Category Archives: Relationships

Titus 2 Women are called to {love their husbands and their children}

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 – Proverbs 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?


The Fishbowl of Motherhood

fishbowl

Sometimes being a mom feels like being in a fishbowl. Not because I feel like I am watched or judged, but because of the repetition of motherhood. Sometimes as a mom you feel like you are swimming in circles doing the same thing day after day. Feed the baby, change diapers, clean the same kitchen, wash the same clothes.

Too often, I get to the end of the day and am a bit discouraged because all the things that I “accomplished” today just have to be done tomorrow.

There is no paycheck or grade in motherhood – no tangible incentives that mark the completion of a job or assignment. And as John MacArthur put in his recent sermon series, there are no coffee breaks in parenting.

So what keeps us going? (Other than a lot of coffee!)

New Mercies Every Morning

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

I remember studying Leviticus in a Bible class during college. The professor described the word “new” as something entirely unique. He said it is not “new” as you would think of a “new car.” A car is something that has existed before. When God gives new mercies, those mercies are something completely unique that has never existed before.

So at the end of the day when you are discouraged about doing it all again, remember that tomorrow the Lord will have new mercies for you. Mercies that He has created specifically to fit tomorrow’s needs. What an amazing God we have!

A High and Holy Calling 

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15

Changing children’s diapers and dishing out discipline doesn’t seem very lofty. But the Lord has given mothers a big task. It is our responsibility to raise the next generation of Christians (Lord willing that they are saved). Every story you read, every manner you teach, every song that you sing is shaping your child into the person that God wants them to be.

We have a big responsibility to raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Just as Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him about the truths of Scripture, so we are called to teach our children.

John Wesley once said that he learned more about Christianity from his mother than from all the theologians in England.

Faithfulness of the Father

I know that as a believer you are probably very aware of the concept of faithfulness. Our aim as Christians is to hear our Heavenly Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let us be motivated by the faithfulness of the Lord to be faithful in our responsibilities. His faithfulness to us is the reason we keep going day after day.

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day, it is easy to feel like you have gone nowhere in your little fishbowl. But let us remember that we are strengthened by new mercies, inspired by our high calling, and motivated by the faithfulness of the Lord.

I have only been at this for five months, so I have a deep appreciation for you moms who have been at this for years. I am only beginning to understand the sacrifices that my mom made while caring for me through the years.

There are no paychecks or grades in motherhood, but if we are faithful we will receive a heavenly reward and the approval of our Father.


All At Once Everything Looks Different Now That I See You

Photo Credit: Katie Drumm Photography

Photo Credit: Katie Drumm Photography

It’s one of those dilemmas of motherhood… do I clean my kitchen or write this blog post? The baby has been sufficiently bounced to sleep and I have *maybe* a spare hour. Now, fingers crossed that he sleeps long enough for me to finish this post.

I have literally written this post three or four different ways. (And one of them was even a poem!) I have been trying to capture all the emotions and thoughts that I have about motherhood. But nothing has even come close to depicting the things that I am feeling. So I figured I would simply write. No fancy rhyming or alliterated points. I want to make sure that I get down a few of these thoughts.

Everything looks so different now that I have a baby. From my birth plan to parenting, nothing has gone the way that I thought it would. And it is been a beautiful and humbling experience.

My devotions look different. I used to get up early to spend concentrated time with the Lord. With a six week old, that has pretty much gone out the window. Now I read the Word on my phone while I am nursing and I listen to sermons while I am nursing and I read a book while I am nursing. (I spend. so. much. time. nursing). And I have come to realize how I was letting a devotion “time” define my spirituality. Now that there is no set time, I can’t check it off my list. And it has been a good heart check for me.

My worship looks different.  If I am honest, I did not spend a lot of time just worshipping the Lord before I had a baby. My son loves to be sung too. I want him to grow up knowing hymns, so I sing him a lot of hymns and worship songs. But one day I realized that I should be singing to the Lord, not just to my son. There have been many 3:00am or 4:00am worship sessions and it has been a really precious time of worshipping the Lord. It keeps my focus on heaven and what is important instead of on the crying baby.

My theology looks different. Theological concepts have gone from black and white to color. I am getting firsthand experience about what it looks like to long for the Word like a nursing babe. Or to have faith like a child. God is showing me much about Himself through motherhood.

My body looks different. Just go read this blog post. Blogger Becky Thompson says it way better than I ever could. Good stuff.

My marriage looks different. We have a huge responsibility now that we did not have before. It is time consuming and thought consuming. We have to work harder a being a team than we ever did before. We have to be careful that we do not let comparison eat away at our attitudes. It doesn’t matter who sleeps more or works more (Sorry, honey!).  And if our plans get changed by our little one, we have to put aside our own comfort and our own well-being for that of our child. And as hard as it is, I think it is making our marriage stronger as learn more about each other in these new roles.

My mothering looks different. There are so many things that I said I would never do, that I now do on a daily basis! (e.g. using a white noise machine! Again, sorry, honey!) It is humbling to realize that you were wrong and that seems to happen to me frequently now that our baby has arrived. The Lord has used motherhood to humble me and shape me to be more like Him.

Motherhood has been hard. But I would not trade it for anything. My whole world looks different, but I am thankful. Motherhood has helped me see what is in my heart and to better understand the truth of the Gospel.

God sent His precious Son to save us. He chose us to be His children. And He uses motherhood and fatherhood to depict what wonderful things He has done for us.

(And the baby is still sleeping!!! 🙂 )


4 Things I’ve Learned About Marriage By Having a Baby

stroller

My husband and I have been together for five years. We went to college together and one or both of us has been in school since we met. We have served together in children’s ministry, outreach ministries, and youth ministry. We have also worked together in several job scenarios. I have been his boss and he has been mine. All of those situations has taught us something different about each other.

But none of those experiences has taught us as much about each other as having a baby has. There is nothing quite like waking up several times in the night to quickly show you what exactly is in your heart!

Surprisingly, having a baby has taught us a lot about marriage.

1. Partnership

We are learning how important it is to be a team. You have so many decisions to make as parents and it is crucial that you are on the same page. Parenting is that much more difficult when you can’t come to an agreement.

Also, your spouse is your biggest advocate. We have had a hard first month as parents. Our baby has had big nursing issues that have caused him to not gain weight and to cry a ton. The most helpful thing to me has been my husband’s encouragement. He encourages me and even points out when I need to ask for help. He is my biggest advocate. Without him, parenting would be so much harder!

2. Relationship

The baby is time-consuming. But we are learning to not let it consume our marriage. We work hard to carve out time at the end of the day to spend time just being a couple. It would be easy just to talk about the baby, but we are working hard to prioritize our marriage. It is refreshing and relaxing to spend time focusing on one another at the end of a long day.

3. Sportsmanship 

It is important to be a good loser! I am not saying that one person “wins” parenting, but it is necessary to be able to admit when you are wrong.

I did not believe in any of the “fourth trimester” stuff before I had my son. I scoffed at white noise, dark rooms, and swaddling. Well, guess what? The only way we have gotten our son to sleep is by having some sort of noise in the background. I have had to admit that I am wrong and we have had a good laugh about it. I think that if we were not willing to admit when we are wrong, it would damper our marriage.

4. Worship 

As always, the priority in your marriage and in your life needs to be Christ. It is essential that you encourage your spouse to be a worshipper. Life gets a lot more crazy after having a baby and it gets harder to prioritize your spiritual life. Don’t forsake praying together, reading Scripture together, and serving together as life with a baby allows!

Flexibility and adaptability are key after you have a baby. Our lives have been turned upside down and we are learning how to navigate this new season. It is crucial for us to remember to support one another, prioritize our marriage, admit when we are wrong, and to worship the Lord together.

What is the biggest thing that changed for you after having a baby? 

 


I Want to Be Married. And I Want to Be a Missionary.

Single Missionary

One of the blessings of the internet is being able to connect with other believers all over the world. I am so honored to be in touch with believers all over the world through my blog.

Not long ago, I received an email from a young lady who lives really far away from me, but is asking a lot of the same questions that I struggled through. Recently, I have come in contact with a lot of young women who have been asking the questions. So I wanted to share with you a portion of our correspondence (with her permission), in hopes that it might help those of you who are thinking through the same things.

She writes:

I have a question regarding the role of young women in the mission field. My desire is to reach the nations with the gospel… I view all [my] education as  what might someday bridge me to another nation to serve the Lord there. I am single and have a strong desire to have a family of my own someday. My question is, how should I reconcile this desire for marriage with my desire to be used in global missions? I have heard people say that it is often more effective that families serve together on the mission field than for a young woman to serve alone. I also thought about making the most of short-term opportunities to test that desire for long-term missions, but it seems that the Lord has closed this door for me for a particularly long season. During this time, however, He has burdened me to pray for and support missionaries more than I have ever before, giving me many opportunities to support my friends on short-term trips. Am I too young or immature to serve the Lord overseas? Should I trust that this desire is God-given and continue to explore opportunities?”

I responded: 

Your question is actually one that I have struggled through myself. Before I met my husband, I was planning on going to the mission field. I was wrestling through the same concerns. Hopefully I can address some of your questions with what I worked through.

First of all, there is the question of being a single missionary. In college, I posed this same question to a missionary friend. She wisely suggested that if I was contemplating serving as a single missionary that I join a family on the mission field. In her experience, there are certain complications that come along with being a single missionary woman (such as safety, propriety, and just even teaching the Gospel to the church). It is beneficial to serve with a family so that you can be under the protection and provision of a male leader under appropriate circumstances. I thought that this was great advice!

But I also think that if you were teaching at a school overseas, that would be a great option for a single missionary woman! There are the same elements of safety and provision that come with being part of an establishment like that. I know there are always schools looking for teachers overseas!

As a single woman, you are in a unique position to serve the Lord. You have more free time and more ability to focus on the things of the Lord. Being married with a little one on the way, I can certainly attest to that! This time of singleness is a gift from the Lord as much as it is a gift from the Lord to be married and to have children. Be a good steward of this gift while you have it!

When I was dating my husband, I had to work through my desire to go on the mission field and my desire to be married. My husband-to-be wanted to be a pastor and stay in the United States. I had to wrestle through what was truly the Lord’s calling on my life. Among the things that I learned during that time, I learned that my heart for missions could be used in other ways than just going overseas. I interned at an organization that had orphanages in Thailand and I saw how I could have a global impact in my own backyard. I have also seen how the Lord has used my love for missions to help my husband have a more global vision. My husband has a deep love for the local church and my passion is overseas missions. We have learned that it is really two sides of the same coin. Everyone needs the Gospel, regardless of where you are. But our different passions have influenced one another positively! But the Lord may bring you a husband with the same desires as you!

The Lord definitely puts desires our hearts for a reason! But He does not always use them in the ways that we would think. I would say wholeheartedly to keep pursuing those desires! The Lord never wastes desires or experiences.

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It was such a blessing to be able to connect with this sweet lady! If you have more questions about choosing a spouse, you might want to read The Best Dating Advice I Ever Received.