Most women are plagued by insecurity. As a result of our insecurity, we end up putting up with rude or abusive behavior from others. Our insecurity leads up to covet what other women have. Our insecurity prompts us to put other people down so we look better in comparison. When we are drowning in insecurity, we tend to expect a man to be the “answer”. We seek and catch a husband and then expect him to make us feel better about ourselves by constantly telling us that we’re beautiful, desirable, smart, funny, intelligent, etc. However, our husbands are imperfect themselves! They can’t be our source of security.
I believe we would benefit by reading aloud one particular Bible verse every morning. It is a great reminder of how God sees us. It’s a reminder that He loves us and even delights in us! This verse portrays the picture of a loving father tenderly cradling his daughter in his arms. Here is the verse. Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Close your eyes and picture God smiling at you as he holds you. Hear him whispering those words to you. Ah. So good. I feel so much more secure. How about you?
Recently, God has prompted me to consider who is truly on the throne in my life. Am I really putting God at the center of my focus, or is everything actually about me? Drat. I have to be honest and say that when it comes right down to it, I tend to filter everything in my life and my marriage through the question “what will make me happy”. How about you?
What if we changed the question? I am suggesting that we start looking at our husbands, our marriage, our children, our work, and everything through the question “how can I please God at this moment?” I believe this could radically change our relationships. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus reminds us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well“. In other words, we should strive to please God in all we do and we can trust Him to meet all our needs in return.
The world tries to convince you to focus on you. The message is “you should focus on what makes you feel happy at the moment and you will be fulfilled.” Unfortunately, this “formula” almost never works. The Bible turns that equation upside down. God tells us to focus on pleasing Him even when it doesn’t seem like you will be happy, and then you will indeed find true fulfillment and joy.
What if you were to ask the Lord to show you how HE wants you to treat your husband this week and how HE wants you to handle difficult situations with your husband? I wonder how your marriage would change? Shall we try God’s upside-down formula this week?
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The thrill I’m talking about is that little rush women get when we draw the attention of a man. It feels SO good! This is all completely fine as long as the man is your husband, but often we go out in public dressed in such a way that other men are tempted to lust over our bodies.
When we wear skin-tight clothes, cleavage-displaying shirts, extremely short skirts or midriff-baring tops, we are leading other men downhill. The attention might feel good, but do you really want to lead these men into the sin of lust? In Luke 17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.” Also, 1 Corinthians 10:32 says “Do not cause anyone to stumble“.
Let’s agree to dress modestly instead of provocatively around our male co-workers, men at the store, and men at church. Let’s not be the downfall of the men around us. Think of it this way. Would you like it if another woman was dressing provocatively in front of your husband?
In my current Bible reading, I’ve been struck with how many times God used women to take a bold, courageous, and wise stand against the enemy. There are so many occasions where a woman steps out to lead or help God’s people when the enemy is attacking. Here are some of the examples: Abigail (in 1 Samuel 25) acts wisely when her husband did not. Rahab (Joshua 2) hides God’s people from the enemy. Deborah (Judges 4) courageously leads the people of God into war against the enemy. Esther (Esther 4 & 5) boldly intercedes for God’s people even though it was dangerous for her to do so. The wise woman (2 Samuel 20) reasoned with an enemy who was about to destroy her city and her wisdom saved the city.
What can we learn from these women? They were all very alert to the enemy’s schemes and they all boldly chose to take action against the enemy, trusting in God for the outcome. So here is the question for you: Do you see the enemy attacking your husband, your marriage, your family, or individual children? If you do, are you going to just wring your hands in despair, or are you going to take action? Hopefully, you will become a courageous woman of action! What does God want you to do? Do you need to commit to press into prayer every single day, several times a day? Do you need to boldly confront an issue? Do you need to get wise counsel from a godly woman? Do you need to ask others to pray with you?
I seem to bump into quite a few women who seem to either struggle with discouragement and mild depression or simply feel unfulfilled. When it comes to both these conditions, there aren’t necessarily simple answers, but I do believe taking one particular step could bring significant help. That step is to get outside yourself and begin serving those less fortunate! Yes, really.
This is God’s instruction to us all. In fact, He says in Isaiah 58 that the kind of “fasting” that he desires is not to look all religious by denying yourself food or pleasure. Instead he desires us to “loose the chains of injustice…to share your food with the hungry…to provide the poor wanderer with shelter. He says “then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear” (Isaiah 58:8)
Is it time to stop focusing on what’s wrong with your circumstances and to look for opportunities to serve those in need all around you? I can almost guarantee that you WILL become more fulfilled when you begin helping others. Try it!
Yesterday, we examined what constitutes physical abuse within a marriage. Today, let’s explore something much more subtle and overlooked…verbal and emotional abuse. Once again, I strongly urge women to take a stand against abuse of any kind. Keep in mind, you are showing your children (especially your daughters) that either women are supposed to be weak, helpless, perpetual victims or that women can be confident and strong while still displaying love and kindness.
After doing much research, here’s a fairly comprehensive list of behavior that constitutes verbal or emotional abuse: Frequently calling you obscene names, often yelling in rage, a pattern of constantly criticizing you and putting you down, prolonged periods of refusing to talk to you at all, pattern of ridiculing or making fun of you, pattern of mocking you or mean-spirited sarcasm, verbal threats of violence, intimidation through displaying knives or guns, constantly accusing you of wrongdoing, forbidding you to talk to parents or siblings, preventing you from leaving the house, refusing to allow you to talk on the phone, forbidding you from speaking to friends or neighbors.
Again, I urge you to take a stand against this kind of abuse. You are a valuable woman. You are God’s daughter and precious in His sight. Don’t allow yourself to be emotionally pummeled. You will slowly be destroyed. That is NOT God’s plan for you. In fact, God instructs us to guard our hearts in Proverbs 4:23….”Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life“. If you are suffering this kind of abuse, please talk to your pastor, pastor’s wife, or a certified counselor. Your husband may be upset, but you must protect your heart. By the way, if you fear for your physical safety as a result of revealing the emotional abuse, then take protective measures such as moving to a friend’s home or a domestic violence shelter while you work through the issues with your husband.
There have been so many times that I have lost my cool over a trivial mistake I’ve made! I beat myself up and feel disgusted with myself. Perhaps you’ve done the same thing a time or two. What makes the situation even worse is then I become a grump around my husband and children. Because I have worked myself into a foul mood, it infects them as well. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that we need to be able to laugh at some of our mistakes.
Sometimes, we take ourselves too seriously!! Often, we feel we have to be “right” all the time. Many times in the past, my pride has kept me from being able to laugh at myself when I made an error. How about you? Are you too serious? Are you a perfectionist?
These days, I’m trying to let go of my pride and admit I’m a human being who isn’t perfect 100% of the time! You know what I’ve found? Everyone, including my husband, seems to like me better. Humility is such an attractive quality. Psalm 18:27 says “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” Let’s work on being humble this week. When we mess up, and we will, let’s LOL. For you who still don’t know how to text, that stands for “laugh out loud”. *Hope you’re laughing at yourself right now 🙂 Get it?