Friday, August 1, 2014

Can You Have a Joyful Marriage Being Unequally Yoked?

Once in a while, one of the women who comment on my posts will blow me away with their powerful testimony of loving their husband through difficult times. When I wrote What Happened To Cooking For Your Family?, a reader asked this question ~  

I wonder if there's an underlying emotional problem hindering many of us from caring enough to cook? I want to cook but it's not in me to cook often, and it was never an issue before {married 20+ years}. When I worked, I somehow made the time to cook. I don't work now but the marriage situation is pathetic, unfortunately {unequally yoked}. Could it be that women who happily cook for their husbands are happily married? I definitely would appreciate all the prayers I can get.  

One woman responded to this plea this way ~

I am unequally yoked myself. Wow did God have his work cut for this lady. Lol. Still working. ;) There are two books I want to encourage you to read: 1) Beloved Unbeliever and 2) Created To Be His Help Meet. Read them in that order.

The first one prepares your heart for the second one. The second one is a buttkicker, but it has changed my life. I am still working on applying things as we speak actually but it has changed my heart and my spirit in ways I can't describe!!! To the point that when we hit a pretty low low in the last year when I asked God for the words to explain my heart, I told my hubby {after he was accusing me of being unhappy with him being an unbeliever and telling me I wanted to leave, even though it was not true} that if he never comes to Christ I'm not going anywhere. That I love him and will be happy with him till the day I die.

That there was no catch. That I will choose joy no matter what choice he makes. The best part? I actually believed what I said. For years, I have tucked in my heart "when he comes to love the Lord..." But I finally gave in 100% to God and said no matter whatever he does I choose to love him. Not thinking one more thought about "how it will be one day..." 

I have come a long ways from the wife that was gonna wrestle her husband to God and make him love Jesus. All I can do is love him and yes, make dinner for him and do his laundry and that actually may be the very thing that wins him over, even if I don't live to see the day he does. Love  to you sister. The road is long and weary but we can keep going because we have Jesus!!! He will love us well!!!

She now lives I Peter 3:1-2, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation {lifestyle} of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." She will reap beautiful fruit from the choices she is making by loving and serving her husband simply because the Lord commands her to and His ways are always best.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ken's Response to a Woman Fearing My Message

There are those in society who fear what I teach. They are afraid that women will lose all their "rights," as if I have that much power. What they really fear is Truth, God's Truth. Ken responded to one woman who commented on my post about fearing what I write ~

That forum {websites that despise Christianity} you refer to is a really sad place for us. I think many of them who comment there are good people whose original interest was in exploring the Fundamentalist mind set and culture, but instead of just exploring it they now use the forum as their attempt to punish those with whom they disagree. The most ardent detractors are those who were hurt by their husbands and in turn blame their church for teaching submission. Once scarred, they see a similar devil behind every tree and a bunch of feminists who certainly would not agree with Lori's message. Would you expect nothing less than attacks from them? 

I engaged the group for a time and found some to make some valid points which Lori has taken into consideration in the tone and some substance on her blog. For instance, we did spank our kids and we are big proponents of spanking toddlers as an excellent method of communications and training. We hate seeing parents running around all day saying "no" a hundred times and threatening time out only to be exhausted and lose their joy in parenting, when a small swat on the bottom can quickly solve the issue. 

We raised four godly children this way, and have seen no scars from it, only the learning of joyful discipline. Can spanking go too far? You bet! But to this group you have listened to, no spanking at all is their mantra and they are sticking to it as if a swat was a punch in the nose to our children. Their penchant for mischaracterization is what I most objected to. No matter how much I gave an accurate interpretation of what we believe and how we apply it, they would take another phrase from Lori's three years of writings and somehow twist it to make us look bad. 

We have learned from the group that when a blogger writes, they have to be considerate of those who may exaggerate what is said on one side or the other. So Lori has added some extra words to some of her posts just to try to be clearer for the 1% who might miss the meaning of her message. 

Examples ~ Obedience does not mean accepting any form or threat of physical abuse. Spanking is to be done modestly and if you choose not to spank, God is not necessarily displeased, but you are responsible for raising godly, well-disciplined children. 

As Lori has said, read her words for yourself. There are many blogs with which I object what is written, but I do not send them hateful words, nor try to shut down their blogs or try to damage their businesses. This group you speak of has stepped over the line and are liable for at a minimum gross and continual mischaracterizations, along with defamation of character. All because they disagree with what Lori teaches as she reads her Bible. Is Lori not entitled to an opinion or a means of expressing herself in training the younger women to love their husbands and be great mothers? That would be a shame if this group could shut her out with their screaming, as the fruit of her minister is so powerful and abundant. But that is what they fear; another generation of Bible believing children carrying on the message of how to have a Biblical marriage and family. 

Can you even imagine how many godly offspring those Duggar children will produce for Jesus?! To us that is pure joy, and to them they spend hours each week trying to stop fundamentalist teaching everywhere they can. We build and they tear down and destroy. Sounds like another battle we are all familiar with in the Christian life. 

Funny, I can handle the defamation better than I can the profanity that comes from some of their comments. If I could have continued a sane conversation I might still be engaged in a discussion with some of them, but when you have a few already predisposed haters who believe all spanking is wrong, no matter how you try to defend spanking, in their mind you are a child abuser. They are haters that really believe that what they are doing is a service to society. To get young ladies to avoid the truth taught in Lori’s blog because they believe it so harmful, even as many have proven with their own lives that doing things God’s ways can produce wonderful godly results in your marriage. 

I promise you that we are not of any group out there, nor do we really consider ourselves Fundamentalists until we were put in that box by others. We approach the Bible as it is written and accept it all as God’s Word and truth. If you can find anything with which you disagree you are welcome to catch us on it, so long as the comments are not profanity laced or accusatory, or you are an obvious troll seeking to distract from and destroy the message with nonsense. We welcome healthy discussions. But in our minds, spanking and husband leadership are two important aspects of creating a healthy Biblical family and marriage. Lori is not about to give those things up in her message because some have abused them, and some may in the future. The best she can do is honor God’s Word and her life experiences, and try to moderate her strong message by adding that abuse of any form is not an acceptable part of the Christian life for abuser or the abused. I am glad you are seeing the questions and seeing through the mess and confusion they are purposely trying to create. 

The thief cometh not, but for to steal,
 and to kill, and to destroy: 
I am come that they might have life, 
and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stubborn Obedience is Disobedience

What should our attitude be in submitting to our husbands? Should we practice joyful submission even when we fully disagree with our husbands? Yes! I firmly believe that we need to learn to joyfully submit to our husbands whether we agree with them or not since God is the one who made the husband the leader of the home and when we submit to our husbands, we are submitting to the Lord. If he leads us in the wrong direction, he will have to answer to the Lord for this, not us. Do not be afraid! God never gives commands that we are not able to obey.

Jack Graham is a preacher my daughter, Cassi, loves. She will send me some of his daily devotionals to me if she thinks I will enjoy them. Here are some quotes from a recent one she sent me that I just loved!

There's a difference between true obedience and stubborn obedience. And in marriage, there's a difference between heartfelt submission to God's design and rebellious submission...a rebelliously obedient wife may think, "I'll submit to my husband's leadership, but I'm going to always second-guess him."

Rebellious obedience is the same as disobedience. So obey God's design for marriage with a joyful heart. When you have that kind of attitude, you'll experience a deeper joy as you align your heart with God's will for you! Experience true joy in your marriage through heartfelt obedience to God's design.

God calls children to obey their parents. We, as their parents, are responsible to train our children to obey us. We want them to obey us immediately and with a good attitude. If they grudgingly obeyed us, we would deal with them and tell them that it is unacceptable behavior.

In the same way, wives are commanded to obey their husbands. God's commands are not burdensome. We need to obey our husbands immediately and with a good attitude understanding that this command is really coming from the mouth of God. Unless there is obedience all the time, there is no obedience. So, if you choose when to obey your husband, you are not obeying him at all. You are simply doing your own will, and sometimes it happens to coincide with his wishes {Elizabeth Rice Handford}.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
Philippians 2:3

When we esteem our husbands better than ourselves, we make it much easier to respect, honor, and obey them. God has not called us to strife but to peace. Be at peace with your husband, stop arguing with him about his decisions, and train yourself to joyfully submit, for this pleases the Lord.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Should Young Wives with No Children be Keepers At Home?

The directive in Scripture given to older women to teach young women to be keepers at home doesn't say that we should teach this to only mothers but to "young women." I read about young wives who work a lot. They come home exhausted and unable to fully take care of their husbands and home as they would like. What about them? Should they be expected to be keepers at home?

If you believe the Bible and take it literally, YES, they should be keepers at home. Their main ministry should be in the home. If they don't have enough time to go shopping for nourishing food, fix healthy meals, keep their homes clean, and be there for their husbands sexually, they are working too much!

Most women only have so much energy. To be expected to work full time and keep the home fires as well as her husband's fire burning is usually asking too much from a woman. Christian women who have not been thoroughly tainted by feminism still want to be home and take care of it. They want to keep it clean, tidy, and organized. They want to be the one cooking meals for their husbands and having time to be intimate with them.

If they can find a job that allows them to still have their heart at home, they should do that. Time is too short and valuable to give it all to a job and a boss rather than her home and her husband. Once she adds children to the mix, I firmly believe, as you all well know, that she needs to be home full-time with her children to accomplish everything the Lord wants her to accomplish on top of her home and husband duties; training, disciplining, and teaching her children.

Oh, but we could never afford to do that. How do you know? How about stepping out in faith and allowing the Lord to supply your need as you follow His commands. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

In closing, I will give you a quote given by Amelia Barr, a famous author from the late 1800s and early 1900s ~

The one unanswerable excuse for woman's entrance into active public life of any kind, is need, and alas! need is growing daily, as marriage becomes continually rarer, and more women are left adrift in the world without helpers and protectors. But this is a subject too large to enter on here, though in the beginning it sprung from discontented women, preferring the work and duties of men to their own work and duties. Have they found the battle of life any more ennobling in masculine professions, than in their old feminine household ways? Is work done in the world for strangers, any less tiresome and monotonous than work done in the house for father and mother, husband and children? If they answer truly, they will reply "the home duties were the easiest, the safest, and the happiest." 

The aged women...teach the young women... 
to love their husbands, to love their children, be keepers at home.
Titus 2:3-5