I woke up this morning to a sweet text message from my husband thanking me and the kids for our patience with him while he is working on his book. Since the book is separate from his work for the church body here, he has to work on it on his day off and very early mornings and late evenings and that means we don’t get to see him very much. On top of that I am swelling up like a blow fish this pregnancy, nauseated around the clock, suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and feeling large and unattractive and stressed.
My husband is like my rock. He is steady and strong. I depend on him a lot, especially when I am overwhelmed. Not having him around has been even harder in these last few weeks of pregnancy (I am due July 22nd) but I wouldn’t have it any other way because I am so excited about this book and how God will use it to strengthen marriages! I am also thankful that it will be done before our little Noah gets here since I also struggle with postpartum depression/anxiety and I will need him even more then.
There is a message out there in modern day Christianity that screams: “You must have a day and time that you ‘invited Jesus into your heart’ to know when you were officially saved.” But according to Christ, what we MUST do is be born again (John 3:3-7). We must be a new creation in which there is evidence of the old passing away and God making all things new. That’s what I want to teach my kids.
I remember at the age of 19 knowing the Holy Spirit was working mightily in my life… calling me out of this world and beckoning me to become a true child of God. I answered His call and I was born again. I never said the sinner’s prayer. I simply repented and turned from my old life to my new life in Christ. I don’t recall an exact time and place that I “officially became a Christian.” But I know that I am born again.
Children are fickle and the bible says foolishness is bound up in their hearts (prov. 22:15). I have been at many vbs programs where the children “come forward and say the sinners prayer” and it’s a lot of the same children that came forward the year before… are they getting saved again? That is one of the dangerous pitfalls in circles that I have seen where the sinner’s prayer is mandatory. So much confidence wrapped up in a few words. This man testifies to those sorts of dangers here. So much confidence wrapped up in a few words.
Scott and I will be married for 10 years this coming August! 10 wonderful, stretching, growing, fun, exhausting, loving years.
Around our anniversary I often contemplate where we are at in our marriage and what I need to work on. We should never stop looking for ways to grow as a spouse and to be more of what God has called us to be.
My anniversary also makes me look at the marriages around me. Especially the ones that have been married many more years than us. They seem to fall into one of two categories: either sweet, comfortable, safe and loving or bitter, apathetic and cold.
We are daily laying the groundwork for what kind of marriage we will have in 5, 10, 20, 30 years. We are deciding daily through our thoughts and actions if we want to grow to be better spouses or bitter spouses.
How would you describe your marriage? Is it cold? Are you more like roommates than lovers? Do you offer a safe place for your spouse to come to when discouraged or hurting? Are you united, living as one flesh? Are you bitter and angry or content and thankful?
None of us WANTS to be in a bitter marriage but unfortunately many of us find ourselves in one.I want to share with you five things that will help you to not be bitter in your marriage and hate your husband.
5 ways to NOT hate your husband:
1. Remember that marriage was never about you and your happiness.Marriage has always been for something much bigger and greater than your happiness. As we yield to God’s work in our hearts through marriage we are able to be sanctified and become more like Christ. Marriage is for Him and His glory, not you and your wants.
2. Focus on your faults, not his.Too many women are bitter because they take all their husband’s faults/annoying habits and put them under a microscope. They study their husband’s faults like a student studying to become a lawyer. They wake up daily and are irritated before their feet even hit the floor in the morning because their mind is filled with everything their husband does wrong.
3. Don’t try and change him.You know how hard it is to change you right? I mean, how many of us want to be more gentle, more forgiving, have more self-control etc? All of us. We all want to grow and change. If it’s hard for you to make yourself change how much harder is it to change someone else? As much as we want to be in control of our husbands and their behavior, we are not. We are not the Holy Spirit. The less we seek to change our spouse the happier we will be.
The other day on Facebook one of my friends shared a video and the caption read: “‘What did you think when I told you I was gay?’ Some laughs and hugs are shared between fathers and their kids.”
The video was heartwarming and sweet… and filled with the way my flesh would want to respond if my child ever said: “Mom, I’m gay.” But I don’t live by the flesh.
“So I say walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary the flesh. They are opposed to one another.” Galatians 5:16-17
You see, it breaks my heart to picture having that conversation with my child because my flesh wants to respond like these parents did saying things like: “Just be who you are.” or “I always knew you were gay, I’m glad you are finally coming out and letting everyone officially know.” or “It’s your choice.”
But here’s the deal, if my child came to me and said: “Mom, I’m a liar and I am going to fully accept that and embrace it because it’s how I was born.” or “Mom, I am a thief, always have been always will be and there’s no sense fighting it any longer.” or “Mom, I’m a drunk. I crave alcohol day and night and I’m tired of struggling against it. It’s time for me to come out as the drunkard I am and be proud of it!” If one of my children said anything like that to me I would be crushed because what they are saying to me is: “Mom, I am no longer going to fight my flesh or live by the Spirit. I am going to fully gratify my fleshly desires and everything it craves. I no longer will die to self and seek to walk by the Spirit. I am choosing to not live for Christ but for myself. ”
I have been wearing a head covering to “public worship” for about 4 years now. I have been a Christian for 13 years. I was not raised Christian and I definitely wasn’t raised around women who wore head coverings.
When I became a Christian I remember reading 1 Cor. 11 and wondering: “Why don’t women still wear head coverings? If God says it is dishonorable for women to have their head uncovered (verse 5) then shouldn’t what He considers dishonorable be important to us?” The fact that it was in the new testament carried a lot of weight with me too in that it wasn’t under the old covenant, this was a new covenant guideline.
The argument I often/almost always heard was: “it’s a cultural thing.”Since when is a Christian called to do what culture dictates? Don’t we allow the Word of God to direct our lives/decisions?
I moved to WA about 5 years ago. When we came there was one family here that had a couple of the ladies wearing one. It intrigued me. So I asked them about it and how they came to that conviction. Fast forward a few months and I am on the phone with a friend that went to a church where there was a woman teaching pastor. I asked her: “How can you choose to go to a church where a woman is teaching men when the bible clearly teaches that shouldn’t happen?” (1 Tim. 2:12) Her response: “I’ll give you the same reason that you would give me for why you aren’t wearing a head covering, it’s cultural.”Oops. Can’t argue with that.She was letting the current culture, which says women should be able to teach men, dictate that it was okay for women to teach men just as I was letting the current culture decide whether or not I needed to wear a head covering. I was convicted and on a mission to figure out once and for all if God wanted women to wear head coverings and if He did, I would do it.
Let’s look through 1 Cor. 11 together. Some of the information here was taken from a helpful website you can see by clicking here.
“For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Cor. 7:4-5)
When you got married you signed your body over to your husband (see passage above). When you said “I do” to your husband you were also saying: I give you authority over my body. This is yet another reason for you single ladies to be VERY PICKY about who you say “Till death do we part” to.Single ladies, be warned,who you marry will have authority over your body.
The passage goes on to say: “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a LIMITED TIME, that you may devote yourselves to prayer….” Let’s dissect that a bit. Notice the first part which pertains to the title of this post: “Do not deprive one another”. More often than not, this is an issue for the man feeling deprived and not the woman (I do know of some cases personally where it’s the other way around, but by and large men feel deprived more often than women). The bible COMMANDS US to not deprive our husbands so when we deprive them we are sinning. “…except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer.” I have yet to see a couple abstain to pray. Usually it’s just the wife depriving her husband because she doesn’t want to give of herself to him sexually. I have not heard of a married couple coming to an “agreement for a limited time” so that they can devote themselves to prayer.
“Things were so much better and safer in the ‘good ole days’.”
I am not sure this is true. Have you read the book of Judges? Genesis? Have you read history books?
I think the issue is that our hearts were not made to know about such sadness and sin and death happening all over the world all at once.
Imagine you didn’t have a cell phone, the Internet, home phone, television, or computer. Imagine you just lived in your town, on your block, or out in your field with only knowledge of local town gossip or tragedy (picture Little House on the Prairie). How much “terrible news” would you be bombarded with daily?
I can tell you what I would have heard so far today if I didn’t have access to all those electronics/the news: *crickets chirping*
Scott and I really struggled with the decision on how many children to have. I think it is a bigger decision than deciding who you will marry. Let me explain. Who you marry will affect many (especially yourself) but how many children you choose to have determines if someone is born! And if you decide to let that someone be born then you are deciding for generations of others to be born! That is insane. That is scary. That is sobering. And yet, so many flippantly decide to stop having children because, quite frankly, “they’re DONE!”.
I remember vividly standing in the kitchen doing dishes when Scott and I were in the middle of deciding to have a vasectomy reversal or not and I said to the Lord: “I just don’t feel like I am wise enough to decide if and when life should come into this world.” I also felt this resounding statement in my mind: “Katie, never make a decision based on fear.” That was a turning point for me…
I have what is called hyperemesis, you can read about it here. Basically I am ridiculously sick throughout my entire pregnancy. I puke… A LOT and I am always nauseous, up till the moment they come out (I puke even through out labor). This is difficult. When Scott and I got married we said we would let God plan our family… that was before I had ever been pregnant and experienced what felt like death… ironically while my body was producing life!
After that first pregnancy I was terrified to get pregnant ever again! “I can’t keep doing this!” I thought. “How am I going to home school and have kids back to back and be sick 24 hours a day?!”
After three very difficult, sick pregnancies Scott and I decided (mostly after me nagging him to death) that it would be best for us to stop having children and look into adoption instead. So a few short months after our third baby was born Scott had a vasectomy.
A few months after the surgery this scene from Back to the Future popped into my mind… oh how I tried to forget it… but I couldn’t… I just kept thinking of the children that were being erased out of our family photo because of our decision.
About 5 months later I found out we were pregnant again!!! We were both so joy-filled and yet I was also so scared. My pregnancies were terrible, even landing me in the hospital because of dehydration from constant puking. I was resolved though to trust God and research more on how to combat hyperemesis.
#1 Forget that your pastor is a sinner. Yep. Dwell on the fact that he is not perfect as often as possible and make sure to meditate on all his faults.
#2 Forget that the entire leadership is made up of sinners. While you are thinking about all your pastor’s weaknesses be sure to look for all the weaknesses in all the leadership. Criticize their every decision and talk to others, but don’t ever go to them with your concerns.
#3 Forget that your brothers and sisters in Christ are all sinners. This is a really important one. Go to church expecting everyone to be perfect. Get really upset when someone doesn’t notice you or someone offends you. Then leave the church and tell people you don’t go to church because it’s filled with hypocrites.
#4 Forget you are a sinner. Like numbers one through three instruct, focus on everyone else’s faults, but do your best to forget about anything you do wrong. And since you’re perfect nobody should ever wrong you. Expect the most out of everyone except yourself and get really angry when people don’t live up to your standards.