February 3, 2015

God's Creation of Marriage

God will not protect you from anything that will make you more like Jesus.~Elisabeth Elliot 

Excerpted from Let Me Be a Woman, by Elisabeth Elliot:

* One thing that makes a marriage work is the acceptance of a divine order. Either there is an order or there is not, and if there is one which is violated disorder is the result - disorder on the deepest level of the personality.

* He (Jesus) could do that (washing the disciples' feet) because He knew who He was and whose He was. He could also face the events of the coming night and day. It was not weakness which enabled him to become a slave. It was not resignation that took Him to Calvary. He has both accepted and willed the Father's will.

* You and I can be steadied, directed, and held by the knowledge of where we came from and where we are going. To know that the whole world moves in harmony at God's bidding is wonderfully stabilizing.

* Men and women are equal, we may say, in having been created by God. Both male and female are created in His image. They bear the divine stamp. They are equally called to obedience and responsibility, but there are difference in the responsibilities. Both Adam and Eve sinned and are equally guilty. Therefore both are equally the objects of God's grace.

* The statement "All men are created equal" is a political one, referring to a single quality for a single purpose. C. S. Lewis called this a "legal fiction," useful, necessary, but not by any means always desirable. Marriage is a place where it doesn't belong at all. Marriage is not a political arena. it is a union of two opposites. It is a confusion to speak of "separate but equal," or "opposite but equal" in referring to this unique union of two people who have become, because they were made different in order that they might thus become, one flesh.

* Our joy is in the very discipline of the thing. The discipline doesn't stifle, it gives power, it makes beauty possible.

* Servants are to submit to their masters, whether they are good or bad, for Christ suffered unjustly and it is His example they are exhorted to follow. Married women are to adapt themselves to their husbands, following the example of Sarah who obeyed Abraham. Husbands are to "try to understand" their wives, honoring them as physically weaker, yet "equally heirs with you of the grace of life."

* Marriage is not a fifty-fifty proposition. As soon as it is thought of as such it becomes a power struggle, with picayune scorekeeping to make sure one doesn't outdo the other.

* Your equalities have been delineated: equally sinners, equally responsible, equally in need of grace, and equally the objects of that grace. That's where the fifty-fifty matter ends. You take up life as husband and wife and you start laying down your lives - not as martyrs, not as doormats or ascetics making a special bid for sainthood, but as two lovers who have needed and received grace, and who know very well that they are going to keep on needing and receiving it every day that they live together.

* Household justice was based on household authority. In marriage, if two mature people love each other, this whole matter of authority is almost entirely a tacit understanding. Remember that lines have been drawn - not by my husband, but by God. I was the one originally created to be a help, not an antagonist.

* Marriage is a union. It takes two to make a union. One cannot do it. When God created man, He saw that it was not good for him to be alone, and He created a woman from and for him, specifically designed to help him, to be suitable for him, to be his mate. The woman is totally other, totally different, totally God's gift to man, and each stands in relation to the other, responsible to the other in obedience to the command of God, responsible to be a man or a woman, and, in marriage, to unite as one flesh. It is for this reason that a man leaves his parents. He forsakes all other ties in the flesh in order to establish this most intimate one of all, the only one which is a perfect union of one flesh.

* There is no competition in a union. ... Each is for the other, pulling with and not against him.

* So there is union in marriage, two separate persons made one in the flesh, and, if they are Christians, one in Christ, subject to His headship. If they are one in Christ, they have not only union but communion, and this is a priceless thing.

* Marriage turns out to be mirror. Each reflects the other, which is bound to be in some degree painful, for none of us can bear too much reality at once.

* Marriage is for most people the first experience in adulthood of common life - of the daily, ordinary, humble doing of duties in close contact with and mutual dependence on another person. Few have had to take responsibility on a day-to-day basis until they marry.

* Acceptance of the divinely ordered hierarchy means acceptance of authority - first of all, God's authority and then those lesser authorities which He has ordained. A husband and wife are both under God, but their positions are not the same. A wife is to submit herself to her husband. The husband's "rank" is given to him by God, as the angels' and animals' ranks are assigned, not chosen or earned. The mature man acknowledges that he did not earn or deserve his place by superior intelligence, virtue, strength, or amiability. The mature woman acknowledges that submission is the will of God for her, and obedience to this will is no more a sign of weakness in her than it was in the Son of Man when He said, "Lo, I come - to do Thy will, O God."

* Submission for the Lord's sake does not amount to servility. It does not lead to self-destruction, the stifling of gifts, personhood, intelligence and spirit.

* God is not asking anybody to become a zero. What was the design of the Creator in everything that He made? He wanted it to be good, that is, perfect, precisely what He meant, free in its being the thing He intended it to be. When He commanded Adam to "subdue" and "have dominion over" the earth He was not commanding him to destroy its meaning or existence. He was, we may say, "orchestrating," giving the lead to one, subduing another, to produce a full harmony for His glory.

* But we have a loving God who arranged things not only for our "best interests" (we're not always eager to have what is "for our own good") but for freedom and for joy.

* And it is the will of God that woman be subordinate to man in marriage. Marriage is used in the Old Testament to express the relation between God and his covenant people and in the New Testament between Christ and the Church. No effort to keep up with the times, to conform to modern social movements or personality cults authorizes us to invert this order. Tremendous heavenly truths are set forth in a wife's subjection to her husband, and the use of this metaphor in the Bible cannot be accidental.

* Husbands, who are to initiate, command, and dominate, are specially commanded to love their wives. It is no ordinary kind of love that it is meant here. They are to love them in two ways - first, ... means self-giving. No man who sets this as the first principle will initiate, command, and dominate in a self-aggrandizing way. His acceptance of the authority God has given him is his obedience to God. His acceptance of the way that authority is to be exercised will prove his love for the woman. Second, he is to love his wife "as his own body," which means he is to nourish and cherish her. ... a nourishing and cherishing love, a love that takes responsibility for the care of her.

* As man's power over woman is restrained by love, woman's power over man is restrained by the command to submit. Any woman knows that she has ways of getting her own way. It is not physical strength that is most powerful. It is not the ability to deal with high-level abstractions. She may be as intelligent as or more intelligent than her husband, she may be more gifted than he is. Whether this is the case or not, she also has "wiles," emotional power, and she has sexual power. These must be restrained. The kind of restraint God asks of her is submission.

* John Calvin wrote, "God is the source of both sexes and hence both of them ought with humility to accept and maintain the condition which the LORD has assigned to them. Let the man exercise his authority with moderation ... Let the woman be satisfied with her state of subjection ... otherwise both of them throw off the yoke of God who has not without good reason appointed this distinction of ranks."

* It is impossible for love not to give, and that giving often means giving over one's own preferences. The husband is not in such a case knowledging his wife's authority. He is laying down his life.

Good place to start. Let's all think on these things and pray about their truth according to the word of God....and meet back here.

January 19, 2015

Encouragement for Discouragement

God shields us from most of the things we fear,
but when He chooses not to shield us,
He unfailingly allots grace in the measure needed.
It is for us to choose to receive or refuse it.
Our joy or our misery will depend on that choice.
Elisabeth Elliot

We are hard-pressed on every side, 
yet not crushed; 
we are perplexed,
 but not in despair; 
but not forsaken;
struck down, 
but not destroyed
2 Corinthians 4:8-9

To all my dear sisters who have and are walking with me through some tough times, graciously and lovingly giving me godly perspective and helping to keep my head above some very murky waters, all allowed by our Father's loving hand for my good and for His glory...I love you....thank you! You have no idea how much you are helping this sister. ~BIHP<3

THIS is what we do for one another, as sisters in Christ and women of God. :-)


December 12, 2014


This is an excellent article on biblical marriage. How a wife is to live within that marriage, how she can build up or tear down her husband, etc. Just excellent. While written to brides, we are all still brides, and in that God grants us a new day, if we have lived wrongly within our marriages, today we can start afresh as a new bride...Christ's Bride....and a woman worth more than rubies to her husband...to her Husband...be encouraged!~BIHP<3
Letter to the Bride
What does a newly married couple need? What do I wish I had when we started our life together? As I looked back on various scenes from my marriage throughout the years, I discovered several life lessons. Here is my letter to the bride.
One Flesh
Today you are entering into a new life. Although some mistakenly consider marriage to be simply a legal technicality, the reality is that God is joining you to your husband today. From now on, you will no longer be two, but one. When you enter the covenant of marriage, you agree to no longer be “me” but “we.” A marriage is not a joining of two separate worlds, but an abandonment of the first world in order to create a new one. When we get married, we make a serious commitment before God, family, and friends.
Inevitable Challenges
I remember the excitement of planning my wedding and feeling that Jay and I could conquer the world. We were so in love that we never thought divorce would ever be an option. But once our dreams of “living happily ever after” were thrown against the hard walls of reality, we came to a point where we thought our relationship was dead. We didn’t feel close. We didn’t enjoy being together. I had always thought our marriage would be different. But without realizing it, we were arguing about things, and bickering became our regular habit every weekend.
My Testimony
After years of fighting, one Sunday morning during an argument, Jay said, “We’re going to church!” I started to see red as I felt the heat rush to my face. “Oh no we’re not! Go ahead! You’re the one who needs it!” I yelled. Immediately, the thought came to my head, “I have to go to church to save my marriage. There are no other options.” And I decided to go, thinking that if I didn’t like it, I would simply never go back.
I walked into the church with sweaty palms and pounding heart. The rhythm of the music caught my attention. Everyone was singing and clapping. So much joy and love radiated through that place. Looking around, I saw genuine adoration on the faces of people singing to God. During the worship, I started to cry. I felt the pain not only in my marriage, but deep down in my soul. I hoped no one noticed as I wiped away my tears. But one of the church members saw my pain and gently hugged me. I realized that it was okay to cry.
That day, I made the decision to give my life over to God. Jay and I have experienced tremendous healing in our marriage as a result.
Power in the Word of God
I realized how powerful and real God is once we receive Him into our lives. I started to read the Bible searching for answers to life’s questions and looking for peace in my life. In the past, the Bible was difficult for me to understand. But once I surrendered my life over to God, I discovered that the Bible contains tremendous truth that I could apply to my life and gives me power to overcome issues.
Marriage was God’s idea, and His blueprint for marriage is the marriage that works. Happily married couples are rare today in our society of quick and easy divorce, but God’s way of doing marriage is so fulfilling. Once I started applying these truths to my marriage, I began to experience the healing power of God. Only God can reach down and heal the deepest of hurts.
Submissiveness is an idea that I struggled with as a newly married woman. I used to think that a submissive wife did not have control over her own life; she was a weak woman who could not stand up for herself. That type of worldly thinking is what got me into trouble and took me further from Jay. It didn’t result in the closeness that I longed for. By trying to “assert” myself to avoid letting Jay take advantage of me, I was constantly on the defensive. But what I was doing was pushing him away and not allowing him to truly love me. The independence that I was striving for tore apart our oneness as a couple.
I have learned to make Jay more of a priority. A good wife esteems and respects her husband and doesn’t put herself first. I know that sounds totally opposite from our culture’s view that we should “stand up for ourselves” and “not let anyone take advantage of us.” But God works everything out for the good of those who love Him, and true joy and peace occur when we allow ourselves to love unselfishly. Women who serve their husbands do it because they love him and it increases the love in their marriage. If I strive to be the woman that God intended me to be, I will only be helping my marriage.
How to Love Like God Loves
I am learning to love my husband the way that God loves us. God’s love for us is not based on our performance. It is unconditional. A marriage in which each person loves the other biblically creates the most fulfilling marriage one can experience. In the Bible, “love” is a purposeful commitment to sacrificial action for another. Powerful emotions may accompany biblical love, but it is the commitment of the will that holds love steadfast. Emotions may change, but a commitment to love each other the way God loves us is what makes a marriage thrive.
Of course this is easier said than done in the heat of conflict. Whenever I get angry, I want to tear Jay down with my words. But if I give in to that action, I would not be loving him biblically. Over the years I have learned that my words can tear him down or build him up. The only way to really have peace in the house is to use my words for good and to have a forgiving heart.
One thing that destroys a relationship is selfishness. I make it a point to go about my day with Jay’s needs in mind instead of selfishly taking care of my own needs. Everyone has a natural tendency to be self-centered. “All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6). Our culture promotes and encourages selfishness. Over time this will rob the relationship of its romance. My selfish nature focuses on and becomes critical of my mate’s weaknesses or failures. My expressions of disappointment result in his feelings of rejection and even more failure. It’s a vicious cycle. This is what was happening in my marriage, and I didn’t even know it.
“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” (Ephesians 5:25-26 NLT.)
The Bible is full of wisdom for conducting healthy relationships. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22 ESV). “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” (1 John 3:16 ESV). “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 ESV).
One of the most difficult relationships to maintain is the marital relationship. Your spouse is the closest person to you. He knows you better than anyone else and can push your buttons like no one else. Other relationships can be scaled back when times get tough, but it is the marital relationship that requires the most work in order for the relationship to nourish both parties.
There is a parallel found in the Bible between the human marital relationship and the relationship between Christ and His people. In the verses above, husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved us.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV). While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Notice that Christ did not look at our behavior to decide whether or not we deserved salvation. He made a commitment to us that he could not take back. His act of love was not based on our performance. He was totally committed.
We need that same level of commitment to our marriage that Christ has for us! When you stand in front your friends and family today, it will be very easy for you both to say that you take each other “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
Sadly, when the going gets tough, many married couples start to question whether the relationship brings them personal happiness. When I hear this, it makes me wonder what happened to the level of commitment that was displayed on the wedding day.
What if Christ had the same level of commitment that some of us do in our marriages? Would he decide to lay down his life for us? Thankfully, he was committed to us all the way.
The best marriages are those in which each person commits to being the best husband or wife they can regardless of the behavior of the other. When I was having marital problems, God showed me that if I would decide to be committed to this marriage and do the hard work that is necessary to make a marriage work, God would give me the strength I needed to do it. And God has been faithful.
I pray that you will say your vows today with the understanding that you are making an undying commitment that will result in a long-lasting marriage that will withstand the test of time.
Now that your wedding day is finally here, you are ready to enter a new phase of life. You will make mistakes, but God is faithful to get you through the hard times. I encourage you to seek His guidance in how to be the wife He wants you to be. I pray that your marriage will be blessed with peace, fulfillment, and joy in the years to come. Congratulations and best wishes to you as you become a wife!

December 7, 2014

What to do in Cases of Abuse or Emotional Turmoil

"When I teach women to win their husbands without a word as the Bible commands, I am not saying to not confront them with their sin or that a woman should take abuse. There are many women who don't even believe I should be teaching that a wife should be submissive to her husband for fear of abuse by the husband or they want me to change the word submission to a more palatable word.

Many times when I write about submission, abuse will come up in the comment section. I don't think many of these comments are valid and honest comments; the commenters just want to get the readers off track to what I am teaching and say abuse always happens when a wife submits. NOT SO!!! I have seen and heard of too many marriages completely turn around when a wife learns what submission is and what it looks like. 

Anyways, to clear the air on my thoughts about abuse,Cabinetman responded to one of these discussions going on about abuse and wrote up a great post giving clear guidelines for any wife that is being physically abused or is even emotionally distraught over her marriage ~

1. Get someone else involved: Pastor, elders, etc. There are times when a man is not well mentally and/or spiritually where help is needed. It's okay to seek that help when a husband is not in his right mind or spirit and is very far down that road. There are times where disobedience to anyone who is not Jesus Christ may be necessary if the circumstances call for it.

2. If you are scared for your children or yourself, you need to leave and separate for awhile. Separation doesn't necessarily {hopefully} mean divorce. Understand that if he is truly abusive this can be a dangerous time and this needs to be done carefully and with wisdom. You need to have a plan and execute it quickly and quietly. If you do not know what I am speaking about please research this before you take that step {carefully research}. 

3. Walk your husband through the steps in Matthew 18. I applaud you for seeking to win your husband without a word. I understand that some human hearts are very hard and this can take years and even decades. Men need to deal with their sin and be brought to repentance This can still be done in a respectful way and done in love ~ although it may seem harsh at the time. There are times when a husband who is to lead his family and actions might seem unloving or harsh for a period of time when circumstances or sin pops up. But a husband's primary responsibility is to love his wife sacrificially and serve her and when she is trying to respect him, that should be the overwhelming response she is getting from him. If it is not, he is in serious sin.

4. If there is physical abuse, it is not only okay to involve law enforcement, but often necessary to involve law enforcement.

I hear day and night of "verbal abuse" from women when it clearly is not. There are also always two sides to every story. But, if there is something seriously wrong with your husband and in your marriage relationship, you need to seek help. The best healing and medicine for that is Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word. I'm a big believer in marriage that lasts forever and honors God and in the roles the Lord lays out in scripture. But scripture has more to it than those verses on marriage and a wife winning her husband, however powerfully, true and life giving they are.

Continue to pray for the man. But sometimes the best way we can respect and love someone is to call them on their sin and force them to deal with it- whether man or woman."

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

James 5:19,20


November 20, 2014

Overcoming Your Doubts~Hannah Whitall Smith

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding"
~ Proverbs 3:5

Do not give heed to your doubts for a moment. Turn from them with horror, as you would from blasphemy, for they are blasphemy. You cannot perhaps hinder the suggestions of doubt from coming to you any more than you can hinder the boys in the street from swearing as you go by; and consequently you are not sinning in the one case any more than in the other. But just as you can refuse to listen to the boys or join in their oaths, so can you also refuse to listen to the doubts or join in with them. They are not your doubts until you consent to them and adopt them as true.

Put your will in this matter over on the Lord's side, and trust Him to keep you from falling. Tell Him all about your utter weakness and your long-encouraged habits of doubt, and how helpless you are before it, and commit the whole battle to Him. Believe He is faithful, not because you feel it, or see it, but because He says He is. Believe it, whether you feel it or not. Cultivate a continuous habit of believing, and never let your faith waver for any [reason], however plausible it may be. The result will be that sooner or later you will come to know that it is true, and all doubts will vanish in the blaze of the glory of the absolute faithfulness of God!