A Wise Woman Builds

Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with he own hands.

Proverbs 14:1 tells us … “Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with he own hands.”

We wives and mothers have great power. We play a major part in building our homes.  The question that we must ask ourselves very honestly is, “Do I build up or do I tear down?”

I build up or I tear down with my words.

I build up or I tear down with my attitude.

I build up or I tear down with my actions.

I hold the ability to set the daily tone for my home.  The saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” is often truer than we would want to believe. How do I send my husband off to work each day? How do I greet my children as they wake up or as they return home? Is the tone of my home one of peace (though it may not be quiet)? Is there tension and strife cutting through the air? Is it an atmosphere of laughter rather than complaining?  Are kind words heard more than whining (maybe even my whining)?

If your first thoughts after reading this is …” This is just too much responsibility. I am not perfect! I am not going to get it right all the time… I know that I often tear down rather than build up”. Well, I agree. But you know, this verse begins with words of hope and the answer to our dilemma. It begins with …every wise woman.. We can build our homes when we are being wise women. Jesus is Wisdom personified, and when He dwells within us we can have His wisdom because we have HIM. His WORD (the Bible) gives wise instruction in every page and as His Holy Spirit teaches us and empowers the application of His Word to my every day life, I can become that wise woman who builds her home and thus blesses all who live there.

I do not want splinters in my hands or splinters in the hearts around me. I do not want to tear down my home  with my own hands. I do not want to be a foolish woman.  Lord, teach me to be a wise woman so I may build in my home, Your Kingdom. May my home speak of Jesus and bring You Glory…

 

His Mercies Are New Every Morning

             As I walked along a beautiful beach recently on a crystal morning this verse came to mind…

          ” But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  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 3:20-23

            While I watched the waves wash the sandy shore, I thought of the great privilege and blessing of the truth of this verse.  God’s mercies are available each and every day, not only as we awaken, but also as we go to sleep at night and all through the day.  His mercies wash over us as waves wash over the sand, wiping it clean, clear, and smooth. As I glanced behind me, my footprints, disappeared in the rushing water.  Ahead of me was a fresh path, though an unknown path, but never the less one that my Father has marked out for me.

           Yesterdays worries, sins,and problems, if given to our Lord, are either gone or seen through His eyes.  We can have a fresh perspective and not carry the rubble of the past into the new day.  The sin is washed away.  We stand in newness and holiness before our God.  A new start is available each and every morning.  Who would not take advantage of this?  But how often do we not receive the gift before us?  How often do we hold on to the past and continue to look backward,not forgiving ourselves or someone else?

           Embracing God’s mercies that are new each morning allows us to live free and unfettered.  It brings confidence and strength and grace for the new day.  We can be optimistic and hopeful, for we do not live under the cloud of yesterday.  These mercies are given because God has decided not to give us what we deserve and (I love this) He says He will give them “every morning” because He knows we need them every morning, every minute of every day.  He knows our frailties and faults. He knows our weakness and how we waver.  He knows what we need….

         So why not cash in on this truth?  Let’s take it to the bank, embrace it, make total use of what God has given us.  His mercies are always abundant; not just enough but extravagant.  So awaken tomorrow morning and confess this truth, praise your Father God for His mercies and walk through your day like a stroll on a fresh wave washed beach.

 

Overwhelmed

   Overwhelmed means to be heaped upon as flood waters submerge, to drown beneath a huge mass. Have you ever felt that these words described you; that you have been heaped upon or that you are drowning under a huge weight?  There are probably times that we each feel this way.  There are definitely chapters in our lives that are  overwhelming.  The question is; how do we move through them?  As great as the trouble or trial may be we often add to the problem by the ways that we respond to it. Some of these ways may be: we take on what is not ours to take on, or we think we are the one in control and all depends on us. Maybe we spend too much time and energy worrying about tomorrow or we may have tunnel vision and can not begin to see the big picture. No wonder we become worn out and at our “wit’s end”.   So what can be done?  What or WHO can rescue us from this over whelming place we may find ourselves in?

     God instructs us in His Word that we can have peace, a peace that is not understood because it is His peace, even in overwhelming times.  How can this be true  for us?  May I make a few suggestions for you to consider? First of all, “just do the next thing”. As  we look at all the details and possibilities, we can be paralyzed by it.  Our thoughts circle continuously round our minds but do not move us to action.  Psalms 119:105 gives us wonderful advice in this area.  “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Ask God what is the next thing for you to do, not what will you do next week or next year. I share this because in the days these words were written there were not any flashlights or spotlights that shone far down the road ahead.  As one would walk along a path they would carry a lamp.  This lamp would only give light for the next step.  As each step was taken there would be light for the next one. Definitely a trusting way to walk. So do the next thing He shows you and you will have light for the next step.

      Next remember that God has a plan even though you can not see it. Jeremiah 29:11 promises that He does. Proverbs 16:9 tells us that man plans His ways but God directs his steps.  It is as we depend on His direction of our steps one at a time that it becomes His plan.  So do the next thing, one step at a time, as He directs.  A large component of being overwhelmed is worry.  Worry runs away from trust and jumps on a horse that runs in all directions at once.  Or it overtakes a heart and paralyzes us. What good is that?  Matthew 6:34 tells us, “Therefore do not worry for tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about it self.”  It is important to see what the “therefore ” is there for.  Verse 33 tells us to” Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” Worry drains us and confuses us and we know where that comes from!

       Elisabeth Elliot said it well.  “Today  is mine.  Tomorrow is none of my business.  If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.”  So let us all apply these truths to our overwhelmed lives and hopefully we will move to a new kind of overwhelmed.  Big Daddy Weave sings a song titled “Overwhelmed”.  May we join him in his words, “to be overwhelmed by the works of God’s hands, His great love.” To sing with him…” All that You are is so overwhelming… I’m overwhelmed by YOU, I run into Your arms.” (check it out on utube.com)

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Inward Adornment

1Peter 3:3-4 tells us to, “Let not yours be the (merely) external adorning with elaborate interweaving  and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or change of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a quiet and gentle and peaceful spirit, which (is not anxious or wrought up, but) is very precious in the sight of God.  (Amp. Version)

How can we adorn ourselves inwardly?  Seems the world around us focuses entirely on outward adornment, especially the adornment of women.  The fashion and  cosmetics industries make millions, promising to make us beautiful on the outside.  Not that I don’t appreciate a little makeup or a flattering garment, after all the verse says our adornment is not to be ” merely” outward.  But the attention, time and money given to outward adornments often greatly outweigh the time, thought, and prayer given to inward adorning…

We know God looks on the heart and not on the outside.  So how are you adorning your heart?  What am I doing to adorn my hidden person, that deepest part of my heart that only God sees?  These words in 1 Peter tells us clearly what is precious, so precious to our God, and with which we are to adorn our hearts.  It is the incorruptible and unfading charm of  a gentle and peaceful spirit.  Who would not desire unfading charm? Who would not desire to be ruled by a peaceful spirit? Who would not want to be gentle with our words, our lives? These verses are not talking about a certain personality, but a matter of ones’ spirit, of ones’ hidden person.

Later in 1 Peter 3 it speaks of the women who have gone before us who “HOPED in GOD”.  This is key to having that gentle and peaceful spirit. As we put our hope, our wholehearted trust, our confidence in our God, then and only then, will we have this inward adorning. When we trust Him, our fears and anxiety are driven away and His gentleness and peace rules our hearts.  We can even trust God with our husbands and their decisions when our hearts are ruled by Him.

Will our hearts look like this every day? No, it is a fight to go deep and trust long. We will fail. We will want to cover up and adorn the outward and show others how beautiful we are. But when the makeup comes off and we look at ourselves in the mirror we will be encouraged to look deeper. We will not want to stay the same, but lay that hidden part of us before our Creator Father God and let Him add the strokes of beauty, the colors of His life, and the Truth of His Word as He adorns us inwardly.

And the Two Shall Become One

image   Like a Lock and Key….

 

” A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh.”  This verse is spoken by God in Genesis 2:24, by the Son in Matthew 19:5 and by the Holy Spirit through Paul in Ephesians 5:31. Do you think it could be important?  I think so…. The truth stated in this verse is of utmost importance as it is applied to the marriage relationship.  The lessons in leaving and cleaving will be looked at another time, but I want us to focus on the goal that God wants us to work toward in our marriages….. to become one….Oneness.

  In  our world of individualism, isolation and independence, the concept of two becoming one is often foreign to our experience.  But it is in our coming together in oneness that we most reflect the image of God. A husband and wife each bring a plethora of differences to the marriage; different personalities, backgrounds, not to mention the totally different outlooks just because of being male and female. Our Father God wants to somehow knit these different colored threads together into one masterpiece that brings glory to HIM and causes each marriage partner to grow and become better. So why is pursuing oneness so difficult?  Why do we compete rather than complete each other?  Why do we thrash out in our differences rather than embrace them?  Why do I want to change my husband to be more like me? Who made me judge?  After all. two identical people make for a boring, uninteresting relationship. If we are just alike, then one of us is unnecessary…

   So I encourage you to celebrate the differences rather than destroy and bury them.  A lock and a key are totally different shapes, having different functions but when each yields to the other and  fulfills the purpose for which it is made… doors are unlocked, new horizons open before you and new adventures begin.  These totally different implements are meant to work together and come together in a oneness that not only gets the job done, but does it smoothly and effortlessly. As we each embrace our beautiful differences, our ebb and flow, our highs and lows , our quirks and giggles, it can be a holy adventure in becoming one that reflects His image in a greater way than we could have done singly.

A Gift For Your Husband

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             My husband never seems to want any gifts and if he does, it will certainly be something very practical.  I love to give gifts so this can be frustrating at times.  So what is it that I may give him that shows my love and would also be happily received by him?  I think Ephesians 5:33b  informs me of a precious gift which costs no money, but would be priceless to my husband.  That gift is RESPECT… This is what it says:

“let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.)”     Ephesians 5:33b Amp.

       Wow… that verse in the amplified version says much!!!  God knows what my husband needs, so He gives me as his wife this command to respect him.  Notice that there are no adjectives describing what kind of husband to respect.  I am to respect him in his God given role in our marriage, whether he is always fulfilling that role or not.  I often share with young women to marry a respectable man because it makes it much easier for her to obey this scripture. I believe that your husband will grow and blossom as you share with him daily this biblical gift of respect!

         So whether it is Valentine’s Day or just each ordinary day remember to respect your husband in the way that Ephesians 5:33b describes. This may help you or you could write your own reminder.

R–Rightfully honor your husband

E–Esteem him above all others

S–Shine when you are with him

P–Praise him often, preferring him

E–Eyes looking at him when he speaks

C–Calling his name out in prayer daily

T–Treating him with love and kindness

        If a  little respect goes a long way,imagine what a lot of respect does?  So wrap up RESPECT for your husband and let him receive it each day.  You both will be glad you did!