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How Can I Seriously Count Painful Times As Joy?

I was planning to write this post a few hours before my father-in-law suddenly died August 4th. It is the sequel to my post from last week about Is Real Joy Possible for Me?  I am honored to share these precious spiritual treasures with you – as it so happens – from the midst of a significant trial in my own life.

We live in a fallen world and we all face many kinds of trials in our lives. None of us are exempt. I may not have much control over what trials come my way. But I do have control over my response and attitude.

I am so excited to share some amazing truths with you – truths that will radically change your life and perspective if you are willing to embrace them.

JOY IS MY CHOICE IN TIMES OF TRIAL

I can choose to depend on God’s wisdom, His strength, His sovereignty, His power, His goodness, His love, and His vision. I can choose to trust Him and His Word. I can willingly yield to His Lordship and let Him lead me.

This takes the power of the Holy Spirit. It takes close fellowship with God. It takes practice. It is a discipline we can learn as believers with God’s help. I can begin to see hard times as spiritual tests and opportunities for growth.

When I face difficulties, the Holy Spirit empowers me (if I belong to Christ) to choose to respond in:

  • Faith
    • I don’t know the answers, but I trust that God knows what to do and that He will lead me through this. (Isa. 30:21, Ps. 23)
    • I don’t have the wisdom to solve this dilemma, but I trust that God has wisdom and power in this situation. (Isa. 40:28)
    • I know God is sovereign, good, and loving even now and even over this. (Jer. 29:11-13)
  • Joy
    • I know that God promises to use this specific trial to help me grow in my faith and in spiritual maturity, and that brings me great joy. (James 1:2-4)
    • Jesus invites me to ask for things I genuinely need – according to His will – and to receive from God, that my joy might be full. (John 16:24)
    • A joyful heart is good medicine. (Prov. 17:22)
    • God calls me to rejoice in Him at all times. (Phil. 4:4)
    • I have so many reasons for joy in Christ, even in the midst of my trials (the following is excerpted from www.gotquestions.org).
      • The joy of my salvation.
      • The joy of anticipating God’s deliverance.
      • The joy of God’s presence.
      • The joy of spiritual maturity.
  • Anticipation
    • I can’t wait to see how God will use this awful situation to create something beautiful and good in my life and bring glory to Himself!
    • I want to go much deeper with the Lord! (Eph. 1:15-23)
    • God wants to use hardships to help conform me to the image of Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:29)
  • An Open Heart
    • What does God want me to learn and how does He want to help me to grow in this painful trial?
  • Spiritual Treasure Seeking
    • It is only in the dark caves where people can find diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and gems physically, it is similar spiritually. The greatest treasures are found in the darkest times, if we are willing to look.
    • I don’t want to miss any of the gifts He has for me here.
  • Prayer
    • Lord, I give this situation to You. You see all that I am going through and my suffering. I trust You are with me. I trust You are sovereign and good.
    • I invite Your provision!
    • How should I pray about this situation?
    • Not my will but Yours be done! (Luke 22:42)
    • Is there anyone I should ask to pray with me/for me about this?
    • What step do you want me to take next?
    • I only want to see Your greatest glory!
    • I want Your perfect will.
    • What miracles do You want to do here?
  • Peace
    • In the world, I will have tribulation. But Jesus promises to give me His peace. (John 16:33)
    • God will keep me in His perfect peace when I trust Him and my mind is focused on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)
    • I can lay all of my concerns, worries, and fears before God because He cares for me. (Phil. 4:6)
  • Assurance 
    • He is going to make a way for me to make it through this. (Isa. 43:16-19)
    • He is with me and He will never leave or forsake me. (Deut. 31:8)
  • Rest
    • Jesus invites me to come to Him when I am weary and He will give me rest for my soul. (Matt. 11:28-30)
  • Strength 
    • His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)
    • God promises I can do all that He calls me to do through the power of Christ in me. (Phil. 4:12-13)
    • The Lord is my strength and my song. (Ex. 15:2)
  • Thanksgiving
    • I can look for the blessings and provision of God in the midst of my trial. (1 Thess. 5:18)
    • I can give thanks to the Lord for He is good! (Ps. 107:1)
  • Focusing on Positive Things 
    • I can focus on the good things, the Philippians 4:8 things, because whatever I focus on tends to grow in my field of spiritual vision.
  • Receptivity to His promises
    • I learn about God’s promises theoretically as I read His Word. But it is during a crisis that I actually get to rest the weight of my life on God’s promises and experience them in reality.
    • I want to keep all of God’s promises in my heart and stand firmly on them and His Word.
  • Ministry
    • How does God want me to shine for Christ in the midst of this yucky situation? (Phil. 2:14-16, Matt. 5:13-16)
    • How might He want me to be an example, blessing, and witness to others? (1 Cor. 7:16, Acts 1:8)
    • How does God desire me to overcome evil with good here? (Rom. 12:17-21)
    • I can rest assured that God will use my pain – and the comfort He brings to me – to bring comfort, healing, salvation, and to strengthen the faith to others in the future when they hear about what He did for me and how I responded. (2 Cor. 1:6)

This doesn’t mean I won’t have feelings of sadness. I will! I am human, after all. I will have sadness and grief, at times. I will feel frustration and anger, at times. I will hurt. I will have emotions. It is important to feel my emotions and to identify them. But I don’t have to be a slave to my emotions. And I don’t have to be a slave to my circumstances.

Things may look hopeless from a human perspective…

Thankfully, I don’t have to see from a mere human perspective if I know Jesus!

THE BLESSINGS OF TRIALS

Scripture is full of encouragement about the spiritual benefits of our trials as followers of Christ. Here are a few of the blessings my trials can produce in my life as I trust God:

  • Lamentations 1
    • Suffering for sin may help me repent of sin and return to God if I have strayed.
    • God disciplines those who belong to Him for our good, so that we will turn from death and embrace His Life.
  • Matthew 5:10-11 and Acts 5:41
    • Suffering for my faith in Christ means I have been counted worthy to suffer in Jesus’ name.
    • I am blessed if I am insulted, punished, and/or persecuted for my faith in Jesus.
  • Romans 5:3-5
    • I can glory in my sufferings because of the good they will produce
      • perseverance
      • character
      • hope
  • James 1:2-4
    • As I trust God during suffering, He will use my trials to produce good things in me:
      • endurance
      • greater faith
      • greater spiritual maturity
      • spiritual completeness
      • I will lack nothing
  • Hebrews 12:4-12
    • I am to count hardships as discipline from God that will help me learn and grow. His discipline:
      • is verification of my adoption as a child of God
      • brings greater respect for God
      • yields peaceful fruit
      • brings about righteousness
      • is guaranteed to be for my benefit
      • allows me to share in God’s holiness

NOTE – “Counting trials as joy” does not mean that I need to try to create trials for myself, that I should be purposely combative or argumentative, or that I should try to prolong trials. It also doesn’t mean I must stay in a dangerous, abusive situation where I am being severely sinned against if I am able to get somewhere safe.  

SHARE

If you have experienced God’s supernatural joy and/or blessings in the midst of a difficult trial, or you have learned something helpful about how to “count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds,” we’d love to hear about it! I’m so thankful we can walk this road together and encourage one another.

RESOURCES

Verses about trials – Open Bible

Verses about God’s wisdom – Open Bible

A list of all of God’s promises – Bible Gateway

Verses about peace – Open Bible

Verses about suffering as a believer – Open Bible

Verses about being persecuted and hated for faith in Christ – Open Bible

Verses about God’s Sovereignty – Open Bible

Verses about finding God’s direction – Open Bible

Verses about strength – Open Bible

“The Peaceful Mom – Building a Healthy Foundation with Christ As Lord” has one chapter on counting trials as joy and one chapter on having an eternal perspective. Most of the chapters in the book would be a blessing to all women, not just moms.

The Gratitude Challenge!

Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess. 5:18

Gratitude is a habit I must consciously cultivate. It is is a choice. It is also a command! Meaning – it is not optional for believers in Christ. I choose to stop focusing on problems and bad things. I choose to focus on good things. I do this because God commands me to do it and I love to obey Him. His commands are always given to bless me and benefit me.

  • Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

Interestingly, as I choose to take my thoughts captive for Christ and think on the good things, God changes me. He begins to make me more like Jesus. He begins to transform my heart and mind. The more this happens, the more clearly I can hear Him and discern His will. What I think about matters much more than I could possibly express. This is our spiritual battlefield!

  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Rom. 12:2

When I focus on thanksgiving and on the good things in my life and the good things about God – my perspective changes.  God’s Spirit feels at home in my life, and I am filled up more and more with Him and His goodness. My faith increases. My joy skyrockets. My peace multiplies. I find myself experiencing God’s amazing love for other people in ways I never have before.

Once I am in right relationship with the Lord and my heart is filled up with Him, His goodness spills out into my relationships with other people. He often begins to change my perspective and the way I respond to others. In time, my change may be God’s tool to encourage other people to change and heal in Christ, too.

Thankfulness and contentment go hand in hand.

I can’t be content if I am focusing on everything that is wrong in life or in other people. The more I focus on yucky things, aggravating things, frustrating things, complaining, arguing, and trying to force my way, the more miserable and discontent I will be. And the more miserable everyone around me will be. Satan LOVES it when I think about awful things. I open the door to him in my life when I think about the things he wants me to dwell on that will hurt me.

But when I am thankful for things – the good things and even the trials – knowing God will use all things for my ultimate good and His ultimate glory (Rom. 8:28-29), my whole perspective shifts. I open the door to Christ. When He is welcome and my heart is right, He opens the floodgates of heaven in my life to provide for what He knows I need to accomplish His perfect will.

When I am thankful, I trust God more. I rest in His love and provision. When I trust God, I am drawing near to Him. And the closer I am to Him, the more the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in my life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).

What I think about is what spills out of my mouth and life.

THE CHALLENGE

I want to challenge you to think of 10 things for which you are thankful today about:

  • Your husband.
  • Each of your children if you have any.

You are welcome to write down more things. But I would encourage you to do at least ten for each person. If you really have trouble coming up with ten, just continue to think about it through the day and add to your list as you can.

If you have been on this journey for awhile, you may be able to come up with twenty things for each person. 🙂 The more you practice appreciating the good things, the easier it is to see the good things and the more you will notice.

Perhaps this would be a wonderful daily or weekly habit. Or you may just want to keep a notebook handy (or the notes on your phone) so that you are looking for things to be grateful for all the time. Just keep adding to your list every day. You can have separate lists, if you like. One for each family member and one for other blessings in your life.

PRAY WITH ME

Lord,

We are so very thankful for You. For Your ability and willingness to create the universe and each of us. You have given us life, morals, our senses, relationships, marriage, and family. You have given us Jesus and Your powerful Word and the gift of Your Spirit. Thank You for our husbands and children. Thank You for our extended families. Thank You for our blessings and trials. Thank You for Your sovereignty and goodness. Please help us develop the critical godly habit of gratitude and contentment. We invite Your Spirit into our hearts to transform us and make us more and more like Jesus.

Amen!

SHARE

What are some things about your family members for which you are thankful? You are most welcome to share in the comments.

Note – If reading about things other women are thankful for tempts you to feel jealous, skip the comments and focus on writing down the things you are thankful for in your own life. <3 Each list will be a bit different, and that is okay!

RELATED

Verses about THANKFULNESS

Verses about CONTENTMENT

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

My Demon – how we can be tempted into bitter, accusatory, critical thoughts by the enemy

Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – VIDEO

A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise– VIDEO

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

 

 

 

Books Were My Mentors When I Began My Journey

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

In December of 2008, God used a book, “Love and Respect,” (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs) to open my eyes to a lot of problems in my attitude and behavior I had never noticed before. I was mortified. I had no idea how blind I was and how much work I had to do spiritually to become the woman God called me to be.

I didn’t have a godly mentoring wife/mom to meet with me once a week or once a month. I didn’t have a female prayer partner or an online teacher. But I was determined that I was going to learn everything God wanted me to know about being a godly woman and wife.

I spent about 3-5 hours per day (7 days per week) immersed in the Bible, books, prayer, and my journal notebook for several years. I begged God:

  • Don’t leave me like this!
  • Change me!
  • Show me what it means to respect my husband. I don’t understand.
  • Show me what godly femininity means.
  • Show me how to be the woman You call me to be to my husband and children.
  • Help me make up for my sin and treat my family well from now on.
  • Help me obey You in everything. I hate my way. I want to do things Your way!

I read over 30 books on godly femininity, biblical womanhood, and being a godly wife during those 3.5 years. Those books and authors were my mentors along with much prayer, and – most importantly – scripture and the Lord.

I could read the books over and over again, and I often did, to help me really drive home the new ways of thinking I wanted to adopt. I often wrote notes and prayers in my prayer journal while I read. And I highlighted the books and made notes in the margins. Of course, I had to be sure to carefully evaluate each statement against the Bible. I only wanted to receive things that align with God’s Word. But books were a way for me to connect with people who understood God’s design for women, marriage, and faith so much more than I did. It was a way for me to have very low cost, high intensity discipleship for many hours each week on my schedule. I didn’t have to bother anyone else. I didn’t have to find child care. I found that books were very thorough and organized. I think, in many ways, they can help even more than having someone with you face-to-face at times.

I used the many hours in the evening that Greg was doing renovations on our house after the children were in bed and just soaked in every drop of God’s truth that I could. I began to really look forward to that time with Him and with my “mentors.” Even when Greg wasn’t working on the house as much, he would be sitting watching TV in bed. I wasn’t really into TV, so I would often sit beside him and cuddle while I read my latest book and communed with the Lord in prayer. What precious times of intimacy with God and of healing and growth for me spiritually!

Since that time, I have read even more books to help me grow in my walk with the Lord and as a wife and mom. God has used so many Christian authors from recent history, and from even the 1800s to help sharpen my faith and trust in Him. I can’t imagine where I would be without the books God has used, along with His Word, to open my eyes to His love, His truth, His transforming power, and His path to peace for me.

My Newest Book, “The Peaceful Mom,” is releasing today, March 27th!

51cXWa6UBDL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Perhaps The Peaceful Mom – Building a Healthy Foundation with Christ As Lord, might be one of the books God uses to be a great blessing and mentoring resource in your life? Maybe there are some areas where you are struggling as a mom, and this would be just the thing to help you grow and experience more of God’s power and peace in your life.

Check out the quiz on this link to see if it might be right for you.

And, if you are looking for help with your marriage and haven’t read, “The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord,” it’s here for you, as a resource and mentor, too.

Lord,

Thank You for Your Word, Your healing and Your truth. Thank You for the blessing of Christian books with solid biblical teaching. I pray that You might provide godly books to help us grow. Lead us to the ones we need for each stage of our journey. Most of all, help us cling to You and Your Word. Transform us by the power of Your Spirit. Make us be more and more like Jesus. Teach us Your ways and give us the faith, power, and courage to follow and obey You in everything. Your ways are the best!

Amen!

NEXT WEEK:

I plan to share a bit about what God has been doing in my life over the past 6 weeks. <3

RELATED:

Some of my favorite books – check out the books God used to most impact me on my journey

6-4463 Quotes 1080x1080

 

 

TAKE THE QUIZ – Are You a Peaceful Mom?

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Photo by Fineas Gavre on Unsplash

The Peaceful Mom book releases March 27th!

Nine years ago, I would not have described myself as an “unpeaceful” mom. But as I reflect on my heart and approach then, I only had fleeting flickers of peace. Peace seemed to last only a few minutes—or a few seconds. I hadn’t ever experienced a continual stream of peace before. I didn’t even realize that was possible.

I became a Christian at the age of five. I thought I was a strong Christian woman, wife, and mom. I went to church multiple times a week and read my Bible every day. I prayed constantly. I only listened to Christian music. I could quote tons of Bible verses. I wanted so much to impact the world for the Lord and be a light to those around me. I wanted to be the best possible wife and mom.

Sadly, the fruit of my life did not reflect my intentions or the fruit of the Spirit. As God invited me to examine my life in December 2008, I could not say that I was overflowing with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). I really didn’t understand what was wrong or how to fix it.

 

The Quiz

Let’s do a bit of a self-evaluation together and see how you are doing with being a peaceful mom.

 

  • Do you often feel spiritually exhausted and empty?
  • Do you regularly lose your temper with your children or feel impatient?
  • Do you notice your mind racing with worry and all the scary what-if scenarios that could happen?
  • Do you put your kids and your desires for them above the Lord, your husband, or your marriage?
  • Do you excuse yourself from modeling for your children a strong, life-changing, unshakeable faith in Christ?
  • Do you tend to feel like you are the only one who truly knows what is best for your children and who trusts God to lead them?
  • Do you feel like you just can’t overcome your negative and/or hormonal emotions, such as anger, fear, or sadness?
  • Do you often act like a people-pleaser, martyr, or control freak, or love your children with strings attached?
  • Do you sometimes grapple with holding on to grudges, unforgiveness, or bitterness?
  • Do you feel like you would finally experience real peace and happiness if only you had better children, a better husband, or better circumstances?

 

How Did You Do?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you are not alone! In my experience, most moms struggle with a lot of these issues. I know when I began my journey, I was filled with anxiety, worry, doubt, fear, bitterness, resentment, loneliness, and discontent.

Being a peaceful mom doesn’t come naturally. But if you are looking for peace as a mom—and as a woman—you have come to the right place! Be encouraged. Help is on the way! I have such great news to share:

All of us have an invitation to live a life of constant peace.

Real peace begins when we allow the Prince of Peace to sit firmly on the throne of our hearts and lives.

I have been on this journey for over nine years now. And no, I am not a perfect woman, wife, or mom. But I am not who I was. I am not where I was emotionally and spiritually. God is changing me. Growing me. Transforming me to be more and more like Jesus. Not by my heroic efforts or human wisdom, but by the power of His Spirit and His Word.

That is what I long for every mom to find.

I’d like to invite you to check out the resources I have for you here:51cXWa6UBDL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Blog posts to encourage moms on their journey

Videos and skits for moms on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy

The Peaceful Mom—Building a Firm Foundation on Christ As Lord – Available for preorder on Amazon now. The book releases March 27th, 2018 – just in time for Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

How Do I Dress Modestly?

Photo by Hannah Morgan on Unsplash

My sweet sisters, I’m so glad you are here with me today! Have I told you lately how precious each of you are to me and what a joy it is for me to get to share this time and fellowship together? I’m so thankful for you! You are in my prayers every day.

My goal with this post is to discuss biblical principles. It is really easy to veer into personal convictions. I want to avoid that out of reverence for God’s instructions to us to keep our personal convictions private – in order that we may not create division and contention in the body. I want to honor the Word of God and not add man-made rules for anyone to follow. So I am not going to dictate specific rules to other women:

  • You have to only wear skirts/dresses.
  • Your hemline has to be a specific number of inches.
  • Your collar line has to be so many inches away from your collar bone.
  • etc…

But what we can share together are things like:

  • Biblical principles for modesty.
  • Practical guidelines about choosing modest clothing.
  • Resources and tips to find modest, affordable clothing.

The goal for us as believing women has to be real heart change. Once we understand God’s heart for us and for the body of Christ, we will want to dress in modest ways to please the Lord so that we show proper respect for:

  • God
  • our brothers and sisters in Christ
  • the world
  • our sexuality
  • our marriage
  • our husband
  • the Word

What Does the Bible Say about Modesty and How We Are to Dress?

Pure Heart Motives:

  • Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Prov. 31:30
  • I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Rom. 12:1
  • Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Cor. 6:19-20
  • For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 1 Thess. 4:3-4

How to Dress, and What to Avoid:

  • Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 1 Tim. 2:9-10
  • Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Pet. 3:3-4

Avoiding Being a Snare and Temptress:

  • “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” Matt. 18:7
  • Decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Rom. 14:13

Now that we see God’s principles for us as women, that we are to dress in modest, respectable ways, that we are to avoid being extravagant, flashy, and pretentious, that we are not to draw attention to our bodies but rather to Jesus, that our beauty is to come from our spiritual character and inner selves and the things we do, let’s prayerfully consider our closets. <3

Defining Immodesty and Modesty:

Immodesty is about drawing the eye of unavailable men (and maybe even women) to my body, my sexuality, and to thinking about lusting after me. It is about how beautiful I am, how desirable I am, and about making my body look inviting and welcoming to other men in a sexual way. It is about advertising my “wares” so that other men don’t have to guess very much about the shape of my body. It is about attracting attention to my particular form and curves.

My favorite definition of modesty is,

“Modesty is humility in clothing.”

Modesty is all about exalting God, not exalting self. It is all about bringing glory and attention to the Lord not to my appearance. It is about making Jesus, the gospel, holiness, chastity and purity the focus. It is about covering my body in a way that draws the eye to Christ. It is about avoiding expensive hairstyles, jewelry, and clothing that would draw a lot of attention away from Christ. It is about being beautiful in a spiritual way rather than a worldly way. Modesty is about looking feminine in ways that are wholesome and appropriate in public. It is about advertising my faith in Christ rather than my skin or my curves. It is about showing my reverence for God, the gospel, others, and myself. It is about being content not being the most beautiful, attractive girl in the room.

Modesty is also an attitude that avoids acting in flirtatious, inappropriate, or vulgar ways. It is about conducting myself with integrity, purity, and sound speech. It is about guarding my heart and my marriage. It is about avoiding the appearance of evil and seeking to treat my brothers (and sisters) in Christ with honor, respect, dignity, and holiness.

Principles of Modesty:

In order to assess whether a particular outfit is modest, here are some questions I may want to prayerfully ask myself:

  • What are my motives when I wear this outfit?
  • Will this outfit draw the eye of my brothers in Christ to my body or to the Lord?
  • Does this clothing cover all of the important areas well?
    • Even if I bend over, lean down, or reach up?
    • If I have to sit in a chair, will someone be able to see up my skirt/shorts?
    • Will I be doing activities that will cause private areas to be visible in this outfit?
    • If there are buttons, does the material gape between the buttons?
    • Am I likely to have a wardrobe malfunction in this clothing?
  • Am I purposely or inadvertently encouraging men to focus on my body or on lusting after me because this outfit reveals too much skin or exposes the exact shape of my body?
    • Is the neckline too low?
    • Is my midriff exposed?
    • Is the clothing too tight?
    • Does this outfit draw the eye to my breasts, hips, or crotch?
    • Is this clothing see-through in the right light?
    • Are my undergarments showing?
    • Is the hemline too short?
  • What would my husband or dad (or another godly man I greatly respect) think about this outfit?

PEACEFUL WIFE VIDEOS

The Joy of Modesty

Where to Find Beautiful, Modest Clothes

POSTS

My Journey into Femininity and Modesty

My Journey into Modesty by A Fellow Wife

Modest Swimwear Ideas

SHARE

What are some of your favorite ways to dress modestly?

Where are some affordable sources of modest clothing you have discovered?

What are some of your favorite stores and websites for modest clothing?

 

 

Facing Uncertainty and Trials with Joy

Every believer faces tests where we crash up against suffering, trials, and the unknown. We don’t like that! We want to feel like we know what is going to happen. We want guarantees. Timelines. Promises. We want to feel like we have control. Sometimes, we would rather even push for a bad outcome if only we can just “get closure” and not have to bob around in an ocean of not-knowing any longer.

It is often the waiting and not knowing one way or the other that seems like such torture.

This issue is not confined to uncertainty in our marriages, it covers everything in our lives.

How can I possibly rest in the peace and sovereignty of God when there is constant uncertainty and no way for me to know what will happen?

GOD’S WORD ABOUT TRIALS AND SUFFERING FOR BELIEVERS IN CHRIST

  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6
  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
  • We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance. Rom. 5:3
  • For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Rom. 8:18
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Rom. 12:12
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
  • Endure suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Heb. 12:7
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
  • Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
  • Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Pet. 4:12

I believe that if we can understand that God has purpose behind the suffering we experience and behind the times we have to wait in uncertainty, we can embrace the good things He wants to accomplish in our lives during those times.

These trials are often gifts and blessings from Him in disguise IF we are willing to trust Him completely and receive all that He has for us in them.

GOD HAS MUCH GREATER GOALS IN MIND

We tend to think primarily about our current comfort level, health, and happiness. We focus on our human wisdom and what seems best to us in the moment.

God focuses on:

  • Conforming us, our husbands, children, and others in our lives to the image of Christ over the long term.
  • His Kingdom and how He wants it to grow and how He wants to use our situations in our lives to help accomplish bringing more of His beloved children to Christ.

This kind of spiritual growth doesn’t happen when we get everything we want and have smooth sailing.

We tend to grow the most when we get really stretched by difficulties.

It is similar to the way that if we don’t use our muscles, they will atrophy and get weak. Our faith is like that. In order for our faith to grow, it has to face resistance. When we have times of difficulty and times where we don’t know what will happen, we are forced to learn to depend on the Lord in ways that we just wouldn’t if things were going well.

This takes much spiritual wrestling sometimes. And that is okay! Times of waiting and suffering are hard. But they often produce great results when they are in the right hands:

  • If land never has rain or storms, it becomes a barren desert.
  • If gold is not refined, it contains many impurities that weaken it and make it much less valuable.
  • If a farmer will not wait for his crops to grow, he will never get to enjoy the harvest.
  • If a fruit tree is not properly pruned, the branches grow in crazy ways that cause the limbs of the tree to break as the fruit begins to get heavy. The tree can’t produce as much fruit and the fruit is not nearly as sweet for an unpruned tree. It also looks terrible – broken branches everywhere and no pleasing shape.

God knows what our souls need to grow and to become very valuable in His sight. If we are able to trust God’s heart for us, we can know that whatever pain or time of waiting and uncertainty we face, He absolutely can and will use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. That is a promise to those who are in Christ – Romans 8:28-29!

PRAYER WHEN WE ARE FACING THE UNKNOWN, TRIALS, AND SUFFERING:

Lord,

You alone are God. There is no other. You reign in majesty and splendor from the throne room of the highest heaven over all of the universe. You are sovereign. You are good. You are love. You have all wisdom. You have all truth. You can’t have evil motives toward me. You are an Expert at turning disasters and tragedies into beautiful things for Your glory. You are the Healer. You are my Strength and my Shield, a very present Help in trouble. You are my Very Great Reward. There is no greater treasure in the universe than You. You spared nothing to provide for my salvation when I was still Your enemy. You sent Jesus to live and die in my place. Now His holiness, goodness, power, peace, joy, and right-standing with You are mine. His life, death, and resurrection belong to me. I am seated with Him in the heavenlies already!

You are intimately aware of all of my fears, my suffering, my needs, and my concerns. I thank You for that. You walk this road with me, living in me, empowering me with Your Spirit. I lay down every single fear and all of my desires and dreams. Here are the things I desire…

But – more than any of these things, I desire You. I want to know You and love You more. I want to give You total access and freedom in my life  to conform me to the image of Christ in whatever ways You know are best. I want Your glory. I want others to be drawn to Christ. I want Your kingdom to come into this situation and many to come to Jesus. I want to receive all the spiritual treasures You have for me to learn. I don’t want to waste a moment of this trial – but have my eyes open to all You have in store – for the adventure that awaits.

I praise and thank You now for all You are doing and all You will do through this very situation for Your good purposes in my life and in my husband’s life and in our family. I entrust it all to Your strong, capable hands. I know You will never fail me. I know You will never leave me or forsake me. I cling to Your Word and Your promises. I will sing praises to You even in the storm, knowing You will cause this storm to bear much fruit in my life.

Amen!

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How have you learned to approach trials and suffering with joy, anticipation, and faith?

 

 

Dealing with Annoying Things…

A good test of whether the Spirit of God is in control in my heart – or my sinful nature is in control – is how I respond when people do things that tend to annoy me. I’m going to share some examples of ways we could respond that would be godly (as long as our motives are right).

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Cor. 13:4-5

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:10, 22-23

I have awesome news, dear sisters in Christ, I don’t HAVE to be annoyed! Jesus can give me the power to extend grace in many situations that maybe would annoy me if I was acting in the flesh. He can also give me the power to be vulnerable, respectful, and kind while asking for what I need. But even if I don’t receive what I would like, I can respond in the power of the Lord and don’t have to give in to resentment, control, bitterness, or any kind of sinful motives or thoughts – as I abide in Him.

SATAN’S STRATEGY

Satan would love for me to be annoyed, irritated, and resentful. He would love to take some tiny little inconsequential issue and get me to focus on accusations against my husband or bitterness so that he can gain a huge foothold in my life. If you haven’t read about this, I invite you to see exactly how he does this in these two posts:

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

My Demon – by Kayla

 

SOME EXAMPLES AND SUGGESTIONS TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER:

HE LEAVES THE TOILET SEAT UP

photo credit www.ebay.com
photo credit www.ebay.com
  • I can accept that part of living with a man might be that the toilet seat gets left up sometimes. After all, I always leave the toilet seat down. Maybe that could be annoying, too, from his perspective? It doesn’t have to be a big deal for me to put the seat down, any more than it would be for him to have to put the seat up.
  • I can take this opportunity to thank God that I have a husband. Living with another person involves some small inconveniences, but the rewards of getting to be a wife are worth it! There are a lot of women who wish their biggest problem in life was that they had a husband who left up a toilet seat.
  • I can refuse to assume evil motives on his part.
  • I can respectfully ask, in a pleasant way, “Honey, if you get a chance to put the toilet seat back down when you are finished, that would be wonderful. Thanks!”
  • If he doesn’t remember, I still don’t have to resort to bitterness. I don’t have to even be angry. I can just put the seat down myself and remind myself that I am glad he puts the seat up and doesn’t make a mess on the seat. He is being considerate to put the seat up.
  • I can feel in the dark to see if the seat is up with the lid so I know to put it down so I don’t fall in or I can have a night light on in the bathroom.
  • I can be super thankful for indoor plumbing and for toilet seats. Not everyone in this world has such a luxury!
  • I could ask for a “squat toilet” like the one on the right like they use in Asia. Then there is no seat over which to have any contention. Problem solved! Ha! 🙂

 

 

IMG_0145HE DOESN’T PUT THE DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER “CORRECTLY”

  • If he is putting dishes in the dishwasher, that is awesome! Not every husband does that. What a blessing! I want to be sure that I thank him and show appreciation – not a bunch of criticism – or he may not want to keep helping me. Who wants to help someone who criticizes all of the help she receives? (Here is a post about overcoming a critical spirit.)
  • I don’t have to say anything about how he packs the dishwasher. If the dishes are not all clean, I could simply take a crusty dish to him later, with a pleasant attitude, and say, “Hmm… it seems like the dishwasher didn’t quite get the dishes clean.”
  • I could scrub the crusty dishes and say nothing – as long as I can do that without any bitterness or resentment. It is definitely possible with the power of the Holy Spirit!
  • If things are not tense in the marriage already, and my husband is feeling relatively respected, I may decide to say something (in a friendly, casual way) like, “I noticed that it seems like sometimes the dishwasher cleans the dishes better when they are put in like this…” Or, “I’ve noticed that if the dishes block the jets, things don’t seem to get as clean.”

 

HE LEAVES DIRTY CLOTHES ON THE FLOORIMG_0147

  • I can pick them up myself with a joyful servant’s heart and focus on how thankful I am to have my husband in my life.
  • I can say in a friendly way, with a smile, “Honey, if you would please put your clothes in the hamper sometime, that would be great. Thanks!”
  • I can leave them there until he picks them up. It just depends whose tolerance is greater for a mess. If I am the one who can’t stand clothes being on the floor, maybe it would just be worth it to my sanity for me to quickly put them in the hamper myself with good motives.

When I focus on thankfulness, I can have peace.

 

IMG_0148HE DOESN’T TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE

  • I can say (in a friendly, pleasant way, with a genuine smile), “Baby, would you please take out the kitchen garbage when you get a chance tonight? Thank you so much!”
  • I can give him time to take it out on his schedule and not expect him to do it immediately.
  • If the garbage really smells awful, I can take it out myself, or ask an older child to if that is possible.
  • If it is a garbage emergency, I can say, “Honey, the garbage is really smelling nasty. If you could please take it out as soon as possible, that would be awesome. Thanks!”
  • Of course, I need to recognize if my husband is really busy, sick, exhausted, stressed, or involved in something. If he is, I may rather just take out the garbage myself rather than disturb him.

How might I bless him today?

 

HE SITS DOWN TO RELAX WHILE I HAVE A LOT OF CHORES TO DOdrew-coffman-125736

  • I can respectfully ask him for some help with specific things in a friendly way and let him know that when these chores are done, I’d really love to relax and cuddle with him.
  • I can bring my laundry basket in there and sit with him and enjoy his company while I fold laundry.
  • I could let the chores wait a bit and just go cuddle with my husband and enjoy being with him for 20 minutes or so. I don’t have to be jealous of his taking some time to relax when I could join him!
  • I can ask children to help with age-appropriate chores and train them to help so that I delegate a lot of my chores to them more and more.
  • I can focus on being a blessing to him and appreciating all that he does for me. Maybe he went under the house last week to fix the sewer line. Or maybe he took my car to the shop. Maybe he mowed the grass this week for an hour or two.
  • I can be thankful he has the chance to rest and relax.
  • I can focus on thanking God for all of the things my husband does for me and our children.
  • I can thank God I have a husband and family to care for.
  • I can evaluate my time management and see if there is anything I can adjust to help me have more time to relax, as well. Maybe I could even ask for my husband’s input.
  • I can evaluate whether everything I think needs to be done really needs to be done. Maybe I can let some things go? Perhaps I can think about the story of Mary and Martha?

IF THINGS ARE EXTREMELY TENSE

If your husband has been talking about divorce or he is extremely shut down or angry and has been feeling very disrespected, there can be a period of time while y’all are in the beginning stages of healing where it could be wise not to ask him to do anything. Sometimes giving him a bit of time and space to heal without him feeling pressured can be helpful temporarily.

ANDREW MURRAY QUOTES ABOUT HUMILITY

“The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignficances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.”
Andrew Murray, Humility

“The humble man looks upon every, the feeblest and unworthiest, child of God, and honors him and prefers him in honor as the son of a King.”
Andrew Murray, Humility

 

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Has God given you wisdom and power to respond in a godly way to a situation that used to annoy you? We’d all love to hear your insights! Do you need some help with something that is annoying you? You are welcome to share that, as well. 🙂

RELATED:

Posts on Bitterness

How to Overcome a Critical Spirit – by www.gotquestions.org

Laying Down My Expectations

How to Have a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

Examining the Real Reasons Behind Perfectionism and People Pleasing

Dying to Self

 

 

One of Your Most Powerful Gifts As a Woman

 

A smile costs you nothing, but it is such an incredible blessing to those around you. You may not see your own facial expressions, so it is easy not to think about them much, but those around you definitely notice them.

This week, I’d love to challenge and encourage you to:

  1. Seek to give your brightest, most glorious smile to your husband and children when you first see them.
  2. Every time you walk in the room and one of your family members are there, smile at them.
  3. When your husband or children are talking with you (and it is not something sad or really serious), smile a genuinely friendly smile at them. 

You don’t have to have lipstick or makeup on. You don’t have to have perfectly white or straight teeth to do this. You don’t have to have any special talent and it doesn’t take much time at all.

All you have to do is just share that glorious smile of yours with your family.

As believers in Christ, we have more about which to smile than anyone on the planet. So we don’t have to fake a smile, thankfully. If you aren’t feeling up to smiling much, spend some time singing praises at the top of your voice to the Lord when you are by yourself in the car or at home doing chores. As you focus on God’s character and all of the countless blessings He has given to you, you may realize you have a lot to be thankful for.

Receive God’s radiant smile and love for you. Do you realize that He rejoices over you with singing (Zeph. 3:17)? How beautiful and precious is that!?

If you are feeling overwhelmed on this journey, take a break. Rest in God’s love for you. Receive His goodness, His truth, and His healing for your soul. Focus only on thanksgiving and praise for awhile. Find your joy in Christ Jesus. Think about Philippians 4:8 kinds of things, which is God’s will for all of us as believers:

  • Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phil. 4:8

That is the most powerful thing you can do. As you draw near to Him, Your heart and soul will heal and shine. After He has filled up you to overflowing…

Radiate that glorious smile of yours to everyone in your family!

You are the “heart” of the home. You get to have a huge impact on the emotional and spiritual temperature in your family. I want to see you set the atmosphere to warm, safe, welcoming, and loving. Yes… your smile has that much power! And even if there is a lot of tension in your marriage and your husband can’t hear words from you right now, as you smile at him – you are showing him you are a safe place, that you have the joy of Christ in your heart, and that you have good things to give to him when he is ready to receive them.

What a priceless gift this will be to those you love. You may be shocked at what happens as you simply share this beautiful asset of yours with those you love.

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Smile at your family without any expectations of anyone doing anything for you in return. Then let me know what happens as you focus on blessing your husband and children with your beautiful smile this week, my precious sisters. As you think about good things, and as you focus on smiling – does anything change in your walk with Christ, your own feelings, or your relationships?

  • A joyful heart is good medicine. Proverbs 17:22
  • Those who look to him are radiant. Psalm 34:5
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. Philippians 4:4

RELATED:

There are many benefits to you personally when you smile – even a number of health benefits. Check out this article!

My Welcome Home Plan – Peacefulwife VIDEO

Does God Call Women to Be Weak?


First of all, we need to understand that the world’s definitions of strength and weakness are very different from God’s.

In the world:

  • Power means having the ability to do whatever I want to do.
  • Weakness means not being able to do exactly what I want to do all the time.

So power means I have total control to do what I think is best. It is all about self being on the throne of my life.

In God’s kingdom:

  • Power is about having the ability (totally from the Holy Spirit) to obey God and walk in holiness.
  • Weakness is about trusting self, living in sin, having a lack of faith in God, living apart from fellowship with God, and using human wisdom and strength.

God calls all believers to crucify our old sinful selves. There is no help for my sinful self. I can’t make it “better” enough in God’s sight. He doesn’t have plans to make my old self better, either. It is impossible. I don’t just need washing or sprucing up. I am not an old house that just needs a bit of renovations. In God’s eyes, nothing from my old self is salvageable. It is only fit for crucifixion. Time to bring in the bulldozers and completely raze the old house. My old self is fit only for condemnation and death.

God doesn’t call me to be weak. He calls me to be dead.

Dead to this world. Dead to sin. Dead to fleshly pleasure. Dead to human wisdom. Dead to my own efforts. Dead to my desires and my will. Dead to my pride that there could be any good in me or that I could possibly please the Lord on my own.

Every part of my old self must go to the cross to die with Jesus. I can’t keep my strengths, weaknesses, or anything else. All must be laid on the altar. All must be completely sacrificed and burned to ashes.

Of course, He calls men to do the same.

  • Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

(For more on this, please read Romans 6.)

Thankfully, God doesn’t just call me to be dead. 🙂 He also calls me to live a new life in Christ.

This is where many of us don’t understand ahead of time. How could we, really, if we haven’t experienced it yet? It would be as difficult for us to understand in advance as it would be for a caterpillar to imagine being a butterfly one day, wouldn’t it?

Sometimes we see that we are called to die to self. We see that we give up our will, our desires, and our dreams. We have to wrap ourselves in that dreaded cocoon. All we see is misery, confinement, and death. It seems awful to have to completely surrender self to God. That seems too great a sacrifice from our perspective before self has been crucified.

What we don’t realize yet is that when we yield to God in this way, when we give ALL of ourselves to Him in total surrender, obedience, and trust, He gives ALL of Himself to us. What we gave up was trash. What Jesus gives to us in return is great treasure – Himself! Because I am “in Christ” – His death belongs to me. But also His Life belongs to me. Everything He has and all that He is becomes mine because we are one in Spirit now. He is the head and I am part of His body – the church. His death was my death. His resurrection is my resurrection. I come out on the other side of the cross with new wings and a new body, just like that beautiful butterfly.

But I didn’t cause myself to sprout my own wings. It is not because of my efforts, goodness, or abilities that I am now a butterfly. It is because of God’s power, alone.

Now I can receive all of Jesus’:sean-stratton-60953

  • Spiritual power.
  • Victory over sin.
  • Holiness.
  • Obedience to God.
  • Goodness.
  • Perfect thinking.
  • Desires.
  • Will.
  • Spiritual treasures.
  • Spiritual authority to accomplish His will on earth.
  • Fellowship with God.
  • Wisdom.
  • Plans for me.

A butterfly has no resemblance to the caterpillar she once was. Her old life is over. Her mouth is very different. Her legs are very different. Her body is completely different. Her diet is totally different. A butterfly no longer wants the food she used to eat as a caterpillar! She needs a new food. Her mode of transportation and habitat are different. She has a brand new purpose and incredible beauty.

So it is when we die to our earthly self and begin to experience the life of Christ in us. We are completely different.

We have a new Spirit and a new purpose. A new diet. A new habitat. God calls us to soar on wings like eagles as we live in His power (Isa. 40:31).

God’s ways are always totally opposite of the world’s ways. God calls me to do things as a believer and woman like:

  • Honor my husband’s leadership.
  • Respect my husband.
  • Forgive those who sin against me.
  • Love my enemies.
  • Humble myself before Him and before others.
  • Repay evil with good.
  • Seek fulfillment in Him alone, not in anyone or anything else.
  • Trust His wisdom more than my own.
  • Humble myself so that He will raise me up to a place of glory.

God’s wisdom is never about weakness.

The world may view God’s ways as weakness – because the old sinful self doesn’t get anything. It is dead in a tomb!

But in God’s kingdom, things that seem foolish to the world are wise and powerful. When God’s will is done, everyone is blessed and His kingdom grows by leaps and bounds here on earth and in heaven!

When I give up the world’s wisdom and its ways, the only thing I lose is my ability to destroy my relationships and myself. I gain the power of heaven to experience all of the blessings and spiritual riches of Jesus Christ. Not just in heaven, but now!

When I am fully yielded in submission to Christ as my Lord, I am not weak. I have the very power of God to accomplish God’s will and His purposes. Not because I am good. But because Jesus is good and He is living in and through me.

There is a principle in scripture that the weaker I am, and as I reckon myself dead to this world and self, the stronger Christ is in me! (Romans 6:11, 2 Cor. 12:9) Now I come into relationships from a position of great strength and victory in Christ. Victory over sin. Victory over death. Victory over the flesh. Now I have God’s ability to pour healing, goodness, and Life into my relationships. I am like a big wide-open pipe that is now able to let God’s Spirit gush through me into the lives of everyone around me. My only strength is found in Jesus! I long for everyone to get to experience this new life!

  • God’s version of femininity and masculinity are so much stronger than anything we could experience in this world.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Cor. 5:17

 

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Dying to Self

Dying to Self Can Be Dangerously Misunderstood

The Offense of the Cross – Austin Sparks

The Blessing of Knowing about Hell

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

 

If you want to talk about how you can become a follower of Christ, please leave me a comment. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Primary Goal As a Wife Has to Be This One Thing

Reminder – I have a conference in Eaton, Ohio February 25th and a conference in Columbia, South Carolina March 24th-25th. You are most welcome to come!

Marriage meets many needs and fulfills a number of purposes in our lives, in our families, the church, and in society. A healthy marriage:

  • Brings stability to society.
  • Teaches the next generation how to have healthy relationships.
  • Is to be a safe place to raise children and for them to learn what love is.
  • Can meet both spouse’s needs for companionship.
  • Can be a place of wonderful friendship.
  • Is the only place where God condones and celebrates sex.
  • Can be a place of romance and fun.
  • Can provide financial stability and resources.

But there is an even greater purpose for marriage that I can’t ever forget.

God’s greatest purpose in marriage is that marriage is supposed to display the gospel of Christ and it is to bring great glory and honor to Him.

My marriage is about so much more than just me. It is about much more than just my husband or just our children. It is ultimately about something infinitely higher.

  • Marriage is to be a living parable demonstrating the relationship between Christ and the church where the husband is to portray the love, humility, selflessness, and sacrificial leadership of Christ. The wife is to portray the honor, respect, and submission of the church for Christ. (Eph. 5:22-33)
  • When we as wives focus on our role and what God calls us to do – the gospel is exalted – and the same is true when husbands focus on the role God gives to them and walking in submission to Christ as Lord.
  • If we choose to disrespect our husbands and dishonor God’s design for us as wives and for marriage, we malign the gospel of Christ. (Titus 2:3-5)

This is a very lofty goal, my precious sisters. Marriage is no longer about me being happy,  me having my way all the time, or me having control. It is not about my husband being the most important thing or about me seeking to please him at any cost. It is about me completely yielding my heart, my mind, my life, all that I am, all that I desire, all of my fears, all of my purposes, my marriage, and my family to God to accomplish His purposes. Whatever He sees fit. My eyes have to be on eternity and God’s kingdom now – not just today or this lifetime.

Now my heart’s cry is:

Not my will, but Yours be done! Luke 22:42

As an individual believer in Christ, my purpose in life is similar.

  • I am to bring glory to God far above anything else. (1 Cor. 10:31)
  • I am to seek His will far above my own. (Luke 22:42)
  • I am to count myself dead to sin and this world and alive to God through Christ. (Romans 6:11)
  • I am to take up my cross daily. (Luke 9:23)
  • I am to be completely at God’s disposal, His trusted, faithful servant, willing to do anything He may ask of me. (John 14:22-24)
  • I am to view suffering as God’s tool to refine me and to grow my faith. (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-8, 1 Peter 4:12-19)

This changes everything about how I relate to my husband (and everyone else, but we will focus on marriage in this post).

Now I don’t need to ask questions like:

The funny thing is, when I asked questions like this and my heart was not wholeheartedly yielded to God’s, I actually sabotaged my marriage. I kept God out because I didn’t trust Him. Then I was upset because my marriage was a mess. What a confused girl I was!

The scariest place in the world to me now is to trust self and to not trust God. When I yield everything to God and I am in fellowship with Him and His Spirit fills me, He also pours His healing and the spiritual treasures of heaven into my life and through me into my family and those around me. He withholds no good thing from those who belong to Him.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11

Note  – the only way my walk can be blameless is when I allow God’s Spirit to live in and through me to empower me to obey Him.

Now I ask questions like:

Real peace comes as I know and love Christ wholeheartedly and as I trust Him completely with everything.

God’s Spirit can give us the power to stay when we may not feel like staying because we can look with an eternal perspective rather than an earthly one when we are abiding in Christ. He can give us the ability to love when maybe our husbands don’t deserve it. He can give us the power to treat our men with honor, dignity, and genuine respect – not because our husbands deserve it – but because Jesus deserves our utmost reverence and we want to submit to His Lordship completely.

When I am willing to obey God and I am filled to overflowing with His Spirit, His wisdom, and His power – there is no stopping God! He loves to do miracles and move mountains for those who fully trust Him. But I don’t love Him so that He will do what I want Him to do. I love Him and trust Him to do what He knows is best. I can ask Him to change my desires to match His.

His wisdom is infinitely greater than mine. I can rest in Him and His love and sovereignty no matter what my situation. I can trust His promises to me and anticipate how He is going to bring great good from even the most awful situations because He promised to do just that for those who love Him in Romans 8:28-29.

RELATED:

Verses on Suffering

Verses on the Lordship of Christ

Verses on Taking Up Our Cross

How to Stay Filled with the Spirit

Spiritual Authority

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

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

 

What about wives who truly are in danger?

For those who are in very dangerous situations, the goal is still God’s greatest glory. His Word still applies. You still have His love. You are not beyond God’s reach! I pray that you will seek godly counsel and wisdom one-on-one from a trusted Christian counselor or pastor. Pray, seek to hear and obey God’s prompting for you.

I don’t know exactly what God desires every wife to do in every situation. But God has the wisdom each one needs. I don’t want to see anyone hurt or killed. I hate abuse and God sure hates abuse. There should not be hatred, rage, or violence in our relationships as believers.

God’s Word does provide for separation when something very serious is going on that can’t be resolved – in 1 Cor. 7:10-16 – but it is not to be entered into flippantly or without significant reason. This is not God’s primary plan and design for marriage. If we take such a step, as believing wives, we want to be SURE that we are doing so because it is necessary not just that we are unhappy, feeling unloved, or that things are just really hard. Marriage is a covenant between God, my husband, and myself. I want to keep my end of it until death do us part – may God help me to do so!

 

 

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