Wisdom for Wives

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks …"

Hide-the-Word Wednesday: A Masterpiece in the Mirror?

Yesterday was the first day of our homeschool and we are starting our Bible lessons with the Book of Genesis.  The creation story is familiar, though I still have a hard time remembering what was created when.  I do remember that, at the end of each day, God looked at what He’d made and “saw that it was good.”  Actually, on the sixth day, after He’d created man in His image, “God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.”

Later in the day, I thought about how we image-bearers (especially the female segment), often dispute that divine declaration.  We look in the mirror with dismay at the kinks He put in our hair, or the curls He left out.  We frown at the shape of the lips He carved and the nose He sculpted.  And we say, “It is not good.”

Why should we believe that any hair texture, skin tone, or bone structure is better than another?  Why would we limit the definition of beauty when God’s design is so magnificently diverse?  Why are we more willing to believe cultural standards than the Creator of the universe?

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  ~Psalm 139:13

image credit: ikea.com

What can you start to appreciate about the way God made you?

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Where is Your Treasure (Re-post)

[On this last day of the blogiversary month, let’s take one more stroll down memory lane and search the depths of our hearts.]

Map:  X marks the spot

image credit: happilyeverafterinvesting.com

Last week, I suggested keeping track of your spending as a possible first step to becoming more involved in managing the family’s finances. And I am taking this step myself, since I know I need to be more conscious of my spending, especially on food, which is what I buy most. Sure, food is important. Food is essential. It is a blessing from God to be enjoyed. But it’s a little embarrassing to see how many times some purveyor or another of French fries appears on my bank statement. What does that say about me? I have heard more than one pastor say that you can tell a person’s priorities by looking at his or her checkbook. This seems to be supported by Scripture.

~~But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21-22, NASB)~~

Maybe that’s why it can be so difficult to discuss finances with our spouses. Maybe these conversations reveal the true conditions of our hearts, and who wants to talk about the true condition of our hearts?? It’s quite possible that when there are unresolved heart issues, money arguments aren’t really about money. One spouse wants to discuss a budget, the other one fears being controlled. Four little words like, “We’re short this month,” can really mean:

You don’t make enough.
You spend too much.
You shouldn’t have taken (or quit) that job.
It’s because you wanted to buy this house that we can’t afford.

Even if the speaker is not (knowingly) holding a secret grudge, the hearer could be filtering the words through insecurities about his/her earning potential, or lingering regret or shame over a financial mistake for which the family is still paying. Rather than churn up all these issues, it is easier (in the short-term) to avoid talking about money, or to just ignore it altogether.

My husband and I have both had to admit money-related mistakes, and confess resentment we’ve held for the other’s actions or inaction. Some things were acknowledged long ago and now we laugh about them, others have been revealed only in recent months. These feelings were not easy to admit. But even after we have received the Lord’s forgiveness, sometimes we need to “confess [our] sins to one another, and pray for one another so that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16a, NASB).

Then again, if money is a difficult topic, maybe it’s not because of unconfessed bitterness against our spouses. The conflict and tension could reveal an even deeper issue. Just between us and God.

If we sought the Lord for comfort, would we call out to Him instead of trying to eat or spend our way out of sadness?
If we truly trusted God as our source, would we be less tempted to try to control our spouse’s behavior?
If we were content with what He’s already given us, would we put less pressure on our spouses or ourselves to earn more?

May the Lord help us see what is truly at the heart of these issues, and may the Psalmist’s prayer be ours:

~~Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24, NASB)~~

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Hide-the-Word Wednesday: Losing Tethers

Last week, my husband and our boys headed out of town for five days of father-son time.  Our girls and I also had some wonderful bonding, but we all needed a little “family-fix” to get through the long weekend.  So the ladies drove a few hours to meet the guys for an overnight visit.  Halfway into the journey, I glanced down at my phone, which I thought had been charging, and saw a skinny red line in the battery indicator.  A few seconds later, I looked at the phone again just in time to watch it shut down, along with the GPS I was using to guide me to our destination, and my means of calling my husband for directions.  I quickly plugged the phone in properly, anxiously hoping it would come back on before my (unknown to me) interstate exit.

For a moment, I felt a little like an astronaut floating untethered in space.

A little melodramatic, I know.  (Watching Gravity a few weeks ago might have had something to do with it.)  Really, I was not in any danger:  I had a full tank of gas, it was broad daylight, and I knew the name of the place I was going, even if I didn’t know exactly how to get there.  And the phone was off for only the length of about two radio songs.  😀  But for those two songs, I experienced the unfamiliar feeling of not knowing exactly where I was going AND having no way to call for help.  (Because do they still have pay phones anywhere??)

But of course, I was not alone.

I kinda laughed at my melodramatic self as I remembered that a child of God is never “floating untethered.”  Even without mobile phones, GPS, and other tethers like savings accounts and 401(k)s (which are all very nice to have!), she is always firmly in the Lord’s grasp.  Sometimes she doesn’t realize it until she loses her tethers.

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II floating in space, 100 m from the Challenger space shuttle, guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

image credit: NASA

Are there any tethers to which you hold on extra tight?  What verses remind you to hold on to Jesus?

PS.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a free copy of The Power of a Praying Wife!

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Hide-the-Word Wednesday: Your Identity

Who do you think you are? It may depend on who you listen to.  If you listen to that sometimes-cruel inner critic (am I the only person who has one?), or compare your life to glossy magazine spreads and perfect Pinterest posts, you may not think much of yourself at all. But your Father in heaven, the One who made you, and knows everything about you, says you are a work of wonder.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

image credit: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Each day for the rest of January, I will share a reminder of what God says about His children. May we listen to no other voice.
#Godsaysyouare
#yourIDinChrist

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Where Is Your Treasure?

Map:  X marks the spot

image credit: happilyeverafterinvesting.com


Last week
, I suggested keeping track of your spending as a possible first step to becoming more involved in managing the family’s finances. And I am taking this step myself, since I know I need to be more conscious of my spending, especially on food, which is what I buy most. Sure, food is important. Food is essential. It is a blessing from God to be enjoyed. But it’s a little embarrassing to see how many times some purveyor or another of French fries appears on my bank statement. What does that say about me? I have heard more than one pastor say that you can tell a person’s priorities by looking at his or her checkbook. This seems to be supported by Scripture.

~~But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21-22, NASB)~~

Maybe that’s why it can be so difficult to discuss finances with our spouses. Maybe these conversations reveal the true conditions of our hearts, and who wants to talk about the true condition of our hearts?? It’s quite possible that when there are unresolved heart issues, money arguments aren’t really about money. One spouse wants to discuss a budget, the other one fears being controlled. Four little words like, “We’re short this month,” can really mean:

You don’t make enough.
You spend too much.
You shouldn’t have taken (or quit) that job.
It’s because you wanted to buy this house that we can’t afford.

Even if the speaker is not (knowingly) holding a secret grudge, the hearer could be filtering the words through insecurities about his/her earning potential, or lingering regret or shame over a financial mistake for which the family is still paying. Rather than churn up all these issues, it is easier (in the short-term) to avoid talking about money, or to just ignore it altogether.

My husband and I have both had to admit money-related mistakes, and confess resentment we’ve held for the other’s actions or inaction. Some things were acknowledged long ago and now we laugh about them, others have been revealed only in recent months. These feelings were not easy to admit. But even after we have received the Lord’s forgiveness, sometimes we need to “confess [our] sins to one another, and pray for one another so that [we] may be healed” (James 5:16a, NASB).

Then again, if money is a difficult topic, maybe it’s not because of unconfessed bitterness against our spouses. The conflict and tension could reveal an even deeper issue. Just between us and God.

If we sought the Lord for comfort, would we call out to Him instead of trying to eat or spend our way out of sadness?
If we truly trusted God as our source, would we be less tempted to try to control our spouse’s behavior?
If we were content with what He’s already given us, would we put less pressure on our spouses or ourselves to earn more?

May the Lord help us see what is truly at the heart of these issues, and may the Psalmist’s prayer be ours:

~~Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24, NASB)~~

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