the greatest value. He gave His life for all your worth!

From a Brother in Christ

Two weeks before our 10th anniversary my spouse walked out of the family home with my two children after engaging in multiple acts of adultery with multiple different people. I am now divorced (not my decision), I have sold that family home, split our assets, moved to a different town and have walked a LONG way through the valley of pain since that day.

When a person whom you believed would meet your emotional needs and create fulfillment within you fails to meet those needs, it creates a deep hole within.

We begin to question so many things!! We feel upset, angry, and fearful. For me fear was the overriding emotion.

  • What will this do to me?
  • What will this do to my children?
  • How will I ever heal from this?

At the point of my anniversary I had NO idea what to do or how to heal. But I came to a place where I genuinely surrendered the situation and the outcome of my life to God.

I did NOT have peace or joy when I surrendered it to God, I still felt the pain and fear but I had made a conscious decision to trust God with the process. It was a time of great trial.

Fast forward to nearly 7 months later and I was still grappling with the separation and pain, but still surrendered to God’s will and plan. At this point I was focused on a Christian book that used Isaiah as a springboard to talk about the healing that we can find in Christ. It talked about the fact that Jesus used these prophetic words to illustrate that He was the one who would bind up our wounds, heal our hearts and set us free. And I wanted that far more than anything else!

God graciously opened my eyes and heart to see that in Christ I was loved and accepted without reservation! That the only one who had any right to reject me actually chose to give His life for me!!!

As I saw this, my heart was set free from needing approval or acceptance from my spouse and I knew SO much joy. I knew that if I never had my spouse again I would be more than ok.

And, I am more than ok.

Nearly 2.5 years after my spouse requested a divorce, I AM divorced and all that I feared DID happen, plus more. The trials were so severe that I could not have imagined them. But I am 100% ok and I am thriving in all aspects of life. I enjoy companionship and the love and presence of God in a tangible, incredible way that I did not think possible before I experienced it. I have experienced answers to prayer, fulfillment, and joy that I had no idea was possible. Truly the treasures of heaven are found in Christ.

God has met my needs emotionally, spiritually and physically in every way I needed.

Interestingly, my prayers for a reconciliation were not answered and I realise now that those prayers were made because I wanted to find my identity in my spouse. God could not allow that, my identity must be in Him. Now, I do not pray for a reconciliation, in fact I am reluctant to consider a reconciliation given the history between us. Now I pray for my ex-spouse’s salvation and for my ex-spouse to experience God’s love, as that is of primary importance.

When we try to find our identity in another person we find ourselves in bondage to that person.

When we receive validation, we feel ok. When we do not receive validation, we feel awful. But, when we receive all that God has for us in Christ we can feel ok whether we receive validation from our spouse or not! The words and actions that our spouse gives can be received as a gift when they are positive, recognised as coming from a wounded heart when they are not positive or used as a springboard for prayerful, personal evaluation if they are suggesting things about an area that we may need to grow in.

I pray that you will be able to see again, or maybe for the first time, just what you are worth to Christ. He gave ALL that He was to purchase you, to have you for His own, He ADORES you and wants to know you and love you in a way that you can not imagine. I pray that you are able to release your fear and hurt to God and enjoy this day with Him.

SHARE:

If you want to share a bit about your story and how you are learning to find contentment in Christ alone, you are welcome to share. If you are struggling in this area and want to talk about it, you are also welcome to share.

Much love!

RELATED:

If you are dealing with a very difficult marriage, please check out the healing that is available to you in Christ at Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. There are lessons to read and watch. And there is a private forum there for women to heal and encourage each other.

A Big Lightbulb about True Contentment

Roots of  Insecurity

Finding God’s Victory over Fear

My Security Is in Christ Alone

A Lightbulb Moment about Loneliness

A Summer of Healing

This is a pic from the Maroon Bells park area near Aspen, Co from a few weeks ago.

What a summer it has been! I’m so grateful for having a few weeks to unplug from ministry and to really focus on the Lord and on my family. I definitely needed that more than I could have imagined.

I am still on this journey of learning and growing in Christ right along with everyone else.

There is a huge connection between my spiritual life and my health that I am not always aware of and I sure don’t completely understand – but it is there, nonetheless.

My prayer partner encouraged me to speak life in the area of my health, not to speak negatively the way I had been doing. I had been saying things (to myself and to others) like:

  • Life would be so much easier if I didn’t ever have to eat.
  • I can’t eat most things, they will make me sick.
  • If I eat that, I will be in trouble.
  • I have this disease and that disease and they are incurable.

She reminded me that our words are powerful – they have the power of life and death. If I am speaking negatively over areas of my life, I will see negative fruit in those areas. I knew that. I have purged so many areas of my life of negative words and thoughts in the past. But I was convicted that there were several areas where I had been speaking negatively that I hadn’t even noticed – my diet, my health, some things about my son’s school, and some things about pharmacy (which is my job).

  • The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Prov. 18:21

I also saw that although I had weakly asked God for healing in the past, I didn’t have much faith about it. One of God’s operating principles is that He does things for us in in proportion to the amount of faith we have in Him.

 

I have been reading through the Bible this year and was in 2 Chronicles about three weeks ago when I came across a verse that just jumped out and grabbed me. King Asa had been a godly king. A good king. A king who wanted to please the Lord and who did what was right in God’s eyes so many times. He saw God bless him mightily for many years. But in his later years, he trusted a treaty with another king instead of trusting God – the result of which was that he had war against his kingdom for the rest of his reign instead of the peace that Judah had enjoyed the rest of the time he was king. Then he got sick, very sick.

  •  In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 2 Chronicles 16:12.

I thought, “With all of my health issues, where have I looked for help? Have I truly ever sought God wholeheartedly about all of these things? Or have I been primarily trusting in doctors and Western medicine? How much have I relied on my pharmacist training rather than on the Lord over the years? Then when Western medicine didn’t work, I turned my faith to holistic medicine, a holistic doctor, a special diet, and supplements? It helped somewhat, but I have never been set free from all of these diseases. What if God has some lessons for me spiritually in this that I have been missing?”

I decided to lay all of these things before the Lord and invite Him to show me any wrong thinking and any sin in my heart that may be contributing to my sickness in my particular situation.

Note – I don’t believe the Bible is saying that going to a doctor, using medications, or using earthly remedies is necessarily sin. But in my case, my faith was too invested in these earthly means and not invested much at all in the Lord’s power. That was a big problem.

 

“DIVINE HEALING”

Last year, Greg bought a book for me by Andrew Murray, one of my favorite Christian authors, called, “Divine Healing.” I hadn’t read it yet. But I decided that while we were on a family vacation would be the perfect time to dive in – free from distractions.

Andrew Murray lived in the 1800s – early 1900s and was a Christian pastor in South Africa. He is known for his incredibly deep writings, having written over 240 books. Two of his books, “Humility” and “Absolute Surrender,” have been life changing for me. (They are available as free audio books or $0.99 Kindle books on Amazon on the links provided).

“May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence,” was his prayer. “And not a moment without the entire surrender of myself as a vessel for him to fill full of his Spirit and his love.” – Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray experienced a health crisis that stopped his ministry for two years. They were “the silent years” because his throat was affected and he could not speak. During that time, He pressed into Christ more deeply than ever. And, eventually, he was miraculously healed by the Lord.

Murray has a very scriptural approach, in my view. I do wish he had addressed Paul speaking to Timothy about “taking a little wine” for his stomach because of his frequent illness (1 Timothy 5:23). The topic of healing seems like sometimes it can get a bit crazy these days. So we definitely want to be on guard to check anything any spiritual teacher has to say against scripture. But anything that jives with sound doctrine and scripture, I want to receive! Even if I don’t understand it all. I invite you to check out his book and what the Bible has to say about the topic of healing. Please compare everything Murray or anyone else, including myself, may say and compare it to God’s Word.

SOME CHANGES

I saw that some of my thinking needed to change over the past few weeks as I have been away from ministry and just soaking in the Lord’s presence, in His Word, and in fervent prayer. I am still working through reading through the book a second time and hashing out my thoughts with the Lord in prayer.

I don’t claim to understand everything about this issue. Not by a long shot.

I don’t know what the future will hold. But I have taken some big new steps in faith toward what I believe God desires me to do. I do know I can trust Him. I want to receive absolutely everything that is from the Lord and absolutely nothing that is not of Him in every area of my life. I do know that God is very good and that I want to trust Him more and more and I want to praise Him for the rest of my life and all of eternity!

I decided on July 13, 2017 that I would make some changes by faith:

  • I will stop speaking negatively to myself and others about my health and about food.
  • I’m going to take a fast from my supplements, at least for a time, until I have more direction from the Lord.
  • I will seek to eat relatively healthy things, as a godly steward of my body, but I will not stick religiously to the extremely restricted diet I was on.
  • I want to thank God for my body, for eating, and for healthy food.
  • My purpose is to be fit for God’s service alone, not to be well just so I can do whatever I want to do.
  • My faith must be in the Lord and my focus on Him – not on earthly things or myself.
  • I will praise and thank God for any food set before me and receive it with gratitude and joy.
  • I will ask God to show me if any of the illness I had been experiencing was due to sin and that He might expose that sin and heal me for His glory. (I did see a lot of sin in my heart – faith in other things besides Him, unbelief in Him, worldly thinking, human wisdom, negativity about my health, etc… and I repented.)

I am in the process of figuring out how best to balance my time with God and ministry. Please pray for God’s wisdom for me about that, as well. Thanks so much!

THE PAST FEW WEEKS

I have been utterly amazed at God’s goodness and miracles!

My health issues have been non-existent the past few weeks since I began this new approach.

I have eaten things that I haven’t eaten in over two years. And I haven’t had all the usual reactions. THAT IS AMAZING! I am so excited to share this new thing the Lord is doing in my life and the resource of this book for any who may be interested. Please rejoice and praise God with me at how the Lord has been healing me! May each of us seek to yield ourselves fully to Christ and to receive all of His provision and goodness for His glory!

I also want to thank so many of you who prayed for my healing physically. I truly am completely blown away! Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness and blessing. How can I ever thank You enough for all You have done for me? May You alone be greatly exalted here!

Thank you for being on this journey with me. What a joy!

Much love!

 

RELATED

  • Divine Healing by Andrew Murray (Check it out for yourself. Compare it to scripture. This is a BIG topic, and for many of us, a very unfamiliar topic. Many of our churches do not talk about God’s healing being available to us. Yes, we often pray for the sick. But what do we really know about what the Bible says about physical healing?)
  • Radiant has experienced similar divine healing.  She was almost an invalid and had severe health problems for many years. She was also very spiritually oppressed because she had received many lies about God, herself, and others from the enemy. Check out a bit of her story in this post. I plan to share more from her next week.
  • FreeinChrist had a very significant disease but experienced divine healing from the Lord as she began this journey to become the woman God called her to be. I hope to share her story of healing in the near future.
  • There are a number of reasons for sickness. For more about that, please click on this link and check out the section at the bottom.

 

 A FEW QUOTES FROM “DIVINE HEALING”

 

  • One of the chief benefits, then, of divine healing will be to teach us that our body ought to be set free from the yoke of our own will to become the Lord’s property. God does not grant healing to our prayers until He has attained the end for which He had permitted the sickness. He wills that this discipline should bring us into a more intimate communion with Him.(pg. 43)
  • There is reciprocity in God’s relations with man… If, in His love, He gives Himself full to me, it is in order that I may lovingly give myself fully to Him. In the measure in which I more or less really surrender to Him all my being, in that measure also He gives Himself more really to me… The more our life bears witness that the body is for the Lord, the more also we experience that the Lord is for the body. (pg. 45)
  • When we have recourse to remedies for healing, all the attention of the sick one is upon the body, considering the body, while divine healing calls us to turn our attention away from the body and to abandon ourselves, soul and body, to the Lord’s care, occupying ourselves with Him alone. (pg. 49)
  • Just abide before Him in the simple, utter helplessness of one who knows nothing, and is nothing, and can do nothing. Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of all power in work. (pp. 138-139)
  • With all your hurry and effort in Christ’s work, you never prosper. The first thing you need is to come and rest in your Lord Jesus… If you would be a true branch of Christ, the living Vine, just rest on Him. Let Christ bear the responsibility (of accomplishing the work). (pg. 139)
  • Oh, how many Christians look upon it as a burden, and a tax, and a duty, and a difficulty to get much alone with God! That is a great hindrance to our Christian life everywhere. We need more quiet fellowship with God, and I tell you in the name of the heavenly Vine that you cannot be healthy branches, branches into which the heavenly sap can flow, unless you take plenty of time for communion with God.If you are not willing to sacrifice time to get alone with Him, and give Him time every day to work in you, and to keep up the link of connection between you and Himself, He cannot give you that blessing of His unbroken fellowship. (pg. 143)
  • Oh, we find the Christian life so difficult because we seek for God’s blessing while we live in our own will. We would be glad to live the Christian life according to our own liking. We make our own plans and choose our own work, and then we ask the Lord Jesus to come in and take care that sin shall not conquer us too much, and that we shall not go too far wrong; we ask Him to come in and give us so much of His blessing. But our relations to Jesus ought to be such that we are entirely at His disposal, and every day come to Him humbly and straightforwardly, and say, Lord, is there anything in me that is not according to Thy will, that has not been ordered by Thee or that is not entirely given up to Thee? Oh, if we would wait and wait patiently, there would spring up a relationship between us and Christ so close and so tender that we would afterward be amazed how far distant our intercourse with Him had previously been. (pg. 145)

 

A Wife’s Beautiful Response to Her Husband’s Drug Addiction

I love to share individual stories, as I can, that bring glory to God. Even about extreme situations.  This is one wife’s story is about what God led her to do in her specific situation. Everything she did isn’t a blanket post for all wives with husbands who are drug addicts. But I am so thankful for her willingness to share. Her heart for Christ and her heart for her husband are the main things I want us to see. May each of us seek to hear and follow God’s Word, His leading, and His wisdom in our own situations:

——–

I felt compelled to write to you after looking through some of the comments on your posts. I see some broken women try to argue about some points you make and say that they don’t apply to their extreme situations. And I do know our God is loving and has a unique relationship with each of us, and there’s never a cookie cutter answer. But as someone going through an extreme situation, I’d like to say God’s Word and commands for us as wives still apply (maybe in a slightly different form, but they still apply), and your posts are still an incredible blessing!

My husband and I have only been married a year and 6 months, and it’s been quite the whirlwind. Early on in our marriage my husband relapsed into an old drug addiction. My husband came back from a Christian rehab program recently. The miracles God has done in both of our hearts while he was there and I was home were incredible.

But a few weeks ago my husband relapsed again.

I just finished your book, The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord, a bit before I found out he relapsed. The first thought in my head was, “Why would God be teaching me to be submissive and respectful when I was about to get hurt again?” But then I realized our God is all-knowing and at the exact moment He was encouraging me to read your book and speaking great things to me through it, He KNEW what my husband was going to do.

Things went down very differently this time.

When he told me, I didn’t scream, throw things, or yell. I let go of my controlling grip on my husband and tightened my grip on our Lord Jesus. I found peace in Him. I told my husband I loved him over and over and that I don’t want him to condemn himself. I related to him because I, too, have backslid at different times in my life. No, I do not have addiction problems, but sin is sin.

His response was so loving, so apologetic. Last time it was all about him and his pain. This time he was concerned with how he hurt me. Yes, my situation is unique. It’s extreme. I had to be strict with my husband and take the wheel last week. With the help of our Pastor I insisted that my husband go back to the rehab program out of state. But I held tight to God’s commands to me as a wife. I held tight to respecting my husband. I didn’t add to his pain that I know he was feeling. I didn’t add to the condemnation I know he was pouring onto himself.

I tried my best to die to my flesh, and love like Christ loves. Christ dies for us even while we were yet sinners. I can love my husband, even while he is yet a sinner. Yes, in my unique situation, prayerful separation is necessary. But with my eyes locked on Christ and focused on the eternal, the thought of divorce is not even an option. The thought of anger and resentful emotions fade away. I have salvation, what more could I need? I am full in Christ. I am stable when God is my foundation.

Thank you again for your book and your posts! They made a significant difference in the way things unfolded this time. God is doing great things! <3

——–

FROM PEACEFUL WIFE ABOUT EXTREME SITUATIONS:

Note – this particular husband was repentant. If he were not repentant, a wife would probably have to adjust her approach to some degree. And if he were violent or dangerous, she may have to also adjust things depending on the situation.

No matter what situation we may face, all of us are called by God to respond without sin ourselves. Even when we are being sinned against. When we add our own sin to our husband’s sin, it only makes things infinitely worse. When we respond in the power of God’s Spirit and wisdom, God begins to pour His healing into the situation through us. It may take time to see fruit. But we can know we are doing what God calls us to do when we walk in obedience and faithfulness to His Word by the power of His Spirit. His commands still apply to us. We just need to understand exactly how by His wisdom.

Nothing is too hard for God. No one is beyond His reach!

Please join me in praying for this wife and husband – for God’s healing and for His greatest glory to come out of this very difficult trial.

I don’t usually write general posts specifically for wives in extreme situations – where there are major drug/alcohol addictions, abuse, unrepentant adultery, criminal activity, demon possession, severe spiritual oppression, severe uncontrolled mental health issues, etc…   I don’t personally know what every wife should do in every possible situation.  I don’t have personal experience with most of these situations myself. People don’t need my wisdom or opinions. They need God’s Word and His clear direction. I know He has exactly what each of us need and that He can provide for our great needs out of His abundant supply.

I am so thankful when God uses what I have written to bless wives in many different situations  But I am also very concerned for my sisters who may be confused. I never want to add to confusion for even one woman. Sometimes women in situations like this can misunderstand important concepts like: respect, dying to self, submission, unconditional love, forgiveness, and trust because of filters they may have

Let’s talk about some things I have seen that are of great concern to me.

SOME WAYS WOMEN MAY MISUNDERSTAND GOD’S WORD AT TIMES:

Some women in very difficult marriage situations think dangerous things like:

  • Respecting my husband means respecting his sin and not intervening or using my influence authority for good in his life.
  • Submitting to my husband means I give up my personhood and become completely passive and just do whatever he wants me to do no matter what.
  • Submitting to my husband means I never say what I think, feel, or desire. I should totally give up my voice to be a godly wife.
  • Respecting my husband means I never say anything if he is sinning against me or our children or if he is doing something very wrong. I just cooperate with him no matter what. I ignore the verses in scripture about lovingly, gently, respectfully confronting sin.
  • Loving my husband unconditionally means staying even if our children and I are not safe and even if he is dangerous and not in his right mind. God hates separation and divorce, so He must want me to stay and endanger my life and our children’s lives. I ignore the fact that God also hates violence and oppression and that I have a responsibility to protect my children and myself if my husband is sinning against us or not in his right mind due to addictions, uncontrolled mental health issues, severe spiritual oppression, or major unrepentant sin.
  • Jesus’ command for me to forgive unconditionally in Matthew 6:14-15 means I also have to trust my husband who is not trustworthy and treat him like I would if he hadn’t severely broken my trust. I don’t realize that trust is not an unconditional command – it is different from forgiveness and unconditional love. Trust must be rebuilt together in cooperation. It requires two people to rebuild it. God never commands us to trust untrustworthy people. We are only commanded to trust the Lord unconditionally because He is not sinful and unable to have wrong motives toward us.
  • God calls women to be weak and wimpy.
  • Respecting my husband means I have to disrespect myself and just put up with genuine abuse (I say “genuine abuse” because sometimes wives will use the word, “abuse” to describe things that are truly not abusive. Sometimes women use the word, “abuse,” to describe a husband’s godly leadership. “My husband is so abusive. He expects me to stick to a budget.” “My husband abuses me because he doesn’t want me to flirt with other men.” Sometimes women use the word, “abuse,” to describe any behavior they don’t like. “My husband reacts negatively toward me when I disrespect him.” Those things are not abuse. God hates abuse and so do I.)
  • I can be a godly wife even if I don’t spend time with God, don’t pray for myself, and don’t know Jesus closely myself. I can remain in spiritual bondage and oppression myself and respond rightly to my husband’s sin and issues. I can do this all in my own strength without God’s power and help.
  • I can’t respect (rightly relate to) God, my husband, and myself all at the same time. For me to properly respect my husband, I have to sin against myself or God.
  • Respecting and submitting to my husband means he is always right no matter what he does.
  • Respecting my husband and obeying God’s Word means I have to stay and it is a sin to leave under any circumstances.
  • Dying to self means I have to just suffer silently in every situation and act like things are fine when they are truly not.
  • Respecting my husband means I have to do anything to make him happy no matter what the cost to me or our children. If he is upset with me, it means I am wrong. End of story. My husband’s words, emotions, and decisions are the ultimate authority in my life, not Jesus.

If we have a skewed understanding of these key concepts or we idolize our husband’s approval rather than seeking God’s approval above all, we can end up making poor choices. That breaks my heart. So if a wife is in extreme situations like this and she thinks that respect, unconditional, love, dying to self, forgiveness, and trust mean things like what I just listed above, I would want her to seek godly, experienced counsel who could help her discern her thoughts and God’s Word rightly. I want all women to understand these critical concepts correctly because if we don’t, we can make some really terrible decisions for ourselves, our marriages, and our children.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD FOR ALL OF US:

If women are having trouble with these concepts or feel confused about what they should do, I would encourage them to seek godly one-on-one counseling with someone who is experienced with the issues they have in their marriages. Some women in very difficult situations are able to hear God rightly as they read my posts and respond in the power of the Holy Spirit to their husbands. That is awesome! I praise and thank God for this! Some women in very difficult situations may need resources other than my blog that are much more specialized for their particular needs. That is okay, too.

ULTIMATELY, WE ALL NEED JESUS AND HIS HEALING:

Jesus is the key and He is what we all desperately need. His Word applies to us all no matter what we may be going through. It is critical for us to have right understanding of His Word. How I long for each of us to experience the abundant Life He offers to us no matter what may happen in our marriages. My greatest desire is that we all end in the same place – JESUS – whether that is here or elsewhere:

RESOURCES:

I have many other resources, if you need something in particular, please let me know. And always check anything any human author says against scripture and seek to have a right understanding of God’s Word!

  • Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas may be helpful for wives whose husbands tend to be harsh with their children or who have anger issues.
  • If you are dealing with a very difficult marriage or you tend to have a husband who is very harsh you may find healing in Christ for yourself, and your marriage, in Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.
  • www.hotline.org is for women in physically abusive relationships who may need to plan to get away safely.
  • Hopefully each woman can find a local body of believers in Christ who will be equipped to help her with any severe situations.
  • There are Christian resources for drug addictions – the most important thing is to have something that is biblically based on the power of Christ. Check with a trusted pastor or Christian counselor in your area for what may be the best fit for your situation.
  • www.xxxchurch.com or www.brentriggs.com also has helpful resources for porn addictions.
  • Some churches have prayer ministries where prayer warriors pray over people and see them set free from addictions, sin, shame, and even diseases. I would love for wives facing extreme trials to be able to be surrounded by spiritual support, love, and powerful prayer by the body of Christ. If your church doesn’t have a powerful prayer ministry, search until you find one that does and visit there for prayer if possible.
  • The posts I linked throughout this post may be a blessing, as well.
  • If your husband is violent, or threatening violence, or things are extremely toxic, please seek one-on-one, experienced, trustworthy help if at all possible. And if you need to contact the police and it is safe to do so, please do whatever you need to do to be safe.

SHARE:

If you have resources you would like to share or you want to share about God’s faithfulness in your situation, please feel free to share. If you are facing a great trial and need prayer for your situation, you are welcome to share that, as well.

Minimalism or Frugality Can Be Idols, Too

I have had times when I idolized things, luxury, and comfort. I wanted a really beautiful home where everything was perfect and looked like it came out of HGTV. And I have also been tempted to idolize minimalism/frugality in recent years. It’s funny how easily we can make almost anything more important than it should be in our hearts and minds.

I have to guard my heart and mind and make sure Jesus is on the throne. Not anything else. Not lots of lovely things. Not getting rid of everything. Nothing can come above the Lord in my heart. Nothing can get before my love for Him and my love for others and His Spirit filling me and empowering me to walk in holiness. In everything in the Christian walk, there must be proper balance and Christ must be at the center of it all.

It may sound weird that minimalism and wanting to get rid of stuff could be sinful. Here are some ways I could take minimalism too far…

I could:

  • Obsess so much about giving stuff away and selling things that it is all I care about – no matter if it upsets my husband and children or not.
  • Find my security and identity in having as few possessions as possible.
  • Judge others for “owning too much” in my view and for materialism.
  • Get angry with my family if they want to keep things that are not sinful to keep.
  • Be prideful and self-righteous about how few possessions I own and how “good” and “generous” I am.
  • Try to impose my personal convictions on everyone in my family even if they are not ready to take such a big step.
  • Become the “stuff Nazi” and condemn other people for having possessions as if things, in and of themselves, are evil.
  • Be bitter and resentful at my husband or family if I can’t give away or sell most of our things.
  • Focus only on this one thing and ignore all of the other things scripture commands for me to do as a believer – like loving the Lord wholeheartedly and loving others deeply.
  • Become resentful or upset about receiving gifts from other people who are expressing their love to me.
  • Make getting rid of things more important than loving Christ and loving and respecting my husband and family.
  • Disrespectfully and un-lovingly get rid of things that are important to my husband and older children without their permission.
  • Push my husband to do things that he is not yet ready to do and refuse to follow his leadership unless he agrees with me rather than waiting on the Lord to work powerfully in his heart.
  • Demand to sell the house and downsize greatly when that is not something my husband believes the Lord desires us to do yet.
  • Be discontent if I have to have more things than I want to have in my home.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:11-13

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor. 13:3

RELATED:

Do I Love the Things of This World Too Much?

SHARE:

What has the Lord shown you about this issue? How have you learned to be content in plenty or in need?

Do I Love the Things of This World Too Much?

Our Western culture is inundated with materialism. Every ad beckons us with promises that if only we bought that product, had enough stuff, and enough money, we would be beautiful, happy, and fulfilled in this life.

 

How Can I Tell if I Am Struggling with Materialism?

Here are a few questions I might ask myself to do a heart check:

  • Do I base my value on my possessions?
  • If I suddenly lost everything I owned in a fire and had to live in a small apartment with sparse and inexpensive furnishings for a while, would my security be gone?
  • Do I base other people’s value on their possessions?
  • Do I believe that people who don’t have certain things aren’t “good enough” to be my friends?
  • Would I be extremely embarrassed, maybe even devastated, if I could only buy my clothes from Wal-Mart, the flea market, or from thrift shops?
  • If my husband wanted to downsize our lifestyle and sell our home so we could buy a smaller, much less expensive home and change our lifestyle so that we wouldn’t have any mortgage debt, what would my thoughts be?
  • Could I be just as content to eat a thrifty meal at home or at a picnic in a local park with my husband for a “date night” as I would be to spend $100 on a night on the town?
  • Could I be confident in myself as a woman of Christ if I had to face the world without makeup and without going to a salon for a year?
  • If our budget was really tight because of a job loss or a major economic downturn, how would I react? Can I think of things I could give up and ways I could still be content in such a situation?
  • Do I feel I have to have a certain level of luxury and convenience? If so, why?
  • Would I be able to be content without jewelry except for a plain wedding band if necessary?
  • Am I willing to stick to a realistic budget and not spend more than we earn? Does that thought give me anxiety?
  • Can I imagine losing, giving away, or selling all of my possessions and being able to be content without them? What would be the hardest things for me to give up?
  • Could I be just as content driving an old reliable car with no car payments as I could be driving a new car?
  • Do I believe my money belongs the Lord or to myself?
  • Is there anything in my possessions or money that I want to hold back from God?
  • Do I find my security in things and feel anxious or afraid if I had to give up or lose certain things?
  • What are my beliefs about debt? How much debt do I have and why?
  • Do I seek God’s will and His glory in how I spend money?

God’s concept of finances and everything we have in our lives is about stewardship. He ultimately owns everything and I am simply a steward, or manager, of what He owns. He is to be LORD of every area of my life. I am to use what He gives me for His purposes, His kingdom, and His glory.

His ways lead to such freedom, peace, and joy!

What Does the Bible Say about Debt?

  • The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives… Ps. 37:21
  • The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. Prov. 22:7
  • Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Rom. 13:7-8

What Does the Bible Say about Greed?

  • A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched. Prov. 28:25
  • You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:3
  • For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous/greedy (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Eph. 5:5

What Does the Bible Say about Materialism?

  • He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. Eccl. 5:10
  • “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21
  • “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matt. 6:24
  • And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
  • Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:33-34
  • But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Tim. 6:9-10
  • As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Tim. 6:17-19
  • Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Heb. 13:5
  • Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

SHARE

Is there anything that really hits you today that the Lord may be speaking to you? You are welcome to share in the comments. How has God empowered you to have victory over materialism and our debt-driven culture? If you have godly wisdom to share, we’d also love to hear that.

Much love!

RELATED:

What Does the Bible Say about Debt? by www.gotquestions.org

What Does the Bible Say about materialism? by www.gotquestions.org

 

How Do I Respect My Husband without Idolizing Him?

To me, the primary key in balancing respecting my husband but not idolizing him is to watch my motives. I want to care about his feelings and concerns. I want to treat him well. But why?

Do I want his approval more than anything?

Or do I want God’s approval more than anything?

If I idolize my husband’s approval:

  • My motives are to please him and to satisfy him at any personal cost to me. These motives are fueled by huge fear of my husband’s rejection of me.
  • I may be willing to be a doormat and very passive.
  • I may want to change to please my husband without considering if I am pleasing God.
  • I want to treat my husband well to try to get him to stay and give me the love I want from him.
  • I love and respect my husband with strings attached. I have a lot of expectations of what he should do for me in return for what I do for him.
  • I would be devastated if my husband is not happy with me, even if I am doing what is right.
  • I would be devastated if my husband leaves me or dies and feel like there is no hope if he is not with me.
  • If my husband left me, I might grovel at his feet and do anything to get him to come back, even if he was involved in serious unrepentant sin.
  • I might be willing to disrespect myself in order to meet my husband’s definition of respecting him.
  • The fruit of my attempts to respect my husband will be frustration, disappointment, fear, loneliness, worry, bitterness, and/or possibly even physical sickness because I am not acting in the Spirit, but in the flesh.

If I have Christ on the throne of my heart and His approval is most important:

  • My motives are to please God and to satisfy Him at any personal cost to me.
  • I seek to bless my husband because I know he is made in the image of God and he is beloved by God.
  • I want to treat my husband well because God wants me to treat him well and because I love him with the love of Christ.
  • I look for the good things in my husband to admire because that honors the Lord.
  • I change to please God primarily. I want to do things that please my husband to a degree – but only if I know God is pleased with those changes.
  • I love my husband unconditionally without strings attached.
  • I can be content even if my husband is not happy with me, as long as I know that God is happy with me – it wouldn’t be my favorite thing, but I could deal with it if I had to.
  • I seek to respect God first, respect myself (think rightly about myself in light of God’s Word and receive God’s truth about my new identity in Christ), and respect my husband all at the same time.
  • I measure my success as a wife and woman by God’s Word not my husband’s current mood or emotions.
  • I can stay at peace in Christ even if my husband is upset at something or even if he is in a bad mood.
  • I can even stay content in Christ and full of His joy no matter what my husband may do or not do.
  • I honor my husband’s God-given leadership because I reverence Christ and trust God to lead me through my husband if my husband is not asking me to clearly sin or condone clear sin. I do want to trust my husband as much as possible, but ultimately my trust is in Christ alone.
  • If my husband were to leave me or die, I would be very sad. I would grieve. But I would know that if I have Jesus, I have the greatest Treasure in the universe.
  • If my husband left me, I would pray for my husband. I would want him to come back and to reconcile the marriage. But my greatest concern would be his soul, not my personal happiness.
  • The fruit of my respecting my husband would be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in my life because it is God’s Spirit empowering me to do this (Gal. 5:22-23).

Note:

It’s not wrong to enjoy pleasing our husbands. It’s very helpful to us when they give us some feedback and we know that they appreciate what we do for them. We feel so blessed when our husbands smile at us or show us that they are responding positively to our respect. But we can get sidetracked by their feedback sometimes – or lack of feedback. God can use our husband’s feedback to benefit us and help us on this journey. But not all feedback from our husbands reflects God’s feedback. We must test our husbands’ feedback against God’s Word. I hope that makes sense.

Related:

 

 

Respecting My Children?

When God opened my eyes 8 years ago to all the yucky motives in my heart concerning my marriage – I began studying godly femininity, biblical womanhood, what it meant to be a Christian wife, and God’s design for marriage. My primary focus was to be right with God, to get rid of any sinful thinking or toxic lies I had unwittingly embraced, and to seek to pour healing into my marriage and relationship with Greg that had been suffering greatly.

But God had more in mind for me than just changing my marriage. He wanted to change ALL of me and ALL of my relationships!

Even though I wasn’t specifically studying about how to be a more godly mom – I couldn’t help but notice things like:

  • How can I really be a godly woman if I am trying to talk to Greg with a respectful, pleasant tone of voice, but I totally lose control with my children and scream at them? And I certainly would want to watch my tone of voice with other people, as well – in my extended family, at church, at work, and everywhere else.
  • I am working on being a safe place for Greg to share his thoughts, shouldn’t I also be a safe place for my children and other people to share their thoughts?
  • The smiling challenge was such a blessing to Greg – but surely, my children are blessed when I smile more at them, too! What if I try the smiling challenge at work, too? And at church?
  • A lot of the things that so many men find to feel disrespectful are things that would feel disrespectful to me, too. And to other women. Well… to anyone, honestly! Even to my children. Many of the disrespectful things were ultimately about sinful motives, wrong attitudes, and unhealthy boundaries. Those are things I would do well to avoid in all of my relationships.
  • A lot of the things I was discovering that speak respect to husbands are really things that should be present in any healthy relationship between any two people, especially between any two grown adults. But there are a lot of things here that I want to be sure to include in how I treat my children, as well.
  • Part of loving other people with God’s agape love (1 Corinthians 13) is that we are to treat all people with honor, value, and dignity just because they are made in the image of God. That would certainly include my children, too.

So I began to implement treating my children with genuine respect, as well – not the same kind of respect I would give my boss, a police officer, my husband, a pastor, or the president. There are different definitions of respect – that word is such a big word and can mean so many different things. Children are not in positions of God-given authority in my life. But God counts the way I treat “the least of these” as the way I treat Him (Matt. 25:31-46).

NOTE: I am planning to devote an entire chapter to this concept in my next book, “The Peaceful Mom,” that is scheduled to be published this coming fall or winter and I hope to address more issues that relate to the heart of a mom on my blog this year at times, if anyone is interested. 🙂

Using Some Dictionary Definitions of “respect”:

I can certainly hold my children in high or special regard and esteem them. I can also give particular attention and consideration to them. And I can have admiration for the good ideas and good qualities my children have.  And I can have a polite attitude toward my children out of reverence for Christ. (I don’t have to respect sin with anyone, of course, and I am not talking about respecting them as if they are in charge of the family.)

How Might I Respect My Children in a Way That Honors Christ?

Of course, some of the ways I might show respect to my children will change as they get older and then as they become grown adults. Here are some suggestions to prayerfully consider. Ultimately, we must each seek to do what God prompts us to do in our situations. I might choose to:

  • Listen to their feelings, knowing that their feelings are important, but also realizing that their feelings can’t be the only basis for my decisions as a parent. There has to be balance, wisdom, and discretion. I want my children to feel heard, loved, and precious. But then I need to make decisions based on what is ultimately in their best interests in the eyes of God according to the truth of His Word.
  • Teach them that God’s Word is the source of absolute truth, not any person’s feelings or desires. So I can respect their personhood but always reverence Christ above all else.
  • Not idolize my children. In other words, I can’t allow them to be what I love most in all the world. Jesus has to occupy the throne of my heart.
  • Allow them to have certain choices that are their own to make that I do not override (these areas should increase as they get older and demonstrate greater levels of trustworthiness and responsibility). I don’t want to try to dictate every little decision to my children, not giving them any chances to make decisions for themselves when appropriate. Again, this requires balance, discernment, and wisdom because this will also change over time.
  • Speak to them with a respectful tone of voice, modeling for them the respectful tone that I desire them to use with me, their father, and other people.
  • Praise the good I see in them. (The things I focus on tend to grow for them just as they do in my other relationships.)
  • Discipline them in private whenever possible so that I do not humiliate them in front of others.
  • Give them room to have their own dreams.
  • Let them know they can respectfully share their feelings, concerns, desires, and ideas with me – that I want to know their hearts and minds and that what they think matters to me.
  • Give them room to fail at appropriate times without me swooping in to always rescue them so that they can learn and grow.
  • Be available to help when they really do need help so they know I am there for them and I have their backs.
  • Be careful about sharing stories about them that would embarrass or humiliate them.
  • Get their permission before sharing sensitive things with others as they become older.
  • Seek to give them as much responsibility as they can truly handle so that they can learn to become responsible members of society in the future.
  • Let them own their decisions and feelings and realize that I am not responsible for their choices. I am responsible for myself. I am responsible to parent them properly in God’s sight at every stage of their development (my parenting will have to change and flex according to each stage). I am accountable to God for how I parent, love, and discipline my children. But they have free will that I cannot override and that God will not override. And yet, at the same time, God is sovereign.
  • Not freak out at them but handle things calmly – i.e.: if a child drops a plate, I can stay totally calm and in control of my own emotions, words, and response. I don’t have to assume evil motives or blast my child for making a mistake or having an accident.
  • Watch my expectations and my own motives about what I want regarding my children to be sure they honor Christ
  • Seek to do what is ultimately in their best interest, respecting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
  • Respect specific boundaries that my children may want to set about their personal space. There may be times and certain stages when it would be best for me not to force them to show affection to other people or there may be times when they don’t want to be tickled anymore and if they say they don’t want to be tickled or hugged at that time – I can teach them that I respect their wishes by honoring their requests. I can also teach them that other people should respect their requests about their personal space, as well, and that no one should have the right to force physical contact on them that is unwanted.
  • Recognize and seek to meet their needs when they don’t have a voice or they don’t know how to express their needs yet.
  • Treat them with kindness
  • Use my words to build up, encourage, and bless them, not to tear them down.
  • Be careful not to pressure them too much.
  • Encourage their dreams and encourage them to seek God’s will above my own desires for them.
  • Teach them to show respect to others, including myself and their father.

A QUOTE FROM BILLY GRAHAM:

A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.

SHARE:

What are some ways God has shown you that He desires you to respect and honor your children or even other people as you have been on this journey?

REMINDER:

If you would like a great place to start the journey to become a peaceful wife, check out my book, “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.” And if you have read my book, it would be such a gift to me if you might share an honest review on www.amazon.com. I only need 11 more reviews before Kregel Publications, my publisher, will begin to provide a higher level of support to help promote my book. 🙂

 

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