Ah Yes, Submission!

Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Submitting isn’t usually an issue on a day-to-day basis. It seems, however, to become an issue when we are not in agreement with our husband’s decisions. Let’s take a look at what we are being asked to do:

Submit: To yield, resign or surrender to the power, will or authority of another;

Subject: 1. Placed or situate under. 2. Being under the power and dominion of another;

Let’s take a look at a corporation with a CEO, President, Vice President, etc. The CEO has the final word in the decision process. The President leads the corporation and the Vice President acts in place of the President when he is not present. However, the Vice President does not change the corporate laws and regulations set in place. For example, if the corporation (where the CEO has signed off on it) has agreed to purchase a new mega telephone server, the Vice President can’t undo this when the President goes out of town without first checking with the President, who then in turn checks with the CEO. Does that make sense? Both offices submit to the CEO, in essence. I hope you’re following me as I am going to make a point here. 🙂

The home is very much like a corporation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the CEO of the home, along with His Word. The husband is the President and the wife is the Vice President. The President checks with the CEO (the Lord Jesus through His Word and prayer) for decisions that need to be made for his home. When those decisions are in line with God’s Word, the Vice President does not have authority to simply go her own way or do her own thing. She must submit to her husband and the Lord Jesus.

Why does the world understand this submission in the corporate environment yet a wife cannot in a Christian home? She is not the leader … period. She does not make the final decisions for the home … period. Her husband does not submit to her authority … period. Finally, the Lord Jesus does not change His Word to accommodate a wife’s rebellion.

Which is it in your home, dear Christian lady? Do you have a godly husband who loves the Lord and strives to obey Him? Be thankful! There are Christian wives out there who are married to unbelievers or disobedient husbands that would give their eye teeth to be in your shoes! Don’t take his leadership lightly. Christ ordained marriage and its roles for a purpose. Do to otherwise is to live in rebellion to God’s Word and, therefore, be open to chastisement from the Lord. If your home is filled with strife, take a step back and do inventory on your role as the Vice President (helpmeet) of your home.

Swallowing Pride!

Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

God tells us in today’s verse that shame will always be the byproduct of pride. What a wonderful warning! God doesn’t mince words – He speaks straight out to us. Not only that, He lets us know loud and clear what will be the outcome of our sinful pride.

There are times in our marriage when we just know we are right and our husband is wrong. So? Does it affect the price of tea in China if we are proven right? Must an argument have to be won by you? Do you have to have the last word just so you can prove your point? That’s sinful pride and there will be an outcome – one of shame in the end. Instead, why not pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom in this area? Would it be the end of the world if you didn’t get the last word?

I don’t know about you, dear lady, but I would rather swallow my pride and pray for wisdom than to come out of a situation with shame. There’s no worse feeling in my heart as when I am ashamed of myself.

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

 

Proverbs 14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

 

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

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. 🙂

The health of our home starts with our mouths!

Being Virtuous

Today’s devotional will be a bit different from others. I ask that as you prepare yourself to read it, dear lady, that you ask the Lord to open your heart and your mind to His will for your life. Allow yourself to heed the conviction of the Holy Spirit and let Him speak to you. His desire is only to mold you after the image of Christ so allow Him to do so.

Noah Webster defines the words “virtuous” and “chaste” as:

VIR’TUOUS, a.
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.
The mere performance of virtuous actions does not denominate an agent virtuous.
3. Chaste; applied to women.
4. Efficacious by inherent qualities; as virtuous herbs; virtuous drugs. [Not in use.]
5. Having great or powerful properties; as virtuous steel; a virtuous staff; a virtuous ring. [Not in use.]
6. Having medicinal qualities. [Not used.]

 

CHASTE, a.
1. Pure from all unlawful commerce of sexes. Applied to persons before marriage, it signifies pure from all sexual commerce, undefiled; applied to married persons, true to the marriage bed.
2. Free from obscenity.
While they behold your chaste conversation. 1 Pet 3.
3. In language, pure; genuine; uncorrupt; free from barbarous words and phrases, and from quaint, affected, extravagant expressions.

We don’t hear either of those words in day-to-day language. However, God’s word is still as prevalent today as it was when it was written, amen? In fact,as the King James Bible was translated, words were chosen according to the meanings of that day in the 1600’s. Just because 400+ years have passed does not mean that God intended His words to change with the language of the day. No, indeed. God still means what He says.

After you read the definitions above, I challenge you to look up the words “chaste” and “virtuous” in your Concordance. Look up each Bible verse referenced and let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart. Is your language pure, genuine and uncorrupt, free from barbarous words and phrases, and from quaint, affected, extravagant expressions? I think of the three-letter acronyms that are flippantly used today. God’s name is Holy and above all names, amen? That’s just one of the areas. Do spiritual inventory of all the areas referenced above and see if God is trying to teach you.

This is exactly what Paul meant in:

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

God wants us to work toward righteousness after we are saved. It’s called growing in His grace. He paid the price of sin because we could not. However, what we can do is work toward being more like Him. 🙂

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. 😦 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!

Actions of Love

mary-anoints-the-feet-of-jesusJohn 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

I love the picture that this account depicts, don’t you? History reveals that the average women in the times of Jesus had no real estate, no real possessions they could call their own. It’s too bad that women of today have been caught up in materialism and think that in order to do something nice for another person, they must spend money. However, we don’t see that as the case in Mary’s account.

I noticed a couple of things that really blessed my heart in today’s Scriptures. First, Mary had to go to where Christ’s feet were. She had to kneel down in order to each His feet and anoint them.  Remember, this is the same Mary that sat at His feet to learn of Him while her sister Martha labored in the kitchen. Mary was accustomed to sitting at Jesus’ feet. Now here she is depicted kneeling at those same feet in order to anoint them with very expensive ointment. It is said that spikenard cost an entire year’s wages.

The word of God doesn’t say that Mary, Martha and Lazarus were rich. It doesn’t say whether they were young or old or if they were even married. Tradition says that the house belonged to Martha so it could be that her husband died and left it to her. It was big enough to house Jesus and his disciples so it was no small house. As well, Mary had the spikenard ointment. Whether she purchased it or it was given to her, it isn’t known. Whatever the case, it was common knowledge as to its value and she was willing to anoint the Saviour’s feet with it. She gave her most costly possession to her Saviour.

The second thing I noticed was that she gave of herself.  She loved Jesus and showed Him by not only using the spikenard but also using her own hair to wipe His feet! A woman’s hair is her glory.

1 Corinthians 11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

What a beautiful sign of submission. How many times have we not gone to the altar for fear of what others would think? Mary knelt before Jesus in front of all his disciples.

Mary gave of her possessions, of herself and of her heart! Wow! What an inspiring woman after which to pattern ourselves! What are your three areas, dear Christian lady? What do you have to offer Jesus? Do you have an income from a talent that you are blessed with? Do you give some of it back to Him? Do you use that talent for His glory? Do you humble yourself in order to accomplish what’s right in your heart? Today’s passage blessed my socks off, I must say. I have much growing to do in this area and I’ve been saved for 34 years! Thank You, Lord, for not being finished with me!