Bursting the bubble of the ‘post racial society’ illusion: An open letter to my white brothers and sisters in Christ Part 1
AN OPEN LETTER TO MY WHITE BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST
“The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.” Genesis 9:18-19
The 1st people group that I ever identified with was that of African Americans. Years later, after growing up in America and experiencing the joy and pride of my 1st community as well as a mixture of love, acceptance, prejudice and racism from those of the majority culture, I became a follower of Christ, and I was now identified with another people group. Both my original identifier and my newfound one were groups of people who had experienced extreme persecution and oppression historically, and had been victimized by others worldwide. My now identifying with Christ and all of his followers, as well as praying for them and grieving with them as believers faced persecution in my life time, did not cancel out my being a part of the people group that I was born into. My joining in the fight for equal treatment under the law for African Americans, and bringing to light injustice in this country does not cancel out my being a follower of Christ. But I have found that in the eyes and hearts of many, that’s exactly what it does.
I have shared news recently that greatly impacts the body of Christ and I have also shared news that greatly impacts the African American community, and I am realizing more and more that these two can be treated as if they are totally unrelated. They are not, as we are not. Where my white brothers and sisters in Christ, for the most part, can sympathize with the persecution of other believers and even empathize and grieve with/for them, many either cannot, or choose not to empathize or grieve with their African America Christian counterparts when given the opportunity. And if any grief is momentarily shared, it has a time limit attached to it. That being said, I am a believer who is black. Go figure.
(almost totally unrelated sidebar; the historic account of the Ethiopian Eunuch found in Acts 8 points out that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was not unknown to the people of Africa. We will come back to this later.) “And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.” Pagans and savages did not do that.)
As such, I share a lot about news stories that stand out to me in the hopes of making people think, and to challenge world views that are held that do not line up with what Christ taught. I share posts voicing my opposition to abortion and the fact that Margaret Sanger designed Planned Parenthood to get rid of black people….to kill them before they were ever born… but I do not hate those who are pro-choice. I share posts standing for the Biblical definition of marriage, but I do not hate homosexuals. I share posts exposing racism and hatred based on skin color and exposing the evil of the justice system in this country, and the systemic criminalization of Black people, but I do not hate white people. As a result of my many posts exposing and challenging views about racism (and there have been many), there are those among my white brothers and sisters who have now labeled my family racists, and do not want to see my family at church anymore. There are those who say that the recent (3 months) worth of posts have been exclusively “Black this and black that” and they are sick of it. They are tired of seeing it in their newsfeed. There are those who believe that all I have shared is negativity. There are those who have unfriended my family and labeled us as now preachers of hate and not preachers of the Gospel. All of this and more because of news stories shared on Facebook. Does anyone other than me see a problem here? We have not changed as a family. The current issue that we happen to be confronting is simply a more difficult one for people to come to terms with. As Christians, for the most part, we can agree on the issue of abortion. For the most part we can agree on the danger of ISIS and the need to pray and stand against that. But sadly, we do not agree on issues of racism. My life experience has given me a different perspective than some of yours, and I share from that perspective partnered with what Gods Word teaches us, and many are increasingly, overwhelmingly uncomfortable. So I am called names. And my family members are called names. And I receive hate filled messages. Because somehow it is still not understood that we are the same. Now, understand that when I say that we have not changed, I am referring to our faith and commitment to Christ. It has not wavered or diminished. We have not changed. But what I am realizing is that many just never got to know us as well as they thought they did in those 2 hour a week services. We still love God. We still love people. We still stand and speak out against injustice, but we now realize that what we view as injustice is not what many of you view as injustice. What we feel passionately about speaking out against, you do not feel passionately about speaking out against. Our
goal as a family was to wake people up. Our goal was to raise awareness to what we viewed as the senseless murders of unarmed black men, and the systemic abuse of black people that has remained the status quo in America during and since slavery. Many hold to the belief that the Civil Rights Act did away with all of that, but as I have often said, you can’t legislate the heart. The Civil Rights Act simply gave the white citizens of America whose hearts overflowed with venom for the African American people, boundaries on how far they could go legally in their efforts to rid the “stain” of brown skin from this country. It did not remove the venom. Do you understand? I need you to see and know that horrible evils still take place in this country to the people who look like me, and you need me to see and know that things are not like they used to be, and you need me to understand this while I watch an unarmed black boys body lay in the street with part of his face blown off and his brains oozing out from gunfire by a police officer, for four hours. You need me to understand while I watch an unarmed, black, father of six and grandfather being choked to death, and then see the police walk away without penalty. I want you to stand and fight with me for things to continue to change, and you want me to acknowledge that there have been changes and IF progress is still needed, I just need to understand that it takes time. But how much time? Today marks the 59th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and a young black boy was found
hanging in NC a couple of months ago.How much time is still needed?
Life is about perspective, but perspectives change all of the time. We hear good movie reviews and decide to see it. Then we hear some really bad ones and decide to wait until it comes out on dvd. Our perspective on whether or not we should spend $54 (for our family) or $15 was impacted by information. How often have we lived to see our perspectives change? But in this area…racism and it’s lasting effects on this country, on the church, I have found that many of my conservative brothers and sisters hold their position. I don’t understand, but I do not harbor hatred. My perspective on the current events we are facing on this front are not what they were a year or two ago. They have continued to grow, and evolve. While I don’t blame you for holding to a perspective that I disagree with, I pray that yours will not remain the same in this crucial area. At the same time, I believe that the descendants of slaves have proven over and over again in this country, that we patiently wait and hope for change, understanding that some changes take more time than others.
I have always been a person who believed that prayer (our communication with God) and the sharing of perspectives and information (our communication with each other), changes things. Sin is a human condition. It knows no color and does not operate within the parameters that our flesh has established. It is not black, white, or brown. To continue to insist in word or deed, that one people group is inherently superior to another based on racist ideology is a huge fallacy that many who name Christ fall for daily. Following are just a couple of areas where perspectives of white and black Christians seem to differ substantially. I will be discussing these topics in upcoming posts.
The sanctity of the flag and US Constitution
The ‘sovereignty’ of American soil
The value of the descendants of slaves (human beings)
The presumed guilt of black people
I will also be covering, for the sake of sharing historical information, as well as assisting in the development of empathy and compassion, posts about the following subjects;
Brief historical overview of Black Economics
Brief historical overview of the Black Family
Brief historical overview of Black Education
Brief historical overview of Black Politics
Brief historical overview of Blacks in Prison
Gods word tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Let us begin to do this together in the area that is currently dividing our nation again. Remember, communicating about the issue is not what causes division. Ignoring the issue is.
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. “1 TImothy 2:1-2
And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:21-24
As I prepare my heart to wind down the week of sharing my story with all of you, I wanted to shift focus a little early… These verses struck me this morning (like all of God’s word does :D) and I thought to myself (again) how much of God’s word we seem to compartmentalize, or ignore if we do not agree with it. There’s so much of it that we do read and that we choose to apply to every relationship we are engaged in except for our marital one. With this in mind, take some time to sit quietly and look over the image below…ask yourself the questions that follow…and be very honest with your answers. I believe they will help you to see what’s really in your heart.
1. When you pray, do you pray for your husband? Do you ask God to help him…do you intercede on his behalf, and give thanks for him. and for your marriage, not because you always want to but because God’s Word tells you to?
2. Do you view your husband as someone with God-given authority over you, as Ephesians 5 tells us, and do you pray for him as one who is in authority so that you can live a peaceful and quiet life marked by godliness and dignity? Or do you find yoursel withholding your prayers because you view yourself as one who has authority over him?
3.Think about the relationships you have with people who you work, exercise and attend church with. Are you more respectful towards the men in these circles than you are towards your own husband? Why do you think that is?
4. Now, think of other men that you interact with on a regular/semi-regular basis. When you think of them in comparison to your husband, are your thoughts towards them more favorable? Does your husband pale in comparison to these other men? Do they appear to be more….than he is? Keeping in mind that you don’t live with them, what is it that you think they’ve done that deserves your admiration and appreciation more than your husband does?
5. Are there things that your husband has done, or hasn’t done, that you have not yet forgiven him for? How do you think that unforgiveness impacts the way you respond to him or what you think about him, or what you think about him in your heart?
6. Have the tenderness and the displays of affection towards your husband diminished in their passion, intensity and frequency over the years? Why do you think that is?
7. Do you have emotional needs that you expect your husband to meet that he has not met?
8. Did you have an idea or a dream of what your marriage would be like and are disappointed at what it actually is?
9. Do you struggle submitting to your husband?
10. Do you struggle submitting to God?
Whew! Those questions have the potential to be life-changing if you let them. Take some time to look up the verses in the picture above, and when you pray, begin to read those verses as part of the time you spend with the Lord. Romans 12:2 says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Did you hear that??? God can change you into a new person by CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK!!!! Now, I know that some don’t think they have any problems and all of the issues in their marriage are their spouses fault, but God knows the truth. Then there are others of us who know that we are negatively impacting our marriages and desire to submit to God and allow Him to give us direction. He will do just that!! When he changes the way you think, you will be able to learn his will for you, and you will have no questions about what’s good, and pleasing and perfect 😀
Alright! I’m going to say goodnight and actually get some sleep. When I get up, I am going to spend some time with the Lord in prayer, and looking up those verses in his Word. I truly hope you join me! Let’s submit our hearts together, and finally experience a marriage BETTER than the ones we dreamed of!
I just wanted to share this with you today as the Lord continues to work on my heart and to rid it of any roots of bitterness that may be lurking within. Please read EVERY Word…slowly…thoughtfully (sometimes we tend to rush through reading Gods word and take our time reading other things) …meditate on these verses and allow them to begin to work in your heart…they are changing mine. Does Christ’s love control us? If it does than we can’t possibly be controlled by bitterness. Do we believe, I mean truly believe that becasue Christ die for all that we have all died to our old life…our old self? Have I truly received the new life that he died to give? Am I no longer living for myself?????? Think about these questions…search your heart, and then let’s set our hearts on honoring the Lord above all else, and being Christ’s ambassadors with hearts filled with love and free of bitterness and all things related! 😀
For the past week, some friends and I have been experiencing what it feels like to have our hearts turned inside out and upside down. The Lord has used the isolated experience of one as an amazing tool to cleanse the hearts of us all, of some known, but mostly unknown and unrepented of bitterness and ghastly unforgiveness! We have had the sinful contents of our bitter hearts, ever so gently shaken loose, so that we could choose to either acknowledge the presence of sin and repent of it, or continue to ignore its contents and go on growing more and more removed from God. For some of us, the existence of bitterness was no shock! We had a moderate awareness on some level of its existence. But for others, this revelation broke our hearts, and brought agony to our souls as these evils were revealed under the all illuminating light of Gods Word…
For most of the week, I have remained silent…reading the emails that have gone back and forth as one thing after another was revealed or exposed…as one realization after another pierced the hearts of those of us impacted. What God revealed to one, He revealed to another, and with each revelation of the depth of the darkness still lurking in our hearts, we prayed all the more…and with each prayer came another level of confession and repentance… and the more we confessed and repented, the more healing took place.
The biggest hurt/most humbling thing for me was realizing that I had NOT forgiven as I thought I had. Or rather, that I had not forgiven at all. And that bitterness is just the tip of a very evil, ugly iceberg! The root of bitterness is unforgiveness…and the root of unforgiveness is and has ALWAYS BEEN PRIIIIIDE!!!!!! (That was me yelling at myself) Foolish pride. Evil pride. Ugly pride. God offending pride. And after all of the years that I have known the Lord, it is still found in me… in my heart. Some may ask why is this such a big deal, after all, we’re only human right. Wrong! We are women of faith! And not just a faith but THE faith. We have placed our faith in the One True and Living God and in His Son Jesus the Christ! We have been changed … trans-formed! (“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Cor.5:17) Because we are His we no longer desire the things of this world!!! We no longer want to be like the world!!! And we no longer are ok with the world being in us!!! We want it out!! Out of our hearts!!! Out of our minds!!! Out of our families!!! When speaking of people of the same Faith that we profess, the Book of Hebrews said the following;
“How much more do I need to say? … They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” Hebrews 11:32-40
This experience…this full recognition of the evil pride that repeatedly spawns bitterness in the hearts of Gods people everywhere, including in my own heart, has worked to revive the fight in me. Hebrews has reminded me of the spiritual stock that we all come from…of the cloth that we’re cut from. We are ‘more than conquerors’ (Romans 8:37), and that means that we can, by the power of the life-giving Spirit that now abides in us, conquer even bitterness…pride… envy…jealousy…and all of their ugly relatives!!!! The healing that began in the hearts of our small prayer group is just the beginning!!! We are able to overcome bitterness, and through our testimonies, help others to overcome and experience healing too!!! God’s mercy has empowered us to not “just pretend to love others. [but to] Really love them. [to really]Hate what is wrong. [to truly]Hold tightly to what is good. [to] Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other… [to] Bless those who persecute [us]. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think [we] know it all! Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead,“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:9-21)
You see, pride says that I deserve better…in my case, that I deserved to be treated better than they treated me, 20 years ago as well as off and on throughout the years. Unforgiveness sets in because I want God to punish them and to do it quickly and visibly, where I can see that they got ‘in trouble’ for wronging wonderful me!! Bitterness sets in over time when the punishment never seems to come, and the wrong never seems to be made right. Over time these evil emotions begin to feel normal, and comfortable, and we begin to feel justified, and pride begins to grow and gain strength. And eventually, our refusal to forgive becomes justifiable, and bitterness becomes our friend. We don’t even realize that we are now living in a prison of our own making, and while pride has convinced us that we are right, its true evil is camouflaged…hidden from our view, and the absolute distortion of the image of Christ being perfected in us is now all that is visible. Bitterness makes us unattractive…it manipulates us, our responses or reactions. Where we should be acting in the love of God and displaying His mercy, when bitterness takes our hearts captive, we become the puppets of the enemy of our souls. And the name of our God is defamed….
“But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
I am going to wrap this up with one more thing that I was reminded of this week; Ephesians 5 tells us that Christ not only loved the church, but that he
“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.”
This past week my beautiful prayer sisters and I experienced that ‘washing of water by the word’, and it was painfully glorious!!! Bitterness no longer reigns in the most holy place of our hearts! We now know what it looks like and smells like and sounds like…and how it feels!!! And we know most of all that it is an overwhelming offense to the presence of our merciful, forgiving and gracious God. More than ANYTHING we want to honor Him!!!! More than ANYTHING we want our lives to bring Him glory!!! More than ANYTHING we want to hear Him say ‘Well done!’!!!!! We are choosing daily to forgive. we are choosing daily to love. We are FIGHTING MINUTE BY MINUTE to remain humble. And by the power of His life-giving Spirit we will be VICTORIOUS!!! Won’t you join us??? Forgive today…resist the self-imposed prison of bitterness that the enemy is trying to sneak into your hearts under the guise of justifiable anger or wisdom…choose today to love with Gods love, and let it heal our hearts together….
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:7-9
This post is inspired by a recent post from a ‘friend’ on Facebook. After the first post, I was struck by the number of posts that began this way by many women who are considered to be believers, but who display a lack of focus on God, and an overwhelming absorption with the things of the world. It’s troubling to see so many people consumed with negative events, negative thoughts, and negative people, who, after all of this negative consumption have no apparent idea why they are so miserable. Life is FULL of things/events that have the capacity to impact us in whatever way we choose to let them. The most heartbreaking thing was that a lot of these posts had to do with negative comments about men, whether a boyfriend, a husband or an ex… After reading the multiple status updates, I thought it might just be a good idea for us to take a look at some of the negative/positive ways we can choose to let LIFE impact our marriages and our thoughts about our husbands.
First, let’s establish the premise that every day begins as a good day. We wake up, we are alive, we breathe, we move, we see a day that we have never seen before. EVERY day is a brand new start, a FREE do-over. With each new day, each new breath, we are reminded of the great Love that the Lord has for us.
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
Tell me, what events or issues are so powerful that they can take your mind off of the new mercy received just by waking up in the morning? How would you finish the above statement? What or who have you given power over your mood?
I was having a good day until…what? Who?
Let’s look at a few examples I’ve seen/heard recently from wives;
I was having a good day until/I was fine until/I was perfectly fine until/…..
he ignored me…
he did what I specifically told him not to do…
he didn’t do what I specifically told him to do…
he wouldn’t admit that I was right and he was wrong…
he walked into the room…
he came to bed before I had a chance to fall asleep…
he forgot …
These thoughts usually progress into or are followed by:
I wish he were more like…
why can’t he be more…
why can’t he do more…
why isn’t he …
oh, what’s the use…
just forget it…
By choosing to focus on or to only look at the negative things our husbands are doing, or the positive things they are not doing, we are actually choosing to give those thoughts control over our mood/attitude, and those thoughts will dictate how we interact with and respond to our husbands. If we are having a good day until one of these thoughts about our husbands comes across our minds, and it’s downhill from there, we need to accept the fact that our husbands lack of’ ‘whatever’, or their inadequacies are not the problem; our thoughts toward them are. It’s not what they are/are not doing that stresses us out and makes us want to scream, throw things at their heads, run out of the room screaming and pulling our hair out, ‘share’ everything that’s wrong with them with anyone who will listen…cry ourselves to sleep at night, or just give up. It’s not them or the things they do, but it’s us and how we choose to let it impact us and the response we choose to give. Have we tried to apply Phillipians 4:7-9 to this area of our marriages? Let’s take a look at what it says, and the actual application.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
What does it mean to fix your thoughts? Take the words below and substitute ALL of them for the word FIX and read the beginning of this verse again.
fasten, attach, affix, secure, join, connect, couple, link, install, implant, embed, stick, glue, pin, nail, screw, bolt, clamp, clip, lodge, burned,branded. focus, direct, level, point, train your thoughts on what is…horrible about your husband or lacking, or weak in appearance or void of honor or undeserving of respect? NO!!
fasten, attach, affix, secure, join, connect, couple, link, install, implant, embed, stick, glue, pin, nail, screw, bolt, clamp, clip, lodge, burned,branded. focus, direct, level, point, train your thoughts on what IS true about your husband…what IS honorable about your husband…what IS right about him…what IS lovely about him…what IS worthy of admiration…what IS excellent and worthy of praise!! GLUE them there!!! Embed your thoughts about him right ther!!! Pin them! Nail them! Screw and bolt them down in this place!!! Brand them…TRAIN (aim, point, direct, level, focus; zero in) them…
Is everything about him true? Nope! Is everything about him honorable? Maybe not! Is everything about him right? Not Likely! Is everything about him lovely and worthy of admiration? Is everything excellent and worthy of praise??? Is an answer really needed? But Scripture does NOT tell us to think on the things that are NOT these characteristics or attributes…it tells us to think on those things that are!!!!
Ladies, do we realize how important what we choose to think about or focus on is to the success of our marriage? Do we realize that our refusal to apply Philippians 4 to the MOST IMPORTANT relationship in our lives has devastating, catastrophic impact on our ability to be the helper that our husbands need and deserve? Do we understand that our stubborn grip on all of his imperfections and shortcomings, coupled with a choice to blame him for our thoughts and take no responsibility for them ourselves, literally paralyzes our marriages and freezes our interactions until we become roommates…just two people who share the bills and responsibility, but have forsaken the joy and love and peace and comfort that was ours by right….Do we realize that by choosing to focus on what/who they are not, we are choosing to ignore what/who they are, and even more importantly , what/who they could become with our love, support and help????
How are you choosing to think about or look at your husband? Does he impact your mood negatively? Does the sight of him just ruin your day? Are you fine until he comes around? Do you still see him as the man you loved and chose to spend the rest of your life with? Or has the world and all of its poisonous fruit tainted your vision so that he just looks…ordinary and no longer good enough for you? Do you withhold affection, intimacy…love…sex…just the pleasure of your smile? I challenge you to begin to look at him through eyes controlled by thoughts that are submitted to the Holy Spirit. Fix your thoughts! Train your mind to think thoughts that are honorable, right, lovely, worthy of admiration, excellent and worthy of praise. And see how your attitude towards him changes! Then see how the change in your attitude and thoughts help him to change. Witness the softening of hearts tht follows the renewing of minds, and the revival of life and love in your marriage. It really does begin with our thoughts…
I will end with a comment I posted in response to a post on Peacefulwife.com. I hope this helps bring all of this together and shows how important our thoughts towards our husbands really are…
….. Let me first of all PRAISE GOD with you for what the Lord has already done in your heart. Our God is sooooo amazing, and He loves us sooooo much that He put a plan in place before the foundations of the world to save us from ourselves!!!!! How absolutely wonderful is that??!?!?!? As I think about the words you shared, let me just tell you that God is pleased at your desire to submit to not only Him and His will, but also to your husband’s authority. I too was raised in a family that was overrun with a ‘jezebel spirit’. And it is more than a small challenge to break free from that heart/mindset. This is a journey that will require the involvement of your whole heart…”And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.” Ezekiel 11:19-20 The ravages of the feminist agenda and the existing feminist culture is that it teaches/trains/disciples us to hold on to that old stony, stubborn heart, and resist Gods loving efforts to give us a tender responsive heart in its place. It’s the tender responsive heart that is now finally able to obey his decrees and regulations…one of which is “In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.” 1 Peter 3:1-2… Eternally Grateful, I humbly encourage you to continue to allow the Lord to work in your heart…this is SUCH a painful process…and it is SUCH a GLORIOUS one!!! As the Lord continues His work in your heart (you know, that open heart surgery you’ve been going through without the aid of anesthesia so that you feel EVERYTHING to the extent that the things you were brought to your knees over you NEVER want to go back to them again)…as He continues to work on your heart You will find that part of the reason you struggle seeing God in your husband is because your husband can’t see God in himself…you are his mirror…Eve was supposed to be Adams helper…his reminder of all the love God held in his heart towards him…but she lead her husbands heat away from the Lord and now not only did he lose sight of who he was, but she did too…You are his reminder…begin to pray for God to give you his eyes, and when He shows you your husband as he was created to be, and you begin to look at him through Gods eyes, he will begin to look back at you with wonder, and his heart will soften, and his heart will begin to desire to become the man he sees in your eyes…It is NOT easy, and it DOES NOT happen overnight, you have been trained well throughout your life, and the tentacles of feminism run deep…even after things are “better’ you will find undiscovered residue that reappears when you least expect it…but God is faithful to do what He promised!!! (“Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.”) Don’t focus on his mistakes…on where he’s falling short…of what his life in Christ should look like… Keep your eyes fixed on Christ and the beautiful woman he is molding you into…Pray for your husband, pray for your sons, and watch God respond to your faith and trust in Him and Him alone. We are PRAYING for you…PLEASE keep in touch..This is a journey towards joy that we are on together ❤
“Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Today (Monday) was supposed to be day one of our conversation of the month on Submission, but I am sitting at my dining room after having battled frustration, disppointment and tears!! Let’s just say this adventure that I have been sooooooo excited about embarking on with you has NOT started off as planned…at least not according to my plans. The introductory post was supposed to be a video blog, but would you believe that original video somehow disappeared when my husband sat down to preview it for me. Then the second run has suffered so many errors transitioning from my computer to youtube that I almost said “I’m done with videos FOREVER!!!” Somewhere in between the kids lessons for the day, taking Kayla to assist her great aunt who just came out of hip surgery, preparing meals and doing laundry, I sat down and decided to work on the post for tomorrow…and tomorrows was forgotten and this one was born 😀
The picture above sums up the next month of discussion, and I genuinely hope that you decide to join me. While it is not the video I had planned for you, it communicates very well the battle that many of us find ourselves in. Our struggle to submit has very little to do with our husbands, and everything to do with our hearts. Who owns our heart? Who or what controls our decisions? Who or what is the greatest influence on your attitude about life, about God, about your husband? Who or what dictates your perception of the world and how God’s laws do or do not fit? Is it the everchanging, man-hating, self-loving world and all of its evil, or is it the never-changing, God loving, Christ honoring Word of God? Think about it…search your heart, and answer honestly… What or who is your struggle really with??? What is is really over????
As you begin to search your heart tonight (you can only search your heart, noone elses), ask God to reveal to you area in your life that have not been submitted to Him. This is where it begins for all of us. What are you holding on to that God has requested you to let go of? Is it unforgiveness…anger…a perspective that you know doesn’t agree with God’s word, but you’ve convinced yourself that God understands…is it a negative view of men, or more specifically, your man??? What is it that you are holding onto rather than yielding (submitting) it to the Lord? Whatever it is, God’s love is greater. Give it to Him…lay it down at His feet…and get up in freedom. Meditate on Psalm 139:13-16, and as you relax tonight ask yourself if the God who created you is worthy of you submitting your life to?? When you come to the answer that I believe you will, I know your answer will be the same as mine…a resounding YES!!!
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
I hope you prayed these words with me… Let’s commit to waking up tomorrow with our hearts and minds set on submitting to God will for our lives. 😀
I look forward to tomorrow being a day FREE of technical difficulties, a day spent being reminded of Gods glory, and a day that I get to spend encouraging all of you! I can’t wait to hear from you! Lets grow together 😀