Saturday, November 26, 2016

At the River


I can still hear her voice as she strummed her guitar and sang. The beautiful alto-earnestness, the love that she held there for the elderly folks who listened, the joy in heart that was so evident. 

She loved Jesus. And she loved those around her. She loved leading the Nursing Home Ministry those seemingly short years ago. 

Evie was a part of my life for so long. We served in church together. We sang together in the choir. She always had a kind word and a smile for me. She was unpretentious. She spoke simply and one knew that she could be trusted. 

Evie loved the Lord with all of her heart. I remember when she asked for help with the Nursing Home Ministry at church and I felt the Lord leading me to be a part of it. 

One of the greatest blessings in my life was being a part of that ministry. We would venture out on (I think) it was a Thursday night and we would mount up in a stuffy elevator to the third floor of one of the local nursing homes. She would lead the small group of people there in hymns with her guitar and then one of the men would give the salvation message. I think that I will always connect the song "Count Your Many Blessings" to Evie. She sang it with such earnestness and one could see that she truly wanted those men and women to come to know the Lord and that she loved them.

Her husband, Bob served on the Missions Committee with me and my sister. I remember his compassionate heart for the lost people of this world and it was a compassion that Evie shared, a compassion that reached out in faith and action.

Evie was a source of encouragement and grace in my life for so many years. Her Christ-like spirit shone so brightly and even in the past years when her health began to fail, she still had a kind word and a hug for those who came into contact with her. 

I heard about her passing into Glory on Thanksgiving day. It was late at night that my husband came into our room and whispered the news and the tears ran down my cheeks into the pillow. 

Evie was gone. Gone from this life, from this shadow, into the brightness of Glory. Glory. And she was, and she is-- with Jesus. Whole. Healed. Beautiful and bright and pure and perfect. 

And I cried because I was left and because I wanted to talk to her just one more time, to hear her strong alto voice just one more time, to see her there in the front of the church strumming her guitar just one more time. To hold the image of her smile there in my heart and to keep it always. 

But I will see her again. Soon. And the words of the old, beloved hymn came to my mind and they soothed my heart and played there--

Shall we gather at the river, 
where bright angel feet have trod, 
with its crystal tide forever 
flowing by the throne of God? 

Yes, we'll gather at the river, 
the beautiful, the beautiful river; 
gather with the saints at the river 
that flows by the throne of God. 

~Robert Lowry

And I know that I will see Evie again--precious, beloved saint--precious, beloved friend--at the river--the beautiful river, flowing with healing and grace from the throne of God.

And we will sing together to Him, when tears are no more and sorrow has passed.

There at the river. With Him. 

I love you, Evie, and I will see you again. 



Written in remembrance of Evelyn, beloved of Him. 


You might find me on these link-ups:


Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday
  

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sharing the Bread: A Wonderful Thanksgiving Story for Children





I love to read books to my children that "co-inside" with the seasons or holidays that we are celebrating. It's a way to create enthusiasm, excitement, and wonder in a child's heart while introducing them to basic concepts and ideas about a specific subject or time of year. So November means taking out our Thanksgiving books. 

This year, one of the Thanksgiving books that I am reading with my children is Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story. I found this book last year at the library and was so delighted by it that I wrote down the title hoping to purchase it the following year. 

I love the simple, old-fashioned illustrations, the careful attention to detail in words and pictures, the poetic style of this book, and especially the emphasis in the end of the book upon thanking the Lord for His provision. This book is just delightful for all of those reasons and more. It is a wonderful book for families and I am hoping to continue to read it to my children (ages 2 and 4 now) even as they grow a little older. 

Other Thanksgiving books we've been enjoying:

A Turkey for Thanksgiving, by Eve Bunting

Bear Says Thanks, by Karma Wilson

My First Thanksgiving, by Tomie dePaola

My Thanksgiving Prayer, by Crystal Bowman

Thankful Together, by Holly Davis 

What Thanksgiving books have you been enjoying this year? :-)







You might find me on these link-ups:


Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday




Wednesday, November 9, 2016

For Prayers Answered, Mercy Given, and Hope

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. "
Psalm 126:3


"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end . . . they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness . . ."

My heart is so full this morning . . . full in the knowledge that God answers prayer, that He intervenes on behalf of His precious people, that He is merciful when we come to Him in humility and repentance, that He relents from doing harm. 

My morning glories are still blooming. Blooming in November, now. The day after the last debate, they opened up, gazing at the sky, their brilliant blue reflecting His handiwork and grace. They opened in October. When my heart was so, so heavy about the upcoming election. When my spirit was grieving over the response of many Christians and their attitudes towards it. My heart was broken as I thought about my two little children, sitting with me on that chair by the window as we had our Quiet Time. Thinking of what their future would be under a Clinton Presidency, and what that certainly would entail. My heart was broken. And then, He showed me the morning glories. Three beautiful morning glories and we read that morning the story of David and Goliath and of how the Lord silenced the threats of the enemy with a stone. I felt encouraged. 

And my heart was lifted up by the examples of other believers--some very close to me in my family who were praying earnestly and believed that the Lord would be gracious. Encouraged by the example of some Christian leaders like Franklin Graham, Eric Metaxas, and Wayne Grudem, among others. Encouraged by the witness of our friend William Levi and his family --who demonstrated a strong faith that the Lord would answer the prayers of His people and allow a Trump Presidency, even though it seemed like the odds were against him.

The Lord heard our prayers. The Lord heard the prayers of His people. My heart is filled with so much joy, it is difficult to contain it! I knew the Lord impressing upon my spirit that many--a remnant--were praying and fasting before the Lord about this election. I believed, (at times with a weak hope) that He would answer. He directed me through the time coming up to the election in His Word as I prayed about this to passages that directed me to hope that He would answer the prayers of His people and allow a Trump/Pence leadership. I felt strongly hopeful at times, and then I would see and read about what was going on in social media and become disheartened. But then, He would continue to strengthen my hope through His Word.

I was led by the Holy Spirit to encourage other Christians to vote for a Trump/Pence ticket. I felt nervous about doing so, as I knew that I would come under fire for such a position, but I obeyed the Lord anyway--only by His grace. I could not understand how believers whose concern was a "clean" candidate were casting their vote for a Mormon man (whose doctrines oppose everything that we believe as Christians) who was trying in some small way to sway the results of the election. I came under attack from other believers, I lost "likes" on my page, but I had decided in the beginning when I began my blog that I could not write to please men. If I did, it was not worth writing. That decision early on, has helped to strengthen me through the years to remain focused upon what I believe that the Lord is saying to me to write, no matter the disapproval from other Christians. He has been gracious to me. And this is why I obeyed the Spirit of the Lord regarding this issue and didn't stay silent. 

But I am grateful, so grateful for the other believers who have come up alongside me and encouraged me regarding this election. I am grateful for their prayers, their comments, their hope in our faithful God. 

So many believers across the nation, and possibly in other countries fasted and prayed in the days before the election. Our family joined them, and we experienced the blessing of the Lord answering our prayer in a truly miraculous way. 

The day before the election, the media was reporting a certain win for Hillary Clinton. I was weary and discouraged, trying to hold on to hope. 

And then there was a point yesterday, when I surrendered to God my anxiety over a Clinton Presidency. I accepted it if it were to happen. A strong peace flooded my heart, and I had hope in Him. 

I didn't listen to the news until later that night; at that point I was expecting to hear that Hillary Clinton was winning easily. 

But when we listened, she wasn't. 

And the rest is history.

The rest is a miracle.

The rest is God answering the prayers of His humbled people. 

I am so grateful to the Lord. I praise Him with all of my heart. 

He is truly a merciful Father who does not treat us as our sins deserve.

Because we deserved a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

And yet He gave grace.

Hallelujah. 

And so I pray that we will use this opportunity, this mercy to spread the Gospel while we still have time left. The darkness is surely coming.  

But the morning, for us now, is at hand. Our citizenship is in Heaven; and yet, He has placed us here surely for a reason--for this time. So may we spread the great news of His salvation to the nations with joy. 

And remember that He has been good to us. 


You might find me on these link-ups:


Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Call for Prayer for the Upcoming Election

Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God's will.
~Eric Metaxas (biographer of Dietrich Bonhoeffer)


To my beloved, believing friends,

We are fast approaching what may possibly be the most important election in our lifetime. Our religious freedoms are at stake, the lives of the unborn are at stake, our children and grandchildren's futures are at stake, to name just a very few things. I have heard many people say that they just wish that this election would be over. But, my friends, what happens as a result of this election will have lasting and serious repercussions upon our nation and upon our lives, and particularly-- especially-- upon the lives of our precious children. And it will not "be over." Do we care enough to pray, to fast, to plead with our Sovereign Lord for His mercy in this election? I have been so encouraged by the faithful witness of many Christian leaders during this election period. Franklin Graham, Eric Metaxas, and Wayne Grudem are among a few of them. These men have encouraged us to pray, to think, and to act--and to trust the outcome of this election into the loving hands of our Sovereign Lord.  I am grateful for men like them. 

On the other hand, I have been dismayed by the advice of other Christian leaders--to the point where one prominent Christian leader is even advising Christians that it is not commanded in Scripture that they vote. Yes; we are citizens of Heaven--but we have been placed upon this earth for a purpose, and a great part of that purpose is actively combating evil in this world. We have an incredible privilege that many of our persecuted and suffering brothers and sisters in other countries do not have--the privilege of being able to vote against evil and against evil policies. May God help us if we do not make the most of this opportunity while we still have it. And may our freedom to spread the Gospel remain intact. 

I believe absolutely that our Lord is Sovereign, and that He is Sovereign in this election. The outcome is utterly in His hands. And ultimately, we know that He is love and He will deliver us even if it is through the fire. 

But I also believe that He hears the prayers of His people and that He calls upon them to act at crucial junctures (Esther, Deborah, Joshua, and Daniel are just a few examples from Scripture--some positioned in extremely secular nations). I believe with all of my heart that He will not hold us guiltless if we do not act --and if we encourage others also not to act then our consciences before Him are tarnished. 

We have an opportunity to protect our capacity for spreading the Gospel--may we take it. 

I have been very disheartened by the Christian response to this election, quite honestly. Personal vendettas, false piety, and apathy have reigned supreme--May God forgive us.

But I also believe, and sense this through prayer, that there are hundreds upon hundreds of believers crying out to the Lord in all different places to show His mercy to His people regarding this election. There is always a remnant who sincerely cry out to Him--may we be among them! 

And may His will be done. 

I cannot help but think of Tolkien's words from one of my favorite films--and I leave you with them--and with hope--because our God is not a God of despair, but of hope--


“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”


May we decide well--because the time that has been given to us is precious. As He is. And He is a Father of mercy. 




You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Safe Place

Note: This post is part of a series of posts on marriage/relationships. I pray that this "mini-series" would be a blessing to you! Please feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments; I would love to hear them! 

If you are new to this series, you can find the Introduction HERE, Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE

Love is a command, not just a feeling. Somehow in the romantic world of music and theater we have made love to be what it is not. We have so mixed it with beauty and charm and sensuality and contact that we have robbed it of its higher call of cherishing and nurturing."
~Ravi Zacharias 



This summer, a sweet pair of house finches made their nest in my hanging basket. The basket was located just outside my front window where I sit and read books to my children, and so we had the delight of watching them through their parenting "journey." :-) From the beginning, I tried to protect them as best as I could, looking out for neighborhood cats, watering my plant gingerly around their nest, and admonishing my children to stay a distance away from the nest when we were playing outside. The parents hatched and fed four or five of the cutest little balls of fluff that you can imagine, and we had the privilege of observing the miracle. The babies thrived because they were in a safe place. A place of love and nurturing and warmth and protection. A place where they could trust that their parents could take care of them without fear. 




Years ago, I heard the late minister Adrian Rogers preach a sermon on how men can love, protect, and cherish their wives in the same manner that the house finch parents did for their babies. Since Christ and His church is a model for the relationship between a husband and wife, he brought up the passage about the Lord being like a mother hen who cares for and protects her chicks. Then he applied this illustration to marriage. He related a man's care for his wife to a mother hen who tucked her chicks underneath her warm body and protected them from all the dangers that surrounded them. A man is to protect and cherish his wife in the very same way. 


And I think about this concept of protection and warmth and closeness and safety and the house finches and the mother hen and Christ . . . 

A man who is walking with the Lord can be a "safe place" for his wife. 

A safe place . . . what does this mean? And how does it apply to marriages and romantic love and the general well-being of a home under the Lordship of Christ? 

This is how. 

If a man is walking in obedience to the Lord and treating his precious wife as Christ treats and loves the church--

A husband should be a place that a woman can run to with her fears and concerns and worries. She should be able to trust him to listen to her, to pray with her, to impart to her the strength of Christ and to infuse grace into her soul. 

She should never be afraid that he will make fun of her, that he will laugh at her, that he will belittle her, that he will brush her aside . . . And I'll add here, that sometimes as women (or men) we are concerned about frivolous things or worried about things that we shouldn't be worried about. I don't think that a man (or a woman) needs to "indulge" that kind of conversation, but rather, that he may lead his wife gently back to the cross, without making her feel "little" or "small" or "foolish." There is a balance. A loving man will lead his wife safely back to the cross of Christ, whether her concerns are legitimate or not. 

A loving husband is a safe place in relation to his family. We hear so many "horror" stories about relationships between a woman and her mother-in-law. Many are legitimate, and these situations need to be handled with grace and love, not with unbecoming humor and disrespect. A man can be a safe place in this regard by continually demonstrating to his wife that she is the love of his heart and that he will not betray her by talking about her to his family behind her back, by placing his relationships with them first, or by seeking his parent's advice over or before hers. There are so many problems in marriages that could be avoided if a man would just demonstrate gentle, consistent love in this area. I have witnessed situations where the family didn't consider the daughter-in-law a true part of the family, only an add-on. This can be so painful for a wife, and place an unnecessary rift in the relationship between her and her in-laws. As believers, we should be the first to recognize the incredible and beautiful "oneness" that marriage brings--physically, mystically, and spiritually, and hold one another in such loving esteem, that this should never be an issue. If Christian in-laws demonstrated this kind of love toward their daughter-in -laws (or son-in- laws on the other side) there really could be such beautiful, godly harmony rather than many of the situations that exist today. There is so much that could be said or written about this subject, but overall, I will just say that a woman feels safe, cherished, loved, and protected when her husband guards his love for her in front of his family and doesn't "demean" her or undermine their relationship in any way in this regard. A woman's feelings can be damaged for years by this kind of betrayal. 

A man can be a safe place by leading his family faithfully under the lordship of Christ. By holding family devotions and prayer in high regard. By especially jealously guarding his own relationship with the Lord, by spending time in closet-prayer and devotions that is not showy or forced. 

A man is a safe place when a woman can trust him with their children. He honors their mother and doesn't belittle her ideas or authority. He wants their spiritual good in every way and works with his wife to achieve that end. He entrusts their lives into the care of their Heavenly Father but also takes seriously and soberly his great responsibility to love and to nurture them and to train them up in the fear and love of the Lord. He shows love and admiration for his wife in front of his children, even when his wife is not present. 

A man is a safe place when he does not act flirtatiously toward other women or talk about other women with the intention of making his wife jealous or afraid for their own relationship. At the same time he does not make other women feel unimportant compared to his wife--a love that is mature and grounded and real will cause him to act kindly and graciously towards the opposite sex without flirting. 

A man can be a safe place by guarding his eyes from looking at pornography or any unclean thing. This is a serious, serious issue that I believe should be addressed more than it is. I won't delve into it too deeply here as I am planning another post on this subject as part of this series. But I will say briefly that pornography can damage a woman's emotions and crush her spirit in a way that nothing else can. That is part of the reason why there are such dire warnings against it in Scripture: because it kills with a slow poison and the results are devastating. 

A man is a safe place when he provides for his family. As far as it depends on him and as much as it is possible, he seeks their welfare and provision, just as Christ Jesus does this for His church physically and spiritually. In other words, he works--hard. He labors to provide for those he loves. He does everything in his power and by the grace of God to make sure that they are clothed and fed and taken care of. Will there be circumstances where this is not possible--of course. Sickness, or the loss of a job, or other circumstances and trials may prevent him from providing for his family for a time or indefinitely. The Lord views the heart. Does a man desire to provide? Is he wholeheartedly willing to provide if he could? Then he is a safe place for his wife because she knows that he is trusting in God to provide for their needs--and our Heavenly Father is the very Safest Place there is. 

A man can be a safe place by looking out for the welfare of the church. A man who loves Christ also loves the church--because she is the Bride of Christ! He wants to serve there in whatever capacity the Lord has called him. He wants to evangelize in order to bring more souls into the church. He loves to be present there--on Sunday mornings, at Bible studies, at missions events, etc. He loves the church and wants its good--because that behavior imitates Christ's. Growing in grace in this area also helps his wife. The more that a man seeks and loves the Lord and as a result, the things of God, the more he will love, protect, and cherish his wife--as she is a picture for him of the church. 

How a woman cherishes a tender, gentle, sensitive man who is a safe place for her! I love the example of Elkanah in the book of I Kings and his sensitive spirit towards Hannah, his wife . I love the example of Joseph and the tenderness and love that he exhibited toward Mary, even when he thought that she had been unfaithful to him. 



Men, we don't need a "macho" man who is constantly concerned about his appearance. We don't need an effeminate man who takes no leadership in the home. We don't need a dictator. We don't need a man who does not lead. We need a man who is like Christ--who is striving to be like Christ, not perfectly, but obediently and humbly. A man who admits his flaws and seeks forgiveness. A man who can apologize. A man who is continually dependent upon the grace of God. A man who is sensitive. A man who is tender.  A man who is real. A man who is gentle. A man who can be trusted in all of his relationships. 

A man who is, by the grace of God, a safe place. 

I don't know a woman who doesn't love and want to serve a man like that. 

A man who is gentle. A man who is real. A man who is a safe place. 


Note: On this subject, I highly recommend Dr. Adrian Roger's sermon series The Music of Marriage--it is such an encouraging series. 



You might find me on these link-ups:


Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday




Monday, October 17, 2016

A Woman Who Fears the Lord

Note: This post is part of a series of posts on marriage/relationships. I pray that this "mini-series" would be a blessing to you! Please feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments; I would love to hear them! 

You may read the Introduction to the series HERE




Last week, I shared some characteristics of a man who is sensitive to the Spirit of God. This week, I'd like to share a list of qualities of a spiritually-sensitive woman that I brainstormed. I pray that these insights might be an encouragement to you as you ponder and pray over them--I know that they have challenged me--

In my own interactions with other believers and in my reading, I have often come up against the either stated or implied idea that a woman's actions will change the heart of her husband.  I have heard teaching on this subject that places guilt and responsibility upon a woman's shoulders that was never placed there by the Lord in Scripture. Biblically, we are called to--

be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  (I Peter 3:1-2 NKJV)

The key word in that passage is "may." Not "will," but "may." All that we can do as believing women is to obey the express commands in Scripture, keep our focus upon Christ (not upon our husband, ultimately), and pray--sometimes with fasting. Will the Lord change the heart of an unregenerate or unrepentant husband? He may. But He never in Scripture places the responsibility for our husband's conversion or confession upon us. Each person is responsible for their own sins before God. Our husbands will stand or fall before Him for his own sins, as we will for ours. The important thing is to keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus Christ--and the outcome is in the hands of the Lord. 

I don't believe, and I am coming from a very Conservative background and interpretation of Scripture, that a woman needs to "cower" beneath a tyrant. And I see this principle strongly played out in the life of Abigail (see I Samuel 25), who respected and obeyed her husband, but only until his will conflicted with her Heavenly Father's. We do not blindly submit (and I'd like to go into this subject more deeply in another post), but for now, I will just say that we are only responsible to do what we are commanded in Scripture to do. No more. And that will eliminate so much of the worry and fear that is placed upon women in marriages today who are desperately trying to fix their husbands and go to any lengths to do so. I'd like to delve more into this subject in another post and so I will conclude this one now with the list of character traits of a godly and gracious woman. May the Lord help us and give His grace to us in every way as we seek to become more like Christ! 




A woman who loves Christ Jesus with all of her heart (Mark 12:30)

A woman who knows and loves Scripture (Hebrews 4:12, John 8:32, Psalm 119)

A woman who encourages her husband in the ways of the Lord (I Thessalonians 5:11)

A woman who is strong in the Lord~powerful examples~~Jael and Deborah (Judges 4), Esther (book of Esther), Ruth (book of Ruth)-- to name a few.

A woman who will not compromise under pressure (Matthew 24:13, James 1:12))

A woman who loves her children and makes sacrifices for them (Titus 2:4-5)

A woman who puts her own needs after the needs of others (Philippians 2:1-4)

A woman who gives generously (II Corinthians 8:1-15)

A woman who trusts God with her future (Proverbs 31:25)

A woman who clothes her family well -takes care of the needs of her family (Proverbs 31:21)

A woman who is sensitive to those who are hurting (Colossians 3:12-13, Proverbs 31:20)

A woman who is not frivolous (I Peter 5:8-9). And I cannot help interjecting here Mr. Knightly's words from Jane Austen's Emma--"Men of good sense do not want silly wives!" ;-))

A woman who is thrifty  (Proverbs 31:27)

A woman who brings honor to her husband (Proverbs 31)

A beautiful woman--beautiful because she reflects Christ (I Peter 3:3-4)

A woman who walks by faith (II Corinthians 5:7)

Please join me next week for the next part in this series! I am hopeful and excited for how the Lord will work through our marriages as we submit ourselves to His leading and love. 



You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Kind of Man She Wants

Note: This post is part of a series of posts on marriage/relationships. I pray that this "mini-series" would be a blessing to you! Please feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments; I would love to hear them! 



Chivalry in love has nothing to do with the sweetness of the appearance. It has everything to do with the tenderness of a heart determined to serve. You must not act under the impetus of charm, but out of a commitment to make someone's life the joy you want it to be. 
Ravi Zacharias

A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself, and about the woman he loves, refusing compromise when compromise is wrong. But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman's resentment like tenderness. 
Elisabeth Elliot



What kind of a man does a woman long for? What kind of a man does she need? The world tells us that he should be handsome, successful, wealthy. Or maybe someone "cool," modern, and progressive. Someone who pushes against authority, someone who "breaks the rules." Or maybe someone who makes us feel good about ourselves. The list goes on and on. 

But as a woman and as a Christian, my heart longs for something deeper. Something purer and richer than surface, artificial qualities. As Christian women, we long for something that speaks to us on the inside of our souls, souls aching for the love and gentleness of Christ displayed to us through the actions of our husbands. A husband will never fill the place in our hearts that only Christ can fill. But he can, through his actions, take our hands and place them in the hand of Christ. And I think that this is why so many women feel hurt and confused in their marriages. Because, honestly, as the leader of their homes and as the visual representation of their wife of Christ, many husbands are not fulfilling this role. And so the wife stumbles, and searches to find His hand, the hand of Christ, in the dark, through the confusion of her husband's actions that are un-Christ-like. 

This is not true in every marriage. And it is a precious thing to see those marriages where the husband is selflessly serving his wife and family in humility and love (not perfectly, but obediently). But I will say that it is rare. And I write this post in part as a challenge to men to walk with the Lord in their daily lives, to step up to the plate, so to speak. To become the man that you were created to be through the grace and mercy of Christ. To stop thinking about your own selfish or even legitimate needs and how your wife is not fulfilling them and to treat your wife as Christ treats the church. To love her. To pray with her. To listen to her. To serve her. To bless her. To be Christ to her. I think that you will be very surprised by the response. And I think that you will see, in most cases, that your needs will be met in the process. It's a funny thing how women respond to men who cherish them and serve them by cherishing and serving that man in return. We are designed to respond that way. Do you want your wife to serve you? Serve her. Do you want your wife to be sensitive to your needs? Be a sensitive, gentle, Christ-like man. 

I have witnessed , in my own experience, so many marriages where the women are starving for their husbands to take Christ seriously and lead their families. Where the man is literally not allowing the woman to serve him through his own actions and lack of obedience where the woman would gladly do so. Men, this should not be! You are the Leader and Shepherd of your family under Christ. So shepherd them. Love them. Nourish them. Lead them to the cross. 

Of course, this is impossible in our own strength. And this is where the grace of God comes in. Obedience is never easy . . . it is remarkably hard. Especially where feelings are absent. But again, this is where the grace of God comes in. And we find that we can do all thing through Christ who strengthens us as we put our trust in Him and take those first baby-steps of obedience. The feelings will follow.

So what kind of man has the qualities that the Lord values, that He lays out in His Word? What kind of man has the heart of Jesus Christ and follows in His footsteps? 



I compiled this list of qualities in the kind of man who is seeking to imitate Christ in his relationships.. But before I share it, I want to make it very clear that no man (or woman) is perfect. As I discussed in my introduction, we have not arrived, but we are arriving. My husband, after reading this list, in his usual humorous way, quipped, --"It's nice to know you have low standards." :-) Grace is essential. Forgiveness is essential. No one is perfect . . . but we ought to be, as believers, seeking daily to emulate Christ, to become more and more like Him. Obedience is the only way, and it is the pathway to joy -- our own and the joy of others. Do you want to make your wife happy? Imitate Christ. Love her and cherish her as Christ does and would. I'd also like to say that this is not an exhaustive list. Rather, it is a list of character traits that I find, as a Christian woman, admirable. When a man is Christ-like, he is attractive. He may not be physically attractive, but he is spiritually attractive. The attractiveness that I am speaking about here is not a sensual one. It is a spiritual one. When a man emulates and seeks to imitate Christ, he becomes spiritually attractive to the extent that he imitates Christ. His life compels others to put their trust and faith in Christ. His life is a shining beacon, a breath of fresh air in a toxic society, a sweet aroma. He is attractive spiritually. And this is the kind of man that a Christian woman yearns for  . . .  because she feels protected and loved and cherished by him -- because he protects and loves and cherishes her as Christ would to the best of his Spirit-filled ability.  Here are some characteristics (and reminders from Scripture) that I brainstormed of a spiritually attractive man. Think about them, search the Word of God, and seek to put these into practice in your marriage . . . and the grace of Christ will fill you where you lack --

~A man who serves with his heart, from the heart -- not only with his head.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 NKJV


~A man who is kind when he thinks that no one (important) is watching.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV

~A man who respects authority.

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 
I Peter 2:13-17 NKJV

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due,customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
Roman 13:1-7 NKJV

~A man who is sensitive towards children.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14 NKJV

~A man who will not compromise under pressure.

Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 
James 1:12 NKJV

~A man who is faithful with his body and with his mind.

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:28 NKJV

~A man who does not demand submission.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV

~A man who puts his own needs after the needs of his family. 

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
I Corinthians 10:24 NKJV

(A beautiful example of this is the character of Joseph in the film The Nativity Story--well worth watching!)

~A man who leads.

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
I Corinthians 11:3 NKJV

~A prayerful man.

...praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Ephesians 6:18 NKJV

~A man who loves the Word of God.

Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name,
Lord God of hosts.

Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV

~A man who is humble. 

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8 NKJV

~A man who is sensitive. 

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1-3 NKJV

~A man who is gentle to animals.
A righteous man regards the life of his animal,
But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Proverbs 12:10 NKJV

~A man who dies daily (to his flesh).

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:13 NKJV

Difficult? Impossible? In a man's own strength, yes. But through Christ and in His grace--possible, beautiful, joy-giving, romance-inspiring, Follow in the footsteps of Jesus, and He will lead into all truth. For your joy, for His joy, and for the joy of your wife. 



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In this post, I focused on the man's response and responsibility in marriage. Next week, I'll be addressing the qualities and characteristics of a godly woman and how she may love and serve her husband through the grace of Christ. Please join me then! :-)



You might find me on these link-ups:


Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Cornerstone `Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Raising Homemakers, Classical HomemakingA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries,  Testimony TuesdayTell His Story, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage,  Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, Thought Provoking ThursdaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewCounting My BlessingsThe HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog HopA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdayLiving Proverbs 31Sharing His Beauty Blog LinkupCoffee For Your Heart Weekly LinkUpYou're the Star Blog HopHomesteader HopFresh Market Friday