Where’s Your Strength

Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Where do you draw your strength from when hard times fall on you, dear lady?  Do you draw strength from your husband?  Do you draw strength from your friends?  Although they are good options, they should not be the first source you go to.

Psalms 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

The Lord God should be our main source for strength.  He should be the first one we turn to when times get rough.  Can you imagine what kind of testimony that would be to your husband (especially if he is unsaved) and your friends?  They would see that you are not easily shaken by circumstances.  They would see that you are not sucked into the “drama de jour” but you turn to your God and allow Him to do a work in your heart.  What work? The work of peach which no one can understand but the Christian who walks closely with Him!

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

If the Lord is not the first one you turn to, there is a great need in your spiritual walk for growth in this area. Practice makes perfect! 🙂

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Complainer?

Numbers 11:1 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

What does God think about complaining?  Today’s verses make it quite clear, don’t they? This is not a sin that is only known to kids and teenagers.  It is quite common in adults as well. There’s nothing I hate more than to hear some complaining about the situations in their life. It bothers me even more when it is another Christian. Complaining causes us to forget the good that God has done for us. It causes us to forget His blessings!

Are you a complainer, dear lady? Does your husband get an ear full when you aren’t happy with the way things are going in your home?  Notice what the verse above says?  Let’s pick it apart:  the complaining “displeased” God – He “heard” it – His anger was “stirred” – then He “destroyed” them.  Do you get the idea that God doesn’t like to hear complaining? It’s one thing to go to God with a problem and tell Him about it.  I’m certain this isn’t what is being referenced in today’s text.  In this case, the people were complaining to each other. The sin was not revolving around one person but a group of people. Trouble comes in numbers – you don’t see a street gang of one person.  Do you constantly complain to your husband or friends when things aren’t going well?  If you do, then you are no different that the complainers in Moses’ time.  God doesn’t like it at all (and neither does your husband) and He considers it quite serious. If you want your life to go well, then stop complaining and start being grateful for what he has provided for you.

Numbers 11:4-6 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

The sin of complaining doesn’t stop with the one complaint.  It leads to other sins – in this case, it was lust! Notice that the people dwelt on their troubles so much so that they began wishing for their old life.  The woman who dwells on her current trials and disappointments will begin to think that the grass is greener on the other side.  She will think “Life before salvation wasn’t so bad.”  Oh the tragedy of it all!  Is it any wonder that God destroyed them?  One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel of apples.  One little bit of yeast will cause all of the dough to rise. (1 Cor. 5:6) What God is saying is that the leaven (yeast) is like sin. Once you start, it brings more sin into your life. The more sin in your life, the more you will become discontent with your life.

If you’re not a complainer and you’ve conquered this sin, then praise the Lord!  Teach it to your children – counsel your friends and help them conquer the sin as well – be an example to those around you and use every opportunity to teach them when complaints arise.

Submission and Obedience

One cannot be submissive without obedience – one cannot be obedient without being submissive. They go hand-in-hand, don’t they?

Our children are commanded to obey. We are commanded to obey God. We are commanded to submit ourselves to God. Woman are commanded to submit themselves to their own husbands. We can glean much if we read verses dealing with this topic and applying it to our lives. If we practice true biblical obedience and submission, how can an unsaved husband or disobedient husband to the Word help but see God’s goodness through our actions? If we, as wives, are not obedient and submissive to our husbands, how can we expect our children to be obedient to us? If we’re not practicing what we preach to our children, are we not hypocrites?

But if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1Sa 12:15)

When we know that God wants us to do something, yet we don’t do it, we are being disobedient. We are sinning. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (Jam 4:17) Therefore, if God tells us to submit to our own husbands in all things, and we don’t submit in one little area, are we not sinning?

And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1Sa 15:22) We can play the game of sacrifice all we want, but if we disobey in one area, we are not a delight to the Lord. Let’s say my husband tells me to do something I don’t want to do. Instead I make up for it by going the extra mile in doing other things for him – that is the game of sacrifice rather than obedience. I may have all the warm fuzzy feelings in the world because I did all those extra things for him, but I did not do what he asked me to do.

But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. (Jer 7:23) When we obey, God says it will be well with us. We will have peace in our homes and foremost in our hearts. Women are emotional creatures. God made us that way. If we are trying to be a yielded vessel to God, we know automatically when we are not doing right. We do not have that peace that our actions are what God wants. We lie to our own selves when we say that we are doing the “right” thing yet we know it is not our husband’s will.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (Col 3:20) Don’t expect your children to obey you if you don’t obey/submit to your husband. Your children do not have to witness your unsubmissive spirit – it will be evident in other ways and you will reap with disobedient children. When your children are disobedient, look inward – examine yourself first. Are you a submissive wife? If you are, then deal with your children accordingly. If you’re not, then deal with yourself accordingly. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7)

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (Col 3:22) Obedience and submission is such an important lesson for us to learn. Without it, there is chaos. That is the reason the world is in the shape it’s in. We have lost our singleness of heart (purity of heart – separation) and our fear of God. We do not see our disobedience as sin. We think we know better or have more wisdom than our husband. But the Word does not say to submit only when we think it’s right.

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (1 Pe 3:1) Why would Peter say this? The “conversation” of a meek and submissive wife speaks volumes to her unsaved or disobedient husband. He does not need the Word. He sees the Word in action by her submission!

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (Eph 5:22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. (Col 3:18 ) Twice Paul commands the wives to submit their own husbands. Take notice and obey. To do otherwise, is sin.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Jam 4:7) When we submit ourselves to our husbands, we are submitting to God’s will for our lives – as unto the Lord. God did not create us to rule our homes. No matter if we could do a better job than our husbands can, it is not our place to rule and go against his wishes. We do not have the God-given wisdom and discernment that God gives to men. We were made to nurtur, not lead. We women are emotional and do not base our decisions on logic as a man does. The devil will whisper in our ear and say that we know better but we should not succumb. We are to resist the devil – submit ourselves to God by submitting ourselves to our husbands.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Eph 5:33) The word reverence is only ever used in Scriptures as it relates to God, a king, superiors or our husbands. That should tell you something. Noah Webster says reverence means:

…to regard with fear mingled with respect and affection. We reverence superiors for their age, their authority and their virtues. We ought to reverence parents and upright judges and magistrates. We ought to reverence the Supreme Being, his word and his ordinances.

If a woman willingly submits to her husband, she reverences him. She shows him that she gives him the respect he rightly deserves. He should not receive it only when he earns it – his position as husband and head of your home says he deserves reverence. This is God appointed and God commanded. Without this order, there is chaos in the home.

Godly submission, obedience and reverence are our goals in life, ladies. We are to practice, practice, practice! When you go against your husband’s wishes, can you honestly admit that your heart and your home are at peace? Honestly? If you are experiencing strife in your home, look to your heart first and see if you are being the submissive wife God has commanded you to be. Only then will you know for sure. If you’re not, repent and ask forgiveness from God and from your dear husband.

If you are submitting to your husband as unto the Lord, God will give you grace during your trial and will provide for every need you have. He does not forsake us!!!

Biblical Submission

I am so excited about this mini study I just finished! It’s like God gave me a golden nugget today and I am whoopin’ and hollerin’!!  Doesn’t it just thrill you, dear lady, when the Lord reveals His Word to your heart??

Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. (Gen 3:16)

As I studied this verse, I noticed that Eve’s desire would be to her husband. Hmmmm, he was the only man there at the time. She had not given birth to any children yet. Why would God tell her that her desire would be to her husband? Surely the word desire here cannot mean that she would only want him. That got me to thinking that maybe this word “desire” was not really what I thought it meant.

Eve’s desire could not possibly mean that she would desire Adam because he was the only man around – of COURSE she would desire him. We women automatically desire our husbands in the physical and emotional sense. It is something that is natural within us. So what could this word “desire” mean?

I have been taught that we should obtain our definitions of certain verses in the Bible by finding other verses that use the same word and let God’s Word interpret the meaning. As I searched out the word “desire,” I found that the English word “desire” is found in 109 verses. There are 38 different Hebrew and Greek instances of this word which are translated into just the one word in the English language! Each of the Hebrew and Greek instances vary in meaning. I found that the Hebrew word for this particular word is #8669 in Strong’s (teshûqâh “pronounced tesh-oo-kaw”) and is found in only two other places in the Old Testament (Gen. 4:7 and Song of Sol. 7:10 – I pasted the verses below.) These two scriptures clarify the meaning of this word.

The definition I found basically meant “to want to be in control of or to have the rule over.” God chose this particular Hebrew word in these three particular verses for a reason. So I found it interesting to see that #8669 was used only three times – twice in Genesis where we learn about our beginnings and the third time in the beautiful Song of Solomon, depicting a beautiful marriage.

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. (Gen 4:7) Here God tells Cain that he still had the rule over Abel because of his birth right.

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. (Song of Solomon 7:10)  Her beloved has the rule over her.

What have I gotten out of this mini study? It is clear to me that Eve was told that her desire would be to take the leadership role in the home, to rule over her husband and household. I loved how God immediately followed that statement with “and he shall rule over thee.” The world’s definition of desire would not fit here. If Eve is told she would desire Adam emotionally and physically, why would God then say that Adam would rule over her?

I’m convinced that Adam and Eve’s marriage was perfect in the Garden of Eden. Adam was the head of his home and Eve was content with him ruling over her. After Eve strayed from God’s, and her husband’s will, sin entered the picture. She sinned by exercising her own will – it was her choice. Because of her choice, she would now have to fight that choice even greater. She would now have a battle with wanting to lead the home. It makes perfect sense to interpret this verse in this manner.

As a result of this willful sin in Eve (which was passed on to all women), there are many women who chose to exercise their own will rather than allowing their husbands to lead. The husband’s role is knocked down, he is crushed into a wimp and his rightful leadership role is taken over by the wife. I was reading an article just yesterday that in the U.S., the “single” families now exceed the families which have both a husband and wife. Is it any wonder? But women do not have to be this way… it is a choice that we make. We either do God’s will by submitting to our husbands or we don’t. We are not destined to repeat this sin – with Christ, we can overcome our self will and be the submissive wife He wants us to be.

We women are not equipped to be leaders. We were created to be their helpmeets, not vice versa. It’s not to say that women cannot be good leaders.  They may very well have the ability – however, God says it is not their position in the home.  From the beginning, God has said that the husband would rule over the wife. The man is equipped with leadership skills and decision making. God wants to remind us that there must be order in the home, just as there is order in the universe, order in the world, order in the government, order in law enforcement, etc. God is a God of order as is evident throughout Scriptures.

When we go outside of God’s plan for us, we will be unhappy and discontent. Our role is to be a helpmeet to our husbands and to honor him in all we say and do. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Pro 31:12)

I pray this devotional will speak to your hearts and give you a clear picture of what God intended for us women.

 

How Are You Building Your Home?

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Pro 14:1)

How I love Noah Webster’s definition of the word build:

1. To construct, rest or depend on as a foundation;

The wise woman of Proverb 14:1 constructed her home which rested and depended upon the Foundation. This verse was not speaking of us actually constructing and building our own houses in the physical sense. This verse says that the wise woman here was constructing her house on the foundation of the Lord. This woman knew full well that this foundation would never move. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Tim. 2:19)

Ah, God’s foundation stands sure, ladies. His foundation does not move. His foundation does not crumble under the pressures of the world. His foundation won’t even form a slight crack – it is Perfect! What comfort for the wise woman.

2 Tim. 2:19 goes on to say that the Lord knows those that are His!! I don’t know about you, but I’m doing an alleluiah dance here! God knows me! If I am building my house on His foundation, I will be leading my household to Him and He will know them as well.

2 Tim. 2:19 does not stop there either. The Lord tells us that we must depart from sin since the Father knows us. We must be sinning less and less in our spiritual walks – not staying the same – not going backward – but walking forward and sinning less. Yes, we’re going to stumble – yes we’re going to sin, but the key is not to remain in that condition. Did David remain in his sinful condition? Did Peter? God gave us examples in His Word so that we could learn and grow from their experiences. Both these men repented of their sin and moved forward doing great things for God. Are you sinning just as much today as your yesterdays? If so, why? You should be examining yourselves, ladies. We ought not to be this way.

Notice the last half of Prov. 14:1, “…but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Have you ever watched someone pluck a chicken? It’s not done all at once. It’s an arduous process at best, feather by feather. The chicken’s skin doesn’t appear all at once – but bit by bit, the skin is exposed. I also thought of the blood that comes out of the pore that bore the feather. The process of plucking does not go without causing pain or shedding blood. God is so Awesome, ladies. He puts a word like plucketh into a verse so that we can glean from the visual picture it portrays! Each time the foolish woman tears down her home bit by bit, she is causing pain and shedding blood – maybe not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense.

What do you suppose the foolish woman is doing to pluck her home down with her own hands? Noah Webster defines the foolish as:

5. In scripture, wicked; sinful; acting without regard to the divine law and glory, or to one’s own eternal happiness.

Soooo, this foolish woman does not care for the spiritual matters of her household. I was thinking of only an unsaved woman before I meditated on this a bit more. I changed my thinking – I believe this could also be referring to a woman who is saved but not looking well to the spiritual and physical needs of her family. Her actions and testimony tear down this house.

Wives and mothers are responsible for setting the “tone” in our homes. What kind of tone are you setting in your home? Does your family know you love the Lord? Is it evident in your walk with Him? Do they see you in the Word? Do your actions show that you are in the Word? If not, you’re quenching the Holy Spirit and not bearing His fruit. Don’t be like the foolish woman. Take heed from this warning in Proverbs. Don’t pluck your home down with your own hands! Instead, be like the wise woman whose home is built on the Foundation of Christ and her goal is to keep adding to that foundation with her words, her testimony and her love 😀

Dear God…
Let my actions build my home
Let them not be foolish but wise
May I glorify You in all my ways
So your Name will be lifted high!

The Clamorous Woman

Prov. 9:13 “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.”

Proverbs is such a great book – full of instruction and wisdom! Why, then, is its wise counsel not heeded? I think each of us knows someone who fits the description of the lady of Proverbs 9:13. I know I do!

I looked up clamorous in Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and I must say that it was more than what I thought it meant, which was noisy!

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

Now that it’s put that way, can you imagine living with someone like this? Better yet, are you that someone?

Someone I know quite well is exactly like this. A dear friend of mine lives next door to someone who fits this description perfectly. These women probably have no clue that they are this way – or they probably don’t care. Solomon says that these women are not only loud but repetitious! That means they are naggers and complainers and they do it loudly! I don’t know about you but I truly do not want to be known as a clamorous woman! Nor do I think a man would want to live with one either.

Solomon goes on to say that the clamorous woman is simple and knows nothing. Why do you think he said that? I’m sure it had nothing to do with how smart she was. Noah Webster defined “simple” as being weak in intellect. In fact, the lady I personally know is quite intelligent. However, I believe Solomon means that the clamorous woman is simple in the Word of God. You can “know” an instruction but it does not mean that you have applied it to your life. Any believer who spends daily time in the Word seeking the Holy Spirit’s will is going to be convicted of sin in their lives. So, obviously, this woman does not make the Word part of her daily life. If she does, then she is most certainly quenching the Holy Spirit.

I surely feel badly for the man who is married to such a woman. I think of another Proverb, “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” (Pro 25:24) How sad it is when a women is so prideful that she does not allow the Holy Spirit to work in her life.

The Lord has much reward in store for the woman who can be taught. Let’s look at the flip side of Proverb 9:13 – the exact opposite “A prudent woman is quiet: she is wise, and knoweth the will of God.” Are you this woman? Or, instead, are you the Proverbs 9:13 woman? Why would you want to be known as a clamorous woman? Won’t you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you?

Dear God…
Help me to see myself as You do
Each wicked sin and weakness reveal
Show me in Your Word and please grow me
So my broken spirit will be healed

Boring Life?

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.

Do your mundane day-to-day tasks go unnoticed, dear lady?  Does the lack of recognition go unnoticed by your children and your husband?  Sometimes we think that we are just a maid or an event organizer and that there’s nothing worth eternal blessings about what we do.  But that’s where you’re wrong!

It’s not so much what we do, but how we do them.  Do you do your laundry and housework only to get recognition?  If so, you will be disappointed.  Some day, someone will forget to say thank you and that is what will drive you to being unhappy.  Instead, do all your tasks for the LORD and today’s Scripture promises that you will receive a reward for your faithfulness to Him.  He has given us a husband and children for us to care for and when we do so with the attitude that we are serving Christ, then we will have joy!  Our reward is going to be eternal 🙂

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