Ladies, Respect Your Man

He walks in, tired from work, bracing himself for the barrage he know will come.

“Where were you?? Didn't you know I had that meeting to go to tonight? And where are the things I asked you to pick up? I have enough stuff to do around here myself, and you can't even do the one thing I ask you to!” And on and on...

“Men are hurt just as much by abuse, or hurtful words, as women. Any form of coercion to get a man to do what you want is not only unproductive, it is damaging. Just because I am married does not make me a slave. Men are human beings.” So spoke a listener named Steve calling in to Dr. Laura Schlessinger's radio show. (p148-9)

No respect

This is a subject you don't often hear much about, but turn on just about any sitcom, new or old, and you'll see the woman bearing down on the man, belittling him—making him into a doddering fool who can't do anything right. And what does he do? He takes it like the good red-blooded American male he's supposed to be!

To quote Rodney Dangerfield, he don't get no respect!

Women have a bad habit of trying to control just about everything, and even when we claim to be easygoing, we are so often guilty of holding a double standard. 

Just watch a guy try to pass something off with an excuse commonly used by women! Feel disrespected? If we had a true sense of respect for our husbands, why the double standard?

Give respect

If there is one thing a man needs, it's respect. Especially in his own home. If he is respected, looked up to, treated like the man he is, then he will flourish as the man God intended him to be. 

Nowhere in the Bible is a woman told to blindly submit to the will of her husband. In fact, the first act of submission is on the husband’s part! The husband is to submit himself to Christ and the will of God. When he does this he is not setting himself up as a master, but rather as servant of the Lord. Only then is the wife to submit to the will of her husband—because the will of her husband will be obedience to the Lord. So the wife is not submitting to the husband, but to God.
— Rev. Shane Cornutt

Not respecting our husbands is sin! If God has placed you with a man who fears and loves Him, then your husband will look to the Lord's will. 

Author and speaker Arlene Pellicane talks about things that spelled respect to her husband, saying, “To me, [respect] means honoring him, giving him weight—that what he says matters—that of all the other voices in your life, that his voice is the most important in terms of people—and not about God—but in people. That he is the one that, above anyone, should be honored in my life.”

What does God say?

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33) 

Earlier in Ephesians 5:25-26, it commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church—and that means all the way to death! Put that way, it's a lot harder to bear down on him needlessly, isn't it?

Sometimes respect means remaining silent. In one of Bill Cosby's books, he mentioned how on a trip home his dad missed their usual exit, and he asked his mom why she didn't say anything about it. Her reply was, “Your father knows what he's doing, dear.”

Sometimes it means going along with his idea when you don't think too much of it. As long as it doesn't go against what God has laid out for us in His Word, is it really worth nagging him and making him feel like his ideas just aren't good enough? Let him be behind the driver's seat, where he belongs. Certainly he should value your input—but as God places him at the head of the house, the decision is ultimately up to him.

Am I respecting?

If I really believe all the things I say/think/complain about him, why on earth are we married? If I love him so much, why do I act so unloving and disrespectful? What will make him continue to love me if I continue to act this way?
— Dr. Laura Schlessinger, The Proper Feeding and Care of Husbands, p156

Arlene also had a good analogy: if someone is wearing a shirt with an ink stain, our eyes are drawn immediately to that stain, however small it may be. But the rest of the shirt is clean! Stop staring at that  stain and pay more attention to the 99% of the shirt that IS clean!

No one is perfect, but as a man's helpmeet, we need to lift him up in prayer, support him, love him, care for him, boost his self-esteem. Because when we respect our men, they will rise up to be even more of what God wants them to be—treat him like a man, and he will act like a man.

See You In The Round,
Christina

Sources:

The Proper Feeding and Care of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger 

Family Life Today Radio Show


*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

A Reflection on Unanswered Prayers

God is still good even if He does not answer our prayers in the way we would like.  

That can be a difficult truth to believe, and it can be just as hard to figure out what it looks like to live in light of this truth.  Today, I’d like to reflect on two examples of people whose prayers were answered differently than they hoped but who still loved, served, and worshiped God for who He is.  People who believed, “And if not, He is still good.”  

1. Paul

Paul wrote about what he called “a thorn in the flesh” that he prayed God would take away.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-10)


2. David

David prayed and fasted that God would spare his first child with Bathsheba.

David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground…On the seventh day the child died…Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”
(2 Samuel 12:16-23)

Questions to Consider

1.    How are these examples alike? How are they unlike one another?

2.    What did each one do once they received the answer to their prayer?

3.    Do you relate to either of these examples? How have your experiences been similar?
       How have they been different?

4.    What do you learn from these examples?

5.    Do you know anyone who has lived out, “If not, He is still good”?
       Please share in the comments section!

See y’all in the Round,
Joy

 

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."

An Uncanonized Psalm of Repentance

I mentioned in my last post that after re-building the wall in Jerusalem Nehemiah was blessed to see repentance of the Israelites. As I began to work toward “re-building” with my husband who had slipped into adulterous sin I desired a deeper understanding of repentance. I want to know that there is a turning away from sin back to God and not just sadness that he had wronged me. 

Because I feel my husband has much to offer from studying this topic I asked him to help me write this post. He felt there were 3 main points to repentance that have spoken to him.

1, True repentance can only be understood as you look upon the cross.
2, It is not just a “once & done” thing.
3, It is a gift!

True Repentance

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
-2 Corinthians 7:10

There are three different uses of the word “repentance” in the New Testament. For purposes of this post I am only referencing the two below from blueletterbible.org, where you can read more about all three.  

Metamelomai is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the repentance of Judas (Matthew 27:3).

Metanoia is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

When our 3 year old gets in trouble his response is “I won’t do it again. I promise.” Needless to say, this is not repentance, but regret that he is headed to time out. Repentance is not a child’s act, but something of more maturity.

Charles Spurgeon says it so much more eloquently: 
"True repentance has a distinct and constant reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you repent of sin without looking to Christ, away with your repentance. If you are so lamenting your sin as to forget the Savior, you have a need to begin all this work over again…

A man may hate sin just as a murderer hates the gallows but this does not prove repentance if I hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of sin; I merely regret that God is just. But if I can see sin as an offense against Jesus Christ, and loathe myself because I have wounded him, then I have a true brokenness of heart…

Only under the cross can you repent. Repentance elsewhere is remorse, which clings to the sin and only dreads the punishment. Let us then seek, under God, to have a hatred of sin caused by a site of Christ's love." 

Keeping with Repentance

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
-Matthew 3:8

With true repentance there is fruit. I trust that I will see the continued heart change displayed in action as God takes my husband through repentance. 

In Nehemiah, the Israelites repent for their sin of disobedience and rebellion against God in chapter 9. They make a covenant in chapter 10 to turn back to Him. Then celebrated the reconciliation and returned to an act of worship in chapter 12. Later in chapter 13, Nehemiah has to address issues in the church as they were sliding back. They have to keep in repentance. Just because they are God’s chosen does not mean they can repent once and maintain the fruit of obedience.

However, when we know that we have repented and therefore are reconciled to God he does not desire for us to wallow in our failures, but to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He wants to see us rejoice and return to worship just as the Israelites did. 

Repentance is a Gift

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
-2 Timothy 2:22, 25-26

God grants repentance. We must seek him for the gift of true heart change. Romans 2:4 says that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance. He desires reconciliation with us when we fall short. 

Gracious God,

Your enemies hired Balaam to call a curse down on Nehemiah & the Israelites, but you turned the curse into a blessing. We face similar struggles from the enemy luring us to make idols of the things of the world. Lord, I am seeking you for the blessing of repentance for my husband and for me.

Grant us tender hearts to seek true repentance and hatred of sin and then keep us there. Savior, your heart was broken for us, break our hearts! 
 

Your Repentant in the Round,

Erin

 

Erin's Bio and Blogroll

Please stop back on Fridays for more about Erin's story and what God is doing in her marriage.

*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Beautiful Things

My husband and I loaded three screaming children into our car.  They were scared.  They were sad.  They were confused.  Three young lives were coming from a life of pain and joining our family through adoption.

To try to soothe the children, we attempted to vocally calm them down, held their hands, and played worship music through the car stereo.  

Gungor’s song, Beautiful Things, was the first song we heard.  

“All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth    
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all”

The children continued to cry in anxiety, yet as the music ascended above the clamor, I found the music calming my soul in a manner to better pacify these brokenhearted children.   The lyrics insistently continued.

“You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You”

Almost a year later, this memory crept up as we were beginning our morning worship time.  Our daughter, one of the three children mentioned above, spoke up regarding the music playing softly in the background: Gungor’s Beautiful Things.

“I love this song!” she exclaimed!

Watching my little girl dance and sing to the music made my heart jump back to the day of pain for her. 

Immediately, I thanked God that He makes all things new.  I thanked Him for making such beautiful things right in front of our eyes.

What chaos are you facing today?  God is calling to us through an unrelenting love and hope for us.  If you were wondering if anything good could come of these trials you are facing… Yes, it can.

Written throughout the Scriptures is a calling from pain to newness through Jesus.

In Jeremiah 29:11 we read,

“For I know the plans I have for you, “ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

2nd Corinthians 5:17 says:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

Life’s path will be speckled with difficulties to overcome.  So often, we get caught up in the chaos that this world has to offer instead of the joy and peace that Christ has offered to us.  If we rely on ourselves, we are undeniably going to be burdened with anxiety.

In order to live in the newness that the Bible speaks of in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, we must cling to the One who offers us newness, as it says in Isaiah 26:3:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”

Regardless of how you are feeling, regardless of your circumstances, regardless of the pain, God has promised you a perfect peace in Him through Christ Jesus.

Before these three young children could overcome their fear, they needed to trust us by building a relationship with us.  Every day as the relationship grows, so does the trust that we are not going to leave them.  A trust that we want a bright future for them and that we hope for them as they grow.  

The same is true about our relationship with God.  We need to daily build our trust in Him so that when the chaos comes, we can firmly keep our hearts aligned with His hope-filled truths.

Today, let us welcome the difficult circumstances that have manifested in our lives as an opportunity to trust God in an unfathomable approach to this world’s chaos.  That is when anxiety ends and beautiful things are created anew.

“Lord,
I give you my deepest desires, joys and fears in steadfast trust with You.  I know that through ALL circumstances that my hope comes from You.  I entrust my loved ones to You.  I entrust my concerns to You.  There is no need for fear and anxiety as I walk in complete trust with You.  Thank You for making me new. Amen."

See Y'all In The Round!
Kim

The Tithe of a Good Steward

No one likes to hear it—give, give, give. Give to your church! Give to this organization! Support that organization! We need your money!

Give it to God. He “loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). It doesn't have to be a traditional tithe of ten percent, though if that works for you, do it. But God doesn't want just your money—yes, churches and missions need money to operate, but tithing shouldn't be about just our money. Don't just give to an organization; give to God.

You've heard of the three T's—time, talents, and treasure.

What can you give to God in the way of your time? It can be a mission trip or sharpening the pencils for the pews. What about your talents? I used to play the trumpet in church. Some people teach, others can build shelves or repair the roof. And treasure—the last one. I once heard of a couple who promised to give as much to their church as they spent on Christmas on year. Now that's conviction!

And there it is—promising God what we'll give. Don't hold back.

“'Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the LORD Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.'”
(Malachi 3:8-10)

Robbing God! What an accusation! But how true it is, too. Even in tiny ways, when we hold back what God has called us to give or what we have said we would give, we are robbing God. Remember Ananias and Sapphira—they sold some land, gave some money to the apostles, said that was all the sale brought in, and God took 'em down. Ouch! (Acts 5:1-11)

Tithing has to do with being a good steward of what God has given us. Not only does this mean those three T's, but I think it can also extend to things like our children and our bodies. We're only temporarily in charge of these babies, raising them and guiding them to know their Lord and Savior. And according to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, our bodies are not our own, either; rather, it is “a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God[.] You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Maybe for some this means a little more exercise or less sugar.

We are all given different tasks and have different convictions as the Holy Spirit leads us. How is he working in your life? What can you give to the Lord? “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)

See You In The Round!
Christina