Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 8

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 8 – Finally! hair

Hair: in submission

The aged women… teachers of good things…That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5

This is my final blog post in the Spiritual Health Spa series, I hope you have enjoyed them. In part 1 we talked about when you go to a health spa they want to make you look fabulous, they want to send you out looking good so they look good. When people ask you where you get your nails, skin care, massage, makeup, or hair done, the spa wants you to “glorify” their name so others will go to them also. Do you see the connection? When we, as ladies, behave in a way that is wise, loving, pure, good, diligent, calm, others will notice, and they will “glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:6), because we are His children and are called by His name.

I chose our hair to correlate to “obedient to their own husbands”. The word “obedient” means subject to, or ranking one self under, or submission, and as a wife, this is probably the hardest, but if we ever truly get it, it is the most rewarding, as is the case in most difficult things. The Bible tells us that a woman’s hair is her glory, and the woman is the glory of man (1 Corinthians 11:7,11, 15). I don’t know about you, but my hair is a cause of constant anguish to me, and I have 3 daughters who seem to feel the same way. I can be dressed nicely, feel good, makeup looking good, but if I think my hair looks bad – frizzy, greasy, grey roots showing, or just doesn’t look ‘right’ – I feel self-conscious and insecure about my appearance. We go to a lot of trouble to make our hair look good, don’t we? Washing, blow-drying, curling, straightening, highlighting, lowlighting, coloring, bleaching, etc., because it is important to us that our hair looks good and so we look and feel good. Likewise, we should go to a lot of trouble to be sure that our relationship to our husbands looks ‘right’.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself;and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33).

God created us and He knows us, He knows what the wife needs, and He knows what the husband needs. So he tells the husband to LOVE his wife, a woman’s primary need. He then tells the wife to honor, and respect her husband – why?? Because that is a man’s primary need. Husbands have a big job to do – he will be held accountable by the LORD for his family because he IS the head of the household. Many times he will feel inadequate, like he’s not doing a good job (here’s a secret for you: most men are very insecure), and he NEEDS his wife to be behind him, encouraging him, and honoring him. SO, his greatest need is to be respected and honored because of his position, even if he is not doing a good job in your eyes, STILL respect him, serve him, respond to him, because God tells us to. He will rise to your good opinion of him if you keep encouraging him, but if you nag and criticize he will give up and not even try, and you will be the contentious woman that proverbs 21:19 & 27:15 speaks of. So, be his greatest cheerleader, tell him you believe in him, tell him to try again, and that next time he will do better. Here’s a sobering thought: The way you submit to the authority of your husband is the example and standard that will be reflected in your children’s submission to all the authorities they come in contact with in their lives.

WHY???

What does the very end of our passage in Titus 2 say? “…that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Blasphemy is the opposite of glorifying God. This verse is pretty clear that if we do not teach and do these things the Word of God will be blasphemed, and God will not be glorified. Our lives, our testimonies, are advertisements for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Have you heard the comments: “She calls herself a Christian, but have you seen the way she treats her husband /children, or the way she talks/dresses?” Let that not be said of one of us. We live in a fallen world, and it seems to be spiralling downward rapidly (see Romans 1:21-32 for a description of the world today!). In this day there are many people trying to find peace and completeness in so many ways, these people are deceived by Satan and need to see that the answer lies in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). They need to see that Christian marriage WORKS, that they will never be happy being a homosexual, transsexual, bisexual, or whatever else they come up with to try to fill the void. So we have a HUGE responsibility to show them that JESUS IS THE ANSWER, and that even though Christians are still sinful, our marriages reflect Christ and the Church and so glorify God.

Now, one more thing…    I would just like to say that the Bible does not tell you to obey if your husband tells you to do something that is a sin against God, because “we ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), you should still respectfully plead your case, and seek help. Go to a godly woman you trust in your church, or your pastor and seek counsel. If your husband is abusive to you or your children – Get help! You do not have to live in a situation where your life or your children’s lives are in danger. Seek help for yourself and for your husband, if he is being abusive, he needs help too! Whatever you are going through, God knows and God cares, and He is faithful and will “…make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). We can trust His promise to work all things together for our good and His glory when we love Him and trust Him and do things His way (Romans 8:28).

I hope that you will see this as a challenge, dear Christian sister, to make your marriage a light in a dark world, and a testimony for the Lord that glorifies His name, as it has challenged me. With His grace and His Holy Spirit’s enablement, it is possible! I hope you feel refreshed, relaxed, and revived!!

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Our hair may be our glory, but God is glorified by our testimony

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Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 7

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 7: Light house

Keepers at home, good: Muscles & Feet

That they may teach the young women…to be…keepers at home, good...” (Titus 2:4,5)

This is the second to last in our Spiritual Health Spa series based on what the aged women are to teach the younger women in Titus 2:1-5. So far we have talked about loving God, being sober, loving our Husband, loving our Children, and being discreet, and chaste. Today we will talk about being “keepers at home”, which I related to our muscles, and “good” which I related to our feet.

We walk, we run, we do pilates, aerobics, and all kinds of exercise to try to keep our muscles in shape, we know that if you don’t use it, you lose it! A woman who is a “keeper at home” makes working in her home her priority and joy, and she works hard at it. Of course no one lives in a ‘model home’ – our house never looks perfect because it is lived in, but, it should be presentable, orderly, and well-kept. If we stay on top of it, we can be hospitable, and not ashamed of our house when visitors “drop in”, and so we can focus on them and not on ourselves, and how dirty our house is. I am by no means a Greek scholar, but I have learned that the word Keeper” in the Greek (ergon) means “to be a worker, or be employed”. Have you heard of ergonomics”? It is the study of the efficiency of the workplace, and the Greek word, oikosmeans “home” (funny, I thought it was a Greek yoghurt, haha!).

Here are some areas that we should be good workers:

At home: As wives and mothers, we are not a housekeeper, but a HOME keeper working at home is our job, so: We are not to be lazy. We are to do whatever we do heartily as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). The world has the philosophy that it is a low calling in life to be “just a homemaker”, but actually it is the highest calling there is, to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in a home that is a haven for them to run to from the chaos of the world, and help them be successful in God’s eyes. YOU are the only one that can be the wife of your husband and the mother of your children, don’t sacrifice that for anything — working  outside the home, sports, entertainment, hobbies, or even serving in the church, and I know we have to do these things, but don’t make those things a priority above your family. God is more concerned with our hearts, diligent work pleases Him, so we should be content serving our home and family, there are many ways to make it fun, and interesting. Check out Pinterest!

 Like Jesus: The Lord Jesus had a job to do while on earth, and He is our example. He said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work(John 4:34). The word “work” there is the same Greek word (ergon). He made it His whole focus, His whole life was to minister to others (Mark 10:45). The Lord Jesus did nothing to fulfill Himself. The Proverbs 31 woman also did this, the work she did was to benefit her family, and sometimes it took her out of the home. A verse that always convicted me is Proverbs29 :15“…a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.” There are many things we can do to keep our home orderly and organized, have you noticed that disorder and chaos create tension? Shopping lists, prioritized to do lists, calendar – color coded for each family member, plan ahead for needs, and Saturday night set out clothes for Sunday morning.

At hospitality: One thing that has been an ENORMOUS influence on my children has been having missionaries to our home. Often, a missionary will come to the Church, my husband will strike up a conversation with them, and invite them back to our house for a meal (when they have children it is a wonderful time for them to relax while their children play with my kids, or now my built-in babysitters). My first reaction is always – YOU WANT TO WHAT!!!!?? But I have learned that if I just diligently keep the house orderly (there are always dust bunnies and cobwebs somewhere!), I can bring them to my house, keep a stock of food in the freezer or pantry, or order pizza, and we can have a wonderful time of fellowship together that has been PRICELESS in the lives of my children. We are told to “use hospitality one to another without grudging” (1 Peter 4:9), and our husbands may want to do this, but if our home is in chaos, he can’t. If you are single, or even a single mom, you are still to diligently work to keep your house, your room in an orderly manner for the same reasons. We are told to entertain strangers (Hebrews 13:2).

Foot massages feel great, don’t they? Pumice stones gets that rough skin off our heels, pedicures, and toe nail polish makes them look great. So, what’s “good” about feet? Well, try getting anywhere without them! Our face looks toward where we are going (sober), but our feet take us there. We need to abide in Christ, so that our heart is Christs home, and our feet lead us to good works. The Greek word for good is agathas”, which means kind, beneficent, charitable, and sharing. So a young Christian woman should be walking in genuine good works, sharing the Gospel, or the LIGHT! We have a saying in our house, that we often say when we want something that someone else has: “God wants you to share!” (It doesn’t always have the desired response, haha!)

So, here are some good things we should share:

Good Words: Christians are to be known by their love for one another (John 13:34,35), so our words should be kind, not just what we say (discreet), but HOW we say it (Proverbs 31:26), our words should be full of wisdom and kindness. We should put off harsh/sarcastic tones, and put on gentle tones (Proverbs 16:23,24). Beg the Lord to “set a watch on my lips” (Psalm 141:3; 34:13). Have you heard the saying, “LORD, keep your arm around my shoulder, and your hand over my mouth!”, and of course the old,If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say nothing at all!”

Good Deeds: I would like to be like Dorcas (maybe not have her name!). She was “full of good works”(Acts 9:36-42). When she died she was missed so much by the widows she had helped that Peter brought her back to life from the dead! What a testimony!! THEN – many believed on the Lord Jesus because of this – that’s the path I want my feet to walk!! How do you feel about interruptions to your daily routine? Interruptions are often an opportunity to show kindness, too often we react in impatience, but if we are walking in the Spirit, God will use us to minister.

Interruptions are not obstacles to our plan; they are opportunities for us to embrace God’s plan. So, the next time real life comes crashing into your idea that you are “in control,” look for the opportunity to show Christ’s compassion. Instead of being frustrated at the presence of other people, look for the opportunity to reflect the compassion of the Savior.” (Trevin Wax)

Good News: (THE LIGHT) There are two types of people in this world. Saved and yet to be saved. If saved, they are a brother or sister in Christ. If unsaved, the first thing they need is salvation. And, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Our lives should be marked by walking with the Lord and being good and kind, and the kindest thing we can do for another person is share the Gospel with them. What do beautiful feet do? Share the Good News! (Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10:15;). Walk as children of the Light (Ephesians 5:8).

I trust that this has been helpful to you in your walk with the Lord to be a “keeper at home, and good”.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 6

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 6:  Grand Canyon                                                     

Discreet, Chaste – Lips and skin

That they may teach the young women …To be discreet, chaste..” (Titus 2:4,5)

Imagine that you are hiking down the Grand Canyon. It takes about an hour to get to the bottom, the heat is dry, so you don’t sweat, and can easily dehydrate. You finally get to the bottom of canyon, the Colorado River is churning and dirty because it had rained somewhere upstream. You see a stand that promises “FREE WATER”. You can choose: a bottle of pure mountain spring water, OR  a plastic cup and you can kneel down and get water directly from the river. Both are water. Which would you choose? Obviously, the contained, pure water is much more useful to a thirsty hiker than the impure, dirty river water. Likewise, a controlled, pure woman is more useful to a holy God.

(Click these links for the first 4 parts of this series- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)

Continuing with our Spiritual Health Spa theme, today we continue our discussion of what the older women are to teach the younger, and we will cover discreet” (controlled) and “chaste” (pure). These things make us useful to God, prepared to serve Him.

So, for “discreet” I chose our mouth, or lips, and for “chaste” I chose our skin.

LIPS: We put on lip moisturizers, lip gloss, and lipstick to make our mouths look attractive, but if what comes out is not attractive, it hasn’t done much good, has it? The word “discreetmeans “to show prudence, modesty, and wise self-restraint, to walk circumspectly”, or sensible and controlled in speech and character. It means don’t give in to our impulses, passions, and desires, and instead yield to the Holy Spirit.

Here are some areas to be DISCREET in if we want to be more useful to God:

Speech: A discreet Christian woman does not draw attention to herself, but her speech is seasoned with salt, it ministers grace unto the hearers (Colossians 4:6), and points attention to the Lord. She doesn’t gossip, or say unedifying things to or about others, and she “speaks the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) when needed. She doesn’t give into impulses to say the first thing that comes into her head, this should be true on Facebook, email, or texting, it is so easy to spout off, hit “send” and then regret it! But it’s too late!! Proverbs 2:11 says, “discretion shall preserve thee.” You can’t take words back, you can ask forgiveness, and you should, but wouldn’t it be better to have not said it at all.

Finances: A discreet Christian woman stays within a budget, uses self-control. She doesn’t “Tit-for-Tat” — “HE got something new, so I should get something, too!” She is grateful and content (1 Timothy 6:6-10), she doesn’t let money (or the lack thereof) control her and be the source of her feelings of joy (she doesn’t give in to the “if only” mindset).

Relationships: WARNING: Beware of Hallmark movies and Romance Novels – THEY ARE NOT REALITY! Your husband is a sinful man, and you are a sinful woman. Don’t set too high expectations on other people.  Psalm 62:5 has been a great verse for me to remind me that my expectation should be only in the Lord. It is so easy to compare our husbands/parents/children to fictional characters in a book or movie – DON’T! WARNING! They are not reality! It will only lead to discontentment.

SKIN: We use all kinds of scrubs, makeup remover wipes, 5 minute pimple cream, toners, oil-free cleansers to make our skin look pure and free from blemishes. Should we not go to much greater lengths to make sure that our lives are pure and free from impurities. The word “chaste means “pure & modest, uncontaminated”. When we look in mirror, and see something wrong with our skin, we fix it! So, when we look into the mirror of God’s Word we can measure the effectiveness of our time in the Bible by the effect it has on our behavior and attitudes, we should be gradually changing into the image of Christ (James 1:22-25). If not, something is wrong.

Here are some areas to be CHASTE in if we want to be more useful to God:

Thoughts: Have you noticed that sin always begins with our thought life?  Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). We could take this further and say that out of the abundance of the heart the mind thinks and feels, and the body acts. Why do we do what we do? Why do we want what we want? Because we think what we think. Because of what or who we listen to. Be pure in your thoughts (Philippians 4:8 is a great passage to meditate on).

Motives/Attitudes: If we keep our thoughts captive (1 Corinthians 10:5), our motives & attitudes will stay pure. As women, it doesn’t take much for our thought lives to go crazy! Examine yourself. Be in the Word, it is a “Discerner of thoughts and intents” (Hebrews 4:12). Ask God to search your heart and show you if there is any “wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Clothing: If our thoughts and motives are pure, we will not want to offend anyone else or cause them to stumble (Romans 14:21). We will want to dress “which becometh a woman professing godliness”(1 Timothy 2:10). Did you know that women dress mostly to impress other women? We can cause a ‘sister’ to stumble by wearing really fancy clothes that show off our figure, especially if we have recently lost weight, causes her to sin by being envious and covetous of our clothes & body. We can cause a ‘brother’ to stumble by wearing clothes that are tight or revealing and cause him to sin by having lustful thoughts about us (that’s what “lasciviousness” is in Galatians 5:19). We are to provoke one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), not to envy.

So, let’s be discreet and chaste, so that the Lord can use us. “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20,21) As we mentioned before, “meet” means fit or suitable for our calling, like a help “meet” for our husbands in Genesis 2:18,24. So, we want to be vessels of honor meet for the Master’s use, with His help and for His glory.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

♪ ♫ “Filled to overflowing, hearts aglow and showing Christ to those who do not know Him. Sanctified and holy, yielded to Him only, vessels for the Master’s use…” ♫ ♪ Alfred B. Smith

 

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 5

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 5: Love their children (Left hand)

Hands

“That they may teach the young women…to love their children” Titus 2:4

(Click these links for the first 4 parts of this series- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Continuing with our Spiritual Health Spa theme, so far we have talked about being sober, and we related that to our faces, how our face is what people see first, and that when they see us, we hope they see a woman who is serious about her walk with the Lord. Then we talked about loving our husbands, and chose our right hand to correlate because as a helper fit for our husband, we are to be his “right-hand woman”. Today, we are talking about loving our children, and I chose our Left hand. Remember, we talked about how we make our hands soft with lotion, and we might go get our nails done to make them clean & pretty? We don’t just do our right hand, do we? We have a responsibility to train up our children to be “clean and pretty” before the Lord, or “well-pleasing unto the LORD” (Colossians 3:20). Our left hand is very important, some special people (about 10%) are left-handed, my Mum is one of them, and to them their left hand is very important. Well, to those of us whom the Lord has blessed with children, they are very important and special to us, and as Christians, our goal is to raise children that strive to love and serve the Lord.  I’d like to share some things I have learned over the years, and I hope that they will help you as you raise your “little blessings.” 

SO, I have come up with some things we need to SHOW our children, and then some things we need to TEACH our children:

Things to SHOW our children:

Love for their Heavenly father (Matt 22:37) Let them see you reading your Bible, pray with them at meals and bedtime. Let them see you trying to live to please Him, talk about Him. Let them know when you fail, and let them see your repentance and thankfulness for His mercy.

Love for their earthly father (Titus 2:4,5) As we talked about last time, the most important thing a mother can do for her children is to love their father. (See last week’s post) I know that when I love my husband the way that God intended me to, our home is loving, joyful and peaceful.

Love for them by:

Giving your Love (1 Cor 13:4-8) The Greek word philoteknos meansbeloved, and tenderness”. I remember the tender feeling of holding a newborn baby, nursing them in the wee hours of the night. BUT, we all struggle with impatience, and we need encouragement and help to remember to love our children. One verse my children remember me quoting to them often (sometimes LOUDLY) is “Be ye KIND, one to another, TENDERHEARTED…” (Ephesians 4:32), they still tease me about that. Sometimes I needed to remind myself that it applied to me, TOO!

Giving your Time – (Ephesians 5:16) Be there for them daily, to train and teach them about what they need to know to be a success in life (Joshua 1:8). They are only young and teachable for such a short time! If at all possible, be there when they come home from school – even High School –because that’s when the window of communication is, when they will talk about their day. I found that if I wasn’t there when they got home, I had missed it!

Meeting their Needs (not wants) in a loving way: With food: (1 Timothy 6:8) When my kids were in public school, I always packed them a lunch. When other kids teased them about their Mommy making their lunch, the boys would say,”My Mommy packs my lunch because she LOVES me!” With clothing: (1 Samuel 2:19) I tried to teach my girls modesty in clothing, allowing them a little freedom to be themselves. With hygiene: (James 4:8) Keep them clean and healthy. With intellectual stimulation: (2 Peter 3:18) I always read to my children at bedtime, I found out later how beneficial it is for their learning.

Keeping them safe– “be wise as serpents, harmless as doves” (Matt 10:16). My husband gives my kids the “I’m the best friend you’ll ever have” speech. We love our children more than anyone else does, more than their friends. We want what is best for them, and most of the time we know what is best for them and what is bad for them better than they do. Be wise about: TV, movies, internet, places they go, school activities, chaperones, overnight sleepovers – don’t be afraid to be a little over-protective! Trust your husband’s wisdom in what they can/can’t do! My husband often has insight into things that I wouldn’t think of because he is a man. And make your home a safe haven, a fun place where they can bring their friends.

Training them to Do Right– The word “train” means to dedicate our time, and self to what God wants for your children. Teach them to WORK (2 Thessalonians 3:10), even young children can help with chores, cook, do laundry, etc. Let them help you, don’t discourage, and don’t expect perfection! Train them to think about how to please the LORD with the CHOICES they make. Discipline tham.

Disciplining them in a loving way – (Proverbs 13:24,22:15, 29:15, Ephesians 4:15) God’s Word tells us that children are born sinners, they are foolish, and they need discipline. That is our job as parents. It is really in their best interests to OBEY their parents, we have rules to keep them safe and to keep them from hurting themselves and others. If we discipline too harshly, or have expectations of them that are too high we can provoke our children to wrath. Don’t punish for accidents, only for outright DEFIANCE and DISOBEDIENCE. Be consistent, and remember WHY you are disciplining – NOT for your own selfish reasons. Ask them to explain to you what they did wrong, ask them how they think God feels about what they did wrong. Encourage them to pray and ask God’s forgiveness for their sin. Don’t discipline in anger – “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).

Things to TEACH our children:

God’s LOVE – (John 3:16)- Salvation –Give them the Gospel, remember they are born little heathens! This is your first mission field. Don’t push them to get saved, share the Gospel, and let them make the decision when they are ready, pray with them and for them. Encourage baptism when they are ready, as a step of obedience. We waited until after they were baptized to let our children take communion, to be sure they understood.

God’s WORD (Deuteronomy 6:6,7; 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:14-15) Read Bible Stories at night, use Bible verses to teach principles. Don’t neglect family Devotions -there are many great publications out there that are age-appropriate. Ideally, your husband is the one that should lead the daily devotions, but if he doesn’t, you may have to do it for a while. Keep praying that he will, and find a time to respectfully bring it up in private, let him decide where, when, what, etc, give suggestions. WAIT on the LORD.

God’s WAY – (Colossians 1:18) Make Him pre-eminent in your life if you want your children to make Him pre-eminent in theirs!! Church should be a priority – Sunday School, Sunday Morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. The Lord is pleased when we are faithful. As the song goes, “OBEDIENCE is the very best way to show that you believe!” Teach your children that it is very important to God that children obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3), that it may go well, and they may live long on the earth, that is TRUTH! Sometimes obedience IS life or death! When our children got their first Bibles I would ask them “What does the Bible say?” and I taught them to say, “Jesus loves you, and obey your parents”, that was all they needed to know at that point. As they got older we talked about deeper issues and applications of God’s Word as it applied to their lives and situations.

I hope these have been some useful tips from a mom who’s “been-there-done-that” for you to love your children the way God tells us to.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) That is a PROMISE of God!!

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 4

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 4: Love their husbands  How do I love thee

That they may teach the young women… to love their husbands…” Titus 2:3

This is part 4 of my series on the Spiritual Health Spa, it is a series I taught as a “Titus Two Time” to the younger ladies in our church a few years ago, I hope it will be a blessing to you. Together, we are learning how to Refresh, Relax, and Revive, spiritually. You can click on the links to read the previous parts to catch up if you are just joining us. Today, we will continue on the list of things the older women are to teach the younger women, and so we come to “love their husbands”…

Sorry, I tried to keep it brief!

Last time we talked about how we are to be sober – seeking the Lord, and being wise and sensible. The next characteristic builds on this, I chose hands for loving husbands and children because our hands are generally what we use to serve others (Psalm 90:17). I chose our Right Hand to represent loving our husbands because, when God made Eve he made her to be a help meet (or fit) for Adam (Genesis 2:20-24), and she is to be his “right-hand woman”, his invaluable assistant!

Well, we make our hands soft with lotion, and we might go get our nails done to make them clean & pretty. So, lets make sure that this right-hand woman is soft, clean, and pretty before her Lord. This is an area that has been a challenge for me, because my husband and I both came from dysfunctional families (and didn’t we all, really?), and it is something that I am still learning. Hands can be instruments of cruelty as well as instruments of kindness, and if we are not careful, we can be cruel to our husbands, can’t we? I think I know one reason that the older women are told to teach the younger women to love their husbands: I have a secret to tell you:

I love my husband, but sometimes he drives me crazy!!

I have another secret to tell you:

Men and women are very different, physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, every way!!

Men and women are like oil and vinegar. Sometimes living together as one flesh can be very hard, but if we do things God’s way, our relationship with our husbands can bring us great joy and satisfaction. It is good for older women to be aware of this and be ready to gently remind younger women that their husbands are a gift from the LORD. So, I have come up with ten “ -ly” words, some adverbs, to remind us of how we are to love our husbands. So, ladies, love your husband:

Prayerful-ly– (Colossians 3:9-11) PRAY! Spend time with the LORD. It is only through His strength, His grace, and His Holy Spirit’s enablement that we can love as He loves. Pray for your husband! He needs your prayers that God will protect him, strengthen him, give him wisdom, draw him closer to Himself, give him opportunities to serve Him, and keep him from temptation and evil. Our job is to love Him, it is God’s job to change him.

Primari-ly- (Titus 2:4) After the Lord, our husband should be our FIRST PRIORITY – he is the one you will grow old with after the children are gone! Please him first (1 Corinthians 7:34), before friends, parents, children – anyone else! ALWAYS include him in decisions, keep him informed, even if he seems distracted.

Selfless-ly(Matthew 23:11) Jesus served others, He said that the greatest among you shall be the servant. In order to love our husbands properly, we need to PUT SELF ASIDE and look to his needs first. Remember WHY God gave woman to man: Because he needed a helper specially made for him, and we can only be that special helper when we do things God’s way.

Faithful-ly – (1 Timothy 3:11) Be faithful to him, be his greatest cheerleader, when others are criticizing him, let him know you are on his side. Cheerleaders don’t yell out “I could’ve done that play better!” No, they yell “You can do it!” and, “Try it again!” He will make mistakes, He will be selfish! And so will you! But don’t get bitter – bitterness grows when we start dwelling on things that our husband has done to upset us, often unknowingly, and we have not forgiven him for.

Intentional-ly (Proverb 18:24) “To love their husbands” uses the Greek word philandros for ‘love’ which means “beloved”, or “a dear friend”, it denotes “sweetness”. HOW YOU GREET HIM when he comes home sets the tone for the whole evening, so be sweet! We are all busy, bless your hearts, those of you who work full time and still have to come home and be a wife and mother, but this is SO VITAL. It is SO easy, to go separate ways, start thinking selfishly, do your own thing, and drift apart, that is so dangerous!!

Respectful-ly (Ephesians 5:33) Being his helper means finding ways to make his life easier, we are to place ourselves under his authority, that doesn’t mean we are his inferior, though. He is the head of the home, because God says he is (Ephesians 5:23). God knows our needs, He knows that a woman’s greatest need is to be loved, and a man’s basic need is to be respected. Ephesians 5:33 tells us to “reverence” our husbands, that means to respect or honor. That means don’t question all his decisions, don’t tell him what to do, and don’t undermine his authority. There are times that you may need to respectfully bring up an area that you see he seems to be struggling, but do it humbly, and with the intention of restoring him (Galatians 6:1), not as a way to self-righteously point out all his faults! Again, Our job is to love Him, it is God’s job to change him.

Joyful-ly (Proverbs 17:22) Have fun, laugh, joke, make up private jokes that only the two of you know, be intimate! No man wants to come home to a sourpuss. SMILE!! I have found that even if I am thinking about something completely different, if I am frowning, my husband assumes that I am disgruntled with him for some reason – so, keep a pleasant expression on your face – it really does make a difference.

Thankful-ly (I Thessalonians 5:18) It is God’s will for us to be thankful for everything, so shouldn’t we be thankful for this man who has promised to love us til death do us part? Who is the father of our children, who cares for and provides for us, and who would undoubtedly give his own life to protect his wife and children? Tell him you are thankful for him. The older I get, the more thankful I am that this wonderful, good-looking guy still finds me attractive, and still wants to get fresh with me!! Which leads us to..

Physical-ly (1 Corinthians 7:5; Hebrews 13:4) Be physically intimate with each other regularly. God designed sex in marriage for several reasons – procreation is one, but also to give closeness and oneness, to meet our desire for intimacy, to protect either partner from the danger of temptation to adultery(Proverbs 5:18-20), and also for pleasure! We are showing obedience and love to God as well as to our husbands by responding to our husbands physically and not “defrauding” or depriving him (1 Corinthians 7:4-5). Keep yourself attractive for him, exercise, stay in shape, wear sexy nightwear, light candles, be romantic!! It is important to him, believe me!

Loving-ly – (John 13:34-35) Finally, others should see the relationship that we have with our husbands and see that we are Christians by our love for each other, and they should want to have that same kind of relationship. Our marriage should be a testimony to a lost world of God’s love. A Christian marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32). Memorize 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and keep it on your mirror! None of us are perfect, he will fail, YOU will fail, but stay close to the Lord, LOVE your husband, and be kind and forgiving to him as you would want him to be kind to you, and as Christ has been kind and forgiving to you (Ephesians 4:32).

So, be his right-hand woman, love him, primarily, selflessly, faithfully, intentionally, respectfully, joyfully, thankfully, physically, and lovingly. You won’t regret it, you will get the blessing!

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 3

 Refresh! Relax! Revive!  Part 3 – Sober                                 IMG_4128

That they may teach the young women to be sober…” Titus 2:3

This is part 3 of my series on the Spiritual Health Spa. Together, we are learning how to Refresh, Relax, and Revive, spiritually. Part one was more of an introduction, and you can read it by clicking here. Part two is about how the older women should act as an example, it begins in the heart.

Today, we will start on the list of things the older women are to teach the younger women, and I thought it would be fun, in keeping with our “Spiritual Health Spa” theme, to assign a body area that a health spa may work on to the characteristic we are studying. So, Paul starts with “sober”, and I have chosen our face to go with that, I will explain in a minute.

First, I would like you to read through Titus 2:1-6 … I’ll wait while you read it…      Okay…   Did you notice???      Paul just told the older men to be sober, he tells the older women to be likewise – sober – and then he tells the younger women and young men to be sober. Do you think there was a problem with people not being sober??

Think about this: Have you ever been around someone who is intoxicated? Maybe you have been in that state yourself. How do people act when they are intoxicated? Make a list of those things, then make a list of the opposite of those behaviors – that’s what sober looks like. Here’s what I came up with:

DRUNK/INTOXICATED             SOBER

Foolish, silly                                    Wise (Ps 119:98; Prov 1:7)

Can’t walk straight                         Walks with the Lord (Psalm 1)

Unconscious                                    Conscious of others (Phil 2:1-4)

Influenced by alcohol/drugs        Influenced by Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18)

Reckless                                            Serene, calm (Prov. 31:25-31)

No restraints                                    Controlled by Holy Spirit (1 Cor 9:27)

Can’t talk properly                          Speech is guarded (Col 4:6)

Out of their mind                            Sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)

Flesh controls them                       Control their flesh(2 Ti 2:22, Ro 13:14)

Unkind, hurtful                              Kind, tender (Eph 4:32, Rom 12:10)

Violent                                             Full of God’s peace (Phil 4:7)

Offensive                                         Peacable (Ro 12:18, 2 Cor 6:3)

Never satisfied                              Content (2 Tim 6:6)

Dishonest                                       Honest (Romans 13:12-14)

Unstable                                         Stable, firm (Eph 6:6)

I chose our face to be the body part that corresponds with being sober because, our face is what everyone sees, we go to great lengths to make sure it is moisturized, that blemishes and/or wrinkles are covered with make up, our features are accentuated so we look good. When we are heading somewhere, or looking at something, we face it, we seek by looking at it. So, our faces need to be looking toward the Lord, seeking His face, and humbly seeking His will, not ours. Being “sober” is obtained only by understanding the fear of the Lord and knowing His Word (meditation and resting), from having a close relationship with the LORD, from seeking His face in prayer and in His Word, and having His face shine on us.

So a sober woman’s strength comes from the LORD, He is her anchor no matter what storms life brings, she is self-controlled, seeking the Lord and His wisdom, Humble-minded, stable, sensible, wise, spirit-controlled, and she doesn’t easily lose her head! Have you ever read the Carrot, Egg, or Coffee bean story? The story goes like this:

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans.She let them sit and boil without saying a word. In about twenty minute she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee into a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”

Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What’s the point, mother?”Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity… boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after being through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

Which are you?” she asked the daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

carrot-egg-coffee1

I fear too often I am the carrot or the egg, but with God’s help I hope to be more coffee-like — I like coffee! Maybe that will help me!  (Perhaps that is why they offer coffee to “sober-up” people who are intoxicated?)

I hope this has been an encouragement to you to be sober, and to teach others by your example. Next time we will look at loving our husbands.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Refresh! Relax! Revive! Part 2

Bleeding heart3

Refresh! Relax! Revive!Part 2 – Begins in the Heart

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things” Titus 2:3

This is part 2 of my series on the Spiritual Health Spa. Together, we are learning how to Refresh, Relax, and Revive, spiritually. Part one was more of an introduction, and you can read it by clicking here.

A visit to a health spa may begin by being asked about your general health: Your heart, diet, blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar levels, if you have any health issues, etc.. They want to see what your health is like on the inside before they work on the outside, sometimes people can appear very healthy, but inside they are not. Today we are going to study the older women or, aged women, as Paul puts it. Paul told the older women to teach the younger women “sound doctrine”, they are to lead by example what “behaviour as becometh holiness” looks like. He wants to make sure that we are godly on the inside, in our hearts, and not just making a show of it on the outside. So, FIRST, he tells the older women how they should act because we cannot teach something we are not doing ourselves. As my husband says in his Sunday School class: “Do as I say, don’t do as I do – DON’T WORK!” That’s what is called “hypocrisy”. Remember, we are ALL examples! You have to be different to make a difference.

Remember, a Health spa‘s goal is to make you look “fabulous”. They may have photos or books for you to look at to get ideas of hairstyles, nails, makeup, etc. with pictures of what “fabulous” looks like. Well, in our Spiritual Health Spa, God’s goal for you is to make you look “glorious” or Christ-like (Phil 3:21), and God’s Word gives us a picture of what “glorious” woman looks like:

First, let’s look at behavior as becometh holiness”: The word Holymeans dedicated or devoted to the service of God, set apart, and different from others. It begins with the heart. The older women are to be Spirit-controlled and mature in their walk with the Lord, they are to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, and soul (Matthew 22:37). Take a moment and think about why you love God, write it down in your journal, and meditate on them. He is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy – all those things we find in Philippians 4:8. So, what do we tend to think about, or worry about? Appearance & dress, acceptance, financial security, how others see you, your performance in tasks, even at Church, completing your agenda. What we worry about shows what is important to us. What we spend our resources (time, money, energy) on also reveals our priorities – leisure, recreation, work, family, or God’s work– missions, ministries, tithes & offerings? Also, our anger indicates what is important to us: What makes you angry? We get angry when something we value highly is taken away – control, reputation, possessions, position, health, rights, time. Take some time to write in your journal the things you worry about, the things you spend your resources on, and the things that make you angry – what do they reveal about your priorities? Do you need to make some changes?

Next, not false accusers: A godly woman does not speak badly of others, she loves God, and she love others. This is simple, but complex, I could do a whole devotion on the tongue, and I probably will one day because I am constantly being convicted in this area. The Bible is clear that God hates lying and gossip, and we are to be known by our love for one another (John 13:35), not the tales we tell about them.

Then, he says “not given to much wineI know this can be a controversial subject among Christians, my personal conviction is that Christians should not partake in any kind of alcohol consumption because it causes us to lose our self-control, and allows us to be “under the influence” of something that is definitely NOT the Holy Spirit (see Ephesians 5:18). So, I interpret this passage as saying that a godly woman does not need anything (alcohol, drugs, the approval of others especially via social media) to give her satisfaction and contentment besides the LORD, and she is not to be self-indulgent.

Finally, Paul says that the older women are to be teachers of good things.” If a woman is living a life “as becometh holiness, putting the Lord Jesus Christ first in her life, meditating on Him, loving Him and others, and not allowing anything to distract her, she will find that she is content and satisfied. She will be so thankful to the Lord for the many blessings He has given her, that she will naturally want others to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8), she will want to teach the good things that she has learned to other women. When you know about something really GOOD, you want to share it with others!

Now, all of this can only be done with God’s Holy Spirit working in and through us, by the first 2 steps of our spiritual health spa: “Cleansing” (salvation or restoring our joy) and “Relaxing” (giving the Lord full control of our lives daily –NOT worrying, but placing myself in His capable hands, meditating on His Word). We won’t be perfect, but it is possible to keep growing more Christ-like!!

Remember, ladies, YOU ARE LOVED – God Loved us so much that He gave the most precious thing He has – His Son –to humble Himself, allow Himself to be humiliated and crucified – FOR YOU!! He wants each one of us to live a life of victory over sin – defeat, discouragement, and depression. He wants us “be in behaviour as becometh holiness … teachers of good things”. Let’s do it with His help, and tell others about our Spiritual Health Spa!

Next week we will start looking at what the older women are to teach the younger women…

Graced and Grateful Grammy

A healthy glow on the outside reflects a healthy glow on the inside!