Lucia's Blog: June 2015
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Saturday, June 20, 2015

BE STRONG, ACT LIKE MEN!

"Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love."
I Corinthians 16:13-14


I am not ashamed to say that without Adam, there would not have been Eve. Let us applaud the worthy men who have accepted the great work of fathering children and being a father and husband to their children. Fatherhood belongs in marriage and the home that stands for a lifetime. Fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers: nothing can take their places.

This coming Sunday many will be observing Father's Day and honoring their fathers.  I would like to give tribute to all of those godly men who try so hard to be the men that God would want them to be, especially my husband and my brothers in Christ.  With this in mind, let me begin by asking, "What is a godly dad and what does he do?"  "How important or vital is a godly husband and father in the home?"  Let us read what Scripture says about that:
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.... So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself."  (Ephesians 5:25-28).
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  (Ephesians 6:4).

For our men to be good husbands, fathers, active leaders in the church and lights that shine brightly in this world of darkness, it is crucial that they start "acting like men."  They must cast aside our culture's deceiving messages, stereotypical roles, and values, for God's principles of righteousness and His divinely defined roles.  They must submit to His principles of righteousness, allowing Him to rule in their hearts to motivate them to godliness and manliness.  They must focus their minds on spiritual things, (Col. 3:1-4).  Heaven must be their primary goal. That goal demands a total commitment to the Lord.  They must be faithful no matter how high the cost they might have to pay in life.  Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as many other heroes of faith, have left excellent examples for our men to follow.  Consider the apostle Paul who, though standing alone in defense of the Gospel, continued to stand, (2 Tim. 4:16).  Remember brothers, that you belong to the Lord, for He has bought you with a price.  He shed His blood to purchase you from the slavery of sin, (1 Peter 1:18-19).  So, you must no longer live as you please, but do the Lord's will, (Matt. 16:24; 7:21).  You must not, under any circumstance, stop serving the Lord faithfully, for your attitude must be like that of the apostle Paul, "press on."  (Phil. 3:12-15).  You must live godly, be mature in Christ, do the good works, teach, encourage, and correct others in both word and deed, (Titus 2:14; Eph. 2:10).  I don't see any other way you, as a man of God, can be of any value to your Lord!  Why not start giving yourself to the Lord in service to Him and those around you?  Why not become the man that God wants you to be?  Why not spend more time studying and meditating on God's Sacred Book to learn and develop righteous and godly habits?  Learn what you must do to be a godly man of God, for you must keep your heart open and tender to God's instructions.  Seek God's counsel when you face doubts and concerns.  Be determined to be different from the world and consecrate yourself to God alone, for it is the only way to do God's will and be in harmony with His Teachings.

Sadly most men, young and old, have few principles of righteousness and have very little interest in those things that are spiritual and profitable to their faith.  They are interested in walking the easiest path to pleasure, for their affections are set on everything that is worldly and ungodly.  They have no hope and nothing to look forward to after deathThey are already dead in their sins.  But for you Christian men, you have the life of our Lord Jesus Christ living in you so that you can faithfully serve Him and become more like Him.  That must be your greatest goal in life!

Brothers, remember that "manliness" or being "manly" is an essential quality for men, especially husbands.  To be "manly," a man must be brave and courageous.  Husbands, you must be ready to shoulder your responsibility as heads of your household even in times of adversity and problems in life.  You must not surrender, for you must act like a man to be rewarded in this life and in the life to come, with eternal blessings.  Moreover, you must fulfill your God-giving obligations to your children to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, (Eph. 6:1-4).  You must also show them the way that they must go to please their Creator and be saved, (Prov. 22:6).  May the Lord give you the wisdom to love your children and do what is right before God!


I.   ACCORDING TO GOD, WHAT IS A MAN?

God defines a man much more different than the world does.  He shows in Ezekiel 22:30 the qualities of a man of God.  He wants men who will "make up the hedge."  Men who will take a stand for righteousness in the midst of so much darkness.  He wants men who will "stand in the gap."  Men who are willing to fight for what is right no matter the cost.  He is looking for godliness in men more than manly appearanceHe wants men to go far beyond appearances, for He wants men to be fashioned in His likeness.  In Ezekiel 22:30, God sought for men who were more than just physically strong.  Sadly, He didn't find the men He was looking for, because He was looking for godly men It is time for our older men, our fathers, to start teaching, training and defining what a man of God is and to start setting godly character, the high standards of Scripture, as goals for our young men to reach toward. Our God still wants to find men who are willing to be used by Him, but our older men, fathers, and leaders, must train them up to be spiritually strong so that they may be men of God.  This training must instill the characteristics, commands, and duties of a "godly man."
"And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none."  (Ezekiel 22:30).
  • Four Areas Men Must Develop to Become Godly Men: 
    1. Spiritual:   The command is given by our Lord to be "strong" in Corinthians 16:13.  It does not refer to having physical muscles.  It means to be spiritually strong, strong in their faith and in their character of Jesus Christ.  That character or Spirit of Christ to help them control their mind (mental and emotional) and his body (physically). 
    2. Mental:  God demands all men to have a "sound mind" in 2 Timothy 1:7.  To use it to think clearly, to commit to love the Truth and to be the best servant in His vineyard. 
    3. Emotional:  God's Word instructs all men, especially the young to know how to express his emotions.  They must train their minds to be like Christ's mind.  Their emotions must be trained to be under His control according to the Word of God, (Philippians 2:5).
    4. Physical:  Taking care of their body so that it is physically fit to be used by God.  They must exercise the body to control it and bring it under the discipline of his mind.  They must learn to train their body to be strong, durable and coordinated, (1Timothy 4:8).  And though our text states that "bodily training is of some value," there is some value in consistent physical activity of some kind as long as such activities do not become excessively important to them.  Thus, it is good for men to train their bodies to be strong, durable and well coordinated. 

God in Ezekiel 22:30 found no man that He could use for His glory.  Our God is still seeking for men who are willing to be His men of valor and honor.  The towns and cities in our country are lacking spiritually strong men to teach the whole counsel of God. There are not enough godly men who are interested in the high calling of God to be preachers, teachers, and elders.

There is a critical need of men,
  1. That would go into the fields and labor for God and His kingdom.  
  2. That would be fathers who are spiritual leaders in their homes. 
  3. Who would put God first in the lives of those whom God has entrusted to him, his family. 
  4. Who would teach and worship our God in their homes every second of their lives with family devotions, praying and counsel. 
  5. Who would live a committed life for our Lord and Savior bearing good fruit in order to shine his light in this world of darkness.   
  6. Who would be leaders of their home in word and in deed without any hypocrisy.   
  7. Who would not abandon their God-ordained role as head of their home.
  8. That would be like Abraham, godly fathers, the right kind of man; the image of a godly father.
  9. That would practice love and joy in the lives of his children.   
  10. That would be godly fathers that still want to remain pure in a society of so much darkness.   
  11. That would seek to practice pure speech.   
  12. That would avoid everything harmful in order to not pollute his home.   

Sadly, we live in a culture where Dad is Mr. Mom due to a lack of godly leadership, perhaps divorce or even same-sex marriage.  It is very important for the man who professes to be a Christian to understand and apply godly principles in his life and be aware of what God through His everlasting Word expects and demands of him as a father and husband.   In our culture, there is no consistent training in the area of godly Christian manhood for our young men or boys.  They are not being taught by their fathers and leaders the meaning of Christian manhood and how to develop godly character in them.  Satan has been working hard and has well organized his training for our young men.  His evil training has saturated our present society, including the Lord's church so that our young men cannot escape it completely.  Satan has effectively succeeded in fighting all that is Christian manhood.  Consider how Satan has saturated our present culture:
  1. He has deceived many of our men with his empty philosophies that lead to nothing more than the destruction of the home.   
  2. His evil training has come through Hollywood T.V. shows, movies, books, magazines, the internet, newspapers, etc.
  3. Through the worldly influence of so-called Christian friends, those who are not walking upright. 
  4. Through unbelieving acquaintances and worldly men in positions of influence. 
  5. So often through poor parental example.  

II.   OUR YOUNG MEN NEED GODLY MEN TO MENTOR THEM:

Indeed, our young men need godly men in their life.  They need godly mature men to teach them by example godly attitudes, speech, and conduct.  The most important man in their life must be their father.  As they get older, there will be other men that they will listen to, watch and spend time with to develop godliness and manlinessMen whom they can follow as an example of manhood and who are walking as faithful servants of God, (Phil. 3:17).  They must also learn to walk away from those who are not walking righteously but sinfully, in rebellion toward God, (2 Thess. 3:6).

It is critical that our young men learn in an organized manner the practical details of spiritual warfare.  They need to be taught by their fathers and leaders all the Bible applications, foundations and principles so that they can apply them to themselves.  Because of their position of leadership, the Lord demands that men, fathers, and leaders train our young boys in godly character and responsibilities.  Each of our boys has a specific job or specific position in the Lord's serviceIt means that our young men must aim to become men of God:  a man who is fit and well prepared to be used by God according to His divine plan.  We must train our boys to be spiritually strong men of God: men who are prepared to invest their time, character and talents in the Lord's work; in whatever area of service to which God directs them.  We must acknowledge that character building is of the Lord.  It is our Lord who raises up men of valor to serve Him!  Our Lord through His revealed Word can develop in them good and godly habits that produce godly manhood.  It is about time that our men get right with our God, that they may give their lives as a living sacrifice to our Lord, that they may let the Lord use them for His glory and most importantly start acting like real men of God, like men!  I assure you the Lord will provide through His Word a plan to prepare them.  He provides what is necessary to refine and strengthen the character in a young's man life.

It is crucial for our older men, those to whom God have been given the duty or responsibility of training our young men, to instill the character of Jesus and shape the heart of our young men in their life. God's definition of a man goes beyond the physical characteristics that the world uses to define a man. It is often contrary to the speech, attitudes, and behavior that the world expects to find in a man.
  1. Our young desperately need men who reflect godly character (a life filled with the fruits of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22) and commitment to the Lord.
  2. Men who are faithful to God with their talents, time and money.  
  3. Men who accept that God's ways are higher than theirs, for such men recognize God's absolute authority in their life, (Phil. 2:12).  
  4. Men who are willingly obedient to God's commands and counsel, without arguing, complaining or making bargains.  
  5. Men who accept discipline and correction from God and others without complaining, getting angry or feeling sorry for themselves.  
  6. Men committed to God show their love to Him through obedience to Him and His Words.  
  7. Men who are humble and fear God, for they respect His authority in their life.

Our young men must be taught to submit to the voice of authority, (Hebrews 13:17).  To submit means to surrender, to give up resistance and to yield in both attitude and behavior to the will of another person rather than grudging obedienceOur young must learn to give up their own desires without fighting, complaining or arguing with those who are in authority over them.  They must be disciplined or chastised so that they might follow God's standards and principles and develop good and godly habits while they are still young.  Chastisement will teach them obedience to God and His wisdom.  It will drive foolishness out of them and train them to be more sober-minded, (Prov. 22:15; Titus 2:6).  Likewise, chastisement will teach them the fear of God and help them to build a tender conscience for right and wrong.  The more one is taught through correction and discipline, the more he will be conscious of that which is righteous, for it strengthens our faith to better understand God's ways.

Sadly, Isaiah 3:12 applies equally to the condition of our families, the church, and our Christians today. Our boys are not being taught all that is necessary to build godly character in them.  They are not being taught in the areas that they need to develop into a man of God, manhood.
"As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they that lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."  (Isaiah 3:12).

Before I start with the characteristics of what makes a real man, a "godly man," I would like to start with the definition of what godliness is and what it means to be godly.  To be godly means to be devout; that is, to be a Cornelius as in Acts 10 or an Abraham.  Such a man does that which is well pleasing to God.  Godliness is a fear or reverence toward God.
"And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'"  (Job 28:28).
"Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love."  (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).

III.   CHARACTERISTICS OF A GODLY MAN:   (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Let us analyze in depth what a "godly man" would look like.
  1. He would be a man "on the alert."  He is aware that he has to watch with intense vigilance his own soul and the souls of those whom he loves in order to protect them.  He will be watchful and careful. He knows that we are engaged in a spiritual war against a crafty and dangerous enemy. 
  2. He is to "stand firm in the faith."  He knows that he can succeed in standing firm only if he completely surrenders to God obeying Him with all of his heart, soul, and mind.  He surrenders to God's wisdom and not to earthly wisdom. 
  3. "Act like men."  He shows himself as a real man in Christ.  He labors intensely to show himself worthy of God, courageous in his steadfastness and his judgment.  He will not compromise his principles as cowards do.   
  4. "Be strong."  He is strong.  His eyes are fixed on Jesus and he will not release his grip.  He trusts in His God with all of his strength, heart, soul, and mind. 
  5. "Let all that you do be done in love."  He knows that all that he does in word and deed must be done in a spirit of love toward God and toward his neighbor.  He shines his light before all men. 
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 is crystal clear about how men are to behave before God.
    1. They are to behave like real men. 
    2. They are to be responsible. 
    3. They are to be grounded in their faith. 
    4. They are to show strength in every area of their life. 
    5. They are to do all things in the spirit of Christian love.   
In 1 Timothy 4:7 the apostle Paul speaks to Timothy regarding spiritual discipline as personal urgency.  "Train yourself for godliness."  The word "train" in our context comes from the word "gummos," which means "naked" and is the same word from which we derive our English word "gymnasium."  The Greeks participated in traditional athletic contests without clothing, so as not to be burdened or encumbered.  Thus, the word "train" originally carried the meaning, "to exercise naked."  In the New Testament, it refers to exercise and training in general (the sweat of a good workout).  It is like Paul was saying, "gymnasticize (exercise, work out, train) your self for the purpose of godliness."  In a few words, Paul is calling for some spiritual sweat!  Just as athletes discarded everything that could possibly burden them, so must we get rid of every encumbrance, association, bad habit and tendency that impedes godliness.  Brothers, for you to excel, you must strip yourselves down to a lean, spiritual nakedness.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."  (Hebrews 12:1).  
Men, you will never get anywhere spiritually without a conscious and strenuous divestment of those things that hold you back!  So, examine your hearts and ask yourselves, "What are those things that are weighing me down?  God calls you to discipline.  God's discipline demands that you throw it off.  Are you man enough to train yourself for godliness and direct all of your energy toward it?  Remember Paul's words,
"Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."  (1 Cor. 9:25-27).  
Paul is talking about intense labor, energetic sweat, strenuous toil, agony and endeavor to be godly!  A godly and successful Christian life demands sweat!  No manliness no maturity!  No discipline no discipleship!  No sweat no sanctification and holiness!
  • Stand Firm:
Men are called to stand firm or stand fast in their faith, be on the alert, act like men, be strong and do everything in love.  To stand firm or stand fast is a military term meaning to "hold your position." There is no room for retreating.  The Greek word is stēkō which reminds us of driving a stake into the ground.  The term “Stand firm or stand fast” is used several times in the Bible.  "Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong."  (1 Corinthians 16:13).  Today, many fail to stand firm and keep the faith. Men must  be on guard, alert and be watchful against those things which cause them to want to retreatAll Christians are commanded to stand firm to be saved, (Matthew 24:13).  So, what are some reasons that many fail to stand firm?
    • Pride:  
What is so bad about pride? Shouldn’t we take pride, in some things? Well, the pride I’m talking about is described here: "In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.'"  (Psalm 10:4).  A proud man thinks so much of himself that he does not think of God. This is haughty pride which is the opposite of the spirit of humility that God seeks: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their inability to come to God except for God’s mercy and grace. The proud, on the other hand, are so blinded by their pride that they think they have no need of God or, worse, that God should accept them as they are because they deserve His acceptance rather than admitting and acknowledging their poverty of soul.  

In 1 Corinthians 1:31, the Corinthian church had many problems, and most of them were the result of pride. Paul dealt with these problems separately in chapter 13. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4).   The word translated “proud” comes from a Greek word meaning to “puff up” or “blow up.” The phrase “having a big head” communicates the same idea. To be puffed up is to have an inflated opinion or ego of oneself.  Pride cannot coexist with godly love. Christian love is not proud or focused on self. Jesus Christ is our example, for He did everything in love, (1 Corinthians 16:14).  "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."  (John 15:13).  What does this have to do with standing firm? "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."  (Proverbs 16:18).   If we do not rely on our faith, we are headed for a fall. “Be on your guard!”
    • Pain:  
God calls men to stand firm in their faith and be strong even in the midst of pain, (2 Cor. 4:8-9, 16-17).  Paul lists several types of pain:  mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.  Men must stand firm in their faith when pain and suffering come instead of retreating and resign.  They must be strong for their family and those whom God has charged that they care for.  They must fix their eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen and think of the reward so that they can stand firm.  Moreover, a man of God, will rely on his faith toward God and stand firm in times of unhappiness and happiness.  They have learned to control their passions (feelings and emotions), for they stand firm, abounding in the work of the Lord as their main passion.  The word “passion” means to suffer, to undergo evils, to be afflicted as in the passion (suffering) of  Christ. “To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion (suffering) by many infallible proofs...” (Acts 1:3).  Passion means strong emotions and feelings. Anything that is worthwhile will involve some suffering, some affliction and some passion (feelings and emotions).
    • False Teaching:  
A man of God will stand firm in the faith against false teaching. He will "continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel."  (Colossians 1:23).

    • Sexual Immorality:  

He will likewise flee from sexual immorality and will honor God with his body.  He will not give into any temptation that will cause him to sin and fail to stand firm until the end,  (1 Corinthians 5:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20).  He recognizes that sin will take him farther than he wants to go and keep him longer than he wants to stay and cost him more than he would want to pay.  He will remain faithful to God's principles of righteousness with tooth and claw until the end!
  • Discipline:
    • God wants men to be disciplined in purity.  
He does not want men who are desensitized to sin and our culture's acceptable indulgence, for such men are primed for a fall!
    • He is also calling for men to be disciplined for marriage. 
They must fix their minds on Jesus and love their wife with a sacrificial love, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, (Ephesians 5:25).  God has already addressed the love of a husband as modeled by the love that Christ has for His bride, the church. There is no better example than the love of our Father in heaven toward us, His children.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.... So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself."  (Ephesians 5:25-28).
    • God also wants men to be disciplined for fatherhood.  
Men as fathers, you must sweat in your fatherly workout, for you have the obligation to bring your children up in the training and instruction of the Lord, (Eph. 6:4).  Men, as fathers you have that power!
"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  (Ephesians 6:4).
    • Men, if you want to be godly men, you must discipline your mind and have the mind of Christ.  

That is, you must think, talk and act like Christ.  You must put into practice the exhortation given in Philippians 4:8A godly mind does not refuse discipline but acknowledges that he must put off anything that will hinder godliness.  Remember, you can never have a godly mind without reading and studying the Scriptures regularly.  When you fill yourself with God's Word, your life can be transformed into the image of GodYou must meditate on God's Law day and night, (Psalm 1:2).  You cannot progress without learning them thoroughly, as memorizing them and making them a part of your everyday life. 
    • You must also discipline yourself in prayer, for the Enemy approaches with fiery barrages. 
You must reach up and reposition your helmet and carefully test the edge of your sword and slip it back into your scabbard.  A good and brave soldier falls to his knees in deep, profound petitionary prayer, for he obeys God's instructions to take up all in prayer, (Eph. 6:18).
    • You must discipline yourself in worship and praise toward God. 
Not only on Sundays but every minute of your life.
    • Integrity must be part of your daily discipline.  
Truth and integrity are vital to your walk with God.  Integrity is one of the greatest needs in the church today.  The church desperately needs men of integrity, for our lost world longs for freedom from dishonesty.  Thus, you must model honesty and integrity.  A godly man keeps his word.  He will never promise to do something he does not intend to do or follow through with.  He does not conveniently forget what he has promised.  Faithfulness, one of the fruits of the Spirit, (Gal. 5:22) is the trademark of a godly man.  The Scriptures speak of this man of integrity as one who "keeps his oath even when it hurts."  "He is unique"  "Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?"  (Prov. 20:6).  Indeed, integrity is a rare beauty!
    • A godly man disciplines his tongue.  
He knows the destructive power of the tongue, (James 3:3-6).  The tongue has inflammatory power in human relationships.  James says that those who misuse their tongue are guilty of spiritual arson.  For it corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire.
    • He also disciplines himself to work with enthusiasm, wholeheartedness, and excellence.  
He also focuses on Jesus, for he runs with perseverance the race marked out for him.  He does not grow weary and lose heart.  He disciplines himself to be a good leader in the church and embraces it with wisdom.  Men, you must sweat like Joshua if you want to improve your leadership abilities.
    • A godly man disciplines himself to reach out to the lost and win souls to the glory of God.  
He has a heart filled with love, so he is willing to go the extra mile to reach out to those souls lost in sin.  Our Lord Jesus longs for your heart to beat with His!


CONCLUSION:

If you men of God do all this, you will be effective fathers, husbands, leaders in the church and shining lights to a world dying because of sin.   This ought to motivate you to godliness and manliness!  

In today's world and even in the church, a disciplined Christian is an exception, not the rule.  This applies to both men and women.  We cannot justify ourselves claiming that this has always been the case, for it has not!  Our nation and the church are in desperate need of real men and you must choose to be that man!  The kind of man that will make a difference in this life because he disciplines himself to serve His Creator.  Fathers, the presence or absence of spiritual discipline can bless or damn your children and grandchildren.  Thus, spiritual discipline blesses the world you live in and the world to come.  So are you willing to sweat?  Are you willing to enter the gymnasium of godly discipline?  Will you strip away those things that are holding you back?  Will you allow the Word of God to discipline you?  Are you willing to sweat with pain that you might receive great gain?  You see, God is looking for a few great, real and good men that will allow Him to train and discipline them!

Thanks be to God for every godly man and father who is sincerely seeking to lead their children, especially his boys in the direction of heaven.  May his tribe increase for the glory of God and His kingdom.

May the Lord help our brothers in Christ to be godly men and to fulfill the great need that godliness provides and demands.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL!

Luci

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SHE SHALL BE CALLED WOMAN - THE EXCELLENT WIFE - TITUS 2 WISDOM, PART TWO


"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."  
Titus 2:3-5


THE WIFE'S DOMAIN - THE HOME

We long for a taste of heaven here on earth and we think that money and a career will get it for us, but in reality that taste of heaven is most likely to come with the small things of a home and family. Let us consider for a moment the greatness of the Titus 2 woman versus the feminist woman.


I.   BEING WORKERS (KEEPERS) AT HOME - TITUS 2 WISDOM FOR WOMEN

It is clear to me we have raised a few generations of wimpy and selfish women.  The hearts of many women, including sisters in Christ, have been deceived.   It is an ugly fact that our hearts are easily deceived. Our hearts are selfish and want only to be happy… in love with life's lies and pleasures. We long for a taste of heaven here on earth and we think that money and a career will get it for us, but in reality that taste of heaven is most likely to come with the small things of a home and family. Our Lord and Savior demands much more of us than the pursuit of a career.  Jesus wants us to be busy working in His kingdom as builders for His kingdom's sake!

Can we find joy in our work as mothers, homemakers, and wives?  YES!  But the heart must be in it. We cannot find this joy if we are absorbed in self, looking for an easier way to enter the gates of heaven without any doing from our part.  So often our poor and selfish choices rob us of God's many blessings.  Why?  Simply because we want to avoid the responsibility that comes with those blessings such as our homes, our children, and husbands.

Today we live in a culture where homemaking and parenting are overwhelming. Why?  Because we have raised generations of women whose hands are not skilled or equipped.  Many don't know where to start when it comes to homemaking, because the last few generations have dropped the ball.  They demanded that we "go out and find ourselves, be all you can be, pursue your dreams and ambitions,"  and "get your Masters, Ph.D."  Some have more degrees than a thermometer.  They say, "Become independent and self-sufficient so that you can have a more comfortable life and not the menial work of home."  For years,  they have lied to us (they lied to me!) about our God's divine design for us, for the home.   Although, I was raised by a great homemaker, wife, and mother, my mother looked down on the skilled laborer, the homemaker.  Parents somehow have been brainwashed by feminism into thinking that raising our daughters to pursue just marriage and a family as their only career is demeaning.  We believe that if we don't encourage our daughters to become professionals and independent women, somehow we have failed; that if we don't send them to college to get a degree, we have failed.  According to whose standards have we failed?  To our culture or to God?  Our culture, of course, but not according to God!

I admit I used to be a big feminist who thought this way.  I thought a woman's fulfillment was a career and prestige.  And YES, I obtained my degrees!  But by the grace of God, I obeyed the gospel and all these empty and shallow ideas faded one by one.  What was of great importance to me before became rubbish.  The Gospel changed and shaped my heart into righteousness.  I agree that education can be good.  We should all be educated and never stop being educated, but let’s not waste our good common sense and a strong work ethic while we are at it. Money is good, if you don’t love it. It is a needful tool but let us not pursue riches over wisdom.
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.  More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ..."  Philippians 3:7-11
We seem to have forgotten the importance of working with our hands and as a consequence of that we have weakened the backbone of our country, the church, and our families.

The modern woman who marries doesn't have a clue about setting up a home.  They don't know how to do anything beyond opening a can of mush.   When it comes to budgeting, home repairs, home industry, taking care of babies, hospitality, and even the work of relationships… they all start at zero because they have not been taught HOW to do these things.   Their parents required very little of them as children to carry into adulthood.  No wonder our women are overwhelmed!

Sadly, our generation is still raising women who are weak, who think of marriage and children as a burden. As our mothers and fathers complain about the load and the expense of children, they delegate their responsibilities of care, education, and relationships to other people. The children are carrying on this vision, or the lack thereof.

What they seem to forget is that the Lord has given us a husband and children, and we must be faithful to that charge!

We must purpose in our heart as godly Christians (whose will is to do the will of God) to raise up our children to be strong and skilled while having a servant's heart. They will not get that from us if we neglect our duties to train them.  Let us be faithful to God with what He has charged us, our children, and let us not raise up weak and whiny daughters who buckle under the pressure of motherhood.

Yes, I know it is hard!  Do I think it is an easy task?  NO, but we must be strong women for our daughters to be strong.  Let us roll up our sleeves and get busy about our work and our Father's business.  Remember, our work will take our lifetime to complete.  Accept it!

Let us teach our women to love their husbands even when they do not deserve it.  Let us teach them to make their home a heaven no matter how humble it is.  Let us teach them to train their children to obey and let us equip them to work and be servants for God's glory.

Let us stop shaking our fist at God for giving us the responsibilities of the next generation.   Let us not expect someone else to do our work or to make it all easy for us.

Do you think you have it hard?  Compare your day with the day of a woman 200 years ago!  At least you have indoor plumbing and running water.

Our previous generations knew they were building societies to be strong, productive societies who worked hard and had a vision.  It is in removing hard work and vision that a society ceases to exist.
"Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace."  Psalm 144:12
  • Did you know plants take a lot of work, constant work?  
  • Did you know that pillars take a lot of work also, back-breaking work?  Without them there is no future. There is no food and there is no palace.

Let us not allow our hearts and hands become a stumbling block!

Let us learn from Proverbs 31 which provides us with a beautiful illustration of the excellent wife, and the tasks she does to help her husband as a good manager of her household.  It is a great lesson for us as wives.  God’s intent from the beginning was for the home to be the wife's domain. Unfortunately, it is not common in today's culture for the wives to be “workers at home,” in spite of God's intent, "to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."  Titus 2:5.  In the excellent wife of Proverbs 31:10-31, the majority of the traits discussed pertain to the home, as the wife's domain.  

Take note that out of 22 verses, nine refer directly to her work in the home.  Her home was the center of her life.  She was content and satisfied performing her God-given role, doing her job well.  Later in the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote to Titus concerning this matter.  

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."  Titus 2:3-5

This being said, what exactly is a "worker at home?"   In the Greek, "worker at home" is oikourgos which comes from two root words, oikos and ergon.  Oikos, which means "a dwelling, a home, or household."  Ergon, which means "to work or be employed."  Therefore, a "worker at home" is someone who watches over the dwelling or is a keeper of the household.  She is employed in household work. That is her job.  "Workers at home" also means to be on guard, to be a caretaker.  The home is the seat of domestic life, the bearing and raising of children, forming a family.  It is evident, for the most part, that the younger women would have to be at home in order to accomplish this goal well.  In modern times, younger women are encouraged to get a “higher education” and pursue their careers after which they marry and begin a family as they approach middle-age.  This is contrary to the Divine Counsel.
"Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach."  I Timothy 5:14-15

The Greek word for "keep house" is oikodespoteo, which literally means to "rule or guide the house."  In I Timothy 5:14-15, we find an analogous (similar) illustration to the "worker or keeper at home." The younger widows are given the command in this text in verse 14.  The intent of  this text is to keep the widow out of trouble, protecting her reputation.  Her main job is to run her household in a manner that is pleasing to God and stay out of trouble.  A young mother's place is in the home, keeping it, guarding it, watching over those whom God has entrusted to her keeping.  To do otherwise will indeed cause the Word of God to be blasphemed.  This is serious!  Let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we can disobey God without any ill consequences.  Judgment will assuredly come.  The Word of God is true and right.  If we ignore it, His written words in Scripture, we are blaspheming, speaking evil of His Words.

According to God's Word, to be "keepers at home" is one of the eight mandates in Titus 2:4-5.  It is not a suggestion.  It is God's will for wives.  "Keeping the home" is more than staying at home.  It is having the right kind of heart that is fixed only on the home.  The “help meet” is the one that guards the home against outside influences.  She is one that is always on watch to protect her children from all evil.  She is not idle and neither will her children be idle.  She eases her husband's heavy load by helping him in any way she can.  She is frugal in all her endeavors.  She teaches her children to fear and serve the LORD.  She also teaches her children to honor and love their daddy.  She keeps and makes her home a sanctuary of peace, love and order.  She maintains the safety of her children, even as God provides a refuge for us, His children.  She takes her responsibility seriously!

For more than sixty years, the "feminist movement" has lied to us telling us that a woman is much happier and fulfilled as a human being when she pursues a career and goes to work, abandoning her home and children.  They go as far as to say that those feelings of remorse or guilt, about leaving our babies for someone else to raise are just imposed upon us by our society.  In fact, we have been taught by these feminists to suppress these feelings or worries and to pursue a career and go to work putting these ahead or above our family.  They have assured us that the children will not be damaged and maybe even better off since the household will have more money to spend on the children, fewer children, and more programs and social activities that develop their social skills.  The last sixty years have thoroughly tested their assertions and we are awakening to the realization that we have lost two generations.  We are losing our children to unbelief and anti-social behaviors at a terrifying rate.  The percentage of American women with children under eighteen who have entered the workforce has steadily increased from 56.80% in 1990 to 73.1% in 2001.

This same "feminist movement," mocks the Biblical concept of a "worker at home."   Why? Their message is "a disdain of domesticity and a contempt for housewives."   The level of hostility was extremely shrill and piercing in the early years of this movement.   As a terrible consequence of this, the profession of homemaking is not very popular or favored in our culture today.  Many women, including Christians, are reluctant to stay at home because of the lack of respect they receive from our culture.   Homemaking is regarded as a low-status job.  The most ridiculous thing I have ever heard is that being a "housekeeper" is acceptable as long as you are not caring for your own home. And that treating men with attentive devotion is also alright as long as that man is your boss in the office and not your husband.  Your boss pays your salary, your husband does not.  No wonder we have so much adultery among our working women!  The next most ridiculous thing is that it is okay to care for children even with heroic service as long as they are someone else's and not your own. As long as someone pays you for it, it is worth it. 

Even though the "feminist movement" has apparently succeeded in undermining the role of the homemaker, pushing and forcing her into the workforce, it has not secured a woman's happiness and fulfillment.  What stresses me intensely is to see my sisters in Christ being seduced by this demonic feminist doctrine.  This doctrine is poisonous and toxic and has infected too many, men and women when it comes to homemaking.   Titus 2 calls it "workers at home."  In I Timothy 5:14, Paul commanded the younger widows to marry, bear children and manage their homes.  The WORD of God specifically commands the man to be the provider of his home. "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."  I Timothy 5:8.  While women are given the responsibility of being the caretakers of their home.  

Our people prefer to ignore God's commands and intentions in relation to the role of women, especially our younger women.  We must return to Scripture to find out what God wants and demands of us, women.  God demands that married women stay at home taking care of her family, managing their homes for the well-being of their families.  The home is the foremost place of work for mothers and wives.  So, how is a wife to manage her home as she should when she is working outside the home or piling her plate full with so many activities that do not pertain to the care of her home?  Obviously, she will not have the time or the energy to achieve this task.  Let us think deeply and examine our motives for wanting to leave our homes and pursuing our own interests and goals, abandoning our duty before God.

  • Is it worth it to sacrifice your precious children?   
  • Is that what you really want?  
  • What is your heart set on?  
  • Are you trying to avoid becoming a "non-person," someone insignificant and important?  
  • Do you want to pursue more material riches?  
  • Do you want to get away from your responsibility of child care?
  • Is it because you want to relieve your husband of his God given responsibility and obligation to work and provide for his own?  

I can guarantee you that none of these motives or reasons is for the glory of God.  I am sorry to have to say this, but they are mainly self-serving and sinful reasons.  They are not godly and righteous motives.
  • A godly and righteous motive would be the desire to learn to be content with what He provides for you.  Philippians 5:18.  
  • A godly motive would be a desire to be thankful in your heart to God for what you do have.  Thessalonians 5:18.  
  • A godly motive would be to do all for the glory of God, I Corinthians 10:31.  

Staying at home and managing it well is the God-given major ministry for the wife.  It is where she must be focused.  

  • Don't you think it is wiser for a wife to stay home and take care of her family?  
  • Is it of no value to you as a mother to bring up your children in the "discipline and instruction of the Lord."  Ephesians 6:4
A godly wife is one that works heartily as unto the Lord, Colossians 3:23.  She is a hard worker, a good and efficient wife and mother.  There is no room in her life for laziness, wasting time.  If she is wasting her time indulging herself in activities such as reading, watching TV, computer networking, lying in bed most of the day, or such, she must repent of her laziness.  I am confident that God would help her become more self-disciplined.  Let us take to heart the Truths of the Proverbs about the lazy person versus the self-disciplined person:

 The Lazy Person

The Self-Disciplined Person
“How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?   Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:   So shall thy poverty come as a robber, and thy want as an armed man.”  Proverbs 6:9-11                                
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; Consider her ways, and be wise:  Which having no chief, Overseer, or ruler, provideth her bread in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”  
Proverbs 6:6-8
“But he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.”  Proverbs 10:5b           
“He that gathereth in summer is a wise son.”  Proverbs 10:5a                                  
“The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting.”  Proverbs 12:27a
“But the precious substance of men is to the diligent.”  Proverbs 12:27b                          
“He also that is slack in his work is brother to him that is a destroyer.” 
Proverbs 18:9                  
The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer.”  
Proverbs 30:25          
“Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and the idle soul shall suffer hunger.”  
Proverbs 19:15 
 “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth food to her household, and their task to her maidens.”  Proverbs 31:15  
“I went by the field of the sluggard, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, The face thereof was covered with nettles, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.  Then I beheld, and considered well; I saw, and received instruction:  Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so shall thy poverty come as a robber, and thy want as an armed man.”  
Proverbs 24:30-34                                        
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” 
Proverbs 31:27 

There are some wives who are perfectionists.  They overwork themselves, making everyone in the family miserable.  Let us be careful and not fall in that trap.  Let us not make idols in our heart but instead let us set our heart on doing everything for the glory of God.

Knowing what God has declared about an excellent wife, let us use her example as an inspiration and affirmation to us.  Let us learn from this excellent wife to be diligent, faithful, and godly wives. Remember that we portray God to the world by the way we behave as wives and mothers.  Let us never think that our role as godly mothers and wives is of no value.  It is of much value to our God.

Consider the following comparison of Ruth, a godly woman, and the Proverbs 31 Woman:

Devoted to her family  
 Ruth 1:15-18     
 Proverbs 31:10-12, 23
Delighted in her work  
 Ruth 2:2        
 Proverbs 31:13
Diligent in her labor 
 Ruth 2:7, 17,23        
 Proverbs 31:14-21, 24, 27
Diligent in her godly speech 
 Ruth 2:10,13         
 Proverbs 31:26
Dependent on God   
 Ruth 2:12       
 Proverbs 31:25b, 30
Dressed with care    
 Ruth 3:3         
 Proverbs 31:22, 25a
Discreet with men     
 Ruth 3:6-13       
 Proverbs 31:11, 12, 23
Delivered blessings    
 Ruth 4:14-15      
 Proverbs 31:28-29

Consider the following contrast:

The Immoral Woman

The Excellent (Godly) Woman
She is described in Proverbs 1-9
Described in Proverbs 31
She is lewd, Proverbs 6:24; 2:17       
She is loyal, Proverbs 31:11
She is a home breaker, Proverbs 7                
She is a homemaker, Proverbs 31
She is easy to find, Proverbs 7:10-12     
She is a rare gem, hard to find, Proverbs 31:10
She is cheap, Proverbs 30:20       
She is precious, Proverbs 31:10 
She has outer beauty (surface attraction) Proverbs 6:25 
She has inner beauty, Proverbs 31:30; I Peter 3:4
She works with her mouth (lively lips, but no life) Proverbs 21:9, 19; 25:24, etc.  
She works with her hands (a righteous life of loving deeds)  Proverbs 31
She is religious, Proverbs 7:14             
She is upright before God, Proverbs 31:30 
She is outside the home, Proverbs 7:11-12    
She abides in the home, Proverbs 31:27
She does her husband nothing but harm and evil, Proverbs 2:17
She does her husband good, Proverbs 31:12
She is on the loose at night, Proverbs 7:9,18                        
She rests at night in order to rise up early, Proverbs 31:15
She kills her victims, Proverbs 7:23             
She blesses her family, Proverbs 31:28
She lives by lust, Proverbs 7:10
She lives by love, Proverbs 31:20


II.  BEING CONTENT

So far we have studied and considered many things a wife can do "She looketh well to the ways of her household."  But there are also many things a prudent wife must be careful not to do which are of great importance.  She should have a merry heart.  She should manage her household well, and wisely.  She must learn to manage wisely the finances of  her household, especially when they are always limited.  A crucial way to honor God and help our husbands is to be cautious, careful not to covet what others have.  It is to learn to be content with what God has provided us, given us.
“All the days of the afflicted are evil; but he that is of a cheerful heart hath a continual feast.”  Proverbs 15:15
If you find yourself among those women who often complain about her family's lowly financial state; and how she unfairly must "do without" because her husband "cannot support the family acceptably, adequately."  Then you are behaving in a way that is dishonorable to God and an attack upon your husband's ego.  Why?  Simply, because of your downcast, disheartened and ungrateful attitude of heart.  And you must repent of it!

Sadly, I know many women, even sisters in Christ, who are constantly discontent and unhappy because they have to live with tight finances and cannot afford to have what their heart desires. Tension starts to rule and invade their homes.  They are sad and their faces of discontent always reflect suffering.  They think that God should act on their behalf.  Instead, there are those women who have, from a merry heart, learned to be content with their physical surroundings.  They are not carnal minded. They live for Christ and His rule, eternal life.  So they bravely smile and refuse to show their discontent.

  • They have learned that discontentment is not a product of circumstances, but rather it is the state of the soul.  They have remembered that, “…  he that is of a cheerful heart hath a continual feast.”  Proverbs 15:15
  • They have the same mind as Paul, “… for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.”  Philippians 4:11.
  • They have learned, “…content with such things as ye have.”   Hebrews 13:5 
  • They have learned, “But godliness with contentment is great gain:  for we brought nothing into the world, for neither can we carry anything out; but having food and covering we shall be therewith content.”  Timothy 6:6-8.  
  • They have learned that practice makes perfect.  Why not practice having a merry and thankful heart?  
  • They smile at the future.  
  • They have learned to count and appreciate their blessings.  “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to the which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.”  Colossians 3:15.  
  • They have learned joy, peace, and long-suffering, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23
  • They press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God, “Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14.  
  • They have learned not to be anxious over nothing, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6.  
  • Finally, they have learned that thanksgiving produces joy.

It is vital to learn and understand with prudence that when the family finances are tight the wife must not let herself feel poor, no matter how little money she may have.  In Bible words, feeling poor is a state of mind, an attitude of the heart.  It has nothing to do with money.  It is a poisonous symptom because it is focused only on material gain, money, the lack of it rather than on God.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture today where many people are not content with what they have. Even when they live in fabulous houses, they still think it is not much, not enough.  They seem to be ashamed of what they have.  They still feel poor.  Is it a sin to be poor?  What is wrong or shameful about poverty?  This is sad!  We must deny ourselves that pitiful feeling of poverty.  Christians are rich!  We must value and appreciate the blessings that God has bestowed on us and feel rich. Consider some of the many blessings:

  • A good and godly husband, wife and children.
  • Good health.
  • The freedom to worship God.
  • The Gospel of Christ.
  • Our redemption.
  • The hope of eternal life.
  • The freedom to home educate our children.
  • Air to breathe.
  • Water to drink.
  • Food to eat.
  • The everlasting Word of God.
  • And most of all our Lord and Savior:
    • Who redeemed us.
    • Who cares for us.
    • Who sympathizes with our weaknesses.
    • And Who has sworn to never forsake us.  
If you have any of these many blessings, then you are more than rich.

“The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich; And he addeth no sorrow therewith.”  
Proverbs 10:22.
Remember that the greatest men to have ever walked this earth lived in poverty!  The apostle wrote,

“Who can separate us from the love of Christ?  Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we more than victorious through Him who loved us.  ”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Even as it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  
Romans 8:35-37

  • Gratefulness
Being grateful and thankful is the key to spiritual victory.  Joy is the result of a thankful heart. A thankful heart is the product of a person who chooses to always give thanks no matter what the circumstances.  It is the person who never compares himself to other people but always to Christ.  It is the heart that realizes he is rich beyond measure because he is a child of God and that in Him he finds His portion.  It is the heart that is always looking for reasons to be content and give thanks.


IV.  ACKNOWLEDGING AND APPRECIATING GOD'S LOVINGKINDNESS

David once said:
"Blessed be the Lord, For He has made marvelous His loving kindness to me in a besieged city."  Psalm 31:21

There is nothing more critical than finding oneself in a besieged city (strong city).  It is as bad as one's circumstances can get.  Yet, David acknowledges God's loving kindness toward him.  God heard his crying prayer for deliverance.  He made David aware of His love and kindness for him.

  • Are we aware or do we acknowledge God's loving kindness toward us?  
  • Can we fathom the depth of His love for us?  Have we forgotten Romans 8:38-39?  
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

We as children of God must acknowledge that our Father in heaven is the One Who provides for us wives through our husbands.  However, it is not always a simple thing to do.  Why?  Because there are some husbands who are not working hard like they are supposed to in order to provide for their families.  Yet, we as wives must be careful not to reproach them or complain about them.  Although, it is difficult and stressful, we must accept our circumstances whatever they are.  We must trust that God is the One in control over all.  That is not to say there is nothing we can do to help our circumstances.  Consider what we can do instead of nagging, blaming and throwing a temper tantrum.  We must have more faith and trust in our God.

  • We Can Pray Diligently
The first thing we can do when we find ourselves in such circumstances is to pray fervently.  Don't underestimate the power there is in prayer.  Our Lord has the power to do anything He pleases.  YES, He can even mold, change, and transform the heart of our husbands.  Nothing is too difficult for Him when one prays with faith.  We must pray for one another, especially for our husbands.

"Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."  James 5:16
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."  Philippians 4:6
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."  
 I Peter 5:6-7

When our husbands see us working cheerfully and hard, perhaps even struggling to make ends meet, this may inspire them to work even harder.  Nagging and demeaning him will certainly not inspire him.

  • We Must Accept that God is in Control
As wives we must guard ourselves against the terrible habit of blaming our hard working husbands for the lack of finances or funds.  Unfortunately, many wives have a way of blaming their husbands for all circumstances when in fact this might be God's will for us.  Consider the following text:

"Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, 'Give me children, or else I die.' Then Jacob’s anger burned against Rachel, and he said, 'Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?'"  
Genesis 30:1-2

Some wives have the pitiful tendency of blaming their husbands for everything that goes wrong, even their own failures and shortcomings, regardless of whether it is his fault or not.  It is very sad but all too common.   We are natural blame-shifters and have been from the very start, back in the Garden of Eden.  Do you remember what Adam and Eve did after they disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit?

"And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?'  The man said, 'The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.'  Then the Lord God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate."'  Genesis 3:11-13

Not only did they shift the blame but they also attempted to be independent of God.  They wanted to be the ones in control of things.  Sadly, we also have the terrible tendency to blame others for things that they are nor responsible for.  We must repent if we don't want to be condemned by God.

  • We Must Spend Carefully
When a family runs out of money before the end of the month, maybe the root of the problem is that they are spending beyond what they can afford.  They are spending too much.   Maybe the husband is careless and lacks restraint in spending money.  Maybe he is wasteful and desperately needs to be more careful.  His wife can encourage him to be thriftier, frugal.  If this is where you find yourself, then I advise you to pray about it.  Why not ask God to help your husband be wiser in the way he spends the family's resources.  This is better than scolding him or lecturing him for his failures.  I guarantee you this will only make things worse.  Be wise and pray!

What if the culprit is you!  In a world where the internet has made spending much easier, many women tend to shop and be extravagant online.  The internet, buying online, can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.  Why?  Because we are inclined to shop more from the comfort of our home. We feel at ease buying whatever our hearts desire!  Be wise and be careful!  Don't use your liberties to hinder others, especially your loved ones.  Why?  Because it is very easy to get into the habit of spending too much money.  We are tempted from every angle and encouraged to spend extravagantly out of control.  It is more difficult to get into the habit of not spending money than spending money.  

Instead, why don't you ask yourself:
  • Is it worth it?  
  • Can you live without it?  
  • Can you make it or make it do?  
  • Can you swap something for it?  
  • Can you buy it used?  
  • Can you buy it on sale?  
  • Can you cook it yourseself?  It always helps to cook your own meals at home instead of eating out or buying fast food all the time.  Just think of how much money you can save, especially if you have a large family.  Making your own things is much cheaper and of greater benefit for the whole family.  

Those of us who are on a limited budget, must learn ways to be frugal, thrifty and good bargainers. We should not pay full price until we have shopped around to find the best price.  We are commanded by our Lord to be good stewards of the money that He has entrusted to us.  

Remember always, that God is providing for you through your husband.  Whatever his earnings, it is all God's provision for you.  Therefore, you as a wise wife, must learn to manage your household in such a way that you can afford to live on his income.  Don't forget, this is one of the important ways you can help him as his help meet.


V.   GUARDING OUR HEARTS AGAINST COVETOUSNESS

As wives who claim to be godly and wise, we must learn to be extremely careful about comparing ourselves and our circumstances to that of others who have more money or better things than we do. Why?  Because this can extremely affect the family's budget.  Let us be wise and watch out for covetousness.  It is shocking to me that most people don't recognize it or see it as a big problem.   For most people, especially in our country, being discontent and unhappy with what they have seems to be entirely natural and harmless.   They are disastified with what they have and want more.  There is a difference between coveting and just wanting something though.  

Coveting is wanting what the other one has when we can't have it or must not have it.  For example, if I want someone’s house, car or possessions.  This is wrong, a sin, because it means that you are not content or satisfied with what God has given to you.  It is like demanding God to give you what He has given others.  I know to some, this might not seem too critical or serious, but we must heed the warnings given to us about covetousness and the other sins related to it.  “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  Colossians 3:5

Notice that covetousness is mentioned in this text along with sexual immorality, idolatry, impurity, passion, idolatry and evil desires.  It is crystal clear that we have been given a serious warning about coveting.  Let us not take this admonition lightly.  Why?   Simply, because this terrible tendency displeases our Lord.  Because with this attitude of the heart, we are not acknowledging Him as our God; the One Who provides for our needs.  Do you know that when you covet, you are challenging God's right to bestow His gifts on us as He sees fit?  What is even worse, we are not acknowledging His protective care, providence, goodness and wisdom in what He has given us and how He has blessed us.  This is serious! Take heed and do not sin!

If we are not content or satisfied with what He provides for us, then we are finding fault with our Almighty God.  We are even despising and arguing with Him!  How dare we!  
“Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?  Let him who reproves God answer it.” Job 40:2  
To argue and find fault with the Almighty, our Father, is a shameful and terrible thing for us to do, the undeserving recipients of His grace.  Let me remind you that God has adopted us with loving kindness into His family.  Is this not enough reason to be content and satisfied?  It is certainly more than the portion we deserve.  Let us be grateful and honor the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Let us honor Him as ruler over our lives.  Let us acknowledge Him for His infinite provisions for us and let us also trust Him to orchestrate our circumstances as He sees fit for us.  Let this sink in deeply!

In Luke 12:15 our Lord and Savior warns us about covetousness:

"Then He said to them, 'Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.'"
Why not consider Deuteronomy 30:10-20 when we are wondering what our lives consist of?

"If you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.  'For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’  Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’  But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.  'See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it.  But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it.  I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,  by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.'"
  • Are there things you are coveting in your heart rather than just wanting?  
  • What does your covetousness portray about your view of God?  
  • What is the remedy for covetousness?

VI.   BECOMING RICH IN GODLINESS

As Christians, we are wealthier than anyone else.  It has nothing to do with money and material riches.  As those who have been redeemed, with grateful hearts for receiving God's loving kindness, His grace, must strive to become rich in godliness with contentment:
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” I Timothy 6:6
It is only then that we are going to be able to understand and acknowledge that our God is in control of our measure of prosperity.  We choose to believe and trust in Him; being content with what, when and how He provides for us.  It simply means that we are no longer blaming our husbands or pressuring them.  Understanding and acknowledging that God is in control of our circumstances in life, honors and glorifies Him.  Moreover, it will help us to honor our husbands the way God has commanded wives to honor them.


VII.   HOUSEKEEPING:  ARE YOU A MARY OR A MARTHA?

When it comes to housekeeping we must be realistic.  We must be careful not to allow our expectations in housekeeping to become unrealistic.  The standards that our mothers and grandmothers held may not be the most practical ones for us.   In past generations most women stayed at home alone while their husbands went to work and their children went to school.  Many of these women had time to be meticulous housekeepers.  We must be realistic and not expect to live up to their standard of housekeeping.  Let me explain.  Often women who bear hardly any children, perhaps two, are the most critical ones about keeping a meticulous home.  Other women who have several children, perhaps 7, and cannot afford to send them to private schools often educate them at home.  There are women who think that in order to be a good homemaker, we must work hard constantly at keeping our houses clean.  I have nothing against order and cleanliness, but it bothers me that they lay such heavy burdens on the backs of mothers that the Bible, the Word of God, has not commanded.  


  • Is there anywhere in the Bible that demands a clean house?  
  • Is there a command?  If so, I would like to know. 
  • Is there anywhere in the Bible where it says that wives have to change bed sheets every day or clean up the kitchen immediately after meals?  
  • What if I have been busy teaching my children all day, cooking and managing my home and find no time to do the dishes the night before?  
  • Am I going to be condemned because you make it a command or law where God has not?  

Let us be realistic and not hypocritical.  Perhaps you find it easy to do all this because you only had one or two children.  You do not home educate several children all at once.  So who are you to be God and sit in His seat?  Be careful when you judge lest you be judged and be condemned by God!

I am going to be crystal clear here.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say how a wife ought to clean or to keep her house.  This is something a wife chooses with a cheerful heart to do for herself and her family.  Of course, common sense tells us that our houses need to be kept clean and organized enough in order to make them healthy and comfortable places to live and to make life easier.
As ambassadors of Christ, our duty as wives is to keep our homes well enough.  It means that the exterior must look neat with good “curb appeal” all the time.  But the interior is the private domain of the family.  The standard of housekeeping within our homes is something that each wife should work out with her husband.  If my husband loves to have a home that is spotless and in perfect order...... I will try to do my best to honor him and please him.  Why not ask your husband about his priorities for your time.  If he does not have any preference and wants you to keep house according to your own discretion, then so be it.  Remember the Mary and Martha principle:
“ But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’  But the Lord answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things;  but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.’”  Luke 10:40-42.

Imagine if we as mothers spend most of our time cleaning obsessively as well as decorating, we are going to have very little time to teach and train our children to love and fear God, to tremble at His Word.  I guarantee you that we have not chosen the good portion.  To me as a godly mother, the spiritual is of much greater importance than the physical. I know many women who work and become obsessive with house cleaning and make the lives of their loved ones a total misery. They nag and nag when they are cleaning.  Why?  I don't know!  Let's let this sink deeply!

There were many days when my four children were small that I was not able to get through my "to do list."  Sometimes, I didn't get to cross off one thing.  I had to sigh at the end of the day, saying in my disappointment:  "Today I did not get a thing done."  I still homeschool and have children at home, so at times I have that same feeling.  But one thing I acknowledge with all of my heart is that I was given a privilege by God to reprove, honor, admonish, instruct and execute all of God's judgments for the oppressed.  In my daily routine, God gives me the opportunity to chastise, comfort, encourage, wipe away tears, apply Band-Aids and in doing such things I am making disciples for Christ who will bear abundant fruit for His glory for all eternity.  I did not get the floor scrubbed nor did I write a thank you note to a relative or anyone else, but one thing I know and have learned is that God has entrusted my children to me to discipline and train them in the Lord.  This to me is of much greater importance than scrubbing floors....  I admit that cleaning is necessary but not more important than shaping the hearts of our children.  Don't get me wrong here!  I am not devaluing housework. Scrubbing floors is kingdom work.  And whatever our hands find to do we must do it heartily as unto the Lord.  Doing housework is an important service to our families and so unto the Lord.  To me, it is just not as important as making sure that I am meeting my children's needs, especially the spiritual ones of the heart, the shaping and molding of their hearts.  As godly mothers, our job is to discover and determine the highest priorities.  Once we determine those high priorities, then we must meet whatever may be the most pressing need of the moment.

During those years when our children are still small, we need to find a level of housekeeping that is reasonable, acceptable, clean and orderly but that will not eat up too much of our time when there are other more important things.  We must pray and ask God to direct us.  It is during these years that our children are still too small and cannot help us that we find ourselves frustrated doing the bulk of the housework ourselves.  It is then that we must be realistic and streamline things.  Why not teach and train your children when they are still small a system of housekeeping that would work for the entire family?  This would not only bless them but you also.  But we must take the time and trouble to train them.  They will be delighted to help!

Remember that Jesus told Martha that one thing is necessary.  

  • What thing, do you think, Jesus is referring to?  
  • What do you think must be the most important thing we must do each day?  
  • How can you be more of a "Mary" rather than a "Martha?"  
  • Which one do you prefer?  
  • The one that gives you eternal life or the one that does not?  It is all up to you!

VIII.   THE PROBLEM WITH EXPECTATIONS

Although the home should be a place of refuge from the pressures of life, it often becomes a place of frequent battles over the management of the household.  We strive over the time and money devoted to interior decoration, luxuries, as well as the allocation of chores that each spouse demands of the other.

We can blame the feminist movement for sowing much of this discord.  They have succeeded in circulating the idea widely that marriage is okay as long as it is completely egalitarian:  Husbands and wives are expected to split everything fifty-fifty.  This includes the cooking, the cleaning, the wage earning, the yard work, the diaper changing.  The list is long!  As a terrible result of all this, the husbands and wives have become petty bureaucrats, trying to keep endless accounts, constantly disappointing, getting on each other's nerves and accusing each other.  Respect and honor are lost. Egalitarianism has damaged the way stay-at-home wives look at things.  Let us not be fools deceiving ourselves into adding expectations which are obviously not founded on Scriptural commands.  These will only cause trouble.  Let us be wise and aware!

Today we live in a culture where modern expectations are devastating the family.  One expectation that is destroying our future is that the wife as well as the husband must have a job and earn wages. What this modern culture does not realize is that when a wife does get a job, earning wages, she is in the position of trying to fill her husband's role, be the man providing for the family.  Not only is she expected to do all this but she must also bear the children and manage her household.  The consequences are devastating and enormous, for both the marriage and the children.  They ignore the foundational verses that lay out the role of wives.  The older women are commanded to teach the younger that they should be "keepers at home."

“That they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”  Titus 2:4-5

The Word of God is crystal clear about what God demands of wives and of marriage.  That they be homemakers, keepers of their home, managing their homes well so that the Message of God be not blasphemed.  Husbands and wives must not demand things that the Bible has not said that we are entitled to do.  These expectations are damaging and can be the seeds of strife.  To demand and expect our husbands to do the laundry, to take out the trash for instance.  Maybe your dad always did these things but it does not mean that we are to impose and assume that our husbands will or that we can justify being angry at him when he does not meet your expectations.  As godly women, we must rid ourselves of petty expectations like these.  I guarantee you there will be less friction between you and your husband.  Another example of these petty expectations is for the wife to presume that there must always be a certain amount of fuss over birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day and so on.  To presume it has to always be her way or nothing, demanding a certain standard of living.  It is wrong to expect this out of our husbands and it is one of the worst troublemakers in modern marriages. Consider what the Word of God says:
“But having food and covering we shall be therewith content.”  I Timothy 6:6-8

We must resolve in our heart to learn to be content.  We must acknowledge all that we have, even if is little, descends from above, from God.  He has given you all these blessings and intends for you to have them.  Godliness with contentment is the source of true wealth, enriching the home with peace and joy.  Let that sink deep in your heart.

I leave you with a few questions to meditate on:

  • Do you feel disappointed because of your husband's failure to fulfill your expectations?   
  • Are these expectations what the Word of God says you are entitled to?  
  • What will you do to rid yourself of unbiblical expectations?

CONCLUSION

As godly women, wives, let us pursue the things of God and not the vanity that crowds our heart and soul causing us to forget God's purpose for us.  God created us women to be our husband's helpmeet. God's will for marriage is for husband and wife to walk together hand in hand.  Let us not lose sight that we are heirs together of the grace of life.  Let us not allow other things to rob us of God's plan for us as husband and wife.  Our husbands need us to be their helpmeet, their Queen.  Let us plant seeds that bind us together in our marriages, becoming heirs together.  This starts with us wives because we are the weaker vessel and have the greatest need.  It is our visible need of him, our husband, that awakens him.  Let us pour our life into pleasing our husbands, serving him, nurturing him.  Let us guard Proverbs 31 as our standard of living.  Let the heart of our husband trust in us wives safely so that he may not have need of anything else, “The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain.   She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life.”  Prov. 31:11-12. Without this foundation, our husband can never bond.  When we as wives bond with our husbands, we gain their strength and stability.  As a godly married couple doing God's will, together we can accomplish more than we would ever accomplish when we are standing alone.

Becoming heirs together of the grace of life is God's highest plan for both husband and wife.  It is the great mystery, the pattern of Christ and the church.  The inheritance is God's great blessings:  love, joy, stability, wisdom and balance.  Our God is looking for the godly helpmeet who will honor Him and all His commands, in order to be used as a vessel of blessings.  Sadly, our God has so few willing vessels.  He is an awesome God of blessings and delight.  He is ready and willing to honor those who obey Him and do His will.

As husbands and wives let us put off our old ways of thinking and acting and let us put on new ways which are like those of Christ.  Let us rid ourselves of sinful habits and replace them with righteous habits or patterns.  It is the only antidote that is Biblical for the poisonous sins that we must put off: Ephesians 4:25-32; 5:4,11,18; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 3:8,12-14; Romans 13:12-14.

If you find yourself being a feminist at heart, you must banish that and repent in order to save your family and your soul. Feminism is ugliness and sinful and the sooner it stops, the better. Let’s bring back the gentle, loving, godly and feminine woman in us who is proud to be a woman of God.  Let us embrace dearly our sacred calling as regal women of God.   God's will for us wives is to become godly, excellent wives.  He has provided us with enough wisdom from His Word to teach us to live a godly life and be the godly wife He intends for us to be.  Let us strive to be what God wants us to be.

"Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence."  II Peter 1:3.

We are without excuse... Why?  Because God has richly provided for each Christian wife all that we need to battle against sin and become godly wives, excellent wives.  Thanks be to God that even when we fall short of becoming the excellent wife and excellent husband that He wants us to be, He forgives us, and gives us a second chance.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  I John 1:9.  

The only question that remains is........ Are you willing and ready to begin with God's help? 

“And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.”  I John 5:14

Let us let our God work in our lives,

“And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.   For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”  Romans 8:28-29  

He wants us to be joyful and fulfilled in our role as husbands and wives.  Our God has prepared good works for us as Christian wives and husbands to do,

“ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10  

These good works have eternal worth,
“For we must all be made manifest before the judgment-seat of Christ; that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  II Corinthians 5:10 

Let us then not be afraid,

“As Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose children ye now are, if ye do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.”  I Peter 3:6  

Let us fix our eyes on God rather than on ourselves,

“Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:1-2  

Let us crucify self in order not to sin, Romans 6:6-7.  Let us obey God's will for the wife under the authority of the husband,  I Cor. 11:3; Ephesians 5:23.  God protects us by means of the authority structure He has set up for us.  Let us accept God's protection as wise women.  Let us submit graciously to God's plan of protection for us.  God protects us wives from the influence that the world might have on us, I John 2:16; Satan and his dominion of darkness, Ephesians 6:10-11, 13; and because as women we are more easily deceived, I Timothy 2:12-14, let us submit to God's authority and that of our husband's as well.  Did you know that what is killing the Lord's church today is our homes? It is women and men refusing to build and care for their own homes as God wants them to! We watch in great pain and sorrow as our children disappear into the world for lack of attention from their mothers and fathers.  Think about it!

Man “is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.” I Corinthians 11:7


May we be a crown to our husbands, the monarch of the cradle, and queen of the home.  May we also embrace our sacred calling as regal women of God.  May we also allow His grace to teach us to lay down our lives in service to the Lord and our families—loving and helping our husbands, teaching and training our children, caring for our homes and reaching out the hand of hospitality that we might be able to do a mighty work for Him.  May we die to ourselves so that we may bear much greater fruit.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."  John 12:24

Luci

I leave you with these beautiful words that portray the heart of a faithful wife and mother:


Queen of Her Own Quiet Home

“Hail, woman! Hail, thou faithful wife and mother,
The latest, choicest part of heaven’s great plan.

None fills thy peerless place at home, no other
Helpmeet is found for laboring, suffering man.

Hail, thou home circle, where, at day’s decline,
Her moulding power, her radiant virtues shine!

Not in the church to rule or teach, her place;
Not in the mart of trade, or senate halls;
Not the wild, festive scene is hers to grace;
Not Fashion’s altar her its victim calls;
Not here her field of triumph; but alone...