Something I have found myself being passionate about, is the encouragement of our community of women. When it comes to the women around us; are we encouraging them to step into their God-given role, or are we actually encouraging them to walk away from it?
I touched on this topic in thisblog post here, where I wrote about mothers/wives and our perspective on that, but now I want to talk more about how we can go about encouraging others when it comes to our role, design and purpose as women.
As always, I encourage you to read much further, but these are a few great places to dig in to when it comes to understanding our role and design as a woman.
Women are struggling. Our sinful nature affects us and how we choose to do things more than we might like to think. This of course, has been happening since the beginning; since Adam and Eve had sinned against the Lord.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say…?” Read Genesis 3
Instead of encouraging the women we hear that are considering stepping into their role of a helpmate, wife, mother, homemaker, caregiver, etc etc. who are considering to commit themselves to a husband who will provide for them and care for the family they make together; we discourage it because it “takes freedom away.”
When will we start setting an example for women, when will we start lifting others up, and speaking the truth when we see another faltering against temptations to sin? We are not perfect people and we will still make sinful mistakes, but if we are truly, actively holding fast to Christ there will be no room for our sinful nature to root itself down into things any longer. (1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Corinthians 5:17)
Bare Fruitful Conversations, and Sow Seeds:
If we love Christ, we love people, and if we have the love of Christ for people, we will speak the Truth to them.
We also need to be aware and discerning of the conversations that we have, too. Have fruitful conversations, and learn when to step away from a conversation that is becoming fruitless, and no longer beneficial for anyone. We must keep things truthful, and our emotions controlled. If our temper is flaring, then we are at risk of having an emotionally controlled conversation leaving the other person with a bad taste in their mouth. If it’s His will to do so, the Lord could work through anyone to soften the heart of another! So, we must stay obedient to Him and be the salt and light of the Earth (Matthew 5:13-16 and Ephesians 5:8-14).
If you are considering to step into your God-given role as a woman, my encouragement to you is to go read scripture, and seek community amongst like-minded, Godly women if you haven’t already. It can be 2 or 20, it doesn’t matter how many! Just try to find those who can point you to Christ (not lead you away from Him), pray for you when necessary, and encourage you to be the woman God has intended all women to be. Being made male and female, and in the Image of God, is no small thing. This is why it is so important to understand our design as a woman and our design as people! ReadingGenesisis a good place to start.
Women, and men all have a God-given role, design, and purpose in life; don’t let the world distort it. To finish this off by going back to my main points; don’t allow the world’s opinions, and fear-driving tactics to scare you away from many joys that are found in being a helpmate, a wife, a mother, a caregiver, a homemaker, etc.
Similar to what I talked about in my previous blog; Don’t be so scared of the potential struggles you might endure, that you miss the joys you will endure through these things!
I think we can all agree that most people (including myself) find it difficult to find the joy in certain aspects of their lives. For some, it’s the certain joys that come with being a wife and/or mother. We all have weak spots, and some of us have the same weaknesses, while others don’t. As a wife, I’ve personally struggled with patience and that results in a quick temper at times, because of the mindset I have had on my wifely responsibilities.
Too often, I have or hear other conversations where the comments one makes about being a mother, or being a wife are negative. It makes me wonder why I don’t hear more positive remarks when there is so much joy to be found! The topic, and question I’ve had heavily on my thoughts lately is; What is our perspective of being a wife/mother and do we have a healthy mindset about the responsibilities that come with being one or both of those things?
Some of the negative comments I hear and maybe you’ve heard before are:
“Just you wait for more kids, you’ll see how hard it is sometimes!”
“Just you wait, when you start having kids you’ll see how hard it is!”
“You’ll have days when you give up and let things slide too. That’s just how it goes with us veteran moms [who have years of experience]”
“I just don’t have the time and they just don’t listen; You’ll see when your kid gets older”
“The more kids you have, the less time you have!”
And because our two children will be a year and a half apart in age, I’ve now had other moms mention to me;
“Oh, that’s going to be so difficult having two so close like that! It’s a struggle”
“Once the baby gets here you won’t have any time! You’ll just be chasing babies all day, you’ll see!”
Wive’s Comments: Some of these next ones have, regrettably, been my own thoughts/comments as a wife, and some of them I’ve heard from others.
“Why can’t you just pick up your own messes sometimes? It’s not that hard”
“All I do, is clean up everyone’s junk everyday, because everyone in here is too lazy.”
“I let my house go a long time ago, I’m too tired from taking care of all these kids to deal with it.”
“I made you dinner and I didn’t have to, so the least you could do is clean your mess for me.”
“I’m just too tired to do anything, so they’re his kids now while I get a break.”
“I just hate cooking! Why can’t you make your own food?”
Is this the kind of perspective we should have— let alone encourage others to have— over our responsibilities as a wife/mother?
That the faults of our husbands (big or little) are and will be a burden to us, that our husbands actually owe us for being a wife to them, or for being the mother to their children. To immediately put the blame on anything/anyone else for our priorities being unorganized, or for our attitude over something. Are we forgetting we have faults of our own and that (most times) is it us who needs the attitude adjustment / perspective change first?
When we get into the habit of making motherhood/wifehood as a whole, out to be a drag, a burden, a weight on our shoulders, that it takes away from other joyful things, that it constantly drains you physically/emotionally, and we continue talking about it like that often; we should really re-evaluate our perspective, because unless I missed it somewhere, that’s definitely not what the Lord says.
Is it really worth it, to (purposely or not) point out the struggles a mother and/or wife couldendure more than you point out the joys she willendure? Yes, there are certain challenging responsibilities for everyone, of course, but the gift itself of having a child, or the blessing of having a loving husband is just that; something to praise the Lord for.
The Lord is going to challenge us, this is one of the many ways we will grow and learn; by allowing Him to shape us. (read Jeremiah 18:1-6)
The habit of thinking you deserve a reward because you made a good dinner, or you deserve X Y and Z because you were doing a nice job with something is not a good habit to make, because ultimately, we don’t really deserve anything. If we first, fix our perspective to doing our work as a mom/wife to glorify the Lord, we can then evaluate where the actual issues are occurring in those places, if there are issues.
Let’s Question Our “Wife” and Our “Mother” Perspective: Do we have a healthy mindset?
1. Is your mindset on the responsibilities that come with being a wife negative?
Are you primarily focusing on struggles?
i.e All the mundane inconveniences, how tired you are while doing these responsibilities, the day’s time frame not working in your favor, focusing on what you could be doing instead, and so on…
Do the all the responsibilities you have as a wife make you joyful, or are you often wishing you could be doing some other joy-fulfilling thing instead?
2. If our mindset on our wifely responsibilities is struggling, how can we fix this?
Read scripture; Proverbs 31, Genesis 2:18-24, Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 are good places to start!
Pray for the Lord to open your eyes to the joys and blessings He has given you through being a wife, and for peace knowing it’s His will to be done, not yours.
Ask your husband what he sees, what he thinks you could do better with, and ask for some ideas on how to do better. Maybe even find counsel amongst others in your church community if necessary, who will pray with you!
A lot of times we don’t even know how often we make comments like these, so maybe even ask your husband if, or how often he hears you say these things or anything similar.
Expect to put in the work, as things don’t often happen over night. Don’t just stop at praying.
3. Do we have a negative mindset when it comes to our motherly duties?
Are you primarily focused on struggles?
i.e All the mundane inconveniences, how tired you are while doing these responsibilities, the day’s time frame not working in your favor, focusing on what you could be doing instead, and so on…
Do the all responsibilities you have as a mother make you joyful, or are you often wishing you could be doing some other joy-fulfilling thing instead?
4. How can we fix this? It’s quite the same as before really:
Read scripture; Proverbs 31, Psalm 139:13-16, Psalm 127:1-5, Titus 2:3-8, Proverbs 14:1-2, Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:4-7, are good places to start!
Pray for the Lord to open your eyes to the joys and blessings He has given you through being a mother, and for peace knowing it’s His will to be done, not yours.
Ask your husband what he sees, and what he thinks you could do better with. If you can, ask your kid(s) if, or how often they hear you say these things or similar things, just in case it is done more subconsciously than you think. You could also again, find counsel amongst people in your church community, if necessary, who will pray with you!
Even if we’ve read the scriptures before, and feel like we’ve got a Godly perspective on being a wife/mother, we can still have an unhealthy view of our day-to-day responsibilities that come with being one; unless we keep ourselves in check with that and start truly taking in what scripture says, and not just skim over the top of it.
If you’re struggling with something as a mother or as a wife, I highly encourage you to seek your help from the Lord; rely on Him, communicate with your husband, and find counsel amongst your church community, if necessary. However– and I will be blunt– do not use a struggle you have as a reason to go complain and make jokes, because you’re seeking people’s attention and for them to validate/affirm your feelings on the matter.
I encourage you to refresh your memory on what the Lord says about wives and mothers, and reset your mindset. Especially, if you find you have often said similar things as mentioned above or created a habit to think along these lines!
Then take a look at all the issues and struggles you have. Are they all still there? Are you still getting irritated with your loved ones often, and are you still playing the blame game? The running theme for moms and wives I’ve heard for forever it seems, is “The wife is always right.” Then on the flip side, “The mom is always burnt out.”
Guess what, we will never always be right. No one is right 100% of the time, so throw that theme away, right now. Also, if you find that you’re always a “burnt out mom” is it actually because of the responsibilities of motherhood (or wifehood) draining you and putting weight on your shoulders, or is it because of your mindset and how you view those responsibilities that’s burning you out and weighing you down? Have you been trying to take things on without relying on the Lord? Where do your priorities lie, and what are you allowing to use up your time?
I disagree with the common assumption that kids = less time. We have the same amount of time with or without children; It’s what you’re doing with your time, and where you’re setting your priorities. If you’re struggling with getting priorities in the right places; read scripture, pray, and discuss how to prioritize your family with your husband!
Priorities being in order and a perspective change goes a long way if you’re burnt out 24/7 and unable to find joy in where the Lord has brought you– this is a great place to start when you find you are struggling and having issues in some places of your life.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
In scripture and what the Lord says, is where we can findthe best encouragement and peace in our times of struggle, but I encourage you to look into more. Don’t stop with what I’ve added to this post! and if you’ve said these things or even feel guilty/defensive after reading this because you’ve been in some of these habits; I just encourage you to pray, repent, forgive, move on.
This week, a bad cold hit our little family, and we haven’t been doing very much, but watching Tinker Bell with our daughter, and drinking tea. Halloween looks different every year for us, we don’t ever go crazy about it and we look at it, as any other day. Usually, my husband is working and our daughter, Beatrice, has been too little to do things, anyways. I’m sure what we do on Halloween, will change over time, though. Celebrate or not to celebrate; it’s so sticky for a lot of Christian families, and with having my own family now, I’ve had my views change over this day, as well.
The Way We Grew Up:
My family really never celebrated Halloween, at all. We did maybe once or twice, when I was very young, but after I got older, and more siblings came along we stopped, entirely. My husband’s family did celebrate, in their own little way. Just them around their house, and as he and his siblings got older they would go to a Halloween party, if a friend was throwing one, and such. As a child, I always had the perspective that Halloween was an evil holiday, and it wasn’t good for Christians to celebrate. My husband and I, had many talks over what we would do, as we had grown up in families that had pretty, different takes on it.
Questions To Ask: For Parents and Kids
In regards to Halloween day, and costumes:
What ways could we honor the Lord, on this day?
What kinds of celebration during this day, would be dishonoring to the Lord, if we partake in it?
What does scripture say, about celebration and how to honor the Lord, with what we do?
What does scripture say about life and death?
What parts of Halloween do you think contains glorifications of death and sinful things?
What parts of Halloween do you think does not glorify, death and sinful things?
Have you prayed about it, to make sure it won’t be harmful to you and/or your faith in any way?
If you wear a costume, what could you wear that is honoring to the Lord?
Why do you think this specific costume, would honor the Lord?
Why do you think this specific costume, would be dishonoring to the Lord?
In regards to Halloween parties, horror movies, and haunted festivities:
What about the movie seems honoring and/or dishonoring to the Lord? and could you pick out any good things from it, that would be beneficial to you and/or your faith in any way?
What about this haunted festivity is honoring and/or dishonoring to the Lord? and is there any good you can pick out?
What about this specific party is honoring and/or dishonoring to the Lord? and is there any good you can pick out?
Have you prayed about it, to make sure it wouldn’t be harmful to you and/or your faith, in any way?
What ways could you spread the gospel, while out with your friends on a day like this?
If you find that, as you answer these questions- you and your children- that maybe Halloween is not something you need to, or want to partake in at all, then that is okay. If you find that while answering these questions, you have found yourself seeing the parts of Halloween that aren’t so bad, and see it to be alright for your family to partake in after all, that is also okay.
If you have fully thought it out, looked into scripture, and discussed it with your spouse, as to why you have decided on this or that, and you have found a way to partake, that honors and glorifies the Lord, go for it!
What Our Kids Need To Know, About Anything We Choose To Celebrate:
When it comes to Halloween, if you’re a Christian family and you choose to celebrate parts of it, or you don’t at all, I think either way is fine! I listened to a podcast recently, (Allie Beth Stuckey’s RelatablePodcast: Ep 514) where she (Allie) talks about how they put candy in baggies, with a piece of paper that had scripture on it, or making banners with scripture on it as outside decor- I thought it was a wonderful inspiration! It’s the one day a year people, come to our doors, and we don’t have to lecture them, or convert them right there on our front porch, but at least spread some gospel. If you can, and while you can!
– Philippians 4:6-9 ESV “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I am giving, a brief description of what she talked over in the podcast episode, but it was worth mentioning on here for sure! I encourage you to go find, and listen to that podcast. I definitely agree with how she thinks when it comes to Halloween! We are not called to celebrate, or glorify death and decay, and while Halloween has a lot of that; I do think that not every piece of Halloween is a celebration of death. Like getting candy for example, or wearing (certain) costumes. Those are both things kids do randomly throughout the year, anyways. At least, when I was a child, I played dress up and ate candy, occasionally.
Regardless of what’s decided, our children need to know that whatever we choose to celebrate, it needs to be honoring to the Lord!
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV “for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Proverbs 15:3 ESV “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
What We Will Do:
Our daughter, isn’t quite old enough to be doing things right now, for any holiday that is. However, as she gets older I see her asking to go to parties with friends, maybe mentioning those creepier movies, or wanting to go to different kinds of haunted festivities, no doubt! I’m sure we all have done so, to our parents at one point in time.
I can’t imagine we’d say no, unless for good reason, if she wants to go to a Halloween party a friend is throwing. As for the other “haunted” things, or even the creepy movies, considering they are mostly playing, this time of year; we will ask the questions listed above, and help our daughter or any children we have, to figure it out through thought, prayer, and scripture, just as we will do with everything else.
Halloween should not be a day that is feared so much that we hide away, or seen as something like the devil’s birthday, as I’ve been told in the past, as a young child who just wanted some candy (I unfortunately, don’t recall who exactly said this). However, that did indeed, deter me from wanting to partake! and it is definitely not the devils birthday, in case you were wondering. If you choose to, or choose not to, partake in any parts of Halloween, I encourage you to explain why to your children, and make sure your decision, will honor God. It’s also important, to make sure they understand that your decision, is honoring to God.
Lastly, if whatever you have chosen to partake in, or celebrate, does not honor the Lord in any way, you should rethink why you are celebrating it, at all.
We went to a Pumpkin Patch, this weekend. It was a really sunny day, and perfect weather; so many families were out and about. For us, personally (although, this is likely true, for most of us) it’s been so long since we have actually seen little ones running around outside, in the fresh air, and actually seeing their whole faces, while doing so. I’m happy to say, that the majority of the people there, you could see their whole face! and whatever emotion it portrayed. Lately, I’ve had family on my mind a lot, as I’m sure most of us have. Not just my own relatives, but families in general.
With what is happening in the world right now, I’ve heard quite often, people’s fears of bringing children into this world at a moment like this, and how they just don’t want to, at all. Another I’ve heard, is that they are scared for the children they do have. I know, as a parent, I do not want my daughter to ever suffer in her life, but I also know that we all endure something. Children are a gift, and they are a blessing from the Lord.
Psalms 127:3 ESV “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
We are all placed on this earth with a purpose; even our tiny, little (or big) children. The Lord doesn’t bring someone here, without a purpose. No matter what is going on around us, what the world looks like, whatever we predict the outcome to be in the future; any child placed here, is here for a reason.
2 Timothy 1:9 ESV “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in christ Jesus before the ages began.”
Romans 8:28 ESV “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
If you want children, do not be afraid, pray, and wait on the Lord’s answer. If, a child is the Lord’s will, hewill make it happen! If you already have children, equip them with scripture and guide them best you can. Lastly, just always remember to seek the Lord, and rebuke the enemy. That’s the best advice I got, for you!
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
There are people out there, making life-altering decisions, because of fear.
There are also people out there, making life-altering decisions,out of a fight against fear.
Pray for all of them, and for any children they may be bringing into this world (or any children whom are already here).
While I know this was shorter than usual, that is all the encouragement, I have for right now. However, there will be more things to come, in the near future! Currently, I have been just focusing on doing things one step at a time, enjoying the busyness of life, and having quality time with my little family, when we have the time.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
More and more, I’m hearing even in Christian places, that we need to tell our girls (or kids in general) that phrase, “you are enough.” That they are perfect, just the way they are. Sounds harmless enough right? Well, I don’t think so. We are truly not enough, on our own. That is the whole reason we have and need Jesus as our Savior, because wewouldcrashandburnwithoutHim. If you want to tell your children that they are enough, don’t forget to add it’s only through, and with Jesus that, that is true. Not on our own, and not because of ourselves, but because of Him.
We are only made enough, and made whole when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Only then, are we washed clean of our horrible sins.
Worth Mentioning, To Our Daughters:
The Lord will lead you before any man will, and He always will. So, put your trust in Him, if you’re worried about not finding the “love of your life.”
Don’t revolve around men, in your searching. Revolve around a man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We should never become unequally yoked with a man, because we gave up our search for a Godly one. Do not settle for someone, who isn’t a God-fearing man.
Don’t mix up perfect, and Godly, as the same thing, because it surely, is not. Don’t look for a perfect man; there isn’t one.
Creating relationship with God, and then searching for a good, Godly man to marry and start a family with, is how we should use our time of singleness.
Jesus is what makes us whole, not ourselves, anything, or anybody on earth will fill that gap.
If you are struggling with sexual temptations, do not try to fight it all on your own, call upon the Lord for help, and seek help from those close to you, so they can keep you accountable in your actions and pray for you!
Notes, For The Parents:
Always leave the door open for children to ask questions about anything.
Encourage the whys, and encourage the hows! Even if you have to do research on the answers!
Our children will gain confidence in their faith, through our confidence in challenging the word of the world, against the word of God. We just have to show them!
Put in the work, and research the answers to the tough questions they ask! They need to see us as a Christian, try.
Them waiting a little bit for an answer, is much better than a pointless, quick reply to get them out of your hair.
They are going to need that, because their faith will be tested.
Teach them the truth, before the world can teach the lies.
One Truth, and One God, Jesus Christ.
There is one truth, and one God. Everyone is always saying “what is your truth?” how do you, define things? It’s all about you; how you feel, and what you want. The world is becoming more and more selfish, as time goes on— relying on feelings to dictate decisions, and it has masked it to look like, compassion. If you are found disagreeing with “their truth,” you are outcasted as a person of hatred with little, to no compassion for others. That is a lie, straight out of hell. Unfortunately, the easiest way to make friends and relationships, is to agree, condone, or accept “their truth.” It can be very difficult to make friends, if you do not, do that.
I encourage you,
Do not give into the lie that is “you are not loving”, or even christianly, when you tell someone they are being sinful, against the Lord. If you see someone acting in sin, encourage them to stop, pray, and repent. If we allow feelings of “they will hate me, if I say they are wrong”, or “they will be so hurt with what I have to say.” etc, to dictate how we do things, we will surely be lost. Jesus probably hurt many feelings, when he told the truth.
Matthew 9:12 (ESV) “but when he heard it, he said, “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” I encourage you to read this chapter, in Matthew! We always hear that Jesus is “a friend of sinners”. He walked among them, and ate with them, but I don’t think he was a, by definition “friend“. At least not until they allowed him to change, their hearts and started following him. In this, it talks about him sitting with tax collectors, he refers to himself as “a physician helping the sick”. Maybe I’ll keep this topic for another time, but it is something to ponder over, and research more on!
I believe we can be honest, and kind at the same time. “Short term pain, long term gain.” Someone, somewhere, said that phrase and it stuck with me. Better to be hurt temporarily by the truth, than to hurt forever, because of a sin. so, teach or continue teaching your girls to be bold in their faith, and to be kind while doing it!
I think this is extremely important, for our children to know. As our daughters make friends and create relationships, they need to know to keep their faith in Jesus the top priority. Not to cower, or let go of the Lord’s word just to make a friendship, or to keep a relationship. If it means letting go of people to stay faithful, then so be it. It hurts, I understand all too well, but it may be necessary.
Another, Matthew 16:23 (ESV) “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Now, I am not saying to go around calling everyone the devil, but I am pointing out Jesus, did not hesitate to put Peter back in his place, when he saw he was in the wrong. Can you imagine, during that time especially, calling someone “the devil” must have been a huge shock to the system!
While “the truth can hurt” is a cliche phrase, it isn’t wrong. Sometimes it is really hard to hear, that we are being sinful, or in error. I would personally, much rather be told to look at the destruction I’m causing and try to fix it, than live like that without knowing, and face God’s wrath, because of it. Although, unfortunately some people will still knowingly choose destruction, regardless.
Lets teach our girls, to not rely on feelings, to make a decision. Feelings do not always line up, even when a correct decision is made, and even when we have compassion fora situation. Our own desires (whether Godly ones, or not) do not even always line upwith what God says, or His plans for us! We need to always rely on the Lord, and the Lord’s word. You can still care for someone and disagree with them, and you can completely desire something like a marriage, for example, and that may not be the Lord’s plan for you. So I encourage you, just trust Him, and do not worry about tomorrow!
Teach your children to be skeptical! The Lord encourages us to test everything! (so test what I’m saying too!) and that especially means testing things that seem God-sent! Even the Devil knows the Bible (and knows the churches), even he can make you feel calm, and nice inside.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV “but test everything; hold fast to what is good.”
We are born into sin, yes, but because of God we do not have to give in, to sin.
There are a couple topics I will touch on again in the future, individually, but in due time! I’m sure you have tons to bring up about raising Godly, young men and how they should also be brought up, because I do too! but that is set aside for a whole other discussion as well. Presently, my husband and I don’t even have a son, although we both hope too one day! However, regardless of that, I will write about raising young men too! So, hold tight to the Lord, and be bold in faith, because young girls (and even young guys) need to see that kind of fearlessness, right now.