Speaking Your Mind?

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Oyyyy, today’s pic speaks volumes, doesn’t it? I’ve been the person in that chair before and it’s not pleasant at all! But have there been times that you have been the person standing up doing the yelling? Speaking one’s mind is the thing to do these days. In today’s world, one is considered a coward if she doesn’t say what’s on her mind. This has gotten quite out of hand, actually; to the point of being a bully!

But what does God’s Word have to say about speaking our minds? I’m not talking about sharing your heart when there’s conflict. That’s not what I’m saying at all. We wives share our hearts with our husbands when we disagree with them. It’s all in the attitude, amen? You can speak sweetly and get your point across.

I’m talking about women who belt out their answers and not caring who they offend in the process. This is what today’s verse is trying to teach us. I have known women who blast out to their husbands in public – it’s so wrong in so many ways! It shows a lack of respect, it shows a lack of self control and it shows a heart that does not want to mature in Christ. ūüė¶

Today’s verse is a good foundation to lay which will guard our mouths; actually, not just for us women but for any believer. ūüôā Picking it apart helps us to get to the meat of this verse:

  • be ye all of one mind – equally yoked in Christ – filled with the Word and the wisdom it gives believers
  • having compassion one of another – sometimes we don’t always agree – sometimes someone is going through hard times and reacts with unkind words – a new believer doesn’t have the spiritual growth that an older believer has
  • ,be pitiful – be moved with compassion to the needs of others
  • be courteous – ah yes, the final statement – be polite – be civil – be kind

As women and wives, we¬†surely can speak our minds but in a manner that honors the Lord Jesus Christ. If we use today’s verse as a “rule of thumb,” we would prevent a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. ūüôā

Foolish or Virtuous?

Proverbs 9:13 A foolish woman [is] clamorous: [she is] simple, and knoweth nothing.

The Book of Proverbs is such a wonderful instruction book. God reveals to us how He views foolishness and what He thinks of being virtuous – all in one book! I find that when I don’t know¬†what to read in my Bible, I can always turn to Proverbs and walk away with¬†something that the Lord wants to say to me! ūüôā

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the words “foolish” and “clamorous” as:

FOOL’ISH, a.¬†1. Void of understanding or sound judgment; weak in intellect; applied to general character.¬†2. Unwise; imprudent; acting without judgment or discretion in particular things.¬†3. Proceeding from folly, or marked with folly; silly; vain; trifling.¬†But foolish questions avoid. 2 Tim 2.¬†4. Ridiculous; despicable.¬†A foolish figure he must make.¬†5. In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one’s own eternal happiness.¬†O foolish Galatians – Gal 3.¬†6. Proceeding from depravity; sinful; as foolish lusts. 1 Tim

 CLAMOROUS, a. Speaking and repeating loud words; noisy; vociferous; loud; turbulent.

What a wonderful way for a Christian woman to learn to judge her own walk with the Lord, ladies! I’ll put my¬†name in front of all of the definitions and see what the Lord is trying to teach me this morning! ūüôā

Kate is void of understanding. Kate is void of sound judgment and weak in intellect.

Kate is unwise; Kate is imprudent; Kate is acting without judgment or discretion.

Kate is silly and vain.

Kate is dispicable and ridiculous.

Kate is wicked.

Kate is depraved and sinful.

Kate speaks and repeats loud words; Kate is noisy and turbulent.

Ouch! Let’s pause for a moment while I lick my wounds! ūüėČ This verse is packed with instruction. Our “How To” Manual, the Bible, says it perfectly! Our hearts have to desire to change. We remain miserable only when we remain fixed and continue to walk down our current path. Change can only happen when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct. He will¬†never lead us down the wrong path, amen? He¬†wants to teach us and to mold us into the image of Christ. That is the Holy Spirit’s job, after all. So as we look at that uphill path of spiritual growth, let’s remember that the changes will bring glory to the Lord!

So what must I do to change? I believe that acknowledgment of my sin is the best place to start. The Holy Spirit will reveal to me exactly what I’m guilty of and those statements above will pop right out at me… and they do! Then once I have acknowledged those areas, I seek the Lord’s forgiveness and move on!¬†It is then that the Holy Spirit can work with a yielded heart and start a work of “opposites.” I can now gain wisdom and not be void of understanding or weak in intellect. I can now become wise through the Scriptures. As a result, I will no longer be silly or vain, etc. etc. I think you get my drift!

Lord, reveal to me those areas where I am weak. Help me to be molded in your image and help me to yield myself to the Holy Spirit! Father, I would rather be a virtuous woman than this foolish woman of Proverbs 9:13. Forgive me, Lord! Restore me and mold me into the image of your Son, Jesus, for it’s in His name that I pray! Amen.

Fitly Spoken

Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

A woman’s words can make or break her household. Her words set the tone for the whole day. There’s a big difference between waking your husband with a kiss and a “Good morning, sweetheart” and “Come on, get out of bed”! Our husbands are no different than anyone else. They need sweet, kind and encouraging words! We like to hear them as well, don’t we? Our husbands are no different. In fact, they deserve them more than anyone else in your life!

Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

God has given you the perfect man for just you, dear lady. Take time to speak kindness and appreciation for what he does for you and your family. He needs to hear it every day. He needs to hear that you recognize his hard work and his talent. It’ll do your heart good as well. When we are busy saying kind things to people, we are keeping ourselves from negative thoughts. ūüôā

The health of our home starts with our mouths!

Your Terms or God’s?

Genesis 4:1-8 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

How many times have you read this account, dear lady? I don’t think I can even count the number of times in my 34 years of salvation. I’ve heard countless messages on works-based salvation using these very verses as well. We see in today’s text that Cain brought the fruit of his own hands rather than obeying God and bringing a lamb to be offered. He was probably a very good gardener and took pride in his ability to produce such beautiful fruit and vegetables.

Let’s take it a bit further. Notice in verse 7 that the Lord told Cain that if he had done what was right, his offering would have been accepted. As well, God said that if you¬†don’t do what is right, sin is at the door. So Cain knew what was right and what was wrong and he¬†chose to do wrong.

Are we any different from Cain? Granted, we may not have murdered our brother, but do we not know what is right and yet don’t do it? I’ve been guilty and the Lord really dealt with me on this very issue. It’s known as the sin of omission. We may think we only sin when we actually¬†commit the sin but that is not the case at all.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

So what¬†about those sins of omission? They come in different forms – different scenarios. It may come by way of¬†a God-given gift, like Cain had – which was tilling the ground. Cain¬†could have purchased a lamb from his brother for his offering to God. But could it be his pride got in the way? Maybe he thought his brother was a goody-two-shoes. Or maybe Cain was jealous of his brother’s relationship with God. We don’t know. Had¬†Cain been saved, he¬†could have purchased the lamb from his brother and then given a surplus of the fruit of his hands to a hungry family. That would have been pleasing in God’s eyes, amen?

What God-given talent has the Lord blessed you with, dear lady? Are you a good cook? Do you like to prepare meals? How about using that gift to feed a Senior Saint who is sick? If you know¬†there is a Senior Saint in your church who is sick, and you have the ability and talent to help but you don’t qualifies as a sin of omission. I’m referring to the woman who sees the need, has the ability to help with the need, but it’s just not “convenient” to do so. That’s a sin of omission. God puts opportunities in front of us each and every day. Do we seize the moment or reject it because it’s not convenient?

Genesis 4:11-13 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

We always hear that Cain’s punishment was banishment and he was sent off as a fugitive and vagabond. But look more closely. Notice that the ground would no longer produce for him? Here was a gardener, a farmer by trade, and now that gift had been taken away from him. ūüė¶ He no longer would be able to feel the soil between his fingers and see all of his hard work come to fruition. How said is¬†that?

Serving the Lord through our gifts and talents is not something we do when we feel like it. Serving Him requires sacrifice on our part – picking up our cross and following Him. It’s when it’s NOT convenient to make a meal that we should make the effort to reach out – I’m sure it wasn’t convenient for Christ to go on the cross to die for us, but He did.

How is your walk with the Lord? Is it only when it’s convenient? This is exactly the area in my own life that needed work. God showed me that I was coming to Him on my own terms – when it was convenient – and in my own abilities. I wasn’t being obedient nor was I allowing Him full reign. I don’t want the Lord to take away the gift(s) He has entrusted to me so they may bring Him glory! I don’t want to be a Cain! Forgive me, Lord, for my self-centered walk. Thank You for Your patience with me and Your never-ending grace!

Guard Your Husband

Gen. 3:17 And unto Adam he said , Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee , saying , Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Married women tend to think that it’s a husband’s job to guard his wife and his family and rightfully so. However, have you ever stopped to think of the influence you have over your husband’s decisions? I’m sure Eve didn’t stop to think about it. Had she done so, we would still be living in the Garden of Eden.

Man’s weakness is his wife. It’s evident in today’s Scriptures for we see that Adam “hearkened” to the voice of his wife and look where it got him! Noah Webster defines the word “hearken” as:

HE’ARKEN, verb intransitive h’arken.

1. To listen; to lend the ear; to attend to what is uttered, with eagerness or curiosity.

The furies hearken and their snakes uncurl.

2. To attend; to regard; to give heed to what is uttered; to observe or obey.

Hearken, O Israel, to the statutes and the judgments which I teach you. Deuteronomy 4:1.

3. To listen; to attend; to grant or comply with.

Hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant.

l Kings 8.

Two of the three definitions show that the result of listening was: giving heed to, observe, obey, grant or comply with.

How many times have you swayed your husband’s decision your way as Eve did Adam? We women must realize that our interference can have lifelong effects. I’m sure had Eve known what was to happen, she would not have done so, don’t you think? Christian wife, you have a stronghold over your husband and it’s your duty to protect him from your selfish ideas. Eve succumbed to the devil’s temptations – she saw and coveted, she listened to ungodly logic from the enemy and then convinced her husband. Wow!

We must recognize the order God designed for the family. Adam was still held responsible for his own decision, even though he tried to blame Eve. For that matter, Eve tried to blame the serpent so blame shifting was the natural reaction. Christian women need to recognize that our very words and intentions must be centered in Christ and His word so we don’t cause our husbands to make the wrong decision which will ultimately impact us!

A Call to Action

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~Colossians 3:23-24 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

As parents, we can see life through our children, can’t we? For example, you tell your children to go clean up their rooms. One child stomps his foot on the floor and cleans his room but with a¬†lot¬†of attitude. The other one immediately does as he is told and does a great job. It’s not difficult for you to see which child brought much joy to you at this point, right?

It is no different with Christians. How many of us serve the Lord grudgingly? How many wives are out there cleaning their house and doing laundry but with much resentment in her heart? ¬†How many of us serve Him because we love Him and are delighted to serve Him? When we serve Christ with gladness of heart, it is a testimony to the unbeliever… right down to cleaning and laundry ūüôā They see our joy for themselves and it attracts them. They want what we have – the joy of the Lord!

Won’t you serve the Lord with gladness today?

A Virtuous Woman

Mist in Trees

~Proverbs 31:10, 27-28 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Noah Webster defines the word “virtuous” as:

1. Morally good; acting in conformity to the moral law; practicing the moral duties, and abstaining from vice; as a virtuous man.

2. Being in conformity to the moral or divine law; as a virtuous action; a virtuous life.

3. Chaste; applied to women.

The virtuous woman spoken of in Proverbs 31 is the woman who lives a chaste and morally good life. Protecting ourselves from the corruption of this world is a major task with all the various types of distractions today.  Facebook can be a wonderful tool but there are many things posted by unsaved friends which should not be seen. Yes, we can try to justify it by saying we are trying to win the lost, but how many of your lost family members and friends have gotten saved?  Now compare that to how many times they have posted something your eyes should not have seen?

Women merely need to turn to this Proverbs chapter in God’s Word to find out how God wishes for them to live. What have I learned from this chapter? Here are but a few things to which I learned to judge myself according to the Bible:

  1. Does God and His Word come first in my life?¬† If yes, I can expect my spiritual life to be chaste and moral.¬† If not, I am no¬† better than the unsaved “religious” person who tries to do so “in the flesh.”¬† There is no peace and victory without God being first in our lives.
  2. Is my husband my priority in all the things that I do and say in my home?¬† After all, my husband is my life after the Lord Jesus.¬† This encompasses a great deal.¬† If I follow this pattern of chastity and being morally good, I will not listen to music which will have my thoughts stray away from my beloved.¬† If I follow this pattern, I will not watch shows on television that involve adultery, etc., which will have my thoughts stray away from my beloved.¬† This also includes anything that would stir up rebellion in my heart.¬† I can’t begin to tell you the number of “Christian” women I know who watch Desperate Housewives!¬† The commercials alone would cause Christian women to question their own happiness.¬† I cannot stress this one enough.¬† The virtuous woman is to be content with the husband that God has given to her.¬† Even if¬†salvation came after marriage, there is no excuse.¬† We women are commanded to love our husbands no matter what (1 Peter 3:1-3).¬† There is no deviation there.¬† Do I love my husband unconditionally as Christ loves me?¬† Do I repeatedly forgive my husband as Christ repeatedly forgives me?¬† Granted, the wife of an unsaved husband faces different challenges in her marriage. However, God’s commands to her are the same as to the woman whose husband is a Godly man. This was difficult for me at first. ¬†If it had not been for God’s grace, our marriage would not have made it.
  3. Do I raise my children according to God’s Word?¬† How do I handle situations with them when Dad does not agree with me?¬† Do I dishonor Dad by correcting him or making him look bad in front of the children?¬† If I am honoring my husband, so will my children.¬† Do my children’s needs come before my husband’s needs?¬† This is not what God intends for me.¬† Granted, a baby’s needs are more immediate but after those needs are met, my husband should be first once again.¬† My example to my children should be a living testimony of obedience to God’s Word.
  4. Do I take care of the home that God has blessed me with?¬† A home is not a house, per se.¬† It is anywhere that my husband and I (and children) reside.¬† Making it a home is up to me.¬† My obedience to God, my creativity, my talents, and my attitude make up the home.¬† Sadly there is a saying in the world that goes something like this:¬† “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy!”¬† That saying absolutely breaks my heart.¬† The virtuous woman’s home should be a safe haven for her husband and children.¬† Her husband should be anxious to enter the doors at the end of the day.¬† My attitude “du jour” will be the spirit of my home.¬† If I am grumpy, my family will suffer and they will be grumpy.¬† However, if I started my day with the Lord and am yielded to Him, my spirit will be joyous and my family will reap the benefit.¬† It is do-able, ladies!

The woman who desires to be all that God intends for her to be will have her nose in her Bible at some point in her day.  She will desire Him first in her life, every day.  The Holy Spirit can then work in her heart and give her direction from His Word.

We will never achieve perfection on this earth, dear lady, but we can be busy striving to be what God has intended for us to be.  This brings true peace and joy!