On the Ground Christians

On the ground Christians

As a mom, I have spent more time on the ground than I ever have in my whole life. I am often laying next to my baby playing with him. (Or let’s be honest – laying and closing my eyes for a second while he is playing next to me! ūüėČ )

And as a mom, I have come to realize that moms are “on the ground Christians.” Not because we are on the physical ground a lot, but because we are on the ground ministering to those around us.

Daily Discipling 

Moms are the ones who spend the most time with the children. They are there for every meal, every play date, every middle of the night comforting. This means that moms have the most opportunity to influence their children for Christ. My little one is only seven months old, but I have been thinking a lot about this as he grows and begins to understand more. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane of motherhood. But mothering is a spiritual task. We have the chance to point our kids to Christ when they are selfish. We get to teach them to trust in the Lord when they are scared. We have a huge calling!

Opportunities to Interact 

I have found that I have more opportunities to interact with unbelievers than ever before. I am the one who is home when someone knocks on my door and wants to tell me about their religion. I am the one at the park or in the neighborhood talking to other moms. Having children gives me a natural connection with others and I am learning to be more bold about my faith.

Ministry to My Husband

In this season of life, I also have the privilege of being able to minister to my husband. I get to be his partner and support his ministry. I free him up by taking care of our home and children. I have the opportunity to pray for him, encourage him, and participate where I can. I am thankful for this season where I can be more available to him. I am in the trenches with him helping him fight his battles and accomplish his ministry.

On the Ground Christians

We are on the front lines battling for the hearts of our children. We are on the ground interacting with unbelievers. We are in the trenches ministering to and with our husbands. Mamas, it is so easy to get caught up in the doing. Doing the laundry, doing the dishes, etc. But let us remember that there are souls around us that need Christ!


Why We Need A Date Night

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You may remember the article a couple months ago that made a splash in¬†Christian circles entitled “You Don’t Need a Date Night.” It was written by blogger Tim Challies and it made the point that couples should just enjoy being together. While I agree with him about enjoying the normal-every-day-being-together, my husband and I realize at this season of our lives how essential a date night is for our marriage.

We have a seven month old and my husband is in seminary. He also works full-time and is an intern at our church. Our life is full. When we do see each other, our conversations are about crawling, car seats, and coworkers.

Before we had a baby, our life looked a lot different. We were able to spend a lot more time just hanging out¬†together. The same goes for¬†when school is out for the summer and¬†we have a lot more leisure time. We didn’t really need a date night because it was always just the two of us.

But right now, in this crazy season of life, date nights have become important to our marriage for several reasons.

Recharge Our Marriage

Date nights for us are like a marriage booster. They remind us why we like hanging out together and why we are best friends. It reminds us that we have other things that we can talk about besides our responsibilities. Date nights give us something to look forward to and something to reminisce about. For us, we need to set aside all the busy-ness and focus on one another. It revitalizes our marriage.

Focus on the Priority 

For me, date nights have been a good reminder that my husband is my first priority. It can be so easy to pour all my time and attention into taking care of the screaming baby.  But my husband needs to come first. Date nights allow me to focus on my husband.

Navigate the Seasons

Perhaps it is because we are young, but I feel like every couple of months something in our life changes. A new job, a new apartment, a new baby. As soon as it feels like we have gotten the hang of it, something in our life changes. Date nights have become essential for us. We need time to talk through the current season of our life. We talk through the bigger things that require concentrated time and attention. It has been so beneficial to us to do this.

Doesn’t Need to be Fancy

I don’t think I need to tell you that date nights don’t need to be fancy. And they don’t even have to be on a regular basis. ¬†You just need to spend time together. Especially time talk to one another and time to enjoy¬†one another’s company. You will feel recharged, and more unified.

So go get an ice cream cone together or have take-out at home Рwhatever recharges your marriage, focuses you on your first priority, and helps you navigate the seasons of your life.

Need some ideas? Here are some date night ideas for those on a budget!


Love: The Fruit that Affects Everything

 

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Have you ever thought about why love is the first fruit listed in the fruit of the Spirit?

Jerry Bridges in his book, The Fruitful Life, points out that love is first on the list because it binds everything else together. You can’t have kindness, goodness, gentleness, etc. without love.

So what exactly is love?

The word for love in the original Greek is ‚Äúagape.‚ÄĚ The word ‚Äúagape‚ÄĚ means affection, good will, love. Pastor John MacArthur says that this is not a romantic love or even a familial love. It is a sacrificial love.

This sacrificial love is not based upon circumstances, emotions, or whether or not someone is worthy of that love. Sacrificial love transcends circumstances, overcomes emotions, and loves even when someone is unworthy. Sacrificial love gives even to the point of death.

The greatest example of this is found in John 3:16: ‚ÄúFor God so loved (AGAPE) the world that He gave His only begotten Son.‚ÄĚ Even though we did nothing to deserve it, God loved us with such a sacrificial love that He was willing to send His son to die.

Love expects nothing, but it affects everything.

There are two ways that we can practically apply this truth.

The first is forgiveness. Forgiveness is the ultimate example of sacrificial love. We forgive expecting nothing in return, regardless of circumstances, and no matter what we feel. We forgive just as God forgave us. I once heard someone say that we are never more like Christ than when we forgive.

The second is pursuit. Christ pursued us when we were unlovely  and we can love others by pursuing them. This is something that has stuck with me from my premarital counseling. We talked about loving our spouse with a pursuant love. Do I love my spouse when they are in a bad mood? Do I love my family when they give nothing in return?

So a sacrificial love is unrelated to our emotions. It gives and expects nothing in return. We love, forgive, and pursue regardless of the situation.

May we strive to love as Christ has loved us!


How to Be A Contentious Wife

Photo by Haley Dennis Photography

Photo by Haley Dennis Photography

It is easy to be a contentious wife. In fact, most of us do it without any effort at all. But if you need some tips on how to be contentious, here are some pointers.

Be argumentative – Proverbs 19:13

  • Question his decisions
  • Ask his opinion, but do the opposite
  • Sulk if you do not get your way

Irritate your husband – Proverbs 21:19

  • Do not prefer him
  • Do things that he does not like
  • Treat him with contempt

Make your home an unbearable place to live – Proverbs 25:24

  • Make it so he would rather be anywhere else
  • Be disrespectful
  • Keep your home in disorder

Nag constantly – Proverbs 27:15

  • Use an unpleasant tone
  • Criticize him when he does not do something
  • Ask the same thing over and over

On the other hand, it is much harder to be a contented wife. It takes self-control and patience. It requires that you love someone more than you love yourself. If this is the kind of wife that you want to be then you should:

Let your speech be seasoned with grace – Colossians 4:6

  • If you have concerns with his decisions, wait for an appropriate time and use and appropriate tone
  • Ask his opinion and submit to his desires
  • If you disagree, cheerfully submit

Do your husband good and not evil – Proverbs 31:12

  • Prefer him
  • Purpose to love him in the way he wants to be loved
  • Treat him with honor

Create a home that is a refuge РProverbs 31:27

  • Create an environment that he wants to come home to
  • Treat your husband with respect as the head of the household
  • Keep an orderly home and heart

Use your speech to encourage and edify – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

  • Use words and tones that uplift and encourage
  • Give grace when he fails or has shortcomings
  • Be patient

When you look over this list, think about what kind of wife you are and what kind of wife you want to be. It is easy to be a contentious wife. It is easy to argue with, irritate, harm, and nag your husband. It takes selfless love and hard work to speak with grace, prefer him, create a refuge, and edify your husband.

What kind of wife do you want to be?


Caring For Orphans in Distress – #KeepLexiHome

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Our plane touched down in California last night after being out-of-town all weekend. We turned on our phones and were flooded with notifications about #KeepLexiHome. We watched the videos of a little girl named Lexi being taken away from her family and we sobbed right there in our seats.

Lexi is the niece of a friend and we were acquainted with her family when we attended Grace Community Church. Six year old Lexi was removed yesterday from her long-time foster family because she is 1.5% Native American. Lexi’s family and friends are desperately trying to overturn the decision of the courts and #KeepLexiHome. (Read more here.)

Our hearts are heavy and our prayers are urgent for this family. This trial has prompted me to think about what a believer’s response should be to something like this. My husband and I jotted down a few things this morning.

Sorrow 

It is right as believers to be sorrowful. This situation is evidence that we live in a sinful, broken world. Sinful, broken people cause more sin and brokenness. We have a broken system that does not always look out for the best interests of children. As believers, we need to realize that sin has devastating effects. Sin might have instant gratification, but it has long-term consequences. May we be reminded about the seriousness of sin.

Hope 

But, as believers, we have hope. We have hope that Christ has triumphed over sin. We have hope that one day we will live in Heaven and there will be no more tears. We have hope that we serve a great God who has the power to change a situation. Our hope is not in man or the law, but in a Sovereign Ruler.

Disagree

As believers, we can disagree with a decision that has been made. But let us disagree honorably. We are called in Scripture to be at peace with all men, as much as is possible. Let us disagree with grace and love. Let us pursue change in a manner that brings honor to the Lord.

Ambassadors

All eyes are on our community right now. We have an opportunity more than ever to point souls to Christ. Our friends and family are observing how we handle this situation. Let them see our sorrow over sin, our hope in Christ, and our loving disagreement.

Support 

Right now we have a very tangible opportunity to bear one another’s burdens. We have the opportunity to come alongside the Page family and bear their burden. We can bear their burden practically by:

  • Praying
  • Signing¬†(They are trying to make it to a goal of 100,000 signatures. Please consider signing.)
  • Helping
  • Donating

Consider

The Page’s¬†situation brings light to many other similar situations. There are 400,000+ children in the foster care system. And far too often, children are removed from loving, stable homes. We need to be aware of those in our community who have invested their hearts. They need our support too. When you foster a child, you open up your heart and you know that there is a possibility that your heart could be broken. Consider those around you who foster and consider fostering yourself. There are so many children who need love and exposure to the Gospel.

Caring for Orphans in Their Distress

James 1:27 speaks about caring for orphans in their distress. There is a little girl who has been orphaned judicially and who is in distress. Let us surround this family (and other families who have opened their hearts) with love, support, and prayer. We have hope in a great God who can use a sorrowful situation for His glory and the furtherance of the Gospel.