The Pendulum Effect

Glasgow Pendulum
Glasgow Pendulum

These are some observations I have made on this journey to become a godly wife that I pray might be a blessing to you. 🙂

TWO SINFUL EXTREMES:

With almost every aspect of the Christian life, I  picture a number line.  In one direction is one extreme and in the other direction is another extreme. In the power of the sinful flesh, all we can do is swing back and forth from one sinful tendency to another like a pendulum. We swing too far one way then too far the other way – and no matter which way we swing, we create dysfunction. It is VERY frustrating! Some examples:

 

Passive/Doormat <———-> Dominant/Control Freak

Too Quiet <———-> Too Talkative

Subservient<———-> Disrespectful

Afraid/Worried <———-> Apathetic

Perfectionistic/Legalistic <———-> License to Sin/Carelessness

This is often why those who don’t know Christ get so offended when I describe being a godly wife. The only options available to us when we are operating in our own flesh and our own human wisdom are these sinful extremes. They can’t see any other way. If I am talking about not being controlling and not being disrespectful – the world thinks the only option is to be a silent slave with no value, no voice, and no power.

GOD’S WAYS ARE MUCH HIGHER THAN OUR WAYS:

God is all about a proper delicate balance and tension between contrasting qualities.

  • He is Love but at the same time He is Holy and Just.
  • He is full of grace, mercy, and forgiveness, but at the same time, He has wrath for sin.
  • He is patient and long-suffering, but He also has righteous anger and He carries out judgment swiftly when He knows it is the right time.
  • He is omnipotent and gentle.
  • He is omnipresent but He is a gentleman and does not force us to let Him reign in our hearts.
  • He is completely sovereign but He gives us free will and He does not override that.

We get a warped view of God when we focus on one attribute without understanding that all of His attributes are equally present all the time and that they exist in balance. Godliness is very similar – it is about proper balance.

 

SOARING ABOVE THE SINFUL EXTREMES:

The way I picture it, when we come to Christ and allow Him to be LORD and yield control completely to Him each day and each moment as best we know how – He doesn’t call us to swing on the pendulum anymore, He empowers us to soar on wings like eagles above those sinful extremes in a beautiful balance of godly characteristics. Of course, it does take time – sanctification is a process where we learn to allow God to work in us more and more – it is very much like learning to walk. We fall a lot, especially at first – but we are never exempt from falling. If we are not abiding in Christ and His Spirit is not in control, we can fall at any time into sin.

The world thinks of “power” and “freedom” as the “strength to do whatever we want whenever we want in our sinful nature.”

In God’s economy “power and “freedom” are the “strength and ability to walk in obedience to God for His glory.”

So, instead of:

  • passivity or dominance – we have the power to share our feelings, concerns, and ideas vulnerably and confidently but we don’t have to revert to doing nothing and we don’t have to try to steam roll people. God gives us the power to fly above the center of those two things in this sweet place of beauty and godly power.
  • being too quiet or talking too much – God prompts us when to be quiet and when to wait and when and what to say at just the right time in just the right way.
  • being too wimpy or too harsh  – God empowers us to be assertive and bold but with the power of His love motivating and compelling us to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.
  • subservience or disrespect – God empowers us to first of all reverence Him above all else and to respect Him properly, then we are able to show proper respect for our husbands and others out of reverence for God and a desire to bless others without viewing ourselves as subhuman. We have godly humility and no pride – but it is a healthy thing, not a destructive thing.
  • having fear or apathy – we realize that God is sovereign and we rest in His sovereignty and we realize that He is in control so we don’t have to be afraid even if we must face our greatest fears. We trust Him with our fears. And we can love because we aren’t trying to protect ourselves. We have God’s Spirit’s power of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • legalism/perfectionism or license to sin – we use our freedom in Christ to serve others in love. We know we don’t have to earn God’s favor through works. We are not under the Law of the Old Testament, but we are under Grace. We wouldn’t dare disrespect the Grace for which Christ died to share with us. We WANT to live holy lives out of gratitude for all Jesus has done for us. So we are no longer oppressed by legalism and trying to sanctify ourselves in our own strength and we are not involved in using the grace of Christ to trample the blood of Christ by saying, “let’s sin all we can so we can get more grace!” We want to please God and we have joy in living for Christ as His Spirit empowers us.
  • idolatry of others or idolatry of self – We tear out everything we have put above Christ in our hearts and set Him firmly on the throne of our lives so that He is by far our greatest priority and concern. We love Him far above others. We care about His opinion and His will more than anything or anyone else.
  • being enmeshed or being distant – We have the power to separate ourselves in a healthy way from others so that we are not trying to be responsible for their emotions or expecting them to be responsible for our happiness or our spiritual well-being but we don’t have to be cold and distant. We have the power to love with God’s love at just the right amount of distance/space.
  • seeking self-protection or martyrdom/resentment – I don’t have to try to protect myself when I know God is protecting me. I don’t do stupid things on purpose. But if I know I am in God’s will, that is where I want to be. I don’t have to fear getting hurt in my relationships because I know God will be with me and will empower me to deal with whatever may come and that He will use all things ultimately for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29). I don’t have to give grudgingly or as a martyr or be filled with resentment because I am no longer loving others to get what I want from them. I am loving others because God is in me and He is love. I don’t need reciprocity from other people when I have God’s power to love. I can love unconditionally and seek to bless others, knowing God is pleased and He will reward me.
  • trusting others too much or shutting down – I know that people will fail me. They are all sinners. I don’t expect people to be perfect. I don’t expect them to be Jesus to me. My primary trust is in God, not people. I don’t have to shut down from others because God’s Spirit empowers me to love. I don’t have to keep my distance out of fear. I can guard my heart wisely – but I don’t have to shut down because of discouragement, depression, hatred, or bitterness. I am free in Christ to love however He calls me to love.
  • people pleasing or selfishness –  People pleasing says that I must have the approval of others. Selfishness says that I only need my own approval. When I live for Christ, I don’t need the approval of other people or my own approval, my goal is only to have the approval of God. So I can live without man’s approval if I know I am walking in obedience to God by the power of the Holy Spirit working in me. I die to my own will and seek God’s will. It is ALL about Him.

 

EXTRA STUDY – GETTING OUR ACCOUNTS RIGHT WITH GOD:

When we receive Christ as our Savior and our LORD, we submit our will to His and His Spirit does the hard work. Jesus’ work saves us and makes us right with God. His death on the cross justifies us before God. That is an accounting term. He puts all of His perfect righteousness and holiness in our account when we receive Him. He takes all of our sin debt – our billions of dollars of sin debt – and He pays the entire debt for us on the cross. We are now justified. Our account has everything He is and all that He has done in it and no longer contains all of our sin.

There are 3 stages of salvation:

  1. Justification – cancels the penalty of sin that we deserved before a Holy God.
  2. Sanctification – cancels the power of sin in our lives as we learn to live in the power of the Spirit. This is a lifelong, gradual process that will not be completely finished until death. We still have the sinful nature with us. But God also gives us a new nature. The sinful nature cannot be sanctified. It must be crucified. In Christ, it was crucified so we can learn to live as if it is dead. The new nature doesn’t really need sanctification, it is already holy. But there is a learning process as we learn to take up our cross and allow Christ full control.
  3. Glorification – cancels the presence of sin.

All of these stages are done by God’s power, not ours. We cannot justify ourselves by legalism or works – by being “good enough.” We cannot sanctify ourselves by “being good enough” or “doing enough” in our own strength. And we cannot glorify ourselves in our own strength.

We are 100% dependent on Christ for every stage. It is all what He has done for us and what He does in and through us.

bald-eagle-3-1359074-638x421

My Identity in Christ – the ONLY Source of My Power, Strength, Hope, Security, Peace, and Joy!

 

If I have received the death of Christ on my behalf (to make me right with God) and have surrendered all of myself and my life to Him as Lord, I have a very specific identity in Christ that I must always keep in mind. Any time that the enemy tries to throw me off balance or attack me in some way, I need to go back to the basics of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done for me, and who I am in God’s eyes when I belong to Christ Jesus.

WHO I WAS

  • I was a wretched sinner, hopeless, without any ability to do anything good in God’s eyes, unable to make myself right with God and condemned in the eyes of the One True Almighty God. (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:12, John 3:18)
  • I deserved and earned hell – eternal punishment and separation from the only God who is completely holy and unable to tolerate any sin in His presence. (John 3:18, Romans 6:23, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 20:15)
  • I was a slave to sin and couldn’t possibly do anything that was pleasing to God. (Romans 8:6-8, Romans 6:16)
  • Righteousness had no control over me. (Romans 6:20)
  • I was controlled by my sinful flesh and my mind was death. (Romans 8:6)
  • I was hostile toward God. (Romans 8:7)

What I am about to share below is the Truth from God’s Word. These are ironclad promises to those who are in Christ Jesus. If what I believe about myself does not line up with Scripture, and I belong to Christ, I need to trash my old thoughts and embrace and cling to God’s Truth about me. These are all things I already possess in Christ if I am His!

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

I can REST in what Jesus has done for me that I could never do!

WHO I AM IN CHRIST NOW THAT I HAVE RECEIVED CHRIST AS MY SAVIOR AND LORD

  • God is my Lord and my King! He is my Master. I have fully yielded control of my life to Him and trusted Him with everything.
  • God counts Jesus’ life as if it were my life. When God looks at me, because I am in Christ, He sees Jesus’ holiness and obedience and His perfect, sinless life.
  • God counts Jesus’ death as if it were my death. I have died to this world. I have died to my mortal life here. I have died to my sin. God counts me as having died with Jesus when He died. (Romans 6:3-14, Romans 8:10)
  • God counts Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His victory over sin as my resurrection and my victory! (Romans 6:3-14, Romans 8:10-11))
  • God accepted Jesus’ payment for my sin on the cross. The holiness, righteousness, and obedience of Christ was placed in my bank account. I was a debtor to God. I owed Him “billions of sin dollars” that I could never repay. But Jesus more than paid for all of my sin on the cross. I owe nothing to God now. I am “justified” before Him which is an accounting term. My account has been paid in full. (Romans 8:30) I have complete and total peace with God.
  • I am alive to God in Christ! (Romans 6:11)
  • I am seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father in heaven. (Ephesians 2:6, Colossians 3:1)
  • Jesus gave ALL of Himself for me. He died for me. He paid for my sin. He raised me to new life in Himself. He gave me access to all that He possesses. I am His joint heir. I possess all of the riches of heaven. (Romans 8:17)
  • I now give ALL of myself to Jesus. I hold nothing back from Him and allow Him full access to all that I am and all that I possess. I pick up my cross daily and follow Him. I yield control to Him of every aspect of my life. He is LORD of all in my life. (Luke 9:23, 2 Corinthians 5:15, Romans 10:9, Luke 6:46)
  • No weapon formed against me shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
  • I possess heavenly weapons to tear down demonic and sinful strongholds and every argument and pretension that has lifted itself up against Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
  • I can take every thought captive for Christ and not be at the mercy of lies or sinful thoughts but have Jesus’ victory over them! (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • I have the full armor of God – the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
  • In Christ, I have victory over sin and am no longer a slave to sin but now I am a slave to righteousness! (Romans 6:3-14, Romans 8:5-9)
  • If I do sin, I can confess my sin and turn from it, turning to Christ and God will forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
  • God no longer condemns me because I am in Christ! I am set free from the law of sin and death!!! (Romans 8:1)
  • Christ and His grace are more than sufficient for me in any circumstance. His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  • I can be content in every situation through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)
  • God’s Spirit is in control of my life now, so my mind is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
  • By the Spirit, I have the power to put to death the misdeeds of the body. (Romans 8:13)
  • I am led by the Spirit of God. (Romans 8:14)
  • I am a daughter of God and I no longer have to be afraid!!! (Romans 8:15)
  • I share with the sufferings of Christ now and then get to share in His glory in heaven. (Romans 8:17)
  • God’s Spirit Himself intercedes for (prays for) me with groans that words cannot express in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)
  • Jesus intercedes for me at the right hand of God the Father. (Hebrews 4:25)
  • God knew me before He created the world. (Romans 8:29)
  • God predestined me to be conformed to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29)
  • God called me. (Romans 8:30)
  • God justified me – made my account right with Him through Christ’s death on the cross and my acceptance of that gift of grace. (Romans 8:30)
  • God glorified me – this will happen when I enter heaven. (Romans 8:30)
  • God alone is the Judge and He is the Executioner. If God is for me, no one can be against me! (Romans 8:31-34)
  • God loved me so much that He was willing to give up His only Son for me before I even loved Him, how much more will He now graciously give me all things? (Romans 8:32)
  • Nothing can separate me from the love of Christ! (Romans 8:35-39)
  • God is sovereign and has designed everything in my life, including suffering, to mold me more and more into the image of Christ and to bring me into greater maturity in my faith. (Romans 8:28-29, James 1:2-4, Hebrews 12, I Peter, Job)
  • I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loved me! (Romans 8:37)
  • When I fully submit to Christ as Lord, He fills me with His Spirit and I am overflowing with His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • I can receive ALL that Christ has done for me and all that He has given to me. No one can take away the joy Christ gives me. (John 16:22)
  • God will cause me to continue to grow and mature and will complete the good work He began in me. (Philippians 1:6)

This is not everything that I am in Christ, but it is a good start. 🙂

MORE WAYS I CAN GROW IN CHRIST

ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND

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DAVID PLATT SERMON – THE DISCIPLE’S IDENTITY IN CHRIST PART 1

A Wife Shares What She Has Learned in Her First Year on This Journey

Pictures 002

 

In response to my post last week – thanks so much to this dear wife for allowing me to share!

Some things I have learned about my husband in the past year, since working on respect:

* Complaining stresses him out. Even if it is about something he can’t control (like the weather), he really just can’t take negatives! His work life is all the stress he can handle.

* When he comes home, he needs to be greeted and feel relaxed, because he comes home to de-stress. Lists or the kids’ schedules are stressful.

* I have learned to email him our kids’ sports schedules and not talk about the schedules. This way, our conversations don’t have to be centered on driving/schedules/etc.

* He likes being around me more when I am quiet and peaceful. (sense a theme here?)

* He now sees his friends less (because I am more of a friend to him now, not a needy, complaining wife) and takes me out more and spends more time with me.

* He calls me “Babe” now & is much more romantic with me…since he feels more relaxed and respected around me, I am much more appealing to him.

How does my husband reflect Christ to me?

* My husband wants me to trust him in everything.

* My husband wants me to be thankful for all the good in our lives, and not complain about the bad.

* My husband wants me to just be with him, not just asking for things.

* My husband hates worrying and fearfulness.

* My husband truly does love me and wants the best for me.

* My husband’s timeline is not my timeline. I need to trust his timeline.

What have I learned about myself?

* When I try to “do everything” to “help,” I’m actually trying to control everything…which makes my husband and children resentful.

* I can let go of control, and the sun still shines…and I’m a whole lot happier and less stressed.

* When I was seeking perfection, I was not happy, and neither was anyone else…even though I thought I was doing everything for the family’s “common good.”

* The more in love with Christ I fall, the more peaceful and joy-filled I am.

* Being gentle and quiet and waiting is not weakness or laziness. I am actually a better witness when I am “resting” in Christ…a breeze kisses, whereas a tornado disturbs and destroys. Lord, make me a gentle breeze.

 

Share:

What has God shown you about what speaks respect to your husband, about how your husband reflects Christ to you, and/or about yourself on this journey to become a godly wife?

“What Does Casting Your Cares on the Lord Look Like?”

A mountain hike near Boone, NC in June 2014
A mountain hike near Boone, NC in June 2014

Happy 2015 everyone!!!! 🙂 May God be greatly glorified and accomplish His every good purpose in your lives and in your family this year.

 

A wife asked me to address this issue. I would love for other readers to contribute their perspectives, godly wisdom, and insights, as well. Sometimes hearing a different person’s description of a concept can trigger a lightbulb moment. (This is a post that I believe could bless everyone – even those with very difficult circumstances.)

God’s Word commands us to not worry, but to trust God.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

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

Psalm is a fantastic book where the various psalmists describe being in various problems and having many different kinds of troubles and then they change from describing their enemies and their circumstances to praising God and trusting Him. That would be a great book to study if someone wants to learn to “cast his/her cares on the Lord.”

When we trust God with our concerns, our worries, our problems, and our anxieties –

1. We acknowledge the reality of the problem. I personally like to write down the problem in great detail in my journal. I write down all of my concerns, fears, beliefs, thoughts, and the things I keep saying to myself about the problem.

Here is an example from Psalm 55:

Listen to my prayer, O God,
do not ignore my plea;
hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
because of what my enemy is saying,
because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
and assail me in their anger.
My heart is in anguish within me;
the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away
and stay in the desert;c
I would hurry to my place of shelter,
far from the tempest and storm.” Psalm 55:1-8

verses about fear

2. We mentally lay our burdens before God’s throne. I like to picture myself laying an issue on the altar before God, or laying something or someone at His feet. And then – I don’t pick it back up again. Sometimes I trace my hands (palms up) and list my concerns and fears on the fingers of the hands I drew. And I imagine laying my burdens before God. I mentally picture the whole process of me holding my heavy burden and then me laying it down and trusting Him with it.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.… Matthew 11:28-29

As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
He rescues me unharmed
from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God. Psalm 55:16-19

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
But you, God, will bring down the wicked
into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you. Psalm 55:22-23

verses about how God will strengthen and refresh the weary

3. We praise God. We praise God’s miracles, provision, and blessings from the past in our lives, in the lives of other believers, and in His Word.

Praise the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord. Psalm 150:1-6

verses about praising God

4. We thank God for all that He has done for us, for all that He is doing, and for all that He will do.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20

verses about thanking God

5. We have faith in His ability to handle the situation and we have faith that His wisdom is infinitely higher and greater than our own.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:1-6 (Hebrews 11 is “the faith chapter.”)

verses about having faith in God

verses about trusting God

verses about worry

6. We focus on the sovereignty of God.  This is how we can have peace that passes all understanding. We keep our eyes on Him and realize that He is infinitely bigger than our problems. We look forward with great anticipation to all the good that He will accomplish through this painful trial.

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” Daniel 4:35

Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ Isaiah 46:9-10

verses about the sovereignty of God

7. We focus on the fact that the Holy Spirit is praying for us and that Jesus is praying for us. We know that God is ultimately sovereign over each situation and we cling to His promise to use all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Romans 8:26-30 (The whole book of Romans is a wonderful study of the doctrine of salvation and sanctification and helps us to understand the finished work of Christ on our behalf and how we can live in the power of God’s Spirit now.)

but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever. Hebrews 7:24-28 (The whole book of Hebrews would also be a fantastic study about how Christ is superior to the angels, to Moses, to the Levitical priests, and to the law – and how what He did was more than sufficient to cleanse us of our sins and to make us right with God and to empower us to live in His power.)

8. We humble ourselves before God and ask Him to reveal any sinful thoughts or wrong motives in our hearts.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
so that sinners will turn back to you.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, isb a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:10-17

verses about humility

verses about contrition

9. We reaffirm that Jesus is our Lord and that we are fully submitted to His Lordship. We allow His Spirit to be in control of our hearts, thoughts, and lives.

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. Proverbs 3:5-6

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18b

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

verses about submission to God

10. We commit to walking in obedience to Him to the best of our current knowledge and understanding, longing to grow to be more and more like Jesus.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15 

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them. Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My teaching…” John 14:23-24a

for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” I Peter 1:16

verses about obedience to God

11. We rest in the peace of God, holding the results of each situation loosely, trusting God to know what is best, anticipating all that He will do. We set our mind on good things.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-8

RELATED:

Some additional steps to trusting God and not worrying –

Submission (to Christ) Means We Hold the Things of This World Loosely

Contentment Comes from Having Christ as Lord

Worry – Part 1

My Worry Insults My Husband

My Worry Insults God

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

Godly Femininity

Stages of this Journey

“How Do You Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit?”

 

A wife asked me this question. It is a very good one! He is our power source to be the godly women God commands us to be. This could be a book in and of itself. But, let’s talk about a few basics:

1. The Holy Spirit is a gift that is given to everyone who follows Christ as Savior and LORD. First I must have a relationship with Him. Jesus must be my God, my Savior and my LORD.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bec in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:15-21

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:19-20

And who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:22

verses about “filling of the Spirit”

2. I must be willing to turn away from every sin in my life and turn to Christ instead. If I have a relationship with Him, then there is a constant process of searching my heart for sin (and asking God to search my heart for sin) and being willing to get rid of it.

Any sin has to go. No matter how precious a specific sin is to me, even if I really love my bitterness, gossip, unforgiveness, greed, pride, self-righteousness, lust, or hatred and cherish it, it has to go if God says it is sin. I cannot hold anything back from God. I have to be willing to lay my entire heart and soul bare before Him and to lay still as I allow Him to search the darkest corners of my soul with the blazing light of His Word. If He places His finger on something and says it cannot stay, I must be willing to get rid of it right then and there. If I hold on to sin, I forfeit the power of God’s Spirit. I grieve His Spirit and cannot be filled to overflowing with His power again until I repent (turn 180 degrees from my wrong doing and turn to Christ). I cannot have both sin and God.

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:30-32

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31

verses about repenting

3. I must be willing to praise, thank, and exalt God alone in my life. He must be my highest purpose and my greatest Treasure.

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. Psalm 34:1b

But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel. (American King James) Psalm 22:3

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. I Thessalonians 5:16-22

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead. Psalm 86:11-13

verses about praising God

4. I must desire God far above everything and everyone else. I must understand that Christ is sufficient for me, I can be content if I have Jesus. If I have Him, I have EVERYTHING!

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. Psalm 73:23-28

Declare what is to be, present it– let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 45:21-22

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. I Timothy 6:8

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

verses about sufficiency of Christ

verses about contentment

5. I have the “control knob” that determines how much of God’s Spirit fills me. 

Being filled with the Spirit is a gift from God if I am a disciple of Christ, but it is also a command. It is something I have a choice to do or to not do. I can choose to grieve God’s Spirit. I can choose to hold on to sin. I can choose to allow my sinful flesh to have control, or I can ask God to fill me with His Spirit and invite His Spirit to have full control.

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:“I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” II Corinthians 6:16-18

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:13-26

verses about living by the Spirit

6. I must abide in Christ, in His Word, and in prayer.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. John 15:1-17

verses about abiding in Christ

Godly Femininity – Part 2

 

 

enjoying a sunny afternoon

 

 

If you have not read Part 1, please read that to get started. 🙂

Can you imagine if you had witnessed godly examples of femininity at home as you were growing up, in your church, at school and in your community? This is what God desires – for children to be immersed in godly examples of masculinity, femininity, marriage and family thousands and thousands of times as they grow up. Then, godliness will seem “normal.”

For those who did not have godly examples (and that includes all of us to one degree or another), there is a lot of work to do in dissecting out all of the ungodly examples we have experienced that programmed us to think that those things were “normal” so that we can consciously reject them and choose God’s ways. It is my prayer that our children will get to experience each of us living out a godly example for them by God’s power working full blast in us. 🙂

It is my prayer that even though recent generations dropped the ball and we as a culture, even in the church, have veered hundreds of miles off course – that God might cause OUR generation to rise up and become a holy generation that will leave a godly legacy for those who come behind us. We have the power and treasure of heaven at our disposal. May we spend our lives for Christ, demonstrating godly femininity to everyone around us for His greatest glory!

Jesus Christ has set us free! The world says that freedom is the right to do what we want. But the freedom we have in Christ is the power to do God’s will. We have the power to choose not to sin when His Spirit is flooding our souls.

  • The only power we lose when we obey God and fully submit to Him as Lord is the power to destroy our marriages, ourselves, our husbands and children and others.
  • We gain the power of heaven to breathe life, healing, blessing, joy, peace, faith, kindness and goodness into our families.

GALATIANS 5:13-18

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF GODLY FEMININITY THAT GOD WILL CULTIVATE IN A WOMAN MORE AND MORE AS SHE ABIDES IN CHRIST AND HIS WORD ABIDES IN HER (these are all very brief descriptions):

AS A WIFE

  • She is a helper to her husband. (Genesis 2:18)
  • She brings all of herself – her personality, her talents, her gifts, her intellect, her emotions, her ideas, her desires, her vulnerability to her marriage. She cleaves to her husband. (Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 31, Song of Songs)
  • She is authentic – but she is not her old sinful self anymore. Some wives say, “I want to be free to by myself in my marriage,” but what they mean is, they want to be free to be their sinful selves. That is always a destructive choice. A godly wife has the power and ability to be her new self in Christ. She lost the destructive power of her sinful nature because her sinful nature died with Christ and was buried and now she counts herself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. (Romans 6-8)
  • She respects her husband genuinely and finds the good in him to appreciate (because of her character and the Spirit of God filling her soul – not because he always “deserves” it) and she honors her husband’s God-given leadership, allowing him to make the final call if there is a disagreement and trusting God to lead her through her husband even when she doesn’t understand and can’t see how it will work out “for good” from her current perspective. When he asks her for something, she makes it a priority to try to do what he has asked of her with a godly attitude. (Ephesians 5:22-23, 33, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 11:3 – If a husband is asking his wife to clearly sin, please check out the post Spiritual Authority for more info.)
  • She does good to her husband all the days of her life, not evil. (Proverbs 31)

—–

  • She is open and receptive to her husband. (Song of Solomon)
  • She studies to understand her particular husband, what speaks respect to him, his needs and the things that most bless him. (Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6)
  • She assumes the best about her husband, not the worst. (I Corinthians 13:7)
  • She is loyal to her husband and doesn’t badmouth him to others. She never bashes him to their children, extended family, coworkers, church members, friends or on social media. (Ephesians 5:22, Proverbs 31, Ephesians 4:29-30)
  • She deals with any sin in her life before approaching her husband about sin in his life. (Matthew 7:1-5)

—–

  • She is affectionate with her husband. (Titus 2:3-5)
  • Her presence, attitude and respect for God and her husband speak much more loudly to her husband about her faith than any words she could ever say. (I Peter 3:1-2)
  • She has a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear that is of great worth in God’s sight. (I Peter 3:1-6)
  • She comes to her husband humbly, gently and respectfully with his sin privately first, and only if he won’t repent, does she involve a godly male mentor/pastor to help them if there are serious problems. She does not smear him to family and friends or ream him out on Facebook. (Matthew 18:15-17) (How to Confront Your Husband about His Sin)
  • She seeks godly, biblical help if there are very serious issues in her marriage, but she rejects ungodly and unscriptural counsel and seeks God and His Word and His Spirit above all else. (Matthew 18:15-17) She is prepared to separate from her husband and trust God, seeking His wisdom and wise, biblical counsel if her husband continues in severe unrepentant sin and she or her children are truly not safe. She prays for reconciliation if they must separate, and she focuses on her walk with Christ. (A Peaceful Separated Wife, A Peaceful Divorced Wife, The Bible and Divorce)

—–

  • She depends on the wisdom and power of God to know how to respond to her husband’s sin and she is sensitive to God’s Spirit and responsive to what He leads her to do in a given situation. (Isaiah 30:21) (Portia’s Story)
  • If her husband is an unbeliever, she shows the power and love of God to him without words but by her respectful attitude and by honoring his leadership. (I Peter 3:1-2) ( Spiritual Authority, When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God, My Husband Wants to Go Where?)
  • Her husband feels safe with her spiritually, emotionally, sexually, physically and in every way – and he knows he can always trust her. She is never violent toward him. She doesn’t yell, scream, cuss or make threats. She is not scary, intimidating or threatening. She does not bully him. (Proverbs 31:11)
  • She is her husband’s crown. (Proverbs 12:4)
  • She learns to speak her husband’s language and to become fluent in his way of relating and speaking and learns to interpret him accurately and to understand his heart with compassion. She seeks to see him with God’s eyes and love him with God’s love. She wants to treat God’s beloved son well. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

—–

  • Her focus is on Christ not self. She has no insecurity – because she trust in God not self or worldly things. Her security is based on heavenly realities and truths and the promises of God in His Word. (Romans 6-8)
  • She doesn’t have to argue – she has way more powerful methods of communication at her disposal than arguing, nagging, criticizing, complaining, condemning or humiliating her husband. She knows exactly how ineffective and destructive and sinful those things are and they do not even tempt her. She knows how to use her power and influence for good, how to share in a respectful way and how to submit to Christ and to her husband even if they lead her in a way she did not anticipate. (A Real Life Example of Biblical Submission)
  • She does not submit to her husband if he clearly asks her to sin. She submits first to Christ. (Please see Spiritual Authority for more detail in this.)
  • She doesn’t try to control or change her husband, but seeks to bless him. (Proverbs 31, Ephesians 5:22-33)
  • She builds her marriage and family up and does not use her words, attitudes and actions to hurt or harm anyone. (Proverbs 14:1)

—–

  • She appreciates and values her husband’s headship, covering and protection over her. (I Corinthians 11:3)
  • She joyfully gives herself sexually to her husband whenever possible and seeks to meet his sexual needs (even if they are greater or less than her own biological desires at the time). (I Corinthians 7:1-5)
  • She honors her sacred marriage covenant and does not threaten to divorce or seek divorce. (Matthew 19, Malachi 2)
  • She trusts God’s Spirit to work in her husband’s heart to draw him to Himself and does not attempt to verbally drag her husband or force him to God, she knows her  words are not the most important or effective tool. (I Peter 3:1-2)
  • She values and appreciates her husband’s masculinity. She sees and admires the good things about her husband’s manhood and supports him being a man, she doesn’t try to make him be more feminine or think more like herself. She marvels at his strengths and protects his weaknesses. (Song of Songs, Proverbs 31)

—–

  • She is comfortable in her own skin and feels beautiful even if she doesn’t meet the world’s current definition of beauty. (Song of Songs 1)
  • She enjoys being attractive for her husband in a healthy way. (Song of Songs and Proverbs 5:19)
  • She smiles often. She is a delight for her husband to be around.  Her beautiful attitude, contentment and joy in Christ draw him to her. She is not needy, clingy and desperate for his attention. (Philippians 4:4-8)
  • She is glad to talk with her husband about things that interest him. She loves to learn about his masculine world and perspective. She rejoices in his uniqueness and his masculinity and does not shame him for being different from her. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She is ready for adventure with God and with her husband (Exodus – a  picture of God leading His bride through the desert to the Promised Land)

—–

  • She is willing to wear a hat/scarf as a tangible symbol of her willingness to honor her husband’s God-given leadership at church/during prayer. (I Corinthians 11:3-16)
  • She supports his leadership even when she doesn’t agree. She shares her heart, concerns and needs respectfully, then trusts God to lead her through her husband. (Spiritual Authority post at the top of my home page and Submitting under Protest, Biblical Submission, as well as Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband is Always Right)
  • She brings her husband comfort. (Genesis 24:67)
  • She brings beauty to her home and to relationships. (Genesis 2, Song of Songs, Acts 9:36-39)
  • She desires to make her husband look good that he might receive honor from others. (Proverbs 31)
  • She doesn’t look down on her husband (or anyone) but humbly acknowledges that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. There is no room for her to boast or brag in anything except for Christ and what He has done for her. (James 2, 1 Peter 5:5, Proverbs 22:4, Philippians 2:1-11, Ephesians 2:8-10)
  • She is not abusive in any way – physically, sexually, verbally, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc… (1 John 4:20-21)

AS A MOTHER

  • She values, cherishes and nurtures any babies or children that she has before and after birth. (Isaiah 49:15)
  • She seeks to train and teach her children to know and love God and His Word. (Deuteronomy 6)
  • She loves them with the very love of God. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She desires to be a godly example to them. (Deuteronomy 6, Titus 2:3-5, Malachi 2)
  • She does not put her children above her husband or above God. (Genesis 22, Matthew 10:37-39, Luke 14:25-34) (Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers)
  • She is affectionate (Titus 2:3-5)
  • She extends the truth, mercy, grace, love and forgiveness of Christ to her children. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

IN HER WALK WITH CHRIST

  • She holds nothing back from Christ. She knows He gave ALL of Himself for her, and now she delights in giving ALL of herself for Him. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for Jesus. He is her LORD. He is her Master. She is willing to deny self and sacrifice anything in this world for Him. (Luke 14:25-34, Matthew 10:37-39, Genesis 22) (Dying to Self)
  • She hungers deeply for God, His Word, His presence, His Spirit, His will, His wisdom and His power in her life and the lives of those around her. She has a very healthy spiritual appetite. (Matthew 6:33, Matthew 5:6)
  • She does not merely read the Word, she listens, prays diligently to understand properly and applies it to her life – allowing  God to transform her priorities, her heart, her soul, her words, her desires, her behavior and her attitudes. (James 2)
  • She fills her mind, heart and mouth with the praises of God. (Exodus 15:2, almost the whole book of Psalm and many other places as well)
  • She desires “to live a life worthy of the calling (she has) received (and to) Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:1-2)

—–

  • Her heart is soft, responsive and malleable in the hands of God, she does not have a hard heart against God and His Word or against others. (Ephesians 4:18, Hebrews 4:7)
  • She “(puts) off (her) old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of  (her) mind; and (puts) on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
  • She is open, receptive and tender hearted toward God. (Hebrews 3:15)
  • She has a sense of wonder about all that God has made and has done and will do. She is in total awe of Him. (Mark 9:15, Acts 3:10, Luke 7:16)
  • She is submissive first to Christ (James 4:7) and she practices biblical submission by honoring her husband’s God-given leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2:5, I Corinthians 11:3-16) so that the Word of God is not maligned.

—–

  • She leans on God’s wisdom, truth and understanding and does not trust her own human wisdom. (Proverbs 3:5)
  • She desires to live a holy life and to bring great glory to God. (I Peter 1:16)
  • When she sees sin in her life, she does not become depressed and withdrawn and paralyzed with worldly sorrow that leads to death, but has godly sorrow over her sin, mourning over her sin, rejecting her sin and turning to Christ in true repentance, longing to walk in obedience to Him in everything. (2 Corinthians 7:8-11, I John 1:9)
  • She is not overcome by fear, worry or anxiety, but has a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • She prays fervently and continually – in a spirit of godly power, not a spirit of worry, anxiety or fear. (I Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:4-7, Romans 12:12, Romans 15:30)

—–

  • She makes time daily whenever remotely possible to spend in deep prayer and study of God’s Word, asking Him to change her and make her more and more like Christ. (John 15)
  • She prays for her husband and others – not to tell God what to do or make demands – but to seek God’s will and His blessing for them and to seek God’s best for those she loves. She prays with godly motives, not selfish, greedy, condemning, self-righteous, prideful, malicious or vengeful motives – but with the love and power of Christ.  (1 Timothy 2:1-5, James 4:1-10)
  • She knows that she is more than a conqueror through Christ. (Romans 8:37)
  • She knows that nothing can separate her from the love of Christ. (Romans 8:35-39)
  • She savors and enjoys her blessings, her life and her Lord. In fact, she rejoices in Him always! (Philippians 4:4-8)
  • She is able to be at peace because she understands and trusts in the sovereignty, love and power of God to work all things for her good because she loves Him and is called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28-29)
  • She prays the promises of God into reality by her unwavering faith in Him and His Spirit working powerfully in her. (Daniel 9:4)

ENCOURAGEMENT:

God will develop these qualities more and more in us as He sanctifies us and grows Christ more and more in our hearts, minds and souls. This is a life-long process. It is not about us trying harder to be “perfect.” On our own, we are a branch that has been cut off from the Vine and we are laying on the ground. We cannot do ANYTHING unless we are attached to Jesus – the Vine – and His nourishing truth and Spirit flood our souls. THEN we will be fruitful in His kingdom. We cannot be perfect until we reach heaven. That is ok. But our God is so strong that He is able to empower us and to give us victory in sin and the power to walk in holiness as we abide in Him. This is all about us being in an intimate relationship with Christ and allowing His power to flow full blast through us and transform us according to His will for His greatest glory!

John 15:1-17

EXAMPLES OF GODLY WOMEN IN SCRIPTURE:

– Esther

– Ruth

– Rahab (a former prostitute)

– Hannah, Samuel’s mother

– Deborah

– the Proverbs 31 wife

–  Sarah, Abraham’s wife – sometimes she is an example of godliness, and sometimes ungodliness

– Mary, the mother of Jesus

– Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus

– Mary Magdalene after she came to Christ

– Priscilla, Aquilla’s wife

– Dorcas/Tabitha (whom Peter raised from the dead by Jesus’ power)

SHARE:

How is God working in your heart about the issue of godly femininity?

What is most striking to you?

How can we pray together for you?

 

Godly Femininity – Part 1

happy girl

This topic could be a whole book. Actually, there are some books about it! You can find some of them in my post about my favorite marriage books.

Recently, we examined femininity in general and then ungodly femininity. Today, we are going to talk about godly femininity or biblical womanhood. This is the real core of  God’s beautiful design for femininity. It is much more than any fluffy externals. I know we are just barely going to be able to scratch the surface in two posts – but I’m going to share some things that the Bible describes that godly femininity is. (Many of the scriptures I cite would apply to men in becoming godly men, as well. Some are only for women.  I will be addressing all of these references toward women specifically because women are my audience. But men are welcome to read along.)

GOD’S PURPOSE IN TWO GENDERS

God designed people to all be image bearers of God and to have fellowship with Him and each other (Genesis 2). The main thing to keep in mind as we study godly femininity is that ultimately:

  • God designed masculinity to be the picture of Jesus Christ – and His love, power, mercy, grace and strength.
  • God designed femininity to be the picture of the devoted,  joyful, peaceful, trusting, faith-filled, beautiful, spotless bride of Christ, the church (Ephesians 5:22-33).

This is what marriage looked like in the Garden of Eden before sin entered the world and tainted everything good that God had created.

Each gender can stand alone to display God to the world – but when these two genders are combined in marriage, with their unique strengths, abilities and God-given roles, God intends a beautiful, powerful, tangible, living display of the intimate relationship Jesus desires to have and will have with His people. This is why the way he designed men and women – and the way He designed marriage – are so sacred and critical for us to understand and display in our lives – whether we are married, single, separated, divorced or widowed. We will be most fulfilled and most blessed when we operate in the roles, design and wisdom of God as women and God will be most glorified then, as well.

Ultimately, the purpose of our femininity is to bring great glory to God and to draw many to Christ!

WE CAN ALL BECOME GODLY WOMEN

Praise God, we are all able to become the women Christ calls us to be as we turn away from our sin in godly sorrow and turn to Christ in faith, depending on what He has done for us on the cross. This is all about His grace, mercy, forgiveness and His character and power working in us to change us. We cannot make ourselves holy. In fact, God describes our greatest attempts at righteousness as being like “filthy, bloody menstrual rags” in His sight (Isaiah 64:6). On our own, no sinful human has any spiritual strength to do anything remotely godly. We are totally dependent on God’s spirit empowering us and working in us to produce the life of Christ, the mind of Christ and the heart of Christ in us as He renews our spirits.

When we come to Christ with the saving faith that He generously gives to us – we cannot stay the same. It is impossible! God’s power and His Spirit working in our lives WILL radically change us. Our lives will exude more and more of His love, more and more self-control over our words/thoughts/actions, more and more good deeds and more and more concern and compassion for those in need. We will have more and more of the mind and heart of Christ as we submit to Him as Lord of all in our lives and hold nothing back from Him. Living in obedience to Christ becomes a joy as our thankfulness, genuine worship, praise and the regenerating power of God’s Spirit motivate us. We long for Him more than anything. He is our greatest delight and treasure!

(Here is a list of verses from the Bible about being a godly woman. That would be a fantastic study!)

The list below may be a handy reference to keep and pray over. Maybe you can focus on a few qualities per week and pray for God to develop these things in your own life? My prayer is that we will each prayerfully, humbly approach this list and allow God to reveal any areas that He wants us to focus on and yield to Him. 🙂 None of us will be perfect until heaven. This is the life long process of sanctification. I have thousands of miles to go on this journey myself and I can’t wait to continue learning all that God has for me. I am praying for each of you today, that God might speak to your heart through this post in a powerful way!

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF A GODLY WOMAN THAT GOD WILL CULTIVATE IN HER MORE AND MORE AS SHE ABIDES IN CHRIST AND HIS WORD ABIDES IN HER:

SHE “LIVES A LIFE OF LOVE” (Ephesians 5:2)

  • She loves God with all her heart, mind, soul and strength. Nothing is more important to her than Jesus and she sets her heart only on Him for her greatest fulfillment, purpose, identity, love, acceptance and strength. She is willing to give up everything to have Him. (Matthew 22:28) (Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your “Isaac”? “Submission Means Holding the Things of This World Loosely“)
  • She loves all other people with the love of God. (Matthew 22:29)
  • She loves with the agape love of Christ described in I Corinthians 13:4-8. She is patient and kind. She is not rude. She is not self-seeking.
  • She does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. She does not dishonor others. She is not easily angered. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She always protects, always trusts (she seeks to trust others whenever possible, but ultimately, her trust is fully in Christ), always hopes, always perseveres. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

HER CHARACTER

  • She has discretion. (Proverbs 11:22)
  • She has control over her emotions, feelings, words and even her mannerisms, body language and facial expressions even when she has PMS, or is not feeling her best when God’s power is in control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • She trusts the Holy Spirit to do His job of convicting others and sanctifying them. She encourages people, exhorts and prays for them, but she knows where her responsibilities end and she does not attempt to play “Holy Spirit” in others’ lives. (John 16:8)
  • She is totally confident in Christ, trusting His Word and resting in His promises. (Romans 8)
  • There is a refreshing and powerful innocence about her. (Matthew  10:16)

 —–

  • She may choose to wear her hair long if possible, delighting in her “glory” according to God’s Word. (I Corinthians 11:3-16)
  • She smiles a lot in a way that even shines brightly from her eyes, radiating the joy and love of Christ. (Galatians 5, Matthew 6:22-23)
  • She is careful not to align herself with Satan as his assistant to join in tearing people down with accusations, criticism, judgment and condemnation. She knows he is “the accuser of the brethren” and wants no part in helping him. By submitting fully to God and resisting Satan, she does not allow demonic temptation to direct her thoughts about her husband, about God, about herself or anyone else. (Revelation 12:10, James 4:7)
  • She is honest and speaks the truth in love. She does not pretend or fake anything. She speaks up when she knows that is what is necessary, but she does this carefully, gently and humbly. (Ephesians 4:25)
  • She chooses her girl friends wisely and she doesn’t put them above her husband or family. (I Corinthians 15:33, Titus 2:3-5, Genesis 2:24)

—–

  • She cherishes the gift of being a woman and living out God’s design for her. (Proverbs 31)
  • She is nurturing to others – spiritually, emotionally and physically. She “gives life” literally but also figuratively. She is fruitful in her interactions with others. (Genesis 2, Galatians 5)
  • She anticipates how God will bring beauty from trials, difficulties and suffering and wants to absorb all she can from God in those times. She does not face an uncertain future with fear, but rather, with great faith in God. (James 1, I Peter, Romans 8:28-29)
  • She may get angry at times, but she is slow to anger, quick to listen, slow to speak and in her anger, she does not sin. (Ephesians 4:26, James 1:19)
  • She has meekness – which is “bridled strength” or “strength under control.” (Matthew 5:5)

 —–

  • She does “not let any unwholesome talk come out of (her mouth), but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
  • She gets “rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31
  • She is “kind and compassionate to (others, including her husband), forgiving (others), just as in Christ God forgave (her).” (Ephesians 4:30)
  • She purposely cultivates a spirit of thanksgiving in all circumstances for she knows this is God’s will for her. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  • She is a diligent and hard worker. (Proverbs 31)

—–

  • She takes responsibility for running her household well. (Proverbs 31, Titus 2:3)
  • She is prudent and has godly wisdom. (Proverbs 19:14)
  • She is modest and humble in her dress, words and behavior. (I Timothy 2:9-10, Ephesians 4:29-30)
  • She does not depend on charm or external beauty. (Proverbs 31:30)
  • She fears the Lord in a healthy way and she fears Him much more than any circumstances or any person. (Proverbs 31:30)

 —–

  • She dresses in a way that shows honor and respect for God, her husband, herself and others.  She does not seek to draw attention to her body but to Christ. She does not wear extravagant clothing, hairstyles or jewelry but allows her good deeds to be her ornaments.  She longs to not put any stumbling block in her brother’s way. (1 Timothy 2:9, Romans 14:13)
  • She is generous to those in need within the parameters of her husband’s leadership. (Proverbs 31:20)
  • She has great emotional/spiritual inner strength and honor. (Proverbs 31:25)
  • She has God’s wisdom in her heart and mind, she cherishes His Words and she speaks with godly wisdom and kindness. (Proverbs 31:26)
  • She is trustworthy in her thoughts, speech and actions. (Proverbs 31:11)

 —–

  • She does “not repay evil for evil but overcomes evil with good.” She trusts God to take revenge if vengeance is needed, she doesn’t take vengeance into her own hands. (Romans 12:9-21)
  • She answers softly and gently. (Proverbs 15:1)
  • She is filled with God’s “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control.” She is a pleasure to be around. She smiles and laughs easily. She savors and enjoys her family and her life (Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 4:4-8)
  • She has great faith in God. (Matthew 15:21-28)
  • She is genuinely humble. She understands how great, wise and holy God is and how small she is in comparison. (I Corinthians 13:4)

 —–

  • She is polite and well-mannered. (I Corinthians 13:5)
  • She is selfless. (I Corinthians 13:5)
  • She is vulnerable and able to share all of her entire range of emotions, needs, desires and ideas and articulate herself well. She knows her emotions are a great blessing and gift from God. She listens to them and evaluates her thoughts and motives as her emotions tell her about problems. But ultimately, she submits her feelings and emotions to Christ. (James 4:7, Proverbs 3:5)
  • She knows how to appropriately express her emotions and she knows how to discern when her emotions are lying to her and not to be trusted (i.e.: PMS, pregnancy, peri-menopause).
  • She cares about her husband and what he wants, needs and desires. (I Corinthians 7:34) She is careful to care even more about what God desires. (Matthew 6:33)

 —–

  • She thinks on things that are good, true, noble, excellent, praiseworthy, pure, right and admirable. (Philippians 4:8)
  • She takes her thoughts captive and does not allow unruly emotions or worry to hijack her mind or rob her of God’s peace. She, through God’s power, is in control of her own thoughts. Her feelings do not reign as tyrants over her. (2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:4-8)
  • She does not argue or complain but shines brightly for Christ in her attitude. (Philippians 2:14-16)
  • She shares her heart and her ideas, needs and feelings without being contentious or disrespectful  – but always speaks respectfully, gently, graciously and humbly. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • She is full of grace, forgiveness and mercy because she abides in Christ and has experienced these things in abundance from Jesus. (John 15)

 —–

  • She never gives up on God, her husband or the marriage covenant. She keeps her word and her promises. (Matthew 19, I Corinthians 13:7-8)
  • She keeps no record of wrongs she has suffered. (I Corinthians 13:5 – for any wives who are truly being abused, please seek godly, biblical, experienced, wise help. “Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?”)
  • She rejoices continually in God and in His truth. (Philippians 4:4, I Corinthians 13:6)
  • She hates all sin and evil. (I Corinthians 13:6)
  • She tears out any trace of the smallest root of bitterness as soon as possible and doesn’t let it fester. (Ephesians 4:31)

—–

  • She is sober – not addicted to drugs or alcohol. (Titus 3:2)
  • She uses her words to give life and does not use her words to tear down or destroy. She does not gossip or slander anyone. (Proverbs 18:21, 2 Corinthians 12:20)
  • She is chaste – she does not entertain immoral or lustful ideas about real or fictional men (or women), she does not flirt with other men, she guards her marriage and her heart, she does not touch other men in a sensual way, she does not get involved in any trace of adultery, fornication or immorality. If she sees that there is a temptation coming, she flees from it. She does not want to create even the appearance of evil. (I Corinthians 6:18, Proverbs 4:23, I Thessalonians 5:22)
  • She is reverent and respectful in her behavior at home and in public. (Titus 2:2)
  • She does not allow happiness, her dreams, her desires or romance to become more important to her than Christ, her obedience to Christ, her husband or her marriage. She has proper priorities. She enjoys happiness when it comes, and romance when her husband offers it to her – but she is not consumed by a desperate desire for these things. Her only desperate desire is Christ. (Titus 2:3-5)

 —–

  • She teaches her children and other women good things. (Titus 2:3)
  • She loves her husband and children affectionately. (Titus 2:3)
  • She is sound and solid in her faith. She knows the Word and handles it well. (Titus 2:2, Ephesians 6, 2 Timothy 2:16)
  • She guards her heart, because it is the wellspring of her life. (Proverbs 4:23)
  • She is willing to forsake all others (family, friends, past boyfriends, etc) and leave them in order to cleave to her husband (Genesis 2:24) and she realizes in the same way that she must forsake all others in order to cleave to Christ as her Savior and only Lord.

 —–

  • When she sins or makes a mistake – she is quick to repent and apologize and take responsibility without justifying her sin. She keeps very short accounts with God and gets rid of sin as soon as possible. Her spirit is sensitive to the pricks of conscience that God’s Spirit gives her. (I John 1:9, Matthew 5:24)
  • She is content in Christ no matter what her circumstances may be. (I Timothy 6:6, Philippians 4:12-13)
  • She does not set herself up as an authority or teacher over her husband or men in the church. (I Timothy 2:12)
  • She develops the godly beauty of Christlike character, the hidden beauty of the heart which is a gentle and peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear, which is very precious in the sight of God. (I Peter 3:4)
  • She overflows with the peace and joy of God’s Spirit. (Galatians 5:22) (When Do I Get to Feel Peaceful?)

 —–

  • She is patient and can be content even when she doesn’t get her way, trusting that God’s will will ultimately be done. (Galatians 5:22)
  • She is willing to wait on God and trust His timing, seeking His will far above her own. She is full of courage in the face of adversity. (Psalm 27:14)
  • She has great spiritual strength from an unending fountain of God’s power in her. (John 4:14)
  • She is able to look past suffering and difficult times to see the good God will bring from it. (James 1, I Peter, Job, Romans 8:28-29)
  • She is faithful to God and to her husband. (Galatians 5:22-23)

 —–

  • She cherishes a life-giving rebuke.
  • She has a teachable, correctable spirit and measures any criticism given to her against the Word of God accurately.
  • She finds her satisfaction, purpose and contentment in eternity not this temporary life and it’s ever changing circumstances.
  • She is not judgmental, critical, controlling, bossy, demanding or condemning. She is accepting of others, understanding and gracious in the face of their weaknesses.
  • She only accepts sound doctrine and tests the spirits before accepting something as being biblical or of God. (1 John 4:1)

 —–

  • She is strong enough in Christ to handle things on her own if necessary. (1 Samuel 25 – Abigail, Mary the mother of Jesus after Joseph’s death)
  • She is spiritually responsible for her own maturity and contentment, able to be spiritually and emotionally independent and secure no matter what her husband is or is not doing. Her dependency is completely in Christ. (Mary – Matthew 1, Luke 1, Philippians 2:12)
  • She deeply desires God’s best for her husband, family and everyone. (Matthew 6:13)
  • She weeps over sin – her sin and the sin of others and how it grieves God’s heart. (James 4:9)
  • She weeps over the lost and those who are in need. (2 Corinthians 2:4)
  • She doesn’t put ministry for Christ above her husband. (Matthew 19)
  • She does not use cutting sarcasm toward anyone but seeks to bless with her speech. She is not crude or vulgar. (Ephesians 4:29-30)

ENCOURAGEMENT:

God knows we are but dust and He knows our weaknesses. He loves us and made a way for us to be holy. Our God is so strong that He is able to empower us and to give us victory as we abide in Him.  As our Sunday School teacher says, “God gives us the control valve so WE decide how much of His Spirit we allow in our lives.” Christ is a gentleman. He does not force Himself on us but waits to be invited into every part of our lives. He wants us to surrender and allow Him to have control as Lord in everything. But that is our choice to make.

This is all about us being in an intimate relationship with Christ and allowing His power to flow full blast through us and transform us according to His will for His greatest glory!

ABIDING IN CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN BE GODLY WOMEN:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:5-8

SHARE:

What is an example of godly femininity that you have witnessed?

What are  your thoughts as we are studying godly femininity?

Are you encouraged or discouraged and why?

RELATED:

Godly Femininity Part 2

She Is Worth Far More Than Rubies

Rough, natural rubies
Rough, natural rubies

Rough rubies, sell for about $900-$7000 for a small bag of them.

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:10-12, 28-30

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www.naturalunheatedruby.com

A godly woman who has noble character is a rare thing, even among women who profess Christ. You don’t find many women with a gentle, peaceful spirit who totally trust in Christ and are fully submitted to Him. You don’t find many women who are so filled with God’s Spirit that He empowers them to do what is right and who do not give way to fear.

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Confidence in Christ is so beautiful in a woman! It causes her to light up the whole room.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. I Peter 3:3-6

What comes naturally to our sinful nature as women are things like:

  • being afraid
  • freaking out
  • being anxious
  • putting things like romance, beauty, marriage, children or being in control ourselves above Christ in our hearts
  • grabbing for control or power
  • trying to force what we want (selfishness)
  • trusting in our own human wisdom
  • allowing our emotions to rule over us
  • trusting our feelings instead of God’s Word
  • bitterness
  • resentment
  • gossip
  • score-keeping
  • pride
  • self-righteousness, thinking we are better than other people

SPIRITUAL BEAUTY

It is only when we allow Christ to have full control of everything in our lives that He radically transforms us from sinful women to Spirit-filled women. It is only as we allow Him to do open heart surgery on us and we completely trust Him and allow Him to remove our old sinful nature and old sinful heart, crucifying it with Himself on the cross and burying it with Him in the tomb – that we can find freedom from our slavery to sin. He opens the door to our dungeon that has imprisoned us in depression, anxiety, worry, fear, isolation, despair, bitterness, resentment, jealousy and pain. He breaks the shackles from our hands and feet. Jesus invites us to walk with Him out into the glorious freedom and abundant spiritual blessings of the life He has in store for us! Then, because Jesus was resurrected to new life, and we are in Him, He gives us new life, new hearts and His power to live in obedience to His Word.

I CAN BE A PRISONER NOW BY MY CHOICE, BUT THE WAY TO FREEDOM IS ALREADY AVAILABLE

We can choose to stay in the dungeon. We can choose to remain prisoners to our sinful nature and the enemy. We can choose to stay miserable and to enjoy our bitterness and complaints. No one will stop us. It is our choice alone to make. Or, we can now choose to leave these old ways and that old life and old nature behind and receive the spiritual gifts, treasures and blessings Jesus has waiting for all who trust Him and submit to Him as Lord and Master. My feelings don’t have to be my master anymore. I can boss my feelings around when I belong to Christ. They may be helpful to me at times. They may give me some useful information. But they no longer have to be a tyrant to me. I can choose to obey Jesus and walk with Him no matter what my feelings tell me at a given moment. Jesus will reward me with eternal blessings for my obedience to Him as I walk in the power of His Spirit. I don’t have to seek momentary worldly happiness anymore.

I am responsible for this choice myself. I am responsible for my emotions and my spiritual condition. God gives ME this choice to make for my life. My husband cannot make it for me. He cannot make me be content or happy! Only I can find contentment for myself and the only real place to find true satisfaction and fulfillment is in Christ alone.

No other human can make me happy or be responsible for my contentment. I must find my own contentment and be responsible for my own soul. If I am unhappy, it is my job to run to Jesus and take my pain to Him. I CAN choose to receive His gifts of joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control. I must be willing to die to myself and allow self to be crucified and buried with Christ. Then I can count myself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. And I can learn to rest in Him and allow Him to produce good in me. It is all His work, none of the good Jesus wants to do in my life originates from me. It is all Him 100%. He died and has provided victory for me. I can choose to accept and receive His gift and learn to live in the power of His Spirit on a daily basis as He conforms my heart, mind and soul to be made to be like Himself.

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

IT IS ALL ABOUT GOD

It is the most amazing thing to watch God change you, change your heart, change your mind, change your desires, change your priorities and to cause you to love what He loves and to hate what He hates. As we fling the door wide open to our lives and allow Him access to everything, He will take the things that are most precious to us – as we allow Him to – and break them. He must see that we are willing to give up ALL for Him and that He is our greatest desire and greatest passion. It is only when we willingly grant Him access to our greatest treasures in this life that He will then give us access to all of Himself. Then we gain access to all of Christ, His mind, His heart, His power, the riches of heaven, the spiritual treasures of God…

Then, we radiate the beauty, holiness, peace, joy divine love and power of God. And we live in contentment in Christ alone. We are unshaken by circumstances. Our faith is firmly planted like a tree beside a stream. We draw all of our strength and nourishment from God and His very Spirit lives in us, controlling our lives as we lovingly, joyfully submit to Him in all things.
This is the beauty God is talking about that He desires His women to have. It is not anything that comes from her that is so beautiful, it is Christ in her that brings all the beauty. This is what is precious in His sight and this kind of Holy Spirit-filled woman is worth far more than rubies to God – and to her husband. This is the kind of beauty I pray for us each to discover and develop in Christ.

cmr414-2_i1
http://www.naturalunheatedruby.com
This is a 4.14 carat African ruby for sale for $68,000 USD

Prayer Day – a Living Sacrifice

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Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said:

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:26-27

“Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33

To follow Jesus means we must yield ALL of ourselves, all that we are and every detail of our lives to Him in complete submission. He gave all for us. Now, we sacrifice everything for Him.

To give Him less than everything we are and all that we have is to not follow Him, to not be His disciple.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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.” Romans 12:1-2

The Normal Christian Life – by Watchman Nee:

“The apostle Paul gave us his own definition of the Christian life in Galatians 2:20. It is “no longer I, but Christ.” Here he is not stating something special or peculiar – a high level of Christianity. He is, we believe, presenting God’s normal for a Christian, which can be summarized in the words: I live no longer, but Christ lives His life in me.

God makes it quite clear in His Word that He has only one answer to every human need – His Son, Jesus Christ. In all His dealings with us, He works by taking us out of the way and substituting Christ in our place. The Son of God died instead of us for our forgiveness: He lives instead of us for our deliverance. So we can speak of two substitutions – a Substitute on the Cross who secures our forgiveness and a Substitute within who secures our victory. It will help us greatly, and save us from much confusion, if we keep constantly before us this fact, that God will answer all of our questions in one way and one way only, namely, by showing us more of His Son.”

——

PRAYER:

Lord,

We bow on our faces before You. You are high and lifted up. You are so very holy, sinless, perfect, righteous, just, powerful, sovereign, mighty, awesome, wise and beyond anything we can begin to fathom. You are the only God. You are the Creator. You are in full control of Your universe and Your good purposes will be accomplished. No man can thwart Your sovereignty. Your face shines brighter than the sun. Your clothes  and your appearance are whiter than snow and so dazzling and radiant that if we were to see you in all of our holiness, we couldn’t survive – for we are sinful people. Your voice sounds like thunder. Your eyes blaze like fire. Your hands and feet glow like metal in a furnace.

And yet, at the same time, you are Love itself. You possess such opposing qualities – it is a glorious mystery how you can be just and merciful, powerful and gentle, righteous and gracious, dreadfully terrifying to your enemies and protective of those who love You. Lift up our heads and let us look into Your eyes, blazing with love for us – though we deserve nothing but condemnation in Your sight. Thank You for loving us so much that You became a man and that You bore upon Yourself Your own full wrath against our sin – so that we might come to You and have abundant life with You and know You deeply both here and in heaven. Thank You for this love that passes all understanding and that greatly exceeds all measure. Thank You that Jesus’ blood on the cross satisfies Your righteousness, justice and holiness.

Lord, our church culture has warped the message of what it means to truly follow You. We have been so tainted by the world, by godlessness and by our own sin. We easily believe that we can follow You without total submission to Your Lordship – that we can be “casual” Christians. We have been so very wrong! Following You is not about going to a church service once a week, listening to Christian music, reading a chapter of the Bible every day and then living however we want, cherishing sin in our hearts and being in charge of our own lives. We have been so deceived!

You desire ALL of us. You are worthy of ALL we have, ALL we are and ALL we ever hope to be. Open our spiritual eyes and let us understand that You are the Greatest Treasure! You are the Pearl of Greatest Price. To know You is eternal life. Nothing compares to You. Nothing else deserves all of our devotion, adoration, worship, service, sacrifice, love, strength and passion. Only You deserve all of these things from us.

Let us truly lay down everything at Your feet. We place nothing above or beside You in our hearts. Let us give You free reign in our lives. Let us know Your character and learn how very trustworthy You are. Let us taste and see that You are GOOD. There is no darkness in You at all. Let us willingly, joyfully lay our lives before You and allow You to do open heart surgery on us to remove anything that displeases and offends Your holiness. Let us be willing to love, honor, obey and serve You no matter what the personal cost to ourselves, Jesus! Let us love You so much that nothing competes or compares to our love and devotion to You.

Empower us by Your Spirit flooding our souls to love our husbands and children and those around us with Your supernatural love. Let us die to our sinful old nature. Let us nail it to the cross with You. And let us put on our new man in Christ. Let us live in Your power. Let us abide in You and live in You. Let us feast on Your Word and desire You more than anything in the universe.

Cleanse us. Make us new. Transform us to be more and more like You, Lord. We can do nothing apart from You. We are totally and desperately dependent on You. Make us holy. Make us fruitful. Prune us. Chisel us. Mold us. Refine us. Make us beautiful in Your sight. Make us useful in Your kingdom. Let us love what You love. Let us hate what You hate. Let us go into our marriages and families and churches and into the world by Your power. Make us bold and courageous to share Your glorious gospel with everyone. Use us to shine brightly for Your kingdom.

Let us have the biggest faith there is! Let us be people of great faith and fervent prayer. Open the floodgates of heaven to pour Your power into our lives and marriages and families that You might be greatly glorified in us. Let our marriages and families draw many to Yourself and to salvation and to the gospel of Christ! Use us to train our children in Your ways, to know You, to love You, to love Your Word, to obey You by the power of Your Spirit and to love others with Your love.

Move mightily among Your people in the United States and around the world. Bring a Great Awakening, Lord! Draw millions to Yourself. Let it begin with us.

In the Name and power of Christ.

Amen!

“Amy” Shares Some Encouragement and Her Story

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This precious wife, “Amy,” (not her real name) was generous enough to allow me to share what God is doing in her life with y’all!  PRAISE GOD!

I figured it was time for an update..
I have learned a LOT in the past few months..
But everything comes back to this..
This picture above is the MOST important thing to remember.

 

My husband and I still have our issues. But we are working on them. We still go to counseling. Godly counsel is so important. We have our person that we meet with, and we have someone we consider as a pastor to help guide us spiritually.

We are closer now than we have ever been. We’ve discovered a Love we forgot we had.
We pray every morning and every night, he makes me breakfast, we make sure to have some sort of physical contact, a kiss, a hug, holding hands every day.

It all starts with a changing of the heart. Changing your circumstance by changing your thought process.

You, (me) a human can NOT change someone else. You can manipulate, push, encourage, and insist the other person change. And most of the time these end up doing more harm. But you can’t change anyone.

Only God can change a heart. You can pray that God will work on them.  But like the flight attendants instruct on a plane in the safety talk. In the event of an emergency, help yourself before you attempt to help others.
Get your heart right with God, before trying to “fix” your husbands heart.

Believe me, I know it’s very hard. I still struggle.  I work in this daily.

How do you start to work on your heart?

  • Sometimes reading the bible is just to difficult to do..
  • Start by changing the music you listen to.. I challenged myself to the klove 30 day challenge! It has changed my everyday life..
  • Maybe start your day, as you are brushing your teeth, think of 3 things you are thankful to God for..

And mean them!
Yes you are thankful for your kids.. Home… Blah blah blah.. That’s good for a few days. But think of 3 different things everyday and tell God you are grateful!

What really hit me:

I thought about how my husband was treating me. How he ignored me, spent money frivolously, didn’t talk to me or even seem interested and had no regard my feelings.
What if, all the time, money, efforts and all my focus that I was giving to my husband – in trying to fix him and us – I was doing the SAME thing to God… to whom we are betrothed.

I was such a hypocrite.

Bro Denny Livingston has a series he is still preaching on Matters of the Heart. I’ve been listening, it is awesome!

  • Work on your heart, and do it because you Love God more than anything. Because He is worthy,  not because you want your husband to be fixed.  That is trying to manipulate God. He is not fooled.
  • Love The Lord your God with all your heart. God is the number one priority..

It all goes back to that diagram..
Change your heart, your attitude, and Love God..

I hope all is well with you!

Keep inspiring!! 🙂

RELATED:

A Peacefulwife Youtube Video “Respecting Our Husbands and Reverencing Christ” (13 minutes)

Finding All of Our Contentment in Christ

If you do NOT have a relationship with Jesus Christ or you are not sure if you do and you would like to receive Him as your Savior and Lord, please leave me a comment and we will talk about how you can have the peace, joy and hope that Jesus gives to those who trust Him and how you can know Jesus and receive His incredible gift of love, mercy, grace and forgiveness and how you can be made right with God here and after this life, as well. You cannot make yourself right with God on your own. The only way to God is through Jesus and what He did on our behalf. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. He died to pay the debt we owed God, the LARGE, LARGE debt our sins have created. His blood is sufficient to pay our debt to God in full so that we can be in right standing before God and enter into relationship with Him based on the merits of Christ Jesus, not our own merits. We don’t have to pay the price of our own sin in hell. There is a way for us to have unity and communion and sweet fellowship with God through Jesus!  How to Have a Relationship with Christ