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Author: Lori Alexander

Beware of the Strange Woman

Beware of the Strange Woman

To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flatters with her words; which forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God (Proverbs 2:16, 17)

There are many strange women who are forsaking and divorcing their husbands today and forgetting the covenant they made with their husbands. Many more women are divorcing their husbands than husbands divorcing their wives and the reasons are all too common: “I am not happy” or “We were incompatible” or “He drank too much” or “He watched porn” or any number of reasons but not one of them is a biblical reason to divorce.

Which forsaketh the guide of her youth,…. Not God, the God of her life, and who had provided for her from her youth up; nor her parent that had taken care of her in her infancy, and had been the guardian of her virgin state; but her husband, to whom she was married in her youth, and to whom she gave up herself to be guided and directed, ruled and governed, by: and as it is an aggravation of evil in a man to deal treacherously against the wife of his youth, and the wife of his covenant; so it is in a woman to forsake ‘the friend’ or ‘companion of her youth,’ as the phrase may be rendered; who loved her and espoused her in his youthful age, and with whom he had lived long in love and friendship, and in great happiness, but now forsakes him; her affections being alienated from him, leaves his company and bed, and associates with others” (Gill’s Exposition).

God said in His Word that what He joins together, let NO man tear asunder, yet too many women have no qualms tearing apart their marriages and leaving their husbands, then going after another man to marry, thus committing adultery with him. Women, this is serious business in the eyes of the Lord. He created marriage to be an example of Christ and the Church. As the Church must never forsake Christ, so wives must not forsake their husbands.

Don’t allow anything into your thought life or actions that will cause a schism between you and your husband. Watch for those little foxes that spoil the vine, such as a disrespectful attitude towards him, critical and negative thoughts about him, questioning and even rebelling against his decisions, or undermining his authority in the home by usurping it and doing things your way.

I seriously doubt many wives have given themselves up to be “ruled and governed” (as Gill’s Exposition stated in the comments above) by their husbands even though this is what the Lord calls them to do. God has ordained wives to be their husband’s help meet and not vice versa. Our main ministry in life is to our husbands to make their lives as good as we can and help their lives to be easier. Our husbands are the decision makers and we are called to obey and support these decisions joyfully and willingly, just as we do the Lord’s decisions and commands to us.

We also need to protect our marriage by dressing modestly in the company of other men. We must be careful to not flirt with other men in any way but only give ourselves to our husbands since they are the husbands of our youth. We must never allow “strange woman” be used to describe us. We don’t lust after other men, nor do we spend any time being entertained by them in our thought life but we take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Any man who attempts to flirt with us in any way, we flee; for we refuse to break the covenant of our youth.

“And forgetteth the covenant of her God: not the covenant made with Noah, in which adultery, as well as other things, were forbidden; nor the law of Moses, or covenant at Sinai, in which it was condemned; but the marriage covenant, which she entered into with her husband when espoused to him, and when they mutually obliged themselves to be faithful to one another: and this is called ‘the covenant of God’; not only because God is the author and institutor of marriage, and has directed and enjoined persons to enter into such a contract with one another; but because he is present at it, and is a witness of such an engagement, mid is appealed unto in it; which, as it adds to the solemnity of it, makes the violation of it the more criminal.” (Gill’s Exposition of the Bible)

God created marriage between a man and a wife until death do they part. It’s a commitment we entered with our husband and the Lord on the day we married each other. We love our husbands and what is love? God has clearly spelled it out to us in 1 Corinthians 13:

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong). It does not rejoice in injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening). Love never fails (never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end).” (Amplified Version)

This is a good passage to memorize since love has NOTHING to do with our feelings and emotions. Not one woman who lives out this definition of love would ever divorce her husband or go after another man and be called a ‘strange woman.’ She would be kind, forgiving, loving, cheerful, and her hope would be in the Lord, not in how perfect her husband was supposed to be.

If her husband had been lured away by a strange woman, she would put on the full armor of the Lord and fight for her husband’s eternal soul by obeying 1 Peter 3:1-6. She would understand that his eternity is more important that her earthly happiness and determine to not be a covenant breaker. Yes, she would let him go if he wants to go, as the Word commands that she does, but she would pray and ask the Lord to restore their marriage and then go about winning him back without a word by learning to have a meek and quiet spirit which is beautiful in God’s sight.

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

Live and Love Your God-Given Role!

Live and Love Your God-Given Role!

John MacArthur had this to say about women in the 90s but it still sadly defines too many women today: “What kind of woman is the prototype of the ‘90s woman?  What is the modern super-woman supposed to be?  Maybe something like this: she works, builds her own career, demands equal pay, refuses to submit to her husband, demanding equality with him in everything, has an affair or two, and a divorce or two.  She exercises her independence, relies on her own resources, doesn’t want her husband or children to threaten her personal goals, has her own bank account. 

She hires a maid or a cleaning service, eats out at least 50 percent of the time with her family or without them, makes cold cereal and coffee, the standard breakfast for her family, quick frozen meals usual dinner fare, or she calls Domino’s Pizza, expects her husband to do his share of the housework.  She is tanned, coiffured, aerobicized, into body-building shape, shops to keep up with the fashion trends, makes sure she can compete in the attention-getting contest, puts the kids in a day care center, makes sure each has a TV in his room, or a radio, or a CD player so they can be entertained.  She is opinionated, demanding, wants to be heard, eager to fulfill all of her personal goals.”

Right after I read this, I received this comment that someone had just left on my post that went viral last year about housework and not expecting husbands to help with it: “This is astoundingly offensive. Women and men both work outside the home in most households and there is no reason the man should get a pass on helping around the house while the woman slaves at home and at work.”

Yes, that post continues to receive comments on it and women continue to get “offended” by it. (The only things that should offend us, women, are Satan and sin, not others’ opinions but many of today’s women are easily led by their emotions and feelings, thus get offended easily.) Women today expect their husbands to help with housework, since they are the ones who decided they wanted to have careers and work outside of the home. Therefore, if they are bringing in some of the money, it makes perfect sense that their husbands should help with the housework. Now, many men want their wives to work since they like the thought of having extra money more than having a help meet (which most women have no desire to be). What a tangled web we have woven! It’s so far from what God has intended for us.

We, as godly women, are to be keepers at home with meek and quiet spirits living simply within our husband’s income, not demanding anything from our husbands but living in submission to their leadership. When we are at home tending to all of the details of running our homes and raising our children, our husbands can tend to working hard to provide a living for the family. God created male and female and He created us with different roles to fulfill. When these roles are filled with the husband and wife, there is harmony and peace within the home. The blurring of these roles has led to more divorce and devastation than anything else. Satan’s goal is to destroy the family because if he can destroy the family, he destroys nations.

Love your God-given role, women. No, it’s not bondage as many today want you to believe. It’s freedom from having to try and live a man’s role by providing plus having to do a woman’s role of homemaking. We were created to only do a woman’s role and it is good!

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
1 Timothy 5:14

Can a Wife Disobey Her Husband if He Asks Her to Get a Job?

Can a Wife Disobey Her Husband if He Asks Her to Get a Job?

Should wives disobey their husbands if their husbands ask them to leave their homes, their children in the care of others, and get a job? This is a difficult question to answer. I do believe this would be a sin on the husband’s part since he is the one called to be the provider unless he is unable to do so for some reason. Women are instructed to be keepers at home so they don’t blaspheme the Word of God so the Lord takes women being keepers at home very seriously.

Lady Lydia wrote a post about this a few years ago and doesn’t believe a wife must submit to her husband’s request to be a provider: “The scriptures do not give husbands authority to turn their wives into co-providers. When a man asks a woman to ‘help-out’ financially, there are a number of ways to do this without leaving her post at home and working elsewhere. These include preventing the income from going out as fast as it comes in by reducing expenses. Many women can stay home, but do not want to do without visits to the nail salon, hairdresser, restaurants, daily coffee’s at drive-ins, several vehicles,  extensive travel expenses, shopping at high-end clothing stores, and entertainment. These things can all be substituted in other ways that will not involve the wife going to work, which can perhaps be explained in a future post.”

There is nowhere in the Bible that instructs women to make money. Yes, the Proverbs 31 woman made a little bit of money but she was never told she had to do this; for she was known for “looking well to the ways of her household.” Any mother who is asked to leave her home and her children in the care of others will most likely not make that much money from the expenses it will take her to work, the work she won’t be doing in her home, the taxes taken out of her pay, the fewer meals from scratch she will be able to make, and a whole bunch of other ways that frugal wives can make ends meet by living simply and carefully within their husband’s income.

In my heart, I want to tell women that they don’t have to submit to their husband’s request to find a job but I’m just not sure this is the right thing to do since in 1 Peter 3:1-6 women who are married to men who are disobedient to the Word are told to live in subjection to their husbands without the Word and with a meek and quiet spirit. I know of women who didn’t go to church because their husbands didn’t want them to so the wives stayed home and ministered (served) their husbands instead. I know that some of these men have come to believe in Jesus Christ because of this.

Wives must remember that their husband’s eternal souls are the most important thing, yet I know that their children’s eternal souls are as well. A husband certainly couldn’t force his wife to go to work each day but I believe the best thing for a wife in this position to do would be to make her home such a sanctuary of peace and rest for her husband along with delicious homemade meals that if and when she must go to work, he will immediately notice the loss to his home life without her there full time. This is living in subjection to them and winning them without the word by her gentle and sweet behavior which seems more in line with God’s Word to me.

This is why the only times I encourage women to disobey their husband is if they ask them to do something evil, unlawful, or harmful. In all of the time I have been mentoring women, there’s only been one time that a woman asked me if she should obey her husband and I said, “NO!” Even then, I’m not sure I was right because what he asked didn’t fall into those three categories but I do know that some husbands ask (rarely demand) that their wives do something that falls into these categories.

I may be wrong and Lady Lydia may be right but each woman who is in this situation will have to prayerfully consider her actions and seek the Lord in prayer along with wisdom from older, godly women. Granted, Lady Lydia wrote a post on CAN a husband ask his wife to work and her answer was “NO.” She didn’t write about what to do IF a husband asks his wife to work (except for this line in her post, “Her response should be to fully carry out the duties of home keeping and to do it well, giving him a good example of a Christian woman’s duties to the home and family”) but women have come to me because their husbands do want them to work and asking what to do. We can’t control what husbands do nor control what they ask their wives to do. All we can do is encourage them to seek biblical counsel and do what the Lord would have them do in this case, not what they want to do.

 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:4, 5

Male Leadership Structure for Home and Church is God Ordained

Male Leadership Structure for Home and Church is God Ordained

Written By Ken

Lori’s recent post on Women in Ministry had some good discussions going and helped expose us to the growing defense for women in church leadership. The egalitarians are now going verse by verse to wrest (pry, dislodge, yank, and remove) the scriptures to try to undermine the traditional Biblical theology that God intends male leadership in His church and in the marriage. There is this idea that some place, even if it takes years to build the framework for it, God never intended for women to be left out of teaching, preaching and leading the church forward. After all, there is no male or female in Christ for we are all brothers and sisters, sitting equally as joint heirs under the Lordship of one head, Christ Jesus. So how could God leave women out of church leadership?

The answer to this question I personally cannot give you, but God does. I know women who can run circles around the men in and outside the Church. They are equally as talented, equally as good at public speaking, and many know the Word inside and out. I would say that my wife would make a great teacher/preacher, except for throwing up on stage at the thought of doing something so completely against God’s Word. I could give some reasons as to why God chooses not to have women teachers/leaders in the church and most of those would have less to do with women and more so what God is trying to do in modeling the church after the godhead and family. But let’s let God Himself give the most fundamental reasons why, and then trust Him at His Word, without questioning His integrity and wisdom:

But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:12-14)

Now to me, an almost lifetime lover of the Lord Jesus and His Word, this seems a little harsh on the surface. The apostle Paul is not giving all the reasons why, just the most important ones: 1) Woman was deceived and 2) falls under the curse of the garden when God says, “He shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). Don’t shoot me for this because if I were God I would be far more lenient, yet I don’t recall any leniency given to man over the centuries for pulling weeds and providing by the sweat of his brow. The weeds and hurricanes don’t stop, animals still attack each other and the results of sin continues to prevail. All of the curses of the fall remain in place to this day, including pain in childbirth, and yet some want us to believe when God says, “He shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16), that this proclamation is to disappear in these latter days.

Let me make it clear that what I am referring to is the way the church and family are structured in God’s design. Outside of the church, and those who do not adhere to the Christian faith, they are a law unto themselves and will create any norms, mores and culture that they desire. If we someday have a law that only women can be leaders in the work place I will joyfully follow my woman manger as I have in the past, and give her all the respect and hard work that I can possibly give. She may well be more talented and gifted, or a better leader than I am, and her position of authority over me is one to be honored, but only outside the family and the Church. 

What we are talking about here is how God throughout the ages has structured the family and His religious orders. Note that even if one could completely wipe out all the passages in the New Testament concerning male leadership, you would still have to answer why the Old Testament  model has 99.9% male leaders. Sure, go ahead and talk to me about Deborah and a couple other exceptions, and let me remind you that not a one of them was a religious leader.

God never said women could not be teachers or leaders, but God gives to the godly men the role of leading His Church!

God simply said over and over again throughout His Word that the believing men are to be leaders in the temple, in the church and of the family. If one could undermine every single spot where male leadership is taught in the New Testament, and if you could wipe out the whole male leadership of Kings, Prophets and Priests in the OT, you would still have to deal with one more impossible hurdle…

Neither Christ, nor the disciples, nor the apostles ever appointed or advocated female church leadership in God’s Word. Furthermore, wives are given a specific role to focus on the nurture of their husband and children.  

Let’s get real here a second. I don’t buy into any of the dishonesty of the supposed scholars who have somehow in these latter times found that the Greek text does not mean what all the other scholars before them found it to mean. We’ve had multiple people tell Lori that the commentators she uses are outdated and she should not be using any of them that are before the discovery and translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Well guess what! The Dead Sea Scrolls contain just fragments of many of the OT Books, and none have conclusively been shown to be a piece of an NT book. And it may surprise you to learn that the DSSs actually support all of the major doctrines of the Bible. 

Ironically, one women founded her lack of trust in a post Lori was writing based on her husband who is completing seminary telling her that the DSSs disprove what she was writing about the Proverbs 31 woman. The Dead Sea Scrolls do not even contain Proverbs 31.

The big push is to see the Greek word authentein as meaning domineering, instead of exercise authority over. Go ahead and change the word in the text and it would read: “But I do not allow a woman to teach or be domineering over a man, but to remain quiet.” How is this silent woman who is not to teach men supposed to lead in the church? Or do the words teach and remain silent also have some new interpretation found in ancient manuscripts that God has chosen to hide until now in the age of feminism?

Satan is the master of confusing things and what we are finding is a whole church and churches full of people grasping at straws to try and disprove male leadership in the church. So long as they can throw one small underpinning after another, no matter how spurious it may be, the whole must add up to something… right?

WRONG!

It is completely dishonest to think, believe or teach that the apostle Paul and Peter did not mean exactly what they wrote about male leadership for the church and family. The exercise only bears fruit by confusing the Biblical unlearned and unstable enough to buy into the confusion instead of what the plain text says. The whole of the New Testament writings point definitively to the traditional theology on this matter. Take the Bible apart piece by piece and you still have to admit that:

 Proving that God is not denying women Church leadership is still not proving He desires women in leadership. There is not one passage that is specific to women asking them to lead in the church. And how can they meet the qualification of “the husband of one wife” to be an elder or deacon? 

I was challenged to listen to Dr. Gordon Fee, an NT scholar who advocates for female church leadership yet he is honest with the texts related to male leadership when he says, 

It would have never occurred to him (Paul) to add shame to shame by dismantling the structure of the household… What Paul obviously did not do was to demolish the structures and create new ones. What was radical lay in urging those who are filled with the Spirit to have totally transformed relationships within the household.” Cultural Context of Ephesians 5:18-33

I can agree with Dr. Fee as the Bible speaks loudly that the first of love and self-sacrifice in a Christian marriage belongs to the husband who lays down his life for his wife and family, putting them and their sanctification first and foremost. Where Dr. Fee and I part ways is with his unsupportable jump from affirming God’s Words and the words of Paul concerning male leadership of the household and church, to wiping it all out as “cultural” and “immaterial.” He says,

In the end the structures are all absolutely immaterial since they are predicated on cultural givens that are simply not ours. Indeed, in light of this text the structures are irrelevant. Except that some structure must be in place or the household will fall apart. But these depend largely to the people involved, their own gifting, personalities and how they relater each other.”

In Dr. Fee we find a New Testament scholar who knows that none of the interpretive gymnastics that the egalitarians want to try will work when it comes to wiping out the plain teaching of the text. He clearly understands that the intention of the apostles and early church was to forbid Christian women in authority over a man in the home or in the church. I urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to adopt his honesty concerning the plain reading of the text, and if you still must try to advocate for female leaders/teachers in the church, grab a hold of Dr. Fee’s paint brush of “cultural.” It’s an honest position, even if we believe it to be completely wrong and does violence to the continuity of God’s Word. 

Dr. Fee, how do you know that God did not intend His Word to transcend culture as it has done for 2000 years? If you believe that some structure must exist in the home and the church, as you do, give me your basis for knowledge that God intends the new structures of our culture to be based on gifting, personalities and how we relate to each other? If the male leadership structure is not what God intends for all homes and the church, why didn’t he give us a hint of such a thing coming during the time of Jesus, or in the early church, or in His Word? Instead he gives the opposite, and God is not the author of confusion or guesswork. Our theology is certainly not to be based on a conjecture of “cultural.” And many understand this dilemma. Hence the impossible search to try and find a basis for women leadership in the Word. 

Do you realize that counter-culture Jesus had every opportunity to close this debate by appointing one or two women as His disciples? That God could have closed this issue by having Peter or Paul appoint a couple female elders? Yet now you want us to believe that after all the Church age of male leadership in the church, you have discovered that male leadership is not critical to advancing the kingdom of God on the basis of conjecture alone… no proof from God’s Word. If God leaves such an important issue related to life and godliness open to cultural changes, when do we start accepting homosexual marriages in the church? Is polygamy next as it is far more defensible from the Word than female leadership? The door to the slippery slope is now wide open to all who want to see “culture” as dominant over the clear teaching of the Word.

There are a hundred questions I would like to ask those in Dr. Fee’s camp, but in the end we will reach an impasse because I firmly believe that God’s inerrant Word transcends time in this matter, and that no better model of leadership can exist than to have a godly Christian husband leading his home along with a plurality of men as elders leading the church. And this is not conjecture, but based on God’s perfect Word.

Our God is very clear on what He wants from mankind and His church, and to leave such an important issue completely unsupported by His Word has to make the unbiased student side with  traditional theology on this matter. God indeed wants Christ to be head of all, and husband to be head of his wife and family, and male elders in charge of His Church… just as His Word plainly says it.

You cannot twist the Word to make it say something it does not and arrive at truth. Be careful to heed the apostle Peter’s warning as he defends Paul’s words as true and warns against wresting them away from their natural meaning “to their own destruction.”

And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
2 Peter 3:15-17

Jesus Paid It All

Jesus Paid It All

From No Greater Joy Ministries

Dear NGJ Ministries,

Thank you for sending my order of Sanctification/Sin No More in good time. It was something I thought I should listen to, as I thought it was going to be another thing I would try in my 21 years of intensive, laboring search for that elusive spiritual life that never comes.

The words of the gospel that I was crucified, dead, buried, and now live in newness of life IN the Lord Jesus Christ hit home to my heart after hearing the whole message during hours of work and listening. I thought I would just go for a slow bike ride and think about all I had just learned, when the realization dawned that I am dead and therefore free. I shouted, “I am free, I am free, I am free!”

The dog looked at me a bit frightened that I had gone nuts. I returned to our yard and walked to the edge of the field and began again to proclaim these amazing words. It felt so good to shout it out with all of my body, soul, and spirit. I wished I could stand on my head or somersault when I realized I might look like a lunatic shouting to the wheat field, to the trees, and to the sky “I am free!” but I felt I had never been more in my right mind. It has been a long, long time since I have done anything that felt this good, glorying with exultation to God that I am free in Jesus Christ. I was completely exhausted when a quietness and wonderful peace came over me.

For the next few days, whenever my built-in magnet defaulted to negativity and condemnation, I would proclaim, “In the name of Jesus Christ I am dead to this. I am alive and I am free,” and let the character of Christ flow through me. After a week it felt like I had nothing to do! I had been full-time employed fighting all this negativity and condemnation, and now it is gone. Now I just have to speak out these words of truth and power very often. It always works and it works all the time. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

I am grateful for my journey with God. The process was many times overwhelming and heartbreaking, but I have more understanding, and the Lord is more precious than ever before. He is great, mighty, and powerful, but meek and lowly too, and close to the broken in heart and the contrite ones. I feel like my journey has come to an end and a new one has begun. Sometimes I feel like “now what?” but it is always a reminder to praise and thank the Lord again for saving me from myself. The amazing thought is that it has always been there, always available, always fresh, and always new, but I just never knew.

In Christ alone,

M.G.

Jesus Paid It All

Mike adds:

Over the last 50-plus years we have seen pronounced trends. People, especially Christians, seem to have a need to go deeper into spirituality. It is the same fruit Satan offered Eve: “…your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). This “deeper life” usually comes in one of three ways: First, by placing one’s self under the law of Moses, trying to act Jewish, keeping feast days and Sabbaths, etc. Second, through the doctrine of dying to self, suffering, and practicing self-denial. Or third, a movement that has just about run its course due to its poor track record, the doctrine of receiving the gifts of the Spirit in order to have power with God.

Shortly after God started working in the hearts of young people in the early ’60s, we saw two of these doctrines rise to prominence and steal from God’s truth. Those laboring under suffering doctrine, like the lady who wrote the letter, were rewarded with a contrite soul full of depression. Those who jumped on the wagon of the gifts movement lost sight of God’s full provision through Jesus for both justification and sanctification because they were so caught up in speaking in tongues and other lesser gifts. This doctrine seems to open the door to fleshly, self-centered sins as seen by the many leaders who fall prey to lusts of the flesh. Both doctrines relied on “correcting” the written Word of God. The bondage of “keeping the law” came later and is at its zenith right now. It too will fade with failure.

Over the years we’ve watched all those who jumped into these doctrines become disillusioned—nothing deeper, nothing worth keeping. Every few years a new generation believes that what they are learning is new, and that the rest of us just don’t know the fullness of God. It is sad that the truth of salvation and justification is so simple and so freeing, and yet people want to go deeper—just like Eve.

Jesus Paid it all, all to Him I owe!

 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
Colossians 2:12-14

She Just Kept Rowing

She Just Kept Rowing

Written By Heather

I would like to preface this post by saying that I’m not writing it to hurt anyone or shame anyone. I have hesitated about sharing this because I have been scared of hurting some people but in hesitating, I have been refusing a chance to glorify God, share the work of His grace, and show what happens when you obey Him above all.

As I have mentioned before, I do guest blogs over at radical christian woman from time to time for my friend and fellow blogger, Elaine. I’ve been working on one today about how your tribe affects your vibe (it isn’t done yet) when the thought of maintaining the courage of your convictions came to mind.

Y’all that’s one of the single hardest things for a Christian to do!!!

I know this because there was a season in my life when I had to stick with my convictions even when I was told repeatedly to give up, that I had heard God wrong, that God would want me to be happy (I’m not even going to touch on that load of dookie), and so on and so forth.

Thinking on that season of my life has reminded of the faithfulness of God and how imperative it is to obey God even when everyone around you tells you you’re crazy.

To give you a real life example of this, I’m going to share a testimony with you…

JUST KEEP ROWING

August of 2015 I was in an utterly desperate place. My husband was lost as all get out, totally self-centered, a narcissistic alcoholic, and sometimes just plain ole’ mean. He never hit me but he was abusive in other ways and very demeaning. It was awful and I was completely miserable. I was ready to leave. I had one foot out the door until I went to church one night during the revival we were having at that time.

During that service, the preacher was preaching on when Jesus fed the 5,000 and how after that, He sent the apostles on ahead to Bethsaida. Because of the storm on the Sea of Galilee, the apostles rowed and rowed and rowed but they couldn’t get anywhere because the wind was against them. They rowed for nine hours and only got three miles. Then they saw Jesus walking on the water. We know what happened then. Peter walked on the water with him and we like to think that was the miracle in the story but as Dr. Mills said that night, another miracle happened…

When Jesus got in the boat, they immediately landed on shore.

The next words that preacher man spoke lodged in my heart.

He said, “I don’t know who you are but God told me to tell you to just keep rowing.”

I felt that message was for me so strongly I found myself looking around to see if anyone at church was looking at me!!!

God confirmed it the next morning, though. Some of us from one of the ladies’ missions group met to volunteer at the community kitchen and one of the women looked at me and said, “That message was for you last night.” I am so thankful for that friend!!!

Now over the next SEVERAL months, I would need to go back to that moment over and over because my husband just continued to get worse and worse.

I had friends and family encourage me to get a divorce and call me crazy when I wouldn’t. Some were gentle and compassionate about it. Others were outright rude about it and basically just told me to suck it up, and still others encouraged sin and disobedience (that one hurt the most because that person above all should have been encouraging me to obey God) but there were a few godly friends that encouraged me to obey God and hang on.

Towards the end, I was ready to give up. It was just too much. I was literally sick from the stress he was causing in my life and I was ready to call the lawyer the next morning but a precious friend said to me if God told you to keep rowing, you really better keep rowing, because the consequences for disobedience could be worse than this current situation.

I told God I would keep rowing. I told him I might beat B half to death with the paddle but I would keep rowing.

Fast forward a few days later to June 30th 2016, he was arrested for a DUI.

The night he was arrested, Satan was very busy. He knew things were about to change in our lives and that old devil was bound and determined to keep it from happening but praise God Almighty, He’s still on the throne!!!

I had went to the grocery store and B was supposed to be right behind me. I kept waiting and waiting but he never showed up so I went on into Aldi. I had been shopping for almost an hour when he finally called me and I could tell something wasn’t right.

He was so mad.

When he finally got to the grocery store, I was horrified. He was so far beyond drunk. I don’t even know what you would call what he was but he was terrifyingly mad and EXTREMELY messed up and there was a look in his eye that told me a violent beast was about to break free.

For the first time ever, I feared for my life. I remember standing in the checkout line at Aldi and praying for an officer. I asked God to send an officer, or to have someone call the police because people could see him jerking the cart around and hear what he was saying to me. Just anything to get the law there.

I knew that if he didn’t go to jail, someone was going to die that night.

After I got my groceries bagged, I made a beeline for my car and left that parking lot as fast as I could and drove over to Walmart, hoping he wouldn’t follow me. I called one of my best friends and told her what was going on and she told me to get some clothes and come to her house.

I was too scared to argue.

AN ANSWERED PRAYER: GOD SENT AN OFFICER.

When I left the Walmart parking lot, I was hysterical.

I had one thought and one thought only: get home and get out fast.

I wasn’t paying any attention whatsoever to how fast I was going.

Remember my prayer for God to send an officer? Well he did. I got pulled over.

When I rolled down my window, the officer saw me and was taken back by my distress and ask me if I was okay. It was like word vomit. I still don’t know what all I said but I know he went looking for B.

I drove back toward Aldi and at the red light, I told the officer that B had said he was going to Ingles and that I was going to look and see if he was over there. I drove around the parking lot but I didn’t see him so I waited at the end of the parking lot for the officer to show up so I could tell him.

The Bible tells us that God can do more than we ask or imagine, that He can go above and beyond what we ask of Him and He did that night. When the first officer showed up at Ingles, I saw that he brought a friend with him.

God didn’t just send me one officer, He sent me two officers.

Thank God the second one was much larger than the first because my husband is very big and he was drunk and he was MAD.

I spoke with the officers briefly and left to go home and get my clothes and leave.

As I was pulling out of one side of the parking lot, I looked over and saw B pulling into the parking lot on the otherside.

God got me out of there at exactly the right time. He spoke to my heart and told me he was getting me out of there just in time for me to see B but for him to not see me.

I knew the friend I was going to stay with was at Lowe’s on that end of town so I called her and asked her to go down there and see if they were arresting him and sure enough they were.

I felt peace wash over me in that moment. I knew I was safe.

I also thought I was done with him for good. I just didn’t see how I could stay with him after that. The next seven days were torment for me. I alternated between being scared to death of him getting out of jail and trusting God to protect me.

What I didn’t consider was the work God was doing in B while he was in that pit.

When B was being arrested for a DUI, an old, retired preacher was being arrested for carrying all his medications in one bottle and some of those medications were narcotics and that’s highly illegal.

God knew exactly what he was doing though because that old preacher ended up sharing a bunk with my lost and dying husband.

Despite what people think, jail is not a vacation. I’ve seen the inside of that place and it is AWFUL. I cried myself sick thinking of B being in there but there was no way I was bailing him out. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. It’s a good thing I didn’t because God was doing such a miraculous work while he was in there.

That preacher spoke a brutal truth into my husband and led him to the Lord right there in the middle of that jail.

I had no clue that was happening though. I had the Jeep, the keys, B’s phone, his wallet, everything. I knew when he left that jail, he would make a beeline for my Dad who owns a business within close walking distance to the jail and sure enough, that’s exactly what he did. I had already warned Dad of what was going to happen and I told Dad to tell him I was done with him and that I didn’t even want to look at him.

Please keep in mind that I had no clue at this point that he had gotten saved.

My phone rang that evening and I saw it was Dad so I answered it but it was B using Dad’s phone. The first words out of his mouth were, “Please don’t hang up on me.” Lord, how I remember that moment. I could tell something was different right away and something told me not to hang up. I know now that it was the Lord.

That’s when B told me he had gotten saved. I agreed to come talk to him and I am so glad I did because the Holy Spirit witnessed off of him right away. I knew it was really real.

I think back to everything that happened the night he got arrested and how I can see God’s hand at work and how today, I see him pray. He has traded pornography for the Word of God. Now, instead of scrambling to turn off the TV when I come upstairs, I find him studying his Bible. Instead of drinking all day everyday, he turns to the Lord in prayer. I see him changing constantly. Before, I would have to beg him to go to church. Now, he’s eager to go. Before, there was cursing. Now, we are so blessed.

If I had of listened to the people who spoke defeat into my life, if I hadn’t of maintained the courage of my convictions, I wouldn’t have experienced God in the way that I did. B would probably still be lost and drunk and possibly have died and went to hell. But thank God, when I was tired and wanted to stop rowing, he kept sending someone to speak life and encouragement into me and I kept rowing, even when people called me crazy. B and I came out victors because of it.

So today, if you are reading this, if you feel tired of rowing, I hope this has encouraged you to keep rowing and to keep trusting and obeying, even when the people around you call you crazy, even when you are sure nothing is going to change because God is faithful.

Just keep rowing,

Heather

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6

She Strengthens Her Arms – Proverbs 31:17

She Strengthens Her Arms – Proverbs 31:17

She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms.
Proverbs 31:17

She girdeth her loins with strength,…. Showing her readiness to every good work; and with what cheerfulness, spirit, and resolution, she set about it, and with what dispatch and expedition she performed it” (Gill’s Exposition).

I have to admit, when I was younger I was lazy and loved to be served. When we would spend a couple of weeks each summer with my parents in Door County at their cabin, I would mostly let my mom do all of the work. I rarely offered to help and I wanted to be waited upon. I have disciplined myself to not be like this anymore. I work at home to keep it clean and tidy now. When I have company or family stay with us, I love to serve them and make them as comfortable as I can. I have found a lot more joy in serving and working hard, than being lazy and expecting to be served.

As godly woman, we should want to serve others and work hard. My best friend recently told me that she is always thinking about saying and doing the right thing. She ponders her words before she speaks them and her ways before she acts upon them. She wants to go about doing good and she works hard in her home and helping others. She’s always been an inspiration to me as long as I have known her. Everyone prefers to be around a person who is generous and loves to serve rather than someone who wants to be served.

…and strengtheneth her arms; does all she finds to do with all her might and main, as the church does; not in her own strength, but in the strength of Christ; to whom she seeks for it, and in whose strength she goes forth about her business; by whom the arms of her hands are made strong, even by the mighty God of Jacob” (Gill’s Exposition).

As many of you know, I spent 25 years in pain and suffering while I was raising my children. My children learned very early that suffering was a part of life. There were times when I had no idea how I was supposed to raise four children the way I felt but I have learned that God always provides what we need when we need it. His strength absolutely works in and through us. I found that the joy of the Lord was my strength and I can look back and marvel at the way He carried us through those difficult times.

She girdeth her loins with strength. This seems at first sight a strange assertion to make concerning one of the weaker sex; but the phrase is metaphorically expressive of the energy and force with which she prepares herself for her work. Strength and vigor are, as it were, the girdle which she binds round her waist to enable her to conduct her operations with case and freedom. So we have a similar metaphor boldly applied to God (Psalm 93:1): ‘The Lord reigneth, he is apparelled with majesty; the Lord is apparelled, he hath girded himself with strength’ (cf. Job 38:3). Strengtheneth her arms. By daily exercise she makes her arms firm and strong, and capable of great and continued exertion” (Pulpit Commentary).

As wives and mothers who work hard at home with children in the home, we don’t have to worry a whole lot about working out for hours every day since we get a lot of exercise raising children and caring for our homes. If some of you young mothers weren’t raised to keep clean and tidy homes and weren’t taught to make daily goals that they must accomplish before going to bed, try a few of them such as making your bed every morning, cleaning the toilets, wiping down the bathroom counters and mirrors (Norwex cloths are great for this!), keeping the kitchen floor swept, making sure the kitchen is clean before bed, and the house is neat and tidy.

After this becomes routine (it takes 30 days to make a habit), then add more specific things like decluttering a cabinet each day, then a closet, and so on until your home is organized and you have a place for everything. Your children don’t need many toys. Have you noticed how quickly they get sick of them? They will find many things to play with besides toys and it uses their creativity! All of this will make it a lot easier to have a clean and tidy home but you must be willing and determined to not be lazy but work hard in your home and serve others as we are admonished throughout Scripture.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Galatians 5:13, 14

Our Husband is Our HEAD Covering

Our Husband is Our HEAD Covering

The issue of women wearing headcoverings has been argued ad nauseam in the Church probably since the Church was established. I believe the most important verse in this entire conversation by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 is this one: “But I would have you know, that he head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:2). We all know what this means and should walk in obedience to this clear command. Our husbands are head over us. They are our HEAD covering! If they want us to wear long hair, wear long hair. If they want us to wear a veil over our head, we will wear a veil over our head. If they don’t want us to wear one, then we won’t. It’s their decision since they answer to Christ (even if they are unbelievers).

I can tell you that after studying the commentaries of old, they weren’t even sure what this passage meant concerning women wearing a veil over their heads and this is the issue I will discuss with you. Some believe the veil is a woman’s hair and others believe it is a veil.

Near the end of this discussion concerning headcoverings by Paul, he makes this statement: But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering (1 Corinthians 11:15).

Matthew Poole’s Commentary had this to say about this verse:

But, he saith, if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her. Long hair is comely for the woman, and accounted to her for a beauty or ornament, for God hath given her her hair for a covering. There have been books written about the lawfulness or unlawfulness of men’s wearing long hair, and the due or undue lengths of men’s hair, the substance of which were too much to transcribe here. That which in these verses seemeth to be commended to us, as the will of God in this matter, is: That men and women should so order their hair, as by it to preserve the distinction of sexes.”

God isn’t into transgenderism. We can be sure of that! We are told that the effeminate will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9). Effeminate means to make womanish; to unman; to weak. In 1 Corinthians 11, there is a clear distinction in which the way men and women wear their hair. Our hair should be feminine and should be clearly distinguished from the way men wear their hair. It seems more and more women today are getting haircuts that look just like men and it is in rebellion to God’s design for them. I know some women can’t grow long hair and some women’s husbands like their hair short. It still doesn’t mean that you can’t make it look soft and feminine.

Gills’ Commentary said this: “But if a woman have long hair,…. And wears it, without cutting it, as men do:it is a glory to her; it is comely and beautiful; it is agreeable to her sex, she looks like herself; it becomes and adorns her: for her hair is given her for a covering; not instead of a covering for her head, or any other part of her body, so that she needs no other:”

This commentary believed that long hair IS a woman’s covering. Many women grow their hair long and keep it this way because of this verse. I would venture to say that most men like long hair more than short hair. It makes a woman look like a woman and very short hair makes a man look masculine.

Cambridge Bible Commentary had this to say: “The true glory of every creature of God is to fulfill the law of its being. Whatever helps woman to discharge the duties of modesty and submissiveness assigned to her by God is a glory to her.” I believe this to be the main point of the entire discussion: God has called women to be modest and submissive to their husbands because they are our head covering. This pleases the Lord and the highest form of worship is living according to the Lord’s will.

Even a newer commentary had this to say about these verses:

“What is this covering that Paul is saying a man should not wear but a woman should? In answering this unspoken question, Paul asks, ‘Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?’ (verse 13). He immediately answers his own question: ‘Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering’ (verses 14-15).

All along, Paul has been writing, not about a hat or veil, but the length of one’s hair! He is not saying a woman should wear something over her hair, but rather she should wear her hair long enough to be recognized as feminine. This wearing of her hair long shows her submission to the man.”

Now, we come to the verse at the end of the discussion by Paul: But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God (1 Corinthians 11:16). Again, the commentaries are not all in agreement with this statement. I believe that what God wanted us to clearly understand, He made very clear: men are the head over their wives and wives are to be in subjection to their husbands. This has been stated multiple times in the Word. On this issue of headcovering, it shouldn’t cause contentions among us. Obey your husband. It’s that simple!

Gill’s Commentary: “That is, if anyone will not be satisfied with reasons given, for men’s praying and prophesying with their heads uncovered, and women’s praying and prophesying with their heads covered; but will go on to raise objections, and continue carping and cavilling, showing that they contend not for truth, but victory, can they but obtain it any way; for my part, as if the apostle should say, I shall not think it worth my while to continue the dispute any longer; enough has been said to satisfy any wise and good man, anyone that is serious, thoughtful.”

We know from Gill’s Commentary that he believes long hair is a woman’s covering but his main thought from this verse is that there should be no contentions about it. It shouldn’t divide churches, nor friendships, not anything.  There isn’t one male godly preacher or teacher of the Word (not even Michael Pearl who takes the Bible very literally and doesn’t allow culture or feminism to frame his teachings) that I listen to and trust who teaches women must wear a veil in the church.

Matthew Poole’s Commentary: “If any man seem to be contentious; if any man hath a mind to quarrel out of a love to show his wit in discoursing what may be said on the other side, or out of a desire to hold up a party, and contradict us. We have no such custom, of women’s praying or prophesying with their heads uncovered, or men’s praying or prophesying with their heads covered; or we have no such custom of contending for these little frivolous things; neither any of the churches of God; and good Christians, in their practices, ought, in things of this nature, to have an eye and regard to the custom of their own church, and also of other Christian churches.”

I will repeat one phrase in this commentary: “We have no such custom of contending for these little frivolous things.” I believe this sums it up. Yes, the man is head over his wife (her HEAD covering) and she is to live in submission to him. This is not frivolous since it’s made clear, as I have stated, but the issue of long hair and wearing a veil falls in the category of “frivolous” things (of little importance) so decide for yourselves with your husband’s approval what is right and proper and do it but please don’t force your personal convictions about this upon others and cause contentions over it.

Lack of Education Makes Bad Mothers?

Lack of Education Makes Bad Mothers?

Joy Anna Duggar, who is nineteen years old is pregnant and is causing quite a stir among the feminists of today. “What? She doesn’t have a college education?” “What will she have to offer her baby?” As one woman responded on an article about Joy Anna:

“What about an education? The ability to pay for a child’s needs? Babies are a blessing but they deserve to be raised in a loving and accepting home. An uneducated teenager without a job other than TLC is not a role model for young girls . Originally my daughters were allowed to watch the show but as the young ladies grew and were denied an education and basic civil rights — the show was banned. I have 7 children. 4 college graduates , 2 daughters in college who also work to pay for their education . The Duggar ladies are an example of what not to do.”

Up until about 150 years ago, few women received college educations yet children were still born and raised to be responsible adults. A college education does NOT make a woman smarter in any way that matters to the Lord or to eternity. In fact, most college educations poison women’s minds since they teach everything contrary to the Word of God. Some of our most famous presidents were home educated by mothers without a college education.

From what I have seen, higher education makes uninvolved mothers since mothers aren’t home full time with their children. They value their careers over their children. They find being home full time mundane and not for them, especially since it’s so easy to find care for their children with the many daycare centers available today. Higher education does nothing to help women become more submissive wives, better mothers, or homemakers who keep clean and tidy homes. They teach nothing that the Lord cares about concerning godly womanhood.

Why would Joy Anna have to be the one to “pay for a child’s needs” as this woman states? Joy Anna did it right. She married a godly, hard-working man to provide and protect her. If something happens to her, I am sure her family would support her as they are called to do biblically (1 Timothy 5:4).

Joy Anna’s baby will be raised in a loving and accepting home. The Duggars believe that when a couple gets married, they begin having babies, if the Lord blesses them. Surprise, surprise! The fact that this is not common today, even among Christians, is tragic. God created marriage and commanded us to be fruitful and multiply. Children are gifts from the Lord and raising four children and now having almost six grandchildren, I can say without a doubt that they are all our greatest blessings!

An uneducated teenager without a job other than TLC is not a role model for young girls.” I can tell you that she is going to be a far superior role model to her children than many highly educated women are today. Joy Anna will be home full time with her children and showing and teaching them the ways of godliness. Her marriage will be strong and she will show her children the joy of the Lord. What’s more important than this? An education and career? I think not!

Finally, this woman accused the Duggars by saying the children were “denied an education and basic civil rights”? They were all homeschooled and seem to be very intelligent and wise children and adults. I have no idea what she is referring to concerning basic civil rights. Does she mean it’s because the girls all wore skirts and had long hair, didn’t go to public schooling or universities, didn’t grow up watching TV or maybe because they were given strict courting rules? From everything I have seen and read, they are one of the most joyful families I have ever seen! My mother never had a college education and she was a fabulous mother just as Joy Anna will be.

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
1 Corinthians 3:19

Distracting Women from Truth

Distracting Women from Truth

Nancy Campbell wrote an encouraging post on her Facebook page about wives smiling at their husbands.

“Recently I read about a wife whose husband was unkind to her and didn’t want to spent time with her, choosing to spend all his evenings in other company. She went to a counselor. He didn’t spend hours counseling her, but instead gave her one simple message, ‘Always treat your husband with a smile.’

She began to put it into practice. A few months later she returned to the counselor to say that her husband no longer sought other company, but longed to be with her and treated her with constant love and kindness.

This secret works wonders for a problematic marriage, but also enhances a good marriage. Try it.”

I was the first one to comment and wrote, “Whenever I mentor women in troubled marriages, this is the first assignment I give them: begin smiling at your husband every time you see him. One woman came back a week later and after asking her how it went, she replied, “He knew something was different about me so he asked, ‘Have you lost weight?!'” 🙂 

Then right under my comment a woman named Hazel made this comment, “With a marriage that needs a bit of fine tuning, this will work. However, in an abusive marriage, this will only make things worse. I tried Love Dare. The further I got, the worse things became. He soon learned that it didn’t matter what he did, I would still treat him kindly. I did this until it nearly killed me. We’re now divorced and this is the best I’ve felt in years. Yes, life is hard but I no longer have the wet blanket of verbal abuse. The ‘shut up and forgive’ thing only goes so far. It never, ever applies to an abusing marriage.” She received a lot of likes on her comment.

What was Hazel’s goal in writing this? Was it to warn women to not try smiling and being kind towards their husband since it may make it worse? Was it to water down Nancy’s encouraging and wise words to wives in order to distract women from truth? We can’t know for sure but it’s a consistent behavior among many women today. They do it to me frequently, almost daily actually. If I mention the word submission, being kind, loving, or serving our husbands in any way, women scream “abuse” or selfishness on the husband’s part. Why do they have to say anything? It’s as if they believe it’s their job to protect women from our teachings as if our teachings cause harm and abuse.

Smiling and being warm towards our husbands DOESN’T cause abuse. Submitting and serving our husbands DOES NOT cause abuse. Even obeying our husbands DOES NOT cause abuse. Sin causes abuse, period, yet try to encourage women towards becoming godly, submissive wives and some women always have to warn women about abuse and put a negative twist to it. Yes, I know abuse is real and I have posts dedicated to this topic but it’s completely unnecessary and unproductive to write about abuse or husbands maybe or made up faults every time I teach women about treating our husbands with kindness, love, and respect. It takes away from the truth and turns it into something ugly which seems to be their intention.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:6, 7