Men

They Called Me Pastor…

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When pronouncing Judgment against Judah for gross idolatry, their pronouncement of judgment included that “Childish leaders oppress my people, and women rule over them.” (Isaiah 3:12)  This was not a thing to be celebrated, but greatly mourned as a sure sign of the Lord’s anger with his people.  Never more have I personally seen the fulfillment of this than in the church. 
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I have thought long and hard about writing this post, and actually have several drafts saved awaiting my big finish on this topic.  What took me so long? Well, as I recently shared with my friend April over at Peaceful Wife, I have no idea why it is so difficult for me to answer questions in fewer than 10,000 words… but that is what I decided to do this time…I hope! 😛  April asked me a couple of questions about experiences I had and observations I made while functioning as a pastor alongside my husband, and her questions made it easier to formulate answers (after 3 weeks of working on a response :-P). My response had grown out of control and was beginning to resemble a small book!!! I decided to take a more direct route to answering her questions and I want to share this information with you.  Let me say that these are my experiences and observations. You are free to agree or disagree with the conclusions I have drawn from my own personal experiences.  I welcome feedback, and would appreciate it if negative feedback or opinions are supported by Scripture when shared 😀
A little background first 😀
My Story

I was groomed to expect, pursue, and occupy a senior leadership role in the church since I was 16 years old. I ‘preached’ my first message from the Lord (one of anguish, disappointment and impending judgement) the morning after wholly committing my heart, mind and soul to the Lord.  My pastor, and elderly man, saw nothing wrong with the Lord speaking through a 16 year-old young girl.  He communicated with me that the Lord will always use willing, available vessels to do His work. So I spent years making myself willing and available. I soon began to believe that Deborah, one of Israels Judges, was not the exception but the rule.  As I got older most of the women I knew in the church served faithfully there, but spent little time serving at home.  I never saw or attended a class or workshop on Biblical submission, though I heard it talked about or referred to from the pulpit occasionally. In truth, I rarely saw it lived out, and as I grew up, I had no working model to look to.  It seemed that women believed they were honoring God and obeying His word by serving in the church, and going through the motions of service at home.  Men were not truly respected, and I have learned that we can ‘submit and serve’ on the surface, but still communicate the lack of submission in our hearts. The women I had been raised to look to as examples were strong, like me…good orators, like me…not afraid to speak in front of people, like me…bold for Christ, like me…and they all had a title; minister, evangelist, and as I got older, pastor…unlike me. So the eventual progression for me was an obvious one, right?

When I got married, though I loved my husband, I was not submitted to him at heart. The vows had been genuine, but not entered into with a clear Biblically based understanding.  I was a definite product of the feminist culture of the generation that preceded me. I was a woman. I was not only capable, but more capable than most men. I would easily accept the help of men, as long as it was understood that I did not need it. I was headstrong, manipulative, angry at times, petulant, could be over bearing, and fully admired and accepted in church circles as ‘anointed’…without a heart of submission.  I was advised by a couple of older women (literally 2) whom I respected, that I needed to go home and submit to my husband (this was said when I attended church without him because he did not agree with me on the church we should attend). Funny, I submitted to their instructions but not his.

Years later, when Ukali began to pastor a small, local church. I served alongside him as I had tried to do for years in life, business and ministry. I wrestled for a while with the ‘normal progression’ of my life. Surely when God took over and  began to dismantle my dreams he did not intend to take all of them? So where I was no longer pursuing a career in the judicial system, I was pursuing leadership in the church.

I was ordained as a pastor in 2005…and as confident as I was that this was a part of my destiny (prior to the actual ordination), after it was official I was even more confident that something was wrong….Where I had been instructed for the duration of my life to use my gifts and talents to lead in the church and in the community and in the government and secular market place, I had never been instructed or trained in how to use those same gifts and talents to serve in my home…. I plan to share more later, but for now I will let these questions and answers complete this post.

The following questions were posed by my friend, and I will share them and the answers with you as part of this post :-D.

Question #1
Can you share some of the problems you experienced with women being in authority over men for men in the congregation?
Answer #1
In my experience, the men definitely seemed to struggle with my being a pastor, but interestingly enough, the women seemed to struggle more. Men in general, but specifically in the black community, historically and culturally have been emasculated on an entirely different level. This can definitely be seen in the home, but is also visible in the church.
Question #2
Outside of the obvious issues, why is this a problem?
Answer #2
This is a problem of epic proportions because the church is one of the few places where we still see men in respected and holding positions of authority.
Question #3
Why do you think this was more of an issue for women than it was for men?
I believe wholeheartedly that this was more of a problem for women than it was for the men in the congregation for a couple of reasons. 
1.) The heart of a woman, ultimately, genuinely wants to see Adam in authority!!! In our heart of hearts we are still the daughters of Eve, and we carry the full awareness within us of the impact our non-submitted leadership had on the world.  Though we resist, we actually take great joy in seeing our man lead the way that God ordained him to!
 
2.)Displaced Jealousy would be the second reason.  We have been taught not only to refuse to submit to male authority, but to despise the authority of other women.  Our lack of submission is a double-edged sword! We give the appearance of celebrating another woman’s ‘progress’, but before long, we want her gone. Hidden deep in our hearts, right next to our desire to truly see men elevated to their rightful position of authority, is another unrecognized longing to see women occupy their God-given domain BESIDE their men, serving as the co-laborer in the leading of the family, which includes the training of the children and the management of the first Fortune 500 Company; The Home. 
Don’t misunderstand me, the men struggled as well. The black church was one of the few domains they had left. Their authority in the home had already been usurped by the impact of the feminist movement, and the positive spin being put on this horror by the modern church. In the church, the few men there, wanted to feel as if they still maintained a level of respect. So my being installed as a pastor alongside my husband, while celebrated on the surface, caused many a ripple beneath that same surface.  The men, who had largely been raised by single mothers, were accustomed to a woman in authority, but it did not mean they liked it. I believe some also feared it would be a bad example for their wives, who many were struggling with at home. On the other hand, some men were genuinely happy, I believe simply because they did not know any better, and had been conditioned by the secular society that this is how things are supposed to be.  😦
Question #4
And how did you being a pastor affect your faith and marriage?
Answer #4
Out of all of the people most impacted by my ordination, none were as greatly impacted by it as I was. My life had travelled towards this expectation since I was 16 years old, but now that it was realized at the age of 32 it felt hollow. My husband celebrated because he had been conditioned to by the church culture we were a part of, but it just didn’t feel right.  My marriage, I don’t believe, suffered because we had always worked in ministry together as a team. Nothing changed where that was concerned. But something in me changed. Upon achieving this accomplishment, I realized I did not want it. During this time, my kids suffered.  They will say that they did not, but I know in my heart they did. We were BOTH so busy with the church. We were BOTH so busy fixing the lives of other families and making sure they were ok. We were BOTH so focused on building a strong healthy church. Although we grieved mightily when the church that we pastored closed, we knew it was a blessing undisguised.  We were following a faulty church model that pursued success and numbers and acclaim over the genuine conversion of souls. There was a spirit of competition like I had not seen in the world.  There was a pride in the circles of church leadership…a lack of humility and transparency.  Where the angels rejoiced over 1 if all you had was that one genuine one, you were looked down on. It was a true numbers game and I witnessed the same trends in the church as in the world..the slow but sure emasculation of men and the rise of women.
Question #5
What pitfalls do you see?
Answer #5
The pitfalls personally witnessed and observed by me were numerous, but the primary one was within the home
The slow death of the family is the most obvious one. The more authority in the church women were given the less stable the homes were and the more unruly the kids became. The advancement of women within the church very closely resembled, in scope and loss of influence, the migration of women into the workplace during the industrial revolution.  This was not just observed in the cases of women in leadership, but women who spent LARGE amounts of time ‘serving’ inside of the church building while refusing, neglecting, or failing to serve at home. The position of pastor was a coveted position because it had been denied women for so long, but today many women were and are encouraged to ‘seek’ that ‘office’. Now we are in classes and can’t cook for our husbands and children. Not only were many working outside the home, but now had taken on a full-time position within the church that was on a volunteer  basis.
I believe that the question being asked in relation to women being ordained as a pastor in the silent hearts of most men is , “Is there nothing sacred?” Is there no domain where men are provided the space to rule??? To be and to become the men that God created them to be??? Restoring and maintaining authority in Gods house as well as in his own house is a Kingdom mandate that women have wrestled men for since the beginning. We were created equally influential in our specified areas of influence, but in our (the woman) efforts to occupy the sphere of influence delegated by God to our men, we have whittled them down to miniscule twigs, instead of using that same influence to build them up into the mighty Oaks they were created to be…This is not only in the world, but it permeates the church.
Although I have owned and operated a traditional business and currently own and operate a home based business with my sweetie, with the exception of my volunteer service in the church serving as a staff pastor, I have been a SAHM.  With my varied experience with business and church let me say clearly that I have NO IDEA how women SUCCESSFULLY balance occupying leadership positions at home (marriage and children), work, and church! I have concluded that it is IMPOSSIBLE!!! Something WILL suffer…and most times it is our family. We look at church and work as things we HAVE to do..obligations we cannot break, while our family ‘knows that we love them’, and ‘understands’ that we have things to do. I have learned that they DO NOT understand the way we think they do, or would like them to! They understand that other things are more important than they are and we reap the fruit of communicating that for a long time.
This is a subject…a part of my past that it has been very easy to avoid now that we have removed ourselves from those circles… I cringe inside whenever we cross paths with those who called me Pastor Selena… My responsibilities included preaching on occasion to the entire congregation, as well as instructing the New Beginnings Class for all who were newly committed to Christ, male and female. I oversaw Children’s Ministry (which I no longer agree with the existence of), as well as Women’s Ministry (where I taught ‘Submission’ but from a skewed lens looking from the present day interpretation as opposed to the Biblical model)…
My prayer is that this gives you some insight from this side into this issue. This is difficult to talk about…that time in my life I believe I did more harm than good…and in my celebrated pride wounded many 😦 The church has no idea…we are soo influenced by the cultural trends of the world and don’t even realize that following that influence leads to death… 😦 We look at ourselves as ‘progressive’, but in all actuality, we are losing major ground every day…
A final word to any woman who believes in her heart that God has gifted her to shepherd…YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!! HE HAS…IN YOUR OWN HOME FIRST, THEN IN THE LIVES OF THE MANY YOUNG WOMEN HE WILL BRING YOUR WAY WHO ARE IN NEED OF BIBLICAL EXAMPLES IN A WORLD THAT HAS WORKED TO DESTROY US FROM THE BEGINNING. LIVE THE LIFE GOD CREATED YOU TO LIVE , AND LIVE IT FULLY WITH ALL OF THE INFLUENCE THAT COMES WITH BEING THE DAUGHTER OF THE KING. NEVER FORGET THAT THERE IS AN ADAM WHO NEEDS YOUR HELP ❤

“We all know who wears the pants in this family!”

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photo available for purchase @ http://www.condenaststore.com

Early in our marriage I had an eye-opening, heart changing experience that I want to share with you. We had guests over for dinner, and although I can’t remember the details of our conversation, there is one part of it that I will never forget.  That would be when the young man in response to something said, replied, “That’s OK, because we all know who wears the pants in this family.”  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  And my heart dropped, because I knew immediately that he was not talking about my husband! I desperately searched to discover what had I done…what was I doing… that would cause other men to look at my husband as less than a man of honor? Now, I understand that we live in a day and time where to hear that said is a compliment to some women… but I wasn’t one of them.  Those words sliced right through me!!!! They cut through my strong personality, quick-witted, take charge exterior…and they broke my heart! What was so bad about those words?  Why would they cause me so much distress? Very simply, I was devastated to hear those words, not just because of wat they said about me, but because of what they depicted about him…my love…my sweetie…

As terrible as it was to hear that, it was one of the best things that could have happened (Isn’t God amazing?!?!?! He knows EVERYTHING!)  Those words, spoken very casually as if that was normal and acceptable, were the beginning of an end for me.  Let me explain…

While most women don’t view being perceived as a non-submissive wife to be a bad ting, I believe that would change drastically if we looked at the word very intently…which I did…and I DID NOT like what I saw at all. Let’s take a journey through a brief word study, shall we? The words below are all words that can be accurately used to describe a wife or a woman who submits to Gods authority (for the single woman), and the authority of her husband.

 The  definition of Submission;

to submit –  the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person

• archaic humility;

meekness:

Synonyms

submission to authority

yielding (relinquish, bequeath, give up te struggle)

Bequeath (pass down or on to, entrust to)

capitulation

acceptance

consent

compliance

surrender

resignation

docility (Latin dociles, from docere meaning to ‘teach’, apt or willing to learn)

deference

subservience

servility

give in/way

back down

abide by

conform to

ANTONYMS

defiance.

resistance.

Now, these are not words that we are particularly fond of.  Their imagery is one of weakness, and who wants to be viewed as weak? But as much as we may not like these words, I have a feeling we will be dismayed at the next list.  While the words above are all used to define or explain submission,  the next group of words is used to define a lack of submission. We will focus on just a couple of words from above (the ones in bold) looking at antonyms 😀

to submit; yielding (relinquish, bequeath, give up te struggle), Bequeath (pass down or on to, entrust to), 

docility (Latin dociles, from docere meaning to ‘teach’, apt or willing to learn)

 The following words can accurately be used to describe a woman/a wife who refuses/resists submitting to God and her husband;

recalcitrant

uncooperative

intractactable

obstreperous

truculent

insubordinate

defiant

rebellious

willful

wayward

headstrong

self-willed

contrary

perverse

difficult

unruly

unmanageable

disorderly

undisciplined

uncontrollable

rowdy

disruptive

mutinous

riotous

out of control

turbulent

Whoa!!! That’s a lot of strong, descriptive words!!! Now lets pick a couple from both lists and compare.

A woman who submits to her husband’s authority as instructed to by God’s Word (1 Peter 3:1-2) is viewed as meek (quiet and gentle), compliant, docile (apt or willing to learn), and subservient. On the contrary, a woman who refuses to, or is resistant to the very idea of submitting, she is unfavorably viewed as recalcitrant, uncooperative, intractable, obstreperous, truculent, insubordinate, defiant, rebellious, willful, wayward, headstrong, self-willed, contrary, perverse, difficult. Now, you tell me what Christ loving woman wants to be seen as any of the above words?

So, when my heart should have been set on honoring God, and my husband and demonstrating a willingness to submit to both, my heart had actually been trained to pose as a good wife but silently resist and defy authority.  While my husband thought he was marrying a gentle, quiet young woman, and a wife who was willing to learn, he had actually married a woman who was unruly, unmanageable, disorderly, undisciplined, uncontrollable, rowdy, disruptive, mutinous, riotous, out of control, turbulent….and she didn’t even know it! But other people could see it, which was why that heart slicing observational comment was made about me wearing the pants in the family…

Praise god my story doesn’t end there!!!! And neither does yours!!! While there is no honor for an unruly woman, God’s word says there is praise and honor for the virtuous one!  Do not fear…The God we serve is faithful!

“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 11:18-20 

Did you get that? When we choose to truly turn our hearts back to God He will;

1. give us singleness of heart

2. put a new spirit within us

3. take away our stony, stubborn heart

4. give us a tender, responsive heart

Why will He do this!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

SO THAT WE CAN SUBMIT TO (OBEY) HIS DECREES AND REGULATIONS

Ladies, I have seen God first hand do exactly what he said he would do in me…and if you are feeling trapped in this horrible cycle than I want to encourage you that he can do the same thing for you.  Don’t forget, I am sharing my story this week, but your turn is coming.  I want to hear from you.  Has your heart been changed? Let us know and take advantage of an opportunity to encourage others with your story!  Join us tomorrow for the next video blog! Have a good night and I’ll see you tomorrow

Submission: A Perspective on God’s Love For Us

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“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. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.”

Ephesians 5:21-30

How many of us have ever actually thought of our husbands as THE greatest gift, outside of salvation, that the Lord in his providence saw fit to bless us with? I am sure that a lot of us don’t think of them that way, because if we did,we would treat them better than we do.  Look at the way we treat gifts that we place a high value on; we package them with bubble wrap, or foam to ensure that they don’t get broken, or we put them away in a protected place where our children and any other potentially harmful elements can’t get a hold of them. When they get dirty or dusty we don’t display them to the world in that state, but we polish or wash them clean before we put them on display…and if they are injured, broken in a place, or cracked, we turn that part away from the gaze of any onlookers, so that in the eyes of others their value will not be diminished.  We love and take care of our gifts, and we want everyone to know what our thoughts are about them…who gave them to us…how much they cost…and how heartbroken we would be if something happened to them.  We communicate all of this, sometimes, without saying a word.  But what do our lives and attitudes…and even our words, communicate about the gift…the prize that God gave us to demonstrate to us how much he loved us? It breaks my heart when I hear women destroying their husbands, their gift, with their words.  It breaks my heart when I see women treat their husbands coldly or indifferently, because he had the audacity not to follow one of her commands, or to do things other than the way she suggested.  It breaks my heart to see the pain and humiliation in a mans eyes, masked by a laugh or a smile, after his wife has shared a story that communicates how vast his baffoon skills have become.  It breaks my heart to see the look on a mans face when he has been cut off at the knees, in front of family, his children, or in the company of friends, by the words of the woman chosen by him to be his helper. It breaks my heart when I see how the relationship changes when Adam realizes that his helper has helped to cause him more pain and despair than he ever imagined possible… even to the point of negatively impacting his relationship with his father…Does it break your heart????

And I know ladies…I know…He’s NOT perfect! And he doesn’t treat me the way I should be treated…and he can’t keep a job…and he’s angry all of the time…and he doesn’t spend any time with me…and when he comes home all he ever wants to do is watch sports or hang out with his friends…and I don’t know if I still even love him…or like him… And I think I would have been better off if I had married _________________! And the list goes on!! But guess what? We’re NOT perfect! And we don’t treat him the way he should be treated…and we may not be able to keep a job…and we may be angry all the time…and we may not spend any time with him…and when we are home all we ever want to do is watch our shows, talk to our friends, stay on the computer (facebook)…and they may not know if they still loves us…or likes us…and they may think that they would have been better off married to ____________! ….

That last one hit a nerve I am sure, because we allow ourselves the freedom to think whatever we want to think, but are ready to do a “drive by” if we even think that they are thinking the same things!!! But let’s take a minute and think about something; What if the only way for our marriages to change is for us to change? What if the only way our husbands hearts towards us will change is for us to change our hearts towards them?  And what if the only way for us to change our hearts towards our husbands is for us to change our hearts towards God! And what if the only way for us to change our perspective on God was to open the Book he left on record for us and read the Word of God as opposed to listening to the world and what it say about our marriage?

Genesis chapter 1 tells us that God spoke EVERYTHING into existence except man.  For with Adam God took his time and made (to construct, build, assemble, put together, manufacture, produce, create, form, fashion, model) him! And then from the rib of man he made woman!!! Did you get that??? He spoke EVERYTHING ELSE INTO EXISTENCE but he MADE US WITH HIS VERY OWN HANDS!!!!  And then he gifted us to eachother!!! Adam was God’s greatest creation and made to have genuine fellowship…relationship with the God of the Universe!!! And Eve…. Eve was woman…also hancrafted by God…but made differently than man, because part of her man was used to help make her!!!! She would be unmade without him!!! And ladies, so would we today! Think of it this way; Eve was the FIRST and BEST gift Adam was ever given…given specifically to HELP him live out the lives God had commanded him to live by walking beside him and learning with him, and looking at him with the same wonder that she saw when he looked at her.  We are designed to look ‘up’ to him in honor and respect…to be the reminders always of the man God created…HANDCRAFTED them to be!!!!!! And he is commanded to be the vessel that God would always be able to love us through…. But something went wrong… and the place we just talked about is the place we are constantly fighting to get back to… Adam is raging for battling with Eve because when he looks at her, he no longer sees the respect due him simply by being handcrafted in the image of God. And Eve is crying out in the way she walks, and talks, and dresses…and controls and demands…for Adam to notice…to attend to…to love her the way her creator promised she would always be…. But our starting points are wrong…our perspectives have been skewed by the Fall….  

An Amazing Word Picture

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Is it just me, or do the words found in Proverbs 31 paint an amazing picture of the kind of women, wives, and mothers we all aspire to become?  Reading these verses over and over again has become somewhat of a habit for me.  They are definitively inspiring, as well as encouraging!  We have heard it said that repetition is the best form of learning, and nowhere do I find this more true than in the repeating of the wisdom and information found in Gods Word.  When it comes to topics involving Biblical Womanhood, we can never think that Gods Word is outdated or no longer relevant.  It is even more relevant today than it was when it was written! Back then women understood that God created them to;

  • Be the helpers of men, not the leaders of them (Genesis 2:21-24)
  • Be “fruitful and multiply”… (Genesis 1:28)

Now, as we can see throughout Scripture, and particularly in Proverbs 31, this is not an exhaustive list by any means.  But it is the foundation for the ‘why’ of women as seen in Genesis.  Do we think that men are intrinsically attracted to women just because?  No.  They are attracted to us…to everything about us…because we are the only created entity that was designed and hand-crafted just for them and from them!! And because of this, when we understand why we were created, and for whom, then the relationship between a man and his wife/a woman and her husband becomes a awe-inspiring expression of Christ and His bride.  I don’t know about you, but to me that is a beautiful thing :D.

I don’t think a lot of us ever get to that ‘beautiful thing’ part though.  Our view, a lot of the time, has been shaped by a feminist dominated culture that teaches, consciously and subconsciously, to hate God and the men who are created in his image.  The word submission is literally looked at as a four letter expletive, and marriage has become all about ‘my happiness’ rather than ours.  Like Eve in Genesis 1:16a, our ‘desire is to control our husband’, and if we are not surrounding ourselves with Biblical teaching and influences, we will set out to do just that, and we won’t even be aware of it!!!

The woman that we read about in Proverbs 31 was submitted to her husband in every way, and their lives were blessed by her submission and through it.  All of her endeavors and business dealings (and there were many) flowed out of her desire to ‘help’ her husband and be a blessing to her family. In the article, The Impact of Feminism on the Family, shares:

  •   “As the women’s movement turned fanatical and ugly in the 1960s and 70s the focus began to shift from reform and equal opportunity. The feminist leaders – humorless, militant, pugnacious, and angry with their particular lot in life, launched programs that were anti-God, anti-capitalism, anti-family, anti-birth, anti-heterosexual and fostered a virulent hatred of anything having to do with males. They no longer wanted to equalize the status of women, but instead wanted to irreversibly alienate women from men and vice versa….Home and traditional family values are no longer accepted answers to the questions, “Who am I?” and, “What am I here for?” The preeminent purpose for some women have become their careers, and they decided against the value of home and family.” 

This is what we are up against.  This mindset is the one that permeates our culture, and indoctrinated us and our children.  The feminist movement has been so successful that even men have relinquished their God-given roles and authority as the leaders of the family, and moved behind their wives, or out of the picture completely!  As women who are committed to living God honoring lives, we must understand that honoring our husbands is all part of that.  We must also understand that though this ‘honoring’ is not restricted to the home, it does start there.

The following excerpt is from THE BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT, by Mrs. Isabella Mary Beeton. The book is available as a free Kindle download, as well as at http://www.mrsbeeton.com/index.html. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and it’s filled with wisdom and tons of recipes for foods I have never heard of :D.  While Gods Word is our foundation, you’ll find this book to be a great companion to what we have in Scripture. Enjoy!

“AS WITH THE COMMANDER OF AN ARMY, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportion as she performs her duties intelligently and thoroughly, so will her domestics follow in her path. Of all those acquirements, which more particularly belong to the feminine character, there are none which take a higher rank, in our estimation, than such as enter into a knowledge of household duties; for on these are perpetually dependent the happiness, comfort, and well-being of a family. In this opinion we are borne out by the author of “The Vicar of Wakefield,” who says: “The modest virgin, the prudent wife, and the careful matron, are much more serviceable in life than petticoated philosophers, blustering heroines, or virago queens. She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice and trains up the other to virtue, is a much greater character than ladies described in romances, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with shafts from their quiver, or their eyes.”

A lost perspective? Yes, but not a dead one.  It is definitely being revived! ❤

We are linking up @ Women Living Well for Link Up Wednesdays!!!
We are linking up @ Women Living Well for Link Up Wednesdays!!!

The Name-Game:Is a woman who hyphenates her last name not submitting to her husband?

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THE QUESTION:

Is a woman who hyphenates her last name (keeping both her maiden and married name) not submitting fully to her husband? 

This is a question I saw recently on Facebook, as well as the comment I posted in response.  I wanted to share this with all of you in hopes of getting your feedback.The question itself was genuine, and not meant in a negative way.  A new bride was sincerely asking for the opinions of those she knows.  The slew of comments that followed were, in some cases, heartbreaking.  They lead me to do a little research into the ‘new’ movement where husbands are taking on the last names of their wives as opposed to the wives taking on the last name of her husband. Read both the question and the comment I posted in response… Out of the 26 responses to this question, mine was completely ignored by all except the writer of the original question… So, what are your thoughts, and what Bible verses/principles/cultural depictions of the people of God do you use to support your view?

“I have not read the other comments…so no offense intended if there is any…when we choose to BECOME ONE with a man, we are doing just that…becoming ONE…in order for that to work we both    must die to our own selfish ambition and become a different person…a blending of the two…part of that for Eve is the taking on of her husband’s name and what that represents (wo+man=woman)… what it communicates to the world around us. It communicates that we are women who are under authority and consider it a blessing to be covered in life by first, the Lord, then by our earthly fathers whose name we bear until our marriage, and again that covering and protection and provision is passed to our husbands, and is signified by the taking of their name. (1Peter 3, Ephesians 5) It is a sign of honor and respect as well as encouragement and edification to our husbands. It demonstrates love and trust. That said, it is anti-feminist and is another aspect of marriage where we (Christian women) tend to take on the mindset of the world and follow their cultural trends rather than the culture designed by the Word. But it’s minor..no big deal…just a hyphen…but the communicates the opposite of what our marriages as believers are supposed to communicate to the world we live in. It doesn’t communicate unity or oneness or sacrifice, it communicates division, and a reluctance to really take on our husbands name and hang on to our own is communicating that Eve is still alive and well. We (women) are the greatest influencers in the lives of our husbands and our children, and everything we do will either communicate our obedience and submission to God, or our rebellion and disobedience to Him.  So does God’s word explicitly tell us not o use a in our names when married? No, but it does tell us to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord. Have we taken on Christ’s name? Do we hyphenate it so that we can maintain our independence/identity with our old sinful nature and our new nature? Do we even think about these ‘minor’ issues in light of our marriage relationships mirroring our relationship with Christ? And if we still can’t come to an understanding, it’s always a great ides to ask our husbands how it would make them feel, really, and what it communicates about our hearts for them.  Some women hold on to their last name because they have children prior to marriage or from a previous marriage and don’t want their kids to not have the shared identity of their last name…. I understand these cases as well, but we have to understand that the relationship between a man and his wife is the ONLY relationship on earth that is called to represent the relationship that Christ has with his bride…it is to supercede all others…

This is the post. What feedback do you have? Agree. Disagree. I would really like to know 😀 And what about men taking on the last name of their wives???? Have you even heard of that? I truly look forward to hearing from you!

My Husbands Facebook Post and My Response

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While going through the Facebook news feed and finding a few with content that Christ has set me free from, I’m reminded of the spiritual battle that we as followers of Christ are in. I also realize that the battle to live holy in an unholy world will become more and more intense as Christ’s return draws closer. This is not the time for us to let our guards down and relax, but time to become more intense in the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, fasting, fellowship, evangelism, etc. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 24:12-13…Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Enduring to the end of everything Satan will attack us with (temptation to sin, persecution, etc.) is what it will take for us to experience salvation. By the power of the Holy Spirit we fight, we endure, and we win.” 

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This is my husbands Facebook post from this morning, and I gained his permission to share it here.  My immediate thoughts when I read his words were to pray for him, more than I already do.  Then I began to think about us as women…as wives.   There are so many women who have been impacted by the feminist agenda who sit in our churches every week and then go home and struggle even liking their husbands, let alone praying for them.  We must understand that every aspect of our being…every ounce of our DNA is and has been disastrously impacted and altered by sin.  We have to know that as a result of the impact of sin, and the added influence and indoctrination of and by the feminist movement, we will never automatically submit to our husbands.  We will never automatically or voluntarily serve them and put their needs before our own.  We will never instinctively pray for them.  Everything in us, apart from Christ, will seek to destroy and tear them down! We will use our words and thoughts to set up stumbling blocks in their lives and strongholds in their hearts!!!! And then we will look at them as week, or shake our heads with bitter hearts at what they could have been. Apart from Christ, we are truly the daughters of Eve, and we will see the same results in our husbands that she saw in hers; a failure to lead our families, a failure to carry out the commands of the Lord, a withdrawal from Christ-centered living and teaching, passive interactions with us and our children… the list goes on.  But we are not apart from Christ, we are now one with Him.  His spirit now lives in us and empowers our choices so that we can live a life and have a marriage that honors Him. Seeing that we are being made new, can we agree to have a new attitude towards these men that God saw fit to gift to us?  Can we agree to no longer look at them as less than while thinking of ourselves as greater, wiser, smarter, more capable, and putting ourselves as first and foremost, and as the one needing to be served?  I once had a friend, who had been divorced and was now remarried,  tell me that she would never put  any mans needs before her own and the needs of her children.  She loved her husband, but she would always ensure that she was taken care of even at the risk of her marriage falling.  This is a very common mindeset among wives…christian wives… But can we be different??? Can we be wives who truly embrace and embody the character of Christ especially when it comes to our marriages and the way we treat our husbands?? Can we agree to cover our husbands in prayer more than we ever have before?  Can we truly be their HELPERS??? We cannot leave them to fight the good fight and assume everything is ok because we have our own lives and our own concerns and our own interests to look out for!!!  We are to help in every area…from the bedroom to the battlefield and every area in between.  we cannot know they struggle and NOT stand in the gap for them!!! Our marriages can’t afford for us to be selfish ladies….even if we think that our husbands are..

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.”  2 Corinthians 12:20

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

 “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Romans 8:12-14

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Looking back at my Sweetie’s post, I am reminded that a lot of the time we are unaware of all of the temptation that our husbands face … and resist daily. When Adam sinned, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12), and while it is easy to point the finger at Adam, let’s not forget that there are three still pointing at us.

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:6-7

What would have happened if Eve had chosen to flex her God-given influence with her husband in prayer and encouragement rather than in enticement and disobedience??? Pray for your husbands today!!!!! Whenever you read this and wherever you are stop what you’re doing and pray for your man!!!! And as many times as he crosses your mind during the day, as many times as a memory involving him puts a smile on your face, PRAY FOR HIM!!! If he completely irritates you!!!!! PRAY FOR HIM!!!!! When he walks in that door, remember that we have no idea what the enemy has thrown at him while we were apart, and let our first thoughts be how can we serve him, instead of all the things we need him to do to make our life easier.  I am speaking to myself, so please don’t think I am just issuing commands here.  As a stay at home mom it is VERY easy to get wrapped up in ALL of the goings on in my world and forget that he is battling things out in THE world.  Even if we think we know, we must admit at some point that we don’t know it all, but God does, and when we pray for them the Lord will lead us to pray for things that we may  not have ever thought of.

Ukali wrote that post just before our family time in Gods word this morning, and then he immediately left for work.  I read the post as he was leaving, and my heart began to pray.  I was already overwhelmed by a late start to the day, an ill relative, incomplete projects…life.  But everything came to a standstill because I heard his heart.  Girls, Listen with your hearts, and commit to praying for your man.