It Would Be Better to Live in a Desert than to Live With You

desert

Proverbs 21:19 says that it would be better to live in the desert than to live with a contentious woman.

Those are strong words!

I stopped working outside of the home last week and with about a month left before our baby is born I have a lot more time on my hands.  With that extra time, it is easy to dwell on the things that are going wrong in my life.

As I listed off my worries to my husband this weekend, he stopped me and gently asked that I help him out by having a good attitude. He told me that it would be hard for him to have a good attitude if he knew I was sitting at home worrying.

#knifeofconvictionthroughtheheart

This humbling reminder caused me to think about how much my attitude affects my husband. My words have the power to build him up or tear him down.

We often think of serving as actions. But as always it starts with the heart. I have the unique opportunity in my role as a wife to serve my husband through my attitude. And as a homemaker, I can set the tone for the atmosphere that is in our home.

As I thought through how I could serve my husband with my attitude, I asked myself these questions:

  • Do my words tear down or build up my husband? 1 Thess. 5:11
  • Does my attitude encourage him to have a godly attitude? Phil. 2:5
  • Does my husband trust that I will honor him in my speech? Prov. 31:11

My attitude affects my marriage more than I realize. I can discourage my husband, stunt his walk with the Lord, and even affect our physical relationship with my negative attitude. But I also have the power to encourage him, stimulate his walk with the Lord, and invigorate our spiritual and physical lives!

“But what if I am single?” You ask. These principles are still applicable to you! As a single person, you need to be cultivating a godly attitude, encouraging spirit and a trustworthiness. If the Lord chooses to give you a spouse, these lessons will help in marriage. And if He does not, these lessons are still necessary for life as a believer in the body of Christ. Are you an encouraging friend, roommate, sister-in-Christ?

Whether or not you are a wife, ask yourself today, would it be better to live in the desert than to live with you?


8 “Easy” Ways to Be a Light

Light

Light stands in stark contrast to darkness. You do not have to be a scientist to realize this. You may not understand the science behind it, but it is obvious that light is different than darkness.

Christians know that they are called to be lights in a dark world. They are told this so often that it has become rather cliché. We know we must live in contrast to the world, but how do we do that?

In Philippians 2, Paul gives believers 8 “easy” ways to be a light. Why do I say “easy” in quotations? I say it that way because most of these principles will be obvious to the seasoned believer. Yet sometimes those simple truths are the most difficult to live out consistently. Even Paul in Philippians chapter three gently points out that it is a safeguard for us to be reminded of the fundamental truths. Without further ado, 8 “easy” ways to live as a light.

  1. Unity – In a world that is constantly divided by politics, socioeconomics, and ethics, let us stand in bright contrast with our unity. Paul urges us to be of the same mind, the same love, united in spirit, and intent on one purpose. Our love for Christ and His Word should bond us together as believers.
  2. Regard One Another as More Important – Again, this may seem basic. But in a society where everything is catered to self, we can stand out by deeming others as more important. Our time, resources, and energy should be given to serving one another.
  3. Look Out for the Interests of Others – I was thinking a lot about this principle this week. I love how Paul puts this. We are to actively be looking for ways to serve others. It is not a passive principle. Let us stand apart by the way that we actively pursue the interests of others. We don’t just serve when we are asked, but we look for ways to help others.
  4. Work Out Your Salvation – We know that we are not saved by our works. But our works are a testimony of who our Savior is. Let us be known for our obedience and diligence in a culture with no regard for authority and little esteem for hard work.
  5. Do All Things Without Grumbling – The simplest yet hardest truth. I pray our joyful attitudes would set us apart. We all could probably think of someone who just shines with the love of Christ. It stands out. You notice it.
  6. Above Reproach – May we avoid even the appearance of evil. May our speech, our interactions with others, our movie choices, our clothing choices, and even our Facebook posts be undeniably Christ-honoring.
  7. Holding Fast the Word of Life – Pastor John MacArthur points out that this phrase actually means that we are “holding forth” the Word of Life. We should be always ready to share the Good News with others.
  8. Rejoicing – Lastly, let our joy (despite circumstances and struggles) shine brightly as a testimony to the One who saved us.

Light symbolizes purity, joy, and truth. I pray that our light would reflect the purity of Christ, the joy of knowing Him, and the truth of the Gospel.

 


What I’ve Learned from My Husband About Being a Wife

New bride

Dear New Bride,

Everything is new and exciting! You have a new husband, a new little home to decorate, and cupboards full of new dishes and gifts. Even normal tasks like grocery shopping are fun as you pick out food to cook for just the two of you.

You are brimming full of expectations of the kind of wife that you will be. Your home will always be ready for company and you will have your husband’s dress shirts ironed and ready to go. You will have a nutritious meal prepared every night and you and your hubby will enjoy fun evenings together full of stimulating conversation and quality time.

Fast forward a few weeks or months. The newness has not worn off, but you are a bit overwhelmed by life. You work full-time, so your home and meals are not as prepared as you would like them to be. Your evenings are filled with conversations about finances, insurance issues, and car trouble. Forget having your husband’s dress shirts ready to go, you are lucky if you have something clean to wear.

You are tired and frustrated. This is not what you thought it would be like.

But my dear, I would love to share some encouragement with you. After a whopping two and a half years ;-), I have come to realize a thing or two. And believe it or not, most of them I have learned from my husband.

Don’t Compare 

A couple months into marriage, after stressing myself out about not getting enough done that day, my husband gently pointed out that I was comparing myself to wives that had been wives and homemakers for 20+ years. Of course, I couldn’t do all that they did. I was just learning how to be a wife and homemaker. Additionally, I worked full-time. I needed to stop comparing myself to people who were in a different stage of life than I was. I needed to give myself some grace as I learned how to be a wife.

Do Understand Your Husband

I realized after being married a while that I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what kind of helper my husband needed. I was determining how he wanted to help rather than asking him. One day I actually asked him how he wanted to be helped. And his answers surprised me! Seek to understand your husband and what his specific needs are.

Don’t Find Your Identity in What You Do

I wrote about this before when I was working through it. But about eight months into marriage, I realized how much my identity was wrapped up in what I was doing. I was an intern or college student or employee. When all of that changed and my focus became different as a wife and helpmate, I felt a bit lost. Normally driven and ambitious, I felt a bit like I was drifting. But I came to realize that I need to find my identity in Christ. My husband has graciously helped me to still figure out how to pursue my passions, but to keep the perspective that I am a child of God first.

Do Understand that Seasons Change

I am currently learning this lesson as my season is changing from working outside the home to being a full-time mom and homemaker. I am learning that my husband and I need to have an ongoing conversation about how I can help him best as the seasons ebb and flow. How I helped him pre-kids is going to look a lot different from the ways that I will help him once our son is born in September.

I am so thankful for the things that I have learned from my husband. He has helped me learn not to compare, to be his specific helpmate, to find my identity in Christ, and to grow with the seasons. New bride, listen to your husband. God has given him to you as a partner to help you grow to be a wonderful wife and child of God.

 


Giveaway!

Giveaway

You may recall about a year ago I had the opportunity to review some glasses. I had never ordered anything like that online and it was a really fun experience! You can upload your picture to the site and virtually try on the glasses! I ended up with a pair I probably would never have picked out on my own, but that I really like.

Today I am teaming up with that company, Firmoo, again and giving away a free pair of glasses of your choice! You can choose any of the glasses from this collection: http://www.firmoo.com/collection-for-bloggers.html

Please note you must actually “like” the Facebook pages to be entered. Giveaway ends on Thursday. Good luck!

 

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God is Not Fair

God is not fair

God is not fair. He is good.

… and I am so thankful that is the case.

I am so thankful that God is not fair because if He did what was fair we would all have been dead a long time ago. He would have… should have struck us down for the sins that we have committed. Sin deserves punishment and the punishment for sin according to Scripture is death. If God was fair, He would have given us the punishment that we deserve. Death.

And I am thankful that God is not fair in the way that we think fair should be. Because if He did what was fair in our eyes all gifts, blessings, and abilities would be evenly distributed. But what lessons would we have to learn then? If everything was even, we would have no need to learn contentment, no necessity to trust in God, and no push toward humble dependence. We wouldn’t see the blackness of our own selfish sin and the generosity of His goodness.

He is good. Not only does He not give us the punishment that we deserve, but He graciously gives us what we need. God does not give us what we want (necessarily) or what is “fair,” but what we need to grow to be more like Him and to bring glory to Him.

When you are in a trial and you think, “this isn’t fair,” you are right. It probably isn’t fair. But God has designed that unique set of circumstances as an opportunity for you to see His goodness. You have the privilege of seeing Him work in your life and how He will use that situation to bring glory to His name. If you got what was fair, you either wouldn’t live to see those lessons or would have no need to learn those lessons.

Let us continually remind ourselves, like the psalmist does in Psalm 119:68, that the Lord is good and does good.

If you need a more theological explanation of this concept, I highly recommend this article from someone much more intelligent and wiser than me.