The Eden Concept

eden concept picMy niece is getting married in a few months. Her wedding invitation is posted on our fridge. There is excitement in the air and talk of dresses, cakes, receptions, decorations, and flowers. She will be a beautiful bride.

Don’t you just love weddings! I usually cry through the whole ceremony, but my favorite part is the moment when the bride walks through the door. Everyone turns and stands in awe. All eyes are upon the beautiful and radiant young women dressed in white. Music is playing and the groom waits anxiously to take his bride as his own. It is almost surreal.

But sadly, within our culture the sacredness of marriage itself is almost gone. For decades now it has been under attack and at its core the institution of marriage seems to be weakening. More and more we hear of marriages ripped apart.

Ripped apart by sin.
Ripped apart by selfishness.
Ripped apart by worldly influences.

Then there are those who want to throw the whole ideology of marriage away. It’s not that they want to “redefine marriage” as some would declare. No, they want to destroy it, erase it from existence. God instituted marriage. He is the author of it. He defines it. Therefore, marriage as God designed it is a constant reminder of His authority over His creation. And people who love their sin do not want to be reminded of their Creator and Judge.

A little over a year ago my husband and I started working together on a book called The Eden Concept. We are living in a time where biblical marriage needs to be lifted up, lived out, and taught to others. This is why I’m excited to announce that we are finally moving forward with this project. The outline is complete. Here is a sampling of the introduction:

A correct worldview of origins is foundational to a correct view of marriage. Established in Genesis, we see the doctrine of marriage as ordained by God of one man and one woman. But, an inaccurate view of origins led mankind down a path of narcissistic ideology – the idea that mankind should do what is “right in our own eyes.” On this topic Dr. Ham wrote, “It is also important to note that the public education system has by and large thrown out God’s Word and raised generations of children to believe they are just animals who evolved by natural processes. In that worldview, who determines right and wrong? And who determines what marriage should or should not be? In fact, why should there be any such thing as marriage any way? Why shouldn’t people do what they want with anyone, even any animal? Why shouldn’t they do what is right in their own eyes if they can get away with it? Why not? If there’s no absolute authority, what right does anyone have to tell anyone else what they should or should not do?”

To look at marriage in any other fashion than through God’s Word is futile. The Eden Concept dismisses man’s ideas about marriage and sees it as God – The Absolute Authority – designed it. The Eden Concept throws out man’s happiness and self-gratification as the standard for marriage. Instead, it lifts up God’s Holy Word as the design for a thriving marriage. Journey with us through each page; we start at “the beginning” and then witness the devastation that sin brought to Eden. We ascertain the perfect design for Eden and how to re-establish it. We address cultivating the marriage and raising our children, the tender plants of Eden. We examine the ruin caused by the cultural weevils in Eden and learn how to fight against them. We will see marriage just as God intended – The Eden Concept – and how we, as God’s children, are to respond.

Will you keep us in your prayers as we continue this work? Pray for protection for our marriage and family and for wisdom and discernment as we press on. Many blessings to you!

Faithfulness in a Faithless World

faithfulIn 1993 we stood before God and witnesses to pledge our love and faithfulness to one another. Over the last twenty years, we have endeavored to have a marriage built on these values and be a testimony of this devotion. It is a grand undertaking. And while the thought of love is common and easy to recognize, faithfulness can be multifaceted. Just what does it mean to be faithful? Are there levels of faithfulness? Why is it important? And how does faithfulness affect a marriage?

 The dictionary defines faithfulness as unwavering in belief, consistently loyal, or not adulterous. There is the horizontal side to faithfulness that is between a husband and wife. This is what most people think of when they think of being faithful in marriage. It encompasses the physical, emotional, and mental aspect of marriage. However, there is also the faithfulness that a Christian couple has to God. This is the vertical (or spiritual) side of faithfulness. Both components of faithfulness are essential in marriage.

 Because marriage is ordained by God the enemy seeks to destroy it, government demeans it, and society distorts it. Satan will use any means necessary to wreck marriage. This has been a goal from the beginning. We also see marriage degraded by government through legislation that seeks to redefine marriage or laws that allow no fault divorce. Then the culture is constantly pushing against God’s ideal for husbands and wives by actively perverting and twisting marriage via movies, television programs, magazines, and music. As influential as these factors are, you might ask what Christians can possibly due to push back. Perhaps the most profound way to effect change is to have a biblically based, God-honoring, faithful marriage.

 Faithfulness is downplayed by the world, but we know that it is God’s plan for a beautiful marriage. So let’s look at 5 thoughts that will uphold a biblical view of faithfulness in marriage.

A Proper Perspective

One day our family was traveling down the road and talking about marriage with our children. Our oldest son had a friend with him who replied, “I’m never going to get married. I want to be single my whole life.” Our youngest son (who was 6 years old at the time) commented, “You are single when you get married.” We assured him that a married man was not single to which he adamantly responded, “Yes you are, two becomes one!”

 “From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh,” Mark 10:6-8. Having a proper perspective means that we understand that as husband and wife, we are no longer two but one.  That means when a husband loves his wife, he loves himself. When a wife is faithful to her husband, she is in essence being faithful to herself.  When one is built up, they are both built up. When one rejoices, they both rejoice. Understanding that “two becomes one” revolutionizes a marriage.

 Honesty is the Best Policy

The father of lies says that a little white lie will not hurt a marriage. Even the world whispers that it is okay to hide things from our spouse. But does the world have our best interest in mind? Is the great deceiver seeking to protect marriages? Secrets, lies, dishonesty, and unfaithfulness to one another will destroy a marriage. A husband and wife need to communicate, speak the truth in love, and be faithful to one another through their words and deeds. We have counseled with many couples who are on the verge of divorce because one spouse was betrayed by lies.  It takes years to rebuild trust in a relationship and sometimes it can never be rebuilt. “He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit,” Proverbs 12:17.  Let our marriages be governed by honesty.
Being truthful to your spouse is a fruit of true love; it shows your love for them. “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth,” 1 John 3:18.

 Eyes for Only You

 Adultery is a devastating act of unfaithfulness both horizontally and vertically. When King David took the wife of Uriah, his betrayal was to a loyal and faithful servant that eventually led to murder. But ultimately his unfaithfulness was to God. “And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD,” 2 Samuel 12:13a.

 What led to this act of adultery? The Bible says that David saw, coveted, and took. It began with his eyes. Job, a man who was, “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil,” (Job 1:1) understood this. He said, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? (Job 31:1).

 Looking lustfully at the opposite sex (whether in person, on TV, in the movies, or online) is infidelity of the heart. Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” Matthew 5:28. But sadly, because we have become so desensitized by our immodest culture, we hardly recognize it. Subtle temptations abound all around us. For a couple to uphold faithfulness in marriage they must shield their eyes and guard their hearts. To do this not only shows faithfulness, but also great honor toward one another.

 What Impact Am I Making?

The world is speaking one thing.  What is our faithfulness (or unfaithfulness) speaking to those around us? Not every marriage has believing partners. Should a husband have an unbelieving wife, his faithfulness to her could be what brings her to Christ. The same applies for Christian wives with unbelieving husbands. “For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?,” 1 Corinthians 7:16.

Likewise, our testimony of faithfulness speaks volumes to our children. Theodore Hesburgh is credited for saying, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” You cannot have love without faithfulness. In addition, a faithful marriage is a testimony to the world for God’s glory. Understanding the impact we can have on our spouse, children, those around us, and the lost greatly motivates believers to live in a faithful manner.

Keep God Preeminent

 A husband and wife can be faithful to each other, but still be unfaithful to God in their marriage. This is done by focusing more on things of the world than on things above. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth,” Colossians 3:1-2. God should never be an add-on in our marriage. He should be the very foundation upon which our marriage is built. It becomes very easy for God to lose His place of importance in day to day activities. Therefore, we must be intentional in keeping God preeminent in our marriage. Great is God’s faithfulness to us (Lamentations 3:23), so let us be faithful to Him in devotion and action, giving Him glory through our marriage.

 By having a proper perspective, speaking the truth in love, making a covenant with our eyes, understanding the impact we are making, and keeping God preeminent, faithfulness will be upheld in our marriage. This does not mean that it will be easy, for the enemy is against us; the world is against us; and even our own weak flesh battles against us. But in Christ we are victorious! He has already overcome the enemy (Revelation 20:10). Those that are born of God have overcome the world (1 John 5:4). And as children of God, our flesh has been defeated (Romans 6:6).

What Are We Communicating?

communicatingOne of the couples in our church celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year.  Even as I type this, I have a hard time comprehending the longevity of their marriage. Sixty-five years is a long time. By any standard it’s quite an accomplishment. Very few marriages last that long.  In fact, fewer and fewer marriages seem to be lasting at all.  In the past month alone I have counseled with two different women who were struggling in their marriage.  In both cases, the husband and wife were Christians.  And in both cases, their marriage was falling apart.  Each woman had similar complaints. They did not talk anymore. They felt like they were living separate lives under the same roof.  And the love and respect in the marriage was gone. 

Communication plays a major role in marriage. Without it marriages fail.  Likewise, without healthy communication marriages will fail as well.  Each problem in the above example was a communication issue. They might have communicated with each other to an extent, but it was an unhealthy form of communication.  They lacked proper communication in their words, in behavior, and in attitude.  Or, you could say the problem was in the things they said, the things they did, and the things they thought.

The Meaning

To have a healthy, godly marriage it is vital that we understand healthy communication.  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the definition of communication as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.” Communication is more than talking.  It is expressing yourself through words and actions.  It is articulating clearly the thoughts of your heart. A husband can communicate to his wife that she is not important by his words.

“I don’t care what you say; I’m doing it my way!”

Or

“Sweetheart, I love you and your input is very important to this marriage. Tell me what you think.”

When a wife ignores the requests of her husband she communicates to him through her actions that she doesn’t respect him.  Or, through positive, loving actions she can communicate great respect.  It is important to remember that communication is always two-sided.  Let me ask this.  Which blade on a pair of scissors is the most important?  Communication is like this.  It takes both sides to accomplish anything.

The Method

Healthy communication is the conduit Christian couples use to build strong, godly marriages. While communication comes in all forms, there is no stronger form of communication than the words we say.  Proverbs 18:21 declares that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Our words can be used for great evil or great good. Our words can tear down or they can build up.  Wives are warned in Scripture that “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands,” Proverbs 14:1.  And Jesus warns that “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment,” Matthew 12:36.

More marriages have been destroyed by careless words than perhaps any other thing.  In the book of James we are given three illustrations of the power of our tongue.  The tongue is like a bit we put in a horse’s mouth that controls the whole horse.  It is like a “very small helm” (rudder or wheel) that controls a large ship.  And it is compared to a spark of fire.  (James 3:3-6)  It is small in size, but large in nature.  The passage continues to say, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison,” James 3:8.  It is true.  No man can tame the tongue.  Have you ever heard these words?

  • “I just couldn’t help what I said!”
  • “She makes me so mad. The hurtful words just came out!”
  • “He brings out the worst in me!”

Have you ever said them?  No, we cannot control our tongue.  It is impossible, for out of the abundance of the heart man speaks.  However, the good news for us is that God can and does control the words of his children. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good,” Luke 6:45.

 As children of God we have two options.  We can choose to walk in the flesh, fulfilling our own selfish desires.   But be warned, if we choose this path our marriages will be filled with envying and strife (James 3:14-16). Or, we can walk in the Spirit with the wisdom of God.  “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy,” James 3:17.  The method we choose will help to determine the outcome of our marriage.

 The Motivation

We have seen that healthy communication is essential to a strong, biblical marriage, but it is not enough.  To have a successful marriage we must have the proper motivation. What motivates you as a wife?  What motivates you as a husband?  Do you want a good marriage for the sake of your children?  Do you want a good marriage so you can be happy?  Is your desire in marriage centered on selfish motives?  These questions need to be asked.  I have heard it said that one of the biggest problems we make is making marriage about “me” instead of “we.”  This is a good point.  Most problems, including a lack of communication, stem from selfishness.  But, for the Christian, I will go even further.  To have a true, biblical marriage our focus should not be on “we” but on “He”.  For the Christian couple, Jesus Christ should be our motivation behind having a strong, biblical marriage.

Let me explain.  In Ephesians 5:22-33 God lays out the beautiful picture of a godly marriage.  It looks like this:

  •  Wives submit to your husband (verse 22).
  • Husbands love your wives (verse 25).
  • The husband and wife is no longer two, but one flesh (verse 31).

Then, in the next verse, God gives the motivation behind marriage.  “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church,” Ephesians 5:32.  Your marriage here on earth is a picture of the heavenly marriage between the Lord and His bride.  When Christian couples have unhealthy, failing marriages they are depicting to the world a distorted picture of Christ and His church.  Wives are to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord.”  It’s all about Him!  Husbands are to love their wives, “even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” It’s all about Him!  When we view our marriage in light of the testimony we are giving to the unsaved world, it greatly motivates us to have a God-pleasing marriage. You see, once again communication plays a vital role in marriage.  Every marriage is communicating something to the world.  Dear Christian couple, just what is your marriage communicating to those around you? Healthy communication is designed to build and strengthen the godly marriage. In turn, a godly marriage illustrates to the world a beautiful picture of the perfect heavenly marriage. In both, God receives all the honor and glory.

Loving Your Spouse in Deed & Truth

loveDid you know that in 1st John we see 46 different forms of the word love?  I have been teaching through this book to our ladies during our Monday night Bible study.  Love envelops the Epistles of John.  It not only adorns this book, but is a consistent theme throughout the entire Word of God.

 We have been learning that love is more than an emotion. While emotion is attached to love, it is in actuality an act of the will. We choose to love. And while a person wants to be told they are loved; they want to be shown even more. Therefore, true love is active, not passive.  We are told in 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” So let’s take a look at what loving our spouse in deed and truth looks like. (With special thanks to my husband who has written the part for men.)

 Wife

 My husband says that most men are fairly easy to please. They basically need three things – food, sex, and respect (and not necessarily in that order). While this may be true and is certainly a good starting point, there are many ways a wife can show love on a daily basis. The way you show your husband love will probably look different than the way I show my husband love. So do not use the below list as an excuse for falling into the trap of comparison. This is always detrimental to a marriage. Instead, use these suggestions as a means of sparking your creative imagination and love your husband in a way that makes him see the truth in Proverbs 18:22. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”

  • Create an atmosphere of peace in the home.

  • Pray for his life and success daily.

  • Help him maintain male friendships by allowing him time away with the boys.

  • When he has had a hard day, romance him in the evening.

  • Praise him in public.

  • Save money in a jar and buy him something he really wants.

  • Build him up in the eyes of your children. Make him their greatest hero.

  • When he asks you to do something, do it with pleasure.

  • Support his life ambitions in both word and deed.

  • Fix his favorite meal or dessert on occasion.

  • Don’t complain.

  • Be quick to say I’m sorry and even quicker to forgive.

  • Be a woman he can trust. Don’t share more than you should with others.

  • When he arrives home from work, allow him some quiet time before discussing the day.

  • Maintain your health and beauty.

  • Pray for his weaknesses, praise his strengths.

  • Put your husband before your children and make sure he knows that he will always hold that place.

  • Always express thankfulness for all he does for your family whether it is big or small.

  • The next time you are tempted to usurp his authority, don’t.

  • Surround yourself with friends who want to see your marriage last and listen to them.

  • Speak kindly and watch the tone of your voice. Avoid being loud or whiny.

  • Be there in his hour of need.

  • Be content with what you have, not always demanding more.

  • Be slow to speak and quick to listen.

  • Drop an encouraging note or scripture in his lunch or brief- case.

  • Send romantic texts (just make sure it goes to the right person).

  • Treat him with respect and teach the children to do the same.

  • Begin each day with a hug. End each night with a kiss.

  • Add to this list continually.

Husband

Husbands before you read the list below, prayerfully consider that your wife is a precious vessel in which to treasure and that this list is not a checklist to say, “Okay I have done my part”, but a guide to help reaffirm her as your “help meet.” She was created from the man, not from his head to rule over him, nor from his foot to be subjugated by him, but from his side to be his close ally and trusted confidant.  As her husband the Bible commands you to “wash her with the water of the word” this means to speak into her life and help her live through the scriptures you share with her day by day. The word husband is the word used to be a dresser of vines, one who cultivates and not that of dictator or tyrant. You are her spiritual head and it is your loving obligation to lead her into the truth of God’s Word together. Now consider some of the following to help strengthen her first, and your own position of authority second:

  •  After the kids are in bed, slow dance by candlelight or firelight.

  • Do something around the house that your wife usually does.

  • Take up a new hobby or interest together or share those you already have.

  • Praise your wife in front of the children.

  • Be trustworthy.

  • Pray with and for your wife.

  • Exercise together.

  • Be the Spiritual leader you are called to be by reading scripture together.

  • Let her talk.  Be slow to speak, quick to listen.

  • Keep pictures of your family in your wallet or around the office.

  • Be the sole provider for your family.

  • Schedule a monthly (or weekly, if possible) date with your wife.

  • Write her love letters.

  • Fill her car up with gas when it’s low.

  • Make your anniversary very special.

  • Send her flowers on your children’s birthdays.

  • Encourage her to spend time with godly women.

  • Always express thankfulness for all she does for the family whether it is big or small.

  • Use physical affection often -a hand on the shoulder, neck rub, stroke on the cheek, etc.

  • Watch the tone of your voice. Be kind, don’t yell.

  • Always forgive.

  • Be a good father to your children.

  • Let her sleep in occasionally and serve her favorite breakfast in bed.

  • Add to this list continually.

Note: Looking for a study on love from 1st John? Click here for a verse by verse study for women through the Epistles of John.

40 Things I Love About You

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It has been fun having my husband turn 40 this week (mostly because it wasn’t me). I’ve reminded him how “old” he has become. The children and I bought gag gifts. The church threw him a surprise party on Friday night. It’s been great, but time for fun is over. This is serious – 40 years!  So all joking aside, and in honor of husband’s birthday here are 40 Things I Love About You – Dana Williams!

1.) I am not #1 in your life.
2.) ….God is.
3.) You are a loving father.
4.) …and a fun dad.
5.) You are a student of the Word.
6.) You are a wonderful pastor.
7.) You give me gifts when I don’t deserve them.
8.) You give me gifts when I do…
9.) You make me smile.
10.) You make me cry.
11.) You make our daughter laugh.
12.) You make our boys strong.
13.) You bring out the best in people.
14.) You bring out the best in Otis (our demon dog).
15.) You stand when no one else will.
16.) You stand with those who stand on God’s Word.
17.) You have a heart for older people.
18.) You love babies and children.
19.) You love the truth.
20.) Your favorite movie is Pride & Prejudice.
21.) You’re not embarrassed to say that your favorite movie is Pride & Prejudice.
22.) You practice what you preach.
23.) You admit when you are wrong.
24.) You don’t pretend.
25.) You make me feel like a Queen.
26.) You are an excellent sock folder!
27.) You encourage me to write.
28.) You spiritually lead me and the children.
29.) You are one of the hardest workers I know.
30.) You read me to sleep.
31.) You make our date nights special.
32.) You take our daughter out on dates making her feel special.
33.) You wrestle with the boys.
34.) You cry when watching Fireproof & Courageous.
35.) You love to laugh.
36.) You make me want to be a better wife.
37.) You play Monopoly when you don’t want to.
38.) You know how to forgive.
39.) You know how to say, “I’m sorry!”
40.) You have bewitched me body and soul. I love, I love, I love you. Mr. Williams and I never wish to be parted from you from this day on!

Hey Girl, You Better Guard Your Heart!

brokenheart There is a disturbing phenomenon circulating on Facebook and Pinterest. It is the “Hey Girl” photos with Ryan Gosling. Have you seen them? The pictures feature Mr. Gosling in a provocative pose, many times shirtless, addressing the very heart of women. The ones I have seen are disturbing in that they are geared toward wives, stay-at-home moms, and homeschoolers.

The photos have captions like:

• Hey girl, I loved your blog post today.
• Hey girl, Go rest those tired eyes and I’ll take care of the explosive diaper.
• Hey girl, You know I’m getting jealous of that body pillow.
• Hey girl, I don’t need fancy dinners, I love the way you cook Kraft dinners.
• Hey girl, sure I’ll take another day off from work to go on a field trip with you and the kids.
• Hey girl, I love how you manage to tie in our morning devotional with algebra.

In a society where marriages are under attack and fewer and fewer actually survive, the whole issue is troublesome. If it were a just a trend of the world I would not worry. But since many of my online associations are professing Christians, I have to conclude that many Christian wives are looking at and promoting these photos.

Faithfulness is key for a Christian marriage to not only thrive, but glorify God. No doubt marital infidelity can destroy a marriage, but what about infidelity of the heart?

Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” Matthew 5:27-28.

Is it really prudent to look at a picture of a good-looking man saying things that you wish your husband would say?

Let’s ask like this: Would you want your husband looking at a picture of a good-looking woman saying things that he wished you would say to him?

The lies of the world are clever. They whisper, “It’s no big deal.” But, the enemy is subtle; he desires to destroy your marriage. Guard your heart; God is very concerned with the condition of it. Love your husband for who he is and glorify God through your marriage. The world is watching!

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” Proverbs 4:23.

14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect (Part Two)

part twoFold his eggs. Watch Finding Bigfoot with him. Write love notes and send sweet texts. These are ways to respect your husband. Click here to read Part One on 14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect on Valentine’s Day.

Part Two continues:

Encourage the children to show honor to their father every day.

The first commandment with promise is “Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee,” Deuteronomy 5:16. One of the best things you can do for your husband is to teach his children to honor him in attitude and action. Teaching this also greatly impacts your children. If we don’t teach them to honor their earthly father, they will have a hard time learning how to honor their Heavenly Father. A lack of proper respect and obedience for those in authority will transcend into a lack of proper respect and obedience for the Highest Authority – God Almighty.

Don’t nag.

The strongest man who ever lived was nagged so much, “that his soul was vexed unto death,” Judges 16:16. Don’t be a nagging wife. It is very disrespectful and is more annoying than a leaky roof. “A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike,” Proverbs 27:15. Besides that, you will never change his heart or ways through nagging. Love him and win him over with a “meek and quiet spirit”, 1 Peter 3:4.

Smile at him often.

Have you ever seen a smiling face that was not beautiful? Smile at your husband and do it often. It will bless his heart. “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance,” Proverbs 15:13.

Pray for him daily.

Your husband carries a large load. He is responsible for his family physically and spiritually. He needs your prayers. It will strengthen your marriage and your love and respect for him. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:18.

Take an afternoon nap.

One of my dearest friends gave my some advice years ago that has transformed my marriage. She said, “Take an afternoon nap so that when your husband comes home you will have energy left for him.” You know how tired and exhausted you are at the end of the day. And it is quite easy to use up all of your energy before he comes home, so save some energy for him. If that means taking a nap – DO IT! He doesn’t want your leftovers. Respect him enough to take care of your body. Trust me on this one!

Dress in a way that pleases him.

I have a white jacket that my husband hates. I like it, but for some reason it reminds him of the 80’s. The other day I put it on over a dress and when I asked how I looked he responded with “okay”. Because he is always kind and gracious with his compliments, I know that “okay” is code for “not so good.” So, I took it off. Thinking back even now, I am sure that all my friends would agree that the jacket looked great. But is that really the point? My husband doesn’t like it. I think I will go right now and put it in box marked Give-Away.

Make building a godly marriage a priority.

Your marriage is the most important earthly thing you can build. Make it lasting. Make it strong. Be a testimony to this lost world. It will take work no doubt, so be willing to work hard at building a godly marriage. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD,” Proverbs 18:22. For more on building a godly marriage click here.

So there you have it. 14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect on Valentine’s Day! Hope you enjoy it. Better yet, I hope your husband does! 😉

Many Blessings!

14 Ways to Show Your Husband Respect (Part One)

heartFebruary 14th is a day of love and nothing speaks love to a husband like

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

God knows the importance of respect in a marriage and reminds wives in Ephesians 5:33 “see that she reverence her husband.” Remember it isn’t about feelings or even because he deserves it. We respect our husbands because of their position in our marriage. The husband is the head of the wife. It’s not that he should be head, but that he is head, just as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23).

Showing respect should be an everyday occurrence, and there is no time like Valentine’s Day to begin! Below are just a few practical ways to show reverence to your husband. Be creative, no two husbands are the same. However, I can confidently say that every husband wants respect.

Fold His Eggs. 

My husband loves eggs for breakfast and prefers them to be folded (like the eggs at McDonalds), not scrambled. It would be a lot quicker and easier to scramble eggs, but I take the time to fold them. Why? Because in preferring him, it shows that I love and respect his desires. Maybe your husband likes scrambled eggs; maybe he doesn’t like eggs at all. But I guarantee that he does have a favorite meal. Fix it for him and see his eyes light up!

Watch “Finding Bigfoot” with him.

I hate that show! I feel stupid just watching it. However, my husband deals with serious issues all day long. Many times he comes home exhausted and drained. So sometimes he just needs to relax and quite frankly, watch a stupid show. I fail, but I do my best to not complain. I sit by him, hold his hand, and patiently wait for those “scientist” to finally find a Sasquatch. Hopefully before too long they will so we can move on to something else. Perhaps watching “Finding Bigfoot” is not an issue for you. But I am sure that your husband enjoys activities that you don’t care for. Maybe it is fishing, playing golf, watching football. Do it with him on occasion. He’ll love you for it!

Write love notes or send sweet texts.

Taking the time to express your love to your husband is a great way to respect him. Tell him you appreciate all the hard work he does. Let him know that he is special to you. Tell him you are thinking of him. And on occasion, send a quick text to brighten up his day and make him look forward to coming home. Just be sure and send it to the right person!

Be understanding when he is late for dinner.

It happens. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Traffic is terrible or something unexpected comes up. And…..sometimes it can be helped. Either way, when we are forgiving with an understanding attitude it shows that we respect him. The golden rule found in Matthew 7:12 is a good guide for a happy marriage.

Iron his placket.

I often tell my husband that my love for him is like the laundry – It’s never-ending! It seems as though I iron all the time. And the plackets on his dress shirts always give me fits! But, it’s the little things I do that shows my husband respect. So if ironed plackets can accomplish that, so be it! What little thing can you do to show your husband that you care?

Speak highly of him in front of others.

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.”Proverbs 31:11a. There is no better way to gain your husband’s trust and show respect than to praise him in front of others. Has he fixed the car? Does he take care of you when you’re sick? Does he bring you flowers? Does he work hard to provide for your family? Is he a good daddy? Honor him with your words. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and genuine words of appreciation will bring life to any marriage.

Argue with him in private.

No marriage is without arguments. You will not always agree with our husband, but you do not have to adamantly disagree in front of others, especially your children. If you disagree voice then your opinion in an honoring way, if the disagreement cannot be lovingly and respectfully resolved then work it out in private. Then you can come together, unified in front of the children.

So there you have it. Part One of 14 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband on Valentine’s Day. Be watching tomorrow for part two.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life,” Proverbs 31:10-12.

Building a Godly Marriage

building houseI was reading this morning in Proverbs about the wise woman. I desire for my life to exude wisdom, no doubt every Christian woman does, so when I came across this verse it immediately caught my attention. “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands,” Proverbs 14:1. Often in scripture parallels are drawn between the family and a house. Psalm 127 is a great example. The first verse says, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.” Reading the chapter in context we easily see that the passage is speaking of the family. The following Psalm gives another example of the blessed man and his house. “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table,” Psalm 128:3. So, a wise woman builds her house, or we could say that she builds her family. But a foolish woman plucks it down.

A person does not have to know a lot about buildings, or even understand all the concepts behind construction, to know the most important aspect. If you want to build a structure that will last, it has to be built on a solid foundation. The only foundation solid enough to build a lasting marriage is Christ. As the old hymn goes, “all other ground is sinking sand”. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian home. My husband and I have counseled with many Christian families who are falling apart. They might appear to be healthy and striving as a family, but it is just a façade. They have the foundation of Christ in their home, but they are building a weak, unsecured structure upon that foundation. Our enemy, the great deceiver, is seeking to destroy Christian families. If Christ is truly the foundation of the home, we rest in the peace that the foundation cannot be destroyed. The enemy knows this, but it does not keep him from seeking to destroy the framework of the home.

The framework of the Christian home is the marriage. Think about what happens when Christian marriages are destroyed. The home is shattered, churches are weakened, testimonies are lost, and the enemy is victorious when this happens. This is because the biblical marriage on earth is a picture to the world of the perfect heavenly marriage. We find this truth in Ephesians 5:22-32.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

When Christian marriages operate in an unbiblical fashion, they portray to the world a distorted and false view of Christ and His bride. I recognize that most couples do not think about their marriage in this light. Too many times they are so busy focusing on themselves for their testimony to the world to even be considered. But bearing in mind the current state of marriage within the Christian community, it’s high time that Christian people start thinking about these things. What is your marriage saying to those around you? As children of God, does your marriage reflect the power of God in your life? When the unsaved world looks at your marriage are they drawn to God and His glorious truths?

A wise woman will build her house. She starts with the correct foundation and builds a godly marriage from there. But a wife cannot do it alone. It will take work and commitment from both husband and wife. This is why God commands His children to “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers,” 2 Corinthians 6:14a. It is imperative for a godly marriage. The picture is that through marriage my husband and I are yoked together or as Christ stated we are no longer two but one flesh. “(Jesus) said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” Matthew 19:5-6.

To pluck down or destroy my house would be to destroy myself, and that certainly would not be wise!

The Fallacy and Reality of Submission

“We are leaving the church.”  The comment was made to my husband who is also the pastor of our church.  The reason given for this couple leaving was that his preaching and teaching regarding women was chauvinistic.  When my husband asked them if they would like to see in Scripture where his teaching came from the wife’s reply was, “You can show me, but that will not change my mind.”  After showing her and her husband several passages, their response was that these verses were written thousands of years ago and do not apply to modern society.

Unfortunately, our culture confuses and undermines womanhood and submission with damaging preconceived ideas.  From the moment a young lady is thrust into society she becomes indoctrinated with feministic teachings contrary to Scripture.  Screaming equality, their feminist philosophy holds to the view that “Anything a man can do, I can do better!”  Once more subtle, it has now become blatant. Too often we hear narcissistic phrases such as:  “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and “I like to think of ‘men’ as the diminutive of ‘women’”.  Perhaps the worse one of all is, “God is just an abbreviation for goddess.”   These catch phrases and slogans slowly and surely eat away at the foundation of biblical womanhood and seek to destroy society as a whole.

Consider these quotes.

Any intelligent woman who reads the marriage contract, and then goes into it, deserves all the consequences. – Isadora Duncan

Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors. – Evelyn Cunningham

I ask no favors for my sex…. All I ask of our brethren is that they will take their feet from off our necks.-  Sarah Moore Grimké

As the radical feminist movement spreads throughout our country, the marks of distinction are no longer clear.  Once stood the ungodly, man-hating, ferocious feminist on one side and the Bible believing, meek, and quiet woman on the other.  But regrettably over the last couple of generations, as professing Christians continue to embrace the world; these two groups are slowly evolving together into what we see today.   You see, the thought that teaching on submission is chauvinistic and that Paul’s writings are not relevant did not come from the world and those outside the church.  These thoughts were voiced by professing Christians within the church.

These are just a few of the modern fallacies of submission being spouted.  Another misconception is that if a woman submits to her husband she becomes a doormat to be abused and walked all over.  The worldly belief is that submission lowers a woman’s worth and that it makes a woman subordinate to man.  All of these ideals are false.  However, we cannot ignore this philosophy and the agenda that is being pushed upon Christians today.  Because there is no such thing as amoral education, we must address the fact that the majority of children are being educated on the foundation of humanistic and secular teaching.  Even children that are being educated on Christian principles are exposed to secular beliefs about manhood, womanhood, and marriage via music, television, books, and society.  If not correctly taught, these children will grow into adults who continue to pass along their misconceptions.

How do we expose the fallacies?  It begins and ends with truth.  So let’s take a look at the realities of submission.  The first thing to recognize is that submission is for Christians.  We falsely assume that the non-believer should follow the dictates of Scripture.  While perhaps they should follow scripture, in truth they cannot.  “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them…,”1 Corinthians 2:14.  God designed marriage.  We see where He ordained it and the structure of it in Genesis chapter two.  Adam is created and is given a job to do and a law to keep.  God then looks out and for the first time says that something is not good.  “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him,” Genesis 2:18.  Eve is made from the rib of Adam and brought to him by God.   Here is the institution of marriage.  Then in Ephesians 5 we are given the directives for the Christian marriage.   “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” Ephesians 5:22-26. Submission is “as unto the Lord”.  An unbelieving wife cannot properly submit to her husband because she has not submitted her life to the Lord, just as an unbelieving husband cannot properly love his wife because he has not submitted to the Lord.

Now that the foundation has been laid that submission is only possible for the saved, let’s look at it through the eyes of a believer.  Submission is a beautiful term that we should hold dear.  It is through submission to Christ and as Lord of our life that we are saved.  James 4:7 declares “Submit yourselves therefore to God.”  As we saw in Ephesians 5, a wife’s submission to her husband is “unto the Lord”.  In the same way, a child’s submission to the parent’s is in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3).  Likewise, believers are told to submit to those in biblical authority (Hebrews 13:17) and those in authority over us such as our government (Romans 13:1, 1 Peter 2:13).  In general, we are to submit to and prefer one another in a spirit of humility (Romans 12:10, 1 Peter 5:5, Ephesians 5:21).  Submission is a part of the believer’s life.

In addition, submission in the biblical marriage portrays to the world a picture of Christ and His bride. “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing,” Ephesians 5:24.  Just as the church is subject unto Christ, so is the wife to her own husband.  When the Christian wife is not submissive, she is showing the world a distorted depiction of Christ and the church.

 Submission in no way lowers a woman’s worth and makes her subordinate to man.  Christianity, in fact, raises women to a level of honor.  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered,”  1Peter 3:7.  The “weaker vessel” implies a more delicate or precious vessel, as in a priceless crystal vase.  She is not common but something rare to be held in high regard.   It is made clear that the husband and wife are “heirs together of the grace of life”.  Man and woman are equal in God’s eyes (Galatians 3:28).  But that does not mean they have the same roles.  Society understands this in every instance until it comes to biblical marriage.  For example, the Governor of your state and his assistant are both created equal as human beings.  However, it would be foolish to assume that because of their equality they should have the same role in government.  As a person, the owner of a corporation and a day laborer are both equal.  But it is easy to see and accept the structure of authority when it comes to the workplace.  Likewise, there is a structure of authority in the home, but the enemy seeks to distort it.

What about the ideal that Paul was a chauvinist?  What about the statement that these verses were written thousands of years ago and not relevant to modern society?  First, as believers we must accept that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16.  It is an error to pick and choose which verses we want to apply.  If we are going to throw out scripture based on when it was written we would have to disregard the entire Bible.  That would include cherished verses like John 3:16.  So the age of Paul’s writings is an invalid point.  Secondly, Paul’s teaching is not based on cultural customs but on God’s design.  The example Paul gives in I Timothy for women’s role is not a cultural one.  He goes all the way back to creation and the structure of authority in the marriage (I Timothy 2:13-14).  In Ephesians we see the mystery of marriage revealed.  “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church,” Ephesians 5:32.  Again, it is all by God’s design.

Now that the fallacies have been exposed and the realities declared, where will you stand?  Will you stand on God’s Word and the beauty of His plan for marriage or will you stand on the emotions and opinions of the world?  Here is the amazing reality of absolute truth.  You can accept the truth or reject the truth, but you cannot change the truth.  As a Christian woman, you have an awesome opportunity to illustrate the truths of biblical womanhood and submission.  It is a beautiful thing.  It is God ordained.  And it makes for a great, God-honoring marriage.