When the lights go off, I open my book to read, and I think of my day and in all the areas I need to grow more into my Lord's likeness.
Pondering about His holiness, studying Philippians and tasting sweet drops of honey from this book, have me writing a lot on my journal.
How can you be a great wife and mother?
Nancy stated it clearly, we need to be "good Christian women"; and how can you be such a "good Christian woman" if you haven't met a Holy God in the quietness? "How can I meet Him, the Holy One, and not be crushed"? you might say; it is only through Jesus Christ, through His saving power that we can come confidently before Him and find grace.
And Paul says,
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4: 4-7 ESV
What a joy! Through Jesus, we can come and meet the Holy One and pray and pour our heart in prayer and supplication at His feet, only to find peace; a perfect peace that is able to guard our hearts and minds in Christ, while we pursue our calling: being the good woman God wants us to be.
"Let the wife see that she respects her husband" Eph. 5:33
Respect, is a verb, we need to "do respect". Four words that the author emphasizes in her definition of the word are:
In this chapter Nancy teaches that respect to our own husband is a command from God; and she points through out the pages, different practical ways on how we can show respect for our husband.
What about a "respect letter"? Yes, this is different than a "love letter", it involves more. It says more, it builds more.
Respect involves lots of things that can be done. It is more than a nice feeling towards our husband.
"Do not share your husband's weaknesses, problems, blunders, sins, poor decisions, or failings with anyone. It is disrespect if you do. He is not perfect, we all know that. But when you share unwisely, it does two things: it causes you to disrespect him more, and it causes the hearers to think less of him, too. Sharing problems is totally unproductive unless you are talking to someone ina position to help you. (i.e., your pastor)."
The author reminds us that if we have sinned by not being respectful we need to repent before the Lord, ask our husband for his forgiveness and then we will be ready to "take concrete steps to respect and build up our husband"
Nancy goes on to explain to us how 1 Peter 3: 5-6 can be applied in a day to day basis,
"For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening."
Four things we must note as on how to "adorn" ourselves:
1. We are to trust God (v.5)
2. We are to be submissive to our own husbands (v.5)
3. Do good (v.6)
4. Be unafraid (v6)
For the sake of space and time I won't talk about each one of these (I encourage you again to get the book and read it all, believe me, it is worth doing it!) but one if the things that stand out for me is this: Trust God.
Here is where doctrines found us "in the kitchen", if we say we believe in God's Sovereignty, then we must not complain or have a critical spirit against our husband.
Nancy says it well,
"Trust in God is a great protection from fear because we see God in complete control of our lives. The more a woman studies the Word and comes to understand God's character, the easier it becomes to trust in Him. Submission frees a woman from many fears if it is rendered in an atmosphere of faith and trust in God"
Ephesians 5:33b says,
"let the wife see that she respects her husband."
Again, we are reminded that respecting our husband is one of the holy duties we have before the Lord. We are to examine ourselves, these questions are good starting points: Am I respecting my husband on the way I talk to him and on the way I talk about him?
"Remember that respect and submission are not what your husband requires of you, but what God requires of you"
Being respectful covers different areas of our lives including our finances. On this, I will share some of Nancy's words:
"When you are tempted to criticize your husband (and you will be), when you want very much to 'let him have it', pray for love--'Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins"(Prov. 10:12). Turn to the Lord for comfort, strength, silence!"
Some times being respectful means being quiet, and this last part of the chapter is addressed to women who are married to an unbeliever or a man who does not lead his family in a godly manner.
"Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—" 1 Peter 3:1-3
Quoting the author:
""Flaunting your spirituality is not being quiet. ("I hope he sees that at least I am reading my Bible, even if he isn't") What he needs to see is your sweet and courteous attitude, not how many books you are reading or how many prayer meetings you attend each week. Leave the results to God...You are to be obedient to God regardless of the results."
OK, I now I took a lot of space and time to write about the previous chapter, so I will use few words to talk about this one.
"A Christian woman must learn to think biblically; she must derive her basic principles of living from God's Word... if we learn to think like Christians, we can discern between worldly and Christian principles"
Not so hard right? Just abide in the Word!
In this chapter I learned that I should NOT criticize (even in my heart) what methods this friend or that family follow; what matters is the principle behind the method, and not the method per se.
"We ought to rejoice in a common commitment to biblical principles and in a variety of methods God's people employ"
How true is this!
We tend to judge our fellow brothers and sisters (or children and husband) on how they like to do things and we get mad and are hard on them... we should not. Methods are not God's principles.
Let His grace abound as we grow in our Christian life.
|Get the book at Monergism|
The Fruit of Her Hands- Part One - My comments are found here.
Nancy Wilson blogs at Femina
If you know someone who speaks Spanish invite them to join the conversation around this book at Delicias A Tu Diestra Para Siempre. My friend Faby, is our guest blogger and she is a joy to be around.