Friday, June 14, 2013

Dreading Trials

There is something I have to do that I am dreading. stop trying to guess what it is. you will never guess :) anyway, I have been dreading this thing for a while. It is a trial for me. This morning I couldn't sleep because I just kept thinking about it. And then something very cool happened. The Word of God came to mind and it ministered to me in a very real way:

"Consider it PURE joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

Now if you have been a Christian for even a small amount of time you have probably heard this verse many times. But to hear something and to live it out are two very different things.

In fact, think about the two houses. One built on the sand and one built on the solid Rock. One fell to pieces when the storm (trials) came and one stood firm. What was the difference? Their foundation/what they put their trust in. When trials come, who or what we are trusting in is revealed. When Jesus spoke of these two houses He said they both HEARD the same word but the one that stood firm put what he heard into practice.

I want to put James 1:2-4 into practice. Do I trust God or not? Do I believe His Word or not? There are no middle-road answers to these questions. It's yes or no. Do I want to look like the house above? Or do I want to stand firm under trials counting them all joy?

I am choosing to count this trial as PURE JOY because I want to put God's Word into action. Trust AND obey. God is calling me to count my trials as joy and the world is calling me to count them as... well... trials. Who will I obey? Which voice will be louder and eventually win? It's up to me.

I also love how it says to count trials of MANY KINDS as joy. Trials come in all sorts of costumes. Some scarier than others. Some more detrimental and life-changing but all are to be counted as joy by the Christian. Christ Himself counted the cross as a joy because of what it meant. I will count my trials joy not because I enjoy them but because of what it will mean. Trials test my faith and when my faith is tested and I pass the test perseverance is produced. When perseverance has finished it's work I will be mature and complete, lacking nothing! hello! lacking nothing?! sounds good to me :)

The world tells us we need lots of things to lack nothing. The Word of God tells us persevering through trials and counting them as joy will cause us to lack nothing. Again, I am faced with opposing views. Which one will I embrace?

I will embrace His! His view is the right view. The better view. The eternal view.

After the Lord ministered to me this morning through His Word I was able to fall back asleep. I was able to THANK HIM genuinely for this future trial rather than dread it. I am counting it all joy and I am thankful to Him that through this He will work to make me complete. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Top Ten Ways to Make Yourself Bitter Toward Your Husband

1. Make sure you focus on his faults. Make sure you pay no attention to his strengths and the reasons you married him. Forget that he is a messed up sinner just like you. Meditate on his flaws and think about them often chanting to yourself all the reasons he doesn't deserve you.

2. Expect him to fulfill all your needs. Forget that God is the only One that is meant to fulfill all your needs.

3. Talk badly about him. The more you talk badly about him and his inadequacies the more you will think poorly of him and poor thinking always leads to bitterness.

4. Make sure your children know how lame daddy is. This will help them to be bitter toward him too! That way you can practice bitterness together!

5. Compare him to other men. Especially the ones that are opposite to him in lots of ways. This makes bitterness grow in exponential amounts.

6. Take mental notes all day about the ways you serve him and help him and make sure to not focus on all the ways you are messing up as a submissive, respectful wife.

7. Keep a record of wrongs. This may be the best way to be bitter toward your husband. Never forgive and forget. Always forget about all the ways God has forgiven you, is forgiving you and will forgive you.

8. See marriage as a means to make you happy, not holy. View marriage continually as a way to build you up and make you feel better. In fact, make marriage all about YOU.

9. Have a worldly perspective on marriage. Get angry like the feminists that God calls you to submit to your husband in everything. Despise God's design for marriage and conform to the world's design.

10. Repeat number 7 because nothing says bitterness like an unforgiving heart. Cling to your rights and keep track of every wrong he does every day. In fact, repeat all the points above to really experience bitterness!

hmmm, sound awful? I think so too. But how many of us practice these things? How many of us choose bitterness in our marriage? There is a better way... why don't we do the opposite of the ways listed above and practice grace and humility?

  • Let's be sure to focus on our husbands strengths and ignore his faults.
  •  Look for ways to meet his needs regardless of how much he fails at meeting yours (YOU'RE THE HELPMEET, NOT HIM-neither was man created for woman, but woman for man-1 Cor. 11:9).  
  • Look to God to fulfill your longings and thank Him for the ways your husband is blessing you! 
  • Only speak kindly about him. Build him up in front of your children and speak highly of him. Speak in a way that your kids can see why you think daddy is a superhero! 
  • See your husband for who he is, your husband. You didn't marry those other guys so don't compare your man to them. Do you want him comparing you to hot, submissive, organized, emotionally stable women all the time? I didn't think so :) 
  • Thank the Lord for ways you can serve your man and recognize you are ultimately serving the King of kings! 
  • Throw your record of wrongs in the trash. It only wrecks your home and heart. Bitterness is like swallowing poison that lingers and kills slowly. Keep the Lord's great forgiveness toward you in the forefront of your mind and practice it toward your husband. 
  • View marriage from God's perspective. As a way to glorify Him. Honor Him. Represent His relationship with the church well. Do your part and let him worry about his. Let the Holy Spirit convict him. He is much better at that than we are! Marriage is a gift from God to further His kingdom... not our selfish kingdoms. 
  • And for goodness sakes, don't say: "If he.... then I would submit." Not true. Christ is the perfect Husband and we all fail in our submission toward Him daily. 
  •  Our lack of submission is more of a reflection of us than our husbands. Our lack of honor toward our man is a glimpse into our hearts and desire to please the Lord.

"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." (Eph. 5:22-24) 

"See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." (Hebrews 12:15)

Let's resolve to fight against bitterness ladies! BEFORE it takes root and defiles many!