Tag Archives: Courage

A Resolution to Truly Bless My Man

Note to reader: The following is the result of further study, research and reflection after reading a portion of The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, a book written upon the influence of the movie Courageous, which hit theaters nation-wide in September/October of 2011.

Even if I remain my single all  the days God has for me in this lifetime.

Certainly, you may be thinking that I have no business talking about marraige or may even have an idea what it takes to be married. But, even in my single state, I’ve learned that I need to seek answers and learn from my peers before I take that step…hopefully, sometime in the future.

Someone needs to ask the hard questions and we single women need to heed to the advice of those who have traveled down that road.

Questions like – Am I ready (or will I be ready) to fully and completely invest myself into that union (marriage)? How will I serve him? How will I esteem him? Build him up? Honor him? Am I or will I be ready to give the time and energy, the emotional effort and attention that would be required to keep myself contented and my husband satisfied even when I didn’t or don’t feel like it? How about when he doesn’t deserve it? Am I or will I be sure?

Have I even considered the selflessness that would be required of me to fulfill my husband and assist him in accomplishing the work God has put him on earth to do? Will I be ready to do this that honors God in a biblical way?

In reading the next section of The Resolution, I’ve rediscovered things that I know (and we all tend to forget). Men possess two great fears:

  • The fear of being found inadequate
  • The fear of being controlled by a woman

My brothers both deal with this…as they’ve ever so lovingly remind me. (I’ve seriously considered the thought that they’ve been given to me for practice…blessings as they are.)

They long to be the hero. They want to feel like they are worthwhile to us women and needed by us. Any husband longs to see a look of love and admiration in your eyes. He wants to know that you celebrate him, depend on him, feel privileged to be married to him, and expect great things from him.

Priscilla Shirer points out that in spite of man’s fear for inadequacy, we must remember that our husband is capable, honorable, and worthy of our attention and admiration. He is fulfilled when he senses that we believe in him. Take the steps to pray for him, root for him, assure him that he still has what it takes rather than cut him down.

We must remember that people are not defined by their imperfections. Men, in particular, were divinely wired to be leaders, fathers and providers. Granted, in this fallen world, the characteristics that make a man great are hard to come by.

Let me ask you this: What would a man do differently if he knew he couldn’t lose his wife’s love and respect, no matter what he did?

Shirer also reminds us that at Creation, we were all created equal; not one above the other value-wise. This addresses the man’s fear of being controlled by a woman. We both hold equal value, but we are not the same. His way of doing things is not wrong. It’s just different.

We women tend to complicate them. Men, as complex as they are, are simple and uncomplicated. They aren’t turned on by a demanding, screaming wife who doesn’t recognize their value and significance.

Men will never get over these fears without us woman. But with us…God created you to be a suitable helper (Genesis 2:18).

There is nothing happier (or more attractive) than a man who actually feels like one.

In the next section, Shirer points to Peter’s words in 1 Peter 3:1-5:

Wives…be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands. NIV

Gentle.

Quiet.

Gentle in this sense means to be humble, considerate, meek. It means being kind to our husbands the way we want them to be kind to us. (I can’t help but think of the phrase “Kill them with kindness”…it brings a small smile to my face).

Can I resolve to do that? Can you? Can you stop and think before you blurt our another criticism, whether you’re communicating kindness to him? If not, could you keep your opinion to yourself?

What are some ways that I could proactively express kindness toward my future spouse? Is there something that I could do, even as a single woman, that would show my desire to think of my husband’s need above my own?
This is something we all need to seek out.

Quiet. Meaning well-ordered (not silent), to lead a peaceable and discreet life, thus lightening the task of the one in authority…lightening the load of your husband.

This is how I, as a single woman, should approach marriage. I need to be asking myself how I can be a load-lifter and a burden lightener instead of a needy woman looking to be served, coddled, and made content by her man. That is what God calls me to do and it would be wise that I seek and heed this advice now, before I walk down the aisle.

Will I resolve to do this, not just for my sake, but for my husband’s? For God’s call on my life?

My heart resounds: YES!

A Resolution to Do Justice, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly with my God

Note to reader: The following is the result of further study, research and reflection after reading a portion of The Resolution for Women by Priscilla Shirer, a book written upon the influence of the movie Courageous, which hit theaters nation-wide in September/October of 2011.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NASB

I’ve been searching throughout my near-27-year existence. I chose to follow Christ at the age of four while sitting on my mother’s lap reading a bed time story and since then I’ve been searching. What did it mean to be a Christian? I know I have a purpose and a place; what is it? Even as a young adult, I still have questions. What should I study that would make an impact in my world? What opportunities should I accept? Which direction should I pursue? Should I go back to school? And for what?

I want to be in His will, but I’m not sure what that looks like in my life. I want to be a part of something that will make an impact for His kingdom…not one I construct out of the temporary materials of this life. That doesn’t mean anything. That doesn’t leave a footprint.

Then I read the following questions:

 

What if the discolusure of His continued purposes for your life is at least partly dependent on your obedience to what He’s already set before you? What if He wants to see your level of faithfulness in responding to what you do know before He fills you in on what you don’t?

 

Micah 6:8 states that God has shown us.

This much I do know:

  1. Do justice.
  2. Love mercy.
  3. Walk humbly with my God.

Justice. A woman resolved to do justice doesn’t take advantage of people even if she has the means and opportunity to do so. She determines instead to act rightly – to pursue a just solution – to deliberately consider the best way people or circumstances could be served in a particular situation, even if at her own expense. Her primary interest is seeing justice done, seeking solutions that are fair, reasonable, objective and, most importantly, expressive of the love of Christ.

I want to be that type of woman.

Mercy. To “love mercy” means to have a hearty interest in doing things that bless and impact others’ lives. It means considering their needs above your own, not because they necessarily deserve it but simply because you “love” doing it for them.

That what God’s mercy looks like toward you and me. He has chosen to give what we don’t deserve. Like Christ, we should be willing to do gracious things for toherseven when their actions and past choices don’t necessarily warrant it.

Just because.

Humility. Combine justice and mercy. What do you get? Someone who walks humbly with their God. She continuously puts the needs of others first. Correctly assesses her own value. She doesn’t see herself too hihgy, of course, but not too lowly either. She just pursues the will of God daily, faithfully trusting that what He’s said and commanded of her is worth her doing her very best. And when He’s ready to share more, she’s ready to receive it and respond.

Wrap all three together and you get a full life.

So why am I still searching?

Is it because it messes with the American dream that our culture attempts to brainwash us in?

Am I concerned about being uncomfortable?

This is at the very heart of the gospel I claim to believe. It is what God requires of me. How can I say that I want to be a part of God’s will and ignore this very vital part?

Gary A. Haugen writes, “Christians…seem to have the amazing ability to say the most wonderful things without actually believing them…(i.e. blessed are the poor and humble; it’s better to give than to receive; just not, lest you be judged; love your neighbor as yourself, etc.)…and examining, one by one, how differently I would live my life if I actually believed such things. The sayings of Christ coexist passively in their minds, producing hardly any effect beyond what is cause by mere listening to words so amiable and bland.”

Challenging and true.

If we really believed the gospel that we’ve been called to live, don’t you that we would then live like it, even it meant dealing with the discomforts His commands may cause?

My heart burns.

Compassion is rising.

Who is God calling you to seek justice for? To show kindness toward?

The woman who lives under the overpass you see every day on your way to work.

The neighbor who’s soldier-husband recently came home wounded from war. She’s now a caregiver not only for her three young children but also for her disabled partner.

The teenager, pregnant for the second time, whos’ been ostracized by her family and really needs a shoulder to lean on.

All of these require time, energy and resources; gifts and extras that we may feel like we can’t give.

But know this…

If God births in you the compassion to help, He will also multiple in you the means to handle it.

Obeying Him is the key that unlocks that door.

Take each opportunity to know His will and do it without reservation.

Walk justly, mercifully and humbly with your God.

Week 2: Courage and a Daring Adventure

Helen Keller once said that “life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

I would like think I’ve lived my life in that way (or at least am starting to). I’ve told myself to embrace change rather than fight it, not matter how terrified I truly may be. There are moments I actually thrive on it. I even found that God has a tendency to bring a masterpiece out of those moments.

A dear friend and mentor from back “home” told me the following shortly my most recent move to Minneapolis: “I knew few people with as much courage as you posess…” It’s such a blessing to have friends who live out God’s Word (Ephesians 4:29, for example) and are able to touch lives, miles away.

In my first week here, I’m still amazed by the difference between true followers of Christ, those who claim to be Christian and yet don’t live the life and non-believers. People have asked why I moved here (probably wondering why with the winter Minneapolis just experienced) as if I had never experienced snow before. I answer them with the real answer. I’m not here for just a job…God has called me to so much more than that. True followers think it’s great. Others…not so much and seem to think I’ll judge them based on their actions and shove religion down their throats.

I’ve only been in the Twin Cities area a little over a week now and have seen/experienced all of these responses. The hurt and pain I’ve seen make me ache for them. Jesus doesn’t call His people to scrutinize and judge those around them. I grew up with that — I know what it is to be judged the moment you walk in the door…whether it be by your appearance or the different way one chooses to live their life…until the moment you leave. I know…I’ve been there.

And it’s one way I refuse to live. Following Christ is not another religion on the list of world religions. It’s a relationship. One that liberates us from the world we live in…the bondage of sin…and offers the peace, strength and joy needed to live out our daily lives and the boldness to spread the gospel of His word…His Story.

I refuse to be reduced to our culture’s stereotype of what a Christian is and will choose to walk in love; to live in such a way that makes others stand up and take notice…and ask why.

Who am I to judge? Who is anyone for that matter?

I see this entire opportunity as one “daring adventure.” And I am so glad that I’m not traveling this road alone.

Related text: Galatians 5