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Are Women Morally and Spiritually Superior to Men?

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In our culture today – we almost universally accept that the answer to this question is a very obvious “Yes!  Of course women are morally and spiritually superior to men.  That is just plain fact.”

THE EVIDENCE IN FAVOR:

  • boys get in trouble a whole lot more in school than girls do
  • girls have higher grades in school than boys on average
  • there are MANY more men in prison than women
  • men commit the vast majority of violent crimes
  • there are many more women in church than men in many places, and more women are willing to take on leadership/volunteer/teaching roles in church than men today
  • dads are by far, are the ones who are  the “deadbeats” in the court systems
  • the majority of people with porn addictions are men – (although the women are gaining fast on this one)

And, of course, women are portrayed in the media as being much more competent and intelligent than men are today.

FEMINISM

I read the book, Radical Womanhood, by Carolyn McCulley.  She was an adamant feminist who studied women’s studies in college and later came to Christ.  I believe this book is a MUST READ for Christian women today.  She traces the history of the feminist movement from it’s earliest beginnings in the 1700s through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd wave (which is present day).  She also gives some of the biographical information and the personal theology of the leading women of the feminist movement as well as background on their own marriages/relationships.

Feminism looked at the world and saw the atrocities that some men were committing against women and identified that:

Men are the problem.  Men are evil.

Women are good.  Women being in charge is the answer to the world’s problems.

Among other things, the first and second waves of feminism taught that:

  • God is whoever you want “her” to be.
  • The God of the Bible was made up by “evil men”.
  • You are a goddess.
  • The Bible has no authority because it was “written by men” and “men are evil.”
  • The authorities God has established in His Word have no authority.
  • We can decide for ourselves what is right or wrong.  Existentialism – “Truth that is true for me”
  • We can redefine masculinity, femininity, marriage and family however we would like to.
  • Men and women are the same emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  • Marriage oppresses women.
  • Motherhood oppresses women.  Children are a burden
  • Men oppress women.
  • The Bible oppresses women.
  • Church oppresses women.
  • Women need to have a career to be truly fulfilled as a person.
  • Marriage is “just a piece of paper.”

Feminism – at its core, was born as a heresy of scripture and blasphemy of God.  Feminism has done some things that have benefited the condition and treatment of women, to be sure.  But it is time for us to carefully examine the origins, tenets and goals of this philosophy that we have unquestioningly embraced in the church today.

THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD

The Bible is the only source of unchanging truth.  It is time to examine the beliefs of our ungodly, worldly culture against the absolute truth of the Word of God.  It is time to trash any ungodly ideas from our culture and embrace only God’s truth.

Feminism says, “Men are evil.”  We certainly see empirical evidence for that statement.

But is it the whole truth?

God created men and women to be image bearers of God.  We were created in a state of perfection in Genesis 2.  We are of equal value and dignity before God (Galatians 3:28)

But then sin (evil) entered the picture.

According to the One, holy and perfect God of the universe:

There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good. not even one

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 3: 10-12, 23

We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.  Isaiah 64:6 (literally, “filthy, bloody menstrual rags”)

According to God, from His righteous and just perspective – ALL people are wretched sinners in desperate need of the blood of Jesus to cover our sin.  I cannot find a verse in scripture that elevates women as spiritually or morally superior to men in God’s eyes.  Jesus repeatedly calls all people “evil” throughout the gospels.  We have a very sinful nature, inherited from Adam and Eve.  We are slaves to sin, according to Romans 6:16.   We are on equally spiritually evil ground as men and women in the sight of God.  We are incapable of doing anything good in God’s sight on our own, because – apart from Christ – we are spiritually dead.

The truth is that there are plenty of negative statistics about women and how we sin and fall short of God’s glory, too – if we are willing to look at ourselves.

Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.Luke 18:19b

Arguing about whether men or women are spiritually/morally superior to each other – is kind of like arguing about which corpse in the funeral home “looks more alive.”  What does it matter??? They are all dead.

FROM CAROLYN MCCULLEY in RADICAL WOMANHOOD:

Women do have a problem. But it’s not men.  It’s sin.  Sin warps everything, including the good that God has designed in being a man or a woman.  Women sin against men and men sin against women, and everyone sins against God and falls short of His standard of holiness and perfection.  Sin is the reason men have oppressed women and women have usurped men.  Sin is the reason for the jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every vile practice that characterizes false wisdom.  Sin is the reason we need a Savior….

The glorious hope we have is that Christ came to rescue us from this spiral of sin and sinful response.  Only the gospel can accurately diagnose the issues on both sides and offer both the good news of forgiveness for our sins and the restoration of our relationship first with God and then with each other.

This is true liberation for women… and men.

THE NEXT POST (6-12-13):

I will show you how God blew the lid off of my idea that I was a good person when He opened my eyes to my MOUNTAIN of sin.  I didn’t just have a speck or a 2 by 4 of sin in my eye.  I had a MOUNTAIN with an entire forest.  I am truly – the chief of sinners.  There is no sinner who is farther away from God than I was.  There is no one who needed Christ more desperately than me.

How to Have a Relationship with Christ and find Forgiveness, Healing, Hope and Heaven

SERMONS ON THIS TOPIC AND SALVATION AND MANY MORE:

www.desiringgod.org  John Piper

www.radical.net  David Platt

Is Respect Optional for a Godly Woman?

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Many women, even in the church, think that the concept of “respect for husbands” is archaic, old fashioned and backwards and that their husbands “don’t deserve respect.”   We are not about to show any respect for our men until we believe our men “deserve” it – by our own definition.  That is, after all, what our culture teaches – “Respect must be earned.”  I actually believe that is true, to a point – in the secular work place.  But does it apply in marriage?  Does it apply to believers in Christ?  Is it appropriate for disciples of Christ to treat people without respect in any setting?
If someone (anyone) sins against me or is living in unrepentant sin – does that give me a free pass as a Christian to treat him/her with disdain, disgust, self-righteousness, rudeness, unkindness, hatred, angry words, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, gossip and a judgmental spirit?
(Galatians 5:22-23, I Corinthians 13:4-8 and Romans 12 do a very good job of explaining how Jesus commands us to treat others with love – respect is part of that!.)

In our culture today, we often treat our husbands (as I did for many years) with disrespect, contempt, resentment and condemnation.   Sometimes we don’t even realize we are doing this.  Sometimes we are just reacting to feeling very unloved ourselves and unintentionally disrespect our men – not realizing how very deeply we are wounding them.  And then we don’t realize that when our husbands feel very disrespected, they react to their pain by responding in ways that feel unloving to us (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – Love and Respect).  When husbands feel disrespected – they feel unloved.  I know that is not how we want our men to feel!

But whether we are intentionally disrespectful or it is entirely unintentional, our disrespect wounds our men.  They NEED our respect and our Lord commands that we respect our husbands.  They may not “deserve” respect in our minds.  But the same God who commands us to respect our husbands and honor their leadership also commands husbands to love their wives.  I know I personally don’t want to EVER get rid of the “love your wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her” command for our husbands!  God definitely knew what he was talking about there!  I have learned that He knows exactly what He is talking about when it comes to what husbands and marriages need, too.
We need our husbands’ love even when we REALLY don’t deserve it – exactly the same way that our husbands need our respect even when they REALLY don’t deserve it.  (God does not command us to respect sin or ignore sin – just like He does not command our husbands to love our sin either – but we are to respect our men because they are our husbands, just like our husbands are to love us because we are their wives.)
My respect for my husband is not optional.  Not if I am a disciple of Christ.   It is a command of God:
  • “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”  Ephesians 5:33
  •  Jesus says “Anyone who loves Me will obey My commands…. Anyone who does not obey My commands does not love Me.” (John 14:23))
Many women also believe that biblical submission is oppressive and that it is equal to slavery.  That is NOT at all God’s design, either. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:2-5)  Real biblical submission is a blessing from God to wives, husbands, children and everyone who knows that family.  It can only be accomplished when we are completely submitted to Christ and filled with His Spirit, seeking His glory alone.
Here is the world’s way – this is what I did for almost 15 years in our marriage.
I tried to carry all the weight and responsibility for the marriage and family and was stressed, worried, afraid and upset most of the time.  I felt like the only adult in the family.  I thought I had to do everything while my husband avoided responsibility and became increasingly emotionally distant. I worked full time until we had children, then worked 20 hours/week and also did almost all of the housework, all of the finances, all of the discipline for the children and all of the child care every moment that I was home while my husband sat in front of the tv, the computer or worked on renovations.  I was overloaded, overworked, stressed out and seething with resentment.
This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster in marriage.  As Bob Grant says, “There is no relationship resentment can’t kill.”
Husbands primarily need respect.
Wives primarily need love. (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs Love and Respect and Ephesians 5:22-33)
When both spouses get their needs met, marriage can be GLORIOUS and God-honoring.
Men and women are not the same.  Men do not need love the exact same way that we do.  The sooner we understand this and how different they are from us, the sooner we can learn what their needs truly are and how to meet them.  We often try to give more and more love – but it doesn’t work and we don’t understand why.  We must understand what our husbands need and give them what they need, not what we need.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WORLD’S WAYS:
  • The truth is that trying to carry a burden you were not designed by God to carry is oppressive.
  • The truth is that being consumed by worry and anxiety and fear every waking moment is oppressive.
  • The truth is that living by the power of the sinful nature instead of by the power of the Spirit of God is being a slave to sin instead of being a slave to Christ.  That is true slavery!!!  I will be a slave to one or the other – sin, or Christ.  For a little check of what it is like to have your sinful nature in control, please read Galatians 5:19-21.  When God’s Spirit controls me, I have all of the fruit of the Spirit in increasing measure every day: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  That is FREEDOM!  That is blessing!  That is POWER!  (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • The truth is that putting anything before Christ in my heart is a certain path to discontentment, disillusionment, loneliness, disappointment, fear, worry and distress.  God will not allow me to find contentment and His peace in idols.  The ONLY place where contentment can be found is in Christ!
  • The truth is that living in obedience to God brings great freedom and joy that rises far above any circumstances.
Learning respect and biblical submission is a process and a journey.  It is a LONG, cross-country journey.  Not a sprint.  This is the process of “sanctification” – God uses this process to make me more holy and to make me more and more like Jesus.  It takes TIME.  He will use it to make me holy and mature, ready for His purposes.
(If you have SERIOUS problems in your marriage – drug/alcohol addiction, mental health disorders, infidelity, major sin, physical abuse – please talk to a godly, trusted pastor or Christian counselor ASAP!)
RELATED POSTS:
Don’t compare your story to mine or to anyone else’s!  God is writing your own story.  He will decide the timing and the outcomes.  Your job is to love and trust Him and to yield yourself totally to Him every moment of every day.  I can’t wait to see what He wants to do for His glory in your life!

The Wash Cloth Incident

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An email I received from a wife – thank you to this wife for allowing me to share!
Hello April…
Wanted to share something funny.

Our bathroom has been torn up for over a year now. So, I have bathroom stuff in 3 rooms (the kitchen, my bedroom and the tiny spare bath). I already caught my daughter using my face wash cloth (in the kitchen) to wipe up balsamic vinegar. yuck, it left a huge brown stain on my white wash cloth. Today, I caught my husband using a new wash cloth to wipe up coffee spills.

“AAAAaaahhhh don’t do that!” I squeal!

He momentarily freezes, totally shocked.

“That’s my face rag!” I explain (with boldness)

“Well, you’ve got your stuff all over, how am I supposed to know?” he retorts angrily.

“Well, IF the bathroom would be done, I wouldn’t have to have my stuff ALL OVER THE PLACE!!” proudly defending myself.

(((((Yikes….))))))

Then I hear YOUR voice reminding me that an unsubmissive wife is prideful. That the way we speak to our husbands reveals how much better than them we think we are.

I guess I was thinking ‘I deserve a bathroom. Shame on him for not having a nice bathroom for me. I’ll make him feel stupid for not having the bathroom done BY NOW!!’

I apologized to him (and I praise God that He is faithfully showing me attitudes of pride and entitlement in my heart).

It’s so freeing to let it go…just let God take the junk and replace it with joy and peace.

 

You are right, He died for me, I didn’t deserve that. I deserve hell. I don’t deserve my nice life today and I should stop acting like I do. (I go to a church that teaches this fact, but sometimes we need to see where it really applies: to me, I’ve really got some “I don’t deserve this” issues going on.)

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I am so excited about what God is doing in this wife’s heart! She caught the pride right after she spoke and apologized. THAT was wise – and it honored Jesus.

She is beginning to realize that intimacy with her husband and with God is more important than being “right” about the bathroom, or her face rags. WHAT AN IMPORTANT THING TO SEE!!!!

You begin to get used to eating humble pie as you learn to do things God’s way. And, you know what? It’s really not that bad. The taste kind of grows on you!

Eventually, God’s Spirit will help her to catch things BEFORE she says them.

Over time, God’s Spirit will transform her mind and replace the negative thoughts and pride with humility, peace, joy and thanksgiving – so one day, she won’t even think the prideful thoughts. There will be some slip ups – but God can give us many victories over sin!

It is ok to say, “I can’t wait to see how beautiful the new bathroom will be! Thank you for working on it. I really appreciate your willingness to make our home beautiful!”

Attracting Your Husband

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Creating attraction in your husband towards you is actually fairly simple once you learn to understand godly masculinity, how men think, how God designed men, godly femininity, how women think and how God designed women.  See… EASY as pie!  🙂

You cannot force your man to be attracted to you.  You can be a godly woman, full of joy and peace and God’s Spirit.  THAT is attractive to men.  Then we will trust God with the results. 🙂

What I am about to list is not a bunch of rules – but rather – it comes from understanding more about God and His design for men and women and marriage and from living in His power.  It is impossible to be a godly wife without His Spirit empowering us!

(If there are SERIOUS problems of abuse, drug/alcohol addiction, infidelity, etc… in your marriage, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!)

  • Understand that his core masculine emotional need as a man is RESPECT – not love.  He does need love – especially, friendly, affectionate love – but if he feels disrespected, he will not “feel loved.”
  • Appreciate that men can and do feel physical attraction based on looks – but the attraction that will keep your man with you is the beauty of your feminine, gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear.
  • Dress femininely and modestly in public.
  • Do not be modest in private with your husband.  Allow him the chance to admire and enjoy you visually if he would like to.
  • Be genuinely forgiving – full of the grace and mercy of God.
  • Use that beautiful smile and dazzling eyes of yours to make your man feel welcome around you.
  • If he asks you to do something, make it a priority on your to do list
  • Let him know that you are proud of the man that he is.
  • Be a SAFE place for him to share his heart.  DO NOT share with other people the precious pieces of his heart that he shares with you in confidence.
  • Realize that you are in a particularly powerful position as a godly wife to give respect to your husband that can meet his deepest masculine needs.  When a man detects the faith, trust, admiration and respect of his wife – something inside of him comes to life.  He feels more masculine, more powerful (in a good way), more capable, stronger, better able to face the world, ready to conquer dragons.  God is able to use your feminine admiration, respect, encouragement, praise for what is good in him and adoration to help a man soar to greater heights than he ever could before.
  • Study to understand and quickly recognize what disrespect looks like to men in general and to your husband, in particular – and avoid those behaviors and attitudes like the plague!  Especially avoid criticizing, lecturing, scolding, demanding, yelling, complaining, arguing and negativity.  This is actually part of the process of sanctification and becoming more like Christ.
  • Be a PLEASURE to be around.  Be full of the joy of Christ and God’s Spirit.  Have your heart completely set on Him and the things of heaven!
  • Seek Christ and His kingdom first! Watch your motives.  Ask God to help you check your motives often!
  • Do not make your husband into an idol that comes before your devotion to Christ.  That is a recipe for a disaster!
  • Study to understand what respect looks like to men in general, and then to your husband, in particular.
  • Study to understand what godly femininity is all about.  Be willing to trash any worldly wisdom you have absorbed and build on the word of God and Christ alone.
  • Study to understand how to honor God-given authority in your life – whether it is a teacher, a boss, a police officer, a pastor, a Bible teacher, or your husband.
  • Commit yourself to submit your life totally to Christ.  Study about biblical submission  – where it starts – and what it means in a marriage relationship.  Be prepared to be a cheerful follower.
  • Learn to share your heart, your feelings, your desires and your perspective in a non-threatening, respectful, pleasant, calm, BRIEF way.  Be willing to cooperate with God-given authority over you respectfully – even when you disagree unless that authority is asking you to sin or condone sin.  Trust that God, in His great sovereignty, will lead you and speak to you through that God-given authority so that your best interests and God’s greatest glory will be the end result.  This is how you can have peace even when you don’t agree with an authority.  You trust God to use that decision to take you to the place He wants you to go.
  • Embrace humility.   Consider that your husband has great wisdom to offer – particularly if he belongs to Christ, but God can and will use him to lead you many times even if he is not a believer.  Please cooperate with his God-given leadership unless he asks you to sin or condone sin.
  • Seek to build up your man with life-giving, edifying words of sincere praise, admiration, encouragement and respect.
  • Listen to his advice carefully and prayerfully.
  • Speak highly about him in front of him and to others when he is not there.
  • Be willing to do things with him that interest him, even if it doesn’t really interest you.  Realize that men bond in “shoulder-to-shoulder” activity that often does NOT include a lot of talking.  Be willing to sit in the woods with him while he hunts quietly for a few hours.  Be willing to sit in the garage beside him quietly while he works on his car – smile at him whenever he looks your way.  This is bonding for guys!
  • Flirt with him! (If he likes that, of course)
  • Show that you respect and treasure your femininity and your body and that you take good care of yourself in a healthy way.   Put in some effort into staying in shape (ie: 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week is a healthy amount), eat well, treat your body with respect, get your sleep, wear a bit of makeup (however your husband likes it).  Don’t go overboard into obsession with your appearance or make thinness or beauty into an idol.  Make sure that Christ is your focus – and be a good steward of your body -which is His temple.  
  • Affirm him.  Thank him for his leadership and wisdom.
  • Don’t push, rush, prod, pressure or try to control him.  Let him make his own decisions.
  • Laugh at his jokes and enjoy his sense of humor.
  • LISTEN to him.  Take his thoughts, ideas, emotions, stories and all that he shares with you seriously – appreciate the gift that he is.
  • HAVE FUN with him!
  • Wear things he loves to see you in sometimes.
  • Doll yourself up when you can and wear your hair the way he likes it when you can as a special gift to him.
  • Don’t zoom ahead in your mind.  Stay in today.  Enjoy the moment.  Savor the gift of his presence and the time you share with him without worrying about the future.  Let God lead you in His plan.  He is already in the future.  He knows His best for you.  Rest in His sovereignty and just relax and enjoy the gift of time with this man when you are able to be with him.
  • Catch his eye and then hold his gaze for a second then look down and smile to yourself.
  • Ask him about what God is teaching him and what he is learning in God’s Word – if he is a strong believer.
  • If he is far from God right now, be silent about spiritual things, church, God, the Bible – and live out I Peter 3:1-6 in the power of God’s Spirit.  
  • Be INTERESTED in what he has to say.  Pay rapt attention.  Make lots of eye contact.  Smile a lot.  Be enthusiastic about hearing his thoughts.
  • have a grateful, joyful heart.
  • Avoid complaining and arguing.
  • be cooperative
  • be open to your  husband spiritually, emotionally, mentally and sexually.
  • Support his dreams
  • support his career
  • pray for him humbly as a teammate who has his back
  • believe in him

 

You can’t force attraction or control your husband’s attraction to you.  You can influence it.   You can be the godly woman Jesus desires you to be.  Our greatest goal is to be attractive to Christ and to please Him!

RELATED POSTS:

Respect and Sexual Attraction

Keeping the Marriage Bed Pure

Handling Our Husband’s Visual Temptations

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

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Today’s post is a guest post by a Christian husband – answering a wife’s question.  This wife has been working on respect and biblical submission for about 6 months, and doesn’t understand why sometimes her husband tells her that he doesn’t want to lead in their marriage.
(PS – just so everyone is aware – if I ever receive any email messages from men, my husband reads them and I copy my husband on all emails to any men every single time without exception.  That is my personal conviction – to keep from even the appearance of evil.  I don’t always mention it in every post, but that is my strict policy, for those who are interested or concerned.)
If the relationship has been going on for awhile where the wife is controlling men tend to learn early on that there are only a few ways to do things. The right way (as defined by the person in control) or the wrong way. So yes, the wife may want to stop being controlling but the husband already has learned that if he steps up to do something and it’s not done her way he will hear about it in arguements, hear about it when it fails, hear about it if it’s not perfect in the eyes of his wife (and no one wants to let his wife down). Even if the issue is resolved if it’s not done her way – it’s not correct.
As an example paying the bills. People can argue one way or another on who should be responsible for the bills and who is better with math, etc. All that aside men and women prioritize different things more and it shows when they pay bills. For a period of time when I was paying bills I always made sure that food was paid first and then bills and cars and house and then all the extra things like gas card, or jcpenny’s card for clothes, etc. When times are tight many of those cards would call because they didn’t get a payment. This got on my wife’s nerves so much that she would yell at me constantly that I was bad at paying bills or tell me that if I couldn’t get this resolved she would just take it over and make sure it was done right.
Once she took over paying the bills, because her priorities were a bit different, things go paid in a different order. She wanted security and debtors to quit calling so paid house and cars and misc bills first. So the phone calls stopped to a point but we still were behind so they didn’t completely vanish. However the thing that was last on her list was food and gas. I stopped eating breakfast because that’s another bowl of cereal the kids could have, and there were weeks were I only ate lunch 1 or 2 days out of 5 because there wasn’t enough bread to make a sandwich for myself and still have food for the kids the rest of the week until I got paid on Friday. My wife also told me recently that during that time there were times she would be at the grocery store and just cry because she knew we didn’t have bread at home she only had $45 for the grocery store so if she bought bread then something would bounce and we would get a fee charged on something else.
Neither way is right or wrong they both accomplish the same end goal but it’s hard to be the leader when your told your way is wrong and you can’t argue based on an opinion for a topic that can have many correct and valid answers.
Over time as husbands learn this some will just give up and go with the flow so they stop leading because it leads to less arguements, and less of being told how they are wrong or why they failed, etc. The trust that your wife will be okay with your solution is hard to regain. So when a wife decides to submit and let the husband lead it’s still very much a learning process. The husband may take some time (days, weeks, months, years) to start trusting again that his wife is on his side and if he steps up to lead something and fails that she will be there to support and encourage him and not give him the I Told You So look.
The best way to get it started is by supporting and encouraging in anything small that he does. I’ve not met many men in this world that don’t lead at anything. Even if they lead nothing at home they might be a leader at church or at work or something. Men are born to lead and when they find the environment that supports that they will step up to it. So as a wife find where your husband is leading and encourange and support him in that. When he see’s and feels that happening over time he will realize that leading in other areas might be worth a try.
It’s going to be small things though. Maybe he goes out and mows the lawn without it being mentioned, or goes and hangs up christmas lights, or stops on the way home from work and buys some pencils and paper because the kids are all out and need some for school. The wife that wants her husband to lead after she’s working on being less in control needs to find all the little things and encourage and support him in doing those. And some of that means not pointing out all the little things that need to be done. So don’t say,  “Wow, the lawn really needs to be mowed” as that’s just another way of saying he hasn’t lived up to your expectactions yet. You as the wife have to be okay with the lawn not getting mowed and maybe your house won’t look perfect but just let it go until he does it and then praise him and thank him for stepping up and getting it done.

For many men taking responsibility for something and being the leader after hearing for a period of time how they were bad at it or not doing it right is a very hard idea to swallow.

Most men will turn down the chance to lead because they know that it will just be another instance to point out where they failed so they need to feel secure in the fact that it won’t be used against them before they try something.

I imagine it’s the same for women, if you are told over and over that you are doing something wrong and have failed at it over time you just give up any desire to do that activity and let someone else do it. If you put on makeup every day and every day the most popular girl in school says “Ugh what’s with your makeup you can’t do anything right here wipe that all off …” pretty soon you feel that you can’t do it right, so why bother. Maybe you have your mom do it or an older sister or maybe you just give up because “what’s the point?”   It’s not until many years later that you realize it’s not about trying to impress other people it’s about making you feel special about yourself or maybe you put that touch of red on your lips to make that special guy you like know that you think he’s special to.
The thing is 99% of this world fail at something the first time they try it. There is also the person that just naturally find what they are great at and do awesome the first time, but for all the rest of us in this world we have to try something sometimes many times to get it right and feel like we are successful at it. We need someone in our court that says, “Yeah, you didn’t succeed this time but let’s get ourselves up and do it again and again until we can get there and get it done.” When you know someone is there for you over and over – you have no issues stepping up to lead. When you get knocked down everytime you fail, there is no reason to get up and lead. When that dynamic changes and there used to be no reason to lead and you are being asked to lead it sometimes feels like they are just trying to set you up to fail. That’s something the guy has to deal with and overcome, but if the woman is pushing you to lead that only makes it worse.  She has to let it happen and try to support everything he does.

Worry – Part 2

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For Part 1 of this series, please click here.

If you have not asked Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, please click here.

If you have already accepted that you are a wretched sinner, as we all are, and have turned to Jesus as both Savior and Lord of everything in your life-
There are several steps to having the Spirit full blast in your life:

1. Ask God to show you every sin so that you can thoroughly and genuinely see your sin and hate it and see how ugly it is in God’s holy sight. This includes sins that we sometimes think are “little” but they are extremely offensive to God. For me it was things like
PRIDE – actually living as if I knew better than God and believing I was always right and my husband was always wrong. I had been 100% blind to my pride. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6
self-righteousness – Jesus condemned this sin in the Pharisees. I looked down on my husband and others thinking I was spiritually superior to them instead of seeing that I am an equally wretched sinner as any murderer or criminal. To God, my level of sin was just as heinous as any other person’s on the planet.
idolatry – trying to find my identity in my husband, or expecting my husband to be God to me, or thinking I was actually in control of way more in my life and in others’ lives than I truly was, or seeking to have sovereignty over my own life instead of God, or seeking my way more than God’s way. (I had never seen or known that I had idols – that was a pretty shocking discovery) I had been breaking the first commandment in the 10 commandments every waking moment for decades. There is no worse sin in God’s eyes than idolatry.
disrespect – I had been treating my husband and many other people disrespectfully for years and didn’t even realize it. My tone of voice was sometimes just awful. I tried to control other people and thought I was justified to do so and would attack others verbally when they didn’t do things my way.

disobedience to God’s Word for me as a wife and in many areas, such as trusting God and living by faith…

gossip
unforgiveness – I held on to bitterness and resentment and grudges. I wanted to forgive, but I couldn’t. I didn’t know how to. Jesus says if we don’t forgive others their sins, God won’t forgive us. Matthew 5:14
worry/anxiety/fear – this is the opposite of faith. I didn’t think I had a choice about worrying. I thought I had to worry. But I actually can choose faith in Christ over worry. I must choose one or the other, I can’t have both. When I can’t set worry down at Jesus’ feet and truly leave it there, worry means I don’t trust God.
2. Turn from the sin and to God. (repent) This is a daily thing – or an hourly thing. Sometimes a minute by minute thing.
3. Set my faith totally on Christ alone. To do this, I had to study His sovereignty. I had to come down in my own mind “thousands of notches” and I had to exalt Christ to His rightful place. The more I understood His great love and His sovereignty, the more I realized that I was so foolish to worry. Trying to be in charge myself was actually the most dangerous place on earth. Trusting fully in Christ is the safest place – because then I am in the center of God’s will and have His Spirit. As long as I am in God’s will and have His Spirit filling me – I know that I am going to be more than just fine – I know I will have access to all the spiritual treasures of heaven and the fruit of God’s Spirit – even if I should suffer, even if trials come, even during storms and grief and loss.

I had to write down all of my fears and the things I worried about and then decide whether God was big enough to handle that thing if it were to happen.

Worry is when I am trying to figure out how to handle trials and bad things all on my own. I don’t see God’s power being with me in the future, because I don’t have His power right now.  Worry is all about me – what will I do, how will I respond, how will I make things work out right.  I leave God totally out of the picture when I worry.  He can and will show up in ways I can’t begin to expect when I trust Him.

So I take every thought captive for Christ – and compare it to His Word.

And I focus on replacing fearful thoughts with Scripture. God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. I Tim 1:7

4. I also focused on being THANKFUL and looking at the blessings and good things and focused on Philippians 4:8 about my husband and marriage and wrote down everything I could think of that I respected/admired about my husband and I focused on that list and meditated on it.

God also taught me to live in His peace during uncertainty by sending me the same trial over and over every month for 6 months when I was learning this stuff. Eventually, I learned to rest and trust in God’s love and sovereignty and learned to live in His peace even when everything was up in the air and in limbo and nothing was certain.

5. God instructed me to do everything without complaining or arguing so that I can shine like the stars in the universe as I hold forth the Word of Life.  Philippians 2:14

6. I seek to obey God’s Word in everything. If I am living in faith and obedience and not cherishing sin, God’s Spirit will fill me up. I can stay in constant communion with Him and He can and will and does empower me to obey Him and be the godly wife he wants me to be. I can’t be that wife in my own power.

7. I feast on God’s Word OFTEN – daily or more.

8. I totally submit myself 100% to Christ and hold back nothing. I give him all that I am and all that I have and I say, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” I hold everything in life loosely except for Christ and His Word. I set Him clearly as LORD of everything in my life.

9.  I die to self,  nailing the sinful nature to the cross. Laying down my will, my dreams, my goals, my plans, my desires, my wisdom, and all that is me – and picking up God’s will, His dreams, His goals, His priorities, His wisdom, His desires and loving what He loves and hating what He hates.

Yes, it seems like a huge sacrifice at first to die to self. I no longer seek my way and my will. I give up myself as a sacrifice daily to CHrist. But when I do that, then He replaces my will and my way with His own and then I have His abundant life and His spiritual riches flooding through my soul. It turns out, the things I thought were such a huge sacrifice were trash compared with the life God gave me when I was willing to empty my hands of self and seek Him alone.

10. God renews my mind and heart and changes it so that He forms the mind of Christ in me.

11. I find my contentment only in Christ. Once I have His Spirit, I know that as long as I have Him – I can be full of joy and purpose. And I know that if I had everything in the world, but didn’t have His Spirit, I would have NOTHING.

God’s Spirit is SO good. It’s the greatest “high” there is. Once you taste it, nothing else can satisfy.

12. I embrace suffering from the hand of God – God uses suffering to make me more mature and complete and more like Christ.

It is a process – and something each believer must hash through with God. It takes time to get to that place of trust. It feels scary at first, kind of like flinging myself off of a cliff – but then there was solid ground under my feet once I did take that leap of faith. And I could just kick myself for not trusting Him completely before!

RELATED POSTS:

Things that Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

Contentment Comes from Having Christ as Lord

A Huge Key to Contentment by StillJennifer

Worry – Part 1

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Hang on, ladies!  This is a painful one – but necessary.  It’s going to step on all our toes.  But we have to deal with some unpleasant and critical issues to get to the intimacy we long for with Christ and our husbands!  Please approach this post with a prayerful attitude of yieldedness and openness to God’s voice – asking God to expose any ungodly attitudes in our souls and uprooting them – making room for His Spirit to have full reign in our hearts!

WORRY IS DESTRUCTIVE TO ME

MANY of us are consumed by worry on a daily basis – maybe even every waking moment.  I used to be.  I would just bounce from one issue to another – worrying all the time.  It was AWFUL.  I hated it.  But I didn’t know how to stop.  It’s pretty awesome to be able to say that is how I WAS.  I praise God for changing me!  I sure couldn’t change myself.  Worry is a temptation at times for me now, but I don’t live with that worry channel on in my brain all the time anymore.  I know how to quickly flip the channel.  I didn’t realize  before how much choice I had about worrying and what message my worry sends to my husband and to God.  It actually is possible by the power of God’s Spirit for us to live without worry!!  What incredibly GOOD NEWS!

WORRY IS DESTRUCTIVE TO MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND MY HUSBAND

The bottom line is – when I worry, I am telling my husband and God that I don’t trust either of them and I need to take over myself.  I am living as if I think they are incompetent, irresponsible, weak, impotent, incapable and unable to handle things without my help.

The problem is –  a lot of things I would worry about were things that were actually out of my control.  Trying to control the uncontrollable is EXHAUSTING and extremely stressful!  I was overwhelmed and overburdened.  That made me irritable and grumpy on top of being worried.

A GENTLE, PEACEFUL SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT GIVE WAY TO HYSTERICAL FEAR

Now, God has developed in me a spirit of godly femininity that communicates to my husband and to God the messages:

  • I trust you
  • I have faith in you
  • I am confident in you.
  • I am not worried.
  • I am at peace because I know you have things under control.
  • I feel safe with you.
  • I know you have wisdom that I don’t understand and that’s ok.
  • I don’t have all the answers.
  • I’m going to lean on your wisdom and not depend on my feelings.
  • I’m going to run to the shelter of your protection and wait patiently to see what you decide to do.
  • I am willing to cooperate with your leadership.
  • I respect your decisions.
  • I will confidently tell you my feelings and desires and I trust you to make the best decision for me and our family based on your understanding of my needs, wants and what is best for all of us in the longrun.

WHAT DOES JESUS SAY ABOUT WORRY?

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  … O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?”  or “What shall we wear?”  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34
According to your faith will it be done to you.  Matthew 9:29
And (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.  Matthew 13:58
So worry is completely useless as far as doing anything positive or beneficial.  And it is destructive to our health and our relationship with God.
What Jesus wants us to do instead of worry?  SEEK HIM FIRST!!!!  That is where our effort, time, energy, strength, thoughts, words, minds and hearts need to be all the time!  He PROMISES to take care of the rest of our needs when we keep Him first in our hearts and minds.
PEACE
When we truly repent of all of our sins, even the ones we think are “small” like worry, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, pride, gossip, divisions, etc… then we open up the channel for the Spirit of God to fill us and His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control begin to flood our lives on a daily basis.
Once you taste His Spirit – you know nothing else can satisfy! 🙂
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