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Month: November 2018

God Commands That You Be Good and You Can Be!

God Commands That You Be Good and You Can Be!

God commands the aged women to teach the young women to be “good” in Titus 3:4. There’s only one way to be good, dear women, and that is to believe what God says about you, to “reckon” it to be true as Abraham reckoned that he was a father of many nations when he was an old man and had no children. “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). God wants us to believe what He says about us! Trying to be good without believing what God clearly says about you is simply religion instead of faith.

What does God say about us? For one thing, once we believe in Him, He calls us saints and not sinners (in Philippians 1:1 and every other place that the New Testament authors refer to those who believe in Jesus Christ.)

We are told that we are crucified with Christ in Galatians 2:20. (I encourage you to look up these verses, write them out, and believe them!)

We are buried with Christ in Romans 6:4.

We are raised with Christ in Colossians 3:1.

We are new creatures in Christ in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

We are seated in the heavenly places with Christ in Ephesians 2:6.

Our body is dead to sin in Romans 6:11.

We are alive unto God in Romans 6:11. (We are told multiple times in Romans 6 that we are dead and freed from sin.)

We are the righteousness of God in 2 Corinthians 5:21.

We are free to sin no more in Romans 6:18.

We are free from Satan in 1 John 2:13.

We are overcomers in Christ in 1 John 4:4.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us in Philippians 4:13.

Most Christians really don’t believe this about themselves so they go about trying to be good in their own strength. Why go about trying to be good in your own strength when it’s a lot easier to believe what God says about you and walk in the Spirit while the Spirit works in you mightily (Colossians 1:29)?

Believe what God says about you! Reckon it to be so and then live as a believer in Jesus Christ who daily chooses to walk in the Spirit! This is our new lives in Christ, women, and it is glorious. God came to set you free from sin. You can be good because He lives within you and He is good!

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:11

***If you want to learn more about your new lives in Christ and what He accomplished on the cross for you, I encourage you to listen to Michael Pearl teach Romans 6-8. It is truly life transforming! (Make sure to have a pen and notebook to take notes! And no, he doesn’t teach “sinless perfectionism” as some have claimed. Before we are saved, we are “in the flesh” but once we are saved we are “in the Spirit.” We can choose to “walk in the flesh” but we are repeatedly told to walk in the Spirit. “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you” – Romans 8:9)

With Age Comes Wisdom and Experience

With Age Comes Wisdom and Experience

The Apostle Paul had a good reason for using the word “aged” when he commanded the aged women to teach the young women in Titus 2:3-5. The aged women have wisdom and experience that the young women don’t have. They have raised their children and have time to teach the young women. A few month ago, I wrote about young women bloggers divorcing and received a few great comments from aged women that may be of interest to you!

Debby in Kansas, as she goes by when she comments on my blog, wrote this: “This reminds me of a Valentine’s day several years ago. My husband and I were watching the news and they had a celebrity couple on to talk about how they keep romance in their lives and their secrets to happiness. We both exploded into laughter because this couple hadn’t even been married six months! At the time, we’d been married 20 or so years…and they’re going to give US advice about marriage?! We both said the same thing. Bring on the couple celebrating 50 years!! The young pups they had were still on their honeymoon!”

Then Kelley responded: “EXACTLY! Ridiculous. Paul taught Timothy that aged women were to teach the younger. While I realize that, if you’re 16, a gal who’s 18 is older than you, Paul didn’t say the ‘older women.’ He said the aged women. There’s the difference.

“When I, too, reflect on the lofty advice and opinions I barked in my 20s and 30s, I blush in embarrassment. In my 40s, I earnestly began hungering and thirsting after a godly wifehood and motherhood. I began quizzing aged women whose husbands demonstratively adored and cherished the wives of their youth. In my 40s, I desired eyes to see and ears to hear.

“In my 20s and 30s, I was a brilliant know-everything. In my 40s, I was ignorant and unlearned. In my 20s and 30s, I called the shots and declared, ‘My way or the highway.’ In my 40s, true life began! I began seeing my husband for the man God made him and wanted him to be, and I began seeing myself as his helper to make that happen.

“Fortunately by the time I had come to myself, my husband had not chosen to leave his oft-foolish wife for some ‘bimbo’ whose words and actions put him first in an (adulterous) relationship. He had chosen to stay with the likes of a rotten wife. God bless that strong, valiant man.

“Younger women bloggers and motivational speakers who have lost their marriages (and their children) have also lost their witness, their voice, their testimony. The choices they made inspired the choices their husbands made: ‘I’m outta here, headed for greener pastures.’ Most of these women have no one to blame but themselves. When you cause the Word to be blasphemed, what do you expect?

“Stay off the computer, younger women, and your devices. Keep the main thing the main thing. GET INTO, climb into, crawl into, hide yourself in the Word of God. Listen to the reaches of godly, aged women. You’ll have no regrets for your own wiser choices then, and a very strong chance of ‘helping’ a grateful, fulfilled husband who sings your praises and children who rise to call you blessed.”

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Proverbs 31:28

***Picture By Susan Rios

When His Life is Out of Control

When His Life is Out of Control

TheJoyFilledWife and her husband went through some difficult times in their marriage. Her husband was deeply addicted to pornography and it was devastating to her. Often, addictions, such as this, make those who are addicted mean and controlling. During this time, her husband agreed to see a counselor with her and this counselor turned out to be amazing. It’s almost impossible to find one who will teach the hard truths to the husband and the wife but the one they found did. Here are some things she wrote to me about her counselor and what she learned.

You couldn’t be more correct that counselors, like the one we had, are very rare indeed. In fact, my husband and I saw several counselors before we came to the one that the Lord used mightily. They are a gift from God and I never took that for granted for a second.

Truth be told, our counselors were introduced to us through an association that we keep. I would love to share more about them, but that would make it impossible for me to keep my identity anonymous. I may ask them if they recommend any resources for people who are in need of some truly Godly counsel.

One bit of material my husband and I went through individually is the workbook “The Mind of Christ” by T.W. Hunt. I warn you – it is not for the faint of heart! Much like “The Excellent Wife” book, it will challenge you to your core. It will turn you inside out and expose all the sins inside of your heart that you thought weren’t even that big of a deal. Even if your spouse refuses to seek counsel, I recommend that you do this workbook on your own if you want the Lord to do a mighty work in your heart.

The workbook is not easy to find. I had to search on Amazon in the used section to get it. Sometimes it’s available and sometimes it’s not. It will blow your mind and could even overwhelm you, if you don’t seek the Lord’s guidance as you go through it. Ask the Lord to work through each sin in your heart one by one. I couldn’t recommend this enough to the believer who desperately wants a heart and mind transformation to become more like Christ.

My counselor explained to me that my husband felt like his life was out of control and that my rebelling against his unreasonable micromanaging would serve no purpose but to feed the desire to control more. They emphasized the importance of me always checking my heart and that I needed to remain as “behind the scenes” in my habits that angered him as much as possible. If I insisted on putting up a fight, even though he was unreasonable, it would only serve to drive him further away out of feeling like he also was losing his authority in his marriage. I decided to keep snacks in my bathroom drawer and my purse so I could take a few bites while I went out to get the mail or was in the other room. Was he unreasonable to become upset about me eating a slice of bread four hours after my last meal? Yes. But my counselor helped me see that I needed to avoid being a distraction as God worked on my husband’s heart. My husband apologized to me later that night for being controlling about the bread.

Because my husband’s addiction caused him to become a man he wasn’t proud of, he would often take his inner frustrations with himself and project them verbally onto me. He would blame me for things I had no part in, would become angry that I didn’t meet an expectation he had failed to communicate to me, and, on one occasion, belittled me in front of our guests for not having dinner completely ready when he walked through the door with them, even though he had failed to call me and let me know they were heading over, as agreed upon.

My counselor explained to me that my husband was projecting his feelings of failure and inadequacy onto me because he was not happy with himself and the choices he was making. Pornography addictions are built upon a foundation of selfishness and it was easier for my husband to shift blame than to own up to his own failures, when he already was overwhelmed by the shame of his failure to resist his sinful addiction for so long. The counselor guided me to not respond to my husband in front of others or to fight with him when he lashed out at me. Instead, I was to calmly and firmly explain to him, privately, that I was not responsible for the failure he was angry about and how it made me feel when he belittled me in front of others. After that, I was not to carry on or get into an argument, no matter how much he wanted to fight. The counselor warned me to keep my heart and spirit in the right place in these situations, so the devil would not gain a foothold with me and perpetuate the situation further. I was to be an instrument of peace. Not a doormat to walk all over, but a wife with inner strength that uses her tongue to impart peace amidst the war within my husband’s heart.

My husband was very unhelpful with our children during the time of beginning to overcome his addiction and would gripe if I asked him for even a small favor. I did not ask him often, but there were times when I was incapable of accomplishing two things at once and he would refuse to help out. My counselor showed me that taking care of the children was my God-given responsibility and that I could show my husband respect and build him up as a husband by taking on all of the responsibilities in this area and thanking him for how hard he works to provide for us.

I’ll never forget the counselor’s first words to me when I asked what I should do when my husband refuses to help: “Don’t fight a battle that’s not worth dying for!” Those words rang over and over again in my head. God had bigger things to work on in my husband’s heart than unhelpfulness. I did not need to dwell on the smaller things and make them as big a priority as the serious stuff. The small stuff would be ironed out over time after the Lord refined my husband and helped him break the chains of his addiction. We are currently at the place where God is working on the medium to small things now and it has been such a blessing to come home now from running errands to children that have been bathed and put to bed!

During the progression and height of my husband’s addiction, I was denied sexually almost every single time I asked. There was always an excuse made why he couldn’t do it. Usually he would say that he was too tired or in a bad mood, even though he would stay up for hours afterward doing other things. I tried not to nag him about this, but did come to him several different times and let him know that I was struggling greatly with temptation from lack of intimacy in our marriage. He would simply respond, “Maybe in the morning.”

My counselor explained to me that, while my husband was clearly sinning by defrauding me, the selfishness that comes from porn addictions, as well as the fact that he was already meeting his sexual needs through that outlet, was responsible for his sin in refusing me. He had trained his mind to mentally “dispose” of images that no longer excited him in search of a more exciting image. When you train your brain to become aroused by two dimensional images, it’s a lot harder to be interested in your real life relationship with your wife. It had nothing to do with my value as a person or my physical attractiveness, but he literally trained his brain to seek arousal and fulfillment from things that will never satisfy.

When he had just met his own sexual desires in sinful ways, he no longer felt a need for intimacy with me. As hard as it was to do, my counselor told me that when I felt temptation coming on, to go into the other room after my husband falls asleep and work out as hard as I can to release excess energy. Once I finished that, I should spend time in the Word and in prayer for myself and my husband. I needed to memorize Scripture and inundate my mind with the Truth. That was the only way to resist the enemy.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58

*You can read more of TheJoyFilledWife’s posts HERE.

Those Who Have Many Children Shall NOT Be Ashamed!

Those Who Have Many Children Shall NOT Be Ashamed!

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).

A heritage is usually tangible like money or an estate. It’s inherited from someone else. Reward means something is given such as money or a trophy for doing good or winning a contest of some kind. God calls children a heritage and a reward. They are gifts from Him. They are to be valued and treasured above all the stuff this world has to offer.

Happy is the man who has a quiver full of children! Many in our culture try to shame men and women if they have more than one or two children. “You’re overpopulating the earth.” “Don’t you know how to prevent those?” They value the creation over the Creator. God tells parents of many children that they shall not be ashamed! Children are blessings from the LORD!

“Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.” (Psalm 128) Have you seen a fruitful vine by the sides of a house? It’s usually full of flowers that eventually produces fruit and is beautiful! This is how a wife is described who is open to marrying and bearing children. God calls this good! The children shall be like olive plants around the table. Another good thing!

I looked up the characteristics of olive trees. They are known for their longevity. They’re prolific, indestructible, unparchable, ancient, and sacred (the olive branch). I love that God equated children with olive plants! All the stuff that we are accumulating, the trips we take, our college degrees, our careers, the money we may make, and the things we do are NOTHING in comparison to having children; for they are eternal souls who will last forever.

Godly offspring are indestructible! If raised in godly homes to be Christians, they won’t be affected by our wicked culture because their roots will go deeply into the Word and they will live eternally with the LORD (unparchable). They are the gifts that keep on giving by giving us grandchildren and great grandchildren (prolific). They are gifts from God (sacred). God knew them from the foundation of the world (ancient).

God in His Word has only good things to say about children. It’s His will for married couples to have children and have a quiver full, if they are blessed with them. This is completely opposite of what the world is telling women to do. This shouldn’t surprise us. The prince of the power of the air (Satan) holds many captive in this world and lives to deceive women away from God’s will. He hates marriage. He hates children. He especially hates godly families.

God’s will for young women is to “marry, bear children, and guide the home” (1 Timothy 5:14), to love their husbands and children and be keepers at home (Titus 2:4, 5). It’s a good will, women. In fact, it’s good, and acceptable, and perfect for you! Why would any godly women want anything other than God’s will?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9, 10

A Husband Bears NO Responsibility For His Wife’s Submission

A Husband Bears NO Responsibility For His Wife’s Submission

It’s much easier to put the responsibility of a wife submitting to her husband on the husband’s shoulder. After all, most marriage books and pastors teach that if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves the Church, then it will be easy for a wife to submit to her husband. Or if the husband meets all of his wife’s “needs” then she will willingly submit.

Here is how many preachers/teachers of the Word teach biblical submission: “When husbands are doing what God commands them to do in their marriage and they are doing it rightly and biblically, most wives love it and are happy to respond to it enthusiastically.” Therefore, the wife’s submission is incumbent upon the husband’s behavior. Our obedience to God is NEVER dependent upon someone else! It’s our responsibility to obey God regardless of the circumstances we are in and putting the burden on the husband simply makes it easier for women to shirk their obedience in this area. She then becomes the determiner of whether or not he is worthy of her submission. It is never the husband’s fault if the wife isn’t submitting to him. It’s her fault alone.

I have mentored women for many years. Many of these women are married to kind and gentle Mr. Steady’s but these women wore the pants and were very unhappy with their husbands. Most women’s natural inclination is to want to be in control and be discontent with their husbands. Once they learned true biblical submission, that it has absolutely zero to do with a husband’s behavior, then they learn to appreciate their husbands’ good qualities and begin to submit to them out of obedience to the Lord.

If it were true that wives should only submit to their husbands when their husbands love them as Christ is loving the Church, then what about 1 Peter 3:1? Wives who are married to husbands that are disobedient to the Word are to win their husbands how? by living in subjection to their husbands. So this blows that theory out of the water!

No, a husband can’t make his wife submit to him unless he is cruel and uses force which is wrong. He can tell her to submit to him as her leader but true submission must come from a decision by the wife to obey God even when it’s hard. Obedience to God isn’t easy in our wicked world. Living godly, set apart lives isn’t easy. Walking on the narrow path that leads to life isn’t easy. Living our lives to love and serve others, even our enemies, isn’t easy. No. And for ministers of the Word to water down biblical submission and tell women that their husbands should make it easy for them to submit goes against the clear teachings of the Word. They need to read and study 1 Peter 2.

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again: when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (1 Peter 2:21-23).

A wife’s submission is not always easy. It’s giving up her rights for his. It’s giving up control and allowing her husband to be the leader. Yes, some husbands are a lot easier to submit to than others but this has no bearing on whether or not a wife should submit or not. If she wants to live a life of obedience to her Lord and Savior, she willingly and lovingly submits to her God-ordained authority, her husband, regardless of his behavior.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Ephesians 5:22-24

Feeling Guilty For Having Sex After Married

Feeling Guilty For Having Sex After Married

Hollywood makes sex out to be absolutely amazing with fireworks the very first time a couple has sex so young people grow up to believe that it must be amazing always, UNLESS they are raised in a godly home by Christian parents. I was out to lunch with some friends the other day and they were all taught to be pure until marriage. They taught their children the same thing. The problem was that they weren’t taught that sex was supposed to be fun and enjoyable once married and they didn’t teach their children, either, so on their honeymoons and for a while after, it was difficult for them to enjoy sex because it was always forbidden in their minds and they felt guilt.

I asked the women in the chat room if any of them were raised this way and felt guilt once they were married and had sex, since I had never heard of this before. I was raised by a mom who clearly let us know that sex was wonderful in marriage and we taught our children the same. Many of the women in the chat room said that they did have guilt feelings concerning sex after marriage and it seems to come from the lack of being taught by their parents.

One woman wrote, “I was raised this way. Sex was never talked about except in terms of waiting till marriage. When I got married, I very much enjoyed sex, however, I had a feeling of guilt I couldn’t shake for probably a few months, like I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. I’m determine to have much more open conversations with my daughter.”

Another one wrote, “Yes! I was definitely raised this way and I’ve been married 17 years and still sometimes feel guilty or feel like a bad person when I do have sex with my husband. My mom made me so afraid to have sex that when I actually did (I waited until I was married), I was terrified of it.”

Yet another, “I was told very little but I knew you weren’t supposed to have sex before marriage and my mother said that once you’re married, ‘Everything is okay.’ I didn’t know what ‘everything’ was but I knew it wasn’t bad. Labels like ‘pure UNTIL marriage’ contribute to this issue. I think we are so used to them that we don’t realize what we’re saying. Yes, we are to be pure before marriage but sex in marriage IS pure. We need to teach our children that married sex is an extension of purity and not the end of it.”

The following comment was written by a wise, older woman named Paula on this YouTube about sex after marriage and children: “You treated this subject very tastefully, Kathryn, and this is the opinion from a 70 year old~~not quite Victorian woman! I would like to add that physical intimacy does not always have to be WOW to be beautiful, good for a couple’s health and closeness, and to be rewarding. Just having each other and being able to hold and love each other is a gift. You did not mention performing, but I think some people think that is necessary. Love and caring are key.

“Also, women need to appreciate that their husbands like their bodies and not try to hide them or be embarrassed by them. Do not make negative statements to your husband about your body, and be grateful for any compliments, even when you do not see it the way he sees it. In this case, remembering that ‘love is blind’ is helpful! One more tip, if you will: asking God to give you grace to bless your husband in this way, even while experiencing physical intimacy. This is a prayer He will gladly answer with a ‘yes’.”

Mothers, it’s your responsibility to be open with your children about sex at the proper age. It’s usually when they begin asking questions. You don’t have to go into details (unless they are asking right before they get married) but let them know that they are to be pure before marriage and make sure they know all of the benefits to this. God’s commands are ALWAYS for our best! Then, tell them how wonderful sex is after marriage and how God created it for us to enjoy. Teach your children to not deprive their spouse since this is a command from God (1 Corinthians 7:5).

Make sure your daughters know how very important sex will be to their husbands and that they need to be available to them even if there are times, like after birth, that they must be creative. Help them to make the decision in their minds that this will be a priority in their lives. They need to understand that their husbands should not take the place of a back burner once their children are born. If they have time to watch their favorite TV show or scroll through Facebook, then they have time to bring pleasure to their husband!

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Proverbs 5:18, 19
Are You Like Sarah’s Daughter or Lot’s Daughter?

Are You Like Sarah’s Daughter or Lot’s Daughter?

Abraham “hearkened to the voice of Sarah” (Genesis 16:2) and slept with her maid because Sarah couldn’t bear children. She thought this was a good plan but nothing good came from it. Hopefully, she learned her lesson to not try to manipulate her husband after this. Twice she obeyed Abraham when he asked her to lie and tell people that she was his sister because he feared for his life. Both times, God protected her while in the Kings’ harems.

One day, the LORD came and visited Abraham. Abraham wanted to feed the LORD and the two men who were with him. He went to Sarah and said this to her, “Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth” (Genesis 18:6).  He didn’t say “Please” or even “Can you do this for me?” No, he told her what to do and I imagine she obeyed him immediately and made the bread. Most wives would not like being told what to do by their husbands in this way!

Then we look at Lot’s wife. Two angels came to Lot’s house to warn him of the impending doom on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot begged them to come into his home and “he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat it” (Genesis 19:3). Where was Lot’s wife? Why didn’t she make the bread? (After so many years of teaching women biblical womanhood, I notice these things quickly!) If Lot had told his wife to make bread for the guests, would she have obeyed him? I doubt it since she was known for her disobedience.

Lot and his family were corrupted by the cities in which they lived. When the men wanted to have sex with the two angels, Lot offered his two daughters instead. Lot tried to get his two sons-in-law to go with him to flee the cities but they mocked him. In the morning before the devastation, the angels tried to get Lot to hurry up but he and his family “lingered” so the two angels grabbed their hands to get them to leave. More disobedience. They were told to not look back at the city and escape to the mountains. God rained brimstone and fire from the heavens and Lot’s wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. She was a rebellious wife and didn’t obey God nor did she seem to be a help meet to her husband.

Then instead of fleeing to the mountains as Lot was instructed, he fled to a small town for a while but shortly afterwards, he fled to the mountains as originally instructed. Later, his daughters got him drunk and had sex with him because they wanted children. No, Lot and his family are examples of “bad company corrupting good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33) when living in and immersing oneself into the wicked culture around them.

 Lot’s wife and his daughters were disobedient, but this is what the Apostle Peter wrote about Sarah in 1 Peter 3:6, “Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” When God told Abraham to go, he went and Sarah followed, living in tents and wandering in the wilderness for many years. As godly women, our greatest desire is to walk in obedience to the LORD. It’s the least we can do for Him after all He’s done and is doing for us. Therefore, we obey our husbands and call them lord. Well, most husbands probably won’t want to be called lord but we should at least treat them as our earthly lord, with obedience and reverence as commanded by God.

Lot’s wife is only known for not serving her husband and disobeying God. Sarah is known for serving her husband and obeying God. She adorned herself by “being in subjection to [her] own husband” (1 Peter 3:5). Are you more like Lot’s daughters or Sarah’s daughters? Lot’s wife and daughters’ were earthly minded and did what was right in their own eyes and Sarah was heavenly minded and obeyed God.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
Proverbs 31:10

*Susan Rios Painting

Raising Godly Offspring in This Wicked Generation

Raising Godly Offspring in This Wicked Generation

Written By Ken

Lori and I had little doubt that our children would walk with the Lord when they got older. Perhaps most Christian parents feel this way, or perhaps it’s just a sense that comes from relying on God’s promise that if you “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Yes, we understood by watching other children of godly parents depart from the faith, that for some reason, there are children raised in wonderful Christian families who choose the foolish things of this world over a relationship with their Creator God for eternity. But for me and my house we were bound and determined to follow the Lord without wavering or doubt.

Recently we had a few terrific days with three of our precious grandchildren and when they are with us, we find ourselves doing with them many of the things that we did with our own children. Their mom just had number four, a beautiful and precious baby girl, so grandparents to the rescue. We stepped in and took the kids into our home. The truth be told, these kids do more for us by way of joy, fun, and enjoyment than we do for them. I can remember a few tears they shed, but most of the time was fun, games, and laughter.

So what is this training that we are to impart to our children and grandchildren that once they know the way to go they will not depart from it? Here are just a few ideas that we have done to raise four godly offspring who all walk faithfully and joyfully with their Lord. Perhaps it will give some of you a spark of ideas to add to your training tools as you embrace God’s promise fully that your children will walk faithfully with our God.

The top of our list for training is joyfulness. There is nothing worse than a bunch of crabby, crying, or difficult kids in a home. Very little training can be accomplished when a child is not receptive to joy but instead focused on selfish, fleshly things. Make sure the kids are fed well, get lots of sleep, and have no obvious reasons to be unhappy. Children by nature are generally very joyful and fun-loving, at least until they hit their teens, but if they are not, don’t put up with it. That’s right. We have a “grumpy” chair, (or the fireplace mantel when our children were young), where we just said the word and the grumpy child would run to the chair and sit on it until they are ready to return and choose to be joyful.

Insisting on joyfulness is not as hard as you might think, but it does take the discipline of consistency to train a child that if they are going to be in a bad mood, they need to have the grumpy mood away from the rest of us who don’t want to be dragged down by it. It is amazing what a couple trips to the grumpy chair can do so that all you have to do is ask, “Do you need to go to the complaining chair?” and the child breaks out in the most fake smile ever, yet they turn their mood around quickly. Too many adults today could have used the moody chair when they were younger to train their emotions so that they learned to control them, instead of being controlled by them.

Making a joyful noise in our home often means singing or squealing with laughter. I grew up in a home filled with Christian music as my godly mom was always singing. She had the prettiest voice that filled the home and it seemed that for each and every trouble we had she would break out into a hymn or song that would capture the answer to what we needed to hear. Who needs a lecture when Mom can sing you to right thinking and straighten out your mood with her joyfulness?

In our home, there are lots of fun things we do together. Just out of the blue it seems a child will be whacked with a pillow by Papa and the pillow fight is on. Three kids all attacking Papa as he punches back with a huge pillow on each hand. At other times, Papa hears grandma teaching the kids the song, “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me…” and he comes down to this harmonious chorus to grab a hold of the littlest one and dance with her. Then the march begins and we march step-by-step around the rooms singing the song as loudly as we can!

Lori was always great with getting our children playing outside during the day. She now opens the garage door and pulls up a lawn chair and the kids play in the front yard. The next thing you know the other kids come running out of their homes and electric cars, scooters, and bikes are running everywhere. This can last an hour or two as other moms and dads join in. Getting our kids outside and exercising was very important to us as our kids played a lot of organized sports or danced ballet. But we feel there are few things better than going on long, regular walks with the children where great conversations take place.

I am still smiling inside thinking about our walk last evening with our grand kids. We got to the park and I told Lori to keep going our normal way and we would meet her after our detour. We went dashing down the grassy hills with other moms smiling and laughing at us. Our four-year-old grandson panting away holding his side saying, “Hold up guys!” and Papa responding, “No we have to go over the edge” as we flew over the small embankment with my precious cargo in the stroller howling with laughter. Then they insisted on running all the way home together, feet flying as fast a little three and five-year-old can go while Papa pushed an empty stroller. It is not by accident that the next morning two of the kids said, “I slept really hard last night.” Children need lots of  outdoor exercise in order for them to be physically healthy .

When they rise and when they go to bed teach them God’s amazing promises and miracles. I am amazed how eager our grandkids are to go to bed at night. Seven o’clock rolls around and one was asking, “Is it bed time?” Then two others come over to my chair and say, “Papa, think of a story to tell us tonight!” Off to brush teeth then they all three hop in bed hiding under the covers. Papa comes in with a loud roar as he jumps on the bed and tickles them all. Then, it is story time. “Give me an age,” I say, and they pick the age of seven.

“Once upon a time a long, long, long, long, long long time ago when Papa was only seven years old …” out comes a story from my wonderful childhood growing up on an island in the Caribbean. Almost every story makes a spiritual point or draws a spiritual conclusion. Sometimes, I am asking the kids not to do what Papa did, or encouraging them to do the right things, and other times I am telling them about my love for Jesus at such a very young age. Stories about  miracles that have happened in my life and the hard times of growing up with an angry brother who lost his arm in an accident, yet he came back to the Lord in his 20’s to be a missionary to France. So much spiritual training can be learned from what a parent did right or wrong, showing our children that we, too, make mistakes, but the blood of Jesus can cover us and make us whole again. The most precious stories are of the times when all seemed hopeless, yet God intervened to give His miracles.

Teach them God’s truths. Rarely does a day, sometimes not even an hour was spent with our children, and now our grandchildren, where we are not teaching them some spiritual principle or a life lesson. Parents, to train up your child in the way they should go is not a part-time job, but it should be constant and non-stop. How much time is spent driving in a car with your children which becomes the perfect opportunity to coach a captive audience. If it is not spiritual training, make it personal, and teach them English and Math. That’s right. Have a math contest: “What is five plus seven plus nine?”

Give them the gift of Discipline. If you could give just one gift to your children, it would be to teach them early in life, by age one or two, that “No” means “NO.” Teaching discipline early in life will be a gift that keeps giving at every aspect of life; College, Marriage, Career, the Law and all Relationships.  Far too many parents confuse their children because “no” often means, “unless you keep nagging me and then I say yes.” What a disaster some parents have taught their children with their inconsistency and then wonder why their children end up texting and driving, drinking at parties, and getting sent to the principal’s office, all because they never learned that “no” means “No way.” Once this lesson is learned by 2-3 years old, life with children is so much easier. It does not mean we never change our minds, or you won’t find a child playing the two parents’ decisions against each other. But a home will be far more joy-filled when our children know the boundaries and choose to live within them.

Teach them about the four most important things in life. I can’t leave off one vital training tool in raising godly children. We must teach them what our family is all about. Imagine Jacob never sitting down with his boys and explaining to them “We are different as we love the One true God. The God of our Fathers. The God who walked and talked with Father Abraham and gave us such great and mighty promises. The promise that through our seed would come many nations. Never forget that you are a Jew, the promise of God.”

For the Alexanders, we set four main principles as our guide to live by. To this day, if you ask one of our children they can rattle them off. I would tell them that these four ideals belong to our family, but when they have their own family they will need to choose if they will keep them or change them. But whatever they decide, their children and grandchildren should know who they are and what life is all about. For the Alexanders this means we:

Love God and serve Him.

Do what is right.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Be the best you can be.

Such simple ideals that allow a young mind to focus on what is most important in life. If we love God, we will do what is right by keeping his wonderful commandments. And the second greatest commandment of all is to love your neighbor as yourself. In doing these things, you must always strive to be the best you can be, because it is not the smartest, or the best looking, or the one with the best personality in life that has the greatest success, but the one who is willing to keep trying to be the best they can be by outworking and out loving others.

Don’t be afraid to show you are human and make mistakes. Yes, we made some mistakes along the way. Things we regret and would not do the same way again. The goal is not to be a perfect parent as that will just get you second guessing yourself all the time. The Christian life should never be spent second guessing but by reaching out and grabbing a hold of all of God’s promises, even those that are hard to believe. We train up our children in the way they should go and they will not depart from God’s ways that we have helped instill into them. But to do this, we had daily time in the Word with our children and Lori faithfully took the kids each Wednesday evening to AWANA where they hid God’s Word in their hearts by memorization.

Love them with generosity and lots of love with hugs and kisses. We clearly taught our children that we would always love them. Yes, no matter what they did, even if it was really bad, dad and mom would always love each and every child as much as we possibly could. Not equally, but according to what we thought was best for each child according to their needs and personality. We put a quick end to “It’s not fair!” as life is never fair. “You don’t want me to be fair with you, or treat each of your equally,” I would say to the kids. “I know the boys don’t want dolls for Christmas and the girls are not interested much in footballs. You must let your parents be generous towards you not just fair. If you want fair, we can only eat one meal a day like the rest of the world and live with just two pairs of clothing. No, God is generous towards his children, so we will be generous towards you and expect that you will be generous towards others.”

Shine Jesus to your children no matter what your troubles. I am convinced that nothing was a more powerful source of training for our children than for them to see our joy in Lord as we lived life prayerfully, joyfully, and playfully most of the time. Whatever marriage troubles we had were hidden from our children as we did not want our sins and bad habits to become theirs. No, we were bound and determined to train these precious gifts God had given us in His ways and with His joy. If you want to grow up kids quickly who understand what life is all about, show them how you handle personal sickness and troubles by keeping God and his promises first and foremost in your life.

We praise God that by His grace four families have spun off from the Alexanders who are all walking faithfully with our God. Our hearts are full of joy and running over, but as Lori’s Dad reminds us, “It’s not over yet.” So we keep them all in our prayers daily knowing that God is always good and true to His promises. And when we feel He is not? We must trust that He still is good and He has our children in His loving hands.

And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sit in your house, and when thou walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 11:19

Desiring to Promote Your Husband’s Happiness

Desiring to Promote Your Husband’s Happiness

Let’s study God’s instructions to us about sexual relations in a marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 shows us clearly what these are. If you don’t like them, you will have to take it up with the LORD since I am simply teaching what He commands.

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” God forbids all sexual relationships outside of marriage. He wants one man to marry one woman. This is His plan for us. “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh” (Matthew 19:5). What this means is that sex is a very important part of marriage. It helps us to avoid fornication. Marriage is a safe and holy place where a man and woman can enjoy each other’s bodies.

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.” What does due benevolence mean? The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines it this way: “The disposition to do good; good will; kindness; charitableness; a desire to promote another’s happiness.” Do you desire to promote your husband’s happiness? Do you have a disposition to do him good? Do you show him kindness? Men enjoy sex. IF you want to promote your husband’s happiness, do him good, and show him kindness, you will be available to him sexually.

Years ago, a bunch of my friends went on a trip together and during one dinner, we were talking about how often we have sex with our husbands. We had all been married for many years by this time so we were considered older women. One of the women piped up, “We have it every day!” Another woman asked her why and she quickly responded, “Because it makes him happy!” This woman promotes her husband’s happiness. I know this man. He is very happy with his wife!

“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” Your husband has power over your body, women. Most women recoil at this idea. They want to be in control of their own body but God tells us that our husbands have power over our bodies. Therefore, we are not selfish with our bodies. We allow our husbands to freely enjoy our bodies. We don’t insist on having sex in the dark. Men are visual and your husband likes to see your naked body. Be naked and unashamed with your husband. This pleases God.

“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” Defraud means to “deprive of right; to withhold wrongfully from another what is due to him; to defeat or frustrate wrongfully.” When you withhold sex from your husband, you are defrauding him and depriving him of what is rightfully his. This is sin, women. So many women do this to their husbands. I know. Ken hears from them often. This must not be the case with us! You are frustrating your husband wrongfully when you do this and withholding what is due him.

Look at the last phrase in this verse and why we should never deprive our husbands: “that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” This means that if we are withholding sex from our husbands, we are allowing Satan to tempt them. Do you want Satan to tempt your husband to look at porn or go have an affair? NO! Now, this is no guarantee that if you are available to him sexually, he won’t look at porn or have an affair BUT we are only accountable for our own actions and as far as it depends upon us, we don’t want to do anything that will allow Satan to tempt our husbands sexually.

God created sex for marriage to bring pleasure and produce children. This is very good. Satan distorts what God calls good, uses sex to destroy people’s lives, and convinces women to prevent having children. Satan has completely divorced sex from marriage and sex from having children in our culture. This is not from God. Sex is good and to be thoroughly enjoyed by married couples. Children are good and a beautiful fruit from sex between married couples. All of God’s ways are good, and acceptable, and perfect!

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:12

Discontentment is a Marriage Killer

Discontentment is a Marriage Killer

Divorce always begins with seeds of discontentment planted in our minds by ourselves or others. Feminism flourished because it appealed to wives’, mothers’, and homemakers’ discontentment. “We can no longer ignore that voice within women that says: ‘I want something more than my husband and my children and my home.'” (Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique)

As soon as we allow discontentment into our thought life, we are on the path to nowhere good. “He is not as romantic as he should be.” “He doesn’t treat me kindly all the time.” “I am not happy.” “He ignores me too much.” “He watches too much TV.” “He doesn’t help me with housework and the children enough.” “I am bored at home.” “I could accomplish so much more than simply raising these children.” “There’s got to be more to life than housework.” And on and on the list of discontentment goes.

Discontentment comes when we stop being thankful: discontentment for the life we have, the husband we married, the children we are called to raise, the home we live in, and the blessings we have been given. In Romans 1:21, we are told that being unthankful is the beginning of turning away from God and living a life of sin: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful.”

Discontentment is self-pity and as Oswald Chambers wrote, “Self-pity is satanic.” Feminism hasn’t made women happier and more content. No, it’s made them more unhappy, discontent, and full of self-pity. Life and our circumstances aren’t about making us happy. They are about making us more like Christ.

Eve stopped being thankful for the position that God put her into in the garden and seeds of discontentment were placed in her mind that reaped tragic consequences. Satan beguiled her with the question: “Hath God said….?” His desire is to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants women asking, “Hath God really said that young women are to marry, bear children, and guide the home? Hath God said that women should be keepers at home and silent in the churches? Hath God said that wives are to be submissive to their husbands in everything?” Feminism is simply acting as Satan’s agent of destruction.

If a woman believes she is “dying inside” and blames it on her husband, she has made her husband an idol instead of finding her satisfaction and fulfillment in Christ. Women naturally rebel against their husbands (Genesis 3:16) and try to find fault with them so we must always be on guard against doing this. God wouldn’t have had to tell us so many times in His Word for us to submit to our husbands if it came naturally and easy for us.

Discontentment among women in marriage is a common malady today since 70 – 80% of divorces are initiated by women. We must constantly be aware of this in us, women. We must do everything we can to fight against Satan’s questions and doubts he tries to plant in our minds and put on the full armor of God every day. Remember to be continually renewing your minds with the truth of God’s Word and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Let the Word of God dwell in you richly, meaning frequently meditating, reading, and studying the Bible.

Learning contentment is a deliberate choice, as believers in Jesus Christ, to be joyful and content and to love our husbands as stated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, even if we aren’t feeling loved by or love for them. It’s learning to say, “The JOY of the LORD is our strength” and believing it. It’s learning to live for the Lord and His glory, not our own.

Be thankful. Dwell on the good and the lovely. Live a life of service to others. Rejoice. Count your blessings. Learn contentment in God’s good, and acceptable, and perfect will for you! Never allow discontentment to kill your marriage.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6